Biphoo http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:52:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.2 Trump administration poised to change transgender student bathroom guidelineshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/trump-administration-poised-change-transgender-student-bathroom-guidelines.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/trump-administration-poised-change-transgender-student-bathroom-guidelines.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:52:16 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22826 Trump administration poised to change transgender student bathroom guidelines Trump administration poised to change transgender student bathroom guidelines:- The Trump administration plans to roll back protections for transgender students, reversing federal guidance that required the nation’s public schools to allow children to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that matched their gender identities. In a […]

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Trump administration poised to change transgender student bathroom guidelines

Trump administration poised to change transgender student bathroom guidelines:- The Trump administration plans to roll back protections for transgender students, reversing federal guidance that required the nation’s public schools to allow children to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that matched their gender identities.

In a letter to the nation’s schools, administration officials plan to say they are withdrawing guidance issued by the Obama administration that found that denying transgender students the right to use the bathroom of their choice violates federal prohibitions against sex discrimination, according to a draft of the letter obtained by The Washington Post.

“This interpretation has given rise to significant litigation,” states the two-page draft, which indicates that the Education and Justice departments plan to issue it jointly. The draft says administrators, parents and students have “struggled to understand and apply the statements of policy” in the Obama-era guidance.

As a result, the departments “have decided to withdraw and rescind the above-referenced guidance documents in order to further consider the legal issues involved.” The letter makes clear that schools must protect all students and that the withdrawal of the guidance “does not diminish the protections from bullying and harassment that are available to all students. Schools must ensure that transgender students, like all students, are able to learn in a safe environment.”

A final version of the letter is slated to be issued Wednesday, according to a Republican operative with knowledge of the conversations within the Trump administration on the issue. The administration is expected to release the letter despite objections from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who did not want to rescind the guidance, the operative said. Officials with the Education and Justice departments did not immediately respond to requests for comment late Tuesday night.

The reversal would represent a significant setback for the gay rights movement, which made enormous gains under President Barack Obama. It suggests that President Trump, who had signaled during the campaign and in the early days of his presidency that he supports gay and transgender rights, will hew closer to the GOP party line.

“I think that all you have to do is look at what the president’s view has been for a long time, that this is not something that the federal government should be involved in, this is a states’ rights issue,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters at a daily media briefing Tuesday afternoon, saying that the Education and Justice departments would issue fresh guidance soon.

The decision would not have an immediate impact on the nation’s public school students because a federal judge had already put a hold on the Obama-era directive.

But it would instantly affect several legal cases, including that of Gavin Grimm, a transgender Virginia teen who sued his school board for barring him from using the boys’ bathroom. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in Grimm’s case next month.

A lower court ruled in favor of Grimm based on the Obama administration’s position on transgender student bathroom use. The change would at least partially undermine Grimm’s case.

Gay rights groups, which expected the Trump administration to change course from the earlier transgender guidance, condemned the move preemptively.

“Such clear action directed at children would be a brazen and shameless attack on hundreds of thousands of young Americans who must already defend themselves against schoolyard bullies, but are ill-equipped to fight bullies on the floors of their state legislatures and in the White House,” Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in a statement Tuesday.

The Obama administration’s guidance was based on the position that requiring students to use a restroom that clashes with their gender identity is a violation of Title IX, the federal law that bars sex discrimination. Transgender students and their parents cheered Obama’s move to expand the protections, but it drew legal challenges from those who believe it was a federal intrusion into local affairs and a violation of social norms.

The issue of which bathrooms transgender people should be permitted to use has evolved in recent years into a central debate about rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Transgender advocates say that allowing people with gender dysphoria to use their preferred restroom is essential for their health and psychological well-being. Opponents say the accommodations violate student privacy and traditional values.

Many legal experts say that federal law protects transgender students no matter what agency guidance says.

“This administration cannot strip away the rights of transgender students by retracting the guidance — the issue is before the courts now and the law has not changed,” said Vanita Gupta, who worked as the head of civil rights for the Justice Department in the Obama administration and issued the original guidance. “To cloak this in federalism ignores the vital and historic role that federal law plays in ensuring that all children (including LGBT students) are able to attend school free from discrimination.”

It is unusual for a new administration to overturn such significant civil rights guidance, according to advocates who closely track the issue. And such a reversal is likely to leave schools confused about how to proceed, they say; Obama administration officials said that they developed the transgender guidance in response to requests from school officials.

“Schools repeatedly asked for guidance on how to support transgender students and create a safe and inclusive learning environment for all,” said Anurima Bhargava, who helmed the educational opportunities section of Justice Department’s civil rights division under Obama. “The guidance has been, and will continue to be, an important and practical resource for schools.”

Nearly 800 parents of transgender students wrote to President Trump last week, urging him to keep the guidance to protect their children from discrimination.

“No young person should wake up in the morning fearful of the school day ahead,” the parents wrote. “When this guidance was issued last year, it provided our families — and other families like our own across the country — with the knowledge and security that our government was determined to protect our children from bullying and discrimination. Please do not take that away from us.”

The Obama administration’s directive sparked immediate backlash from those who saw it as a gross overreach of executive power, and several states sued in response.

Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick (R) has been one of the most vociferous opponents of the Obama guidance, calling it “blackmail” and the most important issue for families in schools since the Supreme Court ruled against school-sponsored prayer.

In January, Patrick joined Texas Republicans in supporting a bill that would require the state’s transgender residents to use bathrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their biological sex, not their gender identity. He said the legislation was necessary to protect Texans’ privacy, including in public schools.

“We know it’s going to be a tough fight,” Patrick said at the time, according to the Texas Tribune. “But we know we’re on the right side of the issue. We’re on the right side of history. You can mark today as the day Texas is drawing a line in the sand and saying no.”

In an interview in May with The Washington Post, Donald Trump, then the presumptive Republican presidential nomination, said he thought that the government should protect transgender people but that it should be up to the states to decide on the bathroom issue.

“I think it’s something where we have to help people — and hopefully the states will make the right decisions,” Trump said in the interview.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been a longtime opponent of broadening LGBT rights. While in the U.S. Senate, he endorsed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and opposed expanding hate crime legislation to include acts against gay and transgender people.

DeVos, who was narrowly confirmed this month after a contentious hearing, has a more nuanced record on gay rights. By reversing course on the transgender issue, she could again find herself mired in controversy at the outset of her tenure.

DeVos has been accused of hostility to LGBT rights because of her extended family’s donations to socially conservative advocacy groups and efforts to ban same-sex marriage. She has tried to distance herself from her family’s position; in 2004, for example, she and her husband did not contribute to a ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage in their home state of Michigan, though several of their relatives did.

At her confirmation hearing, she asked senators not to confuse her record with that of her family: “I embrace equality, and I firmly believe in the intrinsic value of each individual, and that every student should have the assurance of a safe and discrimination-free place to become educated,” she said at the time. A week later, a spokesman for the DeVos family told BuzzFeed News that DeVos supports same-sex marriage.

Source:- https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/trump-administration-poised-to-change-transgender-student-bathroom-guidelines/2017/02/21/cd690204-f7bf-11e6-9845-576c69081518_story.html?utm_term=.9bef5e5f8a59

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Spokesman for Turkey’s Erdogan calls on Israel to halt illegal settlementshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/spokesman-turkeys-erdogan-calls-israel-halt-illegal-settlements.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/spokesman-turkeys-erdogan-calls-israel-halt-illegal-settlements.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:45:31 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22825 Spokesman for Turkey's Erdogan calls on Israel to halt illegal settlements Spokesman for Turkey's Erdogan calls on Israel to halt illegal settlements:- Turkey on Wednesday called on the Israeli government to halt what it called "illegal settlement policies" on Palestinian land. Ibrahim Kalin, the spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan, made the comment at a news […]

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Spokesman for Turkey's Erdogan calls on Israel to halt illegal settlements

Spokesman for Turkey's Erdogan calls on Israel to halt illegal settlements:- Turkey on Wednesday called on the Israeli government to halt what it called "illegal settlement policies" on Palestinian land.

Ibrahim Kalin, the spokesman for President Tayyip Erdogan, made the comment at a news conference in Ankara. Erdogan has previously condemned Israel's decision to ramp up settlements in the West Bank as an "absolute provocation".

Israel announced plans last month for 3,000 more settlement homes in the occupied West Bank. It has also retroactively legalized about 4,000 settlement homes built on privately owned Palestinian land, a move that brought condemnation from the United Nations and the European Union.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-israel-erdogan-idUSKBN1611CG

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Groundhog day in Geneva: old questions haunt Syria talkshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/groundhog-day-geneva-old-questions-haunt-syria-talks.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/groundhog-day-geneva-old-questions-haunt-syria-talks.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:33:12 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22820 Groundhog day in Geneva: old questions haunt Syria talks Groundhog day in Geneva: old questions haunt Syria talks:- When Syria peace talks restart in Geneva on Thursday after 10 months in the deep-freeze, familiar disagreements are likely to resurface, despite massive changes in the military and political context. President Bashar al-Assad's military advances, with Russian […]

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Groundhog day in Geneva: old questions haunt Syria talks

Groundhog day in Geneva: old questions haunt Syria talks:- When Syria peace talks restart in Geneva on Thursday after 10 months in the deep-freeze, familiar disagreements are likely to resurface, despite massive changes in the military and political context.

President Bashar al-Assad's military advances, with Russian and Iranian help, have transformed the battlefield since the last U.N. talks broke up without progress in April 2016.

The political context is similarly unrecognizable, with new leadership in Washington and the United Nations and tentative coordination between Turkey, Russia and Iran.

But while a ceasefire exists, at least nominally, across most of Syria, there has been little movement on the issues that dogged previous rounds of talks.

The conflict that began with street protests six years ago has evolved into a complex multi-sided war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and created the world's worst refugee crisis.

The opposition will press for prisoner releases, the lifting of government sieges, and above all for a political transition leading to the end of Assad's rule.

The government side is expected to stick with its view that the entire armed opposition are terrorists. And with Assad militarily stronger than he has been for years, it has the option of pressing home its advantage on the ground if it doesn't get its way at the negotiating table.

"The opposition should understand that there are new realities on the ground in Syria and international changes – it’s not like it was in 2011," said pro-Assad Syrian parliamentarian Sharif Shehadeh.

"The circumstances, the (battlefield) has changed, the political situation has changed, so they need to go with a mindset of participation, not exclusion.”

Anas al-Abdah, head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, said: "We are fully committed to the Geneva talks and prepared to discuss a political solution and transition. We cannot address the profound security threats... while Assad remains in power."

U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura summed up his mood as "determined" as he prepared for Syrian delegates to arrive on Wednesday. He wants to focus on reforming the governance of Syria, introducing a new constitution, and holding elections under U.N. supervision.

"MAGNET FOR TERRORISM"

Some opposition figures, western and Arab diplomats fear that if Assad stays in power, the violence will simmer for ever. A leak of a Russian-drafted constitution suggests he could continue for several seven-year terms.

"He will be a magnet for terrorism," one Western diplomat said. "It’s obvious and logical but it’s so difficult to sell as an idea, because people are so desperate for peace. People are saying: 'Why do you support terrorism? The priority is to stop terrorism, so go with Bashar.'"

The opposition says Assad is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths. His government blames the rebels for the bloodshed.

Western diplomats said De Mistura was hopeful of bringing the opposing Syrian factions face to face - unlike last year, when he was forced to shuttle between them in "proximity talks" that proved to be fruitless. But it was unclear whether this would be possible.

The government delegation will be led by Syria's U.N. ambassador Bashar Ja'afari, while the main opposition delegation will be headed by Nasr al-Hariri, a 40-year old cardiologist from the southern province of Deraa, where the first major demonstrations against Assad began in 2011.

Outside powers Russia and Iran, which back Assad, and Turkey and the United States, which support his opponents, will have no direct role in the talks.

A question mark hangs over the position of U.S. President Donald Trump, whose public comments have signaled he is more concerned with fighting Islamic State than with removing Assad. He appears to have withdrawn from the U.S.-Russian co-leadership that drove Syria diplomacy in the past.

"Where are the United States? I can’t tell you, because I don’t know," de Mistura said last week. "One thing I’m missing at the moment in order to have a clear equation... is a clear U.S. strategy."

Stronger contacts between Russia, Turkey and Iran brought Syrian negotiators to talks in Kazakhstan in January and this month, and briefly stirred hope of fresh impetus. But those talks, which some diplomats said might lead to a united front against designated terrorist groups, ended in disarray.

New U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has played down expectations of a breakthrough.

"Peace is only possible when none of the parties to the conflict think they can win. I’m not sure we are yet there in Syria," he said on Saturday.

"I’m afraid that some might still think, and I think it’s a total illusion, that they might win that war, so I’m not optimistic about the short-term solution for the Syria crisis."

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-talks-idUSKBN1611CE

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Malaysia names North Korean diplomat wanted for questioning in murder casehttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/malaysia-names-north-korean-diplomat-wanted-for-questioning-in-murder-case.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/malaysia-names-north-korean-diplomat-wanted-for-questioning-in-murder-case.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:31:13 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22818 Malaysia names North Korean diplomat wanted for questioning in murder case Malaysia names North Korean diplomat wanted for questioning in murder case:- Malaysian police on Wednesday named a North Korean diplomat along with a state airline official who are wanted for questioning over the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's […]

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Malaysia names North Korean diplomat wanted for questioning in murder case

Malaysia names North Korean diplomat wanted for questioning in murder case:- Malaysian police on Wednesday named a North Korean diplomat along with a state airline official who are wanted for questioning over the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader.

Kim Jong Nam, 46, was killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb. 13, while preparing to board a flight to Macau, where he lived in exile with his family under the protection of Beijing.

South Korean and U.S. officials believe the killing of the elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was an assassination carried out by agents of the North.

Kim Jong Nam had spoken out publicly against his family's dynastic control of the isolated, nuclear-armed state.

Giving an update on an investigation that has already angered North Korea, Malaysia's police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the diplomat wanted for questioning was 44-year-old Hyon Kwang Song, a second secretary at the embassy.

Police also want to interview Kim Uk Il, 37, an employee of the North Korean state-owned airline Air Koryo.

Khalid said both were in Malaysia but could not confirm they were in the embassy.

"They've been called in for assistance. We hope the embassy will cooperate with us and allow us to interview them quickly or else we will compel them to come to us," Khalid told reporters.

"We can't confirm that they are hiding in the embassy," he told Reuters.

So far, police have identified a total of eight North Koreans suspected of being linked to killing.

One, Ri Jong Chol, has been in custody since last week, and another, Ri Ji U, remains at large. Khalid said police "strongly believed" four others were back in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, having fled Malaysia on the day of the attack.

Police have not stated Ri Jong Chol's role in the killing. He lived in Malaysia for three years without working at the company registered on his employment permit or receiving a salary.

Police are also holding two women - one Vietnamese, one Indonesian - who are suspected of carrying out the fatal assault on Kim Jong Nam using a fast-acting poison.

REHEARSED ATTACK

Police chief Khalid said both women wiped a liquid, containing an as yet unidentified toxic substance, on Kim Jong Nam's face.

"Yes, the two female suspects knew that the substance they had was toxic. We don't know what kind of chemical was used," he said, dismissing speculation that the women had thought they were part of a prank.

"They used their bare hands," he said, adding that they were instructed to wash their hands afterwards.

The women had rehearsed the attack at two shopping malls in central Kuala Lumpur before assaulting Kim Jong Nam, he said.

An Indonesian foreign ministry official Lalu Muhammad Iqbal said it was premature to draw conclusions about its citizen's involvement.

"The fact that investigators have asked for an extension to the remand shows that the evidence so far is not enough to bring charges or prosecute," he said in a statement.

DIPLOMATIC SPAT

North Korea's embassy issued a statement on Wednesday calling for the immediate release of its citizen, Ri Jong Chol, and the two women, saying they were innocent. The embassy statement did not address the police request to interview one of its diplomats.

Security was stepped up at the morgue where Kim Jong Nam's body is being held after an attempted break-in earlier this week, Khalid said.

Malaysia has denied North Korea's request for the body to be handed over to its embassy directly, saying it would be released to the next of kin, though none has come forward.

The investigation has strained Malaysia's hitherto friendly relations with North Korea.

Earlier this week Malaysia recalled its ambassador from Pyongyang, and Prime Minister Najib Razak rebuked the North Korea ambassador in Kuala Lumpur for making "diplomatically rude" comments.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-malaysia-kim-idUSKBN1610AM

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iPhone 8 Rumor Unveils A Welcoming Changehttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/iphone-8-rumor-unveils-welcoming-change.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/iphone-8-rumor-unveils-welcoming-change.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 07:01:26 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22810 iPhone 8 Rumor Unveils A Welcoming Change iPhone 8 Rumor Unveils A Welcoming Change:- As the quality of photos, music, videos and apps increase, the storage capacity on your iPhone can be quickly consumed. Fortunately, Apple has been increasing storage capacities as it releases new iPhones. For example, Apple started offering a 256GB storage option […]

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iPhone 8 Rumor Unveils A Welcoming Change

iPhone 8 Rumor Unveils A Welcoming Change:- As the quality of photos, music, videos and apps increase, the storage capacity on your iPhone can be quickly consumed. Fortunately, Apple has been increasing storage capacities as it releases new iPhones. For example, Apple started offering a 256GB storage option for the first time with the release of the iPhone 7 last year. And Apple is poised to make another storage capacity change this year, according to the reputable Taiwan-based market intelligence company TrendForce.

In regards to storage capacity, TrendForce’s supply chain sources claim that the iPhone 8 will have two options: 64GB and 256GB. What is notable about this rumor is that the starting storage option would be 64GB instead of 32GB. However, it seems unusual that Apple would only offer two storage options. Generally, Apple has been selling each of its phones in three storage tiers, including the iPhone 7 -- which has 32GB, 128GB and 256GB options.

When Apple prices its flagship smartphones every year, it usually adds $100 per increase in storage tiers. Last year, Apple set the price of the iPhone 7 at $649 for the 32GB, $749 for the 128GB and $849 for the 256GB. And the price for the iPhone 7 Plus was set at $769 for the 32GB, $869 for the 128GB and $969 for the 256GB. If you were to look at these numbers on a cost per gigabyte basis, then you would immediately notice that the lowest storage tier option is actually the least optimal decision.

Based on the price, you will notice that the cost per gigabyte for the 32GB iPhone 7 is $20.28 and the 256GB iPhone 7 is $3.31. And the cost per gigabyte for the 32GB iPhone 7 Plus is $24.03 and the 256GB iPhone 7 Plus is $3.79. Assuming Apple keeps the starting price of its entry-level 64GB iPhone 8 at $649, the cost per GB would be a substantially better deal at $10.14. Unfortunately, there is a chance that Apple will increase its prices and charge beyond $1,000 for its higher-end device according to previous rumors.

Speculation about the storage capacity is not the only iPhone 8 rumor that TrendForce focused on in its report. TrendForce’s supply chain sources also claim to have knowledge about Apple offering three versions of the iPhone 8, of which one will have major hardware and design upgrades such as a 5.8-inch AMOLED display. But the 5.8-inch AMOLED display is not expected to be curved as previous reports suggested due to production yield bottlenecks and drop test results. And TrendForce’s sources also predicts the physical home button will be integrated into the display in the higher-end iPhone 8. In terms of memory, the higher-end iPhone 8 is expected to have 3GB just like the iPhone 7 Plus.

The other two iPhone 8 options are rumored to have 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch LCD specifications. The 5.5-inch model is reportedly going to have 3GB of RAM while the 4.7-inch will have 2GB of RAM. And both of those models are believed to have storage tiers of up to 256GB.

Earlier this month, JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall said that Apple would remove the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in replacement of a 3D laser scanner for facial recognition. But TrendForce’s sources suggested that 3D sensing technology would be an addition to the higher-end iPhone 8 for facial recognition and augmented reality rather than serving as a Touch ID replacement.

Is TrendForce a credible source for Apple leaks? MacRumors pointed out that TrendForce correctly predicted that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus would be available in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB options last year. So TrendForce seems to have credible supply chain sources.

TrendForce also forecasted the production volume of Apple iPhones for the year. Apple is reportedly aiming for a total of 230 million units for 2017, of which approximately 100 million are going to be the next-generation iPhone devices. And at least 40% of that 100 million are expected to be Apple’s rumored AMOLED model.

When will Apple reveal the next iPhone? Most likely, Apple is going to unveil the iPhone 8 in September 2017 — which will come shipped with iOS 11. And Apple is likely going to announce iOS 11 at WWDC in June 2017.

Source:- http://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2017/02/21/iphone-8-features-storage/#55dcc0272ecb

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 leak offers a preview of the upcoming Android tablethttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/samsung-galaxy-tab-s3-leak-offers-a-preview-of-the-upcoming-android-tablet.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/samsung-galaxy-tab-s3-leak-offers-a-preview-of-the-upcoming-android-tablet.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:48:40 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22809 Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 leak offers a preview of the upcoming Android tablet Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 leak offers a preview of the upcoming Android tablet:- Samsung is hosting an event at MWC 2017 this weekend, but the device that the company is likely planning to show there has leaked ahead of time. An image […]

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 leak offers a preview of the upcoming Android tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 leak offers a preview of the upcoming Android tablet:- Samsung is hosting an event at MWC 2017 this weekend, but the device that the company is likely planning to show there has leaked ahead of time.

An image of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 has leaked, showing off the unannounced Android tablet with a physical keyboard accessory. The image, shared by Evan Blass, depicts what looks like a larger Android tablet with a physical Home button and capacitive Recent Apps and Back buttons.

There’s no word yet on what kind of specs the Galaxy Tab S3 might pack, but the past Galaxy Tab S tablets have been higher-end devices, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Tab S3 was also a premium tablet. The Android tablet market may not be quite as large now as it was a few years ago, but for anyone in the market for such a device, this Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 will likely be one worth checking out.

Do you have any interest in owning a tablet?

Source:- http://www.phonedog.com/2017/02/21/samsung-galaxy-tab-s3-leak-preview-upcoming-android-tablet

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UPS tests drone deliveries, eyes future price changeshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/ups-tests-drone-deliveries-eyes-future-price-changes.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/ups-tests-drone-deliveries-eyes-future-price-changes.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:25:13 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22803 UPS tests drone deliveries, eyes future price changes UPS tests drone deliveries, eyes future price changes:- Package delivery company United Parcel Service Inc said on Tuesday it will consider raising prices across the board in coming years to offset pressure on margins, particularly from the rising costs of delivering packages to e-commerce customers. "We... always […]

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UPS tests drone deliveries, eyes future price changes

UPS tests drone deliveries, eyes future price changes:- Package delivery company United Parcel Service Inc said on Tuesday it will consider raising prices across the board in coming years to offset pressure on margins, particularly from the rising costs of delivering packages to e-commerce customers.

"We... always have to be diligent about getting the right return," particularly as costs rise, Richard Peretz, the company's chief financial officer, said at an investor event.

His comments came a day after the company tested home delivery by drone in Lithia, Florida, the first step in what it hopes will be more automated - and cheaper - deliveries in rural areas.

UPS is grappling with lower margins for e-commerce, which have dented earnings. Businesses typically get more packages per stop than residences, making delivery to individual homes more expensive.

Drones could be one way to reduce those costs.

In Monday's test, a drone launched from the roof of a UPS vehicle flew autonomously toward its destination, dropped a package and then returned to the vehicle as the driver continued on a delivery route.

"We see this as an exploration into this new technology," John Dodero, vice president of industrial engineering at UPS, said ahead of the test.

The company is also considering how changes in global trade, particularly with Mexico, will impact its business as U.S. President Donald Trump vows to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which took effect in 1994.

The U.S.-Mexico supply chain is "critical," said David Abney, the company's chief executive. NAFTA "is a little bit old. It's not reflective of 21st century agreements," he said.

But Abney added that the company believes "global trade certainly drives jobs, and we think that southern border is very important to our customers and to the country."

UPS has tested drones before and is considering other uses for the technology, such as in inventory control and helping inspect planes and vehicles within hangars and warehouses.

But UPS has no timeline for when drones might be put into wider use, Dodero said, partly because federal authorities are still developing regulations on how to use the technology.

The company also said it will expand U.S. pickup and delivery to six days for ground shipments and offer Saturday delivery in the largest metropolitan areas.

UPS sees revenue growth of 4 percent to 6 percent over 2018 and 2019, Peretz said, with adjusted diluted earnings per share up 5 percent to 10 percent. It is planning $1 billion to $1.8 billion in annual share repurchases over the same time.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-united-parcel-drones-idUSKBN1601VQ

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Investors bet on Israel tech stock windfall under Trumphttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/investors-bet-on-israel-tech-stock-windfall-under-trump.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/investors-bet-on-israel-tech-stock-windfall-under-trump.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:14:25 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22799 Investors bet on Israel tech stock windfall under Trump Investors bet on Israel tech stock windfall under Trump:- Investors are betting heavily that Israeli defense and cyber-security firms will reap a windfall from President Donald Trump's big U.S. spending plans, although likely benefits for the wider economy remain like the man himself - hard to […]

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Investors bet on Israel tech stock windfall under Trump

Investors bet on Israel tech stock windfall under Trump:- Investors are betting heavily that Israeli defense and cyber-security firms will reap a windfall from President Donald Trump's big U.S. spending plans, although likely benefits for the wider economy remain like the man himself - hard to predict.

Israeli technology companies are likewise well placed to pick up contracts on other planned presidential projects, such as a hugely expensive wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Economists, however, have yet to factor any positive "Trump effect" into their Israeli growth forecasts and analysts say some of his ideas, such as moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, could backfire with negative security and economic consequences.

After a month in office, some of Trump's Twitter commentary has caused bewilderment in a number of foreign capitals. But in Israel, hopes are high for stronger commercial and strategic ties with the United States, and that warmer political relations will encourage foreign investors.

Companies tipped to gain include defense contractor Elbit Systems, Magal Security Systems and Check Point Software Technologies. All have seen their share prices soar since Trump's election victory on Nov. 8.

Those, and many other Israeli companies, either have U.S. subsidiaries or are incorporated in the United States - a useful hedge should Trump stick to his "America first" promise of giving priority to domestic industry.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Trump in Washington last week, building on expectations of a friendlier relationship with the Republican president after a fractious eight years dealing with Democrat Barack Obama.

"In the world of investing and economics, perceptions matter and I believe investors will notice," said Steven Schoenfeld, founder of BlueStar Indexes, which develops indexes and exchange traded-funds that track Israeli stocks.

BlueStar's Israeli technology ETF has gained 13 percent on the U.S. Nasdaq market since the election. So far, the effect on the wider market has been less remarkable. While Tel Aviv's broad index is up 6.1 percent, it has underperformed the MSCI World index for developed countries, which has risen about 8 percent in the same period.

The United States is Israel's largest trading partner by country, with bilateral commerce valued at $25.7 billion last year. Of this, more than two-thirds were Israeli exports, giving the country a large surplus.

One stock that has already seen a big surge is Magal, whose sensors and command and control systems help to secure airports, borders, power plants, seaports and prisons.

Investors expect it to provide technology for the Mexican border wall, a contract that could reap vast rewards given that the project is expected to cost around $20 billion.

With Magal's shares up nearly 60 percent since the election, Chief Executive Saar Koursh is optimistic of winning work on the wall. "Our chances are more than good," he told Reuters, noting that the company, through its U.S. unit Senstar, was in touch with U.S. government officials. "This definitely would be a large scale project for us."

DEFENSE AND CYBER

Trump has also promised to boost defense spending and add military personnel. If he follows through, this could benefit Elbit, one of the biggest suppliers of drones and helmet based systems. Elbit shares are up 20 percent since November.

Before he took office, Trump questioned the high cost of Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter, saying he had asked Boeing Co to offer a price for a "comparable F-18 Super Hornet".

Such commentary caused ructions in the United States, but the Israeli company is ready to equip the pilots whatever. "Whether Trump sticks with the F-35 jet or goes with the F-18, either plane will have Elbit smart helmets," Schoenfeld said.

Israel's defense industry, led by Elbit, Israel Aerospace Industries, Israel Military Industries and Rafael, accounts for about 14 percent of the country's exports.

The Trump administration is expected within weeks to send Congress a request for a supplemental bill to increase defense spending this year.

Ilanit Sherf, an analyst at the Psagot brokerage, said Elbit could expand its annual revenue by 5-6 percent, instead of the current 2-4 percent, if the U.S. defense budget increases following government spending cuts under Obama.

Cyber-security firms like Check Point may also see higher U.S. orders. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Trump's cyber adviser, visited Israel last month and met Netanyahu to discuss closer cyber cooperation.

Israel has over 450 cyber-security firms. In 2016, 78 start-ups raised more than $660 million from investors, according to the Israel Venture Capital Research Centre.

"Trump seems to be putting an emphasis on cyber-security so Israel and the U.S. will be even closer on the cyber-security front," said Jon Medved, CEO of crowdfunding firm OurCrowd.

Companies such as Nice Systems and Verint, whose voice and data analysis technology is critical to security, may also see a boost.

Much rests on whether Trump's spending plans go ahead and their wider effect in the United States.

"If the U.S. economy will grow, then Israel will benefit and vice versa," said Ilan Artzi, chief investment officer at the Halman-Aldubi investment house.

That view is shared by the head of Israel's central bank, Karnit Flug. "As a small, open economy we are very dependent on our major trading partners and the United States is a major trading partner," she said in December.

But given Trump's unpredictability, economists have so far held back on including any boost in their forecasts. The International Monetary Fund sees Israeli growth steady at around 3 percent a year for the medium term.

Medved warned that if Israel is seen as too supportive of Trump, it could backfire in the tech community, which is unhappy with some of his policies, particularly on curbing immigration.

"The key issue is you want to keep tech and business out of politics," he said. "The great bulwark of our relationship with the U.S. is that we have been bipartisan and it's potentially harmful for Israeli support to be associated with one party or another."

Should the United States become more protectionist, Israeli exports, which comprise 30 percent of economic activity, might suffer. This could be especially so were Trump to try to use the exchange rate to favor U.S. firms over foreign competitors.

"If Trump weakens the dollar it will have an impact," said Uriel Lynn, head of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce. "We export 2.5 times more than we import from the United States."

Risks could also lie in any attempt by Trump to side too closely with Israel. He had pledged to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel's self-proclaimed capital and a holy city at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem - which Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed in a move not recognized internationally - for the capital of a state they seek in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

If Trump made good on his pledge, this would inflame Arab opinion, leading to possible Palestinian and regional unrest.

"Then you would have a drop in tourism and private consumption, which could impact the economy," Leader Capital Markets economist Jonathan Katz said.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-israel-economy-idUSKBN1601KL

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Facebook in talks to live stream one MLB game per weekhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/facebook-talks-live-stream-one-mlb-game-per-week.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/facebook-talks-live-stream-one-mlb-game-per-week.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:04:18 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22796 Facebook in talks to live stream one MLB game per week Facebook in talks to live stream one MLB game per week:- Facebook Inc (FB.O) is in talks with Major League Baseball to live stream one game per week during the upcoming season, which could be a key win as the social media platform works […]

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Facebook in talks to live stream one MLB game per week

Facebook in talks to live stream one MLB game per week:- Facebook Inc (FB.O) is in talks with Major League Baseball to live stream one game per week during the upcoming season, which could be a key win as the social media platform works to offer more live sports, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Facebook has pushed to sign deals with owners of sports rights to live stream their games, going after an audience that competitor Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) is also trying to capture, according to sports media consultants.

For social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, live streaming sports is key to attracting people since sports is one of the few types of content that people still watch live.

"Facebook is aggressively going after sports content and they are now one of a number of competitors to traditional media outlets that are going after sports programming," said sports media consultant Lee Berke. "It makes perfect sense that they would be going after name brand properties like the MLB."

The companies were in advanced talks, according to one source. It was unclear which games MLB would live stream on Facebook. A representative for Facebook and MLB declined to comment.

By partnering with Facebook, MLB would get access to a young audience at a massive scale, consultants said.

The size of Facebook's reach was a big reason Univision Communications Inc [UVN.UL] decided to use Facebook Live to live stream Mexican soccer matches in English, said Tonia O’Connor, chief commercial officer and president of content distribution at Univision.

Under that deal, Facebook will live stream 46 matches by Mexican soccer league Liga MX in 2017. Terms were not disclosed.

Over the past few months, Facebook has live streamed global basketball and soccer matches and table tennis.

While Facebook is aggressively pursuing sports deals, Twitter has established a coveted relationship with the National Football League. But Facebook does not need the NFL to claim victory in live sports, Berke said.

"The scope of their audience is worldwide," Berke said. "They have a range of audiences and sports loyalties they can appeal to."

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-facebook-mlb-idUSKBN1602MY

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Wall Street challenges U.S. regulator over proposed commodities rulehttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/wall-street-challenges-u-s-regulator-over-proposed-commodities-rule.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/wall-street-challenges-u-s-regulator-over-proposed-commodities-rule.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 06:00:46 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22793 Wall Street challenges U.S. regulator over proposed commodities rule Wall Street challenges U.S. regulator over proposed commodities rule:- Wall Street is pushing back against a proposed rule to force U.S. banks like Goldman Sachs Group Inc to hold more capital against investments in commodities, placing what some see as an overly restrictive limit on banks' […]

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Wall Street challenges U.S. regulator over proposed commodities rule

Wall Street challenges U.S. regulator over proposed commodities rule:- Wall Street is pushing back against a proposed rule to force U.S. banks like Goldman Sachs Group Inc to hold more capital against investments in commodities, placing what some see as an overly restrictive limit on banks' ties to the sector.

In a comment letter filed late on Friday and not yet made public, the industry argues the proposed rule would hurt the economy, and that fears about environmental risks from physical commodities activities are overblown.

The U.S. Federal Reserve handed down the proposal in September, after a public backlash stemming from the belief that big banks’ involvement in commodities markets hurt consumers by driving up prices. The comment letter, filed by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the Institution of International Bankers and seen by Reuters, comes as big banks face an uncertain future in Washington. Even though President Donald Trump has said he favors deregulation and has hired several Wall Street executives as advisers, it is unclear how he or the new Congress will approach various rules.

Apart from Goldman Sachs, few banks have large exposure to physical commodities any longer. At one time, it was a big and lucrative business for both Goldman and Morgan Stanley, due to a quirk in their regulatory structure. Other banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co, eventually plunged into the business as well, but exited as global capital requirements got more onerous, making such investments too costly to maintain.

The Fed’s proposed rule would formalize and increase those standards, imposing what it has called a 1,250 percent risk weighting on banks that own, trade and move physical commodities. Among other measures, $1 in capital would need to be held for every $1 investment, the regulator's highest charge for the riskiest investments.

The rule could potentially force banks to withdraw from the commodities business altogether, because such capital charges would severely depress returns.

In its proposal, the Fed said new measures would shield banks and the broader financial system from a costly mishap like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Advocates say the rule is also needed to help mitigate commodity price fluctuations and social conflicts that arise from commodity-related activities.

In the letter filed on Friday, the bank-affiliated groups said the rule would hurt “competition, end users, the liquidity of commodities markets ... and thus the real economy." A number of utility and power companies, including Calpine Corp, have also cited liquidity and price concerns.

Big banks have been using similar arguments in lobbying to roll back existing rules, including the Volcker rule limiting risky, speculative trading and the Durbin rule, which caps the fees they can charge retailers for processing debit card transactions.

Industry sources say the fight against the Fed’s proposal is more about regaining a competitive edge than protecting an existing source of revenue. Between 2007 and 2009, commodities trading accounted for as much as one-fifth of revenue for Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

But over the past five years, Morgan Stanley has decreased its physical commodity assets to $179 million from $9.7 billion. Goldman Sachs has shed much of its energy infrastructure as well, though it is still a major trader of fossil fuels, trading more natural gas than both Chevron Corp and ExxonMobil Corp in certain quarters, according to Natural Gas Intelligence.

As regulated banks have scaled back, specialists like Glencore Plc, Vitol Group and Mercuria Energy Group have gained ground.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-banks-regulation-commodities-idUSKBN16028B

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Wells Fargo fires four executives amid probe into account scandalhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/wells-fargo-fires-four-executives-amid-probe-account-scandal.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/wells-fargo-fires-four-executives-amid-probe-account-scandal.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 05:51:54 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22788 Wells Fargo fires four executives amid probe into account scandal Wells Fargo fires four executives amid probe into account scandal:- Wells Fargo & Co has fired four mid-level executives and stripped them of bonuses and stock awards as a result of an investigation into improper sales practices in its retail bank, the company announced on […]

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Wells Fargo fires four executives amid probe into account scandal

Wells Fargo fires four executives amid probe into account scandal:- Wells Fargo & Co has fired four mid-level executives and stripped them of bonuses and stock awards as a result of an investigation into improper sales practices in its retail bank, the company announced on Tuesday.

The board of directors voted unanimously to fire them for cause as part of its investigation into employees opening as many as 2 million deposit and credit card accounts without customers' permission.

Since the scandal and paying a $185 million fine to the U.S. government, the third-largest U.S. bank by deposits has been trying to show it is holding management accountable. The scandal led to the departure of former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf last October, who along with another executive forfeited tens of millions of dollars in compensation.

The most recent firings include Claudia Russ Anderson, former chief risk officer for the Wells Fargo branch banking unit where the sales problems occurred. She took a personal leave from the bank in September, bank spokeswoman Mary Eshet said. Anderson could not be reached for comment.

The others fired by the bank were Pamela Conboy, Arizona lead regional president; Shelley Freeman, former Los Angeles regional president and now head of consumer credit solutions; and Matthew Raphaelson, head of community bank strategy and initiatives. None of them could be reached for comment.

The four executives will not get bonuses for 2016 and will forfeit unvested equity awards and vested outstanding options. The scandal also led to the firing of thousands of low-level executives.

A spokesman for the Wells Fargo board of directors, Paul Scarpetta at Sard Verbinnen & Co, declined to comment further.

Wells Fargo said on Tuesday the board's investigation was ongoing and was expected to be completed before the company's annual shareholder meeting in April.

Wells Fargo shares had little reaction to the news and were up 0.14 percent at $58.19. Wells Fargo shares, along with those of most other banks, have posted strong gains in the months following the U.S. presidential election as investors react to higher interest rates and what they expect to be a more permissive regulatory environment.

In January, the bank reported its fifth straight decline in quarterly earnings as other large banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America Corp posted gains.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-wells-fargo-accounts-idUSKBN1602DP

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Automakers urge new EPA chief to withdraw Obama car fuel-efficiency ruleshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/automakers-urge-new-epa-chief-to-withdraw-obama-car-fuel-efficiency-rules.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/automakers-urge-new-epa-chief-to-withdraw-obama-car-fuel-efficiency-rules.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 05:49:05 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22787 Automakers urge new EPA chief to withdraw Obama car fuel-efficiency rules Automakers urge new EPA chief to withdraw Obama car fuel-efficiency rules:- A trade association representing General Motors Co (GM.N), Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and nine other automakers on Tuesday asked new Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt to withdraw an Obama […]

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Automakers urge new EPA chief to withdraw Obama car fuel-efficiency rules

Automakers urge new EPA chief to withdraw Obama car fuel-efficiency rules:- A trade association representing General Motors Co (GM.N), Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and nine other automakers on Tuesday asked new Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt to withdraw an Obama administration decision to lock in vehicle emission rules through 2025.

On Jan. 13, then-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy finalized a determination that landmark fuel efficiency rules instituted by President Barack Obama should be finalized through 2025, a bid to maintain a key part of his administration's climate legacy.

Mitch Bainwol, president and chief executive of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said in a letter to Pruitt the decision was "the product of egregious procedural and substantive defects" and is "riddled with indefensible assumptions, inadequate analysis and a failure to engage with contrary evidence."

Automakers have argued that the rules could result in the loss of up to 1 million jobs because consumers could be less willing to buy the more fuel efficient vehicles since their engineering will result in higher price tags.

The EPA had until April 2018 to decide whether the 2025 standards were feasible but in November moved up its decision to Jan. 13, just before Obama left office.

Separately, the Association of Global Automakers, a trade group representing Honda Motor Co (7267.T), Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T), Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) and others, said late Tuesday it had formally petitioned the EPA to withdraw the determination. The group argued in a separate letter to Pruitt Tuesday reviewed by Reuters that "EPA opted for political expediency" and "jammed through a final determination in the waning days of the lame-duck administration."

EPA spokeswoman Julia Valentine said the agency is reviewing the letter and declined to comment further. Pruitt told a Senate panel earlier he will review the Obama administration's decision.

The auto group requests follow a separate letter to President Donald Trump earlier this month from the chief executives of GM, Ford Motor Co and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, along with the top North American executives at Toyota, VW, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan and others urging Trump to revisit the decision.

Automakers say the rules impose significant costs and are out of step with consumer preferences. Environmentalists say the rules are working, saving drivers thousands in fuel costs and should not be changed.

In 2011, Obama announced an agreement with automakers to raise fuel efficiency standards to 54.5 miles per gallon. This, the administration said, would save motorists $1.7 trillion in fuel costs over the life of the vehicles but cost the auto industry about $200 billion over 13 years.

The EPA said in July that because Americans were buying fewer cars and more SUVs and trucks, it estimated the fleet will average 50.8 mpg to 52.6 mpg in 2025.

McCarthy could not be reached Tuesday but said in her determination in January the rules are "feasible, practical and appropriate" and in "the best interests of the auto industry."

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-automakers-emissions-idUSKBN16102J

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Confident Snap brushes off concerns on second day of IPO roadshowhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/confident-snap-brushes-off-concerns-on-second-day-of-ipo-roadshow.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/confident-snap-brushes-off-concerns-on-second-day-of-ipo-roadshow.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 05:44:05 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22783 Confident Snap brushes off concerns on second day of IPO roadshow Confident Snap brushes off concerns on second day of IPO roadshow:- Snap Inc, owner of popular messaging app Snapchat, fended off investor skepticism on the second day of its IPO roadshow on Tuesday, betting on the charisma of CEO Evan Spiegel, 26, whom it […]

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Confident Snap brushes off concerns on second day of IPO roadshow

Confident Snap brushes off concerns on second day of IPO roadshow:- Snap Inc, owner of popular messaging app Snapchat, fended off investor skepticism on the second day of its IPO roadshow on Tuesday, betting on the charisma of CEO Evan Spiegel, 26, whom it introduced as a "once in a generation founder."

Snap is targeting a valuation of between $19.5 billion and $22.3 billion from listing on the New York Stock Exchange in two weeks. It cut its initial target of $20 billion-$25 billion last week following negative investor feedback.

In a room of more than 400 investors on the 36th floor of New York's Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Spiegel brushed aside concerns of slowing user growth and stressed Snap's potential to change "the way people live and communicate," according to sources who asked not to be identified because the meeting was closed to the press.

Many investors remained unconvinced by Snap's claim that it is more valuable than Facebook Inc (FB.O) based on revenue at the time of its IPO in 2012. Still, they acknowledged that Snap has built momentum as this year's biggest technology IPO and the darling of millennials.

"They could have been in their underwear up there and no one would have cared," said one investor who attended the roadshow on Tuesday.

In the Q&A with management that took up the entire session, not one attendee asked about the company's first-of-its kind share structure that offers IPO investors no voting rights. Investors were wary that being too critical might prompt the company to limit their allocation in the offering, an investor said.

Spiegel and co-founder Bobby Murphy will have the right to 10 votes for every share, and existing investors such as venture capital backers will get one vote for each share.

Investors seeking clear answers to concerns around metrics, particularly the company's long-touted new user growth, were disappointed. New user growth slowed in the second half of 2016, and just this week Facebook's WhatsApp introduced a disappearing photo-messaging service similar to Snapchat's. Last year, Facebook introduced disappearing videos to its Instagram platform that resemble Snapchat's.

Spiegel said the company's growth is "lumpy," due to new launches that have varying degrees of success. In a recent update of its IPO registration document, the company also pointed to technical issues facing Android devices that have hindered new user growth outside the United States.

Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan asked investors to gauge how much users engaged by looking at Snap's cost of revenue. Traditionally, investors focus on metrics such as daily active users or minutes spent on the app.

Snap's cost of revenue is primarily driven by how much the company has to pay to partners such as Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) to support data and bandwidth. This is based on how often users engage with the app and the types of features they use.

One investor saw a "huge red flag" when Snap's leaders did not answer the question of where they see the company in five years.

"There was so much hubris there it scared me away... This felt like the late technology bubble roadshows," one of the investors said, referring to the IPO bonanza of the dot-com boom in 2000.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-snap-ipo-idUSKBN1602UM

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Gold steady as investors look for rate hike clues from Fedhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/gold-steady-as-investors-look-for-rate-hike-clues-from-fed.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/gold-steady-as-investors-look-for-rate-hike-clues-from-fed.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 05:43:18 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22778 Gold steady as investors look for rate hike clues from Fed Gold steady as investors look for rate hike clues from Fed:- Gold held firm on Wednesday after falling as much as 1 percent the session before, with investors waiting for minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting for clues on the timing of interest […]

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Gold steady as investors look for rate hike clues from Fed

Gold steady as investors look for rate hike clues from Fed:- Gold held firm on Wednesday after falling as much as 1 percent the session before, with investors waiting for minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting for clues on the timing of interest rate hikes.

Spot gold was steady at $1,236 per ounce at 0336 GMT, while U.S. gold futures eased 0.2 percent to $1,237.

"Although U.S inflation has risen, the expectation of a rate hike in March is not very high," said Jiang Shu, chief analyst at Shandong Gold Group.

"Since gold has only risen since the beginning of this year, the market has some hesitation in moving up further ... but still (prices) have some way to go up."

Traders are looking ahead to the minutes from the Fed's Jan. 30-Feb. 1 meeting, due at 1900 GMT on Wednesday.

Spot gold looks neutral in a range of $1,233-$1,240 per ounce, and an escape could suggest direction, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

"Gold held up rather impressively on Tuesday despite a rising dollar (particularly against the euro) and soaring U.S. equity markets," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.

The U.S. dollar, which was boosted by hawkish comments from various Fed officials in the previous session, edged down on Wednesday.

San Francisco Fed President John Williams warned Tuesday that the global drop in interest rates since the financial crisis is likely to persist and will make it harder for central banks to keep world economies healthy.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker suggested he would support an interest rate increase at a mid-March policy meeting as long as inflation, output and other data until then continue to show the U.S. economy is growing.

However, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said the U.S. labour market had "more room to run", suggesting he did not believe the central bank should raise rates quickly to head off inflation.

Gold is highly-sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates, which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while also boosting the dollar.

Spot silver was firm at $17.97 an ounce.

Platinum rose 0.3 percent to $1,001.80, while palladium rose 0.3 percent to $781.47.
 

Source:- http://in.reuters.com/article/global-precious-idINKBN1610CX

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U.S. oil holds near 7-week high, OPEC upbeat on output curbshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/u-s-oil-holds-near-7-week-high-opec-upbeat-on-output-curbs.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/u-s-oil-holds-near-7-week-high-opec-upbeat-on-output-curbs.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 05:37:34 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22779 U.S. oil holds near 7-week high, OPEC upbeat on output curbs U.S. oil holds near 7-week high, OPEC upbeat on output curbs:- Oil prices held near multi-week highs on Wednesday after OPEC signalled optimism over its deal with other producers to curb output to clear a glut that has weighed on markets since 2014. The U.S. West Texas […]

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U.S. oil holds near 7-week high, OPEC upbeat on output curbs

U.S. oil holds near 7-week high, OPEC upbeat on output curbs:- Oil prices held near multi-week highs on Wednesday after OPEC signalled optimism over its deal with other producers to curb output to clear a glut that has weighed on markets since 2014.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate April crude contract, the new front-month future, was up 18 cents at $54.51 a barrel at 0228 GMT. On Tuesday, the March contract expired up 66 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $54.06, after peaking at $54.68, the highest since Jan. 3.

Brent crude was up 24 cents at $56.90. On Tuesday, it reached its highest since Feb. 2 at $57.31, before closing at $56.66, up 0.9 percent.

"We are nearing the top of the trading range for West Texas and Brent and so the next couple of sessions will be crucial from a technical point of view, at least in determining which way we break," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

"The DoE data tomorrow will be where we get our next impetus," he said, referring to the U.S. Department of Energy's official weekly numbers on crude and petroleum product stockpiles.

The data is set to be released on Thursday, a day later than normal, following a U.S. public holiday on Monday.

Last week's numbers showed U.S. output helped boost crude and gasoline inventories to record highs, amid faltering demand growth for the motor fuel. [EIA/S]

That has kept a lid on prices after they climbed following an agreement by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd).

Mohammad Barkindo, OPEC secretary general, told an industry conference in London on Tuesday that January data showed conformity from member countries participating in the output cut had been above 90 percent. Oil inventories would decline further this year, he added.

"All countries involved remain resolute in the determination to achieve a higher level of conformity," Barkindo said.

Russia and the other outside producers have so far delivered a smaller percentage of cuts, but Barkindo said this would increase.

It was too early to say if the supply cut, which lasts for six months from Jan. 1, would need to be extended or deepened at the next OPEC meeting in May, he said.

Source:- http://in.reuters.com/article/global-oil-idINKBN1610D1

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Bears and Union Clash Over Workers Compensation for Playershttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/bears-union-clash-workers-compensation-players.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/bears-union-clash-workers-compensation-players.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 05:25:37 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22773 Bears and Union Clash Over Workers Compensation for Players Bears and Union Clash Over Workers Compensation for Players:- Should injured pro athletes be allowed to earn workers’ compensation benefits until they are 67 years old, like other workers, even if their athletic careers normally would have ended more than 30 years earlier? That issue is being debated […]

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Bears and Union Clash Over Workers Compensation for Players

Bears and Union Clash Over Workers Compensation for Players:- Should injured pro athletes be allowed to earn workers’ compensation benefits until they are 67 years old, like other workers, even if their athletic careers normally would have ended more than 30 years earlier?

That issue is being debated between the Chicago Bears and the N.F.L. players’ union in the Illinois Legislature as one unlikely element of a compromise proposal to end a nearly two-year-long fight over the state’s budget.

The Bears are leading other Chicago sports franchises in backing a measure that would reduce a former player’s ability to tap into workers’ compensation after a career-ending injury. The teams want to cap certain payments to athletes at no older than 35, or five years after their injury. Players can currently claim benefits up to age 67, like other workers.

Neither the teams nor the union, the N.F.L. Players Association, will say how much money is at stake, although they agree it is not a relatively large pot.

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The Bears say Illinois has overly generous compensation laws. They also argue that the existing rules attract players from other states to file claims in Illinois.

A spokesman for the union said the benefits provide a lifeline to players whose athletic careers end suddenly, especially lower-paid athletes performing strictly on practice teams or in minor leagues.

SOCCER

Fans’ Racial Taunts Prompt Ban

The Serbian Football Association suspended Rad’s stadium in Belgrade until further notice because of the racist behavior of fans during a loss on Sunday in a Serbian league game against Partizan Belgrade.

Everton Luiz, a Brazilian midfielder who joined Partizan last year, was in tears after playing through monkey chants and other persistent abuse during his team’s 1-0 victory. A racist banner in the stands was removed after referee intervention.

After the match, scuffles erupted between players when Luiz made an obscene gesture toward the Rad supporters. Wiping away tears, he later said he had “faced racist abuse during the entire match.” Serbian fans are notorious for racist outbursts against black players, and Rad supporters are known for their nationalist ultraright behavior.

TENNIS

American Ousts Vandeweghe

In an all-American matchup, Alison Riske upset 11th-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe, 6-4, 6-4, to move into the second round at the Dubai Championships in the United Arab Emirates. The unseeded Riske, making her Dubai debut, has won four of her last five outings against Vandeweghe, a semifinalist at the Australian Open.

QUERREY OFF TO QUICK START IN TITLE DEFENSE The defending champion Sam Querrey of the United States began his title defense at the Delray Beach Open in Florida with a victory over Dudi Sela of Israel.

Querrey, the No. 4 seed, was leading by 6-2, 2-1 when Sela retired. Querrey, who is ranked 35th in the world, advanced to a second-round match with either Jared Donaldson or Mikhail Kukushkin. Last year, Querrey beat Rajeev Ram in the Delray Beach final for his first ATP Tour title since 2012.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

No. 2 Maryland Women Fall

Kelsey Mitchell scored 31 points, and No. 12 Ohio State, after a sizzling start, upset second-ranked Maryland, 98-87.

Ohio State (24-5, 14-1 Big Ten), playing at home, scored 35 points in the first 10 minutes on 14-for-18 shooting, led by 9 at the half and then held on as Maryland (26-2, 14-1) rallied.

BAYLOR RALLIES PAST TEXAS Kalani Brown scored 35 points, and No. 4 Baylor took a huge step toward another Big 12 title with a tough 70-67 win over No. 6 Texas.

Baylor trailed most of the way but stayed close as Brown took the game on her shoulders. The win gives Baylor (26-2, 15-1) a one-game lead over Texas (21-6, 14-2) in the conference with two games left for each team.

WEST VIRGINIA COACH COLLAPSES IN WIN West Virginia Coach Bob Huggins fell to his knees and clutched his chest in a scary moment before halftime, but he returned to lead his team in the second half as the 12th-ranked Mountaineers beat visiting Texas, 77-62.

Huggins’s players quickly came to his aid during the incident, and Huggins stood, briefly massaged his chest and stayed on the sideline. It was not immediately known whether Huggins received medical attention at halftime. ESPN’s Holly Rowe said Huggins told her that he thought his defibrillator had gone off.

Jevon Carter scored 24 points for the Mountaineers (22-6, 10-5 Big 12), and Jarrett Allen led Texas (10-18, 4-11) with 17.

IN OTHER MEN’S GAMES Bruce Brown made a 3-pointer with 23.8 seconds left in overtime, and visiting Miami (19-8, 9-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) sent No. 18 Virginia (18-9, 8-7) to its fourth straight loss, 54-48. Dwayne Bacon had 16 points as No. 19 Florida State (22-6, 10-5 A.C.C.) crushed visiting Boston College (9-19, 2-13) by 104-72. Bacon also went over the 1,000-point mark for his career.

HOCKEY

Panthers Top Blues at Buzzer

Vincent Trocheck scored with just less than 5 seconds remaining to lift the Florida Panthers to a 2-1 victory over the host St. Louis Blues. Jonathan Marchessault also scored, and James Reimer stopped 26 shots to help the Panthers complete a 5-0 road trip.

Source:- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/sports/bears-and-union-clash-over-workers-compensation-for-players.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fsports&action=click&contentCollection=sports&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=4&pgtype=sectionfront

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Commissioner Criticizes Union’s Resistance to Rule Changeshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/commissioner-criticizes-unions-resistance-rule-changes.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/commissioner-criticizes-unions-resistance-rule-changes.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 05:22:31 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22769 Commissioner Criticizes Union's Resistance to Rule Changes Commissioner Criticizes Union's Resistance to Rule Changes:- Commissioner Rob Manfred on Tuesday decried a “lack of cooperation” from the Major League Baseball Players Association over rule changes he wanted to propose for this season. Although there will be no changes for 2017, Manfred said, he could impose new […]

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Commissioner Criticizes Union's Resistance to Rule Changes

Commissioner Criticizes Union's Resistance to Rule Changes:- Commissioner Rob Manfred on Tuesday decried a “lack of cooperation” from the Major League Baseball Players Association over rule changes he wanted to propose for this season. Although there will be no changes for 2017, Manfred said, he could impose new rules in 2018 even without the union’s agreement.

“I believe it’s a mistake to stick our head in the sand and ignore the fact that our game has changed and continues to change,” Manfred said.

He dismissed a suggestion by Tony Clark, the executive director of the players’ union, who said Sunday that he would rather educate fans on baseball’s nuances than make major changes.

Manfred said: “I’m firmly convinced both our avid fans and casual fans want us to respond to and manage the change that’s going on in the game. I’m certain that our job as stewards of the game is to be responsive to fans, and I reject the notion that we can ‘educate fans’ to embrace the game as it’s currently played.”

Manfred said home runs were up 32 percent and strikeouts up 67 percent since 1980, with balls in play at a record low. He said he planned to continue to push for changes such as a pitch clock, limits on visits to the mound, automatic intentional walks and the raising of the strike zone — a change that would theoretically force pitchers to throw more hittable strikes.

“I understand some were bigger than others that we had out there, but we couldn’t even make an agreement on limiting the number of times somebody goes to the mound,” he said. “It just doesn’t seem all that earth-shattering that we wouldn’t be able to make progress on that issue.”

Manfred reiterated his often-stated position that he was not concerned with the running time of games but with the pace, and with stimulating action. The running time of games could be easily reduced by compressing the breaks between innings, but that would mean fewer commercials and thus lower revenue.

Manfred said he wanted to be “comprehensive” in considering all ideas, but shorter commercial breaks would affect baseball’s agreements with national and local television partners.

As for the notion of starting extra innings with a runner on second base, to reach a quicker resolution to ties without games dragging on, Manfred said the idea would apply only to the rookie-level Gulf Coast and Arizona Leagues.

“It was not one that we thought at any time in the immediate future would be brought to Major League Baseball, even as a proposal,” Manfred said. “But as with every experiment in the minor leagues: Who knows? You might learn something.”

Source:- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/sports/commissioner-rob-manfred-criticizes-unions-resistance-to-rule-changes.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fsports&action=click&contentCollection=sports&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=sectionfront

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Canadiens Slow Rangers Surge With Shootout Winhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/canadiens-slow-rangers-surge-shootout-win.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/canadiens-slow-rangers-surge-shootout-win.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 05:17:06 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22767 Canadiens Slow Rangers Surge With Shootout Win Canadiens Slow Rangers Surge With Shootout Win:- A visit from the Montreal Canadiens stirs the Rangers and the Madison Square Garden crowd in a unique way, even beyond the built-in drama of any matchup between so-called Original Six teams. Perhaps it is attributable to the swirl of the opposing red, […]

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Canadiens Slow Rangers Surge With Shootout Win

Canadiens Slow Rangers Surge With Shootout Win:- A visit from the Montreal Canadiens stirs the Rangers and the Madison Square Garden crowd in a unique way, even beyond the built-in drama of any matchup between so-called Original Six teams.

Perhaps it is attributable to the swirl of the opposing red, white and blue uniforms, or because Rangers Coach Alain Vigneault led the Canadiens for parts of four seasons and later took much glee in defeating Montreal in the intense Eastern Conference finals in 2014.

The Rangers won that round after Montreal’s goaltender Carey Price was injured early in the series in a collision with Chris Kreider.

This latest Manhattan confrontation had the Canadiens arriving with a new coach, Claude Julien, who had previously led Montreal from 2003 to 2006. Julien, who was fired by the Boston Bruins on Feb. 7, was rehired by the Canadiens on Feb. 14, to replace Michel Therrien.

A recent skid had left the Canadiens clinging to a tenuous Atlantic Division lead that they had seized with a dazzling 9-0-1 start this season.

But with a 1-6-1 mark in their previous eight games entering their first Garden visit since November 2015, the Canadiens skated with purpose against the surging Rangers (38-19-2), who had won seven of eight games this month.

Montreal twice took one-goal leads, but the contest entered the third period tied at 2-2. After a scoreless third period and overtime, Montreal’s Paul Byron recorded the decisive goal in the fifth round of a shootout to lift the Canadiens (32-20-8) to a much-needed 3-2 victory.

Carey Price made 28 saves, including a spectacular sprawling stop on the Rangers’ J. T. Miller as overtime expired, sending the game into the shootout.

With the victory, Price, 29, tied the Hall of Famer Ken Dryden with 258 wins, third on the Canadiens’ career list.

Montreal’s Andrew Shaw opened the scoring on a wraparound 3 minutes 55 seconds into the first period, beating Henrik Lundqvist on his stick side for his eighth goal of the season.

Oscar Lindberg — who has replaced Brandon Pirri in recent weeks as the Rangers’ fourth-line center — scored his third of the season on a slick assist from his linemate Jesper Fast at 10:03.

Fast lost his balance as he slid a pass into the slot from the right wing, but the puck found Lindberg in perfect position for the deflection. Defenseman Brady Skjei also assisted, his 26th of the season.

Montreal defenseman Shea Weber scored at 1:42 of the second period on a booming shot from the left point to put the Canadiens ahead, 2-1. But Rick Nash fought off Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry before beating Price with a high shot at 9:26 for his 17th goal to tie it again.

The same vitriol that permeated the six-game playoff series between the teams three years ago reappeared midway through the second when Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher steamrollered Lundqvist at 11:09 and was penalized for interference. Gallagher was tangled with Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh but seemed to still barrel into the Rangers’ goaltender with full force.

But the Rangers mustered little on the ensuing power play — as did the Canadiens when the Rangers were called for too many men nearly four minutes later.

In overtime, Lundqvist made a glove save 30 seconds in on Max Pacioretty, then stopped him again from in close two minutes later.

Price denied Miller with 35.3 seconds left before capping the extra period with his acrobatic sliding save as time wound down.

It was the second narrow loss to the Canadiens for the Rangers, who dropped a quirky 5-4 game at Montreal on Jan. 14. Antti Raanta left that contest with an injury after the first period, and Lundqvist allowed five goals the rest of the way, including three in a 62-second span of the third period.

Source:- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/sports/hockey/new-york-rangers-montreal-canadiens.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fsports&action=click&contentCollection=sports&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

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Alex Rodriguez Embraces New Role at Yankees Camphttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/alex-rodriguez-embraces-new-role-yankees-camp.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/alex-rodriguez-embraces-new-role-yankees-camp.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 05:09:40 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22756 Alex Rodriguez Embraces New Role at Yankees Camp Alex Rodriguez Embraces New Role at Yankees Camp:- Rodriguez was a recognizable sight as he made his way onto the diamond at Steinbrenner Field on Tuesday: pinstriped pant legs hiked up to just below the knee, dark blue practice jersey with No. 13 on the back, wraparound sunglasses shading […]

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Alex Rodriguez Embraces New Role at Yankees Camp

Alex Rodriguez Embraces New Role at Yankees Camp:- Rodriguez was a recognizable sight as he made his way onto the diamond at Steinbrenner Field on Tuesday: pinstriped pant legs hiked up to just below the knee, dark blue practice jersey with No. 13 on the back, wraparound sunglasses shading his eyes, a packet of sunflower seeds. A crowd of cameras and reporters, as usual, tracked his every move.

But as familiar as he looked, Rodriguez was missing his usual props: his mitt, bats, batting gloves and helmet. As the Yankees’ workout began, Rodriguez stood just past the edge of the infield dirt in center field, his arms clasped behind his back and then folded in front, as if he were trying to figure out where they belonged.

Instead of being in the middle of the action, Rodriguez was on the edges, observing it — standing behind shortstops while they fielded ground balls, anchored at third base to watch batting practice swings, and leaning on the batting cage to chat up General Manager Brian Cashman.

If this role as a special adviser is an unfamiliar one, Rodriguez sounded ready to embrace it, insisting he had no itch to play again after his release by the Yankees in August.

Asked at a postworkout news conference if he was retired, Rodriguez said, “Yes, I am.”

Are there any competitive juices flowing?

“Zero,” he said.

“When you hit .200,” he added, referring to his batting average last season, “you wouldn’t want to pick up a bat, either. I do have one inside my locker — I’m sorry, in my office — and every once in a while, when I need to think better, I just grab that thing.”

Rodriguez, who was once impetuous and was always a good bet to say or do something outlandish enough to land him on the back pages of the tabloids, has largely displayed thoughtful consideration since his return from the drug suspension that cost him the 2014 season.

Rodriguez acknowledged that when the Yankees were pushing him out in August, shortly after his 41st birthday, there were many who thought the one final start that the Yankees honored him with at Yankee Stadium would not be enough.

Rodriguez, who had 696 career home runs, said he had received several offers to return and chase 700 home runs after his release (he declined to identify the teams). But he is content, he said, to remain in Miami, do broadcast work, be a parent to his two daughters and serve as an adviser to the Yankees, who are paying him $21 million this season, the last year of the 10-year, $275 million contract he signed as a player.

After his final game, he said, he flew the family home and briefly considered the offers that had come in.

“I called them back and just said, ‘No, thank you,’” he said. “I’m grateful, appreciative for the opportunity, but again, the pinstripes mean so much to me.”

While the transition into retirement is not always easy — Andy Pettitte showed up as a camp instructor in 2012 and a week later came out of retirement — Rodriguez has had plenty of practice navigating change in his career. He left Seattle as a free agent, learned to play third base when he was traded to the Yankees from the Texas Rangers, and became a full-time designated hitter after returning from his yearlong drug suspension.

While Rodriguez’s role within the organization will be clarified once he meets with Hal Steinbrenner, the managing general partner, he plans to be in camp through Thursday and then return for another three-day stint in mid-March. For decades, the Yankees have relished having alumni return as guest instructors; among those who have been in camp this year are Ron Guidry, Lee Mazzilli, Rich Gossage, Stump Merrill and the recently retired Nick Swisher.

As much as Rodriguez’s baseball acumen has been lauded — the hitting instructor Alan Cockrell said he would make a “phenomenal” hitting coach — his greatest asset to the Yankees may be his ability to counsel the team’s young prospects on how to handle success, failure and missteps in the New York news media maelstrom.

“When you’ve been through what he’s been, he understands the media scrutiny that he brought upon himself, and that can weigh on you from time to time,” Manager Joe Girardi said. “That can be extra noise that you don’t necessarily want to hear. He’s been through a lot in his life, but the one thing he’s always done is gotten up and fought his way back.”

The Yankees, having restocked their farm system, may have to go through some growing pains this season, as even Rodriguez suggested. He is eager to spend time with young players like shortstop Gleyber Torres, outfielder Clint Frazier and catcher Gary Sanchez.

“I think my value for these kids is going to be taking them out to dinner, a three-hour dinner,” Rodriguez said, “and the first hour and a half recognizing that they’ll probably be pretty nervous and pretty tight, and by the second half of that dinner, they’ll start asking real substantial questions. There’s so much that’s expected here in New York, and it’s so difficult to play in New York. And I think as staff mentors, that’s the best thing we can do, is get them ready for what’s expected, because it is a handful.”
 

Source:- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/sports/baseball/new-york-yankees-alex-rodriguez-special-adviser.html

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3 Generals Bound by Iraq Will Guide Trump on Securityhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/3-generals-bound-by-iraq-will-guide-trump-on-security.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/3-generals-bound-by-iraq-will-guide-trump-on-security.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 04:51:35 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22751 3 Generals Bound by Iraq Will Guide Trump on Security 3 Generals Bound by Iraq Will Guide Trump on Security:- At one point or another, they each strode the sands of Iraq, fighting on the unforgiving battlefield of America’s costliest war since Vietnam. Now all three will sit around the table in the White House […]

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3 Generals Bound by Iraq Will Guide Trump on Security

3 Generals Bound by Iraq Will Guide Trump on Security:- At one point or another, they each strode the sands of Iraq, fighting on the unforgiving battlefield of America’s costliest war since Vietnam. Now all three will sit around the table in the White House Situation Room, steering a new president through the treacherous crosscurrents of a stormy world.

President Trump’s appointment of H. R. McMaster, an Army lieutenant general, as his new national security adviser creates a powerful troika of senior officers who served in Iraq, teaming him up with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and John F. Kelly, the secretary of homeland security, both retired four-star Marine generals. This administration is the first to have all three security jobs filled by senior military veterans at the same time.

The ascension of the three generals to political jobs at the National Security Council reflects the rise of a generation of military leaders that came of age during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that began after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Each officer saw up close what a losing war looked like and took away lessons about how to avoid repeating fatal mistakes. Each got to where he is today in part by bucking the military hierarchy.

“This generation of generals lived through some of the struggles, especially in the ’04, ’05, ’06 time frame in Iraq when we weren’t doing things right,” said Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, an Army veteran who served in Iraq. “They understand that security and military force are the pre-eminent requirement, but it’s not sufficient. This generation of generals who grew up in the Iraq war probably understands that more than any previous generation.”

Mr. Cotton was the one who persuaded the White House to consider Mr. McMaster, who became known over the years for questioning orthodox views of the Vietnam and Iraq wars. “Donald Trump is an unconventional president, and I think it fits him well to have someone who for many years colored outside the lines and so many times was proven right,” Mr. Cotton said.

While some critics worry about the prevalence of military officers in political posts, others have welcomed the three generals, hoping that they will serve as a brake on bad ideas. “All three of them showed an independent streak and a talent that is in my view extraordinary, and I’ve known a hell of a lot of them over the years,” Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said in an interview.

How much any of the three will be able to shape Mr. Trump’s policies remains an open question. When the president considered reinstituting torture for the interrogation of terrorism suspects, Mr. Mattis objected and Mr. Trump backed down, saying he would defer to his defense secretary. But when the White House enacted a temporary ban on refugees and on any visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Mr. Kelly was not fully briefed until late in the process.

Mr. McMaster, 54, will have an office across the West Wing from Mr. Trump, and will see him more than any of the three. He has the least Washington experience of the group, meaning he will have to learn on the job how to balance the various constituencies, including the Pentagon, the State Department, the C.I.A. and Congress. He will also have to get to know a president who, Mr. Cotton said, had never heard of Mr. McMaster just a week ago.

Mr. McMaster will also have to figure out how to handle Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, who was given a seat on the cabinet-level national security principals committee and has played a strong role in foreign policy so far. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, said on Tuesday that Mr. McMaster would have authority to organize the national security team as he sees fit.

But the three generals are not known only for their experiences during war. Mr. McMaster and Mr. Mattis are both thought of as scholar-soldiers. The author of a dissertation examining the failures of the military leadership during Vietnam, Mr. McMaster has lately been running a command charged with rethinking the Army of the future. Mr. Mattis, 66, a student of history, is “just as likely to quote Cicero to you as Clausewitz,” as former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates put it.

As the head of Southern Command, Mr. Kelly, 66, spent a lot of time thinking about how to protect the southern border and fight drug trafficking beyond traditional combat operations. He also represented the Marines on Capitol Hill, learning the byways of Congress.

“The wars clearly played a role in shaping all three men, and also certainly in shaping their reputations,” said Mr. Gates, who served Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. But, he added, “These are much broader, deeper people than just their experience in Iraq, and I find that all reassuring.”

The three generals did not all overlap at the same time and place in Iraq. Mr. Mattis and Mr. Kelly grew up together in the Marine Corps, rising to four-star generals in a service that has only a handful of officers at that rank. Mr. Kelly served as assistant commander of the First Marine Division under Mr. Mattis during the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003. Mr. Kelly returned there in 2004 and a third time in 2008, when he was named the top American commander in western Iraq.

While the Marines focused on Anbar Province, Mr. McMaster and the Army’s Third Armored Cavalry Regiment concentrated on Tal Afar to the north, where in 2005 he introduced a new counterinsurgency strategy that bucked the military leadership’s thinking and helped recapture the city. His success was later cited as a model in a counterinsurgency manual that Mr. Mattis had a role in drafting with Gen. David H. Petraeus and that inspired the larger strategy shift that turned the war around in 2007 and 2008.

Mr. McMaster’s approach was not always appreciated by the military brass, however, and he was twice passed over for promotion to brigadier general. Mr. Gates personally intervened by summoning General Petraeus to take over the promotion board and ensure that Mr. McMaster would receive his first star.

Mr. Mattis was not always in concert with superiors, either. He led the first Marines into Afghanistan after Sept. 11, but when he sought to pursue Al Qaeda into the Tora Bora region, he was not given permission, and Osama bin Laden ultimately escaped. In Iraq, where Mr. Mattis’s radio call sign was Chaos, reflecting the havoc he sought to rain down on enemies, Mr. Mattis objected when told to abort an offensive to retake Falluja early in 2004 for what he considered political reasons.

Mr. Kelly is also known for speaking his mind. While leading Southern Command, he talked about the need to rebuild aging facilities at the Guantánamo Bay prison, despite the Obama administration’s official policy that the detention center was about to close. He also called for more Navy ships to conduct counternarcotics patrols despite being repeatedly told to back down.

“He does what he thinks is right, and is anything but politically correct,” said James G. Stavridis, a retired admiral who served as NATO’s top military commander and has known the general since 1979.

If all three share common experiences from the wars of the last 16 years, they were most personally felt by Mr. Kelly. In 2010, his son, Lt. Robert Michael Kelly, was killed when he stepped on a land mine in Afghanistan, making the father the highest-ranking officer to lose a son or daughter in either war.

“They’ll bring a very sober, realistic, practical experience base to the discussions in the Situation Room because they’ve lived it,” said Douglas E. Lute, a retired three-star Army general who was a senior national security aide to Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama.

David W. Barno, another retired lieutenant general and a former commander of American forces in Afghanistan, said the three would take a more thoughtful approach to the use of force. “They’ll bring in some hard-nosed realism of what war looks like,” Mr. Barno said. “It doesn’t mean they shy away from using the military, but they will have a perspective no one else in the White House will have.”

Source:- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/us/politics/h-r-mcmaster-national-security-adviser.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=sectionfront

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Trump Uses His Tee Times for a Mix of Diplomacy and Recreationhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/trump-uses-his-tee-times-for-a-mix-of-diplomacy-and-recreation.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/trump-uses-his-tee-times-for-a-mix-of-diplomacy-and-recreation.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 04:42:42 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22750 Trump Uses His Tee Times for a Mix of Diplomacy and Recreation Trump Uses His Tee Times for a Mix of Diplomacy and Recreation:- Of the 31 days he has been in office, President Trump has spent six of them on a golf course. That amounts to one-fifth of his tenure, including three of his […]

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Trump Uses His Tee Times for a Mix of Diplomacy and Recreation

Trump Uses His Tee Times for a Mix of Diplomacy and Recreation:- Of the 31 days he has been in office, President Trump has spent six of them on a golf course. That amounts to one-fifth of his tenure, including three of his five weekends, as commander in chief.

His golf partners have included the Japanese prime minister and champion players from South Africa and Northern Ireland. One Saturday in Florida, he managed to play in the morning at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, and in the afternoon at Trump International in West Palm Beach.

Few of these details came from the White House, which has thrown a veil of secrecy over the president’s golf game, as well as many of his other pursuits while he is at his Palm Beach, Fla., estate, Mar-a-Lago.

The Trump administration does not disclose his golf partners, except for the day he played with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan and the South African pro, Ernie Els, about which Mr. Trump tweeted himself. It declines even to confirm Mr. Trump is actually swinging at a tee when his motorcade disappears behind the towering palm trees and crested gates of his clubs.

Golf is not the only activity that the administration keeps under wraps in Florida, where Mr. Trump is still making a fitful transition from the proprietor of a private club to president. Last weekend, the White House did not disclose that he attended a charity benefit for cancer research at Mar-a-Lago, during which a tuneful former Canadian prime minister, Brian Mulroney, sang “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” to Mr. Trump and his guests.

It also did not publicize that the president led a tour of Air Force One for friends and family members of the staff at Mar-a-Lago, while the plane was parked at Palm Beach International Airport.

White House officials say these were all private events. The press office did publicize the president’s work schedule in Florida, which included a staff meeting on repealing the Affordable Care Act, interviews with four candidates for national security adviser, and phone calls with the president of Panama and the prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

But the White House is clearly sensitive about Mr. Trump’s Eisenhower-like golf habit — so much so that it has gotten the press office into the rough. On Sunday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House deputy press secretary, told reporters in Florida that the president played a “couple of holes” on Saturday and Sunday.

Then Rory McIlroy, the world’s No. 3-ranked player, told a golf website, No Laying Up, that he had played a full 18 holes with Mr. Trump. “He probably shot around 80,” Mr. McIlroy said. “He’s a decent player for a guy in his 70s!” A photograph of Mr. McIlroy, posing with Mr. Trump and Paul O’Neill, the former Yankees right-fielder, appeared on social media.

On Monday, Ms. Sanders clarified that the president “intended to play a few holes and decided to play longer.”

The White House goes to considerable lengths to keep Mr. Trump’s golf game away from scrutiny. When he plays in West Palm Beach, the press corps that follows him is diverted to a parking lot at a public library across the street. When he played in Jupiter, reporters were sequestered in a clubhouse meeting room that would have offered a picturesque view of the green, except that the windows and doors were taped with black plastic.

The rub, of course, is that Mr. Trump repeatedly criticized his predecessor, Barack Obama, for playing too much golf.

On Oct. 13, 2014, he wrote on Twitter, “Can you believe that, with all the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf. Worse than Carter.” Ten days later, Mr. Trump posted, “President Obama has a major meeting on the N.Y.C. Ebola outbreak, with people flying in from all over the country, but decided to play golf!”

In July, Mr. Trump, then the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, offered his philosophy on presidents playing golf to David Feherty of the Golf Channel. “Obama plays a lot of golf — a lot,” he said.

“I don’t think you should play very much,” he continued. “But if you’re going to play, you should use it to your advantage, and the country’s advantage.” As president, Mr. Trump said, he would play with members of Congress, to push through his legislative agenda, or with foreign leaders, to advance the nation’s diplomatic and trade priorities.

By that rationale, Mr. Trump’s game with Mr. Abe was fully justified. Though it is hard to see where Mr. Els and Mr. McIlroy fit in, aside from the fact they are not American. According to No Laying Up, Mr. Trump’s quartet with Mr. McIlroy included Nick Mullen, an executive with International Sports Management, and Richard Levine, a longtime friend and golf partner of Mr. Trump’s who has donated to his foundation.

Mr. Obama played 333 rounds of golf as president, according to Mark Knoller, a White House correspondent for CBS News. Though he famously played with the Republican speaker of the House, John A. Boehner, in an ill-fated effort to cultivate him for budget negotiations, the large majority of Mr. Obama’s rounds were with the same trio of White House aides.

The White House’s refusal to disclose Mr. Trump’s games has not deterred Mr. Knoller from his bookkeeping.

“I look for club members tweeting photos or other confirmation of his swinging a club,” Mr. Knoller said. But he added, “I’ve changed my designation from ‘rounds of golf’ to ‘golf outings’ since it’s clear on some occasions he has played only a few holes, not a full round.”

Mr. Trump is not the first president to disguise his golf passion because of a complicated history with his predecessor. John F. Kennedy kept the news media away from his golf outings during the 1960 campaign for fear of being compared to Dwight D. Eisenhower.

“Kennedy was extremely sensitive about some voters’ distaste for Dwight Eisenhower’s widely known golf addiction,” said Don Van Natta Jr. in his book about presidents and golf, “First Off the Tee: Presidential Hackers, Duffers, and Cheaters From Taft to Bush.” “As Kennedy quietly asked his friends: ‘Would it be appropriate for someone aspiring to be the champion of the people to indulge in a rich man’s game?’”

Source:- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/us/trump-golf-mar-a-lago.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

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Justices Weigh Agent’s Cross-Border Shooting of Mexican Teenagerhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/justices-weigh-agents-cross-border-shooting-of-mexican-teenager.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/justices-weigh-agents-cross-border-shooting-of-mexican-teenager.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 04:33:36 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22747 Justices Weigh Agent's Cross-Border Shooting of Mexican Teenager Justices Weigh Agent's Cross-Border Shooting of Mexican Teenager:- In a case that could further roil relations with Mexico, the Supreme Court considered on Tuesday whether the parents of a 15-year-old Mexican boy killed by an American border guard may sue in United States courts. The teenager, Sergio […]

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Justices Weigh Agent's Cross-Border Shooting of Mexican Teenager

Justices Weigh Agent's Cross-Border Shooting of Mexican Teenager:- In a case that could further roil relations with Mexico, the Supreme Court considered on Tuesday whether the parents of a 15-year-old Mexican boy killed by an American border guard may sue in United States courts.

The teenager, Sergio Hernández Guereca, was on the Mexican side of the border when the guard, Jesus Mesa Jr., standing about 60 feet away in United States territory, shot him in the head.

A lawyer for the youth’s parents faced two kinds of hurdles at Tuesday’s argument. Even justices sympathetic to the parents appeared to be worried about the implications of a ruling in their favor, which would extend constitutional protections beyond the nation’s borders. And some justices suggested that any solution should come from Congress rather than the courts.

The lawyer, Robert C. Hilliard, said he sought only a narrow ruling. The Constitution applies abroad, he said, only when the challenged conduct starts in the United States, when the killer and the victim are both civilians, when the constitutional right at issue is the right to life, and when the foreign government supports the suit.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said that this test as proposed by Mr. Hilliard was opportunistic rather than principled. “That’s a test that, surprisingly, fits the exact facts of your case,” he said with a note of sarcasm.

The chief justice said a ruling in the parents’ favor could have implications in many areas, including “a drone strike in Iraq where the plane is piloted from Nevada.”

Justice Stephen G. Breyer said the parents had “a very sympathetic case.” But he said it was hard to rule in their favor without considering the decision’s implications for many other cases.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. pressed Mr. Hilliard along those lines. “You need to give us a principle that is workable,” Justice Alito said.

Mr. Hilliard responded that there were special problems on the Mexican border.

“The Border Patrol is 44,000 strong along our southwest border,” he said. “We’ve had 10 shootings across the border.”

The case, Hernandez v. Mesa, No. 15-118, started in 2010, with four Mexican boys playing in the dry bed of the Rio Grande that separates El Paso from Juárez, Mexico. The international borderline, unmarked, runs through the middle of the culvert.

The boys dared one another to run up a concrete incline and touch the barbed wire of the American border fence. Mr. Mesa, the border guard, grabbed one of them.

Sergio fled, and he made it back to Mexico before Mr. Mesa shot him.

A statement issued by the F.B.I. the day after the shooting suggested that Mr. Mesa had been justified in using deadly force because Sergio had thrown rocks at him. But when the Justice Department closed its investigation into the shooting in 2012, it said that “a group of smugglers” had thrown rocks, but it did not accuse Sergio of doing so. Cellphone videos appear to show that he was trying to run and hide.

The Mexican authorities charged Mr. Mesa with murder. But the United States has refused to extradite him. The Justice Department declined to prosecute Mr. Mesa, and it said he had not violated government policies concerning the use of force.

At the argument on Tuesday, Justice Breyer suggested a way to rule for Sergio’s parents based on the court’s 2008 decision in Boumediene v. Bush, concerning people detained at the military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. That decision allowed detainees to invoke the Constitution based on the United States’ practical control over the naval base there.

The culvert where Sergio was shot could be said to be a similar kind of place, Justice Breyer said. It “is a joint effort of Mexico and the United States,” he said. “So this is not just like a fence. It is an area of two fences, and between those two areas is joint exercise of border maintenance authority.”

Justice Breyer added that both Mexican and American children played in the culvert.

“The dividing line isn’t even marked on the ground,” Justice Elena Kagan said. “You can’t tell on the ground where Mexico ends and the United States begins.”

Randolph J. Ortega, a lawyer for Mr. Mesa, said borders mattered. “Wars have been fought to establish borders,” he said. “The border is very real.”

But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said it was odd that a Mexican boy killed on the American side of the border would have rights while one killed just feet away across the border would not.

“That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, does it, to distinguish those two victims?” she asked.

As the argument progressed, it seemed clear that the court’s four more liberal justices were inclined to vote to allow the parents to sue. But it was less certain that they could capture the crucial fifth vote of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who did not seem to think the question was for the courts to decide.

“You’ve indicated that there’s a problem all along the border,” Justice Kennedy told Mr. Hilliard. “Why doesn’t that counsel us that this is one of the most sensitive areas of foreign affairs where the political branches should discuss with Mexico what the solution ought to be?”

Edwin S. Kneedler, a lawyer for the federal government, agreed. “You have a cross-border incident which necessarily gives rise to foreign relations problems, which are committed to the political branches,” he said.

Mexico filed a brief supporting the parents in the case, suggesting that the foreign relations problem in allowing the case to proceed was not obvious. But Justice Alito said the court’s ruling could offend Mexico.

“What would the government of Mexico say if we wrote an opinion that says because the United States spent a lot of money to pave this culvert, we think that the United States’ authority with respect to the culvert is basically the same as the authority that we have in Guantánamo?” Justice Alito asked.

Mr. Kneedler said, “I think the Mexican government would be very offended by it.”

Justice Kagan said the Supreme Court was capable of avoiding that problem. “I’m sure it wouldn’t have to be written that way,” she said, drawing laughter.

Source:- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/us/politics/justices-weigh-agents-cross-border-shooting-of-mexican-teenager.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=sectionfront

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Trump Appears Set to Reverse Protections for Transgender Studentshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/trump-appears-set-to-reverse-protections-for-transgender-students.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/trump-appears-set-to-reverse-protections-for-transgender-students.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 04:31:17 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22742 Trump Appears Set to Reverse Protections for Transgender Students Trump Appears Set to Reverse Protections for Transgender Students:- President Trump appears on the verge of reversing protections put in place by the Obama administration to stop discrimination against transgender students in schools, officials said Tuesday. Civil rights advocates said that the possible rollback of protections, […]

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Trump Appears Set to Reverse Protections for Transgender Students

Trump Appears Set to Reverse Protections for Transgender Students:- President Trump appears on the verge of reversing protections put in place by the Obama administration to stop discrimination against transgender students in schools, officials said Tuesday.

Civil rights advocates said that the possible rollback of protections, which could come as soon as Wednesday, would represent a major step backward after the enormous progress made by gay and transgender people in recent years.

The administration signaled that an announcement was imminent on the question of whether transgender students should be able to use the bathroom of their choosing — and that Mr. Trump could well come down differently from his predecessor, President Barack Obama, a forceful advocate for transgender students.

Mr. Trump believes that “this is a states’ rights issue and not one for the federal government,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Tuesday.

Mr. Spicer said that officials at the Justice and Education Departments were reviewing a policy put out by the Obama administration last May that directed public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity. The Obama administration said that transgender students fell under the sex discrimination measures in federal funding under Title IX.

At the same time, the Trump administration expects to announce its legal position on a separate case before the Supreme Court brought by a transgender teenage boy in Virginia who was barred from using the boys’ bathroom at his school, Mr. Spicer said. The Obama administration had backed the boy’s position.

Mr. Spicer’s assertion that the transgender question is “not one for the federal government” conflicts squarely with the view of Obama administration officials, who saw gay and transgender issues as perhaps the biggest civil rights fight of the modern era.

Vanita Gupta, who led the civil rights division at the Justice Department at the end of the Obama administration, said that the indication that Mr. Trump’s administration might back away from transgender protections was troubling.

“To cloak this in federalism ignores the vital and historic role that federal law plays in ensuring that all children (including L.G.B.T. students) are able to attend school free from discrimination,” she said in an email.

Transgender advocates said that they worried that undoing the protections put in place by the Obama administration would open the door to further discrimination against transgender students — a group that is already the frequent target of harassment and hate crimes — and would create widespread confusion in public schools about what is allowed under federal policies.

Mara Keisling, who leads the National Center for Transgender Equality, called the prospect of a retrenchment “outrageous,” and Rob Flaherty, a spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, called it “a hugely consequential decision.”

Mr. Trump gave conflicting signals during the presidential campaign about where he stood on the transgender question.

He said last April, for instance, that he supported the rights of transgender people to “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate,” and he said that Catilyn Jenner, perhaps the most famous transgender person in the country, could use whichever bathroom at Trump Tower she wanted.

But when the Obama administration put in place its anti-discrimination policy on transgender students weeks later, Mr. Trump indicated that he thought it had overreached and that the matter was better left to the states than the federal government.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is widely seen as hostile to gay and transgender rights, and his record on civil rights issues in general came under sharp attack from Democrats during his bruising confirmation fight this month.

Mr. Sessions, pressed at his confirmation hearing about his past votes in the Senate against measures on gay rights protection, pledged that “I understand the demands for justice and fairness made by our L.G.B.T. community. I will ensure that the statutes protecting their civil rights and their safety are fully enforced.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the issue Tuesday.

The department is eager to move quickly in laying out its legal position on transgender policy to avoid confusion in cases now moving through the courts, according to an administration official speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

One filing deadline is coming up this Thursday in the case now before the Supreme Court involving the Virginia transgender boy, Gavin Grimm. He sued the Gloucester County School Board two years ago after the board refused to allow him to use the boys’ bathroom and told him he could use a separate bathroom in a converted janitors closet. The Obama administration had rejected that type of accommodation as unacceptable and discriminatory.

The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in the boy’s favor in August. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case next month, but Mr. Spicer’s comments at the White House on Tuesday indicated that the federal government would withdraw its support for the boy by the time the Supreme Court considered the case.

In a separate case in Texas, the Justice Department said earlier this month that it was dropping its challenge to a nationwide injunction imposed by a judge that blocked the Obama administration’s guidance to schools last year on allowing transgender students to choose their bathrooms.

The procedural move in the Texas case indicated at least a partial retreat on the issue, but civil rights advocates say they believe that the Trump administration plans to backpedal much more severely by dropping Mr. Obama’s transgender policy for schools entirely.

James Essecks, an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who is representing Gavin, said that while he was hopeful that the Supreme Court would detail clear legal protections for transgender students, the apparent retreat by the new administration was troubling nonetheless.

“It’s astounding to me that this administration would decide that it’s going to stop standing up for young children in crisis,” he said. “That’s a bad development any way you look at it.

Source:- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/us/politics/transgender-students-trump-obama.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront

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Major Elements of Trump New Immigration Policieshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/major-elements-of-trump-new-immigration-policies.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/major-elements-of-trump-new-immigration-policies.html#respond Wed, 22 Feb 2017 04:24:09 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22741 Major Elements of Trump New Immigration Policies Major Elements of Trump New Immigration Policies:- With an executive order last month and a pair of Department of Homeland Security memos on Tuesday, the Trump administration has significantly hardened the country’s policies regarding illegal immigration. Here are some of the most significant elements of the new approach: Who will […]

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Major Elements of Trump New Immigration Policies

Major Elements of Trump New Immigration Policies:- With an executive order last month and a pair of Department of Homeland Security memos on Tuesday, the Trump administration has significantly hardened the country’s policies regarding illegal immigration. Here are some of the most significant elements of the new approach:

Who will be deported

In 2014, the Obama administration issued guidelines for deporting unauthorized immigrants that placed the highest priority on gang members, felons and those who posed security threats. A goal was to concentrate limited resources on the most serious cases, but many Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents complained that the priorities tied their hands, taking away their discretion as to whom to pursue.

Under the new directives, the government “no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.” Immigration agents can now focus on picking up and removing anyone charged with or convicted of any criminal offense, even minor ones, as well as anyone already ordered deported, regardless of whether they have a criminal record.

One unauthorized immigrant in California, Kristina, who did not want her last name used because of fear of deportation, said she was alarmed to learn on Tuesday that she would now be considered a prime target. Kristina has been in the country for 25 years and has been ordered deported, but her removal had been postponed for the last four years by the Obama administration. “We have our whole lives here; our children are citizens,” she said. “Now I don’t know if I can go out, if I should drive.”

But the Obama guidelines “translated into de facto protections” for people with no legal right to live in the United States, said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which opposes legalization for unauthorized immigrants. Unless they fell into one of the high-priority categories, Mr. Stein said, “the chance of being deported was virtually zero.”

‘Catch and release’

Under the Obama administration, people caught crossing the border without permission were often released into the United States while their requests for asylum wound through the immigration system, a process that can take years. Most requests are denied, but by then, the immigrant has been living in the United States all that time and may not be easy to find.

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The Trump administration has declared an end to the so-called catch and release policy, though it may take awhile to see any significant change. “Catch and release” came about in part because the government had nowhere to hold detainees waiting for immigration decisions. One of the memos released on Tuesday directs officials to expand detention facilities, but it will take time to build centers big enough, or find enough room in jails, to hold the thousands of Mexican and Central American asylum seekers expected to cross the border this year.

The document also raises another alternative: sending migrants back to Mexico to wait out the immigration process, even those who are not originally from Mexico. That proposal comes with its own problems. Though United States law appears to allow it, Mexico’s laws do not, if the immigrant is not a Mexican citizen.

No judge required

Two decades ago, Congress passed a law allowing the government to quickly deport undocumented immigrants who have not been in the United States very long, without allowing them go before a judge.

In practice, the government has used this process, called “expedited removal,” relatively narrowly because of concerns about whether it violates constitutional rights of due process that are granted to anyone in the United States, regardless of immigration status. Since 2002, expedited removal has been applied only to immigrants who have been in the country less than two weeks and were caught within 100 miles of the border. That is because the Supreme Court has held that such immigrants can still be considered “in transit” and not here long enough to qualify for due process protections.

The Trump administration is now planning to use expedited removal as extensively as the original law allows, saying that limits on its use had contributed to a backlog of more than half a million cases in immigration court.

Immigration advocates vowed to challenge the change.

“Someone could be living in Chicago for a year and a half and then be swept off the street by an ICE agent,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the A.C.L.U.’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, referring to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. “He is going to be detained and removed right away without ever seeing a judge.”

Children traveling alone

One of the memos on Tuesday acknowledges that children who arrive at the border alone — “unaccompanied alien children,” in government parlance — are entitled to special protections: Unlike other border crossers, whom border patrol agents may deport without a legal hearing, these children must appear before an immigration judge and be interviewed by an asylum officer. Children have surged across the border in recent years, many fleeing violence and destitution in Central America.

But the memo turns a sterner face to their parents, who, under the new policy, may be subject to deportation or even prosecution for enabling their children to come into the country.

The memo notes that parents and relatives often pay smugglers several thousand dollars to bring their children from Central America, an act that the memo says amounts to facilitating illegal smuggling or trafficking.

Immigration advocates are predicting that the policy will drive parents of migrant children further underground. With parents fearful of prosecution, advocates say, navigating the immigration process — or even showing up to court — could become much harder for these children.

‘Dreamers’

Some 750,000 people who were brought into the country as children were issued work permits and temporary protection from deportation under an Obama program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Even President Trump said last week that the subject “is very, very difficult” for him and that he promised to “deal with DACA with heart.”

So far, the Trump administration has left the program alone. But chills went through the community of “Dreamers,” as DACA recipients are known, with the recent arrest of a 23-year-old Mexican immigrant in Washington State, Daniel Ramirez. Immigration agents arrested him when they went to his house to detain his father, a convicted drug trafficker. They said Mr. Ramirez admitted to having gang affiliations, which cancels the protection offered under DACA. But Mr. Ramirez denies having made the admission, and his lawyers are fighting his deportation.

Role of local police

A program known as 287(g), named for its section of the Immigration and Nationality Act, allows the Department of Homeland Security to train local and state law enforcement officers to work as de facto federal immigration officers, identifying undocumented immigrants in their communities and jails and turning them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

From 2006 to 2013, the program led to 175,000 deportations, according to federal statistics. But investigations and court rulings revealed an ugly side effect: In some jurisdictions, local officers were using their authority to racially profile Latinos. One of the most egregious cases was in Maricopa County, Arizona’s most populous, during the tenure of Sheriff Joseph Arpaio, who a federal judge ruled had discriminated against Latinos in patrols and other enforcement efforts.

The Obama administration curtailed the use of the program, which currently involves 32 agencies in 16 states. The Trump administration wants more agencies to take part, and some have already expressed a desire to do so.

Statistics and sanctuaries

The administration is trying to significantly expand the amount of information available on the enforcement of immigration laws and, in particular, unauthorized immigrants who commit crimes. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will establish a new office to work with the victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, some of whom appeared with Mr. Trump on the campaign trail.

The office, known as Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement, or Voice, will provide victims with information about defendants’ immigration status and whether they are in jail. Significantly, funding for the office comes from reallocating “any and all resources that are currently used to advocate on behalf of illegal aliens” by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

ICE will now have to provide monthly public reports on its apprehensions and releases. The agency also has to publish a weekly report about state and local authorities that release undocumented immigrants from jails. That is a clear shot across the bow at so-called sanctuary cities that limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities, contending that turning in unauthorized immigrants would destroy the fragile relationship that the police have with immigrant communities.

“We are going to continue our policy that has been in place because we think that it helps us have a safer, stronger, better community,” Mayor Stephanie A. Miner of Syracuse said on Tuesday.

The Trump administration is already pondering ways to punish those cities by denying them some federal aid.

“Now everyone is going to be able to see how many criminal aliens are being released as a result of the sanctuary policies,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, which supports tighter controls on immigration.

No privacy

In January 2009, the departing Bush administration extended some Privacy Act rights, which American citizens and legal permanent residents already had, to undocumented immigrants. That meant that information obtained by one agency, like the Internal Revenue Service or Citizenship and Immigration Services, could not generally be shared with other agencies, like Immigration and Customs Enforcement. One rationale for the move was to protect the personal information of immigrants who might one day become citizens covered by the Privacy Act.

The Trump administration has now rescinded those privacy protections. One of the memos released on Tuesday said that those protections had been detrimental to the families of the victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, because those families could not get information about such defendants’ legal status, or whether they had been deported, leaving victims “feeling marginalized and without a voice.”

The Department of Homeland Security said it would develop new rules on the sharing of undocumented immigrants’ private information. But advocates for unauthorized immigrants said they feared that immigrants who had applied for legal status — in the process divulging they were not here legally — were now in danger of having that information used to deport them.

“The constitution doesn’t traditionally allow bait and switches,” said Thomas A. Saenz, the president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, an organization that advocates for immigrants. “These are folks who submitted their information attempting to play by the rules, with part of the rules being that the government would protect their privacy.”

Beefed-up force

The memos released on Tuesday repeat Mr. Trump’s demand in his executive order for a larger enforcement force that can speed up the removal of millions of undocumented immigrants from the United States.

In practice, that may play out more slowly than the president might prefer. The source of this caution is none other than John F. Kelly, the homeland security secretary, who told lawmakers this month that he did not believe it would be possible to hire the desired 15,000 ICE and border patrol agents in the next couple of years. “I’d rather have fewer and make sure that they’re high-quality people,” Mr. Kelly told lawmakers. “I will not skimp on the training and the standards.”

On top of the stringent hiring standards and training, Border Patrol applicants are required to take a polygraph test, which nearly 60 percent fail. A previous surge in hiring under President George W. Bush resulted in dozens of corruption cases, with Border Patrol and other agents accused of taking bribes and providing information to Mexican drug cartels.

Source:- https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/us/trump-immigration-policies-deportation.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fus&action=click&contentCollection=us&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

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Pakistan shells border with Afghanistan as tensions rise over terrorist attackshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/pakistan-shells-border-with-afghanistan-as-tensions-rise-over-terrorist-attacks.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/pakistan-shells-border-with-afghanistan-as-tensions-rise-over-terrorist-attacks.html#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 11:16:18 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22738 Pakistan shells border with Afghanistan as tensions rise over terrorist attacks Pakistan shells border with Afghanistan as tensions rise over terrorist attacks:- An escalating border conflict between Afghanistan and Pakistan is threatening to undermine their cooperation on terrorism and peace talks with the Taliban as the Trump administration begins weighing its options to spur progress […]

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Pakistan shells border with Afghanistan as tensions rise over terrorist attacks

Pakistan shells border with Afghanistan as tensions rise over terrorist attacks:- An escalating border conflict between Afghanistan and Pakistan is threatening to undermine their cooperation on terrorism and peace talks with the Taliban as the Trump administration begins weighing its options to spur progress on both fronts.

After a blitz of terrorist bombings across Pakistan left more than 125 people dead, Pakistani forces began shelling both sides of the border Friday, aiming at camps used by a group tied to the Islamic State that claimed most of the attacks. Pakistan also closed all border crossings.

Afghanistan has protested that the shelling is forcing hundreds of villagers to flee their homes. U.S. officials have asked Pakistani military leaders to cooperate with their neighboring country in going after the militants, but Pakistan has threatened to take further unilateral action.

And in a tit-for-tat exchange of demands, Pakistan asked Afghan officials Saturday to hand over 76 alleged militants based in Afghanistan, while Afghan diplomats Sunday called for action on a list of 32 terrorist training centers and 85 militant leaders they say are in Pakistan, including the Haqqani Taliban faction that is fighting against the Afghan state.

“Turmoil in Afghanistan has created space for terrorist organizations to find their foothold there,” said Nafees Zakaria, a spokesman for Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. He said the group responsible for the recent bombings was based in Afghanistan as far back as 2014, when it massacred 141 people at a Pakistani army school, an assault that outraged the country.

Zakaria added that other countries in the region are concerned about the “growing footprint of groups like ISIS in Afghanistan.” The Islamic State is also known as ISIS.

Russia in particular has been seeking a role in solving the Afghan conflict, hosting regional meetings on it and expressing support for the Taliban as an antidote to a spillover of Islamic State groups into Central Asia. That approach has alarmed U.S. military officials who urged the Trump administration to raise troop levels in Afghanistan to block further Taliban advances.

There is plenty of irony in Pakistan’s finger-pointing. Afghanistan has long complained that Pakistan provides sanctuary for Taliban leaders and factions, a charge it denies. And the group most linked to last week’s bombings, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, is an outgrowth of the Pakistani Taliban, which was driven into Afghanistan by a massive Pakistan army operation in 2015.

Once the group had relocated, some members split off and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, a radical Sunni militia. Those militants have overrun several Afghan border districts, despite repeated efforts by Afghan forces to push them out, and they have claimed the bombing of several Shiite mosques in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

“Afghanistan is the victim of terrorism, not its shelter,” Gen. Dawlat Waziri, a spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry, declared Sunday. He called Pakistan’s border attacks “an act of aggression” and warned that if diplomatic efforts fail, “Afghans will defend their soil with whatever means available.” A Foreign Affairs Ministry official said Afghanistan might even seek U.N. sanctions against Pakistan for supporting terrorist groups.

Michael Kugelman, deputy director for Asian studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, described Jamaat-ul-Ahrar as one of the Pakistani Taliban’s “most bloodthirsty factions,” with a “small but brutal contingent” in Afghanistan. 

In Pakistan, Kugelman added, the Islamic State has been forming “opportunistic partnerships” with radical religious groups of all kinds, including some that officials had for political reasons been reluctant to curb. The danger, he said, is of growing collaboration between the Islamic State and “high-octane local militant factions eager to latch onto its still-powerful brand.”

Given the common threat this phenomenon has created for Pakistan and Afghanistan, analysts pointed out, it would seem a perfect moment for their governments to join forces , especially when they are eager to prove to the new administration in Washington that they are serious about fighting Islamist insurgents and terrorists.

Instead, years of bitter acrimony between the two Muslim neighbors has fueled an explosion of highly politicized accusations and threats, reminiscent of a decade ago when Afghanistan’s then-president, Hamid Karzai, used to send lists of anti-Afghan militants living openly in Pakistan to its military president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf — with no result.

“The growing wave of terror in both countries requires a joint approach,” the News International newspaper here urged in its lead editorial Sunday. “The only beneficiary of increasing tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan are terrorist groups. It is important to ensure that we, on both sides, do not resort to blame games.”

Today, the stakes for both countries are high. In Afghanistan, the 16-year war with the Taliban is at a stalemate, the defense forces are demoralized and stretched thin, and the government of President Ashraf Ghani is beset by divisions and administrative paralysis. 

Although the Trump administration appears likely to continue supporting the war with funds and troops, critics say the conflict cannot be settled unless the Ghani government takes decisive action to curb corruption, overcome ethnic rivalries, resume stalled election plans and mend fences with Pakistan.   

In Pakistan, the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been struggling to rein in a panoply of militant Islamist groups without arousing further violence, to maintain a balance between military and civilian power and to navigate new relations with China and other partners while preserving long-standing security ties with Washington. 

Even before last week’s attacks, some influential U.S. policy experts had urged the Trump administration to sharply cut aid to Pakistan if it does not carry out a full-fledged crackdown on Islamist militants and begin playing a positive role in the effort to settle the Afghan war, rather than trying to manipulate it while providing refuge for anti-Afghan insurgents. 

Davood Moradian, director of the Kabul-based Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies, said success in Afghanistan was achievable — but only if three things happened.

“Afghanistan has to address corruption, strengthen the armed forces and integrate the Taliban into politics,” he said. “Pakistan has to abandon its strategy of using terrorism as a state policy. And the United States has to assure its allies and adversaries in both countries that it is determined to prevail.”

Source:- https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/pakistan-shells-border-with-afghanistan-as-tensions-rise-over-terrorist-attacks/2017/02/20/2d0157e2-f0aa-11e6-a100-fdaaf400369a_story.html?utm_term=.c97d98c31279

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Pilot, 4 U.S. tourists killed in Australia plane crashhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/pilot-4-u-s-tourists-killed-australia-plane-crash.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/pilot-4-u-s-tourists-killed-australia-plane-crash.html#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 09:37:20 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22735 Pilot, 4 U.S. tourists killed in Australia plane crash Pilot, 4 U.S. tourists killed in Australia plane crash:- Four American tourists and an Australian pilot were killed Tuesday when a small plane crashed into a shopping mall shortly after takeoff in the Australian city of Melbourne. The pilot reported a “catastrophic engine failure” moments before […]

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Pilot, 4 U.S. tourists killed in Australia plane crash

Pilot, 4 U.S. tourists killed in Australia plane crash:- Four American tourists and an Australian pilot were killed Tuesday when a small plane crashed into a shopping mall shortly after takeoff in the Australian city of Melbourne.

The pilot reported a “catastrophic engine failure” moments before the crash, police said.

The U.S. Embassy in Australia confirmed that four Americans were killed.

“The U.S. Embassy in Canberra and U.S. Consulate in Melbourne are working closely with local authorities. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance to the families of the victims,” an embassy statement said.

Greg Reynolds De Haven and Russell Munsch, both from Texas, were identified as victims by their families on social media.

Denelle Wicht, De Haven’s sister, posted on Facebook: "Dear friends and family, my handsome athletic big brother was killed today in a plane accident while on his 'once in a lifetime' trip to Australia." She said her brother, who was born in 1946, was flying to an island on a charter flight with two friends to play golf.

Max Quartermain, the owner of the charter company Corporate and Leisure Travel, was the pilot, the Associated Press reported.

Victoria's Premier, Daniel Andrews, said the crash was the state's worst aviation accident in 30 years, according to Sky News Australia.

"It falls to me to extend our sympathies, our best wishes, our prayers, to the families of those who have died," he said, according to the broadcaster.

"We are currently reaching out to their families to provide them with the support that they need to try to comfort them at what must be just such a horrible moment," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

The twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air had taken off from Melbourne’s second-biggest airport in the suburb of Essendon for a golfing trip to King Island, 160 miles southward in Tasmania, officials said.

It crashed into the Direct Factory Outlet mall that adjoins the airport about 45 minutes before the shopping center was supposed to open, Police Minister Lisa Neville said.

Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said it was fortunate nobody else was killed or injured.

“Looking at the fireball, it is incredibly lucky that no one was at the back of those stores or in the car park of the stores, that no one was even hurt,” Leane said, according to the AP.

Police and paramedics rushed to the crash site, where firefighters doused the flames.

Michael Howard, 29, told the ABC he saw a blue flash go past the shopping center's billboard before erupting into a "huge fireball."

"(I thought) what the hell? That doesn't happen every day. It was crazy, like something from a movie," he said.

Source:- http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/02/20/plane-crashes-into-mall-australia-killing-5/98182690/

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Death Toll Rises to 39 in Mogadishu Blasthttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/death-toll-rises-39-mogadishu-blast.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/death-toll-rises-39-mogadishu-blast.html#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:21:45 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22730 Death Toll Rises to 39 in Mogadishu Blast Death Toll Rises to 39 in Mogadishu Blast:- The death toll from Sunday's car bomb blast in Somalia's capital has climbed to 39, according to Mogadishu ambulance services. The vast majority of those killed were civilians in the Kawo-Goday mini-market in the city's Wadajir district, officials said. […]

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Death Toll Rises to 39 in Mogadishu Blast

Death Toll Rises to 39 in Mogadishu Blast:- The death toll from Sunday's car bomb blast in Somalia's capital has climbed to 39, according to Mogadishu ambulance services.

The vast majority of those killed were civilians in the Kawo-Goday mini-market in the city's Wadajir district, officials said.

Security officials say they suspect the vehicle was aiming for another target but was unable to reach it due to road closures and increased deployment of security forces ahead of the inauguration of the new president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, on Wednesday.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the bombing. Militant group al-Shabab has frequently targeted hotels and markets during its decade-long insurgency.

President Farmajo promised Monday to give a large reward to anyone with information about car bomb plots.

“My promise to you as president, if you hear me, I will give you $100,000 if you report a car bomb plot before detonation,” he said.

He also pledged to pay medical treatment for those injured and support the families of those who lost their lives in al-Shabab bombings.

Farmajo made the statement after visiting victims of Sunday's bombing in Mogadishu's Median hospital.

The president said 900 Somali civilians were killed in al-Shabab attacks last year.

Source:- http://www.voanews.com/a/death-toll-rises-to-39-in-mogadishu-blast/3732150.html

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Car bomb in Somalia leaves at least 30 deadhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/car-bomb-in-somalia-leaves-at-least-30-dead.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/car-bomb-in-somalia-leaves-at-least-30-dead.html#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:09:52 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22723 Car bomb in Somalia leaves at least 30 dead Car bomb in Somalia leaves at least 30 dead:- At least 30 people were killed in a car-bomb blast at a market Sunday in Mogadishu, Capt. Abdirisak Mohamed, a senior Somali police officer, told CNN. Medina Hospital medics said more than 50 people were injured, some […]

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Car bomb in Somalia leaves at least 30 dead

Car bomb in Somalia leaves at least 30 dead:- At least 30 people were killed in a car-bomb blast at a market Sunday in Mogadishu, Capt. Abdirisak Mohamed, a senior Somali police officer, told CNN.

Medina Hospital medics said more than 50 people were injured, some critically. Those injured were mostly traders and customers at the market.

The death toll was likely to rise because of the number of seriously injured, Mohamed said.

The dead included soldiers and civilians, he said. The blast occurred at the Kawo-Godey market in Mogadishu's Wadajir district.

The attack was the first in the capital since the February 8 election of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, a Somali-American citizen from Buffalo, New York.

Witness Mahad Osman told CNN he saw dead bodies lying in a pool of blood and heard wounded people screaming for help.

Ambulances rushed to the scene and carried the wounded to hospitals.

Abdifitah Omar Halane, spokesman for the Mogadishu mayor, said the bomber was driving a Toyota Harrier vehicle packed with explosives.

"The aim of the attack was to massacre the innocent civilians at the crowded market," he added.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast. Islamist terrorist group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for similar attacks in the country.

Source:- http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/19/africa/somalia-deadly-car-bomb/index.html

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Plane carrying 5 people crashes into Australian shopping mallhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/plane-carrying-5-people-crashes-australian-shopping-mall.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/plane-carrying-5-people-crashes-australian-shopping-mall.html#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:09:40 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22725 Plane carrying 5 people crashes into Australian shopping mall Plane carrying 5 people crashes into Australian shopping mall:- Five people were believed killed when a light plane crashed in flames into a shopping mall on Tuesday in the Australian city of Melbourne, officials said.  The five were on a twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air that […]

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Plane carrying 5 people crashes into Australian shopping mall

Plane carrying 5 people crashes into Australian shopping mall:- Five people were believed killed when a light plane crashed in flames into a shopping mall on Tuesday in the Australian city of Melbourne, officials said. 

The five were on a twin-engine Beechcraft Super King Air that crashed about 45 minutes before the Direct Factory Outlet mall in suburban Essendon was to open, Police Minister Lisa Neville said. 

The U.S. Embassy in Canberra would not comment on a report that the passengers were U.S. citizens, but said it was working with local authorities. 

“We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all those who died in today’s tragic crash,” an embassy statement said. 

“We are unable to confirm any details about the nationality or identity of any of the victims. The U.S. Embassy in Canberra and the consulate in Melbourne are working closely with local authorities to assist in any way possible,” it said. 

Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane also declined to say whether the four passengers were Americans. 

The plane had taken off from Melbourne’s second-biggest airport at Essendon on a chartered flight to King Island, 160 miles to the south, officials said. 

The mall adjoins the airport. 

Leane said it appeared that no one aboard the plane had survived. No one on the ground was injured. 

“Looking at the fireball, it is incredibly lucky that no one was at the back of those stores or in the car park of the stores, that no one was even hurt,” Leane said. 

A pilot reported a “catastrophic engine failure” moments before the plane crashed into a storage area at the rear of the mall, police said. 

Police and paramedics rushed to the crash site, where firefighters doused the flames. 

A witness who gave his name as Jason told Australian Broadcasting Corp. he was passing the mall in a taxi when the plane crashed. 

“I saw this plane coming in really low and fast. I couldn’t see the impact but when it hit the building there was a massive fireball,” he said. 

“I could feel the heat through the window of the taxi, and then a wheel - it looked like a plane wheel - bounced on the road and hit the front of the taxi as we were driving along,” he said.

Essendon Fields CEO, Chris Cowan, released a statement following the crash.

“Essendon Airport expresses its deepest condolences to the families of those tragically deceased in the incident this morning,” the statement said.

It said the airport is providing full cooperation with emergency services and investigators into the cause of the incident.

“At this stage, we can confirm the aircraft was involved in a routine departure from Runway 17 at 8.58am,” it said. “The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating the incident.”

Source:- http://www.cbsnews.com/news/plane-carrying-5-people-crashes-into-australian-shopping-mall/

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Ben Stokes taken by Pune Supergiants for whopping Rs 14.50 crorehttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/ben-stokes-taken-by-pune-supergiants-for-whopping-rs-14-50-crore.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/ben-stokes-taken-by-pune-supergiants-for-whopping-rs-14-50-crore.html#respond Tue, 21 Feb 2017 07:09:31 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=22721 Ben Stokes taken by Pune Supergiants for whopping Rs 14.50 crore Ben Stokes taken by Pune Supergiants for whopping Rs 14.50 crore:- England all-rounder Ben Stokes was the costliest buy after the first round of IPL players’ auction on Monday, going to Rising Pune Supergiants for a whopping Rs 14.50 crore (USD 2.16 million) after […]

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Ben Stokes taken by Pune Supergiants for whopping Rs 14.50 crore

Ben Stokes taken by Pune Supergiants for whopping Rs 14.50 crore:- England all-rounder Ben Stokes was the costliest buy after the first round of IPL players’ auction on Monday, going to Rising Pune Supergiants for a whopping Rs 14.50 crore (USD 2.16 million) after an intense bidding war.

Pune Supergiants, who removed Mahendra Singh Dhoni from captaincy on Sunday, entered late into the bidding at Rs 13 crore and clinched the deal at Rs 14.50 crore defeating bids from Mumbai Indians, Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Interestingly, Stokes’ limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan was taken at a base price of Rs 2 crore (USD 298,000) by Kings XI Punjab.

With capable seam bowling all-rounders at a premium, Stokes was in the wish-list of five franchises, who engaged in tough bidding. The newly appointed England Test vice-captain thus became the first million dollar buy of the 10th edition auctions.

“He is a form all-rounder. We wanted to bolster on that front. It’s a gamble, we have got good young Indian players. We are going to put youngsters under big players and keep our fingers crossed. It’s a risk but we are ready to take it. We have got all-round options and gives us more options down the order,” Pune Supergiants coach Stephen Fleming reasoned the big buy. The first round of bidding for Stokes saw Mumbai, Delhi and RCB match each other till it reached Rs 10.50 crore after which the Reliance-owned franchise pulled out.

Delhi and Bangalore continued before Sunrisers entered the fray. But just when it looked that Stokes would go for around Rs 12.5 crore, Pune entered the fray.
For left-arm spinner Pawan Negi, it was another hefty pay day as he bagged a ? 1 crore deal from RCB starting at a base price of Rs 30 lakh.

It was definitely much less than last year when Negi’s Rs 8.5 crore deal with Delhi Daredevils had surprised one and all. But being an Indian player was his advantage.

New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson went to Delhi Daredevils at his base price of Rs 1 crore.

One of the notable names that went unsold was former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan, whose base price was Rs 50 lakh.

Players sold at IPL auction

The list of players who were sold in the IPL auction here today.

Players sold in first round: 
Eoin Morgan Kings XI Punjab Rs 2 crores; 
Pawan Negi Royal Challengers Bangalore Rs 1 crore; 
Angelo Mathews Delhi Daredevils Rs 2 crores; 
Ben Stokes Rising Pune Supergiants Rs 14.5 crores; 
Corey Anderson Delhi Daredevils Rs 1 crore; 
Nicholas Pooran Mumbai Indians Rs 30 lakhs; 
Kagiso Rabada Delhi Daredevils Rs 5 crores; 
Trent Boult Kolkata Knight Riders Rs 5 crores; 
Tymal Mills Royal Challengers Bangalore Rs 12 crores; 
Pat Cummins Delhi Daredevils Rs 4.5 crores; 
Mitchell Johnson Mumbai Indians Rs 2 crores; 
Ankit Bawne Delhi Daredevils Rs 10 lakhs; 
Tanmay Agarwal Sunrisers Hyderabad Rs 10 lakhs; 
Mohammad Nabi Sunrisers Hyderabad Rs 30 lakhs; 
K Gowtham Mumbai Indians Rs 2 crores; 
Rahul Tewatia Kings XI Punjab Rs 25 lakhs; 
Aditya Tare Delhi Daredevils Rs 25 lakhs; 
Eklavya Dwivedi Sunrisers Hyderabad Rs 75 lakhs; 
Aniket Choudhary Royal Challengers Bangalore Rs 2 crores; 
T Natarajan Kings XI Punjab Rs 3 crores; 
Nathu Singh Gujarat Lions Rs 50 lakhs; 
Basil Thampi Gujarat Lions Rs 85 lakhs; 
M Ashwin Delhi Daredevils Rs 1 crore; 
Tejas Baroka Gujarat Lions Rs 10 lakhs; 
Rashid Khan Sunrisers Hyderabad Rs 4 crores; 
Pravin Tambe Sunrisers Hyderabad Rs 10 lakhs; 
Chris Woakes Kolkata Knight Riders Rs 4.2 crores; 
Karn Sharma Mumbai Indians Rs 3.2 crores; 
Rishi Dhawan Kolkata
Knight Riders Rs 55 lakhs; 
Matt Henry Kings XI Punjab Rs 50 lakhs; 
Jaydev Unadkat Rising Pune Supergiants Rs 30 lakhs; 
Varun Aaron Kings XI Punjab Rs 2.8 crores; 
Manpreet Gony Gujarat Lions Rs 60 lakhs;

Players sold in second round:
 
Martin Guptill Kings XI Punjab Rs 50 lakhs; 
Jason Roy Gujarat Lions Rs 1 crore; 
Saurabh Tiwary Mumbai Indians Rs 30 lakhs; 
Chris Jordan Sunrisers Hyderabad Rs 50 lakhs; 
Nathan Coulter-Nile Kolkata Knight Riders Rs 3.5 crores; 
Praveen Dubey Royal Challengers Bangalore Rs 10 lakhs; 
Navdeep Saini Delhi Daredevils Rs 10 lakhs; 
Ben Laughlin Sunrisers Hyderabad Rs 30 lakhs; 
Billy Stanlake Royal Challengers Bangalore Rs 30 lakhs; 
Mohammed Siraj Sunrisers Hyderabad Rs 2.6 crores; 
Rahul Chahar Rising Pune Supergiants Rs 10 lakhs; 
Saurabh Kumar Rising Pune Supergiants Rs 10 lakhs; 
Asela Gunaratne Mumbai Indians Rs 30 lakhs; 
Daniel Christian Rising Pune Supergiants Rs 1 crore; 
Rovman Powell Kolkata Knight Riders Rs 30 lakhs; 
Darren Sammy Kings XI Punjab Rs 30 lakhs; 
Munaf Patel Gujarat Lions Rs 30 lakhs; 
Rinku Singh Kings XI Punjab Rs 10 lakhs; 
Shashank Singh Delhi Daredevils Rs 10 lakhs; 
Milind Tandon Rising Pune Supergiants Rs 10 lakhs; 
Kulwant Khejroliya Mumbai Indians Rs 10 lakhs; 
Chirag Suri Gujarat Lions Rs 10 lakhs; 
R Sanjay Yadav Kolkata Knight Riders Rs 10 lakhs; 
Shelley Shaurya Gujarat Lions Rs 10 lakhs; 
Shubham Agarwal Gujarat Lions Rs 10 lakhs; 
Ishank Jaggi Kolkata Knight Riders Rs 10 lakhs; 

Rahul Tripathi Rising Pune Supergiants Rs 10 lakhs and Pratham Singh Gujarat Lions Rs 10 lakhs.

Source:- https://news.statetimes.in/ben-stokes-taken-pune-supergiants-whopping-rs-14-50-crore/

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