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| June 18, 2019

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Former HP boss Whitman says 'not protecting herself' in Autonomy fraud allegation

June 6, 2019 |

Former HP boss Whitman says 'not protecting herself' in Autonomy fraud allegationFormer Hewlett-Packard boss Meg Whitman denied on Thursday she was trying to protect her own reputation when she accused the leaders of Autonomy, the British software firm HP acquired in 2011, of a fraud that inflated its value by $ 5 billion. In a second day of testimony at London’s High Court, Whitman was asked by the counsel for Mike Lynch, Autonomy’s founder and former CEO, why she went public with the claim before questioning Lynch or Autonomy’s auditor Deloitte. “It was about protecting and reinforcing your reputation and you were doing so at the expense of Dr Lynch and (former CFO) Mr Hussain?,” Robert Miles asked Whitman.



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Before Trump Threat, Mexico Agreed on Migrant Detention Target

June 6, 2019 |

Before Trump Threat, Mexico Agreed on Migrant Detention TargetThe White House and Mexican foreign ministry didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Migration has been an increasingly contentious issue for the bilateral relationship, with Trump expressing frustration over the arrival of increasing numbers of undocumented migrants.



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AOC calls solitary confinement 'torture' after learning Manafort will be sent to jail in her district

June 6, 2019 |

AOC calls solitary confinement 'torture' after learning Manafort will be sent to jail in her districtThe Democratic congresswoman, who represents the Bronx and Queens, said Manafort “should be released” from solitary confinement on Rikers Island, “along with all people being held in solitary.”



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India's central bank cuts lending rate to 5.75%

June 6, 2019 |

India's central bank cuts lending rate to 5.75%India’s central bank on Thursday cut its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 5.75% with immediate effect to fortify the economy as consumer spending and corporate investment falter. The benchmark interest rate is what the Reserve Bank of India charges on lending to commercial banks. The central bank noted that inflation remains below its target, even after two earlier rate cuts this year.



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Mexico increases detentions and deportations as Donald Trump doubles down on tariff threats

June 6, 2019 |

Mexico increases detentions and deportations as Donald Trump doubles down on tariff threatsMexico has increased the detention and deportation of migrants in the wake of Donald Trump's threats to slap tariffs on the country if it fails to crack down on illegal immigration to the US. Nearly 15,000 migrants were deported in April, up from around 9,000 in March, according to government figures. The figure was even higher in May, when the number of detentions also surged past 20,000. It comes after Mr Trump said he would impose a blanket five per cent tariff on Mexican imports on June 10 to pressure Mexico into stemming the tide of Central American migrants travelling through the country en route to America. Foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard pushed back at the US president's charge that Mexico was doing "nothing" to help Tuesday, as he warned that 250,000 more immigrants would reach America in 2019 without Mexico's efforts. Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico's foreign minister, speaks during a news conference at the Embassy of Mexico in Washington Credit: Andrew Harrer /Bloomberg  However Mexico ruled out US proposals for the country to take in all Central American asylum seekers if the idea was raised during talks with the Trump administration this week. The idea, touted by some officials, is to designate Mexico a "safe third country," which would force those seeking asylum in America to apply for it in Mexico instead. Mr Ebrard, in Washington for talks this week, told reporters: "They have not yet proposed it to me. But it would not be acceptable and they know it". Since January, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's government has rapidly ramped up detentions and deportations. Recent figures show the number of migrants being deported from Mexico was 67 per cent higher in the last two months than during the same period last year.  But that has not been enough to stop the number of migrants, mainly from Guatemala and Honduras, reaching America.  But Mexican officials have said that tariffs could backfire, fanning further migration by hammering regional economies. As a sign of good faith, Mexico should immediately stop the flow of people and drugs through their country and to our Southern Border. They can do it if they want!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2019 US officials say 80,000 people are being held in custody, and the more than 100,000 migrants who arrived in April are overwhelming Border Patrol officials. Mr Trump doubled down on the threat of tariffs during a press conference with Prime Minister Theresa May in London on Tuesday.  "We're going to see if we can do something, but I think it's more likely that the tariffs go on," he said, adding: "Mexico should step up and stop this onslaught, this invasion into our country". The president warned members of his own party against any move to block the tariffs in Congress, saying: "I think if they do, it's foolish."   Republican senators are reportedly unhappy with Mr Trump's tariff plans, fearing they will do huge damage to industries within their own states as well as the US economy as a whole.  There is now the possibility that Congress could vote to disapprove the tariffs, which would likely be vetoed by the president.  If that occurs, both the House and Senate would have to carry a two-thirds majority to beat Mr Trump.  Republicans concerned about the overreach of presidential power previously voted with Democrats in a similar motion to block the president appropriating federal money for his border wall.  That motion passed Congress with significant support from Republicans, although not enough to overcome Mr Trump's veto.  It is unclear whether enough Republicans would vote against Mr Trump in this instance, given broad support for his hard-line immigration stance.  But with Mr Trump threatening to increase tariffs as far as 25 per cent, some senior Republicans are publicly voicing their concerns. John Thune, a senior Republican senator, told the New York Times: “My guess is at some point if they continue down this path and they escalated the tariff, Congress is going to want to be heard from for sure.” “I think the broader economic considerations need to be carefully considered when they are moving forward with any kind of new policy like this, something that is from our standpoint completely new and unheard-of”.



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Trump: Progress to stave off Mexico tariffs but 'not enough'

June 6, 2019 |

Trump: Progress to stave off Mexico tariffs but 'not enough'Straining to stave off threatened U.S. tariffs, Mexican and American officials claimed progress in White House talks late Wednesday, but President Donald Trump declared it was “not nearly enough” to halt the import taxes he is holding out as a way to force Mexico to stanch the flow of illegal migrants at America’s southern border. Mexican Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said immigration, not tariffs, was the main focus at the White House meeting, which included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence and other U.S. officials.



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Pro-Impeachment Dems Are Privately Recruiting Other Members Despite Pelosi’s Warnings

June 5, 2019 |

Pro-Impeachment Dems Are Privately Recruiting Other Members Despite Pelosi’s WarningsMandel Ngan/AFP/GettyUnwilling to wait for Nancy Pelosi to embrace their cause, pro-impeachment House Democrats have begun recruiting fellow lawmakers to their camp in a bid to put more pressure on the House Speaker. The effort has been described by one lawmaker as “organic.” But the goal is clear: the lawmakers are hoping to build a critical mass of members that will force Pelosi to choose between defying the majority of her own caucus or moving forward with a process of removing the president from office—a step that has not been taken on in more than 20 years.To do so, pro-impeachment members have been setting up meetings with other Democrats over the past week—and plan to do so over the next few as well—to try and sell them on the merits of impeachment proceedings, according to three sources with direct knowledge of that effort. Among the points being emphasized is that going towards impeachment proceedings could consolidate the oversight activity around President Donald Trump in addition to strengthening the party’s hand in establishing a legitimate legislative purpose to their investigative work. A senior House aide, whose boss is in the pro-impeachment camp, said that current efforts to make this case to on-the-fence members is “hodge-podge right now.” But the aide expected it to ramp up, with potentially a single lawmaker becoming point for the operation and a formal list of targets being put together.“In order to keep the momentum going, there has to be a more organized operation,” said the aide. Jimmy Kimmel Grills Nancy Pelosi on Trump Impeachment: ‘Why Not?’The mere fact that informal “whip” operations are happening is a sign of the growing impatience and frustration felt by the pro-impeachment crowd on the Hill. It also threatens to exacerbate riffs within the Democratic caucus, where some of the party’s moderate members and top leaders have resisted the push to move more aggressively on impeachment. When lawmakers returned from the Memorial Day recess on Monday, Democratic leadership staged a show of force for Pelosi’s line on impeachment during a closed-door members’ meeting. Some lawmakers, including Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), the caucus chair, spoke out to support her. Jeffries invoked a Ben Franklin quote, saying they were in danger of being governed by passion, not reason.The Speaker, according to two sources with knowledge of the meeting, expressed concerns that the public still doesn’t understand how the process of impeachment would play out. She noted that in her time over the recess in California well educated voters didn’t seem to understand that impeachment proceedings would not necessarily result in Trump’s immediate ouster from office.But even within Pelosi’s own leadership ranks there have been murmurs of a desire to give impeachment proceedings a more sympathetic reception publicly. During the Monday meeting, Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.)—the only member of leadership to explicitly endorse an impeachment inquiry—challenged lawmakers to push two messages during TV appearances: the party’s domestic agenda and their belief that the president wasn’t above the law. Pelosi, pointing back at him, said: “Everyone should heed your advice, including you”—in what was interpreted as a shot at the congressman’s penchant to emphasize the latter and not the former during his own TV hits. GOP Congressman Justin Amash’s Impeachment Call Boosts Pressure on PelosiBut Cicilline isn’t the only one in leadership ranks with impeachment on his mind. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on Sunday that he believed the chamber would eventually move to impeachment proceedings, though not right now. And aides have said that Jeffries, who hails from a liberal New York district, has been feeling conflicted, though at the end of the day continues to support the speaker. For the members who have spoken out already, there are lingering questions about just how committed leadership is to slow walking the impeachment process. One lawmaker said Pelosi was only mildly pushing back against the pro-impeachment faction, calling her effort to convince fellow Democrats that it would be bad politics a, “soft whip.” Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), who supports impeachment, says Pelosi hadn’t told him to tone it down. “I’m not aware she’s done it with anyone,” he told The Daily Beast. “I think everybody’s pretty much letting everybody do their own thing.”But not everyone is convinced that Pelosi won’t mind the impeachment recruitment efforts. The senior House aide said one of the reasons cited by on-the-fence Democrats for not coming out in favor of beginning impeachment proceedings was fear of publicly crossing Pelosi. “It is kind of like a quiet threat. I don’t think she has said, ‘Don’t go out there and whip other people,’” said the aide. “It is known that if you do that you are defying the Speaker and she will remember that when you need something down the line. She has the longest memory of anybody.” Pelosi’s office declined to comment.Nadler Announces Subpoena for Full Mueller Report and Underlying EvidenceSince Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s press conference last week—in which he reiterated the point in his report that said he could not clear the president of wrongdoing—a number of Democratic members have called for the start of an official impeachment inquiry. All told, the pro-impeachment caucus now numbers more than 50, and others, behind closed doors, have said that obtaining access to the underlying evidence of the Mueller report would ease their minds about moving forward.It’s not clear, however, whether the evidence can be obtained. For weeks, the Trump administration has ignored Democrats’ requests and subpoenas for more documents and testimony related to Mueller’s investigation and findings. The stonewalling has left activists alarmed, fearful that Democrats were essentially allowing the administration to slow-walk the oversight process into non-existence. “They definitely stumbled out of the gate,” said Max Bergman, who runs the Moscow Project, an initiative of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “And as a result the White House’s disinformation campaign has had a real impact and served to muddy the waters. This was the most damning official report ever written about a president and Democrats need to talk about it.”Acknowledging that their current approach had so far failed to move public opinion, Democrats said they were switching tactics and refocusing more of their oversight on to the actual substance of the report. On Monday, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) announced that his committee would be holding a series of hearings featuring legal experts—including former Richard Nixon counsel John Dean—to keep the spotlight on what exactly Mueller found.   On Twitter, some—including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a GOP member of the committee—jokingly questioned whether Democrats knew which president, Trump or Nixon, was under investigation. But Democrats defended the approach in the face of the current administration’s stonewalling.“Obviously,” said Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), “we would like to hear from the subjects in the Mueller report instead of experts talking about the Mueller report.”“The whole idea here is to refocus this debate on where it should be, which is whether or not the President of the United States violated his oath of office, held himself above the law, and potentially committed high crimes and misdemeanors.”And on Monday evening, in a regularly-scheduled meeting, House members discussed their plan to vote next week to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena for an unredacted version of Mueller’s report and its underlying evidence.Publicly, and even privately, Democrats who are supportive of impeachment have little criticism to offer for Pelosi, even as they work to put pressure on her.In her suburban Philadelphia district last week, Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) told The Daily Beast that she’s been encouraging her colleagues to back impeachment. The Judiciary Committee member added that she’s encouraged Nadler to do so, too. But she was more careful when it came to the Speaker. “She keeps herself out of the petty and the small that the president would like to drag her into,” said Dean. “I'm one of the foot soldiers on the Judiciary and Financial Services Committees, and she has to shepherd something much, much larger.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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‘Fox & Friends’ Host Brian Kilmeade Rushes to Spin Away Boos as Ivanka Trump Emerges for U.K. Presser

June 5, 2019 |

‘Fox & Friends’ Host Brian Kilmeade Rushes to Spin Away Boos as Ivanka Trump Emerges for U.K. PresserFox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade went into full spin mode Tuesday when presidential daughter Ivanka Trump was seemingly greeted with loud boos and jeers in London as she arrived for her father’s joint press conference with outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May.While complaining about how President Donald Trump’s state visit was being covered by other networks, Kilmeade said the rest of the media just wants to focus on anti-Trump protesters and Trump’s feud with London Mayor Sadiq Khan.“That is not what is happening,” he huffed. “That is not the focus.”After Kilmeade noted that CNN’s Christiane Amanpour heaped praise on Trump’s visit, calling it “flawless,” the Fox & Friends crew concentrated on the live scene at 10 Downing Street as Trump officials began to emerge for the upcoming presser.Once Ivanka and National Security Adviser John Bolton emerged, co-host Steve Doocy noticed the audible boos that seemed to greet the pair, prompting Kilmeade to immediately jump in and provide cover for the president’s daughter.“That’s not for Ivanka, it’s for John Bolton,” Kilmeade insisted, claiming that the national-security adviser is like a pro-wrestling “bad guy” who relishes the jeers.“And he loves it,” the Fox host continued. “He’s pretty much looked at as the tough guy in that administration and he loves that label.”Following Kilmeade’s scramble to assist Ivanka, his co-host Doocy went on to commend President Trump for not starting any Twitter fights on his second day in the United Kingdom.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Kushner says Trump isn't racist, but 'I wasn't involved' in birther conspiracy

June 5, 2019 |

Kushner says Trump isn't racist, but 'I wasn't involved' in birther conspiracyThe president's son-in-law and senior White House adviser refused to discuss the so-called birther conspiracy — championed by Trump — that maintained former President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States.



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Stocks Gain; Treasury Yields Dip, Dollar Steadies: Markets Wrap

June 5, 2019 |

Stocks Gain; Treasury Yields Dip, Dollar Steadies: Markets WrapTechnology shares led the advance in the Stoxx Europe 600 as SAP SE jumped after a positive sales forecast by U.S. peer Salesforce.com. Futures on the S&P 500 indicated a higher U.S. open after the underlying index climbed the most since January on Tuesday as Powell said the central bank is monitoring the trade war’s impact and would act appropriately to sustain the U.S. expansion. Japan led the charge in Asia, with the Topix index up 2.1%, though gains elsewhere in the region were more modest.



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