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Trump’s election trump card: A healthy economy

first_imgAfter emerging intact from his impeachment and trial, US President Donald Trump can now trumpet his economic record as he battles to win re-election in November.The businessman-turned-politician inherited an economy in the upswing from his predecessor Barack Obama, recovering from the ravages of the 2008 global financial crisis.And rather than falter or die of old age, the expansion has continued through Trump’s first three years in office, giving him a trump card in the campaign to win a second term in November. But there are some chinks in his armor, as well as growing fears about the economic damage done by the coronavirus outbreak in China, which raise doubts about how long the good times can last.- Jobs gains continue -“JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!” the president tweeted Friday following a blockbuster employment report showing the US economy created 225,000 jobs last month. He used the hashtag #PromisesMadePromisesKept.Last year, job growth averaged 175,000, compared to 193,000 in 2018 and 176,000 in 2017, slower than the final three years of the Obama administration The unemployment rate, now at 3.6 percent, near its lowest point in 50 years, compared to 4.7 percent in December 2016, Obama’s last full month in office.And joblessness in the Hispanic and black communities has tumbled to historic lows: for African Americans, the unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent in December from 7.8 percent in December 2016; for Hispanics it dropped to 4.2 percent from 5.9 percent.Average hourly earnings increased 2.9 percent in 2019, keeping slightly ahead of inflation. Record growth The economy is now in its 11th year of expansion, a record period of growth, but has fallen short of Trump’s lofty promises.After reaching 1.5 percent GDP growth in 2016, the last year of Obama’s term, in 2017 it climbed to 2.3 percent and the following year to 2.9 percent, thanks to stimulus from the massive tax cut aimed mostly at corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and increased government spending, particularly on the military.But growth slowed to 2.3 percent last year after Trump’s trade war with China intensified, which discouraged business investment.While the US is in better shape than most advanced economies — the eurozone grew only 1.2 percent — it is unlikely to see long periods of 3.0 percent or higher as Trump promised.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said this week the economy could have hit the target last year were it not for the problems faced by Boeing.The aerospace giant has been in crisis mode since its top-selling 737 MAX aircraft was grounded in March 2019 following two fatal crashes, which shut down exports of the plane.The IMF predicts US growth will slow even further this year to 2.0 percent as the boost from the tax cut fades away. Deficits climbing The tax cuts approved by Congress at the end of 2017 — the most significant tax reform in 30 years — helped boost GDP growth but also drove government debt and the deficit higher.The reform cut income taxes on the richest Americans while slashing the corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.The budget deficit is projected to breach $1 trillion by the end of September, according to the Congressional Budget Office, while government debt is expected to represent 81 percent of US GDP.Mnuchin said Trump is planning to slash taxes for the middle class as well.Trade tensions eased Trump has congratulated himself on signing a “momentous” initial trade deal last month to end the long battle with Beijing. But at what cost? China pledged to buy some $200 billion in US goods, but tariffs on about two-thirds of the goods traded between the economic powers remain in place.And the conflict slowed US and global growth and sent domestic manufacturing into a recession.Trump did fulfill his campaign promise to renegotiate the 1994 continental free trade deal with Mexico and Canada, creating the USMCA. The new pact, also signed in January, replaces what Trump called the worst trade deal in US history, though experts say it amounts to an update rather than an overhaul. Booming stock market Wall Street has cheered the tax cuts and loosening of regulations by the Trump administration, gaining around 55 percent since he was elected on November 8, 2016.That will be another selling point to Americans whose retirement wealth depends in large part on stock prices.Topics :last_img read more

China sends fighter jets as US health chief visits Taiwan

first_imgTopics : China, which had promised unspecified retaliation to the trip, flew J-11 and J-10 fighter aircraft briefly onto Taiwan’s side of the sensitive and narrow strait that separates it from its giant neighbor, at around 9 am (0100 GMT), shortly before Azar met Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan’s air force said.The aircraft were tracked by land-based Taiwanese anti-aircraft missiles and were “driven out” by patrolling Taiwanese aircraft, the air force said in a statement released by the defense ministry.China’s defense ministry did not immediately comment.A senior Taiwan official familiar with the government’s security planning told Reuters that China was obviously “targeting” Azar’s visit with a “very risky” move given the Chinese jets were in range of Taiwan’s missiles. The incursion was only the third time since 2016 that Taiwan has said Chinese jets had crossed the strait’s median line.The Trump administration has made strengthening its support for the democratic island a priority, amid deteriorating relations between Washington and Beijing, and has boosted arms sales.”It’s a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from President Trump to Taiwan,” Azar told Tsai in the Presidential Office, standing in front of two Taiwanese flags.Washington broke off official ties with Taipei in 1979 in favor of Beijing.’Huge step’Azar is visiting to strengthen economic and public-health cooperation with Taiwan and support its international role in fighting the novel coronavirus.”Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent, democratic nature of Taiwan’s society and culture,” he told Tsai.Taiwan’s early and effective steps to fight the disease have kept its case numbers far lower than those of its neighbors, with 480 infections and seven deaths. Most cases have been imported.The United States, which has had more coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country, has repeatedly clashed with China over the pandemic, accusing Beijing of lacking transparency.Tsai told Azar his visit represented “a huge step forward in anti-pandemic collaborations between our countries”, mentioning areas of cooperation including vaccine and drug research and production.Taiwan has been particularly grateful for US support to permit its attendance at the World Health Organization’s decision-making body the World Health Assembly (WHA), and to allow it greater access to the organization.Taiwan is not a member of the WHO due to China’s objections. China considers Taiwan a Chinese province.”I’d like to reiterate that political considerations should never take precedence over the rights to health. The decision to bar Taiwan from participating in the WHA is a violation of the universal rights to health,” Tsai said.Azar later told reporters that at Trump’s direction, he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had sought to restore Taiwan’s status as an observer at the WHA.”But the Chinese Communist Party and the World Health Organization have prevented that. This has been one of the major frustrations that the Trump administration has had with the World Health Organization and its inability to reform.” center_img Chinese air force jets briefly crossed the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait on Monday and were tracked by Taiwanese missiles, Taiwan’s government said, as US health chief Alex Azar visited the island to offer President Donald Trump’s support.Azar arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, the highest-level US official to visit in four decades.China, which claims the island as its own, condemned the visit which comes after a period of sharply deteriorating relations between China and the United States.last_img read more

Buyers are lining up for a piece of Tom Dooley’s riverfront project

first_imgTom Dooley from Tom Dooley Developments at the riverfront development site he has just bought at 42 Maxwell St, New Farm. Picture: Richard Walker/RDW Photography.THE battle to secure a slice of Maxwell Street in New Farm is heating up as it’s revealed Tom Dooley Developments forked out $23.5 million for the riverfront site.The purchase from Pointcorp settled early this week and potential buyers are already lining up for a slice of the site before the developer has even finalised his plans. The view from the development site at 42 Maxwell Street, New Farm, which Tom Dooley Developments has just purchased. Picture: Richard Walker/RDW Photography.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus10 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market10 hours agoThere are three buyers vying for the penthouse, which is expected to sell for more than $12 million and will be one of the most expensive ever to be offered for sale in Brisbane.A couple of other potential buyers have already expressed interest in other apartments in the project, which will start from around $2.9 million.last_img read more

Pacquiao drops Amir Khan in sparring

first_imgRelatedPosts Pacquiao to join Philippines presidential race Khan: I won’t box behind closed doors Amir Khan wants Pacquiao fiight Manny Pacquiao put Amir Khan “to sleep” during sparring in his training camps in the United States, according to the former’s gym-mate Dean Byrne.Trainer Freddie Roach revealed Pacquiao used to regularly knock out the Brit in sparring at his Wild Card gym in Los Angeles back in 2014. And now one of Pacquiao’s ex-sparring partners, Irish welterweight Byrne, has given his take on Khan ending up on the canvas.“I didn’t see it myself,” he told Sky Sports. “Khan was all over the place on many occasions and everybody at the gym knows it.“I heard stories that he was asleep on the floor. I have heard that.“Khan’s chin is just like that. He is a great fighter, a great athlete, a super boxer, his hand speed is so fast. But his chin? He hasn’t got a good chin. You can’t put muscles on your chin.”“Manny frequently put Amir on the floor, knocking him cold four or five times,” Roach previously told Sportsmail. Tags: Amir KhanKnockoutManny PacquiaoSparringlast_img read more

Sania Mirza named in Indian Fed Cup squad

first_imgNew Delhi: Tennis star Sania Mirza was on Tuesday named in the Indian five-member Fed Cup squad, as she plots her return to the game after a break.The team also features the country’s top singles player Ankita Raina. Riya Bhatia (379), Rutuja Bhosale (466) and Karman Kaur Thandi (568) are also part of the squad.Ankita Bhambri was named the coach while former Davis Cupper Vishal Uppal was tasked to lead the side.Sowjanya Bavisetti will be the reserve player.Sania, who took a break from tennis in 2017 to start a family, last played the Fed Cup in 2016. She will take part at Hobart International with Ukraine’s Nadiia Kichenok. IANSAlso Read: Sania Mirza Turns Expert For WimbledonAlso Watch: Slug: Watch | Protest against CAA-2019 by Senior Citizens supported by AASU across Assamlast_img read more

Hinterland boxing coach `Pocket’ Rogers completes another outreach in Region 8

first_imgBy Joe ChapmanTHE roving hinterland boxing coach Orlon ‘Pocket’ Rogers, through the Ministry of Social Cohesion continues to make his rounds in those remote areas of Guyana where he has just completed 10 days of basic pugilistic training.Rogers, who began this crusade of introducing boxing in 2017 to interior locations of Guyana, recently went to Region Eight where the introductory boxing programme saw training held in Kato’s sixteen villages in the North Pakaraima region and another eleven, inclusive of the populated villages of Bamboo Creek, Chenapau, Kaibarupai, Kopinang, Kurukabaru, Karis Paris, Monkey Mountain, Paramakatoi and Tuseneng, welcomed to their districts.The just-concluded 10 days of introductory training of boxers by Rogers also saw female football coach Nicola Leacock visit Region #8.Rogers has expressed thanks for being able to impart the fundamental training to the youths in those areas who were given training sessions in boxing and football, through the direction of Social Cohesion Minister Dr George Norton and his Ministry, which aim to empowering youths to build cohesive communities.This is the third such exercise since 2017. Rogers spent 10 days introducing the relatively new fistic sport to those hinterland boys and girls. There were 20 persons attending sessions twice a day and the participants are asking for the coach to re-visit their village for a three-week stint to conduct follow-up training sessions.Rogers was elated about the response by the people in the hinterland area saying: “They are all thankful to the government and the Ministry of Social Cohesion. Many thanks again to Minister Dr George Norton who appointed me as a hinterland boxing coach. One of the fathers from Chenapau was also thankful because he was only seeing football being addressed.”So now there is a big change in sports as he always wanted his sons to be boxers, so he is willing for this to continue. He is requesting a boxing gym in his village for his sons, daughter and his nephews and many others.last_img read more

Racers Grand Prix postponed due to COVID-19

first_img(CMC) – The spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has resulted in the postponement of premier track and field meet, Racers Grand Prix, but officials have expressed hope it can be held in August.The fifth staging of the meet, which was awarded gold status during the newly-formed 2020 World Athletics Continental Tour, was set to be held at the National Stadium here on June 13.However, chairman of the organising committee Glen Mills informed World Athletics in an April 2 letter that the meet would be deferred because of the ferocity of the virus, local and global restrictions on travelling and gatherings, quarantine procedures, and the inconclusive timeline of the impact of the virus.“It is now clear that our only choice is to postpone the date of this year’s meeting of the Racers Grand Prix – Kingston Continental Tour Gold meeting,” said Mills, who is also president of Racers Track Club.“We are now hoping to be able to reschedule the meeting for a date in the latter half of August. Of course, this is subject to the agreement of World Athletics, in keeping with your overall schedule. It is also subject to the availability of the stadium and the hotel on this new date.”The meet was one of 10 in the new series designed to accommodate athletes from several disciplines cut from the Diamond League for 2020. These included the triple jump, discus, 3000-metre steeplechase and 200 metres. For these core disciplines, ranking points would have been allotted at the same level as the Diamond League.“We remain grateful that the world body recognised the type of meet that we were putting on, which has been of the highest quality,” said Mills. “And though the postponement of the event is unfortunate, once we receive the all-clear, we will ensure the meet delivers on every level.”“We encourage athletes to follow the World Health Organisation guidelines and those of their local leadership to reduce the risk of catching the coronavirus. And we also encourage them to focus on their well-being and to find innovative methods to stay fit during this period,” he added.Among the athletes who had confirmed their participation at the Racers Grand Prix were 200m World champion Noah Lyles of the United States and world record 400m holder and Olympic champion Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa.The World Athletics Continental Tour series was set to begin on May 10 in Tokyo, Japan and would also have included the Fanny Blankers Koen Games in Hengelo, Netherlands; the Nurmi Games in Turku, Finland; and the Skolimowska Memorial in Silesia, Poland.last_img read more

Bleach: Early MLB analysis no help

first_imgAfter watching five minutes of the NCAA championship game two days ago, my mind turned away from the professional North Carolina team beating up on a collegiate Michigan State squad. Instead, I started to think about the arrival of Major League Baseball’s opening day.Like many fans, I have consumed more spring training notes, scouting reports and expert predictions over the past month than pre-med students preparing for the MCAT have read about biology. If I studied for school like I read about baseball, I would be writing this column from Harvard instead of Wisconsin.But even as I spent hours trying to figure out if Brewers prospect Mat Gamel was major league ready yet (he’s not), I knew what a waste all the time spent reading was — and not just because I have a journalism research paper I should be focusing on.Here is the worst-kept secret about preseason baseball analysis: It is completely worthless.Every year experts, bloggers and beat writers left at dying newspapers give us daily updates for what we can expect during the season, but any success they have with their predictions is purely accidental.Because in April, no one knows anything.Whether it is evaluating prospects, projecting how the division will play out or even going so far as to predict the World Series Champions, “experts” strike out more than the Arizona Diamondbacks in September (last year was an especially poor year, with everyone whiffing on the Tampa Bay Rays and many predicting a record-setting offense for the Detroit Tigers).There are several reasons for this yearly tradition of ineptitude.The first and easiest reason to explain is injuries. While baseball is usually the most individual team game of any major team sport, the loss of one individual can have a ripple effect on the rest of the team.This is seen most often with a frontline starter. If a top innings-eater goes down — as violent power pitchers often do — it puts more pressure on either a converted reliever to fill his spot or on some triple-A call up. Then pressure is added on the bullpen when the new starter eventually fails. In the end the season crashes and burns magnificently with the added stress, all because one top player was lost for the year (welcome to the Brewers’ history with ear injuries).A more compelling reason for awful predictions than the unfortunate loss of a key player, however, is the curious refusal of many baseball writers to embrace modern statistics.I know that sounds dumb when new statistics are shoved down our throats every day. But somehow in an age with OPS (on base percentage plus slugging, for those of you stuck in the dark age) or even OPS+ (adjusted for park and league averages) we still get to read about how many RBIs someone had last season (probably the most overrated hitting statistic). Even when WHIP (walks and hits per inning) is a much better indicator of a pitchers effectiveness, Cy Young voting is still heavily influenced by the useless wins and losses statistic.Baseball writers like to talk about how they love sabermetrics, but few of them actually have done away with the old stats — unless they support an opinion they have already formed.Finally — and perhaps the most frustrating reason for useless baseball predictions — is we never know what is going on in a player’s head. How can Cliff Lee transform from a fifth starter to a Cy Young winner in one year? How does Justin Verlander fall off the face of the earth after shining his rookie year? And my personal favorite, how does a can’t miss prospect like Rickie Weeks own a career .758 OPS?For all the advanced statistics I love, there is still no stat to explain why Tim Lincecum is dominating hitters, but the Cincinnati Reds’ Homer Bailey can’t make major league hitters miss.The sad part is I know all this reading is worthless, and only in six months will we have an actual evaluation of the league, but like the rest of America, I can’t stop analyzing our nation’s pastime.So I hear all the predictions (Red Sox for the World Series being mine), and I know the media machine that covers sports will never stop.Just remember that if someone manages to get a prediction right, even David Eckstein hit a home run last season.Michael is a junior majoring in journalism. Think baseball writers deserve more credit? Are you hopelessly addicted to preseason baseball analysis? Let him know at read more

Ex-dentistry professor sues USC over termination

first_imgChen alleged that his termination was sparked by an incident in 2017 after he noticed his students’ grades were changed without his approval. His primary role at the time was as a teacher’s assistant, and he was responsible for the grades of 16 freshmen. According to the lawsuit, Chen reported the situation on April 10 to the Office of Academic Affairs as a breach in the University servers, but he was soon notified by the University’s technical department that the course grades had been altered without his own approval. Though the University maintains that student grades were changed after careful evaluation of the course, Chen alleged that he was wrongfully terminated after reporting the incident.   “At the request of a number of students, an internal review was conducted of the grades assigned to that portion of the course,” the University wrote in statement to the Daily Trojan. “Based on that review, adjustments were made by a course co-director in a manner that was judged to be a more accurate reflection of the students’ work.” Former professor Jucheng Chen from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry filed a civil case lawsuit against the University Jan. 16 for alleged age discrimination, employer retaliation and wrongful discharge in lieu of public policy, according to a lawsuit obtained by the Daily Trojan. In response to the situation, Chen complained to other faculty and reported the incident, citing a cause of fraud. However, no action was taken thereafter. “We all hope USC would be better, more transparent,” Chen said. Former USC dentistry professor Jucheng Chen said he was wrongfully fired 10 days after filing a grading complaint when a student’s grades were changed without his permission in 2017. (Julia Mazzucco/Daily Trojan) “[Chen] received startling news from the IT department the next day” the lawsuit read.  “IT confirmed … that the changing of Plaintiff’s grades was intentional and was done at the direction and behest of Associate Dean, Defendant [Mahvash] Navazesh.” The Los Angeles Superior Court has set a jury trial for the case at Stanley Mosk Courthouse. At the time of publication, no trial date had been set. According to University Media Relations, USC is currently not represented by legal counsel. Ten days after the complaint was filed, Chen received a termination letter, which he claims was the University’s retaliation to his protected complaint of academic violation.center_img In the lawsuit, Chen named USC, dentistry school Executive Associate Dean for Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs Mahvash Navazesh and Chair of Periodontology, Diagnostic Science and Dental Hygiene Casey Chen as the defendants of the case. Chen is suing the defendants for monetary damages and punitive action regarding his termination. “Both Dr. Chen and I care about the integrity of the school … I think it’s very important that when speech of this nature occurs, the victim has the right to tell his narrative and to see justice,” said Chen’s lawyer Kevin Chiang, an alumnus from the Gould School of Law. “Our hope at the end of the day is that Dr. Chen is able to tell his story, let the facts speak for themselves and ultimately to let the judicial system adjudicate this matter in accordance with the law. The Daily Trojan reached out to Navazesh and Dr. Casey Chen for comment but was directed to University Media Relations. Navazesh and Chen have denied all accusations, according to the lawsuit. Chen was employed by the University for 20 years and was appointed to the USC Provost’s “Task Force on Teaching Excellence” in March 2016, a year prior to his termination. “[Chen] believed a hacking mishap was more likely than not since, to his knowledge, his freshman grades had never been changed before and were based off USC’s own grading criteria and procedures,” the lawsuit read. “When Plaintiff pressed for an explanation regarding the alteration, Defendants Navazeh and Chen could not and/or refused to provide one and wished him well in his future endeavors,” the lawsuit read. Chiang said the trial is expected to take anywhere from six months to two years. “[We] are prepared to litigate the case for however long the process requires,” Chiang said in an email to the Daily Trojan.last_img read more