Wall Street little changed as investors seek fresh catalysts

OANN

February 6, 2017

By Tanya Agrawal

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks were little changed on Monday amid a lack of major catalysts, including economic data, and uncertainty over President Donald Trump’s policies.

Markets rallied sharply after Trump’s election victory in November, riding on hopes that his plans including simpler regulations, higher infrastructure spending and tax cuts will boost the economy.

However, investors have become wary about Trump’s focus on isolationist policies, including a travel ban on seven mainly Muslim nations that was blocked by a federal judge on Friday.

Nearly 100 companies including Alphabet, Apple and Facebook banded together to file a legal brief opposing the ban, arguing that it “inflicts significant harm on American business.”

Trump’s agenda presents risks as tax cuts and infrastructure funding may boost growth, but restrictions on trade and immigration could offset their effect, Goldman Sachs economist Alec Phillips said in a note.

At 10:54 a.m. ET (1554 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 2.03 points, or 0.01 percent, at 20,073.49.

The S&P 500 was down 4.24 points, or 0.18 percent, at 2,293.18. The Nasdaq Composite was down 6.59 points, or 0.12 percent, at 5,660.18.

“Investors are in a wait-and-see mode and are looking for the next bullish catalyst to send the market higher,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive officer at 50 Park Investments.

“There are concerns regarding the backlash against any protectionist policies that come out of Washington and other countries and investors are seeking clarity.”

French far-right party leader Marine Le Pen launched her bid for the presidency with a vow to fight deregulated globalization and to take France out of the euro.

Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the energy index’s 0.67 percent fall leading the decliners.

Oil slipped further below $57 barrel as a stronger dollar and ample U.S. supplies outweighed OPEC output curbs and rising tensions between the United States and Iran. [O/R]

Hasbro jumped as much as 16.6 percent to a record high of $96.34 after the toymaker’s quarterly results beat expectations. The stock provided the second biggest boost to the S&P and Nasdaq.

Tiffany fell 2.1 percent to $78.85 as the upscale jeweler said its CEO has stepped down after what the company called disappointing financial results.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,610 to 1,142. On the Nasdaq, 1,523 issues fell and 1,101 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 11 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 75 new highs and 15 new lows.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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Trump’s First 100 Days

MSNBC

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Starting on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2017, NBC News is documenting the key moment you need to know from each of President Donald Trump's first 100 days in the

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EU's Juncker says fun is over as he heads to meet Azerbaijan's Aliyev

Reuters World

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Jean-Claude Juncker, the gaffe-prone head of the European Commission, on Monday highlighted the difficulty the EU has in dealing with the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan with a joke at its president's expense.
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U.S. tech firms file legal brief opposing Trump’s travel ban

OANN

February 6, 2017

By Chris Michaud

(Reuters) – Nearly 100 companies, including Apple <AAPL.O>, Google <GOOGL.O> and Microsoft <MSFT.O>, banded together on Sunday to file a legal brief opposing President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban, arguing that it “inflicts significant harm on American business.”

The brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, included Facebook <FB.O>, Twitter <TWTR.N>, Intel <INTC.O>, eBay <EBAY.O>, Netflix <NFLX.O> and Uber [UBER.UL], as well as non-tech companies such as Levi Strauss [LEVST.UL] and Chobani.

Trump’s executive order of Jan. 27, the most contentious policy move of his first two weeks in office, faces crucial legal hurdles. A federal judge in Seattle on Friday blocked the move, and the Trump administration has a deadline on Monday to justify the action, which temporarily barred entry to the United States by people from seven mostly Muslim countries, as well as suspending the U.S. refugee program.

“The Order represents a significant departure from the principles of fairness and predictability that have governed the immigration system of the United States for more than fifty years,” the brief from the companies stated.

“The Order inflicts significant harm on American business, innovation, and growth as a result,” it added.

“Immigrants or their children founded more than 200 of the companies on the Fortune 500 list.”

U.S. tech companies, which employ many foreign-born nationals, have been among the most vocal groups in speaking out against Trump’s travel order, which he has defended as necessary to ensure closer vetting of people coming into the country and better protect the country from the threat of terrorist attacks.

Amazon.com <AMZN.O> and Expedia <EXPE.O>, both based in Washington state, had supported the Seattle lawsuit, asserting that the travel restrictions harmed their businesses.

Over the weekend, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco denied the Trump administration’s request for an immediate stay of the federal judge’s temporary restraining order that blocked nationwide the implementation of key parts of the travel ban.

But the court said it would reconsider the government’s request after receiving more information.

The government has until 3 p.m. PST (2300 GMT) on Monday to submit additional legal briefs to the appeals court in support of Trump’s executive order. Following that, the court is expected to act quickly, and a decision either way may ultimately result in the case reaching the U.S. Supreme Court.

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U.S. tech firms file legal brief opposing Trump's travel ban

Reuters Technology

(Reuters) - Nearly 100 companies, including Apple , Google and Microsoft , banded together on Sunday to file a legal brief opposing President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban, arguing that it "inflicts significant harm on American business."
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World Bank links financial support for Iraq to reconciliation

Reuters World

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The World Bank plans to offer Iraq financial support in parallel with projects to foster reconciliation after Islamic State's defeat, its regional director said on Monday, to ensure that reconstruction after years of conflict is sustainable.
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Iraqi forces wage psychological war with jihadist corpses

OANN

February 6, 2017

By Michael Georgy

MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) – The flyblown corpses of Islamic State militants have been rotting along a main street in north Mosul for two weeks, a health risk for passersby. Suicide bombers’ belts beside the fighters can still explode, killing anyone nearby.

But the Iraqi army has no intention of burying the jihadists and hopes as many people as possible will get a good look at their blackened bodies, torn apart by bombs and bullets.

As Iraqi forces prepare to expand their offensive against Islamic State from east to west Mosul, they want to stamp out any sympathy that residents may have for the group, which won instant support when it seized the vast city in 2014.

“We will leave the terrorists there,” said Ibrahim Mohamed, a soldier who was standing near three dead jihadists, ignoring the stench.

His cousin suffered death by electrocution at the hands of jihadists during Islamic State’s harsh rule of Mosul because he was a policeman.

“The message is clear to Iraqis, to keep them from joining or supporting Daesh (Islamic State). This will be your fate. The Iraqi army will finish you off,” he said.

A suicide bomber’s belt, with its detonation pin still in place, lay in the street a few feet away, near some clothing once worn by a militant.

The Iraqi army has come a long way since it collapsed in the face of Islamic State’s lightning advance into northern Iraq. After retaking half of Mosul in three months of fighting, Iraqi forces are poised to enter the western side of the city.

Victory there would mean the end of Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate, though Iraqi officials expect the group to fight on as insurgents in Iraq and inspire attacks in the West.

PSYCHOLOGICAL WEAPON

The corpses are left on view as a psychological weapon to deter Islamic State sleeper cells, which Iraqi officials say are highly effective and distributed across the country.

Islamic State has executed thousands of Iraqi soldiers and policemen, and their comrades are eager for revenge.

“We leave them in the street like that so the dogs eat them,” said soldier Asaad Hussein. “We also want the citizens to know there is a price for supporting terrorists.”

Sunni Mosul had accused the Shi’ite-led Baghdad government and army of widespread abuses, which they deny.

Islamic State exploited that resentment but started losing popularity after it imposed its radical version of Islam and shot or beheaded anyone deemed an enemy.

Iraqi citizens don’t seem to mind the gory sight of the bodies, with people walking past them every day as Mosul begins the work of rebuilding entire neighborhoods pulverized by Islamic State car bombs and U.S.-led air strikes.

Labourer Youssef Salim observed the corpses, still with army boots on their feet, and paused to reflect on life under Islamic State, which has lost ground in Iraq and other Arab countries. He said the bodies should not be moved.

“Do you know what smoking one, just one cigarette meant?” he asked. “Twenty-five lashes in a public square where people were forced to watch you suffer.

“If your beard length did not meet their requirements, that was a month in jail and 100 lashes in public.”

SPREADING FEAR

The militants are no longer in charge in east Mosul but they are still very capable of spreading fear.

Two men approached a soldier to complain that there were suspicious wires that may be attached to a bomb on a door at the factory where they work.

Minutes later, an increasingly familiar scene unfolded. Soldiers looked up and spotted a drone aircraft operated by Islamic State militants, located about 600 meters away across the Tigris River, which bisects Mosul.

Iraqi forces opened fired with their assault rifles, hoping to blast the small aircraft – an Islamic State weapon of choice – out of the sky before it could drop a bomb.

A few streets away, a group of young boys walked towards three more Islamic State corpses.

“The bodies should stay. Daesh killed lots of people so why should they be buried,” said Salem Jamil, 13, who was carrying a plastic bag filled with old electric wiring he hopes to sell.

But a man who approached said the bodies should be buried because that is everyone’s right.

The three militants were shot when they tried to sneak through some trees to kill soldiers.

One of the soldiers stood proudly over the dead men, including one still wearing a suicide belt. He smiled and pointed to a cigarette stuffed in one of the jihadist’s nostrils.

“We put it there because of the terrible things they did to Iraqis,” said the soldier, Asaad Najif. “The fate of any terrorist is clear. We will find you and kill you.”

(Editing by Giles Elgood)

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Group to Trump: Tear down country’s 10 worst highways

FOX

A group that promotes urban renewal says President Trump should consider its list of America’s worst highways in his $1 trillion infrastructure plan – and erase them from the map altogether.

The group, the Congress for New Urbanism, wants the president to include its recent study, “Freeways Without Futures” in the infrastructure initiative he plans to roll out soon. The study suggests that 10 of the worst highways and stretches of interstate in the U.S. need to be eliminated to make way for urban growth.

Trump has made it his priority to improve the country’s decaying infrastructure. He vowed to deliver an ambitious rebuilding package to Congress within his first 100 days in office.

“These highways should absolutely be on the list of federal infrastructure priorities,” said Lynn Richards, president and CEO of CNU. “Replacing them with boulevards would save money, support small business, and open up land for new development. You see it being done in the inner city in places like Akron, Rochester, and Chattanooga -- with bipartisan support…It fits perfectly with the new administration's priorities.”

Out of the group’s list of 10 highways, six are interstate highways – which mean they would be entitled to federal funding. Trump has promised to spend $1 trillion repairing the country’s national infrastructure.

Interstate 375 cuts right through the heart of Detroit and has long cut off surrounding neighborhoods from the Downtown area. (DETROIT ECONOMIC GROWTH CORPORATION)

While the highways on the list were built with good intentions, they led to urban decay in the communities they were built, Richards said. The list includes highways all across the country, from Buffalo, New York to San Francisco.

“The neighborhoods were absolutely devastated. Often hundreds or thousands of people were displaced,” she told Fox News. “Residents were cut off from services; businesses were cut off from customers. Additionally, these highways brought in severe pollution and dangerous speeding traffic. In a lot of cases, these cities' downtowns and neighborhoods fell apart economically.”

The nonprofit strongly believes that demolishing the highways will help the communities they devastated make a comeback.

But some experts do not think the solution will be all that simple.

“These roads were built mostly in the '60s and '70s. They divided neighborhoods and destroyed them,” said John Landis, a professor of city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania. “But it was a long time ago and I don’t think you can bring those neighborhoods back. It would be an entirely new development. Just getting rid of these roads wouldn’t bring them back.”

Still, Landis does believe that razing these highways is a good idea. But he doubts those projects would be funded under Trump’s new infrastructure plan.

“No one knows what will be included in this new [infrastructure] plan. Let’s suppose it’s a trillion dollars…well it’s estimated that we have a total of $3 trillion needed in repairs,” he said. “These roads are secondary priorities. That money will go to primary projects.”

But Richards believes that tearing down the highways will be cost effective in the long run.

“Not every urban freeway needs to be dismantled. But when they near the end of their design life, we have to weigh that option against the costs of replacement,” she said. “…We're talking about a lot of additional land opening up where these freeways used to be, and that land can be used to build businesses, apartments, affordable housing, parks – whatever the community needs.”

Interstates on the CNU’s report include:

I-70 in Denver, Colorado (Colorado Department of Transportation)

  • Interstate 345 in Dallas. A 2-mile stretch of this elevated roadway cut off the downtown area from the historic Deep Ellum neighborhood, leaving it surrounded by empty lots and desolate streets that now resemble a ghost town. Dismantling the roadway would free up nearly 300 acres and bring another 30,000 residents to the city, according to the study.
  • Interstate 70 in Denver. The roadway has been up-and-running for more than half a century, to the detriment of three neighborhoods in Mile High City. Residents of Elyria, Swansea and Globeville have been cut off from access to vital services, critics say. One of I-70’s main viaducts is in need of major repair, but the Colorado Department of Transportation has opted to tear it down and expand the highway’s lanes. That, however, would require eminent domain to get rid of dozens of additional homes and businesses.
  • Interstate 81 in Syracuse, New York. An elevated stretch of this roadway sliced through the heart of the city, displacing nearly 1,300 residents. Fifty years after it was built, the highway’s devastating impact is still being felt in neighborhoods across town. The study claims tearing down the highway would save $400 million and would boost economic growth in the city’s downtown area.
  • Interstate 375 in Detroit. Construction of the roadway contributed to Motor City’s urban blight. Built in 1959, the four-lane below-ground spur is a concrete barrier between Detroit’s riverfront, Greektown, Eastern Market, and the stadium district. It is known among locals as being a failed example of renewal efforts that destroyed many of the city’s African-American neighborhoods.
  • Other highways on the list are the I-280 Spur in San Francisco, Route 29 in Trenton, New Jersey, I-980 in Oakland, California, the Inner Loop in Rochester, New York and the Scajaquada Expressway in Buffalo.

Perry Chiaramonte is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @perrych




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Accept European Court or risk losing euro clearing, ECB tells UK

Reuters Top News

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Whether Britain accepts the authority of the European Court of Justice will be a key factor when the European Central Bank decides if the clearing of euros can remain in London after Brexit, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Monday.
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Israel's Netanyahu calls on 'responsible' nations to join Iran sanctions

Reuters Top News

LONDON (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to Britain to join new sanctions against Iran as he met his British counterpart Theresa May in London on Monday, while she cautioned about Israel's plans for new settlements in occupied territory.
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Israel's Netanyahu calls on 'responsible' nations to join Iran sanctions

Reuters UK

LONDON (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to Britain to join new sanctions against Iran as he met his British counterpart Theresa May in London on Monday, while she cautioned about Israel's plans for new settlements in occupied territory.
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MSPs to hold non-binding vote on rejecting Brexit

Reuters Top News

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Scotland's devolved government will attempt to underscore its displeasure at British Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to exit the European Union on Tuesday with a non-binding vote by MSPs to reject triggering Brexit.
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MSPs to hold non-binding vote on rejecting Brexit

Reuters UK

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Scotland's devolved government will attempt to underscore its displeasure at British Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to exit the European Union on Tuesday with a non-binding vote by MSPs to reject triggering Brexit.
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Trump administration takes foreign policy in

MSNBC

Donald Trump promised Americans he’d take U.S. foreign policy in a radical new direction, and there are early signs that he’s already following through on that commitment. In terms of the nation’s interests, however, that may not be a good thing.

In recent weeks, for example, the Republican president has needlessly alienated U.S. allies such as Australia and Mexico. Trump has antagonized China. He received a lecture on the Geneva Conventions from Germany. He’s been the subject of international protests about his infamous Muslim ban. He’s put Iran “on notice,” without explaining what in the world that means. He unveiled his long-awaited plan to combat ISIS, which largely amounted to ordering military leaders to come up with a plan for him.

When it comes to international affairs, it’s hard to think of any American president having a worse start. Abroad, Trump is celebrated in Moscow, but nowhere else.

The Associated Press reported over the weekend that the new president is causing widespread confusion, not only abroad, but even in his own administration. Last week, National Security Council staff participated in a town-hall meeting with their new leadership, and when asked what the “America First” mantra meant in practical terms, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn reportedly “reiterated Trump’s campaign assurances that he could put U.S. interests ahead of those of other countries.”

How clarifying.

But then the AP piece went in an unexpected direction:

Some early moves by Trump officials have given hints about their priorities – and raised concerns within the administration. […]

According to one U.S. official, national security aides have sought information about Polish incursions in Belarus, an eyebrow-raising request because little evidence of such activities appears to exist.

There’s quite a bit about the new administration that worries me, but I’ll confess it’s stuff like this that causes me the most unease.

For years, Trump has demonstrated an affinity for bizarre conspiracy theories and a capacity to believe transparent nonsense for no particular reason. Michael Flynn, Trump’s principal source for information related to national security, is every bit as odd in his embrace of baseless, oftentimes ridiculous, ideas.

And with that in mind, when the AP reports that national security aides in the administration have sought information “about Polish incursions in Belarus,” despite the fact that there’s no reason to believe there have been Polish incursions in Belarus, it gives one pause.

The Associated Press reporter who wrote the piece added an extra word on Twitter when describing the developments, noting that “senior” aides have requested information on incursions that don’t appear to exist. In other words, we’re talking about officials at or near the top of the bureaucratic ladder.




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May warns MPs about thwarting will of British people on Brexit

Reuters Top News

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May warned MPs on Monday not to obstruct the will of the British people with a series of amendments to her Brexit legislation this week, saying she wanted to get on with divorce talks with the EU.
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May warns MPs about thwarting will of British people on Brexit

Reuters UK

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May warned MPs on Monday not to obstruct the will of the British people with a series of amendments to her Brexit legislation this week, saying she wanted to get on with divorce talks with the EU.
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South African Rugby World Cup winner Joost van der Westhuizen dies at 45

Reuters Sports

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Joost van der Westhuizen, who as scrumhalf for South Africa triumphed at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, died on Monday at age 45 after a long battle with motor neurone disease, his charitable foundation said.
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Myanmar officials 'in denial' over U.N. report on crimes against Rohingya

Reuters World

DHAKA/YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar's government remains "in denial" about alleged atrocities by its military against minority Rohingya Muslims, officials present at a meeting in Bangladesh said, despite leader Aung San Suu Kyi's pledge to investigate the findings of a devastating U.N. report.
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Legal battles to test Trump and his immigration ban

Reuters Top News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's temporary immigration ban faced on Monday the first of several crucial legal hurdles that could determine whether he can push through the most controversial and far reaching policy of his first two weeks in office.
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Legal battles to test Trump and his immigration ban

Reuters World

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's temporary immigration ban faced on Monday the first of several crucial legal hurdles that could determine whether he can push through the most controversial and far reaching policy of his first two weeks in office.
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France's scandal-hit Fillon says he will fight on for presidency

Reuters Top News

PARIS (Reuters) - French conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon on Monday defended his past conduct in a scandal involving payments to his wife for work which a press report says she did not do and said he would push on in his bid for the presidency.
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France's scandal-hit Fillon says he will fight on for presidency

Reuters World

PARIS (Reuters) - French conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon on Monday defended his past conduct in a scandal involving payments to his wife for work which a press report says she did not do and said he would push on in his bid for the presidency.
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CNN's Choice Not To Feature Conway During Yesterday's Shows Was Reportedly Because Of 'Credibility' Issues - Mediaite

World


Mediaite

CNN's Choice Not To Feature Conway During Yesterday's Shows Was Reportedly Because Of 'Credibility' Issues
Mediaite
When it was announced that Mike Pence would be doing the Sunday shows yesterday, political observers quickly noticed that the Vice President wasn't slated to appear on CNN. Reports swirled yesterday that the White House tried to offer up Kellyanne ...
Conway used 'Bowling Green massacre' days before MSNBC interviewThe Hill
Conway blames 'haters' for 'Bowling Green Massacre' backlashNew York Post
Kellyanne Conway May Have Lied When She Brushed The 'Bowling Green Massacre' Off As An Innocent MistakeUPROXX
Columbia Daily Tribune -New York Daily News -Cosmopolitan.com
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UPDATE 2-Rugby-S.African World Cup winner Joost van der Westhuizen dies at 45

Rugby - Reuters

CAPE TOWN, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Joost van der Westhuizen, who as scrumhalf for South Africa triumphed at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, died on Monday at age 45 after a long battle with motor neurone disease, his charitable foundation said.
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Tanzanian president tells security forces to target drug traffickers

Reuters Africa

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - President John Magufuli told Tanzania's security forces on Monday to crack down on the drugs trade and said no one should be spared, even if they are top politicians or their relatives.
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BT supports Google's Android in EU antitrust row

Reuters Technology

LONDON (Reuters) - BT has become the first major telecoms company to back Google in a battle with EU regulators, defending the "stability and compatibility" of the Android operating system, which is in the sights of anti-trust regulators.
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Ret. general: Trump confused American values

MSNBC

Retired general: Trump confused American values | MSNBC
MSNBC Live 02/06/17
Retired general Barry McCaffrey joins NBC's Hallie Jackson to discuss Trump's "respect" for Russian President Vladimir Putin and how Vice President Mike Pence addressed the controversial remarks. ... more Duration: {{video.duration.momentjs}}
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BT supports Google's Android in EU antitrust row

Reuters Top News

LONDON (Reuters) - BT has become the first major telecoms company to back Google in a battle with EU regulators, defending the "stability and compatibility" of the Android operating system, which is in the sights of anti-trust regulators.
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U.S. and Russian ministries must restore direct links - Russian diplomat

Reuters World

MOSCOW (Reuters) - One of Russia's top diplomats said on Monday that government ministries in the United States and Russia should restore direct communications channels with each other as part of a first step to rebuild bilateral ties.
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Arnold Schwarzenegger on Trump: I wanted to 'smash his face'

FOX

Political

Published February 06, 2017
Fox411: Schwarzenegger said being born in Austria is all that held him back

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t backing down from his public feud with President Donald Trump.

The 69-year-old former California governor and current host of “The Celebrity Apprentice” responded to Trump’s tweets last month about the reality show’s low ratings.

Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got “swamped” (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

being a movie star-and that was season 1 compared to season 14. Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

“I said, ‘Let’s sit on it for an hour,” said Schwarzenegger to Men’s Journal. “I called my assistant and said, ‘I think what we really should do is request a meeting a go back to New York. And then we just smash his face into the table.’”

“And then I think, ‘We can’t do that, either. I think I have to be above all of that and put him on the spot,’” he added.

Schwarzenegger also took to Twitter and posted a video where he challenged Trump to “work for all of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings.”

Please study this quote from Lincoln’s inaugural, @realDonaldTrump. It inspired me every day I was Governor, and I hope it inspires you. pic.twitter.com/QRoOFTZfQ9

— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger)

“I think people really reacted well to that response,” Schwarzenegger told the magazine of his video. “I sound more presidential and more diplomatic and more elder-statesman — that’s exactly the way Donald should be.”

Last week, Trump said “The Apprentice” has been a “total disaster” since the Austrian-born took over. Trump said during the National Prayer Breakfast that we should pray for a rise in ratings.

Schwarzenegger fired back, suggesting he and Trump should switch jobs “so people can finally sleep comfortably again.”

On Friday, Trump tweeted Schwarzenegger “did a really bad job as governor of California” and “is even worse” as the host of “The Apprentice.”

Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger did a really bad job as Governor of California and even worse on the Apprentice…but at least he tried hard!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

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Questions surrounding Trump's conflicts...

MSNBC

A week before taking office, Donald Trump held a press conference intended to resolve long-standing questions about his many conflicts of interest. The event was something of a disaster: instead of divesting, creating a blind trust, and/or separating his ownership stake in his private-sector ventures, the Republican and his team announced a plan in which Trump would remain the owner of his business enterprise.

The New York Times reported over the weekend that the problems may have been pushed from the front page by other Trump-related controversies, but the underlying issues haven’t changed at all.

While the president says he has walked away from the day-to-day operations of his business, two people close to him are the named trustees and have broad legal authority over his assets: his eldest son, Donald Jr., and Allen H. Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer. Mr. Trump, who will receive reports on any profit, or loss, on his company as a whole, can revoke their authority at any time.

What’s more, the purpose of the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust is to hold assets for the “exclusive benefit” of the president. This trust remains under Mr. Trump’s Social Security number, at least as far as federal taxes are concerned.
This is of particular interest as it relates to the Old Post Office, near the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, which Trump converted into a hotel. Legally, according to the building’s lease, the hotel cannot benefit any elected official, including the president. And yet, as of now, Trump is still profiting from the building he helped build at the site.

A Washington Post report added, “While Trump has promised he will observe a separation between his business and the presidency, he retains ownership of the business and will personally benefit if the business profits from decisions made by his government. Further, the business will be run by family members who remain the most trusted members of Trump’s inner circle, raising questions about whether Trump’s promises to limit communication about the business’s fate are realistic.”

Related headlines keep popping up. One of Trump’s resorts, for example, has increased its membership fees to capitalize on the president’s notoriety, meaning more profits for a business Trump still owns. Trump’s private-sector business partners, meanwhile, reportedly benefited from VIP treatment during his inaugural festivities last month, with the lines between Trump’s presidency and Trump’s private dealings blurred to the point that effectively no longer existed.

And then, of course, there’s Trump’s hotel chain, which is moving forward with plans to triple its domestic locations.

Remember Team Trump’s assurances that he’d terminated “all pending deals” and would impose “severe new restrictions” on any new business ventures? There was apparently far more flexibility to that vow than we’d been led to believe.

Two days before the inauguration, Sean Spicer told reporters Trump “has gone above and beyond in what he has done to make sure there are no conflicts.” It was an outlandish claim at the time, and it hasn’t improved with age.




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Bavarian conservatives back Merkel despite differences on migrant cap

Reuters World

MUNICH/BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and their Bavarian allies agreed to support her candidacy for elections pitting her against re-invigorated Social Democrats (SPD) to lead Germany through a time of great political uncertainty in Europe.
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South Sudan president says soldiers who rape should be shot

Reuters Africa

JUBA (Reuters) - The president of South Sudan said on Monday that soldiers who rape civilians should be shot, trying to mollify citizens outraged by abuses by security forces and quell growing international anger over attacks.
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Trump and Joe Scarborough, frenemies forever - Washington Post

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Washington Post

Trump and Joe Scarborough, frenemies forever
Washington Post
Joe Scarborough is a “Trump whisperer,” according to Poynter Institute's chief media writer, James Warren. But President Trump does not always listen to the MSNBC host, even when his whispering is more like shouting. Scarborough, a contributor to The ...
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Trump defends Putin: 'You think our country's so innocent?'CNN
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Trump expresses his 'respect' for Putin

MSNBC

Donald Trump expresses his 'respect' for Putin | MSNBC
MSNBC Live 02/06/17
Representative Lee Zeldon joins NBC's Hallie Jackson to discuss the widespread surprise and condemnation after Donald Trump's professed his "respect" for Russian President Vladimir Putin. ... more Duration: {{video.duration.momentjs}}
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Aguero says he will stay and fight for future at Man City

Reuters Sports

(Reuters) - Striker Sergio Aguero says he is eager to win back his place in Manchester City's starting line-up and it will be up to the Premier League club to decide whether to keep him once the season ends.
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Tennis - Shapovalov sorry for striking umpire, letting country down

Reuters Sports

(Reuters) - Canada's Denis Shapovalov was left mortified after joining tennis's hall of infamy on Sunday, offering an apology and promising that he would learn from his momentary explosion of temper that left a Davis Cup umpire needing a visit to hospital.
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Iraqi forces wage psychological war with jihadist corpses

Reuters Top News

MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - The flyblown corpses of Islamic State militants have been rotting along a main street in north Mosul for two weeks, a health risk for passersby. Suicide bombers' belts beside the fighters can still explode, killing anyone nearby.
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Iraqi forces wage psychological war with jihadist corpses

Reuters World

MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) - The flyblown corpses of Islamic State militants have been rotting along a main street in north Mosul for two weeks, a health risk for passersby. Suicide bombers' belts beside the fighters can still explode, killing anyone nearby.
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Blue-green meteor lights up skies over Illinois, other Midwestern states - Chicago Tribune

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Chicago Tribune

Blue-green meteor lights up skies over Illinois, other Midwestern states
Chicago Tribune
A police car's dashboard camera in Chicago's west suburbs captured a meteor that streaked across the skies early Feb. 6, 2017. (Lisle Police Department). Megan CrepeauContact ReporterChicago Tribune. A meteor lit up the skies over the Midwest early ...
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South Africa tries to limit crop damage from armyworm pest

Reuters Africa

PRETORIA (Reuters) - South Africa's agriculture minister said on Monday the country was taking measures to determine the extent of damage from an invasion of the crop-eating fall armyworm, and could not yet estimate the impact on farm output.
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Iraqi forces wage psychological war with jihadist corpses

OANN

February 6, 2017

By Michael Georgy

MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) – The flyblown corpses of Islamic State militants have been rotting along a main street in north Mosul for two weeks, a health risk for passersby. Suicide bombers’ belts beside the fighters can still explode, killing anyone nearby.

But the Iraqi army has no intention of burying the jihadists and hopes as many people as possible will get a good look at their blackened bodies, torn apart by bombs and bullets.

As Iraqi forces prepare to expand their offensive against Islamic State from east to west Mosul, they want to stamp out any sympathy that residents may have for the group, which won instant support when it seized the vast city in 2014.

“We will leave the terrorists there,” said Ibrahim Mohamed, a soldier who was standing near three dead jihadists, ignoring the stench.

His cousin suffered death by electrocution at the hands of jihadists during Islamic State’s harsh rule of Mosul because he was a policeman.

“The message is clear to Iraqis, to keep them from joining or supporting Daesh (Islamic State). This will be your fate. The Iraqi army will finish you off,” he said.

A suicide bomber’s belt, with its detonation pin still in place, lay in the street a few feet away, near some clothing once worn by a militant.

The Iraqi army has come a long way since it collapsed in the face of Islamic State’s lightning advance into northern Iraq. After retaking half of Mosul in three months of fighting, Iraqi forces are poised to enter the western side of the city.

Victory there would mean the end of Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate, though Iraqi officials expect the group to fight on as insurgents in Iraq and inspire attacks in the West.

PSYCHOLOGICAL WEAPON

The corpses are left on view as a psychological weapon to deter Islamic State sleeper cells, which Iraqi officials say are highly effective and distributed across the country.

Islamic State has executed thousands of Iraqi soldiers and policemen, and their comrades are eager for revenge.

“We leave them in the street like that so the dogs eat them,” said soldier Asaad Hussein. “We also want the citizens to know there is a price for supporting terrorists.”

Sunni Mosul had accused the Shi’ite-led Baghdad government and army of widespread abuses, which they deny.

Islamic State exploited that resentment but started losing popularity after it imposed its radical version of Islam and shot or beheaded anyone deemed an enemy.

Iraqi citizens don’t seem to mind the gory sight of the bodies, with people walking past them every day as Mosul begins the work of rebuilding entire neighborhoods pulverized by Islamic State car bombs and U.S.-led air strikes.

Labourer Youssef Salim observed the corpses, still with army boots on their feet, and paused to reflect on life under Islamic State, which has lost ground in Iraq and other Arab countries. He said the bodies should not be moved.

“Do you know what smoking one, just one cigarette meant?” he asked. “Twenty-five lashes in a public square where people were forced to watch you suffer.

“If your beard length did not meet their requirements, that was a month in jail and 100 lashes in public.”

SPREADING FEAR

The militants are no longer in charge in east Mosul but they are still very capable of spreading fear.

Two men approached a soldier to complain that there were suspicious wires that may be attached to a bomb on a door at the factory where they work.

Minutes later, an increasingly familiar scene unfolded. Soldiers looked up and spotted a drone aircraft operated by Islamic State militants, located about 600 meters away across the Tigris River, which bisects Mosul.

Iraqi forces opened fired with their assault rifles, hoping to blast the small aircraft – an Islamic State weapon of choice – out of the sky before it could drop a bomb.

A few streets away, a group of young boys walked towards three more Islamic State corpses.

“The bodies should stay. Daesh killed lots of people so why should they be buried,” said Salem Jamil, 13, who was carrying a plastic bag filled with old electric wiring he hopes to sell.

But a man who approached said the bodies should be buried because that is everyone’s right.

The three militants were shot when they tried to sneak through some trees to kill soldiers.

One of the soldiers stood proudly over the dead men, including one still wearing a suicide belt. He smiled and pointed to a cigarette stuffed in one of the jihadist’s nostrils.

“We put it there because of the terrible things they did to Iraqis,” said the soldier, Asaad Najif. “The fate of any terrorist is clear. We will find you and kill you.”

(Editing by Giles Elgood)

The post Iraqi forces wage psychological war with jihadist corpses appeared first on One America News Network.




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UPDATE 1-Tennis-Shapovalov sorry for striking umpire, letting country down

Tennis - Reuters

Feb 6 (Reuters) - Canada's Denis Shapovalov was left mortified after joining tennis's hall of infamy on Sunday, offering an apology and promising that he would learn from his momentary explosion of temper that left a Davis Cup umpire needing a visit to hospital.
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Lady Gaga soars over Super Bowl stage with bow to inclusion

OANN2

February 6, 2017

(This February 5 has been corrected in paragraph 2 to add the words “under God” in quote)

By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Standing atop the roof of Houston’s NRG Stadium with drones illuminating an American flag in the night sky behind her, Lady Gaga kicked off her Super Bowl halftime set on Sunday by singing “God Bless America” as a subtle message of inclusion and unity in a deeply divided United States.

As many speculated about whether the outspoken singer would use her spotlight to address women’s rights, immigration or President Donald Trump, Gaga recited part of the American Pledge of Allegiance, “one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all,” in her opening song.

She then swung down from the roof to a stage suspended on cables and embarked on a meticulously choreographed 13-minute set of her greatest hits during the National Football League championship game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.

This year’s Super Bowl followed a fierce presidential election campaign that Trump won in November but which left the country at least as fractured afterwards as before it began. Trump was greeted with massive protests just after taking office on Jan. 20, and his policy moves have sparked further protests and controversy in the first weeks of his presidency.

Ahead of her high-profile performance, watched by more than 100 million U.S. viewers, Gaga, 30, said in a post on the Instagram social media network that she planned to headline the slot entirely on her own, eschewing a tradition of halftime main acts bringing on special guests.

Dressed in a silver, sequined bodysuit and matching heeled boots, Gaga sang her dance hits “Poker Face” and “Born This Way” – an anthem for self-confidence and inclusion – as she performed aerial acrobatics while suspended in the air.

She then descended onto the stage to dance through “Telephone” and “Just Dance” before running through the crowd to a piano, where she sang her new song, “Million Reasons,” giving a shout-out to her parents while she performed.

After joining her diverse cadre of dancers for “Bad Romance,” the singer, known for her flair for the dramatic, ended her set by dropping her microphone, catching a football and jumping off a set of stairs onto the field.

While Gaga avoided making explicit political statements during her set, it was Renee Elise Goldsberry, Phillipa Soo, and Jasmine Cephas Jones, the Schuyler sisters on hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” who caused a stir with a subtle statement of support for women.

As the trio sang “America the Beautiful” before the start of the game, they added the words “and sisterhood,” in the first verse that contained the words “And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea.”

The addition was immediately picked up on social media and became a top trend on Twitter.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

The post Lady Gaga soars over Super Bowl stage with bow to inclusion appeared first on One America News Network.




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'Patriot Way' paves road to New England dynasty

Reuters Sports

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Tom Brady and the New England Patriots engineered the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history to claim a breathtaking 34-28 overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, cementing their status as true a NFL dynasty.
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Lady Gaga soars over Super Bowl stage with bow to inclusion

Entertainment - Reuters

(This February 5 has been corrected in paragraph 2 to add the words "under God" in quote)
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Rugby-Six Nations Championship Fixtures

Rugby - Reuters

Feb 6 (Gracenote) - Fixtures from the Six Nations Championship matches SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11 FIXTURES (GMT) Italy v Ireland (1425) Wales v England (1650) SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12 FIXTURES (GMT) France v Scotland (1500)
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Rugby-Aviva Premiership Fixtures

Rugby - Reuters

Feb 6 (Gracenote) - Fixtures from the Aviva Premiership matches FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10 FIXTURES (GMT) Bath Rugby v Northampton (1945) Bristol Rugby v Harlequins (1945) Sale Sharks v Newcastle Falcons (2015) SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11 FIXTURES (GMT) Leicester Tigers v Gloucester Rugby (1500) Worcester Warriors v Saracens (1500) SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12 FIXTURES (GMT) Exeter Chiefs v Wasps (1300)
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Rugby-Guinness PRO12 Fixtures

Rugby - Reuters

Feb 6 (Gracenote) - Fixtures from the Guinness PRO12 matches FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10 FIXTURES (GMT) Zebre v Ospreys (1900) Glasgow Warriors v Scarlets (1935) Munster v Newport Gwent Dragons (1935) Ulster v Edinburgh Rugby (1935) SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12 FIXTURES (GMT) Benetton Rugby Treviso v Leinster (1230) Cardiff Blues v Connacht (1305)
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Jamie Lynn Spears' Dad Asks For Prayers Following Granddaughter Maddie's Hospitalization - PerezHilton.com

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PerezHilton.com

Jamie Lynn Spears' Dad Asks For Prayers Following Granddaughter Maddie's Hospitalization
PerezHilton.com
Our thoughts continue to be with the Spears family. As we previously reported, Jamie Lynn Spears' daughter, Maddie, was hospitalized in Kentwood, Louisiana after a very serious ATV accident. It was being said the 8-year-old was airlifted to get ...
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Reports: Jamie Lynn Spears' daughter in critical condition after ATV flipsUSA TODAY
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