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#MagaFirstNews 8.27.19

New optimism in US-China trade war felt on Wall Street, Asian markets

Struggling 2020 Democrats fume at DNC over debate criteria crackdown

Epstein accusers expected to speak at hearing

Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $572M in opioid case, setting up more trials and possible legal settlements

Miley Cyrus stuns at MTV VMAs with emotional first performance since Hemsworth split

#MagaFirstNews 8.27.19

https://youtu.be/qzA0q8OlXjw

New optimism in US-China trade See More war felt on Wall Street, Asian markets

Asian shares traded mostly higher on Tuesday, following a rally on Wall Street. Traders are cautiously optimistic again about the potential for progress in the costly trade war between the U.S. and China. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei rose 1.2 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose at first but reversed course and was down nearly 0.2 percent and China’s Shanghai Composite was up 1.1 percent. U.S. equity futures were searching for direction Tuesday morning.
Monday’s rally on Wall Street got its start early after President Trump said his negotiators had received encouraging calls from China on Sunday, though China’s foreign ministry denied knowledge of any such calls. At the end of the G-7 summit, the president stood firm and defended his handling of the trade war with China and said his approach was seeing results.

Struggling 2020 Democrats fume at DNC over debate criteria crackdown

With the deadline to qualify for next month’s third round of Democratic presidential debates closing in, the Democratic National Committee is facing an angry chorus of criticism from the candidates not likely to make the cut. At issue is the DNC’s criteria for the contenders to take part in the prime-time showdown, including contributions from 130,000 individual donors and reaching at least 2 percent in four qualifying polls. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado were among the candidates complaining about the DNC’s process.

While the criticism is not new, this time around the national party committee is specifically being attacked over the dearth of qualifying polls. Critics say this is unfairly preventing candidates close to qualifying from actually making the stage. Bullock, who also needs a miracle to qualify by the end-of-Wednesday deadline, argued that “these DNC debate rules have turned this primary into the ‘The Hunger Games’ — each step of this seems to be all about getting donors.”

Epstein accusers expected to speak at hearing

Up to 30 of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims could take a judge up on his invitation to speak at a hearing Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, who presided over the sex trafficking case prosecutors brought against Epstein, scheduled the hearing after prosecutors asked that he toss charges against Epstein because of his death. Epstein, a previously convicted sex offender, died Aug. 10, his death ruled a suicide as he apparently killed himself rather than face sex trafficking charges. Berman said he would give prosecutors, Epstein’s lawyers and any alleged victims a chance to speak.

Since the hearing was scheduled, it was revealed that Epstein signed a will just two days before his suicide putting over $577 million in assets into a trust fund. The will, filed in the Virgin Islands where Epstein maintained a residence, was expected to make it more difficult for dozens of accusers to collect damages. Tuesday’s hearing comes amid a report that video footage from at least one camera in the hallway outside Epstein’s jail cell is too flawed to be of any value for investigators.

Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $572M in opioid case, setting up more trials and possible legal settlements

An Oklahoma judge found Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies liable for stoking the opioid crisis in the state and said the company must pay $572 million, far less the $17 billion that the state was seeking. Judge Thad Balkman, of Cleveland County District Court in Norman, Oklahoma, is the first judge to rule in the opioid cases brought to trial by thousands of state and local governments against opioid manufacturers and distributors. His precedent-setting ruling was being closely watched as 2,000 other pending suits await to be heard before a federal judge in Ohio in October. J&J said it plans to appeal Balkman’s ruling and that the decision was “flawed.”

Miley Cyrus stuns at MTV VMAs with emotional first performance since Hemsworth split

Miley Cyrus made a huge statement during an emotional performance at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards. The pop star took the stage Monday evening at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. to perform her latest single “Slide Away,” which many believe to be about her 10-year relationship with estranged husband, actor Liam Hemsworth.
Cyrus wasn’t the only star making a statement at the VMAs. Taylor Swift called out the White House after she won the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards’ top prize — video of the year — for her LGBTQ pride anthem, “You Need To Calm Down.”

A complete list of winners from the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards.

Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award: Missy Elliott

Fashion Trailblazer Award: Marc Jacobs

Video of the Year: Taylor Swift, “You Need to Calm Down”

Artist of the Year: Ariana Grande

Song of the Year: Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road (Remix)”

Best New Artist, presented by Taco Bell: Billie Eilish

Best Collaboration: Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello, “Señorita”

Push Artist of the Year: Billie Eilish

Best Pop: Jonas Brothers, “Sucker”

Best Hip-Hop: Cardi B, “Money”

Best R&B: Normani ft. 6lack, “Waves”

Best K-Pop: BTS ft. Halsey, “Boy With Luv”

Best Latin: ROSALIA & J Balvin ft. El Guincho, “Con Altura”

Best Dance: The Chainsmokers ft. Bebe Rexha, “Call You Mine”

Best Rock: Panic! At The Disco, “High Hopes”

Video for Good: Taylor Swift, “You Need to Calm Down”

Best Editing: Billie Eilish, “Bad Guy”

Best Art Direction: Ariana Grande, “7 Rings”

Song of Summer, presented by Samsung: Ariana Grande & Social House, “boyfriend”

Best Power Anthem: Megan Thee Stallion ft. Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign, “Hot Girl Summer”

Best Group: BTS

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#MagaFirstNews 8-26-19

China announces it seeks ‘calm’ end to trade war, as Asian markets tank

Trump talks Iran, ‘surprise’ visit from foreign minister at G7 Summit

Clashes escalate in weekend Hong Kong protests

Sanders slams McConnell in campaign stop at top Republican’s home turf

Thieves tie up employees in ‘massive’ heist in New York City’s Diamond District

China announces it seeks ‘calm’ end to trade war, as Asian markets tank

China signaled on Monday it was now seeking a “calm” end to its ongoing trade war with the U.S., as Asian markets crumbled and China’s currency plummeted to an 11-year low following the latest tariffs on $550 billion in Chinese goods announced last Friday by the Trump administration.

News of the possible opening in negotiations came shortly after President Trump threatened to declare a national emergency that would result in American businesses freezing their relationships with China.

Trump’s tariff barrage on Friday was a response to China imposing its own retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. goods. At the Group of Seven summit in France on Sunday, White House officials rejected suggestions the president was wavering and insisted that his only regret was not implementing even more tariffs on China.

Trump talks Iran, ‘surprise’ visit from foreign minister at G7 Summit

President Trump on Monday said the U.S. is not seeking regime change in Iran and told reporters at the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, that he hopes to see a strong Iran. Trump’s comments came after a day of tense meetings with his European counterparts about how best to approach Iran and the recent tensions in the region. On Sunday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a surprise visit at the summit at the behest of French President Emmanuel Macron. Trump insisted that he knew about Zarif’s appearance but did not meet with him.

Clashes escalate in weekend Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong police have confirmed an officer fired a warning shot as protesters surrounded them and said they arrested 36 people during the latest round of pro-democracy demonstrations. A police news release Monday said that one police officer fell to the ground as protesters threw hard objects at a small group of officers the previous night. The officers could be seen holding up their shields as protesters surged forward swinging sticks and rods. The incident happened after an earlier clash with hundreds of protesters who occupied a main street following a peaceful protest march. Police used tear gas to clear the street, but some protesters remained in the neighborhood. Hardliners confronted police anew after largely holding back the previous weekend. The police deployed two water cannon trucks Sunday for the first time during the 11 weeks of protests. – The Associated Press

Sanders slams McConnell in campaign stop at top Republican’s home turf

Bernie Sanders renewed his attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at a rally in the top Republican’s home state of Kentucky on Sunday afternoon, demanding that McConnell stop his “cowardice” and “have the guts” to immediately take up legislation aimed at reducing gun violence, strengthening election security and raising the federal minimum wage. The blistering address in Louisville came as national Democrats, hoping to retake not only the White House but also the Senate in 2020, increasingly have set their sights on the 77-year-old McConnell.
Meanwhile, Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat and Sanders’ national campaign co-chair, said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that he believed former Vice President Joe Biden “regretted” making a comment over the weekend about what would have happened had former President Barack Obama been assassinated while on the campaign trail in 2008. The comment stirred up controversy, but a Biden aide said the candidate has used the analogy before when speaking to younger generations who were not alive during the turbulent 1960s. Biden asserted the assassinations of King and Kennedy raised his political awareness and propelled him to run for office.

Thieves tie up employees in ‘massive’ heist in New York City’s Diamond District

The Wild West came to Midtown on Sunday when at least three armed bandits — one of whom wore what witnesses described as a cowboy hat — bound workers in a massive jewelry-store heist, according to police. The crooks coolly posed as customers at Avianne and Co. in the heart of the Diamond District, browsing the bling before pulling handguns on the four workers in the shop at the time of the high-noon hold-up, cops said. After restraining the workers with zip ties, the robbers raided the safe and display cases, dumping nearly all of the sparklers into at least one duffle bag before high-tailing it out onto surveillance-camera-lined West 47th Street, according to authorities. – Reported by the New York Post


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“I believe that we in the United States Congress should start impeachment proceedings. Immediately,” he said, adding: “The politics of this be dammed. When we look at history at what happened when the president started acting like an authoritarian. The question is what will we have done? And I believe the Congress should do its job.” “I just want to make sure whatever we do doesn’t end up with an acquittal by [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell in the Senate and President Trump is saying he was acquitted by the Congress. I belief we have a moral obligation to beat Donald Trump. He has to be a single term president. And we can’t do anything that plays into his hands.” But Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet was more cautious.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said “It’s obvious the president committed the crimes worthy of impeachment.” Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who has said her Justice Department, if elected president, would go forward with obstruction of justices charges against Trump, was the first to elaborate. “We all watched the testimony [former special counsel Robert Muelle], I read the report,” she said. “There are 10 clear incidents of obstruction of justice by this president and he needs to be held accountable. I have seen people go to prison for far less.” Sen. Corey Booker of New Jersey agreed. Former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development also was in favor of punishment. “I was first of candidate to call on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings,” he said, adding: “I believe that the evidence is plain and clear. And if it goes that far, you’re likely to see a prosecution of Donald Trump.” The progressive Democrats on the stage Wednesday night for the second round of debates among presidential candidates were all in favor of tossing President Donald Trump in jail.

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But when CNN moderator turned to Gabbard as “the person on stage who served” in Iraq, Gabbard declared: “We were all lied to.” “This is the betrayal . . . betrayal to the American people,” she said. “To me, to my fellow service members, we were lied to, told [Saddam] Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and working with al-Qaida and posed a threat to the American people.” “The problem is that this current president is continuing to betray us,” she charged. “Over years now, not only have we not gone after al-Qaida, who is stronger today than 9/11, our president is supporting al-Qaida.” “I did make a bad judgment trusting the President [George W. Bush] saying he was only doing this to get inspectors in and get the UN to agree,” he said. Vice President Joe Biden was challenged about his vote to go to war in Iraq while he served in the Senate. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, said Wednesday night the nation and military were “lied to” about the need to go to war with Iraq.

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Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, stepped off a plane and into a crowd of protesters Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport who chanted “free the children” as he waited for his luggage. The chant was a reference to detention centers at the southern border. The Texas conservative has been a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump’s border security policies. Cruz can be seen in video posted to Twitter smiling, shaking a few hands and even taking pictures with some fellow travelers as the group chanted.

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Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney also resigned from a planning committee in protest. Caucus members said they will also boycott the rest of a weeklong series of events marking the 400th anniversary and have instead planned alternative commemorations Tuesday in Richmond, Virginia’s capital. Trump’s comments about Cummings were the latest rhetorical shot at a lawmaker of color to spark outrage. Earlier this month, Trump drew bipartisan condemnation following his call for four Democratic congresswomen of color to get out of the U.S. “right now.” Caucus chair Del. Lamont Bagby said in an interview the group unanimously reached the boycott decision more than a week ago. But he said the president has “continued his attacks” since then and his remarks about Cummings’ district were more of the same. Virginia’s black state lawmakers announced Monday they will boycott a ceremony this week commemorating the beginnings of American democracy because President Donald Trump is scheduled to attend. Trump will join national and state leaders and dignitaries at Tuesday’s event, a commemorative session of the Virginia General Assembly at which Trump is to deliver remarks. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said Monday that the caucus was pushing “a political agenda.” “The commemoration of the birth of this nation and its democracy will be tarnished unduly with the participation of the President, who continues to make degrading comments toward minority leaders, promulgate policies that harm marginalized communities, and use racist and xenophobic rhetoric,” the caucus said in a statement. The convening of a legislative assembly in 1619 formed the basis of today’s representative system of government in the United States. The Virginia General Assembly is considered the oldest continuously operating legislative body in North America. The caucus’ statement did not specifically mention Cummings but said Trump’s “repeated attacks on Black legislators and comments about Black communities makes him ill-suited to honor and commemorate such a monumental period in history.” When the Richmond Times-Dispatch first reported earlier in the month that Trump would take part in the event, top Democratic lawmakers said they would not attend. Republican Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment said at the time that their decision was “disappointing and embarrassing.” The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus said its members would not attend Tuesday’s event in historic Jamestown marking the 400th anniversary of the first representative assembly in the Western Hemisphere. The boycott comes after Trump’s weekend comments referring to Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings’ majority-black Baltimore-area district as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.” Tuesday’s events are just one part of a yearlong commemoration called American Evolution meant to honor key milestones in the state’s colonial history, including the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first recorded Africans in English North America. “President Trump passed criminal justice reform, developed opportunity zones securing record-setting investment in distressed communities, and pushed policies that created the lowest unemployment rates ever for African Americans, so it’s a bit confusing and unfortunate that the VLBC would choose to push a political agenda instead of celebrate this milestone for our nation,” she said in a statement.

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A federal judge in D.C. wants President Donald Trump, New York state officials, and the U.S. House of Representatives to come up with a solution that would give the president “very modest relief” in the dispute over a law that allows the release of his tax returns, Politico reports. The Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee at the beginning of this month filed a lawsuit against the Treasury Department and the IRS in an effort to obtain Trump’s returns. Trump filed a lawsuit against the Ways and Means Committee, New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Michael Schmidt to prevent the committee from doing so, arguing the committee lacks a legislative purpose for using the New York law to acquire the taxes. A New York law enacted in early July allows Congress’ tax committees to request public officials’ state tax returns from the commissioner of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance. Judge Carl Nichols of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia acknowledged Trump’s concerns that his New York state tax returns could be turned over before the courts have a sufficient amount of time to consider constitutional and legal issues with the request. He gave the parties until 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday to use their “creativity” to reach an agreement. The separate cases were filed in federal court in D.C. this month.

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In January, Coats again was reportedly in Trump’s dog house when he told a Senate committee that North Korea was unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons, which contradicted the president’s more optimistic view. At last year’s Aspen Security Forum, Coats reportedly angered Trump when he  appeared to criticize the president’s ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer slammed on Sunday President Donald Trump’s choice of Rep. John Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, The Hill reported. “It’s clear that Rep. Ratcliffe was selected because he exhibited blind loyalty to President Trump with his demagogic questioning of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller ” Schumer said in a statement. “If Senate Republicans elevate such a partisan player to a position that requires intelligence expertise and non-partisanship, it would be a big mistake.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote on Twitter that the successor for Coats “must put patriotism before politics, and remember that his oath is to protect the Constitution and the American people, not the President.” Trump had reportedly soured on Coats several times during his tenure. Axios reported that Trump was impressed by Ratcliffe’s performance during his questioning of Mueller at congressional hearings on Wednesday. Sen Eliabeth Warren, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, added in a tweet that “Our Director of National Intelligence should be above partisan politics, speak truth to power, and resist Trump’s abuses of authority. John Ratcliffe doesn’t fit that bill.” It is not yet clear how the Senate overall will react to Ratcliffe’s nomination, according to The Hill.  However, his membership in the House Intelligence Committee will likely appeal to Republican senators.

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“I agree with my fellow members of the Washington delegation that, as we have learned about the gravity of the potential threats to our democracy identified in special counsel Mueller’s report, it has become clear that the House should begin proceedings to determine whether the president’s action necessitate impeachment,” Murray said in a statement shared on her website. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Sunday supported an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, a decision fueled by testimony provided by special counsel Robert Mueller last week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday said the House would decide whether to begin proceedings, “when we have a best strongest possible case” and that such a decision “will be made in a timely fashion.” Murray, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, joins a growing list of Democrats pushing for impeachment, including all seven of Washington’s Democratic House members. Mueller in his testimony before the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees noted the 2000 Justice Department determination that “a sitting president is constitutionally immune from indictment and criminal prosecution.” He also said his team did not reach a determination whether Trump committed a crime.

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“There is nothing racist in stating plainly what most people already know, that Elijah Cummings has done a terrible job for the people of his district, and of Baltimore itself. Dems always play the race card when they are unable to win with facts. Shame!” he tweeted Sunday. Cummings’ district is about 55% black and includes a large portion of Baltimore. The city has struggled with violent crime, with more than 300 homicides for four years in a row. It has crumbling infrastructure and a police department under federal oversight. Trump’s comments drew swift condemnation from Democrats over the weekend, including some of the party’s presidential candidates. Statements from a spokesman for Maryland’s Republican governor and from the lieutenant governor defended Cummings’ district and its people.  Trump on Saturday lashed out at Cummings, claiming his Baltimore-area district is “considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States.” President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his controversial remarks aimed at Rep. Elijah Cumming and called the Baltimore lawmaker a racist. “If racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess that he has helped to create over many years of incompetent leadership. His radical ‘oversight’ is a joke!” he added.

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