Donald Trump: Official US government website goes down after ‘prank’ post says his presidency has ended | US News


The official US State Department website has gone down after a post thought to be a prank said Donald Trump’s term as president “ended” nine days early.

The Republican’s bio page on the site briefly showed a sentence saying “Donald J. Trump‘s term ended on 2021-01-11 19:48:41.”

While the post appeared about four hours earlier by US Eastern Time than the time given, it prompted an online frenzy amid speculation that Mr Trump may have stepped down before Joe Biden’s inauguration on 20 January.

Image:
The message users saw after the US State Department website went down

Reports later emerged that the message had been posted by a “disgruntled” employee of the department.

Two people familiar with the incident told the Associated Press that the department had launched an investigation.

They said that while the prospect that the entry was the work of a disgruntled employee could not be discounted, they had yet to reach any conclusions.

A similar message also appeared on Vice President Mike Pence’s page.

Neither the department nor the White House had commented on the post at the time of writing.

The post was visible on the website for less than an hour, before it was replaced with text saying: “We’re sorry, this site is currently experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again in a few moments.”

It came following days of widespread criticism over Mr Trump’s role in provoking a riot at the US Capitol by supporters challenging the certification of Joe Biden‘s victory in the November presidential election.

WASHINGTON DC, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, UNITED STATES - 2021/01/06: Rioters clash with police trying to enter Capitol building through the front doors. Rioters broke windows and breached the Capitol building in an attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 election. Police used batons and tear gas grenades to eventually disperse the crowd. Rioters used metal bars and tear gas as well against the police. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Trump supporters clash with police while trying to enter Capitol building

Ahead of the violence, Mr Trump had told his supporters to “fight much harder” – saying in a speech “you are allowed to go by very different rules”.

The breach of the Capitol had sent lawmakers into hiding and left five people dead, with dozens of people charged over the scenes and hundreds more cases are expected.

Despite overwhelming evidence of a fair election, Mr Trump has repeatedly challenged the validity of Mr Biden’s substantial victory.

President Donald Trump is pictured addressing supporters before violence broke out
Image:
Donald Trump is pictured addressing supporters before violence broke out

Democrats in Congress began a push on Monday to force the outgoing president from office, introducing an article of impeachment that accuses him of “inciting insurrection”.

Mr Trump is due to be officially replaced as president by Mr Biden on the day of the inauguration on 20 January.

Thanks for dropping by and checking out this post involving current USA Business and Political news published as “Donald Trump: Official US government website goes down after ‘prank’ post says his presidency has ended | US News”. This news release is presented by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our USA news services.

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Safety probe reveals why alleged drug flight between PNG and Australia ended in disaster


An alleged drug flight to smuggle 500kg of cocaine from Papua New Guinea to Queensland came to a fiery end in July last year after a wing tip was ripped off a plane while landing in torrential rain on makeshift airstrip outside the capital Port Moresby.

Papua New Guinea’s Accident Investigation Commission has released a report that details how the drug run – thought to be the biggest in the country’s history – came undone. 

The report highlighted failures in the management of aviation distress signals and search and rescue operations in PNG.

Australian pilot David John Cutmore told investigators he turned off the plane’s transponder to fly at low altitude into PNG on 26 July.

Wing tip sheered off during landing.

AIC Report

“As the aircraft approached to land, the outboard section of the left wing clipped a tree and separated from the aircraft and the pilot continued on with the approach and landed,” the report said.

The damaged plane was loaded with “cargo”, which police allege was half-a-tonne of cocaine, and refuelled.

After 20 minutes on the ground at Papa-Lealea, Cutmore attempted to take-off.

“The pilot reported … he lined up and commenced the take-off roll. As the aircraft lifted off, he noticed that the airspeed indicator was not working and that the aircraft was not achieving a positive rate of climb,” the report said.

He touched back down and careered off the end of the airstrip. The AIC report said the missing section of left wing affected the plane’s ability to produce lift.

Alleged haul of cocaine.

Alleged haul of cocaine.

AFP

AFP officers waiting at Mareeba airport to nab the pilot and the estimated $160m haul were left empty handed after a two-year investigation code-named Operation Weathers.

But five people were later charged in Queensland and Victoria over the failed smuggling operation.

Cutmore, an unemployed flight instructor, turned himself in to authorities in PNG and has since pleaded guilty to one charge of unlawful entry in breach of immigration laws. He has not been charged with any other offences.

David John Cutmore arrives at PNG court last year.

David John Cutmore arrives at PNG court last year.

EMTV

AIC reported the force of the impact automatically set-off the plane’s emergency beacon but PNG authorities accounted for all local aircraft and ignored the distress signal.

Investigators said they could not be sure if the “cargo” contributed to the crash because it had been unloaded and the plane set on fire afterwards by the smugglers.

By the time AIC investigators finally arrived, PNG police and AFP officers had already secured the crash site.

The report into the safety issues recommended government-owned NiuSky Pacific (formerly PNG Air Services) “implement effective procedures” to manage distress signals and search and rescue operations to international standards.

It noted NiuSky responded saying “operational procedures are in the process of a full review and rewrite” as part of an upgrade of air traffic control systems and manuals “contain adequate procedures” and senior staff are trained for such incidents.

AIC described the NiuSky response as “unsatisfactory” for failing to “address the safety issues identified during the investigation”.

It also recommended PNG’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) ensure effective oversight of aviation service providers’ search and rescue operations.

A spokesperson for Australia’s CASA said, “it will review the report and consider any associated safety related issues”.

Thank you for stopping by to visit My Local Pages and checking this news article on Victoria news titled “Safety probe reveals why alleged drug flight between PNG and Australia ended in disaster”. This news release was posted by My Local Pages Australia as part of our local news services.

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2020 Weather: The year that dawned in fire and ended in flood


2020 saw a welcome shift to cooler and wetter conditions after the widespread drought of the past few years.

Cooler, that is, compared to the previous year but still historically hot and the rain that fell wasn’t a great deal more than average for the nation as a whole.

But as we open 2021, it is at least looking greener than it did at the beginning of last year, the grain harvest is tipped to be the second biggest on record and water storage levels are up.

Rainfall

Last year’s persistent drought-bringing climate, set up by a positive Indian Ocean Dipole, was replaced with neutral and eventually rain-encouraging La Niña conditions in September.

Despite a hiatus over spring, those conditions finally brought widespread rainfall to end 2020.

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Many water stores have risen, but many have not filled to the extent we might have hoped for in a La Niña year … not yet.

There are still a few months of the summer wet season left.

Sydney’s water stores are the big turnaround story of 2020. In January, the stores were at 44.9 per cent of capacity, their lowest point in the past five years.

But rain in February and again in July mean supplies for our biggest city are sitting at 93.7 per cent.

The Murray-Darling Basin has also seen a turnaround, going from 34.8 per cent of capacity on January 1, 2020 to 58.5 per cent today.

In early 2020, the Darling was flowing all the way thorough to the Murray for the first time in two years.

But at just 25 per cent of capacity, storage levels in the northern Murray-Darling Basin are still well below the replenishment levels reached after the big rains of 2016/2017.

In the southern basin, water storage levels are higher at around 66 per cent, but are still below the levels reached in 2016/2017.

The Darling was finally reacquainted with the Murray in early 2020.(Supplied: Chris Graham)

Not everywhere has been so lucky with the rain. Locations like Darwin could also do with more of the wet stuff.

In a good year, Darwin’s water supplies are refilled by the end of the wet season.

But the past two seasons have been poor and the current stores are at 51.6 per cent, slightly below levels at this time last year.

Luckily the wettest months of the year in Darwin are traditionally January, February and March, so fingers crossed the city will have a good soaking in the coming months.

Temperatures

Mean temperatures came in at 1.15 degree Celsius above the 1961-to-1990 average, well cooler than 2019, which was 1.52C above the average.

Overnight temperatures were also the fourth-highest on record using the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BOM’s) gridded dataset, which gives an average temperature for the country as a whole.

But maximum temperatures were less extreme than we have been accustomed to in recent years, coming in at the eighth-hottest on record, 1.24C above the 1961-to-1990 average.

The high temperature rankings come despite the La Niña, traditionally associated with cooler conditions for eastern and northern Australia.

The State of the Climate report released by the BOM and the CSIRO reported that Australia’s warming is now up to 1.44 plus or minus 0.24C since 1910.

Spring, and November in particular, produced well-above-average temperatures as short-term climate drivers acted to prevent La Niña’s rain and cooling influence.

The result was the hottest November on record for mean, maximum and minimum temperatures and the highest springtime mean and minimum temperatures on record.

The resulting heatwave circled all the way from South Australia, across the south-east and up into Queensland, where it lingered for days on end.

But at least it was a turnaround from last year.

2019 had far and away both the highest mean and maximum temperatures on record, a surprise to few who lived through it and the devastating fires it resulted in.

What’s to come?

In the short term, storms are expected this weekend as the north and east continue to get a dousing.

It is a story set to repeat over the next few weeks as the La Niña peaks before it’s expected decline during the first quarter of 2021.

With flooding already widespread in the tropical north, it will continue to be important to plan ahead if you are planning an epic road trip this summer.

As always, if it is flooded, forget it.

Meteorologists are scanning the horizon on the lookout for the first cyclone to make landfall this season.

The coast is looking pretty clear for the next few days, but there has yet to be a season on record without at least one cyclone crossing the coast and there is plenty of cyclone season still to come.

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Hitler’s Last Gamble: The Battle of the Bulge Ended Nazi Germany


Shivering and stamping their feet in the snow, three American soldiers warmed their hands over a small fire at an observation post. They were weary, dirty, and hungry, and a long way from home.

Three other GIs shuffled along to relieve them after a while, and one said, “Merry Christmas.” The first three looked up in surprise, and one of them replied slowly, “We thought tomorrow was Christmas.”

The soldiers were helping to guard the perimeter defense line around the town of Bastogne in southeastern Belgium, not far from the Luxembourg border. They were surrounded by German forces, and there was not much Christmas cheer to go around that cold, snow-covered, fog-shrouded December more than 70 years ago.

Yet, although they did not know it at the time, those GIs of the 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagle” Division were writing a glorious chapter in the history of their army. The name of Bastogne would be stitched proudly on American battle flags alongside Valley Forge, Gettysburg, San Juan Hill, Chateau Thierry, the Marne, Bataan, St. Lo, Remagen, and Pork Chop Hill.

Christmas 1944 found the Screaming Eagles, veterans of Normandy and Holland, and Combat Command B of the 10th Armored Division defending besieged Bastogne while the Battle of the Bulge—Adolf Hitler’s last desperate counter-offensive of World War II—swirled around them. It was the first major battle fought by American soldiers in winter, and the one in which they suffered the greatest number of casualties: 76,890 killed, wounded, and missing.

Bastogne, an upland town 43 miles south of Liège in the Ardennes Forest region, was the junction of a railroad and seven highways lacing Belgium and Luxembourg. It lay on the center line of the German advance and was a vital strategic objective. Its 10,000 American defenders, outnumbered four to one, held firm. They groused because the enemy breakthrough had deprived them of anticipated furloughs in Paris, but they sang carols and put up makeshift Christmas trees as enemy artillery hammered away and bombs fell.

Breakthrough on the “Ghost Front”

The first snow had fallen in the Ardennes Forest on December 9. Before dawn on Saturday, December 16, 1944, German guns blasted a thinly-held 100-mile front of Lt. Gen. Omar N. Bradley’s U.S. First Army. The “ghost front,” so called because it had been the quiet sector of the Allied line, was manned by four U.S. infantry divisions—the green 99th and 106th, and the 4th and 28th, which were resting after being mauled in the recent Hürtgen Forest campaign. Three panzer armies—13 infantry divisions and seven panzer divisions—crashed through the American lines. Hitler’s objective was to split the British-Canadian and American Armies, reach the River Meuse, and capture the strategic port of Antwerp in Belgium.

The German breakthrough caught everyone off balance, from the front-line GIs all the way up to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme Allied commander. Confusion and inertia gripped Eisenhower’s headquarters for several critical hours, and some senior officers believed that the enemy thrust was merely a spoiling attack. But two of Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt’s panzer divisions had cracked wide open Maj. Gen. Troy Middleton’s VIII Corps, and panic was widespread in the field as the German columns thundered westward through Belgium. Allied communications were chaotic, and no one in the outposts or headquarters map rooms was sure of what was happening.

As the panzers and seasoned German infantry punched through the American lines, many GIs threw away their rifles and ran in terror. Large quantities of equipment, heavy weapons, ammunition, and vehicles in good running order were abandoned. Roadsides in the Ardennes were littered with discarded trucks, jeeps, halftracks, and gun carriages. One advancing American tank column was forced to churn across mud and snow covered fields because the nearest available road was choked with fleeing soldiers.

In the Schnee Eifel sector, two regiments of the U.S. 106th Infantry Division, between 8,000 and 9,000 men, surrendered to two divisions of the German 66th Corps. The Army official history called it “the most serious reverse suffered by American arms during the operations of 1944-1945 in the European theater.”

Delaying the German Offensive

But other U.S. units, both seasoned and green, stood and fought valiantly as powerful German Panther and Tiger tanks, followed by infantry, loomed out of the fog and snow. In some locations, small pockets of American resistance, two or three GIs with a machine gun or bazooka and a minimum of rounds, defended a bridge or crossroads and helped to upset the enemy timetable for a few hours. Many Americans died, and their gallantry will never be known.

On a slope overlooking a strategic crossroads at the Belgian village of Lanzerath, a platoon of the untested U.S. 99th Infantry Division led by Lieutenant Lyle J. Bouck halted a column of panzers, paratroopers, and Waffen-SS soldiers for 18 critical hours. The Americans fought until their machine guns and carbines burned up or ran out of ammunition. When the Germans at last overran their position, the stubborn GIs were pulled bodily from their foxholes. Only two Americans were killed in the encounter, but many were badly wounded. The enemy toll was 509 casualties. “We never surrendered,” Bouck reported proudly. “We were captured.”

At another important road junction, St. Vith, troops of the 7th Armored Division under Brig. Gen. Bruce C. Clarke held firm for a week before withdrawing just as the last escape route was closing. And other U.S. units resisted gallantly at Berg, Butgenbach, Spa, Trois Ponts, Stoumont, Stavelot, Houffalize, and Elsenborn Ridge, where troops of Maj. Gen. Leonard Gerow’s Fifth Corps resisted repeated attacks by four Nazi divisions.

Yet, despite the gallant delaying actions fought by U.S. troops at many locations in the Bulge, the Germans had penetrated to 60 miles west of Celles, Belgium, by December 19. At high tide, the enemy columns reached within a few miles of the strategic River Meuse, and, without knowing it, passed within a quarter-mile of the First Army’s main supply depot at Spa, Belgium.

The 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions are Called into Action

General Bradley was slow to grasp the gravity of the situation. “Pardon my French,” he muttered in his Luxembourg war room, “but where in hell has this son of a bitch gotten all his strength?” Field intelligence and aerial reconnaissance reports of an ominous German buildup in the Schnee Eifel a few miles east of the Ardennes had been disregarded because the Allied high command believed the German Army no longer capable of a major offensive. Enemy security precautions for the counter-offensive had been watertight.

Even the usually astute General Bernard L. Montgomery, commander of the British 21st Army Group, had summarized on the very morning of December 16, “The enemy is at present fighting a defensive campaign on all fronts; his situation is such that he cannot stage major offensive operations.”

It was not until the evening of December 17 that General Eisenhower took a more realistic view and ordered the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, the only two units readily available, to shore up the faltering American formations in the Bulge as a stopgap measure. The two divisions were still refitting and resting after their battering in the ill-fated Operation Market-Garden, the airborne invasion of Holland, that September. Meanwhile, Eisenhower ordered General Montgomery to take over command of U.S. forces on the northern flank of the Bulge. One of the first Allied commanders to realize the gravity of the German breakthrough, Monty ordered British Army units to hasten to the strategic River Meuse and defend its crossings.

“Old Crock” and the 101st Settle in Bastogne

In France, trucks and semi-trailers of the Army Transportation Corps’ famed Red Ball Express were swiftly marshaled, and the American paratroopers were rushed into action on December 17-18. The 82nd Airborne was trucked to the Werbomont area on the northern flank of the Bulge, while the 101st Airborne raced in a serpentine convoy for 300 miles from its rest area at Mourmelon-le-Grand near Reims, France, to Bastogne. The Screaming Eagles rolled into the Bastogne area to join Combat Command B of the 10th Armored Division none too soon. The Germans were closing in, and the strategic town was soon to be under siege.

The men of the 101st Airborne hastily dug in and set up a defense perimeter, led by Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McAuliffe, a peppery but genial artilleryman and 1918 graduate of West Point. Nicknamed “Old Crock” by his men, McAuliffe was the division artillery commander now serving as temporary divisional leader in the absence of handsome, scholarly Maj. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, who was in Washington, D.C.

Bastogne was soon pressed by the 2nd Panzer, Panzer Lehr, and 26th Volksgrenadier Divisions led by General Heinrich von Luttwitz. The town was isolated on December 20, but the Screaming Eagles held firm stubbornly and the panzers were eventually forced to swing past them in their westward advance. The timetable of the enemy counteroffensive was being disrupted.



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President Trump Tanked TPP – But The Trade Charade Ended When China Won RCEP


Retailers rejoice! No more shortcuts for due process – President Trump’s election loss is slowly being acknowledged and Trade Advisor Peter Navarro is running out of “Trump time.” Ronald Reagan asked if you were better off than you were four years ago and, truth be told – if you work in the retail or manufacturing sector – there are less jobs available today – and your business has probably been turned upside down!

Peter Navarro’s Office of Trade and Manufacturing might be swept right out of the White House when the incoming administration takes over. It could be relocated to the far reaches of Washington or, perhaps, to the basement of the Commerce Department. The klieg lights will fade from Mr. Navarro’s early morning talk show rancor, and careful thought will finally set the trade tone.

President Trump loved touting success stories about trade and international investment. While the intent was good, many of the claimed victories just faded in the night. Take the case of Foxconn’s proposed $10 billion dollar (13,000 employee) investment that never happened in Wisconsin, or Jack Ma’s 1 million jobs that also never materialized.

Attempting to announce an additional victory during this year’s first Presidential debate, President Trump said of manufacturing: “I brought back 700,000 jobs. They (Obama/Biden) brought back nothing.”

With some easy research, the Trump team could lay claim a normal growth of about 450,000 manufacturing jobs, but (because of the pandemic) the sector will finish (their four-year tally) with a net loss of jobs. In contrast, during the Obama/Biden Administration, they added more than 900,000 jobs in the sector.

For sure, there are the China trade issues that continue to have a direct effect on the USA retail and brand community. Fashion is especially hard-hit because approximately 40% of all apparel and 65% of all footwear comes from China. In retrospect, were tariffs the right way to go? Was the China Phase One Agreement a Success? Were all the international Trump trade dramas a win for America?

On November 15th, China completed their own massive trade agreement called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which covers 30% of the world’s population and 30% of the world’s GDP. Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, deemed it to be a “very low-grade treaty.”

Everyone knows when you say something is low-grade, it just means that it’s not as good as if it was full grade. If, however, you have a low-grade fever – isn’t that still a clear indicator that you are ill? Perhaps, the same intrinsic meaning also extends in the world of trade.

China’s RCEP agreement includes 14 countries (plus China). It revolves around the ASEAN members plus Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Japan – with the most interesting dynamic being the closer relationship that will happen between China, Japan, and South Korea. In addition, the door was left open for India to join (which would bring the agreement up to 48% of the world’s population).

RECP will eventually eliminate tariffs and quotas on 65% of product that is traded within the region. There is little question, that this is a BIG deal. Where, one could argue that it falls short, is its lack of interference in the areas of human rights, intellectual property, economic liberalization, and environmental standards but a “low-grade treaty” is hardly a way to describe it.

During candidate Trump’s first campaign, Peter Navarro assisted as an economic and trade advisor. Mr. Navarro officially joined the Trump administration on Inauguration Day and eventually served as the Director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy. He was not fond of China, and had published a book called Death by China. Mr. Navarro was also not a fan of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that was created by the Obama Administration, and he likely encouraged President Trump to rail about it during the first campaign – when the candidate repeatedly excoriated TPP. Many logical purveyors of trade fired back against the attacks, but most ducked for cover. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce stood firm and said in a tweet: “Under Trump’s trade plans, we would see higher prices, fewer jobs, and a weaker economy.”

On his first day in the Oval Office, President Trump (in dramatic style) tore up the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. His action was totally abrupt, and it abrogated 7 years of negotiations and 19 official meetings. The TPP would have been the largest and most comprehensive trade agreement ever created. A great achievement for all involved, it encompassed 12 negotiating countries covering 40% of the global economy. More importantly, it would have significantly helped America to become a major stake holder in the Asia-Pacific region, and would likely have kept China’s regional expansion in check.

*China was not part of the TPP agreement that President Trump tore up

*The USA is not part of China’s RCEP (now the largest trade agreement on earth)

When President Trump abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said: “There’s no doubt that this action will be seen as a huge, huge win for China.” Adding to the commentary, former Senator John McCain indicated that it was: “a serious mistake” that would “send a troubling signal of American disengagement in the Asia-Pacific region at a time when we could least afford it.”

Fast forward to 2020 and President-elect Biden will announce a new plan for trade when he assumes office. Asked about China’s RCEP Agreement he said: “We make up 25% of the world’s trading capacity, of the economy of the world. We need to be aligned with other democracies, another 25% or more, so we can set the rules of the road.” He is generally opposed to “having China and others dictate outcomes, because they are the only show in town.”

If America does proceed to resurrect the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President-elect Biden laid out three prerequisites:

1.     “We’re going to invest in American workers and make them more competitive”

2.    “We’re going to make sure that labor is at the table and environmentalists are at the table in any trade deals that we make”

3.    “I’m not looking for punitive trade. The idea that we are poking our finger in the eyes of our friends and embracing autocrats makes no sense to me”

When Trump Trade Advisor Peter Navarro was engineering the Trumpian strategy against China, he released and promoted a list called the 7 deadly sins of China. It included: theft of intellectual property, forced transfers of technology, cyberattacks, product dumping, stare-owned enterprises, currency manipulation, and shipping fentanyl to America. As with any list, there is a degree of truth to all of it – but China was actually no better or no worse than a lot of countries that we already deal with.

When looking at theft of intellectual property, one would think that China was the only country where we had an issue but, in fact, there are 33 countries. With the issue of forced technology, much of it was voluntary by U.S.A. companies (to get China market share) and hardly nefarious. In terms of cyberattacks, they come from multiple countries and China is a large culprit – but not at the top of the list, and not the only player.

Further examination of the list indicates that product dumping is hardly new, and the USA already has a process to deal with that. State-owned enterprises exist in China, but we (in America) also give generous subsidies to companies so, while SOE’s appear ominous, incentives are not unique to China. The term currency manipulation was claimed by our US treasury (after a push from the White House) but contradicted by the International Monetary Fund, who said that China was not a technical manipulator. Shipment of fentanyl to the USA is bad, but fentanyl is but one of many drugs that come to the USA from many countries. Bottom line for all this – is that Peter Navarro could have just as easily claimed that China was somewhat guilty of seven ordinary sins, but he needed the word “deadly” to made a headline in the paper. His sole purpose was being sensational in support of promoting and aggravating the China trade war.

To a large degree, President Trump achieved his goal of drawing attention to China and working towards improving our trading relationship. However, the original concept behind the agenda was to increase our China exports and decrease our imports. That would adjust the deficit, which was President Trump’s cause celeb. In that specific effort, we totally failed.

Fact checking the results will demonstrate that during every year of the Trump Administration our exports to China have declined. We went from 127 billion in 2017, down to $120 billion in 2018, down to $107 billion in 2019, and down to $76 billion (as of October 2020). This trade data is particularly sad for our “patriot farmers” who stood by the President’s policies – while their export business was drowning. It is also sad that President Trump called out “badly run and weak companies” that argued against his tariff ideas. In the final analysis, it seems that Peter Navarro encouraged a trade policy that just didn’t work.

*On May 14, 2019 President Trump tweeted: “Our great Patriot Farmers will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of what is happening now.”

*In January of 2020 It was reported that Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies during the 2019 calendar reached an eight-year high.

In terms of the the beloved retail and fashion communities, in spite of all the wannabe good news about Holiday 2020 sales; retail bankruptcies have reached a 10 year high, loan defaults are running 20%, mall vacancies are at a 20 year high, and (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) there are approximately 750,000 less people employed in the retail trades than were employed on January 20, 2017 when President Trump was sworn into office.

Peter Navarro and President Trump will soon leave office believing they were on the road to success. It is likely that they may twist the story a bit, and perhaps even use the words of the incredible football coach Vince Lombardi:

“We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.”



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Ellie Carpenter’s Lyon has four-year unbeaten domestic run ended by PSG


For the first time in almost four years, Lyon has tasted defeat in the French women’s first division, ending an 80-game unbeaten run.

Marie-Antoinette Katoto’s strike in the 11th minute earned Paris Saint-Germain a 1-0 home win over the reigning champions on Friday (local time) in Paris.

Matildas star Ellie Carpenter, who signed for the team earlier this year, started the game at right back for Lyon, but could not get back in time to stop Katoto’s strike from trickling in across the face of goal.

It was the reigning European champions first loss in the French first division since December 12, 2016 and just its third in the past 10 years.

The result put PSG on top of the standings with 25 points from nine games, one point ahead of Lyon.

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Lyon had not been beaten in any competitive match since the French Cup final in May 2018, when PSG were also the opponents.

Over the past few years, Lyon has developed a reputation as the strongest women’s team in the world.

The women’s team is treated on a par with the men’s team, sharing a training ground and other facilities — a rarity in the women’s game.

Lyon has won the past 14 Division 1 Féminine titles in a row and the past five women’s Champions League titles in a stunning era of success.

Lyon have won five-straight Champions League titles.(Pool via AP: Villar Lopez)

However, that is not the longest run of consecutive titles in the women’s game in Europe.

SFK 2000 Sarajevo holds the current record and is currently on an 18-year run of consecutive Bosnia and Herzegovina championships.

The longest unbeaten run of matches in women’s football is 101 games, by US college team North Carolina between 1990 and 1994.

Reuters/ABC



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Donald Trump mulled an attack on Iran nuclear site last week – but ended up holding-off, official says | US News


US President Donald Trump asked for options on attacking Iranian nuclear sites last week, according to an official, before ultimately deciding against it.

Mr Trump, who has yet refused to concede that he lost the presidential election, apparently made the request during an Oval Office meeting last week, which included Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Defence Secretary Christopher Miller, according to the source.

Speaking to the New York Times, the official said Mr Trump was advised against taking military action in Iran, over fears of a wider conflict.

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Obama: ‘It’s time for Trump to concede’

“He asked for options. They gave him the scenarios and he ultimately decided not to go forward,” they said.

The White House has declined to comment on the reports.

Mr Trump has engaged in aggressive policy stances with Iran during his presidency, including withdrawing from the 2018 nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor Barack Obama.

A day before making a request for military action, a report by a United Nations watchdog showed that Iran has completed a move of advanced centrifuges from an above-ground plant, to one below the ground at its uranium enrichment site – a breach of its 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran is also holding a 2.4 tonne stock of low-enriched uranium – well above the agreed limit of 202.8kg.

Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was killed in a drone strike ordered by the president in January, but Mr Trump has since refused to enter into other military conflicts, in an effort to begin to bring US troops back home.

Any attacks could have posed severe problems for president-elect Joe Biden, who will enter the White House on 20 January.

The Trump administration has refused to share national security data with Mr Biden’s transition team, due to its belief Mr Trump will continue a second term in office, meaning Mr Biden’s team was unable to comment on the claims.



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‘Lalten yug’ has ended in Bihar: Nitish Kumar


Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday said that ‘Lalten yug’ has come to an end in the state and his government brought electricity to every house in the state.

“Forget about villages, even cities did not get proper electricity before we came to power. We made gradual improvements and decided to bring electricity to every house. We had set December 2018 as the deadline but we achieved the goal in November itself,” Nitish said while addressing the people in a rally here.

“For 15 years people had the opportunity to work and what was the electricity consumption? 700 megawatt. It is 6,000 megawatts now. Electricity has reached all houses, ‘Lalten yug’ has come to an end. We have made this Bihar,” he added.

The Bihar CM further recounted the work done by his government to boost social welfare in the state and the efforts to strengthen the law and order in the state.

“We have maintained that we will walk the path of ‘Nyay ke saath vikas’ (development with justice). Bihar is the first state where women have been given 50 per cent reservation in the local bodies. Our endeavour is that this system percolates the entire nation and have been encouraging women in party activities. We worked to give education to all the girls of the state,” he said.

“We also worked to boost healthcare in the state. We built roads and controlled the law and order situation in the state. The recently published statistics by the central government show that Bihar is at number 23 in crime in the country,” he added.

He also attacked the opposition for their ’empty claims’ and urged the people to support the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the upcoming elections.

“Some people do ‘hawabaazi’ (make empty claims). We are not concerned about it. We enforced prohibition on the demands of women. Some anti-social elements are irritated because of our commitment to the welfare of the state,” he said.

Bihar assembly elections will be held in three phases — October 28, November 3, and 7, and the counting of votes will take place on November 10.





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