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President-elect Donald Trump’s transition into the White House is going “very, very smoothly,” he said Wednesday afternoon, hours after complaining on Twitter that President Barack Obama’s “roadblocks” had made for a rough changeover of power. When asked by pool reporters whether he thought the transition was going smoothly, Trump replied: “Oh, I think very, very smoothly. Very good. You don't think so?” The reversal apparently comes after Trump and Obama spoke privately. “He phoned me,” Trump told reporters. “We had a very nice conversation.” Trump, however, would not say whether he broached his roadblock allegations in his conversation with the president. “We had a very general conversation,” he said. “Very, very nice. Appreciated that he called.” Later, he told reporters outside his Mar-a-Lago residence that he and Obama "had a good talk about things. He was in Hawaii. It was a very nice call and I actually thought we covered a lot of territory. "Our staffs are getting along very well. And I'm getting along very well with him, other than a couple of statements that I responded to and we talked about it and smiled about it. And nobody is ever going to know because we're never going to be going against each other in that way. It was a great conversation." After weeks of warm words and promises of a smooth transition in the wake of perhaps the most contentious presidential election in modern history, Trump accused Obama in a Wednesday morning tweet of throwing up “roadblocks.” “Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks,” he wrote, referring to the president by his initial. “Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!” The two men, who had little positive to say about each other on the campaign trail, seemingly buried the hatchet during an Oval Office meeting that took place just days after Trump’s surprising victory in last month’s election. Obama and Trump have spoken multiple times since then and both expressed interest in a seamless transition between administrations. Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday during the transition team's daily conference call for reporters that "as the inauguration gets closer, both the current president and his team have been very helpful and generous with their time as far as the actual transition, the mechanics of the transition have gone, and I expect them to continue to speak fairly regularly.” But Spicer also refused to tone down his boss' Twitter rhetoric, telling reporters that the president-elect's social media posts "speak for themselves, I think very clearly." The budding relationship between the president and president-elect has frayed in recent weeks, first over the assessment of the FBI and CIA that the Russian government launched cyberattacks targeting the U.S. electoral process with the intention of aiding Trump's candidacy. Trump has been unwilling to concede the validity of that assessment, or even that Russia was behind the cyberattacks at all, a stance that prompted critical remarks from White House press secretary Josh Earnest. The president-elect also lashed out this week at the Obama administration over its unwillingness to defend Israel at the United Nations against a resolution condemning it for new settlement activity. He told reporters that Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech Wednesday defending the U.S. abstention “really spoke for itself” and suggested the United Nations has failed to live up to its potential. “When do you see the United Nations solving problems? They don’t,” he said. “They cause problems. So if it lives up to the potential, it’s a great thing. And if it doesn't, it’s a waste of time and money.” In an earlier tweet Wednesday, he said that “we cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect” and urged Israel to “stay strong” because his inauguration on “January 20th is fast approaching!” Obama also has made veiled criticisms of Trump in various public remarks, indirectly attacking the president-elect multiple times during his end-of-year news conference and in his remarks Tuesday at Pearl Harbor, where he warned that “even when hatred burns hottest, even when the tug of tribalism is at its most primal, we must resist the urge to turn inward. We must resist the urge to demonize those who are different.” And in an interview with CNN’s David Axelrod, his former senior adviser, Obama said he was confident that he could have won a third term in a race against Trump running on his “hope and change” message. The president-elect disagreed. “President Obama said that he thinks he would have won against me,” Trump wrote on Twitter Monday afternoon. “He should say that but I say NO WAY! - jobs leaving, ISIS, OCare, etc.” Read More..
Economists say Donald Trump is right to credit himself for sending consumer confidence to a 15-year high this month as Americans reported a rosy outlook for job creation, business growth and the stock market. The news broke Tuesday, when the Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index soared to 113.7 in December, the highest level since 2001. The jump surprised economists, who say the economy has been slowing down. But it didn’t surprise Trump. "Thanks Donald!” the president-elect said Wednesday morning on Twitter. Trump’s election put the country in a good mood, economists say. “There’s a lot of hope that things are going to change and get better,” said Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo. “Let’s see what happens.” American’s weren’t particularly overjoyed about the economy. What made them cheerful was the hope for a new, better economy. The Conference Board’s measure of expectations, a measure of how consumers feel about the future, leapt to a 13-year high as Trump’s promise of more jobs, lower taxes and a better business climate made people upbeat. “Optimism did surge after the election. The question is can we maintain it,” said Lynn Franco, the Conference Board’s director of economic indicators. “That depends on what happens in terms of the economy and job growth.” It’s not unusual for consumers to feel better after an election, especially when a new party takes office. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and even Barack Obama, who won his first presidential campaign in the midst of the Great Recession, enjoyed a boost in consumer optimism the month they were elected. By contrast, optimism sank as the nation waited on hanging chads and Bush v. Gore at the end of 2000. “Elections always give confidence a boost. There’s a sense of relief that it’s behind us,” Vitner said. “There does seem to be something to the Trump bump.” This election year, the economy has been on a long road to recovery since the Great Recession ended in 2009. Consumer confidence has been on the upswing all year. Still, confidence doesn’t boost wages or create jobs, and nine of the past 10 recessions began under Republican presidents. “Trump will be breaking with tradition if we don’t see a recession in the next four years,” PIMCO’s Joachim Fels wrote in a recent blog post. Read More..
It is no longer news that Donald Trump is the latest United States’ president. From the perspective of those in the igaming world, his existence in the Oval Office may actually be something worth celebrating. The common perception goes like this: Trump operates casinos with his name on them. He likes gambling and might attempt to legalise it nationwide. At least one poker pro considers this to be right and the emotion echoed through the poker world. However, the only thing we have from Donald Trump on the record is that about five years ago, he tacitly supported online betting. For anyone who is familiar with Donald Trump and his presidential campaign, his statement in the past at times has little bearing on what he says or believes now. The Adelson-Trump connection To put more limitation on the idea that a Trump-led administration would never legalise US online betting or poker, consider the following: Sheldon Adelson, the Chief Executive Officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corp funded the efforts to stop online betting at the federal level. He also donated a huge sum of money towards the Trump campaign. This is a relationship that for some time now has been percolating with the possibility of having an effect on online betting legalisation. Perhaps you think Sheldon Adelson will not have Trump’s ear despite the money he donated, then you do not know much about politics. If Congress forwards a bill to Trump’s desk prohibiting online betting, the possibility of him approving it is hard to guess given his relationship with Adelson. Being a billionaire himself, Trump is perhaps the least likely president to succumb to monetary bribes. Going on record saying how he won’t accept a dollar during his presidency, it throws it up in the air whether Trump will help online casinos, such as royalvegas.com, or hinder them. RAWA efforts have failed to date In spite of having the majority in both chambers, the Republicans have failed to secure RAWA or any iteration of language criticising online betting, anywhere near passage. Hearings held by Chaffetz late last year were nothing but a disaster. However, that does not imply that the powers leading RAWA will surrender. They might be encouraged by the fact that Republicans have the majorities in the Senate and the House, plus having control of the presidency. Even with that, the Republicans have not been totally on board with RAWA and its implications. That is, it will reverse the online betting laws passed in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey and would ignore legalisation efforts in states like New York and Pennsylvania. RAWA takes over the Tenth Amendment, several lawmakers concur, by taking the ability to manage a form of betting from states’ hands. And that is not an awfully popular position to take for several Republicans. The impact of Trump presidency on online betting is definitely unknown, other than it is not expected to be a positive one. The most probable and most positive circumstances would be the status quo. That implies online betting can be legalised by the states as they wish, without any change at the federal level. But in the range of outcomes, is the not too unrealistic chance that online betting is banned in the US.
A desire to achieve financial success and a fulfilling life is a fairly ubiquitous goal that we share as humans, but achieving these two goals at the same time seems to elude most of us. Fortunately for us, Iain Balmain has found his calling in life as both an esoteric healer and career consultant who seeks to impart his spiritual insights about the human soul to unlock a life path that often eludes our conscious state of mind. He has been practicing as an intuitive consultant in Britain and now seeks to bring his energy, experience and wisdom to America, in an effort to help spread more happiness and fulfillment. In the U.S. in particular, our struggles to achieve financial success and fulfilling lives at the same time seem to be often rooted in the confusion we feel, when we are trying to figure out which degree to pursue, in our efforts to obtain a university or college education. If we do graduate, we often end up pursuing careers that seem to only existentially drag us down. This feeling often occurs regardless of how much we earn. In our experiences, which have been documented in countless case studies, the efforts to elevate oneself from economic insecurity up the employment ladder to greater levels of financial security, does not lead us to a greater sense of fulfillment. Research on this issue has been the source of many studies by organizational psychologists who have sought to help businesses yield a more productive workforce, for corporate shareholders. While corporations have sought to shape the minds of their workforce, individual workers and managers have been without a champion who could help them individually achieve the happy, fulfilling and “productive” lives they have always wanted but felt they could never attain. Indeed, we may finally access relatively high paying jobs and finally get to enjoy the material comforts of life that we always thought we had wanted, but still not feel fulfilled as human beings. We may have simply gone from stressful lives without economic security to the correspondingly negative stresses of higher paying jobs, that we dread going to everyday, in our surrender to the “matrix” of a global capitalist economy. In such a context, we may simply seek to pursue moments of “escapism” through vacations or, worse case scenarios, taking our frustrations out on others, in an effort to dump our negative energies, or through taking drugs and narcotics in an effort to “treat” and contain negative energy. However, we often get inspired when we do occasionally hear about some people, who left a job that they didn't care for, to find a career path in which they were able to feel both financially secure and fulfilled as human beings. Luckily, these people, men and women, were able to unlock their own hidden destiny and live their lives in ways that they were meant to live, by tapping into their souls mission. It is our soul as human beings –the essence of who we really are - that gets hidden from us in the confusion and chaos of modern life. In this confusion, it is often impossible for most of us to pursue the fulfilling lives that we desire to have while also seeking financial security in order to have that which is imposed upon us as part of living up to this competitive environment, which America stands for: the land of tremendous opportunities. In the new era of Donald Trump as President, whether we voted for him or not, we might feel a renewed need to “find ourselves” onto a path of security and fulfillment in these uncertain but exhilarating times. Thankfully, Iain Balmain is now seeking to further share his spiritual insights in helping America unlock much of its untapped potential, one human being at a time; Americans who have not been luckily enough to stumble across and embrace their soul's destiny. By connecting with a person's soul, through his professional consultations, Iain wishes to awaken and clarify who we really are, that “who” repressed by artificial personae molded by society's chaos, which so often stunts the fruition of our identities. These artificial personas are essentially counterfeit or “fakes” that, if adopted, often mislead us into directions that create frustrations and negative stresses, eventually resulting in unfulfilled lives, the cause of bad health and many other problems. If you're feeling frustrated, lost, confused or uncertain about your career path and also seek a more fulfilled life, you may very well owe it to yourself to find a consultant like Iain Balmain who will inspire your divine potential. A service like Iain's will save, not only precious time and money, but also promise to rejuvenate the course of personal health from the stresses that impact our daily lives. You contact Iain here - http://innerconsult.co.uk/
It is said that one man's trash is another man's treasure. It also happens that all of our trash could collectively make for a great economic indicator.In addition to other, more conventional indicators, Deutsche Bank's chief international economist, Torsten Slok, consults freight rail waste data put out by the Association of American Railroads for a check on how the economy is doing. Given the drop in oil prices and rise in the dollar, "a lot of economic statistics were distorted and you did see a slowdown in a lot of places. ... This indicator is an attempt to get a more pure view of where the business cycle is at the moment," Slok said Monday on CNBC's "Trading Nation." At this point, the garbage transport gauge "is indeed suggesting that the recovery continues, or that the economic expansion is moving forward from here." Slok isn't the first to notice the connection between waste carloads and the GDP growth. Michael McDonough, an economist at Bloomberg, has followed growth in the waste carloads indicator for years. Indeed, the data series has been shown to have a high correlation to changes in GDP. This makes some intuitive sense, given that consumption, construction and other such activities generally create waste. While peering deeply into trash may sound strange, "all joking aside, this is really an attempt to capture what is the economic activity when we measure it from a whole different angle than we normally do," Slok said. He added that it generally confirms what economic data have shown, but "if anything, this also points to that there are some upside risks to the outlook from where we are at the moment." In more conventional data, Tuesday's ISM reading showed that the manufacturing sector expanded in October. The October employment report is set to be released Friday. Read More..
Eight Nobel laureates joined 362 other economists in an open letter arguing that Americans should not vote for Donald Trump. The letter, released Tuesday and reported on by the Wall Street Journal, lists 13 economic arguments against Trump, but does not specify which (if any) candidate voters choice in lieu of the Republican nominee. "Donald Trump is a dangerous, destructive choice for the country. He misinforms the electorate, degrades trust in public institutions with conspiracy theories, and promotes willful delusion over engagement with reality," the economists write, according to a copy posted online by the Journal. "If elected, he poses a unique danger to the functioning of democratic and economic institutions, and to the prosperity of the country. For these reasons, we strongly recommend that you do not vote for Donald Trump," the letter concludes. Despite the apparent breadth of this week's letter, many economists are also against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's policies. In a September letter, 306 economists published a letter against Clinton's "ill-advised economic agenda." Read More..
Spread betting is quite popular but it still has not reached the mass which it is capable of. According to some experts in countries like UK the number of spread betting traders would be close to around 1 million in 2011. It is expected that by the year 2017 the number should double and it should touch around 4 million by 2022. Hence, no doubt that there is a big opportunity as far as spread betting is concerned. To meet the growing numbers from 1 million to current levels the industry had to take lot of steps. The biggest challenge now and even today is spreading knowledge about spread betting to the prospective customers and the audience at large. This is important because the objective is to ensure that spread betting moves beyond the domains of affluent white males. It can achieve that mass growth only when it is accepted by society at a large and is not restricted to white collared professionals and whites alone. As of today, it is restricted to mostly white makes and that too under the age of 45. The real wealth is centered around people above the age of 50 and many women also need to be roped in. This is what the challenge all about. Bringing in ethnic minorities, elderly people, senior citizens and growing beyond national boundaries are things which must be given the attention it deserves. Sustaining Growth Is Important There is no denying the fact that the growth story of spread betting has been quite good and it has averaged around 25% CAGR over the past few years, thanks to some reputed spread betting companies like CMC Markets. This momentum has to be maintained and towards this objective educating consumer about the product is very important. This particular product could well and truly help customers to have a balanced portfolio. However, the term betting is associated with it and this stigma is a challenge for its growth. It has to be educated that betting and trading are almost one and the same. Further customers have to be explained about the tax benefits which are available with spread betting. They should also be explained that it can be an effective hedge against falling markets. Putting across these messages to the customers is a time consuming matter and requires lot of patience and efforts. The Next Big Changes Which Could Come Once the perceptions about spread betting are removed and if the government of the day comes out with tax concessions and rebates then there is likelihood that it will see a huge growth over the next ten to fifteen years. The internet users in particular would not mind being a part of spread betting because of the simple fact that almost 80% of internet users (adults) would have visited some betting site and tried their luck out. Hence these are potential customers who could be tapped. Betting Will Move Beyond The Online Casinos Since the average adult of the country has had experience of casino and almost each time they end up losing they would be willing to have a look at a product which offers them a chance to make steady money over a period of time. It also gives them a reasonably fair chance to make it big and earn big money and break free from mediocrity. However, this would be pertinent to mention here that the role of technology is important and extremely critical. The next wave of spread betting will be a result of more advanced analysis and online trading tools. This without any doubt will leave behind the traditional share trading software and other such solutions which are being used now. Further the role of mobile phones will have a major role to play in defining the success of spread betting. Hence the focus should be on development of easily downloadable apps which can facilitate trading using the mobile phone. As mentioned earlier there is also the need to educate people and offer them easily understandable online tutorials and other such helping hands. The younger generation should be made to come into it early in the day (by the age of 25). This will help broad base the entire market of spread betting and make it widely acceptable to the ordinary man on the street. The regulatory mechanisms should also be tightened especially when it is being made more customer-friendly and where use of technology will become indispensable.
Raed Saleh, a Syrian national, landed at Dulles International Airport outside Washington on Monday afternoon after an 11-hour journey from Turkey. In his passport was a visa for the U.S. He was planning to attend a Tuesday evening banquet in the capital where he was being honored for his rescue work in Syria. But as Saleh tried to make his way through immigration, he says, he was pulled aside by security at the airport. "After about two or three hours, they told me, 'We apologize but you must return to Turkey because this visa has been canceled. It's not valid.' I told them, 'How isn't it valid? It's good for six months.' " Saleh says the immigration official could not tell him why he was being turned back. "He told me, 'I don't have any explanation or details. I can't tell you anything,' " according to Saleh, who spoke to NPR via Skype. He was in Geneva, on his way back to Turkey. Saleh had to head back without the award he was to receive from InterAction, an alliance of international humanitarian and aid agencies. Saleh heads up Syria Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, a collection of 2,800 volunteer rescue workers who help victims caught up in the war. "Their group really responds when buildings have been damaged from bombings or other kind of strikes and they go in and they pull people out of the rubble," says Nancy Wilson, the head of Relief International, which nominated Saleh for the award. Wilson says the awards dinner carried on without Saleh — but many in the audience honored him by wearing white helmets, the trademark of his group. Wilson says she's surprised Saleh wasn't allowed into the U.S. "He has been to the United States before, spoken at the U.N. Security Council, was allowed on the plane — which is not an easy thing in Turkey to begin with because they scrutinize your visa papers there," she says. "And then for him to get here, and then not be able to actually be allowed in the country is just very disappointing." The still-unanswered question is why Saleh was turned back. The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement saying a number of U.S. agencies have a say in determining whether someone can enter the country. They include the State Department and law enforcement agencies. The keynote speaker at the dinner was Gayle Smith, who heads the U.S. government's Agency for International Development. But she didn't shed any light on the matter. For his part, Saleh says he felt demoralized by the incident, but knows it's not unusual for Syrians traveling abroad. "Honestly, this is a problem across the board," he says. "For the Syrians in any airport in the world. It's become common." One of Saleh's colleagues will deliver the award to him in Istanbul. Alison Meuse in Beirut contributed to this story. Read More..
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