People keep forwarding texts on various subjects and erroneous messages claiming it’s the gospel which is occasionally devoid of what it claims to inform.
What they forget is that, you the reader has made time to read and the callousness on their part to send lengthy messages at odd hours of the day makes it irritating. As if that’s not enough, almost all of such posts lack the courtesy of greeting the reader, and they have the guts to mention what will happen if you fail to read or forward to others.
Christ never barged into people’s affairs rudely…besides the favor he found before God and man (Luke 2:52), his courtesy drew people to him.
Please we all have 24 hours in a day be human enough to know what you are forwarding on any media.
(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News)
Deal signed for UK nuclear project
Source: AFP | September 30, 2016, Friday | PRINT EDITION
THE contract for a French-Chinese consortium to build Britain’s first nuclear plant in a generation was signed yesterday at a low-key ceremony, after a string of controversies threatened to scupper the huge deal.
The British government had delayed agreement over concerns about China’s involvement, while there were also questions about how the French state-owned power giant EDF would fund the construction of Hinkley Point.
The contracts marked “a significant step forward for a new era of nuclear power in the UK”, Britain’s business minister Greg Clark said in a statement after the signing, which was also attended by French and Chinese officials.
Britain finally gave the go-ahead earlier this month for the 18 billion pound (US$23 billion) complex, which is expected to provide 7 percent of the country’s power needs, but it set conditions for the deal.
The government has said EDF cannot cede majority control of the project and wants more scrutiny over national security concerns for future projects.
EDF’s board gave its go-ahead on Tuesday for the project in Somerset, southwest England, which will not be operational until 2025.
China has a one-third stake in the project.
Jean-Bernard Levy, chief executive of the French state-owned power company EDF, said this month that the move “relaunches nuclear power in Europe”.
He said yesterday’s ceremony marked a “milestone for those who have worked for so long” on the project.
The British government has said the plant’s construction will create 26,000 jobs and “a huge boost to the economy”.
One of Downing Street’s prime concerns was over the security implications of allowing China to take such a large stake in a critical infrastructure project.
Beijing’s state-run China General Nuclear Corporation, the Chinese investor in Hinkley Point, was also set to take the lead in the Bradwell power station project in Essex in southeast England.
Olivia Gippner, a fellow in EU-China relations at the London School of Economics, said the framework was aimed at China but “by introducing a general national security test rather than focusing only on Chinese investment, this is a very diplomatic solution”.
Xinhua news agency earlier this month had also welcomed the approval, but accused Britain of suffering from “China-phobia”.
“Let us hope that London quits its China-phobia and works with Beijing to ensure the project’s smooth development,” Xinhua said in a signed commentary.
CGN is set to finance 6.0 billion pounds of the cost of the Hinkley Point plant, with EDF providing the remaining 12 billion pounds.
Critics have focused on an electricity price guarantee to be paid to EDF of 92.5 pounds for every megawatt hour of power produced by Hinkley for the next 35 years, rising with inflation, despite falling energy prices.
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(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL AND THE NEW YORK TIMES)
Wells Fargo’s Reaction to Scandal Fails to Satisfy Angry Lawmakers
By STACY COWLEY SEPT. 29, 2016
(WHY IS IT THAT THIS MAN AND THE SUPERVISORS UNDER HIM HAVE NOT BEEN ARRESTED AND PUT INTO A FEDERAL PRISON? IS IT BECAUSE THESE BANKERS HAVE ALREADY PAID OFF THE CONGRESS?)
WASHINGTON — He is forfeiting at least $41 million in pay. He vows that his bank will drop its sales incentive program — blamed for prompting bankers to set up illegal and unauthorized bank and credit card accounts to meet their sales goals — by the end of the week, not in January, as he had previously promised.
But at a hearing Thursday before the House Financial Services Committee, nobody was impressed. If anything, the House lawmakers who interrogated John G. Stumpf, the chief executive of Wells Fargo, were even angrier and more hostile than their Senate counterparts who questioned him last week, before either of those steps had been taken.
One by one, Democrats and Republicans alike took turns ripping apart Mr. Stumpf and what took place at the bank he leads. They denounced the actions as “theft,” “a criminal enterprise,” identity fraud, an outrage and a devastating blow to the entire banking industry.
But that was not all of Wells Fargo’s bad news for the day.
Also on Thursday, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency fined Wells Fargo $20 million for violating rules on lending to members of the military, including a rate cap on how much interest can be charged to service members on active duty.
In a separate action, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $4 million to resolve a Justice Department investigation into improper seizures of vehicles owned by soldiers who fell behind on their loans.
“In those instances where some service members did not receive the appropriate benefits and protections, we did not live up to our commitment and we apologize,” the company said in a statement. “We have been notifying and fully compensating customers and will complete this work in 60 days.”
The news did not play well with members of the House committee, who spent more than four hours on Thursday questioning and castigating Mr. Stumpf about the misdeeds under his leadership.
“It appears that the company just can’t make it through even this congressional hearing without us learning more and more information about what is going on at Wells Fargo,” Representative Maxine Waters, a Democrat of California, said as word began to spread of the coming sanctions over military lending.
But Mr. Stumpf — whom the members of the House committee personally blamed for the persistent and widespread misdeeds — stuck to the same script he has used throughout the crisis. The problem, he explained, was an ethical lapse among the 5,300 employees, most of them low-level bankers and tellers, who had been fired for their actions since 2011.
At the hearing on Thursday, Mr. Stumpf apologized repeatedly for his bank’s failings and repeated his earlier pledge — given last week to the disgruntled Senate Finance Committee — to accept “full responsibility” for them. But he again rejected lawmakers’ attempts to cast the scandal as a consequence of broader failings in Wells Fargo’s leadership and corporate culture.
“I led the company with courage,” Mr. Stumpf said, while admitting that the company “should have done more sooner” to address the problem of unauthorized accounts being created by employees in the names of real customers.
After the Senate hearing and before the House hearing, the board of directors of Wells Fargo agreed to claw back $41 million of Mr. Stumpf’s unvested stock awards, deny him his annual bonus and strip away a portion of his $2.8 million base salary. Mr. Stumpf said he approved of the decision. Carrie L. Tolstedt, who until recently ran the Wells Fargo retail banking operation, will lose $19 million in compensation.
Confronted by the lawmakers with evidence that the practice of setting up phony accounts to meet sales goals might have gone back much further than the bank has admitted, perhaps to 2007, Mr. Stumpf said that Wells Fargo was continuing to investigate the extent of the problem, how far back it stretched and who knew.
But those steps did not appease the lawmakers. Several called for Mr. Stumpf’s resignation, and others asked why he shouldn’t be jailed, like a bank robber.
“Something is going wrong at this bank, and you are the head of it,” said Gregory Meeks, Democrat of New York, adding, “You should be fired.”
Mr. Stumpf replied, “I serve at the pleasure of the board.” Mr. Stumpf is the board chairman.
Mr. Meeks, at times pounding the table for emphasis, asked if Mr. Stumpf would have set free someone who had robbed a Wells Fargo Bank, then simply apologized and taken responsibility. Criticizing Wells Fargo’s “criminal activity,” Mr. Meeks said: “Your bank, Wells Fargo, has given the entire financial services industry a black eye.”
“To the American people, this kind of feels like déjà vu all over again,” said Representative Jeb Hensarling, the Texas Republican who is chairman of the committee. “Some institution is found engaging in terrible activities. There is a headline, fine, and yet no one seems to be held accountable.”
As Mr. Stumpf testified, a video screen on the hearing room’s wall displayed a scroll of more than a dozen fines Wells Fargo has paid in recent years, totaling more than $10 billion. The list included penalties for subprime loan abuses, discriminating against African-American and Hispanic mortgage borrowers, and foreclosure violations, among others.
Mr. Hensarling asked whether such fines are simply the “cost of doing business.”
Mr. Stumpf answered no, adding, “I don’t want our culture to be defined by these mistakes.”
Wells Fargo has been in crisis mode since it acknowledged this month that its employees had, over the course of several years, opened as many as 1.5 million bank accounts and 565,000 credit card accounts that may not have been approved by customers. The company agreed to pay $185 million in penalties and fines to settle cases brought by federal regulators and the Los Angeles city attorney.
Wells Fargo has said it is contacting all of the customers who may have been affected. So far, the bank has contacted 20,000 customers with questionable credit cards. About a quarter of them have said that they did not apply for the card or could not remember if they had, Mr. Stumpf said at the hearing.
He also said that Wells Fargo would eliminate its product sales goals for retail bankers by the end of the week, accelerating the bank’s previously announced plan to drop them by the start of next year. Ex-employees say those sales goals led to intense pressure on workers to cheat to fulfill unrealistically high quotas.
Mr. Stumpf carried with him a binder filled with material to help him form his answers, and he consulted it repeatedly as lawmakers questioned him about how many customers with potentially unauthorized accounts had been affected in their own home states. He reeled off the answers: Texas, 149,857; Missouri, 1,191; Delaware, 4,255.
The plight of Wells Fargo workers who lost their jobs for not meeting sales goals came up several times during the hearing, with lawmakers citing personal experiences from their constituents. Representative Nydia M. Velázquez, Democrat of New York, asked how many workers Wells Fargo had fired for falling short.
“My understanding is that people should not be fired, terminated for missing sales goals,” Mr. Stumpf answered. “I’m not saying it didn’t happen. We’re doing a review of whatever, whoever might have been terminated for that.”
As for those who did take the fall for the illegal account openings, Representative Brad Sherman, a Democrat of California, was particularly acerbic. “You fired 5,300 people,” he said at the hearing. “You took 5,300 good Americans and turned them into felons.” It is time, he concluded, to break up the big banks.
(This article is courtesy of Reuters and the Associated Press)
SEP 29 2016, 8:20 PM ET
Relatives of Jesse Owens and Other 1936 Black Olympians Finally Visit White House
WASHINGTON — Relatives of Jesse Owens and America’s 17 other black athletes from the 1936 Olympics were welcomed to the White House on Thursday by President Barack Obama for the acknowledgement they didn’t receive along with their white counterparts 80 years ago.
Along with the relatives of the 1936 African-American Olympians, gloved-fist protesters Tommie Smith and John Carlos and members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams met the president and first lady Michelle Obama.
Obama congratulated the Rio athletes, thanked Smith and Carlos for waking up Americans in 1968 and praised 1936 Olympians who made a statement in front of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany.
After running down a list of accomplishments of U.S. athletes in Rio, Obama singled out some people who “paved the way” for the current diverse Olympic team, including Owens, Smith and Carlos.
Owens winning four gold medals and being snubbed by Hitler is a piece of American history, but Obama made sure to note that the accomplishments at the 1936 Berlin Olympics weren’t just about him.
“It was other African-American athletes in the middle of Nazi Germany under the gaze of Adolf Hitler than put a lie to notions of racial superiority — whooped ’em and taught them a thing or two about democracy and taught them a thing or two about the American character,” Obama said. “We’re honored to have many of their families here today.”
Eighteen family members were in attendance, representing nine 1936 Olympians. Owens, Ralph Metcalfe, Jack Wilson, John Brooks, Tidye Pickett, Louise Stokes, James LuValle, Fritz Pollard Jr., John Woodruff, Mack Robinson, Dave Albritton, Archie Williams, Cornelius Johnson, James Clark, Howell King, Art Oliver, Willis Johnson and John Terry combined for 14 of America’s 56 medals in Berlin.
Sprinter Allyson Felix, who won gold in Rio in the 400 and 1,600-meter relays and silver in the 400 and has nine Olympic medals, said afterward she was glad to meet some of the relatives of 1936 Olympians and hear their stories.
“It’s been just so moving, so inspiring,” Felix said. “We’re just honored to be able to share this moment with them.”
They also shared it with Smith and Carlos, who made their own American history 48 years ago when they raised their gloved fists on the medals stand at the Mexico City Olympics after the 200 in what they called “a human rights salute.”
“We’re proud of them,” Obama said. “Their powerful silent protest in the 1968 Games was controversial, but it woke folks up and created greater opportunity for those that followed.”
United States Olympic CEO Scott Blackmun said Wednesday night that the historic White House visits were meant in part to “pay tribute to all the progress that has come since.” That progress was on full display as part of the president’s remarks.
Obama pointed out that the diversity of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team was part of what made it successful. He singled out swimmers Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky and others, but the first four medalists he mentioned were gymnast Simone Biles, shot putter Michelle Carter, swimmer Simone Manuel and boxer Claressa Shields, all of whom are black.
He also recognized Ibtihaj Muhammad, the fencer who became the first U.S. female athlete to compete in the Olympics in a hijab.
“Imagine what it means for a young girl or a young boy who sees somebody who looks like them doing something and being the best at what they do,” Obama said. “There’s no kid in American who can’t look at our Olympic team and see themselves somewhere.”
Jason Sudeikis: My real-life ‘Race’ character was ‘ahead of his time’ 5:26
Owens said in interviews over the years that in 1936 President Franklin Roosevelt never sent him any words of congratulations or an invitation to the White House.
Marlene Owens Rankin and Beverly Owens Prather represented their father Thursday. Granddaughter Marlene Dortch said Tuesday night that her family members and others going to the White House to see Obama would have made her grandfather “so happy.”
Obama was happy that the final U.S. Olympic team he’ll have at the White House not only dominated the medal count but did so with so many different kinds of athletes.
“One of the wonderful things we love when we see our Olympians is everybody’s from all kinds of different backgrounds and shapes and sizes,” Obama said. “There’s something special about that.”
As has been well covered by now, Hillary Clinton has something of a millennialproblem. It’s not that she’s losing the 18-to-34 demo to Trump; it’s that she’s not on pace to win it by as large a margin as President Obama did during the past two elections. As Slate’s Jim Newell has explained, a lot of that has to do with the perception that Clinton’s not particularly trustworthy. But a new Gallup poll released earlier this week helpfully illustrates that problem at the issue level. Behold, the one and only issue of the 17 surveyed that the under-35 set prefers Trump to Clinton on: regulating Wall Street.
On it’s face, that is mind-boggling. Trump, after all, is pretty much the anti-regulation poster boy. He’s on record calling for an indefinite moratorium for any new financial regulations until the economy shows “significant growth,” a threshold that his campaign has conveniently never defined. He has also promised he’d repeal the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which among myriad other things would shutter the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency that was the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren. And he has likewise vowed to abolish the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Simply put: Donald Trump’s plan to regulate Wall Street and Big Business is to regulate it less than it is now, and far less than Hillary Clinton has promised to do.
Millennials, most of whom skew progressive, are either unaware of that fact or, far more likely, simply don’t trust Clinton to deliver on her promises after Bernie Sanders spent so much of the Democratic primary attacking her for her ties to Wall Street and the millions of dollars she and her husband made giving closed-door speeches to financial firms. The Wall Street question Team Hillary needs millennials to ask themselves, then, is what’s worse: a President Clinton who doesn’t deliver on all of her promises, or a President Trump who follows through on his?
Like many politicians, Hillary Clinton has been on the political scene long enough that she’s flip-flopped on flip-flopping.
Many of her positions have “conveniently” changed with public opinion over the years. Whether it be on gay marriage, NAFTA, the Keystone pipeline, gun control, war — she can’t seem to keep a consistent stance on anything.
Ironically, one of those issues on which she’s flip-flopped is one that would’ve had her branded a racist xenophobe had her name been “Donald Trump.”
Thursday marks the ten-year anniversary of the day Hillary Clinton voted in favor of building a 700-mile fence along the Mexican border, intended to stop illegal immigration.
The Secure Fence Act of 2006’s stated purpose was to check the flow of illegal immigrants, drugs, and other illegal goods into the U.S. by erecting a double-layer fence along large swaths of the border. The law also generally increased funding for border security, authorizing funds for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to purchase cameras, drones, and other assets.
At the time, Hillary Clinton said the law was the only possible fix to a seemingly endless torrent of illegal immigrants entering the U.S.“There isn’t any sensible approach except to do what we need to do simultaneously: you know, secure our borders with technology and personnel, physical barriers if necessary in some places,” she told the Council on Foreign Relations.
For once, Secretary Clinton and I agree!
At the time, providing a stronger barrier to illegal entry wasn’t quite as controversial, and the measure was able to easily pass Congress and get President George W. Bush’s signature. On September 29, 2006, the measure passed the Senate by an 80-19 margin, with even Democrats voting 26-17 in favor. Like Clinton, then-Sen. Barack Obama also voted in favor of the fence.
Clinton has defended her prior vote by saying her vote helped to secure the border, but now no further construction is needed because the border has been secured. There is little evidence that is the case, though, as a 2007 amendment gave DHS leeway to substantially weaken the fence so that it was much less effective at blocking crossings. Even now, hundreds of thousands of peopleillegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border each year, a drop from the early 2000s but still an immense number.
A decade later, Clinton opposes Trump finishing the job. She’s mocked his “beautiful wall” during the Democrat primary debates, and has stated that we should “imagine a tomorrow where, instead of building walls, we’re breaking down barriers.”
[Note: This article was written by The Analytical Economist]
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