As President Trump and the first lady prepare to welcome thousands of children and their families to annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House, Melania Trump’s spokesperson opened up about some of what people can expect this year.
Stephanie Grisham told “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning the first lady planned every detail of Monday’s spring event – from the color of the eggs to the activities offered.
“New activities that we are really excited for that go in line with her ‘Be Best’ campaign,” Grisham said. “‘Be Best’ hopscotch for the kids. ‘Be Best’ musical eggs that will be really fun… It’s going to be a great day.”
Grisham said the president and first lady will be part of the traditional egg roll as well as be part of an activity coloring cards with children that will be sent to troops overseas.
“There’s a ton of stuff to do. It’s going to be a great day,” she said.
When asked how the end of the Russia investigation felt as they were planning the final details of Monday’s Easter Egg Roll, Grisham said a weight was lifted off the administration.
“It was all very ridiculous, it’s great, we were down at Mar-a-Lago with the president and fast lady. Good mood and spirit.”
The White House will host the 141st annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn on Monday – a tradition that dates back to 1878 under the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes.
Source: Fox News Politics
FILE PHOTO: Tesla CEO Elon Musk attends the Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory groundbreaking ceremony in Shanghai, China January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo
April 22, 2019
(Reuters) – Tesla Inc will focus on its autonomous driving system when it hosts its investor day on Monday.
Elon Musk, the electric vehicle company’s chief executive officer, has touted the company’s self-driving capabilities over the years, highlighting its semi-autonomous Autopilot system.
Tesla began offering a feature described as “Full Self-Driving Capability” in 2016. The company instructs drivers to keep their hands on the wheel when those systems are engaged, sparking some criticism of terms used.
The company’s investor day starts at 2 p.m. ET.
Following are the comments made by Musk and Tesla related to the topic in the past few years:
April 15 – Musk says that buying a car that can’t upgrade to full self-driving is like “buying a horse instead of a car in 2019.”
April 11 – Tesla says that Autopilot, the company’s advanced driver assistance system, is now standard on all vehicles.
April 3 – Tesla says it is making “significant progress” in development of its autonomous driving software and hardware, including the FSD (Full Self-Driving) computer, saying the computer is in production and will enable full-self driving through over-the-air software updates in future.
Feb. 28 – In response to a media question whether it is problematic that Musk uses the term “full self-driving,” Musk replies: “I think we’re very clear when you buy the car what is meant by full self-driving. It means it’s feature complete. Feature complete requiring supervision … There’s really three steps: feature complete of full self-driving but requiring supervision, feature complete but not requiring supervision, feature complete not requiring supervision and regulators agree.”
Oct. 5 – Tesla introduces software version 9.0 with a number of features including ‘Navigate on Autopilot’ – intended to guide a car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting lane changes, navigating highway interchanges and taking exits that would still require driver supervision [http://bit.ly/2IFfMMN]
June 11 – Musk tweets that Tesla’s Autopilot driver assistance system will get full self-driving features following a software upgrade in August
May 23 – Two U.S. consumer advocacy groups urge the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Tesla’s “deceptive and misleading” use of the name Autopilot for its assisted-driving technology
Feb. 2018 – Musk says Tesla can do a coast-to-coast autonomous drive in 3 months, 6 months at most
Oct. 19 – Musk says he expects that by the end of 2017 a Tesla would be able to drive in full autonomous mode from Los Angeles to New York “without the need for a single touch” on the wheel. [https://reut.rs/2Pk7RYI]
Oct. 2016 – Tesla begins to sell a “Full Self-Driving Capability” option in its vehicles for $3,000, on top of the $5,000 price for “Enhanced Autopilot.” Musk says full self-driving features will be rolled out in future via over-the-air updates when available. The option was removed in October 2018, then reinstated in February 2019.
Oct 2016 – Musk says all new Teslas built have the hardware required for full self-driving.
Oct. 15 – Tesla launches an advanced driver assistance system called Autopilot, with Musk cautioning that drivers should keep their hand on the wheel. [https://reut.rs/2VS8gnB]
(Reporting by Sayanti Chakraborty in Bengaluru and Alexandria Sage in San Francisco; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)
FILE PHOTO: Renault CEO Thierry Bollore, Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa, Mitsubishi Motors Chairman and CEO Osamu Masuko cast their shadows at a joint news conference in Yokohama, Japan, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
April 22, 2019
(Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co Ltd will reject a management integration proposal from French partner Renault SA and will call for an equal capital relationship, Nikkei said on Monday, citing sources.
Nissan’s management feels the Japanese company has not been treated as an equal of Renault under existing capital ties, and a merger would make this inequality permanent, Nikkei said.
Renault has argued in its proposal that an integration would maximize synergies within the French-Japanese alliance, according to Nikkei.
The Financial Times had earlier reported in late March of Renault’s intention to restart merger talks with Nissan within 12 months.
The alliance between Renault and Nissan was first set up in 1999 and was expanded in 2016 to include Mitsubishi Motors.
A Nissan spokesman declined to comment, while Renault was not immediately available for a comment.
(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by James Emmanuel)
U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton is the latest Democrat to jump in the race for the White House.
The Massachusetts lawmaker and Iraq War veteran made the announcement on his website Monday.
Moulton first came to prominence in 2014 when he unseated long-term incumbent Rep. John Tierney in a Democrat primary and went on to represent the state’s 6th Congressional District, a swath of communities north of Boston including Salem, home of the infamous colonial-era witch trials.
Speculation about a possible Moulton run has been simmering as far back as 2017 when he spoke at a Democrat political rally in Iowa, home of the first-the-the-nation presidential caucuses. At the time he brushed aside talk of a presidential run.
Talk of possible run ramped up during last year’s election when the former U.S. Marine helped lead an effort to get other Democrat military veterans to run for Congress — a cause he continues to push.
“16 years ago today, leaders in Washington sent me and my friends to fight in a war based on lies. It’s still going on today,” Moulton said in a recent tweet. “It’s time for the generation that fought in Iraq to take over for the generation that sent us there.”
The 40-year-old Moulton also gained national attention for helping lead an effort within the party to reject Nancy Pelosi as House speaker after Democrats regained control of the chamber. Moulton said it was time for new leadership.
Moulton has also been a frequent critic of President Donald Trump — from foreign policy, including Trump’s recent veto of a resolution to end U.S. military assistance in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, to his push for a wall at the southern border.
And when Trump claimed to be the target of the “single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history,” Moulton responded that “as the Representative of Salem, MA, I can confirm that this is false.”
Despite occasionally differing with some on the most liberal wing of the party, Moulton has staked out familiar policy positions for those seeking the Democrat presidential nomination.
He’s called health care “a right every American must be guaranteed,” pushed to toughen gun laws, was a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, has championed a federal “Green Corps” modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, and has called for an end to the Electoral College.
Money could prove a challenge to Moulton, who has raised $255,000 so far this year and had about $723,000 in his campaign account as of the end of March.
Moulton is now the third political figure from Massachusetts to take a stab at a White House run. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren — a Democrat — and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld — a Republican — are also running.
Source: NewsMax Politics
FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a news conference with Iraqi President Barham Salih (not pictured) in Baghdad, Iraq, March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani/File Photo
April 22, 2019
GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran and Pakistan will form a joint quick reaction force to combat militant activity on their shared border, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday during a televised press conference with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Khan arrived in Iran on Sunday to discuss security and regional issues, Iranian state TV reported, a day after Islamabad urged Tehran to act against militants behind killings in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.
Relations between Iran and Pakistan have been strained in recent months, with both sides accusing each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across the border.
“We agreed to increase the security cooperation of the two countries, our border forces, our intelligence forces,” Rouhani said during the conference, which was broadcast live on state TV. “And also to form a joint quick reaction force on the border of the two countries for fighting terrorism.”
Khan said that militant activity at the border could be a source of tension.
“The most important reason why I’m here, Mr. President, is because I felt that the issue of terrorism was going to … increase differences between our countries,” Khan said during the joint press conference. “So it was very important for me to come here and come with our security chief that we resolve this issue.”
A new umbrella group representing various insurgent groups operating in Baluchistan claimed responsibility for an attack on Thursday when 14 passengers were killed after being kidnapped from buses in the province, which borders Iran.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Saturday the training and logistical camps of the new alliance that carried out the attack were based inside Iran and called on Iran to take action against the insurgents.
Shi’ite Muslim Iran says militant groups operate from safe havens in Pakistan and has repeatedly called on Islamabad to crack down on them.
Tehran has stepped up security along its long border with Pakistan after a suicide bomber killed 27 members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards in mid-February in southeastern Iran, with Iranian officials saying the attackers were based inside Pakistan.
The Sunni group Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice), which says it seeks greater rights and better living conditions for the ethnic Baloch minority, claimed responsibility for that attack.
Separately, Rouhani said during the joint press conference that the Islamic Republic is ready to help with Pakistan’s oil and gas needs.
(Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh, editing by Louise Heavens)
FILE PHOTO: The sign outside the Bed Bath & Beyond store is seen in Westminster, Colorado, June 22, 2016. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
April 22, 2019
(Reuters) – Bed Bath & Beyond Inc on Monday said its co-founders and co-chairmen Warren Eisenberg and Leonard Feinstein would retire from the board and the retailer would appoint five independent board directors.
Shares of the company were up 4.6 pct at $18.21 before the bell.
Last month, the home furnishing retailer faced pressure from a trio of activist investors – Legion Partners Asset Management LLC, Macellum Advisors GP LLC and Ancora Advisors LLC – to replace its entire board and oust Chief Executive Steven Temares.
The company on Monday said it had invited the activist group to participate in the transformation of the board, but the investors declined the invitation.
(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks during an opening ceremony in Banja Luka, May 7, 2016. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
April 22, 2019
ANKARA (Reuters) – Former Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday the alliance of President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party with nationalists had harmed the AKP, in a statement criticizing the party’s policies after local election’s last month.
Davutoglu, a high profile figure in the party, was prime minister between 2014 and 2016 before falling out with Erdogan.
The AK Party lost control of the capital Ankara and the country’s largest city Istanbul in the elections on March 31.
“The election results show that alliance politics have caused harm to our party, both in terms of voter levels and the party’s identity,” Davutoglu said in a written statement.
(Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Dominic Evans)
Argentine unions, small firms and activists gather outside Argentina’s Congress to demand changes in President Mauricio Macri’s economic policies, in Buenos Aires, Argentina April 4, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian/File Photo
April 22, 2019
By Maximilian Heath
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentine President Mauricio Macri rode to power in 2015 promising to bolster the farming sector and cut back taxes that had stymied exports. The country’s backbone industry welcomed him with open arms after years of export controls aimed at keeping domestic prices low.
The powerful sector is now cooling on the center-right president, frustrated by revived export tariffs and sky-high borrowing rates that have bruised smaller farmers, a concern for Macri ahead of national elections later in the year.
Argentina’s farming sector, which brings in more than half of the export dollars in South America’s second-biggest economy, is a key barometer for Macri, who has sold himself as a champion of business and industry, none more so than the country’s huge soy, wheat and corn farms.
“We publicly supported the administration in the last elections (mid-terms in 2017) as we believed they were managing the policies farmers needed,” said Carlos Iannizzotto, president of the Confederación Intercooperativa Agropecuaria, one of the country’s four major farming bodies.
“Today we cannot do the same.”
Reuters spoke to the leaders at all four associations, who collectively make up the influential “Mesa de Enlace” or liaison committee. They cited Macri’s backtracking on cutting taxes on exports and the high cost of credit with interest rates above 60 percent.
The farm lobbies do not directly sway the votes of a huge proportion of voters, analysts and pollsters cautioned, but said that their weakening support was a sharp warning sign for Macri ahead of the October election, which is expected to be closely fought.
Dardo Chiesa, president of a second lobby, the Confederaciones Rurales Argentinas, said farmers had become “disappointed” with Macri’s performance on the economy, with a tumbling peso and inflation running at over 50 percent.
“The first issue in terms of voting this year is the economy, and the reality is that the government’s economic management has not satisfied the sector,” he told Reuters.
‘I WANTED CHANGE’
Everything had started so well.
After Macri’s election in 2015 he eliminated export taxes on corn and wheat and lowered those for soy; he also got rid of limits on corn and wheat exports – gaining cheers from farmers.
However, an acute financial crisis last year forced Macri to take a $56.3 billion lifeline from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in return pledging to balance the country’s deficit – including restarting taxes on exports.
In addition, to deal with inflation and protect the peso currency, the government has hiked interest rates to almost 70 percent, choking off the ability of farmers and other small businesses to obtain funds to expand and buy equipment.
Sales of combine harvesters, tractors and seeding machines plummeted last year, government data showed.
“I voted for Macri because I wanted a change, but Macri has really let us down,” Carlos Boffini, who runs a 400-hectare farm in Colón in the province of Buenos Aires, told Reuters.
“(Macri) spoke about how the export taxes were unfair. Yet here they are again. He was going to get rid of a lot of things and he did not get rid of anything.”
To be sure, not all farmers are turning away from Macri, who is still viewed by many as the most business-friendly candidate.
Daniel Pelegrina, head of Sociedad Rural Argentina, which generally represents larger farming groups, stopped short of giving his direct support for the president but said the government’s policies were roughly in the right direction.
“Argentina needs to be reintegrated and active globally, it needs to have an export-oriented economy,” he said, adding that there is, however, a need to review the high taxes.
IF NOT MACRI, THEN WHO?
Macri is facing a split field in the elections that start in October before a potential run-off if there is no clear winner.
Likely rivals include ex-President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, whose populist and interventionist policies made her deeply unpopular with farmers. More moderate members of the Peronist opposition include former economy minister Roberto Lavagna and former congressman Sergio Massa.
Carlos Achetone, president of the Federación Agraria Argentina (FAA), the last of the four main agricultural bodies, said many farmers were looking beyond Macri if there was a “third alternative with substance.”
Analysts and farmers, however, said if the election ended up being between Macri and Fernandez – as many polls expect if she runs – then farmers would have little choice about how to vote.
“There is a consensus of not returning to populism. Argentina cannot return to populism,” said Chiesa, referring to Fernandez’s administration which had introduced export quotas on grains and meat to keep domestic prices low for consumers.
Farmer Boffini agreed, adding the sector’s general dislike of the former leader could well be Macri’s saving grace.
“Do you know what Macri’s advantage is? It’s that we don’t like Cristina and so if Cristina shows up and there are no other options, we will simply vote for Macri so that Cristina does not get in,” he said.
(Reporting by Maximilian Heath in Buenos Aires; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Matthew Lewis)
U.S. Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) speaks at a Merrimack County Democrats Summer Social at the Swett home in Bow, New Hampshire, U.S., July 28, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
April 22, 2019
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Seth Moulton, an Iraq War veteran and Democratic congressman from Massachusetts, entered the 2020 presidential nomination contest on Monday, swelling the ranks of declared contenders to almost 20, according to an NBC news report.
He enters the race as an underdog, with little national name recognition and a shorter track record than some of his opponents who have spent years in the U.S. Senate or as state governors.
But Moulton, 40, has already built a political career driven by challenging the party’s establishment.
First elected to Congress in 2014, he won the seat after mounting a primary challenge against John Tierney, a fellow Democrat who had held the seat for 18 years.
After Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, Moulton led an unsuccessful effort to remove Nancy Pelosi as the party’s leader in the chamber.
“Tough conversations make us stronger, not weaker, and we need to keep having them if we’re going to deliver on the change that we’ve promised the American people,” Moulton said in a statement announcing the end of his opposition to Pelosi.
Moulton served in the Marines from 2001 to 2008. During his 2014 congressional bid, he became a vocal critic of the Iraq War in which he served, saying no more troops should be deployed to the country.
He also has advocated stricter gun laws, saying military-style weapons should not be owned by civilians.
Moulton supports the legalization of marijuana and told Boston public radio station WGBH in 2016 that he had smoked pot while in college.
He graduated from Harvard University with an undergraduate degree in physics in 2001 and returned to receive a master’s degree in business and public policy in 2011.
(For a graphic of the 2020 presidential candidates, see: https://tmsnrt.rs/2Ff62ZC)
(Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Jonathan Oatis)
FILE PHOTO: People fish in front of an Orient Overseas Container Line container ship, at Kaohsiung Port, Taiwan August 7, 2017. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
April 22, 2019
By Yimou Lee
TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan’s export orders fell for the fifth straight month in March, and at a much sharper pace than expected, as the island’s manufacturers kept struggling with a drop in global tech demand.
Orders in March dropped 9 percent from a year earlier to $38.59 billion, Ministry of Economic Affairs data showed on Monday.
For January-March, export orders slid 8.4 percent, the biggest annual drop for a first quarter since 2009 when they tumbled 30 percent, the ministry said.
March orders fell at almost twice the 5.45 percent forecast in a Reuters poll, though the pace was less than February’s 10.9 percent, the sharpest fall in nearly three years.
Taiwan’s hi-tech factories are major suppliers for global tech heavyweights such as Apple Inc and Qualcomm, and the continued drop in orders suggests global electronic could remain soft for some time.
The ministry said the March shrinkage was also due to declining machinery orders due to business caution in China as the U.S-Sino trade dispute continues.
However, launches of smartphone models and demand for new technology such as artificial intelligence and 5G could support a rebound of orders for electronics in coming months, it said.
The faster 5G networks are coming on line in the United States, China, South Korea and other places this year, but probably will not be widespread until 2020. The telecommunications industry is expected to spend $275 billion over seven years in the United States alone, according to Accenture estimates.
Carl Liu, an analyst at KGI Securities, said Taiwan export orders “are unlikely to return to growth until in June, thanks to re-stocking of electronics ahead of the peak season in the third quarter”.
CAUTION ON OUTLOOK
The ministry said it expects April export orders to decline 6.7-9.2 percent, and that it could be July before orders rebound.
“We remain cautious about orders in the first half and expect a year-on-year decline for the second quarter,” ministry official Lin Lee-jen said.
The slowing tech demand has taken a toll on Taiwan’s supply chain manufacturers. Chipmaker TSMC last week posted its steepest quarterly profit drop in more than seven years partly due to sluggish smartphone sales.
But the company gave an upbeat forecast for the coming months, betting on rising chip demand thanks to a rollout of 5G mobile network.
In March, weak export demand was seen from all Taiwan’s major markets.
Orders from the United States fell 9.7 percent on-year, on top of February’s 5.5 percent decline.
Those from China dropped 13.7 percent, compared with a fall of 14.3 percent the previous month, while orders from Europe slipped 2.4 percent. Japan orders declined 5.8 percent.
Taiwan’s government in February trimmed its 2019 economic growth forecast to 2.27 percent, citing growing uncertainties over global growth.
(Reporting by Yimou Lee and Taipei newsroom; Editing by Richard Borsuk)