Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I think it is critical in the UK.

No one promised democracy and a free country would be easy. There was a time in Great Britain when it was vulnerable to a century's long civil war. The UK survived that and now there is peace. This is not very different.

Citizens have to give up some of their privacy when entering an arena and other public venues to walk through magnetometers (click here) and possibly body searches, but, when the game begins and ends it will all be worth it.

May 24, 2017
By Griff Witte, Karla Adam and Sudarsan Raghavan

...The arrests (click here) stretched from the normally quiet lanes of a northern English town by balaclava-wearing, plainclothes police officers to the bustling streets of Tripoli, where Libyan officials said they had disrupted a planned attack by the suspect’s brother. 

But by day’s end, British authorities acknowledged that they remained vulnerable to a follow-up attack, with the nation’s state of alert stuck at “critical” — the highest possible level.

The sight of soldiers deploying at London landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street underscored the gravity of a threat that was known in general terms before Monday night’s explosion but has come sharply into focus in the 48 hours since....

The more intense scanners at airports have been tested:

...Johns Hopkins University Independent Assessment group. (click here) Each assessment proved the effective dose rate to be below the American National Standards Institute/Health Physics Society's standard annual dose limit of 250 μSv over a 12-month period....

For those like me that need reassurances beyond studies because radiation accumulates in day to day life. I did not investigate this service and if they provide readings to average individuals or church groups or whatever group. But, it is only $69.00 per year.

They don't train in Area 51?

For real? The USA has a death ray?

May 23, 2017
By Greg Walters

U.S. Army Spc. Angel Mendoza, assigned as a space aggressor operator to the 527th Space Aggressor Squadron, Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, secures a helical antenna to a gravel pad Aug. 8, 2016, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska.

In a large, (click here) tin-roofed warehouse near Colorado's Rocky Mountains, members of a team of modern space warriors spend their days hatching plots to defeat the US military in extraterrestrial combat.

They're called Space Aggressors.
Their job is to act like the enemy during mock space battles to help U.S. units prepare for a conflict that may one day extend into the cosmos.
"We play the bad guys," said Captain Christopher Barnes, chief of training for the 26th Space Aggressor Squadron. "Our job is to not only understand the different types of threats and potential enemies, but also to be able to portray them and replicate them for the good guys, our Air Force."
The 26th and 527th Space Aggressor Squadrons are headquartered in a two-story warehouse at Colorado's Schriever Air Force Base, stocked with advanced radio and satellite equipment and nicknamed "the barn." Behind the building, antenna dishes trace the sky.                     

Duterte says, "Please go on, tell me more." President Trump hasn't heard the motto, "Loose lips sink ships."

May 24, 2017
By Karen Lema and Nick Macfie

The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan arrives for a regularly scheduled port visit while conducting routine patrols throughout the Western Pacific in Busan, South Korea, April 24, 2017.

U.S. President Donald Trump (click here) told his Philippine counterpart that Washington has sent two nuclear submarines to waters off the Korean peninsula, the New York Times said, comments likely to raise questions about his handling of sensitive information.

Trump has said "a major, major conflict" with North Korea is possible because of its nuclear and missile programs and that all options are on the table but that he wants to resolve the crisis diplomatically....

I think it is really bad strategy to put two important USA nuclear assets in one place at one time. I think it is unnecessary redundancy.

..."a lot of firepower over there", according to the New York Times, which quoted a transcript of an April 29 call between the two.

"We have two submarines — the best in the world. We have two nuclear submarines, not that we want to use them at all," the newspaper quoted Trump as telling Duterte, based on the transcript....

I am sure Foreign Minister Lavrov had a great deal to smile about, both, in confirming what they already knew about military movements off the Russian coast and what they didn't know.

Trump is handing over the USA to Russia. It is everywhere. I think his tour of Europe and the Middle East has a good theme to fight terrorism through the understanding of all religions is an important one. But, to simply allow such information to be treated as "table talk" as if at dinner with the family is not at all appropriate. Where the heck are the Joint Chiefs?

Austerity by the USA Congress is the other reason why Wall Street really screwed when Trump took office.

May 23, 2017
By Carl Hulse

Washington — Finally some good news for President Trump: (click here) His new budget stands absolutely no chance of being enacted by Congress.

Moving forward with the cuts outlined in the $4.1 trillion spending plan created by the budget director, Mick Mulvaney, formerly one of the most determined fiscal hawks in Congress, would no doubt have major repercussions and compound the peril of Republicans already facing upheaval over their health care proposals. It would most likely hurt some of the very voters in rural and economically distressed corners of the nation who catapulted Mr. Trump to the White House and Republicans to control of the House and Senate. The effect on those constituents would be quickly felt....    

Another early warning sign about Wall Street.

May 24, 2017
By Gayathree Ganesan

Tiffany & Co (TIF.N) (click here) reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales and a surprise drop in comparable sales, underscoring the upscale jeweler's struggles with a strong dollar that has crimped spending by tourists and weak demand at home.

The company's shares fell 5.6 percent to $87.95 before the bell on Wednesday.

The dollar has strengthened versus other currencies, so some of Tiffany's issues in the United States are more currency-related, Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough told Reuters.

Comparable-store sales in the Americas, which account for nearly half of Tiffany's total revenue, fell 4 percent, while the company posted a 3 percent decline in the Asia-Pacific region in the first quarter.

Analysts polled by Consensus Metrix expected a 0.5 percent drop in the Americas and a growth of 1.3 percent in the Asia-Pacific region in the first quarter ended April 30.

"Mainland China was very strong, but other parts of China were weaker and Macau and Hong Kong have been struggling now for a little while," Yarbrough added....

Wall Street expects a lot from the Trump White House. They expect to be soaring in heights in the markets. This fall in stock values at "Tiffany's" is a real disappointment. First Lady Melania Trump carried a Tiffany gift to Former First Lady Michelle Obama. The expectations that would send sales roaring is also reflected in the markets hubris during the first quarter of 2017.

The article mentions the value of the US Dollar as the reason why Tiffany's is struggling. I don't know what US Dollar the author is talking about; the lost value USA dollar or the one today. Today's purchases require many, many more dollars than in the past. So, if Tiffany wants more customers, it should demand a stronger dollar from the past so it doesn't take so many to purchase their products.

November 9, 2016

...The dollar's value (click here) has increased 25% since 2014. However, this hasn't offset its long-term decline....
I think the visit went well and I appreciated the gift given to Pope Francis. The First Lady seems tone downed to meet Pope Francis. 
From the articles I read Pope Francis was focused on assisting President Trump to see the less flamboyant side of life and the importance of peace, raising up the poor and protecting "Our Common Home."
Pope Francis exchanges gifts with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump during a private audience at the Vatican on May 24, 2017.

Rome — President Trump (click here) met with Pope Francis for the first time at the Vatican on Wednesday, as he continued his tour of homelands of followers of Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
Following the meeting, which was behind closed doors, the pontiff gifted Trump a medal by a Roman artist depicting an olive — a symbol of peace — as well as a signed message of peace and copies of his three main teaching documents. (click here) 
Trump told the pope that he “won’t forget what you said" following the meeting. “We can use peace," he said, adding that he would read the documents.
Trump gave the pope a first-edition set of writings from Martin Luther King Jr., including five books. He also gifted the pontiff a piece of granite from the Martin Luther King. Jr. Memorial in Washington.

The White House said that Francis spoke about King and his civil rights legacy during his address to Congress in 2015. It said the gift of writings "honors Dr. King’s hope, vision, and inspiration for generations to come," while a bronze sculpture Trump gifted named Rising Above “represents hope for a peaceful tomorrow."...