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Trump Bars Bloomberg News Journalists From Campaign Events

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President Trump’s re-election campaign said on Monday that it would bar Bloomberg News journalists from attending its rallies and political events, an attempt to retaliate against the news organization’s decision to cease investigating Democratic candidates in the wake of its billionaire owner’s entry into the 2020 presidential race.

The Trump campaign broke from years of precedent in 2016 by revoking the press credentials of journalists from outlets like The Washington Post, Politico and BuzzFeed News, an early sign of the efforts to demonize the news media that have become a hallmark of the Trump presidency.

But Bloomberg News is facing a fraught situation, too. After the company’s owner, Michael R. Bloomberg, decided last month to pursue the Democratic nomination, editors at the news outlet instructed their reporters to avoid “in-depth investigations” of Mr. Bloomberg or any other Democratic candidate. It was an attempt at fairness that some journalists called stifling.

On Monday, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, called it something else: biased.

“Bloomberg News has declared that they won’t investigate their boss or his Democrat competitors, many of whom are current holders of high office, but will continue critical reporting on President Trump,” Mr. Parscale wrote in a statement, calling the decision “troubling and wrong.”

“Since they have declared their bias openly, the Trump campaign will no longer credential representatives of Bloomberg News for rallies or other campaign events,” Mr. Parscale wrote. The campaign said it would decide “on a case-by-case basis” whether to respond to inquiries from individual reporters on stories.

The editor in chief of Bloomberg News, John Micklethwait, quickly fired back.

“The accusation of bias couldn’t be further from the truth,” Mr. Micklethwait wrote in a statement. “We have covered Donald Trump fairly and in an unbiased way since he became a candidate in 2015 and will continue to do so despite the restrictions imposed by the Trump campaign.”

Howard Wolfson, a top campaign adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, also weighed in, pithily. “One week in and Mike is already under Trump’s skin,” Mr. Wolfson wrote on Twitter.

Mr. Trump and his senior aides routinely disparage individual reporters and entire news organizations for coverage they deem unfavorable. Press advocacy groups say the president’s attacks have contributed to one of the more hostile domestic environments for journalists in recent memory.

Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times, criticized the Trump campaign’s move in a statement on Monday. “We condemn any action that keeps quality news media from reporting fairly and accurately on the presidency and the leadership of the country,” Mr. Baquet wrote.

At the same time, Bloomberg News’s approach to covering its owner’s candidacy has proved divisive.

Roughly 2,700 journalists work at Bloomberg L.P., the financial data company that is the wellspring of Mr. Bloomberg’s fortune, and this is not the first time that Mr. Bloomberg’s ambitions have placed his employees in an awkward spot. During Mr. Bloomberg’s 12 years as mayor of New York City, coverage of the billionaire’s wealth and personal life were considered off limits at Bloomberg News.

In a memo last month, Mr. Micklethwait acknowledged that “there is no point in trying to claim that covering this presidential campaign will be easy,” but added that the newsroom would continue to investigate Mr. Trump’s administration “as the government of the day.”

On Monday night, Mr. Trump, who had flown to London for a conference, added his own thoughts on the matter, deriding Mr. Bloomberg in a Twitter post as “Mini Mike Bloomberg” and describing Bloomberg News as a “third rate news organization.” (He also accused The Times of “hatred & bias.”) The president wrote that “It’s not O.K.!” for Bloomberg News to skip investigations of Democratic candidates.

While Bloomberg News has pledged to continue covering polls, policies and “who is winning and who is losing” the 2020 race, the prohibition against investigative reporting — considered among the most valuable forms of campaign journalism — has caused some uproar.

Megan Murphy, a former Washington bureau chief at Bloomberg News, wrote on Twitter that it was “staggering” for the news outlet to prevent “an army of unbelievably talented reporters and editors from covering massive, crucial aspects of one of the defining elections of our time.”

Marc Tracy contributed reporting.





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Airport van service SuperShuttle going out of business at the end of the year

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LOS ANGELES — SuperShuttle, the shared van service that has carried passengers to and from airports across the U.S. and in Latin America, Canada, Europe and Asia, is going out of business, according to a newspaper report Thursday.

A letter obtained by the Los Angeles Times from the company to a Los Angeles-area franchisee says: “SuperShuttle plans to honor all reservations and walk-up requests for service” through Dec. 31.

Founded in 1983 to serve Los Angeles International Airport, SuperShuttle has lost ground to competitors such as Uber and Lyft. In recent weeks it has pulled out of airports serving many cities, including Phoenix, Baltimore and Minneapolis, the Times said.

Attempts by the newspaper to reach Mark Friedman, identified as general manager in the letter’s signature line, were unsuccessful Thursday. SuperShuttle executives could also not be reached for official comment. But two SuperShuttle reservations agents reached by telephone confirmed to the Times that the company was going out of business, as did a company executive who was not authorized to speak publicly.

SuperShuttle is one of the few services that can still pick up riders curbside at LAX after the airport’s recent changes to help ease congestion. In November, Lyft, Uber and taxis were relegated to a pickup lot next to Terminal 1. Travelers can either walk to the lot or wait for an airport shuttle to ferry them.

The letter to the franchisee cited “a variety of factors” for the company’s closure, “including increasing costs and changes in the competitive and regulatory landscape” that “have called into question the economic and operational viability of the company’s operations.”

The company stopped operations at Hollywood Burbank Airport at the end of November, terminating the contract with the airport’s authority, airport spokeswoman Lucy Burghdorf wrote in an email Thursday.

SuperShuttle is owned by an affiliate of Blackstreet Capital Holdings, a private investment firm based in Bethesda, Maryland, court documents show. Blackstreet describes itself as specializing in acquiring small or mid-size firms “that are in out-of-favor industries or are undergoing some form of transition.”



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Japan vs. China : Why does Japan see China as a threat not as an opportunity?h

China and Japan are two vastly different countries with a difficult past and history with each other. Both are super powers in Asia, but are very different in almost every way imaginable.

In geopolitical terms China is a nightmare for Japan.

China occupies the whole continental East Asia and puts Japan in a corner. Imagine a Europe in which France, Germany, Italy, Benelux get united and leave only Britain outside. Britain will have no chance to bargain or influence the continental Europe (what is happening now).

Historically Japan’s strategy was to block, undercut, or keep China divided so much as possible.

In 1905 after the first Sino-Japanese war Japan demanded the annexation of Liaodong Peninsula, which would block the whole Chinese northern plains and broke the barrier of the Bohai sea, which otherwise was a Chinese domestic lagoon. This was found by the Western powers to be too much, under whose pressure Japan exchanged Liaodong for Taiwan, which in its term would block the Yangtze estuary, the most prosperous region of China.

During 1912 – 1931 Japan tried all its best to keep China divided under several equally strong warlords and keep them kill each other.

In 1931 Japan found Manchurian warlord was launching a very promising industrialization program, it annexed Manchuria.

In the following years it encouraged the splitting of North China and Inner Mongolia.

In 1937 Japan sensed that China’s Yangtze Delta was experiencing a boom of economy, it started the second Sino-Japanese war.

Eventually due to a series of misstep, the China adventure landed Japan in a disaster.

Up to 2001 China’s WTO entry ; Japan has an informal investment ban on China. On several occasions Chinese side sought the industrial co-operations from Japan, which were categorically rejected. At the same time Japan provided a huge amount of Overseas Development Aide to China, only to encourage China to stay in raw materials, timber, and agricultural goods production (for which many Japanese think even today that China should be thankful).

But since the economic crisis of 1997 when the Japanese business in Southeastern Asia was flattened, the rise of China as a manufacturing hub has become inevitable. Most Japanese companies entered China reluctantly only when they realized that, if they stayed out, they would be rolled over by the bus. But when they came to China, the Chinese market was largely occupied by other developed countries, mainly the Europeans, later also the Americans.

Until today China is the largest overseas automobile market for Germany, France, and the US. German VW, French Citroën, and American Buick, which are hardly seen elsewhere Asia, are ubiquitous in Chinese cities. China’s market is the major reason that German VW has become the largest automobile manufacturer of the world since 2016.

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Europe’s ‘Green Deal’ opens door to economic renewal–and risks

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Europe is taking a green gamble for its economy. The European Commission unveiled a plan this week to put its economy in line with the needs of the planet by imposing stricter caps on greenhouse emissions, changing taxation and creating new rules for companies.

With a target of being climate-neutral by 2050, Europe may
even change how it taxes trade with states that don’t meet its new green
criteria.

If the so-called Green Deal works, advocates say investment
could deliver the kind of transformation not seen for half a century. But there
are risks it stumbles below lofty targets, or even raises uncertainty, costs
and trade tensions.

In its plans to accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas
emissions, the commission said an extra €260 billion ($290 billion) in
investment will be needed every year. That would be a significant boost,
equivalent to 1.5 percent of 2018 economic output.

With euro-area growth and inflation stuck in a low gear, it’s
the kind of systemic rethink that could change the economy’s course. Plus,
record-low interest rates provide an opportune moment for massive investment.

Yet, it’s not that simple. Changes to regulation and taxes
will steer spending away from some industries. Jobs will likely be lost in some
areas, with no simple transfer of workers to new sectors.

The key will be whether governments get on with structural
reforms, particularly education and training so that workers can quickly retool
with the necessary skills.

“In the short term we should expect it to be a headwind to
growth,” said Societe Generale Chief Economist Michala Marcussen. “But that’s
not to say we shouldn’t do it because the alternative of kicking the climate
change can down the road is that the cost to GDP will far outstrip any
short-term costs today.”

The climate plan could allow for a change to fiscal rules so
states can unleash the kind of public investment the European Central Bank has
championed. The commission said it will look at “green public investment in the
context of the quality of public finance.”

However, the chance of a dramatic step, such as excluding
green spending from deficit and debt calculations, seems unlikely. The document
also noted the need for “safeguards against risks to debt sustainability.”

All of that will happen in a review by the commission and EU
member-countries.

“It’s postponing this decision, watering it down into a
bureaucratic procedure. So basically, nothing is going to happen soon,” said
Simone Tagliapietra, a research fellow at Bruegel.

With limited and uncertain margins of public finances, the
key may be the private sector. Bloomberg Economics estimates that the
additional annual investment to meet emission targets may be more like €400
billion a year, far higher than the EU estimates.

“Where will the money come from? As things stand, the
spending commitments by EU leaders seem tiny relative to the scale of the task,
placing a significant burden on the private sector to do the heavy lifting.
That’s a risky approach,” said Bloomberg’s economists Maeva Cousin and Jamie
Rush.

To stand any chance of getting the level of investment needed, the EU will have to provide better visibility on regulation and carbon pricing. To that end, the promise of a climate law is crucial. For a sign of how uncertainty crimps investment, one need only look at the UK and Brexit, where business spending has fallen in six of the last seven quarters.“There is macroeconomic potential that can be favorable,” said Jean Pisani-Ferry, visiting fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “But it’s not clear it’s possible to mobilize it if we are not credible.”

Trade tensions

One of the most eye-catching shifts from the commission was
opening the door to a “carbon border adjustment mechanism.” That could consist
of taxes on imported products that do not meet the same stringent criteria as
those made in Europe.

The idea is to prevent companies outsourcing production to
avoid financial penalties, particularly to countries that, as the EU puts it,
“do not share the same ambition” on climate change. Without such a tool,
efforts to reduce emissions could come to nothing.

But such mechanisms could also be seen as protectionist. If any tariffs were to hit US goods, that probably wouldn’t go down well with Donald Trump, who’s already pulling out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.“It’s probably the most controversial thing because if the EU starts doing it then there might be a retaliation from other countries,” said BNP Paribas economist Raymond Van Der Putten. (Bloomberg)



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