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- 09/12/18--12:39: _'We're doing this i...
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- 09/12/18--14:01: _All the revelations...
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- 09/13/18--06:11: _Trump disputes Puer...
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- 09/13/18--06:31: _A gripping drama on...
- 09/13/18--06:47: _San Juan Mayor Carm...
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- 09/13/18--12:01: _'Casualties don’t m...
- Journalist Bob Woodward's explosive new book about President Donald Trump and his administration, "Fear: Trump in the White House," highlights one overriding theme in the president's worldview.
- The most important thing is the bottom line.
- The book portrays top military, foreign policy, and national security advisers fighting him on that point.
- "These military guys, they don't get business," Trump said. "They know how to be soldiers and they know how to fight. They don't understand how much it's costing."
- "All they want to do is protect everybody — that we pay for," he said of his group of military, foreign policy, and national security advisers.
- Pointing to McMaster, who Woodward reported was never able to mesh well with the president, Trump said he didn't know how the Iraqi government "managed to fool McMaster, but he's not a businessman."
- Trump said American military generals "don't understand the cost/benefit analysis."
- 09/12/18--12:49: Here's where and when to preorder the new iPhone XS and XR (AAPL)
- Apple just announced its new lineup of iPhones — the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR.
- Two of the models will be available for preorder on Friday, and should ship within a few weeks.
- The XS starts at $999, the XS Max starts at $1099, and the XR starts at $749.
- Apple just introduced a brand-new Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Series 4
- The next version of Apple's iPhone software, iOS 12, is coming on September 17 — here are some of the biggest changes coming
- It's official: This is the iPhone XS
- Here's what happened during Apple's big iPhone launch event
- President Donald Trump told former economic adviser Gary Cohn that strong jobs numbers were proof his tariffs were working, according to Bob Woodward's new book, "Fear: Trump in the White House."
- The tariffs were not yet implemented.
- Additionally, most economists agree that Trump's tariffs will cause a net loss of US jobs.
- Both Cohn and the White House have pushed back on Woodward's reporting.
- Bob Woodward's new book, "Fear," is full of damning allegations about the Trump administration.
- The book portrays the Trump White House as chaotic and disloyal to the president.
- Woodward's book is was released on September 11.
- Trump hits back at bombshell Bob Woodward book, calls it 'just another bad book' and claims Woodward has 'had a lot of credibility problems'
- Woodward's book reportedly spurred Trump to look to replace Mattis — here's who's at the top of that list
- 'It's either that or an orange jumpsuit': Explosive Bob Woodward book reportedly recounts Trump's lawyer's effort to keep him from interviewing with Mueller
- Trump denied calling Jeff Sessions — or anyone — 'mentally retarded,' but old records show he has
- Ivanka Trump and Steve Bannon reportedly clashed over proper White House protocol, and she told him 'I'm not a staffer! ... I'm the first daughter'
- Trump reportedly told Mattis that he wanted to assassinate Bashar al-Assad after his chemical weapons attack on Syrians last year
- Gary Cohn reportedly snatched documents off Trump's desk to prevent him from wrecking 2 massive trade deals
- John Kelly was reportedly enraged with Trump over his handling of Charlottesville, said he would have taken a resignation letter 'and shoved it up his ass 6 different times'
- Trump has reportedly said that his speech after the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was the 'biggest f---ing mistake' he's made
- 6 alarming passages from Bob Woodward's book show Trump's inability to properly lead the military
- Trump thanks Kim Jong Un for 'unwavering faith' with his own White House in open mutiny
- Trump reportedly went to extraordinary and unusual lengths to console grieving military families
- Bob Woodward book: Trump told Gary Cohn he 'hired the wrong guy for Treasury secretary' right in front of Steven Mnuchin
- Trump reportedly once asked his 27-year-old assistant what he should do in Afghanistan
- Bob Woodward said Trump nearly provoked North Korea into war with a single tweet
- Bob Woodward book says Trump offered advice to a friend who admitted 'bad behavior' toward women: 'Deny, deny, deny'
- Woodward book: Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell privately praised CEOs that quit Trump's business councils after the Charlottesville fiasco
- Hope Hicks and other top staffers reportedly tried to set up a committee to vet Trump's tweets after he attacked Mika Brzezinski, but he ignored their input
- Trump reportedly exploded at his ex-lawyer after he heard Mueller was looking into his relationship with Deutsche Bank: 'This is bulls---!'
- Woodward book: Trump refused a joke from Gary Cohn about stretching the word 'Trump' over 1,200 miles of the border wall
- Trump reportedly wanted to raise the top income tax bracket to 44%, but Gary Cohn talked him out of it
- Bob Woodward book: Gary Cohn was 'astounded at Trump's lack of basic understanding' about the federal debt
- Woodward book: Lindsey Graham wanted Trump to tell China to assassinate Kim Jong Un
- Bob Woodward book: Trump thought his tariffs were boosting jobs numbers — before any tariffs were imposed
- 'We're doing this in order to prevent World War III': I read Bob Woodward's explosive new Trump book cover-to-cover, and there's one big takeaway
- The percentage of Americans without health insurance remained steady at 8.8% in 2017, according to the Census Bureau.
- The flat rate was the first time since 2010 that the number of uninsured did not fall since the Affordable Care Act's passage in 2010.
- The Census also showed a growing divide between states that took advantage of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion and those that declined the expansion.
- Democrats plan to mount countless investigations into President Donald Trump if they take back the House majority in the November midterm elections.
- The areas Democrats want to probe is vast, which could bring the Republican policy agenda to a grinding halt.
- A top Democrat in the House also said probing Trump's personal finances is on the table.
- Hurricane Florence is heading for the Carolinas, where it's forecasted to bring devastating storm surge and rainfall.
- Some parts of the coastal Carolinas could see up to 13 feet of storm surge, while isolated pockets of North Carolina could see up to 40 inches of rainfall.
- Experts and officials urged residents to leave if they're in a mandatory-evacuation zone.
- Paul Manafort is playing a high-stakes game of poker as his second criminal trial draws nearer.
- Manafort's lawyers are reportedly in talks with the special counsel Robert Mueller about a possible plea deal to stop the trial from going forward.
- Manafort has several options on how best to maximize his chances against Mueller. But Justice Department veterans say that no matter what he picks, "there are no good choices, there are just differing levels of bad choices."
- President Donald Trump on Thursday disputed the latest official death toll in Puerto Rico attributed to Hurricane Maria.
- He said in a tweet on Thursday morning that when he visited the island after the hurricane last year the death count was much lower.
- A study commissioned by the Puerto Rican government released in late August found that 2,975 people died because of the storm.
- The Trump administration has received harsh criticism for the way it responded to the hurricane.
- Trump on Thursday accused Democrats of inflating the number to make him "look as bad as possible."
- 09/13/18--06:13: The 9 best Netflix original series to binge-watch
- Julia Salazar, a 27-year-old New York State Senate candidate, is facing a barrage of criticism and media attention amid reports that she misrepresented aspects of her background.
- While some progressives believe questions around Salazar's credibility make her an unsuitable candidate, many, including other progressive New York candidates, are standing by her.
- New Yorkers will decide on Thursday whether Salazar will replace a longtime incumbent Democrat in their Brooklyn district.
- "Icebox" is the feature debut for director Daniel Sawka and is based on his award-winning short film that looks at the US immigration policy from the perspective of a migrant young boy trying to get to the US.
- The short film caught the attention of legendary director/producer James L. Brooks ("The Simpsons," "Terms of Endearment") who produced the feature version.
- The lead of "Icebox" is Anthony Gonzalez, the star of the Disney hit "Coco."
- San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz slammed President Donald Trump after he blamed Democrats for the "really large number" of deaths reported following Hurricane Maria last year.
- She said Trump's "lack of respect is appalling" and said he was denying the facts of a government-funded study.
- A study commissioned by the Puerto Rico government released in late August found that 2,975 people had died in the wake of the storm.
- An estimated $661 billion worth of beer was sold around the world in 2017.
- Of the 10 most popular beers in the world, half are nearly unknown in the United States.
- Here are the 10 biggest brands in beer.
- 09/13/18--07:22: The 7 best movies in theaters right now, according to critics
- Super Typhoon Mangkhut is set to hit Southeast Asia.
- It is predicted to be a far bigger and more dangerous storm than Hurricane Florence, which is likely to hit the US's East Coast this week.
- Mangkhut is expected to make landfall in the Philippines on Saturday before moving on to southern China, Vietnam, and Laos.
- It has already lashed through Guam, causing power outages, destroying homes, and flooding large areas.
- The governor of Guam, a US territory, has asked President Donald Trump for federal aid.
- China is placing its Uighur ethnic minority under an unprecedented amount of surveillance and scrutiny.
- One new tool of the authorities are QR codes which go on Uighurs' front doors. The codes contain personal information.
- The codes have also been attached to kitchen knives owned by Uighurs, which appears to be in case the knives are used as weapons.
- Rights groups have accused Beijing of imprisoning up to 1 million Uighurs in detention and indoctrination camps, and citing bogus excuses for doing so.
- House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday said he had "no reason to dispute" a government-funded study that concluded nearly 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
- President Donald Trump rejected the study's findings in tweets Thursday morning.
- Ryan didn't condemn Trump's controversial tweets and also didn't fault him for the deaths in Puerto Rico, despite critics suggesting the president neglected the island.
- "Casualties don’t make a person look bad," Ryan told reporters. "This was a horrible storm."
President Donald Trump's foreign policy is driven by one thing: the bottom line.
It's a different approach than perhaps any other in the nation's history — one that fits a president who made his experience in the business world. It runs counter to the advice of his top military and national security advisers, who time and time again try to make the case to him that the existing world order is worth paying for to "prevent World War III," as Defense Secretary James Mattis pointedly told him.
Amid all the eye-popping details from journalist Bob Woodward's explosive new book about President Donald Trump and his administration, "Fear: Trump in the White House," this theme stands out.
No argument from career officials — like Mattis, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, former National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford — seems to convince Trump that the system is worth upholding and footing much of the bill for.
"I'm tired of hearing that we have to do this or that to protect our homeland or to ensure our national security," Trump said during a discussion on what the game-plan moving forward on Afghanistan, according to the book.
Repeatedly, he denigrated the advice of those advisers because, as Trump said, they had no business experience and had no concept of money:
Whether on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the post-World War II European alliance headed up by the US, US defense commitments in South Korea, or the ongoing war in Afghanistan, Trump insisted that money alone should be the main driver of any policy outlook.
NATO? The countries must pay their fair share. Afghanistan? "I'm not making a deal on anything until we get minerals," Trump said. South Korea? Renegotiate a trade deal immediately, or remove all US soldiers from the peninsula.
This is especially obvious in debates over existing US trade deals, which nearly all of his advisers try to convince him are actually good for the country.
"We're upside down" on trade deals, Trump said. "We're underwater on every one of these."
He insisted the other nations were "making money" off the US.
"Just look at all this stuff up there," Trump said, pointing at some graphics. "We're paying for it all."
Cohn at multiple junctures tried to explain the deals were good for the economy and allowed US consumers to buy high-quality goods. One example he gave was TVs from South Korea, which US consumers could buy for a much lower cost than a TV manufactured in the US. Those lower costs allowed consumers to spend more money on other American products.
"I don't want to hear that," Trump said, according to the book. "It's all bulls---."
'We're doing this in order to prevent World War III'
In a heated debate over South Korea, during which advisers were seeking to convince him to stay in the KORUS trade agreements, maintain troop levels, and keep the THAAD missile defense system in place, Cohn asked the president what he would "need in the region to sleep well at night?"
"I wouldn't need a f---ing thing," the president said. "And I'd sleep like a baby."
Sometimes, the advisers lost their cool. Tillerson, who Woodward seconded earlier reporting as calling Trump a "f---ing moron," was a prime example. After one meeting, Woodward wrote that Tillerson "could not abide Trump's attack on the generals" and that he was "speaking as if the US military was a mercenary for hire."
"If a country wouldn't pay us to be there, then we didn't want to be there," Woodward wrote of Tillerson's assessment of Trump's foreign policy views. "As if there were no American interests in forging and keeping a peaceful world order, as if the American organizing principle was money."
Soon, one of the most tense meetings between Trump and these advisers took place. Trump revisited his distaste for keeping troops on the Korean Peninsula. But this time, he began asking why the US protected other countries, such as Taiwan.
"We're doing this in order to prevent World War III," Mattis replied. Woodward wrote that the response was "breathtaking" for those in the room, calling it "a challenge to the president, suggesting he was risking nuclear war."
"But we're losing so much money in trade with South Korea, China and others," Trump responded. "I'd rather be spending money on our own country."
You just watched Apple show off all its new iPhones and you're itching to get your hands on one.
Now what do you do?
Starting on Friday, you can pre-order two of the new iPhone models, including the iPhone Xs Max, which boasts the largest screen ever available on an iPhone.
The iPhone Xs starts at $999 and will be available for pre-order on September 14. It hits store shelves on September 21.
The iPhone XS Max starts at $1.099, and will also be available for pre-order on September 14. It hits store shelves on September 21.
You'll be able to preorder the iPhone XS and XS Max here.
If you're interested in the iPhone Xr, the new entry-level device in the X family that comes in six colors, you'll have to wait a little longer though.
The Xr which starts at $749, won't be available for pre-order until October 19. It hits stores shelves on October 26.
You'll be able to preorder the iPhone here.
Read more from Wednesday's Apple iPhone launch event:
In early 2018, Gary Cohn came into the Oval Office to show President Donald Trump the monthly jobs report. It showed another strong month for the US labor market.
"I have the most perfect job numbers you're ever going to see," Cohn told the president, according to veteran journalist Bob Woodward's new book, "Fear: Trump in the White House."
Trump was pleased with the numbers and used them as confirmation that a new policy initiative was working.
"It's all because of my tariffs," Trump said. "They're working."
But there was an issue with that logic: Trump's tariffs were not yet in place.
While Woodward is vague about the exact timing of the discussion, Cohn announced his resignation from the White House on March 6 and left for good shortly after. The first wave of Trump's tariffs, on steel and aluminum, did not take effect until March 23.
Even then, the tariffs had exemptions for major metals sources, like Canada, the European Union, and Mexico. Trump's trade war did not really heat up until June, when Trump allowed the exemptions for the allies to expire and officially announced tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods.
Cohn pushed back on Trump's assumptions about the tariffs, as well. Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, argued that tariffs would damage the economy and hurt American workers.
According to most economic research, Trump tariffs will actually cause a net job loss. In the months since Trump's tariffs went into full effect, US small businesses have started announcing tariff-related layoffs, and job growth slowed in industries hit by the tariffs.
The exchange over tariffs is another example from Woodward's book of Cohn trying to explain economics to Trump. According to "Fear," Cohn was taken aback by Trump's lack of understanding about the federal deficit. The economic adviser also resorted to taking documents off Trump's desk to prevent the president from pulling out of major US trade deals, the book said.
Cohn released a statement on Tuesday that pushed back on Woodward's reporting but did not deny individual allegations made in "Fear."
"This book does not accurately portray my experience at the White House," Cohn told the news website Axios in a statement. "I am proud of my service in the Trump Administration, and I continue to support the President and his economic agenda."
The White House has also dismissed the book, calling Woodward's reporting "nothing more than fabricated stories."
Journalist Bob Woodward's new book, "Fear," is full of damning allegations about the Trump administration.
Woodward, a reporter who rose to fame through his coverage of the Watergate scandal, paints a chaotic picture of life within President Donald Trump's White House in the book.
Based on a number of the accusations in the book, senior members of the Trump administration do not respect the president and routinely work against his wishes.
Trump has called the book a "work of fiction," but it has reportedly sparked a "witch hunt" within his administration for people who may have spoken with Woodward.
Woodward's book was released on September 11.
Here are all the revelations from the book so far:
The percentage of Americans without health insurance did not decline on 2017, marking the first time since the passage of the Affordable Care Act that the uninsured rate held steady.
According to the Census Bureau, 28.5 million Americans, or 8.8% of the population, went without health coverage in 2017. That number was a slight increase from the 28.1 million Americans without insurance in 2016, though the rate of 8.8% was consistent. The Census Bureau said the increase was not statistically significant.
The Census report also confirmed the growing chasm between states that decided to take advantage of the ACA's Medicaid expansion and those that did not.
The ACA, better known as Obamacare, allowed states to expand Medicaid coverage to people making up to 138% of the federal poverty line. Since then, 31 states and Washington, DC, have adopted the expansion.
"In states that expanded Medicaid eligibility ('expansion states'), the uninsured rate in 2017 was 6.5%, compared with 12.2% in states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility ('non-expansion states')," the Census Bureau said in the report.
In fact, the uninsured rate in states that did not expand Medicaid went up 0.7 percentage points compared to the stable rate in states that did expand Medicaid. Since 2013, the uninsured rate in expansion states is down 7 percentage points, compared to just 5.3 percentage points in non-expansion states.
The flat uninsured rate came in President Donald Trump's first full year in office. Throughout the year, Republicans and the Trump administration attempted to dismantle Obamacare, though multiple bids to repeal and replace the ACA failed.
The administration did take actions that many experts said would destabilize Obamacare's individual insurance marketplaces, including reducing outreach to get people to sign up for plans.
Perhaps most significantly, Republicans repealed Obamacare's individual mandate— the requirement that all Americans get insurance or face a monetary penalty — as part of their tax bill.
Some experts blamed the stall on the meddling by the Trump administration and GOP.
Matt Broaddus, a senior research analyst at the left-leaning Center of Budget and Policy Priorities, pointed to the studies that showed a large swath of the uninsured are eligible for cheap coverage under the ACA as evidence that the uncertainty and lack of outreach were the cause of the stall.
"Last year’s sabotage efforts likely prevented additional coverage gains by creating barriers to obtaining available and affordable coverage," Broaddus wrote. "Roughly 55% of the uninsured are eligible for health insurance coverage with financial assistance under the ACA or other public programs, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute find."
Phillip Klein, the managing editor of the Washington Examiner and conservative healthcare analyst, argued that the stability of the uninsured rate proved that Democrats claims that Trump "sabotaged" Obamacare are overblown.
"Had there been a significant dip, it would have bolstered Democrats' case," Klein wrote. "Now Republicans can argue that despite all of the apocalyptic warnings, the uninsured rate is the same under Trump as it was under Obama."
"Various actions of the Trump administration, such as slashing the ad and outreach budget for Obamacare and ending certain payments to insurers, have been used by Democrats to charge that the Trump administration has launched a concerted effort to sabotage the law. But that is not visible in the numbers," he said.
Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan healthcare think tank, said the new data is inconclusive to make a determination either way.
"Progress in reducing the uninsured rate was already stalled, pre-Trump," Levitt tweeted Wednesday. "Increases in the number of people uninsured could come this year and next, as changes to the ACA from the Trump administration and Congress take hold."
WASHINGTON — Democrats plan to dramatically increase their oversight role if they take back the House majority in the midterm elections this November. The investigations into President Donald Trump's administration, which could bring the White House's policy agenda to a standstill, will cover a sizable amount of the executive branch.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer listed several of the areas Democrats would prioritize if they take back the House and mount a series of investigations, most of which involved the administration's economic and health care agendas.
The committees on the Budget, Ways and Means, and Financial Services would probe Trump's handling of the US economy and budgetary process, while others would look into botched natural disaster responses. Among the highest priorities for Democrats would be the Trump administration's dismantling of former President Barack Obama's signature policy, the Affordable Care Act.
"In terms of oversight, we’ll be looking at what they’re doing administratively to undermine the operations of the Affordable Care Act and what consequences they may have caused to literally millions of people," Hoyer said in a meeting with reporters on Wednesday.
The oversight would involve everything from records requests to hauling in administration officials to testify in committee hearings.
An area that could be particularly stressful for Trump is the probing of his personal finances and benefits his properties and companies may or may not be receiving during his presidency.
"I think we’ll try to focus on issues which undermine the American people," Hoyer added. "Also I think we want to focus on the integrity of the interests of the president in terms of what interests he has and is he pursuing policies that are in the public’s interest or in the Trump investment interest."
While Hoyer hammered in that they would not want any investigations to be politically motivated, the accusations would likely come no matter what. When Republicans constantly probed officials and agencies during the Obama administration, many were called political witch hunts.
During the first two years of the Trump administration, House Republicans have avoided many of the heavy-handed investigations like the ones they wielded during Obama's tenure.
The House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections concluded long before the Senate's similar probe, which is ongoing. House Intelligence Committee members, including some Republicans, condemned the process as a failure.
Republican Rep. Tom Rooney of Florida, who is retiring at the end of the year, said the investigation has "lost all credibility" and "gone completely off the rails."
And Democrats on the committee called the investigation incomplete, suggesting a Democratic-controlled Congress could renew such efforts.
"On a whole host of investigative threads, our work is fundamentally incomplete, some issues partially investigated, others, like that involving credible allegations of Russian money laundering, remain barely touched," said Rep. Adam Schiff, the Intelligence Committee's ranking Democrat. "If the Russians do have leverage over the president of the United States, the majority has simply decided it would rather not know."
The pledge by Democrats to pursue countless investigations into the Trump administration could put a serious hindrance on Republicans' agenda — and create dozens of nightmare scenarios for the president.
Though the hurricane has been downgraded to a Category 3, the National Hurricane Center has issued hurricane and storm surge warnings for much of the coastline across North Carolina and South Carolina, and expects life-threatening conditions in the coming days.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has ordered 1 million people to evacuate the area, and leaders have urged coastal residents not to try and ride out the storm.
"This storm is a monster. It's big and it's vicious. It is an extremely dangerous, life-threatening, historic hurricane," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned residents during a news conference on Wednesday.
"You have to listen and get out," President Donald Trump said from the Oval Office. "Because once the storm hits, it's going to be really bad, and almost impossible to get authorities in to help."
Coastal areas between Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, North Carolina could see as much as 9 to 13 feet of storm surge if the storm hits there at high tide. Storm surge is the term for the rapid rise in water that a hurricane's high winds push onto shore.
And the rains will likely be intense, too. Forecasters are predicting 20 to 30 inches of rain for coastal North Carolina, with some isolated areas seeing up to 40 inches — that's 3.3 feet.
Here's what those measurements would look like on the ground:
The National Weather Service has also warned residents that conditions will still be dangerous even in the areas that won't see the worst of the storm.
"I can't emphasize enough the potential for unbelievable damage from wind, storm surge, and inland flooding with this storm," an NWS spokesperson said Tuesday night.
Officials have warned people not to try to get around in vehicles or on foot once the storm makes landfall, and to stay out of flooded roadways.
Even wading through just six inches of moving water can sweep you off your feet, and vehicles don't fare much better.
The typical car will float away in just 18 to 24 inches of moving water, while trucks and SUVs can't withstand more than 24 to 36 inches of water, according to the NWS.
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As Paul Manafort's second criminal trial looms, the former chairman of President Donald Trump's campaign is reportedly in talks with the special counsel Robert Mueller about a possible plea deal before things kick off.
But regardless of what Manafort ultimately chooses, Justice Department veterans say it's a high-risk gamble that could very well end with him spending the rest of his life in jail.
Mueller's office charged Manafort in two separate indictments as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Manafort pleaded not guilty in both, and he was convicted in his first trial earlier this summer on eight counts of tax fraud, bank fraud, and failure to report foreign bank accounts. He faces a possible decade in prison.
In the second case, brought in Washington, DC, Manafort has been charged with illegal lobbying, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and money laundering.
Patrick Cotter, a former federal prosecutor who was part of the team that convicted the Gambino family boss John Gotti, said Manafort has "great incentive" to consider a plea deal to save himself the expense and minimize the additional years he would face in prison if he's convicted in the second trial.
Legal experts say the best option for Manafort would be for him to plead guilty to some charges and agree to cooperate with prosecutors. That way, he would be guaranteed a more lenient sentence.
But based on his aggressive defense strategy so far, as well as his lawyers' public comments, it's unlikely Manafort would agree to such a deal.
Earlier this summer, for instance, Manafort's lead defense attorney Kevin Downing said there was "no chance" his client would flip on the president. The comment suggests Manafort is betting hard on getting a pardon from Trump, who has repeatedly complained about how unfairly Manafort is being treated.
If Manafort agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors, it would likely throw a wrench into any possibility of securing a pardon.
That leaves three options.
Door number one: Plead guilty, but don't cooperate
Manafort could potentially pursue a plea deal that allows him to admit to some charges, but without an agreement to cooperate. That option, crucially, would leave the door open to a presidential pardon.
He would also get some time knocked off his sentence if he chose this option. Federal sentencing guidelines state that defendants get one point off their sentencing calculation — which results in a reduced sentence — if they plead guilty in time to save the government the effort of preparing for a case and trying it.
The problem in Manafort's case, however, is that the trial will begin in a few days. Jury selection is set to start on Monday, and opening arguments are scheduled for September 24. That means prosecutors have already spent all the time and money they were going to in order to prepare for the case.
"If the government agrees to a plea deal without cooperation now, they save nothing in terms of time, money, or resources," Cotter said. "The only way they'd agree to a deal that involves dismissing some charges and asking for a lesser sentence is if it involves a cooperation agreement."
If Manafort had decided to pursue a plea deal as recently as last month, immediately after he was convicted in the first trial, experts say he would have had a realistic shot at securing a deal without having to cooperate. Now, they say it's too late.
That leaves two other options, neither of which bode well for the former Trump campaign chairman.
Door number two: 'Eat the indictment'
If Manafort chooses to go to trial, he could take one of two paths. The first would involve him pleading guilty to all the charges against him as soon as the trial begins, a tactic known as "eating the indictment."
In that case, Manafort would "throw himself to the mercy of the court," said Jeffrey Cramer, a longtime former federal prosecutor in Chicago. "Then, prosecutors can argue all they want for Manafort's sentence, but it's ultimately up to the judge to weigh two opposing views on what that sentence should be."
If Manafort chose that route, it would send a clear message to the White House that he was still in Trump's corner. The judge overseeing the case would also likely show him some leniency because he would have admitted his guilt.
"And hopefully, the sentence Manafort would get would run concurrent to the sentence from his first trial," meaning that both sentences would be carried out at the same time, Cramer said. "If they run consecutive, however, now Manafort goes from looking at 10 years to maybe 15 or 16 years in prison."
If Manafort were to choose this option, it would also force him to detail the specifics of his alleged criminal activity. That possibility would likely rattle the White House, because the Washington, DC, case against Manafort is more deeply linked to collusion and Manafort's time on the Trump campaign than the first case against him, which primarily centered around Manafort's financial crimes before he joined the campaign.
Door number three: Tough it out and go to trial
The last option is for Manafort to stick it out and go to trial.
This is the riskiest path for the former Trump campaign chairman for a few reasons.
The first speaks to Mueller's track record so far in the Russia investigation. Out of the seven US persons charged in the probe, six have pleaded guilty, and one — Manafort — was convicted following a trial.
"The evidence is there," Cramer said. "These are not bogus charges. If Manafort goes to trial, that would likely be like a slow, drawn out guilty plea, given the evidence Mueller has and the way Manafort's first trial went."
"From everything I can tell about this case and what's been made public, as well as what we saw in his first trial, the government has very, very little chance of not getting a conviction if this second trial goes forward," he said.
A second trial would also put a bigger dent in Manafort's finances, which took a hit when he decided to move forward with the first trial instead of striking a plea deal, like his former business associate Rick Gates did.
That said, there are two potential upsides to Manafort going to trial.
The first is that if Manafort is convicted, he may not be convicted on all the charges. In his first trial, for instance, Manafort was charged with 18 counts but convicted on just eight because one juror held out on the other ten charges.
"The best thing for Manafort to do is plead guilty and cooperate," Cotter said, "but if he doesn't do that, he should shoot his shot and take this thing to trial. He might get lucky like he did in the Virginia case. So his lawyer may tell him to roll the dice and fight it."
The second upside is that, like the previous two options, Manafort would be leaving the door to a presidential pardon wide open if he goes to trial. He may even up his chances in this case, experts said, because the stress of going through the whole public process would elicit a stronger response from the president, who frequently accuses the special counsel of going on a politically motivated fishing expedition to undermine his presidency.
"The one thing I'd say to him if I were his lawyer is that you don't have any good choices left," Cotter said. "There are no good choices, there are just differing levels of bad choices at this point in his life."
Cramer echoed that view.
"Manafort has to hope and pray — and make no mistake, that's what it is, a hope and a prayer — that the president pardons him at some point," he said. "And boy, Manafort's got to be really comfortable in his belief that that's going to happen if he's going to bet his freedom on it."
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President Donald Trump on Thursday blamed Democrats for the "really large number" of deaths reported in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria last year, challenging the official death toll even though a government-funded study found similar numbers.
Trump said in a tweet on Thursday morning that when he visited the island following the hurricane last year, the death count was much lower.
"3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico," he said. "When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000."
He added in a second tweet: "This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!"
Trump visited the island and evaluated relief efforts after Hurricane Maria hit the US territory. His visit came after local officials in Puerto Rico, including Mayor Carmin Yulín Cruz of San Juan, argued he was not doing enough to help.
A study commissioned by the Puerto Rico government released in late August found that 2,975 people died because of the storm, making Hurricane Maria the second-deadliest storm in US history.
Trump was correct that the death toll provided by the Puerto Rican government was initially much lower, as the government originally said 64 people were killed as a result of the hurricane, but the lower number was met with skepticism early on as reports of many more deaths poured in during the months after the hurricane. That helped prompt the government-funded study.
Puerto Rico's government raised the official death toll to 2,975 on August 28.
A separate study published earlier in August found that 1,139 people died in hurricane-related deaths, an estimate the study's authors called "conservative."
In a tweet responding to Trump's claims on Thursday, Yulín Cruz hit back.
"This is what denial following neglect looks like: Mr Pres in the real world people died on your watch," she said. "YOUR LACK OF RESPECT IS APPALLING!"
Trump faced criticism earlier this week after boasting about his administration's efforts in Puerto Rico, saying they were "incredibly successful."
"It was one of the best jobs that's ever been done with respect to what this is all about," he said.
His comments came as Hurricane Florence approached the US mainland. The storm was downgraded from a Category 4 to Category 2 on Thursday, but forecasters were still predicting devastating flooding across the Carolinas and Virginia from storm surge and heavy rains.
According to the release, Netflix members watched more than 140 million hours of shows, movies, and documentaries per day in 2017. The most popular shows that people devoured (watched for more than two hours a day) in 2017 included "Riverdale," "The OA," "American Vandal," and "The Keepers," among others.
But 2018 has brought new series and new seasons of fan favorites, which means plenty of new opportunities to bang out 10 episodes in a weekend.
From true crime to feel-good makeovers, to sci-fi hits like "Stranger Things," here are 9 Netflix original series worth binge-watching.
Don't let her appearance as a cute red panda and Sanrio anime character fool you. By day, Retsuko is a 25-year-old who works in the accounting department of a trading firm in Tokyo and is often frustrated with the demands of her job. By night, she screams her heart out to death metal karaoke.
This animated original series is one of Netflix's hidden gems. It has already been renewed for a second season in 2019, so don't feel guilty about binge-watching every 15-minute episode.
Created by screenwriter and producer Charlie Brooker and picked up by Netflix for seasons three and four after originally airing its first two seasons on UK's Channel 4, "Black Mirror" is an anthology series that explores the complicated effects of technology on modern society.
It's number six on Netflix's list of the shows that had people cheating in 2017— cheating that is, in watching it ahead of their significant others.
Netflix, which has renewed "Black Mirror" for a fifth season, will announce a premiere date and episode count in late 2018. The original series also received three Emmy Nominations in 2018 with "Black Mirror: USS Callister" nominated for best television movie, Jesse Plemons for the episode "USS Callister" as lead actor in a limited series or movie, and actress Letitia Wright for the episode "Black Museum" as supporting actress in a limited series or movie.
The half-hour series, which is billed as a "loose" retelling of Sophia Amoruso's rise to fashion-flipping fame as the founder of clothing line Nasty Gal, but it does get some of the details right before she launched her eBay store.
Britt Robertson (portraying Amoruso) also brings grit and determination to her performance, making the character an edgy one to watch. If you've got an entrepreneurial spirit and want a series with low commitment (read: one season only), ignore the critics and start watching this one.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
When Julia Salazar, a 27-year-old progressive activist, was convinced to run for New York State Senate early this year by fellow members of the Democratic Socialists of America, there was no evidence that a young political novice on the far left could upend the party's political order and oust a longtime Democratic incumbent.
But on June 26, when fellow DSA member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stunned the nation by beating 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley in the Democratic US congressional primary, the landscape shifted.
As national media scrambled to cover a story they largely missed, Salazar — who bears striking similarities to Ocasio-Cortez — found herself in the spotlight. Two months of glowing stories followed. Reporters painted Salazar as the next young Latina to inspire millennials and traditionally marginalized voters to forge a new path in Democratic politics from her Brooklyn district.
But the outsize media attention began to hurt her in late August. The Jewish online magazine Tablet took a deep look into Salazar's transformation from a conservative, anti-choice, evangelical Christian activist to a pro-Palestine progressive, who converted to Judaism while an undergrad at Columbia University. (The Tablet reporter who wrote the story, Armin Rosen, was previously a reporter at Business Insider.)
The story was panned by Salazar's critics as an unfair attack on her religious and ethnic identity. Salazar told Vox she was "deeply hurt on a personal level" by the excavation of intimate details of her personal, political, and religious evolution.
But a week later, City and State New York published another story in which Salazar's brother and mother disputed a host of claims Salazar made about her personal background, including that she is a Colombian immigrant (she was born in Miami), and that she was raised working class.
Salazar's backstory grew stranger last week, when reports emerged that she was arrested in 2011 on identity theft and other criminal charges as part of a dispute with the ex-wife of former New York Mets player Keith Hernandez.
Salazar claims she was "defamed and victimized" by Hernandez's then-estranged wife, Kai, when she fraudulently attempted to break into her own bank account while impersonating Salazar and falsely accused the then-19-year-old college student of having an affair with her husband. Salazar sued Kai for defamation in Palm Beach County in 2013, which, years later, resulted in a $20,000 settlement for Salazar.
"The more parsimonious explanation is that there's something about her," said a former friend of Salazar's, who wished to remain anonymous to avoid online harassment from Salazar's supporters.
The friend added: "She's sort of been asking her supporters not to believe what their ears are hearing and not to believe what their eyes are seeing."
Salazar has acknowledged that her campaign was somewhat caught off-guard by the intense media scrutiny, and that she and her small staff "weren't on the same page" about some aspects of her background.
"The people who have been involved in supporting her and running her campaign — none of us were prepared for the amount of attention that her race would get," a DSA member who has organized with Salazar since 2016, and wished to remain anonymous to protect his relationship with the candidate, told Business Insider.
Sexual assault allegations
The media storm surrounding Salazar grew on Tuesday — just two days before Thursday's primary election — when The Daily Caller, a conservative website, reported that she had accused a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, David Keyes, of sexually assaulting her in his Manhattan apartment in a November 2013 Facebook post that she later deleted.
Salazar objected to the publication of her allegations, which appear to have been first reported in a Times of Israel editorial in the spring of 2016 — the basis of The Daily Caller report.
"There's a reason women don't often come forward after a traumatic experience — because of the triggering and vicious responses that follow," the candidate wrote in a statement shortly before the publication of the article. "I strongly believe sexual assault survivors should not be outed in this way, and am saddened by the effect this story may have on other women."
Later on Tuesday, Wall Street Journal reporter Shayndi Raice tweeted that she also once had a "terrible encounter" with Keyes.
"The man had absolutely no conception of the word 'no,'" she wrote. "I was able to extricate myself quickly and it was a very brief and uncomfortable moment but I knew as I walked away I had encountered a predator."
Keyes denied Salazar's allegations on Tuesday, using the controversies surrounding her background to boost his defense, telling Haaretz, "This false accusation is made by someone who has proven to be repeatedly dishonest about her own life."
An authentic progressive
Despite questions about Salazar's character, her supporters maintain that that she's a devoted champion of progressive change.
Salazar is challenging state Sen. Martin Malavè Dilan, a well-funded 16-year Democratic incumbent, and is running on a deeply progressive platform that includes Medicare-for-All, tuition-free public college, abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and establishing universal rent control.
Salazar's allies cite years of work as an organizer and political activist as evidence of her authenticity.
"Just the fact that she has been present when we've needed people to show up — that just means the world to me," the DSA organizer said. "There's no lying about that … you can't fake that."
We're going to fight for a society in which everyone is empowered to not only survive but to thrive.— Julia Salazar for State Senate (@SalazarSenate18) August 28, 2018
Vote for Julia Salazar on Thursday, September 13th: https://t.co/1nRpCUTOb3pic.twitter.com/CJO4EW7hDE
Dilan has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from Wall Street and the real estate industry — a point Salazar has used to draw contrasts with her campaign, which banned corporate PAC money.
The DSA organizer said Salazar's win won't be a referendum on her personal story, but a testament to the work of grassroots organizers and others who powered her campaign.
"I do not have any doubts that a state senate with Julia in it would be better than one without," he said.
'Muddying the waters'
Salazar is one of a broad slate of progressive insurgents — many of them women and people of color — aiming to upend New York State's political order this year. On Thursday, voters will decide her political future along with that of Cynthia Nixon — the former actress challenging Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and a slew of other candidates, including for state Senate, looking to oust incumbent Democrats.
Salazar has campaigned with and been endorsed by Nixon, attorney general candidate Zephyr Teachout, Ocasio-Cortez, and others, who've branded themselves as a movement. They have all stood by Salazar over the past few weeks.
But some say the cloud of bizarre allegations and misrepresentations dogging Salazar's campaign is unhealthy for the larger progressive movement.
"I'm rooting for a progressive future in politics — young, articulate progressives changing the conversation," the former friend of Salazar's said. "I think this is such a bad precedent, partly because it's embarrassing and the right-wing media's having a field day with it, but also because it's turning people into the populist mob that they claim to detest on the other side ... truth and integrity and common sense are going completely out the window for partisans of this movement."
Some say that if New York progressives, including candidates and elected officials, don't distance themselves from Salazar, they'll risk their reputations and that of the groups they belong to.
Ocasio-Cortez "defending someone who seems to have real credibility problems, if not outright lies, is a very dangerous thing — it muddies those waters and smears the narrative," Harry Siegel, a columnist for the New York Daily News and Daily Beast editor, told WNYC.
He added: "You do have this binary choice, if you want this venal Democratic hack or if you want an exciting young candidate, I just have questions about this exciting young candidate's credibility."
Though the Toronto International Film Festival is where the major studios and established players from the independent film world launch Oscar campaigns, the festival can still have a few surprises.
This year those include “Icebox,” one of this year’s TIFF world premieres that could find itself in the running for award season consideration with the big boys by year’s end thanks to a ripped-from-the-headlines story and the backing of one of the most powerful producers in Hollywood.
Swedish-born filmmaker Daniel Sawka has expanded his award-winning short film into a gripping feature that follows 12-year-old Oscar as he leaves his family in Honduras to escape gang life to start brand new in the US with his uncle. The trek illegally across the border to the States doesn’t go as planned and Oscar is snatched by the border patrol and sent to an immigrant detention facility.
Sawka then gives us an intimate look inside one of those facilities through the eyes of young Oscar. Unable to reach his uncle, Oscar must deal with days stuck inside an empty warehouse in a designated area surrounded by chain fences. And in the evenings he shivers himself to sleep on the cold concrete draped in a silver solar blanket. Though he befriends another boy who is in there with him, he finds himself in danger when his gang ties back home are revealed. Oscar must then take desperate steps to get his uncle out of hiding and convince him to come pick him up, which could jeopardize the uncle’s hopes for a green card.
Anthony Gonzalez, who plays Miguel in the Disney/Pixar hit “Coco,” gives an incredible performance as Oscar (he also played the character in the short film), whose adolescence has been stripped from him due to gangs back home and who is determined to make it to the US. Oscar’s uncle, Manuel, is played with a heartwarming mix of comedy and drama by Omar Leyva.
The short film version of the movie, which was also Sawka’s thesis project at the American Film Institute, made the rounds at top-tier festivals like Telluride and the AFI Film Fest, where it won best live-action short. And that pedigree led to it coming across the desk of legendary director/producer James L. Brooks (“The Simpsons,” “Big,” “Terms of Endearment”) in 2016, who was moved by Sawka’s short.
“Seeing the short was my awareness of what was going on,” Brooks told Business Insider over the phone before the movie’s Toronto International Film Festival premiere. “I was very interested in meeting with Daniel and I asked him what he wanted to do with a full-length piece and this is what he wanted to do.”
“I was shocked to be sitting with him,” Sawka said to Business Insider in Toronto the day after the movie’s premiere. “He called AFI and we got in touch and we talked for two hours. I thought that was all it was going to be but then he said he wanted to make this film together and we started developing.”
For Sawka it was the latest highlight in a four-year process from when he started researching the short film. And it was all sparked from his own family’s experience with immigration.
“For generations on my father’s side, people have been forced to migrate and relocate and find new homes,” he said. “It’s something I never experienced, but I was brought up on these stories and I wanted to find out more. Understand it better.”
And one day online he came across a story that included a photo of a group of boys on a warehouse floor with silver blankets around them, and he realized that was the story he needed to tell: The plight of the the immigrant coming to the US through our southern borders.
After months of research and interviews with countless people, from immigration lawyers, to judges, to children who had experienced staying in a detention facility, Sawka had his story. And then he found his lead.
Then only 11 years old, Anthony Gonzalez was found through the casting process and blew everyone away. Gonzalez’s riveting performance is a main reason for the attention the short got and will likely be why it gets attention when released to general audiences. And he's had success since the short, getting cast as the lead in Pixar's “Coco.”
“He discovered a star,” Brooks said of Sawka casting Gonzalez. “Which doesn’t happen on every thesis film.”
From humble beginnings, Sawka was now going to the offices of Brooks’ Gracie Films, the home base for the making of “The Simpsons,” to develop “Icebox” into a $2 million feature.
Though Sawka said Brooks’ imprint is in every part of the movie, the Oscar winner is quick to say that this is Sawka’s movie and he’s just happy to help a talented newbie get his start.
“Every time I do work with a first-time filmmaker it’s because I believe that person has a real voice and I try to help them have their voice rather than mine,” Brooks said. “But the one thing I wanted out of this for myself was the spirit of the film. Just to be around that spirit.”
With a crew made up of recent AFI graduates, or those with just a little experience on set, Sawka used the research he had been compiling since the short as the movie's guiding light. Shot in 21 days in New Mexico, Sawka and Brooks cast a predominantly Hispanic crew and that turned out to make the story even more authentic, as Sawka would often talk to crew members and learn how similar their families’ stories were to the story they were telling.
“Every day someone would come up and tell you something,” Sawka said. “There was this willingness and want to share experiences so Jim and I constantly talked about how we could get those perspectives into the movie. The challenge of this movie was finding the focus because you could go so many different places.”
And then a big moment regarding the immigration issue happened in post production. Around the time Sawka was getting to the final cut, President Trump announced a “zero tolerance” immigration policy that separated migrant parents from their children at the border (weeks after the announcement, Trump changed the policy so families no longer would be split up).
It’s something Sawka had gotten used to over the last four years, that the topic of his story was essentially a “moving target,” as he put it. But it was time to go forward with the movie in the can, so the decision was made to address the “zero tolerance” policy in an end card before the credits.
“We wanted to show that we’re now on a slippery slope towards something quite terrifying,” Sawka said of addressing the policy.
“Icebox” is now working on landing a distribution deal out of TIFF with the hopes of launching an awards season run. Sawka is also developing another project for Brooks to produce.
But the Oscar character is not far from his mind. When asked if he could ever see himself making a sequel that looks at where Oscar is with his life five or ten years from now, Sawka was excited by the idea.
“I would personally love that and I think Anthony would too,” he said. “I think a lot about what might happen to this character.”
"Icebox" is currently seeking distribution.
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The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, slammed President Donald Trump on Thursday after he blamed Democrats for the "really large number" of deaths reported following Hurricane Maria last year.
Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said in a tweet Thursday morning: "This is what denial following neglect looks like: Mr Pres in the real world people died on your watch. YOUR LACK OF RESPECT IS APPALLING!"
She then called Trump a "bully" and said his "true colors" were shining through.
Mr President no matter how much you try your “true colors” come shining thru. Unfortunately you just can’t help it. You just can’t get it. pic.twitter.com/nWzznCsCag— Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) September 13, 2018
Mr Trump you can try and bully us with your tweets BUT WE KNOW OUR LIVES MATTER. You will never take away our self respect. Shame on you! pic.twitter.com/KlMzClvzkA— Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) September 13, 2018
Simply put: delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality. Trump is so vain he thinks this is about him. NO IT IS NOT. pic.twitter.com/K96H5O3NKM— Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) September 13, 2018
Her tweet came after Trump said "3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico," adding that the death count was much lower when he visited the island last year.
"This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!" Trump said.
Initial official estimates found that 64 people were killed as a result of the hurricane, but the number was highly disputed and a government-funded study later found the number to be much higher.
The study commissioned by the Puerto Rico government released in late August found that 2,975 people had died in the wake of the storm. It found that Hurricane Maria was the second deadliest storm in US history.
After that study came out, Puerto Rico's government raised the official death toll to 2,975 on August 28, 2018.
A separate study published in August found that 1,139 people died in hurricane-related deaths, and the authors called that estimate "conservative."
Trump visited the island and evaluated relief efforts after Hurricane Maria hit the island.
Earlier this week Trump faced criticism after boasting about his administration's efforts in Puerto Rico, saying they were "incredibly successful."
The comments between the two leaders came as Hurricane Florence approached the East Coast. The storm was downgraded from a category 4 to a category 2 on Thursday, but forecasters are still predicting devastating flooding across the Carolinas from storm surge and heavy rains.
Brides on every continent know that it's all about the wedding dress.
In many countries, a bridal gown is a manifestation of the couple's heritage. The color, silhouette, and detail are designed in keeping with their customs and religious beliefs.
Of course, no two brides are alike, and traditions may vary by region.
Take a look at how wedding dresses are worn around the world.
Before a Turkish bride leaves her father's home for the wedding, a male relative ties a red maidenhood belt around her waist. The color signifies luck, sexuality, and happiness.
At a wedding in Ribnovo, Bulgaria, the bride gets her face painted white and decorated with colorful sequins by her female in-laws. The custom dates back centuries.
Sources: Reuters and The Guardian
In a traditional wedding in Macedonia, the bride wears an intricately embroidered smock in red, white, and gold.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
In May 2011, reporters swarmed now-President Donald Trump as he exited the Hyatt in Washington, DC, after the White House Correspondents' Dinner.
Many wanted a response from Trump, who had just watched President Obama deliver jokes that night about Trump's constant questioning of the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate.
Years later, Trump is still not convinced of the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate. But this was perhaps the first of numerous debunked or unverified conspiracy theories that Trump has entertained during his time in the political spotlight.
Throughout the 2016 campaign and while in the White House, Trump has floated theories fueled by the conspiratorial-minded corners of supermarket tabloids and the internet, something unprecedented in modern politics. He's often used them as weapons against his opponents.
Here are some of the most notable conspiracy theories Trump has entertained:
Questions about Ted Cruz's father's potential ties to President John F. Kennedy's assassin.
On the eve of the Indiana primary, Trump attempted to undermine former Republican presidential rival Ted Cruz's father's legitimacy by parroting an unverified National Enquirer story.
It claimed Rafael Cruz was photographed in the early 1960s handing out pro-Fidel Castro leaflets with President John F. Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
The Cruz campaign denounced the piece as "garbage."
Questions about President Obama's birth certificate.
While mulling a potential 2012 presidential bid, Trump became the most high-profile figure to promote the rumors suggesting that President Obama was not born in the US.
Trump claimed he'd deployed private investigators who "could not believe what they're finding" about Obama's place of birth.
He also repeatedly clashed with reporters who pushed him on the issue. During one contentious interview, he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that he'd been "co-opted" by "Obama and his minions" when the anchor tried to push back on Trump's claims.
When Obama eventually released his long-form birth certificate, Trump questioned the document's authenticity.
Trump has since continued to push the conspiracy theory in recent months during his presidency, according to advisors who spoke with the New York Times. One sitting US senator echoed these reports.
"[Trump] has had a hard time letting go of his claim that Mr. Obama was not born in the United States," the senator told the Times.
Questions about a former Bill Clinton aide's suicide.
After Vince Foster, a former aide to President Bill Clinton, was found dead in 1993, various law-enforcement agencies and independent counsels determined he committed suicide.
But Foster's death spawned conspiracy theorists who questioned whether the Clintons themselves were involved in Foster's death.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Trump suggested Foster's death was "very fishy."
"He had intimate knowledge of what was going on," Trump said of Foster's role in the White House. "He knew everything that was going on, and then all of a sudden he committed suicide."
He added: "I don’t bring [Foster’s death] up because I don’t know enough to really discuss it. I will say there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. I don’t do that because I don’t think it’s fair."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The most popular beers in the world aren't necessarily the ones most Americans would expect.
Globally, the beer industry sold $661 billion worth of beer in 2017. While craft beer is on the rise, it makes up just a tiny percentage of those sales.
Instead, the biggest brands in beer dominate the industry. The top 50 biggest beer brands in the world account for 48% of beer consumption, according to a report by Bank of America Merill Lynch.
And, some of these mega-brands are names that Americans have likely never heard of, much less tasted. Of the 10 most-popular beers in the world, half are nearly unknown in the United States.
Here were the 10 biggest brands in beer in 2017, according to global sales by volume as estimated by GlobalData Consumer:
Estimated 2017 hectoliters: 26.5 million
Chicago-based MillerCoors — owned by Molson Coors — is scrambling to boost Coors Light sales. Earlier in September, the brewer announced that it was restructuring, eliminating roughly 350 salaried positions across the company.
"We are moving quickly and decisively to get our business back on track," MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley said in an email to distributors, according to a news report on the company's website.
Estimated 2017 hectoliters: 28.8 million
Corona's business is booming outside of Mexico, with imports making up an increasing portion of the brand's business. Constellation Brands, which imports, markets, and distributes Corona in the US, reported that beer sales grew 10% in 2017, driven in part by Americans' growing desire for Mexican beer.
Estimated 2017 hectoliters: 29.7 million
Yanjing is a Chinese brand that was created in 1980. In the first half of 2018, Yanjing Beer reported revenue of HK$6.64 billion during the period, or roughly $850 million, a year-on-year increase of 8.9%.
"Yanjing Beer followed positively the new trends of being younger, fashionable and personalized in beer consumption in China and achieved increase in its average selling price per ton of beer," parent company Beijing Enterprises Holdings Limited said in a press release in late August.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
A new wave of films hits theaters every week, but a lot of them aren't worth seeing.
To help you sort out which movies are must-see material, we turn to the reviews aggregator Metacritic each week to compile this list of the most critically acclaimed films that are currently in theaters on a wide release.
On this week's list, Bo Burnham's directorial debut "Eight Grade" contends with Spike Lee's satirical true-crime thriller "BlacKkKlansman," and the wildly compelling satire "Sorry to Bother You."
Here are the 7 best movies in theaters right now, according to critics:
7. "Searching" — 71%
Critic score: 71%
Date released: August 24, 2018
What critics said: "Impressively, first-time filmmaker and former Google commercials creator Aneesh Chaganty has also made a real movie, the story of a family that morphs into a crime drama that gradually ratchets up the tension as all good thrillers must, one that’s well constructed and acted as well as novel in its storytelling techniques." — The Hollywood Reporter
6. "Crazy Rich Asians" — 74%
Critic score: 74%
Date released: August 15, 2018
What critics said: "It’s a reinvented romantic comedy, sassy and fun, that doesn’t necessarily rely on obvious tropes and is worth the wait." — Time Out
5. "Incredibles 2" — 80%
Critic score: 80%
Date released: June 15, 2018
What critics said: "Though it would be unrealistic to expect 'Incredibles 2' to have quite the genre-busting surprise of the original, it is as good as it can be without that shock of the new — delivering comedy, adventure and all too human moments with a generous hand." — Los Angeles Times
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Super Typhoon Mangkhut, considered the strongest storm so far this season, is expected to make landfall in the Philippines on Saturday before advancing to southern China, Vietnam, and Laos.
The map below, published by the Philippines' meteorological authority on Thursday morning, shows the typhoon's predicted path over the next few days. Typhoon Mangkhut is also known as Typhoon Ompong in the Philippines.
The northern Philippines, southern China, Vietnam, and northern Laos are in the typhoon's predicted path.
As of 4 p.m. local time, Mangkhut was carrying maximum sustained winds of 127 mph and gusts — sudden, short increases of wind speed — of 158 mph, according to the Philippines' meteorological authority.
Its sustained wind speeds make the typhoon equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, which is used to measure storms in the Atlantic and northern Pacific oceans.
Brandon Miller, CNN's meteorologist, said on Thursday that Mangkhut was expected to be "bigger, stronger, and more dangerous" than Florence, though the comparative damage of the two storms depends on what they hit.
"Any land hit directly would see more significant and destructive impacts from the Super Typhoon due to its size and intensity," he added.
However, he said, because the US's East Coast has more, costlier infrastructure than Southeast Asia, Florence is likely to cause more damage to property. Several nuclear power plants are in Florence's predicted path, officials told CNN.
"But Mangkhut presents a more serious threat to life considering it will hit with stronger winds, over a larger area, and have higher storm surge," Miller added.
Mangkhut tore through the Marshall Islands and Guam, a US territory, earlier this week. The typhoon left parts of Guam without electricity, as well as knocked down power poles, destroyed houses, uprooted trees, and flooded large areas, the local newspaper Pacific Daily News reported.
Eddie Calvo, the governor of Guam, has asked President Donald Trump to send federal aid to help the island.
Evacuations and stockpiling
The Philippines is poised to get hit next. Officials in the island nation have started evacuating thousands of people, closing schools, and preparing bulldozers for landslides, The Associated Press reported.
Food prices in Hong Kong, which is preparing for heavy rainfall and storms from Mangkhut, have gone up as residents have started stockpiling, the South China Morning Post reported. Shopkeepers have also started putting sandbags in front of their stores to prevent water from getting in, the report said.
Southeast Asia is also expecting the arrival of Tropical Storm Barijat, which as of Thursday morning was moving across the western Pacific Ocean with a wind speed of 29 mph, according to Cyclocane, a storm-tracking website.
China has evacuated about 12,000 people in low-lying areas in the southeastern Guangdong province and halted shipping schedules in preparation for Barijat, according to the state-run news outlet Xinhua.
China is tracking members of its Uighur ethnic minority by installing scannable QR codes on their front doors, according to a new report.
Beijing has been coming under increasing international scrutiny over its treatment of the Uighurs, a majority-Muslim Turkic population living in the western region of Xinjiang.
Over the past year China has installed 40,000 facial-recognition cameras across the region, forced Uighurs to download an app that monitors their cellphone activity, and built databases of DNA samples and fingerprints to keep track of people.
The surveillance measures don't stop there.
Officials in some localities have started putting QR codes — a type of two-dimensional barcode — containing Uighurs' personal information next to their front doors, Human Rights Watch reported on Monday.
A Uighur who left Xinjiang in 2017, identified by the pseudonym Nurmuhemmet, told Human Rights Watch earlier this year: "Every ... home, where one enters, there's a QR code. Then every two days or every day, the cadres come and scan the QR code, so they know how many people live here."
Beijing justifies its surveillance and crackdown in Xinjiang as preventing terrorism, and has repeatedly accused militant Uighurs of starting terrorist attacks across the country since at least the mid-1990s.
Over the past few years, Chinese authorities have also forced Xinjiang residents to put QR codes on household tools that could be used as weapons.
These include kitchen knives and craft knives, and the codes link to the owners' ID card numbers, Human Rights Watch said.
By scanning the code, authorities can immediately see residents' identities, contact information, and how many potentially dangerous tools they own, according to a news report from the city of Korla, Xinjiang, which HRW cited.
The Wall Street Journal's Josh Chin reported last December that a knife salesman in Aksu, a city in northwest Xinjiang, had to install a machine to turn a customer's ID card number, photo, ethnicity, and home address into a QR code.
The code then had to be lasered onto the blade of any knife he sold.
China is accused of imprisoning up to 1 million Uighurs, with former detainees and witnesses describing scenes of physical and psychological torture in the camps.
Authorities have cited a slew of seemingly bogus excuses for locking people up. One man was detained for being a terrorist suspect because he set his watch to a different time from Beijing, according to a former detainee.
Beijing has denied that internment camps exist, but acknowledged that it has a program of "resettlement" for people it considers extremists.
Earlier this week China told the UN's human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, to "respect China's sovereignty" after she called on it to allow international monitors into Xinjiang.
House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday said he had "no reason to dispute" a government-funded study that concluded nearly 3,000 people died in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, a finding President Donald Trump rejected in tweets earlier in the day.
Ryan did not condemn Trump's controversial claims, including a conspiratorial assertion that Democrats inflated the death toll to make "look as bad as possible."
The Republican congressman didn't fault the president for his response to the storm, though critics have accused Trump of neglecting Puerto Rico and undermining the detrimental impact the hurricane had on the US island.
"Casualties don’t make a person look bad," Ryan told reporters. "I have no reason to dispute these numbers. I was in Puerto Rico after the hurricane. It was devastated. This was a horrible storm. I toured the entire island. It’s an isolated island that lost its infrastructure and its power for a long time."
Others were far more critical of Trump and his claim "3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico" — particularly San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.
Responding to Trump's assertions about the death toll, Cruz tweeted, "This is what denial following neglect looks like: Mr Pres in the real world people died on your watch. YOUR LACK OF RESPECT IS APPALLING!"
In subsequent tweets, she referred to Trump as a "bully" and "delusional, paranoid, and unhinged from any sense of reality."
Similarly, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, accused Trump of spreading "alternative facts" in reference to his Thursday tweets on Puerto Rico, and called on congressional Republicans to hold him accountable.
Even Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, an ally of Trump who is running for Senate in the state, pushed against the president's claims.
"I disagree with @POTUS– an independent study said thousands were lost and Gov. Rosselló agreed. I've been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand. The loss of any life is tragic; the extent of lives lost as a result of Maria is heart wrenching. I'll continue to help PR," Scott tweeted Thursday.
Trump's remarks and the widespread backlash that followed come as the East Coast is bracing for Hurricane Florence, which is expected to hit the Carolinas particularly hard.