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Days After Parkland, Its Business as Usual at a Florida Gun Show

It’s another week after another mass shooting in the U.S., and something finally feels different. In the days following the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students and faculty members, a vociferous movement of young people has risen up to say enough is enough. The generation that grew up in the wake of the 1999 carnage in Columbine is demanding new gun restrictions. The teenagers are adding a fresh voice to a gun control debate that has plodded, despite a number of high-profile massacres in the…

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Mueller Deflates Trump’s Claim That Russia Meddling Was Hoax

Donald Trump has insisted for more than a year that Russians didn’t try to get him elected. Special Counsel Robert Mueller put an end to those claims on Friday, declaring definitively that they did. A federal grand jury indicted 13 Russian nationals and a so-called “troll farm” in St. Petersburg on Friday for a broad campaign to sway the 2016 election in Trump’s favor. The indictment alleges that the operation was funded to the tune of $1.25 million a month by companies controlled by a Russian businessman close to the…

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Bond-Stock Clash Has Just Begun as Inflation Looms

The tug-of-war between stocks and bonds is at the heart of the shakeout roiling financial markets. This week’s U.S. inflation report could hold the key to the next phase. Seemingly every time 10-year Treasury yields approached a four-year high last week, equities investors panicked, fearing the specter of higher inflation and a more aggressive pace of Federal Reserve rate hikes. Whether you want to say Treasuries are in a bear market or not, the surge in yields to start 2018 has left investors reassessing the value of equities and corporate bonds….

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Musk Sends a Tesla Into Space Atop World’s Most Powerful Rocket

An elated Elon Musk pulled off another seemingly impossible feat Tuesday when SpaceX launched the world’s most powerful rocket in 45 years, then flew two of its spent boosters back to the Florida coast for a spectacular, simultaneous recovery on land. With hordes of fans gathered along the Florida space coast, the new rocket rumbled aloft under clear skies shortly after 3:45 p.m. local time. The live-stream of the Falcon Heavy Test Flight was the second-most-watched in YouTube’s history, reaching more than 2.3 million concurrent views, and the launch led…

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U.S. Adds 200,000 Jobs; Wages Rise by Most Since Recession

U.S. hiring picked up in January and wages rose at the fastest annual pace since the recession ended, as the economy’s steady move toward full employment extended into 2018. Nonfarm payrolls rose 200,000 — compared with the median estimate of economists for a 180,000 increase — after an upwardly revised 160,000 advance, Labor Department figures showed Friday. The jobless rate held at 4.1 percent, matching the lowest since 2000, while average hourly earnings rose a more-than-expected 2.9 percent from a year earlier, the most since June 2009. Treasury yields and…

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Trump’s Solar Tariffs Mark Biggest Blow to Renewables Yet

President Donald Trump just dealt his biggest blow to the renewable energy industry yet. On Monday, Trump approved duties of as much as 30 percent on solar equipment made abroad, a move that threatens to handicap a $28 billion industry that relies on parts made abroad for 80 percent of its supply. Just the mere threat of tariffs has shaken solar developers in recent months, with some stalling projects in anticipation of higher costs. The Solar Energy Industries Association has projected 23,000 job losses this year in a sector that employed…

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IMF Says Global Growth Picking Up as U.S. Tax Cuts Take Hold

The International Monetary Fund warned policymakers to be on guard for the next recession even as it predicted global growth will accelerate to the fastest pace in seven years as U.S. tax cuts spur businesses to invest. The fund raised its forecast for world expansion to 3.9 percent this year and next, up 0.2 percentage point both years from its projection in October. That would be the fastest rate since 2011, when the world was bouncing back from the financial crisis. The strengthening recovery offers a “perfect opportunity now for…

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Trumps Lawyer Brokered $130,000 Payment to Adult Film Star, WSJ Reports

Washington (AP) — President Donald Trump's personal lawyer brokered a $130,000 payment to a porn actress to prevent her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Trump, according to a report Friday in The Wall Street Journal. Trump met Stephanie Clifford, whose goes by the name Stormy Daniels in films, at a golf event in 2006 — a year after Trump's marriage to his wife, Melania. According to the Journal's report, Clifford began talking with ABC News in the fall of 2016 for a story involving an alleged relationship…

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Senator Calls Trumps Denial of Shithole Comment Not True

A key Democratic senator who was at the Oval Office meeting on immigration said President Donald Trump’s denial that he called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries” is “not true” and that Trump made the “vile and racist” comments. “He said things which were hate-filled, vile and racist,” Senator Dick Durbin, of Illinois, who was at the meeting, told reporters Friday morning. “I cannot believe that in the history of the White House, in that oval office, any president has ever spoken the words that I personally heard our president…

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Trump Says Bannon Lost His Mind After Leaving White House

President Donald Trump denounced his former top strategist, Steve Bannon, on Wednesday in a dramatic break from the man considered an architect of Trump’s populist campaign. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” Trump said in a statement issued after the publication of excerpts of a new book in which Bannon criticizes the president and his family. “Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look.” Bannon has lost the access to…

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2018 Feels Ripe for Big Unexpected Crisis, Eurasia Group Says

This year could see a geopolitical crisis on the scale of the financial crash a decade ago, Eurasia Group warned in its annual outlook. Describing global political challenges as “daunting,” the New York-based political risk consultancy said that “if we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis — the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown — it feels like 2018." The biggest uncertainty surrounds China’s move to fill a vacuum as U.S. influence continues to decline, stoking tensions between the two powers, it said. That’s likely to…

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North Korea Signals Olympics Truce, Seeks Talks With Seoul

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for urgent talks with South Korea to make the Winter Olympics next month a success even while repeating claims that he could strike the U.S. with a nuclear bomb if necessary. In an annual New Year’s day speech, Kim said that “we sincerely hope the games will be successful.” He said that both Koreas should seek to resolve problems among themselves rather than seek help from outside of the region. “It’s about time that the North and the South sit down and seriously…

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Kim Jong Un Says Nuclear Button to Hit U.S. Always on My Desk

Kim Jong Un repeated claims that he could hit the U.S. with a nuclear weapon, saying that its deterrent is “irreversible” and would prevent President Donald Trump from starting a war. Kim also said he planned to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month, Yonhap News reported, even as he called for mass production of nuclear warheads. South Korean television stations stopped broadcasting the speech before it ended. “It’s reality, not a threat, that the nuclear button is always on my desk,” Kim said in…

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Theresa May’s Infrastructure Czar Quits, Lashing Out at Brexit

Andrew Adonis quit as Theresa May’s infrastructure czar, but not before delivering a blistering verdict on the Brexit policy being pursued by the U.K. prime minister and her Conservative Party. The Labour peer and former transport secretary described Brexit as a “populist and nationalist spasm worthy of Donald Trump” in a unexpectedly quit, depriving her of a key figure in dealing with EU negotiators. And now, days from the end of the year, Adonis is departing with an excoriating verdict on the country’s direction. “Brexit is causing a nervous breakdown across…

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Flake: Someone in GOP Will Challenge Trump in Primary, If Not Me

President Donald Trump is likely to face a challenge from an independent candidate, and possibly a fellow Republican, if he runs for a second term, as voters thirst for a more centrist alternative, said Senator Jeff Flake. “If the president is running for re-election, if he continues on the path that he’s on, that’s gonna leave a huge swath of voters looking for something else,” said the Arizona Republican, who plans to leave the Senate at the end of 2018. Flake, who’s emerged as one of the president’s most vocal…

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