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Kelly Loses White House Clout as Trump Blazes Own Path

Chief of staff out of loop for several key recent decisions President and top aide at times now on different wavelengths Donald Trump’s side for crucial decisions on staffing and policy moves, according to several senior aides. Kelly wasn’t with the president last week when Trump abruptly decided to oust H.R. McMaster as national security adviser and replace him with John Bolton. Just two people were in the room for that decision: Trump and Bolton. And Kelly is rarely on the line any more when Trump calls foreign leaders. Last…

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Google Could Owe Oracle $8.8 Billion in Android Fight

Google could owe Oracle Corp. billions of dollars for using Oracle-owned Java programming code in its Android operating system on mobile devices, an appeals court said, as the years-long feud between the two software giants draws near a close. Google’s use of Java shortcuts to develop Android went too far and was a violation of Oracle’s copyrights, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled Tuesday. The case — first filed in 2010 — was remanded to a federal court in California to determine how much the Alphabet…

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Trump May Be Deposed in Apprentice Groping Lawsuit

Manhattan state court judge says ‘no one is above the law’ Ruling adds to Stormy Daniels controversy over hush payment Summer Zervos, right, arrives at the New York County Criminal Court on Dec. 5, 2017. Stormy Daniels Faces $20 Million in Damages in Trump Lawsuit The decision may also complicate Trump’s effort to dismiss allegations from various women about his behavior. Trump is separately embroiled in a scandal involving a $130,000 payment to an adult film actress — Stephanie Clifford, who performed under the name Stormy Daniels — who alleges he’s…

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ECB’s Rimsevics Detained by Latvian Anti-Graft Bureau

Latvian central bank Governor Ilmars Rimsevics, a member of the European Central Bank’s governing council, was detained by the anti-graft bureau, in a flurry of actions by officials that ended early Monday with the financial regulator imposing payment restrictions on third-biggest lender ABLV Bank AS. The detention followed a search by authorities of the governor’s office and private property, state-owned LTV reported. Rimsevics’s lawyer, Saulvedis Varpins, said the governor considered the move against him as "clearly illegal." Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola said the detention would be explained on Monday and…

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Fired Google Engineer Loses Diversity Memo Challenge

Google’s firing of an engineer over his lawsuit accusing the internet giant of harassing him and others over their conservative political views. When he was dismissed in August, Damore accused Google of violating the employee right to engage in "concerted activity" to address workplace issues, a category which the labor board has found can include forms of activism ranging from lawsuits to strikes to social media posts. “Much of" Damore’s memo was probably protected under the law, the labor board’s attorney, Jayme Sophir, said in the Jan. 16 memo. But…

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U.S. Regulators Subpoena Crypto Exchange Bitfinex, Tether

U.S. regulators are scrutinizing one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges as questions mount over a digital token linked to its backers. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission sent subpoenas on Dec. 6 to virtual-currency venue Bitfinex and Tether, a company that issues a widely traded coin and claims it’s pegged to the dollar, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. The firms share the same chief executive officer. Tether’s coins have become a popular substitute for dollars on cryptocurrency exchanges…

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Ubers Secret Tool for Keeping the Cops in the Dark

In May 2015 about 10 investigators for the Quebec tax authority burst into flouting local labor laws and taxi rules has made it a favorite target for law enforcement agencies around the world. That’s where this remote system, called Ripley, comes in. From spring 2015 until late 2016, Uber routinely used Ripley to thwart police raids in foreign countries, say three people with knowledge of the system. Allusions to its nature can be found in a smattering of court filings, but its details, scope, and origin haven’t been previously reported.…

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Saudi Arabia Arrests 11 Princes Protesting Over Bills, Report Says

Saudi authorities made a fresh round of arrests of royal-family members as a group of princes staged a palace protest in the capital over the non-payment of their electricity and water bills. Security services on Thursday arrested the 11 princes after they refused to leave Qasr Al-Hokm in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s Attorney General, Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb, said in an emailed statement. The princes, who objected to a decree that ordered the state to stop paying their utility bills, will be held at al-Ha’er prison pending their trial, Al Mojeb said. “No…

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No Idea What MiFID Stands For? Here’s What You Need to Know

Everyone in European finance has been abuzz over an obscure acronym — MiFID II — that’s about to radically change how assets from stocks to commodities are traded and investors’ money is managed. Banks and asset managers across the European Union have spent more than $2 billion preparing for it. Regulators say it will protect investors, boost transparency and rebuild trust that was tarnished by the 2008 global crash. The industry has even spent months finding ways to sidestep parts of it. But you’d be forgiven for not paying attention:…

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Trump Signs $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut in First Major Legislative Win

President Donald Trump signed the Republican tax-overhaul bill to little fanfare on Friday, delivering a major tax cut to U.S. corporations along with a package of temporary cuts for other businesses and most individuals. “I consider this very much a bill for the middle class and a bill for jobs,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office before signing the legislation. “Corporations are literally going wild over this. I think even beyond my expectations.” Trump’s signature caps a seven-week sprint that

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Brexit: voters can change EU deal if they don’t like it, says Michael Gove

As Theresa May wins Tory support for Brussels agreement, the environment secretary flags up potential for a rethink Michael Gove has said voters will be able to force changes to an EU withdrawal deal at the next election if they do not like it. The environment secretarys comments came as prime minister Theresa May won public backing from both wings of the Tory party after securing an agreement with Brussels to start post-Brexit trade negotiations.

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Al Franken apologizes after accusation he kissed and groped TV news anchor

Senator and former comedian calls for ethics investigation after Leeann Tweeden alleges he forcibly kissed her and later groped her while she was asleep in 2006 US senator and former comedian Al Franken has issued an apology after being accused of kissing and groping a woman without her consent. Leeann Tweeden, a Los Angeles-based news anchor, came forward with the allegations in photo that appears to show Franken placing his hands over her breasts while posing for the camera. Congressional leaders swiftly called for a Senate ethics committee investigation into…

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Louis CK responds to sexual misconduct allegations: ‘These stories are true’

The comedian released a statement regarding the claims: The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly Disgraced comedian Louis CK on Friday admitted to the New York Times on Thursday. These stories are true. At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true, Louis CK said. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power…

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One Tax Loophole Untouched So Far: The Trump Golf-Course Break

Republican lawmakers pushing to close dozens of tax loopholes have left open one that’s been good to President the outline for a sweeping tax rewrite on Thursday, a lucrative break for golf-course owners — including the president — remains firmly in place in the House version of the measure. The Obama administration estimated in 2014 that closing the controversial loophole would save more than $600 million over a decade. While Republicans are eliminating many write-offs, the House version of the bill allows golf-course owners to claim deductions for promising never to…

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Crackdown on Billionaires and Other Top Officials Shakes Up Saudi Arabia

Even by the standards of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose meteoric ascent has put him on the cusp of the Saudi throne at the age of 32, the Saturday night crackdown was stunning. In just a few hours, security forces arrested princes, billionaires, ministers and former top officials as soon as King Salman announced a sweeping anti-corruption drive. Those detained included billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who was picked up at his desert camp outside Riyadh, according to a senior Saudi official. Before midnight, the suspects’ names were already…

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