(CNN)White House trade adviser Peter Navarro took a shot at Wall Street Friday, warning “globalist elites” against meddling with the Trump administration’s policy on China.
(CNN)White House trade adviser Peter Navarro took a shot at Wall Street Friday, warning “globalist elites” against meddling with the Trump administration’s policy on China.
The decision by Saudi Arabia to halt new investments and unload assets in Canada is likely to have limited impact.
Saudi assets in Canada are confined mainly to stakes in upscale hotel operators, some small stock holdings in companies like Canadian National Railway Co., and grain facilities.
Most investments have been made by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal through his Kingdom Holding Co., a Riyadh-based conglomerate with investments in hotels, real estate and equities. The company’s international hotel unit joined Bill Gates’s Cascade Investment and Canadian Isadore Sharp in a 2007 buyout of management company Four Seasons Hotels Inc., taking a 47.5 percent stake.
“The matter does not affect the day-to-day operations of Four Seasons,” spokeswoman Sarah Tuite said in an email. “It is business as usual as we continue to welcome guests to our hotels and resorts worldwide.”
Alwaleed’s influence in the kingdom has diminished after his arrest last year in an anti-corruption sweep by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is seen to be sending a message to critics of his leadership with this latest reaction against Canada.
G3 Global Grain Group, a joint venture between state-owned Saudi Agriculture & Livestock Investment Co. and U.S. agri-food company Bunge Ltd., bought a 50.1 percent stake in the Canadian Wheat Board for C$250 million ($192 million) in 2015. SALIC boosted its stake to 75 percent a year later. The partnership also holds an interest in a grain export terminal being built near Vancouver. On Tuesday, officials of the Winnipeg, Manitoba-based G3 said the company continues to buy and sell grain as usual. Officials didn’t immediately return requests for comment on Wednesday.
Last year, Toronto-based technology startup QD Solar Inc. received funding from a group that included Saudi’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and Netherlands-based venture capital firm DSM Venturing.
Saudi lender National Commercial Bank has an asset manager that held investments in 41 Canadian companies including Suncor Energy Inc., Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. in its AlAhli North America Index Fund, according to May 2017 filings. CN Rail, at $473,500, was the largest Canadian investment of the fund’s $148.2 million portfolio.
Two-way trade between the two countries is tiny — around 0.4 percent of Canada’s total trade in 2017. Canada exported C$1.37 billion worth of goods to Saudi Arabia last year, mostly tanks and other armored fighting vehicles and their parts, according to Statistics Canada. The country imported C$2.63 billion in goods from Saudi Arabia over that period, mostly crude imported to the Irving Oil Ltd. refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick.
Export Development Canada, the country’s trade financing agency said it has exposure of about C$2 billion to Saudi Arabia, and about 250 customers operating in the kingdom.
“Canada stands up firmly and respectfully for human rights,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters Wednesday in Montreal, sidestepping questions on the impact of the Saudi moves. He also declined to say whether Canada would apologize for its statements about the women’s activists.
The tanks and armored vehicles are manufactured by General Dynamics Land Systems Canada, based in London, Ontario, a unit of U.S. defense giant General Dynamics Corp., under a C$15 billion contract with Saudi Arabia signed by the Canadian government in 2014.
Saudi’s move had a brief impact on the Canadian dollar, with the loonie depreciating as much as 0.5 percent to C$1.3120 per U.S. dollar after the Financial Times reported the Saudi Arabia central bank and state pension funds instructed overseas asset managers to dispose of Canadian assets starting Tuesday.
Canada’s currency later reversed those losses to trade 0.3 percent higher at 4:29 p.m. in Toronto. The S&P/TSX Composite Index closed 0.2 percent higher at 16,315.08. Yields on 10-year government bonds fell 1 basis point to 2.36 percent.
Saudi holdings of Canadian dollar reserves are between C$10 billion and C$25 billion, with the upper end of that estimate representing 10 percent of daily Canadian dollar trading volume, according to estimates from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
Canadian direct investors in Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, include Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s second-biggest producer, and SNC-Lavalin Group Inc., Canada’s biggest engineering and construction company.
SNC, which has been operating in the kingdom for five decades, said late Wednesday it’s not yet been able to “fully assess” the impact of the tensions with Saudi Arabia on its business. SNC had revenue of about C$993 million in the country last year, representing about 11 percent of total sales.
“If a widespread commercial embargo on Canadian commercial interests in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were to be implemented on a prolonged basis, there will be an impact on our future financial performance,” SNC said in a statement.
As for Barrick, the Toronto-based miner said it doesn’t expect its copper mine in Saudi Arabia to be affected by the escalating tensions with Canada.
(CNN)The Trump administration is considering increasing the rate of proposed tariffs to 25% on an additional $200 billion worth of goods from China.
Washington (CNN)New satellite images show North Korea has made rapid improvements to the infrastructure at its Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center — a facility used to produce weapons-grade fissile material, according to an analysis published by 38 North, a prominent North Korea monitoring group.
It’s 2018 so of course Twitter would take something as terrifying as the United States president writing an all-caps threat to another world leader, leaving us (yet again) standing on the precipice of international conflict, and make it into a meme.
What a time to be alive.
People have latched on to Donald Trump’s unhinged tweet-threat to the president of Iran and decided that in the face of horror the best thing to do is laugh. So they’ve appropriated Trump’s message and inserted their own musings, sometimes in the form of song lyrics, sometimes with other fun references.
In case you somehow missed it, here’s Trump’s original tweet.
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
Very presidential and VERY stable. Never mind that Twitter and Facebook have been blocked in Iran since 2009.
If you’re now in desperate need of a laugh, here are some of best examples of Twitter making the most of another awful situation.
To Iranian President Rouhani: THAT’S GREAT IT STARTS WITH AN EARTHQUAKE BIRDS AND SNAKES AN AIRPLANE LENNY BRUCE IS NOT AFRAID EYE OF A HURRICANE LISTEN TO YOURSELF CHURN
— David Shucosky (@ColHapablap) July 23, 2018
To Iranian President Rouhani: TAKE ME DOWN TO THE PARADISE CITY WHERE THE GRASS IS GREEN AND THE GIRLS ARE PRETTY. OH WONT YOU PLEASE TAKE ME HOME. TAKE ME DOWN TO THE PARADISE CITY WHERE THE GRASS IS GREEN AND THE GIRLS ARE PRETTY. OH WONT YOU PLEASE TAKE ME HOME. YEAH YEAH!
— CK (@cranekicker) July 23, 2018
To Iranian President Rouhani: IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH MESOTHELIOMA YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO FINANCIAL COMPENSATION
— Adrianna Hodges (@HodgesAdrianna) July 23, 2018
To Iranian President Rouhani: I BOMB ATOMICALLY, SOCRATES’ PHILOSOPHIES AND HYPOTHESES CAN’T DEFINE HOW I BE DROPPIN’ THESE MOCKERIES, LYRICALLY PERFORM ARMED ROBBERY, FLEE WITH THE LOTTERY, POSSIBLY THEY SPOTTED ME, BATTLE-SCARRED SHOGUN, EXPLOSION WHEN MY PEN HITS.
— Rex Huppke (@RexHuppke) July 23, 2018
To Iranian President Rouhani: LOOK AT THIS STUFF! ISN’T IT NEAT? WOULDN’T YOU THINK MY COLLECTION’S COMPLETE? WOULDN’T YOU THINK I’M THE GIRL, THE GIRL WHO HAS EVERYTHING? LOOK AT THIS TROVE! TREASURES UNTOLD! HOW MANY WONDERS CAN ONE CAVERN HOLD? LOOKING AROUND HERE YOU’D THIN
— OhNoSheTwitnt (@OhNoSheTwitnt) July 23, 2018
To Iranian President Rouhani: IT’S GONNA TAKE A LOT TO DRAG ME AWAY FROM YOU THERE’S NOTHING THAT A HUNDRED MEN OR MORE COULD EVER DO I BLESS THE RAINS DOWN IN AFRICA GONNA TAKE SOME TIME TO DO THE THINGS WE NEVER HAVE
— Jelisa Castrodale (@gordonshumway) July 23, 2018
To Iranian President Rouhani: I AM EMAILING ON BEHALF OF THE ESTATE OF NIGERIAN PRINCE ABACHA TUNDE. I WRITE TO REQUEST YOUR ASSISTANCE IN TRANSFERRING MONEY FROM ACCOUNT, WHICH IS REQUIRED IMMEDIATELY DUE TO LEGAL. PLEASE REPLY WITH YOUR BANK DETAILS TO ASSIST THIS. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Ange Thompson, Girl Detective (@AngeMaryClaire) July 23, 2018
To Iranian President Rouhani: YO I TELL YOU WHAT I WANT WHAT I REALLY REALLY WANT SO TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT WHAT YOU REALLY REALLY WANT I TELL YOU WHAT I WANT WHAT I REALLY REALLY WANT SO TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT WHAT YOU REALLY REALLY WANT I WANNA HUH I WANNA HUH I WANNA HUH I WANNA
— Lindsay Ellis (@thelindsayellis) July 23, 2018
To Iranian President Rouhani:
SomeBODY ONCE TOLD ME THE WORLD IS GONNA ROLL ME, I AIN’T THE SHARPEST TOOL IN THE SHED
— Ben Gellman-Chomsky (@benjgc) July 23, 2018
To Iranian President Rouhani: BAWITDABA DA BANG A DANG DIGGY DIGGY DIGGY SAID THE BOOGY SAID UP JUMP THE BOOGY BAWITDABA DA BANG A DANG DIGGY DIGGY DIGGY SAID THE BOOGY SAID UP JUMP THE BOOGY BAWITDABA DA BANG A DANG DIGGY DIGGY DIGGY SAID THE BOOGY SAID UP JUMP THE BOOGY BAWITDA
— Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) July 23, 2018
NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS! pic.twitter.com/QgsL5jU9aM
— shauna (@goldengateblond) July 23, 2018
Finally, what’s a meme without a Rickroll?
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER EVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP. NEVER GONNA LET YOU DOWN. NEVER GONNA RUN AROUND AROUND AND DESERT YOU. NEVER GONNA MAKE YOU CRY. NEVER GONNA SAY GOODBYE. NEVER GONNA TELL A LIE AND HURT YOU.
— Zack Bornstein (@ZackBornstein) July 23, 2018
And now let us lay back and welcome the ongoing disaster as it unfolds around us and meme, meme against the dying of the light.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to ban spouses of high-skill visa holders from working will likely push 100,000 people out of jobs and negatively affect the visa holders and their employers, according to a new research study.
The Trump Administration has been tightening the rules for H-1B visas, which allow foreign workers to take jobs in the U.S. for several years, and plans to revoke the ability of spouses to work as part of the effort. In that context, Christopher J. L. Cunningham of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Pooja B. Vijayakumar from the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick set out to study the implications of such a policy change.
They found that such a shift would likely isolate spouses socially, raise domestic tensions and strain the family’s financial resources. It would also probably hurt the visa holder’s satisfaction and increase the risks that they continue in a foreign posting. The cost of failed expatriate assignments ranges from $250,000 to $1 million, in addition to indirect costs, they wrote.
“Policy changes like the one being considered for America are often made in the absence of complete information that might help policy makers better understand the true breadth of likely consequences,” the study said.
The U.S. began allowing spouses of H-1B visa holders to work in 2015, under the preceding Obama Administration. For their research, the authors studied the experiences of H-1B families in 2014. They contacted 1,800 Indian expatriate to participate in the research and the final sample consisted of 416.
The work visa programs, which date back to 1952, were originally designed to allow U.S. companies to hire workers from abroad temporarily when they couldn’t find qualified Americans. But the programs evolved with many allegations that companies, particularly India’s outsourcing giants, had been abusing the visas to get less expensive labor. Trump came into office vowing to overhaul the programs and protect American workers.
In that context, Trump’s Department of Homeland Security began the process of reversing the eligibility of H-1B spouses to work. Technology industry groups — which represent Google and Amazon.com Inc. among others — have pushed back against the plan, arguing it will hurt spouses, typically women, as well as the visa holders.
H-1B visa holders explained myriad problems when spouses couldn’t work. “Very unfair to her, so going back to India,” one told the researchers. “My wife is frustrated that she is unable to further her career,” said another.
The researchers said that a reinstated ban likely “will be more critical and difficult for expatriate families than what was experienced in 2014, as many of these individuals who were temporarily benefited by the previous presidential administration’s immigration policies may have, in this time, bought a home or started their own businesses.”
Cunningham specializes in industrial, organizational and occupational health psychology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Vijayakumar is a researcher currently studying expatriation and cross-cultural management.
(CNN)President Donald Trump on Saturday said he wanted to see the elimination of trade barriers between the United States and its closest allies amid tensions over the Trump administration’s move to impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico.
Washington (CNN)Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort will await his trial for foreign lobbying charges from jail.
Washington (CNN)A member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology evinced skepticism about climate change during an exchange with a witness about rising sea levels.
More than 30 aides to President Donald Trump have been stripped of access to top secret intelligence, two people familiar with the move said.
The officials have been notified that they will be downgraded to lower-level “secret” interim security clearances, said the two people. None of the officials has been asked to leave the administration and their portfolios on top secret matters will be distributed to other staff members, they said.
Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is among those officials whose security clearance has been downgraded as a result of the new policy on interim clearances set by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, said another person familiar with the material. The change means that Kushner lost access to some files, including those containing intelligence on foreign leaders and diplomats that can be used to gain an advantage in negotiations, according to a second person, who is familiar with the clearance process.
All of the officials whose clearances were downgraded held the top secret designation on an interim basis. Kelly set a new policy that took effect last week that permits interim clearances only at the secret level and not permitting temporary clearances at higher levels.
The revelations come as the White House weathers intense criticism over its handling of sensitive intelligence after former Staff Secretary Rob Porter was permitted to keep his clearance status for months even though the FBI said it had provided the White House a report including allegations of domestic violence from his two ex-wives.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley this week called for answers from the White House and the FBI about reports that dozens of top officials still lacked a full security clearance and that some them, including Kushner, had access to the highly classified President’s Daily Brief prepared by intelligence agencies.
The crackdown on clearances also come amid the drama of a special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling and potential ties to Trump election advisers. Trump communications director Hope Hicks, who had been romantically linked to Porter and who testified Tuesday to a House panel in the Russia probe, on Wednesday announced her plans to resign in a statement released by the White House.
In an earlier memo released Feb. 16, Kelly said that the administration must “do better” in its handling of security clearances. Kelly said he would discontinue all “Top Secret or SCI-level interim clearances” for people who have ongoing investigations stretching back to June 1, 2017, using an acronym for “Sensitive Compartmented Information.” While the new policy was set to take effect on Feb. 23, White House officials have declined to say who would be affected.
In a statement last week, Kelly didn’t address whether Kushner’s security clearance would be revoked but said he had “full confidence” in his ability to continue his foreign policy work. Trump said at a news conference last week that “I will let General Kelly make that decision. I have no doubt he’ll make the right decision.”
A spokesman for Kushner, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that no concerns have been raised to Kushner about his security clearance and that the White House’s new security clearance policy doesn’t affect Kushner’s ability to do his job. His assignments by Trump include leading efforts to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians, overhauling prison sentencing and technology innovations.