Amazon to buy Whole Foods….

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Other retailers that have grocery operations are taking hits on their stock prices due to Amazon’s perceived financial muscle coming into this market….

“Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, adding, “they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”

The sale, which has not yet been approved by Whole Foods shareholders, is expected to be concluded in the second half of 2017.

In its news release, Amazon says that Whole Foods stores will continue to operate under their own brand and will continue to source products “from trusted vendors and partners around the world.”….

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The deal shows Amazon’s interest in moving into the business of operating traditional brick-and-mortar stores, even as many retailers that have been crippled by Amazon’s growth have announced a series of store closings.

It also shows Amazon’s growing interest in groceries. The company has its own delivery service, AmazonFresh, and is experimenting with a “click and collect” model, offering customers to buy groceries online, then pick them up in person.

The supermarket business, like many other parts of retail, has been hit hard by increased competition from Amazon itself, as well as Walmart…..

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image…money.cnn.com

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Could Trump be after the guy who CAN fire Mueller?

Trump’s tweet this morning COULD,  so feel,  be aimed at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the guy who technically has the power to fire Special Council Mueller , who is now investigating Donald Trump AND his son-in-law Jared Kushner….

President Trump on Friday said he was “being investigated” for firing FBI Director James Comey “by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director.”

The tweet was one of several sent by Trump early Friday morning. He concluded the investigation tweet with the comment: “Witch Hunt.”….

I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt

…..It wasn’t immediately clear who Trump was referring to, though it is likely to be Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the federal investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election after Trump’s abrupt firing of Comey.

The deputy attorney general has vowed to allow Mueller to conduct an independent probe of Russia’s actions, including any links to the Trump campaign.

Some commentators also questioned, given the wording of the tweet, whether it was actually directed toward Mueller. …

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Trump Admin to keep and expand Obama ‘Dreamers’ program…..

The current Admin will leave Obama era protections in place for children of undocumented parents thru  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, an initiative for undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children.

But will not go any further in protections for parents of those child thru the program called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA which the Supreme Court left blocked by a lower Federal court against President Obama…

“No work permits will be terminated prior to their current expiration dates,” the Department of Homeland Security said in guidance posted on its website Thursday night.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has said recently that the administration is not seeking to deport those who received quasi-legal status under a policy President Barack Obama adopted in 2012.

However, the new statement from DHS seems to be a forward-looking promise not to take action against those in the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, an initiative for undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children.

The new guidance from DHS came as the Trump administration faced a court deadline Thursday in a still-pending lawsuit that halted Obama’s 2014 effort to expand DACA and add similar status for undocumented parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders through a program called Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, or DAPA.

A federal judge in Texas blocked Obama’s 2014 moves. The issue went to the Supreme Court, which deadlocked last year, 4-4. The outcome left the preliminary injunction in place, but left open the possibility of further litigation in the district court.

The Trump administration announced Thursday night it has formally rescinded the 2014 actions creating DAPA and expanding DACA to cover a broader range of people….

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Mike Pence…Run Silent…Run Deep….

Politico is out with a long piece about  America’s Vice President Mike Pence…

Pence is painted as the guy who is all but invisible to the media, but carries the water for his boss Donald Trump…..

Image result for pence

The piece is long on pointing to Pence being wired into Congressional Republicans and Pence serving as Trump’s chief assistant …

Of course it also pointed out that Trump does NOT like to share the spotlight with anyone also….So the Vice President says in the shadows….

In keeping with the positive smell of the piece ?

There is little pointing to the idea that Mike Pence maybe spending his time getting read to be the relief pitcher called up to serve……

From the moment last July when Trump picked Pence as his running mate, through the first five months of this administration, the vice president has been all but invisible in the parade of palace intrigue stories detailing the rivalries, alliances, backstabbing, self-promoting and stock-watching inside Trump’s reality-TV style presidency. That is no accident: Pence made clear to everyone around him when he was picked, and again at the outset of the administration, that the spotlight belongs to Trump. Leaking, speaking out of turn or doing anything that could be perceived as upstaging the president would not be tolerated. “He laid down the law,” one Pence associate recalls. “This was going to be about Trump, not him.” Unsurprisingly, the vice president declined to comment for this story.

His inconspicuousness is engineered to keep all eyes on the president. But it’s also necessary to guard against whispers that he, not Trump, is running the show—a narrative fueled both by Pence’s standing in the party and by the fact that he has been empowered like no vice president before him to establish, sell and execute the administration’s agenda. Five months into the Trump era—and less than a year since he was plucked from a thorny situation in Indiana—Pence, once an endangered small-state governor, has become the most popular Republican in the country and accumulated an astonishing amount of power. He is deeply involved with nearly every major decision coming from the White House, whether it be the withdrawal from the Paris climate accord or the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. He is the administration’s most effective and reassuring messenger, often because of his license to clarify or even correct things said by his boss. And he is widely viewed by Republicans on Capitol Hill as the de facto leader of the GOP—not just the safety parachute for a free-falling presidency, but a polished, respected statesman from whom members can take their cues.

Mike Pence has a very full and complex portfolio in his briefcase. And he has to carry it like there’s a bottle of nitroglycerin inside.”

Ken Blackwell

This outsized stature, however, also threatens the harmony between Pence and his famously fickle superior. Trump has come to trust his second in command above everyone else in the White House, people close to both men say, prizing Pence’s unwavering loyalty and discretion. And yet the vice president’s camp operates in a continual state of apprehension, having been handed massive responsibilities by a president known for his insecurities and acute sensitivity to being overshadowed. Ken Blackwell, the former Ohio secretary of state and longtime conservative activist who ran the domestic policy wing of Pence’s transition team, put it this way: “Mike Pence has a very full and complex portfolio in his briefcase. And he has to carry it like there’s a bottle of nitroglycerin inside.”….

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image….nbcnews.com

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Mueller is also checking on Trump’s son-in-law…Jared Kushner…..

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The Special Council’s people are not just looking the President…

They are also taking a look at the financial businesses of Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who IS a governmental official….

One would think that all this interconnectivity will lead the Mueller FBI agents to seek access to something Donald Trump has withheld….

His financial records….

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is investigating the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, as part of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

FBI agents and federal prosecutors have also been examining the financial dealings of other Trump associates, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Carter Page, who was listed as a foreign-policy adviser for the campaign.

The Washington Post previously reported that investigators were scrutinizing meetings that Kushner held with Russians in December — first with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and then with Sergey Gorkov, the head of a state-owned Russian development bank. At the time of that report, it was not clear that the FBI was investigating Kushner’s business dealings.

The officials who described the financial focus of the investigation spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

At the December meeting with Kislyak, Kushner suggested establishing a secure communications line between Trump officials and the Kremlin at a Russian diplomatic facility, according to U.S. officials who reviewed intelligence reports describing Kislyak’s account…..

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image…theatlantic.com

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Pence lawyers up….

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Remember when Trump’s lawyer said staff shouldn’t get lawyer’s?

Well?

24 hours after we learn Mueller is investigating his boss?

Mike Pence  gets HIS OWN lawyer…

Vice President Pence has hired outside legal counsel to help with both congressional committee inquiries and the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia.

The vice president’s office said Thursday that Pence has retained Richard Cullen, a Richmond-based lawyer and chairman of McGuireWoods who previously served as a U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Pence’s decision comes less than a month after Trump hired his own private attorney, Marc E. Kasowitz, to help navigate the investigations related to the Russia probe, and a day after The Washington Post reported that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is widening his investigation to examine whether the president attempted to obstruct justice.

“I can confirm that the Vice President has retained Richard Cullen of McGuireWoods to assist him in responding to inquiries by the special counsel,” said Jarrod Agen, a Pence spokesman, in an emailed statement. “The Vice President is focused entirely on his duties and promoting the President’s agenda and looks forward to a swift conclusion of this matter.”…..

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image…cnn.com

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Jordan Brand Reveals Select Fall 2017 Retro Releases…

…from NiceKicks

Jordan Brand

Jordan Brand today reveals select styles from their upcoming fall 2017 collection, featuring a wide assortment of beloved retros. These foundational on-court gems have now begun a second lifespan off the hardwood, adding both uniqueness and versatility to the fashion forward, lifestyle driven collection.

The fall lineup begins with a premium edition of the Air Jordan 1 dressed in sleek black leather. This luxurious Jordan 1 transitions well into the gathering’s next feature, the Air Jordan 2 Decon. Stripped from its traditional leather construction in lieu of a lightweight suede, navy, black and tan colorways look to be on deck for the cool weather season.

Originally released in 1993, the Air Jordan 8 will have a strong showing come fall with both “Cement” and “Cool Grey” colorways scheduled to release. They’ll be trailed by the Air Jordan 11 Low IE “Fire Red” sample first seen on MJ during the 1996 NBA. The shoe will also release in a navy edition.

Lastly, the Air Jordan 13 “History of Flight” odes the model’s 20th anniversary in a white, red and black Bulls colorways…..

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Sailing 35th America’s Cup Match: Rematch of 2013 USA vs New Zealand

Image result for 35th America's Sailing cup team new zealand

Afternoon all!
2 Days and counting. On Saturday June 17th at 14.12 Local Bermudan Time, 13.12 ET and 9.12 PT the battle for the 35th America’s Cup will begin.
It will be a Rematch of the 34th America’s Cup in 2013 between Defender Oracle Team USA and the Challenger Emirates Team New Zealand. Back then Oracle Team USA came back from the brink of defeat beating Emirates Team New Zealand 9-8 after being down
1-8.
The big change between 2017 and 4 years ago are that we’ve smaller boats 50-foot compared to the big 72-foot Cats we’ve had in San Francisco. The other big change is that the boats will now spent almost 100% out of water flying around the Race Course. The Team who consistently spends nearly 100% out of the water will win the Races and ultimativly the 35th America’s Cup.
Team New Zealand made some big changes after that heartbreaking loss in 2013. While the Team is still run by General Manager & CEO Grant Dalton he handed over the Keys to the young Sailors who won the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in 2013. Among them is 26 year old Helmsman Peter Burling who won Gold at the Rio Olympics in the 49er Class with his mate Blair Tuke. Burling could become the youngest Helmsman to win the Cup. The lone Sailor from the 2013 Sailing Team still onboard the boat is Skipper & Wing Trimmer Glenn Ashby.
Defender Oracle Team USA kept their core group of Designers and Sailors. Notable absences are Grinder Jono Macbeth and Helmsman Sir Ben Ainslie who challenged unsuccessfully in Bermuda 2017 with the British Team Land Rover BAR.
The Team is still skippered by 37-year old Australian James “Jimmy” Spithill. His Go-To Guys will be Grinder/Tactician Tom Slingsby and Wing Trimmer Kyle Langford, both Key Members of the 2013 Defence.
By virtue of winning the America’s Cup Qualifiers on June 4th Oracle Team USA carries one bonus Point into the America’s Cup Match on Saturday which means Oracle has to win 7 Races to retain the Cup while the Challenger Emirates Team New Zealand has to win 8 Races to take the Cup back to New Zealand.
Daniel G.
image…sailworld.com
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Federal judge finds Dakota Access Pipeline approval violated the law …

Trump & Co. get another setback in the Federal Courts…

A federal judge has ruled that permits authorized by the Trump administration to fast-track the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline violated the law.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg’s 91-page ruling Wednesday, which orders further environmental review of the pipeline, marks a partial victory for four Sioux tribes in the Dakotas that have asked the court to shut down oil-pumping operations.

“This is a major victory for the Tribe and we commend the courts for upholding the law and doing the right thing.” Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II said, Earthjustice reported.

Boasberg ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers, the body responsible for evaluating and issuing permits for the pipeline, “did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial.”

However, Boasberg acknowledged that the corps had “substantially complied” with federal environmental laws….

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The Sign’s where everywhere that Mueller would turn to Trump…

AXIOS runs it down….

And thinks it was someone else…Not Mueller team….. That leaked the story to the Washington Post….

AP

Most White House officials feared Robert Mueller would go after President Trump for obstruction of justice.

The signs were everywhere: James Comey’s testimony that Trump urged him to drop the FBI probe of Michael Flynn; Trump’s forceful denial, and counterattack on Comey’s character; Mueller hiring high-powered lawyers steeped in complexities of presidential power; followed by the president contemplating firing Mueller.

With the Washington Post bombshell report that the obstruction probe is in full swing (“Trump’s actions now a focus of Mueller inquiry”), the reality has White House officials and Republicans sweating profusely for several reasons:

  • They know Trump talked to countless people about ending the Flynn probe, so they assume Comey’s version of events is true.
  • They assume he did, indeed, ask Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Mike Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, if they could help derail the Flynn probe, as the WashPost reported. They also assume he said similar things to other officials.
  • Nobody has privately mounted a straight-faced argument to us that Trump didn’t say this stuff to Comey or to Coats/Rogers. That’s telling in itself. The fact that the Trump public position — that Comey is a perjurer — isn’t being argued in private.
  • Any obstruction probe requires context, which means investigators digging into the finances of Flynn, Trump and Jared Kushner. This is the phase of the probe many Republicans have always feared most.
  • The obstruction probe is simply a new layer to the bigger underlying matters: Did Flynn have illegal or improper contacts, and did the Trump campaign collude with the Russians to influence the 2016 campaign? So the investigation is metastasizing.
  • Trump’s wife and Chief of Staff had to dissuade him from firing Mueller this week, the N.Y. Times reported. Why fire someone if you have nothing to hide?
  • Text to Jonathan Swan from a GOP operative close to the White House: “Leak was probably a response to stories about POTUS firing Mueller. Can’t fire him now.”….

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Democrats in no hurry to bring up Gun Control post Scalise shooting…

Good….

While Gun Control IS a something that SHOULD be addressed by America?

The fact is the subject offers Democrats no positives and LOT of negatives when it comes time to vote…

“You know, today is not the day,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who helped steer the debate over background checks as Judiciary Committee chairman in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. “People know my record … but today is not the day for that. I’m praying for the victims. I’m praying for the police officers.”

“Today we need to focus on what happened and our prayers have to be with the injured,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). “We can talk about other issues in the future.”

Congressional Democrats have taken notably sharper and more aggressive tactics in recent years when it comes to advocating for tougher gun laws. The Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando spurred the most visible action — not only Murphy’s filibuster but a sit-in led by House Democrats in the chamber that lasted more than 25 hours and captured national attention.

But Democratic lawmakers tiptoed around the gun issue on Wednesday. Notably, several Democrats asked to speak without attribution for fear of being seen as insensitive so soon after one of their colleagues was shot. They acknowledged privately that if the shooting of another colleague — former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) — and the mass shooting in Newtown didn’t move the dial, this won’t either.

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat and another advocate of stricter gun laws, also spoke about a “feeling of resignation” for his party in the gun debate.

“Until there’s significant changes around the country or within Congress, we know each other’s positions and we know they don’t change,” Durbin said. “There’s a fatigue. We know each other’s arguments. We know what’s going to happen.”…

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Bernie Sanders pushes ‘anger’ also….

My first reaction to the shooting of yesterday at the baseball practice for GOP members in Virginia was Donald Trump has rode the anger thing to the White House…

But this week I had a conversation with a Trump supporter and he mentioned in his guys defense the fact that Bernie Sanders was also a guy peddling ‘anger’….

He was Right….

The shooter yesterday was a Sanders supporter….

Now Bernie Sanders , nor Donald Trump are guilty of provoking this guys actions…

But the both  ( who are NOW elected officials)   along with the media HAVE put in place a climate where strong emotions generate support , votes, media revenue and YES….Violence….

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The most ardent supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders have long been outspoken about their anger toward Republicans — and in some cases toward Democrats. Their idol, the senator from Vermont, has called President Trump a “demagogue” and said recently that he was “perhaps the worst and most dangerous president in the history of our country.”

Now, in Mr. Sanders’s world, his fans have something concrete to grapple with: James T. Hodgkinson, a former volunteer for Mr. Sanders’s presidential campaign, is suspected of opening fire on Republican lawmakers practicing baseball in Alexandria, Va.

That shooting on Wednesday, which wounded four people, may prove to be an unexpected test for a movement born out of Mr. Sanders’s left-wing, populist politics and a moment for liberals to figure out how to balance anger at Mr. Trump with inciting violence.

“Both sides need to look in the mirror,” said Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator who campaigned for Mr. Sanders and is working on a new think tank started by the senator’s wife. “We have to decide what kind of language we are going to use in our political discourse.”…..

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image…breitbart.com

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The Senate Healthcare Bill would hurt MORE people than the House one…Open Thread for June 15, 2017

Media reports on the Senate stealth healthcare bill write up points to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doing about the same thing as Speaker Ryan….

Crafting a bill that will hurt millions of Americans JUST to be able to say their party did SOMETHING….

Any change to the Affordable Healthcare Law, slang named Obamacare is viewed as INCREASING UN POPULAR to the American public ACROSS the board….

Why?

Congressional Republicans and President Trump seem hell-bent on pushing through a bill to replace parts of the Affordable Care Act. “Duh,” you say, “the Republicans have been promising to repeal Obamacare since literallythe day it was passed.”

But here’s where things get interesting. We tend to assume political parties want to get their policy goals adopted, but also to stay in power. Republicans won control of Congress in 2010 in part because Democrats pushed through a health care bill that the plurality of voters did not approve of, according to several major polls from that time. The Republicans are doing the same thing now, only their health care bill is significantly more unpopular than the ACA was in 2010.

So why are Republicans so determined to pass a bill that they already seem to know is not popular and could hurt them in next year’s elections? It’s almost impossible to determine exactly what drives a politician’s actions, particularly because sometimes the reasons they give publicly are not their only or primary motives. So while we can’t prove anything, we can still identify four likely reasons that Republicans are pushing so hard on health care….

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Note….

Trump just mentioned that he thought the House Bill was ‘mean’……

….

The latest: Even though Republicans had raised expectations that they were finishing a draft bill, it turns out that GOP leaders actually submitted multiple policy options to the budget office — partly explaining why senators won’t say much about their bill, let alone release a draft of it.

Both the bill and its CBO score will be public eventually, and there’s nothing inherently scandalous about trying to run the traps on a piece of legislation before bringing it to the floor.

The problem: What happens next? How long will the bill be publicly available before a vote? Will policy experts have time to digest it, and will voters have time to process that analysis? Will there be a real, good-faith opportunity for senators to offer amendments? GOP leaders have already short-circuited an awful lot of the process by not holding hearings or committee markups.

Working with CBO now will likely help Senate Republicans avoid the kind of bad-news bombshells the House experienced — but it’s making that July 4 timetable look less and less realistic.

Who could lose from state health benefit limits

Data: CAP analysis, 2015 American Community Survey, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2017 Willis Towers Watson Survey; Table: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

The Senate health care bill is expected to allow states to relax the Affordable Care Act rules only on benefits, not on pricing as the House bill does. But that change could impact people far beyond those states, according to a new analysis by the liberal Center for American Progress — because it could lead to a return of annual and lifetime benefit limits, and not just in the states with the waivers….

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Trump responds to finding out he IS under investigation….

FBI Director James Comey told Trump he wasn’t being probed….

Trump THAN  went on to fire him…..

Trump also left a trail behind of speaking to and acknowledging that he wanted the Flynn and Russian investigation to go away….

It hasn’t….

And the President’s actions have now turned the spotlight on him because of HIS actions….

Special probes are like this….

They can and always DO go ALL over….

Donald?

You’re a public official…

Not just a Real Estate guy form New York anymore…

Of course Trump being Trump?

We have the after morning ‘official’ tweet of record…

President Trump early Thursday pushed back on a report that the special counsel leading the Russia probe is now looking into whether Trump obstructed justice…..

They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story. Nice

The president has in the past decried the investigation into the Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential race and pushed backed against reports of collusion……

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NYC Mayor has wide lead in his re-election run….

And he will run against the shadow of a former New Yorker….

Donald Trump….

A guy who isn’t popular in the place he used to live….

Image result for Bill deblasio 2017

In 2013, a packed Democratic field drew national attention as candidates sought to replace a three-term incumbent, Michael R. Bloomberg, and Mr. de Blasio catapulted himself from outsider to victor. Now Mayor de Blasio is the overwhelming favorite, his record and the power of incumbency warding off all but a few challengers.

There is good reason that many — especially on the Democratic side — have stayed away.

More than a dozen unions have endorsed the mayor, including those representing teachers, retail workers, city employees and school principals. A recent poll put his approval rating at the highest point of his administration. His ability to raise money, which appeared to flag in the face of state and federal investigations into his fund-raising activities during the last campaign and while he was in office, gained steam after prosecutors brought no charges.

With the process of petitioning to get on the city’s ballot having begun last week, the most energized challengers are in the Republican Party, where a primary battle is likely. But they face an uphill battle with the albatross of President Trump, overwhelmingly rejected by city voters in November, hanging around them…..

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image…thenation.com

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2016 Global Carbon Dioxide rate breaks a record…Report

…from Bloomberg….

Even after a quarter century of United Nations talks to save the climate, carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels climbed to a record last year, according to new data from oil major BP. India and Indonesia led nations where emissions grew, more than offsetting declines in countries including the U.S., China and the U.K., the report showed. The UN established a global framework to tackle climate change in 1992….

Source….

image…Businessweek/Bloomberg

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