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The daily business briefing: January 20, 2017

Source:  The Week
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:07


As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take the oath of office on Friday, incoming press secretary Sean Spicer says the new president will instruct trade officials to start revamping major trade deals without waiting for Congress to act. Spicer said Trump would get started on making good on his promise to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, and give notice that he will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. In a November video, Trump vowed to pull out of the still unratified TPP, calling it "a potential disaster for our country."


U.S. regulators on Thursday cleared Tesla Motors in connection with the death of a driver who collided with a truck while using his Tesla Model S sedan's "Autopilot" system. Regulators said they found no evidence of defects in the Tesla vehicle. Tesla CEO Elon Musk praised the National Highway Safety Administration decision not to order a recall, saying that the late driver, former Navy SEAL Joshua Brown, was the one primarily responsible for operating the vehicle.


President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees continued to face sharp questioning on Thursday. Democrats grilled Steven Mnuchin, the former Goldman Sachs banker Trump picked to lead the Treasury Department, for foreclosing on homes in California and initially failing to disclose $95 million in real estate assets. Former Texas governor Rick Perry, nominated for energy secretary, said during his confirmation hearing that he regretted once calling for eliminating the department now that he has been briefed on its "vital functions." He also reversed course and said he believed humans were contributing to climate change, a notion he called a "contrived, phony mess" in a 2010 book.


Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday reaffirmed the argument for gradually raising interest rates. She said the U.S. central bank had not "fallen behind the curve" as it tries to contain inflation while boosting the economy but not letting it get overheated. "I consider it prudent to adjust the stance of monetary policy gradually over time," she said Thursday at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in California. It was Yellen's second speech in the week leading up to President-elect Donald Trump's Friday inauguration. One wild card as the Fed plots its next move is how Trump's promised tax and regulation cuts, infrastructure spending, and other policies affect the economy.


China's economy grew by 6.8 percent year-to-year in the fourth quarter, narrowly beating expectations of 6.7 percent growth. China's gross domestic product met expectations for 2016 overall, growing by 6.7 percent. The data signaled that growth has stabilized in the world's second largest economy. The figures amounted to China's slowest rate of expansion in 26 years, but it kept up with the pace necessary to meet Beijing's target of doubling its GDP from 2010 levels by 2020.

Four dead, more than 20 hurt when driver plows into Australian pedestrians
Source:  AOL
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:07

Four dead, more than 20 hurt when driver plows into Australian pedestrians

MELBOURNE, Jan 20 (Reuters) - A man deliberately drove into pedestrians, killing four and injuring more than 20, in the center of Australia's second largest city of Melbourne on Friday, but police said the incident was not terrorism-related.

Police eventually rammed the car and shot the 26-year-old driver in the arm, before dragging him from the vehicle and arresting him. Police said the man had a history of family violence and was wanted over a stabbing earlier in the day.

Pursued by police cars, the man had been seen driving erratically before speeding into a pedestrian mall, plowing into people, police said. A shop video showed several people diving into a convenience store as the car raced along the footpath.

"We witnessed about half a dozen people that ricocheted off the car one way or another. I saw one person fly up almost roof level of the car as they got thrown up against one of the retail stores," Sharn Baylis, 46, told Reuters by telephone.

"You could hear the gasping and the screaming from people, then you just started hearing the screams and the crying as it sunk in," she said.

Baylis said she rushed across tram tracks and with other bystanders and gave cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) first aid to a badly hurt man who had been run over.

"I think it was pretty much in vain at that point. The seriousness of his injuries, he was probably the worst I saw."

One of the dead was a child. Four children, including a three-month-old baby, were taken to Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, said a hospital spokesman.

"We're not regarding this as a terrorism-related incident," Victoria state police commissioner Graham Ashton told reporters on Friday.

Police had earlier chased the driver, who was wanted over a domestic assault and driving offenses, Ashton said.


Video from a witness showed a maroon colored car driving around in circles in an intersection outside Flinders St railway station in the city's central business district, with the driver shouting at people and hanging his arm out the window.

Two people approached the car, apparently trying to stop it before it drove off with police chasing. (For a graphic, click

Witness Maria Kitjapanon told Melbourne's Age newspaper that police eventually rammed the car.

"There were probably 10 police surrounding that guy's car, with guns drawn, and they fired into the car. Then they dragged someone out via the passengers side, then all 10 of them sat on top of him," she said.

Melbourne is hosting the Australian Open tennis grand slam and is packed with thousands of tourists, only a few blocks from where the incident occurred. Police said the tennis tournament continued as normal.

Australia, a staunch U.S. ally, has been on heightened alert for attacks by home-grown radicals since 2014 and authorities have said they have thwarted a number of plots. There have been several "lone wolf" assaults, including a 2014 cafe siege in Sydney that left two hostages and the gunman dead.

Friday's incident initially raised fears about the possibility of another attack.

Last year, in attacks claimed by Islamic State, trucks were driven into crowded pedestrian precincts in separate incidents in Nice and Berlin, killing scores.

(Reporting by Tom Westbrook and Jamie Freed in Sydney, Sonali Paul in Melbourne; Writing by Michael Perry; Editing by Lincoln Feast)

Kate Middleton Jokes About Prince William Running A Marathon, Hobbies, Royal Duties And Heads Together
Source:  inquisitr
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:06

In disbelief he'll run marathon

Kate Middleton and Prince William certainly are kept busy these days parenting their little ones, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, as well as fulfilling their royal duties and participating in a number of charitable endeavors, like the Heads Together Campaign-a campaign organized by the couple and Prince Harry. In addition, Kate and William have begun to take on more of the responsibilities that Queen Elizabeth typically carried out in the past, due to the monarch having just gotten over a sickness and being at an age that brings necessity of slowing down.

It seems that the Duke and Duchess, however, are still finding time for hobbies and other interests, despite their busy day-to-day. William works, and likely enjoys it, as an air ambulance pilot, and Kate has a keen interest in photography and cooking that has been made known on several occasions.

FStoppers notes Middleton’s love of photography and reminds that Kate broke royal tradition by releasing baby pictures of her children that were not shot by a professional photographer, but instead were snapped by the Duchess herself,

“Middleton actually studied photography as part of her art history degree from St. Andrews University and reportedly knows quite a bit about the craft. She’s not just snapping photos with her iPhone, either. Middleton is apparently on Team Canon, and was captured photographing with a Canon PowerShot and a Canon 5D Mark II.”

The publication goes on to note the quality of the pictures that Kate Middleton was able to produce and the beautiful moments that were snapped for the world to see.

“Taking a look at the pictures she released of her first-born son (which you can see in the original article on Adorama), Prince George, and baby daughter Princess Charlotte, they’re actually quite beautiful.”

Additionally, Kate Middleton and Prince William, are invested and entirely devoted to raising awareness about mental health issues. The pair along with Prince Harry sparked the Heads Campaign Together which helps to eradicate any negative stigma about mental health issues. The royal couple attended an event recently revolving around this campaign and spoke about the importance of the campaign.

Entertainment Tonight shares Prince William’s words expressed on the subject during the event.

“Talking to someone else is a positive and confident step to take — but for too long it has been a case of ‘Keep Quiet and Carry On.’ As a result, too many people have suffered in silence for too long, and the effects of this can be devastating.”

However, William was also able to share a little bit about his intentions for his personal life in the future and goals he has for himself, one which includes taking part in a marathon in Kenya. It seems that Duchess Kate is a bit hesitant to believe that her hubby will achieve this goal, as demonstrated by her own comment on the subject when asked.

Sean Fletcher, the host of Good Morning Britain chatted with the Duchess, stating, “I chatted to Prince William, and he has promised that he will run a marathon in Kenya sometime.”

To which Kate Middleton replied, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Goals are the beginning step toward achievement, however, so good for the Prince for setting the bar high.

On the subject of mental health, Kate became more serious and stated that the campaign is about reminding those who struggle with issues that two heads are of more use than one and that asking for help is never a bad thing.

“William, Harry, and I have been very privileged to witness in the course of our work countless examples of simple conversations that have changed lives, which were the first step on a path to recovery.”

Prince Harry then went on to remind that sometimes just being a friend and listening can be the help that someone needs to get through.

“We can all help each other. You don’t need any qualifications to help your mate, simply to listen to what they have to say.”

[Feature Image by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]

Kate Middleton Jokes About Prince William Running A Marathon, Hobbies, Royal Duties And Heads Together is an article from: The Inquisitr News

Trump 'Didn't Divide the Country' but Can 'Heal and Unify,' Senior Adviser Says
Source:  ABC
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:05

Donald Trump's senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said the president-elect aims to unify the nation with his inaugural address.

Sarah Bolger, Stephen Rea, Richard Schiff join 'Counterpart' ensemble
Source:  UPI
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:05

Karen Butler
Stephen Rea, Richard Schiff and Sarah Bolger are to play recurring roles on the espionage thriller, sci-fi drama "Counterpart," Starz announced.

No. 3 UCLA routs Arizona State 102-80
Source:  UPI
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:05

The Sports Xchange
Arizona State tried time and time again to get back into the game, but No. 3 UCLA had enough firepower to blow by the Sun Devils 102-80 in a Pac-12 Conference game Thursday night at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.

Barack Obama Memorable Quotes: 10 Inspirational Sayings By Outgoing President
Source:  International Business Times: National
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:05

Outgoing President Barack Obama has given the world some inspirational messages since his speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 to his farewell address Tuesday. Obama gave his final press conference at the White House, two days before President-elect Donald Trump was scheduled to be inaugurated in Washington, D.C. Obama is the 44th president and the first African-American president of the United States. As Obama prepares to leave office, here are 10 of his memorable quotes:

Here's how much debt the US government added under President Obama
Source:  business insider
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:03

The increase in debt was 86% under President Obama.

Porsha Williams Baby: Why ‘RHOA’ Is Ready To Embrace Motherhood
Source:  inquisitr
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:03

Porsha Williams Baby

Porsha Williams has talked about having a child for years, as she has always known she wanted to be a mother. During her first season on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Porsha brought her then-husband, Kordell Stewart, to the doctors to see why they weren’t getting pregnant. She really wanted twins and she was ready to really put everything into having these children, as Kordell wanted to have a stay-at-home wife. But now, Williams is a single businesswoman, who is exploring her options for both a second marriage and having a baby. And it sounds like she would love to just have a child on her own.

According to a new Bravo report, Porsha Williams is now revealing that she’s ready to become a mother because she feels like it is time. She’s currently 35-years-old and she has no plans of getting married anytime soon. Instead, Williams has been focusing on her career and launching various business ventures. However, it sounds like she is ready to become a mother and she will get a baby on her own if she needs to.

“I’m ready to become a mom because I feel like it’s just time. I’ve been through a lot and family has always been first for me,” Porsha Williams explains to Bravo about her decision to pursue motherhood on her own, adding that she knows that the decision is not for everyone but that she has thought it through for a while.

On The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Porsha Williams talked about how she wanted to find a man who would donate sperm to her project without having the ties of being a father. One of her ex-boyfriends was willing to see if they could work things out and become a couple before donating sperm. These days, it sounds like she’s still holding on to the thought that they could become a couple.

“It’s always been something that I’ve dreamt about and I’ve always wanted. I just feel like I have a lot to give and why not do it while I can and while I’ve prepared for it. It’s a conscious decision for me to not have had a child up until this point and so I’m actually planning for a child,” Porsha continues in her interview with Bravo, sharing that she did have plans to have Todd Williams be the father, as they have been rekindling their romance from years ago.

While some people would be scared of the thought of being a single mother, it sounds like Porsha Williams has thought everything through. While a husband won’t be there to support her, she does have her family members to help her through both the pregnancy and her new role as a mother. And one can imagine that Phaedra Parks will also be there for her and give her some tips along the way.

“I’ve made sure I have a great support system. I’ve worked very hard financially to secure a future for a child. It’s just something that I want now. The decision of having a child and not really putting the man first is just where I am. I’m 35 years old and I know that God has the right guy for me — but if it’s not until 40, 45 that’s OK, but I don’t want to wait that long to have a child while I can and while everything’s jumping and bumping and ready to go. I’m ready to take advantage of it.”

What do you think of Porsha Williams’ comments about becoming a single mother? Do you think it is a wise decision for her to pursue motherhood at this stage in her life?

[Featured Image by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]

Porsha Williams Baby: Why ‘RHOA’ Is Ready To Embrace Motherhood is an article from: The Inquisitr News

No. 23 Saint Mary's Gaels stroll over Pacific Tigers
Source:  UPI
Friday, 20 January 2017 08:03

By Jake Curtis, The Sports Xchange
MORAGA, Calif. -- Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett did not expect any lingering effects from his team's 23-point loss to Gonzaga last Saturday, and he was right -- for the most part.

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