Current Events
Current Events

The Art Of The Deal:

Is POTUS walking away to move forward?

 

Pres. Trump called off the June 12th meeting with North Korea. Is this all part of his strategy? We found something you have to see…

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“I was very much looking forward to being there with you. Sadly, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting….The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. That missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history.”

Pres. Trump's May 24 letter to Kim Jong Un cancelling their upcoming meeting.
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“Art Of The Deal”

“My tone was more hurt than outraged or angry. I can be a screamer when I want to be, but in this case I felt screaming would only scare them off.”

President Trump in his 1987 book "Art of The Deal". He was speaking about a real estate deal where he didn't want the other side to walk away. Considering the tone of his letter to North Korea, we thought this was worth your attention.
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Less Than 24 Hours After President Trump Sent His Letter…

North Korea says it’s still open to a sit-down.

“We express our willingness to sit down face-to-face with the U.S. and resolve issues anytime and in any format …. we are open-minded in giving time and opportunity to the U.S.”

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Are the tactics working? Hours before Trump officially called off the meeting, N. Korea *claimed* it dismantled its only known nuclear test site. Journalists were present; official investigators were not.

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Drive Towards Equality

 

 

 

Weeks away from lifting “ban” prohibiting women from driving, Saudi Arabia arrests women’s rights activists who fought for the cause.

 

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“Ban” Basics

Saudi Arabia: only country in world where women can’t drive.

No official law prohibits women from driving but only men are allowed to obtain driver’s licenses.  This changes on June 24 when women can get a driver’s license – part of a reform plan called “Vision 2030”

Click: Watch
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Saudi Arabia follows ‘Wahhabism‘, a form of Islam that says women:

  • should be separated from men they are not related to
  • wear veils to cover themselves while in public
  • be accompanied by a male guardian (usually a relative or husband) unless they receive written permission from a male guardian
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Why Now?

  • Crown Prince recently visited U.S., spoke about reform, including for women. He lobbied & secured major investment based on “Vision2030”.
  • In the past, he’s suddenly arrested groups of business men & controversial Islamic clerics.
  • Women under arrest reportedly called “traitors” by govt but little other explanation exists.
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"Rights activists say they (the women) are being targeted because the government doesn’t want human-rights advocates to claim credit for the lifting of the driving ban." WSJ

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“Fearless” on Wall St.

 

 

 

The New York Stock Exchange names its first female President.
Perfect timing? The news comes as “Fearless Girl”, a symbol of female business prowess, is moved to a new home at the Exchange.

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NYSE’S GLASS CEILING
Great Strides Since 1792

  • 1940s: About 50 “Stock Market Girls” fill in for male clerks in WWII.
  • 1967: 1st female (Muriel Siebert) buys a NYSE seat – there was no female bathroom in lunch club.
  • 1995: 1st person (Maria Bartiromo) reports from trading floor.
  • 2018: Stacey Cunningham, NYSE’s COO, becomes its 1st female President.

 

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Can’t Stand the Heat…

And to naysayers who might say a woman’s place is in the kitchen – she’s got that covered, too.

Cunningham started her NYSE career as an intern in 1994, but she took a break from the stock exchange to go to culinary school, & has been known to whip up grilled peach and burrata snacks in the NYSE’s on-site kitchen.

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NYSE’s rival stock exchange, NASDAQ, also has a woman CEO, Adena Friedman. However, the latest Fortune 500 rankings out on Monday show that there were 24 women CEOs at the nation's largest corporations, a drop from 32 in the 2016 listings. Read more here.

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What’s The Drama?

South Korean President heads to the White House to meet with President Trump as North Korea threatens to cancel June summit… and Libya is at center of debate?

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“Denuclearization”

The White House wants North Korea to agree to “denuclearization.”

  • Definition: “Total. Full. Complete” removal of all nuclear weapons in North Korea (Sec. of State Mike Pompeo).
  • National Security Advisor John Bolton mentioned a “Libya-model” denuclearization – this sparked trouble in NoKo.

 

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Quick Catch-Up: Libya

  • Libya negotiated “denuclearization” in 2003 in return for $anctions relief.
  • Libyan regime collapsed during Arab Spring (2011); unrelated to nuke deal but U.S. had an active role (w/NATO) forcing regime out.
  • NoKo: Libya’s fate show why NoKo NEEDS nukes – for security, leverage and to keep America from meddling in its affairs.
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Debate: Denuclearization

  • NoKo views Bolton’s comments as “an awfully sinister move to impose on our dignified state the destiny of Libya…”
  • Could “denuclearization” for North Korea mean no nukes on ENTIRE KOREAN PENINSULA? The U.S. doesn’t have nukes in South Korea but a key military base. Could that change? Is that a non-starter for the summit?
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SmartHER Tip: Watch what's going on with China (NoKo trade partner). The U.S. said it's putting "the trade war on China (tariffs) on hold" after positive talks. We don't know all the details, but we're watching the timing...

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Current Events

Pres. George HW Bush Returns to Maine

 

 

 

“Part of what I really am is here.”
What is Kennebunkport? And why is it so special to the Bush family?

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  • The coastal property in southern Maine, has been in the family for a century.
  • Pres. Bush, 93, has visited Walker’s Point in Kennebunkport every summer since his childhood, except 1944 when he was an aviator in World War II.
  • This summer will be Pres. Bush’s 1st summer in Kennebunkport without Barbara, his wife of 73 years, who died on April 17th.
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“I imagine he will feel that half of him is missing for the rest of his life. But that said, there is no quit in this man. Life goes on, and for George Bush life is to be lived with joy — especially when he is in Maine.”

Jim McGrath, President George H.W. Bush's spokesman
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The Bush Compound

  • The largest house is a 6-bedroom, 7,100-square foot home built in 1920. Other homes have been added over the yrs, including son Jeb’s house in ’15.
  • 11-acre property has a building for Secret Service agents, gym, pond, pool & tennis court.
  • Secret Service prohibits access, but boats can offer a glimpse.
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Presidential History

  • If present during office, Pres. George H.W. (’89-’93) or Pres. George W. (’01-’09), the Presidential flag was hoisted below the national colors.
  • The Bushes hosted world leaders like Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, & Vladimir Putin – Putin’s visit in 2007 was called “The Lobster Summit” (reference to Maine’s famous crustacean).
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For a man who moved 28 times in his adult life, the constant for Pres. Bush is Kennebunkport. 300 well-wishers lined the streets waving American flags as he returned Sunday. Click for a gem from 1988 when reporters were allowed inside the Bush compound.

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Current Events

Venezuela’s Despair

President Wins 2nd Term
*Election Seen As Rigged*

Pres. Maduro’s socialist policies have made life intolerable for most of Venezuela’s 34M citizens who struggle for the most basic of needs – despite sitting on top of the world’s largest oil reserves.

 

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Background

  • President Nicolás Maduro won re-election over Henri Falcón.
  • Opposition boycotted election, 2 popular candidates banned.
  • Socialists have led Venezuela for 19 years, beginning with Hugo Chavez.
  • Maduro says Venezuela is a victim of “economic warfare” from the U.S.
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Venezuela Election:
Why It Matters

  • Avg. monthly salary = $3 USD.
  • 90% of citizens say they don’t have enough money to eat.
  • Economy cut in half since Maduro took over in 2013.
  • Desperation has sparked a wave of deadly crime.
  • At least 1 million people have left the country in the past 4 years.
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“I don’t know what everybody else does to survive. If I don’t get out of this, I’ll starve to death.”

Ruben, a 21-year-old sergeant, who fearing retaliation, agreed to speak to the AP about his situation only if his last name was not revealed.
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More Oil Than Saudis, Why Are People Starving?

  • Venezuela’s oil is offshore or far underground, making it expensive to extract. It’s also less-desirable, harder-to-refine heavy crude.
  • Gov’t drove out foreign oil cos. for control, oil output at a 30-year low.
  • In turn, gov’t printed more money, led to hyperinflation. Everything = expensive.
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To protest election abuses, Trump officials have warned Venezuela may face tighter financial sanctions, including measures making it harder to export oil. That, coupled with new Iran sanctions, may spell higher oil prices for the world. Read more here.

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ROYAL WEDDING:
What You May Have Missed

 

You probably didn’t miss the glitz & glamour, but did you catch all of the little touches? Here are some of the many ways the Duke & Duchess of Sussex honored Princess Diana…

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The groom handpicked flowers from the private garden at Kensington Palace to add to his bride’s bouquet, which included:

  • Forget-Me-Nots: Princess Diana’s favorite flower
  • Myrtle sprigs from stems planted by Queen Victoria in 1845 and a plant grown from the myrtle, which was also used in The Queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947
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Princess Diana’s sister Lady Jane Fellowes gave the only ceremony reading – from the Song of Solomon.

Prince Harry & Ms. Markle both feel honoured that Lady Jane will be representing her family and helping to celebrate the memory of the late Princess on the wedding day
Kensington Palace statement (5/4/18)

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The hymn “Guide Me, O Thy Great Redeemer”, which was sung at the wedding, was also sung during Princess Diana’s 1997 funeral.

Elton John, who performed “Goodbye England’s Rose“, a re-written version of “Candle in the Wind”, at Princess Diana’s funeral, was a wedding guest. He also performed at the lunchtime reception following the wedding.

 

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Many onlookers compared the Duchess’ monarch-length veil to Princess Diana’s veil from her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles. Unlike Diana's, hers featured embroidered flowers from each of the Commonwealth's 53 countries.

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POWER OF PRAYER

 

 

 

 

Only hrs after a school shooting in Texas a debate emerges on ‘prayer’.

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“Once again, our Nation grieves another mass murder. Heidi and I are keeping the students and faculty of Santa Fe High School in our fervent prayers.”

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx), May 18, 2018
Full Statement
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“Spare us your thoughts and prayers and do you job.”

Mayor Mike Rawlings (D), Dallas, issues a statement imploring Republicans and President Trump to take "substantive action" re: the "mass shooting epidemic" in America.
Full Statement
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“…so heartbroken. Texas, I’m thinking of you and sending all the victims and their families my love and prayers.”

Kylie Jenner, Twitter, May 18, 2018
Click: Tweet
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“Santa Fe High, you didn’t deserve this. You deserve peace all your lives, not just after a tombstone saying that is put over you. You deserve more than Thoughts and Prayers, and after supporting us by walking out we will be there to support you by raising up your voices.”

Emma González, Student, Parkland High where a student killed 17 peers.
Click: Tweet
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Agree or Disagree?

“Prayer isn’t a lazy activity that people rely on in place of taking action…The problem isn’t that critics are calling for action, it’s that they have completely skipped over the necessity of faith and the power of prayer to sustain victims and to help those who have been tragically impacted by these horrors.”

Billy Hallowell, Author
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Is prayer, the usefulness or lack-of, a priority of debate in the hours after a mass shooting? What do you think?

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THE ROYAL WEDDING
All the Details

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THE BASICS

  • This Saturday, May 19th.
  • At 11:20am London time, the royal family & 600 guests will begin to arrive at St. George’s Chapel (where Harry was christened).
  • Ceremony begins at 12 pm (7 am ET), followed by a 25 min carriage procession thru Windsor.
  • Lunch reception at St. George’s.
  • Private evening reception at Frogmore House at 7pm.
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THE CAKE

  • Lemon elderflower cake from pastry chef Claire Ptak of Violet Cakes in London.
  • Buttercream icing & fresh flowers.
  • Did you know? Meghan, who interviewed Ms. Ptak for her now-defunct lifestyle blog The Tig, is a fan of the “organic & low intervention ingredients.”

 

Insta look: Cake
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THE FLOWERS

  • London-based & self-taught Philippa Craddock will design all of the church flowers.
  • Likely flowers include white garden roses, foxgloves, & Markle’s favorite – peonies.
  • Did you know? Dating back to 1840, royal wedding bouquets include myrtle a symbol of love & hope.
Insta look: Flowers
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THE DRESS

  • No confirmation on the designer.
  • The Daily Mail reports it will be Ralph & Russo, who created Markle’s black engagement gown.
  • Did you know? The husband & wife Australian designers are known for their extravagant couture designs. But it’s custom for the Queen to approve.
  • Other possible designers? Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen.

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WILL HE OR WON’T HE?

On Thursday, Markle issued the following statement: “Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health.”

After much anticipation, the palace announced Prince Charles will walk Markle down the aisle.

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The Royal Family will take care of Meghan and Harry’s wedding bill. For comparison, Kate Middleton and Prince William’s 2011 wedding cost an estimated $34M, with $32M going to security alone. Oh, and what about the honeymoon? Click for that scoop.

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First State Enacts
“Free-Range Parenting” Law

UT leads — TX & NY may be next.

Here’s what “free-range parenting” means and why some say it fosters self-reliance & independence, while others say it is dangerous, and possibly illegal.

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Those who practice “free-range parenting” allow their kids to do things like, go to the park, walk to school, or take public transportation, alone or with other children, but without any adult supervision.

Legal issues arise when child protective authorities view those “freedoms” as parental neglect & initiate legal proceedings against the parents to “protect” the kids.

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Although child abuse & neglect laws vary by state, the U.S Constitution protects the “fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children.”

Parents may parent as they see fit UNLESS they do something, or fail to do something, that places a child in imminent risk of danger of physical or emotional harm.

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The Utah Law carves out exceptions to the state’s child neglect laws by providing parents may permit their kids to engage in activities w/o adult supervision, like

  • “traveling to and from school”
  • “engaging in outdoor play”
  • “remaining at home unattended”
    (so long as they are of “sufficient age and maturity” & their “basic needs are met.”)
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Did a particular event start this "free-range parenting" law in Utah? Not really...It's part of a lobbying effort that began several years ago. Here's the background:

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HISTORIC DAY

U.S. Embassy Moves To Jerusalem

America, the first nation to recognize Israel as a sovereign country, becomes first nation to put its embassy in Jerusalem.

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The Basics

  • Where did embassy move from? Tel Aviv.
  • Why is the move controversial? Jerusalem is disputed territory. Some consider Jerusalem part of the West Bank or Arab/Muslim, others consider it part of Israel or Jewish.
  • When people talk about “Middle East Peace” – debate over who “owns” Jerusalem at center.
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Why Now?

  • America’s move makes a clear statement about Israeli’s national sovereignty. Israel considers Jerusalem its capital; Now America does as well.
  • President Trump delivering on campaign promise.
  • Timing coincides w/U.S. withdrawing from Iran Deal, reaffirms Israel-America alliance; Israel is a U.S. ally.

 

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“We are not taking a position on final status issues, including the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, nor on the resolution of contested borders.”

U.S. State Department's official statement on Jerusalem embassy opening, an attempt to leave room for negotiations that *could* bring peace or an territorial agreement between Israel & the West Bank.
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The embassy move is symbolic in many ways. The U.S. ambassador and a small team will set up in a temporary location in Jerusalem. 850 members of the U.S. embassy will stay in Tel Aviv while a new building is built. That could take nearly a decade.

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WHO WILL LEAD IRAQ?

Iraq votes in first major election since the fall of ISIS. Results will determine
*new* Prime Minister.

The election has major repercussions.

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What’s At Stake

  • Current PM (Haidar al-Abadi) seen as more independent, more U.S.-friendly, than his challengers, who align more closely with Iran, politically or religiously.
  • Who wins will determine future relationship of U.S. & Iraq.
  • ISIS led to massive displacement of diverse Iraqi population. Next leader will have a major role in Iraq’s demographics & geography.
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Something To Consider:

  • RECORD LOW turnout at 44%. Turnout usually approx. 60% (that roughly matches voter turnout in America’s 2016 presidential election).
  • First election since the start of the Iraq war (2003) where no bombings were reported at ANY polling site.
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No clear winner...yet. Once parliament is elected in Iraq (nearly 400 seats), members have 3 months to form a government. A coalition of politicians backed by Muqtada Al-Sadr has an early lead. Sadr led a militia that fought/killed U.S. troops during Iraq War.

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