(CNN)Frequent fliers know that in the competitive world of modern airlines, it takes a skilled player to spot the good deals among the gimmicks.
(CNN)Frequent fliers know that in the competitive world of modern airlines, it takes a skilled player to spot the good deals among the gimmicks.
Alan Yuhas fact-checks the statements of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in New York
Trump is primarily talking about the North American Free Trade Agreement, but the long-term decline in manufacturing around the US cant only be attributed to the trade deal. Economists still debate the effect of the deal on jobs, since US trade with Canada and Mexico is modest at best. In 2015, the Congressional Research Service wrote: Nafta did not cause the huge job losses feared by the critics or the large economic gains predicted by supporters.
Manufacturing is down 37% since its peak in 1979, but this change has a great deal to do with the general shift toward a service-based economy, which the US has had surpluses in in recent years. Its true that many manufacturing jobs have been outsourced, especially since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, but its also true that the US has added more than 800,000 factory jobs since 2010.
Trump never struggled for money or started with anything modest. In 1978 his father gave him a loan totaling almost $1m about $3.7m today and acted as guarantor for the young Trumps early projects. A 1981 report by a New Jersey regulator also shows a $7.5m loan from the patriarch, and years later he bought $3.5m in gambling chips to help his son pay off the debts of a failing casino, which was found to have broken the law by accepting them. Trump also borrowed millions against his inheritance before his fathers death, a 2007 deposition shows.
Trump has not proven that he is worth $10bn, though his tax returns, which he has refused to release, could provide a clearer picture of his worth. His financial filings suggest he has less than $250m in liquid assets, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. Trump has a history of overstating his properties: he has, for instance, told the FEC that a New York golf club is worth $50m but also argued in court that it is worth only $1.4m.
Trumps tax plan would disproportionately help the wealthiest Americans, saving them millions of dollars and adding trillions to the national debt, according to an analysis by the Tax Foundation, a conservative thinktank. He would reduce the business tax rate to 15%, eliminate the estate tax (aka the death tax), which mostly affects wealthy inheritors, and would reduce revenue from taxes by about $5tn. According to the Foundation, the top 1% of earners would see a 10.2% increase to their incomes.
Clintons tax plan does not change tax rates for the middle class, but does increase taxes by 4% on people who have an adjusted income of more than $5m, as well as closing corporate loopholes. Only about 0.5% of small businesses in the US reported a profit of more than $1m in 2011, according to the US treasury department. Clinton would increase tax revenue by $1.1tn by taxing the top 1% of earners, increasing the estate tax and eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, and by implementing and a more complex tax code, according to the Tax Policy Center.
Trump has not proven that he pays any federal income tax, and did not deny that he doesnt pay, saying simply that it would prove hes smart.
Trump often cites Chicagos shooting crisis as evidence that the US is plagued by dangerous crime, but not even that city, which has the most homicides in the US, compares to a war zone as Trump says. In 2015, Chicago had 2,988 people who were victims of gun violence, according to the Chicago Tribune, and 488 homicides in all. The city has more than 500 homicides so far this year, per the paper, and more than 2,100 victims of gun violence.
In Afghanistan a country Trump often compares the city to between January and June 2016, 1,601 civilians have been killed and 3,565 injured, according to the United Nations. The figures include 388 killed and 1,121 injured children. The UN reported 3,545 civilians killed and 7,457 injured in 2015. More than 80,000 people have been displaced by violence this year. The US and Afghan forces control only about 70% of the country, while the Taliban and militants control the other 30%, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff told the Senate on Thursday.
The controversial police tactic of stop and frisk, which became a hallmark of New York policing through the mayorships of Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, has landed the city in federal court, where a judge ruled it unconstitutional. One research paper, unpublished through peer review, found modest drops in some crimes. A second paper, published through peer review, found problems in the first study and few significant effects of the tactic.
A New York Civil Liberties Union report, on 12 years worth of police data, found young black and Hispanic men were targeted for stops at a vastly higher proportion than white men: more than half the people searched were black and about 30% were Hispanic. Among more than 5m stops during the Bloomberg administration, police found a gun less than 0.02% of the time, according to the report. NYPD records between 2004 and 2012 show similar figures: in 4.4m stops, weapons were seized from 1.0% of black people, 1.1% from Hispanic people and 1.4% of white people.
New Yorks long-term decline in crime rates began before Giuliani took office in 1994, and its causes were and are diverse: data-driven policing with the Compstat system, the growth of the police force by 35% over the decade, incarceration increases by 24% and the 39% unemployment decline that matched with national economic growth. Not even the loudest supporters of stop and frisk, including Bloomberg whose last term Trump has called a disaster have argued the tactic alone reduced crime to its current lows.
Trump said that the tactic was ruled unconstitutional because of a judge who was against policing, but his personal opinion about the judge does not mean she did not rule it unconstitutional.
This argument flies in the face of Trumps pro-gun rights stance for legal owners; he has repeatedly and falsely insisted that Clinton wants to take away guns from legal owners.
Trump claimed that New Yorks crime rate is up since the end of stop and frisk. It remains near historic lows.
There is no evidence that Clinton or her campaign had anything to do with the false rumors that Barack Obama was not born in the US, nor did Clinton have anything to do with Trumps five years of questions about birth certificates, which he finally recanted last Friday.
Trumps campaign has tried to blame several people who were, if at all, tangentially related to the Clinton campaign. There is no evidence that Solis Doyle had anything to do with the claim either. She told CNN that there was a volunteer coordinator in Iowa who forwarded the email and that the volunteer was dismissed, and that she called the Obama campaign to apologize.
A former aide named Mark Penn wrote a 2007 memo that Obamas lack of American roots could hold him back. But he added: We are never going to say anything about his background. The Clinton campaign never acted on his advice, and he was dismissed in April 2008.
Some Clinton supporters have been blamed over anonymous chain emails for questioning Obamas citizenship, but none of the rumormongers were linked to the campaign. Philip Berg, a former Pennsylvania official who supported Clinton, filed a lawsuit in 2008 over Obamas birth certificate; the suit was thrown out because it was groundless. Blumenthal, an old friend of the Clintons who frequently sent them unsolicited advice, reportedly asked reporters to investigate Obamas birth, but he has denied this and denounced the conspiracy.
As fellow fact-checkers at Politifact have noted, a Texas volunteer for Clinton named Linda Starr eventually joined Bergs failed lawsuit; there is nothing to suggest Starr had any influence in the campaign at any level. Campaign volunteers who forwarded emails falsely alleging Obama is Muslim resigned when they were found out.
Trump did not answer the question about what convinced him that the president was born in the US, even though the birth certificate has been public for the five years that has Trump continued questioning Obamas birthplace.
The Islamic States first segments formed out of the post-invasion civil war in Iraq, while George W Bush was president. The group took root in Syrias civil war, where the US did not intervene until 2014. The terror group largely formed out of the remnants of Saddam Husseins government and the factions that formed al-Qaida in Iraq all of which happened in the last decade or so. The group also gained international notoriety only in 2014, when it invaded Iraq in significant forces and when Clinton was out of office.
Several independent security firms, in addition to intelligence officials, have pointed to Russian-backed hackers as the culprits behind a hack of the Democratic National Committee. Trump is correct in an extremely technical sense: no one has provided 100% proof that Russia was behind the hack, and the Obama administration has proven loath to escalate a hacking war. But security experts have found technical fingerprints that seem to hint back toward Russia, just as they have found links back to Chinese hacks in unrelated cases.
The claim that Obama and Clinton created the conditions for Isis ignores that Isiss first segments formed out of the post-invasion civil war in Iraq, while George W Bush was president; that the group took root in Syrias civil war, where the US did not intervene until 2014; and that Obama withdrew American forces in 2011 under the timeline agreed on by Bush and Baghdad.
But Nato has had a Defense Against Terrorism program since June 2004, almost a full 12 years before Trump called the alliance obsolete. In July its member nations decided to increase efforts against Isis, specifically, in Syria and Iraq, as its leaders had discussed for months. Trump was not involved.
Not quite. Per the AP:
A June 2013 press release posted on the Trump Organizations website announced that the redevelopment of the old post office was expected to start in 2014 with the hotel opening scheduled in 2016. A few months later, the Trump Organization announced the expected grand opening of the hotel would happen at the end of 2015. The Trump Organization said in a third statement in 2013 … completion was expected in late 2015.
In 2014, the Trump Organization went back to announcing the hotel would open in mid-2016. In February, in the midst of Trumps presidential campaign, the organization shifted and announced the hotel was planned to open in September, almost two years ahead of schedule, which is unheard of for a project of this size and complexity, Ivanka Trump is quoted as saying.
And during a March visit to the site, Donald Trump said: Were two years ahead of schedule. Were going to be opening in September.
The hotel is now only partly open.
Clinton had nothing to do with the delivery of $400m to Iran as part of a settlement for a failed arms deal that Tehrans pre-revolutionary government had made with the US in the 1970s.
The State Department under John Kerry has admitted, however, that it wanted to use that money as leverage to secure the sailors release, although its transfer had been mediated through an international court. The money was delivered as foreign currency because US law bars any transaction in US dollars and sanctions make bank transactions difficult.
The US is not giving any of its own money to Iran as part of an international nuclear arms deal meant to prevent the construction of weapons. The deal gradually unfreezes assets that belong to Iran but were frozen under sanctions related to the nations nuclear program. Sanctions related to human rights, terrorism and other issues remain in place and still lock Iran out of billions.
Trumps guess of how much Iran will benefit by unfrozen assets is far higher than most experts estimates, though not inconceivable. Treasury secretary Jack Lew has put the number at $56bn, and Iranian officials have said $32bn and $100bn. Independent economists have calculated that Iran will free up anything between $30bn to $100bn. Complicating the math are Irans debts: it will have to pay off tens of billions to countries such as China.
There is no evidence that the brief capture in January of 10 American sailors had any effect on the nuclear deal, which had been finalized five months earlier, although the incident rattled fragile relations between Washington and Tehran. A few days after the sailors were released, UN inspectors confirmed that Iran had complied with the deal.
What Iran does next remain an open question subject to inspection by UN officials and Clintons argument in favor of the deal hinges on a degree of good faith that Tehran will comply by the terms of the deal.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a government agency. It does not endorse political candidates. A group of former customs officials endorsed Trump just before the debate.
Singaporeans who choke on haze floating over from Indonesia can blame the world’s desire for palm oil. The edible oil is an important ingredient in the cookies, noodles and other packaged foods as well as soaps, shampoos, lipsticks and many other consumer goods. Farmers in Indonesia, the world’s biggest supplier of the commodity, often illegally burn the world’s oldest rainforest or use fire to clear old oil palms on existing plantations, and the smoke from the flames drifts across Singapore and Malaysia.
Groups like Greenpeace and the Union of Concerned Scientists have taken to naming and shaming companies that they say aren’t doing enough to make suppliers stop the destruction of rainforests and peatlands. On Sept. 21, WWF released its 2016 Palm Oil Buyers Scorecard, looking at the policies of 137 companies worldwide. The good news, according to WWF, “at least half of the companies we looked at” have made “gratifying progress” toward using sustainable palm oil that meets criteria such as a ban on the destruction of primary forests.
Public pressure seems to be helping, with many companies announcing new policies or expanding on existing policies to clean up their supply chains of palm oil. To ensure their palm oil comes from sustainable sources, companies are making commitments to trace their supply back to the farm where growers harvest the fruit or the mill where producers extract the oil. “The industry is at a critical stage on the journey to sustainable palm oil,” WWF Palm Oil lead Adam Harrison said in a statement. “More major brands are now using only certified palm oil yet laggard companies continue to drag their feet.”
Johnson & Johnson. Greenpeace gave J&J a “Failing” grade in its 2016 scorecard published in March, saying the New Brunswick, NJ-based company should disclose a complete list of suppliers and sub-suppliers” but J&J was close to the top in WWF’s scorecard, winning a score of 8 out of a possible 9 – meaning the company is “well on the path” according to WWF. Among the sourcing criteria J&J adopted in 2014 is a ban on palm-oil suppliers that develop peatlands or burn land. The company “has moved business away from two suppliers for noncompliance with our standards,” Vice President for Media Relations Ernie W. Knewitz said in an e-mailed statement, “and we are continuing to take appropriate measures to verify conformance and to engage with other companies and NGOs to promote responsible palm oil production.”
PepsiCo. Two environmental groups give good grades to PepsiCo: The maker of soft drinks and snack foods received a top score of 9 on WWF’s scorecard (which places the company among those “leading the way,” according to WWF) and 80.7 out of a 100 from the UCS. But Greenpeace was more critical, saying the company “has no evidence that its palm oil is deforestation-free.” In September, PepsiCo announced it had traced approximately 72 percent of its palm oil to the mill, up from 65 percent in 2015. “We are encouraged by the progress we’ve made,” the company said, “but recognize that further work is needed.” In an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg, PepsiCo said the Greenpeace scorecard “did not capture all of our ongoing work on sustainable palm oil.” PepsiCo has set a 2020 deadline to be able to trace palm oil back to the plantations where the trees grow and has joined the Palm Oil Working Group of the Consumer Goods Forum, an industry body of retailers and manufacturers.
Dairy Queen. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns American Dairy Queen, the fast-food chain that specializes in soft-serve ice cream. WWF and Greenpeace didn’t include Dairy Queen in their scorecards but the UCS gave Dairy Queen a zero for “no commitment” to finding palm oil that doesn’t contribute to the destruction of rain forests. In a statement, the company said suppliers of its U.S. and Canadian locations will meet guidelines on sustainable palm oil by 2018. Suppliers will also need to show producers’ “growing and harvest practices do not contribute to deforestation and ensure critical and fragile environmental resources and habitats remain undisturbed.”
Domino’s. Like Dairy Queen, Domino’s also wasn’t on WWF and Greenpeace’s lists but got a zero score from the UCS. That grade is out of date, according to the company. Domino’s is “committed to sourcing palm oil that is produced without deforestation of High Conservation Value areas, High Carbon Stock forests or the destruction of peat land,” the company said in an e-mailed statement, saying Domino’s achieved 100 percent palm-oil traceability back to the mill in September 2015.
Wendy’s. The fast-food chain, criticized two years in a row by the UCS for having “zero commitment” to sustainable palm oil, scored a mediocre 5 out of 9 (“started the journey”) on the WWF scorecard. Wendy’s uses palm oil in its North American restaurants for “a few non-core menu items” such as its breaded fish and breakfast biscuits, according to a statement on the company’s website. Wendy’s “is working to have a plan in place” to source sustainable palm oil for its North American restaurants by 2022, the company said in an e-mailed statement. “We’re committed to sourcing palm oil from responsible and sustainable sources.”
Yum! Brands. The UCS put the company among its worst offenders and the parent of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell got no grade from WWF, which said Yum was one of a small group of companies that didn’t respond to its request for information. “We recognize that not responding to the WWF Palm Oil Scorecard Survey results in a default score of zero,” Yum vice president for public affairs Laurie Schalow said in an e-mailed statement. “However, this score does not represent our commitments and progress.” Yum plans to stop using palm oil as cooking oil and source sustainable palm oil by the end of next year.
Target. The Minneapolis-based retailer did poorly on WWF’s scorecard, getting only a 2 out of 9 – meaning the company is “not yet in the starting blocks,” according to the WWF. Last year, UCS gave Target a zero, but since then “Target has set a commitment to traceable and sustainable palm oil,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. The big-box retailer set a 2018 deadline for sourcing sustainable palm oil for its own-brand foods as well as its personal-care and household-cleaning products. According to a statement on its website regarding its sourcing policy, Target said it “will work actively with its vendors, suppliers, and other stakeholders to implement our policy and to remove all unacceptable sources of palm oil, where required.”
Costco Wholesale. Another big-box retailer that flunked WWF’s test is Costco, which got a 2. UCS gave the company a zero. All of the company’s Kirkland Signature-brand suppliers of palm oil must implement policies that include a no-burn policy for clearing of land and a ban on new development of peatlands, Costco announced in September 2015, and use only certified sustainable palm oil by 2021. The League of Conservation Voters responded with a letter-writing campaign to pressure Costco to move faster. The deadline of 2021 “is too far away and out-of-line with the deadlines announced by other retailers in the industry,” the League said. Costco “is committed to ensuring that the palm oil contained in our Kirkland Signature products is responsibly and sustainably sourced,” the company said in a policy statement published in September 2015.
Clorox. Out of ten makers of soaps, cosmetics and other personal-care products graded by the UCS, only Burt’s Bees parent Clorox got a score of zero. Since then, the company (which wasn’t on WWF or Greenpeace’s scorecards) has updated its policy, saying all suppliers have until 2020 to adhere to requirements to protect rainforest and peatlands. Among the new criteria, Clorox will prohibit suppliers from using fire to prepare or clear land. In July, Clorox joined the Forest Trust and is working with the NGO to trace the palm oil of a dozen major suppliers back to mills where they produce the oil. At that point, according to Clorox, “we can begin to understand regions where the palm is being grown and the risks in those regions.”
There comes a time when even Jann Wenner needs a little help from his friends.
After a five-decade run full of interviews with pop stars and presidents, the founder of Rolling Stone is selling 49 percent of the iconic magazine to an Asian billionaires son. Its the first time Wenner has admitted an outside investor, a deal that encapsulates the plight of an industry fighting to stay relevant in an online age. Wenner Media LLC also owns Us Weekly and Mens Journal.
Founded in 1967, Rolling Stone became a fixture of American pop culture, helping launch the careers of writers and creative artists over almost 50 years. But like many of its peers, the magazine has steadily lost advertising and readership to nimbler online alternatives. In 2014, Wenner tasked his son Gus with devising a digital strategy. Now Wenner, who started Rolling Stone from a San Francisco warehouse, plans to relinquish as much of his magazine as possible without ceding control.
Its a big moment, Gus Wenner, the companys head of digital, said in a phone interview. There is a great opportunity to take that brand and apply it into new and different areas and markets.
The new investor is Singapore-based BandLab Technologies, a budding digital music concern founded by the 28-year-old scion of one of Asias richest families. Kuok Meng Ru, the third son of Singapore-based agribusiness tycoon Kuok Khoon Hong, graduated from Cambridge University with a mathematics degree and launched BandLab last year as a social network for musicians and fans. The startup is funded by private investors, including Kuoks father and JamHub Corp., a maker of audio mixers.
BandLab will have no involvement in the editorial side of the magazine. Rather, it will oversee a new Rolling Stone International subsidiary, which will develop live events, merchandising and hospitality. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. BandLab will not have a stake in Wenner Media.
Kuok said the two sides have been in discussions for about 15 months. What has happened last 49 years has already shown that Rolling Stone is more than a brand to people, Kuok told Bloomberg News. It is now our shared responsibility to take it into the future.
Rolling Stone currently reaches a global audience of 65 million people, according to the company. That includes 22 million domestic digital monthly users, almost 18 million social fans and followers, and nearly 12 million readers of the U.S. print publication. The average monthly unique visitors to its website rose almost 40 percent in the first half of this year from a year earlier. It publishes 12 international editions in countries including Australia, Indonesia and Japan.
Our strategic partnership is focused on brand extensions into new areas we havent quite fully been in the past, such as merchandising, live events, hospitality they are areas we have dabbled in but never really seriously gone after, said Wenner. Meng and his team bring a great deal of understanding, infrastructure, know-how and act in that extraordinarily exciting market of Asia and beyond.
The magazine made its mark in the 1970s and 80s with cutting-edge music and political coverage. Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson wrote for Wenner for decades, including publishing first in its pages Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which later became a book and movie. Its stable of star writers included P.J. ORourke, Cameron Crowe and Lester Bangs. And it published in-depth exposes, including the 11,000-word, 1974 story of how heiress Patty Hearst went from kidnapping victim to radicalized guerrilla.
Even past its prime it could break through to the mainstream. A 2010 profile of General Stanley McChrystal that included remarks critical of the Obama Administration led to the generals resignation. In 2013, the magazine put on its cover the Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, prompting outrage over what some saw as the glamorization of terrorism.
Last year, Rolling Stone came under fire for its editorial standards. The magazine published an article about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity. The story turned out to be substantially false and prompted the magazine to request an independent investigation from the Columbia University journalism school. The article is now the subject of several lawsuits, including one from a college employee, though Kuok declined to say if his company would be liable for any potential damages.
For Kuok, Rolling Stone marks the latest of his acquisitions of music assets and brands, underscoring his efforts to build a global music empire. BandLab, his flagship business, is a cloud-based online community that allows artists to create, collaborate and share their music. In 2012, Kuok acquired Swee Lee, a sleepy 70-year-old distributor of guitars in Singapore. Since then, he has turned the company into a modern enterprise, selling merchandise online and offering music lessons. Its now the biggest distributor of instruments and audio equipment in Southeast Asia.
Other recent acquisitions include Composr, a European iOS and web music-making service, and MONO Creators Inc., the San Francisco-based design studio that creates high-end instrument cases, straps and accessories for musicians.
We are focused on the consumer and the supply chain of music, and innovative business models around music that exist today, he said. We see a lot of synergies. At the end of the day, the end consumer is the same. BandLabs goal is to be a global music business.
The sale of a big chunk of Rolling Stone magazine began with a casual meeting between a scion of one of Asias richest families and the son of magazine impresario Jann Wenner, during a sweltering New York summer.
A mutual friend had suggested Kuok Meng Ru, blues aficionado and son of palm oil tycoon Kuok Khoon Hong, meet Gus Wenner, the 26-year-old heir apparent to a business built around his fathers iconic pop magazine. They hit it off. Close in age, they discovered a shared love of the guitar and Bob Dylan. Each had played in bands as teenagers. And both were trying to launch digital businesses of their own, independent of their well-known fathers.
Inevitably, they began to talk shop. The 28-year-old founder of BandLab Technologies was several years into acquiring the pieces of a business he envisioned would someday provide all things music, from a social network for aspiring artists to the amps and instruments used on stage. His American counterpart was trying to craft a digital strategy for Wenner Media LLC, the company behind Us Weekly and Mens Journal now fighting to stay relevant and keep advertisers in an online age.
It took 15 months of trans-Pacific flights and phone calls before Kuok clinched his prize: a 49 percent stake in the celebrated magazine, becoming the first outside investor in Rolling Stones 49-year history. Kuok will head Rolling Stone International, a company to be established in Singapore that the partners hope can use the brand to delve into concerts, merchandising and hospitality. The Wenners think Kuok can help them plumb from Asia the growth thats eluding them back home.
It became much bigger than what we began with, Kuok told Bloomberg News. It was really more of a meeting of minds and visions and long-term partnership that made it possible.
The tie-up is likely to propel Rolling Stones brand in Asia, home to half of the worlds population — but where its name doesnt quite go as far. Itll be hoping to avoid the mis-steps of the past, such as a short-lived Hard Rock Cafe-style restaurant on Los Angeles Hollywood Boulevard. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
When Meng expressed interest in partnership, we began to really spend time together and talk about our visions and our interests, and just kind of hit it off, Gus Wenner said in a phone interview. It became clear that this was really the partner we could do all those things with.
Much depends on whether Kuok can help the magazine resonate with an audience weaned on Korean, Chinese and other local music scenes. The magazine marks by far the highest-profile score for Kuok, whos been acquiring businesses at a steady clip. The flagship BandLab is the online community that allows artists to create and share music. In 2012, Kuok acquired Swee Lee, a sleepy 70-year-old distributor of guitars in Singapore that now sells merchandise online and offers music lessons, and has become Southeast Asias biggest distributor of instruments and audio equipment.
Other recent acquisitions include Composr, a European iOS and web music-making service, and MONO Creators Inc., the San Francisco-based design studio that creates high-end instrument cases, straps and accessories.
We are focused on the consumer and the supply chain of music and innovative business models around music that exist today, Kuok said. We cant comment on how exactly the business will integrate, but we can say we see a lot of synergies. At the end of the day, the end consumer is the same. BandLabs goal is to be a global music business.
Wenners new partner credits his billionaire father for igniting a life-long passion with music, even though they didnt spend that much time together when he was growing up. The third child of an agribusiness tycoon went off to a British boarding school at 10, graduating later from Cambridge University with a mathematics degree. His father was busy building Wilmar International Ltd. into the worlds largest palm-oil business, starting from scratch in 1991.
But it was the elder Kuok who introduced his son to Eric Clapton. That led to an obsession with B.B. King and a love affair with the blues guitar.
Kuok remains part of a bigger dynasty that goes beyond palm oil. His father is nephew to Robert Kuok, one of the worlds richest men according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Worth $13.5 billion, the family patriarch controls businesses from sugar and fertilizers to hotels and logistics companies.
Family money and a clutch of investors including JamHub Corp. helped get BandLab off the ground. But the younger Kuok now has to prove his mettle — and Rolling Stone is just the start. His mother constantly reminded him: “Much has been given, much will be expected.”
Wenner says he has faith his new partner can set the magazine business on a new path. The tie-up will also test Wenners own leadership ability, though he wouldnt comment on a recent report that hell take the businesss helm from his father, 70, next year.
There is a whole layer of excitement for me in that to have a partner in Meng — we are kind of the same age — and to have a kindred spirit, whos driven, and the focus and has a shared vision, its more than exciting, he said. It means a lot.
DADAAB REFUGEE COMPLEX, Kenya Mohamed Omar Abdille remembers the night before he left his home in Merca, Somalia, in September 2012 to begin life as a refugee.
He was 15. Family and friends gathered around the table for a final meal before his departure. His mother served his favorite supper of spaghetti, beef and milk. They joked and laughed about his journey ahead and spoke of the peace that prevailed at the Dadaab refugee complex, 325 miles away in Kenya, and about the opportunities that awaited Mohamed there. An uncle was already at one of the five camps at the complex, and Mohamed could live with him while he attended school. In Merca, Mohamed recalled this past summer, “there was little food or water, and the few schools had long been closed.”
As the family and visitors ate, they could hear gunshots and explosions from the ongoing battles between clan factions across town. The Somali government’s war against al-Shabab, the terrorist group affiliated with al-Qaida, also afflicted Merca. Mohamed’s siblings wished they could go with him; he assured them that once he had an education he would be back to teach them, too.
Mohamed’s father, Omar, a shopkeeper and a farmer, would have liked to take the whole family to Dadaab, but he couldn’t afford the $50 per person it would cost to shuttle them there by private van from Merca. Failing that, he wanted Mohamed, as his eldest son, to go to school; the rest of the family would move to Barawe, 60 miles down Somalias coast, soon after Mohamed’s departure.
After finishing the meal at 11 p.m., the family retired. Excited to start his new life, and kept awake by distant explosions, Mohamed, who shared a mat with his six-year-old brother, could hardly sleep.
“Finally, I was going to learn English,” he said.
Before dawn the next morning, his parents took him to the bus stop. His father gave him the $50 fare. His mother, handing him cakes she had baked for him to eat on the way, told him, “You will not be lonely your relatives are there. Your uncle will take you to school. Do not think of me so much.”
After saying goodbye to his parents, Mohamed could not get a seat inside the white Nissan Homy van and had to sit on the roof. Four days of travel on dusty, bumpy roads brought the van to Dadaab.
Officials from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) processed Mohamed’s registration, and he was able to find his uncle. Soon he would enroll in primary school at Hagadera refugee camp. In Somalia, he had attended an informal school, known as a duksi, where the students only learn the Koran. His 11 siblings have never received proper schooling.
Today, Mohamed is back in Somalia among the first refugees to be repatriated at the demand of Kenya’s government. The Dadaab refugee complex was established in 1992 when civil war engulfed Somalia following the fall of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. Drought and regional conflicts in the ensuing decades caused the complex to grow by 2011 to a peak population of 565,000 in camps built to accommodate 90,000. Dadaab now offers a haven for refugees from every country that neighbors Kenya Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Uganda as well as Rwanda. According to UNHCR, Somalis make up 95 percent of the camps population. About 80 percent are women and children.
In June, UNHCR agreed to a plan to resettle 150,000 Dadaab residents by the end of 2016.
At Dadaab, refugees have found not only safety but also education, health care and business opportunities all in short supply in parts of the region, especially Somalia. The U.N. runs the camps, and humanitarian agencies assume various functions, operating schools, doling out food rations, managing water and sanitation, and offering programs in gender-based violence. About half of Dadaab’s 168,745 children between the ages of three and 18 attend school a much higher enrollment rate than Somalia’s according to Lennart Hernander, program representative for the Lutheran World Federation in Kenya and Djibouti, which runs schools at Hagadera camp, including the one Mohamed attended.
But refugees in Kenya faced increased pressure after attacks by Islamist terrorists, angry over a joint operation of the Kenyan and Somali militaries against al-Shabab in 2011, began to strike civilian targets in the country in 2012. A Kenyan official told reporters in 2013 that one of the attackers on the Westgate shopping mall that September had passed through a refugee camp in Kenya’s northwest. A voluntary repatriation program was begun in December 2014. When al-Shabab killed 147 Kenyans at Garissa University College in 2015, Deputy President William Ruto announced that Dadaab would be closed within three months.
Few took the threat seriously; forcibly repatriating refugees to a country where their lives would be in danger is a violation of both Kenyan and international law, and Nairobis human rights commission opposed the idea. But as peace returned to segments of Somalia, Kenya’s claims that security, high costs and lack of support from the international community were weighing on the developing nation began to resonate. The population of Dadaab was falling down 40 percent, by some estimates, between 2011 and 2016 but not fast enough for officials in Nairobi. In May 2016, the government renewed calls to close Dadaab.
“At great cost, our troops have liberated large swaths of Somalia from the hold of al-Shabab, yet we are still presented with a picture of a country to which none of its refugee diaspora can resettle, while U.N. workers traverse much of that liberated country with relative safety,” wrote Kenyas principal secretary for the interior, Karanja Kibicho, in a statement in May.
In June, UNHCR agreed to a plan to resettle 150,000 residents by the end of 2016.
From the start of the voluntary repatriation program through August, Somali refugees totaling 29,371 had been repatriated from Dadaab, according to Duke Mwancha, a UNHCR spokesperson in Nairobi. Convoys of up to 11 buses carrying 70 people each leave as frequently as four times a week.
When he was not attending school, Mohamed learned how to use a computer at the youth center at his camp. He enjoyed playing soccer with schoolmates and visiting friends elsewhere in the complex. After school, he would help out at his uncle’s shop, where he sold foodstuffs such as sugar and flour. The camp offered opportunities for children to learn and grow, but finding a job, winning a scholarship or getting resettled in a new country depended on luck.
“All children have an opportunity to go to school, but not everyone who finishes school can get work or be resettled.”
“All children have an opportunity to go to school, but not everyone who finishes school can get work or be resettled,” Mohamed said.
When Mohamed first heard over the radio in May that the government of Kenya planned to repatriate all Somali refugees, his first thought was that it would never happen. (Many observers shared his belief.) Many in the camps, especially those who had been there for years or were born there, dreaded the idea of being forced to go to Somalia. But the June announcement to resettle 150,000 residents seemed a more realistic goal. Though not unhappy at Dadaab, he felt that it was only a matter of time before he was sent back. He imagined he could continue his education in Somalia despite the precarious situation.
The U.N.’s facilitating the return of refugees meant he wouldn’t have to ask his father to pay for his transportation. His uncle had been resettled in the U.S. in December 2015, moving to Utah with his immediate family, so Mohamed was losing his ties to Dadaab. He had made something of his time at the camp, having obtained a Kenya Certificate of Primary Education, and was ready to move on.
His father agreed that Mohamed should continue his studies back home. Though the boy planned to live in Mogadishu, Omar told his son of schools that had opened in Barawe, and that the small city was seeing a degree of reconstruction.
Early one morning toward the end of June, Mohamed set off to the UNHCR field office, a few hundred yards outside the Hagadera camp he had called home for nearly four years. He walked among the many mud-walled, tarpaulin-roofed structures of the camp, past the crowded market, to the warren of humanitarian organization offices.
Around 700 refugees were already outside a gate manned by private security guards. A queue snaked out along the razor-wired perimeter fence toward the market. Many were there to register for voluntary repatriation, taking advantage of the offer of free transport and assistance with resettlement once in Somalia.
“Why should they keep us here and beat us, yet it is our homes we want to go to?”
Others had completed registration and were back for the mandatory health screening. Mohamed explained himself to the guards and was allowed in. After hours of waiting in line, his registration was completed quickly. A week later he completed his health screening.
On the morning of July 18, Mohamed was called with other refugees to move into the transit camp UNHCR had set up at Hagadera in preparation for transfer to Mogadishu. They were informed they would be flown out in a week. Mohamed was thrilled at the prospect of boarding an airplane for the first time.
But on the morning of the scheduled flight, al-Shabab struck U.N. and African Union buildings near Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport with twin suicide car bombs, killing 13 people and injuring five others. Repatriation flights and bus trips to Somalia were suspended indefinitely. What should have been a short stint at the transit center would become weeks, and patience among the refugees ran thin. At times, crowds would push and surge forward to the gate and be whipped with long canes wielded by guards in white shirts, blue trousers and black boots. Mohamed said he saw a woman, whom he estimated to be about 70 years old, beaten by the private guards contracted by UNHCR for skipping the queue.
“We just want to go home. Why should they keep us here and beat us, yet it is our homes we want to go to?” said a woman who witnessed a beating in late July.
Food rations in the transit camp were irregular and inadequate, Mohamed said. Men would often forgo their rations so women and children could be fed.
“Sometimes just white rice is brought in, and sometimes we get only tea in the morning and nothing else until the next day,” Mohamed said.
Many evenings he would walk to Kambioos, a refugee camp three miles away, in the evening for supper with a friend who would share with him. (Ishmael Mohamed, UNHCR repatriation officer at Hagadera, said refugees at the transit center had access to two hot meals every day provided by a local contractor.)
Mohamed Gaab Hassan, 40, a father of three from Kismayo, Somalia, was at the transit center with his family at the same time as Mohamed. He and his wife and children left home for Dadaab in 2011 after all his 150 goats and 10 of his 20 camels died because of drought. He left the remaining camels with his mother and brother and crossed the border for Dadaab, where he was pleased to find that his children could attend school.
When the repatriation effort was announced, Hassan decided to go home to his aging mother. After he was told he and his family would be sent to Somalia, officials informed him their papers had to be reviewed because his daughter had decided to stay. The 14-year-old married a fellow refugee in January and said she and her husband wanted to stay longer at Dadaab. Hassan and the rest of the family couldn’t be released until the necessary paperwork was processed to show that his family was now less one.
“I do not have any issues with my daughter choosing to remain behind with her husband, but I wish they could clear this up quickly so that my family and I can go home,” he said through a translator.
His camels now decreased to five, he was eager to go back and help his mother.
Two weeks after the al-Shabab attack, trips to Somalia picked up again but not to Mogadishu. Mohamed had to wait for the flights to resume. A few days later, it was decided that the refugees who were to be flown to Mogadishu should choose other towns, where they could be taken by bus.
“We are focusing on the peaceful areas and regions where we have a UNHCR presence,” said Ishmael Mohamed, of the UNHCR.
Mohamed Omar Abdille chose Kismayo, a coastal town 325 miles southwest of Mogadishu, where an aunt lived. From there he could catch a private bus to the capital. After another false start, he was among 700 refugees set to leave on Aug. 11.
Kenyan officials were at the Dadaab airstrip early that morning to prepare documentation for the refugees. Half a mile outside the camp complex, on the outskirts of the town of Dadaab, the airstrip is a wire-fenced runway without a single building. UNHCR and government officials processed papers while seated on plastic chairs inside tents.
At 8:30 a.m., hundreds of refugees waited to be cleared. Government and UNHCR officials issued repatriation forms, convoy tickets and cash $200 per individual to help with getting settled. The sick or people with disabilities received $230.
Both Mohamed and Hassan were among the last to be cleared, around 2 p.m. Mohamed beamed as he received his money and a parcel containing his repatriation documents.
Half an hour later, the convoy left the airstrip. Two police vehicles led the way, followed by 11 buses, with other police vehicles bringing up the rear. After two hours of traveling, the convoy arrived at Dhobley, a border town. That was as far as the Kenyan buses and police escort could go; despite Mohamed’s understanding that he would be taken to Kismayo, everyone was told to debark at the border.
The refugees crossed into Somalia, where they were now on their own. Privately operated Nissan vans awaited to take them to points inside Somalia. Mohamed paid $20 for transport to Kismayo, where he arrived two days later. He went straight to his aunts house, near the main market.
“There are no gunshots. There is no war. You can walk around town even at midnight.”
He planned to stay a few days and report to the UNHCR office before continuing on his journey to Mogadishu, where he hoped to find a good high school.
“The UNHCR has promised to pay fees for us to continue our education here in Somalia,” he said by phone. At the office, he was given an additional $200. He decided to send $100 to his mother using a mobile money transfer service.
A lot had changed in Kismayo since the last time Mohamed was there. He saw buildings under construction and schools and hospitals and other public buildings being rebuilt.
“It is peaceful here, just like it is in Dadaab,” he said. “There are no gunshots. There is no war. You can walk around town even at midnight.”
Mohamed spent four days with his aunt. A week after leaving Dadaab, he boarded an airplane for the first time and flew to Mogadishu. He stayed with a cousin who runs a mobile phone shop on the outskirts of the city. Unlike in Kismayo, Mohamed was stopped by intelligence officers and police, who asked for identification and checked anything he was carrying with him.
“It is because they are always on the lookout for al-Shabab, but apart from that I find Mogadishu to be peaceful,” he said.
Mohamed’s father feels differently about conditions in Mogadishu, and asked his son to abandon his plans of finding a school there to attend.
“On my second day here, my father called me and told me to look for a school in Barawe instead,” Mohamed said. “He said that as his firstborn son, he wants me to be near him to help him out with the business when I am not in school.”
Mohamed felt he had no choice but to head home, as his father had asked him. He found a bus to Barawe and arrived at his mother’s house just in time for supper. (His father now lives nearby with his second wife.) Rice and beef were served, and it was all happiness as he ate with his family and related for them how life was in Kenya. His siblings were particularly interested in the experience of air travel.
“No one in my family has ever boarded a plane, and they are really excited about it,” he said.
On his second day at home, Mohamed started looking for a high school to enroll in. He wasn’t happy about the schools in Barawe as compared with what he had become accustomed to in Dadaab.
“I will still speak to my parents to see if they can allow me to go and find a school in Mogadishu,” he said.
“I have seen how hard it is for an ordinary citizen to access services, and I want to change that.”
Hernander, of the Lutheran World Federation, is concerned that the repatriation will have an effect on the school-going children’s education.
“Children who move from a country to another will inevitably be affected by a change in the school system,” he said. “Moving from a well-established system with decades of development behind it like Kenya to a new system being under continuous development and most likely with far less resources, less experienced and less trained teachers, and maybe less capacity to enroll children at all, is likely to have negative impact to the childrens education.”
He believes development of a national education system in Somalia is essential to Somalias capacity to absorb returnees.
Despite his difficulties finding a suitable school, Mohamed is happy to be home. He hopes peace will return to the rest of the country, and that services such as education will be improved. His wish is to attend university after high school.
Then, he said, “I want to work for the government. I want to be able to assist my fellow citizens get access to government services. I have seen how hard it is for an ordinary citizen to access services, and I want to change that,” he said.
Two weeks after Mohamed left Dadaab, authorities in the region where he now lives, Jubaland, suspended the reception of more returnees, citing lack of capacity. There have been no road convoys to the border since early September, though flights to Mogadishu now depart twice a week. Mwancha, of the UNHCR, expressed confidence that Jubaland’s new policy would be temporary, and that convoys would resume once more humanitarian assistance was in place. (Already, 4.7 million people require food aid in Somalia, with the number to rise if a two-year drought continues, according to the U.N.)
Until then, he said, the 1,000 people ready to be taken to Dhobley on the day the suspension was announced will be waiting at the transit centers at Dadaab.
This article originally published at TakePart here
Arnold Palmer, one of the greatest golfers ever to pick up a club and the object of a massive fan base that called itself Arnies Army as he recorded seven major victories, died Sunday at 87 in Pittsburgh, according to the United States Golf Association.
Alastair Johnson, CEO of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, told the Associated Press that Palmer died Sunday afternoon of complications from heart problems. Johnson said Palmer was admitted to the hospital Thursday for some cardiovascular work and weakened over the last few days.
Born in Latrobe, Pa., Palmers endearing personality and skill on the links earned him the nickname The King, during a career whose beginning coincided with the birth of television sports. Along the way, he became one of the wealthiest celebrity endorsers, a philanthropist, golf course designer and pilot.
Palmers long string of victories on the PGA tour began in 1955, and he became one of the sports most recognizable personalities, along with Jack Nicklaus. Palmers charismatic personality also made him a sought after pitchman, for several products, perhaps most famously Quaker State motor oil.
“Arnold Palmer was the everyday man’s hero,” Nicklaus said. “From the modest upbringing, Arnold embodied the hard-working strength of America.”
Palmers importance to subsequent generations of golfers was evident Sunday, as tributes poured in via social media.
Such sad news to hear about passing of #arnoldpalmer, tweeted superstar Ernie Els. Great memories of him. His legacy in the game & charity will live forever.
John Daly tweeted: The Legends of all Legends in the game of golf! RIP my friend, always loved u and always will! God Bless my Friend!
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reacted to the news of Palmer’s death, calling it “really sad news” in a tweet.
“Really sad news: The great Arnold Palmer, the “King,” has died. There was no-one like him – a true champion! He will be truly missed,” he tweeted.
Palmer won the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, and in 1974 was one of the 13 original inductees into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Palmer learned to play from his father, Milfred “Deacon” Palmer, who the club pro and greenskeeper at Latrobe Country Club. It was ten that he developed his trademark pigeon-toed putting stance.
He earned a scholarship to Wake Forest, but left to join the U.S. Coast Guard in the late 1940s. He returned to school three years later, and won the 1954 U.S. Amateur championship.
Palmer turned pro a year later, winning the1955 Canadian Open the first of a string of championships. Three years later, he won the Masters Tournament, cementing his place among the sports greats.
Palmer won 62 titles on the PGA Tour, with the final one coming in the 1973 Bob Hope Desert Classic. Among his wins were four at the Masters, two at the British Open and one at the U.S. Open. He finished second in the U.S. Open four times, was runner-up three times in the PGA Championship.
Palmers best years were in the early 1960s, but he remained an immensely popular figure for the rest of his life. In 2000, Golf Digest raked him the sixth greatest player of all time. Although his biggest purse, $50,000, came when he won the Westchester Classic in 1971, Palmers popularity allowed him to earn as much as $30 million per year in endorsements and business deals as recently as a few years ago.
During his heyday and well beyond, Palmer was a friend and sometimes golf partner with Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon and both Bushes.
Palmer was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009.
Palmers friendly and folksy manner made him a favorite of the press, and his quips and quotes were as legendary as his short game.
“I have a tip that will take five strokes off anyone’s golf game. It’s called an eraser, Palmer once said.
From former House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, an avid golfer, said Palmer “struck his way into history and our hearts”
“Arnold Palmer was a model of integrity, passion, and commitment,” he said late Sunday.
When Boehner was Speaker, he presided over a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda bestowing Palmer with the Congressional Gold Medal in 2012.
Boehner said at the time that Palmer “democratized golf, made us think that we too could go out and play. Made us think that we could really do anything, really. All we had to do was to go out and try.”
Boehner nearly broke down.
“Arnold, you’ve struck our hearts and our minds, and today your government, your fellow citizens are going to strike a gold medal for you,” he said at the point.
Palmer said he was “particularly proud of anything the House and Senate could agree on.”
Palmer’s first wife, Winnie, died in 1999. They had two daughters, and grandson Sam Saunders plays on the PGA Tour. Palmer married Kathleen (Kit) Gawthrop in 2005.
Palmer was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997, which was caught early. He returned to golf a few months later, winking at fans as he waded through the gallery, always a smile and a signature for them.
“I’m not interested in being a hero,” Palmer said, implying that too much was made about his return from cancer. “I just want to play some golf.”
Fox News’ Chad Pergram, Christopher Snyder, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
A future Labour government would intervene in the economy to bring about a “manufacturing renaissance”, shadow chancellor John McDonnell is to say.
Digital advances are encouraging firms to return to the UK but the Conservatives are “too blinkered by their ideology” to take advantage, he will tell the party’s conference.
Labour, he will say, will not stand by and let industries like steel flounder.
He will also promise to “work with” wealth creators and entrepreneurs.
It comes as shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry is to promise to replace any regional funding shortfalls in the UK caused by Britain’s departure from the European Union.
In his keynote speech in Liverpool, Mr McDonnell – a close ally of leader Jeremy Corbyn on the left of the party – will commit Labour to supporting major industrial employers and firms in emerging sectors, such as clean energy.
Arguing that the tide has turned around the world against unfettered globalisation, he will claim advocates of the free market will be unable to fully exploit the opportunities presented by the UK’s exit from the EU.
“We need a new deal across our whole economy,” he will say. “Because whatever we do in Britain, the old rules of the global economy are being rewritten for us.
“The winds of globalisation are blowing in a different direction. They are blowing against the belief in the free market, and in favour of intervention.”
The future of manufacturing, he will say, lies in collaboration – underpinned by high-skilled labour and high levels of investment – rather than “dog-eat-dog competition”.
Citing the government’s response to the steel crisis, its cuts to solar and wind subsidies and its approach to R&D funding, he will claim only Labour can unlock the true potential of the British economy.
“Be certain the next Labour government will be an interventionist government,” he will argue. “We will not stand by like this one has and see our key industries flounder and our future prosperity put at risk.
“When we return to government we will implement a comprehensive industrial strategy. After Brexit, we want to see a renaissance in British manufacturing.”
The Labour leadership has alarmed some business leaders by calling for selective nationalisation – including the return of the railways to public ownership – and for business taxes to rise to fund investment and skills training.
But Mr McDonnell – whose has previously called for “socialism with an iPad” – will reject claims that the party is anti-enterprise and its approach marks a return to the state planning of the 1970s.
“Our government will create an entrepreneurial state that works with the wealth creators, the workers and the entrepreneurs to create the products and the markets that will secure our long-term prosperity,” he will say.
Allies of Mr Corbyn are pressing him to use his increased authority following his re-election to set out bold policies on the economy and the public services – cementing the party’s anti-cuts agenda.
Speaking at a rally on Sunday evening, shadow health secretary Diane Abbott said anti-austerity was once seen as a “left-wing preoccupation” but was now Labour’s official position and Mr Corbyn’s re-election was a “turning point” for progressive politics across Europe.
Also speaking at the conference, former leader Ed Miliband said the confusion unleashed by the Brexit vote was an opportunity for Labour but only if it spoke for both those who voted to leave as well as remain.
Amid calls for the party to unite behind Mr Corbyn following his re-election on Saturday, MPs critical of his leadership said they wanted reassurances that there would be no constituency deselections and at least partial elections to the shadow cabinet.
Ben Bradshaw told activists “we all want unity as long as it’s not the unity of the graveyard”.
Washington (CNN)During her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton has made many claims about economic issues. CNN’s Reality Check Team put her statements and assertions to the test.
Washington (CNN)During her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton has made many claims about economic issues. CNN’s Reality Check Team put her statements and assertions to the test.