Square launches in the UK

Square CEO Jack Dorsey.
Image: Richard Drew/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Mobile payments company Square, founded by Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey, has launched in the UK and is eyeing a Europe-wide expansion.

The platform, which makes it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to take card payments, will sell a card reader that connects to a smartphone or tablet, thus allowing chip and pin or contactless transactions.

Britain, which is the fifth country where Square is available, is a good fit for the company as data from Barclaycard and FSB / BIS show that 70 percent of UK shoppers prefer to pay by card.

We founded Square to empower small businesses with tools to accept all forms of payment and to make a sale anytime, anywhere, said Dorsey, CEO of Square.

We look forward to working alongside the millions of entrepreneurs and thriving small and medium-sized businesses across the UK, especially those who do not yet take card payments.

It is estimated that half of the UKs 5.4 million small businesses don’t yet take card payments.

Square started to roll out the service in the UK earlier this year, when it started to accept payment in pounds. It also created the @SquareUK Twitter account

The company charges 39 ($49) for its card reader and a 1.75 pence fee for in-person transactions and 2.5pc for those made online or over the phone.

It allows merchants to check real-time sales data, invoicing and digital receipts.

WATCH: ‘Hitman Go’ mini-doc takes you behind the scenes of one of the best mobile games

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/03/28/jack-dorsey-square-twitter-fintech/

Tech giants lower TV prices in India as local competition rises

Image: Getty Images

Call it a dj vu moment for foreign brands.

Some of the biggest TV manufacturers in India are cutting the prices of their TV lineup in the nation to better compete with local players.

Various TV models from Sony, LG and Samsung, the three global giants that assume over 80 percent of the LED TV market in India, are being sold at up to 40 percent below their sticker price on e-commerce sites in the nation.

Even at brick and mortar stores, the television models are being sold below 15 percent of the retail price, reports the Economic Times.

The publication said that for giant manufacturers this is the biggest price drop for the Indian market, adding that the move comes as the companies see aggressive offerings from local players as well as Chinese and Japanese brands.

Known for its low-priced smartphones, Micromax forayed into the TV space in 2012, and the smart TV segment last year. The company is already offering some of the cheapest TV models on the market.

A full-HD 43-inch TV from Micromax, for instance, sells at under Rs 23,000 ($350). Similar model with 4K offering sells at around Rs 40,000 ($610).

In comparison, the cheapest 43-inch full-HD Sony Bravia TV costs around Rs 49,500 ($760), whereas a similar model with 4K display panel retails at Rs 83,400 ($1,280). Samsung and LG have similar offerings.

The international giants have seen local competition steal the smartphone market with similar offerings. Once an undisputed mobile brand, Samsung now fights with Micromax for the tentpole position in the country, with another local company Intex quickly closing the gap.

The TV market in India has also attracted Chinese player LeEco which is selling its TV lineup at somewhat better pricing than Sony, LG and Samsung. Xiaomi, which is known for its low-priced TVs is prepping to bring its lineup in the country soon, according to industry sources.

WATCH: Fans are dying to see the ‘Twin Peaks’ revival after waiting 25 years

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/03/28/samsung-sony-lg-micromax-tv-india/

Amazon’s world domination plans now include the Middle East

Jeff Bezos, future owner of the entire gd damn world
Image: David McNew/Getty Images

Amazon has officially announced its acquisition of Souq.com, marking another step in the ecommerce giant’s pursuit of world domination.

Souq.com, which at one time was valued at $1 billion, emerged as the go-to online shopping destination in the Middle East, quickly drawing comparisons to Amazon. Founded in Dubai, UAE, Souq reportedly sold to Amazon for $650 million.

Amazon had competition. Emaar Malls, a Dubai-based operator of shopping centers, submitted an $800 million bid for Souq.

“Amazon and SOUQ.com share the same DNA were both driven by customers, invention, and long-term thinking,” said Russ Grandinetti, Amazon senior vice president, international consumer. “SOUQ.com pioneered e-commerce in the Middle East, creating a great shopping experience for their customers. We’re looking forward to both learning from and supporting them with Amazon technology and global resources. And together, well work hard to provide the best possible service for millions of customers in the Middle East.”

The deal means Amazon goes from having just about no presence in the Middle East to owning the biggest operation in the region, which had been slow to adopt ecommerce. Now, it’s among the fastest growing markets in the world.

Amazon already accounts for a whopping 43% of U.S. ecommerce sales, and even generates more than half of the sector’s growth despite its size.

“We are guided by many of the same principles as Amazon, and this acquisition is a critical next step in growing our e-commerce presence on behalf of customers across the region,” said SOUQ.com CEO and Co-Founder Ronaldo Mouchawar. “By becoming part of the Amazon family, we’ll be able to vastly expand our delivery capabilities and customer selection much faster, as well as continue Amazon’s great track record of empowering sellers.”

WATCH: A reusable sponge could be the latest solution to effectively clean up oil spills

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/03/28/amazon-buys-souq-middle-east-market/

Hillary Clinton makes most political remarks since losing election

(CNN)Hillary Clinton took the stage at a diversity conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, making her most political comments since losing the 2016 presidential election.

“There is no place I’d rather be than here with you,” Clinton said, before adding: “Other than the White House.”
During her keynote address at the annual conference hosted by the Professional BusinessWomen of California, Clinton spoke largely about women’s equality and peppered in criticism of President Donald Trump and the Republican Party.
    “Obviously the outcome of the election wasn’t the one I hoped for, worked for, but I will never stop speaking out for common sense benefits that will allow moms and dads to stay on the job,” Clinton said.
    Besides a few comments in public gatherings and tweets from her personal account, Clinton has largely laid low since the election. She was spotted after the election in the woods near her New York home and, along with her husband former President Bill Clinton, she attended Trump’s inauguration.

      Clinton: I’m ready to come out of the woods


    She called Republicans’ attempted replacement for the Affordable Care Act “a disastrous bill,” adding that the Trump administration has been “met with a wave of resistance” that indicates the protests against Trump’s policies are just getting started.
    “People who had never been active in politics told their stories at town hall meetings.” Clinton said. “They were people who had something to say and were determined to be heard.”
    During the question and answer portion of her appearance, she grew incredulous at the GOP health care debate.
    “Really? Take away maternity care?” Clinton said. “Who do these people talk to?”
    Clinton also focused on issues like inclusivity and diversity of women in the workplace and the need for the private sector to make better efforts to bring more women to the table.
    “Advancing the rights and opportunities of women and girls is the great unfinished business of the 21st century,” she said, while noting that women’s representation in Washington is “the lowest it’s been in a generation.”

    ‘A lifetime of practice’

    The former secretary of state also responded to racially charged incidents directed at two prominent black women today.
    In one, White House press Secretary Sean Spicer told April Ryan, a longtime White House correspondent and one of the few black women journalists in the press briefing room, to “stop shaking your head” and accused her of being “hell-bent on trying to make sure that whatever image you want to tell about this White House stays.”

      Spicer to reporter: ‘Stop shaking your head’


    In another, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly came under fire for racist comments mocking Rep. Maxine Waters’ hair, saying her hair looked like a “James Brown wig.”
    O’Reilly later apologized, but not after a slew of controversy. Tuesday, Clinton said Waters had been “taunted by a racist joke about her hair.”
    Women of color, said Clinton, have “a lifetime of practice taking precisely these kinds of indignities in stride.”

    ‘Resist, insist’

    On the policy front, Clinton criticized the US for still not having a national paid family leave policy and said those who do benefit from such policies are often among the highest income workers. Clinton called on the private sector to do more to help.
    “You’re the people who figured out how to fit computers in the palms of our hands,” she said. “You have the power.”

      Hillary Clinton: GOP health bill failure a win


    But overall, Clinton offered an optimistic tone in the face of Trump’s victory.
    “Where some see a dark vision of carnage, I see a light shining on creativity and opportunity,” she said, referencing the inaugural address.
    She offered the audience her new mantra: “Resist, insist, persist, enlist.”
    She encouraged the audience to “resist actions that go against our values as Americans,” insist on “putting people first,” “persist” like Sen. Elizabeth Warren did when she was prevented from reading a letter written by Coretta Scott King about Sen. Jeff Sessions, and “enlist” others by running for office or opening a business.
    “I’ll be right there with you every step of the way,” she said.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/28/politics/hillary-clinton-speech/index.html

    This is the ultimate dream job for Lego fans

    Image: Shutterstock / 3d_kot

    It’s an absolute scandal that our bosses don’t allow us to spend every waking hour playing with Lego, but that’s the sad reality the majority of us face.

    But if you want to make building Lego models your life’s work and, why wouldn’t you? then you’re in luck: your dream job just opened up at Legoland.

    Legoland in Windsor, UK, is hiring a Lego Model Designer to design and build Lego models for attractions across the world. And, it’s a pretty sweet gig.

    “Perfect for someone who is good with Lego bricks and looking for a completely unique job, this is an exciting opportunity to work with one of the most iconic brands on the planet,” reads the job ad on LinkedIn.

    But, don’t be fooled: this is a real job with some very real responsibilities.

    The lucky candidate will be expected to coordinate with the technical design team to “deliver the best possible animated Lego models” and they’ll also need to think about production timings, budgets and deadlines.

    A simple love of Lego won’t cut it in terms of qualifications. The successful candidate will need experience in model or product design, as well as experience within IT and design packages.

    The full-time position comes with a “competitive annual salary” and 20 days holiday. And, in case you were wondering, you do get a staff discount on Lego 40 percent when you purchase it online. Nice!

    Those interested in the role can apply here.

    WATCH: Electrify your LEGO constructions with these conductive bricks

    Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/03/28/lego-model-builder-job/

    Why is the government searching cellphones?

    (CNN)An engineer from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A Wall Street Journal reporter and a French-American photojournalist. An independent filmmaker. An electronics salesman.

    These are some of the many American citizens re-entering the country who have been subjected to searches of their cellphones and questioning about their social media.
    Such invasions of travelers’ private communications are extremely intrusive and have been conducted even when officials don’t apparently have reason to think the person has done something wrong. And the government has lately increased the practice dramatically even though recent legal decisions raise serious questions about its constitutionality.

        Electronics banned from cabins on some flights


      Because people keep ever more of their personal details on their phones and computers, it is particularly egregious that the government should claim some right to unfettered access to these devices simply because a person travels abroad.
      On Monday, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University whose mission is to defend free speech in the digital age filed a lawsuit seeking to compel the government to release information on the number of travelers whose devices have been searched, the policies related to searching cellphones containing sensitive and confidential information, and the findings of internal audits about the device search program.
      Border searches of electronic devices by the Department of Homeland Security have risen exponentially in recent years, from about 5,000 device searches in 2015 to about 25,000 in 2016, according to press reports that cited DHS data. During the Trump administration, the intrusions appear to have become even more frequent; in February 2017 alone, border officials searched 5,000 devices.
      And why is this happening? A US Customs and Border Protection policy since 2009 authorizes officers to seize and search a traveler’s electronic devices even if the person is not suspicious. The policy was always legally dubious, but it has become indefensible in light of the Supreme Court’s 2014 landmark decision in Riley v. California.

        Conway: Being Muslim won’t trigger screenings


      The court held that police generally can’t seize a person’s cellphone as part of an arrest without first obtaining a warrant that is backed by evidence that the cellphone contains evidence of a crime and is signed by a judge.
      A cellphone contains “the sum of an individual’s private life,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court. The search of a smartphone is nothing like the search of a duffle bag. What people store on their cellphones — including Internet browsing history, medical records, family photos, GPS location data, financial information, and apps related to dating, addiction and hobbies — is vastly more sensitive than what people used to carry in their pockets, backpacks, or purses, or even keep in their homes.
      Searches of electronic devices when there is no basis for suspicion to search them raise serious concerns relating to the freedoms of speech and association. As Justice Sonia Sotomayor observed in another recent Supreme Court case, “[a]wareness that the government may be watching chills associational and expressive freedoms.” Americans will be justifiably concerned about speaking freely if, simply because they travel internationally, the government is given unlimited authority to read through their emails, texts, social media posts and the like.
      The implications may be especially significant for a free press. Suspicionless searches of cellphones threaten the ability of journalists and their sources to report on important international issues, which deprives the public of its right to know about those issues.

        Kelly says more countries have vetting issues


      Numerous reports show that journalists, lawyers and activists particularly those who cover civil wars and terrorism or travel to conflict areas have had their cellphones and devices searched at the US border, where officers have demanded their passwords and read their communications with sources.
      Those sources will likely be leery of sharing information with journalists and activists if their identities and reports may be revealed to the US government at the border.
      Anecdotal evidence about how the government is using its authority to conduct suspicionless electronic device searches is disturbing but incomplete. The public has a right to see a fuller picture, as many civil liberties groups have asked the government to provide.
      Our freedom of information lawsuit request seeks a range of information, but one of the items we seek may be especially revealing: We’ve asked for the database of the Treasury Enforcement Communications System that houses information about every device-search at the border, including the reason for the search, the country of origin of the traveler, and the traveler’s race and ethnicity.

        Former border mayor: Pursuing gardeners not ‘tough’


      The government created this database in response to concerns voiced by the Department of Homeland Security’s civil rights office several years ago about the possibility that searches might be conducted in a discriminatory or otherwise unlawful way.
      Disclosure of the database perhaps with narrow redactions to protect legitimate national security and privacy interests would help the public understand the answer to basic questions about the government’s program: How often do border officers search travelers’ cellphones and other devices, and for what reasons?
      Why did the incidence of cellphone searches sharply increase in the past 15 months? Does the department follow its own rules for taking special measures to protect searches of privileged and other sensitive content stored on cellphones, and what are those rules?
      The courts should require the government to disclose this information and quickly, and the practice of delving into travelers’ private lives at the border without reason to suspect them of wrongdoing should ultimately end. Everything we know about the government’s searches of devices at the border suggests the government is dramatically expanding an unconstitutional program.

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/28/opinions/government-cellphone-search-fallow/index.html

      In New Jersey, an inventive way to save Thomas Edison’s battery factory

      (CNN)This is a building that refuses to go down without a fight.

      In 1914, a massive fire raged through inventor Thomas Edison’s lab complex in downtown West Orange, New Jersey. Chemical-fueled flames shot 100 feet in the sky, burning five city blocks and destroying almost his entire operation.
      Edison watched firemen fight the inferno from neighboring Building Number 5, better known as the Battery Factory, which made millions of batteries for experimental vehicles like submarines and electric cars. Built with his durable Edison Cement, the Battery Factory miraculously escaped damage.
        “As one of the millions of your admirers, I send you my sympathy,” rival inventor Nikola Tesla telegraphed him. “It is not only a personal and national loss, but a world loss, for you have been one of its greatest benefactors.”
        The 67-year-old Edison calmly declared, “I’ll start all over again tomorrow.”
        In true Edison fashion, disaster led directly to innovation: The man with 1,093 different patents to his name — from a viable lightbulb to the phonograph to the motion picture camera — noticed firefighters had trouble seeing in the smoky darkness, and two days later had invented a powerful battery-powered searchlight.
        Edison rebuilt his entire operation, but after his death in 1931, his business empire slowly crumbled and buildings went vacant. After decades of decline, a different kind of fire tore through Edison’s complex on Main Street: the drive for urban renewal.

        ‘This one can stay’

        Robert Parisi lived next door to the Edison buildings and remembers watching them go in 1974.
        “My father got us out of bed early to watch the implosions,” describes Parisi, now mayor of West Orange. “We local kids climbed through the rubble for days, collecting souvenirs like old Edison wax cylinders.”
        As for the Battery Factory, the story goes that the wrecking ball smashed into it three times; three times it bounced back off the durable Edison Cement.
        “So they decided, ‘This one can stay,'” says Eugene Diaz, principal at Prism Partners, the developers who now own the property.
        Although various businesses rented small portions of the massive building over the years (including wine storage for Daniel Boulud’s restaurants in New York), by 2003 the old Edison Battery Factory stood vacant and neglected, slowly crumbling, walled off from the surrounding streets by a high fence and an even higher jungle of weeds.
        That’s how it has sat for 13 years, as developers waited out the economic downturn and legal battles over proposed redevelopment.
        “The vast majority of park visitors pass that when they come to the park, which doesn’t present a good first impression,” admits Tom Ross, superintendent of the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, which preserves Edison’s main laboratory next door.
        Closed for its own extensive five-year renovation, Edison NHP reopened in 2009 with thousands of square feet of beautiful new exhibits and lab space on two full floors previously closed to the public — with a hulking symbol of industrial decline next door. (When Jack Welch, chairman of the capital campaign to invest tens of millions of dollars in the park’s renovation, brought then-first lady Hillary Clinton here, they embarrassingly stood in the shadow of the crumbling Battery Factory.)
        “It’s a huge eyesore right in the middle of our downtown,” Parisi admits.

        A space between preservation and development

        But Thomas Edison’s legacy of turning obstacles into innovation lives on, as the building could now become a symbol of collaboration between two adversaries stereotypically pitted against each other as fiercely as Edison and Tesla: developers and the National Park Service.
        The key is a concept called “adaptive reuse,” a sort of middle-ground compromise between historical preservation and redevelopment. Although Edison’s last remaining factory is designated a State and National Historic Landmark, it’s not part of the national park.
        “Any developers who were interested told us it was much more economical if they could just knock it down and start from scratch,” says Parisi. “But it’s our history here, and an important part of our country’s history. No one in town wants to see that happen.”
        “And of course these refurbished warehouses are now all the rage in real estate,” he says.
        Prism Partners deliberately avoided taking federal tax credits that would make them beholden to historic preservation restrictions, instead consulting with the neighboring Edison National Historical Park and local West Orange Historical Commission to determine appropriate choices like paint color and window styles.
        “We’re not beholden to all the historic requirements,” Diaz explains, “but the work is being done in a way that conforms significantly to what the federal government would require if we’d done a full historic renovation under federal guidelines.”
        Although preservationists have cringed at putting that power in the hands of a developer, to park superintendent Ross, it was a good compromise for an otherwise vacant building and one that he’s seen work firsthand.
        “It’s something we’ve seen with historic factory buildings in the Northeast, particularly in Lowell and New Bedford, Massachusetts, where I grew up,” says Ross. “There it’s been an excellent way to save, historically rehabilitate and reuse old buildings. You can already see the revitalization and rebirth.”
        “Sustainability, recycling, reuse — that’s an important part of our ethic and broader mission at the Park Service,” Ross says. “Giving historic structures a shot to be adaptively reused is good stewardship, good for the environment and good for historic preservation.”

        Finding a new use for history

        Thanks to its proximity to New York City, West Orange is a town with a deep history.
        It’s got ties from the Revolutionary era (of course Washington was here, and Aaron Burr later fled to friends here after his infamous duel with Alexander Hamilton) to the Civil War (Union commander George McClellan moved here just before he ran against Abraham Lincoln for president in 1864) to famous sportsmen (the “grand old man of football” Amos Stagg), architects (Stanford White) and musicians (both Liberace and Carole King got their start here).
        But, by and large, those physical settings are all gone, except for that of the town’s most famous son, Thomas Edison.
        “If the Battery Factory had been removed like the others, it would have wiped away chapters of our history,” says Joe Fagan, town historian and author of four books about West Orange.
        Now underway, Prism’s $230 million plan for “Edison Village” will convert the 400,000-square-foot building into 330 apartments plus 18,500 square feet of retail space, along with public areas featuring historic artifacts and exhibits about Thomas Edison, then start on similar development over the surrounding 21 acres that once made up the larger complex.
        Among the Battery Factory’s unique features (beyond the dense Edison Cement, which Diaz charitably describes as “challenging”) are 14-to-16-foot ceilings and 10-foot windows.
        “You’d never build a new building like that,” Diaz admits. And that unique historic pedigree is his main selling point.
        “People have a very strong emotional connection to history. People will be able to have the same view Edison’s workers did 100 years ago. That history will be the appeal of this building.”
        The first phase is scheduled to open late next year welcome news to both Parisi and Ross.
        “It’s been a long and winding road,” Parisi says, “but this kind of investment on Main Street is great for our downtown. One project can spur others, and most importantly, spur the neighboring community to pick itself up.”
        “There’s no denying that this will certainly be a shot in the arm for Main Street and the park to have that rehabilitation next door,” Ross says.
        “In New Bedford, Sarah Delano famously said, ‘If you bulldoze your heritage, you become just anywhere.’ If you knock down the last remaining Edison factory building and put in another cookie-cutter strip mall, you will become just like any other place in America — you’ll lose your community character, a part of your soul.”

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/11/travel/thomas-edison-battery-factory-development/index.html

        Trump notches his 13th golf course visit

        Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump headed to one of his golf courses again Sunday, marking his 13th visit to one since taking office and the eighth consecutive weekend he has spent at properties bearing his name.

        While the President hasn’t played golf on every visit, sometimes attending to presidential business, the trips underscore a break with his insistence on the campaign trail that he wouldn’t spend his time golfing because of how hard he would be working.
        White House officials would not provide details about what Trump did at the clubhouse of the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, over the weekend.
          Both Trump and his press secretary, Sean Spicer, have knocked former President Barack Obama for his time playing golf on the job.
          Trump’s first visit to a golf course since becoming President was on February 4 at the Trump International Golf Club in Florida. His visits to that golf course as well as the Trump National Golf Course in Jupiter, Florida, have come during his trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort.
          He’s also made several trips to the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, just outside of Washington.
          Trump owns several golf courses around the world and has worked out of some since the inauguration. He held a meeting with members of his Cabinet and senior staff at his Virginia golf course earlier this month and hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago during his February visit to the US.
          Trump’s staffers have been reluctant to discuss his golf course trips, and many details of his games have instead come from posts on social media.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/26/politics/donald-trump-golf/index.html

          Dems say a WH by any other name … still needs a guest log

          Washington (CNN)Whether the Trump administration wants to call Mar-a-Lago the Winter White House, the Southern White House, the Weekend White House or something else altogether, some Democrats are now demanding that they treat the parade of visitors coming and going from there like their predecessors largely treated the regular White House itself — by actually recording their names.

          A group of Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation Friday to force the White House to create an online database of every person who visits the White House, the vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory and anywhere else Trump “regularly conducts official business,” such as his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
          The Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness, or Mar-a-Lago, Act, would allow for a few exceptions, including for security concerns and “purely personal” visitors.
            Democratic Sens. Tom Udall, of New Mexico, Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed, of Rhode Island, and Tom Carper, of Delaware, unveiled the legislation in the Senate on Friday, while Rep. Mike Quigley of Illinois did the same in the House.
            “The American people have a right to know who has access to the President and who has leverage over this administration,” Udall said in a statement announcing the bill.
            Under President Barack Obama, the White House maintained a visitor page on its website and said it had released about 6 million records. The Obama administration created the online database voluntarily, but made exceptions for some disclosures. Notably, the President and first lady Michelle Obama on more than one occasion held private parties and invited celebrities, including the late-artist Prince, without disclosing details of the private events to the press.
            The White House under Trump has not yet published such records or offered information about members of his club at Mar-a-Lago.
            The White House’s visitor records page said as of Sunday that it is “being updated,” which is what the page has said since the beginning of the Trump administration.
            The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
            The Trump administration has called Mar-a-Lago the “Winter White House” and, now that winter has come to a close, the “Southern White House.” Critics, like the Democrats who put forward this bill, say the paid memberships at Mar-a-Lago constitute the purchase of access to the President.
            Since taking office, Trump has spent several weekends there, including during a visit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He faced criticism when he spoke with Abe as well as his staff in the dining room at Mar-a-Lago following a North Korean missile test.
            Additionally, one man at Mar-a-Lago posted photographs that he claimed were of himself and an aide tasked with carrying the nuclear football — a briefcase that enables the commander-in-chief to authorize a nuclear strike.
            The bill comes as the latest in a slew of proposals from Democrats on Trump’s personal finances and activities.
            Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, for example, submitted the “No Trump Act of 2017” to prohibit the federal government from paying expenses at any Trump hotels, and Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey introduced a resolution directing Trump’s Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, to release Trump’s tax returns.

            Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/26/politics/mar-a-lago-act-trump-visitors/index.html

            Pence: ‘Congress wasn’t ready’ to repeal Obamacare

            Charleston, W.V. (CNN)Vice President Mike Pence doubled down on the Trump administration’s health care message Saturday, even reading one of President Donald Trump’s tweets from the podium during an event about small business.

            “The American people want Obamacare gone, and as the President said today, don’t worry, America,” Pence told a crowd of a few hundred gathered at a construction supply company outside of the state capital. “He just tweeted this morning. Obamacare is going to continue to explode. And when Republicans and Democrats finally decide to come together and repeal and replace Obamacare, we’ll be ready to get the job done.”
            Pence promised Trump would continue fighting Obamacare until the “nightmare” is repealed. He reverted back to vintage, campaign-trail Pence, reading off a list of promises that President Barack Obama made about health care, such as those covered by the program being able to keep their doctors and lowering costs of health insurance — promises he says were not kept.
              Pence’s visit to West Virginia comes on the heels of a stunning defeat of the Republican alternative to Obamacare, dubbed the American Health Care Act, in the House. The vice president canceled a previously scheduled trip to Little Rock, Arkansas, on Friday to help with the whip effort.
              Pence joked Saturday that he “could have used a WWE fighter up on the Hill yesterday,” a nod to the professional wrestling company owned by the family of Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon, who introduced Pence to the crowd.
              The vice president conceded in the speech that “Congress wasn’t ready” to repeal the bill and acknowledged that a “handful” of Republicans were to blame as well for the failure.
              Tax reform is next on the administration’s list of issues, he said, specifically promising that the administration would lower the corporate tax code to 15% to bolster American businesses.
              Pence also made a direct appeal to West Virginia’s senators, Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moore-Capito, to support Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, saying that even though Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, is threatening to filibuster the nomination, the Senate would confirm Gorsuch “one way or the other.”
              Senate rules say 60 senators must vote to break a filibuster, meaning eight Democrats would have to join the 52 Republicans unless the GOP changes the rules on Supreme Court nominations through a majority vote. Some in the party have vowed to invoke that so-called “nuclear option,” which would then require only a simple majority to approve a Supreme Court nominations going forward.

              Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/25/politics/pence-health-care-speech/index.html