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In Killing Stimulus Talks, Trump Invites Political Risk for Himself and Republicans

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WASHINGTON — President Trump’s decision to virtually storm away from bipartisan talks over a coronavirus aid bill less than a month before Election Day was a remarkably perilous act for a president about to face voters and for Republicans who are fighting to keep the Senate and now risk being blamed for the collapse of a compromise that had always faced steep obstacles.

Vulnerable Republicans were alarmed at what one of them, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, called a “huge mistake.” Democrats seized on the president’s move to accuse Mr. Trump of callous disregard for Americans struggling amid the pandemic. And by Tuesday night, Mr. Trump himself took to Twitter to try to walk back his own decision to kill the negotiations, suggesting that he might support narrower stimulus measures.

But such bare-bones plans have been rejected by Democrats and Republicans alike, and there was little reason to believe they would be successful now. If that holds, there will be no comprehensive plan to provide jobless aid or stimulus checks to Americans, furnish aid to small businesses and airlines, or send federal support to state and local governments, at least for now. The economic recovery will continue to shudder, and Mr. Trump will have left little ambiguity about how a plan to stabilize it finally fell apart.

“Trump made this really easy for Democrats,” said Tony Fratto, a former aide to President George W. Bush, who is now a partner at Hamilton Place Strategies in Washington. “Republicans can try to explain that the blame is on Democrats. Democrats only have to hold up Trump’s tweet, taking the blame himself.”

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic presidential nominee, did just that on Tuesday evening, in his own Twitter post that said, “Make no mistake: if you are out of work, if your business is closed, if your child’s school is shut down, if you are seeing layoffs in your community, Donald Trump decided today that none of that matters to him.”

Even as Republicans publicly blamed Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the breakdown, saying she had been unwilling to compromise, multiple aides privately likened the president’s tweets to his 2018 declaration that he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security.” His words at the time effectively handed Democrats political cover for the historic lapse in government funding that would follow, and top Republican officials feared that they could have the same effect now, with voters already casting ballots.

In an interview on ABC’s “The View” on Wednesday, Ms. Pelosi said Mr. Trump’s blitz of follow-up tweets calling for tailored aid measures was evidence that he had seen the political downside of ending negotiations, saying the president was “rebounding from a terrible mistake that he made yesterday, and the Republicans in Congress are going down the drain with him on that.”

Compounding the political risk, Mr. Trump said the halt in stimulus negotiations would give Republicans time to focus on quickly confirming his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, a move that polls have shown is unpopular with voters. By contrast, Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of another stimulus bill.

“This is going to make it very hard for him to make the case that he’s doing all he can to pull the nation out of economic malaise,” Mr. Fratto said.

Mr. Trump vowed that a recovery plan would pass “immediately after I win,” but there was little indication that the powerful political disincentives that have so far stymied efforts to strike a bipartisan deal would dissipate in the lame-duck session that bridges the weeks between Election Day and the start of a new Congress in January. The election outcome, aides and lawmakers warned, could in fact deepen the intransigence on both sides, further delaying relief to Americans.

For months, even as the economic need grew and the contours of a compromise became clear, political forces have conspired to thwart a stimulus deal. Republicans who feared Mr. Trump was headed for defeat in November began polishing their fiscally conservative credentials in anticipation of future campaigns, including the 2024 presidential race, by asserting their opposition to another costly aid plan. By staying out of the talks early and remaining disengaged at key moments, Mr. Trump confounded many in his own party by failing to push Republicans to cut a deal, a detachment that only grew after he signed executive orders in August that attempted to bypass Congress to deliver some relief.

And Democrats, sensing mounting Republican political vulnerability, have been unwilling to make many concessions — which could provide a potential political lifeline to Mr. Trump and his party — when they believe an electoral sweep for their party in November could allow them to push through a far more generous bill after Election Day. Top Democrats believe that voters increasingly see Mr. Trump as a “chaos” president, and that a last-minute agreement could temper that perception.

“Their political positions are far apart, and their polling, which is being done daily, says they’re not being punished for not doing a deal,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former head of the Congressional Budget Office who runs the conservative think tank American Action Forum and remains close to many Republicans in Congress, said last week. “The minute that changes, they’ll shift.”

The elements of an agreement have been obvious for some time: a price tag somewhere around $2 trillion, including extended aid of around $400 a week for the unemployed, additional support for small businesses and direct payments to low- and medium-income households, liability protections for businesses and workers, and more money for schools, state and local governments and coronavirus testing.

Democrats had started negotiations north of $3 trillion, with a bill that passed the House in May. Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, waited until midsummer to present his party’s $1 trillion plan, but has since scaled down his offer considerably, to $350 billion, even as the Trump administration was reaching for a much larger package. Mr. Trump has been a disruptive force in the negotiations, never making clear what he wanted and by turns cheering on the talks and moving to blow them up.

As recently as Saturday, he had called for an agreement, tweeting that, “OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS. WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE.”

ImageTreasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the lead White House negotiator, had made an offer of a $1.6 trillion package to Democrats.
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Along the way, deep divisions were exposed in both parties. Vulnerable Senate Republicans desperate to show voters they can work across party lines to address urgent needs have pressed for a deal. But most Republicans made it plain that they had bailout fatigue and would not be willing to embrace a large aid package.

“It became very obvious over the last couple of days that a comprehensive bill was just going to get to a point where it didn’t have really much Republican support at all,” said Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff. “It was more of a Democrat-led bill, which would have been problematic, more so in the Senate than in the House.”

A group of rank-and-file centrists in both parties — many of them facing difficult re-election contests in competitive House districts — tried to forge a compromise, but leading Democrats panned the proposal as inadequate. That has left many moderates anxious at the prospect of returning home to their constituents empty-handed.

“What frightens me enormously is that some are going to be able to get through this much, much better than others,” said Representative Andy Kim, Democrat of New Jersey. In a recent interview, he said he had raided his kitchen cabinets to deliver sandwiches and fruit to a constituent after she called his office worried that she did not have enough food to last the night. “Those that are not? This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime situations that could very well cripple them for a generation if we don’t take some of the necessary steps in the next weeks.”

The mood hanging over the talks in recent weeks, said Jon Lieber, a former aide to Mr. McConnell who is now managing director for the United States at the Eurasia Group, was “so negative.”

“No one cares,” he said. “The president is not engaged. The Republicans are over it. The Democrats seem bent on not giving the president a victory.”

Jason Furman, a former top economist for President Barack Obama, had recently begun pushing for Democrats to accept an offer by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the lead White House negotiator, of a $1.6 trillion package, stressing the potential harm to people and businesses if the economy went months without more stimulus.

“I’m disappointed that policymakers haven’t come together more quickly, because time really matters here,” Mr. Furman said in an interview. “It matters for schools. It matters for families. It matters for testing to control the spread of the virus.”

Business groups pressured congressional leaders on both sides to compromise, to little avail.

Several analysts blamed the relative stability of stock markets in recent months for undermining urgency for another package, a sentiment Mr. Trump seemed to reflect in his Twitter posts on Tuesday. “Our Economy is doing very well,” he wrote. “The Stock Market is at record levels.”

After Mr. Trump’s posts withdrawing from negotiations, the S&P 500 dropped. On Wednesday morning, it rose again, on what analysts speculated was hope that Mr. Trump’s latest Twitter posts might revive the stimulus talks.

Carl Hulse and Luke Broadwater contributed reporting.

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U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Qaeda Financier Who Trades in Gems

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WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Monday imposed sanctions on an Australian-based businessman and his gemstone company for helping Al Qaeda move money across the globe to sustain its operations.

Treasury officials said Ahmed Luqman Talib traded in precious stones, allowing him to “move funds internationally” for Al Qaeda. Mr. Talib’s business is based in Melbourne, but he works around the world, including in Brazil, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey and the Persian Gulf region, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

Terrorist groups continue to use financial facilitators to help carry out their activities, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a statement. The department remained committed to disrupting those financial activities and networks, he added, expressing appreciation for “the collaboration with our Australian partners.”

The effects of the sanctions on Mr. Talib are unclear. The measure freezes assets he holds in the United States and prohibits American companies or individuals from doing business with him.

Treasury officials did not disclose whether Mr. Talib held assets or property in the United States. In 2010, he was a student activist in Australia who was shot when Israeli naval commandos killed nine activists on a ship that was carrying aid to Gaza.

The American action against Mr. Talib was notable, experts said, because it showed that the government was still concerned about how extremist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State continue to creatively raise and distribute money for their operations, despite military, intelligence and legal pressures that have dealt significant blows to their activity.

“It goes to show that Al Qaeda still retains these kind of networks,” said Charles Lister, the director of the Countering Terrorism and Extremism Program at the Middle East Institute, a think tank. “Even though the U.S. has done a very good job in pressuring the networks to such an extent that they are kind of a miniature version of 10 or 15 years ago.”

Mr. Talib’s use of gemstones to move finances for Al Qaeda was a departure from what had become a norm in terrorist financing, experts said, which was to stray from transnational funding toward developing income streams in countries where they maintained a presence. But terrorism experts noted the development with interest.

“Governments and private sector have made it harder to move funds via formal and informal financial systems,” said Matthew Levitt, the director of counterterrorism and intelligence at The Washington Institute. “It is interesting to see terrorists relying on gemstones, which are easy to move and hold value.”

Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Al Qaeda’s influence across the world has diminished. Key leaders, including Osama bin Laden, have been killed. The group’s lone ideological leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, is aging, and U.S. intelligence experts do not see him as a potent threat.

Despite that, the group continues to find inventive ways to finance its operations.

In August, the United States government seized about $2 million in Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency from accounts that had sent or received funds in alleged financing schemes for three foreign terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda.

Other groups, like the Islamic State, have also found ways to rely on methods such as kidnapping for ransom, private donations and crowdsourced online fund-raising, according to a United Nations report. ISIS currently has financial reserves estimated at nearly $100 million, the U.N. found.

“ISIS taught us in recent years that international financing of terrorist activities isn’t the most sustainable way to go,” Mr. Lister said. “That was a big lesson, and it definitely transformed the way Al Qaeda operates.”

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After denying the existence of COVID-19, influencer dies from this disease

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“I also thought there was no COVID, and this is all relative. Until I got sick,” he posted on his Instagram account.

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October 19, 2020 3 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

  • El hombre contrajo la enfermedad en un viaje que realizó a Turquía.
  • “También pensé que no había COVID, y todo esto es relativo. Hasta que me enfermé”, publicó en su cuenta de Instagram.

Definitivamente el coronavirus, ha sido un tema controvertido entre diferentes personalidades públicas en el mundo. Algunos de ellos hasta han negado su existencia. Sin embargo, es importante recordar que el COVID-19 es una enfermedad real y hay que cuidarnos.

Dmitriy Stuzhuk, influencer fitness, ucraniano, murió tras haberse infectado de SARS-CoV-2 . El deportista había negado la existencia del virus cuando lo declararon pandemia. Sin embargo, publicó en sus redes que había contraído la enfermedad.

“Como todos saben por las historias, estoy enfermo de coronavirus. Hoy, después de regresar a casa, por primera vez hubo entusiasmo por al menos escribir algo. Quiero compartir cómo me enfermé y advertir a todos: también pensé que no había covid, y todo esto es relativo. Hasta que me enfermé. ¡LA ENFERMEDAD COVID-19 NO ES EFÍMERA! Y es pesada ”, dice en un publicación en Instagram de hace cinco días.

CORONAVIRUS “COVID” DAY 8 ⠀ As you all know from the stories, I have corlnavirus. Today, after returning home, for the first time there was an enthusiasm for at least writing something. I want to share how I got sick and strongly warn everyone: I also thought that there was no covid, and this is all relative. Until he got sick. COVID-19 DISEASE IS NOT EPHEME! And heavy. But first things first. ⠀ How was it? I felt bad on the second day in Turkey. I woke up in the middle of the night because my neck was swollen and it was hard to breathe. At the same time, my stomach ached a little. ⠀ The next day, a cough began to appear, but there was no temperature. There were no particular symptoms of the disease either, so I thought that these could be consequences after playing sports, changing the climate and nutrition, and plus sleeping under air conditioning. ⠀ After returning from Turkey, I immediately went to take various tests, do an ultrasound scan and, just in case, decided to take a COVID test. It turned out to be positive. The next day I went to have a CT scan. I was prescribed treatment and began to insist on hospitalization. This is a separate story, because now there are renovations, the hospital is completely filled with people, some of them live in the corridor There is no food, no paper, no cutlery either! Nobody warned me about this. A separate post will be devoted to medicine in our country – well, it deserves it. ⠀ ABOUT TREATMENT. I was prescribed a course of treatment and told that I needed to continue it. They gave me an oxygen apparatus for breathing, since I have a low oxygen level (although I think it is considered critical after 90, for me 94-96 it is quite permissible for treatment at home, the doctor in the waiting room told me the same thing). Considering all these factors, I make a decision that it will be more convenient and comfortable for me to be in remote care at home, where I have all the conditions for normal treatment. In the end, I can always turn to the right services. She is at home, as they say, and the walls heal ⠀ My condition is stable.

Una publicación compartida de Dima Stuzhuk (@stuzhuk_dmitriy) el 14 Oct, 2020 a las 11:22 PDT

El hombre contrajo la enfermedad en un viaje que realizó a Turquía. En la misma publicación cuenta su historia y cómo empezó a sentirse: “me desperté en medio de la noche porque mi cuello estaba hinchado y me costaba respirar. Al mismo tiempo, me dolía un poco el estómago. Al día siguiente, empezó a aparecer tos, pero no había temperatura. Tampoco había síntomas particulares de la enfermedad, por lo que pensé que podrían ser consecuencias después de hacer deporte, cambiar el clima y la nutrición, y además dormir debajo de un aire acondicionado ”.

Luego de regresar decidió ir al medico y realizarse pruebas, dentro de ellas la de COVID-19, y resultó positivo. Tras pasar ocho días en el hospital, el influencer regresó a su casa para seguir con el tratamiento.

Sin embargo, su exesposa, también influencer, Sofia Stuzhuk dio a conocer la noticia a través de su Instagram donde publicó una foto de su familia diciendo “Dima ya no está con nosotros. Su corazón no pudo soportar ”.

La pareja tenía tres hijos juntos, y aunque se habían separado llevaban una buena relación. Sofia comentó que su ex pareja tenía problemas cardiovasculares y el 16 de octubre confirmó la triste noticia.

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7 Books For Maximizing Life Satisfaction During Uncertain Times

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October 19, 2020 5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In a year full of ugly politics, natural disasters and an ongoing pandemic, maintaining a positive outlook can seem like a fool’s errand. While the may not be all sunshine and roses at the moment, that doesn’t mean you have to get dragged down with it. Even during the most difficult times, it’s still possible to maximize your life satisfaction. 

Reading is one of the out of a rut of negativity. By drawing from the perspectives of others, you can start to develop a that will help get you where you want to be. Here are some of the best books to help you do just that.

1. An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life: Lessons Learned by Tim Carlin

Leading a satisfying life doesn’t necessarily mean upending the world. Sometimes the greatest satisfaction is found in the simplest of things. An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life is an empowering look into how we can achieve meaning from some of the most seemingly mundane aspects of living. Tim Carlin uses this book to impart the wisdom of the small change, showing that not every step towards needs to be a leap.

2. Breakout Blueprint: How to Find Your Passion, Take Action, and Build a Lifestyle by Doug Foley

The workweek may only be 40 hours for most, but everyone knows that your career defines so much more of your life than that. Doug Foley interviewed more than 150 of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and found that they only seemed to have one thing in common: They built themselves the careers they wanted to have. Breakout Blueprint is a how-to guide for doing just the same; reading it can give you the tools you need to make the job you want to have. 

Related: 3 Unexpected Ways Reading Personal Development Books Changed My Life

3. Build What Matters: Delivering Key Outcomes with Vision-Led Product Management by Ben Foster and Rajesh Nerlikar 

It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you do. If you’re not doing something that makes life better for other people, it’s not going to satisfy you. Build What Matters focuses on putting customer needs back in the center of product management, but all readers should follow the command of its title. Use your expertise to benefit others, and the results will be increased happiness for yourself, your coworkers, your customers and society at large.

4. Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor

is perhaps the single most fundamental component of human life, and yet it is also one of the most under-considered. Living a satisfying life doesn’t just mean getting the job you want — it also means refining your daily habits to make you happier and healthier too. Breath is James Nestor’s deep dive into what breathing does for us and how we can do it better. It may sound simple, but the results of a more intentional breathing pattern can be profound. 

5. Loving Your Business: Rethink Your Relationship with Your Company and Make It Work for You by Debbie King

Making headway as an entrepreneur is never easy, and sometimes the journey can cause you to lose sight of what made you start it in the first place. If you don’t love your business, no one else will. With Debbie King’s guidance, entrepreneurs can transform their relationship with their businesses while they scale. Loving Your Business outlines the mindset shift many business owners need to form healthier relationships with customers, employees and, most importantly, their companies. 

Related: Four Reasons Why You Should Invest In Self-Development

6. Becoming a Leader of Impact: How Your Influence Can Change the World by Braden Douglas

While it’s entirely possible to find satisfaction in a normal life, many entrepreneurs are hungry for something greater. Becoming a Leader of Impact is a look at how business leaders can turn their positions of power into conduits for positive change, making the world a better place at the same time. Braden Douglas has distilled a career’s worth of insight into one short book, making it a must-read for those looking to become the best kind of leader. 

7. An Introvert’s Guide to World Domination: Become a High Level Networker and Upgrade Your Life by Nick Shelton

For the shyest among us, networking can seem like an impossible task. An Introvert’s Guide to World Domination may not live up to the hyperbole of its title, but it’s still a great framework for understanding how real, personal connections in business can be made without levels of charm. 

Now more than ever, finding satisfaction in daily life is key. While doing so is easier said than done, learning how others before you have done so can make the process that much simpler. Why not do so with a book?

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