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Alibaba (: ) founder Jack Ma fired a shot at the United States in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Ma was asked by CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin about the U.S. economy in relation to China, since President-elect Donald Trump has been talking about imposing new tariffs on Chinese imports.
Ma says blaming China for any economic issues in the U.S. is misguided. If America is looking to blame anyone, Ma said, it should blame itself.
"It's not that other countries steal jobs from you guys," Ma said. "It's your strategy. Distribute the money and things in a proper way."
He said the U.S. has wasted over $14 trillion in fighting wars over the past 30 years rather than investing in infrastructure at home.
To be sure, Ma is not the only critic of the costly U.S. policies of waging war against terrorism and other enemies outside the homeland. Still, Ma said this was the reason America's economic growth had weakened, not China's supposed theft of jobs.
In fact, Ma called outsourcing a "wonderful" and "perfect" strategy.
"The American multinational companies made millions and millions of dollars from globalization," Ma said. "The past 30 years, IBM (NYSE: IBM), Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), they've made tens of millions — the profits they've made are much more than the four Chinese banks put together. ... But where did the money go?"
He said the U.S. is not distributing, or investing, its money properly, and that's why many people in the country feel wracked with economic anxiety. He said too much money flows to Wall Street and Silicon Valley. Instead, the country should be helping the Midwest, and Americans "not good in schooling," too.
The US Department of Labor has launched a lawsuit against Oracle for discriminatory hiring practices. Although the suit alleges that Oracle pays White men more, what’s more interesting is that Oracle as been accused of giving Indian males an unfair advantage when it comes to hiring.
In the complaint, the DOL states Oracle “has a systemic practice of paying Caucasian male workers more than their counterparts in the same job title,” resulting in women, Blacks and Asians getting paid less for the same work.
The lawsuit also alleges that the tech giant has a bias towards hiring Asian Americans — specifically Indians/Desis — when it comes to technical roles, overlooking other groups.
The DOL report says:
“For example, Oracle refused to provide prior-year compensation data for all employees, complete hiring data for certain business lines, and employee complaints of discrimination,” the Department of Labor wrote in a press release. “OFCCP attempted for almost a year to resolve Oracle’s alleged discrimination violations before filing the suit.”
The lawsuit alleges that Oracle favored Indian males when recruiting new hires, according to The Register.
The tech conglomerate vehemently denies allegations of discrimination and says they are “politically motivated.”
It must also be pointed out that Oracles co-CEO, Safra Catz, is on the Trump transition team.
Asian American online users seemed to be upset with all Asians being “thrown under the bus” when the allegations only apply to Indians getting unfair advantages.
Outgoing President Barack Obama’s choice on Tuesday of top aide Ben Rhodes to serve on the US Holocaust Memorial Council drew a slew of online ire over Rhodes’ controversial record on Israel-related issues.Rhodes — whose role as Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications will come to an end on Friday with the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump — was a leading advocate of the Iran nuclear deal and a vocal critic of Israeli settlement policies.“So Ben Rhodes, who is a veritable enemy of Israel, Obama appoints to Holocaust Memorial Council,” American Spectator Managing Editor Melissa Mackenzie tweeted. “The man is a spite machine.”
The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee has approved a plan to erect a massive compound to house the office and private residence of the prime minister, Israel’s Channel 10 reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, the compound will be built in the “government precinct” — known by Israelis as Kiryat Hamemshala — located in the neighborhood of Givat Ram, where the Supreme Court is situated, and not far from the Knesset and one of the Hebrew University campuses.
The structure is expected to have between five and eight stories, and an area designated for official ceremonies. It will also include a huge underground “bunker,” to be used by the prime minister and representatives of the civil and defense establishment during times of national emergency. The cost of the project is estimated at NIS 1 billion ($262.3 million).
Kaon Interactive today announced that B2B sales and marketing teams can offer users or potential customers access to a simulated virtual data center or diagnostics laboratory to not only explore and interact with products but to also configure the space and equipment in real time and as it applies to their needs.
IT WAS DEFINITELY NOT love at first sight. “I mostly ignored her,” Dick, now 81, says, recalling the hot, muggy morning when he first saw his future wife. Watching her in the Time Life bureau, he thought she seemed aloof and too busy for a relationship.
“I thought he looked like a hippie,” Germaine says in the unmistakable musical cadence of a Vietnamese accent. “Long hair, marijuana joints rolled up in his shirt sleeves. I was not interested. I was a straight girl.”
Dick was an imposing figure with a mop of shaggy blond hair and cameras swinging around his neck. His work had already been published in The New York Times, Life, Time and Newsweek.
Germaine, a beautiful, black-haired woman, worked to support her entire family and volunteered for the South Vietnamese army. Fluent in French and Vietnamese, with a working knowledge of English, Germaine was a translator and liaison for reporters and photographers.
Back in the fall of 1963, she received a midnight call from a high-level source in the South Vietnamese army. He told her to come over right away. Dubious of his motives, she suggested that they meet the next morning. He warned that it would be too late by then. Reluctantly, she went to see him.
“Tomorrow we will have a coup d’etat,” he said. Germaine rushed from his apartment and found a Reuters reporter with whom she frequently worked. “I told him the story and he wrote it in good English,” she says.
The next morning, Nov. 1, 1963, a cabal in the South Vietnamese military captured and later executed President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother. It was one of the biggest stories of the year, overshadowed only by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy a few weeks later. Germaine shared a byline with the Reuters reporter and became a local celebrity.
For three years after Dick and Germaine first met in 1966, each went about their business in the Saigon bureau. “I was about the only one not trying to seduce her,” Dick says.
April 30th, 1975, was the last day of Vietnam War. And yes, Operation Frequent Wind would go down as history's largest helicopter evacuation ever to take place.
It would become a time and date which witnessed over 7,000 South Vietnamese flee Saigon for their very lives.
Before the Operation, we were told that 150,000 North Vietnamese Communists troops were just outside Saigon South Vietnam ready to pounce.
Just a few weeks earlier, we were conducting Operation Eagle Pull which was the evacuation by air of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
At the beginning of April 1975, Phnom Penh, one of the last remaining strongholds of the Khmer Republic, was surrounded by the Khmer Rouge and totally dependent on aerial resupply through Pochentong Airport.
With a Khmer Rouge victory imminent, the US government made contingency plans for the evacuation of American nationals and allies to get them out by helicopter to ships in the Gulf of Thailand.
Operation Eagle Pull started on April 12th 1975, and is said to have been a tactical success carried out without any loss of life. It was just 5 days later that the Khmer Republic collapsed and the Khmer Rouge occupied Phnom Penh.
By the end of the month, we were preparing for another evacuation, but this time it would be Saigon South Vietnam.
As strange as it sounds today, back then we all knew when the Operation was to start. The signal was when American Forces Radio broadcast Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" on the morning of April 29 and announced "the temperature is 105 degrees and rising."
That was the signal. Americans and hand-picked Vietnamese began heading toward predetermined assembly spots. With that Operation Frequent Wind was on, and soon it seemed that choppers were everywhere.
Again and again, and again, and again. All day and all night long, choppers came and went to grab up as many as can be had. Yes, I remember the choppers and the scores of South Vietnamese who were fleeing a land about 30 minutes away.
Dennis Pupo Cruz was one of the 15 Cubans who got stopped just inches from the United States by President Obama’s decision to abruptly cancel the so-called wet foot, dry foot immigration policy that for more than 20 years had allowed any Cuban who made it to U.S. territory to remain.
Editor’s note: U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius shares his thoughts about the upcoming Lunar New Year in this piece written exclusively for Tuoi Tre News.
The new year is traditionally a time to look back on our accomplishments and look forward to the opportunities and challenges awaiting us. In that spirit, I would like to welcome the Year of the Rooster with some of my own thoughts about the year ahead.
I've witnessed tremendous progress in both the U.S.-Vietnam relationship and in Vietnam's own development over the past twenty years.
The United States is now Vietnam’s largest export market, and Vietnam is one of the fastest growing destinations for U.S. exports. Two-way trade grew over 300 percent in the past decade alone!
In 2016, we increased opportunities for travel and trade, we opened the door to increased cooperation on regional security, and we witnessed our leaders’ historic visits to each other’s nations. This shows that America’s interest in a strong partnership with Vietnam is more important than ever.
Sharing Vietnam’s goals
Vietnam’s goals of economic growth and global integration are goals we also share. Continuing to reform state-owned enterprises, creating space for small and medium-sized enterprises, protecting intellectual property, and fairly, transparently, and uniformly applying laws, labor standards, and environmental regulations will help encourage growth and U.S. investment.
Strong Vietnamese leadership of APEC 2017 will show the world that Vietnam is a reliable partner and a smart place to do business.
We fully support Vietnam’s priorities for APEC and look forward to jointly promoting sustainable, innovative, and inclusive economic growth, deepening regional economic integration, strengthening the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises in the digital age, and enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture.
We look forward to Vietnam playing a larger role in the discussion of regional economic priorities, building consensus on breaking down trade barriers around the Pacific, and encouraging member economies to align with international norms.
The United States also shares a mutual interest in minimizing our collective environmental impact and helping vulnerable populations adapt to the effects of climate change.
Here too, Vietnam, as one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, will drive these discussions through its leadership of APEC. Climate change has the potential to affect tens of millions within the region – most significantly in Vietnam. We are committed to helping Vietnam and its neighbors mitigate the impact of climate change.
Heal wounds of past
Fostering deeper people-to-people ties between our nations will continue to be a top priority.
By connecting the boundless potential and aspirations of the Vietnamese people with the tremendous energy of the Vietnamese-American diaspora, we are working to heal the wounds of the past. Only through reconciliation can we close the difficult chapter of our history with honor and focus on the future.
Nothing builds compassion, eliminates misconceptions, and dissolves distrust between people more than traveling and exploring each other’s cultures first-hand, particularly when linked with education.
That’s why I am so excited about the launch of Peace Corps Vietnam and Fulbright University Vietnam.
The Peace Corps program will bring bright, energetic, and dedicated American volunteers who will help Vietnam’s diligent students learn English.
And Fulbright University, the first private, nonprofit American-style Vietnamese University, will demonstrate the value of a transdisciplinary approach, meritocracy, transparency, and academic freedom.
Our countries are working together to ensure our mutual security and to strengthen ASEAN unity. Together, we are powerful advocates for the need to safeguard peace, stability, and the rule of law in the East Vietnam Sea – and to oppose any nation using coercion to press its territorial claims.
With President Obama’s decision last May to lift fully the ban on the sale of lethal weapons, we have finally normalized our defense ties. We will continue to work together to strengthen Vietnam’s ability to protect its maritime security and to work with partners to deliver humanitarian aid in times of disaster.
Vietnam has set ambitious and commendable goals for its development, including the creation of an environment in which ideas compete, capital is accessible, entrepreneurs take risks, and innovation can thrive.
From our own national experience, we have learned that innovation requires the free exchange of ideas. When all members of society can challenge the conventional wisdom, the country can forge a truly entrepreneurial path.
Vietnam is in a “golden moment,” blessed with a large, young population full of passion, talent, and entrepreneurial ideas. I encourage Vietnam to expand the ability of young people to contribute.
We’ve made great strides in our bilateral relationship, and momentum is on our side.
I have no doubt that in this new year, if we continue to work in a spirit of mutual respect, we will achieve even more together.
A few hours before incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer told journalists on Thursday — 24 hours before the inauguration of Donald Trump as the next president of the United States — to “stay tuned” for the new administration’s decision about its proposed move of America’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Palestinians took to the streets of three West Bank cities to demonstrate.
According to Palestinian News Network, hundreds of flag-waving Palestinians held protests in Ramallah, Nablus and Hebron, where banners, in English, read: “Trump, take your racism away from the Holy City,” and in Arabic: “The whole world is moving forward but the Trump administration is moving backwards.”
The protests come two days after Trump said at an event in Washington on Tuesday evening that he hasn’t forgotten his promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Days earlier, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly sent a letter to Trump, warning against such a move.
Navient, the nation’s largest servicer of student loans, has for years misled borrowers and made serious mistakes at nearly every step of the collections process, illegally driving up loan repayment costs for millions of borrowers, according to lawsuits filed on Wednesday by a federal regulator and two state attorneys general.
Navient handles $300 billion in private and federal loans for some 12 million people — touching about one in four student loan borrowers. Every customer may have been affected by Navient’s misdeeds, said Lisa Madigan, the attorney general of Illinois, announcing her own lawsuit with the one filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Navient does not make the loans, but it holds lucrative contracts to collect payments each month on behalf of banks, government and other lenders.
The damages sought could reach billions of dollars, said Ms. Madigan, who sued Navient and Sallie Mae — which split into the two companies in 2014. Washington State’s attorney general, Bob Ferguson, filed a similar lawsuit against both companies.
The lawsuits describe routine mistakes and lapses in oversight that over time added up to systematic failures, eerily similar to the mortgage servicing industry’s bungling of borrower accounts and property foreclosures during the 2008 recession. Financial companies eventually paid more than $100 billion to settle mortgage-related lawsuits.
Navient mishandled loan payments, buried critical information in fine print and set obstacles for borrowers trying to release co-signers from their loans, among other failings, according to the consumer bureau’s legal filing.
The move was one of a series of late-hour actions by the Obama administration just days before the inauguration of Donald J. Trump. It is also a politically perilous time for the consumer bureau, which has long been the target of criticism by Republican lawmakers. Several have called for the president-elect to fire its director, Richard Cordray — a move that would likely set off a legal challenge over the president’s authority to do so.
Republicans have also taken aim at the Dodd-Frank Act, the 2010 law that imposed more regulations on banks and created the consumer bureau. The law also specified that the bureau’s director can be fired only for cause, defined as “inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance.”
Crushing student debt was a flash point on the campaign trail, as students complained that loans had diminished their career prospects. The issue helped fuel Bernie Sanders’s campaign in the Democratic primaries, and sparked discussions about reining in college costs. Total outstanding student loan debt hovers at more than $1.4 trillion. Student loan debt has surpassed credit card and auto loan debt.
Once a year, a small group of executives who control trillions of dollars in American companies meet for lunch in Manhattan. Among the things they discuss: pushing for greater say in how companies are run.
It is an elite gathering, but you will not see a single man in a suit in the room. The event, called the Women in Governance lunch, underscores a rare corner in finance where women dominate.
Women hold the top positions in corporate governance at many of the biggest mutual funds and pension funds — deciding which way to vote on the directors of a company board. They make decisions on behalf of teachers, government workers, doctors and most people in the United States who have a 401(k). The corporate governance heads at seven of the 10 largest institutional investors in stocks are now women, according to data compiled by The New York Times. Those investors oversee $14 trillion in assets.
Corporate governance is playing a growing role within the broader ecosystem of corporate America. Each spring, publicly traded companies hold shareholder meetings and outline business strategy for the coming year. Shareholders like BlackRock, T. Rowe Price and State Street vote on corporate strategy and issues including company board appointments and compensation.
Their votes can go a long way, given the huge stakes these institutions control in United States companies. BlackRock holds a stake greater than 5 percent in 75 of the 100 largest companies, according to data compiled by Jerry Davis, a professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. State Street has more than than 5 percent of 23 of the largest companies, while Capital Group owns more than 5 percent of 20 of the biggest companies.
That power, however, is rarely wielded to confront companies. Most of the time, these huge institutional investors choose to vote with management.
And their approach contrasts sharply with that of brash activist billionaires like William A. Ackman and Daniel S. Loeb, who have made a name for themselves as corporate agitators. These investors bring about change by theatrically pounding on the front doors of companies and using the public court of opinion to bully companies into changing their strategies.
Still, the heads of corporate governance at institutional giants say they are working quietly behind the scenes to advocate for greater shareholder rights.
Some Illinois consumers soon will have fewer health insurance plans to choose from on the Affordable Care Act exchange, with news Wednesday that yet another insurer will no longer offer new plans on the marketplace.
Health Alliance Medical Plans announced Wednesday that it is removing its plans from the exchange this week even though the deadline for open enrollment on the exchange isn't until Jan. 31. Consumers who have already enrolled in Health Alliance plans for 2017 will still have that coverage. But the insurer will no longer accept new exchange customers for 2017.
Do you vaguely remember a story related to baseball great Ted Williams’ cryogenically frozen remains and the allegations of impropriety surrounding their handling by some company? If so, the company at the center of that controversy was Alcor, which for $200,000 will freeze your still-warm corpse with the possibility of bringing you back to life in the future, once technology has advanced enough.
While there are a lot of companies doing some impressive work in the life extension arena, Alcor is one of the few that already has a business model in place and is making money from it. Among its other clients are billionaire Peter Thiel and Google’s Ray Kurzweil, the latter of which is also a futurist that expects we will achieve immortality within the next 20 or 30 years. Just in case he kicks the bucket before then, he has Alcor on standby. Interestingly, while the fee seems exorbitant, it can be covered by a life insurance policy (of course if you have loved ones, they wouldn’t get any of it then), which makes it more palatable even for less affluent people. The company currently has over 1,000 members, about 150 of which are dead, though possibly not for long…
Mary Wong, President of the Office Depot Foundation, will be honored Tuesday, January 24, 2017 as the "Oustanding Communicator of the Month" for January by the Association for Women in Communications South Florida Chapter (AWCSF). The celebration of Mary's will be held from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm at The Blue located on the 27th floor at the Boca Raton Resort, 501 E. Camino Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432.