Morning Read Tuesday December 4 2018


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Postal Service to suspend most deliveries for George HW Bush’s national day of mourningThe U.S. Postal Service announced on Monday that it will suspend most of its services on Wednesday to honor the national day of mourning for the late former President, George H.W. Bush. 

“Out of respect for the 41st President of the United States and to honor his vast contributions to our country during his lifetime, and consistent with the Presidential Proclamation, the United States Postal Service will suspend regular mail deliveries, retail services and administrative office activity on Dec.  5,” USPS said in a statement on its website. 

USPS added that it would provide limited package delivery on Wednesday “to ensure that our network remains fluid and we do not experience any impacts to our package delivery operations that might negatively affect our customers or business partners during the remainder of our busy holiday season.”

President Trump on Saturday declared that Wednesday would be a national day of mourning for the former one-term president. 

Bush’s casket was flown to Washington, D.C. this week for memorial services. A service for him is scheduled to take place at the National Cathedral in Washington at 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday. 

Trump, former President Obama, former President George W. Bush, former President Bill Clinton and former President Jimmy Carter are expected to attend. 

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Israel launches operation on Lebanon border to destroy Hezbollah attack tunnels

The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday launched an operation to destroy a number of cross-border attack tunnels that it says were dug by the Iran-backed Hezbollah group into northern Israel from Lebanon.

Announcing the launch of Operation Northern Shield, IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said “a number of tunnels” had penetrated Israeli territory and forces were working on the Israeli side of the frontier to destroy them.

“We see Hezbollah’s actions as a flagrant and blatant violation of Israeli sovereignty,” he said.

The military said it believed these tunnels were for offensive purposes, unlike the tunnels and underground bunkers used by Hezbollah during the 2006 Second Lebanon War, which were primarily used for its defensive strategies.

The operation came as tensions on Israel’s northern border have ramped up in recent days, and hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Brussels for a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss Iran and security challenges on Israel’s northern border, likely referring to Hezbollah.

Israeli security chiefs were holding security assessments throughout the day on Tuesday in order to predict Hezbollah’s reaction to the IDF operation.

The Israeli military’s Arabic-language spokesperson called on Hezbollah members and Lebanese citizens to keep away from the tunnels. “You’ve been warned,” he wrote on Twitter. [ToI]

U.S. Sends Aircraft Carrier to Persian Gulf in Show of Force Against IranWASHINGTON — A U.S. aircraft carrier strike group will arrive in the Middle East within days, U.S. defense officials said, ending the longest period in two decades that such a military presence has been absent from the region.

The USS John C. Stennis and accompanying ships will arrive by this week’s end, the first such military presence in the region in eight months, the officials said, to exhibit a show of force against Iran. Tensions between Washington and Tehran are growing over renewed Trump administration sanctions on the country, Iranian-backed groups in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen and Iran’s latest ballistic missile tests.

The naval deployment also will support the continuing war against remnants of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and the U.S. war in Afghanistan, where the U.S. and Afghan militaries have ramped up airstrikes in an effort to press the Taliban into peace talks and rid the country of what they consider irreconcilable fighters, the officials said.

The Stennis is scheduled to remain in the region for about two months, the officials said, spending most of that time in the Persian Gulf. Its presence “certainly provides a deterrence” against any potentially hostile Iranian activity in the region’s waters, one of the officials said. [WSJ]

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DO YOU NEED A CHANUKAH MIRACLE?Tap into the power of the ohr haTorah.
Partner with Kollel Chatzos talmidei chachamim.
They’ll learn all Chanuka night –from midnight till morning – in your zchus. And they’ll send shlichim to daven for you at 8 mekomos hakedoshim for 8 precious requests.
In Modiin at the Chashmonaim for supernatural yeshuos; in Meron at Rabi Shimon for children;  in Amuka at Rabi Yonason ben Uziel for shiduchim; in Tzfas at the Arizal for teshuva; in Ein Zeisim at Rabi Yehuda ben Ilay for parnasa; in Tzfas at Rabi Leibele baal Yesurim for yeshuos; in Tiverya at the Shlah for ehrliche doros; and in Ilbon at the tana, Masya ben Charash, for shmiras einayim – 8 nights, 8 places, 8 requests for your yeshua.
And then, you’ll be zoche to a freilichen Chanuka that will spread light and delight all year long.

(paid content)

French PM announces delay to fuel tax hikes

PARIS (AP) — French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced a suspension of fuel tax hikes Tuesday, a major U-turn in an effort to appease a protest movement that has radicalized and plunged Paris into chaos last weekend, French media reported.

Both Le Monde newspaper and France Info radio said the planned increase, which has provoked violent riots, will be suspended for several months. Philippe is also expected to announce other measures aimed at easing tensions, just three weeks after insisting that the government would not change course and remained determined to help wean French consumers off polluting fossils fuels.

Philippe told lawmakers from President Emmanuel Macron’s party first and was expected to make an official declaration later Tuesday. There was no immediate comment from his office.

It’s unlikely Philippe’s announcement will put an end to the road blockades and demonstrations, with more possible protests this weekend in Paris. On Tuesday, protesters kept blocking several fuel depots and many insisted their fight was not over.

After a third consecutive weekend of clashes in Paris led by protesters wearing distinctive yellow traffic vests, Philippe held crisis talks with representatives of major political parties on Monday. He also met with Macron and other ministers in order to find a quick solution to the crisis.

Facing the most serious street protests since his election in May 2017, Macron has canceled a two-day trip to Serbia to stay in France this week.

More than 100 people were injured in the French capital and 412 arrested over the weekend during France’s worst urban riot in years, with dozens of cars torched. [AP]

Kremlin says it regrets that U.S.-Russia dialogue is not working outMOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin said on Tuesday that it regretted that dialogue between Russia and the United States was not working out despite what it said was a series of important strategic issues that needed to be discussed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump were due to have an extended meeting at a G20 Summit in Argentina at the weekend, but Trump canceled after Russia seized three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews.

“Dialogue is not working out despite certain plans and certain homework done by both sides,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call. [REUTERS]

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Bush’s single White House term shaped U.S. history for decades

WASHINGTON – He was president for only four years, but George H.W. Bush shaped U.S. history for decades, taking on tough jobs from Beijing to the CIA, ousting Iraqi forces from Kuwait, sealing a breakthrough budget deal that cost him an election and fathering a future president.

His presidency, which ran from 1989 to 1993, was defined by two events – his aggressive response to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990, and the soon-to-be-broken “read my lips” pledge he made not to raise taxes while running for president in 1988.

At a time when the Cold War was ending and the influence of Soviet-style communism was withering, Bush’s military and diplomatic actions firmly cast the United States as the world’s leading superpower.

After Bush emphatically said Saddam’s aggression “will not stand,” U.S.-led forces routed Iraq’s army in the Gulf War, driving it from Kuwait while stopping short of taking Baghdad, Iraq’s capital. Bush’s popularity rating among Americans soared to about 90 percent.

Twenty months later, in 1992, the Republican Bush lost his bid for re-election to Democrat Bill Clinton, whose folksy manner and focus on the economy struck a chord with many Americans and made Bush seem disconnected from voters for focusing on foreign policy over domestic issues.

The Bushes were only the second father and son to serve as U.S. presidents – the first being John Adams (1797-1801) and John Quincy Adams (1825-1829). The Bush political dynasty also included Bush’s father, who was a U.S. senator, and son Jeb, a former governor of Florida who mounted his own run for the presidency in 2015 but dropped out in February 2016 after gaining little traction.

Bush did not endorse Republican Donald Trump, the eventual winner in the 2016 presidential election, who attacked both Jeb and George W. Bush during his campaign. The elder Bush did not publicly say whom he voted for in the election, but a source told CNN he went for the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. [REUTERS]

Trump Names Lighthizer to Run U.S.-China NegotiationsWASHINGTON — President Trump named a China hard-liner to lead negotiations with Beijing, indicating the U.S. will pursue a tough stance in what is bound to be contentious talks over a trade dispute that has sent shivers through global markets.

Mr. Trump informed Chinese President Xi Jinping of his choice of Robert Lighthizer at their Saturday meeting in Buenos Aires, people familiar with the discussions said, pointing several times to the U.S. Trade Representative as the person who will face off with Beijing’s diplomats and using Mr. Lighthizer’s charts in presentations.

The remarks came as a surprise to a Chinese leadership that had maneuvered for months to deal with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who had led initial rounds of talks, but failed to resolve the dispute over the past year.

The shift reflects the mixed messages the Trump administration is sending in the bitter contest between the world’s two largest economic powers. On the one hand, the administration is giving an expanded role to Mr. Lighthizer, who opposed China joining the World Trade Organization in 2001 and persuaded the president to ditch potential deals with Beijing over the past two years. He has been pressing for more tariffs on China as a way to build leverage over Beijing.

On the other hand, the president is touting that the U.S. made big strides toward settling the trade fight in his session with Mr. Xi—a message some advisers say is aimed as much at stock markets as at Beijing. [WSJ]

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Tired of waiting for asylum, migrants from caravan breach U.S. borderTIJUANA, Mexico (Reuters) – Central American migrants stuck on the threshold of the United States in Mexico breached the border fence on Monday, risking almost certain detention by U.S. authorities but hoping the illegal entry will allow them to apply for asylum.

U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to stop the migrants entering, sending troops to reinforce the border and attempting a procedural change, so far denied by the courts, to require asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases are heard.

Applying for asylum at a U.S. land border can take months, so if migrants enter illegally and present themselves to authorities, their cases could be heard quicker.

U.S. officials have restricted applications through the Chaparral gate in Tijuana to between 40 and 100 per day.

Some may hope to defeat the odds and penetrate one of the most fortified sections of the southern U.S. border.

Those that made it across the fence in Tijuana still had to scramble up a hill and contend with a more forbidding wall to reach California, and U.S. Border Patrol agents had the territory between the two barriers heavily covered.

“Climb up. You can do it! Stand on my head!” one migrant said, egging his companion on.

One child and his mother got over the fence and ran up the hill behind. They turned around and waved to those still on the Mexican side. [REUTERS]

New Jersey Marijuana Legalization Heading to Final Vote by Lawmakers 

New Jersey moved closer to becoming the 11th U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana use after legislative committees approved bills to end the prohibition and wipe out the criminal records of some drug offenders.

The action puts the bills on track for all-but-certain passage by the Assembly and Senate on Dec. 17. While Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, campaigned in part on easing marijuana laws, he has criticized the legislation’s tax rate of 14 percent, which would be among the lowest in the U.S., making it unclear whether he will sign the bills or send them back to lawmakers with suggested changes.

Murphy and the Democrat-controlled legislature are eager to make New Jersey the first state in the New York City region to fully legalize the drug, a step that has widespread support from residents and would provide a new source of needed revenue. [BLOOMBERG]

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De Blasio says Emergency Management head will keep job — until successor is found

Mayor de Blasio said in a statement on Monday night that Office of Emergency Management head Joseph Esposito will be leaving his post after a transition period — ending a day of confusion about whether he had been fired and who is leading the agency.

“We have started the process of leadership change at New York City Emergency Management. Commissioner Joe Esposito will continue to lead OEM as we conduct a national search for his successor,” the mayor said in the statement.

The announcement comes after Esposito was ostensibly fired on Friday by deputy mayor Laura Anglin after the two got into a heated exchange during a meeting about the city’s response to a paralyzing snow storm last month.

Mayor de Blasio was out of town at the time, and Esposito responded to Anglin by saying only the mayor could demand his resignation.

Without word from de Blasio, Esposito showed up to work on Monday, and the Office of Emergency Management said in a statement that he was still leading the agency.

Esposito and de Blasio met later Monday at Gracie Mansion, but no announcement about his job was made by either the mayor or by him following the meeting. [NYP]

NYC is drowning in ridiculous, pricey lawsuitsThe Big Apple is drowning in so many frivolous lawsuits — over everything from food packaging and advertising to the design of retail Web sites — that the city’s court system has become one of the nation’s worst places for civil justice, a damning report out Tuesday reveals.

The American Tort Reform Foundation will give New York City the dubious distinction of placing No. 3 on its annual list of “Judicial Hellholes” where plaintiffs lawyers run amok with the help of accommodating judges and do-nothing lawmakers.

In fact, the only places deemed worse than New York City for irresponsible tort filings are entire states: California at No. 1 and Florida at No. 2.

The report states that the cost and compensation paid in the US tort system totaled $429 billion in 2016, accounting for 2.3 percent of the US gross domestic product.

In one case, a Manhattan federal judge tossed a class-action suit alleging that consumers were tricked into buying Junior Mints because the candy was “packaged in a box with more than one quarter of the box containing air.”

Rulings last year by two federal judges, who mandated that all online retailers make their sites compatible with screen-reading software for the visually impaired, “opened the floodgates” for “cut-and-paste lawsuits against hundreds of stores,” the report says.

Complying with the rulings costs businesses as much as $37,000 to revamp their Web sites, the report says.

A report last year by the Institute for Legal Reform found that costs associated with litigation drove up prices for goods and services purchased by the average New York household by $6,600 annually — the highest rate in the nation. [NYP]

Fare Evasion Costs the MTA $215 MillionThe Metropolitan Transportation Authority expects to lose about $215 million to fare evasion on New York City’s subway and buses in 2018, according to officials.

During a presentation to MTA board members on Monday in lower Manhattan, officials warned that the rate of fare evasion on buses of about 13% in 2017 was significantly higher than the average of 4.1% at comparable transit agencies. This year, bus fare evasion is expected to cost the MTA $119 million.

On the subway, officials said that a decision last year by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. largely to stop prosecuting turnstile jumpers has driven a significant increase in fare beating. The MTA estimated the cost this year of subway fare evasion at $96 million.

Mr. Vance’s office, in a statement Monday, rejected the claim. A spokesman said the policy didn’t preclude police officers from issuing civil and criminal tickets for fare beating. The spokesman added that by freeing officers from having to process arrestees, more officers are available to patrol the system. [WSJ]

D’Amato to Trump: Get over Cuomo feud and fund new Hudson tunnels

The Gateway Program to expand and revitalize rail tunnels beneath the Hudson River could be a major boon to President Trump’s legacy — so long as he can look past Gov. Cuomo’s critiques to fund it, veteran New York Republican Al D’Amato said Sunday.

“The [Hudson River tunnel] is essential,” the former U.S. senator told host John Catsimatidis on his 970 AM radio show. “I hope that the president does not take out his political animus on the Governor or on the state, but rather recognizes, as a very successful entrepreneur, how important this project can and will be.” [NYP]

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Trump, first lady pay respects to Bush in CapitolPresident Trump and First Lady Melania Trump made an unannounced visit to Capitol Hill on Monday night to pay their respects to the late President George H.W. Bush, who died Friday and is lying in state in the Capitol Rotunda.

Their private visit to Bush’s flag-draped casket lasted about two minutes. They didn’t speak as they bowed their heads and paid tribute, but Trump saluted and the first lady put her hand over her heart before they turned and left. After a quick, uneventful six-minute ride down Pennsylvania Avenue, the Trumps were back at the White House.

The Trumps’s visit came well after bipartisan congressional leaders held a ceremony in the Rotunda for the 41st president that was attended by Bush’s son, former President George W. Bush; Bush 41’s vice president, Dan Quayle; a number of the elder Bush’s Cabinet members and many other dignitaries.

The Trumps did not attend that ceremony, but are expected to attend Bush’s funeral service at National Cathedral on Wednesday. [THEHILL]

Bush family promised Trump that funeral would avoid criticizing himThe Bush family promised President Trump that speeches and eulogies at the late George H.W. Bush’s funeral would avoid criticizing him, sources familiar with the funeral preparations told The Washington Post. 

The family reportedly assured Trump that the elder Bush’s funeral would not include the anti-Trump messaging on display at the August funeral for the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

“The comparisons are presenting themselves; we are not heightening them,” a source familiar with funeral preparations told the Post.

Bush, who served as president from 1989 to 1993, died on Friday night. He was 94 years old. 
Trump has previously feuded with the Bush family, mocking the late Bush’s “thousand points of light” volunteer organization and his two sons at various points. 

Former President George W. Bush will be among those eulogizing his late father during the Wednesday funeral. Trump is not scheduled to speak.

The White House has provided the Bush family with Air Force One and permitted them to stay at the official guesthouse across the street from the White House.

Trump was reportedly distraught over the multiple digs at him during McCain’s funeral over the summer. Trump had a contentious relationship with the Arizona Republican even in the final months of his life, and many of those who spoke at McCain’s funeral, including his daughter, offered rebukes of Trump’s presidency. [THEHILL]

McConnell Predicts Lawmakers Will Avoid Government ShutdownWASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted lawmakers would avert a government shutdown when a proposed stopgap measure expires later this month, saying neither party wants the political blame for a lapse in funding.

“I don’t think we’ll get to that point,” Mr. McConnell said Monday,addressing the annual meeting of The Wall Street Journal CEO Council. The Kentucky Republican suggested that President Trump negotiate with Democrats, whom he said were “not irrelevant” in Washington after last month’s midterm elections gave the party control of the House.

Mr. McConnell spoke hours after congressional leaders introduced a two-week spending bill to give lawmakers more time to avoid a partial shutdown; current government funding expires this weekend. The talks on a short-term measure had been in the works last week but an extension quickly became more necessary because of former President George H.W. Bush’s funeral proceedings in Washington.

The biggest point of contention remains Mr. Trump’s demand that Congress approve $5 billion to build more of a wall along the southern border. Democrats have balked at the $5 billion figure, but Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said last week that Senate Democrats would support $1.6 billion in border security that was included in a bipartisan Senate bill.

“He and Schumer and Pelosi need to sit down and discuss how to resolve the differences,” Mr. McConnell said, referring to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.).

Mr. McConnell, in an evening dinner before a group of the nation’s chief executives, also sized up the split nature of the next Congress. Mrs. Pelosi is poised to lead the Democrats as House speaker after the party picked up 40 seats in the House; meanwhile, Mr. McConnell will lead an expanded 53-47 Republican majority in the Senate.

Mr. McConnell said that divided government was the “perfect time” to deal with big issues. [WSJ]

Dem governors on 2020: Opposing Trump not enoughNEW ORLEANS — Democratic governors coming off their best election cycle in nearly 40 years say their victories in red and purple states this year show the party must offer ideas that go beyond opposition to President Trump in the upcoming presidential contest.

In interviews this weekend, both incumbent and incoming governors said their party has at times failed to communicate properly with middle-class voters, especially in Midwestern states critical to winning the White House, an implicit critique of the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.

They said candidates who won this year did so by focusing on local issues like roads and infrastructure, education and health care.

“The Democratic Party writ large has to stand for something more than being against Trump. That is so important, and I think governors lead on that,” said Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D), the newly elected chairwoman of the Democratic Governors Association.

The message for the 2020 presidential contest, Lujan Grisham said, is that Trump has to play some part in the Democratic message.

“You can’t just run against Trump or anybody else. You have to be running for something,” Lujan Grisham said in an interview. But she added: “Here’s a guy that said, ‘Not going to be status quo, I’m for you, I’m going to make sure that I’m paying attention, and I’m going to fight for you.’ And things are worse. Well, that’s an important thing to remind voters about.” [THEHILL]

Sanders eyes ‘bigger’ 2020 bid despite some warning signsBURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — An insurgent underdog no more, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is laying the groundwork to launch a bigger presidential campaign than his first, as advisers predict he would open the 2020 Democratic presidential primary season as a political powerhouse.

A final decision has not been made, but those closest to the 77-year-old self-described democratic socialist suggest that neither age nor interest from a glut of progressive presidential prospects would dissuade him from undertaking a second shot at the presidency. And as Sanders’ brain trust gathered for a retreat in Vermont over the weekend, some spoke openly about a 2020 White House bid as if it was almost a foregone conclusion.

“This time, he starts off as a front-runner, or one of the front-runners,” Sanders’ 2016 campaign manager Jeff Weaver told The Associated Press, highlighting the senator’s proven ability to generate massive fundraising through small-dollar donations and his ready-made network of staff and volunteers.

Weaver added: “It’ll be a much bigger campaign if he runs again, in terms of the size of the operation.”

Amid the enthusiasm — and there was plenty in Burlington as the Sanders Institute convened his celebrity supporters, former campaign staff and progressive policy leaders — there were also signs of cracks in Sanders’ political base. His loyalists are sizing up a prospective 2020 Democratic field likely to feature a collection of ambitious liberal leaders — and not the establishment-minded Hillary Clinton. [AP]


(JTA) — The United Nations General Assembly approved six anti-Israel resolutions, including two that reject Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and Jerusalem.

The resolution on Jerusalem, which refers to the Temple Mount only by its Arab name of Haram al-Sharif and states that under Israeli administration of Jerusalem there is a lack of religious freedom, passed by a vote of 148 votes in favor, 11 against and 14 abstentions.

Other resolutions dealt with “the Syrian Golan,” “Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat,” and “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine,” among others. They passed by equally wide margins on Friday.

The General Assembly is scheduled to vote Thursday on a U.S.-sponsored resolution condemning Hamas for “indiscriminate attacks on civilians and primary role in the worsening humanitarian and economic situation in Gaza, and actions to restrict free expression and silence political dissent.” [JTA]

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Relief rally boosts Wall Street on U.S.-China trade truce

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s major indexes rallied on Monday following a truce between the United States and China in their trade dispute, which has clouded the outlook for the stock market for much of the year.

The benchmark S&P 500 .SPX climbed more than 1 percent, building off of its biggest weekly percentage gain in nearly seven years a week ago.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 287.97 points, or 1.13 percent, to 25,826.43, the S&P 500 gained 30.2 points, or 1.09 percent, to 2,790.37 and the Nasdaq Composite added 110.98 points, or 1.51 percent, to 7,441.51.

Last week, the S&P 500 gained 4.8 percent as investors interpreted commentary from the Federal Reserve as signaling that U.S. interest rate hikes may be less aggressive than feared. The index rebounded after confirming its second 10 percent correction of the year, and is now up 4.4 percent in 2018. [REUTERS]

Verizon, Samsung to release 5G smartphones in U.S. in 2019(Reuters) – Verizon Communications Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd on Monday confirmed long-held industry expectations they would seek to steal a march on Apple Inc by launching U.S. 5G smartphones in the first half of 2019.

The two companies said in a statement they would unveil a prototype, using Qualcomm Inc’s modem chips, at the chipmaker’s annual Snapdragon Technology Summit in Maui, Hawaii this week.

While Verizon is leading the charge to trial 5G in some cities next year, industry analysts say the higher-speed networks are unlikely to be widely available until the middle of the next decade. [REUTERS]

Trump, Looking Beyond GM, Seeks to End All Electric Car Tax Credits, Kudlow Says

President Trump’s top economic adviser said the administration is looking to eliminate subsidies on electric cars, a move that could hamper the auto industry’s push to broaden the market for battery-powered vehicles.

“As a matter of our policy, we want to end all those subsidies,” Lawrence Kudlow said on Monday. “And by the way, other subsidies imposed during the Obama administration—renewables, etc. We are a free market.”

Last week, Mr. Trump said he is considering pulling all subsidies for General Motors Co., including for electric cars, although he didn’t specify what subsidies GM was receiving. The president’s threat followed the auto maker’s decision to lay off nearly 15,000 salaried and factory workers, including at plants in Ohio and Michigan.

On Monday, Mr. Kudlow said the president was referring to an Obama-era stimulus package that created a $7,500 consumer tax credit for the purchase of electric cars. He said the president’s considerations about revoking subsidies may not be directed specifically at GM, noting, “legally, you really can’t.”

It is unclear whether the president has the authority to take this type of action because the stimulus package was created by legislation. [WSJ]

United launches new ‘premium economy’ class between coach and business for some of its longest flightsUnited started selling seats in so-called premium economy class on Monday. Travelers willing to pay more than the regular coach-class fare will get bigger seats with deeper reclines than those in regular economy, amenity kits, free alcoholic beverages and noise-reducing headphones, among other perks.

Other airlines around the world — including United’s closest competitors at home, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines — already offer a version of premium economy and are in the process of expanding it to more aircraft. It is part of airlines’ efforts to slice their cabins into new sections to encourage passengers to pay higher fares to avoid the skimpiest services.

The price of a ticket aboard United’s version varies depending on the route and demand, but an April 12-19, 2019, trip from Newark to Hong Kong showed up as $1,071, while a seat in premium economy was close to $3,660. Business class for the same route was $7,050.

United said the premium economy class, which it is calling “Premium Plus,” will be on 21 international routes by May and service will begin on some international flights starting on March 30, 2019. [CNBC]

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סגולה לשמירת עינים ולהצלחה להינצל מחטא
וִיהִי רָצוֹן מִלְּפָנֶיךָ ה’ אֱלֹקינוּ וֵאלֹקי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ שֶׁתַּרְגִּילֵנוּ בְּתוֹרָתֶךָ. וְדְבִּקֵינוּ בְּמִצְוׂתֶיךָ. וְאַל תְּבִיאֵנוּ לֹא לִידֵי חֵטְא. וְלֹא לִידֵי עֲבֵרָה וְעָוֹן. וְלֹא לִידֵי נִסָּיוֹן. וְלֹא לִידֵי בִזָּיוֹן. וְאַל יִשְׁלוֹט בָּנוּ יֵצֶר הָרָע. וְהַרְחִיקֵנוּ מֵאָדָם רָע וּמֵחָבֵר רָע. וְדַבְּקֵנוּ בְּיֵצֶר טוֹב וּבְמַעֲשִׂים טוֹבִים. וְכֹף אֶת יִצְרֵנוּ לְהִשְׁתַּעְבֶּד לָךְ.


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