No Picture

SPA trains 44 journalists on first aid during emergencies

Author: 
Arab News
Wed, 2016-12-28
ID: 
1482877701685834400

RIYADH: Forty-four journalists of the Saudi Press Agency and various media in the Kingdom have conducted training experiences during the “first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) course for reporters” that was organized by SPA on Sunday in collaboration with King Saud University/Clinical Skills and Simulation Center, at its headquarters in Riyadh.
This event comes to help journalists learn the best medical means to save any human casualty they might see during their press duties, especially in dangerous places.
The course has provided journalists and reporters with general and specialized skills according to practical scenarios prepared by SPA with the Clinical Skills and Simulation Center to learn how to perform first aid when exposed to sudden medical emergencies that necessitate rapid human intervention, in addition to explaining the kinds of injuries that people could experience in public places inside cities, or in dangerous places that require the existence of journalists to cover events.
Participants in the course carried out simulations on the recovery of the heart and lungs after a sudden stop which leads to lack of oxygen to the brain and the loss of consciousness, so as to save the injured until the ambulance squad arrives.
They also were trained on the use of a defibrillator and how to do compressions on the chest, in addition to artificial respiration for adults and children.
They also performed practical scenarios on how to save those who have difficulty in breathing, according to scientific steps that could help the injured.
The participants were trained on how to use an epinephrine auto-injector, a medical device used to give a dose (or doses) of epinephrine (known as adrenaline) using auto-injector technology which is widely used in the treatment of allergic reactions to avoid acute anaphylactic shock.
President of Saudi Press Agency, Abdullah bin Fahd Al-Hussein said: “This session comes within the framework of agreements of cooperation between the Saudi Press Agency and the University of King Saud for the exchange of experiences between the two sides in all fields, as well as to enhance the overall concept of cooperation between the various sectors of the state in line with the Saudi Vision 2030.”
Al-Hussein stressed that the Saudi Press Agency will always hold such events and others based on its social responsibility.

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Al-Amr: Nebras is a pioneer in anti-drug efforts

Author: 
Arab News
Wed, 2016-12-28
ID: 
1482877701665834100

RIYADH: Civil Defense Director General Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Amr said Tuesday that the youth should be aware of the fact that the country is targeted, and be wary about anybody who attempts to mess with the security of the homeland and push young people to drug addiction.
Speaking at an awareness-raising lecture at the Civil Defense headquarters, in the presence of the secretary-general of the national committee to combat drugs, Al-Amr praised the National Project for the Prevention of Narcotics (Nebras), saying that it is a pioneer national project that works to combat all attempts to target the young generations.
He also commended efforts to raise awareness to the problem of drugs and their negative repercussions on individuals, family and society.
Secretary-General of (Nebras), Abdul Ilah bin Mohammed Al-Sharif, praised the efforts to combat drugs by authorities that are implementing the leadership’s directives, pointing out that the Kingdom is facing a drug war on its youth.
Al-Sharif added that the great efforts exerted by the security forces, especially the Civil Defense personnel, help save lives.
During the event different seminars were also held, including one on Nebras as a national project that works to create awareness among the youth, lower the number of crimes and support NGOs that strive to create a drug-free environment.
The project also provides several services, including the 1955 toll-free number, to ease communication with the community.

Main category: 

No Picture

Al-Amr: Nebras is a pioneer in anti-drug efforts

Author: 
Arab News
Wed, 2016-12-28
ID: 
1482877701665834100

RIYADH: Civil Defense Director General Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Amr said Tuesday that the youth should be aware of the fact that the country is targeted, and be wary about anybody who attempts to mess with the security of the homeland and push young people to drug addiction.
Speaking at an awareness-raising lecture at the Civil Defense headquarters, in the presence of the secretary-general of the national committee to combat drugs, Al-Amr praised the National Project for the Prevention of Narcotics (Nebras), saying that it is a pioneer national project that works to combat all attempts to target the young generations.
He also commended efforts to raise awareness to the problem of drugs and their negative repercussions on individuals, family and society.
Secretary-General of (Nebras), Abdul Ilah bin Mohammed Al-Sharif, praised the efforts to combat drugs by authorities that are implementing the leadership’s directives, pointing out that the Kingdom is facing a drug war on its youth.
Al-Sharif added that the great efforts exerted by the security forces, especially the Civil Defense personnel, help save lives.
During the event different seminars were also held, including one on Nebras as a national project that works to create awareness among the youth, lower the number of crimes and support NGOs that strive to create a drug-free environment.
The project also provides several services, including the 1955 toll-free number, to ease communication with the community.

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No Picture

“HFT In My Backyard” – The Intro

By Sniper in Mahwah

HFTs In My Backyard

The Intro

Paris

“Life is not only HFT, and it goes by even faster”. I totally agree with this statement by @MarcosCarreira, made in his review of the last Market Microstructure – Confronting Many Viewpoints organized in Paris two weeks ago. As I attended the conference two years ago (I even gave a little speech at the speakers’ dinner, I was honored to be invited to talk about “market microstructure in the Middle Ages” – this year the speakers’ dinner speech was by Donald MacKenzie), I came back in the French capital for two days to listen to some interesting (but a little bit complex) talks about “Instability from Information Efficiency” or “High-Frequency Trading and Extreme Price Movements” or “Dissecting Cross-Impact on Stock Markets: An Empirical Analysis” and so on. If you like finance, market structure and mathematics, this conference is the place to be; if you don’t get the extra-long mathematical formulas (like me), this is the place to be too since there are opportunities to meet people involved in the market (structure) industry (read Marcos’ review to learn more about what happened in Paris this year).

Two years ago the best moment I had was a coffee I had with microwave provider McKay Brothers’ CEO Stéphane Tyc (one of the best players in the HFT “arm race”) and Eric Budish (an academic from Chicago who wants to slow down the market with auctions) – the two obviously totally disagree on HF, but the chat was quite challenging. This year I met Sebastian, who works for Deutsche Börse/Eurex as an engineer, in charge of the matching engine of the exchanges (the matching engines are like the old pits: a place where buyers and sellers meet, collocated as close as possible to the engine). It’s always good to see the face behind a Twitter account. We had a lunch and discussed about the design of such engines – to me the main issue here is information dissemination: when a trades occur, most often the buyer and the seller know about the trade (sometimes far) before the transaction is publicly disseminated to the other participants. It seems like Eurex want to reduce this gap (check out this technical document). (This issue is not a small one: I recently learnt that because of a software upgrade, an exchange having a matching engine in UK allow the buyer and the seller involved in a trade to know about it 70 microseconds before the other participants, and this is a lot, such a thing should not exist). Sebastian also introduced me to two of his colleagues who work for the CME Group, on the matching engines (it seems like they were in Paris quite incognito), so the next day I had a lunch with three guys with whom I had the opportunity to know more about the way they design this critical and technical piece at the center of capitalism – the matching engine). Very interesting. Nice guys, nice lunch.

More important: by listening to the various talks about HFT, the engineers realized (one more time) how serious is the problem of data. Lots of academics complain because they can’t get recent data from the exchanges (given the scandalous amounts of money the exchanges earn by selling data to the ones who generate it, they obviously don’t offer it for free to other people); we even joked about the fact some academics still rely on a (now un)famous data set from Nasdaq, for the years 2008 and 2009, to analyze HFT activity (this is a non sense). The very good news is (at least this is their personal view) they are willing to give more data to the academics (“we’ll see what we can do in terms of better providing data sets to academics and guidance on how to use them”). Hurray. The most important would be to get data from more than one exchange, as it’s nearly impossible to learn about what’s going on in the markets with data coming from one venue (a trader may remove liquidity here and add liquidity there, etc.). Data is everything, for both the traders and the academics.

Moscow

Speaking of mathematics, people reading French  maybe interested by this book whose the English title would be Imaginary numbers in Geometry: Les Imaginaires en géométrie. Extension du domaine des images géométriques à deux dimensions (Essai d’une nouvelle concrétisation des imaginaires) by Pavel Florensky (1882-1937). Florensky was quite a fascinating Russian mathematician and an Orthodox priest (check out Wiki) who wrote the most part of this book when he was studying mathematics in Moscow, but the last part was done 20 years later when Moscow celebrated the five hundredth anniversary of Italian poet Dante’s death. The book is full of mathematical formulas I don’t understand, but in short, as Wiki rightly pointed out, “it’s devoted to the geometrical interpretation of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. Among other things, he proclaimed that the geometry of imaginary numbers predicted by the theory of relativity for a body moving faster than light is the geometry of the Kingdom of God. For mentioning the Kingdom of God in that work, he was accused of agitation by Soviet authorities.” – this is worst: this book was one of the reasons Florensky was sent to a gulag, where he lived for years before being executed with a single bullet to the head. A sad story. 

The foreword of the book is by mathematician Cédric Villani (Fields Medal in 2010) (“À travers sa tentative de synthèse entre science et spiritualité, saluons le courage d’une pensée ardente qui refusa d’être une brique sagement rangée dans un édifice, si magnifique soit-il” Cédric writes) and there is a long introduction by physicist Pierre Vanhove (who works on perturbative and non-perturbative string theory, among other topics). Pierre was the last people to be involved in the translation of the book from Russian to French – the amazing story is that this translation was first started in 1926 by a friend of Florensky, so it took nearly one century to finish it! This is a fascinating book, even if you don’t understand all the formulas. If some Russian-speaking quants are interested, here a link for the Russian text. A world where it would be possible to be faster than the speed of light c cannot but interest high-frequency traders…

Richborough

I don’t forget I also have to finish the “HFT in the banana land” spin-off. I have been quite silent here about the ongoing battle between Vigilant Global and Jump/KCG/New Line Networks who seek to erect giant 305-mteer (or 322-meter – it’s a big difference as you’ll see later) in Richborough, UK, where the majority of the residents and the majority of the local public bodies don’t want such masts in their backyard. But the final verdict will be given by the Dover District Council, and the council is not required to follow the opinion coming from the different parishes. I have been following what’s going there for months now, obviously I read all planning application documents (here and there), I have exchanged dozens of emails with a local activist, Bass de Banaan, who is against the masts and worked hard to understand what’s going on there, and so on. As soon as the Dover District Council confirms the date of the meeting where the masts will be discussed (decided?) I’ll post the penultimate episode of “HFT in the banana land”. In the meantime, an article about this battle should appear in Square Mile magazine (UK), and a multimedia article should be online soon on the Het Financieele Dagblad website (Netherlands).

From Richborough Fort – inside the fort. The landscape with no mast.

Cumulative photomontage from Richborough Fort – inside the fort. The landscape with the New Line Networks (left) and Vigilant Global (right) masts.

My backyard

The problem with the “HFT in my backyard” series is: I have too much data but not enough time to write the complete story of the microwave networks linking London and Frankufrt. Another problem is new networks showed up (or will show up soon), so it’s a never ending story. Life is short, I’m working on more interesting stuff and from February 2017 I’ll be busier, so I won’t have the time for a long season 2—I’ll just try to summarize some interesting/amazing/serious/fun/weird/not cool stuff, 10 episodes at most. But I decided to write a book (or half a book) about this saga—I’ll detail in an upcoming episode. One of the reasons I got too much data is I have new friends—people working in the telco area—who helped me to spot new HFT dishes in France (human intel and field work are good). One even downloaded the (UK regulator) Ofcom data base to generate a map with allll the wireless networks in UK; if you keep only the HFT microwave links, it looks like that:

Click to enlarge

(The long green Aviat network going from Slough to Cork is of particular interest 😉 but that’s for an other episode). One of these new friends is in touch with @russss, who “likes infrastructure”, and Russ “added an experimental microwave (HFT) layer, showing microwave links in the UK operated by trading firms” on his Open Infrastructure Map; here is the Channel area:

Click to enlarge

A lot of people are working to map these networks, and that’s good, I’m not alone anymore. As for me, I’ll start “HFT in my backyard” season 2 with a first episode about a new network who showed up recently; it’s not about Frankfurt-London anymore, it’s about London-Zurich (and/or Milan?). Seems like two Dutch trading firms are on this new path (at least for now): one (whose name starts with a F) has a full network, the other (whose name starts with a O) is just starting it. Moving towards new horizons (be they 2, 6 or 12) is interesting. 


Click to enlarge

I’ll start the season 2 early January and I’ll try to finish it at the end of January, so that I’ll be able to move on. This has been quite a busy and tiring year, now it’s time to have a break. Merry Christmas to all.

A Christmas gift from Yale

Thanks a lot to Greg Laughlin for this very kind blog post; linking Opicino de Canistris’ map and  James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis is quite a excellent and feeling intuition.

Hanc blogis exiguitas non caperet is so true… As writer Jose Luis Borges wrote once, “the idea of the definitive text belongs only to religion or exhaustion”. That’s why it’s really time to rest.

The post “HFT In My Backyard” – The Intro appeared first on crude-oil.top.



No Picture

Polish truck driver shot long before Berlin attack: Report

Author: 
Reuters, AFP
Wed, 2016-12-28
ID: 
1482876372585545200

BERLIN: A Polish truck driver whose hijacked vehicle was used to crash into a Berlin Christmas market was shot in the head several hours before the attack and could not have attempted to foil it as previously thought, Bild newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The newspaper quoted a confidential coroners report that said driver Lukasz Urban, 37, had suffered not only knife wounds in a battle in the truck cabin but also a gun shot wound to the head some 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours before the 8 p.m. attack.
There was no confirmation to the Bild report available.
A total of 12 people were killed in the attack last Monday. The Tunisian assailant, 24-year-old Anis Amri, was shot dead by Italian police in shootout on Friday after a European-wide manhunt. In a video released after his death, he is seen pledging his allegiance to militant group Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
The Berlin state interior minister Andreas Geisel had said on Friday that Urban had “quite probably” tried to disrupt the attack by seizing control of the steering wheel before being shot in the head after the truck veered to the left. It came to a halt after driving for just 60 meters into the market that extended more than 400 meters, averting further deaths.
This helped start a crowdfunding campaign that raised over $170,000 for the family of Urban. The campaign was started by British truck driver Dave Duncan a day after the assailant attacked Lukasz and hijacked his truck.
Meanwhile, calls grew in Germany on Monday for the government to posthumously honour the driver who is believed to have saved many lives during the Christmas market attack.
More than 33,000 people had signed an online petition at Change.org by Monday afternoon, demanding that Lukasz Urban be awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, the highest civilian honour, by German President Joachim Gauck.
Opposition Greens party lawmaker Omid Nouripour meanwhile called on Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to honour Urban with the national Order of Merit.
The Change.org petition said that “according to current reports, the autopsy shows that he struggled with the perpetrator and was severely injured and eventually killed by him”.
“With this heroic act, he probably saved many lives … For this bravery, he deserves Germany’s highest decoration.”

Main category: 

No Picture

Polish truck driver shot long before Berlin attack: Report

Author: 
Reuters, AFP
Wed, 2016-12-28
ID: 
1482876372585545200

BERLIN: A Polish truck driver whose hijacked vehicle was used to crash into a Berlin Christmas market was shot in the head several hours before the attack and could not have attempted to foil it as previously thought, Bild newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The newspaper quoted a confidential coroners report that said driver Lukasz Urban, 37, had suffered not only knife wounds in a battle in the truck cabin but also a gun shot wound to the head some 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours before the 8 p.m. attack.
There was no confirmation to the Bild report available.
A total of 12 people were killed in the attack last Monday. The Tunisian assailant, 24-year-old Anis Amri, was shot dead by Italian police in shootout on Friday after a European-wide manhunt. In a video released after his death, he is seen pledging his allegiance to militant group Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.
The Berlin state interior minister Andreas Geisel had said on Friday that Urban had “quite probably” tried to disrupt the attack by seizing control of the steering wheel before being shot in the head after the truck veered to the left. It came to a halt after driving for just 60 meters into the market that extended more than 400 meters, averting further deaths.
This helped start a crowdfunding campaign that raised over $170,000 for the family of Urban. The campaign was started by British truck driver Dave Duncan a day after the assailant attacked Lukasz and hijacked his truck.
Meanwhile, calls grew in Germany on Monday for the government to posthumously honour the driver who is believed to have saved many lives during the Christmas market attack.
More than 33,000 people had signed an online petition at Change.org by Monday afternoon, demanding that Lukasz Urban be awarded the Federal Cross of Merit, the highest civilian honour, by German President Joachim Gauck.
Opposition Greens party lawmaker Omid Nouripour meanwhile called on Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to honour Urban with the national Order of Merit.
The Change.org petition said that “according to current reports, the autopsy shows that he struggled with the perpetrator and was severely injured and eventually killed by him”.
“With this heroic act, he probably saved many lives … For this bravery, he deserves Germany’s highest decoration.”

Main category: 

No Picture

Trump Tower Being Evacuated By FDNY, NYPD Due To “Suspicious Package” – Live Feed

Trump Tower is being evacuated due to a “suspicious package” according to NYPD. The president-elect is not at that location (currently in Florida).

Live Feed (via NBC4):

NYPD spox just confirmed to me that the Trump Tower was being evacuated due to a “suspicious package at the location”

— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) December 27, 2016

  • *NYPD INVESTIGATING SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE AT TRUMP TOWER: NYPD
  • *NYPD SPOKESWOMAN COMMENTS IN PHONE CALL ON TRUMP TOWER
  • *PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP HAD NO PUBLIC EVENTS TODAY

 

BREAKING: Trump Tower in New York City being evacuated, no word on cause; the president-elect is not at the location

— BNO News (@BNONews) December 27, 2016

@writefreedom09 pic.twitter.com/A0wAeibTFo

— Cielo (@cielo_celest) December 27, 2016

The post Trump Tower Being Evacuated By FDNY, NYPD Due To “Suspicious Package” – Live Feed appeared first on crude-oil.top.


No Picture

Here’s Who Democrats Say Are The Top 15 Presidential Candidates For 2020

As Democrats continue to slowly come to terms with their stunning defeat on November 8th, one coping mechanism that has helped them to deal with the grief is getting a head start on a list of most likely new saviors who can defeat the evil Donald Trump in 2020 and restore “Hope” to America.  As such, Niall Stanage of The Hill has compiled a list of the 15 most likely challengers.  Most of the list is not terribly surprising and includes a number of establishment politicians which, given how the 2016 election cycle evolved, would almost certainly result in another Trump victory.

Among the “establishment” names on the list, both Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine were noted as 2020 hopefuls despite their epic defeat in 2016.  Vice President Joe Biden eked out a top-10 place after having been defeated twice before in 1998 and 2008.  Meanwhile, despite repeated denials, First Lady Michelle Obama came in at a respectable 6th place.

Potential political newbies that could vie for the presidency in 2020 included Cory Booker, a senator of New Jersey, and Senator-elect Kamala Harris of California.  While The Hill notes that Harris could face criticism for her lack of “political experience,” Trump’s victory would seems to suggest that to be a positive rather than a negative attribute and ironically, she would have the same level of “political experience” in 2020 as Obama had when he ran in 2008.

Finally, in the “outlier” category, The Hill rounded out their Top 15 with Oprah Winfrey who, for the most part, stayed out of politics until going all-in for Barack Obama in 2008.

Of course, the only prominent contender for 2020 that didn’t seem to make The Hill’s list was Kanye West.  We assume this was a simple mistake and look forward to the prompt correction.

Kanye

 

With that, here is The Hill’s official list of the 15 democratic hopefuls for 2020:

1. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.)

 How would the 2016 election have panned out had Warren challenged Clinton in the primary? That’s one of the great unknowables of Democratic politics. But now, there is little doubt that the Massachusetts senator is the leading contender for the 2020 nomination.

 

Warren, a former Harvard Law School professor, has been beloved by the left throughout her late-blooming political career, largely because of her no-punches-pulled attacks on banks and the financial industry. She got under Trump’s skin via Twitter during the 2016 campaign too.

 

The recent news that Warren will join the Senate Armed Services Committee in January has stoked speculation that she is looking to bolster her foreign policy and national security credentials in advance of a presidential run. Warren would be 71 by the time of the next election, but she is three years younger than Trump.

 

2. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

 Sanders came from semi-obscurity in the Senate to give Clinton a serious run for her money in the battle for the Democratic nomination this year.

 

He won 23 contests and amassed more than 13 million votes. He also fired the enthusiasm of young voters and progressives, two pillars of the Democratic base that Clinton struggled to charm.

 

The Vermonter’s focus on income inequality and his broader point that the system is rigged against working Americans resonated. Sanders’s main problem when it comes to a 2020 run could be his age. He will be 79 next Election Day. Still, Sanders might well be tempted to try one more time — especially if Warren stood aside.

 

3. Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.)

 Booker raised eyebrows earlier this month when it emerged that he would join the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when the new Congress convenes. As with Warren and the Armed Services panel, his decision was interpreted as an effort to burnish his resume for a potential presidential run.

 

Booker is just 47, and he is one of only two African-Americans in the Senate for now. (That number will rise to three in January when California’s Kamala Harris will be sworn in.)

 

He is also one of the most media-savvy members in the upper chamber — a trait that has been apparent since the start of his career, when his first, failed bid to become mayor of Newark was captured in a sympathetic documentary, “Street Fight.”

 

Booker is far from the most liberal member of the caucus. During the 2012 presidential campaign, he criticized an Obama campaign ad that hit Mitt Romney’s business record, insisting on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, “I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity.”

 

An optimistic view is that he could bridge the gap between the progressive and center-left strands of the party. Skeptics will question whether he is a little too corporate-friendly for the tastes of Democratic primary voters.

 

4. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)

Klobuchar has already appeared on several shortlists of likely contenders for the nomination, and it’s not hard to see why.

 

The New Yorker called her, “popular, practical, appealing [and] progressive.” She is from a state where the currents of labor and progressivism run strong. But the no-nonsense, affable Klobuchar could also plausibly appeal to Rust Belt voters whom her party needs to win over.

 

One issue for Klobuchar right now is that she does not have a high profile outside of her native state and the Beltway. There is plenty of time to change that if she wants to run and win in 2020. But she could be eclipsed by higher-wattage candidates.

 

5. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y)

 Gillibrand followed in Clinton’s footsteps when she replaced her as a New York senator in 2009. Could she do the same at the presidential level — but actually win the White House?

 

It’s certainly possible. Gillibrand’s profile has risen in tandem with her making the prevention of sexual assaults in the military a signature issue. Representing New York, she has easy access to the national media and to powerful Democratic fundraising networks.

 

But Gillibrand’s similarities with Clinton, superficial though they may be, could go against her. It’s just not clear Democrats would roll the dice again, as soon as 2020, on another prominent female nominee from New York.

Critics also charge that Gillibrand emphasized more centrist positions as a congresswoman from a somewhat conservative district than she does as a senator from a liberal state.

 

6. First lady Michelle Obama

 If the first lady exhibited even a slight inclination to run, she would be ranked near the top of this list.

 

There is no figure in public life, with the possible exception of her husband, who has so strong a hold on liberal hearts and minds.

 

Obama has become more comfortable with her public role over the years. Her two major speeches during the 2016 campaign — one at the Democratic convention, another excoriating Trump for “hurtful, hateful language about women” — were among the most powerful delivered during the cycle.

 

The first lady insists that she won’t run, citing the effect such an effort would have on her two daughters among other factors. But Malia and Sasha Obama will be 22 and 19, respectively, by the time of the next election. When it comes to the first lady’s future plans, many Democrats still cling to the audacity of hope.

 

7. Gov. John Hickenlooper (Colo.)

 Hickenlooper presides over a state that is considered a key battleground, even though it has become more solidly Democratic in recent years. Colorado has gone for the Democratic nominee in the past three presidential elections and Clinton won the state by five points.

 

Hickenlooper, who has a politically effective down-to-earth persona, could potentially boost the party’s appeal in the heartlands. He has enjoyed solid approval ratings during his time in office.

 

One problem? While his chances are talked up among Beltway pundits, he is almost unknown in the nation at large.

 

8. Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.)

 Murphy has come to the fore on the issue of gun control. He can speak with moral authority on the issue: In his state, a gunman killed 20 young children, as well as six adults, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. President Obama has called that moment the worst day of his presidency.

 

Politically speaking, Murphy would need to display more policy breadth and heighten his national profile if he is to be a genuine contender. For the moment, he’s one to watch.

 

9. Vice President Joe Biden

The vice president could have definitively ruled himself out of the running, but hasn’t. He joked with reporters about the possibility earlier this month, and then sought to clarify by saying he had “no intention” of running.

 

Biden would clearly have loved to run in 2016, were it not for the fact that he was still grieving the loss of his son, Beau. Biden’s age is a real issue, however. He would be 77 by next Election Day. If he won, he would turn 78 before being inaugurated.

 

For all his political skills, his two previous runs for the presidency, in 1988 and 2008, ended in failure.

 

10. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (N.Y.)

 On paper, Cuomo looks like a strong candidate. He is the governor of a huge, liberal state and hails from a well-established political family. Cuomo’s late father, Mario, served as governor of the Empire State for three terms.

 

No one doubts the younger Cuomo’s ambition, but whether he is the right fit for the times is a tougher question. In a party where the left is ascendant, he has positioned himself as a centrist foil to New York City’s liberal mayor, Bill de Blasio. It’s not clear what Cuomo’s power base would be for a primary fight.

 

11. Sen.-elect Kamala Harris (Calif.)

 Harris is one of the bright spots for Democrats who are dismayed by their failure to retake the Senate. She will succeed the retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer in January.

 

Harris has been seen as a rising star in the party for some time, her fans including President Obama, who once praised her in imprudent terms.

 

Harris, a leading lawyer before shifting into politics, is the daughter of an Indian-American mother and a Jamaican-American father. It’s not clear she has any presidential ambitions and, if she ran in 2020, she would face criticism about her relative lack of political experience. But she would be as experienced as then-Sen. Obama was when he began his 2008 White House run.

 

12. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

 Could she run again? It’s possible. Many people thought Clinton’s electoral ambitions had ended in 2008, with her devastating loss to Obama in the Democratic primary. That turned out not to be the case.

 

There is still a large, wealthy circle of Clinton loyalists, who would back any future run. But, even if she had the appetite for a 2020 bid, she would have enormous hurdles to overcome.

 

One of the biggest would be the question of how she lost the presidency to Donald Trump. Beyond the hardline Clintonistas, there aren’t many Democratic insiders who were wowed by her campaign. In a USA Today/Suffolk University poll released earlier this month, 62 percent of Democrats and independents said Clinton should not run again.

 

13. Former Gov. Deval Patrick (Mass.)

 Patrick has considerable political skills and was once talked up as a potential inheritor of President Obama’s mantle. David Axelrod, one of the aides closest to Obama, worked with Patrick as well, and both Patrick and Obama adopted “Yes We Can!” as a campaign slogan.

 

But Patrick left office in 2015, and it’s just not clear whether he could — or would want to — come off the sidelines for 2020. He also joined Bain Capital, which is hardly the ideal launching pad for a quest to win over liberal activists.

 

14. Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.)

 Kaine achieved a new national prominence when Clinton named him as her 2016 running mate. But his performance was a mixed bag.

 

The Virginia senator gave some energetic speeches on the campaign trail, defying his reputation for dullness. On the other hand, his showing in his sole debate with his counterpart, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, was uneven at best.

 

15. Oprah Winfrey

 Trump proved how powerful a currency celebrity can be — and there may be no more trusted celebrity in America than Oprah. Having steered largely clear of partisan politics for most of her career, Winfrey became an enthusiastic backer of Obama when he looked a long shot to beat Hillary Clinton to the 2008 nomination.

 

Winfrey has said she “couldn’t breathe” after Trump won in November. She softened her stance later, but could she be tempted into a race to defeat the president-elect?

The post Here’s Who Democrats Say Are The Top 15 Presidential Candidates For 2020 appeared first on crude-oil.top.


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McCain says US committed to NATO, Baltic security

Author: 
Reuters
Wed, 2016-12-28
ID: 
1482875515145472200

TALLINN: The United States is committed to the security of the Baltic region and NATO, Republican Sen. John McCain said in the Estonian capital on Tuesday, during a visit seen as a bid to soothe concerns over the policy of President-elect Donald Trump.
Trump unnerved many in Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia by saying on the campaign trail he would consider a country’s contributions to the NATO alliance before coming to its aid.
Russian military involvement in Ukraine and Georgia has stoked fears in the Baltics their former Soviet master might eventually try something similar there.
“I think the presence of the American troops here in Estonia is a signal that we believe in what Ronald Reagan believed, and that is peace through strength,” McCain told reporters in the Estonian capital.
“And the best way to prevent Russian misbehavior by having a credible, strong military and a strong NATO alliance.”
The US stationed about 150 troops in each of the three Baltic countries and Poland in April 2014.
On a three-day visit to the Baltics with fellow Republican senator Lindsey Graham, McCain said he did not expect the US to remove sanctions against Russia, imposed after its annexation of Crimea in 2014.
“That is certainly not the case today as I know it,” he said.
He also said that the United States, regardless of who was its president, would have “a strong and significant response” as long as Putin continued “to occupy Crimea and has invaded eastern Ukraine and continues to threaten other nations in the region.”
Russia’s annexation of the Crimea in 2014 has fueled concerns in the Baltic states, all NATO members, that Moscow may want to reassert control across the whole region.
“There is fear in the Baltics about the incoming Trump administration’s relationship with Russia, that sanctions against Russia will be weakened or called off, and not strengthened as the Congress would want,” Zygimantas Pavilionis, Lithuania’s former ambassador to the US told Reuters.
He said Russia had gained confidence after the muted response to its actions in Georgia.
“If its actions in Ukraine are also forgiven, its next step is an open question,” he said.
McCain and Graham, who travel to Latvia on Wednesday and Lithuania on Thursday have expressed alarm at Trump’s attitude toward Russia.
They want Trump to take a tough line over what they termed Russia’s “military land grab” in Ukraine and have also called for a bipartisan panel to investigate cybertattacks against the United States, including Russia’s alleged efforts to influence the US presidential election.
“There is no doubt that the Russians were hacking, but there is doubt whether it had any effect on the outcome of the election,” McCain said.
“There is no evidence right now that indeed the Russian cybertattacks and the leaking of the information had any tangible effect on the outcome of the American election.”

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