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Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Starbucks is opening one store in China every 15 hours, the company's China CEO, Belinda Wong, told Squawk Box. China has become Starbucks' second largest and fastest growing market, and one the company expects to eclipse the U.S. market one day. Starbucks already operates more than 3,000 stores in the country and 2,000 more by 2021. The company on Tuesday company opened a 30,000-square-foot Reserve Roastery in Shanghai, its flashiest commitment to its growing Chinese business. It's the second Starbucks' Roastery to open and is twice the size of its flagship location in Seattle. Starbucks is now building more net new company-operated stores in China than in the U.S., said CEO Kevin Johnson, who replaced CEO Howard Schultz in April when the longtime leader transitioned into the role of executive chairman. read more

Monday, December 04, 2017

Billy Bush: He said it. "Grab 'em by the ---." Of course he said it. And we laughed along, without a single doubt that this was hypothetical hot air from America's highest-rated bloviator. Along with Donald Trump and me, there were seven other guys present on the bus at the time, and every single one of us assumed we were listening to a crass stand-up act. He was performing. Surely, we thought, none of this was real. We now know better. Recently I sat down and read an article dating from October of 2016; it was published days after my departure from NBC, a time when I wasn't processing anything productively. In it, the author reviewed the various firsthand accounts about Trump that, at that point, had come from 20 women. read more

Republican strategist Alex Castellanos said he believes "we're closer to impeachment now than we think" during a discussion on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" on Sunday.

Castellanos, who also serves as a CNN contributor, suggested that if Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore wins a special election next week, he could become the face of the party and hurt GOP candidates in next fall's midterm elections.

Asked by Stephanopoulos if special council Robert Mueller "posed an existential threat" to the President Trump given former national security adviser Michael Flynn's guilty plea on Friday, the veteran strategist said "I don't see that yet." read more

A top Democrat says that a Senate committee investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election is looking into potential obstruction of justice charges against President Donald Trump. Senator Dianne Feinstein, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that a group was "putting together of a case of obstruction of justice" against the President, during an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. "I think we see this in the indictments, the four indictments and pleas that have just taken place and some of the comments that are being made," Feinstein said, explaining the exploration in the Senate for obstruction charges. read more

Charles Blow: Steve Bannon may no longer be physically in the White House, but his spirit lingers there as the guide of the Donald Trump administration and the soul at the core of its beliefs. Bannon is Dickensian in the way his presence -- and nominal absence -- haunts the Trump presidency, defining its past, dictating its present and damning its future. Bannon is the author of Trump's ideology. It is always worth remembering that Bannon, who departed the White House in mid-August and returned to his right-wing website Breitbart the same day, last year proudly told Mother Jones: "We're the platform for the alt-right." Alt-right is just a new name for Nazis and racists. Maybe more important, the Nazis and racists believe that Breitbart is a welcoming platform for them. read more


"In the summer of 2016, The New Yorker detailed how Deutsche Bank was involved with a complex scheme to move as much as $10 billion out of Russia on behalf of powerful individuals facing sanctions in the West.

In fact, according to Deutsche Bank's own public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice is actively investigating the case. However, last month, CNN reported that since Trump came to office, the Justice Department investigation into the Russian money-laundering scandal had gone dormant.

It is not clear why. (The Department of Justice did not respond to a request for comment.)

Earlier this year, congressional Democrats asked the German bank to turn over information regarding Trump's loans with the firm, but the bank rebuffed the requests.

There is no public indication of precisely why Mueller subpoenaed the bank. Michael Offit, a former head of Deutsche Bank's commercial real estate desk who initiated the bank's relationship with Trump in the 1990s, raises one possibility: Mueller could be interested in who provided the money Deutsche Bank used for the Trump loans.

"The source of the money would be invisible to Trump, at least theoretically invisible to Trump. Maybe [Deutsche's private bank] is making loans using pooled money from all its depositors, or maybe it's just from one individual or group, i.e. Russians," Offit says. "That's probably what Mueller is trying to find out."

In a statement, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), said, "Special Counsel Mueller's subpoena of Deutsche Bank would be a very significant development. If Russia laundered money through the Trump Organization, it would be far more compromising than any salacious video and could be used as leverage against Donald Trump and his associates and family."

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#10 |

Hardly any objective scholar doubts the historicity of Jesus.

While scholars have criticized Jesus scholarship for religious bias and lack of methodological soundness,[nb 7] with very few exceptions such critics generally do support the historicity of Jesus and reject the Christ myth theory that Jesus never existed.[17][nb 8][19][20][21]


Or the historical Jesus....

Virtually all scholars who write on the subject agree that Jesus existed,[5][6][7][8]


- Yeshua Ben Panthera.... was basically the Gospel according to the Romans, perpetrated on history several centuries after the fact


2. The Greek philosopher Celsus relates in polemical work against the Christians preserved by the Christian theologian Origen that he had found it "written" that Jesus was the son of a Roman soldier named Pantera (Contra Celsum 1. 69).

This text dates to the late 2nd century. Origen replies that the story was concocted by those who refused to believe that Jesus had no human father and was conceived by the Holy Spirit.


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