Amazon.com, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase will form a healthcare company aimed at cutting costs for their U.S. employees, they said on Tuesday, sending shares in the broad healthcare sector sharply lower. The company will not aim to make a profit and initially focus on technology to provide what they called "simplified, high-quality and transparent healthcare" for their more than 500,000 U.S. employees. "The ballooning costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy," said Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Warren Buffett. "Our group does not come to this problem with answers. But we also do not accept it as inevitable."
Just a few months before President Donald Trump moved into the White House, his presence was already firmly established in downtown Washington, only a few blocks from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, at the newly opened Trump International Hotel. New information obtained exclusively by CNN offers a rare glimpse into the business operations of what quickly became one of the President's most highly scrutinized businesses and a de facto clubhouse for his administration's officials and supporters. ... Trump's hotel had an average monthly occupancy rate of about 50% through November 2017, according to data provided to CNN covering the first 11 months of 2017. That occupancy rate is about one-third below an industry average for a broad group of luxury hotels in Washington over the same period.
In April 2016, a 13-year-old boy was shot by officers of the Baltimore Police Department. The boy ran when faced with the police, so they gave chase. During the chase, the police spotted the boy holding a gun, and when he turned, they shot the teenager. The youngster wasn't critically injured, and it seemed like an open-and-shut case of a justifiable use of force. Now people are wondering. The Baltimore Police Department is currently in court over one of the biggest scandals in the history of American law enforcement. The corruption case is replete with intrigue as police reveal secrets that sound like something out of an urban-fiction novel or a lost season of The Wire. It has revealed how one of America's largest cities just happened to be filled with crooked cops, but no one seems to be talking about it outside of Baltimore. read more
The FBI inquiry into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 US presidential election has been given a second memo that independently set out some of the same allegations made in a dossier by Christopher Steele, the British former spy. The second memo was written by Cody Shearer, a controversial political activist and former journalist who was close to the Clinton White House in the 1990s. ... The Shearer memo was provided to the FBI in October 2016. It was handed to them by Steele -- who had been given it by an American contact -- after the FBI requested the former MI6 agent provide any documents or evidence that could be useful in its investigation, according to multiple sources. read more
Tiffany's and tents. Neiman Marcus and needles. Macy's and mental illness. A San Francisco Chronicle columnist writes about a hotel manager who struggles with his customers' number one complaint -- the sad homeless population. Making it worse is the amount of wealth that surrounds those who live on the streets. The hotel manager said he has stopped trying to explain away the city's unwillingness to address the problem. One reviewer on TripAdvisor wrote glowingly about his hotel's pool, its proximity to the cable cars and the easy walk to the Ferry Building. But it ended with a jolt. "Seeing homeless men in wheelchairs without shoes in the winter, women with infants on the streets, young men and women on the streets doing drugs, it was painful," wrote the reviewer. The manager responded: "I am sorry about the street scene ... But unfortunately our city has failed to address the issue." read more
President Donald Trump aims to use his State of the Union address Tuesday night to boost funding for his 2020 re-election campaign, promising to display the names of campaign donors during a live broadcast of the speech. In a fundraising push, Trump on Monday afternoon sent a text message to supporters with an offer to flash their names across the screen during the Donald J. Trump for President Livestream of the event. "The State of the Union speech is not about me. It's about YOU. Which is why I will have the names of every supporter who contributes today broadcast during my speech on the Official DJT for President Livestream!" it said. "Enough of the Fake News Media. It's time for them to hear from the AMERICAN PEOPLE." read more
Bari Weiss, New York Times: Imagine this: The author of the most popular book in the country goes on Bill Maher's show and says the following about President Barack Obama: "There is something in the book that I was absolutely sure of but it was so incendiary that I just didn't have the ultimate proof," he says. "I didn't have the blue dress." The host pushes the coy writer for a hint. "You just have to read between the lines toward the end of the book," the writer answers. "When you hit that paragraph you're going to say, 'Bingo!'" Within moments, every person with a copy turns to the last bit. The woman's name jumps out as if it was printed in boldface: Samantha Power, the United Nations ambassador. "The president has been spending a notable amount of private time," the book says, with her on Air Force One. Do I have to tell you what the reaction to this rumor-mongering would be? read more
Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown began a five-year sentence Monday at a minimum-security camp inside one of the country's largest federal prison complexes. Her 1992 freshman election ended more than a century when Florida didn't send any African Americans to Congress, and in the years that followed she was an outspoken advocate on civil rights and interests of disenfranchised. She remained in Congress until she lost reelection in 2016, a few months after she was indicted. The Jacksonville Democrat is still trying to avoid serving her full sentence in prison. Brown's challenge of her May conviction is pending in an Atlanta appeals court, but her request to remain free during the appeal was rejected last week.
The Trump administration told Congress on Monday that bipartisan legislation passed last year authorizing new sanctions on Russia is already "serving as a deterrent," and there's no need to actually implement the penalties at this time. A spokesperson for the State Department said the mere possibility of facing sanctions through the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) has served as an effective countermeasure. read more
The House Intelligence Committee on Monday evening voted to make public a GOP-crafted memo alleging what some Republicans say are "shocking" surveillance abuses at the Department of Justice (DOJ), according to the committee's Democratic members. The committee voted against making public the Democrat-drafted minority memo, but did vote to release it to the entire House, Democratic lawmakers said. The majority of lawmakers expressed concern that the minority memo would damage sources and intelligence methods, according to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
There is almost no gender gap in grading President Trump's standing as a role model. Every party, gender, education, age and racial group, except Republicans, say the president falls short, the independent Quinnipiac University Poll finds. Republicans say 72-22 percent that Trump is a good role model for children. Another key element of the president's base, white voters with no college degree, say 54-41 percent that he is not a good role model for children. read more