AP FACT CHECK: Misfires in Trump's AP interview
TRUMP: "No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days." — Tuesday at the Kenosha, Wisconsin, headquarters of Snap-on tools
THE FACTS: Trump's legislative victories are minor, surpassed by those of a variety of high achievers in the White House.
Taking office in the Great Depression, Roosevelt quickly declared a banking holiday to quiet panic, called a special session of Congress and won passage of emergency legislation to stabilize the banking system. He came forward with a flurry of consequential legislation that set the pillars of the New Deal in place within his first 100 days, "the most concentrated period of U.S. reform in U.S. history," say Alan Brinkley and Davis Dyer in "The Reader's Companion to the American Presidency." No fewer than 14 historic laws were enacted in that time.
Trump's big agenda items, like his promised tax overhaul and infrastructure plan, have yet to reach Congress. His attempt to secure the borders from people from terrorism-prone regions is so far blocked by courts. His first attempt to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's health care law failed in Congress.
Trump needn't look as far back as FDR to see a president who got off to a fast start. Obama signed a $787 billion stimulus package into law in his first month, while also achieving laws expanding health care for children and advancing equal pay for women in that time.
Like Roosevelt, Obama came to office in an economic crisis, the worst since the Depression. Lawmakers from both parties were inclined to act quickly and did, even as they fought over the details of the big stimulus package that defined Obama's early days.
President Ronald Reagan's 100 days were considered the hardest-driving since FDR's time, even though Reagan was shot March 30, 1981. He presented Congress with the most consequential tax, spending and government-overhaul plan it had seen in decades, a comprehensive package that exceeds in scope anything Trump has brought forward, including his first run at health care. Congressional approval came later.
TRUMP: "The weak illegal immigration policies of the Obama Admin. allowed bad MS 13 gangs to form in cities across U.S. We are removing them fast!" — tweet, Tuesday
THE FACTS: Obama can't be blamed for allowing MS-13 to form as a nationwide gang because that happened long before he became president.
A fact sheet from Trump's own Justice Department states that the gang, which originated in the 1980s in the Central American community in Los Angeles, "quickly spread to states across the country."
The department indirectly credits the Obama administration, in its early years, with helping to rein in the group: "Through the combined efforts of federal, state, and local law enforcement, great progress was made diminishing or severely (disrupting) the gang within certain targeted areas of the U.S. by 2009 and 2010."
The U.S. carried out record deportations during the Obama administration and, on MS-13 specifically, took the unprecedented action of labeling the street gang a transnational criminal organization and announcing a freeze on its U.S. assets.
Such actions were not enough to bring down the group and the Trump administration says it will do more.
According to an FBI assessment from January 2008, before Obama took office, the gang was operating in at least 42 states and the District of Columbia, roughly the same number of states estimated now. The assessment said the group was made up of Salvadoran nationals and first-generation Salvadoran-Americans. The FBI at the time did not provide a breakdown of how many of the gang's members were immigrants or U.S. citizens.
TRUMP: "I didn't soften my stance" on China. "Nobody's ever seen such a positive response on our behalf from China, and then the fake media goes 'Donald Trump has changed his stance on China.' I haven't changed my stance. China's trying to help us." — Fox interview Tuesday
THE FACTS: It's hard to imagine a clearer switch in positions than the president's abandonment of his campaign pledge to declare China a currency manipulator, a move that would have set the stage for trade penalties. China had once devalued its currency to make its exports artificially cheaper, crowding out other countries' products, but in recent years has let market forces do more to shape currency exchange rates. Even as Trump railed against Chinese currency manipulation in the presidential campaign, there already were signs that China was taking steps to keep the value of the yuan from sinking further against the dollar.
Trump didn't let go of his accusation easily. As recently as April 2 he told The Financial Times that the Chinese are "world champions" of currency manipulation.
TRUMP, speaking about fellow NATO members, says he wants to "make sure these countries start paying their bills a little bit more. You know, they're way, way behind." — remarks in Kenosha
THE FACTS: That's an oversimplification of NATO financial obligations, and one Trump has made repeatedly. NATO members are not in arrears on payments. They committed in 2014 to ensuring that by 2024, they would be spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on their military budgets. Most NATO countries are spending less than that now, and Washington is putting pressure on them to do more.
In any event, the commitment is for these nations to spend more on their own military capabilities, which would strengthen the alliance, not to hand over money.
AP FACT CHECK: Misfires in Trump's AP interview
WASHINGTON (AP) — In an Associated Press interview, President Donald Trump claimed more progress than he's achieved on his 100-day plan and showed he was not completely familiar with what he had promised in that "contract" with voters.
A look at some of his assertions in the interview conducted Friday and other statements he made over the past week:
TRUMP, on his 100-day plan: "I'm mostly there on most items." — AP interview
THE FACTS: He's not. Many have yet to be taken up.
Of 38 specific promises Trump made in his 100-day "contract" with voters, he's accomplished 10, mostly through executive orders that don't require legislation. For example, he's withdrawn the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, created a violent crime task force and lifted restrictions on fossil fuel development. Of the 10 pieces of legislation he promised, none has been achieved and most have not been introduced, with the notable exception of the health care overhaul that was put in play but withdrawn from Congress because of insufficient support. That proposal is being reworked.
He hasn't started on 15 of his 100-day promises, which include several immigration laws, college affordability, infrastructure incentives and punishment for companies that move jobs overseas. Saturday will be his 100th day.
TRUMP: "I think the 100 days is, you know, it's an artificial barrier. It's not very meaningful." — AP interview
THE FACTS: He's right that a 100-day measurement of a new president is artificial. As for whether it's meaningful, that depends on how much meaning a presidential candidate invests in that benchmark. Trump invested it with a series of promises by which he was to be measured in 100 days, released in an appearance at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 22.
"What follows is my 100-day action plan to Make America Great Again," says the manifesto. "It is a contract between myself and the American voter."
It continued: "On November 8th, Americans will be voting for this 100-day plan to restore prosperity to our economy, security to our communities, and honesty to our government. This is my pledge to you."
Trump has grown dismissive of the 100-day mark, calling it "ridiculous," and now plays down his manifesto even as he boasts of his achievements. In the AP interview, he appeared to attribute the plan to his campaign staff, saying "Somebody, yeah, somebody put out the concept of a 100-day plan."
TRUMP: "I didn't put Supreme Court judge on the 100 (day) plan, and I got a Supreme Court judge." — AP interview
THE FACTS: He actually did promise in his plan to "begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia." On this, he delivered more than promised - not only starting the process of finding a new Supreme Court justice but winning Senate confirmation of Neil Gorsuch, who now sits on the court.
We broke down Trump's bizarre AP interview transcript so you don't have to get broken down by it
On Sunday, The Associated Press published a breathtaking 7,924 word interview with President Trump. Only a tiny percentage of those words were assembled into actual sentences.
The president's word salads aren't particularly new, nor are his hair-raising split-second shifts in foreign policy. But it's important that we all take a moment for the innocent intern forced to translate Trump's word potpourri into English-ish sentences.
SEE ALSO: Here’s how two local Welsh lads made brewing history
We read Trump's interview so you wouldn't have to cry at your desk. Here it is, by the numbers:
1. Of the 6,220 Trump words Trump uses, 4,187 of them are monosyllabic
2. There are four unprompted references to how he's an improvement from President Obama
3. 35 uses of the word "great"
4. Five references to his relationships, all of which are — coincidentally! — also great
5. Four times he calls himself the greatest president
6. One offer to the journalist of Coke, which Trump once said he's never seen a thin person drink
7. 16 times when the author has to use the phrase "unintelligible" when he simply doesn't understand what Trump means
8. Five answers that include the phrase "I don't know"
9. Two claims that the country is being treated "unfairly"
10. Four claims that he, Trump, is being treated unfairly by the media
11. Eight unprompted references to his electoral college win
12. Five references to the "fake media"
13. Zero mentions of the opioid crisis, the refugee crisis, Afghanistan, the potential government shutdown, or the post-election surge in hate crimes
14. One mention that "back when they did NATO there was no such thing as terrorism," which should be enough for us all.
Humm...it really makes you go "humm"...what an idiot. And still you voted for this idiot, Russian Putin Lover.....but hey...prophecies always comes in full circle...and I hope that the prophecy of him being impeached becomes a reality....that would be a treat to my heart and soul !!
Advertising FeatureRabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 20th Apr 2017).
Please click here to download a table of listed companies and their associated ticker codes.
The RSISX index ended the week at IQD947 (-1.6%) / $972 (-1.6%) (weekly change) (-1.3% and +2.6% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 3.3bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD2.4bn ($1.9mn).
ISX Company Announcements
Following CBI letter number 973/6 on Apr. 2, 2017 related with issuing local bonds by the CBI for the MoF with five categories (IQD100K, IQD250K, IQD500K, IQD1mn and IQD5mn) totaling IQD1trln with 8% annual interest, CBI made the following announcement on Tuesday: “The bonds will be paid with annual coupons for two years by the MoF on Apr. 2, 2019. IQD802.15bn was sold and IQD197.85bn remained from the total IQD1trln local bond issue. The deadline for buying these local bonds announced as May 2, 2017 for the remaining categories as the following: 215K unit from IQD500K, 87.45K unit from IQD1mn and 580 units from IQD5mn.”
Mamoura Real Estate Investment (SMRI) will hold AGM* on Apr. 30, 2017 to discuss and approve 2016 annual financial results, increasing the capital from IQD19.2bn to IQD22.78bn through 15.0% rights issue and 3.6% bonus issue. ISX will suspend trading of SMRI starting on Apr. 25, 2017.
Al-Harir for Money Transfer (MTAH) will hold AGM* on May 13, 2017 to discuss and approve 2016 annual financial results, converting the company from money transfer to an Islamic bank and increasing the capital from IQD45bn to IQD100bn though 122.2% rights issue. ISX will suspend trading of MTAH starting on May 9, 2017.
Al-Mansour Bank (BMNS) resumed trading on Apr. 18, 2017 after discussing and approving 2016 annual financial results and deciding to distribute 5% cash dividend (IQD0.05 dividend per share, 5.1% dividend yield).
Original shares of Al-Rabita Al-Maliya Company (MTRA) resumed trading on Apr. 20, 2017 after discussing and approving 2016 annual financial results, increasing the capital from IQD45bn to IQD100bn through 122.2% rights issue and deciding to convert the company from money transfer into an Islamic bank.
ISX announced that Al-Maraj Al-Alamiya for Money Transfer (MTMR), having IQD100bn paid-in capital, completed the procedures to convert into Trust International Islamic Bank (BTRU). BTRU will be traded in the secondary market.
Iraqi Date Processing and Marketing (IIDP) resumed trading on Apr. 18, 2017 after fulfilling ISC disclosure requirements and publishing 2016 annual results.
Fallujah for Construction Materials (IFCM), which was suspended from trading on July 5, 2015, disclosed the current conditions of the company. The company mentioned that the total damages on the company due to the security conditions reached IQD4.4bn. It was mentioned that there are small damages in buildings and infrastructure that can be fixed and put into use. IFCM said it has two lands, one is 120 acres over which plants and factories were built, and the second is 108 acres which is located on the fast road linking Iraq, Jordan and Syria. IFCM stated that they can start to operate again by covering the losses and damages.
ISX disclosed that the Companies Registrar approved the conversion of Al-Muhej Money Transfer (MTAM) into Al-Qabidh Islamic Bank for Finance and Investment (BQAB) with a capital of IQD100bn. BQAB will trade in non-regular market. The CBI granted BQAB the banking license on Feb. 8, 2017.
ISX announced that Al-Bilad Islamic Bank for Investment and Finance (BLAD), having IQD250bn paid-in capital, has completed the listing procedures. BLAD will start trading in the regular market after depositing and activating 5% of the listed shares or after 21 days of deposing the company’s shares.
Post your commentary below.
By Ashley Goodall.
From Bombs to Bytes: How tech can Diversify and Transform Iraq’s EconomyOne of the big hits at this year’s Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) conference was the tech panel (pictured) with four leading Tech companies using tech to deliver their unique services: Zain Telco, launching Zain Cash, Restrata who offer cyber security to the traditional and emergent digital economy, and Gulftainer, the logistics to connect Iraq to the world of commerce and Inevert, a start-up tech investor.
There is a clear appetite and ambition in youthful Iraq to connect with the modern world and repurpose the Iraqi economy. The digitisation of the Iraqi economy could usefully transform several objectives in one swoop and be a massive agent of positive change:
Prime is the need to diversify the economy away from reliance on oil and gas. Iraq has plentiful supplies of oil but the price is volatile and the country still needs to find employment for millions of young people. Digitising the economy would not only provide hundreds of thousands of jobs, but connect the economy to the modern world virtually and in reality.
A bi-product of tech will enable the rapidly growing young generation, who are numerate and tech friendly, to have engaging jobs and fulfil aspirations, instead of a distractive poverty and extreme ideologies.
Secondly, Tech as a transactional mechanism also drives transparency, especially when money is concerned. Tech bypasses corruption: It’s no secret that Mastercard is seen as a benign influence in eradicating fraud and corruption in emerging economies. Likewise, Zain cash now offer online payments via Facebook for entrepreneurs to sell their products and services.
Not only does this open up e commerce to millions of naturally entrepreneurial Iraqis, but also to people and markets *in the wider region, along with options to pay for advertising and marketing support. All this *without the need to pay middle men or bribes. Tech is ‘the agent’ of transparency, for the people and for government.
Finally, Tech is an agent of cultural transformation and change – as people engage with each other in social media, collaborate in business, and young people learn from educational programs , as Maeve Walsh of UKs DCMS says, the UK Government conducts swathes of its civic, electoral and societal business via the internet. Likewise Iraq can transform government activity within the country, and ‘Iraq Tech’ can also change external perceptions of the country .
What can make this happen?
Much of the infrastructure is already in the country through the private sector: Zain telco and its Zain cash wallet- Restrata have the cyber tech to protect businesses and Omar Hussan of Inevert is eyeing opportunities for investment- along with Zain, who also intend building a tech hub in Baghdad.
Clearly much more investment is required into the emergent start up economy, and despite availability of the free ‘Google skills,’ the government needs to embrace tech education, infrastructure and online transactions- but the private sector can already see entrepreneurial commerce as the driver of change.
With a young and educated population of natural trading entrepreneurs, keen to get on with their lives, it’s only a matter of time before the country leapfrogs less liberal countries in the region. Iraq has been held back for too long, but now could be the time the dynamism of the people, their access to electronic platforms, and relative stability could be the trigger that pivots Iraq into a golden age of tech.
Ashley Goodall is a martketing consultant to Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC).
Post your commentary below.
Genel Energy has announced that Stephen Whyte has been appointed as an independent non-executive director and Chairman designate with immediate effect.
Tony Hayward (pictured) will retire as a Director and Chairman of the Company at the conclusion of the 2017 AGM, to be held on 6 June 2017, at which point Stephen Whyte will take up the role of Chairman.
Murat Özgül, Chief Executive of Genel, said:
“It has been a great pleasure to have worked with Tony during his time at Genel. When we first started working together, the oil industry in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq was still in its infancy, without an export pipeline and there was a high degree of uncertainty over export sales.
“Kurdistan now has a fully operational pipeline infrastructure exporting up to 600,000 bopd, and Taq Taq and Tawke have a proven track record of international sales and significant cash generation. Everyone at Genel wishes Tony all the best in his future activities.”
Stephen Whyte, Chairman designate, said:
“Genel has operated in a very tough environment in recent years but I believe the Company has renewed momentum and significant opportunities in the portfolio. The fall in oil price impacted the entire industry, and that, coupled with the impact of the war against ISIS, put pressure on the finances of the already squeezed Kurdistan Regional Government.
“As the environment now improves, I look forward to working with the Board to ensure that Genel has the best possible strategy for the future.”
(Source: Genel Energy)
Post your commentary below.
By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.
Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
The New INOC Law: Brief and DysfunctionalThe Cabinet approved, on 23 March 2017, the new law for the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC) and passed it to the Parliament/House of Representatives to legislate in accordance with legislating and constitutional procedure.
From formal aspects, the draft is very brief and vaguely worded; disappointing in substance; imprecise structurally and functionally. Therefore, the proposed law in its current form is not applicable and, thus, should be re-examined radically within a comprehensive approach that takes into account the fundamental changes pertinent to the subject maters; this what this contribution is all about.
To begin with I must mention that many drafts for INOC law have previously *been proposed, presented and debated, whether through initiatives (official or individually) and some even went through “first reading” by the Parliament; or within the many drafts of the Federal Oil and Gas Law (FOGL) since 2007.
Also, I published (mostly on this IBN website) many analytical articles on all these attempts and cooperated with the Ministry of Oil in this regard, the last of which concerns the draft proposed by the Ministry to the Council of Ministers *in September last year.
After careful reading of the current proposed law and other related laws, I came to formulated views and make the following remarks:
Please click here to download Ahmed Mousa Jiyad’s full report.
Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant, scholar and Associate with Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), London. He was formerly a senior economist with the Iraq National Oil Company and Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, Chief Expert for the Council of Ministers, Director at the Ministry of Trade, and International Specialist with UN organizations in Uganda, Sudan and Jordan. He is now based in Norway (Email: email@example.com, Skype ID: Ahmed Mousa Jiyad). Read more of Mr Jiyad’s biography here.
Post your commentary below.
By John Lee.
The*Central Bank of Iraq (CBI)*has reported that 37 banks and 11 remittance companies took part in its currency auction on Monday.
A total of $155,485,508 sold at a price of 1184 Iraqi Dinars (IQD) per dollar.
(Source: Central Bank of Iraq)
Post your commentary below.
U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria yesterday, conducting 31 strikes consisting of 97 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
In Syria, coalition military forces conducted 24 strikes consisting of 48 engagements against ISIS targets:
Near Dayr Az Zawr, three strikes destroyed three ISIS wellheads.
Near Palmyra, two strikes destroyed four fighting positions and two ISIS shipping containers.
Near Raqqa, seven strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed three fighting positions, a heavy machine gun, a tactical vehicle and an ISIS wellhead.
Near Tabqah, 12 strikes engaged 10 ISIS tactical units and destroyed 12 fighting positions, a tactical vehicle, an ISIS vehicle, a heavy machine gun and a command-and-control node.
Additionally, three strikes were conducted in Syria from April 19-21 that have been closed within the last 24 hours.
On April 19, near Raqqa, Syria, a strike damaged a command-and-control node.
On April 20, near Raqqa, Syria, a strike suppressed two ISIS tactical units and damaged a fighting position.
On Apr. 21, near Raqqa, Syria, a strike destroyed an improvised bomb factory and suppressed two ISIS tactical units.
Strikes in Iraq
In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted seven strikes consisting of 49 engagements against ISIS targets:
Near Rawah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS staging area.
Near Mosul, six strikes engaged five ISIS tactical units; destroyed 11 fighting positions, eight heavy machine guns, four rocket-propelled grenade systems, two ISIS-held buildings, an ISIS-held bridge and a vehicle-borne bomb; damaged 14 ISIS supply routes and a fighting position; and suppressed four rocket teams, three mortar teams and an ISIS tactical unit.
Part of Operation Inherent Resolve
These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.
The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.
Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect. For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.
The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.
(Source: US Dept of Defense)
Post your commentary below.