National News; Democratic Debate With Top Ten Candidates from Houston

National News Headlines from RogueValleyMagazine.com

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2019

Chinese containers ready to load.

In Washington the wait continues and so does the talk on trade tariffs between Beijing, China and The White House.  China is looking to narrow the scope of its negotiations with the U.S. to only trade matters, putting thornier national-security issues on a separate track in a bid to break deadlocked talks.

Chinese officials hope such an approach would help both sides resolve some immediate issues and offer a path out of the impasse, people familiar with the plan said.

The shift comes as President Trump on Wednesday delayed tariffs on some Chinese imports.    Talks between the U.S. and China on trade have stalled since a breakdown in May, and have been further complicated by non-trade-related matters, including U.S. arms sales to Taiwan and Chinese accusations of American involvement in Hong Kong’s continuing protests.

In preparation for a new round of talks scheduled to take place in Washington in early October, Chinese negotiators are making plans to boost purchases of U.S. agricultural products, give American companies greater access to China’s market and bolster intellectual-property protections, these people said.

Beijing hopes to adopt this two-track approach before the planned talks between its trade team, led by Vice Premier Liu He, and the U.S. delegation, led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, these people said.

In Washington on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he was cautiously optimistic the two sides could make meaningful progress with Chinese negotiators.

The president “is prepared to keep these tariffs in place. He is prepared to raise tariffs if we need to raise tariffs,” Mr. Mnuchin said, insisting, “This isn’t an election issue. He’s trying to do the right thing for American companies and the American public.”

Mr. Trump, in a brief morning tweet, said: “It is expected that China will be buying large amounts of our agricultural products!” The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for further elaboration on that tweet.

It’s another Democratic showdown of candidates on the debate stage tonight from Houston.  The top presidential candidates will debate on stage together for the first time in a one-night event.   Only 10 candidates met the Democratic National Committee’s higher thresholds for the third debate—half the number that qualified for the last two debates, which were split into two nights.

The qualifying candidates are former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Sen. Kamala Harris, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

Since Congress can’t get anything accomplished, it’s the U.S. Supreme Court that has now ruled that the Trump administration can deny asylum to Central Americans who cross through to the U.S., giving new life to White House efforts to deter a flood of immigrants seeking refuge at the southern border.

The court’s action, which came in a brief written order, effectively set interim rules that allow the administration to enforce its asylum restrictions while legal challenges to the policy continue, a process that could last many months. The high court’s order stayed the effect of lower-court injunctions that barred the administration’s plans.

The policy, one of several measures the Trump administration has taken to deter immigration from Latin America, demands that refugees seek asylum in a safe country they enter before reaching the U.S. The rules effectively cut off most asylum claims by people coming from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras.

The Toy Hall of Fame.  Is the smartphone a creator’s tool? A business necessity? A toy? Yes to all three. And to the National Toy Hall of Fame, the smartphone as a toy is so important, it’s being considered for induction. The other finalists announced Wednesday are: Care Bears, the coloring book, Fisher-Price Corn Popper, Jenga, Magic the Gathering, Masters of the Universe, Matchbox cars, My Little Pony, Nerf Blaster, Risk, and the top.

… The smartphone earned a place among the 12 finalists because of its status as a platform for countless mobile games and playful interactions.

… The winners will be inducted November 7. Last year’s honorees were the Magic 8 Ball, pinball and Uno.

… The first inductees were in 1998. • FULL LIST

Scientists have for the first time found a planet outside of our solar system that’s home to water. Water vapor has been discovered on a ‘super-Earth’ 110 light years away that is estimated to be twice the size of Earth.

… The planet — called K2-18b — also has an atmosphere and the correct temperature range for living things to exist. It’s closer to its star than the Earth is to the Sun, meaning it has shorter years, completing its orbit in 33 days while ours takes 365.

… The exoplanet was first spotted in 2015 by NASA’s Kepler spacecraft but analysis of data has revealed new details not seen before.

Although they want to….Ohio State University has failed to trademark the word “the” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which turned down its application to claim the three-letter definite article as its own.

The school’s effort stems from its wish to be formally called “The Ohio State University,” rather than “Ohio State University.” The university has emblazoned T-shirts, hats and other merchandise with the longer phrase and had sought the trademark to protect the longer name. The trademark office said: “Registration is refused because the applied-for mark as used on the specimen of record is merely a decorative or ornamental feature of applicant’s clothing and, thus, does not function as a trademark to indicate the source of applicant’s clothing and to identify and distinguish applicant’s clothing from others.”

Who gossips more, the guys or the ladies?  Guys who gossip outnumber gossip girls two to one, according to research. And 80 percent of guys’ conversations are spent on discussing other people and their habits. The difference between what guys and women gossip about? The study found that while guys love exchanging juicy tidbits of personal info, only about 5 percent of their gossip is malicious.

Forget sexy text messages. Now, the hallmark of true romance is communicating via Google Docs. Partners are using the internet giant’s cloud-based word-processing service to send flirtatious notes and suggestive images. Lovers typically share a single document and exchange messages both in the main body of text and using the in-line comment function.

… One woman says: “I kind of think of it as the modern love letter.” The 32-year-old has been sharing a Google Doc with her boyfriend of three years. They started the digital document — file name: Bedtime Stories — in January, back when they were dating long distance, and it’s since grown in length to 27 pages.

… Another woman also found the online service to be surprisingly romantic when she was working on her master’s thesis. Her boyfriend was helping her edit the document and he’d leave sweet notes in the margins.

Students and Google Docs.  Google is allowing to students to use Google Docs to do collaborative projects, some use the service to have conversations behind teachers’ backs.

… Teens will use Google Docs to chat just about any time they need to put their phone away but know their friends will be on computers. Sometimes they’ll use the service’s live-chat function, which doesn’t open by default, and which many teachers don’t even know exists. Or they’ll take advantage of the fact that Google allows users to highlight certain phrases or words, then comment on them via a pop-up box on the right side: They’ll clone a teacher’s shared Google document, then chat in the comments, so it appears to the casual viewer that they’re just making notes on the lesson plan. If a teacher approaches to take a closer look, they can click the “Resolve” button, and the entire thread will disappear.

… If the project isn’t a collaborative one, kids will just create a shared document where they’ll chat line by line in what looks like a paragraph of text.

A Denver businessman says he’s found the unique business which tailors to millennials. Alex Kurylan opened the Denver Selfie Museum at the beginning of this month, giving paying customers the chance to take as many selfies as they want at unique photo booths.

For $25 per person, Kurylan allows customers to walk freely around his more than 30 different photo backdrops, many of which are interactive. Kurylan original owned escape rooms, but said the selfie museum was more unique and promising.

The Bahamas says it’s open for tourism after Hurricane Dorian. Though two of its popular tourists destinations have been devastated by Hurricane Dorian, the Bahamas wants people to know that there are 14 other destinations in the archipelago that remain open.

SCIENCE CONFIRMS: GERMS SPREAD FAST ON DOORKNOBS.
A study shows that if you place germs on a office building’s door handle, the germs will spread to people scattered throughout a large scale structure in only hours.

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