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Tech support: Tesla, Uber & Pepsi CEOs join Trump’s advisory council



President-elect Donald Trump has added Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX, Travis Kalanick of Uber, and Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo, to his Strategic and Policy Forum. The body of business leaders was created to advise Trump on economic policy.

Musk and Kalanick inject a mix of innovation and new technologies into the team consisting mainly of old-fashioned ‘blue-chip’ companies, while Nooyi will be the third woman on the panel.

“America has the most innovative and vibrant companies in the world, and the pioneering CEOs joining this Forum today are at the top of their fields,” Trump said in the announcement. “My Administration is going to work together with the private sector to improve the business climate and make it attractive for firms to create new jobs across the United States from Silicon Valley to the heartland.”

The announcement comes as top executives from Silicon Valley – who by and large backed Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton in the presidential race – are set to meet with the president-elect at Trump Tower on Wednesday. In addition to Musk, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg will be attending the summit. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who reportedly helped set up the meeting, is one of the few tech entrepreneurs who openly backed Trump during the campaign.

Kalanick co-founded Uber in 2008, disrupting the taxi service business model in more than 450 cities across 80 countries. Musk made a fortune from startups Zip2 and PayPal before establishing private space exploration company SpaceX in 2002 and Tesla Motors in 2003. He serves as chairman and CEO of both. Nooyi heads PepsiCo, the largest food and beverage company in the US.

Established in early December, the forum consists of “some of America’s most highly respected and successful business leaders,” with the mission to “share their specific experience and knowledge” with Trump to aid his economic program, according to the presidential transition team.

The forum is chaired by Stephen A. Schwarzman, CEO and co-founder of asset management company Blackstone. Other notable members are JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Disney CEO and Chairman Bob Iger, General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, IBM President and CEO Ginni Rometty, President and CEO of Walmart Doug McMillon, and former CEO of General Electric Jack Welch.

The first meeting of the Strategic and Policy Forum is planned to take place at the White House during the first week of February.


US unemployment rate falls to 50-year low



The U.S. unemployment rate fell in September to a new five-decade low of 3.5%, while employers added a modest 136,000 jobs.

The Labor Department says that despite the ultra-low unemployment rate, which was down from 3.7% in August, average hourly wages slipped by a penny. Hourly pay rose just 2.9% from a year earlier, lower than 3.4% at the beginning of the year.

Hiring has slowed this year as the U.S.-China trade war has intensified, global growth has slowed, and businesses have cut back on their investment spending. Still, hiring has averaged 157,000 in the past three months, enough to lower the unemployment rate over time.

The unemployment rate for Latinos fell to 3.9%, the lowest on records dating from 1973.

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Trump embarrassed by TV channel

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”




New York, Sep 26 : US President Donald Trump was subjected to an embarrassment when the MSNBC news channel cut away from his press conference while he was speaking on the controversy surrounding him over the Ukrainian probe against former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump on Wednesday was addressing the press conference against the backdrop of impeachment proceedings announced against him by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi following allegations that he put pressure on the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to order a probe against Biden whose family has business interests there.

The allegation against Trump came to light because of a whistleblower and a transcript of the conversation between him and Zelensky in July, which has become public.

As Trump was speaking to the media after meeting Zelensky to clarify his position, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut into it, saying: “We hate to do this but the President isn’t telling the truth.”

She added that Trump was trying to do it to deflect the attention from his impeachment.

According to the transcript of the telephonic conversation that has gone public, Trump is heard asking Zelensky to “do us a favour”, after the latter expresses gratitude for the military aid the US provided to his country.

Trump’s words of “do us a favour” is seen as a quid pro quo for the American military aid, because of which the impeachment proceedings have been announced.

After Wallace cut the press conference, her guest on the programme, justice and security analyst Matthew Miller, rebuked Trump for saying that Biden and his son had done wrong.

“This story has been looked at and thoroughly debunked by everyone involved,” Miller said, adding the real issue was whether Trump’s conduct is “impeachable”.

Trump is facing problem at a time when he is in New York to attend the UN General Assembly.

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Kim Jong-un receives ‘excellent’ letter from Trump



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Pyongyang, June 23 North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has received a personal letter with “excellent” and “interesting” content from US President Donald Trump, Pyongyang’s state media said on Sunday.

“After reading the letter, the Supreme Leader of the Party, the state and the armed forces said with satisfaction that the letter is of excellent content,” the Korean Central News Agency said, referring to its leader.

“Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong-un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content,” it added.

The KCNA did not disclose when and how the letter was delivered to Kim, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The letter appears to be in response to the one Kim sent to Trump recently in time for the anniversary of their first-ever summit in Singapore last June.

Trump had described Kim’s letter as “beautiful” and “very warm”. He also emphasized that the relationship between them remains strong and that “something will happen that’s going to be very positive”.

The exchange of correspondence between the leaders renewed hopes for a resumption of denuclearization talks which have stalled since the breakdown of their second summit in February.

The summit collapsed as Pyongyang wanted sanctions relief as a corresponding measure in exchange for dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear complex, while Washington insisted that sanctions should remain in place until the North completely gives up its nuclear weapons programme.

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