Thur. 3.1

Trump fires shot that may cause trade war
The Hill
> Trump said he will announce tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum from all countries that send their metals to the United States, a decision sure to lead to retaliation by trade partners.
> “It would be very bad for consumers, it would raise costs for all kinds of products, it would destroy more jobs than it saves in steel, and it would invite retaliation from other countries,” Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa) said Thursday.

>>> Stocks tank for 3rd straight day
>>> Fed officials blast protectionism

Flying electric drone taxis within a few years?
air-taxi> Electric passenger drones, seating two to five travelers and looking like distant cousins of today’s helicopters, could come on the market within the next two years, according to a new study by Deloitte. By the early 2020s, the study said, flying cars could drive to the airport by roadways and then accelerate down runways into the sky. Even NASA is now studying the feasibility of what the government space agency calls “Urban Air Mobility.”  But if any of these technologies are to take root, regulators must first figure out a host of critical safety issues, starting with how to manage both conventional traffic and new flying machines.

Trump proposals good for a laugh
Senate GOP sticks to “do nothingism” on gun control
The Hill
Senate Republicans say President Trump’s comments Wednesday calling for more ambitious gun-control proposals won’t change the political calculus in their conference, which supports a limited response to the shooting at a Florida high school.
> Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), who is leading the GOP response to gun violence in the upper chamber, told reporters after the meeting with Trump at the White House that he still favors a limited approach.
> He wants to put a narrow bill on the floor that would give state and local officials more incentive to report relevant information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System known as NICS.

US prices out of control
4 states plan to buy prescription drugs from Canada

The Guardian
In the face of surging prescription drug prices, some US states are proposing to import medicines in bulk from Canada, where many drugs are cheaper thanks to government price controls.
> Vermont lawmakers are considering legislation to create an agency which would buy popular prescription medicines in bulk from Canada, and then distribute to pharmacies in the state. Utah, Oklahoma and West Virginia have proposed similar measures.

The letter “N” also banned as censors go nuts
China bans “Animal Farm” as Xi extends grip on power

The Evening Standard
xiThe Chinese government has banned the letter ‘N’ and George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984.
> Experts believe the crackdown is part of leader Xi Jinping’s plans to become a dictator for life. The move has been met with criticism from around the world.
> The China Digital Times reports that a list of proposals made by Beijing’s National People’s Conference includes the letter ‘n’, George Orwell’s novels ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘1984’, and the phrase ‘Xi Zedong’, a combination of Mr Xi and former dictator Chairman Mao Zedong’s names.
> It is not entirely clear why the letter ‘n’ was briefly banned, just one among hundreds of words and phrases, although some speculate it could be considered a sign of dissent.

>>> China builds train station in just 9 hours
The Independent

China’s progress in advanced infrastructure is more than 100 times faster than the US.
–Elon Musk

Let’s arm the teachers!
Teacher arrested, charged with firing gun inside school
All it takes is a good guy with a gun … oh, wait.

San Jose cafe owner shuts business,
fires workers and deports himself
Mercury News
> Khaled Altarkeet is so frustrated, he is “self-deporting.”
> After an immigration quagmire left his business visa in limbo, the owner of a popular cafe across from San Jose State University has closed his business, let go his half dozen employees, donated the leftover food to Catholic Charities and, on Wednesday, will board a plane with his wife and four children to fly back to his home country of Kuwait.
> “I’m shutting the business and forgetting the United States,” said Altarkeet, sitting for the last time in the empty cafe with the chairs stacked on the tables last week. “I will find another country that is more accepting and willing to take my investments, since this place doesn’t want us.”

In one Florida county, gun-toting teachers train as sheriff deputies 
Vice News
In Polk County in central Florida, the “Sentinel Program,” was launched two years ago by Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. It offers 132 hours of training to allow teachers or other school personnel to become sheriff’s deputies so they can legally carry concealed weapons on campus.

Aim for Mar-a-Lago?
Putin nukes Florida in animated video boasting of Russia’s new weapons
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual address to the country’s Federal Assembly today, showing off some impressive new weapons in the process. One of the concept videos even showed a nuclear strike using multiple warheads against the United States. The video depicts Florida, to be exact—the site of President Trump’s private club in Palm Beach.

Why Big Pharma wants your health records
> Drugmakers are racing to scoop up patient health records and strike deals with technology companies as big data analytics start to unlock a trove of information about how medicines perform in the real world.
> Historically, it has been hard to get a handle on how drugs work in routine clinical practice but the rise of electronic medical records, databases of insurance claims, fitness wearables and even social media now offers a wealth of new data.



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