Cheap Nike Shoes - The Denver Post Colorado breaking news, sports, business, weather, entertainment. Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:42:27 +0000 en-US hourly 30 Cheap Nike Shoes - The Denver Post 32 32 111738712 Cheap Nike Shoes - Ask Amy: Cultural differences make holidays challenging Thu, 30 Nov 2017 11:30:04 +0000 Dear Amy: My in-laws are first generation immigrants from an Asian country and, while they are very kind people, some of their traditions around the holidays tend to be morbid and difficult to explain to my young son.

They insist on setting places at the dinner table for deceased relatives and sometimes the place settings have framed photos of the dead relatives. Last Thanksgiving, I was weirded out to be sitting across from the photo of my mother-in-law’s dead father at the dinner table.

They also leave out bowls of fruit and candy for dead relatives, buy small gifts for them and decorate the framed photos with ornaments and garland. My husband said this does not bother him and he grew up with them doing all of this.

Last year, when we tried to explain to our 6-year-old who the photos were, he became very worried after learning they were dead people and for weeks asked nonstop questions about who they were and how they died. My son became very scared of the photos themselves and began having nightmares.

I do not want to insult them by asking them to not follow their traditions during the holidays, especially when we are in their house for Thanksgiving and Christmas. My husband said if they are hosting we should not comment on their traditions, and need to deal with it. What can I do?

— Upset

Dear Upset: Your husband is wrong on one account: If his parents are hosting holiday celebrations and they celebrate by honoring their native traditions, your husband (their son) is in the perfect position to comment on these traditions, explain them and make them part of your son’s life.

As parents, you could help your son a great deal by explaining to him that these traditions are really celebrations honoring ancestors.

These are not photos of dead people — they are photos of people who were very much alive when the pictures were taken. (I believe it is possible that your son might believe that these pictures are of dead bodies, which would definitely creep him out, because you keep referring to them as “dead relatives.”) Don’t focus on how they died, but on how they lived, and how remembering them and looking at these pictures helps the family to celebrate.

Maybe you have a picture of an ancestor or two in your home. You might have pictures of pets that have crossed the proverbial “rainbow bridge.” Would your son like to bring along photos of an ancestor to his grandparents’ house? Acculturate him by making this an OK thing to think about.

Your perception that this is “morbid” doesn’t help, but even so, you should say to your son, “This isn’t our tradition, but it is grandmother and grandfather’s, and when we are with them, we need to respect it, OK?”

Dear Amy: My daughter cheated on her fiance. They have a child together, and the cheating episode happened last summer. My daughter takes full responsibility for her actions and knows she will live with this every day.

Now that the father of her child has taken her back, he uses sex as a way to keep her with him.

He says, “Let’s have sex, so I know if I still want to be with you or not!” She says she feels forced to give in.

My daughter gives in against her will because she is afraid he will try and get custody of their child. I told her that is unlikely for a number of reasons, none of which I will get into now.

Even though what my daughter did is wrong and shameful, I am utterly mortified. I feel helpless as a parent and don’t know what to tell her to do with this no-win relationship. I need your thoughts about this issue.

— Helpless

Dear Helpless: If your daughter is being coerced, manipulated or feels forced to have sex (by your description, she is), then this is a form of partner assault, and she should leave the relationship. I understand that you feel helpless, but you should encourage and support her to leave.

Dear Amy: I was gobsmacked by the question from “Wondering Mom” who was actually shocked that she couldn’t find a thong-style bathing suit for her young daughter to wear at the beach! Yikes! Thank you for your wise counsel against this.

— Faithful Reader

Dear Faithful: Many readers were as shocked as I was. Sexy swimwear is not appropriate for children.

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Cheap Nike Shoes - PHOTOS: Today in history — November 30 Thu, 30 Nov 2017 08:22:52 +0000 A selection of photos from around the world of events that happened on November 30.

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Cheap Nike Shoes - If you’ve ever wanted to become a character on “South Park,” now’s your chance Thu, 30 Nov 2017 08:14:37 +0000

Who among us hasn’t wanted to mercilessly mock Cartman, pull a prank on Mr. Garrison or kill Kenny?

And for charity’s sake?

Trey Parker and Matt Stone, everyone’s favorite Boulder-bred rabble rousers and the creators of “South Park,” are offering a chance to step into their long-running Comedy Central series as a character.

Parker, who in the video announcement sports his Colorado roots with a vintage Broncos shirt and Buffs hat, went to Evergreen High School and University of Colorado Boulder. Stone may not be sporting a hat, but he also grew up in Littleton and went to CU.

The contest, which is being run through crowdfunding site Omaze, is part of a fundraising effort for Next for Autism — a national nonprofit that runs programs to support people with the developmental disorder.

Donating money to Next for Autism (via Omaze) will make fans eligible for the following prizes (language via

– Being immortalized in an episode of “South Park” and getting drawn into the show as one of the townspeople

– Meeting the show’s “hilarious creators,” Trey Parker and Matt Stone

– Visiting the South Park studio, grabbing lunch and seeing how the show comes together

– Getting flown out to L.A. and put up in a 4-star hotel (flights and hotel included; and you can bring a friend, too)

– Probably something else (our language, not theirs)

If you’ve been dying for “eternal life,” as they say in the video, or at least becoming a “random townsperson” to be used in scenes where crowds chase the mayor, or run from a volcano, visit to donate and enter.

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Cheap Nike Shoes - 38 percent of Americans won’t get a sizable tax cut under the Senate GOP plan Thu, 30 Nov 2017 06:52:03 +0000 By Heather Long, The Washington Post

President Donald Trump flew to Missouri Wednesday to pitch his tax plan as a great benefit to the middle class, but a new analysis from the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ official scorekeepers, shows that many American families won’t pay significantly less under the Senate GOP tax bill.

In 2019, 62 percent of Americans would get a tax cut of $100 or more, according to JCT. The remaining 38 percent would either pay about the same in taxes as they do now or get a tax hike. The information was shared with The Washington Post by a GOP senator’s office. It is from a JCT letter that has not been made public yet.

Trump has promised Americans “huge” tax cuts.

“We’re going to give the American people a huge tax cut for Christmas – hopefully that will be a great, big, beautiful Christmas present,” he said last week.

Among the middle class – families with incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 – JCT found that 80 percent get a tax cut of $100 or more in 2019, but 10 percent would pay about the same, and the remaining 10 percent would face a tax increase of $100 or more. Many of those people getting a tax hike probably itemize their deductions now.

Democrats have criticized Trump’s tax plan as a giveaway to corporations and the wealthy. Republicans have fired back that their plan cuts tax rates for everyone and makes U.S. businesses more competitive, which should lead to more jobs and higher wages. But while the Senate GOP plan does cut all individual tax rates in the coming years, it also takes away some popular credits and deductions such as the state and local tax deduction (SALT). The result is that not everyone gets a tax cut.

This latest JCT analysis sheds light on who gets a tax cut of a least $100 and who faces a tax increase of at least $100. Republicans will likely point out that a substantial number of millionaires aren’t winners in this tax plan: Nearly 20 percent would see their taxes go up in 2019, according to the JCT chart. Democrats will likely highlight that the vast majority of the poor – those earning less than $20,000 – aren’t any better off.

Wealthier Americans, earning between $500,000 to $1 million, appear to get the biggest benefits: 91 percent of them get a tax cut of at least $100. In contrast, 46 percent of the working poor, who make between $20,000 and $30,000 a year, would get a tax cut of at least $100. Many of the working poor filers don’t pay anything in federal income taxes now, but some are eligible for refunds from the government where they receive money back, a tactic designed to encourage people to work. What JCT is showing is that only about half of those filers would get additional money in their pockets (a.k.a. larger refunds) from what they get now.

Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Fla., and Mike Lee, Utah, proposed an amendment Wednesday that would give the working poor a much larger tax break, but a White House spokesman said the president doesn’t support the idea because it would require a corporate tax rate of 22 percent instead of 20 percent to pay for the bigger benefit to those families. Senate Republicans plan to vote on their bill Thursday or Friday.

The Washington Post only obtained the “winners and losers” analysis from JCT for 2019. Typically, JCT also does the same analysis for 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027. All the tax cuts for individuals in the Senate GOP plan go away in 2026, so it’s likely more Americans would higher taxes in 2027. Republicans argue that those tax cuts are likely to be extended by a future Congress.

A similar JCT analysis of the House Republican bill found that 60 percent of Americans would pay $100 or less in taxes in 2019.

“What we’ve seen is a mad dash to pass a bill that can’t pass scrutiny in daylight,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Wednesday night.

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Cheap Nike Shoes - House panel backs bill expanding gun owners’ rights Thu, 30 Nov 2017 06:22:42 +0000 WASHINGTON — A key House committee on Wednesday approved a Republican bill to expand gun owners’ rights — the first gun legislation since mass shootings in Las Vegas and Texas killed more than 80 people.

On a party-line vote, the Judiciary Committee backed a bill that would allow gun owners with a state-issued concealed carry permit to carry a handgun in any state that allows concealed weapons. Republicans said the reciprocity measure would allow gun owners to travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state laws or civil suits.

The bill was approved 19-11 and now goes to the House floor.

The Judiciary panel also approved legislation to strengthen the FBI database of prohibited gun buyers after the Air Force failed to report the criminal history of the gunman who slaughtered more than two dozen people at a Texas church.

The Air Force has acknowledged that the Texas shooter, Devin P. Kelley, should have had his name and domestic violence conviction submitted to the National Criminal Information Center database. The Air Force has discovered “several dozen” other such reporting omissions since the Nov. 5 shooting.

Democrats said the bill making it easier to carry concealed weapons across state lines — a top priority of the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups — would endanger public safety by overriding states with strict gun laws, forcing them to comply with states that have far looser laws on guns.

“You want to wipe out our state law” that places tight restrictions on who can carry a concealed weapon, Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland told Republicans.

The GOP bill “lowers everybody’s standards to the lowest in the union,” Raskin said. “It is the agenda of the NRA, but it should not be the agenda of Congress.”

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., said the bill would override his state’s law barring people under 21 from getting concealed carry permits, while other Democrats noted that restrictions on drunken drivers and convicted stalkers could be overridden.

But Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., said the bill would increase public safety by allowing more law-abiding citizens to carry guns, regardless of where they live or travel.

“I don’t believe my right to defend myself should end at the state line,” Rutherford said. “My constitutional rights do not end at the Florida line.”

Rutherford and other Republicans said a “good guy with a gun” is often the best way to counter a gun-wielding criminal. They cited the June shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., who was seriously wounded at a congressional baseball game practice. Capitol police on Scalise’s security detail fired back at the gunman, saving the lives of other lawmakers.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., called the argument misleading, noting that police are trained to respond to an active shooter, while most civilians are not.

“Let’s be honest: We are endangering public safety to cozy up to one of the biggest interest groups in the U.S. — the NRA,” Lofgren said.

Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia said Democrats were misconstruing the legislation.

“This bill will not arm criminals,” he said. “Nothing in this bill would allow (a convicted criminal) to purchase or possess a firearm, let alone carry one in a concealed fashion.”

Numerous police and law enforcement groups oppose the bill, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.

Despite calls by Democrats for tighter gun control, Congress has taken no steps on guns in the weeks following the Oct. 1 shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and the Nov. 5 shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, a group that supports stricter gun laws, called the GOP bill the wrong response to the Las Vegas and Texas shootings.

“After two of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, Americans expect Congress to work in a bipartisan way to strengthen — not weaken — our gun laws,” he said.

The bill on background checks would require that federal agencies certify twice a year that they have submitted required records to the federal database. It also rewards states that comply by providing them with federal grant preferences. The measure was approved 17-6 and now goes to the House floor.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., has co-sponsored a companion bill in the Senate with Texas Republican John Cornyn. Murphy, a leading advocate of stricter gun control, said the measure is based on a simple idea: “If we can’t agree on new laws, let’s at least make sure that the laws that are on the books today work and are being enforced.”


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Cheap Nike Shoes - Haley: North Korea “brings us closer to war” the U.S. doesn’t seek Thu, 30 Nov 2017 06:21:29 +0000 UNITED NATIONS — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Wednesday that North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile — which some observers believe could reach the Eastern U.S. — “brings us closer” to a war the U.S. isn’t seeking.

Nikki Haley, speaking at an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, said that if war comes as a result of further acts of “aggression” like the latest launch, “make no mistake the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.”

“The dictator of North Korea made a decision yesterday that brings us closer to war, not farther from it,” Haley said. “We have never sought war with North Korea and still today we do not seek it.”

The Trump administration threatened new sanctions on North Korea after the reclusive government shattered 2½ months of relative quiet with its most powerful weapon test yet.

This Nov. 29, 2017, image provided by the North Korean government on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, shows what the North Korean government calls the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, in North Korea. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency.
Korean Central News Agency, Korea News Service via AP
This Nov. 29, 2017, image provided by the North Korean government on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, shows what the North Korean government calls the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, in North Korea. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: “KCNA” which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency.

President Donald Trump tweeted that he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about Pyongyang’s “provocative actions,” and he vowed that “additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!” Trump’s top diplomat, Rex Tillerson, said the U.S. could target financial institutions doing business with the North.

At the emergency Security Council meeting, China’s deputy U.N. ambassador Wu Haitao reiterated the China-Russia proposal for North Korea to suspend all nuclear and missile tests and for the U.S. and South Korea to suspend all military exercises.

Russia’s U.N. ambassador Vassily Nebenzia also urged North Korea to stop the tests and called on the U.S. and South Korea to cancel large-scale military maneuvers scheduled for December.

Haley said the world’s nations have the power to further isolate and reverse North Korea’s dangerous course, by cutting all ties to the country and enforcing U.N. sanctions. She said Trump during his call to Xi urged the Chinese president to cut off all oil deliveries to North Korea. “That would be a pivotal step in the world’s effort to stop this international pariah,” she said.

This Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, image provided by the North Korean government on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, shows what the North Korean government calls the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, at an undisclosed location in North Korea. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: "KCNA" which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency.
Korean Central News Agency, Korea News Service via AP
This Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, image provided by the North Korean government on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, shows what the North Korean government calls the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, at an undisclosed location in North Korea. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. Korean language watermark on image as provided by source reads: “KCNA” which is the abbreviation for Korean Central News Agency.

The fresh deliberations about new forms of punishment for North Korea came after its government said it successfully fired a “significantly more” powerful, nuclear-capable ICBM it called the Hwasong-15. Outside governments and analysts concurred the North had made a jump in missile capability.

A resumption of Pyongyang’s torrid testing pace in pursuit of a viable arsenal of nuclear-tipped missiles that can hit the U.S. mainland had been widely expected. But the power of the missile and suddenness of the test jolted the Korean Peninsula and Washington. The launch at 3:17 a.m. Wednesday local time — early Tuesday afternoon in the U.S. capital — indicated an effort to perfect the element of surprise and obtain maximum attention in the U.S.

In a government statement released through state media, North Korea said the Hwasong-15, the “greatest ICBM,” could be armed with a “super-large heavy nuclear warhead” and is capable of striking the “whole mainland” of the U.S. The North said the missile reached a height of 4,475 kilometers (2,780 miles) and traveled 950 kilometers (590 miles) before accurately hitting a sea target, similar to the flight data announced by South Korea’s military.

After the launch, it said leader Kim Jong Un “declared with pride” that his country has achieved its goal of becoming a “rocket power.” State TV said Kim gave the order Tuesday, and it broadcast a photo of Kim’s signed order where he wrote: “Test launch is approved. Taking place at the daybreak of Nov. 29! Fire with courage for the party and country!”

Speaking later Wednesday, Trump could not resist taking a dig at Kim. Digressing during a speech in Missouri on tax reform, Trump called Kim “Little Rocket Man” and described him as “a sick puppy.”

The North Korean launch was a message of defiance to the Trump administration after it restored North Korea to a U.S. list of terror sponsors. It raises fears of war or a pre-emptive U.S. strike and casts a deeper shadow over the security of the Winter Olympics early next year in South Korea.

People watch a TV screen showing a local news program reporting about North Korea's missile launch, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. After 2 ½ months of relative quiet, North Korea launched its most powerful weapon yet early Wednesday, claiming a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile that some observers believe could put Washington and the entire eastern U.S. seaboard within range. The signs read "North Korea opened pictures of the Hwasong-15 missile."
Ahn Young-joon, The Associated Press
People watch a TV screen showing a local news program reporting about North Korea’s missile launch, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. After 2 ½ months of relative quiet, North Korea launched its most powerful weapon yet early Wednesday, claiming a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile that some observers believe could put Washington and the entire eastern U.S. seaboard within range. The signs read “North Korea opened pictures of the Hwasong-15 missile.”

A rattled Seoul responded by almost immediately launching three of its own missiles in a show of force. South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed worry that North Korea’s missile threat could force the U.S. to attack the North before it masters a nuclear-tipped long-range missile.

The launch was North Korea’s first since Sept. 15 and may have broken any efforts at diplomacy. U.S. officials have sporadically floated the idea of direct talks with North Korea if it maintained restraint.

The missile also appeared an improvement on North Korea’s past launches.

If flown on a standard trajectory, instead of the lofted angle of the test flight, the missile would have a range of more than 13,000 kilometers (8,100 miles), said U.S. scientist David Wright, a physicist who closely tracks North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs. “Such a missile would have more than enough range to reach Washington, D.C., and in fact any part of the continental United States,” Wright wrote in a blog post for the Union for Concerned Scientists.

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said the missile landed inside Japan’s special economic zone in the Sea of Japan.

A big unknown, however, is the missile’s payload. If, as expected, it carried a light mock warhead, then its effective range would have been shorter, analysts said.

In his call with Xi, Trump made clear “the determination of the United States to defend ourselves and our allies,” according to a White House statement. Trump also “emphasized the need for China to use all available levers to convince North Korea to end its provocations and return to the path of denuclearization.”

The Trump administration bolstered U.S. sanctions against North Korea last week and imposed new restrictions on North Korean shipping firms and Chinese companies that deal with the North.

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency said Xi told Trump that China remained determined to clear the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons, and to preserve peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

Lederer reported from the United Nations. Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor and Robert Burns in Washington, Foster Klug and Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul, and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.

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Cheap Nike Shoes - Senate rushes tax bill forward, but Republicans split over key details Thu, 30 Nov 2017 06:07:03 +0000 WASHINGTON – A massive GOP tax bill cleared a key procedural hurdle in the Senate on Wednesday, as lawmakers voted 52 to 48 to move the legislation forward toward a showdown vote on final passage by week’s end.

The party-line vote was an important victory for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and President Donald Trump, signaling support and momentum for the legislation that overhauls the tax code for the first time in three decades while delivering enormous cuts to corporations and the wealthy.

But it was not a guarantee of ultimate success, as several Republican lawmakers agreed to open debate on the bill so they could pursue amendments and have not yet committed to voting for final passage. Key issues that remained included how to prevent the bill from driving up the federal deficit by too much and whether to shift more of the legislation’s rewards from corporations, which are some of the bill’s main beneficiaries, to working-class families, who receive more modest benefits.

“Passing tax reform is the single most important thing we can do right now to shift the economy into high gear and deliver much-needed relief to American families,” McConnell said on the Senate floor ahead of Wednesday’s vote, as he urged fellow Republicans to support the measure to open debate.

Passage of the “motion to proceed” started the clock on 20 hours of debate on the legislation, which will be followed by a “vote-a-rama” in which lawmakers can offer endless amendments into all hours of the night Thursday. Then will come the final vote.

With Democrats unanimously opposed, McConnell can lose only two GOP senators in the closely divided Senate and still prevail on the bill. Despite well-documented disagreements between McConnell and Trump, the tax legislation is the top goal for both men as they pursue a tax cut sought by donors and corporations, as well as a political victory to present to voters ahead of next year’s midterm elections.

Numerous issues were being negotiated throughout the day Wednesday, the most problematic being demands from GOP Sen. Bob Corker, Tenn., and others for a “trigger” to kick in and raise taxes if economic growth estimates don’t pan out.

Corker’s demand for the trigger provision stems from concern over how the bill would affect the federal budget. The total package of tax cuts is projected to add $1.4 trillion to $1.5 trillion over 10 years to the federal budget deficit.

Republicans have promised that the package of tax cuts would spur more economic growth, leading to more investment, hiring and higher wages for workers. But many economists dispute these forecasts, and Corker has sought assurances that some steps would automatically be taken if growth doesn’t materialize.

Details of Corker’s trigger idea remained in flux Wednesday. Negotiators were looking at a package that would raise taxes by as much as $350 billion if the economy doesn’t grow by more than 0.4 percent yearly above a baseline established by the Congressional Budget Office, according to several people briefed on the discussions. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to reveal private negotiations.

Lawmakers were still discussing where the new taxes would come from. One idea being considered would include raising the bill’s proposed corporate tax rate of 20 percent up to 21 percent, reinstituting the corporate alternative minimum tax, and reinstituting the alternative minimum tax paid by individuals and families.

“A lot of people hate it, but it may be the only way to get the tax bill passed,” said Steve Moore, a top economic adviser to Trump during the 2016 campaign.

But the idea faces sharp opposition within the GOP. Several Republicans said they were strongly opposed to a trigger, worried that the possibility of future tax increases could dampen corporate enthusiasm.

“There’s one word: It’s certainty,” said Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. “I do not support triggers.”

Other GOP senators raised similar concerns but said they were trying to work out a solution that all Republicans could live with. “I don’t want to see this bill destroyed because of a pursuit for perfection,” said Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga.

One possibility discussed by several senators Wednesday would use a trigger to prompt spending cuts, not tax increases. But GOP aides warned that could cause procedural issues, threatening the party’s ability to pass the bill with a simple majority vote.

The trigger issue was being negotiated along with other matters – including demands about additional relief for businesses whose owners pay taxes through the individual code, known as “pass-throughs.”

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., who has been working with Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., on the issue, announced that he had secured a deal increasing a tax deduction the owners of such businesses can take on their income from 17.4 percent to 20 percent, which he said would raise $60 billion for them.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said she was pleased with promised changes from Trump that would allow Americans to deduct up to $10,000 in property taxes from their taxable income.

Allowing Americans to deduct $10,000 in property taxes could add more than $100 billion to the cost of the tax package over 10 years. But the House bill included the provision, and numerous GOP lawmakers there have said it must be included in the final bill. Senate leaders are looking at prohibiting corporations from deducting state and local taxes as a way to raise some of the offsetting revenue, although no final decision has been made, the people briefed on the talks said.

Other issues remained outstanding.

Collins, for instance, was seeking assurances that the Senate will vote on a companion health care bill if the tax legislation retains a provision repealing the Affordable Care Act mandate for nearly all Americans to carry health insurance or pay a fine.

“Susan’s got a concern,; it’s a real legitimate concern. Ron Johnson’s got a concern. There’s a deficit concern,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said. “It’s like making a cocktail. If you’ve got to add more of this and less of that, I’m fine. Failure’s not an option.”

Republican leaders were under pressure to make another change that could alter the bill significantly. Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, are pushing an amendment that would expand child tax credits to millions of poor families, particularly those who don’t pay income taxes. To offset the cost of this change, they propose lifting the corporate tax rate in the bill from 20 percent to 22 percent.

The change would essentially transfer some of the benefit of the bill away from corporations and toward low-income Americans.

They are unlikely to get enough GOP support in the Senate to pass their amendment, but Democrats could band together and push the amendment into the bill if they receive help from only one or two more Republicans. That could force GOP leaders to make a last-minute decision about whether to back the child tax credit amendment or decide whether to pressure the lawmakers to withdraw it.

Success on the Senate floor can never be assured, as illustrated in July when a dramatic eleventh-hour defection from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., sunk the GOP’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But momentum was slowly gathering in leadership’s direction, with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who opposed a repeal of the Affordable Care Act this year, saying she planned to back the legislation.

Although the legislation would still have to be reconciled with a House version, passage on the Senate floor this week would clear the bill’s toughest hurdle and hand a major victory to Trump and GOP leaders.

Republicans are moving at breakneck speed, shutting Democrats out of the process completely as they push a tax code rewrite that few understand and that could have uncertain impacts on the entire economy and every American over decades to come.

Numerous analyses have found the bill disproportionately benefits the wealthy and even hurts poorer Americans over time. Trump, GOP leaders and many businesses nonetheless insist it would be a boon for the economy that would boost growth and help the middle class.

“Our focus is on helping the folks who work in the mail rooms and the machine shops of America,” Trump said during a speech Wednesday in St. Charles, Missouri. “The plumbers. The carpenters. The cops. The teachers. The truck drivers . . . The people that like me best.”

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Cheap Nike Shoes - Bitcoin surges past $10,000 threshold, only to plunge Thu, 30 Nov 2017 06:02:33 +0000 By Carlo Piovano, The Associated Press

LONDON — The price of bitcoin surged through $10,000 on Wednesday, adding to its ten-fold jump in value this year and fueling a debate as to whether the virtual currency is gaining mainstream acceptance or is merely a bubble waiting to burst.

But as soon as bitcoin went through $10,000, it surged past $11,000, only to plummet from those lofty levels. The cost of buying one bitcoin as measured by the website Coindesk was hovering around $9,800, and was as low as $9,300 on Wednesday afternoon. A price of one bitcoin had been roughly $1,000 at the beginning of the year.

The vertiginous rise in the price of bitcoin and other virtual currencies this year has divided the financial community on their merits and whether — or when — the value might come crashing back down.

The CEO of JPMorgan Chase has called bitcoin a “fraud,” as it is not based on anything other than software code and is not backed by any monetary authority.

Other executives, including International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, say virtual currencies should not be dismissed and could have useful applications, such as a means of payment in countries with unstable currencies.

Some countries, like China, have tried to stifle bitcoin exchanges. But in a move that gave further credibility to the virtual currency, the U.S. exchange operator CME Group said last month that it plans to open a futures market for the currency before the end of the year, if it can get approval from regulators.

Bitcoin was created about a decade ago as an alternative to government-issued currencies. Transactions allow anonymity, which has made it popular with people who want to keep their financial activity, and their identities, private.

The digital coins are created by so-called “miners,” who operate computer farms that verify other users’ transactions by solving complex mathematical puzzles. These miners receive bitcoin in exchange. Bitcoin can be converted to cash when deposited into accounts at prices set in online trading.

Whereas virtual currencies were initially used primarily as a method of payment, in recent months they have become a hot investment among speculators.

Daniele Bianchi, an assistant professor of finance at the Warwick Business School in England, says that the price increases are due to rising demand but also to the fact that the supply of bitcoins is kept fixed. There are currently only 21 million that can be mined in total.

Bianchi also noted that trading in bitcoin is becoming more professional and open to the general public. He believes virtual currencies are “here to stay” and expects the price to rise higher still.

“The increasing demand pressure from investors and speculators makes the case for an even further increase in bitcoin prices in the near future,” he said.

Others are far more skeptical.

Neil Wilson, a senior market analyst at ETX Capital in London, says bitcoin is “following the playbook for a speculative bubble to the letter.”

A new market enjoys a boom when professional investors start entering the market. That’s followed by euphoria as others rush in to partake in the gains. Wilson says bitcoin could rise a lot further, but says it is merely a question of when, not if, the bubble bursts.

“This sort of thing never, ever lasts,” he said.

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Cheap Nike Shoes - Snapchat seeks to attract more users by redesigning app Thu, 30 Nov 2017 05:59:43 +0000 NEW YORK — Snapchat is separating what friends share and what media organizations publish in an attempt to appeal to a broader range of users.

Users will now see two separate feeds. Before, the visual-messaging app was mixing posts from friends, publishers, celebrities and others, much the way Twitter, Facebook and other rivals continue to do.

Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel took a jab at rivals, writing that social media “fueled ‘fake news'” because of this content mixing.

“After all, how many times have you shared something you’ve never bothered to read?” Spiegel wrote on Axios.

Snapchat has not been gaining enough users, especially beyond its core of younger people. Instead, rival services have managed to copy Snapchat’s most popular features and make them available to a broader audience. This includes Stories, a way to show photo and video snippets that disappear after 24 hours; Snapchat pioneered it, while Facebook’s Instagram popularized it.

With growth stagnant, parent company Snap’s stock is down sharply since its initial public offering earlier this year. Snap hinted at changes three weeks ago, but didn’t provide details then.

Beyond separating feeds, Snapchat will now order posts using a formula to try to appeal to users’ likes, instead of listing them chronologically. Facebook has long done that; Twitter and Instagram followed more recently.

Even so, Spiegel seems determined to set Snapchat apart from its bigger rivals. When users open Snapchat, for instance, they will still see the app’s camera first.

“Snapchat began as an escape from social media, where people could send photos and videos to their friends without the pressure of likes, comments, and permanence,” Spiegel wrote.

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Cheap Nike Shoes - Rise of “hobby farms” means more growers get maimed, killed Thu, 30 Nov 2017 05:54:48 +0000 By Rick Callahan, The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Phil Jacobs was just a teenager when his parents bought a scenic Kentucky farm with hayfields, forests, creeks, trails and a view of the Ohio River. Decades later, he still spent time there, maintaining the property as a second job and using its campsite for family getaways.

The Lawrenceburg, Indiana, anesthesiologist was removing dying ash trees in June 2015 when his tractor overturned as he was pulling a tree up a hill. He died instantly, at age 62. The tractor, which dated to the early 1960s, had no rollover protections.

“The farm was a very important part of my husband’s life,” said Jacobs’ widow, Joyce. “If he had any time off, we went to the farm.”

The risk of serious injury or death has always been a part of farming. But the nation’s growing embrace of small-scale production of local and organic crops is drawing more amateurs into the field, and inexperienced growers are increasingly getting maimed and even killed, often by old, unsafe machinery. Experts say some novices have little appreciation of the occupation’s dangers.

Up to a quarter of Indiana’s 115 farm fatalities over the past four years have been on small operations that include so-called hobby or lifestyle farms, which are often run by people who entered farming from other lines of work, according to research by Purdue University farm-safety expert Bill Field, who has tracked farm fatalities for nearly four decades.

Those deaths — nearly 30 between 2013 and 2016 — represent a disproportionately high percentage of Indiana’s total farming deaths, given the state’s widespread commercial farming operations, Field said.

Over the years, Field has served as an expert witness in more than 100 lawsuits that included the deaths of a surgeon, an FBI agent, a lawyer and several other professionals who traded white-collar careers for farming. Many were rookie farmers killed in accidents that people raised on farms and mindful of farming dangers would likely have avoided.

That includes the death of a man who entered retirement with dreams of starting a Christmas tree farm in the Northeast. He bought a brand-new tractor and began clearing land, seemingly oblivious to the dangers posed by farm equipment. Two months into retirement, the man was killed in a grisly accident when he was pulled into the tractor’s power takeoff shaft — a rapidly spinning device at the rear end of the tractor that sends power to attachments.

“He retired on Sept. 30 from a government job and was dead by Thanksgiving. I don’t think he had a clue what he was doing with that equipment,” said Field, who investigated the death as part of a lawsuit filed by the man’s widow. He declined to disclose the man’s name.

Chris Holman moved to Wisconsin from Oregon nearly a decade ago to pursue a Ph.D. in world languages. He ended up ditching academia for the farming life even though neither he nor his then-girlfriend, Maria, had any agricultural experience.

The couple, now married with a young daughter, bought 41 acres and founded Nami Moon Farms, which specializes in pasture-raised hogs and chickens, as well as eggs, honey and vegetables.

They knew full well that agriculture can be dangerous, so Holman repeatedly screened farm-safety videos. But he still nearly had a serious accident the first time he tilled a field.

In this Jan. 1, 2014 photo, ...
Kimm Anderson, St. Cloud Times via AP
In this Jan. 1, 2014 photo, Madison Houdek watches as her father, Jamie, demonstrates tools he uses to eat and use a computer tablet since losing his right hand to a corn picker in Nov. 2013 on the 60-acre hobby farm where he raises beef cattle near Little Falls, Minn. The nation’s growing embrace of small-scale production of local and organic crops is leading to more farm injuries and deaths among amateur growers. Experts say some novices have little appreciation of the occupation’s dangers.

As his tractor was rolling along, the tiller trailing behind it snagged on a boulder hidden in the soil. The tractor’s front end immediately began rising off the ground and came a split-second away from flipping over onto the cab where he was seated.

“Maybe it was just dumb luck, but right in the heat of the moment, I hit the clutch and had just enough time to bring the front end back down,” recalled Holman, 40.

His tractor had some protections — a rollover bar and a reinforced cab. But hobby farms are among the only places in the U.S. where cheaper, older tractors without such safety features are still in use, said Frank Gasperini, executive vice president of the National Council of Agricultural Employers.

Jacobs’ tractor was one example. He had researched buying a new, safer machine, his widow said.

Tractor rollovers are the leading cause of death on smaller farms, Gasperini said, and some beginning farmers who buy older tractors have little or no safety training. They often toil alone at odd hours — sometimes while weary from working at off-farm jobs.

Gasperini warned in a July article in the Journal of Agromedicine that “very small, subsistence, part-time, non-traditional and hobby farms will continue to pose significant challenges” to the safety of U.S. agriculture.

The total number of farms in the U.S. has been declining for decades as large commercial farms keep getting bigger. But small farms are on the rise, buoyed by the popularity of locally grown produce and meats, farmers’ markets, organic foods and farm-to-table production.

The 2012 farm census showed that farms covering less than 50 acres grew nearly 10 percent between 2002 and 2012, when there were more than 813,000 such farms nationwide.

Many new retirees are drawn to small-scale farming by the allure of a bucolic life and the independence of setting their own schedule, said Roger Sipe, editor for Hobby Farms, a national magazine that documents the trend.

Even seasoned farmers sometimes make mistakes in a moment of haste.

That was the case for Jamie Houdek, who lost his right hand to a corn picker on the 60-acre hobby farm where he works part-time raising beef cattle in Little Falls, Minnesota.

The father of three was harvesting corn for cattle feed in November 2013 when he stopped his tractor and climbed down from the puttering machine to make sure the corn picker it was pulling was functioning properly.

Houdek then reached to grab a dried ear of corn from the still-operating machine to check its moisture content. His gloved right hand was swiftly pulled inside, crushed to the wrist by metal rollers and eventually shorn off. His left hand suffered nerve damage when it also became entangled in the picker.

He was trapped in the machine’s grip for nearly an hour before a neighbor rescued him.

“I was born and raised on farms, so I knew better,” said Houdek, 36. But he was hurrying and trying to take advantage of good weather. “I just thought I would jump off real quick, check on stuff and jump back on and keep going.”

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