Apple announces plans to repatriate billions in overseas cash, says it will contribute $350 billion to the US economy over the next 5 years
“Apple will invest $350 billion in the US economy over the next 5 years
Apple on Wednesday made a slew of announcements about its investment in and contribution to the U.S. economy in part because of the new tax law.
The headline from Apple is that it will make a $350 billion “contribution” to the U.S. economy over the next five years, although it’s unclear exactly how the company came to that number.
The company also promised to create 20,000 new jobs and open a new campus.
It said it expects to pay about $38 billion in taxes for the horde of cash it plans to bring back to the United States. This implies it will repatriate virtually all of its $250 billion in overseas cash.
Apple also said it will spend over $30 billion in capital expenditures over the next five years. About $10 billion in capital expenditures will be investments in U.S. data centers, the company said.
Apple added that it will spend $5 billion as part of an innovation fund, up from the $1 billion CEO Tim Cook announced last year on CNBC’s “Mad Money.”
The job creation will include direct employment and also suppliers and its app business, which it had already planned to grow substantially (app developers earned $26.5 billion in 2017.) The new campus will focus on customer support.
Wednesday’s announcement indicates that Apple will still have hundreds of billions of dollars in cash. It could spend that money on buybacks, dividends or acquisitions or moonshot projects.
The announcement raises the bar for the world’s most valuable company — now a huge driver of the economy — to continue its dominance and growth in the wake of political pressure on big tech companies. The plan calls for Apple to keep up 2018’s $55 billion “supercycle” spending rate with domestic suppliers and manufacturers.
“We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible,” Cook said in a statement.
In 2016, then president-elect Donald Trump publicly called out Apple’s reliance on its Chinese supply chain, telling The New York Times that he would “get Apple to build a big plant in the United States, or many big plants in the United States.”
Apple shares were up about half a percent after the announcement, adding about $5.6 billion to the company’s market capitalization after the stock opened Wednesday’s trading session down 0.3 percent.
Report: FBI Launches New Clinton Foundation Investigation
“John Solomon reports at The Hill that the Department of Justice has launched a new investigation into the activities of the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was the secretary of state:
The Justice Department has launched a new inquiry into whether the Clinton Foundation engaged in any pay-to-play politics or other illegal activities while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, law enforcement officials and a witness tells The Hill.
FBI agents from Little Rock, Ark., where the Foundation was started, have taken the lead in the investigation and have interviewed at least one witness in the last month, and law enforcement officials said additional activities are expected in coming weeks.
The officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the probe is examining whether the Clintons promised or performed any policy favors in return for largesse to their charitable efforts or whether donors made commitments of donations in hopes of securing government outcomes.
Iranian Protesters Rip Pants Off Revolutionary Guard After Crackdown Fails Miserably
“Iranian protesters are deploying a clever tactic to deter regime forces from cracking down on nation-wide demonstrations: literally ripping the pants of Revolutionary Guards.
#Update102– An hour ago protesters were attacked by Basij(IRGC) Forces in #Kermanshah but people resisted, took one hostage, took his trousers off and let him go. This is going to be a tactic against IRGC Forces all over the country when protesters get attacked.#IranProtestspic.twitter.com/VmbtDcm5l0
The Basij militiaman, a paramilitary storm trooper of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, was reportedly swinging an electric shock baton when the crowd of angry protesters closed in around him.
“They got a Basij, hold him!” one man shouted as the demonstrators pulled away the militiaman’s baton and knocked him to the ground in the largely Kurdish city of Kermanshah.
But rather than beat the man to death, the crowd struck a different kind of blow against Iran’s authoritarian regime: they stripped him of his trousers and sent him stumbling and humiliated into the cold night.
“The protesters wanted to show that they are peaceful but that they are not weak and they are not afraid,” tweeted Iranian reporter Raman Ghavami.
Reports are emerging that the whole city of Kermanshah is now protesting the regime, chanting “down with the dictator” and “death to Khamenei!”
Protesters march toward residence of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
|| Al Arabiya News
“Several media outlets have reported that a crowd of protestors began marching toward Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s residence on Pasteur St. on Sunday night in the capital Tehran.
Sources have confirmed security forces and members of the Revolutionary Guards were heavily deployed in nearby streets Khamenei’s residence.
According to Shahrvand-Yar, a non-profit institution that advocates for democracy and change in Iran, said on its channel on Telgram app that the crowds of protesters began marching toward’s the house at exactly 19:50 Tehran time.
hey added that there were orders for military commanders to “take all measures to prevent the demonstrators from reaching the house of the Supreme Leader”.
Anti-government protesters demonstrated in Iran on Sunday in defiance of a warning by the authorities of a tough crackdown, extending for a fourth day one of the most audacious challenges to the clerical leadership since pro-reform unrest in 2009.”
“Exodus in Progress?”: Mystery Aircraft Leave Iran With “No Callsign, Origin, or Destination” As Protests Rage
“Last night, a large number of aircraft were spotted leaving Iran with “no callsign, origin, or destination.” Strategic Sentinel, a DC-based firm that provides “nonpartisan international relations and national security analysis,” raised the prospect that the live flight radar data may suggest an “exodus,” is in progress.
Below is the firm’s thread on the data:
“Charter flight company SCAT has an aircraft coming out of Iran with no registered callsign, no registered destination, and no registered origination point.”
“Large amount of aircraft leaving Iran at the moment, many with no callsign, origin, or destination. Exodus in progress?”
As the evening went on, less aircrafts without callsigns were visible.
“UPDATE: Still some aircraft with no callsign, but not as many as before. Some have disappeared, while the remaining aircraft have dispersed across Iran. Very few aircraft landing or departing at either IKA (Tehran Imam Khomeini Intl) or THR (Tehran Mehrabad Intl).
No further details are known about the strange live flight radar data.
As The Gateway Pundit‘s Jim Hoft reported, protests against the brutal and corrupt Khamenei regime spread to cities across Iran on Saturday.
Anti-government protests were planned in dozens of Iranian cities today.”
“The end is near for the mullahs of Iran, which is bad news for the Islamic Republic of Iran, but good news for the Persian people, who have a chance to free themselves of the baleful effects of the Arab conquest and — finally — join the community of Western nations by casting off its imposed Islamic theocracy and, it is to be hoped, Islam itself. The late Shah of Iran attempted, in part, to de-Islamicize historic Persia of its foreign influences via the restoration of the Peacock Throne, but his revolution was overturned, in part via the Soviet-inspired meddling of the Iranian Tudeh Party, which left the gates open for the ayatollah Khomeini.
Both the Russians and the Americans lost when Khomeini came to power, and Iran shortly thereafter seized the hostages at the U.S. Embassy, precipitating (among other events, including the disastrous American economy) the fall of the Carter administration and the election of Ronald Reagan. Ever since, Islamic Iran has been unremittingly hostile to the United States, as well as to its schismatic co-religionists elsewhere in the Muslim-conquest world, especially Sunni Iraq and, of course, Saudi Arabia.
That’s been a triumph for Shi’ite Islam, but a disaster for the Iranian people, whose numbers include not only ethnic Persians but Jews, Assyrians, Kurds, and many others. The brief flowering of art, science, literature and poetry during the so-called “Golden Age” of Islamic Persia was soon enough snuffed out. As I write in my forthcoming book, The Fiery Angel:
It is fashionable today to cite the Islamic “golden age” – a direct result of its contact with Christian Europe, we should keep in mind – as a model, not just for what Islam could one day again become (unlikely, since militant Islam explicitly wishes to return to its seventh-century purity), but also as an apologia for Islam’s many and violent sins against the international order. But until Islam casts off Saudi-fueled Wahhabism and Irian Shi’a millenarianism, gives up its supremacist designs, and becomes willing to accommodate peaceful co-existence contact with West – beyond its oil-driven importation of Mercedes-Benz and Maserati automobiles and Western firearms – this is unlikely.
As the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus — quoted by former Pope Benedict XVI in his controversial 2006 Regensburg lecture (controversial only to apologists for Islam, that is) — observed in 1391:
Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.
Little more than half a century later, in 1453, Constantinpole fell to the Muslim Turks, marking the final end of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the long night of darkness that has enveloped the Middle East pretty much ever since. Christendom lost control of the lands of its origin, including the reconquered Crusader states of the Levant (one of which still survives, barely, as Lebanon), and the battle line between Europe and Islam was drawn from Gibraltar to the Balkans — the beginning of a long, uneasy truce that lasted until Sept. 11, 2001.
The events unfolding in Iran right now are therefore a long time coming, and ought to be welcomed not only by those fearful of the “Islamic bomb” that Iran is hell-bent on possessing and which the Obama administration’s disgraceful, faciliatory “deal” made all but inevitable, but by all adherents of the Western notion of freedom. During the last serious protests in Iran, the “green revolution” of 2009, Obama reacted supinely, standing idly by as the youthful demonstrators were shot in the streets of Tehran and the “clerics” restored iron-fist rule.
A lot has changed since then. For one thing, the Shi’ite-partial Obama is gone, having been replaced by his polar opposite in Donald Trump:”
Six men found hanged from bridges near Mexico tourist spot Los Cabos
|| Guardian UK
“The bodies of six men have been left hanging from three different bridges near the Mexican tourist resort of Los Cabos on the Baja California peninsula on Wednesday, local authorities said.
The authorities did not give details on what happened to the men, but drug gangs often hang the bodies of their murdered victims in public to intimidate rivals. Drug gang violence is set to make 2017 Mexico’s deadliest year in modern history.
Two bodies were found on a bridge in Las Veredas, near Los Cabos international airport, and two on a different bridge on the highway between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, local prosecutors said in a statement.
In a separate statement, the prosecutors said two further bodies were found on a third bridge near the airport.
An official from the prosecutor’s office, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the bodies of the men had been hung from the bridges.
Violent crime has spiked in Baja California, particularly around the once peaceful resort of Los Cabos visited by million of foreign tourists every year. Los Cabos’s police chief, Juan Manuel Mayorga, was shot dead last week.
Mexico is on track for its most violent year since records began, with the rise of the Jalisco New Generation cartel, now one of the country’s most powerful, and disputes between other criminal groups fueling murder rates.
On Tuesday, authorities in the northern state of Chihuahua said 12 people were killed in clashes between armed groups.
The governor of the state of Baja California Sur, Carlos Mendoza Davis, said that authorities were investigating the incidents near Los Cabos.
“I condemn these acts and any expression of violence. Today more than ever in #BCS we should be united,” he said via Twitter, using the hashtag for the state’s initials.
Homicides have more than doubled in Baja California Sur this year, with 409 people killed through October, from 192 in all of 2016. In June authorities said they had found a mass grave with the bodies of 11 men and three women near Los Cabos.”
Cord-Cutting Explodes: 22 Million U.S. Adults Will Have Canceled Cable, Satellite TV by End of 2017
“Research firm eMarketer cuts TV ad-spending forecast on accelerating pay-TV declines
Winter is here for cable and satellite TV operators.
American consumers are cancelling traditional pay-TV service at a much faster rate than previously expected, according to research firm eMarketer.
In 2017, a total of 22.2 million U.S. adults will have cut the cord on cable, satellite or telco TV service to date — up 33% from 16.7 million in 2016 — the researcher now predicts. That’s significantly higher than eMarketer’s prior estimate of 15.4 million cord-cutters as of the end of this year. Meanwhile, the number of “cord-nevers” (consumers who have never subscribed to pay TV) will rise 5.8% this year, to 34.4 million.
“Younger audiences continue to switch to either exclusively watching [over-the-top] video or watching them in combination with free-TV options,” said Chris Bendtsen, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer. “Last year, even the Olympics and [the U.S.] presidential election could not prevent younger audiences from abandoning pay TV.
Overall, 196.3 million U.S. adults will have traditional pay TV (cable, satellite or telco) this year, down 2.4% compared with 2016, eMarketer predicts. By 2021, that will drop to 181.7 million, a decline of nearly 10% from 2016. The number of pay-TV viewers 55 and older will continue to rise over the next four years, while for every other age cohort the subscriber tallies will decline.
By 2021, the number of cord-cutters will nearly equal the number of people who have never had pay TV — a total of 81 million U.S. adults. That means around 30% of American adults won’t have traditional pay TV at that point, per eMarketer’s revised forecast.”
Gen. McMaster Sparked a Row With the Israeli Delegation at a White House Meeting on Hezbollah
|| PJ Media
“During the week of August 27, an Israeli delegation met with members of the National Security Council (NSC) at the White House to discuss the current threat to Israel by the terror group Hezbollah.
Israel believes this threat is currently dire. This meeting preceded a two-week long Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) exercise to rehearse for possible war with Hezbollah. The Jerusalem Post described this exercise, which commenced on September 4 and is ongoing, as the IDF’s largest in 20 years.
Hezbollah has been a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization since 1997. However, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster reportedly brought NSC Senior Director on Counter-Terrorism Mustafa Javed Ali to the White House meeting with Israel. Ali, a McMaster appointee, is described by a senior administration source as being “opposed to Hezbollah’s designation as a terrorist organization.”
What then transpired at the meeting has been confirmed to PJ Media by several administration sources, by members of non-governmental organizations involved in national security, and by a source within the Israeli government.”
‘KNOWN WOLF’ TERROR SCANDAL: CIA Knew About 9-11 Hijackers, Didn’t Provide Intel to FBI
|| PJ Media
“As I’ve recounted in more than 30 articles here at PJ Media over the past three years, virtually every Islamic terrorist who has conducted an attack in the West since 9/11 has already been known to authorities, which prompted me to coin the phrase“known wolf” terrorism.
Amidst the commemoration of the 16th anniversary of 9/11, it bears recalling that 9/11 itself was a “known wolf” attack, too.
The CIA had intelligence that two Saudi 9/11 hijackers were living in the United States, but they deliberately refused to share the information with the FBI. The FBI had authority to act on such information and possibly prevent the 9/11 attacks:
In many respects, the 3,000 Americans killed on 9/11 were not only the victims of al-Qaeda terrorists, but also bureaucratic incompetence and inter-governmental turf wars. Who among those who sat on the information were punished? Well, none were.
The CIA sitting on critical intelligence until just days before the attack was couched in the larger excuse of “intelligence failures,” and swept under the rug.
Some of what we know about the CIA’s pre-9/11 intelligence about the hijackers comes from a joint congressional inquiry several years after the attacks. But the most revealing information has come from former FBI agent Mark Rossini, who — though an FBI agent — was assigned to the CIA and prevented from sharing the information with his colleagues.
Rossini is well placed to do just that. He’s been at the center of one of the enduring mysteries of 9/11: Why the CIA refused to share information with the FBI (or any other agency) about the arrival of at least two well-known Al-Qaeda operatives in the United States in 2000, even though the spy agency had been tracking them closely for years.
That the CIA did block him and Doug Miller, a fellow FBI agent assigned to the “Alec Station,” the cover name for CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit, from notifying bureau headquarters about the terrorists has been told before, most notably in a 2009 Nova documentary on PBS, “The Spy Factory.” Rossini and Miller related how they learned earlier from the CIA that one of the terrorists (and future hijacker), Khalid al-Mihdhar, had multi-entry visas on a Saudi passport to enter the United States. When Miller drafted a report for FBI headquarters, a CIA manager in the top-secret unit told him to hold off. Incredulous, Miller and Rossini had to back down. The station’s rules prohibited them from talking to anyone outside their top-secret group.”
Equifax finally responds to swirling concerns over consumers’ legal rights
|| Washington Post
Sharp-eyed social media users have combed through the Equifax data breach site’s fine print — and found what they argue is a red flag.
Buried in the terms of service is language that appears to bar those who enroll in an Equifax credit monitoring program from participating in any class-action lawsuits that may arise from the incident. Here’s the relevant passage of the terms of service:
AGREEMENT TO RESOLVE ALL DISPUTES BY BINDING INDIVIDUAL ARBITRATION. PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE SECTION CAREFULLY BECAUSE IT AFFECTS YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS BY REQUIRING ARBITRATION OF DISPUTES (EXCEPT AS SET FORTH BELOW) AND A WAIVER OF THE ABILITY TO BRING OR PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION, CLASS ARBITRATION, OR OTHER REPRESENTATIVE ACTION. ARBITRATION PROVIDES A QUICK AND COST EFFECTIVE MECHANISM FOR RESOLVING DISPUTES, BUT YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT IT ALSO LIMITS YOUR RIGHTS TO DISCOVERY AND APPEAL.
This language is commonly known in the industry as an “arbitration clause.” In theory, arbitration clauses are meant to streamline the amount of work that’s dumped onto the court system. But the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau concluded in the summer arbitration that clauses do more harm to consumers than good — and the agency put in place a rule to ban them.
“In practice, companies use these clauses to bar groups of consumers from joining to seek justice by vindicating their legal right,” Richard Cordray, the CFPB’s director, told reporters in July, according to my colleague Jonnelle Marte.
Here’s a further look into why the language raised concerns.
Why is arbitration a big deal?
There is already at least one class-action suit brewing against Equifax. Arbitration clauses make it hard if not impossible for consumers to join such suits. Arbitration is weaker than class-action suits, critics say, because it limits consumers’ ability to find facts to support their case, to appeal decisions or to present their case before a jury.
Friday afternoon, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman took aim at Equifax’s arbitration clause, tweeting his staff has contacted the company urging it to remove that part of the fine print.
“This language is unacceptable and unenforceable,” the state’s top lawyer said in his tweet. Minutes later, Schneiderman’s office announced a formal probe into the Equifax breach. In a release, the state attorney general’s office said Schneiderman had sent a letter to Equifax asking for more information. Among the questions were whether any consumer information has found its way to the “black market,” according to a person familiar with the investigation.
A spokesperson for Schneiderman declined to comment on whether officials were investigating the sale of company stock by Equifax executives before the discovery of the hack.
So should I register with the Equifax site, or not?
It’s up to you, but you should know going into the process what you’re signing up for. Equifax issued a statement Friday evening apologizing for consumers’ inconvenience and said the arbitration clause and class-action waiver “does not apply to this cybersecurity incident.”
“The three credit reporting agencies collect a vast array of personal data from consumers to calculate credit scores, which can determine an individual’s loan-worthiness or the terms of a loan. At a minimum, the accrued information includes Social Security numbers and credit card information that would be nerve-wracking to have stolen.
Yesterday, this information from as many as 143 million people in the U.S. — about 44% of the population — was leaked after a cybersecurity breach of Equifax’s database.
“The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers for approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and certain dispute documents with personal identifying information for approximately 182,000 U.S. consumers, were accessed,” the firm said in a statement. “As part of its investigation of this application vulnerability, Equifax also identified unauthorized access to limited personal information for certain U.K. and Canadian residents.”
Equifax says the breach occurred from mid-May through July 2017, and they urge consumers to “check potential impact” at a dedicated website, which you can do here. They’ve also opened a call center line (which will be open on weekends), and recommend that people with questions advises people who are worried about their information being exposed to consider placing a temporary fraud alert on their credit report for now.”