Trump gets his man at the State Department

first_imgFederal Government | Nation & World | NPR NewsTrump gets his man at the State DepartmentFebruary 1, 2017 by Domenico Montanaro and Michele Kelemen, NPR Share:President Donald Trump has gotten his man at the State Department.Rex Tillerson was approved by a 56-43 vote Wednesday in the Senate. Four senators who caucus with the Democrats crossed the aisle and joined all of the Republicans in voting for Tillerson. They were Democrats Mark Warner of Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, as well as independent Angus King of Maine.Tillerson, the former head of Exxon Mobil — the world’s largest and most powerful oil company — will now guide American foreign policy and be tasked with enacting Trump’s world view.That worldview, however, isn’t entirely clear. Trump has expressed nationalistic and protectionist views and even isolationist tendencies, but he has also said the U.S. needs to do more about ISIS. He has promised to “bomb the s*** out of them” and suggested it could potentially take 30,000 troops to defeat them.In addition to his controversial travel ban instituted in the first days of his presidency, Trump has ordered the U.S. out of trade deals, threatened import tariffs with America’s adversaries (China) and allies (Mexico), questioned the importance of NATO, praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, said he thinks torture works and, during the campaign, floated the idea (that he later seemed to walk back) that perhaps more countries should have nuclear weapons to defend themselves without the U.S.’s help.Tillerson will be tasked with defending the United States under Trump around the globe, while walking the line when he disagrees. Tillerson faced tough questioning from Republicans and was almost derailed because of his relationship with Putin. But Tillerson talked tough in those hearings about Russia and, unlike Trump, said he fully believes Russia was responsible for the hacks and leaks of the Democratic emails during the presidential campaign.Tillerson, who has no diplomatic experience aside from his myriad international business ties as Exxon Mobil’s chief, will be tasked with overseeing the State Department bureaucracy. He is not well-known in the State Department, but those who have briefed him are sounding fairly upbeat about his management style. As CEO of Exxon Mobil, he oversaw a vast company with employees working in dozens of countries.The difference is that Exxon Mobil has one goal: drilling for oil and making money for shareholders.His job at the State Department may be especially complicated by apparent unrest in the ranks. NPR has reported that some 900 State Department officials signed a letter that went viral within the agency decrying Trump’s visa and refugee ban as not making America safer.And the White House isn’t making the task of internal diplomacy any easier for Tillerson. White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Tuesday urged American diplomats to “get with the program” or go.But dissent is ingrained in State Department culture. In fact, the American Foreign Service Association, the professional association, gives awards every year for it.The State Department’s manual says there can be no retribution for employees who use the dissent channel, and some in Congress concerned about Spicer’s comments are now looking into ways to codify those protections.Trump, though, doesn’t exactly welcome dissent. While the new president is known for surrounding himself with differing factions — and even appeared to encourage his Cabinet nominees to have different points of view in their confirmation hearings — he also fired Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, an Obama holdover at the Justice Department, for speaking out against and refusing to defend the travel ban, and he said he has a “running war with the media.”“So much of the media seems to be the opposition party,” Trump said Wednesday, echoing his chief strategist Steve Bannon. He added, “They’re very dishonest people.”At the State Department, Tillerson will be hearing from diplomats who are worried about where the Trump administration is heading and whether he and Trump will overlook human rights abuses in countries where Americans want to do business.So, the mood in the State Department is uneasy. The Trump administration nudged out several professional diplomats even before naming anyone to replace them.One example is Tom Countryman, a career foreign service officer who was acting undersecretary for arms control. He was on NPR’s Morning Edition Wednesday, where he echoed a very powerful retirement speech he gave Tuesday to the State Department. He noted that State employees proudly serve in both Republican and Democratic administrations and implied they are feeling sidelined now.“We still have a duty,” he told the State employees. “You have a duty — to stay and give your best professional guidance, with loyalty, to the new administration, because a foreign policy without professionals is — by definition — an amateur foreign policy. You will help to frame and make the choices. Because that is what we do. Our work is little understood by our fellow Americans, a fact that is sometimes exploited for political purpose. When I have the opportunity to speak to audiences across this amazing land, I explain, ‘We do not have a Department of State, we do not have a foreign policy — because we love foreigners. We do it because we love Americans.”He also said something that directly relates to Trump (and perhaps even Tillerson). Countryman drew a distinction between business and diplomacy, and he seemed to dispute Trump’s foundational view of America.“Business made America great, as it always has been,” Countryman said, “and business leaders are among our most important partners. But let’s be clear: Despite the similarities — a dog is not a cat; baseball is not football; and diplomacy is not a business. Human rights are not a business. And democracy is, most assuredly, not a business.”He added, “We want Americans to prosper, to sell the world’s best food and the world’s best products everywhere in the world. We want Americans to be protected and safe when they are abroad, whether they are missionaries, tourists, students, businessmen or (for those of you who have done consular work) the occasional false Messiah.”Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.Share this story:last_img read more

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My LA to Z: Wolfgang Puck

first_imgUncategorizedMy LA to Z: Wolfgang PuckWhen chef Wolfgang Puck isn’t preparing the dishes at one of his iconic L.A. restaurants, he’s out enjoying the “perfect” climate or finding “the most wonderful ingredients.” Here he lists a few of his favorite places to dine (where someone else is doing the cooking)By Greg Boss – December 15, 2012705ShareEmailFacebookTwitterPinterestReddIt1  AOCThey serve everything in small portions, just the way I like it—especially for late at night.Map | More info2  ValentinoI love the exciting Italian cooking and fabulous wine list. My favorite dish is Tagliatelle with White Truffles.Map | More info3   Osteria AngeliniGreat for kids as well as grown-ups. My favorite dish is Whole Branzino Roasted in Sea Salt.  I often go on a Sunday with my wife and two younger sons, and we call ahead so when we arrive the chef has the food ready for the boys.Map | More info4  MatsuhisaNobu Matushisa’s restaurant on La Cienega is a must for anybody who loves Japanese food. Though the traditional sushi is always the freshest and of the best quality, I especially like his exciting fusion dishes which combine the best of the east and the best of the west.Map | More info5  Beverly Hills Farmers’ MarketWhen I’m in town, I try to go to the Beverly Hills Farmers’ Market every Sunday morning.  Both of my younger sons, Oliver and Alexander, love to taste strawberries, cherries and carrots, just the way I do.Map | More infoPhotographs courtesy (in order): andrewpotterphoto.blogspot.com, (1) aocwinebar.com, (2)valentinosantamonica.com, (3) angeliniosteria.com, (4)yougonnaeatallthat.blogspot.com, (5) beverlyhills.org TAGSL.A. CultureMy LA to ZWolfgang PuckPrevious articleTop 10 Weekend Events: Freaks, Geeks, & Puffy TacosNext articleFoam Finger: What the Lakers Won in D.C.Greg Boss RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORL.A. Restaurants Are Dealing with a Major Labor Shortage—What’s the Issue?Wolfgang Puck Passes the Torch to His 26-Year-Old Son at MeroisFollow in Pee-wee Herman’s Footsteps Across L.A.last_img read more

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The Show Must Go On: An Elephant-Free Circus Comes to Town

first_imgAnimalsThe Show Must Go On: An Elephant-Free Circus Comes to TownRingling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey brings ice skaters on stilts, trapeze artists, and contortionists to the Staples CenterBy Amy Wallace – July 15, 2016848ShareEmailFacebookTwitterPinterestReddItDo you remember the first time you saw a real, live elephant? I was nine years old when a convoy of trucks rolled into the teeny town of Yellow Springs, Ohio (population 6,000) and parked in the empty field next to the high school. It was 1972, so we had no cell phones, but as the Hoxie Bros. Big Three-Ring Circus began to construct a temporary wonderland, word ricocheted among the city’s under-12 residents. For kids as bored as my friends and I often were, this classified as a Major Event, and soon we’d arrived en masse on our banana-seat Schwinns.At first, we saw only familiar things get unloaded: horses and popcorn makers and the slats that you use to build bleachers. But then, out of the back of a semi-truck-trailer, lumbered an enormous elephant —the first one any of us had ever been near. Then out came another one. We were dumbstruck. They were so big and we were so small. It seemed reasonable to be fearful; couldn’t they crush us with one huge foot? But we weren’t afraid. The creatures looked nothing like Babar in his green three-piece suit. Not one of them was Horton, who heard a Who. These animals weren’t cute or silly. They were real, and they were magnificent.The photograph below is of a ’70s-era Hoxie Bros. elephant named Irene and captures what we saw over the next few hours: elephants hard at work.Photograph courtesy Buckles BlogBut the truly awesome thing came hours later, after the trainers drove massive stakes into the ground with mallets, tethered an elephant to each one, and left them alone. With no security guards waving us off, and no safety fences to hold us back, we held our breaths, checked our courage, and walked right up to the largest terrestrial animals on Earth, rubbing their leathery tree-trunk legs, patting the undersides of their bellies, and looking up into their sad, wise eyes. I think it’s fair to say the experience was, for each of us, our introduction to euphoria. We grew bigger that day, brimming with our humbling communion with these intelligent, compassionate beasts. In the photo below, the kid in the checked shirt could be me:Photograph courtesy Buckles BlogI thought about all this last night, when I attended the premiere of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey “Out of This World” show at Staples Center. The performance, which continues at Staples between July 15 and July 19, is being billed as an entirely new genre of circus complete with video projection mapping and “thrill skaters” who seamlessly transition from floor to air to ice (even while wearing stilts). Yes, there are gravity-defying acrobats and tight rope walkers, and lycra-clad athletes on flying trapezes, like in the circuses of old, and clowns with big shoes and lots of what the press release described as “majestic animals” (I spotted lions, tigers, llamas, donkeys, horses, dogs, pigs, goats, and a kangaroo). The new space-themed show also has stunt-motorcycle riders who race around inside a metal sphere, basketball playing unicyclists, and astronauts who balance overhead on a floating, satellite-like contraption. But there is not a single elephant. In May, two years before they’d promised to, Ringling Bros. retired its elephants. At their final show in Rhode Island, the elephants paraded onto the stage as they had for years, linked to each other trunk-to-tail. At show’s end, after performing a final dance number, they exited the same way, and headed to a facility in Florida.Of course, that’s a good thing. For years, animal rights groups have drawn attention to Ringling Bros.’ treatment of elephants. In 2011, the circus was fined $270,000 by the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. But even in the best of circumstances, trucking elephants around the country, no matter how humanely, seems a cruel thing. Elephants are built to walk, swinging their legs as pendulums to propel them forward. Elephants are wild. They are not supposed to dance, or curtsy, or form a living daisy-chain.What they are born to do is live in family groups led by matriarchs, who are usually the oldest cow in the herd. They are amazing communicators, and not just by making trumpeting sounds. They greet each other by touching and stroking. They protect themselves by listening to the seismic vibrations caused by another elephant running or charging, which can signal alarm. Scientists argue about whether elephants feel emotion, but like dolphins and monkeys, ailing elephants often seem to elicit compassionate responses from others in their herd. They use tools, look out for each other, and even appear to mourn.Who wouldn’t be glad, then, about the new and improved circus? Sure, the show I experienced as a kid brought both joy and an appreciation for nature right to my doorstep. That was a magical thing. But today’s kids have access to another sort of magic—the technology you’re using to read this. Everyone knows elephants have remarkable memories. I guess I do, too. This morning, though, I realized my nostalgia about my own elephant experience is misplaced. This is the greatest show on Earth:The Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus will be at Staples through July 19, with one, two, or three shows a day. Tickets available at http://staples.center-la.com TAGSElephantsHoxie Bros.Circus ElephantsCircusRingling Bros. and Barnum & BaileyPrevious articleThere Are $58 Round-Trip Flights from L.A. Right Now, and We’re Freaking Out About ItNext articleThis App Will Pretty Much Turn You Into a Professional BartenderAmy Wallace RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORIf You Only See One Variety Show in LA, Make It This OneCirque Du Soleil’s New Kurios Show Is SpectacularThe Best Clown In All Of Mexico To Reinvent L.A. Theaterlast_img read more

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Tide wants you to quit using warm water for your laundry

first_imgAdvertisement“There is no tradeoff. You will save $150 a year in energy costs, your garments will last longer. And by the way, you’re helping to save the planet,” Shailesh Jejurikar, CEO of Procter & Gamble’s fabric and home care division, said in an interview. “It’s a beautiful win-win-win if we get this right.”“This is going to be the defining decades for where we end up on climate change,” Jejurikar said. “If we don’t get this situation under control in the coming years, we are going to pay the price. There is a need to act now.”Tide set a goal of also cutting greenhouse gas emissions at its factories in half by 2030, which is in addition to the progress the company has already made cutting emissions by three-quarters over the past decade. The brand adopted 100 percent renewable energy at its manufacturing plants. Advertisement AdvertisementTags: greenhouse gaslaundryTide No Content Available Advertisement AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments Doing your laundry with cold water can help save the planet, and maybe save you some money along the way.That’s the message from Tide in a newly-launched campaign to decarbonize laundry.The company’s goal is for consumers in North America to do three out of every four loads of laundry with cold water by 2030, up from about half today. That would eliminate the power consumption required to heat cold water, reported CNN.If the goal is met, Tide said it will have the same impact on greenhouse gas emissions as removing about a million cars from the road for a year. RELATEDTOPICSlast_img read more

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Female donju rise to prominence in the taxi industry

first_img Female donju rise to prominence in the taxi industry In particular, female donju are using their personal connections built on the basis of their financial influence to solidify their authority. Even the so-called “tenth guardpost,” which directly controls the residents and the circulation of products has been unable to prevent these changes. AvatarDaily NKQuestions or comments about this article? Contact us at [email protected] “The party members have now become accustomed to the new order. In the past, they would have ignored such women, but now they have to respect them and maintain good behavior to earn their trust.” There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest “Recently, the number of taxis in Pyongsong and Sunchon has increased, and becoming a taxi driver is considered a dream job with a relatively high salary. The drivers are hired through interviews conducted by the female donju who own the taxis, so their status is naturally rising,” a source in South Pyongan Province recently told Daily NK. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR In addition, as taxi cabs that can carry 5-8 passengers have become more popular than 2-4 passenger taxi cabs, the role of the female donju has also widened. They frequently choose to manage the accounting themselves while sitting next to the driver’s seat, taking a role similar to that of a conductor. SHARE Facebook Twitter An increasing number of female donju (newly-affluent middle class women) are reportedly entering the taxi industry and employing male drivers. These women are purchasing their own vehicles and becoming influential players in the private taxi industry. By Daily NK – 2017.06.15 5:11pm center_img “The taxi passengers are saying that the authority of these female taxi owners is so powerful that the male drivers show the same level of obedience to them as if they were Party secretaries. The drivers seem to be especially on edge because the owners can fire them for disobedience regardless of whether they are party members or not.” News In North Korea, only males who are approved by the government are eligible for a driver’s license. Under this system, women are fundamentally excluded from driver’s education, so female donju who acquire savings through market businesses have started to hire male drivers, in turn changing the structure of authority between men and women. “If a taxi is stopped by the tenth guardpost and delayed due to a license inspection, the customers never use the taxi again. Therefore, these women pay bribes to every guardpost to ensure a reliable service for the customers,” said a source in North Pyongan Province. News News NewsEconomy Since the rise of marketization began in the early 2000s, female donju have become an emerging economic pillar in North Korean society. Symbolic of this rise is the fact that many of these women can now hire male party members who formerly wielded authority over them. North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once againlast_img read more

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Stocks hold their appeal for Canadian advisors

The Q1 survey results indicate that the majority of Canadian advisors expect equity returns to remain in positive territory over the next three months. Roughly two out of three Canadian advisors were bullish on Canadian equities, as represented by the S&P/TSX 60 (Total Return) Index, after this index posted a positive 2.07% return on the quarter. Similarly, bullish sentiment increased more than seven percentage points from the previous advisor survey on U.S. large cap equities, as represented by the S&P 500 to 58%, after an 11% gain on that index last quarter. Bullish sentiment also increased for the Nasdaq, from 54% to 60% after a 6.48% return last quarter. “Stocks were a good asset class to be invested in last quarter, and it’s clear that many Canadian advisors expect them to deliver strong returns for the first part of 2012,” said Howard Atkinson, CEO of Horizons ETFs. Bullish sentiment on most energy asset classes held through the last quarter. Crude oil delivered stellar returns in Q4, increasing nearly 25%. More than half of Canadian advisors (55%) remain bullish in their outlook for crude oil for this coming quarter. Similarly, bullish sentiment on the S&P/TSX Capped Energy Index was 57% after this sector returned 11.3% last quarter. The same optimism does not exist for natural gas prices however. Natural gas investors had a dreadful Q4, losing 18.5%. Bullish sentiment on gas prices also dropped 17 percentage points to just 28%. The lion’s share of advisors (47%), are neutral in their outlook for gas for this coming quarter. 2011 was a year marked by high volatility. In last quarter’s sentiment survey, the majority of advisors correctly predicted that volatility, as represented by the VIX Index would decrease, which it did by 33.4%. Bearish sentiment on the VIX Index did however drop this quarter to 42%. Another poor performing asset class last quarter was gold. Gold bullion declined 3.7% last quarter, however bullish sentiment on gold bullion held at about 50%. That said, bullish sentiment on gold producer equities, which dropped more than 8% in the last quarter of 2011, declined dramatically from 57% last quarter to 49% for this quarter. “Gold is a traditional safe-haven during volatile markets. With sort of muted expectations on volatility from advisors, it would make sense that their appetite for gold investing has also decreased,” Atkinson says. Sentiment on the value of the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar was mixed, with there being almost as many bears on the loonie (37%) as there were bulls (38%). Also on the currency front, this is the second quarter that the advisor sentiment survey has tracked opinion on the Canadian dollar versus the Australian dollar. More than three quarters of advisors were neutral on the direction of this relationship — very perceptive — since the Australian dollar and the loonie tend to move in the same direction versus the U.S. dollar. “The Australian dollar has a much higher yield, which is why you may see high foreign investment in that currency from low-interest currency regions like Canada and the U.S.,” Atkinson says. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Canadians feeling stressed about their finances Related news Investor confidence rebounds, Manulife survey finds IE Staff After reasonably strong equity returns during the last quarter of 2011, the majority of Canadian investment advisors predict that equity markets should increase again during the first quarter of 2012, according a survey conducted by Horizons Exchange Traded Funds Inc. The survey asks investment advisors to give their outlook on 18 distinct asset classes. Advisors responded whether they were bullish, bearish or neutral on the anticipated returns for these asset classes over the next quarter. Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Keywords Investor sentiment Oil prices, low dollar depressing investor confidence read more

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Response to Labor’s Vision for Cities

first_imgResponse to Labor’s Vision for Cities Comments attributable to Ken Morrison, Chief Executive – Property Council of Australia.“The Property Council of Australia welcomes Labor’s announcement of six measures aimed at improving the policy framework governing the future of Australia’s cities.While Australia’s economic recovery is advancing well ahead of earlier projections, the economic road ahead remains very challenging. Improving the productivity of Australia’s cities and encouraging the renewal of our CBDs will be critical to future growth.Australian cities have long been outgrowing the capacity of their infrastructure systems, housing supply and governance structures. Growth management needs to be done in a long-term, coordinated and depoliticised way.The Property Council is a strong advocate of City Deals as a policy tool to unlock the full potential of our cities. The industry has also been a strong supporter of the important role of Infrastructure Australia.More than 90 per cent of Australians live in urban areas. As such, the future prosperity and liveability of our cities needs to be front of mind for any federal government.” /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Australia, Australian, council, federal government, future, Government, industry, infrastructure, liveability, Morrison, property, Property Council of Australia, real estatelast_img read more

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Life in the Luxe Lane

first_img Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2While it’s tough to leave the luxurious Fairmont Pacific Rim, adventure awaits up the Sea to Sky Highway in the 2019 X7 on the Fairmont’s Life is a (Luxurious) Highway experience. CREDIT: Marley Hutchinson We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. That highway is the oh-so-scenic Sea to Sky linking Vancouver and Whistler, and is paired to perfection with the all-new BMW X7, a luxury sport utility vehicle purpose-built for road trips like this.The package includes a couple of nights at both the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver and Whistler’s Fairmont Chateau in Gold Room accommodations with accompanying over-the-top pampering, an amazing drive up and down one of the world’s most scenic routes, and some seat time in the latest master werke from the exacting engineering minds of Bayerische Motoren Werke.The package name borrows from Tom Cochrane’s 1992 hit Life is a Highway, in which the Canadian rocker implores:‘Come ride with me to the distant shores,We won’t hesitate break down the garden gate,There’s not much time left today.’If that doesn’t speak to the very nature of the quintessential summer road trip, I don’t know what does. Throw in ‘Luxurious’ to that mix and you’ve got a five-day adventure that will resonate with you for many summers to come (winters too). I was fortunate to do just that, and weeks later I’m still humming the tune and thinking, ‘Life is a highway, I want to ride it all night long.’The Ride: BMW X7It’s been 20 years since BMW launched its first ‘X’ branded SUV, so it’s a bit of surprise it took that long for the German luxury automaker to enter the big-boy sport-ute marketplace, given that Range Rover, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac have had such offerings for years now. But as is so often the case with BMW products, the wait for the all-new X7 was worth it, as it takes all the best attributes of the X5— high-end cabin, clean exterior lines and excellent performance attributes — melds them with the legendary 7 Series sedan ethos and ‘super sizes’ them all (consider, for one, the BMW badge on the front grille had to be made bigger just to fit with the uber proportions). And so was born the ideal vehicle for the Life is a (Luxurious) Highway package.“(The Fairmont) asked us to buy one for them, specifically for this package,” says Sea to Sky Exotic Car Rentals owner Jonas Johmann, who also offers a number of supercars for his discerning clientele. The fact his business is located in the underground parking lot of the Fairmont Pacific Rim makes this partnership ideal for all involved. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2A trio of 2019 BMW X7s at rest in front of the equally impressive Fairmont Chateau Whistler.Marley Hutchinson Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Part of the package includes the use of BMW Cruise e-Bikes from the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s electric bike fleet, ideal for an early morning spin around Stanley Park.Andrew McCredie Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2A line on the BMW’s Nav Map does not do justice to the epic scenery of the Sea to Sky Highway connecting Vancouver and Whistler.Andrew McCredie Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2The all-new BMW X7 looks at home on the twisty Sea to Sky Highway.Marley Hutchinson Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2The X7’s three-panel panoramic glass roof lets the light in and provides one-of-a-kind views of the Coast Mountains.Marley Hutchinson Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2It took some coaxing to get Sherlock the Toller out of the luxurious confines of the X7’s cargo hatch and onto the Crater Rim trail around Logger’s Lake in Whistler.Andrew McCredie Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2The interpretive Train Wreck hike in Whistler is an easy trail for all ages and well worth a visit.Andrew McCredie Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2In addition to artists making a canvas out of the box cars, mountain bikers have built stunts connecting the strewn about cars.Andrew McCredie Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2(Reluctantly) packing up for the drive down the Sea to Sky Highway…and back to reality.Andrew McCredie (Editor’s note: In the spirit of the summer road trip, we’re borrowing from the Travel section this week with a story about a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And don’t fret gearheads, there’s a sweet ride involved.)Call it the ultimate car-sharing experience.Two B.C. Fairmont hotels have teamed up with Sea to Sky Exotic Car Rentals to offer a memorable five-day road trip package called Life is a (Luxurious) Highway. There are two versions of the 2019 X7 — the six-cylinder xDrive40i and the eight-cylinder xDrive50i — and Johmann’s is the former, with a very fuel-efficient 3.0-litre engine producing a more-than-adequate 335 horsepower. How fuel efficient? On my drive up and down the Sea to Sky Highway, covering 268 kilometres, I squeezed a 9.7 L/100 km out of the twin-turbo beast.The Journey: Sea to Sky HighwayWhen you turn the corner where Highway 1 becomes the Sea to Sky Highway in West Vancouver, the view north of Howe Sound and the Coast Mountains is right out of a car commercial. Literally. The stretch between Horseshoe Bay and Britannia Beach has been the backdrop of countless commercials, and as the twisty road unfolds out the X7’s front windshield, and surrounding mountain peaks through the SUV’s gigantic panoramic sunroof, you yourself feel like your in a real-time car ad. And the X7 is perfectly cast in this role. While a two-seat roadster might very well be the perfect car for this iconic drive, the luxury SUV certainly rises to the occasion, with it’s sport sedan-like handling unwavering through the tighter twists on the undulating blacktop, its performance-tuned engine and seamless eight-speed gearbox providing more than enough power for the climbs, and its oh-so-well appointed and comfortable cabin a tranquil sanctuary from which to witness the wonders of the West Coast reveal themselves.I’ve been driving this highway for nearly 30 years now, beginning with ski bum days coaxing VW Westfalias, Ford LTDs and Jeep Cherokees up and down the then-treacherous route, followed by piloting auto-journalist-era whips like Rolls-Royces, Porsches and supercars up and down the more stress-free, post-2010 Winter Olympics’ highway. And it never gets old.I can just imagine what it must be like for a first-timer, particularly one charting the course in a 2019 BMW X7 as part of the Life is a (Luxurious) Highway package.My only complaint? It was over too soon.The Destinations: Fairmont Pacific RimThe very essence of the summer road trip is that well-worn adage, ‘It’s the journey, not the destination.’ Tough to argue that considering the stunning Sea to Sky Highway journey, but in this case I’m going to have to go off script and say this road trip package really is about the destinations.Before you even jump in the X7, you have two nights at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, the premier luxury hotel in Vancouver. And you’re on the Gold floor, a luxury hotel within a luxury hotel with attentive and personalized concierge service that would make a royal blush.The PacRim’s location makes it ideal for exploring the many sights, sounds and tastes of downtown Vancouver, but given the dining opportunities within the hotel itself, there’s a good case to be made for hanging out at the pool and spa, eating sushi at RawBar in the always bustling Lobby Lounge, and having a drink and dinner at Botanist, the in-house restaurant that has won a number of awards, the most recent being global accolades for its spirit concoctions, most notably for their unique presentations.If a different kind of spirit moves you to get out and explore, take full advantage of the hotel’s high-end BMW Cruise eBikes, electric-assist bicycles that make a ride round nearby Stanley Park fairly effortless (that said, you still need to pedal so you will work off some of those calories enjoyed the night before). Go early to avoid the seawall crowds.That outdoor experience is just a taster for what awaits following your drive up to Whistler (which includes a packed gourmet lunch from the hotel’s Italian-themed giovane café). Like the PacRim, the Chateau Whistler is the pre-eminent hotel in its setting, and also features in-house restaurants and lounges that will keep you close to home during your luxurious two-night stay.Of course, this being Whistler, you’ll be up early and out into the amazing surrounding nature, including a round of golf for two at the hotel’s spectacular golf course—where bear-spotting is as common as bogeys—the opportunity for a tranquil, sunrise paddleboard on an alpine lake with a hotel guide, and a guided, 90-minute hike to see a historic train wreck that has turned into an art exhibit of sorts.After all that, it’s back into the X7 for the mountain-to-waterfront drive back to Vancouver, and the end of a very special summer road trip. And the beginning of lifetime memories. Trending in Canada Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” If You GoGranted, at first blush the near-$8,000 package price might qualify this deal for one of those Lotto 6/49 ‘if-you-dream-it-you-can-achieve-it’ commercials, but when you break it down you do get a world-class, dare I say ‘economical’ experience for that price. Here are the details, based on double occupancy:Four-night accommodation (two nights at Fairmont Pacific Rim and two nights at Fairmont Chateau Whistler) in Fairmont Gold with exclusive access to the Fairmont Gold Lounge Bottle of B.C. red wine and custom amenity upon arrival $350 food and beverage credit at Fairmont Pacific Rim, to be enjoyed at giovane, Botanist, The Lobby Lounge and RawBar or through In-Room Dining $500 Willow Stream Spa credit at Fairmont Pacific Rim BMW e-Bike three-hour rental for two people Four-day BMW 7 Series rental from Sea to Sky Exotic and Luxury Car Rental, inclusive of a VIP airport car drop-off experience Pre-arranged picnic lunch from giovane café for your road trip to Whistler A day of golf at Chateau Whistler Golf Club for two $350 food and beverage credit at Fairmont Chateau Whistler, to be enjoyed at The Wildflower Restaurant, The Grill Room, Portobello, The Mallard Lounge & Terrace and the Clubhouse or through In-Room Dining Sightseeing tour led by Chateau’s resident Experience Guide to the picturesque Whistler Train Wreck Complimentary valet parking See More Videos The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car evercenter_img Trending Videos advertisement COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS Marley Hutchinson ‹ Previous Next › RELATED TAGSBMWX7SUVLuxuryLuxury CarsLuxury VehiclesNew VehiclesVancouver Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 As impressive as the all-new 2019 BMW X7 xDrive40i’s 12.3-inch centre display screen is, it can’t compete with the epic views of Howe Sound from the Sea to Sky Highway.  Marley Hutchinson PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca last_img read more

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Dry Creek Vineyard Is the Only American Winery to Release 45…

first_imgHome Industry News Releases Dry Creek Vineyard Is the Only American Winery to Release 45 Consecutive…Industry News ReleasesWine BusinessDry Creek Vineyard Is the Only American Winery to Release 45 Consecutive Vintages of Dry Chenin BlancBy Press Release – March 23, 2017 61 0 Previous articleFilthy Food Partners with Coastal Pacific Wines & SpiritsNext articleOmni Hotels & Resorts to Launch ‘Discover Rioja’ This Fall Press Release TAGSConsumerDry Creek Vineyard Share Pinterest Twitter Email ReddIt Linkedin AdvertisementHEALDSBURG, Calif. – MARCH 23, 2017 – Dry Creek Vineyard announced the release of its 45th consecutive vintages of Dry Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc to celebrate the winery’s anniversary of 45 years of family winemaking in Sonoma County, California.The love of the Loire Valley led Founder David S. Stare to produce his inaugural 1972 Dry Chenin Blanc, and the winery has continued to craft the varietal every harvest since. Dry Creek Vineyard remains the only American winery to produce 45 consecutive vintages of Chenin Blanc.Stare is widely known as the first to plant Sauvignon Blanc in Dry Creek Valley, against the advice of vineyard specialists. 45 years later, Sauvignon Blanc is the most planted white grape in Dry Creek Valley. Dry Creek Vineyard has proudly produced Sauvignon Blanc each year of its history and currently features four distinct Sauvignon Blanc bottlings in its portfolio.Founded in 1972, Dry Creek Vineyard paved the way for a renaissance of winemaking and viticulture in the Dry Creek Valley. Before Stare’s arrival, the Dry Creek Valley was planted to prune orchards. It was his vision to start a Loire Valley-inspired winery, which triggered a viticultural reawakening in northern Sonoma County.Stare’s daughter, Kim Stare Wallace, is currently the President of Dry Creek Vineyard and continues to lead with a “no compromises” philosophy producing appellation-focused, terroir-driven, varietal-defining wines.“Competition is at an all time high in our industry, so being true to our wines, our vineyards and the terroir of our region is more important than ever before, said Stare Wallace. “Instead of getting sucked into the increasing corporatization of the industry, we are bucking the trends and are an increasingly rare breed.”“We are proud to be one of the few remaining family-owned members of the illustrious ‘Class of ‘72’,” continued Stare Wallace. “Our goal is to continue forward into the future as an iconic, family-owned, heritage brand – reflecting the true essence of Sonoma County.”Established in 1972, Dry Creek Vineyard is Dry Creek Valley’s flagship winery located in the heart of Sonoma County, California. This premier, family-owned winery is celebrating 45 years of winemaking and is led by the second generation. Dave’s daughter, Kim Stare Wallace, serves as President overseeing a successful family winemaking and grape growing business that includes 185 acres of sustainably farmed vineyards. Named one of the Top 100 wineries of 2015 by Wine & Spirits Magazine and a Top 10 Tasting Room by USA TODAY, the winery is also 100% Certified Sustainable. Dry Creek Vineyard proudly produces delicious Dry Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Meritage blends as well as a portfolio of single vineyard selections. To learn more, visit www.drycreekvineyard.com. Connect with Dry Creek Vineyard on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.   Advertisement Facebooklast_img read more

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Oracle and TikTok struck a deal. What it is, none will say

first_imgHomeBusinessOracle and TikTok struck a deal. What it is, none will say Sep. 15, 2020 at 5:00 amBusinessPoliticsOracle and TikTok struck a deal. What it is, none will sayAssociated Press9 months agodealOracleTikTokU.S. ban MATT O’BRIEN and TALI ARBELAP Technology WritersThe short-video app TikTok has chosen Oracle as its corporate savior to avoid a U.S. ban ordered by President Donald Trump. The U.S. government will review the prospective deal.That much is known. Everything else is confusion, at least to outsiders. For instance:— What does it mean that, as Oracle declared, it will become a “trusted technology provider” for TikTok? Is this a joint venture, a vendor agreement or something else? Oracle is pointedly not referring to its deal as a sale or acquisition.— Will Trump approve such an arrangement after having threatened a ban if TikTok remains owned by its China-based parent ByteDance? Would it answer the national-security concerns around potential data siphoning, censorship and propaganda from Beijing that Trump raised?— Will the Chinese government go along with it?— Will TikTok get kicked out of the major app stores after Sept. 20, when Trump’s threatened ban was supposed to go into effect, threatening its future in the U.S.?“This whole process has been a mess,” said Martin Chorzempa, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.Microsoft, an announced TikTok suitor, said Sunday that its rejected bid would have protected U.S. national security interests by making “significant changes” to ensure security, privacy, online safety, and anti-misinformation measures. Oracle’s statement Monday was more muted, emphasizing that it has a “40-year track record providing secure, highly performant technology solutions.”U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appeared to support the Oracle bid on CNBC Monday morning. Oracle’s proposal made “many representations for national security issues,” Mnuchin said. He also noted a new commitment — by whom, he didn’t say — to make TikTok’s global operations a U.S.-headquartered company with 20,000 new jobs. Neither TikTok nor Oracle mentioned that pledge Monday, although TikTok said in July that it would add 10,000 U.S. jobsTikTok said in a statement Monday that its proposal to the Treasury Department should “resolve the Administration’s security concerns” and emphasized the importance of its app to the 100 million users it claims in the U.S.TikTok, which says it has about 700 million globally, is known for its fun, goofy videos of dancing, lip-syncing, pranks and jokes. It’s also home to more political material, some of which is critical of Trump.An Aug. 6 Trump order threatened a vague ban on TikTok, creating a sense of emergency and seeding chaos into an existing national-security review of TikTok by a U.S. interagency group, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS. A subsequent Aug. 14 order demanded that ByteDance divest its U.S. business. In addition, Trump insisted that the U.S. government get a cut of any deal, something experts said was unprecedented and possibly illegal.Matters were complicated further when the Chinese government appeared to suggest that the technology used in TikTok’s algorithm could not be exported without government permission. On Sunday, ByteDance tapped Oracle as its U.S. partner, embracing a company whose co-founder Larry Ellison has raised funds for Trump. Its decision also followed criticism of Microsoft by a Trump trade adviser, Peter Navarro.Oracle and TikTok did not answer questions about the structure of the proposal on Monday. The Treasury Department didn’t return an emailed request for more information about the proposal.“We don’t know that this is the wrong outcome. But we do know that (the administration) shouldn’t have politicized it this way,” said Derek Scissors, who studies China at the American Enterprise Institute think tank.The promise of 20,000 new jobs and a U.S. headquarters for TikTok “certainly smacks of crony capitalism,” said Chorzempa.Eurasia analyst Paul Triolo noted that if ByteDance retains ownership of TikTok, it won’t have actually sold anything. China doesn’t want to be seen approving a deal where a Chinese company is forced to a sale or stripped of its intellectual property, he said, while Trump can’t easily walk back a ban without major concessions he can point to. “A face saving way out of this will be very difficult for all parties to find,” he said.Any deal must still be reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, a group chaired by the Treasury Secretary that studies mergers for national security reasons. Mnuchin said he expects the group to review the proposal this week and later make a recommendation to the president.The president can approve or deny a transaction recommended by the panel, though Trump has already voiced support for Oracle as a “great company” that could handle the acquisition.Oracle primarily makes database software. It competes with tech giants such as Microsoft and Amazon that provide cloud services as well as business-software specialists like Salesforce. Some analysts see Oracle’s interest in a consumer business as misguided, but its shares popped 4.3% on Monday to $59.46.If the arrangement is approved by the U.S. government, TikTok would be allowed to continue operating.Whether the Oracle-TikTok deal will allow the sidestepping of Chinese export restrictions depends on which entity retains control of TikTok in the U.S., said Paul Haswell, a Hong Kong-based partner at law firm Pinsent Masons.Another loose end is Walmart, which had planned to partner with Microsoft on the acquisition. The retailer said Sunday it “continues to have an interest in a TikTok investment” and is talking about it with ByteDance and other parties.AP technology writer Zen Soo in Hong Kong contributed to this report.Tags :dealOracleTikTokU.S. banshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentTransparency Project – 5 Seats, 22 Candidates – Your VoteYour Column Here – Help is on the Way. 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