“Billionaire Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi is best known for his roles in some of the most infamous political scandals of the 1980s. They include the Iran-Contra affair (he was a key middleman in the arms-for-hostages exchange) and accusations that he concealed funds alongside Philippines First Lady Imelda Marcos. But the 81-year-old, who now lives in Monaco, was also a womanizer with multiple wives and a bevy of beautiful girls at his beck and call. Among them was young American model Jill Dodd.” Continue reading

“Trump has said he wants to encourage international weapons sales as a way to create jobs in the United States. Saudi Arabia agreed to buy $110 billion of U.S. arms, with options running as high as $350 billion over 10 years. The lawmakers aim to block about $500 million of the sale, the portion including precision-guided munitions and other offensive weapons. ‘Given Saudi Arabia’s past support of terror, poor human rights record, and questionable tactics in its war in Yemen, Congress must carefully consider and thoroughly debate if selling them billions of dollars of arms is in our best national security interest at this time,’ Paul said in a statement.” Continue reading

“The president vowed to block German car exports to the U.S. during a meeting with top EU leaders on Thursday, according to German news magazine Der Spiegel. ‘The Germans are bad, very bad,’ Trump said, according to participants in the room who spoke to Der Spiegel. ‘See the millions of cars they sell in the U.S., terrible. We will stop this.’ The comments were said to have been made in a meeting with the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the European Council President Donald Tusk, who both showed support for Germany.” Continue reading

“Aetna is saying goodbye to Obamacare. The insurance giant announced Wednesday that it would not offer policies in Nebraska or Delaware next year, completing its exit from the exchanges. Earlier this year, Aetna said it would pull out of Iowa and Virginia in 2018. The company said it expects to lose more than $200 million in its individual business line this year, on top of nearly $700 million in losses between 2014 and 2016. Aetna withdrew from 11 of its 15 markets for 2017. It has 255,000 Obamacare policyholders this year, down from 964,000 at the end of last year.” Continue reading

“Millions of Obamacare customers who do not qualify for financial aid to lower the cost of their health insurance — or who opt not to apply for such assistance — pay the full cost of coverage for their plans. While the Republican Obamacare replacement bill pending in Congress would increase the number of people who would qualify for subsidies, the bill is also expected to increase average premiums over the next two years higher than they would be under Obamacare.” Continue reading

“The list of states that have tried to go single-payer is still a small sample size, but a fairly wide ranging one. It includes states with large populations and small ones. States with a variety of economies and tax systems. States that are growing quickly and those that aren’t. Despite that range of variables, one thing remains constant: state-level single-payer health plans would require massive increases in tax revenue, equal or larger than the amount of revenue consumed by every other state-level program in a single year.” Continue reading

“Abigail Johnson, chief executive of Fidelity, announced that her customers would be able to see cryptocurrency balances on Fidelity’s website, if they held an account with Coinbase, one of the largest providers of storage and trading services in the cryptocurrency business. Johnson also revealed a number of other Fidelity projects underway to figure out how to harness the potential of bitcoin and other digital currencies. One of Fidelity’s projects is mining bitcoin and ethereum, which Johnson said was started for educational purposes, but now turns a tidy profit.” Continue reading

“Lola’s travel papers had expired in 1969, five years after we arrived in the U.S. She’d come on a special passport linked to my father’s job. After a series of fallings-out with his superiors, Dad quit the consulate and declared his intent to stay in the United States. He arranged for permanent-resident status for his family, but Lola wasn’t eligible. He was supposed to send her back. Lola’s legal status became what Filipinos call tago nang tago, or TNT—’on the run.’ She stayed TNT for almost 20 years.” Continue reading