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Donald Trump attacks US media at 100-day Pennsylvania rally

US President Donald Trump has launched a scathing attack on the media during a rally marking 100 days in office.
He told supporters in Pennsylvania that he was keeping "one promise after another", dismissing criticism as "fake news" by "out of touch" journalists.
Mr Trump decided to skip the White House Correspondents' Dinner - the first US leader to miss the annual event since Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Earlier, big rallies were held against Mr Trump's climate change policies.
At the rally in Harrisburg, the president said the media should be given "a big, fat, failing grade" over their coverage of his achievements during his first 100 days and told the cheering crowd he was "thrilled to be more than 100 miles from Washington".
He quipped that at the same time "a large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling themselves" at the correspondents' dinner "that will be very boring".
Turning to his election pledges, Mr Trump said the first 100 days had been "very exciting and very productive".
He said he was "delivering every single day" to bring industrial jobs back to the US, ending the so-called "war on coal".
The president said the previous administration of Barack Obama "gave us a mess", stressing that he was ready for "great battles to come and we will win in every case".

Millennials owe a record amount of debt, and it could become a huge drag on the economy

US consumer debt is approaching a record 20% of GDP, and millennials owe most of it.

Millennials — 21 to 34-year-olds — hold an estimated $1.1 trillion of the country's $3.6 trillion in consumer debt, according to UBS, as rising student and auto loans outweigh a drop in mortgages.

And all that rising debt is coming with rising default risks. A UBS evidence lab survey found that 52% of people worried about defaulting on any loan over the next 12 months were in the 21 to 34 age group.

That's not good news considering those same individuals are meant to be the largest source of spending on big-ticket purchase items like houses and cars over the next year (see the chart above).

There is already evidence that millennials are changing their spending habits on smaller items where, according to Lindsay Drucker Mann of Goldman Sachs Research, millennials are willing to search for the lowest price on an item or patiently wait for the right deal to pop up.

"We see areas where millennials are willing to spend, but overall, they're not levering themselves up to make their dollars go further; they're being much smarter and much more conservative about their balance sheets," Drucker Mann said on a January episode of Goldman Sachs' "Exchanges at Goldman Sachs" podcast.

Concerns about student loans, of course, have come up before. In early April, New York Fed President William Dudley said that “continued increase in college costs and debt burdens could inhibit higher education's ability to serve as an important engine of upward income mobility.”

But auto-loan debt is another matter. A growing amount of auto loan debt is coming from leasing, with 32%of millennials opting to lease in 2016, up from 21% in 2011, according to a January report from Edmunds. Among households making $50,000 or less, millennials made up 21% of lessees (the largest of any age group).

Should delinquent car payments become an issue because already-squeezed millennials choose

 to pay student loans first, lower-credit-score applicants could have a hard time financing car purchases. If that happens, automakers could be hurt.

And if big-ticket purchases begin to slow down, economic growth expectations may need to adjust.

-Raul Hernandez, Business Insider

Noninterference policy: Duterte tells West to stop meddling

 

 

President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday stressed the importance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (Asean) time-honored tradition of noninterference in each other’s internal affairs to foster fruitful relations, calling on the regional bloc to value the supremacy of law and the peaceful resolution of disputes.

He also urged the country’s neighbors to be more forthright in pushing for the region’s interests on the international stage, as the Asean held its 30th summit and marked its 50th year.

Mr. Duterte, who has often bristled at comments and concerns from international groups and other countries about his bloody drug war, asked his regional neighbors to work together to fight the narcotics scourge and bring about a drug-free Asean.


But in an oblique swipe at Western governments which have lashed out at his tough anticrime policy, Mr. Duterte asked them not to meddle in the affairs of countries in the region even as his speech was couched in a formal, diplomatic tone.

He said ties could become stronger and more productive “if we learn to respect each other’s independence and treat each other as sovereign equals,” Mr. Duterte said. “Relations bear fruit when they are based on mutual respect and benefit.”

Mr. Duterte also cited the need for the 10-nation bloc to address security issues, including terrorism and piracy, but made no mention of touchy South China Sea territorial rifts, which China did not want to be highlighted in the daylong talks.

The long-simmering disputes, along with alarm over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and intensifying standoff with the United States, have taken attention away from the more benign topics of regional economic integration.

The summit is the first major international event Mr. Duterte has hosted since taking office 10 months ago.

Drugs

Mr. Duterte again went back to his favorite topic, and warned that the drug problem threatens the gains of community-building and destroys lives, especially of the youth, he said.

“The illegal drug trade apparatus is massive. But it is not impregnable. With political will and cooperation, it can be dismantled, it can be destroyed before it destroys our societies,” he said.

In opening the summit, Mr. Duterte noted that the regional bloc was founded on the concepts of unity, solidarity and cooperation.

“The cornerstones form part of time-honored principles of international law: Mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty, equality, territorial integrity, and national identity of all nations and noninterference in the internal affairs of one another,” he added.

Asean’s relationship with its dialogue partners, which includes the United States and the European Union, could be stronger if they respected each other’s independence and treated each other as equals, he said.

“Our engagement with dialogue partners allowed us to set the table for meaningful discussions on maintaining peace and stability, the pursuit of development goals, the peaceful resolution of disputes, and the promotion of our peoples’ welfare,” he said.

“Let me say again, relations bear fruit when they are based on mutual respect and benefit. Dialogue relations can be made more productive and constructive if the valued principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of Asean member-states is observed,” he added.

Law should reign supreme

Mr. Duterte also said the law must reign supreme in the region and disputes must be resolved peacefully. He did not directly mention conflicting claims of China, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan over the South China Sea.

“Relations also remain solid if all stakeholders learn to respect and value the peaceful resolution of disputes. In an era where there can be much uncertainty, we must faithfully adhere to the supremacy of the law and rely on the primacy of rules as responsible members of the international community,” he said.

He made the call even after earlier nixing a proposal to bring up during the summit the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration that had invalidated Beijing’s claim to nearly the whole of the South China Sea. The ruling, he had said, was a nonissue in the Asean and was just between China and the Philippines.

Security issues

He said yesterday that both traditional and nontraditional security issues hinder efforts to promote peace, stability,security and prosperity in our the region.

He also sought continued vigilance to address security threats, including piracy, armed robbery, terrorism and violent extremism.

“Eternal vigilance is the price that we must pay to keep our citizens safe. We can only achieve this through advancing cooperation at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels,” he said.

The Philippines’ priorities as it chairs the Asean this year include promoting the bloc as a model for regionalism and as a global player.

It must be more forceful in pushing for its interests, Mr. Duterte said.

“History will judge us on how we are able to help our people and our region become even better and stronger based on the values and heritage we hold dear. In this milestone year, the time is ripe—and indeed it is right—to make our decisions count. It is time for Asean to finally assert, with conviction, its position in the international arena,” he said.

Under the Philippine chairmanship, the Asean will continue to work toward becoming a “proactive, relevant and transformative” bloc, he said.

The other priorities of the group this year are building a people-oriented and people-centered Asean, maintaining a peaceful and stable region, cooperating in maritime security, advancing inclusive and innovative-led growth, and promoting the region’s resiliency.

Mr. Duterte said citizens of Asean members have the same aspirations, which is that their rights and welfare as a people are protected and promoted. They also want a stable source of livelihood, shelter, quality education, affordable healthcare, a peaceful and stable government and a dynamic economy.

The Asean must do all it can to provide these for them, he said.

Mr. Duterte kicked off the opening of the Asean summit after welcoming the bloc’s leaders and spouses at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Among the guests at the event were former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former first lady and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, United States Ambassador Sung Kim and Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua.

Following a cultural presentation, Mr. Duterte posed for the traditional family photo with the Asean leaders. —

 

Harnessing heat to power computers

Engineers devise thermal diode that allows computing at ultra-high temperatures

One of the biggest problems with computers, dating to the invention of the first one, has been finding ways to keep them cool so that they don't overheat or shut down.

Instead of combating the heat, two University of Nebraska-Lincoln engineers have embraced it as an alternative energy source that would allow computing at ultra-high temperatures.

Sidy Ndao, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering, said his research group's development of a nano-thermal-mechanical device, or thermal diode, came after flipping around the question of how to better cool computers.

"If you think about it, whatever you do with electricity you should (also) be able to do with heat, because they are similar in many ways," Ndao said. "In principle, they are both energy carriers. If you could control heat, you could use it to do computing and avoid the problem of overheating."

A paper Ndao co-authored with Mahmoud Elzouka, a graduate student in mechanical and materials engineering, was published in the March edition of Scientific Reports. In it, they documented their device working in temperatures that approached 630 degrees Fahrenheit.

Ndao said he expects the device could eventually work in heat as extreme as 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit, which could have major implications in many industries.

"We are basically creating a thermal computer," Ndao said. "It could be used in space exploration, for exploring the core of the earth, for oil drilling, (for) many applications. It could allow us to do calculations and process data in real time in places where we haven't been able to do so before."

By taking advantage of an energy source that has long been overlooked, Ndao said, the thermal diode could also help limit the amount of energy that gets wasted.

"It is said now that nearly 60 percent of the energy produced for consumption in the United States is wasted in heat," Ndao said. "If you could harness this heat and use it for energy in these devices, you could obviously cut down on waste and the cost of energy."

The next step is making the device more efficient and making a physical computer that could work in the highest of temperatures, Ndao said.

Though the researchers have filed for a patent, Elzouka said there is still work to be done to improve the diode and its performance.

"If we can achieve high efficiency, show that we can do computations and run a logic system experimentally, then we can have a proof-of-concept," Elzouka said. "(That) is when we can think about the future."

Yet Ndao has even bigger ambitions for his group's research.

"We want to to create the world's first thermal computer," he said. "Hopefully one day, it will be used to unlock the mysteries of outer space, explore and harvest our own planet's deep-beneath-the-surface geology, and harness waste heat for more efficient-energy utilization."

 

-Science Daily

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