Despite uncertainties, the US economy is doing well

US GDP grew 3.2% annualized in the first three months of 2019, the US Department of Commerce announced on Friday (April 26th). Economists polled by Reuters forecast average growth of 2.0% after that of 2.2% in the fourth quarter of last year; their estimates ranged from 0.7% to 3.0%.

The growth of the American economy accelerated in the first quarter thanks mainly to the evolution of the trade balance and that of the stocks of the companies, two temporary factors which could fail it in the following quarters.

US exports grew 3.7% in the first quarter, while imports decreased by a double movement, which resulted in a positive contribution of 1.03 percentage points to GDP growth due to the higher weight. imports than exports in GDP, after a neutral effect on October-December.

Business inventories increased in line with the pace of $ 128.4 billion in the quarter, the highest since the second quarter of 2015. This increase translates into a contribution to growth of 0.65 percentage points, compared to 0, 1 point only in the fourth quarter of last year.

Uncertainties to come

US monetary officials should largely ignore the rebound in growth in the first quarter and focus on rising domestic demand which, at only 1.3%, is the lowest since the second quarter of 2013, a progression halved by report to the last quarter of 2018.

Growth in consumer spending slowed to 1.2% after + 2.5% in the fourth quarter, and business investment rose only 0.2%, its smallest increase since the third quarter of 2016. Residential construction expenditures fell 2.8% year-over-year, recording a fifth consecutive quarter of decline.

The Fed, whose Monetary Policy Committee meets next Tuesday and Wednesday, decided in January a pause in its tightening cycle began in December 2015, giving up a new rate hike this year after four hikes. last year.

President's reaction

US President Donald Trump praised Friday the “incredible” figure of this growth in the first quarter. “It's an incredible number,” he said from the Andrews military base, near Washington, before flying to Indiana. “We have fantastic growth and very low inflation, and our economy is doing very well.”

The New York Stock Exchange opened virtually unchanged after these numbers; In the bond market, the yield on 10-year Treasuries was down by almost three basis points to 2.505% and on the currency side, the dollar yielded 0.2% against a basket of international currencies.

(With Reuters and AFP)

Maintenance work on test bench: After government jet emergency landing: Lufthansa checks subsidiary

After the emergency landing of a government machine in Berlin about two weeks ago, Lufthansa is investigating to what extent the maintenance work of a subsidiary is connected with the incident.

One read the reports about the possible causes very carefully and take these “very seriously”, explained a spokesman of Lufthansa Technik on Friday evening on request. “We will thoroughly check the maintenance work on the aircraft by the Lufthansa subsidiary Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services (LBAS).” First of all, the “Spiegel” reported on the statement.

The crew of the government machine of the Bundeswehr had escaped with the emergency landing at the airport Berlin-Schoenefeld barely a disaster. After a comprehensive inspection, the Global 5000 of the aviation readiness had gotten into uncontrolled flight movements on April 16, just minutes after takeoff, and had been alternately scratched with both wings over the ground during the emergency landing. She should have brought Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Stuttgart one day later.

Lufthansa Technik did not want to comment on speculation about the cause of the near-crash. «We can not and may not comment on this. The investigations are conducted by the “General Aviation Safety” of the Bundeswehr, »said the spokesman. “Irrespective of regulatory inquiries, we are thoroughly investigating work on our LBAS joint venture with Bombardier and Execujet.”

An Air Force spokesman also refused to comment on the possible cause of the incident, referring to the ongoing investigation.

The broadcast of April 26

Farewell interview with KLM CEO Hans Smits

Hans Smits, former Schiphol director, said goodbye to his position as chairman of the KLM supervisory board yesterday. Ben Smith, the CEO of Air France-KLM, has been a member of the KLM Supervisory Board since Thursday. Former minister Jan Kees de Jager, the financial responsible for the telecom group KPN, has also been added to the supervisory board.

In an extensive farewell interview, Hans Smits responds to notorious and famous fragments from his time as chairman and he frankly explains the tumultuous marriage between KLM and AirFrance.

Solar energy is growing at lightning speed

The so-called installed capacity of solar panels grew considerably in 2018. The installed capacity increased from 1500 megawatts to 4400 megawatts in 2018. Especially in companies there was a significant increase, as much as 71 percent compared to a year earlier.

This growth is largely due to the solar parks, which mainly appear in the countryside. In the northern provinces there are so many solar parks that there is no longer any capacity on the net to connect new solar parks. It is not surprising that capacity has increased in this way, around ten billion subsidies for solar panels have been promised in the last two years.

Home economist Mathijs Bouman talks to us in the studio tonight about the consequences of the flight of solar energy.

In this way the IND determines what love is

If your great love lives abroad and you want to bring him or her permanently to the Netherlands, you cannot escape the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND). They investigate whether there is a “lasting and exclusive relationship” between you and your partner. This is to prevent a residence permit being issued on the basis of a sham relationship. Something that occurs an estimated hundred times a year.

But how do you test love? The IND drew up a questionnaire for this. With questions such as: since when have you known your partner? Name day, month and year. And: how have you maintained the relationship from the beginning to now? Enclose as many supporting documents as possible, such as letters, e-mails, photos and airline tickets.

The IND also looks at age differences, whether the partners speak a common language and whether there are religious differences. If there are still doubts, the IND invites the loved ones for a three-hour interview. According to lawyer Jeroen Maas, specialized in migration law, you would rather not end up in such a conversation. “Then there are doubts. Such an interview does not usually remove those doubts.”

Experience for yourself in the interactive below how difficult it is to determine whether something is real love or not:

Brazil: low attendance at Congress to receive natives

Several hundred Brazilian natives in traditional costumes received Thursday a reception reserved for the Congress in Brasilia, where few parliamentarians were present to listen to their grievances.

Indigenous tribal leaders have nevertheless made their claims to the right to land, given the expansion of mining and agricultural activities defended by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

“If we do not hold our heads high, the government will continue to trample our rights,” said Lindomar Terena, a member of the Coordination of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB).

In the lower house, a special session was held at the invitation of Joenia Wapichana, the first indigenous elected MP.

They were also received by Senate Speaker Davi Alcolumbre and subsequently attended a session in tribute to Aboriginal peoples.

Indigenous leader Raoni Metuktire makes a statement during a session at the Brazilian Congress, April 25, 2019 in Brasilia (AFP - Sergio LIMA)

Indigenous leader Raoni Metuktire makes a statement during a session at the Brazilian Congress, April 25, 2019 in Brasilia (AFP – Sergio LIMA)

The natives demanded that parliamentarians reject one of the most controversial measures of the beginning of Jair Bolsonaro's mandate, which removed Funai, the government agency responsible for indigenous issues, from its role in demarcating land. This responsibility has been entrusted to the Ministry of Agriculture, totally committed to the agribusiness cause.

He made this decision by means of an “interim measure”, a kind of decree with immediate effect, but whose final application must be approved by the Congress.

But the claims found little echo: in each room, the number of natives was much higher than that of parliamentarians.

“Some parliamentarians have little interest in the indigenous issue, we are having a difficult time for the indigenous peoples of our country because of the positions taken by this government,” Rogério Carvalho, a senator of the Workers' Party, told AFP. left).

These ceremonies at the Congress were part of the annual “Camp of the Free Earth” (“Acampamento Terra Livre”), which began Wednesday and brings together nearly 4,000 people until Friday in the Brazilian capital.

Biden formalizes his candidacy for the Democratic nomination

Former US Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday declared his candidacy for the Democratic Party nomination for the November 2020 presidential election.

At 76, he is the 20th candidate declared to be Democrat in next year's poll, and the second oldest after Senator Bernie Sanders, 77.

Polls put him ahead of the polls for the primaries that will start early next year. Some see mainly the effect of its notoriety.

Biden, who was the vice-president of Barack Obama during the two terms of Donald Trump's predecessor, has already run twice for the nomination of his party, for the presidential election of 1988 and that of 2008.

In a video officializing his candidacy, he announces the color by presenting the future presidential election of 2020, where Donald Trump will seek a second term, as a struggle for the very definition of the United States. “We are in a battle for the soul of our nation,” he says.

“Uncle Joe” should make his first public appearance as a candidate declared Monday next to trade unionists in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, one of the crucial states of the “Rust Belt” who, having voted Democrat in each presidential since 1992, voted Trump in November 2016.

Will follow moves in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada, states that will be among the first to hold their primaries early next year.

Centrist figure of the Democratic Party with a close connection to America's “blue collar” that failed Hillary Clinton in 2016, Biden was for 36 years senator of Delaware before forming a “ticket” winner with Barack Obama, of which he was vice-president during both terms (January 2009-January 2017).

His candidacy, however, raises questions, starting with his age but also his positioning, too moderate for a part of the Democratic electorate that calls for new faces and a more radical policy.

Biden has also been confronted in recent weeks by the testimony of several women who have been inappropriately touched by the former vice president. He replied that he had never thought of behaving in this way but added that times had changed and that he would now pay more attention to how his attitudes can be perceived.

(With Reuters)

Joe Biden attacks frontal attack against Donald Trump – who shoots back

It has long been speculated, now it is official: Joe Biden wants to replace Donald Trump. Former Vice President Barack Obama officially announced his presidential candidacy for 2020 on Thursday. In order to become a candidate of the Democrats, the 76-year-old has to prevail over (yet) 19 other applicants – but the popular veteran of politics are expected to have great success.

+++ Why does Joe Biden raise so high expectations? Read here: “Joe Biden, President for the United States of America” ​​+++

Even before the actual race has begun – as I said: Biden is currently a candidate, but not yet a presidential candidate – it comes to blow.

Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump

On the one hand: Biden went in a three and a half minute promotional video, with which he made his application official, on frontal attack against Trump. He recalled that in the summer of 2017, the president had called some of the participants in a far-right rally in Charlottesville “fine people.” At that time he realized that the country was threatened in a way, “as I have never seen it in my lifetime”. And warns, “If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally change the character of this nation, who we are, I can not stand by and watch it happen.”

On the other hand: Trump shot back already. He hoped, he wrote in a tweet, that “Sleepy Joe” (about: sleepy Joe) has enough intelligence to lead a successful campaign. “It's going to be uncomfortable – you'll be dealing with people who really have very sick & crazy ideas,” Trump continued. Who is meant with these people remains unclear. “But if you can do it, I'll see you at the launch gate!”

Biden has been in politics for more than four and a half decades. He was Vice President from 2009 to 2017. Previously, the lawyer 36 years in the US Senate represented the small East Coast state of Delaware. Despite his many years in the political apparatus of the capital, Biden is a down-to-earth type. According to the RealClearPolitics website, Ex-Deputy Former President Barack Obama is on top of the polls, with 29.3 percent of the Democratic candidate field.

The broadcast of 25 April

Report: OM prosecutors violated integrity rules

A special committee concludes that ethical leadership at the Public Prosecution Service must be strengthened. The Fokkens Commission, which has investigated the consequences of a possible love relationship between an attorney general and a chief public prosecutor, notes all kinds of problems that “cannot be considered as an incident”.

These are two heads of justice in Rotterdam, chief prosecutor Marc van Nimwegen and chief prosecutor Marianne Bloos. They had a relationship for years, but did not report it. In the case of justice, a code of conduct applies that having a relationship with authority relationship must be reported. The love relationship has disrupted relationships within the organization, and there has been a violation of integrity and conflict of interest.

Power struggle at Forum for Democracy?

Henk Otten set up Forum for Democracy together with Thierry Baudet in 2015, now they are fighting for the power of the party. Baudet announced last night via Twitter that Otten should leave as a parliamentarian in the Lower House. Otten knew nothing and called Baudet's tweet “not so useful”. “The party board, in which I myself am, is not at all about contracts from employees of the House of Representatives. That is a matter for the members of the House of Representatives,” said Otten.

It all follows after criticism from Otten in an interview in NRC in which he strongly criticizes Baudet. According to Otten, the party leader is taking a too right course and he has to involve other people in the party more. According to Baudet, there is “nothing wrong” within the party.

Top Putin and Kim delivers 'fruitful conversations'

In the Russian city of Vladivostok, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met. The two shook hands in front of the international media and then spoke one-to-one in a university building. The two leaders described it as fruitful conversations afterwards.

Following the summit between the two leaders, officials from North Korea and Russia are holding further discussions today. The summit is an opportunity for President Putin to increase his influence in the region, international media write.

Two floods in two years: in Canada, the weariness of Gatineau residents

In her flooded street of Gatineau, near Ottawa, Michelle Lorrain paddles in her canoe to help her parents: they try to save the “house of their dreams” against the spring flood that overwhelms part of Quebec – for the second time in two years.

“We are discouraged, we would like to abandon everything,” she told AFP. This woman in her early thirties hardly holds back her tears by loading a generator into her boat to feed her parents water pump.

She took a day off to prepare for the rise of the Ottawa and Gatineau rivers, which invaded several streets of Gatineau, a town located just north of the capital city of Ottawa, Ontario.

The day before, Mrs. Lorrain found her 56-year-old father in tears; he had just renovated the basement of his house, flooded during the historic floods of 2017. It is now under water.

“This is the house of her dreams,” she said, pointing in the distance to the house surrounded by the waters despite the sandbags.

– Move or not –

In Gatineau April 24, 2019 (AFP - Michel COMTE)

In Gatineau April 24, 2019 (AFP – Michel COMTE)

A few blocks away, Gilles Raymond, 69, watches the water level with concern.

“In 2017 we had the same thing,” he recalls. “If the water pump breaks down, we're screwed.”

Move? “I'm not interested, I'm from the corner, let's say if next year it starts again, we'll see”.

Quebec Prime Minister François Legault has stated this several times during field visits: with the multiplication of catastrophic floods due to climate change, his government will cap at 100,000 dollars (66,000 euros) the compensation of residents living in the area flood.

And it will strongly encourage regularly flooded homeowners to relocate, with financial assistance of up to $ 200,000.

Jocelyn Laplante, acknowledges that this decision is “lucid”: as much leave his home if it must be flooded year after year.

“We've been 40 years without floods, now we have this, is it linked to climate change?” Probably, “said the biologist.

However, it is not easy to leave a house filled with memories and fruit of a life of toil. “People are very attached to their home, they work day and night to save it”.

His parents have lived in a house near the river for half a century. “After 50 years, they hope to live there until they die,” he says.

– Sandbags –

In his neighborhood, twenty homes damaged by floods in 2017, the worst in 50 years, have been demolished since. Ghost townhouses sit next to renovated houses protected by sandbag walls, sometimes almost two meters high.

Another objection to the plan of François Legault, shared by most residents: the number of houses built along the rivers in Gatineau as in many cities in Quebec, are worth more than the $ 200,000 envisaged by the government.

According to Gatineau Mayor Maxime Pendeaud-Jobin, the government must be more generous in helping communities adapt to climate change.

“We want a long-term solution, but it will still require a lot of discussion and difficult decisions,” the mayor said.

Some 300 of his fellow citizens have called the mayor for help, and 80 residents have taken refuge at the reception center, which was visited by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Wednesday.

Spring floods have been spreading for a week in eastern Canada, from Ontario to New Brunswick to Quebec, the most affected province. Nearly 1,900 homes have been flooded and up to 1,500 people have been evacuated in recent days, a figure dropped to just over 500 Wednesday according to the official record of Urgence Québec.

The peak of the flood is expected in the coming days.

Boris Palmer: The small town OB gets on the nerves of the Greens

Boris Palmer knew what he is doing: “The Shitstorm will be unavoidable,” added the Mayor of Tübingen from the Greens to his Facebook entry, in which he critically commented on an advertisement of the railway. His commentary was for a commercial photo featuring, among others, the black TV chef Nelson Müller and the Turkish television presenter Nazan Eckes. With the words: “Which society should that reflect?” Palmer commented on the selection of celebrities – and triggered outrage in and out of his party. This did not happen for the first time.

Many Green politicians feel Palmer only as embarrassing. Although the two Green bosses Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck Part did not want to comment on Palmer's latest provocation. But Federal Managing Director Michael Kellner was clearly at a distance from the Tübingen OB – and praised explicitly that the railway “with diversity advertises”. Even clearer was the former Green MP Özcan Mutlu. He raised the question with regard to the AfD on Twitter: “Why can not this unspeakable guy just go where his real political home is?”

The controversial advertising campaign of Deutsche Bahn

A stumbling block: the advertising campaign of Deutsche Bahn

Boris Palmer makes Facebook break

Of the right-wing populists of the AfD received the 46-year-old Lord Mayor, who has been in office since 2007, because prompt prompt response: “I share the criticism of Boris Palmer on the advertising of the Deutsche Bahn,” exulted party leader and party leader Alexander Gauland. After all, Palmer himself promised his critics that he would not be able to comment on social networks for the time being. “I post from zero clock to the municipal election nothing more on Facebook,” he promised in the “Stuttgarter Zeitung” and the “Stuttgarter Nachrichten”. That he will actually be silent until the poll on May 26th is still far from settled. Palmer also likes to express himself by interview.

For many years, many of his party colleagues have irritated Palmer to the core – for example, when he spoke to Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) at the height of the refugee crisis: “We can not do it.” Before the 2017 general election, he waited with the thesis that Afghanistan is not more dangerous than Brazil – and thus suggested that refugees could be safely deported to the country of crisis-ridden country.

Report for coercion against Palmer

At that time, Palmer also presented idiosyncratic theses on the refugees living in Germany: “Punctuality, discipline and acceptance of hierarchies is not very pronounced among the people because they have not learned where they come from.” And he complained of “idle young men”, which he saw as “increasingly a problem in public space and crime statistics”.

Palmer is rowdy – and not just figuratively. Last year, he delivered on the street in Tübingen an aggressive confrontation with a student whose personal data he wanted to control, because he saw himself as the head of the local police authority entitled to – and filed a criminal complaint for coercion. And he complained bitterly about the after all by the Greens mitregierte Berlin: “When I arrive there, I always think: Caution, you leave the functioning part of Germany.” He said, “It's not clear with this mix of crime, drug trafficking and abject street poverty,” Palmer said. His conclusion: “I do not want these conditions in Tübingen.”

While many Green politicians are now tired of constantly responding to the provocations of the idiosyncratic local politician, many hope that he will turn his back on the party on its own initiative: “Nobody will stop you,” Özcan Mutlu stated: “Just go! “