Archive for October 16th, 2019

Trump impeachment moves forward as Senate talks trial, former Pompeo aide testifies – Global News

October 16th, 2019

The swift-moving impeachment probe pushed onward Wednesday as a former top State Department aide testified that the Trump administration’s politicization of foreign policy contributed to his resignation, while the Senate GOP leader briefed colleagues on a possible Christmas impeachment trial.

The day’s events, interrupted by an explosive meeting at the White House, churned as longtime State Department officials are speaking out under subpoena — some revealing striking new details — about the actions Trump, and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, took toward Ukraine that have sparked the House impeachment inquiry.

On Wednesday, Michael McKinley, a career foreign service officer and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo‘s de facto chief of staff, told investigators behind closed doors that he could no longer look the other way amid the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine, which were among the reasons he ended his 37-year career last week, according to multiple people familiar with the testimony, who, like others who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, were not authorized to discuss it.

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READ MORE: U.S. House Democrats push on with Trump impeachment inquiry

The impeachment inquiry revolves around a whistleblower’s complaint that Trump was pushing Ukraine’s leader into opening an investigation of a company connected to the son of Trump’s potential 2020 Democratic rival Joe Biden. It is illegal to solicit or receive foreign help in a U.S. election.

Among McKinley’s concerns was the administration’s failure to support Ukrainian Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who was ousted in March on orders from Trump.

1:52Chair of U.S. Foreign Affairs Committee says Pompeo not co-operating with lawmakers in Trump impeachment inquiry

Chair of U.S. Foreign Affairs Committee says Pompeo not co-operating with lawmakers in Trump impeachment inquiry

McKinley, who as a Latin America expert was not specifically involved in Ukraine, was also frustrated that there had been no response to an August inspector general’s report that found significant evidence of leadership and management problems, including allegations from career employees that Assistant Secretary of State Kevin Moley and his former senior adviser Marie Stull retaliated or tried to retaliate against them as holdovers from the Obama administration.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told reporters outside the closed-door hearing that McKinley was complimentary about Pompeo’s role but did raise other issues.

“I think most of this is a concern by a colleague for an ambassador that he held in high regard,” Meadows said, declining to provide more details of the closed session.

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Republicans are crying foul over the process of the impeachment inquiry, but as House Democrats press on with the investigation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell briefed Republicans about the possible trial ahead.

1:10Pompeo was ‘aware’ of Ukraine meetings: Giuliani

Pompeo was ‘aware’ of Ukraine meetings: Giuliani

McConnell warned of a possible House impeachment vote by Thanksgiving that would force a trial in the Senate, likely by Christmas. He used slides and history lessons during a private Senate GOP lunch in the Capitol to talk about the process, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

At the White House, congressional leaders abruptly ended an explosive meeting with the president on the situation in Syria, when Trump called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “third-grade politician,” according to Democrats. Pelosi said later the president was having a “meltdown.”

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said he knows his House colleagues didn’t run for office to conduct an impeachment investigation, but he said, “The facts that are already in the public domain are so deeply troubling and must be taken very seriously.”

Another key figure in the impeachment investigation, special envoy Kurt Volker, returned to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to review the transcript of his Oct. 3 testimony to investigators, according to a person familiar with his appearance.

READ MORE: Democrats walk out of White House meeting while Pelosi, Trump exchange taunts

Volker provided text messages to lawmakers that revealed an effort at the State Department to push Ukraine’s leader into opening an investigation of the gas company Burisma connected to Biden’s son, Hunter, in return for a visit with Trump.

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That effort soon escalated into what one diplomat feared was a quid pro quo for U.S. military aid. Trump has denied that, saying assistance to Ukraine was delayed to pressure the country into addressing corruption.

Another ambassador involved in those text message exchanges, Gordon Sondland, has been asked to appear Thursday.

The testimony so far from the witnesses, mainly officials from the State Department and other foreign policy posts, largely corroborates the account of the government whistleblower whose complaint first sparked the impeachment inquiry, according to lawmakers attending the closed-door interviews.

1:11Giuliani says Pompeo was ‘aware’ of Ukraine meetings

Giuliani says Pompeo was ‘aware’ of Ukraine meetings

One witness said it appeared “three amigos” tied to the White House _Sondland, Volker and Energy Secretary Rick Perry — had taken over foreign policy. Another quoted national security adviser John Bolton as calling Giuliani a “hand grenade” for his back-channel efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Biden and Biden’s son Hunter.

Trump’s July 25 phone call in which he pressed Ukraine’s president , Volodymr Zelenskiy, to investigate Biden’s family is at the centre of the Democrats’ inquiry.

Pelosi, despite intensifying calls from Trump and Republicans to hold a formal vote to authorize the impeachment inquiry, showed no indication she would do so. She said Congress will continue its investigation as part of the Constitution’s system of checks and balances of the executive branch.

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“This is not a game for us. This is deadly serious. We’re on a path that is taking us, a path to the truth,” Pelosi told reporters Tuesday.

Trump calls the impeachment inquiry an “illegitimate process” and has blocked officials from co-operating.

1:46Pelosi says House won’t hold vote to authorize impeachment probe

Pelosi says House won’t hold vote to authorize impeachment probe

At the same time, Republicans are bracing for a vote and trial. House GOP Whip Steve Scalise invited GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, who was an impeachment manager decades ago during President Bill Clinton’s impeachment, to brief Republican lawmakers on the process ahead.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee overseeing the probe, has praised the State Department officials for stepping forward, under subpoena, to shed light on the matter.

“We have learned much of this thanks to the courageous testimony of the State Department officials who have been put in an impossible situation by the administration,” which is urging them not to comply with requests to testify to Congress, he said. “They are doing their duty.”

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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Family’s dog dies of leptospirosis, veterinarian says cases becoming more common –

October 16th, 2019

HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO (KMGH) — A disease that can be fatal to your dog and spread to people is on the rise in Colorado, according to a veterinarian.

Leti Paoli’s dog, Copper, battled health issues for several years. In the last year and a half, Copper was back to being the energetic dog she remembered until two weeks ago. Her husband was in the backyard playing with Copper when he noticed Copper was walking with a stiff gait. He thought Copper had re-injured his back.

After taking him to the veterinarian, they found out Copper was suffering from one of the early signs of leptospirosis.

“One of the first symptoms of leptospirosis is that they’re drinking a ton of water, and then they go out and urinate, and sometimes they have urinary accidents because they’re drinking so much water,” said Dr. Laura Russell, chief emergency doctor at Colorado Veterinary Specialist & Animal ER in Littleton.

Dr. Russell helped care for Copper. She says her office usually sees one to two cases of leptospirosis per year. This year, they’ve seen six.

She says jaundice means the disease has progressed.

“The whites of the eyes will turn a yellowish tint,” she said.

Leptospirosis can be passed from animal to person or, like in Copper’s case, to another animal. Within days of his diagnosis, the Paolis were forced to make the difficult decision to put Copper down.

“Copper was such a sweet boy, and he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Paoli.

The CDC says leptospirosis is spread through the urine of infected animals. It typically gets into water or soil where other animals can come into contact, becoming infected.

The Paolis never got the vaccine for their dog. Dr. Russell said the Highlands Ranch couple isn’t alone — most elect to skip the shots. She said the cost scares some off, and she says she’s seen some cases of the dogs becoming ill because of the vaccine.

“I think it does cause more dogs to get a little bit sicker than other vaccinations,” Dr. Russell said. “I’ve seen some pretty terrifying leptospirosis cases this year. I’m vaccinating my dogs this year for it.”

The signs of leptospirosis for people are similar to the flu or a stomach bug. Antibiotics can clear it up for humans. The same goes for dogs if caught in time. Cats are not at risk.

The number of leptospirosis cases in Colorado is unknown because the state does not report it.

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Kane Brown Breaks Down Talking About Late Drummer Kenny Dixon at CMT Artists of the Year – Taste of Country

October 16th, 2019

Kane Brown gave a short, emotional, tear-filled speech at the CMT Artists of the Year event on Wednesday (Oct. 16), in which he dedicated his award to his drummer, Kenny Dixon, who died in a car accident Oct. 12.

Brown accepted the award from Chris Young, then took the stage visibly shook with emotion. “Thank you all so much. I want to dedicate this to our drummer Kenny,” he said, with his voice already seizing up with tears. “He started with me coming out of Chattanooga off facebook, people didn’t think we would make it, he was with me the whole time. He was so supportive of me. And I love you man, I miss you. The band misses you.”

WATCH: Kane Brown Responds to His Drummer’s Death

Brown noted a similar sentiment of his longtime bond with his bandmate the day after Dixon died, posting on social media, “You started all of this with me from the start in 2015 when no body else believed we would make it out of Chattanooga playing for 500 people. And your last show was in a Fn Stadium.”

Dixon was just 27 years old when he lost his life in the car crash. Neither drugs nor alcohol are thought to be a factor in the crash, according to authorities. His funeral will be held Oct. 20. Brown has rescheduled his upcoming Los Angeles date on Oct. 18.

Brown was one of five honorees at the 2019 CMT Artists of the Year event, joining Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, Thomas Rhett and Luke Combs.

See Photos From the 2019 CMT Artists of the Year Ceremony:

These Country Stars Have Suffered Tragedy


Thomas Rhett Prays for Kane Brown at CMT Artists of the Year – Taste of Country

October 16th, 2019

When Kane Brown broke down at the CMT Artists of the Year event on Wednesday (Oct. 16) while dedicating his award to his drummer, Kenny Dixon, who died in a car accident Oct. 12, he wasn’t the only one who brought the crowd to tears.

Fellow honoree Thomas Rhett rose to the occasion by using his acceptance speech to bring spiritual support to Brown.

“I just want to lift up Kane and his family,” Rhett said at the podium. “And I want to lift up his drummer, and their family. And I don’t know if this is very conventional, but can I just pray? Really fast. Is that OK with everybody?”

WATCH: Kane Brown Responds to His Drummer’s Death

The audience cheered Rhett’s statement, so he continued. “Father God, we love You so much. While also something that we can’t comprehend. And so right now I pray that You would be with Kane and his family, and his drummer Kenny and his family, and bring them peace that only You know how to bring somebody.”

Brown’s drummer Dixon was just 27 years old when he lost his life in a car crash. Neither drugs nor alcohol are thought to be a factor in the crash, according to authorities. His funeral will be held Oct. 20. Brown has rescheduled his upcoming Los Angeles date on Oct. 18.

Rhett and Brown were two of five honorees at the 2019 CMT Artists of the Year event, joining Carrie Underwood, Dan + Shay, and Luke Combs.

See Photos From the 2019 CMT Artists of the Year Ceremony:

These Country Stars Have Suffered Tragedy


FDA: Deliveries Of Scarce Childhood Cancer Drug Due To Resume Later In October, But Shortages May Continue For Months – Forbes

October 16th, 2019

Deliveries of the vital childhood cancer drug vincristine, which is currently in very short supply across the U.S. should resume in late October, according to a new statement from the FDA. However, the drug is still predicted to be in short supply until at least December, indicating that the October deliveries will not solve the issue completely.

Pfizer is the sole manufacturer of the drug in the U.S. after Teva Pharmaceutical made a “business decision” to cease production in July and has been trying to scale up production after experiencing its own manufacturing issues.

Parents of children with cancer have been reacting with shock at the news with many wanting answers as to how this could have happened and when the issue will be resolved.

Although many of those affected are young children, teens and young adults with cancer are also frequently treated with the drug, such a this patient diagnosed at age 17:

A petition asking the White House to intervene has so far gathered over 3,000 signatures at the time of publishing this article, with many also asking how the shortage could have been allowed to happen in the first place.

The Children’s Oncology Group (COG), a National Cancer Institute supported member group of the National Clinical Trials Network, specializing in pediatric cancer clinical trials in the U.S. today issued a statement, providing an update and stating “a situation that requires rationing of drug is unacceptable,” but “welcoming the news that drug distribution should resume soon.”

The letter authored by Peter C. Adamson, M.D. Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group and Professor of Pediatrics & Pharmacology Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania also proposes a “call to action,” to make sure a similar event does not happen again:

“While it is clear that the immediate concern and goal is to solve the issue surrounding vincristine, I believe the community should consider advocacy steps to help prevent future shortages of life-saving cancer drugs for children. In my view, as related efforts are developed for longer term, economic policy solutions, we need to focus on solutions for today’s children with cancer. In the upcoming days and weeks, I am hopeful we can arrive at focused action items for advocacy solutions that have the goal of guaranteeing cancer drug supplies for children in the United States. Proposals that could be enacted in a reasonable time frame for today’s children that merit consideration include but are not limited to (1) establishment and maintenance of a national stockpile of key cancer drugs used for the treatment of children with cancer and (2) US government purchasing contracts that provide a guaranteed buyer and may help stabilize a fragile market. There undoubtedly are other ideas to consider, and we are committed to working with the community and childhood cancer advocacy groups in galvanizing these efforts,” wrote Adamson.

These solutions are undoubtedly worth trying, but there may be some considerable issues to surmount before these solutions are viable.

“You can’t force a manufacturer to produce a particular drug against its other drugs, so this is a big problem,” said Sharona Hoffman, JD, professor of law and bioethics and co-director of the law-medicine center at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, Ohio, speaking to Cancer Therapy Advisor in April about recent research describing the danger of drug shortages for childhood cancer treatment. Hoffman in response to that research said stockpiles as a solution are “very difficult, expensive, and requires a lot of manpower.”

So, could the U.S. government intervene to ensure supply as suggested in the letter by the Children’s Oncology Group?

“The government can’t go in and dictate which drugs a company must produce. You can create lists — that’s fine — but taking that leap of asking the government to ensure supply is difficult. We have a free market; the government can’t force a business to make this or that drug,” said Hoffman to Cancer Therapy Advisor.

In the meantime it is still unclear as to how much of an impact the current shortage will have. Almost 16,000 children are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. annually and many of them will be due to have doses of vincristine in the next few weeks.

Drug shortages are constantly ongoing in the U.S., but the shortage of this vital drug for children with acutely life-threatening illnesses has certainly been a reality check for many. Over a year ago, the American Medical Association declared the situation a “public health crisis” and the FDA announced a new strategy to try and prevent shortages. It would seem that after the events of this week, there is still a great deal that can be done better.


Type 2 diabetes: Five snacks to help you manage blood sugar levels – Express

October 16th, 2019

Type 2 diabetes means a person’s pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. Over time, rising blood sugars can raise a person’s risk of developing deadly complications such as heart disease and stroke. While certain dietary decisions can help to control blood sugar levels, the condition can also lead to weight gain. Here are five diabetes-friendly snacks to keep the risks at bay.

Why does type 2 diabetes lead to weight gain?

As Dr Michael Mosley of explained: “Insulin’s job is to bring down the fat and sugar that you’ve absorbed from your meals and which is now circulating in your blood.

“Ideally it would push those excess calories into cells like your muscles to be burnt as fuel.

“The trouble is, your body still craves fuel, so you will soon start feeling hungry again. So you eat, again. But because you are insulin resistant many of the calories you absorb get diverted into your fat cells. You get fatter, but still stay hungry.”

This makes the temptation to snack greater for people with type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, there are a number of snacks which come in under 50-100 calories a serving, explained Dr Mosley.

He added: “This means people with type 2 diabetes can supplement their three small meals with a couple of extras if they need something to fill the hole while keeping their blood sugar levels even.”

Dr Mosley recommends the following five snacks:

Miso soup

Miso soup

“At 21 calories a serving, miso soup is very nutritious, warming, tasty and comforting,” explained Dr Mosley.

It is a great way to fill the gap between meals, he said.

“It is also very convenient to pop a sachet into a work bag – as all you need to do is add boiling water,” he added.

Chopped vegetable sticks

“Crudités are a great option to snack on. There are so many varieties to opt for too – so you could vary your snacks to avoid boredom,” said Dr Mosley.

He recommends trying slices of a tricolour of peppers; carrot batons; celery sticks; or florets of cauliflower and because they are fibrous too, they will make a person feel fuller between meals.


“Berries of all kinds are the best fruits to opt for,” noted Dr Mosely.

As he explained, a serving of 100g of blue berries comes in at 57 calories yet still satisfies a sweetness craving.

“They are also king of the antioxidants and known as a superfood,” he added,


Nuts are a great source of protein and fibre. “However, I would advise avoiding salted or sweetened nuts, which can be moreish,” cautioned Dr Mosley. As he points out, two almonds equal 28 calories while seven walnut halves equal 90 calories.


“The psychology of dieting shouldn’t be all about deprivation,” said Dr Mosley.

He explained: “Two squares 70 per cent dark chocolate (110 calories) is a luxurious ‘treat’ which can be nibbled and create a melt in the mouth comforting feeling.”

What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

According to the NHS, symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Itching around a person’s penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision

Here is a major warning sign a person’s blood sugar levels are too low. 


Alberta oil and gas advocates plan counter-protest for Greta Thunberg rally – CTV News

October 16th, 2019

EDMONTON — A group of Alberta oil and gas supporters will hold a counter-protest when climate change activist Greta Thunberg attends a rally in Edmonton on Friday.

The group United We Roll posted on its Facebook page Wednesday afternoon asking “everyone connected to the oil and gas industry to come out in UNITY to show Greta we do not need her yelling at us.”

UWR is calling the event peaceful and says everyone is welcome to attend.

The group took a convoy of trucks to Parliament Hill in February to protest the carbon tax and show support for pipelines in Canada.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg, whose climate strikes have inspired similar protests around the world, will be taking part in another strike in downtown Edmonton Friday.

Environmental advocacy group Climate Justice Edmonton announced Thunberg will join “hundreds of Edmonton youth, climate activists, and community members” at the Alberta Legislature Friday at noon.

The strike will be preceded by a march from Beaver Hills House Park at 11 a.m.

It follows a similar strike that took place at the legislature last month, just one in a series of climate strikes in cities around the globe that called on leaders to take action on climate change.

Thunberg has been making her way across North America after she sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to take part in the UN’s climate action summit last month.

She made headlines when she blasted world leaders for inaction on the issue of climate change.

Friday’s march will call on all levels of government to implement a “Canadian Green New Deal” that would transition to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson has already issued an invite to Thunberg to visit city hall, while the provincial government has said they won’t meet with the Swedish teen.

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Canadian baby boomers who admit to using pot years ago getting banned from U.S., lawyer says – Global News

October 16th, 2019

Canadians wanting to cross the U.S. border are being asked different marijuana questions than they were before cannabis was legal, says an American immigration lawyer who represents numerous aging baby boomers denied entry to America for past pot use.

Recreational marijuana will have been legal for a year on Thursday, but any celebrating still stops at the U.S. border, said Len Saunders, a Canadian-born lawyer based in Blaine, Wash.

“They are not asking questions of recent use because they know they can’t deny the person because it’s legal in Canada,” he said. Instead, he said they’re asking Canadians if they have ever smoked marijuana and that’s what’s been keeping him busy.

1:47Prospective Canadian cannabis investor gets lifetime U.S. entry ban

Prospective Canadian cannabis investor gets lifetime U.S. entry ban

A spokesperson for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office was not available for comment, but an official emailed a statement dated September 2018 that said U.S. laws will not change after Canada’s legalization of marijuana.

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The statement said even though medical and recreational marijuana is legal in some U.S. states and Canada, marijuana is not legal under U.S. federal law which supersedes those laws.

“Consequently, crossing the border or arriving at a U.S. port of entry in violation of this law may result in denied admission, seizure, fines, and apprehension,” said the statement.

Border officials are currently compiling data about the number of Canadians stopped at U.S. crossings since marijuana legalization in Canada, but the figures are not available, the statement said.

READ MORE: Lawyer bracing for more Canadian pot smokers ‘getting banned’ from entering U.S.

Saunders said he has noticed over the past year an increase in Canadians in their 50s and 60s wanting his services after being denied entry to the United States because of admitted marijuana use.

“It’s prior to legalization and they admit to it, then it’s still grounds to inadmissibility,” he said. “They say, ‘I did it back in the 70s, hippie stuff.’”

‘I didn’t want to lie’

Barry Rough, a resident of Langley, B.C., said he received a lifetime ban from the U.S. last August after he told border officials that he last smoked marijuana 18 years ago.

Rough, 61, said he was travelling to Emerson, Wash., to offer addictions counselling to an Indigenous group but border officials denied his entry to the U.S.

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“They asked me if I’d ever done drugs and I just told the truth,” he said. “I didn’t want to lie, so I told them, ‘Yes, I smoked marijuana 18 years ago.’ Four hours later, I was escorted across the border after I was fingerprinted, frisked, pictures taken and asked 1,000 questions, the same question every time.”

Rough said he hired Saunders to help him apply for a waiver to enter the United States. His family has vacation property in Palm Springs, Calif., and he wants to visit later this year.

2:01Confusion for Canadians about legalized pot at the U.S. border

Confusion for Canadians about legalized pot at the U.S. border

He estimated the waiver process will cost him about US$2,000. The cost includes legal fees, criminal record checks and he is expected to write a letter of remorse for smoking marijuana in the past.

Rough warned other Canadians could face the same circumstances.

“If you say you have tried it you are risking going through the same process I went through,” Rough said.

Differing experiences

Saunders said hiring him is not a guarantee that Canadians will be allowed back into the United States.

The waiver process can take up to one year to complete and is not permanent, meaning people often must reapply, he said.

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READ MORE: Why telling a U.S. border guard you’ve smoked pot could be dangerous, even once it’s legalized

Toronto immigration lawyer Joel Sandaluk said he hasn’t seen many cases where people have been denied access to the U.S. on grounds of marijuana use.

“People are often not asked, have they smoked marijuana before?” he said. “The advice we give our clients is always to be as honest with officers as they possibly can be. If I was in the back seat of your car whispering advice in your ear, I’d probably say at that point, I’d rather not answer that question and ask if you can withdraw your application for admission.”

Sandaluk said it is possible border officers behave differently at different crossings.

1:43U.S. officials revising pot questions at border crossings

U.S. officials revising pot questions at border crossings

“One of the things you have to remember about border officers, Canadian as well as American, is they have vast discretion when it comes to who they stop, who they search and how they examine,” he said.

Canada Border Services Agency said in an email statement it has developed awareness tools to inform travellers of the continued prohibition of the cross-border movement of marijuana.

“Our message on cannabis is simple: don’t take it in, don’t take it out,” said the statement. “It is illegal to bring cannabis in or out of Canada.”

Saunders said he anticipates he’ll see more clients once edible marijuana products and other derivatives become legal in Canada.

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© 2019 The Canadian Press

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Report: EU Antitrust Officials Are Looking Into Apple Pay, iPhone NFC Chips – Gizmodo

October 16th, 2019

Galaxy Fold 2 is coming in April with two big changes – SlashGear

October 16th, 2019