9/13/19 -
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Did you watch the third round of Democratic debates last night? The current three front-runners (Former VP Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Sen. Bernie Sanders) shared the stage in Houston with seven other candidates, and can we just say, wow? It was a night to remember. For a round up of who qualified, who fumbled, who said what, who said something else, and who had the best zingers
Marianne, you were weirdly missed.
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Richest Man In Asia Retires💰


A new era for the Alibaba empire 

Jack Ma, 55, retired this week after 20 years as founder and executive chairman of Alibaba, an e-commerce giant worth over $460 billion. (The retirement was announced a year ago, giving the market plenty of time to adjust.) Ma also hand-picked his successor, Daniel Zhang, who was Alibaba’s chief executive. Despite his retirement, Ma will still be involved with Alibaba as a member of the Alibaba Partnership. 

What's next for Ma?

When asked about post-retirement plans, Ma said that he’s “not going to stop doing things,” adding that “Alibaba is but one of my dreams. I’m still young.” He elaborated that he will be devoting his time to philanthropy, with a focus on rural education. 


Sources confident in Alibaba’s future focus on its increasing growth in revenue and sales. Many speak of how Alibaba is rapidly gaining ground globally, both as an individual business and as a valuable partner, noting how Ma had retired when its Westward road of expansion had already been set. Some also mention Alibaba’s cloud business, which would generate great profit in the market going forward. 


Sources that see Alibaba’s future as uncertain focus mostly on China’s slowing economy and on the ongoing trade war between China and the US. On the trade war, sites quote Alibaba deputy chairman Joe Tsai on how the company is “on the right side” of the talks and stands to profit from Beijing’s decisions. These sources acknowledge the continual growth of the company but also point out the deceleration in its sales. 

Where's the common ground?

Many sources cover Ma’s inspiring success story as an English teacher who built a commercial empire. Many also mention the great potential of the company, speaking of Alibaba’s focus on long term development and on keeping up with the times. 

Note to self: don't be bitter
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US Extracts Top Russian Spy? 🕵


A spy abroad and a twist at home

Earlier this week, CNN exclusively reported that in 2017, the United States government successfully extracted one of its most valuable sources inside the Russian government, allegedly prompted by fears that the Trump administration mishandled highly classified information. The CIA has since stated that the agent was removed due to safety concerns created by the media's reporting in 2016.

What do we know now?
In the days following CNN's initial reporting, Russian media identified the spy as Oleg Smolenkov, a key aid to President Vladimir Putin, and the Kremlin denied most details of the report. American media have also begun reassessing some of CNN’s report.

The left is contradicting the original report given by CNN, which said that the reason for the removal of the spy was the Trump administration's mishandling of highly classified information. Some take the stance, along with many on the right, that CNN acted irresponsibly. 


The right largely maintains that the claims made by CNN are false. Both Fox and Townhall report that the CIA itself is claiming that CNN create a false report by suggesting President Trump mishandled classified information. They sometimes nod to alternative explanations, e.g. that the extraction occurred due to media involvement rather than President Trump and his administration. 

Where's the common ground?
Outlets on the left and right cite myriad possible reasons for the extraction, and many reference the CIA report that criticized CNN's initial reporting as "simply false" and "misguided." While it may be true that the decision to remove the spy was discussed prior to the President Trump's 2017 meeting with Russian officials, it’s unclear whether the ultimate choice to perform the extraction had anythign to do with President Trump.
This one's for all of y'all wondering what the heck you just read:
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Extra extra...✨

Action, now. 145 CEOs of major companies signed a letter to the U.S. Senate calling for action on gun violence (Reuters)

Hot java. An Airbus plane needed to divert from a trans-Atlantic flight after spilled coffee started melting audio control panels (BBC)

Racial profiling. California puts a temporary ban on facial recognition software use by state and local police (CNN Business)

Sike! Adjust your calendars. Scientists calculated that the universe may be a couple billion years younger than current estimations (PHYS)

MBS's sister. A French court convicts a Saudi Princess for ordering her bodyguard to hit a plumber (Bloomberg)

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