Trump Says He’s the ‘Chosen One’ to Take on China Over Trade

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he’s the “chosen one” to wage a trade war with China and asserted that he’s winning.

“This is a trade war that should have taken place a long time ago,” Trump told reporters at the White House. He added: “Somebody had to do it. I am the chosen one.”

Trump routinely criticizes previous presidents for failing to take on what he says are China’s unfair trade practices.

China has called looming U.S. tariffs a violation of accords reached by Trump and Xi Jinping, vowing retaliation.

Trump has said he plans for 10% tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports. Trump earlier imposed tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports.

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Read more: https://fortune.com/2019/08/21/i-am-the-chosen-one-donald-trump/

How Barneys’ Chief Tech Exec Envisions the Luxury Retailer’s Rebooting

Barneys New York Inc., the upscale clothing retailer that filed for bankruptcy earlier this month, says it has a “clear, crystallized vision” for what it will look like post-restructuring. The challenge, an executive says, is pulling it off.

“We have a very tight timeline to come out of this chapter,” said Katherine Bahamonde Monasebian, chief digital and technology officer at the department store. “Our intention that we’re setting is to come out of this with a very strong digitally focused partner and emerge on the other side and really be able to—with a healthier balance sheet and operating structure —implement the vision of the company.”

That vision includes a more intentional push into food, entertainment, and experiences, Monasebian said in an on-stage interview with Bloomberg News at the eTail East conference in Boston. It also means “becoming more operationally efficient, service oriented, and shifting from a product culture to a people culture, which involves a retooling from the top of the organization to the bottom. For those that are part of large legacy corporations, it’s easier said” than done, she said.

“We’ve got a very committed leadership team who is completely committed to decisive action to really radically transform. But the actual execution piece is a big challenge,” she added. “How do you move without alienating your core customer?”

Barneys, which recently laid out plans to shutter most of its stores after getting squeezed by rising rents and fewer visitors, seeks to sell a slimmed-down business and negotiate with its landlords. Barneys said when it filed that it had secured $218 million in financing and will continue to operate until it finds a buyer.

One of the locations it will keep open is its Madison Avenue flagship, which Monasebian said has “a very loyal and devoted following.” That store debuted in 1993 and was the city’s largest store opening since the Great Depression. Celebrity fans would talk up the store’s glitz and glam, attracting shoppers over the years from Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian to Sarah Jessica Parker.

“The flagship is actually the DNA of the brand that New Yorkers know. It’s a New York institution,” she said. “It actually is a profitable—despite the rent increase—and productive store for us.”

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Read more: https://fortune.com/2019/08/21/how-barneys-chief-tech-exec-envisions-the-luxury-retailers-rebooting/

NRA’s 2016 Donation to Trump’s Campaign Pays Off

President Donald Trump has remained vague and cool in public on the idea of pursuing background check legislation in Congress in recent days, after a call with National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre. The NRA spent significant sums on behalf of the Trump campaign in 2016, and could be a source for campaign contributions to the candidate and congressional Republicans in 2020.

In 2016, the NRA spent more than $30 million on behalf of the Trump campaign, according to Federal Election Commission data. It was a staggering number compared to 2012, when the group spent about $13 million to try to unseat President Barack Obama and elect Mitt Romney. The Trump campaign represented the lion’s share of the group’s spending—the NRA spent $54 million on the 2016 elections in total. 

There are suggestions that the total amount could be higher. In 2017, McClatchy reported that the total number for spending in 2016 was “close to $70 million, and perhaps much more.” 

However, a full accounting of the group’s spending in 2016 may never come to light. An FEC investigation into another McClatchy report of whether the former Russian central banker, Alexander Torshin, illegally funneled money to the NRA to aid Trump, has been dropped by the FEC after Republican members objected to it. (The original complaint stemmed from a liberal group, the American Democracy Legal Fund.)

Regardless of the exact figure of the NRA’s spending, Trump’s interest in pursuing background check legislation has waned.

After back-to-back mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, left 31 dead earlier this month, Trump said on August 7, “we can bring up background checks like we’ve never had before.” In recent days, he has stayed cool and charged that Democrats would “give up” the Second Amendment. The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has passed background check legislation, while Senate Republicans have not considered the legislation.

“We have very, very strong background checks right now, but we have sort of missing areas and areas that don’t complete the whole circle,” he said on August 20, “I have to tell you that it’s a mental problem.” On August 21, he remained noncommittal, saying that he had an “appetite” for background checks but reiterating that background checks were already “strong.”

The NRA’s financial influence for Trump and the Republican Party is at risk for the 2020 election. The group

Read more: https://fortune.com/2019/08/21/how-much-did-nra-contribute-trump-campaign/

Millions View Fake Instagram Privacy Policy Shared by Rick Perry, Megan Rapinoe, Usher, and Julia Roberts

A recent post circulating on Instagram wrongly claims a new privacy policy will let the Facebook-owned app share a person’s photos and messages, unless they repost a messaging reserving their rights to their feed. A hoax, the post’s message is not new, however. The image appears to be a variation of a hoax that has regularly gone viral on Facebook over the past decade.

The new privacy policy post raised eyebrows on Tuesday, after Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, the Trump cabinet member responsible for the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal, shared the fake warning on his @GovernorPerry account, where he has 24,000 followers. Perry later deleted the post, and replaced it with another viral post parodying the original.

In addition to Perry’s account, Instagram handles for actor Rob Lowe, musician Usher, and U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe also shared and later deleted the Instagram policy hoax, amplifying the false message to their combined millions of followers.

“There is no truth to this post,” an Instagram spokesperson tells Fortune.

Messages designed to trick people into reposting them continue to vex not only Facebook and Instagram, but also the services users. The fake policy posts warn people that they must repost a message, which is often written in legal jargon, by a certain deadline or risk losing the rights to their photos and content.

Some variations of the messages also include a vague mention to local news as a way to add some credibility to the post. For instance, one variation of the Instagram post says, “Channel 13 News talked about the change Instagram’s privacy policy.”

A similar Facebook post that went viral in 2012 and again in 2015 spread the false rumor that Facebook was making changes to its copyright policy as the result of the Berner Convention, a piece of policy that a simple Google reveals does not exist. Another hoax played to a sense of urgency in 2009 and again in 2015, telling people that Facebook planned to charge its users who don’t copy and paste a message by a certain deadline.

When asked where the viral, fake privacy policy post started and why Facebook and Instagram can’t seem to stop hoaxes like these (despite their many tools to stop the spread of other kinds of content) the Instagram spokesperson declined further comment.

Short of those answers, users should remain skeptical of misinformation online and vigilant against spreading it. An

Read more: https://fortune.com/2019/08/21/new-instagram-privacy-policy-fake-hoax/

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