Jewish People Who Vote Democrat Are Uninformed or Disloyal, Trump Tweets

Showing a fresh willingness to play politics along religious lines, President Donald Trump said that American Jewish people who vote for Democrats show “either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”

Trump’s claim triggered a quick uproar from critics who said the Republican president was trading in anti-Semitic stereotypes. It came amid Trump’s ongoing feud with Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, both Muslim.

Trump has closely aligned himself with Israel, including its conservative prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, while the Muslim lawmakers have been outspoken critics of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. Tlaib is a U.S.-born Palestinian American, while Omar was born in Somalia.

“Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they are defending these two people over the state of Israel?” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty.”

At Trump’s urging, Israel last week blocked Omar and Tlaib from entering the country. Israel later agreed to a humanitarian visit for Tlaib to visit her grandmother, who lives in the West Bank. Tlaib declined, saying her grandmother had ultimately urged her not to come under what they considered to be humiliating circumstances.

Trump called Omar a “disaster” for Jews and said he didn’t “buy” the tears that Tlaib shed Monday as she discussed the situation. Both congresswomen support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a global protest of Israel.

Trump’s comments were denounced swiftly by Jewish American organizations.

“This is yet another example of Donald Trump continuing to weaponize and politicize anti-Semitism,” said Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America. “At a time when anti-Semitic incidents have increased — due to the president’s emboldening of white nationalism — Trump is repeating an anti-Semitic trope.”

Logan Bayroff of the liberal J Street pro-Israel group said it was “no surprise that the president’s racist, disingenuous attacks on progressive women of color in Congress have now transitioned into smears against Jews.”

“It is dangerous and shameful for President Trump to attack the large majority of the American Jewish community as unintelligent and ‘disloyal,'” Bayroff said. A numb

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Tala, A Company that Offers Loans For As Little As $10, Just Raised $110 Million

A firm of offering bite-sized loans is cashing a big check of its own.

On Wednesdsay, Tala, a Santa Monica-based provider of micro-loans to individuals in the emerging markets, announced a $110 million Series D raise led by RPS Ventures— a firm backed by SoftBank Group, Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang, and Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai’s Blue Pool Capital.

On the back of a business that offers loans between $10 to $500, the eight-year old company has reached a valuation in the $700 million range, according to a person close to the funding.

Tala is solving for a difficult, though potentially lucrative problem—providing loans to a population of unbanked consumers whose credit worthiness is difficult to ascertain. Per one World Bank estimate, about 68% adults have no credit data docked with a private bureau, and therefore no credit score.

Here’s a simplified version of how the company evaluates customers in the absence of a established credit system: First, Tala determines whether or not an individual is who they say they are through a selfie and a photo of an identification card that is cross-verified with the customer’s digital footprint. If that checks out, the financial services firm goes forward with a loan.

The next step: determining loan size and repayment terms. Tala uses a mix of data that feeds into its algorithm, thought no one factor taking overwhelming weight. For instance, for a loan with Tala through its Android app, the consumer gives the firm access to some of their phone data including call logs, SMS, and transactional data that can act as proxies for predicting behavior. Say an individual is more likely to include both first and last names in their phone’s contact list—that could signal greater attention to detail and therefore a greater likeliness of repayment.

To be clear, how Tala determines creditworthiness is ever evolving in a bid to ensure that it’s both ethical and does not “leave money on the table” in what is a new world in big data and credit scoring. Increasingly, Tala has found that how their applicants interact with the app—for example, whether they read the Terms and Conditions, to be a more important way of determining a consumer’s ability to pay back a loan. And while Tala once took an individual’s foot-traffic into account, it has cut out geographic data from the mix out of concern that the information could exclude certain underserved populations from the mix.Read more:

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