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Donald Trump Slaps Down Another Journalist Abby Phillip For Asking ‘Stupid Question’

Donald Trump refused to answer Abby Phillip.

Washington: 

President Donald Trump instructed journalists Friday to show more respect in the “sacred” White House and moments later angrily refused to answer a reporter’s question because it was “stupid.”

The latest clash between the president and the press corps assigned to cover him followed a meltdown on Wednesday when Trump lashed out at a star CNN reporter as a “terrible person” and had him barred from the White House.

In Friday’s incident, Abby Phillip, also from CNN, asked Trump whether he wanted his new attorney general to hold back an explosive probe into allegations that the president’s 2016 election campaign colluded with Russian agents.

The topic has been one of the main headlines in Washington since Wednesday when Trump abruptly fired Jeff Sessions as attorney general and named Matthew Whitaker, who has strongly criticized the Russia probe, to replace him. Critics have accused Trump of placing an ally who will try to muzzle special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Trump, speaking just before leaving for an international gathering in Paris to commemorate World War I, refused to answer Phillip.

“What a stupid question that is, what a stupid question. But I watch you a lot. You ask a lot of stupid questions,” he said, shaking a finger at the journalist, then walking away.

Moments earlier he’d defended his decision to bar CNN reporter Jim Acosta following their exchange at Wednesday’s press conference, saying that Acosta “is a very unprofessional guy.”

Asked how long Acosta will be denied the credential allowing him to work inside the White House, Trump said he hadn’t decided and seemed to indicate that the extremely unusual sanction could be applied to more journalists.

“It could be others also,” he said.

Trump went on to refer to another reporter, April Ryan, who works for American Urban Radio Networks and CNN, as “a loser” and “very nasty.”

The president said that the bad blood between him and the media was the fault of journalists showing insufficient deference.

“When you’re in the White House, this is a very sacred place to me. It’s a very special place. You have to treat the White House with respect. You have to treat the presidency with respect,” he said.







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Nissan To Remove Iconic Chairman Carlos Ghosn After Corruption Charges

Carlos Ghosn is credited with saving Nissan from collapse and bringing it together with Renault.

The arrest of Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has thrown the auto industry’s largest global alliance into turmoil, with the Japanese carmaker saying it will seek to remove him.

Ghosn, a towering figure who saved Nissan from collapse and brought it together with Renault and Mitsubishi Motors, was detained Monday in Tokyo over a suspected breach of Japanese financial laws, according to NHK. He and Director Greg Kelly have been under investigation at Nissan for several months, and the company is seeking to oust them both, it said. Nissan is set to a hold a media conference in Tokyo this evening.

Both Ghosn and Kelly were reporting compensation to securities regulators in Tokyo that was less than the actual amount, Nissan said, adding that they did this to reduce Ghosn’s disclosed compensation. Regarding Ghosn, “numerous other significant acts of misconduct have been uncovered — such as personal use of company assets — and Kelly’s deep involvement has also been confirmed,” according to the carmaker.

The bombshell allegations threaten to bring down one of the auto industry’s most powerful executives, who turned Nissan and Renault into a global challenger to giants Volkswagen and Toyota. They also cast doubt over the future of the alliance, a three-way pact that has sought to go deeper under the steady hand of Ghosn, 64. While no longer Nissan’s chief executive officer, he’s been laying the groundwork as chairman to make the alliance permanent after his departure — including the possibility of a merger.

The news rattled the European equity market, with shares of Renault falling as much as 15 percent in Paris, while Nissan’s global depository receipts sank more than 11 percent.

Nissan said it has been providing information to Japanese prosecutors and is cooperating fully with their investigation. Ghosn went voluntarily with prosecutors, the Asahi newspaper reported earlier. A representative for the Tokyo prosecutors’ office said they don’t comment on individual cases and a spokesman for Renault also declined to comment.

Ghosn said in September that he will continue to pare back his role at the three automakers he brought together, while continuing to head their alliance.

Among the best paid executives in both Japan and France for several years, Ghosn’s compensation has regularly drawn criticism. Ghosn receives numerous paychecks in his multiple roles as chairman of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, CEO of Renault, and chairman of both Nissan and Mitsubishi.

At Nissan, he was paid about 1.1 billion yen ($10 million) for 2016 and about $6.5 million in the most recent fiscal year. He took home about $8.5 million at Renault and about $2 million from Mitsubishi in the latest period. At Renault, his package for 2017 was narrowly passed by Renault shareholders, but only after he agreed a 20 percent reduction.

A spokesman for France’s finance ministry declined to comment on the news. The country owns about 15 percent of Renault and supported Ghosn’s renewal at the helm of the French automaker.

Ghosn has been contemplating his next career step as the companies look to change the pact’s structure, possibly through a merger. Ghosn gave up his role as CEO of Nissan last year and has said that he may step down as CEO of Renault before his four-year term ends in 2022, fueling speculation the alliance could lose its architect and main leader for the past two decades.

The carmakers have given themselves two years to decide on a possible merger between them or find an alternative mechanism to enhance their partnership, Bloomberg News reported in July. Ghosn said in September that the companies will “clarify everything” within the first half of his current term as Renault CEO.

A Brazilian-born French national, Ghosn revived Renault as executive vice president from 1996 to 1999. He then was assigned to turn around Nissan, where he reduced the Tokyo-based company’s purchasing costs, shut five factories, eliminated 21,000 jobs and invested the savings back into 22 car and truck models in three years.

The latest developments add to a string of crises in the Japanese auto industry, from scandals involving product quality to falsification of records. Nissan found itself in the midst of a controversy last year, when Japan’s regulators discovered uncertified inspectors were approving vehicles, leading to a recall of more than 1.2 million cars.

– – –

Bloomberg’s Anthony Palazzo, Sam Nagarajan, Geraldine Amiel and Lena Lee contributed.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)







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Nissan And Renault Chairman Carlos Ghosn Arrested Over Corruption: Report

The Japanese carmaker had been investigating possible improper practices of Carlos Ghosn.

Nissan Motor Co Ltd said on Monday it was moving to terminate Carlos Ghosn from his chairman’s post after finding that he had used company money for personal use and committed several other serious acts of misconduct.

The Japanese automaker said that based on a whistleblower report, it had been investigating possible improper practices of Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly for several months, and that it was fully cooperating with investigators.

“The investigation showed that over many years both Ghosn and Kelly have been reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn’s compensation,” Nissan said in a statement.

It said CEO Hiroto Saikawa would propose to the Nissan board to remove Ghosn and Kelly.

The Yomiuri newspaper reported that Ghosn had been arrested by Tokyo prosecutors on suspicion of under-reporting his salary. Earlier, several outlets had reported he was being questioned.

The news comes as a shock in Japan where Ghosn, a rare foreign top executive, is well regarded for having turned Nissan around from near bankruptcy. Ghosn is also chairman and chief executive of France’s Renault.

The Asahi newspaper reported on its website that prosecutors had begun searching the offices of Nissan’s headquarters and other locations on Monday evening.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office declined to comment.

Nissan said it would brief reporters on Monday evening. Spokesmen for Renault and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Motors alliance did not immediately return calls and messages seeking comment on the arrest reports.

An ouster of Ghosn, 64, is bound to raise questions about the future of the alliance that he personally shaped and had pledged to consolidate with a deeper tie-up, before eventually stepping back from its operational leadership.

Renault shares tumbled 13 percent in Paris to be among the worst performing stocks in Europe.

Nissan’s German-listed securities plunged 12 percent.

Brazilian-born, of Lebanese descent and a French citizen, he began his career at Michelin in France, moving on to Renault. He joined Nissan in 1999 after Renault bought a controlling stake and became its CEO in 2001. Ghosn remained in that post till last year.

In June, Renault shareholders approved Ghosn’s 7.4 million euro ($8.45 million) compensation for 2017. In addition to this, he received 9.2 million euros in his final year as Nissan chief executive.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)







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Homoerotic Novel Writer In China Gets 10 Years In Jail For “Obscene” Work

The author was found guilty as she self-published a book that “obscenely described gay male-male acts”

Beijing: 

A Chinese court’s 10-year jail term for an author of a homoerotic book found guilty of profiting from selling “obscene” literature has been met with disbelief among some internet users who question how the crime could warrant so severe a punishment.

The author, surnamed Liu, was found guilty on Oct. 31 by Wuhu county court in eastern Anhui province after she self-published a book that “obscenely and in detail described gay male-male acts”, according to state media.

The court ruled that the strict sentence was enforced due to her having made 150,000 yuan ($21,600) by selling over 7,000 copies, the article said.

The case went viral on Chinese social media at the weekend as commentators asked how such a punishment made sense when some sexual assault cases often drew lighter sentences.

One user shared an article about a case from 2010 when a man was jailed for 18 months for imprisoning children and commented: “I don’t understand the law, but there have been people who did things as inhuman as this and only get a year and a half.

“Why can’t our vast and abundant China tolerate the word ‘sex’?” the user added.

Some commentators suggested Liu’s book should not be banned as gay erotic content known as “bl” or “BoysLove” is important for Chinese men to discover their sexuality.

“I also watch ‘bl’, because my family has traditional values,” one user wrote about the case. “Seeing this news today, and based on this kind of criminal law, I expect we will have to wait thousands of years for homosexuality to be legalized.”

Pornography has long been illegal in China, but in recent years, the Communist Party has intensified efforts to clear away what it sees as inappropriate content, introducing new legislation, rewards and punishments to help its aims.

Authorities on Saturday launched a campaign to “eradicate pornography and illegal publications” by offering heightened rewards of up to 600,000 yuan for reporting banned content to the police, starting from December.

In April, Weibo announced a decision to remove pornographic, violent or gay content, singling out manga animations that often depict raunchy gay male relationships, but then reversed its decision after widespread criticism.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)







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