Tensions and insults in the battle for Florida lay bare America’s divisions | World news

If you wanted a symbol for Donald Trump’s complete takeover of the Republican party, you could do little better than a nondescript shopping mall on the outskirts of Largo in west Florida.

This is a usually quiet intersection in Florida’s quintessential bellwether county, Pinellas, which has voted for the winning presidential candidate in every election since 1980 (bar the disputed 2000 race won by George W Bush).

But eight months ago Cliff Gephart, an enthusiastic Trump supporter and local entrepreneur, transformed a vacant lot – formerly a strip club – into a thriving coffee shop devoted to the president. Business at Conservative Grounds is roaring, despite the pandemic, with hundreds and, they claim, occasionally over a thousand customers, dropping by each day for a cup of coffee, a chat about politics and to purchase from a plethora of Trump themed merchandise. No-one is social distancing or wearing a facemask.


Troubled
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Tech tensions with China will stay even if Biden wins

Sheldon Cooper | LightRocket | Getty Images

Tensions around technology will remain between the U.S. and China, even if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins the U.S. election in November, according to an analyst.

Ties between the two economic giants have steadily worsened this year, as Washington increasingly targets Chinese tech giants from phone maker Huawei to video-sharing app TikTok. The Trump administration says Huawei and other Chinese technology companies could collect American user data and hand them over to Beijing, a claim both Huawei and TikTok have denied. 

“Imagine a scenario where Biden becomes president, I don’t think on the technology issues … (they) are going to go away in any meaningful manner,” said Taimur Baig, chief economist and managing director at DBS Group Research. “It may be less volatile, it may be more rules based, but the tensions will remain.”

In early August, President Donald Trump banned

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South Korea stocks fall as tensions on the peninsula reignite

SINGAPORE — South Korean stocks fell on Thursday as tensions on the Korean Peninsula reignited.

The Kospi in South Korea dropped 2.59% to close at 2,272.70 while the Kosdaq index plunged 4.33% to end its trading day at 806.95. 

The moves came following reports that South Korea’s defense ministry said North Korea had killed a missing official from the South earlier this week. It marked the first time since July 2008 that a South Korean civilian has been shot dead in North Korea, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Shares of South Korean defense firm Victek soared 25.13% following the announcement, while North Korea exposed stocks Hanil Hyundai Cement and Hyundai Elevator slipped 2.76% and 1.12%, respectively.

Asia-Pacific markets decline

Elsewhere, other Asia-Pacific markets also saw losses, following an overnight drop on Wall Street.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.82% to close at 23,311.07. Mainland Chinese stocks slipped

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The Technology 202: The White House gathering with state attorneys general could escalate tensions between Trump and Silicon Valley

“Online censorship goes far beyond the issue of free speech, it’s also one of protecting consumers and ensuring they are informed of their rights and resources to fight back under the law,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement earlier this week. “State attorneys general are on the front lines of this issue and President Trump wants to hear their perspectives.”

The White House summit builds on an executive order that Trump signed just a few months ago, which targeted a key legal shield granting tech companies broad immunity from lawsuits for the videos, photos and posts shared on their services, as well as their content moderation decisions. Tech companies have long denied the allegations of bias, which have been made with little evidence, and a prominent tech industry group has challenged the constitutionality of that order.

An escalation of anti-conservative bias claims could drum up support among

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