Apple Plans To Create 20,000 Jobs, And Build New Campus

The Apple logo at a store in Miami Beach, Fla., in 2017.

Alan Diaz/AP

Apple announced in a statement on Wednesday that it plans to accelerate U.S. investment and create thousands of new jobs.

For years Apple Inc. has been criticized for outsourcing manufacturing to China.

Apple says it plans to bring back billions of dollars it has kept in tax havens overseas, and that it will pay a one-time tax of $38 billion on its overseas cash holdings.

NPR’s Laura Sydell told Kelly McEvers, host of All Things Considered, that Apple has kept some $250 billion outside the U.S.

“Apple CEO Tim Cook has been a critic of American tax laws. But under the new tax law, the company can bring back the money at a reduced rate.

“Cook has been sensitive to criticism that Apple’s been dodging U.S. taxes. With the announcement, he said, “We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who make our success possible.’ “

I promised that my policies would allow companies like Apple to bring massive amounts of money back to the United States. Great to see Apple follow through as a result of TAX CUTS. Huge win for American workers and the USA! https://t.co/OwXVUyLOb1

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2018

President Trump tweeted that Apple’s decision is a “huge win for American workers and the USA!”

He also attributed his policies for allowing Apple to bring “massive amounts of money” back into the U.S.

Asked in an interview with ABC News whether the job creation announcements were directly related to the Republican tax plan, CEO Cook said, “Let me be clear: There are large parts of this that are a result of the tax reform, and there’s large parts of this we would have done in any situation.”

The Wall Street Journal reports:

“Apple also told employees Wednesday it is issuing each of them a bonus of $2,500 in restricted stock, according to a person familiar with the matter. The planned bonus, reported earlier by Bloomberg, adds Apple to the growing list of companies that are rewarding employees due to the new tax law.”

Apple also announced that it plans to invest $30 billion in capital spending in the U.S. over the next five years, by creating 20,000 new jobs and building a new campus.

The announcement of a new campus comes after Amazon made a big splash by promising to build a second headquarter somewhere in the country, for which cities have been competing to be the next location.

Apple hasn’t announced where it will build its new campus, but it is expected to house the technical support staff there who speak with customers in the U.S.

Financial analyst Gene Munster told NPR, “[Apple’s] testing have found that people really want to talk to someone for support that’s based in the country that they’re calling from and so Apple U.S. is their biggest base so they want to accommodate that.”

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Top Stories: Poll Judges Trump's First Year; Trump's View Of Border Wall

Good morning, here are our early stories:

— Majority Of Americans See Trump’s First Year As A Failure.

— Kelly Says Trump Now Believes Border Wall Is Unnecessary.

— Photographer Says He Lost His Job After Leaking Pictures Of Rick Perry And Coal CEO.

And here are more early headlines:

Wintry Storm Across The South Kills At Least 8. (NBC)

U.S. Says It Won’t Build Turkey-Syria Border Force. (Reuters)

Why Hawaii Took So Long to Cancel The False Missile Alert. (HNN)

U.S. Delays Loan To Puerto Rico, Saying No Cash Emergency. (AP)

New Violence As Pope Continues Visit To Chile. (Los Angeles Times)

Bus Fire In Kazakhstan Kills At Least 52. (CNN)

Flag Remnant Flown By Nelson At Trafalgar Auctioned For $409 Million. (AP)

Macau Police Seek Thief Who Took Millions In Casino Chips. (Macau News)

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Kelly Says Trump Now Believes Border Wall Is Unnecessary

White House chief of staff John Kelly pauses to look to a video monitor as he appears on Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News in Washington, on Wednesday.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

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Carolyn Kaster/AP

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told a caucus of Hispanic lawmakers on Wednesday that he has persuaded President Trump that building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is unnecessary, signaling a possible reversal on the key campaign promise.

Kelly, who was secretary of Homeland Security before taking over as chief of staff in July, said that candidate Trump had not been “fully informed” about the border situation when he pledged repeatedly on the campaign trail to build the 2,200-mile wall and get Mexico to pay for it.

Perhaps no other issue resonated more with Trump’s supporters, many of whom took up the chant of “Build the Wall!” at his campaign rallies.

The meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus took place on Capitol Hill amid a larger discussion involving continued funding of the government and immigration that includes the fate of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an Obama-era program to protect the children illegally brought to the U.S. by their parents from deportation.

In an interview later with Fox News, Kelly said, “there are places where hydrographically, geographically, a wall would not be realistic. There are other parts of the southwest border that are so wild and untamed that there is no traffic that goes through them,” adding there are other places where the existing fencing “would suffice.”

The president, Kelly said, “has evolved in the way he has looked at things. Campaign to governing are two different things and this president has been very, very flexible in terms of the realm of what is possible.”

Even so, given the erratic nature of White House policymaking and the president’s propensity to reverse pronouncements by his own staff, it remains unclear if Kelly’s comments mark the last word on the matter.

Although the president reportedly signaled his new stance on the wall during a meeting with lawmakers earlier this month, as The Washington Post notes, “… in recent days [he] has reiterated his desire to build a border wall that would be funded by Mexico ‘indirectly through NAFTA.'”

Kelly also told caucus members that he had tempered Trump’s negative view of DACA and that the president was committed to finding a solution to replace the program, which protects some 780,000 so-called “Dreamers.”

“There’s no doubt in my mind there’s going to be a deal, so long as men and women on both sides are willing to talk,” Kelly told Fox News.

However, as NPR’s Kelsey Snell reports, there’s no immediate sign of a breakthrough on the issue, as Democrats insist that DACA is part of any deal to keep the government funded past a Friday deadline and conservatives “say they can’t support any spending bill that paves the way for a future immigration deal that could favor Democrats.”

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Photographer Says He Lost His Job After Leaking Pictures Of Rick Perry And Coal CEO

This March 29, 2017, photo obtained by The Associated Press, shows Robert Murray of Murray Energy, right, meeting with Energy Secretary Rick Perry at the Department of Energy headquarters in Washington.

Simon Edelman/AP

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Simon Edelman/AP

A former Department of Energy photographer has filed a federal whistleblower suit alleging he lost his job after leaking photos of a private meeting between Energy Secretary Rick Perry and a major Trump donor who heads one of the country’s largest mining companies.

The photographer, Simon Edelman, took photos of the March 29, 2017 meeting between Perry and Robert “Bob” Murray, the CEO of Ohio-based Murray Energy who gave $300,000 to the Trump campaign.

The photographs show Perry and Murray embracing and Murray handing Perry a four-page confidential “action plan” for reviving the country’s struggling coal industry. The Associated Press and The New York Times and obtained copies of the plan earlier this month and reported that it mirrors policy later pushed by the Trump administration.

This March 29, 2017, photo obtained by The Associated Press, shows Robert Murray of Murray Energy, right, hugging Energy Secretary Rick Perry at the Department of Energy headquarters in Washington.

Simon Edelman/AP

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Simon Edelman/AP

Also at the meeting were Perry’s chief of staff and a coal company lobbyist, Andrew Wheeler, who was later nominated by President Trump to serve as deputy administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Edelman says the day after the Dec. 6, 2017 publication of the photographs by the left-leaning In These Times, he was placed on administrative leave and his laptop, external hard drives and photo equipment were confiscated as he was escorted out of the DOE’s headquarters in Washington.

Edelman says he was later told that his employment agreement with the department would not be renewed.

In an interview with the AP on Wednesday, Edelman said that during the meeting, Murray outlined actions he wanted the Trump administration to take, which the news agency says “included replacing members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accords and revoking the Clean Power Plan.”

This March 29, 2017 photo obtained by The Associated Press, shows the cover sheet of a confidential “action plan” brought to a meeting with Energy Secretary Rick Perry by Robert Murray of Murray Energy, at the Department of Energy headquarters in Washington.

Simon Edelman/AP

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Simon Edelman/AP

Edelman said he heard Perry respond, “I think we can help you on this,” according to the AP.

The New York Timesreports, “In the complaint, Mr. Edelman accuses the agency of retaliation and asks for his job back or at least to recover his laptop and other personal belongings. In addition, Mr. Edelman accused a former colleague of encouraging him to delete the photos of Mr. Perry and Mr. Murray, which Mr. Edelman and his lawyer argue are public records.”

In an email from Department of Energy spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes reported in the Times, she called Edelman’s accusations “ridiculous.”

“They are based on his own subjective opinions and personal agenda,” Hynes said. “Industry and other stakeholders visit the Department of Energy on a daily basis. The secretary welcomes their input and feedback to strengthen the American energy sector. This meeting was no different.”

In August 2007, Murray became the public face of the Crandall Canyon mine disaster in Utah that killed nine people – six miners trapped initially and three others who attempted a rescue. At the time, Murray repeatedly insisted without evidence that the mine collapse was the result of a naturally occurring earthquake.

Although Murray Energy denied responsibility for the disaster, it subsequently received the third-largest fine ever levied against a coal company for “flagrant, reckless and highly negligent violations of mine safety law.”

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Photographer Says He Lost His Job After Leaking Pictures Of Rick Perry And Coal CEO

This March 29, 2017, photo obtained by The Associated Press, shows Robert Murray of Murray Energy, right, meeting with Energy Secretary Rick Perry at the Department of Energy headquarters in Washington.

Simon Edelman/AP

hide caption

toggle caption

Simon Edelman/AP

A former Department of Energy photographer has filed a federal whistleblower suit alleging he lost his job after leaking photos of a private meeting between Energy Secretary Rick Perry and a major Trump donor who heads one of the country’s largest mining companies.

The photographer, Simon Edelman, took photos of the March 29, 2017 meeting between Perry and Robert “Bob” Murray, the CEO of Ohio-based Murray Energy, who gave $300,000 to the Trump campaign.

The photographs show Perry and Murray embracing and Murray handing Perry a four-page confidential “action plan” for reviving the country’s struggling coal industry. The Associated Press and The New York Times obtained copies of the plan earlier this month and reported that it mirrors policy later pushed by the Trump administration.

This March 29, 2017, photo obtained by The Associated Press, shows Robert Murray of Murray Energy, right, hugging Energy Secretary Rick Perry at the Department of Energy headquarters in Washington.

Simon Edelman/AP

hide caption

toggle caption

Simon Edelman/AP

Also at the meeting were Perry’s chief of staff and a coal company lobbyist, Andrew Wheeler, who was later nominated by President Trump to serve as deputy administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Edelman says the day after the Dec. 6, 2017 publication of the photographs by the left-leaning In These Times, he was placed on administrative leave and his laptop, external hard drives and photo equipment were confiscated as he was escorted out of the DOE’s headquarters in Washington.

Edelman says he was later told that his employment agreement with the department would not be renewed.

In an interview with the AP on Wednesday, Edelman said that during the meeting, Murray outlined actions he wanted the Trump administration to take, which the news agency says “included replacing members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accords and revoking the Clean Power Plan.”

This March 29, 2017 photo obtained by The Associated Press, shows the cover sheet of a confidential “action plan” brought to a meeting with Energy Secretary Rick Perry by Robert Murray of Murray Energy, at the Department of Energy headquarters in Washington.

Simon Edelman/AP

hide caption

toggle caption

Simon Edelman/AP

Edelman said he heard Perry respond, “I think we can help you on this,” according to the AP.

The New York Timesreports, “In the complaint, Mr. Edelman accuses the agency of retaliation and asks for his job back or at least to recover his laptop and other personal belongings. In addition, Mr. Edelman accused a former colleague of encouraging him to delete the photos of Mr. Perry and Mr. Murray, which Mr. Edelman and his lawyer argue are public records.”

In an email from Department of Energy spokeswoman Shaylyn Hynes reported in the Times, she called Edelman’s accusations “ridiculous.”

“They are based on his own subjective opinions and personal agenda,” Hynes said. “Industry and other stakeholders visit the Department of Energy on a daily basis. The secretary welcomes their input and feedback to strengthen the American energy sector. This meeting was no different.”

In August 2007, Murray became the public face of the Crandall Canyon mine disaster in Utah that killed nine people — six miners trapped initially and three others who attempted a rescue. At the time, Murray repeatedly insisted without evidence that the mine collapse was the result of a naturally occurring earthquake.

Although Murray Energy denied responsibility for the disaster, it subsequently received the third-largest fine ever levied against a coal company for “flagrant, reckless and highly negligent violations of mine safety law.”

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In The Category of 'Fake News,' The Award Winner Is…

President Donald Trump in the Roosevelt Room of the White House this week.

Evan Vucci/AP

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Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump’s long-awaited announcement of the “Fake News Awards” was temporarily delayed Wednesday when the website of the Republican Party, where the awards were to be listed, crashed.

But the site recovered and the awards were unveiled.

All in all, eleven “winners” were listed, beginning with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman:

“The New York Times’ Paul Krugman claimed on the day of President Trump’s historic, landslide victory that the economy would never recover.”

Second place went to ABC News correspondent Brian Ross:

“ABC News’ Brian Ross CHOKES and sends markets in a downward spiral with false report.”

And third place was allotted to CNN:

“CNN FALSELY reported that candidate Donald Trump and his son Donald J. Trump, Jr. had access to hacked documents from WikiLeaks.”

Other winners included Time magazine for incorrectly reporting that Trump had moved a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. out of the Oval Office; the Washington Post for discounting the size of “the President’s massive sold-out rally” in Pensacola, Fla., in early December; CNN’s editing of a video of Trump with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe making it appear that the president “defiantly overfed fish.”

CNN was listed two other times for stories about Trump’s conversations with former FBI Director James Comey and the network’s retraction of a story alleging that former communications advisor Anthony Scaramucci had met with a Russian.

These were followed by Newsweek and another the New York Times story.

The president saved his last award, not for a specific new organization, but for his claim that there was no collusion with Russia, which he dismissed as a “hoax.”

“And last, but not least: “RUSSIA COLLUSION!” Russian collusion is perhaps the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people. THERE IS NO COLLUSION!”

As the clock ticked down to the release of the awards list, there was considerable speculation that the awards wouldn’t happen at all. Trump had first said that the awards would be announced on January 8.

Earlier in the day, in a speech delivered on the Senate floor, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) blasted the president for calling the press the “enemy of the people,” a phrase first used by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

“And, of course, the president has it precisely backward – despotism is the enemy of the people. The free press is the despot’s enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy. When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him ‘fake news,’ it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.”

And Trump himself tweeted that not all news is fake news.

Despite some very corrupt and dishonest media coverage, there are many great reporters I respect and lots of GOOD NEWS for the American people to be proud of!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2018

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