CPAC Chair Schlapp: Trump Knows Speech Is ‘Important Reset’

Former President Donald Trump, who will mark his first public appearance with a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) gathering on Sunday, knows his speech is a “very, very important reset,” CPAC Chairman Matt Schlapp said Thursday before the annual conference was to kick off in Orlando.  “He thinks about what he is going to say right until he starts saying it,” Schlapp told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.” “I think he is talking to advisers, people he trusts, trying to ask where should I go with this speech? He knows it’s a very, very important reset for him and for the country, and for half the country, and for so many people here in this ballroom.” Stephen

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UK Eager to Restart US Talks on Tariff Removal

British trade minister Liz Truss said on Thursday she would urgently seek a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative nominee Katherine Tai to discuss the removal of punitive tariffs. Britain wants the United States to remove tariffs on exports like Scotch whisky which were imposed during its membership of the European Union as part of a long running dispute over aircraft subsidies. Tai will appear at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. “As soon as that is finished I will be on the phone to her seeking an early resolution of these issues,” Truss told parliament. Last year Britain unilaterally decided that it would drop tariffs it imposed on U.S. goods in a bid to de-escalate the

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Biden Trade Nominee Says China Is Both a Rival and a Partner

President Joe Biden’s nominee for trade chief is pledging to work with allies to take on China while also embarking on a pragmatic approach to the Asian nation, saying it’s both a rival and partner whose cooperation the U.S. needs to address global challenges. Without going into specifics of how she would address tariffs, export bans and other key issues, Katherine Tai, the pick for U.S. trade representative, said she knows the “opportunities and limitations in our existing toolbox.” “We must recommit to working relentlessly with others to promote and defend our shared values of freedom, democracy, truth, and opportunity in a just society,” Tai said in the text of remarks seen by Bloomberg ahead of her confirmation hearing Thursday

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Biden’s USTR Nominee Tai to Explain Post-Trump Trade Vision

Katherine Tai, President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. trade representative, on Thursday will explain to senators her approach to competition with China, rebuilding battered American supply chains, and patching up strained ties with U.S. allies. At her confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, Tai will lay out her plans for enforcing existing trade deals and forging new ones that treat Americans as “workers and wage earners, not just consumers.” Tai, who served seven years as the Democratic trade counsel for the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, said in prepared remarks that she would maintain a “healthy partnership” with Congress. She also previously served as USTR’s head of China trade enforcement and said that the United States needs a

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Tesla Temporarily Halts Production at Model 3 Line in California

Tesla Inc. has told workers it will temporarily halt some production at its car assembly plant in California, according to a person familiar with the matter. Workers on a Model 3 production line in Fremont were told their line would be down from Feb. 22 until March 7, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Impacted staff were told they would be paid for Feb. 22 and Feb. 23 and not paid for Feb. 28, March 1, 2, and 3. They were advised to take vacation time, if they had it. Representatives for the Palo Alto, California-based electric carmaker didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment. While production-line outages aren’t unusual for automakers,

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World’s Top Meat Supplier Envisions Separate Plant-Based Company

Demand for faux burgers is growing so rapidly that JBS SA, the world’s biggest meat supplier, said it will likely set up a new global company focused solely on plant-based products. Meat from animals will be a pricey luxury in the future, and people will have to turn to vegetable-derived alternatives, which will be cheaper, JBS’s Chief Executive Officer Gilberto Tomazoni told Bloomberg in an interview. In addition, the world’s population is booming and expected to reach 10 billion by 2050. The amount of meat needed to satisfy the world’s protein needs won’t be possible to produce. “Plant-based will help us to reduce this protein gap with more affordable products compared with animal protein, which will be more premium,” Tomazoni

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WSJ: Boeing Planned to Replace 777 Engine Covers Before Recent Failures

Boeing Co was planning to replace engine covers on its 777 jets months before a pair of recent serious failures, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing an internal Federal Aviation Administration document. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Tuesday ordered immediate inspections of the 777 planes with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines before further flights, after an engine failed on a United Airlines flight on Saturday. The planemaker and the FAA had been discussing potential fixes for about two years, according to the Journal’s report, following earlier engine failures on a 777 operated by United and a Southwest Airlines 737 jet in 2018. Boeing did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment. United, the only U.S.

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Backlogged Cases Push California COVID-19 Deaths Past 50,000

Los Angeles County on Wednesday reported another 806 deaths from coronavirus during the winter surge, pushing California’s toll above 50,000, or about one-tenth of the U.S. total from the pandemic. The county, which has a quarter of the state’s 40 million residents, said the deaths mainly occurred between Dec. 3 and Feb. 3. The Department of Public Health identified them after going through death records that were backlogged by the sheer volume of the surge’s toll. “It is heartbreaking to report on this large number of additional deaths associated with COVID-19 and a devastating reminder of the terrible toll the winter surge has taken on so many families across the county,” Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County’s health director, said in

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COVID-19 Vaccines Block Disease, but Do They Stop Infection?

As reports this week from Scotland and Israel — where much or most of the population have gotten COVID-19 jabs — confirm that vaccines largely prevent people from getting sick, another question is emerging: do they also block infection? A lot depends on the answer, experts say. If vaccines being rolled out worldwide ward off not only symptoms but the virus itself, it could sharply slow the pathogen’s spread and hasten the return to normalcy. “If the true impact on infections was very high, it would be great news because that is what we need for herd immunity,” Marc Lipsitch, director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told AFP. Herd

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Pfizer-BioNTech Testing COVID-19 Vaccine Booster

 Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE are testing a third dose of their COVID-19 vaccine to better understand the immune response against new variants of the virus, they announced Thursday. They are also in talks with regulatory authorities about testing a vaccine modified to protect specifically against the highly transmissible new variant found in South Africa and elsewhere, known as B.1.351, as a second arm of the same study. The companies believe their current two-dose vaccine will work against the South African variant as well as one found in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. But the studies will allow the vaccine makers to be prepared if and when more protection is necessary, they said. “The rate of mutations in the current

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