WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has been ramping up his attacks on Bernie Sanders as the Vermont senator has consistently stayed near the top of the Democratic pack.
Trump lobbed a fresh jab at Sanders on Sunday on Twitter, noting his rise in the polls, and brought him up throughout his rally on Thursday in Toledo. Trump’s campaign sent out back-to-back emails blasting Sanders last week.
The moves are part of a deliberate shift in focus towards Sanders, a campaign official said. As Trump’s attacks are likely to do more to help Sanders than hurt him with Democratic voters, it’s an indication the campaign is trying to put its finger on the scale in the weeks before voters begin weighing in.
“Wow! Crazy Bernie Sanders is surging in the polls, looking very good against his opponents in the Do Nothing Party,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “So what does this all mean? Stay tuned!”
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Sanders took a narrow lead in the most recent poll of Iowa voters, but the race there remains essentially a four-way dead heat less than a month before the critical first-in-the-nation caucuses. The Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa poll, released Friday, shows Sanders with 20 percent support among likely Democratic caucus-goers.
While Trump’s campaign advisers believe the president has a good shot at defeating any of the Democratic contenders, they have said Sanders would be an easy mark because they believe his progressive policies would alienate moderate and independent voters.
But the campaign has also sought recently to go after Sanders’ character, not just his policies. In a campaign email sent Thursday, Sanders was described as a “wealthy, fossil-fuel guzzling millionaire” — a somewhat paradoxical attack from a billionaire who used to fly around in a private jet. In another on Wednesday, the campaign said Sanders “can’t be trusted to defend American lives.”
“He’s just another Hollywood-style hypocrite who demands working class Americans make sacrifices while he plays by his own rules and enjoys a lavish lifestyle,” the campaign email on Thursday said.
Although Trump often refers to Sanders as “crazy Bernie,” he has previously reserved his most stinging attacks for Democrats like Biden and Warren.
But at a campaign rally in Toledo Thursday, Trump went after Sanders several times, attacking the senator’s health care plan and his criticism of the administration’s decision to kill top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, while seeking to paint Sanders as a leader of the Democratic Party.
“Democrats are taking their cues from socialist Bernie Sanders,” along with the group of freshman women in the House known as “The Squad,” Trump said. “They’re the leaders of the party.”
Trump’s attacks haven’t gone unnoticed by Sanders.
“Some of you may have noticed that recently our campaign and me personally have been the target of attacks from Trump and the Republican party because they are catching on that our campaign is the campaign that can and win defeat them,” Sanders said at a town hall event in Newton, Iowa, on Saturday. “We are going to expose the fact that when Trump talks about being a friend of working people, he is a liar and a fraud.”
Shannon Pettypiece is the senior White House reporter for NBCNews.com.
Harry Maguire has the top four in his sights after Manchester United’s thrilling derby triumph at Manchester City .
A week that started with scrutiny and mounting pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the wake of an alarming home draw with promoted Aston Villa ended with a second memorable victory in a matter of days.
Fresh from deservedly seeing off Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham 2-1 on Wednesday evening, Man Utd won by the same scoreline across town at the Etihad Stadium thanks to a roaring start and impressive game plan.
Few connected to City could have complained had Solskjaer’s side added to goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial in a fine first half that laid the foundation for a victory that secured more than just bragging rights.
The 2-1 win in the 179th Manchester derby moved United up to fifth and within five points of the Champions League spots after fourth-placed Chelsea fell to a surprise loss at embattled Everton.
“I think you need to look after your own results, don’t look elsewhere, keep winning games,” Maguire, the world’s most expensive defender, said.
“We’ve won back-to-back games against Spurs and City. We’ve got another big game next week now.
“The top four is in sight but we just keep looking after our own results, keep trying to get the three points and keep improving.”
United return to action on Thursday as they close their Europa League group campaign at home to AZ Alkmaar, when Solskjaer will want to keep his in-form attackers fresh ahead of next weekend’s league clash with Everton.
The Reds had been hampered by their lack of cutting edge during the early months of the season, but the front three of Rashford, Martial and fleet-footed Daniel James showed they can scare any side on Saturday.
“Over the last month or so, I feel like as a defender I look at the forwards and think they’re going to score goals,” Maguire told MUTV.
“At the start of the season we didn’t really score more than one goal in a game but now I think it’s a few games on the spin where we’re back to scoring goals.
“They’re a big threat, they’re top players, great talent and I think it’s all coming together now.
“But, no, we’re not getting carried away.
“It’s a big three points, it’s a special win, one for the fans, I’m really happy for them.
“We just keep moving up that table and keep chipping away.”
United are unbeaten in five Premier League matches and secured their first back-to-back league wins since things spectacularly unravelled in March.
There is a growing confidence within Solskjaer’s squad and Maguire is targeting more improvements after captaining the side to victory in the blue half of Manchester.
“Proud,” the England international said. “Really proud to the lead the boys out at the Etihad and to get the three points. It was an important game for us.
“We feel like this year we haven’t got results in some games where we feel we deserved the three points.
“I think the last two games, I don’t think no-one can question that we’ve deserved both victories.
“Great start from the lads. The front four in the first half was frightening and when they’re on their game like that, they can cause any defence problems.
“The disappointing thing probably at half-time was that it was only 2-0!
“We knew they were going to come strong, they were going to throw everything at us.
“I think we held out really well. I don’t think they created too much in the second half.
“We knew we were going to have a lot of bouncing passes and David made a good a save late on and to concede from a set play is really disappointing. Something that we’ve got to tighten up on.
“Like I said, to come to the Etihad and them not to score from open play but to concede from a set play as a defender, and I am sure for David as well, it’s disappointing.
“The victory is for the fans. They deserve it this season.”
Solskjaer was proud of United’s performance at the Etihad Stadium, where they displayed the “quick, attacking football” he always knew his side were capable of in the right shape.
The Norwegian also praised their “great character and attitude” on an afternoon when missiles were aimed at Fred, who produced his best performance in a red shirt.
The Brazil midfielder was also subjected to alleged racist abuse along with Jesse Lingard, who again showed he is getting back to his best at the end of a tough year.”
He’s Man United through and through,” Solskjaer said of Lingard. “He’s a red, he’s got a great attitude and a great workrate.
“Every one of us have things to deal with on and off the pitch and what he has had to deal with, that will be between us. It’s great to see him back.”
Put to Solskjaer that fans do not see off-field issues, he said: “Exactly. That’s the privilege some people think they have.
“You can criticise anyone about anything but, for me as a manager, I have to look after these boys in the good and the bad times.
“It’s great to work with him. I had him in the reserves, I gave him his debut in the reserves against Burnley. It’s good to see him back to his old self.”
OTTAWA — Outgoing governor Stephen Poloz once joked that, after being chosen to succeed Mark Carney as head of the Bank of Canada in 2013, he was received much like the guy who replaced Wayne Gretzky. That is to say: nobody actually remembers the guy who replaced The Great One.
Poloz was plucked from relative obscurity as head of Export Development Canada and, despite being on the shortlist of successors, was considerably less well-known compared to the high-profile Carney, who had engineered Canada’s response to the deepest recession in decades and made Time magazine’s 100 “most influential” list.
“I run into people in the street and they ask me, ‘how’s Mark?’” Poloz said in an April 2019 interview with Maclean’s. “And I’m like, ‘great… and I’m doing okay too.’”
But Poloz, who announced on Friday he would be stepping down from the role, has nonetheless made a name for himself over the last six years — even if he hasn’t reached rock-star status.
He became known for his honest communication style, delivered with a trademark folksiness and a penchant for metaphors (he once used a “spaghetti-sauce model” to describe monetary tapering after the recession of 2007-08, and compared exchange rate fluctuations to walking a dog on a leash).
He made a point of accounting for the pulse of the “real economy,” focusing on business investment and the sentiments of CEOs more than his predecessors. Most of all, he kept inflation largely within the bank’s target, even amid trade threats from U.S. President Donald Trump and a Canadian economy that, after years of tepid growth, suddenly caught fire in 2017.
It wasn’t always a smooth ride. He started his term amid some concerns that his connection to the EDC and exporters would make him partial to a lower Canadian dollar. Others were rankled by his communications style, which sometimes veered from the Bank of Canada’s official script. He gradually overcame those frustrations.
“I think he’s gained more respect over time in this role,” said Mark Chandler, head of Canadian rates strategy at RBC Capital Markets.
Poloz took over from Carney at a time when the country was climbing out of the deepest recession in decades. A prolonged period of low interest rates had pushed household debts to among the highest of any developed nation, leaving the governor tightly wedged between mediocre economic growth and fast-expanding consumer credit.
I think he’s gained more respect over time in this role
Mark Chandler, head of Canadian rates strategy at RBC Capital Markets
His first major test came when oil prices suddenly collapsed in mid-2014, sending the wider economy into a tailspin. Poloz shocked the market with a sudden rate cut in early 2015, followed by a second cut months later, reducing the overnight rate to 0.5 per cent. The move both solidified what proved to be a prescient move by Poloz, while also laying bare the limits of monetary policy in the current economy.
“He was a creature of his time,” Chandler said. “It’s something you can give him credit for — he acted quite quickly, and at a time when others maybe hadn’t recognized the impact of the oil shock.”
Poloz was born in Oshawa, Ont., and completed his economics degree at Queen’s University in Kingston. He received a master’s degree in economics in 1979 and a PhD in economics in 1982, both from the University of Western Ontario. He first joined the Bank of Canada in 1981, where he rose up through the ranks over a 14-year period.
Christopher Ragan, former special advisor to Bank of Canada governor David Dodge, said it was immediately evident to him that Poloz was on the fast track for the governor position when he first met him in the early 90s.
Poloz was heading the bank’s then-research arm at the time. The other potential successor Ragan had identified was Tiff Macklem, who would later become senior deputy governor at the bank.
“They just had the complete package of things that you want,” Ragan said. “They had the analytical power, they had the administrative savvy, they had the communication chops. It was clear as day to me.”
Macklem was seen by many analysts as a natural successor to Carney, a long-time Bank of Canada employee who seemed groomed for the job. The decision by then-finance minister Jim Flaherty to appoint Poloz was met with confusion by some.
In a 2013 interview with the Globe and Mail, former European Central Bank economist Thorsten Koeppl said there was “a lot of head scratching going on” after the appointment. Macklem stepped down from the bank shortly after the appointment, four years before the end of his term.
But Poloz gradually won the confidence of Bay Steet, in part through a communication style that, unlike his predecessor, would readily convey the unknowns and uncertainties in the bank’s economic models.
“It’s part of his ‘aw-shucks, we-don’t-know-everything-that-the-previous-guy-knew’ communication style,” Ragan said. “He probably trades on that a little bit, and that’s okay.”
“He would say, ‘there are things the bank doesn’t know, things that I as a governor don’t know, things that the economics profession doesn’t know.’ And I think that’s extremely healthy.”
Another of his trademarks was a stand against debt. Poloz was uncommonly outspoken about rising consumer debt levels across Canada, and often expressed his worries over a heated housing market.
“That’s something that’s reasonably different than what other governors have done in the past,” said Jean-François Perrault, chief economist at Scotiabank.
“Unfortunately, that also muddles a little bit the approach to monetary policy,” he added.
Some analysts have disagreed with Poloz’s decision to continue holding rates, especially in recent months when trade rifts between the U.S. and China kicked off a wave of cuts at central banks around the globe.
“Over the last few weeks one could make a very good case that there was a need for lower interest rates in Canada to guard against risks,” Perrault said.
Scotiabank had predicted the bank would cut rates in October or December.
The wisdom of Poloz’s move remains to be seen, particularly with Canada’s current interest rate of 1.75 per cent being the highest among advanced economies.
Meanwhile, consumer debts have continued to rise. Canada’s household debt in 2018 averaged 181 per cent of total income, well higher than the United States (109 per cent), Germany (95 per cent), and others, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
That could be among his more unfortunate legacies at the bank, RBC’s Chandler said. Concerns about household debts had already begun to surface when Poloz took over from his predecessor, when the Canadian economy was taking its long, slow climb back to health.
“Seven and a half years later, debt levels are even higher,” Chandler said. “So if that legacy was a question mark for Carney, it’s even more so under Poloz.”
With key-less entry, GPS and mobile apps, vehicles are getting smarter and smarter — and auto thieves are keeping up, according to a new report by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).
Sophisticated thieves are using technology to “bypass security systems,” IBC, which represents Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers, warned in a press release on Tuesday.
Auto theft these days is less and less about stealing keys and manual hot-wiring and increasingly about intercepting the signal between your vehicle and your entry fob, said IBC’s Vanessa Barrasa. As long that the two are in close proximity, thieves can capture the signal, she added.
READ MORE: Your car-loan payment may be way too high. Here’s what’s happening
That may explain why, despite ever more sophisticated technology, auto theft has held remarkably constant over the past few years. The IBC estimates thieves steal a vehicle every six minutes in Canada, something that collectively costs owners close to $1 billion every year, with insurers paying out around half that to fix or replace the stolen trucks, SUVs and cars.
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As for the top 10 stolen vehicles in Canada, here’s the list from IBC:
1. Ford 350SD AWD 2007 2. Ford 350SD AWD 2006 3. Ford 350SD AWD 2005 4. Ford 350SD AWD 2004 5. Ford 250SD AWD 2006 6. Ford 350SD AWD 2003 7. Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL 4DR AWD 2018 8. Ford F250 SD 4WD 2005 9. Ford F350 SD 4AWD 2002 10. Honda Civic Si 2DR Coupe 1998
What’s so special about the Ford 350?
While the list is dominated by the popular Ford pickup truck, that’s hardly an indication that Ford 350 owners are more likely to suffer theft, Barrasa said. Rather, the data is a reflection of “what’s available” for thieves to steal.
The truck is very common in populous provinces like Alberta, which weighs heavily in the national data, she added.
Still, pick-up trucks in general, as well as some SUVs, are being shipped for resale overseas, which is part of a larger organized crime problem, Barrasa said.
Global News reported in 2018 that organized crime was behind a surge in Canadian vehicle thefts, with some provinces, such as Ontario, seeing double-digit increases in theft even as the national average remained roughly steady.
READ MORE: Organized crime behind surge in Canadian vehicle thefts, auto insurance fraud, experts say
Organized auto theft rings are involved in international trade-based money laundering and raising money for drug-trafficking and terrorism, the IBC told Global News. Transnational gangs are even sending SUVs stolen in Canada to carry out terrorist bombings in the Middle East.
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Still, owners of small, less expensive vehicles can’t rest easy either, as thieves also may target vehicles in order to steal parts or take them on a joyride, according to Barrasa.
“These are thieves: they’re picky, but they’re not too picky.”
Some of the steps Canadians can take to reduce the risk of theft are just commonsense precautions. For example, leaving your vehicle running while unattended — even if it’s really cold outside, Barrasa said.
Always locking your doors and making sure the windows are closed is another simple step that can help you ensure your vehicle isn’t an easy target. Other deterrents include steering wheel or brake pedal locks and visible or audible devices that let thieves know the vehicle is protected.
But as auto thieves turn into something closer to hackers, there is more vehicle owners need to know. Thieves can use wireless transmitters to intercept the signal of your key-less entry fob if you leave it at the front entrance of your house, the IBC warned.
Auto thefts are on the rise for car owners and dealers
That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t keep storing your fob near your front door, Barrasa said. But instead of dropping in into a generic bowl along with your gloves, and spare change, put it in a metal box with a lid, she suggested.
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Another way to protect yourself from electronic auto theft is to install an immobilizing device, which prevents thieves from bypassing the ignition and hot-wiring a vehicle. This includes devices that require wireless ignition authentication as well as starter, ignition and fuel pump disablers, according to IBC.
READ MORE: Border officers frustrated at police inaction over stolen cars being exported through Montreal
Some vehicles already come with this type of device installed, but if yours doesn’t, you can do your own research or contact your manufacturer or dealer, Barrasa said.
ICB also suggests installing a tracking device, if your vehicle isn’t already equipped with one. While this won’t thwart a theft, it may help authorities to retrieve your vehicle. The device sends a signal to a monitoring station or directly to police in case of auto theft.
Finally, Barrasa recommends storing personal information like insurance and ownership papers in your wallet rather than your glove compartments. That helps prevent a tech-savvy auto thief from also stealing your identity.
The chancellors of UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz, along with the University of California’s chief academic officer, said they support dropping the SAT and ACT as an admission requirement — stances certain to fuel the growing national movement against the tests as an unfair barrier to college entry for underserved students.
UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ and UC Provost Michael Brown told a forum on college admissions Friday that research has convinced them that performance on the SAT and ACT is so strongly influenced by family income, parents’ education and race that using them for high-stakes admissions decisions is simply wrong.
“They really contribute to the inequities of our system,” Christ said at the Berkeley forum, sponsored by the Policy Analysis for California Education research center and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education.
Brown said he was not opposed to all standardized tests but objects to the SAT and ACT because their results compare students against one another in a way designed to produce high and low scores. He prefers standardized tests that measure students by how much they’ve mastered prescribed academic content. One such test is Smarter Balanced, which is used in California to assess 11th-graders on the state’s Common Core curriculum, but Brown said he would prefer a test more closely linked to the content of courses required for UC admission.
Separately, UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Cynthia K. Larive also said Friday that she supported dropping the testing requirement. “At Santa Cruz, we use holistic admissions to try to evaluate the student within a broader context, which cannot be simply reduced to a number,” she told The Times.
The positions announced by some of the most influential higher-education leaders in California came as the UC system and California State University are reviewing whether to drop SAT and ACT test scores as admissions requirements.
A decision by the two systems to drop the tests would have an outsize influence on the future of standardized testing because they represent a huge share of customers for the nonprofit testing companies.
The 10-campus UC system and 23-campus Cal State system would join more than 1,000 other colleges that have gone testing-optional, with 47 more schools joining in the last 12 months, double the number over last year, according to FairTest, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing.
At the request of UC President Janet Napolitano last year, the Academic Senate convened a task force to analyze the research on standardized testing and make recommendations on whether to retain the tests. The group expects to issue a preliminary report early next year.
Although the SAT and ACT are somewhat predictive of college performance, particularly at selective universities, high school grades are the strongest single predictor of student success, research shows.
At the Berkeley forum, Jessica Howell, vice president of research with the College Board, which owns the SAT, pushed back at criticism of standardized tests, saying they merely reflect underlying social and educational inequities. The testing organization has developed a tool to help colleges understand the socioeconomic characteristics of high schools and neighborhoods where test-takers come from, helping them place the scores in proper context.
“We shouldn’t stop using them because we don’t like what we see,” Howell said of the tests.
She added that a greater reliance on high school grades in the name of equity was “misguided” because research has shown that grade inflation occurs more often at affluent schools.
Educators at the forum also discussed how to better coordinate the K-12 system with the state’s colleges and universities, ways to address the burgeoning demand for seats at UC and Cal State schools and steps to make the educational system more equitable.
Provost Brown, for instance, said the failure of some California high schools to offer the full slate of courses required for UC admission is a bigger barrier to entry for underserved students than the SAT and ACT. Closer oversight of schools and more state funding to hire more teachers to offer the required classes are needed, he said.
Some educators urged efforts to revive affirmative action, which was banned in California by Proposition 209 in 1996. They noted that efforts to admit more low-income and first-generation students have not fully succeeded in making sure college populations reflect the state’s diversity.
But standardized testing was the major topic of interest.
Some researchers, such as Saul Geiser of UC Berkeley and Michal Kurlaender of UC Davis, support switching from the SAT and ACT to the Smarter Balanced tests as an admissions requirement because the latter test is equally predictive of college performance with far less discriminatory effect on disadvantaged students.
In her remarks, Christ said she was provost at UC Berkeley when Proposition 209 passed. That change, she said, forced the university to use a “formulaic” and “terrible” admissions approach that amounted to selecting students in descending order of SAT scores — favoring some students over others for largely insignificant differences.
When she became president of Smith College in 2002, she eliminated the SAT requirement. As a result, she said, the applicant pool grew both in size and diversity with no decline in quality of students. In fact, she said, the college’s average SAT score rose because those who did well submitted scores while others did not.
She said Smith was able to make quality admissions decisions using high school records alone. “That is a much better predictor of success than are test scores,” she told The Times after her remarks.
Other UC chancellors could not be reached Friday for comment about standardized testing, but UCLA issued a statement saying officials there would wait for the Academic Senate’s analysis before weighing in on the question.
Some of the UC system‘s 26 voting regents have expressed deep skepticism or outright opposition to the continued use of the SAT and ACT, including Chairman John A. Pérez, Vice Chairwoman Cecilia Estolano and Regent Eloy Ortiz Oakley.
“The initial information that I’ve seen shows that the highest predictive value of an SAT isn’t in how well a student will do in school, but how well they were able to avail themselves of prep material,” Pérez recently told The Times. “And access to that prep material is still disproportionately tied to family income. So if you have material available but no pathway to avail yourself of it, that’s not particularly meaningful.”