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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 151)

Trump and Sharpie’s Maker Land in Different Kind of Storm

Westlake Legal Group 05dc-sharpie-facebookJumbo Trump and Sharpie’s Maker Land in Different Kind of Storm United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Pens and Pencils Newell Brands Inc Cross (A.T.) Company Alabama

WASHINGTON — The pen has never been mightier. President Donald Trump’s Sharpie pen, that is.

Mr. Trump’s suspected use of a signature black Sharpie to alter a hurricane map has prompted thousands of mocking tweets, late-night comedy jokes and a viral internet meme. It has also further fused a staple of American homes and offices with the image of a highly divisive president, showing that even a humdrum marker maker can be swept up in the constant furor surrounding the Trump White House.

Mr. Trump is a longtime user of the Sharpie pen, whose thick, bold imprint is a visual reflection of Mr. Trump’s blunt — some might say crude — style. Well before he was president, he regularly used the pens to sign autographs, write notes and mark up printed news articles before sending them back to their authors.

As president, Mr. Trump appears more enamored of the pens than ever, using them to sign his name to proclamations and legislation in his distinctive EKG-style signature. He has even had the company custom design a presidential version of its iconic pen, emblazoned with his signature, for his official use.

The free publicity Sharpie has enjoyed during the Trump era, and especially in the day since the appearance of the altered hurricane map, is almost impossible to calculate. But that attention has taken on a different tone this week, with some Trump critics even calling (perhaps jokingly) for a boycott of the pen maker, which is owned by the conglomerate Newell Brands.

In public, at least, the brand has not exactly reveled in the president’s embrace: The official Sharpie Twitter account has not mentioned Mr. Trump since his election. Representatives for the company and the White House did not offer comment.

The current frenzy erupted after Mr. Trump displayed a map in the Oval Office on Wednesday showing the early path of Hurricane Dorian, with what appeared to be a Sharpie-drawn line extending the projected storm path into the state of Alabama. Mr. Trump had been criticized for stating days earlier that the state was at risk from the storm when federal weather forecasters had said no such thing, and the doctored map appeared to be an effort to retroactively justify Mr. Trump’s tweet.

The story raged into another day on Thursday as Mr. Trump defended himself on Twitter, and his White House homeland security adviser, Peter Brown, issued an unusual statement appearing to accept responsibility for the larger flap. Mr. Brown said the president’s warnings on Sunday that Alabama was in danger from the storm were based on a briefing he had given the president that morning “that included the possibility of tropical storm force winds in southeastern Alabama.”

Since the altered map’s display on Wednesday, Twitter has been ablaze with ridicule of the apparently crude effort to align the facts with the president’s prior statement, including the emergence of a #sharpiegate hashtag and a viral meme in which other images are doctored with thick black lines, including one in which Mr. Trump’s face is crudely scrawled onto Mount Rushmore and another in which stick figures appear in bare patches of aerial photos of the crowd at Mr. Trump’s 2017 inauguration. Some of Mr. Trump’s critics also used the opportunity to poke fun at his prized policy priority: the wall.

Mr. Trump has made no secret of the fact that he was not satisfied with the government-issued pens he was given for official signatures when he first arrived at the White House.

“I was signing documents with a very expensive pen and it didn’t write well,” Mr. Trump said on an HBO special produced by the political website Axios. “It was a horrible pen, and it was extremely expensive. A government-ordered pen.” He said that he had pulled out a standard Sharpie pen and concluded that it not only “writes much better,” but also “costs almost nothing.”

“So, I called up the folks at Sharpie and I said, ‘Do me a favor, can you make the pen in black? Make it look rich?’” he said. He then held up one of several thick black markers bearing his own signature, in gold, for the camera.

Over the course of his presidency, close observers have noted what appeared to be Sharpie lines in Mr. Trump’s signature on legislation, notecards at official events and markings on prepared remarks.

As of May, the Rhode Island-based pen company A.T. Cross was still identifying itself as the official pen supplier to the White House, a relationship formalized by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s but which the company says began decades earlier. It is unclear whether Mr. Trump was criticizing the company’s sleek ballpoint pens when he talked to Axios.

But in January 2017, the White House reportedly ordered 150 of the company’s Century II black lacquer and gold rollerball pens, which currently start at a retail price of $116. (Purchased in bulk, standard Sharpie markers can retail for less than a dollar apiece.)

A recent post on the company’s website suggested that Mr. Trump had not abandoned the classic pens. It referred to the Century II as “Mr. Trump’s current favorite model.”

In his remarks to Axios, Mr. Trump seemed conscious of the publicity he was giving even then to the makers of his favorite pen. As he touted its wonders, he paused for a moment and interjected: “I don’t want to make this a commercial for Sharpie.”

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Former McConnell aide: Kamala Harris’ support for eating less red meat would get panned at NFL opener

Westlake Legal Group Harris-Packers_Getty Former McConnell aide: Kamala Harris' support for eating less red meat would get panned at NFL opener fox-news/sports/nfl/green-bay-packers fox-news/sports/nfl/chicago-bears fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 641aa81d-22f4-5400-a9dc-25dfa51acc42

Comments by presidential contender Kamala Harris about reducing red meat consumption to help the Earth may not go over well at Thursday’s NFL season opener, according to Josh Holmes.

The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears might be the two teams with fan bases whose iconic eats wouldn’t mesh well with theidea advanced by Senator Harris, D-Calif., Holmes suggested Thursday on “Special Report.”

“We were joking in the break about what tonight’s football crowd between the Packers and the Bears would think about such a proposal,” he said.

“A large swath of the middle of this country would find that — and almost everything that was said last night during that climate conference –absolutely incredibly out-of-touch.”

GREEN BAY PACKERS’ AARON RODGERS DONATES HELMETS TO HIGH SCHOOLS HIT BY 2018 WILDFIRES

During the town hall — a marathon event on CNN focused on Democratic presidential hopefuls’ ideas to combat climate change —  Harris was pressed by moderator Erin Burnett on whether she’d support changing dietary guidelines to specifically reduce red meat.

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“Yes. Yes, I would,” she responded. “There has to be also what we do in terms of creating incentives that we will eat in a healthy way.”

Holmes, a former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., added that Harris’ comments on red meat reduction weren’t the only notable notions to come out of the town hall event.

“I was shocked that you could actually accrue that many political liabilities in one several-hour sitting,” he said.

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“What I did see, from the highlights, looked to me like an awful lot of people who are going to have trouble getting elected in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, the entire Midwest really.”

Later Thursday, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers travel to Chicago to take on Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears at 8:20 p.m. ET.

Westlake Legal Group Harris-Packers_Getty Former McConnell aide: Kamala Harris' support for eating less red meat would get panned at NFL opener fox-news/sports/nfl/green-bay-packers fox-news/sports/nfl/chicago-bears fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 641aa81d-22f4-5400-a9dc-25dfa51acc42   Westlake Legal Group Harris-Packers_Getty Former McConnell aide: Kamala Harris' support for eating less red meat would get panned at NFL opener fox-news/sports/nfl/green-bay-packers fox-news/sports/nfl/chicago-bears fox-news/sports/nfl fox-news/shows/special-report fox-news/politics/elections/democrats fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/kamala-harris fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox-news/food-drink fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 641aa81d-22f4-5400-a9dc-25dfa51acc42

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Southern California fire grows to 2,000 acres; evacuations expanded

MURIETTA, Calif. – The Tenaja Fire continued to burn in Southern California on Thursday, charring some 2,000 acres and triggering mandatory evacuations for hundreds of residents, authorities said.

As of Thursday morning, the fire was 7% contained, Cal Fire said.

The fire broke out about 4 p.m. Wednesday in La Cresta, a community perched above Murrieta that contains sprawling, multimillion-dollar estates about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Cal Fire reported at about 3 p.m. Thursday that it had grown to 2,000 acres – about 3 square miles.

Cal Fire Capt. Fernando Herrera said as many as 400 firefighters responded to the blaze.

Mandatory evacuations remained in effect Thursday for parts of La Cresta. In addition, evacuations were ordered for parts of Murrieta.

Thursday afternoon, the fire appeared to expand to near Copper Canyon, where winds were expected to whip up.

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Stephanie Liesenfelt lives at the foot of the Copper Canyon hill, where flames burned Thursday afternoon. Her belongings were already packed. But she took one last precaution and hosed down her home.

“This may help, or it may not if embers come flying,” she said.

She was prepared to hold out for as long as possible but was ready to leave the moment firefighters asked.

“My stuff is not worth more than anyone’s life,” Liesenfelt said.

Dan Hoekstra said he watched as the flames grew near and “my wife started crying. She started crying and screaming for us to get out.”

They fled their home, but decided against leaving their neighborhood because they knew they wouldn’t be allowed back in. Instead, they sat in their car for about 20 “agonizing” minutes while their street was engulfed in smoke.

He eventually joined onlookers watching firefighters attack the flames by ground and air. Walking with his dog, Lottie, he returned to their home and found it intact.

Riverside County officials issued a health warning and urged residents to limit outdoor activities because of smoke and ash generated by the fire. Temecula and Lake Elsinore are among communities in the warning areas.

“Ash and smoke can be hard on anyone to breathe, but especially those with lung disease,” said Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County public health officer. “Everyone worries about the flames, but smoke can impact you even if you’re miles away from the fire.”

A battalion chief at the scene said the flames appeared to be headed toward an old burn scar, which could starve the flames of fuel overnight. A thunderstorm moved through the area just prior to the fire, and it was suspected that a lightning strike ignited it.

So far, no damage has been reported to Southern California Edison power poles and lines, according to Troy Whitman, who works in the agency’s fire management department.

Follow Shane Newell on Twitter:@journoshane

Follow Colin Atagi on Twitter: @tdscolinatagi

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Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/09/05/fast-moving-tenaja-fire-near-murrieta-calif-burns-1-400-acres/2220011001/

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After Breakneck Expansion, WeWork Stumbles as It Nears I.P.O.

Westlake Legal Group 05wework-facebookJumbo After Breakneck Expansion, WeWork Stumbles as It Nears I.P.O. WeWork Companies Inc Venture Capital Stocks and Bonds Initial Public Offerings Co-Working

In the cutthroat world of real estate, WeWork drew envy and admiration as it built an empire of sleek work spaces for freelancers, start-ups and Fortune 500 companies alike.

The company planned to cash in on its breakneck expansion with an initial public offering of stock as soon as this month that was expected to give WeWork’s parent company a value that other real estate companies could only dream of.

But those plans now appear to be in jeopardy.

WeWork’s parent, the We Company, is considering selling its shares at a more than 50 percent discount to its valuation from earlier this year, according to two people familiar with the matter. And in recent days, the company has discussed having one of its biggest backers, the Japanese technology giant SoftBank, provide yet more cash and delaying the offering.

If the public offering stumbles or is delayed indefinitely, it would be a big turning point for the often-frothy world of private companies backed by venture capitalists. Skeptics of WeWork who looked on in disbelief at the We Company’s rapid growth — the business is the largest tenant in the Manhattan office space market — would surely feel vindicated.

And investors, many of whom have already grown wary of prominent companies like Uber and Lyft that have racked up billions of dollars in losses and do not appear to be close to turning a profit, may become even more cautious. Other unprofitable start-ups are also planning to go public soon, including Peloton, the fitness company, and SmileDirectClub, which makes teeth aligners.

“For real estate insiders, it is unsurprising to see the pushback on valuation,” said John Arenas, chief executive of Serendipity Labs, a rival of WeWork. He contended that WeWork’s financial statements, made public for the first time in August as part of the company’s regulatory filings, show that the company does not have any significant advantages over its competitors.

The We Company and its financial advisers are in talks to value the business at $20 billion to $30 billion, said three people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. The figure is well below the $47 billion valuation at which the company raised money as recently as January. Ultimately, the company could sell shares at a price that pegs its value closer to $20 billion, two of the people said.

“I can’t think of another I.P.O. where they halved the valuation,” said Reena Aggarwal, a finance and business professor at Georgetown University. “This certainly shakes up confidence and makes people pause.”

The We Company’s chief executive, Adam Neumann, met in Tokyo last week with executives at SoftBank, two of the people familiar with the matter said. They discussed how SoftBank could help by making an investment beyond the $10.5 billion it has already poured into the business.

Under one proposal, SoftBank would be a major buyer of shares sold in the public offering, which We Company has hoped would raise $3 billion to $4 billion. Under another, SoftBank would invest another large sum directly into the company, allowing it to delay the offering.

The people familiar with the matter said that the discussions were continuing and that nothing had been decided.

Analysts say WeWork deserves credit for moving aggressively to capitalize on an important shift taking place in the office space market. The company attracted customers, including big corporations like IBM and Microsoft, with cleanly designed modern office spaces. It has used enticements like free beer and salons and other social events to create a sense of community.

“We are a community company committed to maximum global impact,” the We Company said in a regulatory filing. “Our mission is to elevate the world’s consciousness.”

Instead of signing leases for several years, some businesses and professionals prefer shorter deals that offer them more flexibility. WeWork has established a reputation for quickly converting drab spaces into attractive locations.

But that costs money. The company and others are spending billions converting office buildings. The We Company has also made itself vulnerable to substantial financial risks that could be magnified in a recession.

The company leases space from landlords for an average of 15 years, then usually rents it out under contracts that run for less than two years on average. If WeWork were to lose a lot of customers, it would still have to make payments on the longer leases.

Last year, WeWork had an operating loss of $1.7 billion on $1.8 billion in revenue, partly because of the steep costs associated with outfitting the spaces it operates.

WeWork’s losses and the financial risk of its leases has led some real estate players to conclude that WeWork is worth even less than the reduced valuation it might now go public at.

“Why is it even worth $20 billion?” said Anthony E. Malkin, chairman and chief executive of the Empire State Realty Trust, which owns the Empire State Building, among other properties. His company has not leased space to WeWork.

The International Workplace Group, a large WeWork rival, has a stock market value of about $4.5 billion, even though it is profitable with roughly the same revenue as the We Company in the first half of this year. International Workplace, whose stock trades in London, also provides investors with important details about its operations that WeWork has not made available so far.

A botched I.P.O. could frustrate WeWork’s expansion plans and jeopardize its ability to borrow money. Banks have agreed to lend the company as much as $6 billion, but that commitment rests on the We Company raising at least $3 billion in the public offering.

“If they did not complete the I.P.O., we would need to potentially reconsider their credit profile,” said Kevin McNeil, an analyst at Fitch Ratings.

The company’s corporate governance has also faced criticism, in part because Mr. Neumann, the chief executive, has voting control. He also invested in properties that leased space to WeWork, creating a potential conflict of interest. Mr. Neumann later sold his stakes in the properties to an investment arm of WeWork.

In a move that underscored Mr. Neumann’s outsize role, WeWork said this week that he had given back $5.9 million he received from the company for the trademarks for the word “we.” In addition, Mr. Neumann’s wife, Rebekah Neumann, would have considerable influence over the choice of a new chief should he die or become permanently disabled.

“It’s not We Company, it’s the I company,” said Ken Bertsch, the executive director of the Council of Institutional Investors, which represents pension funds, endowments and other investors.

The We Company’s troubles could cause new headaches for SoftBank, which has invested in the company from its own coffers and through its nearly $100 billion Vision Fund. The value of SoftBank’s stake in Uber has fallen because of the ride-hailing company’s flagging stock price.

SoftBank is in the middle of raising money for a second Vision Fund.

Within SoftBank, opinions about WeWork appear to be split. Over the last two years, some executives argued in internal discussions that SoftBank should not invest more money in the company, according to two people familiar with those deliberations.

Some analysts said it would make sense for We Company to go public at a lower valuation. Such a move might increase the chances that the shares would perform well after the offering.

“WeWork is going to have to play nice with the equity markets if it wants to come back and get more equity in a year or two,” said Alex Snyder, a senior analyst at CenterSquare, a real estate investment firm.

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A Thick Black Line on a Hurricane Map Lands Trump and Sharpie’s Maker in a Different Kind of Storm

Westlake Legal Group 05dc-sharpie-facebookJumbo A Thick Black Line on a Hurricane Map Lands Trump and Sharpie’s Maker in a Different Kind of Storm United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Pens and Pencils Newell Brands Inc Cross (A.T.) Company Alabama

WASHINGTON — The pen has never been mightier. President Donald Trump’s Sharpie pen, that is.

Mr. Trump’s suspected use of a signature black Sharpie to alter a hurricane map has prompted thousands of mocking tweets, late-night comedy jokes and a viral internet meme. It has also further fused a staple of American homes and offices with the image of a highly divisive president, showing that even a humdrum marker maker can be swept up in the constant furor surrounding the Trump White House.

Mr. Trump is a longtime user of the Sharpie pen, whose thick, bold imprint is a visual reflection of Mr. Trump’s blunt — some might say crude — style. Well before he was president, he regularly used the pens to sign autographs, write notes and mark up printed news articles before sending them back to their authors.

As president, Mr. Trump appears more enamored of the pens than ever, using them to sign his name to proclamations and legislation in his distinctive EKG-style signature. He has even had the company custom design a presidential version of its iconic pen, emblazoned with his signature, for his official use.

The free publicity Sharpie has enjoyed during the Trump era, and especially in the day since the appearance of the altered hurricane map, is almost impossible to calculate. But that attention has taken on a different tone this week, with some Trump critics even calling (perhaps jokingly) for a boycott of the pen maker, which is owned by the conglomerate Newell Brands.

In public, at least, the brand has not exactly reveled in the president’s embrace: The official Sharpie Twitter account has not mentioned Mr. Trump since his election. Representatives for the company and the White House did not offer comment.

The current frenzy erupted after Mr. Trump displayed a map in the Oval Office on Wednesday showing the early path of Hurricane Dorian, with what appeared to be a Sharpie-drawn line extending the projected storm path into the state of Alabama. Mr. Trump had been criticized for stating days earlier that the state was at risk from the storm when federal weather forecasters had said no such thing, and the doctored map appeared to be an effort to retroactively justify Mr. Trump’s tweet.

The story raged into another day on Thursday as Mr. Trump defended himself on Twitter, and his White House homeland security adviser, Peter Brown, issued an unusual statement appearing to accept responsibility for the larger flap. Mr. Brown said the president’s warnings on Sunday that Alabama was in danger from the storm were based on a briefing he had given the president that morning “that included the possibility of tropical storm force winds in southeastern Alabama.”

Since the altered map’s display on Wednesday, Twitter has been ablaze with ridicule of the apparently crude effort to align the facts with the president’s prior statement, including the emergence of a #sharpiegate hashtag and a viral meme in which other images are doctored with thick black lines, including one in which Mr. Trump’s face is crudely scrawled onto Mount Rushmore and another in which stick figures appear in bare patches of aerial photos of the crowd at Mr. Trump’s 2017 inauguration. Some of Mr. Trump’s critics also used the opportunity to poke fun at his prized policy priority: the wall.

Mr. Trump has made no secret of the fact that he was not satisfied with the government-issued pens he was given for official signatures when he first arrived at the White House.

“I was signing documents with a very expensive pen and it didn’t write well,” Mr. Trump said on an HBO special produced by the political website Axios. “It was a horrible pen, and it was extremely expensive. A government-ordered pen.” He said that he had pulled out a standard Sharpie pen and concluded that it not only “writes much better,” but also “costs almost nothing.”

“So, I called up the folks at Sharpie and I said, ‘Do me a favor, can you make the pen in black? Make it look rich?’” he said. He then held up one of several thick black markers bearing his own signature, in gold, for the camera.

Over the course of his presidency, close observers have noted what appeared to be Sharpie lines in Mr. Trump’s signature on legislation, notecards at official events and markings on prepared remarks.

As of May, the Rhode Island-based pen company A.T. Cross was still identifying itself as the official pen supplier to the White House, a relationship formalized by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s but which the company says began decades earlier. It is unclear whether Mr. Trump was criticizing the company’s sleek ballpoint pens when he talked to Axios.

But in January 2017, the White House reportedly ordered 150 of the company’s Century II black lacquer and gold rollerball pens, which currently start at a retail price of $116. (Purchased in bulk, standard Sharpie markers can retail for less than a dollar apiece.)

A recent post on the company’s website suggested that Mr. Trump had not abandoned the classic pens. It referred to the Century II as “Mr. Trump’s current favorite model.”

In his remarks to Axios, Mr. Trump seemed conscious of the publicity he was giving even then to the makers of his favorite pen. As he touted its wonders, he paused for a moment and interjected: “I don’t want to make this a commercial for Sharpie.”

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NPR Names Veteran Media Executive John Lansing As Its New CEO

Westlake Legal Group john-lansing-bbg_wide-8b1be834dcc26603748dc20558c3be05b889a6b8-s1100-c15 NPR Names Veteran Media Executive John Lansing As Its New CEO

John Lansing, the chief executive officer and director of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, will become NPR’s CEO in mid-October. U.S. Agency for Global Media hide caption

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U.S. Agency for Global Media

Westlake Legal Group  NPR Names Veteran Media Executive John Lansing As Its New CEO

John Lansing, the chief executive officer and director of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, will become NPR’s CEO in mid-October.

U.S. Agency for Global Media

NPR has a new CEO. John Lansing, a veteran government broadcast and cable television executive, has been selected by NPR’s corporate board to succeed its current chief, Jarl Mohn.

Lansing, who is 62, is currently the chief executive of the government agency that oversees Voice of America, Radio and Television Marti, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, among others. He made his mark in his current job with stirring defenses of journalism, free from government interference.

Lansing will start in his new position in mid-October. He will be the 11th permanent president or chief executive in the radio network’s nearly 50-year history.

In an interview, Lansing said he wants to build on NPR’s successes in broadcast news and entertainment to become even more dominant in podcasting and more prevalent in streaming.

“When I think of NPR and I think of the member stations collectively, I think really of journalism as a public service, not tied to a profit motive,” Lansing told NPR News. He defined NPR’s mission as “serving the public with information and an excellence and quality about it that makes it ‘must see’ on a variety of platforms.”

A number of executives will report directly to Lansing, including Nancy Barnes, senior vice president for news and editorial director, who joined NPR last November and oversees the network’s newsroom.

Four years ago, Lansing was named by President Obama to be the first chief executive of the broadcasting outfit that was renamed the U.S. Agency for Global Media. Lansing has won plaudits from journalists for his rousing defense of a free press even while serving in the Trump administration, which has been notably hostile to traditional notions of the role of journalism in civic life.

He took over a troubled organization beset by infighting and bureaucratic inefficiency. He’s credited with restoring morale, in part by naming a noted journalist as head of the Voice of America: Amanda Bennett is a former top news executive at the Philadelphia Inquirer, who previously held senior newsroom jobs at Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal.

Lansing said he took pride in maintaining conventional broadcasts while appealing to new audiences, reaching about 25% more people each week.

“What you really want to do is be connected to people that are consuming content on something they’re holding in their hand, and aren’t necessarily tied to a TV set on a wall or a radio in a living room,” Lansing said. “Your mobility becomes extremely important to be involved and connected to audiences that are mobile and that tend to be, frankly, younger and, as we think of it at USAGM, future leaders, who can influence the rise of free and open societies.”

Lansing’s tenure at the agency has not been without controversy.

He held off a push by House Republicans to spin off Voice of America into a non-governmental broadcaster. Lansing also elevated a former U.S. State Department staffer to be chief strategy officer who recently pleaded guilty to having defrauded the U.S. Agency for Global Media of more than $40,000 in government money in 2018, according to federal prosecutors.

Lansing says the agency referred Haroon Ullah’s expenditures to auditors and investigators after travel assistants flagged them; according to the Justice Department statement, Ullah admitted submitting fraudulent receipts for hotel room reimbursements and fake medical claims to get government payments of upgrades in airline seat assignments, among other offenses.

Lansing previously held positions overseeing the Scripps Co.’s local television stations and then its national cable channels, which include the Food Network and HGTV, among others. For two years, he served as the president and CEO of a cable trade group called the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing.

He will now lead the nation’s top audio producer and broadcaster.

“In terms of mission, understanding of media, the depth of experience, his strategic leadership, his commitment to people and culture, I would say those were really the key things that we were looking for,” said Goli Sheikholeslami, vice chairwoman of the NPR board of directors and CEO of Chicago Public Media.

The challenges he will face at NPR are not dissimilar to challenges across the media landscape as a whole,” said Sheikholeslami, who will soon take up the CEO job at New York Public Radio.

NPR stands stronger than it did at the outset of Mohn’s five-year term in 2014. The network had run deficits in six of the seven previous years; under Mohn, it has achieved a slight surplus for each year during his tenure, even as the annual budget grew by more than 40%.

NPR draws more than 28 million listeners each week and 40 million unique monthly visitors to its website — both represent a rise of several million over those five years. NPR has also been the nation’s leading producer of podcasts, since Podtrac started measuring the audiences. NPR maintains 17 national bureaus and 17 bureaus abroad. It has won acclaim for its coverage of wars and disasters yet suffered its own crisis and tragedy in 2016 when NPR’s David Gilkey and Zabihullah Tamanna were killed in southern Afghanistan on assignment. Mohn placed an emphasis on fostering a more collaborative dynamic with the public radio stations that NPR serves, and was given credit for making progress on that score.

Yet Lansing also takes over an institution riven by a scandal that hit its top reaches, with a chief news executive toppled over #MeToo complaints of inappropriate conduct toward female subordinates and colleagues. Mohn fired head of news Michael Oreskes on Halloween 2017. A later report commissioned by the NPR board found that questions had been raised about Oreskes’ behavior even before his hiring and that concerns were raised throughout his tenure; the repeated and formal warnings by top executives (including Mohn) to Oreskes to cut short the unwanted attention he paid to female colleagues proved ineffective.

NPR’s president of operations, Loren Mayor, was the leading internal candidate for the chief executive position. While serving as chief operating officer, she took on a greater role during two of Mohn’s medical leaves and in the aftermath of the sexual harassment scandal. She also has led initiatives to reform hiring practices and to sweep far more temporary positions into permanent slots, often working closely with the network’s chief unions to do so.

Mayor is said to be staying on at the network as a top executive and deputy to Lansing, retaining the enhanced portfolio she took on after Mohn’s health crises. Both Lansing and Sheikholeslami say he is adamant about pressing forward with reforms to the workplace culture at NPR that Mayor has already started to put in place.

NPR faces financial pressures from two fronts.

The network’s fight for listeners’ time has become more feverish. Others have waded into the podcast fray with a vengeance. The streaming platform Spotify paid nearly a quarter-billion dollars to buy the podcast producer Gimlet, founded by former staffers of NPR and other public radio outlets. And the The New York Times has won praise and new fans through its weekday podcast The Daily, with in-depth interviews of reporters and newsmakers.

The other is the fight for donors. Mohn had promised to attract major contributions to NPR before the end of his tenure; to date he has not landed the major eight- and nine-figure donations his stated aspirations suggested.

“Jarl would be the first to say that it is the area where he feels that his work was not complete,” Sheikholeslami said. “The combination of his health issues plus the situation with Mike Oreskes did derail his plans.”

That said, Mohn set higher annual expectations for the network in fundraising and agreed to be co-chairman of its 50th anniversary capital campaign. He has previously announced he would be staying on as president emeritus to help the network raise major gifts, and along with his wife, Pamela Mohn, he personally committed $10 million to the network.

Unlike some predecessors, Lansing doesn’t face a particularly fraught political landscape. Government support for the public radio system isn’t in any immediate jeopardy. NPR only takes a few million dollars a year from federal sources for its programs. While member stations on average receive about 10% of their funding from the federal government, fees from the stations make up a significant part of the NPR budget.

Lansing has earned an advanced degree in political agility. At the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Lansing championed a free press even as leaders of many nations move against it.

“Governments around the world are increasingly cracking down on the free flow of information; silencing dialogue and dissent; and distorting reality,” Lansing said in a speech he delivered in May to the Media for Democracy Forum. “The result, I believe, is a war on truth.”

He continued: “Citizens in countries from Russia to China, from Iran to North Korea, have been victimized for decades. But now we’re seeing authoritarian regimes expanding around the globe, with media repression in places like Turkey and Venezuela, Cambodia and Vietnam.”

Trump has notably praised authoritarian figures, including the leaders of North Korea, the Philippines, Russia and Turkey, and has waged his own fight against journalists.

While they do not broadcast within the U.S., the Voice of America and the other media outfits Lansing has overseen typically adhere to traditional concepts of factual, non-ideological journalism, with the frequent exception of Radio Marti — historically an anti-Castro and anti-Cuban communist outlet. The roots of the VOA involved providing truthful reports to people under Nazi and Axis power rule during World War II. The varied broadcasters also offered jazz and other music to appeal to people under communist regimes using a soft form of diplomacy. Their editorial independence is enshrined in federal law, though it sometimes came under attack.

Now Lansing says he wants to draw on the intellectual and creative impulses of his new staffers as he leads a domestic journalistic powerhouse with an international reputation and reach.

“I want to hear the ideas that are bubbling underneath right now and what people are excited about what they’re looking forward to developing,” Lansing said Thursday. “And I want to look for areas that I can provide leadership to bring resources together as needed strategically to find the right priorities that make the most sense for growing NPR this year and then into the future.

Disclosure: This story was reported by NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik under guidance from NPR chief business editor Pallavi Gogoi. Under standard procedures for reporting on NPR matters, NPR’s corporate and news executives were not allowed to review what they reported until it was posted.

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Charleston, SC, mayor: Dorian flooding impact ‘significant,’ but ‘not as a significant as we thought they would be’

The mayor of Charleston, S.C., John Tecklenburg, said Thursday that the impact of Hurricane Dorian was “significant,” but that “the impacts from flooding were not as a significant as we thought they would be.”

Speaking with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on “Your World,” Mayor Tecklenburg said: “We had a little more wind than expected, but we had less water than we expected and that was a good thing. Flooding was our No. 1 concern.”

Charleston sits on a peninsula that is prone to flooding even from ordinary storms.

On Thursday, Hurricane Dorian started to make its way toward the Carolinas, bringing tropical storm conditions along the South Carolina coast and flooding in Charleston while the threat of tornadoes loomed in North Carolina.

HURRICANE DORIAN DEATH TOLL RISES TO 20 IN BAHAMAS AS PM ANNOUNCES HIS BROTHER’S DEATH

Westlake Legal Group CharlestonFlooding1 Charleston, SC, mayor: Dorian flooding impact 'significant,' but 'not as a significant as we thought they would be' Talia Kaplan fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/us fnc fdf5fcf9-ff38-59c2-b963-a3af2281befd article

Flooding was reported in Charleston, S.C. early Thursday as Hurricane Dorian neared the area. (Fox News)

Dorian decreased in force to a Category 2 storm as it swirled in the Atlantic Ocean. It had previously hit the Bahamas as a Category 5 hurricane before making a northward turn up the East Coast.

South Carolina’s governor, Henry McMaster, issued a mandatory evacuation for coastal counties, which went into effect at noon on Monday.

On Thursday afternoon, the governor’s office announced that the evacuation order had been lifted for three counties but remained in effect for five counties, including in Charleston.

Even though Tecklenburg acknowledged Thursday that the impact wasn’t as bad as had been anticipated, he told Cavuto: “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

“Governor McMaster was absolutely right in what he did,” Tecklenburg said, responding to some backlash from people who did not agree with the governor’s evacuation order.

Tecklenburg went on to say: “He ordered everyone to leave. Probably about half the folks left, the others hunkered down and were safe indoors and were pretty respectful to stay off the streets as we asked them, so I haven’t had a single report of anyone being injured in my city, which I feel great about.”

TORNADOS HIT CAROLINAS AS HURRICANE DORIAN FLOODS CHARLESTON; 200K WITHOUT POWER

Although flooding and wind in Charleston weren’t nearly as bad as feared, Dorian toppled about 150 trees, swamped roads and brought down power lines, officials said.

Near Charleston, part of the metal roof of a James Island church blew off.

Westlake Legal Group Abaco-destruction-2 Charleston, SC, mayor: Dorian flooding impact 'significant,' but 'not as a significant as we thought they would be' Talia Kaplan fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/us fnc fdf5fcf9-ff38-59c2-b963-a3af2281befd article

Debris blankets the landscape in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in Marsh Harbor, Abaco, Bahamas, Thursday, The storm’s devastation has come into sharper focus as the death toll climbed to 20 and many people emerged from shelters to check on their homes.  (AP Photo/Michael Weissenstein)

Dorian apparently spun off at least one tornado in North Myrtle Beach, damaging several homes. North Myrtle Beach is about two hours from Charleston.

Another twister touched down in the beach town of Emerald Isle, N.C., mangling and overturning several trailer homes. No injuries have been reported so far.

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Starting over Labor Day weekend, Dorian pounded the Bahamas with winds up to 185 mph and obliterated entire neighborhoods. At least 20 people were reported dead in the Bahamas because of Dorian.

Fox News Ryan Gaydos and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19248810397837 Charleston, SC, mayor: Dorian flooding impact 'significant,' but 'not as a significant as we thought they would be' Talia Kaplan fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/us fnc fdf5fcf9-ff38-59c2-b963-a3af2281befd article   Westlake Legal Group AP19248810397837 Charleston, SC, mayor: Dorian flooding impact 'significant,' but 'not as a significant as we thought they would be' Talia Kaplan fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/us fnc fdf5fcf9-ff38-59c2-b963-a3af2281befd article

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'Howling like a train': Hurricane Dorian's winds ripped through the Bahamas; residents beg for aid

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close 'Howling like a train': Hurricane Dorian's winds ripped through the Bahamas; residents beg for aid

MARSH HARBOUR, Bahamas — Hurricane Dorian left devastation everywhere, flipping cars, tearing off roofs and stripping trees bare before ripping them from the sandy soil.

Rescue workers are still struggling to bring aid to the Abaco Islands, in large part because both airports in the island chain are damaged. Commercial flights were hauling out evacuees as fast as they can from Treasure Cay, an airport that saw significant damage to its structures but not its runway.

Hundreds of people gathered there Thursday, begging for plane and helicopter flights off the island from aid workers and private pilots alike. Abaco is roughly 180 miles from the south Florida coast.

The winds toppled trees, snapped power lines and tore down cell phone towers, flayed the roofs off homes and flipped over cars, trucks and boats.

By Thursday afternoon, a small amount of aid supplies were arriving in Marsh Harbour, one of the worst-hit areas. In particular demand were diapers and drinking water. Many people  gathered at the government health clinic or the nearby pink-painted Bahamas Government Complex, which saw many of its hurricane shutters ripped off by the wind.

Debris litters the streets, and the smell of pine from downed trees hangs in the air. Staggered residents push shopping carts of supplies down roads that in places have had their pavement ripped off by the wind.

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Few vehicles escaped unscathed. Most have shattered windows and dented bodywork, but rattle down the streets as drivers search for the missing and try to find shelter.

“You could hear it howling like a train. The house was rumbling like a tornado, vibrating,” said Dereck Bain, 46, who lost his restaurant in the storm but whose house remains more inhabitable than most.

Bain and his family fled to a concrete building for shelter as the storm intensified.

“Now, Water is the top thing, then fuel and and generators,” he said. “People looted the warehouses and the hardware stores.”

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/09/05/bahamas-abaco-relief-hurricane-dorian-devastation-marsh-harbour/2226372001/

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Hurricane Dorian Becomes a Carolina Problem With a Fierce Lashing of the Coast

CHARLESTON, S.C. — After its deadly rampage across the Bahamas and brush of the Florida coast, Hurricane Dorian pounded the coastal Carolinas on Thursday, sowing fear and worry from the elegant streets of downtown Charleston to the jigsaw-puzzle that is North Carolina’s barrier islands.

Though thousands of residents had evacuated the region at the urging of government officials, many others stayed behind, where they endured tornadoes, power outages, flooding and tree-toppling winds. In low-lying Charleston, the water was knee-high in some streets, though by late afternoon, Shannon F. Scaff, the director of emergency management, said that the city of 136,000 had largely avoided major catastrophe.

“We got hit more than we have in other storms, but anybody familiar with Charleston would probably agree that we got very fortunate yet again,” Mr. Scaff said.

Further north, where the Category 2 hurricane’s bands were just starting to be felt, there was lingering concern over winds that reached 105 miles per hour, as well as a kind of war-weariness for a region still rebuilding from last year’s Hurricane Florence.

[How The Times is covering Hurricane Dorian]

In the South Carolina coastal fishing village of McClellanville, the oysterman and bartender Pete Kornack had been taking Dorian seriously as it churned closer to him Thursday morning. But this time, unlike in other hurricanes, he decided to stay put.

“I’m not running anymore,” said Mr. Kornack, 52, whose mother-in-law is in her 80s and does not travel as well as she used to. It was tiresome, he said, to live constantly in the cross hairs. He had lived through so many storms he mixed up their names, saying “It’s like someone points a cannon at you, and says, ‘We might pull the trigger, we might push the button.’ It’s a bad feeling. It’s just trauma.”

In the Bahamas, where some neighborhoods were reduced to rubble, the trauma was even more acute, with 23 deaths confirmed and authorities fearing many more. The death count “could be staggering,” Duane Sands, the minister of health, said on Thursday.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_160223211_370a36ff-8be0-43f6-ba3b-e5442aa31040-articleLarge Hurricane Dorian Becomes a Carolina Problem With a Fierce Lashing of the Coast Weather south carolina North Carolina Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Hurricane Dorian (2019) Charleston (SC)

In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper warned that the arrival of Dorian would bring “sustained winds up to 100 miles an hour, the threat of tornadoes and a high risk of dangerous flash floods.”CreditAlyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida declared Dorian a “close call” on Thursday, and the storm became a Carolina problem.

Hurricanes are the great, grim, incessant force of the coast of the Carolinas, a recurring source of heartbreak and death that have influenced the course of the region’s history. From 1851 until last year, 382 “tropical cyclone events” impacted North Carolina alone, either making landfall or significantly affecting the state without coming on shore — an average of 2.27 storms per year, according to the North Carolina Climate Office.

Before dawn Thursday, winds had downed numerous trees and power lines, and by breakfast time the South Carolina Emergency Management Division reported that more than 199,000 customers were without power. Areas where tornadoes were reported included North Myrtle Beach, S.C., Little River, S.C. and Wilmington, N.C.

By early afternoon, Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina lifted evacuation orders for three counties along the state’s southern coast — Jasper, Beaufort and Colleton — but cautioned residents there that they might encounter power losses, downed lines and dangerous flooding upon their return.

Mr. McMaster said he was concerned about worse-than-expected rain and surge north of Charleston. As much as four feet of water flowed on Ocean Boulevard in North Myrtle Beach, he said. The Waccamaw River is expected to crest late on Friday and into Saturday morning.

“We’re still battening down the hatches,” Mr. McMaster said. “When the wind stops, we still have to deal with the water, because the water’s going to last longer.”

In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper warned that the arrival of Dorian would bring “sustained winds up to 100 miles an hour, the threat of tornadoes and a high risk of dangerous flash floods.”

While inland and river flooding were likely, Mr. Cooper said, “the worst of the storm’s effects will be on the coast until the storm clears the Outer Banks tomorrow.”

Law enforcement blocked the road to Wrightsville Beach as Dorian approached Wilmington on Thursday.CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

Many vacationers had already left Outer Banks communities, and locals were scrambling to pack up their belongings as the wind started to pick up Thursday afternoon. Billy’s Seafood, a mom-and-pop store known for its fresh fish, soft-shell crabs and tuna salad, was closing up shop after moving its supplies several feet off the floor.

“We were just getting ready to leave,” Judy Beasley, who owns the store with her family, said when reached by telephone Thursday afternoon.

Hurricanes are deeply interwoven with the history of the Carolinas. Massive storms complicated the efforts to establish the first permanent English colony in the Americas at Roanoke Island, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, in the 1580s. The settlement was later abandoned for reasons that remain a mystery.

In South Carolina, the devastation of Hurricane Hugo in 1989 still lingers as a life-defining trauma for many coastal residents. At the time it was the costliest hurricane in the United States, costing roughly $7 billion in damage. It was also a pivotal moment for the city of Charleston, knocking down or badly damaging numerous buildings. The damage was an opportunity for thoughtful urban revitalization spearheaded by then-mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., and sparked Charleston’s modern-day renaissance as a tourist-saturated coastal jewel.

Mr. Kornack, the oysterman, came to the Carolinas in 1994, but his wife’s family, whose roots in McClellanville date to the 19th Century, carry the trauma of Hugo. On Thursday, they had their valuables off of the first floor, the storm shutters closed, the windows boarded. He was worried that the storm’s western flank might arrive with the afternoon high tide, flooding everything.

“We’re right on the creek, and when the surge hits you, you won’t know it until the water starts rising,” he said. “It might go from no water to ‘The water’s at your front door.’”

The coastal Carolinas offer a number of challenges in the midst of a storm. Some of the barrier islands in the Outer Banks are difficult to access; this summer, officials in Dare County dredged a channel to ensure that an emergency ferry could pass between Rodanthe, on a sliver of barrier island, and the mainland town of Stumpy Point.

Bridges on and off of coastal land masses can become dangerous to cross in high sustained winds, as they were in Charleston County Thursday. And in the flat, low-lying city of Charleston, moving storm water out of the city is dependent upon the tide cycle. At high tide, pipes and ditches are full of seawater, leaving storm water with no place to go until the tide recedes.

In Wilmington, N.C., last year, Hurricane Florence washed out the highways that lead into the city, effectively turning it into a temporary island of 122,000 people, and the new storm approached as the city still appeared to be getting over Florence.CreditAlyssa Schukar for The New York Times

In Wilmington, N.C., last year, Hurricane Florence washed out the highways that lead into the city, effectively turning it into a temporary island of 122,000 people, and the new storm approached as the city still appeared to be getting over Florence.

Blue tarps still cover many roofs, and contractors are in high demand. Some residents had tried to speed up work on their homes to get them ready for Dorian this week.

Steven Still, the county’s director of emergency management, twice referred to Dorian as Florence at a news conference earlier in the week, until a commissioner grabbed his arm and mouthed, “Dorian.”

“It still feels like we’re responding to Florence, even though this storm is different in many ways,” Mr. Still said in an interview Thursday.

But lessons had been learned, thanks in part to an internal county report that found gaps in the local government’s response to Florence. Before Dorian, faith-based groups and volunteer organizations knocked on doors in flood-prone areas to give residents a heads up.

At Codington Elementary School, 115 people had filled the shelter to capacity by Wednesday night. Inside, children played in the cafeteria and adults passed the time with games and chatter.

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Katie Meekins, 72, and her husband had taken Hurricane Florence seriously, evacuating for 10 days. This time around, the couple stayed in their house, thinking the storm might veer east into the ocean.

But Thursday morning, they watched as a tornado emerged in their golf-course community of Porters Neck, and as trees fell on their house and that of a neighbor.

The couple had moved to greater Wilmington for a laid-back retirement, Ms. Meekins said, but during hurricane season it had proven to be anything but. “We’ve been O.K. with this,” she added, indicting they were not sure how long they could keep it up. “But I’d assume that in another 10 years, we won’t.”

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Markets Soar on News of China Talks, but Hopes for Progress Are Low

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s decision to renew talks with China in the coming weeks sent financial markets soaring on Thursday, as investors seized on the development as a sign that both sides could still find a way out of an economically damaging trade war.

The rally sent the S&P 500 up more than 1 percent, underscoring just how much financial markets are subsisting on hopes and fears about the trade war. Shares fell through most of August, as Mr. Trump escalated his fight with China and imposed more tariffs, only to snap back on Thursday after news of the talks.

But expectations for progress remain low, and many in the United States and China see the best outcome as a continued stalemate that would prevent a collapse in relations before the 2020 election. Both Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping of China are under pressure from domestic audiences to stand tough, and the talks will happen after Mr. Trump’s next round of punishing tariffs take effect on Oct. 1.

“Continuing to talk soothes markets a little bit,” said Eswar Prasad, the former head of the China division at the International Monetary Fund. “But the political cost to making major concessions is, I think, too high for either side.”

The skepticism stems in part from what is emerging as a familiar pattern for Mr. Trump, for whom China is both a source of leverage and a potential vulnerability heading into an election year. The president has so far imposed tariffs on more than $350 billion worth of Chinese goods and routinely shifts from blasting China and threatening additional punishment to trying to calm the waters in the face of jittery markets and negative economic news.

Over two weeks, Mr. Trump has called Mr. Xi an enemy of America, ordered companies to stop doing business in China and suggested the United States was in no rush to reach a trade deal. On Sunday, he moved ahead with his threat to eventually tax every golf club, shoe and computer China sends into the United States, placing tariffs on another $112 billion of Chinese goods.

Stock investors have zeroed in on the threat the trade war poses to the economy, buying and selling in tandem with Mr. Trump’s trade whims. Thursday’s rally was the fifth positive performance for the market in the past six sessions. It brought the S&P 500 to within striking distance — less than 2 percent — of its high of 3025.86, reached on July 26.

The coming weeks could result in more of the same, analysts say: tough words when the president wants to rally his base and a temporary cooling off when it seems to be hurting an economy that is one of his main arguments for re-election.

Mr. Trump and his advisers are wary of a potential challenge from Democrats who will try to paint the president as weak on China. Officials are cognizant that striking a deal based on the kind of limited concessions China is currently offering would most likely be a political liability in the president’s bid for re-election. Democrats, along with some Republicans, have previously accused Mr. Trump of buckling on China after he reached a deal that allowed ZTE, the Chinese telecom company, to avoid tough American punishment.

Yet as collateral damage from the trade war increases, Mr. Trump is facing pressure to relent. The bond market has been flashing warning signs of a potential recession, and both consumer confidence and the manufacturing sector have slowed.

The trade war is also clearly weighing on the Chinese economy, which is growing at its slowest pace in more than two decades. But China has responded defiantly, imposing retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of American goods. The country is preparing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its founding on Oct. 1, and analysts say Beijing would be unlikely to make concessions at such a politically delicate moment.

People familiar with Chinese economic policymaking have said in recent weeks that Chinese leaders remain interested in reaching a trade deal with the United States, but that they are wary of what appear to be ever-increasing demands from the United States and what they describe as frequent shifts in the American negotiating position.

The Chinese government continues to insist that it will not accept any agreement that is unequal, or that prevents it from pursuing economic policies that it needs for continued growth.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_155582679_66815fe9-9ca9-4f97-b920-88f171a63e8c-articleLarge Markets Soar on News of China Talks, but Hopes for Progress Are Low Xi Jinping United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Stocks and Bonds Mutual Funds International Trade and World Market Federal Taxes (US) Economic Conditions and Trends Credit and Debt

Mr. Trump has imposed tariffs on more than $350 billion worth of Chinese goods. He plans to increase tariffs further in October and December.CreditLam Yik Fei for The New York Times

While both countries have motivation to come to an agreement, each is still insisting the other will be the first to bend.

“China and the US announced new round of trade talks and will work to make substantial progress,” Hu Xijin, the editor of the state-run Global Times, wrote on Twitter. “Personally I think the US, worn out by the trade war, may no longer hope for crushing China’s will. There’s more possibility of a breakthrough between the two sides.”

The Trump administration’s position is that the agreement must change China’s behavior, and that there is limited room for compromise. “This president is not about half-measures,” Peter Navarro, one of Mr. Trump’s trade advisers, said in August on Fox Business. “He can’t meet the Chinese halfway on this, because if you meet them halfway, they’ll only be stealing half as much as they’re stealing and killing half as many of Americans.”

The world’s two largest economies are resuming talks after a charged few months in which the United States and China went from being on the cusp of a deal to a near-breakdown in relations.

Negotiators had almost finalized an agreement in April, and were openly talking about a meeting where their two leaders would sign the deal. But China suddenly backed away from measures that would require it to change its laws, and Mr. Trump accused Beijing of breaking the deal and moved ahead with raising tariffs on the country.

The two sides again called a truce to escalating tensions in June, when Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi met personally in Osaka, Japan, during a Group of 20 summit. But the agreement quickly vanished. Mr. Trump grew frustrated with China’s failure to buy American agricultural goods — something the Chinese said they had never agreed to — and moved to further expand his tariffs.

China’s biggest request in the trade talks had been rolling back Mr. Trump’s tariffs, but those levies are now higher than ever. And American suspicions of China’s willingness to hold to an agreement — mistrust that led the United States to insist on a complex enforcement mechanism and changes to Chinese law — have only grown.

Still, there is little downside for any party in favoring talks over action.

As long as the American economy remains strong, Mr. Trump appears to have more to lose politically by giving into a weak deal with the Chinese than he does in persisting with his current approach. He could gain even more leeway to keep things status quo this month if the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates again to help insulate the American economy from the effects of a global slowdown and Mr. Trump’s trade war.

The Chinese are increasingly skeptical of the value of making further concessions, given their concern that Mr. Trump might go back on any deal he signs. But they have taken a pragmatic approach, “recognizing that openness to dialogue and engagement might not help much, but certainly cannot hurt,” Mr. Prasad said, adding, “There is still the hope that at least with further negotiations, at least even more trade and economic tensions can be staved off.”

For now, markets appear to be rewarding the promise to keep talking, even if hopes for an agreement are low.

The trade fight has clearly emerged as the top concern among investors this year. Some 51 percent of respondents to Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s monthly survey of global fund managers in August cited a worsening trade war as the top “tail risk” — a remote, but potentially deeply destabilizing threat — facing markets.

After a 1.8 percent drop in August, the recent rise has been a striking show of resilience. Annual expectations for corporate profit growth at S&P 500 companies have been falling for much of the year. The drop has been especially sharp for goods producing firms, as the global industrial economy has fallen into a slump many analysts have blamed on the trade war.

Still, stocks have managed to resume their climb, forcing some investors — particularly professionals whose performance is measured by how they stack up against important market indexes — to chase the rally.

“The narrative of ‘fear of missing out’ and ‘there is no alternative’ is resonating with investors,” said Ian Burdette, a senior managing director at brokerage firm Tribal Capital Markets. He added, “It seems significantly overdone, to me, from a fundamental perspective.”

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