Grind for December 15th, 2018
“Politics is such a torment that I advise everyone I love not to mix with it.”
– Thomas Jefferson
Trump warns: US military will build border wall if no other option
President Trump on Tuesday said the US military would start building the border wall if Congress refuses to approve funding.
“The Democrats…for strictly political reasons and because they have been pulled so far left, do NOT want Border Security,” complained Trump. “They want Open Borders for anyone to come in.”
Trump is demanding $5 billion to begin construction on a physical wall between the United States and Mexico.
“If the Democrats do not gives the votes to secure our Country, the Military will build the remaining sections of the Wall,” he promised, adding that open borders put the country at risk of “large-scale crime and disease.”
Trump’s comments came directly before he met with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to negotiate a year-end spending bill.
Last week, lawmakers passed a temporary spending bill to avoid a partial shutdown.
“Our country cannot afford a Trump Shutdown, especially at this time of economic uncertainty,” said Schumer on Monday. “This holiday season, the president knows full well that his wall proposal does not have the votes to pass the House and Senate, and should not be an obstacle to a bipartisan agreement.”
Both Schumer and Pelosi said they would be willing to extend current funding for the DHS (which oversees border security) through 2020 and to support six less-controversial spending bills.
There are currently more than 5,000 US troops working to fortify existing fences and barriers along the US-Mexico border. As it stands, they are scheduled to guard ports of entry along the border until the end of January.
Chinese court bans sales of certain iPhone models
A Chinese court has ordered Apple to stop selling certain iPhone models after determining it infringed on patents held by chip-maker Qualcomm.
The patents are related to photo editing and touchscreen swiping.
The ruling bans import and sales of the iPhone 6, 7, 8, and X models, but not the newer XS, XS Max, and XR models.
Chinese business accounts for a full fifth of Apple’s annual revenue and the phones affected by the ban represent about 40% of Apple’s sales in China.
Apple plans to appeal the ruling, but if the ban takes effect it could have an impact on about $12 billion in sales.
In the meantime, Apple said it would continue selling its full portfolio of iPhones in China.
China’s iPhone ban is the latest development in a drawn-out legal battle between Apple and Qualcomm, both of which have accused the other of patent infringement.
Apple’s dispute with Qualcomm began in January 2017 when it sued Qualcomm for collecting heightened royalties on iPhone sales. Apple is seeking $1 billion from Qualcomm in the US and an additional $145 million from Qualcomm in China.
Qualcomm argues that Apple wants to take advantage of its tech without paying for it.
Qualcomm is also fighting a fine of $1.2 billion from antitrust regulators in Europe for paying Apple to use its tech over that of competitors and a fine of $853 million from the Korean Fair Trade Commission over its anticompetitive practices.
Last December, a federal magistrate imposed a $25,000 per day fine on Apple for withholding evidence from Qualcomm in a separate case.
In September 2018, Qualcomm sued Apple for stealing intellectual property and giving it to Intel. That same month, Apple released new phones (the XS and XS Max) containing modem chips made by Intel.
Throughout the dispute, Apple has withheld billions in royalty payments to Qualcomm.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… In 2002, the Kenyan Maasai tribespeople donated 14 cows to the US to help with the aftermath of 9/11.