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  • Kim Kardashian West had five surgeries after babies

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  • Trump Impeachment Advances as Historic Vote Sends Case to House

    (Bloomberg) -- The House Judiciary Committee recommended the impeachment of Donald Trump in a party-line vote Friday that reflected bitter partisan disagreement over whether the ultimate constitutional punishment fits the nature of the president’s alleged misconduct.The Judiciary Committee acted separately and without debate on each of the two counts -- one charging him with abuse of power and the other with obstruction of Congress -- approving both on identical 23-17 votes.The votes to advance the articles of impeachment for consideration by the full House next week will inevitably lead to Trump becoming only the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998 were impeached by the House but acquitted in their Senate trials. That is all but certain to be the outcome for Trump.The Judiciary Committee spent two days going over the articles, including a marathon 14-hour hearing on Thursday that Chairman Jerrold Nadler abruptly recessed without a vote amid protests from Republicans. The committee reconvened at 10 a.m Friday and went straight to voting without debate.Nadler afterward called it “a sad day” and said the House “will act expeditiously” on the articles.Trump accused Democrats of “trivializing” the impeachment process and derided their actions.“It’s a witch hunt, it’s a sham, it’s a hoax,” the president told reporters as he met with Paraguay President Mario Abdo Benitez at the White House.Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Nadler and other House Democratic leaders have cast the president’s actions in his dealings with Ukraine as leaving them no choice but impeachment to protect the nation and the election from further wrongdoing by the president.“The institutional power of Congress to safeguard our liberties by providing a check and balance on the executive is crucial to the Constitutionscheme to protect our liberties.” Nadler said Thursday night.As they have throughout the hearings, Republicans said Democrats pursued impeachment without evidence of any crime and acting only out of anger over Trump’s election.“Democrats have sacrificed core American tenets of due process, fairness, and the presumption of innocence on the altar of a 2016 election that they lost three years ago,” Representative Doug Collins, the top Judiciary Republican, said in a statement after the committee vote.One of the articles accuses Trump of “corruptly soliciting” investigations in Ukraine that would aid his re-election campaign. The second alleges that no previous U.S. president “has ever ordered such complete defiance of an impeachment inquiry or sought to obstruct and impeded so comprehensively the ability of the House of Representatives to investigate ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’”The articles will now be sent to the House Rules Committee, which will hold meeting on Tuesday to set the the procedures for the expected floor vote on Wednesday.Limiting the counts against to Trump to two articles was by design. Pelosi and party leaders rejected a broader set of charges that some members of the party argued should have incorporated findings from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. The leaders viewed the circumscribed approach as the straightest path to maintaining unity among Democrats.Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, chairman of the House Democratic caucus and a member of the Judiciary Committee said on Thursday that Democrats have enough votes in the full House to impeach the president.“The articles of impeachment will pass,” Jeffries said, though he said he doesn’t know how many Democrats will vote against them.Senate TrialThe Senate has been preparing for an impeachment trial that likely will begin in January. White House aides Eric Ueland and Pat Cipollone met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday to discuss strategy for that phase of the process, which is expected to end in the president’s acquittal.“There’s no chance the president is going to be removed from office,” McConnell told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday night.Republicans must decide how many defense witnesses the president should present, if any. Several GOP senators said this week that there’s a growing consensus that the trial should be limited and relatively quick, moving to a vote on acquittal without hearing witnesses.“I’ll do long or short,” Trump said at the White House. “I’ll do whatever they want to do, it doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t mind a long process, because I’d like to see the whistleblower, who’s a fraud.”The committee’s debate and vote to send the articles to the full House comes after two days of hearings in which the White House refused to offer a defense case. But Republicans on the committee have led attacks, essentially describing the impeachment effort as a sham or even an attempted coup d’etat.The impeachment probe was formally launched by Pelosi in late September after revelations from a still unnamed whistle-blower’s complaint that raised alarms about a July 25 phone call between Trump and newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.Zelenskiy was in need of military aid and a White House meeting as show of clear U.S. support as his country battle’s Russian aggression. Although Congress had appropriated the assistance, the Trump administration refused to release it without giving a reason to Defense and State department officials who administer aid.‘Quid Pro Quo‘A rough transcript of the call released by the White House shows Trump brought up a discredited conspiracy theory about Ukrainian involvement in the hacking of Democratic servers during the 2016 election, as well as an unsubstantiated allegation that former Vice President Joe Biden stopped a corruption investigation of his son, a board member of a Ukrainian energy company.“The call transcript shows no quid pro quo” between Trump and Zelenskiy during their July 25 call, said Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, who proposed an amendment that would eliminate the article accusing Trump of abusing his power. He said there was “no pressure, no pushing, no linkage whatsoever between assistance money and any kind of investigation.”Jeffries countered by saying, “The president was caught red-handed trying to pressure a foreign government to target an American citizen.”The committee rejected also an amendment by Republican Matt Gaetz that would rewrite the abuse of power article to target Biden’s son Hunter Biden and his board membership on the Burisma Holdings energy company.Prior to the Judiciary Committee’s involvement, investigative committees led by the Intelligence panel collected evidence, conducted interviews, and held public hearings about whether Trump used the power of his office the the prospect of aid to get Zelenskiy to announce an investigation of Biden, a contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.The majority and minority party reports that came out of those investigations will be attached to the resolution containing the articles to be sent to the Senate, if the full House votes to impeach.(Updates with Trump remarks in seventh paragraph.)\--With assistance from Erik Wasson.To contact the reporter on this story: Billy House in Washington at bhouse5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Anna EdgertonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Nord Stream 2 Is “Past The Point Of No Return”

    The long-contested Nord Stream 2 has reached its final stages, and Germany is now speaking out against the U.S. over its opposition to the critical pipeline

  • Loved and Loathed, He Lures World’s Wealth With Luxury Towers

    (Bloomberg) -- If it bothers Ian Gillespie that he’s the most vilified developer in Vancouver -- a city with a particular disdain for real estate moguls -- it’s not apparent. In fact, he has critiques of his own for his hometown.“We’ve risen to a high level of mediocrity,” Gillespie declares as he gestures toward the window of his office at Westbank Corp., the company he founded 27 years ago. Outside, a slew of glass towers are crammed along a cobalt harbor, set across picturesque mountains.“Three-quarters of the buildings in this city look like a piece of s---,” Gillespie says. “We’ve been sitting on our laurels because we got lucky, right?”By luck or not, Vancouver’s pristine backdrop has made it a magnet for global wealth, particularly from Asia, transforming a once-sleepy town into an increasingly unaffordable cosmopolis. And no developer has capitalized on the phenomenon more so than Gillespie, whose opulent buildings designed by star architects have become a symbol of the city’s extreme wealth and deep divides. Now, he’s embarking on his most ambitious project yet -- a decided statement against mediocrity.At 28.5 acres, Oakridge is set to be as big as New York’s Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate development in North America. Gillespie, 58, sees the project as his defining oeuvre -- a once-in-a-generation shot at elevating his town into a pioneer of sustainable, urban living. It’s the type of vision that inspires supporters and inflames the critics of his grandiose approach to city-building that, for better or worse, has helped make Vancouver what it is today.But Gillespie’s mind is clearly focused on posterity, not the mundane present. “If future generations don’t look at this and say, ‘they were thinking about what this means a hundred years from now,’ then I think we’ve been shortsighted.” He adds more prosaically: “We better not f--- this up.”Oakridge, co-developed by real estate investment firm QuadReal Property Group and estimated to cost C$5 billion ($3.8 billion), will create a futuristic enclave of glass-canopied condo towers about four miles south of downtown. A mall will nestle under a 10-acre park and a forest of newly planted trees, restoring the old-growth grove that once stood at the site. Amenities will include the city’s largest daycare, community centers and a library.Central to the project’s vision is the ability for “man and nature to coexist.” Residents are expected to have half the carbon footprint of the average urbanite. Silos will lower bikes underground for subterranean mechanics to service, clean and store. In this carefree, carbon-reduced haven, 6,000 people will flit from home to work in a state of perpetual cultural enrichment provided by 200 live performances a week and a prestigious ballet academy partially owned by Westbank.The company has sold C$1 billion worth of units at Oakridge in less than a year -- more than the combined presales of all downtown Vancouver developments during the same period. It’s particularly remarkable as the city is in the midst of its deepest real estate slowdown in three decades, triggered by policies and taxes aimed at dampening foreign investmentGillespie describes the project, scheduled for completion in 2027, as the culmination of everything he has “ever attempted or imagined.”‘Renaissance Prince’“The metaphor of the Renaissance prince comes to mind,” Gordon Price, an urban planner and former Vancouver city councilor, says of Gillespie. “There’s a self-awareness of a very high order. He sees it through the lens of civilization -- it’s bigger than just a single building.”Still, with condos starting at C$600,000 for a 450-square-foot studio, Oakridge is doing little to quell criticisms that Gillespie has fueled the city’s evolution into a haven for wealthy investors. While Westbank also builds hotels and office buildings, its C$30 billion portfolio is most associated with luxury residential towers that have been heavily marketed at shows in Singapore, China and Hong Kong and in dreamy ads flashing across the screens of first-class cabins on Asian flights.Gillespie himself has embraced a role as an elite tastemaker, writing a 629-page manifesto titled “Fight For Beauty” that was meant to mark Westbank’s transformation into a “culture company.”“In my mind, the pursuit of beauty and the pursuit of our advancement as a society are one and the same,” Gillespie said in the 2017 publication (priced at C$260 at the time), in which he unselfconsciously places Westbank in a timeline of artistic struggle stretching back to the Italian Renaissance, China’s Ming Dynasty and Ancient Egypt.The book was accompanied by a pop-up exhibition to celebrate Westbank as a patron of the arts. It featured gowns by Alexander McQueen and Yves Saint Laurent from Westbank’s collection, installations commissioned for Westbank projects including a million-dollar one-off Fazioli piano, and 3D models of Westbank towers.The effort, which blanketed Vancouver in an onslaught of fuschia ads, triggered a counter-movement, The Real Fight for Beauty, including a protest, a parody website, and a bawdy Facebook profile, Bestwank Corp.Underscoring those criticisms is a refrain by now familiar to anyone in Vancouver: developers are responsible for accelerating a housing crisis by selling condos to offshore investors, inflating values, and pushing out longtime residents. And who is Gillespie, anyway, to impose his idea of beauty on the city?Housing ‘Ferraris’“‘Fight for Beauty’ is basically the equivalent of ‘let them eat cake’ -- it’s in the face of the inequality, homelessness and deep poverty that have occurred in a very short amount of time in Vancouver,” says Andy Yan, director of The City Program at Simon Fraser University, whose research has shown Vancouverites face San Francisco-like home prices on Omaha-level incomes. “A lot of the housing produced by Westbank is Ferraris when the local economy can really only support Hondas.”Gillespie has little time for his detractors -- only enough for some typically expletive-laced candor. “It’s an insular, little f---ing village we live in sometimes.”And yet a discomfiting reality for his critics is that Gillespie has arguably done more to address two of the city’s thorniest problems than most of his industry peers. He’s already one of Vancouver’s largest private builders of affordable housing and is a leader in sustainable building.At Oakridge, condos will be powered by geothermal wells and waste-heat recovery systems. It also will include 580 rental and subsidized housing units out of about 2,500 total, exceeding the city’s 20% affordable housing mandate in new neighborhoods.Gillespie’s ambitious projects, meanwhile, have won him fans across the design world. Bjarke Ingels, the architect of Westbank’s gravity-defying Vancouver House, credits the developer for breaking “cities designed by cookie cutters.” Japan’s Kengo Kuma is working with Gillespie on a Tokyo building that will be Westbank’s first outside of North America, and says the Canadian is the only developer who’s ever thrown back a design at him for not being bold enough.And if Vancouver doesn’t want Gillespie, others do.“I want to work with him to change Tokyo,” Kuma says.To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Vancouver at npearson7@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net, Kara Wetzel, Jacqueline ThorpeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Tori Spelling isn't 'great' with money

    And money wasn't the only thing Tori wasn't taught when she was younger as she's also never had to use the washing machine until she went away to film 'BH90210' and didn't have her husband Dean McDermott - with whom she has kids Liam, 12, Stella, 11, Hattie and Finn, seven, and Beau, two - on hand to help. Meanwhile, Tori would love to be pregnant again because she feels at her best when she's with child - although she has no plans to have anymore kids.