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Trump to delay rule requiring retirement advisers to avoid conflicts: official

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U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday will direct the Labor Department to delay implementation and review a rule designed to prevent conflicts of interest when advisers give retirement advice, a senior White House official said.

“We think that they have exceeded their authority with this rule and we think this is something that is completely overreaching,” the official told reporters at a briefing on Thursday.

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Trump has pledged to sharply reduce U.S. regulations, which he says have harmed American businesses.

The retirement advice rule was issued by the Obama administration and was set to take effect in April. It has been staunchly opposed by the financial services industry.

Opponents of the rule argued that the rule would result in high costs that will ultimately make small accounts unprofitable.

While some lawsuits were filed against the rule, companies like Bank of America Corp’s Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley had announced plans to cooperate with the rule.

The Labor Department had estimated that it could cost firms as much as $31 billion over the next decade to comply.

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Trump’s memo will ask the Labor Department to determine whether the rule should be revised or whether it should be scrapped altogether, the official said.

Trump will also sign an order on Friday that will ask the Treasury secretary work with other regulators to determine what the administration can do to fix issues with measures issued under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law.

Earlier this week during a meeting with business owners, Trump described the reform law as “a disaster.”

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“There are quite a few things that we could do on Dodd-Frank … that we think will have fairly immediate and dramatic impact,” the official said, including personnel changes at regulatory agencies and additional executive orders.

(Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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A whopping 14 percent of new US COVID-19 cases are coming from Texas

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With the daily number of new coronavirus infections in Texas now exceeding that of most other states, experts say Texas has become a hot spot of the global pandemic and that more aggressive measures are needed to slow the virus’ spread.

Texas’ new confirmed cases of the coronavirus now make up around 14% of the U.S. total — measured by a seven-day average — a significantly higher proportion than its 9% share of the nation’s population. Since July 1, the U.S. has reported 358,027 new infections. Of those, 50,599 were in Texas.

On Tuesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported more than 10,000 new cases — representing nearly 20% of the nation’s new cases for the day. It could be a “catch-up” from the July 4 holiday, DSHS spokesman Chris Van Deusen said, noting that numbers reported Sunday and Monday were lower.

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Devastating new ad uses Ronald Reagan’s words against Trump to stunning effect

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The Lincoln Project is not the only right-wing group that has been creating attack ads slamming President Donald Trump. Another is Republican Voters Against Trump, which uses the words of President Ronald Reagan in its latest video to illustrate Trump’s failures as president.

In the ad — which lasts one minute and 40 seconds — RVAT contrast Reagan’s words with images of the U.S. during the Trump era. The message is not subtle: Under Trump, the United States is a long way from Reagan’s vision for the country.

The ad isn’t aimed at liberals and progressives, many of whom would argue that Reagan’s economic policies were bad for the American working class during the 1980s. It asks Republicans: “Has your party left you?”

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The sheep-like loyalty of Trump supporters is starting to backfire

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Donald Trump thinks his voters are morons. This universal truth was once again demonstrated this week by a Facebook ad working Trump’s new statue-oriented campaign strategy. The ad declared, “WE WILL PROTECT THIS” and featured a photo of … no, not some racist-loser Confederate general astride a horse but “Cristo Redentor,” the famous statue of Jesus Christ that sits atop Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, which, for those keeping track, is not in the United States but in Brazil, a sovereign nation in a different continent.

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