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‘Stress-relief’ station in China lets people ‘smash a life-sized bobblehead likeness’ of Trump: report

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It might be the most low-tech item at a Shanghai consumer electronics fair, but a bash-able Donald Trump is eliciting perhaps the most physical reaction from visitors amid his tech-and-tariff war with China.

A kiosk at the centre of the Consumer Electronics Show Asia (CES Asia) bills itself as a “stress-relief” station where you can smash a life-sized bobble-head likeness of the US president with a hammer.

The not-for-sale prototype serves as a proxy for more oblique Trump-bashing heard at the annual tech fair.

“It would be better if I could use my hands and feet. I think the hammer isn’t satisfying enough,” attendee Wang Dongyue, 31, said after sending the presidential noggin lurching back and forth.

“I don’t have a good impression of him to be frank, because he’s not very friendly to China now.”

The trade show, which is organised by the US Consumer Technology Association (CTA), opened this week under the shadow of the escalating trade war.

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China and the United States have hit each other with steep tariffs on more than $360 billion in bilateral trade, rattling financial markets and business confidence.

Technology is a key battleground, with the United States pressing governments across the world to drop Chinese telecom giant Huawei from their 5G network development plans, saying it could be used by Beijing for espionage.

Huawei denies the charge.

On Tuesday, Huawei’s chief strategist Shao Yang said in a keynote that the company’s target of surpassing Samsung as the world’s number one smartphone manufacturer by late 2019 “may take longer” now, without elaborating.

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CES Asia, which ends on Thursday, is a branch of the main CES held in Las Vegas.

There was little evidence of any gloom clouding the fair, a lively showcase of the latest in the gadget world including artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, facial recognition products, and other digital developments.

But CTA President Gary Shapiro, in an opening speech, warned that no one wins a tariff war.

“Simply put, a trade war is bad for everyone involved,” he said.

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A series of delighted visitors took their turns bashing Trump at the “stress-relief” station, set up by Japanese tech firm Soliton Systems.

At one point, a young Chinese girl began crying after coming face-to-face with the pouty-faced bobble-head.

“They should have a boxing glove. That would feel better,” show attendee Liu Di said after watching visitors take their licks.

Takenori Ohira, a manager with Soliton Systems’ AI robots and Internet of Things (IoT) division, said Chinese visitors were “very excited” with the display.

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“The reason we chose Trump is because he is in a sense very outstanding among all the American presidents from the past,” he said slyly.

“That is why we chose him.”

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Michael Flynn’s legal team is making bizarre moves — signaling he’s still hoping for a Trump pardon

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When disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn recently hired a new firebrand lawyer, Sidney Powell, it suggested he could be maneuvering to change his legal strategy.

And on Monday, new signs emerged that his legal team is looking to shake things up. Flynn had another status hearing on Monday before Judge Emmet Sullivan as he awaits sentencing for charges brought by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

In the hearing on Monday, Powell, who had been publicly critical of the Russia investigation before joining Flynn’s team, requested a security clearance to review documents in the case. This was a surprising move, because the government said that there was no classified information in the documents it had turned over to the defense.

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GOP aide — who was arrested for child pornography — jailed for 5 years

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Republican political consultant Carter Ballmann received a five-year prison sentence on Monday.

"A former state legislative aide will spend five years in prison for trying to elicit sex from someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl, but was actually an undercover detective," the Columbia Tribune reported. "U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark on Friday sentenced 25-year-old Carter Clinton Ballmann to five years in the Federal Bureau of Prisons on a single count of attempted receipt of child pornography."

At the time of his arrest, Ballmann served as an aide to Rep. Mark Matthiesen, a Republican of Maryland Heights, Missouri.

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He’ll ‘rot in prison’: At least one House Dem has bigger plans for Trump than impeachment

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An increasing number of Democrats have come out in favor of beginning an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's actions in recent days. But Rep. Fre?derica Wilson of Florida bucked that trend on Monday by coming out specifically against impeachment, warning it would have negative consequences.

However, she made clear she wasn't opposed to impeachment because she's a fan of Trump or thinks his conduct isn't condemnable. In a tweet featuring an antagonizing and absurd meme, Wilson explained that she feared Trump would benefit from an impeachment push:

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 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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