Gates may bring ‘downfall of western civilization’ – Musk

Bill Gates’ ex-wife has endorsed Joe Biden and Elon Musk thinks this is a terrible idea

Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk has pushed back on Melinda French Gates’ endorsement of US President Joe Biden, suggesting it might be bad for the West.

The ex-wife of Microsoft mogul Bill Gates endorsed Biden on Thursday, presenting him as the candidate that cared about women. The incumbent Democrat is facing a rematch with his predecessor Donald Trump in November.

“I am once again asking for the scorned billionaire wife to Democrat activist pipeline to be studied,” conservative influencer Ashley St.Clair wrote on X (formerly Twitter) in response. “Melinda Gates is about to spend so much divorce money on getting Joe Biden elected.”

“Might be the downfall of western civilization,” replied Musk. He also agreed with St. Clair’s follow-up that “many villain arcs [are] being pursued under the guise of philanthropy.”

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Bill Gates’ ex-wife blames men for Washington’s failures

French Gates’ 2021 divorce left her with an estimated net worth of over $11 billion. She quickly pivoted from her foundation work to political activism on behalf of the Democrats.

The ruling party in Washington already has a prominent ex-wife of a tech mogul in a major supporting role, however. Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, had used some of his inheritance to donate to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The Emerson Collective, which she founded in 2004 to engage in educational philanthropy and social justice, expanded its portfolio to immigration advocacy during the Obama administration. Powell Jobs has since used it to buy The Atlantic magazine in 2017 and a stake in Axios.

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Musk reveals major political flip

Meanwhile, Musk’s politics shifted towards the Republicans after Biden came to the White House. The Tesla founder and SpaceX CEO ended up buying Twitter in 2022, after complaining about the widespread censorship on the platform, and rebranding it as X.

He has stopped just short of endorsing Trump in the 2024 election, but endorsed a Republican victory as a way to preserve the US from collapsing.

“I voted 100% [Democrat] until a few years ago. Now, I think we need a red wave or America is toast,” Musk said in March. 

New war is coming – UN

The dire warning comes amid rising tensions between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah

The world is on the brink of a catastrophe, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Friday, pointing to the risks of a potential devastating conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.

The head of the Shia militia, Hassan Nasrallah, warned on Wednesday that Hezbollah is prepared for a full-scale conflict with West Jerusalem and could invade the Jewish state’s northern territories in case of further escalation. The statement came after one of the group’s senior commanders, Hajj Sami Taleb Abdullah, was killed in an Israeli strike on southern Lebanon last week.

“One rash move – one miscalculation – could trigger a catastrophe that goes far beyond the border, and frankly, beyond imagination,” the UN secretary general told reporters at a press conference, adding that “the world cannot afford Lebanon to become another Gaza.” He called on both sides to “urgently recommit” to peace.

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‘No place’ is safe if Israel starts war – Hezbollah

“The world must say loudly and clearly: immediate de-escalation is not only possible – it is essential,” Guterres said. “There is no military solution,” he said, adding that many people had already lost their lives or had been driven from their homes both in Lebanon and Israel.

The UN peacekeepers on the ground are already “working to de-escalate tensions and help prevent miscalculation, in an extremely challenging environment,” Guterres added, without providing any specific details.

Rocket exchanges between Israel and Hezbollah have driven more than 53,000 Israelis and almost 100,000 Lebanese from their homes over the past nine months.

Earlier this week, the Jewish state’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned that West Jerusalem was “very close” to a decision that would “change the rules of the game” against the Shia militia.

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US officials say Netanyahu hampering efforts to decrease Hezbollah tensions – Axios

The US has reportedly grown “increasingly concerned” over the prospect of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war turning into a larger Middle East conflict, involving Hezbollah and potentially American troops. Several anonymous White House officials accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a talk with Axios this week of hampering de-escalation efforts with his claims that Washington was “withholding weapons from Israel.”

Israel launched a major military operation in Gaza last October, in response to a deadly attack by Hamas that claimed the lives of some 1,200 people and saw 251 taken captive. A nine-month offensive by the Jewish state, which involved heavy bombing and a ground invasion of Gaza, has claimed the lives of 37,500 Palestinians, according to the local authorities.

Buffett-owned agency warns of ‘Trump recession’

Moody’s Analytics has predicted a spike in inflation if former US President Donald Trump returns to the White House

US inflation could re-accelerate if former President Donald Trump wins the White House in the November election and Republicans secure control of Congress, according to a new report by Moody’s Analytics.

The June analysis by the New-York based rating agency assesses the macroeconomic consequences of the policies proposed by the US presidential candidates. 

Moody’s Analytics is among the largest holdings in billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s portfolio. His Berkshire Hathaway company owns 13.5% of Moody’s stock.  

According to the Moody’s report, Trump’s policies — including higher tariffs on all US imports, tax cuts that stimulate the economy and the stricter regulation of illegal immigration that could tighten the labor market — would drive an uptick in inflation from the current 3.3% to 3.6% by 2025.

The Republican presidential frontrunner’s plan would trigger a recession by mid-2025 and an economy that grows an average 1.3% annually during his term, while the economy would grow 2.1% annually under Joe Biden, the research suggested.

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Record number of Americans dislike both Biden and Trump – poll

A Biden victory would have no impact on the Moody’s economists’ baseline inflation forecast of 2.4% in 2025. If Biden wins the White House but there’s a divided Congress — a scenario which Moody’s gave a 40% probability — the economists projected inflation to continue to fall and return to the US Federal Reserve’s 2% target by summer 2025.

Moody’s analysis said the US would have 3.2 million fewer jobs and a 4.5% unemployment rate at the end of a Trump tenure.

Recent polling by the Pew Research Center suggests inflation is a key issue among US voters. Inflation has increased 19 percent since Biden took office in 2021, a major factor behind his consistently low approval ratings.

The Fed has hiked interest rates to a 23-year high in an effort to tame inflation, which has fallen from a peak of 9.1% in June to just over 3%. It is expected to begin cutting interest rates this year, provided that inflation comes down.

In November 2023, Moody’s Investor Service (separate from Moody’s Analytics), downgraded its US ratings outlook from stable to negative, citing risk of high interest rates and rising debt.

The US national debt hit an all-time high of $33 trillion in September. The previous record of $32 trillion was set in June, when Washington avoided a technical default after passing a law that temporarily abolished the national debt ceiling.