Restaurateur Nick Kokonas spoke with Yahoo Finance about how the restaurant industry is handling the coronavirus pandemic.
Restaurateur Nick Kokonas spoke with Yahoo Finance about how the restaurant industry is handling the coronavirus pandemic.
Erin O’Toole called for the MP’s ouster over a campaign contribution from a white supremacist.
WASHINGTON — A former congressman who pocketed millions of dollars in bribes from defence contractors. A Republican fundraiser who paid handsome sums to illicitly lobby a presidential administration. An influential voice in conservative circles accused of duping donors who supported a border wall. Donald Trump’s final batch of more than 140 pardons and sentence commutations, issued in his last hours as president, benefited an ignominious list of defendants whose swindles, frauds and public corruption made them unlikely candidates for executive clemency. The recipients included people who not only abused their own positions of power but who also leveraged well-placed connections to pursue pardons from a president willing to use his authority to bless patrons and friends. “It wasn’t about draining the swamp. It was the swamp,” said Sanjay Bhandari, a former Justice Department prosecutor who in 2005 secured a guilty plea from Randy “Duke” Cunningham, the former California congressman who was pardoned early Wednesday despite having accepted more than $2.4 million in homes, yachts and other bribes in exchange for government contracts. The White House cited his post-prison volunteer work, military career and the support he received from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Trump ally. But that support was troubling to Bhandari, who said it appeared that Cunningham and others in a “rogue’s gallery” of recipients benefited more from their proximity to power than from the actual merit of their cases. “On a personal level, it’s hard to hold any personal animosity or venom toward the individual,” Bhandari said. But, “as a citizen looking at the process and looking at who has been chosen for a pardon and on what grounds — that’s what’s really disturbing.” To be sure, presidents have broad discretion in their use of the pardon power and many have exercised it, albeit sparingly, on defendants to whom they have personal or political ties. George H.W. Bush pardoned Reagan administration officials implicated in the Iran-Contra scandal, and Bill Clinton pardoned fugitive financier Marc Rich, whose ex-wife was a substantial donor. And many of the names on Trump’s last list were conventional and non-controversial selections, including relatively anonymous drug offenders seen as having rehabilitated themselves during long stays in prison. Those types of defendants were also pardoned en masse by previous administrations. Even so, “Trump has had a much higher percentage of his pardons be the sort of well-connected, personally connected-to-him kind of folks,” said Michigan State University law professor Brian Kalt, an expert on pardons. There were also notable omissions from the clemency list, not least Trump himself. Despite speculation that the president might pardon himself in the face of potential legal jeopardy once he leaves office, and even though he had claimed that he had the absolute power to give himself one, Trump apparently opted not to do so. He also did not pardon any of his children or his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has faced an investigation in New York, though the status of that probe is unclear. Other allies, though, got a boost. For instance, joining Cunningham on the pardon list was Steve Bannon, Trump’s former chief strategist. He was pulled from a yacht off the Connecticut coast in August and brought to Manhattan to face charges that he duped thousands of donors who believed their money would be used to fulfil Trump’s chief campaign promise to build a wall along the southern border. Instead, he allegedly diverted over a million dollars, paying a salary to one campaign official and personal expenses for himself. His co-defendants were not pardoned. The pardon was notable not only because Bannon has steadfastly asserted his innocence — the Justice Department pardon process values acceptance of responsibility — but because the criminal prosecution was still in its early stages. The pardon nullified the case while the trial was still months away, eliminating the prospect for any punishment for Bannon. Another recipient was Elliott Broidy, a major Trump fundraiser and former Republican National Committee deputy finance chairman. Prosecutors said Broidy collected millions of dollars in a back-channel but ultimately unsuccessful lobbying scheme aimed at getting the Trump administration to drop an investigation into embezzlement from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund and to extradite a Chinese dissident wanted by the government in Beijing. He pleaded guilty last fall to acting as an unregistered lobbyist and was awaiting sentencing. William “Billy” Walters, a prominent Las Vegas professional gambler who prosecutors said was worth millions and who was convicted in an insider trading case linked to pro golfer Phil Mickelson, had his sentence commuted. So did former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who has served more than seven years of a 28-year sentence for corruption crimes that involved bags of cash from city contractors and kickbacks hidden in the bra of his political fundraiser. In the final minutes of his term, Trump pardoned Al Pirro, the ex-husband of Fox News Channel host Jeanine Pirro, in a tax evasion case. Cunningham’s case was especially eye-popping, involving $2.4 million in cash, trips and other gifts from defence contractors in exchange for government contracts. President George W. Bush rebuked him for the “outrageous" conduct, though that didn’t stop Cunningham from seeking clemency from Bush before he left office. “It’s not often that the president of the United States comments on an ongoing case and this had that level of corruption, where even the highest officials in the land looked at this and said, ’This is deeply disturbing,” Bhandari said. He added: “When you have something that is that disturbing, I think you need to have something that is really compelling to offset it, particularly given that there are thousands upon thousands of people who have very compelling circumstances who apply for pardons as part of the normal process who are not granted pardons with far more compelling facts” than Cunningham’s case. ____ Associated Press writers Jonathan Lemire and Jill Colvin contributed to this report. Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
The ceremony took place on Wednesday.
His two predecessors are both head coaches. He's interviewed for nearly a dozen jobs. He's an ideal candidate for at least one of the remaining openings. Take your explanations elsewhere.
WASHINGTON — In his final remarks as president, Donald Trump tried to take credit for accomplishments of his predecessor and even those to come under President Joe Biden. Falsehoods suffused his farewell remarks Wednesday morning and the night before, though he was spot on with this: “We were not a regular administration.” As well, in noting Americans were “horrified” by the storming of the Capitol this month, he brushed past the encouragement he had given to the mob in advance — by falsely claiming widespread voting fraud — and his praise of the attackers as “very special” people while they were still ransacking the seat of power. “There is truth and there are lies — lies told for power and for profit,” Biden said after he took the helm as president. “Each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens, as Americans and especially as leaders ... to defend the truth and defeat the lies.” A look at some of Trump's statements to well-wishers at Joint Base Andrews en route to Florida on Wednesday and in his videotaped address Tuesday: COVID-19 TRUMP, boasting of his accomplishments for the U.S.: “Again, we put it in a position like it’s never been before, despite the worst plague to hit since I'd guess you say 1917, over a 100 years ago.” — remarks Wednesday before leaving Washington. THE FACTS: He got the year wrong for the Spanish flu that hit in 1918 and completely ignored the role his handling of the coronavirus pandemic played in the surging infections and deaths that beset the nation. The U.S. in fact remains in a perilous position when it comes to COVID-19, surpassing 400,000 deaths this week. The Spanish flu pandemic Trump referred to spread from early 1918 to late 1920. After COVID-19 first appeared in the U.S., Trump repeatedly dismissed the virus as less of a danger than the common flu and something that would disappear soon enough. He ignored the advice of government public health officials that people should wear masks, and mocked Biden for doing so. Although his administration shepherded the delivery of two highly successful vaccines, getting shots into the arms of Americans has been frustratingly slow with nearly 50% of the doses delivered to states actually administered. That followed a debacle with coronavirus testing last year. As infections and deaths grew, Trump, who was hospitalized with COVID-19 himself, falsely asserted that the nation was “rounding the turn” on the virus and he continued to shun wearing a mask and to hold campaign rallies at which face masks were not required. The U.S. has now surged past 24.2 million infections. Biden planned on his first day in office to sign orders putting in place a mask mandate on federal property and creating a White House office to co-ordinate the national response to the virus. ___ TRUMP: “We got the vaccine developed in nine months instead of nine years or five years or 10 years, a long time. It was supposed to take a long time. ... We have two out, we have another one coming almost immediately.” — remarks Wednesday. TRUMP: “Another administration would have taken three, four, five, maybe even up to 10 years to develop a vaccine. We did in nine months.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: Actually, the administration didn’t develop any vaccines. Pharmaceutical companies did. And one of the two U.S. companies that have come out with vaccines now in use did not take development money from the government. Trump’s contention that a vaccine would have taken years under a different administration stretches credulity. COVID-19 vaccines were indeed remarkably fast, but other countries have been developing them, too. A vaccine for the coronavirus is not a singular achievement of the United States, much less the Trump administration. U.S. drugmaker Pfizer developed its vaccine in partnership with Germany’s BioNTech, eschewing federal money for development, though benefitting from an advance commitment from Washington to buy large quantities if the vaccine succeeded. A vaccine by Moderna, from the U.S., is also in widespread use. But Britain’s AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is being administered in several countries, and vaccines from China and Russia are also in limited use. More than a dozen potential vaccines are in late stages of testing worldwide. ___ VETERANS TRUMP: “We passed VA Choice.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: No, he did not get the Choice program passed. President Barack Obama did. Trump expanded it. The program allows veterans to get medical care outside the Veterans Affairs system under certain conditions. Trump has tried to take credit for Obama's achievement scores of times. ___ TAXES TRUMP: "We also got tax cuts, the largest tax cut and reform in the history of our country by far." — remarks Wednesday. TRUMP: “We passed the largest package of tax cuts and reforms in American history.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: His tax cuts are not close to the biggest in U.S. history. It’s a $1.5 trillion tax cut over 10 years. As a share of the total economy, a tax cut of that size ranks 12th, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. President Ronald Reagan’s 1981 cut is the biggest, followed by the 1945 rollback of taxes that had financed World War II. Post-Reagan tax cuts also stand among the historically significant: President George W. Bush’s cuts in the early 2000s and Obama’s renewal of them a decade later. ___ ECONOMY TRUMP: “We have the greatest economy in the world.” — remarks Wednesday. TRUMP: “We also built the greatest economy in the history of the world.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: No, the numbers show it wasn’t the greatest in U.S. history. And he is the first president since Herbert Hoover in the Depression to leave office with fewer jobs than when he started. Did the U.S. have the most jobs on record before the pandemic? Sure, the population had grown. The 3.5% unemployment rate before the recession was at a half-century low, but the percentage of people working or searching for jobs was still below a 2000 peak. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer looked at Trump’s economic growth record. Growth under Trump averaged 2.48% annually before the pandemic, only slightly better than the 2.41% gains achieved during Obama’s second term. By contrast, the economic expansion that began in 1982 during Reagan’s presidency averaged 4.2% a year. ___ TRUMP, on the economy after the pandemic: “It's a rocket ship up.” — remarks Wednesday. THE FACTS: Not so. There’s been no dramatic, V-shaped economic recovery under Trump. Employers cut jobs during his final December in office. But economists say the additional aid approved in December and the prospect of more from Biden could cause the strongest growth this year in more than two decades. ___ TRUMP: “We reignited America’s job creation and achieved record-low unemployment for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, women — almost everyone.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: Not an ignition. Job creation actually slowed in 2017, Trump’s first year in office, to about 2 million, compared with nearly 2.5 million in 2016, Obama’s last year in office. The low unemployment rates refer to a pre-pandemic economy that is no more. The pandemic has cost the U.S. economy 10 million jobs and has made Trump the first president since Hoover to oversee a net loss of jobs. The U.S. has about 2.8 million fewer jobs now than when Trump was inaugurated, and lost 140,000 just in December. And the job losses have fallen disproportionately on Black Americans, Hispanics and women. ___ TRUMP: “We rebuilt the American manufacturing base, opened up thousands of new factories, and brought back the beautiful phrase Made in the USA.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: That's a stretch. There are now 60,000 fewer manufacturing jobs in the U.S. than when Trump took office. Despite gains before the pandemic, the manufacturing base had not exactly been “rebuilt.” Before the coronavirus, nearly 500,000 manufacturing jobs were added under Trump, somewhat better than the nearly 400,000 gained during Obama’s second term. Still, even before the pandemic, the U.S. had 4.3 million fewer factory jobs than it did in 2001, the year China joined the World Trade Organization and a flood of cheaper imports from that country entered the U.S. ___ CAPITOL INSURRECTION TRUMP: “All Americans were horrified by the assault on our Capitol. Political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans. It can never be tolerated.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: That may sum up the reaction of most Americans but it ignores his own part in stirring the anger of his supporters before they staged the violent melee. For months, Trump falsely claimed the November election was stolen, then invited supporters to Washington and sent them off to the Capitol with the exhortation to “fight like hell.” With the uprising still underway and the velocity of the attack apparent from video and reports from the scene, Trump released a video telling them “to go home now” while repeating “this was a fraudulent election” and adding: “We love you. You're very special.” The House impeached Trump, accusing him of inciting an insurrection. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, a Trump political ally for four years, said Tuesday the Trump supporters were “fed lies” and ”provoked by the president and other powerful people." ___ MILITARY TRUMP: “We rebuilt the United States military.” — remarks Wednesday. THE FACTS: That’s an exaggeration. It’s true that his administration accelerated a sharp buildup in defence spending, including a respite from what the U.S. military considered to be crippling spending limits under budget sequestration. But a number of new Pentagon weapons programs, such as the F-35 fighter jet, were started years before the Trump administration. And it will take years for freshly ordered tanks, planes and other weapons to be built, delivered and put to use. The Air Force’s Minuteman 3 missiles, a key part of the U.S. nuclear force, for instance, have been operating since the early 1970s and the modernization was begun under the Obama administration. They are due to be replaced with a new version, but not until later this decade. ___ TRUMP: “We obliterated the ISIS caliphate.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: His suggestion of a 100% defeat is misleading as the Islamic State group still poses a threat. IS was defeated in Iraq in 2017, then lost the last of its land holdings in Syria in March 2019, marking the end of the extremists’ self-declared caliphate. Still, extremist sleeper cells have continued to launch attacks in Iraq and Syria in recent weeks and are believed to be responsible for targeted killings against local officials and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces. The continued attacks are a sign that the militant group is taking advantage of governments otherwise focused on the pandemic and the ensuing slide into economic chaos. The virus is compounding longtime concerns among security and U.N. experts that the group will stage a comeback. ___ CHINA TRUMP: “We imposed historic and monumental tariffs on China. ... Our trade relationship was rapidly changing, billions and billions of dollars were pouring into the U.S., but the virus forced us to go in a different direction.” — address Tuesday. THE FACTS: That’s a familiar assertion, false to the core. It’s false to suggest the U.S. never collected tariffs on Chinese goods before he took action. Tariffs on Chinese goods are simply higher in some cases than they were before. It’s also wrong to suggest that the tariffs are being paid by China. Tariff money coming into the government’s coffers is mainly from U.S. businesses and consumers, not from China. Tariffs are primarily if not entirely a tax paid domestically. ___ Associated Press writers Josh Boak, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Robert Burns and Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report. ___ EDITOR'S NOTE — A look at the veracity of claims by political figures. ___ Find AP Fact Checks at http://apnews.com/APFactCheck Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck Hope Yen, Christopher Rugaber And Calvin Woodward, The Associated Press
Michael Chiesa moved another rung up the ladder to the welterweight championship with his UFC Fight Island 8 domination of Neil Magny. UFC Fight Island 8 took place on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi. It marks the promotion’s second event of a three-event stint that culminates with UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2 on Saturday. Michael Chiesa smothers Neil Magny en route to unanimous decision Following a feeling out period for the first few minutes of the fight, Chiesa clinched and took Magny to the canvas, quickly moving to half guard. He briefly attacked Magny’s arm, but then moved to an arm triangle while putting all his weight on Magny’s chest. Chiesa couldn’t find the submission he was searching for, but finished round one in dominant fashion. Magny came out swinging in round two, but Chiesa quickly clinched, the two trading controlling positions along the fence. Chiesa maintained his grip and eventually dragged Magny to the canvas. Magny regained his feet, but Chiesa immediately took him down, again smothering him from top position in the half guard. Magny defended well, but Chiesa dropped elbows and hammerfists, all the while keeping himself heavy on Magny’s chest. It was another solid round for Chiesa. Round three started with Magny punching his way into the clinch and eventually tossing Chiesa to the ground. Chiesa quickly regained his feet and cracked Magny with a straight left hand after they separated. They again clinched and exchanged control, but Chiesa scooped Magny and put him on the canvas. He quickly moved to full mount. Magny scrambled out, but Chiesa regained control, attaining half guard, where he finished the third frame. Chiesa cracked Magny with a right hand and again put him on his back to start the fourth round. He spent a couple minutes in Magny’s full guard, but again advanced to half guard. Magny scrambled, but Chiesa took his back, moved to full mount, and then return to back control as they scrambled to their feet, ending up in the clinch. Chiesa dropped for a takedown, but Magny locked on an inverted triangle hold and attacked with elbow strikes. Chiesa eventually worked back to top position in half guard, again finishing the round in control. Knowing he likely had a comfortable lead on the scorecards, Chiesa stayed just out of Magny’s range, dancing away from him for the better part of the final frame until he could once again control from the clinch. Having returned the fight to the ground, Chiesa masterfully shifted positions, again smothering Magny and punching him in the head from half guard. He briefly attained full mount, but Magny regained half guard, though he was unable to escape Chiesa’s clutches. Chiesa finished the fight on top, smothering Magny, the way he had each of the previous rounds, putting on one of his most dominant performances to date, and likely moving himself into the thick of title talks. Before he even thinks about a shot at the champion, however, Chiesa took aim at another welterweight contender. “The election is over. Colby Covington, your schtick is done. I want you next boy!” Michael Chiesa smothers Neil Magny at UFC Fight Island 8 Warlley Alves makes quick work of Mounir Lazzez Warley Alves made quick work of Mounir Lazzez in the UFC Fight Island 8 co-main event. Dominating the early going on the ground and on the feet, Alves put Lazzez up against the fence a couple of minutes into the fight. Lazzez reversed the position along the fence, but after they separated, Alves landed three kicks to the ribs that dropped Lazzez. He then followed with punches while on the canvas, forcing the referee to stop the fight. It was Alves's first fight in more than a year, but he made the most of his return. https://twitter.com/espnmma/status/1351978631917137920 Ike Villanueva turned out the lights on Vinicius Moreira Ike Villanueva used his boxing to keep Vinicius Moreira on the backfoot throughout the first round, stunning him on a couple of occasions with a sharp right hand. Moreira landed a good superman punch in the latter part of round one, but mostly struggled to match his combinations. Having gotten the better of Moreira in round one, Villanueva’s confidence was high. Moreira tried to throw a punch, but Villanueva’s timing was perfect, as he put out the lights with a counter right hand that ended the fight. https://twitter.com/espnmma/status/1351972746289414147 Viviane Araujo dominates Roxanne Modafferi Viviane Araujo lit Roxanne Modafferi up with her jab and boxing combinations for the better part of the first round. She then nearly submitted Modafferi with a rear-naked choke as the round wound down on the first frame. Modafferi tried to follow her corner’s advice and get Araujo to the canvas. She managed to do so on a couple of occasions, but couldn’t keep the Brazilian fighter down. Araujo kept attacking with her brilliant jabs, causing swelling around Modafferi’s eyes as the fight wore on. Modafferi tried to finish the fight from her back in the final minutes, but Araujo passed to side control to end in a dominant position, taking a unanimous nod from the judges. Viviane Araujo rocks Roxanne Modafferi with a punch at UFC Fight Island 8 Omari Akhmedov was impressive in the UFC Fight Island 8 main card opener. He submitted Tom Breese with an arm-triangle choke in the opening minutes of round two. https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1351942623305592845?s=20 Bantamweight Ricky Simon closed out the preliminary bouts with dominating performance over Gaetano Pirrello, finishing him with an arm-triangle choke. https://twitter.com/ufc/status/1351934993476497409?s=20 Umar Nurmagomedov, cousin of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, gave an impressive accounting of himself in his Octagon debut, submitting Sergey Morozov in the second round of their preliminary bout. https://twitter.com/espnmma/status/1351902653081669634 TRENDING > Conor McGregor faces multi-million dollar lawsuit, as UFC 257 approaches UFC Fight Island 8: Chiesa vs. Magny results Main Card Michael Chiesa def. Neil Magny by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)Warlley Alves def. Mounir Lazzez by TKO (kicks and punches) at 2:35, R1Ike Villanueva def. Vinicius Moreira by knockout (punch) at 0:39, R2Viviane Araujo def. Roxanne Modafferi by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)Matt Schnell def. Tyson Nam by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)Lerone Murphy def. Douglas Silva de Andrade (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)Omari Akhmedov def. Tom Breese by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 1:41, R2 Preliminary Card Ricky Simon def. Gaetano Pirrello by submission (arm-triangle choke) at 4:00, R2Su Mudaerji def. Zarrukh Adashev by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)Dalcha Lungiambula def. Markus Perez by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)Francisco Figueiredo def. Jerome Rivera by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)Mike Davis def. Mason Jones by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)Umar Nurmagomedov def. Sergey Morozov by technical submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:39, R2Manon Fiorot def. Victoria Leonardo by TKO (strikes) at 4:08, R2
The collaboration will be featured in Bergdorf Goodman's windows.
Kellie Harper feels the shadow of Pat Summitt still looms over the Tennessee Lady Vols, as well as the expectations that come with coaching the winningest program in women's college basketball history. The second-year Tennessee head coach also knows the program is a shadow of what it was under Summitt, and that trying to be her is not the way to build a contender.
Ariel Robinson was arrested Tuesday
Aston Villa were left fuming on Wednesday night as Manchester City finally broke their resistance through Bernardo Silva. An impressive rearguard display - in Villa's first Premier League game in almost three weeks - was undone just over 10 minutes from time when Rodri came from an offside position to dispossess Tyron Mings before finding Bernardo to score. Such were Villa manager Dean Smith's protests to referee John Moss, he was first shown a yellow card then almost immediately another to be sent from the stands.
Smith asked fourth official if he had received juggling balls for Christmas
Ceremony is one of Mr Biden’s first acts as president
Season 5 premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on the CW
The company claims thousands of files were retrieved from a server and shared externally.
The California Senator is only the fourth woman to be chosen on a presidential ticket
Solutions in Critical Care Awarded a Specialty Distribution Agreement With Vizient for Select Respiratory Care Devices
The NBA has postponed Wednesday night's game between Memphis and the Trail Blazers in Portland because of contact tracing with the Grizzlies. The league said the Grizzlies would not have the required eight players available because of ongoing contact tracing. The Grizzlies flew to Portland on Tuesday after beating the Phoenix Suns on Monday without Jonas Valnaciunas because of NBA protocols.
KENORA — An Indigenous police service in northwestern Ontario is implementing a new project that will help address sexual violence, harassment and human trafficking in the Treaty Three Territory. The project named The Spirit of Hope will include both community-based activities and increase the capacity of Treaty Three police officers in addressing crimes against women and families, according to a news release issued this week. “I am excited for this opportunity and to hold the Treaty Three Police service and surrounding area with high regard,” coordinator of the project Jody Smith said in a news release. Smith is from Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation. The project will address sexual violence, harassment and human trafficking specifically related to the 231 calls to justice and the need for national action. Through this project, police will engage with Anishnaabe youth, women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people to provide education and awareness. The program will engage with the communities’ elders, Grand Council Treaty Three, community outreach groups, women’s groups, child and family services and local education authorities. Treaty Three Police is responsible for policing duties in the Greater Treaty Three Region in northwestern Ontario which includes approximately 20,000 residents in 23 First Nations communities. The project is funded by the ministry of the solicitor general. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
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Parents (and parents to be!) may raise eyebrows over a new data-driven suggestion ...