Kevin McCarthy jumps on Marjorie Taylor Greene’s bandwagon, saying he’ll introduce his own resolution to censure Maxine Waters for her ‘dangerous comments’

US House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy
US House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy plans to introduce his own resolution to censure Maxine Waters for comments she made to protesters in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

  • House minority leader Kevin McCarthy plans to introduce his own resolution to censure Maxine Waters.
  • McCarthy announced his decision after Marjorie Taylor Greene said she wanted to “expel” Waters for “inciting Black Lives Matter terrorism.”
  • Waters has maintained that she did not encourage violence when she spoke to protesters near Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is jumping on Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s bandwagon as he plans to introduce a resolution of his own to censure Rep. Maxine Waters for what he calls “dangerous comments.”

McCarthy made this announcement after Greene said she wanted to expel Waters for “inciting violent riots and Black Lives Matter terrorism,” after comments Waters made to Minnesota protesters went viral on Twitter.

“This weekend in Minnesota, Maxine Waters broke the law by violating curfew and then incited violence. Speaker Pelosi is ignoring Waters’ behavior – that’s why I am introducing a resolution to censure Rep. Waters for these dangerous comments,” McCarthy wrote in a tweet posted on Monday evening.

According to The Hill, McCarthy could force a procedural vote on the matter, which would compel House members to participate in a roll-call vote on Waters.

Waters was speaking on Saturday to people protesting the police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright at a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, an incident that took place just 10 miles from where the high-profile murder trial of Derek Chauvin was ongoing.

According to a video posted on Twitter, Waters said she and the crowd were “looking for a guilty verdict” for Chauvin.

“We’ve got to stay in the streets, and we’ve got to demand justice,” she said. “I am hopeful that we will get a verdict that says, ‘guilty, guilty, guilty,’ and if we don’t, we cannot go away. We’ve got to get more confrontational.”

Lawmakers, including Greene and Ted Cruz, quickly accused Waters of inciting violence.

“Rep Waters is a danger to our society,” Greene tweeted, claiming that Waters had “traveled across state lines to incite riots.”

Greene said that she had moved forward with filing a resolution on Monday to “expel” Waters from Congress for “years of inciting violence.”

Waters denied that what she said to protesters encouraged violence in an interview with The Grio on Monday.

“I’m talking about confronting the justice system, confronting the policing that’s going on, I’m talking about speaking up,” Waters said.

“I am not worried that they’re going to continue to distort what I say. This is who they are and this is how they act. And I’m not going to be bullied by them,” Waters said, referring to her Republican colleagues.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has backed Waters, saying that she does not need to apologize for her remarks, adding that she did not believe Waters’s remarks incited violence.

“Maxine talked about confrontation in the manner of the civil rights movement. I myself think we should take our lead from the George Floyd family. They’ve handled this with great dignity, and no ambiguity or lack of – misinterpretation by the other side. No, I don’t think she should apologize,” Pelosi said to reporters on Capitol Hill.

However, the comments Waters made might have affected the Chauvin murder trial, as Chauvin’s defense attorneys cited Waters’ words to call for a mistrial.

Judge Peter Cahill denied the motion, but spoke of Waters’ comments harshly, rebuking her for making comments about the trial while it was still unfolding.

“I’ll give it to you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you an appeal that could lead to this whole case being overturned,” Cahill said on Monday.

It should be noted that McCarthy did not punish Alabama congressman Mo Brooks for the fiery remarks he made at the Jan 6 “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, DC.

Lawmakers pushed for Brooks to be censured or removed from the committees he sat on after he was seen telling a crowd of MAGA-clad protesters to be “American patriots” and to “start taking down names and kicking ass” in the “fight for America.”

Censure resolutions were later filed against Brooks by House Democrats.

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Trump calls for Biden to reinstate a foreign travel ban to ‘keep our country safe from radical Islamic terrorism’

trump grifting
Former president Donald Trump said in a statement on Monday night that the travel ban should be reinstated to keep the US safe from radical Islamic terrorism.

  • Trump called for Biden to reinstate the travel ban to keep the US safe from radical Islamic terrorists.
  • Biden revoked Trump’s travel ban, which primarily affected predominantly Muslim countries, on his first day in office.
  • Trump did not name the countries he thought should be subject to the travel ban.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump is calling on Biden to reinstate his travel ban to keep the US safe from “radical Islamic terrorism.”

In a statement released on Monday night, Trump advocated that the controversial policy, which mostly affected those traveling from predominantly Muslim countries, should be put back in place.

“If Joe Biden wants to keep our country safe from radical Islamic terrorism, he should reinstitute the foreign country travel ban and all of the vetting requirements on those seeking admission that go with it, along with the refugee restrictions I successfully put in place,” Trump wrote.

He then added that “terrorists operate all over the world and recruit online.”

“To keep terrorism and extremism out of our country, we need to have smart, commonsense rules in place so we don’t repeat the many immigration mistakes made by Europe, and the USA prior to ‘Trump’,” he wrote.

Trump did not outline in his memo which countries he specifically thought should be banned at this juncture, but most people from Syria, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, North Korea, and Venezuela were prohibited from traveling to the US in 2017.

The list was broadened in 2020 to include immigrants and those traveling from Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan, and Tanzania.

It is not clear what vetting requirements Trump was referring to in the memo released on Monday, but the former president did outline early in his presidency what he called an “extreme vetting” process for immigrants, which included a values test for whether immigrants’ views on gay rights, gender equality and religious freedoms, among other things, aligned with “non-extremist views.”

Biden overturned the travel ban on his first day in office, issuing an executive order to revoke the Trump-era policy.

Insider reported in March that the State Department will now allow those who were earlier denied entry into the US as a result of the travel ban to either re-apply for entry or appeal to have the decision reconsidered.

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The US ditched its last flying boats 38 years ago, but they could still help fill the gaps against China in the Pacific

Coast Guard HU-16E amphibious aircraft
US Coast Guard Grumman HU-16E Albatross amphibious aircraft at Otis Air Force Base in Massachusetts.

  • It’s been nearly 40 years since the US got rid of its last seaplane, an aircraft long seen as outdated.
  • Growing attention on the Indo-Pacific and on China, which is developing its own seaplane, have revived discussion about the utility of amphibious aircraft.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

March marked the 38th anniversary of the retirement of the last US military seaplane. That aircraft, an HU-16E Albatross flown by the Coast Guard, left service 16 years after the Navy retired its last seaplane.

Seaplanes played a vital role in World War II and had been considered essential for naval supremacy. Despite grand plans for them early in the Cold War, seaplanes soon fell out of favor. But recent developments in China have led some to reconsider their utility.

In July 2020, China conducted the first successful sea trial of the AG600 seaplane, also known as the “Kunlong.”

The AG600 – the largest seaplane in the world – took off from an airport in Shandong Province, landed in the ocean off Qingdao, skied on the water for four minutes, then took off and returned safely.

The massive seaplane could put attention back on a type of aircraft the US military has long seen as antiquated.

Essential tools

Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina flying boat
A Consolidated PBY-5A Catalina in flight.

Seaplanes were once essential tools for the Navy. Long before aircraft carriers dominated the seas, vessels known as seaplane tenders were the only way to successfully conduct long-range naval-aviation operations.

They could pick up seaplanes with their large cranes and maintain the aircraft just like a conventional carrier would. The US Navy’s first aircraft carrier, USS Langley, a former collier ship, was converted into a seaplane tender when dedicated aircraft carriers became available in the late 1920s.

Eventually, seaplanes could be launched from the decks of warships, and long-range models could conduct important missions like anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, naval interdiction, and, most importantly, reconnaissance, since they were able to spot enemy fleets while they were still hundreds of miles from friendly forces.

Perhaps the most recognizable American seaplane is the PBY Catalina flying boat. Made by Consolidated Aircraft and adopted by the Navy in 1936, Catalinas helped locate the Japanese fleet at Midway, rescued thousands of downed airmen and stranded sailors, and sank more than 20 Axis submarines.

A British Catalina flown by an American pilot was even responsible for locating the German battleship Bismarck during the Royal Navy’s intense hunt for it in May 1941, seven months before the US entered the war.

Cold War plans

Navy seaplane tender Salisbury Sound Martin P5M-1 Marlin
US Navy seaplane tender USS Salisbury Sound with a Martin P5M-1 Marlin on a crane in San Diego Bay in 1957.

The role of seaplanes had diminished by the end of World War II.

Reduced Axis submarine fleets posed less of a threat, and numerous airbases on the multiple liberated islands in the Pacific allowed the US Navy to use long-range land-based aircraft carrying heavier payloads.

But the Navy didn’t intend to give up on seaplanes. In fact, in the early years of the Cold War, it wanted to create a Seaplane Strike Force with at least three models, in addition to other models already in service like the Martin P5M Marlin.

The Convair R3Y Tradewind, a transport flying boat adopted in 1956, had a maximum range of over 2,000 miles and was capable of carrying 100 troops or 24 tons of cargo. Its tanker version could refuel four Grumman F9F Cougars at once.

But the Tradewind had engine problems, and all 11 were retired in 1958.

Convair R3Y-2 Tradewind refueling Grumman F9F-8 Cougar
A US Navy Convair R3Y-2 Tradewind refueling four Grumman F9F-8 Cougar fighters in September 1956.

The F2Y Sea Dart, also made by Convair, was an ambitious attempt to create an amphibious delta-winged fighter jet.

Capable of speeds as fast as Mach 1 and armed with four 20 mm machine guns or multiple folding-fin rockets, the Sea Dart first flew in 1953 but was canceled in 1957 after a fatal accident.

Perhaps most impressive of all was the Martin P6M SeaMaster. Originally intended to carry nuclear weapons, it was a massive jet-powered seaplane capable of flying at subsonic speeds and traveling some 1,000 miles.

After the development of the Polaris submarine-launched ballistic missile, the SeaMaster was repurposed as a minelayer able to drop 30,000 pounds of ordnance and with an 800-mile range.

But ballistic-missile submarines and larger carriers made the Seaplane Strike Force less critical for the Navy, and the SeaMaster project was canceled in 1959.

The AG600

AVIC AG600 Kunlong floatplane
The AVIC AG600 Kunlong floatplane.

Although the US has retired its seaplanes, a number of countries still have them in their inventory.

Russia has started replacing its turboprop Beriev Be-12s with the jet-powered Be-200ES.

Japan, a nation with a long and proud seaplane tradition, operates one of the most advanced models in service, the ShinMaywa US-2, which held the record for world’s largest seaplane before the AG600.

The AG600 was designed by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), the same outfit behind most of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s aircraft – including its stealth fighter.

AVIC AG600 Kunlong floatplane
The AVIC AG600 Kunlong floatplane.

Development of the AG600 began in 2009, with construction starting in 2014. It was unveiled in 2016, and its maiden flight was in 2017. China expects to finalize and deliver it by 2022.

The seaplane is 120 feet long and has a wingspan of 127 feet. It is reportedly capable of carrying 50 passengers and reaching a top speed of 310 mph and a range of 2,800 miles.

The AG600 will be a multi-purpose aircraft expected to conduct search-and-rescue and transportation operations. It is also able to carry up to 12 tons of water and disperse it over 4,000 square meters to fight forest fires.

The AG600 would be particularly useful in the South China Sea, operating between the numerous fortified islands China has built in recent years.

A seaplane revival

Japan amphibious aircraft seaplane Iwakuni
A Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force US-1A amphibious aircraft prepares for a water landing in Iwakuni, Japan, January 8, 2013.

China’s development of the AG600, as well as the US’s greater focus on the Indo-Pacific region and its many islands, have brought the benefits of seaplanes back into the limelight.

Since they operate on water, seaplanes do not have to worry about the destruction of their airfields or bases.

Whereas landing craft rely on bigger logistical vessels to reach their destinations, seaplanes with large carrying capacities could disembark large numbers of troops and perhaps even light vehicles directly onto beachheads if rapid deployments or reinforcements on islands are necessary.

As aerial refuelers, seaplanes could extend the range of carrier aircraft, freeing up valuable space and pilots aboard US aircraft carriers. Seaplanes’ ability to be refueled by ships or submarines at sea could also extend their own ranges.

There are of course trade-offs. Seaplanes have historically been outperformed by land and carrier-based aircraft, which are faster and more maneuverable. Seaplanes also aren’t likely to last long against enemy aircraft. Moreover, to get the most out of a seaplane force, the Navy would likely need seaplane tenders, of which it has none.

But with greater attention on the challenges of operating in the Indo-Pacific region, and with China’s renewed interest in the aircraft, there’s reason to give the practical and tactical applications of seaplanes more study.

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Lauren Boebert says adding Supreme Court judges is an ‘act of political terrorism’

lauren boebert gas reimbursement
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.

  • Rep. Lauren Boebert said adding Supreme Court justices was “political terrorism.”
  • The Republican lawmaker criticized a move by House Democrats to add four judges to the bench.
  • This comes weeks after she tweeted her support of guns right after the King Soopers mass shooting.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Controversial Colorado lawmaker Lauren Boebert has landed herself in hot water again.

In a tweet, the freshman congresswoman criticized a move by House Democrats to increase the number of Supreme Court judges from nine to 13, calling it “an act of political terrorism.”

Twitter users hit back at Boebert’s post, saying that while packing the court is a controversial move, the Republican party did the same thing when Trump expedited Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to “pack the courts” before his term ended.

They also mocked her seeming lack of understanding of what “political terrorism” means.

Boebert was speaking out against a bill backed by progressive Democrats which proposes that four seats be added to the Supreme Court, bringing the total number of judges on the bench to 13.

Congress can determine the number of judges who sit on the high court, and the Democrats currently hold a slim majority in both the House and the Senate.

Though Biden previously said that he was “not a fan” of “packing the courts” – a move to increase the number of justices to exert judicial control – the president did create a commission this month to study possible court reform, a signal that he might be open to the idea.

However, this may not come to pass, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that she has “no plans to bring (the court reform bill) to the floor” for a vote.

This is the second time in less than a month that Boebert has become a lightning rod for controversy. In March, she faced severe backlash after tweeting about gun rights days after a mass shooting at the King Soopers supermarket in her home state which left 10 people dead.

Just two hours after the Boulder, Colorado, shooting, Boebert was accused of capitalizing on the tragedy for political gain after her campaign sent a pro-gun email to supporters with the subject line: “I told Beto ‘HELL NO’ to taking our guns.”

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As China ramps up military flights around Taiwan, another quieter mission continues at sea

China Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft
A Chinese military Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft.

  • Chinese military flights around Taiwan have increased in recent weeks.
  • Those flights are seen as Chinese efforts to test Taiwan and send a message to its partners, especially the US.
  • But the aircraft included in those operations hint at a larger Chinese effort to improve its military’s capabilities.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

China’s military flights around Taiwan have intensified in recent weeks in what is seen as an effort to test Taiwan and to send a message to its partners, especially the US.

Amid those operations, China appears to be continuing an ongoing effort to improve its military’s ability to fight below the waters off its coast.

In 2020, Chinese aircraft made a record number of flights into Taiwan’s air-defense identification zone. China has stepped up those flights this year, adding combat aircraft and setting new records: 20 aircraft in one incursion on March 26, followed by 25 warplanes on April 12.

According to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry, many of those flights take place off of southwest Taiwan and include variants of the Shaanxi Y-8 aircraft equipped for reconnaissance or anti-submarine warfare.

The latter capability is particularly important in those waters, where the shallow Taiwan Strait meets the deeper South China Sea. To the east, the Bashi Channel connects them to the Pacific through the Philippine Sea.

Chinese China navy submarine
A Chinese submarine off the coast of Qingdao in Shandong province, April 23, 2009.

The South China Sea’s deep waters are “favorable” for Chinese submarine activity, and the proximity to Taiwan is the reason for “the frequent presence” of anti-submarine aircraft, said Su Tzu-yun, director of the defense strategy and resource division at the Institute for National Defence and Security Studies, a Taiwanese state-backed think-tank.

The Bashi Channel “can be considered as an underwater corridor from which Chinese submarines can enter the Philippine Sea and launch strikes against the US West Coast,” Su told Insider.

Operating and detecting submarines in that area depends on knowledge of water conditions there, which China is working to learn.

“If you want to fight a successful naval war, you had better get your hydrographic information right,” said Lyle Goldstein, a research professor and expert on Chinese undersea warfare at the US Naval War College.

That information affects algorithms used in undersea warfare, and China has been “pulling out all the stops” to understand the currents, temperature, and salinity of those waters, Goldstein told Insider.

“The performance of all those systems is affected by those algorithms, and the Chinese know that,” Goldstein said, “They are working absolutely overtime.”

Waiting game

Shiyu Kinmen County Taiwan China
Shiyu, or Lion Islet, one of Taiwan’s offshore islands, seen in front of the Chinese city of Xiamen, April 20, 2018.

The geography around the first island chain – the islands immediately off East Asia, including Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines – creates challenges and opportunities for submarine warfare.

“China has this kind of perennial strategic problem of geography,” Goldstein said. “To egress their submarines is quite difficult because they have to maneuver through the island chains.”

“You can bet they’re working very hard on making it as hard as they can for the US to know when Chinese submarines are going out and how they do it,” Goldstein added.

The shallowness of the Taiwan Strait inhibits submarine operations, but the currents, temperatures, and salinity create “a really tough acoustic environment,” according to Bryan Clark, an expert on naval warfare at the Hudson Institute and a former submarine officer.

The latter conditions make it harder to detect submarines – an acute problem for US forces tasked with finding Chinese subs in a conflict. The Chinese, however, will likely “just wait for the US [submarines] to start doing something that they can detect,” such as firing torpedoes or missiles, Clark said.

China has rolled out an array of assets that improve its ability to do that, including anti-submarine-warfare ships, undersea monitoring sensors, and advanced helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

China navy Type 056 corvette
Huizhou, a Chinese Navy Type 056 corvette designed for coastal defense, near Hong Kong, July 7, 2017.

“China just in the last five years has started fielding units of serious anti-submarine aircraft,” Goldstein said, citing the Gaoxin-6, an improved anti-submarine variant of the Y-8/9 aircraft.

“They had helicopters that could do anti-submarine warfare, but this is quite new, to have these large fixed-wing planes that drop on sonobuoys and look for submarines,” Goldstein added.

China still has anti-submarine-warfare shortcomings. Its sonar and sonobuoys “aren’t very sophisticated,” Clark said. “They’re easily two generations behind where the US and NATO are and … at least one generation behind Japan.”

The combination of assets and capabilities likely means China will focus on thwarting offensive operations by US subs rather than proactively hunting them, Clark said. Despite US submarines’ familiarity with the area, the confined waters there would limit their ability to evade attacks, meaning they’d likely back off in the face of Chinese pressure.

“The idea would be if a potential submarine is detected, they would send these aircraft, like the Y-8, out there to drop weapons on them,” Clark said. “They’re going to make sure that their own submarines are not in the area and use that to suppress US submarine operations.”

“The fact that the Chinese are developing this, essentially, [anti-submarine warfare] response capability means that US submarines are going to have a more limited impact on any confrontation with the Chinese over something like Taiwan,” Clark added.

‘China is extremely worried’

Navy submarine
US Navy fast-attack submarine USS Asheville with US 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge in the Philippine Sea.

China’s efforts to improve its maritime awareness aren’t limited to waters around Taiwan.

Last year, Australian officials said a Chinese ship off that country’s western coast was likely mapping routes Australian subs use to access the South China Sea. In December, Indonesian fisherman found a suspected Chinese underwater drone, which was seen as a sign of China trying gather information needed for submarine operations near Australia.

China is not alone in these efforts.

India, which recently clashed with China on their disputed land border, has stepped up efforts to monitor the Indian Ocean, especially around the Malacca Strait, which connects that ocean to the Pacific.

Last year, the US reportedly asked Indonesia to allow P-8 maritime patrol planes land and refuel there, giving them another operating location around the South China Sea; Indonesia denied the request. The recovery of underwater drones near China’s coast also suggests the US is gathering data on the waters there.

While the number of submarines in the region is growing – Taiwan is building a new fleet with US help – US subs remain China’s chief concern.

“China is extremely worried about our submarine force … because they know that it would be hard for them to hunt our submarines, and our submarines have quite a devastating punch,” Goldstein said. “They’re really trying to do everything they can to understand where our submarines are and how could Beijing possibly counter them.”

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US set to sanction a dozen Russian individuals, 24 entities for influencing the 2020 election, SolarWinds hack

SolarWinds Orion Headquarters Austin Texas December 2020.JPG
SolarWinds headquarters in Austin, Texas.

  • The Biden administration is set to sanction Russian intelligence officials over attempts to influence the 2020 election.
  • Russian officials and entities could also be sanctioned for misconduct, including the SolarWinds hack.
  • The sanctions may be announced this week, just days after Biden and Putin last spoke on Tuesday.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The US government is set to impose sanctions on around a dozen Russian government and intelligence officials, as well as 20 entities linked to Russian security services – some of which the US government believes are tied to the Solarwinds cyberattack.

The sanctions, which could be announced this week, are meant to punish these individuals and entities for their alleged role in tampering with the 2020 elections and the SolarWinds hack.

According to a Bloomberg report, an anonymous source said the sanctions could result in around 10 Russian diplomats being expelled from the US.

This appears to have been a long time coming, as Biden highlighted last year’s SolarWinds hack and suspected Russian interference in the 2020 election on his first day in office as priority items to be reviewed.

The sanctions come just days after Biden and Putin spoke on Tuesday, where Biden made clear that the US would act firmly to defend its national interests in response to Russia’s actions, particularly where cyber intrusions and election interference are concerned.

The SolarWinds hack took place in early 2020, when Russia-linked hackers allegedly broke into the Texas-based tech firm’s systems and plugged malicious code into the company’s system, “Orion,” – a crime which went undetected for months.

This malicious code allowed hackers to gain backdoor access to the IT systems of SolarWinds clients – which included Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, Cisco, Intel, and Deloitte. Sectors of the US government, including parts of the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, and the Treasury, were also affected by the cyberattack.

Bloomberg also reported that these sanctions are also an effort to take the Russians to task for interfering in the 2020 election. According to Bloomberg, US intelligence has confirmed that the Russians are responsible for seeding nuggets of fake information during Biden’s 2020 campaign, particularly through outlets under the control of Russian intelligence officials.

The Russians have denied any responsibility for the SolarWinds hack, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied any charges that he interfered in the 2016 and 2020 elections.

The US government has held off on sanctioning the Russians for these two matters, despite imposing earlier sanctions last month for the poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny. Another priority item that Biden also wanted to look into were indications that the Russians were offering to pay cash bounties to the Taliban to kill US troops in Afghanistan, but no new sanctions have been announced on that front.

The Russians, however, have pledged to retaliate if the US were to impose new sanctions, as top Russian diplomat Sergey Lavrov called the US’s foreign policy on Russia “deadlocked,” “dumb,” and ineffective.

Foreign relations between the US and Russia have been tense, to say the least, after Russia recalled its ambassador from Washington in March, following Biden’s comments in an ABC interview, where he said he thought Putin was a “killer” (a comment he’s made in the past) – a stark contrast to Trump’s warm descriptions of Putin during the former president’s time in office.

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Look inside a Singapore supermarket billionaire’s $50 million mansion, which combines a historic bungalow with an ultra-modern house and has a 100-foot swimming pool

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee
The home is a “good class bungalow,” Singapore’s most rare and coveted type of real estate.

  • Singapore billionaire Lim Hock Leng lives in a $50 million historic bungalow combined with a modern mansion.
  • Lim, who co-owns Singapore’s 3rd-largest supermarket chain with his two brothers, has amassed a fortune of $1.2 billion with his brothers.
  • The mansion features a swimming pool that starts indoors and extends outside.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
On a secluded, leafy street in Singapore, supermarket billionaire Lim Hock Leng lives in a $50 million bungalow.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Lim is the co-owner and managing director of Singapore’s third-largest supermarket chain, Sheng Siong, which operates more than 60 stores in the city-state.

Lim’s older brother, Lim Hock Chee, is Sheng Siong’s CEO, while the eldest brother, Lim Hock Eng, is executive chairman. Together, the three brothers own a majority stake in the company, putting their combined net worth at $1.2 billion, according to Forbes.

Lim’s home is a “good class bungalow,” Singapore’s most rare and coveted type of real estate.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

The city-state has a limited number of good class bungalows, making them a status symbol reserved for the ultra-wealthy.

The design of Lim’s home combines a historic Singapore bungalow with an ultra-modern home.

“From the front, it looks very unassuming,” one local real-estate agent, who has visited the home and wished to remain anonymous, told Insider. “But if you look from the back it’s a monstrous house that towers over the whole neighborhood.”

The back of the home shows off the modern addition that was designed as “as a series of stepped terraces with green roofs,” according to the architecture firm.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Singapore-based architecture firm Ta.le Architects oversaw the restoration of the colonial bungalow and designed the new bungalow.

Lim paid 35 million Singapore dollars – or about $26.2 million – for the land and the historic colonial bungalow in 2015, a spokesperson for his company confirmed to Insider.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

The executive then spent roughly SG$30 million ($22.4 million) to restore the bungalow and build the attached modern bungalow, which was completed in 2018, the spokesperson said.

That brings Lim’s total investment in the property to nearly $50 million.

The architecture firm, Ta.le Architects, dubbed the finished property “Hidden House.”

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

The home has three courtyards, one of which features a grassy lawn and sits between the historic bungalow and the modern bungalow.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

Another courtyard separates the living room and the dining room of the new bungalow and brings light and air into the center of the house.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

The third courtyard on the lowest level of the home is where you’ll find the 98-foot swimming pool, which extends from indoors to outside of the house.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Above the pool is a staircase designed to “glow in the night,” according to the architects.

Indeed, the entire rear facade of the home does appear to glow at nighttime.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

The bungalow sprawls across 33,700 square feet.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

Rather than going for pure opulence, the architects said they designed the home to create a “minimalistic luxurious experience.”

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

Last month, Lim gave a tour of his home to the South China Morning Post and told the publication that he shares his home with different generations of his family.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: South China Morning Post

The architects therefore designed large bedrooms – almost like independent apartments – to accommodate Lim’s four children and his parents.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

The bungalow’s formal dining area can accommodate at least 15 people.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

Many of the home’s common areas appear to open up to the grassy terraces.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

Photos of the home show lavish marble bathrooms. There’s also a massive walk-in closet.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

The spacious office seems appropriate for the managing director of a major supermarket group.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

The home’s amenities include a fitness center, a sauna and squash court, a pool table, and a home theater with 14 seats.

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

Source: Ta.le Architects

When he set out to build the house, Lim said he told the architects, “‘You are building this house for my neighbors, not me.'”

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

“When you build a house, that house has to become scenery for your neighbors,” Lim told the Post during the tour.

Lim told the Post that he considers spending so much money on a house to be a bit “extravagant.”

singapore billionaire bungalow Lim Hock Chee

But for Lim, the cost was justified. His father always wanted the whole family to live together but couldn’t afford a large enough home, Lim said, so he sees the house as realizing his father’s dream.

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Grab, the food-delivery giant backed by Softbank, is going public in the US via the largest-ever SPAC merger, valuing it at $40 billion

Tan Hooi Ling
Tan Hooi Ling, chief operating officer and cofounder of Grab.

  • “Superapp” Grab is going public in the US via a SPAC merger with Altimeter Growth.
  • The deal is set to value Grab, backed by Softbank, at $39.6 billion.
  • The Singapore-based app offers services ranging from deliveries to financial services.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Southeast Asian ride-hailing and food delivery giant Grab, whose backers include SoftBank and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, announced Tuesday that it planned to go public in the US via a merger with blank-check company Altimeter Growth.

The deal is set to value Grab at $39.6 billion, and would be the biggest-ever special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger.

A SPAC is a company created solely to merge with, or acquire, another business and take it public, making it a cheaper, faster alternative to an IPO, Insider’s Martin Daks reported.

Singapore-based Grab said it expected its securities be traded on Nasdaq under the symbol GRAB “in the coming months.”

Read more: Grab’s cofounders took a $10,000 business school prize and turned it into a ‘super app’ worth $40 billion as part of the largest SPAC deal ever

Grab describes itself as a “superapp.” It offers services ranging from deliveries to financial services.

Grab started as a ride-hailing venture in Malaysia in 2012 and is now the region’s most valuable startup.

Grab said that it decided to go public because of its strong financial performance in 2020. It posted a gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $12.5 billion, which is more than double its 2018 figure, despite the pandemic.

The company added that it accounted for about 72% of Southest Asia’s GMV for ride-hailing, and 50% for online food delivery, as well as 23% of regional total payment volume for digital wallet payments in 2020.

Shares in Altimeter Group were last up around 9% at $15.16 in US pre-market trading.

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MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell told Steve Bannon he is launching ‘MyStore’ – a ‘patriotic’ version of Amazon

mypillow ceo mike lindell profile 4x3
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has a brand new idea -a patriotic e-commerce platform.

  • MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell wants to launch an e-commerce platform, “MyStore,” to rival Amazon.
  • He announced the upcoming launch on Steve Bannon’s “War Room: Pandemic” podcast.
  • MyStore currently lists items like “freedom coffee,” “uncommon USA flag pole,” and pro-Trump books.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has another brand new idea – a patriotic e-commerce platform.

Speaking on Steve Bannon’s “War Room: Pandemic” podcast on Monday, Lindell announced that he was launching MyStore as a “rival to Amazon.” Lindell’s latest appearance on Bannon’s podcast follows his last visit to the show two weeks ago, where he went on a long rant about voter fraud allegations and asserted, once again, the baseless conspiracy theory that former president Trump would be back in office in August.

The MyPillow website currently features a version of MyStore with 81 products. These include “freedom flags,” “freedom coffee”, and – somewhat bizarrely – an “uncommon US flagpole.”

Also sold on the site are books about former president Donald Trump, including a book titled “Love Joy Trump.” Lindell has also listed his memoir, titled “Mike’s Memoir: With God, All Things Are Possible,” which retails for $9.97.

“For years entrepreneurs and inventors have come to me with products and ideas. They don’t know how to market them and I haven’t had the time to show them,” Lindell said in a video on the site.

“I am going to put vetted products from great entrepreneurs on here, like you see a sampling of them here today, that are going to change this country,” he continued.

“We’re finally going to be able to see these products and be able to get these great entrepreneurs, their great ideas, out to you, the public.”

The site also proclaims that there are “hundreds” of products coming soon, and includes a link to a form for people to submit applications for “products ready for market.”

It is unclear if Lindell was referring to the current iteration of MyStore as being a solid contender to rival Amazon’s dominance in the US e-commerce market, or if he planned to launch another version of it.

In the span of just a few months, Lindell has been banned from Twitter and sued by voting-machine company Dominion, after he peddled voter-fraud conspiracy theories.

Insider reported in February that he and his company, MyPillow, were expected to lose $65 million in revenue over his election fraud claims, but analysts and marketing experts say he might be able to find a way to capitalize on the bad press to get some monetary returns.

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As a Korean national studying in the US, I’ve seen how racism in America affects Asians around the globe

Stop Asian Hate Women
Protesters hold signs saying “Stop Asian Hate” after the Atlanta shooting.

  • The Atlanta shooting showed the world that racism in America is no longer an exclusively American issue.
  • The term “Asian American” is rooted in the solidarity movements of the 1960s.
  • That history should propel us towards a sense of transnational Asian solidarity.
  • Jimin Kang is a writer and student at Princeton University originally from South Korea and Hong Kong.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Before I came to the United States for college, I had never considered myself a person of color. Nor did I think of myself as generically “Asian.” I was a South Korean who’d grown up in Hong Kong – belonging to two places where, as far as skin color went, I had always been part of the racial majority.

Four years after my arrival, there isn’t a day where I don’t think about the color of my skin. And recent events have made me warier than usual. After six Asian women – four of them of Korean heritage – were murdered in Atlanta by a gunman purported to have a sex addiction, millions of Asian Americans in the United States were furious and aggrieved by how anti-Asian violence has been underplayed for years, despite the longstanding pressure points of colonial history, reductive stereotyping, and most recently the coronavirus pandemic.

It isn’t just Asian Americans who are grieving, nor just Americans. The fact of the matter is that racism in America is no longer an exclusively American issue, particularly for those who are not white.

For the global Asian community, the Atlanta shooting has been the wake-up call to a reality that Black and Latino people have known for years: that national identity is irrelevant when it comes to racial trauma. The compartmentalization of identity across national lines no longer serves us, because, as the randomness of identity-based violence shows us time and time again, those who suffer from it could be any of us.

Identifying as Asian American

As an Asian person currently living in America, I’ve often reflected on the distinctions between Asian Americans and “Asian Asians” in this country – the latter category for Asian people who, despite not being US citizens, feel a strong affinity to the US for reasons ranging from work and education to family and love. The distinction is often subtle, even arbitrary: there are Asians who are American but spend most of their lives living abroad, and Asians who aren’t American but spend most of their lives in America. Beyond the legal matter of citizenship, using the “American” suffix can be, in many cases, a matter of self-identification.

Historically, the usage of the term “Asian American” was a way for people of different ethnicities to signal solidarity across national lines. Before the term was first coined in 1968 by two students at the University of California Berkeley – who were inspired by the Black Power Movement to encourage unity in the fight for racial justice – most Americans of Asian descent would refer to themselves by their nationalities.

In other words, to be Asian American has always been more than an identity – to wear the label was initially an attempt to “express an idea,” Daryl Maeda, a professor of Asian American Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, told NBC News. “And that idea is that as Asian Americans, we have to work together to fight for social justice and equality, not only for ourselves, but for all of the people around us.”

In the decades since, the term Asian American has become part of the mainstream American lexicon. But it may be worthwhile to return to thinking about it not as an inherited identity, but rather an idea whose lessons are applicable even to those outside the country.

America’s racism affects all of us

In the last four years, I’ve had to redefine my experience of Asianness as an international student temporarily based in the United States, where the inevitable process of becoming a person of color has been alternately illuminating and difficult. I remember how, during my freshman year, I’d inadvertently begun attributing my racial identity to unexplainable feelings of apprehension or self-doubt.

One day, when I felt small and out of place in a seminar, I realized I was the only non-white person in the room. At parties, I’d wonder if no one was noticing me because I was Asian and thus, according to Hollywood conventions, less attractive. But on other occasions, I’d reflexively wonder if any sign of romantic interest from another person was directly related to my Asianness. Instances like these would occur repeatedly over the three years that followed, even in a college where close to a third of students identify as Asian, in a town where Asians make up the second largest ethnic group.

My parents, who have never spent more than two weeks in the United States, have had to learn these painful lessons from Seoul, South Korea. When the coronavirus pandemic first began, my dad would warn me against walking around alone, afraid I’d be harassed. For months, my mom has implored me to switch up my running routes in case I become an easy target for a stranger’s fit of race-based rage. These narratives of violence are very real to them, although neither of them has ever considered themself a person of color; to them these words are unfamiliar lingo, imported by a daughter far from home.

More than ever before, news of America’s racial tensions is available in their language, on the websites they visit, and in the news they follow. The constant availability of international news, in tandem with the harsh spotlight shone on America since the Black Lives Matter protests last summer and the rhetoric of Donald Trump’s presidency, has meant that America’s issues have become personal to them, too.

For the record, South Korea is one of the most racially homogenous places in the world. And yet, I find it astonishing that increasingly, more and more people there know what it means to be a person of color. South Koreans understand that, in the United States, you might be considered Chinese or Japanese in addition to being Korean. It’s become unsettlingly common for broad generalizations to replace specific national identities, leading us to understand that the ways in which we self-identify – especially in a foreign country – will not always protect us.

When I learned about the shootings, the first people on my mind were an Atlanta-based Korean couple I’d met in Seoul last summer, who’d told me how much they loved their city and its vibrant Korean American community. Any of the women who’d been shot could’ve been their parents or in-laws, I thought. It could’ve been them. And then I realized that, had I gone to school in Atlanta, it could’ve been me; had my parents migrated to the United States like Koreans have done in large numbers since 1960, it could’ve been them, too.

The past few weeks have been unimaginably painful for Asian Americans across the world who know the United States as their constant and permanent home. It is a pain that I, as a foreign national, can’t claim to know with the same intensity. But the burden of dismantling racial violence does not fall on American shoulders alone.

To learn of the shootings in Atlanta is to remind ourselves that the duty to care is not restricted to our inherited identities. To say the victims’ names – Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue; Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng – is to know that grief can be felt in many places, in many languages. This tragedy is personal to all of us, wherever and whoever we are.

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