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Peter Navarro, a Trump adviser, appears to have made up expert he regularly quoted

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“Only the Chinese can turn a leather sofa into an acid bath, a baby crib into a lethal weapon, and a cell phone battery into heart-piercing shrapnel,” Vara said. He appears once more in the book and is even referenced in the index.

There’s just one problem — Vara doesn’t appear to exist, according to an investigation by an Australian academic, who determined that Vara is actually Navarro. Ron Vara is even an anagram of Navarro’s last name.

Vara’s true identity was revealed by an Australian academic, who began to investigate him after being asked to write an article on anti-China rhetoric for a local politics and foreign affairs blog.

Tessa Morris-Suzuki, a professor emeritus of Japanese history at the Australian National University, told CNN she tried to find Vara after being asked to write an article on anti-China rhetoric for a local politics and foreign affairs blog.

“I just looked him up online, assuming he might be some businessman or other, and then he wasn’t there. The more I looked, the more I thought this was really strange,” she said.

“Then I realized the anagram.”

White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro being interviewed by Fox Business Network outside the White House October 08 in Washington, DC.
The Chronicle of Higher Education first reported Morris-Suzuki’s investigation.

The White House did not respond to CNN’s requests for comment. In a statement to The Chronicle, Navarro had admitted to inventing the character of Ron Vara, describing it as a “whimsical device and pen name,” purely for “entertainment value.”

He added that it was “refreshing that somebody finally figured out an inside joke that has been hiding in plain sight for years.”

Navarro, an academic, has been one of Trump’s top advisers on trade matters since the 2016 campaign.

The longtime China hawk is considered among the architects of the Trump administration’s trade war with Beijing and has been regularly part of the US delegation sent to negotiate a potential deal with the Chinese government.
Navarro has strongly defended Trump’s tariffs on China, saying that they’re needed to at least partially separate the two economies. He has repeatedly accused Beijing of currency manipulation, intellectual property theft and inflicting severe damage on the US manufacturing industry.
U.S. President Donald Trump listens to Peter Navarro (R) in the Oval Office on January 31 in Washington, DC.
“China wants to buckle our knees so that they can have their way with us,” Navarro told CNN in August.
Before he joined the Trump administration, he was a prolific author and Morris-Suzuki said that Ron Vara is regularly featured throughout Navarro’s books. He appears in Navarro’s 2001 “If It’s Raining in Brazil, Buy Starbucks,” described as a stock trader “in a league of his own.”

“In fact, this Dark Prince of Disaster has made a very large fortune making the very best out of very bad situations,” the book says.

According to the 2001 book, Vara was a captain in a reserve unit during the Gulf War as well as a doctoral student in economics at Harvard University in the US.

When Morris-Suzuki called Harvard, they said they didn’t have any record of any alumni with that name.

The academic said as she read through Navarro’s books, the most recent of which have focused heavily on China, Ron Vara began to express increasingly anti-Beijing views in his works.

“Initially (Vara’s remarks) are pretty anodyne little quotes, little bits of wisdom as it were, but when he gets into writing his China books we get these ferocious anti-China quotes,” she said.

Vara is quoted in at least six of Navarro’s books, including in “The Coming China Wars” from 2008.

“You’ve got to be nuts to eat Chinese food,” Vara is quoted as saying.

Morris-Suzuki said that she found Navarro’s attitude to his misquoting of analysts “concerning.”

“They were popular books, they were certainly supposed to be facts and in a sense he’s staked his reputation as a China expert on these books, so quoting from a made-up person in those seems like a strange thing to do,” she said.

CNN’s Allison Hoffman and Allie Malloy contributed to this report.



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Pakistan court orders government to remove Nawaz Sharif’s name from no-fly list

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ISLAMABAD: In a blow to Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government, a Pakistani court on Saturday allowed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to travel abroad for four weeks for medical treatment, ignoring government’s conditions that he will have to deposit security bonds before leaving the country.
A two-member bench of the Lahore High Court (HC) ordered the federal government to immediately remove Sharif’s name from the Exit Control List (ECL) without any conditions.
The court’s decision further stated that in case Sharif’s health doesn’t improve during the four-week time, then the time-period can be extended.
The court also approved undertakings of former PM and his younger brother Shahbaz Sharif, who is also president of opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, assuring that he will return to the country within four weeks.
Sharif was shifted to hospital from Lahore’s Kot Lakhpat jail last month after doctors warned that his health was deteriorating. He has been diagnosed with an immune system disorder and his condition was said to be critical. Due to health reasons, the Lahore and Islamabad high courts had subsequently granted him bails in two separate graft cases.
Last week, Shehbaz Sharif had submitted a request to the home ministry and the National Accountabitility Bureau, Pakistan’s anti-corruption watchdog, for removal of Nawaz’s name from the no-fly list so that he could seek medical treatment abroad.
Since Sharif’s release from jail on bail, a section of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was trying to convince PM Imran Khan not to allow him leaving Pakistan, saying it would be a complete defeat of the government’s accountability narrative on which they had contested and won the national polls in July 2018. On the other hand, some PTI leaders believed that the former PM’s departure would be politically beneficial, allowing enough of space for the party to complete its term in office.





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What Happens to DACA Holders If the Supreme Court Allows Trump to End the Program?

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Anahi Andino, 17, of Baltimore, holds a “Just Keep Dreaming” sign as demonstrators gather in front of the United States Supreme Court, where the Court is hearing arguments on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – DACA – that could impact the fates of nearly 700,000 “dreamers” brought to the United States as undocumented children, on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Washington. Andino attended the rally with other members of their group, El Club de la Cultura Hispana. Andino said, “We came because we personally know a lot of DACA recipients, even in our high school. We’re here to represent our communities and friends.” The Donald Trump administration has tried for more than two years to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, announced by President Barack Obama in 2012 to protect from deportation qualified young immigrants who came to the country illegally.

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether President Donald Trump can go forward with his plans to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. The Obama-era program has allowed almost 700,000 young adults without legal status but who have been in the United States since they were children to work and study without fear of deportation, NBC News reports.

If the Supreme Court rules in Trump’s favor, the question is what happens to these hundreds of thousands of young adults.

Deportation is the biggest fear of DACA recipients, as Missael García, 29, a father of a U.S.-born two-year-old, recently told NBC News. “Ending DACA would be a big blow for my family, it would be a complete family separation,” he said.

Legal immigration experts say it’s highly unlikely that everyone would be deported immediately. The Supreme Court’s ruling, of course, determines the next steps. But if Trump prevails, the administration is likely to impose a gradual shutdown of DACA similar to what it tried before the phase-out was blocked by lower courts.

Amb. Yovanovitch Responds to Trump’s Tweet During Testimony, Calls It ‘Very Intimidating’





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US President Donald Trump Begins Annual Physical Exam

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Washington: 

US President Donald Trump began his annual physical exam on Saturday, visiting the doctor several months ahead of schedule in anticipation of the busy 2020 election season, his spokeswoman said.

The 73-year-old last saw the doctor for a routine examination in February, when presidential physician Sean Conley declared Trump to be in “very good health.”

Trump, who has confounded health experts with his penchant for junk food and avoidance of strenuous exercise, weighed 243 pounds (110 kg), the report at that time said.

His spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said Saturday that “anticipating a very busy 2020, the president is taking advantage of a free weekend here in Washington, DC to begin portions of his routine annual physical exam at Walter Reed,” the national military medical center.

In 2018, Trump’s then-chief physician, Ronny Jackson, held an unusually detailed press conference in which he declared Trump to have “incredibly good genes.”

Soon thereafter, Trump appointed him to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, before Jackson withdrew his name from consideration.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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