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Historical rivals New Delhi and Islamabad have agreed to build a visa-free corridor that traverses their heavily militarized border and promises to ease bilateral tensions. But political realities may limit any real progress toward reconciliation.

Called the Kartarpur Corridor, the five-kilometer passageway connects Sikh shrines from the Indian city of Dera Baba Nanak to the town of Kartarpur in Pakistan, allowing Sikhs in both countries to travel to places of worship across the border without a visa.

The confidence-building measure is a milestone for the historically tense relationship — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently compared the corridor with the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s also a huge win for the regional Sikh community, which has long demanded the liberalization of travel to holy places. Sikhism is the fourth-largest religion in India, but in Muslim-majority Pakistan, it’s only practiced by a small segment of the population.

“Religious diplomacy — or using faith to bring people and nations together — has been very much part of Modi’s foreign policy in his outreach to the neighboring countries in the Subcontinent and beyond,” C. Raja Mohan, nonresident senior fellow at Carnegie India and a visiting professor at the National University of Singapore, said in a note.

Modi, who leads the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, tends to emphasize Hinduism as a uniting factor when he travels to Asian countries such as Nepal and Indonesia that have been influenced by the ancient religion. At home, however, the BJP’s right-wing rhetoric and policies have been linked to religious violence — mob killings and Hindu assaults on Muslims.

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Heather Nauert withdraws from consideration as UN ambassador

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U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert speaks during a press conference in Washington, DC. 

Yasin Ozturk | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert speaks during a press conference in Washington, DC. 

U.S. President Donald Trump’s choice to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Heather Nauert, has withdrawn from consideration for the job for family reasons, according to a statement issued by the State Department on Saturday.

Nauert was State Department spokeswoman when Trump chose her for the U.N. position after working as a host for the conservative Fox News Channel. She had been criticized by Democrats for her lack of diplomatic experience.

“The past two months have been grueling for my family and therefore it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw my name from consideration,” Nauert said in the statement.

The statement did not specify the hardship on her family but the Washington Post said Nauert’s husband and children had remained in New York while she was working in Washington.

The New York Times, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, said Nauert withdrew from consideration because she had a nanny who was in the United States legally but did not have the proper work visa.

The White House had no information on who might be the next in line for the U.N. job.

Trump had announced on Dec. 7 he would nominate Nauert for the U.N. position to replace Nikki Haley, who resigned at the end of 2018. Haley was a former South Carolina governor who also had little experience in world affairs before taking the ambassador position.

The White House had not yet formally submitted Nauert’s nomination to the Senate.

Nauert joined the State Department as spokeswoman in April 2017, three months into the Trump administration. She was named acting undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs in early 2018.

The role of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is a highly visible international position. While Nauert had little diplomatic experience, other nations with veto power on the U.N. Security Council are represented by ambassadors with decades of foreign policy work.

“She’s clearly not qualified for this job but these days it seems that the most important qualification is that you show up on Donald Trump’s TV screen,” Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said of Nauert on CNN in December.

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Historic rally may set investors up for pain

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Money manager Douglas Gordon is worried about a potentially widespread problem in long-term investors’ portfolios.

Gordon, who’s instrumental in building Russell Investments’ asset allocation strategies, believes many investors haven’t rebalanced their portfolios to reflect the historic 2019 stock market rally.

According to Gordon, the market rally’s robust gains are tilting investors too far into stocks.

The bottom line: If there’s another pullback, it’ll leave them wide open to losses that may have been avoidable.

“It’s a good time to re-assess where you’re at with respect to being diversified in a multi-asset solution,” the firm’s senior portfolio manager said Friday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.”

Since the Christmas Eve plunge, the S&P 500 has soared 18 percent. Because of the market’s sharp rebound, Gordon suspects a 3 to 5 percent sell-off could strike stocks in the coming weeks.

For protection, Gordon recommends taking some profits from the historic rally. Plus, he’d consider going overseas, a strategy he’s employing right now as part of a balanced allocation strategy.

“I’d probably right now prefer to take my higher beta exposures maybe in EM [emerging markets],” said Gordon, who’s responsible for $48.5 billion of the firm’s assets.

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Airports create sleeping spaces for travelers on the go

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Business travelers once looked to airline club rooms as calm oases that offer quiet areas to relax, work, conduct important phone calls or, perhaps, catch a nap.

These days, it’s not unusual for airline-operated and independent lounges to be as crowded and noisy. Congested airport terminals and gates have areas that many frequent travelers are willing to pay a fee to avoid – and there are alternatives on offer.

Outside the United States, travelers seeking alone time might check into one of the Napcabs equipped with beds, worktables, touch screens, WiFi and baggage storage, located inside Germany’s Munich or Berlin-Tegel Airports.

Elsewhere, Yotel offers cozy, cabin-like hotel rooms equipped with creature comforts such as futon-like beds, wifi, and flat screen TVs, located inside airport terminals in Amsterdam, London and Paris. Coming soon: Istanbul and Singapore.

Domestically, travelers seeking sleep, a place to work or a quiet place to have a phone conversation have an increasing range of options.

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