Day: March 10, 2019

FILE PHOTO - A combination of photographs shows people using automated teller machines (ATMs) at Australia's
FILE PHOTO – A combination of photographs shows people using automated teller machines (ATMs) at Australia’s “Big Four” banks – Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (bottom R), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (top R), National Australia Bank Ltd (bottom L) and Westpac Banking Corp (top L). REUTERS/Staff/File photo

March 11, 2019

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s corporate watchdog rebuked the country’s biggest banks and financial services firms on Monday for delays fixing internal systems that resulted in customers paying fees for services they had not received.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said it had been supervising the four biggest banks – Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd and National Australia Bank Ltd – plus investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd and wealth manager AMP Ltd, as they reviewed the systems which led to wrongful fee charging.

But the regulator said those companies had taken too long to identify systemic failures.

“These reviews have been unreasonably delayed,” said ASIC commissioner Danielle Press.

The reviews were large, involving up to 10 years of operations, six institutions and more than 7,000 advisers, but “the institutions have failed to sufficiently prioritize and resource their reviews, particularly as ASIC advised them to commence the reviews in mid-2015 or early 2016”, Press added.

The four retail banks and AMP had paid or offered a total of about A$350 million ($246 million) in compensation for wrongfully charged fees by January 2019, and allowed for further payments totally another A$800 million, ASIC said, but noted that those amounts were incomplete.

The causes of the delays included the companies taking a “legalistic approach”, their poor recording keeping, and their failure to set up effective methods to identify and compensate wronged customers, ASIC added.

The regulator said it was also planning enforcement action against an unspecified number of entities for taking customer fees for services not rendered.

A Royal Commission inquiry in misconduct in the financial services sector during the past year, has put banks and investment companies under pressure to clean up processes that had resulted in customers being automatically billed for wealth management advice that they had not received.

It had recommended that 24 cases be referred to regulators for possible prosecution, without giving details, though analysts expected most of those case would relate to charging fees for no service.

The commission had questioned the retail banks and AMP over charging fees for services not provided.

AMP’s chairwoman, CEO and some of its board left the company following allegations they interfered with a supposedly independent report to ASIC on the topic.

Macquarie, which was not accused at the inquiry of any current instances of charging fees for no service, declined to comment. Representatives of the four retail banks and AMP were not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye and Paulina Duran; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Source: OANN

Pigeon flies past the logo of Vodafone in Kiev
A pigeon flies past the logo of Vodafone in Kiev, Ukraine, March 15, 2016. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

March 11, 2019

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – A unit of Vodafone PLC has offered voluntary redundancy to thousands of staff members in New Zealand, the company said on Monday, as part of plans to review its business ahead of a possible stock market listing next year.

Vodafone New Zealand said about 2,000 employees – with the exception of frontline call center and retail team members – were asked in February if they would consider redundancy.

A small proportion have taken up the opportunity, a spokeswoman of the company told Reuters.

“We’re now in the process of working through those expressions of interest and will evaluate them based on ensuring customer service levels are preserved, business continuity maintained, and key skills are retained and developed to drive for our future growth,” she said in an email.

Vodafone New Zealand said in December that it was reviewing all areas of its business to improve its performance and that a new operating model would be finalised in March.

There are no pre-determined number or type of roles that would be impacted, it had said at the time.

Vodafone New Zealand’s newly installed CEO Jason Paris said late last year that the company was being restructured to get it into shape for an initial public offering in 2020.

The firm has about 3,000 employees and 72 retail shops across New Zealand. It has accumulated 2.4 million customers since it started operations in 1998, its website shows.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

Source: OANN

A cloth embroidered by the victims of the armed conflict in Colombia, with the phrase that reads:
A cloth embroidered by the victims of the armed conflict in Colombia, with the phrase that reads: “the history of Colombia is always cruel and heavy for us women”, is seen in the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) in Bogota, Colombia December 10, 2018. REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

March 11, 2019

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s President Ivan Duque on Sunday said he objected to several items in legislation implementing a peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebel group and will return the law to congress to be adjusted.

In an address to the nation, Duque, who campaigned for president pledging to alter the 2016 agreement, said for “reasons of inconvenience” the government objected to six of the 159 articles in the so-called Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP).

The JEP law established a tribunal to investigate, judge and sentence those considered responsible for crimes during a five-decade war with the government.

    Duque’s decision may create problems in the implementation of the agreement that put an end to the FARC’s role in a conflict that killed 260,000 people and displaced millions.

The terms of the JEP had been criticized by Duque for being too lenient on rebel commanders accused of committing war crimes.

“Colombians want and we need a peace that unites us and we all must contribute permanently to achieve that goal,” Duque said in a televised speech.

“All Colombians, with the exception of those who today are unable to renounce violence and stop their crimes, want peace in our nation. There is no false division between friends and enemies of peace. But we want a peace that genuinely guarantees truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition.”

Among objections, Duque said he wants the law to better clarify that the FARC must repay its victims with assets, he called for clarification over terms of extradition for crimes, and wants to toughen rules over sentencing for war crimes. He also objected to an article that suspends investigations by the ordinary judicial system to those who submit to the JEP.

Duque also said he would seek a constitutional reform that would exclude sexual crimes from being taken up in the tribunal, to clarify that repeat offenders lose peace accord benefits and crimes committed after Dec. 1, 2016, would not go to the JEP but would be tried in the ordinary judicial system.

Under the terms of the peace deal between the FARC and the government of former President Juan Manuel Santos, the group formed a political party, kept its famous acronym as the Revolutionary Alternative Common Force, and was awarded five seats in the 108-member Senate and five in the 172-member lower house through to 2026.

The peace accord said that former rebels who submit to the tribunal can receive reduced sentences and avoid prison, but they must confess to any crimes and repay victims.

Duque, a 42-year-old protege of former President Alvaro Uribe, whose hardline offensive against the rebels helped push them to the negotiating table, has said he is incensed there would be “criminals” in Congress shaping laws after decades of kidnapping, extortion and killing.

(Reporting by Helen Murphy; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, exits a hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York City
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, exits a hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

March 11, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – The Duchess of Sussex, former U.S. actress Meghan Markle, is due to give birth this Spring to her first child with husband Prince Harry, 34, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson.

The baby, who will be seventh in line to the British throne, is expected in April after Meghan, 37, disclosed she was six months pregnant in January.

Here is a timeline of some major events Meghan has attended during her pregnancy:

Oct. 15: Harry and Meghan, who married in May 2018, announce they are expecting their first child in the spring of 2019 while in Australia on their first overseas tour as a married couple.

Oct 24: Meghan cut back on some of the couple’s busy program during the tour to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific but did join her husband for engagements on a trip to Fiji.

Nov. 19: The Duke and Duchess attended the annual Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium.

Dec. 10: At a star-studded event, Meghan presented the designer of her wedding dress with a prize at the London Fashion Awards.

Dec. 18: Meghan joked she was feeling “very pregnant” during a Christmas visit to a care home where she joined residents making decorations and singing festive songs.

Dec. 25: Harry and Meghan joined the other senior members of the British royal family at a traditional Christmas Day church service at Sandringham, eastern England.

Jan. 14: During a trip to Birkenhead in northern England, Meghan told well-wishers that she was six months pregnant but said the gender of her baby would be a surprise.

Jan. 16: Meghan and Harry attended the Cirque du Soleil’s “Totem” show at London’s Royal Albert Hall, an event aimed at raising awareness and funds for Harry’s Sentebale charity.

Feb. 1: Crowds braved freezing conditions in Bristol for a visit by the royal couple who visited the western city’s Old Vic, built in 1766 and the oldest continuously working theater in the English-speaking world.

Feb. 7: Harry and Meghan attended an awards ceremony for the Endeavour Fund which supports the physical and mental recovery of injured and sick servicemen and women

Feb. 12: The couple attended a play at London’s Natural History Museum about the young Charles Darwin’s 19th Century expedition on HMS Beagle, in aid of forest conservation, an issue supported by Harry.

Feb. 24: On what was expected to be their last overseas trip before the birth of their baby, the royals arrived in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains where they showed their support for rural girls’ education.

Feb. 25: As part of their Morocco visit, the couple attended a cooking event and sampled food made by chef Moha Fedal, host of Morocco’s version of the Masterchef TV show.

March 8: Meghan joined a panel discussion held by The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust to mark International Women’s Day at King’s College, London.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A UBS advertisement is displayed on top of a commercial building in Hong Kong
FILE PHOTO: A UBS advertisement is displayed on top of a commercial building in Hong Kong, China May 2, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

March 11, 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters) – UBS Group AG and Standard Chartered PLC have agreed to settle a case of alleged misconduct related to a 2009 initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong, a counsel for the market regulator said at a tribunal hearing on Monday.

Swiss banking giant UBS was set to appeal on Monday against an unprecedented 18-month ban on leading IPOs in Hong Kong, imposed, sources had said, for its role in the listing of a firm which subsequently collapsed.

StanChart and UBS banker Cen Tian were also scheduled to appeal against disciplinary action taken by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) over alleged misconduct during a 2009 IPO that the two banks sponsored, or led.

Details of the settlement, the misconduct or grounds for appeal have not been disclosed.

The case, which relates to the 2009 listing of a now defunct Chinese forestry company, was widely seen as a test of increased scrutiny of IPO practices in a city where helping firms list is particularly big business for banks.

The lawyer for the SFC, Jat Sew-Tong, told the three-member Securities and Futures Appeals Tribunal at a brief hearing on Monday that details of the settlement would be released at a later date.

Spokespeople for UBS and Standard Chartered in Hong Kong declined to comment on the latest development. A SFC spokesman said the regulator had nothing to add.

While UBS has not identified the IPO in question and the SFC has not publicly confirmed it, people with direct knowledge of the matter have said it was that of China Forestry.

StanChart, which closed its equity business in 2015, named the deal as China Forestry in regulatory filings since 2016.

The timber merchant raised $216 million in its IPO. Just 14 months after listing, trading of its shares was suspended when its auditor, KPMG, discovered irregularities. The company was subsequently liquidated.

UBS disclosed last year that the SFC proposed to fine it HK$119 million ($15.16 million) and suspend its sponsor license for 18 months for its work on an unnamed IPO – an unprecedented punishment against a top bank in the city.

(Reporting by Alun John; Writing by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

Source: OANN

PGA: Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard - Final Round
Mar 10, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Rory McIlroy checks his notes about a putt on the 13th green during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

March 11, 2019

(Reuters) – With just over a month to go before he makes another bid for the career Grand Slam at the Masters, Rory McIlroy endured a mediocre final round to finish equal sixth in his title defense at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida on Sunday.

It was the worst finish of his five starts this year. The Northern Irishman has been a constant presence on leaderboards but Sundays have so far been a let down.

McIlroy started the final round at Bay Hill a stroke off the lead and when he curled in a sharply-breaking 25-foot putt for birdie at the third hole it looked like he was on course for his first win of the year.

But he would not get another birdie until the easy par-five 16th, by which time his chance had gone as Francesco Molinari breezed to victory with a closing eight-under-par 64.

McIlroy, who shot a 72 to finish on eight-under par, acknowledged it had not been a great finish to the tournament but said his game was in good shape.

“My Sundays haven’t been what I would have liked but I’m putting myself in that position,” he said.

“Good golf is good golf.”

NBC analyst Paul Azinger said one aspect of McIlroy’s game was not quite sharp enough.

“Rory’s just got to get anchored to something on and around the greens that he can really rely on, because tee-to-green he is brilliant,” he said.

McIlroy has finished no better than fourth at the Masters, the only major to elude the 29-year-old. This year’s tournament starts on April 11.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Source: OANN

Indonesian Siti Aisyah arrives at the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur
Indonesian Siti Aisyah, who is on trial for the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader, arrives at the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

March 11, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysian prosecutors on Monday applied to withdraw a murder charge against an Indonesian woman accused of killing the half-brother of North Korea’s leader.

The trial of Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 26, was suspended in December as her lawyers argued with prosecutors over access to statements made by seven witnesses.

Prosecutors told the court they had been instructed to withdraw the charge against Siti Aisyah. No reason was given for the application.

(Reporting by Joseph Sipalan)

Source: OANN

Former Secretary of State and two-time presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made several claims about voter turnout, anti-lynching legislation and former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams at two events commemorating the 1965 Selma civil rights march known as “Bloody Sunday.”

Clinton received an award on March 3 at the Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King Unity Breakfast and delivered remarks at the annual commemorative service in Selma, Alabama.

Here are four checks on her claims.

Claim 1: “I was the first person who ran for president without the protection of the Voting Rights Act, and I will tell you, it makes a really big difference. And it doesn’t just make a difference in Alabama and Georgia. It made a difference in Wisconsin, where the best studies that have been done said somewhere between 40 and 80 thousand people were turned away from the polls because of the color of their skin, because of their age, because of whatever excuse could be made up to stop a fellow American citizen from voting,” Clinton said at the commemorative service.

The Supreme Court struck down part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in 2013, allowing states to change election laws without advance approval from the federal government. The ruling did not apply to Wisconsin specifically, but the state does have one of the strictest voter ID laws in the country. (RELATED: Do Millions Of Americans Not Have Government Photo ID?)

President Donald Trump narrowly won Wisconsin in the 2016 election with 22,748 more votes than Clinton.

A spokesperson for Clinton, Nick Merrill, did not provide responses to our questions when asked for comment, but he pointed The Washington Post to multiple studies to back up Clinton’s claim about those turned away from the polls.

A 2017 study from a University of Wisconsin–Madison professor found that up to 23,252 people in Wisconsin’s two most populous counties were deterred from voting in the 2016 election because of the state’s voter ID law. Merrill told WaPo that extrapolating statewide, that translates to as many as 45,000 voters.

The study, however, notes that its findings “cannot be extrapolated to the state of Wisconsin as a whole.” Its 23,252 figure includes people who were not necessarily “turned away” from the polls, but mention lack of ID as a reason they did not vote.

About 6 percent of voters in the counties, translating to 9,001 people, were “prevented” from voting because they lacked ID or cited ID as the main reason they did not vote, the study said.

An analysis that Merrill pointed to from Priorities USA, a Democratic Party super PAC, suggested that Wisconsin would have seen 200,000 more voters in 2016 if not for its voter ID law. It did not, however, measure the number of voters who were “turned away” from the polls.

The Survey of the Performance of American Elections asked 200 registered voters in each state and the District of Columbia about their experience at the polls. It found that 0.78 percent of those in Wisconsin were turned away from the polls when they tried to vote.

Claim 2: “Between 2012, the prior presidential election where we still had the Voting Rights Act, and 2016, when my name was on the ballot, there were fewer voters registered in Georgia than there had been those prior four years,” Clinton said at the commemorative service.

“And you know, when I ran in 2016, there were fewer registered voters in Georgia than there had been in 2012. The state had been growing, jobs and investment and people had been coming, but somehow there were fewer voters,” she said at the unity breakfast.

The number of registered voters and votes cast in Georgia were higher in 2016, contrary to Clinton’s claim. The state’s election data show 14,066 more registered voters, 246,050 more ballots cast and a voter turnout that was 4.34 percentage points higher in 2016 compared to 2012.

Georgia saw 5.43 million registered voters and 3.92 million ballots cast in 2012, a voter turnout of 72.19 percent. In 2016, the number of registered voters increased to 5.44 million, and 4.17 million people cast ballots, resulting in a 76.53 percent voter turnout.

Claim 3: “[Stacey Abrams] rolled up her sleeves, and she registered over 300,000 black voters,” Clinton said at the unity breakfast.

Abrams, a former Democratic state representative, founded the New Georgia Project in 2013. The organization aimed to get 800,000 people of color in Georgia registered to vote.

Nse Ufot, executive director of the New Georgia Project, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email that the group has submitted voter registration applications for over 300,000 people in all 159 of Georgia’s counties, including over 10,000 in 2019 alone.

“While we focus the bulk of our efforts in communities of color, we register all Georgians of all races to vote,” Ufot said.

Of the applications the New Georgia Project has submitted, it is unclear how many resulted in new registrations on the Georgia voter rolls. Ufot said that that the group is running an analysis to determine how many of its forms have been accepted by the state.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that about 22,000 registrations submitted in 2014 were not on government voter lists by fall 2015 because they were duplicates or election officials could not verify names, birth dates or addresses. Some of the applications submitted by the organization included previously inactive voters and voters who had changed addresses.

Claim 4: “Last December, nearly 90 years after [black journalist and early civil rights leader Ida B. Wells-Barnett] died, the United States Senate unanimously passed legislation that made lynching a federal crime. Congress had considered more than 200 anti-lynching bills and never before last December passed one,” Clinton said at the unity breakfast.

The Senate passed a bill making lynching a federal hate crime in December. Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris re-introduced the bill for the new 116th Congress, and the Senate passed it again in February.

The bill states that “nearly 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in Congress during the first half of the 20th century.” The House of Representatives did, however, pass three “strong anti-lynching measures” between 1920 and 1940, it says, but the measures failed in the Senate and did not become law.

December was the first instance of anti-lynching legislation passing the Senate, a press release from Harris said.

Republican Rep. Leonidas C. Dyer first introduced the Dyer Anti-Lynching Bill, which became the basis for subsequent anti-lynching measures in 1918. In July 2018, Quartz counted 240 anti-lynching measures dating back to 1901.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Fox News’ Juan Williams claimed Tuesday that men make up 70 percent of Google’s workforce.

Verdict: True

Sixty-nine percent of Google’s workforce was male in 2018 and 31 percent was female.

Fact Check:

Williams, a co-host of Fox News’ “The Five,” made the claim after fellow co-host Greg Gutfeld brought up a recent pay equity analysis from Google that showed that the technology giant was underpaying some male employees.

Adjustments in pay, totaling $9.7 million, were given to nearly 11,000 Google employees, many of whom were men. “Men were flagged for adjustments because they received less discretionary funds than women,” the company said in a blog post. Google also made pay adjustments for new hires.

“For years, the media has told us that men get paid way more than women for the same work,” Gutfeld said in a monologue. “Take Google, who has been accused of underpaying female workers. But when they investigated this charge, they found what, they indeed were underpaying men.”

“They have fewer women working in engineering,” co-host Dana Perino pointed out. “That’s a whole different problem.”

“To me the larger part is this – 70 percent of their workforce is male,” Williams responded.

Williams’ claim is supported by Google’s 2018 diversity report, which shows that 69.1 percent of all employees are male and 30.9 percent are female. Female representation at Google has only increased 0.3 percentage points since 2014.

There were nearly three times as many men in leadership positions as women in 2018, 74.5 percent versus 25.5 percent. According to Google, white men made up 52.4 percent of all leadership positions, down from 53.8 percent the previous year. Men made up most of the new hires in 2017, 68.8 percent.

While men make up the majority of the workforce at Google, women see more representation in non-tech jobs. Women made up only 21.4 percent of all tech positions at the company, but 47.8 percent of non-tech positions.

Google acknowledges these disparities and says it is working to improve gender and racial diversity at the company.

“The data in this report shows that despite significant effort, and some pockets of success, we need to do more to achieve our desired diversity and inclusion outcomes,” reads the report. “We care deeply about improving workforce representation and creating an inclusive culture for everyone.”

In early 2017, a Labor Department official accused Google of “systemic” disparities in compensation against women, a charge that Google has strongly denied.

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Source: The Daily Caller

President Donald Trump will propose in his fiscal 2020 budget on Monday that the U.S. Congress cut non-defense spending by 5 percent while boosting spending on the military, veterans' healthcare and border security, the White House budget office said on Sunday.

The Republican president's proposal, slated for release at 11:30 a.m. on the Office of Management and Budget's website, is expected to be the first volley in this year's bitter funding fight with Congress, which has control over federal purse strings.

His budget blueprint is expected to be rejected by Congress, where Democrats control the House of Representatives. Spending bills typically need 60 votes to get through the 100-member Senate, where Trump's fellow Republicans hold 53 seats.

Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate immediately panned Trump's request for $8.6 billion to build a wall on the southern border with Mexico, reported by Reuters earlier on Sunday.

Last year, a protracted battle over Trump's demand for more than $5 billion in wall funding led to a five-week partial shutdown of the government. Congress' refusal to grant him the funds led Trump to declare a national emergency so he could redirect funds approved for other purposes to the project.

The White House and Congress must agree on funding by Oct. 1 to keep the government funded and open – which coincides with the deadline to lift the debt limit, or risk a default, which would have severe economic repercussions.

At the same time, Trump and congressional leaders also face a deadline from a 2011 fiscal belt-tightening law that would see all discretionary spending slashed by $126 billion or 10 percent, unless they agree to lift spending caps.

Tax cuts have been a priority for the Republican White House and Congress in recent years, rather than fiscal restraint. The deficit ran to $900 billion in 2019, and the national debt has ballooned to $22 trillion.

Trump wants to cut non-defense program spending by an average of 5 percent below caps that Congress had set for fiscal 2019, the OMB said in a release.

“President Trump added nearly $2 trillion to our deficits with tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, and now it appears his budget asks the American people to pay the price," said John Yarmuth, Democratic chairman of the House Budget Committee, who added: "It has no chance in the House.”

Trump's budget would boost funding for some of his priorities. For example, Trump will propose a 5 percent increase for the Department of Homeland Security to help pay for his border wall and hire more immigration and border enforcement officials.

The budget also includes an increase of almost 10 percent for veterans' healthcare programs from last year, and investments in opioid addiction programs, the OMB said.

That means some departments and programs may see steeper proposed cuts than 5 percent.

BOOST FOR DEFENSE

Some programs will be targeted for cancellation altogether to push total non-defense discretionary spending below a cap of $542 billion established in the 2011 Budget Control Act, an administration official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official did not specify which programs would be targeted.

"This budget shows that we can return to fiscal sanity without halting our economic resurgence while continuing to invest in critical priorities," Russ Vought, the acting OMB director, said in a statement.

The budget was expected to boost defense spending, although details were not immediately available.

Vought said last month that new defense spending would be included in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund, more traditionally used for emergencies.

Fiscal hawks have characterized OCO as a slush fund or budget gimmick to get around spending caps.

Also unclear is how the budget will handle mandatory spending on programs for seniors like Medicare and Social Security, which account for the largest portion of the budget. The programs are popular with older voters.

The OMB said the budget would propose $2.7 trillion in spending cuts over a decade, which it said would be more than any other administration had ever planned.

But the cuts would not be enough to balance the budget in that timeframe. The OMB said the budget was designed to balance by 2034, exceeding the traditional 10-year period that previous administrations targeted.

Source: NewsMax

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Mar 10, 2019; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Mike Zunino (10) and shortstop Daniel Robertson (28) talk on the field prior to a game against the Boston Red Sox at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

March 11, 2019

The Tampa Bay Rays clobbered six solo home runs while cruising to an 8-1 victory over the visiting Boston Red Sox in Port Charlotte, Fla.

Guillermo Heredia went deep twice, while Joey Wendle, Mike Zunino, Avisail Garcia and Nathaniel Lowe each did so once. Zunino added an RBI double, and Wendle and Ji-Man Choi each had two hits as well.

Rick Porcello, Hector Velazquez and Brandon Workman each surrendered two homers for the Red Sox. Velazquez allowed four runs on six hits in two innings, though he struck out two.

Yankees (ss) 6, Pirates 5

Zack Zehner’s two-run homer in the eighth inning lifted New York to a victory over visiting Pittsburgh in Tampa. Gio Urshela also went yard for the Yankees, while Jung Ho Kang and Francisco Cervelli each homered for the Pirates.

Phillies 8, Orioles 5

Jonathan Guzman broke a tie with an eighth-inning RBI double, and Trevor Plouffe followed with a two-run homer for insurance as visiting Philadelphia downed Baltimore in Sarasota, Fla. Jonathan Villar went 2-for-3 with two runs scored for the Orioles.

Marlins 5, Braves 2

Peter O’Brien had an RBI single and a grand slam to account for all five of Miami’s runs in a win over visiting Atlanta in Jupiter, Fla. Sandy Alcantara struck out five while allowing two hits and two walks in 4 1/3 scoreless innings for the Braves.

Nationals 6, Astros 4

Brothers Spencer and Carter Kieboom each hit RBI doubles to help visiting Washington to a 6-0 lead, and Houston’s late rally wasn’t enough in West Palm Beach, Fla. Abraham Toro had an RBI double in the seventh and RBI single in the ninth to help the Astros close the gap.

Blue Jays 10, Twins 1

Bo Bichette cracked two home runs and a double, and Cavan Biggio also homered as visiting Toronto cruised past Minnesota in Fort Myers, Fla. Twins starter Jake Odorizzi allowed five runs on four hits in just two-thirds of an inning.

Mets 9, Cardinals 1

Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil and Travis d’Arnaud all went deep as New York coasted to a victory over visiting St. Louis in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Dylan Carlson homered for the Cardinals.

Padres 11, Royals 6

Aderlin Rodriguez had a grand slam and an RBI double, and Jose Pirela homered twice as visiting San Diego scored 11 unanswered runs to beat Kansas City in Surprise, Ariz. Whit Merrifield, Cam Gallagher and Adalberto Mondesi each homered to help the Royals take a 6-0 lead after two innings.

Brewers 7, Cubs 5

Ben Gamel and Tyler Saladino hit back-to-back homers in the sixth inning to help Milwaukee come from five runs down to beat visiting Chicago in Phoenix. Orlando Arcia hit a three-run shot to jumpstart the rally, after Cristhian Adames’ three-run triple put the Cubs up 5-0.

Rangers 7, Giants (ss) 6

Hunter Pence hit a solo homer against his former team, and visiting Texas overcame four errors to beat San Francisco in Scottsdale, Ariz. Mike Gerber hit a two-run triple with two outs in the ninth inning to get within one run, but Henry Ramos struck out to end the game.

Athletics 5 (ss), Giants (ss) 4

Chad Pinder, Marcus Semien and Mark Canha each went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Canha’s walk-off single lifted Oakland over visiting San Francisco. Aramis Garcia had an RBI single and a home run for the Giants.

Athletics (ss) 7, White Sox 6

Josh Phegley had a homer and an RBI double in Oakland’s victory over Chicago in Phoenix. Jose Abreu went 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs, while Yoan Moncada homered for the White Sox.

Indians 16, Mariners (ss) 2

Oscar Mercado went 3-for-3 with a solo homer and an RBI double as visiting Cleveland pummeled Seattle in Peoria, Ariz. Ryon Healy and Jay Bruce each hit solo homers for the Mariners.

Diamondbacks (ss) 3, Reds 2

Caleb Joseph’s three-run shot in the fourth inning accounted for visiting Arizona’s only scoring in a victory over Cincinnati in Goodyear, Ariz. Kyle Wren knocked in an RBI double for the Reds.

Dodgers 3, Rockies (ss) 1

Justin Turner had an RBI double and Max Muncy hit a two-run double to carry visiting Los Angeles over Colorado in Scottsdale, Ariz. Mark Reynolds’ solo shot accounted for the Rockies’ only run.

Mariners (ss) 9, Angels 9

Jared Walsh’s two-run double capped a six-run, ninth-inning rally as Los Angeles overcame a seven-run deficit to tie Seattle in Tempe, Ariz. Joe DeCarlo’s three-run double began a five-run eighth inning by the Mariners that had given them a 9-2 lead.

Diamondbacks (ss) 5, Rockies 2

Eduardo Escobar had a pair of RBI doubles, and Kevin Cron and Ildemaro Vargas each homered to help Arizona beat visiting Colorado in Monterrey, Mexico. The Rockies had just three hits, scoring on Pat Valaika’s sacrifice fly and a throwing error by Cron.

Yankees (ss) 2, Tigers 2

Miguel Cabrera hit a solo homer, and Hector Sanchez tied the game with an RBI walk in the eighth inning as Detroit tied New York in Lakeland, Fla. Brandon Wagner homered for the Yankees.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NCAA Basketball: Houston at Cincinnati
Mar 10, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Houston Cougars guard Corey Davis Jr. (5) passes the ball against Cincinnati Bearcats guard Keith Williams (2) in the first half at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati. Mandatory Credit: Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via USA TODAY NETWORK

March 11, 2019

Corey Davis Jr. scored a career-high 31 points as 12th-ranked Houston captured its first outright league championship since the 1983-84 season with an 85-69 victory over host Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon.

Nate Hinton and Armoni Brooks each made four 3-pointers for the American Athletic Conference champion Cougars (29-2, 16-2), who claimed their first regular-season title since securing a share of the Southwest Conference championship in 1992.

Davis shot 10-of-22 from the field to eclipse his previous career high of 26, set three different times in February.

Jarron Cumberland scored 20 points for the 20th-ranked Bearcats (25-6, 14-4), who fell short in their bid for a share of the title and saw their 16-game home winning streak come to an end.

No. 21 Wisconsin 73, Ohio State 67 (OT)

Khalil Iverson had four of his career-high 22 points in overtime and collected 14 rebounds to help the Badgers hold on to beat the Buckeyes in Columbus, Ohio, as Wisconsin secured the No. 4 seed for the Big Ten tournament in Chicago and a bye through the first two rounds.

Wisconsin led by 23 points early in the second half before Ohio State ended regulation play on a 16-1 run to tie the score at 63. Iverson scored the Badgers’ first four points of overtime for 67-64 lead they never relinquished.

Ethan Happ had 16 points and 14 rebounds for his 21st double-double of the season, and Brad Davison scored 14 points for the Badgers. C.J. Jackson led the Buckeyes with 22 points.

No. 22 Wofford 81, East Tennessee State 72

Fletcher Magee made his first six 3-point attempts and finished with 26 points as the Terriers defeated the Buccaneers in the Southern Conference Tournament semifinals in Asheville, N.C., extending their school-record winning streak to 19 games.

Fletcher has 498 career 3-point baskets, putting him six away from matching the Division I record. The top-seeded Terriers (28-4) meet the winner of the UNC Greensboro-Furman game in Monday night’s championship tilt with an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament at stake.

Daivien Williamson scored 17 points, Mladen Armus had 15 points, Tray Boyd III added 13 points and Isaiah Tisdale notched 12 points for fourth-seeded East Tennessee State (24-9), which had forced an overtime game with the Terriers last month.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Illustration photo of British Pound Sterling and U.S. Dollar notes
British Pound Sterling and U.S. Dollar notes are seen in this June 22, 2017 illustration photo. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration

March 11, 2019

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO (Reuters) – The dollar edged up early on Monday, hovering close to a near three-month high as investors took cover in the currency amid global growth concerns, while sterling extended its decline on an uncertain outlook over Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, gained 0.1 percent to 97.426 in early Asian trading.

The index was just shy of its recent peak of 97.710 hit last Thursday, its highest since Dec. 14 last year. It is up 1.3 percent so far this year.

The euro was a shade lower at $1.1225. The single currency had fallen to its weakest level since late June 2017 on Thursday, hurt by dovish signals from the European Central Bank (ECB).

“After the ECB’s big downgrade of the growth outlook for the euro area, together with the weaker-than-expected Chinese export and import data, the worry over the global economy is re-surging again,” said Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities.

“That’s pushing down the euro and other currencies,” he said. “The U.S. is not particularly strong, but other areas are weak. That’s why the dollar is relatively strong.”

Data on Friday showed U.S. employment growth almost stalled in February, with the world’s top economy creating a measly 20,000 jobs, far fewer than expected by analysts.

But traders found some hope in figures showing the U.S. employment rate slipped back below 4 percent and average hourly earnings accelerated by 0.4 percent, helping to reduce the greenback’s losses during the previous session.

On Monday, the British pound gave up 0.4 percent to $1.2968 after briefly dipping to a near three-week low on nervousness over Brexit. The currency had already fallen for seven straight sessions.

Sterling has come under renewed pressure after British foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said on Sunday Brexit could be reversed if lawmakers reject the government’s exit deal.

His remarks followed a warning from two major eurosceptic factions in parliament that Prime Minister Theresa May was likely to face heavy defeat at a parliamentary vote on Tuesday on whether to approve her EU exit plan.

The British Prime Minister is scrambling – so far unsuccessfully – to secure last-minute changes to an EU exit treaty ahead of the vote, which comes weeks before the United Kingdom is set to leave the European Union on March 29.

Mizuho’s Yamamoto said traders are trimming holdings of sterling as rate-hike expectations by the Bank of England are reduced, making the currency increasingly sensitive to near-term events, such as the parliamentary vote.

“These days, the UK inflation data isn’t as strong as before,” he said. “The rate-hike expectation after the avoidance of the no-deal Brexit is fading away.”

Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was down 0.2 percent at 110.99 yen.

(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Ceremony marking 1st delivery of Boeing 737 Max 8 airplane to Air China in Zhoushan
FILE PHOTO: Workers attend a ceremony marking the 1st delivery of a Boeing 737 Max 8 airplane to Air China at the Boeing Zhoushan completion center in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, China, December 15, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo

March 11, 2019

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s aviation regulator has ordered domestic airlines to suspend their Boeing 737 Max aircraft, Chinese media outlet Caijing reported on Monday, following a deadly crash on Sunday of a 737 MAX 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines.

Citing industry sources familiar with the matter, Caijing said domestic airlines, which operate some 60 such airplanes, had received orders from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and halted their use on Sunday.

A Boeing spokesman declined to comment. The CAAC could not be immediately reached for comment.

An Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 bound for Nairobi crashed minutes after take-off on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board.

This is the second crash of the 737 MAX, the latest version of Boeing’s workhorse narrowbody jet that first entered service in 2017.

In October, a 737 MAX flown by Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air flying from Jakarta on a domestic flight crashed 13 minutes after take-off, killing all 189 passengers and crew on board.

The cause of that crash is still being investigated. A preliminary report issued in November, before the cockpit voice recorder was recovered, focused on airline maintenance and training and the response of a Boeing anti-stall system to a recently replaced sensor but did not give a reason for the crash.

Caijing, a state-run news outlet that covers finance and economics, said many flights scheduled to use 737 Max planes would instead use the 737-800 models.

China Business News also reported on its website the 737 Max suspension, saying the regulators’ order had been issued orally.

According to flight tracking website FlightRadar24 there were no Boeing 737 Max 8 planes flying over China as of 0043 GMT on Monday.

Most of Air China’s 737 MAX fleet of 15 jets landed on Sunday evening, with the exception of two that landed on Monday morning from international destinations, according to FlightRadar24.

It did not list any upcoming scheduled flights for the planes.

China Eastern’s four 737 MAX jets landed on Sunday evening and no further flights were scheduled until Tuesday, FlightRadar24 data showed.

Cayman Airways has grounded both of its new 737 MAX 8 jets until more information was received, the Cayman Islands airline said in a statement on its website.

Fiji Airways said it had followed a comprehensive induction process for its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft and it had full confidence in the airworthiness of its fleet.

“We continue to ensure that our maintenance and training programme for pilots and engineers meets the highest safety standards,” the airline said.

(Reporting by Josh Horwitz and John Ruwitch; Editing by Richard Pullin)

Source: OANN

A pedestrian holding an umbrella walks past an electronic board showing the graphs of the recent fluctuations of Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo
A pedestrian holding an umbrella walks past an electronic board showing the graphs of the recent fluctuations of Japan’s Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

March 11, 2019

By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares pulled back on Monday after U.S. employment data raised doubts about the strength of the global economy while investor jitters ahead of crucial Brexit votes in the UK parliament this week weighed on the pound.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed from Friday’s three-week low. Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.4 percent in early trade after four consecutive sessions in the red last week.

Wall Street’s main indexes posted their biggest weekly decline since the market tumbled at the end of 2018 last week, falling for the fifth consecutive day on Friday on the shocking payrolls data.

The U.S. economy created only 20,000 jobs in February, the weakest reading since September 2017. As a result, bond yields dropped, with the 10-year Treasuries yield hitting a two-month low of 2.607 percent.

The two-year yield also hit a two-month low of 2.438 percent, edging near the current Fed funds rate around 2.40 percent.

Fed funds futures are pricing in more than 20 percent chance of a rate cut this year.

“The headline reading was so weak that the market could have reacted more aggressively. I would say markets reacted relatively calmly because there were elements that suggest weakness is temporary,” said Tomoaki Shishido, fixed income strategist at Nomura Securities.

While jobs growth was weak, average hourly earnings rose 11 cents, or 0.4 percent, raising the annual increase to 3.4 percent, the biggest gain since April 2009.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said on Friday that the central bank will be careful not to shock financial markets as it stabilizes its bond portfolio, saying the it does not see problems in the U.S. economy that warrant an immediate change in its policy.

He also said the new normal for the Fed’s total liabilities may be in the ballpark of 16.5 percent of GDP.

Chinese data released over the weekend was slightly weaker though hopes for more policy support are likely to cushion any blows.

New bank loans in China fell a bit more than expected in February from a record the previous month, while money supply growth also missed forecast.

Following the data, China’s central bank on Sunday pledged to further support the slowing economy by spurring loans and lowering borrowing costs.

In the currency market, the euro stood at $1.12345, keeping some distance from Thursday’s $1.11765 hit after the European Central Bank’s surprisingly dovish stance. It was its lowest since late June 2017.

The dollar was softer at 111.12 yen, having peaked at a 2-1/2-month high of 112.135 last Tuesday.

The British pound was wobbly at $1.2986, having fallen to a three-week low of $1.2945 earlier on Monday on nervousness ahead of a crucial week in the UK’s troubled political debate over EU membership, with parliament expected to reject Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal in a vote on Tuesday.

If that happens, lawmakers will vote the next day on whether to leave without a deal on March 29. If they reject that, then on Thursday they are due to vote on a “limited” delay.

Oil prices steadied after dipping on Friday on concerns about a slower U.S. economic growth and surging U.S. oil supply.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 0.2 percent to $56.18 per barrel.

(Editing by Sam Holmes)

Source: OANN

U.S. President Trump walks out to talk to reporters as he departs for travel to Alabama and Florida from the White House in Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump walks out to talk to reporters as he departs for travel to Alabama and Florida from the White House in Washington, U.S. March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

March 11, 2019

By Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump will propose in his fiscal 2020 budget on Monday that the U.S. Congress cut non-defense spending by 5 percent while boosting spending on the military, veterans’ healthcare and border security, the White House budget office said on Sunday.

The Republican president’s proposal, slated for release at 11:30 a.m. (1530 GMT) on the Office of Management and Budget’s website, is expected to be the first volley in this year’s bitter funding fight with Congress, which has control over federal purse strings.

His budget blueprint is expected to be rejected by Congress, where Democrats control the House of Representatives. Spending bills typically need 60 votes to get through the 100-member Senate, where Trump’s fellow Republicans hold 53 seats.

Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate immediately panned Trump’s request for $8.6 billion to build a wall on the southern border with Mexico, reported by Reuters earlier on Sunday.

Last year, a protracted battle over Trump’s demand for more than $5 billion in wall funding led to a five-week partial shutdown of the government. Congress’ refusal to grant him the funds led Trump to declare a national emergency so he could redirect funds approved for other purposes to the project.

The White House and Congress must agree on funding by Oct. 1 to keep the government funded and open – which coincides with the deadline to lift the debt limit, or risk a default, which would have severe economic repercussions.

At the same time, Trump and congressional leaders also face a deadline from a 2011 fiscal belt-tightening law that would see all discretionary spending slashed by $126 billion or 10 percent, unless they agree to lift spending caps.

Tax cuts have been a priority for the Republican White House and Congress in recent years, rather than fiscal restraint. The deficit ran to $900 billion in 2019, and the national debt has ballooned to $22 trillion.

Trump wants to cut non-defense program spending by an average of 5 percent below caps that Congress had set for fiscal 2019, the OMB said in a release.

“President Trump added nearly $2 trillion to our deficits with tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations, and now it appears his budget asks the American people to pay the price,” said John Yarmuth, Democratic chairman of the House Budget Committee, who added: “It has no chance in the House.”

Trump’s budget would boost funding for some of his priorities. For example, Trump will propose a 5 percent increase for the Department of Homeland Security to help pay for his border wall and hire more immigration and border enforcement officials.

The budget also includes an increase of almost 10 percent for veterans’ healthcare programs from last year, and investments in opioid addiction programs, the OMB said.

That means some departments and programs may see steeper proposed cuts than 5 percent.

BOOST FOR DEFENSE

Some programs will be targeted for cancellation altogether to push total non-defense discretionary spending below a cap of $542 billion established in the 2011 Budget Control Act, an administration official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official did not specify which programs would be targeted.

“This budget shows that we can return to fiscal sanity without halting our economic resurgence while continuing to invest in critical priorities,” Russ Vought, the acting OMB director, said in a statement.

The budget was expected to boost defense spending, although details were not immediately available.

Vought said last month that new defense spending would be included in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund, more traditionally used for emergencies.

Fiscal hawks have characterized OCO as a slush fund or budget gimmick to get around spending caps.

Also unclear is how the budget will handle mandatory spending on programs for seniors like Medicare and Social Security, which account for the largest portion of the budget. The programs are popular with older voters.

The OMB said the budget would propose $2.7 trillion in spending cuts over a decade, which it said would be more than any other administration had ever planned.

But the cuts would not be enough to balance the budget in that timeframe. The OMB said the budget was designed to balance by 2034, exceeding the traditional 10-year period that previous administrations targeted.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

Former New York Rangers Howell and Bathgate smile during number retirement ceremony before Rangers' game against Maple Leafs in New York
Former New York Rangers Harry Howell (R) and Andy Bathgate (L) smile after their numbers were raised to the rafters during a ceremony to retire their numbers at Madison Square Garden before the Rangers’ NHL hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in New York, February 22, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Segar

March 11, 2019

Hall of Fame defenseman Harry Howell, known for his durability and toughness, has died. He was 86.

Howell had been battling dementia and was living at a long-term assisted care facility close to his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. The Hamilton Spectator said Howell died late Saturday night.

The seven-time All-Star played in 1,411 games over 21 seasons (1952-73) and had 82 goals and 263 assists (345 points). Howell won the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman for the 1966-67 season.

Howell was known as “Harry the Horse” due to his dependability, as he played in all 70 regular-season games in nine of his first 15 seasons with the New York Rangers. He played the first 17 seasons of his career for the Rangers.

“The National Hockey League mourns the passing of legendary defenseman, consummate professional, and Hockey Hall of Famer Harry Howell,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement released Sunday. “He will be remembered not only for his consistency and leadership on the ice but the ultimate class with which he carried himself.”

Howell also played for Golden Seals’ franchise based in Oakland (1969-71) for 1 1/2 seasons before playing 2 1/2 seasons for the Los Angeles Kings (1971-73). He then played three seasons in the World Hockey Association, serving as player/coach for New York- New Jersey (1973-74) and San Diego (1974-75) before playing one final season for Calgary (1975-76).

Howell was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979. The Rangers retired Howell’s No. 3 in 2009.

“One of the most iconic players in franchise history, Harry’s Hall of Fame accomplishments on the ice were exceeded only by the tremendous gentleman he was off the ice,” Rangers president Glen Sather said in a statement. “I was privileged to have worked with Harry for over a decade in both Edmonton and New York and treasure our memories together.”

Howell had an 11-game coaching stint for the Minnesota North Stars — the club went 3-6-2 — in 1978-79. He also spent time as a scout, including a stint with Edmonton during Sather’s time with that franchise before later serving in the same role under Sather with the Rangers.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Workers cross London Bridge during the morning rush hour in London
Workers cross London Bridge during the morning rush hour in London, August 16, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

March 11, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Beneath the headline figures showing a strong British labor market, the ebb and flow of jobs and businesses being created and destroyed is showing a pattern associated with the onset of recession, research suggested on Monday.

Employers in Britain created almost 400,000 jobs last year, pushing the jobs rate to a new record high – a bright spot in a slowing economy weighed down by Brexit worries and weakening global trade.

But academics at the Enterprise Research Centre, a research network, said there were some unpromising signals when looking at the jobs data split between new and existing firms.

Start-up businesses contributed roughly 1 million jobs in 2018, cancelling out a net 613,000 drop in employment across established companies.

This looks unlikely to be sustained, with the rates of business “births” and “deaths” now converging – often a poor omen for the economy, particularly if the death rate overtakes the birth rate.

The authors of the report said this trend should be viewed in a longer-term context, rather than as a result of temporary Brexit uncertainty sweeping the economy.

Mark Hart, professor of entrepreneurship at Aston Business School, said the official data showing record employment could lull policymakers into a false sense of security.

“Even if our headline employment figures are being propped up by start-ups creating new jobs, we are already witnessing a severe slowdown in hiring by the established firms that are vital to the health of our economy,” Hart said.

Recent short-term business surveys have pointed to a fall in employment, although most attribute this to uncertainty ahead of Brexit.

Britain is due to leave the European Union on March 29, although Prime Minister Theresa May has opened up the possibility of a delay given her inability to secure parliamentary ratification of the deal so far.

Amid the uncertainty, the world’s fifth-biggest economy has shown signs of slowing and the Bank of England expects the weakest growth in 2019 since the global financial crisis, even if May manages to clinch a Brexit transition deal.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

Source: OANN

Blackwater founder and Trump associate Erik Prince was untruthful in a recent interview about his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Sunday during an appearance on NBC’s "Meet the Press."

“He did not disclose that meeting to our committee,” Schiff told host Chuck Todd.

“And in fact, as you can see from the published transcript of his interview, he was asked what kind of role he played, if any, in the campaign, and he said he had no role, apart from, on his own, submitting written papers, hanging a yard sign, or making a contribution,” Schiff said.

The New York Times first reported the meeting last May.

Prince testified before the committee on Nov. 30, 2017, that he had “no official, or, really unofficial role” in the Trump campaign. Prince in a recent interview with Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan acknowledged that the meeting took place but said the panel could have gotten the transcript wrong.

“Bob Mueller has that testimony already, and Bob Mueller will have to make the decision about whether that rises to the level of deliberate falsehood,” Schiff said.

“There’s nothing wrong with our transcript,” Schiff said Sunday, later adding: “The interview certainly looks inconsistent with his testimony.”

Source: NewsMax

FILE PHOTO: An oil pump is seen operating in the Permian Basin near Midland
FILE PHOTO: An oil pump is seen operating in the Permian Basin near Midland, Texas, U.S. on May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ernest Scheyder/File Photo

March 11, 2019

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices edged up on Monday after Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih said an end to OPEC-led supply cuts was unlikely before June, while a report showed U.S. drilling activity fell for a third straight week.

The news took downward pressure from oil markets that had built the previous week on the back of surging U.S. crude output and an economic slowdown especially in Asia and Europe.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $56.26 per barrel at 0016 GMT, down 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last settlement.

Brent crude futures were at $65.91 per barrel, down 17 cents, or 0.3 percent.

Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih told Reuters on Sunday it would be too early to change OPEC+ output policy at the group’s meeting in April.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-affiliated allies like Russia – known as the OPEC+ alliance – will meet in Vienna on April 17-18, with another gathering scheduled for June 25-26.

OPEC+ has pledged to cut 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in crude supply since the start of the year in order to tighten markets and prop up prices.

Falih said the group was unlikely to change its output policy in April.

“We will see what happens by April, if there is any unforeseen disruption somewhere else, but barring this I think we will just be kicking the can forward,” Falih said.

Prices were also supported by a weekly report by U.S. energy services firm Baker Hughes, which showed last Friday that the amount of rigs drilling for new oil production in the United States fell by nine last week to 834.

High drilling activity last year resulted in a more than 2 million bpd rise in production, to a record 12.1 million bpd reached this February.

“This is the third straight week of decline… after a number of oil producers trimmed their spending outlooks for 2019,” ANZ bank said on Monday.

The slowdown in drilling points to more timid output growth going forward, but because the overall drilling level remains relatively high despite the recent decline, many analysts still expect U.S. crude output to rise above 13 million bpd soon.

GRAPHIC: U.S. oil rig count: https://tmsnrt.rs/2V1n5mN

(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; editing by Richard Pullin)

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

We now know for sure that the second season of “Yellowstone” will air on the Paramount Network this upcoming summer.

Yesterday, I wrote a piece wondering where the hell all the updates were for the second season of the Kevin Costner hit show. We’ve got literally nothing so far, for the most part.

Little did I know at the time that the show’s official Twitter account had responded to a fan Friday letting them know it’d be out summer 2019.

There you have it, folks. We finally have a release date. It’s not the specific date, but at least we now know the time window. (RELATED: The ‘Yellowstone‘ Season One Finale Was Electric [SPOILERS])

That’s a hell of a lot better than anything else we’ve gotten so far. I’m over here waiting on pins and needs for a trailer.

I’m glad that we at least have a rough time window to work with. I was seriously starting to panic over here with such little information out on the web.

It seemed like literally nobody knew anything about when the second season of the outstanding show would come out. Now, we know we’re only a few months away.

Am I happy with that? No, but it could be worse. At least now we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Keep checking back for updates on the show. I’ll keeping you guys up to date on everything I know. I can’t wait!

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Rain clouds pass over Canary Wharf financial financial district in London
FILE PHOTO: Rain clouds pass over Canary Wharf financial financial district in London, Britain July 1, 2016. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause/File Photo

March 11, 2019

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – More than 275 financial firms are moving a combined $1.2 trillion in assets and funds and thousands of staff from Britain to the European Union in readiness for Brexit at a cost of up to $4 billion, a report from a think tank said on Monday.

UK lawmakers are due to vote on Tuesday on an EU divorce settlement. But with less than three weeks to go before Brexit day on March 29, it is still unclear whether the deal will be approved, whether departure from the EU will be delayed, or whether it will happen without agreement.

The report by the New Financial think tank, one of the most detailed yet on the impact of Brexit on financial services, said Dublin alone accounted for 100 relocations, ahead of Luxembourg with 60, Paris 41, Frankfurt 40, and Amsterdam 32.

The independent think tank said half of the affected asset management firms, such as Goldman Sachs Investment Management, Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Vanguard, had chosen Dublin, with Luxembourg the next port of call, attracting firms like Schroders, JP Morgan Wealth Management and Aviva Investors.

Nearly 90 percent of all firms moving to Frankfurt are banks, while two-thirds of those going to Amsterdam are trading platforms or brokers. Paris is carving out a niche for markets and trading operations of banks and attracting a broad spread of firms.

New Financial identified 5,000 expected staff moves or local hires, a figure that is expected to rise in coming years.

A better measure of Brexit’s impact is the scale of assets and funds being transferred, it said.

Ten large banks and investment banks are together moving 800 billion pounds of assets from Britain – or 10 percent of banking assets in the country. A small selection of insurers have shifted a combined 35 billion pounds in assets, and a handful of asset managers have moved a total of 65 billion pounds in funds.

William Wright, founder and managing director of New Financial, said the hit to London was bigger than expected and would get worse.

“Business will continue to leak from London to the EU, with more activity being booked through local subsidiaries,” Wright said.

“This will reduce the UK’s influence in European banking and finance, reduce tax receipts from the industry, and reduce financial services exports to the EU.”

A 10 percent shift in banking and finance activity would cut UK tax receipts by about 1 percent, the report said.

Relocations have cost firms $3 billion to $4 billion, which will be passed on to customers and shareholders, the report said.

But the breadth and depth of relocations so far, combined with pacts between regulators in Britain and the EU, mean the industry is well prepared for whatever form Brexit takes, New Financial said.

London will remain the dominant financial center for the foreseeable future, but other European cities will chip away at London’s lead over time, it added.

New Financial chart: https://tmsnrt.rs/2NMO9DS

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

  • A dark money group based in California contributed $2 million to The Democracy Integrity Project, the organization that has contracted with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to investigate President Donald Trump.
  • The Democracy Integrity Project’s founder, a former staffer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, has acknowledged to the FBI that the group provides information to the press, lawmakers and investigators.
  • Fund for a Better Future is the second Democracy Integrity Project donor to have been identified. George Soros gave $1 million to the group.

A dark money group with links to several high-profile liberal activists contributed $2 million to The Democracy Integrity Project, an organization founded by a former Dianne Feinstein staffer that has contracted with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele to investigate President Donald Trump.

Fund for a Better Future (FBF) donated $2,065,000 to The Democracy Integrity Project (TDIP) in 2017, according to IRS filings reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

TDIP was founded on Jan. 31, 2017, by Daniel Jones, a consultant who worked for Feinstein, a California Democrat, when she controlled the Senate Intelligence Committee. Jones has disclosed to the FBI that he hired Fusion GPS and Steele, the author of the anti-Trump dossier, to continue an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

He also told an associate that TDIP operated as a “shadow media organization helping the government.” Jones suggested to the associate, Adam Waldman, that his TDIP team planted several anti-Trump articles.

Little is known about the donors behind both TDIP and FBF. Both of the organizations are 501(c)(4)s, the type of public advocacy group most closely associated with “dark money” contributions. FBF has contributed to a mix of environmental organizations and politically active groups, including Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Priorities USA — the political group that backs Democrats — and the League of Conservation Voters, a progressive dark money group.

Scott Walter, the president of Capital Research Center, a conservative watchdog that tracks liberal groups’ funding, said the arrangement is a prime example of “dark money.”

“You’ve found one ‘dark money’ outfit providing dark millions to another ‘dark money’ outfit and refusing to reveal anything to you. That’s ‘dark’ two or three times over,” Walter told TheDCNF.

“Ironically, ‘dark money’ is most often applied only to conservative funding,” said Walter, who noted that “the Left has a vast empire of ‘dark money’ groups, including the Fund for a Better Future and The Democracy Integrity Project.”

Fusion GPS Co-Founder Glenn Simpson listens as his lawyer, Joshua Levy, speaks to members of the media following a meeting with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee in the Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill on October 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson is pictured at the Rayburn Office Building. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

An environmentalist who served as California’s undersecretary for resources, Michael Mantell, runs FBF. Board members in 2017 included David and Lucille Packard Foundation trustee Jason Burnett and Molly McUsic, the president of the Wyss Foundation, a charity founded by Swiss billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, who funds numerous environmental causes.

Another FBF board member is Open Space Institute President Christopher Elliman. A trustee of that New York-based nonprofit is Hume Steyer, the older brother of Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist financing a campaign to impeach Trump. Tom Steyer hired Fusion GPS in 2012 to work on a California ballot initiative. (RELATED: Tom Steyer: Billionaire Democratic Donor And Fusion GPS Client)

There is no indication from FBF’s filings that Tom Steyer has contributed to the group, but a current FBF board member has also worked closely with the California billionaire.

Kathleen Welch, of the election strategy firm Corridor Partners, was listed by Politico along with Tom Steyer as two of Hillary Clinton’s top green energy donors during the 2016 presidential campaign. Clinton campaign emails published by WikiLeaks showed that Welch and Tom Steyer took part in conference calls with the Clinton campaign to discuss environmental issues.

According to FBF’s most recent audit, the organization has four main donors, none of whom are identified.

One other prominent TDIP donor has been publicly identified.

George Soros contributed $1 million to TDIP, a spokesman for the billionaire financier told The New York Times in October. That disclosure came only after TheDCNF reported that Jones told his associate, Waldman, that Soros was one of TDIP’s funders.

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 08: Financier and philanthropist George Soros attends the official opening of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) at the German Foreign Ministry on June 8, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

George Soros attends the official opening of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

According to a report released by the House Intelligence Committee in April 2018, Jones told the FBI in March 2017 that his group would receive $50 million in funding from seven to 10 wealthy donors from New York and California. TDIP’s tax filings in 2017 show that the group received far less: $9,036,836.

Jones also said that TDIP “planned to share the information he obtained with policymakers … and with the press” and that his group “had secured the services of Steele, his associate [redacted], and Fusion GPS to continue exposing Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Cabal Of Wealthy Donors Funding $50 Million Anti-Trump Project)

Fusion GPS, which was founded by former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson, hired Steele in June 2016. Fusion was working at the time for the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee to investigate Trump’s links to Russia.

Few details are known about the work Fusion and Steele, a former MI6 officer, have done since the 2016 election. Both have been ensnared in legal fights over publication of the dossier, which remains unverified and has been heavily disputed. But there is some evidence they have continued their efforts to bolster the dossier and to plant negative stories in the press about Trump.

In a March 17, 2017, exchange obtained by TheDCNF, Jones sent Waldman, a lawyer with ties to Steele, a text message with a link to a Reuters article about Russian investments in Trump Organization properties in Florida.

“Our team helped with this,” Jones wrote Waldman.

TDIP has also worked closely with New Knowledge, a cybersecurity firm that has been accused of orchestrating a self-described “false flag” operating in the special election for an Alabama Senate seat in 2017. TDIP and New Knowledge partnered to work on a website called Disinfo2018, which tracked the stories Russian bots promoted during the 2018 midterm elections.

New Knowledge collaborated with the Senate Intelligence Committee on a report about Russian disinformation that was released in December.

A spokeswoman for Mantell declined to comment on specifics about the FBF’s donors or its relationship with TDIP. McUsic, the Wyss Foundation executive, did not respond to a request for comment.

Jones has also not responded to numerous requests for comment.

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Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: French businessman Bernard Tapie arrives to attend the inauguration of the Altice Campus in Paris
FILE PHOTO: French businessman Bernard Tapie arrives to attend the inauguration of the Altice Campus in Paris, France, October 9, 2018. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

March 11, 2019

By Emmanuel Jarry

PARIS (Reuters) – The tycoon at the center of a decades-old French legal battle that has dragged politicians and business leaders in its wake goes on trial on Monday accused of fraud.

Bernard Tapie, the larger-than-life businessman and one-time chairman of Olympique Marseille football club, is embroiled in a fight over a fraught 1993 corporate deal and the compensation he won from the state 15 years later.

The case has already been through the civil courts and prompted a 2016 trial of Christine Lagarde, now head of the International Monetary Fund but at the time finance minister, for her role in the saga. She was convicted of negligence but escaped fines or jail time.

Six people will now be tried in a criminal court, including Tapie, 76, and Stephane Richard, the chief executive of telecoms group Orange <ORAN.PA>, who is accused of being complicit in the disputed state payment.

Richard was Lagarde’s chief of staff in 2008.

The complex case harks back to when Credit Lyonnais bank bought Tapie’s stake in the then-struggling sportswear company Adidas 26 years ago.

The bank, which was government owned at the time, later sold its stake on for a much higher price, leading the businessman to accuse it of defrauding him.

Tapie was awarded a 403 million euro ($453 million) state-funded payout as part of a 2008 settlement approved by Lagarde. But litigation continued and he was ordered by a French court to return the funds in 2015, with the ruling confirmed by other judges in 2017.

The businessman, who is suffering from cancer, is also being tried for misusing public funds. He told France’s JDD newspaper that he was stopping any form of treatment for his illness so he could stay lucid during the trial.

“This trial is one of the most important moments of my life,” Tapie said. “What matters to me is that we establish, resoundingly, that I was not the crook.”

Richard, who is accused of hiding some aspects of the compensation deal from Lagarde, denies any wrongdoing.

“He is looking forward to being able to explain himself in public and demonstrate that the allegations against him are baseless,” his lawyer Jean-Etienne Giamarchi said.

The French government, which has a 23 percent stake in Orange, has said Richard will have to step down if he is convicted.

The trial is due to last until April 5. The accused face potential maximum prison sentences of five to seven years, and fines of up to 375,000 euros.

(Writing by Sarah White; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

Source: OANN

“If you don’t have a job, you are left to die" in the United States, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said over the weekend, The Verge reported on Sunday.

Ocasio-Cortez, speaking at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, made the comments in the context of explaining that "we should not be haunted by" the possibility of automated workers replacing jobs.

"We should be excited by that,” the New York congresswoman said. “But the reason we’re not excited by it is because we live in a society where if you don’t have a job, you are left to die. And that is, at its core, our problem."

She added that expanded automation could potentially mean "more time educating ourselves, more time creating art, more time investing in and investigating the sciences, more time focused on invention… more time enjoying the world that we live in. Because not all creativity needs to be bonded by wage.”

Ocasio-Cortez did not put forward a specific plan for dealing with automation, but her comments were part of her general message against economic inequality and corporate greed.

“We should be working the least amount we’ve ever worked, if we were actually paid based on how much wealth we were producing,” she said. “But we’re not. We’re paid on how little we’re desperate enough to accept. And then the rest is skimmed off and given to a billionaire.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who describes herself as a democratic socialist, has proposed the Green New Deal resolution, according to The Hill.

The plan aims for zero carbon emissions in a decade and includes a federal jobs guarantee.

Source: NewsMax

Genie Bouchard got a bit wild on Instagram late Sunday night.

The Canadian-born tennis superstar posted a photo of herself wearing what appears to be some kind of a swimsuit, and it’s downright incredible. (SLIDESHOW: These Women On Instagram Hate Wearing Clothes)

It’s not a secret that we’re big fans of Bouchard here at The Smoke Room, and it’s photos like the one below that are a big reason why. (SLIDESHOW: 142 Times Josephine Skriver Barely Wore Anything)

Take a glance, and let us know what you think in the comments. (SLIDESHOW: 71 Times Samantha Hoopes Stripped Down)

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A post shared by Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) on

There’s nothing better than when Bouchard just surprises us all with some outstanding Instagram content. It’s why we’re such big fans. (SLIDESHOW: This Blonde Bombshell Might Be The Hottest Model On The Internet)

I suggest you take a look at a few more times she absolutely tore it up online. (SLIDESHOW: 60 Times Abigail Ratchford Wore Almost Nothing)

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A post shared by Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) on

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Source: The Daily Caller

Jessica Kramer | Contributor

College students at American University in Washington, D.C., gave mixed answers when asked if people should stop having kids due to global warming.

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in February that because “the lives of children are going to be very difficult” due to climate change in the future, “young people have a legitimate question” in asking if it’s OK to still have children.

So The Daily Caller News Foundation decided to ask students if global warming is a good enough reason to stop having kids.

Most students were in favor of her Green New Deal but responses about kids were mixed.

One student said that “realistically having a ton of kids is just super not good for the environment,” but that “having one or two kids is perfectly safe and okay.” Another student said that “spreading your DNA is kind of selfish, especially when we have a super huge overpopulation crisis.”

When asked if the birth strike movement was smart, one male student said it was “dumb,” while another called an idea like China’s one child policy more “reasonable.” (RELATED: Bar-Hopping With Liberals On Election Night)

Watch some of TheDCNF’s other videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel to make sure you never miss out on a great video.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO : Former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn sits inside a car as he leaves his lawyer's office after being released on bail from Tokyo Detention House, in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO : Former Nissan Motor Chairman Carlos Ghosn sits inside a car as he leaves his lawyer’s office after being released on bail from Tokyo Detention House, in Tokyo, Japan, March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

March 10, 2019

TOKYO (Reuters) – Ousted Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn is seeking permission from the Tokyo District Court to attend the company’s board meeting on Tuesday, Yomiuri newspaper reported on Monday.

The Tokyo District Court is expected to decide whether it will give permission as soon as Monday, the report said.

Renault SA, Nissan Motor Co and Mitsubishi Motors Corp plan to set up a joint board meeting structure to discuss issues related to their alliance in a step toward integration of operations, TV Tokyo reported on Sunday.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Sam Holmes)

Source: OANN

NASCAR: TicketGuardian 500
Mar 10, 2019; Avondale, AZ, USA; Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) races during the TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

March 10, 2019

Kyle Busch easily could have laid claim to being the top Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver not driving a Team Penske Ford through the first three races of the 2019 season. Following Sunday’s victory at ISM Raceway near Phoenix, Busch can now lay claim to be the series’ top driver. Period.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver dominated in Arizona, leading a race-best 177 of 312 laps in winning the TicketGuardian 500 — a race that began with Busch being the only driver in Cup to have notched top-10 finishes in the previous three events.

The victory was his 52nd in Cup and it gave him a weekend sweep at ISM as he won Saturday’s Xfinity Series race. It also gave him 199 victories over NASCAR’s top three series and two straight wins in Arizona as he won at the one-mile oval last November.

With the win, Busch joins teammate Denny Hamlin and Penske drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano as drivers having won races and securing berths in the season-ending Playoffs.

Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing finished second and Ryan Blaney third.

Aric Almirola of Stewart-Haas Racing and Hamlin rounded out the top five.

To get the victory, Busch had to track down Blaney of Team Penske — who led 95 laps — over the final 50 laps. He made the pass for the lead with 16 laps to go and then drove to the victory.

At the end, Truex had moved past Blaney into second place and finished 1.2-seconds back.

Team Penske’s run of two straight victories came to an end at ISM. Brad Keselowski, who won at Atlanta two weeks ago, suffered a couple of scrapes with walls and finished 19th. Last week’s winner at Las Vegas, Joey Logano, finished 10th.

Pole-sitter Blaney started from the pole and led 46 of the first 75 laps to win Stage 1. Busch led all 75 laps in winning Stage 2.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

JP Lee, CEO and Managing Partner of SoftBank Ventures Asia, poses for a photograph at the company in Seoul
JP Lee, CEO and Managing Partner of SoftBank Ventures Asia, poses for a photograph at the company in Seoul, South Korea, March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

March 10, 2019

By Hyunjoo Jin and Sam Nussey

SEOUL/TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp has expanded its appetite for early-stage startups, with a venture capital unit set to launch its biggest fund for early investments as it opens new offices in Asia.

The global fund from newly rebranded Seoul-based SoftBank Ventures Asia will be worth as much as $500 million and could launch next month, its CEO JP Lee told Reuters in an interview.

By contrast, the average size of similar funds raised last year was just over $100 million, according to data provider Preqin.

SoftBank, South Korea’s National Pension Service as well as other companies and asset management firms will provide funding, Lee said, declining to provide further details on investors.

“It’s an important signal within the SoftBank Group that SoftBank thinks early-stage investments are important and will make continued efforts on them,” said Lee.

The move comes as SoftBank rapidly transforms beyond telecoms into a tech investing giant.

In addition to the $100 billion Saudi-backed SoftBank Vision Fund that has made big investments in firms like Uber, SoftBank said on Thursday it was launching a $5 billion fund focused on Latin America.

The bigger remit for SoftBank Ventures Asia, which describes itself as the group’s global arm for early-stage investing, came after a successful presentation to SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son last October, Lee said.

Tasked by Son to explain why the SoftBank should keep investing in early-stage startups, Lee on a visit to the group’s Tokyo offices invoked the words of Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma: “small guys become big guys”.

In doing so, he harkened back to Son’s most spectacular startup jackpot – his 2000 investment of $20 million in the Chinese e-commerce firm. SoftBank’s current Alibaba stake is worth around $130 billion.

Three months later, SoftBank Ventures Korea was relaunched as SoftBank Ventures Asia and it now plans to open offices and hire investment managers in Singapore and Shanghai. It currently has teams in Seoul, Beijing, San Francisco, and Tel Aviv.

Son provides guidance while individual investment decisions are made by Lee and his team, Lee said. The unit declined to comment on how many new people may be hired.

The unit was born in 2000 at a boom time for South Korean startups, expanding its focus beyond that country in 2011. Around half of its investments have been early stage.

SoftBank Group and its portfolio companies also make early-stage investments. Many of these are not disclosed by SoftBank and lack of clarity on their valuations complicate investors’ efforts to quantify SoftBank’s worth, said Dan Baker, an analyst at Morningstar.

The new fund, called the SoftBank Acceleration Fund, follows the launch of a $300 million China-focused fund in September. The unit, which has $1.1 billion under management, had until then focused on funds worth under $200 million.

To date, the unit has taken stakes in over 250 companies across 10 countries, including South Korean gaming company Nexon Co, which listed in Japan in 2011, and Indonesian e-commerce firm Tokopedia.

It currently concentrates on firms involved in artificial intelligence, connected devices and robotics.

In keeping with Son’s practice of promoting ties between portfolio companies to boost their growth, Lee said Singapore-based used car trading platform Carro, which the unit has a stake in, had been introduced to SoftBank portfolio company Grab for potential collaboration.

And another company it has invested in, camera app operator Snow China, is using technology from artificial intelligence firm SenseTime.

SoftBank and its Vision Fund have invested more than $600 million in SenseTime, valuing it in the most recent round at $7.6 billion, a source familiar with the matter said, declining to be identified because the information is not public. SenseTime declined to comment.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin in Seoul and Sam Nussey in Tokyo; Additional reporting by Julie Zhu in Hong Kong; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell holds a press conference following a two day Federal Open Market Committee policy meeting in Washington, U.S.
FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell holds a press conference following a two day Federal Open Market Committee policy meeting in Washington, U.S., January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

March 10, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. central bank does “not feel any hurry” to change the level of interest rates again as it watches how a slowing global economy affects local conditions in the U.S.

Rates are currently “appropriate,” Powell in a wide-ranging interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes news show. An economic slowdown in China and Europe, and other global issues, currently pose the largest risks to an otherwise healthy U.S. outlook, he said.

(Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Source: OANN

By the standards of today’s anti-gun zealots, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) seems at first glance to be aiming rather low with H.R. 1263, which seeks to add to the National Firearms Act any “semiautomatic rifle or shotgun that has the capacity to accept a detachable [magazine].”

Oh, don’t get us wrong. No reasonable, freedom-loving person would try to impose such a preposterous, constitutionally-suspect burden on such a large swath of America’s firearm owners.

But unless you’re actually proposing to ban and confiscate guns, and maybe even to nuke resisters, you’re hardly at the vanguard of contemporary Democrat firearm prohibitionists.

Only last year, Deutch himself was co-sponsoring legislation to ban America’s most popular centerfire rifles.

And even now, he’s trying to ban and encourage the surrender of the types of magazines that are standard equipment on the firearms Americans commonly use to protect themselves and their homes.

So what gives? Is Ted going soft on his hatred for firearms?

Not really.

As usual, the devil is in the details.

We all know by now that anti-gun Democrats want to ban AR-15s and other highly popular and extremely common semiautomatic rifles, which is why they generically refer to them as “assault weapons.”

Anti-gunners in fact compete with each other in trying to find the most comically hyperbolic terms to describe these ubiquitous firearms peacefully possessed by millions of law-abiding Americans.

Deutch himself prefers to call them “weapons of war made for the sole business of killing people.”

Heck, “award-winning journalist and … author” Nina Burleigh even tried to one up all gun controllers by tweeting, “Almost every single person I’ve ever heard of with an AR-15 has been a mass murderer.”

But if anti-gun Democrats are so proud of wanting to ban “assault weapons,” why would one of them settle for the lesser step of regulating them under the NFA, in which case they’d still be legal but subject to a $200 tax, federal registration, a de facto waiting period of many months, and reams of red tape?

While the H.R. 1263 takes a lesser step than an outright ban, it also substantially expands the types of firearms affected by the bill. Usually “assault weapons” are legislatively defined as a semiautomatic rifle or shotgun with one or more “military style features” – things like pistol grips, flash hiders, collapsible stocks, etc. – that any serious person understands do not fundamentally change the ballistics, performance, or capacity of gun.

Deutch’s latest bill avoids this by drawing a much brighter line at all semiautomatic rifles and shotguns fed by a detachable magazine.

This is much more sweeping in scope than any “assault weapon” ban currently pending in Congress.

It would include not just centerfire rifles like the AR-15 and AK variants but even the sorts of rimfire .22 and .17 rimfire rifles used for target shooting or hunting small game like rabbits or squirrels or for teaching the fundamentals of marksmanship to Scouts and summer campers. There are tens of millions of these rifles currently in law-abiding hands.

It’s enlightening to see that anti-gun members of Congress, who claim to be focused on reducing “gun violence,” are more concerned with rimfire rifles used for plinking and small game than focusing on why so few criminals who try to buy a gun are actually prosecuted. Perhaps Congressman Deutch has a special affinity for squirrels, rabbits, and woodchucks.

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Source: The Daily Caller

Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 5
Mar 8, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Serena Williams (USA) as she defeated Victoria Azarenka (not pictured) during her second round match in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 10, 2019

(Reuters) – Serena Williams retired from the BNP Paribas Open while trailing Spain’s Garbine Muguruza 6-3 1-0 at Indian Wells on Sunday.

Williams walked to the chair after the first game of the second set and sat down, breathing heavily. She and supervisor Donna Kelso had a discussion and Williams retired.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: OANN

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

China lashed back Saturday at the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom’s claim that Beijing is “at war with faith,” calling it slander.

Sam Brownback urged China in a Friday speech in Hong Kong to allow investigations of its detainment camps, in which former Uighur Muslim detainees said they experienced inhumane conditions, torture and brainwashing, and also said the Chinese government must correct the wrongs it has committed against religious freedom in general.

The Chinese foreign ministry’s office in Hong Kong in turn demanded that critics stop their “slander” of China’s policies and stop using religious issues to interfere in Chinese affairs. (RELATED: Chinese Assign Fake Relatives To Infiltrate Uighur Muslim Families As Spies)

“It is a war they will not win,” Brownback said of China’s war on faith, according to Reuters.

The office called on U.S. officials to “cease their slander of China’s policies on religion and the situation with freedom of faith and cease using religious issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs,” according to The Associated Press.

Brownback said the Trump administrations is “deeply concerned” by China’s oppression of Uighur Muslims, which he characterized as “a deliberate attempt by Beijing to redefine and control these Muslim minority groups, [their] identity, culture and faith.”

He also demanded that China release pastors John Cao Sanqiang and Wang Yi, whom Chinese authorities detained for operating in the underground church, independent of regulation by the Chinese Communist Party.

“The Chinese Communist Party must hear the cries of its own people for religious freedom and act to correct its wrongs,” Brownback said.

Brownback’s criticism of China’s efforts to suppress religion came two days before the 60th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s exile from Tibet, in part spurring Chinese officials to also defend their policies concerning the oppression of Tibetan Buddhists, several thousand of whom fled China and joined the lama in India.

An exiled Tibetan activist holds a placard during a protest marking the 60th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in Chennai on March 10, 2019. (ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

An exiled Tibetan activist holds a placard during a protest marking the 60th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in Chennai on March 10, 2019. (ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

State sanctioned news outlets like Xinhua News Agency claimed Sunday that increased lifespans, better education and economic growth disproved claims that Chinese authorities are destroying and exploiting Tibetan culture and resources and claims that they are committing human rights violations in the region, according to AP.

The Chinese Communist Party chief in Tibet also claimed Wednesday that Tibetan people are now more loyal to Beijing than to the Dalai Lama. A recent series of self immolations by Tibetan Buddhists in the region, done in protest of China’s control over Tibet, stand in sharp contrast to that claim.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 7
Mar 10, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Adrian Mannarino (FRA) during his second round match against Kei Nishikori (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 10, 2019

(Reuters) – Roger Federer began his campaign for a record sixth Indian Wells title by defeating German Peter Gojowczyk 6-1 7-5 in the BNP Paribas Open in California on Sunday.

Fresh from earning his 100th ATP singles title a week ago in Dubai, the Swiss fourth seed repelled a tough second set challenge from the world No.85 before booking his third round place.

Federer, who won the last of his Indian Wells titles two years ago but lost in the 2018 final, used his backhand slice to keep Gojowczk from gaining any rhythm in the first set.

Yet the second proved more of a challenge as the German saved four break points in his first service game, then used his momentum to break for a 3-1 lead.

Federer immediately broke back before later benefiting from an untimely double fault for another break and serving out for victory in just over an hour and a quarter.

Earlier, Japan’s Kei Nishikori narrowly avoided a second round defeat against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino before battling through 6-4 4-6 7-6(4).

World number seven Nishikori was not at his best with the left-handed Mannarino’s flat groundstrokes neutralizing his attacks and the Frenchman seemed to be heading for victory when he served for the match at 6-5.

Yet he double faulted on the third break point he faced in the game and, in the deciding tiebreak, Nishikori raced into a 6-2 lead.

Still, Mannarino kept fighting, saving two match points before the Japanese finally wrapped up victory after two hours and 33 minutes.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Chadband)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics
FILE PHOTO: Cross-Country Skiing – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Men’s Sprint Classic Qualifications – Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre – Pyeongchang, South Korea – February 13, 2018 – Dominik Baldauf of Austria competes. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach -/File Photo

March 10, 2019

VIENNA (Reuters) – Two Austrian cross-country skiers arrested at the Nordic skiing world championships last month admitted to blood doping on Sunday in a televised interview.

Max Hauke and Dominik Baldauf were the only Austrians among five athletes arrested on Feb. 27 at the world championships in the Austrian resort of Seefeld. The arrests were part of a joint operation with German police targeting a suspected international blood-doping ring believed to have been run out of Germany.

“I would like to apologize to everyone. I know that it was a huge mistake, but I can’t go back and change it,” Hauke told ORF television in a joint interview with Baldauf while their lawyer looked on.

“I just wanted to show what I was capable of … For me, doping was the way to close the gap (on others) so that I could compete,” Hauke added.

Since Hauke and Baldauf were arrested, other Austrian athletes have been implicated in blood doping. Cyclist Georg Preidler confessed to police earlier this month, and cross-country skier Johannes Duerr was arrested on March 5.

“We both made the wrong decision at some stage and we both realized we wouldn’t achieve our childhood dream (of performing well),” Baldauf said.

Hauke and Baldauf, both 26, told ORF that no one else in the Austrian Skiing Federation knew they were doping. Neither answered directly when asked how many times they had doped or how much they had paid for the transfusions.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

Wisconsin beat Ohio State 73-67 in an overtime thriller for the ages Sunday.

As I said coming into the game today, we needed to finish the year off strong with a win today. We entered with 21 wins, and we’re leaving Columbus with 22 wins.

That’s the kind of action I like to see out of my Badgers. Ohio State managed to be scrappy, keep things close and force overtime, but it ultimately didn’t matter. (RELATED: Wisconsin Blows Out Iowa 65-45, Khalil Iverson Throws Down Big Dunk)

My guys showed up and showed out when it mattered. When the bright lights were on, the Badgers took care of business. Welcome to basketball in March. This is where Ethan Happ, Brad Davison and Wisconsin thrive.

Now, we set our sights on the Big Ten conference tournament. Everything we want to accomplish is just waiting for us to go get it.

There’s no time for excuses, poor play and not getting the job done.

This is the time of year that we prepare for. It’s why we spend the extra time in the gym, it’s why we spend the time analyzing tape and it’s what separates from those who are great from just being good.

We ended the regular season on a strong note and got a double-bye in the conference tournament. Now, we chase a title. I hope all of you are enjoying this journey as much as I am.

Source: The Daily Caller

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

NowThis News compared former Defense Secretary James Mattis and Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar and their comments on Israel — but they left out a few key points.

WATCH:

What Mattis said on July 20, 2013:

The current situation [between Israel and Palestine] is unsustainable. It’s got to be directly addressed. We don’t want to turn this over to our children — this thing that we have lived with our entire adult lives. We have got to find a way to make the two-state solution that Democrat and Republican administrations have supported. We’ve got to get there.

Mattis went on to say that the window of opportunity was growing smaller and that Israeli settlements complicated matters considerably, and argued that then-Secretary of State John Kerry was going about working for a two-state solution in the right way.

After facing backlash for her own comments, Omar claimed that her intent was to criticize the policies that the U.S. has embraced with regard to Israel and Palestine, and that she never intended to offend anyone. (RELATED: Omar Has Gotten In Hot Water With Frequent Comments About Israel)

But the comparison breaks down when one also considers the things that Mattis did not say when offering his own criticism of U.S. involvement in the region.

What Mattis did not say:

  • “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine#Israel” — Omar, November 12, 2012
  • “It’s all about the Benjamins baby ????” with regard to pro-Israeli group AIPAC, suggesting they buy the support of members of Congress. — Omar, February 10, 2019
  • “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.” — Omar, March 3, 2019

Mattis has also never agreed to fundraise for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group that has been linked to Palestinian terror group Hamas. Omar is scheduled to appear at a fundraiser for CAIR later this month.

Follow Virginia on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Liberty basketball player Scottie James had a disgraceful flop Sunday in a win over Lipscomb.

With a little more than two minutes in the game, James behaved like he had just been shot by a sniper as Liberty led 65-64.

That’s not an exaggeration at all. He went down like Mike Tyson had just unhinged his jaw, and I’m not sure anybody even got close enough to breath on him. (RELATED: Duke Star Zion Williamson Suffers Sprained Knee In Loss To North Carolina)

Watch the embarrassing play below.

Liberty’s win today got them a spot in the tournament. If there was any fairness at all in this world, they’d lose it immediately.

As Americans, we have to agree to not put teams in the tournament that have players willing to fake injuries like they just faced a firing squad.

As a grown man, how can you even look yourself in the mirror after that play?

I just don’t get it. This is college basketball we’re talking about. It’s March and he’s out here disrespecting the game!

Americans everywhere should band together and demand Liberty be suspended immediately. I hate to do it. I absolutely hate to do it, but we don’t have a choice anymore.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Olivia Culpo gave her fans a show on Instagram Sunday.

Culpo, who is a fan favorite here at The Smoke Room, dropped a snap of herself in a scandalous outfit. (SLIDESHOW: These Women On Instagram Hate Wearing Clothes)

Of all the things we’ve seen today on the internet, this sexy snap from Culpo is right up there with the best of it. (SLIDESHOW: 142 Times Josephine Skriver Barely Wore Anything)

Take a look below. You’re going to like what you see. (SLIDESHOW: 71 Times Samantha Hoopes Stripped Down)

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There are very few people capable of matching the level of heat that Culpo’s capable of bringing on Instagram. Pretty much everything she drops is outstanding. (SLIDESHOW: This Blonde Bombshell Might Be The Hottest Model On The Internet)

Here are a few more times that she dropped bombs online. (SLIDESHOW: 60 Times Abigail Ratchford Wore Almost Nothing)

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Source: The Daily Caller

MLS: D.C. United at New York City FC
Mar 10, 2019; New York, NY, USA; D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid (24) makes a save in front of New York City FC forward Jonathan Lewis (17) during the second half at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

March 10, 2019

Bill Hamid made six saves and helped D.C. United get a 0-0 draw Sunday afternoon against host New York City FC at Yankee Stadium.

In his 200th appearance with the team, Hamid consistently frustrated NYCFC by delivering timely saves and helped D.C. United remain the only team to not allow a goal in the first two weeks.

Hamid turned in his big performance on a day when D.C. maintained possession for only 34.2 percent of the match.

The 28-year-old kept the game scoreless in the waning moments before four minutes of stoppage time was added.

In the 89th minute, he made a diving stop on Anton Tinnerholm’s shot from the center of the box. A minute earlier, Hamid made a nifty right-handed stop on Alexandru Mitrita’s right-footed shot from the top of the box.

D.C. gained four points in the first two weeks of the new season against two of the Eastern Conference’s top three teams from a year ago after opening the season with a 2-0 win over defending champion Atlanta.

Before the late saves, Hamid also stopped a free kick attempt on Mitrita in the 78th minute.

NYCFC registered 21 shots and has totaled 51 shots in its last two home games against D.C. NYCFC only has one goal in those games and is 0-2-2 in its last four games against D.C.

NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson made three saves. He made a left leg save on Luciano Acosta in the 83rd minute to keep the game scoreless.

NYCFC controlled most of the tempo in a scoreless first half as it registered nine shots with one being on target and three more getting block.

NYCFC’s best chance to score occurred when Alex Ring’s shot was deflected over the right crossbar in the 31st minute and when Hamid made a diving stop on Ring five minutes later.

Ring’s scoring chances occurred after D.C. was denied two opportunities to score by Johnson. In the 11th minute, Johnson dove to his right to stop Acosta and 12 minutes later, he used his right leg to stop Paul Arriola’s right-footed attempt.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Scott Morefield | Reporter

Conservatives used Twitter to rip Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her recent comments about “Reaganism in the ’80’s” pitting the “white working class Americans against brown and black working class Americans.”

“A perfect example of how special interests and the powerful have pitted white working class Americans against brown and black working class Americans is Reaganism in the ’80s when he started talking about welfare queens,” Ocasio-Cortez told The Intercept’s Briahna Gray on Saturday at the South by Southwest Conference & Festivals in Austin, Texas.

“So you think about this image of welfare queens and what he was really trying to talk about was … this like really resentful vision of essentially black women who were doing nothing, that were ‘sucks’ on our country. That’s not explicit racism but still rooted in a racist caricature.”

Conservatives on Twitter weren’t about to take the democratic socialist congresswoman’s words lying down. Conservative actor James Woods used a famous Reagan quote against the young liberal politician.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham noted that Ocasio-Cortez “wasn’t alive when Reagan was elected in a landslide and re-elected in a bigger landslide. But my Lord, AOC is BRILLIANT!!!” (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez’s Recent Girl Scout Story Is Probably Bullsh*t)

There were plenty more:

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Source: The Daily Caller

CONCORD, New Hampshire – Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday returned to the state that launched him into political orbit.

Making his first appearance in New Hampshire since announcing his second bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, the independent senator from neighboring Vermont pushed his populist agenda of progressive proposals to a crowd of 850 packed into a local conference center on a snowy late-winter day in northern New England.

Sanders’ crushing victory over Hillary Clinton in the first-in-the-nation primary state’s 2016 contest skyrocketed the one-time longshot into a marathon battle with the eventual Democratic Party nominee, which didn’t end until Sanders endorsed Clinton after the conclusion of the primary and caucus calendar.

BERNIE SANDERS SLAMS PRESIDENT TRUMP

“I want to offer a very special thanks to the people of New Hampshire. In 2016, this is where the political revolution took off,” he said to loud applause.

Bernie Sanders campaigning in Concord, N.H., on Sunday.

Bernie Sanders campaigning in Concord, N.H., on Sunday. (Fox News)

Sanders repeatedly targeted President Trump in his nearly hour-long speech, saying he “consistently lies.”

And, Sanders charged that “under President Trump, the very concept of democracy is under attack by a president who seems intent on emulating the authoritarian leaders in Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, North Korea and elsewhere that he seems to have so much affection for.”

OCASIO-CORTEZ OUTDRAWS WARREN, KLOBUCHAR, AT SXSW

The candidate pushed his progressive proposals, such as criminal justice reform, the “Medicare-for-all” single-payer health care plan and universal affordable childcare, and once again vowed “to make public colleges and universities tuition free.”

He also said “that climate change is not a hoax but is an existential threat to the future of our country and the entire planet… We will transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy.”

However, Sanders made no mention of the Green New Deal, the sweeping proposal beloved by progressives but ridiculed by many Republicans that aims to transform the country’s economy to fight climate change — while enacting a host of new health-care and welfare programs.

POTENTIAL 2020 CONTENDER SEN. BENNET CALLS OMAR COMMENTS ‘HATEFUL’

As he was making his longstanding push for a $15-per-hour federal minimum wage, Sanders said, “Today, we say to Walmart, the fast food industry,” before being interrupted by a supporter who yelled, “f— you.”

The outburst brought cheers from the crowd and Sanders quickly remarked, “well, that’s one way to say it.”

Sanders didn’t take any questions from the audience or from local and national reporters. After he posed for selfies and shook hands with some of his supporters, he met briefly with a small group of his top Granite State supporters before heading to a second campaign event in the southwestern New Hampshire city of Keene.

The Republican National Committee took aim at Sanders, saying his “radical push for socialism is supercharging the Democratic primary to the left.”

“With calls for government control of healthcare, education and a takeover of nearly every aspect of our lives with the Green New Deal, Sanders’ socialist platform will rob Granite Staters of their freedoms while bankrupting America at a cost of trillions of dollars,” added RNC spokeswoman Mandi Merritt.

2020 LONGSHOT BUTTIGIEG CALLS FOR PACKING SCOTUS

Sanders arrived in the Granite State on a roll in his campaign – he’s near the top of nearly every national and early voting state public opinion poll in the Democratic nomination race and he raked in a whopping $6 million in the first 24 hours following his February launch.

But, he also has faced competition from a large field of rivals – many of them younger and pushing the same progressive proposals Sanders moved from the extreme to the mainstream of the party in the 2016 campaign.

While many of Sanders’ 2016 supporters are backing him once again, some have said they’re shopping around.

Adam Martson of Dover said “I’d definitely be open to” a younger Democratic contender advocating the same progressive proposals who may have a better shot at winning the general election.

“I’m really interested in who can beat Trump,” he added.

Kendall Rasmussen, who drove up from Medford, Mass., said she backed Sanders in 2016.

“I’m probably leaning towards Bernie but I’m not actually prepared to make a commitment yet. I just can’t say yet,” she explained. “Who’s going to win against Trump. That’s a huge factor.”

And, Melissa Fisk of Concord – one of the few 2016 Clinton supporters to attend the rally – said she’s checking out all the Democratic 2020 contenders and is far from deciding.

“It’s anybody but Trump,” she emphasized.

But, Lorna Wakefield of Sanborton said she’s sticking with Sanders 100 percent.

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“Bernie’s the one who started this all. We’re with Bernie,” she emphasized.

And, Chris Liquori of Portsmouth – a member of the Sanders steering committee in New Hampshire – argued, “why settle for the imitation when you’ve got somebody who’s been doing this for 40 years, who brought the party to its knees and brought them where they are now. Why would you go with anyone else?”

Source: Fox News Politics

MLS: Philadelphia Union at Sporting Kansas City
Mar 10, 2019; Kansas City, KS, USA; Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia (29) talks with Philadelphia Union defenseman Aurelien Collin (78) after the match at Children’s Mercy Park. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

March 10, 2019

Tim Melia had four saves, including one on a penalty kick, for his 40th career shutout to lead defending Western Conference regular-season champion Sporting Kansas City to a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union in their MLS home opener Sunday afternoon.

Ilie Sanchez scored on a penalty kick for Sporting KC, who also scored on an own goal by Union defender Jack Elliott. Melia stopped first-half penalty kick by Marco Fabian, his eighth save in 20 penalty kick tries since the start of the 2016 season, three more than any other MLS goalie during that span.

Andre Blake stopped two shots for the Union, who played the final 30 minutes with 10 men after Fabian was shown a straight red card. Fabian became the first MLS player since 2012 to miss a penalty try and also get a red card in the same game.

Sporting KC, who dropped their MLS opener at Los Angeles Football Club, 2-1, on a 94th-minute goal, jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute on a penalty kick by Sanchez. Philadelphia defender Auston Trusty was penalized for shoving 16-year-old Gianluca Busio to the ground in the middle of the 18-yard box. Sanchez then powered a shot just inside the right post and off the fingers of Union goalie Andre Blake.

Philadelphia had a chance to tie it in the 41st minute with a penalty-kick attempt of their own, after video review penalized Sporting KC defender Seth Sinovic for a handball on a header by Fabrice-Jean Picault on the left side of the six-yard box. But Fabian, who scored on a penalty kick in Philadelphia’s season-opening 3-1 loss to Toronto FC, was denied by Melia, who made a diving two-hand save to Fabian’s left.

Things got worse for Fabian in the 60th minute when, following a video review, the Mexican international was red-carded for stomping on the chest of sliding forward Johnny Russell just outside the center of the 18-yard box, reducing the Union to 10 men for the rest of the contest. Graham Zusi’s ensuing direct free kick caromed off the crossbar.

Sporting KC then made it 2-0 in the 80th minute on an own goal when Elliott knocked in Gerso Fernandes’ crossing pass into his own net.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

An adjacent building throws a shadow accross the Bank of England in the City of London
An adjacent building throws a shadow accross the Bank of England in the City of London, Britain, December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

March 10, 2019

(Reuters) – The Bank of England has told some UK lenders to triple the amount of easy-to-sell assets they hold to help them weather any no-deal Brexit crisis, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the situation.

The BOE has told some lenders to hold enough liquid assets to be able to cope with stress of 100 days, instead of the regular 30 days that BOE’s Prudential Regulation Authority rules demand, the FT reported.

A Bank of England spokeswoman said the central bank had no immediate comment.

(Reporting by Ishita Chigilli Palli in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: World Rally Champion Ogier listens during the FIA news conference in St. Petersburg
FILE PHOTO: World Rally Champion for drivers Sebastien Ogier listens during the FIA news conference in St. Petersburg, Russia December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

March 10, 2019

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – World champion Sebastien Ogier won the Rally of Mexico on Sunday and added five bonus Power Stage points for a maximum score that sent the Frenchman up to second in the overall standings.

After three rounds of the season, the six-times world champion Citroen driver has won two and now trails Toyota’s Estonian Ott Tanak by four points.

Tanak has 65 points, Ogier 61 and Hyundai’s Belgian Thierry Neuville 55. Toyota stayed on top in the manufacturer’s championship.

The victory near the host city of Leon, in the central state of Guanajuato, was Ogier’s fifth in Mexico as he finished 30.2 seconds clear of Tanak.

Britain’s Elfyn Evans had started the day second but ended up third for M-Sport Ford after Tanak overhauled him with two morning stage wins.

Ogier had led since Friday and stayed ahead on the high-altitude dirt roads all the way to the finish.

He beat Kris Meeke by 0.025sec in the final Power Stage to take 30 points from the weekend. Neuville took three bonus points.

The next rally is in Corsica on March 28-31.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ian Chadband)

Source: OANN

Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 7
Mar 10, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Simona Halep (ROU) during her second round match against Kateryna Kozlova (not pictured) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 10, 2019

(Reuters) – World number two Simona Halep survived a tough challenge from Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Kozlova to win their third round match 7-6(3) 7-5 at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, on Sunday.

The Romanian finally put away the 114th ranked Kozlova with eight consecutive points in the second set, a backhand winner proving the decider just as it had in the first set.

“It was difficult for me to close out those sets,” Halep told reporters, praising Kozlova.

“When I was leading the match, she played without fear.”

The victory advanced the French Open champion, who won Indian Wells in 2015, to the fourth round for the fifth time in six years.

The meeting was the first between the pair and featured big momentum swings.

After Kozlova claimed a 3-2 advantage in the first set, Halep won three consecutive games to go to set point at 5-3 on Kozlova’s serve.

With the former world number one’s groundstrokes failing her, Kozlova reeled off 11 of the next 12 points, breaking back for 5-5 with a forehand winner.

Halep finally won the set on her third opportunity with another trademark backhand down the line.

The Romanian took four successive games for a 5-2 lead in the second set, but Kozlova again rallied to even the match at 5-5 before Halep reeled off the eight straight points to seal the win.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Chadband)

Source: OANN

Chuck Norris was born on Mar. 10, 1940.

After serving our country in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, Norris took up the sport and let it define his career. Norris is a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, and has his own school of fighting he founded called Chun Kuk Do(RELATED: Vladimir Putin: Deadlier Than Chuck Norris)

HOUSTON, TX – DECEMBER 06: Actor Chuck Norris (R) arrives with other guests for the funeral of President George H.W. Bush at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church on December 6, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

On the big screen, Norris is perhaps best known for co-starring with Bruce Lee in the 1972 classic martial arts film “Way of the Dragon.”

The classic movie is a must watch for every person, whether they like karate or not. It is one of the greatest movies ever made and has one of the greatest fight scenes in cinematic history.

There’s certainly a lot to admire about Chuck Norris. Few have lived as interesting a life as he has.

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO - APEC Summit 2018 in Port Moresby
FILE PHOTO – Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison arrives for APEC CEO Summit 2018 at Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 17 November 2018. Fazry Ismail/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

March 10, 2019

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s conservative government is heading for defeat in a looming election, a widely watched opinion poll showed on Monday, after disappointing news on the economy tarnished the credibility of Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Notching its 50th poll loss in a row, the Liberal-National coalition trailed the center-left Labor Party by 54 percent to 46 percent on a two-party preferred basis.

The coalition trailed Labor by 53 percent to 47 percent in the previous Newspoll for The Australian newspaper. The results would give Labor a clear victory if the election were fought today. Time is short as the vote is expected some time in May.

The coalition’s primary vote was on 36 percent, behind Labor on 39 percent. The poll of 1,610 people was conducted from March 7 to 10 and had a margin of error of 2.4 percentage points.

The result comes a week after government figures showed the Australian economy almost ground to a halt in the fourth quarter of last year, undermining the coalition’s claim to being the party of better economic management.

The coalition has also been hit by a wave of high-profile retirements, with two senior ministers saying earlier this month they would not contest the election.

Morrison needs to retain all the parliamentary seats held by his coalition government, but his chances are weakened by a wave of incumbent lawmakers in marginal seats set to retire.

The government has its annual budget on April 2 and is expected to announce a return to surplus and likely some sort of tax cuts or spending promises to sweeten voters.

Monday’s poll did show Morrison remained the preferred prime minister over Labor’s Bill Shorten, with a share of 43 percent to 36 percent. Some 43 percent of voters approved of Morrison’s performance, while 45 percent disapproved.

The findings come despite Morrison’s attempt to cast the election as a referendum on border security and asylum seekers – hot-button topics in previous votes.

(Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

Belgian women Tatiana Wielandt and Bouchra Abouallal, each 26, who joined Islamic State in Syria are pictured in Ain Issa
Belgian women Tatiana Wielandt and Bouchra Abouallal, each 26, who joined Islamic State in Syria are pictured in Ain Issa, Syria March 10, 2019. REUTERS/Issam Abdallah

March 10, 2019

By Ellen Francis

AIN ISSA, Syria (Reuters) – Two Belgian women who joined Islamic State in Syria said on Sunday they were losing hope they will ever go home after a Belgian court overturned a ruling to repatriate them with their six children. 

Tatiana Wielandt and Bouchra Abouallal, each 26, said that as much as it pains them, they would send the children to Belgium for a better life and stay behind if it came to that. 

“What do I wish to receive? A ticket home,” Abouallal said at the sprawling Ain Issa camp enclosed by wire fences in northern Syria. “I understand people are afraid … They are judging us but they don’t know us.”

European nations are wrestling with how to handle militants and their families seeking to return as Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate crumbles.

The prospect of repatriation has sparked a fierce public debate in Brussels and other European capitals, where there is little sympathy for the families of jihadists with the trauma of attacks still fresh. Few governments want to take back their citizens, who may be hard to prosecute.

Last year, a judge ordered Belgium to return the two women and the children they had with militants. But the state fought the case, fearing it would set a precedent, and won an appeal in February.

“These children can’t live. They have no education. They have nothing,” Wielandt told Reuters in the women’s first interview since the Belgian state won the appeal. Her youngest son, blond and barefoot, clung to her clothes.

The government sought to make a distinction between the mothers – sisters-in-law who were convicted in absentia of being Islamic State militants – and the children who officials say cannot be guilty of their parent’s actions.

Like other parents across Europe, the grandmother of the six children, aged from 10 months to seven years, has tried to bring them back for over a year. [L5N20N6HY]

Belgium says it will stick by a 2017 decision to allow back all children under 10 from Iraq and Syria, but it is no longer under pressure from its judiciary to act in the case of the six. 

U.S.-backed forces in Syria, holding thousands of foreign jihadists along with their wives and children, say they cannot keep them forever.

HOUSE FULL OF TOYS

Wielandt and her school friend said they turned against Islamic State as they saw its militants brutally murder people, including foreigners who had joined its cause.

They got smuggled out of Islamic State territory and surrendered to the Kurdish forces in Ain Issa in late 2017 after the jihadists lost their base in Syria’s Raqqa city, where they lived. They said they spent two months in prison before being sent to a camp in the northeast.

The sisters-in-law are among 17 Belgian women and 32 children in Syria, security sources say.

Wielandt converted to Islam to marry Abouallal’s brother when they were still teens. Soon after, they left with their husbands for Syria – each with a baby – like more than 400 Belgians who headed to the conflict zone.

Their husbands died within a year. Each pregnant with a second child, the two widows returned to Belgium in 2014. 

When Abouallal’s mother, Fatiha, was away on vacation a few months later, they fled again – leaving her heartbroken with an empty house full of toys near Antwerp.

Abouallal said they went to Syria in 2015 after feeling under “pressure” when police questioned them in Belgium or people blamed them for Islamic State attacks in Europe.

“I was thinking I’m going to live my whole life like this,” she added. “And we still had a little bit this ideology.”

“I NEED TO GET PUNISHED”

The second time they joined Islamic State, both married again and had children: Wielandt to a Dutch militant, who was killed, and Abouallal to a man from Trinidad, who surrendered with them.

The sisters-in-law said they stood ready to face jail time and get help. Abouallal said she burst into tears the last time she heard a plane flying overhead.

“I don’t even fight this. I made a mistake and I need to get punished for it,” she added. “If I ever go back to Belgium, I hope they give me an injection or whatever to forget this whole part of our lives.”

Nearly a month ago, they were moved to the Ain Issa camp, where the children live among scores of tarpaulin tents in the dirt.

They said they received threats from more extremist women for showing their faces or not wearing black.

“I don’t have a lot of hope anymore,” Abouallal said, her eyes filling with tears. “I know my mother did everything for us after everything we did to her.”

(Reporting and writing by Ellen Francis; Additional reporting by Bart Biesman and Alissa de Carbonnel in Brussels; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Source: OANN


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