Author: MagaFirstNews

Sudanese soldiers are seen on their vehicles as they move with a military convoy outside the defense ministry compound in Khartoum
Sudanese soldiers are seen on their vehicles as they move with a military convoy outside the defense ministry compound in Khartoum, Sudan, April 25, 2019. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

April 25, 2019

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – About 100 Sudanese judges demanding civilian rule marched on Thursday from the Supreme Court in Khartoum towards an opposition sit-in outside the Defense Ministry, joining anti-government protests for the first time, a Reuters witness said.

Wearing their black robes, some of the judges carried signs reading “judges for change” as they marched through central Khartoum, the witness said.

“Civilian, civilian, protected by the judiciary”, they chanted.

Sudan’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the opposition have been at loggerheads over how long it will take to move to civilian rule after the military removed Omar al-Bashir as president on April 11.

After ousting Bashir following months of protests against his 30-year rule, the military established the TMC to run Sudan for a period of up to two years.

Thursday’s march is the first by judges in Sudan since before Bashir took power in an Islamist-backed military coup in 1989.

“We demand reform of the judiciary until justice prevails and corruption is prosecuted,” appeals judge Abu al-Fattah Mohamed Othman told Reuters.

“We demand the removal of symbols of the former regime from the judiciary and the dismissal of the head of the judiciary to achieve justice.”

Shortly after the march began, the TMC announced it would retain “sovereign authority only”, while civilians would hold the post of prime minister and head all government ministries.

“The Transitional Military Council has the sovereign authority only, while the head of the cabinet, the civilian government and all the executive authority will be completely civilian,” TMC spokesman Shams El Din Kabbashi told al Arabiya television.


The opposition has demanded a rapid handover of power to civilians. The sit-in outside the Defense Ministry, which began five days before Bashir’s removal, has continued as protest leaders press for faster and deeper change.

The Sudanese Professionals’ Association, which spearheaded the anti-Bashir protests, called for a million-strong march to take place at the Defense Ministry on Thursday.

On Wednesday evening, the opposition and the TMC agreed to form a committee to resolve their differences.

Three TMC members resigned, the TMC said late on Wednesday, but their resignations are yet to be accepted. The members were Lieutenant-General Omar Zain al-Abideen, head of the political committee, Lieutenant-General Jalal al-Deen al-Sheikh and Lieutenant-General Al-Tayeb Babakr Ali Fadeel.

One of the SPA’s demands was that the three lieutenant-generals be dismissed and tried over their alleged role in a crackdown that killed dozens of protesters.

The SPA has insisted a civilian ruling council with representation for the military should take over.

Dozens of protesters gathered outside Egypt’s embassy in Khartoum to demand President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi not interfere in Sudan, footage aired by Al Jazeera Mubasher showed.

“Tell Sisi this is Sudan, your borders are just (until) Aswan”, they chanted.

At a Cairo meeting led by Sisi on Tuesday, African leaders agreed to give the TMC three months to implement democratic reforms, extending a 15-day deadline set by the African Union last week. Sisi holds the rotating African Union presidency.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Janet Lawrence, William Maclean)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Company logo of the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch is displayed at its office in Hong Kong
FILE PHOTO: The company logo of the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch is displayed at its office in Hong Kong March 8, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

April 25, 2019

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury Department may float the idea of reducing the issuance of coupon-bearing debt at its upcoming May refunding after the Federal Reserve’s decision to end its balance sheet normalization later this year, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said.

Any cuts in issuance will likely be among two-year, three-year and five-year maturities, where the Treasury has ramped up issuance to fund the widening of the federal deficit, Bank of America strategists Mark Cabana and Olivia Lima said.

“We expect the idea of coupon cuts to be discussed at the May refunding as the Fed’s decision to end their (balance sheet) unwind in (September) was likely earlier than (the Treasury) anticipated,” they wrote in a research note.

The issuance reductions could be up to $4 billion for each of these maturities, they said.

They said any decision on issuance changes will likely be announced at Treasury’s August refunding.

(Reporting by Richard Leong; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Source: OANN

House Democrats are finding out how difficult it is to provide Congressional oversight.

Axios reported the White House has figured out there’s not much Democrats can do if the administration continues to say no to everything. The administration has blocked several key administration officials from appearing before the House Oversight Committee.

The Washington Post reported the latest example is the administration’s refusal to allow senior adviser Stephen Miller to testify regarding immigration policy.

Meanwhile, Axios noted that any of those who have actually been subpoenaed by the committee could be held in contempt if they do not appear. But it said the subpoenas are difficult to enforce. And the website said recent contempt cases have “fizzled,

Axios also pointed out President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization have filed suit against Oversight Committee chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., to block a subpoena for the president’s financial records.

But it said that strategy could have a downside, the website said.

“It totally undercuts the argument that we’ve been transparent and because there was no criminal wrongdoing that’s why we encouraged everyone to cooperate,” said a former senior White House official. “Now we look like we’ve got something to hide and we’re not being open and transparent.”

Still, the Trump White House is unlikely to face any consequences in the short-term, Axios said.

But one Democratic aide said there are ways of getting past the White House efforts.

“One trend we’ve been seeing more and more, and a way we can get new information, is from whistleblowers,” the aide said.

Source: NewsMax Politics

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds a roadshow in Varanasi
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves towards his supporters during a roadshow in Varanasi, India, April 25, 2019. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

April 25, 2019

By Devjyot Ghoshal

VARANASI, India (Reuters) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi staged a show of strength on Thursday in the city of Varanasi, one of the most sacred places for India’s majority Hindu population, as the country’s 39-day staggered general election neared its mid-point.

Dotted with ancient temples and sitting on the banks of the Ganges river, Varanasi was one of two seats that Modi fought and won at the last election in 2014. He has so far chosen to represent Varanasi in parliament and is not likely to pursue any other seat.

Surrounded by tens of thousands of supporters, Modi, who is seeking a second term as premier, bowed to the crowd with folded hands from an elevated podium.

He then toured the city in an SUV, standing to greet supporters through the sunroof. His security forces prevented the crowd from getting too close even as the vehicle moved slowly through the narrow alleys.

Modi was accompanied by senior BJP leaders, including the party President Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, where Varanasi is located. The northern state is India’s most populous and has the largest number of MPs. In 2014, the BJP won 71 seats there out of 80.

Modi is expected to file his nomination papers on Friday.

India’s election is being held over 39 days from April 11 to May 19, with votes due to be counted on May 23. Varanasi will vote on the last day.

Modi’s supporters talked up his achievements in bringing clean water, sanitation and electricity to more of India.

“The city has become clean. There is electricity 24 hours now, and there is water,” said 55-year-old Shyam Narayan Naik.

“No other party will be able to win here,” added Narayan, who runs a textile shop in the city that was shut on Thursday as Modi’s 5 kilometer-long roadshow passed by.


The city was decorated with BJP flags and saffron-colored balloons. Sounds of drums and songs praising Modi grew louder as the prime minister arrived.

Supporters wore “Namo Again” t-shirts or masks with Modi’s photograph, while others dressed as Hindu gods and goddesses.

“I think this time he’s trying to send the signal that he’s now far more confident, he doesn’t need the Gujarat seat and therefore he’s standing only from UP,” said Sudha Pai, referring to the other seat Modi won and gave up in 2014. Pai, a former political science professor at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, closely tracks politics in Uttar Pradesh.

But weak jobs growth, distressed farm incomes because of low crop prices, and charges of economic mismanagement have boosted the opposition. And in Uttar Pradesh, two formidable regional parties have allied to take on the BJP.

Modi often refers to “Mother Ganga” in his speeches, and his government has committed nearly $3 billion of funds to a five-year clean-up of the heavily polluted sacred river.

That program is due to be completed in 2020.

But last year, Reuters found that only a tenth of the funds had been used in the first two years of the project.

“It is what it was before. Nothing has changed. People are just using Modi to make money themselves,” said 70-year old Ramji, referring to the money spent on cleaning the Ganges.

(This story has been refiled to correct lead to show Varanasi is not Modi’s home city.)

(Editing by Martin Howell and Catherine Evans)

Source: OANN

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames
FILE PHOTO: Apr 19, 2019; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames center Mark Jankowski (77) and goalie Mike Smith (41) react after their game against the Colorado Avalanche in game five of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Avalanche won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

April 25, 2019

By Frank Pingue

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canadians are passionate about hockey but many may tune out of the NHL playoffs now that no teams are able to end the country’s decades-long Stanley Cup drought this year, according to survey from the Angus Reid Institute on Thursday.

Three of the seven Canadian-based National Hockey League teams qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs but each fell in the first round, bringing familiar heartache for fans and potential trouble for Canada’s broadcasters, the survey said.

According to the online survey from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute, 56 percent of Canadians tuned in to the first round of the playoffs, where the Calgary Flames, Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs carried the nation’s Stanley Cup hopes.

Calgary, which were the top seed in the Western Conference, lost their best-of-seven series to Colorado in five games, while Winnipeg fell to St. Louis in six games followed by Toronto’s loss to Boston in a decisive seventh game on Tuesday.

Their early playoff exits ensures the Stanley Cup will be presented to a U.S. team for the 26th consecutive season and does not bode well for ratings.

In 2016, when for the first time in more than 40 years no Canadian teams made the playoffs, 45 percent of Canadians polled by Angus Reid said they would follow the action.

“While many Canadians are likely disappointed with the poor showing by Canada’s teams, executives at Canada’s broadcasters – Sportsnet and CBC – probably woke up Wednesday feeling morose as well,” the study said.

When asked during the first round which team they believe will snap the country’s Stanley Cup drought, 31 percent of the Canadians polled picked Toronto, 18 percent chose Winnipeg and 3 percent said no Canadian team would ever win it again.

While there is a territorial nature of hockey fans and rivalries that cross generational lines, it appears there would be some unity across Canada, which has not had a Stanley Cup winner since Montreal in 1993, should the drought ever end.

“A Stanley Cup would likely mean a lot to Canadians,” the poll said. “Among those who follow hockey, 62 percent say that they are willing to cheer for any Canadian team if their favorite is knocked out.”

The poll was conducted from April 18-23 with 1,544 Canadian adults and had a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A SAS Airbus A320 airplane takes off from the airport in Palma de Mallorca
FILE PHOTO: A Scandanavian Airlines, known as SAS, Airbus A320-200 airplane takes off from the airport in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, July 29, 2018. REUTERS/Paul Hanna/File Photo

April 25, 2019

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Seventy thousand travelers with SAS will see their flights canceled on Friday unless negotiators agree a last-minute deal to stop nearly all of its around 1,500 pilots going on strike after midnight, the carrier said on Thursday.

Swedish, Danish and Norwegian pilot unions earlier this month called a strike if there was no agreement on wages and other terms after an earlier round of talks broke down without the parties finding common ground.

National mediators in the three countries have been trying to broker a deal since last week between delegations of the two parties. SAS spokeswoman Freja Annamatz said negotiations were still ongoing.

A strike would affect 70 percent of SAS flights. The remaining 30 percent are operated by partners that would not be affected by strike action, Annamatz said.

Should a strike last through the weekend, around 170,000 travelers would be affected in total, she added.

Earlier this week, the airline offered travelers concerned about a possible strike the chance to reschedule flights for the April 26-29 period to another date free of charge.

SAS is in the midst of renewing an elderly and fuel-intensive fleet after spending years cutting costs in the face of cut-price competition from budget carriers such as Norwegian Air Shuttle and Ryanair.

The airline reported a bigger than expected loss for its fiscal first quarter in February, but said it still expected to run a profit for the full year.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Niklas Pollard and Jan Harvey)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The NBC and Comcast logo are displayed on top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, formerly known as the GE building, in midtown Manhattan in New York
FILE PHOTO: The NBC and Comcast logo are displayed on top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, formerly known as the GE building, in midtown Manhattan in New York July 1, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

April 25, 2019

(Reuters) – Comcast Corp is in talks to sell its stake in Hulu to Walt Disney Co, CNBC reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The report comes 10 days after Hulu bought back wireless carrier AT&T Inc’s stake in the U.S. entertainment streaming service for $1.43 billion.

With Comcast’s stake, Disney will now have a 90 percent share in Hulu.

Comcast, Hulu and Disney did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

Source: OANN

California congressional candidate Omar Navarro, who is running against Rep. Maxine Waters, said during an appearance on “Fox and Friends” Thursday that if there’s anyone who should be impeached, it’s the California Democrat.

Navarro, who wants to take Waters’ district in the 2020 election, said his opponent could be removed from Congress for “disorderly behavior,” referring to her previous calls for confrontation and relentless pushing of the conspiracy that Trump colluded with the Russian government.


He also said his candidacy reflects the people’s views in the district since he offers something to unite behind rather than causing further division in the country.

“You know when I walk around in my district and I talk to voters, I talk to different voters, talk to the Hispanic community, which is the largest community, 54 percent of my district, you have to look what are the demographics,” he said.

“When I look at the demographics, I talk to the voters knocking on doors, people want to see someone that’s going to unite them,” Navarro added.


“They are seeing Maxine Waters dividing them. They are tired of it. They had her over 30 years. She has been in public service for 40 years. It’s time for a change. Time for someone that will bring back jobs, bring back stability and common sense into our district.”

“They are seeing Maxine Waters dividing them. They are tired of it. They had her over 30 years. She has been in public service for 40 years. It’s time for a change. Time for someone that will bring back jobs, bring back stability and common sense into our district.”

— Omar Navarro, Republican running for Congress against Rep. Maxine Waters

The Republican candidate also reacted to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s early Thursday announcement that he was running, saying he’s using identity politics.

“That is the typical playbook of the Democrats. They use identity politics to divide people. They divide my community by using identity politics,” he said of Biden’s campaign launch. “I was Latino growing up, my parents are from Mexico and Cuba. I noticed this growing up, I used to see Democrats from all over Los Angeles using identity politics at their best.”


But Navarro said such divisive politics will backfire on Biden as it will only drive people away from the party. “One thing I’ve seen from the Democratic Party, that they have been pushing a lot of people away from the Democratic Party,” he said, pointing to increasingly hotheaded rhetoric by others.

Source: Fox News Politics

President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign adviser Lara Trump said on “America’s Newsroom” on Thursday that Democratic candidate Joe Biden supports policies that are too far-left for most Americans.

Joe Biden is just among a sea of other [Democratic] candidates who quite frankly are all trying to out-Bernie one another, [they are] so far left, [have] become so radical,” said Lara, who is married to the president’s son, Eric.

Earlier in the day, the former vice president announced that he was throwing his hat into the ring to be the Democratic nominee for the 2020 presidential election.

Biden said that the “soul of this nation” is at stake if President Donald Trump wins re-election.


The 76-year-old Biden becomes an instant front-runner alongside Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is leading many polls and has proved to be a successful fundraiser. Biden has legislative and international experience that is unmatched in the Democratic field, and he is among the best-known faces in U.S. politics.

Lara Trump said that both Biden and Sanders are to the extreme left of most American voters.

“When you look at things like Bernie Sanders running on socialism…when he claims that the Boston Marathon bombers should have the right to vote – that is so far outside what I think most Americans can back.”

In a video posted on Twitter, Biden focused on the 2017 deadly clash between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. Biden noted Trump’s comments that there were some “very fine people” on both sides of the violent encounter, which left one woman dead.

“We are in the battle for the soul of this nation,” Biden said. “If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation — who we are. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”


Lara Trump dismissed Biden’s message as “race-baiting as usual, as we see from the Democrats, and identity politics is something I think we’ll see more of.”

“I didn’t hear any proposal for the future of this country in his announcement,” she said.

She said that she expects her father-in-law to do well in the election, including in Biden’s home state of Pennsylvania, because he has kept promises.


“Pennsylvania is a state that Donald Trump won because he promised the people there that he would get them their jobs back,” she said. “The manufacturing jobs that were taken away that Barack Obama — who I might remind folks was a partner right alongside Joe Biden and got a lot of nothing accomplished — said we had lost for good and would never get the manufacturing jobs back. Donald Trump brought them back. That’s something the people of Pennsylvania are incredibly grateful for.”

She added: “Whether you are talking about Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Florida, Michigan, people are going to look at their lives in 2020 and say ‘is stuff better for me now than it was before Donald Trump took office or will we give Joe Biden a chance to do nothing like we saw during the Obama years?’”


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Joe Biden has already picked up a big-name endorsement — but it might not be one he is happy to receive.

The former vice president, who formally announced his 2020 bid on Thursday morning, can count on the support of disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti.

“I am extremely happy that @JoeBiden has decided to enter the race. He offers Dems the very best chance in 2020, especially in key states. He has the fight, intelligence and fortitude to beat Trump and begin to make America, America again. He has my enthusiastic support,” Avenatti tweeted.

Earlier this month, Avenatti, the former Stormy Daniels attorney and once-rumored 2020 presidential candidate, was slapped with three dozen new federal charges alleging he stole millions of dollars from his clients, failed to pay taxes and lied in bankruptcy cases, amongst other accusations.


The 48-year-old was indicted by a Southern California grand jury following his arrest last month in New York for allegedly trying to shake down Nike for up to $25 million.

“I intend to fully fight all charges and plead NOT GUILTY,” Avenatti posted on Twitter at the time after being freed on a $300,000 bond.

“I look forward to the entire truth being known as opposed to a one-sided version meant to sideline me.”

If convicted on all of the new charges, Avenatti would face 335 years in prison, federal investigators say. He is scheduled to be arraigned on April 29 in United States District Court in Santa Ana.


Avenatti dipped his toe in political waters later year and seemingly sounded out a potential 2020 run, before announcing in December he would not run, citing family concerns.


“After consultation with my family and at their request, I have decided not to seek the Presidency of the United States in 2020. I do not make this decision lightly—I make it out of respect for my family. But for their concerns, I would run,” Avenatti said in a statement at the time.

Source: Fox News Politics

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