Supporters of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) pose in front of a party bus with a picture of their leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu on it, in Istanbul, Turkey, April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
April 22, 2019
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey has arrested nine people, including a member of the ruling AK Party, after the country’s main opposition leader was punched and his car was stoned at a soldier’s funeral at the weekend, the interior minister said on Monday.
Kilicdaroglu was attacked on Sunday as he attended a funeral in a northern district of Ankara for a soldier killed in clashes with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants.
The incident took place after his Republican People’s Party (CHP) defeated President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party in March 31 mayoral elections in the capital Ankara and Turkey’s largest city Istanbul, painful losses for the ruling party.
During campaigning, Erdogan often accused the CHP and Kilicdaroglu of links to terrorism because it had election deals in some constituencies with the pro-Kurdish opposition party HDP, which Erdogan said has ties to the outlawed PKK.
The HDP denies links to the PKK, which has waged an insurgency for autonomy in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast since 1984, and is deemed a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said that nine people had been detained, adding that Kilicdaroglu’s recent “contacts” with the Kurdish party (HDP) made him a target.
“CHP’s contacts with the HDP, and HDP’s policy that doesn’t distance itself from the PKK are all happening before the public eye. Kilicdaroglu should have informed the authorities if he wanted to attend the funeral,” Soylu told a new conference.
“It’s wrong to blame the interior ministry for such incidents while partnering with the political arm of the PKK at the same time,” Soylu added, saying Kilicdaroglu’s party was trying to make political gains from the attack.
Kati Piri, the European Parliament’s Turkey rapporteur, said heated political rhetoric had fueled the attack. “Likely inspired by hate speeches of ruling politicians. This radical polarization must end,” Piri said.
(Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Dominic Evans)
A combination of file photos shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attending a wreath laying ceremony at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam March 2, 2019 and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin looking on during a joint news conference with South African President Jacob Zuma after their meeting at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Krasnodar region, Russia, May 16, 2013. REUTERS/Jorge Silva/Pool/Maxim Shipenkov/Pool
April 22, 2019
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’ President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are on track to meet by the end of April, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.
Last week the Kremlin said that Kim Jong Un would travel to Russia this month, announcing the first Russia-North Korea summit since Kim came to power in 2011.
(Reporting by Anastasia Teterevleva; editing by Gareth Jones)
FILE PHOTO: Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg speaks during the Extinction Rebellion protest at Marble Arch in London, Britain April 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
April 22, 2019
LONDON (Reuters) – The number of environmental campaigners arrested during eight days of direct action in London topped 1,000 on Monday, police said, adding that Waterloo Bridge, one of the sites blockaded by the protests, had re-opened to traffic.
Climate group Extinction Rebellion has targeted sites in central London, such as Oxford Circus and Parliament Square, in a campaign of non-violent civil disobedience with the aim of stopping what it calls a global climate crisis.
Police said 1,065 people had been arrested in connection with the protests, and they had charged 53 with offences including obstructing the highway.
Oxford Circus and Parliament Square were re-opened to traffic on Sunday, they said, while Waterloo Bridge was cleared overnight.
Police had appealed to activists to move to Marble Arch, where they are allowing protests to continue.
Swedish teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg addressed crowds at Marble Arch on Sunday, urging them to never give up their campaign to save the planet.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle, editing by Louise Heavens)
FILE PHOTO: A street sign for Wall Street hangs in front of the New York Stock Exchange May 8, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
April 22, 2019
By Sruthi Shankar
(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures dipped on Monday as investors returned from their Easter break and took a cautious stance at the beginning of what is expected to be the busiest week of the first-quarter earnings season.
The S&P 500 closed slightly lower last week, ending its three-week winning streak, but hovered about 1% away from a record high hit in September on U.S.-China trade hopes and a largely upbeat earnings season.
More than a third of the S&P 500 companies, including Boeing Co, Amazon.com Inc and Facebook Inc, will report this week determining whether investors should be concerned about the start of an earnings recession or whether back-to-back quarters of negative growth can be avoided.
S&P 500 profits are expected to drop 1.7% year-over-year, according to Refinitiv data in what could be the first earnings contraction since 2016.
Halliburton Co was up 3.8% in premarket trading after the oilfield services provider reported a surge in quarterly profit driven by a recovery in demand from its international customers.
Also helping was a surge in oil prices, with the United States set to announce a further clampdown on Iranian oil exports, tightening global supplies.
Exxon Mobil Corp was up 0.6% and Schlumberger NV gained 1.5%.
At 7:21 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 60 points, or 0.23%. S&P 500 e-minis were down 7.75 points, or 0.27% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 23.75 points, or 0.31%.
Boeing Co was down 1.2% following a New York Times report over the weekend that the company’s factory in South Carolina, which makes the 787 Dreamliner, has been plagued by shoddy production and weak oversight that have threatened to compromise safety. Another report on Sunday said the planemaker rejected the allegations.
Tesla Inc fell 2.4% after the electric car company said it has sent a team to investigate a video on Chinese social media which showed a parked Tesla Model S car exploding. Chinese rival Nio Inc’s shares were down 3.1%.
Pinterest Inc shares dipped 1.9% after closing up more than 30% in their market debut on Thursday. Brokerage Zephirin Group started coverage with a “sell” rating, citing a very competitive market for visual sharing.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to supporters in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. March 17, 2019. REUTERS/Karen Pulfer Focht/File Photo
April 22, 2019
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election, wants to cancel billions of dollars in student loan debt and make college cheaper for students going forward.
Warren, in a post on the website Medium, proposed canceling $50,000 in student loan debt for anyone with annual household income under $100,000, which her campaign said would amount to 42 million Americans. It would also cancel some debt for those with household incomes between $100,000 and $250,000.
Warren, who has long advocated in Congress for providing debt relief to students, called student loan debt a “crisis.” She said canceling debt for millions of people would help close the nation’s racial and wealth gap, and also proposed making all two-year and four-year public colleges free.
“The first step in addressing this crisis is to deal head-on with the outstanding debt that is weighing down millions of families and should never have been required in the first place,” Warren wrote.
Warren is competing in a crowded field of more than 20 Democrats vying for their party’s 2020 nomination and has sought to distinguish herself by offering numerous, expansive policy proposals.
Anticipating Republican criticism that her proposal would be too expensive, Warren said her debt cancellation plan and universal free college could be paid for through an “Ultra-Millionaire Tax,” which would impose a 2 percent annual tax on families with $50 million or more in wealth.
Education has been a topic on the campaign trail for some of Warren’s rivals as well.
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, another contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, released a plan last month that would use $315 billion in federal money over 10 years to give the average teacher a $13,500 raise, or about a 23 percent salary increase.
(Reporting By Yasmeen Abutaleb; Editing by Bill Berkrot)
A Royal Thai navy ship drags a floating home, lived in by an American man and his Thai partner, in the Andaman Sea, off Phuket Island in Thailand, April 22, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer
April 22, 2019
By Panu Wongcha-um
BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s navy on Monday began towing to shore the floating cabin of a fugitive U.S. citizen and his Thai girlfriend, both prominent members of the “seasteading” movement who face possible death sentences for setting up their offshore home.
The cabin set on top of a spar 14 nautical miles off the Thai island of Phuket had been touted as milestone in the movement to build floating communities in international waters as a way to explore alternative societies and governments.
Authorities have revoked the visa of bitcoin trader Chad Elwartowski, 46, and charged him and his partner, Supranee Thepdet, with violating Thai sovereignty, punishable by the death penalty or life in prison.
The Royal Thai Navy dispatched three boats on Monday to dismantle the structure and bring it back to shore for use as evidence in the government’s case against the couple.
“The couple announced on social media declaring their autonomy beyond the jurisdiction of any courts or law of any countries, including Thailand,” Rear Admiral Vithanarat Kochaseni told reporters, adding they had invited others to join them.
“We see such action as deteriorating Thailand’s independence,” he said.
HTMS Mannai, a landing craft utility ship, was expected to return to Phuket with the six-meter (20 ft) wide, hexagon-shaped cabin by late Monday.
Elwartowski and Supranee lived in the cabin for two months and left before the Thai navy raided the structure on April 13.
Their whereabouts are unknown, though the government has said the pair is believed to be in Thailand.
Elwartowski has referred requests for comment to Ocean Builders, which funded and built the cabin, and the Seasteading Institute, which advocates building offshore floating cities and originally received backing from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.
Ocean Builders said on its website the cabin was in international waters and beyond Thailand’s jurisdiction. Thai authorities say the structure is within its 200-mile exclusive economic zone and therefore a violation of its sovereignty.
Joe Quirk, president of the Seasteading Institute, said the couple had achieved a milestone for the movement.
“They proved a single-family seastead can float stably in international waters for less than the cost of the average American home,” Quirk said in a statement.
Elwartowski also conducted valuable research on ecosystems over the two months the couple lived in the cabin, he said.
“You can demolish the seastead, but you can’t demolish the knowledge that was gained,” said Quirk, who is described by his group as a “seavangelist” and an “aquapreneur”.
(Additional reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat. Editing by Kay Johnson and Darren Schuettler)
FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators hold flags and banners as they return to the streets to press demands for wholesale democratic change well beyond former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s resignation in Algiers, Algeria April 19, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina should/File Photo
April 22, 2019
By Lamine Chikhi and Hamid Ould Ahmed
ALGIERS (Reuters) – Five Algerian billionaires, some of them close to former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika who quit over mass protests, have been arrested as part of an anti-graft investigation, state TV said on Monday.
The five are Issad Rebrab, considered the richest businessman in the energy-rich north African nation who is especially active in the food and sugar refining business, and four brothers from the Kouninef family, it said.
Rebrab is chairman of the family-owned Cevital company, which imports raw sugar from Brazil and exports white sugar to Tunisia, Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East.
The Kouninef family is close to Bouteflika, who ruled Algeria for 20 years. Bouteflika stepped down three weeks ago, bowing to pressure from the army and weeks of demonstrations by mainly younger Algerians seeking change.
There was no immediate statement from those arrested.
The move came after Algeria’s army chief, Lieutenant General Gaid Salah, said last week he expected members of the ruling elite in the major oil and natural gas-producing country to be prosecuted for corruption.
An Algerian court has already summoned former prime minister Ahmed Ouyahia and current Finance Minister Mohamed Loukal, two close associates of Bouteflika, in an investigation into suspected misuse of public money, state TV said on Saturday.
Mass protests, which began on Feb. 22 and have been largely peaceful, have continued after Bouteflika’s resignation as many want the removal of an entire elite that has governed Algeria since independence from France in 1962. They also want the prosecution of people they see as corrupt.
Bouteflika has been replaced by Abdelkader Bensalah, head of the upper house of parliament, as interim president for 90 days until a presidential election is held on July 4.
Hundreds of thousands protested on Friday to demand the resignation of Bensalah and other top officials.
Bensalah has invited civil society and political parties on Monday to discuss the transition to elections but several parties and activists said they would not participate.
The army has so far patiently monitored the mostly peaceful protests that at times have swelled to hundreds of thousands of people. It remains the most powerful institution in Algeria, having swayed politics from the shadows for decades.
Salah said on April 16 that the military was considering all options to resolve the political crisis and warned that “time is running out”.
It was a hint that the military was losing patience with the popular upheaval shaking Algeria, a major oil and natural-gas exporter and an important security partner for the West against Islamist militants in north and west Africa.
(Reporting Lamine Chikhi and Hamid Ould Ahmed; writing by Maher Chmaytelli and Ulf Laessing; Editing by Gareth Jones)
Democrat Elizabeth Warren is proposing the elimination of existing student loan debt for millions of Americans, part of a sweeping set of education funding proposals announced as she and other presidential candidates seek to differentiate themselves in a sprawling field.
The Massachusetts senator says the proposal unveiled Monday would eliminate almost all student loan debt for 42 million Americans, canceling $50,000 in debt for each person with household income under $100,000. According to Warren’s description of the plan in a piece to be posted on Medium, the debt cancellation proposal would create a one-time cost to the federal government of $640 billion.
Many in the growing field of Democratic candidates have proposed reforming the nation’s student loan programs, including dramatic restructuring of existing refinancing structures, but Warren appears to be the first to propose flat-out debt cancellation. Warren and others in the field, including Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris, are backing the Debt-Free College Act , a bill that would cover all costs for students attending a public college without necessitating loans.
Among Warren’s other proposals is elimination of tuition and fees for two- and four-year public college degree programs, as well as a $100 billion investment in Pell Grants, a federal aid program that requires no payback.
Tuition-free higher education was a mainstay of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential run. Warren, Harris and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, another presidential contender, all signed on as co-sponsors of Sanders’ 2017 College for All Act , which would have allocated $47 billion annually to states to cover two-thirds of the tuition obligation, leaving states responsible for the rest.
Warren announced the policy ahead of a CNN town hall in New Hampshire focusing on issues important to young voters. Her slot in the five-hour broadcast Monday comes along with other appearances by Harris, Sanders and Sen. Amy Klobuchar as well as Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
Following New Hampshire, Warren this week is making stops in South Carolina, Texas, Iowa and Nevada.
Source: NewsMax Politics
The congressman from Massachusetts and Marine veteran who served four tours of duty in Iraq announced his candidacy for president on Monday morning.
“I’m running because we have to beat Donald Trump, and I want us to beat Donald Trump because I love this country. We’ve never been a country that gets everything right. But we’re a country that, at our best, thinks that we might,” the three-term congressman said in a video as he launched his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Taking a shot at the Republican president, Moulton emphasized that the most important thing needed is “to restore our moral authority in everything we do.”
Moulton, 40, was one of the ringleaders of last year’s failed push by some House Democrats to prevent Nancy Pelosi from regaining the speaker’s gavel. Another one of those leaders – Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio – announced his candidacy for president earlier this month.
Moulton becomes the third candidate from Massachusetts to launch a presidential campaign, joining Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Republican Gov. Bill Weld, who’s primary challenging Trump.
Moulton’s scheduled to visit all four early voting primary and caucus states this week. He heads to New Hampshire on Tuesday and Wednesday morning, when he’ll headline ‘Politics and Eggs,’ a must stop in the first-in-the-nation primary state for White House hopefuls. Later Wednesday, Moulton campaigns in South Carolina, which holds the first southern primary. That will be followed Thursday by stops in Iowa – which kicks off the caucus and primary calendar – as well as Nevada – which holds the first western contest.
In an interview Monday morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Moulton seemed to take a shot at one of the front runners in the Democratic race, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
“I’m not a socialist, I’m a Democrat,” Moulton said in an interview. “That’s a differentiator for me in this race.”
Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist.
Moulton was first elected to Congress in 2014, after upsetting former Rep. John Tierney in a Democratic primary fight. The Salem lawmaker represents the state’s sixth congressional district, which covers the northeast corner of Massachusetts.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden is expected to declare his candidacy for president next week, two sources with knowledge of the former vice president’s plans confirmed to Fox News.
“The plan is to go Wednesday,” said a person close to Biden’s inner circle, who asked for anonymity to speak more freely. “But it could slip to Thursday.”
Source: Fox News Politics
FILE PHOTO: Idle oil production equipment is seen in a Halliburton yard in Williston, North Dakota April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen/File Photo
April 22, 2019
(Reuters) – Halliburton Co on Monday called the bottom of a pricing downturn that has plagued oilfield services companies and surprised on expectations saying first-quarter activity levels in North America were modestly higher from a year earlier.
Oilfield services providers have been struggling with a tightening of spending by oil producers looking to rein in new drilling in response to shareholder pressure for greater returns after a period of heavy investment.
In contrast to the sector’s other major player Schlumberger NV last week, Halliburton said activity in its largest market in North America was modestly higher.
“We believe the worst in the pricing deterioration is now behind us,” Halliburton’s Chief Executive Officer Jeff Miller said, adding that it experienced pricing headwinds throughout the quarter. The company also said it expects demand for its services to progress modestly for the next couple of quarters.
Revenue from North America, Halliburton’s biggest market, fell 7 percent to $3.3 billion in the three months ended Mar. 31 but came in above the 3.13 billion that 5 analysts had estimated, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Total revenue was largely flat at $5.74 billion.
Net income attributable to Halliburton rose to $152 million, or 17 cents per share, in the first quarter, from $46 million, or 5 cents per share, a year earlier.
On an adjusted basis, the Houston-based company earned 23 cents per share, above analysts’ average estimates of 22 cents.
(Reporting by Arathy S Nair and Debroop Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)