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FILE PHOTO: Ex-Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic sits in the court of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia in The Hague
FILE PHOTO: Ex-Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic sits in the court of the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, the Netherlands March 24, 2016. REUTERS/Robin van Lonkhuijsen/Pool/File Photo

March 20, 2019

By Stephanie van den Berg

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – United Nations appeals judges on Wednesday hand down a final verdict in the case of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, a key figure in the Balkan wars who is serving a 40-year prison sentence for genocide.

The ruling will likely bring to a close one of the highest profile trials stemming from the series of wars in the 1990s that saw the bloody collapse of the former Yugoslavia and death of at least 100,000 Bosnians.

Karadzic, 73, was convicted in 2016 for the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys by Bosnian Serb forces. He was also found guilty of leading a campaign of ethnic cleansing that drove Croats and Muslims out of Serb-claimed areas of Bosnia.

On appeal, prosecutors are seeking a life sentence and a second genocide conviction for his alleged role in that policy of targeting non-Serbs across several Bosnian towns in the early years of the war. Karadzic meanwhile is appealing against his conviction and wants a retrial.

The ruling, which is final and cannot be challenged on appeal, will have huge resonance in the former Yugoslavia, especially in Bosnia, where ethnic communities remain divided and Karadzic is still seen as a hero by many Bosnian Serbs.

The judgment will be read out at 14:00 local time (13:00 GMT) in The Hague at a U.N. court handling cases left over when the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia closed its doors in 2017.

A delegation of the association of Mothers of Srebrenica will be in the Netherlands for the judgment.

In hiding for nearly a decade, Karadzic was arrested and handed over to the court in July 2008.

(Editing by Anthony Deutsch, William Maclean)

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FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels
FILE PHOTO: Mar 7, 2019; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) runs to third base after hitting a triple against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Mike Trout is on the verge of a 12-year, $430 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Angels, ESPN reported Tuesday.

Trout, 27, is a two-time American League Most Valuable Player and is scheduled to become a free agent in 2020. The agreement, per ESPN, will tack on 10 years to the final two seasons remaining on Trout’s $144.5 million agreement with the Angels.

The deal would smash the massive contract signed by outfielder Bryce Harper — 13 years, $330 million with the Philadelphia Phillies — on March 2.

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke currently holds the record MLB annual average salary at $34.4 million. Trout would eclipse that mark with an average of approximately $36 million.

–New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances will begin the season on the injured list as he recovers from a right shoulder impingement, general manager Brian Cashman confirmed.

An MRI exam revealed the injury after the club was worried about the four-time All-Star’s velocity this spring. Although there was no timetable for the 30-year-old right-hander’s return, it is not considered a serious setback as he will be treated with anti-inflammatory medication.

“I’m just a little behind,” Betances said. “That’s how I feel right now. I’m not concerned at all.”

–Detroit Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer is being advised to undergo Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow, although the team said he “is seeking a third opinion at this time.”

The Tigers announced that results of an MRI exam and a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews led to the recommendation of reconstructive surgery on Fulmer’s ulnar collateral ligament.

Fulmer, 23, was shut down by the Tigers earlier this spring to work on “lower-body mechanics” as he worked his way back from knee problems that cut short his 2018 season in mid-September. The Tigers said Fulmer began to experience right elbow soreness after a recent bullpen session.

–Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler has been ruled out as a replacement for Clayton Kershaw as the team’s Opening Day starter.

Buehler, 24, has been slowed by shoulder issues this spring. He went 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA in 24 appearances (23 starts) last season while finishing third in NL Rookie of the Year balloting.

Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda are the top candidates to take the hill when the season starts on March 28 against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.

–Field Level Media

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FILE PHOTO: Transportation and Infrastructure House Commitee member DeFazio, speaks at U.S. airline customer service hearing at the U.S. Capitol in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) speaks at a committee hearing on “Oversight of U.S. Airline Customer Service,” in the aftermath of the recent forced removal of a passenger from a Chicago flight at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 2, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

March 19, 2019

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives transportation committee and another key Democrat asked the Transportation Department’s inspector general on Tuesday to examine key decisions made by the Federal Aviation Administration in certifying Boeing’s 737 MAX jet for use.

The request follows the March 10 crash of a 737 MAX jet in Ethiopia and the crash in Indonesia in October of another 737 MAX jet.

The inspector general’s office said it would open an audit Tuesday into the plane’s approval but has not disclosed what it will examine. Representative Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and committee member Rick Larsen said the crashes underscore “the need to take a more proactive approach with safety to protect the traveling public.”

The two Democrats asked in a letter that the probe include a review of what “led to the FAA’s decision not to revise pilot training programs and manuals to reflect changes to flight-critical automation systems.”

The FAA declined to comment on the letter.

Congress plans to hold hearings as early as next week on the two fatal crashes that are expected to include the FAA’s acting chief, Dan Elwell, and other government officials. The Democrats want the review to help improve the “certification process overall and identify improvements to oversight and safety of all new aircraft.”

Boeing said earlier on Tuesday that it would fully cooperate in the inspector general’s audit.

The Democrats want the audit also to include a review of how each of the new features on the Boeing 737 MAX, including positioning of engines on the aircraft and the corresponding changes to automation, angle-of-attack sensors, and how new software “were tested, certified, and integrated into the aircraft.”

They also ask the review to include “how new features of the aircraft, and potential performance differences in this aircraft, were communicated to airline customers, pilots and foreign civil aviation authorities.”

They also want a status report on corrective actions since the fatal Lion Air crash in Indonesia in October “and whether pilots are being adequately trained before the 737 MAX is returned to revenue passenger service throughout the international aviation community.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by James Dalgleish and Leslie Adler)

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Flowers and cards are seen at the memorial site for the victims of Friday's shooting, outside Al Noor mosque in Christchurch
Flowers and cards are seen at the memorial site for the victims of Friday’s shooting, outside Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su

March 19, 2019

By Praveen Menon and Charlotte Greenfield

WELLINGTON/CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – New Zealand’s police chief said on Wednesday that the police were working with global intelligence agencies to build a profile of the shooter who killed 50 people at mosques in Christchurch last week.

“I can assure you this is an absolute international investigation,” Police Commissioner Mike Bush said at a media briefing in the capital Wellington. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the suspect in the shooting had traveled around the world and was not a long-term resident.

Bush said the probe involved New Zealand police, the local intelligence community and partners around the world, including officials from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who were in the country and police and intelligence officials from Australia.

“We are also working very closely with other Five Eyes partners in terms of cooperation around the profile, travels etc, to build a comprehensive picture of this person that we will put before the court,” Bush said.

New Zealand is part of the Five Eyes intelligence network that includes the United States, Australia, Canada and Britain.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist who was living in Dunedin, on New Zealand’s South Island, has been charged with murder. He was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5, when police said he was likely to face more charges.

Giving details on the timeline of Friday’s attack, the police chief said first responders arrived within five minutes and 39 seconds of being informed of the incident and the shooter was caught within the building.

“We strongly believed the person was on his way for a further attack,” he said.

After days of mourning, preparations for the first burials were gathering pace in Christchurch on Wednesday, amid frustrations among family members who have complained about delays in handing over the bodies.

Burials are expected to start in Christchurch on Wednesday.

Commissioner Bush said as of Tuesday night 21 of the victims had been formally identified. They were ready to be reunited with family, he said, adding some already have been handed to the families.

The majority of the identifications would be completed by Wednesday night, he added. About 120 people were involved in the process, including dozens of pathologists and forensic experts.

Speaking of the delays, he said the police had to prove the cause of death to the satisfaction of the coroner and the judge handling the case.

“You cannot convict for murder without that cause of death. So this is a very comprehensive process that must be completed to the highest standard,” he said.

TRAGEDY FOR A SCHOOL

Ardern visited the Cashmere High School in Christchurch, whose students and parent community were among those most impacted by the attacks.

Two boys from the school – teenagers Sayyad Milne and Hamza Mustafa – were killed in the attacks. One former student, Tariq Omar, was also killed, while Khaled Mustafa, the father of Hamza, also died.

Another student as well as two other fathers are still being treated for gun shot wounds at the hospital.

About 200 children gathered at the school auditorium and listened to Ardern who spoke to them about racism and changes in gun laws. She said: “Never mention the perpetrator’s name … never remember him for what he did.”

The students performed an emotionally-charged haka, a ceremonial war dance, for Ardern.

As she was leaving, a little girl ran up to Ardern and hugged her. The prime minister hugged her back.

“The impact of this terror attack has been particularly cruel and tough for our school community,” the school Principal Mark Wilson said in a statement late on Tuesday.

(Additional reporting by Tom Westbrook, Tom Lasseter and Edgar Sue in CHRISTCHURCH, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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FILE PHOTO: Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury - WBC World Heavyweight Title
FILE PHOTO: Boxing – Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury – WBC World Heavyweight Title – Staples Centre, Los Angeles, United States – December 1, 2018 Deontay Wilder reacts after knocking down Tyson Fury Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge/File Photo

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder will put his title on the line against fellow American Dominic Breazeale at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn in May, both camps said on Tuesday.

Wilder (39-0-1), who fought to a split decision draw against Briton Tyson Fury in Los Angeles on Dec. 1, will face the 20-1 Breazeale on May 18.

Last December, Breazeale stopped Carlos Negron of Puerto Rico in the ninth round and is the WBC’s mandatory challenger.

“It’s always a great thing to get the mandatories out of the way because I consider the mandatories like flies — they are always buzzing in your ear,” Wilder, known as the Bronze Bomber, said at a media conference.

Breazeale, whose only loss was to WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion Anthony Joshua in 2016, added he was looking forward to try and silence his fellow 33-year-old.

“I’m excited to finally get this chump in the ring,” he said. “You love your own voice. All you do is talk and talk and talk.

“It’s time to get into the ring and square off.”

(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro hold a joint news conference at the White House in Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a joint news conference with Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

March 19, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will meet on Friday with the leaders of the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Saint Lucia at his Florida resort, the White House said in a statement on Tuesday.

The leaders will discuss countering “China’s predatory economic practices,” the situation in Venezuela and energy investment in the Caribbean, among other issues, the statement said.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by David Alexander)

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FILE PHOTO: A man cycles past chimneys of facotries at the Keihin Industrial Zone in Kawasaki
FILE PHOTO: A man cycles past chimneys of facotries at the Keihin Industrial Zone in Kawasaki, Japan September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

March 19, 2019

By Tetsushi Kajimoto and Izumi Nakagawa

TOKYO (Reuters) – Confidence among Japanese manufacturers hit its weakest in two-and-a-half years in March, a Reuters poll showed, as global trade friction fueled concerns that a postwar record growth cycle driven by Abenomics may be over.

The monthly poll, which tracks the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) closely watched tankan quarterly survey, found confidence fell for a fifth straight month while sentiment in the service sector held steady, suggesting domestic demand is unlikely to offset external risks such as the trade war and China’s slowdown.

Both manufacturers’ and service-sector morale is expected to rise just slightly over the coming three months, underscoring a bumpy road ahead for the world’s third largest economy, according to the Reuters Tankan.

The central bank will closely read the results of its official tankan due out April 1 for clues on strength of sentiment and capital expenditure at its policy meeting next month when it issues fresh economic and price projections.

The BOJ stood pat at its policy review last week, citing an economy posting gradual growth, but cut its views of exports and output due to increasing headwinds from overseas.

Slowing growth in Europe and China, the Sino-U.S. trade war and uncertainty surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union have strained businesses around the world.

While U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping appear to be closer in striking a truce in the U.S.-China trade war, Japan’s export sector remains vulnerable to the fallout from trade friction between the world’s two largest economies.

In the Reuters poll of 479 large- and mid-sized companies, completed by 250 firms on the condition of anonymity over the March 4-15 period, managers also complained about costs of raw materials squeezing profits.

Sluggish consumer spending makes it difficult to pass on such costs to thrifty customers, they wrote in the survey.

“Our clients are turning cautions on capital expenditure due to the U.S.-China trade war, spreading protectionism and political jitters in emerging countries,” a manager of a machinery maker wrote in the survey.

The Reuters Tankan sentiment index for manufacturers fell three points to 10 in March, with exporters of electronics, precision equipment, steel and nonferrous metals especially gloomy.

The manufacturers’ index was down 13 points from three months ago, indicating the possibility of a similarly sharp decline in the BOJ tankan. The Reuters Tankan index is expected to inch up to 11 in June.

The service-sector index held steady at 22 in March from a month earlier but was down from 31 seen three months ago, indicating a likely decline for the sector in the official tankan, which measures confidence on a quarterly basis.

The service-sector index is seen edging up to 23 in June.

The BOJ’s last tankan out in December found the business mood held steady from three months ago, but business conditions were seen worsening ahead amid trade war and slowdown in China.

The Reuters Tankan indexes are calculated by subtracting the percentage of pessimistic respondents from optimistic ones. A positive figure means optimists outnumber pessimists.

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Android mascot Bugdroid is seen in front of a Google logo in this illustration
FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Android mascot Bugdroid is seen in front of a Google logo in this illustration taken July 9, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 19, 2019

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Alphabet’s Google will prompt Android users to choose their preferred browsers and search apps, a senior Google executive said on Tuesday, as the company seeks to allay EU antitrust concerns and ward off fresh sanctions.

The European Commission last year handed Google a record 4.34 billion euro ($4.9 billion) fine for using the market power of its mobile software to block rivals in areas such as internet browsing.

By pre-installing its Chrome browser and Google search app on Android devices, Google had an unfair advantage over its rivals, EU enforcers said.

Google will now try to ensure that Android users are aware of browsers and search engines other than its own services, Kent Walker, senior vice-president of global affairs, said in a blog.

“In the coming months, via the Play Store, we’ll start asking users of existing and new Android devices in Europe which browser and search apps they would like to use,” he wrote without providing details.

The company, which introduced a licensing fee for device makers to access its app marketplace after the EU sanction, does not plan to scrap the charge.

Google could be fined up to 5 percent of Alphabet’s average daily worldwide turnover if it fails to comply with the EU order to stop anti-competitive practices.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by David Goodman)

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FILE PHOTO - Guatemalan Attorney General Thelma Aldana participates in a news conference in Guatemala City
FILE PHOTO – Guatemalan Attorney General Thelma Aldana participates in a news conference in Guatemala City, Guatemala, August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

March 19, 2019

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A Guatemalan government official said on Tuesday that a judge has issued an arrest order for former attorney general Thelma Aldana, who helped lead investigations into top politicians including the current president.

Aldana worked with a U.N.-backed anti-corruption body that sought to impeach President Jimmy Morales.

(Reporting by Sofia Menchu, Writing by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Dave Graham)

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FILE PHOTO: Haas Formula One Team Livery Launch
FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 – Haas Formula One Team Livery Launch – Royal Automobile Club, London, Britain – February 7, 2019 Haas’ Kevin Magnussen, Romain Grosjean, Rich Energy CEO William Storey and Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner pose with the car during the launch REUTERS/John Sibley

March 19, 2019

By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) – Netflix’s behind-the-scenes ‘Drive to Survive’ Formula One documentary has been a huge success that could change the way broadcasters engage with audiences, one of the sport’s top sponsors said on Tuesday.

The 10-part series, made in conjunction with Formula One and covering the 2018 championship, was released ahead of last weekend’s Australian season-opener in Melbourne.

Filmed without the cooperation of world champions Mercedes and rivals Ferrari, it focuses on those further down the starting grid such as the U.S.-owned Haas team and their principal Guenther Steiner.

“I think it’s phenomenally successful, certainly from our perspective,” Heineken’s sponsorship lead for F1 Ben Pincus said at an Advertising Week Europe panel discussion on the ‘resurgence of Formula One’.

“It’s fascinating how you can tell a story without actually ever featuring any on-track action, and a story that in some respects is more compelling and more engaging to your less hard-core fan,” he added.

“I think it’s been a great success…it’s getting people thinking differently about how they broadcast, how they engage with audiences.

“It makes you think about stuff that you might take for granted being really interesting and appealing to others.”

Pincus suggested Formula One’s ‘traditional linear broadcasters’ could grow their audiences by adopting some of Netflix’s story-telling techniques when it comes to the off-track action.

Red Bull Racing’s head of marketing Oliver Hughes said it seemed like 90 percent of those on his flight to Melbourne had been watching the series.

He added that Red Bull, who feature prominently in parting ways with Renault and Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo, had given the Netflix cameras good access and would be even more welcoming for a second season now in the works.

“We entered it with pretty open eyes and a huge amount of trust and our view is that for this year we’ll be more into it than we were last season,” he said.

“We gave access that was enough to be credible but we could have given more. I think the teams that gave more, especially in the midfield, have provided a really interesting story.”

Yath Gangakumaran, Formula One’s director of corporate strategy and business development, said Netflix did not give viewing figures but had “told us it’s gone down very well”.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)

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FILE PHOTO: Stanislas Niox-Chateau, Co-Founder & CEO of Doctolib, poses at the entrance of the company's headquarters in Paris
FILE PHOTO: Stanislas Niox-Chateau, Co-Founder & CEO of Doctolib, poses at the entrance of the company’s headquarters in Paris, France, November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

March 19, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – Franco-German start-up Doctolib, an online booking platform for doctors, has raised 150 million euros from a pool of investors led by U.S. venture capital giant General Atlantic, it said on Tuesday.

The fundraising brings the company’s valuation to over 1 billion euros ($1.14 billion), it said in a statement, taking it to the coveted club of so-called “unicorns” — or startups that valued above that threshold.

General Atlantic, which has $31 billion in assets under management, which has notably invested in China’s biggest e-commerce company Alibaba and flat-sharing app Airbnb, made health one of the key fields in which to invest.

Doctolib’s existing investors, which include investment firm Eurazeo, France’s state-owned investment bank Bpifrance and venture funds Kernel and Accel, also took part in the round, the company’s fifth.

The six-year-old group, based in Paris and Berlin, has not yet reached break even and does not disclose its financial figures.

It says it receives about 30 million online visits from patients every month and works with over 75,000 physicians, who subscribe to its online service for 109 euros a month.

Doctolib’s software aims to cut the so-called “no show” rate, or the number of people who do not turn up for their medical appointments.

It also seeks to ease doctors’ day-to-day communication with patients via remote visits by computer and the sharing of health documents on its platform.

Doctolib intends to spend the new funds to double its staff to 1,500 in the next three years. It also aims to expand out these two markets internationally but declined to provide any target. ($1 = 0.8810 euros)

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gwenaelle Barzic; Editing by Bate Felix)

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Tennis: Miami Open
Mar 19, 2019; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; A general view outside stadium court at Hard Rock Stadium during a rain delay in the first round of the Miami Open at Miami Open Tennis Complex. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) – Rain wiped out the opening day play at the Miami Open on Tuesday, delaying the start of the tournament at its new Hard Rock Stadium home.

Having outgrown the cramped quarters of Key Biscayne’s Crandon Park, and unable to secure the necessary approvals to renovate and expand, the Miami Open has moved to the home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins but the day-long rain spoilt the moment.

With a 25 percent jump in ticket sales, tournament director James Blake, the former world number four, had been expecting a record crowd but instead the 14,000 seat temporary show court inside the stadium stood empty and the luxury boxes were silent.

Germany’s Andrea Petkovic and 17-year-old American Amanda Anisimova were scheduled to christen the action on the main show court with Mari Osaka, the sister of Japanese world number one Naomi Osaka, taking on Whitney Osuigwe in the nightcap.

Tuesday’s first round play was supposed to be a dress rehearsal for Wednesday’s official opening, which will see Serena Williams, who is a part-owner in the Dolphins, Roger Federer and world number ones Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka taking part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“When we get through the first day or two and see what we are in store for I have a feeling we will be announcing a lot of (attendance) records broken this year,” American Blake told Reuters in a pre-tournament interview.

“I don’t want to be too pie-in-the-sky but I do think we are going to break a records.”

Once the rain disappears fans can expect a wide open tournament if the season follows the current trend.

There have been 19 ATP Tour events this season and 13 WTA events each producing a different winner.

Bianca Andreescu, the 18-year-old Canadian who stunned the field in Indian Wells last week to claim her first career win, is on that list and comes to Miami looking to complete what would be an even more unlikely Sunshine Double.

Sloane Stephens, the reigning Miami champion, and Serena Williams, an eight-time winner of what she considers her home event, can count on having the American crowd in their corner as will John Isner, who is back to defend his crown.

Serena, whose name is not among the 13 women’s winners this season, has sister Venus in her quarter of the draw along with the always dangerous second-seeded Romanian Simona Halep.

The men’s draw is also thick with former champions led by six times winner and world number one Djokovic and three-time winner Federer.

The Swiss comes to Florida in superb form after collecting his 100th career win in Dubai and coming off a finals appearance in Indian Wells but will be on alert after crashing out in the first round here a year ago.

World number one Osaka will also be wary with in-form German Angelique Kerber, a losing finalist in Indian Wells, lurking in her quarter.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)

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A general view shows destruction after Cyclone Idai in Beira
A general view shows destruction after Cyclone Idai in Beira, Mozambique, March 16-17, 2019 in this still image taken from a social media video on March 19, 2019. Care International/Josh Estey via REUTERS

March 19, 2019

MAPUTO (Reuters) – The number of people killed after a powerful cyclone and flooding hit Mozambique has risen to above 200, President Filipe Nyusi said on Tuesday after a cabinet meeting on the disaster.

Cyclone Idai tore through Mozambique and inland neighbors Malawi and Zimbabwe after making landfall last week, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The number of people confirmed dead in Mozambique previously stood at 84.

(Reporting by Manuel Mucari; writing by Emma Rumney; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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Israeli soldiers gaurd near the scene of Sunday's attack near the Jewish settlement of Ariel, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank
Israeli soldiers gaurd near the scene of Sunday’s attack near the Jewish settlement of Ariel, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

March 19, 2019

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli forces on Tuesday killed a Palestinian suspected of carrying out a deadly stabbing and shooting attack in the occupied West Bank two days earlier, the Israeli Shin Bet security service said.

The assailant was killed after he opened fire at Israeli forces who had come to arrest him, the Shin Bet said. The Palestinian health ministry confirmed a person had been killed in the clash, but provided no further details.

On Sunday, a suspected Palestinian assailant fatally stabbed a soldier at an intersection on a busy West Bank highway and opened fire at the scene using the conscript’s rifle, killing an Israeli rabbi and wounding a second soldier.

Palestinians, many of them individuals without links to armed groups, carried out a wave of attacks in the West Bank in late 2015 and 2016 but the frequency of such incidents has since decreased.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war. Palestinians seek to establish a state there and in the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed in 2014.

(Reporting by Maayan Lubell and Ali Sawafta; Editing by Tom Brown)

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FILE PHOTO: European Tour - Scottish Open
FILE PHOTO: Golf – European Tour – Scottish Open – Gullane GC, Gullane, Scotland, Britain – July 14, 2018 South Africa’s Trevor Immelman in action during the third round Action Images via Reuters/Craig Brough/File Photo

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – International captain Ernie Els has named Korea’s K.J. Choi, South Africa’s Trevor Immelman and Canada’s Mike Weir as his assistants for this year’s Presidents Cup in Australia, the PGA Tour said on Tuesday.

Els previously named Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy as one of his assistants for the Dec. 12-15 event at Royal Melbourne, where the biennial competition pits a 12-man team from the United States against a lineup of international players from outside Europe.

Choi, an eight-times winner on the PGA Tour who spent 40 weeks inside the top-10 of the world rankings and is considered Asia’s most successful golfer to date, has competed in three Presidents Cups and served as an assistant in 2015.

“It’s our role as captain’s assistants to bring together players of different nationalities and have them blend well together,” Choi said in a statement. “It’s our role to have them open up to us and help relieve some of the pressure they might feel.”

Immelman, who counts the 2008 Masters among his two PGA Tour victories, competed in the Presidents Cup in 2005 and 2007 and will be making his debut as a captain’s assistant.

“As a fellow competitor, Trevor is as steely as they come and I am sure this attribute will rub off positively onto our players,” said Els. “When I played in the same team as Trevor in 2007, he was one of our most determined players and I know he will contribute to our cause in Australia.”

Weir has competed in five Presidents Cups, including four as a team mate of Els, and will be returning for his second stint as an assistant after serving in the role for Nick Price in 2017.

A former Masters champion, Weir is 13-9-2 as a player at the Presidents Cup and one of five International team members with 10 or more match wins in the competition.

“I grew up playing a lot of team sports and when I made my first Presidents Cup team in 2000 it was really one of the highlights,” said Weir.

“So it’s been special to still be part of the team as an assistant to Nick and now Ernie. We have a long history. We’re basically the same age, we’ve played a lot of golf together so it’s going to be really fun to try to get the Internationals over the line this time.”

The United States have won the last seven editions of the Presidents Cup and are 10-1-1 all-time in the event.

U.S. captain Tiger Woods last month named Fred Couples, Zach Johnson and Steve Stricker as his assistants.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)

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FILE PHOTO - Members of the Army march up 5th Avenue during the Veterans Day Parade in New York
FILE PHOTO – Members of the Army march up 5th Avenue during the Veterans Day Parade in New York November 11, 2012. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

March 19, 2019

By Andrew Chung

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A federal judge on Tuesday contradicted the Trump administration’s “incorrect” claim that no legal blocks remain for it to enforce a contentious policy to restrict many transgender individuals from the U.S. armed forces starting on April 12.

In a three-page notice, U.S. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said an injunction that she issued against the policy in 2017 remains in place.

“Defendants were incorrect in claiming that there was no longer an impediment to the military’s implementation” of the transgender policy, the judge wrote.

A spokeswoman for Pentagon said it was consulting with the U.S. Justice Department, which declined to comment.

Three other injunctions issued by judges in separate cases have already been lifted, in part by a Jan. 22 U.S. Supreme Court decision and subsequent action by a federal judge in Maryland.

That prompted the U.S. Defense Department to sign a memo on March 12 that would enforce its service limitations on transgender people, effective one month later.

Kollar-Kotelly’s injunction, however, had been set aside by a three-judge panel of the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Jan. 4. The panel said it would hold off on issuing a “mandate” to finalize the higher court’s decision until it resolves any request by the plaintiffs who challenged the transgender policy as a violation of the U.S. Constitution to rehear their appeal.

“The Trump administration cannot circumvent the judicial process just to fast track its baseless, unfair ban on transgender servicemembers,” said attorney Jennifer Levi of the anti-discrimination group GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, who represents the plaintiffs.

President Donald Trump in 2017 announced a plan to ban transgender people from the military, reversing Democratic former President Barack Obama’s policy of allowing transgender troops to serve openly and get medical transition care.

In March 2018, Trump backed a revised policy from then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. It banned, in some circumstances, transgender people with gender dysphoria, or distress due to internal conflict between physical gender and gender identity.

The Mattis policy also banned transgender people who seek or have undergone gender transition steps.

(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Richard Chang)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Homeland Security Committee Chairman Thompson chairs hearing on border security on Capitol Hill in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) listens to testimony from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on “The Way Forward on Border Security” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts?

March 19, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Following the live-streaming on social media of the mass shooting in New Zealand, the chair of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security wrote a letter to top executives of four major technology companies urging them to do a better job of removing violent political content.

In a letter dated Monday and released on Tuesday, Representative Bennie Thompson urged the chief executives of Facebook, Alphabet’s Google, which owns YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft to more swiftly remove content that would spawn political extremism.

The letter follows the fatal shootings of 50 worshippers in two mosques in Christchurch last week. The shooter, a suspected white supremacist, live-streamed the killings on social media, where it was widely shared.

“Your companies must prioritize responding to these toxic and violent ideologies with resources and attention,” Thomson wrote. “If you are unwilling to do so, Congress must consider policies to ensure that terrorist content is not distributed on your platforms, including by studying the examples being set by other countries.

“The video was widely available on your platforms well after the attack, despite calls from New Zealand authorities to take these videos down,” he wrote.

Facebook said it removed 1.5 million videos showing the attack in the first 24 hours after it occurred.

Thompson also asked the companies for a briefing on the matter.

A Facebook spokesman said the company “will brief the committee soon.” Google, Twitter and Microsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who has been critical of Facebook for privacy lapses, said on Tuesday that the government should tread carefully in reining in tech companies for fear of aiding dictators and other bad actors.

Wyden warned against revoking protections given in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that specifies tech companies are not responsible for what users say on their platform.

“If politicians want to restrict the First Amendment or eliminate the tools with which much of the world communicates in real time, they should understand they are also taking away the tools that bear witness to government brutality, war crimes, corporate lawlessness and incidents of racial bias,” Wyden said in a statement. 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit that advocates for civil liberties in the digital world, cautioned policymakers last week not to rush to regulate speech on online platforms or else it could “disproportionately silence” the most vulnerable users, such as Egyptian journalist Wael Abbas, who was kicked off YouTube for posting videos on police brutality.

EFF also called for guidelines that urge social platforms to be transparent about how many posts and accounts they remove, and give users notice and a chance to appeal if one of their posts is taken down.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Additional reporting by David Shepardson and Sarah Lynch; editing by Bill Berkrot)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A woman exits the Viacom Inc. headquarters in New York
FILE PHOTO: A woman exits the Viacom Inc. headquarters in New York, U.S. on April 30, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

March 19, 2019

By Helen Coster

(Reuters) – Viacom Inc said on Tuesday it has begun warning viewers that its channels could go dark on AT&T Inc-owned DirecTV if it fails to reach a new contract by midnight March 22.

Viacom, the owner of MTV, Nickelodeon, BET, and Comedy Central, accused AT&T of abusing its powers after buying Time Warner Inc, which owns the Warner Bros Hollywood studios and HBO premium cable network.

“Having recently acquired Time Warner, AT&T appears intent on using its new market power to prioritize its own content at the expense of consumers, who are growing increasingly dissatisfied with paying more for less,” Bob Bakish, chief executive officer of Viacom, said in an internal memo seen by Reuters.

AT&T could not immediately be reached for comment.

Viacom said it has reached new distribution deals with Altice USA Inc, Charter Communications Inc and Comcast Corp.

(Reporting by Helen Coster; Editing by Kenneth Li and Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A group of asylum seekers pass a Canadian army vehicle as they walk down the street while escorted from their tent encampment to be processed at Canada Border Services in Lacolle
FILE PHOTO: A group of asylum seekers pass a Canadian army vehicle as they walk down the street while escorted from their tent encampment to be processed at Canada Border Services in Lacolle, Quebec, Canada August 11, 2017. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi/File Photo

March 19, 2019

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada said on Tuesday it planned to spend an additional C$1.2 billion ($902 million) over five years to stem the flow of irregular migrants from the United States, which has become a political threat to the Liberal government ahead of an October election.

Some 57,000 asylum seekers from Nigeria, El Salvador, Honduras and other nations crossed the U.S. border into Canada last year, in some cases citing a fear of persecution by the government of U.S. Donald Trump.

They are allowed to stay until their cases have been heard. Given Canada’s clogged judicial system, that could take years.

Canada began prioritizing the deportation of asylum seekers who walked across the border last year, in a bid to tackle the politically sensitive issue.

In the annual budget, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Ottawa would implement a comprehensive border enforcement strategy “to detect and intercept individuals who cross Canadian borders irregularly and who try to exploit Canada’s immigration system.”

Most arrive in the populous provinces of Ontario and Quebec, which have spent hundreds of millions of dollars taking care of the newcomers. Critics complain that Ottawa is not doing enough to deter the migrants and Liberals concede the issue is hitting the party’s popularity.

According to the budget, the government will start spending the C$1.2 billion in the 2019-20 fiscal year to strengthen the border and speed up the asylum process. Ottawa will also try to “better manage, discourage and prevent irregular migration,” the budget text said.

Canadian officials have over the past two years visited Nigeria, as well as various ethnic communities in the United States, to try to persuade would-be migrants to stay put.

The officials have said that although the people driving the migrant surge claim that everyone who crosses the border is allowed to stay, most are sent back once their cases have been handled.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; editing by Denny Thomas and Tom Brown)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: U.S. flags fly over the Trump International Hotel in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. flags fly over the Trump International Hotel in Washington, U.S., August 3, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

March 19, 2019

By Jan Wolfe

(Reuters) – A three-judge U.S. appeals court panel signaled sympathy toward President Donald Trump on Tuesday in his appeal in a Democratic-backed lawsuit that accuses him of violating anti-corruption provisions of the U.S. Constitution with his Washington hotel.

The judges on the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals indicated they may dismiss the lawsuit filed against the Republican president in June 2017 by the Democratic attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Maryland-based U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte last year allowed the lawsuit to proceed, a ruling that Trump appealed to the 4th Circuit. All three of the judges who heard the appeal were appointed by Republican presidents. Trump’s lawyers told the appeals court that Messitte, a Democratic appointee, should have dismissed the case.

The judges raised concerns about Messitte’s findings on the Constitution’s “emoluments” clauses, which prohibit a president from accepting gifts from foreign countries and U.S. states without congressional approval.

Trump opened the Trump International Hotel, just blocks from the White House, shortly before he was elected in 2016. Unlike past presidents, he has retained ownership of numerous business interests, including the hotel, while serving as president.

Since his election, the hotel has become a favored lodging and event space for some foreign and state officials visiting the U.S. capital. The lawsuit alleges that, in failing to disengage from the hotel, Trump has made himself vulnerable to inducements by foreign governments seeking to curry favor, violating the Constitution.

The Trump Organization, the president’s company now run by his sons, has pledged to donate to the U.S. Treasury profits that its hotels make from foreign governments. The company has reported making such donations, while also saying it is “impractical” to require customers representing foreign countries to identify themselves.

In his ruling, Messitte embraced a broad definition of emoluments. Messitte said the provision encompasses any “profit, gain or advantage” received “directly or indirectly” from a foreign government, U.S. state government or federal agency.

The appeals court judges indicated that Messitte’s definition was too broad. Judge Dennis Shedd said Messitte’s definition could deter from public service “anybody who has grown something successfully or has business interests.”

Judge Paul Niemeyer said requiring the president to divest his financial interest in the hotel would not remove the Trump name from it, and foreign officials would still use it.

The attorneys generals said in a joint statement they “will keep fighting to stop the president’s daily violations of our nation’s original anti-corruption laws, because Americans should never have to wonder if the president is working on their behalf or in his personal financial interest.”

(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Will Dunham)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: New Ford vehicles are seen at a parking lot of the Ford factory in Sao Bernardo do Campo
FILE PHOTO: New Ford vehicles are seen at a parking lot of the Ford factory in Sao Bernardo do Campo February 12, 2015. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

March 19, 2019

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s government said on Tuesday it had agreed free auto trade with Brazil on light vehicles, subject to a 40 percent regional content requirement, and that it had renewed auto trade quotas with Argentina for three years, after which there would be free trade.

The Brazil agreement comes into effect from March 19, and the content requirement would be subject to current formulas for calculation, the economy ministry said in a statement. The statement did not provide details on the formula.

(Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Customers walk out of an IKEA store in Madrid
FILE PHOTO: Customers walk out of an IKEA store in Madrid, Spain, October 10, 2018. REUTERS/Susana Vera

March 19, 2019

By Daina Beth Solomon

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – IKEA is scouting Mexico’s biggest cities for its first store locations in the country, the furniture retailer said, as it expands in Latin America to battle growing competition in its core U.S. and European markets.

The Swedish chain known for modern and inexpensive designs is looking at sites in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, the company’s local franchisee said.

“We’re looking at the biggest cities in Mexico, with those three being the most important,” said Antonia Banuelos-Leon, country marketing manager for IKEA Mexico, in an interview on Monday. “We’re also looking at the country as a whole.”

The company is likely to announce its plans within a month, and is considering various store formats, Banuelos-Leon said. She declined to comment on store numbers or the timeline.

Stores in Europe and the United States drive the majority of sales for Inter IKEA Group and its franchisees, but rival retailers, especially online, are increasingly vying for shoppers. IKEA has 427 stores across 52 markets, with more in the works aimed at growing its customer base.

Late last year, IKEA announced plans to enter Latin America, starting with Chile in 2020 followed by Colombia and Peru.

Banuelos-Leon said IKEA Mexico, which is part of IKEA franchisee Ikano Group, opened an office in Mexico City last April and has advertised job openings in the capital and Guadalajara in recent months.

The country’s dense capital area, with more than 20 million people and scant open space, could challenge IKEA’s traditional model, which calls for vast warehouses on city outskirts packed with goods from lamps to couches and eateries known for their Swedish meatballs.

That model is changing. In January, IKEA announced plans to open its first store in the center of Paris, selling a full range of goods on a compact footprint.

(Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Additional reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher in Mexico City and Anna Ringstrom in Stockholm; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Richard Chang)

Source: OANN

Tencent Music Entertainment company is seen officially listed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York
Tencent Music Entertainment company is seen officially listed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 12, 2018. REUTERS/Bryan R Smith

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – China-based music streaming company Tencent Music Entertainment Group on Tuesday reported a profit of 1.83 billion yuan ($272.7 million) for full-year 2018, in its first earnings report since going public.

The company, controlled by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, reported a net loss of 875 million yuan ($130.39 million) in the fourth quarter due to a one-off share-based accounting charge.

Quarterly revenue rose 50.5 percent to 5.4 billion yuan ($804.7 million), beating the average analysts’ estimates of 5.29 billion yuan.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Sijia Jiang in Hong Kong; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

Source: OANN

Benny Gantz, head of Blue and White party speaks to the media in Kibbutz Nir-Am
Benny Gantz, head of Blue and White party speaks to the media in Kibbutz Nir-Am, Israel March 15, 2019 REUTERS/Amir Cohen

March 19, 2019

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s strongest election rival, former army general Benny Gantz, said on Tuesday he would seek peace with the Palestinians but stopped short of endorsing their goal for statehood.

Gantz, a centrist candidate, said in an interview with Hadashot TV news that Israel has a moral obligation to “strive for peace.”

“I will talk to anyone I can in order to advance a diplomatic solution,” Gantz said.

When asked whether the ultimate goal would be that of a Palestinian state, Gantz did not give a definitive answer although he did suggest that eventually Israel should separate from the Palestinians.

“At the end of the road there is a Jewish, democratic, safe and strong state with a solid Jewish majority and what happens on the other side would be an outcome of what happens at negotiations.”

Palestinians want to establish a state in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, territories that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war. The last round of peace talks between the sides broke down in 2014.

The United States is widely expected to unveil a new peace proposal after the April 9 Israeli election. The Trump administration has wavered over whether it would endorse a Palestinian state, saying the final outcome will be up to the sides to determine, but both sides will have to compromise.

The Palestinians on their part have boycotted the Trump administration since it announced it recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and opened a new U.S. embassy there last year. Washington has also cut hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to the Palestinians.

Gantz’s Blue and White party has slipped in opinion polls recently, although it still has a slight lead over Netanyahu’s Likud in most surveys. However, Netanyahu still appears likely to win the most support from allied parties, allowing him to form a coalition of right-wing and religious factions similar to one he now heads.

After the attorney-general announced on Feb. 28 he plans to indict Netanyahu in three corruption cases, Gantz ruled out joining a Netanyahu government.

But in leaked recordings aired on Israeli Reshet News on Monday, Gantz said that things could change if Trump’s peace plan is put forward.

In Tuesday’s interview he said he would not join a Netanyahu government if charges are indeed filed against the prime minister.

Netanyahu, who denies any wrongdoing, will have the chance to persuade the attorney-general to scrap the charges at a hearing expected after the election.

(Reporting by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams
FILE PHOTO: NFL Football – Super Bowl LIII – New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams – Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. – February 3, 2019. New England Patriots’ Julian Eddleman (R) and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft celebrate with the Vince Lombardi trophy after winning the Super Bowl LIII. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

March 19, 2019

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) – The owner of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots could be spared prosecution on charges of soliciting prostitution in Florida if he agrees to community service and other obligations, a spokesman for prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Robert Kraft, the National Football League team owner, is receiving the same offer from the Office of the State Attorney for Palm Beach County as the other first-time misdemeanor offenders caught up in the case last month, said Mike Edmondson, a spokesman for the office. Edmondson declined to say if Kraft has agreed to the offer for avoiding prosecution.

Kraft, 77, a businessman who built the Patriots into the NFL’s most dominant franchise, was charged following a police sting targeting sex-trafficking in day spas and massage parlors. The operation has led to charges against hundreds of people.

An attorney for Kraft could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for the New England Patriots did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Prosecutors would defer prosecution of Kraft if he agrees to 100 hours of community service, receives education on the harms of prostitution, undergoes screening for sexually transmitted diseases and pays court costs, Edmondson said by phone.

Prosecutors also generally require defendants avoiding prosecution in such cases to admit guilt or acknowledge that prosecutors would prevail in the case at trial, he said.

Kraft is one of 25 people who were charged in Palm Beach County with soliciting prostitution, a charge with a maximum sentence one year in jail if a person is convicted.

The New England Patriots play just outside Boston. Kraft lives in Massachusetts but owns property in Florida’s wealthy Palm Beach, 80 miles (130 km) north of downtown Miami.

Kraft is accused of visiting Orchids of Asia Day Spa in the Palm Beach County community of Jupiter on two separate occasions to solicit sex and was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution.

Kraft, a friend and supporter of President Donald Trump, could face discipline from the NFL under a policy that applies to team owners and prohibits “conduct detrimental to the integrity” of the NFL.

In 2004, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was suspended six games and fined $500,000 after he pleaded guilty to driving while on drugs.

Kraft’s wife of many decades, Myra Hiatt Kraft, died in 2011 of ovarian cancer. He has not remarried.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; editing by Bill Tarrant and Grant McCool)

Source: OANN

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau walk from Trudeau's office to the House of Commons to deliver the budget on Parliament Hill in Ottawa
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau walk from Trudeau’s office to the House of Commons to deliver the budget on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

March 19, 2019

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s Liberal government on Tuesday presented a budget that focused on improving access to housing and lavished the middle-class with a slew of spending measures to woo voters ahead of an upcoming federal election.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau government’s last budget before the October election was aimed at boosting consumer spending at a time when the economy is slowing amid global uncertainties, while shifting the narrative away from a political crisis that has dented the Liberals popularity.

“There’s a growing sense of uncertainty taking root around the world… and Canada is not immune to those worries,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in a prepared budget speech.

The budget outlined measures to help first-time buyers get into housing, new spending for skills training, new benefits for retirees and students, and the creation of a federal agency to cut the cost of prescription medications. 

“We’re going to invest in the middle-class and in the things that matter most to Canadians; good jobs, strong communities, a clean environment and better opportunities for future generations,” Morneau added.

With the new spending, the projected deficit in 2019-20 inched up to C$19.8 billion ($14.9 billion) from C$19.6 billion forecast in November. The 2018-19 deficit is now projected at C$14.9 billion, down from C$18.1 billion forecast in November.

The budget blueprint, which is expected to be implemented given the Liberal’s parliamentary majority, also maintained a C$3 billion a year fiscal cushion, a rainy day reserve to guard against unexpected events that could hurt the government books.

(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Ottawa)(Editing by Denny Thomas)

Source: OANN

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley waits to testify in Ottawa
FILE PHOTO: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley waits to testify before the Senate energy, environment and natural resources committee in the Senate of Canada Building in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

March 19, 2019

By Nia Williams

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – The western Canadian province of Alberta will hold an election on April 16, kickstarting a contest that many polls suggest will result in a change of government in the country’s oil-producing heartland as it struggles with a sluggish economy.

Premier Rachel Notley’s left-leaning New Democratic Party won a shock victory in traditionally conservative Alberta in 2015, ending 44 years of conservative rule, but inherited a provincial economy rocked by the collapse of global oil prices.

Notley was initially an ally of Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and backed his attempts to please the oil industry and environmentalists by championing export pipelines while also introducing carbon pricing.

The relationship soured last year over efforts to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline, prompting Notley to pull her support for Trudeau’s carbon plan. Ottawa owns the pipeline, whose expansion remains delayed.

Alberta’s government has grappled with weak oil prices, persistent budget deficits and a dearth of new export pipelines that left the landlocked province’s crude building up in storage, resulting in the discount on Canadian heavy crude blowing out to record levels last year.

As a last resort, Alberta took the controversial step of curtailing oil production to help prop up prices and investing in railcars to move more crude to market, a move that earned approval from some cash-strapped producers in the province’s dominant oil industry, and outrage from critics.

Announcing the date of the election in the oil industry’s corporate hub Calgary on Tuesday, Notley emphasized her government’s commitment to health and education and its efforts to revitalize Alberta’s economy.

“Since the oil price collapsed I know these last few years have been scary for a lot of families and I have worked day and night with my team to fight this recession and bring our economy back,” she told supporters.

Opinion polls suggest Notley could be the first one-term premier in Alberta’s history, and cede power to opposition leader Jason Kenney of the United Conservative Party, a former top federal cabinet minister.

The UCP have been consistently ahead in the polls since last year. An Ipsos/Global News poll on Tuesday said 53 percent of Albertans would vote for the UCP if an election were held today, versus 35 percent for the NDP.

Notley criticized Kenney for recent allegations that he was involved in an ethically dubious campaign to discredit a rival in the UCP leadership contest in 2017.

Kenney has denied any wrongdoing, but some political analysts say the scandal will dog his party’s election bid.

“If you add up the number of actual (UCP) party members to come out and publicly speak against Jason Kenney, this is significant,” said Lori Williams, a political science professor at Calgary’s Mount Royal University. “But is it going to be enough to shift undecided voters, that remains to be seen.”

Voters in Alberta are most concerned about the economy, jobs and getting pipelines built, Williams said, and the UCP will try and focus attention on how they would do a better job of tackling those issues. Notley and the NDP are likely to make issues of integrity, equality and trust a central part of their campaign, especially in light of the allegations surrounding Kenney.

(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and G Crosse)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Traders work at the post that trades FedEx on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
FILE PHOTO: Traders work at the post that trades FedEx on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange April 7, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – Package delivery company FedEx Corp reported a lower adjusted quarterly net profit on Tuesday, and cut its full-year earnings per share forecast for the second time, citing weaker global trade growth.

The company’s adjusted net income fell to $797 million, or $3.03 per diluted share, in the third quarter ended Feb. 28, from $1.02 billion, or $3.72 per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue rose about 3 percent to about $17.0 billion.

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro takes part in wreath laying at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro arrives during ceremonies to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery during his visit to Washington in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

March 19, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday that he planned to visit China in the second half of this year.

Bolsonaro, who during last year’s presidential campaign sharply criticized Chinese investments in Brazil, made the comment in Washington a few hours after he met with U.S. President Donald Trump.

(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu in Washington; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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FILE PHOTO: A police officer stands guard outside the FAA air traffic control center in Aurora, Illinois
FILE PHOTO: A police officer stands guard outside the FAA air traffic control center in Aurora, Illinois September 26, 2014. REUTERS/Karl Plume

March 19, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump is expected nominate former Delta Air Lines executive Steve Dickson to head the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as early as Tuesday, two people briefed on the matter said.

Reuters reported on March 8 that Trump was expected to soon nominate Dickson, who retired after 27 years at Delta BA.N in October as senior vice president of global flight operations, to run the 45,000-employee agency that oversees U.S. airspace.

The FAA is facing questions over its certification of the Boeing 737 MAX that has been involved in two fatal crashes since October. Last year, Reuters and other outlets reported that Trump was considering his longtime personal pilot, John Dunkin, to lead the FAA.

(Reporting by David Shepardson and Eric Beech; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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FILE PHOTO: Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador attends a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City
FILE PHOTO: Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador attends a news conference to announce a plan to strengthen finances of state oil firm Pemex, at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo

March 19, 2019

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday put in writing a promise to never seek a second term, after critics expressed worry that a new law allowing a mid-term recall referendum could be a step toward a re-election bid.

At a morning news conference, Lopez Obrador signed a document in which he vowed to step down as president when his term ends in 2024, and retire to his ranch in southern Mexico.

“Never, under any circumstance, will I try to perpetuate myself in the position that I currently have,” the document stated.

Several Latin American leaders have changed laws to allow them to stand for re-election, including leftists such as Venezuela’s late president Hugo Chavez and President Evo Morales in Bolivia. Colombia’s conservative former president Alvaro Uribe unsuccessfully tried to change the law and run for a second term.

The Mexican constitution limits a president to a single six-year term, and the principle of no re-election has been at the heart of Mexican politics since Francisco Madero campaigned in 1909 against president Porfirio Diaz, who had held on to power for three decades.

Late Thursday, Mexico’s lower house of Congress approved legislation permitting referendums to cut short the presidential term, in line with Lopez Obrador’s plan to have the public vote on his performance half-way through his administration.

The constitutional change, which must still be approved by the Senate, will enable Lopez Obrador to honor his pledge to give the electorate a chance to vote him out after three years.

Critics say that will also allow the president to put himself at the center of the campaign for mid-term legislative elections in 2021, and could encourage support for permitting re-election.

(Reporting by Sharay Angulo; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by David Gregorio)

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FILE PHOTO: An electric scooter from the ride sharing company Lyft is shown on a downtown sidewalk in San Diego
FILE PHOTO: An electric scooter from the ride sharing company Lyft is shown on a downtown sidewalk in San Diego, California, U.S., March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

March 19, 2019

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Lyft Inc’s initial public offering (IPO) is oversubscribed based on commitments made so far by investors, making it more likely that the ride-hailing startup will fetch or even exceed the $23 billion valuation it is seeking, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Lyft started its IPO road show on Monday and has spent the last two days meeting with investors in New York, the sources said. It has set an indicative IPO price range of $62 to $68 per share and is set to price the IPO on March 28.

The exact level of oversubscription could not be learned. The sources cautioned that the IPO price is still uncertain and asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

Lyft declined to comment.

(Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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Sergio Rojas indigenous land activist is pictured during a interview in Salitre, Buenos Aires de Puntarenas
Sergio Rojas indigenous land activist is pictured during a interview in Salitre, Buenos Aires de Puntarenas, Costa Rica, October 2, 2015. Courtesy of La Nacion via REUTERS

March 19, 2019

By Alvaro Murillo

SAN JOSE (Reuters) – Unknown attackers shot dead a well-known Costa Rican activist who defended land for the Bribri indigenous people in the Central American country, the government said on Tuesday.

Sergio Rojas was at his home in the indigenous territory of Salitre, about 200 km (124 miles) south of the capital, San Jose, when the attack happened late on Monday, the office of President Carlos Alvarado said in a statement, calling the killing “regrettable.”

Costa Rica has 24 indigenous territories inhabited by eight ethnic groups, with occupation and encroachment on their land by ranchers causing conflict since the 1960s.

Rojas had survived at least one previous assassination attempt. In 2015, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ordered the government to provide Bribri and Teribe people with protection, arguing they were at risk because of actions taken to recover their lands.

“He made a lot of enemies over the years,” said Sonia Suárez, a schoolteacher in Salitre.

In a statement, Costa Rica’s ombudsman said Rojas had requested further police protection on Friday after he and other members of his organization said they were shot at in connection with their “recovery” of a farm on Bribri land.

Salitre has experienced land conflicts for generations, with Bribri activists trying to remove non-indigenous farmers from the land in recent years.

Costa Rica’s 1977 Indigenous Law prohibits the sale of indigenous lands, but is not clear on what to do in cases where land within reserves was already farmed by outsiders.

(Reporting by Alvaro Murillo; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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MLS: LA Galaxy Unveil David Beckham Statue
Mar 2, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; MLS commissioner Don Garber speaks during David Beckham statue at Legends Plaza at Dignity Health Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

By Hilary Russ

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Major League Soccer said on Tuesday that Roar Digital LLC, a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings PLC, would be its exclusive sports betting partner, the league’s first.

The multi-year deal also makes MGM the league’s first official gaming partner, though not an exclusive one. It also provides MGM and Roar access to league data for fans and sports bettors, according to a statement.

“Major League Soccer is proud to partner with MGM Resorts to bring existing and new fans close to our sport in innovative and immersive ways,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in the statement.

Marketing rights are also included, with the sportsbook operators allowed to post visible signs for more than 100 nationally broadcast MLS games.

The deal makes MGM a partner with yet another major sports league after it inked similar agreements with the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball.

The National Football League named Caesars Entertainment Corp as its first casino partner in January, but that deal did not include sports betting.

The deals come in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May 2018 that allowed states to legalize, regulate and tax sports wagering.

Less than a year later, eight states now offer legal sports wagering, including Nevada, which was always allowed to offer such bets.

Bookmakers, casinos, leagues, teams, media companies, data providers and others are seeking to capitalize on the brand new U.S. sports betting market that is now evolving state by state.

Professional sports leagues, which previously fought legalization because of fears it could lead to match fixing, now hope that the spread of legal sports betting will help engage fans and drive up the value of their teams.

MLS’ partnership will also develop a free game that can help “drive adoption of sports betting” in states that have already legalized it and build a base of potential bettors in those that have yet to adopt it, the statement said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

(Reporting by Hilary Russ, editing by G Crosse)

Source: OANN

A policeman stands in front of the Petrobras headquarters during a protest in Rio de Janeiro
A policeman stands in front of the Petrobras headquarters during a protest in Rio de Janeiro March 4, 2015. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

March 19, 2019

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – The Brazilian government is likely to pay around $10 billion to state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA to settle the so-called ‘transfer-of-rights’ dispute, newspaper Valor Economico reported on Tuesday, though the parties have not agreed on final terms.

The financial daily, citing a source with knowledge of the matter, said the payment was a reduction from a previous proposal of $14 billion. Valor in January had reported that the government had agreed on the higher figure, but the government subsequently denied the report.

The two sides are close to an agreement, the paper said, reiterating statements by public officials in recent weeks.

Petrobras, as the firm is widely known, did not respond to a request for comment. The economy ministry said that “the negotiations continue” and the final values “will be announced when they are agreed upon between parties.”

The transfer-of-rights dispute dates back to a 2010 deal between the government and Petrobras relating to a huge share offering that would have diluted the government’s stake.

To maintain control of the company, the government sold Petrobras the rights to explore 5 billion barrels of oil in an area off Brazil’s coast for 74.8 billion reais at the time. With that money, it bought additional Petrobras shares.

Brazil’s oil regulator now estimates there are around 17 billion barrels of recoverable oil in the area, and the government is seeking to auction rights for the exploration of the excess oil. First, the two sides need to resolve the dispute over the area, which will result in a significant payment to Petrobras.

On Friday, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said – without specifying the currency – that Petrobras and the government had started off 60 billion apart in their negotiating positions, but were now only 2 billion apart. The figures likely refer to dollars, as the two sides at one point each believed they were owed $30 billion.

(Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Chizu Nomiyama)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during an event to introduce the
FILE PHOTO: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during an event to introduce the “Medicare for All Act of 2017” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

March 19, 2019

By James Oliphant

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders on Tuesday said he is hiring a well-known liberal journalist with a history of sharply criticizing other Democratic presidential candidates, including Beto O’Rourke.

Sanders’ campaign said it is bringing in David Sirota, whose work has appeared in The Guardian and Newsweek, among other outlets, as a senior adviser and speechwriter.

The move could stoke tensions within the Democratic field since Sirota has previously targeted O’Rourke, a former U.S. congressman from Texas who entered the presidential race last week, and other rivals.

Sirota on Twitter and in published articles has accused O’Rourke of siding with President Donald Trump and Republicans while a member of the House of Representatives, as well as being overly friendly with the oil and gas industry.

Sirota’s criticism of O’Rourke in December drew a warning from Neera Tanden, a top ally of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and president of the Center for American Progress, a Democratic think tank.

“A supporter of Bernie Sanders attacking a Democrat,” Tanden tweeted. “This is seriously dangerous. We know Trump is in the White House and attacking Dems is doing Trump’s bidding.”

The conflict was a reminder of the bad blood between the Clinton and Sanders camps when they battled for the Democratic nomination ahead of the 2016 presidential race and the mistrust between the party’s moderate and progressive wings.

Sirota also has slammed presidential candidates Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Kamala Harris, as well as former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, for being overly cozy with corporate interests.

Sanders’ campaign did not respond to a request for comment on Sirota’s hiring.

Sirota worked for Sanders as a press secretary when Sanders was a member of the House of Representatives in the early 2000s.

An article Sirota wrote in 2013 for the liberal news website Salon praising the economic record of Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s late socialist president, also attracted criticism on social media from Sanders’ Democratic Party critics and conservatives alike.

Sanders recently refused to label Venezuela’s current president, Nicolas Maduro, a dictator or recognize the opposition leader, Juan Guaido, as the country’s rightful leader – the current U.S. position.

Guaido invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency in January, saying Maduro’s re-election was not legitimate.

O’Rourke said while campaigning in Iowa last week that he supported Guaido’s claim on Venezuela’s presidency.

(Reporting by James Oliphant; editing by Colleen Jenkins and G Crosse)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in briefing on southern U.S. border in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a briefing on “drug trafficking on the southern border” in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

March 19, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that U.S. trade talks with China were going well as two top American officials reportedly plan a visit to China next week for a fresh round of talks.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expect to fly to Beijing the week of March 25 to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who will pay a return trip to Washington the following week, the Wall Street Journal said, citing Trump administration officials.

Talks between China and the United States are in the final stages, with a target date for a deal by the end of April, according to the report.

“China’s going very well. Talks with China are going very well,” Trump said in response to a shouted question at the end of his White House news conference with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Washington and Beijing have slapped import duties on each other’s products that have cost the world’s two largest economies billions of dollars, roiled markets and disrupted manufacturing and supply chains.

Representatives of the U.S. Treasury and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative could not be immediately reached for comment. The White House had no immediate comment.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Grant McCool)

Source: OANN

Federal Reserve Board building on Constitution Avenue is pictured in Washington
Federal Reserve Board building on Constitution Avenue is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

March 19, 2019

By Michael Connor

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Dovish investors are going to be disappointed by the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting open market committee who are meeting now and should hedge against policy outcomes likely to rattle global markets, Weeden & Co. derivatives strategist Michael Purves said on Tuesday.

Purves told the Reuters Global Markets Forum chatroom that expectations for interest-rate levels between policymakers and markets were extraordinarily wide.

That gap carried the biggest risks of losses for investors betting the Fed will soon resume rate cuts and balance-sheet policies in place since 2008’s financial crisis, Purves said. The Fed will issue its decision and an accompanying statement on Wednesday.

Here are excerpts:

Question: What do you expect to hear from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday?

Answer: Most agree that we will see the Fed lower its rate-hike expectations and give some comforting language on the balance sheet. But my question is whether the (messages) will be skewed for the hawks or the doves? (Even) if the Fed lowered by two hikes from December, that would still be north of where the market is. So, to deliver a net dovish message, the Fed must really deliver two hikes lower than December, (and) a strong message on the balance sheet. …It seems a big ask.

Q: Why do you think the Fed may surprise on the hawkish side?

A: One key factor is the Fed pivot – the heightened market stress shown through VIX and higher credit spreads in Q4 – has largely reversed. Further, breakeven inflation rates and commodities have rallied substantially since the dark days of December. So, if you look at the 10-year yield, you can see its trajectory lower over the past several months has been solely defined by rates-hike expectations, while ignoring other factors such as inflation. Another factor is lower foreign sovereign yields.

Q: Where would the current 10-year yield of 2.60 percent be ordinarily?

A: We could easily be above 2.80 percent and perhaps trending towards 3.0 percent.

Q: What should investors do?

A: Buy some hedges for asset classes sensitive to a net hawkish message tomorrow. For example, EM (emerging markets), commodities, and even the overall market.

Q: Which things should investors watch Wednesday?

A: Fed funds and Eurodollars (money markets) are very volatile and kind of manic depressive. They can swing. Keep an eye on the 10-year Bund. It is extremely low. Be mindful of how EM assets trade; they may in fact fight through a net hawkish FOMC tomorrow.

((This interview was conducted in the Reuters Global Markets Forum, a chat room based on the Eikon platform.))

(Reporting By Michael Connor in New York; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro hold a joint news conference at the White House in Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a joint news conference with Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

March 19, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that social media platforms discriminated against members of his party, and accused the companies of collusion.

“It seems to be if they’re conservative, if they’re Republicans, if they’re in a certain group, there’s discrimination, and big discrimination, and I see it absolutely on Twitter and Facebook … and others,” Trump said at a joint White House news conference with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

“We use the word ‘collusion’ very loosely all the time, and I will tell you there is collusion with respect to that because something has to be going on,” Trump said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; writing by Mohammad Zargham; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: People wait in line outside the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the orders being issued, in Washington
FILE PHOTO: People wait in line outside the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the orders being issued, in Washington, U.S. March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo

March 19, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday flatly ruled out the idea of expanding the U.S. Supreme Court as proposed by some 2020 presidential contenders, saying Democrats only wanted to boost the number of justices to “catch up” with conservatives.

“I wouldn’t entertain that. The only reason they’re doing that is they want to try to catch up, so if they can’t catch up through the ballot box by winning an election they want to try doing it in a different way,” Trump told a news conference.

“No, we would have no interest in that whatsoever. It’ll never happen. … I guarantee it won’t happen for six years,” Trump said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Rihanna and Jay-Z react on stage after winning Grammy for best rap/sung collaboration for
FILE PHOTO: Rihanna (L) and Jay-Z react on stage after winning Grammy for best rap/sung collaboration for “Umbrella” at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles February 10, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

March 19, 2019

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Publishers representing the writers of songs by Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Carrie Underwood and hundreds of other artists sued Peloton Interactive Inc on Tuesday, accusing the maker of video-streaming stationary bicycles of copyright infringement.

In a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, the 10 publishers are seeking more than $150 million of damages, accusing Peloton of exploiting their songs by using more than 1,000 in its videos without permission.

They said Peloton must stop “trampling” their rights by using their songs for free, and said the company’s having obtained song licenses from other publishers showed it “fully understood what the copyright law required.”

Peloton did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The New York-based company is expected to seek a more than $4 billion valuation in an initial public offering that could occur in the second half of 2019, The Wall Street Journal said.

Founded in 2012, Peloton sells bicycles starting at $2,245, in packages that it said require signing up for memberships to access live and on-demand classes for cycling, running, yoga and other activities. Access to unlimited classes costs $39 a month.

The 10 music publishers include Big Deal Music, Downtown Music Publishing, Ole, Peermusic, Pulse Music Publishing, Reservoir, The Richmond Organization, Round Hill, Royalty Network and Ultra Music.

They said Peloton’s infringements cover songs by a who’s who of the music industry, such as the unauthorized use of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” in at least 55 workout videos.

The list of alleged infringements includes such songs as Mars’ “Grenade,” Perry’s “Roar,” Timberlake’s “SexyBack” and Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.”

It also includes older songs such as Celine Dion’s version of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” and Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s Halloween staple “Monster Mash.”

David Israelite, chief executive of the National Music Publishers’ Association, a trade group representing the plaintiffs, in a statement said music was responsible for much of Peloton’s business success.

“We look forward to getting music creators what they deserve,” he said.

The case is Downtown Music Publishing LLC et al v Peloton Interactive Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 19-02426.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)

Source: OANN

U.S. President Donald Trump and Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro hold a joint news conference at the White House in Washington
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump during a joint news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

March 19, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he plans to designate Brazil as a major non-NATO ally “or maybe a NATO ally.”

Speaking at a joint White House news conference with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Trump said: “As I told President Bolsonaro, I also intend to designate Brazil as a major non-NATO ally – or … maybe a NATO ally. I’ll have to talk to a lot of people but maybe a NATO ally – which will greatly advance security and cooperation between our countries.”

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 14
FILE PHOTO: Mar 17, 2019; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Bianca Andreescu (CAN) with the championship trophy after defeating Angelique Kerber (not pictured) in the final match of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 19, 2019

By Frank Pingue

(Reuters) – Bianca Andreescu has brushed aside several big-name players during her meteoric rise in women’s tennis, but the Canadian teenager is wary for now of injuries, and not opponents, becoming the biggest obstacle in her career.

Andreescu, who has dealt with several injury setbacks in her young career, needed to overcome nerves, fatigue and arm and leg issues during her triumph over former world number one Angelique Kerber in Sunday’s Indian Wells final.

The triumph made Andreescu, 18, the youngest Indian Wells champion since Serena Williams in 1999 and the first wildcard to take home the title from one of the biggest tennis tournaments outside of the four Grand Slams.

“I’ve never been in a situation like that before. Never been in a final of a premier event playing a very high-level opponent,” Andreescu said on Tuesday during a conference call from Florida where she is competing in the Miami Open.

“So I think it was also all of the emotions and all of the tension that was going through my body that caused me to get even more tired than I usually would.”

A struggling Andreescu called for her coach after falling behind 3-2 in the decisive third set of her win over three-times Grand Slam champion Kerber and said her “feet were burning” and that she was having trouble moving on the court.

Andreescu, who as a junior in 2016 missed six months due to stress fractures in her foot and last year missed action with back issues, said she has already taken steps to try to find ways to avoid further injuries.

“Tennis Canada has a great group of doctors and I’ve been running some tests with them to see what the problem is,” said Andreescu. “But definitely after Miami I will take a good two or three weeks off just figuring out what to do better with my body and my nutrition and my mind.”

Andreescu first made waves in January when she beat former world number ones Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams on consecutive nights in a tune-up event for the Australian Open where fatigue seemed to play a factor in her second round loss.

Still, the whirlwind start to the year, a period in which Andreescu has shot to 24th in the world rankings from 152nd, has given the Canadian a sense of confidence when competing against the world’s best players.

“Now that I am gaining more and more experience and getting more and more confident playing against these top-level players I am definitely not starstruck anymore,” said Andreescu, whose run in Indian Wells included wins over five seeded players.

“But I want to just go into every match not trying to focus on who’s on the other side (of the net) and just focus on myself.”

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Source: OANN

Britain, European and French flags are seen before a news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris
FILE PHOTO: Britain, European and French flags are seen before a news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

March 19, 2019

By Richard Lough and Jean-Baptiste Vey

PARIS (Reuters) – France is ready to veto any British request for a Brexit delay that either kicks the can down the road without offering a way out of its deadlock or imperils European Union institutions, an official in President Emmanuel Macron’s office said on Tuesday.

The warning came as Britain planned to ask the EU to extend the negotiating period by at least three months after Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for another vote on her twice-defeated divorce deal were thrown into turmoil.

The Elysee official’s comments were the strongest indication yet from Macron’s office that France will not agree to an extension beyond the scheduled March 29 leave date simply to save Britain from a chaotic exit with no deal.

Asked about a possible French veto, the official said: “it is a possible scenario, yes, if the conditions for an extension are not met.” Any extension has to be approved by all 27 EU members remaining in the bloc.

Macron, an ardent Europhile, has championed an EU refusal to reopen at the eleventh hour Britain’s withdrawal agreement, the result of more than two years of hard-fought negotiations.

The presidential aide said France would assess any request for an extension against two criteria: is there a credible British plan, or strategy, that can win a majority in Westminster; and what will the impact be on the smooth running of Europe’s institutions?

An extension beyond late June, a month after European elections in late May, could see Britain maintain a commissioner in the EU executive, lawmakers in the European Parliament and a seat at the table of EU leaders, with influence on decisions for the bloc’s future even as it tries to leave.

A no-deal exit by Britain was “not desirable, was not being pushed by the EU, by France or other member states, but will impose itself on us if no real alternative is put forward in the next few days or even the next few hours,” the official added.

May’s spokesman said on Tuesday the prime minister was writing to European Council President Donald Tusk to ask for a delay. He did not disclose how long a delay she would seek, but said she believed it should be as short as possible.

May had earlier told parliament that if it did not ratify her deal, she would ask to delay Brexit beyond June 30, a step that Brexit advocates fear would endanger the entire divorce.

French officials say in private that they are not alone in their stance but that they are more willing than other countries to stick their necks out because Britain will always blame the French for their misfortunes.

In Brussels, Germany’s Europe Minister Michael Roth complained that EU patience was being sorely tested by London but adopted a softer tone than Paris, saying Germany’s main aim was to avoid a no-deal Brexit, which would disrupt business across the continent.

“Everything has been done to avoid a no-deal and a disorderly British exit,” the French presidency official said. “Now, we need a clear political choice in the United Kingdom.”

(Reporting by Jean Baptiste Vey and Richard Lough; Editing by Frances Kerry)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration
FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said on Tuesday as part of a settlement with Facebook Inc the social network will make changes to its paid advertising platform to prevent discrimination in employment, housing and credit ads.

Facebook will also take proactive steps to prevent advertisers from discriminating users based on race, sex and age, ACLU said in a statement.

Since late 2016, Facebook has faced legal pressure related to its ad targeting practices from the ACLU, Outten & Golden LLP, the Communications Workers of America, job seekers and consumers, and fair housing and civil rights organizations.

Facebook in the past had reached a similar agreement with the Washington state to end discriminatory ad targeting, and had said it removed thousands of categories related to potentially sensitive personal attributes from its exclusion ad targeting tools.

(Reporting by Akanksha Rana and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer listens as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He talks while they line up for a group photo at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, listens as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He talks while they line up for a group photo at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China February 15, 2019. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – Top U.S. and China negotiators are planning new rounds of talks starting next week to end a trade dispute between the two nations, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expect to fly to Beijing the week of March 25 to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, who will pay a return trip to Washington, D.C. the following week, the report said, citing Trump administration officials.

Talks between China and the United States are in the final stages, with a target date for a deal by the end of April, according to the report https://www.wsj.com/articles/lighthizer-mnuchin-to-travel-to-beijing-11553015413?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1.

Washington and Beijing have slapped import duties on each other’s products that have cost the world’s two of the largest economies billions of dollars, roiled markets and disrupted manufacturing and supply chains.

Representatives of the U.S. Treasury and Office the U.S. Trade Representative could not be immediately reached for comment. The White House had no immediate comment.

(Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Reactions following vote on Brexit 'plan B'
FILE PHOTO: Dealers work at their desks whilst screens show market data following a vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit ‘plan B’ at CMC Markets in London, Britain, January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

March 19, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union’s markets watchdog published guidance on Tuesday that would allow investors to continue trading shares in London for a temporary period in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said its guidance should be understood as being “limited to the no-deal Brexit scenario and as being conceived for a temporary period to mitigate cliff-edge effects because of a no-deal Brexit”.

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Gareth Jones)

Source: OANN

A woman walks into the head offices of WADA in Montreal
FILE PHOTO: A woman walks into the head office of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada November 9, 2015. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

March 19, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – French judges have issued international arrest warrants for two former Russian athletics officials as part of an investigation of doping cover-ups, a legal source said on Tuesday.

The source named the two as Valentin Balakhnichev, the former president of the Russian athletics federation, and former head distance coach Alexei Melnikov.

Both were banned for life in January 2016­, two months after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) published a report containing evidence of widespread, state-sponsored doping in Russian athletics.

The report led to the suspension of the Russian athletics federation, which remains in effect to this day.

Balakhnichev, who also served as treasurer of global athletics body IAAF from 2011 to 2014, told Reuters that he had not been notified of the decision by French authorities. Melnikov did not answer multiple phone calls on Tuesday afternoon.

The French probe began in November 2015 with former IAAF chief Lamine Diack being put under formal investigation on suspicion of corruption and money laundering. He had been accused of receiving bribes to cover up doping violations by Russian athletes.

France’s financial prosecutor has said that Senegalese Papa Massata Diack, Lamine Diack’s son, had been at the heart of a corruption scheme in international sports, an accusation he has denied.

Although the Russian athletics federation has been banned since November 2015, some Russians have been cleared to compete internationally as neutrals if they demonstrate they are competing in a doping-free environment.

(Reporting by Simon Carraud; Additional reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber in Moscow; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Source: OANN

A boat used by migrants is seen near the western town of Sabratha
A boat used by migrants is seen near the western town of Sabratha, Libya March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

March 19, 2019

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – At least 10 migrants died when their boat sank off the Libyan coast near the western town of Sabratha on Tuesday, a Libyan security official said.

About 17 others were rescued, Aiman Dabbashi, Sabratha’s security operations spokesman, said.

Libya’s western coast is a main departure point for migrants fleeing poverty and wars to reach Europe, though numbers have dropped since Italy and the European Union stepped up efforts to support the Libyan coast guard.

“According to a survivor from Sudan, the boat was carrying about 27 illegal migrants who set off from (the western town of) Zuwarah but we are still finding out more,” Dabbashi told Reuters.

“We rescued about 17 illegal migrants including a woman who all were taken to the hospital. There are about ten bodies of the other migrants.”

The migrants came from various sub-Saharan countries.

The United Nations migration agency IOM said 15 survivors had been brought to a hospital but it did not know how many people had been on board.

(Reporting by Ahmed Elumami; Editing by Ulf Laessing and Angus MacSwan)

Source: OANN

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google keynote address at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google keynote address at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

March 19, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google announced on Tuesday a video game streaming service dubbed Stadia that attempts to capitalize on the company’s cloud technology and global network of data centers.

The technology would allow users to play high-end games on their internet browser without having to wait for any content to be downloaded to their device.

Google unveiled the service during a keynote presentation in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference, which is bringing together this week about 25,000 people who work in the video games industry.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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