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  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence that the Trump campaign or any Trump associates conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
  • That finding deals a heavy blow to Democrats and some in the media who have pushed at least seven different theories of collusion over the past two-plus years.
  • Many of those theories derived from the infamous Steele dossier.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller put a nail in the coffin for the numerous conspiracy theories that the Trump campaign worked with Russian operatives to influence the 2016 election.

Over the past two years, at least seven main theories of collusion have appeared in the press and through the infamous Steele dossier.

Former Trump associates Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone were all alleged at various points to have colluded with Russia. The infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting was also alleged to be where collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia occurred.

And then there was the case of Peter Smith, the late GOP operative who allegedly worked with hackers to track down Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails.

The theories percolated in the media, often stoked by Democrats like California Rep. Adam Schiff, who said he saw “more than circumstantial evidence” of collusion.

But Mueller dispelled those theories in a report of his 22-month investigation.

“The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Mueller wrote, according to Attorney General William Barr. (RELATED: Justice Department Details Mueller’s Conclusions: No Collusion)

Mueller found no evidence that Trump, his associates, or other Americans worked with Russians to release emails through WikiLeaks. He also found no evidence that Trump associates helped the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company that planted disinformation on American social media networks.

Here are those seven conspiracy theories.

Carter Page

The Steele dossier alleges that Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser, took part in a “well-developed conspiracy of co-operation” between the Trump campaign and Russian leadership. According to former British spy Christopher Steele, Page was working under the direction of Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chairman, to carry out the conspiracy.

“The reason for using WikiLeaks was ‘plausible deniability’ and the operation had been conducted with the full knowledge and support of TRUMP and senior members of his campaign team,” alleged Steele in a memo in late July 2016.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 02: Carter Page, former foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign, speaks to the media after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. The committee is conducting an investigation into Russia's tampering in the 2016 election. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Carter Page, former foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign, speaks in November 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In exchange for the help, Trump’s team agreed to side with Russia on the Ukraine issue.

According to Steele’s Aug. 10, 2016 memo, Page had “conceived and promoted” the idea of releasing stolen DNC emails through WikiLeaks in order to swing Democrats away from Hillary Clinton and towards Bernie Sanders.

Steele also claimed that Page met in Moscow with two Kremlin insiders, Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin, in early July 2016. Diveykin is alleged in the dossier to have told Page about blackmail material on both Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Page has vehemently denied the allegations from the dossier, which the FBI used to obtain four surveillance warrants against the former Trump aide.

Page was not charged in the Mueller investigation.

George Papadopoulos

The FBI’s initial collusion theory involved Papadopoulos, a 32-year-old energy consultant.

On July 31, 2016, the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into Papadopoulos based on a tip the bureau had received from the Australian government.

Alexander Downer, the Australian High Commissioner to the U.K., had claimed that during a May 10, 2016, meeting in London, Papadopoulos told him that Russia had information on Hillary Clinton that it planned to release later in the campaign.

Papadopoulos said that two weeks before that meeting, he had breakfast in London with another diplomat, Joseph Mifsud, who told him that the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton in the form of “thousands” of her emails.

Papadopoulos insists that he did not tell anyone on the campaign about Mifsud’s remarks and that he did not view, handle or disseminate Clinton emails.

He pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2017, to lying to the FBI about the extent of his contacts with Mifsud, but he was never charged with a more serious crime.

He served a 14-day prison term and is releasing a book Tuesday.

Michael Cohen

The former Trump lawyer is accused in the dossier of visiting Prague in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin officials for the purposes of paying off hackers.

“The agenda comprised questions on how deniable cash payments were to be made to hackers who had worked in Europe under Kremlin direction against the CLINTON campaign,” reads Steele’s Dec. 13, 2016, memo.

The dossier’s allegations against Cohen were viewed as some of the strongest claims of collusion that have surfaced during Russia gate.

Cohen has vehemently denied the claims since BuzzFeed published the dossier. On Feb. 27, after he had been sentenced in the special counsel’s probe to three years in prison, Cohen testified that he has never been to Prague.

The testimony was seen as a knockout blow for the dossier’s credibility. Mueller’s findings seemingly ended all debate on the matter.

Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison on Dec. 12 on charges of tax evasion, bank fraud, illegal campaign contributions and making false statements to Congress.

Paul Manafort

In addition to being linked in the dossier to Carter Page, the former Trump campaign chairman was found to have sent cryptic emails during the campaign referencing Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who was locked in a business dispute with Manafort.

The special counsel also focused Manafort’s role in sending polling data during the campaign to two Russian oligarchs.

“If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote in an email to an associate on July 7, 2016, The Washington Post has reported.

In April 2016, shortly after he joined the Trump team, Manafort asked the same associate in an email how he could use his new position to “get whole.”

The email has widely been interpreted as Manafort suggesting that he would use his job on the Trump campaign to settle his debts with Deripaska.

But little came of Manafort’s links to Deripaska. Manafort was convicted in federal court in Virginia on Aug. 21, 2018, on charges related to his Ukraine consulting work. He cooperated with the special counsel after pleading guilty on Sept. 14, 2018, to working as an unregistered foreign agent of Ukraine.

The special counsel’s office hinted at times that prosecutors had evidence that dealt with the core issues of the investigation, but they never presented the evidence during court hearings.

Manafort was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison on March 13.

Trump Tower

Democrats have seized on a June 9, 2016, meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians as the strongest verifiable evidence of collusion to emerge during the Russia saga.

Trump Jr. accepted the meeting after receiving an email on June 3, 2016, from Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who worked for Russian pop star Emin Agalarov.

In the email, Goldstone said that Agalarov’s billionaire father had met with Russia’s “Crown prosecutor” and wanted to offer the Trump campaign “with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very helpful to your father.”

Trump Jr. accepted, writing: “If it is what you say I love it.”

Donald Trump, Jr. greets supporters at campaign stop for Republican senate nominee Patrick Morrisey and Republican candidate for the House of Representatives Carol Miller ahead of the 2018 midterm elections at Phillips Machine Service in Beckley, West Virginia, U.S., November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Donald Trump, Jr. greets supporters in Beckley, West Virginia, U.S., November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Goldstone responded to say that a “Russian government attorney” would fly to the U.S. for the meeting.

Trump Jr. attended the meeting with Manafort and Jared Kushner. Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya attended along with Goldstone and several other Russians.

All attendees have claimed that the meeting was a waste of time and that no information regarding the campaign was exchanged.

Veselnitskaya provided the campaign with a short memo containing research compiled by Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that, ironically, commissioned the Steele dossier. Veselnitskaya was working at the time with Fusion GPS on an investigation of Bill Browder, a London-based financier who spearheaded the Magnitsky Act, a sanctions law opposed by the Kremlin.

Mueller investigated the Trump Tower meeting. Goldstone and other attendees appeared before Mueller’s grand jury.

Goldstone responded to Mueller’s finding of no collusion in a message to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“After 2 years, Robert Mueller has delivered his report, stating there was no collusion in the 2016 Presidential election,” Goldstone said. “That includes my email to Donald Trump Jr. and the subsequent Trump Tower meeting … which as I have stated from the beginning, had nothing to do with collusion.”

Veselnitskaya was indicted by prosecutors in Manhattan related to her work against Bill Browder. No other Trump Tower attendees other than Manafort were charged by the special counsel.

Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi

One theory of collusion that emerged over the past year was that Trump confidant Stone and conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi were linked to WikiLeaks.

Prosecutors keyed in on Stone because of tweets he sent and remarks he made in August 2016 that suggested he had inside knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to release emails stolen from Democrats.

Stone said in interviews that he had communications with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. On Aug. 21, 2016, he tweeted that it would “soon [be] the Podesta’s time in the barrel.”

Stone has insisted that he had no direct contact with WikiLeaks or Assange. He also claims that he did not know that WikiLeaks would release Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails in October 2016.

Roger Stone at Politicon at Pasadena Convention Center on July 29, 2017 in California. (John Sciulli/Getty Images)

Instead, he’s maintained that he received tips about the timing and seriousness of the email releases from Randy Credico, a left-wing activist who is friends with a WikiLeaks attorney.

Stone released text messages that showed Credico providing information about the timing of the email releases.

Corsi was a focus because of emails he sent in August 2016 in which he suggested he had inside knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans.

“Word is friend in embassy plans 2 more dumps,” Corsi wrote in the Aug. 2, 2016, email to Stone, seemingly referring to Assange, who lives under asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

“One shortly after I’m back. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging.”

“Time to let more than Podesta to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC.”

Corsi was offered a plea deal by the special counsel but says he rejected it. Prosecutors wanted him to plead guilty to making false statements about exchanging WikiLeaks-related emails with Stone.

Corsi said he deduced on his own that WikiLeaks had Podesta’s emails and that he had no contact with anyone affiliated with the group.

Stone was indicted by the special counsel on Jan. 24, but not on charges related to conspiracy with Russia or WikiLeaks. He was instead charged with making false statements to the House Intelligence Committee regarding his discussions about WikiLeaks with associates and Trump campaign officials.

Peter Smith

One of the more bizarre collusion conspiracy theories involved Peter Smith, a GOP donor and political operative who lived in Chicago.

The Wall Street Journal first reported in June 2017 that Smith worked with numerous conservative operatives and hackers to obtain the 30,000 emails that Hillary Clinton deleted from her private server.

The conspiracy theory came to encompass close Trump associates, including Michael Flynn. Smith wrote in correspondence that he had been in contact with Flynn regarding the effort to hunt down Clinton’s emails.

The Wall Street Journal reported last year that Mueller was asking witnesses about the Smith operation. The story festered in the media, with follow-up reporting from BuzzFeed.

Smith died by suicide on May 14, 2017.

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FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the skyline and lakefront of Chicago
FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the skyline and lakefront of Chicago, Illinois, U.S., August 14, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young

March 25, 2019

By Karen Pierog

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Financial uncertainties swirling around Illinois and Chicago may not deter bond buyers when the two fiscally shaky governments sell more than $1.1 billion of debt this week.

Slim supply in the $3.8 trillion U.S. municipal market, yield-hungry investors, and the shelving of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve for the remainder of 2019 have tipped the scale in favor of sellers, investment managers said.

“We believe that if (Chicago and Illinois are) going to pick a time to come to market, now is a pretty good time to be coming,” said Dan Heckman, national investment consultant at U.S. Bank.

Illinois, the lowest-rated U.S. state at a notch or two above junk due to its huge unfunded pension liability and chronic structural budget deficit, will offer $452 million of taxable and tax-exempt general obligation (GO) bonds in competitive bidding on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, underwriters led by Barclays are scheduled to price $700 million of GO bonds for Chicago, which is also struggling with pension funding and deficits, just days before the city elects a mayor to replace the retiring Rahm Emanuel, who served two terms.

“My gut tells me these deals are going to get done and done at a level that is pretty attractive for Illinois and the city of Chicago and over a longer period of time will likely prove unattractive for investors,” said Nicholos Venditti, a portfolio manager at Thornburg Investment Management.

Illinois’ deal comes just weeks after the new Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, unveiled a fiscal 2020 budget and a plan to rescue the state’s sagging finances by switching to graduated income tax rates via a constitutional amendment process.

Budget measures, including the use of one-time revenue and a more than $800 million reduction in contributions to the state’s woefully underfunded pensions, could push Illinois closer to a junk credit rating.

“That is a significant risk,” Venditti said, adding that the situation is even “scarier” in Chicago, which already has a junk rating with Moody’s Investors Service, along with ratings of BBB-plus with S&P Global Ratings and BBB-minus with Fitch Ratings.

The city’s two mayoral candidates – Toni Preckwinkle, who currently heads the Cook County Board of Commissioners, and attorney Lori Lightfoot – have not disclosed detailed plans for addressing a projected $252 million fiscal 2020 budget deficit and escalating pension payments that will top $2 billion in 2023.

“At the city level, I think investors are flying blind,” Venditti said.

Meanwhile, demand is strong with municipal bond funds, including high yield, reporting big weekly inflows of investor dollars since early January, according to Lipper.

Muni bond supply totaling $63.8 billion so far in 2019 is 12 percent below the average year-to-date volume in the previous five years, according to Refinitiv data.

Given the “very, very attractive” muni bond environment for issuers, Heckman said there will be appetite for debt from Illinois and Chicago if their deals are “priced appropriately.”

Investors have been demanding hefty yields for the governments’ GO debt, with Illinois paying the biggest penalty among states.

(Reporting by Karen Pierog in Chicago; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the skyline and lakefront of Chicago
FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the skyline and lakefront of Chicago, Illinois, U.S., August 14, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young

March 25, 2019

By Karen Pierog

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Financial uncertainties swirling around Illinois and Chicago may not deter bond buyers when the two fiscally shaky governments sell more than $1.1 billion of debt this week.

Slim supply in the $3.8 trillion U.S. municipal market, yield-hungry investors, and the shelving of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve for the remainder of 2019 have tipped the scale in favor of sellers, investment managers said.

“We believe that if (Chicago and Illinois are) going to pick a time to come to market, now is a pretty good time to be coming,” said Dan Heckman, national investment consultant at U.S. Bank.

Illinois, the lowest-rated U.S. state at a notch or two above junk due to its huge unfunded pension liability and chronic structural budget deficit, will offer $452 million of taxable and tax-exempt general obligation (GO) bonds in competitive bidding on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, underwriters led by Barclays are scheduled to price $700 million of GO bonds for Chicago, which is also struggling with pension funding and deficits, just days before the city elects a mayor to replace the retiring Rahm Emanuel, who served two terms.

“My gut tells me these deals are going to get done and done at a level that is pretty attractive for Illinois and the city of Chicago and over a longer period of time will likely prove unattractive for investors,” said Nicholos Venditti, a portfolio manager at Thornburg Investment Management.

Illinois’ deal comes just weeks after the new Democratic governor, J.B. Pritzker, unveiled a fiscal 2020 budget and a plan to rescue the state’s sagging finances by switching to graduated income tax rates via a constitutional amendment process.

Budget measures, including the use of one-time revenue and a more than $800 million reduction in contributions to the state’s woefully underfunded pensions, could push Illinois closer to a junk credit rating.

“That is a significant risk,” Venditti said, adding that the situation is even “scarier” in Chicago, which already has a junk rating with Moody’s Investors Service, along with ratings of BBB-plus with S&P Global Ratings and BBB-minus with Fitch Ratings.

The city’s two mayoral candidates – Toni Preckwinkle, who currently heads the Cook County Board of Commissioners, and attorney Lori Lightfoot – have not disclosed detailed plans for addressing a projected $252 million fiscal 2020 budget deficit and escalating pension payments that will top $2 billion in 2023.

“At the city level, I think investors are flying blind,” Venditti said.

Meanwhile, demand is strong with municipal bond funds, including high yield, reporting big weekly inflows of investor dollars since early January, according to Lipper.

Muni bond supply totaling $63.8 billion so far in 2019 is 12 percent below the average year-to-date volume in the previous five years, according to Refinitiv data.

Given the “very, very attractive” muni bond environment for issuers, Heckman said there will be appetite for debt from Illinois and Chicago if their deals are “priced appropriately.”

Investors have been demanding hefty yields for the governments’ GO debt, with Illinois paying the biggest penalty among states.

(Reporting by Karen Pierog in Chicago; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

Source: OANN

Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Evans visits the online music retailer Sweetwater in Fort Wayne
Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans visits the online music retailer Sweetwater, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, U.S. September 14 2018. REUTERS/Ann Saphir

March 25, 2019

By Noah Sin

HONG KONG (Reuters) – With downside risks looming and uncertainties rife, the U.S. Federal Reserve is prudent to wait for more economic data before deciding whether its next move will be to raise rates, or cut them, Chicago Fed Bank President Charles Evans said on Monday.

“If growth runs close to its potential and inflation builds momentum, then some further rate increases may be appropriate over time to ensure that the economy settles in on its long-run sustainable growth path and that inflation runs symmetrically about our 2 percent target,” Evans said in remarks prepared for delivery in Hong Kong.

“In contrast, if activity softens more than expected or if inflation and inflation expectations run too low, then policy may have to be left on hold – or perhaps even loosened – to provide the appropriate accommodation to obtain our objectives.”

Last week the U.S. central bank left rates steady in a range of 2.25 percent to 2.5 percent. Fresh forecasts showed 11 of 17 Fed policymakers expected no rate change for the rest of the year, up from just two in December. That unexpectedly dovish signal had financial markets quickly pricing in a rate cut next year.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell cited low inflation, a slowing global economy and risks like U.S. trade tensions with China for the need to remain patient “for some time.”

Evans, who votes on interest-rate policy this year, had as recently as January said it was entirely plausible the Fed could raise rates twice this year.

While his comments Monday did not rule out such a scenario, he said he had become less sanguine about the economic outlook since last autumn as uncertainties over global growth and trade policies increased. Recent economic data, he said, has been softer than anticipated.

Though there could be upside surprises, he said, including 3.8 percent unemployment fueling stronger consumer spending or accelerating inflation, downside scenarios in his view “loom larger.”

And even if prices do start to rise, he said, “given how muted inflationary pressures appear today, a rise to 2.25 to 2.5 percent is not a big concern to me at the moment.” That assessment suggests Evans has set the bar fairly high for further rate hikes, considering that inflation by the Fed’s preferred gauge has not been that much above the Fed’s 2-percent goal since before the financial crisis.

Still, Evans’ view that both rate hikes or rate cuts are in the realm of possibility echoed that of fellow policymaker Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, who on Friday said both possibilities are on the table for him.

(Writing by Ann Saphir; Editing by Chris Reese)

Source: OANN

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Washington Capitals
Mar 24, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) and left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) celebrate after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

March 25, 2019

Tom Wilson, Travis Boyd and Jakub Vrana each scored a goal as the Washington Capitals defeated the visiting Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 in a Sunday matinee.

The Capitals maintain a narrow lead in the Metropolitan Division, leading the New York Islanders by one point and the Pittsburgh Penguins by three. Each team has six games remaining, with Washington hosting the Islanders in the regular-season finale on April 6.

The Capitals snapped a two-game losing streak and completed a sweep of their four-game season series with the Flyers, whose fading playoff chances took a hit.

Braden Holtby played another strong game for Washington with 35 saves. Alex Ovechkin did not score a goal for the eighth time in his last nine games, but tallied one assist.

Hurricanes 2, Canadiens 1 (OT)

Andrei Svechnikov scored 3:15 into overtime as Carolina defeated visiting Montreal at Raleigh, N.C.

Svechnikov scored his 20th goal of the season, this one set up on an assist from Jordan Staal. It was Carolina’s only shot in overtime.

Trevor van Riemsdyk scored the tying goal in the third period for Carolina, which won four of five games during a homestand. Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney stopped 28 shots, and Montreal goalie Carey Price made 38 saves.

Blue Jackets 5, Canucks 0

Sergei Bobrovsky made 21 saves for his seventh shutout of the NHL season, and Josh Anderson posted two goals and an assist as visiting Columbus blanked Vancouver.

Bobrovsky returned after being sidelined Thursday in Edmonton due to an undisclosed upper-body injury. He recorded his second shutout in three games.

Columbus (41-30-4) ended its losing streak at three games. The Blue Jackets moved within two points of Montreal for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

Islanders 2, Coyotes 0

Jordan Eberle scored early in the first period and Robin Lehner recorded his fifth shutout of the season with 31 saves as New York further damaged the playoff hopes of visiting Arizona with a win in Uniondale, N.Y.

Brock Nelson scored on a wraparound with 3:14 left in the third for the Islanders (44-25-7, 95 points), who won for the second time in as many days to remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Goalie Darcy Kuemper, who made his 17th straight start, made 24 saves for the Coyotes (36-33-7, 79 points), who lost their fifth straight (0-3-2) and missed another chance to move into the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

Blackhawks 2, Avalanche 1 (OT)

Duncan Keith scored the game-winning goal 1:23 into overtime to carry host Chicago to a win over Colorado to keep his team’s slim playoff hopes alive.

The 35-year-old Keith denied Nathan MacKinnon on a one-on-one battle, then raced the length of the ice and slid in the game-winner for his sixth goal of the season. Both goaltenders — Chicago’s Corey Crawford and Colorado’s Philipp Grubauer — played back-to-back games for just the second time this season. Crawford made 19 saves, Grubauer 40.

The win pushed Chicago to 76 points in the standings — five behind Colorado, which holds the Western Conference’s second wild card, and three behind the Minnesota Wild and Arizona Coyotes.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers
Mar 24, 2019; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera (24) stretches prior to a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

March 25, 2019

Miguel Cabrera continued his resurgent spring Sunday, hitting a two-run homer and two-run double as the Detroit Tigers walloped the Toronto Blue Jays 18-6 in Lakeland, Fla.

Cabrera, who turns 36 on April 18, is coming off an injury-shortened 2018 season in which he hit .299 with only three home runs and 22 RBIs in 38 games. He has only 19 home runs and 82 RBIs in the last two seasons.

But Sunday’s performance now gives the two-time American League MVP five home runs and 15 RBIs this spring, while sporting a .348 batting average and 1.165 OPS.

Cardinals 2, Marlins 1

Paul Goldschmidt homered in the first inning and Evan Mendoza hit a walk-off single as St. Louis edged Miami in Jupiter, Fla. Jack Flaherty pitched four scoreless innings for the Cardinals, giving up only one hit and striking out three.

Mets 8, Nationals (ss) 4

Third baseman Jeff McNeil drove in four runs and Juan Lagares homered as New York topped its divisional rival’s split squad in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Matt Adams hit a three-run homer for Washington.

Astros 5, Nationals (ss) 3

After falling behind 3-0 in the second inning, Houston scored the game’s final five runs to top Washington’s split squad in West Palm Beach, Fla. Right-hander Gerrit Cole gave up three runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings for the Astros.

Yankees 5, Twins 3

Clint Frazier’s bases-clearing double capped a four-run sixth inning and propelled New York to a win over Minnesota at Fort Myers, Fla. Left-hander James Paxton gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings to get the win for the Yankees.

Phillies 11, Orioles (ss) 4

Philadelphia scored in each of the first seven innings, pounding out 18 hits to hammer a Baltimore split squad at Clearwater, Fla. Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr combined for six hits, six RBIs and five runs scored for the Phillies.

Pirates 1, Orioles (ss) 1

Pittsburgh’s Jung Ho Kang homered in the first, Baltimore’s Zach Vincej hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth, and the Pirates and Orioles played to a tie in Sarasota, Fla. Chance Sisco, who scored on the sac fly, was 3 for 3 for Baltimore.

Rockies 4, Reds 3

Second baseman Bret Boswell had three hits and drove in the deciding run as Colorado edged Cincinnati at Goodyear, Ariz. Taylor Sparks hit a two-run homer as the Reds made a game of it, but Cincinnati stranded a runner at third to end it.

White Sox 7, Indians 3

Adam Engel homered and drove in two and 11 different Chicago batters got a hit in a win over Cleveland in Phoenix. The Indians received a scare when All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez was carted off the field after fouling a pitch off his left knee, though the team labeled the injury a contusion.

Cubs 24, Padres 6

Designated hitter Phillip Evans led a Chicago hit parade with four hits (one a home run) and six RBIs as the Cubs blasted San Diego in Peoria, Ariz. David Bote added four hits and Cristhian Adames had three hits and five RBIs for the Cubs.

Brewers 3, Diamondbacks 2

Zack Godley pitched six strong innings but took the loss as Milwaukee topped Arizona in Maricopa County, Ariz. The Diamondbacks right-hander gave up two runs in six innings, giving up only three hits and striking out three with one walk.

Braves 4, Rays 2

Ozzie Albies had two hits and an RBI, and scored on Brian McCann’s two-run double as Atlanta doubled-up Tampa Bay in Kissimmee, Fla. Tampa Bay’s Carl Chester was thrown out at home on an eighth-inning double by Kean Wong to kill a potential Rays rally.

Athletics 5, Giants 0

Stephen Piscotty, Jurickson Profar and Ramon Laureano each homered to propel Oakland to a win over Bay Area neighbor San Francisco at the Oakland Coliseum. Lefty Brett Anderson threw six scoreless innings for the win.

Royals 3, Rangers (ss) 3

Kort Peterson’s solo home run in the top of the ninth off Jairo Beras allowed Kansas City to tie Texas’ split squad, and that is how the game ended in Surprise, Ariz. Cam Gallagher also homered for the Royals; Tyreque Reed homered for the Rangers.

Nashville Sounds 4, Rangers (ss) 3

Second baseman Chase d’Arnaud doubled and designated hitter Hunter Pence drove in a run as Texas’ split squad fell to its Triple-A affiliate at First Tennessee Park, the Sounders’ home field in Nashville.

Angels 8, Dodgers 4

Mike Trout doubled in a run, Albert Pujols homered and the Angels took the first game of the Freeway Series against their Los Angeles rivals. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, working a non-save situation, gave up two hits and three runs (two earned) in 2/3 of an inning.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, poses for a photo in Palm Beach
FILE PHOTO: Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, poses for a photo in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. January 17, 2018. REUTERS/Ann Saphir

March 25, 2019

By Noah Sin

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans said on Monday that it’s a good time for the U.S. central bank to pause and adopt a cautious stance even though the economy remains in a strong position.

Evans was speaking at the Credit Suisse Investment conference in Hong Kong.

The comments were among the first by policymakers following the Fed’s decision last Wednesday to signal an end to its tightening after it abandoned plans for further rate hikes in 2019.

(Reporting by Noah Sin; Editing by)

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Detroit Tigers
Mar 24, 2019; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera (24) stretches prior to a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

March 25, 2019

Miguel Cabrera continued his resurgent spring Sunday, hitting a two-run homer and two-run double as the Detroit Tigers walloped the Toronto Blue Jays 18-6 in Lakeland, Fla.

Cabrera, who turns 36 on April 18, is coming off an injury-shortened 2018 season in which he hit .299 with only three home runs and 22 RBIs in 38 games. He has only 19 home runs and 82 RBIs in the last two seasons.

But Sunday’s performance now gives the two-time American League MVP five home runs and 15 RBIs this spring, while sporting a .348 batting average and 1.165 OPS.

Cardinals 2, Marlins 1

Paul Goldschmidt homered in the first inning and Evan Mendoza hit a walk-off single as St. Louis edged Miami in Jupiter, Fla. Jack Flaherty pitched four scoreless innings for the Cardinals, giving up only one hit and striking out three.

Mets 8, Nationals (ss) 4

Third baseman Jeff McNeil drove in four runs and Juan Lagares homered as New York topped its divisional rival’s split squad in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Matt Adams hit a three-run homer for Washington.

Astros 5, Nationals (ss) 3

After falling behind 3-0 in the second inning, Houston scored the game’s final five runs to top Washington’s split squad in West Palm Beach, Fla. Right-hander Gerrit Cole gave up three runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings for the Astros.

Yankees 5, Twins 3

Clint Frazier’s bases-clearing double capped a four-run sixth inning and propelled New York to a win over Minnesota at Fort Myers, Fla. Left-hander James Paxton gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings to get the win for the Yankees.

Phillies 11, Orioles (ss) 4

Philadelphia scored in each of the first seven innings, pounding out 18 hits to hammer a Baltimore split squad at Clearwater, Fla. Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr combined for six hits, six RBIs and five runs scored for the Phillies.

Pirates 1, Orioles (ss) 1

Pittsburgh’s Jung Ho Kang homered in the first, Baltimore’s Zach Vincej hit a sacrifice fly in the eighth, and the Pirates and Orioles played to a tie in Sarasota, Fla. Chance Sisco, who scored on the sac fly, was 3 for 3 for Baltimore.

Rockies 4, Reds 3

Second baseman Bret Boswell had three hits and drove in the deciding run as Colorado edged Cincinnati at Goodyear, Ariz. Taylor Sparks hit a two-run homer as the Reds made a game of it, but Cincinnati stranded a runner at third to end it.

White Sox 7, Indians 3

Adam Engel homered and drove in two and 11 different Chicago batters got a hit in a win over Cleveland in Phoenix. The Indians received a scare when All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez was carted off the field after fouling a pitch off his left knee, though the team labeled the injury a contusion.

Cubs 24, Padres 6

Designated hitter Phillip Evans led a Chicago hit parade with four hits (one a home run) and six RBIs as the Cubs blasted San Diego in Peoria, Ariz. David Bote added four hits and Cristhian Adames had three hits and five RBIs for the Cubs.

Brewers 3, Diamondbacks 2

Zack Godley pitched six strong innings but took the loss as Milwaukee topped Arizona in Maricopa County, Ariz. The Diamondbacks right-hander gave up two runs in six innings, giving up only three hits and striking out three with one walk.

Braves 4, Rays 2

Ozzie Albies had two hits and an RBI, and scored on Brian McCann’s two-run double as Atlanta doubled-up Tampa Bay in Kissimmee, Fla. Tampa Bay’s Carl Chester was thrown out at home on an eighth-inning double by Kean Wong to kill a potential Rays rally.

Athletics 5, Giants 0

Stephen Piscotty, Jurickson Profar and Ramon Laureano each homered to propel Oakland to a win over Bay Area neighbor San Francisco at the Oakland Coliseum. Lefty Brett Anderson threw six scoreless innings for the win.

Royals 3, Rangers (ss) 3

Kort Peterson’s solo home run in the top of the ninth off Jairo Beras allowed Kansas City to tie Texas’ split squad, and that is how the game ended in Surprise, Ariz. Cam Gallagher also homered for the Royals; Tyreque Reed homered for the Rangers.

Nashville Sounds 4, Rangers (ss) 3

Second baseman Chase d’Arnaud doubled and designated hitter Hunter Pence drove in a run as Texas’ split squad fell to its Triple-A affiliate at First Tennessee Park, the Sounders’ home field in Nashville.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Miami Marlins at New York Mets
Mar 8, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

March 25, 2019

Pitcher Noah Syndergaard fired a shot at the New York Mets front office Sunday, expressing frustration that teammate Jacob deGrom hasn’t been signed to a contract extension and that the team has an unconventional travel schedule prior to Opening Day.

The Mets and deGrom, who won the 2018 National League Cy Young Award, talked in the offseason, but deGrom told reporters Saturday he wasn’t confident of an agreement in the next few days.

The Mets and deGrom agreed to a one-year, $17 million contract rather than go to arbitration in January. He is eligible to become a free agent in 2021, and Syndergaard said he doesn’t want it to reach that point. This weekend, the Boston Red Sox and ace Chris Sale agreed to a five-year, $145 million extension, and the Houston Astros reached a two-year, $66 million deal with former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.

“Jake’s the best pitcher in baseball right now. I think he deserves whatever amount he’s worth. I want to keep him happy, so when it does come time for him to reach free agency, he stays on our side pitching for the Mets. I just think they should quit all this fuss and pay the man already,” Syndergaard told reporters.

–Cleveland Indians All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez was carted off the field after fouling a pitch off his left knee.

The switch-hitter was batting right-handed in the third inning of an exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox in Goodyear, Ariz.

Ramirez immediately dropped to the dirt and remained down for several minutes before being assisted to the medical cart. The team called it a left knee contusion and said Ramirez was being taken for X-rays.

–Catcher Erik Kratz will back up Buster Posey in San Francisco after the Giants traded for the veteran.

The Giants sent minor league infielder C.J. Hinojosa to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Kratz.

Kratz, 38, agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.2 million, with $300,000 guaranteed, with the Brewers in November. Milwaukee added Kratz last May in a deal with the New York Yankees and he played in 67 games for the Brewers, batting .236 with six home runs and 23 RBIs.

–The Cleveland Indians signed infielder Brad Miller to a one-year major league contract.

The versatile veteran has played almost every position on the diamond, but the Indians will likely ask him to handle second base while All-Star Jason Kipnis recovers from a right calf strain.

Kipnis has already been ruled out for Thursday’s season opener at Minnesota. Miller, 29, hit .385 with two homers and three RBIs this spring in 12 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

–Baltimore Orioles designated hitter Mark Trumbo will open the season on the injured list, manager Brandon Hyde confirmed.

Trumbo, who led the majors with 47 home runs in 2016, has batted .167 in 13 plate appearances this spring as he recovers from offseason surgery on his right knee. He is a two-time All-Star (2012, 2016) with a .250 career average, 218 home runs and 626 RBIs in 1,085 games with the Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Seattle Mariners and Orioles.

“We’re going to let him continue to do his rehab down here,” Hyde told reporters in Sarasota, Fla., according to MLB.com. “I give him so much credit for everything he’s done during his whole rehab process. Give him a ton of credit for trying to come back from a tough injury earlier than anybody has.”

–The Astros finalized a two-year extension with Justin Verlander, the team announced.

“Justin Verlander is one of the elite pitchers in baseball,” said general manager Jeff Luhnow in announcing the deal with the team’s ace. “His late-season arrival in 2017 helped the Astros deliver its first ever championship to the city of Houston. Our fans share in my excitement that Justin will be in an Astros uniform for at least three more years.”

The extension adds two years and $66 million to Verlander’s current deal, which had one year remaining. It makes Verlander the highest-paid pitcher in terms of annual average value ($33 million).

–The Chicago Cubs will option outfielder Ian Happ to Triple-A Iowa, meaning he won’t start the season on the big-league roster.

Happ, 24, was unhappy with the decision, according to manager Joe Maddon. He is expected to get time in center field, second base and third base. The Cubs also are hoping he’ll get more comfortable batting from the left side of the plate.

“I really don’t blame him,” Maddon said at spring training on Saturday. “The guy has really performed very well for us at different periods of time on the major-league level. He is so ingrained in the culture within the building and within the clubhouse. Great teammate. A lot of the veterans have accepted him very readily, which doesn’t happen often with young players.”

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Colorado Rockies at Chicago Cubs
Mar 7, 2019; Mesa, AZ, USA; Chicago Cubs center fielder Ian Happ (8) hits a single against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

March 24, 2019

The Chicago Cubs will option outfielder Ian Happ to Triple-A Iowa, meaning he won’t start the season on the big-league roster.

Happ, 24, was unhappy with the decision, according to manager Joe Maddon.

“He’s not happy and he shouldn’t be happy,” Maddon said at soring training on Saturday.

“I really don’t blame him. The guy has really performed very well for us at different periods of time on the major-league level. He is so ingrained in the culture within the building and within the clubhouse. Great teammate. A lot of the veterans have accepted him very readily, which doesn’t happen often with young players.”

At Iowa, Happ is expected to get time in centerfield, second base and third base. The Cubs also are hoping he’ll get more comfortable batting from the left side of the plate.

“We just want to make sure that he gets down there and really gets a lot of consistent at-bats, especially from the left side,” Maddon said. “Obviously, we consider him a huge part of our future, but just based on the conclusion of last year and what we’re seeing at this point this year, we think it’s really important.”

In 2018, Happ batted .233 with 15 home runs and 56 runs scored in 387 at-bats.

A first-round pick by the Cubs in 2015, Happ has 39 home runs and a .242 batting average in 751 career at-bats.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Boston Celtics at Charlotte Hornets
Mar 23, 2019; Charlotte, NC, USA; Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) shoots the ball against Boston Celtics forward Daniel Theis (27) in the first half at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

March 24, 2019

Kemba Walker had 36 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, and the Charlotte Hornets rallied from an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit for a stunning 124-117 victory over the visiting Boston Celtics on Saturday night.

The Hornets closed out the game on a 30-5 run after falling behind 112-94 with 8:21 left in the fourth quarter. Walker keyed it all, and his 3-pointer with 1:19 remaining gave his team the lead for good.

Charlotte (33-39) has now won two straight, while the Celtics (43-30) have lost three in a row.

The Hornets also got 20 points from Miles Bridges, 13 each from Marvin Williams and Malik Monk, and 11 from Dwayne Bacon. Williams hit four free throws in the final 41.2 seconds to help salt away the win.

Hawks 129, 76ers 127

Rookie point guard Trae Young scored 32 points, including the game-winner with a tenth of a second remaining, to give Atlanta a win over visiting Philadelphia.

The Hawks tied the game 127-127 on a layup by Taurean Prince with 27.5 seconds left, then got a final shot when the 76ers allowed the 24-second clock to expire. With 3.5 seconds left, Atlanta’s Kevin Huerter inbounded the ball to Young, who made a floater over Jimmy Butler to put the Hawks ahead.

After calling timeout, Philadelphia’s inbounds pass hit the rim to end the game.

Mavs 126, Warriors 91

Luka Doncic recorded his sixth triple-double of the season, and Dallas exploded for 74 first-half points in a shocking demolition of Golden State in Oakland, Calif.

Dirk Nowitzki bombed in five 3-pointers, while Doncic and Maxi Kleber buried four apiece as the Mavericks hit 21 shots from beyond the arc, one shy of their franchise record, and outscored Golden State 63-12 on 3s.

The loss came on the front end of a home back-to-back for the Warriors, who chose to rest Stephen Curry, Shaun Livingston and Andrew Bogut. The 35-point margin of defeat was the largest of the season at home for Golden State.

Trail Blazers 117, Pistons 112

Damian Lillard scored 28 points, and Portland outscored visiting Detroit 14-3 over the final 4 1/2 minutes en route to the victory.

Al-Farouq Aminu chipped in a season-high 22 points for the Trail Blazers, who won for the sixth time in seven games.

Blake Griffin tallied 27 points, Reggie Jackson added 24 points and Andre Drummond collected 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons, who lost for only the fourth time in their last 12 games.

Jazz 114, Bulls 83

Rudy Gobert notched a double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds, and six other teammates scored in double figures to boost visiting Utah to a rout of Chicago.

The Jazz raced to a 33-18 lead after one quarter, and their 70-36 halftime lead was their largest on the road at the half in the history of the franchise, which began play in the 1974-75 season in New Orleans.

Donovan Mitchell added 16 points for the Jazz, while Joe Ingles (13), Derrick Favors (13), Ricky Rubio (12), Jae Crowder (11) and Raul Neto (10) followed to complement a balanced attack that overwhelmed the Bulls.

Heat 113, Wizards 108

Dwyane Wade scored 11 of his team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter as visiting Miami defeated Washington.

The Heat (36-37) are fighting to hold on to the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot, and this victory gave them a one-game edge over idle Orlando (35-38). The two teams will meet Tuesday in Miami.

Wade went 5-for-7 from the field in the fourth quarter as Miami took charge of a game that swung back and forth throughout the first three periods. The veteran guard helped the Heat take a 109-99 lead late.

Timberwolves 112, Grizzlies 99

Karl-Anthony Towns totaled 33 points and 23 rebounds as Minnesota halted a nine-game road losing streak by dominating the third quarter in a victory over Memphis.

The Timberwolves recorded their first road win since beating New York on Feb. 22. They also halted a five-game losing streak, a night after being eliminated from playoff contention.

Towns recorded his seventh straight double-double and 49th overall. He also recorded his 19th 30-point game and fifth career game with at least 30 points and 20 boards.

Kings 112, Suns 103

Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes scored 25 points apiece to lead host Sacramento to a victory over Phoenix.

Marvin Bagley III added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings. Nemanja Bjelica recorded 13 points and a career-best 17 rebounds and De’Aaron Fox had 13 points and nine assists.

Hield made seven 3-pointers to set a franchise single-season record with 245. He broke the mark of Peja Stojakovic (240 in 2003-04), who is now the club’s assistant general manager.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: NBA: Washington Wizards at Minnesota Timberwolves
FILE PHOTO: Mar 9, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Derrick Rose (25) looks on during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

March 24, 2019

The Minnesota Timberwolves announced on Saturday that guard Derrick Rose has undergone successful arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow and will be out indefinitely.

Minnesota had announced two days earlier that Rose wouldn’t play in the final 11 games of the season as the club was well out of the last playoff spot.

Rose had missed the four games prior to that because of a chip fracture and a loose body in his right elbow. He averaged 18.0 points and 4.3 assists in 51 games (13 starts).

Rose, 30, will be a free agent after this season.

–The Chicago Bulls are shutting down injured rookies Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison for the rest of the season, the team announced. The move to shelve both players was posted on Twitter by Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson.

Carter, a 6-foot-10 center and first-round pick (seventh overall) out of Duke, hasn’t played since Jan. 15 because of a left thumb injury. He underwent surgery on Jan. 21 to repair the ulnar collateral ligament.

Hutchison, a forward who has an injury to his right toe, was the 22nd overall pick of the 2018 draft by the Bulls out of Boise State.

–Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball said he no longer is working with a family friend after $1.5 million from Ball’s personal and business bank accounts apparently remains missing.

The second-year player told ESPN that the man, Alan Foster, “used his access to my business and personal finances to enrich himself. As a result, I have decided to sever all ties with Alan, effective immediately.”

Foster owns 16.3 percent of the family’s Big Baller Brand and also has managed the family companies. He met the Balls about a decade ago through his son, who became friends with Lonzo Ball in seventh grade. Family patriarch LaVar Ball has said it was Foster’s idea to launch the Big Baller.

–Veteran forward Donatas Motiejunas may be back in Texas with the NBA soon, this time with the San Antonio Spurs, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The 28-year-old Lithuanian native last played in the NBA in 2017 for the New Orleans Pelicans and was a member of the Houston Rockets from 2012-16. He was the No. 20 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, who traded his draft rights to the Houston the following day.

In 248 career NBA games, Motiejunas averaged 7.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists and shot 46.9 percent from the field.

–The Boston Celtics are bringing back a familiar face, signing center Greg Monroe to a 10-day deal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Monroe, 28, averaged just 11.1 minutes in 38 games (two starts) for the Toronto Raptors this season, tallying 4.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per contest, but was traded to the Brooklyn Nets in February in exchange for cash considerations. The Nets then waived the ninth-year veteran.

A lottery pick (seventh overall) by Detroit in 2010, Monroe played with the Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, Phoenix Suns and Boston Celtics before signing a one-year, $2.2 million deal with Toronto as a free agent in August 2018.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-St. Louis Cardinals at Washington Nationals
Mar 23, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Miles Mikolas (39) connects for a two run homer against the Washington Nationals during a spring training game at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

March 24, 2019

Boston left-hander Chris Sale pitched five shutout innings on Saturday shortly after his rich contract extension was formally announced as the Red Sox rolled to a 12-3 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates at Fort Myers, Fla.

Sale, who received a five-year, $145 million deal, was sharp while striking out six in five innings. He gave up two hits and walked one before departing.

Jantzen Witte and Chris Madera drove in two runs for Boston, which collected 15 hits. Ke’Bryan Hayes slugged a three-run homer over the center field fence for the Pirates.

Cardinals 4, Nationals 4

Pitcher Miles Mikolas hit a two-run homer off fellow right-hander Stephen Strasburg to help visiting St. Louis tie Washington at West Palm Beach, Fla. Anthony Rendon and Matt Adams homered for Washington.

Tigers 8, Rays 7

Cameron Rupp lined the decisive two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and Miguel Cabrera homered earlier as Detroit edged Tampa Bay at Lakeland, Fla. Tommy Pham and Ji-Man Choi smacked homers for the Rays.

Pirates (ss) 5, Phillies 3

Oneil Cruz hit a tiebreaking homer in the fifth inning and Corey Dickerson slugged a two-run blast as host Pittsburgh defeated Philadelphia at Bradenton, Fla. Phil Gosselin homered for the Phillies.

Mets 12, Braves 2

Amed Rosario went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and right-hander Jacob deGrom struck out five in three perfect innings as New York routed host Atlanta at Kissimmee, Fla. Ronald Acuna Jr. and Andy Wilkins hit solo blasts for the Braves.

Blue Jays 7, Yankees 3

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went 3-for-3 with a homer to help Toronto down host New York at Tampa, Fla. Gleyber Torres slugged a three-run homer for the Yankees.

White Sox 5, Dodgers 1

Eloy Jimenez went 3-for-3 with a homer and Yoan Moncada also went deep as visiting Chicago beat Los Angeles at Glendale, Ariz. Chris Taylor homered for the Dodgers.

Padres 11, Angels 4

Francisco Mejia drove in three runs and Wil Myers hit one of San Diego’s four homers as the host Padres cruised past Los Angeles at Peoria, Ariz. Justin Bour and Dustin Garneau homered for Los Angeles.

Giants 3, Diamondbacks 2

Alen Hanson hit the tiebreaking solo shot in the bottom of the seventh inning as San Francisco edged Arizona at Scottsdale, Ariz. David Peralta homered for the Diamondbacks.

Indians 8, Reds 5

Kevin Plawecki went 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs as Cleveland defeated host Cincinnati at Goodyear, Ariz. Jesse Winker and Jose Iglesias each homered twice for Cincinnati.

Royals (ss) 6, Brewers 4

Terrance Gore hit a tiebreaking two-run triple in the top of the ninth inning to give Kansas City the win over Milwaukee at Phoenix. Christian Yelich and Travis Shaw each hit two-run blasts for Milwaukee.

Brewers (ss) 7, Rangers 3

Ben Gamel hit a two-run homer to help Milwaukee defeat host Texas at Surprise, Ariz. Yohel Pozo had a two-run double for Texas.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles Dodgers
Mar 14, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett (3) catches a fly ball during the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

March 24, 2019

Second baseman Scooter Gennett will miss eight to 12 weeks because of the right groin strain he sustained during a spring training game, the Cincinnati Reds announced Saturday.

Gennett walked gingerly as he was helped off the field on Friday, and he was later taken from the dugout on a golf cart. He was hurt while fielding a routine grounder on the outfield grass after he aligned deep as part of a shift in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic said Saturday that with Gennett’s injury, Jose Iglesias will play shortstop and Jose Peraza will man second base. Kyle Farmer is expected to earn a roster spot.

Gennett, who turns 29 on May 1, earned his first All-Star appearance last season, batting .310 with 23 homers and 92 RBIs, a year after totaling 27 homers and 97 RBIs. He played in a career-high 154 games in 2018.

–The St. Louis Cardinals announced a five-year extension for recently acquired first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

Financial terms were not revealed, but the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported that it will pay him “around $130 million.” The deal will keep Goldschmidt, 31, in St. Louis through the 2024 season.

Arizona traded Goldschmidt, a six-time All-Star, to St. Louis in December in exchange for right-hander Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, infielder Andy Young and the Cardinals’ Compensation B selection in the 2019 draft.

–The Houston Astros are closing in on a two-year extension worth $66 million for ace pitcher Justin Verlander, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.

Verlander, 36, went 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA and an American League-leading 290 strikeouts in 34 starts last season, his first full season in Houston since coming over from Detroit in a trade in 2017.

Last season, the 2011 AL Cy Young winner finished second for the third time in voting for that award and was part of the top five for the seventh time. The right-hander also was the AL Most Valuable Player in 2011.

–The Pittsburgh Pirates will add veterans Melky Cabrera and Francisco Liriano to their Opening Day roster, the team announced.

Both players had been with the Pirates on minor-league deals during spring training. Pittsburgh is expected to clear at least one spot on its 40-man roster by placing right-hander Edgar Santana on the 60-day injured list.

Cabrera, 34, provides Pittsburgh with a switch-hitting option off the bench and an occasional starter at the corner outfield spots. He is a .286 lifetime hitter with 137 home runs and 807 RBIs in 1,754 career games with seven big-league teams.

–Texas Rangers pitcher Jason Hammel has announced his retirement after 13 big-league seasons.

Hammel, 36, decided to walk away despite learning one day earlier that he had made the Rangers’ 25-man roster. Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez will replace him on the active roster, according to The Athletic.

Hammel posted a 96-114 record with a 4.62 ERA in 377 games (298 starts). He played for a half-dozen teams — the Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals — before signing with the Rangers on a minor-league deal this spring.

–Detroit Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones is expected to open the season on the injured list after suffering a sprained left shoulder in Saturday’s exhibition game, manager Ron Gardenhire told reporters.

Jones was injured while diving for a ball against the Tampa Bay Rays. Gardenhire said the 26-year-old was undergoing an MRI exam.

Mikie Mahtook and Niko Goodrum will likely share center field until Jones returns.

–The San Francisco Giants acquired outfielder Michael Reed from the Minnesota Twins for outfielder John Andreoli and cash. Andreoli will report to Triple-A Rochester, the team added in the announcement.

Reed, who was claimed off waivers by the Twins in October, appeared in eight games this spring, hitting .278 (5-for-18) with one home run and four RBI.

In his major league career, the 26-year-old Reed has batted .229 in 22 games, including with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2015-16 and the Atlanta Braves last year.

–Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Matt Duffy will open the season on the injured list due to a hamstring injury, manager Kevin Cash told reporters.

Duffy was slated to play Saturday against the Detroit Tigers but was scratched from the lineup. He was slated to undergo further testing. Duffy, 28, has only played in two spring training games due to the injury.

Yandy Diaz, Daniel Robertson and Joey Wendle are the candidates to play third base during Duffy’s absence.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Minnesota Twins at Toronto Blue Jays
Mar 17, 2019; Dunedin, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins left fielder Michael Reed (30) hits a sacrifice fly during the second inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Dunedin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

March 23, 2019

The San Francisco Giants acquired outfielder Michael Reed on Saturday from the Minnesota Twins for outfielder John Andreoli and cash. Andreoli will report to Triple-A Rochester, the team added in the announcement.

Reed, who was claimed off waivers by the Twins in October, appeared in eight games this spring, hitting .278 (5-for-18) with one home run and four RBI.

In his major league career, the 26-year-old Reed has batted .229 in 22 games, including with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2015-16 and the Atlanta Braves last year. He batted .342 with a .453 on-base percentage between Triple-A Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi in 2018.

Andreoli, 28, began last season with the Seattle Mariners, then was claimed off waivers by the Baltimore Orioles in August. He appeared in a combined 26 games in the major leagues last year, batting .230. Drafted in 2011 by the Chicago Cubs, Andreoli has appeared in 773 career minor league games, hitting .270 with 37 home runs and 256 RBI.

The Giants also released two other outfielders — Cameron Maybin and Matt Joyce. Maybin, a 12-year major league veteran who joined the Giants on Feb. 18 when he signed as a minor league free agent, was arrested last week on suspicion of DUI in Scottsdale, Ariz. Joyce, who had reached agreement on a minor league deal Wednesday with San Francisco, was released by the Cleveland Indians earlier in the week.

Last season with the Miami Marlins and Seattle Mariners, Maybin batted a combined .249 with four homers, 28 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 129 games.

Also on Saturday, the Giants acquired Michael Yastrzemski — the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski — to try to improve their outfield. The 28-year-old player has spent six seasons in the minor leagues, including the Double-A and Triple-A affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles in 2018.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Neetu Chandak | Education and Politics Reporter

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was alerted Friday after a drunk passenger reportedly urinated on a woman’s luggage during an American Airlines flight from Chicago to Charlotte.

The incident occurred on flight 1344, which arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina, Thursday morning, The Associated Press reported Saturday.

“Due to an intoxicated passenger, American Airlines requested law enforcement meet flight 1344 once it arrived in Charlotte at 12:52 a.m. on Thursday,” American Airlines said to The Daily Caller News Foundation over email Saturday.

Police notified the FBI of the incident Friday, The Charlotte Observer reported.

It is unclear whether there will be criminal charges. (RELATED: 8 Americans Die In Plane Crash That Has China Grounding Planes)

Pictured is a plane at the airport. SHUTTERSTOCK/BCFC

Pictured is a plane at the airport. SHUTTERSTOCK/BCFC

The FBI investigates criminal activities that occur during airline flights, according to The AP.

The FBI in Charlotte did not immediately respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Source: The Daily Caller

MLB: Spring Training-Texas Rangers at San Francisco Giants
Mar 10, 2019; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Jason Hammel (white shirt) walks to the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

March 23, 2019

Texas Rangers pitcher Jason Hammel has announced his retirement after 13 big-league seasons.

Hammel, 36, decided to walk away despite learning one day earlier that he had made the Rangers’ 25-man roster. Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez will replace him on the active roster, according to The Athletic.

“He just felt like spending time with his family was more important,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said in comments published by the Dallas Morning News. “There are no hard feelings.”

Hammel posted a 96-114 record with a 4.62 ERA in 377 games (298 starts). He played for a half-dozen teams — the Tampa Bay Rays, Colorado Rockies, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals — before signing with the Rangers on a minor-league deal this spring.

In 2016, Hammel won a career-high 15 games for the Cubs, who went on to win the World Series.

The 31-year-old Gomez provides the Rangers with additional help out of the bullpen. He has gone 27-30 with a 4.40 ERA in 299 games (46 starts) over nine seasons. He has 40 career saves, 37 of which he recorded in 2016 with the Philadelphia Phillies.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: World Series-Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers
Oct 28, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale (left) celebrates with teammates including catcher Christian Vazquez and pitcher David Price (right) after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 23, 2019

The Boston Red Sox and ace left-hander Chris Sale have agreed to a long-term contract extension, the team announced on Saturday morning.

The five-year deal is worth $145 million. It adds to Sale’s current contract (one year remaining) and will go through the 2024 season.

Sale, who turns 30 on March 30, is scheduled to make $15 million in 2019, completing a team-friendly five-year, $32.5 million extension he signed with the White Sox in 2013 that included two club options.

According to MLB.com, Sale will earn $30 million annually from 2020 through 2022, then $27.5 million the following two seasons. Sale reportedly has an opt-out window after the 2022 season.

Sale is 103-62 with a 2.89 ERA over nine seasons, making the All-Star team the past seven years running.

Sale was typically dominant in the first half of the 2018 season, going 10-4 with a 2.23 ERA, but he had two stints on the disabled list in the second half and pitched just five innings between July 28 and Sept. 10.

Sale finished the regular season 12-4 with a 2.11 ERA over 158 innings, his lowest innings total since he became a starter with the Chicago White Sox in 2012. He made three starts and two relief appearances in the postseason as the Red Sox went on to win the World Series, posting a 4.11 ERA in 15 1/3 innings, while striking out the side and recording the final out in the deciding Game 5 of the World Series against the Dodgers.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets
Mar 22, 2019; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) connects for a double against the New York Mets during a spring training game at First Data Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

March 23, 2019

Paul Goldschmidt had a double, a triple and a home run, and the St. Louis Cardinals cruised to a 15-5 win over the New York Mets on Friday in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Goldschmidt wrapped up his mammoth performance shortly after agreeing to a five-year, $130 million contract extension, according to multiple reports. The Cardinals acquired the 31-year-old slugger from the Arizona Diamondbacks during the offseason in exchange for pitcher Luke Weaver and a pair of minor-league prospects.

Yadier Molina went 2-for-4 with three RBIs in the Cardinals’ victory. Marcell Ozuna belted his second homer of the spring and drove in a pair of runs.

Mets infielder Jeff McNeil went 3-for-5 with a solo home run in the loss. He is hitting .364 on the spring.

Yankees 6, Phillies 3

Giancarlo Stanton ripped a pair of home runs, and New York recorded a big win over visiting Philadelphia in Tampa, Fla. Zack Britton posted a victory in one of his first appearances with his new club.

Diamondbacks 10, Dodgers 4

Adam Jones homered and drove in four runs from the leadoff spot, and Arizona coasted to a lopsided win over host Los Angeles in Phoenix. Justin Turner and Jeren Kendall homered for the Dodgers.

Rays 3, Pirates 2

Avisail Garcia went 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, and Tampa Bay managed a narrow victory over visiting Pittsburgh in Port Charlotte, Fla.

Brewers 6, Reds 4

Cory Spangenberg had two hits and two RBIs as Milwaukee outlasted visiting Cincinnati thanks to a solid bullpen performance in Phoenix. The Brewers’ pen allowed no hits or runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Cubs 7 (ss), Rangers 3

Jose Quintana allowed one run on four hits in six innings, and Chicago cruised to a win over visiting Texas in Mesa, Ariz. Javy Baez and Ben Zobrist each homered.

Angels (ss) 5, White Sox 4

Mike Trout blasted a three-run home run off of left-hander Carlos Rodon, and Los Angeles held on for a narrow win over visiting Chicago in Tempe, Ariz. Leury Garcia homered for the White Sox.

Red Sox 10, Twins 6

Jackie Bradley Jr. homered and drove in three runs as visiting Boston coasted past Minnesota in Fort Myers, Fla. Andrew Benintendi was among three other Red Sox players to homer.

Braves 4, Tigers 3

Julio Teheran struck out five batters in as many innings, and Atlanta scratched out a narrow win over visiting Detroit in Kissimmee, Fla.

Astros 7, Mets 3

Alex Bregman clubbed his third homer of the spring, and Houston relied on a five-run sixth inning to knock off visiting New York in West Palm Beach, Fla. Yuli Gurriel also went yard for the Astros.

Blue Jays 4, Orioles 0

Anibal Sanchez allowed only one hit over six scoreless innings as Toronto beat visiting Baltimore in Dunedin, Fla. Justin Smoak and Brandon Drury each homered for the Blue Jays.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Southwest Airlines Co. Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft at Midway International Airport in Chicago
FILE PHOTO: Southwest Airlines Co. Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft sit next to the maintenance area after landing at Midway International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Kamil Kraczynski/File Photo

March 23, 2019

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Southwest Airlines Co is sending experts from its technical pilot and training teams to review documentation and training associated with Boeing Co’s updated speed trim system on its 737 MAX aircraft, a spokeswoman told Reuters on Friday.

Southwest, the largest operator of 737 MAX in the world, is also preparing to park its 34 MAX jets at a facility in Victorville, California, while a global grounding remains in place following two fatal crashes of the new Boeing jets in five months.

The crashes involving an Indonesian Lion Air plane on Oct. 29 and an Ethiopian Airlines plane on March 10 killed 346 people.

(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Oakland Athletics at Yomiuri Giants
FILE PHOTO: Mar 17, 2019; Tokyo, Japan; Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson (28) catches a bouncing ball to record an out during the fourth inning against the Nippon Ham Fighters at Tokyo Dome. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

March 23, 2019

Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson underwent surgery on his right hand Friday and is expected to be placed on the injured list. How long he will be out of the lineup has not been announced.

The team announced that the surgery was performed by Dr. Steven Shin at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles, and involved a hamate excision to Olson’s right hand.

The injury occurred Thursday in the second game of a season-opening series against the Seattle Mariners in Tokyo on a foul tip during Olson’s final at-bat. He started each of Oakland’s first two games at first base and went 1-for-5.

The 25-year-old Gold Glove winner, who is beginning his fourth season with the A’s, played in all 162 games last year, batting .247 with 29 home runs and 84 RBIs in his first full season in the majors. He has career totals of 53 home runs and 129 RBIs in 232 games.

–The Boston Red Sox and ace left-hander Chris Sale have agreed to a long-term contract extension, according to multiple reports.

The five-year deal is worth $145 million, league sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan. It adds to Sale’s current contract (one year remaining) and will go through the 2024 season.

Sale, who turns 30 on March 30, is scheduled to make $15 million in 2019, completing a team-friendly five-year, $32.5 million extension he signed with the White Sox in 2013 that included two club options.

–Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett was helped off the field during the spring training game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Phoenix, Ariz., with an apparent right leg or groin injury.

Gennett walked gingerly as he was helped off the field, and he was later taken from the dugout on a golf cart. The team said he will have an MRI, with an update to be announced later.

Gennett was hurt while fielding a routine grounder on the outfield grass after he aligned deep as part of a shift. He moved to his left and went down on his right knee, but he fielded the ball awkwardly and was in apparent pain as he threw to first base for the out. He remained in a kneeling position before getting assistance.

–The Chicago White Sox officially announced they have agreed to terms on a six-year, $43 million contract with outfielder Eloy Jimenez, plus two club options that could extend the deal through the 2026 season.

The White Sox said Jimenez will receive a $5 million bonus in addition to $1 million in 2019, $1.5 million in 2020, $3.5 million in 2021, $6.5 million in 2022, $9.5 million in 2023 and $13 million in 2024. The team holds options for $16.5 million in 2025 and $18.5 million in 2026, with $3 million buyouts for either season.

The White Sox’s top prospect and No. 3 overall in baseball, the 22-year-old had already been assigned to Triple-A Charlotte to start the upcoming season, but the deal means that he could be in the team’s Opening Day lineup on March 28 at Kansas City.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Oakland Athletics at Yomiuri Giants
FILE PHOTO: Mar 17, 2019; Tokyo, Japan; Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson (28) catches a bouncing ball to record an out during the fourth inning against the Nippon Ham Fighters at Tokyo Dome. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

March 23, 2019

Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson underwent surgery on his right hand Friday and is expected to be placed on the injured list. How long he will be out of the lineup has not been announced.

The team announced that the surgery was performed by Dr. Steven Shin at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles, and involved a hamate excision to Olson’s right hand.

The injury occurred Thursday in the second game of a season-opening series against the Seattle Mariners in Tokyo on a foul tip during Olson’s final at-bat. He started each of Oakland’s first two games at first base and went 1-for-5.

The 25-year-old Gold Glove winner, who is beginning his fourth season with the A’s, played in all 162 games last year, batting .247 with 29 home runs and 84 RBIs in his first full season in the majors. He has career totals of 53 home runs and 129 RBIs in 232 games.

–The Boston Red Sox and ace left-hander Chris Sale have agreed to a long-term contract extension, according to multiple reports.

The five-year deal is worth $145 million, league sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan. It adds to Sale’s current contract (one year remaining) and will go through the 2024 season.

Sale, who turns 30 on March 30, is scheduled to make $15 million in 2019, completing a team-friendly five-year, $32.5 million extension he signed with the White Sox in 2013 that included two club options.

–Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett was helped off the field during the spring training game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Phoenix, Ariz., with an apparent right leg or groin injury.

Gennett walked gingerly as he was helped off the field, and he was later taken from the dugout on a golf cart. The team said he will have an MRI, with an update to be announced later.

Gennett was hurt while fielding a routine grounder on the outfield grass after he aligned deep as part of a shift. He moved to his left and went down on his right knee, but he fielded the ball awkwardly and was in apparent pain as he threw to first base for the out. He remained in a kneeling position before getting assistance.

–The Chicago White Sox officially announced they have agreed to terms on a six-year, $43 million contract with outfielder Eloy Jimenez, plus two club options that could extend the deal through the 2026 season.

The White Sox said Jimenez will receive a $5 million bonus in addition to $1 million in 2019, $1.5 million in 2020, $3.5 million in 2021, $6.5 million in 2022, $9.5 million in 2023 and $13 million in 2024. The team holds options for $16.5 million in 2025 and $18.5 million in 2026, with $3 million buyouts for either season.

The White Sox’s top prospect and No. 3 overall in baseball, the 22-year-old had already been assigned to Triple-A Charlotte to start the upcoming season, but the deal means that he could be in the team’s Opening Day lineup on March 28 at Kansas City.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: Chicago White Sox-Media Day
Feb 21, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez (74) poses for a photo on photo day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

March 23, 2019

The Chicago White Sox officially announced Friday that they have agreed to terms on a six-year, $43 million contract with outfielder Eloy Jimenez, plus two club options that could extend the deal through the 2026 season.

Multiple outlets on Wednesday reported the deal was in the works.

The White Sox said Jimenez will receive a $5 million bonus in addition to $1 million in 2019, $1.5 million in 2020, $3.5 million in 2021, $6.5 million in 2022, $9.5 million in 2023 and $13 million in 2024. The team holds options for $16.5 million in 2025 and $18.5 million in 2026, with $3 million buyouts for either season.

The 22-year-old Jimenez has played in the White Sox organization since 2017, when he was acquired in the deal that sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs, but he has yet to play in a regular-season game in the majors.

The White Sox’s top prospect and No. 3 overall in baseball, Jimenez had already been assigned to Triple-A Charlotte to start the upcoming season, but the deal means that he could be in the team’s Opening Day lineup on March 28 at Kansas City.

“Eloy is a tremendously talented young player who has impressed us with his baseball skills, poise and maturity from the moment he joined the White Sox organization,” White Sox senior vice president/general manager Rick Hahn said in a news release. “We view him as an important member of the core we are building over the coming years, and so are pleased to have reached this long-term agreement to have him in a White Sox uniform for many seasons to come.”

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Jimenez, a native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, said, “My family and I are very happy and excited to sign this deal. It gives us the opportunity to ensure our future, but more importantly, to reinforce my commitment to the White Sox organization. All of my effort, focus and desire is to help this team win multiple championships and bring joy to our fan base.”

Jimenez batted .337 with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs in 108 games last season between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. He is a .311 hitter in five minor league seasons with 65 home runs.

The previous MLB record in guaranteed money for a player already in an organization was the six years and $24 million that the Philadelphia Phillies and Scott Kingery decided on in March 2018. The previous record before that was the $10 million guarantee between Jon Singleton and the Houston Astros in 2014.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

A headline in Reason Magazine said it all: “Have Gun, Can’t Travel.”

That’s the plight of New York City “premises licensees” under one of the most bizarre and oppressive gun control laws in the nation.

Now the U.S. Supreme Court has that law in its sights.

In January, the high court agreed to review a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upholding the regulation against a challenge under the Second Amendment and other constitutional provisions. The case is New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York.

Should the court resolve the case on Second Amendment grounds, it will be the first time since McDonald v. City of Chicago in 2010 that the Supreme Court applied that provision to a gun control law.

Even many gun control advocates probably don’t expect New York City’s regulation to fare any better before the high court than the handguns bans from Washington, D.C. and Chicago did in 2008 and 2010, respectively. Like those laws, the handgun travel ban is an outlier.

Most of the suspense and speculation instead revolve around whether the court will resolve the case narrowly or establish more generally applicable principles that could broadly be applied to other gun control laws.

But the story of New York City’s defiance of the Second Amendment and the Supreme Court’s renewed interest in reviewing overreaching gun control demonstrate how the steadfast activism of the NRA and our five million members continues to play a vital role in securing our nation’s constitutional legacy.

New York City’s handgun laws are a case study of the strange and often contradictory thinking of the nation’s most fervent gun control advocates.

The system is designed to make obtaining the license necessary to acquire and own handguns as difficult and expensive as possible for the ordinary applicant.

It dates back to the enactment of New York’s Sullivan Act in 1911 when its proponents – including the New York Times – openly promoted it as a way to keep firearms out of the hands of Italian immigrants.

Commenting on what was supposedly the first conviction under the law – of Italian immigrant Marino Rossi, who claimed to be an honest working man carrying a revolver for self-defense – the Times wrote on Sept. 29, 1911:

Judge FOSTER did well in sentencing to one year in Sing Sing MARINO ROSSI, who carried a revolver because, as he said, it was the custom of himself and his hot-headed countrymen to have weapons concealed upon their persons. The Judge’s warning to the Italian community was timely and exemplary.

Consistent with this discriminatory outlook, the law allows licensing officials a wide degree of discretion in determining who possesses the requisite “good moral character” and, in some cases, “proper cause” for a license.

It also provides for different types of licenses, including “premises licenses,” which allow the holder to “have and possess [a handgun] in his dwelling” and “carry licenses,” which bestow some latitude to possess or carry the handgun beyond one’s own residence.

New York City supposedly provides for both types of licenses.

But in reality, the only applicants who can get a New York City carry license are the rich and famous or the especially well-connected. The licensing system has repeatedly spawned corruption scandals and prosecutions over the years.

The best an ordinary New York City resident can realistically hope for is a premises license, yet even that requires a substantial investment of time, money, and self-disclosure.

As of January, the mandatory application fee for a three-year premises license was $340, not counting a separate $88.25 fingerprinting fee.

Applicants must register online with the city and complete a lengthy application form, which includes the uploading of numerous documents. Besides providing information about prior arrests, convictions, summonses, and orders of protection, applicants must disclose employment and residential timelines and any history of “mental/physical conditions and any medications taken in connection therewith.”

Paper applications have been prohibited since January 1, 2018. Low income residents who lack ready access to computer equipment, including digital scanners and high-speed Internet access, are out of luck.

After the online application is completed, the New York Police Department (NYPD) License Division will schedule a date for the applicant to appear in person during business hours to pay the required fees, get fingerprinted, and provide hard copies of the same documents that were already submitted digitally.

Once the application is reviewed by the Licensing Division, the applicant may be required to appear on subsequent occasions to submit additional documentation.

In any case, when the application itself is considered complete, all applicants must appear for an in-person interview with a licensing official.

Applicants can expect a decision from the Licensing Division, according to its website, “[w]ithin approximately six months of receipt of your handgun application, and all required documents/forms.”

Unfortunately, none of these requirements is specifically at issue in the case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Even more unfortunately, most of them have been upheld by lower state and federal courts in New York. They do, however, form the backdrop for the Supreme Court’s deliberations.

For now, the issue before the Supreme Court is the circumstances in which premises licensees can travel with their own firearms.

New York City currently allows them to do so only for specified purposes and only to one of seven approved shooting ranges in the city, which in some cases require advanced written permission from the NYPD. In all cases, the firearms must be unloaded and in a locked container, with any ammunition stored separately.

The plaintiffs in the case, however, wish to travel with their lawfully licensed handguns to ranges outside the city for use in training or competition. One plaintiff wants to be able to take his lawfully licensed handgun back and forth between his New York City residence and his second home in upstate New York.

These are all prohibited by New York City’s rules.

It takes an especially zealous gun control advocate to even think up such ludicrous regulations, much less to argue them all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Indeed, it appears that New York City’s transport ban may be the first and only one of its kind in U.S. history. That does not bode well for the city’s position that it is nevertheless a commonsense measured aimed at promoting public safety.

Even taking the city’s arguments at face value, it appears the real reason for the law is simply to exercise a maniacal level of scrutiny and control over Gotham’s lawful handgun owners.

In its brief urging the Supreme Court not to hear the case, the city noted that it used to have a “target license” that allowed for holders to transport their locked, unloaded guns to NYPD-approved ranges outside New York City. What it discovered, however, was that it was difficult as a practical matter to determine whether licensees who ventured outside the city with their own handguns were actually doing so for NYPD-approved reasons.

Notably, the city did not go so far as to claim there were any violent crimes or other harmful behavior committed by traveling target licensees. City officials instead apparently expect the court to believe that any movement of a licensed handgun that has not been specifically preapproved and documented by the NYPD is inherently dangerous, even if done for innocent reasons.

Thus, premises licensees can only practice at or compete at NYPD-approved shooting ranges within the city itself (and at big city prices). These facilities, in turn, “are required to maintain a roster listing the names and addresses of all persons who have used the range and the date and hour that they used it and to make those records available for inspection by NYPD during their hours of operation.” This underscores that owning a gun in New York City is a bureaucratically administered privilege, not a fundamental right.

For nearly 10 years, lower courts have upheld almost every sort of gun control law imaginable, while the Supreme Court has not taken up another Second Amendment case.

Thanks to the work of NRA members like you, President Donald Trump has appointed two justices to the high court who take the Constitution’s original meaning seriously.

Time will tell, but that will hopefully mean the Supreme Court is finally poised to accord our right to keep and bear arms the respect it deserves.

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

Source: The Daily Caller

A Lake County, IL Circuit Court judge blocked the village of Deerfield from enforcing its ban on assault weapons, striking a legal blow to gun control efforts at the local level.

According to The Chicago Tribune, Judge Luis Berrones issued a permanent injunction against the Chicago suburb, writing that the plaintiff firearm owners have “a clearly ascertainable right to not be subjected to a preempted and unenforceable ordinance” that bans them from having these firearms, mandates monetary fines for possessing them and enables law enforcement to seize these firearms. (RELATED: Kamala Harris Calls For Gun Ban)

In April 2018, Deerfield trustees voted to ban the possession of specific semi-automatic guns like the AR-15 and AK-47, as well as magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

The ban came in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and violations of the ban carried a fine between $250 and $1,000 per day, The Chicago Tribune reported.

Gun rights groups immediately filed a legal challenge to the ban, citing 2013 Illinois state legislature action that gave a 10-day window to local municipalities to ban assault weapons, prior the new concealed carry law, which Deerfield did not take advantage of at the time.

Deerfield Village Trustees ban assault weapons in 2018 (Credit: CNN Video Screen Shot)

“We are very gratified with the judge’s ruling and we are glad the court recognized the ordinances were unenforceable,” David Sigale, a lawyer for one of the plaintiffs told Tribune.

As with most cases related to the Second Amendment, it appears another legal round is already brewing. Deerfield officials told The Tribune they are studying the ruling and figuring out their next steps with their legal team which includes an appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court.

“The NRA is proud to have supported this challenge to Deerfield’s ban on commonly owned firearms and magazines,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “This ruling affirms that every law-abiding Deerfield resident has the right to protect themselves, their homes, and their loved ones with the firearm that best suits their needs.”

The court found that Deerfield’s attempt to amend an existing firearm ordinance was a violation of state law. The ordinance would have allowed local authorities to confiscate and destroy semi-automatic rifles and standard capacity magazines possessed within village limits.

The challenge was originally filed in 2018 by Guns Save Life with support from the NRA.

“This unprecedented interpretation of state legislative action and intent make this case ripe for appeal,” village officials said in a statement.

“The NRA is proud to have supported this challenge to Deerfield’s ban on commonly owned firearms and magazines,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “This ruling affirms that every law-abiding Deerfield resident has the right to protect themselves, their homes, and their loved ones with the firearm that best suits their needs.”

The court found that Deerfield’s attempt to amend an existing firearm ordinance was a violation of state law. The ordinance would have allowed local authorities to confiscate and destroy semi-automatic rifles and standard capacity magazines possessed within village limits. (RELATED: Boulder Residents File Lawsuit Against City Over ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban)

The challenge was originally filed in 2018 by Guns Save Life with support from the NRA.

A similar firearms ban on the same type of semi-automatic rifles went into effect last January in Boulder, Colorado and gun rights groups reacted similarly to those in Deerfield, Illinois.

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Kerry Picket is a host on SiriusXM Patriot 125

Source: The Daily Caller

Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

March 22, 2019

By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) – As Wall Street braces for what may be the first U.S. profit decline since 2016, investors say the first quarter may not mark the low point for 2019 earnings.

Concerns about economic weakness in the United States and abroad and the lack of a U.S.-China trade deal are hanging over the outlook, even as the Federal Reserve’s dovish stance on interest rates is expected to relieve some of the pressure on companies.

Another potential reason to worry: the spread between yields on Treasury bills and the 10-year note, a closely watched signal on the health of the economy, inverted on Friday for the first time since 2007.

As stocks sold off in December, some investors worried that 2019 would bring a profit recession for S&P 500 companies, with at least two quarters of year-over-year declines. The last U.S. profit recession ran from July 2015 through June of 2016.

Analysts reduced their earnings forecasts for the year as well. They now expect a 1.7 percent year-over-year earnings decline in the first quarter, with some profit growth in the rest of 2019, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

With the market’s rebound this year, the Fed on pause and some expecting economic growth to improve after the first quarter, optimism seemed to be increasing that the profit outlook would stabilize after hitting a low point in the current quarter.

“It would be great if Q1 represented a low point, but I’m not betting on it,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Capital Management in Chicago.

“I worry that the comparisons are going to be much more difficult as we navigate the rest of the year.”

This year’s earnings already were expected to shrink dramatically compared with 2018, when steep corporate tax cuts fueled earnings gains of about 24 percent.

But since the start of the year, the forecast for second-quarter profit growth has fallen to 3.0 percent from 6.4 percent, while estimated growth for the third quarter has dropped to 2.7 percent from 4.9 percent, based on Refinitiv’s data. The fourth-quarter growth estimate has come down as well, though it is still relatively strong, at 9.1 percent, based on Refinitiv’s data.

Those numbers could keep falling, while the first-quarter forecast is likely to improve from here. Since 1994, earnings have surprised to the upside on average by 3.2 percent, according to Refinitiv data, which suggests first-quarter results could finish in positive territory.

Still, with investors largely discounting weaker earnings trends, the first-quarter reporting period could bring market volatility, Ameriprise Financial strategists said.

On Tuesday, FedEx Corp. cut its 2019 profit forecast for the second time in three months, causing its stock to drop and raising fresh worries about the impact of the trade conflict on earnings, with the company citing slowing global economic conditions and weaker trade growth.

Also, Nike’s shares were down more than 5 percent on Friday after it reported North American sales that fell short of expectations.

The United States and China were scheduled to reach a deal on trade by March 1, but the White House has said it needed more time.

“You need this trade dynamic to kind of get a little bit better. There are real concerns. FedEx’s numbers are a perfect example. There’s been a global growth slowdown and companies are communicating that in terms of their guidance for the first quarter and throughout the year,” said Anthony Saglimbene, Ameriprise’s global market strategist.

To be sure, a lot of those fears could be reversed if there is a resolution in the U.S. trade conflict with China, and if companies’ reports are surprisingly upbeat, he said.

Strategists said they expect to hear more from companies on the trade conflict when first-quarter reporting kicks into high gear around mid-April.

“So much is dependent on what we do with the trade situation with China. The real issue will be the global economy, and in particular, trade with China,” said Rick Meckler, partner at Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Alden Bentley)

Source: OANN

Nolan Parisi | Contributor

Former Democratic Texas Rep. and 2020 presidential candidate Robert (Beto) O’Rourke sparked national interest and confusion after one of his old poems from high school surfaced earlier this month.

The bizarre poem titled “Song of the Sacred Cow” depicts sexual fantasies involving a cow.

As the stanzas read, “Buff my balls/ Love the cow/ Good fortune for those who do … Wax my ass/ Scrub my balls/ The Cow has risen … Thrust your hooves up my analytic passage/ Enjoy my fruits.”

O’Rourke responded to the Chicago Tribune about his past poetry and said, “I’m mortified to read it now — incredibly embarrassed — but I have to take ownership of my words. . . . It’s not anything I’m proud of today and, I mean, that’s the long and short of it.”

O’Rourke is also dealing with controversy over his involvement in a well-known hacking group as a teenager. Reuters revealed that the46-year-old politician admitted in an interview with Joseph Menn that he was once part of a “hacktivist” group called the Cult of the Dead Cow.

As part of their initiation test, new potential members had to write T-file essays and post them on an online bulletin board. O’Rourke wrote multiple T-files, one of which discussed hitting a child with a car.

“As I neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of the two.” O’Rourke wrote. (RELATED: Beto Wrote Murder Fantasy Where Narrator Drives Over Children On The Street)

It’s ironic that O’Rourke writes about hitting people with his car considering that in 1998, he was arrested for drunk driving and allegedly hit a truck and attempted to flee the scene. (RELATED: WITNESS: Beto Tried To Flee Drunk Driving Scene After Causing High Speed Crash)

But all this controversy aside, Beto’s poetry may have some promise. Would you be able to tell the difference between his poetry and Yoko Ono’s? Put your skills to the test:

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

Source: The Daily Caller

Nolan Parisi | Contributor

Former Democratic Texas Rep. and 2020 presidential candidate Robert (Beto) O’Rourke sparked national interest and confusion after one of his old poems from high school surfaced earlier this month.

The bizarre poem titled “Song of the Sacred Cow” depicts sexual fantasies involving a cow.

As the stanzas read, “Buff my balls/ Love the cow/ Good fortune for those who do … Wax my ass/ Scrub my balls/ The Cow has risen … Thrust your hooves up my analytic passage/ Enjoy my fruits.”

O’Rourke responded to the Chicago Tribune about his past poetry and said, “I’m mortified to read it now — incredibly embarrassed — but I have to take ownership of my words. . . . It’s not anything I’m proud of today and, I mean, that’s the long and short of it.”

O’Rourke is also dealing with controversy over his involvement in a well-known hacking group as a teenager. Reuters revealed that the46-year-old politician admitted in an interview with Joseph Menn that he was once part of a “hacktivist” group called the Cult of the Dead Cow.

As part of their initiation test, new potential members had to write T-file essays and post them on an online bulletin board. O’Rourke wrote multiple T-files, one of which discussed hitting a child with a car.

“As I neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of the two.” O’Rourke wrote. (RELATED: Beto Wrote Murder Fantasy Where Narrator Drives Over Children On The Street)

It’s ironic that O’Rourke writes about hitting people with his car considering that in 1998, he was arrested for drunk driving and allegedly hit a truck and attempted to flee the scene. (RELATED: WITNESS: Beto Tried To Flee Drunk Driving Scene After Causing High Speed Crash)

But all this controversy aside, Beto’s poetry may have some promise. Would you be able to tell the difference between his poetry and Yoko Ono’s? Put your skills to the test:

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

Source: The Daily Caller

Nolan Parisi | Contributor

Former Democratic Texas Rep. and 2020 presidential candidate Robert (Beto) O’Rourke sparked national interest and confusion after one of his old poems from high school surfaced earlier this month.

The bizarre poem titled “Song of the Sacred Cow” depicts sexual fantasies involving a cow.

As the stanzas read, “Buff my balls/ Love the cow/ Good fortune for those who do … Wax my ass/ Scrub my balls/ The Cow has risen … Thrust your hooves up my analytic passage/ Enjoy my fruits.”

O’Rourke responded to the Chicago Tribune about his past poetry and said, “I’m mortified to read it now — incredibly embarrassed — but I have to take ownership of my words. . . . It’s not anything I’m proud of today and, I mean, that’s the long and short of it.”

O’Rourke is also dealing with controversy over his involvement in a well-known hacking group as a teenager. Reuters revealed that the46-year-old politician admitted in an interview with Joseph Menn that he was once part of a “hacktivist” group called the Cult of the Dead Cow.

As part of their initiation test, new potential members had to write T-file essays and post them on an online bulletin board. O’Rourke wrote multiple T-files, one of which discussed hitting a child with a car.

“As I neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of the two.” O’Rourke wrote. (RELATED: Beto Wrote Murder Fantasy Where Narrator Drives Over Children On The Street)

It’s ironic that O’Rourke writes about hitting people with his car considering that in 1998, he was arrested for drunk driving and allegedly hit a truck and attempted to flee the scene. (RELATED: WITNESS: Beto Tried To Flee Drunk Driving Scene After Causing High Speed Crash)

But all this controversy aside, Beto’s poetry may have some promise. Would you be able to tell the difference between his poetry and Yoko Ono’s? Put your skills to the test:

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Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Sanders speaks in Concord
FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks at a campaign rally in Concord, New Hampshire, U.S., March 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

March 22, 2019

By Pete Schroeder and Anna Irrera

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Boosting access to the U.S. banking system is emerging as a prominent theme as Democrats tap discontent over income inequality ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Following the 2008 financial crisis, many banks pulled back from their poorest customers. The shift has had lasting costs for millions of Americans now struggling to access mainstream financial services such as checking accounts and credit cards.

Ten years later, Democrats, driven by progressive firebrands like Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, see financial inclusion as a draw for voters.

The three Democrats, along with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, have advocated for the U.S. Postal Service to provide banking services. Senator Cory Booker has said he wants to ban overdraft fees and Senator Kamala Harris has called for a crackdown on payday lenders.

Gillibrand, Booker, Harris, Sanders and Warren are all running for president.

Humu Issifu, an African-American school worker from Chicago, said overdraft debt led her to close her checking account. Issifu, who now has a savings account, said she felt lawmakers do not care about struggles like hers but they should.

“I think more young students, more people would vote,” Issifu, 26, said.

Unlike other liberal issues such as affordable housing, gun-control and taxing the rich, financial inclusion resonates among two key demographic groups: minorities and the rural Americans who powered Donald Trump into the White House, experts say.

“Candidates … are looking for ways to raise issues that are inherently about racial justice. They want to make sure they are mobilizing black and Latino voters,” said Maurice BP-Weeks, co-executive director of Action Center on Race & the Economy.

“But they are also looking for things that are common themes for people living in rural communities. Financial inclusion is one of those things that ties together those people.”

Nearly 85 million Americans, predominantly from low-income, rural and minority backgrounds, do not have a bank account or only have access to basic banking services, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation data compiled in 2017.

[See graphic https://tmsnrt.rs/2Ogvxwj]

Both “unbanked” and “underbanked” households spend on average 10 percent of their annual income – as much as the average household spends on food – to access basic services like check cashing or credit, according to a 2014 government study.

“It’s expensive to be poor,” Warren told Reuters in a statement. “We need a strong Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that cracks down on payday lenders … And we need postal banking so people in every community in America have easy and convenient access to basic banking products,” she added.

Beyond overdraft charges, many Americans cannot afford minimum balances, annual fees and ATM fees associated with many bank accounts. The cost of accessing financial services exacerbates the gap between the rich and the poor, a source of rising anger among voters which Democrats have seized upon.

DISCONNECT

“The paradox is that the economy is doing great but there is a disconnect between households and the economy,” said Ida Rademacher, executive director of nonprofit the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program. “A country’s financial system is a key determinant of whether an economy is fair or just.”

A 2018 Pew Research Center poll found 63 percent of U.S. adults believe the economy is unfairly tilted toward the rich and powerful.

“Closing the wealth gap and helping underbanked Americans achieve financial security are top priorities for Senator Gillibrand,” her campaign spokesman said.

Josh Orton, an adviser to Sanders’ campaign, said Sanders had long fought to curb payday lenders and introduce postal banking.

Representatives for Ocasio-Cortez, Booker and Harris did not respond to requests for comment.

Progressives like Warren and Sanders have pushed financial inclusion for years but the issue is getting more traction as progressives gain sway in the Democratic Party, said Mehrsa Baradaran, professor at the University of Georgia who has advised several campaigns.

Nationally, the unbanked and underbanked population has declined since the crisis, driven mainly by wage gains spurred by economic growth, the FDIC found. That improvement has been uneven, with the percentage of unbanked in a dozen states growing between 2013 and 2017, and could reverse if the economy slumps.

While rural households are more likely to encounter barriers accessing financial services, many cities have higher rates of unbanked than the national average, the data shows.

“I could see our life was getting harder and harder because I didn’t have an account,” said Dasan King, 19, a San Francisco movie-theater worker who spent up to 5 percent of his paychecks cashing them until he was able to open a bank account.

King said he was angry about the fees but was skeptical politicians would address the problem.

(Reporting Pete Schroeder in Washington and Anna Irrera in New York; writing and additional reporting by Michelle Price; editing by Neal Templin and Bill Trott)

Source: OANN

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Nashville Predators
Mar 21, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates with teammates after scoring the game winner in the shootout past Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

March 22, 2019

Sidney Crosby scored the only goal of a shootout as the Pittsburgh Penguins snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators, who had their three-game winning streak halted.

After Bryan Rust scored in the second period for Pittsburgh, Nashville’s Ryan Ellis tied it 1-1 with 3:01 left in regulation with an unassisted sharp-angle goal from the bottom of the right circle.

Penguins goalie Matt Murray stopped Ryan Johansen, Ellis and Brian Boyle in the shootout after he turned away 28 shots in regulation and overtime.

Nashville’s Pekka Rinne stopped Phil Kessel in the shootout and made 32 saves through regulation and overtime.

Golden Knights 5, Jets 0

William Karlsson had two goals and an assist, Reilly Smith scored two goals, and Malcolm Subban picked up the first shutout of his career as Vegas cruised past Winnipeg in Las Vegas.

Tomas Nosek also scored a goal, and Paul Stastny and Nick Holden each added two assists for Vegas, which won its fourth straight game and prevailed for the 10th time in its last 11 games. Subban, playing his third straight game in place of the injured Marc-Andre Fleury, finished with 20 saves.

Winnipeg goalie Laurent Brossoit allowed three goals on 18 shots before leaving early in the second period with a lower-body injury.

Blues 5, Red Wings 2

Fourth-liner Ivan Barbashev recorded his first career hat trick as host St. Louis skated to a victory over Detroit.

St. Louis native Patrick Maroon scored in his career-high fourth consecutive contest, Oskar Sundqvist also tallied and rookie Jordan Binnington finished with 20 saves as the Blues improved to 3-0-1 in their last four games. David Perron had an assist to extend his point streak to 17 games.

Thomas Vanek scored twice, and Jonathan Bernier turned aside 19 shots for the Red Wings, who have lost 13 of their past 16 (3-10-3).

Flames 5, Senators 1

Andrew Mangiapane netted his first career multi-point game with a goal and an assist, and host Calgary scored five unanswered goals en route to its second straight win, a rout of Ottawa.

Four other Calgary players collected two points, and Mike Smith made 18 saves for the Flames, who have won five of six and hold the top spot in the Western Conference.

Craig Anderson made 31 saves for the Senators, who have dropped two straight.

Lightning 6, Hurricanes 3

Tampa Bay scored four goals in the third period to emerge with the win at Raleigh, N.C.

Ryan Callahan tallied the go-ahead goal, and Brayden Point and Ryan McDonagh followed with goals. Steven Stamkos, Tyler Johnson and Anthony Cirelli scored earlier for the Lightning, who have a seven-game winning streak.

Nino Niederreiter, Dougie Hamilton and Jordan Staal scored for Carolina. Staal also had an assist.

Canadiens 4, Islanders 0

Carey Price made 28 saves as Montreal topped visiting New York, which was blanked for the second consecutive game.

Price collected his 31st win and fourth shutout of the season. Over his past five games, Price has a sparkling 1.21 goals-against average and .958 save percentage.

Joel Armia, Jonathan Drouin and Jordan Weal each had a goal and an assist, and Shea Weber also scored for the Canadiens.

Bruins 5, Devils 1

David Pastrnak collected an assist on the first goal of the game and scored the game-winner for Boston, which continued its late-season surge by prevailing at Newark, N.J.

Patrice Bergeron scored off Pastrnak’s feed late in the first period and added an empty-netter in the waning seconds of the game for the Bruins, who have won three straight following a three-game losing streak.

Danton Heinen also scored, David Backes added an insurance goal with 22 seconds left in the third, and Brad Marchand racked up three assists for Boston. Drew Stafford scored for New Jersey.

Oilers 4, Blue Jackets 1

Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist, both in the third period, as Edmonton rallied for a victory against visiting Columbus. Leon Draisaitl assisted on all three goals in the final period as the Oilers broke a 1-1 tie.

Kyle Brodziak, Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored for the Oilers, who had lost three of their previous four games. Mikko Koskinen made 18 saves.

David Savard scored the lone goal for the Blue Jackets, who have lost three straight (0-2-1). The Blue Jackets’ Joonas Korpisalo, starting in net because Sergei Bobrovsky was scratched with an undisclosed injury, stopped 18 of 22 shots.

Avalanche 3, Stars 1

Philipp Grubauer stopped 44 shots, Erik Johnson scored on his 31st birthday, and Colorado won at Dallas.

Tyson Barrie and Carl Soderberg also had goals, and Sam Girard had two assists for the Avalanche, who have won three in a row and moved into a tie with Arizona for the second Western Conference wild card. Tyler Seguin scored, and Ben Bishop had 29 saves for Dallas, which holds the West’s top wild-card spot.

Colorado sustained a potentially serious loss when second-leading scorer Mikko Rantanen left the game late in the third period holding his hip after a big check and did not return.

Kings 4, Sharks 2

Matt Roy scored his first NHL goal to start a third-period comeback, and Jonathan Quick made 23 saves as host Los Angeles beat San Jose.

With his team down 2-1 nearing the midway point of the third period, Roy fired a slap shot from the point that somehow went through a maze of players and a screened netminder to tie the game. Roy was playing his 16th NHL game.

Anze Kopitar’s 21st goal of the season a couple of minutes later became the game-winner, and Jeff Carter added an empty-net goal. The Sharks, who were without key forwards Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture plus defenseman Erik Karlsson, lost their fourth consecutive game.

Panthers 4, Coyotes 2

Jonathan Huberdeau had his third three-assist game of the season, and Roberto Luongo snapped a personal five-game losing streak as Florida defeated Arizona in Sunrise, Fla.

Huberdeau assisted on goals by Aleksander Barkov, Mike Hoffman and MacKenzie Weegar. Barkov added his second of the night into an empty net with 50 seconds left.

Michael Grabner and Brad Richardson were Arizona’s goal-scorers. Darcy Kuemper made 18 saves as the Coyotes lost their third straight game (0-2-1).

Flyers 3, Blackhawks 1

James van Riemsdyk scored the tiebreaking goal just before the midway point of the third period, and rookie Carter Hart made 40 saves as Philadelphia won at Chicago.

Sean Couturier added an empty-netter to tie his career high with 31 goals and also had an assist for Philadelphia, which lost three of four entering the contest but improved to 10-2-1 over the last 13 on the road.

The Blackhawks have dropped two in a row following a five-game winning streak.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Toronto Blue Jays at Philadelphia Phillies
FILE PHOTO: Mar 21, 2019; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper (3) is greeted by his teammates in the dugout after hitting home run in the first inning of the spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

March 22, 2019

Bryce Harper led a home run barrage with his first two blasts as a member of the Phillies as Philadelphia routed the visiting Toronto Blue Jays 13-6 in a spring training exhibition Thursday at Clearwater, Fla.

Harper’s first homer was a two-run blast pulled to right in the first inning, and he followed up with a solo shot to right in the sixth. Also going yard for Philadelphia were Andrew McCutchen, Andrew Knapp, J.T. Realmuto and Gift Ngoepe.

Randal Grichuk, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Rowdy Tellez and Billy McKinney all went deep for the Blue Jays.

Pirates 7, Orioles 5

Jung Ho Kang crushed a walk-off grand slam to lead host Pittsburgh past Baltimore at Bradenton, Fla. Jonah Davis went yard twice, and Francisco Cervelli also homered for the Pirates, while Trey Mancini had a solo shot for the Orioles.

Rays 8, Braves 1

Brandon Lowe and Nate Lowe each hit three-run homers as part of a six-run first as Tampa Bay cruised past visiting Atlanta at Port Charlotte, Fla. Kyle Wright, the No. 5 pick by the Braves in the 2017 draft, was roughed up for six runs on four hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning.

Tigers 5, Astros 3

Jeimer Candelario homered twice, and Miguel Cabrera added a solo shot and an RBI double as Detroit downed visiting Houston at Lakeland, Fla.

Cardinals (ss) 11, Yankees 3

Dexter Fowler went deep twice, and Marcell Ozuna and Drew Robinson each had three hits as host St. Louis slammed New York at Jupiter, Fla. Gleyber Torres hit a two-run double for the Yankees.

Mets 6, Marlins 0

Brandon Nimmo hit two home runs and had four RBIs, and Michael Conforto crushed a two-run shot as visiting Miami blanked New York at Port St. Lucie, Fla. Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen served up five runs on seven hits in five innings.

Royals 14, Reds (ss) 6

Jorge Soler and Kyle Isbel each had three-run homers, and Kansas City used an eight-run ninth inning to pummel host Cincinnati at Goodyear, Ariz. The Reds were led offensively by Jose Peraza, who hit an RBI triple and a two-run double.

Giants 5, Cubs 5

Kevonte Mitchell’s ninth-inning home run helped host Chicago tie San Francisco at Mesa, Ariz. Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer for the Giants.

Rangers (ss) 7, Indians 3

Rougned Odor’s three-run shot highlighted a 14-hit Texas attack in a win over visiting Cleveland at Surprise, Ariz. Trayce Thompson homered for the Indians.

Brewers 11, Dodgers 5

Tyler Saladino hit a three-run homer, and Yasmani Grandal added a two-run blast against his former team as Milwaukee rolled past visiting Los Angeles at Phoenix. Justin Turner’s three-run blast and Cody Asche’s two-run shot accounted for all the Dodgers’ offense.

White Sox 12, Rangers (ss) 2

Leury Garcia homered among four hits as Chicago routed visiting Texas at Phoenix. Yonder Alonso (four RBIs) and Jose Abreu (three RBIs) each added two hits for the White Sox.

Angels 2, Diamondbacks 1

Mike Trout and Dustin Garneau hit RBI singles as Los Angeles edged host Arizona at Scottsdale, Ariz. Matt Szczur drove in the Diamondbacks’ lone run on a sacrifice fly.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Lauryn Overhultz | Columnist

“Empire” creator Lee Daniels opened about about the chaos following Jussie Smollett’s arrest in a video posted Wednesday to Instagram.

Daniels compared the past weeks following the Smollett’s alleged hate crime to a roller coaster. “We, me and my cast, have experienced pain, and anger, and sadness and frustration, and we really don’t know how to handle it,” Daniels said.

He told fans that everything that has happened on the “Empire” episodes so far was filmed before “the incident.”

“This is not what the show was made for. The show was made to bring America together. To talk about the atrocities that are happening right now on the streets,” Daniels said.

After originally saying Smollett would not be written off of the “Empire” series, producers changed their mind, saying they wanted to give Smollett the “time to really deal with what he’s been confronted with and allow him the time to focus and prepare his case,” according to executive producer Brett Mahoney. (RELATED: Jussie Smollett Pleads Not Guilty To 16-Count Indictment)

Smollett pleaded “not guilty” to 16 counts of disorderly conduct on March 14 after allegedly orchestrating a hate crime against himself.

Smollett originally told Chicago Police that he was attacked by Trump supporters wearing MAGA hats on Jan. 29. Smollett’s story fell apart after the Osundairo brothers, the two men who attacked Smollett, were arrested and released without charges.

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Chicago Blackhawks
FILE PHOTO: Mar 18, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton directs his team against the Vancouver Canucks during the third period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY/File Photo

March 21, 2019

(Reuters) – The Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers will open the 2019-20 NHL regular season in the Czech Republic while the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning play two games in Sweden in November, the league said on Thursday.

The trio of matchups are part of the 2019 NHL Global Series and mark the third consecutive year and eighth season overall that the National Hockey League (NHL) has traveled to Europe for regular-season games.

Chicago and Philadelphia will clash in Prague on Oct. 4 while Buffalo and Tampa Bay will face off in Stockholm on Nov. 8 and Nov. 9, the NHL said in a statement.

That brings the number of regular-season games played in Europe to 28.

Chicago and Philadelphia will also wrap up their training camps in Europe with the Blackhawks playing an exhibition in Germany on Sept. 29 against Eisbaren Berlin and Philadelphia in Switzerland on Sept. 30 to face Lausanne HC.

All four clubs have a number of international players on their rosters, including natives and nationals of the countries they are visiting.

Among the Swedish players going home will be defenceman Rasmus Dahlin, who was taken with the first overall pick by Buffalo in last year’s NHL Draft, and Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman, who was named the league’s top defenceman last year.

For Blackhawks forward Dominik Kahun, a German national born in the Czech Republic, it will be a chance to play in both those countries.

David Kampf of the Blackhawks along with Jakub Voracek, Radko Gudas and Michal Neuvirth of the Flyers will be playing in their home country of the Czech Republic.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Airplane engine parts are seen at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu
FILE PHOTO: Airplane engine parts are seen at the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 plane crash, near the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Maggie Fick and Jason Neely

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – The captain of a doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight was unable to practice on a new simulator for the Boeing 737 MAX 8 before he died in a crash with 157 others, a pilot colleague said.

Yared Getachew, 29, was due for refresher training at the end of March, his colleague told Reuters, two months after Ethiopian Airlines had received the simulator.

The March 10 disaster, following another MAX 8 crash in Indonesia in October, has set off one of the biggest inquiries in aviation history, focused on whether pilots were sufficiently versed on a new automated system.

In both cases, the pilots lost control soon after take-off and fought a losing battle to stop their jets plunging down.

In the Ethiopian crash, it was not clear if Yared’s colleague – First Officer Ahmednur Mohammed, 25, who also died in the crash – had practiced on the new MAX simulator.

Globally, most commercial airline pilots refresh training in simulators every six months. It was not clear if Yared or Ahmednur would have been trained on the new simulator or an older one for 737s that their airline also owned.

The MAX, which came into service two years ago, has a new automated system called MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System). It is meant to prevent a loss of lift which can cause an aerodynamic stall sending the plane downwards in an uncontrolled way.

“Boeing did not send manuals on MCAS,” the Ethiopian Airlines pilot told Reuters in a hotel lobby, declining to give his name as staff have been told not to speak in public.

“Actually we know more about the MCAS system from the media than from Boeing.”

Under unprecedented scrutiny and with its MAX fleet grounded worldwide, the world’s largest planemaker has said airlines were given guidance on how to respond to the activation of MCAS software. It is also promising a swift update to the system.

Ethiopian Airlines declined to comment on the remarks of its pilot to Reuters about the simulator and MCAS system.

(Additional reporting by Allison Lampert in Montreal and Tracy Rucinski in Chicago; Writing by Jamie Freed and Katharine Houreld; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

Source: OANN

NBA: Houston Rockets at Memphis Grizzlies
Mar 20, 2019; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas (17) defends against Houston Rockets center Clint Cappella (15) at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

Jonas Valanciunas’ offensive rebound and free throw with 0.1 second left in overtime helped the host Memphis Grizzlies topple the Houston Rockets 126-125 on Wednesday.

Valanciunas paired a career-high 33 points with 15 rebounds and teamed with Mike Conley (35 points, eight assists) to help Memphis fend off James Harden and the rallying Rockets. Valanciunas corralled a miss by Conley before absorbing a foul from Houston center Clint Capela on the game’s deciding play.

That followed an MVP-caliber stretch from Harden, who scored 18 of his game-high 57 points in the fourth quarter before adding eight points during a 28-second stretch in overtime.

Memphis averted a four-game season series sweep against Houston, which lost for just the third time since the All-Star break. Former Rockets forward Chandler Parsons drilled two 3-pointers in overtime to keep the Grizzlies in control despite Harden’s efforts.

76ers 118, Celtics 115

Joel Embiid collected 37 points and a career-high 22 rebounds to go along with a late key block on Kyrie Irving as host Philadelphia averted a season sweep by Boston.

Jimmy Butler scored 15 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter for the 76ers, who have won six in a row overall. Irving scored 16 of his 36 points in the first quarter for the Celtics, who fell short against Philadelphia for just the third time in the teams’ past 20 regular-season meetings.

Al Horford scored 22 points and Terry Rozier added 20 points off the bench for Boston, which saw guard Marcus Smart receive a flagrant-2 foul and an immediate ejection less than a minute into the third quarter following a two-handed shove into the back of Embiid.

Raptors 123, Thunder 114 (OT)

Pascal Siakam scored 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead Toronto to an overtime win at Oklahoma City.

The Raptors dominated the extra session, outscoring the Thunder 13-4 after letting a 19-point, second-half lead slip away. Oklahoma City didn’t score in the extra period until 31.5 seconds remained. Kawhi Leonard scored five of his 22 points in overtime, and Fred VanVleet finished with 23 points for the Raptors.

Russell Westbrook, returning from a one-game suspension and coming off a 2-for-16 shooting performance Saturday in a loss to the Golden State Warriors, helped lift the Thunder with 42 points and 16-of-29 shooting, including 5-of-10 accuracy from behind the 3-point arc.

Cavaliers 107, Bucks 102

Collin Sexton scored 25 points, and Jordan Clarkson added 23 off the bench to lead host Cleveland over short-handed Milwaukee.

Coming into the game, Sexton had been the first rookie to score at least 23 points in six consecutive games since Tim Duncan did it twice for the San Antonio Spurs in 1998. Sexton now has accomplished the feat in seven straight games.

Milwaukee dressed only nine players and was without Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Mirotic. Antetokounmpo missed his second straight game with an ankle injury. The Bucks announced Wednesday that Mirotic will be out two to four weeks with a thumb injury. Khris Middleton led Milwaukee with 26 points.

Heat 110, Spurs 105

Goran Dragic scored 22 points off the bench, and Dwyane Wade had a big basket and a steal in the final minutes as visiting Miami outlasted San Antonio to snap Spurs’ nine-game winning streak.

After trailing by as many as 18 in the third quarter and by 13 with 9:50 to play, San Antonio charged back, pulling within 106-103 with 2:05 left. With Miami on top 108-105, Wade stole the ball from DeRozan with 9.1 seconds left. Kelly Olynyk then converted a pair of free throws to cement the win for the Heat.

Dion Waiters scored 18 points for the Heat, who hold a 1 1/2-game lead on the Orlando Magic for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot. Patty Mills, Marco Belinelli and Aldridge scored 17 points each for the Spurs.

Magic 119, Pelicans 96

Orlando led from start to finish, pounding visiting New Orleans for its third consecutive win.

Evan Fournier scored 22 points for the Magic, and Aaron Gordon had 20. Nikola Vucevic contributed 15 points and 17 rebounds.

Frank Jackson was the only Pelicans starter to score in double figures, netting 14 points. Reserve Stanley Johnson scored a team-high 18 points off the bench. Pelicans star forward Anthony Davis did not play due to a family matter.

Bulls 126, Wizards 120 (OT)

Kris Dunn atoned for a late miss in regulation with a pair of 3-pointers in overtime, and Lauri Markkanen added a back-breaking trey with 32.3 seconds remaining to send Chicago to victory over visiting Washington.

The loss assured the Wizards (30-42) of a losing season and cost them a key game in their desperate quest to move up from 11th place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Markkanen, the game’s leading scorer with 32 points, also collected a game-high 13 rebounds. Dunn had 26 points and 13 assists for the Bulls, who won their second straight after a five-game losing streak. Jabari Parker scored 28 points for the Wizards against his former team.

Trail Blazers 126, Mavericks 118

Damian Lillard scored 33 points and handed out 12 assists as Portland knocked off visiting Dallas.

Six players scored in double figures for the Trail Blazers, including Seth Curry with 20 off the bench. It was the fifth win in six games for Portland.

Luka Doncic scored 24 points and Justin Jackson contributed 21 for the Mavericks, who have lost 14 of their past 16 outings.

Jazz 137, Knicks 116

Donovan Mitchell scored 30 points in three quarters and Utah easily ran its winning streak to five games by rolling over host New York.

Mitchell helped the Jazz get their latest win by shooting 12 of 20 and hitting five 3-pointers. Utah matched a team record by hitting 20 3-pointers.

Rookie Kevin Knox scored 27 points for the Knicks, who lost for the 10th time in 11 games. Mario Hezonja added 23 points for New York, which was without Dennis Smith Jr. (sore back), Allonzo Trier (strained left calf) and Noah Vonleh (ankle).

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: An American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight approaches for landing at Reagan National Airport in Washington
FILE PHOTO: An American Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight from Los Angeles approaches for landing at Reagan National Airport shortly after an announcement was made by the FAA that the planes were being grounded by the United States in Washington, U.S. March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Tracy Rucinski and Jamie Freed

CHICAGO/SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Pressure mounted on Boeing Co in Washington as U.S. lawmakers called for executives to testify about two crashed 737 MAX jets, even as the world’s biggest planemaker worked to return the grounded fleet to the skies.

A Senate panel plans to schedule a hearing with Boeing at an unspecified date, officials said, the first time a U.S. congressional committee has called the company’s executives to appear for questioning over the crashes.

The same panel, the Senate Commerce subcommittee on aviation and space, will also question FAA officials on March 27, likely about why the regulator agreed to certify the MAX planes in March 2017 without requiring extensive additional training.

The Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10 that killed all 157 on board has set off one of the widest investigations in aviation history. Initial reports from investigators say there are clear similarities between the crash and the Lion Air accident that killed all 189 crew and passengers in November.

While no direct link has yet been established, the MCAS flight control software and related pilot training are at the center of the investigation, and U.S. lawmakers are questioning the Federal Aviation Administration’s certification of MAX’s safety.

Boeing has promised a swift update to the MCAS, and the FAA said the installation of new software and related training was a priority.

However, extra computer-based training will be required after the software update, the pilot union of MAX’s biggest customer, Southwest Airlines Co, said on Wednesday, becoming the first major airline union to comment.

Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association said it had previewed the proposed Boeing training, including a required test, which would be mandatory for Southwest pilots before flying the 737 MAX again.

A Boeing spokeswoman said training on the software update would be provided by the manufacturer, but declined to disclose further details.

Regulators in Europe and Canada have said, however, they will seek their own guarantees of the MAX’s safety.

MOUNTING SCRUTINY

The Ethiopian Airlines crash has shaken the global aviation industry and cast a shadow over the Boeing model intended to be a standard for decades to come.

Investigators examining the Lion Air crash are weighing how the MCAS system ordered the plane to dive in response to data from a faulty sensor and whether the pilots had enough training to respond appropriately to the emergency, among other factors.

MCAS is meant to prevent a loss of lift which can cause an aerodynamic stall and send the plane downwards in an uncontrolled way.

The pilots of the doomed Lion Air flight scrambled through a handbook to understand why the jet was lurching downwards in the final minutes before it hit the water, three people with knowledge of the cockpit voice recorder contents said.

Indonesian investigators have said the cockpit voice recorder information was leaked to the media and they plan to hold a news conference at 0830 GMT on Thursday.

Boeing has said there was a documented procedure to handle the problem.

The company was sued on Wednesday in federal court in Chicago by the estate of one of the Lion Air crash victims in which the plaintiffs referred to the Ethiopian crash to support a wrongful death claim against the company.

A Boeing spokesman said the company does not respond to, or comment on, questions concerning legal matters.

The Seattle Times reported the Federal Bureau of Investigation was joining the investigation into the MAX’s certification. An FBI spokeswoman in Seattle would neither confirm nor deny that it was a part of any investigation.

Criminal prosecutors at the U.S. Justice Department, who are also investigating the FAA’s oversight of Boeing, have issued multiple subpoenas to Boeing, CNN reported, citing sources briefed on the matter.

Bloomberg said U.S. officials started investigating the FAA’s approval of the MAX software linked to the Lion Air plane crash last year within weeks after the accident, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Pentagon Inspector General said it would investigate a complaint that Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, violated ethical rules by allegedly promoting Boeing while in office.

Facing high-profile scrutiny, Boeing reshuffled executives in its commercial airplanes unit to focus on its response.

FINAL MOMENTS

Before the Lion Air flight crashed, sources told Reuters the Indian-born captain, aged 31, was quiet, while the Indonesian officer, 41, said “Allahu Akbar”, or “God is greatest”.

A different crew on the same plane the previous evening had the same situation but resolved it after running through three checklists, though they did not pass on the information to the doomed Indonesian crew, a preliminary report in November said.

As with the Indonesia flight, the Ethiopian crew radioed about control problems shortly after take-off and sought to turn back. Ethiopia’s civil aviation head Wosenyeleh Hunegnaw said he expected a report on the investigation within 30 days.

For now, more than 350 MAX aircraft are grounded, and deliveries of nearly 5,000, worth more than $500 billion, are on hold. Boeing’s shares have fallen 11 percent since the Ethiopian Airlines crash, wiping $26 billion from its market value.

(For a graphic on ‘Boeing 737 Max deliveries in question’ click https://tmsnrt.rs/2Hv2btC)

(For a graphic on ‘Ethiopian Airlines crash and black boxes’ click https://tmsnrt.rs/2ChBW5M)

(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago and Jamie Freed in Singapore; Additional reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru, Maggie Fick and Jason Neely in Addis Ababa, David Shepardson in Washington, Tim Hepher in Paris, Jonathan Stempel in New York, David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Cindy Silviana in Jakarta, Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Writing by Sayantani Ghosh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in attendance at a press conference in advance of Super Bowl LIII at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta
FILE PHOTO: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in attendance at a press conference in advance of Super Bowl LIII at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., January 30, 2019. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

March 21, 2019

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is seeking to suppress video evidence that authorities assert support the solicitation of prostitution charges filed against him, ESPN reported Wednesday.

Per the report, a motion was filed Wednesday by Kraft’s attorneys with intentions to make sure the video, which he said has been described as “graphic and damning,” never is released. The report calls the motion a “warning shot” to prosecutors that Kraft’s team will challenge that police had probable cause even to collect the video as evidence.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that prosecutors offered to defer prosecution for Kraft and the two dozen other men arrested in the case, but any defendant who accepts the offer must admit that there is enough evidence to lead to a conviction at trial, along with other stipulations. CNN reported Wednesday Kraft will reject the offer.

Kraft entered a not guilty plea after being charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution at a day spa in Jupiter, Fla. The 77-year-old billionaire is alleged to have twice visited the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in January and received sex acts in exchange for money.

–Much of the New York Giants’ top brass — including head coach Pat Shurmur, offensive coordinator Mike Shula and senior vice president of player personnel Chris Mara — took Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins to dinner Tuesday night, then studied his on-field drills at the Buckeyes’ Pro Day the following day.

Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah of the NFL Network summed up the action: “Strong workout for Haskins. Improved foot quickness, excellent anticipation and pace on the ball.”

Haskins could be the choice if New York is ready to try to draft the replacement for Eli Manning with the No. 6 overall pick, but there could be competition as other quarterback-needy teams assess their draft positions. Haskins said he would soon meet with the Oakland Raiders (who hold the No. 4 pick), the Denver Broncos (No. 10), the Miami Dolphins (No. 13) and the Washington Redskins (No. 15).

–Also in Columbus, potential No. 1 overall pick Nick Bosa did not participate in on-field drills after performing well in drill work at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.

He said he had meetings scheduled with the San Francisco 49ers, who hold the No. 2 pick, and the Giants. He also interviewed with all the top teams at the combine, including Arizona, which picks first. Bosa had 29 tackles for loss, including 17.5 sacks, in 29 career games for the Buckeyes.

–Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin told Sports Radio 950 KJR in Seattle that “more surgeries (are) on the way, most likely,” while the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo cited a source in saying that Baldwin will meet with Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia in early April about a potential sports hernia.

Baldwin, 30, missed two games in September with a knee injury and a shoulder problem arose later in the campaign. He had surgeries to address both issues this offseason.

–The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added two women as assistant coaches, making them the first full-time female coaches in team history and making the Bucs the first NFL team with two female coaches on staff. Maral Javadifar will take on the role as assistant strength and conditioning coach as Lori Locust will be an assistant defensive line coach.

–Quarterback Trevor Siemian has agreed to a reported one-year deal worth $2 million with the New York Jets. Siemian spent all of last season on Minnesota’s active roster, although he did not play as Kirk Cousins’ backup after the Vikings acquired him in a trade with Denver last March. Siemian, 27, started 24 games for the Broncos over the 2016 and ’17 seasons, passing for 5,686 yards and 30 touchdowns against 24 interceptions.

–The Minnesota Vikings, in search of help at offensive guard, announced the signing of Josh Kline, who was released last week by the Tennessee Titans. The deal is for three years and $15.75 million, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. … The Chicago Bears re-signed punter Patrick O’Donnell and backup quarterback Tyler Bray.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Mar 10, 2019; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) grounds out against the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth inning at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

Reigning American League Most Valuable Player Mookie Betts said Wednesday he doesn’t expect to sign a contract extension with the Boston Red Sox, instead planning to enter the 2019 season playing under his existing one-year, $20 million deal before becoming a free agent next offseason.

Betts confirmed to reporters he rejected an offer of eight years and $200 million following the 2017 season, as first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

With baseball’s brightest young stars now committed to monster deals — Manny Machado (San Diego, 10 years/$300 million), Bryce Harper (Philadelphia, 13 years/$330 million) and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels, 12 years/reportedly $430 million) — Betts, 26, will command much more than $200 million if he remains on his career trajectory.

In 2018, Betts led the AL with a .346 batting average, a .640 slugging percentage and 129 runs. His .438 on-base percentage ranked second to Trout’s .460 mark. He displayed power and speed, with a career-high 32 home runs and 30 stolen bases.

–Without yet playing in a major league game, outfielder Eloy Jimenez agreed to a six-year deal worth a guaranteed $43 million with the Chicago White Sox, multiple outlets reported.

The deal, which also includes two option years, is a record in guaranteed money for a player already in a team’s system who had not logged a day of big league time. Jimenez, 22, has played in the White Sox organization since 2017 when he was acquired in the deal that sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs.

Because the contract will take him into his initial free agency years, the White Sox can put Jimenez on the major league roster now without worrying about starting his free-agency clock. He is expected to be in the team’s Opening Day lineup.

–Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw threw a simulated inning as he continues his build-up process for the regular season, one day after it was announced that he would begin the season on the injured list.

Kershaw, who turned 31 on Tuesday, is working through shoulder inflammation that appeared at the start of spring training. He threw 22 pitches on a back field at the Dodgers’ spring training complex at Glendale, Ariz. He faced batters in the batter’s box, though none of them took any swings.

There is no timetable on Kershaw’s return, but if he pitches that first full inning against hitters in the next week or so, there is a chance he could rejoin the Dodgers at some point in the second half of April.

–Chuck Harmon, the Cincinnati Reds’ first African-American player, who has already been honored with a plaque outside Great American Ball Park, died on Tuesday, the team announced. He was 94. Seven years after Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Harmon took the field for the Reds in 1954. He played in 289 career games, 203 of those in three seasons with the Reds, batting .238 with seven home runs and 59 RBIs.

–New York Yankees guest instructor Lee Mazzilli, who turns 64 next Monday, was scheduled to spend the night in the hospital after being struck in the head by a ball during batting practice at Tampa, Fla., according to published reports. Mazzilli played 14 big league seasons and batted .259 with 93 homers and 460 RBIs, and played for the Yankees for 37 games in 1982.

–Right-hander Ryan Pressly signed a two-year extension reportedly worth $17.5 million with the Houston Astros that takes him through the 2021 season, the team announced. The deal also reportedly has a $10 million vesting option for the 2022 season. … The Tampa Bay Rays and prospect Brandon Lowe have agreed on a six-year, $24 million deal, according to a report by The Athletic. Lowe, 24, is No. 93 on Baseball America’s list of Top 100 prospects and can play both infield and outfield.

–Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer, who turned 26 last week, has decided to proceed with Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. … The Baltimore Orioles decided to part ways with shortstop Alcides Escobar, granting the veteran his unconditional release. … The San Francisco Giants agreed on a minor league contract with Matt Joyce one day after the veteran outfielder was released by the Cleveland Indians.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Mar 10, 2019; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) grounds out against the Tampa Bay Rays in the fourth inning at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

Reigning American League Most Valuable Player Mookie Betts said Wednesday he doesn’t expect to sign a contract extension with the Boston Red Sox, instead planning to enter the 2019 season playing under his existing one-year, $20 million deal before becoming a free agent next offseason.

Betts confirmed to reporters he rejected an offer of eight years and $200 million following the 2017 season, as first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

With baseball’s brightest young stars now committed to monster deals — Manny Machado (San Diego, 10 years/$300 million), Bryce Harper (Philadelphia, 13 years/$330 million) and Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels, 12 years/reportedly $430 million) — Betts, 26, will command much more than $200 million if he remains on his career trajectory.

In 2018, Betts led the AL with a .346 batting average, a .640 slugging percentage and 129 runs. His .438 on-base percentage ranked second to Trout’s .460 mark. He displayed power and speed, with a career-high 32 home runs and 30 stolen bases.

–Without yet playing in a major league game, outfielder Eloy Jimenez agreed to a six-year deal worth a guaranteed $43 million with the Chicago White Sox, multiple outlets reported.

The deal, which also includes two option years, is a record in guaranteed money for a player already in a team’s system who had not logged a day of big league time. Jimenez, 22, has played in the White Sox organization since 2017 when he was acquired in the deal that sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs.

Because the contract will take him into his initial free agency years, the White Sox can put Jimenez on the major league roster now without worrying about starting his free-agency clock. He is expected to be in the team’s Opening Day lineup.

–Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw threw a simulated inning as he continues his build-up process for the regular season, one day after it was announced that he would begin the season on the injured list.

Kershaw, who turned 31 on Tuesday, is working through shoulder inflammation that appeared at the start of spring training. He threw 22 pitches on a back field at the Dodgers’ spring training complex at Glendale, Ariz. He faced batters in the batter’s box, though none of them took any swings.

There is no timetable on Kershaw’s return, but if he pitches that first full inning against hitters in the next week or so, there is a chance he could rejoin the Dodgers at some point in the second half of April.

–Chuck Harmon, the Cincinnati Reds’ first African-American player, who has already been honored with a plaque outside Great American Ball Park, died on Tuesday, the team announced. He was 94. Seven years after Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Harmon took the field for the Reds in 1954. He played in 289 career games, 203 of those in three seasons with the Reds, batting .238 with seven home runs and 59 RBIs.

–New York Yankees guest instructor Lee Mazzilli, who turns 64 next Monday, was scheduled to spend the night in the hospital after being struck in the head by a ball during batting practice at Tampa, Fla., according to published reports. Mazzilli played 14 big league seasons and batted .259 with 93 homers and 460 RBIs, and played for the Yankees for 37 games in 1982.

–Right-hander Ryan Pressly signed a two-year extension reportedly worth $17.5 million with the Houston Astros that takes him through the 2021 season, the team announced. The deal also reportedly has a $10 million vesting option for the 2022 season. … The Tampa Bay Rays and prospect Brandon Lowe have agreed on a six-year, $24 million deal, according to a report by The Athletic. Lowe, 24, is No. 93 on Baseball America’s list of Top 100 prospects and can play both infield and outfield.

–Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer, who turned 26 last week, has decided to proceed with Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. … The Baltimore Orioles decided to part ways with shortstop Alcides Escobar, granting the veteran his unconditional release. … The San Francisco Giants agreed on a minor league contract with Matt Joyce one day after the veteran outfielder was released by the Cleveland Indians.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
FILE PHOTO: Feb 25, 2019; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) looks on prior to facing the Chicago Cubs at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

March 21, 2019

Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw threw a simulated inning Wednesday as he continues his build-up process for the regular season, one day after it was announced that he would begin the season on the injured list.

Kershaw, who turned 31 on Tuesday, is working through shoulder inflammation that appeared at the start of spring training. He has pitched into October each of the past two seasons, as the Dodgers lost in the World Series both times, and he has dealt with injuries, mostly to his back, each of the past three years.

Kershaw threw 22 pitches on a back field at the Dodgers’ spring training complex at Glendale, Ariz. Teammates Joc Pederson, Max Muncy and David Freese all stepped into the batter’s box with Kershaw pitching, but none of them took swings.

“Health-wise, felt good,” Kershaw said afterward, according to MLB.com. “You just have to start the build-up process. That’s the bummer to being a starter. Can’t skip innings, got to go an inning at a time. One inning down and go to two innings and work your way up to 100 pitches. I don’t know the exact math, but you go up an inning a start and there’s days in between. It’s probably 20 days or something.”

There is no timetable on Kershaw’s return, but if he pitches that first full inning against hitters in the next week or so, there is a chance he could rejoin the Dodgers at some point in the second half of April.

There has been speculation Kershaw could pitch in a game in Arizona on Saturday, just before the Dodgers break camp.

The Dodgers still have not decided on an Opening Day pitcher. That assignment had belonged Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, for a team-record eight consecutive seasons.

“Better to miss a little at the beginning than any time at all the rest of it,” Kershaw said. “Being out there Opening Day is special. I don’t take that for granted. I love being out there and what it signifies and being part of the Dodger history and all that stuff. It’s not lost on me. I love doing that. But when you get super realistic about it, it is just one game.”

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

A growing number of Americans say immigration levels should remain the same or increase, according to a major U.S. survey, a shift that comes as the Trump administration has ramped up immigration enforcement.

At the same time, the latest data from the General Social Survey — a widely respected poll that has measured trends on American attitudes since the 1970s — shows a growing partisan divide on the topic over the past decade.

The 2018 survey was released this week and shows 34 percent of Americans want immigration levels to be reduced, down from 41 percent in 2016, according to an analysis by The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and GSS staff.

That's compared with 23 percent of Americans who want more immigration, up from 17 percent in 2016. Forty-one percent say they want immigration levels to stay the same.

It's the first time since the survey question was first asked in 2004 that more Americans want immigration to remain the same than to be reduced.

The survey is conducted every two years, and the question was last asked before President Donald Trump took office and made it harder for people to immigrate to the United States.

Trump — who made immigration enforcement a centerpiece of his election campaign — has repeatedly called for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and his push for wall funding last year drove the federal government to a monthlong shutdown that furloughed hundreds of thousands of government workers.

The administration enacted a travel ban for citizens of mostly Muslim countries, including Iran and Yemen, that has torn many families apart. And officials last year separated immigrant parents from their children to prosecute illegal border crossers, a move that sparked an international outcry.

"People are more tolerant of immigration than the president and the far right would have us believe," said Louis DeSipio, a political science professor at the University of California, Irvine.

According to the survey, nearly three times as many Democrats as Republicans want more immigrants allowed into the country, while Republicans are more than twice as likely as Democrats to favor less immigration.

But fewer Republicans want a reduction in immigration than did in 2016. In 2018, 52 percent of Republicans said they wanted less immigration, down from 62 percent two years earlier.

Forty-four percent of Democrats say they want immigration levels to remain the same, while 34 percent want an increase in immigration.

The survey — which does not distinguish between illegal and legal immigration — also looked at Americans' views on the issue by race. About 41 percent of whites want a decrease in immigration, while only 24 percent of blacks and 22 percent of Hispanics say the same.

Trump has made immigration an intensely political issue, and also an issue of race, said Manuel Pastor, director of the University of Southern California's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration.

"Trump is trying to create a Republican Party that's much more based in an older, white electorate in nonmetropolitan areas of the country," Pastor said. "The Democrats are trying to put together political coalitions that have a deep base in metropolitan areas, and that includes many more people of color."

The General Social Survey has been conducted since 1972 by NORC at the University of Chicago, primarily using in-person interviewing.

Sample sizes for each year's survey vary from about 1,500 to about 3,000 adults, with margins of error falling between plus or minus 2.2 percentage points and plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The most recent survey was conducted April 12 through November 10, 2018 and includes interviews with 2,348 American adults. MARGIN OF ERROR?

Online: http://www.apnorc.org

Source: NewsMax

A growing number of Americans say immigration levels should remain the same or increase, according to a major U.S. survey, a shift that comes as the Trump administration has ramped up immigration enforcement.

At the same time, the latest data from the General Social Survey — a widely respected poll that has measured trends on American attitudes since the 1970s — shows a growing partisan divide on the topic over the past decade.

The 2018 survey was released this week and shows 34 percent of Americans want immigration levels to be reduced, down from 41 percent in 2016, according to an analysis by The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and GSS staff.

That's compared with 23 percent of Americans who want more immigration, up from 17 percent in 2016. Forty-one percent say they want immigration levels to stay the same.

It's the first time since the survey question was first asked in 2004 that more Americans want immigration to remain the same than to be reduced.

The survey is conducted every two years, and the question was last asked before President Donald Trump took office and made it harder for people to immigrate to the United States.

Trump — who made immigration enforcement a centerpiece of his election campaign — has repeatedly called for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and his push for wall funding last year drove the federal government to a monthlong shutdown that furloughed hundreds of thousands of government workers.

The administration enacted a travel ban for citizens of mostly Muslim countries, including Iran and Yemen, that has torn many families apart. And officials last year separated immigrant parents from their children to prosecute illegal border crossers, a move that sparked an international outcry.

"People are more tolerant of immigration than the president and the far right would have us believe," said Louis DeSipio, a political science professor at the University of California, Irvine.

According to the survey, nearly three times as many Democrats as Republicans want more immigrants allowed into the country, while Republicans are more than twice as likely as Democrats to favor less immigration.

But fewer Republicans want a reduction in immigration than did in 2016. In 2018, 52 percent of Republicans said they wanted less immigration, down from 62 percent two years earlier.

Forty-four percent of Democrats say they want immigration levels to remain the same, while 34 percent want an increase in immigration.

The survey — which does not distinguish between illegal and legal immigration — also looked at Americans' views on the issue by race. About 41 percent of whites want a decrease in immigration, while only 24 percent of blacks and 22 percent of Hispanics say the same.

Trump has made immigration an intensely political issue, and also an issue of race, said Manuel Pastor, director of the University of Southern California's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration.

"Trump is trying to create a Republican Party that's much more based in an older, white electorate in nonmetropolitan areas of the country," Pastor said. "The Democrats are trying to put together political coalitions that have a deep base in metropolitan areas, and that includes many more people of color."

The General Social Survey has been conducted since 1972 by NORC at the University of Chicago, primarily using in-person interviewing.

Sample sizes for each year's survey vary from about 1,500 to about 3,000 adults, with margins of error falling between plus or minus 2.2 percentage points and plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The most recent survey was conducted April 12 through November 10, 2018 and includes interviews with 2,348 American adults. MARGIN OF ERROR?

Online: http://www.apnorc.org

Source: NewsMax

FILE PHOTO: Soy beans are seen at storage plant in Carlos Casares
FILE PHOTO: Soy beans are seen at a storage plant in Carlos Casares, Argentina, April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian/File Photo

March 20, 2019

By Hugh Bronstein and Karl Plume

PERGAMINO, Argentina/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Francisco Santillan, 55, a grains farmer from the heart of Argentina’s soybean country, has two things on his mind: the rains and twists and turns in a bitter trade war between the United States and China that has hurt prices.

The weather-worn farmer, who rides a Harley-Davidson around the 4,500 hectares of farmland he manages, is expecting a bumper soybean crop when he begins harvesting this month, but he and his neighbors are holding off from sealing deals with buyers in the hope a trade war breakthrough will bolster prices.

The United States and China, the world’s top soybean producer and importer respectively, have slapped import duties on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of each other’s products in their dispute. Tariffs made U.S. soybeans too expensive so Beijing stopped buying them, resulting in a glut that has hit soybean contracts in Chicago, the reference price for the global trade.

Trump said on Wednesday that a trade deal with Beijing was coming along nicely, with U.S. negotiators poised to head to China next week for another round of talks. Negotiations to resolve the dispute have been turbulent – Trump also said on Wednesday tariffs would remain in place for a long time and last week that he was in no rush to reach a deal.

Benchmark Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures are hovering near $9 per bushel, only about 90 cents above decade lows posted in September.

“I am waiting for a better price,” said Santillan, one of a group of farmers who spoke to Reuters among fields of green, knee-high soy plants in the country’s fertile Pampas, where the ground was damp from heavy rains.

“The season is coming along very well. The harvest will be above 55 million tonnes and that will have a huge impact on the economy,” Santillan said. “But with news about the U.S.-China trade war determining Chicago reference prices, rather than supply and demand, it’s like we are flying without instruments.”

CASH CROP

Much in Argentina, the world’s No. 3 soybean producer and the top exporter of soyoil and the soymeal livestock feed that is fuelling Asia’s shift in diet from rice to pork and poultry, hangs on the soy crop.

A severe drought last year dragged the economy into recession, while bumper tax revenues this year could help support government spending and prop up President Mauricio Macri’s bid for re-election.

Delayed sales could hamper that. Just 16.2 percent of this season’s expected crop was sold by early March versus 30.5 percent at the same point a year earlier, government data show.

The uncertainty over prices – and the delays to deals – could also rattle the global trade as major buyers look to lock in supply, namely Archer Daniels Midland Co, Bunge Ltd, Cargill Inc and Louis Dreyfus Co.

The “ABCD” quartet, which dominates global grain trade, rely on a steady flow of grain to turn a profit in a typically thin-margin business. Farmers’ reluctance to sell at low prices has stung the grains merchants recently, particularly Bunge, which blamed limited farmer selling in Brazil for earnings misses last year.

Bunge’s acting Chief Executive Gregory Heckman called Argentina “one of the larger wild cards” for the firm’s oilseeds business in 2019, and said the firm anticipated farmers would hold more of their soybeans as a hedge against inflation and currency fluctuations.

“Soybean sales are happening slower this season than at any point over the last 10 years,” said a Buenos Aires-based grains broker. “Farmers are saying ‘I don’t like the price and I don’t need the money now because I was able to make cash with wheat and corn. So I’ll wait’.”

The uncertainty for the soy harvest comes at a complex time for President Macri too, who is battling to revive the economy while fending of challenges from political rivals ahead of national elections in October.

“For Argentina, the trade war between the United States and China is piling uncertainty on a country that is already full of uncertainty,” said Jorge Bianciotto, who manages a 2,300-hectare farm called La Lucila in Pergamino.

“This generates risks in terms of next year’s planting and investment decisions.”

His neighbor, Juan Girado, who manages a 500-hectare plantation, shared his concern.

“When they say the conflict is likely to end, prices rise. When the conflict looks like it’s deepening, prices fall,” he said. “So with a big crop on the way, and with prices as low as they are, it would be good for us for the trade war to end.”

(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein and Karl Plume; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Soy beans are seen at storage plant in Carlos Casares
FILE PHOTO: Soy beans are seen at a storage plant in Carlos Casares, Argentina, April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian/File Photo

March 20, 2019

By Hugh Bronstein and Karl Plume

PERGAMINO, Argentina/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Francisco Santillan, 55, a grains farmer from the heart of Argentina’s soybean country, has two things on his mind: the rains and twists and turns in a bitter trade war between the United States and China that has hurt prices.

The weather-worn farmer, who rides a Harley-Davidson around the 4,500 hectares of farmland he manages, is expecting a bumper soybean crop when he begins harvesting this month, but he and his neighbors are holding off from sealing deals with buyers in the hope a trade war breakthrough will bolster prices.

The United States and China, the world’s top soybean producer and importer respectively, have slapped import duties on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of each other’s products in their dispute. Tariffs made U.S. soybeans too expensive so Beijing stopped buying them, resulting in a glut that has hit soybean contracts in Chicago, the reference price for the global trade.

Trump said on Wednesday that a trade deal with Beijing was coming along nicely, with U.S. negotiators poised to head to China next week for another round of talks. Negotiations to resolve the dispute have been turbulent – Trump also said on Wednesday tariffs would remain in place for a long time and last week that he was in no rush to reach a deal.

Benchmark Chicago Board of Trade soybean futures are hovering near $9 per bushel, only about 90 cents above decade lows posted in September.

“I am waiting for a better price,” said Santillan, one of a group of farmers who spoke to Reuters among fields of green, knee-high soy plants in the country’s fertile Pampas, where the ground was damp from heavy rains.

“The season is coming along very well. The harvest will be above 55 million tonnes and that will have a huge impact on the economy,” Santillan said. “But with news about the U.S.-China trade war determining Chicago reference prices, rather than supply and demand, it’s like we are flying without instruments.”

CASH CROP

Much in Argentina, the world’s No. 3 soybean producer and the top exporter of soyoil and the soymeal livestock feed that is fuelling Asia’s shift in diet from rice to pork and poultry, hangs on the soy crop.

A severe drought last year dragged the economy into recession, while bumper tax revenues this year could help support government spending and prop up President Mauricio Macri’s bid for re-election.

Delayed sales could hamper that. Just 16.2 percent of this season’s expected crop was sold by early March versus 30.5 percent at the same point a year earlier, government data show.

The uncertainty over prices – and the delays to deals – could also rattle the global trade as major buyers look to lock in supply, namely Archer Daniels Midland Co, Bunge Ltd, Cargill Inc and Louis Dreyfus Co.

The “ABCD” quartet, which dominates global grain trade, rely on a steady flow of grain to turn a profit in a typically thin-margin business. Farmers’ reluctance to sell at low prices has stung the grains merchants recently, particularly Bunge, which blamed limited farmer selling in Brazil for earnings misses last year.

Bunge’s acting Chief Executive Gregory Heckman called Argentina “one of the larger wild cards” for the firm’s oilseeds business in 2019, and said the firm anticipated farmers would hold more of their soybeans as a hedge against inflation and currency fluctuations.

“Soybean sales are happening slower this season than at any point over the last 10 years,” said a Buenos Aires-based grains broker. “Farmers are saying ‘I don’t like the price and I don’t need the money now because I was able to make cash with wheat and corn. So I’ll wait’.”

The uncertainty for the soy harvest comes at a complex time for President Macri too, who is battling to revive the economy while fending of challenges from political rivals ahead of national elections in October.

“For Argentina, the trade war between the United States and China is piling uncertainty on a country that is already full of uncertainty,” said Jorge Bianciotto, who manages a 2,300-hectare farm called La Lucila in Pergamino.

“This generates risks in terms of next year’s planting and investment decisions.”

His neighbor, Juan Girado, who manages a 500-hectare plantation, shared his concern.

“When they say the conflict is likely to end, prices rise. When the conflict looks like it’s deepening, prices fall,” he said. “So with a big crop on the way, and with prices as low as they are, it would be good for us for the trade war to end.”

(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein and Karl Plume; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Chicago White Sox-Media Day
FILE PHOTO: Feb 21, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez (74) poses for a photo on photo day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Without playing in a major league game, outfielder Eloy Jimenez agreed to a six-year deal worth a guaranteed $43 million with the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, multiple outlets reported.

The deal, which also includes two option years, is a record in guaranteed money for a player already in a team’s system who had not logged a day of big league time. Jimenez has played in the White Sox’s organization since 2017 when he was acquired in the deal that sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs.

Including the options, Jimenez’s contract would be worth $77 million, according to ESPN.

Jimenez, the White Sox’s top prospect, had already been assigned to Triple-A Charlotte to start the upcoming season, but the deal means that he is now expected to be in the team’s Opening Day lineup on March 28 at Kansas City.

Because the contract will take him into his initial free agency years, the White Sox can put Jimenez on the major league roster now without worrying about starting his free-agency clock. If he played three weeks in the minor leagues to start this season, it would have delayed his move into free agency by one year. The new contract eliminates that scenario.

Jimenez, 22, batted .337 with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs in 108 games last season between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. He is a .311 hitter in five minor league seasons with 65 home runs.

The previous record in guaranteed money for a player already in an organization was the six years and $24 million the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to with Scott Kingery last March. The previous record before that was the $10 million guarantee between Jon Singleton and the Houston Astros in 2014.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Chicago White Sox-Media Day
FILE PHOTO: Feb 21, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez (74) poses for a photo on photo day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

March 20, 2019

Without playing in a major league game, outfielder Eloy Jimenez agreed to a six-year deal worth a guaranteed $43 million with the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday, multiple outlets reported.

The deal, which also includes two option years, is a record in guaranteed money for a player already in a team’s system who had not logged a day of big league time. Jimenez has played in the White Sox’s organization since 2017 when he was acquired in the deal that sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs.

Including the options, Jimenez’s contract would be worth $77 million, according to ESPN.

Jimenez, the White Sox’s top prospect, had already been assigned to Triple-A Charlotte to start the upcoming season, but the deal means that he is now expected to be in the team’s Opening Day lineup on March 28 at Kansas City.

Because the contract will take him into his initial free agency years, the White Sox can put Jimenez on the major league roster now without worrying about starting his free-agency clock. If he played three weeks in the minor leagues to start this season, it would have delayed his move into free agency by one year. The new contract eliminates that scenario.

Jimenez, 22, batted .337 with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs in 108 games last season between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. He is a .311 hitter in five minor league seasons with 65 home runs.

The previous record in guaranteed money for a player already in an organization was the six years and $24 million the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to with Scott Kingery last March. The previous record before that was the $10 million guarantee between Jon Singleton and the Houston Astros in 2014.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Walmart's logo is seen outside one of the stores in Chicago
Walmart’s logo is seen outside one of the stores in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., November 20, 2018. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski

March 20, 2019

By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Walmart Inc. Chief Technology Officer Jeremy King is leaving the company, according to an internal company memo, even as the retailer races to transform its e-commerce business and close the gap with rival Amazon.com Inc.

King, who joined the company in 2011, led a revamp of Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce technology platform by making it faster, more competitive and customer-friendly, all of which have been key to the retailer’s fight against its e-commerce rivals.

Under King, Walmart integrated its massive stores and online systems and began offering shoppers services such as in-store pickup of online orders, easy returns and online grocery pickup, among other benefits.  

King also led the company’s technology arm, Walmart Labs, through more than 10 acquisitions and was key in moving the company’s operations to the cloud, which gave the retailer more resources to compete with Amazon. He also oversaw the opening of four new tech offices.

In the past two years, King oversaw the tech transformation of Walmart’s roughly 4,700 U.S. stores.

Fiona Tan, senior vice-president of customer technology, Walmart Labs, will take on more responsibility as King’s replacement is found. She has been asked to become a liaison for the technology team, Walmart U.S. and the U.S. ecommerce leadership team, according to the memo, a copy of which Reuters has seen.

King’s departure comes at a time when Walmart is in the middle of making massive investments in its e-commerce business to compete more effectively. In February, the company said it expects its e-commerce losses to increase this year due to ongoing investments and it is focused on increasing return customer visits and strengthening its online product assortment.

The retailer’s ecommerce success has been erratic over the years but sales growth in the past few quarters has shown signs of consistency.

In the most recent quarter, online sales grew 43 percent and matched the previous quarter’s increase. The company credited that to a broader assortment of goods on its website and improved delivery, as well as store pickup of online grocery orders.

“The operational decisions made during (King’s) time were key to the success of our technology team and led to more agile ways of working,” said the memo sent on Wednesday to Walmart staff by U.S. Chief Executive Greg Foran and U.S. e-commerce chief Marc Lore.

“During Jeremy’s tenure, we created important relationships with Microsoft, Google, NVIDIA and others that will help carry our digital transformation well into the future,” the memo said.

It was not immediately clear what King intends to do once he leaves the retailer. His last day with the company will be March 29, according to the memo.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Source: OANN

Lauryn Overhultz | Columnist

Disgraced singer R. Kelly plans to ask the court for permission to fly to Dubai for concerts he was previously scheduled to perform.

These performances would be the first set of performances since Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse, according to a report published Wednesday by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, plans to discuss the motion during Kelly’s scheduled court appearance Friday.

Kelly turned over his passport to the court when he posted his bail.

“[Kelly] needs to be able to work like anyone else who is free on bond, and the law needs to be adaptable,” Greenberg told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Multiple venues canceled their bookings with Kelly after the documentary detailing the sexual abuse allegations against him, “Surviving R. Kelly,” aired in January. However, Greenberg said Kelly is able to find venues abroad interested in hosting the disgraced singer. (RELATED: Parents Of R. Kelly’s Girlfriend Turn Over ‘Evidence’ To The Feds)

Greenberg noted, “The United States and the U.A.E. have great relations, and they are not going to jeopardize that relationship to harbor R. Kelly.”

Greenberg claims that despite the fact that Kelly used to have a passport, he has barely used it over the years: “He does not like to fly, but he will do what he has to do. He has bills to pay.”

Source: The Daily Caller

Rep. Francis Rooney | Florida Congressman

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

This quote, attributed to Evelyn Beatrice Hall, is the embodiment of our First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Unfortunately, this constitutional right is under siege on university campuses across the country.

Many colleges and universities use dangerous and insidious methods to suppress free speech. One example is “free speech zones”, which are specifically delineated areas on a campus where “free speech” is allowed, converting these words into an oxymoron. An absolute truth, a right guaranteed under the Constitution, should not become a negotiable, transient issue of policy. When we go down the road of dismissing or flouting elements of the Constitution we are damaging the institutions which have flourished under it and risk inviting similar attacks on other constitutional rights.

At the University of Cincinnati, freedom of speech was limited to a “zone” that comprised only 0.1 percent of their 137-acre campus and required up to 15 business days’ notice for students to use the space. Additionally, a UC student group was told its members could be arrested if they went outside the zone while collecting signatures for a statewide ballot initiative.

In an ironic case at Kellogg Community College in Michigan, students were arrested for handing out copies of the United States Constitution without the administration’s permission. How incredible is this? In their greatest hopes, Marx and Lenin couldn’t have been bold enough to conceive of this.

Although the examples above have become all too common, not all colleges have succumbed to political correctness. In 2016, John Ellison, dean of students at the University of Chicago, sent an email to incoming freshman defending academic freedom and free speech while denouncing the politically correct invention of “safe spaces.”

Recently, the Nevada System of Higher Education adopted a similar position on free speech, stating, in part “History shows that when institutions of higher education attempt to censor or punish the free expression of ideas, they undermine their core function of promoting rational discussion, inquiry, discovery, and the dissemination of knowledge. It is not the proper response of NSHE and its institutions to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.”

We need more examples like the University of Chicago and NSHE.

This assault on the First Amendment is occurring with greater frequency on campuses every day and is wholly unacceptable. For this reason, I have introduced H.R. 1672, the Free Right to Expression in Education Act. This legislation, which was first introduced in the 115th Congress by Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, will prevent colleges from quarantining free expression and end the unconstitutional “zones” used to stifle student speech.

There are a multitude of other assaults on our constitutional right of free speech that must also be addressed, such as college professors that seek to indoctrinate and block free debate in classes, leading to groupthink — the phenomenon where the desire for conformity replaces rational thought. Banning conservative speakers from campus is another violation.

In combination with President Trump’s executive order cutting off research funding to schools that do not respect freedom of speech, we can stop this erosion of our constitutional rights. Higher education should be a platform for the peaceful but free exchange of ideas and open debate. Learning occurs when one’s beliefs are challenged and defended.  This is what the original idea of the university was all about.

In a climate of free expression our American ideals, as embodied in the Bill of Rights, will be championed rather than compromised. Zealously protecting our constitutional rights is critical for assuring the evolution of a generation of graduates who can think critically, accept differences of opinion and assure that our hard-earned freedoms are protected and nurtured in America in the future as in the past.

Francis Rooney (@RepRooney) has represented Florida’s 19th congressional district since 2017 and is the ranking member of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He previously served as U.S. ambassador to the Holy See under President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2008.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

Source: The Daily Caller


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