NEW YORK

FILE PHOTO: Levi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh and CFO Harmit Singh ring bell during IPO on floor of New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York
FILE PHOTO: Levi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh rings a bell as CFO Harmit Singh looks on during the company’s IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

March 21, 2019

By David Randall

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Levi Strauss & Co’s is betting it can convince investors there is still plenty of global growth left for the 165-year old company, but fund managers fret the iconic blue jeans maker’s stock may be too pricey to generate a decent return.

The San Francisco-based company returned to the public markets Thursday for the first time since it went private through a leveraged buyout in 1985 with a stock debut that sold $587 million worth of shares and gave it a market value of more than $8.7 billion .

In its prospectus, Levi’s said it plans to expand its women’s clothing line and grow in markets such as China, which represented just 3 percent of its net sales in 2018. Levi’s shares jumped more than 30 percent, which has mutual fund managers questioning whether a long-term investment in the denim company would be profitable.

“It’s a mature company that already has broad distribution and its customer base is shrinking because department stores are shrinking,” said Chris Terry, a portfolio manager at Dallas-based Hodges Capital Management.

Unlike companies like Under Armour Inc, whose shares are up nearly 22 percent year-to-date, Levi’s does not “have a ton of room to expand the brand” because it is already so well-known, Terry said.

The newly-public company would also face increased competition for fund managers’ attention if VF Corp spins off Western jeans brand Wrangler’s, as expected in the first half of 2019. Wrangler’s also sells apparel, including cowboy hats, shirts, and jackets.

“With Wrangler, you get Western wear, which is probably a larger secular growth opportunity” than denim alone and has only one other major competitor in Boot Barn Holdings Inc, Terry said. Year-to-date, shares of Boot Barn are up more than 56 percent.

Robert Bacarella, portfolio manager of the Monetta Fund, said concerns over Levi’s expansion plans outweigh the attractiveness of its brand name at its current price.

“We’re all sitting around here asking, ‘Where’s the growth?’” he said. “If they can come out with a plan to show that they can grow market share and not be as dependent on retail stores then it becomes a lot more interesting.”

With its long history, the company comes to the public markets at a time when the most anticipated initial public offerings are technology companies tied to the growth of the smartphone.

The average age of companies that have debuted so far in 2019 is four years, according to Kathleen Smith, principal at Renaissance Capital.

Fellow Bay Area companies Lyft, Uber Technologies Inc, AirBnb Inc and Pinterest, which are all expected to go public this year, have all been founded in the last 11 years.

Concerns about Levi’s growth rate would have been alleviated if its shares had remained near the $15 initial midpoint of the IPO pricing, or roughly seven and a half times its earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization, said Arun Daniel, a portfolio manager at J O Hambro Capital Management.

“They could see double-digit growth in the women’s category by taking share from competitors like Guess, which would be interesting because then you’re getting both the brand and growth and it becomes an attractive story for 3 to 5 years,” Daniel said. “But it all comes down to price.”

(Reporting by David Randall; Editing by Jennifer Ablan and Nick Carey)

Source: OANN

The Lyft Driver Hub is seen in Los Angeles
The Lyft Driver Hub is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

March 21, 2019

By Joshua Franklin and Ross Kerber

NEW YORK/BOSTON (Reuters) – Union pension fund adviser CtW Investment Group said on Thursday Lyft Inc “faces an all-but-insurmountable barrier” to profitability due to issues with the ride-hailing company’s pricing strategy and new regulations driving costs higher.

The comments come four days into the roadshow for Lyft’s much-anticipated initial public offering (IPO), in which it is seeking to raise around $2 billion at a valuation of up to $23 billion.

Investor demand has been strong so far, with the IPO book oversubscribing after just two days, making it more likely that Lyft will hit or even exceed its valuation target, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

This is despite Lyft not having yet turned a profit, reporting a loss of $911 million in 2018, wider than its $688 million loss in 2017.

In a letter to potential investors in the IPO, CtW argued Lyft can only become profitable by reducing the share of revenue received by its drivers. CtW said Lyft’s larger rival Uber Technologies Inc pursued this strategy.

“Over the past three years, Lyft has mimicked Uber’s pay compression strategy, and IPO investors face the risk that the far smaller company will not be capable of sustaining low pay any longer than the market leader could,” CtW Research Director Richard Clayton wrote in the letter.

CtW said challenges for Lyft would also come from local politicians, including a move by New York City to set a minimum wage for drivers.

CtW works with union pension funds affiliated with Change to Win and which it says collectively manage $250 billion in assets.

Asked why CtW was commenting on Lyft ahead of the IPO, Clayton said in an emailed statement the group wants to make sure decision makers managing workers’ retirement savings take a careful look at Lyft before deciding whether to buy into the IPO. CtW also represents drivers unions which could be affected by the rise of ride-hailing services.

A spokesman for Lyft declined to comment.

In meetings with investors this week, Lyft executives said the company would be profitable much sooner were it not for investments in areas such as its scooter business, Reuters has reported. Lyft executives also said they expect the costs of processing transactions to come down.

Lyft is scheduled to price its IPO on March 28 and begin trading on the Nasdaq the following day.

(Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York and Ross Kerber in Boston; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

Quote of the Day:

“And here he is demonstrating how it’s possible to be an asshole and a crybaby at the same time.”

— former Rep. Joe Walsh (R), now a radio host, on President Trump‘s latest jabs at the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Trump told a crowd at an Ohio tank factory on Wednesday that he never got “a thank you” for allowing McCain to have the funeral he wanted. McCain died from an intense form of brain cancer eight months ago. One Q: Was McCain supposed to thank him for that before or after he was six feet under?

Journo wants #MeToo movement for fake claims 

“Saw @TPAIN last night and a woman behind me shoved me 3 different times because she couldn’t see (she was maybe 5’2, it was general admission w/ no seating). When I turned around to tell her to stop, she claimed I grabbed her breast. Is there a #MeToo for fake sex claims?” — Eddie Scarry, The Washington Examiner.

The shoving continues… 

“Also, at what point is it okay to physically retaliate when you’re being very aggressively shoved? It was very literally bullying because of the power dynamic: I, male, had no power to act. She, female, knew that and kept shoving me #MeToo.”

“First incident was prior to the show starting. She asked me and friend to move apart so she could see. Obviously not, given we were there together and it was general admission. So she literally used her weight (she was… what’s the word I’m looking for… fat) to move me #MeToo.”

Other women start yelling at her 

“I told her she could stand somewhere up closer but that she couldn’t just take my spot using her weight. I s*** you not, she said to me, ‘I just did.’ Two women who saw what happened started yelling at her and told her she should have gotten here earlier #MeToo.”

“A guy, I assume her bf, eventually took hold of this tiny big girl and pulled her back. She screamed at him for an hour about not being able to see. When show started, that’s when she began, at random, shoving me forward. #MeToo.”

Uh oh…

“The first time it happened, I turned around and she pretended not to even see me. Second time, I turned around and she screams ‘STOP TOUCHING ME!’”

“And btw, this whole time, out of bitterness for being short but large, she held her hand up with her phone in it, camera on. THAT’S how she was viewing the stage and her arm was hitting my head over and over. #MeToo.”

BTW, the concert was great! 

“Each time, her bf would hold her back, as if she was a celebrity he was protecting. Felt embarrassed for him. Why not either leave your violent little gf there alone or maybe take her away? The concert otherwise was great! #MeToo.”

To Mirror readers: I can vouch for Eddie Scarry that he would never grab a woman’s breast.

Joe and Mika are gaga over Pete Buttigieg, campare him to Barack Obama 

“Mika and I have been overwhelmed by the reaction @PeteButtigieg got after being on the show. The only other time in twelve years that we heard from as many people about a guest was after @BarackObama appeared on Morning Joe.” — Joe Scarborough, co-host, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Reaction to the McCain kerfuffle: What the hell, Lindsey Graham? 

“Trump says about McCain that he gave him the kind of funeral he wanted but didn’t get thanked. This is all about the fact that Trump wasn’t invited to McCain’s funeral and that Meghan McCain was clearly talking about him in her eulogy. He’s not over it.” — Yashar Ali, HuffPost, New York Mag.

“I assume he means a thank you from the family. Trump may be a moron but he does understand that dead people can’t talk.” — Jonathan Chait, New York Mag.

“Trump has usually gotten a positive reception at his rallies when he has gone after McCain. But today, at an army tank plant in Lima where POTUS said a third of the workforce is comprised of veterans, there was a very quiet response.” — Maggie Haberman, White House correspondent, NYT.

“Whether it’s right or wrong, Trump has never paid any sort of political price for attacking John McCain, no matter how low or scurrilous the attack. I’m kind of bewildered at folks who think he will start paying one now.— Leon Wolf, managing editor, TheBlaze. (RELATED: If You’re Obsese, Sitting Next To A Journo On An Airplane May Be Unwise) 

Former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri): “I can’t understand how @LindseyGrahamSC can remain silent when his best friend in the world is trashed by POTUS. For gosh sakes Lindsey.” 

Meghan McCain recently pointedly explained on ABC’s “The View” that it is ex-Sen. Joe Leiberman (D-Conn.) who is her father’s real “best friend.” She shook her head adamantly no when one of the ladies suggested that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was his best friend.

McCain, the talkshow host, then urged her co-host, Joy Behar, to keep talking as she bashed Graham. Graham has tweeted tepidly kind things about Sen. McCain in recent days, but has not condemned or even named Trump when tweeting about the late senator. Trump is supporting Graham in his reelection efforts.

On Wednesday, Graham FINALLY told NBC News, “I think the president’s comments about Sen. McCain hurt him more than they hurt the legacy of Sen. McCain … I don’t like it when he says things about my friend John McCain.”

As we witnessed in the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Graham is capable of far greater emotion than this. (RELATED: Sen. Graham Explodes On Senate Committee Over Kavanaugh Process) 

Journo accepts his fate amid Trump’s power  

“Trump is gonna be shit talking John McCain and the pee dossier til the day I die and there’s nothing any of us can do about it, and he will be a major force in Republican politics and a kingmaker and a conservative media star long after he’s done presidenting.” — Asawin Suebsaeng, reporter, The Daily Beast.

Journo Love

FNC’s Janice Dean: Dear @MeghanMcCain, I love you. [heart emojis]

ABC “The View” co-host Meghan McCain: Love you too. [heart emoji]

Twitter recommends that a journo follow himself 

This is deep. 

“Pretty sure Twitter just suggested I follow me. Refreshed page too quickly and now can’t get it back. It just happened again. It was suggestion me as a ‘revenant person.’” — Josh Greenman, op-ed editor, New York Daily News.

Daddy gets in NYT for cow news

12-year-old son: I got a 97 on my math test.

Me: That’s nice. Daddy’s in the New York Times for helping a cow get twitter followers.

Andy Lassner, executive producer, The Ellen Show.

Separated at Birth: Pete Buttigieg and Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens

Gossip Roundup

Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo really grilled Kellyanne Conway on Trump calling her husband a “whack job.” Here.

Jenny McCarthy recalls the “Mommy Dearest” treatment she endured while working for ABC’s “The View” under Barbara Walters. How will the current ladies react to these memories? McCarthy made the claims in Ramin Setoodeh‘s impending book, Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Story Inside ‘The View.’  Here. The excerpts were published in Vulture.

Journo Britni de la Cretaz writes about BDSM and finding God. Just before midnight Wednesday, she expressed her fear about publishing this. She wrote, “The most personal thing I’ve written is publishing tomorrow and I might vomit when it does.” Here.

John Hickenlooper, a former Democratic Colorado Governor and now a 2020 hopeful, once took his mom to see Deep Throat. CNN’s Dana Bash asked him about it during a CNN town hall Wednesday night. He was mortified, but answered the question. Here.

Katie Couric once went on a date with Corey Booker. She dished to Wendy Williams about it.

Source: The Daily Caller

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attacked Fox News, claiming hosts on that network intentionally called her by the wrong name.

“By the way: Fox News likes to say my name (incorrectly) as ‘Cortez,’” she tweeted Wednesday, “which I can only imagine is bc that sounds more ‘stereotypically’ Hispanic [and] probably incites more ‘anxiety’ for them.”

Ocasio-Cortez specifically mentioned Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, referring to them as “Ingra,” “Carl” and “Hann” to drive her point home. (RELATED: Pelosi, Ocasio-Cortez Join Forces To Threaten Dems Tempted To Vote With GOP)

There’s only one problem with her accusation: it appears to be false. Tom Elliott, founder of Grabien media-clipping service, noted that in a search from the beginning of March to the current date — 20 days worth of programming — Ingraham had never once referred to the freshman lawmaker as “Cortez.”

The Daily Caller performed a similar search over the same time period and discovered that Carlson had never addressed Ocasio-Cortez by any name other than “Ocasio-Cortez” or “AOC” (which she also said was fine).

Yet another search revealed that the only possible offender was Hannity, who referred to Ocasio-Cortez by just the second half of her last name just twice in 20 days. He named her correctly, however, well over 100 times in that same timeframe, so it may be reasonable to assume that, had he actually been intending to call her by the wrong name, it probably would have happened more than 2 percent of the time.

Ocasio-Cortez’s accusation appeared to be a response to segment from Ingraham’s show Tuesday, during which the Fox News host and guest Joe di Genova accused the New York Rep. of effectively turning her accent on and off when it suited her — much in the same way that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been noted to revert to her Arkansas accent when campaigning in certain parts of the country.

WATCH:

In spite of the context, Ocasio-Cortez instead interpreted the segment as proof that Fox News hosts are “uncomfortable” around people from different cultural backgrounds.

Follow Virginia on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Rep. Max Rose said Thursday he decided to tell a group of Jewish people in his district in Staten Island that he's sorry for the words of fellow Rep Ilhan Omar because he believes in changing American politics.

"Everybody is blaming each other," the New York Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "She caused pain in the Jewish community. She apologized, but we are working as hard as we can to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Muslims also are feeling an incredible amount of pain, said Rose, noting that Staten Island and Brooklyn have one of the largest Muslim communities in the country.

However, he said he does not believe Omar to be anti-Semitic, but he thought her tweets were, and he apologized "because they came out of Congress. This shouldn't be news that someone did this. This should be run of the mill stuff."

He also noted that on the same day or the day before Omar made her comments about Jews and the government on Twitter, there was a "very, very public threat made against her life."

"There is an incredible rise of Islamophobia in this country," said Rose, while commenting on an anti-hate resolution that was passed after Omar's tweets. Initially, the resolution was going to be against anti-Semitic statements but was widened to encompass other religions and walks of life.

"What I saw was a resolution that pronounced objection and opposition to acts of hate, as they rise across the county, particularly anti-Semitism and Islamophobia," said Rose.

Source: NewsMax

A Wells Fargo logo is seen in New York City
FILE PHOTO: A Wells Fargo logo is seen in New York City, U.S. January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

March 21, 2019

(Reuters) – Wells Fargo’s board is in talks with Harvey Schwartz, the former president and co-chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, to take over as the bank’s next chief executive, the New York Post reported on Thursday, citing people briefed on the talks.

Schwartz is up against another serious candidate for Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan’s job, whose identity couldn’t immediately be learned, the newspaper reported citing one source close to the situation.

Shares of Wells Fargo pared some losses to trade down 1.5 percent at $49.62. The stock was earlier down 2.4 percent.

The bank was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru)

Source: OANN

Evie Fordham | Politics and Health Care Reporter

A staffer from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign who specialized in opposition research on Bernie Sanders is joining the Vermont senator’s 2020 campaign.

Tyson Brody, former deputy research director for Clinton’s campaign, will direct Sanders’s research operation, the senator’s campaign manager Faiz Shakir confirmed to Intelligencer Wednesday.

“This campaign will comport itself according to the values of Senator Sanders, which means we will not engage in mudslinging or character assassination. That said, one of the reasons we hired Tyson is to prepare this campaign for whatever false accusations and allegations are leveled against us,” Shakir said in a statement. “Most importantly, Tyson’s work on this campaign will help us educate voters about the issues, policies and stances that the Senator has taken over the course of a lifetime fighting for working people.”

Brody is the first staffer to hop from Clinton to Sanders after their heated battle for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, according to Intelligencer. He will bring with him his experience doing self-research for Clinton as well. (RELATED: Gillibrand Nabs First New York Lawmaker Endorsement)

Tyson Brody (R) appears in a video on Hillary Clinton's Facebook page about lawsuits against then-candidate Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton/Facebook screenshot

Tyson Brody (R) appears in a video on Hillary Clinton’s Facebook page about lawsuits against then-candidate Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton/Facebook screenshot

“It’s a really smart move by the Sanders campaign. Tyson literally wrote the book on Bernie’s oppo,” one of his Clinton campaign coworkers told Talking Points Memo.

Clinton never used its opposition research on Sanders for negative paid advertising during the 2016 race, according to Intelligencer.

Brody reacted nonchalantly to the Intelligencer’s story on his hiring Wednesday.

“Soooooooo I did a thing,” he wrote in a tweet with a link to the story.

Brody’s acquisition comes on the heels of the Sanders campaign hiring David Sirota as a top communication aide and speechwriter. Sirota wrote an opinion piece in 2013 headlined “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon Bomber is a white American.”

Sanders’s campaign had the biggest first-day fundraising haul until former Democratic Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke entered the race on March 13. Sanders raised $5.9 million in 24 hours, while O’Rourke raised $6.1 million. O’Rourke’s donors gave more, but Sanders had more donors.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

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Source: The Daily Caller

John Lott | President, Crime Prevention Research Center

Ever since the 2016 campaign, Democrats and the media have asserted that President Trump has failed to distance himself from white nationalists and neo-Nazis. The fact that White House staffers must answer these questions shows how far out of kilter the discussion has gone.

A Monday headline in the Washington Post read: “Trump’s top staffer doesn’t believe his boss is a white supremacist. Many Americans disagree.” Acting White House Chief of staff Mick Mulvaney left no equivocation: “The president is not a white supremacist.”

On the Sunday edition of CNN’s State of the Union, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) claimed that President Trump “needs to do better” at condemning white nationalism. “The leadership, the administration — when they continue to stay silent, it’s going to increase,” said Tlaib.

Host Jake Tapper agreed: “I don’t think moderate Republicans are doing enough to hold President Trump accountable for his rhetoric.”

Last August, Bloomberg ran the headline, “Trump Still Fails to Condemn Racism a Year After Charlottesville.” The article went on to claim, “He has refused to distance himself from white supremacists like Duke.”

These media depictions are so extreme that they are easily proven false. If Trump “stayed silent” and really “refused to distance himself,” there shouldn’t be any statements to the contrary. Yet, there are dozens of them.

Take this exchange with a reporter a couple of days after the Charlottesville riots in 2017.

TRUMP: Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. . . . I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats – you had a lot of bad people in the other group too.  

REPORTER: I just didn’t understand what you were saying. You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly?  

TRUMP: No, no. There were people in that rally, and I looked the night before. If you look, they were people protesting very quietly, the taking down the statue of Robert E. Lee. . . .

So what exactly is unclear? It’s hard to see how any rational person could think that Trump wasn’t condemning neo-Nazis. Was “very bad people” not strong enough? Should he have said, “very, very bad people”?

Or how about another Trump statement in the aftermath of the riots? “Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”  

No matter how many times Trump specifically singles out white supremacists, his other blanket condemnations of bigotry convince the media that he really supports racists. This tweet from August didn’t pass the media smell test: “The riots in Charlottesville a year ago resulted in senseless death and division. We must come together as a nation. I condemn all types of racism and acts of violence. Peace to ALL Americans!”  

How many times does Trump have to disavow David Duke and others like him before the media will concede the point?

“David Duke is a bad person, who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years,” Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” in March 2016. “I disavowed him. I disavowed the KKK. Do you want me to do it again for the 12th time? I disavowed him in the past, I disavow him now.”

After the election, the New York Times asked Trump about the “alt-right.” The president-elect replied, “I condemn them. I disavow, and I condemn.”

On CBS’ 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl asked Trump about reports of his supporters using racial slurs and making personal threats against blacks, Latinos and gays. Trump replied, “I am very surprised to hear that.” When Stahl asked if he had a message for these offenders, Trump was firm: “I am so saddened to hear that. And I say, ‘Stop it.’ If it — if it helps. I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: Stop it.”

The media is factually wrong about Trump. At this point, there can be no doubt that journalists who claim that Trump has failed to condemn white supremacists are wildly inaccurate. If people read the full transcripts of Trump’s statements on Charlottesville or David Duke, the media will have no credibility left.

John R. Lott is president of the Crime Prevention Research Center and the author, most recently, of “The War on Guns.”


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

Levi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh on floor of New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during company's IPO in New York
FLevi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh is seen during the company’s IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

March 21, 2019

By Diptendu Lahiri

(Reuters) – Shares in Levi Strauss & Co surged 31 percent in their debut on Thursday, giving the U.S. jeans maker a market value of $8.7 billion and indicating a strong investor appetite ahead of much-awaited listings from Lyft and Uber Technologies.

The 165-year-old company’s return to the public market comes at a time when stocks are near all-time highs and the popularity of denim is surging, driven by the resurgence of the 90s styles such as high-waist and pinstriped jeans.

The self proclaimed inventor of the blue jeans, which has grown to become one of the world’s most recognized denim brands, hopes to use a part of the proceeds from the share offering to expand further into emerging markets such as Brazil, China and India.

“Denim continues to prove prevalent in streetwear and on the runway, so we’re not expecting it to go anywhere any time soon,” an analyst at retail analytics firm Edited said.

“That’s why now is a great time for Levi’s to capitalize on this momentum.”

Levi first went public in 1971. It sold a total of 1.27 million shares at $47 each and the stock opened at $60, according to a New York Times report.

After 14 years as a public company, it was taken private by the Haas family, the descendants of founder Levi Strauss, in a $1.6 billion leveraged buyout.

Levi’s second IPO was priced at $17 on Wednesday, above the expected range, in an oversubscribed offering. The Haas family will retain 80 percent voting control of the public company. The market capitalization of the company is based on outstanding shares of about 390 million, which includes the over-allotment option.

“There is a lot to like when it comes to Levi Strauss the brand and its outlook moving forward,” said Jeff Zell, senior research analyst and partner at IPO tracking firm, IPO Boutique.

“The company and the underwriters targeted a reasonable valuation to start and allowed the true investor demand to dictate price which ultimately came one-dollar above range.”

The company reported a 14 percent rise in revenue to $5.6 billion in 2018, a majority of which came from men’s denim. Its biggest market is Americas, which accounts for about 55 percent of total revenue.

The San Francisco, California-based company sells in 110 countries through 50,000 retail stores and its rivals include Gap Inc and VF Corp’s Lee and Wrangler brands.

To attract young customers, Levi’s is planning to expand its tailor shop and print bar that allow consumers to customize and put their own designs on the company’s branded jeans and T-shirts.

Levi’s market splash also marks the start of what could be a blockbuster year for IPOs with several high profile companies expected to list their shares.

Ride-hailing service provider Lyft Inc kicked off the investor road show for its market debut on Monday and larger rival Uber is expected to go public in April.

The line-up also includes photo-posting app Pinterest, home-renting service provider Airbnb and business messaging app Slack.

(Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri and Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Writing by Sweta Singh; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

The New York Giants were apparently very impressed with Dwayne Haskins at his pro day.

There had been whispers that the Giants weren’t looking at the former Ohio State star to fill their quarterback need. Judging from what head coach Pat Shurmer said, I don’t think those reports are accurate. (RELATED: Dwayne Haskins Runs 5.04 During NFL Combine)

“It was excellent. We obviously have spent a lot of time evaluating him, and this is one piece of it. We got the chance to work with him on the board and take him to dinner, and he certainly is an accomplished and impressive young man,” Shurmer told The New York Post when discussing Dwayne Haskins’ pro day Wednesday.

As I’ve already said before, the Giants are crazy if they don’t take Haskins. Eli Manning is at the end of the line. He’s had a great career, but it’s time to focus on the future.

Haskins is a pure gunslinger. The man can spin a football with the best of them, and he is physically huge. Why wouldn’t you want that guy under center if you’re running the Giants?

I’m very confident Haskins is going to tear it up in the NFL. I watched a ton of him this past season, and I was very impressed by what I saw.

The man has a rocket launcher attached to the right side of his body. The Giants passed on Sam Darnold last year. They shouldn’t make the same mistake two years in a row.

Take Haskins and ride with him.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

A man passes by the corner stone on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the financial district in New York
FILE PHOTO: A man passes by the corner stone on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the financial district in New York City, U.S., March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

March 21, 2019

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The average borrowing cost for U.S. banks to borrow excess reserves from each other rose above what the Federal Reserve pays on excess reserves for the first time ever on Wednesday, New York Federal Reserve data released on Thursday showed.

The average or “effective” federal funds rate came in at 2.41 percent on Wednesday, higher than the 2.40 percent interest rate the U.S. central bank pays on the excess reserves that banks leave with it.

(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Source: OANN

A man passes by the corner stone on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the financial district in New York
FILE PHOTO: A man passes by the corner stone on the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in the financial district in New York City, U.S., March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

March 21, 2019

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The average borrowing cost for U.S. banks to borrow excess reserves from each other rose above what the Federal Reserve pays on excess reserves for the first time ever on Wednesday, New York Federal Reserve data released on Thursday showed.

The average or “effective” federal funds rate came in at 2.41 percent on Wednesday, higher than the 2.40 percent interest rate the U.S. central bank pays on the excess reserves that banks leave with it.

(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Source: OANN

JAAA National Senior Championships - Men's 5000m final
FILE PHOTO: Athletics – JAAA National Senior Championships – National Stadium Kingston, Jamaica – June 23, 2017 Jamaica’s Kemoy Campbell after winning the Men’s 5000m final REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

March 21, 2019

(Reuters) – Jamaican distance runner Kemoy Campbell, who collapsed during the men’s 3,000m at last month’s Millrose Games, was told by doctors he had “died” on the track, the 28-year-old said.

Campbell, who collapsed while acting as a pacesetter, was given medical treatment on site and later taken by a stretcher for further treatment. He spent 17 days in a hospital.

“I have no recollection of it. The doctors said my heart stopped and I basically died. It was a scary moment for me,” Campbell, who underwent surgery to implant an internal defibrillator, told the BBC.

“When I woke up it was Monday morning (two days after the race) and I was in hospital. I didn’t know where I was and how I got there. It was scary to know I missed almost a whole two days and couldn’t recall what happened.”

Campbell said that his doctors have not been able to diagnose his condition after weeks of testing but he is determined to return to the track.

“In my mind I should be back on the track. Doctors say I should take some time off then do some tests, then maybe I can start slowly and build back up. If I can’t, it’ll be the end of my career,” Campbell added.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

Source: OANN

JAAA National Senior Championships - Men's 5000m final
FILE PHOTO: Athletics – JAAA National Senior Championships – National Stadium Kingston, Jamaica – June 23, 2017 Jamaica’s Kemoy Campbell after winning the Men’s 5000m final REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

March 21, 2019

(Reuters) – Jamaican distance runner Kemoy Campbell, who collapsed during the men’s 3,000m at last month’s Millrose Games, was told by doctors he had “died” on the track, the 28-year-old said.

Campbell, who collapsed while acting as a pacesetter, was given medical treatment on site and later taken by a stretcher for further treatment. He spent 17 days in a hospital.

“I have no recollection of it. The doctors said my heart stopped and I basically died. It was a scary moment for me,” Campbell, who underwent surgery to implant an internal defibrillator, told the BBC.

“When I woke up it was Monday morning (two days after the race) and I was in hospital. I didn’t know where I was and how I got there. It was scary to know I missed almost a whole two days and couldn’t recall what happened.”

Campbell said that his doctors have not been able to diagnose his condition after weeks of testing but he is determined to return to the track.

“In my mind I should be back on the track. Doctors say I should take some time off then do some tests, then maybe I can start slowly and build back up. If I can’t, it’ll be the end of my career,” Campbell added.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

Source: OANN

Sixty-four percent of New York voters say they definitely would not vote to re-elect Donald Trump as president, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

Twenty-one percent say they would vote for him and 12 percent say they would consider it.

Here is how the New York survey breaks down:

  • 7 percent of Republicans said they definitely would not vote for Trump’s re-election. 67 percent said they would vote for him and 20 percent said they would consider it.
  • 93 percent of Democrats said they would not vote for his re-election, compared to 3 percent who definitely would cast their ballots for Trump. 2 percent said they would consider voting for him.
  • 60 percent of independents would not vote for Trump, while 16 percent definitely would. 17 percent would consider it.
  • 28 percent of all those polled have a favorable opinion of him, compared to 67 percent who view him unfavorably.
  • 62 percent view former Vice President Joe Biden favorably, compared to 24 percent who do not. Biden had the highest rating among those Democrats considered to be presidential hopefuls.

The poll, conducted March 13-18, surveyed 1,216 voters in the state of New York. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

Source: NewsMax

Derek Hunter | Contributor

On the show today, there are two main points: When you attack a dead guy, no matter how true your attacks may be, it drowns out whatever message you’re hoping to get across; and progressives will never miss an opportunity to chip away at the rights of individuals, even if it means standing on a pile of bodies to do it.

Listen to the show:

President Donald Trump had some great economic news to talk about in Ohio yesterday, but a five-minute tangent of criticizing the late Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain was all anyone was talking about when his speech was done. The best thing the President has going for his reelection is just how crazy Democrats have become, but the worst thing he has going for him is his ability to stop all over his own message.

It’s one thing to counter-punch, which the president usually does and does well. It’s another to punch down. Yesterday, Trump not only punched down; he punched the ground — a grave. No matter how valid the criticisms were, they come across as unseemly when the target is dead. We make the case (and expect to catch outrage over it – let the hate email flow).

New Zealand is moving to ban every type of gun the Mosque terrorist attack shooter used and any accessory they could think of. Liberals in the United States immediately cheered the move and called for similar action here. The problem for them is, in New Zealand, owning a gun is a privilege. In the United States, it is a right. It’s why Democrats are talking about packing the Supreme Court; they want to control any institution they can use to impose their will on the American people.

A woman in the U.K. is under investigation for a possible hate crime because she used the “wrong pronoun” to describe a trans person on Twitter. Meanwhile, a program to educate kids on LGBT issues is being halted in Birmingham because the Muslim community complained about it. It’s the insanity of intersectionality come to life.

Finally, New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused Fox News hosts of calling her “Cortez” because they’re racists and she’s Hispanic. The only problem is, as usual, it was a complete lie. She won’t apologize because, well, no one will hold her accountable.

Political correctness is fascism, and fascism is on the march.

Please help spread the word about The Daily Daily Caller Podcast. Please take a minute to rate and review on iTunes, share on social media and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode:

The Daily Daily Caller Podcast is a daily look and mocking of the news from a conservative perspective. Hosted by Derek Hunter, it is available in audio form Monday-Thursday and will have a video option on Fridays.

Derek Hunter is a columnist and contributing editor for The Daily Caller and author of “Outrage, INC: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood” from HarperCollins, available nowPick Up a copy, or several copies, here. Send compliments and complaints to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @derekahunter.

Source: The Daily Caller

Derek Hunter | Contributor

On the show today, there are two main points: When you attack a dead guy, no matter how true your attacks may be, it drowns out whatever message you’re hoping to get across; and progressives will never miss an opportunity to chip away at the rights of individuals, even if it means standing on a pile of bodies to do it.

Listen to the show:

President Donald Trump had some great economic news to talk about in Ohio yesterday, but a five-minute tangent of criticizing the late Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain was all anyone was talking about when his speech was done. The best thing the President has going for his reelection is just how crazy Democrats have become, but the worst thing he has going for him is his ability to stop all over his own message.

It’s one thing to counter-punch, which the president usually does and does well. It’s another to punch down. Yesterday, Trump not only punched down; he punched the ground — a grave. No matter how valid the criticisms were, they come across as unseemly when the target is dead. We make the case (and expect to catch outrage over it – let the hate email flow).

New Zealand is moving to ban every type of gun the Mosque terrorist attack shooter used and any accessory they could think of. Liberals in the United States immediately cheered the move and called for similar action here. The problem for them is, in New Zealand, owning a gun is a privilege. In the United States, it is a right. It’s why Democrats are talking about packing the Supreme Court; they want to control any institution they can use to impose their will on the American people.

A woman in the U.K. is under investigation for a possible hate crime because she used the “wrong pronoun” to describe a trans person on Twitter. Meanwhile, a program to educate kids on LGBT issues is being halted in Birmingham because the Muslim community complained about it. It’s the insanity of intersectionality come to life.

Finally, New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused Fox News hosts of calling her “Cortez” because they’re racists and she’s Hispanic. The only problem is, as usual, it was a complete lie. She won’t apologize because, well, no one will hold her accountable.

Political correctness is fascism, and fascism is on the march.

Please help spread the word about The Daily Daily Caller Podcast. Please take a minute to rate and review on iTunes, share on social media and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode:

The Daily Daily Caller Podcast is a daily look and mocking of the news from a conservative perspective. Hosted by Derek Hunter, it is available in audio form Monday-Thursday and will have a video option on Fridays.

Derek Hunter is a columnist and contributing editor for The Daily Caller and author of “Outrage, INC: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood” from HarperCollins, available nowPick Up a copy, or several copies, here. Send compliments and complaints to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @derekahunter.

Source: The Daily Caller

Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York
FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

March 21, 2019

By Amy Caren Daniel

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were subdued on Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve abandoned projections for any interest rate hikes this year amid signs of an economic slowdown.

At the conclusion of its two-day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, the central bank brought its three-year drive to tighten monetary policy to an abrupt end, and released details of a plan to end the monthly reduction of its balance sheet.

Shares of U.S. lenders, which are sensitive to interest rates, took a hit after the statement.

Citigroup Inc, Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co fell between 0.10 and 0.47 percent in light premarket trading on Thursday.

“The decision by the Fed to go all in on the dovish pivot caught markets off guard, with investors expecting a more cautious and gradual approach from a central bank that typically errs on the more hawkish side,” Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda in London, wrote in a note.

“Whether this is a sign that policy makers are genuinely concerned about the economy in 2019 or that they’ve finally bowed to external pressure, it’s certainly a bold move.”

A dovish Fed and hopes of a resolution to the ongoing trade war between United States and China have spurred a rally in stocks this year, with the S&P 500 now about 4 percent away from its record closing high in September.

Investors will now keep a close watch on trade talks between the United States and China as U.S. trade delegates travel to Beijing to resume negotiations.

President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that Washington may leave tariffs on Chinese goods for a “substantial period” to ensure that Beijing complies with any trade agreement.

At 6:37 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 18 points, or 0.07 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.5 points, or 0.02 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 10.5 points, or 0.14 percent.

Among stocks, Micron Technology Inc rose 3.6 percent after the chipmaker said it sees a recovery in the memory chip market coming and reported a quarterly profit that beat estimates.

Boeing Co slipped 0.4 percent after pressure mounted on the world’s largest planemaker in Washington as U.S. lawmakers called for executives to testify about two crashed 737 MAX jets.

Economic data on tap includes initial claims for state unemployment benefits, which are expected to have fallen to 225,000 in the week ended March 16 from 229,000 in the previous week. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

(Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

Source: OANN

Traders work on the floor at the NYSE in New York
FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

March 21, 2019

By Amy Caren Daniel

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were subdued on Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve abandoned projections for any interest rate hikes this year amid signs of an economic slowdown.

At the conclusion of its two-day monetary policy meeting on Wednesday, the central bank brought its three-year drive to tighten monetary policy to an abrupt end, and released details of a plan to end the monthly reduction of its balance sheet.

Shares of U.S. lenders, which are sensitive to interest rates, took a hit after the statement.

Citigroup Inc, Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co fell between 0.10 and 0.47 percent in light premarket trading on Thursday.

“The decision by the Fed to go all in on the dovish pivot caught markets off guard, with investors expecting a more cautious and gradual approach from a central bank that typically errs on the more hawkish side,” Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda in London, wrote in a note.

“Whether this is a sign that policy makers are genuinely concerned about the economy in 2019 or that they’ve finally bowed to external pressure, it’s certainly a bold move.”

A dovish Fed and hopes of a resolution to the ongoing trade war between United States and China have spurred a rally in stocks this year, with the S&P 500 now about 4 percent away from its record closing high in September.

Investors will now keep a close watch on trade talks between the United States and China as U.S. trade delegates travel to Beijing to resume negotiations.

President Donald Trump warned on Wednesday that Washington may leave tariffs on Chinese goods for a “substantial period” to ensure that Beijing complies with any trade agreement.

At 6:37 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 18 points, or 0.07 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.5 points, or 0.02 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 10.5 points, or 0.14 percent.

Among stocks, Micron Technology Inc rose 3.6 percent after the chipmaker said it sees a recovery in the memory chip market coming and reported a quarterly profit that beat estimates.

Boeing Co slipped 0.4 percent after pressure mounted on the world’s largest planemaker in Washington as U.S. lawmakers called for executives to testify about two crashed 737 MAX jets.

Economic data on tap includes initial claims for state unemployment benefits, which are expected to have fallen to 225,000 in the week ended March 16 from 229,000 in the previous week. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

(Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey hold a news conference for their proposed
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) hold a news conference for their proposed “Green New Deal” to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

March 21, 2019

By Valerie Volcovici and Nichola Groom

WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. solar and wind power companies may have the most to gain from the Green New Deal, an ambitious proposal backed by several Democratic presidential candidates to end U.S. fossil fuel consumption within a decade.

But do not expect the renewable energy firms to endorse it.

Representatives of America’s clean energy companies are withholding their support for the climate-fighting plan, calling it unrealistic and too politically divisive for an industry keen to grow in both red and blue states.

The cool reaction reflects the difficulty that progressive politicians vying for the White House may have in selling aggressive global-warming policy to the business community and more moderate voters.

It also underscores a new reality for U.S. solar and wind power companies long associated with the environmental left: As they have improved technology and lowered prices, their growth is shifting from politically liberal coastal states to the more conservative heartland, where skepticism of climate change and government subsidies runs high.

“If you just broadly endorse the Green New Deal, you are liable to upset one side of the aisle or the other. And that’s not constructive,” said Tom Werner, the CEO of SunPower Corp, one of the nation’s biggest solar power companies.

“The idea that you could go 100 percent (clean energy) in 10 years would require a lot of things happening perfectly, simultaneously,” he said. “You’d have to have bipartisan support, 52-state support.”

The Green New Deal was introduced last month by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat Congresswoman from New York, along with fellow Democrat Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts. It has since become the center of a renewed debate in Washington about how vigorously the government must act to address climate change.

The Congressional resolution, which has no force of law, calls for the federal government to make investments to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in a decade by meeting 100 percent of America’s power demand with clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, or geothermal energy.

It also calls for massive investments in green infrastructure projects like “smart grids” to improve efficiency, along with a guarantee of millions of high-wage jobs with paid vacations, medical leave and retirement security. The resolution does not get into detail about how subsequent legislation would achieve these goals.

So far, at least eight Democratic presidential hopefuls – including senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota – have endorsed the plan as they seek to stand in stark opposition to the pro-drilling policies of President Donald Trump.

Trump’s fellow Republicans have widely panned the Green New Deal, saying it would cost trillions of dollars of taxpayer money, may be technically unfeasible, and smacks of radical socialism.

Rhiana Gunn Wright, founder of the think tank New Consensus, which is drawing up Green New Deal policies, said her group will not estimate costs of the plan until it is more fully drafted next year. She said opponents’ estimates are premature and do not account for the benefits of climate action and the costs of inaction.

The feasibility of the proposal has been a source of concern for the clean energy industry, too.

“We love the enthusiasm the Green New Deal has brought to the climate issue … but we need to operate in political reality,” said Dan Whitten, vice president of public affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association, the solar industry’s main lobby group.

Another concern is the fact that the plan extends beyond energy and climate policies to include guarantees of jobs, training and healthcare for communities affected by climate change, said Greg Wetstone, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, a non-profit organization promoting renewable energy industries.

“It creates controversy and complexity, tying this to issues that are not in our sphere,” he said.

Representatives of renewable energy firms Sunrun and Sunnova Energy said they were happy the Green New Deal was drawing so much attention to clean industry but stopped short of endorsing the plan.

“The Green New Deal has sparked an important conversation, and we’re excited to be part of it,” said Alex McDonough, Vice President of Public Policy at Sunrun.

INROADS IN TRUMP COUNTRY

The U.S. solar and wind industries have expanded over the last decade, thanks to lucrative government subsidies, and now employ some 350,000 workers nationwide – more than four times more than the coal sector, according to the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report released this month.

While the growth began in liberal-leaning regions such as California and New England, it has more recently come in states that voted heavily for President Donald Trump in 2016, including Texas, North Carolina, Iowa and Florida, according to data from the American Wind Energy Association, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and SEIA.

That has helped strengthen the industry’s appeal to Republican lawmakers, allowing it to rebrand as a jobs engine in addition to a tool for combating global warming. And during the last election cycle in 2018, solar and wind companies contributed significantly more money to Republican candidates than to their traditional Democratic allies.

“We have raised these industries above science experiments and feel-goodery, and we are now real businesses and can’t just play to one half of the country,” said one renewable sector lobbyist, who asked not to be named discussing the topic.

“Staying out of the line of fire is the goal of most companies and trade associations,” said another clean energy industry representative. “There will be a real danger for our industry and companies if they are shouting out about the Green New Deal from the rooftops.”

The Sunrise Movement, a grassroots group that brought the Green New Deal into the national spotlight by holding demonstrations and confronting lawmakers on video, said it was aware of the reticence of green energy companies to back their proposal.

“We’ve met with companies and industries who could have a lot to gain from the Green New Deal, but the politics at this stage are too difficult to navigate,” Sunrise co-founder Evan Weber said.

He said Sunrise had met with the SEIA and AWEA, along with other executives.

Weber said industry support for the Green New Deal would be welcomed but is not vital: “We don’t expect all of them to be a strong advocate for the Green New Deal until the politics shift.”

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici and Nichola Groom; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Brian Thevenot)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey hold a news conference for their proposed
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) hold a news conference for their proposed “Green New Deal” to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

March 21, 2019

By Valerie Volcovici and Nichola Groom

WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. solar and wind power companies may have the most to gain from the Green New Deal, an ambitious proposal backed by several Democratic presidential candidates to end U.S. fossil fuel consumption within a decade.

But do not expect the renewable energy firms to endorse it.

Representatives of America’s clean energy companies are withholding their support for the climate-fighting plan, calling it unrealistic and too politically divisive for an industry keen to grow in both red and blue states.

The cool reaction reflects the difficulty that progressive politicians vying for the White House may have in selling aggressive global-warming policy to the business community and more moderate voters.

It also underscores a new reality for U.S. solar and wind power companies long associated with the environmental left: As they have improved technology and lowered prices, their growth is shifting from politically liberal coastal states to the more conservative heartland, where skepticism of climate change and government subsidies runs high.

“If you just broadly endorse the Green New Deal, you are liable to upset one side of the aisle or the other. And that’s not constructive,” said Tom Werner, the CEO of SunPower Corp, one of the nation’s biggest solar power companies.

“The idea that you could go 100 percent (clean energy) in 10 years would require a lot of things happening perfectly, simultaneously,” he said. “You’d have to have bipartisan support, 52-state support.”

The Green New Deal was introduced last month by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat Congresswoman from New York, along with fellow Democrat Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts. It has since become the center of a renewed debate in Washington about how vigorously the government must act to address climate change.

The Congressional resolution, which has no force of law, calls for the federal government to make investments to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in a decade by meeting 100 percent of America’s power demand with clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, or geothermal energy.

It also calls for massive investments in green infrastructure projects like “smart grids” to improve efficiency, along with a guarantee of millions of high-wage jobs with paid vacations, medical leave and retirement security. The resolution does not get into detail about how subsequent legislation would achieve these goals.

So far, at least eight Democratic presidential hopefuls – including senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota – have endorsed the plan as they seek to stand in stark opposition to the pro-drilling policies of President Donald Trump.

Trump’s fellow Republicans have widely panned the Green New Deal, saying it would cost trillions of dollars of taxpayer money, may be technically unfeasible, and smacks of radical socialism.

Rhiana Gunn Wright, founder of the think tank New Consensus, which is drawing up Green New Deal policies, said her group will not estimate costs of the plan until it is more fully drafted next year. She said opponents’ estimates are premature and do not account for the benefits of climate action and the costs of inaction.

The feasibility of the proposal has been a source of concern for the clean energy industry, too.

“We love the enthusiasm the Green New Deal has brought to the climate issue … but we need to operate in political reality,” said Dan Whitten, vice president of public affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association, the solar industry’s main lobby group.

Another concern is the fact that the plan extends beyond energy and climate policies to include guarantees of jobs, training and healthcare for communities affected by climate change, said Greg Wetstone, president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, a non-profit organization promoting renewable energy industries.

“It creates controversy and complexity, tying this to issues that are not in our sphere,” he said.

Representatives of renewable energy firms Sunrun and Sunnova Energy said they were happy the Green New Deal was drawing so much attention to clean industry but stopped short of endorsing the plan.

“The Green New Deal has sparked an important conversation, and we’re excited to be part of it,” said Alex McDonough, Vice President of Public Policy at Sunrun.

INROADS IN TRUMP COUNTRY

The U.S. solar and wind industries have expanded over the last decade, thanks to lucrative government subsidies, and now employ some 350,000 workers nationwide – more than four times more than the coal sector, according to the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report released this month.

While the growth began in liberal-leaning regions such as California and New England, it has more recently come in states that voted heavily for President Donald Trump in 2016, including Texas, North Carolina, Iowa and Florida, according to data from the American Wind Energy Association, Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and SEIA.

That has helped strengthen the industry’s appeal to Republican lawmakers, allowing it to rebrand as a jobs engine in addition to a tool for combating global warming. And during the last election cycle in 2018, solar and wind companies contributed significantly more money to Republican candidates than to their traditional Democratic allies.

“We have raised these industries above science experiments and feel-goodery, and we are now real businesses and can’t just play to one half of the country,” said one renewable sector lobbyist, who asked not to be named discussing the topic.

“Staying out of the line of fire is the goal of most companies and trade associations,” said another clean energy industry representative. “There will be a real danger for our industry and companies if they are shouting out about the Green New Deal from the rooftops.”

The Sunrise Movement, a grassroots group that brought the Green New Deal into the national spotlight by holding demonstrations and confronting lawmakers on video, said it was aware of the reticence of green energy companies to back their proposal.

“We’ve met with companies and industries who could have a lot to gain from the Green New Deal, but the politics at this stage are too difficult to navigate,” Sunrise co-founder Evan Weber said.

He said Sunrise had met with the SEIA and AWEA, along with other executives.

Weber said industry support for the Green New Deal would be welcomed but is not vital: “We don’t expect all of them to be a strong advocate for the Green New Deal until the politics shift.”

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici and Nichola Groom; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Brian Thevenot)

Source: OANN

The German share price index DAX graph at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

March 21, 2019

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Stock exchanges in Europe are not harming markets or gouging customers with the fees they charge for data, an industry-commissioned report said on Thursday.

The report from consultants Oxera for the Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE) wants to counter accusations from investment funds that “monopoly” bourses were continually hiking fees for market data to lift profits.

Investment firms have called on the EU’s markets watchdog ESMA to review market data fees charged by exchanges, saying they keep on rising despite falling costs of computing and data storage.

Oxera’s report concludes that “economic analysis suggest that the current charging structures for market data are unlikely to have detrimental effects on market outcomes for investors.”

FESE said that while fees have been “challenged by some”, the report showed that aggregate market data revenues have risen by only 1 percent a year, from 230 million euros ($261.2 million) in 2012 to 245 million euros in 2018.

“Costs have remained stable over the last five years,” said Rainer Riess, FESE director general.

Policymakers should be very mindful that any changes do not harm how prices of shares are formed, Riess added.

TRANSATLANTIC

Investment funds face scrutiny over their own fees charged customers and want to cut costs.

They have to buy data to help show regulators that they are obtaining the best share prices on behalf of investors in a region where many platforms trade the same stocks.

The Alternative Investment Management Association, Managed Funds Association, Britain’s Investment Association and two German funds bodies BVI and BAI, asked ESMA in December to enforce an EU securities law that requires market data to be sold on a “reasonable commercial basis”.

The bloc’s competition officials are also facing pressure to intervene.

In the United States the Securities and Exchange Commission repealed two data price changes last May for public feeds for Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange listed securities for the first time after complaints from asset managers.

The battle across the Atlantic has led to market participants like Fidelity Investments and hedge fund Citadel to back a new, low cost Members Exchange bourse to compete with NYSE.

FESE said the real issue was not prices but the “often very low quality” of data from off-exchange or “dark” trading platforms.

There has been talk for many years of a “consolidated tape” or a single pipe for gathering share prices from different platforms, like in the United States.

FESE said data intermediaries or vendors were already offering a de facto tape for prices on the bulk of so-called “lit” exchanges, where prices and trades are instantly visible.

(Reporting by Huw Jones, Editing by William Maclean)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Imam Ibrahim Abdelhalim of the Linwood Mosque holds hands with Father Felimoun El-Baramoussy from the Dunedin Coptic Church, as they walk at the site of Friday's shooting outside the Mosque in Christchurch
FILE PHOTO: Imam Ibrahim Abdelhalim of the Linwood Mosque holds hands with Father Felimoun El-Baramoussy from the Dunedin Coptic Church, as they walk at the site of Friday’s shooting outside the Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Tom Lasseter

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – Ibrahim Abdelhalim was at his mosque last week in the Linwood neighborhood of Christchurch, New Zealand, delivering a prayer as he usually does on Friday afternoons. The 67-year-old grandfather had already spoken about “tasting the sweetness of faith” as a Muslim obedient to God and willing to serve humanity.

He heard a pop-pop-pop in the distance.

The sounds got louder. Abdelhalim realized they were gunshots, but he continued. Abruptly ending the holy words mid-sentence would show a lack of respect in the face of God, he thought.

Abdelhalim immigrated from Egypt to Christchurch in 1995. The small city in a far-away island nation, some 16,000 kilometers from the poverty and corruption of Cairo, gave his family a better life. It sits in a tableau of pristine mountains and rolling fields, a place where he often forgot to lock his front door at night. Whatever was happening outside would probably be okay. Still, there were more than 80 people in the room in front of him and so, he said, “I tried to finish the prayer quickly.”

Then the bullets came crashing through the window of the mosque. They sprayed into bodies. People screamed, diving atop each other in jumbled piles. Abdelhalim saw his son but could not make it to where he lay. Further back, at the partition for women, Abdelhalim’s wife was also pinned down by gunfire, shot in the arm. Bullets thudded into a friend next to her, killing the woman. In the land that had become his sanctuary, Abdelhalim suddenly feared he was about to watch his family be slaughtered.

Police later named Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, as the alleged shooter in the massacre last Friday, which claimed 50 lives and left as many wounded.

Tarrant posted online a screed espousing white supremacist ideology and hatred of immigrants, authorities say. So far charged with one murder, Tarrant was remanded to custody without a plea Saturday, and is due back in court next month, when police say he is likely to face more charges.

The country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, described a very different New Zealand in an address after the carnage. “We represent diversity, kindness, compassion,” she said, her voice at times cracking with emotion. “A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it.”

Many victims in Christchurch had sought just that – leaving Somalia, Pakistan, Syria or Afghanistan for a better life, often with little in their pockets. Abdelhalim spoke of the city as a dream made real.

In Cairo, Abdelhalim said, he’d worked as a judge specializing in inheritance and tenancy cases. He lived in a well-heeled suburb, his parents a teacher and a government employee, his brother an officer in the Egyptian military. But he did not see the future he wanted for his three children in Egypt. Cairo had witnessed a president being assassinated by Islamic militants in 1981, and a string of bombs exploding in and around the city in 1993.

So the family moved to Christchurch, and Abdelhalim took the only job he could find, as a clerk at Work and Income, the government agency for employment services and financial assistance. “I tried to study law, but found it was very hard to begin again,” he said.

Nevertheless, his children were going to good schools and his family moved into a small brick home, where he still lives, with roses in the well-trimmed yard. A neighbor invited him over for tea, he said, “nearly every day.” The family got to know the woman at the post office, a local shopkeeper and just about everyone else.

Far from the chaos of Cairo, Christchurch is a place where men in straw hats and vests take tourists down the placid waters of the Avon River. It is a city of parks with birds chirping and a streetcar clanking past Cathedral Square.

Abdelhalim’s life grew along with the city. He opened a restaurant, named for his old home, Cairo. He became active in the Muslim community, working as the imam at a mosque called Al Noor.

When terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York in September 2001, Abdelhalim was the head of a local Islamic association. At the time, he said, there was a flare up of young people yelling at Muslims and trying to grab women’s headscarves. Abdelhalim responded by organizing community events at the mosque. In 2017, he took part in opening a multi-faith prayer space at the airport. “My only weapon,” he said, “is my tongue.”

He also helped start and agreed to be the imam, the religious leader, of the Linwood mosque as its doors opened early last year, though it was across the city from his house. The building, a former community center, sits amid signs for the Salvation Army, a pawnshop, the Super Liquor and the Value Mart. Its presence was a marker of growth in the city’s still-small Muslim community.

It was at another mosque, Al Noor, that the gunman first began shooting. He shot at men, women and children as he emptied one clip of ammunition and then the next, circling back to shoot once more just to be sure he’d killed as many Muslims as possible. He took more than 40 lives there. The gunman then got into his car and drove to Linwood, where Abdelhalim, a man with a carefully cut white beard, was beginning to pray.

In the back of the mosque, a 27-year-old man from Afghanistan named Ahmed Khan peeked out a window. The plump-faced Khan and his family had arrived in Christchurch 12 years earlier, leaving behind a nation torn by war.

“Someone called ‘help!’ and when I looked out the window, somebody was laying down, bleeding,” he said. Khan’s eyes flitted across the driveway and spotted a strange figure – a man wearing a helmet, standing in broad daylight with a rifle in his hands.

The man squeezed the trigger, Khan said, and a bullet flew through the window. Khan recalls calling out, “There’s someone with a gun!”

In the prayer area, where Abdelhalim had stood reciting holy words just moments before, people flung themselves on the ground in panic. Khan recalls cradling a man in his arms one moment and then, the next, the gunman “shot him when I was holding him, in the head. And he was dead.”

There was another Afghan in the room who rushed toward the door. In the gunfire that followed, seven people were killed. Khan said the toll almost certainly would have been higher if this second Afghan – Abdul Aziz, a short, muscular man who runs a furniture shop – hadn’t confronted the shooter.

Aziz grabbed a credit card machine and hurled it at the gunman, dodging bullets. He later chased the gunman with an unloaded shotgun that the shooter dropped as he went back for another weapon, then hurled it like a spear through his car window. With four of his children in the mosque, Aziz later said, he acted to protect his own piece of adopted homeland. “I didn’t know where my own kids were – if they are alive, if they are dead,” he said.

They’d survived, with one of his sons laid over a younger brother, protecting the smaller boy’s body with his own. Abdelhalim’s wife and son also made it out alive.

Now, in the aftermath of 50 dead in his city, Abdelhalim is trying to keep his family and his people together. They are left to navigate an issue that has confronted communities around the world after mass shootings: How, in the midst of suffering and rage, does normalcy and the peace they once knew return, if at all?

On Saturday afternoon, about 24 hours after the massacre, Abdelhalim walked out of a crisis response center in Christchurch. On the wall, there was a Wi-Fi login and password written on a piece of white paper: youarewelcome. A group of motorcycle club members had parked their bikes on the grass in a show of support. Burly men in black leather jackets milled about. A young man with the club’s name tattooed across the side of his face – “Tribesmen” – chatted with reporters. Police stood by with assault rifles.

Abdelhalim made his way carefully through the crowd in a dark suit with light pinstripes. Everyone was asking, he said, “can the peace of Christchurch come back?”

The gunman’s manifesto, released shortly before the attacks, said he was motivated to fight back against the “invasion” of immigration by non-whites. The actual number of Muslims in New Zealand is small – about one percent of the populace. At the 2013 census, the most recent figures available, the government reported a 28 percent rise in Muslims since 2006, along with jumps in Hindu and Sikh numbers.

On Sunday morning, Abdelhalim opened his front door at 9, wearing board shorts, flipflops and a worn collared shirt, instead of the suits he favors in public. He was exhausted. City authorities released a list of the dead past midnight at the Christchurch Hospital. Abdelhalim was there to speak with the bereaved. He’d gotten home from the hospital at some time after 2 a.m. and had barely slept.

The next day, standing on the other side of police tape from the mosque in Linwood, Abdelhalim was asked by a reporter for details of the shooting. Abdelhalim said he’d rather not say.

“I don’t need to repeat the story of what happened,” he said. “Because it breaks my heart.”

(Reporting by Tom Lasseter; Editing by Philip McClellan and Peter Hirschberg)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Imam Ibrahim Abdelhalim of the Linwood Mosque holds hands with Father Felimoun El-Baramoussy from the Dunedin Coptic Church, as they walk at the site of Friday's shooting outside the Mosque in Christchurch
FILE PHOTO: Imam Ibrahim Abdelhalim of the Linwood Mosque holds hands with Father Felimoun El-Baramoussy from the Dunedin Coptic Church, as they walk at the site of Friday’s shooting outside the Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Tom Lasseter

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – Ibrahim Abdelhalim was at his mosque last week in the Linwood neighborhood of Christchurch, New Zealand, delivering a prayer as he usually does on Friday afternoons. The 67-year-old grandfather had already spoken about “tasting the sweetness of faith” as a Muslim obedient to God and willing to serve humanity.

He heard a pop-pop-pop in the distance.

The sounds got louder. Abdelhalim realized they were gunshots, but he continued. Abruptly ending the holy words mid-sentence would show a lack of respect in the face of God, he thought.

Abdelhalim immigrated from Egypt to Christchurch in 1995. The small city in a far-away island nation, some 16,000 kilometers from the poverty and corruption of Cairo, gave his family a better life. It sits in a tableau of pristine mountains and rolling fields, a place where he often forgot to lock his front door at night. Whatever was happening outside would probably be okay. Still, there were more than 80 people in the room in front of him and so, he said, “I tried to finish the prayer quickly.”

Then the bullets came crashing through the window of the mosque. They sprayed into bodies. People screamed, diving atop each other in jumbled piles. Abdelhalim saw his son but could not make it to where he lay. Further back, at the partition for women, Abdelhalim’s wife was also pinned down by gunfire, shot in the arm. Bullets thudded into a friend next to her, killing the woman. In the land that had become his sanctuary, Abdelhalim suddenly feared he was about to watch his family be slaughtered.

Police later named Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, as the alleged shooter in the massacre last Friday, which claimed 50 lives and left as many wounded.

Tarrant posted online a screed espousing white supremacist ideology and hatred of immigrants, authorities say. So far charged with one murder, Tarrant was remanded to custody without a plea Saturday, and is due back in court next month, when police say he is likely to face more charges.

The country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, described a very different New Zealand in an address after the carnage. “We represent diversity, kindness, compassion,” she said, her voice at times cracking with emotion. “A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it.”

Many victims in Christchurch had sought just that – leaving Somalia, Pakistan, Syria or Afghanistan for a better life, often with little in their pockets. Abdelhalim spoke of the city as a dream made real.

In Cairo, Abdelhalim said, he’d worked as a judge specializing in inheritance and tenancy cases. He lived in a well-heeled suburb, his parents a teacher and a government employee, his brother an officer in the Egyptian military. But he did not see the future he wanted for his three children in Egypt. Cairo had witnessed a president being assassinated by Islamic militants in 1981, and a string of bombs exploding in and around the city in 1993.

So the family moved to Christchurch, and Abdelhalim took the only job he could find, as a clerk at Work and Income, the government agency for employment services and financial assistance. “I tried to study law, but found it was very hard to begin again,” he said.

Nevertheless, his children were going to good schools and his family moved into a small brick home, where he still lives, with roses in the well-trimmed yard. A neighbor invited him over for tea, he said, “nearly every day.” The family got to know the woman at the post office, a local shopkeeper and just about everyone else.

Far from the chaos of Cairo, Christchurch is a place where men in straw hats and vests take tourists down the placid waters of the Avon River. It is a city of parks with birds chirping and a streetcar clanking past Cathedral Square.

Abdelhalim’s life grew along with the city. He opened a restaurant, named for his old home, Cairo. He became active in the Muslim community, working as the imam at a mosque called Al Noor.

When terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York in September 2001, Abdelhalim was the head of a local Islamic association. At the time, he said, there was a flare up of young people yelling at Muslims and trying to grab women’s headscarves. Abdelhalim responded by organizing community events at the mosque. In 2017, he took part in opening a multi-faith prayer space at the airport. “My only weapon,” he said, “is my tongue.”

He also helped start and agreed to be the imam, the religious leader, of the Linwood mosque as its doors opened early last year, though it was across the city from his house. The building, a former community center, sits amid signs for the Salvation Army, a pawnshop, the Super Liquor and the Value Mart. Its presence was a marker of growth in the city’s still-small Muslim community.

It was at another mosque, Al Noor, that the gunman first began shooting. He shot at men, women and children as he emptied one clip of ammunition and then the next, circling back to shoot once more just to be sure he’d killed as many Muslims as possible. He took more than 40 lives there. The gunman then got into his car and drove to Linwood, where Abdelhalim, a man with a carefully cut white beard, was beginning to pray.

In the back of the mosque, a 27-year-old man from Afghanistan named Ahmed Khan peeked out a window. The plump-faced Khan and his family had arrived in Christchurch 12 years earlier, leaving behind a nation torn by war.

“Someone called ‘help!’ and when I looked out the window, somebody was laying down, bleeding,” he said. Khan’s eyes flitted across the driveway and spotted a strange figure – a man wearing a helmet, standing in broad daylight with a rifle in his hands.

The man squeezed the trigger, Khan said, and a bullet flew through the window. Khan recalls calling out, “There’s someone with a gun!”

In the prayer area, where Abdelhalim had stood reciting holy words just moments before, people flung themselves on the ground in panic. Khan recalls cradling a man in his arms one moment and then, the next, the gunman “shot him when I was holding him, in the head. And he was dead.”

There was another Afghan in the room who rushed toward the door. In the gunfire that followed, seven people were killed. Khan said the toll almost certainly would have been higher if this second Afghan – Abdul Aziz, a short, muscular man who runs a furniture shop – hadn’t confronted the shooter.

Aziz grabbed a credit card machine and hurled it at the gunman, dodging bullets. He later chased the gunman with an unloaded shotgun that the shooter dropped as he went back for another weapon, then hurled it like a spear through his car window. With four of his children in the mosque, Aziz later said, he acted to protect his own piece of adopted homeland. “I didn’t know where my own kids were – if they are alive, if they are dead,” he said.

They’d survived, with one of his sons laid over a younger brother, protecting the smaller boy’s body with his own. Abdelhalim’s wife and son also made it out alive.

Now, in the aftermath of 50 dead in his city, Abdelhalim is trying to keep his family and his people together. They are left to navigate an issue that has confronted communities around the world after mass shootings: How, in the midst of suffering and rage, does normalcy and the peace they once knew return, if at all?

On Saturday afternoon, about 24 hours after the massacre, Abdelhalim walked out of a crisis response center in Christchurch. On the wall, there was a Wi-Fi login and password written on a piece of white paper: youarewelcome. A group of motorcycle club members had parked their bikes on the grass in a show of support. Burly men in black leather jackets milled about. A young man with the club’s name tattooed across the side of his face – “Tribesmen” – chatted with reporters. Police stood by with assault rifles.

Abdelhalim made his way carefully through the crowd in a dark suit with light pinstripes. Everyone was asking, he said, “can the peace of Christchurch come back?”

The gunman’s manifesto, released shortly before the attacks, said he was motivated to fight back against the “invasion” of immigration by non-whites. The actual number of Muslims in New Zealand is small – about one percent of the populace. At the 2013 census, the most recent figures available, the government reported a 28 percent rise in Muslims since 2006, along with jumps in Hindu and Sikh numbers.

On Sunday morning, Abdelhalim opened his front door at 9, wearing board shorts, flipflops and a worn collared shirt, instead of the suits he favors in public. He was exhausted. City authorities released a list of the dead past midnight at the Christchurch Hospital. Abdelhalim was there to speak with the bereaved. He’d gotten home from the hospital at some time after 2 a.m. and had barely slept.

The next day, standing on the other side of police tape from the mosque in Linwood, Abdelhalim was asked by a reporter for details of the shooting. Abdelhalim said he’d rather not say.

“I don’t need to repeat the story of what happened,” he said. “Because it breaks my heart.”

(Reporting by Tom Lasseter; Editing by Philip McClellan and Peter Hirschberg)

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

A screen displays a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average during trading on the floor of the NYSE in New York
A screen displays a chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average during trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

March 21, 2019

By Lawrence Delevingne

NEW YORK (Reuters) – On the morning of July 11, Paul Pittman was on a corn farm in Western Illinois, unaware his company had taken a devastating hit.

Just before the stock market opened, an anonymous short seller named “Rota Fortunae” posted on Twitter and financial website Seeking Alpha that Pittman’s small real estate investment trust, Farmland Partners Inc, had engaged in dubious transactions and risked “insolvency.”

The posting pushed shares down enough to make thousands of previously-purchased stock options profitable, according to a later expert analysis, in turn causing more selling by those on the other side of the trade who committed to buy shares at a higher set price. The accelerating losses were probably compounded by high-frequency trading algorithms activated by price swings and negative keywords, according to that analysis.

Pittman’s stomach churned when he checked his smartphone around noon: Shares were off almost 40 percent. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/2HyuFCE)

“The game was rigged,” Pittman, 56, told Reuters.

What followed exemplified a new, ugly phase in a war between companies and activist short sellers, with businesses fighting back against social-media fueled attacks and investors accusing executives of trying to muzzle critics.

Farmland sued Rota Fortunae – Latin for “wheel of fortune” – and other unnamed individuals alleging a “malicious scheme” to profit from the spread of false information and well-timed stock options. The short seller, a Texas-based individual whose identity has been kept secret, sent a statement to Reuters via an attorney that the litigation aimed to “intimidate and choke critical opinion” and that the idea of crashing the stock through “sophisticated trading” was “utter hogwash.” It is all under the watch of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which has been briefed on the matter.

The stand-off reflects a broader debate over how to balance the desire to keep public companies accountable with concerns over market manipulation.

Short selling, said to be as old as stock markets, used to be a low-profile affair where bearish investors relied on the media, analysts or regulators to take the lead in exposing over-valued companies. New tools such as Twitter and Seeking Alpha changed that, creating a small but prominent group of brash public activists.

Successful campaigns that exposed corporate fraud or dubious practices, including Carson Block’s Sino-Forest Corp takedown and Andrew Left’s shorting of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, underscored short sellers’ role as market watchdogs. Such victories, coupled with elevated stock valuations, helped spur record numbers of short campaigns, according to industry tracker Activist Insight.

Activist Insight data show such campaigns can have a noticeable impact on stock prices. A 2017 working paper by researchers Yu Ting Forester Wong and Wuyang Zhao also showed they weigh on target companies’ investments, dividends and access to financing.

Block, Left and other prominent short sellers interviewed by Reuters say they do thorough research and help keep companies honest.

Yet targeted businesses say many short campaigns waged this decade amount to “short and distort” schemes. They accuse some activists of spreading false or misleading information to drive a stock down and then quickly cash out, a mirror image of “pump and dump,” where unscrupulous investors promote speculative stocks before selling out at the top.

Cases against short sellers are rare, though, given free speech protections and companies hesitant to put themselves under the microscope of regulators, lawyers say.

SHORT IDEAS AND OPTIONS

Recent research provides fresh fodder for the debate. Columbia Law School securities expert Joshua Mitts said in a working paper that he had looked at 1,720 pseudonymous short idea posts on Seeking Alpha between 2010 and 2017 and found that 86 percent were preceded by “extraordinary” options trading.

Mitts told Reuters his review of the posts found that, like with Farmland, many short sellers appeared to use fast-expiring put-options bought before the release of a report to spur more selling by underwriters.

“Shorts have to rely on good research, not trading tricks, to punish a stock,” said Mitts, whose work has led to paid consulting for Farmland and other companies.

He has also found other unusual trading patterns, including dozens of cases of “spoofing” and “layering,” illegal trading strategies of placing and canceling orders to create a false impression of demand or supply. Mitts said, however, that high-frequency traders were probably responsible, not activists.

Prominent activists deny engaging in practices described by Mitts and say they rarely use options. Instead, they would typically borrow stocks and immediately sell them in anticipation of a price drop, so they can buy them back for less and pocket the difference.

“I’m sure there are a few anonymous guys out there doing tricky stuff, but it’s not a systemic problem,” Left said.

One smaller short seller said he used put options in conjunction with Seeking Alpha posts to make larger bets given limited capital, but emphasized making unfounded claims could backfire.

“With options you can get totally destroyed,” said the investor, who requested anonymity. “A bad thesis can be debunked almost instantly.”

Activist Insight, which has analyzed hundreds of campaigns, found many cases where target share prices went up, not down.

So far Mitts is virtually alone in analyzing trading activity around short campaigns, but his findings have already drawn the attention of a top U.S. regulator.

SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson told Reuters the research was “important” and challenged his agency to “identify folks who are dancing a very fine line between trading and market manipulation.”

The question, Jackson said, was whether the regulator would go after short sellers who engage in fraud as forcefully as it investigates companies for bad behavior.

“I hope the answer to that question will be yes.”

A hint came last September, when the SEC brought a rare “short and distort” case against hedge fund manager Gregory Lemelson for making false claims about Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc, an allegation which Lemelson has denied.

Jackson said, however, laws on anonymity and free speech could limit any steps that went beyond straightforward cases involving false information.

On March 12, for example, a New York state judge dismissed a lawsuit against short sellers by Indian media company Eros International PLC, noting their opinions on Seeking Alpha and elsewhere were substantiated and therefore protected.

Still, companies are increasingly retaliating with lawsuits, hiring private investigators and using other aggressive tactics, according to some activists. Block, for example, said he has faced “constant” legal threats, at least one undercover operative, and a failed $50 million investigation to discredit his research.

“More than ever, bad companies are trying to shoot the messenger through any means available,” Block said.

FARM WAR

In the days after Rota’s post, Farmland issued a public rebuttal and Pittman, a former farmer and financial executive, said the company had to go on an “‘I am not a crook’ tour” in meetings and calls with investors and business partners.

Most were sympathetic, Pittman said, including farmers who had traded land for stock, but Farmland lost a potential partnership and had to cut staff from 17 to 13.

George Moriarty, executive editor of Seeking Alpha, said that courts have respected the site’s status as a neutral platform and that its staff vetted all posts. In this case, Rota made “limited factual corrections” after Seeking Alpha contacted him about Farmland’s rebuttal.

Still, shares have never quite recovered, and Rota told Reuters that Farmland has yet to substantively address his concerns.

Stock analysts said Rota’s language was dramatic relative to the underlying issues and instead focused on broader business challenges and the potential costs of fighting back. Farmland recently reported about $1.6 million in extra expenses over 2018, before insurance, citing Rota’s campaign. That included defending against a related shareholder class-action and legal costs from its suit against the short seller.

Mitts has submitted his opinion on put options in the case, a pattern he said he discovered independently during his academic research.

The short seller behind the Rota moniker told Reuters he planned to challenge Mitts’ assertions and would continue his defense of first amendment rights. Farmland’s lawyers said Rota’s free speech argument was undercut by his acknowledgement of payments received for research on Farmland.

Whatever happens in court, the SEC is watching. Rota submitted his Farmland analysis to the agency’s whistleblower hotline, while Farmland later briefed SEC staff on its side.

The SEC declined to comment, but on Jan. 29 it denied Farmland’s request for records on Rota and options trading because, according to a letter revealed in a court filing, related information was in an “investigative file” from an “on-going law enforcement proceeding.”

(Reporting by Lawrence Delevingne. Editing by Neal Templin and Tomasz Janowski.)

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

Fox News’ Dana Perino criticized the Democratic presidential candidates who have come out in favor of dismantling the Electoral College, during her Wednesday appearance on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

California Sen. Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke have all stated their belief that the country should do away with the Electoral College and elect presidents via the popular vote.

WATCH:

“It’s a litmus test, right? Is there a Democratic candidate who is saying no? Cory Booker kind of tapped the breaks on it, whoa, whoa, whoa, I don’t know. But he will get there. This is happening,” Perino stated. “Remember, it’s Eric Holder also, I think, who during the Obama administration suggested this. But the Democrats didn’t need to talk about this when President Obama was president because he won the Electoral College. Okay?” (RELATED: Democratic Lawmaker Introduces Constitutional Amendment To Abolish The Electoral College)

“The institutions have held up but the Democrats are now talking about actually dismantling those institutions. And what is interesting to me is that the reason that the country is set up this way with different states is because we are republic. You have a representative government,” she continued.

“If you do away with that and you just elect the president by whoever lives in New York and California, then, and you just erase all of those boundaries, then you truly are for open borders,” Perino concluded. “Then you are no longer of the United States of America. You are like united people of America where perhaps, not so united, right, just the people of America.”

Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio rebuked the Democrats’ plan to get rid of the Electoral College on twitter Tuesday morning.

US senator Marco Rubio, addresses the press on the humanitarian aid shipments sent by the US government for Venezuela that are stockpiled at a collection center in the Colombian border, at the Simon Bolivar international bridge in Cucuta, Colombia, border with San Antonio de Tachira, Venezuela on February 17, 2019. - Thousands of volunteers in Venezuela will begin mobilizing on Sunday to bring American aid into their crisis-hit country despite a blockade by President Nicolas Maduro who claims the assistance could be cover for a US invasion. US aid that has been piling up in the Colombian border town of Cucuta has become the frontline of the confrontation between Guaido and Maduro. (Photo by Luis ROBAYO / AFP) (Photo credit should read LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images)

US senator Marco Rubio, addresses the press on the humanitarian aid shipments sent by the US government for Venezuela that are stockpiled at a collection center in the Colombian border, at the Simon Bolivar international bridge in Cucuta, Colombia, border with San Antonio de Tachira, Venezuela on February 17, 2019. (LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images)

“The Democrat plan to get rid of the Electoral College has nothing to do with making sure every vote counts,” Rubio stated. “It’s about diminishing the electoral power of what liberals arrogantly call the ‘flyover states’ & of Americans they habitually disrespect as uneducated & backwards.” (RELATED: Marco Rubio Rebukes Democrats’ Attempt To Get Rid Of The Electoral College)

President Donald Trump also supported the Electoral College on Twitter, saying, “Campaigning for the Popular Vote is much easier & different than campaigning for the Electoral College. It’s like training for the 100 yard dash vs. a marathon. The brilliance of the Electoral College is that you must go to many States to win.”

Twelve states have passed laws mandating that their Electoral College votes go to the winner of the national popular vote, but none of the laws will go into effect unless the combined number of Electoral College votes reach 270 — the number of votes needed for a presidential candidate to win.

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Source: The Daily Caller

Charles Kushner, the father of President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, argued in a rare opinion piece his family real estate business is healthy and took several steps to prevent a conflict of interest when Jared Kushner joined the Trump administration more than two years ago.

Writing for The Washington Post, Charles Kushner made the case his son helped steer Kushner Companies down the path to massive success as CEO from 2008-2017. He focused on the company's 2007 purchase of 666 Fifth Ave. in New York City for most of his piece.

"Critics of our 666 Fifth Ave. purchase often focus their attacks on my son Jared Kushner, who became chief executive in 2008. That criticism is also baseless," the elder Kushner wrote. "You wouldn't know it from the way his nine-year stewardship of the company has been portrayed, but before he resigned to join the Trump administration in 2017, Jared led major property acquisitions worth more than $5 billion, and the company grew from about 50 employees to more than 700.

"We now have more than $7 billion of assets under management."

Kushner then outlined some of the steps the company took as his son was preparing to work in the White House.

"When he left the company, Jared took several steps to preclude conflicts of interest. At the recommendation of his legal counsel, in consultation with the Office of Government Ethics, he divested from more than 80 partnerships, including 666 Fifth Ave., at a substantial financial sacrifice," Kushner wrote.

"We walled off Jared from receiving information on the company, and he resigned as the controlling partner in more than 100 entities. This was all done out of an abundance of caution."

Source: NewsMax

Charles Kushner, the father of President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, argued in a rare opinion piece his family real estate business is healthy and took several steps to prevent a conflict of interest when Jared Kushner joined the Trump administration more than two years ago.

Writing for The Washington Post, Charles Kushner made the case his son helped steer Kushner Companies down the path to massive success as CEO from 2008-2017. He focused on the company's 2007 purchase of 666 Fifth Ave. in New York City for most of his piece.

"Critics of our 666 Fifth Ave. purchase often focus their attacks on my son Jared Kushner, who became chief executive in 2008. That criticism is also baseless," the elder Kushner wrote. "You wouldn't know it from the way his nine-year stewardship of the company has been portrayed, but before he resigned to join the Trump administration in 2017, Jared led major property acquisitions worth more than $5 billion, and the company grew from about 50 employees to more than 700.

"We now have more than $7 billion of assets under management."

Kushner then outlined some of the steps the company took as his son was preparing to work in the White House.

"When he left the company, Jared took several steps to preclude conflicts of interest. At the recommendation of his legal counsel, in consultation with the Office of Government Ethics, he divested from more than 80 partnerships, including 666 Fifth Ave., at a substantial financial sacrifice," Kushner wrote.

"We walled off Jared from receiving information on the company, and he resigned as the controlling partner in more than 100 entities. This was all done out of an abundance of caution."

Source: NewsMax

Charles Kushner, the father of President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, argued in a rare opinion piece his family real estate business is healthy and took several steps to prevent a conflict of interest when Jared Kushner joined the Trump administration more than two years ago.

Writing for The Washington Post, Charles Kushner made the case his son helped steer Kushner Companies down the path to massive success as CEO from 2008-2017. He focused on the company's 2007 purchase of 666 Fifth Ave. in New York City for most of his piece.

"Critics of our 666 Fifth Ave. purchase often focus their attacks on my son Jared Kushner, who became chief executive in 2008. That criticism is also baseless," the elder Kushner wrote. "You wouldn't know it from the way his nine-year stewardship of the company has been portrayed, but before he resigned to join the Trump administration in 2017, Jared led major property acquisitions worth more than $5 billion, and the company grew from about 50 employees to more than 700.

"We now have more than $7 billion of assets under management."

Kushner then outlined some of the steps the company took as his son was preparing to work in the White House.

"When he left the company, Jared took several steps to preclude conflicts of interest. At the recommendation of his legal counsel, in consultation with the Office of Government Ethics, he divested from more than 80 partnerships, including 666 Fifth Ave., at a substantial financial sacrifice," Kushner wrote.

"We walled off Jared from receiving information on the company, and he resigned as the controlling partner in more than 100 entities. This was all done out of an abundance of caution."

Source: NewsMax

Former Tallahassee mayor and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum, calling his state "unorganized," on Wednesday told Politico he plans to launch a massive voter registration effort to register 1 million new voters before the 2020 presidential election.

"We're looking at a target of 1 million – we've got over 3 million people eligible to vote, and that's to say nothing of the 1.4 million returning citizens,” he said in reference to the former felons who will have their voting rights restored following a constitutional amendment approved by voters last year.

"Voter registration is red flag No. 1," he added.

Gillum on Wednesday also told The New York Times during a wide-ranging interview that Democrats have not been disciplined in Florida and organizing is key to defeating President Donald Trump.

"When you don't have a governor who can raise money for a party in 24 years, it's very difficult for you to expect that party to turn on a dime and pull rabbits out of the hat," he said. "I'd say it's a failure, writ large, of how people have treated Florida when it comes to organizing. It's a state to go to when you want a presidential win, but outside of that? Good luck."

Gillum told The Daily Beast he plans to pull from his list of supporters and volunteers to help register new voters.

"We're going to be a major player and deliver Florida to whoever the Democratic nominee is," he told the news outlet.

Source: NewsMax

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y.—House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had no interest Wednesday in discussing the potential presidential candidacy of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Responding to a reporter’s question about de Blasio’s possible candidacy during a press conference at the New York Tenement Museum, Pelosi said, “I always say when somebody is serious about running, I’ll be serious about commenting on it. I think the mayor is serious about it.”

She added, “But when he makes his announcement, I’ll answer your question.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio at NYC Press Conf. 3/20/19 (Credit/The Daily Caller: Kerry Picket)

“Well-handled,” de Blasio said of Speaker Pelosi’s response.

The California Democrat made the remark as she stood with the mayor and Democratic members of the New York congressional delegation, who discussed and took questions about the Democrats’ new legislation known as the “Dream and Promise Act,” which is intended to give a pathway to citizenship to over 1 million illegal immigrants.

Regarding Pelosi’s comments about his interest in running for the White House, de Blasio shot back, “What Speaker Pelosi said, which I think is fair, is that she‘ll comment when someone is a declared candidate. I think that’s a fair statement.”

Mayor de Blasio has made multiple trips to the key early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire since he was elected mayor in 2014. During his most recent trip to Manchester, New Hampshire, this week, he was asked when he will decide if he will actually throw his hat into the Democratic presidential primary ring. (RELATED: Bill De Blasio Draws Six-Person Crowd In New Hampshire)

“Sooner rather than later,” the mayor said.

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 Kerry Picket is a host on SiriusXM Patriot 125

Source: The Daily Caller

Beto O’Rourke “enjoys a set of privileges in his decision making that” others don’t, former Tallahassee mayor and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum said Wednesday in an interview with The New York Times.

“Can you imagine it for any of the women that are in the race for president or considering a run?” Gillum said during a wide-ranging interview where he said he wasn’t running for president and outlined his plans to help Democrats win the presidency in 2020.

“They probably could not muse out loud, or in the recesses of their mind have these sorts of conversations and then say them out loud, and think it would be taken seriously or they would be taken seriously.”

“I recognize that, but, as I understand it, the congressman also recognizes that there is privilege that accompanies him here,” he added. “That doesn’t make him less deserving of consideration, it’s just something that has to be acknowledged.”

O’Rourke, the former representative who lost a close race for senator to Ted Cruz last November in deep-red Texas, announced his candidacy last week.

The Times’ asked whether O’Rourke’s entrance into the presidential race was a “sign of privilege, as some have suggested.”

O’Rourke has described himself as a white man who has had privileges, and last week said he would be more thoughtful in “the way in which I acknowledge the truth of the criticism that I have enjoyed white privilege.”

Source: NewsMax

  • Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe has repeatedly spread conspiracy theories. 
  • Tribe has amplified conspiracies about President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia teaming up to expose Jeff Bezos and Russia orchestrating a plane crash to cover up collusion, among others.
  • Tribe’s role as internet conspiracist hasn’t kept media outlets from promoting him on TV and in news articles.

Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe has habitually spread conspiracy theories, but that hasn’t prevented him from maintaining a presence in the national media.

Tribe was among several high-profile figures to amplify a false conspiracy theory in February that President Donald Trump had teamed up with Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Salman to leak Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s affair to the National Enquirer.

“Are Donald Trump and the murderous Saudi Prince bin Salman co-conspirators with David Pecker and AMI in a failed criminal plot to blackmail and extort Jeff Bezos as owner of the Washington Post? Asking for a friend in the Southern District of New York,” Tribe wrote on Twitter, where he has more than 492,000 followers. (RELATED: Majority Of Democrats Believe A Straight-Up Conspiracy Theory)

His conspiratorial post was shared thousands of times across Twitter.

Screenshot/Twitter

Screenshot/Twitter

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the Enquirer had paid the brother of Bezos’s mistress $200,000 for text messages between the two lovers, confirming a Daily Beast report that identified the brother — not the Saudis — as the Enquirer’s source. Tribe’s tweet was still up as of Wednesday evening.

The Harvard Law professor has made a habit of spreading baseless conspiracy theories, seemingly without repercussion.

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Attorney Laurence H. Tribe attends The ACLU of Southern California’s 2011 Bill of Rights Dinner at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on Dec. 12, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

In one instance, Tribe implied that a Russian plane crash in February 2018 was a cover-up of collusion between Trump and Russia.

His tweet, which again received thousands of retweets, read: “Among those killed in the tragic plane crash yesterday: Sergei Millian, a Papadopoulis [sic] friend who had emailed Kushner and is said to be behind one of the most salacious claims in the dossier on Trump’s involvement with Russia. Probably just coincidence. .”

He sarcastically added that the “coincidence” “[s]ounds plausible.”

Tribe’s viral claim was nowhere close to the truth. Millian wasn’t on the plane.

In December 2018, Tribe shared a left-wing blog post titled “Mueller Hints That Mike Pence May Be Indicted Soon.” There is no evidence to support that headline, and the vice president has not been indicted.

“The title of this piece gets well ahead of its skis in terms of actual substance,” Tribe conceded, before continuing “but the evidence described provides rich food for thought. And if Pence is truly in Mueller’s cross-hairs, that’s a huge game-changer.”

No reporting to date supports the claim that Pence is “in Mueller’s cross-hairs.” The blog Tribe cited, PoliticusUSA.com, has a track record of spreading misinformation.

In January, Tribe cited the same blog to say that Trump’s announcement of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plans to travel to Afghanistan during the government shutdown bordered on “treason” by giving “aid and comfort” to the Taliban.

Tribe’s role as internet conspiracist hasn’t prevented national media outlets from elevating his profile, quoting him in their articles and hosting him on their panels.

Tribe has appeared on MSNBC five times this year, according to a transcript search on the media monitoring service Grabien.

The Washington Post cited Tribe in an article Monday about Republican Iowa Rep. Steve King, who shared a meme on Facebook saying that Republican states would win in a civil war because they have “8 trillion more bullets.” King deleted the post after criticism.

The Post quoted a tweet from Tribe, who said that King “isn’t actually COMMITTING treason, but he is fomenting and inciting it.” Tribe said King’s meme provided the House of Representatives “[a]mple reason to expel him.”

Tribe’s media appearances have continued long after a May 2017 BuzzFeed report noted his established track record of spreading anti-Trump conspiracy theories.

In one instance BuzzFeed documented, Tribe shared an article from the Palmer Report, a left-wing blog known for spreading misinformation, that claimed Trump had paid then-Republican Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz “$10 million in Russian money” in advance of the 2016 election.

The only source for the conspiracy theory was a tweet from an anonymous Twitter user.

Follow Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson

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

Whitney Tipton | Contributor

Authorities arrested a California man Tuesday for allegedly setting up phony PACs and websites to raise money for Democrats.

Prosecutors charged John Pierre Dupont, 80, with wire fraud and identity theft, NBC News reported. He allegedly used $250,000 raised to pay personal expenses, including the purchase of a Mercedes-Benz.

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York allege Dupont established three fraudulent political action committees and at least a dozen websites to raise money for various campaigns, including for Democratic 2020 presidential contenders Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke. Dupont set up a website claiming to raise money “to unite immigrant families,” the complaint also alleges.

Geoffrey Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks at a press conference about the apprehension of a suspect in the recent spate of mail bombings at the Department of Justice on October 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Geoffrey Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks at a press conference in Washington, DC. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

“Thousands of donors believed their hard-earned money was being used to support the causes described in solicitations, but in reality, the scam PACs had no operations beyond the fundraising itself, and no funds were used to support candidates,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. (RELATED: Woman Who Climbed Statue Of Liberty To Protest Trump Sentenced To 5 Years Probation)

The criminal complaint alleges Dupont accepted $250,000 across various fraudulent entities since 2015, zero of which was ever actually donated to any candidate or cause. Instead, Dupont paid his rent, made cash withdrawal and used approximately $25,300 to purchase a Mercedes-Benz sedan, the complaint alleges.

In addition to the criminal charges, the complaint notes that Dupont failed to report any of the donations to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Dupont served time for convictions in 1985 of mail fraud and again in 1991 of bank fraud and money laundering, the Los Angeles Times reported. At one point in 1992, Dupont escaped from a minimum-security federal prison in Oregon. Federal authorities captured Dupont in 1997 and released him in 1999.

The charges carry up to 22 years if Dupont is convicted.

Follow Whitney on Twitter

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

Whitney Tipton | Contributor

Authorities arrested a California man Tuesday for allegedly setting up phony PACs and websites to raise money for Democrats.

Prosecutors charged John Pierre Dupont, 80, with wire fraud and identity theft, NBC News reported. He allegedly used $250,000 raised to pay personal expenses, including the purchase of a Mercedes-Benz.

Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York allege Dupont established three fraudulent political action committees and at least a dozen websites to raise money for various campaigns, including for Democratic 2020 presidential contenders Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke. Dupont set up a website claiming to raise money “to unite immigrant families,” the complaint also alleges.

Geoffrey Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks at a press conference about the apprehension of a suspect in the recent spate of mail bombings at the Department of Justice on October 26, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Geoffrey Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks at a press conference in Washington, DC. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

“Thousands of donors believed their hard-earned money was being used to support the causes described in solicitations, but in reality, the scam PACs had no operations beyond the fundraising itself, and no funds were used to support candidates,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. (RELATED: Woman Who Climbed Statue Of Liberty To Protest Trump Sentenced To 5 Years Probation)

The criminal complaint alleges Dupont accepted $250,000 across various fraudulent entities since 2015, zero of which was ever actually donated to any candidate or cause. Instead, Dupont paid his rent, made cash withdrawal and used approximately $25,300 to purchase a Mercedes-Benz sedan, the complaint alleges.

In addition to the criminal charges, the complaint notes that Dupont failed to report any of the donations to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Dupont served time for convictions in 1985 of mail fraud and again in 1991 of bank fraud and money laundering, the Los Angeles Times reported. At one point in 1992, Dupont escaped from a minimum-security federal prison in Oregon. Federal authorities captured Dupont in 1997 and released him in 1999.

The charges carry up to 22 years if Dupont is convicted.

Follow Whitney on Twitter

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

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Houston Astros
FILE PHOTO: Mar 20, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) prior to a spring training game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports – 12384288

March 20, 2019

Carlos Correa hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning and the Houston Astros went on to a 2-1 spring training victory over the New York Yankees at Kissimmee, Fla.

Astros starter Wade Miley gave up one run on three hits over 4 2/3 innings as five Astros pitchers held the Yankees to four hits on the day.

Gary Sanchez drove in the only run for the Yankees on a double in the first inning.

Braves 8, Blue Jays 7

Andy Wilkins hit a home run and drove in two runs while Charlie Culberson and Ronald Acuna Jr. each also drove in two as Atlanta won at Dunedin, Fla. Kevin Pillar and Teoscar Hernandez each hit a home run for Toronto.

Tigers 3, Phillies 1

Josh Harrison hit a home run and Spencer Turnbull pitched five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts as Detroit won at Clearwater, Fla. Bryce Harper had a single and scored the only run for Philadelphia on an Odubel Herrera ground ball.

Marlins 6, Cardinals 0

Neil Walker hit a home run and Pablo Lopez gave up just two hits over six scoreless innings as Florida won at Jupiter, Fla. Drew Robinson had two of the three St. Louis hits.

Pirates 6, Twins 5

Colin Moran had a pair of RBI singles as Pittsburgh scored all six runs over the final two innings for the victory at Fort Myers, Fla. Jonathan Schoop hit a home run for Minnesota.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Houston Astros
FILE PHOTO: Mar 20, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) prior to a spring training game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports – 12384288

March 20, 2019

Carlos Correa hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning and the Houston Astros went on to a 2-1 spring training victory over the New York Yankees at Kissimmee, Fla.

Astros starter Wade Miley gave up one run on three hits over 4 2/3 innings as five Astros pitchers held the Yankees to four hits on the day.

Gary Sanchez drove in the only run for the Yankees on a double in the first inning.

Braves 8, Blue Jays 7

Andy Wilkins hit a home run and drove in two runs while Charlie Culberson and Ronald Acuna Jr. each also drove in two as Atlanta won at Dunedin, Fla. Kevin Pillar and Teoscar Hernandez each hit a home run for Toronto.

Tigers 3, Phillies 1

Josh Harrison hit a home run and Spencer Turnbull pitched five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts as Detroit won at Clearwater, Fla. Bryce Harper had a single and scored the only run for Philadelphia on an Odubel Herrera ground ball.

Marlins 6, Cardinals 0

Neil Walker hit a home run and Pablo Lopez gave up just two hits over six scoreless innings as Florida won at Jupiter, Fla. Drew Robinson had two of the three St. Louis hits.

Pirates 6, Twins 5

Colin Moran had a pair of RBI singles as Pittsburgh scored all six runs over the final two innings for the victory at Fort Myers, Fla. Jonathan Schoop hit a home run for Minnesota.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Late senator John McCain is honored during the 2018 Iran Uprising Summit in New York
Late senator John McCain is honored during the 2018 Iran Uprising Summit in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 22, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky

March 20, 2019

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The widow and daughter of John McCain on Wednesday criticized President Donald Trump and his online supporters for repeated attacks on the former U.S. senator, Republican presidential nominee and Vietnam War hero who was tortured during five and a half years spent as a prisoner of war.

Speaking on Wednesday to an employee at an Ohio factory that makes military tanks, Trump again hammered McCain.

“So I have to be honest, I’ve never liked him much,” Trump said. “I really probably never will. But there are certain reasons for it.”

Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late senator, spent the last few days defending her father and politely criticizing Trump. On Wednesday she said the president had reached “a new, bizarre low – attacking someone who is not here is a new low.”

She also said, “If I had told my dad … he would think it is so hilarious that our president was so jealous of him that he was dominating the news cycle in death.”

Barely six months after McCain’s death, Trump started the latest exchange between himself and the McCain clan on Sunday in a blast of Tweets, including one that attacked “‘last in his class’ (Annapolis) John McCain.”

A spokeswoman for Meghan McCain said she was not immediately available for further comment.

Cindy McCain, the senator’s widow, sarcastically urged her Twitter followers to “see how kind and loving a stranger can be” and shared with them an online message from someone who described John McCain as a “traitorous piece of warmongering shit and I’m glad he’s dead.”

On Tuesday, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office while sitting next the president of Brazil, Trump added: “I never was a fan of John McCain, and I never will be.”

The tweets and soundbites triggered a swirl of anti-McCain attacks and pro-McCain appeals on social media, like the one Cindy McCain shared, and cable TV discussion.

Without rebuking Trump, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in a Tweet: “Today and every day I miss my good friend John McCain. It was a blessing to serve alongside a rare patriot and genuine American hero in the Senate.”

Republican Senator Johnny Isakson was more critical. In an interview with Georgia Public Broadcasting on Wednesday, he called Trump’s remarks about McCain “deplorable.”

The White House had no comment on Trump’s latest attacks.

Trump on Wednesday expressed concern about McCain’s role in the handling of a “dossier,” compiled before the 2016 U.S. presidential election by a former British spy and paid for by lawyers for the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The dossier alleged Russian financial dealings with Trump and included salacious personal details that remain unconfirmed. After the election, a copy of the dossier was given to McCain, who gave it to the FBI, according to court documents that were made public last week.

Trump and his supporters have aggressively attacked the document ever since its contents became public.

“John McCain received a fake and phony dossier … He got it, and what did he do? He didn’t call me,” Trump said during his visit to the Ohio factory. “He turned it over to the FBI hoping to put me in jeopardy and that’s not the nicest thing to do.”

(Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh, Dan Grebler and Nick Carey)

Source: OANN

Matt M. Miller | Contributor

Pro-choice students at the University of Michigan were caught on video Friday allegedly vandalizing a pro-life display created by the Students for Life organization.

Though Students for Life had the university’s permission to set up their display, a women with purple hair and a black trench coat—along with several others—proceeded to collect pink crosses that were stuck in the ground. The display was comprised of 1,000 pink crosses, that were arranged at 9 a.m. Friday.

The video shows them putting the crosses in trash bags and claiming that they were “just cleaning up garbage on the school’s campus,” when confronted by Students For Life organizers. (RELATED: New York Passes Bill On Roe v. Wade Anniversary Casting Abortion As A Woman’s Right)

The pink crosses were a part of Students For Life’s #PlannedParenthoodTruth Tour, in which the pro-life organization tours college campuses to spread the word about “Planned Parenthood’s poor track record on helping women,” according to the Students for Life website.

At around 12:50 p.m., Kaylena Wiederhold, Students for Life’s Michigan regional coordinator, approached the people who were vandalizing the arrangement, asking why they were stealing Students for Life’s property. (RELATED: Supreme Court Legalized Abortion 46 Years Ago. Here’s A Look At Abortion Across The US)

“Is there a reason why you’re doing this?” Wiederhold asked the purple-haired girl.

“Because we disagree with it,” she said plainly.

She then continues to contest the fact that the crosses in the display are Students for Life’s property, refusing to stop throwing them away.

She only complies after being instructed by campus police to stop what she is doing and return the crosses to Students for Life. In response, she dumps her trash bag full of crosses on the ground and walked away, refusing to put the crosses back where she found them.

Source: The Daily Caller

Matt M. Miller | Contributor

Pro-choice students at the University of Michigan were caught on video Friday allegedly vandalizing a pro-life display created by the Students for Life organization.

Though Students for Life had the university’s permission to set up their display, a women with purple hair and a black trench coat—along with several others—proceeded to collect pink crosses that were stuck in the ground. The display was comprised of 1,000 pink crosses, that were arranged at 9 a.m. Friday.

The video shows them putting the crosses in trash bags and claiming that they were “just cleaning up garbage on the school’s campus,” when confronted by Students For Life organizers. (RELATED: New York Passes Bill On Roe v. Wade Anniversary Casting Abortion As A Woman’s Right)

The pink crosses were a part of Students For Life’s #PlannedParenthoodTruth Tour, in which the pro-life organization tours college campuses to spread the word about “Planned Parenthood’s poor track record on helping women,” according to the Students for Life website.

At around 12:50 p.m., Kaylena Wiederhold, Students for Life’s Michigan regional coordinator, approached the people who were vandalizing the arrangement, asking why they were stealing Students for Life’s property. (RELATED: Supreme Court Legalized Abortion 46 Years Ago. Here’s A Look At Abortion Across The US)

“Is there a reason why you’re doing this?” Wiederhold asked the purple-haired girl.

“Because we disagree with it,” she said plainly.

She then continues to contest the fact that the crosses in the display are Students for Life’s property, refusing to stop throwing them away.

She only complies after being instructed by campus police to stop what she is doing and return the crosses to Students for Life. In response, she dumps her trash bag full of crosses on the ground and walked away, refusing to put the crosses back where she found them.

Source: The Daily Caller

Mary Margaret Olohan | Reporter

Democratic New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a 2020 hopeful, said social security and a pathway to citizenship should be rights for immigrants “in the country now” Tuesday at a campaign event in Iowa.

“I have a lot of ideas,” Gillibrand said. “First, we need comprehensive immigration reform. If you are in this country now, you must have the right to pay into social security, to pay your taxes, to pay into the local school system, and to have a pathway to citizenship.”

Gillibrand has been vocal in her thoughts on immigration.

“Immigration is not a security issue. It is an economic and a humanitarian and a family issue,” she said during a town hall with MSNBC on Monday.

She also added there is “no such thing as an illegal human.”

WATCH:

Gillibrand’s words come after she announced her entrance in the 2020 race Sunday. (RELATED: Gillibrand Makes Her First Political Flip Flop Since Announcing Presidential Run)

She also recently said illegal immigrants should be allowed to receive driver’s licenses — though she was formerly against this.

She said in 2007 she did not support giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. She changed her mind in January, saying, “I think we have to make it possible for people to provide for their families.”

Follow Mary Margaret on Twitter.

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

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: An AT&T logo is seen at a AT&T building in New York City
FILE PHOTO: An AT&T logo is seen at a AT&T building in New York City, October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo

March 20, 2019

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – AT&T Inc Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said Wednesday that China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is making it very difficult for European carriers to drop the company from its supply chain for next-generation 5G wireless service.

“If you have deployed Huawei as your 4G network, Huawei is not allowing interoperability to 5G — meaning if you are 4G, you are stuck with Huawei for 5G,” said Stephenson at a speech in Washington. “When the Europeans say we got a problem — that’s their problem. They really don’t have an option to go to somebody else.”

The United States has been pressuring other countries to drop Huawei from their networks. Stephenson said the U.S. government could do a better job explaining the security risks of Huawei. “The biggest risk is not that the Chinese government might listen in on our conversations or mine our data if we use their equipment,” Stephenson said.

Within a decade, 5G will drive all U.S. factories, utilities, refineries, traffic management and help underpin autonomous vehicles. “If that much of infrastructure will be attached to this kind of technology do we want to be cautious about who is the underlying company behind that technology. We damn well better be,” Stephenson said.

Huawei did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

The United States warns that next-generation 5G equipment, which some telecoms experts see as more vulnerable to attack than previous technology, could be exploited by the Chinese government for spying if supplied by Huawei.

Huawei has grown rapidly to become the world’s biggest maker of telecoms equipment and is embedded in the mobile networks and 5G plans of many European operators. It denies that its technology represents a security risk.

In the United States, 5G networks will largely be built by Nordic equipment makers Ericsson and Nokia , and Strayer said there were safer alternatives to Huawei.

The United States has also alleged Huawei violated its sanctions on Iran and stole intellectual property. No evidence of spying has been presented publicly even as scrutiny on Huawei has intensified, and several Western countries have restricted the firm’s access to their markets.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday Germany was not planning to exclude any one company from its 5G auction per se, but rather wanted bidders in the mobile spectrum auction to meet certain requirements.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

Jeans trousers are displayed at a Levi Strauss store in New York
Jeans trousers are displayed at a Levi Strauss store in New York, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

March 20, 2019

(Reuters) – Levi Strauss & Co’s initial public offering of 36.7 million shares was priced at $17 per share, above the expected range of $14 to $16.

The shares are expected to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the ticker “LEVI”.

(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

Source: OANN

Late senator John McCain is honored during the 2018 Iran Uprising Summit in New York
Late senator John McCain is honored during the 2018 Iran Uprising Summit in Manhattan, New York, U.S., September 22, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky

March 20, 2019

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The widow and daughter of John McCain – former U.S. senator, Republican presidential nominee and Vietnam War hero – on Wednesday criticized President Donald Trump and his online supporters for attacking McCain and his family.

Speaking on Wednesday to an employee at an Ohio factory that makes military tanks, Trump again hammered McCain. “So I have to be honest, I’ve never liked him much,” Trump said. “I really probably never will. But there are certain reasons for it.”

Meghan McCain, the daughter of the late senator, spent the last few days defending her father and politely criticizing Trump. On Wednesday she said the president had reached “a new, bizarre low – attacking someone who is not here is a new low.”

She also said, “If I had told my dad… he would think it is so hilarious that our president was so jealous of him that he was dominating the news cycle in death.”

Barely six months after McCain’s death, Trump started the latest exchange between himself and the McCain clan on Sunday in a blast of Tweets, including one that attacked “‘last in his class’ (Annapolis) John McCain.”

A spokeswoman for Meghan McCain said she was not immediately available for further comment.

Cindy McCain, the senator’s widow, sarcastically urged her Twitter followers to “see how kind and loving a stranger can be” and shared with them an online message from someone who described John McCain as a “traitorous piece of warmongering shit and I’m glad he’s dead.”

On Tuesday, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office while sitting next the president of Brazil, Trump added: “I never was a fan of John McCain, and I never will be.”

The tweets and soundbites triggered a swirl of anti-McCain attacks and pro-McCain appeals on social media, like the one Cindy McCain shared, and cable TV discussion.

Without rebuking Trump, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in a Tweet: “Today and every day I miss my good friend John McCain. It was a blessing to serve alongside a rare patriot and genuine American hero in the Senate.”

The White House had no comment on Trump’s latest attacks.

(Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Dan Grebler)

Source: OANN

Chris White | Energy Reporter

The number of public record requests to the Environmental Protection Agency from major media outlets exploded shortly after President Donald Trump was elected, The Free Beacon reported Wednesday.

The New York Times made only 13 Freedom of Information Act requests during former President Barack Obama’s second term, the report notes, citing an analysis of FOIA requests dating back to 2013. The data sets show that The NYT quadrupled that number during the first year of Trump’s presidency, sending 59 FOIA requests to the EPA that year. The paper sent 100 over the course of Trump’s entire first term.

The NYT was not the only outlet that saw its FOIAs spiked. Reporters at The Washington Post, meanwhile, sent only one FOIA request to the agency during Obama’s entire second term, and have sent more than 40 FOIA requests to the EPA since 2016, when Trump was elected. (RELATED: Media Take Aim At Trump’s EPA For Doing What Obama Used To Do With FOIAs)

Then Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt walks during a picnic for military families celebrating Independence Day at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 4, 2018. Picture taken July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Politico, which reported extensively on former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s ethical troubles, filed 15 requests during Obama’s second term and 198 since Trump took office. CNN’s numbers ballooned as well — the news channel sent 25 requests during Obama’s second term and 47 since.

Pruitt’s agency haggled with waves of EPA requests dating back to the previous administration. EPA FOIA officers had responded as of October 2017, to 70 percent of the 652 requests left open at the beginning of that year, according to an agency release. Some requests had been open since 2008.

EPA received 11,493 FOIA requests in fiscal year 2017, which is the most they’ve gotten since 2007 when outside groups filed 11,820 records requests. The agency got 995 more FOIAs in 2017 than in 2016.

Follow Chris White on Facebook and Twitter

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


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