WALL

FILE PHOTO: The Viacom office is seen in Hollywood, Los Angeles
FILE PHOTO: The Viacom office is seen in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

March 22, 2019

By Helen Coster, Liana B. Baker and Kenneth Li

(Reuters) – Viacom Inc’s bitter contract renewal talks with AT&T Inc’s DirecTV that could see the blackout of MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central by midnight Friday are weighing on a possible tie-up of CBS and Viacom, sources familiar with the discussions said.

Although the boards of CBS and Viacom have not discussed or decided on pursuing a merger, these sources say they are studying AT&T’s impact on Viacom and how it affects the company’s motivation to pursue a CBS merger. Viacom needs to resolve the AT&T contract before considering any other strategic moves including mergers and acquisitions, sources said.

Both companies are controlled by the Redstone family’s National Amusements Inc, which pushed for a merger last year but backed off as CBS explores other options before deciding on another run at Viacom.

Viacom would take a substantial financial hit without an AT&T deal. AT&T is Viacom’s largest distributor, representing 24.5 million total video subscribers, and was responsible for about 15 percent of Viacom’s 2018 revenue. At stake are about $2 billion annually in fees and advertising, which are seen declining in any new deal, according to Wall Street estimates.

The 2017 Viacom and Charter Communications Inc renewal resulted in a 15 percent rate decrease. A similar outcome with AT&T could lead to a $156 million drop in annual affiliate fees paid by AT&T to Viacom, although some analysts have estimated an approximate 10 percent decrease this time.

Viacom and AT&T declined to comment. Negotiations continued as of Friday afternoon, sources said.

Failure to reach a deal is seen emboldening CBS and Viacom’s controlling shareholder’s position to put the companies together to give them better leverage in future distribution contract talks.

“Viacom’s clear need for greater negotiating leverage after being dropped by AT&T might be the final factor necessary to drive the long-speculated CBS-Viacom merger given the common control of both companies by the Redstone-controlled National Amusements,” Credit Suisse analyst Doug Mitchelson said in a research note this week.

If AT&T and Viacom walk away from the table, the No. 2 U.S. telecoms company’s position could also be weakened, especially if it faces a combined CBS and Viacom by the end of June, when CBS’s contract with AT&T expires.

Dropping the CBS broadcast network and NFL games would be disastrous to AT&T, and they may end up paying more for Viacom channels through CBS, analysts have said.

Losing Viacom will also weaken AT&T’s leverage as it faces Walt Disney Co and Fox later this year.

(Reporting by Kenneth Li, Helen Coster and Liana B. Baker; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

Audrey Conklin | Reporter

China’s communist government has been steadily trying to eradicate a Muslim ethnic group in the ancient city of Urumqui for several years, though the impact hasn’t been completely visible until now.

While the West has only known about this crisis in Urumqui for several years because of the area’s strict government security, China is making steady progress with its destruction of a once-vibrant community, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Nearly 13 million Turcik Muslims — the majority of whom are Uighur Muslims — make up the northwestern territory of Xinjiang, China, where Urumqui is located. Turcik Muslims have appeared in recorded Chinese history since the third century A.D.

In the city of Urumqi specifically, Uighurs make up about 13 percent of the total population. In 2017, however, the total population of the city fell 15 percent, from 2.6 million to 2.2 million.

The government has already succeeded in forcing about 1 million Uighur people into internment camps that they’ve dubbed “boarding schools” or “re-education camps” in an effort to suppress their religious beliefs, which Chinese officials say will stay unless Uighurs give up Islam. In more recent developments, the government is destroying homes, businesses and general Uighur existence in the area. (RELATED: China Strongly Implies Muslim Internment Camps Will Never Go Away)

“When plans for Urumqi’s urban overhaul were announced in 2017, the party-controlled Xinjiang Daily said the government would offer compensation to residents forced to move, and planned new residential districts ‘designed with full consideration of the customs and convenience of all ethnic groups,’” The Journal explains.

An ethnic Uighur women reads a newspaper on display on a notice board in the city of Urumqi in China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region/ REUTERS/David Gray

An ethnic Uighur women reads a newspaper on display on a notice board in the city of Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region/ REUTERS/David Gray

While there were about 400 active mosques in Uighur in 2015, there are now only bare-boned remnants of places of worship. Traditional Uighur restaurants and food stands have closed; Uighur language books have been removed from stores; signs written in the Uighur language have been replaced by Chinese characters; homes have been destroyed as Uighur communities are forced out of the area. And as these places disappear, they are replaced by stores and restaurants meant to appeal to Chinese tourists.

The government has allocated billions to Urumqi for infrastructure spending. In 2017, fixed assets exceeded $30 billion to invest in infrastructure, factories and other building (or rebuilding) plans for the city. In 2018, Urumqi spent $10 billion to destroy the city’s increasingly abandoned outskirts.

And those Uighur people who are still living outside of internment camps organized by the government have been subject to massively invasive digital surveillance. (RELATED: Uighur Muslim Woman Recalls Torture In Chinese Government Internment Camp: ‘I Thought I Would Rather Die’)

As The Journal explains, “It is nearly impossible to move about the region without feeling the unrelenting gaze of the government. Citizens and visitors alike must run a daily gauntlet of police checkpoints, surveillance cameras and machines scanning their ID cards, faces, eyeballs and sometimes entire bodies.”

The Chinese government justifies its massive crackdown on this specific population of citizens as a way to keep China unified and safe from radical Islamic terrorism.

A recent TIME magazine article says China has arrested nearly 13,000 people it describes as terrorists in Xinjiang.

According to Human Rights Watch, “Domestic state media reports and government documents do talk about the [detainment] camps. They explain that these camps are necessary to cure the minds of Turkic Muslims who have an ‘ideological illness.’”

Source: The Daily Caller

A bill that would allow taxpayers to donate a part of their refunds to a nonprofit collecting money to build more border wall has successfully passed the Alabama Senate.

Alabama state senators voted 23-6 along party lines Thursday in favor of SB 22, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. The legislation would add We Build The Wall Inc. to a list of about 20 groups and programs on state income tax forms that residents can check off and donate with their tax refunds.

“I think it’s a way for Alabamians to say to the president and to the nation that we think strong border security is important. We want to promote that. We want Washington to build that wall,” GOP Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, the bill’s sponsor, stated according to The Associated Press.

“This bill is about sending a message to Washington that we support President Trump and his mission to secure our southern border,” Marsh said, who is mulling a 2020 U.S. Senate bid.

We Build The Wall — which began in December as a viral GoFundMe campaign by Air Force veteran and triple amputee Brian Kolfage — is a nonprofit group that is raising money for wall construction on the U.S.-Mexico border. The GoFundMe page is nearing $21,000,000 in donations.

However, the legislation may be more symbolic than anything else. Before funds from We Build The Wall can be used, Congress must vote to allow the money to be directed to the Department of Homeland Security. Given that the Democratic Party controls the House of Representatives, this is unlikely to happen in the immediate future.

The private contributions are rolling in as President Donald Trump continues to fight for more wall funding. Trump signed into law a resolution that gave him $1.375 billion to build 55 miles of barrier on the Texas border. He then declared a national emergency that has allowed him a total of $8 billion in funding, but numerous progressive groups are suing his emergency declaration in court.

People work on the U.S./ Mexican border wall on February 12, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

People work on the U.S.-Mexic0 border wall on Feb. 12, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The president, in his latest budget proposal, is asking for an additional $8.6 billion in wall funding.

Back in Alabama, local Democrats derided SB 22, which will later be voted on by the state House.

“What about the Northern border? More people are crossing over the Northern border but you don’t want to pay them any attention,” Alabama state Sen. Bobby Singleton, a Democrat who called the measure a “feel good” bill, said according to AP. (RELATED: Overwhelmed ICE Facilities Forced To Release 100,000 Illegal Aliens In Past Three Months)

Singleton’s comments are technically correct. Over 960 people have illegally crossed the U.S.-Canada border in 2018, according to government data, representing a 91 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. However, that number remains a minuscule fraction of the apprehensions taking place on the U.S.-Mexico border, where border officials expect to find nearly 100,000 foreign nationals in the month of March alone.

Follow Jason 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

The logo of Apple company is seen outside an Apple store in Bordeaux
The logo of Apple company is seen outside an Apple store in Bordeaux, France, March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

March 22, 2019

(Reuters) – Apple Inc is expected to unveil a new video streaming service and a news subscription platform at an event on Monday at its California headquarters.

The iPhone maker is banking on growing its services business to offset a dip in smartphone sales.

While the Wall Street Journal plans to join Apple’s new subscription news service, other major publishers, including the New York Times and the Washington Post, have declined, according to a New York Times report.

Apple has also partnered with Hollywood celebrities to make a streaming debut with a slate of original content, taking a page out of Netflix Inc’s playbook.

Below are some of the shows, curated from media reports and Apple’s own announcements, which are part of the iPhone maker’s content library.

SHOWS CONFIRMED BY APPLE:

** UNTITLED DRAMA SERIES WITH REESE WITHERSPOON AND JENNIFER ANISTON

Two seasons of a drama series starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston that looks at the lives of people working on a morning television show.

** REVIVAL OF STEVEN SPIELBERG’S 1985 “AMAZING STORIES”

The tech giant has also struck a deal with director Steven Spielberg to make new episodes of “Amazing Stories,” a science fiction and horror anthology series that ran on NBC in the 1980s.

** A NEW THRILLER BY M NIGHT SHYAMALAN

Plot of the story has not been disclosed.

** “ARE YOU SLEEPING?” – A MYSTERY SERIES

A drama featuring Octavia Spencer, based on a crime novel by Kathleen Barber.

** AN ANTHOLOGY SERIES CALLED “LITTLE AMERICA”

Focuses on stories of immigrants coming to the United States.

** AN ANIMATED CARTOON MUSICAL CALLED “CENTRAL PARK”

The animated musical comedy is about a family of caretakers who end up saving the park and the world.

** “DICKINSON”, AN EMILY DICKINSON COMEDY

A half-hour comedy series that is set during American poet Emily Dickinson’s era with a modern sensibility and tone.

** OPRAH WINFREY PARTNERSHIP

Apple in June last year announced a multi-year deal with Oprah Winfrey to create original programming.

SHOWS REPORTED BY MEDIA:

** TIME BANDITS – A FANTASY SERIES

The potential series is an adaptation of Terry Gilliam’s 1981 fantasy film of the same name, about a young boy who joins a group of renegade time-traveling dwarves, Deadline reported.

https://bit.ly/2FsYJgK

** UNTITLED “CAPTAIN MARVEL” STAR BRIE LARSON’S CIA PROJECT

The new series looks at a young woman’s journey in the CIA, reported Variety.

https://bit.ly/2H3ymAi

** DEFENDING JACOB – STARRING CAPTAIN AMERICA CHRIS EVANS

This limited series is based on the novel of the same name and is about an assistant district attorney, who is investigating the murder of a 14-year-old boy, according to Deadline.

https://bit.ly/2U84w3u

** “FOR ALL MANKIND” – A SCI-FI SERIES

A space drama from producer Ronald Moore, according to Deadline.

https://bit.ly/2uqPWWg

** MY GLORY WAS I HAD SUCH FRIENDS

A series featuring Jennifer Garner is based on the 2017 memoir of the same name by Amy Silverstein, reported Variety.

https://bit.ly/2Cy7UuO

** “SEE” – A FANTASY EPIC STARRING JASON MOMOA

The show poses the question about the fate of humanity if everyone lost their sight, Variety reported.

https://bit.ly/2TUETns

** FOUNDATION – A SCI-FI ADAPTATION

An adaptation of the iconic novel series from famed sci-fi author Isaac Asimov, Deadline reported. The book series follows a mathematician who predicts the collapse of humanity.

http://bit.ly/2CvAMUs

** A COMEDY SHOW BY ROB MCELHENNEY AND CHARLIE DAY

The sitcom comedy based on the lives of a diverse group of people who work together in a video game development studio, Variety reported.

https://bit.ly/2nqzy4V

** AN UNSCRIPTED SERIES “HOME” FROM THE DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER MATT TYRNAUER

The series will offer viewers a never-before-seen look inside the world’s most extraordinary homes and feature interviews with people who built them, according to Variety.

https://bit.ly/2JwmyIF

** UNTITLED RICHARD GERE SERIES

Based on an Israeli series Nevelot, the show is about two elderly Vietnam vets whose lives are changed when a woman they both love is killed in a car accident, Deadline reported.

http://bit.ly/2uksSsu

** J.J. ABRAMS-PRODUCED LITTLE VOICE

Singer and actress Sara Bareilles is writing the music and could possibly star in the J.J. Abrams-produced half-hour show, which explores the journey of finding one’s authentic voice in early 20s, according to Variety.

http://bit.ly/2TPSf4y

** THE PEANUTS GANG

Apple has acquired the rights to the famous characters and the first series will be a science and math oriented short featuring Snoopy as an astronaut, according to Hollywood Reporter.

http://bit.ly/2YdMagM

** ON THE ROCKS

A feature film, directed by Sofia Coppola, starring Bill Murray, is about a young mother who reconnects with her larger-than-life playboy father on an adventure through New York, Variety reported.

https://bit.ly/2Hf1Pb9

** LOSING EARTH

Apple has acquired the rights to a TV series based on Nathaniel Rich’s 70-page New York Times Magazine story “Losing Earth”, New York Times reported.

** THE ELEPHANT QUEEN

Apple has acquired the rights to Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble’s documentary The Elephant Queen, Deadline reported.

http://bit.ly/2HJR53k

** WOLFWALKERS

An Irish animation about a young hunter who comes to Ireland with her father to destroy a pack of evil wolves, but instead befriends a wild native girl who runs with them, first reported by Bloomberg.

https://bloom.bg/2JztBR5

** PACHINKO

Apple has secured the rights to develop Min Jin Lee’s best-selling novel, about four generations of a Korean immigrant family, into a series, reported Variety.

http://bit.ly/2FtEIXJ

** CALLS

Apple has bought the rights to make an English-language version of the French original short-form series, according to Variety.

http://bit.ly/2UQCabd

** SHANTARAM

Apple has won the rights to develop the hit novel Shantaram as a drama series, reported Variety.

https://bit.ly/2CAuG5c

** SWAGGER, A DRAMA SERIES BASED ON KEVIN DURANT

A drama series based on the early life and career of NBA superstar Kevin Durant, according to Variety.

https://bit.ly/2RFePbl

** YOU THINK IT, I’LL SAY IT

Apple has ordered a 10-episode, half-hour run of the comedy show, which is an adaptation of Curtis Sittenfeld’s short story collection by the same name, Variety reported.

https://bit.ly/2HzZt63

** WHIPLASH DIRECTOR DAMIEN CHAZELLE DRAMA SERIES

According to Variety, Apple has ordered a whole season of a series without first shooting a pilot, but no other details are known about the show.

http://bit.ly/2Fkfd9Q

** Apple may offer cut-priced bundles with video offering – The Information reported http://bit.ly/2HzcSLW on Thursday.

(Reporting by Sonam Rai and Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru)

Source: OANN

Adelle Nazarian | Contributor

San Francisco State University (SFSU), a part of the California State University system, agreed Wednesday to a settlement agreement that includes the acknowledgement of Zionism as an important part of Jewish identity, thereby safeguarding the rights of Jewish students on campus.

As part of the settlement agreement, SFSU acknowledged that it will issue a statement affirming that “it understands that, for many Jews, Zionism is an important part of their identity.”

The lawsuit was brought against SFSU by Winston and Strawn, LLP and The Lawfare Project on behalf of Liam Kern and Charles Volk, two SFSU students who alleged that the school and the CSU Board of Trustees engaged in anti-Semitism against them when SFSU revoked the on-campus Hillel chapter from participating in a “Know Your Rights” Fair on Feb. 28, 2017.

The “Know Your Rights” Fair is a university-sponsored event to which Hillel was originally invited. When the organizers learned the Jewish group’s participation, the students claimed that their invitation was rescinded and never reinstated.

In their legal case against their school, Kern and Volk argued that SFSU’s refusal to respond to the anti-Semitic incidents on campus, including the Hillel incident, was in violation of the Golden State’s Unruh Civil Rights Act. (RELATED: San Francisco Creates District For Trans People To Spread Gender-Fluid Culture)

On its website, The Lawfare Project noted that “San Francisco State University (SFSU) has earned a reputation as the most anti-Semitic college campus in the country after more than three decades of discrimination and abuse of Jewish students by their peers, their professors and their administrators alike.”

San Francisco (Brian Kinney/Shutterstock)

San Francisco (Brian Kinney/Shutterstock)

In December 2016, SFSU was listed as #10 in the Algemeiner’s list of “40 Worst Colleges for Jewish Students.” Nine out of the 40 colleges listed are located in California.

As part of the settlement agreement, SFSU will be required to hire a Jewish Student Life coordinator within the campus’s Division of Equity & Community Inclusion. The school will also allocate $200,000 “to support educational outreach efforts to promote viewpoint diversity” and will be legally bound to protect the rights of all students at the school, including those of Jewish and pro-Israel or Zionist students. (RELATED: Republicans Propose Resolution To Condemn Anti-Semitism And Omar)

Wednesday’s settlement could set the wheels in motion for similar changes at other universities throughout the United States who have also gained reputations for being anti-Semitic. It could also set a precedent for other publicly-funded campuses to address any anti-Semitism that exists throughout other educational systems.

“California State University’s public recognition that Zionism is an integral part of Jewish identity represents a major victory for Jewish students at SFSU and across the country,” Brooke Goldstein, executive director of The Lawfare Project, said in a public statement. “Today, we have ensured that SFSU will put in place important protections for Jewish and Zionist students to prevent continued discrimination. We are confident that this will change the campus climate for the better.”

Of Wednesday’s landmark victory, Goldstein said, “Not only is it unprecedented, but we achieved what the Democratic Members of Congress could not achieve: an unequivocal statement from a publicly-funded school that Zionism is an integral part of Judaism and you can no longer use the phrase, ‘I’m not anti-Semitic, I’m anti-Zionist’ to prevent [pro-Israel students] from participating in school programs.”

She added, “It’s an acknowledgment that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism because Zionism, for the majority of Jews, is the national liberation movement of the world’s largest ethnic minority. The two are intertwined completely. We pray facing Jerusalem. We say next year in Jerusalem.” (RELATED: Cruz Is Preparing A Resolution To Condemn Anti-Semitism)

Goldstein also said that the legal victory will also prevent “giving Jewish students a litmus test before participating in campus events. It will no longer be tolerated, nor will the targeted harassment of Jewish students because of their anti-Zionist bias… It’s always been true that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.”

Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Israel (trabantos/Shutterstock)

Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Israel (trabantos/Shutterstock)

Asked if The Lawfare Project would consider revisiting incidents over the past few decades where anti-Semitism was dismissed, she said, “It’s all about going forward. It’s all about today on.” She added, “We have changed the campus climate for Jewish students at SFSU forever. The students will no longer have to do what my clients had to do which is spend their time and communal resources to sue the school and uphold their civil rights.”

In a statement to the Jewish Journal, a university spokesperson said,

Today’s settlement in the Volk v CSU case brings an end to what has been a very emotional and challenging issue for all parties involved. We are pleased that we reached common ground on steps for moving forward. The settlement emphasizes the importance of improving student experiences and student lives. It allows SF State to reiterate its commitment to equity and inclusion for all – including those who are Jewish.

Source: The Daily Caller

Adelle Nazarian | Contributor

San Francisco State University (SFSU), a part of the California State University system, agreed Wednesday to a settlement agreement that includes the acknowledgement of Zionism as an important part of Jewish identity, thereby safeguarding the rights of Jewish students on campus.

As part of the settlement agreement, SFSU acknowledged that it will issue a statement affirming that “it understands that, for many Jews, Zionism is an important part of their identity.”

The lawsuit was brought against SFSU by Winston and Strawn, LLP and The Lawfare Project on behalf of Liam Kern and Charles Volk, two SFSU students who alleged that the school and the CSU Board of Trustees engaged in anti-Semitism against them when SFSU revoked the on-campus Hillel chapter from participating in a “Know Your Rights” Fair on Feb. 28, 2017.

The “Know Your Rights” Fair is a university-sponsored event to which Hillel was originally invited. When the organizers learned the Jewish group’s participation, the students claimed that their invitation was rescinded and never reinstated.

In their legal case against their school, Kern and Volk argued that SFSU’s refusal to respond to the anti-Semitic incidents on campus, including the Hillel incident, was in violation of the Golden State’s Unruh Civil Rights Act. (RELATED: San Francisco Creates District For Trans People To Spread Gender-Fluid Culture)

On its website, The Lawfare Project noted that “San Francisco State University (SFSU) has earned a reputation as the most anti-Semitic college campus in the country after more than three decades of discrimination and abuse of Jewish students by their peers, their professors and their administrators alike.”

San Francisco (Brian Kinney/Shutterstock)

San Francisco (Brian Kinney/Shutterstock)

In December 2016, SFSU was listed as #10 in the Algemeiner’s list of “40 Worst Colleges for Jewish Students.” Nine out of the 40 colleges listed are located in California.

As part of the settlement agreement, SFSU will be required to hire a Jewish Student Life coordinator within the campus’s Division of Equity & Community Inclusion. The school will also allocate $200,000 “to support educational outreach efforts to promote viewpoint diversity” and will be legally bound to protect the rights of all students at the school, including those of Jewish and pro-Israel or Zionist students. (RELATED: Republicans Propose Resolution To Condemn Anti-Semitism And Omar)

Wednesday’s settlement could set the wheels in motion for similar changes at other universities throughout the United States who have also gained reputations for being anti-Semitic. It could also set a precedent for other publicly-funded campuses to address any anti-Semitism that exists throughout other educational systems.

“California State University’s public recognition that Zionism is an integral part of Jewish identity represents a major victory for Jewish students at SFSU and across the country,” Brooke Goldstein, executive director of The Lawfare Project, said in a public statement. “Today, we have ensured that SFSU will put in place important protections for Jewish and Zionist students to prevent continued discrimination. We are confident that this will change the campus climate for the better.”

Of Wednesday’s landmark victory, Goldstein said, “Not only is it unprecedented, but we achieved what the Democratic Members of Congress could not achieve: an unequivocal statement from a publicly-funded school that Zionism is an integral part of Judaism and you can no longer use the phrase, ‘I’m not anti-Semitic, I’m anti-Zionist’ to prevent [pro-Israel students] from participating in school programs.”

She added, “It’s an acknowledgment that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism because Zionism, for the majority of Jews, is the national liberation movement of the world’s largest ethnic minority. The two are intertwined completely. We pray facing Jerusalem. We say next year in Jerusalem.” (RELATED: Cruz Is Preparing A Resolution To Condemn Anti-Semitism)

Goldstein also said that the legal victory will also prevent “giving Jewish students a litmus test before participating in campus events. It will no longer be tolerated, nor will the targeted harassment of Jewish students because of their anti-Zionist bias… It’s always been true that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.”

Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Israel (trabantos/Shutterstock)

Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, Israel (trabantos/Shutterstock)

Asked if The Lawfare Project would consider revisiting incidents over the past few decades where anti-Semitism was dismissed, she said, “It’s all about going forward. It’s all about today on.” She added, “We have changed the campus climate for Jewish students at SFSU forever. The students will no longer have to do what my clients had to do which is spend their time and communal resources to sue the school and uphold their civil rights.”

In a statement to the Jewish Journal, a university spokesperson said,

Today’s settlement in the Volk v CSU case brings an end to what has been a very emotional and challenging issue for all parties involved. We are pleased that we reached common ground on steps for moving forward. The settlement emphasizes the importance of improving student experiences and student lives. It allows SF State to reiterate its commitment to equity and inclusion for all – including those who are Jewish.

Source: The Daily Caller

President Donald Trump said in an interview airing Friday that he'd "love" competing against either former Vice President Joe Biden or Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 presidential race, but "we could dream" about a challenge from ex-Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

“I'd love to have Biden. I'd love to have Bernie, I'd love to have Beto," Trump told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo. "When I watch Beto, I say 'we could dream' about that…I mean, Beto seems to be the one the press has chosen. The press seems to have chosen Beto."

He said he "wouldn't mind" running against O'Rourke, who became nationally known when he narrowly lost against incumbent GOP Sen. Ted Cruz last year for the Texas Senate seat.

However, he slammed the El Paso Democrat for his comments that he would "absolutely" tear down a border wall in his hometown.

"So you have Beto, and Beto comes out and he says, ‘Let's take down the wall.’ If you ever took down the wall, this country would be overrun,” Trump said.

Trump said what he thinks about is competence.

"When I first ran, I was never a politician," said Trump. "I ran, I ran on a certain platform. I've done far more than I said I was going to do, when you look at the tax cuts, when you look at the regulation cuts more than any other president."

Sanders, I-Vt., has been running at the top of the pack of contenders for the Democratic nomination, along with Biden, who has not yet officially announced his candidacy.

Source: NewsMax

Mary Margaret Olohan | Reporter

Female news anchors and other women in New Zealand wore hijabs Friday in solidarity with the victims of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

They took their cue from a movement within the country to honor the 50 persons killed in the mosque shootings March 15 by wearing hijabs, beginning with Auckland doctor Thaya Ashman. Ashman said she heard about a Muslim woman who was afraid to wear a hijab, thinking it would attract the attention of terrorists, so she decided to wear one in solidarity.

“I wanted to say: ‘We are with you, we want you to feel at home on your own streets, we love, support and respect you,’” Ashman said.

Samantha Hayes, who reports for Newshub, was one of New Zealand’s anchors who wore a headscarf on television.

The trend is spreading throughout New Zealand as women in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch don hijabs.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, whose reaction to the Christchurch mosque shootings has been widely praised by the media, also joined the movement. Ardern donned a black headscarf when comforting the families of the fallen, and announced a ban on assault rifles in New Zealand six days after the attack. (RELATED: New Zealand Broadcasts Islamic Call To Prayer To Honor Mosque Attack Victims)

A New Zealand policewoman drew attention for wearing a hijab as she guarded a funeral for some of the victims Thursday at Christchurch cemetery.

Though many applauded New Zealand women communally wearing hijabs, others said there are Muslim women who have rejected hijabs as symbols of oppression.

Asra Q. Nomini, a Washington, D.C., professor and former journalist for The Wall Street Journal, took to Twitter to voice her complaints.

“Pls do NOT wear a #headscarfforharmony with Muslims. It is a symbol of purity culture antithetical to feminist values. We have women in jail & dead, for refusing the interpretation of Islam you promote.”

Similarly, an anonymous Stuff opinion piece said Friday the movement was “nothing but cheap tokenism.”

“I don’t normally do this but I couldn’t help myself after seeing this ‘movement’ online where non-Muslim women are being encouraged to wear hijab/scarves to show ‘solidarity’ with Muslim women,” she wrote. “As a Muslim woman myself, I think this is nothing but cheap tokenism. It’s a gimmick and pretty distasteful.”

Meanwhile, a diocesan school in New Zealand is taking criticism for banning its students from wearing hijabs at school, saying it is not compliant with the school’s dress code. The school ultimately said in a statement that students would be permitted to participate only in Friday’s “Scarves for Solidarity” event being celebrated throughout New Zealand.

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

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

March 22, 2019

By Caroline Valetkevitch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Alden Bentley)

Source: OANN

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump announced Friday morning that he will nominate Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve board of governors.

Moore has long been a supporter of Trump, including throughout the 2016 presidential election. He has written approvingly of the president’s criticisms of the Federal Reserve.

“I believe the people on the Federal Reserve Board should be thrown out for economic malpractice,” he said in December.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is interviewed on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” March 10, 2019. CBS News screenshot.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is interviewed on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” March 10, 2019. CBS News screenshot.

Moore also spoke disapprovingly of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, noting, “I always thought he was a bad choice. He’s been a Fed guy for many years. Donald Trump wanted to drain the swamp. The Fed is the swamp.”

He also authored a recent op-ed titled, “Fire the Fed” in which he likened Powell to a misguided pilot who lost his way.

(L to R) U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as his nominee for the chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell takes to the podium during a press event in the Rose Garden at the White House, November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

(L to R) U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as his nominee for the chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell takes to the podium during a press event in the Rose Garden at the White House, November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

An official familiar with the nomination said Moore’s latest op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on the Fed is what pushed his nomination forward. Moore co-authored an op-ed in which he wrote that “the Fed should stabilize the value of the dollar by adopting the commodity-price rule used successfully by former Fed chief Paul Volcker,” explaining that “to break the crippling inflation of the 1970s, Mr. Volcker linked Fed monetary policy to real-time changes in commodity prices.”

Trump has railed against Powell for raising interest rates in recent months, alleging that he is tanking the economy.

Source: The Daily Caller

Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump announced Friday morning that he will nominate Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve board of governors.

Moore has long been a supporter of Trump, including throughout the 2016 presidential election. He has written approvingly of the president’s criticisms of the Federal Reserve.

“I believe the people on the Federal Reserve Board should be thrown out for economic malpractice,” he said in December.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is interviewed on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” March 10, 2019. CBS News screenshot.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is interviewed on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” March 10, 2019. CBS News screenshot.

Moore also spoke disapprovingly of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, noting, “I always thought he was a bad choice. He’s been a Fed guy for many years. Donald Trump wanted to drain the swamp. The Fed is the swamp.”

He also authored a recent op-ed titled, “Fire the Fed” in which he likened Powell to a misguided pilot who lost his way.

(L to R) U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as his nominee for the chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell takes to the podium during a press event in the Rose Garden at the White House, November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

(L to R) U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as his nominee for the chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell takes to the podium during a press event in the Rose Garden at the White House, November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

An official familiar with the nomination said Moore’s latest op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on the Fed is what pushed his nomination forward. Moore co-authored an op-ed in which he wrote that “the Fed should stabilize the value of the dollar by adopting the commodity-price rule used successfully by former Fed chief Paul Volcker,” explaining that “to break the crippling inflation of the 1970s, Mr. Volcker linked Fed monetary policy to real-time changes in commodity prices.”

Trump has railed against Powell for raising interest rates in recent months, alleging that he is tanking the economy.

Source: The Daily Caller

  • In congressional testimony in 2018, former FBI general counsel James Baker said that the bureau was aware that the founder of Fusion GPS was shopping the infamous dossier around Washington, D.C., prior to the 2016 election.
  • Baker also said that his friend, the liberal reporter David Corn, was “anxious” to provide him with the dossier, which was funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC.
  • Baker’s testimony reveals new details about the full court press to put the unverified dossier onto the FBI’s radar.

James Baker, the former general counsel for the FBI, told Congress last October that the bureau was aware that the founder of Fusion GPS was spreading the Steele dossier “to a lot of different” people in government and the media in an effort to “elevate” the document’s profile.

Baker also told lawmakers in his Oct. 3, 2018 testimony that his longtime friend, the liberal reporter David Corn, was “anxious” to provide him with the dossier.

Baker’s testimony, which was first detailed by The Wall Street Journal and has been confirmed by The Daily Caller News Foundation, sheds new light on what the FBI knew about efforts before the election to spread the dossier, which was written by former British spy Christopher Steele and financed by the Clinton campaign and DNC.

Republicans have criticized the FBI for failing to disclose those efforts in applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser who is a major target of the Steele report. Some GOP lawmakers have asserted that the FBI should have been leery of Steele and Fusion’s opposition research of Trump. (RELATED: FBI’s Former Top Lawyer Acknowledged ‘Unusual Steps’ In Early Days Of Russia Probe)

Fusion GPS Co-Founder Glenn Simpson listens as his lawyer, Joshua Levy, speaks to members of the media following a meeting with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee in the Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill on October 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Fusion GPS Co-Founder Glenn Simpson listens as his lawyer, Joshua Levy, speaks to members of the media following a meeting with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee in the Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill on October 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Page has vehemently denied Steele’s allegations that he served as the Trump team’s backchannel to the Kremlin during the 2016 campaign.

As has been previously reported, Simpson served as a PR man of sorts for the dossier, setting up meetings with reporters from numerous news outlets in an effort to get Steele’s reporting into the media bloodstream.

Both Steele and Simpson were also in contact with U.S. government officials, including the Justice Department’s Bruce Ohr and the State Department’s Jonathan Winer. Steele shared some of his findings with both officials, as well as his FBI handler, Michael Gaeta.

In his testimony, Baker said that the FBI was aware of Simpson’s full court press on the Steele report.

“My understanding at the time was that Simpson was going around Washington giving this out to a lot of different people and trying to elevate its profile,” said Baker.

He also said that the FBI was aware of “various copies of the dossier floating around Washington.”

Baker also addressed his interactions with Corn, the reporter at Mother Jones who published a report on Oct. 31, 2016 that quoted Steele.

“I know that David was anxious to get this into the hands of FBI. And being the person at the FBI that he knew the best, he wanted to give it to me,” Baker testified.

The FBI severed ties with Steele after Corn’s report on the grounds that the former spy improperly revealed that he was a confidential source for the bureau.

Corn’s contact with Baker has been previously reported. The journalist has said that nothing improper occurred and that he shared the dossier with Baker after the election in hopes of authenticating the document.

“I tried the FBI again after the election. On my own accord, I shared a copy of the dossier with the FBI in order to see if the bureau would authenticate the documents and now comment on them. Once again, it would not,” Corn told The Hill in July 2018.

Corn also said it was “inaccurate” to describe him as a source for the FBI.

“I was merely doing what a journalist does: trying to get more information on a story I was pursuing.”

The effort to spread the dossier far and wide appears to have picked up steam after Trump’s election win.

David Kramer, an associate of late Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, said in a deposition in December 2017 that he provided the dossier to a dozen journalists, including one at BuzzFeed News, which published the report on Jan. 10, 2017. (RELATED: John McCain Associate Had Contact With A Dozen Reporters Regarding Dossier)

Steele asked him to meet with BuzzFeed reporter Ken Bensinger and CNN’s Carl Bernstein, according to Kramer.

Kramer also met with Corn in early December 2016. He said that Corn was inquiring about a meeting that McCain planned to have with then-FBI Director James Comey. Kramer said that he was unsure how Corn found out about the meeting.

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Source: The Daily Caller

No matter how loudly Democrats deny it, the national security crisis on our southern border isn’t going away. In fact, it’s getting worse.

Just recently, several dozen Central American migrants tried to rush an international port of entry near Laredo, Texas — a move that forced U.S. authorities to shut down an entire bridge tp vehicle traffic for several hours.

The migrants occupied the vehicle lane and attempted to breach the border, apparently in hopes of claiming asylum, but were stopped by U.S. Border Patrol agents who erected a temporary barrier across the bridge, highlighting the exact reason President Trump found it necessary to take executive action in order to fund the border wall.

The president’s most important duty is to protect and defend American citizens, but obstructionist Democrats in Congress have refused to provide the resources he needs to do so, leaving President Trump with no other option than to use his statutory authority to reallocate various funding necessary to construct a barrier on our border.

Though some of us have objected for years to bills that do not have enough specificity, the trouble is that Congresses have passed and recent presidents have signed into law various spending bills with a significant amount of discretion on how those dollars are spent. Presidents really have had a great deal of leeway in how dollars are spent. Another bill Congress passed back in the 1970’s with far too much discretion for the president was the National Emergency Act.

President Clinton used the National Emergency Act in aid of U.S. involvement in Bosnia. Now the Democrats get upset because the National Emergency Act is used to protect our OWN borders instead of those of foreign countries. Is that political hypocrisy, or just very poor judgment? Sometimes it is difficult to tell.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, 22,000 minor children crossed our southern border illegally in December alone, with 25 percent of them unaccompanied by a parent or guardian. In February, the number of illegal crossings at the southern border hit an 11-year high, as Border Patrol agents interdicted more than 76,000 illegal immigrants.

While Congress played games and allowed the partial government shutdown to drag on for over a month, they ignored the fact that in 2017, more Americans died from illegal drugs — most of which are smuggled in through the southern border — than were killed during all the years of the entire Vietnam War.

More than 48,000 Americans died of opioid-related overdoses alone in 2017, the same year that U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized over 900 pounds of heroin from smugglers trying to cross the border.

Meanwhile, thousands of the illegal immigrants currently incarcerated by ICE have been convicted of violent crimes, including sexual assault, kidnapping, and murder.

Despite these very real threats to our country, though, the U.S. House of Representatives has now passed legislation to overturn the President’s emergency declaration, and now the Senate seems poised to force him into issuing his first-ever veto.

The concerns expressed by some conservatives about expanding executive power sound genuine, but they’re also misplaced. The problem is not how President Trump is using his power to protect our sovereignty, but that Congress ever gave that much power to Presidents to begin with. President Obama vastly exceeded the powers he was given, as he himself even noted before creating the DACA program without ever passing a law. That was unlike President Trump’s emergency declaration because the Obama actions had absolutely no grounding in laws previously passed by Congress.

Meanwhile, open-borders Democrats are doing everything they can to prevent President Trump from protecting our country’s border as he attempts to seize control back from the drug cartels. The most discerning Americans are beginning to recoil from the radical obstructionist efforts by Democrats who seem to care less about their own constituents than they do about the border crisis.

Even suburban women, who are widely credited with helping Democrats secure their House majority in the 2018 midterm elections, are becoming increasingly supportive of the President’s actions. It is ironic that the most compassionate, caring action the U.S. could take to help those in Mexico and Central America would be to completely secure our southern border cutting off the tens of billions of dollars that flow across to the drug cartels every year. Securing our southern borders means ending the reign of terror by the cartels against our southern neighbors, which would allow them to develop thoroughly vibrant economies.

According to a new Zogby Analytics poll, the president’s recent executive actions to fund construction of the border wall are even more popular among suburban women than they are among likely voters in the broader population. A plurality of suburban women — 45 percent — support President Trump’s executive actions, and 50 percent back his decision to declare a state of emergency.

Keeping America safe shouldn’t be a partisan issue, but the Democrat Party has embraced a radical, open-borders agenda that is anathema to most Americans.

The threats and harm that are created by our porous southern border should be precisely the type of issue that brings all Americans together. After all, most Democrats in Congress have previously supported much of what our president is trying to do to secure our border. Unfortunately, too many Democrats are letting their President Trump Derangement Syndrome keep them from doing what is best for our nation’s people.

Louie Gohmert has represented Texas as a Republican in the House of Representatives since 2005.


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

No matter how loudly Democrats deny it, the national security crisis on our southern border isn’t going away. In fact, it’s getting worse.

Just recently, several dozen Central American migrants tried to rush an international port of entry near Laredo, Texas — a move that forced U.S. authorities to shut down an entire bridge tp vehicle traffic for several hours.

The migrants occupied the vehicle lane and attempted to breach the border, apparently in hopes of claiming asylum, but were stopped by U.S. Border Patrol agents who erected a temporary barrier across the bridge, highlighting the exact reason President Trump found it necessary to take executive action in order to fund the border wall.

The president’s most important duty is to protect and defend American citizens, but obstructionist Democrats in Congress have refused to provide the resources he needs to do so, leaving President Trump with no other option than to use his statutory authority to reallocate various funding necessary to construct a barrier on our border.

Though some of us have objected for years to bills that do not have enough specificity, the trouble is that Congresses have passed and recent presidents have signed into law various spending bills with a significant amount of discretion on how those dollars are spent. Presidents really have had a great deal of leeway in how dollars are spent. Another bill Congress passed back in the 1970’s with far too much discretion for the president was the National Emergency Act.

President Clinton used the National Emergency Act in aid of U.S. involvement in Bosnia. Now the Democrats get upset because the National Emergency Act is used to protect our OWN borders instead of those of foreign countries. Is that political hypocrisy, or just very poor judgment? Sometimes it is difficult to tell.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, 22,000 minor children crossed our southern border illegally in December alone, with 25 percent of them unaccompanied by a parent or guardian. In February, the number of illegal crossings at the southern border hit an 11-year high, as Border Patrol agents interdicted more than 76,000 illegal immigrants.

While Congress played games and allowed the partial government shutdown to drag on for over a month, they ignored the fact that in 2017, more Americans died from illegal drugs — most of which are smuggled in through the southern border — than were killed during all the years of the entire Vietnam War.

More than 48,000 Americans died of opioid-related overdoses alone in 2017, the same year that U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized over 900 pounds of heroin from smugglers trying to cross the border.

Meanwhile, thousands of the illegal immigrants currently incarcerated by ICE have been convicted of violent crimes, including sexual assault, kidnapping, and murder.

Despite these very real threats to our country, though, the U.S. House of Representatives has now passed legislation to overturn the President’s emergency declaration, and now the Senate seems poised to force him into issuing his first-ever veto.

The concerns expressed by some conservatives about expanding executive power sound genuine, but they’re also misplaced. The problem is not how President Trump is using his power to protect our sovereignty, but that Congress ever gave that much power to Presidents to begin with. President Obama vastly exceeded the powers he was given, as he himself even noted before creating the DACA program without ever passing a law. That was unlike President Trump’s emergency declaration because the Obama actions had absolutely no grounding in laws previously passed by Congress.

Meanwhile, open-borders Democrats are doing everything they can to prevent President Trump from protecting our country’s border as he attempts to seize control back from the drug cartels. The most discerning Americans are beginning to recoil from the radical obstructionist efforts by Democrats who seem to care less about their own constituents than they do about the border crisis.

Even suburban women, who are widely credited with helping Democrats secure their House majority in the 2018 midterm elections, are becoming increasingly supportive of the President’s actions. It is ironic that the most compassionate, caring action the U.S. could take to help those in Mexico and Central America would be to completely secure our southern border cutting off the tens of billions of dollars that flow across to the drug cartels every year. Securing our southern borders means ending the reign of terror by the cartels against our southern neighbors, which would allow them to develop thoroughly vibrant economies.

According to a new Zogby Analytics poll, the president’s recent executive actions to fund construction of the border wall are even more popular among suburban women than they are among likely voters in the broader population. A plurality of suburban women — 45 percent — support President Trump’s executive actions, and 50 percent back his decision to declare a state of emergency.

Keeping America safe shouldn’t be a partisan issue, but the Democrat Party has embraced a radical, open-borders agenda that is anathema to most Americans.

The threats and harm that are created by our porous southern border should be precisely the type of issue that brings all Americans together. After all, most Democrats in Congress have previously supported much of what our president is trying to do to secure our border. Unfortunately, too many Democrats are letting their President Trump Derangement Syndrome keep them from doing what is best for our nation’s people.

Louie Gohmert has represented Texas as a Republican in the House of Representatives since 2005.


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

Working with Democrats on the nation's infrastructure over the next two years would be the "easiest thing" because both sides want it, President Donald Trump said in an interview airing Friday, but he wants work done on the immigration laws.

"[House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi told me very strongly they want to do infrastructure, but we have other things we can do," Trump told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo.  "Immigration is a total disaster for this country…people are pouring in."

Border Patrol officials are going an "incredible job," he added, but continue construction is needed on the nation's border wall.

"We are building a lot of wall right now," Trump said. "We are building the wall and it's going up fast, big, strong, looks good, not the horrible thing they were building before I got here."

Without a wall, you don't have border security, he added, and there is going to be a "lot of wall built pretty soon."

His comments came as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Thursday that immigration arrests fell at the end of 2018, compared to the same time period last year, while authorities said there is a need to deal with "alarming rates" of migrant families hoping to cross the border.

ICE also reported that enforcement resources were stretched thin inside the country, while agents work to deal with the overflow at the U.S.-Mexico border, with record numbers of immigrants from Central America arriving to seek asylum.

Source: NewsMax

U.S. President Trump departs on travel to Florida from the White House in Washington
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs on travel to Palm Beach, Florida from the White House in Washington, U.S., March 22, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

March 22, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump has asked former campaign adviser Stephen Moore, an economic commentator, to accept a nomination to serve on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing an unnamed senior administration official.

Trump made the offer to Moore, a Heritage Institute senior fellow, this week after speaking with him to compliment him on an opinion article he co-authored last week, the administration official said. The article was published in the Wall Street Journal, where Moore previously worked as an editorial page writer.

(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

Source: OANN

Nike shoes are seen on display in New York
FILE PHOTO: Nike shoes are seen on display in New York, U.S., March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

March 22, 2019

By Nivedita Balu

(Reuters) – Shares of Nike Inc fell 4 percent on Friday after the sportswear maker’s North America sales fell short of estimates for the first time in a year, but Wall Street analysts seemed more enthused about its new products and online growth.

The company faced intense pressure from European rivals Adidas and Puma a year ago, but has managed to win back market share with new launches of its popular Air Max and Jordan sneakers, increased focus on women’s wear and higher investment in online business.

“The athletic footwear cycle and brand power are solid. Nike’s business is strengthening in North America, and we expect the company to continue to recapture the share it has lost to Adidas,” said Jefferies analyst, adding that the stock might be slightly down given “high expectations”.

The company on Thursday blamed delay in new launches for a slowdown in apparel sales in North America during the quarter, which was marked by an outcry on social media after a Nike sneaker worn by Duke University basketball star Zion Williamson ripped open during a high-profile game.

Still, the stock continues to be one of Wall Street’s favorites. Out of 34 brokerages covering the stock, 25 analysts rate it ‘buy’ or higher and only one analyst has a sell rating on the stock.

Nike’s shares trade at 28.6 times the company’s 12-month forward earnings, compared with rival Adidas’ 21.5 times and Under Armour’s 59.5 times, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Just two brokerages – Credit Suisse and UBS – lowered their target on the stock. Credit Suisse cut its price by $3 to $97, still well above the median price target of $92.5.

Nike’s online business, which includes sales from the SNKRS and Nike apps, was the main profit driver in the reported quarter. Revenue from that business rose 36 percent in the quarter.

While most analysts were enthusiastic about the results, some said higher expenses as the only dark spot in an otherwise strong report.

Jefferies analyst Randal Konik flagged a rise in selling, general and administrative expenses due to wage-related expenses.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Writing by Sweta Singh; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

Source: OANN

Nike shoes are seen on display in New York
FILE PHOTO: Nike shoes are seen on display in New York, U.S., March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

March 22, 2019

By Nivedita Balu

(Reuters) – Shares of Nike Inc fell 4 percent on Friday after the sportswear maker’s North America sales fell short of estimates for the first time in a year, but Wall Street analysts seemed more enthused about its new products and online growth.

The company faced intense pressure from European rivals Adidas and Puma a year ago, but has managed to win back market share with new launches of its popular Air Max and Jordan sneakers, increased focus on women’s wear and higher investment in online business.

“The athletic footwear cycle and brand power are solid. Nike’s business is strengthening in North America, and we expect the company to continue to recapture the share it has lost to Adidas,” said Jefferies analyst, adding that the stock might be slightly down given “high expectations”.

The company on Thursday blamed delay in new launches for a slowdown in apparel sales in North America during the quarter, which was marked by an outcry on social media after a Nike sneaker worn by Duke University basketball star Zion Williamson ripped open during a high-profile game.

Still, the stock continues to be one of Wall Street’s favorites. Out of 34 brokerages covering the stock, 25 analysts rate it ‘buy’ or higher and only one analyst has a sell rating on the stock.

Nike’s shares trade at 28.6 times the company’s 12-month forward earnings, compared with rival Adidas’ 21.5 times and Under Armour’s 59.5 times, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Just two brokerages – Credit Suisse and UBS – lowered their target on the stock. Credit Suisse cut its price by $3 to $97, still well above the median price target of $92.5.

Nike’s online business, which includes sales from the SNKRS and Nike apps, was the main profit driver in the reported quarter. Revenue from that business rose 36 percent in the quarter.

While most analysts were enthusiastic about the results, some said higher expenses as the only dark spot in an otherwise strong report.

Jefferies analyst Randal Konik flagged a rise in selling, general and administrative expenses due to wage-related expenses.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Writing by Sweta Singh; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

Source: OANN

A portrait of the Pinterest logo in Ventura
FILE PHOTO: A portrait of the Pinterest logo in Ventura, California December 21, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

March 22, 2019

(Reuters) – Image-search company Pinterest Inc has sped up the timing of its initial public offering, as it looks to tap into a red-hot market for new issues, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company is preparing to make the filing public as early as Friday and debut on the New York Stock Exchange in mid-April, according to the WSJ report on Thursday.

Pinterest monetizes its website through advertisements, which it places among the “pins” that users put on the site.

The company is among a host of technology startups, including Uber, Lyft, AirBnB and Slack, gearing up for multi-billion IPOs in 2019.

Lyft Inc’s IPO is oversubscribed based on commitments made so far by investors and the ride-hailing company expects its valuation to exceed $23 billion, Reuters reported https://reut.rs/2TSyaux on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

Source: OANN

Traders work on the floor of New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York
FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) after the opening bell in New York, U.S., March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

March 22, 2019

By Amy Caren Daniel

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes were set to open lower on Friday after downbeat German data exacerbated fears of a slowdown in global growth following an abrupt dovish turn by the Federal Reserve earlier this week.

German manufacturing contracted further in March, showing its lowest reading since June 2013 and adding to worries that unresolved trade disputes were slowing down Europe’s biggest economy.

Another survey showed the Euro zone’s business growth was worse than expected in March as factory activity contracted at the fastest pace in nearly six years.

“Today’s economic numbers indicate the strong relationship that China has with Europe. China has been slowing down, especially in ordering industrial products and automobiles, and that is going to hit Germany out-proportionally,” said Kim Forrest, chief investment officer at Bokeh Capital Partners in Pittsburgh

“Moreover, the Fed’s action on Wednesday show that they don’t believe the economies of the world are strong enough to continue their raising program.”

The Fed on Wednesday abandoned projections for any interest rate hikes this year as policymakers see a U.S. economy that is rapidly losing momentum.

Rate-sensitive financial stocks were set to extend their three-day decline. Citigroup Inc, Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co fell about 1 percent.

Adding to the uncertainty were concerns over trade after Bloomberg reported that U.S. officials downplayed the prospect of an imminent trade deal with China, just as U.S. trade delegates head to Beijing next week.

Chipmakers, which get a huge chunk of their revenue from China, fell in premarket trading. Micron Technology Inc, Intel Corp and Nvidia Corp declined between 0.4 percent and 1 percent.

Their shares rallied in previous session after Micron predicted a recovery in a memory market saddled with oversupply, as demand for mobile phones slows.

Nike Inc dropped 4.6 percent after the sportswear maker’s quarterly revenue failed to beat Wall Street estimates, as sales fell short of expectations in North America.

Nike’s partner Foot Locker Inc fell 3.7 percent.

At 8:15 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 186 points, or 0.72 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 18.5 points, or 0.65 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 44 points, or 0.58 percent.

In light of bleak factory data from Europe, investors will be watching for the U.S. Services Sector Final Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which is likely to come in at 53.6 for March, compared with 53 for February. The report is due at 9:45 a.m. ET.

Tiffany & Co dropped 4.6 percent after the luxury retailer missed quarterly sales expectations, blaming low spending by Chinese tourists and weakness in Europe.

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

Source: OANN

A Tiffany & Co logo is seen outside the store on 5th Ave in New York
FILE PHOTO: A Tiffany & Co logo is seen outside the store on 5th Ave in New York, New York, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

March 22, 2019

(Reuters) – Tiffany & Co narrowly missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly sales on Friday, two months after the luxury retailer signaled soft demand in the holiday season because of low spending by Chinese tourists and weakness in Europe and at home.

Weakening economic growth in China, especially against the backdrop of an ongoing trade spat between Beijing and Washington, has been a worry for luxury goods companies that rely on the country’s burgeoning middle class to boost sales.

“Softer trends in the second half of the year reflected, in part, what we believe were external challenges and uncertainties,” Chief Executive Officer Alessandro Bogliolo said in a statement.

In January, the company blamed a stronger dollar for weak tourist spending globally.

The company reaffirmed its financial forecasts for fiscal 2019 and expects a decline in per share profit in the first half of the year, due to the external factors.

In the reported quarter, comparable-store sales dropped 1 percent as demand for engagement and designer jewelry fell.

Tiffany’s net sales fell to $1.32 billion, while analysts on average were expecting sales of $1.33 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company’s net earnings rose to $204.5 million, or $1.67 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Jan.31, from $61.9 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier, when the company had higher provisions for income taxes.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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 21, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

March 22, 2019

(Reuters) – European stock markets rose on Friday, relieved at the European Union’s agreement on a two-week reprieve that precludes Britain crashing out of the bloc without a deal next week.

The communique from Thursday’s meeting of EU leaders also kept the door open to a longer extension if Prime Minister Theresa May, as expected, fails at the third attempt to gain parliament’s approval for her negotiated exit deal.

After two days of losses, the pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.3 percent, led by 0.6 percent gains for Germany’s DAX and a 0.2 percent rise in French stocks.

As has often been the case on Brexit, London’s blue chip FTSE 100, packed with companies dependent on international revenues which tend to lose when sterling rises, dipped 0.2 percent.

The pound, fluctuating heavily in the past week on Brexit twists and turns, was up 0.3 percent in early trade.

Shares in Deutsche Bank, up earlier this week on the prospect of a merger with Commerzbank, rose more than 2 percent after disclosures showed its board members received their first bonuses in four years.

The retail sector led gains with a roughly 1 percent rise, while tech stocks, on a tear after surprisingly upbeat results from chipmaker Micron earlier this week, gained another 0.6 percent, tracking gains on Wall Street and in Asia.

German chipmaker Siltronic AG was the Stoxx 600’s top gainer with a 3.6 percent rise.

Adidas AG and Puma SE both gained after a disappointing quarterly report from rival Nike Inc which hinted at a slowing of the U.S. firm’s momentum in its home market.

Despite the relief, there were more signs of firms making preparations for a no-deal Brexit that is likely to send a depressive shock coursing through Europe’s major economies.

British low-cost airline EasyJet said on Friday it was ready to suspend the voting rights of a small number of shares to comply with rules that require 50 percent plus one share of the company to be owned by EU shareholders following Brexit.

Goldman Sachs analysts reduced the likelihood of May’s deal passing to just 50 percent, while raising the chances of “no-deal” to 15 percent. The bank continues to put the chances of no Brexit at all at 35 percent.

(Reporting by Medha Singh and Patrick Graham,)

Source: OANN

An aerial photo shows Boeing 737 MAX airplanes parked on the tarmac at the Boeing Factory in Renton
An aerial photo shows Boeing 737 MAX airplanes parked on the tarmac at the Boeing Factory in Renton, Washington, U.S. March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

March 22, 2019

By Cindy Silviana and Tracy Rucinski

JAKARTA/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Boeing Co will mandate on MAX jets a previously optional cockpit warning light, which might have warned of problems that possibly played a role in the recent crashes of Ethiopian and Indonesian planes, two officials briefed on the matter said.

The safety feature is expected to be offered as part of a software update to the MAX fleet that was grounded in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, said the officials who asked not to be identified.

The crash set off one of the widest inquiries in aviation history and cast a shadow over the Boeing MAX model intended to be a standard for decades.

Boeing did not immediately comment on the plan to make the safety feature standard, but separately said it was moving quickly to make software changes and expects the upgrade to be approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the coming weeks.

But Indonesia’s national carrier Garuda said on Friday that customers had lost trust in the planes and it has sent a letter to Boeing asking to cancel an order for 49 MAX 8s – the first airline to publicly confirm plans to cancel an order for the troubled aircraft.

The current order was valued at $6 billion at list prices and Garuda, which currently has one MAX in its fleet, said it could switch to other Boeing models.

While a direct link between the crashes has not been proven, initial investigations show similarities and attention has focused on an automated flight-control system, MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System), that came into service two years ago with the MAX.

The software is designed to prevent a loss of lift that can cause an aerodynamic stall, sending the plane downwards in an uncontrolled way. In the Lion Air crash, it may have been erroneously activated by a faulty sensor, investigators believe.

Chicago-based Boeing will also retrofit older planes with the cockpit warning light, the officials told Reuters. The world’s largest plane maker previously offered the alert, but it was not required by aviation regulators.

Boeing has said it plans to make software changes to the aircraft, but it is unclear how long it will take Boeing to refit existing MAX planes with new software or hardware.

Experts said it could take weeks or months to be done, and for regulators to review and approve the changes. Regulators in Europe and Canada have said they will conduct their own reviews of any new systems.

The FAA has said installation of the new software and related training was a priority.

SOFTWARE FIX

Randy Tinseth, Boeing’s vice president of commercial marketing, said the software changes include changes in the control laws of the airplane, an update of the displays, the flight manual, as well as the training.

Boeing has tested the improvements in a simulator and in the air, he said on Thursday. He defended Boeing’s design and production processes, adding that it was too early to speculate on what the investigations will show.

The company has said there was a documented procedure to handle the automated system at the heart of the problem.

The pilots’ union of Southwest Airlines, the largest operator of the MAX, said it is working with the company, Boeing, other pilot unions and the FAA to test and validate the new software.

“We still would like to have more detail on the development, control parameters and testing done on the algorithm that will trigger an MCAS event,” the union said in a statement.

The American Airlines’ pilots union told Reuters it expects to test the software fix on simulators this weekend in Renton, Washington, where Boeing builds the MAX and has two simulators.

MAX simulator training is currently not required, partly because not many simulators exist.

Southwest and American expect to receive MAX simulators later this year.

Ethiopian Airlines said on Thursday the simulators are not designed to replicate the MCAS problems. The airline is among the few that do have a simulator but the captain of the doomed flight had no chance to practise on it before the crash, a pilot colleague said.

MOUNTING PRESSURE

The two crashes killed almost 350 people.

Since the Ethiopian crash, Boeing shares have fallen 12 percent and $28 billion has been wiped off its market value.

Pressure has mounted on the company from U.S. legislators, who are also expected to question the FAA. The company also faces a criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.

Several lawsuits already filed on behalf of victims of the Lion Air crash referring to the Ethiopian accident. Boeing declined to comment on the lawsuits.

Consumer advocate and former U.S. presidential candidate Ralph Nader lost a grand-niece in the Ethiopian crash and urged whistleblowers to help challenge the aviation industry and get to the bottom of what happened.

“They lulled us into complacency,” he said in an interview in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal.

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

(For a graphic on ‘Grounded 737 MAX fleet’ click https://tmsnrt.rs/2O6jQbI)

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

(Additional reporting by David Shepardson in Washington, Jamie Freed in Singapore, Bernadette Christina Munthe in Jakarta, Maggie Fick and Jason Neely in Addis Ababa, Tim Hepher in Paris, and Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Writing by Sayantani Ghosh, Georgina Prodhan and Ben Klayman)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A man looks at an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: A man looks at an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

March 22, 2019

By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares advanced on Friday after upbeat data and optimism in the tech sector lifted Wall Street stocks, helping calm some of the jitters sparked by the Federal Reserve’s cautious outlook on the world’s biggest economy.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.25 percent while Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.3 percent.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 gained 1.09 percent while the Nasdaq Composite rallied 1.42 percent, with the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor Index soaring 3.5 percent.

Apple Inc led the tech sector’s advance, rising 3.7 percent, ahead of the company’s expected streaming service debut next week.

Thursday’s U.S. economic data was upbeat as initial claims for jobless benefits fell more than expected and mid-Atlantic factory activity rebounded sharply.

The figures mollified worries about the U.S. economic outlook after the Fed on Wednesday surprised investors by adopting a sharp dovish stance, anticipating no further interest rate hikes this year and ending its balance sheet rolloffs.

The dollar also jumped back, with its index against a basket of six major currencies rising to 96.316 from Wednesday’s 1-1/2-month low of 95.735.

The euro traded at $1.1377, off Wednesday’s 1-1/2-month high of $1.14485.

The dollar stood at 110.77 yen, having hit a five-week low of 110.30 on Thursday.

The benchmark U.S. 10-year notes yield slipped to as low as 2.500 percent on Thursday, its lowest since early January last year.

The five-year yield dropped to 2.34 percent, below the current Fed funds rate around 2.40 percent, as fed funds futures price in about 50 percent chances of a rate cut this year.

“The main market reaction to the Fed’s announcement was that it has become a consensus that the Fed’s next move is a rate cut,” said Naoya Oshikubo, senior manager at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset.

“As economic data from China and elsewhere has not bottomed out yet, investors will be looking at economic fundamentals for now. If there are improvements, then markets could roll back expectations of a Fed rate cut,” he said.

Another cloud hanging over markets was Britain’s fraught moves to exit from the European Union, as the British pound was bruised anew by rising worries about a no-deal Brexit.

EU leaders said Britain could leave the European Union without a deal on April 12 if lawmakers fail next week to back Prime Minister Theresa May’s agreement with Brussels.

EU leaders gave May an extra two months, until May 22, to leave if she wins next week’s vote in parliament.

The pound traded at $1.3124, having dropped to $1.3004 the previous day. Against the euro, it hit one-month low of 0.8722 to euro <EURGBP=D4> on Thursday and last stood at 0.8664.

Oil fell held near 2019 highs, supported by a broad risk-on mood, OPEC production cuts and U.S. sanctions on key producers Iran and Venezuela.

U.S. crude traded flat at $59.98 a barrel.

(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick prepares to take the field before an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara
FILE PHOTO: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick prepares to take the field before an NFL game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, U.S. October 23, 2016. Picture taken October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

March 22, 2019

The Indianapolis Colts have signed former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston to a two-year, $24 million contract, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday.

Houston registered 78 1/2 sacks in 102 games with the Chiefs from 2011-18, including a league-high 22 sacks in 2014.

The Chiefs released the 30-year-old pass rusher earlier this month when they could not find a trading partner. The four-time Pro Bowl selection had been due $15.25 million in base salary in 2019.

Colts general manager Chris Ballard knows Houston from his time in Kansas City, where he served as director of player personnel (2013-14) and director of football operations (2015-16).

–Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid will share less than $10 million in the settlement of their collusion case against the NFL, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The settlement was announced last month, but financial terms were withheld due to a confidentiality agreement.

Kaepernick, the former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, opted out of his contract in March 2017 to pursue free agency. But when he found no takers, he filed a grievance against the league seven months later. Reid, the former 49ers safety who was the first player to join Kaepernick in 2016 by kneeling in protest during the national anthem, filed his own collusion case against the NFL in May 2018, and the grievances were later combined into a joint case.

–The Ravens have reached a two-year agreement to keep quarterback Robert Griffin III in Baltimore, pending the results of a physical. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 29-year-old former Rookie of the Year will continue his role as a backup and mentor to Lamar Jackson. Griffin played in three games for the Ravens in 2018 and completed 2 of 6 passes for 21 yards.

–The Los Angeles Rams and Dallas Cowboys will play a preseason game this summer in Hawaii.

The defending NFC West and NFC East champions will meet Aug. 17 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. It will be the second preseason game for both teams and the first NFL exhibition game played in Hawaii since 1976, when the San Francisco 49ers played the then-San Diego Chargers.

–Restricted free agent cornerback Darqueze Dennard re-signed with the Cincinnati Bengals, reportedly rejecting offers from the Chiefs and other teams, per NFL Network.

A first-round pick in 2014 out of Michigan State, the 27-year-old Dennard has played in 68 games (19 starts) and registered 227 tackles, three interceptions and three sacks.

–Free agent tight end Jared Cook is close to a contract agreement with the New Orleans Saints, NFL Network reported.

Cook turns 32 next month but has been productive in stints with the Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers, then-St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans. He had 68 receptions for 896 yards and six touchdowns with the Raiders in 2018.

–Defensive end Vinny Curry is returning to the Philadelphia Eagles, agreeing to a deal after playing one season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Curry, 30, was released by the Bucs in March in a move that cleared $8 million in 2019 cap space. He won a Super Bowl with the Eagles two years ago and adds depth to a defensive line that has lost Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata.

–New Orleans Saints wide receiver Cameron Meredith agreed to a pay cut that saves the team $2.3 million in cap space for the upcoming season. His cap hit is now $4.15 million, down from $6.45 million.

A knee injury limited Meredith, 26, to just six games in the 2018 season. He caught nine passes for 114 yards and a touchdown last season. He has 86 catches and five touchdowns in his three-year career.

–The Arizona Cardinals reached a two-year deal with defensive lineman Darius Philon, the NFL Network reported. The deal is worth $10 million — $12 million with incentives — with $5 million guaranteed, according to the report.

Philon, 25, played in all 16 games with the Chargers last season, starting 13. He recorded four sacks, 33 tackles and a forced fumble.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Trader works at his desk at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: A trader works at his desk at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

March 22, 2019

By Josephine Mason

LONDON (Reuters) – Investors are betting on heightened political uncertainty and greater volatility in European stock markets ahead of European Parliament elections in May amid growing concerns about rising populism.

In one of the first concrete signs in financial markets that investors are bracing for political instability, VSTOXX futures, which reflect investor sentiment and economic uncertainty, have jumped in recent weeks.

While the classic gauge of fear — known as implied volatility, which tracks demand for options in European stocks — is currently at 15.68, futures that bet on the same thing over the coming months show a pronounced jump.

That’s because investors have piled on trades that bet on big swings in stocks as election day nears.

Implied volatility for futures contracts expiring in May show a pronounced jump to 16.8, compared with 15.35 in April. The contracts measure the 30-day implied volatility of the euro zone STOXX 50 index.

“We are seeing a bit of a kink around May when we have European elections and we have this wave of populism,” said Edmund Shing, head of equities and derivatives strategy at BNP Paribas.

(GRAPHIC: Rising implied volatility – https://tmsnrt.rs/2UL77h9)

LOOMING ELECTIONS

More than 350 million EU citizens will head to the polls between May 23 and 26 to elect a new Parliament, a vote that will shape the future of the bloc amid a backlash against immigration and years of austerity.

Mainstream center-left and center-right lawmakers may lose control of the legislature for the first time, as euroskeptic and far-right candidates build support.

Herve Guyon, Societe Generale’s head of European equity derivatives flow strategy and solutions, said the rise of populism had triggered a recent flurry of speculative trades.

“Political uncertainty might be coming from the EU rather than the United States. We’ve seen investors doing very large trades to benefit from an increase in volatility around these events,” he said.

“We as a bank don’t expect the elections to be a massive game-changer. The populists won’t get enough to disrupt the political system, but we do note some investors did take some positions on this event.”

The implied volatility is still well below levels seen in late 2018 when global stock markets were routed amid worries about rising interest rates, slowing economic growth and the trade war between Beijing and Washington.

In late December, it shot to above 26, its highest since February.

But the flurry of activity suggests investors are seeking out new opportunities after a slide in implied volatility across major asset classes.

Edward Park, deputy chief investment officer at asset manager Brooks MacDonald, said some of the activity may also be due to persistent uncertainty about Britain’s exit from the European Union as the Brexit date of March 29 nears.

This year, volatility across currency, fixed income and stocks markets has plunged as the U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank have taken dovish policy stances.

The Deutsche Bank currency volatility indicator hit multi-year lows this week, while the proxy for fixed income volatility is languishing at all-time lows.

In stocks, the Cboe volatility index, Wall Street’s so-called “fear gauge”, fell to its weakest in six months this week.

“There’s been a cross-asset volatility crash — in euro-dollar, U.S. rates and equities — in the aftermath of (ECB President Mario) Draghi’s and (Fed Chairman Jerome) Powell’s comments and the expectation of lower rates for longer,” said Guyon.

(GRAPHIC: Falling financial market volatility – https://tmsnrt.rs/2ULmq9z)

(Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Catherine Evans)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A Pinterest banner hangs on the facade of the NYSE in New York
FILE PHOTO: A Pinterest banner hangs on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

March 22, 2019

By Liana B. Baker and Joshua Franklin

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc and Pinterest, two of the highest profile internet companies planning to go public this year, have picked the New York Stock Exchange as the venue for their stock listings, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The companies and the NYSE declined to comment.

NYSE has become the exchange of choice over NASDAQ for big technology companies in the past few years after NASDAQ famously bumbled the Facebook IPO with massive technology errors. The exchanges compete fiercely for listing fees, and much like investment banks, often begin courting large companies long before they are ready to list.

NASDAQ did score the IPO of ride hailing firm Lyft Inc, which could reach or exceed a $23 billion valuation when it prices its shares March 28. Lyft will be the first internet player to kick off a string of hotly anticipated public debuts that will energize the IPO market after a quiet start to the year.

In a sign that investors crave newly issued stock, shares of Levi Strauss & Co surged 31 percent in their debut on Thursday, giving the jeans maker a market value of $8.7 billion.

Bloomberg first reported the Uber news on Thursday while the Wall Street Journal first reported the Pinterest news.

Uber, a global logistics and transportation company most recently valued at $76 billion in the private market, is seeking a valuation as high as $120 billion, although some analysts have pegged its value closer to $100 billion based on selected financial figures it has disclosed.

Pinterest, which owns the image search website known for food and fashion photos, was valued at $12 billion in its last fundraising round in 2017. The San Francisco-based company has grown rapidly since its founding in 2008, boasting 250 million monthly active users last September.

Pinterest monetizes its website through advertisements, which it places among the “pins” that users put on the site.

Reuters previously reported Pinterest could raise around $1.5 billion in the IPO, which is likely to come in the first six months of 2019. The Wall Street Journal said on Thursday that the company could reveal its IPO filing as early as Friday and list its shares by mid-April.

(Reporting by Liana B. Baker in New York and Joshua Franklin in New York; additional reporting by Carl O’Donnell; editing by Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Mark Thompson, president and CEO of the New York Times Company, poses for a portrait in New York
FILE PHOTO: Mark Thompson, president and CEO of the New York Times Company, poses for a portrait in New York, November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Kenneth Li and Helen Coster

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Apple Inc is expected to launch an ambitious new entertainment and paid digital news service on Monday, as the iPhone maker pushes back against streaming video leader Netflix Inc. But it likely will not feature the New York Times Co.

Mark Thompson, chief executive of the biggest U.S. newspaper by subscribers, warned that relying on third-party distribution can be dangerous for publishers who risk losing control over their own product.

“We tend to be quite leery about the idea of almost habituating people to find our journalism somewhere else,” he told Reuters in an interview on Thursday. “We’re also generically worried about our journalism being scrambled in a kind of Magimix (blender) with everyone else’s journalism.”

Thompson, who took over as New York Times CEO in 2012 and has overseen a massive expansion in its online readership, warned publishers that they may suffer the same fate as television and film makers in the face of Netflix’s Hollywood insurgence.

“If I was an American broadcast network, I would have thought twice about giving all of my library to Netflix,” Thompson said in response to questions about any talks with Apple to participate in the iPhone maker’s new news service.

Thompson declined to comment on any conversations with Apple. But he used the tale of how Netflix made huge inroads into Hollywood to explain why the Times has avoided striking deals with digital platforms in which it had little control over relationships with customers or its content.

“Even if Netflix offered you quite a lot of money. … Does it really make sense to help Netflix build a gigantic base of subscribers to the point where they could actually spend $9 billion a year making their own content and will pay me less and less for my library?” he asked.

In 2007 the answer for Hollywood was yes. In exchange for billions of dollars, studios helped Netflix launch a fledgling streaming video service by licensing their libraries of shows and movies, but that decision may have sown the seeds of their own demise.

By 2016, Time Warner Inc was forced to sell itself to AT&T Inc and Rupert Murdoch sold his 21st Century Fox film and TV studios to Walt Disney Co.

Apple is the latest company to offer a direct-to-consumer streaming video, along with a news subscription service, by leveraging the power of its more than 1 billion devices.

Through its subscription news service, Apple will charge about $10 monthly for access to a variety of magazine and newspaper content, according to media reports. Apple is expected to take 50 percent of the revenue. The Wall Street Journal has agreed to join Apple’s service, according to a recent New York Times report. News Corp, owner of the Journal, was not immediately reachable for comment.

A monthly digital subscription to the New York Times costs $15, and Thompson said he has no plans to give that up to participate on other platforms such as Apple’s.

Last year, the Times generated over $700 million in digital revenue, close to the company’s target of $800 million in annual digital sales by 2020. Digital ad revenue surpassed print ad revenue for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2018. The Times has plowed investment back into its newsroom, which at 1,550 journalists is now at its largest ever.

Despite the company’s insistence on keeping readers on its own products and platforms, Thompson said it has experimented on other services, highlighting content the Times developed just for Snap Inc’s Snapchat app, which helped reach new, younger readers.

These new audiences, he said, will play a big role in helping the Times reach its new target of 10 million subscribers by 2025.

(Reporting by Kenneth Li; Editing by Bill Rigby)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A group of Central American migrants is questioned about their children's health after surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol Agents south of the U.S.-Mexico border fence in El Paso
FILE PHOTO: A group of Central American migrants is questioned about their children’s health after surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol Agents south of the U.S.-Mexico border fence in El Paso, Texas, U.S., March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Mica Rosenberg

(Reuters) – U.S. immigration arrests fell under President Donald Trump at the end of 2018 compared to the same period a year earlier, a drop authorities attributed to a growing need to deal with “alarming rates” of migrant families at the border.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said on Thursday that enforcement resources were stretched thin in the interior of the country as agents deal with an overflow of Central Americans seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Immigration authorities said the agency arrested 34,546 people living in the country illegally in October through December of last year – the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year. That was a 12 percent drop from the 39,328 people arrested during the same period a year earlier.

“Our interior arrests have been affected because I have had to redirect” resources to address the “alarming rate” of arrivals at the border, said Nathalie Asher, executive associate director of ICE’s enforcement and removal operations, on a conference call with reporters.

Deportations rose slightly at the end of 2018 compared to the same period the previous year, but remained well below highs during the first term of President Barack Obama. Removals during the Trump administration so far have been around the same as levels seen during Obama’s second term, statistics complied by Reuters show.

(For a graphic of immigration data over time, see https://tmsnrt.rs/2Ohsa8s)

Asher said the agency had to shift priorities to the border, in part because families come with minor children who can only be detained for limited periods.

ICE has been processing and releasing families en masse in U.S. border towns for them to pursue claims for asylum in U.S. immigration courts.

Those cases can drag on for years due to growing court backlogs, and while the proceedings are ongoing the migrants are shielded from deportation.

In an attempt to try to curb the migrant flow, the Trump administration has implemented a controversial policy of sending some asylum seekers back to Mexico to wait out their court hearings, with more than 200 have been send back so far. Rights groups are challenging the policy in U.S. District Court in San Francisco and a hearing was due to be held there on Friday.

Trump won the presidency on a platform of ramping up immigration enforcement and building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and has fought Congress to declare a national emergency to get the funding for his signature campaign promise.

But historical data shows the Trump administration so far has been arresting and deporting fewer people than Obama’s first years in office. Facing criticism, the Obama administration later shifted policy to prioritize enforcement against people with serious criminal backgrounds, as opposed to others seen as posing little security risk like parents of U.S. citizen children.

In the 2018 fiscal year, ICE arrested 158,581 people, including convicted criminals and people with civil immigration violations or pending criminal charges. That is about 40 percent less than overall arrests in 2010. Deportations were also higher during Obama’s first term.

(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Tom Brown)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A group of Central American migrants is questioned about their children's health after surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol Agents south of the U.S.-Mexico border fence in El Paso
FILE PHOTO: A group of Central American migrants is questioned about their children’s health after surrendering to U.S. Border Patrol Agents south of the U.S.-Mexico border fence in El Paso, Texas, U.S., March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

March 21, 2019

By Mica Rosenberg

(Reuters) – U.S. immigration arrests fell under President Donald Trump at the end of 2018 compared to the same period a year earlier, a drop authorities attributed to a growing need to deal with “alarming rates” of migrant families at the border.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said on Thursday that enforcement resources were stretched thin in the interior of the country as agents deal with an overflow of Central Americans seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Immigration authorities said the agency arrested 34,546 people living in the country illegally in October through December of last year – the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year. That was a 12 percent drop from the 39,328 people arrested during the same period a year earlier.

“Our interior arrests have been affected because I have had to redirect” resources to address the “alarming rate” of arrivals at the border, said Nathalie Asher, executive associate director of ICE’s enforcement and removal operations, on a conference call with reporters.

Deportations rose slightly at the end of 2018 compared to the same period the previous year, but remained well below highs during the first term of President Barack Obama. Removals during the Trump administration so far have been around the same as levels seen during Obama’s second term, statistics complied by Reuters show.

(For a graphic of immigration data over time, see https://tmsnrt.rs/2Ohsa8s)

Asher said the agency had to shift priorities to the border, in part because families come with minor children who can only be detained for limited periods.

ICE has been processing and releasing families en masse in U.S. border towns for them to pursue claims for asylum in U.S. immigration courts.

Those cases can drag on for years due to growing court backlogs, and while the proceedings are ongoing the migrants are shielded from deportation.

In an attempt to try to curb the migrant flow, the Trump administration has implemented a controversial policy of sending some asylum seekers back to Mexico to wait out their court hearings, with more than 200 have been send back so far. Rights groups are challenging the policy in U.S. District Court in San Francisco and a hearing was due to be held there on Friday.

Trump won the presidency on a platform of ramping up immigration enforcement and building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and has fought Congress to declare a national emergency to get the funding for his signature campaign promise.

But historical data shows the Trump administration so far has been arresting and deporting fewer people than Obama’s first years in office. Facing criticism, the Obama administration later shifted policy to prioritize enforcement against people with serious criminal backgrounds, as opposed to others seen as posing little security risk like parents of U.S. citizen children.

In the 2018 fiscal year, ICE arrested 158,581 people, including convicted criminals and people with civil immigration violations or pending criminal charges. That is about 40 percent less than overall arrests in 2010. Deportations were also higher during Obama’s first term.

(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Tom Brown)

Source: OANN

America has been engulfed by the opioid epidemic for nearly two decades, and today, more people are dying as a result than ever before. From 1999 to 2017, almost as many Americans died of an opioid overdose as died fighting in World War II. While it is more critical now than ever before that we draw attention to this epidemic,  the media — and cable news in particular — has continually ignored the magnitude of the issue.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that more than 400,000 Americans have died of an overdose involving opioids since 1999. At its current rate, the opioid epidemic’s death totals are set to surpass the 418,500 American lives lost throughout all of World War II this year alone. If serious action is not taken to combat this crisis, the epidemic may even eclipse the staggering number of causalities from the Civil War by 2025.

While the opioid epidemic was previously concentrated in poorer, whiter, and more economically depressed areas of the country, it has since exploded to more urban, diverse regions. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the number of Black and Hispanic Americans killed of an opioid overdose increased by nearly 50 percent between 2015 and 2016.

So how is cable news covering this generational crisis? Mostly by staying mum.

The website Pudding.cool, calculated how often certain words were used on major cable news stations between Aug. 25, 2017, and Jan. 21, 2018.

According to their data, the words “opioid,” “heroin,” and “drug” were used a total of 6,300 times during the five month period. While that may seem like a lot, it is dwarfed by other issues that aren’t claiming tens-of-thousands American lives every year.The NFL national anthem controversy was covered twice as much as the opioid epidemic by cable news channels. Words like “anthem,” “kneel,” Kaepernick,” and “NFL” were said 13,220 times during those same five months.

Cable news was even more fixated on the Russia investigation, stories of possible collusion, Robert Mueller, and General Flynn. The words “Mueller,” “Flynn,” “Russia,” and “Putin” were said nearly 50,000 times on Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN. In all, the Russia investigation and related matters were discussed nearly eight times as often as the opioid epidemic that’s ravaging our country.

Major media outlets would instead obsess about the president’s latest tweet, Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the flag, or the endless conspiracies of “Russian collusion,” than the most severe health crisis our country has ever faced.

Maybe the lack of media coverage is due to the fact that it’s not a sexy issue, or that those most affected are in the forgotten towns of middle America — in red counties, in red states, that Beltway Insiders have no interest in visiting. It’s also possible that the media is ignoring the issue because over 90 percent of heroin and fentanyl flows across the border from Mexico and greater exposure to the facts could increase support for President Trump’s border wall. But while cable news may turn a blind eye, that does not make this crisis any less real for the people suffering from its consequences every day.

Here is another story the media has neglected to tell: The Trump Administration has done more to fight the opioid epidemic than any other administration. In October of 2018, President Trump signed legislation to provide research funding to find treatment options for pain management that are not addictive, as well as expanding coverage for Medicaid patients fighting substance abuse.

The administration has also partnered with a large number of organizations in the private sector that have committed to fighting the opioid epidemic through drug disposal programs, streamlining medical records, supporting patients in addiction recovery and increasing education on opioids.

At a recent townhall in Las Vegas, First Lady Melania Trump remarked, “I’d also like to take a moment to challenge the media to cover this very real issue as often as possible. In 2017, we lost at least 72,000 Americans to overdoses — that’s 197 lost American lives per day, more than 8 lost lives per hour.” She continued, “I challenge the press to devote as much time to the lives lost and the potential lives that could be saved by dedicating the same amount of coverage that you do to idle gossip or trivial stories.”

I couldn’t agree with her more.  Without more significant public exposure to the facts and consequences, and more intense pressure from the media, it’s unlikely that our elected officials will ever take the hard steps needed to end this epidemic.

The media needs to start paying more attention to the opioid crisis; lives are literally depending on it.

Amy Kremer (@AmyKremer) is cofounder and chairwoman of Women for Trump, a PAC for women who support Donald Trump.


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

David Hookstead | Reporter

Colin Kaepernick might not have been paid well at all to settle with the NFL.

Kaepernick recently settled his collusion case with the NFL after he claimed the league blackballed him for kneeling during the national anthem. There was a ton of speculation that he made bank. We might want to pump the brakes on claims of a gigantic windfall.

The Wall Street Journal reported the following Thursday:

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, the NFL stars who alleged the league’s teams colluded to keep them off the field after they led protests during the national anthem, will receive less than $10 million to settle grievances with the league, according to people briefed on the deal.

The confidential agreement was widely celebrated as a victory for the players. But the settlement is far less than the tens of millions of dollars Mr. Kaepernick, especially, would have likely been owed if his grievance had prevailed. It couldn’t be determined how the payment is divided between the players and how much they will net after legal fees.

He reportedly settled for only $10 million? That’s not much cash at all. There was speculation the number could be tens and tens of millions of dollars. (RELATED: Nike Sells Out Of Colin Kaepernick ‘Icon’ Jerseys)

It’s also not clear how the money was divided up. How much did Kaepernick get compared to Reid? What a massive let-down. I thought we were about to see major dollar signs. That doesn’t seem to be the case at all.

I hope this was all worth it for him. That’s not generational money at all, and there’s also pretty much no shot he ever plays in the NFL again.

Was taking a knee worth it? That’ll ultimately only be up to him to decide.

As for we fans, this is hilarious if true. The Kaepernick saga dragged on for years, and it ended without a bang. You just hate to see it!

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

In a time when the Democratic Party has been increasingly caving to the far-left outrage mobs online, why is a candidate like Robert O’Rourke even trying?

Sure, he has the mainstream media in a love fest, and he’s raking in the donations, but the current state of the Democratic Party is based on a totem-pole of victimhood. White men are at the bottom, and widely mocked and despised for their perceived “lack of oppression.”

The day before his announcement, O’Rourke received a glowing cover story in Vanity Fair that was easily worth a million dollars in free press. It was all there in the photoshoot, the cute dog, the pick up truck. He’s “every man.” He’s the good guy from Texas that you want to have a barbeque with and whose children play on your kid’s soccer team.

This may have been a grand slam political strategy in the 1990s, even early 2000s, but does he have a chance now?

It turns out that while some reporters are eating out of O’Rourke’s very white hand, many in the increasingly identity-obsessed pundit class are not as impressed.

For instance, on CNN last week, the network hammered the Texan for his “white maleness” 52 times in one day. Their race-baiting coverage on the first full day after his announcement that he is running was glaring.

“This is seen as a moment by some where Democrats want to nominate either a woman or a minority. Beto O’Rourke is neither of those things,” CNN’s New Day co-host John Berman explained. Later in the same show, his co-host Alisyn Camerota expressed a similar sentiment, saying “one of the big debates is whether 2020 is the year of the white man.”

CNN Newsroom host Brooke Baldwin, in a show later that day, moaned that O’Rourke’s comments about how he was “born” to be in the race “sort of drips of white, male privilege.”

There has been far less discussion of his policies, such as supporting abortion until birth, than about the color of his skin and what is in between his legs.

During AC360, Anderson Cooper seemed like he was finally about to discuss his policies, saying “O’Rourke is, if you look at his record, a moderate,” before adding, “he is also a white male.”

Not only is O’Rourke a white male, he’s also got “class privilege” going against him.

The Houston Chronicle reports that, “on the city council, he was accused of conflicts of interest in 2006 for pushing an urban renewal plan involving his wealthy father-in-law, a multi-national real estate investor once described as ‘the richest man in El Paso.’”

The report added that O’Rourke “has reported a net worth of about $9 million, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.” The man he unsuccessfully attempted to challenge, Senator Ted Cruz, has a net worth of about $3.8 million.

In his early life, O’Rourke went to Woodberry Forest School, a private, all-male boarding school in the Virginia countryside. Notable alumni include George H.W. Bush’s son.

Despite being seeped in privilege, and having half the media fawning over him and half upset that a white man would dare to run for office, O’Rourke managed to raise more money than any other Democratic presidential candidate in the first 24 hours after his official announcement. He raised a whopping $6.1 million in online donations, while Bernie Sanders, the previous populist-left darling raised $5.9 million and establishment-favorite Kamala Harris only raised $1.5 million in that time.

So what is the media to do, in an age of oppression Olympics? Surely, a rich white male can’t possibly become the nominee — no matter how popular he may be.

Things are looking so glib for him that he had to spend both his second and third day on the campaign trail apologizing. It was so bad that the Wall Street Journal wrote, “The identity left is carving him up like a Texas steak before he gets to Donald Trump.”

First O’Rourke was forced to apologize for joking that his wife has been raising their three kids “sometimes with my help.” Next, he had to apologize for saying that he was “born to be in it,” which was seen as further proof of his “white male privilege.” Soon, he was apologizing for fictional pieces that he wrote as a teenager. Imagine apologizing for writing weird fiction as a teenager?

He’s being forced to apologize for everything by the social justice mobs and it makes him look weak.

One thing is certain: it will be interesting to watch as the Democratic Party attempts to balance both their identity politics obsessed base and their desire to boost this new white version of President Obama.

Adam Weiss is the CEO of AMW PR, a New York political strategy and communications firm. His firm has represented Kimberly Guilfoyle, Judge Jeanine Pirro, Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie, Anthony Scaramucci and more.


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

President Donald Trump said Thursday that it's time for the United States to recognize Israel's control over the disputed Golan Heights, an announcement that signals a shift in U.S. policy and comes ahead of the Israeli prime minister's planned visit next week to the White House.

The administration has been considering recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967. Last week, in its annual human rights report, the State Department dropped the phrase "Israeli-occupied" from the Golan Heights section, instead calling it "Israeli-controlled."

"After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel's Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!" Trump tweeted.

Minutes later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted his appreciation. "At a time when Iran seeks to use Syria as a platform to destroy Israel, President Trump boldly recognizes Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Thank you President Trump!"

In addition to its policies toward the Palestinians, the U.S. has taken a hard line toward Iran, much to Netanyahu's delight.

Trump's announcement came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Jerusalem, lauding warm ties with Israel and promising to step up pressure on Iran. Pompeo's words gave a public boost to the Israeli leader at the height of a tight re-election campaign. Netanyahu is to be in Washington for two days next week — two weeks before Israel's April 9 ballot.

Standing together in Jerusalem Thursday, neither Netanyahu nor Pompeo mentioned the heated Israeli election campaign. But Netanyahu, facing a tough challenge from a popular former military chief and reeling from a series of corruption allegations, has repeatedly sought to focus attention on his foreign policy record and strong ties with Trump.

Pompeo has said his trip has nothing to do with politics.

Netanyahu thanked Pompeo for the Trump administration's strong stance against Iran, which Israel regards as an existential threat.

Netanyahu has accused Iran of attempting to set up a terrorist network to target Israel from the Golan Heights, using the incident to repeat his goal of international recognition for Israel's claim on the area.

"You could imagine what would have happened if Israel were not in the Golan," he said. "You would have Iran on the shores of the Sea of Galilee."

Pompeo paid a solemn visit Thursday to Jerusalem's Western Wall along with Netanyahu in an apparent sign of support for Israel's control of the contested city.

Pompeo is the highest-ranking American official to tour the holy site with any Israeli leader. His visit was likely to further infuriate the Palestinians, who already have severed ties with the U.S. over its Jerusalem policies.

Pompeo and Netanyahu prayed at the wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, before depositing written prayers in its crevices and then touring nearby tunnels and synagogue. Neither made any public comment at the site.

The secretary said he thought it was important to visit the wall with the Israeli leader as a show of support for Israel.

"I think it's symbolic that a senior American official go there with a prime minister of Israel," he said before making the trip. "It's a place that's important to many faiths and I'm looking forward to it. I think it will be very special."

Israel captured east Jerusalem and the Old City in the 1967 Mideast war, and for decades, U.S. officials refrained from visiting the Western Wall with Israeli leaders to avoid the appearance of recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the city's most sensitive holy sites. The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

But the Trump administration has upended the longstanding policy, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem last year after recognizing the city as Israel's capital. Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its eternal and indivisible capital.

Senior U.S. officials, including Trump and numerous predecessors, have visited the wall privately in the past, but never with an Israeli leader.

The Old City is home to Jerusalem's most sensitive holy sites, including the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where tradition says Jesus was entombed and resurrected. Pompeo, a devout Christian, also stopped at the church.

Next to the Western Wall is a hilltop compound revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. The spot, which once housed the biblical Temples, is the holiest site in Judaism and today is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam.

The competing claims to the site are a frequent source of tension and lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

When Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, he said it did not determine the city's final borders. But the gesture was perceived as unfairly siding with Israel and prompted the Palestinians to sever ties with the U.S. The Palestinians already have rejected a planned Mideast peace initiative by the administration.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Pompeo's visit added additional obstacles to peace hopes. "While they are claiming to be trying to solve the conflict, such acts only make it more difficult to resolve," he said.

While previous secretaries of state have traditionally met with the Palestinians when visiting the region, Pompeo has no such talks planned.

"The Israelis and Palestinians live side-by-side. We need to help them figure out how to do that," Pompeo said. "It's a fact, and this administration wishes well for the Palestinian people."

In addition to the Jerusalem recognition, the administration also has cut hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians, helping fuel a financial crisis for Abbas' Palestinian Authority.

At a meeting with Pompeo, Israel's President Reuven Rivlin expressed his deep concern about the Palestinians, both in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and under the internationally backed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

"If the Palestinian Authority will collapse, we will have to take care about what is going on,"

Source: NewsMax

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman visit the Western Wall Tunnels in Jerusalem's Old City
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visit the Western Wall Tunnels in Jerusalem’s Old City March 21, 2019. Abir Sultan/ Pool via REUTERS

March 21, 2019

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accompanied Israel’s prime minister on a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City on Thursday in the first such gesture since Washington recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, angering Palestinians.

The ancient Western Wall, the most sacred prayer site in Judaism, is located in the eastern part of the city that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed in a move not recognized internationally.

Israel has long considered all of Jerusalem as its eternal, indivisible capital, while Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state they seek in territory Israel took in the June 1967 war.

Shortly after entering office in January 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump visited the Western Wall, though without Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Later that year Trump reversed decades of U.S. policy and officially recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, though making clear that he was not prejudging a settlement on where the city’s borders should be.

Since that shift, the U.S. ambassador to Israel has paid visits to the Western Wall along with Netanyahu. Pompeo suggested that his own visit as the top U.S. diplomat in Netanyahu’s presence was significant.

“I think it’s symbolic that a senior American official goes there with the prime minister of Israel,” he told reporters prior to arriving in the walled Old City.

The Western Wall is a remnant of the compound of a Jewish temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. The elevated plaza above it is the Noble Sanctuary, the third holiest site in Islam, containing the al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

Pompeo, Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador David Friedman together approached the wall and each leaned against its massive stones with one hand. Pompeo then placed a prayer note in between the stones, as is customary.

Before going to the wall, he visited the nearby Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed to be site of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial.

Pompeo, now on a Middle East tour, visited Kuwait before Israel and is due to proceed to Lebanon. His trip to Israel, three weeks before a closely contested election, was portrayed in local media as a Trump administration boost for the right-wing Netanyahu.

(Reporting by Rami Amichay; Writing by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Mark Heinrich)

Source: OANN


Cristobal brought the entire Oregon coaching staff to Tuscaloosa to attend Alabama’s practice and meet with the Crimson Tide coaching staff on Monday and then headed to Athens, Ga. to meet with Georgia’s coaching staff and attend the Bulldogs’ first spring practice, according to a source with knowledge of the staff’s trip.

Cristobal served on as offensive line coach for the Crimson Tide from 2013-16 and Oregon tight ends and special teams coach Bobby Williams also worked at Alabama from 2008-17.

What is Alabama doing here? Alabama is a national championship powerhouse of a program. Why the hell are they letting potential opponents check out their secret sauce? It makes no sense at all.

When somebody breaks into your house, do you hand them a loaded gun? No, you blast them through the dry wall with as many .223 rounds as fast as possible.

Damn, Nick Saban must be rattled after losing to Clemson. If I was a superstar coach and somebody wanted to check out my program, I’d tell them to get lost immediately. I probably would use PG-language either. (RELATED: Clemson Beats Alabama For National Title)

Yes, I understand Oregon and Alabama are in different conferences, but they could play in a bowl game. If that happens, I highly doubt the Crimson Tide and their faithful fans would want the Ducks to get an inside look at what they’re doing.

Again, this isn’t some scrub school. This is Oregon that we’re talking about here. They’ve been really good for a really long time now.

Saban must be trying to rehab his image and make people believe that he’s a nice guy. I’m not buying it. Allowing other coaches around you is insanely stupid. Why not just tweet out the whole playbook while you’re at it and save us all some time.

What a sad fall from grace for Alabama, which was once such a proud program.

P.S. Nobody cares about the Georgia visit because the Bulldogs haven’t won a title in my lifetime.

Source: The Daily Caller

“On the advice of counsel, Mr. Stone will not produce the documents requested by the House Committee on the Judiciary,” Stone’s attorney wrote to Nadler in a letter reviewed by The Daily Caller, adding, “whether the documents requested by the House Committee on the Judiciary exist or not, they are subject to a Fifth Amendment claim.”

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 25: U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) listens during a House Rules Committee meeting at the U.S. Capitol February 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. The Democrat-led committee is meeting to consider a resolution to block the national emergency declaration that seeks to allow President Trump to shift spending to fund sections of a U.S.-Mexico border wall. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Stone’s attorney continued, “Mr. Stone’s invocation of his Fifth Amendment rights must be understood by all to be the assertion of a Constitutional right by an innocent citizen, who is currently defending his innocence, and one who denounces secrecy for the purposes of advancing innuendo.”

Stone instead noted that Nadler should seek relevant documents from the House Select Committee On Intelligence, where he testified in September 2017. Stone also pointed to the recent charges he faces from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office.  Stone was indicted on seven counts by Mueller’s team on charges of allegedly making false statements to Congress, tampering with a witness and obstructing a government investigation. (EXCLUSIVE: Trump Considers Reviewing FBI Policies After Stone Raid) 

Pictured is U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

“As a current criminal defendant, with the presumption of innocence guaranteed to him, it is not in Mr. Stone’s best interest to participate in any additional proceedings, outside those in federal court, until the charges are resolved,” Stone said.

The indictment against Stone claims that a “senior official” on Trump’s 2016 campaign asked Stone to inquire with Wikileaks about possible impending releases of damaging information on Hillary Clinton in July 2016. Stone told The Daily Caller at the time of his indictment he is “unfamiliar” with the email referenced within Mueller’s indictment, but noted that perhaps it needed more context.

Nadler’s document requests to Stone included anything related to Michael Cohen, contacts with foreign governments, and his communications with Trump.

Source: The Daily Caller

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman stand next to the dedication plaque at the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman stand next to the dedication plaque at the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young/Pool

March 21, 2019

By Dan Williams

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described Hezbollah on Wednesday as a risk to Middle East stability and conferred with Israel about the heavily armed, Iranian-backed Lebanese group ahead of a trip to Beirut.

Pompeo, who has been on a regional tour to promote the Trump administration’s hard tack against Iran, received a warning from Israel which worries it may again be in the sights of Hezbollah forces winding down their intervention in Syria’s war.

Meeting Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem, Pompeo listed Hezbollah, Palestinian Hamas and Yemen’s Houthis – all recipients of Iranian support – as “entities that present risks to Middle East stability and to Israel”.

“They are determined to wipe this country off the face of the planet and we have a moral obligation and a political one to prevent that from happening. You should know that the United States is prepared to do that,” Pompeo said in public remarks at the meeting.

For its part, Israel has carried out repeated air strikes on Hezbollah in Syria, where the Shi’ite Muslim militia – along with Russian air power – helped President Bashar al-Assad turn the tables against mainly Sunni Muslim rebels and militants.

In a speech broadcast on the Persian new year on Thursday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the Islamic Republic had successfully resisted “unprecedented, strong” U.S. sanctions.

Iran has faced economic hardship since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew last year from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers and reimposed sanctions.

Focusing his remarks on Lebanon, Rivlin told Pompeo that its prime minister, Saad al-Hariri, “cannot say to anyone that Lebanon is separate from Hezbollah” – a reference to the group’s political clout in Beirut where it has ministers in the government as well as lawmakers in parliament.

“If some(thing) will happen from Lebanon toward Israel, we will hold Lebanon as the responsible (party)”, Rivlin said, speaking in English.

Washington also has been increasingly voicing concern at Hezbollah power, echoing Israel, whose forces were fought to a standstill by the militia in a 2006 Lebanon war.

Pompeo’s visit to Jerusalem was widely seen in Israel as a boost for Netanyahu, who enjoys a close relationship with Trump, just three weeks before a closely contested Israeli election.

In a further signal of solidarity with Israel, Pompeo was later scheduled, accompanied by Netanyahu, to visit Judaism’s Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City.

In May 2017, Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the wall, but did not ask Netanyahu to join him.

Seven months later, Trump broke with decades of U.S. policy and recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, incensing Palestinians who claim the city’s eastern sector as the capital of a future state they seek.

Last May, Washington moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Pompeo also visited the embassy on Thursday.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Mark Heinrich)

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

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

FILE PHOTO: Passersby walk past in front of an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: Passersby walk past in front of an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, September 28, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

March 21, 2019

By Andrew Galbraith

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Shares in Asia rose on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve took a more accommodative stance at its policy meeting, but concerns over slowing global growth and U.S.-China trade talks are expected to limit gains.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.5 percent in early trade. Australian shares were last down 0.1 percent.

Markets in Japan are closed on Thursday for a public holiday.

The rise in the broad Asian index followed a wobbly session on Wall Street overnight, as growth and trade concerns overcame an initial shift toward more risk-taking sparked by the Fed’s dovish shift.

In comments at the end of a two-day policy meeting Wednesday, the Fed abandoned projections for any interest rate hikes this year amid signs of an economic slowdown, and said it would halt the steady decline of its balance sheet in September.

But while investors cheered the Fed’s new approach, the reasons behind it sparked concern. Lingering worries about China-U.S. trade talks, which are set to resume next week, also weighed on the investment mood, with U.S. President Donald Trump warning that Washington may leave tariffs on Chinese goods for a “substantial period” to ensure Beijing’s compliance with any trade deal.

“What the Fed is doing is trying to engineer a soft landing. What the market is hearing though is things have gotten so weak so quickly … and the earnings outlook is so dire that real money managers don’t want to chase this rally,” Greg McKenna, strategist at McKenna Macro wrote in a morning note to clients.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.55 percent to 25,745.67, the S&P 500 lost 0.29 percent to 2,824.23 and the Nasdaq Composite added less than 0.1 percent to 7,728.97.

The Fed’s comments pushed yields on benchmark U.S. Treasurys lower, with 10-year notes yielding 2.5245 percent compared with a U.S. close of 2.537 percent on Wednesday.

The abandonment of plans for more rate hikes this year pushed the two-year yield, sensitive to expectations of higher Fed fund rates, to 2.3982 percent, down from a U.S. close of 2.4 percent.

After falling on Wednesday, the dollar steadied, with a basket tracking the currency against major rivals flat at 95.910.. It was up a hair against the Japanese currency, buying 110.70 yen.

The euro was up 0.14 percent on the day at $1.1427, while sterling rebounded from a sharp drop Wednesday after British Prime Minister Theresa May asked the EU to delay Brexit until June 30, a shorter extension than some in the market had been expecting. May later said she was “not prepared to delay Brexit any further.”

The pound was up 0.11 percent at $1.3211.

In commodity markets, oil prices, which had jumped Wednesday on supply concerns, retreated.

U.S. crude fell 0.1 percent to $60.17 a barrel after touching four-month highs on Wednesday. Brent crude was a touch lower at $68.47 per barrel.

Gold gained on the weaker dollar, with spot gold up 0.27 percent at $1,315.72 per ounce. [GOL/]

(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Sam Holmes)

Source: OANN

  • 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Online: http://www.apnorc.org

Source: NewsMax

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Online: http://www.apnorc.org

Source: NewsMax

Whitney Tipton | Contributor

The Trump administration announced Tuesday it would no longer detain select migrant families who illegally cross the border in the Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The change is a result of crowded detention facilities, according to The Wall Street Journal, and represents a reversal of the administration’s previous commitment to end “catch-and-release” practices, calling for “catch-and-detain” instead. (RELATED: ICE Officers Giving Up On Trump Over Catch And Release)

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 11: Honduran asylum seeker Sandra Sanchez adjusts the coat of her daughter Yanela Sanchez, 2 1/2, in the basement apartment they share with fellow immigrants on February 11, 2019 in the greater Washington D.C. area. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 11: Honduran asylum seeker Sandra Sanchez adjusts the coat of her daughter Yanela Sanchez, 2 1/2, in the basement apartment they share with fellow immigrants on February 11, 2019 in the greater Washington D.C. area. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The administration has struggled to manage the recent surge in illegal crossings and detention facilities have been pushed to occupancy limits. Additionally, immigration officials have come under fire for safety issues, including the December 2018 deaths of two Guatemalan children in custody.

The policy means Border Patrol agents will release hundreds of families instead of transferring them to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for detention. Not all families will be released, the numbers of which will be determined by actual facility populations.

Those released by the Border Patrol will be given notices to appear, which orders them to report at a later date to immigration authorities for asylum requests or deportation. Families are allowed to live in the U.S. while waiting for the asylum process.

The Rio Grande Valley has produced 42 percent of the 136,000 arrests made for illegal border crossings nationally. Migrants are largely from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Families with children are currently permitted 20 days in one of three family detention centers, which hold thousands of people.

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Paul Ingrassia | Contributor

Ninety percent of British people said Brexit negotiations and how the government is handling them have been a “national humiliation” in a poll Wednesday.

The Sky Data poll’s results come in the wake of news that Prime Minister Theresa May is considering forestalling a Brexit deal until June 30 to avoid the potential automatic withdrawal that was to occur March 29 after nearly three years of negotiations. A longer delay is also possible. 

British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street to head for the weekly Prime Ministers Questions in the House of Commons on March 20, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street to head for the weekly Prime Ministers Questions in the House of Commons on March 20, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Of the polled participants, one-third (34 percent) blamed the U.K. government, one-quarter (26 percent) blamed British members of Parliament, and 7 percent blamed the EU. Some 24 percent of respondents said all parties deserve equal blame.

By postponing the breakup another three months, it raises doubts about the legality of a proposed extension because a new European Parliament is being sworn in over the summer to replace former U.K. seats. Since the EP does not officially convene until July, Britain believes another three-month window would be permissible.

May’s plan has already twice been rejected by large majorities of the British Parliament.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said Wednesday that there was potential for an extension, according to BBC.

Conservative lawmaker Peter Bone said delaying Brexit would be “betraying the British people,” according to the New York Post.

Angela Eagle, a member of the opposition Labour Party, expressed similar frustration.

“[Theresa May should] stop banging her head against the brick wall of her defeated deal” and look for cross-party support. (RELATED: Theresa May’s Brexit Deal Dies In A Historic Parliamentary Defeat)

“If Theresa May buckles and delays Brexit, I will do my best to tear her party limb from limb,” former U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage wrote in an op-ed for The Telegraph.

The poll interviewed a representative sample of 1,189 people Wednesday. 

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Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator

Foreign nationals from three Central American countries that send some of the highest numbers of illegal immigrants to the U.S. are sending back a record amount of money to their home countries.

Immigrants from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras sent back a record $120 billion in remittances this decade, according to an immigration expert who spoke to the Washington Examiner using U.N. and Latin American banking statistics. The numbers are expected to keep rising, with immigrants from these three nations having sent $17 billion in 2018 alone, and Central American bank data indicates that the trend will keeping going.

“The sums of money involved are huge, particularly as a share of GDP and personal income in the Central American countries,” Jessica Vaughan, an immigration expert with the Center for Immigration Studies, said to the Examiner. “It offers a big clue as to why these countries are giving only token efforts to stem the tide of migrants to the United States, especially El Salvador and Honduras.”

The issue of remittances — money sent to the home countries of immigrants living and working in the U.S. — has remained a hot topic of debate. U.S. lawmakers have, in the past, proposed legislation that would tax remittances.

One proposal that did not make it through Congress would have taxed these payments at seven percent. If such a tax was levied on the $138 billion all immigrants sent in remittances in 2016, the revenue would have paid for President Donald Trump’s border wall within three years’ time.

However, the enormous size of the remittances play a significant role in the Central American economies — creating an incentive for their governments to not seek reform. Remittances to Honduras and El Salvador made up over 20 percent of their economies, with over 90 percent of remittances sent to these countries originating from the U.S.

Migrants are hit by tear gas by U.S. Customs and Border Protection after attempting to illegally cross the border wall into the U.S. in Tijuana, Mexico

Migrants, part of a caravan of thousands from Central America trying to reach the United States, return to Mexico after being hit by tear gas by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) after attempting to illegally cross the border wall into the United States in Tijuana, Mexico November 25, 2018. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

While the Trump administration has threatened to withhold millions of dollars in aid to Central American nations for their continued toleration of migrant caravans into the U.S., the aid is just a fraction of the billions in remittances that are sent annually. (RELATED: More Than 400 Illegals Were Caught By Border Patrol In Five Minutes)

At the same time, people from Central America are making up a significant portion of the migrants attempting to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost, while speaking to a congressional committee in February, said the influx of Central American migrants and unaccompanied children — who cannot be quickly deported — has strained her agency’s resources.

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The Daily Caller Shop | Contributor

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Mary Margaret Olohan | Contributor

NYU hired a former New Yorker employee Wednesday, fired for falsely labeling an ICE agent as a Nazi, to teach on far right coverage.

Talia Lavin will now work at New York University teaching a course called “Reporting on the Far Right” in NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She is an adjunct faculty member and a “writer and researcher focused on far-right extremism and social justice,” according to her university profile.

Lavin was fired from the New Yorker for accusing a disabled ICE agent and US Veteran of being a Nazi due to a cross tattoo on his arm. This accusation came after she viewed a photo of the veteran online, where she then tweeted about it. She later deleted her tweet, saying that “some vets said this ICE agent’s tattoo looked more like a Maltese cross than an Iron Cross (common among white supremacists), so i deleted my tweet so as not to spread misinformation.” (RELATED: College Professor Who Admitted to Giving Nazi Salute Fired)

The official ICE twitter account responded to the incident by pointing out that the cross was the symbol of the agent’s platoon in Afghanistan. “Justin Gaertner is a combat wounded U.S. Marine who continues to serve his country as an ICE computer forensics analyst, helping solve criminal cases & rescue abused children,” they said in a tweet.

In a statement, ICE told Lavin and the New Yorker that they owed Gaertner an apology. The statement also advised that the writing on Gaertner’s arm was “the Spartan Creed” dedicated to protecting family and children. (RELATED: Retired ICE Agent Shares Story Of Murdered Partner And Opinions On The Wall)

The New Yorker disavowed any association with Lavin’s views.

Less than a month after she was fired from the New Yorker, Lavin was picked up by Media Matters, the progressive media watchdog, where she worked as a “researcher on far-right extremism and the alt-right.” Her work includes topics such as Russian influence on positive American coverage of Trump, far right anti-Semitic conspiracies, how YouTube assists in right-wing radicalization, and more.

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