OAN Newsroom

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NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-San Jose Sharks at St. Louis Blues
FILE PHOTO: May 17, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) shoots during the first period in game four of the Western Conference Final of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports – 12726592

June 18, 2019

All-Star defenseman Erik Karlsson signed an eight-year deal to remain with the San Jose Sharks. The team did not release contract figures, but multiple reports on Monday said it’s worth about $11.5 million per year — $92 million total.

His contract will be among the NHL’s richest in annual average value. Connor McDavid of Edmonton is the league’s highest-paid player, with a $12.5 million annual average value.

Karlsson, 29, could have become the league’s marquee free agent this offseason as he reached the end of the seven-year, $45.5 million contract he signed with the Ottawa Senators, who selected him No. 15 overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft. He is a two-time winner of the NHL’s Norris Trophy (2012 and 2015) and a six-time All-Star.

Limited to 53 games last season with a groin injury, Karlsson had 45 points (three goals, 42 assists). In 680 career NHL games, he has 563 points (129 goals, 434 assists).

–Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel recently vetoed a trade, and the team is no longer seeking to move him, general manager Jim Rutherford said on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh.

Kessel, a 13-year veteran with 357 goals and 466 assists in his career, reportedly nixed a trade to the Minnesota Wild, which were not on Kessel’s list of approved trade destinations.

Kessel, 31, had 27 goals and 55 assists in 82 games for the Penguins last season, his fourth with the team. He helped Pittsburgh win the Stanley Cup in 2016 and 2017. He is under contract through the 2021-22 season.

–The New York Rangers acquired defenseman Jacob Trouba from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for defenseman Neal Pionk and the 20th overall pick in the 2019 NHL draft.

Trouba, 25, set career highs in assists (42) and points (50) last season, playing in all 82 regular-season games for the first time in his career. Among defensemen, he tied for ninth in the league in assists and was 13th in points.

Trouba, selected by Winnipeg with the ninth pick in the 2012 draft, has played in 408 games for the Jets in the past six seasons, with 137 assists and 42 goals. Pionk, 23, has appeared in 101 games for the Rangers in the past two seasons, with 33 assists and seven goals.

–The Anaheim Ducks announced Dallas Eakins as their head coach. Eakins, 52, most recently was head coach of the Ducks’ American Hockey League affiliate, the San Diego Gulls.

Eakins also has NHL head coaching experience, leading the Edmonton Oilers to a 36-63-14 record from 2013-15. He played for eight teams across a 10-year NHL career as a defenseman, scoring no goals and adding nine assists.

Eakins replaces Randy Carlyle, who was fired as Ducks coach in February after a dreadful 2-15-4 stretch where Anaheim lost 12 straight games (0-8-4) from Dec. 18-Jan. 15. General manager Bob Murray served as interim coach for the rest of the season, leading the Ducks to a 14-11-1 record.

–The Ottawa Senators re-signed left winger Anthony Duclair on a one-year, $1.65 million contract.

Duclair, who was acquired in a February trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets, could have become a restricted free agent this offseason. The 23-year-old had 33 points (19 goals, 14 assists) in a combined 74 games with Columbus and Ottawa last season.

Duclair, a third-round draft pick of the New York Rangers in 2013, broke into the NHL as a 19-year-old with New York in the 2014-15 season. He has 122 career points (56 goals, 66 assists) in 287 games with five teams.

–The Columbus Blue Jackets re-signed left wing Markus Hannikainen to a one-year contract for the 2019-20 season. The Athletic reported the deal is worth $750,000.

Hannikainen, 26, recorded seven points (four goals, three assists) in 44 games with the Blue Jackets in 2018-19. He set career highs in goals, points and games played.

The Blue Jackets originally signed Hannikainen, a native of Finland, in April 2015. He played four years before that in Liiga, Finland’s top professional league.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at Los Angeles Kings
FILE PHOTO: Mar 18, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) reacts against the Los Angeles Kings in the second period at Staples Center. The Jets defeated the Kings 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports – 12376074

June 18, 2019

The New York Rangers acquired defenseman Jacob Trouba from the Winnipeg Jets on Monday in exchange for defenseman Neal Pionk and the 20th overall pick in the 2019 NHL draft.

Trouba, 25, set career highs in assists (42) and points (50) last season, playing in all 82 regular-season games for the first time in his career. Among defensemen, he tied for ninth in the league in assists and was 13th in points.

Trouba, selected by Winnipeg with the ninth pick in the 2012 draft, has played in 408 games for the Jets in the past six seasons, with 137 assists and 42 goals.

He played last season on a one-year, $5.5 million contract awarded via arbitration, and he has one year remaining as a restricted free agent. The Rangers will need to extend a $5.5 million qualifying offer for the 2019-20 season before working on a long-term extension, as Trouba can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Pionk, who turns 24 in July, has appeared in 101 games for the Rangers in the past two seasons, with 33 assists and seven goals.

The 20th pick in this year’s draft, which begins Friday, originally belonged to the Jets before they sent it to the Rangers while acquiring forward Kevin Hayes in February.

–Field Level Media

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FILE PHOTO: Egyptian clients wait at one of the outlets of Qatari-funded beIN Sports channel in Cairo
FILE PHOTO: Egyptian clients wait at one of the outlets of Qatari-funded beIN Sports channel in Cairo, Egypt June 12, 2018.. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

June 18, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – A French court has ruled that pirated sports content belonging to the Qatar-based broadcaster beIN was accessible via a Saudi-based satellite operator, but said it had not found evidence of “clear and illegal disruption”, court documents seen by Reuters showed.

BeIN Media Group filed a complaint in France against Saudi-based Arabsat to try to establish, in what it said was a “credible” court, that Arabsat was carrying pirated broadcasts of global sports events to which beIN held the rights.

Several global sports bodies have threatened legal action against the pirate channel beoutQ over what they say are illegal broadcasts across the Middle East and North Africa. It is unclear who owns or operates beoutQ.

A June 13 ruling by the Paris court, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, found that signals from beoutQ were available on Arabsat frequencies and accessible from French territory, based on findings by a firm retained by beIN.

“These elements are sufficient to establish that Arabsat has a charge to answer,” the ruling said.

But it also said beIN had failed to demonstrate the existence of “clear and illegal disruption or prove that there was immediate risk of commercial damage” that could justify forcing Arabsat to block beoutQ’s satellite signals in France.

BeoutQ emerged in 2017 after Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies launched a political and economic boycott of Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, which Doha denies. The channel is widely available in Saudi Arabia but Riyadh says it is not based there, and that Saudi authorities are committed to fighting piracy.

Soccer governing body FIFA said on Sunday that beoutQ was transmitting the Women’s World Cup across the Middle East and North Africa via Arabsat frequencies and called on the operator to help address the misuse of its intellectual property.

Arabsat, which is owned by Arab League states, has denied that beoutQ uses its satellite frequencies for illegal broadcasts. Reuters has not been able to contact beoutQ for comment.

Arabsat welcomed the French ruling, saying it rejected “all false accusations that Qatar’s beIN Sports group tried to pin on Arabsat”.

BeIN also welcomed the court decision, which a spokesman said would be used to support the company’s filings in separate international investment arbitration cases.

Arabsat has a small presence in France, which enabled beIN to file its complaint in Paris. BeIN was ordered to pay fees of 25,000 euros ($28,000) to Arabsat and 6,000 euros to an Arabsat adviser.

(Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic and Luke Baker in Paris, Eric Knecht in Qatar, Alexander Cornwell in Dubai and Stephen Kalin in Saudi Arabia; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

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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., June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

June 18, 2019

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK (Reuters) – China’s holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds and notes for the month of April fell to the lowest level since May 2017, data from the U.S. Treasury department showed on Monday, highlighting an uncertain outlook on a trade deal between Beijing and Washington.

Chinese holdings of U.S. government debt declined for a second straight month, to $1.113 trillion in April, from $1.120 trillion the previous month. Even so, the world’s second-largest economy remains the largest non-U.S. holder of Treasuries.

(For a graphic on ‘China, Japan Holdings of U.S. Treasuries’ click http://tmsnrt.rs/2DJ1ckW)

Belgium, which analysts surmised is where China would typically keep some of its holdings, also fell to $179.8 billion in April, from $186.6 billion in March.

“This is a head-scratcher given that Chinese reserves during the month only declined by just under $4 billion,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, senior rates strategist, at TD Securities in New York. “So there’s quite a bit more selling than would have been justified.”

He said it could have been profit-taking from the build-up of holdings in the first quarter of the year. “If you look at the flow of funds, for example, there was notable buying of Treasuries in Q1. So this certainly suggests that foreigners are taking more profits off the table,” Goldberg said, while saying he does not think the decline was related to the trade conflict.

“If this were trade-related, you would have seen either more pressure on the Chinese yuan and you would have seen a decline in foreign exchange reserves on a one-for-one basis,” Goldberg said.

If Belgium’s holdings were included, it was almost a $15 billion decline.

The data showed that Japan, the second-largest non-U.S. holder of Treasuries, also reduced its holdings of Treasuries in April, to $1.064 trillion, from $1.078 trillion the previous month.

Overall, foreign holdings of Treasuries dropped to $6.433 trillion in April, from $6.473 trillion in March.

Foreign flows of U.S. Treasuries, meanwhile, showed an inflow of $16.949 billion in April, from net selling of $12.526 billion in March. Offshore private investors purchased Treasuries, at $45.366 billion during the month, from only $91 million previously.

(For a graphic on ‘Foreign purchases of U.S. Treasuries’ click https://tmsnrt.rs/2TM2p21)

Foreigners continued to sell U.S. stocks in April to the tune of $964 million, after outflows of $23.638 billion in March. Foreign investors have sold stocks for 12 straight months.

The report showed foreigners bought $46.9 billion in net long-term securities in April, after selling $25.9 billion in March.

(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by Susan Thomas and Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers
Jun 6, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers designated hitter Hunter Pence (24) runs the bases after hitting a home run during the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

June 18, 2019

The Texas Rangers placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day injured list Monday because of a strained right groin.

Pence sustained the injury Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds, when he was playing right field and chasing Jose Peraza’s hit into the corner in the fifth inning. He pulled up near the line as the ball landed and bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double.

An MRI exam Monday revealed the strain.

Pence, 36, is hitting .294 with 15 home runs and 48 RBIs in 55 games this season, his first with the Rangers after signing as a free agent from the San Francisco Giants. He is second to Boston’s J.D. Martinez at designated hitter in the first round of All-Star voting in the American League.

Pence’s injury adds to the woes in the Rangers’ outfield. Joey Gallo (oblique) is on the injured list, and Nomar Mazara was out of the lineup Monday night because of a mild hamstring injury.

The Rangers did get an outfielder back from the IL on Monday, though, as Willie Calhoun was activated to take Pence’s roster spot. Calhoun had been out since May 22 due to a left quadriceps strain.

Calhoun, 24, was off to a hot start this season when he got hurt, as he was 10-for-23 (.435) with two homers and seven RBIs in six games. He was penciled in to start in left field Monday night against the Cleveland Indians.

–Field Level Media

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FILE PHOTO: A flag flies from the Department of Justice in Washington
FILE PHOTO: A flag flies from the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., March 24, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

June 17, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department said on Monday it had settled antitrust charges with CBS Corp, Cox Enterprises Inc, E.W. Scripps Co, Fox Corp and Tegna Inc, which were accused of sharing competitively sensitive information.

“All five companies are alleged to have engaged in unlawful information sharing among their owned broadcast television stations,” the department said in a statement.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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FILE PHOTO: Ships and shipping containers are pictured at the port of Long Beach in Long Beach, California
FILE PHOTO: Ships and shipping containers are pictured at the port of Long Beach in Long Beach, California, U.S., January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

June 17, 2019

By Jonathan Saul

LONDON (Reuters) – A group of leading banks will for the first time include efforts to cut carbon dioxide emissions in their decision making when providing shipping company loans, executives said on Tuesday.

International shipping accounts for 2.2% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the U.N.’s International Maritime Organization (IMO), has a long-term goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050.

Working with non-profit organisations the Global Maritime Forum, the Rocky Mountain Institute and London University’s UCL Energy Institute, 11 banks have established a framework to measure the carbon intensity of shipping finance portfolios.

The banks involved in the “Poseidon Principles” initiative, which will set a common baseline to assess whether lending portfolios are in line or behind the adopted climate goals set by the IMO, represent around a fifth or $100 billion of the total global shipping finance portfolio.

The results will be published annually in individual sustainability reports and the data will be obtained by banks from borrowers under existing loan agreements.

Although the IMO agreed stricter energy efficiency targets last month for certain types of ships, environmental campaigners are calling for tougher goals.

“We are helping the shipping industry emerge into the 21st century in a responsible way,” Michael Parker, global head of shipping at Citigroup, told Reuters.

‘HUGE ROLE’

Those involved so far are Citigroup, Societe Generale, DNB, ABN Amro, Amsterdam Trade Bank, Credit Agricole CIB, Danish Ship Finance, Danske Bank, DVB, ING and Nordea.

“Banks have a huge role to play here because there is about $450 billion of senior debt that the world’s shipping banks and Chinese lessors grant to the sector and about 70,000 commercial vessels,” Paul Taylor, global head of shipping & offshore with Societe Generale CIB, said.

Banks will in the longer term be more selective about which ships they include in their lending portfolios, bankers said.

“Will there be companies that will find it difficult to get finance as they have less efficient ships, yes, it will be a consequence of it – but it’s not going to be used to look for those companies and somehow find a way of getting them out,” Citigroup’s Parker said.

Oivind Haraldsen, Danske Bank’s global head of shipping, said more institutions would join the efforts to cut the carbon footprint of the sector.

“All of us have to push – we as banks probably have more power than we are aware,” he said.

(Editing by Alexander Smith)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at an industrial port in the Keihin Industrial Zone in Kawasaki
FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen at an industrial port in the Keihin Industrial Zone in Kawasaki, Japan September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

June 17, 2019

By Daniel Leussink

TOKYO – Japanese manufacturers’ business confidence dropped to a more than 2-1/2-year low in June, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday, re-igniting fears the economy could be hit by slowing external demand in the face of a global slowdown and trade risks.

The monthly poll, which tracks the Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) tankan quarterly survey, found the service-sector mood slipping for the first time in four months, suggesting business confidence has fallen ahead of a planned nationwide sales tax increase in October.

Both manufacturers’ and non-manufacturers’ sentiment are expected to remain below last month’s levels over the coming three months, boding ill for the central bank’s closely-watched tankan survey due next in July.

Subdued business confidence – on top of weakness in exports and household spending – has clouded the outlook for the world’s third-largest economy, though analysts widely expect the BOJ to keep policy steady at this week’s rate review.

In a Reuters poll of 505 large- and mid-sized companies, in which 263 firms responded on condition of anonymity, exporters voiced concerns about China’s economic slowdown and its trade war with the United States.

“Our clients are making cautious decisions in capital spending, as the international situation is unstable because of U.S.-China trade tensions and the UK’s departure from the EU,” a manager of a machinery maker wrote in the survey.

The Reuters Tankan sentiment index for manufacturers stood at 6 in June, down six points from May, weighed down by electricity, transport equipment machinery and steel companies, the June 4-13 survey showed.

The index hit the lowest reading since September 2016, falling for the first time in two months.

It is expected to rebound to 11 in September.

In the first quarter, Japan’s economy managed a second straight quarter of growth after a third-quarter contraction, thanks to stronger capital spending, but analysts expect global trade tensions to remain a drag on growth.

The service-sector index dropped five points to 22 in June from 27 in the previous month, weighed by retailers, potentially setting off alarm bells for consumption, which makes up about 60% of the economy.

The index is seen falling further to 21 in September.

Fragile domestic demand could be a source of concern for policymakers who are taking steps to ensure the planned sales tax increase to 10% from the current 8% will go ahead in October, as the 2014 tax hike depressed consumer sentiment.

The BOJ’s last quarterly tankan showed the business mood hit a two-year low in the March quarter, underlining the impact rising trade tensions and weakening overseas demand were having on Japan’s export-reliant economy.

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

(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Source: OANN

MLB: San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies
FILE PHOTO: Jun 13, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Manny Machado (13) rounds the bases after his solo home run in the fifth inning against the against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

June 17, 2019

San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado was suspended one game and fined an undisclosed amount for “aggressively arguing and making contact with” an umpire Saturday, MLB announced Monday.

The suspension was to be served Monday night, with the Padres hosting the Milwaukee Brewers, but it will be delayed after Machado chose to appeal.

Umpire Bill Welke ejected Machado in the top of the fifth inning of Saturday’s game against the Colorado Rockies in Denver, after Machado argued a called third strike. Machado responded by throwing his helmet to the ground, walking toward the umpire, yelling animatedly in Welke’s face and then throwing his bat to the backstop.

“This is just my personal opinion, but I just felt like our pitchers were making some of those pitches and weren’t getting calls on it,” Machado told reporters afterward. .”.. I just felt like it was unfair, and it changed the momentum of the game and the momentum of the at-bat. I just had to let him know what it was.”

An inning later, manager Andy Green and pitcher Matt Strahm were also tossed by Welke.

It was Machado’s first ejection since joining the Padres this year, and the fifth in his eight-year career.

The 26-year-old is batting .261 with 13 homers and 39 RBIs in 70 games after joining San Diego as a free agent.

–Field Level Media

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FILE PHOTO: The corporate logo of Odebrecht is seen inside of one of its offices in Mexico City, Mexico
FILE PHOTO: The corporate logo of Odebrecht is seen inside of one of its offices in Mexico City, Mexico May 4, 2017. Picture taken on May 4, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso/File Photo

June 17, 2019

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian conglomerate Odebrecht SA said it was filing for bankruptcy protection on Monday, aiming to restructure 51 billion reais ($13 billion) of debt in what would be one of Latin America’s largest-ever in-court debt restructurings.

The bankruptcy filing comes after years of struggles for Odebrecht, the biggest of the Brazilian engineering groups caught in a sweeping political corruption investigation that has rippled across Latin America.

In a statement, Odebrecht said the bankruptcy protection was the best way to conclude its debt restructuring as creditors sought to seize assets pledged as collateral for unpaid loans.

The debt restructuring relates to the parent company Odebrecht SA and a network of holding companies.

The group’s main operating businesses are excluded, including Odebrecht’s crown jewel, Braskem SA, Latin America’s largest petrochemical producer. Also excluded are construction unit OEC, oil company Ocyan, shipmaker Enseada, Odebrecht Transport and homebuilder Incorporadora OR.

Sugar and ethanol subsidiary Atvos Agroindustrial Participacoes SA, which already filed for a separate bankruptcy protection, is also excluded from Monday’s filing.

Odebrecht, which had expanded from its construction roots into oil and gas, ethanol, real estate, transportation and even shipbuilding, began its fall from grace in 2014, when it became a principal target of Brazil’s largest-ever corruption probe.

Former chief executive Marcelo Odebrecht, grandson of the founder, was arrested in 2015 and later sentenced to 19 years in jail for corruption. He has been under house arrest since late 2017, barred from having any say in the conglomerate.

In 2016, Odebrecht agreed to the world’s largest-ever corruption leniency fine with prosecutors in Brazil, the United States, and Switzerland, paying at least $3.5 billion. The scandal spread to other Latin American countries where Odebrecht did business, including Peru, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia.

Since then, the group has been selling assets to raise cash as borrowing costs climbed. In recent years, the group sold Brazilian sanitation company Odebrecht Ambiental to Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management for $800 million and Peruvian hydroelectric plant Chaglla to China Three Gorges Corporation for $1.4 billion.

Still, some of the group’s businesses have been forced to restructure debts as their revenues dwindled.

Odebrecht’s construction unit OEC is in talks to restructure $3 billion of debt with bondholders. The company proposed a 70% haircut, which was rejected by its creditors.

After a failed attempt to negotiate an out-of-court solution with its creditors, ethanol unit Atvos filed for bankruptcy protection in May.

Shares in Braskem are pledged as collateral to the group’s largest creditors. Odebrecht had been negotiating a sale of Braskem to LyondellBasell Industries NV for a year and a half, but talks ended with no deal earlier this month.

The conglomerate’s largest creditors are Brazilian state-owned lenders Banco do Brasil SA, Caixa Economica Federal and BNDES, as well as private-sector lenders Banco Bradesco SA, Itaú Unibanco Holding SA and Banco Santander Brasil SA.

The group is being advised by financial restructuring firm RK Partners and law firm E. Munhoz Advogados.

(Reporting by Aluisio Alves, Tatiana Bautzer and Carolina Mandl; Editing by Brad Haynes and Rosalba O’Brien)

Source: OANN

Shoppers ride escalators at the Beverly Center mall in Los Angeles
FILE PHOTO: Shoppers ride escalators at the Beverly Center mall in Los Angeles, California November 8, 2013. Picture taken November 8. REUTERS/David McNew

June 17, 2019

By Jason Lange, Chris Prentice and David Lawder

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – This year’s holiday season could be tighter for many Americans if the U.S. government imposes tariffs on another $300 billion worth of Chinese imports – because that will include tech products, game consoles, toys, cribs, ornaments and Santa hats.

The tariffs would add 25% to the import cost of these and many other consumer items just as retail outlets throughout the world’s largest economy begin to gear up for the peak end-of-year shopping season.

Consumers have been largely shielded until now from the direct impact of the trade war between China and the United States as the administration of President Donald Trump has focused previous rounds of tariffs on imports sold to manufacturers rather consumers.

But Trump is escalating the trade war and preparing to extend tariffs to nearly all Chinese imports after talks for a deal broke down in May. The U.S. government is pushing for wide-ranging economic and trade reforms from Beijing.

Trump said he would decide whether to trigger the next round of tariffs after talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan later this month.

In preparation for the new round, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) on Monday began seven days of hearings for testimony from retailers, manufacturers and others impacted. Thousands of business filed comments to the USTR ahead of the hearings.

Toys, phones and televisions are all on the tariff list and represent some of the most valuable categories of products that Americans buy from China, according to a Reuters analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The new tariffs would hit cellphones whose import bill from China totaled $43 billion in 2018 – more than 80% of total cellphone imports.

They would also cover a broad set of toys, including scooters and doll carriages, whose imports totaled $11.9 billion last year. China supplied about 85% of America’s total imports of those toys.

Further pain for parents could come in the form of proposed levies on more than $5 billion worth of video game consoles. Chinese imports amounted to 98% of total U.S. imports of those consoles last year.

And U.S. imports from China of targeted Christmas products – including ornaments, nativity scenes and Christmas tree lights – totaled at least $2.3 billion last year.

An executive from a family-owned, Christmas goods supplier in upstate New York said the company has looked “long and far” to find another supplier for many typical holiday products.

“However, trying to find other countries to manufacture everything else, from Santa hats, to stockings, to glass ornaments, has been a struggle and we have been unable to do so,” Nathan Gordon of Gordon Companies Inc in Cheektowaga said in public comments posted on June 12.

HE’S MAKING A LIST

Some products previously spared by the Trump administration to avoid hitting consumers’ pockets are now on the list. That includes an array of safety and play equipment for children – including high chairs, play pens, and swings.

The proposed tariffs would hit at least $800 million of these goods.

Smart watches, smart speakers and Bluetooth audio are also included. The Consumer Technology Association estimates that 2018 imports in this category from China were up to $17.9 billion.

Retailers Walmart Inc, Target Corp, and more than 600 other companies urged Trump in a letter last week to resolve the trade dispute with China, saying tariffs hurt American businesses and consumers.

Worry over potential cost increases for Americans from tariffs has raised concern about inflation, though across the economy, prices rises remain below the U.S. Federal Reserve target of 2%.

Trump has said that China pays the tariffs, but U.S. importers actually foot the bill and either pass them on to consumers or suppliers.

(Reporting by Jason Lange and David Lawder in Washington and Chris Prentice in New York; Editing by Simon Webb and Rosalba O’Brien)

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FILE PHOTO: Senator Marco Rubio questions witnesses before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about
FILE PHOTO: Senator Marco Rubio questions witnesses before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about “worldwide threats” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 29, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

June 17, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio filed legislation on Monday that would prevent Huawei Technologies Co Ltd from seeking damages in U.S. patent courts, after the Chinese firm demanded that Verizon Communications Inc pay $1 billion to license the rights to patented technology.

Under the amendment – seen by Reuters – companies on certain U.S. government watch lists, which would include Huawei, would not be allowed to seek relief under U.S. law with respect to U.S. patents, including bringing legal action over patent infringement.

On June 12, a person briefed on the matter said Huawei had told Verizon that it should pay licensing fees for more than 230 of the Chinese telecoms equipment maker’s patents and in aggregate is seeking more than $1 billion.

It appeared to be a new strategy in Huawei’s ongoing battle with the U.S. government. National security experts worry that “back doors” in routers, switches and other Huawei equipment could allow China to spy on U.S. communications. Huawei has denied that it would help China spy.

Rubio, one of the Republican party’s leading foreign policy voices, filed the measure as an amendment to the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, a massive bill setting policy for spending by the Department of Defense.

While the measure is several steps from becoming law, lawmakers have successfully used the NDAA in past years to crack down on the Chinese firm.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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FILE PHOTO: Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador looks on during a news conference at National Palace in Mexico City
FILE PHOTO: Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador looks on during a news conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, June 14, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

June 17, 2019

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico could win a trade war with the United States but it is a war Mexico doesn’t want because it would take too heavy a toll, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday.

Lopez Obrador spoke at an event with military officials in the Mexican capital where he sketched out plans to deploy members of a newly created National Guard to better enforce the border with Guatemala in a bid to make good on a migration deal he made earlier this month with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Lopez Obrador said the deal was positive because it removed Trump’s threat of across-the-board tariffs on Mexican exports to the United States if Mexico’s government did not significantly reduce the flow of U.S.-bound asylum seekers.

But in a rare instance of chest-thumping for the Mexican president, who has consistently sought to lower tensions with Trump, Lopez Obrador insisted Mexico could come out on top of such a trade conflict with its northern neighbor.

“We’re going to have good results (with the National Guard deployment) and this moves us away from the threat of the start of a trade war that isn’t advisable, because we could win it, but we don’t want the war,” Lopez Obrador said.

The migration deal Mexico struck on June 7 with the United States commits the Mexican government to contain the numbers of mostly Central American migrants within 45 days. If Trump determines that Mexico’s efforts are insufficient, he has said he would consider reviving the tariff threat.

Lopez Obrador did not mention the deadline or offer details on how he would reduce migrant numbers, but he said a trade war with the United States would be economically damaging.

“It would be like winning a pyrrhic battle,” he said, “where you win, but many things are left on the field, your strength very much weakened despite the victory.”

(Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Dave Graham and Leslie Adler)

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FILE PHOTO: A
FILE PHOTO: A “Made in USA” label is pictured on the back of a tie Medford, Massachusetts January 29, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

June 17, 2019

By David Lawder

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A wide range of U.S. companies told a hearing in Washington on Monday that they have few alternatives other than China for producing clothing, electronics and other consumer goods as the Trump administration prepares new tariffs on remaining U.S.-China trade.

The comments came on the first of seven days of testimony on President Donald Trump’s plan to hit another $300 billion worth of Chinese imports with duties of 25%.

Sourcing from other countries will raise costs, in many cases more than the 25% tariffs, some witnesses told a panel of officials from the U.S. Trade Representative’s office, the Commerce Department, State Department and other federal agencies.

Trump and top members of his cabinet have said that the tariffs, if imposed, would accelerate a move of manufacturing out of China.

But dozens of witnesses in oral and written testimony said that moving operations to Vietnam and other countries would not be feasible for years due to a lack of skills and infrastructure in those locations. China dominates global production in industries from shoes to electronics to port gantry cranes.

“That 25% is just going to whack us on the head,” said Rick Helfenbein, president of the American Apparel and Footwear Association. “If we could move more product out of China we would, but we haven’t been able to.”

Mark Flannery, president of Regalo International LLC, a Minnesota-based maker of baby gates, child booster seats and portable play yards, said that pricing quotes for shifting production to Vietnam – using largely Chinese-made steel – were 50% higher than current China costs, while quotes from Mexico were above that.

“Currently there’s no country manufacturing metal baby gates outside of China,” Flannery said.

Child safety products such as car seats were spared from Trump’s previous tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, imposed in September 2018. But in the drive to pressure China in trade negotiations, USTR put them back on the list, along with other products spared previously, from flat-panel televisions to Bluetooth headphones.

The proposed list, which will be ready for a decision by Trump as early as July 2, includes nearly all consumer products, and could hit Christmas sales hard, particularly cell phones, computers, toys and electronic gadgets.

Marc Schneider, chief executive of fashion footwear and apparel marketer Kenneth Cole Productions, said 25 percent tariffs would wipe out the company’s profits and cost jobs.

“We’re going to lower the quality of footwear, raise prices and accomplish nothing by moving it around to other countries,” Schneider said.

Jean Kolloff, owner of cashmere importer Quinn Apparel, said her reason for opposing the tariffs was more geographical – the Alashan goat that produces light-colored cashmere wool is only found in China’s Inner Mongolia region.

DETERIORATING RELATIONS

The tariff hearings are underway amid a severe deterioration of U.S.-China relations since Trump accused Beijing in early May of reneging on commitments that had brought the world’s top two economies close to a deal to end their nearly year-long trade war.

Since then, Trump raised tariffs to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods. The $300 billion list of products being reviewed in the hearing would bring punitive tariffs to nearly all remaining Chinese exports to the United States.

There are no meetings scheduled to resume negotiations over U.S. demands that China enforce intellectual property protections and curb forced technology transfers and industrial subsidies.

Trump has said he wants to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the June 28-29 G20 leaders summit in Japan, but neither government has confirmed a meeting.

Companies including retailer Best Buy, vacuum cleaner maker iRobot and TV streaming device maker Roku Inc all argued against the tariffs on consumer tech goods, saying they would reduce demand for electronics and ultimately threaten U.S. technology leadership.

U.S. FACTORIES, CHINESE PARTS

Not all of the witnesses on the first day of the hearing were opposed to the tariffs. Mike Branson, president of Rheem Manufacturing Co’s air conditioning division, asked Trump administration officials to close a loophole that was allowing Chinese firms to skirt air conditioner tariffs by shipping condenser and air handler units separately.

This allowed the units to be imported duty free as parts, rather than as completed systems that were subject to tariffs. Domestic manufacturers had ample capacity to make these products, Branson said.

Other companies with U.S. manufacturing operations voiced opposition to the tariffs because they depend on Chinese components, such as light-emitting diode parts for lighting manufacturer Ledvance LLC and stitched leather parts for athletic shoe maker New Balance LLC.

New Balance vice president Monica Gorman said the tariffs “will risk our company’s overall financial health, which will in turn limit our ability to maintain and re-invest in our American factories.”

(Reporting by David Lawder, Additional reporting by Chris Prentice and Jason Lange in Washington and Uday Sampath in Bengaluru, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The MoneyGram logo is seen on a kiosk in New York
FILE PHOTO: The MoneyGram logo is seen on a kiosk in New York, U.S. January 3, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

June 17, 2019

(Reuters) – Blockchain firm Ripple has bought $30 million worth of shares and warrants in MoneyGram International Inc, the two companies said on Monday, as they partner to use Ripple’s product for cross-border payment and foreign exchange settlement.

Ripple bought MoneyGram’s stock at $4.10 per share, representing a premium of about 183% to its Monday closing price. The partnership will initially be for two years, MoneyGram said.

Shares of MoneyGram surged about 77% to $2.56 after the closing bell.

Ripple may also buy additional common stock or warrants for up to $20 million at a minimum price of $4.10 per share, MoneyGram said.

The partnership will focus on Ripple’s xRapid, a platform for cross-border payments that uses XRP, a virtual currency powered by blockchain to send and receive currencies.

“Through Ripple’s xRapid product, we will have the ability to instantly settle funds from U.S. dollars to destination currencies on a 24/7 basis, which has the potential to revolutionize our operations and dramatically streamline our global liquidity management,” MoneyGram Chief Executive Officer Alex Holmes said in a statement.

(Reporting by Soundarya J in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

Source: OANN

U.S. Pentagon in Washington releases handout imagery that it says shows damage from mines to commercial ships in Gulf of Oman
A U.S. military image released by the Pentagon in Washington on June 17, which is says was taken from a U.S. Navy MH-60R helicopter in the Gulf of Oman in waters between Gulf Arab states and Iran on June 13, shows mine blast damage to M/T Kokuka Courageous, a Japanese owned commercial motor tanker. Picture taken June 13, 2019. U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

June 17, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military on Monday released new images it says showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) removing an unexploded limpet mine from a Japanese-owned tanker that was attacked on June 13 in the Gulf of Oman, as Washington blames Tehran for the attack.

“Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence and the resources and proficiency needed to quickly remove the unexploded limpet mine,” the U.S. military’s Central Command said in a statement explaining the still-images.

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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FILE PHOTO: Emilio Lozoya, former CEO of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex)
FILE PHOTO: Emilio Lozoya, former chief Executive Officer of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) in Mexico City, Mexico August 17, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo

June 17, 2019

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A Mexican court ruled on Monday to allow the arrest of Emilio Lozoya, former chief executive of state-owned oil company Pemex, who is facing corruption charges, according to a court document dated Monday and seen by Reuters.

The decision nullified an earlier ruling that suspended an arrest warrant against Lozoya issued last month. “The suspension that had been granted is null and void,” the document said.

Mexican authorities say the case centers on bribes paid in connection with the purchase by Pemex of a fertilizer plant under the previous government. Reuters could not reach Lozoya for comment. He has always denied wrongdoing and defended the fertilizer factory purchase as a wise investment.

“I know perfectly well that he committed no crime,” one of Lozoya’s lawyers, Javier Coello, told local radio on Monday, vowing to fight the charges at trial.

The government’s move against Lozoya is one of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s boldest steps, since taking office in December, to fulfill a campaign promise to stamp out corruption.

(Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutiérrez, Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Lyft President John Zimmer and CEO Logan Green applaud as Lyft lists on the Nasdaq at an IPO event in Los Angeles
FILE PHOTO: Lyft President John Zimmer and CEO Logan Green applaud as Lyft lists on the Nasdaq at an IPO event in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 29, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

June 17, 2019

By Suzanne Barlyn

(Reuters) – Companies going public in the United States face insurance costs that have increased as much as 200% in the last three years to cover their executives against lawsuits alleging they misled investors.

A rise in securities class-action cases involving initial public offerings is spurring IPO insurers to double and triple prices for directors and officers coverage, or “D&O” coverage, insurers and brokers told Reuters.

A $5 million policy that cost $200,000 in 2016 can now easily cost $500,000 to $600,000, said Paul Schiavone, head of North American Financial Lines for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, an Allianz SE unit.

“You want to be part of the market, but there are also lots of risks in IPOs,” said Schiavone. “If things don’t go well in a year, you have the investors saying, ‘I want my money back.’”

The tightening insurance market follows a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows some securities lawsuits to proceed in state court in addition to federal court.

“Since then, the market has gotten absolutely more challenging,” said Jennifer Sharkey, President of the Northeast Management Liability Practice for insurance broker Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Investors who used to wait months to see how a new stock would perform now waste little time to see if promises made in offering documents come to fruition – and are swift to accuse the executives of misleading investors if they do not.

“You have a lot more aggressive lawyers and investors out there who are looking where the cash is,” said Jeff Lubitz, who heads Securities Class Action Services for Institutional Shareholder Services. “And now, it looks like they will have multiple choices on how to jump on this.”

The changes come amid a spate of mega-IPOs, including recent offerings by ride-sharing rivals Uber Technologies Inc and Lyft Inc. There were 205 IPOs in 2018, up 14% from 2017, according to accounting and consulting firm EY.

Many larger companies have ample funds to pay the premiums, but smaller companies that need the insurance in order to attract reputable board members may feel the strain, insurance brokers said.

There have been 25 lawsuits related to IPOs so far this year, against 19 companies. Six companies that launched IPOs face suits in both state and federal court, including Lyft, BrightView Holdings Inc, and US Xpress Enterprises.

Shareholders slapped Lyft with a lawsuit about three weeks after its stock began trading on March 28 and quickly tanked more than 20%. The suit alleges that Lyft misled investors by overstating its market share. A Lyft spokeswoman declined to comment.

As the pace quickens and litigation picks up in two court systems, insurers are on the line to pay tens of millions of dollars in defense costs and substantial settlements.

IPO-related settlements have totaled $929 million since 2017, including a $250 million settlement by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in April, after an earlier $75 million state court settlement. Last year, LendingClub Corp settled a suit for $125 million, according to ISS.

About 25 insurers sell D&O coverage to companies going public, including American International Group Inc, Chubb Ltd, AXA XL, Beazley PLC, and Allianz SE. The insurers, collectively, can offer about $150 million coverage, according to broker Aon Plc.

Insurers are chopping coverage limits and requiring IPO clients to pick up more costs before a policy kicks in. And they are requiring companies to pay a percentage of the eventual loss, said Rachel Turk, D&O team leader for Beazley.

(Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn in New York, Editing by Neal Templin and Rosalba O’Brien)

Source: OANN

Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who's bloc came first, meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who's political bloc came third in a May parliamentary election, in Najaf
FILE PHOTO: Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who’s bloc came first, meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who’s political bloc came third in a May parliamentary election, in Najaf, Iraq June 23, 2018. REUTERS/Alaa al-Marjani

June 17, 2019

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr urged political blocs on Monday to pressure the prime minister to form a complete cabinet within 10 days, warning that his supporters would take a “new stance” if they failed to do so.

Sadr, who leads a large parliamentary bloc, has rallied his supporters to stage mass protests against previous governments, and has implied this could take place against the current government of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi.

“I call on all political blocs to charge the prime minister with completing the cabinet formation process within 10 days,” Sadr said in a letter released by his office.

“Otherwise we will have another position … and you are aware of our stance.”

Sadr’s Saeroon political bloc came first in a May 2018 general election. He has called for independent candidates to be put forth for several key cabinet positions which remain vacant over disagreement between powerful parties.

Abdul Mahdi began his term in October, but has yet to fill interior and defense posts.

Sadr, who presents himself as a nationalist who opposes the involvement of both the United States and Iran, Iraq’s two mains allies, scored a surprise victory in the May vote by promising to fight corruption and improve services.

The other largest political bloc includes candidates backed by Iran who have tried to push an interior candidate linked to Iran-backed militias.

A wild card in Iraq’s turbulent politics driven largely by sectarian interests, he has frequently mobilized tens of thousands of followers to protest against government policies and corruption.

His militia, previously known as the Mehdi Army, staged two violent uprisings against U.S. occupation forces after the invasion. Iraqi and U.S. officials described him at the time as the biggest security threat in Iraq.

(Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed; writing by Raya Jalabi; Editing by John Davison and Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Canada's PM Trudeau speaks in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa
FILE PHOTO: Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

June 17, 2019

By Richard Cowan and Alexandra Alper

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week is set to meet with Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and the U.S. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, in a bid to fast-track passage of a delayed trade deal, two congressional aides said on Monday.

Trudeau is to travel to Washington on Thursday to meet with President Donald Trump to discuss ratification of the new North American trade accord, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

Mexico’s Senate is scheduled to take up the legislation in a full vote on Tuesday.

The Trump administration has been pushing Congress to speed up a vote on the agreement. But the Democratic-led House of Representatives has sought more time to review the deal, with Pelosi pressing for improved enforcement mechanisms for labor and environmental standards.

Republicans, who control the U.S. Senate, have been seeking a vote on the USMCA before the August recess to avoid budget debates and 2020 presidential campaign activity, which is expected to intensify in the autumn.

Pelosi controls the overall House legislative agenda, including trade measures, and many political experts see USMCA as unlikely to come to a vote in that chamber during the summer.

Nevertheless, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a powerful business lobby seeking quick passage of the accord, sees progress for the deal as feasible in the short term, despite concerns voiced by Democrats.

“We think the objective of securing a vote on USMCA in the House before the August recess is a reasonable goal,” the chamber’s senior vice president for international policy, John Murphy, told reporters in a phone call on Monday. “The gaps are bridgeable.”

He pointed to Pelosi’s move to appoint a number of House Democrats to a working group with officials at the United States Trade Representative’s office to address their concerns as cause for cheer.

Trudeau’s meetings with congressional leaders were first reported by Politico. Trudeau’s meeting with Pelosi is scheduled for 2 p.m. (1800 GMT) on Thursday, a Pelosi aide said.

Canada’s government confirmed Trudeau will meet with U.S. House and Senate leaders on Thursday but provided no details.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan and Alexandra Alper; Additional reporting by Steve Scherer in Ottawa; Writing by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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FILE PHOTO: The convoy of a team from the United Nations and the World Food Program crosses from Houthi-controlled areas to a government-controlled areas to reach grain mills in an eastern suburb of Hodeidah
FILE PHOTO: The convoy of a team from the United Nations and the World Food Program crosses from Houthi-controlled areas to a government-controlled areas to reach grain mills in an eastern suburb of Hodeidah, Yemen February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad/File Photo

June 17, 2019

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – United Nations food chief David Beasley warned on Monday that a phased-suspension of food assistance in Yemen was likely to begin later this week over a diversion of aid and lack of independence in Houthi-controlled areas.

Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), called on the Houthis to “simply let us do our job.”

“If we do not receive these assurances then we will begin a phased suspension of food assistance, most likely toward the end of this week. If and when we do initiate suspension we will continue our nutrition program for malnourished children, pregnant women and new mothers,” he told the U.N. Security Council.

Beasley said WFP had been unable to implement agreements with the Houthis on the registration of people in need and the rollout of a biometric system – using iris scanning, fingerprints or facial recognition – to support aid delivery.

“We are now assisting feeding over 10 million people per month but as the head of the World Food Programme I cannot assure you that all the assistance is going to those who need it most,” Beasley said.

“Why? Because we are not allowed to operate independently and because aid is being diverted for profit and or other purposes,” he told the 15-member council.

The Houthis did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Beasley’s remarks. However, earlier this month Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, head of the Houthis’ Supreme Revolutionary Committee, told Reuters the WFP insisted on controlling the biometric data in violation of Yemeni law.

In a statement, the U.N. Security Council “condemned the misappropriation of humanitarian assistance and aid by the Houthis … and reiterated their call for the rapid, safe and unhindered flow of commercial and humanitarian supplies and personnel into and across the country.”

A Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognized government that was ousted from power in the capital, Sanaa, by the Houthis in 2014.

The conflict is widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Houthis deny being puppets of Iran and say their revolution is against corruption.

Beasley said that aid diversion was not limited to just Houthi-controlled areas, but “when we face challenges in areas controlled by the government, we have received cooperation to address the issues.”

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Susan Thomas and Bill Trott)

Source: OANN

A Rohingya refugee child looks at others studying at a makeshift madrasa at the Burma Para refugee camp near Cox's Bazar
A Rohingya refugee child looks at others studying at a makeshift madrasa at the Burma Para refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh December 27, 2017. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

June 17, 2019

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – There was a “systemic failure” of the United Nations in dealing with the situation in Myanmar ahead of a deadly 2017 military crackdown because it did not have a unified strategy and lacked Security Council support, according to an internal report.

The crackdown drove more than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh. U.N. investigators have said the operation was executed with “genocidal intent” and included mass killings, gang rapes and widespread arson.

Myanmar denies widespread wrongdoing and says the military campaign across hundreds of villages in northern Rakhine was in response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents.

“Without question serious errors were committed and opportunities were lost in the U.N. system following a fragmented strategy rather than a common plan of action,” wrote former Guatemalan foreign minister and U.N. ambassador Gert Rosenthal in a 34-page internal review, seen by Reuters.

“The overall responsibility was of a collective character; in other words, it truly can be characterized as a systemic failure of the United Nations,” wrote Rosenthal, who was appointed by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier this year to look at U.N. involvement in Myanmar from 2010 to 2018.

He said senior U.N. officials in New York could not agree on whether to take a more robust public approach with Myanmar or pursue quiet diplomacy and that conflicting reports on the situation were also sent to U.N. headquarters from the field.

The United Nations struggled to balance supporting the Myanmar government with development and humanitarian assistance, while also calling out the authorities over accusations of human rights violations, Rosenthal concluded.

“The United Nations system … has been relatively impotent to effectively work with the authorities of Myanmar to reverse the negative trends in the area of human rights and consolidate the positive trends in other areas,” he said.

“The United Nations’ collective membership, represented by the Security Council, bears part of that responsibility, by not providing enough support to the secretariat when such backing was and continues to be essential,” Rosenthal wrote.

The 15-member Security Council, which visited Myanmar’s Rakhine state last year, has been deadlocked with Myanmar allies China and Russia pitted against western states over how to deal with the situation.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Rosenthal’s report was due to be sent to all 193 U.N. members states on Monday and would then be posted publicly online.

“Its conclusions and observations have been fully accepted by the Secretary-General, and he will work very closely with the senior leadership to make sure they’re implemented,” he said.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Susan Thomas)

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NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins
FILE PHOTO: Nov 24, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Anthony Duclair (91) takes the ice for warm-ups against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports – 11726657

June 17, 2019

The Ottawa Senators re-signed left winger Anthony Duclair on a one-year, $1.65 million contract on Monday.

Duclair, who was acquired in February in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets, could have become a restricted free agent this offseason.

The 23-year-old had 33 points (19 goals, 14 assists) in a combined 74 games with Columbus and Ottawa last season.

“We were pleased with what Anthony was able to add to our lineup after his acquisition,” Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said in a statement. “This signing improves our team speed and scoring depth up front. Anthony’s speed and skill can be dynamic, and at only 23 years old we feel he has the chance to grow into a really consistent contributor.”

Duclair, a third-round draft pick of the New York Rangers in 2013, broke into the NHL as a 19-year-old with New York in the 2014-15 season. He also played for the Arizona Coyotes (2015-18) and the Chicago Blackhawks (2018) before signing with the Blue Jackets last summer.

He has 122 career points (56 goals, 66 assists) in 287 games.

–Field Level Media

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NFL: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
FILE PHOTO: Dec 9, 2018; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown (15) warms up prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports – 11816231

June 17, 2019

Josh McCown, whose 17-year NFL career spanned 10 teams, announced his retirement Monday.

His longest tenure with any franchise was four seasons, that being with the Arizona Cardinals, who drafted McCown in the third round of the 2002 draft.

He started 22 games for the Cardinals, the most he had in any of his NFL stops.

“But looking back, I’m proud of how my career has gone,” he wrote at The Players’ Tribune website. “I don’t shy away from the journeyman label. I embrace it, full force.

“Because it’s been one heck of a journey.”

McCown played in 99 games (76 starts) across 16 seasons, completing 1,581 of 2,628 passes for 17,707 yards, with 98 touchdowns and 82 interceptions.

McCown, who turns 40 on July 4, spent the past two seasons with the New York Jets, serving as the starter in 2017. He appeared in four games (three starts) last season, serving as a backup to rookie Sam Darnold.

McCown’s career also took him to the Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns.

“At the end of the day, no matter what team I was on, I tried to serve it to the best of my ability, and I tried to influence my team in a positive manner. I hope I did that,” McCown wrote.

“And I made sure that when my number was called, I was prepared, and I gave it everything I had, every time. I may not have turned out to be the franchise quarterback I set out to be back at Cardinals rookie camp, but I’m extremely proud of the career I had.”

McCown has done analyst work for ESPN and wrote that he plans to do more of that, as well as coach his two sons, who are high school quarterbacks.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Daniel Elwell, acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, testifies before a hearing on
FILE PHOTO: Daniel Elwell, acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, testifies during the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Aviation Subcommittee hearing on “Status of the Boeing 737 MAX” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

June 17, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Monday it is moving to rewrite testing rules to allow for the eventual return of civil supersonic air travel.

At an event in Paris on Monday, Acting FAA Administrator Dan Elwell said the agency is working to “enable the return of civil supersonic travel, while ensuring the environmental impacts are understood and properly addressed.”

Later this week, the FAA will issue a proposed rule for “special flight authorization for supersonic aircraft,” Elwell said. This is the first step toward revising the FAA’s 45-year-old rules governing supersonic transport.

U.S. startups Aerion, Boom Supersonic and Spike Aerospace are working to reintroduce supersonic passenger travel for the first time since the Anglo-French Concorde retired in 2003.

The rule “modifies and clarifies existing regulatory procedures for a more efficient way to obtain FAA approval to test supersonic aircraft.”

The rule “will provide a streamlined, clear line of sight on how to gain approval to conduct flight testing. This is a necessary, key step for further research and development in an emerging segment – and ultimately bring their aircraft to market,” Elwell added in remarks provided by the FAA.

According to a draft of the FAA proposal reviewed by Reuters, the agency said the proposed updates “are intended to support the growth of the civil supersonic industry” and will “provide increased clarity and information to applications as to the requirements for special flight authorizations to test supersonic aircraft.”

In February, Boeing Co said it had made a significant investment in supersonic business jet developer Aerion, as the world’s biggest planemaker looks to tap into rising demand for high-end aircraft that can reduce travel time.

Boeing will provide engineering, manufacturing and flight testing services for Aerion’s $120 million supersonic business jet, which is slated for its first flight in 2023.

Congress last year approved legislation directing the FAA to issue proposed rules setting noise standards for landing and takeoff, and noise test requirements for civil supersonic aircraft by March 2020, and modernizing the application process by December 2019.

Next generation supersonic jets, while quieter and more fuel efficient than the Concorde, have difficulty meeting existing noise levels and carbon emissions standards for conventional planes due to engine constraints and higher fuel burn.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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Men's ice hockey player Kessel of the U.S. watches his teammates take shots during a team practice at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
FILE PHOTO: Men’s ice hockey player Phil Kessel of the U.S. watches his teammates take shots during a team practice at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics February 20, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

June 17, 2019

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Phil Kessel recently vetoed a trade and the team is no longer seeking to move him, general manager Jim Rutherford said Monday.

“I’m not actively pushing to trade him at this point,” Rutherford said on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh. “If someone comes along with a deal that makes sense, we’ll take a look at it, just like most of the other players.”

Kessel, a 13-year veteran with 357 goals and 466 assists in his career, reportedly nixed a trade to the Minnesota Wild, which were not on Kessel’s list of approved trade destinations. Rutherford said he tried to put together the deal anyway.

“From a team point of view you can’t have the player controlling the trade because if you do it’s not going to work out for the team, so at this point and time I view it that Phil will return with the team,” Rutherford said.

Kessel, 31, had 27 goals and 55 assists in 82 games for the Penguins last season, his fourth with the team. He helped Pittsburgh win the Stanley Cup in 2016 and 2017.

He is under contract through the 2021-22 season.

Rutherford said the team is “trying to retool” after a 44-26-12 season in which Pittsburgh was swept by the New York Islanders in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

“That doesn’t mean he has to be traded,” Rutherford said of Kessel. “He’s been a really good player for us. … He’s an impact player and will be for a few more years.”

Rutherford said there also are no hard feelings about the rejected trade.

“He’s a player that deserved to get the position he’s in where he had a no-trade and pick eight teams that he would go to, and otherwise he would have some say in whether he’d go to other teams,” Rutherford said.

“I don’t think there’s anything out of the ordinary here. He’s exercising his right. Obviously, it’s frustrating for the team when you feel that the trade that we were going to make was the right thing for the Penguins, but at the same time Phil didn’t do anything wrong.”

–Field Level Media

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Tennis: French Open
FILE PHOTO: Jun 6, 2019; Paris, France: Alexander Zverev (GER) in action during his match against Novak Djokovic (SRB) on day 12 of the 2019 French Open at Stade Roland Garros. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

June 17, 2019

(Reuters) – World number five Alexander Zverev of Germany breezed into the second round of the Halle Open with a 6-4 7-5 victory over Dutchman Robin Hasse on Monday.

Second-seeded Zverev struggled on serve at times and finished with seven double faults but he fired 12 aces and converted four break points to advance after an hour and 45 minutes.

Russian third seed Karen Khachanov also progressed by winning 7-6(5) 6-4 against Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic — a late replacement for Damir Dzumhur who withdrew from the tournament.

However, there was an early upset when fifth seed Gael Monfils lost 7-6(6) 6-4 to French compatriot Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Top seed Roger Federer is in action on Tuesday against John Millman, who beat the Swiss at the U.S. Open last year.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: OANN

Toronto fans watch a man climb down a poll as they fill the streets in front of the city hall, during the Toronto Raptors NBA Championship celebration parade at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto
Toronto fans watch a man climb down a poll as they fill the streets in front of the city hall, during the Toronto Raptors NBA Championship celebration parade at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

June 17, 2019

By Tyler Choi

TORONTO (Reuters) – Around two million Toronto Raptors fans lined the streets of downtown Toronto to cheer on their hometown heroes in a victory parade on Monday to celebrate their first NBA championship that united Canada through basketball.

A bus carrying the Raptors was expected arrive at Nathan Phillips Square, which leads to Toronto’s city hall. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is also expected to arrive at the square, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office.

Canadians from coast to coast and all the way up to the Arctic have been celebrating since the Toronto Raptors captured their first National Basketball Association championship in a country that is traditionally known as the home of ice hockey.

The Raptors clinched the best-of-seven series in Oakland, California last Thursday in six games by beating the defending champion Golden State Warriors 114-110, sealing a nationwide love affair with basketball.

The Raptors victory is the first major professional sports championship for a Canada-based team since Major League Baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993. Toronto has been waiting for its beloved Maple Leafs to win the NHL championship since its last Stanley Cup victory in 1967.

“It’s the culmination of playing for 24 years. We’ve been waiting a long time for this,” said Raptors fan Chris Rogers.

Rogers, 34, who has rooted for the Raptors since they entered the league 1995, was dressed in a jersey of Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. He had been waiting since morning to watch the parade.

Rogers said his workplace was fully in support of him being out of the office as they believed the parade was “important.”

Monday’s victory parade started from the Exhibition Center, where the Canadian National Exhibition is held, and was to culminate at the Nathan Phillips Square.

Approximately two million fans stood by to celebrated and catch a glimpse of the winners according to Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Raptors.

Streets were closed off to accommodate the convoy carrying the Raptors, and three subway stations were also closed due to overcrowding on the street level. Enthusiastic fans festooned the streets of Toronto in Raptors colors – red, purple, black and white.

A few fans climbed atop of bus stops and the arches of Nathan Phillips Square, but were asked by police to come down.

The Snowbirds, an aerobatic flight demonstration team of the Royal Canadian Air Forces, is expected to soar over the skies of Toronto to join the festivities.

Toronto mayor John Tory proclaimed June 17, 2019, as “We The North” day to mark the occasion, borrowing the slogan used by the Raptors.

“This championship is the culmination of years of patience, support, devotion and belief. Toronto has proven that it is a basketball city and that the game thrives in The North,” Tory said in a statement.

(Reporting by Tyler Choi; Editing by Denny Thomas and Bill Berkrot)

Source: OANN

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Los Angeles Angels
FILE PHOTO: June 11, 2019; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger (35) reacts after striking out to end the top of the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

June 17, 2019

With just days remaining until the end of the first-round of All-Star voting, a pair of Los Angeles outfielders continue to lead the voting.

Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers leads all vote-getters with 2,184,251, and the Angels’ Mike Trout tops the American League balloting with 1,904,273.

First baseman Carlos Santana of the Cleveland Indians, catcher Robinson Chirinos of the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves teammates Josh Donaldson and Nick Markakis have joined the leading group at their positions in the latest balloting update for the game, which is scheduled for July 9 in Cleveland.

New voting rules have divided the balloting into rounds. At the conclusion of the first round, which ends Friday, the top three players at each position — nine in the outfield — will move on to the next round of balloting with the vote tally starting over.

Other leaders in the National League are: Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs, catcher; Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates, first base; Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves, second base; Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies, third base; and Javier Baez, Cubs, shortstop.

Joining Bellinger in the outfield are reigning league MVP Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers and the Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr.

In the American League, three Houston Astros – third baseman Alex Bregman and outfielders George Springer and Michael Brantley – and two New York Yankees – catcher Gary Sanchez and first baseman Luke Voit – are among the leaders.

Joining them are Minnesota Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco, Angels’ second baseman Tommy La Stella and designated hitter J.D. Martinez, the only representative from the world champion Boston Red Sox on the list.

The second round of voting — “The Starters Election” — will begin June 26 at noon ET and conclude at 4 p.m. ET on June 27. Starters will be announced on ESPN that night at 7 ET. Pitchers and reserves will be announced on June 30 at 5:30 p.m. ET.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Actress Vanderbilt speaks at a panel for the HBO documentary
Actress Gloria Vanderbilt speaks at a panel for the HBO documentary “Nothing Left Unsaid” during the Television Critics Association Cable Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, California, January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

June 17, 2019

(Reuters) – CNN anchor Anderson Cooper remembered his mother, designer and society grand dame Gloria Vanderbilt, as a woman who endured a string of heartbreaks but still remained deeply in love with love.

“I always felt it was my job to protect her. She was the strongest person I ever met but she wasn’t tough,” Cooper said in a seven-minute video https://youtu.be/cfbRneB9wcA obituary on CNN.

“I always thought of her as visitor from another world, a traveler stranded here who had come from a distant star that had burned out long ago.”

Vanderbilt, who died on Monday at age 95, had been famous her entire life, starting with a legal battle in which her aunt took custody from her mother when “Little Gloria” was a child. She would go on to endure four marriages, three divorces, the death of a husband and the suicide of a son.

Cooper’s obituary featured clips of young Gloria and told how she grew up in France, unaware that she was heir to the Vanderbilt railroad fortune. Portions also were taken from an HBO documentary “Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper.”

When Cooper questioned why she first married a 32-year-old Hollywood figure, Vanderbilt told him, “Sweetheart, I was only 17.”

His mother “trusted too freely, too completely” but always pressed on, Cooper said, and always believed that the next true love was just around the corner.

“She was always in love – in love with men or with friends or books and art, in love with her children and her grandchildren and then her great-greatchildren,” Cooper said. “Love is what she believed in more than anything.”

Cooper said his mother learned earlier this month that she had advanced and spreading stomach cancer. Her response was to cite a 1950 hit song by Peggy Lee with the lyrics “show me the way to get out of this world because that’s where everything is.”

The CNN report included a video Cooper shot in a hospital after the diagnosis as he and his mother broke into laughing fits over a joke. Cooper said that was when he realized they had the same giggle. He said he still giggles every time he watches that video.

(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

Actress Vanderbilt speaks at a panel for the HBO documentary
Actress Gloria Vanderbilt speaks at a panel for the HBO documentary “Nothing Left Unsaid” during the Television Critics Association Cable Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, California, January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

June 17, 2019

(Reuters) – CNN anchor Anderson Cooper remembered his mother, designer and society grand dame Gloria Vanderbilt, as a woman who endured a string of heartbreaks but still remained deeply in love with love.

“I always felt it was my job to protect her. She was the strongest person I ever met but she wasn’t tough,” Cooper said in a seven-minute video https://youtu.be/cfbRneB9wcA obituary on CNN.

“I always thought of her as visitor from another world, a traveler stranded here who had come from a distant star that had burned out long ago.”

Vanderbilt, who died on Monday at age 95, had been famous her entire life, starting with a legal battle in which her aunt took custody from her mother when “Little Gloria” was a child. She would go on to endure four marriages, three divorces, the death of a husband and the suicide of a son.

Cooper’s obituary featured clips of young Gloria and told how she grew up in France, unaware that she was heir to the Vanderbilt railroad fortune. Portions also were taken from an HBO documentary “Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper.”

When Cooper questioned why she first married a 32-year-old Hollywood figure, Vanderbilt told him, “Sweetheart, I was only 17.”

His mother “trusted too freely, too completely” but always pressed on, Cooper said, and always believed that the next true love was just around the corner.

“She was always in love – in love with men or with friends or books and art, in love with her children and her grandchildren and then her great-greatchildren,” Cooper said. “Love is what she believed in more than anything.”

Cooper said his mother learned earlier this month that she had advanced and spreading stomach cancer. Her response was to cite a 1950 hit song by Peggy Lee with the lyrics “show me the way to get out of this world because that’s where everything is.”

The CNN report included a video Cooper shot in a hospital after the diagnosis as he and his mother broke into laughing fits over a joke. Cooper said that was when he realized they had the same giggle. He said he still giggles every time he watches that video.

(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Mursi greets his lawyers and people from behind bars at a court wearing the red uniform of a prisoner sentenced to death, during his court appearance with Muslim Brotherhood members on the outskirts of Cairo
FILE PHOTO: Egypt’s deposed president Mohamed Mursi greets his lawyers and people from behind bars at a court wearing the red uniform of a prisoner sentenced to death, during his court appearance with Muslim Brotherhood members on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, June 21, 2015. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo

June 17, 2019

CAIRO (Reuters) – Former Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi, the first democratically elected head of state in Egypt’s modern history, died on Monday aged 67 after collapsing in a Cairo court while on trial on espionage charges, authorities said.

Mursi, a top figure in the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, had been in jail since being toppled by the military in 2013 after barely a year in power following mass protests against his rule.

The public prosecutor said he had collapsed in a defendants’ cage in the courtroom shortly after speaking, and had been pronounced dead in hospital at 4:50 p.m. (1450 GMT). It said an autopsy had shown no signs of recent injury on his body.

After decades of repression under Egyptian autocrats, the Brotherhood won a parliamentary election after a popular uprising toppled Mubarak and his military-backed establishment in 2011.

Mursi was elected to power in 2012 in Egypt’s first free presidential election, having been thrown into the race at the last moment by the disqualification on a technicality of millionaire businessman Khairat al-Shater, by far the Brotherhood’s preferred choice.

His victory marked a radical break with the military men who had provided every Egyptian leader since the overthrow of the monarchy in 1952.

Mursi promised a moderate Islamist agenda to steer Egypt into a new democratic era where autocracy would be replaced by transparent government that respected human rights and revived the fortunes of a powerful Arab state long in decline.

But the euphoria that greeted the end of an era of presidents who ruled like pharaohs did not last long.

The stocky, bespectacled man, born in 1951 in the dying days of the monarchy, told Egyptians he would deliver an “Egyptian renaissance with an Islamic foundation”.

Instead, he alienated millions who accused him of usurping unlimited powers, imposing the Brotherhood’s conservative brand of Islam and mismanaging the economy, all of which he denied.

STATE OF EMERGENCY

Security sources said the Interior Ministry had declared a state of alert on Monday, notably in Mursi’s home province of Sharqiya in the Nile Delta, where the body was expected to be taken for burial.

Mursi had been in court for a hearing on charges of espionage emanating from suspected contacts with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which had close ties to the Brotherhood.

His body was taken to the Tora prison hospital, state television reported.

His lawyer said Mursi’s health had been poor in jail. “We had put in several requests for treatment, some were accepted and others were not,” the lawyer, Abdel-Menem Abdel-Maqsood, told Reuters.

Mursi was serving a 20-year prison sentence for a conviction arising from the killing of protesters during demonstrations in 2012, and a life sentence for espionage in a case related to the Gulf state of Qatar. He had denied the charges.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan mourned his fellow Islamist as a martyr.

“Putting doubts aside, he has become a martyr today with the fulfillment of God’s order … Our prayers are with him,” Erdogan said.

“Condolences to all my brothers who walked the same path as he did. Condolences to the people of Egypt. Condolences to his family and those close to him.”

Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, a backer of Mursi and his Brotherhood, tweeted his condolences to Mursi’s family “and to the brotherly Egyptian people”.

(Reporting by Nayera Abdullah and Enas al-Ashray; Writing by Nadine Awadalla and Sami Aboudi; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Roman Catholic pilgrims travel as they accompany the statue of Our Lady of Conception during an annual river procession and pilgrimage along the Caraparu River in Santa Izabel do Para
FILE PHOTO: Roman Catholic pilgrims display a banner with an image depicting Jesus Christ as they travel in a boat while accompanying the statue of Our Lady of Conception (not seen) during an annual river procession and pilgrimage along the Caraparu River in Santa Izabel do Para, in the Amazon jungle December 8, 2012. Picture taken December 8, 2012. REUTERS/Paulo Santos/File Photo

June 17, 2019

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A Vatican document on Monday said the Church should consider ordaining older married men as priests in remote areas of the Amazon, a historic shift which some say could pave the way for their use in other areas where clergy are scarce.

The recommendation, contained in a working document prepared by the Vatican for a synod of bishops from the Amazon scheduled for October, also called for some kind of “official ministry” for women in the area, although it did not elaborate.

It was the most direct mention ever in a Vatican document of the possibility of a married priesthood, albeit limited, and a greater ministerial role for women in one area of the world.

The document spoke of the possibility of ordaining what are known as “viri probati” – Latin for men of proven character – to deal with the shortage of priests. Such men would be elderly, outstanding members of the local Catholic community and with grown-up families.

“While affirming that celibacy is a gift for the Church, there have been requests that, for the most remote areas of the region, (the Church) studies the possibility of conferring priestly ordination on elderly men, preferably indigenous, respected and accepted members of their communities,” the document said.

It said such men could be ordained “even if they already have an established and stable family, in order to guarantee the sacraments that accompany and sustain Christian life.”

Only priests can say Mass or hear confessions, meaning that Catholics in isolated communities in the Amazon can go for many months without participating in either of the sacraments.

Monsignor Fabio Fabene, undersecretary of the Vatican department that organizes synods, told Reuters that in responses to questionnaires to bishops in the region, there had been “very widespread” requests for “Viri Probati” to be considered.

Some Catholic scholars have said the approval of “viri probati” in the Amazon may eventually pave the way for their use elsewhere in the world as a response to the shortage of priests.

Pope Francis, in an interview with a German newspaper in 2017, said he was willing to consider ordaining “viri probati” men as priests in isolated communities. He has also mentioned their possible use on remote Pacific islands.

But he ruled out a general opening the priesthood to all married men or watering down the Catholic Church’s commitment to celibacy, seen as a virtue that frees priests to devote their lives fully to serve God.

The synod on Oct 6-27 at the Vatican will include bishops and other representatives, including indigenous peoples, from Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana.

At the end of their conference, participants will vote on various articles in a final document, which will then go to the pope, who will decide whether to make it an official Apostolic Exhortation based on the synod meetings.

The document also issues a strong defense for the protection of the environment in the Amazon, deforestation, illegal mining and development projects that threaten native cultures and the delicate ecosystem vital for the planet.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Workers pour cement at a construction site for an office town in downtown San Diego
FILE PHOTO: Workers pour cement at a construction site for an office town in downtown San Diego, California, U.S., April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

June 17, 2019

(Reuters) – Citi Research’s barometer on U.S. economic data surprises decreased on Monday to its most negative level since late April after disappointing data on homebuilder sentiment and New York state business activity.

The Citi gauge, which measures whether U.S. economic data come in weaker or stronger than analysts forecast, is monitored by traders for the U.S. growth trajectory. It slipped to minus 63.2 from minus 55.4.

(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Sotheby's auction house is seen in Zurich
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Sotheby’s auction house is seen at a branch office in Zurich, Switzerland October 25, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

June 17, 2019

By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Svea Herbst-Bayliss

PARIS/BOSTON (Reuters) – Patrick Drahi, the billionaire behind telecoms and media group Altice, agreed on Monday to buy Sotheby’s in a deal worth $3.7 billion, marking the storied art auction house’s return to private ownership after 31 years.

The acquisition will allow avid art collector Drahi to join rival French billionaire Francois Pinault at the top of the art world and New York society, with Pinault’s holding company Artemis owning a majority stake in Sotheby’s rival Christie’s.

Rival French billionaire and LVMH boss Bernard Arnault is equally active in the arts world via his Louis Vuitton foundation.

Drahi’s expansion in the United States also has echoes of former Vivendi boss Jean-Marie Messier, who helped Vivendi move into entertainment via the Universal business.

Sotheby’s said it would be acquired by BidFair USA, an acquisition vehicle set up by Drahi, which had offered $57 in cash per share to buy out Sotheby’s.

The offer represented a premium of 61% to Sotheby’s closing price on Friday, and gives Sotheby’s a market capitalization of $2.6 billion.

It will result in Sotheby’s returning to private ownership after 31 years as a public company. Founded in London in 1744, Sotheby’s had the distinction of being the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

It also marks a new chapter for the auction house that became a destination for a new generation of wealth created on Wall Street, in Silicon Valley and around the world, art experts said.

By having been public, in many ways, Sotheby’s operated at a competitive disadvantage to its main U.S. rival, Christie’s, which was already private, experts said.

“Now the company can become more flexible and nimble as a privately-held enterprise and it will be interesting to see the changes that will be made,” said Abigail Asher, a partner at international art consultants Guggenheim, Asher.

LOEB WELCOMES DEAL

The art world has been a favorite in recent times for investors looking to make extra returns in a world of ultra-low interest rates, with the prices of many expensive works of art having steadily increased.

A report published by Swiss bank UBS and Art Basel in March said that the global art market had enjoyed another uptick in 2018.

Drahi said he would be funding the takeover through financing arranged by French bank BNP Paribas and by equity provided by his own funds. Drahi has also been selling non-core assets in recent years to ease concerns over the debt levels of his businesses.

Drahi said he would not be selling shares in his Altice Europe business, but would be cashing in a small stake in his Altice USA division. Shares in Altice USA fell around 2% on Monday.

“I am making this investment for my family, through my personal holding, with a very long-term perspective,” said Drahi, adding that the takeover also further highlighted how his family had been settling down in the United States.

About five years ago Sotheby’s ended a long-running fight with activist investor Daniel Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point, by asking Loeb and two associates to join Sotheby’s board, and Loeb was instrumental in hiring Smith as CEO.

Loeb, a prominent art collector, on Monday praised the sale.

The price “affirms the value we saw when we first invested in Sotheby’s, and rewards long-term investors like Third Point who believed in its potential,” Loeb told Reuters.

BNP Paribas and Morgan Stanley advised Drahi, while LionTree Advisors worked on behalf of Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s was founded in London in 1744, and expanded overseas in the 20th century, moving to New York in 1955, Asia and then France in 2001.

Famous items sold by Sotheby’s include the collections of the late Duchess of Windsor, the personal collection of artist Andy Warhol and Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” in 2012.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Nivedita Balu; Editing by Deepa Babington and Ed Osmond)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Children walk at the Supreme Court before decisions are released for the term in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Children walk at the Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

June 17, 2019

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed Republican legislators in Virginia a defeat, leaving in place a ruling that invalidated state electoral districts they drew because they weakened the clout of black voters in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The justices, in a 5-4 decision, sidestepped a ruling on the merits of the case. They instead found that the Republican-led state House of Delegates lacked the necessary legal standing to appeal a lower court ruling that had invalidated 11 state House districts for racial discrimination.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat and the state’s top law enforcement official, opposed the appeal and argued that the Republican legislators were not entitled to act on behalf of the state in the case. A new political map is being used for this year’s state elections.

“Virginia’s elections this fall will take place in fair, constitutional districts. It’s a good day for democracy in Virginia,” Herring wrote on Twitter.

The Supreme Court’s action let stand a 2018 ruling by a federal three-judge panel that the 11 districts all violated the rights of black voters to equal protection under the law under the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

The state’s Republican-led House of Delegates “lacks authority to displace Virginia’s attorney general as representative of the state,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the court’s majority.

“In short, Virginia would rather stop than fight on. One house of its bicameral legislature cannot alone continue the litigation against the will of its partners in the legislative process,” Ginsburg added.

The case involved a hot topic for the Supreme Court: a practice called gerrymandering involving the manipulation of electoral district boundaries to marginalize a certain set of voters and increase the influence of others. In this case, the Republican legislators were accused of racial gerrymandering to disadvantage black voters.

In two other major cases from Maryland and North Carolina, the justices are considering whether courts can curb gerrymandering aimed at purely partisan advantage. They are due to rule in those cases by the end of this month.

At issue in the Virginia case was the state legislative map drawn by Republicans after the 2010 national census.

‘SEEDS CONFUSION’

The National Republican Redistricting Trust, a group that backs Republican efforts to redraw electoral districts, criticized the ruling.

“It seeds confusion into a volatile, evolving body of law that demands clarity just as the next redistricting cycle begins,” said Adam Kincaid, the group’s executive director.

New electoral maps will be drawn nationwide following the 2020 census.

Since the Virginia maps that were challenged in the case were drawn, Democrats have made gains in Virginia in both state and federal elections. The current governor, Ralph Northam, and Herring, both are Democrats. Northam has been involved in a racial controversy of his own this year after a racist photo from his 1984 medical school yearbook page surfaced.

“This is a welcome ruling from the Supreme Court – it’s like I’ve always said, voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around,” Northam said on Twitter.

Like other U.S. southern states, Virginia has a complicated racial history dating back to the era of slavery.

The voters who brought the legal challenge accused Republicans of packing black voters into certain state House districts to diminish their voting power and make surrounding districts more white and more likely to support Republicans.

Democrats have accused President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans in Virginia and other states of crafting such legislative maps in a way that crams black and other minority voters, who tend to favor Democratic candidates, into certain districts in order to reduce their overall sway in the state.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

Source: OANN

The German share price index DAX graph at the stock exchange in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, June 4, 2019. REUTERS/Staff

June 17, 2019

By Susan Mathew and Medha Singh

(Reuters) – European stock markets closed marginally lower on Monday with a profit warning from Germany’s Lufthansa hitting airline stocks, while markets globally awaited clues from the U.S. Federal Reserve on its policy direction.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index finished 0.1% lower. France’s CAC 40 was led higher by luxury stocks, while IT company Indra Sistemas’ 7.1% slip took Spain’s IBEX 35 0.7% lower.

At the U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting starting Tuesday, investors on balance think an interest rate cut is unlikely while many back a shift toward one in July.

A swing in money market pricing toward up-to-three rate cuts by the Fed this year have been at the heart of a recovery for stock markets this month after their worst falls in months in May. [MKTS/GLOB]

“The market seemed to be in a kind of cautious mode because of the Fed meeting. A lot has been priced in,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda.

“There is a much higher chance that the Fed intentionally or unintentionally pours cold water over the expectations,” he said.

The European travel and leisure sector underperformed other major European sectors as Lufthansa plunged 11.6% and kept Germany’s DAX pressured.

The group lowered its profit outlook for the full year 2019, citing price competition from low cost rivals in Europe.

“Lufthansa signaling a weak outlook is hitting all these bigger carriers and that’s definitely one negative element this morning,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG.

International Consolidated Airlines (IAG) fell 2.2%, while budget airlines EasyJet and Ryanair Holdings slipped more than 4% each.

Spain’s Indra Sistemas fell after a media report said is to buy up to 75% of ITP Aero from Rolls Royce for about 1 billion euros ($1.12 billion).

Contributing to CAC 40’s gains, French luxury stocks Kering and LVMH rose more than 1%. Peer Chanel reported higher annual sales and profits on Monday.

Banks had a mixed day.

HSBC rose 0.9% and was among the biggest boosts to STOXX 600 after it announced plans to expand its branch network by around a quarter as it opened a new location in Apple Inc’s home town of Cupertino, California.

Deutsche Bank, which has been cutting back and reorganizing for months, gained 1.4% after the Financial Times reported that the German lender is planning to create a “bad bank” that would house or sell assets valued at up to 50 billion euros.

Meanwhile, Nordea Bank, the Nordic region’s biggest lender, slipped 1.7%. Its Danish headquarters was searched on June 12 by Denmark’s state prosecutor in relation to an ongoing money-laundering investigation into the bank, a Nordea spokesman told Reuters.

(Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel, Medha Singh and Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Toby Chopra)

Source: OANN

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Houston Rockets
FILE PHOTO: Dec 22, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey looks on before a game between the Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports – 11891153

June 17, 2019

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said he isn’t concerned by reports of tension between his star players and that the Rockets shouldn’t be overlooked as the team to beat in the NBA’s Western Conference.

In a wide-ranging interview Monday on the Golic & Wingo show on ESPN Radio, Morey responded to an ESPN story that said there’s unrest between guards James Harden and Chris Paul.

“We have two high-level competitors, Chris and James, who their only goal in life at this point is to win the title. They’ve accomplished everything else. They are both going to be first-ballot Hall of Famers. Two competitive superstars at that level, there’s going to be times when they are extremely competitive, extremely focused on how do we get to that next level, and when we don’t there’s going to be frustration,” Morey said. “I’m frustrated, our top players are frustrated, Mike D’Antoni is frustrated. We want to take the last step and be the champion and I think it’s good that there is tension in the sense that we all want to win.”

Morey also disputed reports that Paul has asked to be traded and confirmed that he intends to come to contract terms with D’Antoni.

“He’s going to be our coach next year. We’re hoping to work things out for the future right now; if we don’t, we’re going to work it out after next season,” he said. “We love Mike, he’s a favorite of our players — all our top players love playing for him. We’re going to work it out.”

The Rockets have not won an NBA title since 1994 and lost in the Western Conference finals in two of the past five seasons during the reign of the Golden State Warriors. Morey said the team intends to be aggressive this offseason in pursuing the needed pieces to get back to the NBA Finals, and owner Tilman Fertitta has given him the green light to spend what is necessary.

“We feel like we should be the favorite in the West, and we’re going to do moves to show people that we should be the favorite in the West, and that’s going to create a little tension when we do that,” Morey said. “But at the end of the day, we’re going to have at least our starting five back, which again most teams are scrambling to keep it together and we’re going to spend midlevel, we’re going to spend into the tax. We’re going to be one of the most expensive rosters like we were last year and this year and we’re going to be right there.”

The Warriors finished last season with a 53-29 (.646) record and the previous season at 65-17 (.793).

Morey, 46, has been the Rockets’ GM since 2007. Under his leadership, the Rockets have made the playoffs nine times and haven’t had a sub-.500 record. He was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2018.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at New Orleans Pelicans
FILE PHOTO: Apr 3, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans center Julius Randle (30) is defended by Charlotte Hornets forward Frank Kaminsky (44) during the second half at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

June 17, 2019

Julius Randle might not be part of the new-look, post-Anthony Davis New Orleans Pelicans.

The 6-foot-9 Randle signed a one-year contract with the Pelicans last summer that included a $9.1 million player option for 2019-20. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Randle will decline the option and become a free agent.

The Pelicans agreed to trade All-NBA star Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers for a hefty return of players and draft picks. They now have the No. 1 and 4 overall picks in Thursday night’s draft, and all indications are the Pelicans will select Zion Williamson of Duke with the top pick.

The No. 4 pick could be traded.

The Pelicans and Randle could negotiate a new deal, or Randle could pursue another team.

The 24-year-old had his best season as a pro last year, averaging a career-high 21.4 points per game to go with 8.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists. He also emerged as a three-point threat, making 34.4 percent of his attempts.

He played his first four NBA seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, who made Randle the No. 7 overall selection in the 2014 NBA Draft.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A logo of IndiGo Airlines is pictured on passenger aircraft on the tarmac in Colomiers near Toulouse
FILE PHOTO: A logo of IndiGo Airlines is pictured on passenger aircraft on the tarmac in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, July 10, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

June 17, 2019

MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s biggest airline IndiGo said on Monday it had placed a $20 billion jet engine order from CFM International, a move that marks a shift away from Pratt & Whitney <UTX.N> toward its French-American rival.

CFM, owned by General Electric and France’s Safran, will provide the 1LEAP-1A engines to power 280 A320neo and A321neo jetliners already on order from Airbus by the Delhi-based budget carrier.

IndiGo has an order book of 430 Airbus planes of the A320neo family, of which the first 150 aircraft were to be powered by engines from United Technologies Corp’s Pratt & Whitney.

Reuters reported earlier in June that IndiGo had chosen CFM over Pratt for what was one of the largest jet engine orders and that the deal would be for more than 600 engines, including spares.

Although the Pratt engines fitted on the A320neo aircraft are fuel-efficient there have consistently been issues with them since they entered into service in 2016, forcing IndiGo to ground its planes several times.

“The CFM LEAP engine will allow IndiGo to maintain its strong focus on lowering operating costs and delivering fuel efficiency with high standards of reliability,” Riyaz Peermohamed, Chief Aircraft Acquisition and Financing Officer at IndiGo, said in the statement.

The delivery of the first LEAP-1A-powered A320neo is scheduled in 2020, IndiGo said in the statement, adding that the contract with CFM includes spare engines and an overhaul support agreement as well as a long-term service agreement.

CFM introduced its LEAP engines in India around 2016. It currently has 60 such engines operational in the country.

(Reporting by Promit Mukherjee and Aditi Shah, editing by Deepa Babington and Jane Merriman)

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FILE PHOTO: Nordea bank logo is seen outside their corporate headquarters in Stockholm
FILE PHOTO: The Nordea bank logo is seen outside their corporate headquarters in Stockholm February 2, 2011. REUTERS/Bob Strong/File Photo

June 17, 2019

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – The Danish headquarters of Nordea was searched last week by Denmark’s state prosecutor in relation to a money-laundering investigation into the bank, a Nordea spokesman told Reuters.

The Danish prosecutor has been investigating the Nordic region’s biggest lender in relation to money laundering risks since June 2016.

Nordea took a 95 million euro provision in April for a possible fine for alleged money laundering.

Both physical, digital documents and e-mails were seized during the search of the building in Copenhagen on June 12, said Danish newspaper Borsen, the first to report the news, citing anonymous sources.

Shares in Nordea fell around 2% after news of the raid broke.

The prosecutor declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

The search was regarding “the combat of money laundering in relation to past customers in the International Branch,” Nordea said in a statement.

“We fully cooperate with the prosecutors to ensure that they have access to all relevant information,” said Frank Vang-Jensen, head of Nordea in Denmark.

Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest lender, has been embroiled in a massive money laundering scandal at its Estonian branch that has sent ripples across the Nordic banking sector.

(Reporting by Jacob Grønholt-Pedersen and Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Keith Weir)

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FILE PHOTO: The central bank headquarters building is seen in Brasilia
FILE PHOTO: The central bank headquarters building is seen in Brasilia, Brazil May 16, 2017. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino /File Photo

June 17, 2019

By Jamie McGeever

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s central bank will leave its benchmark interest rate on hold this week, according to a Reuters poll of economists, but increasingly weak economic growth and inflationary pressures suggest it may not be long before it eases policy.

The central bank’s Selic rate has been at a record low 6.50% for over a year, and 18 of the 19 economists polled by Reuters said it will still be there after the bank’s policymaking committee, known as “Copom,” meets on June 18-19.

One economist forecast a rate cut.

The downward bias is building rapidly. Brazil’s economy is stagnating and may even be in recession, the global outlook is deteriorating and there are signs that inflation is drifting back toward the central bank’s 4.25% target.

Of the 19 economists polled, thirteen said the skew for rates over the next year is downward, five said neutral and only one said it is to the upside.

That is far more dovish than the previous poll in May, when five out of 15 economists said the bias was to the downside, nine were neutral, and one said to the upside.

“The weakness of the Brazilian economy and rapidly falling inflation mean we now expect an interest rate cut, and we think there is a window of opportunity for Copom to act at (this) meeting,” Edward Glossop, Latin America economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a client note.

“All told, Wednesday’s Copom meeting will be a close call but, on balance, we think a 25bp cut (to 6.25%) is more likely than not,” he said.

Glossop’s forecast is the most aggressive in the poll but reflects the general view on the economy and the path for rates. Several economists expect Copom to insert more dovish language in its policy statement, paving the way for an eventual cut.

Much of Copom’s debate is likely to center on how serious policymakers think the current economic slowdown is and how confident they are that inflation has topped out.

The economy shrank in the January-March period, its first contraction since 2016. April and May indicators so far offered little sign that things have turned around much, if at all, suggesting the economy could technically be in recession.

The central bank’s latest IBC-Br economic activity index may have tipped the balance for some Copom members. It showed that economic activity fell again in April – the longest stretch of declining activity since the last recession.

Brazil’s economy is expected to grow by less than 1.0% this year, according to a central bank survey released Monday, as economists cut their forecasts for the 16th week in a row to new lows and dramatically slashed their interest rate outlook.

Financial markets have aggressively scaled back their interest rate views. On Thursday, 2020 rates futures contracts fell below 6.0% for the first time, suggesting the Selic rate will be 50 basis points lower in around 12 months.

Even if it skirts recession, the economy is underperforming. Uncertainty surrounding pension reform, the government’s 1.237 trillion reais ($319 billion) proposal to balance Brazil’s books and revive growth, is not helping either.

Annual inflation fell to 4.66% in May from 4.92% in April, the first decline this year, providing some relief after four months of increases.

(Reporting by Jamie McGeever and Gabriel Burin in Buenos Aires; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

Source: OANN

NBA: Finals-Toronto Raptors at Golden State Warriors
FILE PHOTO: Jun 13, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; (Editors Notes: Caption Correction) Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard (2) lifts up the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy after defeating Golden State Warriors for the NBA Championship in game six of the 2019 NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit:Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

June 17, 2019

Two weeks from now, the Toronto Raptors’ roster might look as different as Danny Green’s combed-out mohawk with looming decisions from Kawhi Leonard, Marc Gasol and Green that brought an air of uncertainty to Monday’s street party in Ontario.

As the Raptors gathered with mobs of fans Monday to celebrate their NBA championship, the next chapter for the Raptors will be on hold as a series of decisions that shape the future of the franchise are made.

Leonard will opt out of the final year of his contract to become a free agent. The Raptors expected this bit of paperwork even before Leonard was acquired from the San Antonio Spurs last summer. What they won’t know until at least June 30 is whether Leonard ever will wear a Toronto uniform again.

The Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls and others are known to have serious interest in signing Leonard. Of course, the Raptors hope he will choose to stay put after carrying the franchise to its first title.

“I don’t think there’s any other player of his caliber right now in the NBA,” Gasol said. “He’s on a pedestal by himself.”

Gasol also has a player option he could decline. If Leonard leaves, the exodus behind him could be devastating.

“Let’s not be foolish,” said Green, whose tightly wound mohawk was unfurled for Monday’s festivities with the top of the hairline about seven feet off the ground. “His decision affects a lot of guys’ decisions. He can change a whole organization.”

Leonard’s words following the Finals-clinching win at Golden State are being analyzed, parsed and recycled in Toronto, where fans are hopeful he’ll be back.

In an interview last week that took place after the Raptors celebrated with beer and champagne in the locker room, Leonard said the victory was something “the Raptors can build on.”

Some took the separation of Leonard from the Raptors as a sign he’s as good as gone, likely to his home state of California and the Clippers.

Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said everyone is guessing at this point, and he’s not even sure Leonard knows where he’ll play in 2019-20.

“I don’t really know,” Nurse said. “I know he’s got to make a decision here really soon, couple of weeks. I think he had a good season and people like him here, and we can give him a good deal.”

–Field Level Media

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FILE PHOTO - Actress Vanderbilt speaks at a panel for the HBO documentary
FILE PHOTO – Actress Gloria Vanderbilt speaks at a panel for the HBO documentary “Nothing Left Unsaid” during the Television Critics Association Cable Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, California, January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

June 17, 2019

By Bill Trott

(Reuters) – Gloria Vanderbilt, the “poor little rich girl” who lived a life at the highest levels of fashion, society and wealth as an heir to one of the greatest family fortunes in U.S. history, died on Monday at the age of 95, her son CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper said.

Vanderbilt became a fashion icon in the 1970s with an eponymous line of tight-fitting blue jeans that bore her signature and trademark swan logo. They were a must-have for any woman with aspirations to style.

Vanderbilt wrote that as a girl she had considered becoming a nun, which would have been an incredible loss to the chroniclers of high society, celebrity and tumult. Instead of a nunnery, she went on to a life that could have provided storylines for dozens of soap operas, romance novels, Broadway musicals and tear-jerker movies.

Vanderbilt was born into wealth on Feb. 20, 1924, in New York City. She was the great-great-granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the 19th century railroad and shipping magnate who amassed one of the greatest fortunes of the time.

She was not yet 2 years old when her father, Reginald Claypoole Vanderbilt, died and she spent many of the following years living in Europe with her mother, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, on her trust fund, which was estimated at $2.5 million – the equivalent of at least $33 million today.

Gloria’s aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who founded the Whitney Museum of American Art, said Gloria’s mother was misusing the trust fund on a free-wheeling lifestyle that included a female lover, and went to court. Whitney won custody of the child in an acrimonious, sensationalized case that eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

The custody battle featured high-society character witnesses for both sides and testimony so sensitive that courtroom spectators were barred at times. The public closely followed the fate of “Little Gloria,” who was protected at the time by 12 bodyguards.

Whitney eventually won custody of Gloria with one judge reproaching the girl’s mother for living a lifestyle that was “calculated to destroy her health and neglectful of her moral, spiritual and mental education.”

Vanderbilt said being taken from her mother started her on a lifelong quest for love and approval. This led her to marry a 32-year-old Hollywood agent, Pat DiCicco, when she was only 17. They divorced in 1945, when at the age of 21, Vanderbilt married conductor Leopold Stokowski, who was 63.

The couple had two sons and by the time they separated in 1955, Vanderbilt was being seen around New York with singer Frank Sinatra. After another divorce, Vanderbilt found herself in another custody fight – this time with Stokowski claiming that she was an unfit mother who spent too much time in psychotherapy.

From 1956 to 1963 Vanderbilt was married to Sidney Lumet, director of the acclaimed films “12 Angry Men,” “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Serpico” and “Network.”

She was married to her fourth husband, writer Wyatt Cooper, until his death during heart surgery in 1978. They had two sons, Anderson and Carter.

In 1988, in the greatest tragedy of Vanderbilt’s life, Carter, aged 23, killed himself by jumping from the family’s 14th-floor apartment in New York, in spite of his mother’s attempts to stop him.

She later wrote a memoir, “A Mother’s Story,” in which she reflected on her own painful upbringing and blamed Carter’s suicide on psychosis brought on by an anti-asthma drug.

Vanderbilt called her son’s death “the final loss, the fatal loss that stripped me bare,” and said she did not think she could survive it.

In a 2012 television interview with her son Anderson, she said she thought about the tragedy every day and that she had considered jumping after her son.

“There was a moment when I thought I was going to jump after him but then I thought of you… and it stopped me from doing that,” she told Anderson.

Vanderbilt dabbled in acting, painting, poetry and modeling before the Hallmark greeting card company bought some of her artwork for a line of paper goods in the early 1970s. Her work also graced a collection of scarves before she started the line of jeans and expanded to perfume, shoes, leather goods and accessories. In 1978 she sold her Gloria Vanderbilt brand and started another fashion company.

Vanderbilt won a $1.5 million judgment in 1993 against her lawyer and psychiatrist, claiming they had stolen from her. Because the lawyer had not paid her taxes for several years, she owed the Internal Revenue Service so much money she had to sell a summer home in Southampton and a New York City home.

Sex, Vanderbilt said, was a subject she found endlessly fascinating. One of her memoirs told of her romances with Hollywood figures such as Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Gene Kelly and Howard Hughes (she was a teenager at the time), as well as various married men. In 2009 at age 85 she published an explicit erotic novel, “Obsession.”

Vanderbilt also challenged racial standards of the times by dating black photographer-filmmaker Gordon Parks in the 1950s.

“I embrace it all – the pain and the pleasure, the drama and the disappointments,” Vanderbilt wrote in summing up her life in the romantic memoir, “It Seemed Important at the Time.”

(Reporting by Bill Trott, editing by David Brunnstrom and Scott Malone)

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French President Emmanuel Macron, listens to Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, during a visit at the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport
French President Emmanuel Macron, listens to Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, next to Olivier Dassault and French Defence Minister Florence Parly during a visit at the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Pool

June 17, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – A next-generation drone being developed by several European nations must be price competitive or the project designed to project European unity and strength in an increasingly uncertain world will flounder, France’s defense minister warned on Monday.

France and Germany are spearheading the development of a new manned fighter jet to replace the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Aviation’s Rafale fighter jet, as well as a range of associated weapons, including drones.

“I want to tell the companies that this program will only run its course if the drone that they propose is competitive,” Defense Minister Florence Parly said in a speech at the Paris Airshow.

“This is an issue not only for buyers already in the running — France, Germany, Spain and Italy — but also for future export customers.”

Airbus, Dassault Aviation and Leonardo in April, 2018, unveiled a first full-scaled model of the planned Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) drone at the Berlin air show.

The drone, with two turboprop engines, is planned to enter into service in the middle of next decade and will mainly focus on surveillance although a weaponized version is an option.

France’s Thales, Italy’s Elettronica, Germany’s Hensoldt, and Spain’s Indra said they would team up to offer intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance functions for the drone.

(Reporting by Sophie Louet; writing by Richard Lough; editing by John Irish)

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German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier is pictured during an interview with Reuters in his ministry building in Berlin
German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier is pictured during an interview with Reuters in his ministry building in Berlin, Germany, June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

June 17, 2019

BERLIN (Reuters) – China must open up and create fair rules for German companies, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told Reuters ahead of talks in Beijing later this week, adding that he would also discuss intellectual property protection and steel overcapacity.

“China and the European Union are economic partners, but also competitors,” Altmaier said in a Reuters interview on Monday. He added that German companies should have the same business possibilities in China as Chinese firms had in Germany.

“We need a level playing field, this means no discrimination and no disadvantages,” Altmaier said.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber, editing by Riham Alkousaa)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Jet Airways aircrafts are seen parked at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai
FILE PHOTO: Jet Airways aircraft are seen parked at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai, India, April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas/File Photo

June 17, 2019

By Aditi Shah

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Jet Airways’ creditors said on Monday they plan to begin insolvency proceedings against the Indian airline in a last-ditch bid to find a buyer for the carrier or its remaining assets and recover some of what they are owed.

Once India’s biggest private carrier, Jet Airways stopped flying in April after running out of cash, leaving thousands without jobs and pushing up air fares across the country.

“Lenders have decided to seek resolution under IBC since only a conditional bid was received,” they said in a statement, referring to India’s Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

This process will allow Jet’s lenders, led by State Bank of India, to sell the company as a whole or sell its assets piecemeal to maximize recovery for creditors and bring to an end weeks of uncertainty over the airline’s future.

Jet and its lenders have been searching for new investors but have failed to agree a proposal.

Jet shareholder Etihad Airways and Indian business house Hinduja Group were among those interested in buying a stake in the airline.

Two operational creditors owed about 67 million rupees have already filed an insolvency petition against Jet. The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in Mumbai will decide on June 20 whether or not to admit the petition.

Jet’s pilots and cabin crew, who are owed at least 4 billion rupees ($57 million) in unpaid salaries from January to May, had also sought legal advice on filing an insolvency petition, two people aware of the matter told Reuters.

India’s largest stock exchange said this month that Jet would soon no longer be traded in the derivatives market, while day-trading in the stock would also be barred, in a bid to curb speculative trading.

(Additional reporting by Swati Bhat and Abhirup Roy in Mumbai, Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru and Aftab Ahmed in New Delhi; Editing by Euan Rocha and Alexander Smith)

Source: OANN

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Minnesota Twins
FILE PHOTO: Jun 11, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) looks on after being called out on a third strike against the Minnesota Twins in the ninth inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

June 17, 2019

In the span of a week, the New York Yankees’ lineup could get a complete makeover with the addition of American League home run leader Edwin Encarnacion and the healthy return of outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge.

Encarnacion, acquired from the Seattle Mariners, might be in the lineup Monday night against the Tampa Bay Rays as the Yankees return home from a road trip for what is setting up as an explosive homestand.

That’s because the usual middle-of-the-order bombers, Stanton and Judge, are close to being on the field at Yankee Stadium. For Stanton, that will happen Tuesday. Judge is close, and could be back with the team by the end of the weekend.

Stanton has been sidelined since March 31 with multiple injuries, including a calf ailment. The Yankees have also been without Judge for most of this season.

“Encarnacion, Stanton and Judge, that’s three elite power hitters plugged into our lineup,” manager Aaron Boone said. “Hopefully it’s something that over time creates a big-time advantage for us.”

Now the challenge for Boone is finding at-bats for the players who helped carry the Yankees through most of the first half of the season, including Brett Gardner.

Boone said he still expects “Gardy to play a lot.”

Encarnacion will primarily serve as designated hitter. Boone said he could use Encarnacion, tops in the American League with 21 homers, at first base on occasion.

Stanton has eight at-bats this season, and last stepped into the batter’s box in pinstripes for the season-opening series against the Baltimore Orioles.

The 29-year-old had 97 total home runs the previous two seasons.

Judge is progressing at a rehab assignment, including a roped RBI single off the wall on Sunday.

He hit five home runs in the 20 games he played in 2019 before the oblique injury.

–Field Level Media

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FILE PHOTO - Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard speaks during a session with senators and lawmakers at the Senate building in Mexico City
FILE PHOTO – Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard speaks during a session with senators and lawmakers at the Senate building in Mexico City, Mexico June 14, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

June 17, 2019

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico will complete deployment of National Guard forces on its southern border with Guatemala this week as part of a new immigration control plan agreed with Washington, foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Monday.

“The deployment of the National Guard ordered, with support from the Ministry of Defense and the Navy, will be completed this week,” Ebrard told a regular news conference.

Deployment of the guard has been slow so far, but a Reuters reporter near the border this weekend saw a handful of officials wearing National Guard insignia, and spoke to other security personnel who said they were part of the guard.

(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Dave Graham)

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French Open - Roland Garros
FILE PHOTO: Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 2, 2019. Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his fourth round match against Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

June 17, 2019

(Reuters) – Younger players must take responsibility and break the hegemony at Wimbledon to ensure there is a new champion this year, Greek world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas has said.

Since 2003, one of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray have won the title at Wimbledon, with the Swiss leading the way with eight titles.

Former champion Boris Becker had slated the younger generation’s inability to challenge the ‘Big Three’ of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic — who have won every major over the last 2-1/2 years — and Tsitsipas hoped to be the one to accomplish the feat at Wimbledon.

“I would love to see something different this year. Hopefully it will be me,” Tsitsipas, 20, told reporters. “It would give it a little bit of variety, something different to these guys.

“We are responsible as the new generation to work hard to come up with something new and our best games to beat them. Some don’t want to take the responsibility of going out and overcoming all those difficulties and beat those guys.”

Tsitsipas has already beaten Federer and Nadal at the Australian Open and Madrid Open respectively this year but he said it was not up to just him or 22-year-old world number five Alexander Zverev to carry the torch for the younger players.

“There are others,” Tsitsipas added. “Felix (Auger-Aliassime), Denis (Shapovalov), Taylor (Fritz), Alex (de Minaur), Frances (Tiafoe)… We want a big, big rivalry in the future.”

Tsitsipas is the top seed at the Queen’s Club Championships, a traditional warm-up grasscourt tournament before Wimbledon, and plays Briton Kyle Edmund in the first round on Tuesday.

Wimbledon begins on July 1.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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