OAN Newsroom

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FILE PHOTO: MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
FILE PHOTO: May 11, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) looks on from the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

June 17, 2019

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Sunday that Giancarlo Stanton will return from the injured list and play on Tuesday.

Boone added that newly acquired slugger Edwin Encarnacion will be active Monday night when the Yankees host the Tampa Bay Rays. Encarnacion, acquired from the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night, is leading the American League with 21 home runs.

Stanton has been sidelined since March 31 with multiple injuries, including a calf ailment. The Yankees have also been without fellow outfielder Aaron Judge for most of this season, but Judge (strained oblique) is nearing his return as well.

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

–The New York Mets placed right-hander Noah Syndergaard on the 10-day injured list with a hamstring strain and activated second baseman Robinson Cano.

Syndergaard left Saturday night’s 8-7 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning. An MRI was scheduled for Sunday morning. On the season, Syndergaard is 5-4 with a 4.55 ERA for the Mets.

Cano had last played on June 5, when he aggravated a left quadriceps injury and landed on the injured list for the second time in a month. He went 1-for-3 in his return to the lineup Sunday.

–Mets left-hander Jason Vargas exited Sunday’s game against the Cardinals with a cramp in his left calf.

Vargas fouled off a 1-0 pitch while batting in the fourth inning, grimaced and bent over before coming out of the game. His plate appearance was completed by Jacob deGrom, who drew a walk. Wilmer Font replaced Vargas on the mound.

The game was tied at 3-3 when Vargas exited. He allowed three runs and a two-run homer to Paul Goldschmidt in the first as the only hit.

–The Atlanta Braves will continue to monitor left-hander Sean Newcomb, but he passed initial tests after getting hit in the back of the head with a line drive on Saturday.

Newcomb exited his start against the Philadelphia Phillies after a comebacker off the bat of Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto hit off his head and ricocheted into the Philadelphia dugout for a ground-rule double. The line drive exited Realmuto’s bat at 102 mph.

“We’re just going to keep monitoring him,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s passed the tests. You just don’t know with an injury like that overnight. Hopefully, he gets through the night and sleeps, and he comes in here and he’s great.”

–Shortstop Jose Iglesias missed the Cincinnati Reds’ series finale against the Texas Rangers after the team placed him on the three-day paternity leave list.

The Reds reinstated right-hander Robert Stephenson from a rehabilitation assignment in a corresponding move.

Iglesias, 29, is batting .289 with four home runs and 24 RBIs this season.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

A helmet and messages of support for the protest against a proposed extradition bill, are seen displayed early morning in Hong Kong, China
A helmet and messages of support for the protest against a proposed extradition bill, are seen displayed early morning in Hong Kong, China June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

June 17, 2019

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s political crisis enters its second week on Monday as uncertainty mounts over the fate of government leader Carrie Lam and an extradition bill she postponed at the weekend.

Organizers said almost 2 million protesters turned out on Sunday to demand that Lam step down in what is becoming the most significant challenge to China’s relationship with the territory since it was handed back by Britain 22 years ago.

“Her government cannot be an effective government, and will have much, much, much difficulties to carry on,” veteran Democratic Party legislator James To told government-funded broadcaster RTHK.

“I believe the central people’s government will accept her resignation.”

Opposition politicians are echoing marchers’ calls for both Lam and the law to go, even though she apologized for how her government handled the draft bill, which would allow suspects to be sent to mainland China for trial for the first time.

While Lam delayed the bill, it has yet to be completely shelved despite broad local and international concern.

“We cannot accept her apology, it doesn’t remove all our threats,” said social worker Brian Chau, who was among several hundred protesters who stayed overnight in the Admiralty district around the government headquarters and legislature.

Some cleared away rubbish left after the vast but peaceful march, while others sang ‘Hallelujah’, a gospel song that has become of a feature of Hong Kong’s protests against Lam.

A smattering of uniformed police stood by, without riot equipment, in a contrast to the recent violent skirmishes between police and protesters.

The headquarters will remain closed on Monday, the government said.

(Reporting by Marius Zaharia, John Ruwitch, Farah Master and Greg Torode; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Athletics - Diamond League - Shanghai
FILE PHOTO: Athletics – Diamond League – Shanghai – Shanghai Stadium, Shanghai, China – May 18, 2019 Noah Lyles of the U.S. celebrates winning the Men’s 100m REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

June 17, 2019

(Reuters) – Noah Lyles overcame an apparent false start to run the fourth-fastest 150 meters of all time on a wet elevated straightaway in Boston on Sunday.

After television footage showed the world and Olympic 200m favorite leaving the starting blocks early, Lyles was given a second chance and romped to a personal best 14.69 seconds in the Adidas Boost Boston Games.

Retired Jamaican Usain Bolt, the man Lyles would like to succeed in the Olympic 200m, holds the world best of 14.35 seconds in the infrequently run event.

“What did the guy at the start say? Green card. Then it was a green card,” Lyles said after officials told NBC Sports there was no conclusive evidence that the star of the meeting had false started.

But four-time Olympic sprint medalist Ato Boldon, the network’s analyst, disagreed. “In any other meet, Noah is out of this race,” he said.

Once the red-clad Lyles got moving in the restart, there was no stopping him as he left British runnerup Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake 0.41 seconds in his wake.

The United States has not won an Olympic medal in the men’s 200m since 2008 and Lyles is aiming to change that.

“I made it my mission,” said the talented sprinter with Bolt-like showmanship. “We are not out of this. We are coming back.”

His goal is gold in both September’s world championships in Doha and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Despite the wet conditions, Bahamian Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Britain’s 100m European champion Zharnel Hughes and South African sprinter Akani Simbine had impressive performances.

Miller-Uibo clocked 16.37 seconds, a mere 0.14 off her world best in the women’s 150m.

Hughes claimed the 200m straightaway race in 20.00 seconds and Commonwealth Games winner Simbine clocked 9.92 seconds in the 100m.

The women’s 100m went to world 60m indoor champion Murielle Ahoure of Ivory Coast in 11.09 seconds with world outdoor gold medalist Tori Bowie, who is coming back from injuries, third in 11.22.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; Editing by Ian Ransom)

Source: OANN

PGA: U.S. Open - Third Round
June 15, 2019; Pebble Beach, CA, USA; Gary Woodland plays a shot on the 16th hole during the third round of the 2019 U.S. Open golf tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

June 17, 2019

By Steve Keating

PEBBLE BEACH, CA. (Reuters) – A rock-steady Gary Woodland refused to crack under an all-out assault from Brooks Koepka at the U.S. Open on Sunday, increasing his lead to two shots with nine holes to play.

Woodland, coming to grips with holding the 54-hole lead in a major championship for the first time, began the final round with a wafer-thin one-shot lead and would not back down in the face of mounting pressure as he produced a clinical front nine.

With birdies at two and three followed by a run of pars, Woodland had opened up a three-shot cushion until giving a shot back with his first bogey of the day at 10 to stay two in front of twice defending champion Koepka and 2013 winner Justin Rose.

The leaders teed off knowing there were low scores to be had after Swede Marcus Kinhult turned in a five-under 66.

A dialled-in Koepka, who started four back, wasted no time in ideal scoring conditions, collecting birdies on four of his opening five holes to leapfrog Rose and get within two of the lead.

Attacking every flag, Koepka finally paid for his aggressive play when his tee shot at eight ended up in knee-high grass, resulting in his first bogey in 36 holes.

The only player among the contenders not making a move was Rose, who began the day at 10-under and through nine remained there.

Rose, one back at the start of play, quickly erased that deficit with a birdie at the first to grab a share of top spot but immediately followed up with bogey at the second.

Rory McIlroy began the day five back and quickly found himself scrambling after his tee shot on two landed in the deep fescue ringing a fairway bunker.

Unable to get a clean shot, he chunked it into the bunker taking a double-bogey to turn a five-stroke deficit into seven.

The Northern Irishman spent the rest of his outward nine trying to dig himself out that hole but still ended up going one-over into the turn even with the help of back-to-back birdies at six and seven.

Despite being 10 back, Woods still gave himself a chance at a 16th major but that slim hope disappeared quickly when he bogeyed four of his opening five holes.

Woods hit back with six birdies, including one at the 18th, for a two-under round, his lowest final round at a U.S. Open in a decade. He finished at two-under 282.

(Editing by Christian Radnedge / Ian Ransom)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Huawei's new Honor 20 smartphone is seen at a product launch event in London
FILE PHOTO: Huawei’s new Honor 20 smartphone at a product launch event in London, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

June 16, 2019

(Reuters) – Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is preparing for a 40% to 60% decline in international smartphone shipments, Bloomberg reported on Sunday.

The Chinese technology company is looking at options that include pulling the latest model of its marquee overseas smartphone, the Honor 20, according to the article, which cited people familiar with the matter.

The device will begin selling in parts of Europe, including Britain and France, on June 21, the report said. Executives will be monitoring the launch and may cut off shipments if the sales are poor, it said.

Marketing and sales managers at the tech giant are internally expecting a drop in volumes of anywhere between 40 million to 60 million smartphones this year, the report said.

In order to offset overseas decline, Huawei is aiming to grab up to half of China’s smartphone market in 2019, Bloomberg said. The company did not respond to a Reuters request seeking comment.

The U.S. government put Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment company, on a trade blacklist in May that bars U.S. suppliers from doing business with it because of what Washington says are national security concerns.

At the time, Huawei founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei said the restrictions “may slow, but only slightly” the company’s growth.

A similar U.S. ban on China’s ZTE Corp, almost crippled business for Huawei’s smaller rival early last year before the curb was lifted.

The company’s woes are feeding into trade tensions between Washington and Beijing. President Donald Trump has said U.S. complaints against Huawei could be resolved within the framework of any trade deal.

The ban has been eased slightly to allow a temporary general license that lets Huawei purchase U.S. goods.

However, Broadcom sent a shockwave through the global chipmaking industry last week when it forecast that the U.S.-China trade tensions and the Huawei ban would knock $2 billion off this year’s sales.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The Canary Wharf financial district is seen from Greenwich Park in London
FILE PHOTO: The Canary Wharf financial district is seen from Greenwich Park in London, Britain, May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

June 16, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – British companies look set to cut their investment by the most in 10 years in 2019 as the Brexit crisis drags on, weighing on future economic growth prospects, a survey showed on Monday.

Business investment – key for productivity and pay growth – was forecast to fall by 1.3% this year before growing by only 0.4% in 2020, the British Chambers of Commerce said.

The BCC nudged up its overall economic growth forecast for 2019 to 1.3%, reflecting a surge in stockpiling by companies before the original Brexit deadline in March.

But the employers group cut its forecast for growth in 2020 to 1.0% – down sharply from a previous estimate of 1.3% – before only a marginal pick-up to 1.2% in 2021.

BCC Director General Adam Marshall said companies were unable to press on with long-term plans because of the continued uncertainty about Brexit, which now has a deadline of Oct. 31.

“Businesses are putting resources into contingency plans, such as stockpiling, rather than investing in ventures that would positively contribute to long-term economic growth,” Marshall said.

“This is simply not sustainable. Business communities expect the next prime minister to quickly find a sensible and pragmatic way forward to avoid a messy and disorderly Brexit.”

Prime Minister Theresa May has stepped down as leader of the ruling Conservative Party and a contest to replace her is expected to conclude in July. With Britain’s relationship with the EU still unclear, some financial firms have set up operations in other EU countries and carmakers have reduced their expansion plans in Britain.

Business investment fell throughout 2018, the longest such run since the global financial crisis, before a pickup in early 2019, official figures have shown.

Finance minister Philip Hammond says he expects a recovery in business investment once a Brexit deal is done.

(Reporting by William Schomberg; editing by Stephen Addison)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: People check their mobile phones as they stand outside the entrance of the London Stock Exchange in London
FILE PHOTO: People check their mobile phones as they stand outside the entrance of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain. Aug 23, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

June 16, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Companies listed in Britain will be able to sell shares in China on Monday with the launch of a long-awaited London-Shanghai Stock Connect project that finance minister Philip Hammond called a chance to deepen “global connectivity”.

Under the Connect scheme, Shanghai-listed companies can raise new funds via London’s stock market while British companies can broaden their investor base by selling existing shares in Shanghai.

The project was intended to begin late last year with the December listing of Chinese brokerage Huatai, backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. But the listing was delayed at the last minute.

Huatai Securities Co Ltd then effectively launched Connect earlier this month with the announcement of plans to raise money on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Huatai, one of China’s largest brokerages, is expected to make its London market debut on June 17, becoming the first company to trade via the London-Shanghai Stock Connect project.

From Monday, London investors will have the opportunity to trade Global Depositary Receipts in Huatai.

Hammond, launching Stock Connect’s first day of trading at the LSE, is expected to say: “London is a global financial center like no other, and today’s launch is a strong vote of confidence in the UK market.”

“Stock Connect is a ground-breaking initiative, which will deepen our global connectivity as we look outwards to new opportunities in Asia,” he will say, according to extracts from his comments provided by finance ministry.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper. Editing by Jane Merriman)

Source: OANN

Photo sheets of the North Korean refugees helped by the North Korea Refugees Human Rights Association of Korea are displayed in Seoul
Photo sheets of the North Korean refugees helped by the North Korea Refugees Human Rights Association of Korea are displayed in Seoul, South Korea, June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Josh Smith

June 16, 2019

By Josh Smith and Joyce Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) – A decade after leaving her family behind to flee North Korea, the defector was overwhelmed with excitement when she spoke to her 22-year-old son on the phone for the first time in May after he too escaped into China.

While speaking to him again on the phone days later, however, she listened in horror as the safe house where her son and four other North Korean escapees were hiding was raided by Chinese authorities.

“I heard voices, someone saying ‘shut up’ in Chinese,” said the woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity to protect her son’s safety. “Then the line was cut off, and I heard later he was caught.”

The woman, now living in South Korea, said she heard rumors her son is being held in a Chinese prison near the North Korean border, but has had no official news of his whereabouts.

At least 30 North Korean escapees have been rounded up in a string of raids across China since mid-April, according to family members and activist groups.

It is not clear whether this is part of a larger crackdown by China, but activists say the raids have disrupted parts of the informal network of brokers, charities, and middlemen who have been dubbed the North Korean “Underground Railroad”.

“The crackdown is severe,” said Y. H. Kim, chairman of the North Korea Refugees Human Rights Association of Korea.

Most worrisome for activists is that the arrests largely occurred away from the North Korean border – an area dubbed the “red zone” where most escapees get caught – and included rare raids on at least two safe houses.

“Raiding a house? I’ve only seen two or three times,” said Kim, who left North Korea in 1988 and has acted as a middleman for the past 15 years, connecting donors with brokers who help defectors.

“You get caught on the way, you get caught moving. But getting caught at a home, you can count on one hand.”

The increase in arrests is likely driven by multiple factors, including deteriorating economic conditions in North Korea and China’s concern about the potential for a big influx of refugees, said Kim Seung-eun, a pastor at Seoul’s Caleb Mission Church, which helps defectors escape.

“In the past, up to half a million North Korean defectors came to China,” Kim said, citing the period in the 1990s when famine struck North Korea. “A lot of these arrests have to do with China wanting to prevent this again.” 

DIVIDED FAMILIES

Kim Jeong-cheol already lost his brother trying to escape from North Korea, and now fears his sister will meet a similar fate after she was caught by Chinese authorities.

“My elder brother was caught in 2005, and he went to a political prison and was executed in North Korea,” Kim told Reuters. “That’s why my sister will surely die if she goes back there. What sin is it for a man to leave because he’s hungry and about to die?”

Reuters was unable to verify the fate of Kim’s brother or sister. Calls to the North Korean embassy in Beijing were not answered.

Activist groups and lawyers seeking to help the families say there is no sign China has deported the recently arrested North Koreans yet, and their status is unknown.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, which does not typically acknowledge arrests of individual North Korean escapees, said it had no information about the raids or status of detainees.

“We do not know about the situation to which you are referring,” the ministry said in a statement when asked by Reuters.

North Koreans who enter China illegally because of economic reasons are not refugees, it added.

“They use illegal channels to enter China, breaking Chinese law and damaging order for China’s entry and exit management,” the ministry said. “For North Koreans who illegally enter the country, China handles them under the principled stance of domestic and international law and humanitarianism.”

South Korea’s government said it tries to ensure North Korean defectors can reach their desired destinations safely and swiftly without being forcibly sent back to the North, but declined to provide details, citing defectors’ safety and diplomatic relations.

When another woman – who also asked to be unnamed for her family’s safety – escaped from North Korea eight years ago, she promised her sister and mother she would work to bring them out later.

In January, however, her mother died of cancer, she said.

On her death bed, her mother wrote a message on her palm pleading for her remaining daughter to escape North Korea.

“It will haunt me for the rest of my life that I didn’t keep my promise,” said woman, who now lives in South Korea.

Her 27-year-old sister was in a group of four defectors who made it all the way to Nanning, near the border with Vietnam, before being caught.

“When you get there, you think you’re almost home free,” she said. “You think you’re safe.”

INCREASE IN ARRESTS

There are no hard statistics on how many North Koreans try to leave their country, but South Korea, where most defectors try to go, says the number safely arriving in the South dropped after Kim Jong Un came to power in 2011.

In 2018 about 1,137 North Korean defectors entered South Korea, compared to 2,706 in 2011.

Observers say the drop is partly because of increased security and crackdowns in both North Korea and China.

Over the past year, more cameras and updated guard posts have been seen at the border, said Kang Dong-wan, who heads an official North Korean defector resettlement organization in South Korea and often travels to the border between China and North Korea.

“Kim Jong Un’s policy itself is tightening its grip on defection,” he said. “Such changes led to stronger crackdowns in China as well.”

Under President Xi Jinping, China has also cracked down on a variety of other activities, including illicit drugs, which are sometimes smuggled by the same people who transport escapees, said one activist who asked not to be named due to the sensitive work.

North Koreans who enter China illegally face numerous threats, including from the criminal networks they often have to turn to for help.

Tens of thousands of women and girls trying to flee North Korea have been pressed into prostitution, forced marriage, or cybersex operations in China, according to a report last month by the non-profit Korea Future Initiative.

“SMASH UP NETWORKS”

An activist at another organization that helps spirit defectors out of North Korea said so far its network had not been affected, but they were concerned about networks being targeted and safe houses being raided.

“That is a bit of a different level, more targeted and acting on intelligence that they may have been sitting on to smash up networks,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity to protect the organization’s work.

Y. H. Kim, of the Refugees Human Rights Association, said the raids raised concerns that Chinese authorities had infiltrated some smuggling networks, possibly with the aid of North Korean intelligence agents.

“I don’t know about other organizations, but no one is moving in our organization right now,” he said. “Because everyone who moves is caught.”

(Reporting by Josh Smith and Joyce Lee. Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing and David Brunnstrom in Washington. Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A Huawei company logo is seen at a shopping mall in Shanghai
FILE PHOTO: A Huawei company logo is seen at a shopping mall in Shanghai, China June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

June 16, 2019

By Stephen Nellis and Alexandra Alper

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Huawei’s American chip suppliers, including Qualcomm and Intel, are quietly pressing the U.S. government to ease its ban on sales to the Chinese tech giant, even as Huawei itself avoids typical government lobbying, people familiar with the situation said.

Executives from top U.S. chipmakers Intel and Xilinx Inc attended a meeting in late May with the Commerce Department to discuss a response to Huawei’s placement on the black list, one person said.

The ban bars U.S. suppliers from selling to Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment company, without special approval, because of what the government said were national security issues.

Qualcomm has also pressed the Commerce Department over the issue, four people said.

Chip makers argue that Huawei units selling products such as smartphones and computer servers use commonly available parts and are unlikely to present the same security concerns as the Chinese technology firm’s 5G networking gear, according to three people.

“This isn’t about helping Huawei. It’s about preventing harm to American companies,” one of the people said.

Out of $70 billion that Huawei spent buying components in 2018, some $11 billion went to U.S. firms including Qualcomm, Intel and Micron Technology Inc.

Qualcomm, for example, wants to be able to continue shipping chips to Huawei for common devices like phones and smart watches, a person familiar with the company’s situation said.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), a trade group, acknowledged it arranged consultations with the U.S. government on behalf of the companies to help them comply and brief officials on the impact of the ban on the companies.

“For technologies that do not relate to national security, it seems they shouldn’t fall within the scope of the order. And we have conveyed this perspective to government,” said Jimmy Goodrich, vice president of global policy at SIA.

The ban came soon after the breakdown of talks to end the months-long trade spat between China and the United States, spurred by U.S. allegations of Chinese corporate espionage, intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer.

Google, which sells hardware, software and technical services to Huawei, has also advocated so it can keep selling to the company, Huawei Chairman Liang Hua told reporters in China earlier this month.

The online search company, a unit of Alphabet Inc, said in a statement that it works with Commerce to ensure it is in compliance with the new rules.

A Commerce Department representative said the agency “routinely responds to inquiries from companies regarding the scope of regulatory requirements,” adding that the conversations do not “influence law enforcement actions.”

Intel, Xilinx and Qualcomm declined to comment. Huawei did not respond to a request for comment.

In an interview in Mexico, Andrew Williamson, vice president of Huawei’s public affairs, said the company had not asked anyone specifically to lobby on its behalf.

“They’re doing it by their own desire because, for many of them, Huawei is one of their major customers,” he said, adding that chipmakers knew that cutting Huawei off could have “catastrophic” consequences for them.

China watchers say U.S. suppliers are essentially trying to thread the needle – not wanting to be seen as aiding an alleged spy, thief and sanctions violator, but fearful of losing a good client and encouraging it to develop supplies elsewhere.

NO ONE LISTENING

Huawei itself, which is also a top smartphone maker, has done very little traditional lobbying in Washington on the matter, but has considered sending a letter to the Commerce Department, two people familiar with Huawei’s thinking said.

“We simply have no channel of communication,” Liang told reporters earlier this month.

A month after being blacklisted, Huawei has not spoken to the United States government about the matter, two people said.

Huawei had been cutting back its lobbying efforts even before the ban. Last year, it laid off five employees at its Washington office, including its vice president of external affairs, and slashed lobbying expenditures, Reuters reported.

Still, Huawei has put up a vigorous legal fight and unleashed a public relations campaign to defend itself against the U.S. government’s allegations. It ran a full-page ad in major U.S. newspapers in February following a string of interviews with Huawei Chief Executive Ren Zhengfei aimed at softening its dark image in the West.

Huawei’s response underscores its recognition of its waning influence with the Trump administration, which has launched a global campaign against the company, analysts said.

“Huawei is at a loss over what they should do next,” said Jim Lewis, a cyber expert with Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It is in a really bad position in the U.S. Nobody is looking out to do Huawei a favor.”

Even so, the ban has had real repercussions.

Broadcom, which has not been lobbying the Commerce Department, sent a shockwave through the global chipmaking industry when it forecast that the U.S.-China trade tensions and the Huawei ban would knock $2 billion off its sales this year.

The Commerce Department did make a concession just days after the ban was put in place, announcing on May 20 that it would offer a temporary general license allowing Huawei to purchase U.S. goods so it can help existing customers maintain the reliability of networks and equipment.

(Reporting by Alexandra Alper in Washington and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Diane Bartz in Washington and Karen Freifeld in New York; Editing by Chris Sanders and Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: NBA: Finals-Golden State Warriors at Toronto Raptors
FILE PHOTO: Jun 10, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse gestures during the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors in game five of the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

June 16, 2019

Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse is seeking another title with another team.

Just days after the Raptors won the NBA championship in six games over the Golden State Warriors, Nurse said Sunday a deal was “just about done” to make him the coach of the Canadian national team.

“I’m getting ready to take another situation soon because I think it’s going to be make me a better coach,” said Nurse, who has extensive experience coaching internationally.

First up: the World Cup this summer. Team Canada will open play in the 2019 World Cup in China on Sept. 1 against Australia.

It has scheduled a warmup game against Nigeria on Aug. 9 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and also will play two pre-tournament games against Australia in Perth on Aug. 16 and 17.

“I expect we’ll have Canada’s most talented team ever, with most of our NBA players proudly representing their country,” Glen Grunwald, president and CEO of Canada Basketball said in May.

Prospective players for Team Canada are Kelly Olynyk (Miami Heat), Dwight Powell (Dallas Mavericks), R.J.Barrett (Duke, projected top-three pick in NBA draft), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Jamal Murray (Denver Nuggets) and Andrew Wiggins (Minnesota Timberwolves).

Nurse, 51, was as an assistant coach with Great Britain in the 2012 Olympics.

“I learned a lot as a coach in that run and I’m hoping this experience will do the same,” he said.

He presumably also would coach Canada in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“It’s a unique time with the World Cup and the Olympics within a short 13-14 month window. And it fits in OK. I’m just giving up some vacation time,” he said.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: LPGA: U.S. Women's Open Conducted by the USGA - First Round
FILE PHOTO: May 30, 2019; Charleston, SC, USA; Brooke Henderson tees off on the 12th hole during the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament at Country Club of Charleston. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

June 16, 2019

(Reuters) – Ontario’s Brooke Henderson became the most prolific Canadian winner on the LPGA Tour when she pipped four players by one stroke at the Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Sunday.

Henderson finished at 21-under-par 267 at Blythefield Country Club to secure her ninth career victory at the age of 21.

She was previously tied with Sandra Post for the most LPGA wins by a Canadian player.

Henderson carded 70 in the final round, while Americans Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare, Australian Su Oh and Japan’s Nasa Hataoka tied for second.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Ian Chadband)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: LPGA: U.S. Women's Open Conducted by the USGA - First Round
FILE PHOTO: May 30, 2019; Charleston, SC, USA; Brooke Henderson tees off on the 12th hole during the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament at Country Club of Charleston. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

June 16, 2019

(Reuters) – Ontario’s Brooke Henderson became the most prolific Canadian winner on the LPGA Tour when she pipped four players by one stroke at the Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Sunday.

Henderson finished at 21-under-par 267 at Blythefield Country Club to secure her ninth career victory at the age of 21.

She was previously tied with Sandra Post for the most LPGA wins by a Canadian player.

Henderson carded 70 in the final round, while Americans Lexi Thompson and Brittany Altomare, Australian Su Oh and Japan’s Nasa Hataoka tied for second.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Ian Chadband)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A personnel of the National Migration Institute (INM) checks passenger's ID as a member of the Military Police keeps watch at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Tapachula
FILE PHOTO: A personnel of the National Migration Institute (INM) checks passenger’s ID as a member of the Military Police keeps watch at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Tapachula, in Chiapas state, Mexico June 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Torres/File Photo

June 16, 2019

By Roberto Ramirez

TAPACHULA, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexican officials detained nearly 800 undocumented migrants on Saturday, the government said, in one of the biggest swoops against illegal immigration in recent months, as members of the National Guard began patrolling the southern border.

Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) said in a statement late on Saturday that 791 foreign nationals were found in four trucks stopped in the eastern state of Veracruz, confirming earlier reports about a mass detention.

The apprehension came as Mexico steps up efforts to reduce a surge of migrants toward the U.S. border under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, who vowed to hit Mexican goods with tariffs if Mexico does not do more to stem illegal immigration.

As part of those efforts, Mexico has pledged to deploy 6,000 National Guard members along its border with Guatemala.

Although there have been few signs of that deployment so far, a Reuters reporter near the border in Tapachula this weekend saw a handful of security officials wearing National Guard insignia and spoke to others in military outfits who said they were part of the guard.

Mexico made a deal on June 7 with the United States to avert the tariffs, setting the clock ticking on a 45-day period for the Mexican government to make palpable progress in reducing the numbers of people trying to cross the U.S. border illegally.

There has been a jump in apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border this year, angering Trump, who has made reducing illegal immigration one of his signature policy pledges.

Most of those caught attempting to enter the United States are people fleeing poverty and violence in three troubled Central American nations, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Mexico’s decision to tighten its border and respond to Trump’s threats has caused tensions within the government, and on Friday, the head of the INM, Tonatiuh Guillen, resigned.

He was replaced by Francisco Garduno, who had previously served as the head of Mexico’s prison system.

(Reporting by by Roberto Ramirez in Tapachula and Dave Graham in Mexico City; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Sonya Hepinstall)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Athletics - Diamond League - Rome
FILE PHOTO: Athletics – Diamond League – Rome – Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – June 6, 2019 Authorised Neutral Athlete Sergey Shubenkov after the Men’s 110M Hurdles REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini/File Photo

June 16, 2019

RABAT (Reuters) – World and Olympic 110m hurdles champion Omar McLeod fell before the finish to allow Sergey Shubenkov to win the latest dramatic installment in their rivalry at the Diamond League meeting in Rabat on Sunday.

Russian Shubenkov came from behind to catch McLeod before the last hurdle but was tripped just ahead of the finish by the stumbling Jamaican while still somehow managing to fall forward over the line first to claim victory in 13.12 seconds.

McLeod’s tumble meant he ended up fifth as the 28-year-old Shubenkov won an early morale booster ahead of one of the most anticipated clashes at the World Championships in Doha in September.

Sprinter Andre de Grasse seemed to have put last year’s injuries and illness woes behind him with a strong late burst that left Turkish world champion Ramil Guliyev trailing in the 200m in another indicator of potential drama to come in Qatar.

Yet it was not a result that entirely satisfied the Canadian, who won in 20.19 sec.

“I was grateful for the victory but not happy with the time. I wanted a sub-20 seconds. But it’s a long process,” said De Grasse.

“I’m not yet fully healthy and still have a lot of work to do to be really back in shape. But I have time before the World Championship.”

With Caster Semenya not participating following a war of words over her late invitation to compete in the Moroccan meet, the women’s 800 meters was won by Kenyan Nelly Jepkosgei, in one minute 59.50 seconds.

But the best women’s performance came in the 1500 meters where world record holder Genzebe Dibaba, of Ethiopia, ran the fastest time of the year to hold off her Dutch rival Sifan Hassan and win in 3:55.47.

The 30-year-old Nigerian, Blessing Okagbare, was a surprise victor in the women’s 100m in 11.05sec, finishing ahead of Ivorian Marie-Josee Ta Lou with Dafne Schippers, a medalist at the last two world championships, only finishing fifth.

Salwa Eid Naser, of Bahrain, held off Niger’s exciting youngster Aminatou Seyni to win the women’s 400m for her third Diamond League triumph this year, in a season’s best 50.13.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; editing by Ian Chadband)

Source: OANN

Boris Johnson, leadership candidate for Britain's Conservative Prime Minister, leaves home in London
Boris Johnson, leadership candidate for Britain’s Conservative Prime Minister, leaves home in London, Britain, June 15, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville

June 16, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Boris Johnson, the front-runner to replace Prime Minister Theresa May, pledged on Sunday to “end the digital divide” in Britain with the rollout of full fiber broadband by 2025.

Using his column in the Telegraph newspaper, Johnson, who was criticized for missing the first television debate on Sunday with the other contenders for Conservative Party leader, said he would speed up the rollout of full fiber broadband.

“The government has just set a new target for the 100 per cent roll-out of full fiber broadband – by 2033! … As a deadline, that is laughably unambitious,” he wrote.

“Let’s say goodbye to the UK’s manana approach to broadband and unleash full fiber for all by 2025.”

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The Goldman Sachs company logo is seen in the company's space on the floor of the NYSE in New York
FILE PHOTO: The Goldman Sachs company logo is seen in the company’s space on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

June 16, 2019

(Reuters) – Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc is combining its private-investing arms, with the resulting new division to have about $140 billion in assets, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The bank is looking to combine four different units that invest in private companies, real estate and other hard-to-access deals, according to the report.

Goldman Sachs did not respond to a Reuters request for comment on Sunday.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Deutsche Bank annual meeting in Frankfurt
FILE PHOTO: Employees of Germany’s largest business bank, Deutsche Bank, gather ahead of the bank’s annual shareholder meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

June 16, 2019

(Reuters) – Deutsche Bank is planning to overhaul its trading operations, including the creation of a “bad bank” to hold tens of billions of euros of assets and shrinking or shutting its U.S. equity and trading businesses, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

The proposed bad bank, which is known internally as the non-core asset unit, will comprise mainly of long-dated derivatives, FT reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Deutsche Bank did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

(Reporting by Ishita Chigilli Palli in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

Source: OANN

People take part in a protest against migrants in the Bosnian town of Bihac
People gather for a protest against migrants in the Bosnian town of Bihac near the Croatian border, Bosnia and Herzegovina, June 16, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

June 16, 2019

By Dado Ruvic

BIHAC, Bosnia (Reuters) – Several hundred Bosnians protested on Sunday against an influx of migrants in the western border town of Bihac, warning of security and health risks from thousands sleeping rough.

Bosnia, spared the big migrant wave of 2015, is now seeing an influx of people trying to reach wealthier nations via neighboring Croatia, a European Union member.

About 25,000 people from Asia and North Africa entered the Balkan country from Serbia and Montenegro last year, and about 9,000 have arrived this year.

Around 6,000 are in Bihac and Velika Kladusa, two towns bordering Croatia, but only about 3,500 have been sheltered in four transit centers there.

Others sleep in parks and abandoned buildings.

“I came here to express dissatisfaction with the situation politicians have brought upon both us and migrants,” said Maja Tabakovic, 35, at the peaceful rally in the main square.

“The whole town is feeling insecure.”

Town authorities have long called on Bosnia’s national government to lift the burden from the border area and accommodate migrants elsewhere.

But a government has not been formed eight months after a general election and state institutions in charge of migration and asylum issues are operating in a care-taking capacity.

Also, the Serb-dominated Serb Republic, an autonomous region that makes up Bosnia along with a federation of Croat and Muslim cantons, has refused to accept any migrants on its territory.

On Friday, Bihac police raided several private houses in which nearly 300 migrants were accommodated and moved them to tents on a former garbage dump outside the town.

U.N. agencies have warned authorities against the relocation, saying the site was inadequate and located close to areas with landmines from Bosnia’s war in the 1990s.

“There are no sanitary facilities available on the site and no access to running water or electricity. Under these circumstances, locating migrants and refugees there is not acceptable,” the agencies said in a joint statement.

However, an additional 200 people were moved over the weekend to the Vucjak site, where the local Red Cross has supplied tents, water tanks and meals.

The migrants, in footage on regional television station, complained about poor conditions at the site, showing snakes they had found in surrounding bushes.

“We are not against the migrants but we want them to be taken care of,” said Husnija Midzic, one of the Bihac protesters. “I fear robberies and problems caused by migrants. We are in fear all the time, watching our homes, ourselves.”

(Writing by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

Source: OANN

People take part in a protest against migrants in the Bosnian town of Bihac
People gather for a protest against migrants in the Bosnian town of Bihac near the Croatian border, Bosnia and Herzegovina, June 16, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

June 16, 2019

By Dado Ruvic

BIHAC, Bosnia (Reuters) – Several hundred Bosnians protested on Sunday against an influx of migrants in the western border town of Bihac, warning of security and health risks from thousands sleeping rough.

Bosnia, spared the big migrant wave of 2015, is now seeing an influx of people trying to reach wealthier nations via neighboring Croatia, a European Union member.

About 25,000 people from Asia and North Africa entered the Balkan country from Serbia and Montenegro last year, and about 9,000 have arrived this year.

Around 6,000 are in Bihac and Velika Kladusa, two towns bordering Croatia, but only about 3,500 have been sheltered in four transit centers there.

Others sleep in parks and abandoned buildings.

“I came here to express dissatisfaction with the situation politicians have brought upon both us and migrants,” said Maja Tabakovic, 35, at the peaceful rally in the main square.

“The whole town is feeling insecure.”

Town authorities have long called on Bosnia’s national government to lift the burden from the border area and accommodate migrants elsewhere.

But a government has not been formed eight months after a general election and state institutions in charge of migration and asylum issues are operating in a care-taking capacity.

Also, the Serb-dominated Serb Republic, an autonomous region that makes up Bosnia along with a federation of Croat and Muslim cantons, has refused to accept any migrants on its territory.

On Friday, Bihac police raided several private houses in which nearly 300 migrants were accommodated and moved them to tents on a former garbage dump outside the town.

U.N. agencies have warned authorities against the relocation, saying the site was inadequate and located close to areas with landmines from Bosnia’s war in the 1990s.

“There are no sanitary facilities available on the site and no access to running water or electricity. Under these circumstances, locating migrants and refugees there is not acceptable,” the agencies said in a joint statement.

However, an additional 200 people were moved over the weekend to the Vucjak site, where the local Red Cross has supplied tents, water tanks and meals.

The migrants, in footage on regional television station, complained about poor conditions at the site, showing snakes they had found in surrounding bushes.

“We are not against the migrants but we want them to be taken care of,” said Husnija Midzic, one of the Bihac protesters. “I fear robberies and problems caused by migrants. We are in fear all the time, watching our homes, ourselves.”

(Writing by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

Source: OANN

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman attend a ceremony to unveil a sign for a new community named after U.S. President Donald Trump, in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman attend a ceremony to unveil a sign for a new community named after U.S. President Donald Trump, in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights June 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

June 16, 2019

By Rami Amichay

BERUCHIM, Golan Heights (Reuters) – Israel approved in principle on Sunday a new community named after U.S. President Donald Trump on a contested frontier zone with Syria – but construction looked likely to lag given Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political stumbles.

The “Trump Heights” project is intended to cement ties after Trump broke with other world powers to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the plateau in March.

At a special cabinet session in Beruchim, a sparse clutch of homes just 12 km (7.5 miles) from the Golan Heights armistice line with Syria, Netanyahu unveiled a sign labeled “Trump Heights” in English and Hebrew.

The sign was decorated with the Israeli and U.S. flags and planted on a patch of synthetic grass.

Israel captured the Golan from Syria in a 1967 war and later annexed and settled it – moves not accepted by most world powers, who deem it to be occupied Syrian territory.

Ongoing hostilities between Israel and Syria, and internal Syrian fighting that drew Iranian-backed auxiliaries to back Damascus and deploy near the Golan, helped Netanyahu make his case for Trump to recognize the Israeli claim of sovereignty.

Trump similarly delighted Israelis – while appalling other world powers – by recognizing Jerusalem as their capital and withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

“Trump is a great friend of Israel,” Netanyahu said.

“He has torn the mask off this hypocrisy which doesn’t recognize the obvious.”

“Thank you PM @Netanyahu and the State of Israel for this great honor!” Trump said on Twitter.

“DUMMY RESOLUTION”

Israeli authorities hope a revamping of Beruchim, home to an aging immigrant community from the former Soviet Union, to “Trump Heights” might bring an influx of residents, and Netanyahu called the day historic.

But a June 12 memorandum from his office showed the plan was far from implementation: it lacks earmarked funds as well as final approval for its precise location and name.

“In this (cabinet) resolution, it is proposed that the name of the community, if it is founded, be ‘Trump Heights’,” said the memorandum, signed by a deputy legal counselor, Yael Cohen.

The hesitancy was in part due to the fact that Netanyahu heads a caretaker government, having failed to form a coalition after an inconclusive national election in April. The conservative four-term premier must now contest a Sept. 17 re-run vote.

Netanyahu’s center-left rivals ridiculed Sunday’s ceremony.

“Whoever reads the small print on the ‘historic’ resolution understands that it is a dummy-resolution,” tweeted Zvi Hauser, an ex-Netanyahu cabinet secretary now with an opposition party.

The political upheaval appears to have put a spanner in the works of a long-awaited U.S. proposal for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Trump advisers had predicted the plan would be made public this month, but officials now say that is unlikely to happen until after the September election.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

Source: OANN

Southern EU Countries Summit in Valletta
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives at the Auberge de Castille for the Southern EU Countries Summit in Valletta, Malta June 14, 2019. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

June 16, 2019

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece and Cyprus will push their EU partners to penalize Turkey, including the possible option of sanctions, if Ankara is verified to have started drilling for gas west of Cyprus, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday.

The discovery of lucrative energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean has drawn into sharper focus long-standing tensions between Turkey and the Greek Cypriot government.

A Turkish drill ship has been anchored west of Cyprus since May. Cyprus and Greece say the vessel is encroaching into Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) – an area which Cyprus can use for commercial exploitation. Turkey says the area is on its continental shelf.

“We have agreed .. to prepare the ground in the coming week that the (European Union) summit take the relevant decisions, even sanctions against Turkey, if it is verified that there has been a drill (by Turkey) in the Cypriot EEZ,” Tsipras told reporters.

Greece is a close ally of the government in Nicosia and also has its own decades-old disputes with neighboring Turkey on issues relating to airspace in the Aegean Sea, and mineral rights in the same region.

Cyprus first discovered offshore gas reserves in 2011, which led to other discoveries. Turkey says any natural resources around the ethnically-split island also belong to Turkish Cypriots. They proclaimed their own independent state in 1983, but were founding partners of the Cypriot republic established after independence from Britain in 1960.

The east Mediterranean island was split in a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief coup orchestrated by the military junta then ruling Greece. Relations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities have festered since 1963, when a power-sharing agreement crumbled amid violence.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou, writing by Michele Kambas; editing by John Stonestreet)

Source: OANN

Southern EU Countries Summit in Valletta
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives at the Auberge de Castille for the Southern EU Countries Summit in Valletta, Malta June 14, 2019. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

June 16, 2019

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece and Cyprus will push their EU partners to penalize Turkey, including the possible option of sanctions, if Ankara is verified to have started drilling for gas west of Cyprus, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday.

The discovery of lucrative energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean has drawn into sharper focus long-standing tensions between Turkey and the Greek Cypriot government.

A Turkish drill ship has been anchored west of Cyprus since May. Cyprus and Greece say the vessel is encroaching into Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) – an area which Cyprus can use for commercial exploitation. Turkey says the area is on its continental shelf.

“We have agreed .. to prepare the ground in the coming week that the (European Union) summit take the relevant decisions, even sanctions against Turkey, if it is verified that there has been a drill (by Turkey) in the Cypriot EEZ,” Tsipras told reporters.

Greece is a close ally of the government in Nicosia and also has its own decades-old disputes with neighboring Turkey on issues relating to airspace in the Aegean Sea, and mineral rights in the same region.

Cyprus first discovered offshore gas reserves in 2011, which led to other discoveries. Turkey says any natural resources around the ethnically-split island also belong to Turkish Cypriots. They proclaimed their own independent state in 1983, but were founding partners of the Cypriot republic established after independence from Britain in 1960.

The east Mediterranean island was split in a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief coup orchestrated by the military junta then ruling Greece. Relations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities have festered since 1963, when a power-sharing agreement crumbled amid violence.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou, writing by Michele Kambas; editing by John Stonestreet)

Source: OANN

Southern EU Countries Summit in Valletta
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives at the Auberge de Castille for the Southern EU Countries Summit in Valletta, Malta June 14, 2019. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

June 16, 2019

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece and Cyprus will push their EU partners to penalize Turkey, including the possible option of sanctions, if Ankara is verified to have started drilling for gas west of Cyprus, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday.

The discovery of lucrative energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean has drawn into sharper focus long-standing tensions between Turkey and the Greek Cypriot government.

A Turkish drill ship has been anchored west of Cyprus since May. Cyprus and Greece say the vessel is encroaching into Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) – an area which Cyprus can use for commercial exploitation. Turkey says the area is on its continental shelf.

“We have agreed .. to prepare the ground in the coming week that the (European Union) summit take the relevant decisions, even sanctions against Turkey, if it is verified that there has been a drill (by Turkey) in the Cypriot EEZ,” Tsipras told reporters.

Greece is a close ally of the government in Nicosia and also has its own decades-old disputes with neighboring Turkey on issues relating to airspace in the Aegean Sea, and mineral rights in the same region.

Cyprus first discovered offshore gas reserves in 2011, which led to other discoveries. Turkey says any natural resources around the ethnically-split island also belong to Turkish Cypriots. They proclaimed their own independent state in 1983, but were founding partners of the Cypriot republic established after independence from Britain in 1960.

The east Mediterranean island was split in a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief coup orchestrated by the military junta then ruling Greece. Relations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities have festered since 1963, when a power-sharing agreement crumbled amid violence.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou, writing by Michele Kambas; editing by John Stonestreet)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Australian Open - First Round
FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Australian Open – First Round – Melbourne Arena, Melbourne, Australia, January 14, 2019. Britain’s Andy Murray reacts during the match against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

June 16, 2019

(Reuters) – Andy Murray has said that surgery helped him rediscover his passion for tennis as he prepares to make his comeback at Queen’s Club this week.

The 32-year-old will feature in the men’s doubles alongside Spaniard Feliciano Lopez on Wednesday, five months after undergoing a hip resurfacing operation.

“There have been a number of times over the past 18 months where I did want to stop,” he said.

“I didn’t want to play anymore. I was getting no enjoyment out of tennis at all, whether that be training, practice, matches.

“I wasn’t bothered about winning matches either because it wasn’t fun. Now I like playing tennis, getting out on the court and hitting balls. I want to keep playing if I can because I enjoy it.”

Murray said at the Australian Open in January that he intended to retire after Wimbledon due to crippling pain that stopped him from doing everyday tasks like pulling on socks.

The three-time Grand Slam winner admitted that the progress he has made since then has been better than anticipated.

“I didn’t expect to be in this position,” said the former world number one.

“I didn’t know how it would feel if I went and had the operation. But it has been brilliant, completely life-changing for me from where I was.

“I’m looking forward to getting back out there, but I don’t know what to expect and I’m not putting any kind of expectations on myself. Just being out on the tennis court and being pain free is enough.”

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie)

Source: OANN

Women's World Cup - Group F - United States v Chile
Soccer Football – Women’s World Cup – Group F – United States v Chile – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – June 16, 2019 Carli Lloyd of the U.S. celebrates with team mates after scoring their third goal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

June 16, 2019

Carli Lloyd scored twice to help the United States defeat Chile 3-0 at Parc de Princes in Paris on Sunday to advance to the knockout round of the Women’s World Cup.

The U.S. will play Sweden (2-0-0, six points) at Le Havre, France, on Thursday to decide the Group F winner.

With the U.S. up 3-0 in the 81st minute, Lloyd put a penalty kick left of the goal. Had she scored, she would have been the first woman with two World Cup hat tricks. Julie Ertz also scored for the U.S.

The 36-year-old Lloyd gave the U.S. the 1-0 lead in the 11th minute to set a record by scoring in her sixth straight World Cup match. She had an 18-yard half-volley after Becky Sauerbrunn sent a deep service that was poorly cleared by Chile’s Su Helen Galaz.

Ertz’s first career World Cup goal made it 2-0 in the 26th minute, thanks to a corner kick by Tierna Davidson. Lloyd tripled the advantage in the 35th minute on a headed ball from Davidson’s corner.

Chile (0-2-0, zero points) did not have a shot on Alyssa Naeher.

Sweden 5, Thailand 1

Sweden (2-0-0, six points) clinched a spot in the round of 16 with the win over Thailand in Group F play in Nice, France.

Thailand (0-2-0, zero points) has been outscored 18-1 after its opening loss to the United States, which won 13-0.

Sweden’s Linda Sembrant kicked off the scoring in the sixth minute, and Kosovare Asllani and Fridolina Rolfo added goals before halftime, giving Sweden three goals in the first half for the first time in World Cup play since 1991.

Lina Hurtig and Elin Rubensson scored second-half goals for Sweden, while Kanjana Sung-Ngoen adding a goal for Thailand in the closing minutes.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: AK Party candidate for mayor in Istanbul, Binali Yildirim, is seen inside of the party headquarters in Istanbul
FILE PHOTO: AK Party candidate for mayor in Istanbul, Binali Yildirim, is seen inside of the party headquarters in Istanbul, Turkey March 31, 2019. REUTERS/Kemal Aslan/File Photo

June 16, 2019

By Daren Butler

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Istanbul’s mayoral candidates argued over the election they contested in March in a rare televised debate on Sunday, a week before a re-run vote seen as a test of Turkish democracy and the reach of President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK party.

In the first televised debate of its kind in the country in nearly two decades, AKP candidate Binali Yildirim faced the main opposition’s Ekrem Imamoglu, who won the initial vote in March but was ousted from city hall when the result was annulled in May.

Yildirim, a former prime minister, narrowly lost the contest in what was one of the biggest election setbacks for Erdogan since the AKP first came to power in 2002. His party also lost control of the capital Ankara.

But in a decision last month that raised new questions over Turkey’s institutional independence, the High Election Board scheduled the re-run on June 23 after a series of AKP complaints that the initial vote was marred by irregularities.

“Strange thing happened when your votes were counted,” Yildirim said, describing the March contest. “Votes were stolen.”

“Who stole votes for God’s sake?” responded Imamoglu, of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), saying the election board had made no such allegation in its decision to annul the vote.

“We are conducting a struggle for democracy,” he said during heated exchanges.

The event was screened by all major channels.

The country’s last prominent televised debate between political leaders was in October 2002, when Erdogan faced then-CHP chairman Deniz Baykal a week before the parliamentary election that marked the AKP’s breakthrough.

The party’s campaign for this month’s contest is vastly different from the lead-up to the March 31 vote when Erdogan delivered tough nationalist messages at mass rallies each day. In the last two weeks the president has been uncharacteristically absent from the media.

In a speech on Sunday, he questioned why foreign media were so interested in “just a mayor being elected”, stressing that the city council was dominated by his AK Party.

Opinion polls have consistently shown Imamoglu leading, in some cases by several percentage points.

The rebooted AKP campaign has focused on Yildirim and a more conciliatory tone, as it seeks to win over voters who have deserted the party and its nationalist MHP party allies.

(Reporting by Daren Butler; Editing by Jonathan Spicer and John Stonestreet)

Source: OANN

Right-wing party AfD candidate Sebastian Wippel reacts after the announcement of the results of the runoff mayoral election in Goerlitz
Right-wing party AfD candidate Sebastian Wippel reacts after the announcement of the results of the runoff mayoral election in Goerlitz, Germany, June 16, 2019. REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel

June 16, 2019

By Martin Schlicht

GOERLITZ, Germany (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives on Sunday won a run-off vote for mayor in a small town in the east of the country, beating the far-right Alternative for Germany party.

The vote in Goerlitz, a town with cobbled streets that has become a favorite location for Hollywood film directors, is seen as a pointer for German state elections on Sept 1. in both Saxony and in the neighboring state of Brandenburg.

The victory of Christian Democrat (CDU) Octavian Ursu in Goerlitz is gives some respite to Merkel, whose national coalition with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) was shaken by heavy losses in European Parliament elections in May.

AfD candidate Sebastian Wippel came out ahead of Ursu in the first round and the CDU had to rely on support from other parties in the runoff to win in the town of 56,000 near the Polish border. Ursu won the runoff with just over 55%.

“It was not a vote for Mr. Ursu but more a vote against the AfD candidate, against me,” said Wippel. “The CDU had to rely on support from many groups including from the far-left extremists without whom they would not have made it. Looking ahead to the Saxony state election, we are in a good position.”

The AfD is running neck-and-neck with the CDU in Saxony and is forecast to come first in Brandenburg where the SPD has won all of the last six elections there since German reunification in 1990.

Defeats for the SPD in Brandenburg and the CDU in Saxony would pile more pressure on the coalition partners to rethink their alliance that followed the 2017 election, where the AfD entered the national parliament for the first time.

The Brandenburg and Saxony votes take place several weeks before the SPD and conservatives hold a midterm review of their partnership.

The SPD, which rules Brandenburg with the hard-left Die Linke, is expected to see support fall by more than a third in the eastern state, polls show.

The AfD has been attracting SPD and CDU voters in Brandenburg and Saxony partly by campaigning on a platform that opposes the government’s plan to phase out coal, a vital industry in both states, especially in Brandenburg.

The coalition partners are also losing support to the Green party, which is appealing to voters disillusioned with the ruling coalition and concerned about climate change. The Greens are the most popular party in Germany, overtaking Merkel’s conservatives.

(Writing by Joseph Nasr. Editing by Jane Merriman)

Source: OANN

Police officers and members of national gendarmerie stand guard outside a court in Algiers
Police officers and members of national gendarmerie stand guard outside a court in Algiers, Algeria June 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

June 16, 2019

By Hamid Ould Ahmed

ALGIERS (Reuters) – Two former powerful Algerian officials and a prominent businessmen were questioned in courts on Sunday, state TV said, over accusations of corruption in the ruling elite under ex-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Protesters and the army drove Bouteflika to resign on April 2 after two decades in power, but pressure has continued for the departure and prosecution of senior figures around him.

Among a plethora of ongoing cases, former finance minister Karim Djoudi appeared before the Supreme Court on Sunday, while former prime minister Ahmed Ouyahia was in another Algiers court, both over corruption accusations, state TV said.

Mourad Eulmi, head of the Algerian family-owned firm SOVAC which runs an assembly plant with Germany’s Volkswagen AG, was also questioned in the same court as Ouyahia.

State TV gave no more details and there was no immediate statement from the men or lawyers representing them.

The army is now the main player in Algerian politics and its chief of staff Ahmed Gaed Salah has urged the judiciary to speed up the prosecution of people suspected of corruption.

The court cases have not dampened the zeal of protesters pushing for radical change and a clean break with those who have governed since independence from France in 1962.

Djoudi served as finance minister under Ouyahia from June 2007 to May 2014 when he resigned on health grounds, before being named Bouteflika’s adviser for the past two years.

Bouteflika’s youngest brother, Said, and two former intelligence chiefs are in custody accused of “harming the army’s authority and plotting against state authority”.

Other prominent businessmen have also been detained at a prison in Algiers over corruption allegations.

Protesters are now seeking the departure of interim President Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, whom they view as part of the establishment.

Authorities have postponed a presidential election previously planned for July 4, citing a lack of candidates.

No new date has been set for the vote.

(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Keith Weir and Andrew Cawthorne)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The Federal Reserve building is pictured in Washington, DC
FILE PHOTO: The Federal Reserve building is pictured in Washington, DC, U.S., August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

June 16, 2019

(Reuters) – Goldman Sachs economists said on Sunday they are skeptical of “insurance” U.S. interest rate decreases from the Federal Reserve to forestall possible slowing in U.S. economic growth due to global trade tensions.

A surprise escalation in trade tensions between Washington and Beijing since May, together with stubbornly low inflation, have spurred bets among traders the U.S. central bank may lower key lending rates by 0.75 percentage points by year-end.

“However, we think the hurdle for such cuts is likely to be higher than widely believed,” Goldman economists wrote in a research note published on Sunday.

A number of primary dealers, or the 24 top Wall Street firms that do business directly with the Fed, anticipate the Fed would lower key borrowing costs beginning this summer.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc and a few other primary dealers have stuck with calls that the Fed would refrain from decreasing rates until there is evidence of significant deterioration in business and consumer activities.

Goldman economists said the three-quarter point in rate cuts in 1995-1996 and 1998, which some analysts point to as recent examples of pre-emptive policy easing from the Fed, were responses to data “rested at least as much on observable deterioration as on an insurance motive.”

They said another assumption for insurance rate-cuts is that Fed officials could reserve the moves once the risk abates.

“However, the greater political scrutiny of Fed hikes now—especially with a presidential election approaching—could make this harder to do in 2020, so that overly hasty insurance cuts now might increase the risk that the funds rate gets stuck at too low a level if the economy remains resilient,” they wrote.

On Friday, U.S. short-term interest rates futures implied traders see about a 58% chance the Fed would lower short-term rates by 0.75 point by year-end, up from 54% a week earlier and 7% a month ago, according to CME Group’s FedWatch too.

Fed policy-makers will meet next Tuesday and Wednesday where analysts widely expect they would pave the way for possible rate cuts later this year.

Interest rates futures suggested traders priced in a 23% probability the Fed would lower rates next week, compared with 25% a week ago and 13% a month earlier, the CME FedWatch program showed.

(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Schmid, Secretary General of European External Action Service, addresses 4th Europe-Iran Forum in Zurich
FILE PHOTO: Helga Schmid, Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), addresses the 4th Europe-Iran Forum in Zurich, Switzerland October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

June 16, 2019

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU’s second most senior diplomat affirmed the bloc’s support for the nuclear deal between world powers with Iran, including via the use of a new payment system for barter-based trade designed to circumvent U.S. sanctions.

Helga Schmid, the secretary general of European Union external action service, visited Tehran last week. She helped negotiate the deal in 2015.

Its status has been precarious since President Donald Trump pulled the United States out last year and toughened its sanctions regime against Tehran.

The European Union’s foreign service said that, in Tehran, Schmid had reiterated the bloc’s commitment to the deal, which has been “delivering on its primary goal … to ensure that Iran does not acquire material or equipment to develop a nuclear weapon.”

She had also discussed “EU efforts … to enable the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran,” including working to put into operation the Instex payment channel set up by France, Britain and Germany to facilitate non-dollar trade.

(Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; editing by John Stonestreet)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa Al-Sarraj of Libya speaks during a high-level meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants at the United Nations General Assembly in New York
FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa Al-Sarraj of Libya speaks during a high-level meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants at the United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan, New York, U.S. September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

June 16, 2019

By Ulf Laessing

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya’s internationally recognized Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj said on Sunday he was not prepared to sit down with eastern commander Khalifa Haftar to negotiate an end to the two-month offensive against Tripoli.

His comments to Reuters suggest low prospects for a ceasefire soon in the battle for Libya’s coastal capital, where Serraj and his administration are based.

In the latest turmoil since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) force has been unable to take Tripoli despite fighting that has caused havoc in southern suburbs and displaced tens of thousands of people.

“I will not sit down again with this person because what he has done in past years shows he won’t be a partner in the political process,” the 59-year-old Serraj said in an interview at his wood-paneled office in central Tripoli.

The longest-serving in a succession of Tripoli-based prime ministers since 2011, Serraj has met Haftar, a 75-year-old former general in Gaddafi’s army, six times in the past few years.

The last meeting was in February in Abu Dhabi as foreign powers sought to broker a power-sharing deal between the rival eastern and western administrations.

“He was only trying to gain time,” Serraj said, pointing out that his rival had sent planes to bomb Tripoli.

Serraj struck a defiant tone, saying his troops, from armed groups in western cities, would continue to fend off Haftar, whom he views as a would-be dictator like Gaddafi.

“Our primary military goal is to defend Tripoli,” he said. “In the coming days there will be positive news … progress,” he said, without giving further details.

Calls from abroad for a ceasefire have fallen on deaf ears, particularly given diplomatic divisions over Libya.

OIL VULNERABILITY

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates back Haftar and have armed him since 2014 as a perceived bastion against Islamists, according to U.N reports. Haftar depicts himself as the man to reunite Libya and combat jihadists.

Most Western countries work with Serraj and Turkey recently sent him arms. France and other countries have proposed an unconditional ceasefire – without putting real pressure on Haftar – which would allow his troops to stay in western Libya.

But Serraj’s camp has rejected that. “You cannot ask the person defending himself to cease fire,” he said.

In Sunday’s interview, he backed a U.N. blueprint for a national conference to prepare for elections by year-end.

“Libyans should meet to overcome this (current) struggle for power,” Serraj said.

The prime minister said he was concerned the OPEC member’s oil facilities could become embroiled in the conflict.

Libya produces around 1.25 million barrels a day, the Tripoli-based economy minister told Reuters last week.

“For us, it is very important that oil production continues,” he said. “But there are dangers coming from the other side which has turned ports into military positions.”

State oil firm NOC has repeatedly warned its facilities could become dragged into the conflict. Last week, state oil firm NOC accused an LNA commander of arriving with 80 soldiers at the eastern oil port of Ras Lanuf.

The LNA controls all major oilfields and most ports.

Serraj said his forces would avoid attacking any oil facilities even if the LNA was stationed there.

The war was hurting Libya’s development and basic services as funding had to be diverted to equip troops and treat the wounded, he said. “There could be a (national power) blackout anytime,” he said.

As well as threatening to disrupt oil supplies, there are fears the conflict will increase migration across the Mediterranean to Europe and encourage jihadists to exploit the chaos.

(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

Source: OANN

Women's World Cup - Group F - United States v Chile
Soccer Football – Women’s World Cup – Group F – United States v Chile – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – June 16, 2019 Carli Lloyd of the U.S. celebrates with team mates after scoring their third goal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

June 16, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – Striker Carli Lloyd scored twice as the United States made light work of Chile on Sunday, winning 3-0 and sending the current holders into the last 16 at the Women’s World Cup.

The U.S., coming off a record 13-0 win over Thailand in their Group F opener, were in control from the first minute and scored three first-half goals.

Lloyd became the first player to score in six consecutive World Cup matches when putting her team ahead in the 11th minute by smashing a half-volley into the net from just inside the box.

Midfielder Julie Ertz doubled the score on 26 minutes and Lloyd powered home from a corner on 36 minutes to make it three.

Paris St Germain goalkeeper Christiane Endler pulled off a string of magnificent saves in the second-half to deny the defending champions from extending their lead before Lloyd missed an 81st penalty that should have sealed her hat-trick.

(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Ian Chadband)

Source: OANN

Nature Valley Open
Tennis – Nature Valley Open – Nottingham Tennis Centre, Nottingham – June 16, 2019 France’s Caroline Garcia celebrates winning the women’s final with the trophy Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

June 16, 2019

(Reuters) – France’s Caroline Garcia recovered from a set down to beat Croatian Donna Vekic 2-6 7-6(4) 7-6(4) and win her first title of the season at the Nottingham Open grasscourt event on Sunday.

Top seed Garcia, the world No.28, who had finished off her semi-final win over Jennifer Brady just hours before on Sunday, lost her opening two service games in a slow start to concede the opening set.

The 25-year-old then rediscovered her touch in the second set, before stepping up her game in the final set tiebreak to earn three championship points at 6-3.

Second seed Vekic fired a stunning forehand to trim the deficit to 6-4, but Garcia responded with an ace to clinch victory after two hours and 36 minutes.

The final brought to a conclusion the rain-hit pre-Wimbledon tournament in Nottingham, with some earlier matches having had to be played indoors.

Vekic, for example, overcame Kristina Mladenovic in a quarter-final clash which started on the grass outdoors before being moved to the indoor hardcourts, where most play occurred during the earlier rounds.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ian Chadband)

Source: OANN

A vendor waits for customers during a national blackout, in Buenos Aires
A vendor waits for customers during a national blackout, in Buenos Aires, Argentina June 16, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

June 16, 2019

By Adam Jourdan, Nicolás Misculin and Eliana Raszewski

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Power had been restored to one-third of Argentina by early afternoon, hours after a massive blackout hit South America on Sunday morning, leaving tens of millions without power, the country’s Energy Secretariat said.

Argentina’s grid “collapsed” around 7 a.m. local time (1100 GMT), leaving the entire country without power, Argentina´s Energy Secretariat said in a statement. The outage also cut electricity to swaths of neighboring Uruguay and Paraguay.

Energy distributors in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, whose populations total nearly 55 million, said power was being restored to major cities, including Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

Argentina’s energy agency said in a statement it had begun investigating the causes of the outage, but had not provided further details by midday.

Energy company Edesur Argentina called the outage “exceptional” and said it would likely take the rest of the day before power was completely restored. Argentina’s Energy Secretariat said energy distributors nationwide had brought back 5,000 megawatts out of 15,000 MW of total demand.

Uruguay power company UTE said on social media that power had returned to parts of Montevideo and the southern coast of Uruguay. In Paraguay, the capital of Asuncion was unaffected by the outage but local providers said they were restoring power to smaller cities and rural areas.

The massive blackout on Father’s Day left Buenos Aires dark early this morning, hobbling public transportation, cutting off water supply and crippling phone and internet communications across the city.

Images from social media showed long lines of cars at the few service stations still in operation in Argentina’s capital city and traffic lights dark, creating chaos in places even on a normally quiet Sunday.

“The city is a disaster. There are no traffic lights. Stores aren’t open. It spoiled Father’s Day,” said 75-year-old retiree Liliana Comis, of Buenos Aires.

The outage also spilled over into local and national politics.

Alberto Fernandez, a Peronist presidential candidate looking to unseat incumbent Mauricio Macri in this year’s hotly contested election, tweeted that “the President should…give an explanation for what Argentines are suffering.”

Macri had yet to make a statement on social media as of late morning in Argentina.

Elsewhere in Argentina, several provinces were forced to temporarily delay local elections slated for Sunday.

A spokesman for Argentine state oil company YPF told Reuters that all of the plants at its La Plata refinery, a critical link in the country’s oil infrastructure, had been shut down following the outage.

Argentina is home to the Vaca Muerta shale formation, one of the world’s biggest reserves of shale gas and oil. It was not immediately clear to what extent drilling operations there had been impacted.

A spokesman for Brazil’s power system operator (ONS) said the outage had not impacted the regional neighbor to the north.

(Reporting by Eliana Raszewski, Nicolas Misculin and Adam Jourdan in Buenos Aires; Additional reporting by Luciano Costa de Paula in Brazil and Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru, Daniela Desantis in Paraguay; Writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

Tennis - Australian Open - First Round
FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Australian Open – First Round – Court 3, Melbourne, Australia, January 14, 2019. Italy’s Matteo Berrettini serves during the match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

June 16, 2019

(Reuters) – Italian Matteo Berrettini claimed his first grasscourt title with a 6-4 7-6(11) victory over Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Stuttgart Open final on Sunday.

World number 30 Berrettini saved five points in the marathon second set tiebreak and held on to win it 13-11 for his third ATP crown in last 11 months.

Berrettini, who defeated home favorite Jan-Lennard Struff in the semi-final, grabbed an early break point in the opening set, as the 18-year-old erred by pushing a backhand approach shot into the net.

Auger-Aliassime, who is youngest player in the world’s top 100, was unable to take advantage of one of his five chances in the tiebreak, with Berrettini serving well under pressure before taking control of points on his forehand.

Berrettini won all 50 of his service games over the week, claiming more than 89% of his first-serve points in his five matches and becoming the first Italian male grasscourt titlist since Andreas Seppi in Eastbourne in 2011.

The 23-year-old had never tasted victory on grass before, with both his previous wins coming on clay courts in Gstaad and Budapest.

Stuttgart marks Auger-Aliassime’s third defeat in as many finals this year after losing out in Rio de Janeiro and Lyon.

(Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru, editing by Ian Chadband)

Source: OANN

Women's World Cup - Group F - Sweden v Thailand
Soccer Football – Women’s World Cup – Group F – Sweden v Thailand – Stade de Nice, Nice, France – June 16, 2019 Sweden’s Linda Sembrant celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

June 16, 2019

NICE, France (Reuters) – Sweden produced a breathtaking display of attacking soccer to thrash Thailand 5-1 in Nice on Sunday and book their place in the last 16 of the women’s World Cup.

Thailand, coming off a record 13-0 loss to defending champions United States in their Group F opener, conceded twice in the opening 20 minutes as they struggled to win aerial battles against a much taller Swedish team.

Center back Linda Sembrant broke the deadlock for Sweden with a thumping header off an Elin Rubensson free kick, before midfielder Kosovare Asllani pounced on a rebound to double their lead.

Fridolina Rolfo hammered in a third from outside the box as Sweden finished with three goals in the first half of a World Cup match for the first time since a third-place playoff win over Germany in 1991.

Forward Lina Hurtig fired another Swedish header to make it 4-0 in the second half but it did not slow down Thailand, who were courageous on the ball and created a couple of chances through forward Rattikan Thongsombut.

Thailand were eventually rewarded with their first goal of the tournament when captain Kanjana Sung-ngoen broke clear to fire past goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl in the closing stages.

“This goal meant a lot to us,” Thai coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian said.

“It’s a difficult goal and playing a great team like Sweden, it meant so much. It meant that all of our preparation paid off.

“This one goal made us laugh, made us smile and makes us happy. Our defeat in the last game was massive — yes, we were disappointed. But we still need to improve and get close to the other super teams.”

There was still time for Sweden to reply after Rubensson fired home a penalty, which was awarded by the video assistant referee following Natthakarn Chinwong’s handball.

Thailand, who will meet Chile in their final Group F match, have now conceded 18 goals in two games at this World Cup, which equals the record for a single tournament set by Argentina in 2007.

It was a much improved display from Sweden, who peppered the Thailand goal with 34 attempts, after they labored to a 2-0 victory over Chile in their opening match.

“It’s good that we had five different scorers,” Asllani said. “I felt that we found a number of avenues to break through and overall it was a good match.

“I think the further we go in the tournament, the tougher the teams (will be), so it was positive we could create a lot in the last third.”

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Source: OANN

A general view of the Plenary Hall during the election night for European elections at the European Parliament in Brussels
FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Plenary Hall during the election night for European elections at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, May 27, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

June 16, 2019

MOSCOW (Reuters) – An official from Russia’s security council described as absurd accusations that Moscow used disinformation to sway voters towards right-wing parties in last month’s European Union elections, Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper reported on Sunday.

An EU review into elections to its parliament, published on Friday, said there was evidence both Russian and European online sources had sought to promote extreme views and polarize debate on issues such as migration and religion.

The preliminary report is the latest in a string of allegations from Western governments that Russia has used online disinformation techniques, including the creation of fake social media accounts, to try to influence voters.

Sites such as Facebook have come under particular pressure to tackle the issue since the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign, when Russian troll accounts and bots allegedly flooded social media platforms with content aimed at undermining Democrat candidates and promoting the victory of current U.S. President Donald Trump.

Moscow has repeatedly denied targeting elections.

“Statements made in the Western media that Russia was allegedly deeply interested in the victory of right-wing parties during elections to the European parliament are completely absurd,” Russian security council deputy secretary Alexander Venediktov was quoted by Rossiyskaya Gazeta as saying in an interview on Sunday.

“Let me remind you that, until today, no convincing evidence has been presented to the global community to prove that Moscow allegedly tried to influence the elections in the United States or in Europe,” Venediktov was quoted as saying.

Friday’s EU report found “a continued and sustained disinformation activity by Russian sources aiming to suppress turnout and influence voter preferences”.

It called on social networks to do more to protect elections from foreign meddling.

(Reporting by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

Boeing Co Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg during a news conference at the annual shareholder meeting in Chicago
FILE PHOTO: Boeing Co Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg speaks during a news conference at the annual shareholder meeting in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., April 29, 2019. Jim Young/Pool via REUTERS

June 16, 2019

By Eric M. Johnson

PARIS (Reuters) – The head of Boeing Co said on Sunday the U.S. planemaker had made a mistake in implementing a cockpit warning system on the 737 MAX and predicted it would take time to rebuild the confidence of customers in the wake of two fatal crashes.

Chairman and Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg said Boeing failed to communicate “crisply” with regulators and customers, but defended the broad engineering and design approach to nose-down control software at the center of probes into the accidents that led to the plane’s worldwide grounding.

Muilenburg acknowledged the company made a mistake in failing to disclose a defective cockpit warning light on its 737 MAX to regulators and customers, and said that failure has been part of reviews by global regulators. Muilenburg, who has been under fire over the MAX design and Boeing’s handling of the crisis, said “we are seeing over time more and more convergence among the regulators” on when the MAX should return to service.

He expected the MAX to return to service this year.

Boeing says it followed procedures when designing the 737 MAX. Asked how the procedures failed to capture apparent flaws in MCAS control software and sensor architecture, Muilenburg said: “Clearly, we can make improvements, and we understand that and we will make those improvements.”

He added: “When I make comments about the previous MCAS design and how we followed those processes, that’s something we put a lot of thought and depth of analysis into. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be improved.” Muilenburg was speaking on the eve of the Paris Airshow where the U.S. planemaker expects to make subdued order announcements for a number of larger wide-body jets.

He stuck to a previous timeline for the all-new 777X twin-aisle jet, which Boeing aims to fly later this year and deliver to airlines in 2020.

He said a possible new jet dubbed NMA had fallen behind the MAX’s return to service as a priority, but that the timeline on decisions and entry to service remained unchanged.

He took aim at European rival Airbus’s planned new extended-range A321XLR, saying the aircraft would only “scratch an edge” of the market segment targeted by the NMA, which would replace Boeing’s 757s and 767s.

Whether or not Boeing moves forward with the new mid-sized plane to serve a niche market falling between narrow- and wide-body aircraft is expected to reshape competition with Airbus, which dominates the top end of the medium-haul sector.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson, Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Tessa Thompson poses for a picture during a photocall for the film
FILE PHOTO: Tessa Thompson poses for a picture during a photocall for the film “Men in Black: International” ahead of its Russian premiere, in Moscow, Russia June 6, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo

June 16, 2019

By Rebecca Rubin

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) – Hollywood seems to be coming down with a contagious case of franchise fatigue this summer, as “Men in Black: International” and “Shaft” become the latest sequels largely dismissed by moviegoers in North America.

Sony’s “Men in Black: International” led ticket sales at the box office this weekend with $28.5 million, but still fell short of expectations. Those receipts represent roughly half of what the previous installments in the sci-fi series earned during their first weekend in theaters.

The latest entry, toplined by Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, wasn’t expected to reach the same heights as the original films starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, but analysts anticipated a start above $30 million. Directed by F. Gary Gray, the sequel sees Thompson and Hemsworth team up as black-suited agents protecting the Earth from a series of alien attacks. “Men in Black: International” is now banking on moviegoers overseas to make the action adventure a hit. Sony co-financed the movie with Hemisphere and Tencent, spending $110 million to produce the film, roughly half of what it cost to make “MIB 3.”

Critics praised the chemistry between Hemsworth and Thompson, who first shared the screen in “Thor: Ragnarok,” but reviews were otherwise uninspired for the follow-up, which comes seven years after the latest installment and 25 years after the first film. It carries a 24% on Rotten Tomatoes. Audiences were equally unenthusiastic, giving “MIB: International” a B CinemaScore.

“Men in Black: International” wasn’t the only sequel this weekend that got the cold shoulder from ticket buyers. Warner Bros. and New Line’s “Shaft,” starring Samuel L. Jackson, flopped with a dismal $8.3 million in sales from 2,952 locations. That’s less than half of what box office watchers predicted the follow-up would make in its first three days of release. By comparison, 2000’s “Shaft” debuted with $21.7 million. The latest remake reunites three generation of Shaft men, played by Jackson, Jessie Usher, and Richard Roundtree, who starred in the original 1971 movie. It carries a $30 million price tag.

Positive reviews didn’t salvage this weekend’s other new nationwide offering, Amazon’s “Late Night.” The comedy, written by Kaling and co-starring Kaling and Emma Thompson, finished in ninth place with $5.1 million after the studio expanded the comedy to 2,220 venues. It debuted in limited release last weekend, collecting a solid $249,654, which brings ticket sales to $5.4 million. “Late Night,” about a TV host who makes a diverse hire to save her talk show from becoming a ratings disaster, was well-received after premiering at Sundance, where Amazon shelled out $14 million for distribution rights in one of the biggest sales of the festival.

The final newcomer this weekend was “The Dead Don’t Die,” Jim Jarmusch’s zombie comedy starring Adam Driver, Billy Murray, Selena Gomez, and Chloe Sevigny. The film, which debuted to mixed reviews at Cannes, opened at No. 12 with $2.35 million from 613 theaters. According to Focus Features, the studio distributing the movie, that figure marks the largest opening weekend of Jarmusch’s career. Males accounted for 58% of tickets sold, while 64% of audiences were over the age of 35.

“We’re thrilled to see Jim’s biggest opening and his top grossing weekend ever with this film,” said Lisa Bunnell, Focus Features’ president of distribution. “His unique take on the zombie genre delivers his signature brand of humor, style and substance for moviegoers.”

In a not-so-distant second place, Universal and Illumination’s “The Secret Life of Pets 2” brought in $23 million during its sophomore weekend of release, marking a 49% decline from its inaugural outing. The animated sequel has now earned $92 million in North America.

Disney’s “Aladdin,” a live-action remake of the Arabian musical cartoon, nabbed the No. 3 spot during its fourth weekend in theaters. It collected another $17 million, boosting its domestic haul to $264 million.

Another Disney title, “X-Men” entry “Dark Phoenix,” was a big-budget misstep last weekend. It dropped to fourth place, adding $9 million, a massive 73% downturn in ticket sales compared to its first weekend in theaters.

Rounding out the top five is Paramount’s “Rocketman.” The fantasy biopic, which sees an inspired Taron Egerton dramatize the life and times of Sir Elton John, picked up $8.8 million in its third outing for a total of $66 million in North America.

Overall, ticket sales at the domestic box office are down just over 7% compared to last year, according to Comscore. A number of upcoming blockbuster-hopefuls, including Disney’s “Toy Story 4” and Sony’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” are expecting to breath some life into an otherwise lackluster summer moviegoing season.

Source: OANN

Gerald Darmanin, French Minister of Public Action and Accounts, attends a news conference on tax collection reform at Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris
FILE PHOTO: Gerald Darmanin, French Minister of Public Action and Accounts, attends a news conference on tax collection reform at Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, February 4, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

June 16, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – France plans to scrap 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) of tax breaks for companies to help fund a pledged 5-billion-euro reduction in personal income taxes, Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Sunday.

The government will finance the remaining 4 billion euros through lower spending, Darmanin said during an interview for the Grand Jury show with reporters from LCI television, RTL radio and Le Figaro newspaper.

Darmanin said 95% of taxpayers would see a reduction in their income taxes from January.

In his response to months of anti-government protests, French President Emmanuel Macron said in late April he would cut income tax by a further 5 billion euros.

The planned reduction came on top of a 10 billion-euro package of concessions to protesters in December aimed at boosting the income of the poorest workers and pensioners.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

Intel CEO Robert Swan speaks during a roundtable event with members of the media in Tel Aviv
Intel CEO Robert Swan speaks during a roundtable event with members of the media in Tel Aviv, Israel June 16, 2019. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

June 16, 2019

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Intel Corp on Sunday launched an accelerator in Israel to develop technologies in artificial intelligence and autonomous systems, and said it plans to bring the project to other countries as well.

The 20-week program, called Ignite, will host up to 15 early-stage startups, offering them business and technical support, the California-based company said.

Intel is already one of the biggest employers and exporters in Israel, where many of its new technologies are developed, and earlier this year said it was investing 40 billion shekels ($11 billion) to expand its manufacturing operations in the country.

“Israel has the deep skill base in AI, autonomous systems and the underlying technologies critical to these inflections that make it a natural choice to launch our Ignite program,” said CEO Bob Swan.

(Reporting by Tova Cohen, Editing by Ari Rabinovitch)

Source: OANN

Copa America Brazil 2019 - Group B - Argentina v Colombia
Soccer Football – Copa America Brazil 2019 – Group B – Argentina v Colombia – Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil – June 15, 2019 Argentina’s Lionel Messi looks dejected after the match REUTERS/Rodolfo Buhrer

June 16, 2019

By Richard Martin

SALVADOR, Brazil (Reuters) – There is nothing Lionel Messi craves more than winning a trophy with Argentina but his side’s haphazard performance in the 2-0 Copa America defeat by Colombia on Saturday laid bare the difficulty of the task he faces.

Messi, who turns 32 later this month and is running out of chances to lift a trophy with his country, had warned that Argentina were far from favorites to win this Copa America after losing the finals in 2015 and 2016 to Chile on penalties.

His assessment was gloomy but also realistic — Argentina have a rookie, caretaker coach in Lionel Scaloni who was taking charge of his first competitive game while the team consisted of many inexperienced players who mostly play for non-elite clubs.

His prediction was vindicated as Argentina were overwhelmed in the first half by Colombia, denying Messi space as he failed to make a single pass to strike partner Sergio Aguero before halftime.

Argentina came alive after the break and Messi missed a glaring chance from close range and he was upstaged down the other end by a superb goal from Colombia’s Roger Martinez.

Duvan Zapata’s late goal poured more pain on Argentina.

“We leave here feeling bitter about this defeat, we didn’t want to start like this but now we have to lift ourselves up and stay calm and keep going,” Messi, who returned to the national team in March after taking a break following the 2018 World Cup, told reporters.

“It will take a bit of time to digest this defeat but we can’t keep regretting it, we have to focus on the positive things we did.”

Argentina’s attention now turns to Wednesday’s match with Paraguay before their final Group B fixture against Qatar next Sunday.

They need to finish in the top two to guarantee their place in the quarter-finals but could also qualify by finishing third.

(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir addresses the National Dialogue Committee meeting at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum
FILE PHOTO: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir addresses the National Dialogue Committee meeting at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum, Sudan April 5, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/File Photo

June 16, 2019

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan’s ex-president Omar al-Bashir appeared in public on Sunday for the first time since he was overthrown, as he was taken out of prison to the office of the anti-corruption prosecutor.

Bashir, wearing traditional white robes and turban, was driven in a Toyota Land Cruiser to the prosecutor’s office in Khartoum, a Reuters witness said.

The military overthrew and detained Bashir on April 11 after 16 weeks of street protests against his 30-year rule. He was being held in prison in Khartoum North, across the Blue Nile from the capital’s center.

(Reporting by Eltayeb Siddig; Writing by Yousef Saba; Editing by Andrew Heavensd)

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Israel's acting foreign minister Israel Katz, who also serves as intelligence and transport minister, attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem
FILE PHOTO: Israel’s acting foreign minister Israel Katz, who also serves as intelligence and transport minister, attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem February 24, 2019. Abir Sultan/Pool via REUTERS

June 16, 2019

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel expects to attend a U.S-led conference in Bahrain next week on proposals for boosting the Palestinian economy as part of a coming U.S. peace plan, Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Sunday.

“Israel will be at the Bahrain conference and all the coordinations will be made,” Katz told Israeli Channel 13 News on the sidelines of the Jerusalem Post conference in New York.

(Reporting by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Mark Potter)

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Tennis - Australian Open - First Round
FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Australian Open – First Round – 1573 Arena, Melbourne, Australia, January 14, 2019. Alison Riske of the U.S. in action during the match against Netherlands’s Kiki Bertens. REUTERS/Edgar Su

June 16, 2019

(Reuters) – American Alison Riske recovered from an opening set bagel and saved five championship points as she stunned home favorite Kiki Bertens 0-6 7-6(3) 7-5 to lift the Libema Open title in Rosmalen on Sunday.

Bertens had three match points at 5-4 in the second set, but her American opponent came through with a string of volleys at the net to hold for 5-5.

The Dutch top seed then had two more match points in the 12th game, but Riske saved one of them with a volley, and then produced a sublime lob shot to force a tiebreak. Riske raced ahead 3-0 in the tiebreak and eventually won it 7-3.

Both players exchanged early breaks in the decider before rain interrupted play at 3-3.

Riske returned stronger to break her Dutch opponent in the final game to clinch her first title, five years after her first in Tianjin.

The defeat comes as a blow for world number four Bertens, who was chasing her third title of the season following victories in St Petersburg and Madrid earlier this season.

(Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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FILE PHOTO: Steel pipe to be used in the pipeline construction of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project at a stockpile site in Kamloops
FILE PHOTO: Steel pipe to be used in the oil pipeline construction of Kinder Morgan Canada’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project at a stockpile site in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada May 29, 2018. REUTERS/Dennis Owen/File Photo

June 16, 2019

By David Ljunggren and Nia Williams

OTTAWA/CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Canada looks set to approve a hotly-debated plan to expand an oil pipeline this week, people familiar with the process told Reuters, but the move is unlikely to help Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rebuild flagging support ahead of an October election.

The Liberal government last year took the unprecedented step of buying the Trans Mountain pipeline from Kinder Morgan Canada for C$4.5 billion ($3.4 billion) to ensure the expansion went ahead to help solve crude transportation bottlenecks.

If completed, the expansion would nearly triple capacity on the pipeline that runs from the western crude-rich province of Alberta to British Columbia’s Pacific coast. But it has faced increasing protests from environmental activists and aboriginal groups.

Trudeau – who came to power promising to improve Canada’s environmental record – faces a difficult decision. If he approves it, he could anger environmentalists and local residents who fear the impact of the project.

If he rejects it, he risks further alienating an energy lobby that has accused him of wanting to wreck their industry as he has pressed ahead with plans to strengthen the environmental assessments of major new energy projects at a time of low prices.

He has said the expansion will proceed if the conditions are right. His cabinet is set to take a final decision on Tuesday and Finance Minister Bill Morneau is due to address a business audience in the Albertan energy capital of Calgary on Wednesday.

Two federal government insiders with knowledge of the situation said there was little doubt Ottawa would give the green light.

“I am expecting an approval. Anything else would pose serious questions about what we are doing on the energy file,” said one of the sources, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation.

A senior Alberta government source also said approval was expected. “It’s the least this government can do to approve this pipeline,” said the source.

However, a senior federal government source insisted no decision had yet been taken and noted Ottawa had the power to push back the announcement.

The office of the Prime Minister declined to comment.

The cabinet will need to consider whether the project has done enough to win over aboriginal support. An original expansion plan approved by the Liberals in 2016 was overturned by a court which ruled the government had not adequately consulted indigenous groups. Ottawa says it has ramped up talks with aboriginal communities.

Wood Mackenzie analyst Mark Oberstoetter said it was more than 50% likely that the government would move forward with Trans Mountain, given that a rejection “would be a hard story to tell your taxpayer base.”

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has forecast total investment in Canada’s oil and natural gas industry will fall by about 10% to C$37 billion in 2019 from 2018, underscoring how Canada has struggled to recover from the 2014/15 global oil price crash.

But even if it is approved, construction may not start any time soon, given the resistance by environmental and aboriginal groups.

And an approval would do little to revive Liberal fortunes in Alberta, where the party looks set to lose all three of its parliamentary seats in October’s vote.

At the same time, it could also enrage voters in British Columbia, where there are greater concerns about the potential impact of expansion and where the Liberals have 17 legislators.

Significantly, many of those seats are in the Lower Mainland and connected to coastline that could be affected by the project, said Kathryn Harrison, political science professor at University of British Columbia.

“There are significant risks for the Liberals in British Columbia,” she said.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren and Nia Williams, additional reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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Russian journalist Golunov walks out of an office of criminal investigations in Moscow
FILE PHOTO: Russian journalist Ivan Golunov, who was freed from house arrest after police abruptly dropped drugs charges against him, speaks with the media near an office of criminal investigations in Moscow, Russia June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

June 16, 2019

By Polina Ivanova

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Several hundred protesters gathered in Moscow on Sunday in a small, government-authorized rally supporting investigative journalist Ivan Golunov and decrying abuse of power over his five-day arrest this month on drug charges.

The 36-year-old reporter, known for exposing corruption among Moscow officials, was freed following an outcry by supporters who said he was framed by corrupt police.

Journalists critical of Russian authorities have led a dangerous existence since the 1990s – sometimes threatened, attacked or even murdered over their work – but Golunov’s case triggered an unusually strong backlash.

An unsanctioned rally on June 12, the day after he was released, led to more than 500 detentions, including opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

But Sunday’s event was given the go-ahead, raising questions over whether President Vladimir Putin’s government was trying to provide a safety valve for public anger.

The rally, called by the Russian Union of Journalists and named “Justice and Fairness to Everyone”, had drawn a few hundred people by early afternoon, a Reuters witness said. State news agency TASS cited police saying around 1,600 were there.

Computer programmer Sergey, 28, said he was attending in the hope the protest would help stop others having drugs planted on them as he believes happened to Golunov. “Someone has to (protest),” he said, noting the small number at the rally.

Other demonstrators drew attention to detentions of regional journalists. “Moscow, Golunov is free. What about the others?” one of the banners read.

Putin fired two police generals over the case on Thursday, and other officers involved have been suspended pending an investigation.

Golunov was invited to Sunday’s event but did not turn up.

(Reporting by Polina Ivanova; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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A man takes a picture of aircrafts on static display, at the eve of the opening of the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris
A man takes a picture of aircrafts on static display, at the eve of the opening of the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, June 16 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

June 16, 2019

By Eric M. Johnson, Andrea Shalal and Tim Hepher

PARIS (Reuters) – Safety concerns, trade wars and growing security tensions in the Gulf are dampening spirits at the world’s largest planemakers as they arrive at this week’s Paris Airshow with little to celebrate despite bulging order books.

The aerospace industry’s marquee event is a chance to take the pulse of the $150 billion a year commercial aircraft industry, which many analysts believe is entering a slowdown due to global pressures from trade tensions to flagging economies.

Humbled by the grounding of its 737 MAX in the wake of two fatal crashes, U.S. planemaker Boeing will be looking to reassure customers and suppliers about the plane’s future and allay criticism of its handling of the months-long crisis.

The grounding of the latest version of the world’s most-sold jet has rattled suppliers and even fazed rival Airbus, with the European company avoiding the traditional baiting of Boeing, while remaining distracted by its own corruption probe.

Aerospace executives on both sides of the Atlantic are concerned about the impact of the crisis on public confidence in air travel and the risk of a backlash that could drive a wedge between regulators and undermine the plane certification system.

Airlines that rushed to buy the fuel-efficient, longer-range MAX are taking a hit to profits since having to cancel thousands of flights following the worldwide grounding in March.

Even the planned launch of a new longer-range version of the successful A320neo jet family from Airbus, the A321XLR, is unlikely to lift the industry’s uncertainty, analysts said.

“Boeing’s MAX crisis isn’t the most ominous dark cloud, since it can be solved, but traffic numbers are genuinely scary,” said Teal Group aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia.

“If March and April are a sign of things to come, we’re looking at broader industry demand and capacity problems.”

“Net orders might be the lowest in years,” Aboulafia added.

Others dismiss fears of a downturn, citing the growth of the middle class in Asia and the need for airlines to buy new planes to meet environmental targets.

Airbus and Boeing are both looking at steps to make their aircraft more fuel efficient and reduce their carbon footprint amid a growing environmental protest movement in Europe.

“The only solution that the industry has is the newest most fuel-efficient aircraft,” John Plueger, Chief Executive of Air Lease Corp, told Reuters. “So that replacement cycle is going to continue.”

“We’re talking to so many airlines who still want more aircraft, and there’s really been no lessening of those discussions,” he said.

GULF TENSIONS

Boeing is delaying key decisions on the launch of a possible new aircraft, the mid-sized NMA, to give full attention to the 737 MAX and last-minute engine trouble on the forthcoming 777X, industry sources said.

But it could unveil a number of deals favoring widebody jets where it has the upper hand against Airbus, including at least a dozen 787 aircraft for Korean Air Lines.

Robert Stallard of Vertical Research Partners expects roughly 800 aircraft orders at the show, but noted it can be hard to tell which are truly new, firm business or old orders, or switched models. That compares with some 959 orders and commitments at the Farnborough Airshow last year.

Some analysts pegged the likely total closer to 400.

Although slowing, a multi-year boom in airline orders is still generating business for suppliers such as engine makers. French-American CFM International is set to announce a record order by units for over 600 engines from India’s IndiGo.

The June 17-23 show is not only about jetliner deals, but also a magnet for many of the world’s arms buyers who come to preview the latest war-fighting equipment, from anti-aircraft missiles to hotly-sought cyber war-fighting capabilities.

France and Germany will unveil a mock-up of a proposed new fighter jet and sign a framework agreement for its development which includes drones.

Industry insiders will also weigh the merits and potential fallout of United Technologies Corp’s planned $121 billion tie-up with defense contractor Raytheon Co.

The deal, expected to close in the first half of 2020, would potentially upend the aerospace sector, creating a conglomerate spanning commercial aviation and defense procurement and putting pressure on several major suppliers such as Honeywell and General Electric.

Air show delegates are also watching a face-off between the United States and Iran in the Gulf. The United States blames Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in a vital shipping route that have raised fears of broader confrontation in the region.

In another political row with implications for arms firms attending the show, the United States has threatened to cancel Turkey’s participation in the Lockheed F-35 fighter jet program over Ankara’s purchase of a Russian radar system.

Watching the show attentively is China, whose own aerospace ambitions are growing at a time when U.S.-China trade tensions are rising ahead of a possible meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping this month.

(Additional reporting by Cyril Altmeyerhenzien, Laurence Frost, Alistair Smout; Editing by Mark Potter)

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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – November 23, 2018 McLaren’s Fernando Alonso during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

June 16, 2019

LE MANS, France (Reuters) – Double Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso won the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race for the second year in a row on Sunday with Toyota team mates Kazuki Nakajima and Switzerland’s Sebastien Buemi.

The number eight car crew, who took the lead with an hour to go, were also crowned world endurance champions with Nakajima driving the final stint and becoming the first Japanese to win the title.

Toyota’s number seven TS050 hybrid car, crewed by Britain’s Mike Conway, Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi and Argentina’s Jose Maria Lopez, led most of the way but suffered two late punctures and dropped to second in a one-two finish for the Japanese manufacturer.

Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne — Alonso’s former McLaren Formula One team mate — finished third in his debut Le Mans with Russian team mates Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin in the number 11 SMP Racing BR Engineering car.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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MotoGP - Catalunya Grand Prix
MotoGP – Catalunya Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – June 16, 2019 Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez celebrates winning the race REUTERS/Albert Gea

June 16, 2019

BARCELONA (Reuters) – MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez won his home Grand Prix of Catalunya on Sunday after Honda team mate Jorge Lorenzo fell and took out the Spaniard’s main rivals in a mass crash.

French rider Fabio Quartararo finished second, after starting on pole and dropping to eighth, for the Petronas Yamaha team with Italian Danilo Petrucci third for Ducati.

Marquez’s rivals Andrea Dovizioso and the Yamaha factory pairing of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales went down like skittles after Lorenzo lost control of his Honda at turn 10 and hit them with 23 laps remaining.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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