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Investor Ackman opposes United Technologies’ aerospace merger with Raytheon: source

( ) – Billionaire investor William Ackman’s activist hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management LP is opposing United Technologies Corp’s planned $120 billion aerospace merger with defense contractor Raytheon Co, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The move makes Ackman the first major Wall Street figure to come out against the deal. On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump expressed concerns over the merger’s impact on competition, though he also said he hoped the deal would happen.

Ackman wrote an email to United Technologies CEO Greg Hayes early on Sunday morning to express his concerns about the proposed deal after reading press reports about it, the source said.

The fund manager, whose firm owns roughly 0.67% of United Technologies, had previously supported the company in its plans to split into three businesses – aerospace, Otis elevators and Carrier air conditioners.

“We are extremely concerned that such a transaction will significantly lower the business quality of pro-forma United Technologies’ aerospace business, and, to make matters worse, will be accomplished through the highly dilutive issuance of large amounts of Un上海夜生活网ited Technologies stock,” Ackman’s email, seen by , said.

A spokesman for Pershing Square declined to comment. Raytheon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“We are confident that our shareholders will see the merits of this transaction and the value it brings to them and the company. We will be working diligently in the days and weeks ahead to make sure that the details of the transaction are presented to and fully understood by all shareholders,” United Technologies said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Pershing Square’s opposition to the deal.

Activist hedge fund Third Point LLC also has a stake in United Technologies. Like Pershing Square, it supported the company’s break-up, but its views on the Raytheon deal are not known. A Third Point spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

The merger would reshape the competitive landscape by forming a conglomerate which spans commercial aviation and defense procurement. United Technologies provides primarily commercial plane makers with electronics, communications and other equipment, whereas Raytheon mainly supplies the U.S. government with military aircraft and missile equipment.

United Technologies and Raytheon shares have dropped 7% and 4.5% respectively since their deal was announced, as investors expressed disappointment with the low value of synergies the companies announced. Investors also fret that major clients of the companies such as the Pentagon would seek to review their supply chains.

Shareholders of United Technologies and Raytheon would have to approve the deal in separate votes.

Activist hedge funds are increasingly targeting announced deals and are seeking to upend them, often by betting that the acquirer’s stock would go up were it to walk away from the purchase.

Earlier this year, activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP sought to muster opposition against Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s $74 billion acquisition of biotech Celgene Corp, but abandoned the effort after two leading proxy advisory firms backed the deal.

United Technologies’ deal with Raytheon also faces regulatory hurdles. The U.S. Defense Department and big customers like Boeing Co, Lockheed Martin Corp and Northrop Grumman Corp will have a lot of clout in the antitrust review, and may worry about over-reliance on one company for a big suite of products.

ACKMAN’S CONCERNS

Ackman’s email said that if the company moves forward with the deal, he expects the substantial majority of other shareholders to also line up against it.

The deal with Raytheon would be structured as an all-stock merger of equals because United Technologies, which currently has a market capitalization of $106 billion, would separately spin off Carrier and Otis. United Technologies bulked up in aerospace last year with its $23 billion acquisition of avionics maker Rockwell Collins.

“We cannot comprehend why United Technologies would attempt to effectuate a merger with Raytheon now, when United Technologies’ shares are likely to be materially higher after the business separation is effectuated early next year,” Ackman’s email said.

This year, Ackman’s firm has been one of the hedge fund industry’s best performers delivering gains of nearly 40% in the first four months of the year. This follows a rough patch where he faced big losses on Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc and Herbalife Nutrition Ltd and lost a proxy fight with Automatic Data Processing Inc. He has vowed to make back the money that he lost by reshaping his organization.

UPDATE 4-ANC set to retain power in South Africa but support slips

* Results in from 64 percent of voting districts

* ANC share of vote could fall to 55-59 percent -analysts

* President Ramaphosa trying to halt slide in ANC support

* Jobs, land and corruption were key issues for voters

* For more stories on the elections: (Adds DA, EFF, analyst comment, updates results)

By Alexander Winning and Onke Ngcuka

PRETORIA, May 9 ( ) – Results from nearly two-thirds of voting districts in South Africa’s election put the African National Congress on course to retain power but heading for its worst performance in a national poll in its 25 years in government.

The former liberation party of Nelson Mandela has not won less than a 60 percent vote share since it swept to power in South Africa’s first all-race election in 1994, marking the end of white minority rule.

As of 1840 GMT on Thursday, ballots in 64 percent of 22,925 voting districts had been counted. The early tallies put the ANC on 57 percent in the parliamentary race, with the main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on nearly 23 percent and the leftist Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on nearly 10 percent.

Based on those results, analysts predicted the ANC was set for a vote share of between 55 and 59 percent.

“The ANC result is going to be lower because of voter turnout, which could be the lowest at any parliamentary election since 1994,” political analyst Melanie Verwoerd said. “Turnout has been lower in areas where more black voters live, while the turnout has been higher in the white areas.”

She projected a vote share of 56-57 percent for the ANC.

South Africans voting on Wednesday for a new parliament and nine provincial legislatures had expressed frustration at rampant corruption, high unemployment and racial inequalities that remain deeply entrenched.

“The ANC have taken a hit in the polls — with an estimated near 5 percent loss on 2014 results — due to their failure to address key challenges affecting the South African population,” said Indigo Ellis, Verisk Maplecroft’s Africa analyst.

He cited youth unemployment of 53 percent, among the highest rates in the world.

Analysts have said that a poor showing for the ANC would embolden opponents of President Cyril Ramaphosa and risk a potential challenge to his leadership. The elections are the first test of national sentiment since Ramaphosa replaced scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma as head of state in February 2018.

“As long as the ANC gets more than 55 percent, things will be okay for Ramaphosa inside the ANC,” Verwoerd said.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, a government agency, also forecast a decline in support, predicting the ANC would get just over 57 percent of the parliamentary vote and about 50 percent in the provincial polls.

Turnout on Wednesday was just over 65 percent, according to the votes processed so far, the Electoral Commission said.

ANC Deputy Secretary General Jessie Duarte said she expected the party’s vote share to grow as results from larger voting districts filtered through.

Mmusi Maimane, the DA leader, said he was content with his party’s performance so far, while EFF’s chairman Dali Mpofu said the results showed the party to be “the only growing big party”.

At the last election in 2014, the ANC won 62 percent of votes, the DA 22 percent and the EFF 6 percent.

Chief Electoral Officer Sy Mamabolo said the Electoral Commission hoped that results from around 90 percent of voting districts would be declared by 10:00 p.m. local time (2000 GMT), with the remaining results to be released on Friday morning.

RAMAPHOSA BAROMETER

Ramaphosa is trying to arrest a slide in support for the ANC, whose image has been tarnished in the last decade by corruption scandals and a weak economy.

Ramaphosa, who became ANC leader in December 2017 after narrowly defeating a faction allied with Zuma, has promised to improve poor public services, create jobs and fight corruption.

But he has been constrained by divisions within his own party, where some Zuma supporters still retain influence and oppose his agenda.

The ANC achi上海夜生活网eved its best parliamentary election result in 2004 under former president Thabo Mbeki, when it won 69 percent of the vote. But its support fell under Zuma, and it lost control of big cities like the commercial capital Johannesburg in local government elections in 2016.

The party now controls eight of the country’s nine provinces, with the DA in power in the Western Cape. Early results showed ANC ahead in Gauteng province, where Johannesburg and the administrative capital Pretoria are located, while the DA led in the Western Cape, home to Cape Town.

Election officials said voting had in general progressed smoothly but that there had been isolated disruptions caused by bad weather, unscheduled power outages or community protests.

U.S. judge orders Arkansas to pay Planned Parenthood in narrow ruling

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. ( ) – A U.S. district judge on Friday ordered Arkansas to continue payments to Planned Parenthood for its treatment of three women who challenged Governor Asa Hutchinson’s directive cutting off Medicaid reimbursements to the organization.

The order applied only to the cases of the three plaintiffs, although the judge suggested that Planned Parenthood as an organization might successfully challenge the cutoff.

Judge Kristine Baker held that the three women, identified in court papers as “Jane Does,” had demonstrated they would incur irreparable harm should they not be able to access contraceptive care and other services through Planned Parenthood. 

Arkansas is one of several Republican-controlled states that have cut funds for the organization after the release of videos by an anti-abortion activist group, the Center for Medical Progress, in which Planned Parenthood officials are seen discussing transactions involving fetal tissue.

Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing.

The preliminary injunction the judge issued on Friday follows a temporary restraining order she put in place two weeks ago.

The judge declined to bar the introduction of the videos in further proceedings, but dismissed them from immediate consideration as “inadmissible hearsay.”

Hutchinson, a Republican, said in a statement the ruling was limited to the three women and that he would direct the state health department to “prohibit funding to Planned Parenthood consistent with the Court’s ruling.”

In Washin上海夜生活gton, U.S. congressional Republicans this week challenged Planned Parenthood’s eligibility for federal funds, while the health organization’s president said defunding it would restrict women’s access to care and disproportionately hurt low-income patients.

Planned Parenthood gets about $500 million annually in federal funds, largely in reimbursements under Medicaid, the government’s healthcare program for the poor.

In Arkansas, reaction from social conservatives to the judge’s move was swift.

“Arkansans have made it clear time and again they do not want public dollars subsidizing abortions,” said Jerry Cox, president of the Family Council of Arkansas. 

Planned Parenthood has said almost all of its work in the state covered services other than abortions.

The Arkansas contracts with Planned Parenthood involved services including nurse practitioners, pharmacy and family planning and were delivered through the Arkansas Medicaid program. No state funds were used for abortions, except in the case of incest, rape or when the life of the mother was at stake, state health officials said.

A spokesman for the state attorney general said no decision had been made regarding an appeal of the ruling.

Sterling regains poise as fresh Brexit developments eyed

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

* Graphic: Trade-weighted sterling since Brexit vote tmsnrt.rs/2hwV9Hv

LONDON, March 19 ( ) – The pound edged higher on Tuesday thanks to broad dollar weakness against its rivals as investors waited cautiously for developments on Brexit negotiations with less than two weeks before the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union.

The British currency got off to a volatile start to the week, shedding half a percent in late London trading on Monday, after John Bercow, the speaker of Britain’s parliament, said Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal could not be voted on again unless a different proposal was submitted.

While traders have steadily reduced their fears that Britain will crash out of the EU without a deal in recent weeks, Bercow’s move means more uncertainty in the short term as the government 上海夜网races to convince opposing lawmakers to back May’s deal or request for an extension.

“The predominant notion adopted by the market is that as long as the worst case scenario of hard Brexit is avoided by delaying Brexit, the pound is a buy on dips,” Rabobank strategists said in a note.

That view was shared by Morgan Stanley strategists who said the pound remained a buy on dips. The U.S. bank’s positioning tracker showed broader market positions on the pound was broadly neutral.

Against the dollar, the pound firmed 0.1 percent higher at $1.3267. It rallied to a 9-month high against the greenback to nearly $1.34 last week and is down less than a percent from those highs.

Against the euro, the pound was broadly steady at 85.55 pence.

Despite the latest political developments, various gauges of volatility indicators for the pound ticked lower on Tuesday, reflecting a broader drop in currency market volatility.

Simeone admitted that the Copa del Rey exit was his mistake

Diego Simeone, the Atletico Madrid head coach, admitted that the elimination from the Copa del 上海夜网Rey is his responsibility as he made a lot of mistakes and Sevilla deserved to go through after a 5-2 win on aggregate.

Atletico lost the first leg 2-1 after two late goals and they were defeated in the reverse match as well – and Simeone was sent from the sidelines in this bitter 3-1 loss to their rivals. Atletico were eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League by AS Roma and Chelsea and in La Liga, they are 11 points behind the league leaders, Barcelona.

The Argentinian coach spoke about this loss as he said, according to Goal: “The responsibility for this elimination and the Champions League is all mine. There are still four months left in the season and between La Liga and the Europa League, we’ll keep competing like we always have. Our opponent took advantage of their chances. Sevilla finished their chances both here and in the first leg. This made them more comfortable in the tie. We were close to turning the match around in the first half and scoring the equaliser in the second, but [Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio] Rico played well.”Kieran Trippier talks about his decision to leave Tottenham Nedim Maric – The English right-back changed the environment this summer, moving from rainy London to sunny Spain.Trippier is having a good start at Atletico Madrid. After rigorous…

He also added that they wanted to play the finals in their home stadium: “We had dreams of playing the final in our stadium. We’re going to pick ourselves up because this team has always done so. Now we need to think about La Liga. I think Sevilla were better and when that’s the case, you have to congratulate them.”

In the end, Simeone claimed that they will need to learn from their mistakes and start improving: “We need to study what we did wrong and improve from that. We have to fight to finish as high up in La Liga as possible and we also have the Europa League.”

Hughton: “It was a big performance”

Chris Hughton, the Brighton and Hove Albion coach, admitted that he was very relieved after his side managed to pick up a 1-0 victory over Watford at home and it was very important in their fight for avoiding the relegation.

Hughton’s team were winless for seven matches in a row before this fixture started and they failed to score from open play for 10 hours – but they managed to end both of these runs. The coach was happy that his side was a big attacking threat for the guest throughout the whole match and they could have scored more goals than just one.

The talented coach spoke about his side’s performance as he said, according to Sky Sports: “It felt like a big win that today. It was a very good performance, a performance that deserved a win, more than a 1-0 scoreline. Of course, that [second] goal goes in, you are applying that bit more pressure on yourselves, but I thought we were very good today.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He also added that he was happy that his side didn’t give any chances to Watford: “When you are playing against a team as good offensively as Watford, and you restrict them to minimal, half chances, it shows you have put in a very good performance defensively. The next phase is to take these games上海夜生活论坛 on and take our chances to make things easier for ourselves.”

In the end, Chris Hughton insisted that this win was very needed: “It is a win we needed. We go to Chelsea on Boxing Day, and while you never know, there won’t be too many people who expect us to pick up anything there. That being the case, it was important we got something out of the game today. We can go into that Chelsea game with that bit more confidence. We just need to make sure that in cases where we have a better chance of getting something, we put in performances like we did today.”

Puel praised Vardy for being a complete player

Claude Puel admitted that he is very happy to have Jamie Vardy in his team as he is a complete player – the Frenchman praised his player before his side’s trip to Newcastle and it will definitely boost his confidence.

The Englishman has scored seven times so far in the Premier League and he will try to add another goal in the upcoming match against Newcastle. Puel won three of his first six matches in charge of his new club but he is still waiting for his first away win – and he wants to get it against experienced Rafel Benitez as his Newcastle have been struggling a bit recently.

When speaking about Jamie Vardy and his contribution, Claude Puel said, according to Sky Sports: “I think Jamie Vardy is the complete player. I would always prefer to have him in my team. He’s enjoying his football, it’s amazing to see. He works hard for the team and always has a positive attitude.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He added that it’s always good上海夜网 to have different types of strikers: “If we can help him to score it will be 50 goals, which is a good thing. He is a great player, and now with a lot of experience, maturity in the Premier League he can give a lot to the team. I was surprised to know his qualities. It’s important to have different possibilities for players. Demarai Gray can play on the side, on the wing, behind Jamie and as a striker. He has all the quality.”

Puel, in the end, compared Vardy with Okazaki and Mahrez: “Shinji Okazaki works very hard for the team, and it is a pleasure to watch. Riyad Mahrez has the ability to play in this position too. He has a good understanding with Jamie. It’s important to see in different games, different possibilities.”

Thompson happy about the youngsters in the national team

It was a bold decision from Gareth Southgate to call up three relatively unknown youngsters – Joe Gomez, Tammy Abraham and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. But Phil Thompson is very happy and praises the Englishman for his decision.

The trio have been rewarded for establishing themselves as regular first-team players at Liverpool, Swansea and Crystal Palace respectively, with Abraham and Loftus-Cheek currently on loan from Chelsea, according to Sky Sports. Southgate made eight changes from the squad that secured his team the World Cup qualification.

Phil Thompson had only words of praise for Southgate as he said: “I think it is right to be giving these lads call-ups. They could be the future and they need to be integrated and be there with the senior team. You’ll gain more benefits from having them there than to pick players who will make up the squad but have no way of getting on the pitch, so I’m all for it.”Chelsea goes on a goal rampage against Grimsby Town Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Chelsea stomped over Grimsby Town with a Basthuayi brace and goals from Barkley, Pedro, Zouma, James, and Hudson-Odoi.Frank Lampard’s Chelsea had a relatively easy…

The former England international also added: “I think it is right to be giving these lads call-ups. They could be the future and they need to be integrated and be there with the senior team.You’ll gain more benefits from having them there than to pick players who will make up the squad but have no way of getting on the pitch, so I’m all for it.”

The ex-defender spoke about the youngsters and their progress: “Gomez was exceptional last weekend. I think all of us as former internationals and pundits are saying you don’t see the best of these lads until they are playing on a regular basis, it is no good just playing one game in 10. They start to look comfortable with their peers and they start to show their ability, whereas when they are only playing once a mon上海夜网th or so they are trying too hard to impress.”

Silva praises amazing De Bruyne

The Belgium international has enjoyed a tremendous start of the season under Pep Guardiola.

Manchester City’s summer signing Bernardo Silva has lauded his team-mate Kevin De Bruyne as ‘one of the best in the world’. The Citizens’ playmaker is in outstanding form since the start of the season, constantly lifting the assist bar with his performances. De Bruyne has been the most assisting footballer in the Premier League since arriving at the Etihad Stadium in 2015. The 26-year-old’s showing on the pitch has been vital for Guardiola’s men, who keep smashing every team they face in England.

Their latest feature was a 7-2 hammering over Stoke City, with De Bruyne once again under the spotlight as he was involved in the majority of City’s goals. His incredible form has not gone unnoticed as Bernardo Silva could not hide his satisfaction with the Belgium international’s form and contribution to the club: “Kevin, is just an amazing player. It’s a pleasure to play alongside these kind of players and he showed us again that he’s one of the best in the world.” the Portuguese striker stated, according to beIN Sports.Neville: Pep Guardiola knows Ma上海夜生活n City aren’t good enough Andrew Smyth – Gary Neville has quashed Pep Guardiola’s claims that Manchester City won’t buy in January as they can’t challenge for trophies without defensive cover.

“It feels great to be part of this team and score my first goal for Manchester City, I’ve very happy for this.

“The team played an amazing game, three well deserved points and now we have to think about the Champions League, because we want another three points there to help us progress.

“To be here and to be able to learn from all these fantastic players, it’s an amazing opportunity, I’m very happy to be here, and I hope I can help the team to achieve the goals.”

Updates about Carvajal’s condition

Excellent news are coming from Spain, where it was announced that Dani Carvajal is out of any danger.

The Spanish full-back of Real Madrid was diagnosed with a viral infection of the pericardium and was ruled out of action indefinitely. So far, no news emerged about Carvajal’s situation and there were worries about his general health condition, after the medical staff of Real Madrid said that they don’t know when will the player be ready to play again. He was offered treatment and was kept under supervision by the team’s doctors.

However, AS now announced that the right-back is out of any danger and will return to the first team training sessions very soon. Although the medical team of Real Madrid cannot say exactly when Carvajal will re-join his teammates, rumours suggest that this will happen until the end of October, the player needing at least one more week of rest.Real Madrid injury update ahead of Champions League clash Nedim Maric – Atletico and Real Madrid pl上海夜生活论坛ayed the Madrileno derby last night which finished in a bore 0-0 draw.In the absence of Marcelo and Ferland Mendy,…

Dani Carvajal played 11 matches this season and provided two assists for his teammates. However, he stopped training with his colleagues on the 30th of September, due to the medical condition that was discovered during a routine medical check.

The Spanish right-back signed a new deal with Real Madrid recently, keeping him at the club until 2022. The 25-year-old played 170 matches for Los Blancos, scoring 4 goals and managing 27 assists. His current market value is €32m, according to Transfermarkt.

Thomas Lemar happy despite failed move to England

The France international was wanted by both Liverpool and Arsenal, but Monaco re上海夜生活网jected both sides’ bids.

Thomas Lemar will remain at the French champions AS Monaco after a supposed move to Emirates Stadium failed. The Gunners submitted a £90 million bid for Lemar, but the transfer was called off hours before the end of the close season. Before that Liverpool submitted a number of offers, but they did not really come close to the estimated price of the winger.

Amid the whole saga around him, Lemar gave an interview to Canal+ where the 21-year-old stated he was looking forward to return to Stade Louis II after the international break.

“I am a player of Monaco, I am very happy there.Liverpool could be kicked out of the Carabao Cup Andrew Smyth – Liverpool face a nervous wait to discover their Carabao Cup fate after falling into hot water with the Football League over selecting ineligible players.

“Now I’m going to make a good season with my club, to try to progress and move forward in my career with Monaco.

“I prepared for this game as usual. I do not lose my head, even if there are rumours. I was focused on my game, that’s all that mattered to me.”

AS Monaco have made a flawless start of the season in Ligue 1 despite losing four of their key players – Tiemoue Bakayoko, Benjamin Mendy, Bernardo Silva and Kylian Mbappe, who joined French rivals Paris Saint-Germain.

People have already seen the best of Walker thinks Spurs manager

Mauricio Pochettino believes the the full-back’s prime days were at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Kyle Walker will prove he is a quality player at the Etihad stadium, but also claims his best days are in the past.

The England defender completed a record-breaking £50 million switch from Spurs to Manchester City, making him the most expensive defender in English football history.

Kyle Walker spent eight years with Tottenham and became one of the fans’ favourites. Despite the fact Pochettino is sure Walker will succeed under Guardiola, he also thinks that he struck a good bargain for Tottenham.

“He’s one of the best full-backs in England and Manchester City have paid a lot of money – £50 million – just like they have signed different players to try to get success in the future,” the Argentine said, according to Goal.Paiva says Felix would have done better at City or Barca George Patchias – Joao Felix would have become a better player at Manchester City or Barcelona 上海夜生活网according to former coach Renato Paiva.Renato Paiva was the prodigious Portuguese…

“But, for me, I think we have seen the best of Kyle with Tottenham.

“We helped him improve and learn. When you pay this type of amount for a player, it’s because he’s top and because you are at your best. Then it’s normal that he will succeed.

“It’s a big pressure because when you pay for some players, the pressure to perform as well in every game becomes greater.”

Meanwhile the Citizens parted ways with a number of defenders – Clichy, Sagna and Zabaleta all left the club while Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy arrived at Etihad.

Arsenal interested in Jankto

The Udinese midfielder grew up as an Arsenal fan.

Jakub Jankto‘s agent has confirmed that the club from North London is interested in the services of his client. The Czech midfielder joined Udinese from Slavia Prague for €700 000 in 2014.

After his impressive performance last season, scoring five goals and providing four assists in 29 appearances, a number of Europe’s lea上海夜网ding clubs have shown interest in Jankto. Roma, PSG and Everton are among the teams rumoured eye the midfielder.

The player’s agent, Beppe Riso, has confirmed that Wenger’s side is one of the clubs to have shown interest:Arsenal urged to sign Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly Andrew Smyth – Emmanuel Frimpong has urged Arsenal to target Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly in order to finally solve their defensive woes.

“Arsenal like him, he’s a lover of English football, and he’s also liked by Juve, Inter and other teams,” Riso told Sport Italia.

“Still, he’s young, he’s 21 years old, he must be calm and he’s only thinking about Udinese.

“After that, we’ll see. Do I see him more in the Premier League than other Leagues? Yes.”

Earlier this month the Czech midfielder revealed that he admires Gunners full-back Hector Bellerin as he thinks Bellerin was the most impressive player in U21 Euro 2017, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Russia vs Portugal preview

Russia top Group A after their opening-day win over New Zealand, while Portugal started with a 2-2 draw against MexicoWritten by – Nikolay Nikolov, June 20, 2017.

The hosts Russia are going to try to defend their leading position in Group A at the FIFA Confederations Cup tomorrow when they will face the European champions Portugal. Spartak Stadium in Moscow is already sold out and the expectations for the game are high in terms of entertainment.

Russia shouldn’t take anything for granted after beating New Zealand in their opening game and should also be aware that this time they are facing a more challenging opponent in Portugal. Russians are likely to let the Portuguese take the initiative and rely more on counter attacks. The side will go into the game with none of their players threatened by yellow-card suspensions.

Portugal’s head coach Fernando Santos has announced th上海夜网at he wants to rotate his team as the tournament goes on, but if he wants to give his main players a rest in the last group game against New Zealand, they need to beat Russia. Andre Gomes and Adrien were booked in the first game and are now just one yellow card away from a one-match ban.

Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev is set to make his 100th appearance for his country.Kane: Spurs out of excuses after shock Carabao Cup exit Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane concedes that Tottenham only have themselves to blame following a shock Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Colchester United.

Here are the possible lineups:

Russia:  Igor Akinfeev; Igor Smolnikov, Georgy Dzhikiya, Viktor Vasin, Fedor Kudryashov, Yury Zhirkov; Denis Glushakov, Aleksandr Erokhin, Aleksandr Golovin; Dmitry Poloz, Fedor Smolov.

Portugal: Rui Patricio; Raphael Guerrero, Bruno Alves, Jose Fonte, Nelson Semedo; Andre Gomes, Gelson Martins, William Carvalho, Joao Moutinho, Andre Silva, Ronaldo.

Arturo Vidal: “Cristiano Ronaldo is a smart a**\u201d

The Chilean midfielder had some harsh words for his upcoming opponent in the Confederations Cup semifinals.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. June 27, 2017.

Portugal and Chile will face-off in the semifinals of Confederations Cup in Russia. And Arturo Vidal attacked Cristiano 上海夜生活网Ronaldo before their direct duel.

Vidal is most probably still upset about the last direct meeting between the two, when Cristiano Ronaldo scored five goals for Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals to knock Bayern out of the competition. During that match, Vidal was very easily granted a second yellow card, for a non-existent foul, and was wrongfully sent off.Kane: Spurs out of excuses after shock Carabao Cup exit Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane concedes that Tottenham only have themselves to blame following a shock Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Colchester United.

“Ronaldo is a smart-ass. For me, he doesn’t exist. I already told Joshua Kimmich that we will meet again in the final”, Vidal said.

After being sent off at the end of the 90 minutes in the return leg of the quarter finals of Champions League between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, Arturo Vidal unleashed at the address of Victor Kassai, who was the referee of the game. During the same match, Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals from off-side positions.

“When Real Madrid started to be scared, the referee started his show. Such a theft cannot happen in the Champions League! I felt this very much and started to wonder a bit”, Vidal said at the time, after the match.

As Japan frets about dearth of AI talent, Daikin develops own program

OSAKA ( ) – There’s a sense of panic within Japan Inc and the government – the world’s No. 3 economy doesn’t have enough experts in artificial intelligence and it’s time to do something about it.

SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) CEO Masayoshi Son last month bemoaned the state of play, calling Japan a ‘developing country’ in the most important current tech revolution.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in June unveiled a plan to train 250,000 people in AI skills annually by 2025, albeit one criticized as unrealistic due to a shortage of teachers. Tech heavyweights like Sony Corp (6758.T) are hiking pay for the right hires and boosting recruitment of foreign engineers.

But Daikin Industries Ltd (6376.T), the world’s biggest maker of air conditioners with a market value of $37 billion, is taking a more unusual route to AI expertise.

At a disadvantage to bi上海夜生活论坛gger tech firms in attracting top talent, it has created an in-house program that takes new graduates and current employees – almost all with no AI background – and trains them up.

It aims to make 1,000 employees AI-savvy by 2022, in what Daikin says is one of the most ambitious AI-specific training programs by a Japanese company.

“We have a sense of crisis as we don’t have experts well-versed in information technology when AI and data analysis are in great demand,” Yuji Yoneda, executive officer at Daikin’s Technology and Innovation Center, told .

Daikin sees AI as essential to its future business model, in which it plans to offer subscription services with AI-powered air conditioners adjusting the temperature and quality of air autonomously to improve efficiency in factories and households.

“Just as car makers are promoting the concept of mobility as a service, we will promote air as a service by providing various services related to air,” he said.

New hires get the most training with a two-year program. The first crop of 100 graduates hired last year took classes given by Osaka University professors for about six months, with the rest of their first year spent on data analysis and group work. This year, they have been assigned to various departments for on-the-job AI training.

Daikin declined to comment on the cost of its program.

By comparison, Sony offers its engineers 290 courses, including AI-courses, that range from a few hours to several days.

Daikin is also keen to hire more engineers from India and China but says its struggles in the United States where it needs to offer hundreds of thousands of dollars to attract the graduates it wants. Additionally, it is looking at raising pay for AI experts to keep them loyal to the company.

LAGGING JAPAN

Japan’s AI woes can be overstated. Of the top 20 companies in AI patents, 12 are Japanese, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization’s 2019 report on technology trends. These include Toshiba, NEC Corp (6701.T), Panasonic Corp (6752.T), Sony and Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T).

But compared to the United States, which issued a national AI development plan in 2016, and China which unveiled plans in 2017 to become a global leader in AI by 2025, Japan is lagging.

Combined Japanese government and corporate investment in information and communication technology was 16.3 trillion yen ($150 billion) in 2017, up 12% from 1994, Japanese government data showed. By contrast, U.S. investment in the sector more than tripled over the same period to $655 billion.

Japanese universities have also come under fire for not doing enough in AI and data science education. The industry ministry estimates Japan had a shortage of 220,000 IT workers in 2018, which could deepen to 790,000 in 2030 – a prediction that was part of the impetus for Abe’s plan to train 250,000 people in AI annually.

In contrast, the World Intellectual Property Organization report noted that Chinese organizations make up 17 of the top 20 academic players in AI patenting.

LIFTING PAY

Hitoshi Matsubara, vice president of Future University Hakodate and an expert in AI, says Japan needs to invest more, make IT jobs more attractive and shake off the mindset that most employees of the same age should be treated equally.

“In Japan, IT jobs have long been thought of as labor-intensive with low pay and late-night work. If they are as well-paid and rewarding as in the United States and China, information science would become more popular among students,” he said.

That is starting to change.

This year, Sony began to offer starting salaries of up to 7.3 million yen for postgraduates proficient in areas such as AI, compared with its standard starting salary of 6 million yen. Toshiba also overhauled its pay system, allowing it to offer bigger salaries to people with expertise in AI and the Internet of Things.

Chat app operator Line Corp (3938.T), which is diversifying into fintech and AI, also boosted annual pay to top graduates to as much as 8 million yen compared to 5.5 million yen for lower-skilled engineers. It is also a heavy recruiter of foreign engineers, who account for 37% of its 670 engineers in Japan.

Sony too is casting its net wider, with favored recruitment grounds including Carnegie Mellon University, Tsinghua University and Indian Institute of Technology.

“Competition in hiring IT talent – whether new grads, mid-career and foreign workers – is getting tougher and tougher,” says Kazunari Ikeyama, a manager in Sony’s human resources division. “We’re broadening our focus, not just in Japan but also globally.”

($1 = 108.5300 yen)

Stocks rise on trade hopes, sterling slips on Brexit jitters

NEW YORK ( ) – U.S. stocks added to their gains on Tuesday following news of potential progress in U.S.-China trade negotiations, while the pound fell after Brexit hard-liner Boris Johnson won the leadership of Britain’s Conservative Party, clearing the way for him to become prime minister.

A host of strong earnings gave U.S. stock indexes an early boost, with Dow components Coca-Cola Co and United Technologies Corp both beating second-quarter earnings estimates.

Stocks extended their gains on reports that U.S. negotiators were headed to China on Monday for face-to-face trade talks, a sign of potential progress in the two countries’ prolonged, acrimonious tariff spat.

“Company reports have been very good on the whole, but revenue numbers have missed the mark and on conference calls they’re highlighting trade as an issue,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.

“Trade has been holding down stocks. If we’re able to resolve it, you’ll see a pickup in global growth.”

U.S.-China trade tensions, along with the prospect of Britain exiting the European Union, or Brexit, without a deal, were cited by the International Monetary Fund as reasons it cut its global growth forecast through 2020.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 177.29 points, or 0.65%, to 27,349.19, the S&P 500 gained 2上海夜生活0.44 points, or 0.68%, to 3,005.47 and the Nasdaq Composite added 47.27 points, or 0.58%, to 8,251.40.

The European STOXX 600 benchmark rose about 1%, helped by a 6% surge in automakers and growing certainties of policy easing from the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.98% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.48%.

The dollar advanced to a near five-week high against a basket of world currencies, on the heels of a congressional deal to extend the U.S. debt limit for two years, easing fears of a government default.

But the British pound lost ground after Johnson, who has promised to lead Britain out of the European Union with or without a deal by the end of October, won the Conservative Party leadership and will replace Theresa May as the country’s prime minister.

“It’s going to take some time before we can assess (Johnson’s) negotiating skills and what type of deal he’s going to push for,” added Nolte.

The dollar index rose 0.49%, with the euro down 0.55% to $1.1146.

The pound was last trading at $1.2435, down 0.31% on the day.

Crude prices rose late in the session following reports that the United States may have shot down a second Iranian drone, adding to escalating Middle East tensions.

U.S. crude oil futures settled at $56.77 per barrel, up 1%, while Brent Crude futures settled at $63.83 per barrel, up 0.9% on the day.

U.S. Treasury yields inched higher on renewed trade optimism, and as market participants eyed expected interest rate cuts from ECB and Federal Reserve.

“The dollar and Treasury yields quickly picked up as it became a risk-on afternoon,” added Nolte.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 9/32 in price to yield 2.0724%, from 2.043% late on Monday.

The 30-year bond last fell 26/32 in price to yield 2.6069%, from 2.57% late on Monday.

Spot gold prices dropped 0.5% to $1,417.02 an ounce as the safe-haven metal was held in check by a robust dollar.

Juror urges U.S. judge to uphold $80 million Roundup verdict…

( ) – A juror who was part of a panel that delivered an $80 million award against Bayer AG after finding that its glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup caused a man’s cancer has urged the presiding judge to uphold the decision.

A letter from the juror written on July 4 was posted to the court docket on Monday as part of legal filings by Bayer. The company accused the juror of bias and called on the judge to disregard the letter in his decision making.

In the letter, the unidentified juror told U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco that the $80 million in awards “were no accident” and the result of “meticulous planning” by the jury.

The letter was a response to statements by Chhabria during a court hearing last week, when the judge said he would have to reduce the $75 million punitive damages portion of the award on constitutional grounds.

Following a four-week trial, a federal jury on March 27 awarded $5 million in compensatory and $75 million in punitive damages to Edwin Hardeman, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014.

U.S. Supreme Court rulings limit the ratio of punitive to compensatory damages to 9 to 1, which in this case would put the maximum for punitive damages at $45 million.

In the letter, the juror said higher damages ratio上海夜生活论坛s were allowed in extraordinary cases, echoing arguments Hardeman’s lawyers made during Tuesday’s hearing, when they urged Chhabria to affirm the total award.

“Based on the evidence provided, ‘reprehensible’ is much too kind a word to describe the actions of the Monsanto employees,” the juror wrote.

Bayer, which bought Roundup maker Monsanto for $63 billion last year, says Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate are safe for human use and not carcinogenic. It faces Roundup cancer lawsuits by more than 13,400 plaintiffs.

The company in filings on Monday only identified the letter writer as “juror #5.”

A lawyer for the company said he had observed the juror attending Tuesday’s hearing, talking to Hardeman’s lawyers and hugging Hardeman and his wife. Bayer said juror #5 had also displayed bias against the company during jury selection.

It was juror #5 who was responsible for bringing allegedly improper comments by another juror to the attention of the judge who ultimately excused that other juror without giving Monsanto a chance to challenge the dismissal, according to court filings by Bayer.

Last week’s letter marks the second time jurors in the Roundup litigation called on judges to uphold their verdicts.

In October, several jurors who delivered a $289 million verdict against Monsanto, finding Roundup caused a man’s terminal cancer, wrote to the San Francisco trial court judge, asking her to “respect and honor the verdict.”

The judge ultimately upheld the jury’s finding but reduced the award to $78 million. The case is on appeal.

Legal experts at the time said the letters were unusual, as jurors generally do not engage with post-trial proceedings following a verdict.

Bayer on Monday said the letters deprived it of fair trials.

“The fact that jurors from both trials wrote letters in support of constitutionally impermissible verdicts is highly unusual, and generates further anti-Monsanto bias in the Bay Area that will infect future Roundup trials,” the company said.

Jet.com falls by wayside as Walmart focuses on its website, online…

WASHINGTON ( ) – Walmart Inc on Wednesday announced a sweeping overhaul at Jet.com, an online start-up it acquired in 2016 for $3.3 billion, after it failed to live up to the world’s largest retailer’s e-commerce ambitions.

Walmart said it will integrate Jet.com’s retail, technology, marketing, analytics and product teams with its own online business. The current president of Jet.com, Simon Belsham, will leave in early August.

Walmart’s move reduces the scope and importance of Jet.com in its overall U.S. e-commerce business, which competes with Amazon.com Inc, according to interviews with six vendors, two consultants and three Walmart employees.

Jet.com, which was expected to boost Walmart’s reach particularly with city dwellers and millennial shoppers, failed to become a driver for online grocery sales and growing market share in urban areas, the sources added.

Walmart has put more emphasis on shopper pe上海夜生活网rks such as same-day delivery and curbside pickup of groceries ordered online, focusing on food and grocery sales using those delivery methods. Jet, as a platform to sell similar items, has fallen by the wayside, the sources added.

The Jet overhaul is the latest sign that Walmart is attempting to fix the ways it reaches shoppers using different websites and delivery methods. Earlier this year, it ended a delivery partnership with Google-backed Deliv and last year reported its struggles to use its own employees to deliver products.

Multiple large and medium-sized consumer goods companies that do business with both Walmart and Jet have told they began noticing Walmart executives buying less of their merchandise to sell through Jet.

The reductions in Walmart’s order sizes for its Jet unit, they said, started in March, when many vendors began discussing business priorities with Walmart for the 2019 fiscal year.

In 2016, Jet forecast revenue of $1 billion and according to recent estimates from consulting firm Kantar, which was shared with some vendors, the company’s sales shrunk to $689 million in 2019.

The data from Kantar also shows the number of U.S. households that shopped on Jet.com in January 2019 was 2%, down from 3% during the same period three years ago, forcing Walmart to recalibrate using Jet as a platform to drive online grocery sales.

Several vendors, who told they were keen to introduce new packaging and pricing on Walmart.com and Walmart-owned websites like Jet this year, said the retailer told them to look for ways to push more sales on Walmart.com going forward and not spend resources on a new strategy for sales of their merchandise on Jet.

Walmart merchants are also informing grocery, apparel and electronics suppliers that want to introduce new products online that Jet is not a priority, according to vendor sources.

Separately, current and former Jet employees told that Hoboken, New Jersey-based Jet, is struggling to keep up its sales momentum and hit revenue goals. Two retail consultants, who advise Walmart on e-commerce and online grocery, have confirmed to that Jet is failing to keep pace with Walmart’s internal sales goals.

They said Walmart has de-prioritized the business and is focusing more on growing sales through its namesake website and offering a broader assortment of fashion and accessories through the multiple smaller brands like Moosejaw, Modcloth, Bonobos, Eloquii, Hayneedle and others it has acquired in the past few years to attract millennials.

The retailer has previously said it expects losses from its online business, including Jet.com, to increase this year, without giving additional details. In the most recent quarter, Walmart’s online sales grew 37% and Marc Lore, founder of Jet.com, who Walmart hired in 2016 to run its U.S. e-commerce operations, is still leading the business.

In 2018, the first cracks in Jet’s business started to appear when Walmart’s CEO said the retailer’s marketing efforts will always be centered on Walmart.com as it is cheaper to acquire a new customer nationally with such a strategy and it is investing fewer ad dollars in Jet. He said the retailer will target Jet’s investments in urban markets, where the business is “well-positioned to grow.”

A study from a retail analytics firm the same year found shopper traffic on Jet.com had declined in March, a study Walmart said then was inaccurate and not reflective of a trend.

Going forward, Kieran Shanahan, who oversees Walmart’s food, consumables, health and wellness categories, will be responsible for Jet.com’s strategy and management, in addition to his current role.

Trump says no decision yet on levying tariffs on more Chinese goods

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he was has not made a decision to go ahead with tariffs on another $325 billion in goods from China and said he plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit next month.

Trump said the meeting with Xi at the June 28-29 summit in Japan could be productive as the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing escalated after failing to reach agreement during high-level talks last week.

“We’re dealing with them. We have a very good relationship,” Trump said in remarks at the Oval Office. “Maybe something will happen. We’re going to be meeting, as you know, at the G20 in Japan and that’ll be, I think, probably a very fruitful meeting.”

He said he also planned to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Group of 20 meeting.

Trump said the United States cannot let China continue to take advantage of it on trade. He said trade negotiations were 95上海夜生活论坛 percent there when China changed tack and backtracked on some of its previous commitments.

High-level talks in Washington ended on Friday without any agreement to end the impasse, allowing U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods from China to kick in. China retaliated on Monday with its own proposed tariffs on more than 5,000 American products.