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Under pressure, Fed faces an outlook clouded by trade wars and signs of weakness

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s attacks on the Federal Reserve have broken one set of precedents, his talk of stacking the central bank with political allies has strained another, and his on-again off-again tariff threats have made the economic outlook harder than ever to predict.

While the Fed may well find reason to cut interest rates in recent weak job and inflation readings, doing so could also put a safety net under Trump policies that, to the eyes of many policymakers, have to date done more harm than good.

“There is a kind of feed the beast aspect to it,” said former Fed vice chair Alan Blinder. “Among the many things the Fed has to take as given is trade policy. And if in fact trade policy is going to push the economy into a slump, that is a reason to cut interest rates … If the Fed comes in to bail him out you encourage bad behavior.”

Fed Chair Jerome Powell and other officials insist they can only consider what is happening in the economy and the appropriate policy response, and not try to second guess what the administration does or might do.

Trump on Monday renewed his attacks on the Fed, claiming that central bank policy put him at a disadvantage in his trade negotiations with China because that country, with closer political control of its central bank, could devalue its currency or use other tools to offset the tariffs Trump has imposed on Chinese imports.

“Our Fed is very destructive to us… They haven’t listened to me,” Trump said in a CNBC interview. “They’re not my people.”

In fact, Trump elevated Powell to the Fed leadership and appointed three of the other four sitting Fed governors.

Trump has for a year berated the Fed for raising rates and other policy steps that Fed officials say are the best way for keeping the recovery under way. That broke a roughly 30-year run of presidents largely staying away from specific policy recommendations for the Fed, even if they were sometimes generically critical of the central bank.

Earlier this year, Trump threatened a fuller assault by considering the appointment of two highly partisan political allies to the central bank, straying from a tradition of more technocratic appointments.

The surprise announcement in early May of higher tariffs on China and a threatened imposition of levies on Mexican imports added to the minefield the Fed must now navigate.

Though Trump in the end chose not to impose the tariffs on Mexico, the prospect of using an economic lever for the non-economic end of border control showed how in the Trump era policy could shift abruptly for central bankers who try to keep their focus on medium- and longer-term outcomes.

“We take all kinds of things…into account,” St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said last week before Trump called off the Mexican tariffs. “There are some good policies in there. There may be some bad policies in there. But we have to take everything into account.”

NOT IN A BOX

Recent economic data are already complicating the Fed’s job. Policymakers have expected the economy to slow, but also regarded the likely slowing as modest, and not enough to warrant a rate cut.

The story shifted after Trump’s latest trade war salvo.

“I don’t feel backed into a box,” to cut rates, Dallas Federal Reserve bank president Robert Kaplan said last week. But “in the month of April I might have said … I was a little more optimistic that the outlook was firming, and today I will tell you I am more cognizant of risks to the downside. That is a pretty big change in a relatively short amount of time.”

Whether it is enough for the Fed to put a rate cut squarely on the table will become clearer next week. Fed officials will hold their policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, and issue updated rate projections. They will also have to decide whether to maintain their “patient” approach to changing rates from the current range of between 2.25% and 2.5%, or drop that description in a sign that they are open to a move sooner rather than later.

Weak inflation readings like those in a New York Fed report on Monday have already led Bullard to say that a rate reduction was “warranted.” [nL2N23H0PS]

Analysts and markets, though, are split.

Bond markets have been aggressive in pricing in lower rates later this year, and U.S. stocks have rallied hard in the past week on optimism that a rate cut looked more likely, especially after last week’s weak jobs report. Economists at Goldman Sachs and elsewhere, meanwhile, have discounted any pressure from Trump and argue the economic outlook does not yet warrant a rate cut.

Rolling with the punches from political Washington is nothing new. Former Fed chair Ben Bernanke complained when congressional spending caps reduced economic growth just as the U.S. recovery was getting traction and the eurozone was threatening to crack apart.

This problem here is different, though, with the Fed both under political pressure and less certain, week to week, what actions of the White House they may have to take into account.

After years in which U.S. central bankers bemoaned being “th上海夜生活e only game in town” influencing the economy, they may now be nostalgic for those simpler times.

“The Fed has had too much on its plate for a long time,” said Boston College economics professor Peter Ireland. “Powell was taking pains to say ‘trade is trade’ and that is not our business. But he has gotten sucked into it.”

U.S. House Speaker Ryan running for re-election: spokeswoman

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan is running again for the job in the next Congress, a spokeswoman said on Thursday after a media report quoted several unidentified House Republicans as saying they expected him to step down next week.

“He is running,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong said.

The Hill cited four House Republicans as saying that they expected Ryan to step aside as Speaker after next Tuesday’s general election.

“Speculation is growing that Paul will not return,” the Hill quoted a “senior GOP lawmaker close to leadership” as saying.

It quoted a member of the Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative Republicans, as saying that if Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wins, Ryan will get “a good share of the blame” among House members who support Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Ryan last month told fellow Republicans that he would not defend or campaign for Trump and would instead focus on re-electing Republicans to keep the majority in the House.

This angered some Trump supporters in the House, who felt the Wisconsin co上海夜生活论坛ngressman should stand by Trump. One of them, Representative Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, tweeted: “if Paul Ryan isn’t for Trump, then I’m not for Paul Ryan.”

But Ryan, who as Speaker is the country’s highest-ranking Republican, has a great deal of support in the Republican caucus, and it is far from clear that his critics would be able to oust him if they tried.

House Republicans, who currently number 246, plan to have closed-door leadership elections in mid-November. Ryan is expected to win their nomination for Speaker at that gathering, but the actual election to the Speaker’s post would not be held until the new Congress convenes in January.

All members of the House, both Republican and Democrat, will vote in the Speaker election and Ryan will need 218 votes – a majority of the House’s 435 members – to win. This could be a challenge if Republicans lose a substantial number of seats in next week’s elections, and if some of those who remain decide to oppose Ryan.

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.

Joao Mario joins West Ham

The Portuguese international has joined the Hammers until the end of the season.

Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario has joined West Ham United on a season long loan move, the club from London have confirmed.

The 2016 Euro winner has joined the club at London Stadium and is excited to get started in the Premier League as he spoke to West Ham’s official website:

– I am really happy to be here, – said the new No18. – It’s a really amazing experience to join this amazing team and I am just glad to be here.

– It was a fast move. I have spoken with everyone around the team and, for me, it is exciting to play in the Premier League. I spoke with the coach and for me, I am really happy to be training for an amazing coach, also.

Joao Mario also added that his Portugal team-mate Jose Fonte played a major part in his move to London.West Ham suffer a tough injury blow Nedim Maric – After a promising start of the season, Manuel Pellegrini and West Ham will have to adapt after losing one of their crucial players.This weekend…

– Jose explained to me a little more about the Club and also the song we have, I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles and that, of course, it was really important for me上海夜生活网 to join West Ham!

– It’s a really historic Club with an amazing stadium and amazing players. I am just trying to know a little bit more about the Club every day and now I have some time to know more.

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.”

Preview: Sassuolo – Inter

Inter Milan will look to bounce back from their surprise loss to Udinese last weekend, whe上海夜网n they welcome Sassuolo in Serie A.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

It is so tight at the top that one loss brought Inter down the table to third after 17 games (40pts, W12, D4, L1). Their first loss of the season puts them two points behind new leaders Napoli (42pts) and Inter must also be worried about AS Roma below them, who are now just two points behind with a game in hand.

Sassuolo are 15th in SA (17pts, W5, D2, L10) but have been on a revival since Beppe Iachini took control at the end of November. Nine out of their 17 points (53%) came in their last five matches where they picked up 1.8 points per game (compared to season avg. of 1.0 points per game).

The visitors are unbeaten in eight away games (W5, D3) conceding just five goals (avg. of 0.62 per game) while scoring 13 (avg. of 1.62 per game). This is bad news for the hosts who have just one win in eight home games (W1, D2, L5) and their home point tally (five) is better than that of only Genoa (two) and Benevento (one).

Inter’s Mauro Icardi has scored 17 goals so far in 17 games and is looking well on course to join Gonzalo Higuain and Luca Toni as the only strikers since the 1930s to score 30 goals in a SA season. The hosts want their talisman to get their title charge back on track, as they look for their first Scudetto since 2010!Italian football to pay respects to Sassuolo owner Squinzi George Patchias – Sassuolo owner Giorgio Squinzi has died at the age of 76, and a minute’s silence will be observed across Italian football this weekend as…

Sassuolo have failed to score in six of their eight home games (75%) while keeping just two clean sheets (25%). They have scored just three home goals (avg. of 0.38 per game) while conceding ten goals (avg. of 1.25 per game). But, the positive news is that their only win has come in their most recent match!

Sassuolo have won four of their last five (80%) encounters against Inter, with their only loss during this process coming last year at home (1-0). Can Inter repeat that feat?

Missing players

Sassuolo: C. Dell’Orco (knee injury), T. Letschert (knee injury), C. Adjapong (doubtful)

Inter: Z. Vanheusden (knee injury), J. Mario (doubtful).

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.”

Real Madrid monitor Tottenham duo

Real Madrid are keeping tabs on two of Tottenham’s best players, Dele Alli and Harry Kane.

Los Blancos tried to sign Kylian Mbappe last summer and make him their galactico transfer, in an era when Florentino Perez chose to focus on younger players. But their plans have been ruined by PSG, who stepped in and made a superior offer, managing to attract the young French forward to Parc des Princes eventually.

However, Perez is aware that his club need some big name signings if they are to keep their status and continue to challenge for both La Liga and Champions League. For this reason, Real Madrid remain true to their strategy of looking at some of the best young players in the world and will try to sign the two best players of Tottenham, according to Marca.Donny van de Beek rules out January switch to Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – Donny van de Beek has ruled out a January move to Real Madrid as he plans to see out the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign with Ajax.

Harry Kane (24) and Dele Alli (21) are two players who have proved their ability at the highest level, despite their young age. Both of them have played vital roles in Tottenham’s Premier League title challenge in the past two seasons.

Real Madrid will have the chance to see the two players in action up close in their upcoming Champions League clash with Tottenham. Los Blancos will have to cope with a striker that scored 14 goals in 10 matches this season and with an attacking midfielder that played a vital role in creating上海夜生活论坛 most of his team’s chances.

However, any endeavour to sign the two players will be very very difficult. Florentino Perez already knows how hard it is to negotiate with Daniel Levy from the transfer of Gareth Bale, for whom Real Madrid ended up paying a world-record fee at that time.

Smalling: “I don’t have to prove anything”

Chris Smalling wasn’t called up to the national team by Gareth Southgate last time but the Englishman insisted that he has nothing to prove to the national team coach as he is playing regularly under José Mourinho.

The 27-year old has been an important part of Manchester United squad but Gareth Southgate said that he isn’t sure about Smalling’s passing ability – the defender remains calm though as he mentioned that he is playing under one of the greatest managers and he is happy for it. He didn’t want to criticize Southgate but he said that he won’t prove him anything.

The central defender spoke about this situation as he said, according to Sky Sports: “I don’t feel like I really need to prove anything to Gareth because I play under one of the biggest and most successful managers in Jose and he’s only going to pick the best players. While I’m playing regularly and he is happy I think ultimately if my season carries on like this and we have a successful season and our team still concedes very few go上海夜生活als, then I think it gives him maybe no choice in the summer but to pick me.”Top 5 Premier League players in September’s last weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – A fresh Premier League fixture just ended, which means we can talk about the Top 5 best players of September’s last weekend.After a fresh…

He added that he feels really good and thinks that he is doing well: “I’ve been getting a good run of games over these last few months and I’m feeling good and that’s the feeling you want, you want to be able to play regular games and be a part of a successful team. So far we have been successful, it’s just making sure we keep this going and improve on last year where we got two trophies and we want to at least beat that.”

Smalling is sure that the fact that he plays regularly under José Mourinho should be enough: “I play for one of the biggest clubs and under one of the most successful managers in Jose and while that’s the case I think, ultimately, it is your club form that decides whether you play at a World Cup because there aren’t that many England games throughout the season.”

Benzema blames Ronaldo and Zidane for Real situation

Real上海夜生活 Madrid are going through a real crisis in La Liga. The draw against Atletico has seen them falling ten points below league leaders Barcelona.

Having been identified as a reason for the underwhelming start of the season, Karim Benzema defends himself, saying that manager Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo share the blame for the lack of goals.

Real Madrid have only scored 22 goals this La Liga season, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema each scoring only once. The attack’s lack of efficiency has had a huge impact on their standings in the league, where they are currently third, six points behind Valencia and ten behind Barcelona.

Karim Benzema is unhappy with the fact that he has been pointed as the main responsible for the lack of goals and has made his frustrations known to the club’s president, Florentino Perez. According to Diario Goal, the French striker said that the blame should be shared between him, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane.Ronaldo scores in Juventus’ victory vs Bayer Leverkusen Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – With goals from Higuain, Bernardeschi, and Ronaldo, Juventus defeated Bayer Leverkusen in their second Champions League match.Juventus really needed a victory after the initial…

According to the source, Benzema feels that he would be much more effective if Ronaldo wouldn’t move so often in his area of action, in central positions. Furthermore, the French striker believes that Zidane allows Ronaldo freedom of movement on the pitch because of his superstar status at the club, but this affects the performances of the team.

The report also suggests that Benzema asked Perez to leave the club if the situation doesn’t change. The ex-Lyon striker arrived at Santiago Bernabeu in 2009. He played 378 matches for the club, during which he scored 182 goals.

Benzema started the match against Atletico Madrid (0-0) as a central striker, but didn’t have any goalscoring opportunities during the 75 minutes he spent on the pitch. He was substituted with Marco Asensio, but Real still didn’t manage to win and lost two important points in the title race in La Liga.

United’s manager unfazed by increasing gap with Premier League leaders

The ‘Special’ one insisted things could have been worse for his team.

Manchester United manager José Mourinho insisted he is not worried by the increasing gap between his club and Premier League leaders Manchester City. The Red Devils lost an important game on Sunday with a result of 1-0 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

United were dominated by the Blues for the greater part of the game and the Blues’ efforts were awarded by Morata with a super header in the 55th minute. Meanwhile the Red Devils had only two shots on target w上海夜生活ith Lukaku being completely isolated in the front.

The defeat on Sunday, together with City’s 3-1 win over Arsenal, increased the gap between the two clubs to 8 points, but Mourinho is not bothered by that fact.Jamie Carragher puts Chelsea over Manchester United and Arsenal Nedim Maric – In an uneventful derby, last night, Manchester United and Arsenal both got point each.Top four-fight this season looks like it’s going to be between…

“We are second not fifth, sixth or seventh,” he told Sky Sports.

“There are 18 teams in a more difficult position. Eight points is eight points.

“We went through a very difficult phase with some of the most important matches without important players. It’s obvious we’ve been through a difficult phase with limitations.”

Transfer embargo stopped stopped Griezmann from leaving

The ex-agent of Antoine Griezmann has revealed that the Frenchman was really close to United this summer.

The France international would have certainly joined Manchester United if it had not been for Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban, according to the player’s former agent.

Griezmann was a target for a number of European clubs, with the Red Devils being in the leading position for his signature as they submitted a bid close to €100 million in the very start of the summer.

Yet, the 26-year-old confirmed that he would remain at Atletico Madrid since his club needs him now most than ever due to their FIFA-imposed ban on adding new players to their ranks.Report: Mourinho rejects several offers amid Real Madrid talk Andrew Smyth – Jose Mourinho has reportedly turned down several job offers in Europe as he eyes up a potential shock return to Real Madrid.

“Griezmann hasn’t felt able to leave Atletico,” Olhats, who was Griezmann’s manager until September 2016, told France Football . “It showed the integrity of his links with the club, [who were] unable to sign players. Without that上海夜生活网 ban, he would have gone, without a doubt.”

“His omnipresence in the media has not helped him to relaunch himself on a sporting level,” he said. “The balance between the search for performance and the desire to sell your image is very fragile. Unconsciously, you can choose the wrong side.

“There are a lot of aspects of show business in football these days. Antoine is immersed in that inescapable logic at the moment. Now, he’s a footballer, not a singer.

“The press and marketing side of Antoine’s career are handled by his sister Maud, who know all about that. It was decided that Griezmann’s image would take a different path with new methods.”

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.

Luis Enrique: Messi makes the difference when he\u2019s at home eating dinner

Messi’s brilliance is getting hard to describe with words for Luis Enrique who was happy with the win at BernabéuWritten by Christian Møller Poulsen. April 24, 2017

The Barcelona coach was obviously delighted with the performance of his team in yesterday’s game, but he pointed out that there still was a long way to go to win the title.

Barcelona is currently number one in La Liga, but Real Madrid have a game in hand against Celta Vigo.

Enrique spoke of the game between two great teams, and he felt that it could have gone either way. According to Sport, Enrique said: “The game had a high rhythm, it was uncontrollable at times, as both teams had played in the Champions League. It was a game which demanded a lot physically and mentally. the win is a huge morale boost and it will be a Sant Jordi well celebrated in Catalonia and remembered for many years.”Inter Milan V Lazio: Players to Watch Taimoor Khan – Inter Milan are set to host Lazio at the San Siro on Thursday and the game is definitely going to be an exciting affair…

The coach was then asked about Lionel Messi, and the Asturian coach said the following: “he even makes a difference when he’s at home having dinner. He’s the best of all time and I have seen a lot of games of football – and videos. Now the people are better prepared and he makes the difference. And this was his 500th goal!”

“Just imagine, his 500th goal coming here, a winner in the 92nd minute at the Santiago Bernabeu.上海夜网 It’s very nice for Leo and it’s nice for everyone associated with Barca.”

Luis Enrique added: “He allowed us to have superiority in midfield, we wanted him on ball as often as possible. It was more difficult in the middle with lots of bodies in there, but he managed to do it for the first goal. It went as we’d hoped.”

Brandt decided to stay put

Julian Brandt reflect on the interest around him and the possibility of a transfer move.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. May 5, 2017.

Brandt has been heavily linked with both Bayern Munich and Liverpool lately, but the 21-year-old would prefer to stay at Leverkusen in order to receive his much needed first-team football.

Bayern Munich are already looking into the future and are considering long-term replacements for Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, who are both approaching the en上海夜生活d of their careers. Jurgen Klopp is also reportedly interested in Brandt, having closely monitoring him from when he was managing Dortmund.Inter Milan V Lazio: Players to Watch Taimoor Khan – Inter Milan are set to host Lazio at the San Siro on Thursday and the game is definitely going to be an exciting affair…

Although Leverkusen are underachieving this season, being 12th in the Bundesliga, the German is thinking of remaining at BayArena for next season as well.

“If you make a move, there’s no guarantee that you play. I think it is very important for me to play many matches next season and that’s what I can do in Leverkusen”, said Brandt in an interview.

Julian Brandt has scored three goals and registered eight assists in Bundesliga this season. He has played 38 games for Bayer Leverkusen in Bundesliga and Champions League.

Juventus sign Uruguayan wonder-kid

Juventus have announced the signing of Uruguayan wonder-kid, Rodrigo Bentancur, from Boca Juniors.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. April 22, 2017.

After qualifying in the semi-finals of Champions League, Juventus have concluded their first signing for the 2017/2018 season. Rodrigo Bentancur, the highly rated 19-year-old has signed a 5-year deal, until 2022.

Juventus have paid €9,5m to Boca Juniors, who will also be due 50% of his next transfer. The transfer fee could increase, as it includes different bonuses, conditioned by the number of official games the上海夜生活网 Uruguayan will play for the Bianconeri.Inter Milan V Lazio: Players to Watch Taimoor Khan – Inter Milan are set to host Lazio at the San Siro on Thursday and the game is definitely going to be an exciting affair…

Bentancur is a Boca Juniors youth product and made his debut for the first team in the 2014/2015 season. Since then, he has become Argentinian champion with the team and has also won an Argentinian Cup.

The young central midfielder will join his new teammates on the 1st of July, but has already passed all the medical tests: “I am very happy to have arrived at Juventus, for me it’s a huge honour to be here. I am very happy that a team like Juventus was interested in my services. I follow Serie A very often, the game is very different from the one in Argentina. It’s a new challenge for me, I am young and I will give my everything. Tevez has only told me good things about Juventus”, Bentancur said in a statement.

Explainer: How powerful are Congress subpoenas, contempt citations?

( ) – U.S. House Democrats threatened on Thursday to hold Attorney General William Barr in “contempt of Congress” for not complying with a subpoena to hand over an unredacted version of the Mueller report. What does that mean?

Congress does not arrest and detain people for ignoring its subpoenas anymore, but it still has significant power to demand witnesses and documents, though it could take time. The contempt citation is a key part of that congressional clout.

President Donald Trump, with Barr’s assistance, is stonewalling several inquiries being led by Democrats in the House of Representatives into his administration, his family and his personal business interests.

The confrontation between the White House and Congress escalated on Thursday when Barr refused to appear for a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on his handling of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. The report focused on Russian interference in favor of Trump in the 2016 U.S. election and subsequent attempts by Trump to impede Mueller’s investigation.

Here is how the congressional subpoena, contempt and enforcement process works.

What is a subpoena?

A subpoena is a legally enforceable demand for documents, data, or witness testimony. Subpoenas are typically used by litigants in court cases.

The Supreme Court has recognized Congress’s power to issue subpoenas, saying in order to write laws it also needs to be able to investigate.

Congress’ power to issue subpoenas, while broad, is not unlimited. The high court has said Congress is not a law enforcement agency, and cannot investigate someone purely to expose wrongdoing or damaging information about them for political gain. A subpoena must potentially further some “legitimate legislative purpose,” the court has said.

What can Congress do to a government official who ignores one?

If lawmakers want to punish someone who ignores a congressional subpoena they typically first hold the offender “in contempt of Congress,” legal experts said.

The contempt process can start in either the House or the Senate. Unlike with legislation, it only takes one of the chambers to make and enforce a contempt citation.

Typically, the members of the congressional committee that issued the subpoena will vote on whether to move forward with a contempt finding. If a majority supports the resolution, then another vote will be held by the entire chamber.

The Democrats have majority control of the House; Trump’s Republican Party holds the Senate.

Only a majority of the 435-member House needs to support a contempt finding for one to be reached. After a contempt vote, Congress has powers to enforce a subpoena.

How is a contempt finding enforced?

The Supreme Court said in 1821 that Congress has “inherent authority” to arrest and detain recalcitrant witnesses.

In 1927, the high court said the Senate acted lawfully in sending its deputy sergeant-at-arms to Ohio to arrest and detain the brother of the then-attorney general, who had refused to testify about a bribery scheme known as the Teapot Dome scandal.

It has been almost a century since Congress exercised this arrest-and-detain authority, and the practice is unlikely to make a comeback, legal experts said.

Alternatively, Congres上海夜生活s can ask the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, a federal prosecutor, to bring criminal charges against a witness who refuses to appear. There is a criminal law that specifically prohibits flouting a congressional subpoena.

But this option is also unlikely to be pursued, at least when it comes to subpoenas against executive branch officials, given that federal prosecutors are part of the branch’s Justice Department.

“It would be odd, structurally, because it would mean the Trump administration would be acting to enforce subpoenas against the Trump administration,” said Lisa Kern Griffin, a former federal prosecutor and a law professor at Duke University.

For this reason, in modern times Congress has opted for a third and final approach to enforcing a contempt finding: getting its lawyers to bring a civil lawsuit asking a judge to rule that compliance is required.

Failure to comply with such an order can trigger a “contempt of court” finding, enforced through daily fines and even imprisonment, Griffin said.

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)

Insurance, economy, tariffs weigh on Berkshire Hathaway

( ) – Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) on Saturday said its quarterly operating profit fell more than analysts expected, as weakness in insurance underwriting, a slowing economy and trade woes weighed on the conglomerate run by billionaire Warren Buffett.

Berkshire’s auto insurer Geico suffered a larger number of accident claims, while competition from foreign producers, lower imports and “trade policy” dampened cargo volumes for consumer and agricultural products at its BNSF railroad.

Earnings also barely budged at Berkshire’s manufacturing businesses, where U.S. tariffs hurt sales of gas turbine and pipe products at its Precision Castparts unit, and its service and retailing businesses.

Second-quarter operating profit declined 11% to $6.14 billion, or roughly $3,757 per Class A share, from $6.89 billion, or roughly $4,190 per Class A share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average expected operating profit of $3,851.28 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES.

Berkshire also said quarterly net income rose 17% to $14.07 billion, or $8,608 per Class A share, from $12.01 billion, or $7,301 per Class A share, a year earlier, reflecting higher unrealized gains on Berkshire’s investments.

A U.S. accounting rule requires Berkshire to report such gains with earnings. That rule adds volatility to Berkshire’s net results, and Buffett says it can mislead investors.

The U.S. economy’s annualized growth rate slowed to 2.1% in the second quarter from 3.1% in the first quarter, as an acceleration in consumer spending was partially offset by declining exports, manufacturing and business investment, reflecting the trade war between the United States and China.

Buffett told CNBC in May that a U.S.-China trade war would be “bad for the whole world,” and a full-scale trade war would be “bad for everything Berkshire owns.”

MORE CASH

Berkshire ended June with $122.4 billion of cash and equivalents, reflecting Buffett’s 3-1/2-year drought in finding big acquisitions since buying Precision Castparts.

He has instead invested elsewhere, building a $50.5 billion stake in iPhone maker Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and committing $10 billion in April to help Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY.N) buy rival Anardako Petroleum Corp APC.N. Berkshire has also bought back $2.1 billion of its stock this year.

The Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate operates more than 90 businesses that also include Dairy Queen ice cream, Fruit of the Loom underwear, and its namesake energy company and real estate brokerage.

It also owns dozens of stocks, including Bank of Americ上海夜生活a Corp (BAC.N), Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) and Coca-Cola Co (KO.N).

Class A shares of Berkshire closed Friday at $306,000, about 9% below their peak last October. Class B shares closed at $202.67, closer to 10% below their peak.

CONSUMER DRAG

Insurance underwriting profit dropped 63% to $353 million, with declines in several businesses.

Geico’s pre-tax underwriting gain fell 42%, as a higher ratio of loss claims to premiums earned more than offset growth in policies written.

Underwriting at Berkshire’s reinsurance, property/casualty and commercial insurance units also weakened, reflecting higher claims payouts, changes in the expected timing of future payouts, and currency fluctuations, among other factors.

Berkshire was nonetheless able to boost float, or insurance premiums collected before claims are paid and which help fund growth, by another $1 billion in the quarter, to $125 billion.

BNSF’s profit rose 2% to $1.34 billion, while revenue was essentially unchanged.

Profit was also flat in Berkshire’s manufacturing, services and retailing businesses, totaling $2.49 billion.

While Berkshire said more people flew NetJets corporate jets, “soft consumer demand” weighed on sales at home furnishings businesses, which include Nebraska Furniture Mart.

Berkshire Hathaway Energy saw profit rise 4%.