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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.

GRAPHIC-Take Five: Trade winds – World markets themes for the week ahead

May 10 ( ) – Following are five big themes likely to dominate thinking of investors and traders in the coming week and the stories related to them. 1/WATCH THOSE CURVES Moody’s warned this week that a trade war could tip the U.S. economy into recession next year. And U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest decision to hike tariff rates on Chinese goods has possibly brought that risk a bit closer. At least the bond market seems to think so — the yield on three-month U.S. Treasury bills is on the cusp of rising above 10-year yields.

A sustained curve inversion, as such a shift is called, would be seen as a sure-fire recession signal; in a normally growing economy, longer-dated borrowing costs are higher than short-term rates.

But the curve has sent a false alarm at least once before and some believe it is doing so again, above all because huge Fed purchases have depressed longer yields. Huge issuance of short-term debt is also likely to have contributed to the flattening.

Which brings us to another question. Given 2019 net borrowing will top $1 trillion, might Washington find itself scrambling to find buyers? Some dismal bond auctions recently have raised the question whether China is paring Treasury purchases — due to the escalating trade spat. Simmering tensions will keep the issue alive.

-EXPLAINER-What is an inverted yield curve -Flattened yield curve reason to be nervous, but US economy solid – Fed’s Evans -U.S. yields spike after dismal 10-year note sale

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2/ TALK, TWEET, REPEAT Industrial output, retail sales, house prices: a batch of data due in coming days was supposed to give investors an idea about how China’s economy was faring against a backdrop of 10% U.S. tariffs and authorities’ stimulus policies.

Fast forward and the stakes have been raised — quite a lot. On Friday, Washington hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% and Trump, reverting to Twitter, has threatened more. Beijing warned it would retaliate, though it didn’t say how.

Negotiations to try to end a 10-month-old trade war between the world’s biggest economies are continuing, and markets have taken heart from China’s decision to stick with the talks. Another factor is China’s central bank, which assured markets it had “rich” policy tools to cope with external uncertainties. Weak economic data can only cement that resolve. -Trump’s tariff hike on $200 bln of Chinese goods takes effect -More China policy easing seen as lending slows, trade risks rise -Counting the cost of the U.S.-China trad上海夜生活论坛e war so far tmsnrt.rs/2Lzed8e

3/OIL SLICK The world economy seems to be shifting into a lower gear but Brent crude futures are holding above $70 a barrel, up 30% this year. Barclays sees a climb to $74-$75 in the coming year.

In the short-term too, oil looks well-supported. On the demand side, Chinese imports hit a record in April, possibly due to economic stimulus measures taking effect. And supply has been curtailed by a pipeline contamination issue in Russia and U.S. sanctions that have cut shipments from Venezuela and Iran.

Venezuelan exports have dropped 40% since January and Iran’s exports have more than halved, to one million barrels per day or less. They are expected to slide further in May.

None of these issues will be resolved anytime soon. Iran for one is threatening to retaliate against U.S. sanctions by breaching a nuclear pact signed in 2015. Sanctions have failed to dislodge Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro but they are likely to cut oil exports further in May, after the expiry of an April 28 deadline for U.S. firms to complete existing deals.

-U.S. sanctions and Venezuela’s exports and imports -OPEC supply squeeze seen supporting higher oil prices -Sinopec, CNPC skip Iran oil purchases for May to avoid U.S. sanctions tmsnrt.rs/2VThqU1

4/NO STICKER SHOCK Few U.S. data series have been as choppy in recent months as retail sales. December’s drop in core sales was the largest in nearly two decades — only to be followed by an equally large swing to the upside in January. Demand for big-ticket items like cars then pushed the March total to the highest in 18 months.

Consumer resilience, emboldened by a strong job market, was a key pillar of support for the U.S. economy in the first quarter. So the April reading will show if that willingness to spend continues into Q2.

estimates point to the first back-to-back rise in retail sales since November. Headline sales are seen up 0.2%.

The report comes soon after Trump imposed new tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, but it is far too soon to see a meaningful impact from the trade war between the world’s two largest economies. Shoppers will probably not start reacting to sticker shock until the third quarter. -U.S. retail sales post biggest gain in 1-1/2 years in March -Fed rate cut likely if U.S. manufacturing continues to slow: Kemp tmsnrt.rs/2VVixm4 5/ITALIA DEJA VU Once again it seems there’s good reason to fret over Italy, the euro zone’s third-biggest economy — and one of its most indebted.

Tensions have flared within the ruling coalition over a corruption scandal that cost a junior minister his job. Rome may find itself footing the bill for a bank bailout after BlackRock ditched a proposed rescue of Carige. And finally, the European Commission has warned that Italian finances may deteriorate further. So another showdown with the EU might be looming.

How talks on deficit targets may pan out could become clearer at the May 16 Eurogroup meeting of finance ministers.

Signs of compromise will bring relief to Italian bond markets, where yields have seen their biggest weekly jump in three months with a rise of over 10 basis points. Contrast that to Spain and Portugal, often lumped in with Italy as the euro zone “periphery” — 10-year Spanish yields are at 2-1/2 year troughs while Portuguese yields have touched record lows.

The latest bond sell-off, which took Italian yields to 2.7%, is small compared to the rout a year ago when yields spiked to 3.4%. But who could be blamed for a sense of deja vu? -Rome scrambles to swerve Carige bank bailout after BlackRock pulls out -Italy coalition patches up rift after PM ousts junior minister

-Italy accuses EU of prejudice after grim economic forecasts

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At Ethiopia flight memorial, white roses mark passing of lives

ADDIS ABABA ( ) – Bouquets of white roses surrounded aviation staff as they gathered at Bole International Airport on Sunday to remember the two pilots and six crew, who perished along with 149 passengers in the Ethiopia Airlines crash a week ago.

Weeping women held slender single stems in their shaking hands. Banks of the white flowers, the traditional color of mourning, were placed in front of a row of empty coffins at the ceremony.

A band – some of the musicians in tears – temporarily stopped playing as band members ran to comfort bereaved relatives who lunged forward, wailing in grief over the coffins.

“Our deep sorrow cannot bring them back,” an Orthodox priest in a traditional black turban and black robes told the crowd gathered outside an airport hangar.

“This is the grief of the world,” he said, as Ethiopian Airlines staff sobbed in each other’s arms.

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At least the crash had taken place in Ethiopia – the holy land – he said, prompting “amens” from the crowd.

In Paris, investigators examined black box recorders to determine why the aircraft plunged into a field shortly after take off from Addis Ababa, searching for similarities to an October Lion Air crash that killed 189 people.

Both crashes involved the same model of plane – a Boeing 737 MAX 8 – causing aviation authorities to ground the model around the world after last week’s accident.

Data from the Ethiopian Airlines flight recorder had been successfully downloaded, France’s BEA air accident investigation agency said on Sunday. That information had been transferred to Ethiopian investigators, the agency said, adding that its technical work on the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder was now done.

PRAYERS PAUSED

In the Ethiopian capital, families and airline staff were focused on honoring their dead.

At the airport memorial, a banner offered “deepest condolences and comfort” to the families of the deceased crew.

A female flight attendant spoke warmly of the deceased captain, Yared Getachew.

“He was a really nice person, a good person, all the words you can find to talk about a good person apply. He was a very kind human being,” she said, before dissolving in tears.

A service for the families of passengers – more than 30 nationalities were onboard – was also held beneath the pink stone spires of Addis Ababa’s Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Families and relatives of the victims threw themselves on the coffins as they arrived and kissed pictures of loved ones.

Incense was waved over the coffins, but there was so much weeping that prayers had to be paused. Afterwards, some said the service meant they could now shift focus from grieving for the dead to caring for the living.

“Her husband is now left with an 上海夜网infant, he has to shift his attention to his life and raising his baby,” said Getachew Negatu, a friend of one of the stewardesses onboard the flight.

“Her father and mother, including her sisters, are devastated by this grief. Everyone has got to come back to life as we … cannot live like this forever.”

The families were offered charred earth from the crash site to bury, because most of the bodies were destroyed by the impact and fire. Identifying the small remains that have been collected may take up to six months.

Trump knocks off Walker in key state of Iowa: poll

WASHINGTON ( ) – Donald Trump has surged ahead of the pack of Republican presidential candidates in the key state of Iowa, knocking off Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who had been the leading contender there, a poll released on Friday showed.

Walker had been leading among the 17 Republicans seeking the party’s nomination for the November 2016 election in the early voting state of Iowa, which borders Wisconsin.

The Quinnipiac University survey showed 27 percent of likely Republican caucus voters in the Midwestern state backed Trump, the outspoken businessman and television personality who has seen his lead in national public opinion polls grow in recent weeks despite a string of controversial comments.

Another 21 percent said they supported former neurosurgeon Ben Carson and 9 percent backed U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement.

The university’s July poll found Walker leading among 18 percent of likely participants in the state’s Feb. 1 caucus, followed by Trump and Carson with 10 percent each. In the poll released on Friday, just 3 percent said they would pick Walker.

“With five months until the balloting, anything can happen. But the field has become a two-tiered contest – Donald Trump and Ben Carson ahead and everyone else far behind,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll said in a statement.

The results also showed the handicap that Washington experience has become in the minds of potential Republican voters, Brown said.

He added that Carson, who scored better than Trump among those surveyed when it came to honesty, empathy and temperament despite Trump’s edge on leadership, pointing to the ex-surgeon’s potential to gain support when other Republicans drop out of the race.

The findings also highlight the challenge for Walker, who had been leading most Iowa polls earlier in the summer and has in rec上海夜生活论坛ent weeks tried to jump-start his campaign.

Quinnipiac’s survey released on Friday polled 1,038 likely Iowa Republican Caucus participants from Aug. 27 to Sept. 8 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Preview: Atletico Madrid – Girona

In the first round of the second half of the season, tenth-placed Girona will try to hand Atlético Madrid their first defeat at the Wanda Metropolitano in La Liga. So far, only Chelsea in the Champions League and Sevilla last Wednesday in the Copa del Rey have achieved a victory at Atlético’s fortress.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

In the previous clash between (their only other official match in all competitions), the ‘Colchoneros’ came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 after two late goals in the final 15 minutes.

Girona are travelling to Madrid after a superb 6-0 win over Las Palmas in their previous match. Even though they have suffered two losses away from home recently, the Catalans are still among the top eight away teams in LL and have scored at least one goal in seven of their nine away clashes so far.

The managers for the two sides outlined the key points to consider for this match. Girona coach Pablo Machín talked about how difficult it is to score against 上海夜生活论坛Atlético (they have only conceded three goals at home all season in LL), while Diego Simeone warned that “Girona are a very intense and offensive side”.

It will be match number 350 for Diego ‘El Cholo’ Simeone at Atlético. Under the guidance of the Argentinian, the ‘Rojiblancos’ have notched an impressive 400 goals in LL (W147, D48, L36).

Players to watch: With the team’s top scorer Christian Stuani injured (ten goals), Michael Olunga will have to take charge upfront and after a hat-trick within 45 minutes last weekend, he could be just the man to spoil Atletí’s party.Top 5 Real Madrid players who are succeeding on a loan Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – We need to talk about the Top 5 Real Madrid players who are currently succeeding away from the club and are currently on a…

As for Atlético, it might be the right moment for Vitolo to make his debut in LL, after remaining on the bench for the last two fixtures.

Stat attack: Three of the last four wins for the ‘Colchoneros’ have been 1-0, a result that has been repeated in 32% of all of Atl. Madrid’s fixtures this season in LL.

As for Girona, they have scored in their last seven away LL matches.

Missing players

Atletico Madrid: Filipe Luis (thigh injury), D. Godin (suspension), N. Gaitan (doubtful)

Girona: J. Suarez (shoulder injury), P. Alcala (doubtful), C. Stuani (doubtful).

Fellaini spoke about his future at Manchester United

Marouane Fellaini, the Manchester United midfielder, spoke about his future at Manchester United and he revealed that he is “not sure whether he will stay at Old Trafford” if the club will make him another contract offer.

The Belgium international spoke about his situation as his contract is going to expire the upcoming summer and he can possibly leave the club – and he admitted that he has been thinking about this possibility. The 30-year old insisted that he expects another proposal by Manchester United but he doesn’t know yet how is he going to react.

The former Everton player spoke about his opini上海夜生活论坛on on that situation as he said, according to ESPN: “Honestly, I don’t know. I do have something in mind, but I cannot say anything about this yet. If Manchester didn’t want me anymore, they would have told me. They made an offer and they will likely make me another one. Whether I will accept that I am not sure. Those things don’t happen overnight.”Solskjaer “very pleased” after another failure to win George Patchias – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he was “very pleased,” even though United failed to win yet again.It is now ten games on the road since…

He also added that he also talked about it with José Mourinho and he respects his decision: “No, we talked about it. The manager is someone who respects his players’ decisions. This is my 10th season in England. Aside from my first experience at Manchester I only had good moments. Five years at Everton, five years at Manchester. I like the stability. It takes a couple of years before you build relationships. I know everyone by now — that is nice.”

In the end, Marouane Fellaini revealed further facts about his injury: “The inner ligaments were touched. One month later I played again, against Chelsea. But three weeks later, against Brighton, I felt pain again. I decided not to take the risk. I trained again, but not at 100 percent. It wasn’t an easy time, but hey, that’s how it works in football. It could have been worse. Two weeks before Bosnia, there was that attack from [Southampton striker] Shane Long.”

Kane: “My teammates deserve the praise, not me”

Harry Kane, the Tottenham striker, admitted that he asked his teammates for help with breaking Alan Shearer’s record ahead of the match against Southampton and he praised them for doing so.

Alan Shearer’s 22-year old record of 36 goals scored was broken – Harry Kane managed to level it in the match against Burnley and now, he has surpassed him by scoring another hattrick against Southampton and set a new benchmark of 39 goals. To be added, he has also become the world’s top scorer of 2017 by surpassing Lionel Messi by two goals and he admitted that he is very happy for that as he wants to score as many goals as he can.

The Englishman spoke about his feeling after breaking this record as he said, according to Sky Sports: “It was hard not to think about it going into the game being level. As always I wanted to win the game first and foremost, but of course, I wanted to score as a striker. To get that goal early on and get that record was a great feeling and I could enjoy the rest of the game.”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 per上海夜网fect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He also added that he can feel how he has improved: “This year I would say physically I have improved, recovery from games, getting ready, we have such a busy schedule. Just making sure I’m ready for each game, eating right, recovering right with ice baths. I feel really good. I feel sharp and at my best.”

In the end, Harry Kane also thanked his teammates for making this possible to him: “I said to the lads before the game to try and set me up and they all did that, so I’ll have to take them out to dinner or something. That third goal today was good, the third goal against Burnley I think that summed up how I play with the tackle and then the touch and finish so there’s been some good goals, but hopefully some better ones in 2018.”

Pogba: We need to win

Paul Pogba tried to motivate his fellow Manchester United players ahead of their derby against local rivals and league leaders Manchester City

The France international will not play in the Red Devils’ important match due to the suspension he picked up against Arsenal. However, Pogba has urged Jose Mourinho’s side to take the game to Pep Guardiola’s men on Sunday, when they meet in the English top-flight.

The United playmaker encouraged his club to throw bodies forward, as they need a win to get closer to their rivals in the league table. He said United must attack during the whole game.

“We need to. To win those games you need to give everything. You need to be there offensively, defensively. Kill the game when you have one chance because they are City and they have quality as well in front and they can kill the game at any time,” Pogba explained.Solskjaer “very pleased” after another failure to win George Patchias – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he was “very pleased,” even though United failed to win yet again.It is now ten games on the road since…

“They are first for good reason because they have been doing great at the start of the season. They keep winning and they didn’t lose one game and obviously mentally they are very strong.”

“I have complete trus上海夜生活t in the team. Even if I am not there, I will be there watching the game giving positive energy and hopefully we are going to win,” he added when asked about United’s chances to win the game.

“I’m very disappointed because I really want to help the team and wanted to be there for this derby because obviously we are playing City and in this moment, we need points and we need to win. It’s an important moment, an important game so, like I say, disappointed.”

“It’s a big derby and the atmosphere is going to be big. We want to win, we need to win as well,” the Frenchman praised the derby.

FA Cup to trial VAR technology next year

The FA insist they are open to implementing new technologies into football.

The VAR(video assistant referee) will be tried out during the third round of this season’s FA Cup, the English Football Association confirmed.

The technology will be used for the first time on the Island during Brighton’s clash with Crystal Palace on Monday, 8 January 2018. The VAR will also be used in a number of selected fixtures throughout the rest of the competition.

In fact, the very first time the new system was used was when England faced Germany in an international friendly on Wembley. However, the video assistant referee was simply tested and not executed in play.Pep Guardiola agrees that the domestic Treble isn’t enough  Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – After winning the domestic Treble for the first time in English football history, Pep Guardiola still reckons it isn’t enough for Manchester City.Pep Guardiola…

“The FA has always been open to trialling new innovations and was heavily involved in the advancement of上海夜生活论坛 goal-line technology before it was introduced,” said the FA’s director of professional game relations Andy Ambler as quoted by BBC.

“The trialling of the VAR system in this season’s Emirates FA Cup from the third round is a continuation of that and further demonstrates that whilst being the most famous and historic domestic cup competition in the world it is also modern, progressive and innovative.”

The English Football Association also clarified that the VAR will only be used to counteract “clear and obvious errors” on certain situations: goals, penalties, straight red cards or mistaken yellow/red cards.

Messi’s hattrick sends Argentina to World Cup

Lionel Messi scored a hattrick in Argentina’s 3-1 victory over Ecuador, that secured the Albiceleste’s World Cup spot.

Argentina went to Ecuador with one clear objective in their mind – a victory that would seal their qualification to the 2018 World Cup. Despite their last matches being far from convincing, the Argentinian fans were putting all of their hopes on the talents of their best footballer – Lion上海夜网el Messi.

And the number 10 did not disappoint. In a crucial match for the football destiny of his country, Messi delivered – and he delivered big time. Having his own personal reasons on top of the country’s hopes to take part in the upcoming World Cup, Messi scored a hat-trick to overturn a match that Ecuador found themselves leading from minute 1.

For Lionel Messi it was one of the last chances to win a World Cup. If Argentina would have missed the presence in Russia, it’s hard to believe that Messi would have had another realistic chance to lift the trophy in 2022, when Barcelona’s player would be 35.

Argentina needed a victory in Ecuador, as well as other results to play in their favour, in order to qualify directly to World Cup. The pre-match statistics were not encouraging for Argentina. The Albiceleste only won once in Quito, where the altitude makes it almost impossible for Ecuador’s opponents to perform at full potential. Also, Argentina failed to score a single goal from open play since November 2016, a less than encouraging statistic going into a decisive World Cup Qualifiers where you need to score.Ernesto Valverde praises Lionel Messi’s “fantastic” impact Andrew Smyth – Ernesto Valverde praised a not fully-fit Lionel Messi’s impact as Barcelona came from behind to beat Inter Milan 2-1 on Wednesday.

Ecuador were decided to make life difficult for Argentina. In fact, they only needed 39 seconds to open the score through Ibarra. However, Messi was not about to give up. And this time, he was not alone. Angel di Maria sent a magical pass in the 12th minute, that found Barcelona’s player in a finishing position. Messi took no chances and finished accurately, levelling the score and keeping the World Cup dream alive.

With the next two goals, Messi proved his commitment to his nation and to the presence at the World Cup. First, in the 20th minute, he chased a loose ball, powering past a defender and sending the ball into the net from a less than comfortable angle. Then, in the 62nd minute, Messi proved his absolute brilliance with a lob that left Ecuador’s goalkeeper, Banguera, stranded.

Messi sealed the 44th hat-trick of his career and perhaps the most important one, in a moment when his country needed him the most. It has to be said that this time, as opposed to the previous few matches for the national team, Messi had help from his teammates. Angel Di Maria, Enzo Perez and Eduardo Salvio all stood out with their performances last night, acknowledging the importance of the moment.

Messi saved the day and took Argentina to the World Cup. But Sampaoli will have a lot of work to do if he wants to achieve any big things in Russia next summer.

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.

Wenger says that Alexis and Ozil could leave in January

The Gunners manager admitted that two of his best player could leave during the winter transfer window.

Both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are in their last year of contract at Emirates. The Chilean already made it clear that he is not interested in signing a new deal with the club, while negotiations with Ozil have been rather slow.

With a number of big clubs chasing them, it was inevitable that Arsenal will have to make a decision whether to cash in on them in January or to use them for the whole season and lose them for free next summer.Strachan: Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney similar to Virgil van Dijk Andrew Smyth – Gordon Strachan believes Arsenal new signing Kieran Tierney is a similar kin上海夜生活论坛d of defender to Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk.

Manchester City and PSG are thought to be fighting over the signature of Alexis Sanchez, while Mesut Ozil is disputed by Manchester United and Barcelona. However, the German’s agent revealed that negotiations over a new deal with the Gunners ‘are heading in a positive direction’.

Speaking ahead of the upcoming Premier League match against Watford, Arsenal’s manager said about the possibility of the two players to leave the club: “In our situation, we have envisaged every solution. It is possible.”

Further asked about the Ozil’s willingness to remain at the Emirates, the French manager said: “It is my understanding [that he wants to stay]. I hope the situation can be turned around. At the moment, we are not close enough to announce anything.”

Arsenal outcast finally out of the Emirates

Lucas Pérez has finally ended his nightmare spell with the Gunners.

The 28-year-old will join Deportivo La Coruna as he stated he was where he wanted to be after completing a loan move from Arsenal.

The 28-year-old has been looking for a way out throughout the whole summer. While it appeared that Wenger’s side is not willing to accept bids below 15 million pounds for his services, the club from north London finally agreed on a €4m loan deal with no option to buy included.

“I’m where I want to be,” Pérez is quoted as saying by Riazor.org.

“I have a right to decide what is going to happen with my future and what I want to do.

“Arsenal understood that and I’m grateful to them. They understood my situation and the fact that I wanted to return home.Top 5 players to watch in Manchester United vs Arsenal Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Ahead of the most important Premier League match of the weekend, we got the Top 5 players to watch in Man United vs Arsenal.The…

“Arsenal defended their own interests, they initially didn’t want me to return to Deportivo.

“They have reached agreements with many clubs but I clearly told them that my intention was to join Depor and no other alternative.

“I don’t want to give a number but 上海夜网in the last three or four days I spoke to many sporting directors and coaches. But I reiterated that my wish was to return to Deportivo.”

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.

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.

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.

AB InBev profits as beer sales growth hits five-year high

BRUSSELS ( ) – Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR), the world’s largest brewer, beat earnings expectations after beer sales grew at their fastest pace in over five years, helped by increases in Latin America, Europe and Africa and a later Easter.

The maker of Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois said on Thursday beer volumes rose by 2.1% year-on-year in the April-June period, a rate unmatched for five years and meeting its strategy to focus much more on the top line.

Price rises and consumers shifting to higher-priced beers saw revenue and profits increase by even more.

AB InBev shares were up 4.3% at 90.06 euros at 0805 GMT, making them among the strongest performers in the FTSEurofirst index .FTEU3 of leading European stocks. They have now gained almost 14% in the past week although are still some 11% down year-on-year.

Bernstein Securities’ analyst Trevor Stirling said the results were strong, highlighting exceptional volume increases in Mexico and Australia and adding that a 5% beat of market expectations would lead to increases of full-year estimates.

The Belgium-based brewer said a number of its markets benefited from the later timing of Easter this year, pushing more beer sales into the second quarter from the first. However, unlike 2018, it did not get a boost from sales linked to the soccer World Cup.

Volumes, it said, rose in Mexico, Brazil, Europe, South Africa, Nigeria, Australia and Colombia. The United States, its largest market, was an except上海夜网ion as it brought forward price hikes to April from October, hitting volumes and market share.

AB InBev said it continued to expect strong revenue and core profit growth this year and that revenue per hectoliter would be ahead of inflation.

In most major markets, sales and margins expanded.

However, in Brazil, its number two market, aluminum and barley costs and the devaluation of the real currency also cut into profit.

In South Africa, a market it recently entered, volumes rose, but earnings fell as the company spent more to grow its global brands and paid for commodity and currency hedges.

ASIAN IPO STILL AN OPTION, BUT NOT ASSURED

AB InBev remains burdened by debt after its 2016 takeover of nearest rival SABMiller and has made deleveraging a priority.

However, it had to shelve a planned flotation of a stake in its Asian operations, only to follow that up a week later with the sale of its Australia business to Japan’s Asahi (2502.T) for $11.3 billion.

Chief Financial Officer Felipe Dutra said AB InBev still believed in the merits of its Asian IPO – that it would create a local champion to drive regional consolidation – but would only consider it at the right valuation.

“The past two weeks confirm we remain disciplined,” he told a conference call. “We retain the potential IPO as an option and we will continue to monitor the markets … but there is no assurance that an IPO will ever materialize.”

The company said its net debt was $104.2 billion at the end of June, unchanged from the close of 2018, and its net debt to EBITDA ratio dipped to 4.58 from 4.61.

It aims to bring this ratio down to below four by the end of 2020. Its ultimate goal is a multiple of around two. Chief Financial Officer Felipe Dutra said the Australia business sale, due to close early next year, would reduce the multiple by 0.35 percentage points.

For the second quarter, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose by 9.4% on a like-for-like basis to $5.86 billion, compared with the $5.73 billion average of analyst forecasts based on Refinitiv data.

Exclusive: Chevron Phillips Chemical in bid to acquire Nova…

( ) – ​Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, a joint venture between Chevron Corp and Phillips 66, has offered to acquire Nova Chemicals Corp for more than $15 billion including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Chevron Phillips Chemical, one of the world’s top petrochemical producers, would gain scale and expand its footprint through the acquisition of Nova Chemicals, whose expandable polystyrene and resins are used in a range of industries, from construction to packaging.

Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Co, the owner上海夜网 of Nova Chemicals, has been exploring a sale of the Canadian plastics maker since the start of the year, and there is no certainty that it will accept the offer from ​Chevron Phillips Chemical, the sources said.

Another bidder for Nova Chemicals may yet emerge, some of the sources added. Mubadala could also decide to keep a stake in Nova Chemicals in a deal, one of the sources added.

The sources asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. Nova Chemicals, Mubadala, Chevron and Phillips 66 did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Headquartered in Calgary, Nova Chemicals was founded in 1954. Over the years, it has diversified its business beyond foam packaging and insulation to foam beverage cups and containers.

Nova Chemicals reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $271 million in the first three months of 2019, down from $418 million a year earlier, according to its website.

Abu Dhabi acquired Nova Chemicals for $500 million in 2009 using its stated-owned International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC), saving it from a financing restructuring due to its large debt. Since then, the company’s business has grown rapidly, taking advantage of the shale-driven natural resources boom in North America.

Two years ago, Abu Dhabi merged IPIC with Mubadala, which manages over $225 billion in assets. The emirate has looked into consolidating its holdings and retrenching from some overseas businesses.

Founded in 2000, Chevron Phillips Chemical has 31 production facilities located in the United States, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Belgium. It had total revenue last year of $12 billion, according to its website.