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Trump administration debates designating Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist group

WASHINGTON ( ) – A debate is under way in the Trump administration about whether the United States should declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization and subject it to U.S. sanctions, according to U.S. officials and people close to President Donald Trump’s transition team.

A faction led by Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor, wants to add the Brotherhood to the State Department and U.S. Treasury lists of foreign terrorist organizations, the sources said.

“I know it has been discussed. I’m in favor of it,” said a Trump transition advisor, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The advisor said Flynn’s team discussed adding the group to the U.S. list of terrorist groups but said it was ultimately unclear when or even if the administration ultimately would go ahead with such a move.

Other Trump advisors, as well as many veteran national security, diplomatic, law enforcement and intelligence officials argue the Brotherhood has evolved peacefully in some countries, according to officials and people close to Trump’s entourage.

They worry that a U.S. move to designate the entire Brotherhood a terrorist group would complicate relations with Turkey, a key American ally in the fight against Islamic State, and where the Islamist-rooted AKP Party that dominates the Turkish government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in power. Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda Party has also participated in democratic elections.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the country’s oldest Islamist movement, was designated as a terrorist organization in that country in 2013.

It is not clear which faction within the U.S. administration has the upper hand, and Senator Ted Cruz and Representative Mario Diaz-Balart this month introduced legislation to add the Brotherhood to the terrorist list.

There was no immediate comment from the White House.


Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates among others have designated the group on their terrorist lists, and Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, described the Brotherhood an “an agent of radical Islam”, during his Senate confirmation hearing.

U.S. criminal law prohibits people in the United States from knowingly providing “material support” to designated terrorist organizations, and members of such groups are banned from entering the United States.Some conservative and anti-Muslim activists have argued for years that the Brotherhood, which was founded in Egypt in 1928 and sought to establish a worldwide Islamic caliphate by peaceful means, has been a breeding ground for terrorists.

Some branches of the Brotherhood, including the Palestinian group Hamas, have engaged in anti-government violence and provoked violent government reactions. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaeda, was once a member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

Other offshoots in Turkey and Tunisia have forsworn violence and come to power by democratic means. Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Mursi became Egypt’s first freely elected president in June 2012 in the aftermath of the ousting of long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak. An army takeover stripped Mursi of power in 2013 following mass protests against his rule. Hundreds of Islamists have since been killed and arrested.

Sisi and Trump spoke by phone this week and the two leaders discussed ways to boost the fight against terrorism and extremism.

A U.S. official who declined to be identified told there had been discussions at the State Department which looked at intelligence and information on the group in which it was thought “it would be difficult to justify legally, in terms of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, to meet the criteria”.

“It’s one thing to say one group’s ideology has been used to influence a terrorist organization and another thing上海品茶工作室 to say that this group is a terrorist organization,” said the U.S. official.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks on the United States, the George W. Bush administration launched investigations into the Brotherhood and related Islamist movements.

After years of investigations, however, the U.S. and other governments, including Switzerland’s, closed investigations of the Brotherhood leaders and financial group for lack of evidence, and removed most of the leaders from sanctions lists.

A British government review into Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood published in December 2015 concluded that membership of or links to the political group should be considered a possible indicator of extremism but stopped short of recommending that it should be banned.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks wilt as Fed shift sparks stampede into bonds

* European shares wilt 0.2 percent as Fed nerves bite

* Bond bulls push Bund yields back toward zero

* China blue-chips, Australian shares erase losses

* Sterling subdued after sharp fall on Brexit concerns

* Asian stock markets: tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

By Marc Jones

LONDON, March 21 ( ) – European shares wilted and there was a stampede into bonds on Thursday, after the U.S. Federal Reserve’s abandonment of all plans to raise rates this year left traders wondering what might be lurking in the shadows.

World markets’ reaction to a super-dovish Fed was not unlike the response to the European Central Bank’s equally easy stance earlier this month — the benefits of a reduced interest rate horizon came laced with doubts.

Banks suffered their usual worries about low borrowing rates to drag the pan-European STOXX 600 down and though a rise in metals prices and a weaker pound helped London’s FTSE edge up, Wall Street futures were down 0.5 percent.

But the real action was happening in bond markets.

With investors rushing to price in the prospect of U.S. rate cuts later this year, benchmark Treasury yields dived to their lowest since early 2018 and those on German Bunds — Europe’s benchmark — to the lowest since October 2016.

Ten-year Bunds were offering buyers virtually nothing again at yields of just 0.048 percent while widespread curve flattening — where shorter and longer-term borrowing costs converge — showed alarm bells were ringing.

With central banks having already cut rates to the bone and tried full-scale money printing, investors are concerned that many are now low on traditional ammunition to fight recessions.

“The Fed has the most leeway because it has raised rates nine times so it could cut rates nine times,” Rabobank strategist Philip Marey said. “But it will be much more difficult for other central banks which haven’t even started to hike yet.”

The Fed’s swerve had sent the dollar sliding as far as 110.47 yen, with its 0.6 percent loss overnight the biggest drop since the “flash crash” of early January.

The euro flew to a seven-week peak too before things started to reverse in Europe. It was last trading at $1.1390 having tested $1.1450 overnight, but it was still a world away from its recent low of $1.1177.

Brexit worries kept the pound down at $1.3175. Britain’s Prime Minister was heading into an EU meeting in Brussels having requested a delay but there still much jostling going on just over a week before Brexit had been due to happen.

That all left the dollar recovering at 96.200 against a basket of currencies, having lost 0.5 percent overnight. It was also poised precariously on its 200-day moving average, and a sustained break would be taken as technically ‘bearish’.

“The downward pressure on U.S. yields continues to support our outlook for a weaker U.S. dollar this year,” said MUFG analysts in a note.


Going against the grain, Norway’s currency shot up after its central bank raised interest rates and signalled a 50-50 chance another hike will follow by mid-year.

It looked very much the exception after the Fed, the ECB and China all capitulated back towards easier monetary policy and left many in their ranks reviewing what options they will need to deploy if things continue to sour.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.5 percent.

Chinese blue-chips, which spent the morning swinging between small losses and gains, were up 0.4 percent in afternoon trade, while Seoul’s Kospi also added 0.4 percent as regulators announced plans to cut the stock transaction tax this year.

Australian shares ended flat after see-sawing throughout the day. A drop in the jobless rate tempered market expectations of a rate cut.

Markets in Japan were closed for a public holiday.

Gains in the broad Asian index followed a wobbly session on Wall Street, after a move toward risk taking sparked by the Fed’s dovish shift was overtaken by growth and trade concerns.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday warned that Washington may leave tariffs on Chinese goods for a “substantial period” to ensure Beijing’s compliance with any trade deal.

China-U.S. trade talks are set to resume next week.

Global growth worries extended to commodity markets, where oil prices, which had jumped Wednesday on supply concerns, retreated.

U.S. crude fell 0.1 percent to $60.17 a barrel after touching four-month highs 上海品茶工作室on Wednesday. But Brent crude regained some ground, adding 0.15 percent to $68.60.

Weakness in oil prices is seen to be limited by efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to curb supply. Widely watched U.S. data also showed supplies were tightening.

Gold and copper gained though on the weaker dollar, with spot gold adding about 0.5 percent to $1,318.94 per ounce. Copper rose 0.9 percent to $6,517 a tonne, having touched a near three-week high earlier in the session.

U.S. regulators warn against Republican auto safety proposals

WASHINGTON ( ) – Republican proposals to improve U.S. auto safety came under fire on Tuesday from federal regulators, who warned that proposed changes to current rules would erode consumer safety and give automakers control over the public disclosure of safety recalls.

In written testimony submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Trade Commission also took issue with draft legislation to let a new industry-dominated advisory council set best practices for protecting car owners from cyberattacks.

“The proposals could seriously undermine NHTSA’s efforts to ensure safety,” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said.

Written testimony from Rosekind and FTC official Maneesha Mithal was posted to the committee’s website ahead of a Wednesday hearing on a 62-page draft bill intended to upgrade auto and highway safety after a string of auto safety defects, including deadly General Motors Co ignition switches and Takata Corp air bag inflators.

The wide-ranging legislative proposal, which the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade is considering, is intended to prepare regulators for a new generation of automotive technological innovation by amending a host of areas, from agency reporting requirements and safety recall procedures to privacy, cyber attacks and safety information.

Rosekind, who has taken a tougher approach to automakers since taking over NHTSA less than a year ago, said the draft would require regulators to withhold safety recall notices from the public until a manufacturer has identified all vehicles affected by a defect.

“This proposal impinges on the agency’s enforcement authority and is in direct conflict with other congressional interests to increase the transparency of safety information,” he said in the testimony.

Mithal, associate director of the FTC’s Privacy and Identity Protection Division, said the proposals would also exempt automakers from regulatory oversi上海品茶会所ght and penalties involving their handling of consumer data.

Both Mithal and Rosekind took issue with a proposal to establish an Automotive Cyber Security Advisory Council to develop best practices for cyber security, saying the plan would give half the council seats to the auto industry while relegating other stakeholders to one seat each. Testimony from two auto industry officials, who are also scheduled to testify, said carmakers have taken unprecedented steps to protect consumer privacy and enhance safety recall completion rates and have begun working to develop new cyber security standards and guidelines for the entire industry.

Fed announces plan to end balance sheet runoff in September

WASHINGTON, March 20 ( ) – The Federal Reserve on Wednesday unveiled a long-awaited plan to stop scaling back the vast portfolio of bonds it built up to spur an economic recovery from the 2007-2009 financial crisis and recession.

By September, the U.S. central bank said its current practice of allowing up to $50 billion of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) to roll off its balance sheet each month will come to an end if the economy evolves “about as expected.”

When completed the Fed would still likely have at least $3.5 trillion in bonds, more than four times the roughly $800 billion it had heading into the crisis more than a decade ago. The Fed currently holds about $3.8 trillion in bonds.

The announcement sets an end-date to a programmatic reduction in the balance sheet that got underway in the fourth quarter of 2017, when the Fed set out to retire one of the more controversial components of the tools it used to fight the crisis.

Moreover, it puts the central bank on a different footing just three months after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell upset markets by saying the bond-culling effort was on “automatic pilot.” Even U.S. President Donald Trump had weighed in on Twitter with calls to urge the Fed to stop shedding bonds.


At its peak levels in 2015 and 2016, the Fed’s stash totaled roughly $4.25 trillion of Treasuries and MBS acquired through three rounds of purchases known as quantitative easing, or QE, that ran from December 2008 through 2014.

The QE program was designed to stimulate the economy by flooding the financial system with cash and depressing long-term interest rates after the Fed had cut its benchmark short-term rate to near zero in December 2008.

The plan, awaited eagerly by investors who saw the portfolio reduction effort as one of the factors behind the wave of volatility that struck financial markets in late 2018, is a result of the Fed’s decision to use its large cache of securities to set the level of the fed funds rate, its primary tool for managing the economy.

U.S. officials now control the fed funds rate by paying banks interest on the $1.7 trillion in reserves they hold at the Fed and through other money-market transactions. Those reserves grew when the Fed created funds to purchase bonds after the crisis. Letting those reserves shrink too much could create price swings in short-term rates markets.

Wednesday’s announcement still leaves a number of questions unanswered. Among them:

* Whether or not the Fed should sell MBS in the future

* If the Fed will make changes上海品茶QQ in the money-market operations it uses to control rates

* Exactly what level of bank reserves the Fed will keep on its balance sheet

* If Fed policymakers prefer a portfolio of primarily shorter-term bonds

Should the Fed opt for a portfolio akin to its pre-crisis holdings of mostly short-term Treasuries, how it goes about getting rid of other bonds without roiling markets or the economy will be a delicate undertaking.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said it would announce more details on its market operations in May.

Rakiti\u0107 admits Neymar is missed at Camp Nou

The Croatia international admits that the club still feels the absence of his former team-mate.

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitić has revealed that the dressing room at Camp Nou wish Neymar did not leave the club to complete the most expensive transfer in football history, joining Paris Saint-Germain in a €222m move.

Even though the Catalans signed Ousmane Dembélé for €105m as a potential replacement for the Brazilian, the youngster spent most of the first half of the season on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury. Barcelona also signed Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in January for €160m上海品茶工作室 as they try to bolster their offensive options.

However, Valverde’s men appear rather unfazed by Neymar’s departure as they are 9 points clear on top of La Liga and comfortably topped their Champions League group.

Yet, Rakitić reveals that if it was up to him, he would still have Neymar at Camp Nou.Messi and company to be part of “Matchday” documentary George Patchias – Barcelona are launching a new documentary series called “Matchday,” chronicling the everyday lives of players, such as Lionel Messi.The Catalonians are the latest club…

“I’m not going to lie to you, I would prefer that Ney was here with us.” Rakitić told Marca.

“Apart from being a great player, he is a friend and I am very fond of him. 

“After he left, we have to continue. Barca is not one, two or five players. It is the biggest club in the world and we have to keep working. 

“It would seem better to be able to count on him, but if he is not here, we join forces to be even better.”

G\u00fcndogan certain that his team will improve

It was a huge loss for Manchester City as they were beaten for the first time in this year’s Premier League by Liverpool and after this 4-3 crazy loss, Ilkay Gündogan insisted that they have to stay positive and learn from that unsuccessful attempt.

The Germany international scored one goal as he made it 4-3 in the dying minutes but in the end, it wasn’t enough to fight for the equalizer – and Guardiola’s team were beaten for the first time in the domestic competition this season. But the midfielder is certain that they will bounce back and they will start with another winning run…

The former BVB player spoke about this unlucky match as he said, according to Sky Sports: “It is in our own hands. There is a gap, quite a comfortable gap still, but there are still a lot of games to play.  We need to learn now, especially from those 10 minutes when we were not fully there. I am quite sure that we will and then we are going to bounce bac上海品茶会所k and find again, 100 percent, our way. I am sure that it is then nearly impossible to stop us.”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…

He continued by adding that they were also a bit unlucky: “We had two situations with Sergio at the end but unfortunately that was not enough. Our first defeat of the season – we need to accept that, even though it’s not easy. But we will look forward and we will now focus on the next game [at home to Newcastle on Saturday]. We have nearly one week to prepare for it. It continues and we won’t stop.”

In the end, Ilkay Gündogan claimed that Guardiola prepared his players for that moment: “He [Guardiola] always said the day would come where we lose a game. Obviously, everyone is disappointed because we don’t think we deserved it. It feels kind of weird but the day has come and it is something we need to accept.”

Hughton values Dyche’s success as much as Guardiola’s one

Brighton and Hove Albion coach Chris Hughton praised Sean Dyche ahead of their upcoming clash as he said that what has Dyche done with Burnley is fairly comparable to Guardiola’s success with Manchester City.

Burnley are currently placed sixth in the Premier League table and they are above teams like Arsenal or 2015/16 champions Leicester – and the main man to praise is Sean Dyche, their coach. Chris Hughton knows that his Brighton are about to face a very organized team and it will be really tough to score against them but he believes that they can surprise the in-form opponent.

The British coach compared Burnley’s success to Manchester City’s one as he said, according to Sky Sports: “Everybody is looking at City and saying they have been outstanding and they have this huge gap at the top of the division. I think Burnley’s achievements are very much right up there with what City have done.”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 continued by adding that it will be very difficult for Burnley to keep this up: “You have to do it over a season, of course, and it will probably be harder for Burnley, with the size of the club, to maintain it over a season than it will be for the bigger teams. Bu上海品茶微信t if you’re asking me right at this moment then, yes, Sean’s achievement for what he’s done at Burnley is right up there with what Manchester City have done.”

In the end, Hughton also praised Burnley for being patient with Dyche: “I think there is a message there,” added the Seagulls boss. “A high percentage of clubs wouldn’t have seen the manager there the following season, having gone down. That is a testament to Burnley and also to the individual. When Burnley went down they weren’t out of sight, adrift of everyone else. They were always in it. They obviously saw enough in Sean.”

Courtois feels like the best goalkeeper in the world

Thibaut Courtois insisted that he considers himself to be the best goalkeeper in the world – and he added that there’s nothing wrong with it as this attitude shows that he is a big player.

After his return from Atletico Madrid, Courtois has been a stable part of Chelsea’s starting eleven – and he has proved that he can be considered to be one of the greatest goalkeepers nowadays. Antonio Conte, his manager, himself mentioned that he thinks that his player is one of the best and the Belgian thinks that it’s good to have an attitude like that.

The Belgium international spoke about his confidence as he said, according to Sky Sports: “Yeah, I think obviously I feel like that, you have to have the self-belief that you are the best, that’s important to have that mind-set. Obviously there are other great goalkeepers, so it’s not for me to judge who is the best, but obviously, I fe上海品茶微信el the best because that has to be your mind-set.”Willian warns Chelsea of ‘difficult’ Ajax threat Andrew Smyth – Willian admits Chelsea will need to prepare well for their next Champions League clash at Ajax after overcoming Lille OSC 2-0 on Wednesday.

He also spoke about his side’s situation and their need to win every single game: “I think all games coming up are must-win games, I think if you are 11 points behind City, you have to keep winning and hope they lose some points.  For us, they are must-win games. If you want to play to win the title, those games you have to win of course. We are still there in it, but it depends on ourselves, we need to keep winning and see what others do. At the moment City are playing well and winning, so you have to hope that they drop points, and that you yourself keep on winning.”

In the end, Courtois added that he doesn’t care about Manchester City’s performances: “I didn’t look at [Man City’s] fixtures because to me they’re not important, we have to look to ourselves, and we have games coming up against teams that are always hard to beat, but if you want to play to win a title, you have to win [these kinds of games]. I think we have tough fixtures, but obviously not against the top six, so they are games we have to win and to get a winning run.”

Kaka: “The expectations were extreme in Madrid”

Kaka spoke about his time with Real Madrid as he said that the pressure was enormous but despite that, he is happy that he was given a chance to play at Santiago Bernabeu and to be a part of the Spanish giant’s squad.

The former AC Milan player insisted that ‘everything gets taken to extremes’ in Madrid but he is grateful for this amazing experience even though he wasn’t a stable part of the starting eleven during his time in the capital of Spain. He managed to score 29 goals in 120 games for Real though and he made an impact – not as big as expected but he did.

The Brazilian spoke about his experience as he said, according to Goal: “At Real Madrid, everything gets taken to extremes, as much for the good things as the bad things, so you have to adapt to the way that the press and the fans live through different situations.  For a player, it’s an amazing experience to be at Real Madrid. I matured a lot there, principally as a person.”Real Madrid barely salvages a point at home vs Brugge Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – With a shocking brace scored by Dennis, Real Madrid barely managed to rescue a point against Brugge in the second half at home.Real Madrid…

The former Brazil international also claimed that he wasn’t that successful as he was expected to be and the same thing also happened to James after him: “As a player you make changes that you think are going to work out in one way and for a number of reasons 上海品茶工作室it doesn’t pan out as you hoped it would.  What happened to James and to me can happen to any player and not just at Real Madrid.”

Kaka tried to defend James as it wasn’t entirely his fault: “James didn’t forget how to play football. He is still a fantastic player and he’ll find his best form again at his new club and I’m sure he’ll continue to play well for Colombia.  Football is getting quicker all the time but players like James know how to adapt. He is already accustomed to a faster style of football. It mustn’t be forgotten that he was the best player at the last World Cup.”

Kondogbia wants transfer to Valencia

Geoffrey Kondogbia wants to sign a permanent contract with Valencia, while he is also hoping for a place in France’s squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia

According to Evans Kondogbia, the brother and agent of the player, the 24-year-old wants to play in Russia. Meanwhile, the midfielder wants a permanent switch from Inter to the Mestalla.

The former Monaco midfielder struggled to find his best form at San Siro, but he has quickly settled in Valencia, with his new side second in La Liga after 11 matches, GOAL reports.

Kondogbia’s agent/brother has admitted that the player is already thinking about a possible long-term contract at Valencia.

“He is very happy here at Valencia and f上海品茶会所or the future we’ll find a solution that suits both the Spanish club and Inter,” he told Superdeporte.

The midfielder seems certain about his choice, as he has even moved his family to the Spanish city.Alexis Sanchez: “I’m finding my love for football again” Nedim Maric – Inter’s new signing started his account strongly by scoring a brace against Sampdoria before conceding a red card.After a nightmare sting at Manchester United,…

“Geoffrey feels that he has everything he needs in Valencia and even brought his family to live in this beautiful city, where he plays for a team that can compete at high levels,” the agent revealed.

“He wants to remain with Valencia for many years.” Kondogbia’s brother made it clear.

“He still has a contract with Inter and we never know what might happen, but my job is to find the best solution for everybody. I hope he can stay here for many years, but it all depends on the two clubs.”

The midfielder has not played for France for 2 years, but the World Cup is still a target for the brilliant 24-year-old.

“Geoffrey is working hard and dreams of going to the World Cup in 2018,” his brother added.

“There is a lot of competition in the France midfield, but Didier Deschamps will certainly call him up if he maintains this standard to March,” Evans Kondogbia concluded.

Silva hails Cavani for being a crucial part of the squad

PSG managed to beat Nice 3-0 on Friday and Edinson Cavani helped his side by scoring two goals  – so it’s obvious that after the match, his teammate and captain of the French side had only words of praise for him.

In-form Cavani scored twice yesterday and he just continues to be unstoppable, while he managed to find the net also in the previous dramatic fixture against Marseille when he scored the equalizer in the dying minutes. After an own goal scored by Nice’s Dante, Cavani added another two and he helped his side to grab another victory on their journey for the Ligue 1 title.

And the captain of the team from the French capital praised his teammate as he claimed, according to Goal: “Cavani is essential to our team, he produces a lot of efforts. He scored two very important goals, especially the first half as it changed the game completely. It was very important for the team. I t上海品茶会所hink that a player like Edi should keep going like this because he is helping us a lot.” Breaking: FIFA orders Cardiff to pay €5 million to Nantes in Emiliano Sala dispute Nedim Maric – In the aftermath of the Argentinian’s tragic death, the two clubs had a dispute over the transfer fee payment.Cardiff bought Sala from Cardiff in…

The Brazilian also shared his thoughts about his team’s performance: “I think it was very nice, we played very well tonight. At the start of the game we wanted to master the match and we managed to do it. After the first goal, it was easier as Nice wanted to play a bit more, they attacked more to equalise and they allowed us space.”

He added that he can’t expect the victories to come easily: “The league this year is not easy, and we had to fight until the last minute to grab a result in Marseille, and against Nice, we take the three points, that’s what we wanted so we are very happy. We deserve the win tonight and we have to keep on like this because the group is very strong. Neymar hasn’t played but [Angel] Di Maria played and he had a great game.”

Puel wants Mahrez to stay

Claude Puel has been in charge just for a couple of days and he is still waiting for his first fixture but he is sure about one thing – he just doesn’t want to let Riyad Mahrez go.

The 2016 PFA player of the year was about to change his jersey multiple times in the past but his current coach wants him to stay, no matter what. Mahrez managed to score twice in his side’s last three games so it looks like he is getting into the right shape.

The Frenchman insisted that he wants to keep Mahrez and build the team around him as he said, according to Sky Sports: “It is down to me to make these players want to stay by the fact we are playing good football. I have always got to attract them, to seduce them. It is down to me to create that environment where these players want to thrive and stay and be happy and to enjoy themselves, their football and the plans that we have.”Wijnaldum looking to repeat Champions League success Nedim Maric – Liverpool are the reigning winners of the Champions League. However, this isn’t stopping them for aiming to get the glory once again.After a perfect…

The former coach of Southampton also added: “It is normal for a player, if they win the title and play Champions League, that sometimes there is a disappointment, frustration because now they know the high level. My door is always open and it is important to listen, to try to tell them it is a different opportunity, that they feel they can improve.”

He also talked about the way he can contribute: “I will approach the job 上海品茶QQin the long- term. When I come to a job I always try to bring something, not just on the playing side, on the technical football side, but to develop the club as a whole. You make little tweaks but it is always long-term, not a short-term project. You are also aware and you are realistic that it can stop at any moment.”

Preview: West Brom – Manchester City

Premier League leaders are five points ahead of their competitors and will be looking to at least keep their lead after today’s match against 13th-places West Bromwich.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

West Bromwich Albion welcome Manchester City to the Hawthorns for the second time in just over a month. City won the previous fixture 2-1 in the Carabao Cup, with Leroy Sané grabbing a brace.

In terms of form, this is a match between David and Goliath. West Brom have only managed 4 points from their last 7 games in the Premier League (PL), while City have 7 wins in 7.

Each of the last 12 games between the clubs has ended in victory for City, who have banged in 33 goals in the process, conceding just 8.

City have scored 32 goals in the first 9 rounds of the PL, averaging 3.5 goals per game. 21 of their goals have come in the second half (66% of the goals). Over 2.5 goals (total) have been scored in 7 of City’s last 8 PL games!Wijnaldum looking to repeat Champions League success Nedim Maric – Liverpool are the reigning winners of the Champions League. However, this isn’t stopping them for aiming to get the glory once again.After a perfect…

City have not conceded a single goal after the 50th minute in the 9 league games played this season. West Brom have scored just 7 goals this season, and have scored more than 1 goal on just one occasion (2-2 vs Watford).

Sergio Agüero scored his 177th goal for City last weekend, tieing上海品茶会所 with Eric Brooke as City’s all-time top goalscorer. He now has 8 goals in 8 matches this season, 7 in the PL.

Missing players

West Brom: C. Dawson (knee injury), O. Burke (doubtful), J. Morrison (doubtful), H. Robson-Kanu (doubtful)

Manchester City: V. Kompany (calf injury), B. Mendy (knee injury), I. Gundogan (doubtful).

Spanish football will pay tribute to all the victims in Barcelona terror attack

The teams will wear black armbands on the opening day of La Liga.

An atrocious scene took place in Barcelona recently. A van launched into crowds of people in a very busy tourist area in Barcelona with the clear idea of killing as many people as possible. Fourteen were killed and more than a hundred were injured as a result of the terrorist attack.

All opening La Liga games will take place, including Barcelona’s home game against Real Betis this Sunday.Griezmann and Neymar questions infuriate Valverde George Patchias – Questions about the Antoine Griezmann fine, and the Neymar court case, infuriated Ernesto Valverde at his pre-match press conference.Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde face Getafe…

Apart from wearing armbands at the Nou Camp, all games will hold a minute of silence in respect to the victims, their families and their close ones.

“FC Barcelona wants to express its profound sorrow and utter disgust at the terrorist attack that has hit the heart of our city,” an official statement by the club reads.

It is also believed that Barcelona players will wear shirts without their names on it, instead all of them will wear ‘Barcelona’ as their name in a tribute to all those who were involved in the attack. Furthermore, the hashtag #TotsSomBarcelona, which means ‘We are all Barca’, will be shown on the chest of the s上海品茶QQhirt in the game against Betis.

Joe Hart ‘always loved West Ham’

The Manchester City goalkeeper recently joined the Hammers on a season-long loan move.

The England international was delighted with his move to London and is looking forward to the new season. West Ham will pay £2.5m of Hart’s £4.5m-a-year salary and City would have to pay the rest of it. The Hammers are also expected to have an option to permanentl上海品茶会所y buy the keeper at the end of the season.

Joe Hart gave his first interview to the club’s website:

‘It’s important for me to play football and to get the opportunity to come here and play is absolutely awesome. To be playing in the Premier League for a big club like West Ham, I’m really looking forward to the season.What Manchester United showed us against West Ham United Taimoor Khan – Manchester United lost against yet another side they were used to beating a few years ago and it is clear that this team has…

‘I’ve always loved the club. I think you’ll struggle to find anyone, apart from the direct opposing fans around London, who doesn’t love the club. It’s got something about it, it’s got a lot history and I’ve always loved playing against West Ham.

‘We’ve moved into London Stadium and we’ve got Slaven in charge who I’ve spoken to and I’ve always enjoyed as a manager. He obviously did a good job with Croatia and he’s doing a good job here, so to get the opportunity to come here, it wasn’t really a hard decision.’

Senator Warren, mocked by Trump as ‘Pocahontas,’ says DNA test…

WASHINGTON ( ) – Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, ridiculed by U.S. President Donald Trump as “Pocahontas” for claiming Native American heritage, hit back on Monday with DNA evidence she said supported her assertion, a possible preview of a bare-knuckles presidential campaign in 2020.

The Massachusetts lawmaker, known as a liberal firebrand in her party, said last month she would take a “hard look” at running for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Trump in 2020. She and Trump clashed frequently through the 2016 presidential campaign and Trump has cast aspersions on her claim to Native American ancestry.

“When I decided to run for Senate in 2012, I never thought that my family’s Native American heritage would come under attack and my dead parents would be called liars,” she said in a statement on Monday.

“And I never expected the president of the United States to use my family’s story as a racist political joke,” she said.

Trump taunted Warren over the issue at a July rally in Montana.

“I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian,” he said. “I have a feeling she will say ‘no.’”

Warren reminded the president on Monday of his promise. “Please send the check to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center,” she said on Twitter.

When asked about the DNA test, Trump said: “Who cares?” Then he denied making the comment, as he left Washington to visit hurricane-stricken areas in Florida and Georgia.

Later, Trump suggested to reporters in Georgia he could pay the $1 million he had wagered, but with a caveat: “I’ll only do it if I can test her personally. That will not be something I will enjoy doing either,” he said.

Trump’s use of the name Pocahontas refers to a 17th century Native American woman associated with the British colony in Jamestown, Virginia, and was aimed at drawing attention to a controversy over her heritage raised during Warren’s 2012 Senate race. Trump’s mocking reference has drawn criticism from Native American groups.


Warren provided the DNA test results in a statement, showing the lineage goes back six to 10 generations. bit.ly/2OqLmUz

The analysis of Warren’s DNA was done by Carlos Bustamante, a Stanford University professor whom the Boston Globe reported was an expert in the field.

The professor concluded that most of the senator’s DNA showed European ancestry but that it had a Native American segment. Warren has said that her Native American ancestry possibly goes back to the 1700s, including Cherokee blood on her mother’s side, according to family lore. 上海品茶微信

Warren’s release of the results was criticized by Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr., who said; “Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong.”

Warren’s move could be a prelude to a possible presidential run.

An architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau set up after the 2008 financial crisis, Warren has been a strong voice in the U.S. Senate on financial issues.

Warren, campaigning with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016, attacked Trump as an “insecure money grubber” driven by greed and hate.

“I hope she’s running for president, because I think she’ll be very easy,” Trump said as he left the White House on Monday.

Light PBOC touch makes once unlikely yuan at 7/$ seem possible

SHANGHAI ( ) – As China’s yuan slips to historically weak levels against the dollar, the central bank’s atypical light touch is spurring speculation that policymakers want to be more judicious in their intervention and have no specific target for the currency.

The yuan has lost more than 2.5% against the dollar since the festering China-U.S. trade dispute took a turn for the worse with tariff increases early this month. It is now less than 0.1 yuan away from the 7-per-dollar level authorities have in the past indicated as a floor.

A weakening yuan risks sparking outflows, a major concern for policymakers keen to retain investor confidence in a slowing economy and acrimonious trade war with the United States.

But the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has done little to keep the yuan in check, beyond issuing yuan-denominated bills in Hong Kong and setting the managed currency’s daily mid-point consistently stronger than market expectations.

“My sense is that 7 is no longer so critical as in 2016. Policymakers are more confident,” said Tommy Xie, head of Greater China research at OCBC Bank in Singapore. “It also depends on the cost of defending 7.”

In 2015, a one-off 2% yuan devaluation fueled depreciation expectations, and Beijing burned through about $1 trillion of foreign exchange reserves to fight back.

In 2018, to hold the currency steady, the PBOC raised the cost of shorting the yuan by hiking reserve requirements on forwards. State-owned banks also used swaps and sold dollars to prop up the local unit.

Despite the trade war, it was not until this week that senior central bank officials launched a verbal campaign to remind the market that China can keep the yuan “basically stable” and draw on a toolbox of policies to manage fluctuations.

“Nothing has gone wrong, and (we) will not allow anything to go wrong,” Liu Guoqiang, PBOC vice governor, told the Financial News, a newspaper run by the central bank.

The PBOC did not respond immediately to faxed questions from about its policy and tactics relating to yuan levels.

(GRAPHIC: China’s falling yuan approaches 7/dollar – tmsnrt.rs/2W6Aoqb)


To yuan watchers, the central bank’s perfunctory actions and messaging suggest a higher degree of comfort with a weaker yuan, while the currency’s stability against a basket of trade-weighted currencies is evidence it is not encouraging excess depreciation.

“The authorities are providing only the support needed to cap yuan weakness, rather than trying to strengthen the currency significantly,” Lemon Zhang, a strategist at Standard Chartered Bank wrote in a note.

A weaker yuan would theoretically help exporters, many of whom are feeling the pinch of U.S. tariffs on billions of dollars worth of made-in-China goods.

BofAML analysts Claudio Piron and Ronald Man reckon China will limit the yuan’s weakness in the run-up to a G20 summit at the end of June, when U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping might meet.

If that meeting fails to produce a breakthrough easing trade tensions, “it is clear that China has the capacity and need for yuan depreciation to dollar/yuan 7.13. Fiscal stimulus and monetary easing would be required to support China’s economy,” they said.

But analysts suspect the PBOC’s strategy is not just about targeting yuan levels but also involves managing its currency reserves and a growing international role for the yuan. Those explain the central bank’s reluctance to reduce its dollar reserve上海品茶微信s too quickly or drive up interest rates in the offshore yuan market in order to make it expensive to short-sell the currency.

“If the central bank chooses to intervene directly in the market, a decline in the reserves to $2.9 trillion from $3 trillion would trigger greater shock to market confidence,” said Raymond Yeung, ANZ’S chief Greater China economist in Hong Kong.

Yeung says the PBOC “is unwilling to see a huge gap between onshore and offshore yuan as that would affect international institutions’ judgment of whether the yuan is capable as a reserve currency”.

The offshore yuan this week has been relatively weaker than the onshore one, but the PBOC’s sale of its debt in Hong Kong, intended to drain offshore yuan supplies, has been small scale.

As the central bank juggles multiple objectives, its injections of cash onshore, aimed at spurring lending in a slowing economy, have also been modest, in part to guard the exchange rate.

Exclusive: IKEA to revamp app as store strategy shifts

BERLIN ( ) – IKEA is launching a new app to allow customers to shop remotely for products they can visualize in the context of their own homes, lessening the need for them to travel to its vast network of self-service, out-of-town stores.

The world’s biggest furniture retailer is shifting its business model away from pushing customers through its suburban stores toward making shopping easier online, and downtown.

“It is a completely new experience,” Barbara Martin Coppola, chief digital officer at IKEA, told in an interview. “The app is combined with the store experience, with the online experience.”

The app will be launched first in France and the Netherlands and will be rolled out in IKEA’S top eight markets – including Germany, the United States and China – by the end of the year.

It will allow users to visualize how their homes could be furnished with IKEA products by inputting room dimensions and choosing from different tastes and life stages. They can then order those products through the app.

IKEA originally launched an augmented reality app in 2017 which allowed customers to see how more than 2,000 items would fit into their homes, but they could not shop from it.

IKEA’s main app carries its full range but products are still displayed in isolation, and customers can only 上海品茶QQadd items to a shopping list for use during a store visit. Remote shopping can only be done through the IKEA website.

Fast-growing British online furniture retailer Made.com last month launched a new interior design service for a fee, which uses artificial intelligence to recommend products and 3D technology to show what the furnished room will look like.

Other players experimenting with augmented reality include Williams-Sonoma, which bought 3D imaging firm Outward in 2017, and U.S. startup Modsy, which raised $37 million this month to expand in 360-degree room and furniture imaging.

IKEA’s new app will complement the group’s move to trial smaller downtown stores with a narrower range, like the one it opened in the heart of Paris earlier this month.

“People who go to the stores might want to access the full range of IKEA, and that is when digital innovations come in handy,” Martin Coppola said on the sidelines of the World Retail Congress earlier this month.

The app will allow shoppers to point their phone at a chair to see other textures or colors, or to see it in the context of a room or alongside similar products in the same range.

IKEA has stepped up efforts to respond to the rise of e-commerce since Jesper Brodin took over in 2017 as chief executive of the Ingka Group, which owns most IKEA stores.

IKEA has been trialing city-center formats including a dedicated kitchen showroom in Stockholm, a London store offering personalized planning for home renovations, and one for living room furniture in Madrid.

As e-commerce grows, Martin Coppola said IKEA might reconfigure its out-of-town sites, incorporating what it is learning from its downtown pilot stores and possibly using more of the space as dedicated warehouses to prepare online orders.

Meanwhile, Made.com is ramping up its offline presence as it expands in Europe. It launched a pop-up showroom in Stockholm this month just a block away from IKEA’s kitchen store, and is displaying plush armchairs in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.

“We are in discussions with other airports,” Chief Executive Philippe Chainieux told . “Every single customer journey starts online and ends online but they still need to have the capacity to touch and feel.”

Made.com is also being creative with the eight showrooms it already operates, such as offering online customers the opportunity to connect with a store manager by webcam so they can see a piece of furniture from all angles.

U.S. trade deficit hits eight-month low on weak Chinese imports

WASHINGTON ( ) – The U.S. trade deficit fell to an eight-month low in February as imports from China p,专门哟啪的微信群Barrett,lunged, temporarily providing a boost to President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda and economic growth in the first quarter.

The surprise second straight monthly narrowing in the trade gap reported by the Commerce Department on Wednesday was also driven by soaring aircraft exports, which are likely to reverse after Boeing halted deliveries of its troubled 737 MAX aircraft. MAX planes have been grounded indefinitely following two deadly crashes.

Economists warned the trade deficit would remain elevated regardless of whether the United States and China struck a trade deal that was to the White House’s liking because of Americans’ insatiable appetite for cheaper imports.

Talks between Washington and China to resolve the bitter trade war have been dragging. The United States is also embroiled in conflicts with other trading partners, including the European Union, contributing to big swings in exports and imports data in recent months.

“Even if trade negotiations are resolved in such a way as to reduce the bilateral trade deficit with China, one of the Trump administration’s stated goals, this would likely divert trade flows to other countries and have little impact on the top-line U.S. trade deficit,” said Emily Mandel, an economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

The trade deficit tumbled 3.4 percent to $49.4 billion in February, the lowest level since June 2018. Economists polled by had forecast the trade shortfall widening to $53.5 billion in February.

The politically sensitive goods trade deficit with China – a focus of the Trump administration’s protectionist trade policy – decreased 28.2 percent to $24.8 billion in February as imports from the world’s No. 2 economy plunged 20.2 percent,上海品茶419论坛Quaid,. U.S. exports to China jumped 18.2 percent in February.

Washington last year imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of goods imported from China, with Beijing retaliating with duties on $110 billion worth of American products. Trump has defended the duties as necessary to protect domestic manufacturers from what he says is unfair foreign competition.

Trump has delayed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. The White House argues that substantially reducing the trade deficit would lift annual economic growth by at least 3 percent on a sustainable basis, a feat that economists have said is impossible because of low productivity and population growth.

The economy grew上海品茶QQ 2.9 percent in 2018.

The dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies, while U.S. Treasury debt prices rose marginally. Stocks on Wall Street fell.


February’s smaller trade deficit suggests the economy will probably avoid a sharp slowdown in growth that had been feared at the start of the year. The goods trade deficit declined 1.7 percent to an eight-month low of $72.0 billion in February.

When adjusted for inflation, the overall goods trade deficit fell $1.8 billion to $81.8 billion, also the lowest since last June. Goldman Sachs raised its first quarter gross domestic product estimate by four-tenths of a percentage point to a 2.1 percent annualized rate.

The Atlanta Federal Reserve bumped up its GDP forecast to a 2.4 percent pace from a 2.3 percent rate. The economy grew at a 2.2 percent rate in the fourth quarter.

“It sounds like pencils are being sharpened in order to revise up first-quarter GDP forecasts,” said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Mar,上海妹子品茶微信Idaleen,kets in Toronto.

In February, goods exports increased 1.5 percent to $139.5 billion. The surge in goods exports is unlikely to be sustained given slowing global economic growth. The dollar’s strength last year means U.S.-manufactured goods are less competitive on foreign markets.

Shipments of civilian aircraft soared by $2.2 billion in February. Exports of motor vehicles and parts increased by $0.6 billion. There was a small rise in soybean exports. Economists expect soybean exports to remain moderate because of an outbreak of swine flu that has reduced demand for soybean meal in China.

In February, imports rose 0.2 percent to $259.1 billion. Consumer goods imports increased by $1.6 billion in February, led by a $2.1 billion rise in imports of cellphones and other household goods.

Imports of industrial supplies and materials fell by $1.2 billion. Capital goods imports rose slightly, pointing to slower business spending on equipment.

Crude oil imports fell to 173.7 million barrels, the lowest since March 1992, from 223.1 million barrels in January. An increase in domestic production has seen the United States become less dependent on foreign oil.

“We see more potential for stronger imports in coming months, which would reestablish a trend toward wider deficits,” said Andrew Hollenhorst, an economist at Citigroup in New York.

Ex-McKinsey chief Gupta says he was in solitary for weeks in U.S. jail

NEW DELHI ( ) – Rajat Gupta, one of the most prominent members of the global financial elite until he was convicted of insider trading in 2012, has revealed he was kept in solitary confi,上海品尝嫩茶Mabel,nement for weeks during his incarceration in an American federal prison.

Gupta, who ran the global management consultants McKinsey for nine years and was on the board of investment bank Goldman Sachs, said he was twice placed in a “special housing unit” – a euphemism for solitary confinement – at the Devens Correctional Facility in Ayer, Massachusetts.

The first time was only for a week but the second time he had to spend seven weeks there. And after that, Gupta said, he was transferred to a higher security federal prison on an adjoining site because prison officers decided he wasn’t suitable for a camp-type lockup because of his “poor living skills”.

There he joined more violent offenders for the final eight months of his time in jail. Altogether, he was locked up for 19 months before being released in January 2016.

India-born Gupta, now 70, disclosed his ordeal in his autobiography, Mind Without Fear, which was published this week, and in an interview with in New Delhi.

A representative of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons declined to comment on Gupta’s claims.

Gupta said when he was taken to the special housing unit the first time, he was handcuffed, strip-searched, given a special orange uniform to wear, called “the bad guy” by prison officers, lost access to almost all his possessions (such as a music player), and denied almost all access to visitors.

On the second occasion, his visitation rights were taken away for 60 days – more than the whole,上海品茶QQLandon, length of the solitary confinement.

Gupta said the first episode of solitary occurred because he bent down to tie his shoe lace just as the prison officer did one of the daily stand-up counts of prisoners. The second because he had created a pillow for his sore back by sewing together two towels and thus created an unauthorized object regarded as contraband.


Exercise during those weeks in solitary consisted of walking around a cage thirty feet by 10 feet once a day. Th上海品茶微信ere was also the chance of a few muttered greetings to other inmates walking the cage.

“I followed the rules as best I could, but I didn’t walk around like a repentant criminal. I felt more like a political prisoner,” Gupta says in the book of his relatively harsh treatment.

He says it was only by persuading guards not to take away his copy of the ancient Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad Gita, with its teachings on ethical dilemmas and the path to salvation, that helped keep him sane.

Gupta, who was found guilty by a New York jury of providing boardroom secrets he learned at Goldman to hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, still insists he is innocent of the charges under which he was convicted. Rajaratnam was locked up in the same higher security prison as Gupta after being convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy and the two met and even played cards and chess together there.

Gupta said his father was a political prisoner during India’s fight for independence from colonial ruler Britain. Ashwini Gupta was locked up repeatedly, beaten in jail until his flesh split open and lost one of his lungs to tuberculosis after being put in the same cell as an infected prisoner, according to Rajat Gupta.

“In many ways our situations could not have been more different – he was jailed for a noble cause and a high-minded ideal; I was jailed for alleged personal gain, for a fabricated white collar-crime and, at most, a c,上海品茶网Idaline,areless mistake.”

He said he thinks his father “would have been proud of the way I behaved in prison”.

But was Gupta himself too proud? And did this make his sentence tougher than it might have been? “Perhaps,” he acknowledges.

He said that he never heard his father “express a hint of bitterness or resentment towards the British” and Gupta said he was determined to be free of anger towards those whose actions had led to his imprisonment.

In his book, though, Gupta very much divides the world into individuals and organizations who supported him through his roughest days, and those who acted against his interests or simply stopped taking his phone calls.

There were plenty on both sides of the ledger.

Exclusive: U.S. regulators offer Congress olive branch on loans

NEW YORK (LPC/IFR) – U.S. regulators said they are open to revising restrictions on leveraged lending, offering an olive branch to a GOP-controlled Congress keen to roll back banking regulations.

The three main U.S. bank regulatory agencies, in recent letters seen by , said they could revisit the guidelines they put in place in 2013.

Critics say those guidelines have hampered business, and members of Congress started pressing for a rollback shortly after Donald Trump’s inauguration as president.

In theory, the guidelines prevent banks from loaning money when doing so would put the borrower’s leverage at six times or higher, or for companies that could not quickly pay down debt.

They were broadly intended to prevent the kind of egregious and wanton lending widely seen as contributing to the last global financial crisis.

US Senator Pat Toomey asked the Government Accountability Office – the investigative arm of Congress – if the guidelines rose to the level of formal rules.

The GAO decided in October that they do, meaning Congress has the right to amend or eliminate the guidelines – which many bankers feel have hampered growth – altogether.

But to forestall that development, the Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Fed,上海品茶水磨Gabriella,eral Deposit Insurance Corporation said they could seek further feedback on the guidelines.

The three agencies sent their letters to Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer, head of the House Financial Services Subcommit上海品茶微信tee, who asked them to stop enforcing the guidelines.

“This is positive,” said Richard Farley, head of the leveraged finance group at law firm Kramer Levin.

“It seems both Congress and regulators are looking towards a revised guidance from the agencies to avoid the 2013 guidance being revoked and leaving the market in limbo.”


Several specialists with knowledge of the situation said the response from regulators indicated a desire to avoid a protracted battle with a Congress inclined against regulation.

Under the 1996 Congressional Review Act, Congress is entitled to review – and vote to eliminate – formal regulations issued by government agencies.

Senator Toomey asked the GAO to decide whether the leveraged lending guidelines, created after the financial crisis, rose to the level of regulations that fall under the Act.

Experts say the three agencies have decided to revisit the guidelines, rather than risk a fight on Capitol Hill that could limit the ability to issue similar guidance in future.

Two people closely following the matter said the regulators had given Congress,上海外卖品茶群Idris, the opportunity to declare victory, while preserving their prerogatives.

Both described the decision as a purely political one that had little to do with the actual leveraged lending restrictions.

“If Congress votes them down, then the agencies are basically barred from coming back,” said Jacques Schillaci, a banking regulation specialist at law firm Linklaters.

“If the agencies now come out with something that addresses the concerns and gives banks a bit more leeway, it gives Toomey the ability to say: we got what we wanted.”

The three agencies declined to comment. Requests for comment went unanswered by the offices of Luetkemeyer and Toomey.


Bankers have frequently complained that the guidelines do not prevent highly leveraged lending from occurring, but only keep their own regulated institutions from getting the business.

Instead, they say, lenders not subject to the guidelines, such as non-bank investment firms, get to pick up the business that they cannot touch – and the numbers suggest they are right.

According to data from LPC, two-thirds of leveraged buyouts through the first three quarters of 2017 had leverage above six times – and more than 26% topped seven times.

The last time the percentage of LBOs with seven times leverage was this high was in 2007, just before the financial crisis kicked in.

And not all of that is from institutions exempt from the guidelines: mainstream banks are still able to a,上海品茶419论坛Kaiden,rrange deals well in excess of the six-times leverage threshold.

This can be done by inflating a company’s Ebitda through adjustments – which makes the leverage seem smaller – or by showing the company can generate enough cash to bring leverage down quickly thereafter.

Recent financings for Tekni-Plex and Avantor, for example, were all marketed with leverage of around or above seven times.

Whatever the methodology, the fact that the guidelines have not entirely prevented leverage topping six times suggests to some in the market that the fuss about them is overblown.

“The leveraged lending guidelines are a non-issue,” said Jay Ptashek, a leveraged finance partner at law firm Kirkland & Ellis.

“People understand the guard rails and are complying, whatever that means. Leverage is generally being maxed out within those guidelines.”

Japan studio arson attack a ‘blow to animation industry’: commentator

TOKYO ( ) – A suspected arson attack on a Japanese animation studio in which 30 people are believed to have been kil,上海品茶论坛Caitlin,led and scores injured will be a major blow to the nation’s famed animation industry, a film commentator said.

Kyoto Animation, based in Japan’s ancient capital of Kyoto, is known for popular series such as the “Sound! Euphonium”. Its “Free! Road to the Worl,上海品茶交友群Queena,d – The Dream” movie is due for release this mont,上海外卖品茶群Hal,h.

But the studio has an outsized impact on Japan’s noted animation industry that outstrips a list of the works it has produced, said Tokyo-based film commentator Yuichi Maeda.

“It’s one of the best and largest animation firms in Japan, and with that loss of life, many of the best hands at animation in the nation are likely to be dead,” Maeda said, his voice shaking. “It’s too painful to contemplate.”

“It has a huge presence in animation here. To have this many people die at once will be a huge blow to the Japanese animation industry.”

While some companies, such as Hayao Miyazaki’s “Studio Ghibli” were well known for the limpidness of their scenery and use of colors, or their detailed drawings, the strengths of Kyoto Animation, founded in 1981, stretched across the board.

“They really never did anything wrong. The animation was great, the story qua上海品茶工作室lity was really high. Overall, the balance was just amazing,” Miura said.

“…They do a huge variety of work, the stuff that everybody loves. They don’t make things that people hate,” Miura said. “This incident is just unimaginable.”

House Democrat seeks details of Treasury debt limit plans

WASHINGTON ( ) – A leading Democrat in Congress asked the U.S. Treasury on Tuesday to advise lawmakers about when it intends to seek an increase in the U.S. debt ceiling, an issue that could become part of the debate over President Donald Trump’s border wall.

Representative Richard Neal, who chairs the tax committee in the House of Representatives, requested details about the Trump administration’s debt limit plans in a Jan. 29 letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Treasury officials received Neal’s letter and were reviewing it, a spokeswoman said.

The current limit on U.,上海喝茶资源群Kaia,S. debt extends through March 1, and analysts say Congress will likely have to reinstate the ceiling at a level well above $20 trillion or risk a first-ever default that would damage U.S. credit. Treasury should be able to sustain government obligations for longer by taking various measures, while using cash on hand and incoming revenues.

“The United States must continue to pay all of its bills on time and in full. I look forward,上海品茶水磨Gabriel, to hearing from you about what adjustment in the debt limit is needed,” Neal said in the letter to Mnuchin.

Neal’s House Ways and Means Committee released the letter as the debt limit showed signs of becoming embroiled in the debate over Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, which led to a 35-day shutdown of about one-quarter of the federal government.

Congress and Trump reopened the government last week with a measure that will expire on Feb. 15, to give negotiators time to work out an agreement.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has urged Trump to consider the possibility of making the debt limit part of ongoing negotiations over border security, according to CNN.

The idea was quickly rejected by Democrats, who have accused Trump of using federal workers furloughed by the shutdown as “hostages” in his bid to win congressional approval for his border wall.

“T上海品茶会所he debt ceiling. No more hostages!” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer told reporters. “That’s not a good idea. We ought to be negotiating to get an,上海外卖品茶群Kaia, agreement.”

In his letter, Neal blamed Trump’s 2017 tax cuts for a significant drop in government revenue and warned that effects of the shutdown could cut revenue.

Cardinal’s trial puts French Church in glare of Catholic abuse scandal

LYON, France ( ) – The Roman Catholic archbishop of Lyon goes on trial on Monday charged with failing to act on his上海品茶微信torical allegations of sexual abuse of boy scouts by a priest in his diocese.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin is the highest-profile cleric to be caught up in the pedophile scandal inside the Catholic Church in France, and will stand trial alongside five others from his diocese.

While most of the recent focus in the Church’s global abuse crisis has been on Australia and Chile, Barbarin’s trial puts the spotlight on Europe’s senior clergy again, just as Pope Francis prepares to host a meeting of senior bishops from around the world in Rome next month to discuss the protection of minors.

Barbarin is accused of failing to report allegations of sexual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s by Father Bernard Preynat – a priest who has admitted sexual abuse, according to his lawyer, and is due to go on trial later this year.

The charges carry a potential three-year prison sentence and fines of up to about $50,000.

Barbarin told the newspaper Le Monde in August 2017 that he had never concealed allegations against Preynat, but acknowledged shortcomings in his handling of them.

“I myself realize that my response at the time was inadequate,” he said.

Barbarin’s lawyer, Jean-Felix Luciani, said he expected Barbarin to be acquitted.

“He’s accused of covering up for Preynat, whereas in fact it was Barbarin who triggered this whole process,” Luciani said. “You don’t repair one injustice with another.”


Barbarin told Le Monde in 2017 that he had previously opened an investigation of Preynat under church or canon law because a judicial investigation was moving so slowly.

Barbarin, who moved to the Lyon diocese in 2002, has said he became aware of Preynat’s activities in 2007. He eventually removed the priest from his post in 2015.

Barbarin told Le Monde that he had suspended two other priests and called in the judiciary “when I learned of allegations of recent abuses, in 2006 and 2014”. But faced with allegations of abuses said to have taken place 15 or 20 years earlier, he said he “knocked on doors” for advice, but received no satisfac,上海品茶论坛Kailani,tory answer.

Lyon prosecutors had previously investigated Barbarin but dropped the probe in the summer of 2016 without a detailed explanation. However, an association of alleged victims called Parole Liberee (“Freed Word”) used a provision of French law to compel the cardinal to stand trial.

Pope Francis has come under fire over the Church’s handling of the spreading sexual abuse crisis.

In September, researchers said they had found indications of sexual abuse in Germany by 1,670 Catholic clerics over the course of seven decades. On Friday, the Vatican said an Argentine bishop working in a top Vatican financial department was under preliminary investigation for sexual abuse.

Pope Francis himself met Barbarin in early 2016, and later told the Catholic newspaper La Croix that it would make no sense,上海外卖品茶群Hadleigh, for the cardinal to resign before any eventual trial.

“According to the information at my disposal, Cardinal Barbarin took the appropriate measures, he took things in hand. He is brave, creative, a missionar,上海品茶微信Radcliff,y,” Francis was quoted as saying.

Written by shpc on August 12, 2019 Categories: 上海品茶微信 Tags: , ,

French ministers aghast at support for boxer who fought police

PARIS,上海品茶水磨Nadine, ( ) – A former French boxing champion who surrendered to police after he was filmed raining blows on riot officers during a “yellow vest” protest has received tens of thousands of euros in public donations, infuriating government ministers.

A website set up to raise funds for the boxer Christophe Dettinger showed early on Tuesday that it had received pledges of more than 114,000 euros ($130,000) to help him.

Saturday’s assault by Dettinger on police blocking a bridge over the river Seine has come to symbolize the increasingly violent nature of the protests against President Emmanuel Macron’s government.

Some among the protesters have hailed Dettinger a hero, but senior officials took offense.

“Contributing to a fundraising kitty to support someone who attacked an officer is tantamount to being an accomplice to these grave acts of violence,” said Marlene Schiappa, junior minister for equality.

Labour Minister Muriel Penicaud called the campaign “incomprehensible”. “How can these people tell their children, the young, that violence is the answer?” she told CNews television.

Leetchi, an online fundraising platform and unit of Credit Mutuel Arkea bank, later on Tuesday said it was no longer disclosing how much had b,上海喝茶资源群Faith,een raised. It then closed the page to further cash contributions, though it said all citizens had the right to raise funds to defend themselves.

“We will of course be very vigilant over how this money is used,” Leetchi said in a statement.

“We will run checks to ensure it is only used to pay legal bills on presentation of a lawyer’s bill.”

Several Facebook pages entitled “Support for Christophe Dettinger” have been set up. One had more than 3,000 “likes”.


Dettinger turned himself in on Monday, saying he was trying to defend himself and other demonstrators, though he acknowledged: “I reacted badly”.

The boxer remains in police custody.

The twice national light-heavyweight champion was caught on camera jumping over the railings of a pedestrian bridge blocked by baton-wielding police before swinging blows at two officers, forcing them to retreat.

One was floored briefl,上海品茶QQGabi,y, where Dettinger was seen kicking out at him, but the policeman managed to get up and retreat. Punches also connected with an officer’s head, footage showed.

Nicknamed the “Gypsy of Massy”, the 1.92m (6ft 4in) tall boxer was taking part in an eighth Saturday of anti-gov上海品茶微信ernment protests that have undermined Macron’s authority.

“Good luck to you, hero of the people!” wrote one supporter, Karim Slimani, on Dettinger’s fundraising website page.

The “yellow vests” movement – named after the fluorescent jackets all French motorists have to carry in their vehicles – started in mid-November as a protest against a fuel tax but have since grown into a broader backlash against the government.