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Trump considering Senator Heitkamp of North Dakota for Cabinet: source

HOUSTON ( ) – President-elect Donald Trump is considering Democratic U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota for either the interior or energy secretary positions in his Cabinet, a source familiar with the matter told on Thursday.

Trump is also considering Joe Manchin, another conservative Democratic senator who represents the coal state of West Virginia, and Gary Cohn, president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc, for energy secretary, U.S. media reported on Thursday.

previously reported that Trump planned to meet with Heitkamp on Friday, according to his transition team. Trump requested the meeting with Heitkamp, the source said.

In a statement, Heitkamp said she appreciated “the president-elect inviting me for a meeting,” adding she hoped to “work with the president-elect and all of my colleagues in Congress on both sides of the aisle to best support my state.”

The statement did not address whether a Cabinet position was being discussed, but Heitkamp’s spokeswoman, Abbie McDonough, said the senator “has a long record of working with both Republicans and Democrats.”

Heitkamp, along with Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, negotiated a deal in Congress last December to lift the decades-old ban on crude oil exports in exchange for a multi-year extension of tax credits for wind and solar energy.

Heitkamp has been a supporter of domestic energy development, both in fossil fuels and renewable resources.

North Dakota is a major source of crude oil, coal and wind power.

Heitkamp is popular in her home state, though not all North Dakota state politicians voiced full support for the senator potentially joining the Trump administration.

“I don’t see (Heitkamp) being in any Cabinet position,” Wayne Stenehjem, a Republican and North Dakota’s attorney general, told .

She was elected to the Senate in 2012 in a close race, putting her up for re-election in two years. Should she join the Cabinet, her Senate seat would be filled by an appointment by North Dakota’s Republican governor. Republicans expect to hold 52 seats in the 100-seat chamber when the new Congress meets in January.

‘SERIOUS ABOUT COAL’

Politico, citing unnamed sources, said Manchin was being considered for energy secretary. It quoted one of the sources as saying Manchin “is being considered to show the coal people how serious Trump is about coal.”

Politico said Manchin told the website that he and his staf爱上海419f had not been contacted by Trump’s transition team, adding: “If I can do anything that would help my state of West Virginia, and my country, I would be happy to talk to anybody.”

Manchin’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Manchin is up for re-election in 2018 in West Virginia, an increasingly Republican state where coal jobs have been threatened by cheaper natural gas prices.

His 2012 election campaign stressed his opposition to climate change legislation that would have brought federal incentives for the United States to transition to cleaner-burning energy sources and away from fossil fuels such as coal.

had reported on Wednesday that Goldman’s Cohn was being considered to head the White House budget office or another post in the Trump administration.

Citing unnamed sources, Fox Business Network reported on Thursday that Trump was also considering nominating Cohn to head the Energy Department. Cohn met with Trump in New York on Tuesday.

Cohn, a former Goldman commodities trader who joined the firm in 1990, has been widely considered to be the heir apparent to Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein.

Another reported contender for the Energy and Interior positions, Oklahoma oil magnate Harold Hamm, said on Thursday he would recommend that Trump nominate Republican U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, one of the president-elect’s energy advisers, for energy secretary.

“I’ve put his name forward,” Hamm said on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” program. “He’d sort of do a better job in that post than me.”

New ‘superfunds’ gear up to manage Britain’s deficit-ridden pensions

* The Pension Superfund, Clara Pensions plan first deals

* Up to 10 more possible entrants to superfund market

* Superfunds are cheaper alternative to pension insurance

* Model is new but has similarities to Dutch pension system

By Carolyn Cohn

LONDON, May 15 ( ) – Britain’s company pension schemes, grappling with ageing former employees and low investment returns, may start to transfer their assets into new so-called superfunds in the coming weeks, according to people involved in the process.

There are around 2 trillion pounds ($2.6 trillion) in more than 5,000 UK private defined benefit, or final salary pension schemes. Nearly two-thirds are in deficit, putting a burden on companies looking to strike merger deals or restructure debt.

Although most companies have closed these generous pension schemes to new members, they still need to pay them to long-serving or former employees. Firms with large pension deficits include former nationalised industries such as British Airways and BAE Systems.

The problem is Europe-wide, as people live longer and years of central bank quantitative easing have depressed interest rates, leading to gaps between the fixed sums the pension schemes pay out and the income they receive from their investments.

But through superfunds, Britain has come up with a new way for companies to get those pensions off their books.

The superfunds are designed to consolidate billions of pounds in collective assets from various company schemes, aiming to benefit from economies of scale and manage the money more efficient.

The first deals will be small, but the superfunds are aiming to manage billions of pounds in assets.

The Pension Superfund, founded by industry veteran Edi Truell, and Clara Pensions, whose chief executive is former hedge fund manager Adam Saron, both have deals under review by the Pensions Regulator, the firms said, without naming the company schemes.

The Pension Superfund told it expected a 10 million pound “seed” deal to launch in the next few weeks.

“The first deal is absolutely tiny, it ticks all of the boxes,” Truell said. “Everybody is trying to make sure we set the right precedent.”

He added that the superfund had drawn interest from pension schemes collectively managing 60 billion pounds.

Clara Pensions told it had had conversations with more than 60 pension schemes totalling 15 billion pounds in liabilities and it would be “very happy” if its first deal launched in the third quarter.

The deal would total less than 100 million pounds, Saron said.

The Pensions Regulator declined to comment on the proposed deals.

SUPERFUND RISKS

The British government issued proposals last year on improving the pensions landscape, after high-profile cases of employers’ underfunding of pensions, such as following the collapse of department store chain BHS.

It said the superfund model, devised by trade body the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, could be a more affordable option than a bulk annuity, where a company transfers pension liabilities to an insurer such as Legal & General or Aviva.

The model is new but has similarities to the Dutch pension system, where individual company pension schemes have been joining bigger, sector-wide schemes. It is also similar to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF), a UK industry-backed lifeboat fund, which manages the pension assets of failing companies.

However critics of the model say it provides less protection for pensioners than a bulk annuity, an insurance policy that guarantees pensions will be paid in full. If a superfund fails, the pension schemes will likely move into the PPF, which can mean a cut in benefits for many scheme members.

Aside from the Pension Superfund and Clara Pensions, up to 10 more firms are or have been considering setting up pension superfunds, according to Joe Dabrowski, head of defined benefit at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association.

Several of the potential new players are backed by private equity or other alternative capital, sources said, including Christofferson Robb’s CRC Superfund.

Christofferson Robb, a $4.6 billion U.S. asset manager that specialises in structured credit and alternatives and has a UK entity, is waiting for more regularity clarity before deciding whether to launch, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Simon Willes, executive chairman of Gazelle, an adviser to the CRC Superfund, said a superfund would need to attract around 3-5 billion pounds in British pension assets to be viable.

The industry sources did not name the other possible new entrants.

WAITING GAME

However there have been no deals yet and many superfunds, employers and trustees would prefer to wait for full details, including how much capital they will have to hold, before they go ahead, industry sources said.

The superfunds are expected to be regulated by the Pensions Regulator, which issued guidelines in December. The watchdog said at the time it would examine any superfunds launching ahead of the expected legislation, to check they were financially sustainable.

A government consultation with industry players and watchdogs early this year, on how the funds will be regulated, drew a critical response from the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority, which flagged “the risk of arbitrage between regulatory regimes”, as well as from insurers concerned about the threat to their business.

Insurers have to put large amounts of capital behind their bulk annuity deals, making that model around 10-15 percent more expensive than a pensions superfund, industry sources say.

The consultation has made other possible superfunds wary of entering the market, as tougher regulation could make the deals more expensive and wreck their business plans.

Alistair Russell-Smith, partner at consultants Hymans Robertson, said some potential new entrants had “fairly developed proposals”, but were waiting for the outcome of the consultation.

With the British government distracted by Brexit, the timeline is unclear, though Marc Hommel, senior pensions adviser at consultants EY, said the consultation results “could come out any time in the next few months”.

A pensions department spokesman said the government was considering the roughly 60 consultation respon爱上海419ses and would issue more information “in due course”.

European stocks claw back up after four-day drop

( ) – European shares rose on Tuesday, snapping a four-day losing streak, boosted by healthcare stocks and on indications that UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal to exit the European Union could gain some support.

The pan-region STOXX 600 index added to early gains and rose 0.8 percent, led by Switzerland and Paris’s near 1 percent jump, followed by Frankfurt’s 0.6 percent gain. Milan rose 0.4 percent, while London’s FTSE closed 0.26 percent higher.

Dublin, considered a barometer of Brexit mood, bounced off a five-week low hit early in the session to end 0.2 percent higher after two eurosceptic lawmakers indicated they might agree to support May’s Brexit deal after parliament took control over the Brexit process for a day.

Lawmakers will vote on a range of Brexit options on Wednesday, giving parliament a chance to indicate whether it can agree on a deal with closer ties to Brussels before trying to push the government in that direction.

“Anything that can be perceived as lowering the ‘hard Brexit’ risk would reduce the probability of one the major downside risks to the global economic outlook,” said Kallum Pickering, senior economist at Berenberg.

“Be it the parliament in the UK, which wants to retain close ties to the EU, gaining more control, or indeed Theresa May having a better chance of passing her deal.”

Nearly three years after the 2016 EU membership referendum, and four days before Britain was supposed to leave the bloc, it remains unclear how, when or even if Brexit will take place, with parliament and the nation still bitterly divided.

Over the last four sessions, regional stocks had lost 2.6 percent driven by concerns about a softening global economy, uncertainty over Brexit and a possible U.S recession.

Another note of caution on Tuesday came from a survey that showed German consumer morale deteriorated unexpectedly heading into April, suggesting household spending could weaken in the second quarter.

German payments company Wirecard soared 26 percent, leading gains on the STOXX 600, after an investigation at the company’s Singapore office found no material wrongdoing.

The healthcare index was the biggest gainer among STOXX 600 sectors, up 1.5 percent driven by gains in ConvaTec Group and Novartis.

ConvaTec rose nearly 6 percent after Swedish business daily Dagens Industri said several players are running the numbers on the UK medical device maker for a possible buyout after the stock’s recent slump.

Airbus’ 2 percent gains was among the biggest boost to stocks in Paris, after the planemaker signed a deal worth tens of billions of dollars to sell 300 aircraft to China.

London’s FTSE 100 was pulled higher by energy stocks as oil prices climbed, although a recovery in the pound put an upper limit on the FTSE’s gains. [.L] [O/R]

Ocado rose 4 percent as the British online supermarket partnered with Australia’s Coles Group – its fifth major overseas deal in less than 18爱上海419 months.

Meanwhile, Ferguson Plc was among the biggest weights among European stocks, falling 7.2 percent after the world’s largest heating and plumbing equipment supplier said trading profit will likely be at the lower end of analyst expectations this year.

World’s largest cruise operator Carnival dropped 8.5 percent after it cut its annual profit forecast, expecting a hit from higher fuel prices and a strong dollar.

Banks and auto stocks were the only laggards on the STOXX benchmark, down around 0.2 percent each.

House-Senate negotiators agree on U.S. highway bill, revive Ex-Im Bank

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S House and Sena爱上海te lawmakers reached agreement on Tuesday on a $305 billion, five-year transportation bill that would revive the politically embattled Export-Import Bank while funding roads, bridges and mass transit.

The legislation, which has support from leading Republicans and Democrats, is expected to reach the floor of each chamber by Friday, when a short-term funding measure runs out. If approved and signed into law by President Barack Obama, it would be the first U.S. highway measure in a decade to last longer than two years.

The legislation would renew the Ex-Im Bank’s charter through Sept. 30, 2019, months after it expired on June 30 in the face of conservative opposition.

The measure to revive the bank, which helps Boeing Co and other companies with foreign competitors, has wide support in Congress. The agreement would reduce Ex-Im’s total lending limit by $5 billion to $135 billion and provide a number of reforms aimed at improving transparency and governance.

The transportation bill falls short of the six-year, $480 billion package the Obama administration proposed earlier this year as a step toward reversing the deterioration of U.S. infrastructure and accommodating economic and population growth.

Negotiators from the House and Senate released a 1,302-page conference report that also includes provisions to support rail transportation and auto industry whistleblowers.

It would also raise penalties for automakers that violate vehicle safety rules and meet Obama industry spending targets for defect investigations and other vehicle safety measures, should regulators meet prescribed reforms.

Recession fears, Brexit keep German 10-year bunds below zero

* Euro zone periphery govt bond yields tmsnrt.rs/2ii2Bqr

By Virginia Furness

LONDON, March 26 ( ) – Ten-year German government bond yields remained below zero as recession fears dominated sentiment and Brexit woes drain market liquidity.

Government bond yields globally stayed low as investors sought safe-haven assets. The U.S. yield curve — inverted at the short end — indicates recessionary concerns.

British lawmakers voted to take control of parliament for a day from Prime Minister Theresa May, meaning they should now vote on various Brexit options on Wednesday. That should indicate whether they can agree on a deal with closer ties to Brussels, which most investors would welcome.

“While this does not resolve the current Brexit impasse, it is a step in the right direction,” wrote Berenberg economist Kallum Pickering in a note on Tuesday. But “… more power for parliament contains the risk of a no-deal Brexit.”

Cyril Regnat, rates strategist at Natixis, warned that a no-deal Brexit would cause Germany’s 10-year bund yield to fall to minus 20 basis points, triggering “more flattening of the 20-30 year curve, and a very strong widening of credit indices.”

That, h上海龙凤419e said, would likely prompt a response from the European Central Bank.

“We would expect the ECB to do more. They won’t be able to normalise policy, and would start monitoring financial markets and perhaps restart the asset-purchase programme.”

German government bond yields remained near 2 1/2-year lows on Tuesday, as fears of global economic slowdown continued to dictate investment strategies and investors struggle to make sense of the blizzard of Brexit headlines.

The U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell to their lowest since December 2017 on Monday, causing the curve between three-month bills and 10-year notes to invert further as investors evaluated last week’s dovish pivot by the Federal Reserve.

German government bond yields sank into negative territory after worse-than-expected manufacturing data on Friday spooked investors.

A surprising rise in German business morale lifted yields briefly on Monday, but Brexit woes and poor German consumer morale on Tuesday saw yields turn down again.

German consumer morale deteriorated heading into April, a survey showed on Tuesday, suggesting that household spending might weaken in the second quarter.

Domestic demand is expected to be the sole driver of growth this year in Europe’s largest economy as exporters struggle with a global slowdown, trade disputes and Brexit uncertainty.

Germany’s 10-year govenrment bond yield, the benchmark for the euro zone, fell to a low of -0.024 percent, close to the -0.0313 low hit on Friday.

Natixis’s Regnat said that markets were consolidating around a technical level, having broken below zero percent.

“We have seen a very small tightening of the Italy/Germany spread, which shows we are having some kind of consolidation … but liquidity is abnormally low because of Brexit,” he said.

At Trump’s presidential rallies, a combustible mix of glee, fear

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. ( ) – “We’re not gonna take it anymore,” a crowd of thousands sang as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump entered a South Carolina convention center on Tuesday night as a 1980s heavy metal song by the band Twisted Sister blared from speakers.

The billionaire real-estate developer’s packed rallies have been among the liveliest events in the long build-up to the November 2016 U.S. presidential election.

But they are increasingly becoming known for their undercurrent of aggression, which escalated into a physical altercation over the weekend when white Trump supporters attacked a black protester at his rally, to the candidate’s approval.

Out in the crowds, the mix of emotions is heady, setting a Trump rally apart from those of virtually all the other Republican and Democratic White House hopefuls. The rallies combine a gleeful rejection of establishment politics, a fear that the country is about to be transformed into something un-American, and a simmering aggression toward those who dissent from Trump’s world view.

Although he has been the front-runner almost without interruption for four months in the race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, Trump is not the only candidate who can draw more supporters than a venue has chairs.

But at rallies other than Trump’s, it would be unusual for disputes over blocked views between those who are standing and those who are sitting to escalate into yelling matches, as happened a couple of times mid-speech on Tuesday. On one occasion, police officers intervened to calm tempers.

At a Trump rally in Alabama on Saturday attended predominantly by white people, Trump supporters punched and kicked a black civil-rights activist who shouted “Black lives mat爱上海ter!” as Trump called from the stage for the activist to be thrown out.

Trump later said the activist was “obnoxious” and deserved to be “roughed up.”

Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state who is the Democratic front-runner, criticized Trump for his response. “Violence is never, ever acceptable,” she said on Tuesday.

Such talk did not deter the thousands crowding into the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in South Carolina, one of the first states to vote in next year’s primary elections that will help determine the two parties’ presidential nominees.

Many supporters spoke of the thrill of shunning career politicians – a label that captures all three Democratic contenders and 11 of the 14 Republican contenders – for a man who has never held elected office but appears to know how to run a business.

“We should be done with politicians,” Sue Remillard, 67, said, her facial expression showing disgust. “I want a change. I’m tired of politicians.”

Two of Trump’s Republican rivals are similarly outsiders: Ben Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon, and Carly Fiorina, a former corporate executive whose business accomplishments are less tangible to many Americans than the Trump-branded hotels dotting major cities and vacation resorts.

A /Ipsos poll released on Wednesday showed that 37 percent of Republicans would vote for Trump, putting him far ahead of his nearest rival, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who stood at 11 percent. The online poll of 352 Republicans over the past four days had a credibility interval of plus or minus 6 percentage points.

At the rally, Gary Johnson, 64, praised Trump as someone “not afraid to tell you how it is,” and said Trump was better suited to handle foreign policy than Carson. “I was on the fence until the whole thing with Paris, and his lack of knowledge on foreign affairs,” he said of Carson, referring to the Nov. 13 attacks in the French capital.

Asked what he would do about the Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks, Trump has said he would locate the Iraqi oil fields from which the militant group draws much of its revenue and “bomb the shit out of them.”

Some Trump supporters interviewed at Tuesday’s rally said that foreigners coming to the United States are trying to transform it beyond recognition and only Trump has the gumption to acknowledge this and stop it.

The thought moved Carolyn McClintick close to tears.

“Sharia law is so brutal,” McClintick said, dressed in the red, white and blue colors of the American flag, as she described the Islamic body of law that she said she feared might end up governing her daughters’ and granddaughters’ lives.

“They’re in our country, they’re going to live under our laws,” she said.

Arguing it is necessary to prevent militant Islamist violence, Trump has said he wants surveillance of mosques and would not rule out a database to track all U.S. Muslims. He also said he would bring back waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning used in the interrogation of some detainees by former President George W. Bush’s administration. President Barack Obama’s administration, among others, considers it torture.

At Tuesday’s event, Trump filled the stage for more than an hour with his characteristic improvised pitch for voters: because he is great, he says, and because everything he does is great, then it can be inferred that if he becomes president the country will be great.

But a new voice appeared on Trump’s stage, too, that of his wife, Melania, a jewelry designer and former model. She had 16 words for the crowd: “Good evening. Isn’t he the best? He will be the best president ever. We love you.”

For more on the 2016 U.S. presidential race and to learn about the undecided voters who determine elections, visit the website. (here)

Celta interested in Rafinha

The La Liga side’上海419论坛s director has confirmed that his club is willing to sign the 24-year-old from Camp Nou.

Celta Vigo’s sporting director Felipe Minambres has revealed that Célticos are interested in signing Rafinha from Barcelona.

The 24-year-old is not going through his best period at the Catalans as he is yet to feature in a La Liga game this season. Even though Rafinha’s father has recently stated that midfielder has no desire to leave Barcelona regardless of his situation, the arrival of Philippe Coutinho might change things for the 24-year-old.

Meanwhile Celta’s officials confirmed their interest in the player, who has previously been a part of Célticos on a loan.

“We are in contact with Rafinha,” Minambres said, according to Goal.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…

“There are options and we want to advance them in the coming days.”

The sporting director was also questioned about a potential return of Denis Suarez, but he refused to get involved into statements about him.

“I think it’s very complicated,” Celta’s sporting director added. “They are difficult situations.

“Independent of the Coutinho signing, Denis has a lot of quality and I’m sure he will keep getting minutes at Barcelona.”

Klopp: “The match against Sevilla won’t affect us”

Jürgen Klopp denied that there is a bad atmosphere in the locker room following a 3-3 with Sevilla despite being 3-0 in front during the halftime – the German coach said that “we are not in kindergarten.”

Liverpool threw away a three-goal lead on Tuesday in Spain to draw 3-3 and missed out on the chance to secure qualification into the Champions League round of 16, according to ESPN. The German coach prepares his side to face Chelsea in the upcoming Premier League match and he is certain that the players know that the only way is to move on and be more focused the next time.

The former BVB coach spoke about this situation as he said: “I’m not sure we have to lift them. We are not in kindergarten where we have to lift [players] for everything. We have to talk about the things. Yes, we made mistakes and we were passive. In a lot of situations, we were deep as a group and we didn’t pl爱上海419ay football anymore. That’s all true.”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.

The German added: “That’s how it is with games and the result is only one [piece of] information. We have much more information from a game. We made the analysis, but it will be a difficult game against Chelsea.”

Jürgen Klopp also made a comment about Alberto Moreno and his poor performance in this match: “I had a talk, of course, to Alberto and I am really happy about his shape, I am really happy about his performances. Yes, I know in this game it was obviously [not his best] and that’s then really my responsibility. I could have done different things and obviously, it was difficult in Sevilla with all the circumstances — everyone was talking to him like talking to him like a family member. He left there but a lot of people are still there who he knows well.”

Wenger certain that Burnley will test his side

Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal coach, is expecting a difficult match as his side are about to face Burnley – and he thinks that it will be a completely different match from the north London derby against Tottenham.

Goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez secured a 2-0 win over Spurs at the Emirates last weekend. But Wenger knows his side will have to break down a deep-lying Burnley defence while being on their guard at the other end of the pitch, according to Sky Sports. Tottenham wanted to play football and have possession but he can’t expect that from Burnley.

The experienced French coach spoke about his side’s latest performance against Tottenham as he said: “The intensity of the game was total because both teams went for it. Both teams, every time they won the ball, went forward so the intensity was higher. Every game gives you a different problem to sort out for you to find a strategic solution to be efficient.”Juan Mata backs Solskjaer to end Man United’s trophy drought Andrew Smyth – Juan Mata is convinced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will end Manchester United’s trophy-drought sooner rather than later.

Arsene Wenger also added that he can’t expect such a thing against his upcoming opponent: “Against Burnley, that will be different. They are a team who maybe play a bit deeper than Totte爱上海nham because they have a strong defensive efficiency. You have to keep your nerve, even if you have the ball, to be calm and accurate. You have to be defensively strong as well because they are very efficient going forward.”

The former coach of AS Monaco also made a comment on Burnley’s recent form – nobody expected Sean Dyche’s team to be that high at the Premier League table but they managed to do so and they are, instead of the relegation battle, close to the Europa League qualification places: “They are the most unexpected team to be there with 22 points. You cannot deny that that’s for sure.”

Lampard: Chelsea can still get there

Frank Lampard says Chelsea still has a shot to win the Premier League

The legendary ex-midfielder believes it’ll be hard to stop Manchester City’s unbelievable performance, but nobody should write Chelsea off.

It’s Pep Guardiola’s men who lead the league right now, with Manchester United being second, Tottenham third and Chelsea fourth.

City and Chelsea have met earlier this season when Guardiola’s men beat Conte’s side 1-0. In fact, that defeat led to Chelsea surprisingly losing their next game to Crystal Palace.

Frank Lampard played for both sides and became a Chelsea legend as he played for the Blues for 13 years. He believes the club still have a chance at the title.

“It’s a possibility, but this year’s going to be difficult because Manchester City have started so well. The reality is that they’ve opened up a lead and have a very strong squad,” Lampard told Omnisport.

“I think Chelsea, for sure, will be competitive. Chelsea have to be established to stay in the top four every year because they have to play Champions League football,” he added.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…

The former midfielder liked how Conte’s men played against rivals Manchester United.

“We’ll see. Manchester City have played very well but the performance against Manchester United from Chelsea was very impressive. If they play at that level, Chelsea can beat any team.”

Lampard also talked about Antonio Conte and how Chelsea’s performance changed under him.

“Antonio Conte came to Chelsea at a time when they finished 10th in the year before. It was a difficult period for the club,” he said.

“Last season they won the league comfortably because of Conte’s management to a big degree,” Lampard continued.

The Chelsea legend concluded b上海龙凤419y praising the job Conte has been doing and said he hopes the Italian will stay.

“Unfortunately, in the Premier League, if you don’t win every game, people start talking about your job. But I think with Conte, everybody close to Chelsea knows what a great manager he is, and I hope he stays.”

Moyes still confident that he is good enough

David Moyes said that he is still “a good manager” as he failed to prove himself multiple times in his previous clubs – he was sacked by Manchester United, Real Sociedad and Sunderland but he believes that he can prove his haters wrong with West Ham上海龙凤419.

Moyes was appointed as a replacement of Slaven Bilic who had been sacked at the start of this week – the Scotish manager has signed a contract until the end of this season and he wants to show that he has got qualities to be a Premier League coach.  He had 11 successful years with Everton but he failed to continue with that in any other club.

The former Red Devils manager spoke about this chance as he said, according to ESPN: “It’s good for me. I am back in, it’s what I do. I want to do well, I want the team to do well and it’s good for West Ham, I think I am a good manager. Sometimes you have to repair things and I have things I need to repair. My biggest challenge is to get the team ready and the games come thick and fast.”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 also spoke about the criticism on the social media: “There are so many avenues to voice your opinion. The best thing to do is win games and get the supporters behind the team. The players need to stand up as well.”

Moyes will try to choose just players who are willing to fight for West Ham: “There will be no favours. If they don’t do the running then they are not playing. I am in a hurry and they need to be as well. Once they know they are not performing they need to take responsibility. We will give them sessions and plenty of them, it’ll be tough for them.”

Mascherano: River Plate over Liverpool?

Despite rumours about Javier Mascherano joining Liverpool, the Argentine says he would choose River Plate over the Premier League side

The 33-year-old is considering his options at Barcelona and has admitted that he would welcome the opportunity to return to his former club. River Plate’s academy produced Javier Mascherano and he might as well move back for the last few years of his career.

Despite his still valid contract, the defender has slipped behind Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti in Ernesto Valverde’s priorities when it comes to picking the starting defense and that caused Mascherano’s uncertainty about his future.

The Argentine has admitted that he may be on the move in 2018, but couldn’t give an exact answer as to where he would go.

“My problem is this is not guaranteed, and I could be a prisoner of my own words, if the move does not happen I may be accused of lying.”Valverde cools down controversies at the club Nedim Maric – Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde spoke at the press conference ahead of Barca’s Inter clash in the second fixture of the Champions League.While Barcelona started…

“But the truth is that this is what I have thought about, but I have a good relationship with the club’s president Rodolfo D’Onofrio and we speak regularly,” Mas爱上海cherano added about a possible transfer move to River Plate.

“My future has nothing to do with money, I used to make my own decisions but now they’re done by my family, I cannot forget my kids and their situation,” he explained.

“What will I be doing in January or summer? I have no idea,” the defender admitted.

Since Mascherano left his beloved team in Argentina, he has played at Corinthians, West Ham, Liverpool and Barcelona and is approaching an astonishing 600 appearances at club level.

Despite his wishes to return to River Plate, speculations have been around Mascherano getting an invitation back to Anfield, as Jurgen Klopp is looking to add experience to the defense of the Reds. Either way, him leaving Barcelona seems more than possible at this point.

Guardiola praises Ag\u00fcero as he equalled the goal record

Pep Guardiola seems to be thrilled after Sergio Agüero equalled the club’s all-time goalscoring record on Saturday as his side beat Burnley 3-0 at home.

The Argentine striker scored a first-half penalty and he now has 177 City goals – the same amount as Eric Brook. Agüero made his first appearance since the car accident he had three weeks ago and he impressed the Spanish coach.

“It is one more goal and he is going to get one,” Guardiola claimed, according to Sky Sports. “He is going to get an amazing record and hopefully the next one is not the last one.”Wijnaldum looking to repeat Champions League success Nedim Maric – Liverpool are the reigning win上海龙凤419ners of the Champions League. However, this isn’t stopping them for aiming to get the glory once again.After a perfect…

The Citizens are now at the top of the table, five points ahead of their local rivals Manchester United after the Red Devils lost 2-1 at Huddersfield. And Guardiola has to be happy with his side’s attacking force – they managed to score 16 goals in their last four games.

“We play to score goals and to create as many chances as possible,” the Spaniard said. “Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. Our expectations we have to handle and in every game we play, we have to try to win. It’s important at the back we didn’t concede and up front we created a lot. To score three goals against Burnley is not easy.”

Guardiola also made a comment on a controversial penalty decison as Bernardo Silva came down easily after goalkeeper Nick Pope’s tackle: “I saw on TV and it’s a penalty. He touched the right foot of Bernardo. Bernardo is a guy who only wants to play football. The intention is to take the ball. Maybe the rain on the pitch made the difference for the goalkeeper.”

Liverpool skipper impressed by Coutinho’s impact

Jordan Henderson hailed his Brazilian team-mate following a tough victory over Leicester City.

Liverpool have sealed important three points as they won with a result of 2-3 over the Foxes at Kind Power Stadium.

One player definitely stood out from the others and that was Philippe Coutinho. The 25-year-old set up Mohamed Salah with a precise cross for the first goal and produced an outstanding free-kick to double the lead of the Reds.

Despite a failed move to Barcelona, Philippe has approached his situation as a professional and is once again shining bright for Klopp’s side. His influence on the game has not gone unnoticed as the Reds’ captain Henderson praised the Brazilian after the game.

“He’s a fantastic player, he produces magical things at crucial times in the game,” Henderson told BT Sport . “You see that [in this game].

“He was brilliant in midweek and he’s been brilliant since he has come back in. Hopefully he can keep going for the rest of this season.”Robertson: Liverpool can’t win 4-0 or 5-0 every single week Andrew Smyth – Andy Robertson defended Liverpool’s sluggish win at Sheffield United by pointing out they can’t always ease to victory every week.

Liverpool finally ended a four-game run without a win in all competitions, but the three points did not come easy. Henderson acknowledged that there is a lot of room for improvement regardless of the good moments his team had.

“We dug in right until the end, showed great character to see the game out,” he said. “I think we can do better, but it is still an improvement.

“I felt like we defended well for the majority of the game – obviously Simon [Mignolet] made a brilliant save from the penalty.

“We played some brilliant stuff, especially in the first half, and we were two goals up, which we deserved. Over上海419论坛all, we’ll be delighted with the result in the end as well as the performance.”

Bonucci bids farewell to Juve, but not Allegri

Leonardo Bonucci has thanked his old club about the times they have had together.Written by Konstantin Raychev. July 15, 2017.

The defender completed a move to Seria A rivals AC Milan for a 爱上海419fee of €42m and is expected to finalize medicals today. The player bought a page in La Gazzetta dello Sport to salute his former club.

“Seven seasons have passed,” wrote Bonucci in an ad titled ‘A splendid story.’

“Seven seasons of victories, of dreams come true, of growth achieved via an empathic and exceptional bond with Juve, in its absolute entirety.

“Six Scudetti, all experienced and earned by fighting. Naturally, there remains the great regret of not winning the Champions League, but stronger than that is the pride of success achieved and of being part of a big Family.Higuain happy to be reunited with Ronaldo at Juve George Patchias – Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo have been reunited at Juventus after playing at Real Madrid together six years ago, and Higuain is happy about…

“I always gave my all, truly, to the end. I received, I gave and I learned.

“What I see today looking behind me is in any case a splendid story, worthy of reaching its conclusion in full respect and affection, without sullying what I experienced together with the Club, the Captain, my teammates and fans.

“Thank you for everything, Juve.”

Citi combines its stock trading and prime brokerage business

NEW YORK ( ) – Citigroup Inc (C.N) is combining its stock trading business with its prime brokerage unit, which caters to hedge funds, private equity firms and other investors.

The New-York based bank will also lay off hundreds of equity and fixed-income traders globally in response to weak revenue trends, according to a Bloomberg report that cited sources familiar with the matter.

A Citi spokesman declined to comment on the reported layoffs.

The new unit, named Equities and Securities Services, will be co-led by Dan Keegan, Okan Pekin and Murray Roos. Keegan will also become head of markets and securities services for North America.

“As the industry continues to consolidate and margin pressures intensify, clients are looking for solutions that deliver best-in-class services,” co-heads of markets and securities services Carey Lathrop and Andy Morton wrote in an internal email seen by .

“We believe that now is the time to create an integrated offering supporting the pre-trade, execution and post-trade requirements of our clients,” they wrote.

The combined business will include broad trading and execution capabilities in addition to上海419论坛 financing, hedging, clearing, and custody services, the memo said.

In its second-quarter results reported earlier this month, Citi’s trading revenue remained challenged for a third consecutive quarter, with fixed-income trading down 4%, excluding a gain from Citi’s investment in Tradeweb, and equities revenue down 9%.

Many other banks already have combined such units.

Citi’s markets and securities services division has been shaken up in recent months as the bank streamlines businesses to better serve the evolving needs to clients. Last month, Citi combined its Foreign Exchange & Local Markets and G10 currencies businesses into one unit.

Explainer: U.S.-China trade war – the levers they can pull

WASHINGTON ( ) – The escalating trade war between the United States and China has gone beyond tariffs as the countries increase pressure on each other to cede ground.

Beijing has said it would retaliate after President Donald Trump blacklisted Chinese telecom giant Huawei and the United States extended tariffs to cover almost all Chinese imports.

    Chinese state media has warned that Beijing could use rare earths for its next strike in the trade war. The United States relies on China for supplies of the rare earths to make a host of high-tech products, from satellites to electric car batteries.

Here are some other possible pressure points for each side.

HIKING TARIFFS FURTHER

China could impose tariffs on around $10 billion of U.S. goods that as yet carry no retaliatory tariffs.

Beijing removed some tariffs on U.S. car imports in December, and could reimpose them.

China could raise tariffs from 25 percent on some U.S. goods such as soybeans. China was the top U.S. buyer of soybeans until the trade war, which came close to halting the flow altogether. If it raises tariffs again, Chinese soy importers will seek more supplies from Brazil and elsewhere, as they did in 2018, which would hurt U.S. farmers. These are targeted tariffs, aimed at the U.S. farming community that supported Trump’s 2016 presidential election victory.

High-tech items, such as semi-conductor manufacturing equipment and chips, would be unlikely to feature on a list for higher tariffs, because China cannot easily find alternatives.

China has so far spared Boeing passenger jets, its single most valuable U.S. import, from tariffs. Chinese carriers are expanding rapidly to meet rising demand, so tariffs on Boeing could slow development of the domestic travel industry.

China could buy more aircraft from France’s Airbus instead of Boeing, which would make it more reliant on Europe for a few years until it completes development of homegrown commercial aircraft, COMAC’s C919.

DUMPING TREASURIES

China is the biggest holder of U.S. government debt, with about $1.12 trillion in U.S. Treasuries. Beijing buys Treasuries as a safe-haven for foreign exchange reserves.

The editor-in-chief of China’s influential Global Times tweeted in May that “many Chinese scholars are discussing the possibility of dumping U.S. Treasuries and how to do it specifically.”

A selloff would hurt U.S. markets, driving up interest rates and pushing up borrowing costs. The U.S. central bank could lower its benchmark interest rate or buy debt to counter the move.

China sold the most long-dated U.S. Treasuries in almost 2-1/2 years in March. But most China experts say Beijing is unlikely to undertake a big selloff because that would lower the value of China’s foreign exchange reserves. The Chinese would be hard-pressed to find a safe alternative investment with a good yield.

DEVALUATION

Some analysts have floated the idea of a one-off devaluation of the Chinese currency to make the country’s exports more competitive despite U.S. tariffs. But that would spook foreign and domestic investors and give the United States ammunition to sanction the country for currency manipulation.

“That is not retaliation. That is escalation of the trade war,” said Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow and trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

The Chinese currency has weakened nearly 4 percent since July 2018, when U.S. authorities began collecting the first China-specific tariffs. That has absorbed some of the impact of tariffs on Chinese exporters.

HARASSING U.S. COMPANIES OR SLOWING VISA APPROVALS

China’s Commerce Ministry said on Friday it will draft a list of foreign companies, organizations and individuals that it deems “unreliable” for harming Chinese companies, state-run China National Radio reported.

The move does not single out any countries or companies, but the report cited a ministry spokesman as saying the “unreliable entities list” will apply to those that flout market rules and the spirit of contracts, block supplies to Chinese companies for non-commercial reasons and “seriously harm the legitimate rights and interests” of Chinese companies.

China could tar爱上海419get high-profile U.S. companies such as Apple, although that could backfire as millions of Chinese people depend on the tech firm for their jobs.

Goldman Sachs estimates that banning Apple products could slash profits of the iPhone maker by almost a third. Apple and other U.S. firms are also vulnerable to consumer boycotts in China. There is precedent for this: South Korean companies faced boycotts when deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system angered China’s government.

Beijing could make life difficult for American banks, restaurant chains such as Starbucks, courier companies such as Fedex and commodity suppliers by opening tax inquiries, withholding licenses and other similar bureaucratic moves.

Big U.S. businesses, however, have been among those pushing for a more moderate stance in Washington, so it would not help Beijing’s case to alienate them. Many American brands in China have joint ventures with Chinese partners, and these would also be hurt by government pressure.

Both sides have already slowed visa approvals for academics; authorities could do the same for executives and government officials.

DIPLOMATIC RECALCITRANCE AND MILITARY POSTURING

Beijing could reduce cooperation with the United States on thorny international issues, such as North Korea and Iran. It could also step up military gestures in the South China Sea and around Taiwan, an unofficial U.S. ally.

RARE EARTH METALS

President Xi Jinping visited a rare earth firm in Southern China earlier in May, fueling speculation China could cut off supplies of the metals, a key ingredient in high-technology consumer electronics and military equipment, to the United States as part of the trade war. China supplies 80% of U.S. rare earths.

HIGHER TARIFFS

The United States could increase tariffs on Chinese imports. Authority for that rests with Trump, who has described himself as tariff-man.

    One option would be to raise levies on $50 billion worth of Chinese technology goods, including machinery, semiconductors, autos aircraft parts and intermediate electronic components on which tariffs were imposed last July and August. The products, taxed at a 25% rate, were selected to avoid hitting U.S. consumers and to hamper China’s technology development.

SANCTIONS AGAINST SPECIFIC COMPANIES

The United States could sanction additional Chinese companies flagged for a host of issues, from alleged intellectual property theft to sanctions violations or human rights concerns.

One option would be placing more companies on a blacklist that bars U.S. suppliers from selling to them without special permits, as the Trump administration did with Huawei Technologies last month.

Washington is already considering sanctions for Chinese video surveillance firm Hikvision and equipment maker Zhejiang Dahua Technology. They are involved in surveillance at Chinese detention centers for ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims. 

The downside would be hurting U.S. companies that do business with the targeted firm.

Administration officials could further increase pressure on foreign governments to exclude Huawei from their 5G networks.

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CRACKDOWN

The Justice Department is likely to continue to crack down on Chinese spies and hackers for stealing technology and trade secrets from American corporations, as part of its China initiative to counter Chinese economic and security threats.

FOREIGN POLICY AND DEFENSE LEVERS?

Tension has already risen as the United States undertakes freedom of navigation operations through the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea. China has been increasingly assertive about its sovereignty over Taiwan, which it considers Chinese territory to be brought under Beijing’s control by force if needed.

U.S. warships have sailed through the Taiwan Strait at least once a month since the start of this year. The United States restarted such missions on a regular basis last July.

    Trump’s government could impose sanctions on prominent Chinese officials seen as complicit in human rights violations of the Uighur population. Congress has urged Trump to impose such sanctions.

    Washington could also deepen a crackdown on Chinese companies that fund or supply North Korea’s nuclear programs.

Factbox: Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court bid in hands of a few senators

( ) – President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is now in the hands of the U.S. Senate, where the likelihood of a party-line vote to confirm him was not much reduced last week by his multi-day confirmation hearing.

A handful of senators who sometimes cross party lines will hold the key votes, with 51 needed for confirmation. The Republicans have that many votes if they stick together.

It’s also possible that a handful of Democrats running for re-election in states won by Trump in 2016 could back Kavanaugh.

A final Senate vote is expected by the end of September.

REPUBLICANS

* Susan Collins. She said on July 1 she would not support a Supreme Court nominee “who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade,” the 1973 high-court decision legalizi,爱上海同城对对碰Oakley,ng abortion.

After Kavanaugh’s hearing, Collins said generally positive things about his statements regarding Roe v. Wade.

In 2017, Collins voted to con,上海419论坛Nala,firm Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first nomination to a vacancy on the Supreme Court.

* Lisa Murkowski. She has promised to be “rigorous” in her review of Kavanaugh’s record. She has not said how she will vote. Like Collins, Murkowski’s support of abortion rights has led some Democrats to believe she could oppose Kavanaugh.

Also like Collins, Murkowski helped block Trump’s 2017 bid to fully repeal Obamacare. But earlier that year, she voted in favor of confirming Gorsuch.

* Dean Heller. He is the only Republican senator up for re-election on Nov. 6 whose state was won by Hillary Clinton in 2016. Democrats see him as vulnerable and he is in a close race.

Nevertheless, Heller said in a statement after meeting with Kavanaugh in July that has “no reservations in confidently supporting Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation.”

Heller also voted to confirm Gorsuch.

* Rand Paul. A maverick who sometimes breaks from Republican ranks, Paul said in late July he will support Kavanaugh.

* Bob Corker. He has clashed with Trump and is not running for re-election, but has described Kavanaugh as a “superb nominee” who he plans to vote for.

* Jeff Flake. A Trump critic who is leaving the Senate after this year’s election, Flake was complimentary toward Kavanaugh during the confirmation hearing.

* Ben Sasse. Another senator who has clashed with Trump, Sasse has said he will vote for Kavanaugh.

DEMOCRATS

* Heidi Heitkamp. A Democrat up for re-election in a heavily pro-Trump state, she was one of three Democrats who voted for Gorsuch. On Kavanaugh, she has been keeping her head down.

* Joe Manchin. Also up fo上海龙凤419r reelection in a pro-Trump state, he says healthcare is his test of whether to support Kavanaugh, whose critics say will rule against Obamacare the first chance he gets on the Supreme Court. Manchin voted for Gorsuch.

* Joe Donnelly. Non-committal thus far on Kavanaugh, Donnelly, too, is up for re-election in a red-leaning state.

* Claire McCaskill. With a tough re-election bid ahead in a heavily Republican state, she is quick to say she has voted for most of Trump’s judicial nominations. She,新上海419论坛网Octavien, voted against Gorsuch.

* Doug Jones. The first Democratic senator elected from Alabama in over 20 years. To stay in office, he must show he can be independent-minded. The Kavanaugh vote could be a test.

* Jon Tester. He has not come down firmly on Kavanaugh. He opposed Gorsuch.

* Bill Nelson. He has not stated explicitly whether he would vote for Kavanaugh, but he said in a July fundraising email that Democrats need to stop Republicans’ “plans to put another right-wing extremist on the Supreme Court.” Nelson opposed Gorsuch.

Trump to skip summits in Singapore, Papua New Guinea; Pence to attend

WASHINGTON ( ) – President Donald Trump will skip summits with Asian leaders in Singapore and Papua New Guinea in November, sending Vice President Mike Pence in his place, the White House said on Friday, an announcement that will raise questions about his commitment to a regional strategy to counter China.

Trump was invited to attend the U.S.-Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit and the East Asia summit in Singapore and also the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Papua New Guinea. He had attended these events last November.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump asked Pence to represent him at the summits, where he will “highlight the United States’ vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific, based on respect for sovereignty, the rule of law, and the principles of free, fair and reciprocal trade.”

Trump will travel to Paris to attend a Nov. 11 commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War One. Trump had wanted a U.S. military parade in Washington but balked at price estimates.

“While in Europe, the president also will visit Ireland to renew the deep and historic ties between our two nations,” Sanders said.

Later in November, Trump will attend the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires and will also travel to Colombia for talks about security, narcotics and regional affairs, Sanders said.

Trump’s decision to skip the Asian summits will in爱上海evitably raise questions about the extent of his commitment to a region that is home to some of the most pressing U.S. foreign policy challenges.

These include Trump’s stalled efforts to persuade North Korea to give up a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States and strategic rivalry with China, with which Trump has engaged in a major trade war.

The Trump administration has touted an Indo-Pacific strategy aimed at increasing regional cooperation, notably with India, Australia and Japan, to counter China’s influence, including in the disputed South China Sea, where Washington has mounted naval patrols to challenge what it sees as Beijing’s excessive territorial claims.

In August, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attended a regional foreign ministers’ meeting in Singapore to prepare for the November summits and pledged nearly $300 million in new security funding for the Indo-Pacific – a drop in the ocean compared to the billions China has been pouring into the region.

Asia experts were not surprised by Trump’s decision.

“Trump hates traveling outside the U.S. and dislikes multilateral meetings,” said Bonnie Glaser of Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“Convincing Trump to travel to PNG, in particular, was likely impossible,” she said. “He will have a chance to meet with (Chinese President) Xi Jinping at the G20 a few weeks later,” adding that the decision on the summits “will further stoke doubts about the administration’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific region.”

Jonathan Pollack of the Brookings Institution think tank, noted that Trump was not the first president to cancel trips to the Asian summits – his predecessor Barack Obama caused great disappointment when he withdrew from them in 2013.

Obama did so due to a government shutdown at home, but the decision raised questions about his vaunted “pivot” to Asia to counter China.

“There’s no question that many in Southeast Asia see the region caught uncomfortably between the United States and China,” Pollack said.

“The Trump administration’s repeated calls for a free and open Indo-Pacific have fallen flat in various capitals, which many see as very thin gruel, begging the issue of how the U.S. intends to remain relevant to the regional future.”

Factbox: Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court bid in hands of a few senators

( ) – President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is now in the hands of the U.S. Senate, where the likelihood of a party-line vote to confirm him was not much reduced last week by his multi-day confirmation hearing.

A handful of senators who sometimes cross party lines will hold the key votes, with 51 needed for confirmation. The Republicans have that many votes if they stick together.

It’s also possible that a handful of Democrats running for re-election in states won by Trump in 2016 could back Kavanaugh.

A final Senate vote is expected by the end of September.

REPUBLICANS

* Susan Collins. She said on July 1 she would not support a Supreme Court nominee “who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade,” the 1973 high-court decision legalizing abortion.

After Kavanaugh’s hearing, Collins said generally positive things about his statements regarding Roe v. Wade.

In 2017, Collins voted to confirm Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s first nomination to a vacancy on the Supreme Court.

* Lisa Murkowski. She has promised to be “rigorous” in her review of Kavanaugh’s record. She has not said how she will vote. Like Collins, Murkowski’s support of abortion rights has led some Democrats to believe she could oppose Kavanaugh.

Also like Collins, Murkowski helped block Trump’s 2017 bid to fully repeal Obamacare. But earlier that year, she voted in favor of confirming Gorsuch.

* Dean Heller. He is the only Republican senator up for re-election on Nov. 6 whose state was won by Hillary Clinton in 2016. Democrats see him as vulnerable and he is in a close race.

Nevertheless, Heller said in a statement after meeting with Kavanaugh in July that has “no reservations in confidently supporting Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation.”

Heller also voted to confirm Gorsuch.

* Rand Paul. A maverick who sometimes breaks from Republican ranks, Paul said in late July he will support Kavanaugh.

* Bob Corker. He has clashed with Trump and is not running for re-election, but has described Kavanau上海419论坛gh as a “superb nominee” who he plans to vote for.

* Jeff Flake. A Trump critic who is leaving the Senate after this year’s election, Flake was complimentary toward Kavanaugh during the confirmation hearing.

* Ben Sasse. Another senator who has clashed with Trump, Sasse has said he will vote for Kavanaugh.

DEMOCRATS

* Heidi Heitkamp. A Democrat up for re-election in a heavily pro-Trump state, she was one of three Democrats who voted for Gorsuch. On Kavanaugh, she has been keeping her head down.

* Joe Manchin. Also up for reelection in a pro-Trump state, he says healthcare is his test of whether to support Kavanaugh, whose critics say will rule against Obamacare the first chance he gets on the Supreme Court. Manchin voted for Gorsuch.

* Joe Donnelly. Non-committal thus far on Kavanaugh, Donnelly, too, is up for re-election in a red-leaning state.

* Claire McCaskill. With a tough re-election bid ahead in a heavily Republican state, she is quick to say she has voted for most of Trump’s judicial nominations. She voted against Gorsuch.

* Doug Jones. The first Democratic senator elected from Alabama in over 20 years. To stay in office, he must show he can be independent-minded. The Kavanaugh vote could be a test.

* Jon Tester. He has not come down firmly on Kavanaugh. He opposed Gorsuch.

* Bill Nelson. He has not stated explicitly whether he would vote for Kavanaugh, but he said in a July fundraising email that Democrats need to stop Republicans’ “plans to put another right-wing extremist on the Supreme Court.” Nelson opposed Gorsuch.

U.S. Supreme Court seeks Trump administration views on…

WASHINGTON ( ) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday asked the Trump administration to offer its views on whether it should hear Google’s bid to end Oracle Corp’s copyright infringement lawsuit involving the Android operating system that runs most of the world’s smartphones.

The justices are considering whether to take up Google’s appeal of a lower court ruling reviving the lawsuit. Oracle has sought about $9 billion in damages.

A jury cleared Google in 2016, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, which specializes in intellectual property disputes, overturned that decision in 2018, finding Google impermissibly used Oracle’s software code in Android under U.S. copyright law.

The case, which could help define the level of copyright prote上海419论坛ction for software, dates back to 2010 when Oracle sued in San Francisco federal court, accusing Google of harming its business by copying thousands of lines of computer code from its popular Java programming language without a license in order to make Android. Google, part of Alphabet Inc, said an Oracle victory would chill software innovation.

The case has whipsawed since the start with Google twice losing at the Federal Circuit. In 2014, that court reversed a federal judge’s ruling that Oracle’s interfaces could not be copyrighted.

The Federal Circuit last year rejected Google’s argument that its use of Oracle’s “application programming interfaces” was permitted under the so-called fair use doctrine of the 1976 Copyright Act because by adapting them to a mobile platform it transformed them into something new.

The Supreme Court occasionally asks a president’s administration for advice on whether to take up a particular case. The court in 2015 rebuffed a previous Google appeal in the case after the Justice Department under President Barack Obama recommended against hearing it.

The justices did not give President Donald Trump’s Justice Department a deadline for its response in the case.

Another make-or-break week for Europe?

FRANKFURT ( ) – Europe is facing yet another make-or-break week.

With an emergency EU summit over Brexit and an ECB policy meeting on the agenda, officials will be under pressure to take decisive steps to soothe concerns ahead of a set-piece gathering of the,上海千花验证归来Idris, global financial elite in Washington.

But the temptation will be great to stick with the bloc’s rich tradition of just kicking the can down the road.

The deadline for Britain to leave the EU, seen as set in stone just days ago, is again in flux as both sides are openly discussing an extension, even if that means Britain must cross another red line by participating in May’s European elections.

The apparent softening of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s position suggests the end game is far from imminent.

Another EU summit muddle would, however, keep economic uncertainty at fever pitch, weighing on sentiment that is already dragging down growth across Europe and raising recession fears.

A long extension – and taking part in EU elections – also carries the risk of a Conservative Party mutiny, which could force an already weakened May out.

“Such leadership changes are always unpredictable and, in this instance could be brutal, with more centrist elements of the pa,021上海贵族宝贝论坛Cadence,rty struggling against a membership whose views on Brexit are increasingly hardline,” JP Morgan economic Malcolm Barr said.

But blurring the red lines suggests Britain is keen to avoid the most damaging of all outcomes – a hard Brexit.

For the EU, a longer extension also carries the benefit that Britain’s departure would not occur during the crucial month of the election campaign, which will determine who leads both the EU and, after Mario Draghi’s term ends this autumn, the European Central Bank.

Taking a hard Brexit off the table would also allow British officials to put on a brave face at the IMF’s spring meeting in Washington starting on Friday, letting the gathering focus on broader trade issues.

NARROW PATH

Still, the delay solves little in itself.

Any concession by May to win votes on a deal from Britain’s opposition Labour Party is likely to lose her Conservative MPs.

That suggests the pat,上海419论坛最新Rae,h to any majority outcome is quite narrow, keeping the chance of an eventual no-deal Brexit uncomfortably high.

“Despite the switch to a cross-party approach, the risk of an election remains high because the path toward a successful ‘meaningful vote’ is treacherous, due to the deep divisions

within both parties,” Andrew Goodwin at Oxford Economics said.

Th上海龙凤419e cost of the Brexit saga is already tangible for the EU.

Global trade tensions are weighing even more heavily, and the steady flow of bad news is keeping investment and business sentiment in a negative spiral, depressing growth for the third straight quarter.

The ECB, the bloc’s first port of call in case of growth weakness, has already eased policy, exhausting much of its firepower during years of crisis fighting. More generally, central banks lack potent tools to offset imported economic troubles.

Having already delayed a rate hike, the ECB will sit on the sidelines for now, while economists expect more easing later in the year.

“Since the main refinancing rate is already at zero percent, such easing is likely to amount to further unconventional measures,” Commerzbank said.

“We therefore expect the ECB to decide in the autumn …to promise unchanged key rates …until the end of 2020,” it added.

U.S. lawmakers press Facebook over Chinese data sharing

WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO ( ) – Facebook Inc faced criticism on Wednesday from Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers who demanded that the social media company be more forthcoming about data it has shared with four Chinese firms.

The bipartisan criticism reflected rising frustration in Congress about how Facebook protects the privacy of the more than 2 billion people who use its services worldwide.

The leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee accused Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg of failing to disclose the company’s agreements with the Chinese firms when he appeared before them上海龙凤419 in April and testified about Facebook’s sharing of users’ personal information with third parties.

“Clearly, the company’s partnerships with Chinese technology companies and others should have been disclosed before Congress and the American people,” the panel’s Republican chairman, Gre,爱上海419论坛Faith,g Walden, and top Democrat Frank Pallone said in a statement.

“We strongly encourage full transparency from Facebook and ,阿拉爱上海会员验证区Larissa,the entire tech community,” they wrote.

Facebook responded that Zuckerberg spent more than 10 hours responding to lawmakers’ questions.

“The arrangements in question had been highly visible for years – with many manufacturers advertising these features. But with fewer and fewer people relying on them, we proactively announced this spring we’d begin winding them down,” the company said in a statement.

Facebook has said that the contracts with smartphone maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] and other Chinese firms were standard industry practice and necessary to ensure that people who bought electronic devices had ready access to Facebook services.

Facebook said it had control over the data sharing all along and that other tech firms struck similar arrangements with U.S. and Chinese companies in the early days of smartphones.

Facebook shares closed down nearly 1 percent in New York.

On Tuesday, Facebook said Huawei, computer maker Lenovo Group and smartphone makers OPPO and TCL Corp were among about 60 companies worldwide that received access to some user data after they signed contracts to re-create Facebook-like experiences fo,上海千花交友网Hal,r their users.

Huawei, the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, has come under scrutiny from U.S. intelligence agencies that have said that Chinese telecommunications companies provide an opportunity for foreign espionage and threaten critical U.S. infrastructure, something the Chinese have denied.

Huawei said in a statement, “Like all leading smartphone providers, Huawei worked with Facebook to make Facebook’s service more convenient for users. Huawei has never collected or stored any Facebook user data.”

Francisco Varela, Facebook’s vice president of mobile partnerships, said on Tuesday the user data in question was stored on people’s devices, not on Huawei’s company servers.

Senator Ed Markey, a Democrat, wrote on Twitter, “Mark Zuckerberg needs to return to Congress and testify why @facebook shared Americans’ private information with questionable Chinese companies.”

Republican Senator Marco Rubio asked on Twitter, “why didn’t @facebook just reveal this data sharing deal with #Huawei months ago? And don’t compare this to deals with other telecomms. S.Korea govt doesnt control or use @Samsung the way China controls & uses Huawei.”

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman had no comment.

Lawmakers expressed concern after The New York Times reported that the data of users’ friends could have been accessed without their explicit consent. Facebook denied that, and said the data access was to allow its users to access account features on mobile devices.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which reached a settlement with Facebook in 2011 over its information-sharing practices, declined comment.

In a separate letter on Tuesday, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee pressed Facebook for more information, while the Senate Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat urged Facebook to release further details. Facebook said it would address the commerce panel’s questions.

Congressional aides have said Facebook has not answered hundreds of questions from lawmakers after Zuckerberg’s April testimony before two committees. Several aides said lawmakers were waiting for Facebook’s answers before deciding on whether to hold additional hearings.

Facebook has said that other companies that have used its data sharing include Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, HTC Corp, Microsoft Corp and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

Several countries are scrutinizing Facebook after it failed to protect the data of some 87 million users that was shared with now-defunct political data firm Cambridge Analytica.

Exclusive: Xi confidant emerges as front runner to head China’s…

BEIJING ( ) – Liu He, a Harvard-trained economist who is a trusted confidant of Chinese President Xi Jinping, has emerged as the front runner to be the next governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), according to three sources with knowledge of the situation.

Liu may be in a position to become one of China’s most powerful economic and financial officials ever, as he is already top adviser to Xi on economic policy and is also expected to become vice premier overseeing the economy.

Liu would replace current PBOC chief, 70-year-old Zhou Xiaochuan, who is China’s longest-running head of the central bank, having taken the job in 2002. Zhou is expected to retire around the time of the annual session of parliament in March, sources previously told .

The change would be part of a wider government reshuffle following the 19th Communist Party Congress in October last year, during which Xi laid out his vision for China’s long-term development, and elevated his key allies. 

Speculation has been rife for months over the choice of the next central bank governor. Xi will have the final say, and the sources noted that while Liu is clearly the frontrunner he is not yet certain to get the job.

The PBOC and the State Council Information Office (SCIO), the government’s public relations arm, did not immediately respond to faxed requests for comment.

Just before last October’s Congress, sources told that China’s banking regulator head Guo Shuqing and veteran banker Jiang Chaoliang were leading contenders for the PBOC job.

But at the congress, the influence of the 66-year-old Liu continued to grow. He was elected into the 25-member Politburo, the second-highest tier in Beijing’s political power structure after the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee.

Sources previously told that Liu, a fluent English speaker, is set to become one of China’s four vice premiers and would oversee the economy and financial sector.

Two of the sources said that Liu could serve concurrently as vice premier and head of the central bank.

Only Zhu Rongji in the early-1990s had held both the posts of vice premier and central bank governor simultaneously. Zhu later went on to become China’s premier from ,上海后花园花千坊Lake,1998-2003.

SPEARHEADED FINANCIAL REFORMS

The leadership reshuffle at the PBOC is closely watched in global financial markets as monetary policy changes and any moves to further liberalize the financial system of the world’s second-largest economy would have repercussions well beyond China’s shores.

Liu’s appointment would mean the central bank would continue to be led by a “national leader”, which could reinforce its policy influence, stability and financial oversight powers.

Zhou has spearheaded financial reforms and boosted the yuan currency’s global clout, as well as the central bank’s policy influence.

But unlike western central banks, the PBOC does not have the final word on adju,上海419后宫阁Sabine,sting interest rates and the value of the yuan.

Liu said last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos that Chin爱上海419a will roll out fresh market-opening measures this year that could exceed “international expectations”.

But the next leader of the central bank will face tough challenges as he will have to walk a tightrope between ensuring economic stability and pushing reforms to rein in debt risks.

Sources said Liu is well qualified for the PBOC job given his deep understanding of China’s economic issues, and his role in communications between China and U.S. leaders.

Liu, who gained a master’s degree in public administration at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 1995, won a top Chinese economics study award in 2015 for his research on the global financial crisis.

He was also widely seen by political analysts as being behind the voice of an unnamed “authoritative person” who wrote in the People’s Daily, the party’s mouthpiece, in May 2016 warning about risks from the country’s debt-driven growth model.

Liu, like Zhou, stands out among Chinese bureaucrats because of his grey hair. Many top officials dye their hair jet-black.

Liu, who currently heads the General Office of the ruling Communist Party’s Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs, is also set to become the head of the cabinet-level Financial Stability and Development Committee (FSDC), sources previously told . 

He has been closely following Xi on regional tours and meetings with foreign leaders. When then-U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon visited Beijing in 2013, Xi introduced Liu as “very important to me”, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Liu and Xi have similar backgrounds – both their families were purged during the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, and both their fathers were senior officials.

“Without the refle,上海后花园1314Gabi,ction on the catastrophe of the Cultural Revolution, it is impossible for China to have today’s economic growth,” Liu said in an article published in 2017.

A source with ties to the leadership previously told that Xi and Liu knew each other during their teens, and have kept in touch over the years.

Democrats vow action if Supreme Court rejects part of Obamacare

WASHINGTON ( ) – Democrats were prepared to quickly come up with a legislative solution should the U.S. Supreme Court rule in the next few days to invalidate a central part of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, party leaders in the Senate said on Tuesday.

The high court is expected to rule by the end of June in a case that challenges tax subsidies that are helping millions of Americans afford health insurance premiums under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, kno,新上海419论坛网Hadley,wn as Obamacare.

The plaintiffs in the case argue that the law’s language restricts these subsidies to states that have established their own health insurance exchanges under the law.

A ruling in the plaintiffs’ favor could mean that 6.4 million low- and middle-income Americans in the 34 states that use the federal health insurance exchange will lose their tax subsidies and possibl,上海千花验证归来Idaline,y their insurance.

“The Supreme Court, I’m hopeful and confident, will rule the right way. If they don’t, we’re ready to move on it quickly,” Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid told reporters.

Reid did not elaborate. But No. 2 Senate Democrat Dick Durbin said that if the administration loses the case, Democrats would offer a short piece of legislation clearly saying the tax subsidies are also available to people on the federal exchange.

“It’s one sentence and it’s already been written,” Durbin said in a Capitol hallway. “I hope we don’t need it,” Durbin added.

Democrats generally have been reluctant to talk about the possibility that the administration might lose the case.

“Leader Pelosi is confident that the court will not act to kick more than six million Americans off their health insurance,” Drew Hamil,上海蝴蝶419论坛Gabriella,l, spokesman for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, said Tuesday.

Leading Republicans, who have opposed Obamacare from its inception, say they will have a legislative plan of action if the court throws out the subsidies. But they have not provided many specifics, saying they will do so after the court rules.

In both the House and Senate, some Republicans s上海419论坛ay they would favor extending the subsidies for up to two years while working on other changes to the law. Those changes could include letting states opt out of Obamacare to set up their own insurance systems.