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House reauthorizes Iran sanctions bill, sets Syria sanctions

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. lawmakers passed bills on Tuesday renewing sanctions on Iran for 10 years and imposing new sanctions on Syria, underscoring their determination to play a strong role in Middle East policy no matter who occupies the White House.

The House of Representatives voted 419 to one for a 10-year reauthorization of the Iran Sanctions Act, or ISA, a law first adopted in 1996 to punish investments in Iran’s energy industry and deter Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The House also passed by voice vote a bill that would sanction the government of Syria, and supporters including Russia and Iran, for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The Iran measure will expire at the end of 2016 if it is not renewed. It must still be passed by the Senate and signed by President Barack Obama in order to become law.

The Obama administration and other world powers reached an agreement last year in which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

But lawmakers said they wanted the ISA to stay in effect to send a strong message that the United States will respond to provocations by Iran and give any U.S. president the ability to quickly reinstate sanctions if Tehran violated the nuclear agreement.

“Even after a hard-fought election here at home and power changing hands, American leadership on the global stage won’t falter,” said Representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a bill sponsor.

Republican Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the bill’s lead sponsor, called the ISA “a critical tool.”

“Its expiration would compound the damage done by the pre上海夜生活网sident’s dangerous nuclear deal and send a message that the United States will no longer oppose the destructive role of Iran in the Middle East,” said Royce.

The vote took place one week after Republican Donald Trump was elected U.S. president. Congressional Republicans unanimously opposed the nuclear deal, along with about two dozen Democrats, and Trump has also strongly criticized it.

Lawmakers from both parties said they hoped bipartisan support for a tough line against Iran would continue under the new president.

There was no immediate word from Senate leaders on when the ISA and the Syria measure might be taken up in that chamber.

Many Senate Democrats favor a “clean” renewal of the ISA, like the one that passed in the House. But other lawmakers have pushed to add new sanctions such as some specifically targeting Iran’s ballistic missile tests.

Republicans look to seize on revived Clinton email issue in White House, Congress races

WASHINGTON ( ) – Republicans are seizing on the FBI’s revived scrutiny of Hillary Clinton’s handling of government emails, hoping it will hurt not just her presidential hopes but Democrats’ chances of regaining one or both chambers of Congress in next week’s election.

Republican lawmakers are threatening to investigate Clinton from her first day in office if the Democrat is elected president on Nov. 8, following the FBI’s move to review newly discovered emails that might pertain to a previously completed investigation into Clinton’s use of a private server while she was secretary of state.

After FBI Director James Comey’s announcement last Friday of the latest review, which indicated no wrongdoing on Clinton’s part, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and other Republicans have hammered Clinton as scandal-prone, seeking to renew questions about her integrity.

A Clinton presidency would bog down in “scandal baggage,” U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said on Tuesday, adding he was focused on defending Republican majorities in Congress in the election.

“This is what life with the Clintons looks like. It’s always a scandal one after a上海夜生活nother, then there’s an investigation,” Ryan, the most senior elected Republican in the country, told Fox News in an interview. “You never know what’s coming next.”

Saying that Clinton would take office “with her scandal baggage,” Ryan added: “I don’t think that’s what the American people want to see.”

Clinton has said she is confident the FBI will not find anything problematic and will reach the same conclusion it did in July when it found no grounds for charges from her use of a private email server.

Opinion polls show Clinton maintaining her lead over Trump, although her advantage has narrowed slightly since early last week. The effect of Comey’s news on voters’ support is not yet clear.

The University of Virginia’s Center for Politics said this week that several key states, including Arizona, Florida and Ohio, were now considered “toss up,” having earlier been classified as leaning Democratic, saying the races had been tightening regardless of any “Comey Effect.”

“If Comey’s decision results in Republicans holding onto the Senate and losing fewer House seats because he has invigorated their ‘checks and balances’ argument, we will also attribute this to the Comey Effect,” the center’s Larry Sabato and his colleagues wrote.

GRAPHIC: Race to the White House tmsnrt.rs/298mTyD

‘SAVING HOUSE MAJORITY’

Ryan maintained the arms-length posture toward Trump that he adopted after a 2005 video emerged last month in which the New York businessman was heard boasting about groping women.

The Wisconsin Republican said he voted for Trump in early voting last week, but that his position had not changed and that he had no plans to campaign with his party’s nominee, instead focusing on maintaining Republicans’ control of the House.

“My focus personally right now is saving our House majority. I’m going to Indiana, Michigan, New York and Virginia today to fight for House Republicans,” Ryan told Fox.

While Republicans appear poised to keep control of the House, the race for the Senate remains evenly matched, according to an average of polls by RealClearPolitics.

Some conservative members of the Republican caucus in the House, unhappy with Ryan’s treatment of Trump and his handling of other issues on Capitol Hill, have questioned whether he should continue as speaker after the election.

“We’re all focused on beating Democrats on Nov. 8. All the rest of this stuff will sort itself out,” Ryan told Fox News. “I’m very confident where I stand with our members.”

Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn called on Tuesday for Attorney General Loretta Lynch, a Barack Obama appointee, to intervene over the Clinton email probe. “AG Lynch has authority to unravel Clinton email mess by appointing a special counsel who can convene an impartial grand jury,” Cornyn wrote on Twitter.

Such a move would all but guarantee that controversy over Clinton’s emails would simmer into 2017 and perhaps beyond, potentially tying up her agenda if she were elected to the White House. Some Republican senators have already also vowed to block any hearing on Clinton’s potential Supreme Court justice nominees to fill the court’s current vacancy.

Republican House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz told the Washington Post last week he had years’ worth of potential material that could be used to investigate Clinton.

California Republican Darrell Issa, a House Judiciary Committee member, told Fox Business Network late on Monday: “I suspect there will be more hearings” following the latest email probe.

MONEY MARKETS-U.S.-China trade war lifts bets on U.S. rate cut

(Adds graphic, Fed’s Rosengren comments in interview)

By Richard Leong

NEW YORK, May 13 ( ) – Interest rate traders increased their bets the U.S. Federal Reserve would lower interest rates by year-end to counter a domestic economic slowdown stemming from an escalation in the trade war between China and the United States.

The expectations of a rate decrease in December returned to the highest levels that were seen in March after Fed policy-makers signaled they would not raise rates in 2019.

On Monday, Beijing said it planned to set import tariffs ranging from 5% to 25% on 5,140 U.S. products on a revised $60-billion target list. It said the tariffs would take effect on June 1.

China’s retaliatory measure followed Washington’s tariff increase on $200 billion of Chinese imports on Friday as talks between the world’s biggest economies unexpectedly broke down. U.S. President Donald Trump has said the Chinese government backtracked on commitments it made during months of negotiations.

Analysts worry the tension between the two parties will spiral into a trade war that would harm the global economy.

“If growth concerns were coupled with a major correction in equity markets the Fed would certainly be pushed closer to cutting interest rates,” Andrew Hollenhorst, chief U.S. economist with Citigroup, wrote in a research note.

Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren told on Monday that the Fed would be able to respond to any slowdown from the U.S.-China trade dispute.

“If the impact of the tariffs – and whatever financial market reaction to those tariffs is – causes more of a slowdown, then we do have the tools available to us, including lower interest rates, not that I’m necessarily expecting this will generate the need to do that,” said Rosengren, who is a voter on the Fed’s rate-setting committee this year.

At 3:44 p.m. (1944 GMT), federal funds futures implied traders saw about a 74% chance the U.S. central bank would lower the target range on short-term rates by a quarter point to 2.00%-2.25% at its Dec. 10-11 policy meeting. This compared with a 64% implied likelihood late on Friday, according to CME Group’s FedWatch program.

A month ago, futures 上海夜生活网prices suggested traders saw a 40% likelihood of a quarter-point rate decrease.

Ardian close to buying Cerberus-owned wind farms in Spain: sources

MADRID ( ) – French investment fund Ardian is close to buying wind farms from Spanish renewables group Renovalia in a 550 million euro ($617.87 million) deal, two sources with knowledge of the deal said, marking a move into green energy where buyer interest is hotting up.

Renovalia has been owned by U.S. private equity fund Cerberus since 2015. Among the assets covered by the deal is Renovalia Reserve, a joint venture between Renovalia and BlackRock, according to one of the sources.

Santander is advising on the sale process, the source said.

Cerberus, Renovalia, Ardian and BlackRock declined to comment.

The deal上海夜生活网 shows renewed investor interest in green energy assets now the threat of subsidy cuts that scared investors away from Spanish renewable assets in 2013 has faded. Also, the cost of wind and solar technology has fallen and governments and companies have stepped up efforts to cut carbon emissions.

Ardian aims to put to work some of a 6 billion-euro ($6.74 billion) fund for investments in Europe with the acquisition of Renovalia’s 420-megawatt portfolio.

Renovalia has 1,484 MW wind and solar assets around the world, including 512 MW under development.

After Spain, Renovalia’s biggest market is Mexico, where it manages 662 MW. It is currently discussing selling this business to Jenner Renewables, a power producer managed by Denham Capital and headed by former Gamesa chairman Jorge Calvet, one of the sources said.

A spokesman for Denham Capital declined to comment.

Renovalia also operates in Hungary, Italy, Canada and Chile.

Other foreign firms moving into the sector in Spain include asset manager Capital Dynamics, whose British arm said on May 1 it had bought around quarter of a 300 MW Israeli-owned solar plant near the Portuguese border, in a deal that valued the plant at about 33 million euros.

Last week, British investment manager Foresight bought a 50-MW plant, with 150,000 solar panels, some 280 kilometers (173.98 miles) further south, near the port city of Huelva.

($1 = 0.8902 euros)

Tame U.S. inflation seen keeping Fed on the sidelines

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. consumer prices rose moderately in April and underlying inflation remained muted, supporting the Federal Reserve’s projection of no further interest rates increases this year.

The persistently benign inflation reported by the Labor Department on Friday could, however, ratchet up White House pressure on the U.S. central bank to cut rates. President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the Fed for tightening monetary policy, arguing that inflation was low.

Trump has claimed the economy could go “up like a rocket if we did some lowering of rates, like one point.” On Friday, Trump tweeted, “Great Consumer Price Index just out. Really good, very low inflation! We have a great chance to ‘really rock!’ Good numbers all around.”

The Fed last week kept interest rates unchanged and signaled little desire to adjust monetary policy anytime soon. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said he believed the weak inflation readings “may wind up being transient.”

With rents and healthcare costs increasing solidly in April, economists agreed temporary factors were restraining inflation and expected a pickup, especially after the Trump administration on Friday raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods to 25% from 10%.

“If one were worried … then help may be on the way, in the form of higher tariffs being passed through to a store near you,” said Michael Feroli, an economist at J上海夜生活网PMorgan in New York. “In sum we believe the Fed will remain comfortable with their ‘on hold’ posture for the foreseeable future.”

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.3% last month, lifted by rising gasoline, rents and healthcare costs. The CPI gained 0.4% in March. It rose 2.0% in the 12 months through April after advancing 1.9% in March. Economists had forecast the CPI increasing 0.4% in April and rising 2.1% year-on-year.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI edged up 0.1% as apparel prices dropped for a second straight month and the cost of used motor vehicles and trucks declined further. The so-called core CPI has now increased by the same margin for three straight months. In the 12 months through April, the core CPI increased 2.1% after gaining 2.0% in March.

The Fed, which has a 2% inflation target, tracks a different measure, the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, for monetary policy. The core PCE price index increased 1.6% on a year-on-year basis in March, the smallest rise in 14 months, after advancing 1.7% in February. The April PCE price index data will be published later this month.

Economists said rising healthcare costs, which were also evident in April’s producer price report that was published on Thursday, suggested the core PCE price index probably increased 1.7% year-on-year in April. They saw little chance of the Fed cutting interest rates this year.

NO “INSURANCE CUTS”

“We would fade any inference that the Fed may be nudged toward ‘insurance cuts’ due to weak inflation,” said Michael Hanson, head of global macro strategy at TD Securities in New York. “Rather, we would need to see a run of multiple months with core PCE inflation around 1.5% in order for the Fed to start that conversation.”

Inflation remains tame as increased worker productivity keeps labor costs contained, despite a tightening job market.

Gasoline prices rose 5.7% in April, accounting for more than two-thirds of the increase in the CPI last month, after surging 6.5% in March. Food prices fell for the first time in nearly two years, with food consumed at home dropping by the most since March 2016.

But consumers paid more for rent and healthcare. Owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence, which is what a homeowner would pay to rent or receive from renting a home, increased 0.3% last month after rising by the same margin in March.

Healthcare costs increased 0.3%, matching March’s gain. There were increases in the cost of prescription medication and doctor visits. But the cost of hospital services fell 0.5%.

Apparel prices declined 0.8% last month. They plunged 1.9% in March, which was the biggest drop since January 1949, after the government introduced a new method and data to calculate apparel prices.

Prices for used motor vehicles and trucks fell 1.3%, decreasing for a third straight month. The cost of new vehicles rose marginally. There were also declines in the cost of airline fares, alcoholic beverages and tobacco.

Prices for household furnishings fell for the first time in 10 months. The cost of these goods had been boosted by tariffs.

Economists said the latest round of duties on Chinese imports put an upward risk on inflation.

“The extent to which that will feed into consumer inflation will depend in part on how long the tariffs are in place,” said Sarah House, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Goldman Sachs sets targets for Hispanic and black entry-level hires

( ) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc is setting targets for hiring minority groups for the first time as it ramps up efforts to diversify its workforce, according to a memo sent by top executives to employees on Monday.

The Wall Street bank, which last year said it wanted women to make up half of its entry-level workforce, now is aiming to ensure that 14 percent of new analysts and associates in the Americas are Hispanic or Latino and 11 percent of them black, according to the memo, which was seen by .

In Britain,上海夜生活 Goldman Sachs wants 9 percent of its entry-level workforce to be black.

The bank, whose senior executives are primarily white and male, did not set targets for more experienced employees, but is now requiring businesses to interview at least two qualified diverse candidates for each open position.

Goldman Sachs said in the memo it is “nearly there” with the targets it announced last year for campus hiring, and is exploring ways to increase the portion of staff who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, disabled or veterans.

David Solomon, who took over as chief executive of the bank in October, has been vocal about increasing diversity. He and two deputies sent the staff-wide memo ahead of disclosures on its gender pay gap that are required in Britain.

Last year, Goldman Sachs reported a mean gender pay gap in Britain for its international business of 55.5 percent and a mean bonus gap for the unit of 72.2 percent. Other companies, including HSBC Plc, fared worse.

Goldman Sachs is not alone on Wall Street in its diversity and gender equality campaign. Citigroup Inc has also set goals to have half its global staff to be women, and 30 percent of its staff to be black and Hispanic or Latino in the United States.

Trump defend Obama? ‘I don’t think so!’

WASHINGTON ( ) – Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said on Saturday it was not his job to stand up for U.S. President Barack Obama after a man at one of his campaign events said he was a Muslim and “not even an American.”

“Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don’t think so!” Trump said on Twitter.

Trump drew criticism on Friday from Republican and Democratic rivals in the 2016 race for the presidency when he failed to challenge a man at a New Hampshire town hall Thursday night who said Muslims were a problem in the United States.

“We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American,” the man said.

Trump, the billionaire television personality who leads the pack of Republicans seeking the presidential nomination, has cast doubt on whether Obama was born in the United States and therefore qualified to stand as president.

“This is the first time in my life that I have caused controversy by NOT saying something,” Trump tweeted. “If someone made a nasty or controversial statement about me to the president, do you really think he would come to my rescue? No chance!”

Obama is a Christian who as president has attended church occasionally.

Later on Saturday, Trump read out the tweets to audience applause at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Forum in Des Moines.

Trump rattled the Republican establishment with a summer surge to the top of the polls, overshadowing expected favorite Jeb Bush, the son and brother of two U.S. presidents. An unremarkable showing at Wednesday night’s Republican debate, where the frontrunner drew attacks from his many rivals, had some observers wondering if Trump frenzy is finally on the wane.

Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, described as divisive even by members of his own party, has tapped into a vein of anger among like-minded supporters.

PARALLELS TO 2008

In August, two Boston brothers charged with urinating and beating a homeless Mexican man told police they were inspired by Trump. “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.” the said, according a police report.

On Monday, opponents and supporters clashed outside a rally for Trump. Protesters, many of them Hispanic, shouted “shame on you,” while some Trump fans retorted, “Keep them out!”

The tenor of the campaign has drawn parallels to the 2008 rallies by Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, that drew virulent anti-Obama rhetoric including shouts of “terrorist” or “traitor.”

McCain eventually had to confront the issue at an October campaign rally where a woman called Obama an Arab. He stopped her and called Obama a decent family man.

In Des Moines, Trump referred to the incident, saying “McCain just ripped that microphone from that woman’s hands… I thought it was a little harsh.”

David Axelrod, former White House adviser and Obama campaign strategist, said: “I think a lot of the people who are supporting Donald Trump are the same people who showed up at those Sarah Palin rallies at the end of the 2008 campaign.”

“We know that there is this cohort out there who believe that we are being encroached on by illegal aliens, Muslims, China and Trump has tapped into that constituency,” he said on CNN.

Far from trying to tamp down the controversy, Trump appeared to reach for more in his tweets Saturday, implying that Christians have suffered under Obama.

“Christians need support in our country (and around the world), the上海夜生活论坛ir religious liberty is at stake! Obama has been horrible, I will be great,” Trump said.

For more on the 2016 presidential race, see the blog, “Tales from the Trail” (here).

Manchester United ease their way through the FA Cup 4th round

Manchester United congratulated themselves with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Ligue 2 side Yeovil Town in the fourth round of the FA Cup. The game certainly was the best present for José Mourinho, who turned 55 on the very same day.

Marcus Rashford opened the score in the 41st minute following a shaky display from th上海夜生活e home team’s defense. Ander Herrera doubled United’s lead in the 61st minute after a well-organized counter-attack. Jesse Lingard also put his name on the scoresheet, making it 3-0, while Romelu Lukaku wrapped up the final 4-0 in favour of the Red Devils during the stoppage time of the game.Opinion: Solskjaer needs patience from Manchester United Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – As we enter into one of the most complicated moments for Solskjaer, we believe Manchester United needs to be patient with him.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer…

The big news around the game, however, was the debut of Alexis Sanchez who joined Manchester United from Arsenal a few days ago. The Chilean took part in the build up that lead to the first two goals for his team before getting substituted in the second half.

This was also Mourinho’s 100th game in charge of the Red Devils and his current managerial record for the clubs looks the following: Played 100, Won 62, Drawn 23, Lost 15. Another interesting fact regarding Mourinho’s reign is that Zlatan still remains the highest scoring striker for United under the rule of the Portuguese tactician.

Pardew had only words of praise for Rondon

Alan Pardew, the West Bromwich Albion head coach, insisted that he admires Salomon Rondon for his determination to finish the match despite being involved in James McCarthy’s horrific injury.

The Venezuela international had a collision with the home side midfielder in the second-half of this fixture and it caused a horrible double leg fracture for James McCarthy – Rondon fell in tears after that but he managed to finish the match somehow and in the end, he was really close to scoring the winning goal as he hit the crossbar.

The West Brom manager spoke about this incident and Rondon’s effort as he said, according to Sky Sports: “Salomon was traumatised because he probably heard a break or something, a noise that would have affected him, he’s that kind of person.  I wasn’t sure if he was going to carry on but he got himself together after being affected and, fair play to him, he was the best player on the pitch today. He was awesome for us and it was such a shame he hit the bar at the end.”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 also added that they could have won this game at the end of the day: “It’s not often you come to Goodison Park and feel slightly disappointed. We felt we could have won that game. We played well at times, took the lead, frustrated Everton and had them where we wanted them.”

In the end, Alan Pardew claimed that he is also disappointed by McCarthy’s injury: “They only had about two or three chances in the gam上海夜生活e and they scored from one and that got them back in the game. The unsavoury incident in the game, which led to James McCarthy getting a bad injury affected everybody a little bit. I’m disappointed for the lad whose been injured but we’re also disappointed we didn’t get a result.”

Wenger wants to get his revenge on Liverpool

Arsene Wenger can remember how heavily his side were defeated by Liverpool earlier this season – and he wants his players to get their revenge for this 4-0 embarrassing loss at Anfield Road.

The Arsenal goalkeeper, Petr Čech, described this loss as one of the worst moments of his long career – so it’s obvious that the Gunners will do anything to win the reverse match and get their revenge. Arsene Wenger admitted that this defeat still hurts him and he thinks that his players feel the same way – and he wants to do something similar to their upcoming opponent.

The former AS Monaco coach spoke about his feeling after this huge loss as he said, according to Sky Sports: “When you have such a long career as I have, you have some defeats unfortunately that hurt you for the rest of your life. I believe what is interesting in football is you always have a time to make up for it. When you can put things right, do it. So let’s focus on what is in front of us and turn up on Friday night with a completely different performance.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarr上海夜生活论坛a 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 assuring that the motivation is there and his side will do anything to turn it around: “The motivation is there. This squad has a good mentality and it is about us, to make sure we are on top of our game. We must play with pace and a determined attitude.”

In the end, Arsene Wenger spoke about his reunion with Oxlade-Chamberlain: “It would be not fair to put the defeat at Liverpool, where the whole team had a bad performance, on one player. After that, on the other side, you analyse ‘did you make mistakes or not?’ You cannot go home and say everything was perfect when you lose like we did.”

One less headache for Zidane

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has been unfortunate with continuous injuries and suspensions among his defenders this season, but he has received some good news ahead of their game against Sevilla

Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal will both miss Los Blancos’ game on Saturday against Sevilla due to suspensions, whereas centre-back Raphael Varane will be out with an injury as well. In addition, Jesus Vallejo picked up a muscular issue earlier, and was not sure whether the French manager can count on him either.

However, as it turns out Zidane can include Vallejo in Madrid’s squad during the weekend, as the defender has been able to recover from his injury in time, saving some hours of headache for his manager.

According to MARCA, early on Friday morning the forecast didn’t look so great, but he was ultim上海夜生活ately able to join the table for training and Zidane confirmed he’d be available during the coach’s press conference.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…

As a result, the 20-year-old defender will most likely start the game along with Nacho in the centre of the defense, which will be Vallejo’s fourth game this season, but maybe the most important one yet.

The youngster’s career hasn’t been easy and simple so far in the Spanish capital, as he hasn’t played a whole lot due to injuries, and naturally finding himself low in the pecking order with stars like Varane and Ramos ahead of him. If that’s not enough, Vallejo has also picked up a suspension in the first leg of their Copa del Rey game against Fuenlabrada.

This weekend, with a space in the lineup with his name on it, it seemed he’d have to forfeit an opportunity once again, but in the end Vallejo will come to the rescue, MARCA continues.

After all the unfortunate happenings, Zidane will get a break to at least start two natural centre-backs on Saturday.

PSG officials questioned in FFP investigation

UEFA have opened an investigation on PSG over FFP regulations breach.

The investigation was started af上海夜生活网ter PSG signed Neymar from Barcelona, for €222m and committed another €180m for the transfer of Kylian Mbappe from Monaco. UEFA wants to find out how is the Parisian club looking to comply with the Financial Fair Play regulations after the massive spendings.

According to AFP, on Thursday afternoon, PSG officials were called to UEFA headquarters in order to answer some of the questions. The meeting was qualified as a “routine meeting” and took place in Nyon.

The general director of PSG, Jean-Claude Blanc and the general secretary of the club, Victoriano Meleoro were tasked by the Parisians with the responsibility of answering to UEFA’s questions. Besides Blanc and Meleoro, two other officials took part in the meeting: Philippe Boindrieux, the deputy general director and Benoit Muller, the financial director of the club.Report: Icardi opens PSG account in 0-1 win over Gala George Patchias – Mauro Icardi opened his goal-scoring account for PSG in a 0-1 away victory over Galatasaray.While Thomas Tuchel has begun to integrate Mauro Icardi into…

UEFA announced right after the opening of the investigation that “during the next months, the investigation office of the clubs’ financial control body will hold regular meetings to evaluate carefully all the documents related to this matter.”

The Financial Fair Play regulations have been enforced by Michel Platini, the former president of UEFA, in 2010. Since then, clubs that are participating in European competitions cannot have a deficit bigger than €30m over a financial period of three years. The sanctions can go all the way to withdrawing the teams’ right to participate in Champions League or Europa League.

PSG have been sanctioned before, in 2014, after a contract signed between the club and the Tourism office in Qatar, was considered overvalued by UEFA.

Klopp says he had a ‘good conversation’ with Coutinho

The Brazilian is finally back from international break and training with the first squad.

Liverpool’s head coach Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he had a good conversation with Philippe Coutinho upon his arrival in Melwood. Yet, the 25-year-old midfielder will likely not start against Manchester City.

Many expected things to get a bit awkward between the two after Coutinho submitted a transfer request in an attempt to force a move to Barcelona, but his wish was denied and he will be staying at Liverpool. However, the Brazilian reported back for training at Melwood on Thursday and everything seems back to normal for Liverpool.

“I know what people think, but Phil had the back problem a few weeks ago and couldn’t train so that means he missed around about three weeks,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website.

“Yes, he went to the national team and trained normally, but now we have to prepare for a normal season so we have seven games [before the next international break] and we saw trai上海夜网ning this morning and thought ‘OK, maybe we should use him immediately’ because he was really good, but that doesn’t make sense.Liverpool could be kicked out of the Carabao Cup Andrew Smyth – Liverpool face a nervous wait to discover their Carabao Cup fate after falling into hot water with the Football League over selecting ineligible players.

“We have now to continue with the pre-season, not too long, but in a few sessions we have to give ourselves the time because in the next month we have seven games.

“We always have the same decision to make, ‘does he need training or can he play?’ and all that stuff. Yes, he will now do a little bit more than the other boys but he showed up in a very, very good mood and looks really promising.”

The German tactician also stated that he had a fresh talk with Coutinho and everything was alright between them.

“Of course – all good, all good. Nothing else to say, actually, so he’s back and we had a really good conversation, so good,” the Reds boss added.

Leicester City sign Harry Maguire from Hull City

The central defender is the club’s first summer signing for undisclosed feeWritten by – Nikolay Nikolov, June 15, 2017.

Leicester City have announced their first summer signing- the central defender Harry Maguire from Hull City.

He has agreed on a five-year deal, joining the Foxes for an undisclosed fee (rumored to be in the region of £17m).

Maguire will stay for at least one more season in the Premier League after his former club was relegated and will play in the Championship next season.

“Once I had my eyes on this club, I always wanted to join,” Maguire told lcfc.com.”Kane: Spurs out of excuses after shock Carabao Cup exit Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane concedes that Tottenham only have themselves to blame following a shock Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Colchester Un上海夜生活ited.

”Thankfully I’m here so I can’t wait to get the season started and kick on.”

The 24-year-old made 29 appearances in the Premier League last season, scoring two goals and providing 2 assists. He also made 6 appearances in the League Cup, scoring once.

Besides from being a centre-back, Maguire can also play at the right-back position.

He becomes Craig Shakespeare’s first signing as Leicester manager as he also signed a new three-year contract last week.

Maguire could play his first game for Leicester in the Premier League Asia Trophy. The tournament will take place in Hong Kong, starting on 19th of July. Leicester will meet West Bromwich and one of Crystal Palace or Liverpool three days later.

Conte prepares \u20ac83m bid for two Roma players

Antonio Conte has asked for reinforcements ahead of next season, as his team faces a higher number of games, due to participation in Champions League.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. May 8, 2017.

And the Italian manager has turned his attention to上海夜生活论坛 Serie A. Chelsea are preparing an €83m bid for two of AS Roma’s players: Radja Nainggolan and Antonio Rudiger.

Conte wanted Nainggolan last summer as well, but Chelsea failed to meet Roma’s asking price of €38m. The Belgian expressed his interest in joining the Premier League team: “I spoke with Antonio Conte, they were very interested in me, they wanted me there. Many of my colleagues played in England, it’s the best league in the world. We will discuss again when the transfer window will open.”Inter Milan V Lazio: Players to Watch Taimoor Khan – Inter Milan are set to host Lazio at the San Siro on Thursday and the game is definitely going to be an exciting affair…

Chelsea are still looking for replacement options for John Terry and Rudiger is considered a serious alternative. Last summer, Conte tried to bring another central defender from Serie A –  Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli, but again failed to meet the asking price of the Italian club.

Radja Nainggolan was brought by Roma from Cagliari in 2014, for €18m, while Antonio Rudiger came from Stuttgart in 2016 for €9,5m.

Mourinho plans historical betrayal\u00a0

Manchester United are ready to enter the race for a rival player, in a move that would mean a historical betrayal.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. May 7, 2017.

Jose Mourinho is ready to splash the cash in the upcoming transfer window. And one of the Portuguese’s targets is none other than city rival Sergio Agüero.

The English press states that the Red Devils are ready to make a bid of around €65m for Manchester City’s top goal scorer.

Agüero plays for City since 2011, when he was bought from Atletico Madrid for €45m. Although he is the team’s top goal scorer, Agüero started the year on the bench after the arrival of Gabriel Jesus and only regained his place in the starting eleven after the Brazilian got injured.Inter Milan V Lazio: Players to Watch Taimoor Khan – Inter Milan are set to host Lazio at the San Siro on Thursday and the game is definitely going to be an exciting affair…

Gabriel Jesus seems exactly the type of player that Guardiola loves and it looks like the Brazilian will be Pep’s first choice for the central striker position next season. Under these circumstances, Agüero might be tempted to consider other offers.

Mourinho sees the 28-year-old上海夜生活 as the perfect number 9 for his team, after the long-term injury of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who will probably not be offered a contract extension.

Agüero is currently fifth in the top goalscorers list in Premier League, with 18 goals, one ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Romelu Lukaku from Everton tops the list with 24 goals.

And the Argentinian is not the only player that Mourinho wants from his city rivals. It was rumoured lately that Manchester United are considering a bid for the Citizen’s goalkeeper, Joe Hart. Hart is currently on loan at Torino and he is not part of Guardiola’s plans for next season.

Georgia Democrat Abrams rules out U.S. Senate run, says not ‘best’ role

( ) – Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams, a rising Democratic Party star who narrowly fell short of becoming the first female black U.S. governor, said on Tuesday she would not run for the U.S. Senate in 2020 because it was not “the best role” for her.

“The fights to be waged require a deep commitment to the job and I do not see the U.S. Senate as the best role for me in this battle for our nation’s future,” Abrams said in a video posted on Twitter, adding she would work to ensure the state elected a Democrat to the seat.

Abrams stands at the forefront of a diverse and younger generatio上海夜生活网n of Democratic Party leaders catapulted onto the national stage in last year’s midterm elections, and has been discussed as a possible 2020 White House candidate.

Her profile continued to climb when party officials picked her in February to deliver their response to Republican President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech.

The 45-year-old former Georgia state legislative leader, demonstrated how Democrats could compete in a Southern state that had been voting reliably Republican. She came closer than any Democrat in years by rallying African-American voters, while drawing stronger support from white voters than Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to exit polls.

Abrams lost the governor’s race by about one percent of nearly 4 million votes cast in a Nov. 6, 2018 election that drew national scrutiny for voter suppression amid widespread complaints of ballot box irregularities, which Abrams blamed for eroding her margins.

“There’s been a lot of doubt about Georgia’s competitiveness that I think has now evaporated,” Lauren Groh-Warren, who managed Abrams’ 2018 campaign, said in an interview with prior to Tuesday’s announcement.

After her defeat, Abrams founded the voting rights nonprofit, Fair Fight Action, which aims to end state practices that have drawn criticism from national voting rights advocates. These practices range from purges of the voter rolls and stringent rules requiring signatures on mail-in ballots, to exact-match official records.

Such requirements can disproportionately affect minority voters who often favor Democratic candidates.

“Bad policies are a direct result of people not being heard because their votes were not counted,” Abrams said in the video, adding she would continue to fight voter suppression.

Abram’s 2018 opponent, Republican Brian Kemp, ignited further controversy for overseeing the election as Georgia’s then secretary of state. Kemp, who has denied nefarious action, stepped down from his post only after winning the governorship.

Despite her loss, Abrams’ candidacy is widely credited with helping to turn out Democratic voters who enabled the party to pick up a congressional seat in the Atlanta suburbs and come close to wresting a second seat away from the Republican Party.

Power traders tackle renewables puzzle in Danish ‘Silicon Valley’

AARHUS, Denmark ( ) – Far from the sprawling financial hubs of London or Frankfurt, high-tech traders in the Danish university city of Aarhus are driving rapid change in European power markets, easing the shift to renewables with technology that also carries some risks.

The red-brick buildings, pavement cafes and streets full of cyclists in the coastal city on the Jutland peninsula belie the sophisticated computer-driven trade in electricity and gas across Europe taking place inside some 10 firms based here.

But the wind turbines filling fields nearby flag the origins of a future-focused business. Leading global wind turbine manufacturers Vestas (VWS.CO) and Siemens Gamesa (SGREN.MC) have roots in Denmark, which now covers around 30 percent of its energy needs with renewables.

The rapid diversification brought by renewables, coupled with growing competition and digitalization in traditional European power and gas, has lowered margins, shortened contracts and brought an explosion of data for traders to consider.

Algorithms can examine live data about the output of wind turbines or solar panels, changeable weather patterns, demand and fuel price data much faster, more accurately and at a lower cost than a human trader.

A Dane called Henrik Lind spotted an opportunity in Aarhus, where Vestas is based, and set up Danske Commodities in 2004. It and other firms established since – some by former Danske Commodities employees – now use algorithms and artificial intelligence to reap rewards from real-time fluctuations in supply and demand.

“A knowledge industry has been created here of power, gas, renewables, Big Data, artificial intelligence – a combination of the traditional markets and the Silicon Valley tech,” said Jesper Johanson, chief executive and co-founder of InCommodities, one of four Aarhus-based firms spoke to.

Energy companies and banks have their own trading desks experimenting with automation and utility companies are also dipping their toes into the business, but some say that with customers to satisfy, the stakes are much higher if they get it wrong.

In an ideal world, the technology helps energy producers to sell their output at the best price, utilities to keep their costs and supplies steady and bankers and brokers to make money with trades that smooth over sharp changes in supply or demand.

Balancing those interests and ensuring transparency and predictability is a challenge, however, and market experts expect regulation to evolve as it has for financial markets as power trading develops.

DATA IS GOLD

Specialist firms are already growing fast as the shift away from fossil fuels introduces a raft of new variables.

“I consider InCommodities just as much an IT company as a commodity trader,” said Johanson, one of four founders of a two-year-old company which now employs 35 people trading short-term power and gas in ten different European markets. All four founders have previously worked at Danske Commodities.

InCommodities’ earnings before tax jumped 529% last year to 7.9 million euros ($8.9 million) and it plans to expand into UK gas next year, emissions markets and, potentially, liquefied natural gas in future.

Danske Commodities was bought by Norwegian oil and gas major Equinor (EQNR.OL) last year: its 50 dedicated energy traders are now doing more than 3,750 trades a day; 24 hours a day; 7 days a week and across 38 power markets.

Unlike InCommodities, which trades for itself, Danske Commodities buys and sells on behalf of clients which may be power companies or renewable energy producers; its earnings before interest and tax rose by 28 percent last year to 72 million euros.

“We treat data as gold. We believe in automation. AI and algorithms are important to be able to leverage the trend of digitalization and develop a competitive edge in these power markets,” said Andreas Schwartz Knudsen, the company’s head of commercial business development.

Leading European power exchange EPEX SPOT said automatic trading began on its platform in 2012 and by last year accounted for around a third of record intraday and day-ahead volumes of 567 terawatt hours (TWh).

Six senior上海夜网 company officials from Danish-based companies involved in the trade interviewed by all saw European power trading becoming so complex that only computer modeling, coupled with human traders, could tackle it.

Investment in automation technology can cost from 100,000 euros to several millions but the most successful has a payback of between one and two years, according to Philippe Vie, group leader of energy, utilities and chemicals at business consultancy Capgemini.

Even so, some people are cautious.

Swedish power company Vattenfall’s CEO Magnus Hall said the company did trade automatically, but “under great surveillance”.

“If it goes wrong it can go severely wrong,” he said by telephone. “Some others do it more frequently but we think there is a need for more safety and security work.”

FAIR MARKET

Market players in Aarhus see themselves as a force for good in a market much more unpredictable than it was in the pre-1990s era of state monopolies dealing with fossil-fuel based regional supply and relatively steady demand.

“The transition towards a higher share of renewable production increases market volatility,” said Sebastian Lund, managing partner of Aarhus-based Nordic Energy House, founded by four former Danske Commodities employees and focused on British and Irish intraday power markets.

“Traders provide market liquidity and play a vital role in establishing dynamic and fair market prices,” he said.

The increasing electrification of power to homes and businesses and the prospect of millions of electric vehicles supplied via a web of renewables and traditional suppliers gives a picture of the complexity ahead.

Algorithmic trading is at a relatively early stage compared with financial markets, but as it develops, it will become harder for the traders overseeing it to gauge the factors behind market moves.

Potential risks have already caught the attention of the body overseeing European energy market transparency regulation, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators.

“The two main examined risks are its potential use as a tool for the manipulation of the market and the possibility that algorithms themselves can in certain circumstances be susceptible to manipulation,” it said.

Existing legislation already applied, it said, while adding: “Provisions from the financial legislation and experience from financial market authorities could prove useful.”

REWARDS

The rewards for successful power trading are growing.

Volumes in Europe’s main wholesale markets were broadly stable at 9,270 terrawatt hours (TWh) last year, but a rise in prices pushed its notional value up 25% to a 7-year high of 459 billion euros, research firm Prospex said. Total European gas trading value rose 35% last year to exceed one trillion euros for the first time.

“As technology and trading gets more sophisticated, the imperfections and the profits shrink,….but the companies playing the market the best, with the most sophisticated technology, are claiming larger profit share,” said Antti Belt, managing director and partner at Boston Consulting Group.

Germany has the continent’s most liquid power market and very short term trades are increasing, while German power producers and grid operators are concerned about the possibility of outages as the country shifts to renewables.

In-country and cross-border capacity is an issue, and with a population exceeding 83 million, Germany has around 14 times as many people to worry about than its northern neighbor Denmark.

There, so far, the experience has been good.

“Denmark … is now widely recognized as a global leader in integrating variable renewable energy while at the same time maintaining a highly reliable and secure electrical power grid,” the International Energy Agency said.

At Danske Commodities, the average age of the 300 employees is 33 and 73% have a master’s degree or higher – some even in cosmology and nanophysics. A talent pool for it and other firms lies on the doorstep.

U.S., China to relaunch talks with little changed since deal fell…

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK ( ) – The United States and China are set to relaunch trade talks this week after a two-month hiatus, but a year after their trade war began there is little sign their differences have narrowed.

After meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Japan just in late June, U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to suspend a new round of tariffs on $300 billion worth of imported Chinese consumer goods while the two sides resumed negotiations.

Trump said then that China would restart large purchases of U.S. agricultural commodities, and the United States would ease some export restrictions on Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies.

But sources familiar with the talks and China trade watchers in Washington say the summit did little to clear the path for top negotiators to resolve an impasse that caused trade deal talks to break down in early May.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Washington was still waiting for China to make good on what he called a “very, very important” pledge to quickly buy more agricultural products, but said there was no firm deadline for such purchases, or for finalizing an overall deal.

Kudlow underscored the divergent perspectives of the world’s two largest economies. He said the United States was seeking remedies and correctives for what it sees as decades of unfair and illegal trading practices, but that would necessarily clash with China’s push for a fair and equitable agreement.

Those differences could still be overcome in negotiations, Kudlow, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, told an event hosted by CNBC, adding, “It’s not impossible. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are due to resume talks by phone this week.

Kudlow told reporters the two teams would meet in person in the near future.

The United States is demanding that China make sweeping policy changes to better protect American intellectual property, end the forced transfer and theft of trade secrets and curb massive state industrial subsidies. At stake, U.S. officials say, is dominance of the high-tech industries of the future, from artificial intelligence to aerospace.

“We’ve had a change in atmospherics,” said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a business-oriented Washington think tank. “While this is great for markets, the administration has not said one specific thing about how we’re unstuck.”

Scissors, who has at times consulted with Trump administration officials, said that both sides got what they wanted out of the summit — a lowering of the temperature and the avoidance of new tariffs that would have been painful for both sides.

“The pressure for one side to give into the other is diffused right now. I expect this to drag out for months,” Scissors added.

NO FIRM COMMITMENTS

Washington and Beijing appear to have different ideas of what the two leaders agreed in Osaka.

Three sources familiar with the state of negotiations say that the Chinese side did not make firm commitments to immediately purchase agricultural commodities.

One of the sources said Trump raised the issue of agricultural purchases twice during the meeting, but Xi only agreed to consider purchases in the context of a broader final agreement.

Other than a small purchase of American rice by a private Chinese firm, no purchases have materialized. Chinese officials and state media accounts in the past week have emphasized that any deal, including agricultural purchases, is dependent on removal of U.S. tariffs.

“The Chinese have been clear they didn’t promise anything,” said one source familiar with the talks.

“The idea they would give up their main leverage before getting anything doesn’t make sense. I could see them buying some pork and buying some soybeans, but it’s still going to be pennies.”

Trump administration officials have also downplayed the extent of pledges to allow Huawei to purchase U.S. technology products, with White House trade adviser Peter Navarro saying that only “lower-tech” U.S. semiconductors could be made available for sale to the company..

reported last week that the Commerce Department’s export control enforcement staff was told to continue to treat Huawei as a blacklisted entity as the department considers requests for licenses to U.S. firms to sell products and services to Huawei

And Kudlow told the CNBC event that the relaxed rules on sale to Huawei would only be in effect for a limited time.

Chinese officials point out that they only got the United States to concede on Huawei at the Osaka talks, rather than on their other demand, which was removing the existing tariffs.

    So the focus on the upcoming talks will be the scrapping on the tariffs, they say.

A second source said that U.S. tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and Chinese tariffs on $160 billion worth of U.S. goods could wind up being “the new normal.”

    One Chinese official familiar with the situation said trade talks would be re-started very quickly, but that there was a “fairly large gap” in the core demands of both countries and it would be a challenge to reach consensus on the toughest issues.

“The negotiating environment is even more severe,” the official said.

Another official said China remained concerned about the presence of hawks in the U.S. team, such as Trump advisor Peter Navarro.

“There are bullies there,” the official said.

The officials spoke to on condition of anonymity.

China’s foreign ministry cited Xi as telling Trump at Osaka that “on issues concerning China’s sovereignty and dignity, China must safeguard its core interests”.

WHICH TEXT?

There has been no indication the two sides will resume negotiations using a text that had been largely agreed before China backtracked on commitments in early May, prompting Trump to proceed with a long-threatened tariff hike to 25 percent on a $200 billion list of Chinese imports.

Beijing had cut out of that text commitments to make changes to its laws reflecting reform pledges, arguing that this would violate its national sovereignty.

Finding a way around this issue is paramount for talks. Beyond that, there are many other difficult issues to resolve, including the structure of an enforcement mechanism designed to hold the two sides to their pledges.

U.S. demands for curbs to provincial and local subsidies for Chinese state comp上海夜生活anies, access to China’s cloud computing market, agricultural biotech approvals and the scope of China’s agricultural purchases remain divisive issues for the two sides.

Related CoverageTrade call between U.S., Chinese officials was constructive: White HouseU.S. exempts some medical, electronic devices from China tariffs

Claire Reade, a former China trade negotiator at USTR who is now a Washington-based trade lawyer with the firm Arnold and Porter, said there was room on both sides to get a deal.

“There are ways to maneuver around the current red flags that have been put in the ground,” Reade said. “Both President Xi and President Trump have to come out of this saying they stood strong, and they in-effect got a win.”

One way for China to avoid the appearance of giving in to U.S. demands is to take some legal steps on key issues before the deal is agreed. That way they can say they’re doing it on their own terms, she added.

GM to invest $150 million to boost heavy-duty pickup truck production

FLINT, Mich. ( ) – General Motors Co president Mark Reuss said on Wednesday that the automaker is investing about $150 million at its Flint Assembly plant, Michigan, to boost production of heavy duty trucks by another 40,000 vehicles a year.

Reuss announced the investment at the Flint truck assembly plant wearing a United Auto Workers pin.

The Detroit automaker announced in February it was adding 1,000 jobs in Flint to build a new generation of heavy-duty pickup trucks.

GM did not say that the latest investment would add more jobs at the plant, but Reuss said there could be opportunities to add workers as the launch of the automaker’s new trucks progresses.

GM has been under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump and lawmakers of both parties to add jobs in the United States after it said last November it would idle a small car assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and had no new products for three other U.S. manufacturing plants.

The Flint investment will include upgrades to the plant’s conveyors and other new tooling, and will be completed in the first half of 2020. GM has invested more than $1.6 billion in the plant since 2013.

Last month, GM said it would invest $24 million to increase truck production at its assembly plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which makes Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra models.

Sales of heavy-duty pickups in the United States have grown to more than 600,000 vehicles a year, up more than 20 percent since 2013, according to industry data. Prices for luxury models can easily top $70,000.

GM’s Chevrolet and GMC brands have long trailed Ford Motor Co’s F-series heavy duty trucks in the lucrative segment. The new Chevrolet and GMC heav上海夜生活网y duty trucks have been re-engineered to tow heavier trailers, and keep pace in what has become an arms race among the Detroit Three automakers to claim superior torque and towing capability.