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Democrats face uphill fight if Trump gets second U.S. high court pick

WASHINGTON ( ) – If Democrats thought it was hard to stop President Donald Trump’s first U.S. Supreme Court nominee, it promises to be even tougher for them if he gets to fill another vacancy, potentially to replace the most influential justice, Anthony Kennedy.

Kennedy, a conservative who sometimes sides with the court’s liberals in key cases such as on gay rights and abortion, is one of three justices 78 or older. Justice Stephen Breyer is 78 and fellow liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 84.

Former Kennedy Supreme Court clerks said the justice, who turns 81 in July上海夜网, may be pondering retirement either this year or in 2018.

That would give Trump a further chance to shape the court after his first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, was sworn in on Monday for the lifetime job to replace the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia after overcoming fierce Democratic opposition in the Senate confirmation process.

Kennedy administered Gorsuch’s judicial oath at a White House ceremony, and Trump heaped praise on a justice who has spent nearly three decades on America’s top court, calling him “a great man of outstanding accomplishment.”

Gorsuch is one of Kennedy former clerks. Kennedy is planning a reunion of his clerks in June rather than next year as had been expected. Kennedy, through a court spokesman, declined to comment on his plans.

The implications for the court if Kennedy were to step down are enormous. For the past decade he been its swing vote in major cases. Gorsuch’s confirmation restored the court’s 5-4 conservative majority. If whenever Kennedy leaves the bench he is replaced by a stalwart conservative, that would move the court further to the right.

Republicans possess a 52-48 majority in the Senate. In order to secure Gorsuch’s confirmation, they voted to prohibit a procedural roadblock called a filibuster that had required a super-majority of 60 votes to allow a confirmation vote for Supreme Court nominees, leaving the minority Democrats with little ammunition for the next nomination fight.

“I think it will be very hard for Democrats to get much traction to derail a future Trump nominee without the threat of a filibuster,” George Washington University political scientist Sarah Binder said.

But Democrats and Republicans still are predicting a fierce fight over the next court vacancy.

‘I EXPECT ARMAGEDDON ‘

“For the life of me I don’t understand why the Democrats made such a fuss about this one. They look stupid,” Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said last week of Gorsuch’s nomination. “I expect Armageddon on the next one because that’s going to change, assuming Trump gets another one, the direction of the court. It would certainly keep the court in a more conservative mode for a long time.”

A Democratic congressional aide added, “The opposition to Gorsuch could look weak compared to what a similarly conservative nominee would face, if it would tip the balance on the court.”

Kennedy is the longest-serving of the nine justices. He was nominated by Republican President Ronald Reagan in 1987 and confirmed by the Senate in 1988 after Democrats thwarted Reagan’s first choice, outspoken conservative Robert Bork, and his second pick, Douglas Ginsburg, withdrew from consideration.

Although he has sided with his conservative colleagues on many issues, Kennedy has supported liberal causes such as gay rights, culminating in writing the landmark 2015 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

He also joined the liberals in upholding abortion rights. In 2016, Kennedy joined the court’s four liberal justices in a ruling striking down a Texas abortion law imposing strict regulations on doctors and facilities in the strongest endorsement of U.S. abortion rights in more than two decades.

He also authored a 2016 ruling upholding the consideration of race in college admissions, joined by the court’s liberals.

University of Georgia School of Law professor Lori Ringhand said Republicans may be wary of defending an extremely conservative court nominee with the midterm congressional elections coming up in 2018, if another vacancy arises.

“It’s not clear it would be to the electoral advantage to Republicans to have a hotly contested Supreme Court nomination right before the midterms that highlighted a nominee’s extremely conservative positions on social issues that the majority of the public have actually accepted,” Ringhand said.

European stocks clock best weekly showing in two months, French shares shine

( ) – European stocks posted their best weekly performance since early April on Friday, aided by strong gains in Paris, against a backdrop of hope among investors that central banks would support global growth with more accommodative policies.

The Bundesbank slashed its growth projections for Germany and euro zone money markets now price in a 60% chance of the European Central Bank cutting interest rates by 10 basis points by year-end, while U.S. job growth slowed sharply in May, feeding expectations of lower U.S. interest rates in 2019.

The pan-European STOXX 600 gained 0.9%, with Paris-traded stocks posting a 1.6% gain. Frankfurt-listed shares rose 0.8%, while their peers in London firmed 1%.

“Investors continue to pile into equities, with the jobs report and subsequent stock rally capping a very good week for equity markets,” Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, wrote in a note.

上海夜生活网Sanofi tacked on 4.4% to prop up the French index and European health care stocks, on news it has poached Paul Hudson from Novartis to become its new chief executive later this year.

The STOXX 600’s top performer was Dutch insurer ASR Nederland with a 5.8% rise, after rival Vivat, for which ASR previously made an offer, agreed to be bought by private European life insurer Athora.

Technology shares, broadly sensitive to trade war ructions, starred with a 2% gain. Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday called U.S. President Donald Trump his friend and said he believed the United States was not interested in rupturing economic ties with China.

The chemicals sector was among Europe’s top performers, rising 1.1%. Belgian chemical and materials maker Solvay gained 2.3%, aided by UBS upgrading its rating on the stock and boosting its target price.

While higher Brent crude futures fuelled energy shares’ 1.2% rise, Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA led the sector with a 3.5% gain. A unit of the Polish firm bought a stake in the Norwegian King Lear deposit from Total E&P Norge.

Financial services rose 0.8%, with the sector’s gains led by Exor, which added 1.6%. The Milan-listed firm is the top shareholder in Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which pulled away from an offer to merge with Renault earlier this week.

Automakers and their suppliers gained 0.1%, as a 4.9% fall in German car parts maker Hella following a rating downgrade by brokerage BHF weighed.

Real estate stocks dipped 0.6%, making them the STOXX 600’s only losing sub-sector.

Deutsche Wohnen slid 8.5% after Morgan Stanley downgraded its rating on the German property group to “equal weight” from “overweight”.

The bank cited the risk of rising political involvement in the German residential market. The Berlin Senate proposed earlier this week to impose a five-year rent freeze from January 2020.

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.

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.

Sterling stalls ahead of vote to delay Brexit; dollar ticks up

NEW YORK ( ) – The U.S. dollar gained on Thursday for the first time in a week, albeit modestly, as the pound stalled at lower levels ahead of a vote to extend Britain’s March 29 deadline for exiting the European Union.

The pound was down 0.54 percent at $1.3266 in afternoon American trade as Prime Minister Theresa May piled pressure on rebel lawmakers on Thursday to back her battered European Union divorce deal as parliament prepared to vote on seeking a delay to Britain’s departure that could ultimately derail the process.

A day earlier, the British currency soared nearly 2 percent and reached nine-month highs after lawmakers voted against a potentially 上海夜生活论坛disorderly “no-deal” departure from the EU.

Analysts cautioned against putting large positions on sterling due to lingering uncertainty about Brexit.

“With the uncertainty around (Brexit), it’s not a time … to take sizeable positions. The risk/reward still favors waiting for some clarity,” said Charles Tomes, senior investment analyst at Manulife Asset Management.

The dollar index, a gauge of its strength against six other major currencies, was up 0.22 percent at 96.757. It had fallen overnight, at one point brushing a nine-day trough of 96.385.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week, suggesting the labor market was slowing, but probably not to the extent implied by a near-stall in job growth in February.

Other U.S. data showed import prices in February rose by the most in nine months. Still, the inflation trend remained weak as import prices dropped on a year-on-year basis for a third straight month. The data remained supportive of the Federal Reserve’s pledge to be “patient” before raising interest rates.

“In the foreign exchange market overall there’s not a lot of conviction” at the moment, said Tomes. “Volatility is low and people don’t want to put on sizeable positions either way.”

The Australian dollar AUD= fell to its lowest in three days after reports that China and the United States had delayed a meeting to end their trade war. The meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping will not occur this month and is more likely to happen in April at the earliest, Bloomberg reported. It was last at $0.7061, down 0.54 percent on the day.

Investors are worried that any escalation in the trade conflict will pummel export-oriented economies like Australia, whose biggest trading partner is China. The yuan was relatively stable in the offshore market, down 0.31 percent at 6.7230.

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.”

Chamberlain disappointed in himself

The E上海夜生活论坛ngland international scored a goal as Liverpool won 5-0 against Swansea Cityon Tuesday, but he was not happy with his performance.

Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admitted he felt really disappointed with the way he played regardless of the goal he scored against the Swans.

The former Arsenal player scored the last goal of the game in front of the KOP, but noted he expects more of himself and will not rest until he gets where he wants to be.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the final whistle of the game, Chamberlain stated: “We got the three points but personally I was quite disappointed with myself today.

“I’m happy I managed to get the goal in the end but I just tried to work hard through the 90 minutes and when the chance came at the end I was happy to put that away. It made it a bit better.Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers relishing Liverpool return Andrew Smyth – Brendan Rodgers is relishing Leicester City’s trip to his old club Liverpool, whom he described as a “privilege” to work for during his three-year stint.

“I just want more from myself and there were a few moments where I could have done better with my end product.”

The 24-year-old knows that good chances do not come often in the English top-flight and criticised his wastefulness, insisting he should have done better at certain situations.

“We train every day and when you get into certain situations you work hard to get into those positions and in this league they don’t come too often. There are a few times today when I could have done better.

“But 5-0 for the boys, I’m really happy with that. I just want to keep pushing myself.”

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.”

Conte is too clever to take the AC Milan job

The former Inter chairman, Massimo Moratti, is certain that Antonio Conte won’t be a new coach of AC Milan as he is “too smart” to take this job and he will more likely remain at Chelsea.

Antonio Conte has mentioned several times before that he would like to return to Italy at some point in his career but Moratti thinks that AC Milan won’t be the right destination. The Rossoneri have been struggling so far and they are currently looking for a new coach as Genaro Gattuso is considered to be a mostly temporary replacement.

The ex-chairman of Inter spoke about this situation a上海夜生活网s he said, according to Goal: “He is a great manager, the only difference with [Luciano] Spalletti is that Spalletti has yet to win a Serie A title, Conte has already won league titles in Italy and in England. If he’d joined Inter and failed it would have been Inter’s fault. A move to AC Milan? No, I don’t think so, he is a smart guy.”Italian football to pay respects to Sassuolo owner Squinzi George Patchias – Sassuolo owner Giorgio Squinzi has died at the age of 76, and a minute’s silence will be observed across Italian football this weekend as…

He also spoke about Inter’s current coach, Luciano Spaletti: “I’d never give him advice. I’ve explained to him the mentality of an interista fan, but he already knew it. I also wanted to hire him but I never managed to in the past. We were very close after the treble but he chose Zenit instead. He can read the players’ mind just like Mourinho. Players like Ranocchia, Santon and Brozovic are reborn.”

In the end, Marotti also mentioned the fact that Ivan Perisic decided to stay with Inter Milan and to refuse Manchester United: “He is so strong, he has strength and quality. I don’t see better wingers in Europe right now but he needs to have consistency. Spalletti was very important for him because he blocked his exit last summer.”

Dembele pushing hard for ‘El Clasico’

Ousmane Dembele is determined to get back to action in time for this year’s ‘El Clasico’.

The French forward has set himself the very ambitious goal of returning to the pitch for the Real Madrid – Barcelona match scheduled on the 23rd of December. Dembele would like to at least be on the bench for the derby, if not to start it.

The ex-Borussia Dortmund forward suffered a serious injury during his La Liga debut as a starting player for Barcelona, in the match against Getafe, in September. Initially, the medical team ruled him out for the rest of the year, but the young forward has big chances of returning before the end of the year.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…

Dembele cannot hit the ball yet, but it’s just a matter of days until the player will return to individual training sessions. At the moment, he is working on the physical recovery and has impressed the medical staff of Barcelona with his ambition.

Sport.es wrote about the player’s recovery: “The people working with Dembele towards his return are impressed with the player’s attitude and positive mentality, a very important aspect when going through a recovery period”.

Barcelona paid €105m for the transfer of Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund. The transfer deal also includes another €45m in different bonuses上海夜生活论坛. The French forward is seen as the perfect replacement for Neymar, who left Barcelona for PSG this summer, in a world record deal of €222m.

UEFA’s ‘Team of the Century’

In anticipation of releasing the ‘Team of the Year’ next week, UEFA has published a ‘Team of the Century’, putting together the players that featured most in their team of the years this century.

The team features, as expected, both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Furthermore, the first eleven includes six Spanish players. Moreover, six players that play or have played for Barcelona are in the team, as well as three from Real Madrid.

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The leader of appearances in ‘Team of the Year’ is Cristiano Ronaldo, with 11 picks in the last 16 years. Lionel Messi follows closely.

Iker Casillas, Carles Puyol, Sergio Ramos and Andres Iniesta all have six appearances, Philipp Lahm, Gerard Pique, Xavi and Thierry Henry have five, while Steven Gerrard has three.

The fact that Spain has six players in the team is easy to explain due to the national team’s successes in the period 2008-2012, when they basically dominated world football, winning two European Championships and one World Cup.

At club level, Spanish team ha上海夜生活ve also dominated Europe. Since 2000, Real Madrid won the Champions League trophy five times (1999/2000, 2001/2002, 2013/2014, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017) and Barcelona won it four times (2005/2006, 2008/2009, 2010/2011 and 2014/2015).

Barcelona ready to pay huge sign-on fee for Messi

The Catalans want to make sure that their star man will sign a new deal with the club and are prepared to pay him a huge amount.

Besides the €550k/week wages that Barcelona are proposing to Messi, they are also ready to pay a €90m bonus to the Argentinian for the signing of a new deal, according to Daily Mail. This would be a record breaking signing-on fee.

Barcelona are thought to be lookin上海夜生活网g to sell the naming rights of their stadium, Camp Nou, which is set to undergo major renovations. The Catalans are looking to rename the stadium as early as next season, hoping that the funds attracted will help ease the burden of the wages. Reports suggest that Barcelona would be looking to raise around €200m for selling the naming rights of the stadium for the next 25 years.Pique sends a warning message to the board after Barcelona scrape the win against… Nedim Maric – The turmoil at the beginning of the season caused a lot of concerns at Barcelona.Shaky start of the season for Barca saw them get…

In a report published by L’Ara, it was claimed that Barcelona’s current wage expenditure of €450m represents a staggering 84% of the total revenue of the club.

In addition to the naming rights, Barcelona would also like to make use of their situation with the kit supplier. Nike are set to make the Catalans a new offer to extend the current deal and a new agreement could be announced next year.

With Barcelona having achieved direct qualification to next year’s World Cup in Russia, Messi’s schedule will now allow space for a potential official announcement about his new deal with the Catalans.

Arrigo Sacchi: Insigne “the perfect replacement” for Neymar

Arrigo Sacchi has given his opinion on who would have been the perfect replacement for Neymar at Barcelona and the former Italy manager indicated Lorenzo Insigne.

Barcelona have lost Neymar to PSG this summer, after the Parisians paid his release clause. The transfer took the Catalans by surprise and ever sine then, they tried to find the perfect replacement for the Brazilian.

Ousmane Dembele was brought in to Camp Nou eventually, after long negotiations led Barcelona to pay an initial €105m for the French forward. Bur Arrigo Sacchi feels another player on Barcelona’s shortlist would have been a more suitable replacement for Neymar.Opinion: The上海夜生活论坛 problem isn’t Phil Coutinho, it’s Barcelona Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Now that we are getting to see Phil Coutinho’s best version at Bayern Munich, we can conclude that the problem is FC Barcelona.FC Barcelona…

In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Sacchi said: “Lorenzo Insigne would’ve been the perfect replacement for Neymar at Barcelona. He’s the greatest Italian talent in 10 years.

I don’t think Barcelona are up to the same standard as Real Madrid. Having lost Neymar, Insigne would’ve been the perfect replacement. He is the greatest Italian talent in 10 years and has some genial intuition.”

Sacchi continued, pointing some of the flaws in Insigne’s game: “He just needs to avoid being ‘sneaky’ when he isn’t in the mood to run. When Dries Mertens and Marek Hamsik block the midfielders who can only go via the right-back, he looks back and tries to make preventative blocks instead of trying to snatch the ball. It’s a shame, because tactically he really is wonderful.”

Klopp confident in his squad

The German tactician believes Liverpool will be able to challenge for the title this year.

Jürgen Klopp thinks Liverpool will play for the championship in the upcoming 2017-18 as they seek to end a period of 27 years with no English title.

Since Liverpool last won the league, they have been completely overtaken by Manchester United as English football’s most successful club.

Ahead of the Audi Cup in Munich, Klopp told reporters about the ambition of his men:

“We will be playing for the championship. We don’t start a season by not having any ambitions.” the German said, according to Goal.Jurgen Klopp rates Pep Guardiola as his greatest rival Andrew Smyth – Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp revealed that his Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola is the best manager that he’s ever coached against.

“We have to have our goals. That’s what we did last season. We aimed for the top, and we finished fourth. But I think we have a very good team now.

“We did have a bit of bad luck last season. I think we can play a little bit better.

“Let’s hope everything will work very well and that there isn’t much more to improve. We have to work very har上海夜生活论坛d on it and we’re doing that.”

The Reds were one of the title contenders last year, after a dip in their form packed with a number of injuries saw the club from Anfield take the fourth spot, 17 points behind Chelsea.

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.

Kante wins PFA Players’ Player of the Year

In a ceremony that took place Sunday evening at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante has been presented with the Player of the Year award by the Professional Footballers Association.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. April 24, 2017.

Competing against the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Harry Kane, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and team-mate Eden Hazard, Kante received the most votes from his fellow players.

After helping his former team, Leicester, to win an historical title last season, the French midfielder joined Chelsea for £32m last summer and is about to win his second consecutive Premier League title. He would become the first player to have achieved this (winning consecutive English titles with two different teams), after Eric Cantona in 1992 and 1993.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…

On being presented with the award, Kante said: “To be chosen by the p上海夜生活layers to be player of the year mean a lot to me. It means the world to be chosen and it’s been two beautiful seasons, one with Leicester, and we are in good form with Chelsea. To be player of the year, it’s a great honour.”

Kante also discussed the ongoing season with Chelsea and his manager, Antonio Conte: “He [Conte] knows what he wants from the players. He wants to win, and we work very, very, very hard in training for him. He put a winning mentality into the squad, and everyone wants to give their best for the team, and to make Chelsea win titles. We have to fight for six more games. We’re going to fight like a final for every game, and hopefully we can win the league at the end of the season.”

Cain, Moore nominations for Federal Reserve seats on track: Kudlow

WASHINGTON ( ) – Top White House officials on Sunday defended President Donald Trump’s plan to name two political loyalists to the Federal Reserve board of governors, brushing aside controversies over their personal lives and qualifications to help run the world’s most powerful central bank.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney used appearances on Sunday morning talk shows to defend Trump’s plan to nominate economic commentator Stephen Moore and businessman and former presidential candidate Herman Cain to fill open board seats at the Fed.

“The president stands behind both of those gentlemen right now,” Kudlow said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“We have two open seats. The president has every right in the world to nominate people who share his economic philosophy.”

Trump has been highly critical of his handpicked Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, after a series of interest rate increases and other act上海夜生活ions last year that Trump feels have held back an economy that would be otherwise growing like a “rocket ship.”

The rate increases have left the central bank’s target interest rate still low by historical standards, and among monetary policy officials were considered a cautious hedge against a return of inflation in an economy that last year was going faster than expected. Keeping inflation under control is a key mission of the Fed, and higher rates help do so by discouraging borrowing and spending.

But “there is no inflation,” Kudlow said. Instead there was “worry that the central bank is not taking account of a weak world economy, some financial tightening in the marketplace,” and made monetary policy too restrictive.

The Fed said it was weak inflation, weakening global growth, and financial volatility that led it last year to put further rate increases on hold and shift other policies as well.

Still, Kudlow said the president believed that the Fed was fundamentally flawed in its view that at some point very low unemployment will lead to higher inflation.

That idea “has been disproven for decades,” he said. “We believe more people working and succeeding does not cause inflation.”

“President Trump has every right to put people on the Federal Reserve Board with a different point of view,” Kudlow said. “He wants people on the Fed who share his philosophy. It is not a political issue. It is an issue of how do you see the world.”

Cain and Moore have not yet been formally nominated, pending the completion of background checks, and would have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

They will likely face questions about a series of matters, including the allegations of sexual harassment that prompted Cain to withdraw from the 2012 presidential race. He has denied the allegations. His current position with a pro-Trump political action committee has also drawn scrutiny.

Moore, meanwhile, has already been asked by Senate Democrats to produce information and documents about a $75,000 lien that the Internal Revenue Service has filed against him for back taxes. He also was cited for contempt of court in 2013 for overdue alimony and child support payments.

On policy, the two have been criticized as overtly political picks whose views of the economy have shifted based on the party in power, and who critics worry would try to shape monetary policy with Trump’s short-term political interests in mind.

Mulvaney said Cain “would be a great member of the Fed.”

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.

Worries remain for U.S. government contractors as shutdown ends

WASHINGTON ( ) – Minutes after President Donald Trump announced an end to the longest U.S. government shutdown in history on Friday, Yvette Hicks’ phone started ringing.

“I had bill collectors calling me back-to-back-to-back wondering when I could start making a payment arrangement,” she said, recalling how her mood quickly changed from excitement back to worry.

Hicks, 40, a security guard at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, is one of thousands of federal government contractors who do not expect to be paid for the month of work they missed during the 35-day partial shutdown – and who remain a上海夜生活网t risk if Trump and lawmakers fail to reach a more lasting agreement beyond the current three-week deal to reopen the government.

Trump, who had demanded Democrats agree to fund construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border before he would agree to reopen the government, has signed legislation guaranteeing back pay for 800,000 federal employees affected by the shutdown.

Contractors, however, were not included, leaving many worried they won’t recover their losses.

Without a paycheck, Hicks began rationing her children’s asthma medication, considered cashing in a life insurance policy and prayed every day she could keep her family from becoming homeless again.

“I promised them that we would never suffer like that again,” Hicks said in an interview at her home on Friday, crying as she recalled the three years she and her four children spent without a home.

‘NO STABILITY’

It is not clear how many federal government contract workers there are, though some estimates run into the millions.

An official with the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, which represents Hicks and nearly 700 other contractors, mostly security guards and janitors in Washington, said those members are among the lowest paid workers in the federal government.

“These are not folks who can afford to miss a paycheck,” said Alison Hirsch, the unit’s vice president. “These are not folks who are making enough money to have a robust savings account. It can permanently alter their credit scores, their ability to support themselves.”

When Hicks reports to work on Tuesday, it will be the first time she has been able to wear her uniform since she was hired in late December. Her first day was scheduled for Jan. 1, the same day the Smithsonian, which oversees the space museum and several others in Washington, closed due to a lack of funding.

With a book titled “Prayers for Difficult Times” on the sofa beside her, Hicks tearfully described giving her 8-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter smaller doses of their asthma medicine to make it last longer, while limiting how much time they ran and spent outside in the cold.

In a statement issued before Friday’s deal was reached, her employer, Allied Universal, said it would “provide vacation buyback for accrued time,” which is unlikely to help new hires like Hicks. It also said it provided letters to furloughed employees who were seeking to avoid late fees from creditors.

With bills piling up and uncertainty over whether the government will still be open beyond Feb. 15, Hicks said she still worries about becoming homeless again.

“There’s no stability,” she said. “How long will the government be shut down again if Trump doesn’t get what he wants?”

EU fines Barclays, Citi, JP Morgan, MUFG and RBS $1.2 billion for…

BRUSSELS/LONDON ( ) – Barclays, Citigroup, JP Morgan, MUFG and Royal Bank of Scotland were fined a combined 1.07 billion euros ($1.2 billion) by the European Union on Thursday for rigging the multi-trillion dollar foreign exchange market.

Banks have been hit with billions of dollars in penalties worldwide over the last decade for the rigging of benchmarks used in many day-to-day financial transactions, further damaging the industry’s fragile reputation after the financial crisis.

The European Commission said individual traders at the banks involved formed two cartels to manipulate the spot foreign exchange market for 11 currencies, including the dollar, the euro and the pound.

“These cartel decisions send a clear message that the Commission will not tolerate collusive behavior in any sector of the financial markets,” European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Citigroup was hit with the highest fine of 311 million euros, while Swiss bank UBS was not fined as it had alerted the two cartels to the European Commission.

The EU competition enforcer said most of the traders knew each other on a personal basis and set up chatrooms such as “Essex Express ‘n the Jimmy”, which was given this name because all of them except “James” lived in Essex, to the east of London, and met on their train commute to the British capital.

The five-year investigation found nine traders spread across the banks exchanged sensitive information and trading plans in the chatrooms and occasionally co-ordinated trading strategies.

“The traders, who were direct competitors, typically logged in to multilateral chatrooms … and had extensive conversations about a variety of subjects, including recurring updates on their trading activities,” the Commission said in a statement.

The “Essex Express” cartel, which also involved a chatroom called “Semi Grumpy Old Men”, ran between December 2009 and December 2012. The second cartel – called “Three Way Banana Split” and involving other chatrooms named “Two and a half men” and “Only Marge” – ran from December 2007 until January 2013.

Information swapped by the traders in the chatrooms included details on their clients’ orders, the bid-ask spreads for specific transactions, their open risk positions and other details of current or planned trading activities.

Occasionally the traders would co-ordinate trading activity, for example through a practice called ‘standing down’ whereby some of the group would temporarily stop trading to avoid interfering with others, the commission said.

JP Morgan and RBS both said they were pleased to have settled the cases and that they had since made changes to their controls.

JP Morgan said the fine related to the conduct of one former employee and RBS that it served as a reminder of how it had lost its way in the past.

MUFG said it had also taken measures to prevent a re-occurrence.

Barclays and Citigroup declined to comment.

BANANA SPLIT

The “Three Way Banana Split” cartel, made up of traders at UBS, Barclays, RBS, Citigroup and JP Morgan, was handed a fine totaling 811.2 million euros.

The Essex Express group involving UBS, Barclays, RBS and MUFG, was fined a 257.7 million euro fine, with the fine against Barclays the largest for this cartel at 94.2 million euros.

Allegations of widespread manipulation in the spot foreign exchange market were first reported in 2013 following the Libor scandal in 2012 where traders were found to have rigged the setting of interbank lending rates.

U.S. and British authoriti上海夜生活es have since fined seven of the world’s top banks a total of around $10 billion for trying to manipulate foreign exchange rates. 

Meanwhile, U.S. prosecutors have charged a handful of former traders over forex rigging. Three former London-based currency traders were acquitted of all charges last October, although others await sentencing after convictions.

The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO), meanwhile, dropped its own forex investigation in 2016, saying there was insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction of individuals.

Thursday’s EU fines have sounded a starting bell for investors considering suing banks over alleged forex-related losses in Europe.

Litigators have long been hoping to replicate in Britain the success of U.S. class action claims against banks such as Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Barclays, that have yielded more than $2 billion for investors in settlements.

Scott & Scott, a U.S. law firm that has set up shop in Britain after its success in the U.S., where it was lead counsel in the action against 15 banks, said it had been waiting for the European Commission penalties.

“Our firm will be working to recoup losses suffered by non-U.S. pension funds, asset managers, insurance companies and multinational corporations, among others, as a result of the banks’ wrongdoing,” London-based partner Belinda Hollway said.