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Apr 17, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Brad Keller (56) throws a pitch against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
April 20, 2019
Kansas City pitcher Brad Keller, Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and manager Rick Renteria received suspensions for taking part in a benches-clearing incident between the teams on Wednesday.
Joe Torre, chief baseball officer for Major League Baseball, announced the suspensions on Friday.
Keller was suspended for five games and fined an undisclosed amount for intentionally throwing at Anderson. Anderson and Renteria both were suspended one game and also fined an undisclosed amount for their actions during the skirmish.
Renteria served his suspension Friday night when the White Sox took on the Tigers in Detroit. The suspensions for Keller and Anderson are delayed pending appeals.
–Mets ace Jacob deGrom was scratched from his scheduled Saturday start and instead will undergo an MRI exam after his right elbow was “barking,” according to New York manager Mickey Callaway.
Callaway told reporters that deGrom felt pain while playing catch on Thursday. The Mets sent deGrom back to New York on Friday.
Callaway said the team would proceed cautiously with deGrom, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010. DeGrom, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, was roughed up badly in each of his last two starts to see his ERA soar to 3.68.
–The New York Yankees signed veteran first baseman Logan Morrison to a minor league contract. MLB.com reported that Morrison has an opt-out date of July 1. He reportedly will make $1 million if added to the big league roster.
Morrison, 31, was an unsigned free agent after batting .186 with 15 homers and 39 RBIs in 95 games for the Minnesota Twins last season. He suffered a torn labrum and underwent season-ending surgery in August.
The signing of Morrison gives the Yankees insurance in case a foot injury suffered by first baseman Greg Bird turns to out be more serious than expected. Bird is one of 12 Yankees on the injured list.
–The Boston Red Sox placed infielder Eduardo Nunez on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to April 18, due to a mid-back strain. Nunez, 31, is batting .159 with five RBIs in 17 games this season.
The team also designated right-hander Erasmo Ramirez for assignment and recalled infielders Tzu-Wei Lin and Michael Chavis from Triple-A Pawtucket.
–Field Level Media
The Department of Justice responded Friday to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler’s request for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full and unredacted report, dismissing the request as both “premature and unnecessary.”
DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement that Attorney General Bill Barr provided Mueller’s report on Thursday with only “minimal redactions” and, “in the interest of transparency,” the department had provided certain members of Congress, including Nadler, with a report that had “even fewer redactions.”
“In light of this, Congressman Nadler’s subpoena is premature and unnecessary. The Department will continue to work with Congress to accommodate its legitimate requests consistent with the law and long-recognized executive branch interests,” Kupec continued.
Nadler said in a statement early Friday that he subpoenaed the DOJ for the “full version” of the Mueller report and “underlying evidence,” requiring the department to comply by May 1.
“My committee needs and is entitled to the full version of the report and the underlying evidence consistent with past practice,” Nadler’s statement read. “The redactions appear to be significant. We have so far seen none of the actual evidence that the special counsel developed to make this case.”
Prior to the release of the long-awaited report, Nadler also made a request that Mueller himself provide testimony “as soon as possible” before his committee to explain his findings in the nearly 400-page report.
“It is clear Congress and the American people must hear from Special Counsel Robert Mueller in person to better understand his findings.”
While there was no immediate response from Mueller, Barr said at a press conference prior to Nadler’s request that he would be open to providing testimony on the report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Jim Messina, campaign manager for former President Barack Obama's successful re-election campaign, predicted that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., would be unable to counter President Trump's economic messaging and would therefore lose in a 2020 electoral matchup.
"Bernie Sanders is unlikely going to be able to stand up to the constant barrage that is Donald Trump on economic issues," Messina said during the Powerhouse Politics podcast this week.
Messina contended that swing voters were "incredibly focused on the economy" and that winners of the last five presidential elections were those candidates who were able to "win" the economic argument with swing voters.
Sanders already leads the pack of declared, Democratic candidates in polling and fundraising but his poll numbers trail former Vice President Joe Biden, whom Messina campaigned for and is expected to announce his 2020 bid on Wednesday.
He will enter a field already filled with more progressive candidates like Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif, Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. Sanders, a self-described socialist, appeared to highlight progressives' growing prominence in the party when he came in second to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Multiple polls have shown both Biden and Sanders receiving more support than Trump for the 2020 general election.
Messina indicated, however, that the more progressive Sanders wasn't someone who could both grab swing voters and energize the base — a winning combo that he said former Presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Jimmy Carter were able to achieve.
"You have to excite your base and turn out people, and you have to win swing voters. And we are going to look for a nominee who can do both," Messina said. "Today, you would say in a general election context, Bernie Sanders wouldn't be that candidate."
The former campaign manager's comments came just as Karl Rove, who served as the chief strategist behind former President George W. Bush's 2000 electoral bid, speculated that Sanders had a shot at beating Trump.
Messina said that Sanders could win the Democratic nomination and be "the Donald Trump of 2020." While both Trump and Sanders have been described as populist alternatives to establishment candidates, the two would likely have a lot to debate about on the economy.
That could be tough for Sanders considering the numerous economic milestones — record-low unemployment, strong manufacturing growth, and surprisingly high gross domestic product — that Trump took credit for in the last two years.
Trump has attributed that economic success to his massive tax reform package, which Sanders vehemently opposed. Sanders has pushed a slew of progressive policies, including single-payer health care which set him and other progressives apart from their more moderate counterparts.
According to Messina, the upcoming Democratic primary would provide a healthy debate between those two wings within the party.
"Overall, this is being cast as a kind of insurgent versus the machine campaign — I think that's wrong. Democrats are having a very healthy and very predictable fight about the ideological center of the Democratic party," he said.
Both Sanders and Trump will likely face scrutiny over their personal finances — Trump for refusing to release his tax returns and Sanders for the amount of money revealed in his.
During a Fox News town hall last week, Sanders fended off criticism of his and his wife's income which totaled more than $1 million in 2016 and 2017. Much of their income came from the success of their bestselling book, something for which Sanders refused to apologize.
Source: Fox News Politics
Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York said the Obama administration “did not do itself proud” when it came to dealing with the Russian interference during and in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election.
“We've have known this for a while. The Obama administration was pretty energetic and looking at what the trump campaign might've been doing during the campaign but not as energetic into actually looking at or stopping what the Russians were doing,” York told “Special Report with Bret Baier.”
“Remember, we certainly knew by the time of the first Wikileaks disclosures during the Democratic National Convention, we knew who was behind this. And the Obama administration did not do itself proud in this.”
Thursday’s release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russia’s attempt to interfere during the 2016 elections brought focus to how the Obama administration confronted meddling, an issue President Trump highlighted on Thursday.
"Anything the Russians did concerning the 2016 Election was done while Obama was President," Trump tweeted. "He was told about it and did nothing! Most importantly, the vote was not affected."
York also commented on potential info that could be gained from the investigation into how the Russia investigation began.
“Mueller didn't even release what’ called the scope memo, the August 2 memo that Rod Rosenstein wrote to Robert Mueller expanding his assignment, and we still do not know what he was actually investigating. So yeah, there’s a lot left,” York said.
Fox News' Sam Dorman contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
FILE PHOTO: A Tesla logo is seen in Los Angeles, California U.S. January 12, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo
April 19, 2019
(Reuters) – Tesla Inc said on Friday that four members of its eleven-member board would be leaving over the next two years, as the electric car company looks to streamline its board.
Brad Buss, Antonio Gracias, Stephen Jurvetson, and Linda Johnson Rice will not be standing for re-election in the upcoming annual meetings of stockholders in 2019 and 2020, the company said https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1318605/000156459019012123/tsla-8k_20190418.htm in a regulatory filing.
The company said its directors reviewed the composition of the board “focusing on a phased streamlining of the size of the Board to allow it to operate more nimbly and efficiently.”
Tesla said the decision did not result from any disagreement between the company and the directors.
Of the four members who would exit the board, Buss and Gracias were part of Tesla’s disclosure controls committee, overseeing the implementation of the terms of the consent agreement between Tesla and the SEC.
Buss was also the chief financial officer of solar panel installer SolarCity for two years before retiring in 2016. Tesla bought SolarCity that year.
Gracias has been an independent director at Tesla since 2010. Last May, proxy adviser ISS recommended that investors vote against his election to the board and called him a non-independent director.
Jurvetson, the co-founder of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, is said to be on a leave of absence from Tesla’s board since allegations of sexual harassment against him arose. Jurvetson has denied the allegations against him. (https://reut.rs/2mn57in)
The proposed changes in the board come a couple of weeks after Elon Musk’s position as the chief executive officer of Tesla was secured after a federal judge urged the billionaire to settle contempt allegations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over his use of Twitter.
Musk was sued by the SEC last year for tweeting that he had “funding secured” to take the company private. He settled the lawsuit, agreeing to step down as chairman and have the company’s lawyers pre-approve written communications with material information about the company.
But he was again accused of violating that settlement by sending a tweet about Tesla’s production that had not been vetted by the company’s attorneys.
On Thursday, a federal judge ruled that Musk and the SEC would get another week to settle a dispute over Musk’s use of Twitter.
(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; editing by Diane Craft)
FILE PHOTO: The Tereos logo is displayed at a sugar beet processing plant in Origny-Sainte-Benoite, France, March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo
April 19, 2019
(Corrects headline and paragraph 1 to make clear that syndication process is ongoing, to make clear in paragraph 5 that no offers finalized by April 15, to clarify sourcing throughout)
By Sybille de La Hamaide
PARIS (Reuters) – French sugar group Tereos is still working to find additional banks to spread risk on a 250 million euro ($281 million) loan secured earlier this year, two sources familiar with the matter said.
Tereos, the world’s second-biggest sugar producer, has struggled to cope with poor market conditions since the European Union’s output quota regime ended in 2017, warning that it would post a loss for a second year in a row this season.
The debt-laden cooperative group said in February it had subscribed a 250 million euros ($281 million) loan with BNP Paribas, Natixis and Rabobank, to reimburse half of its 2020 bond one year in advance.
Tereos then launched a syndication round with about 10 banks, including other members of its banking pool and new ones, in a bid to spread the risk, the two sources said.
The call, for 50 million euros, had not secured any bids by April 15, they said.
“The group is in constant dialogue with its financial partners on various financing operations around the world. The group does not comment on these non-public discussions which, taken in isolation, may give a misleading picture of the group’s funding,” Tereos said in an email statement.
Potential bidders were put off by tough conditions for European sugar producers faced with a collapse in prices, the two sources said.
The company’s high debt level and poor results expected this year deterred one potential bidder, a third source familiar with the syndication round said.
“The problem here was significant risk. The pricing offered failed to attract banks,” said the third source.
The departure of the group’s Chief Financial Officer Olivier Casanova, responsible for presenting the syndication offer, discouraged one potential participant, the same source said.
Natixis and BNP declined to comment. Rabobank was not immediately available to comment.
Tereos held net debt of 2.7 billion euros by Dec 31, up 4.5 percent on the year, putting the net debt to adjusted EBITDA ratio at 8.0 versus 4.1 a year earlier.
Concerns about Tereos’ financial health in a difficult sugar market sent yields on the group’s bonds to all time highs late last year and they have remained high since with Tereos’ June 2023 bond yielding 8.5 percent on Thursday.
The sugar maker said in February it maintained at group level a financial security of 1 billion euros as of Dec 31, 2018, including a still undrawn 225 million euros back-up facility, despite plunging profits.
A surge in output after the European Union abolished production quotas and a 40 percent slump in prices since early 2017 in an oversupplied world market has hit profits for several European firms.
Suedzucker, Europe’s largest sugar refiner, said in February it would halt sugar output at two factories of its French branch Saint Louis Sucre while French competitor Cristal Union is planning to shut another two.
Tereos has said that the group does not expect to close any plants in France.
The group is looking at opening its business to partners to boost diversification and internationalisation. The process could take two or three years, it said.
(Additional reporting by Mathieu Protard in Paris and Jonathan Saul in London; Editing by Veronica Brown, Alexandra Hudson and Richard Lough)
War Room – 2019-April 19, Friday – Experts Respond to Mueller Report, Say Trump Should Have Shut Down Investigation
Despite the probe’s central finding that Trump’s campaign never “coordinated or conspired” with Russia, Dems are calling for congressional testimony, resignations, and impeachment proceedings.
Guests Dr. Nick Begich and constitutional attorney Robert Barnes join the show today and a special guest gives us updates on the patriot group helping secure the southern border.
Source: The War Room
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Former San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julian Castro is among the top five Democratic presidential contenders favored by Hispanic voters, a new poll reveals.
The survey was conducted by the polling firm Latino Decision and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. The results were detailed in a story by The Hill.
Here are the top five Democrats favored by Hispanic voters, according to the poll:
- 59% favor former Vice President Joe Biden
- 58% favor Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
- 48% favor former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
- 45% favor Castro
- 43% favor Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
The Hill noted Castro is the only Hispanic currently running for president.
The poll, conducted April 9-15, surveyed 606 Latino registered voters. The margin of error is 3.9 percentage points.
Source: NewsMax Politics
FILE PHOTO: The company logo of the Bank of America and Merrill Lynch is displayed at its office in Hong Kong March 8, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
April 16, 2019
LONDON (Reuters) – Short positioning on European equities was seen as the “most crowded trade” for the second straight month in April, a fund manager survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch found on Tuesday.
Trade war was the biggest tail risk, according to the survey of 187 investors with $547 billion assets under management, while growth worries dominated.
Some 66 percent of investors see a “low growth, low inflation” backdrop – the highest level since October 2016.
While an inversion of the U.S. yield curve led many to predict an imminent recession, the survey found 70 percent of investors expect a global recession to start only in the second half of 2020.
A volte-face by the U.S. Federal Reserve on rate hikes helped drive stocks up this year. In the latest survey, a slim majority of investors said the U.S. Federal Reserve will not hike interest rates again during this cycle.
Allocation to global bank stocks fell to the lowest level since September 2016 – a reflection of investors’ wariness of the sector which suffers when interest rates stay lower for longer.
(Reporting by Helen Reid)
FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators from Amnesty International stage the protest on International Women’s day to urge Saudi authorities to release jailed women’s rights activists Loujain al-Hathloul, Eman al-Nafjan and Aziza al-Yousef outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Paris, France, March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
April 17, 2019
By Stephen Kalin
RIYADH (Reuters) – A Saudi court on Wednesday postponed a fourth hearing in the trial of several women rights activists, a case that has intensified Western criticism of Saudi Arabia following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
A court official informed some of the women’s relatives that the session would not take place, citing the judge’s “private reasons”. He could not provide a new date.
The public prosecutor said last May that some of the women had been arrested on suspicion of harming Saudi interests and offering support to hostile elements abroad.
Most of the 11 women on trial had campaigned for the right to drive and an end to the kingdom’s male guardianship system.
Accusations by some of the women that they were tortured in detention have fueled criticism of the Saudi authorities, already under global scrutiny over Khashoggi’s murder, which some Western countries believe was ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The public prosecutor has denied the torture allegations, and Saudi officials say the crown prince had no role or knowledge in Khashoggi’s murder.
The temporary release last month of three of the women and the case’s earlier transfer from a high-security terrorism court without explanation suggested a possibly more lenient handling after months of lobbying by Western governments.
But a fresh spate of arrests earlier this month cast doubt on this. The authorities detained least 14 people seen as supportive of the women, including one of their sons, according to people close to them. Two of the new detainees are dual U.S. citizens and one is pregnant.
Scores of other activists, intellectuals and clerics have been arrested separately in the past two years in an apparent bid to stamp out any opposition to the crown prince.
(Reporting By Stephen Kalin; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)
Apr 16, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Alexandre Texier (42) celebrates scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first period during game four of the first round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
April 17, 2019
Rookie Alexandre Texier scored his first two playoff goals as the host Columbus Blue Jackets made history with a 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night, wrapping up an Eastern Conference first-round series.
The Lightning became the NHL’s first Presidents’ Trophy winner ever to be swept in a best-of-seven, opening-round playoff series. Tampa Bay had tied the all-time NHL record with 62 regular-season wins.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets won a playoff series for the first time in franchise history.
Columbus’ Oliver Bjorkstrand scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period, and Artemi Panarin, Texier and Matt Duchene added empty-net goals in the final two minutes. Pierre Luc-Dubois and Seth Jones also scored for the Blue Jackets. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky made 30 saves.
Islanders 3, Penguins 1
Jordan Eberle scored for the fourth time in as many games, and Brock Nelson added the winner as visiting New York completed a first-round playoff sweep of Pittsburgh.
The Islanders, who finished second in the Metropolitan Division, used a consistent formula of stifling defense, effective puck pursuit, strong goaltending from Robin Lehner and just enough offense to oust the Penguins, who were third in the division but had hopes of winning the Stanley Cup for the third time in four years.
New York advances to the second round of the Eastern Conference postseason to face the winner of the Washington-Carolina series. The Capitals lead two games to one heading to Game 4 on Thursday.
Golden Knights 5, Sharks 0
Marc-Andre Fleury had 28 saves for his 15th career playoff shutout, and Max Pacioretty had two goals and two assists as Vegas cruised to a victory over San Jose in Las Vegas to take a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven Western Conference series.
It was the 78th career playoff win for Fleury, who broke a tie with Mike Vernon for seventh place on the all-time playoff wins list. Fleury also moved into a tie with Chris Osgood for fourth place for most career playoff shutouts.
Pacioretty produced the first two-goal playoff game of his career. Shea Theodore also had a goal and an assist, Alex Tuch and Jonathan Marchessault each scored their first goals of the playoffs, and Mark Stone, Reilly Smith and Nate Schmidt all finished with two assists for the Golden Knights.
Jets 2, Blues 1 (OT)
Kyle Connor scored the overtime winner as visiting Winnipeg erased a third-period deficit to defeat St. Louis and even their opening-round Western Conference playoff series at two wins apiece. Game 5 will be Thursday in Winnipeg. The road team has won all four games so far in the series between the Central Division rivals who finished even with 99 points in the regular season.
Off the rush in the extra frame, Mark Scheifele was denied on a golden chance, but he had the presence of mind to feed the puck to the slot for a wide-open Connor to bury the winner at 6:02.
It was the first-ever playoff overtime victory in Jets franchise history.
–Field Level Media
The Democratic chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee on Saturday set a new April 23 deadline for the Internal Revenue Service to comply with his request for six years of President Donald Trump’s personal and business tax returns.
In a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal said the tax agency’s failure to comply with the new deadline would be interpreted as a denial of his request. The Trump administration has already failed to comply with an earlier April 10 deadline set by Neal.
Democrats want to review Trump’s taxes as part of their investigations into possible conflicts of interest posted by his continued ownership of extensive business interests, even as he serves the public as president.
Trump broke with a decades-old precedent by refusing to release his returns as a presidential candidate in 2016 and continues to do so as president, saying his tax returns are under IRS audit.
Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat, is the only House lawmaker authorized to request taxpayer data from the Treasury, which oversees the IRS. The law says simply that the Treasury “shall furnish” such data when requested. But the White House has said the documents will never be handed over to Democrats.
Source: NewsMax Politics