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China to show new warships as Beijing flexes military muscle on navy anniversary

A female soldier of the PLA Navy stand stands guard at a news conference in Qingdao
A female soldier of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy stands guard at a news conference ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, in Qingdao, China, April 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee

April 20, 2019

By Ben Blanchard

QINGDAO, China (Reuters) – China will show off new warships including nuclear submarines and destroyers at a parade next week marking 70 years since its navy’s founding, a senior commander said on Saturday, as Beijing flexes its increasingly well-equipped military muscle.

President Xi Jinping is overseeing a sweeping plan to refurbish the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) by developing everything from stealth jets to aircraft carriers as China ramps up its presence in the South China Sea and around self-ruled Taiwan.

The navy has been a key beneficiary of the modernization plan as China looks to project power far from the country’s shores and protect its trading routes and citizens overseas.

Last month, Beijing unveiled a target of 7.5 percent rise in defense spending for this year, a slower rate than last year but still outpacing China’s economic growth target.

Deputy naval commander Qiu Yanpeng told reporters in the eastern city of Qingdao that Tuesday’s naval parade – likely to be overseen by Xi himself, though China has not confirmed that – will feature 32 vessels and 39 aircraft.

“The PLA Navy ship and aircraft to be revealed are the Liaoning aircraft carrier, new types of nuclear submarines, new types of destroyers, as well as fighter aircraft,” Qiu said, without giving details. “Some ships will be revealed for the first time.”

The Liaoning, the country’s first carrier, was bought second-hand from Ukraine in 1998 and refitted in China.

It’s not clear if China’s second carrier, an as-yet unnamed ship developed and built purely in China, will also take part, but in the past few days state media has run stories praising recent sea trials.

Around a dozen foreign navies are also taking part. While Qiu did not give an exact number, China has announced the parade would include ships from Russia, Singapore, India, Thailand and Vietnam – which frequently complains of Chinese military activity in the disputed South China Sea.

China’s last naval battles were with the Vietnamese in the South China Sea, in 1974 and 1988, though these were relatively minor skirmishes.

Chinese navy ships have also participated in international anti-piracy patrols off Somalia’s coast since late 2008.

STRONG NAVY ‘ESSENTIAL’

Qiu reiterated China’s frequent stance that its armed forces are not a threat to anyone and that no matter what happens it will never “pursue hegemony”.

“It is fair to say that the PLA Navy has not brought war or turbulence to any place,” Qiu said.

But China has been scared by its past and needs good defenses at sea, he added.

“A strong navy is essential for building a strong maritime country,” Qiu said. “From 1840 to 1949, China was invaded by foreign powers from the sea more than 470 times, which caused untold suffering and deep wounds to the Chinese nation.”

China has frequently had to rebuff concerns about its military intentions, especially as military spending continues to scale new heights.

Beijing says it has nothing to hide, and has invited foreign media to cover next week’s naval parade and related activities, including a keynote speech by navy chief Shen Jinlong, who is close to Xi.

Zhang Junshe, a researcher at the PLA’s Naval Research Academy, told reporters after Qiu had spoken that inviting foreign navies to take part in the parade was a sign of China’s openness and self-confidence, noting China had also done this for the 60th anniversary in 2009.

“New nuclear submarines and new warships will be shown – this further goes to show that China’s navy is open and transparent,” said Zhang.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by John Ruwitch in SHANGHAI; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

Source: OANN

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U.S. intelligence says Huawei funded by Chinese state security: report

Huawei logo is pictured during the media day for the Shanghai auto show in Shanghai
A Huawei logo is pictured during the media day for the Shanghai auto show in Shanghai, China April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

April 20, 2019

(Reuters) – U.S. intelligence has accused Huawei Technologies of being funded by Chinese state security, The Times said on Saturday, adding to the list of allegations faced by the Chinese technology company in the West.

The CIA accused Huawei of receiving funding from China’s National Security Commission, the People’s Liberation Army and a third branch of the Chinese state intelligence network, the British newspaper reported, citing a source.

Earlier this year, U.S. intelligence shared its claims with other members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing group, which includes Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, according to the report http://bit.ly/2KT7ztd.

Huawei dismissed the allegations in a statement cited by the newspaper.

“Huawei does not comment on unsubstantiated allegations backed up by zero evidence from anonymous sources,” a Huawei representative told The Times.

The company, the CIA and Chinese state security agencies did not respond immediately to requests for comment.

The accusation comes at a time of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing and amid concerns in the United States that Huawei’s equipment could be used for espionage. The company has said the concerns are unfounded.

Authorities in the United States are probing Huawei for alleged sanctions violations.

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of its founder, Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada in December at the request of the United States on charges of bank and wire fraud in violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

She denies wrongdoing and her father has previously said the arrest was “politically motivated”.

Amid such charges, top educational institutions in the West have recently severed ties with Huawei to avoid losing federal funding.

Another Chinese technology company, ZTE Corp, has also been at the center of similar controversies in the United States.

U.S. sanctions forced ZTE to stop most business between April and July last year after Commerce Department officials said it broke a pact and was caught illegally shipping U.S.-origin goods to Iran and North Korea. The sanctions were lifted after ZTE paid $1.4 billion in penalties.

Reuters reported earlier this week that the United States will push its allies at a meeting in Prague next month to adopt shared security and policy measures that will make it more difficult for Huawei to dominate 5G telecommunications networks.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Source: OANN

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NHL notebook: Wings legend Yzerman takes GM job

FILE PHOTO - Yzerman, general manager of Tampa Bay Lightning, speaks to media before Commissioner Bettman announces end of labor negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA in New York
FILE PHOTO - Steve Yzerman, general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, speaks to media before Commissioner Gary Bettman announces the end of labor negotiations between the NHL and the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) in New York, January 9, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

April 20, 2019

Steve Yzerman is coming home to become general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, the franchise announced on Friday.

The hiring of the former Detroit star also marked the end of Ken Holland’s 22-year stint as general manager. Holland signed a multiyear deal to become the club’s senior vice president.

Yzerman, 53, spent his entire 22-year Hall of Fame playing career with the Red Wings. He served 20 years as team captain and scored 692 goals and 1,063 assists (1,755 points) during a 1,514-game career that ended in 2006. He played on three Stanley Cup-winning teams in Detroit. Now he is taking over a team that has missed the playoffs in three straight seasons.

“I’m extremely excited to be back in Detroit with the Red Wings,” Yzerman said during a press conference. “This city, Red Wing fans, the state of Michigan were incredibly supportive of me throughout the ups and downs of my playing career. I am very excited to return to the organization and join the Red Wings again and with our goal of getting the team back in contention for Stanley Cups and the championship that has come to be expected in Detroit.”

–T.J. Oshie will be out indefinitely after suffering an upper-body injury in Thursday’s playoff game, Washington Capitals coach Todd Reirden announced.

A hit from Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele sent Oshie headfirst into the boards, and he left the ice holding his arm and shoulder.

Reirden said Oshie won’t play in Game 5 on Saturday and that the team would know more about a timetable for his return after Oshie saw the doctor on Friday. To take his place on the roster, the Capitals recalled right winger Devante Smith-Pelly from the AHL’s Hershey Bears.

–The New York Islanders will continue their quest for the Stanley Cup without defenseman Johnny Boychuk, who is expected to miss 3-4 weeks with a lower-body injury, the team announced.

Boychuk was injured Tuesday when he blocked a shot by Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson in the second period of the Islanders’ Game 4 win to sweep the series.

Boychuk, 35, had 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) in 74 regular-season games during his fifth season with the Islanders.

–The Philadelphia Flyers joined the New York Yankees in choosing to no longer play the 1939 Kate Smith recording of “God Bless America” during home games, the team announced.

The team is also covering up a statue of the singer outside the arena.

“We have recently become aware that several songs performed by Kate Smith contain offensive lyrics that do not reflect our values as an organization,” the Flyers said in a statement, according to CNN. “As we continue to look into this serious matter, we are removing Kate Smith’s recording of ‘God Bless America’ from our library and covering up the statue that stands outside of our arena.”

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

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Trump Poll Numbers Drop Amid Release of Mueller Report

Congressional Democrats took legal action on Friday to gain access to all of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's evidence from his inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, as the probe's findings dented President Donald Trump's poll ratings.

The number of Americans who approve of Trump dropped by 3 percentage points to the lowest level of the year following the release of a redacted version of Mueller's report on Thursday, according to a Reuters/Ipsos online opinion poll.

Mueller did not establish the Trump campaign coordinated with Russians but did find "multiple acts by the President that were capable of exerting undue influence over law enforcement investigations."

While Mueller ultimately decided not to charge Trump with a crime such as obstruction of justice, he also said the investigation did not exonerate the president, either.

U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a Democrat, issued a subpoena to the Justice Department to hand over the full Mueller report and other relevant evidence by May 1.

"My committee needs and is entitled to the full version of the report and the underlying evidence consistent with past practice. The redactions appear to be significant," Nadler said in a statement.

The Justice Department called the request "premature and unnecessary," but spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement the department would work with Congress "to accommodate its legitimate requests consistent with the law and long-recognized executive branch interests."

The report provided extensive details on Trump's efforts to thwart Mueller's investigation, giving Democrats plenty of political ammunition against the Republican president but leaving them with no consensus on how to use it.

The document has blacked out sections to hide details about secret grand jury information, U.S. intelligence gathering and active criminal cases as well as potentially damaging information about peripheral players who were not charged.

Six top congressional Democrats led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer rejected U.S. Attorney General William Barr's offer to give them access to a less-redacted version of the report. In a letter to Barr, they repeated their request for the full report but said they were open to "a reasonable accommodation."

Democratic leaders have played down talk of impeachment of Trump just 18 months before the 2020 presidential election, even as some prominent members of the party's progressive wing, notably U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, promised to push the idea.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren became the first major contender for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination to call for the start of impeachment proceedings, saying on Twitter that "the severity of this misconduct" demanded it.

'CRAZY MUELLER REPORT'

Trump, who has repeatedly called the Mueller probe a political witch hunt, lashed out again on Friday.

"Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report...which are fabricated & totally untrue," Trump wrote on Twitter.

He seemed to be referring to former White House counsel Don McGahn who was cited in the report as having annoyed Trump by taking notes of his conversations with the president.

"Watch out for people that take so-called 'notes,' when the notes never existed until needed," Trump wrote. "It was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the 'Report' about me, some of which are total bullshit & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad)."

Phone conversations between the president and McGahn in June 2017 were a central part of Mueller's depiction of Trump as trying to derail the Russia inquiry. The report said Trump told McGahn to instruct the Justice Department to fire Mueller. McGahn did not carry out the order.

According to the Reuters/Ipsos poll of 1,005 adults conducted Thursday afternoon to Friday morning, 37 percent of people approve of Trump’s performance in office - down from 40 percent in a similar poll conducted on April 15, which matches the lowest level of the year. The poll has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 4 percentage points.

Representative Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said the Democrats' subpoena "is wildly overbroad" and would jeopardize a grand jury's investigations.

While most Republicans have stood by Trump, 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, now a U.S. senator from Utah, criticized Trump and those around him as portrayed in the report. Romney, an on-and-off Trump critic, said on Twitter it was "good news" there was insufficient evidence to charge Trump with a crime.

"Even so, I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President," said Romney, who lost the White House race to President Barack Obama in 2012.

The Mueller inquiry laid bare what U.S. intelligence agencies have described as a Russian campaign of hacking and propaganda to sow discord in the United States, denigrate 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and boost Trump.

RUSSIA DENIES MEDDLING

Russia said on Friday that Mueller's report did not contain any evidence that Moscow had meddled. "We, as before, do not accept such allegations," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Asked on Friday about Russian interference in 2016, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Washington that "we will make very clear to them that this is not acceptable behavior."

Half a dozen former Trump aides, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, were charged by Mueller's office or convicted of crimes during his 22-month-long investigation. The Mueller inquiry spawned a number of other criminal probes by federal prosecutors in New York and elsewhere.

One reason it would be difficult to charge Trump is that the Justice Department has a decades-old policy that a sitting president should not be indicted, although the U.S. Constitution is silent on whether a president can face criminal prosecution in court.

Nadler told reporters on Thursday that Mueller probably wrote the report with the intent of providing Congress a road map for future action against the president, but the Democratic congressman said it was too early to talk about impeachment.

But the House Oversight Committee's Democratic chairman, Elijah Cummings, said impeachment was not ruled out.

"A lot of people keep asking about the question of impeachment ... We may very well come to that very soon, but right now let's make sure we understand what Mueller was doing, understand what Barr was doing, and see the report in an unredacted form and all of the underlying documents,” he told MSNBC.

Source: NewsMax Politics

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NBA notebook: Technicals on Durant, Green rescinded

NBA: Playoffs-Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers
Apr 18, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) and Los Angeles Clippers forward JaMychal Green (4) both react after they both receive a technical foul during the second half in game three of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

April 20, 2019

The NBA rescinded technical fouls assessed to Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant and Los Angeles Clippers forward JaMychal Green on Friday after reviewing a call made during Thursday night’s game.

Durant and Green were exchanging words during the third quarter when the double-technical was called, stunning both players.

The decision to rescind was announced from the league’s @NBAOfficial account on Twitter.

The change was good for Durant, as he already received two technicals earlier in the series. An accumulation of seven technicals during the postseason carries an automatic one-game suspension. He had lobbied for the technicals to be rescinded after Thursday’s 132-105 victory.

–Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, who missed Game 3 of his team’s first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night because of left knee soreness, is listed as doubtful for Game 4 on Saturday. The NBA announced his status in its injury report.

Embiid’s status has digressed from the first three games when he was listed as questionable. He continues to deal with left knee tendinitis, a problem throughout the regular season, when he missed 14 of the Sixers’ 24 games after the All-Star break.

Despite Embiid’s absence in Game 3, the visiting 76ers rolled to a 131-115 victory over the host Nets to take a 2-1 lead. Greg Monroe started in Embiid’s place and collected nine points on 4-for-13 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds. Game 4 of the best-of-seven will also be played in Brooklyn before the series shifts to Philadelphia on Tuesday.

–The status of Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin remains uncertain entering Saturday’s Game 3 of the team’s Eastern Conference first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Griffin missed the first two games with a left knee injury, and coach Dwane Casey didn’t shed any light on whether the six-time All-Star will return on Saturday for the eighth-seeded Pistons, who lost the first two games of the series in Milwaukee by an average of 28 points.

“Day-to-day. I’m not talking about Blake,” Casey told reporters after Friday’s practice. “Day-to-day. Same old words. Just like I am on coaching — day-to-day.”

–Former Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue was scheduled to interview with the Los Angeles Lakers for their head coaching vacancy, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

The Lakers fired coach Luke Walton last week after three seasons and a 98-148 record.

Lue, who previously served as an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics, L.A. Clippers and Cavaliers, became head coach in Cleveland during the 2015-16 season after David Blatt was fired.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

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MLB notebook: Suspensions issued over Royals-White Sox melee

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox
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

Source: OANN

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DOJ calls Nadler subpoena for full Mueller report ‘premature and unnecessary’

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.”

NADLER REQUESTS MUELLER TESTIFY BEFORE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE ‘AS SOON AS POSSIBLE’

“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.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“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

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A D.C. federal appeals court ruled Friday that the House of Representatives does not have to allow a self-described atheist to deliver secular prayers.

The Good Friday ruling concerned efforts by Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, to pray in the House chamber as a guest chaplain — only to be turned down by Father Patrick Conroy, the House chaplain.

PENNSYLVANIA LAWMAKER DEFENDS CONTROVERSIAL PRAYER 

The court, however, sided with Conroy in determining the House was in its right to require prayers be religious in nature.

“We could not order Conroy to allow Barker to deliver a secular invocation because the House permissibly limits the opening prayer to religious prayer. Barker has therefore failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted,” the opinion stated.

Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution declares that both the House and Senate “may determine the rules of its proceedings.”

Barker had alleged that Conroy rejected him “because he is an atheist.” But the court determined that while that may be true, the House requirement that prayers be religious holds weight.

“In other words, even if, as Barker alleges, he was actually excluded simply for being an atheist, he is entitled to none of the relief he seeks,” the opinion said.

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The tradition of House and Senate prayers goes back to 1789.

The House and Senate both begin their legislative days with a religious invocation, frequently delivered by Conroy and his Senate counterpart Barry Black.

Fox News’ Bill Mears contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News Politics

Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn, looks on during an announcement of seeking the nomination of Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang party to run for the island's presidency, in Taipei
Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Foxconn, looks on during an announcement of seeking the nomination of Taiwan’s opposition Kuomintang party to run for the island’s presidency, in Taipei, Taiwan April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

April 18, 2019

By Yimou Lee

TAIPEI (Reuters) – While Foxconn chairman Terry Gou enters Taiwan’s rancorous political arena free of any political baggage, he could yet find himself weighed down by connections to Beijing forged during his pragmatic commercial rise.

Gou, 68, announced on Wednesday that he would contest Taiwan’s 2020 presidential election, seeking to represent the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) party – a vote that comes after a period of increasing tension between Beijing and the self-ruled island.

After building the world’s largest contract manufacturer from scratch over the past 40 years, Gou’s connections reach as high as Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior officials. His $40 billion empire has an extensive Chinese footprint of factories producing components for Apple.

The network of Gou, Taiwan’s richest person, also includes extensive U.S. connections, including a friendship with President Donald Trump.

But ties with Taiwan’s key political and security backer are likely to be overshadowed by his ties to a Chinese leadership that refuses to renounce the use of force to unify with an island it considers a wayward province, some analysts and political figures say.

“Because he has a lot of wealth in China … China has some control over him,” said Shane Lee, a political scientist at Chang Jung University in Taiwan.

“So I think the U.S. government would have to be very cautious about him running for political office.”

Gou was not available for comment. Foxconn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Many ordinary Taiwanese are fearful of the intentions of Beijing’s Communist Party towards the staunchly democratic island.

Tensions were highlighted on Monday again as Chinese bombers and warships conducted drills around the island, prompting Taiwan to scramble jets and ships to monitor the Chinese forces.

Some analysts believe that Gou’s ties with Beijing could turn off ordinary voters, who are likely to have to choose between incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party and a KMT candidate.

“He’s one of the smartest businessmen in Taiwan,” said John Brebeck, a senior adviser at Quantum International, a capital markets advisory firm.

“The problem is though is that with so much of his business enterprise in China, it may prove a liability for him with the voters, as they may not be sure where his priorities lie.”

‘TENSIONS WILL EASE’

While most Taiwanese trace their ancestry to China, there remains a clear distinction in society between those who consider themselves “native” Taiwanese, and those whose ancestors came over more recently, most in a wave of refugees who fled to Taiwan at the end of a civil war in 1949, when nationalist forces lost to the communists.

Gou’s parents were born in China and are part of that generation, though he was born in Taiwan.

The Chinese government has not commented on Gou’s decision, which has been widely reported in Chinese state media, though mostly citing Taiwanese press reports.

However, on Thursday Global Times tabloid, published by the Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, welcomed Gou’s bid for power.

“If Terry Gou becomes the leader of the Taiwan region next year, tensions between the two sides will ease, and the situation in the Taiwan Strait, in the short term, is likely to reach a turning point,” it said in an editorial.

The KMT developed closer ties with Beijing when it last held power, focusing on developing business ties. Under Tsai, who came to power in 2016, ties have deteriorated sharply.

China suspects Tsai is pushing for the island’s formal independence – a red line for Beijing. Tsai says she wants to maintain the status quo with China but will defend Taiwan’s security and democracy.

Gou met Xi in 2014 in Beijing, and he was quoted by Taiwan media in 2017 describing Xi as a great leader.

In an interview with the People’s Daily to mark China’s 40th anniversary of reforms last year, Gou said he was happy to have witnessed the changes.

He talked about how his father was from Shanxi province and mother from Guangdong, and how he had first visited China in 1987 to trace his family’s roots, the “first time I had stepped foot on the soil of the motherland”.

“While on the road I saw the scene of reforms and opening up, which made me extremely excited,” he said.

Gou also cited Xi in his interview.

“Xi Jinping has pointed out that it is necessary to promote the deep integration of information technology and the real economy … I think the general secretary’s point of view is very far-sighted.”

Some in Tsai’s DPP are already eyeing Gou’s China links as a weak spot.

Yao Chia-wen, a senior adviser to Tsai, told Reuters he thought Gou’s bid could create problems, given his business.

“He’s very pro-China and he represents the class of the wealthy people. Will that gain support from Taiwanese?” Yao said.

(Reporting By Yimou Lee in TAIPEI, additional reporting by Josh Horwitz in SHANGHAI, Ben Blanchard and Cate Cadell in BEIJING; Writing by Greg Torode and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., feuded  on Twitter over a disaster aid package that would aid Puerto Rico.

Scott tweeted out a clip of his appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, when he spoke about the relief bill.

“To me this is all politics. This is Chuck Schumer saying that he cares more about Puerto Rico than President Trump does. I think we should have passed the bill that Sen. Shelby had done,” Scott told “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper.

Scott met with Trump at the White House Thursday along with Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., to discuss a possible deal with the commander-in-chief on relief to Puerto Rico. Trump is feuding with the island’s Democratic officials and reportedly railed against aid to Puerto Rico at a closed-door lunch with Senate Republicans last month.

The island was slammed by back-to-back hurricanes in 2017.

Scott called out Schumer in the tweet, saying he need to “stop these political games.”

TRUMP, GOP FIRE BACK AFTER DEMS BLOCK DISASTER RELIEF BILL: ‘WASHINGTON HAS REACHED A NEW LOW’

Schumer responded to Scott by asking how the freshman senator could support the bill “that strips needed help from the island and is opposed by PR’s [Puerto Rico] governor?”

“Why not stand up for both PR & Florida, and have the courage to tell Trump to leave no community behind?” the minority leader wrote.

In a tit-for-tat, Scott retaliated, saying, “This is a great example of why people hate politics. Not only did Sen. Schumer block a bipartisan bill, now he’s lying about it. Our bill doesn’t strip funding for P.R. It includes $600 mil in nutrition assistance funding for P.R. that I fought to get in the bill.”

The feud didn’t end there. Schumer again responded to Scott, saying Trump took “all aid for Puerto Rico but nutrition assistance out of the bill.”

“The bill has none of the long-term recovery & resilience aid PR has asked for repeatedly. Stop the bull. Stand up to the President. Help all communities rebuilding from disaster,” Schumer fired back.

Scott responded by accusing Schumer of refusing to give Puerto Rico help in order to “prolong a political fight with Trump.”

“I’m working with the Rs, Ds and the President to get a deal done. But it shouldn’t have taken this long. FL’s been waiting 6 months. The truth is, you’re more than happy to give Puerto Rico nothing if it helps prolong a political fight with Trump. That’s shameful,” Scott responded.

He shared a Politico article on the feud calling it “personal.”

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“It’s personal when Sen. Schumer blocks billions for FL’s Panhandle after the devastation of Hurricane Michael. It’s personal when he blocks Nutrition Assistance funding for Puerto Rico after they cut benefits. No more games. Time to get this done,” he wrote.

After Scott narrowly won his Senate bid over incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., he said in a speech on the Senate floor that he would be “a voice for the people of Puerto Rico.”

Earlier this month, a bill that would have given relief to those states affected by natural disasters failed 44-49 in the Senate. The $13 billion package would have “provided $600 million for Puerto Rico’s food stamp program,” NBC News reported. An alternative that was proposed by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Schumer was similar in the aid provided to Puerto Rico “while freeing up grant funding from the Department of House and Urban Development that has already been allocated to the island,” Politico reported. Democrats were blocked by Republicans from bringing it to the floor.

In a recent op-ed that was published in the New York Daily News, Schumer wrote that relief for the island “shouldn’t be locked away in the U.S. Treasury because of bureaucratic red tape.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.  

Source: Fox News Politics

While many analysts are advising Democrats to move on from Mueller report and the issue of collusion, The Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway said Thursday it will be hard for America to move on because it’s been “held hostage” by the idea of President Trump colluding with Russia.

“The country was basically held hostage by a collusion theory, a theory that the president of the United States was a foreign agent. This undermined the administration of our government. It totally sidelined the Department of Justice, it hampered our ability to do foreign policy. It was a very negative thing,” Hemingway told “Special Report with Bret Baier.”

MUELLER REPORT SHOWS PROBE DID NOT FIND COLLUSION EVIDENCE, REVEALS TRUMP EFFORTS TO SIDELINE KEY PLAYERS

“There needs to be accountability. We are being given indications there will be accountability for this.”

After two years, a redacted version of Mueller’s report was released Thursday showing investigators did not find proof of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia but revealed an array of controversial actions by the president that were examined as part of the investigation’s obstruction probe.

Democrats criticized Barr and demanded an unredacted version of the report while Republicans demanded an investigation into how the Russia collusion narrative began.

RUDY GIULIANI ON THE RELEASE OF THE MUELLER REPORT: ‘THIS PRESIDENT HAS BEEN TREATED TOTALLY UNFAIRLY’

Hemingway said the idea that people would just “move on” was “absurd.”

“The American people tolerated this investigation because they were told there was reason to believe the president was a traitor. The idea that we are just going to quickly move on from this like ‘OK, I guess it was our bad, there was no collusion,’ but now we’re trying to go on obstruction is patently absurd,” Hemingway said.

Source: Fox News Politics

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals
Apr 11, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Jose Martinez (38) celebrates with teammates after scoring on a throwing error during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

April 12, 2019

Jose Martinez had four hits and Matt Wieters drove in three runs as the St. Louis Cardinals completed a four-game sweep of the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers with an 11-7 victory Thursday afternoon.

It was the Cardinals’ first four-game sweep of the Dodgers in St. Louis since July 15-18, 2010.

Harrison Bader was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded twice in the game as the Cardinals reached their season high in runs scored without hitting a home run. It was just the fourth time since 1974 that a batter was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded twice in a game.

Enrique Hernandez hit a home run for the Dodgers, as did former Cardinal David Freese and starting pitcher Walker Buehler, but Los Angeles twice gave up three-run leads. It was a far better day at the plate than on the mound for Buehler, who yielded five runs on five hits over four innings.

Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 6

Rafael Devers singled with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead host Boston to a much-needed win over Toronto.

Mitch Moreland, who homered earlier in the game to erase the last bit of a 5-0 deficit, tied it again in the ninth with a one-out double to drive in Mookie Betts. Xander Bogaerts walked, and Devers chipped his single past the infield as the Red Sox picked up their first home win.

Freddy Galvis had given the Blue Jays a 6-5 lead in the top of the eighth with a solo home run, his fourth hit of the game. Toronto fell for the eighth time in its past 10 games. Ken Giles (0-1) took the loss, snapping his run of 34 consecutive saves without a blown opportunity.

Mets 6, Braves 3

Amed Rosario gave New York a lead it would never relinquish with a three-run homer in the second inning, and he finished with a career-high four RBIs as the Mets won at Atlanta in the opener of a four-game series.

Rosario added an RBI single in the sixth. The 23-year-old shortstop has reached base safely in 11 of team team’s first 12 games this season. Hot-hitting rookie Pete Alonso launched a long two-run homer in the seventh for the Mets. Alonso has six homers and 17 RBIs in his first 12 big league games.

The Braves saw their three-game winning streak snapped despite getting two-run homers from Ronald Acuna Jr. and Johan Camargo. Acuna finished with three hits while Tyler Flowers had two. Ozzie Albies, who signed a seven-year contract extension earlier Thursday, went 0-for-5.

Cubs 2, Pirates 0

Jose Quintana struck out 11 batters in seven scoreless innings, and Chicago Cubs held on over visiting Pittsburgh.

Quintana (1-1) notched his 13th career start with double-digit strikeouts. He scattered four hits and walked one as Chicago earned its first series victory of the season. Daniel Descalso and Victor Caratini each drove in a run for the Cubs.

Pittsburgh failed to cross the plate for the second time in three games. Adam Frazier led the Pirates with two hits.

Indians 4, Tigers 0

Leonys Martin went 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs against his former team to lead visiting Cleveland to a shutout of Detroit in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Martin, who was traded from the Tigers to the Indians last year before surviving a life-threatening infection, finished the series with two home runs, five hits and three walks to help the Indians take two of the three games.

Indians starter Shane Bieber (1-0) struck out six, walked one and allowed just three hits in seven innings. It was the third time this season that the Tigers were shut out. Spencer Turnbull (0-2) took the loss, allowing three runs and eight hits in four innings.

A’s 8, Orioles 5

Khris Davis homered twice for the second consecutive day, and Oakland banged out five homers for a second straight game in beating host Baltimore.

Davis, who now has an major-league-leading nine homers this season, became the first Oakland player to have back-to-back multi-homer games since Josh Reddick on Aug. 9-10, 2013. The A’s won three games and went deep 14 times in the four-game set to snap out of an early-season slump.

Baltimore’s Chris Davis flied out in his first at-bat to extend his streak to 58 consecutive hitless plate appearances, breaking the major league record held by Cleveland’s Tony Bernazard since 1984. Davis finished 0-for-3 with a walk, extending his slump to 53 hitless at-bats.

Mariners 7, Royals 6 (10 innings)

Daniel Vogelbach homered in the top of the 10th inning to lift Seattle to a victory at Kansas City.

The Royals led 6-4 and were within one out of snapping their nine-game losing streak, but Mitch Haniger tripled off the wall in center to tie the game. Kansas City not only lost its 10th straight, but it lost center fielder Billy Hamilton to injury after he collided with the wall on Haniger’s triple and left the field on a cart.

The Royals’ losing streak goes on, but Whit Merrifield’s franchise-record hitting streak was snapped at 31 games after an 0-for-6 day. Brandon Brennan (1-0) pitched the ninth for his first career win for Seattle. Connor Sadzeck picked up his first career save. Glenn Sparkman (0-1) took the loss for Kansas City.

Reds 5, Marlins 0

Eugenio Suarez went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs to lead host Cincinnati over Miami.

Yasiel Puig, in his first game back from a two-game suspension, also drove in two runs. Puig, who had been suspended by Major League Baseball for his role in an altercation with the Pittsburgh Pirates, helped the Reds complete a three-game sweep over the Marlins.

Cincinnati held Miami to just one run in the three games. Reds starting pitcher Sonny Gray pitched four scoreless innings but got a no-decision after he was forced to leave the game due to a left calf contusion. Marlins rookie Pablo Lopez (1-2) gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings.

Giants 1, Rockies 0

Jeff Samardzija pitched seven shutout innings, and Kevin Pillar produced the only run with a leadoff home run in the seventh, sending San Francisco past visiting Colorado.

Samardzija (1-0) outdueled Jon Gray (0-3), who took a four-hit shutout in the seventh before serving up Pillar’s third home run since joining the Giants in a trade last week.

Tony Watson worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning for the Giants before closer Will Smith recorded his fourth save with a perfect ninth. The win was the Giants’ second in their past three games. They have lost all four series they’ve played so far this season.

Padres 7, Diamondbacks 6

Pedro Avila worked into the sixth inning in his major league debut, Manuel Margot hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth, and San Diego beat Arizona in Phoenix.

Avila, a 22-year-old Venezuelan who had made one career start above the high Class-A level, allowed one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two.

Margot jumped on a 96 mph fastball from Archie Bradley (0-1) with two outs in the eighth inning for his first home run of the season, a deep shot to center field to break a 6-6 tie. Craig Stammen (1-0) got the final out of the seventh for the win, and Trey Wingenter earned his first career save.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN



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