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EU moves closer to debt action as Italy angles for compromise

ROME/BRUSSELS ( ) – The European Union moved closer on Tuesday to taking disciplinary action over Italy’s growing debt, as authorities in Rome made tentative steps to avert a procedure that could saddle the country with large fines and alienate investors.

Envoys of EU governments agreed that action was warranted, a confidential document seen by showed, confirming the assessment of the European Commission that Italy is in breach of fiscal rules by failing to cut its huge public debt.

The Commission’s outgoing president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said Italy was “moving in an unsound direction” and risked a procedure that could last years.

Italy and the Commission have been at loggerheads on fiscal issues since a euroskeptic coalition government took office in Rome a year ago armed with ambitious spending plans.

However, in a rare show of unity after successive bouts of infighting in recent months, the coalition’s leaders agreed overnight on a willingness to address the EU’s concerns.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said after they met that they would work together to avert the disciplinary action.

“Our shared goal is to avoid the infringement while safeguarding economic growth, employment, as well as tax cuts,” added Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini of the far-right League.

Italy’s debt has risen steadily from a pre-financial crisis low of 104% of domestic output in 2007 and now stands at 132%, second only to Greece’s within the euro zone. The Commission forecast it will rise further to 135% next year.

Brussels also wants Rome to cut its structural deficit, which excludes one-off revenues, to make its debt more sustainable.

Related CoverageItalian deputy PM Di Maio says coalition meeting went well

EU governments agreed the disciplinary procedure would be avoided if Rome made new offers, two European sources said.

‘NO TAX INCREASES’

But, emboldened by the League’s strong showing in last month’s European elections and in local polls, Salvini has made tax cuts a priority and has repeatedly taken aim at Brussels, calling for an overhaul of EU fiscal rules.

He insisted on Tuesday that “there won’t be any budget correction nor tax increases.”

Finance Minister Giovanni Tria, a technocrat, played down the events in Brussels, saying the final decision would lie with the bloc’s finance ministers.

He ag上海夜生活论坛reed a budget correction was not necessary, though one would be implemented if needed, and said Italy’s deficit would be lower than initially forecast due to lower expenditure.

But that may not be enough to stave off EU action.

Brussels will now intensify talks to obtain more fiscal commitments from Rome.

But if no compromise is found, the EU Commission could recommend the opening of the procedure as early as June 26, one official said. EU states would have then to agree to formally launch it in their last meetings before the summer break on July 8-9. The procedure could also lead to unprecedented fines.

To complicate the picture, Rome is also scrambling to avoid a sales-tax increase worth 23 billion euros, which is due to kick in automatically next year unless the money can be found elsewhere.

Both the League and its coalition partner 5-Star Movement have ruled out a sales tax hike, but have yet to spell out how they will cover the gap.

TREASURIES-Yield curve flattens after inflation edges higher

NEW YORK, June 11 ( ) – A drop in two-year Treasury prices flattened the yield curve on Tuesday after a Labor Department report showed producer prices increased in May for the second consecutive month, pointing to a steady pick-up in underlying inflation pressures.

Producer prices excluding food, energy and trade services rose 0.4% last month, matching April’s gain, the government said. The so-called core PPI increased 2.3% in the 12 months through May after rising 2.2% in April.

The report appears supportive of the Federal Reserve’s view that recent weak inflation readings are transitory. Fed policymakers are scheduled to meet on June 18-19 against the backdrop of rising trade tensions, slowing U.S. growth and a sharp step-down in hiring in May that have led financial markets to price in at least two interest rate cuts by the end of 2019.

A rate cut, however, is not expected next Wednesday.

An increase in inflation could temper those expectations, because the Fed uses rate hikes to contain gains in inflation. The two-year yield, which reflects market expectations of rate hikes, rose 3.4 basis points to 1.934% in morning trade. That narrowed the spread between two- and 10-year yields, the most common measure of the yield curve, to 22.1 basis points from 23.9 on Monday.

Investors will closely watch the consumer price index report on Wednesday for further evidence of inflation. Expectations for a cut in July have been roughly stable since Monday, last around 66.7%, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

“Really the key data point for this week is going to be CPI. It is a question of whether inflation is transient – every data point is going to be important to make that determination,” said Subadra Rajappa, head of U.S. rates strategy at Societe Generale.

The Treasury Department’s auction of $78 billion of government debt this week, beginning with the sale of $38 billion in three-year government notes on Tuesday, will also be in focus. Increased supply tends to lower prices and lift yields, broadly the trend in Tuesday morning trade.

“The focus is going to be on supply so there might be a little bit of a concession getting built into the market ahead of the auctions,” said Rajappa.

“We’ve seen a tremendous rally in bonds, so given today’s concession I think the three上海夜生活网-year auction should go OK.”

FOREX-Euro poised for 2nd week of gains as China-U.S. trade talks eyed

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2019 tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

By Saikat Chatterjee

LONDON, May 10 ( ) – The euro edged higher on Friday and is poised for a second consecutive week of gains on growing fears that any escalation in the trade conflict between the United States and China would force U.S. policymakers to cut interest rates.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s tariff increase to 25% from 10% on $200 billion of Chinese goods kicked in on Friday, and Beijing said it would strike back. The two sides are pursuing last-ditch talks to try to salvage a trade deal.

While U.S. and Chinese 上海夜生活论坛officials return to the negotiating table later on Friday, investors have quietly ratcheted up bets of a U.S. interest rate cut with markets now roughly expecting one rate hike by the end of 2019.

Athanasios Vamvakidis, an FX strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said if China retaliated then the threat of a global trade war will affect the outlook of the U.S. economy and increase the chances of a Fed rate cut.

“In this case, the Fed has more room to ease than most other central banks, suggesting eventually a weaker dollar against both the euro and the yen,” he said.

The single currency edged 0.1% higher to $1.1220 on Friday and was on track for a second consecutive week of gains.

Broadly, risk appetite was muted though some of the higher-yielding currencies such as the Australian dollar which was heavily sold earlier this week when Trump unexpectedly ratcheted up trade tensions, gained.

The dollar index measuring the U.S. currency against a basket of six major currencies, of which the euro is a main component, was slightly firmer at 97.43.

Still, trade tensions have had broadly little impact on foreign exchange markets with typical perceived safe-haven assets such as the Japanese yen only gaining 1.2% this week while broader currency market volatility gauges were subdued despite a minor bounce this week.

Elsewhere, the pound held around the $1.30 level after sustaining some losses this week before first quarter British GDP data where expectations are for a 0.5% expansion compared with 0.3% growth in the previous quarter.

Publishers sue Peloton for using songs by Katy Perry, Rihanna, Timberlake, others

NEW YORK ( ) – Publishers representing the writers of songs by Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Carrie Underwood and hundreds of other artists sued Peloton Interactive Inc on Tuesday, accusing the maker of video-streaming stationary bicycles of copyright infringement.

In a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, the 10 publishers are seeking more than $150 million in damages, accusing Peloton of exploiting their songs by using more than 1,000 in its videos without permission.

They said Peloton must stop “trampling” their rights by using their songs for free. They noted that the company having obtained song licenses from other publishers showed it “full上海夜生活网y understood what the copyright law required.”

Peloton, in a statement, said it is reviewing the complaint. It also said it has “great respect for songwriters and artists,” and has “invested heavily to build a best-in-breed reporting and licensing system.”

The New York-based company is expected to seek a more than $4 billion valuation in an initial public offering that could occur in the second half of 2019, The Wall Street Journal said.

Founded in 2012, Peloton sells bicycles starting at $2,245, in packages that it said require signing up for memberships to access live and on-demand classes for cycling, running, yoga and other activities. Access to unlimited classes costs $39 a month.

The 10 music publishers include Big Deal Music, Downtown Music Publishing, Ole, Peermusic, Pulse Music Publishing, Reservoir, The Richmond Organization, Round Hill, Royalty Network and Ultra Music.

They said Peloton’s infringements cover songs by a who’s who of the music industry, such as the unauthorized use of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” in at least 55 workout videos.

The list of alleged infringements includes such songs as Mars’ “Grenade,” Perry’s “Roar,” Timberlake’s “SexyBack” and Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.”

It also includes older songs such as Celine Dion’s version of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” and Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s Halloween staple “Monster Mash.”

David Israelite, chief executive of the National Music Publishers’ Association, a trade group representing the plaintiffs, in a statement said music was responsible for much of Peloton’s business success.

“We look forward to getting music creators what they deserve,” he said.

The case is Downtown Music Publishing LLC et al v Peloton Interactive Inc, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 19-02426.

Trump’s trade war cost U.S. economy $7.8 billion in 2018: study

WASHINGTON ( ) – President Donald Trump’s trade battles cost the U.S. economy $7.8 billion in lost gross domestic product in 2018, a study by a team of economists at leading American universities published this week showed.

Authors of the paper said they analyzed the short-run impact of Trump’s actions and found that imports from targeted countries declined 31.5 percent while targeted U.S. exports fell by 11 percent. They also found that annual consumer and producer losses from higher costs of imports totaled $68.8 billion.

“After accounting for higher tariff revenue and gains to domestic producers from higher prices, the aggregate welfare loss was $7.8 billion,” or 0.04 percent of GDP, the researchers said.

The study was authored by a team of economists at the University of California Berkeley, Columbia University, Yale University and University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and published by the National Bureau of Economic research. www.nber.org/papers/w25638

Having dubbed himself the “tariff man,” Trump pledged on both the campaig上海夜网n trail and as president to reduce the trade deficit by shutting out unfairly traded imports and renegotiating free trade agreements.

Trump has pursued a protectionist trade agenda to shield U.S. manufacturing. Washington and Beijing have been locked in a tit-for-tat tariff battle for months as imposing unilateral tariffs to combat, and Trump has imposed tariffs that have roiled the European Union and other major trading partners.

The authors said while U.S. tariffs favored sectors located in “politically competitive” counties, the retaliatory tariffs imposed on U.S. goods have offset the benefits to these areas.

“We find that tradeable-sector workers in heavily Republican counties were the most negatively affected by the trade war,” the researchers said.

Guardiola spoke about his commitment to City

Pep Guardiola, the Manchester City coach, is said to be enjoying his life in Manchester pretty well as, according to reports, he bought an apartment in the city earlier this year – and he insisted that he has been always fully committed to the club.

The Spaniard is said to be very happy at the club and he is about to stay beyond the three-year deal th上海夜生活论坛at he signed at the beginning of his reign at Manchester City. To be said, he has been very successful with his side this season so far as he is at the top of the table and managed to guide his team to the knockout stage of the Champions League.

The former Barcelona coach spoke about his commitment as he said, according to ESPN: “The commitment was the same as last season when I didn’t win. It looks like a commitment because we won, but last season it was the same. I think nothing changes — whether I buy an apartment or rent an apartment, it won’t affect the way I work or try to lead my profession. It’s good that I bought an apartment because I have to live in someplace. I’m happy to live in the city, it happened the same when I lived in Rome at Brescia and in Munich, I preferred to live in the city and be with the people.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He also made a comment on his team’s injured players: “Vincent is not as bad as we thought. He will be ready for the next fixtures. We will know exactly tomorrow, but it is not a big issue. Fabian was not fit but he is much better now. Yesterday, he didn’t train but the players are off today. We will see. Fabian is a similar case to Vincent — he knows his body.”

In the end, Pep Guardiola insisted that John Stones is also doing well: “John Stones is also much better. Yesterday he made first complete training session, but he is not ready for 90 minutes. I think he will be fit for the next game which is huge news for us. Silva — we will see in the next days.”

Pochettino urged Kane to play even better

Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham coach, admitted that he believes that Harry Kane, his side’s best striker, can continue in his improvement and will start to play even better than he has done so far this season.

The Englishman managed to score a hat-trick in his team’s latest 3-0 away win against Burnley and he proved himself to be a key player for the Spurs once again. His coach admitted that the young England international is very important for his system of play but he also claimed that he can see a space for a possible improvement and he hopes that Kane will not stop with his progress.

The former Southampton coach spoke about his star striker as he said, according to ESPN: “I think he still can improve. He’s 24, I think the player arrives at their best at 27, 28, 29, depending on how professional you are. But Harry Kane, if he keeps that mentality, keeps working hard every day in the training sessions and never changes that mentality, he can play until he wants to.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He continued by adding that Kane can break Shearer’s record: “Of course the record of Alan is fantastic. He was a fantastic player, but Harry is doing so well. I think Alan was consistent during 10 years scoring goals and you need to show massive respect because it was amazing what he did. Now Harry is doing well, we hope for Tottenham, for him, for everyone that loves the club, tha上海夜生活网t every season he scores 50 or more than 50.”

In the end, Mauricio Pochettino insisted that his team have to start being consistent: “We need to keep the momentum, to try to win again, to be consistent. If we want to fight at the end for big things we must try to be consistent. But I’m sure that the team is focused, like we showed today. It was tough last week against City, but the team is in a good way.”

Guardiola: “De Bruyne capable of anything”

Pep Guardiola is certain that Kevin De Bruyne is one of the world’s best creative midfielders also because of the fact that he is able to perform on a high level even in the most important matches of the season.

The Spanish coach relies on his Belgian key player ahead of the upcoming derby match against Manchester United and he claimed that De Bruyne can do “absolutely everything” on the pitch and he is certain that he can prove it once again. Guardiola’s side can be 11 points clear if they will manage to win this match and the title would be arguably over 上海夜生活at that point.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich coach spoke about the abilities of De Bruyne as he said, according to Sky Sports: “He can do everything on the pitch. And, in terms of mentality as well, he never hides. The big players you realise in the bad moments, the bad moments in terms of 75 minutes, we are losing, how you react in that situation.”Solskjaer “very pleased” after another failure to win George Patchias – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he was “very pleased,” even though United failed to win yet again.It is now ten games on the road since…

He added that he is world-class also because he can show up in big moments: “With 4-0 everybody is a top-class player, the important time is when you are in the bad moments. I think he is world class because he can do absolutely everything.”

Guardiola also spoke about whether he will play Agüero or Gabriel Jesus as they both have been in a really good shape recently: “Maybe it is one of the toughest decisions because both are top, both deserve to play. I am so happy with both of them. When you play with two strikers, it is easy to take a decision. Gabriel is the best striker in the world in the high pressing. There is no one with the intensity and reading between the central defenders, attacking the holding midfielders from behind.”

Sarri: “Manchester City are the best in Europe”

Napoli head coach Maurizio Sarri has declared the Citizens as ‘clearly the best team in Europe’ right now.

The Partenopei will be facing Manchester City in England for the first match between the two clubs in the Champions League. Both sides have been enjoying an incredible start of the season, with each of the clubs taking the first seat in their respective leagues.

Despite Napoli’s remarkable start of the season, their manager noted that his team is taking on the ‘best club’ in Europe right now.

“They win all their games with at least five goals,” Sarri pointed out in his pre-match Press conference, according to Football Italia.

“The last time they didn’t score a goal was August, and they’re also strong in the defensive phase. It will be very hard.

“They seem unbalanced, but they’re not they always press the ball with a lot of men. I’ve seen important things from City, though I haven’t watched上海夜网 too many matches as I didn’t want to spoil other evenings.Willian warns Chelsea of ‘difficult’ Ajax threat Andrew Smyth – Willian admits Chelsea will need to prepare well for their next Champions League clash at Ajax after overcoming Lille OSC 2-0 on Wednesday.

“They’re clearly the best team in Europe.

The Napoli coach also took the time to thank his colleague Pep Guardiola as the Catalan had nothing but applause for Sarri.

“All I can do is thank him and congratulate him, because he’s clearly the best Coach in the world.

“30 years ago [Arrigo] Sacchi left his mark on football, and in a few years we’ll realise how important Guardiola was.

“If someone like him compliments you, you can only be happy.”

Liverpool fans assaulted by police

Liverpool fans claimed they were assaulted by Seville police during Tuesday’s Champions League clash

According to GOAL, the Reds are to “establish the facts” following reports of “heavy-handed” treatment at the hands of police and stewards in Tuesday’s Champions League clash at Sevilla.

Some of the travelling fans were not allowed into the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, while others were assaulted by police, claimed supporters group Spirit of Shankly.

Jay Mckenna chairman of Spirit of Shankly released a statement, saying supporters were assaulted in the first-half of the game.

“We became aware of issues affecting supporters during the first half of the match,” Mckenna told ESPN.

“A couple of our committee members reported problems getting into the ground, being refused access as the 上海夜生活论坛flag they had [which featured a Liver bird and the word “defiance”] was accused of having a political message.”

The chairman added, some of the fans were heavily assaulted, even pushed and punched.Koulibaly warns about Genk danger Nedim Maric – The reliable Napoli defender, Kalidou Koulibaly warned his team about Genk’s quality as he’s played for the Belgian side in the past.Napoli opened their…

“What is more concerning is the reports of heavy-handed treatment of supporters, including physical assaults, with one committee member reporting she was punched as she was pushed out of the ground.”

“Similar experiences have been shared with us from other supporters last night, and we’ve asked people to come forward so we can raise this issue with the club,” Mckenna explained.

“We’ve already flagged it up to them and we’re aware they are looking for more information.”

The chairman went on to say they will hold both clubs and UEFA accountable for what happened.

“Clearly, though, what happened last night isn’t acceptable and we will be asking both clubs and UEFA what they plan to do about it.”

Liverpool confirmed they are looking into the issue right away. “Following detailed and troubling accounts given by Liverpool supporters attending the match against Sevilla last night, the club is seeking to establish the facts regarding their treatment at the hands of the host stewards and local police force,” a club statement read.

“The safety and security of our supporters is our paramount concern and we intend to gather all the relevant information before responding further,” the Reds stated after their 3-3 draw against Sevilla.

Pickford sure that his side won’t be relegated

It has been a terrible season so far for the Toffees but their goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, is confident that they can turn it around and avoid the relegation but they need to focus on themselves and improve.

Everton are currently placed 18th in the Premier League table and they are out of the Europa League after just four matches being played – now, they are about to face Watford at home and it’s going to be a crucial match for them as they need to escape the relegation zone in order to boost their confidence.

The former Sunderland goalkeeper and summer arrival, Jordan Pickford, is sure that his side won’t be relegated as he said, according to Goal: “It’s not been ideal but we are not far away from winning games. We’re not a club that is going to be in the bottom three for long I’d say. It’s just that the luck hasn’t come our way yet. It’s a totally different scenario for myself from last season. I think one win will get us to 13th or something in the league.”Wijnaldum looking to repeat Champions League success Nedim Maric – Liverpool are the reigning winners of the Champions League. However, this isn’t stopping them for aiming to get the glory once again.After a perfect…

And he knows that his side have to start improving to regain the confidence: “Then that one win can become back-to-back wins, and that is where the confidence grows, and it starts Sunday. We have had a bad lot of games. I love playing games week in week out, but it has been a change with the Europa League. That may have affected us. But we can’t be making excuses. We have to just move forward, dig in and get the win.”

The England international believes that his teammates are experienced enough to turn it around: “You have [fellow summer signing Wayne] Rooney, you have a lot of people who have been successful. The senior pros have all been successful in their careers, and that is where they help us. And then that is when the young lads become big characters when上海夜网 they wear their hearts on their sleeves in the games. We won’t be struggling – it will only make us go forward and get the wins that we need.”

Bayern Munich 0-2 Inter

Inter won 2-0 over Bayern Munich in a game that was part of the International Champions Cup.

The Nerazzurri are the second team from Milan that got the better of playing with the Bavarians, following Ancelotti’s men 0-4 defeat against AC Milan a few days ago.

The game started off well for Bayern Munich as Franck Ribéry had a great chance to give his team the lead after a powerful shot, which was saved by the goalkeeper. Shortly after it was Inter’s time to shine, as Éder found the back of the net with a header after finishing a difficult ball from the right flank. The rest of the first half did not impress much as Ancelotti’s side had control of the ball but they did could not materialise on their efforts. The Nerazzurri played well on the counter-attack and scored for the second time in the 30th minute. Following a quick attack and a ball from Perišić, the 1.79m-tall Éder once again had the best positioning in the box, as he was left unmarked and scored, 2-0. After Inter’s second goal, Ribéry had to leave the pitch due to an injury, which left the Bayern Munich squad worried.Too early to talk about the Scudetto says Inter’s Godin George Patchias – Inter Milan’s summer signing Diego Godin says it is too early to start talking about the Scudetto.33 year old Uruguayan international arrived in Milan…

The second half, as expected, saw a huge number of changes for both teams. Robert Lewandowski tried his luck just a minute after the whistle but unsuccessfully. Bayern Munich were clearly the more active side and they looked for a goal more than their Milan opponent. In the 60th minute, Perišić had the chance to make it a classic for Inter, but he could not find the target after a shot from a low angle. Ten minutes after that, the Portuguese youngster Renato Sanches fired off a great ball from distance, as the ball awkwardly dipped down and hit the ground in front of Bayern’s goalkeeper as it went past the side cross bar.

You can see det上海夜网ailed highlights in the video below:

https://youtu.be/yZbe71NFQZE

Everton with a class act

The club has announced they will host a charity football match in respect to Bradley Lowery as they aim to support the Bradley Lowery Foundation to help children with cancer.

The Toffees will host a celebrity match on 3 September, after previously donating £200,000 to the charity set up by Bardley’s family.

Little Bradley passed away on 7 July after a tough battle with cancer. He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when he was just 18 months old.

Bradley’s parents said the support their family received was fantastic. The people from Goodison Park formed a special relationship with Bradley during Everton’s match at Sunderland in September 2016 and then when he was a guest at Merseyside.Kean thrilled with Everton support Nedim Maric – The young Italian striker moved from Juventus this summer to try and leave his mark on the Premier League.Among the Italian racism crisis, which…

Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright stated to the club’s website:

“I didn’t know him for long bu上海夜生活t from the second he walked out onto the pitch with his beloved Sunderland against us, I felt an overwhelming need to support him.

“He was the loveliest lad – still an imp, but with the biggest heart.”

Bradley’s family has established the Bradley Lowery Foundation, which aims to help other families with children with cancer. Everton’s charity game will help raise funds and support the good cause.

Manchester United close to a deal for Nemanja Matic

According to ESPN sources the Chelsea midfielder could sign before the end of this weekWritten by – Nikolay Nikolov, June 26, 2017.

Manchester United are closing in on a deal for Nemanja Matic from Chelsea according to ESPN sources. Moreover, it is reported that the midfielder could sign by the end of the week.

After Tottenham showed no intention of selling Eric Dier, Matic has become Mourinho’s top target in his attempt to find a new defensive midfielder.

Another factor influencing the deal is that Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco is very close to a move to Chelsea and if the deal goes through he will most probably be the preferred choice when it comes to the holding midfielder role.Kane: Spurs out of excuses after shock Carabao Cup exit Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane concedes that Tottenham only have themselves to blame following a shock Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Colchester United.

United will have to pay around £40m for the 28-year-old Serbian, who scored 1 goal and provided 7 assists in 30 Premier League games last season, as his side became Champions.

Since the end of last season, Manchester United have added only上海夜生活网 1 player to their squad, with Sweden defender Victor Lindelof coming from Benfica earlier this month.

Mourinho will be looking to sign Matic before the United States tour starting on 9th of July.

Other targets that are being followed by United are Alvaro Morata and Ivan Perisic. However, both of the deals are still in initial talks phase.

New details about Messi’s tax fraud scheme

Messi cleared his record, as the Spanish Court decided to replace his suspended prison sentence with a fine.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. June 27, 2017.

But the problems didn’t end for the Argentinian star. According to the Spanish press, Messi used his foundation to hide his revenues from the Spanish authorities.

The Spanish journalists from ABC said: “Leo Messi Foundation created a structure to hide tens of millions of euros resulted from sponsorship agreements that were not declared. The Foundation cannot confirm that the amounts have been spent for social projects of helping children with problems.”

Furthermore, the journalists explain that the institution was used as an “umbrella organisation for a big part of the revenues obtained between 2007 and 2015.” It is thought that more than €10m were not declared to the Spanish or Argentinian authorities.Kane: Spurs out of excuses after shock Carabao Cup exit Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane concedes that Tottenham only have themselves to blame following a shock Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Colchester United.

The foundation started to become active six years before its official registration. In 2007, it started its activity in Barcelona, and later on, in 2009, an office was also opened in Rosario, the player’s hometown.

Finally, the initial organisation was registered in Barcelona in 2013, when the foundation was not active in Spain, because all the contracts were signed in Rosario, for both the Argentinian and the Spanish organisation, with the revenu上海夜生活论坛es not being declared.

The Argentinian fiscal authorities closed the activity of the organisation from Rosario, because they have failed to present their accounts for three consecutive years.

Inter’s persistence pays off

After weeks of rumours and testing the field, Internazionale Milano have finally managed to arrange a meeting with their number one target.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. May 1, 2017.

Diego Simeone would be interested in the role of manager on Giuseppe Meazza, in case he finally manages to win the Champions League with Atletico.

Having spent the last weeks trying to persuade Simeone to listen to their plans, Inter have now arranged a meeting with the Argentinian and they are set to make him an official offer.

The Italian giants have prepared an openin上海夜网g offer of €6m per season for Simeone and they will test his reaction after the second leg of the Champions League semi finals that Atletico will play against local rivals Real Madrid.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…

In order to persuade Simeone, Nerazzurri are willing to guarantee him total control of the transfer policy at the club, with promises of huge investments from the new Chinese owners.

One obstacle in Cholo’s way to Milan might be his current contract that expires in 2018 and the promise that he has made to the Atletico board that he will lead them into the next season, which will see them move into their new stadium.

However, an eventual victory in the Champions League final would be regarded as the completion of a cycle by the Argentinian coach and he would then be more willing to consider a fresh start somewhere else.

Simeone has played for Inter between 1997 and 1999 and has always made it clear that he would like to return to Giuseppe Meazza as a manager later in his career. Another ace in the sleeve of Inter is their current vice-president, Javier Zanetti, who is a very good friend of Simeone, from their playing time for both Inter and Argentina.

Oil drops 3% on weak global economic data, U.S. crude stocks build

NEW YORK ( ) – Oil prices shed 3% on Wednesday after fresh Chinese and European economic revived global demand fears and U.S. crude inventories rose unexpectedly for the second week in a row.

Brent crude LCOc1 settled at $59.48 a barrel, shedding $1.82, or 3%, losing some of the previous session’s sharp gains after the United States moved to delay tariffs on some Chinese products.

The global benchmark rose 4.7% on Tuesday, its biggest daily percentage gain since December.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 settled at $55.23 a barrel, falling $1.87, or 3.3%, after having risen 4% the previous session, the most in just over a month.

China reported disappointing data for July, including a surpris上海夜网e drop in industrial output growth to a more than 17-year low, underlining widening economic cracks as the trade war with the United States intensifies.

The global economic slowdown, amplified by tariff conflicts and uncertainty over Brexit, is also hitting European economies. A slump in exports sent Germany’s economy into reverse in the second quarter, data showed.

The euro zone’s GDP barely grew in the second quarter of 2019.

“The data out of China, the potential recession brewing in Germany, all of that is playing into global demand worries,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago. “Today, we’re back in fear mode.”

The U.S. Treasury bond yield curve inverted for the first time since 2007, in a sign of investor concern that the world’s biggest economy could be heading for recession.

“With much focus today shifting toward the inversion in the two versus 10-year bond yields, global risk appetite saw another major contraction that easily flowed into the oil space,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.

Graphic: Yield curve inversions, recessions & U.S. stocks – tmsnrt.rs/2MZidOp

A second week of unexpected builds in U.S. crude inventories added to the pressure on the oil markets.

U.S. crude stocks USOILC=ECI grew by 1.6 million barrels last week, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 2.8 million barrels, as refineries cut output, the Energy Information Administration said in its report. At 440.5 million barrels, inventories were about 3% above the five-year average for this time of year, the EIA said in its weekly report.

“Countering this bearish (crude) build has been draws to both gasoline and distillates amid strong implied demand,” said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData in Louisville, Kentucky.

Gasoline stocks fell by 1.4 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a poll for an increase of 25,000 barrels, as demand jumped to a record 9.93 million barrels per day, according to EIA data going back to 1991.

Graphic: U.S. crude inventories, weekly changes since 2017 – tmsnrt.rs/2y7mC9g

China’s Tencent cautious after surge in quarterly profit

HONG KONG ( ) – China’s Tencent Holdings (0700.HK), the world’s largest gaming company by revenue, warned on Wednesday of a difficult economic environment even as it reported a better-than-expected 35% jump in quarterly profit.

Growth in the company’s gaming business resumed in the second quarter after a long regulatory freeze in China and its fintech operations also generated sharply higher revenues.

However, Tencent saw a slowdown in online advertising revenue growth amid a slowing Chinese economy and Sino-U.S. trade tensions, and expects conditions to remain tough.

“Our assumption is that the macro environment will remain difficult for the rest of the year and that the situation of the heavy supply of advertising inventory will continue for the rest of the year and potentially into next year,” Chief Strategy Officer James Mitchell told an earnings call.

Tencent made 24.14 billion yuan ($3.4 billion) in net profit for the April-June quarter, beating an average estimate of 20.74 billion yuan from 13 analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Smartphone gaming revenue rose 26% to 22.2 billion yuan, helped by major titles including “Honour of Kings” and “Perfect World Mobile” as well as new releases. Desktop games revenue dropped 9% to 11.7 billion yuan.

“We are quite happy with the recovery of the smartphone games,” Tencent’s President Martin Lau said, referring to a sequential rise in the segment’s revenue even though the second quarter is traditionally weaker. Tencent launched 10 new games in the June quarter, versus only one in the previous quarter.

In 2018, Tencent turned in its slowest annual profit growth in 13 years due to a suspension in approvals for new games.

Approvals resumed in December, with Tencent receiving permission to launch “Perfect World Mobile” in the first quarter of this year.

“FinTech and Business Services” – a new revenue category set up this year that includes payment and cloud services – generated 22.9 billion yuan, up 37% on comparable business last year, helped by rapid growth in commercial payments volumes.

Tencent offers commercial payments services to the large number of merchants and consumers on its social media platform WeChat, which had 1.14 billion users at the end of June.

Tencent also said its wealth management platform, LiCaiTong, had aggregated customer assets of over 800 billion yuan at the end of June as more users kept their money within its payment system.

“Amid the evolving macro-economic and competitive challenges, we continue to invest in enhancing our platforms, services and technologies, for better supporting our users and enterprise customers,” Tencent said in its results release.

FROM ENTERTAINMENT TO ENTERPRISE

The social media and gaming giant is restructuring in an attempt to find new revenue sources as its consumer business comes under pressure from slowing Chinese economic growth amid the Sino-U.S. trade war.

Online advertising revenue grew 16% in the quarter, down from 25% growth in January-March, which Tencent said was due to a “challenging macro environment and increased supply of short video advertising inventories across the industry”.

Mitchell said Tencent would seek to maintain a “healthy although not super rapid rate” of growth by adjusting the rate of its own advertising inventory growth and by leveraging its ability in helping advertisers better target users.

Media advertising revenues dropped 7% year-on-year, which Tencent blamed on the absence of World Cup soccer this year and “unexpected delays to airing certain top-tier drama series”.

In May, amid U.S.-China political tensions, Tencent’s video-streaming platform Tencent Video surprised fans when it announced last minute that it would not broadcast the season finale of “Game of Thrones” as originally scheduled.

China’s media watchdog has also been clamping down on historical dramas this year. Mitchell told the earnings call that Tencent and its subsidiaries have a diversified entertainment portfolio in genres including ani上海夜生活论坛mations, documentaries and variety shows.

A 1.6 billion yuan year-on-year drop in selling and marketing expenses and a 1.5 billion increase in “net other gains” related to investment activities also contributed to Tencent’s bottom line in the quarter.

Mitchell said Tencent has slowed investment over the past 12 months while its rate of divestment has picked up in recent months. “We will continue to invest at a more measured pace,” he said, especially in “frontier opportunities” in enterprise software, financial technology, education and healthcare.

The company said revenue growth at its cloud services business remained robust as it gained key contracts at PICC, Bank of Communications and in public services such as healthcare and transport in various cities.

Democratic Senator Bennet of Colorado joins crowded 2020 field

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, whose political career has centered on improving the American education system, on Thursday became the latest Democrat to join the sprawling field of candidates seeking the party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

Bennet, 54, is serving his second full six-year term in the Senate. He previously ran Denver’s public schools.

“If we continue to go down the path we’re going – and this isn’t just about President Trump, it’s about the politics that existed before he got there … we’re going to be the first generation of Americans to leave less opportunity, not more, to the next generation, and I just need to do everything I can do to make sure that we don’t do that,” Bennet said in an interview with “CBS This Morning.”

He joins a field of more than a dozen candidates, with others such as former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and Montana Governor Steve Bullock still deciding whether to run.

Bennet is the second Coloradan to enter the 2020 race after John Hickenlooper, a former governor, announced his candidacy on March 4.

Hickenlooper’s presence complicates Bennet’s bid. Both are white male moderates running in a party where much of the energy lies with the diverse, activist left.

Bennet is not well known nationally. However, his stint in 2014 as chairman of the Democratic Party’s Senate campaign arm linked him with a network of political operatives and donors across the country.

The normally congenial Bennet also drew notice during the partial U.S. government shutdown in January, when he blasted Republican Ted Cruz on the Senate floor for leading a similar shutdown in 2013 that stopped the flow of emergency funds to Colorado.

Democratic nominating contests begin in February 2020 in the traditional starting point of Iowa. The candidate who amasses the majority of the delegates will be nominated at the party’s convention in the summer and will likely face President Donald Trump, a Republican, in the general election in November.

Since losing the White House in 2016, Democrats have grappled with how to best take on Trump in 2020. Some in the party believe an establishment figure who can appeal to centrist voters is the way to victory. Others argue a fresh face – and particularly a diverse one – is needed to energize the party’s increasingly left-leaning base.

As a presidential candidate, Bennet may have to fight the perception that he is a product of the party’s establishment at a time when progressives and political newcomers are favored by the base.

He grew up in Washington the son of a former State Department official, and his grandfather advised President Franklin Roosevelt. A graduate of Wesleyan University and Yale Law School, he served in the Clinton Justice Department before moving West.

When Hickenlooper served as mayor of Denver, Bennet worked as his chief of staff and then took over the city’s schools, gaining national recognition for his reform efforts.

In 2009, after Democratic then-President Barack Obama named U.S. Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado as his interior secretary, Hickenlooper and Bennet vied to be appointed to replace him. Bennet, surprisingly, got the nod. He narrowly won his first full term a year later.

Bennet’s popularity has grown in Colorado 上海夜生活论坛as the state has become more liberal. In 2016, he was re-elected to the Senate by more than 5 percentage points, polling particularly well with Hispanic voters.

Bennet told CBS he was focused on economic mobility and integrity in government.

In a campaign video, Bennet also highlighted goals that included improving the healthcare system and investing in education and job training.

“The Democratic party doesn’t stand for very much at the national level with respect to what the American people think,” Bennet said. “A process like this is long overdue in the Democratic party.”

He also acknowledged his bout of prostate cancer, saying it was very “clarifying” in solidifying his plans for the future and that he now had a clean bill of health. The diagnosis also made him more sensitive to the need for Americans to have health insurance, he said.

Factbox: Guilty pleas, indictments abound in Trump-Russia probe

( ) – Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election has ensnared dozens of people, including several advisers to President Donald Trump and a series of Russian nationals and companies.

Rod Rosenstein, the No. 2 U.S. Justice Department official, in May 2017 appointed Mueller to look into Russian interference, whether members of Trump’s campaign coordinated with Moscow officials and whether the Republican president had unlawfully sought to obstruct the probe. Mueller has charged 34 people and three companies.

Attorney General William Barr issued a summary of Mueller’s report on March 24, saying it did not find any evidence that Trump or his associates broke the law in an election that was marked by extensive interference by Russia.

Trump denies collusion and obstruction. Russia denies election interference.

The following are those who have pleaded guilty or have been indicted in Mueller’s inquiry. (Graphic: tmsnrt.rs/2RwJarW)

PAUL MANAFORT

Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman was sentenced to a combined 7-1/2 years in prison in two cases brought by Mueller in which he was convicted by a jury in Virginia in August 2018 and pleaded guilty a month later in Washington.

In Virginia, he was found guilty of five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

Manafort, who prosecutors said tried to conceal from the U.S. government millions of dollars he was paid as a political consultant for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy in a separate case in Washington and agreed to cooperate with Mueller. The Washington case had focused on accusations of money laundering and failing to report foreign bank accounts, among other charges.

A judge on Feb. 13 ruled that Manafort had breached his agreement to cooperate with Mueller by lying to prosecutors about three matters pertinent to the Russia probe, including his interactions with a business partner, Konstantin Kilimnik, who they have said has ties to Russian intelligence.

MICHAEL COHEN

Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, pleaded guilty in August 2018 to crimes including orchestrating “hush money” payments before the 2016 election to women who have said they had sexual encounters with Trump, violating campaign laws. That case was handled by federal prosecutors in New York, not Mueller’s office.

As part of a separate agreement with Mueller’s team, Cohen pleaded guilty in November 2018 to lying to Congress about negotiations concerning a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow, a project that never materialized.

Cohen is due to report to prison on May 6 to begin serving a three-year prison sentence.

Cohen in February 2019 testified at a public hearing before a House of Representatives committee. He accused Trump of approving the “hush money” payments and knowing in advance about the 2016 release by the WikiLeaks website of emails that prosecutors have said were stolen by Russia to harm Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid. He said Trump implicitly directed him to lie about the Moscow real estate project.

He promised to keep cooperating with prosecutors and made multiple closed-door appearances before congressional panels.

MICHAEL FLYNN

Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser for less than a month in early 2017, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia during Trump’s presidential transition and agreed to cooperate with Mueller.

Trump fired him as national security adviser after it emerged that Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence and the FBI about his dealings with the then-Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. His sentencing is pending.

ROGER STONE

The longtime Trump ally and presidential campaign adviser was charged in January 2019 with seven criminal counts including obstruction of an official proceeding, witness tampering and making false statements. He pleaded not guilty.

His trial date has been set for Nov. 5.

Prosecutors said Stone shared with members of the Trump campaign team advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plan to release the stolen Democratic emails. Prosecutors also accused him of trying to interfere with a witness, a radio host who matched the profile of Randy Credico.

RICK GATES

The former deputy chairman of Trump’s campaign, Gates pleaded guilty in February 2018 to conspiracy against the United States and lying to investigators. He agreed to cooperate with Mueller and testified as a prosecution witness against Manafort, his former business partner. His sentencing is pending.

KONSTANTIN KILIMNIK

A Manafort aide in Ukraine and a political operative described by prosecutors as linked to Russian intelligence, Kilimnik was charged in June 2018 with tampering with witnesses about their past lobbying for Ukraine’s former pro-Russian government.

Prosecutors said in January 2019 that Manafort shared political polling data with Kilimnik in 2016, providing an indication that Trump’s campaign may have tried to coordinate with Russians.

TWELVE RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS

Twelve Russian intelligence officers were indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2018, accused of hacking the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations as part of a Russian scheme to release emails damaging to Clinton during the 2016 race. They covertly monitored employee computers and planted malicious code, as well as stealing emails and other documents, according to the indictment.

THIRTEEN RUSSIAN NATIONALS, THREE COMPANIES

Thirteen Russians and three Russian companies were indicted in Mueller’s investigation in February 2018, accused of taking part in an elaborate campaign to sow discord in the United States ahead of the 2016 election and harm Clinton’s candidacy in order to boost Trump. The companies included: the Internet Research Agency, a St. Petersburg-based propaganda arm known for trolling on social media; Concord Management and Consulting; and Concord Catering.

GEORGE PAPADOPOU上海夜生活LOS

The former Trump campaign adviser was sentenced in September 2018 to 14 days in prison after pleading guilty in October 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials, including a professor who told him the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton.

ALEX VAN DER ZWAAN

A lawyer who once worked closely with Manafort and Gates, Van Der Zwaan pleaded guilty in February 2018 to lying to Mueller’s investigators about contacts with a Trump campaign official. Van Der Zwaan, the Dutch son-in-law of one of Russia’s richest men, was sentenced in April 2018 to 30 days in prison and fined $20,000.

RICHARD PINEDO

Pinedo was not involved with the Trump campaign, but in February 2018 pleaded guilty to identity fraud in a case related to the Mueller investigation for helping Russian conspirators launder money, purchase Facebook ads and pay for supplies.

He was sentenced in October 2018 to six months in jail and six months of home detention.

SAMUEL PATTEN

Patten, a veteran political consultant and business partner of Kilimnik, pleaded guilty in August to unregistered lobbying for a pro-Kremlin political party in Ukraine and agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s probe. Patten also admitted to arranging for a U.S. citizen to act as a straw purchaser for tickets to Trump’s inauguration on behalf of a Ukrainian oligarch, thereby circumventing a law prohibiting foreigners form providing money to the inaugural. The case stemmed from a referral from Mueller to the Justice Department.