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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.

Ex-Trump adviser Flynn talking to Congress about testifying in Russia probe: lawyer

((In March 30 item, corrects spelling of Kislyak in paragraph 3))

WASHINGTON ( ) – Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has offered to testify before congressional committees probing potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia but wants protection against “unfair prosecution,” his lawyer said on Thursday.

“General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit,” said a statement from Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner.

Testimony from Flynn could help shed light on the conversations he had with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak last year when he was the national security adviser for Trump’s presidential campaign.

Kelner said discussions had taken place about Flynn’s availability to testify with officials of the intelligence committees of both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Both committees are investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. election campaign last year as well as possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russians.

Flynn was forced to resign as Trump’s national security adviser in February for failing to disclose talks with the Russian ambassador before Trump took office about U.S. sanctions on Moscow and misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.

Questions remain about the scope of the discussions and what other contacts took place between other Trump advisers with the Russians. Earlier this week, the White House disclosed that Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser, Jared Kushner, met executives of Russian state development bank Vnesheconombank, or VEB, in December.

U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russ上海夜网ia hacked emails of senior Democrats and orchestrated the release of embarrassing information in a bid to tip the presidential election in favor of Trump, whose views were seen as more in line with the Moscow’s.

Russia has denied the allegations. Trump has dismissed suggestions of links with Moscow as Democratic sour grapes for losing the election.

‘WITCH HUNT ENVIRONMENT’

The Wall Street Journal, citing officials with knowledge of the matter, reported on Thursday that Flynn had sought immunity from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the House and Senate intelligence panels in exchange for his testimony. The newspaper said he had so far found no takers.

The House denied the Journal report. “Michael Flynn has not offered to testify to HPSCI in exchange for immunity,” committee spokesman Jack Langer said in a statement.

The FBI declined to comment. The Senate committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Kelner’s statement did not mention the FBI.

He said Flynn “is now the target of unsubstantiated public demands by Members of Congress and other political critics that he be criminally investigated.”

Kelner said Flynn would not “submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution.”Independent Senator Angus King, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CNN he could not confirm the Journal report, but “if that turns out to be the case, that’s a significant development I believe because it indicates that he has something important to say.”

REFILE-GLOBAL MARKETS-S&P stock futures fall, Asian stocks slip as U.S.-China trade tensions simmer

(Refiles to correct spelling in latest Trump tweet)

* We are right where we want to be with China: Trump

* Trump-Xi talks likely at G20 summit: White House aide Kudlow

* Asian stock markets: tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

* S&P 500 futures, Japan’s Nikkei fall 1% in early trading

* Major currencies calm for the moment

By Wayne Cole and Tomo Uetake

SYDNEY, May 13 ( ) – U.S. stock futures fell and Asian shares slipped in early trade on Monday on growing uncertainty over whether the United States and China will be able to reach a deal to end their trade war after Washington sharply hiked tariffs.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 shed 1.1%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.2%, nearing its two-month low marked on Thursday.

Japan’s Nikkei average sunk as much as 1.0% to hit its lowest level since March 28. It last traded down 0.6%,

U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury note yield inched down to 2.437%, partly as a safe haven but also on speculation a trade war would cloud global growth and thus keep major central banks accommodative.

The United States and China appeared at a deadlock over trade negotiations on Sunday as Washington demanded promises of concrete changes to Chinese law and Beijing said it would not swallow any “bitter fruit” that harmed its interests.

President Donald Trump tweeted late on Sunday that the United States is “right where we want to be with China,” adding that Beijing “broke the deal with us” and then sought to renegotiate.

The trade war between the world’s top two economies escalated on Friday, with the United States hiking tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods after President Donald Trump said Beijing “broke the deal” by reneging on earlier commitments. China has vowed to retaliate, without giving details.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told a Fox News program that China needs to agree to “very strong” enforcement provisions for an eventual deal and said the sticking point was Beijing’s reluctance to put into law c上海夜生活hanges that had been agreed upon. Kudlow said the U.S. tariffs would remain in place while negotiations continue.

Beijing remained defiant.

“Talks are on-going, but our base case is for limited progress and Chinese retaliation. We see a significant risk for all Chinese imports to be subject to tariffs over the next month or so,” said Michael Hanson, head of global macro strategy at TD Securities.

“The market reaction will ultimately depend on whether China and the U.S. continue to negotiate, whether the remaining $325 billion of U.S. imports from China also get tariffed, how China retaliates, and what happens to the 232 auto tariffs.”

Under that scenario, the renminbi was likely to fall between 5%-6% against the U.S. dollar in the coming three months, said Hanson, as a shock absorber to the economic impact of heavier tariffs.

The other major currencies were relatively calm, with the safe-haven yen still supported but not aggressively so. The dollar was holding at 109.72 yen, down 0.2 percent on the day and just above a 14-week trough of 109.46.

The euro was steady at $1.1235, while the dollar was a fraction softer against a basket of currencies at 97.295 .

The offshore Chinese yuan fell to its lowest levels in more than four months at 6.88 to the dollar. It last stood down 0.5 percent at 6.878 per dollar.

In commodity markets, spot gold firmed 0.2 percent to $1,287.81 per ounce.

Oil prices were softer in line with the general mood of risk aversion. U.S. crude was last down 0.5 percent to $61.33 a barrel, while Brent crude futures lost 0.2 percent to $70.49.

Saudi stocks set to receive $20 bln windfall even as some investors sit out

* Saudi stocks to suck in $20 bln in passive flows

* Foreign ownership in Saudi stocks just 2 pct

* Khashoggi affair might stem active flows -analysts

* Slow reform, high valuations also factors

By Tom Arnold and Saeed Azhar

LONDON/DUBAI, March 17 ( ) – Saudi Arabia’s inclusion in major emerging m上海夜生活论坛arkets stock indices from Monday is likely to suck in around $20 billion in passive inflows, but unease after Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and sluggish reforms could lead some active foreign investors to steer clear.

Saudi Arabia will be the biggest recent addition to the global indices, the largest of which is the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which it joins from May. MSCI will give the kingdom a weight of 2.7 percent, between Russia and Mexico.

The kingdom is hoping the inclusions, starting on Monday when Saudi stocks join the FTSE Emerging All Cap Index, will kickstart its drive to become a major destination for foreign capital, after its global reputation was tainted by Khashoggi’s killing at the hands of Saudi agents in October.

The process should help bring in about $20 billion of combined passive inflows during 2019, analysts estimate. That would push up foreign ownership from around 2 percent, one of the lowest in the region, to around 6 percent, according to Al Mal Capital.

“The 2.7 percent pro-forma benchmark weight [within the MSCI index] is much more significant than prior index inclusions during the past decade,” said Alexander Redman, head of global emerging market equity strategy at Credit Suisse.

“And given that the proportion of assets under management within emerging markets passive funds is much larger than during previous index inclusions, it means there will be a significant amount of net foreign buying of Saudi equities.”

Analysts say pre-positioning by investors has been slow ahead of the process, however. Arqaam Capital attributes that to concern about delays to mega-projects, the kingdom’s fiscal constraints, high valuations for Saudi-listed firms and concerns that government asset sales will oversupply the stock market.

“As has been seen with a lot of other markets undergoing emergence, the reform process is not always smooth,” said Edward Evans, emerging markets equity portfolio manager at Ashmore Group.

“We’ve seen that in Saudi Arabia with their somewhat unorthodox approach to policymaking over the last few years, and the hope is that as the kingdom becomes more integrated in global financial markets, policy will become more predictable.”

The kingdom’s drive to diversify its economy away from oil dependence has had some hiccups, including a recession in 2017 and delays to plans to float shares in oil giant Aramco.

A source at a major western investment firm, who asked to remain anonymous, highlighted another reason why investors might be cautious. “I would find it unlikely that the active funds coming in will be anywhere close to benchmark as there are still reputation issues from holding Saudi assets,” the source said.

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), and other state-owned funds indirectly own the lion’s share of Saudi stocks.

Many stepped in to limit a market crash in October last year caused by foreign investors dumping stocks after Khashoggi’s killing. Some had made similar moves when foreign investors were spooked after the government detained hundreds of officials under an anti-corruption drive in November 2017.

The index inclusions are seen as an opportunity for those funds to sell their positions in around 4 percent of the market, estimate analysts.

Foreign net buying has picked up since the start of the year, hitting $2.1 billion year-to-date. That is still below the expected passive and active inflows that could reach a total of up to $60 billion, said Arqaam.

For an interactive version of the below chart, click here tmsnrt.rs/2NXK0gp.

Arqaam said concerns the government could oversupply the market and, in turn, pressure valuations were misplaced, with local institutional selling, particularly from mutual funds, well below foreign buying in recent days.

“We expect the Saudi government-related entities such as PIF to cater to the required demand of stocks in a controlled manner,” said Vrajesh Bhandari, senior portfolio manager at Al Mal Capital in Dubai.

Howe left frustrated after being held by West Ham

Eddie Howe, the Bournemouth coach, admitted that he was a bit frustrated as his side conceded an almost immediate equalizer against West Ham United and they were held to a 1-1 draw.

Ryan Fraser scored the first goal of the game in 71st minuted for the home side but it wasn’t enough to win the match anyway as Javier Hernandez equalized just two minutes after that the clash ended 1-1. It means that the Cherries haven’t been beaten for five matches in a row but despite that, Howe was a bit disappointed while being in charge of the club in his 100th Premier League game.

The talented British coach spoke about this match as he said, according to Sky Sports: “We didn’t start the game particularly well, we came under pressure early but did well to defend that and not concede. We grew into the game and scored a great goal from our perspective, and looked a real threat on the counter-attack in the second上海夜生活论坛 half. The frustrating thing is the timing of their second goal.”Top 5 Real Madrid players who are succeeding on a loan Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – We need to talk about the Top 5 Real Madrid players who are currently succeeding away from the club and are currently on a…

He also insisted that it was probably caused by the lack of concentration: “There was no time to enjoy it or build on it, which is frustrating. I don’t think the lads switched off or that it was a concentration issue, it was just the fact we didn’t win two big headers outside our box. It’s a frustration because at that stage I thought we were the better team and we were looking to build upon a great goal.”

In the end, Eddie Howe claimed that he was pleased by the performance of his two substitutes, Joshua King and Junior Stanislas: “Junior’s pass for our goal was sublime. He’s got the quality and makes us play very good football, so we’re delighted to have him back.  Josh has been such a key player for us in recent times, hopefully, those guys can give us a real lift.”

Preview: FK Crvena Zvezda – FC Koln

The battle for second place behind already qualified Arsenal in Europa League (EL) Group F is an interesting one. Crvena Zvevda are on the same points as Cologne but sit one place above them due to their 1-0 win in Cologne on matchday two. A win for either side would take them automatically through, while a draw could let in fourth-placed BATE who visit Arsenal in a must-win game for the Belarusians.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Cologne’s last two games in the EL – victories over Arsenal and BATE – have at least provided some respite to an awful campaign in the Bundesliga where they have lost 11 and drawn three of their 14 games and not surprisingly find themselves propping up the table. Despite a decent 2-2 draw at Schalke at the weekend, Cologne coach Peter Stoger was given his official marching orders on Sunday and was replaced by U-19 coach Stefan Ruthenbeck as interim boss.

This will be Ruthenback’s first game in charge and during the pre-match presser he had this to say about the task ahead: “We want to be the active team. We know we can’t win here 上海夜生活being passive,” before adding: “Our players are motivated. They know what awaits them.”

Getting anything at the Rajko Mitic Stadium will not be an easy task, however. Crvena Zvevda, or Red Star Belgrade as they are more commonly known in the West, are unbeaten in ten home matches in the Serbian league and have a good record against German sides at their stadium – winning nine, drawing four and losing just two of the 13 games played. On top of this, Crvena Zvevda have a 12th man in their fanatical home support and have not conceded more than one goal in any of their last seven home European games.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…

Furthermore, a win for Cologne would be the first time any side has lost their first three EL games and still progressed through to the knockout stages – some achievement for the club in its current plight in its first European campaign in 20 years.

Missing players

FK Crvena Zvezda: N. Radonjic (injury), Ricardinho (doubtful)

FC Koln: L. Bittencourt (groin injury), J. Cordoba (thigh injury), J. Hector (ankle injury), D. Heintz (thigh injury), M. Hoger (muscle injury), M. Risse (knee injury), S. Zoller (thigh injury), Y.A. Bisseck (doubtful), D. Maroh (doubtful), J. Mere (doubtful), J. Queiros (doubtful).

Boateng admits he considered leaving Bayern Munich

The full-back was not happy with his situation at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng has opened up about the summer transfer window, saying he was ready to leave the club. However, he is now pleased that Jupp Heynckes has returned to the Bavarians, whose arrival has chan上海夜生活网ged his mind when it comes to a potential departure.

The 29-year-old’s last season campaign was plagued with injuries as he started only 10 games for the Bundesliga champions. The time spent on the sidelines probably affected Ancelotti’s view of the player as Boateng was not a regular starter during important games. This led to the defender’s frustration, which made him consider his options carefully during the close season.

“Maybe because I played not that much with him as coach, he saw me as less because of my injuries,” Boateng told Kicker.Kovac cryptic about plans to stop Kane Nedim Maric – Bayern Munich will travel to North London in order to face Pochettino’s Tottenham in a Champions League derby.Bundesliga looks like it’s never been as…

“I had a conversation with the leaders about how they see me in the summer, I said I was thinking about it (a transfer).”

Yet, the German full-back is happy to see Bayern’s old manager return to the hot seat at Allianz Arena, believing that Heynckes is the right man to bring the club back on the victorious path.

“(Heynckes’) attitude that he wants to give something back to FC Bayern is very positive for us as a team. There are not many managers who have such a keen sense of how to deal with players, their approach, their training, their motivation.”

Eriksson insists Rooney deserves more praise

The former England manager believes the Everton striker did not receive the respect he should have.

Wayne Rooney deserved to be loved by the English crowd just like Francesco Totti was in Italy, insists Sven-Göran Eriksson.

The former Manchester United striker retired from the national squad in August after scoring 53 goals in 119 caps for England. Yet, he was widely criticized for his performances despite his great record for the Three Lions throughout his 上海夜网career.

Eriksson, who was in the managerial position of England from 2001 to 2006, thinks that Rooney deserved more from the fans, comparing the Englishman to Italy legend Totti.Rooney’s soon to be new club Derby in drink driving shame George Patchias – Wayne Rooney’s soon to be new club Derby County, has been shamed by a double player drink driving incident.Reports surface ate Tuesday night of…

“The treatment of Wayne Rooney told me something about the way England fans view the national team,” the Swede wrote in the Daily Mail.

“He’s the record goalscorer for both Manchester United and England: you can’t argue with that.

“If Rooney had been Italian, he would have been loved like Francesco Totti was at Roma. You don’t criticise Totti in Italy. There might have been reasons to, sometimes, but you don’t touch him.

“It isn’t like that with Wayne and England but I can tell you that he had to be dragged away from training because he loved to play and practice so much.”

UEFA will not investigate Manchester City

The Citizens will not be under UEFA Financial F上海夜生活论坛air Play investigation.

After the close-season reached its end, La Liga president Javier Tebas insisted that Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain “funding by state-aid distorts European competitions and creates an inflationary spiral that is irreparably harming the football industry”.

The European governing body of football is already investigating the French club, but they announced Manchester City will not be taken into account.Pep Guardiola rules out January signings for Manchester City Andrew Smyth – Pep Guardiola revealed that Manchester City don’t have the cash to go out and buy new players in January despite his limited defensive options.

“There is no investigation into Manchester City with regards to FFP regulations. Any reports mentioning such an investigation are unsubstantiated.” reads a statement by UEFA.

Both clubs spent enormous amount of money during the summer transfer window. The Parisiens bought Neymar for 222 million euros from Barcelona and added Mbappe to their ranks on a loan deal, that will become permanent next year for a fee of 165 million pounds.

Meanwhile Manchester City spent around 215 million pounds overhauling their defensive options with the signings of Kyle Walker, Ederson Moraes, Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva. However, Guardiola’ side sold several players, which left their net spending at around 130 million pounds, which seems quite normal, taking into account the current situation of the transfer market.

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

Griezmann linked with Barcelona

Latest rumours suggest that the Catalans will try to lure the Frenchman, following failed attempts to sign Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho.

Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann is Barcelona’s latest target as they seek to find a replacement for Neymar, who will seemingly join Paris Saint-Germain. However, Juanfran claims that the 26-yaer-old is happy in Madrid an上海夜生活论坛d has no reason to leave.

The France international recently extended his contract at Los Colchoneros, which will keep him at Atletico Madrid until 2022.

After his side came victorious against Napoli, with Torres and Vietto scoring for the the La Liga club, Juanfran told AS.

“We are open to the market. It is getting a little crazy and any operation can affect you,Paiva says Felix would have done better at City or Barca George Patchias – Joao Felix would have become a better player at Manchester City or Barcelona according to former coach Renato Paiva.Renato Paiva was the prodigious Portuguese…

“Griezmann is happy at the Atleti and we want to give everything for the Atleti.”

Upon reaching the final, Juanfran stated:

“It’s a sign of identity, the coach [Diego Simeone] has instilled it. We always want to win, give our best and the fans will be proud of us because we want to win,” he added.

“Now we play the final of the Audi Cup, which is what we wanted.”

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.

House Speaker Pelosi urges Trump family ‘intervention’ with U.S. president

WASHINGTON ( ) – House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday she wished President Donald Trump’s family or staff would conduct an “intervention” with him for the good of the United States after he threw what she called a temper tantrum at a meeting with Democratic congressional leaders a day earlier.

Trump fired back, questioning Pelosi’s mental state by saying she has “lost it” while calling himself an “extremely stable genius.”

As the acrid fight intensified between the Republican president and the Democrats who control the House amid talk of impeaching Trump, work on a two-year federal budget deal has ground to a near standstill as the task of basic governing in Washington has become increasingly complicated.

Trump, who is seeking re-election in 2020, and Democratic leaders for a second straight day lobbed accusations and insults at each other after the collapse of an infrastructure deal that could have pumped $2 trillion into the U.S. economy, if lawmakers and the president had found a way to pay for it.

“Again, I pray for the president of the United States. I wish that his family, or his administration, or his staff would have an intervention for the good of the country,” Pelosi told reporters.

An “intervention” often refers to relatives, friends or co-workers confronting an individual struggling with a intractable problem in the hope of improving that person’s behavior.

Trump took aim at Pelosi.

“I tell you what, I’ve been watching her and I have been watching her for a long period of time. She’s not the same person. She’s lost it,” Trump said during remarks about an aid package for farmers hit by the U.S. trade war with China.

Pelosi also accused Trump of obstruction of justice, which she said could be an impeachable offense.

“The White House is just crying out for impeachment,” Pelosi said, but added that “the House Democratic caucus is not on a path to impeachment. And that’s where he wants us to be.”

Trump is stonewalling multiple congressional inquiries into him, his policies, family and business holdings, while Pelosi has worked hard to tamp down demands among some Democrats to begin impeachment proceedings. Some Democrats fear that launching the impeachment process in Congress established in the U.S. Constitution to remove a president from office could backfire and benefit Trump politically.

BUDGET TALKS

On Tuesday, the four top Democratic and Republican congressional leaders reported progress toward a deal with the administration on setting federal spending levels for the next two years and raising the U.S. Treasury Department’s borrowing limit.

Without such a deal, the federal government faces the prospect of another round of shutdowns later this year and a potentially devastating U.S. credit default. Since Tuesday, lawmakers and aides have gone silent on the outlook for more talks.

Asked on Thursday if a deal on the budget or on the U.S. debt would get done, Trump said, “We’ll see what happens.”

Eventually, the main players will almost certainly have to re-engage. Failing to do so would disrupt the government and hurt the economy. Even so, questions lingered about whether the mercurial Trump would support any deal negotiators might craft.

In a hopeful sign, House and Senate negotiators reached a deal on a $19.1 billion disaster aid bill that has Trump’s support, senators said on Thursday.

Policy chaos swept Washington on Wednesday when Trump walked out of a White House meeting with Democrats, saying he could not work with them on an infrastructure bill as long as lawmakers are investigating him. Pelosi had earlier accused him of engaging in a “cover up” over investigations of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections and other matters.

Trump responded on Thursday with a tweet that said, “The Democrats have become known as THE DO NOTHING PARTY.”

Congressional leaders last December negotiated an agreement on federal spending that they had been assured Trump would support, only to have him back out上海夜生活网 at the last minute, triggering a prolonged, partial shutdown of the U.S. government.

There also is little evidence that lawmakers and the administration will unify to address the issue of immigration along the southern border with Mexico. Also in doubt is whether Congress this year will approve a U.S.-Canada-Mexico trade agreement negotiated by Trump’s administration.

Pelosi wrote on Twitter, “When the ‘extremely stable genius’ starts acting more presidential, I’ll be happy to work with him on infrastructure, trade and other issues.”

Texas joins states suing to stop T-Mobile, Sprint deal as trial delayed

NEW YORK ( ) – U.S. states suing to stop T-Mobile US Inc’s $26 billion merger with Sprint Corp won two victories on Thursday as Texas’ Republican attorney general joined 14 Democrats, adding political depth to the group, and a judge agreed to give states until December to make their case.

Texas’ decision, which brings the sole Republican on board, is a victory for the state attorneys general. The trial delay and a ruling giving states ample room to seek evidence were additional wins for the deal’s opponents, given the difficulty and cost of pursuing an acquisition during a lengthy court fight.

“Every day we can’t integrate puts us a day behind the competitive race,” David Gelfand, a lawyer for T-Mobile, told the court, objecting to the postponement.

With Texas, there are now 14 states and the District of Columbia seeking to stop the merger of the No. 3 and No. 4 wireless companies.

“We welcome Texas’ resolve to block this anticompetitive merger, and are pleased to announce that Attorney上海夜生活论坛 General Ken Paxton will assume a key leadership role in this case, along with (California) Attorney General (Xavier) Becerra and myself,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James in a statement.

The U.S. Justice Department has signed off on the merger and the Federal Communications Commission has indicated that it will formally approve the proposed transaction.

Magistrate Judge Robert Lehrburger, who is assisting Judge Victor Marrero in the case, ordered the delay during a hearing on Thursday after the states said they needed time to consider a deal struck by the Justice Department approving the merger with the sale of some assets.

The case had been expected to be heard beginning on Oct. 7, and was expected to last two to three weeks. It is now set for Dec. 9.

Under the Justice Department deal announced a week ago, the companies would divest Sprint’s prepaid businesses, including Boost Mobile, to satellite television company Dish Network Corp, and provide it with access to 20,000 cell sites and hundreds of retail locations. That deal is worth about $5 billion.

Prepaid wireless phones are generally used by lower-income earners who cannot pass a credit check.

The states involved in the lawsuit have said that the divestiture negotiated by the federal government to position Dish as a fourth wireless carrier was inadequate to protect consumers.

The state attorneys general asked for 150 total hours for deposition, while T-Mobile and Sprint argued it should be limited to 60. Lehrburger ruled that the states would have 140 hours to depose potential witnesses.

Lehrburger also ruled that documents from outside parties would be classified as confidential or highly confidential, and that only T-Mobile and Sprint’s external counsel could have access to the latter.

“You’re talking about information that goes to the heart of competition and business dealings,” Lehrburger said, in response to arguments from T-Mobile that its inhouse counsel needed to be closely involved.

EBay to launch warehousing and shipping services next year

( ) – EBay Inc (EBAY.O) said on Wednesday it would launch a warehousing and shipping service for merchants selling through its site starting next year, a new strategy that is expected to attract more sellers to the e-commerce platform.

The program is currently in trial in the United States and Germany and is similar to Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) “Fulfillment By Amazon” service, or FBA, which allows merchants to rent space in warehouses worldwide so they can store inventory closer to customers.

It is poised to help eBay ship products faster, increasingly a key consideration of shoppers when they browse for items online. EBay sellers send about 1.5 million packages daily in the United States.

EBay, based in San Jose, California, held the mantle of being the top online destination for sellers before Amazon’s marketplace gained traction over a decade ago with the help of FBA. That gave the Seattle company far more control over the shipping process.

While EBay long resisted growing its logistics footprint, Amazon raised the stakes further this April, announcing it would halve delivery times to one day via its loyalty club Prime, a service that costs U.S. members $119 per year. At the same time, improved logistics networks and high warehouse capacity made a delivery service more feasible for eBay.

Devin Wenig, eBay’s chief executive, said the company was targeting free two-day shipping under the program.

“What this is not about is us trying to win a fast shipping war,” he said in a telephone interview. “Our 182 million consumers shop on eBay because of the value and uniqueness of our inventory. We’re not the one-hour delivery guys. We’re never going to be tha上海夜网t, but consumer expectations are changing.”

Some 40% to 50% of items on eBay will qualify, while the company can offer its guaranteed three-day delivery program announced in 2017 for the remainder, Wenig said.

Wenig did not discuss how much eBay would spend on the service, known as “Managed Delivery,” but he said it can be a profitable business on its own right.

Sellers in the program will be charged a fee for warehousing and for shipping once an item is sold. The service will let them fulfill orders placed on eBay or on other online platforms, the company said.

Huawei executive says goal to be world’s top phone maker some time off

SHANGHAI ( ) – China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd will need more time to become the world’s largest smartphone maker, a goal it originally aimed to achi上海夜网eve in the fourth quarter of this year, a senior executive said on Tuesday.

“We would have become the largest in the fourth quarter (of this year) but now we feel that this process may take longer,” said Shao Yang, chief strategy officer of Huawei Consumer Business Group, without elaborating on reasons.

Huawei currently sells 500,000 to 600,000 smartphones a day, he said in a speech at the CES Asia technology show in Shanghai.

The comments come after the United States put Huawei on a blacklist last month that barred it from doing business with U.S. companies on security grounds without government approval, prompting some global tech companies to cut ties with the world’s largest telecommunication equipment maker.

The company in January said it could become the world’s biggest-selling smartphone vendor this year even without the U.S. market. It was the second-biggest vendor in the first quarter, behind South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, according to research and advisory firm Gartner.

Analysts estimate the recent U.S. sanctions could push Huawei’s smartphone shipments down as much as a quarter this year and cause its handsets to disappear from overseas markets.

Exclusive – Business and pleasure: how Russian oil giant Rosneft…

( ) – Jets used for corporate travelby Russian state-owned oil major Rosneft flew atleast13timesto Mallorca,Ibiza,Sardinia and the Maldives when CEO Igor Sechin or people from his social circle were in the same vacation spots.

Using publicly available data, tracked290Rosneft flights betweenJanuary,2015 andMay,2019. Of those round trips,96took place during Russian public holidays or between Friday lunchtime in Moscow and Monday morning.

Since the start of 2015, Rosneft corporate jets traveled eight times to Sardinia’s Olbiaairport,15times to the Maldives and seven times to Spain’s Palma de Mallorca, according to the flight tracking data from planefinder.net, flightaware.com, opensky.network.org and flight-data.adsbexchange.com.

found no public information released by Rosneft or the Russian authorities about official events at those destinations, although the company does not always disclose information about its meetings.

For some of the flights to vacation spots, Sechin’s associates, including his wife before their divorceand mutualfriends, posted photos onsocial media placing them at the same location as the Rosneft aircraft at the same time.

Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin and head of the world’s largest listed oil company by production, has not appeared in social media posts from the holiday resorts.

But did photograph a man closely matching his description boarding a Rosneft plane at Palma da Mallorca airporton Aug. 6 last year.

Overall, found public information from Rosneft or the Russian authorities about official events corresponding to 42of the 290 flights.

In a statement issued on Tuesday in response to questions, Rosneft said that as a globalcompany it works in all parts of the world, and that expenditures on corporate aircraft are “carried out in accordance with the approved corporate standards.” It did not give details.

Rosneft declined to answer detailed questions from , saying thenewsagency wasconducting “information sabotage in the serviceofthe intelligence services of interested states.”

Among the questions the company declined to address were whether Sechin’s employment contract entitled him to use corporate jets for personal purposes orwhether Sechin reimbursed the company for private flights.

In a replysent in Apriltoprevious questionsabout the use of corporate aircraft bythe friends or family members of Rosneft employees, the company said:”No private transport of family members was carried out at the expense of the company.”

A source close to the Rosneft board of directors said no clausein Sechin’s contractallowing private flightshad been put before the board for approval.

Sechin’s use of corporate aircraft for travel to holiday destinations – regardless of whether his contract permits it or not- is part of a pattern of wasteful spending by Rosneft,said Vladimir Milov, Russian deputy energy minister until 2002.

Milovisnow a critic of the Kremlin,arguing that Putin’s circle is using Russia’s natural resources wealth for their own benefit.

He also citeda2017orderplaced by acompany subsidiary to buy tableware includingcaviar dishesandsilver spoonswith a total value of$83,000.

After Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny disclosed the order on YouTube on May 22, 2017, it was canceled the next day, according to Rosneft’s website.

The office of Kremlin spokesman DmitryPeskovdeclined to comment on the Rosneft flights, saying it was an internal, corporate matter. The Russian government’sspokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

SIX FLIGHTS TO MALLORCAIN A YEAR

Between January 2015 and May 2019 Rosneft used a fleet of six businessjetsregistered in Austria and the Isle of Man. They were owned by Rosneft subsidiaries, chartered by Rosneft, used for official Rosneft corporate trips, or in most cases all three.

The photograph believes is of Sechin shows him boarding aRosneft-operated Bombardier 6000aircraft at Palma de Mallorca airporton Aug. 6, 2018.The photograph was taken from a public thoroughfare.

The same jet – with tail numberM-YOIL- flew into Palma de Mallorcasix timesbetween mid-July andlate-August,2018, according to flight tracking data and photographs taken by at the airport.

Over that period, the aircraft was on Mallorca or nearbyfor 27 days, not including the day of arrival or departure.

OnJuly 15, the day a Rosneft flight landed in Palma de Mallorca, theRussianpop singer and Sechin family friend AnitaTsoy posted on Instagram that her family’s long-awaited vacation had begun.

On July 19, she posted a photograph on Instagram, tagged as having been taken on Mallorca, of her,her 26-year-old sonand her husband, SergeiTsoy, a senior Rosneftexecutive.

On Aug. 1,the day after the Rosneft jet landed back in Moscow, she posted a photo tagged Moscow.”The holiday has come to an end,” she wrote.

NeitherAnitaTsoynor SergeiTsoyresponded to requests for comment. Rosneft did not respondto questions about the flights to Palma.

CODE OF CONDUCT

Rosneft’s corporatecode of conduct, a public document, states that “we do not use the company’s property and assets not for the purposes intended, or to personal ends or with the aim of extracting personal benefit.”

The full cost of the flights is not available, but found documents showing the costs of running one of the private jets in 2016.

The jet with tail number M-YOILis operatedby a Singapore-registered company calledAV Asia Developments Pte Ltd, according to Eurocontrol, an inter-governmental aviation body.

A 2016 financial report for AV Asia Developments,100 percent controlled by Rosneft, stated the company received $1.86 million for the charter ofthe sole jetitoperated at the time, and morethan $2 millionfor services related to the same plane.

AV Asia Developmentsdid not respond to a request for comment.

Flight tracking data showed that during 2016, the plane carried out12flights totaling around 96 hours in the air. 

When set against the figures in the AV Asia Developments report, that  worksout at an hourly cost– a standard industry measure of the cost of private jet services-ofabout$40,000, or about$19,000excluding services costs.

A return business class flight from Moscow to the Maldives with Russian carrier Aeroflot,departingJune28 and returning July4,costs$3,770according to the Aeroflot booking website.

“EMERALD COAST”, MALDIVES FLIGHTS

Sechin’s then-wifeOlgaSechinaspent part of thesummer of 2015at CostaSmeraldain Sardinia, according to her posts on social mediatagged with the location, and posts of her friend Olga Tonkikh.

Sechina’sfirst post from therewas on June 30, and the last social media record of the vacation was anAug. 21 poston one ofTonkikh’ssocial media accounts, featuringSechina.

Aroundthat period, a Rosneft Bombardier Global 6000 jetwith the tail numberOE-IRSwas recorded three times at Sardinia’s Olbia airport:on July 26, Aug. 16 and Sept. 9, according to flight tracking data.

On Aug. 14, the Cala Di Volpe hotel at the Costa Smeralda resort hosted a private concert by British pop singer Robbie Williams, according to the hotel’s Facebook posts.

The same day, Olga Tonkikh posted a photograph on Instagram showing both women with hashtags including #robiwilliams.

NeitherTonkikh norOlgaSechina responded to requests for comment. Rosneft did not reply to questions aboutflights to Sardinia.

On the night ofDec. 24, 2016,a Rosneft Boeing businessjet with tail number OE-IRFtook off from Moscow’s Vnukovo airport in the direction of the Indian Ocean, flight tracking data showed.Two days afterthe flight departed,Tsoy, the pop star, posted a picture of herself on Instagram from inside an aircraft that matches the interior of a Boeing business jet.

”And here the long-awaited moment has arrived: VACATION,” she wrote next to the photo.

On Jan. 3, 2017she posted a picture of herself on a golf course thatmatched publicityphotos for Velaa Private Island, an exclusive Maldives resort.

OnDec. 28, 2016 and Jan. 4,Sechin’s then-wife Olga posted photographs on Instagram of herself in a room that matches publicity material of Velaa Private Residence posted on the resort’s website.

Sechin and his wife divorced inJune 2017,according to court documents seen by .

There have been Rosneft flights to the Maldives since then.

Flight tracking data showed two Rosneft上海夜生活论坛 private jets flying into the international airport in the Maldiveson Dec. 28 and out again hours later. The same two planes flew back to the Maldiveson Jan 9.and returned to Moscow onJan. 12.

saw photographs ofthe aircrafttakenwhile they were atVelanaInternational Airportin Januarybeforethey took off for Moscow.

There isno public recordof Rosneft executives having any business meetings in the Maldives in the last three years.

Sechin’s ex-wife and AnitaTsoydid not respond to questions about their trips to the Maldives.