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REFILE-ALTCOINS-“Privacy coin” Monero offers near total anonymity

(Replaces cars with cards in eleventh graph)

* Monero is 12th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation It has around $1.4 billion-worth in circulation

* Monero is used on darknet marketplaces – analysts

* Developer says Monero enables crime no more than cash

By Tom Wilson

LONDON, May 15 ( ) – Bitcoin’s share of the cryptocurrency market is sliding, with a host of alternative digital coins gaining ground as developers race to create digital cash that can gain a footing in mainstream commerce and finance.

As these “altcoins” grow in prominence, is publishing a series of stories that examines the features and characteristics of some of the alternatives to bitcoin that have grabbed the attention of developers, investors and regulators.

The first in this series looks at Monero – referred to as a privacy coin because it allows users to conceal nearly all details of transactions. It has become increasingly used for illegal purposes.

Since its launch in 2014, Monero has grown to be the 12th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation with around $1.4 billion-worth in circulation.

HOW IS MONERO DIFFERENT TO BITCOIN?

Every transaction involving Monero obscures the digital addresses of the senders and receivers, as well as the value of the transaction. That offers users near-total anonymity, allowing them to instantaneously send digital cash without leaving any clues.

Bitcoin was initially seen as opaque, as the identity of the owners of digital wallets used to send and receive bitcoin is not public.

But details recorded permanently on the blockchain after bitcoin is sent and received can, in fact, give up clues that can be used to pinpoint those identities. This has become increasingly easy with the advent of firms that specialise in analysing blockchain transactions.

WHY’S IT GAINING ATTENTION?

When Norwegian police earlier this year gave details of the kidnapping of the wife of a wealthy businessman, they said the family had demanded a ransom in cryptocurrencies. Local press reported that the suspects wanted to be paid in Monero.

The unusual request underlined a growing trend for criminals to seek alternatives to bitcoin, which through its first decade has become the cryptocurrency of choice for illicit activities from buying contraband to laundering money, cyber security experts and law enforcement agencies say.

Bitcoin proponents say that traditional cash is also widely used for criminal activities.

Monero’s use on darknet marketplaces – sites used for buying illicit goods from drugs to stolen credit cards – is on the rise, said Tom Robinson, chief data officer of Elliptic, a London-based firm that provides blockchain-tracking software to law enforcement agencies and private companies.

Three of the biggest five darknet markets now accept Monero, Robinson said, though he added the caveat that bitcoin is still the most widely used cryptocurrency for darknet payments.

One of Monero’s developer team said Monero enables crime no more than cash. Its developers should stay out of debates on its traceability or risk undermining its decentralised nature, Francisco Cabanas told .

“It doesn’t selectively encourage crime, it encourages commerce,” said Cabanas, who goes by the nickname “ArcticMine,” in an interview via Skype from Vancouver. “In that respect, it’s no different to cash.”

Monero is also widely used for “cryptojacking,” or illicit cryptocurrency mining, where hackers infect computers and steal their power to mine new coins – a highly lucrative endeavour.

Nevertheless, over 4 percent of the 17 million Monero in circulation were mined using malware, said Guillermo Suarez de Tangil, a cybersecurity lecturer at King’s College London who has researched Monero.

“There is a clear phenomenon of the underground using Monero, and selling malware that will contribute to Monero mining,” he said.

Monero’s developers say its characteristics make it a useful tool for companies looking to maintain commercial secrecy. Users in repressive countries looking to avoid censorship or surveillance can also safely move money in the form of Monero, they say.

IS LAW ENFORCEMENT WORRIED? WHAT DO REGULATORS SAY?

Cryptocurrencies are mostly unregulated. Though countries from Britain to the United States are looking at how to deal with the phenomenon, few have set out comprehensive strategies for dealing with digital coins.

Asked about Monero, Borja Pastor de la Morena, an official at Europol in The Hague who oversees the agency’s work on money laundering said: “This kind of alternative cryptocurrency is more opaque and better at concealing the activity of the users.”

He said: “It’s a phenomenon that we are paying attention to”

And though aware of the propensity for cryptocurrencies to be used for money laundering, few financial national-level regulators have specifically addressed privacy coins.

Britain’s finance ministry, which leads a task force that is looking at if and how Britain will regulate cryptocurrencies, said it was aware of the potential for Monero to be used for criminal ends.

“We recognise the risks with cryptoassets like ‘privacy coins’ being used for illicit activity,” a spokesperson said, adding that it would “soon” launch a consultation on bringing crypto-related companies under anti-money laundering regulation.

Japan’s financial watchdog, sensitive to money laundering potential of privacy coins, last year asked a Tokyo-based exchange to review its listings. The exchange later ceased trading Monero.

WHO’S BEHIND MONERO?

Like bitcoin, Monero is governed by a virtual community of hundreds of developers that lacks any centralised authority.

Cabanas is one of only two publicly-known members of its seven-person core developer team, who act as stewards for updates to its code.

Mitchell Krawiec-Thayer, a San Francisco-based blockchain developer who is part of Monero Research Labs, said Monero is designed so it can be easily mined by individuals rather than powerful groups that team up to mine coins in industrial quantities.

“This lowers the barrier of entry to everyone,” he said. “The downside is that criminals have started using that. Steal上海夜生活ing other people’s resources, putting strain on their equipment – it’s a straight-up threat.”

Monero has recently launched a response group, where those infected by malware can seek help, Krawiec-Thayer said.

WHO USES MONERO FOR LEGITIMATE PURPOSES?

Data on who uses Monero, and why, is scarce. That’s a challenge for understanding the usage of any cryptocurrency, even more so for one designed to obscure its tracks.

Daily transactions for Monero – one proxy for how widely the cryptocurrency is used – have hovered around 8,000 this month, data from website CoinMetrics shows. The number of active digital wallet addresses for Monero has hung around 5,000.

By comparison, bitcoin sees around 320,000 transactions a day, with about 785,000 active addresses.

Monero is not the only privacy coin. Others, such as ZCash, have grown popular with investors, often for speculative reasons but also because of interest in their privacy features.

Grayscale, the world’s biggest crypto asset manager with around $1.3 billion under management, allows investors like hedge funds to invest in ZCash.

Amid growing acceptance of privacy coins, a number of major exchanges list Monero. For example, Malta-based Binance, one of the world’s largest exchanges, allows users to trade the coin.

Binance declined to comment on Monero, but said it has a comprehensive review process for evaluating coins and tokens for listing, and that it carries out periodic reviews on projects.

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.”

Trump may discuss secretary of state job with critic Romney: source

NEW YORK ( ) – U.S. President-elect Donald Trump planned a Saturday meeting with Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and fierce Trump critic, and may discuss whether he should be a candidate for secretary of state, a source familiar with the meeting said on Thursday.

Trump already has a lengthy list of potential candidates for the post of top U.S. diplomat, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who met Trump on Thursday.

Trump, a former reality TV star, has shown a flair for the dramatic in his deliberations over his Cabinet, saying only he knows who “the finalists” are.

Corker told CNN on Wednesday he was “in the mix” for the position but that Trump might pick someone who was closer to him during the presidential campaign. He met on Thursday in Washington with Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

Trump’s expected meeting with Romney amounts to an olive branch of sorts to one of his sharpest critics. Romney, who in a speech in March called Trump “a phony, a fraud,” urged Republicans to vote for anyone but the New York real estate magnate while the party was picking its presidential nominee.

Trump, in turn, used harsh rhetoric at times during his campaign to dismiss Romney as a failure who blew a chance in 2012 to defeat Democratic President Barack Obama, whom Trump felt was a w上海夜网eak opponent.

The source told that a broad discussion was expected during the meeting and that discussion about the secretary of state position was possible. The source had said earlier his understanding was that the meeting would occur on Sunday.

Asked about the meeting, Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway suggested it was still being arranged. “We’re working on it,” she said.

‘TRUMP WILL MAKE DECISION’

“I think it’s good that the president-elect is meeting with people like Mr. Romney,” U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, one of Trump’s closest confidants and a potential nominee for defense secretary, told reporters at Manhattan’s Trump Tower.

Sessions sounded far from certain Romney would be offered a job.

“There are a lot of talented people that he (Trump) needs good relationships with. And I think Mr. Romney would be quite capable of doing a number of things. But he will be one of those, I am sure, that’s reviewed. Donald Trump will make that decision,” Sessions said.

When Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, opted out of running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, people close to him suggested that serving as secretary of state might be appealing to him if a Republican won the presidency.

Related CoverageSome members of Trump team can begin agency briefings: White HouseTrump Treasury candidate’s bank accused of discriminationSee more stories

A steady stream of potential Trump administration hires made their way through the lobby of Trump Tower to meet with either Trump or officials close to him.

All indicated a willingness to serve, such as Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican who is chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. He is a potential treasury secretary in the Trump administration.

“I stand ready to help the president in any capacity possible. I’ve got a great position in public policy today, if he wants to talk to me obviously, about serving somewhere else, we’ll look at serving somewhere else,” he told reporters.

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares sink as U.S.-China trade talks go to the wire

* European shares follow Asia, NY lower on China-U.S. trade angst

* Beijing vows retaliation after USTR sets tariff hike in motion

* Trump says China “broke the deal”; talks resume on Thursday

* Asia and EM stocks at 2-month lows, South Korea sinks 3 percent

* European stocks near 6-week lows, safe-haven yen 3-month high

* Uber IPO pricing due later

* Copper near 3-month low

* Asian stock markets: tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

By Marc Jones

LONDON, May 9 ( ) – World shares tumbled for a fourth day running on Thursday after a warning from U.S. President Donald Trump that a long-worked-on trade deal with China was in serious danger.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He was heading to Washington for two days of talks but Trump’s insistence that China “broke the deal”, and then Beijing’s response that it would retaliate against tariffs were ratcheting up the stakes.

Europe’s main stock markets sank almost immediately after a torrid day for Asia had battered 1.8 percent off China and more than 3 percent off South Korea, which is often seen as the bellwether for how this trade war hits home.

Both countries’ currencies were hit too, the won skidding to a more than two-year low and the yuan to a four-month trough, which kept traders buying the traditionally safe Japanese yen and U.S. and German bonds instead.

“Markets remain on edge ahead of the Chinese vice premier’s visit to Washington today,” Rabobank analyst Bas van Geffen said.

“Doubt that this tariff increase can be avoided is growing,” he added as Goldman Sachs also put the chance of a hike at 60 percent.

If talks do fall short, Washington has promised to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent at 12:01 a.m. ET (0401 GMT) on Friday. For economists, the worry is that it will further slow the global economy.

Kazuhiko Fuji, senior fellow at RIETI, a Japanese government-affiliated think-tank, said the trade talks looked fragile.

“I would suspect the U.S. will just hand China an ultimatum. No wonder the U.S. yield curve is almost inverting again,” he said.

The yield spread between three-month U.S. government bonds and the 10-year notes shrank to 3 basis points, compared with about 15 basis points a few weeks ago.

The closely watched spread turned negative in late March, spooking investors, who read the development as portending a recession.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield stood at 2.4423 percent in Europe, having touched its lowest level in five weeks of 2.426 percent on Wednesday.

Wall Street futures pointed to a 0.85 percent lower start after a choppy previous session had seen the Dow Jones Industrial close fractionally higher but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq drop 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent.

TAXI!

As well as the trade headlines, traders will also be closely watching the pricing on ride-hailing firm Uber’s initial public offering, which is set to be the biggest of the year so far.

“In the event of a complete breakdown in talks and higher tariffs, we would expect this to see U.S. stocks trade 10–15 percent below their highs and a fall of around 15–20 percent in the Chinese market,” Mark上海夜生活网 Haefele, global chief investment officer at Global Wealth Management at UBS, said.

In the currency market, the Japanese yen surged to a three-month high of 109.64 yen while China’s yuan fell half a percent to hit a four-month low of 6.838 and was headed for its worst four-day decline in a year.

Sterling, meanwhile, tried to brush off signs that Brexit talks between Britain’s government and the main opposition party may soon collapse to claw back above the psychologically key $1.30 level.

Commodity markets also felt the U.S.-China trade strains.

Brent crude futures dropped 0.6 percent to $69.92 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude also retreated 0.6 percent to $61.75 despite a surprise fall in U.S. crude stockpiles..

Benchmark London copper hit its lowest in nearly three months, going as low as $6,111 a tonne.

Congress should act on ‘scandalous’ fantasy betting: Reid

WASHINGTON ( ) – The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate called on Congress to examine fantasy-sports betting services on Tuesday after reports that an employee with access to insider information placed bets in the unregulated multi-billion-dollar industry.

“There’s absolutely scandalous conduct taking place through those programs, fantasy sports,” Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid told reporters.

“I think it also should be a warning-shot to everybody that online gaming is a real scary thing and we ought to look at all of it,” said Reid, who is a former Gaming Commission head in Nevada, a hub of the industry.

Reid’s statement raises the prospect of congressional scrutiny and possibly new regulations for websites such as DraftKings and FanDuel that have drawn millions of users who pay a fee to compete for daily prizes by assembling teams that accumulate points based on how the players did in actual games.

Meanwhile, Representative Frank Pallone and Senator Bob Menendez, both New Jersey Democrats, asked the Federal Trade Commission to look into the fantasy scandal.

Both companies confirmed on Monday that a DraftKings employee won $350,000 from a $25 entry fee in an American football contest. According to a trade group, the employee inadvertently released player data – a practice that experts liken to insider-trading.

The two privately held companies say they temporarily banned employees from playing daily fantasy sports.

The House of Representatives could hold hearings this fall, said Pallone, the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee. The Republican-controlled committee is looking into the issue, a spokesman said.

The issue could draw the attention of conservatives like House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, who has pushed to outlaw other forms of online gambling.

Critics say daily fantasy sports services allow fans to bet with a frequency akin to gambling and led to the rise of the two industry leaders.

So far, fantasy sports services have escaped the restrictions that have outlawed sports betting in most states.

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association has spent $80,000 over the past year to defend its interests in Washington, lobbying records show. The group declined to comment.

Online gambling foes who are pushing for a nationwide ban on casino-style Internet gambling are not yet targeting fantasy sports services. But they may raise th上海夜生活网e DraftKings incident as another example of perils of online betting as they make their case, according to a former congressional aide now working to ban online gambling.

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.

Lingard happy with United spirit

The Red Devils managed to secure a draw against Burnley after上海夜生活网 coming back from a 0-2 deficit.

Manchester United striker Jesse Lingard praised his team-mates for not giving up in what appeared to be a rather frustrating day at Old Trafford.

The England international did not feature in the starting XI of the Red Devils in their 2-2 draw with Leicester City, but was brought into play from the bench against the Clarets to help his side seal a point.

Mourinho’s men were 2-0 down at half-time following goals from Ashley Barnes and Steven Defour, but Lingard scored a brace to deny the Clarets the three points at Old Trafford.

However, United’s draw means that Manchester City can create a 15-point gap on top of the league if they manage to beat Newcastle United on Wednesday.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…

“If we had played for another five or 10 minutes, we would have won the game,” he told MUTV.

“[The message at half-time] was always believe. Never give up. We knew we had another 45 minutes to play so we had to be patient, keep moving the ball, moving Burnley about, and eventually we created two clear-cut chances which we scored from.

“This role, further inside, allows me to be closer to the striker, to get in the box, create more things and obviously have more shots at goal. I thought we could nick it towards the end but obviously time ran out and now we look forward to the next game [against Southampton].

“We always have that fighting spirit, that never-give-up attitude and we’ll see where it gets us.”

Rivaldo confident Coutinho will thrive in Barcelona

The Reds ace is still heavily linked with a move to Camp Nou.

Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho will be a success in Barcelona, according to former Catalan Rivaldo. The ‘Magician’ from Anfield was a subject of serious speculations over the summer transfer window, and the rumours linking him with the Catalans have once again surfaced the media.

The Catalans will surely have to fork out a big amount of money to secure the Brazilian, but former Brazil international Rivaldo has no second thoughts regarding Coutinho, whom he sees as a perfect fit for the La Liga side.

“I do not know if the signing will be made or not because there is a lot of money involved, but I am convinced that if he comes to Barca, he will succeed because it is easy to succeed here with the quality he has.” Rivaldo said in front of Mundo Deportivo.Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers relishing Liverpool return Andrew Smyth – Brendan Rodgers is relishing Leicester City’s trip to his old club Liverpool, whom he described as a “privilege” to work for during his three-year stint.

“His football will be embraced by the fans of Barca.”

Meanwhile another Brazilian, Paulinho, has proven to be a great ba上海夜生活rgain for Barca, following a surprising move from the Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande.

“Paulinho is doing a great job.” Rivaldo added.“He is an important player in both Barcelona and the national team.”

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.”

AC Milan prepare January bid for Aguero

AC Milan are prepared to further invest in transfers and are monitoring the situation of Sergio Aguero.

Pep Guardiola has long been targeting his former player Alexis Sanchez, whose contract with Arsenal is set to expire next summer. In fact, Manchester City were very close to secure the transfer of Sanchez last summer, when they had a €70m bid accepted. However, the move collapsed after Arsenal failed to sign Thomas Lemar as a replacement.  The Citizens are now confident that a €20m bid in January will persuade the Gunners to allow the Chilean to move to Emirates.Report: West quit Milan because of the Mafia George Patchias – Taribo West claims he quit AC Milan because of the Italian mafia.The retired Nigerian international defender Taribo West claims he left Milan almost 19…

And now AC Milan are set to look into how they can benefit from Sanchez’s move to Manchester City. According to Daily Mail, the Rossoneri will enquire about Sergio Aguero in January, confide上海夜网nt that they could lure the Argentinian away from Etihad.

Sergio Aguero is on track to become Manchester City’s all-time top goalscorer. The Argentinian scored seven goals in eight matches this season and is very close to break the record of Erik Brook, who scored 177 goals for the Citizens. However, the 29-year-old is currently out of action after suffering a broken rib in a car crash in Amsterdam at the end of last month.

Conte: I trust my players

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte claimed he trusts his players, as the Blues face a tough schedule with playing every three days

Antonio Conte says it would be “normal” to rotate his Chelsea side for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Qarabag, Sky Sports reports.

The Italian boss says Chelsea will take nothing for granted against a side that they have defeated 6-0 at home back in September.

The Chelsea coach claimed he will take Saturday’s Premier League game against Liverpool into consideration when he selects the starters against Qarabag.

Conte knows how important a win would be for the Blues, as if they manage to take all 3 points home, Chelsea will secure a spot for themselves in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

“For sure I have to make the best decision for these games, because we are playing every three days. I trust all my players and it is normal to have rotation,” Conte said. Report: Lukaku out of Barcelona game George Patchias – Romelu Lukaku has been ruled out of Inter Milan’s game against Barcelona at the Camp Nou.Inter Milan face Barcelona tomorrow evening at the Camp…

“I have a squad with great maturity and they know very well the importance of the game and we must have great focus to beat a good team,” the Italian praised his players.

Qarabag have performed well in Group C of the Champions League drawing 0-0 and 1-1 against Atletico Madrid.

“They drew twice with Atletic上海夜生活网o and we have great respect for this team,” Conte explained.

“We must be very clear. If someone thinks that we are sure to win, it will not be easy. For us the game against Qarabag is very important, as we don’t want to wait to go through.”

“If we win we go into the next round, it is a really good target for us. To reach this target for us before the game against Atletico will be very important,” the coach claimed.

Antonio Conte also confirmed the return of Eden Hazard for Wednesday’s game, but said Victor Moses and Michy Batshuayi remain out.

Cahill warns Manchester City

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill says Manchester City will have a tough time keeping their form up, and believes Chelsea can still catch the league leaders

The league leaders’ unbeaten start does not scare the centre-back, who is confident his side can reduce the points deficit over the campaign, GOAL reports.

Cahill believes talking about Manchester City as champions so early in the season is premature, and is confident the Blues have enough time to catch up with City once their performance falls.

“They’ve started off full steam ahead and that’s great for them, but we’re not even at Christmas yet, so let’s just hold fire and see how they get on,” the centre-back told Chelsea’s website.

“They look fantastic at the moment and we have taken a fair bit of criticism at times this season, but we’ve had three clean sheets on the bounce in the league now, it was a great performance and we’ve got a long way still to go.”Top 5 Premier League players in September’s last weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – A fresh Premier League fixture just ended, which means we can talk about the Top 5 best players of September’s last weekend.After a fresh…

When Cahill was asked about Chelsea’s performance in their 4-0 victory over West Brom this weekend, the defender claimed he was delighted with how they have played.

“I have to admit it was a superb performance from us, from every single player, and collectively we are very happy,” the 31-year-old said.

“I felt we pl上海夜生活ayed some good football, we kept the ball when we needed to and we scored goals. We saw a bit of everything from us, so performance-wise it was very, very good.”

“I’m sure they found it very difficult to play against us, we always seemed to have an option to get out of trouble and there was a lot of composure on the ball, which allowed us to keep it for long periods,” Cahill explained.

Chelsea is now on a four-game winning streak as they are about to face Qarabag away from home in the Champions League on Wednesday.

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.

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.”

Raiola: Ibrahimovic is fine, he\u2019s received so many offers, from the US and beyond

The agent suggested the Swede wants to make a return to Serie A but has other offers as wellWritten by – Nikolay Nikolov, June 19, 2017.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent Mino Raiola says the striker would have already been back at AC Milan if Adriano Galliani was still on the board, but the player has many other offers to consider.

Ibrahimovic is a free agent after Manchester United released him, following his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury suffered at the end of last season.

Although the 35-year-old will be out of the pitch for few months, he has already been strongly linked with a move to the US and Italy.

“Ibra is fine, he’s received so many offers, from the US and beyond,” Raiola told Gazzetta Dello Sport.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.

“He’s certainly not going to Napoli. Milan haven’t asked me about him. With Galliani, he’d already been there,” he added.

Raiola mentioned the situation around Ibrahimovic while talking about the rising dispute between his client Gianluigi Donnarumma and AC Milan, as the 18-year-old goalkeeper told the club he will not renew his上海夜网 contract.

Raiola also mentioned another one of his clients – Blaise Matuidi. According to the experienced agent, Paris Saint-Germain’s star has been on the radar of some big clubs.

“Clubs have asked me about Matuidi, like Inter and Juventus. We’ll see,” he said.

“The Bianconeri pulled out a year ago due to political reasons. Maybe this time,” he added.

The numbers behind Luis Suarez

The numbers of Barcelona’s Uruguayan striker are impressive to say the least. Suarez has now reached 200 goals in the last six years.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. April 30, 2017.

After a goal drought of five matches, Luis Suarez managed to score again for Barcelona. Not only once, but twice he scored against local rivals Espanyol, and in doing so, he also scored the 1000th goal of the current La Liga season.

Thanks to Saturday’s brace, Suarez has now scored 200 goals in his last 277 matches – 82 goals in 133 matches for Liverpool and 118 goals in 144 matches for Barcelona.

However, the 30-year-old was scoring goals even before arriving at Anfield. He has made a name for himself in Holland, with Ajax, where he scored 19 goals in his first season (2007/2008). In the three-and-a-half seasons spent with Ajax, the South American scored 111 goals in 159 matches played in all competitions.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…

Until now, Suarez had two seasons when he averaged more than one goal pe上海夜生活论坛r match – his third season with Ajax (2009/2010 – 35 goals in 33 matches in Eredivisie and 49 in 48 in all competitions) and his second season with Barcelona (2015/2016 – 40 goals in 35 matches in La Liga and 59 in 53 in all competitions).

Luis Suarez was close to winning the title with Liverpool in the 2013/2014, when he scored 31 goals in 33 matches. In his first season at Camp Nou, he managed to win the Champions League trophy, after winning against Juventus in the final.

This season, Suarez scored 11 decisive goals in La Liga and he is the player who scored the most winning goals in the league.  He is also the player who has scored the most first goals, having netted nine times to open the score.

Thanks to their victory on Cornella-El Prat on Saturday, Barcelona have moved back to the first position of La Liga, having a better goal difference than Real Madrid. But Los Blancos have one game in hand over their Catalan rivals.

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.

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.

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.