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At U.N., U.S. tells Russia it’s isolating itself by backing Assad

UNITED NATIONS ( ) – The United States told Russia at the United Nations on Wednesday that it is isolating itself by continuing to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Britain said its scientists found sarin was used in a deadly toxic gas attack on Syrian civilians last week.

Russia is set to block a push by Western powers at the United Nations later on Wednesday to bolster support for international inquiries into the April 4 toxic gas attack in Syria. It will be Moscow’s eighth veto in support of the Assad government since the Syrian war began six years ago.

“To my colleagues from Russia – you are isolating yourselves from the international community every time one of Assad’s planes drop another barrel bomb on civilians and every time Assad tries to starve another community to death,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, told the U.N. Security Council.

During a heated Security Council meeting, Russia’s deputy U.N. envoy Vladimir Safronkov told the 15-member body that Western countries were wrong to blame Assad for the attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun.

“I’m amazed that this was the conclusion. No one has yet visited the site of the crime. How do you know that?” he said.

The attack prompted the United States to strike a Syrian air base with cruise missiles and worsened relations between the United States and Russia.

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday trust had eroded between the two countries under President Donald Trump, as Moscow delivered an unusually hostile reception to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a face-off over Syria.

Britain’s U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told the Security Council that samples taken from the site of the gas attack, in a rebel-held area of northern Syria, have tested positive for the nerve gas sarin.

He accused Russia of siding with “a murderous, barbaric criminal, rather than with their international peers.”

Safronkov, who demanded Rycroft look at him while he was speaking, responded: “I cannot accept that you insult Russia.”

Haley also accused Iran of being “Assad’s chief accomplice in the regime’s horrific acts,” adding: “Iran is dumping fuel on the flames of this war in Syria so it can expand its own reach.”

Western powers blame the gas attack, which killed scores of civilians – many of them children – on Assad’s forces. Syria’s government has denied responsibility for the attack, which prompted a U.S. strike on a Syrian air base.

Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said Syria had sent dozens of letters to the Security Council, some detailing “the smuggling of sarin from Libya through Turkey on a civilian air plane by using a Syrian citizen.”

“Two litres of sarin were transported from Libya through Turkey to terrorist groups in Syria,” he said, adding that the government does “not have these weapons.”

U.N. Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura warned the Security Council on Wednesday that fragile progress in peace talks was now “in grave danger.”

(This上海夜生活 version of the story has been refiled to fix garbled words in first paragraph)

UK PM frontrunner fends off court case over Brexit campaign bus claim

LONDON ( ) – Judges at London’s High Court on Friday threw out an attempt to prosecute Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to succeed Theresa May as prime minister, for allegedly lying about the financial benefits of Brexit during the 2016 EU referendum campaign.

Last week, a magistrate agreed to issue summonses for Johnson to face charges of misconduct in public office over a claim emblazoned on his bright red “Leave” campaign bus that Britain would be 350 million pounds ($446 million) a week better off outside the EU.

Opponents had argued that the slogan was deliberately misleading and it became symbolic of the divisions caused by the referendum, which saw Britons vote 52-48% to leave the European Union.

Marcus Ball, 29, who described himself as a social enterprise founder, brought the private prosecution against Johnson in February which led to last week’s decision.

But at a judicial review hearing on Friday at the High Court, Johnson’s lawyer Adrian Darbishire said the magistrate had either erred in law or provided the wrong legal test in allowing the case to go ahead.

Darbishire said the only rational conclusion was that the case was politically motivated and therefore without merit.

The High Court judges agreed the summonses should be quashed, saying they would give their reasons at a later date.

The flamboyant Johnson, who did not attend Friday’s hearing, is the favorite among Conservative lawmakers hoping to replace May as party leader and therefore prime minister.

The case could potentially have damaged his bid to replace May, who stepped down as Conservative leader on Friday although she will remain prime minister until a successor is selected.

“POLITICAL PROSECUTION”

Friday’s challenge, brought in the former foreign minister’s full name – Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson – examined whether a politician could be accused of criminal misconduct over statements made during political campaigning.

“Standing on the hustings is not the exercise of state power, and doing something naughty on the hustings is not an abuse of state power,” said Darbishire.

He said it was not for the police or juries to stray into the sphere of political debate and that it was for the electorate to decide on the truth of claims.

Ball’s overt opposition to Brexit and desire to h上海夜生活ave it stopped also showed the case had no legal merit, Darbishire added. “This is realistically, plainly speaking, a political prosecution,” he said.

After the verdict, Ball, who has raised more than 350,000 pounds through crowd-funding to pursue the prosecution, said he would mull whether to appeal, saying his case was not about stopping Brexit.

“I will not give up until I believe that all possible options are exhausted,” he said.

“If you are an elected representative and you are talking about people’s money … it’s not correct for a member of parliament to lie to everybody about that.”

As for the 350 million claim itself, Johnson’s lawyers said he denied acting dishonestly in any way and the figure remained contentious.

“It is still being adhered to today,” Darbishire said.

($1 = 0.7842 pounds)

FOREX-Yen surges to 3-month high on fears of U.S. tariffs

* Yen stands tall vs peers as trade woes stoke risk aversion

* Focus on outcome of pivotal US-China talks starting Thursday

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

By Tom Finn

LONDON, May 9 ( ) – The Japanese yen surged to a 3-month high against the dollar on Thursday as investors piled into the safe-haven currency fearing that the U.S.-China trade conflict could escalate.

Two days of trade talks begin in Washington on Thursday and traders are waiting to see whether Chinese and U.S. negotiators can salvage a deal to prevent more U.S. tariff increases.

Currency moves this week in response to a new bout of trade war angst have been fairly muted but Thursday’s jump in the yen – which tends to attract demand in times of political strife and market turmoil – suggested investor nerves are fraying.

The main casualties of the heightened tensions have been the Australian dollar, a proxy for Chinese economic prospects , the U.S. dollar and the offshore Chinese yuan .

The yuan on Thursday 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.

“It looks very much like a trade deal is almost off the table and that the U.S. will impose new tariffs on Chinese goods tomorrow. Fears in the market are mostly reflected in yu上海夜网an exchange rates,” said Ulrich Leuchtmann, an FX strategist at Commerzbank.

Unlike previous episodes when the dollar benefited from an increase in trade worries, U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest threat to raise tariffs on Chinese imports have prompted market strategists to focus on the corrosive impact on Washington.

The prospects of an escalation in the conflict has seen the yen gain in recent days.

The currency rose 0.3 percent against the dollar at 109.640 yen, a 3-month high, taking its gains to more than 1 percent so far this month.

According to the latest Commodity Futures Trading Commission data, speculators have further raised their net long dollar bets, including those against the yen.

Trump said on Wednesday that China “broke the deal” reached in talks with the United States, and vowed to not back down on imposing new tariffs unless Beijing “stops cheating our workers”.

Shin Kadota, senior strategist at Barclays in Tokyo, said the yen “owes much of its strength to gains made in the cross currency market. ‘Risk on, risk off’ has been the main market driver and the euro has been stuck in range as a result.”

Pochettino believes that Kane is the world’s best striker

Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham Hotspur coach, admitted that he considers Harry Kane to be the best striker in the world after he managed to score another hattrick to help his side with beating Southampton 5-2.

The Englishman had scored one hattrick in his side’s previous match against Burnley and he repeated it once again today – and thanks to these six goals, he has become the world’s top-scorer in 2017, surpassing Lionel Messi. And his coach, Pochettino, believes that he is currently the best stri上海夜网ker in the world and he proves it in every single match he has played this season so far.

The former Southampton coach spoke about this achievement as he said, according to Sky Sports: “First of all I want to congratulate Harry Kane, a massive achievement for him, well deserved. And we are all so, so, so, so happy because it’s an amazing thing to celebrate. For me, he’s world class. I think today, (number) one striker in the world, specific position, who’s better than him?”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we are convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He continued by adding that it is well-deserved for the Englan international: “He deserves everything. It’s been nine years between [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi, and now Kane’s name is there. It’s a fantastic achievement and I’m so happy for him. I’d like to congratulate him. Well done. It’s not surprising to us because every day we see how he works, the determination, how professional he is and how he takes care of himself.”

In the end, Mauricio Pochettino insisted that Kane is a great example for anybody: “I’ve told everyone that he is a great example for everybody, not just because of his goals. Professional is a massive word, and you need to include everything there inside – he’s a very good example of how a player behaves like a professional.”

Liverpool chief admits uncertainty over Coutinho’s future

The Brazilian was Barcelona’s top priority over the summer and his recent showings on the pitch will certainly make the Catalans want him even more.

Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore insists that he does not know what will happen to Philippe Coutinho and whether the will still be at Anfield after the January transfer window. The 25-year-old was Barcelona’s target during the summer and reportedly submitted a transfer request to force a move through. However, the Reds’ leadership blocked the move and insisted that the ‘Magician’ is not for sale regardless of the money offered to the club.

However, Moore has now revealed that he does not have a ‘crystal ball’ only to further fuel the speculations regarding Coutinho’s future.

“[On Wednesday] I saw a player delighted to score a hat-trick in front of 54,000 fans. It’s all about Philippe on the pitch right now.” he said, according to Goal.

“As far as I’m concerned the squad in January is what we have. I have no crystal ball.”

However, the Reds official highlighted and lauded the job done by the recruitment team, expressing his delight with the signing of Salah, Chamberlain and Keïta.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.

“From the perspective of competing, we do thing上海夜网s the Liverpool way,” Moore added.

“The chemistry that we build on the field – it’s not about buying the most expensive player.

“We haven’t been shy [in terms of spending]. Obviously, the Mohamed Salah purchase for many people has been the top acquisition of the season.

“We already have Naby Keïta coming and I think Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is doing a tremendous job.

“The investments are being made. It’s hard to knock what you are seeing on the field right now.

Barcelona to go back in for Coutinho

Barcelona have not given up at the idea of signing Philippe Coutinho.

The Catalans will start negotiations again in January with Liverpool, for the transfer of the Brazilian midfielder, according to El Mundo Deportivo. 

During the summer, Liverpool made it clear that they are not interested in allowing Coutinho to move, not even for €200m. However, Barcelona believe that if the player continues to put pressure on his club, he will eventually be allowed to move to Spain.Opinion: FC Barcelona needed to end the internal war Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – After a victory at Camp Nou, we believe that FC Barcelona did well by ending the internal war between players and the board ASAP.Those…

The Catalans are ready to submit an initial offer of €80m and another €30m in bonuses, counting on the player’s public desire to play for them. Barcelona lost Neymar to PSG in上海夜网 the summer in a record-breaking deal of €222m and brought in Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund as a replacement, paying €105m for the French forward. However, the 20-year-old got injured and will be unavailable for the next 2-3 months.

Therefore, Barcelona are still looking to add some quality players to their squad. The club’s general director, Oscar Grau, said: “We are ready to sign with Coutinho or with any other player that the technical staff wants this winter. We want the most competitive team possible.”

Preview: Liverpool – Southampton

Liverpool are currently 5th in the Premier League table and Jurgen Klopp’s side will be looking to catch up on the top four today when they receive the visit of 13th-placed Southampton.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match: 

Liverpool welcome Southampton to Anfield for this Premier League (PL) clash, but the visitors face an uphill task as they take on a side that are undefeated in their last 13 home games in all competitions.

Jurgen Klopp must try and reverse his poor record versus Southampton as there is no other side he has faced more in the PL without winning, drawing 3 and losing 1 of his 4 matches against them, with The Saints also knocking The上海夜生活 Reds out of the League Cup last season with a 2-0 aggregate victory in the semi-finals.

It is no secret that Liverpool defend likes strangers at times, shipping 17 goals in their 11 PL matches this season, but they have surprisingly managed to keep a clean sheet in 6 of their last 7 home games in the competition.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…

Sadio Mane was sent home from international duty this week after being left out of Senegal’s final World Cup qualifier against South Africa with a reported recurrence of an old hamstring injury and is therefore a major doubt to face his former club.

If they avoid defeat in this match, Mauricio Pellegrino’s side can make it 6 consecutive games without loss against Liverpool for the first time in their history, having won 3 and drawn 2 of the last 5 meetings in all competitions.

Missing players

Liverpool: A. Bogdan (knee injury), N. Clyne (muscle injury), D. Ward (back injury), A. Lallana (doubtful)

Southampton: J. Pied (knock), M. Lemina (doubtful).

PSG: The Champions League is very important

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Unai Emery told his players to focus, as they are about to secure a top-spot in their Champions League group

The French side’s manager asked the supporters of PSG to stand up for his men in their efforts of claiming the top-spot in their Champions League group ahead of their clash with Celtic on Wednesday.

The leaders of the French top-flight are also leading Group B of the competition, with four out of four wins, being 3-points ahead of biggest rivals Bayern Munich.

PSG were 3-0 winners in the mee上海夜生活ting between the two in September and have already secured their place in the latter stages of the competition, GOAL reports.

If they manage to defeat Celtic on Wednesday, it’s almost sure that they progress as group winners with two matches remaining after the current round.

Unai Emery reminded both the fans and the players of the club to stay focused and do their best to achieve a top finish.Report: Icardi opens PSG account in 0-1 win over Gala George Patchias – Mauro Icardi opened his goal-scoring account for PSG in a 0-1 away victory over Galatasaray.While Thomas Tuchel has begun to integrate Mauro Icardi into…

“For us, the Champions League is very important. We want to tread a path that gives us the best possibilities. Because of this, we are group leaders,” the manager told reporters.

“To keep our position, we need to win here. Bayern have improved [since PSG won 3-0 in Paris].”

“If we win this, we will not be thinking about anybody else. We need to stay focused on taking all three points and continuing to progress,” he added.

“We want fans to be vibrant towards the team and for the players to give their best on the pitch,” Emery asked the team and the fans.

The other game in Group B is Bayern travelling to Belgium to face Anderlecht knowing one point would be enough for them to advance to the next stage of the tournament.

The German side have won 3 out of their 4 games so far, with only one defeat against PSG back in the Carlo Ancelotti era.

Benitez: “The difference was evident”

Following his Newcastle City’s 4-1 loss to Manchester United away from home, Rafael Benitez admitted that the gap between these two teams is simply too big – also because of the money spent on the signings.

Newcastle fell at Old Trafford despite taking the lead through Dwight Gayle and impressing early on, with goals from Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku continuing the hosts’ fine home form, according to Sky Sports. Benitez previously claimed that he was not happy with his side’s summer spendings and he admitted that the difference was not hard to be seen.

The former coach of Real Madrid or Chelsea spoke about this difference as he said: “For sure. This time, you see the difference between money spent. It’s not something we didn’t know, we knew it would make a massive difference between both teams. But I am really pleased with what I saw in the first 30 minutes.”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…

He added that the turnover of the match the equalizer from Martial: “I think it’s a quite simple analysis, a really good first half for 30 minutes, everything was right, we were working hard, we had a clear idea what to do, we did well. And then we conceded a goal, then the second goal made a difference in terms of the mentality. We had the chance of [Isaac] Hayden, later on, but we couldn’t score.”

Rafael Benit上海夜生活ez, in the end, claimed that he is proud of his players for the overall performance and the effort: “The second half was more difficult because of the belief that we had in the first half, to keep this belief until the end, it depended on the goal. And then when we conceded the third goal it was a different game. But I am really pleased and really proud of my players in their first 30 minutes. And after when you pay big money for players, they can make the difference, so you make mistakes, you pay for that because you play against top-class players.”

Mourinho will not lose sleep over missed handshake with Conte

The Blues manager went straight into the pitch after final whistle of the referee.

Manchester United head coach insisted he would not chase Antoni上海夜网o Conte just to shake hands with him after losing the Sunday showdown with 1-0 to Chelsea.

The pair have not been in the best relationship ever since the arrival of the Italian at Stamford Bridge as the Portuguese accused Conte of over-celebrating his team’s goals last season when the Blues dominated the Red Devils with a 4-0 win.

On Sunday, Conte went straight into the pitch at the final whistle, missing a potential handshake with Mourinho, who shook hands with the rest of the Blues’ staff.Jamie Carragher puts Chelsea over Manchester United and Arsenal Nedim Maric – In an uneventful derby, last night, Manchester United and Arsenal both got point each.Top four-fight this season looks like it’s going to be between…

The Portuguese, however, insisted there was no issue between the pair when he was asked about the missed handshake after the game.

“You want me to go and chase him in the middle of the pitch? I was there. I shook hands with the people who were there,” he told reporters after the game, according to Goal.

“I think one of them was his brother, the assistant, so I feel that by shaking the hands of his brother and the other assistants that I did my duty. I cannot go and run to chase him.

“Why should I wait [in the tunnel]? He doesn’t have to wait. There is no problem with it at all. You are always worried with these things… no problem.”

Conte uncertain of Luiz’s future at the club

The defender missed Sunday’s game against Manchester United as he was not even featured in the group for the game.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said he did not know if David Luiz has a future at the club after the Brazilian was left out for the Premier League showdown against the Red Devils.

Luiz was replaced by Andreas Christensen for the game against Mourinho’s men, with the full-back not even making it into the bench as 17-year-old Ethan Ampadu was chosen over him.

Despite the absence of David Luiz, Chelsea went on to take the three points thanks to Morata’s header in the 64th minute.Jamie Carragher puts Chelsea over Manchester United and Arsenal Nedim Maric – In an uneventful上海夜生活论坛 derby, last night, Manchester United and Arsenal both got point each.Top four-fight this season looks like it’s going to be between…

Speaking after the game Conte ruled out that there is a problem with Luiz, stating it was only his form that made him leave the Brazilian out of the squad. However, he also added that he has no idea if Luiz has future at the club even though he started during the week in the Blues’ 3-0 loss to AS Roma in the Champions League.

“Luiz’s future? I don’t know. He has to work really hard otherwise he will be on the bench or in the stand,” the manager explained to the BBC after the game. The Italian also added that this could happen to each and every one of his players, should they be out of shape.

Yet, speaking before the game to Sky Sports, Conte stated that the decision was entirely from a tactical point of view: “It is a tactical decision. There is Andreas Christensen in good form and we have Ethan Ampadu who is a good, young player at the club.

“We are conceding many goals so you have to find stability and solidity. We have to be patient with the team and defend in the right way.”

Valverde defends Piqu\u00e9’s handball

The Catalan boss believes the defender’s handball was simply instinctive.

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde was adamant that Gerard Piqué acted unconsciously when he reached for the ball with his hand. The full-back was sent off as a result of the handball since he already had a yellow card, but Valverde is certain that the Spaniard’s actions were uninten上海夜生活网tional.

Speaking after the game, as quoted by Football Espana, Valverde stated: “When I watch games on TV, they seem placid, but it’s not the case,”

“We knew they’d get stronger once we went down to 10 men. That’s why we needed to find a second goal, so things would become easier.

“They came to defend and find a goal on the counterattack. With our opponents playing so deep, it was tough to find rhythm. Why take risks if they played deep and we had 10 men?Victor Lindelof’s agent confirms Barcelona interest Andrew Smyth – Victor Lindelof’s agent confirmed that Manchester United blocked a move to Barcelona for his client during the summer transfer window.

“Opponents disappointing? Olympiacos aren’t top [of their League] and came with the idea of surprising us in order to gain mental strength.

“They played a game that suited them, but we came away with very clear ideas.

“Piqué? I haven’t seen the replays, but I’d imagine it was all instinct, with the goal so close to him.”

Barcelona did not stop their perfect run in the Champions League as they now have three wins in three games, leading undisputedly their group in Europe.

PSG ready to activate Oblak\u2019s \u20ac100m buyout clause

Ligue 1 side h上海夜生活论坛ave been linked with several goalkeepers this summerWritten by – Nikolay Nikolov, June 18, 2017.

Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to trigger the €100 million buyout clause in Jan Oblak’s contract with Atletico, says goal.com.

Slovenia international has been intensely speculated over heading into the summer transfer window. He has been linked with Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

However, the club that wants to buy the 24-year-old has to meet Atletico’s demands and that means a record-breaking offer needs to be in place.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.

At the moment, PSG are the favorites to sign the goalkeeper, as Ligue 1 side possess the financials required for the transfer and the goalkeeper position reinforcement will be their priority this summer. Moreover, Atletico will have to sell players, as they will be under a transfer embargo.

Recently the goalkeeper said: “In football, you never know, even one day before the market closes news come out. But for now, everything points towards me continuing at Atletico. I am happy and I believe that I’ll continue playing here next season.”

Last season, Oblak made 30 appearances for Atletico Madrid in LaLiga where he made 52 saves and kept 15 clean sheets. He has also featured in the Champions League 11 times.

Guardiola to swap for Aubameyang

Pep Guardiola is already preparing his transfer strategy for the summer and the latest rumours point to a bid for Dortmund’s striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. May 1, 2017.

Manchester City are ready to spend around £250m this summer to build a squad capable of  matching Guardiola’s ambitions. But this does not mean that they will just start throwing money away.

In order to transfer the 27-year-old Gabonese striker, Pep Guardiola is willing to include Kelechi Iheanacho in his bid. The young Nigerian is widely regarded as a hot prospect. His current market value is €10m, while Aubameyang’s market value is €65m. Therefore, in order to force a transfer, City will have to pay at least €55m in addition to offering Iheanacho to Dortmund.Inter Milan V Lazio: Players to 上海夜生活论坛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…

But in order to land the signature of Aubamenyang, City will have to face competition from PSG and Real Madrid, who have also expressed their interest in the striker. Borussia Dortmund, on the other hand, stated that they are not willing to let Aubamenyang go, not event for €100m.

In the 42 games played for Dortmund this season in all competitions, Aubameyang has scored 35 goals and registered 5 assists.

Dybala only wants Barca legends jersey

Paulo Dybala has winked at the former Barcelona player Ronaldinho Gaucho, as he stated that he wanted the Brazilians jersey but has not been able to get it

Written by Christian Møller Poulsen. May 2, 2017

Paulo Dybala was recently one of the key figures for Juventus knocking FC Barcelona out of the Champions League, and the Argentinian recently renewed his contract with the Italian side, but is still being linked with FC Barcelona and Real Madrid. However, now the Argentina has revealed that Ronaldinho was one of his greatest idols when he was little and hails the South Americans way of looking at football.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…

Dybala told UEFA the following: “The one player’s shirt that I would still love to h上海夜生活论坛ave is Ronaldinho’s. One day Gennaro Gattuso promised me that he was going to call him to ask him for a shirt for me, because he’d played with him, but it didn’t happen.”

“Ronaldinho was one of my favourite players when I was growing up and the image he conveyed to me was that you’ve got to have fun and play with a smile on your face.”

“European coaches and players sometimes don’t look at football the way we South Americans do. We enjoy the game, laugh a lot, dance and so on. I always seek to have fun and enjoy what I do out on the pitch. That’s just my mindset.”

Exclusive: Google’s jobs search draws antitrust complaints from rivals

BRUSSELS/SAN FRANCISCO ( ) – Google’s fast-growing tool for searching job listings has been a boon for employers and job boards starving for candidates, but several rival job-finding services contend anti-competitive behavior has fueled its rise and cost them users and profits.

In a letter to be sent to European Union competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Tuesday and seen by , 23 job search websites in Europe called on her to temporarily order Google to stop playing unfairly while she investigates.

Similar to worldwide leader Indeed and other search services familiar to job seekers, Google’s tool links to postings aggregated from many employers. It lets candidates filter, save and get alerts about openings, though they must go elsewhere to apply.

Alphabet Inc’s Google places a large widget for the 2-year-old tool at the top of results for searches such as “call center jobs” in most of the world.

Some rivals allege that positioning is illegal because Google is using its dominance to attract users to its specialized search offering without the traditional marketing investments they have to make.

Other job technology firms say Google has restored industry innovation and competition.

The tensions expose a new front in the battle between Google and online publishers reliant on search traffic, just as EU and U.S. antitrust regulators heed calls to scrutinize tech giants including Google. Google so far over the last decade has withstood similar accusations from companies in local business and travel search.

Vestager, who has been examining job search on Google, leaves office Oct. 31. But a person familiar with the review told that Vestager is preparing an “intensive” handover so that her successor does not drop it. Her office declined to comment on the handoff.

Lack of action could spur Tuesday’s signatories, which include British site Best Jobs Online to German peers Intermedia and Jobindex, to follow with formal complaints against Google to Vestager, a person familiar with the matter said.

Berlin-based StepStone GmbH, which operates 30 job websites globally, and another German search service already have taken that step, another person said.

The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice, which are examining online competition in the United States, declined to comment on whether they are probing Google’s jobs search.

Industry executives universally expect that Google will sell ads in the jobs tool, as is typical for its services, enabling the world’s biggest seller of online ads to claw billions of dollars in revenue from rivals.

Google long has been frustrated by other search engines filling its results, because they both add a step in users’ quest for quick information and pose a threat to its ads empire.

Nick Zakrasek, senior product manager for Google search, said that the company welcomed the industry feedback on jobs search. Google said its offering addresses previous antitrust complaints by allowing rival search services to participate and includes a feature in Europe designed to give rivals prominence.

“Any provider – from individual employers to job listing platforms – can utilize this feature in search, and many of them have seen a significant increase in the number of job applications they receive,” Zakrasek said in a statement. “By improving the search experience for jobs, we’re able to deliver more traffic to sites across the web and support a healthy job search ecosystem.”

DIVISIVE TOOL

Google includes jobs only from websites that follow its guidelines, which require postings to be structured such that its computers can easily interpret them. Many leading players have conformed.

For instance, Weston, Massachusetts-based Monster Worldwide Inc has implored customers through training materials to list salary ranges and jobsite addresses on postings in hopes that following Google’s guidelines for such items will generate more clicks.

Monster had lost users in recent years because poor website formatting left it with low placement in regular Google results, its Chief Executive Scott Gutz said. The new tool gave Monster a path back to the top.

“There’s been a leveling of the playing field,” Gutz said.

Google’s widget drew 120 million user clicks in June in the United States alone, about double from August 2017, according to research firm Jumpshot, which receives browsing data from antivirus ap上海夜生活网ps.

Holmdel, New Jersey-based iCIMS Inc, which operates job websites for about 4,000 employers, said Google’s tool is the third largest referrer of visitors to clients’ pages and applicants from it are three times more likely to be hired than those from rival tools, it said.

“What we’re already seeing with Google’s entrance is better matching candidates to jobs,” said Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer for iCIMS.

Frustrated are competitors such as Zippia, a San Mateo, California jobs search startup specializing in career path data. CEO Henry Shao said Google’s jobs tool “pushes down” Zippia content in search results, making it more difficult to attract users unless it invests in following Google’s guidelines.

Zippia lacks the resources to pursue formal complaints, but would aid investigators that call, Shao said.

Larger detractors include StepStone, a unit of media company and long-time Google critic Axel Springer which eschewed Google’s guidelines on most of its jobs websites. Among concerns is that participants are handing over data that could help Google bypass them entirely.

The 23 firms pressing Vestager echoed that worry and said that Google including generic links to competing services high on its European jobs widget was not enough to ensure “equal treatment.”

Austin, Texas-based Indeed, which has not formatted its website to participate in Google’s tool, declined to comment.

Indeed’s traffic from Google has dipped 5% since 2016, according to Jumpshot. It compensated by boosting advertising and pushing new paid offerings, affecting earnings growth, former employees said.

Owner Recruit Holdings Co Ltd forecasts that sales from its Indeed-dominated segment will grow 35% in the year ending March 31, 2020, compared to 50% the year earlier, while adjusted profit margin will be flat.

Eric Liaw, a general partner invested in workplace tech startups at Silicon Valley’s Institutional Venture Partners, said Google has “to be careful about how much air they suck out of the room given the scrutiny they are under.”

Toymaker Hasbro profit draws power from ‘Avengers’, ‘Magic’ card game

( ) – Hasbro Inc (HAS.O) on Tuesday beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit, powered by higher demand for action toys of blockbuster “Avengers: Endgame” and collectible card game Magic: The Gathering, sending its shares to a record high.

The toymaker has been tying up with movie studios such as Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) to boost sales of toys linked to big movie franchises as it recovers from the bankruptcy of retailer Toys ‘R’ Us.

Earlier this month, Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame,” the end of a decade-long superhero series featuring Iron Man, Hulk and other popular comic book superheroes, became the highest grossing film of all time.

Revenue from partner brands, which includes tie-up with Disney, climbed 3% in the second quarter, while sales from Hasbro-owned brands, its largest business, gained 14%, mainly driven by Magic: the Gathering, Monopoly, Pla上海夜生活y-doh and Transformers toys.

The toymaker also reaffirmed its full-year growth forecast, banking on the lineup of big movies such as “Star Wars” and “Frozen” and new products such as Fortnite-themed Nerf guns and games under Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons.

Stifel analyst Drew Crum said the strong entertainment line-up, new Power Rangers toys and easing impact from Toys ‘R’ Us set the company for a healthy second-half.

Hasbro has been spending more to digitize Magic: The Gathering and host e-sports events for the game to attract consumers who prefer video games and mobile entertainment.

The efforts paid off as revenue from entertainment, licensing and digital segment jumped 28% in the quarter.

It has also been spending to move more inventory into the United States than usual in the face of potential additional U.S tariffs on imports from China.

Related CoverageHasbro says additional tariffs may lead to higher product prices

Despite the additional costs, Hasbro’s margins improved by 250 basis points and it earned 78 cents per share compared with expectations of 50 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Net revenue rose by a better-than-expected 8.9% to $984.5 million.

Shares of the toymaker rose as much as 10.3% in morning trading and lifted those of rival Mattel Inc (MAT.O) 3%. Mattel is expected to report second-quarter results later this week.

Snap’s Android fix, gender-changing lens boost users, shares up 9%

( ) – Snap Inc’s Snapchat on Tuesday beat analysts’ estimates for user growth and revenue, getting a boost from a better version of its Android app and the launch of new augmented reality photo lenses.

The company said the number of daily active users rose to 203 million in the second quarter ended June 30 from 190 million in the prior quarter. The user metric was also up from 188 million a year earlier.

Shares of Snap jumped 9% to $16.29 in after-hours trading.

The AR lenses, which are filters that can overlay everything from bunny ears to freckles onto a user’s photo, went viral when it introduced a lens that let users switch their gender in photos.

The latest daily active user figure, widely watched by investors and advertisers, beat analysts’ average estimate of 192.2 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

After struggling last year with declines in users and high executive turnover, Snap finally returned to growth in the first quarter.

In recent months, it scored wins with its augmented reality lenses, launched mobile games within Snapchat in partnership with game developers such as Zynga Inc and invested in more content on Discover, the part of the app that houses original shows and content from media partners.

“The popularity of these lenses drew millions of people into our rebuilt Android application, where they experienced the new and improved Snapchat that led to increased engagement,” Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel said on the earnings call with analysts.

Snap’s revenue, which it earns from selling advertising on the app, jumped about 48% to $388 million and beat Wall Street’s average estimate of $359.7 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Snapchat has been largely untouched by privacy issues plaguing Facebook Inc and Google’s YouTube, two of Snap’s rivals f上海夜网or digital ad dollars, because of its disappearing messages that make it difficult to broadcast misinformation or unsavory content.

Snap expects daily active users to be between 205 million and 207 million in the third quarter, Chief Financial Officer Derek Andersen said.

Of the 13 million daily active users Snap gained during the second quarter, 7 million to 9 million were from the new augmented reality lenses, Andersen said.

Analysts questioned whether Snap could retain the new users it gained from the lenses, during the earnings call.

Spiegel said the lenses not only attracted new users but re-engaged returning users.

It is unclear if Snap can continue having hits like viral lenses every quarter, “but if you can keep engagement going, that’s the key,” said Ron Josey, an analyst with JMP Securities. Average revenue per user jumped more than 36% to $1.91 in the quarter.

Snap emphasized its investment in content on Discover, which increased the time spent on the app by 60% compared with last year, said Kamal Khan, an analyst at financial markets platform Investing.com.

“That trend will continue in the near and medium term, but just like Netflix, it’s betting a lot on content against rivals with much, much deeper pockets,” he said.

Net loss narrowed to $255.2 million, or 19 cents per share, from $353.3 million, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company lost 6 cents per share. Analysts were expecting a loss of 10 cents per share.

Snap expects third quarter revenue in the range of $410 million to $435 million. Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $402.1 million, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Top House Intelligence lawmaker: 2020 election ‘enormously vulnerable’

WASHINGTON ( ) – The U.S. presidential election in 2020 is “enormously vulnerable” to hacking and foreign influence, Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, said on Tuesday.

Schiff, responding to a reporter’s question at The Christian Science Monitor breakfast, warned that “the potential for mischief now is extreme” and said he is concerned about efforts to undermine U.S. democracy.

Schiff’s committee has been actively investigating the 2016 presidential campaign and allegations that the Russian government actively sought to meddle in the election to help elect U.S. President Donald Trump. Both Trump and the Kremlin have denied any meddling or collusion.

Schiff said dur上海夜网ing the midterm congressional elections in 2018, there was only a handful of incidents of so-called “spearfishing,” a form of hacking that involves trying to get someone to unknowingly hand over their passwords.

But he now thinks the efforts could be more aggressive.

He also said that he thinks Russia and other countries are capable of using “deep fake” technology.

He said outside actors could use the technology “to forge audio tapes, to forge video tapes, to make a far more disruptive impact.”

Conversely, he said he is also concerned that the possible proliferation of fake video or audio could make the public unwilling to believe real images or sounds.

“Even if you can disprove a fake video. If you can show it’s a forgery. The negative impression watching it … you can never erase.”

He said the concern is compounded by what he called Trump’s willingness to deny facts.

“An electorate that is being acclimated to the idea that we’re all entitled to different truths, that makes our democracy very vulnerable,” Schiff said.

Stocks drop as trade dims earnings outlook; Mexican peso tumbles

NEW YORK ( ) – A gauge of stock markets around the world fell on Tuesday as trade tensions weighed on the outlook for corporate earnings, while Mexico’s peso tumbled after the country’s finance minister resigned.

European and U.S. stocks dropped early after Germa上海夜生活网n chemicals giant BASF warned of a 30% fall in its adjusted annual profit, citing trade friction and a global slowdown in growth.

On Wall Street, an analyst downgrade of 3M Co contributed to a drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. However, the benchmark S&P 500 index edged higher and the Nasdaq posted gains as the tech-related FAANG stocks rose.

Even so, MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.10%.

The Mexican peso slid as much as 2.25% against the dollar after Finance Minister Carlos Urzua resigned, citing deep differences over economic issues. It was last down 1.2%.

Some encouraging news on trade came as the United States and China were set to relaunch talks this week after a two-month hiatus. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said talks with the European Union to move forward on a trade agreement were also in progress.

However, skepticism remained among market participants on how much progress the United States and China have made toward resolving their differences.

“A resolution to the trade war is far off,” said Oliver Pursche, chief market strategist at Bruderman Asset Management in New York. “I wouldn’t be surprised if it went into 2020.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.65 points, or 0.08%, to 26,783.49, the S&P 500 gained 3.68 points, or 0.12%, to 2,979.63 and the Nasdaq Composite added 43.35 points, or 0.54%, to 8,141.73.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 8/32 in price to yield 2.0613%, from 2.034% late on Monday.

The potential reaction to monetary policy at the world’s top central banks also remained in focus ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony before the U.S. Congress on Wednesday and Thursday.

Money market futures are still fully pricing in a 25-basis-point cut at the Fed’s July 30-31 meeting, but have almost priced out a larger half-percentage-point move that had been seen as a real possibility just a couple of weeks ago.

“There may be some clarity coming out in the next couple of days based on what Powell says at these hearings,” said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president at BB&T Wealth Management.

(GRAPHIC – U.S. government debt yield curve: tmsnrt.rs/2YHFE1M)

In currency markets, Britain’s sterling dropped to a six-month low and was last 0.4% lower against the dollar at $1.2462 amid a worsening economic outlook and rising fears about a no-deal exit for Britain from the European Union.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, rose 0.13%, while the euro dipped 0.1% to $1.1206.

Oil prices firmed as OPEC supply cuts and Middle East tensions outweighed the U.S.-China trade dispute that has been dragging down the global economy and oil demand.

Brent crude futures settled up 5 cents to $64.16. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled up 17 cents to $57.83.

Spot gold ticked 0.1% higher to $1,397.06 an ounce.

(GRAPHIC – Dot plot, Fed funds futures July 9: tmsnrt.rs/2YLmEzm)