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An employee of a money changer holds a stack of Indonesia rupiah notes before giving it to a customer in Jakarta
FILE PHOTO: An employee of a money changer holds a stack of Indonesia rupiah notes before giving it to a customer in Jakarta, October 8, 2015. REUTERS/Beawiharta

May 23, 2019

By Nikhil Nainan

(Reuters) – Investors bet most Asian currencies will come under further pressure, a Reuters poll showed, with trade tensions between the United States and China firmly dominating headlines once again.

With diminishing hopes of a long-awaited trade deal between the world’s top two economies, the mood across markets have been apprehensive with investors shifting money to safer bets.

Investors, who were bullish on China’s yuan for much of this year until April end, have since raised their short positions to their highest in six months, the poll of 12 respondents showed.

Trade tensions have taken a toll on the Chinese economy, but measures promised by Beijing, including massive stimulus, have started to filter through. However, with tensions escalating again, the yuan has lost about 2.5% since U.S. President Donald Trump said on May 5 he was going to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

Trade reliant economies, such as Taiwan and South Korea, are among the most exposed to a deterioration in trade relations.

The poll showed market participants raise their short positions on both country’s currencies over the last two weeks with bets on South Korea’s won at their highest in more than a decade, with a slew of weak domestic data adding to the unit’s woes.

It is the region’s worst performing currency, shedding over 6% against the dollar so far this year. A state-run think tank on Wednesday called on monetary policy in the country to be substantially accommodative.

Short bets on Taiwan’s dollar climbed to their highest since January 2016.

In India, the seven-phase general election process that lasted for more than a month culminates on Thursday with vote-counting set to show whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will win a second straight term. Exit polls have predicted a clear win for Modi, and markets have cheered them.

Long positions on the Indian rupee were marginally higher from two weeks ago. The unit is just one of two currencies in the green this year among its peers covered in this poll.

Investors turned bullish on the rupee in March for the first time in nearly a year, after Modi turned the campaign into a fight about national security, shifting the narrative away from criticism he faced on weak job growth and farm prices that saw the opposition build momentum.

Elsewhere, market participants flipped their bets on the Philippine peso, with short positions now at their highest since December last year.

Uncertainty over the political future of Thailand and Indonesia has clouded outlook due to recent disputed elections.

Accordingly, investors raised bearish bets on Thailand’s baht and Indonesia’s rupiah to their highest since November.

Protests have engulfed central Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital city, this week while the Thai central bank cautioned that the economy faces potential hazards from political uncertainty.

The Asian currency positioning poll is focused on what analysts and fund managers believe are the current market positions in nine Asian emerging market currencies: the Chinese yuan, South Korean won, Singapore dollar, Indonesian rupiah, Taiwan dollar, Indian rupee, Philippine peso, Malaysian ringgit and the Thai baht.

The poll uses estimates of net long or short positions on a scale of minus 3 to plus 3. A score of plus 3 indicates the market is significantly long U.S. dollars.

The figures include positions held through non-deliverable forwards (NDFs).

(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

Source: OANN

Jefferson City, the capital city of Missouri, has taken a direct hit from a tornado and suffered possibly “catastrophic” damage, according to reports.

According to the National Weather Service, a “confirmed large and destructive tornado” was observed over Jefferson City, at 11:43 p.m., moving northeast at 40 mph.

DOZENS OF TORNADOS SLAM MIDWEST AS FLOODWATERS RISE; AT LEAST 2 DEAD

The Missouri Department of Public Safety reported extensive damage along Ellis Boulevard near Highway 54 and warned of downed power lines. Authorities warned residents that all downed lines should be considered live — and advised that people stay away from areas that have experienced heavy damage.

Gov. Mike Parson issued a statement via Twitter:

“Major tornados across state tonight, including Jeff City,” Parson wrote. “We’re doing okay but praying for those that were caught in damage, some are still trapped – local emergency crews are on site and assisting.”

News accounts and posts on social media refer to people possibly trapped in apartment complexes, gas leaks, possible damage to the Missouri Statehouse and other impacts.

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There were no immediate reports about fatalities or injuries.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Source: Fox News National

Dutch polls have opened in elections for the European Parliament, starting four days of voting across the 28-nation bloc that pits supporters of deeper integration against populist Euroskeptics who want more power for their national governments.

A half hour after voting started in the Netherlands, polls open across the United Kingdom, the only other country voting Thursday, and a nation still wrestling with its plans to leave the European Union altogether and the leadership of embattled Prime Minister Theresa May.

The elections, which end Sunday night, come as support is surging for populists and nationalists who want to rein in the EU’s powers, while traditional powerhouses like France and Germany insist that unity is the best buffer against the shifting economic and security interests of an emerging new world order.

Source: Fox News World

Planes spread out across the sky, nearly wingtip to wingtip. A sniper’s bullet whizzing by the ear. Squeezing a dying soldier’s hand, so he knew he was not alone.

Across three quarters of a century, the old veterans remember that epic day on the beaches of Normandy. For historians, D-Day was a turning point in the war against Germany; for men who were among the 160,000 Allied fighters who mounted history’s largest amphibious invasion, June 6, 1944, remains a kaleidoscope of memories, a signal moment of their youth.

Not many of those brave men remain , and those that do often use canes, walkers or wheelchairs. Few are willing or able to return to Normandy for the anniversary. But listen to the stories of some who are making that sentimental journey that spans thousands of miles — and 75 years.

___

The day before Dennis Trudeau parachuted into Normandy, he wrote his parents a letter saying he was about to go into battle but they shouldn’t worry.

“Everything is going to be fine and dandy,” he wrote. “After all, I’m not scared.”

Trudeau had joined the Canadian military at 17 and became a paratrooper, in part because they were paid an extra $50 a month.

He’s 93 now, living in Grovetown, Georgia. But his memories of D-Day — and the day before D-Day — are undimmed.

On June 5, 1944, he and the other paratroopers sat on the tarmac and joked about how they’d be in Paris by Christmas. But when they climbed into the plane, the chatter stopped.

Trudeau’s position was by the open jump door; he could look out across the vast array of planes and ships powering toward Normandy. Planes were strung out across the horizon.

He prayed: “I just kind of told the Lord, ‘Let me see one more sunrise.'”

And then, he jumped.

Trudeau landed in water up to his waist in a flooded field. In the dark, he rendezvoused with other paratroopers. They were on the way to their objective when friendly fire hit — an Air Force bomb.

Thrown into a ditch, Trudeau heard a dying friend nearby, calling out for his mother.

“You train with him and you ate with him and you slept with him and you fought with him. And in less than three hours, he was gone,” he said.

Within hours combat would be over for Trudeau, as well. He was captured by German forces, and spent the duration in a prisoner-of-war camp. By the time the war was over he had gone from 135 pounds to about 85.

He returned to Normandy in 1955 to see the graves of eight platoon members who didn’t survive. This time, he’ll say a prayer over their graves.

“They’re the heroes. They’re the ones who gave everything they had,” he said.

__

There had been a number of false starts ahead of the invasion of Normandy. But Vincent Corsini knew June 6 was different. There was a certain feeling in the air — an “edge,” as he describes it. Chaplains on deck encouraged troops to pray and troops were given a good breakfast.

Certain other D-Day memories are crystal clear: peeking out over the edge of the landing craft with amazement at the U.S. firepower directed at the beach. Machine guns splattering the water as he unloaded. The weight of the 60mm mortars he carried.

Tucked against the bottom of the hill overlooking Omaha Beach, he heard someone yelling for help from the water. Taking off as much equipment as he could, he ran back to the waves and found a stranded officer.

“As I was standing there looking at him, somebody up on the hill pulled the trigger,” he said. The bullet narrowly missed his ear, feeling like a “sonic boom,” as it passed. Corsini grabbed the officer and pulled him to safety.

Corsini went on to fight through the dense hedgerows of Normandy with the 29th Infantry Division until they captured the strategic city of Saint-Lo. At his home in a retirement community in Burlington, North Carolina, a plaque on the wall — “D-Day to St. Lo” — commemorates his efforts. Another marks his receipt of the National Order of the Legion of Honor, France’s highest decoration.

He went back for the 50th D-Day anniversary and looked across a cemetery’s field of white crosses. His wife and members of the French Club he meets with monthly encouraged him to go on the 75th anniversary, at age 94.

His wartime experiences affected his life forever, he said.

“I wouldn’t change my experience for a million dollars,” he said, adding: “I wouldn’t go through it again for a million dollars.”

___

Frank DeVita remembers the moment he froze.

He had wanted to join the Air Force but had no peripheral vision. He wanted to join the Navy but it would take weeks to start basic training. That’s how he ended up in the Coast Guard on D-Day, ferrying troops to Omaha Beach.

His job was to lower the ramp when the craft got to shore and then raise it after the troops clamored out. But in the early morning hours, as machine gun fire rained down on the boat, that ramp served as DeVita’s shield, protecting him and the other men inside. The coxswain screamed at him to lower the ramp, and in the roar of the cannons and the craft’s diesel engines, DeVita couldn’t hear him. The coxswain screamed again.

“I froze. I was so scared because I knew when I dropped that ramp the bullets that were hitting the ramp were going to come into the boat and I’d probably be dead in five minutes,” said DeVita, 94, speaking from his home in Bridgewater, New Jersey. When he finally dropped the ramp, he said 14 or 15 troops were immediately raked by machine gun fire.

One soldier fell at his feet, his red hair full of blood: “I reached down and I touched his hand, because I wanted him to know he wasn’t alone.”

Then, when he tried to lift the ramp, it was stuck. DeVita had to crawl over dead bodies lining the bottom of the landing craft to fix it.

Again and again, the landing craft ferried men to the beach. When there were no more men to ferry, DeVita and the other sailors pulled bodies from the choppy seas.

For decades — until recently — he never spoke of these things. This June he’ll make his 12th trip back to Normandy. Eager to keep the memory of what happened there alive, he has often brought others along to places like the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer .

“Pick out a tombstone, any tombstone. Place your hand on that white marble and say to yourself, ‘Six feet down is a boy.’ …. He gave his life for his country and then you lift your eyes up and you see 9,400 white marble tombstones,” he said. “They all gave their lives for their country.”

___

At 93, Norman Harold Kirby looks back at D-Day and the months of fighting that followed and finds it hard to remember exactly what happened.

“A lot of it, I tried to forget,” he said.

The Canadian, who now lives in Lions Bay, British Columbia, had joined the army when he was only 17 and was barely a 19-year-old private when he climbed into the landing craft that would take him to shore. The landing craft hit a mine, blowing a hole in the ship. His ears ringing from the explosion, Kirby abandoned the heavy gear he was carrying, his Bren machine gun and ammunition, and climbed over the side. Many who couldn’t swim died in the water.

“I landed on the on the beach with my knife, fork and spoon,” he said.

On Juno Beach, he remembers an intense cacophony of sounds. Aircraft flying overhead. Navy shells rocketing toward the German positions.

“The noise was just unreal…You couldn’t hear anything, anybody talking or anything. People were yelling,” he said. “You couldn’t hear them because of all the racket going on.”

Kirby went back to France and Europe several times after the war as a tourist but for years never returned to Juno Beach.

“I would not go to the beach. I always stayed away from it. I didn’t want to go,” he said. Finally his wife sent him on a trip to Normandy for the 50th anniversary of the invasion. This time, she’ll accompany him to the 75th anniversary.

___

Climbing into the plane that would take him to Normandy, Eugene Deibler had no idea what to expect. The 19-year-old had joined the paratroopers to avoid being a radio operator, trained for months and survived a broken ankle in jump school, but had yet to see combat.

Gathered at Merryfield Airfield in southwest England, the paratroopers had already gotten geared up to jump the night before, and then the operation was called off due to bad weather. All that pent-up energy had to go someplace, and Deibler remembers troops getting into fights.

The second night, it was a go. Climbing into the plane, Deibler remembers telling himself that if his buddies could do this, so could he.

“If you weren’t scared something was wrong with you,” he said. “Because you’re just a kid, you know?”

As they arrived at the French coast, he remembers heavy antiaircraft fire and tracer bullets from machine guns lighting up the sky like fireworks.

“We said ‘Let’s get the hell out of this plane,'” he said. The jump light went on, and out they went.

On the ground, their job was to secure a series of locks on the Douve River to prevent the Germans from opening the locks and flooding the fields. But they ran into such fierce resistance trying to secure another objective — a set of bridges — that they had to fall back.

Deibler went on to fight across Normandy, Holland and Belgium, in the Battle of Bastogne.

This will be his first time back to Normandy since the invasion, and he’d like to see what’s changed. At his Charlotte, North Carolina, home, the 94-year-old retired dentist has a collection of World War II books. He’s afraid that the great conflict will be forgotten.

“How many people remember the Civil War? How many people will remember World War I? And now it’s the same with World War II,” he said. “World War II will fade away also.”

___

Of all the medals and awards that Steve Melnikoff received as a 23-year-old fighting his way across Europe, the Combat Infantry Badge means the most to him. It signifies the bearer “had intimate contact with the enemy,” he said.

And Melnikoff certainly did.

When he landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day-plus-1 — June 7, 1944 — victory was far from secure. His unit was part of the bloody campaign to capture the French town of Saint-Lo through fields marked by thick hedgerows that provided perfect cover for German troops.

He remembers the battle for Hill 108 — dubbed Purple Heart Hill — for its ferocity. His job was to take up the Browning Automatic Rifle should the man wielding it go down. The Germans had shot and killed his friend who was carrying the BAR, and Melnikoff picked it up. About an hour later, he too was shot. As he went down, he looked to the side and saw his lieutenant also come under fire.

“He’s being hit by the same automatic fire, just standing there taking all these hits. And when the machine gun stopped firing he just hit the ground. He was gone,” Melnikoff said.

“That is what happens in war,” he said, speaking from his Cockeysville, Maryland, home.

For decades he didn’t talk about the war and knows some men who went to their graves never speaking about it again. But he feels an obligation now to talk about what he and others went through. In his hundredth year, he works closely with The Greatest Generations Foundation which helps veterans return to battlefields where they fought. This year on June 6, he’ll go back to the cemetery and pay his respects.

“This prosperity and peace that we’ve had for all these years, it’s because of that generation,” he said. “It can’t happen again and that’s why I go there.”

__

Associated Press reporters David Martin in Bridgewater, N.J. and Tom Sampson in Cockeysville, Md. contributed to this report.

Source: Fox News National

A 4-month-old girl died Wednesday after she was left in a scorching hot van outside a Florida day care center for nearly five hours, authorities said.

Jacksonville police received a call around 1 p.m. from a day care employee who said she’d discovered the infant “still strapped in her child seat unresponsive,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release.

The employee had checked the van after the infant’s mother called the day care to make after-school arrangements, but the infant hadn’t been checked-in that morning, the release said.

The girl, who had been left in the van since approximately 8:25 a.m., was rushed to a hospital where she was pronounced dead, the sheriff’s office said. Temperatures in Jacksonville on Wednesday had reached 92 degrees, according to reports.

BABY DIES AFTER BEING LEFT IN HOT CAR IN INDIANAPOLIS

The van’s driver and daycare co-owner, 56-year-old Darryl Ewing, was arrested and booked into jail on child neglect charges, the sheriff’s office said.

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Investigators said Ewing was responsible for maintaining a driver’s log documenting all of the children in the van. Ewing had logged the two of the victim’s siblings, but not the victim, the release said. An investigation is ongoing.

Source: Fox News National

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street in London
FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street in London, Britain, January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

May 23, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected on Friday to announce her departure from office, The Times reported, without citing a source.

May will remain as prime minister while her successor is elected in a two-stage process under which two final candidates face a ballot of 125,000 Conservative Party members, the newspaper said.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge)

Source: OANN

Media law experts say a San Francisco journalist whose home was raided did not commit a crime because it’s not illegal to disclose a public record.

San Francisco Police Chief William Scott told reporters this week that freelancer Bryan Carmody conspired to steal a confidential police record into the death of the city’s former public defender.

But San Francisco attorney Duffy Carolan says the public has constitutional rights to public records such as police reports. She says criminalizing the release, receipt and publication of a public record would have a chilling effect.

A battle between the press and police is playing out in politically liberal San Francisco after police raided Carmody’s home and office earlier this month.

They seized cameras, cellphones and computers in search of a police department employee who leaked the information to Carmody.

Source: Fox News National

A 24-year-old employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs has been arrested, accused of recording at least four people using a women’s restroom in the department’s headquarters near the White House.

The suspect, identified as Alex Greenlee of Maryland, allegedly committed the crimes in January, according to court documents.

Authorities investigated after one woman reported finding a “mini camera” under the stall next to the one she was using, Washington’s WJLA-TV reported.

CALIFORNIA WOMAN ACCUSED OF ATTEMPTING TO DROWN NEWBORN IN MCDONALD’S RESTROOM AVOIDS JAIL TIME

Women reported finding cameras inside a restroom at the headquarters of the Department of Veterans Affairs, reports say.  (iStock)

Women reported finding cameras inside a restroom at the headquarters of the Department of Veterans Affairs, reports say.  (iStock)

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The woman then told authorities she saw Greenlee outside the women’s restroom and he claimed he needed to go inside to get paper towels, the station reported.

Another woman reported finding a camera attached to a toilet three days later, the report said.

Investigators say Greenlee has denied knowing anything about the cameras, Washington’s WRC-TV reported.

Source: Fox News National

Illustration photo of a Lenovo logo
FILE PHOTO: The Lenovo logo is seen in this illustration photo January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration

May 23, 2019

By Sijia Jiang

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s Lenovo Group reported a more than three-fold increase in its quarterly profit as strong computer sales helped the world’s largest personal computer (PC) maker to beat market expectations.

Lenovo’s net profit in the quarter ended March rose to $118 million compared with an average estimate of $91.4 million by seven analysts, according to Refinitiv data, and versus a profit of $33 million a year earlier.

“The growth strategy of PC and Smart Device (PCSD) focusing on commercial, high-growth and premium segments has paid off in delivering record revenue for the fiscal year,” CEO and Chairman Yang Yuanqing said in a statement on Thursday.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $11.71 billion, in line with the average estimate of $11.65 billion by 11 analysts.

For the full year ended March, Lenovo swung to a profit of $597 million, from a loss of $189 million a year earlier. Revenue rose to a record $51 billion, which Lenovo attributed mainly to record revenue from its PCSD business – which accounts for 75 percent of its total revenue.

The global PC market as measured in shipment units declined 4.6% in the three months of the year, estimates from industry consultancy Gartner show.

(Reporting by Sijia Jiang; Editing by Anshuman Daga)

Source: OANN

Actor John Cusack faced pushback on social media after he was caught not standing for a military salute at a Cubs game at Wrigley Field Wednesday night.

“I didn’t stand up for Boeing military salute – fast enough for some maga f— – see?” he tweeted in his defense. The “Hot Tub Time Machine” star was apparently referring to President Trump supporters.

CELEBRITIES REACT TO ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR GETTING GRILLED BY DEMOCRATS ON MUELLER REPORT

In another post he clarified that he supports the troops and wants them to come home. “Being anti war – is pro troops – pro human -” he added.

Cusack tweeted that he eventually stood up “just not on que – like an Obedient pet.”

John Cusack has been a vocal anti-Trump critic. 

John Cusack has been a vocal anti-Trump critic.  (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

The “Say Anything” actor has been a vocal critic of the president and has called for his impeachment and removal from office, according to The Hill. “Trump. Wraps himself in the us flag – literarily hugs it . You think he’s a patriot?” he asked rhetorically on Twitter Wednesday.

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In 2008, Cusack made a comedy critical of the Iraq war called “War, Inc.” about the problems with privatizing the military.

Source: Fox News Politics


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