New York City
Fans watch the final episode of Game of Thrones at a watch party in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., May 19, 2019. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs
May 20, 2019
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Mixed reviews, a stray water bottle and pleas for a spinoff for feisty teen assassin Arya Stark marked the end of “Game of Thrones,” which came to a close on Sunday with one more shocking demise and an unlikely character named as king.
The 80-minute series finale of HBO’s medieval fantasy series proved as divisive as Season 8 itself, with the hard fought Iron Throne burned to the ground and the saga ending in what some called an anti-climax.
USA Today’s Kelly Lawler called the finale “a disaster ending that fans didn’t deserve,” adding that it was “hacky; it was cliched.”
Britain’s Radio Times was kinder, with blogger Huw Fullerton writing there were “some bits I liked, one or two I loved, an awful lot that leaves me scratching my head. But I will say, it ended better than I expected given the last two episodes.”
According to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the finale got 59 % approval from television critics, compared with 92 % for the Season 8 premiere on April 14.
Television series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were silent on Monday. The executive producers had said they planned to go offline when the finale aired.
“We’ll be in an undisclosed location, turning off our phones and opening various bottles,” Weiss told Entertainment Weekly earlier this year.
Many fans were more upset about the series coming to an end after eight seasons.
“I thought it would be more of a dramatic ending,” healthcare worker Christine Lethune told Reuters at a viewing party in New York. “I’m mad, I’m mad that this is the last episode. I wish that there was more after this.”
Eagle eyed fans spotted another modern prop that made its way on camera.
On Sunday. it was a plastic water bottle seen partly hidden behind the boot of character Samwell Tarly. The sighting followed dismay and jokes over the sighting of a stray paper coffee cup glimpsed during episode 4, aired two weeks ago.
HBO last year ordered a prequel, co-written by author George R.R. Martin, that is set thousands of years before the events of “Game of Thrones.”
But on Monday, many fans wanted a sequel based around Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), who is last seen aboard a ship to explore lands unknown.
“Arya was the only good part of Season 8. Give us the spinoff,” tweeted Riley McAtee, an associate editor at sports and pop culture website The Ringer.com
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by Diane Craft)
FILE PHOTO: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks with reporters following the weekly policy luncheons on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
May 19, 2019
By Nandita Bose
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is asking the federal government to investigate if a plan for new subway cars in New York City, designed by a Chinese state-owned firm, could pose a threat to national security.
The move comes after China’s CRRC Corp Ltd <, the world’s top passenger train maker, was slammed by U.S. lawmakers during a hearing on Thursday to limit its access to U.S. projects amid security fears.
It also comes at a time when the Trump administration has added China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to a trade blacklist, citing security risks as the world’s two largest economies ratchet up tariffs in a battle over what U.S. officials call China’s unfair trade practices.
CRRC, The Chinese state-owned company, which won a design contest for new subway cars, plans to install new technology in the New York subway system and government agencies must determine whether this poses any threat to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and its commuters, Schumer said in a statement to Reuters.
“Given what we know about how cyberwarfare works, and recent attacks that have hit transportation and infrastructure hubs across the country, the Department of Commerce must… thoroughly check any proposals or work China’s CRRC does on behalf of the New York subway system, including our signals, Wi-Fi and more,” Schumer added.
The company has not won a contract in New York City, which has America’s biggest transit system. However, it has won contracts for new subway cars in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia.
CRRC has also launched a charm campaign in the United States as it seeks to secure a Washington D.C. metro car contract worth over $500 million, after roaring into the American passenger rail market by dramatically underbidding foreign rivals.
Concerns CRRC could soon set its sights on the much more lucrative U.S. freight market and use its railcars to spy on passengers have prompted a series of legislative proposals.
A bipartisan bill unveiled in the U.S. House recently, which mirrors one proposed in the Senate earlier this year, would prevent transit agencies from spending federal dollars on projects awarded to CRRC.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose; Editing by Sandra Maler)
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump walks down the steps of Air Force One as he returns to Washington from a trip to New York City at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S., May 17, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
May 19, 2019
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank AG recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving entities controlled by President Donald Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog, the New York Times reported on Sunday.
The newspaper, citing five current and former Deutsche Bank employees, said executives at the German-based bank, which has lent billions of dollars to the Trump and Kushner companies, rejected their employees’ advice. The reports were never filed with the government.
The Times said the transactions, some of which involved Trump’s now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity, according to the former bank employees.
Compliance staff members who then reviewed the transactions prepared so-called suspicious activity reports that they believed should be sent to a unit of the Treasury Department that polices financial crimes, according to the newspaper.
The Times reported the bank employees viewed the decision not to report the transactions as a result of a lax approach to money laundering laws. They said there was a pattern of bank executives rejecting reports to protect relationships with lucrative clients, according to the newspaper.
One employee who reviewed some of the transactions said she was terminated last year after raising concerns about the bank’s practices, the Times reported.
The Times quoted a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman as saying investigators were not prevented from escalating activity identified as potentially suspicious. The spokeswoman described as “categorically false” any suggestion that bank staff were reassigned or fired in an effort to quash concerns related to any client. She also said Deutsche Bank has intensified efforts to combat financial crime.
A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization, which oversees many of Trump’s business interests, said the company was not aware of any flagged transactions and currently has no operating accounts with Deutsche Bank, according to the Times.
The newspaper said a Kushner Companies spokeswoman called any allegations of relationships involving money laundering “made up and totally false.”
Officials at Deutsche Bank, the Trump Organization and Kushner Companies were not immediately available to Reuters for independent comment.
The Times said the nature of the transactions was not clear. At least some of them involved money flowing back and forth with overseas entities or individuals, which bank employees considered suspicious.
The report surfaces at a time when congressional and New York state authorities are investigating the relationship between Trump, his family and Deutsche Bank, and demanding documents related to any suspicious activity.
Trump has sued in court in an attempt to block U.S. House of Representatives subpoenas for his financial records that were sent to Deutsche Bank, Capital One Financial Corp and the accounting firm Mazars LLP.
(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Chris Reese)
May 11, 2019; Carson, CA, USA; LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic (9) tangles up with New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson (1) during the second half at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
May 18, 2019
(Reuters) – LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was handed a two-game ban for violent conduct after he grabbed New York City goalkeeper Sean Johnson by the neck in their 2-0 MLS win last Saturday.
The pair were involved in an altercation in the 86th minute of the match after Sweden’s Ibrahimovic missed an opportunity to score, with Johnson going to ground holding his neck.
“The disciplinary committee has suspended LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic for two games and issued an undisclosed fine for violent conduct in the 86th minute against New York City FC on May 11,” the MLS said in a statement.
Former Manchester United striker Ibrahimovic, who signed a new one-year deal with Galaxy last December, will miss matches against Colorado Rapids on Sunday and Orlando City on May 24.
The 37-year-old was also fined earlier this month for simulation in their 3-1 defeat by Columbus Crew.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
FILE PHOTO: Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala – Met Gala – Camp: Notes on Fashion- Arrivals – New York City, U.S. – May 6, 2019 – Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo
May 18, 2019
(Reuters) – Reality television star Kim Kardashian announced on Friday she has named her fourth child, a boy born last week via a surrogate, Psalm West.
Kardashian wrote “Psalm West” in a post to her 60 million followers on Twitter that included a photo of the infant wrapped in a blanket in a crib with a caption that read in part: “We are blessed beyond measure. We have everything we need.”
Kardashian and her musician husband Kanye West have three other children – Chicago, a girl who was also born via a surrogate in January 2018, a son, Saint, 3, and daughter North, 5.
Kardashian has said she decided to use a surrogate after doctors warned of serious health risks if she became pregnant again following the birth of Saint in 2015.
(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Editing by Paul Tait)
A Wells Fargo logo is seen in New York City, U.S. January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
May 15, 2019
By Pete Schroeder and Michelle Price
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. bank regulator said on Wednesday it will vet Wells Fargo & Co’s pick for its next chief executive, a development that could complicate the scandal-hit lender’s efforts to find a permanent replacement for CEO Tim Sloan.
Joseph Otting, the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), told Congress he would use special legal powers that the regulator typically reserves for overseeing financially troubled lenders to review any proposed candidate.
But Otting said he does not plan to make findings from the review public, despite pressure from U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren who pressed him on the issue during a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee.
“At this point in time I do not have plans to release that information,” Otting told Warren in a heated exchange.
Warren and other Democratic lawmakers have accused the OCC of being too soft on Wells Fargo, a claim Otting disputed on Wednesday.
Otting said the OCC remains disappointed by the bank’s progress on fixing risk management and governance problems that led to a number of customer abuse scandals, including in its mortgage and auto lending businesses.
A spokesman for Wells Fargo did not immediately provide comment.
Sloan abruptly departed in late March, making him the second CEO to leave Wells Fargo following its sales practice scandal. He has said he stepped down because the external attention on him had become a distraction.
Wells Fargo general counsel C. Allen Parker, one of the few newcomers in the bank’s top ranks, is serving as interim CEO.
Intense congressional and regulatory scrutiny is likely to narrow the field of CEO candidates. Wells Fargo’s board is looking for an outsider following criticism that company veterans are incapable of turning things around.
The bank’s CEO search is also being hampered by limits on how much it can pay, Reuters reported this month.
Wells Fargo’s woes began in September 2016 when the bank admitted it had potentially opened millions of unauthorized accounts. Internal and regulatory probes have discovered other issues in the bank’s businesses, resulting in billions of dollars in fines and penalties.
The Federal Reserve has also placed an unprecedented restriction on Wells Fargo to keep it from growing its balance sheet until it proves risk management controls are improved.
(Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Meredith Mazzilli)