Texas

FILE PHOTO: The sun sets behind a pump-jack outside Saint-Fiacre
FILE PHOTO: The sun sets behind an oil pump outside Saint-Fiacre, near Paris, France March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

April 26, 2019

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil prices dipped on Friday on hopes that producer club OPEC will soon raise output to make up for a decline in exports from Iran following a tightening of sanctions on Tehran by the United States.

Despite this, oil markets remain tight amid supply disruptions and rising geopolitical concerns especially over the tensions between the United States and Iran, analysts said.

Brent crude futures were at $74.16 per barrel at 0223 GMT, down 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $64.83 per barrel, down 38 cents, or 0.6 percent, from their previous settlement.

The dip followed Brent’s rise above $75 per barrel for the first time this year on Thursday after Germany, Poland and Slovakia suspended imports of Russian oil via a major pipeline, citing poor quality. The move cut parts of Europe off from a major supply route.

But prices were already gaining before the Russian disruption, driven up by supply cuts led by the Middle East dominated Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran. Crude futures are up around 40 percent so far this year.

Washington said on Monday it would end all exemptions for sanctions against Iran, demanding countries halt oil imports from Tehran from May or face punitive action.

To make up for the shortfall from Iran, the United States is pressuring OPEC’s de-facto leader Saudi Arabia to end its voluntary supply restraint.

“The U.S. will continue to pressure Saudi Arabia to lift its production to cover the supply gap,” said Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA.

Jefferies bank said “a drop to 500,000 to 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) now seems realistic” for Iranian oil exports, adding that “at least China and potentially India and Turkey will continue to import Iranian crude”.

“OPEC will make up for the shortfall,” the U.S. investment bank said.

Despite U.S. efforts to drive Iranian oil exports down to zero, many analysts expect some oil to still seep out of the country.

“A total of 400,000 to 500,000 barrels per day of crude and condensate will continue to be exported,” said energy consultancy FGE, down from around 1 million bpd currently.

Most of this oil would be smuggled out of Iran or go to China despite the sanctions.

China, the world’s biggest buyer of Iranian oil, this week formally complained to the United States over its unilateral Iran sanctions.

Although most analysts expect some Iranian oil to keep flowing, they expect markets to remain tight amid little spare capacity and the high geopolitical tension.

“The oil market remains tight … (and) oil prices will rise,” FGE chairman Fereidun Fesharaki said on Friday in a note, adding that “$80 to $100 per barrel oil is around the corner”.

(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The Intel logo is shown at E3, the world's largest video game industry convention in Los Angeles
FILE PHOTO: The Intel logo is shown at E3, the world’s largest video game industry convention in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

April 25, 2019

By Sayanti Chakraborty and Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) – Chipmaker Intel Corp on Thursday cut its full-year revenue forecast and missed analysts’ estimates for first-quarter sales for its higher-margin data center business, sending its shares down as much as 7.5%.

The forecast adds to concerns that an industry-wide slowdown could persist until the end of 2019 and follows a similar warning earlier this week from chipmaker Texas Instruments Inc .

Intel marginally beat Wall Street targets for revenue and profit in the fiscal first quarter, but sales in the data center group unit fell 6.3% to $4.9 billion, hit by weakness in China as customers worked through stockpiles of chips purchased last year. Analysts had expected revenue of $5.1 billion, according to financial and data analytics firm FactSet.

“The data center rebound the company was banking on for back-half (of 2019) improvements doesn’t look like it’s going to happen,” said Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy.

The company has turned to the server chips it supplies data center operators for growth in recent years. Chief Executive Bob Swan said in an interview that customers in China had “absolutely” bought extra chips last year due to fears of a tariff or supply constraints owing to the U.S.-China trade dispute.

“The belief at the time was that they were ordering well ahead of what they’re real needs were, but the expectation was that they would consume that over the course of Q4 and Q1,” Swan said. “But today we think … it’s not being consumed quite at that level; there’s going to be another quarter.”

The chipmaker cut its 2019 revenue forecast to $69 billion, from the $71.5 billion it told investors to expect when it last reported earnings in January.

A year-long U.S.-China trade war and weakening smartphone sales have taken a toll on the global semiconductor industry. Investors are banking on the launch of 5G telecom networks and demand for chips used in self-driving vehicles to reignite growth. To that end, Swan said a 30% boost in so-called programmable chips that go into 5G networking equipment showed early gains for Intel in the technology but that the bulk of chip sales were yet to come.

Shares of rival chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices Inc rose 1.5% in extended trade after Intel’s report, while graphics chipmaker Nvidia Corp fell 2.5%.

Intel’s business unit that sells modem chips to connect Apple Inc’s iPhones to wireless data networks was a growth spot. This is despite Intel’s announcement last week that it would exit the market for 5G modem chips. The news came the same day that Apple resolved a long-standing dispute with Qualcomm Inc and the companies signed a chip supply agreement.

Swan said Intel expects to continue shipping 4G modems though, as is customary for Intel, he did not mention Apple by name.

“Our expectation is we will continue to deliver on the 4G modem throughout the course of this year, including the second iteration of that product coming in the fall back-to-school season,” Swan said.

The Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker also estimated profit of 89 cents per share on revenue of $15.6 billion for its second quarter that ends in June, compared with analysts’ expectation of $1.01 per share on $16.85 billion.

“As bad as the outlook is for 2Q19 and FY19 due to weaker macro softness, we think there remains further headwinds due to the increased competitive threat from AMD into 2H19 and 2020,” said Kinngai Chan, an analyst with Summit Insights Group.

Net income fell to $3.97 billion, or 87 cents per share, from $4.45 billion, or 93 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 89 cents per share, beating analysts’ estimate of 87 cents.

Revenue in Intel’s client computing business, which caters to PC makers and still the biggest contributor to sales, rose 4.45% to $8.59 billion, beating FactSet estimates of $8.38 billion.

Intel shares were trading down 7.5% at $57.61 after the bell.

(Reporting by Sayanti Chakraborty in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Richard Chang)

Source: OANN

Contents of grain silos which burst from flood damage are shown in Fremont County, Iowa
FILE PHOTO: The contents of grain silos which burst from flood damage are shown in Fremont County Iowa, U.S., March 29, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Polansek

April 25, 2019

By Karl Plume

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Farm supplier CHS Inc has dozens of loaded barges trapped on the flood-swollen Mississippi River near St. Louis – about 500 miles from the company’s two Minnesota distribution hubs.

The barges can’t move – or get crucial nutrients to corn farmers for the spring planting season – because river locks on the main U.S. artery for grain and fertilizer have been shuttered for weeks. High water presents a hazard for boats, barges and lock equipment.

Railroads have also been plagued by delays from winter weather and flooding in the western Midwest, further disrupting agricultural supply chains in the nation’s bread basket.

The transportation woes are the latest headache for a U.S. agricultural sector reeling from years of slumping profits and the U.S.-China trade war, and they threaten to cut the number of acres of corn and wheat that can be planted this year.

The shipping delays follow months of bad weather in the rural Midwest, including a “bomb cyclone” that flooded at least 1 million acres (405,000 hectares) of farmland last month and a record-breaking April snow storm.

“Our barges are a long way from where we need them in the upper Midwest,” said Gary Halvorson, senior vice president of agronomy at CHS. “We really don’t think that any rail line will be at their preferred service rate until summer.”

Agricultural retailers rely on barges and trains to resupply distribution warehouses across the farm belt. But river flooding has delayed the seasonal reopening of the northern reaches of the Mississippi River to barge traffic. The latest National Weather Service river forecasts suggest one of the river’s southernmost locks could remain closed until at least the first week of May.

FALLING PROFITS, PRODUCTION

Reduced or poorly timed fertilizer applications can hurt yields, potentially denting this year’s U.S. farm profits, which are already predicted to be about half of their 2013 peak, according to the latest U.S. government forecast. Delayed shipments can also mean lost sales for farm suppliers and higher demurrage penalties, or late-return charges, on stalled barges and rail cars.

CHS, one of the largest publicly traded U.S. agriculture suppliers, said this month cited poor weather as a key reason for a $8.9 million drop in agricultural profits during its fiscal second quarter.

Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Co said severe weather and flooding would cut its first-quarter profit by $50 million to $60 million while DowDuPont said flooding would slash first-quarter profits in its agriculture division by 25 percent.

Fertilizer producers such as Nutrien Ltd, Mosaic Co and Yara International also lost sales due to bad weather in the fourth quarter of last year and first quarter of this year. Mosaic announced last month that it would cut U.S. phosphate fertilizer production by 300,000 tonnes for the spring season due to poor weather and large inventories left over from the fall.

Farm retailers such as CHS and privately held Growmark may see additional losses through the spring season as the tighter planting window limits the application services they provide, according to CoBank analyst Will Secor.

SCRAMBLING TO PROTECT CROP YIELDS

Farmers are not expected to skip nitrogen fertilizer applications entirely, which would cause yields to drop by about half, according to Purdue University agronomist Bob Nielsen. But higher nutrient costs could have growers applying less-than-optimal amounts.

Some farmers could shift from corn to soybeans, which can be planted later and require fewer fertilizer applications. But soybeans will continue to face uncertain demand as long as the U.S. and top buyer China remain locked in a trade war.

“Right now my plan is to plant more corn because the price of beans is so low,” said Don Batie, a farmer near Lexington, Nebraska.

The weather problems started last autumn, a period when some farmers treat fields after harvesting in preparation for the following spring. But wet weather prevented fall fertilizer applications, and an exceptionally snowy winter in many areas slowed or halted winter field work.

More recent storms have threatened to narrow the limited spring window for field treatments.

“When you add to it this re-supply constraint of not being able to move barges up the Mississippi, it puts us in a precarious position,” said Kreg Ruhl, manager for crop nutrients division at Growmark, the country’s third-largest agriculture retailer in terms of revenue.

PRICES RISING

Retail fertilizer prices have started rising in parts of the Midwest and are likely to rise further as local supplies are depleted and retailers scramble to resupply.

In Iowa, the top U.S. corn producing state, the price of the common fertilizer urea was up 20 percent in late April from a year ago, and anhydrous ammonia was up 27 percent. Both hit their highest early spring levels in three years, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

Without timely barge deliveries, CHS will lean on its rail network that brings imported supplies from Galveston, Texas, to any of the 29 rail hubs it owns in places like Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Marshall, Minnesota; and Minot, North Dakota.

Higher U.S. fertilizer prices and strong demand from other countries could help producers such as Nutrien, Mosaic and Yara recover some recent profit weakness in upcoming quarters.

For farmers and fertilizer retailers, however, uncertain fertilizer deliveries will likely weigh on agricultural markets through the planting season.

“We’re doing our very best to make sure that our retail network is supplied,” said CHS’s Halvorson.

(Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago Editing by Brian Thevenot and Caroline Stauffer)

Source: OANN

With the entrance of former Vice President Joe Biden into the 2020 Democratic presidential contest on Thursday, the field is largely set, with all the big names included.

The sprawling Democratic field features candidates ranging from 37 to 77 years old; liberals and moderates; senators, governors and mayors; and an unprecedented number of women and minorities. Democrats view the upcoming election as a must-win, and they’re looking to nominate someone who is their best hope to beat President Donald Trump.

Here are the 20 candidates:

JOE BIDEN

Age: 76

Best known for: Being former President Barack Obama’s vice president from 2009 to 2017 and U.S. senator from Delaware from 1973 to 2009.

Biggest strength: He’s well-known nationally and popular in some places Democrats have lost recently, such as working-class swing states Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, his birthplace.

Biggest weakness: Biden would be the oldest person ever elected president, with a nearly five-decade record for opponents to comb through, at a time many in his party are clamoring for a new generation to take the reins. The notoriously chatty former senator also tends to commit verbal gaffes and faced recent accusations by some women of uninvited, though nonsexual, touching.

CORY BOOKER

Age: 49

Best known for: Serving as mayor of Newark and, currently, U.S. senator from New Jersey. He made headlines last year during his self-proclaimed “‘I am Spartacus’ moment” as he flouted Senate rules against disclosing confidential documents during Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation fight.

Biggest strength: His optimistic, unity-first attitude could resonate at a time of deep political divisions.

Biggest weakness: Trying to convince voters that he’s tough enough to take on Trump.

PETE BUTTIGIEG

Age: 37

Best known for: Serving as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and being a former Naval intelligence officer.

Biggest strength: He’s won over voters and many skeptics with his intelligence and an articulate yet plain-spoken speaking style. He’s also shown an ability to inspire voters of different ages with a message of hope and “a new generation of leadership” and has been able to raise millions more than many of his Democratic rivals.

Biggest weakness: His youth and lack of political experience — his only public office has been leading the community of about 100,000 people — will give some voters pause. He also will need to ramp up his campaign operations and do more to appeal to minority voters in order to maintain his early momentum.

JULIAN CASTRO

Age: 44

Best Known for: Serving as Health and Human Services secretary during President Barack Obama’s second term and as the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, for five years.

Biggest strength: His youthfulness and status as the only Latino in the race could help him win the votes of Democrats looking for a new face of their party.

Biggest weakness: His fundraising lags well behind other contenders.

JOHN DELANEY

Age: 56

Best known for: Being a former congressman from Maryland.

Biggest strength: He has rolled out a rural-focus policy that includes proposals to strengthen family farmers and rural infrastructure, a plan that could play well in the battleground Rust Belt states won by Trump.

Biggest weakness: Low name recognition.

TULSI GABBARD

Age: 38

Best known for: Serving as a U.S. representative for Hawaii; the first American Samoan and first Hindu to be elected to Congress.

Biggest strength: Her military service in Iraq and Kuwait with the Hawaii National Guard.

Biggest weakness: She has been criticized for traveling to Syria in 2017 to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been accused of war crimes and even genocide. She was also forced to apologize for her past work advocating against gay rights.

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND

Age: 52

Best known for: The senator from New York is one of her chamber’s most vocal members on issues of sexual harassment, military sexual assault, equal pay for women and family leave.

Biggest strength: Not being afraid to defy her own party in the #MeToo era, calling early for Democratic Sen. Al Franken’s resignation over sexual misconduct allegations and saying Bill Clinton should have voluntary left the presidency over an affair with intern Monica Lewinsky.

Biggest weakness: Sluggish campaign fundraising in the wake of some unpleasant #MeToo headlines of her own, with Gillibrand acknowledging there were “post-investigation human errors” made when her Senate office investigated allegations of sexual misconduct against various staffers.

KAMALA HARRIS

Age: 54

Best known for: The former California attorney general is now the junior U.S. senator from California, known for her rigorous questioning of Trump’s nominees.

Biggest strength: As the one black woman in the race, she’s able to tap into networks like historically black colleges and universities and her Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority that haven’t been fully realized before.

Biggest weakness: Her prosecutorial record has come under scrutiny amid a push for criminal justice reform.

JOHN HICKENLOOPER

Age: 67

Best known for: Being a quirky brewpub owner who became a politician late in life, rising to governor of Colorado.

Biggest strength: An unorthodox political persona and successful electoral track record in a swing state. He’s one of the few governors in a race heavy with senators and D.C. stalwarts.

Biggest weakness: He’s previously joked that he was too centrist to win the Democratic nomination. As governor he disappointed some environmentalists by not regulating the energy industry more. He’s another white male baby boomer in a party filled with younger and more diverse candidates that better reflect its base.

JAY INSLEE

Age: 68

Best known for: Being governor of Washington state and a former congressman.

Biggest strength: His campaign emphasis is on combating climate change, which he frames as an economic opportunity in addition to a moral imperative.

Biggest weakness: He risks being labeled a one-issue candidate.

AMY KLOBUCHAR

Age: 58

Best known for: The three-term Minnesota senator raised her national profile during a Senate committee hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when she asked him whether he had ever had so much to drink that he didn’t remember what happened. He replied, “Have you?”

Biggest strength: She’s known as a pragmatic lawmaker willing to work with Republicans to get things done, a quality that’s helped her win across Minnesota, including in rural areas that supported Trump in 2016. She says her Midwestern sensibilities would help Democrats reclaim critical battlegrounds like Wisconsin and Michigan.

Biggest weakness: Her pragmatism may work against her in a primary, as Democratic voters increasingly embrace more liberal policies and positions. There have also been news reports that she has mistreated staff.

WAYNE MESSAM

Age: 44

Best known for: Serving as the mayor of Miramar, Florida, and playing on the Florida State University Seminoles’ 1993 national championship football team.

Biggest strength: He touts his mayoral experience balancing government regulations needed to protect the environment while allowing room for companies to prosper.

Biggest weakness: Low name recognition and funding.

SETH MOULTON

Age: 40

Best known for: The Massachusetts congressman and Iraq War veteran gained national attention for helping lead an effort within the party to reject Nancy Pelosi as House speaker after Democrats regained control of the chamber.

Biggest strength: Military and congressional experience.

Biggest weakness: Low name recognition, late start on the fundraising necessary to qualify for the summer debate stage.

BETO O’ROURKE

Age: 46

Best known for: The former congressman narrowly lost the 2018 Senate race to Republican Ted Cruz in Texas, the country’s largest conservative state.

Biggest strength: A do-it-yourself campaign style that packs lots of travel and multiple events into long days and encourages off-the-cuff discussions with voters that still allow O’Rourke to talk up his days as a onetime punk rock guitarist and his love for his home on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Biggest weakness: He’s longer on enthusiasm and vague, bipartisan optimism than actual policy ideas, and the style-over-substance approach could see O’Rourke’s strong early fundraising slip once the curiosity begins to fade.

TIM RYAN

Age: 45

Best known for: The Ohio congressman made an unsuccessful bid to replace Nancy Pelosi as House Democratic leader in 2016.

Biggest strength: Ryan has touted himself as a candidate who can bridge Democrats’ progressive and working-class wings to win the White House.

Biggest weakness: Low name recognition, late start on grassroots fundraising.

BERNIE SANDERS

Age: 77

Best known for: A 2016 presidential primary campaign against Hillary Clinton that laid the groundwork for the leftward lurch that has dominated Democratic politics in the Trump era.

Biggest strength: The Vermont senator, who identifies himself as a democratic socialist, generated progressive energy that fueled his insurgent 2016 campaign and the best fundraising numbers of any Democrat so far.

Biggest weakness: Expanding his appeal beyond his largely white base of supporters.

ERIC SWALWELL

Age: 38

Best known for: The California congressman is a frequent guest on cable news criticizing President Donald Trump.

Biggest strength: Media savvy and youthfulness could appeal to young voters.

Biggest weakness: Low name recognition, late start on grassroots fundraising.

ELIZABETH WARREN

Age: 69

Best known for: The senator from Massachusetts and former Harvard University law professor whose calls for greater consumer protections led to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under then-President Barack Obama.

Biggest strength: Warren has presented a plethora of progressive policy ideas, including eliminating existing student loan debt for millions of Americans, breaking up farming monopolies and mammoth technology firms, implementing a “wealth tax” on households with high net worth and providing universal child care.

Biggest weakness: She is viewed as one of the most liberal candidates in the Democratic field, which could hurt her chances among moderates. Her policy-heavy approach also risks alienating voters at a time when other candidates are appealing to hearts as much as to minds.

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON

Age: 66

Best known for: Best-selling author and spiritual leader.

Biggest strength: Outsider who could draw interest from voters who are fans of her books.

Biggest weakness: Low name recognition, little political experience.

ANDREW YANG

Age: 44

Best known for: Entrepreneur who has generated buzz with his signature proposal for universal basic income to give every American $1,000 a month, no strings attached.

Biggest strength: Robust policy agenda, tech savvy.

Biggest weakness: Low name recognition, no political experience.

Source: NewsMax Politics

FILE PHOTO: An oil pump is seen operating in the Permian Basin near Midland
FILE PHOTO: An oil pump is seen operating in the Permian Basin near Midland, Texas, U.S. on May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Ernest Scheyder

April 25, 2019

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Brent crude oil on Thursday rose above $75 per barrel for the first time in 2019 in the wake of tightening sanctions on Iran, while gains in U.S. prices were crimped by a surge in U.S. supply.

Brent crude futures rose to a 2019 high of $75.01 per barrel on Thursday and were at $74.90 per barrel at 0705 GMT, up 33 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $65.94 per barrel, up 5 cents from their previous settlement.

Traders said Brent was receiving support on Thursday from a halt of Russian oil exports to Poland and Germany via a pipeline due to quality concerns.

The United States this week said it would end all exemptions for sanctions against Iran, demanding countries halt oil imports from Tehran from May or face punitive action from Washington.

“Following the U.S. decision to toughen its sanctions on Iran … we have revised up our end-year forecast for Brent crude from $50 to $60 per barrel,” analysts at Capital Economics said in a note.

The U.S. decision to try and bring down Iran oil exports to zero comes amid supply cuts led by producer Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) since the start of the year aimed at propping up prices.

As a result, Brent prices have risen by almost 40 percent since January.

Still, Brian Hook, U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State, said on Thursday “there is plenty of supply in the market to ease that transition and maintain stable prices”.

Consultancy Rystad Energy said Saudi Arabia and its main allies could replace lost Iranian oil.

“Saudi Arabia and several of its allies have more replacement barrels than what would be lost from Iranian exports,” said Rystad’s head of oil research Bjoernar Tonhaugen.

“Since October 2018, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the UAE, and Iraq have cut 1.3 million bpd, which is more than enough to compensate for the additional loss,” he added.

Capital Economics said it expected “oil prices to fall this year as sluggish global growth weighs on oil demand, U.S. shale output grows strongly and investor aversion to risk assets like commodities increases”.

South Korea’s economy unexpectedly shrank in the first quarter, the Bank of Korea said on Thursday, marking its worst performance since the global financial crisis.

China’s Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday that his nation’s economy “still faces downward pressure”.

On the supply side, U.S. crude oil production has risen by more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) since early 2018 to a record of 12.2 million bpd currently, making the United States the world’s biggest oil producer ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia.

In part because of soaring domestic production, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories last week hit a October 2017 high of 460.63 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. That was a rise of 1.3 million barrels.

(GRAPHIC: U.S. oil drilling, production & storage levels link: https://tmsnrt.rs/2DxgF8W).

(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Tom Hogue)

Source: OANN

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox
Apr 24, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (57) throws a pitch against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

April 25, 2019

Eduardo Rodriguez shined over six innings, and J.D. Martinez collected a season-high three hits to lead the Boston Red Sox to an 11-4 win over the visiting Detroit Tigers on Wednesday.

Rodriguez (2-2) struck out seven while allowing one run on two hits and three walks. He kept the Tigers hitless over his first 4 1/3 innings as the Red Sox rebounded from a doubleheader sweep on Tuesday.

After Brandon Workman struck out the side for Boston in the seventh, Matt Barnes did the same in the eighth, though Detroit had loaded the bases with two outs while down 4-1. Barnes fanned Ronny Rodriguez on three pitches to escape the jam.

The Red Sox sent 12 men to the plate and scored seven runs in the bottom of the eighth to make it a blowout. Three came home on bases-loaded walks.

Astros 7, Twins 1

Justin Verlander gave up four hits and a run over eight innings to pick up his fourth win, and Michael Brantley, Carlos Correa and Josh Reddick each homered to lead Houston to victory over visiting Minnesota.

It was the seventh straight victory for Verlander (4-0) dating back to last season. He struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter while improving to 20-9 all-time against the Twins and becoming the first Houston starter to pitch past the seventh inning this season.

Brantley, Reddick and Robinson Chirinos each had two hits for Houston, which won the series 2-1. Jorge Polanco homered for Minnesota. Kohl Stewart (0-1), recalled from Triple-A Rochester earlier in the day, took the loss.

Phillies 6, Mets 0

Vince Velasquez combined with four relievers on a six-hit shutout for visiting Philadelphia, which blew open a close game by scoring three times in the eighth inning to beat New York.

The Phillies, who were outscored 14-1 in losing the first two games of the three-game series, won for just the second time in the last seven games.

Velasquez (1-0) danced around trouble all night and had just one 1-2-3 inning, but he stranded seven baserunners in his five innings, including five in scoring position. The right-hander allowed three hits and three walks while striking out six.

Padres 1, Mariners 0

Rookie right-hander Chris Paddack allowed one hit over seven shutout innings and Ian Kinsler homered on the first pitch he saw from Felix Hernandez as San Diego defeated visiting Seattle.

Paddack and relievers Trey Wingenter and Kirby Yates combined on a two-hit shutout and retired 24 of the last 25 Mariners they faced — with the only baserunner during the stretch erased on a game-ending double play turned by rookie shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.

Paddack (1-1) picked up his first major league win in a pitching duel with Mariners veteran Hernandez (1-2). The 6-foot-5, 23-year-old Paddack retired the last 19 Mariners he faced after working out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the first.

Cardinals 5, Brewers 2

Marcell Ozuna and Yadier Molina homered in a four-run fourth inning, and St. Louis completed a three-game sweep of visiting Milwaukee as the Cardinals won their fifth straight overall.

Ozuna, Paul Goldschmidt, Lane Thomas and Paul DeJong had two hits each for St. Louis. Brewers first baseman Eric Thames homered for the Brewers in the 10th meeting between these teams already this season. St. Louis right-hander Adam Wainwright (2-2) went six innings, allowing one run and four hits with three strikeouts and a walk.

Brewers starter Jhoulys Chacin (2-3) did not allow a hit through the first three innings, but he gave up back-to-back singles to Goldschmidt and DeJong to open the fourth before Ozuna lined a three-run homer over the fence in left for a 3-1 lead.

Royals 10, Rays 2

Kansas City snapped a five-game overall losing streak — and a 10-game skid against Tampa Bay — with a victory in St. Petersburg, Fla. It was the first time this season the Royals have scored 10 runs.

Adalberto Mondesi homered and had four RBIs for the Royals, who went 6-13 in a 19-day stretch without a day off. Kansas City is off Thursday.

Jakob Junis (2-2) pitched five solid innings, allowing one run on four hits with six strikeouts and two walks. But he had to leave after taking a line drive off his pitching hand to end the fifth, suffering a contusion. Blake Snell (2-2) took the loss for Tampa Bay in his first start after coming off the 10-day injured list due to a broken toe on his right foot.

Athletics 6, Rangers 5

Chad Pinder dumped a game-winning single into shallow right-center field that scored Stephen Piscotty with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, as host Oakland took advantage of a Texas defensive miscue to complete a three-game sweep.

In a game that featured five home runs — including a three-run shot by the A’s Marcus Semien in the second inning and a pair of solo shots by the Rangers’ Nomar Mazara — Oakland’s winning rally was the product of a pair of singles sandwiching a stolen base, which occurred when Texas forgot to cover second base on Piscotty’s steal attempt.

Pinder then hit the next pitch by the Rangers’ fourth pitcher, Chris Martin (0-2), for the walk-off single. A’s closer Blake Treinen (1-1), who escaped a two-on, one-out situation in the top of the ninth by inducing a double-play grounder, got the win.

Cubs 7, Dodgers 6

Javier Baez and Jason Heyward each hit three-run home runs in a six-run sixth inning, and Anthony Rizzo also doubled and drove in a run for Chicago, which won for the seventh time in eight games.

Cody Bellinger and Alex Verdugo homered for Los Angeles. The Dodgers have dropped three of four.

Cubs right-hander Brad Brach (2-0) earned the win in relief, retiring the only two batters he faced to close out the sixth inning. He replaced Cole Hamels, who gave up three runs on three hits with six walks and seven strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Dodgers left-hander Scott Alexander (1-1) drew the loss after giving up three runs in one-third of an inning.

Rockies 9, Nationals 5

Charlie Blackmon homered, Raimel Tapia had two doubles and three RBIs, and Colorado beat Washington in Denver as Trevor Story doubled and tripled to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, which ties his career high.

David Dahl had three hits, and Nolan Arenado drove in three runs for the Rockies. German Marquez (3-1) allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out seven over seven innings. He bounced back after pitching with an infected tooth in his previous start. Marquez had the tooth pulled.

Wade Davis got the final out for his third save. Juan Soto homered and Matt Adams had three hits for the Nationals. Jake Noll’s first career hit was an RBI double in the second inning that gave the Nationals a 1-0 lead.

Giants 4, Blue Jays 0

Left-hander Drew Pomeranz pitched six innings, Pablo Sandoval hit a home run and visiting San Francisco defeated Toronto to complete a quick two-game sweep.

Pomeranz (1-2) gave up two hits and two walks while striking out five as the Giants swept the two-game series. Two Giants relievers retired the final nine Toronto batters of the game. Toronto starter Clay Buchholz (0-1) gave up six hits and four runs in five-plus innings, striking out two and not walking a batter.

After the game, Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told reporters that Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the top-ranked prospect in baseball, will be called up from Triple-A Buffalo to make his major league debut Friday at home against Oakland.

Braves 3, Reds 1

Mike Soroka enhanced his case to remain in the Atlanta rotation by posting his second straight strong effort to help the visiting Braves to a win over Cincinnati.

Soroka (1-1) pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed only one run on five hits — all singles and two of those infield hits — with seven strikeouts in his first career start against the Reds. The effort helped Atlanta even the three-game series, which concludes on Thursday.

Soroka, the team’s first-round draft choice in 2015, has now worked 10 2/3 innings and allowed two runs in his two starts since being recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.

Diamondbacks 11, Pirates 2

Ketel Marte drove in four runs with two homers as visiting Arizona beat Pittsburgh for the third straight night.

Nick Ahmed also homered, Eduardo Escobar was 3-for-4 with a triple and a double, David Peralta was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and Christian Walker was 2-for-5 with an RBI for Arizona, which has won nine in a row at PNC Park. The Diamondbacks can sweep the four-game series with a win Thursday.

Arizona starter Merrill Kelly (2-2) went seven innings, giving up two runs and six hits, with five strikeouts and two walks. Josh Bell and Jung Ho Kang homered for Pittsburgh, which has lost a season-worst four straight. Jordan Lyles (2-1) took the loss.

Orioles 4, White Sox 3

John Means pitched five strong innings, and the offense produced a series of timely hits, lifting host Baltimore to victory against Chicago.

Baltimore earned a win in the rubber game of the three-game series thanks in part to Means’ solid return to the rotation, which was prompted by the club’s doubleheader over the weekend. The left-hander, who has operated as a swingman in the early season, improved to 3-2 by showing effectiveness with his changeup, scattering one run and four hits with one walk and six strikeouts.

Mychal Givens allowed a run in the ninth but recovered to leave the potential tying run at third base and close out a two-inning save, his first of the season. Givens struck out James McCann and retired Yoan Moncada on a groundout to second base to end the game.

Indians 6, Marlins 2

Jose Ramirez homered and drove in four runs as host Cleveland snapped a three-game losing skid by beating Miami as Jake Bauers and Francisco Lindor each had an RBI single before Ramirez ripped a two-run double to cap a four-run eighth inning.

After Miami’s Martin Prado belted a solo homer to forge a tie at 2 with two outs in the eighth inning, Cleveland went to work against reliever Adam Conley (0-3) in the bottom of the frame.

Carlos Gonzalez worked a lead-off walk and advanced to second on Jason Kipnis’ single to center field. Bauers followed two batters later by slapping a low fastball through the shift and into left field to plate Gonzalez to give the Indians a 3-2 lead.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Former Vice President Joe Biden hours ahead of launching his presidential campaign urged top donors and supporters to contribute heavily in the first 24 hours and first week following his announcement.

Biden said world leaders had called him, “almost begging me to do this, to save our country, save the world,” according to three sources who spoke with Politico.

“The money’s important. We’re going to be judged by what we can do in the first 24 hours, the first week,” Biden said Wednesday during a conference call with top donors and supporters.

“People think Iowa and New Hampshire are the first test,” Biden said. “It’s not. The first 24 hours. That’s the first test. Those [early states] are way down the road. We’ve got to get through this first.”

Per The Washington Post, Biden, 76, is set to announce his run for president Thursday in a video. He is expected to travel to Pittsburgh, Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina over the next week for campaign events.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., topped Democrats in the fundraising race in the first quarter, bringing in $18.2 million, followed by Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. (nearly $12 million), former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke ($9.4 million) and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (nearly $7 million).

Source: NewsMax America

Nearly 100,000 undocumented students graduate from U.S. high schools every year without access to DACA protections, resulting in limited job opportunities and access to higher education, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the Migration Policy Institute.

MPI, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C., pulled from census data for its report.

Congress has yet to act on bills that would offer a pathway to legal status for those graduates despite efforts by lawmakers dating back to 2001.

And under President Donald Trump, no new applications are being accepted for DACA, which allows college and work opportunities for children without fear of deportation.

Former President Barack Obama launched the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2012, and as of January, almost 700,000 young immigrants had benefited from it.

“Those two combined factors really opened up opportunities for them to work in more interesting and well-paid, stable jobs and they didn’t have to be watching over their shoulders,” said Jeanne Batalova, who co-authored the Migration Policy Institute report. “It also gave confidence to employers that these are workers that they could confidently hire and invest in because their status is solid.”

In 2017, the Trump administration tried to end DACA but was stopped by federal courts. Current recipients can renew their applications every two years.

Of the 98,000 high school graduates, 44% of them reside in California and Texas. The number of graduates rose from 65,000 in 2003.

Source: NewsMax America

The downtown skyline of Miami, Florida
FILE PHOTO – The downtown skyline of Miami, Florida November 5, 2015. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

April 24, 2019

(Reuters) – Formula One and local organizers have given up on plans to hold a race in downtown Miami because of the disruption for businesses and residents, the Miami Herald reported on Wednesday.

It said they were now looking into an alternative race location on land next to the Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins NFL team, to the north of the Florida city.

“We want to do something great for Miami,” the paper quoted Tom Garfinkel, vice chairman and CEO of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium, as saying.

“Unfortunately when we finally received the detailed report of what it would take to build out a street circuit each year, the multiple weeks of traffic and construction disruption to the port, Bayfront Park and the residents and businesses on Biscayne Boulevard would have been significant.”

Formula One had hoped to add the street race to the calendar for this year but that was pushed back last July until at least 2020 as a result of emerging local opposition to the proposed harborside layout.

The sport’s owners Liberty Media say they want to make sure Miami, which has been offered a 10-year contract, has long-term viability with maximum local support.

The race would be a second grand prix in the United States after the one in Austin, Texas.

Miami Dolphins franchise owner Stephen Ross is supporting the project, with a company owned by the U.S. entrepreneur lined up as the potential promoter.

“A lot would have to happen for us to be able to do it,” said Garfinkel of the new proposal.

“But we have over 250 acres of land so adding an F1 race to where Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami Open sit means we can create a world-class racing circuit that is unencumbered by existing infrastructure.”

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Greg Stutchbury)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Former Vice President Biden speaks to reporters after speaking at electrical workers’ conference in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Former Vice President Joe Biden who is mulling a 2020 presidential candidacy, speaks to the media after speaking at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ (IBEW) construction and maintenance conference in Washington, U.S., April 5, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

April 24, 2019

By Chris Kahn

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former Vice President Joe Biden, expected to declare his run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, leads all other candidates in the race and draws his strongest levels of support from minorities and older adults, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll.

The April 17-23 poll released on Wednesday focused on the vote preferences of 2,237 Democrats and independents: the two groups that may select the Democratic nominee in most of the statewide contests ahead of the 2020 general election.

(Graphic: Who is running in 2020 – https://graphics.reuters.com/USA-ELECTION/010091471JC/index.html)

According to the poll, 24 percent would vote for Biden over 19 other declared and potential candidates.

Another 15 percent said they would support U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who ran a competitive campaign for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

No other candidate received more than 7 percent of public support, and 21 percent said they “don’t know” which candidate they would back in a primary.

The poll measures how potential voters feel right now. Many may change their minds as they become better acquainted with the candidates. It has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 2 percentage points for the combined group of Democrats and independents.

The statewide nominating contests will kick off in early February next year, led by Iowa.

Biden, 76, who has sought the Democratic presidential nomination twice before, remains widely popular since he left the White House in 2016 after two terms as vice president. The former longtime U.S. senator will announce he is seeking the Democratic nomination https://reut.rs/2IAxNys on Thursday, a source familiar with the plans said on Tuesday.

Sixty-three percent of all Americans say they have a “favorable” impression of Biden, including 88 percent of Democrats, 59 percent of independents and 39 percent of Republicans.

In comparison, 58 percent of Americans said they have a favorable view of Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, whose upstart campaign has out-raised some of his more established rivals this year.

All three appear to have stronger bipartisan appeal than Republican President Donald Trump. According to the poll, 44 percent of all adults said they have a generally favorable view of Trump.

Biden receives his strongest levels of support from older adults and minorities.

Thirty-two percent of adults who are 55 years old and older said they would vote for Biden over other candidates. And 30 percent of nonwhite adults, including about 4 in 10 African-Americans, said they would back Biden for the nomination.

The poll shows that at this early stage of the presidential campaign, Americans say they will vote for candidates who have been in the national spotlight for a long time.

Their preferences may change once they get to know other candidates for the Democratic nomination.

More than 80 percent of Democrats said they were at least “somewhat familiar” with Biden and Sanders.

Sixty-seven percent of Democrats were familiar with Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and about half said they were familiar with former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas or U.S. Senators Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

The rest of the field appears to be largely unknown by a majority of Democrats.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online in English throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 4,018 adults in all, including 1,449 Democrats, 1,437 Republicans and 788 independents.

(To see the poll question and answers, please see: https://tmsnrt.rs/2W7qykY.)

(Reporting by Chris Kahn; Editing by Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis)

Source: OANN


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