Apr 13, 2019; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes former running back Ezekiel Elliott (right) during the first half of the Spring Game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
April 24, 2019
The Dallas Cowboys exercised the fifth-year option on running back Ezekiel Elliott’s contract, keeping him in place through the 2020 season.
Elliott is set to make $3.85 million in 2019. He figures to receive around $10 million in the option season though the Cowboys have stated they intend to negotiate a rich extension with him.
Elliott led the NFL with 1,434 rushing yards last season and also had a career-high 77 receptions for 567 yards.
Elliott has rushed for 4,048 yards and 28 touchdowns in 40 games over three seasons.
–The San Francisco 49ers exercised the fifth-year contract option on Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.
Buckner is in line to receive around $12 million in 2020. The two sides have been working on a long-term contract extension that could get hammered out prior to the 2019 campaign.
Buckner posted a career-best 12 sacks last season while accumulating 67 tackles. He has 201 stops, 21 sacks and three fumble recoveries in 47 NFL games.
–The Atlanta Falcons announced via Twitter that they picked up the fifth-year option of safety Keanu Neal.
Neal suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 2018 season opener. The 2017 Pro Bowl selection has 220 tackles, eight forced fumbles and one interception in 31 games.
–The New Orleans Saints have exercised the fifth-year option on defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins, according to multiple reports.
Rankins is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in January’s playoff game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He had a career-best eight sacks last season and has 14 sacks and 86 tackles in 41 NFL games.
–The Cincinnati Bengals exercised the fifth-year option on cornerback William Jackson.
Jackson had 41 tackles last season. He has 66 tackles and one interception in 31 career games.
–Field Level Media
FILE PHOTO: The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
April 24, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Twitter was ablaze on Wednesday with humorous commentary and speculation over why Tesla Inc’s first-quarter earnings release was so late. As of 5:05 p.m. ET (2105 GMT), one hour after the market close, the results still had not been released.
Here is a sampling of comments on Twitter:
“Tesla forgot to get Deepak’s password when he left and now they can’t release the earnings. 40 minute late and counting…” – @FredericLambert, referring to former Chief Financial Officer Deepak Ahuja
“TSLA has sent one of the new flawless robotaxis to deliver the earnings report, apparently.” – @NickGiva
“Maybe Tesla switched to full self accounting and it works as well as their full self driving.” – @bgrahamdisciple
“TSLA forgot to pay their WebEx Conference call bill.” – @mackandcompany
“I’m imagining Elon in a huge fight with the board right now who’s trying to convince him that he has to release the #s.” – “@EternityStake
(Reporting by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump depart the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
April 24, 2019
By Susan Heavey
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump vowed on Wednesday to fight all the way to the Supreme Court against any effort by congressional Democrats to impeach him, even though the U.S. Constitution gives Congress complete authority over the impeachment process.
Trump’s threat, made in a morning tweet, came as the White House launched a fierce legal battle to fight subpoenas from Democrats in the House of Representatives for documents and testimony from his administration.
Democrats remain divided on whether to proceed with Trump’s impeachment after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia inquiry. Trump defiantly proclaimed on Twitter that the investigation “didn’t lay a glove on me.”
“If the partisan Dems ever tried to Impeach, I would first head to the U.S. Supreme Court,” the Republican president, who is seeking re-election next year, said without offering details about what legal action he envisioned.
The Constitution gives the sole power of impeachment and removing a president from office to the House and the Senate, not the judiciary, as part of the founding document’s separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have remained cautious over launching impeachment proceedings against Trump ahead of the 2020 election, although they have left the door open to such action. Others in the party’s more liberal wing have demanded impeachment proceedings.
Mueller’s findings, released in a redacted report last week, detailed about a dozen episodes of potential obstruction of justice by Trump in trying to impede the inquiry but stopped short of concluding that he had committed a crime.
The report said Congress could address whether the president violated the law. Mueller separately found insufficient evidence that Trump’s campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia in the 2016 presidential race.
House Democrats have stepped up their oversight of the Trump administration since taking control of the chamber in January, from Trump’s tax returns and White House security clearances to the investigation into Russian interference in U.S. politics.
Trump has ordered officials not to comply with subpoenas, and has filed a lawsuit to prevent material from being turned over to lawmakers.
“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.
Under the Constitution, Congress is a co-equal branch of government alongside the executive branch and the judiciary.
The Constitution empowers Congress to remove a president from office for “treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” The House is given the power to impeach a president – bring formal charges – and the Senate then convenes a trial, with the senators as jurors, with a two-thirds vote needed to convict a president and remove him from office.
The Constitution gives no role to the Supreme Court in impeachment, though it does assign the chief justice the task of presiding over the Senate trial. Conservative John Roberts currently serves as chief justice.
That would not preclude Trump from proceeding with litigation to tie up the issue in the courts, despite Supreme Court precedent upholding congressional impeachment power. In 1993, the nation’s top court ruled 9-0 in a case involving an impeached U.S. judge that the judiciary has no role in the impeachment process.
Lawrence Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard who has been critical of Trump, said the U.S. founding fathers had considered but ultimately scrapped the idea of allowing the Supreme Court to have any role in the impeachment process.
“Not even a SCOTUS filled with Trump appointees would get in the way of the House or Senate,” Tribe said in a series of tweets on Wednesday.
Some congressional Republicans have urged the country to move forward after the Mueller report, while a few, including Senator Mitt Romney, have condemned Trump’s actions. Some conservatives outside of Congress have urged congressional action in the wake of Mueller’s report.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey, Steve Holland, Roberta Rampton and Makini Brice, Writing by John Whitesides, Editing by Andrea Ricci and Alistair Bell)
FILE PHOTO: A man looks on in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China February 13, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer
April 24, 2019
By Andrew Galbraith
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Equity markets in Asia rose on Wednesday morning after upbeat earnings helped the Nasdaq and S&P 500 indexes reach record closing highs on Wall Street overnight, while oil retreated from its near six-month highs.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.1 percent in early trade in Asia. The gains followed a strong performance on Wall Street, driven by robust results from Coca-Cola, Twitter, United Technologies and Lockheed Martin.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.52 percent to 26,647.97, the S&P 500 gained 0.91 percent to 2,934.31 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.35 percent to 8,123.25.
On Wednesday morning, S&P 500 e-mini stock futures were up 0.03 percent at 2,938.75, just short of a record high of 2,944.75 on October 3.
Australian shares gained 0.6 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei stock index was 0.3 percent higher. Seoul’s Kospi was up 0.1 percent.
Analyst said that alongside better-than-feared corporate earnings, a more supportive policy environment is helping to boost risk appetites.
“The Fed has been joined in its dovish tilt by major central banks across the globe … the tilt globally reflects genuine concern not to allow individual countries and the globe to tip into recession. That risk has receded,” Greg McKenna, strategist at McKenna Macro in Australia, said in a note to clients.
Equity market gains had been bolstered on Tuesday by rising energy shares after Brent crude, the global benchmark, hit its highest level since Nov. 1.
Oil prices had surged after the United States ended six months of waivers that allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue importing limited volumes of Iranian oil.
Gulf OPEC members said that rather than offset any shortfall resulting from the U.S. decision on waivers, they would raise output only if there was demand.
But early on Wednesday, Brent had given up some gains, trading down 0.54 percent at $74.11 per barrel. U.S. crude dipped 0.54 to $65.94 a barrel.
U.S. Treasury yields ticked lower. Benchmark 10-year Treasury notes yielded 2.5686 percent compared with a U.S. close of 2.57 percent on Tuesday, while the two-year yield, slipped to 2.3516 percent, compared with a U.S. close of 2.364 percent.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, eased 0.03 percent to 97.606. The dollar was down 0.04 percent against the yen to 111.82.
The euro edged 0.08 percent lower to buy $1.1216.
Spot gold fell about 0.1 percent to $1,271.07 per ounce.
(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Richard Borsuk)
FILE PHOTO: A man walks in front of a banner reading, “Yes to the constitutional amendments, for a better future”, with a photo of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi before the approaching referendum on constitutional amendments in Cairo, Egypt April 16, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo
April 23, 2019
CAIRO (Reuters) – Nearly 90 percent of Egyptian voters have approved in a referendum constitutional changes, the election commission said on Tuesday, in a move that could pave the way for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to stay in power until 2030.
Voter turnout during the three-day referendum was 44.33 percent and 88.83 percent of those taking part approved the amendments while 11.17 percent voted no, the commission said.
“These (changes) are effective from now as your constitution,” commission chairman Lasheen Ibrahim said after he announced the result on state TV, adding that more than 23.4 million voters had endorsed the changes in the referendum.
The amendments will extend Sisi’s current term to six years from four and allow him to run again for a third six-year term in 2024 and to appoint one or more vice president.
They will also grant the president control over appointing head judges and the public prosecutor from a pool of candidates, and give Egypt’s powerful military the role of protecting “the constitution and democracy”.
Michele Dunne, senior fellow and director of the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, questioned the credibility of the turnout figure announced.
“Rather than being a reflection of actual data, the announced 44 percent turnout is more likely an attempt to portray this as the most legitimate constitutional referendum, as it has the highest turnout ever reported,” she said.
Sisi expressed his “appreciation and pride” on Twitter to the Egyptian people who he said had “dazzled the world with their awareness of the challenges” facing Egypt by participating in the referendum.
Sisi’s supporters say he has stabilised Egypt and needs more time to reform and develop the economy.
Critics fear the constitutional changes will shrink any remaining space for political competition and debate, paving the way for a long period of one-man rule.
(Reporting by Lena Masri and Nayera Abdallah, writing by Lena Masri and Sami Aboudi; Editing by Gareth Jones)
FILE PHOTO: Facebook, Google and Twitter logos are seen in this combination photo from Reuters files. REUTERS//File Photo
April 23, 2019
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Google, Facebook and Twitter have to do more to tackle fake news ahead of key European Parliament elections next month, the European Commission said on Tuesday, as its latest report showed a lack of progress in some areas.
The monthly reports follow a pledge made by the tech giants and advertising trade bodies in October last year to combat the spread of fake news and avoid more heavy-handed regulations.
The EU has warned of foreign interference during campaigning for the European Parliament elections and national elections in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Poland, Portugal and Ukraine in recent and coming months.
“Further technical improvements as well as sharing of methodology and data sets for fake accounts are necessary to allow third-party experts, fact-checkers and researchers to carry out independent evaluation,” the EU executive said.
The Commission said Google had made insufficient progress in defining issue-based advertising. The report covered actions taken by the companies in March.
It said Facebook, which took down eight coordinated inauthentic behavior networks originating in North Macedonia, Kosovo and Russia, failed to disclose whether these affected EU users.
Twitter also fell short because it did not provide details on its measures against spam and fake accounts and also did not report on any action to improve the scrutiny of ad placements.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)