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U.S. allies show support for strikes on Syria

( ) – U.S. allies expressed support on Friday for Washington’s missile strikes on Syria, calling them a proportionate response to Syrian forces’ suspected use of chemical weapons.

The strikes were denounced as illegal by Syria and its allies Russia and Iran. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on the world “to reject such policies, which bring only destruction and danger to the region and the globe”. (Graphic locator map on attack – tmsnrt.rs/2nm68H0)

Iraq criticized “hasty interventions” in an apparent comment on the U.S. action.

But a wide range of U.S. allies from Asia, Europe and the Middle East expressed support, if sometimes cautiously, in similar terms.

“The U.K. government fully supports the U.S. action, which we believe was an appropriate response to the barbaric chemical weapons attack launched by the Syrian regime and is intended to deter further attacks,” a British government spokesman said.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters: “Many innocent people became victims from the chemical attacks.

“Japan supports the U.S. government’s determination to prevent the spread and use of chemical weapons,” he said.

Turkey viewed the strikes positively and the international community should sustain its stance against the “barbarity” of the Syrian government, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said.

In an interview with Turkish broadcaster Fox TV, Kurtulmus said Assad’s government must be punished in the international arena and the peace process in Syria needed to be accelerated.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Russia and Iran needed to understand that supporting Assad made no sense and that the escalation of the U.S. military role in Syria was a “warning” to “a criminal regime”.

“Use of chemical weapons is appalling and should be punished because it is a war crime,” Ayrault told and France Info radio.

上海夜生活论坛French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued statements saying Assad was solely to blame for the air strikes.

The Dutch government said: “The United States has given a clear signal that the use of poison gas crosses a line.” It also labeled the strikes a “proportionate” response.

“U.S. strikes show needed resolve against barbaric chemical attacks. EU will work with the US to end brutality in Syria,” the chairman of the council of EU leaders, Donald Tusk, said on Twitter.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the strikes sent “a vitally important message” that the world would not tolerate the use of chemical weapons.

“The retribution has been proportionate and it has been swift,” he told reporters in Sydney. “We support the United States in that swift action.”

Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which back rebels fighting Assad, said they supported the U.S. strikes and held only the Syrian government responsible for the attacks.

Other Gulf countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait, also expressed support for the attacks.

Some countries expressed reservations about the U.S. decision to launch strikes without authorization from the U.N. Security Council.

Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria. “At the same time, Indonesia is concerned with unilateral actions by any parties, including the use of Tomahawk missiles, in responding to the chemical weapon attack tragedy in Syria,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Armanatha Nasir said in a text message.

“Military actions, undertaken without prior authorization of the U.N. Security Council, are not in line with international legal principles in the peaceful settlement of disputes, as stipulated in the U.N. Charter.”

Sterling rises off five-month low vs euro after April pay data

LONDON ( ) – Sterling pulled away from five-month lows versus the euro on Tuesday after British wages in the three months to April rose faster than expected.

The pound has been on the backfoot in recent weeks as investors sit on the sidelines while the contest to succeed Theresa May as leader of the Conservative party and country heats up.

Worse than expected data on Monday showing the British economy shrank 0.4% in April added to the pound’s worries.

But sterling found relief after wage growth in the three months to April came in at 3.1%, exceeding a forecast by a poll of economists for 3%. Employment growth slowed but the jobless rate held at its lowest since 1975, the official figures showed.

Wage growth is outstripping inflation and the Bank of England has said it will need to raise interest rates – probably faster than the market expects – to keep inflation close to its 2% target.

The pound recovered from five-month lows against the euro of 89.325 pence hit earlier in the session and rose 0.3% to 88.93 pence.

Versus the dollar the British currency rose 0.3% to $1.2728 from around $1.2694 before the data.

British Gilt yields rose around a basis point across the curve after the labour market data, moving away from 2-1/2 year lows hit last week. The exporter-heavy FTSE 100 trimmed gains after sterling rallied.

“The British labour market remains rather resilient and provides little cause for concern, as the unemployment rate continues to be unchanged at a very low level,” said Marc-André Fongern, a strategist at MAF Global Forex in Frankfurt.

“Given that average earnings have improved steadily, we expect a slightly optimistic BoE in the near future.”

Investors have largely ignored economic data releases in Britain recently, believing the BoE is unlikely to act until Britain decides how, when and even if it will leave the European Union. The United Kingdom 上海夜生活论坛is scheduled to exit the bloc on Oct. 31.

David Cheetham, an analyst at online broker XTB, said the UK economy looked to be far from thriving but given the “dual headwinds of ongoing political uncertainty and a slowing global economy”, current levels of activity were about as good as could be expected.

Analysts at Danske Bank said softer UK data in recent weeks, including Monday’s GDP numbers, suggested “the economy is likely to see a minor deterioration in fundamentals, which is set to weigh on GBP”.

Investors are concerned the next British prime minister could put the country on course for a no-deal Brexit after May failed to get her withdrawal agreement through parliament. Eurosceptic Boris Johnson is the bookmakers’ favourite to win the contest.

Thousands at rallies demand Trump release tax returns

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON ( ) – Tens of thousands of people marched through midtown Manhattan and dozens of U.S. cities on Saturday to demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns and t上海夜生活o dispute his claim that the public does not care about the issue.

Organizers of “Tax March” in more than 150 cities across the country and beyond wanted to call attention to Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax history, as his White House predecessors have done for more than 40 years.

The marches coincide with the traditional April 15 deadline for U.S. federal tax returns, though the filing date was pushed backed two days this year.

There were no reports of violence or arrests, in contrast to a clash between Trump supporters and opponents that erupted at a rally in Berkeley, California, where nine people were arrested.

Two of the biggest tax marches took place in New York and Los Angeles, with each drawing about 5,000 people, according to estimates by reporters. No official estimates were immediately available.

In Manhattan, a good-natured crowd rallied at Bryant Park before marching up Sixth Avenue to Central Park.

Among the marchers was an oversized inflatable rooster, sporting an angry expression and a sweeping metallic orange hairdo meant to resemble Trump’s signature style.

“Thanks to Trump, I think that releasing your taxes when you run for president now has to be a law,” said New Yorker Marni Halasa, 51, who arrived in a tutu and leggings made of fake dollar bills and holding a sign that read “Show Me The Money!”

In Washington, more than 1,500 protesters gathered on the front lawn of the U.S. Capitol, where members of Congress addressed the crowd before it marched to the Lincoln Memorial.

“We are taking the gloves off to say knock off the secrecy Mr. President,” said Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, which would play a leading role in tax reform measures being considered in Congress.

He described Trump’s refusal to release his taxes as being “like a teenager trying to hide a lousy report card.”

TAX REFORM

Among the marchers was Melinda Colwell, 34, a stay-at-home-mother from Ledyard, Connecticut. She said she was concerned that conflicts of interest in Trump’s tax returns might foreshadow selfish interests in his tax reform policies.

“I think it’s important to know how that could influence his decisions and how he could benefit from the decisions being made,” she said.

As a candidate and as president, Trump has refused to release his tax returns, citing an ongoing audit by the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS has said that Trump can release his tax returns even while under audit.

The White House could not be reached immediately for comment on the marches.

Events were also planned in cities in Europe, Japan and New Zealand.

The marches were launched by a single tweet, organizers said. A day after the massive Jan. 21 women’s march in Washington and other cities, comedy writer Frank Lesser tapped out on Twitter, “Trump claims no one cares about his taxes. The next mass protest should be on Tax Day to prove him wrong.” It has been retweeted more than 21,000 times.

In Los Angeles, television director Mike Stutz turned up at the march dressed in costume as a Russian general and said he was called General Bullshitski. He carried a sign that read: “What Tax Returns? Putin paid cash. Trust your oligarchs,” referring to allegations of contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia, led by President Vladimir Putin.

Joe Dinkin, spokesman for the Working Families Party, one of the groups organizing the marches, said investigations into the Trump campaign’s alleged connections to Russia underscore the need to disclose his returns.

“Without seeing his taxes, we’ll never really know who he’s working for,” said Dinkin, who expects the marches to draw at least 100,000 protesters.

There have been some glimpses into Trump’s tax history. Last month, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow reported on two pages of Trump’s 2005 return that were obtained by investigative reporter David Cay Johnston and released by DCReport.org. They showed Trump paid $38 million in taxes on more than $150 million in income.

And in October, The New York Times reported that Trump had declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 federal tax return, citing three pages of documents from the return.

Obama officials work against time to wrap banking rules

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. officials are striving to put finishing touches on a slew of banking rules before President Barack Obama leaves office and hands regulatory power to Donald Trump who has vowed to rewrite the existing financial rule book.

President-elect Trump will take over on Jan. 20 and his fellow Republicans will have control of Congress and government agencies, allowing the new administration to block or roll back many of the last-minute changes.

But by completing far-advanced work on some banking standards in the next 10 weeks, Obama officials would raising the chances that some elements of the regulatory framework will survive.

Some rules are meant to flesh out the Dodd Frank Act of 2010 designed to prevent the next global financial crisis. Trump campaigned on a pledge to scrap the law but now he says only some provisions must go to lighten the regulatory burden.

The Federal Reserve is working on rules to govern matters such as executive pay, market stability and what investments Wall Street may hold.

Last month, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White said her agency would “in the near term” finish a rule on one thorny issue: how mutual funds manage derivatives.

The SEC and ban上海夜网k regulators have also for years struggled to finalize a rule that would tie more banker pay to the long-term health of their firms rather than short-term performance of Wall Street firms.

With only about 40 working days until the handover, it is not clear which, if any, of those standards will get across the finishing line.

“Just look at the calendar,” said Tom Quaadman of the Chamber of Commerce. “These are intricate rules and there’s not much time.”

The executive pay rule exemplifies the challenge.

Six federal agencies have a say on the compensation standard meant as part of Dodd Frank and a final draft has not yet been offered, industry officials told .

It would be nearly impossible to circulate a final rule and get the agencies to endorse it while still satisfying standards for clearing such paperwork, several lobbyists who have opposed the rule said.

Banking regulators declined to comment on when the compensation rule might be completed.

NO TIME TO CHAT

Simple logistics also pose a challenge.

New federal rules come into force once they have been published in the Federal Register and employees there typically need several days to typeset a rule.

That means Obama officials need to lodge paperwork with the Federal Register at the beginning of the inauguration week at the latest.

Some sixteen copy editors are due to forego leave and be on hand in the coming weeks to process final rules expected from dozens of agencies, said an official familiar with the operation, but not authorized to speak to the media.

“These days, people do not spend a lot of time hanging around the coffee maker,” he said.

Some freshly-minted rules also face the prospect of getting erased under a 1996 law known as the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to block a regulation within 60 working days of being drafted.

One such rule allows students who were defrauded by for-profit colleges to seek loan forgiveness. The Department of Education finalized it days before the Nov. 8 election, meaning Republicans who have raised objections to it will have a chance to block it.

President George W. Bush was the first to trigger the Review Act when he block labor regulations that his predecessor Bill Clinton had enacted at the end of his term.

EU to remove UK, Dutch overseas territories from tax haven blacklist

BRUSSELS ( ) – European Union finance ministers are set to remove this week the British overseas te上海夜网rritory of Bermuda, the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba and Barbados from the bloc’s blacklist of tax havens, an EU official said on Monday.

The three islands were added to the list in March because the EU found shortfalls in their tax rules that could favor tax evasion in other states.

The decision, which is due to be formalized by EU finance ministers in a meeting on Friday, will remove from the list the only EU territories that are currently on it.

EU countries are not even screened as they are deemed compliant, although the EU Parliament has accused seven of them of acting as tax havens. They are Luxembourg, Cyprus, Ireland, Malta, Hungary, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Listing decisions are made by the 28 EU governments. Each one of them has the power to veto any decision on the matter.

Jurisdictions are removed from the blacklist when they address their main shortfalls and commit to further reforms to increase tax transparency.

With this week’s removal of the three islands, the blacklist will shrink to twelve jurisdictions. It will still include the United Arab Emirates, Oman and the three U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Other jurisdictions on the list are Belize, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Dominica, Samoa and Trinidad and Tobago.

Blacklisted states face reputational damage and stricter controls on transactions with the EU.

The EU set up the blacklist in December 2017 after revelations of widespread tax avoidance schemes used by corporations and wealthy individuals to lower their tax bills.

The list initially comprised 17 jurisdictions, but it is subject to regular reviews. Countries with legal shortfalls are added if they do not amend their rules by set deadlines.

CEO of Buffett’s Dairy Queen tries to find new tastes, keep franchisees happy

OMAHA, Neb. ( ) – The chief executive of International Dairy Queen Inc is counting on the 79-year-old brand, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, to adapt to changing consumer tastes rather than latch onto the latest fad, while ensuring that rising labor and food costs don’t squelch its franchisees.

Troy Bader, who became chief executive in January 2018, said his company wants to ensure that devotees keep ordering their Blizzards and chicken strips, without turning off customers seeking newer products or with specific dietary needs.

“About 5 percent of disposable income is spent on away-from-home dining occasions,” Bader, 54, said in an interview during Berkshire’s recent annual shareholder weekend. “Transactions in the restaurant industry have been flat, so even if wages are going up, what I have for disposable, discretionary spending is not. That’s why you’re seeing so much competition.”

Berkshire, whose 88-year-old chief executive favors the Dairy Queen vanilla orange bar, paid $590 million for the Bloomington, Minnesota-based company in 1998.

Dairy Queen’s more than 7,000 locations, including 2,000 in the United States and Canada, recorded more than $4.5 billion of sales in 2018. Bader said 2019 has been “good so far” despite bad U.S. and Canadian weather.

“Bomb cyclones and polar vortexes don’t bode well … when 50 percent of your sales are ice cream,” he said. Bader named McDonald’s Corp and Chick-Fil-A as key rivals.

Labor is the fastest-rising cost for franchisees, especially when rising minimum wages, an issue on which Bader said Dairy Queen has no position, squeeze margins as customers favor such menu items as the $5 Buck Lunch. Also rising is the cost of branded candies that Dairy Queen adds to ice cream.

Bader said adapti上海夜网ng to changing consumer habits is not a new idea.

“It’s actually evolutionary, it’s not revolutionary,” he said. “When we look at trends, you have to decide which you’re going to lead in, which you’re going to follow, and which you may not participate in at all because they may not be right for or important for your brand.”

He said Dairy Queen, despite its name, is exploring desserts for people who avoid dairy, but won’t dive into plant-based food, despite the frenzy last week when Beyond Meat Inc went public and its stock price soared.

“If appropriate for our brand, we will move in later,” he said. “Right now, the biggest opportunity is in our chicken strips, our burgers and other products.”

Another major initiative is technology, including the creation of a single electronic point-of-sale system.

Bader, a self-described “recovering lawyer,” had interviewed with Buffett before the billionaire gave Vice Chairman Greg Abel oversight over Berkshire’s non-insurance operating units. He now reports to Abel.

Buffett “was asking as many questions as we were. He wanted to know what you knew that he did not,” Bader recalled.

“What I find interesting with Greg was, he’s the same way. I’m not trying to say Greg is Warren. Nobody will ever be Warren. But he is really smart, and he is a really good study.”

GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares at five-month high, sterling rides Brexit twists

(Updates prices, comment; changes dateline, previous LONDON)

* World shares up for 7th session, touch highest since October

* Oil hits 2019 high, palladium at record

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, March 19 ( ) – Stock markets across the world rose on Tuesday for a seventh session, the longest winning streak of the year, while sterling wobbled against the U.S. dollar on expectations European Union officials would allow Britain a delay on Brexit negotiations.

Bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve will this week reinforce a market view that the U.S. monetary policy-tightening cycle is in the rear-view mirror have kept the bid on stocks alive, while the dollar index touched its lowest since March 1.

“There is optimism that the Fed is going to keep rates on hold, the economy is chugging along and we don’t see any inflation,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

“Investors don’t want to miss out on the low interest rate environment which will help fuel the rise in stock prices.”

Investors will particularly look to see whether policymakers have sufficiently lowered their interest rate forecasts to more closely align their “dot plot,” which shows individual policymakers’ rate views for the next three years.

The CitiFX U.S. economic surprise index, which measures economic data against expectations, has been negative for over a month, and earlier in March, touched its lowest since August 2017.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 87.22 points, or 0.34 percent, to 26,001.32, the S&P 500 gained 6.04 points, or 0.21 percent, to 2,838.98 and the Nasdaq Composite added 12.30 points, or 0.16 percent, to 7,726.78.

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.32 percent, while the pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.57 percent.

Emerging market stocks rose 0.12 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.07 percent higher, while Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.08 percent.

BREXIT OPTIONS

In currency markets, sterling touched $1.3311 after slipping to as low as $1.3241 as traders expected EU officials to allow Britain a delay on Brexit negotiations, though the uncertainty kept the market volatile. Sterling was last trading at $1.3261, up 0.05 percent on the day.

“The predominant notion adopted by the market is that as long as the worst case scenario of hard Brexit is avoided by delaying Brexit, the pound is a buy on dips,” Rabobank strategists said in a note.

The dollar index, tracking the greenback against six major peers, fell 0.16 percent, with the euro up 0.1 percent to $1.1347.

The Japanese yen strengthened 0.03 percent versus the dollar to 111.39 per dollar.

Among commodities, oil prices were at 2019 highs, supported by supply cuts led by producer club OPEC. U.S. sanctions against oil producers Iran and Venezuela were also boosting prices, although traders said the market may be capped by rising U.S. output.

U.S. crude fell 0.44 percent to $58.83 per barrel and Brent was last at $67.32, down 0.33 percent on the day.

Precious metal palladium, used in things like car catalytic converters, dipped after it topped the $1,600 an 上海夜网ounce mark for the first time on supply concerns.

Palladium last lost 0.26 percent to $1,579.42 an ounce. Prices have nearly doubled since their mid-August lows and have surged more than 25 percent this year.

Spot gold added 0.3 percent to $1,307.54 an ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.45 percent to $1,307.40 an ounce.

Copper rose 0.76 percent to $6,474.00 a tonne.

U.S. Treasury yields followed German government bonds higher as the Fed’s interest rate policy-setting meeting began. Benchmark 10-year notes fell 4/32 in price to yield 2.6159 percent, from 2.601 percent late on Monday.

The 30-year bond fell 17/32 in price to yield 3.0375 percent, from 3.01 percent late on Monday.

U.S. firm FIS buys Worldpay for $35 billion in payments deal bonanza

( ) – Fidelity National Information Services Inc (FIS) said on Monday it has agreed to buy Worldpay for about $35 billion, with the U.S. financial services provider striking the biggest deal to date in the fast-growing electronic payments industry.

The financial technology sector is consolidating fast, with global payments set to reach $3 trillion a year in revenue by 2023 as more people switch from cash to digital payments for online and high street sales, consulting firm McKinsey predicts.

“Scale matters in our rapidly changing industry,” said FIS Chief Executive Gary Norcross, who will lead the combined powerhouse in banking a上海夜网nd payments infrastructure.

Growth in payment systems has kept deals rolling even as merger moves in other sectors have stalled on concerns about trade tensions and a global economic slowdown.

The FIS deal, valuing Worldpay at about $43 billion including debt, comes a little more than a year after U.S. firm Vantiv paid $10.63 billion for the payments firm, which was set up in Britain and spun off from Royal Bank of Scotland in 2010.

And in January, U.S.-based Fiserv Inc bought payment processor First Data Corp for $22 billion, while Italy’s Nexi plans to list in what could be one of Europe’s biggest initial public offerings (IPOs) this year.

FIS and Worldpay combined will have annual revenue of about $12 billion and adjusted core earnings of about $5 billion.

“Vantiv had yet to realize all the synergies from the Worldpay merger but FIS’s offer was too good to be refused,” a source close to the deal said.

Shares in Worldpay, which has provided payment processing services for more than 40 years, closed 9.9 percent higher and Fidelity’s edged down 0.7 percent.

“Parking the two companies together gives the enlarged business a very strong position by which to play the structural growth in digital payments. They will be able to provide clients a wider portfolio of services,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, said.

Related CoverageShares in European payments companies rise on Worldpay takeover

Worldpay is a major player in card payments, particularly in Britain, while FIS, produces software for banks and asset managers as well as its financial services outsourcing business.

“FIS should accelerate its revenue growth, significantly expand its position in the merchant acquiring space and generate many synergies,” Worldpay shareholder Michael Schaefer, portfolio manager at Union Investment, said.

“DIVERSIFICATION PLAY”

Worldpay shareholders will receive 0.9287 FIS shares and $11 in cash for each share held, valuing the company at $112.12 per share, a premium of about 14 percent on its Friday close.

FIS shareholders will own about 53 percent in the combined firm and Worldpay’s about 47 percent, with Worldpay Chief Executive Charles Drucker becoming executive vice-chairman.

“This is a fast-changing industry and FIS was under pressure after Fiserv bought First Data in January,” another source close to the matter said, adding that Worldpay’s Drucker, who had come from Vantiv, was the driving force behind the deal.

“For FIS buying Worldpay means expanding beyond the world of financial outsourcing and tapping into payment processing and e-commerce, the source said, adding that it was a “diversification play” giving FIS access to the high-growth payments sector.

The companies said the deal would result in an organic revenue growth outlook of 6 to 9 percent through 2021, and $700 million of total core earnings savings over three years. They expect $500 million of revenue savings and are aiming to deliver nearly $4.5 billion of free cash flow in three years.

“The deal will lead to modest EPS accretion by 2020”, Norcross said in a conference call with analysts.

FIS, which has grown through acquisitions in the past 15 years, offers software and outsourcing services to banks, asset managers and insurers and in 2015 completed its buy of financial software company SunGard for $9.1 billion.

It had bought Metavante, which provides payment processing services to financial firms, for about $2.9 billion in 2009.

“FIS’ experience and expertise in getting cost to revenue synergies should give (the) market confidence that the targets announced around this deal are very doable,” Stephen’s analyst Brett Huff said in a note, adding that FIS could see increased revenue as companies step up outsourcing.

Centerview Partners and Goldman Sachs were financial advisers to FIS, while Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP served as legal advisers to FIS on the deal. Credit Suisse and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP served as financial and legal advisers respectively to Worldpay.

Arch-eurosceptic Farage leads march over Brexit betrayal

SUNDERLAND, England ( ) – Nigel Farage, the politician who probably did more than anyone else to force Britain’s referendum on membership of the European Union, joined protesters at the start of a 270-mile march over what they call a betrayal of the Brexit vote.

The march comes after another tumultuous week for Prime Minister Theresa May in which parliament overwhelmingly rejected her divorce deal for a second time and lawmakers voted to seek a delay in Britain’s exit from the EU.

In the pouring rain in Sunderland, northeast England, which was the first place in Britain to declare a vote to leave the EU, Farage, wearing a flat cap and carrying an umbrella, said Brexit was now in danger of being scuttled by the establishment.

“We are here in the very week when parliament is doing its utmost to betray the Brexit result,” Farage said. “It is beginning to look like it doesn’t want to leave and the message from this march is if you think you can walk all over us we will march straight back to you.”

The march, which began with about 100 people, is due to end at parliament on March 29, the day the United Kingdom was supposed to leave the EU.

Britain’s crisis over EU membership is approaching its finale as May continues to fight to build support for her divorce deal, which is expected to be put before lawmakers for a third time next week. Many Brexit supporters in her own party oppose the deal, saying it ties Britain too closely to the EU.

May has given those critics an ultimatum – ratify her deal by Wednesday or face a delay to Brexit way beyond June 30 that would open up the possibility that the entire departure from the EU could ultimately be thwarted.

As leader of the eurosceptic United Kingdom Independence Party, Farage pressured former prime minister David Cameron to call the Brexit referendum and then helped lead the campaign to leave the EU. But he quit as the party’s leader in the days after the referen上海夜生活论坛dum.

In what pro-EU supporters said was a metaphor for his decision to walk away from the fallout of Brexit, Farage said he wouldn’t be completing the full two-week walk to London but would instead join campaigners for about a third of it.

Farage defended that decision and said as a member of the European Parliament he may have to take part in a vote on whether to approve the Brexit deal.

“I am quite a busy chap. I have a role in the European Parliament,” Farage said. “Don’t forgot the final vote is in the European Parliament. I think I ought to be there for that one.”

Mbapp\u00e9 admitted that Ronaldo was his idol

Kylian Mbappé, the PSG wonder kid, insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo was his childhood idol and he has a possibility to become his teammate but he believes that his current team can be better than Real Madrid.

The former Monaco player admitted that he spoke with Real Madrid about his potential transfer to the Spain capital but in the end, he decided to join PSG – and he insisted that he made this decision with his heart as PSG is a team from his home city and it was just a natural thing to make such a choice.

The French youngster spoke about his possible transfer to Real as he said, according to ESPN: “There were a lot of transfer rumours, it’s true that we spoke, but I think that is now in the past for me and for Real Madrid. Now I play at PSG and I’m going to defend these colours 100 percent. I chose PSG because it’s the team of my city, it’s like if a madrileno [Madrid born] boy of [Real] Madrid has the opportunity to play for his team and goes elsewhere, to another country. I wanted to play for PSG and I’m very happy with how things are going.”Opinion: Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – Given how much he’s been rejected by Real Madrid, we ar上海夜网e convinced that Martin Odegaard is perfect for the Premier League.Martin Odegaard is finally…

He also added that he believes that PSG can become even better than Real Madrid: “Real have dominated football in recent years but it’s not just them now. There are other big teams, like [Manchester] City, Juventus, Bayern [Munich] and we are also there. But I believe the team that wins our tie will be clear favourites to win the Champions League. If we are capable of eliminating Real then the other teams will fear us.”

In the end, Mbappé insisted that he hopes that his side can prove themselves in the knockout stage: “We’ve had a very good group stage and we have the opportunity to prove to the world that we can eliminate the team that successfully defended the Champions League. There is no pressure, not at all, the pressure doesn’t fall on us.”

Preview: AS Roma – Qarabag

AS Roma will be looking for the win that will guarantee them the presence in the knockout stages of Champions League tonight, as they travel to 4th-placed Qarabag.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Regardless of the result, or indeed any of the results in Group C, Qarabag are guaranteed to finish bottom. Roma will be crossing their fingers that already-qualified Chelsea field a strong team against Atlético Madrid, because if Chelsea lose and Roma fail to win then they will be knocked-out.

The frustration of Qarabag’s form (W0, D2, L3) in this season’s Champions League (CL) Group Stage is clearly affecting their discipline. They have received three red cards in their last three games (one per game), which is the worst disciplinary record of any team in the competition.

Roma’s coach, Eusebio Di Francesco, commented on this upcoming fixture to Mediaset Premium after the 3-1 win against Spal: “We wanted the win at all costs. It’s important to eliminate these little distractions. Spal barely had a shot on goal and we needed the win to prepare in the best way for Qarabag. Our objective is to qualify for the Champions League Round of 16 with a victory against Qarabag. The psychological approach we saw today was good and we need it again on Tuesday”.

In the CL Group Stage, Roma have taken a total of 24 corners (an average of 4.8 per game) and conceded 19 corners (an average of 3.8 per game). Qarabag have taken ten corners in total (an average of two per game) and have conceded 38 corners (an average of 7.6 per game).Niko Kovac urges Bayern Munich to remain ‘humble’ Andrew Smyth – Niko Kovac has called on Bayern Munich to stay focused and humble after thrashing Tottenham 7-2 in the Champions League.

Roma’s Argentinian attacker, Diego Perotti, is currently showing the best scoring form in the squad, with three goals in his last five games (all competitions). Roma’s other main goal threat, Edin Džeko (the top scorer in Serie A last season), has only scored one goal in his last nine games – will he find some much-needed goal scoring form?

At home this season, Roma have only been beaten in Serie A by Inter (the opening game of the season) and high-flyers Napoli. After winning their last five matches in a row, which included the CL fixture against Chelsea, they are expected to brus上海夜生活网h aside Qarabag.

Missing players

AS Roma: R. Karsdorp (knee injury), B. Peres (suspension), G. Defrel (doubtful)

Qarabag: P. Henrique (suspension), B. Guseynov (doubtful), A. Huseynov (doubtful).

Rashford feels that the winning mentality is back

Marcus Rashford is happy with the current form of his side and he said that everybody can feel that “the winning mentality is back” but there is still a long way to go to match the days when there was the glorious Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad.

Rashford has had a perfect introduction to the United first team, going from the academy to winning four trophies in the senior side within just 21 months. The England forward won the 2016 FA Cup under Louis van Gaal before claiming Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield winners’ medals under current boss Jose Mourinho, according to Sky Sports.

The England international spoke about his feelings about winning more trophies and the success of the current squad: “There are so many different incidents that can easily pass you by and you forget about. As soon as you win a trophy, in my mind straight away, you’re thinking about winning the next trophy. That’s when you can miss the moment of enjoying winning that trophy, it’s difficult.”Top 5 Premier League players in September’s last weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – A fresh Premier League fixture just ended, which means we can talk about the Top 5 best players of September’s last weekend.After a fresh…

Marcus Rashford also added: “We went through that second year and won three trophies in the year, so we were winning things and winning things and it became normal for us. That’s what United has always been about, so it is important for us to try and get that feeling back to Old Trafford of winning.”

But he believes that the current team has got everything required to write their own history: “It’s definitely coming back, but where they were to where we are now, we’ve still got a long way to go because they were consecutively winning. Consecutively winning is different to winning one thing or winning two things. It’s more difficult be上海夜生活网cause everybody wants to beat you. We want to make it (Old Trafford) the fortress that it was before. I think we’re on a path back to doing that. We’ve got the right manager, we have the right staff, so it’s just about producing now on the field.”

Preview: Atletico Madrid – AS Roma

Atletico Madrid are playing one of their last chances to qualify from Group C tonight, as they host leaders AS Roma.

Flashscore presents the key facts before the match:

Atletico are remarkably still without a win in Group C in the Champions League (CL), but still have a slim chance to progress if they can beat AS Roma in this game.

If they are to win, they need to do something which they currently struggle to do – score goals. Furthermore, they might need to score more than 1 as Roma have yet to draw a blank when playing away this season. And this might pose a problem for Atletico, who’ve failed to score 2+ goals in the last 5 matches (all competitions)!

In fact, Diego Simeone’s men have only managed to score more than 1 goal on 4 occasions this season (17 matches, all competitions). Although still hard to beat (1 defeat), their lack of goals going forward have resulted in a surprisingly high number of draws this season (10) – 7 draws in the last 10 games!

Domestically, Atletico have scored 16 goals in 12 matches, their worst tally since 2005.

Contrast this with high-flying Roma, who are fresh from a 2-1 Derby della Capitale win against Lazio, their 6th win on the bounce. This run also includes the 3-0 thumping of Chelsea in the CL. In the CL, Edin Dzeko alone (3 goals) has scored more than Atletico (2).Joao Felix keeps making history with Atletico Madrid Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – After yet another stellar performance with Atletico Madrid, Joao Felix made history after scoring his first goal vs Lokomotiv.Atletico Madrid had a complicated visit…

The Italians know that a point in Madrid will lock 上海夜生活网up qualification to the next round of the CL. However, to be certain of keeping Antonio Conte’s Chelsea behind them and gain the important seeding that winning the group will provide, they might need the win here.

Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco spoke highly of the team’s effort and future prospects to the clubs website after the derby this weekend, stating that “at Roma, the most difficult thing is to get in the player’s heads, and now we’ve got to that stage.” He also had some special words for midfield fighter Radja Nainggolan, who recently recovered from injury in record time: “We call him “Ninja”, but I’d say he’s a superhero.”

A matter of margins? Although winless in the CL in 4 matches so far, Atletico have been equal to or better than their opponents in some underlying statistics; in the 0-0 draw with Roma in the group’s opening game, they were 9-1 in shots on goal. In total, Atletico have fired 26 shots on goal, while allowing only 9. And still their goal difference is 2-3!

Missing players

Atletico Madrid: S. Savic (suspension), S. Vrsaljko (injury)

AS Roma: A. Florenzi (knee injury), R. Karsdorp (knee injury), P. Schick (injury).

Wilshere needs more game time

England manager Gareth Southgate explained why he decided to not include Jack Wilshere in his squad against Germany and Brazil

According to GOAL, England boss Gareth Southgate says Jack Wilshere cannot expect to get back into the national squad without playing regularly for Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger stood beside Jack Wilshere, saying his midfielder deserves a recall after impressing performances in Europa League matches this season.

However, the 25-year-old has been left out of England’s squad for friendlies against world champions Germany and Brazil.

Southgate says he will speak to Wenger about Wilshere’s chances of returning in 2018 but in上海夜生活论坛sists he has to be playing more often, GOAL continues.

Jack Wilshere has only made one appearance in the Premier League this season, that one being a second-half substitute.

Gareth Southgate was asked about why Wilshere won’t get a chance in England’s national XI, and the coach said the midfielder first needs to play in Arsenal.Wijnaldum looking to repeat Champions League success Nedim Maric – Liverpool are the reigning winners of the Champions League. However, this isn’t stopping them for aiming to get the glory once again.After a perfect…

“I don’t know how you get in an England squad without getting in the Arsenal team,” the manager told a news conference.

Southgate said he doesn’t question Wilshere’s abilities, but he needs to see the midfielder play before he can make the decision to call him in.

“There is no question about his ability, his football brain or personality, we just need to see him playing before he comes back in because unfortunately there has been a history of injuries.”

“I’ll be having discussions with Arsene about him, we think he is a top player so for him it’s about game time,” Southgate added.

Manchester United’s defender Ashley Young however, has been named as one of the 25 players in England’s squad after not playing for his nation’s team for 4 years.

Southgate believes Young will provide a good option as a wing-back, since the defender had shown very good performances this season.

“Young’s performances warrant a recall. We want to play with wing-backs — I think it’s a role he can perform, left or right, very well. He’s played very well for Manchester United.”

Carragher warns West Ham that the relegation is real

West Ham are certainly not the team that should be in the relegation battle but they have to be prepared for this situation as they are just one point above the relegation zone after their last 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.

Slaven Bilic’s side were 2-0 in front but they just weren’t able to secure their lead and they gained just one point from this match – and Jamie Carragher thinks that the relegation is still more and more likely to happen for the Hammers. If they will continue making silly mistakes like they did in the last minutes of the Crystal Palace fixture, they are going to be in huge troubles.

The former Liverpool defender shared his thoughts as he said, according to Sky Sports: “There are a lot of teams down the bottom of the league you could make a case for survival. I’m struggling with West Ham. It’s a shambles. Six players ahead of the ball, again, the same situation, and there is four versus two at the back post. That is a disgrace that you find yourself in that situation. It will have felt like a defeat.”Wijnaldum looking to repeat Champions League success Nedim Maric – Liverpool are the reigning winners of the Champions League. However, this isn’t stopping them for aiming to get the glory once again.After a perfect…

Carragher also added: “West Ham are getting a little bit too close to comfort to the teams we’ve slaughtered over the years. Your Sunderlands, your QPRs. We watched them, and it was really poor against Brighton, their application, and then you see that, in the last minute, you’re fighting for your lives against another rivals, it’s more than three points, and you’ve got people bombing forward to get a goal and th上海夜生活en jogging back.”

He thinks that they are one of the main adepts for the relegation as he claimed: “They’re the team I would massively worry about in terms of relegation because it doesn’t seem like there’s much there. It looks a bit of a shambles behind the scenes at times for me. It just seems like a lot of players just thrown together without any real thought.”

Bonucci expecting a Milan victory in Serie A derby

The Italian is grateful for his time with the Nerazzurri, but hopes to come out as a victor after the clash between Inter and AC Milan.

Leonardo Bonucci has looked back on his spell with Inter Milan ahead of the Serie A derby on Sunday. The Italy international completed a shocking move during the summer as he swapped the Nerezzurri with the Rossoneri in a record €40m deal.

Even though Bonucci is thankful for his great time at Inter, he is expecting a win for his new club AC Milan despite a rather shaky start of the season.

“I arrived when I was 17 years old and had two splendid years in their youth academy, where I really improved a lot,” Bonucci told Tencent Sports.

“They are a good side with some great individual talents and chose an important coach in Luciano Spalletti.

“We’ll have to be very wary and give our best. I would take Antonio Candreva and Eder off the Inter squad, as they are my Italy team-mates and they’re two really great guys.Milan lose but should stay positive Taimoor Khan – After leading the game against Torino, Milan went on to lose 2-1 in heartbreaking fashion but the players showed a lot of promise. On…

“I predict a Milan victory, but I won’t tell you [by] how much.”

The Italian also shared a few words regarding his choice to join the Rossoneri, stating that the new challenge at San Siro is what brought him to AC Milan.

“This stadium is the history of football, the most important arena in Italy. Stepping into San Siro always has an effect on you,

“The Rossoneri project is what pushed me to choose this great challenge. I knew there would be difficulties, but I accepted it because I wanted to challenge myself again.

“The objective is to set no limitations in Serie A or the Europa League. Qualification 上海夜生活论坛for the Champions League must be the minimum target, as Milan have to play in that tournament every year.”

Koeman insists Barkley has future at Everton

The England international refused a move to Chelsea on the last day of the close-season.

Ross Barkley still has future at Goodison Park, according to Ronald Koeman. Barkley will have no contract with the Toffees at the end of the season, meaning a move to Chelsea appeared to be the normal thing to do.

However, the 23-year-old insisted he wanted to stay at Everton until he is back to full fitness, possibly hinting an exit in January.

Meanwhile Everton’s head coach Koeman said he would never hesitate to include Ross Barkley in the squad once he is back to 100 %.Match Preview: Everton vs Manchester City Boro Tanchev – Manchester City travel to Liverpool this weekend, but don’t get that much excited because it is Everton who they are visiting in the seventh Premier League round.

“Of course it was a strange last day of the transfer window but I don’t think it was only that for Everton but for most of the Premier League clubs,” Koeman told a media conference as quoted by Goal.

“Ross also came to see me last Tuesday and he explained to me why he turned down the chance to go to Chelsea. That is private.

“He was open to making a move to another club and I heard from the board that there was an agreement between Chelsea and Everton.

“But finally the decision was by the player. And t上海夜网hat was what happened at that time.”

Rudiger admits he ‘dreamt’ of Chelsea move

The Germany international cannot wait to play in the Premier League.

Antonio Rudiger is more than happy to finally be a part of the Premier League champions. The player joined Chelsea in a £34 million move from Roma, after being linked with the Blues a number of times in the past.

The full-back now admits he has been waiting for ‘years’ to finally join Chelsea and experience the Premier League. Speaking to ChelseaFC.com, Rudiger said:

“I wanted to play in the Premier League and it is now years that my name was linked to Chelsea.

“Now I am here and I am very happy. I want to thank all of the people who made this come true.”Chelsea need owner Abramovich back at the Bridge George Patchias – Chelsea football club apparently is missing their owner Roman Abramovich, and hi上海夜生活论坛s return is key to the team’s success.That the theory from former Chelsea…

The 24-year-old knows he is diving into the unknown since the English Premier League is much different from Serie A and its competitiveness is much higher.

“I cannot say much about the Premier League because I did not experience it yet.

“But the Italian league is more tactical. You don’t have open games but here in England it is different, both teams are attacking the whole time so that is the main big difference, and of course the physical aspect in England.

“I think the whole league is a big challenge so I need to be prepared for each game.”

Donnarumma ready to fire Raiola to remain at Milan

The young Italian goalkeeper seems to have changed his mind and wants to remain at AC Milan.Written by Cosmin Mihalescu. June 25, 2017.

According to the Italian press, Gianluigi Donnarumma is ready to break any ties with agent Mino Raiola, in order to make peace with AC Milan and the rossoneri fans.

In the last days, Milan officials have held talks with the goalkeeper’s family, trying to persuade them that the best option for Gigio at this point would be to continue with the club. And the involvement of Vincenzo Montella seems to have brought the expected results.

It is now said that the young goalkeeper is more willing to consider extending his contract with AC Milan. More than that, Donnarumma would be ready to fire agent Mino Raiola, to ensure that he will be forgiven by the Milan fans.Kane: Spurs out of excuses after shock Carabao Cup exit Andrew Smyth – Harry Kane concedes that Tottenham only have themselves to blame following a shock Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Colchester United.

Raiola’s right hand, his cousin Enzo, flew to Poland to talk with Raiola who is part of the Italy U21 squad participating at the European U21 Championship. Enzo informed Donnarumma that there are no news from AC Milan’s side and that the goalkeeper should think about Real Madrid.

But the player’s desire is to remain at Milan and his family completely backs him in his choice. This could lead to a breakup in the relationship with Mino Raiola, who is looking to take the player away from Milan.

It wouldn’t be the f上海夜生活网irst time a player fires Mino Raiola, over disagreements about career progress. Marek Hamsik fired the agent when he chose to remain at Napoli, although Raiola was insisting for him to move away from San Paolo.

How the last matches look like for Real Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga

La Liga opened completely yesterday as Barcelona won the Clásico at Bernabéu when Messi scored a last-minute goal, and here is the schedule for the two teams for the rest for the seasonWritten by Christian Møller Poulsen. April 24, 2017

One month is left of La Liga, and the race for the title is on following Messi’s dramatic last-minute winner at Bernabéu.

With the win, Barcelona moved top of the liga with 75 points which is the same amount as Real Madrid. However, as the Catalans are best in the head-to-head games this season, they move ahead of Real Madrid. Real Madrid though has a game in hand against Celta Vigo.

It appears to be Real Madrid who has the most challenging schedule, with two tough home games against Sevilla and Valencia. Both are teams with enough individual quality to cause problems for Los Blancos.

Apart from the two games at home, Real Madrid have to travel away from Madrid 4 times, starting with an away trip to Galicia to play Deportivo La Coruna on Wednesday.

On top of the La liga games, the club also has to face Atletico Madrid over two legs in the semi-final of the Champions League.

Real Madrid games in la Liga:

Week 34: Deportivo-Real Madrid (26th April)

Week 35: Real Madrid-Valencia (29th April)

Week 36: Granada-Real Madrid (6th May)

Week 37: Real Madrid-Sevilla (14th May)Inter Milan V Lazio: Players to Watch Taimoor Khan – Inter Milan are set to host Lazio at the San Siro on Thursday and the game is definitely going to be an exciting affair…

Week 21: Celta-Real Madrid (17th May)

Week 38: Málaga-Real Madrid (21th May)

FC Barcelona’s toughest away game looks to be the Derbi Barceloni, which is set to be played at Espanyol’s stadium, Cornella. Luis Enrique’s men also faces a long away trip to the Canary Islands to play Las Palmas in their final away game in the season.

Apart from Barca’s two away games, Barcelona will play bottom-placed Osasuna on Wednesday, before the hardest game for the Catalans awaits on the 6th of May when they host Villareal.

FC Barcelona games in La Liga:

Week 34: Barcelona-Osasuna (26th April)

Week 35: Espanyol-Barcelona (29th April)

Week 36: Barcelona-Villarreal (6th May)

Week 37: Las Palmas-Barcelona (14th May)

Week 38: Barcelona-Eibar (21st May上海夜生活网)