Comey to confirm Trump pressured him on Flynn investigation: CNN

Former FBI Director James Comey plans to confirm reports that President Donald Trump pressured him to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia in congressional testimony, CNN said on Wednesday, citing an unidentified source close to the issue. The Senate Intelligence Committee said on May 19 that Comey, who was fired by Trump 10 days earlier, would testify before the panel publicly at some point after Monday’s Memorial Day holiday. Continue reading “Comey to confirm Trump pressured him on Flynn investigation: CNN”

Eurozone inflation falls to lowest level this year

Official figures show that inflation across the 19-country eurozone has fallen to its lowest level this year, in a development that may temper speculation that the European Central Bank will soon consider easing up on its monetary stimulus. Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency, said Wednesday that inflation fell to 1.4 percent in the year through May from 1.9 percent the month before. The decline was slightly sharper than anticipated, the consensus was for a fall to 1.5 percent. Continue reading “Eurozone inflation falls to lowest level this year”

Express stock drops 17% after first-quarter profit, revenue misses; disappointing 2017 guidance

Express Inc. shares dropped 17.5% in premarket trade Thursday after the company reported first-quarter profit and revenue misses. The company said it had a loss of $4.5 million, or a loss of 6 cents per share, after earnings of $12.9 million, or 16 cents per share in the year-earlier period. The FactSet adjusted earnings per share consensus was a loss of 2 cents. Revenue declined to $467.0 million from $502.9 million, compared with the FactSet consensus of 467.7 million. Continue reading “Express stock drops 17% after first-quarter profit, revenue misses; disappointing 2017 guidance”

FBI now focusing on mysterious 30-minute meeting Kushner had with Putin banker ally: report

According to a report by the New York Times, President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is now under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a meeting he had with a representative from a sanctioned Russian bank in December. Kushner’s meeting with Russian banker and Vladimir Putin ally Sergey Gorkov in December 2016 is, according to the Times, “now being scrutinized by the F.B.I. as part of its investigation into alleged Russian attempts to disrupt last year’s presidential campaign, and whether any of Mr. Trump’s advisers assisted in such efforts. Continue reading “FBI now focusing on mysterious 30-minute meeting Kushner had with Putin banker ally: report”

Flight diverted when lithium battery catches fire onboard

A lithium battery in a passenger’s backpack caught fire aboard a cross-country JetBlue flight Tuesday, causing the plane to divert to Grand Rapids, Michigan, the Federal Aviation Administration said. No one was injured on the flight, which was traveling from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to San Francisco, and the plane was not damaged. JetBlue said the plane was carrying 158 people and 37,300 pounds of fuel when it landed. Continue reading “Flight diverted when lithium battery catches fire onboard”

Hillary Clinton rips Democratic Party for its data operation during the campaign

Hillary Clinton slammed the Democratic Party on Wednesday as she rehashed the 2016 election, saying she inherited a “nonexistent” data operation. She made the comments during the annual Code Conference in California while discussing how technology affected her run for president and eventual loss. “I set up my campaign and we have our own data operation. I get the nomination. So I’m now the nominee of the Democratic Party. Continue reading “Hillary Clinton rips Democratic Party for its data operation during the campaign”

Bank of America CEO talks down second-quarter expectations

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) second-quarter earnings will be hurt by a drop in trading revenue, lower-than-expected interest rates and the sale or shuttering of certain assets, according to comments from Chief Executive Brian Moynihan on Wednesday. Speaking at an industry conference, Moynihan said trading revenues are on track to be some 10 percent to 12 percent lower than the second quarter of 2016 because last year’s quarter was especially strong. Continue reading “Bank of America CEO talks down second-quarter expectations”

JPMorgan second quarter market revenue down 15 percent vs. year earlier: CFO

Markets revenue at JPMorgan Chase & Co has been down about 15 percent so far in the second quarter from a year earlier, Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake said on Wednesday. Speaking at an investor conference, Lake said the decline stemmed from lower volatility compared with a year ago when the United Kingdom was preparing to vote on Brexit. Continue reading “JPMorgan second quarter market revenue down 15 percent vs. year earlier: CFO”

Michael Kors plans to shutter 100 to 125 stores; shares tumble 9%

Another retailer has decided to trim its brick-and-mortar fleet. Michael Kors said Wednesday it will close 100 to 125 full-price stores over the next two years. The company had 827 retail locations as of April 1. The closures are intended to improve profitability, Michael Kors said. The retailer anticipates ongoing annual savings of $60 million as a result of this plan but will record a $125 million charge. Continue reading “Michael Kors plans to shutter 100 to 125 stores; shares tumble 9%”

Nestle investing in factories, creating 2,900 jobs in Latin America

Swiss-based food company Nestle SA is creating thousands of jobs and investing in new factories in Latin America as it looks to tackle social issues and shore up its position in one of its strongest markets, the regional head said on Tuesday. The maker of Kit Kat chocolate bars and Nespresso coffee is working with government officials in the four countries that are members of the Pacific Alliance trade group — Chile, Mexico, Peru and Colombia — to create 2,900 jobs for young people over three years and teach job-hunting skills. Continue reading “Nestle investing in factories, creating 2,900 jobs in Latin America”

Oil prices crushed as traders bet against OPEC, Russia in ‘game of chicken’

The oil market has serious doubts that the production deal between OPEC and Russia is sufficient enough to bring the world oil market back into balance, against a potential wave of new supply. As a result, traders appeared to be adding to short positions, as crude fell sharply Wednesday morning, analysts said. The decline in oil prices was triggered by news that Libya had increased its production to a three-year high of 827,000 barrels a day. Continue reading “Oil prices crushed as traders bet against OPEC, Russia in ‘game of chicken’”

Bubble, bubble, Canada’s housing market poses trouble, IMF says

Imbalances in Canada’s housing market have increased to a degree that could pose a “significant” risk to the outlook for the broader economy, the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday. “Households are highly indebted and housing affordability, particularly in Vancouver and Toronto, has become a social issue with many first-time buyers priced out of the markets,” the IMF’s report said. Continue reading “Bubble, bubble, Canada’s housing market poses trouble, IMF says”

Pending-home sales decline again, deepening housing market funk

A gauge of home purchase contract signings slumped for a second month in April, another sign the housing market is still struggling for a balance between supply and demand. The pending home sales index from the National Association of Realtors fell 1.3% to a level of 109.8 from a downwardly-revised March reading. The index was 3.3% lower than a year ago in April, marking the first yearly decline since December. Continue reading “Pending-home sales decline again, deepening housing market funk”

Russian cruise missiles hit ISIS targets near Palmyra

Cruise missiles launched by the Russian Navy hit a number of ISIS targets in Palmyra, Syria, Wednesday, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense. The strikes reportedly targeted militant ISIS “shelters” east of the ancient city, which housed heavy equipment and militant troops transferred from ISIS’ de facto capital Raqqa. Continue reading “Russian cruise missiles hit ISIS targets near Palmyra”

U.S. intelligence agencies claim that Russian actors were behind hacking of senior Democratic Party operatives

US intelligence agencies also accuse Russia of spreading disinformation. Democrats charge the Russians wanted to tilt the election toward the Republican, a claim dismissed by Trump. Russia denies the allegations. But there has been no doubt that the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak, developed contacts among the Trump team. Continue reading “U.S. intelligence agencies claim that Russian actors were behind hacking of senior Democratic Party operatives”

Sanctioned Russian Bank Confirms Executives Met with Trump Son-in-law Jared Kushner

A Russian bank under Western economic sanctions over Russia’s incursion into Ukraine disclosed on Monday that its executives had met Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a top White House adviser, in December. A U.S. Senate committee investigating suspected Russian interference in the election wants to interview Trump associates, including Kushner, 36, who is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump and has agreed to testify. Continue reading “Sanctioned Russian Bank Confirms Executives Met with Trump Son-in-law Jared Kushner”

Self-driving car tech firm Mobileye first-quarter profit, revenue jump

Mobileye (MBLY.N), a maker of driverless vehicle technologies, reported a jump in quarterly profit that topped estimates, boosted by higher sales of its advanced driver assisted systems. The Israeli-based company, which is in the process of being acquired by Intel Corp (INTC.O), said on Thursday it earned 25 cents per diluted share excluding one-time items in the first quarter, up from 15 cents a share a year earlier. Continue reading “Self-driving car tech firm Mobileye first-quarter profit, revenue jump”

McDonald’s delivery to be available in 3,500 restaurants by the end of June

McDonald plans to add more delivery services by June. In less than a month, McDonald’s has more than doubled the number of its U.S. locations that offer delivery. CEO Steve Easterbrook told shareholders at a Bernstein investor conference Wednesday that delivery is now available at more than 2,000 locations and that he expects the partnership with UberEats to expand to more than 3,500 locations by the end of June. Continue reading “McDonald’s delivery to be available in 3,500 restaurants by the end of June”

Tesco delivers groceries in under an hour by ROBOT

Supermarket giant plans to send shopping out on driverless six-wheeled buggies after successful trial. Tesco successfully delivered food order to address in central London in the trial. The six-wheeled robots will be able to carry groceries within a three-miles radius. They will carrying items directly from stores or special delivery hubs to homes. It is part of the Tesco Now app which is trialling one-hour delivery in London. Continue reading “Tesco delivers groceries in under an hour by ROBOT”

As Congress heads into the summer months, here’s a progress report on the GOP agenda:

Repeal of Obamacare Status Update: Despite promises from candidate Trump that he would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on his first day in office, the process has taken much longer. After fits and starts, the House has passed a bill that would reform the nation’s health care system. The Senate is currently at work on taking that legislation and altering it but it’s not happening rapidly. Continue reading “As Congress heads into the summer months, here’s a progress report on the GOP agenda:”

The GOP Congressional agenda is lagging five months in

Congressional Republicans began the year with a long and ambitious list of priorities that had been sidelined during eight years of President Barack Obama’s tenure. Five months in, the GOP policy agenda is lagging far behind their expectations. A slower-than-anticipated process of confirming President Donald Trump’s nominees, the bruising effort to pass a health-care reform plan in the House and the ongoing controversy coming from the White House over expanding investigations into Russia have slowed any momentum the party had coming out of last year’s election. Continue reading “The GOP Congressional agenda is lagging five months in”

Trump blasts Russia probe, touts ex-adviser Page over FBI, CIA

President Donald Trump sought to insert himself into congressional investigations on Russia on Wednesday, urging lawmakers to hear from one of his former advisers, Carter Page, to counter testimony by directors of the FBI and CIA. Trump has been dismissive of probes by the FBI and several congressional panels into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and potential collusion with his campaign. Continue reading “Trump blasts Russia probe, touts ex-adviser Page over FBI, CIA”

Trump says comic should be ashamed for severed head video

President Donald Trump says celebrity Kathy Griffin “should be ashamed of herself” for appearing in a video holding what looked like Trump’s bloody, severed head. In a post on his Twitter account Wednesday morning, the president says, “My children, especially my 11-year-old son, Barron, are having a hard time with this. Sick!” Griffin, who helped with CNN’s New Year’s Eve coverage, has apologized, saying that the brief video was “too disturbing” and wasn’t funny. Continue reading “Trump says comic should be ashamed for severed head video”

Trump-Russia investigation: US Congress issues subpoenas

The US House intelligence committee has issued subpoenas to President Donald Trump’s former aide and his lawyer, as part of its Russia investigation. The orders were made to fired national security adviser Michael Flynn and lawyer Michael Cohen. The committee is one of several probes into alleged meddling by Moscow in last year’s presidential election, and any collusion with the Trump campaign. Continue reading “Trump-Russia investigation: US Congress issues subpoenas”

U.S. oil output could hit a record level this year

U.S. oil production may climb to a record level before this year is over, according to energy-data firm Rystad Energy. Domestic production is likely to grow so fast that it could reach 10 million barrels a day before Dec. 31, Rystad Energy said in a Wednesday report, as growth from shale drilling and Gulf of Mexico deep-water fields offset declines from other U.S. conventional oil fields. Continue reading “U.S. oil output could hit a record level this year”

Uber posts $708M loss as revenue grows; finance head quits

Ride-hailing giant Uber has reported another multibillion dollar loss even as its revenues grow. The San Francisco-based company said Thursday that its losses in the first quarter narrowed to $708 million from $991 million in the previous three-month period. Uber told The Associated Press that it had $3.4 billion in revenue for the period, 18 percent higher than the final three months of last year. Continue reading “Uber posts $708M loss as revenue grows; finance head quits”

US pending home sales fell again in April

Americans retreated from signing contracts to buy homes in April for the second straight month, a possible sign that a declining number of homes on the market are stifling sales during the traditional spring buying season. The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that its pending home sales index fell 1.3 percent in April to 109.8, after slipping 0.9 percent in March to 111.3. The index has fallen 3.3 percent over the past 12 months. Continue reading “US pending home sales fell again in April”

US shale, trade and sanctions worry Russian Finance minister as economy gets back on track

As Russia’s economy show signs of improving, its Finance Ministry remains positive on the outlook yet doesn’t expect to let its guard down just yet. Russia’s economy grew 0.5 percent in the first quarter year-on-year, Reuters reported this month, citing data from the Federal Statistics Service. In recent weeks however, the nation has been caught up in political noise coming out of Washington, in regards to its relationship with the current U.S. administration. Continue reading “US shale, trade and sanctions worry Russian Finance minister as economy gets back on track”

Sources: Russians discussed potentially ‘derogatory’ information about Trump and associates during campaign

Russian government officials discussed having potentially “derogatory” information about then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and some of his top aides in conversations intercepted by US intelligence during the 2016 election, according to two former intelligence officials and a congressional source. One source described the information as financial in nature and said the discussion centered on whether the Russians had leverage over Trump’s inner circle. Continue reading “Sources: Russians discussed potentially ‘derogatory’ information about Trump and associates during campaign”

Merkel Implies Trump Offers ‘Simple Answers’ After Meeting U.S. President

Chancellor Angela Merkel cautioned Monday against seeking “simple answers” to complex global issues, a day after suggesting that Europe’s relationship with the U.S. had shifted significantly following NATO and G-7 meetings with President Donald Trump that produced disappointing results. The comments at an election rally Sunday in Bavaria, where Merkel stressed that “we Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands,” were widely seen as acknowledgement from Europe’s most powerful leader of the changing dynamic of trans-Atlantic ties. Continue reading “Merkel Implies Trump Offers ‘Simple Answers’ After Meeting U.S. President”

Mike Dubke Resigns as White House Communications Director

After just three months on the job, White House communications director Mike Dubke is out. The seasoned Republican operative was one of the few staffers respected by establishment Republicans in Washington, D.C., but was ultimately unwilling to continue to try to shape a daily narrative for the Trump White House. Dubke resigned on May 18, according to Axios’s Mike Allen, after taking the job in March. Continue reading “Mike Dubke Resigns as White House Communications Director”

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who covered Nixon compares Trump’s troubles with Watergate

In Watergate, the smoking gun was a White House tape proving that Richard M. Nixon ordered a cover-up — the final evidence that forced him from the White House. In the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election campaign, the smoke hasn’t cleared because President Donald Trump keeps shooting. There may never be a smoking gun situation in this case, despite the inevitable comparisons between the Trump-Russia investigations and Watergate. Continue reading “Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who covered Nixon compares Trump’s troubles with Watergate”

Trump fires back at Merkel, says Germany is ‘very bad’ for the US

President Donald Trump has criticized Germany once again for its large trade surplus with the U.S. and its low contributions to NATO, saying this attitude is “very bad” for the United States. We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military. Very bad for U.S. This will change The comments made on Twitter take current tensions in U.S.-German relations a notch higher. Continue reading “Trump fires back at Merkel, says Germany is ‘very bad’ for the US”

Trump’s Personal Attorney Now Part of Investigation Into Russian Meddling in Election

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney has become a focus of the expanding congressional investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Michael Cohen, one of Trump’s longtime and closest confidants, told ABC News that both House and Senate investigators asked him “to provide information and testimony” about any contacts he had with people connected to the Russian government. Continue reading “Trump’s Personal Attorney Now Part of Investigation Into Russian Meddling in Election”

Trump’s use of private cellphone raises security concerns

President Donald Trump has been handing out his cellphone number to world leaders and urging them to call him directly, an unusual invitation that breaks diplomatic protocol and is raising concerns about the security and secrecy of the U.S. commander in chief’s communications. Trump has urged leaders of Canada and Mexico to reach him on his cellphone, according to former and current U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the practice. Continue reading “Trump’s use of private cellphone raises security concerns”

US senator calls for probe into promotion of Kushner Cos deal

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has called for an investigation into “potentially fraudulent statements and misrepresentations” made by companies promoting investment in a property development involving the family company of White House advisor Jared Kushner. Citing a May 12 report by Reuters, Chuck Grassley, a Republican senator from Iowa, requested a review of claims made by Chinese migration agency Qiaowai and the U.S. Immigration Fund (USIF) in the marketing of the One Journal Square project in Jersey City, New Jersey to potential investors in China. Continue reading “US senator calls for probe into promotion of Kushner Cos deal”

US successfully ‘intercepts and destroys’ target in missile test

The Pentagon successfully shot down an intercontinental ballistic missile using its own upgraded long-range interceptor missile on Tuesday in what was widely seen as a test of US ability to counter a North Korean missile launch. The Missile Defense Agency launched a ground-based interceptor from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to intercept a US-launched mock ICBM target over the Pacific Ocean, according to a US defense official. Continue reading “US successfully ‘intercepts and destroys’ target in missile test”

ECB waiting for new data but overall extraordinary monetary policy needs to stay

The European Central Bank is set to receive updated data when it meets next month, but according to its president, it is not yet time to tighten monetary policy. “At its June monetary policy meeting the Governing Council will receive an update of the staff projections and a more complete information set on which it will be able to formulate its judgement on the distribution of risks around the most likely outlook for growth and inflation,” ECB President Mario Draghi told a parliamentary hearing in Brussels on Monday. Continue reading “ECB waiting for new data but overall extraordinary monetary policy needs to stay”

Kushner was asked to ‘lay low’ after Russia-related reports, source says

Back on his home turf after an eight-day foreign trip, President Donald Trump is once again facing down controversy — and now it’s hitting close to home. Trump was greeted on U.S. soil by new reports involving his son-in-law-turned-senior White House adviser, Jared Kushner. NBC News reported Thursday that Kushner has come under FBI scrutiny in the Russia investigation, with multiple officials telling NBC News that investigators believe Kushner has significant information relevant to their inquiry. Continue reading “Kushner was asked to ‘lay low’ after Russia-related reports, source says”

California Fracking Boom Set to Lift U.S. Production to New Record

California’s field oil production peaked at almost 1.2 million barrels a day in January 1986, but steadily fell by 62 percent to a post-1940 low of 443,000 barrels a day in February 2017. Many blame California’s fiscal crisis on the shriveling of oil & gas extraction taxes. Although California has some of America’s best shale formations for hydraulic fracturing, the oil drilling technique requires 1 to 13 million gallons of water. Continue reading “California Fracking Boom Set to Lift U.S. Production to New Record”

Monte dei Paschi says in exclusive talks over bad loan sale

Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) said on Monday it was in exclusive talks with a domestic fund and a group of investors over the sale of its bad loan portfolio, which it needs to offload before it can be taken over by the state. The negotiations mark the latest stage in a long-running process to rescue the world’s oldest bank, which includes efforts to enable it to shed its bad loans. Italy’s fourth biggest bank had 26 billion euros ($29.04 billion) in gross defaulting debts at the end of last year and has set a June 28 deadline for the talks with Quaestio, the fund which manages Italy’s banking industry rescue fund Atlante and will also conduct negotiations on behalf of other investors. Continue reading “Monte dei Paschi says in exclusive talks over bad loan sale”

North Korea leader Kim supervised missile test of new guidance system: KCNA

The missile was equipped with an advanced automated pre-launch sequence compared to previous versions of the “Hwasong” rockets, KCNA said, indicating the North had launched a modified Scud-class missile, as South Korea’s military said on Monday. North Korea test launched a short-range ballistic missile on Monday that landed in the sea off its east coast, the latest in a fast-paced series of missile tests defying world pressure and threats of more sanctions. Continue reading “North Korea leader Kim supervised missile test of new guidance system: KCNA”

Part of Trump’s tax plan is a ‘hostile attack’ on states, warns New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

President Donald Trump’s call to end the federal deduction for state and local taxes is a “hostile attack” on states, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo asserted Wednesday. In an interview on “Squawk Box,” Cuomo warned that for “California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, it would be utter devastation.” “I mean, it would not be a more hostile attack,” said Cuomo, a possible 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. Continue reading “Part of Trump’s tax plan is a ‘hostile attack’ on states, warns New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo”

Senator McCain says Putin bigger threat than ISIS

U.S. Senator John McCain said Russian President Vladimir Putin is a bigger threat to global security than ISIS, and warned that the Senate would push for sanctions against Moscow for its alleged interference in the U.S. Election. McCain, a leading foreign policy voice in the U.S. Congress, was speaking in an interview in Australia, where he has held security talks on his way to a defense summit in Singapore. Continue reading “Senator McCain says Putin bigger threat than ISIS”

Trump, Kushner and the loyalty trap

Having managed nine days abroad with just a few slip-ups blamed on exhaustion, our President has returned to a White House in crisis. In his absence, the scandals, which can be summarized under the heading “Trump and Russia,” now threaten Donald Trump’s top adviser, who also happens to be his son-in-law. In any other administration, an official who becomes the target of an investigation into possible election meddling by a foreign power would find he is no longer welcome in the Oval Office. Continue reading “Trump, Kushner and the loyalty trap”

Venezuelan opposition threatens country won’t pay Goldman Sachs’ $2.8 billion bond deal

The leader of Venezuela’s National Assembly has threatened that a later government may refuse to pay $2.8 billion in bonds that Goldman Sachs recently purchased from the country’s central bank. “It is apparent Goldman Sachs decided to make a quick buck off the suffering of the Venezuelan people,” Julio Borges, the leader of the opposition-controlled congress, said in a letter dated on Monday to Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Continue reading “Venezuelan opposition threatens country won’t pay Goldman Sachs’ $2.8 billion bond deal”

Report: Cost of Target’s Data Breach Nearing $300 Million

The cost estimate to retail giant Target is now approaching $300 million for damage created by its massive 2013 data breach where the credit card information of some 40 million customers was lost to hackers. Last week, the Minnesota-based company announced an $18.5 million settlement in a lawsuit filed by a group of state attorneys general that alleged that Target put its customers’ financial well-being at risk. Continue reading “Report: Cost of Target’s Data Breach Nearing $300 Million”

Car owners are holding their vehicles for longer, which is both good and bad

There are a lot of old “road warriors” traveling this Memorial Day weekend. That’s because the average age of vehicles in the U.S. is a record 11.6 years, according to one recent study. That’s not entirely a bad news story. The IHS Markit study showed that vehicles are being made with better quality nowadays, leading consumers to own them longer. According to IHS, the average length of ownership was a record 79.3 months, or nearly seven years. Continue reading “Car owners are holding their vehicles for longer, which is both good and bad”

FBI ‘warned MI5 in January that the Manchester bomber was planning an attack on Britain’

UK security chiefs were warned in January that Salman Abedi was planning an attack in Britain, it was claimed last night. According to a security source, the FBI told MI5 that Abedi was part of a North African Islamic State cell plotting to strike a political target in the UK. The information came from a US investigation into Abedi and his links to terrorist groups in Libya. The Mail on Sunday has also been told that US security services put him on a terror watch list – used by agents to identify key suspects – in 2016. Continue reading “FBI ‘warned MI5 in January that the Manchester bomber was planning an attack on Britain’”