Trump says he is ‘not interested’ in trade talks with China

first_imgFor months, Trump has blamed China for sending the coronavirus to the United States, saying that China must be “held accountable” for failing to contain the disease. The pandemic has taken a stiff toll on the US economy, endangering Trump’s hopes for re-election in November. China pledged to increase purchases of US farm and manufactured goods, energy and services by $200 billion over two years as part of the Phase 1 trade deal, but Trump has said the pandemic changed his views on the agreement.At the White House, Trump announced that he signed legislation and an executive order to hold China accountable for the “oppressive” national security law it imposed on Hong Kong.The measure approved by Congress, the latest in a series of moves aimed at ratcheting up pressure on Beijing, gives Trump’s administration the authority to penalize banks doing business with Chinese officials who implement Beijing’s new national security law on Hong Kong.Trump said he has no plans to talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping.Even before the coronavirus pandemic began, few trade watchers in Washington were expecting Phase 2 negotiations to bear fruit before the 2020 election.While Phase 1 focused mainly on Chinese purchases of US goods, improved US access to China’s financial services market and some intellectual property issues, Phase 2 was meant to tackle far more difficult issues associated with China’s technology transfer policies, industrial espionage and government subsidies to state-owned enterprises.Topics : US President Donald Trump on Tuesday shut the door on “Phase 2″ trade negotiations with China, saying he does not want to talk to Beijing about trade because of the coronavirus pandemic.”I’m not interested right now in talking to China,” Trump replied when asked in an interview with CBS News whether Phase 2 trade talks were dead.”We made a great trade deal,” Trump said, of the Phase 1 agreement signed in January. “But as soon as the deal was done, the ink wasn’t even dry, and they hit us with the plague,” he said, referring to the novel coronavirus, which first emerged from the Chinese city of Wuhan.last_img read more

The Latest: Big 12 to hold virtual football media days

first_imgBig 12 coaches and athletic directors made the decision Wednesday during a virtual spring meeting that replaced their annual gathering in Scottsdale, Arizona.About 500 media members are usually credentialed to attend Big 12 media days, which were scheduled to be held July 21-22 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and the site of the league’s championship game.The online media days will likely be held those same dates, though that was tentative.___Canadian Football League Commissioner Randy Ambrosie will testify at a House of Commons standing committee on finance Thursday. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Big 12 has become the first Power Five conference to say it will hold its football media days virtually. Associated Press German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Bundesliga can resume this month amid the coronavirus pandemic.Merkel announced a loosening of a range of containment measures after meeting with the country’s 16 state governors. Pressure to relax the rules had been growing as the rate of daily infections in the country has dropped.Soccer in the country’s top two divisions will be able to resume without spectators and with a range of other conditions designed to prevent another outbreak. Players will be tested and teams will also have to spend time in quarantine before games can restart.The earliest the league can resume is May 16. The German soccer league is to hold a general meeting with the country’s 36 professional clubs in the top two divisions via video link on Thursday.The Bundesliga was suspended with nine rounds remaining on March 13. The clubs had committed to finishing the season by the end of June. North Carolina says it’s launching a crowdfunding campaign to allow fans to help provide financial assistance to school athletes facing “extreme hardships” amid the coronavirus pandemic.The school announced the creation of the Helping Heels Fund on Wednesday. It is designed to receive gifts to directly aid athletes and their families with expenses as permitted by NCAA rules. Those expenses could include groceries, medical bills and technology needs for online classes or remote learning.The fund is designed to supplement the school’s existing Student-Athlete Assistance Fund for the same issues. UNC has more than 800 student-athletes in 28 varsity sports.Athletics director Bubba Cunningham says many people have reached out seeking to help school athletes amid the pandemic that has shut down college sports while displacing athletes from campuses and team facilities. He says the new fund “is an opportunity to offer resources beyond what our department is currently able to provide.”The school’s compliance office will vet any funds provided and no money will go directly from a donor to an athlete. All school-sponsored athletic activities were put on hold in March and later canceled because of school closures due to the new coronavirus. Those policies will remain in place through June.The resumption of prep sports remains contingent on the state’s ability to gradually reopen for business under the plan outlined last week by Gov. Eric Holcomb.If the the guidelines are met, athletes would be able to work out with teammates and coaches through at least Aug. 1.The decision comes after Jennifer McCormick, Indiana’s superintendent of public instruction, clarified that June 30 will be the end of the traditionally defined school year. ___ The Packers also have provided $1.5 million in grants through the Packers Give Back COVID-19 Community Relief Fund.___Juventus has announced that forward Paulo Dybala has recovered from the new coronavirus.Juventus issued a brief statement Wednesday saying that Dybala’s two latest tests came back negative for COVID-19. The club says Dybala has “therefore recovered and will no longer be subjected to the home isolation regime.”It was reported last week that Dybala was still positive for the disease after several weeks of tests. Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke and the school’s five highest-paid coaches will take voluntary 20% pay cuts as the athletic department deals with a projected $7.5 million revenue shortfall due to the coronavirus pandemic.Football coach Kevin Sumlin, men’s basketball coach Sean Miller, and baseball coach Jay Johnson will all take cuts for the 2020-21 school year. Women’s basketball coach Adia Barnes and softball coach Mike Candrea also agreed to salary reductions.Other Arizona coaches will take smaller salary cuts as part of a university plan to reduce projected losses of $250 million through the 2020-21 fiscal year.Heeke last month said the athletic department faces a roughly $7.5 million revenue shortfall in 2019-20 after the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and all spring sports were canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.___ Juventus and most of the other Serie A clubs are resuming training this week on an individual basis before full team training restarts on May 18.___The New Jersey Devils are donating 10,000 tickets for next season to health care workers with RWJBarnabas.The Devils also promised to donate two extra tickets for every season ticket member and plan holder who use credits they earned this year for next year.The NHL team plans to use social media to honor front-line workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in New Jersey and across the country. The tribute is called “Stick Taps at 7” and will be broadcast at 7 p.m. It will include videos of players, alumni, coaches, management, front office staff and others saluting doctors, nurses and health care workers. Barcelona was leading the competition at the time it was suspended in March and will be declared champion.No teams will be relegated but the top two from the second division will be promoted.There will be no relegation in the third and fourth divisions but the promoted clubs will come from the winners of playoff matches played without fans.___The head of the Australian Open says various contingency plans are being considered for the Grand Slam tournament scheduled for January 2021. They include scrapping it altogether because of the coronavirus pandemic or allowing just spectators from the host country. May 6, 2020 ___Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes says all sporting competitions in the country will remain suspended until July 31 because of the coronavirus pandemic.The Belgian soccer league says it will respect the national security council’s decision. The league recommended last month ending its season with the current standings declared final.The league says “the working group’s proposals will be presented to the Pro League clubs at the general assembly on May 15.”Club Brugge stands to be awarded the title and qualify for next season’s Champions League if the advice is confirmed. Brugge is currently 15 points ahead of second-place Gent with one game to go before the season-ending playoffs. Bickerstaff, who took over the Cavs when John Beilein stepped down in February midway through his first season, said the league has advised that any player and coach remain 12 feet apart while on the floor together.He said coaches will be required to wear masks and gloves. Bickerstaff said the workouts are voluntary and “no one is being pressured to do anything.”___Torino has announced that a player has tested positive for COVID-19 after the first run of medical tests were carried out on the team as it begins the return to training.The club has not named the player but says he is asymptomatic and has been placed in quarantine. The appearance on a videoconference will come nine days after news broke that the CFL asked the Canadian government for up to $150 million Canadian in financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.Ambrosie is part of a panel on arts, culture, sports and charitable organizations.The CFL’s proposal to the federal government involves $30 million now to manage the current impact the novel coronavirus outbreak has had on league business, and up to another $120 million if the 2020 season is canceled.___The Indiana High School Athletic Association has announced the resumption of prep sports around the state can tentatively begin July 1. ___Orioles outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. is eager to get back on the baseball diamond, though not until he can be sure it’s in a safe environment.Speaking Wednesday on a teleconference call from his home in Peachtree City, Georgia, Smith said he doesn’t want to return until there’s no threat of contracting the new coronavirus.“There’s a definitely a concern about that,” Smith said. “We want to make sure it’s 100 percent safe. When they give us the go — if they do — to start back up again, we don’t want to contract that virus and then pass it around to others amongst ourselves and get other people sick and just continue that pandemic.“Whenever they give us the go, when it’s like a really safe time to go back, I think that would be the best opportunity.” RJWBarnabas Health is a sponsor of the Devils.The owners of the team previously donated money and medical supplies to the RWJBarnabas Health Emergency Response Fund. Josh Harris and David Blitzer are the managing partners of the Devils.___Two more international golf tournaments for amateurs have been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.The International Golf Federation says the World Amateur Team Championships for men and women — scheduled over two weeks in October in Singapore — have been scratched. The tournament dates to 1958. It was moved in February from Hong Kong because of social unrest. ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 The World Amateur Team is held every other year. The IGF decided not to postpone it until 2021 because of the effect it would create with scheduling problems. It next will be played in France in 2022.Also, the R&A says it has postponed until next year the inaugural Women’s Amateur Latin America Championship. It was scheduled for Sept. 3-6 in Buenos Aires. It now is scheduled for Sept. 2-5 in 2021.___The Spanish soccer federation is proposing an end to this season’s women’s league because of the coronavirus pandemic.The proposal is expected to be approved by the federation’s board on Thursday. The International Olympic Committee will hold an annual meeting through video conferencing on July 17.The meeting of around 100 members, known as the IOC Session, had originally been scheduled to be held in Tokyo before the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics.The one-year postponement of the Tokyo Games because of the new coronavirus, and global restrictions on travel and large gatherings of people, have left video conferencing as the best option.The IOC says its executive board will discuss the Session agenda and a secure voting protocol. The board is due to meet remotely next week, on May 14.___ Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley tells the Australian Associated Press that the “worst-case scenario” is no tournament at all next year.Tiley is the Australian Open’s tournament director. He says organizers have “modeled everything” and tells AAP “our best-case scenario at this point is having an AO with players that we can get in here with quarantining techniques and Australian-only fans.”More than 30 sanctioned tennis tournaments have been postponed or canceled so far because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The French Open was moved from May to September and Wimbledon was called off entirely for the first time in 75 years.A decision on this year’s U.S. Open is expected in June.___ The Latest: Big 12 to hold virtual football media days Smith has been passing the time during the quarantine with his family, but he made time to participate in a video game challenge with other big leaguers. Playing MLB The Show 19, Smith went 19-10, finished fifth and was named Players League Best Manager.— Reporting by David Ginsburg in Baltimore___Cleveland Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said the NBA team is going ahead with plans to open its training facility on Friday so players can individually work out.Bickerstaff said the team has been in contact with local and Ohio health officials to make sure it is following safety guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The team’s year-round facility in Independence, Ohio has been closed since mid-March. Most Serie A clubs are resuming training this week on an individual basis before full team training restarts on May 18.The teams have been allowed to do so under a strict set of guidelines, including testing players and staff.___The Green Bay Packers are teaming with American Family Insurance to provide $20,000 worth of ready-made meals to northeast Wisconsin’s front-line workers in the fight against the new coronavirus. Packers officials said the meals will be delivered to hospitals May 6-12 for Nurse Appreciation Week and will go to police and fire stations May 10-16 as part of Police Appreciation Week.last_img read more

In Somalia, women defy strict rules to play football

first_imgPhoto by @goldengirlsTSCMogadishu, Somalia | AFP | Shortly after sunrise, a group of young women arrives at a football pitch in Mogadishu, where they shrug off their hijabs — some changing underneath the billowing veil — to reveal their team kit.Young Somali men stand nearby, some disapproving but all watching closely, as the women jog up and down, dribble a worn-out ball between colourful cones and do sit-ups, less than 200 metres (656 feet) from a heavily guarded security checkpoint.The sight of young women playing football is highly unusual in Somalia, due to societal pressures as well as fear of Al-Shabaab.The Al-Qaeda linked Islamist group launches regular attacks in Mogadishu and considers forms of entertainment, such as football, to be evil, worse still if women are involved.“It is obvious that we are scared despite the fact that we put on heavy clothes over our shorts and T-shirts (until) we get to the pitch. It is very difficult to walk normally with sports clothes — we never wear sports clothing in society,” said Hibaq Abdukadir, 20, one of the footballers.She is among 60 girls, who have signed up to train at the Golden Girls Centre in Mogadishu, Somalia’s first female soccer club.– ‘Think differently’ – Mohamed Abukar Ali, the 28-year-old co-founder of the centre, said he was inspired to create the club after he realised that Somalia had no female footballers.“We are… trying to make these girls the first Somali female football professionals,” he said.However this is not an easy task.“When the girls have to attend training sessions, we have to organise to pick them up and bring them here and back home after the session because they are girls and we think about their security,” said Ali.“There are so many challenges, from security to lack of resources… but that will not deter our ambition to establish female football clubs in this country,” he said. “We believe it is the right time and we should have the courage to think differently.” – ‘They look naked’ –Many of the girls who have joined the club said they had always wanted to try playing football but never had the opportunity.“I have been playing football for seven months, but my family has only known about it for two months,” said Sohad Mohamed, 19.“I used to dodge my mother about where I was going because she would not allow me to play football, but at least my mum is okay with it now, even though the rest of my family is not happy.”In Somalia, it is taboo for women to appear in public dressed in shorts, trousers or T-shirts, with Islamic scholars saying sports clothing is not appropriate Islamic dress for women.The players wear tights underneath their baggy shorts, and cover their hair, but still face criticism for their dress.“I come to watch them train but frankly speaking, I would not be happy to see my sister doing it, this is not good in society’s eyes because they look naked,” said Yusuf Abdirahman, who lives near the football field.Mohamed Yahye, another onlooker, is happy to see women playing football but is also concerned about how they are dressed.“I think there is nothing wrong with women playing football, the only thing they should change is the dress code, they need to wear something that is not slim-fitting. But as long as their body is not seen, they are in line with the Islamic dress codes,” he said.However the Golden Girls are not fazed.“My ambition is so high that I aim for the same progress as those female footballers who play for Barcelona,” said Abdukadir.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

South Sound Boy Scouts Preparing to Admit Girls into Troops in…

first_imgFacebook169Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Boy Scouts of America Pacific Harbor CouncilThe Pacific Harbors Council of the Boy Scouts of America is preparing to welcome girls into the Boy Scout program beginning on February 1, 2019.  Applications and meetings are underway to ease the transition into All-Girl Troops in the new program known as Scouts BSA.Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will rebrand itself for the first time in more than 100 years as Scouts BSA. Girls in fifth grade through high school (ages 11-to-17) will be allowed to join and work to become Eagle Scouts.There is high interest in girls joining Scouts BSA with a number of all-female units forming from Tacoma, south to Olympia.  Training for new female Scoutmasters is already underway. During 2018, more than 150 girls joined coed Cub Scout units in the South Sound region.A membership launch party will be held on February 1-2, 2019 at Camp Thunderbird (located at Summit Lake, west of Olympia).  An introduction to Scouts BSA activities will be held Friday night and Saturday for new female members.There will also be an Adventure Campout during the weekend of March 8-10, 2019 at Camp Thunderbird. Female troops will compete with one another in outdoor activities such as axe-throwing and bow and arrow target contests.  More information to come.BackgroundThe admission of girls into Boy Scouts was announced on October 11, 2017 by the national Boy Scouts of America (BSA) organization.  Boy Scouts will remain the corporate name of BSA while local units will be rebranded as Scouts BSA troops.Since the initial announcement, more than 60,000 girls have joined Cub Scout packs across the United States.  Locally, Scouting has contributed nearly 22,000 hours of community service by 2,100 Scouts and adult volunteers. Projects include helping with food banks, environmental clean-ups, working with seniors, and providing shelter projects that enhance the quality of living in South Sound neighborhoods.  During the holidays, Scouts planted flags and wreaths on veteran gravesites and helped recycle Christmas trees.What’s New – All Girl TroopsWhat’s new is that older girls (ages 11 to 17) can now join all-girl troops and work toward the Eagle rank.  Only four percent of Scouts advance to Eagle Scouts, which brings benefits such as college admissions credits and scholarships among other things. To earn an Eagle rank, Scouts must spend several years in a troop advancing from the Tenderfoot level on up and earn a minimum of 21 merit badges. Scouts must attain an Eagle ranking by their 18th birthday.  Older Scouts joining can petition for extensions based on their circumstances.Youth Protection RequirementsAll Scouting activities will require two-deep leadership (by trained and certified adult leaders).  A Scoutmaster can be male or female.  Whenever female Scouts are present, a trained and certified female adult leader must be present.Where can girls join?Online registrationFind a unit near youContact the Pacific Harbors Council officeAbout the Pacific Harbors Council – Boy Scouts of AmericaThe Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910 and the Pacific Harbors Council was established shortly thereafter as one of the first Councils in the United States.  In more of a century of service, the Pacific Harbors Council has organized Scouting units from Chehalis north to Federal Way and from the Washington coast to the Cascade foothillsOver the years, local Scouts have helped sell War Bonds, organized Block Watch crime prevention programs, collected for recycling projects and conducted search and rescues in local mountains and along Puget Sound.  Today, Scouts are involved in environmental clean-up projects, building playgrounds and parklands, collecting food to stock local food banks and serving all of our communities through active outreach through our Venturing, Sea Scouts and Explorer programs. There are more than 9,000 Scouts registered in the Pacific Harbors Council.All of this is partially funded by the Friends of Scouting (FOS).  The Council’s Annual FOS fundraising Breakfast will be held March 7, 2019 at the Murano Hotel’s Centennial Pavilion in Tacoma.  This year’s keynote speaker will be NFL Hall of Famer Joe Theismann who will talk about the need, more than ever, of the virtues and civility of Scouting Leadership in our country.last_img read more