Monthly Archives: July 2019

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A resolution condemning President Donald Trump’s racially charged attacks on four Democratic congresswomen was headed for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday, with Trump pressuring his fellow Republicans to oppose it.

    The measure, which would be symbolic and have no force of law, was expected to pass since Democrats have a majority in the House, with any Republican support for the resolution signaling that Trump’s attacks had crossed a line even with his party’s lawmakers.

    “This is, I hope, one where we will get Republican support. If they can’t support condemning the words of the president, well, that’s a message in and of itself,” Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told party colleagues in a closed caucus meeting on Tuesday, according to an aide who was present.

    “These are our sisters,” Pelosi said of the four lawmakers targeted by Trump. All four are minority women on the Democrats’ progressive wing and in their first terms in Congress.

    Trump triggered the controversy during the weekend by tweeting that the four should “go back” where they came from. All four are U.S. citizens; three were born in the United States.

    On Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted: “Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body! The so-called vote to be taken is a Democrat con game. Republicans should not show ‘weakness’ and fall into their trap.”

    Trump did not name the congresswomen in his initial tweets but he singled out some of them in remarks at a White House event on Monday that was intended to highlight the U.S. economy, but instead focused on his widely derided rhetoric.

    The lawmakers – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan – have been critical of Trump, as well as of the current Democratic leaders of the House, straining party unity in that chamber.

    A final vote on the resolution condemning Trump’s remarks was expected on Tuesday evening with Pelosi trying to manage demands from some House Democrats for a tougher resolution to censure him.

    The censure can be invoked against members of Congress or other government officials. It is rarely used by Congress against a president and normally requires the person being censured to stand in the House for a public reprimand.

    Democratic Representative Steve Cohen, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, has 17 co-sponsors for his bill to censure Trump. “What he has done is reprehensible,” he told reporters.

    Cohen said whatever the House does should not be “watered down” to try to lure House Republicans into voting for it.


    Democrats and other critics in statements on Monday rejected Trump’s personal attacks on the four congresswomen, who are known on Capitol Hill as “the squad,” as “racist,” “xenophobic” and aimed at further dividing Americans.

    A few congressional Republicans condemned Trump’s remarks, while others defended the president and attacked the women.

    House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, asked by a reporter on Tuesday if Trump’s tweets were racist, said, “No.”

    The vote on the House resolution would force House Republicans either to vote against their party’s leader, who has strong support among conservatives, or effectively defend him.

    The resolution, seen by Reuters late on Monday, said the House “strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

    On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, referring again to the four lawmakers, “Why isn’t the House voting to rebuke the filthy and hate laced things they have said?”

    In response, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “Hey Mr. President, remember when you bragged about sexually assaulting women, talking about feeling their breasts and genitals, because ‘when you’re a star they let you do it?’”

    She also tweeted, “You’re right, Mr. President – you don’t have a racist bone in your body. You have a racist mind in your head, and a racist heart in your chest.”

    Trump is seeking re-election next year. His attacks on the congresswomen were seen by some as an attempt to divert attention from other issues and splinter the Democrats, who won control of Congress’ lower chamber in 2018.

    Trump’s re-election campaign on Tuesday was scheduled to launch a formal effort to woo female voters, a key voting bloc, particularly in the U.S. suburbs.

    Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh, Bill Trott and Alistair Bell

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. underlying consumer prices increased by the most in nearly 1-1/2 years in June amid solid gains in the costs of a range of goods and services, but that will likely not change expectations the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this month.

    Signs of a pick-up in underlying inflation, together with a strong labor market could, however, temper expectations that the Fed will lower borrowing costs at least twice this year.

    A rate cut at the July 30-31 policy meeting, the first in a decade, is almost certain after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday told lawmakers the U.S. central bank would “act as appropriate” to protect the economy from rising risks such as trade tensions and slowing global growth.

    The Labor Department said on Thursday its consumer price index excluding the volatile food and energy components rose 0.3% last month. That as the largest increase since January 2018 and followed four straight monthly gains of 0.1%.

    The so-called core CPI was boosted by strong gains in prices for apparel, used cars and trucks, as well as household furnishings. There were also increases in the cost of healthcare and rents. In the 12 months through June, the core CPI climbed 2.1% after advancing 2.0% in May.

    But the overall CPI edged up 0.1% last month, held back by cheaper gasoline and food prices, matching May’s rise. It increased 1.6% year-on-year in June after rising 1.8% in May.

    Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the CPI unchanged in June and the core CPI gaining 0.2%.

    The Fed, which has a 2% inflation target, tracks the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index for monetary policy. The core PCE price index increased 1.5% year-on-year in May and has undershot its target this year.

    The Fed last month downgraded its inflation projection for 2019 to 1.5% from the 1.8% projected in March. Powell on Wednesday said “there is a risk that weak inflation will be even more persistent than we currently anticipate.”


    In another report on Thursday, the Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 209,000 for the week ended July 6, the lowest level since April. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 223,000 in the latest week.

    The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 3,250 to 219,250 last week.

    Sustained labor market strength could help support the economy, which is also slowing as last year’s massive stimulus from tax cuts and more government spending fades. Manufacturing is struggling, the trade deficit is widening again, consumer spending is rising moderately and the housing sector remains mired in a soft patch.

    Despite the rising risks to the 10-year old economic expansion, the longest in history, the labor market remains healthy. The economy created 224,000 job in June. The tightening labor market has, however, not generated robust wage gains. This has helped to keep inflation moderate.

    The dollar trimmed losses against a basket of currencies after the data, while U.S. Treasury prices fell. U.S. stock index futures pared gains.

    In June, owners’ equivalent rent of primary residence, which is what a homeowner would pay to rent or receive from renting a home, rose 0.3%, matching May’s gain. The rent index shot up 0.4%. Healthcare costs increased 0.3%, after a similar advance in May. There was a 1.1% surge in the cost of dental services, but prescription drug prices fell 0.6%.

    Apparel prices jumped 1.1% after being unchanged in May. Prices for these goods tumbled in March and April after the government introduced a new method and data to calculate their cost. Used motor vehicles and trucks prices accelerated 1.6% in June after declining for four straight months.

    The price of household furnishings and operations rose 0.8%, the biggest gain since 1991, driven by rising costs for gardening and lawn care services. There were also increases in the costs of motor vehicle insurance, education, new vehicles, communication and alcohol.

    But consumers paid less for gasoline last month, with prices dropping 3.6% after falling 0.5% in May. Food prices were unchanged last month after rebounding 0.3% in May. Food consumed at home fell 0.2% amid declines in the prices for beef, fish, eggs, cereals and fruit and vegetables.

    Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci

      (Reuters) – A storm churning in the Gulf of Mexico and aimed at water-logged New Orleans was expected to make landfall as the first Atlantic hurricane of the 2019 season by late Friday or early Saturday, forecasters said.

      The storm, which forecasters said might escalate to a tropical storm by late Thursday, had maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour (55 kph) as of Thursday morning, the National Weather Service said.

      Meteorologists predicted between 10 and 20 inches (25 and 50 cm) of rain would fall on the Gulf Coast on Friday and Saturday from West Texas through New Orleans and the Louisiana coast.

      “The whole area is in for a soaking, the worst of it on Saturday,” said David Roth, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.

      The storm remained a tropical disturbance early on Thursday about 115 miles (185 km) south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, the National Hurricane Center said.

      The storm will be named Barry if it strengthens into a tropical storm with winds of 39 mph or more on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale. It will become Hurricane Barry if it reaches wind speeds of 74 mph (119 km) as expected when it makes landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River and just west of New Orleans.

      Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency on Wednesday.

      “The storm system will likely produce storm surge, hurricane force winds,” he said at a news conference. “No one should take this storm lightly.”

      National Guard troops were in place across the state, the governor said.

      U.S. oil producers on Wednesday cut nearly a third of Gulf of Mexico crude output ahead of the storm.

      Fifteen production platforms and four rigs were evacuated in the north central Gulf of Mexico, according to a U.S. regulator as oil firms moved workers to safety.

      New Orleans was already hit with widespread flooding on Wednesday from a weather system that might inundate the low-lying U.S. city.

      The National Weather Service said the city had received 6 to 9 inches (15 to 23 cm) of rain by Thursday morning, causing dramatic flooding in the area, including on Bourbon Street in the city’s historic French Quarter.

      Officials advised residents on Wednesday to stock up on emergency supplies and ordered evacuations in some vulnerable residential areas.

      Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles, Peter

      hello kitty

      BRUSELAS (AP) — Autoridades de la Unión Europea multaron el martes a la compañía japonesa dueña de la marca Hello Kitty por restringir las ventas internacionales por internet de juguetes, tazas, bolsos y otros productos con la caricatura de la gata.

      La comisionada antimonopolio de la UE, Margrethe Vestager, dijo que Sanrio Co. fue sancionada con 6,2 millones de euros (7 millones de dólares) por violar las reglas antimonopolio al prohibir a comerciantes vender mercancía en diferentes países del bloque.

      La comisión halló que las prácticas ilegales de Sanrio estuvieron en vigencia por 11 años hasta diciembre pasado.

      Las limitadas ventas transfronterizas “llevan a menos opciones y potencialmente precios más elevados para los consumidores y va contra las reglas antimonopolio de la UE”, dijo Vestager.

      Las autoridades de la UE lanzaron su investigación en 2017, junto con pesquisas contra Nike y Universal Studios, mientras intensificaban su escrutinio del comercio por internet como parte de los esfuerzos de fomentar un “mercado digital único”.

      De momento Sanrio no respondió la petición de comentario.

      Creada en 1974, la gatita Helly Kitty se ha convertido en ícono global con fans de todas las edades. Sanrio dice que pueden encontrarse 50.000 productos diferentes de la marca vendidos en 130 países. La compañía también tiene los derechos de otros personajes animados, incluyendo las series “Mr. Men” (“Los Señordones”) y “Little Miss”.

      hello kitty

      Sealed bids will be received until 2:00 PM on August 8, 2019, at the office of The Krog Group, LLC located at 4 Centre Drive, Orchard Park, NY 14127, Attention: Mike McGuigan, Project Manager, Tel. 716-667-1234, for the TRICO Redevelopment Project – Core and Shell Package 1 &2 (“Project”). Faxed or emailed bids or bids in any format other than on the Bid Form contained herein may be rejected. Questions during the bidding period must be emailed or faxed toBob Molnar at: or 716-667-1258 (fax) by August 1, 2019. The Krog Group, LLC will not accept or respond to questions from prospective bidders received orally.

      The TRICO Redevelopment – Core and Shell Package 1 & 2 (“Project”) includes:

      Previously Bid Contracts:

      • C-101 – Roofing
      • C-102 – Glass & Glazing
      • C-204 – Masonry Restoration
      • C-212- Vertical TransportationCurrent Contracts Bidding:
      • C-202 – Concrete Foundations and Flat Work
      • C-203 – Unit Masonry
      • C-205 – Bridge & Plaza Structural Steel
      • C-206 – Miscellaneous Light Iron
      • C-207 – Hollow Metal Doors, Frames, HardwareFuture Bid Packages:
        • C-201 – Sitework
        • C-208 – Overhead and Coiling Doors
        • C-209 – Exterior Facade at Courtyard
        • C-210 – Plaza Deck Coatings
        • C-213 – Plumbing
        • C-214 – Fire Protection
        • C-215 – HVAC
        • C-216 – ElectricalThe Contract Documents may be obtained at Avalon Document Services and the following websites and/or companies:

      Avalon Document Services


      741 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203

      (716) 995-7777

      Reprocraft Printing Services

      136 Broadway Avenue Buffalo, NY 14203
      (716) 847-6262

      The Construction Exchange of Buffalo and WNY, Inc.

      Online Plan Room

      2660 William Street, Buffalo, NY 14227 (716) 874-3435

      Krog Drop Box Link



      791 Washington St

      Buffalo, NY14203

      CORE & SHELL – COMBINED BID PACKAGE #1 & #2 May 10, 2019 A|r # 508.01

      Complete sets of the Bid Documents may be obtained at the office of Avalon Document Services, 741 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203 and Reprocraft Printing Services, 136 Broadway Ave., Buffalo, NY. Bidders are to provide an active email address, street address (no PO Box Numbers), phone number, and contact name. Partial sets or sections of the Contract Documents are not recommended. The failure or omission of any bidder to receive or examine any form, instrument, or document shall in no way relieve any bidder from any obligation in respect to his bid.

      A pre-bid conference and walkthrough will be held on July 25, 2019. Time and location to be announced. This conference will be the only scheduled opportunity that prospective bidders will have to visit the facilities. Additional site visits may be scheduled on an as-needed basis with Krog. All pre-bid RFIs must be received no later than 12:00 p.m. on August 1, 2019.

      Any bidder who is preparing a bid based upon the Contract Documents available at various service agencies, is responsible for obtaining the addenda from the hosting service. Failure of any bidder to receive any such addendum or interpretation shall not relieve any bidder from any obligation under this bid as submitted. All addenda so issued shall become part of the Contract Documents.

      WORKFORCE DIVERSITY AND EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES: The Krog Group, LLC recognizes the need to take action to ensure that minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBE’s), and minority and women employees and principals are given the opportunity to participate. Accordingly, The Krog Group, LLC fosters and promotes the participation of such individuals and business firms. Therefore, all subcontractors and suppliers are expected to comply with the Goals set forth in Section 00 43 31 (“M/WBE Utilization and Workforce Diversity”), and to use good faith efforts to attain the diversity and workforce utilization goals stated therein.

      Public Notice (BCC) is seeking subcontractor and supplier proposals for the Statler Envelope Project

      Buffalo Construction Consultants (BCC) is seeking subcontractor and supplier proposals for the Statler Envelope Project, located at 107 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14202. The project includes replacement of tower roofing, street level façade improvements (GFC Panels), storefront, masonry and window painting/restoration and Marquee Replacement.

      NYS and Erie County certified Minority and Women Business Enterprise participation is strongly encouraged.

      An optional MWBE meeting may be held at the request of subcontrac- tors at BCC’s office located at 6000 N. Bailey, Suite 2D, Buffalo, NY 14226. Please contact Mike Maglio to schedule a meeting.

      Minority Owned Sub-Contracting Goal: 15% Women Owned Sub-Contracting Goal: 10%

      Interested contractors should contact Michael Maglio via Email at:

      Robert Kraft solicitation charge puts spotlight on sex trafficking

      El gobernador Ricardo Rosselló aprovechó el medio tiempo de la final femenina de la Mundial de la FIFA para posar con el dueño de los Patriots de la NFL, Robert Kraft, quien enfrenta dos cargos por solicitar servicios de prostitución ( Sex Slaves) en un club de Florida.

      Las fotos abonan a la controversia que desató el viaje de Rosselló, quien optó por realizarlo en medio del asedio que mantienen las autoridades federales a elementos de su administración por posible corrupción y por el uso de fondos públicos en dos escoltas que le acompañaron.

      Rosselló publicó la foto del encuentro en sus redes sociales con el mensaje, en inglés, “¡Medio tiempo con Robert Kraft y la sortija de los Patriots, Campeones del Super Bowl!”. Además, publicó una foto con el jefe de la FIFA, Gianni Infantino, quien fue abucheado en la ceremonia de entrega del trofeo al equipo campeón de Estados Unidos debido a una controversia por la disparidad de la paga que reciben las jugadoras de la liga femenina en contraste con los jugadores masculinos.

      En febrero pasado, la policía acusó a Kraft con un delito menor de solicitar servicios de prostitución en el ‘spa’ Orquídeas de Asia, ubicado en un centro comercial en la localidad de Júpiter, Florida. Kraft, de 77 años y cuya fortuna asciende a los $6,000 millones, tiene residencia en West Palm Beach y, de hecho, es un visitante frecuente del ‘resort’ del presidente de Donald Trump, en Florida, Mar-a-Lago, a pesar de que es demócrata.

      Kraft se ha declarado inocente y está combatiendo los cargos. La acusación es parte de un esfuerzo de las autoridades locales por investigar y combatir la trata humana, en su modalidad de esclavitud o explotación sexual, que es lo que se alega sufren las empleadas del ‘spa’ que serían inmigrantes sin permisos para permanecer en Estados Unidos.

      Las autoridades tienen un video que dicen muestra a Kraft recibiendo los servicios de prostitución junto a otros hombres pero, por ahora, un juez ha determinado que le video no se puede usar en el caso. El video no sería publicado hasta que el caso termine, sea porque la evidencia se presentó a un jurado, se llegó a un acuerdo o se desistió por parte de las autoridades. Los abogados de Kraft no disputan el contenido del video, sino la forma en que se obtuvo y los prejuicios que causaría el publicarlo ahora.

      Según alega la Policía, Kraft recibió los servicios entre la noche y la mañana previa al juego el 20 de enero en el que su equipo disputó el título de la Conferencia Americana. Los Pariots vencieron a los Rams este año para conseguir su sexto campeonato de Super Bowl en 18 temporadas. De ser encontrado culpable, enfrenta 100 horas de servicio comunitario, una clase sobre la prostitución y la trata humana y una multa de $5,000.

      La dueña del ‘spa’, Hua Zhang, y la gerente, Lei Wang, también están siendo procesadas, pero enfrentan cada una 26 cargos menos graves y uno grave.

      Para un reportaje a fondo sobre el caso de Kraft, vea aquí.

      (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker said he does not currently see an “immediate need” to change interest rates, according to the Wall Street Journal.

      “There’s no immediate need to move rates in either direction at this point in my view,” the newspaper quoted Harker as saying in an interview on Monday, reiterating his views from earlier this year.

      Harker, who does not vote on the Fed’s rate-setting committee this year but participates in its deliberations, said rate cuts would be warranted if the U.S. economy was “weakening substantially” but that he does not see that happening currently.

      Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

        PARIS (Reuters) – European regulators have ordered inspections on some older Airbus (AIR.PA) A380 superjumbo airplanes after some cracks were detected in wings on the world’s largest passenger aircraft.

        The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) directive, which formalizes an instruction from the manufacturer itself, covers part of the outer wing on the 25 oldest aircraft, which first went into service in 2007 with Singapore Airlines (SIAL.SI).

        Airbus said the safety of the aircraft was not affected.

        “We confirm that small cracks have been found on the outer rear wing spars of early production A380 aircraft. We have identified the issue and designed an inspection and repair scheme.” an Airbus spokesman said.

        The repairs, which must be carried out within 15 years of the initial wing box assembly, can be carried out during scheduled heavy maintenance visits, he added.

        EASA in its directive said the condition, if not detected and corrected, could reduce the structural integrity of the wing.

        Emirates, the world’s largest A380 operator, has started checks on nine of its superjumbos and “so far, there has been nothing untoward in the findings,” a spokeswoman said.

        The Dubai-based carrier has 111 A380s in its fleet.

        Singapore Airlines is to inspect four of its A380s, while Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways said its A380s were newer models and not affected.

        In 2012, Airbus was forced to carry out A380 inspections and devise a costly repair program after cracks were found on part of the wings, the world’s largest for a passenger plane.

        Reporting by Tim Hepher and Cyril Altmeyer; additional reporting by Jamie Freed in Singapore & Alexander Cornwell in Dubai Editing by Mark Potter and Louise Heavens

          NEW YORK (Reuters) – America’s World Cup soccer winners are being treated like losers when it comes to pay. The women’s team that beat the Netherlands on Sunday – for its fourth win since the 1990s – is fighting for equal wages in a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. As in the corporate world, proving inequality is complex, but reasons to fix it are simple.

          Early TV ratings estimate some 20 million people watched Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle score two goals against the Dutch defense, electrifying a home audience that usually favors baseball, basketball and American football over the Beautiful Game. The U.S. women’s team also has four Olympic wins under their belt. The men have never won a World Cup or taken home the gold.

          Yet in compensation terms the men have them beat. A top-tier female player would earn only 38% what a male player with similar stats does, the women’s team claimed in a legal filing. Female athletes that make the World Cup team roster get $15,000 for their efforts. Carry a Y chromosome instead of two X’s, and the going rate rises to $55,000.

          Questions of fairness quickly get mired in numerical uncertainty. Ticket sales and sponsorships can be hard to pin to a specific team. Contracts vary between players, and between countries. It’s not unlike corporate America, which uses a litany of metrics to explain why there are fewer females at the top and why they earn on average around 85 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to the Pew Research Center.

          Companies are doing better than USSF because from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, executives at least openly acknowledge that equal pay attracts more talented women and makes companies look and perform better than rivals. Nearly one-third of board seats are now held by women, according to Catalyst. The split on the USSF’s own board, as it happens, is roughly the same.

          Soccer’s failure is all the more egregious because the women’s team visibly brings in more revenue and is more profitable than the men’s. For the 2016 fiscal year, the women’s team made more revenue than the men’s team – $24 million versus $22 million – and they cost less. Closing the pay gap will lead to better players, more fans, good publicity and more money. Reason enough.


          Reuters Breakingviews is the world’s leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time.


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