Yearly Archives: 2018

BUFFALO, N.Y.  – Republican leaders in Western New York are scrambling to figure out how to replace Congressman Chris Collins on the ballot, not that the three-term congressman has suspended his re-election campaign. Collins made that decision days after being indicted on federal insider trading charges.

The chairmen and chairwoman of the counties covering New York’s 27th congressional district are now planning to meet Tuesday evening in Batavia to discuss the opening.

At least a dozen people remain in contention, including New York State Senator Chris Jacobs.

“I love serving in the Senate,” Jacobs said. “I want to make the biggest impact possible in Western New York. If the opportunity came up to serve in Congress, I believe I can make a bigger impact for the region. But that’s in somebody else’s hands.

Democratic Grand Island Town Supervisor Nate McMurray is already on the ballot for the November election, which is now less than three months away. As it stands, Collins still has the GOP nod, despite suspending his campaign. Erie County Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy is confident his name can be replaced on the ballot.

“The candidate will have to answer campaign finance questions. They’ll have to answer questions about their background,” said Langworthy. “Obviously coming off losing a congressman to an indictment on some serious charges, we are going to have our guards up in a big way.”

On Saturday, Langworthy said he hoped to have a candidate selected within seven to 10 days. The decision comes down to the opinions of the GOP chairs of Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Monroe, Livingston, and Ontario counties.

Political analyst Kevin Hardwick told News 4 on Tuesday that he thinks the candidate to replace Chris Collins will be decided on Tuesday night.

“You have different counties with different leadership who may support one candidate over another,” said Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon, an Independent from Hamburg who is a potential replacement for Collins. “You have to have the ability to bring everybody together to support one candidate. That’s a challenge.”

“The process has to be fairly quick because whoever the candidate is needs time to get an apparatus up and running,” said New York State Assemblyman Ray Walter, another possible candidate. “There are some of us that have that in place ready to go already.”

Sen. Patrick Gallivan released a statement on Tuesday, saying “I am considering all options as well as my commitment to my constituents in the 59th Senate District and my family.”

The great American soul singer Aretha Franklin has died at the age of 76, her representative has said. She was reported to have been gravely ill with her family at her bedside.

“In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds,” Franklin’s family said.

Franklin had been in ill health since 2010, when she was diagnosed with a tumour but returned to intermittent live performance after undergoing surgery. She died of advanced pancreatic cancer. Despite having announced her retirement from performing in 2017, she was due to headline two shows at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Fest this April but cancelled on doctor’s orders. Her last performance was at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City during Elton John’s 25th anniversary gala for the Elton John Aids Foundation on 7 November 2017.

Known as “the queen of soul”, Franklin sold more than 75m records in her lifetime and won 18 Grammy awards. She had 77 entries in the US Billboard Hot 100 and 20 No 1 singles on the R&B chart. Her last album was A Brand New Me, released in November 2017, which paired archival vocal recordings for Atlantic Records with new orchestral arrangements by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Her last original recording was Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics in 2014, which included her take on Adele’s Rolling in the Deep.

“American history wells up when Aretha sings,” former US president Barack Obama said of her performance of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors. “Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock’n’roll – the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope.”

In the wake of her death, some of America’s most prominent figures have paid their respects. Barack and Michelle Obama put out a joint statement, reading, in part: ” Every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine. Through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. She helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. And sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance.”

Franklin performed at Obama’s 2009 inauguration, singing My Country, Tis of Thee.

Bill Clinton, at whose 1993 inauguration gala Franklin performed, said in a joint statement with Hillary Clinton: “She will forever be the Queen of Soul and so much more to all who knew her personally and through her music. Our hearts go out to her family and her countless fans.” In a separate tweet, Hillary wrote: “mourning the loss today of Aretha Franklin who shared her spirit and talent with the world. She deserves not only our RESPECT but also our lasting gratitude for opening our eyes, ears and hearts. Rest in eternal peace, my friend.”

Donald Trump wrote a calm – if rather unmusical – tribute on Twitter. “The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead. She was a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice. She will be missed!”

Her final live performance was at a gala event for Elton John’s Aids foundation, in November 2017. John posted a tribute on Instagram, saying: “The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favourite pianists.”

Carole King, who co-wrote Franklin’s classic song (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, said on Twitter: “What a life. What a legacy! So much love, respect and gratitude.” Paul McCartney called her “the Queen of our souls, who inspired us all for many many years”.

Franklin was born on 25 March 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee. The family moved to Buffalo, New York, when Franklin was two years old, and settled in Detroit, Michigan two years later. It was in Detroit, shortly after her mother’s death, that the 10-year-old Franklin started singing solos at New Bethel church, where her father was a preacher whose political sermons led Martin Luther King to stay with the family when he visited Detroit.

Clarence LaVaughn (CL) Franklin began managing his daughter and included her in his “gospel caravan” church tours. He assisted Franklin in signing first to JVB Records, which released her debut, Songs of Faith, in 1956, then to Columbia to pursue a pop career. After a first flush of success in the early 1960s, Franklin signed to Atlantic in 1966, where she flourished with an extraordinary run of singles including her cover of Otis Redding’s Respect, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and I Say a Little Prayer. In 1972, she released the live album Amazing Grace, which showcased her gospel background.

While her success had dimmed by the mid-1970s, Franklin revitalised her career in the 1980s thanks in part to a series of astute collaborations. Now signed to Clive Davis’s Arista Records, she duetted with George Benson, George Michael and, on their 1985 single Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves, the British synth-pop duo Eurythmics.

Franklin continued to release albums and perform throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and received the Grammy award for lifetime achievement in 1994. In 2005, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 2009, she performed My Country, ‘Tis of Thee at Obama’s first inauguration.

Franklin announced her retirement from performing in February 2017 (though she would later return to the stage). Stepping back from performing was bittersweet, she said. “This is what I’ve done all of my life.” But, she added: “I feel very, very enriched and satisfied with respect to where my career came from and where it is now.”

Franklin was working on an as-yet unreleased album featuring collaborations with artists including Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Lionel Richie, she told Billboard in June 2017. In January 2018, Franklin’s long-term collaborator Clive Davis confirmed that the singer Jennifer Hudson would portray Franklin in the upcoming biopic Queen of Soul. Franklin had described Hudson as one of her first choices for the MGM film.

Franklin’s musical influence is immeasurable. “The soulfulness comes from the gospel,” Beyoncé once said. “It comes from Aretha, who listened to all of that, who sang in the church.” She has been sampled by artists including Kanye West, Outkast and Alicia Keys.

It is almost matched by her political legacy. Her father CL helped Martin Luther King organise the Walk to Freedom; at King’s funeral in April 1968 she performed Thomas Dorsey’s Precious Lord. Respect, meanwhile, became hailed as a defining song of both the feminist and civil rights movements.

In a 2015 interview with Vogue, Franklin said that neither song was recorded with political intentions. “It’s important for people,” she said of Respect. “Not just me or the civil rights movement or women – it’s important to people. And I was asked what recording of mine I’d put in a time capsule, and it was Respect. Because people want respect – even small children, even babies. As people, we deserve respect from one another.”

Franklin is survived by her four sons. She gave birth to her first, Clarence, when she was 13, and her second, Edward, aged 14. Ted was born in 1964, followed by Kecalf in 1970.


    U.S. Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick's cross is seen as he attends a prayer at Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican March 6, 2013. REUTERS/Max Rossi

    HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) – Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania sexually abused thousands of children over a 70-year period and silenced victims through “the weaponization of faith” and a systematic cover-up campaign by their bishops, the state attorney general said on Tuesday.

    An 884-page report made public by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro after a two-year investigation contained graphic examples of children being groomed and sexually abused by clergymen. It was largely based on documents from secret archives kept by the dioceses, including handwritten confessions by priests, he said.

    “It was child sexual abuse, including rape, committed by grown men – priests – against children,” Shapiro told a press conference.

    Representatives of the six Pennsylvania dioceses included in the report could not be reached for comment.

    The attorney general said it was the most comprehensive report on Catholic clergy sex abuse in American history, nearly two decades after an expose of widespread abuse and cover-up in Boston that rocked the Roman Catholic church.

    Several of the dioceses issued statements apologizing to victims and saying they were taking steps to ensure any criminal behavior was stopped. “The grand jury has challenged us as a Catholic diocese to put victims first and to continue to improve ways to protect children and youth,” Bishop Lawrence Persico of the Erie Diocese said in a statement.

    As accusers wept behind him, Shapiro described alleged abuse by priests in six of the state’s eight dioceses, including a group of Pittsburgh clergymen accused of ordering an altar boy to strip naked and pose as Christ on the cross while they photographed him.

    “The pattern was abuse, deny and cover up,” Shapiro said, adding that church officials sought to keep abuse allegations quiet long enough so they could no longer be prosecuted under Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations.

    “Priests were raping little boys and girls,” Shapiro said. “They hid it all for decades.”

    The report cited 301 priests, some of whom have died. Only two of the priests are still subject to prosecution.

    A few of the clergymen accused in the report succeeded in having their names redacted, and Shapiro said he would argue at a Sept. 26 court hearing for making all the names public.

    He said the grand jury identified about a thousand victims, but believed there may be many more.

    Shapiro said that one priest had molested five sisters in one family, he said. The diocese settled with the family after requiring a confidentiality agreement, he said.

    The attorney general said that Catholic bishops covered up child sexual abuse by priests and reassigned them repeatedly to different parishes. “They allowed priests to remain active for as long as 40 years,” he said.

    Describing the “weaponization of faith” to silence victims, Shapiro cited several examples including one priest who allegedly told children “how Mary had to lick Jesus clean after he was born” to groom them for oral sex.

    “Children were taught that this abuse was not only normal but that it was holy,” Shapiro said.

    Since the Boston abuse scandal erupted in the 1990s, accusations involving American clerics have sporadically surfaced.

    Theodore McCarrick, a former archbishop of Washington, resigned as a cardinal last month after accusations resurfaced that he abused a 16-year-old boy decades ago.

    In recent months, Pope Francis accepted a number of resignations from Chilean bishops in a sex abuse scandal that has rocked that country.

    Reporting by David DeKok; Editing by Barbara Goldberg, Frank McGurty, Toni Reinhold

      (San Juan) Secretaria de Educación anuncia inicio del programa que ayudará a niños que residen en comunidades vulnerables.

      Por Alejandra Rosa

      En aras a erradicar las desigualdades en el sistema educativo público en Puerto Rico, el Departamento de Educación puso en vigor este año escolar un modelo de instrucción académica temprana para estudiantes de 4 años, denominado como “Kinder de Transición”.

      La iniciativa permite que 5,000 alumnos de 4 años puedan ingresar al kindergarten, participando en lo que busca convertirse en una iniciativa más extensa que beneficie a todos los niños que residen en comunidades vulnerables en el País.

      “Llevo desde el 2012 tratando de lograr que en Puerto Rico haya un programa de educación a temprana edad. Eso fue algo que se inició con [el expresidente Barack Obama. El gobierno federal tenía fondos para eso (…) Aquí no logró convertirse en un programa”, explicó Keleher.

      Según la funcionaria, en espacios en los cuales se ha implementado este proyecto educativo, “se ve un beneficio en general, pero más aún en comunidades que tienen un nivel de pobreza más alto”.

      “Estamos tratando de atender muchas necesidades con una iniciativa que incorpore los intereses de la familia, tanto como las de los maestros también”, sostuvo Keleher, quien aseguró que durante sus visitas a escuelas tanto maestros como familiares le solicitaron la creación de un programa de este tipo.

      La iniciativa llega al País a casi un año de que el Centro de Información Censal de la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Cayey reportara en el 2017, que el nivel de pobreza en la Isla luego del huracán María aumentó de un 44.3% a un 52.3%.

      “Para diciembre, podemos tener un panorama más claro de lo que podríamos sufragar”, añadió Keleher, quien busca expandir la iniciativa a los 471 planteles educativos de kinder aquí, gesta que, según reconoció, conllevará retos.

      “Vamos a aprender de otros estados (…) Quizás en este año de implementación, por adelantar algo que desde el 2012 a nivel sistémico no se ha podido hacer, yo voy a encontrar piedras en el camino. Voy a encontrar cosas que no me salieron como entendía que iba a ser, pero vamos a aprender de eso para ir mejorando”, apuntó Keleher.

      Los númerosno cuadran

      No solo quedan en el aire preguntas sobre el éxito del programa “Kinder de Transición” en Puerto Rico.

      También avanza el semestre y tampoco queda clara la cantidad de estudiantes que llegarán a las escuelas, ni la que espera la agencia educativa.

      El 20 de julio, Keleher proyectó en una conferencia de prensa 305,000 estudiantes como matrícula esperada para el inicio escolar; cuatro días más tarde, en una conferencia de la Asociación Nacional de Periodistas Hispanos en EE.UU., la funcionaria expresó que la cantidad matriculada había alcanzado los 305,00.

      A casi un mes de estas declaraciones, Keleher indicó ayer que espera que la asistencia alcance los 313,000 alumnos.

      Horas más tarde, una comunicación oficial del Departamento de Educación indicó que la matrícula había alcanzado los 313,746.

      La cantidad de estudiantes en los planteles escolares reportada ayer fue de 256,369, lo cual representa 57,377 alumnos por debajo de la cifra articulada por la agencia.

      “La matrícula que yo tenía era 313,000. Me asusté con el número de ayer. La verdad que así no se puede (…) Entendemos que la mayoría va a llegar. Yo me siento segura de que 313,000 es un número confiable. ¿Cuántos me van a llegar? Pues espero que sean todos, puede que lleguemos a 305 [mil]”, respondió Keleher.

        FILE PHOTO: An oil tanker unloads crude oil at a crude oil terminal in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, China July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

        SINGAPORE/BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese oil importers are shying away from buying U.S. crude as they fear Beijing’s decision to exclude the commodity from its tariff list in a trade dispute between the world’s biggest economies may only be temporary.

        Not a single tanker has loaded crude oil from the United States bound for China since the start of August, Thomson Reuters Eikon ship tracking data showed, compared with about 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June and July.

        The United States and China have been locked in a tit-for-tat trade spat over the last few months, but crude was dropped from China’s final list of tariffs on $16 billion in U.S. goods announced last week.

        The move underscored the growing importance of the United States as a key global oil producer and critical alternative supply source for top importer China.

        However, would-be buyers in China fret the commodity could be used as a bargaining chip in future negotiations with Washington, potentially getting added to tariff lists if the trade conflict takes a turn for the worse.

        “Since it takes months to get U.S. crude (to China) … this (not buying U.S. shipments) is a precautionary measure to avoid any distressed selling in case the government puts tariffs on U.S. crude oil,” said Sushant Gupta, research director at energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

        A source with a Chinese refiner said the company was “watching and seeing” how the situation develops before placing new orders for U.S. oil. He declined to be identified as he was not authorized to speak with media.

        That comes after the country’s main oil importer, Unipec, earlier this month suspended shipments from the United States.

        Another petroleum source familiar with the Chinese market said U.S. crude may have been left off the tariff list to “facilitate clearing shipments” that have already been committed to.

        “(The government) probably wants to impose (tariffs) when there is no more U.S. crude on the water, so I won’t take it as a reversal of the political stance on U.S. crude,” said the source.

        For a graphic on oil heading to China, click


        To replace U.S. oil, China has been turning to the Middle East, West Africa and Latin America, according to shipping data and traders.

        That has been helped as a narrow price-spread between Brent and Dubai crude allows Atlantic basin oil to be profitably shipped to Asia. The spread on Wednesday had nearly halved from a month ago to $1.63 per barrel DUB-EFS-1M.

        Although China’s biggest oil suppliers are the Middle East, Russia and West Africa, the United States has become an important global supplier since it opened up its market for exports in 2016.

        Beyond the short-term complications of finding replacements for American oil, the Sino-U.S. trade dispute also poses risks to economic growth.

        “Any further escalation in the trade conflict between them is clearly an important downside risk and could lead to a further slowdown in oil demand growth for 2019, leading to downward pressure on oil prices,” said Gupta at Wood Mackenzie.

        Reporting by Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore and Chen Aizhu in Beijing; Editing by Henning Gloystein and Joseph Radford


        The 2018 national campaign celebrates regional “healthcare heroes”

        Neighborhood Health Center (formerly known as Northwest Buffalo Community Health Care Center) marks National Health Center Week (NHCW) with a public open house on the one year anniversary (Tuesday, August 14, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.) of its newest site at 4233 Lake Avenue, Blasdell, NY 14219. This event will kick off a weeklong campaign to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of America’s health centers as local solutions for affordable and quality healthcare for all.

        Neighborhood Health Center is a part of a nationwide network of health centers that serve more than 27 million Americans. Health centers have compiled a significant record of success that includes:

        ·        Producing $24 billion in annual health system savings;

        ·        Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room;

        ·        Treating patients for a fraction of the average cost of one emergency room visit;

        ·        Maintaining patient satisfaction levels of nearly 100 percent;

        ·        Serving more than one in six Medicaid beneficiaries for less than two percent of the national Medicaid   budget; and

        ·        Lowering the cost of children’s primary care by approximately 35 percent.

        The heroes who work at health centers and help make affordable healthcare possible for people in need are at the center of this year’s National Health Center Week celebration. More than 205,000 people work at health centers nationwide, which at Neighborhood Health Center alone, includes a dedicated team of more than 250 medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, dentists, dental hygienists and much more.

        “Health centers are unique in that our model of care works by treating the whole person with an integrated range of services located under one roof,” said Joanne Haefner, Chief Executive Officer for Neighborhood Health Center. Along with primary care services (such as family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics and women’s health), Neighborhood Health Center’s integrated care system also includes pharmacy services, endocrinology, behavioral health, community health workers, nutritional services and podiatry.

        “The theme of this year’s National Health Center Week is Celebrating Health Centers: Home of America’s Healthcare Heroes, and although none of us who work at health centers consider ourselves heroes, we are proud champions of a national movement who believe that affordable healthcare should always be within reach for everyone who needs it. This is what healthcare should be and why we celebrate National Health Center Week each year,” said Haefner.

        Along with the public open house at its Blasdell office, Neighborhood Health Center will also offer a variety of free health fairs, health screenings and giveaways at each of their locations during National Health Center Week beginning August 12th – 18th. For more information, contact Neighborhood Health Center at (716) 875-2904.




        About Neighborhood Health Center

        Neighborhood Health Center is a 501(c)(3) healthcare organization and the oldest and largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Western New York. Neighborhood Health Center’s mission of impactful healthcare provided by kind people so Western New Yorkers can achieve their dreams and goals is the driving force towards achieving high-quality and individualized care for all. Established in 1987, Neighborhood Health Center provides high-quality and compassionate care to individuals and families, regardless of ability to pay, and focuses on monitoring quality care to improve health outcomes by working toward health equity within the diverse populations of Western New York. To learn more about the mission and services of Neighborhood Health Center, please visit

        Justine David

        Communications Coordinator

        Neighborhood Health Center

        155 Lawn Avenue, Room 301

        Buffalo, NY 14207

        (716) 875-2904 ext. 2684

        Impactful healthcare provided by kind people so Western New Yorkers can achieve their dreams and goals.

          WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Tesla Inc’s (TSLA.O) handling of Chief Executive Elon Musk’s proposal to take the carmaker private and its failure to promptly file a formal disclosure has raised governance concerns and sparked questions about how companies use social media.

          Musk stunned investors last Tuesday by announcing on Twitter that he was considering taking Tesla private in a potential $72 billion transaction and that “funding” had been “secured.”

          Tesla’s shares closed up 11 percent before retrenching after the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had asked Tesla why Musk announced his plans on Twitter and whether his statement was truthful.

          Musk provided no details of his funding and as of Thursday Tesla’s board had not received a financing plan from Musk, Reuters reported, leaving investors and the broader market clamoring for more information.

          Putting aside whether Musk misled anyone, the unorthodox manner in which he announced the news and Tesla’s failure to promptly clarify the situation with a regulatory filing is a corporate governance lapse that raises questions about how companies use social media to release market-moving news, securities lawyers said.

          “Management buyouts or other take-private transactions already suffer from serious information asymmetry between management and public shareholders,” said Gabriel Rauterberg, a University of Michigan law professor.

          SEC rules typically require companies to file an 8-K form within four business days of a significant corporate event.

          While several securities lawyers said Musk’s tweets alone did not trigger this obligation, such a filing would be prudent given the unusual circumstances, David Axelrod, a partner at law firm Ballard Spahr LLP, said.

          “An 8-K would provide some more details, it would say what stage negotiations are in, and provide more information than 53 characters in a tweet,” he added.

          SEC guidelines published in 2013 allow companies and their executives to use social media to distribute material information, provided investors have been alerted that this is a possibility. Tesla did this in a 2013 filing.

          But such disclosures have to be full and fair, meaning the information is complete and accessible by all investors at the same time, a bar that Musk’s tweets may not have met.

          “Twitter is not designed to provide full and fair disclosure. That doesn’t mean that you couldn’t, but in a series of 20 to 30 characters I’m not sure you’re getting full disclosure,” said Zachary Fallon, a former SEC attorney and principal at law firm Blakemore Fallon.

          Tesla and the SEC did not reply to requests for comment on Sunday.

          Securities lawyers said there was also a question mark over whether Musk selectively disclosed information on the possible terms of the deal when he subsequently replied to followers, two of whom claim in their handles to be investors.

          Those tweets were not immediately visible to all followers of Musk’s main feed until he retweeted them.

          The 47-year-old billionaire’ s history of joking about Tesla and using twitter to bait his critics, also appears to have undermined trust in Musk’s feed as a reliable source of company information, with many investors initially believing Tuesday’s tweet was a prank.

          “Musk’s irreverence and showmanship is part of the Tesla brand, I get that, but I don’t think the securities laws do,” said Fallon.

          Reporting by Michelle Price and Jessica DiNapoli; Editing by Susan Thomas

          By Wayne Cole

          SYDNEY (Reuters) – Turkey’s lira recouped some of its losses as the country’s central bank took steps to stem the currency’s freefall while Asian shares were a sea of red as investors fled to safer assets such as the dollar, Swiss franc and yen.

          The run from risk dragged MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 1.6 percent to a near one-year low. Japan’s Nikkei lost 1.7 percent with every bourse in the region in the red.

          EMini futures for the S&P 500 were off 0.4 percent, while 10-year Treasury yields dipped further to 2.85 percent.

          China’s blue chip index shed 1.5 percent, while Hong Kong stocks lost 1.6 percent as the local dollar fell to the limits of its trading band.

          Much of the action was in currencies with the euro gapping lower as the Turkish lira took another slide to all-time lows around 7.2400.

          The lira did find a sliver of support when Turkey’s central bank said it had lowered reserve requirement ratios for banks. It also said it would take all necessary measures to maintain financial stability.

          Also helping was Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak’s comments the country had drafted an action plan to ease investor concerns while the banking watchdog said it limited swap transactions.

          Yet the dollar was still up more than 9 percent on the day at 6.9743 lira. This time last month it was at 4.8450.

          The currency has tumbled on worries over Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s increasing control over the economy and deteriorating relations with the United States.

          “The plunge in the lira, which began in May, now looks certain to push the Turkish economy into recession and it may well trigger a banking crisis,” said Andrew Kenningham, chief global economist at Capital Economics.

          “This would be another blow for EMs as an asset class, but the wider economic spillovers should be fairly modest, even for the euro zone,” he added.

          Kenningham noted Turkey’s annual gross domestic product of around $900 billion was just 1 percent of the global economy and slightly smaller than the Netherlands.

          The Turkish equity market was less than 2 percent of the size of the UK market, and only 20 percent was held by non-residents, he added.

          “Nonetheless, Turkey’s troubles are a further headwind for the euro and are not good news for EM assets either.”


          Indeed, the single currency sank to a one-year trough against the Swiss franc around 1.1300 francs, while hitting a 10-week low on the yen around 125.45.

          Against the U.S. dollar, the euro touched its lowest since July 2017 at $1.13700. It was last at $1.1382 and still a long way from last week’s top at $1.1628.

          The dollar eased against the safe haven yen to 110.23, but was a shade firmer against a basket of currencies at 96.415.

          The Argentine peso and South African rand were also caught in the crossfire, with the dollar adding 4 percent on the rand. Dealers said Japanese retail investors had been squeezed out of long positions in the rand sending the yen steaming higher.

          “Contagion risks centre on Spanish, Italian and French banks exposed to Turkish foreign currency debt, as well as Argentina and South Africa,” warned analysts at ANZ.

          “Turkey’s massive pile of corporate debt denominated in foreign currencies, but a rapidly sliding currency – and inflation that’s threatening to go exponential – is a toxic combination.”

          In commodity markets, gold found little in the way of safety flows and was last down at $1,207.36 an ounce.

          Oil prices were mixed with Brent off 23 cents at $72.58 a barrel, while U.S. crude dipped 11 cents to $67.52.

          (Additional reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Sam Holmes and Eric Meijer)

            WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A white nationalist rally in the heart of Washington drew two dozen demonstrators and thousands of chanting counterprotesters on Sunday, the one-year anniversary of racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

            A large police presence kept the two sides separated in Lafayette Square, in front of the White House. After two hours and a few speeches, the “Unite the Right 2” rally ended early when it began to rain and two police vans took the demonstrators back to Virginia.

            Sunday’s events, while tense at times, were a far cry from the street brawls that broke out in downtown Charlottesville a year ago, when a local woman was killed by a man who drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters.

            “Unite the Right 2” had been denied a permit in Charlottesville this year, but did secure one for Washington. Organizers had planned for up to 400 protesters.

            At the head of the white nationalist group was Virginia activist Jason Kessler, who helped organize last year’s event in Charlottesville. He emerged with a handful of fellow demonstrators from a subway station holding an American flag and walked toward the White House ringed by police, while counterprotesters taunted the group and called them Nazis.

            Dan Haught, a 54-year-old computer programmer from Washington, was attending his first protest at the White House holding a sign that said “Back under your rocks you Nazi clowns.”

            “We wanted to send a message to the world that we vastly outnumber them,” Haught said.

            Police said that as of 6 p.m. ET (2200 GMT) they had made no arrests and would not give a crowd estimate. Late in the day, a small group of counterprotesters clashed with police in downtown Washington.

            The violence last year in Charlottesville, sparked by white nationalists’ outrage over a plan to remove a Confederate general’s statue, convulsed the nation and sparked condemnation across the political spectrum. It also was one of the lowest moments of President Donald Trump’s first year in office.

            At the time, Trump said there were “very fine people” on both sides, spurring criticism that he was equating the counterprotesters with the rally attendees, who included neo-Nazis and other white supremacists.

            On Saturday, Trump condemned “all types of racism” in a Twitter post marking the anniversary.


            Kessler said Sunday’s rally was aimed at advocating for “free speech for everybody,” and he blamed last year’s violence in Charlottesville on other groups and the media.

            He thought Sunday’s rally went well in comparison.

            “Everybody got the ability to speak and I think that was a major improvement over Charlottesville,” Kessler told Reuters. “It was a precedent that had to be set. It was more important than anything.”

            The counterprotest which began earlier in the day was a smattering of diverse groups – from black-clad anti-fascists, to supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement to families who brought children in strollers. Tourists took pictures and both protesters and observers zoomed around on electric scooters.

            Sean Kratouil, a 17-year-old who lives in Maryland, was wearing a vest with “Antifa” on the back and said he was there to help start a movement of peaceful anti-fascists. He said he was concerned that when rallies turn violent, it makes his side look bad. “Public perception is key,” he said.

            In the picturesque college town of Charlottesville, hundreds of police officers had maintained a security perimeter around the normally bustling downtown district throughout the day on Saturday. Vehicular traffic was barred from an area of more than 15 city blocks, while pedestrians were allowed access at two checkpoints where officers examined bags for weapons.

            Hundreds of students and activists took to the streets on Saturday evening. Many of the protesters directed their anger at the heavy police presence, with chants like “cops and Klan go hand in hand,” a year after police were harshly criticized for their failure to prevent the violence.

            On Sunday morning, activist Grace Aheron, 27, donned a Black Lives Matter T-shirt and joined hundreds of fellow Charlottesville residents who gathered at Booker T. Washington Park to mark the anniversary of last year’s bloodshed.

            “We want to claim our streets back, claim our public space back, claim our city back,” Aheron said at the park.

            Charlottesville authorities said four people had been arrested on Sunday.

            Reporting by Ginger Gibson and Jonathan Landay in Washington; Additional reporting by Joseph Ax in Charlottesville and David Shepardson and Michelle Price in Washington; Writing by Dan Wallis and Mary Milliken; Editing by Grant McCool, Cynthia Osterman and Susan Thomas

            Retraso de inicio de clases en escuelas del área este por problemas estructurales.

            Filtración de agua, problemas con el estucado del techo, hongos y graves inconvenientes con la electricidad son algunos de los obstáculos en un par de escuelas públicas del área este que se verán incapacitadas para recibir a casi 1,000 alumnos en el nuevo semestre escolar que se supone comience hoy.

            Entre los planteles con evidentes deterioros se destaca la escuela elemental Guillermina Rosado, de Loíza, donde ayer el director regional de la Autoridad de Edificios Públicos (AEP), Emanuel Huertas, evaluaba sugerir al personal del Departamento de Educación(DE) la postergación del inicio de clases, al menos durante una semana.

            “Honestamente, aquí no se pueden aceptar niños mañana (hoy)… estas no son condiciones. Mi responsabilidad es garantizar la seguridad de los estudiantes y los maestros. Y aquí, ahora mismo, no pueden estar”, dijo Huertas a Primera Hora sobre la escuela receptora cuya matrícula es de 557 estudiantes, incluidos cinco salones de educación especial con alumnos que llegan de otro plantel que se clausuró en mayo.

            El funcionario explicó que el plantel sufrió estragos con el paso del huracán María, afectándose de gran manera 22 salones.

            “Tenemos un plan de impacto establecido, pero nos hemos retrasado por diversos factores, incluyendo la lluvia. Pero aquí hay que empañetar, pintar, arreglar problemas de electricidad para evitar un cortocircuito en las lámparas, entre otras cosas… esto fácil se toma cinco días”, dijo Huertas al destacar la labor voluntaria de padres y maestros que han colaborado con las gestiones de rehabilitación.

            Este diario supo que la alcaldesa de Loíza, Julia Nazario, trató de colaborar en los trabajos de recuperación, pero ha tenido escollos con el DE.

            En la escuela Edmundo del Valle, en Río Grande, la historia es similar. Allí, más de 400 estudiantes entre kindergarten y quinto grado, tendrán que esperar al menos una semana para el reinicio de clases.

            La estructura de la escuela de tres niveles tiene más de la mitad de los salones con problemas de inundación y filtración.

            “Aquí vinieron unos confinados y pintaron los pasillos. El municipio también recogió escombros. Y Edificios Públicos llevan trabajando una semana sin parar, pero esto no podrá abrir mañana (hoy). Es imposible”, dijo una persona de la facultad a Primera Hora bajo anonimato.

            La exhortación a la paciencia, es por el momento la alternativa solicitada a los padres, reiteró Huertas, quien también supervisaba ayer las labores en la escuela de Río Grande.

            “Tenemos personal hace varios días en esa escuela. Pero, volvemos, estas escuelas tuvieron muchos daños con María. Esto no es un asunto que se resuelve con una pintura. Aquí hay otros factores, incluyendo que hay una falta de materiales de construcción y que hay que esperar por la asignación de unos fondos”, insistió el funcionario que supervisa 63 proyectos en la región de Carolina.

            STAY CONNECTED

            WP Facebook Auto Publish Powered By :