Biphoo http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews Mon, 29 May 2017 11:13:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Macron explains his tense handshake with Trumphttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/macron-explains-tense-handshake-trump.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/macron-explains-tense-handshake-trump.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 11:13:29 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30881 Macron explains his tense handshake with Trump French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed that there was indeed a deeper significance to the prolonged handshake he shared with US President Donald Trump in Brussels. "My handshake with him, it's not innocent," Macron told the Journal du Dimanche in an interview published Sunday. "It's not the alpha and […]

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Macron explains his tense handshake with Trump

French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed that there was indeed a deeper significance to the prolonged handshake he shared with US President Donald Trump in Brussels.

"My handshake with him, it's not innocent," Macron told the Journal du Dimanche in an interview published Sunday. "It's not the alpha and the omega of politics, but a moment of truth."

The two newly-minted leaders met in Brussels on Thursday and shook hands in full view of the press.

Pool reporter Phillip Rucker of the Washington Post, who was in the room, described it:

"They shook hands for an extended period of time. Each president gripped the other's hand with considerable intensity, their knuckles turning white and their jaws clenching and faces tightening."

Steve Holland, who covers the White House for Reuters, tweeted this: "The photogs noticed that Trump and Macron were gripping their hands hard... Trump seems to just want his hand back."

On at least one, and maybe two, occasions during the tug of war Trump tries to pull away and Macron just keeps holding on.

Handshake history

The tense moment during Trump's first trip abroad as President became the latest of Trump's handshakes to draw attention online. In February, Trump's lengthy handshake with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe -- along with Abe's animated reaction -- went viral.

Handshakes are a very big thing to this president, writes CNN's Chris Cillizza. Trump seems to view the handshake as a sort of battle of wills and a battle for power all wrapped into one.

In addition to the awkward Abe shake, Trump has foisted his unusual tug-and-pull style on other high-profile figures, including Vice President Mike Pence and Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Show of dominance

In the interview, Macron compared his own handshake to his leadership posture.

"One must show that we won't make little concessions, even symbolic ones," Macron said.

The centrist European leader also likened Trump's diplomatic approach to those of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Donald Trump, the President of Turkey or the President of Russia are of a mindset of power relations, which doesn't bother me," Macron said. "I don't believe in diplomacy of the public invective but in bilateral dialogues. I don't let anything go. That's how one makes oneself respected."

It is a tactic that others have also employed when meeting the US leader. When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the White House, he came prepared, managing to counterbalance Trump's grip with a combination of poise and control.

During the lead-up to the French presidential election, Trump said positive things about Macron's far-right opponent Marine Le Pen, and former US President Barack Obama endorsed Macron, who went on to win by about 30 percentage points.

A French official told CNN near the end of the G-7 summit that the two had gotten along well and that Trump had told Macron after the French election that he hadn't supported Le Pen.

Macron said in the interview that he believed he could establish a "cordial relationship" with Trump.

Source:- http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/28/politics/emmanuel-macron-donald-trump/

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Bold move at Coca-Cola 600 gives Austin Dillon, No. 3 car win at lasthttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/bold-move-coca-cola-600-gives-austin-dillon-no-3-car-win-last.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/bold-move-coca-cola-600-gives-austin-dillon-no-3-car-win-last.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 11:05:54 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30877 Bold move at Coca-Cola 600 gives Austin Dillon, No. 3 car win at last Austin Dillon respectfully requested permission from crew chief Justin Alexander to burn down the motor of his race car. A first win in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series seemed like a fitting occasion for smoke and rubber. So did returning […]

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Bold move at Coca-Cola 600 gives Austin Dillon, No. 3 car win at last

Austin Dillon respectfully requested permission from crew chief Justin Alexander to burn down the motor of his race car. A first win in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series seemed like a fitting occasion for smoke and rubber. So did returning the historic No. 3 Chevrolet to victory lane for the first time in nearly 17 years.

The route Dillon took precluded all that, though. Dillon’s engine ingested its last wisp of fuel as he crossed the finish past midnight on Monday morning, translating a late strategy play into a victory in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet. I can’t believe it. I was just really focused on those last laps,” Dillon said.

“Get a gas can,” Dillon’s grandfather and team owner, Richard Childress, said over team radio after the car rolled to a stop. Dillon’s crew, having rushed out to celebrate with their driver, amused themselves by sliding belly-first on the infield grass soaked by a storm that delayed the race 1 hour, 40 minutes.

Dillon had waited 133 starts for this, and Childress since Oct. 15, 2000 at Talladega Superspeedway with late seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt. Reinstating the iconic "3" at NASCAR’s highest level had been fraught with emotion and scrutiny for Childress and his grandson, even though Dillon had campaigned the family number at numerous levels back to childhood.

Dillon, a former Xfinity and Truck Series champion, made his full-time Cup debut in 2014, winning the pole in that first race, poignantly enough in the Daytona 500, the race in which Earnhardt died following a crash on the last lap of the 2001 installment. Dillon, now 27, produced a breakout season last year by establishing career highs in top-fives (4) and top-10s (13), qualifying for the playoffs on points and missing advancement to the second round on a tiebreaker with Denny Hamlin. He eventually finished 14th in the standings, a career best.

It was seemingly a bawdy call by Alexander, who became Dillon’s crew chief just this week, replacing “Slugger” Labbe. But it really wasn’t, he said, considering the fuel mileage the car had attained in the marathon and his general position inside the top 10 for much of the race.

Childress leaned over during a post-race interview to congratulate him on it, though.

Dillon, who led just the final two laps in the 600, was one of five drivers who attempted to run the final 69 laps on one tank of fuel. He assumed the lead when defending and seven-time series champion and eight-time Charlotte-winner Jimmie Johnson had to pit in the final laps. Childress said he was confident in the play, but seeing the result in lights struck him.

“When I looked up and seen the "3" on top of the board and I was standing there doing an interview, that’s when I got emotional,” Childress said.

Source:- https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nascar/columnist/brant-james/2017/05/29/austin-dillon-richard-childress-racing-3-car/102281930/

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Dillon earns 1st win at Coca-Cola 600http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/dillon-earns-1st-win-coca-cola-600.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/dillon-earns-1st-win-coca-cola-600.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 11:02:56 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30874 Dillon earns 1st win at Coca-Cola 600 Hall of Fame car owner Richard Childress finally let the emotions flow when he looked up at the Charlotte Motor Speedway's scoring board after the Coca-Cola 600 and saw the iconic No. 3 — driven by his grandson Austin Dillon — on top. "Can you believe it?" Childress […]

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Dillon earns 1st win at Coca-Cola 600

Hall of Fame car owner Richard Childress finally let the emotions flow when he looked up at the Charlotte Motor Speedway's scoring board after the Coca-Cola 600 and saw the iconic No. 3 — driven by his grandson Austin Dillon — on top.

"Can you believe it?" Childress asked. "The Coke 600, Austin Dillon and the (No.) 3."

Dillon passed an out-of-gas Jimmie Johnson two laps from the end for his first Cup victory.

It had been a long time coming for the number made famous by the late Dale Earnhardt, who drove for Childress during six of his seven championships. The last time the two celebrated was when Earnhardt won at Talladega on Oct. 15, 2000, four months before The Intimidator's death in a horrific crash at Daytona.

"Today is special," Childress said.

Especially with how Dillon accomplished it. Crew chief Justin Alexander decided that while much of the field would pit with about 35 to go, Dillon would stay out and gamble he'd have enough fuel to make it.

"It didn't make much sense to do anything else but that, really," said Alexander, who replaced Slugger Labbe as Dillon's crew chief last Monday.

When Dillon saw Johnson run dry right ahead, he felt relieved and excited all at once. The No. 3, Dillon said, "was the best of all time. I'm just glad to add to the legacy of it."

Dillon held off Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr., who led the most laps in the Coca-Cola 600 for a third straight year.

"It hasn't sunk in. I can't believe it," Dillon said. "We're in the chase, baby. It's awesome."

Dillon did his signature belly slide celebration in the damp grass at Charlotte, outlasting a rain delay of nearly 1 hour, 40 minutes — and several established drivers to take his first checkered flag.

Dillon closed racing's biggest day with the surprise victory, following Sebastian Vettel's win in Formula One's Monaco Grand Prix and Takura Sato's victory in the Indy 500.

Truex took the lead for the final time with 67 laps left, sweeping past Busch to move out front. Truex pitted a final time with 33 laps left, confident he'd be able to hold on after everyone cycled through a last stop.

Truex has led 756 of the past 1,200 laps in the 600, yet finished shy of the checker flag two of three times. "So that's a little tough to swallow," he said.

Matt Kenseth was fourth, and Denny Hamlin fifth.

Kurt Busch finished sixth, followed by rookie Erik Jones, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished 10th in his final Coca-Cola 600 as a fulltime driver.

Harvick, who started on the pole, overcame wheel problems to finish in the top 10 for a seventh straight time in the Coca-Cola 600.

Johnson limped home to finish in 17th.

"I did all that I could from that point and just came up a little bit short," he said.

Harvick may have had to work harder than the rest of the field for his seventh straight top 10 here. Harvick dealt with a loose-fitting wheel much of the first 200 laps to fall a lap down, then slipped on some slick fluid laid down by Ty Dillon to fall back further. But Harvick, who won here in 2011 and 2013, held strong to end in eighth.

Larson, the series points leader coming in, was expected to vie for his first Coca-Cola 600. Instead, he started 39th when he couldn't take a qualifying lap Thursday because of trouble clearing inspection. Larson got as high as third during the race before scraping the wall with 153 laps left and needing three trips to the pits to correct the problems, falling to 23rd. Larson's chances ended for good when he tagged the wall again 45 laps later, went to the garage and did not return. He was 33rd, his worst finish of the season.

Larson said he got loose in Turn 3 to end his race.

"I made a mistake," he said.

WHO'S HOT: Kyle Busch sure does love Charlotte Motor Speedway. He won the truck race and the All-Star race here last week, then qualified second for the Cup race Sunday night. Busch nearly walked away with the Coca-Cola 600 when he moved past teammate Denny Hamlin at the start of the fourth and final stage to take the lead over Martin Truex Jr. Busch held strong until the restart with 67 laps left following a caution brought out by Danica Patrick's brush with the wall as Truex moved back. Busch got back to second on the last lap, but ran out of raceway to chase down Dillon.

WHO'S NOT: Chase Elliott was hoping to finally land his first victory on the season at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Instead, his chances ended less than 25 laps into the race when he ran over pieces of Jeffrey Earnhardt's crumbling car and could not gain traction as Brad Keselowski slammed into the rear of the No. 24 Chevrolet. Elliott started third and looked like a strong contender for NASCAR's longest race. Instead, it continues an alarming downward trend for one of the sport's youngest guns with his fourth consecutive finish of 24 or worse. "It's just disappointing," Elliott said.
 

Source:- https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nascar/2017/05/29/dillon-wins-coca-cola-600-in-for-first-nascar-cup-victory/102281588/

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Venus looking for 1st French Open title in 20th appearancehttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/venus-looking-1st-french-open-title-20th-appearance.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/venus-looking-1st-french-open-title-20th-appearance.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:59:44 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30871 Venus looking for 1st French Open title in 20th appearance Making a record 20th appearance at Roland Garros, Venus Williams is looking to finally get her hands on the French Open trophy. Williams has played in the French Open more than any other woman, but has only gotten past the quarterfinals once — when she […]

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Venus looking for 1st French Open title in 20th appearance

Making a record 20th appearance at Roland Garros, Venus Williams is looking to finally get her hands on the French Open trophy.

Williams has played in the French Open more than any other woman, but has only gotten past the quarterfinals once — when she lost the 2002 final to younger sister Serena.

"Is it 20 already? I thought I missed a few, but apparently not," Williams said with a smile. "Here we are. You know, what an experience. What can I say?

"It's always an opportunity, for sure. You know, I want to play the kind of tennis that's consistent and aggressive, inspired. That's my goal, really, every match."

Williams turns 37 next month, but is showing no signs of slowing down. The American reached her 15th Grand Slam final in January — nearly eight years after her 14th. She lost the Australian Open to Serena.

Williams attributes her longevity partly to the breaks she has taken during her 23-year career.

"Definitely, I think spacing out how long, how many tournaments I have played, I believe that's helped me," Williams said. "It's not easy emotionally or mentally or physically to do this job, so I think that helps. I haven't had any other experience.

"So would I recommend it? For sure, but I think if you're happy playing a lot of tournaments and you can handle that, then it's not a problem. But if you're not, then you have to space it out."

Williams will play Kurumi Nara of Japan in the second round at Roland Garros after surviving a scare to beat Qiang Wang in straight sets on Sunday.

The 10th-seeded Williams quickly took the first set in 41 minutes, but then had to draw on all her experience to recover from two set points down and go on to take the set — and the match — on a tiebreaker.

Williams eventually triumphed 6-4, 7-6 (3) after Wang hit a backhand into the net.

"The first round is always tricky," Williams said. "You know, she played well. I just tried to stay aggressive until the end. You know, you have to still be aggressive even though the courts are slower here on the clay.

"When I was trailing, I know she had done things to earn it, to be at 4-2, so it was a credit to her. But also, I realized I had to put some balls in the court, so that would be my main focus at that point."

Williams added: "I think today the experience helped, for sure. Having the opportunity to play 20 of these tournaments helped me a lot."

Clay is Williams' least favorite surface, but with several of the top stars out or struggling, this could be her year.

Serena is not playing because she is pregnant, while Maria Sharapova's ranking wasn't high enough to gain direct entry into the tournament after a 15-month doping suspension. Tournament organizers did not grant her a wild card.

World No. 1 Angelique Kerber lost her first-round match 6-2, 6-2 against 40th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova, while third-seeded Simona Halep is struggling with a right ankle injury.

"All I can speak of are the players that I play against, and they play amazing every time. That's the competition I face," Williams said. "What other players are doing, I have got to be honest, I don't watch so closely. I just try to understand what can I accomplish. And then after that, I go home."

Source:- https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/tennis/2017/05/29/venus-looking-for-1st-french-open-title-in-20th-appearance/102282008/

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Road wins key so far for surprising Twins, Brewershttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/road-wins-key-far-surprising-twins-brewers.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/road-wins-key-far-surprising-twins-brewers.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:58:14 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30868 Road wins key so far for surprising Twins, Brewers The Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers are both in first place, meaning the season has been a surprising success so far. If only their home fans had been able to enjoy it a little more often. The Twins and Brewers are in this position because of […]

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Road wins key so far for surprising Twins, Brewers

The Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers are both in first place, meaning the season has been a surprising success so far.

If only their home fans had been able to enjoy it a little more often.

The Twins and Brewers are in this position because of their performance on the road. Minnesota is 14-5 away from home, and Milwaukee is 13-8. Both are below .500 at home.

They played at home Sunday, with the Brewers beating Arizona and the Twins losing to Tampa Bay . Although they haven't always put on a great show in front of their season-ticket holders, Milwaukee and Minnesota are leading the divisions that include last year's World Series participants.

The Chicago Cubs figured to be formidable in the NL Central, obviously, but they trail the Brewers (27-23) by 1 ½ games. The Cleveland Indians were a clear favorite in the AL Central, but they're two games behind the Twins (26-20).

Those are small leads, and the outlook could be a lot different for Minnesota and Milwaukee in a month or so, but after losing a combined 192 games in 2016, any signs of progress were welcome.

The Twins' ERA is down from an American League-worst 5.08 last year to 4.14. They're first in the league in defensive efficiency ratio, a stat that measures the number of outs a team records in its defensive opportunities, and young right-hander Jose Berrios looks capable of giving Minnesota's rotation another boost.

For Milwaukee, the unexpected slugging of Eric Thames has been well documented, but Travis Shaw has also made a real contribution with a .290 average and nine home runs.

Next up for the Brewers is a series in New York against the struggling Mets. The Twins, on the other hand, host a Houston team with the best record in the major leagues.

Here are a few other developments from around baseball:

SURGING

The Boston Red Sox are starting to look more like the team many expected. Although their six-game winning streak was snapped Sunday, they trail the New York Yankees by only three games atop the AL East.

Five Boston pitchers combined for 20 strikeouts against Texas on Thursday, with closer Craig Kimbrel fanning four in the ninth. Kimbrel has struck out 40 and walked two this year.

And now the Red Sox get David Price back from an elbow injury Monday in Chicago against the White Sox.

SLIPPING

The Atlanta Braves turned heads when they acquired two pitchers in their 40s — Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey — early in the offseason. The moves haven't worked out well so far. Colon is 2-5 with a 6.96 ERA, and opponents are hitting .321 off him. Dickey is 3-4 with a 4.65 ERA and leads the team in walks.

The two have combined to allow 20 homers.

HIGHLIGHT

Billy Hamilton belongs on any list of the game's most exciting players, and he scored from first on a single to lift Cincinnati to a 4-3 win at Cleveland on Wednesday. Hamilton was running on the pitch, and it took left fielder Michael Brantley a moment to locate the ball after he was unable to make a diving catch. Hamilton kept running and scored without a throw.

Source:- https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2017/05/29/road-wins-key-so-far-for-surprising-twins-brewers/102282036/

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Miyazato cites lack of motivation for retirement from LPGAhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/miyazato-cites-lack-motivation-retirement-lpga.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/miyazato-cites-lack-motivation-retirement-lpga.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:56:13 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30865 Miyazato cites lack of motivation for retirement from LPGA Japan's Ai Miyazato says she has decided to quit the LPGA Tour at the end of the season because she lost her motivation for the sport after years of struggling to win again. Miyazato, who was ranked No. 1 and captured 25 professional titles during her […]

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Miyazato cites lack of motivation for retirement from LPGA

Japan's Ai Miyazato says she has decided to quit the LPGA Tour at the end of the season because she lost her motivation for the sport after years of struggling to win again.

Miyazato, who was ranked No. 1 and captured 25 professional titles during her career, has not won a tournament in five years and said that lack of success has diminished her drive to keep going.

"I've been struggling to maintain my motivation for the past four or five years," she told a news conference in Tokyo on Monday, three days after the LPGA announced her decision to retire.

"Being a professional is all about results and lately I wasn't able to achieve good results."

Miyazato joined the LPGA Tour in 2006 and has earned more than $8 million in her career but has fallen down the rankings and is currently outside the top 100.

She does not have a top-10 finish this season and had only one last year.

There were rumors in the Japanese media that Miyazato was retiring because she was getting married but the 31-year-old said she has no plans to tie the knot and her real reason for quitting was somewhat less romantic.

"I've found it hard to stay focused even in training which I could always do before," she explained.

Miyazato does not have a major title — her best results were ties for third at the Women's PGA Championship (2006, 2010) and the Women's British Open (2009) — but she is one of only nine players to make it to No. 1 since the women's world golf rankings were introduced in 2006.

Her nine LPGA Tour victories all came between 2009 and 2012, including five in 2010, when she was No. 1 three times for a total of 11 weeks.

Women's golf had been dominated by Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa in the years prior to Ochoa's retirement from full-time golf in April 2010. Miyazato was in her prime that year, winning four of the first nine LPGA Tour events she played.

She also won 15 times on the Japanese LPGA and won the World Cup of golf in 2005 but her most recent LPGA Tour event was the Lotte Championship in April where she finished tied for 34th.

Source:- https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/golf/2017/05/29/miyazato-cites-lack-of-motivation-for-retirement-from-lpga/102282020/

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Djokovic, Muguruza start title defenses at French Openhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/djokovic-muguruza-start-title-defenses-french-open.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/djokovic-muguruza-start-title-defenses-french-open.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:54:18 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30859 Djokovic, Muguruza start title defenses at French Open Garbine Muguruza and Novak Djokovic will start the defense of their titles at the French Open on Monday. Muguruza, who claimed the women's title last year by upsetting Serena Williams in the final, plays first on Court Philippe Chatrier. The fourth-seeded Spanish player takes on 2010 champion […]

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Djokovic, Muguruza start title defenses at French Open

Garbine Muguruza and Novak Djokovic will start the defense of their titles at the French Open on Monday.

Muguruza, who claimed the women's title last year by upsetting Serena Williams in the final, plays first on Court Philippe Chatrier. The fourth-seeded Spanish player takes on 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone in an intriguing matchup.

Djokovic, who completed a career Grand Slam in Paris last year but has been struggling with form and confidence since, is also set to play on the showcase court. The former world No. 1 is up against Marcel Granollers of Spain.

Hot temperatures are expected throughout the day, with a chance of thunderstorm in the afternoon.

Source:- https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/tennis/2017/05/29/djokovic-muguruza-start-title-defenses-at-french-open/102282128/

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Concerns growing at F1 Mercedes after slump at Monaco GPhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/concerns-growing-f1-mercedes-slump-monaco-gp.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/concerns-growing-f1-mercedes-slump-monaco-gp.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:52:00 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30860 Concerns growing at F1 Mercedes after slump at Monaco GP It used to be a case of guessing the winning margin for Mercedes in the constructors' championship, and a toss-up between which of its two drivers would win the Formula One title. Not any more. Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix clearly underlined how Mercedes is not […]

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Concerns growing at F1 Mercedes after slump at Monaco GP

It used to be a case of guessing the winning margin for Mercedes in the constructors' championship, and a toss-up between which of its two drivers would win the Formula One title.

Not any more.

Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix clearly underlined how Mercedes is not the force it was, with Lewis Hamilton, who has won two of his three world titles with Mercedes, finishing seventh and new recruit Valtteri Bottas taking fourth place.

Up ahead, Ferrari clinched a clinical 1-2 finish with Sebastian Vettel beating teammate Kimi Raikkonen and opening up a 25-point gap over Hamilton at the top.

After six of 20 races, this lead is not big enough to be alarming. But the inconsistency of the Mercedes car certainly is.

"We will be pushing to fully understand it," Hamilton said. "Because we can't be in this position again."

The next race is the Canadian GP in two weeks' time, and all eyes will be on Mercedes in practice and qualifying. That Hamilton even managed to take seventh place was a credit to his remarkable driving ability, seeing as he started from way back in 13th place on the grid after a calamitous qualifying session in Monaco.

"Of course, I can't afford another weekend like this, at the going rate with the Ferraris quick," Hamilton said. "We've got a real fight on our hands. We'll be sure to push those red cars hard next time out in Canada."

But the team is struggling to find answers. Head of motorsport Toto Wolff even called the Mercedes car "a diva" and a "mystery" because of its temperamental and unpredictable nature.

"We have to work collectively as a team more than ever before to beat the Ferraris," Hamilton said. "Who knows what is going to happen?"

There is even talk that Mercedes may have to give priority to one of its two drivers to arrest the current slide. At the moment, both are officially on an equal footing and free to compete fully against each other — as Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were over the last three years.

The unofficial talk is that Hamilton is the No. 1, ahead of Bottas — who had never won a race before joining from Williams to hurriedly replace Rosberg.

But in Monaco, Bottas' car looked much faster and more reliable, which would make it difficult to give Hamilton the priority at this stage.

"I really have no idea," Hamilton said. "Who knows? It might go the other way: I might need to give Valtteri the upper hand."

The problem of the Mercedes, according to Bottas in his post-race debrief, appears to be an inconsistency between the front and rear axle. In turn, this affects the performance of the tires, as was shown in Thursday's second practice session when Mercedes botched a switch to the faster ultra-soft compound and failed to get either driver into the seven quickest times in P2. It was an embarrassment for a car of such standing.

"It is clear that this weekend we didn't give them the equipment necessary to do better," technical director James Allison said. "We now need to go back to the factory and make sure we do everything in our power to ensure it remains our weakest result of the year."

Last year, Mercedes finished nearly 300 points ahead of Red Bull in the constructors' championship, winning 19 of 21 races as Rosberg pipped Hamilton to the title before dramatically announcing his retirement from F1. Ferrari was an afterthought, 367 adrift of Mercedes in third and scrapping for podium places rather than wins.

In 2015, Ferrari was 275 points behind Mercedes and 2014 was so dismal for the Italian manufacturer that it finished fourth and nearly 500 behind Mercedes.

With new regulations designed to make cars wider, heavier and faster this year, Ferrari seems to have worked wonders in the factory while Mercedes appears to be going backward.

"We are the underdogs," Wolff said. "This is the new reality."

Source:- https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/motor/formula1/2017/05/29/concerns-growing-at-f1-mercedes-after-slump-at-monaco-gp/102282174/

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New French president promises tough talk at first Putin meetinghttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/new-french-president-promises-tough-talk-first-putin-meeting.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/new-french-president-promises-tough-talk-first-putin-meeting.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:47:09 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30857 New French president promises tough talk at first Putin meeting New French President Emmanuel Macron is promising tough talk at his first meeting with Vladimir Putin on Monday, following an election campaign in which his team accused Russian media of trying to interfere in the democratic process. Macron, who took office two weeks ago, has […]

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New French president promises tough talk at first Putin meeting

New French President Emmanuel Macron is promising tough talk at his first meeting with Vladimir Putin on Monday, following an election campaign in which his team accused Russian media of trying to interfere in the democratic process.

Macron, who took office two weeks ago, has said dialogue with Russia is vital in tackling a number of international disputes. Nevertheless, relations have been beset by mistrust, with Paris and Moscow backing opposing sides in the Syrian civil war and at odds over the Ukraine conflict.

Fresh from talks with his Western counterparts at a NATO meeting in Brussels and a G7 summit in Sicily, Macron will host the Russian president at the palace of Versailles outside Paris.

Amid the baroque splendor, Macron will use an exhibition on Russian Tsar Peter the Great at the former royal palace to try to get Franco-Russian relations off to a new start.

"It's indispensable to talk to Russia because there are a number of international subjects that will not be resolved without a tough dialogue with them," Macron said.

"I will be demanding in my exchanges with Russia," the 39-year-old president told reporters at the end of the G7 summit on Saturday, where the Western leaders agreed to consider new measures against Moscow if the situation in Ukraine did not improve.

Relations between Paris and Moscow were increasingly strained under former President Francois Hollande. Putin, 64, canceled his last planned visit in October after Hollande said he would see him only for talks on Syria.

Then during the French election campaign the Macron camp alleged Russian hacking and disinformation efforts, at one point refusing accreditation to the Russian state-funded Sputnik and RT news outlets which it said were spreading Russian propaganda and fake news.

Two days before the May 7 election runoff, Macron's team said thousands of hacked campaign emails had been put online in a leak that one New York-based analyst said could have come from a group tied to Russian military intelligence.

Moscow and RT itself rejected allegations of meddling in the election.

Putin also offered Macron's far-right opponent Marine Le Pen a publicity coup when he granted her an audience a month before the election's first round.

Nonetheless, Russia's ambassador to Paris, Alexander Orlov said on Monday that he expected this first meeting between the two men to be full of "smiles" and marking the beginning of "a very good and long relationship".

Orlov, speaking on Europe 1 radio, said he believed that Macron was "much more flexible" on the Syrian question, though he did not say why he thought this. Putin would certainly invite Macron to pay a visit to Moscow, he said.

Macron decisively beat the far right's Le Pen, an open Putin admirer, and afterwards the Russian president said in a congratulatory message that he wanted to put mistrust aside and work with him.

"CLEVER MOVE"

Hollande's former diplomatic adviser, Jacques Audibert, noted how Putin had been excluded from what used to be the Group of Eight nations as relations with the West soured. Meeting in a palace so soon after the G7 summit was a clever move by Macron.

"Putin likes these big symbolic things. I think it's an excellent political opportunity, the choice of place is perfect," he told CNews TV. "It adds a bit of grandeur to welcome Putin to Versailles."

The Versailles exhibition commemorates a visit to France 300 years ago by Peter the Great, known for his European tastes.

A Russian official told reporters in Moscow on Friday that the meeting was an opportunity "to get a better feel for each other" and that the Kremlin expected "a frank conversation" on Syria.

While Moscow backs President Bashar al-Assad, France supports rebel groups trying to overthrow him. France has also taken a tough line on European Union sanctions on Russia, first imposed when it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, and canceled a $1.3 billion warship supply contract in 2015.

During the campaign, Macron backed expanded sanctions if there were no progress with Moscow implementing a peace accord for eastern Ukraine, where Kiev's forces have been battling pro-Russian separatists.

Since being elected, Macron appears to have toned down the rhetoric, although he noted the two leaders still had "diverging positions" in their first phone call.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-russia-idUSKBN18P030

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Morocco arrests activist leading northern protestshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/morocco-arrests-activist-leading-northern-protests.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/morocco-arrests-activist-leading-northern-protests.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:41:38 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30854 Morocco arrests activist leading northern protests Moroccan authorities have arrested a leading activist who had been organizing protests against official abuses and corruption in the north of the country, a government source said on Monday. Nasser Zefzafi was arrested on Monday after a warrant was issued on Friday afternoon when he protested during a prayer […]

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Morocco arrests activist leading northern protests

Moroccan authorities have arrested a leading activist who had been organizing protests against official abuses and corruption in the north of the country, a government source said on Monday.

Nasser Zefzafi was arrested on Monday after a warrant was issued on Friday afternoon when he protested during a prayer sermon, the source said. Clashes erupted on Friday when authorities tried to arrest him at his home in Al-Hoceima.

Political protests are rare in Morocco, but tensions in Al-Hoceima have been simmering since October after the death of a fishmonger who was crushed inside a garbage truck while trying to salvage his fish confiscated by the police.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-morocco-protests-idUSKBN18P0VT

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Angola confirms dos Santos in Spain for health checkshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/angola-confirms-dos-santos-spain-health-checks.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/angola-confirms-dos-santos-spain-health-checks.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:39:40 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30851 Angola confirms dos Santos in Spain for health checks Angola confirmed for the first time on Monday that 74-year-old President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, its leader of the last 38 years, was in Spain for medical reasons. Speaking on French radio station RFI, foreign minister Georges Chikoti admitted that dos Santos had been unwell but […]

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Angola confirms dos Santos in Spain for health checks

Angola confirmed for the first time on Monday that 74-year-old President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, its leader of the last 38 years, was in Spain for medical reasons.

Speaking on French radio station RFI, foreign minister Georges Chikoti admitted that dos Santos had been unwell but played down concerns about his health and refused to confirm local private media reports of a stroke.

"You know that there are moments in everyone's lives when we don't feel well. But he is fine. He is in Spain but when he is better he will return," Chikoti said.

"President Dos Santos has regular checkups in Spain so it is perfectly normal for him to be there."

Dos Santos, a Soviet-trained oil engineer and veteran of the guerrilla war against Portuguese rule, has presided over an economic boom in Africa's second-biggest oil producer since the end of a long civil war in 2002.

He left Angola at the start of May for what was officially billed as a private, two-week overseas visit. His failure to return fueled speculation about his health, including a report on an Angola-related Facebook page that he had died.

Before Chikoti, state media and officials had refused to comment, a common response in one of Africa's most secretive and repressive states. Dos Santos's daughter Isabel denied the report of his death via Instagram but gave no more information.

Angola is due to hold a general election on Aug. 23 that is likely to see dos Santos replaced as state president by defense minister Joao Lorenco, 63.

However, dos Santos will remain leader of the ruling MPLA party, a position that many Angolans believe will allow him to exert considerable political influence behind the scenes.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-angola-president-idUSKBN18P0TS

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Civilians lack food, water, medicine as Mosul battle mountshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/civilians-lack-food-water-medicine-mosul-battle-mounts.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/civilians-lack-food-water-medicine-mosul-battle-mounts.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:36:12 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30848 Civilians lack food, water, medicine as Mosul battle mounts Tens of thousands of civilians in parts of Mosul held by Islamic State are struggling to get food, water and medicine, the United Nations said, days into a new push by U.S.-backed Iraqi government troops to take the northern city. Up to 200,000 people still live […]

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Civilians lack food, water, medicine as Mosul battle mounts

Tens of thousands of civilians in parts of Mosul held by Islamic State are struggling to get food, water and medicine, the United Nations said, days into a new push by U.S.-backed Iraqi government troops to take the northern city.

Up to 200,000 people still live behind Islamic State lines in Mosul's Old City and three other districts, U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator Lise Grande told Reuters late on Sunday.

She spoke a day after Iraq's army said it had launched a new offensive to take the militant zones on the western side of the Tigris river.

Progress has been slow, an Iraqi government adviser told Reuters, also late on Sunday. "The fighting is extremely intense ... the presence of civilians means we have to be very cautious," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

People who had managed to get out of the militant areas "report a dramatic situation including lack of food, limited water and severe shortages of medicines," Grande said by phone.

"We know that there have been health facilities in these areas, but we don't know whether they are still functioning."

Government forces have been dropping leaflets over the districts telling families to flee - but many have remained fearing getting caught in the cross-fire.

"We have been informed by authorities that the evacuation is not compulsory ... If civilians decide to stay ... they will be protected by Iraqi security forces," said Grande.

"People who choose to flee will be directed to safe routes. The location of these will change depending on which areas are under attack and dynamics on the battlefield," she added.

The latest Iraqi government push is part of a broader offensive in Mosul, now in its eighth month. It has taken longer than planned as the militants are dug in among civilians, retaliating with suicide car and motorbike bombs, booby traps, snipers and mortar fire.

Its prime target is the medieval Grand al-Nuri mosque with its landmark leaning minaret in Mosul's Old City, where Islamic State's black flag has been flying since mid-2014.

The fall of Mosul would, in effect, mark the end of the Iraqi half of the "caliphate" declared nearly three years ago by Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a speech at the mosque.

About 700,000 people, about a third of the pre-war city's population, have already fled, seeking refuge either with friends and relatives or in camps.
 

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-mosul-idUSKBN18P0RQ

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UK police arrest 16th person in connection with Manchester attackhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/uk-police-arrest-16th-person-connection-manchester-attack.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/uk-police-arrest-16th-person-connection-manchester-attack.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:33:13 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30844 UK police arrest 16th person in connection with Manchester attack British police said on Monday they had arrested a 16th person in connection with the Manchester suicide bombing last week. The 23-year-old man was arrested in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, "on suspicion on offences contrary to the terrorism act", Greater Manchester Police said on Twitter. A total […]

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UK police arrest 16th person in connection with Manchester attack

British police said on Monday they had arrested a 16th person in connection with the Manchester suicide bombing last week.

The 23-year-old man was arrested in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex, "on suspicion on offences contrary to the terrorism act", Greater Manchester Police said on Twitter.

A total of 16 people have been arrested in connection with the attack, in which 22 people died. Two were released without charge, while 14 men remained in custody for questioning, the police said.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-security-manchester-arrests-idUSKBN18P0H0

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Philippines military says close to defeating Islamist rebelshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/philippines-military-says-close-defeating-islamist-rebels.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/philippines-military-says-close-defeating-islamist-rebels.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:30:59 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30841 Philippines military says close to defeating Islamist rebels The Philippines military said on Monday it was close to retaking a southern city held for a seventh day by Islamist militants, as helicopters unleashed more rockets on positions held by the rebels aligned with Islamic State. The clashes in Marawi city with the Maute militia, a […]

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Philippines military says close to defeating Islamist rebels

The Philippines military said on Monday it was close to retaking a southern city held for a seventh day by Islamist militants, as helicopters unleashed more rockets on positions held by the rebels aligned with Islamic State.

The clashes in Marawi city with the Maute militia, a group hardly known a year ago, has become the biggest security challenge of Rodrigo Duterte's 11-month presidency, with gunmen resisting air and ground assaults and still in control of central parts of a city of 200,000 people.

The military said the rebels may be getting help from "sympathetic elements" and fighters they had freed from jail during the rampage that started on Tuesday and caught the military by surprise.

"Our ground commanders have assured that the end is almost there," military spokesman, Restituto Padilla told reporters.

"We can control who comes in and who comes out, who moves around and who doesn't. And we're trying to isolate all these pockets of resistance."

More than 100 people have been killed, most of them militants, according to the military, and most of the city's residents have fled.

The military said the Maute group was still present in nine of the city's 96 Barangays, or communities.

The Maute group's ability to fight off the military for so long will add to fears that Islamic State's radical ideology is spreading in the southern Philippines and it could become a haven for militants from Indonesia, Malaysia and beyond.

The government believes the Maute carried out their assault before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to capture the attention of Islamic State and earn recognition as a Southeast Asian affiliate.

The military's estimates of the size of the rebel force and the extent of its occupation have fluctuated each day. It has maintained throughout that it is in full control of the situation and says supporters of the Maute were making exaggerated claims on social media.

According to witnesses, men with black headbands typical of Islamic State were seen on city streets in recent days. A photograph taken by a resident shows 10 men carrying assault rifles and dressed entirely in black.

A Reuters photographer saw an Islamic State flag in an oil drum in an abandoned street on Monday, where chickens roamed in front of damaged shops and homes.

LOCKDOWN

Iligan City, 38 km (24 miles) away, was overflowing with evacuees and was on lockdown over fears that fighters had sneaked out of Marawi by blending in with civilians.

"We don't want what's happening in Marawi to spill over in Iligan," said Colonel Alex Aduca, chief of the Fourth Mechanized Infantry Battalion.

Sixty-one militants, 20 members of the security forces and 19 civilians have been killed since Tuesday, when Maute rebels went on the rampage after a botched military operation to arrest Isnilon Hapilon, who the government believes is a point man for Islamic State in the Philippines.

Some troops tried to eliminate Maute snipers on Monday as others guarded deserted streets, taken back block-by-block.

Helicopters circled the lakeside city and smoke poured out of some buildings. Artillery explosions echoed.

Though most people have left, thousands are stranded, worried they could be intercepted by militants at checkpoints on routes out of the city.

There were still bodies of civilians in Marawi and residents urged the military to halt air strikes, said Zia Alonto Adiong, a politician involved in evacuation efforts.

"The anticipation of death is worse than death itself," he told news channel ANC. "We appeal to our military forces to do a different approach."

The military said air strikes were taken on "known and verified enemy positions".

"We are using precision ammunition in our surgical air strikes," said another army spokesman, Colonal Edgard Arevalo. "We have highly skilled and trained pilots delivering the payload."

Bodies of what appeared to be executed civilians were found in a ravine outside Marawi on Sunday as the crisis took a more sinister turn. Most of the eight men were shot in the head and some had bound hands.

Duterte imposed martial law last week on Mindanao, an island of 22 million people where both Marawi and Iligan are located, to quell the unrest and wipe out militancy.

He made an unconventional offer on Saturday to Muslim separatists and communist rebels to join his fight against extremists, and said he would give them the same pay and benefits as government troops.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-militants-idUSKBN18P0DXc

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North Korea fires Scud-class ballistic missile, Japan protestshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/north-korea-fires-scud-class-ballistic-missile-japan-protests.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/world-news/north-korea-fires-scud-class-ballistic-missile-japan-protests.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:28:12 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30838 North Korea fires Scud-class ballistic missile, Japan protests North Korea fired at least one 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. The missile was believed to be a Scud-class ballistic missile […]

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North Korea fires Scud-class ballistic missile, Japan protests

North Korea fired at least one 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.

The missile was believed to be a Scud-class ballistic missile and flew about 450 km (280 miles), South Korean officials said. North Korea has a large stockpile of the short-range missiles, originally developed by the Soviet Union.

Monday's launch followed two successful tests of medium- to long-range missiles in as many weeks by the North, which has been conducting such tests at an unprecedented pace in an effort to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting the mainland United States.

North Korea likely showing its determination to push ahead in the face of international pressure to rein in its missile program and "to pressure the (South Korean) government to change its policy on the North", South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Roh Jae-cheon said.

It was the third ballistic missile test-launch since South Korea's liberal President Moon Jae-in took office on May 10 pledging to engage with the reclusive neighbor in dialogue.

Moon says sanctions alone have failed to resolve the growing threat from the North's advancing nuclear and missile program.

The missile reached an altitude of 120 km (75 miles), Roh said.

"The assessment is there was at least one missile but we are analyzing the number of missiles," he said.

North Korea, which has conducted dozens of missile tests and tested two nuclear bombs since the beginning of 2016 in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, says the program is necessary to counter U.S. aggression.

The White House said President Donald Trump had been briefed about the launch. The U.S. Pacific Command said it tracked what appeared to be a short-range ballistic missile for six minutes and assessed it did not pose a threat to North America.

The United States has said it was looking at discussing with China a new U.N. Security Council resolution and that Beijing, North Korea's main diplomatic ally and neighbor, realizes time was limited to rein in its weapons program through negotiations.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, asked what a military conflict with North Korea might look like if diplomacy failed, warned on Sunday it would be "probably the worst kind of fighting in most people's lifetimes".

"The North Korean regime has hundreds of artillery cannons and rocket launchers within range of one of the most densely populated cities on Earth, which is the capital of South Korea," Mattis told CBS news program "Face the Nation".

"And in the event of war, they would bring danger to China and to Russia as well," he said.

TESTING NEW CAPABILITIES

China reiterated that U.N. Security Council resolutions had "clear rules" about North Korean missile activities and it urged Pyongyang not to contravene them.

"The situation on the Korean peninsula is complex and sensitive, and we hope all relevant sides maintain calm and exercise restraint, ease the tense situation as soon as possible and put the issue back onto the correct track of peaceful dialogue," China's foreign ministry said in a statement.

Russia condemned the launched and also called for restraint, "including towards military activity", from the partners it was working with, the RIA news agency quoted a deputy Russian foreign minister as saying.

Japan lodged a protest against the test missile, which appeared to have landed in its exclusive economic zone.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed action along with other nations to deter Pyongyang's repeated provocations.

"As we agreed at the recent G7, the issue of North Korea is a top priority for the international community," Abe told reporters in brief televised remarks. "Working with the United States, we will take specific action to deter North Korea."

Seoul's new liberal administration has said Pyongyang's repeated test launches were dashing hopes for peace.

South Korea's Moon swiftly called a meeting of the National Security Council, South Korea's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

North Korea last test-fired a ballistic missile on May 21 off its east coast and said on Sunday it had tested a new anti-aircraft weapon supervised by leader Kim Jong Un.

It has tested Scud-type, short-range missiles many times in the past, most recently in April, according to U.S. officials. However, experts say it may be trying to test new capabilities that may be fed into its efforts to build an ICBM.

"There are many possibilities ... It could have been a test for a different type of engine. Or to verify the credibility of the main engine for ICBM's first stage rocket," said Kim Dong-yub, a military expert at Kyungnam University's Far Eastern Studies department in Seoul.

Modified versions of the Scud have a range of up to 1,000 km (620 miles).

On Tuesday, the United States will test an existing missile defense system to try to intercept an ICBM, the first such test, officials said last week.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-idUSKBN18O0R3

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GM says ISS advises against Greenlight share plan, board nomineeshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/gm-says-iss-advises-greenlight-share-plan-board-nominees.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/gm-says-iss-advises-greenlight-share-plan-board-nominees.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:23:16 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30835 GM says ISS advises against Greenlight share plan, board nominees General Motors Co(GM.N) said on Saturday that proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services has recommended that shareholders vote against a slate of directors proposed by hedge fund Greenlight Capital and reject the hedge fund's plan to divide GM shares into two classes. The advice from […]

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GM says ISS advises against Greenlight share plan, board nominees

General Motors Co(GM.N) said on Saturday that proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services has recommended that shareholders vote against a slate of directors proposed by hedge fund Greenlight Capital and reject the hedge fund's plan to divide GM shares into two classes.

The advice from ISS is a setback for Greenlight and its manager David Einhorn. They have said GM shares are undervalued and would be more attractive if the company divided its common stock into shares that pay a dividend and shares that would reflect the automaker's growth potential.

Greenlight also has proposed a slate of three candidates for GM's board of directors.

On Friday, advisory firm Glass Lewis also advised against Greenlight's nominees for the automaker's board and its share split plan.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-gm-greenlight-iss-idUSKBN18N0SW

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U.S. economy slowed less than expected in first quarterhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/u-s-economy-slowed-less-expected-first-quarter.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/u-s-economy-slowed-less-expected-first-quarter.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:20:54 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30832 U.S. economy slowed less than expected in first quarter The U.S. economy slowed less than initially thought in the first quarter, but softening business investment and moderate consumer spending are clouding expectations of a sharp acceleration in the second quarter. Gross domestic product increased at a 1.2 percent annual rate instead of the 0.7 percent […]

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U.S. economy slowed less than expected in first quarter

The U.S. economy slowed less than initially thought in the first quarter, but softening business investment and moderate consumer spending are clouding expectations of a sharp acceleration in the second quarter.

Gross domestic product increased at a 1.2 percent annual rate instead of the 0.7 percent pace reported last month, the Commerce Department said on Friday in its second GDP estimate for the first three months of the year.

That was the worst performance in a year and followed a 2.1 percent growth rate in the fourth quarter.

"Economic indicators so far aren't entirely convincing on a second-quarter bounce in activity and show a U.S. economy struggling to surprise on the upside," said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West in San Francisco.

The first-quarter weakness is a blow to President Donald Trump's ambitious goal to sharply boost economic growth.

During the 2016 presidential campaign Trump had vowed to lift annual GDP growth to 4 percent, though administration officials now see 3 percent as more realistic.

Trump has proposed a range of measures to spur faster growth, including corporate and individual tax cuts. But analysts are skeptical that fiscal stimulus, if it materializes, will fire up the economy given weak productivity and labor shortages in some areas.

"If the economy is going to grow at 3 percent for as long as the eye can see, businesses better spend lots of money on capital goods. That is not happening," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors in Holland, Pennsylvania.

The economy's sluggishness, however, is probably not a true reflection of its health, as first-quarter GDP tends to underperform because of difficulties with the calculation of data that the government is working to resolve.

The government raised its initial estimate of consumer spending growth for the first quarter, but said inventory investment was far smaller than previously reported. The trade deficit also was a bit smaller than estimated last month.

Economists had expected that GDP growth would be revised up to a 0.9 percent rate. Despite the tepid growth, the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates next month.

The dollar was trading slightly higher against a basket of currencies on Friday, while U.S. stocks were flat after six straight days of gains. Prices for longer-dated U.S. government bonds rose.

APRIL DATA DISAPPOINTING

Though the economy appears to have regained some speed early in the second quarter, hopes of a sharp rebound have been tempered by weak business spending, a modest increase in retail sales last month, a widening of the goods trade deficit and decreases in inventory investment.

In a second report on Friday, the Commerce Department said non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, were unchanged in April for a second straight month.

Shipments of these so-called core capital goods dipped 0.1 percent after rising 0.2 percent in March. Core capital goods shipments are used to calculate equipment spending in the government's gross domestic product measurement.

Second-quarter GDP growth estimates range between a rate of 2.0 percent and 3.7 percent rate.

"It looks instead that many companies may be delaying their equipment purchases for now to see if they get a better tax deal later on down the road," said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.

The GDP report also showed an acceleration in business spending equipment was not as fast as previously estimated. Spending on equipment rose at a 7.2 percent rate in the first quarter rather than the 9.1 percent reported last month.

Growth in consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose at a 0.6 percent rate instead of the previously reported 0.3 percent pace. That was still the slowest pace since the fourth quarter of 2009 and followed the fourth quarter's robust 3.5 percent growth rate.

With consumer sentiment hovering at lofty levels, consumer spending could pick up. But there are worries that surging household debt could cut into spending as monthly repayments squeeze paychecks.

Businesses accumulated inventories at a rate of $4.3 billion in the last quarter, rather than the $10.3 billion reported last month. Inventory investment increased at a $49.6 billion rate in the October-December period.

Inventories subtracted 1.07 percentage point from GDP growth instead of the previously estimated 0.93 percentage point.

The government also reported that corporate profits after tax with inventory valuation and capital consumption adjustments fell at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the first quarter, hurt by legal settlements, after rising at a 2.3 percent pace in the previous three months.

Penalties imposed by the government on the U.S. subsidiaries of Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank related to the sale of mortgage-backed securities reduced financial corporate profits by $5.6 billion in the first quarter.

In addition, a fine levied on the U.S. subsidiary of Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) related to violations of U.S. environmental regulations cut $4.3 billion from non-financial corporate profits.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-idUSKBN18M1GP

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Hyundai plots China branding reboot after missile rowhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/hyundai-plots-china-branding-reboot-missile-row.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/hyundai-plots-china-branding-reboot-missile-row.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:18:19 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30826 Hyundai plots China branding reboot after missile row Bruised by anti-Korean sentiment in its biggest market and losing ground to local automakers, Hyundai Motor (005380.KS) will open its first Chinese brand store, and may locally assemble its premium Genesis cars and accelerate the launch of a sport-utility vehicle (SUV), people familiar with the plans said. […]

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Hyundai plots China branding reboot after missile row

Bruised by anti-Korean sentiment in its biggest market and losing ground to local automakers, Hyundai Motor (005380.KS) will open its first Chinese brand store, and may locally assemble its premium Genesis cars and accelerate the launch of a sport-utility vehicle (SUV), people familiar with the plans said.

The measures are aimed at rebooting the South Korean firm's branding in China, where many see Hyundai as a lower-end maker of city taxis.

Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors (000270.KS) were not long ago ranked third among foreign car brands in China, but recent sales have been hit by a consumer backlash over South Korea's deployment of a U.S. anti-missile defense system which Beijing opposes.

Analysts say the diplomatic row masks broader problems for Hyundai/Kia in China: poor brand recognition and a model line-up struggling against local brands' cheaper SUVs.

"Hyundai has an in-between brand that doesn't have a clear identity in China, and there's the backdrop of poor China-Korea relations," said James Chao, Shanghai-based Asia-Pacific chief of consulting firm IHS Markit Automotive.

"Newly introduced SUVs should help, but they are late to the game."

Even before the missile systems row, Hyundai/Kia's China market share tumbled to 8.1 percent last year, the lowest in eight years. This year, it has slid further to 5 percent.

To help its identity crisis, Hyundai will in September open a brand experience center in Beijing's 798 Art District, a trendy hub of refurbished factory buildings. Hyundai has three similar centers in Seoul and one in Moscow.

"We're not going to show a real car. This space is only for focusing on brand building," Xu Jing, the Hyundai executive in charge of the project, told Reuters.

The center was planned before the recent political tensions, but its completion is now a key plank in Hyundai's efforts to regain a lost position in China as local automakers and European brands gain ground. Volvo-owner Geely (0175.HK) and Great Wall Motor (601633.SS) are also looking to move upmarket.

The branding store ventures into territory traditionally held by premium names such as Daimler's (DAIGn.DE) "Mercedes me" stores and BMW's (BMWG.DE) brand centers, already in China.

MAKING GENESIS

Hyundai is also considering using complete knock-down (CKD) kits shipped from South Korea to assemble Genesis cars in China - more than halving import tariffs to 10 percent - two people familiar with the matter said.

Building Genesis cars from kits in China would also prevent technology leaking to its local joint venture partner, BAIC (1958.HK), one of the people added.

The kits are a first step, said one Hyundai insider. "We are agonizing over how to source local parts and secure enough sales to build the Genesis cars."

Hyundai launched its Genesis luxury sedan in 2008, and two years ago spun it off with the larger Equus sedan into a standalone premium brand. Brand chief Manfred Fitzgerald said last year Genesis would launch in China within 2-3 years.

Hyundai has not decided which Genesis model it will build in China first, but plans to have six models including a sports sedan and two SUVs under the premium marque by 2020.

"While the Genesis brand is reviewing a variety of strategies for the China market, no specific decisions have been made yet," Hyundai said in a statement.

Hyundai sold 74 Genesis sedans in China last year, down from 1,016 in 2015. It sold a single Equus, down from 10 the previous year, according to export data seen by Reuters.

RECOVERY TIME

Hyundai may also bring forward by a month, to November, the launch of a small SUV, codenamed NU, to be built at its fourth factory in China, one of the people told Reuters.

And Kia is considering launching the Stinger, its first sports sedan, in China, people with direct knowledge of the matter said, though there are no plans to build the model there.

Hyundai said it also plans to apply new, cutting-edge technologies such as connectivity and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to many products from the second half of this year, and soon introduce six new-energy vehicles.

Since starting to make cars in China in 2002, Hyundai has aggressively chased sales and market share by selling both older and new versions of models including the Elantra and Sonata sedans and Tucson SUV.

Among foreign car brands, Hyundai's China sales lag only those of General Motors (GM.N) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), but it's generally seen as more lower-end than American, German and Japanese rivals. Beijing Hyundai has supplied around a fifth of the capital's taxis.

The volume sales model "did wonders for sales growth, but dented the Hyundai image in the minds of Chinese buyers," said Michael Dunne, president of consultancy Dunne Automotive.

"(Having a) weaker brand ... than Japanese automakers, I think it might take more time to restore the brand and sales," said Han Sang-yun, director at S&P, noting Japanese car makers took a year to bounce back in China after a 2012 consumer backlash over a territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-hyundai-motor-china-analysis-idUSKBN18O01X

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As Fed raises rates, aim is not to roil markets, Williams sayshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/fed-raises-rates-aim-not-roil-markets-williams-says.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/business/fed-raises-rates-aim-not-roil-markets-williams-says.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:16:22 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30827 As Fed raises rates, aim is not to roil markets, Williams says The U.S. economy is at or near the Federal Reserve's goals of full employment and stable prices, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said, adding that the U.S. central bank wants to make sure markets stay calm as it slowly returns interest-rate policy […]

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As Fed raises rates, aim is not to roil markets, Williams says

The U.S. economy is at or near the Federal Reserve's goals of full employment and stable prices, San Francisco Fed President John Williams said, adding that the U.S. central bank wants to make sure markets stay calm as it slowly returns interest-rate policy to normal.

"If you remember nothing else I’ve shared with you today, I hope you’ll remember this: The last thing we want to do is to fuel unnecessary or avoidable volatility or disruption – whether we’re talking about domestic markets or international markets," Williams said in remarks prepared for delivery Monday to the Symposium on Asian Banking and Finance, co-hosted with the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

With the economy at full employment and inflation expected to reach the Fed's 2-percent goal by next year, the Fed needs to keep raising U.S. interest rates gradually or risk overheating the economy, Williams said.

The Fed raised rates in March, and at the time telegraphed a plan to lift them two more times this year, a pace that Williams last week told Reuters he thinks makes sense.

Policymakers meet again next month to decide their next move.

The Fed, Williams said Monday, is also committed to trimming its $4.5 trillion balance sheet, accumulated during years of bond-buying to stimulate investment and hiring after the Great Recession.

The process, which he said will likely start sometime later this year, will be "widely telegraphed, gradual, and – frankly – boring," Williams said. "The more public understanding there is, the lesser the risk of market disruption and volatility."

The last time the Fed shifted its policy on its balance sheet, domestic and international markets swooned in response. Fed officials this time around are keen to prevent another such incident.

Source:- http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-williams-idUSKBN18P039

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Samsung Galaxy S8 sales highlight speed of recoveryhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/samsung-galaxy-s8-sales-highlight-speed-recovery.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/technology/samsung-galaxy-s8-sales-highlight-speed-recovery.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 10:12:05 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30824 Samsung Galaxy S8 sales highlight speed of recovery Samsung Electronics’ latest flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone has hit 1m in domestic sales twice as quickly as its predecessors, highlighting the speed of the company’s recovery from last year’s costly Galaxy Note 7 recall. The South Korean company has pinned its hopes on the new premium device, […]

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Samsung Galaxy S8 sales highlight speed of recovery

Samsung Electronics’ latest flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone has hit 1m in domestic sales twice as quickly as its predecessors, highlighting the speed of the company’s recovery from last year’s costly Galaxy Note 7 recall.

The South Korean company has pinned its hopes on the new premium device, which went on sale on April 21, to repair its image after the demise of the fire-prone Note 7 and stage a comeback in the competitive global smartphone market. 

The Galaxy S8 has been well accepted in Samsung’s home market, luring consumers with its cool bezel-less design and upgraded features including its Bixby voice assistant.

“Samsung must be glad that the new phone has not caused any big trouble like the Note 7 battery problem. There seems to be no worry about its quality,” said Kim Young-woo, analyst at SK Securities. 

However, the phones are not selling as well abroad as in the domestic market, Mr Kim added. “Its domestic performance is very good while its overseas sales have been similar to those of its predecessors. There seem to be many consumers overseas waiting for the new iPhone launch,” he said. 

The S8 is on sale in the US, South Korea and parts of Europe, and analysts said this month that Samsung had sold 5m units globally in the three weeks after its launch. The company did not deny the industry estimate, but declined to comment.

The new flagship device, which is being gradually rolled out to about 120 countries, had been expected to outsell its predecessor S7, which shipped 48.5m units in its first year.

But Mr Kim now projects S8 global sales of about 45m this year, with momentum likely to be sapped by the expected launch of the new iPhone in the second half. He estimates the S8 has now sold about 8m units globally since its late-April launch.

Although Samsung remains the world’s largest mobile phone maker, its market share slipped to 20.7 per cent in the first quarter from 23.3 per cent in the same quarter last year, according to Gartner. It was also the only top-five phonemaker to report a decline in shipments, which fell to 78m from 81m, hit by the Note 7 setback and stiff competition in the Chinese market, in particular. 

However, the company posted its best quarterly operating profit in more than three years in the first three months of this year, buoyed by solid component sales. Analysts expect Samsung to report about Won50tn in operating profit for 2017, with about 70 per cent of it coming from memory chips and display panels.

Shares in Samsung, which have risen some 30 per cent year to date, fell 1 per cent to Won2.281m on Monday.
 

Source:- https://www.ft.com/content/aa8be06e-4443-11e7-8519-9f94ee97d996

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Chris Brown Celebrates Daughter Royalty’s Birthday Despite Legal Troubleshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/celebrities/chris-brown-celebrates-daughter-royaltys-birthday-despite-legal-troubles.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/celebrities/chris-brown-celebrates-daughter-royaltys-birthday-despite-legal-troubles.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 09:20:05 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30818 Chris Brown Celebrates Daughter Royalty’s Birthday Despite Legal Troubles Chris Brown took a break from his legal troubles to celebrate his daughter's third birthday. The singer celebrated Royalty's big day with a sweet Instagram photo. Taking a time out from all the legal drama, the proud papa celebrated his daughter Royalty's third birthday Saturday.   […]

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Chris Brown Celebrates Daughter Royalty’s Birthday Despite Legal Troubles

Chris Brown took a break from his legal troubles to celebrate his daughter's third birthday.

The singer celebrated Royalty's big day with a sweet Instagram photo.

Taking a time out from all the legal drama, the proud papa celebrated his daughter Royalty's third birthday Saturday.

Chris followed up his mushy post with a ton of heart emojis — proving his undying love for his baby girl.

Royalty's mama, Nia Guzman, shared her own happy pic of her girl's special day.

 

#HappyBirthdayRoRo #WokeUpToCakeInBed #CakeAllDay #BigThree

A post shared by Nia Guzman (@therealniaguzman) on

The 28-year-old singer recently requested (and was rewarded with) a delayed court date in his ongoing legal battle with ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran.

Chris's legal team claimed he had never been served the proper papers to appear in court, Bossip reports.

Karrueche Tran And Chris Brown Thatgrapejuice

The 29-year-old stylist-turned-actress has accused her ex of making death threats towards her and has filed a restraining order over Chris's alleged stalking.

After repeatedly avoiding process servers, Chris was finally served the papers earlier this month while leaving his own birthday party.

Chris Brown

Chris was quite angry at having his bash ruined, according to TMZ. 

The troubled singer's celebration will be short-lived — his court appearance has been rescheduled for June 15.

Chris Brown Drug Rant Female Tour Manager

SOURCE:- http://www.wetpaint.com/chris-brown-birthday-court-troubles-1593977/

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Jaden Smith Goes on Rant Against Hotel About… Spiked Pancakeshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/celebrities/jaden-smith-goes-rant-hotel-spiked-pancakes.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/celebrities/jaden-smith-goes-rant-hotel-spiked-pancakes.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 07:26:54 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30814 Jaden Smith Goes on Rant Against Hotel About… Spiked Pancakes Jaden Smith is very unhappy with his stay at the Four Seasons hotel in Toronto — and he wants everyone to know it. The actor took to Twitter to air his grievances in an angry (and bizarre) rant. The 18-year-old actor started out by accusing […]

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Jaden Smith Goes on Rant Against Hotel About… Spiked Pancakes

Jaden Smith is very unhappy with his stay at the Four Seasons hotel in Toronto — and he wants everyone to know it.

The actor took to Twitter to air his grievances in an angry (and bizarre) rant.

The 18-year-old actor started out by accusing the establishment of making him feel sick.

 

The rant only got weirder from there.

The young star announced his boycott against the hotel, saying he wished never to return and expected the company to feel the same way. 

He has his reasons, though...

Jaden accused the hotel staff of attempting to poison him... with cheesy pancakes.

There has been no word on whether or not Jaden is allergic to dairy products.

The rant concluded with a rough ending — Jaden was thrown out of the hotel.

Sounds like he had a rough day.

These tweets come only days after the cancellation of Jaden's Netflix series The Get Down.

He needs some comfort food stat!

Jaden Smith The Get Dwon

Let's hope he gets his hands on some decent pancakes soon. 
 

Source:- http://www.wetpaint.com/jaden-smith-spiked-pancakes-rant-1593929/

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These three men stood up to hate in Portlandhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/three-men-stood-hate-portland.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/three-men-stood-hate-portland.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 06:19:06 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30811 These three men stood up to hate in Portland Dozens of people gathered on Saturday around a circle of flowers and photos to honor a recent college graduate and an Army veteran who were fatally stabbed on a Portland commuter train. The two men were killed after they intervened when a man allegedly yelled what […]

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These three men stood up to hate in Portland

Dozens of people gathered on Saturday around a circle of flowers and photos to honor a recent college graduate and an Army veteran who were fatally stabbed on a Portland commuter train.

The two men were killed after they intervened when a man allegedly yelled what "would best be characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions" at two women on a Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) light-rail train, Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson said.

A third victim, a poet, survived the attack, but is receiving medical treatment for serious injuries.

A suspect, Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, has been arrested on aggravated murder charges.

Federal authorities are trying to determine whether Christian will face hate crimes charges as a memorial with flowers and notes for the victims grows across from the train station where one of the men died.

The victims' families, friends and Portland residents gathered Saturday at a nearby grassy area. They shared a few words about their loved ones while others praised their courage.

A man with a bright future

Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche will be remembered as a hero by his family and many in Portland.

The 23-year-old was just starting his career. He was a compassionate young man with many plans, his sister said at Saturday's vigil.

After graduating from Portland's Reed College with a degree in economics last year, he began working at an environmental consulting agency. He had just bought a house and dreamed of getting married and having children in the future.

"He was a hero and will remain a hero on the other side of the veil. Shining bright star I love you forever," his mother Asha Deliverance, posted on Facebook.

His professors at Reed College described him as a man with a bright future.

"I still remember where he sat in conference and the types of probing, intelligent questions I could anticipate him asking," Kambiz GhaneaBassiri said in a statement sent to students by the college. "He was a wonderful human being. As good as they come. And now he is a hero to me."

On Friday, Namkai Meche was on the phone with his aunt, who told him to videotape the incident so he could send it to police, her aunt told CNN affiliate KATU.

"I didn't mean for him to try to be a hero and get himself killed, but he was trying to protect those two teenage girls," she said in a statement. "He had his whole life in front of him."

An Army veteran, a father

Rick Best always worked hard, tried to help those around him and seemed to have a heart for public service.

After 23 years with the military, he joined his family in Portland's suburb of Happy Valley. First, he became an electronics repairman and loved it because he could spend time with his children.

Within a couple of years, he ran for a seat as county commissioner of Clackamas County.

"I can't stand by and do nothing," Best said in a 2014 interview with The Oregonian.

He wasn't elected that time, but months later, he began working as a technician with the city of Portland.

"He was a devoted husband who talked often of his family. He was a model public servant," said David Austin, spokesman for Portland commissioner Chloe Eudaly.

He was a dedicated employee and the first person his colleagues would go to for help, his supervisor told The Oregonian.

Third victim in 'really bad condition'

Micah Fletcher, 21, is being treated in a hospital with serious injuries. His mother, Margie Fletcher, told CNN affiliate KATU that the knife missed his jugular by 1 millimeter. The station tweeted photos of Micah and Margie Fletcher.

"He's in really bad condition," she said. "I'm proud of him for standing up. I'm grateful that he's here. It's hard for me to say I want people to stand up, but two girls might be alive because of them."

She said her son has intervened for others before.

"Micah's always done that," Margie Fletcher said. "I've always worried about it."

Fletcher posted a poem on his personal Facebook page Saturday evening:

"I, am alive,

. I spat in the eye of hate and lived.

This is what we must do for one another

We must live for one another

We must fight for one another

We must die in the name of freedom if we have to.

Luckily it's not my turn today"

A photo posted with the poem showed a tube sticking out of Fletcher's neck.

The Oregonian reported Fletcher was taking the train to his job at a pizza shop.

He won a 2013 poetry competition with a poem against anti-Muslim prejudice, the newspaper said.

Source:- http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/28/us/portland-train-stabbing-victims/index.html

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Angela Merkel Says Germany Can No Longer Rely on America Under Donald Trumphttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/angela-merkel-says-germany-can-no-longer-rely-america-donald-trump.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/angela-merkel-says-germany-can-no-longer-rely-america-donald-trump.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 06:14:07 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30805 Angela Merkel Says Germany Can No Longer Rely on America Under Donald Trump Following this week’s NATO and G7 summits, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday that Europe “must take its fate into its own hands” as it sees the Western alliance divided by Brexit as well as Trump’s reluctance to uphold the 2015 Paris […]

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Angela Merkel Says Germany Can No Longer Rely on America Under Donald Trump

Following this week’s NATO and G7 summits, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday that Europe “must take its fate into its own hands” as it sees the Western alliance divided by Brexit as well as Trump’s reluctance to uphold the 2015 Paris climate accords, local media reported.

Addressing a crowd at an election rally in Munich, Merkel said that in the last few days, she had “experienced” that Germany and other European countries no longer can “completely rely on others.”

On Thursday, Merkel attended the one-day NATO summit in Brussels, spending Friday and Saturday in Italy’s Sicilian town of Taormina where the two-day G7 summit took place.

“We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands,” she stressed, adding that Germany and other European countries would do their best to stay on good terms with the US and the post-Brexit UK. “We have to fight for our own destiny.”

Source:- http://www.femalista.com/angela-merkel-says-germany-can-no-longer-rely-america-donald-trump/

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The Madness And Science Behind The Donald Trump Handshakehttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/madness-science-behind-donald-trump-handshake.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/madness-science-behind-donald-trump-handshake.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 06:09:42 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30804 The Madness And Science Behind The Donald Trump Handshake Had French President Emmanuel Macron been paying close attention, he would have recognized quickly just how fraught his coming exchange with Donald Trump was to be. The two leaders had met briefly earlier that day, exchanging a firm, prolonged, “not innocent” handshake that drew attention for […]

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The Madness And Science Behind The Donald Trump Handshake

Had French President Emmanuel Macron been paying close attention, he would have recognized quickly just how fraught his coming exchange with Donald Trump was to be.

The two leaders had met briefly earlier that day, exchanging a firm, prolonged, “not innocent” handshake that drew attention for its unbound intensity. Now, hours later, as Macron approached Trump and other world leaders at the opening of NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels last week, the U.S. president offered several non-verbal cues indicating his desire to re-establish the global pecking order.

The first came well before he and Macron were face-to-face. Walking toward each other, Trump reached out to King Philippe of Belgium, who stood directly to his right, to offer an impromptu handshake. The King seemed caught off-guard. For good reason. No one in their group was making any such gesture.

Trump’s offer seemed out of place. But Florin Dolcos, a University of Illinois associate psychology professor and faculty member at the Beckman Institute’s Cognitive Neuroscience Group, suggested it was a deliberate. And the intended audience wasn’t Philippe but Macron.

“That’s a signal Trump was sending: ‘This is where you should come first because I’m the alpha here,’” Dolcos said. “‘Iinitiated with the other guy.’”

Moments later, another cue. With the two still walking towards each other, Trump looked up at Macron and opened his arms ― a signal typically reserved for family and friends, not two world leaders who’d just met. Once again, Dolcos suspected Trump was making a nonverbal signal to his French counterpart.

“I think it is a learned behavior. Because typically you don’t do that. You do it with people very close to you in natural circumstances. Not people you don’t really know,” he said. “In a way it could be seen as a trap.”

Macron didn’t fall for it. Instead, he greeted a few others before making his way to Trump. When he did finally arrive, Trump pounced, taking Macron’s hand and pulling it violently away from his body with enough force to turn Macron roughly 50 degrees.

Dolcos again saw a tactical play. Unable to torque his arm, Macron was rendered powerless. He attempted to pull away and Trump refused to let him go.

Macron put his other hand on Trump to pry himself loose. And when he finally freed himself, Trump gave him a pat on the shoulder, ending the exchange squarely on his terms.

Another bizarre, dramatic, uncomfortable handshake with a world leader was in the books, bouncing its way across the Internet to the wonderment of all.

“It goes down to asserting dominance,” said Dolcos. “Why he wants to do that? I don’t know. It looks, to me, like he is trying too hard…. It looks ridiculous”

If you want to better understand Donald Trump ― his presidency, his approach personal diplomacy, even his psyche ― simply follow his hands.

Those hands, and their unexceptional digits, have been the source of immense insecurity, prompting him to lash out at critics and boast about his genitalia. They give insights into his marriage for the way they search ― ever so subtly and often unsuccessfully ― for his wife’s embrace. They tell us about his comfort in office as he attempts to find his footing on the world stage. And they illustrate his preoccupation with imagery and the role it plays in advancing his agenda.

“I just think the president is very cognizant of the optics of what it looks like at these multilateral meetings with world leaders,” said Sam Nunberg, a former Trump aide, “and I even think [the handshake] is symbolic to the America First theme of his presidency and campaign.”

The Trump handshake has become most unique greeting in all of politics. Before he nearly tore off Emmanuel Macron’s arm, Trump crushed the fingers of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

When he unveiled his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch during a East Wing ceremony, he followed suit by yanking the Justice’s entire body three times in his direction.

In a short time, the Trump handshake has become so legendary that world leaders have been compelled to prepare in advance. Trudeau seemed to have done his homework and so had Macron during his first interaction with Trump. Hillary Clinton prepared for a variety of over-the-top Trump gestures in the lead-up to their debates. But her aide, Philippe Reines, who played Trump in debate prep, said the handshake never came up in practice sessions.

“I never tried to rip her arm out of its socket,” he told HuffPost.

Trump’s approach to the handshake is a combination of brute force and strategic discomfort. He doesn’t so much shake the hand as he consumes the very arm of the person he’s embracing. The goal, it appears, is to establish a geographic zone and bring his counterpart into it.

Trump almost always initiates, with a semi-open palm thrust at his counterpart. Often, his eyes dart not to the person across from him but down at his hand itself ― an early hint at where the drama will be. When the gesture is joined, Trump clasps firmly and tugs violently inward. Sometimes, he motions up and down but frequently he will use a lumberjack approach (back and forth). Occasionally, he’ll twist his counterpart’s hand in odd directions or use his free hand fortify the clasp. Rarely does he let go first.

Unexpected recipients often seem stunned. Some, like Abe, show visible relief when it ends. And those who prepare in advance recognize it for what it is: an overt power play.

“It’s an intimidation tactic. There are self-preservation strategies and intimidation is one of the main ones,” said Frank Bernieri, an associate professor in the psychology department at Oregon State University, who has written on the influence of the handshake. “This is perfectly consistent with Trump. He pretty much says that’s what I do to make a deal.”

Handshakes were not invented as vehicles to exhibit dominance. In their earliest depictions, they were seen as means of sealing alliances and exhibiting intimacy. Research says that handshakes can leave lasting impressions about a person’s conscientiousness and that different variables can affect the efficacy of the handshake. What is less agreed upon is the ability of handshakes to assert authority.

The handshake as a power move has been mythologized in film and popularized in the world of business. But some researchers say that as a practical matter, it doesn’t actually work.

“Such attempts would usually be ineffective because the main point of a handshake is to establish a sense of mutuality and mutual respect,” emailed Howard Friedman, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior and a professor in the psychology department at the University of California, Riverside.

“[S]omeone who uses or attempts to use such a power or intimidation handshake either 1) already has the power and would also simultaneously be employing other status signals like elevated height, invasive touching, higher-status clothing, and other dominance cues from face, voice, gaze, and posture; or 2) is misjudging the likely reactions of the other person and/or the audience,” Friedman said.

Trump doesn’t abide by this theory. His handshakes are clear attempts to assert alpha dominance.

Take when Trump greeted Tajikistan president Emomali Rahmon. In this incident, Rahmon played the role of the aggressor, grabbing and shaking Trump’s hand in the same manner as Trump did with Macron. What impressed Dolcos is what came next. Instead of pulling away ― which is the natural inclination ― Trump stepped closer in. Doing so allowed his arm to once again be torqued, which, in turn, allowed him to re-establish physical control and affirm his stature within Rahmon’s own orbit. It was a “rebalance of the power play,” as Dolcos put it. “It is a little bit of body rotation so it looks natural.”

Those close to Trump say they don’t believe he rehearses these moments. But Dolcos suspects that he does. The patterns are so apparent and the gestures so demonstrable that it seems only natural that Trump has thought them through. That’s true even in instances where there is no handshake at all.  

At an earlier stop in his trip abroad, Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. After the two sat for the camera, Netanyahu stood up first and offered his hand. Trump ignored the gesture, walking the other way.

Observers assumed that Trump either didn’t notice his counterpart or got lost in the moment. Dolcos had a different theory.

“It is another way of establishing rank, which is that he is the one initiating,” he said. “‘I’m not going in when you initiate. I’m probably ignoring it and then I’ll come back. This is now when we are doing this. Not when you initiate it.’”

The most curious part of Trump’s handshake is that he reportedly hates shaking hands. He has called such greetings “barbaric” and “one of the curses of American society.” He is a rumored germaphobe who dispenses Purell sanitizer.

And yet, despite those hesitations, Trump entered a field where the handshake is even more fundamental than in the world of business. Politics is built on handshakes.

Neil Makhija was a body man for Joe Sestak when the Democrat ran unsuccessfully in 2010 for the Senate in Pennsylvania. He recalled how his boss would weave back-and-forth, side to side during July 4th parades instead of walking down the middle of the street. He wanted to shake every hand he could touch.

“There is a tendency among politicians that if you reach a voter they will kind of see the light,” Makhija said. “You think the more people you touch, the more likely you will win.” 

Makhija went on to become an advance man for Vice President Joe Biden and, once again, handshaking found its way into his portfolio. Whenever Biden would meet a politician or dignitary, his aides would game plan the meeting, including that initial greeting.

“There is no question that when you have an advance team for the White House, every single detail is discussed in terms of where the shake is going to happen, what is the backdrop and what’s behind you and all these things,” said Makhija.

Unlike Biden or Sestak, Trump doesn’t see the handshake as a means of establishing cordiality or mutuality with his counterpart. He doesn’t conceive of it as means of winning votes or facilitating diplomacy. He imagines it as a display of alpha-ness. This makes him unique among U.S. presidents and a marvel for the YouTube age. Then again, what else would one expect from Donald Trump?

“If we are talking about his handshake, it is kind of analogous to us talking about him when he takes his finger and says, ‘You’re fired,’” said Nunberg. “There is nobody who is a better showman and more cognizant of the optics than I’ve ever worked with than him.”

Source:- http://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/donald-trump-handshake_us_592adb83e4b0df57cbfc23fd

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Donald Trump tells close advisers the US will be leaving Paris climate dealhttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/donald-trump-tells-close-advisers-us-will-leaving-paris-climate-deal.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/donald-trump-tells-close-advisers-us-will-leaving-paris-climate-deal.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 06:01:21 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30800 Donald Trump tells close advisers the US will be leaving Paris climate deal US President Donald Trump has told "confidants", including the head of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt, that he plans to leave a landmark international agreement on climate change, the Axios news outlet reported on Saturday, citing three sources with direct knowledge. On […]

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Donald Trump tells close advisers the US will be leaving Paris climate deal

US President Donald Trump has told "confidants", including the head of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt, that he plans to leave a landmark international agreement on climate change, the Axios news outlet reported on Saturday, citing three sources with direct knowledge.

On Saturday, Trump said in a Twitter post he would make a decision on whether to support the Paris climate deal next week.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A source who has been in contact with people involved in the decision told Reuters a couple of meetings were planned with chief executives of energy companies and big corporations and others about the climate agreement ahead of Mr Trump's expected announcement later in the week. It was unclear whether those meetings would still take place.

"I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!" he tweeted on the final day of a Group of Seven (G7) summit in Italy at which he refused to bow to pressure from allies to back the landmark 2015 agreement.

The summit of G7 wealthy nations pitted Mr Trump against the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan on several issues, with European diplomats frustrated at having to revisit questions they had hoped were long settled.

Mr Trump, who has previously called global warming a hoax, came under concerted pressure from the other leaders to honour the 2015 Paris Agreement on curbing carbon emissions.

Although he tweeted that he would make a decision next week, his apparent reluctance to embrace the first legally binding global climate deal that was signed by 195 countries clearly annoyed German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying," she told reporters. "There are no indications whether the United States will stay in the Paris Agreement or not."

Source:- http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-climate-change-paris-deal-accord-agreement-us-environment-a7759886.html

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Hell Yes I Mangled Donald Trump’s Hand On Purpose, Macron Sayshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/hell-yes-mangled-donald-trumps-hand-purpose-macron-says.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/hell-yes-mangled-donald-trumps-hand-purpose-macron-says.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 05:58:09 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30796 Hell Yes I Mangled Donald Trump's Hand On Purpose, Macron Says By this point, every world leader has heard tell of Donald Trump and his infamous yanking handshake. It’s billed as a power move, though my personal theory is that his hands are just too small for individual finger control, and therefore simply clamp onto […]

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Hell Yes I Mangled Donald Trump's Hand On Purpose, Macron Says

By this point, every world leader has heard tell of Donald Trump and his infamous yanking handshake. It’s billed as a power move, though my personal theory is that his hands are just too small for individual finger control, and therefore simply clamp onto their victims like a ribbon snake’s little jaws clamp onto a guppy.

Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron was made aware of Trump’s salutatory death roll ahead of their meeting in Brussels on Thursday, and probably studied hours of previous Trump handshake footage like a quarterback watches old game tape. What resulted was this weird, prolonged tussle, mano-a-mano pequeño:

God, that was like watching two squids mate. The best part comes at the end, after Macron has finished pulverizing each of Trump’s phalanges, when the American Meatloaf tries to pull his decimated paw out of Macron’s iron grip. “Not now, ma petite saucisse,” Macron says with his eyes, holding on tight. Eventually, after something like 20 hours of struggle, the hands are released. The conclusion of the sit-down probably saw them both retreat back to their corners for medical aid and an ice bath, prizefighter-style.

Macron has confirmed to French media that the marathon hand mambo was not an accident. You don’t say! From The Guardian:

True, true. It’s hard to imagine that Trump’s hands are that strong anyway, since it’s not like he exercises them or fills his body with anything other than meat and heavy creams.

So what’s next for the handshake chronicles? No one knows for sure, but I’d like to see Angela Merkel bite one of them off.

Source:- http://theslot.jezebel.com/hell-yes-i-mangled-donald-trumps-hand-on-purpose-macro-1795621700

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Donald Trump rode a golf cart 700 yards instead of walking with world leadershttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/donald-trump-rode-a-golf-cart-700-yards-instead-of-walking-with-world-leaders.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/donald-trump-rode-a-golf-cart-700-yards-instead-of-walking-with-world-leaders.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 05:45:43 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30792 Donald Trump rode a golf cart 700 yards instead of walking with world leaders Trump's been on his first foreign trip as President in the last week and it's been eventful. He touched an orb in Saudi Arabia, met the Pope and became a meme, got snubbed by Macron and pushed aside the Prime Minister […]

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Donald Trump rode a golf cart 700 yards instead of walking with world leaders

Trump's been on his first foreign trip as President in the last week and it's been eventful.

He touched an orb in Saudi Arabia, met the Pope and became a meme, got snubbed by Macron and pushed aside the Prime Minister of Montenegro.

The final leg of his trip was the G7 summit in Sicily, where he met the leaders of Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, and the UK.

The other six world leaders managed to play nicely posing for a group photo in front of their respective flags after a brief walk.

Trump was late - because he couldn't manage to walk 700 yards (that's about a third of a mile or 640 metres) to take the photo.

He waited for a golf cart and rode down to join the others. 

The news has led to an interesting edited version of the leaders.

The photo was taken shortly before Trump refused to pledge his support of the Paris climate deal - the only country in the group of seven not to.
 

Source:- https://www.indy100.com/article/moments-prior-photo-donald-trump-difference-between-him-rest-g7-sicily-7760046

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Multiple Donald Trump White House staffers planning to quit and write tell-all bookshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/multiple-donald-trump-white-house-staffers-planning-to-quit-and-write-tell-all-books.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/news/multiple-donald-trump-white-house-staffers-planning-to-quit-and-write-tell-all-books.html#respond Mon, 29 May 2017 05:41:02 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30791 Multiple Donald Trump White House staffers planning to quit and write tell-all books With Donald Trump’s approval rating imploding and his scandals exploding, there has been widespread buzz for weeks that he’s looking at changing out large chunks of his White House senior staff in the hope of resetting the narrative. But now comes word […]

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Multiple Donald Trump White House staffers planning to quit and write tell-all books

With Donald Trump’s approval rating imploding and his scandals exploding, there has been widespread buzz for weeks that he’s looking at changing out large chunks of his White House senior staff in the hope of resetting the narrative. But now comes word that some of those staffers may be looking to beat him to the punch – and that they’re planning to cash in on it at his expense.

That’s the word from respected political insider Jon Cooper, who revealed today that “A usually reliable source told me that 2-3 White House staffers are planning to quit and write tell-all books. Expect more bombshells” (link). This dovetails with several existing reports about various staffers being on their way out. And it also aligns with the reality that most of Trump’s senior staff, by virtue of having repeatedly lied on his behalf and ruined their own reputations, may never be able to find meaningful work on a political staff again.

If you’re one of the faces of Donald Trump’s sinking White House, and your reputation has been dragged down with him to the point that no politician or candidate is going to be willing to hire you any time soon, one quick and easy way to fix that is to write a tell-all book. We’ve seen it before on the part of departing White House staffers. It just typically hasn’t happened this soon in an administration. And those staffers have never departed with this much explosive source material at their fingertips.

We don’t know who the staffers might be who are planning to quit and write the tell-all books. But in terms of who seems likely to exit the White House soon, you might start by looking at the beleaguered likes of Reince Priebus or Sean Spicer. Right now, a tell-all book from insider in Trump’s dying White House is the last thing he needs. If you’re a regular reader, feel free to support Palmer Report

All of Palmer Report's content is made available to you for free, with no subscription fees or paywalls. If you're a regular reader, feel free to contribute:

Source:- http://www.palmerreport.com/politics/books-quit-trump/3121/

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Take me out to the ball game and buy me some peanutshttp://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/mlb/take-ball-game-buy-peanuts.html http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/sports/mlb/take-ball-game-buy-peanuts.html#respond Sat, 27 May 2017 12:54:19 +0000 http://www.biphoo.com/bipnews/?p=30787 Take me out to the ball game and buy me some peanuts  Inside the suites of Safeco Field are the typical, palatial amenities that come with a premium experience at a ballpark: private entries, leather seats, a food spread with numerous culinary options and drinks galore. They've become standard features across the industry. So how […]

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Take me out to the ball game and buy me some peanuts

 Inside the suites of Safeco Field are the typical, palatial amenities that come with a premium experience at a ballpark: private entries, leather seats, a food spread with numerous culinary options and drinks galore. They've become standard features across the industry.

So how does Safeco Field now stand out?

A new feature was added at the beginning of the 2017 baseball season and has now been incorporated to each of the ballpark's 59 suites. And all that's needed is the ability to speak clearly to a 9-inch tall audio device in each suite.

"Hey Alexa, can you order me a beer?"

The Mariners and hometown neighbor Amazon have partnered to put the Alexa voice-activated operating system in every suite at Safeco Field. It's the first partnership of its kind in professional sports and likely won't be the last as franchises continue to look for a way to engage fans, getting them off the couch away from their high-definition televisions and into the stadium.

For now, this is a premium offering in Seattle, but the expansion opportunities to upgrade the entire fan experience using this technology seem boundless.

"It's something that we're really excited to see how everybody is going to respond to this because we could take an iterative approach," said Zach Parker, head of business development for Amazon's Alexa Smart Home division. "So you might learn that people don't order food as much as they order drinks, or something like that and working with these guys tweak the experience based on the stuff they want to deliver for their guests."

Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks is now a lot simpler than screaming through the crowd at the vendor walking the aisles or waiting in line for concessions, at least for those that have paid for the premium experience of sitting in one of the Safeco Field suites. So is changing the television, requesting the suite's server to stop by or calling up game stats and lineups.

It's all done via the voice technology Amazon has created with Alexa. Working with a third-party developer, the Mariners have created a set of experiences accessed simply by asking.

"We talk a lot about fan experience, weekly meetings and it's something that we sweat," Mariners' vice president of information technology David Curry said. "There are a lot of opportunities to implement technology in public venues. I think everyone that has been doing this for a while has seen certain experiences that have made a huge different and others that even if they worked even if the technology delivered exactly what it was supposed to just the adoption wasn't there."

WHAT IT DOES

By giving a basic command line — "Hey Alexa, ask the Mariners ..." — the system is integrated into the room. Asking for the TV to be changed, requesting the server to stop by, or even playing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," is as simple as making the verbal request.

There are some special features that can be requested and are only accessible to suite holders in the ballpark and go beyond the typical amenities, including a high-above camera shot of home plate and one from behind the pitcher.

"It's about letting the technology sort of disappear in the room sort of where you don't need a bunch of devices and gadgets. You just talk to the things that are around you and then you build the things," Parker said.

WHAT IT LACKS

Most notably, the system is only able to be used in the indoor sections of the suites. The integration isn't there yet to where it can be used in the outdoor seating sections, limiting how extensive the system can be used. Fans there to watch the game must step away from the action to use the system. The features are also very basic for now: food ordering, changing features on the television and playing small trivia games.

There's also simply speaking and annunciating in a way that Alexa can understand what you are requesting. Sometimes it hears just fine; sometimes asking for the TV channel to change leads to a server being requested.

WHERE CAN IT GO

The integration of the experiences the Mariners have created to work with Alexa is in its infancy. Feedback is being gathered regularly by the patrons using the system to provide tweaks and eventually new and different services.

Amazon says that's why they believe the system is so useful in this venue. Each organization has the ability to update or change Alexa to fit what they need. It doesn't require a changing of equipment or installation of a new system to update. Just tweaks that can be made by the Mariners in-house team or a third-party developer.

Other teams are paying attention. The Mariners said a handful of other franchises have reached out to ask about the implementation of the program.

"We're really trying to improve (the suite) experience first before going out further," Mariners vice president of sales Frances Traisman said. "But the sky is the limit I would imagine."

Source:- https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2017/05/27/alexa-take-me-out-to-the-ball-game-and-buy-me-some-peanuts/102229906/

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