Trump taps NY Jets’ owner as UK ambassador

(CNN)President-elect Donald Trump stated Thursday he has actually chosen New York Jets’ owner Woody Johnson, among the leading fundraising events of his governmental project, to function as United States ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Trump revealed throughout a luncheon with advocates in Washington, DC, that Johnson is “going to St. James,” an evident referral to the Court of St. James’s. The United States ambassador to the UK is understood officially as the ambassador to the Court of St. James.
“Congratulations,” Trump informed Johnson as he explained noteworthy members of the audience.



    Trump’s frequently assured throughout the project that he would owe absolutely nothing to nobody, however he has actually chosen a variety of significant donors for essential positions.
    Trump often– and wrongly– declared throughout his basic election project that he was self-funding his run for president. Trump did invest almost $66 countless his own cash, however the majority of the financing for his basic election effort originated from outdoors donors.
    Among the huge GOP donors and those who assisted Trump financing project who are up for crucial posts:
    -Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s choice to lead the Treasury Department who was dealing with a Senate verification hearing Thursday, worked as Trump’s project financing chairman.
    -Betsy DeVos, who was tapped for Education Secretary, did not contribute to the Trump project, however is a mega-donor to the Republican Party.
    -Wilbur Ross, the billionaire financier who contributed the optimum contribution to Trump’s joint fundraising committee, was tapped for Commerce Secretary.

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    Categories CNN

    Companies must share benefits of globalisation, Theresa May tells Davos

    PM states worlds most significant companies need to pay taxes and deal with employees relatively, and market forces alone will not provide for individuals

    Theresa May has actually informed the worlds greatest business they have to begin paying their taxes and treat their employees more relatively in order to deal with the issues of those who feel left by globalisation.

    In a keynote speech to the World Economic Forum , the prime minister stated federal governments might not count on global market forces to provide success for everybody and action was had to attend to the deeply felt sense of financial inequality that has actually emerged recently.

    Mays cautioning that organisations had to deal with the problem of executive pay which market forces alone would not guarantee the spread of success to all guaranteed her very first look in Davos was met just lukewarm applause from her well-off audience.

    The prime minister stated that throughout Europe , celebrations of the far left and the far ideal were looking for to make use of the sense amongst individuals on modest earnings that globalisation was not working for them.

    I wish to set out a manifesto for modification that reacts to these issues and reveals that the politics of the mainstream can provide the modification individuals require, May stated.
    Since talk of higher globalisation can make individuals afraid, #peeee

    . For lots of, it indicates their tasks being contracted out and earnings damage. It implies needing to kick back as they see their neighborhoods alter around them.

    Following the Brexit vote and Donald Trumps triumph in the United States governmental election, reacting to growing populist pressures has actually been a function of this years Davos. May stated both federal governments and service needed to do more to deal with the issues of those who felt that those who succeed appear to play by a various set of guidelines.

    May stated: If youre simply managing, you do not desire a federal government that gets out of the method, you desire one that will assist you.

    Business needed to do more to spread out the advantages of open market and globalisation to more individuals. It indicates playing by the exact same guidelines as everybody else when it pertains to tax and behaviour, she stated, since in the UK rely on organisation perform at simply 35% amongst those in the most affordable earnings brackets. And it implies putting aside short-term factors to consider and purchasing individuals and neighborhoods for the long term.

    It implies organisations paying their reasonable share of tax, acknowledging their tasks and responsibilities to their workers and supply chains, and trading in the proper way; business really purchasing and entering into the neighborhoods and countries where they run, and following the duties that indicates; and all people taking actions to dealing with executive pay and responsibility to investors.

    May stated she turned down the dominating orthodoxy that the very best thing federal government might do was to obtain out of the method. If company was left to get on with the task, issues would not simply resolve themselves.

    Outlining the federal governments reasoning for a more interventionist method, she stated: Our technique is not about propping up stopping working markets or choosing winners, however developing the conditions where winners can grow and emerge. It has to do with backing those winners all the method to motivate them to purchase the long-lasting future of Britain.

    May stated her objective was to provide tasks and financial development to every neighborhood and corner of the nation. We cant leave all this to global market forces alone, or simply depend on a boost in general success.

    Instead, we need to be proactive and useful to puts it simply, we need to step up and take control to make sure open market and globalisation work for everybody.

    Two days after detailing her method to Brexit, the prime minister embraced an emollient tone to Britains EU partners, stating that it was extremely and compellingly in Britains interests for Europe to be successful.

    She stated Britain had actually voted with decision and peaceful willpower to leave the EU. Let us not undervalue the magnitude of that choice, she stated. Britain needs to confront a duration of special modification. It indicates we need to go through a hard settlement and create a brand-new function for ourselves on the planet. It indicates accepting that the roadway ahead will doubt sometimes, however thinking that it leads to a brighter future for our nations kids, and grandchildren too.

    We are going to be a positive nation that is in control of its fate as soon as again.

    She stated Britain was a racially varied country, invited inward financial investment and played a leading function in the UN and other worldwide organizations.

    By impulse we are an excellent trading country, May stated. We look for the flexibility to strike trade handle old buddies and brand-new allies worldwide. The prime minister stated talks had actually currently begun with Australia, New Zealand and India.

    But Sir Angus Deaton, the Scottish-born Nobel reward winner, stated he was amazed that May didnt speak about the custom-mades union, where EU member states presently enforce the very same import responsibilities, without any tariffs in between them.

    Thats a huge offer. Open market and customized unions are not the very same thing, and I believe that will injure Britain, Deaton stated.

    So I have not altered my expectation that in the long run Britain would be a lot much better off in the EU than out.

    The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, stated the UK should guarantee fortunate access to the single market after it leaves the EU.

    Theres got to be an acknowledgment that so-called difficult Brexit advantages nobody, in relation to London, the UK, or Europe, stated Khan, who has actually been satisfying magnate and political leaders in Davos.

    Businesses that leave London aren’t going to Paris, Brussels, Madrid, or Frankfurt, theyre going to New York, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

    Dr Paul Sheard, primary worldwide economic expert at Standard &Poors, states May was making a pitch for Britain to be the lead supporting voice for globalisation.

    A great deal of individuals have actually seen Brexit as anti-globalisation, a go back to nationalism. Shes rotating to stating no, this has to do with Britain being really international, Sheard stated.

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    Citigroup Glorified Secretary Fired After Accusing Boss

    A previous Citigroup Inc. broker in New York took legal action against the bank declaring she was lowered to a glorified secretary due to the fact that of her gender and fired when she reported a remarkable for breaching guidelines created to avoid expert trading.

    Erin Daly declares she lost the capability to make stock allowances amongst customers at Citi Private Bank. Individuals with the power to disperse shares in going publics were viewed as incredibly important by customers and by other staff members, she stated in a grievance submitted Monday in Manhattan federal court.

    When she questioned in an e-mail whether her authority was eliminated since shes a lady, Daly stated she was reprimanded by personnels and required to ask forgiveness.

    Daly, who stated she worked for Citigroup from 2007 to 2014, stated she was fired 2 weeks after reporting a manager who required she pass along secured details so he might be offered to preferred customers. Daly declared the company consisted of incorrect, unfavorable details about her in a filing with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority that will make it difficult for her to operate in financing in the future.

    We think the claims declared lack benefit and plan to intensely prevent them, Citigroup spokesperson Danielle Romero-Apsilos stated Monday in an email.

    Daly is looking for undefined damages, consisting of front pay and double her lost back pay.

    The case is Daly v. Citigroup Inc., 16-cv-09183, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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    Twin 1-year-olds died after being left in a hot car for 8 hours. Their father has been charged, New York police say

    Twin 1-year-olds died after being left in a hot car for 8 hours. Their father has been charged, New York police say

    (CNN)The father of twin 1-year-old babies who died after being left in a car for eight hours was arraigned in New York Saturday on charges of manslaughter, negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of a child, the New York Police Department said.

    Rodriguez’s attorney, Joey Jackson, told CNN Saturday that criminal negligent homicide carries a maximum of four years in prison and manslaughter carries a maximum of 15 years. Jackson is also a CNN analyst.
    “The (Rodriguez) family is ripped apart,” Jackson said, adding that his client has a total of five children and has the support of his family and friends.
      “His mental state is very fragile based on what happened. It’s just an awful scenario,” Jackson said.
      A judge asked that Rodriguez be put on suicide watch, Jackson said during a press conference Saturday evening. Rodriguez’s next court date is August 1 where a grand jury will decide whether or not to indict.

      Rodriguez was at work while the twins were in the car

      The New York Police Department said in a news release the boy and girl were found Friday unconscious and unresponsive in the back seat of a Honda sedan in the Bronx. They were pronounced dead at the scene.
      While the twins were in the car, Rodriguez was at work at a nearby VA hospital, officials said.
      Friday’s temperatures in the area reached a high of the mid-80s, according to the National Weather Service.
      The New York City Medical Examiner will determine the twins’ cause of death, police said. They were identified as Mariza and Phoenix Rodriguez of Rockland County.

      ‘He has always been an amazing father’

      Rodriguez is a social worker at the hospital, his friend, Temple Barros, 41, told CNN.
      Barros said Rodriguez and his wife celebrated the twins’ birthday this month.
      “We had a huge birthday for them,” Barros, the manager of an indoor skydiving business, said. “We had bounce houses, bubble machines. They went all out. They even had portable air condition machines to keep people cool.
      “He’s always been an amazing father. Whatever they need, he’ll go out and get it.”
      He said the family has a “very bright” older daughter. The mother is “not believing what happened,” he said. “Their parenting is amazing. I’m at a loss.”
      Barros added, “I literally just saw the twins a night before. Their daughter was waving at me in the window.”
        Hospital spokesman Jim Connell confirmed Rodriguez is an employee and offered this statement:
        “The entire hospital community is saddened by news of this tragic event. While the situation is currently under the jurisdiction of local authorities, we offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family. As matter of respect to the family during this difficult time, and with due regard to their privacy, we have no further comment at this time.”

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        Categories CNN

        Jeffrey Epstein found unconscious in jail cell, say reports

        Financier accused of sex trafficking hospitalized in unclear condition, with injuries to his neck

        Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier facing charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls, was found unconscious in a Manhattan jail cell with injuries to his neck, US media reported late on Wednesday, citing unidentified sources.

        Epstein was found by guards sprawled on the floor of his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) on Wednesday, it was reported.

        The wealthy financier was taken to hospital, according to the New York Post, but it was unclear where he was taken or what his condition was.

        It was not clear how he suffered his injuries. A source familiar with the situation told the Guardian that Epstein had allegedly been attacked. Two anonymous sources told New Yorks local NBC News 4 that Epsteins injuries may have been self-inflicted.

        Epstein is now on suicide watch, according to multiple reports.

        Lawyers for Nicholas Tartaglione, a former police officer charged in a quadruple homicide case who is also at the jail, responded to reports that he had been questioned in relation to Epsteins alleged injuries.

        Any suggestion that Mr Tartaglione assaulted anyone is a complete fabrication. This story is being leaked to retaliate against Mr Tartaglione for complaining to the court about the deplorable conditions at the MCC, Bruce Barket said in a statement.

        We made those complaints on Monday in open court. We warned the judge that officials at the jail would retaliate against Nick because we have been exposing the inhumane conditions at the facility.

        Neither a representative for the correctional centre nor Epsteins attorney returned calls or email inquiries from the Guardian.

        Jeffrey Epstein is currently housed at MCC New York and not in a local hospital as has been reported. As with all inmates, for privacy and security reasons, we do not share information on an inmates medical status or their conditions of confinement, the Bureau of Prisons said in a statement.

        Epstein was recently denied bail, a move his lawyers plan to appeal against, according to a court notice made public on Tuesday.

        Epstein was expected to ask the second US circuit court of appeals to overturn the judges 18 July rejection of his request to remain under house arrest in his mansion on Manhattans Upper East Side.

        Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges and the appeal for bail was expected. His lawyer, Reid Weingarten, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for the US attorney for the southern district of New York, Geoffrey Berman, declined to comment.

        The charges, concerning alleged misconduct from at least 2002 to 2005, were announced more than a decade after Epstein pleaded guilty to state prostitution charges in Florida.

        In denying him bail, the US district judge Richard Berman said the government had shown by clear and convincing evidence that Epstein would pose a danger to the community if released pending trial.

        The Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan is notorious for holding pre-trial inmates ranging from the Mexican drug lord Joaqun El Chapo Guzmn to terror suspects.

        Following his arrest on 6 July, Epstein was initially held into the general population wing but was reportedly moved to solitary protective custody after other inmates threatened him.

        Lawyers for Guzmn repeatedly complained that the conditions in the special housing wing were excessively punitive and he was subjected to constant noise, heat and 24-hour light in his cramped cell.

        The wing has been called a hellhole, a Guantnamo in New York and the worst in America. One prisoner in solitary confinement said he found Guantnamo to be more pleasant and more relaxed by comparison.

        In a 2011 report, Amnesty International said conditions in the 10 South wing amounted to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment that was incompatible with the presumption of innocence in the case of untried prisoners whose detention should not be a form of punishment.

        Lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents some of Epsteins accusers, said: I think that it is important that Mr Epstein be protected from self-harm or harm by others so that he will one day be in a condition to face his accusers in a court of law.

        In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email [email protected] or [email protected]. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at

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        Trump says he stopped airstrike on Iran because 150 would have died

        US president tweets that he intervened 10 minutes before planned retaliatory attack

        Donald Trump has said the US air force was cocked and loaded to attack three Iranian targets on Friday morning, but he called off the strike with 10 minutes to spare after being told that the airstrike might kill as many as 150 people.

        Trump said in a series of morning tweets that he decided late on Thursday that the death toll was not a proportionate response to the Iranian shooting down of a US spy drone off the Iranian coast 24 hours earlier.

        The tweets revealed how close the world may have come to a Middle East conflagration, and raised questions over why the commander-in-chief was told so late in the planning of a military operation about the predicted loss of life involved. It would be routine for a president to be informed of the likely civilian casualties when the options are first presented.

        Trump tweeted: We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, How many will die? 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.

        I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!

        In an interview with NBC, released Friday, Trump elaborated on his decision. I thought about it for a second and I said, you know what, they shot down an unmanned drone and here we are sitting with a 150 dead people that would have taken place probably within a half an hour after I said go ahead, Trump said. And I didnt like it I didnt think it was proportionate.

        Contrary to Trumps claim, no new sanctions were imposed on Iran on Thursday night. The New York Times, which first reported the aborted attack, said that the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, while arguing for a limited airstrike, also sought to assure Trump that sanctions were having their desired long-term effect of weakening the Iranian state.

        Reuters news agency reported that Trump had sent a message via the Omani government warning Iran that an attack was imminent and calling for dialogue.

        Guardian graphic

        In his message, Trump said he was against any war with Iran and wanted to talk to Tehran about various issues He gave a short period of time to get our response but Irans immediate response was that it is up to supreme leader [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei to decide about this issue, Reuters quoted an unnamed Iranian official as saying.

        The spokesman for the national security council in Tehran denied receiving any message from Trump.

        Republican hardliners bitterly criticised Trump for aborting the strike. Liz Cheney, a Republican congresswoman (and daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney) told a rightwing radio talk show: We simply cant allow Americas adversaries to think that they can shoot down a US military drone with impunity.

        Others, including former foreign policy officials, suggested the decision could provide breathing room for a rethink of policy. If we can clarify objectives, how would strikes fit into the strategy? asked Brett McGurk, a former special envoy for the counter-Isis campaign. Are they more or less likely to bring Iran to the table? Are we prepared to further escalate if initial strikes lead to more provocations from Iran?

        Trumps ordered pause should be used to ask these and other hard questions about the strategy, its aims, and the mounting risks should the policy remain unchanged. Last night is the first time Trump took Iran policy off autopilot, and thats good, McGurk said on Twitter.

        The UN called for calm as Washington asked the security council for a closed-door session to discuss the crisis on Monday. The UN secretary general, Antnio Guterres, said I have only one strong recommendation: nerves of steel, according to UN spokeswoman in Geneva, Alessandra Vellucci.

        On the same day he ordered the airstrikes, Trump appeared conflicted about the wisdom of entering a conflict, telling reporters: I said I want to get out of these endless wars. I campaigned on that: I want to get out.

        US diplomats insisted Trump was known to favour talks but was also a believer in sending mixed messages to keep his adversaries guessing about his next move. UK diplomats are privately pressing the US to attempt more consistent diplomatic messaging.

        Some of Trumps officials, notably the national security adviser, John Bolton, and Pompeo, are thought to favour an attack, while the voices of caution came mostly from the top levels of the military.

        Late on Friday, Trump announced that he intends to nominate Mark Esper, an army veteran who served in the first Iraq war, to lead the Pentagon. Trump had already named Esper, his current army secretary, to lead the defense department on an acting basis, starting Sunday. Trump has not had a permanent defense secretary for six months.

        One of the targets of the planned strikes was the S-125 Neva/Pechora surface-to-air missile system, Newsweek quoted a Pentagon official as saying. It reported that the US believed the system was behind the drone attack.

        The UK military was informed of the planned strike, and was told in the early hours that the assault was being called off. The attack could have placed UK maritime assets in the region under threat.

        The UK, along with France and Germany, are due to issue a demarche, or formal diplomatic position, to Tehran in the next 24 hours warning of severe consequences if it goes ahead with its plan to pull out of aspects of the Iran deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

        Iran has said it will exceed the 300kg stockpile limit on 27 June and then on 7 July start to enrich uranium above 3.7 % levels, the proportion required for civilian nuclear fuel.

        The demarche, intended to encourage Tehran to stay inside the JCPOA, comes with the implication that the EU will join the US in imposing sanctions if the International Atomic Energy Authority finds Iran in breach. The EU has risked a diplomatic rift with Washington for a year by sticking with the deal.

        Ministers from the UK, the US, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are also likely to issue a sharp warning to Iran not to use the civil war in Yemen, and its alliance with the Houthi rebels there, as a means of threatening the oil installations of Saudi Arabia, Americas chief ally in the Gulf.

        Washington insisted it would have been justified in striking the three chosen sites since the US drone was knocked down by an Iranian missile battery whilst in international airspace. Tehran sent detailed coordinates to the UN security council to claim that the craft was in Iranian airspace.

        Play Video

        Trump suggests a ‘loose and stupid’ Iranian officer shot down US drone video

        Gen Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guards aerospace division, also told reporters on Friday that a US spy plane with around 35 crew members was flying close to the downed navy Global Hawk drone, but that Iran chose not to target the manned aircraft. Separately, he told Iranian state TV that Iran sent messages to the operators of the giant unmanned drone several times before downing it with a missile.

        But, alongside the claims of self-restraint, the tension between Washington and Tehran continued. The US special envoy on Iran, Brian Hook, speaking in Riyadh, said, Our diplomacy does not give Iran the right to respond with military force, Iran needs to meet our diplomacy with diplomacy and not military force.

        Foreign ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi tweeted back: Do you name the years of war and economic terrorism imposed on the Iranian people, not to mention the violation of the treaties and resolutions as diplomacy? The Iranian nation responds diplomacy with diplomacy, respect with respect and war with a harsh defence.

        The crisis also started to affect civilian aircraft, as the Federal Aviation Administration barred American-registered aircraft from flying over parts of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. International airlines, meanwhile, have now rerouted flights to avoid Iranian airspace.

        Agencies contributed reporting

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        Rip Torn, cult actor and Artie in the Larry Sanders Show dies aged 88

        Star of a string of 60s classics fell foul of Hollywood because of his temper but found a fresh lease of life in comedy, from TVs Larry Sanders Show to the Men in Black films

        Rip Torn, Americas celebrated wildman actor, has died aged 88. Torn, who had been a constant presence on stage and screen since the mid-1950s, was arguably better known for his eccentric, and occasionally violent, antics when the cameras werent rolling and on one notorious occasion, when they were.

        His publicist, Rick Miramontez, confirmed Torn died Tuesday afternoon at his home with his wife, actor Amy Wright, and daughters Katie Torn and Angelica Page by his side. No cause of death was given.

        During the filming of Norman Mailers film Maidstone, a largely improvised production made at the height of the late-60s counterculture, Torn played Mailers brother, and attacked Mailer for real, hitting him over the head with a hammer and then attempting to strangle him. Mailer responded by biting Torns ear.

        Torns reputation for irascibility had already been established inside the industry after a row with Dennis Hopper during the pre-production of Easy Rider, the seminal 1969 counterculture biker movie, that led to Torn being replaced by Jack Nicholson before shooting began. The incident became more widely known after Hopper claimed on a TV talkshow in 1994 that Torn had pulled a knife on him; Torn subsequently sued, claiming that Hopper had in fact pulled the knife on him. The court found in Torns favour, and awarded him $475,000 in damages.

        Rip Torn with future wife Geraldine Page in the film version of The Sweet Bird of Youth. Photograph: Moviestore/Rex/Shutterstock

        By the time of Easy Rider, however, Torn was already an established figure in Hollywood. Born in Texas in 1931, the son of an agricultural economist, Torns given names were Elmore Rual, with Rip being a traditional nickname within his family. (His mothers maiden name was Spacek; his cousin is Carrie star Sissy Spacek.) Torn studied drama at the University of Texas, before relocating to New York and the Actors Studio, the celebrated training ground for the method generation. There he fell in with the circle around director Elia Kazan, who gave Torn his first film part (in 1956s Baby Doll) and his first substantial stage role, in the original 1959 production of Sweet Bird of Youth (as well as the 1962 film adaptation, directed by Richard Brooks).

        Michael McKean (@MJMcKean)

        Looking back on decades of Rip Torn’s work and can’t think of a single performance that could have been bettered by another actor. One of a kind. RIP.

        July 10, 2019

        Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane)

        Rip Torn always made me laugh. Artie and Bob Diamond were two utterly unforgettable characters.

        July 10, 2019

        Torns career gained momentum during the 1960s: he played Judas Iscariot in the Nicholas Ray-directed King of Kings, as wealthy gambler Slade in The Cincinnati Kid, and appeared in Francis Ford Coppolas second film as director, Youre a Big Boy Now, in 1966. His stage career flourished at the same time, and reflected his burgeoning interest in radical politics: he appeared in James Baldwins 1964 play, Blues for Mr Charlie, based on the murder of Emmett Till though he later fell out with Baldwin, after the writer softened some of the plays controversial scenes after it transferred to Londons West End.

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        Nicki Minaj pulls out of Saudi Arabia concert after backlash

        The singer has cancelled an appearance at Jeddah World Fest citing her support for women and the LGBT community

        Nicki Minaj is pulling out of a concert in Saudi Arabia because she says she wants to show support for womens rights, gay rights and freedom of expression.

        After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest. While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia, after better educating myself on the issues, I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression, Minaj said in a statement on Tuesday to the Associated Press.

        Minaj was originally scheduled to headline the concert on 18 July.

        In Saudi Arabia, gender segregation between single men and women is still enforced in many restaurants, coffee shops, public schools and universities, but other rules have loosened, with women now allowed to drive and attend events in sports stadiums.

        Jeddah World Fest, which in line with Saudi laws is alcohol- and drug-free, is open to people 16 and older and will take place at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium in the Red Sea city. Other performers include the former One Direction member Liam Payne and DJ-producer Steve Aoki.

        The Human Rights Foundation issued a statement last week, calling for Minaj and other performers to pull out of the show. On Tuesday, the New York-based organization praised Minajs decision to not perform at the concert.

        This is what leadership looks like. We are grateful to Nicki Minaj for her inspiring and thoughtful decision to reject the Saudi regimes transparent attempt at using her for a public relations stunt, said Thor Halvorssen, president of the Human Rights Foundation. The July 18 festival in Saudi Arabia still shows Liam Payne as a performer. We hope that he follows Nicki Minajs lead. Minajs moral stance differs from celebrity performers like J-Lo and Mariah Carey, who in the past have chosen to line their pockets with millions of dollars and stand with dictatorial governments as opposed to with oppressed communities and imprisoned human rights activists.

        Over the past several months, the kingdom has seen performances by Carey, Enrique Iglesias, the Black Eyed Peas, Sean Paul, David Guetta and Tiesto. Thats a stark change from when Saudi morality police would raid establishments that played loud music.

        Saudi organizers said the Jeddah World Fest will be broadcast globally. The kingdom is also promising quick electronic visas for international visitors who want to attend.
        Saudi Arabia saw profound change last year as a result of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans top-down reform efforts, including the opening of the first movie theater and the lifting of the worlds only ban on women driving.

        In December 2018, some women without headscarves drove themselves to a Formula-E car race where thousands of young Saudis and hundreds of international visitors partied into the night at concerts. The spectacle would have been unthinkable until recently in the ultra-conservative kingdom, where religious police used to enforce strict gender segregation and scolded women for not covering their hair.

        But theres a hard limit to the reforms as revealed by the brutal killing of the Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents close to the crown prince in October and the reported torture of several womens rights activists in detention. While the arena for entertainment is widening, the space for political engagement and dissent has virtually disappeared.

        The 33-year-old crown prince, backed by his father King Salman, presides over a nation where he alone defines the pace and scope of change.

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        Philadelphia refinery goes bankrupt after fire. It’s the second bankruptcy in 1.5 years

        New York (CNN Business)Philadelphia Energy Solutions has filed for bankruptcy protection for the second time in a year and a half. The latest filing follows a devastating fire and explosion that shut down the largest oil refinery on the US East Coast.

        Before the fire, the company operated two refineries in the Philadelphia region that accounted for about 28% of the Northeast’s gasoline supply. The facilities produced about 335,000 barrels per day of gasoline and other products.
        PES Energy, which has a history of financial trouble, also said it has reached an agreement with lenders on up to $100 million in financing. The funding is aimed at supporting existing operations, keeping the fire-stricken facility safe and completing the bankruptcy process.
          The bankruptcy filing and financing “best position the company for a successful reorganization, the building of our damaged infrastructure and a restart of our refining operations,” PES Energy CEO Mark Smith said in a statement.
          Bankruptcy wasn’t the original plan. Previously PES Energy originally said it would sell the refinery that was shut down by the fire and estimated that about 1,000 workers would lose their jobs.
          A PES Energy spokeswoman said on Monday that about 150 people were let go after the fire, leaving the company with 950 workers. The bankruptcy decision does not affect the employment status of the company’s remaining workers, the spokeswoman added.
          In the bankruptcy filing, PES Energy listed liabilities of between $1 billion to $10 billion and up to 5,000 creditors, including railroad companies CSX (CSX) and BNSF Railway, which is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA). Other significant creditors include Baker Hughes (BHGE) and Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminal.
          The Philadelphia refinery is no stranger to bankruptcy court. PES Energy filed for Chapter 11 protection in January 2018, blaming “skyrocketing costs” to comply with the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard, a rule aimed at lowering pollution that requires refiners to either blend oil with renewable fuels or buy credits.
          PES Energy emerged from bankruptcy in August 2018 after successfully restructuring $635 million of debt. The refinery struck an optimistic tone about its future following the restructuring and reported $149 million in cash on hand.
            However, signs of financial pressure quickly emerged. PES Energy burned through almost half of its cash by the end of March 2019. Reuters reported that a cash crunch forced the company to suspend employee bonuses.
            In addition to the EPA rules, PES Energy’s 2018 bankruptcy filing cited a competitive disadvantage caused by its long distance from West Texas, the epicenter of the US shale oil boom. Northeast refineries have had more trouble accessing those cheap barrels.

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