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The Latest: Serial killer's execution awaits appeals ruling

The Latest: Serial killer's execution awaits appeals rulingThe scheduled execution of a Florida serial killer who targeted older gay men awaited a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court on his final appeals. The high court was mulling a last-ditch appeal Thursday from 57-year-old Gary Ray Bowles, whose lawyers contended he is too intellectually disabled to be executed. Bowles was set to die by lethal injection at the Florida State prison in Starke.


Source: Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines | 22 Aug 2019 | 10:03 pm

Lone Analyst Who Cut Cathay to Sell Says He Faces Huge Pressure

Lone Analyst Who Cut Cathay to Sell Says He Faces Huge Pressure(Bloomberg) -- The analyst who issued a report warning investors to dump shares of embattled Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. before they tumble to their lowest levels since 1998, is getting a lot of blowback after his controversial call.“Never before in my 12 years of investment analyst career have I received this much pressure on a particular stock rating,” Zhao Dongchen, who last week issued his inaugural report on Cathay with a “strong sell,” said in an emailed response to Bloomberg queries. “Never before in my 36 years of life am I under such heavy pressure.”Zhao, who’s head of equity research at the investment-banking arm of state-run giant Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., issued his report as Cathay was under fire from China and facing boycotts from government-run businesses because the carrier’s employees joined the anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong. No other analyst is advising investors to sell Cathay and Zhao’s HK$6 target price is more than 40% below the stock’s current price.“We have one of China’s biggest state banks issuing an especially bearish and unusual sell recommendation on a private company in H.K. that is already the target of the Chinese state,” said George Magnus, a former UBS Group AG chief economist and author of “Red Flags: Why Xi’s China Is in Jeopardy.” “You don’t have to try hard to conclude that the interests of Chinese state banking institutions and the government are closely aligned.”Since Zhao’s report, which preceded the abrupt resignation of Cathay’s chief executive officer, shares of Hong Kong’s flag carrier have rebounded 6.1%, making it the fifth-best-performer among 64 listed global airlines tracked by Bloomberg.Meanwhile, Zhao has been facing pressure to cancel or delay interviews, change his rating or target price, and refrain from issuing research updates on Cathay since his Aug. 13 report, he said. “A lot of people” tried to persuade him to “go easy” on the company, Zhao said.Still, nobody influenced the report or its timing, and he stands by the call, Zhao said. He said that his research was independent and that people shouldn’t unfairly single out Chinese banks for having state ties because so do lenders in places like the U.K. and Singapore.In his report, entitled “Less Deserved to Fly,” Zhao criticized the Hong Kong carrier for potentially causing “irreversible damage” to the company’s brand because of “poor crisis management” in relation to the protests. The report said that a large-scale management reshuffle would be an “upside risk” for the company.“My strong sell rating is based on the difference between Cathay’s stock price and our target price,” he said. “Simple as that.” He said he won’t shy away from a “shock rating” as he believes contrarian reports to be more helpful to investors.Zhao said Cathay currently trades at a premium to other airlines in Asia, which he believes will “evaporate” because of factors ranging from the unrest in Hong Kong to the effects of the U.S.-China trade war on global commerce.Also, the airline’s management team has shown a “severe lack of composure” in dealing with crises, including a recent data breach and problems with the Chinese regulator, Zhao said.So what’s Zhao’s advice for Cathay now?“Be a better company,” he said.Cathay Pacific declined to comment.Zhao, who typically focuses on raw materials research, runs a team of 21 equity analysts covering 8 sectors at Hong Kong-based ICBC International.Zhao’s primary expertise lies away from airlines, with the analyst voted number one for China energy research by Institutional Investor this year, according to ICBC. He started covering Cathay for ICBC International only in March, though he said he has kept a close watch on industries such as transportation.In 2006, when he first started out in a mutual fund, Zhao said he covered airlines for about three months. “To me, the airlines sector has never been a stranger,” he said.Yet Zhao stands alone among his peers in his bearish view of Cathay. Of the 19 analysts tracked by Bloomberg, 13 have the equivalent of a buy rating and 5 have holds.“Strong sell is the wrong rating on the stock at the moment,” said Mark Webb, an analyst at GMT Research in London who previously covered the stock for 18 years at HSBC Holdings Plc. “Only a significant deterioration in the situation in Hong Kong would make it go significantly lower from here.”Asked why Zhao appears to only assign his harshest ratings to foreign companies such as Rio Tinto Plc, Vale SA and BHP Group Ltd, while only giving buy ratings for Chinese companies such as Shandong Gold Mining Co., Zhao said:“I did just issue a strong sell rating on Cathay Pacific, didn’t I? That’s a Hong Kong-incorporated company, not a foreign one.”To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Evelyn Yu in Shanghai at yyu263@bloomberg.net;Gregor Stuart Hunter in Hong Kong at ghunter21@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net, ;Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net, Christopher JasperFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


Source: Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines | 22 Aug 2019 | 9:00 pm

Trump Invited Himself to Denmark Before Canceling Trip, Danes Say

Trump Invited Himself to Denmark Before Canceling Trip, Danes SayPhoto Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photos GettySpeaking to reporters on the White House’s South Lawn in late July, President Donald Trump revealed that he was “looking at” a stop in Denmark after an upcoming trip to Poland to attend a World War II commemorative ceremony.For officials in Copenhagen, the comment came as a surprise. Although it is customary in Denmark for there to be a standing invitation for the U.S. president—and though officials in both countries had been discussing the possibility of an American delegation visiting—no formal invitation had actually been extended to Trump, according to two senior Danish officials and an individual who works closely with the Trump administration in Copenhagen.By the next day, Queen Margrethe II had issued the invite, and the White House had officially announced the president’s plans to visit the country. Over the subsequent days, much planning went into preparing for the president’s visit, which was supposed to include meetings with high-level officials from Denmark, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. It was designed to be a decadent affair: the Queen’s staff was in the midst of ordering the crystal for the tables and flowers for the palace for the big state dinner with Trump. Danish business leaders had finalized plans for roundtable discussions with White House officials about increasing investments in the U.S. Officials in the country’s ministry of foreign affairs were preparing talking points to promote increased cooperation between the U.S. and Denmark in the Arctic. But the frenetic planning came to a stop this past week, when Trump abruptly cancelled the trip after being publicly rebuffed for his proposal that the United States buy Greenland from Denmark. The cancellation set off a round of largely critical commentary within the Danish press and among Danish officials, angry that the president canceled a trip he proposed. Some took to social media, saying the president had “invited himself” to the country. Even the former U.S. ambassador to Denmark posted about the invite situation.The White House did not return a request for comment about how the Denmark trip came to be. The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond to a request for comment.The fallout from this most bizarre of geopolitical affairs has raised the possibility of tangible diplomatic riffs between two countries that have historically had strong working relations. Before Trump cancelled the trip, there was a growing likelihood that his arrival in Denmark would have been met with protests over his administration’s climate policies. But while those hotspots were anticipated, officials in Copenhagen were caught off guard by Trump’s suggestion the U.S. buy Greenland, following a report last week by the Wall Street Journal that revealed the idea. Greenland was never supposed to be a part of the talks during the president’s visit, Danish officials say, and they weren’t sure how to respond to questions from the country’s press about it, two senior officials told The Daily Beast. Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told one reporter, in Danish, that Trump’s proposal “Det er en absurd diskussion,” or, in English, “It is an absurd discussion.”The word “absurd” set off a fire inside the White House, the president getting so frustrated that he took to the South Lawn, telling the press pool that Frederiksen’s words were “nasty.”“All she had to do was say no," Trump said Wednesday, explaining why he was scuttling the trip. Officials in Copenhagen were sent scrambling. As of Thursday afternoon U.S. diplomats said they were fielding calls from Danish officials who—in an attempt to smooth things over—offered up the explanation that “absurd” in Danish doesn’t mean the same thing as it does in English. Individuals who work regularly with the U.S. State Department in Copenhagen said the line from officials in Denmark is that the word “absurd” can have a less severe meaning in Danish, including “it makes no sense” or “it is out of place in the context.” “It looks like we have a lost-in-translation situation on our hands,” one Danish diplomat told The Daily Beast.Back home, Trump’s decision to scrap the visit was met with a mix of confusion, derision, and post-hoc rationalizations. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) told a local television station that he had been the one who had originated the idea of purchasing Greenland in conversations with Trump months back. Cotton called it patently obvious that the administration would seek to purchase the country from Denmark’s stewardship. Other lawmakers were less convinced. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI), a member of both the House Ways and Means Committee and Budget Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday requesting an accounting of the funds spent by the State Department  in preparation of Trump’s trip. “Knowing the extensive background work that goes into planning any presidential travel, especially overseas, this action by the President raises important fiscal questions for Congress,” the letter reads. “Our country is already suffering a nearly $1 trillion budget deficit as a result of the tax cuts pushed through by Republicans in the last Congress, while many Americans cannot afford their medicine or have access to safe drinking water. The President’s reaction underscores his weakening of American credibility around the world as well as his carelessness with taxpayer dollars and resources.”Though Trump has cancelled his trip to Denmark, there have been no changes to his plan to head to Poland, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told The Daily Beast. Meanwhile, officials and business leaders in Denmark said they were briefing their staff about how to talk about Trump and his Greenland proposal and have asked them to use softer language. “We just need to be extra careful how we frame this story and this issue because we are in such a delicate time period now,” one official said. Two Danish officials who spoke to The Daily Beast said their administration was walking a fine line between apologizing to the U.S.—which would anger some constituents who oppose Trump—and maintaining strong diplomatic ties. The U.S. is Denmark’s largest trade partner outside of Europe and Danish companies have increased their investment in the American technology and health sectors. According to State Department data, Danish investment supports about 75,000 jobs in the U.S. “At the end of the day the U.S. being an ally of Denmark is a big deal. We need to maintain the relationship,” one official said. “We can have a discussion about the Arctic. We were planning on doing that.”Despite the warnings, Danish officials have continued to use “absurd” in press interviews. Denmark’s minister of foreign affairs, who held a call with Pompeo Wednesday, said on Danish television the same day that it was “absurd to discuss something that is not a reality.” The press in Denmark has questioned Danish officials, including Frederiksen, about their use of the word “absurd” and if they would continue to use it in the face of diplomatic tensions between Copenhagen and Washington. “I’m not going to get into a war of words with anyone, including the American president,” Frederiksen said. “Kim Kielsen has made it clear Greenland is not for sale and I support that.” This Isn’t the Madman Theory. This Is a Madman President.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Source: Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines | 22 Aug 2019 | 8:18 pm

North Dakota court overturns life term in cut from womb case

North Dakota court overturns life term in cut from womb caseA judge overstepped by giving a life prison sentence to a man whose girlfriend cut the baby from the womb of an unsuspecting neighbor, the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled Thursday, ordering that the man be resentenced. William Hoehn, of Fargo, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping in the August 2017 attack on Savanna Greywind, who died of her injuries but whose baby survived. Hoehn's girlfriend, Brooke Crews, admitted that she sliced Greywind's baby from her womb.


Source: Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines | 22 Aug 2019 | 7:43 pm

'This Case is Hot': Key Evidence from Boat Possibly Linked to Illinois Girl Missing for 23 Years

'This Case is Hot': Key Evidence from Boat Possibly Linked to Illinois Girl Missing for 23 YearsPolice in Moline say they're getting closer to answers as the FBI investigates what could be a key piece of evidence tied to the prime suspect in the case of Trudy Appleby.


Source: Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines | 22 Aug 2019 | 7:40 pm

Trump’s new press secretary was arrested for DUI while working on the 2016 campaign during her rocky rise to the White House

Trump’s new press secretary was arrested for DUI while working on the 2016 campaign during her rocky rise to the White HouseStephanie Grisham has taken an unconventional approach to her White House post, and hasn't held a single on-camera briefing since taking over in July.


Source: Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines | 22 Aug 2019 | 7:16 pm

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