Manny Pacquiao rolls back years to knock out Matthysse

Manny Pacquiao rolled back the years as he stopped WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse on Sunday — the 39-year-old Filipino icon’s first knockout win since 2009.

It was a dominant, devastating display as “smoking hot” Pacquiao registered the 60th win of a fabled 23-year career that now looks certain to extend beyond his 40th birthday in December.

Pacquiao knocked down the big-puncher from Argentina as early as the third round with a stunning left uppercut that thudded around the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.

The 35-year-old Argentine, who came in with a reputation as a big puncher, had no answer to Pacquiao’s blistering speed and he dropped again in the fifth.

When a right-left combination thudded home to send Matthysse crashing down for a third time in the seventh round referee Kenny Bayless stepped in to save him from further punishment.

“It was a long time ago since I’ve done that. I came out smoking hot,” said Pacquiao who extended his record to 60 wins, seven losses and two draws.

“I’m surprised I knocked him down so early — in the third, fifth and seventh.

“We did a good job in training. We were not pushing hard — we controlled our pace and ourselves.

“I’m no longer young, so thanks to my trainer and all my team members.”

Manny Pacquiao of the Phillipines celebrates after defeating Lucas Matthysse of Argintine on July 15, 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Getty Images)

A shell-shocked Matthysse, who had come in with a record of 36 knockouts in 39 wins with just four defeats, conceded he had no answer to Pacquiao’s speed, movement and power as the “old Manny” returned with a vengeance.

“It’s most difficult to be fighting Manny Pacquiao,” he said. “He’s a great fighter. I lost to a great legend.”

‘First step to a dream’

On a great morning in Malaysia for fighters for the Philippines, Jhack Tepora earlier stopped Mexico’s Edivaldo Ortega to win the interim World Boxing Association featherweight title.

Tepora unleashed a wicked short right hand in the ninth round to knock down Ortega for the first time in what had been to that point an even contest.

He swiftly followed up with a barrage of powerful swinging punches that forced the referee to step in after 2min 38sec of round nine.

“I didn’t expect the win but I really trained hard for this fight for three long months,” said the big-punching Tepora who extended his unbeaten record to 22 wins with 17 inside the distance.

Tepora cited Pacquiao as his inspiration. “When I saw Manny’s story, coming from the streets, I thought one day I could be like that and this is the first step to that dream,” he said.

Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse reacts after he was knocked down by Philippines’ Manny Pacquiao during their world welterweight boxing championship bout at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur on July 15, 2018. (AFP/Getty Images)

Lu Bin’s brave bid for a record world title win in just his second professional fight came crashing to earth when he was knocked out in the dying seconds of his battle with experienced WBA light flyweight champion Carlos Canizales of Venezuela.

Lu was felled near the end of the 11th round for the first time in his short pro career.

Canizales went for the kill in the 12th and final stanza. After a barrage of punches a storming straight right dropped Lu and the referee waved it off.

Moruti Mthalane from KwaZulu Natal in South Africa got off the canvas to take home the vacant International Boxing Federation flyweight title by outpointing Waseem Muhammad, who was bidding to become Pakistan’s first ever world champion.

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Prince Alwaleed offers support to Saudi crown prince’s reform agenda

Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has pledged his support to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his sweeping Vision 2030 reform plan.

Prince Alwaleed said in a tweet on Thursday: “I was honoured to meet with my brother HRH the Crown Prince and to discuss economic matters and the private sector’s future role in #Vision2030 success. I shall be one of the biggest supporters of the Vision through @Kingdom_KHC all its affiliates.”

He also posted a photograph of the two men smiling warmly and embracing in front of a desk. It was the first publicly disclosed meeting between the royal cousins since Prince Alwaleed was released in January after being detained the previous November in Riyadh’s Ritz Carlton hotel for three months under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s anti-corruption campaign.

Prince Alwaleed was the most high-profile figure to be detained, along with dozens of royals, senior officials and businessmen. Most were released after reaching financial settlements with the authorities. The kingdom’s attorney general Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said a total of $106.7bn was raised in the crackdown.

The financial details of the deal cut by Prince Alwaleed to secure his release are not known. Prior to his arrest Forbes had estimated his net worth at $17.4bn. Most of that figure was down to his 95 percent stake in Kingdom Holding, over which he has thought to have retained control following his release.

Crown Prince Mohammed’s any-corruption drive was part of the sweeping Vision 2030 plan to move the kingdom away from its reliance on oil revenues and liberalise the country’s economic and social landscape.

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Vermont forest reserve to offset California carbon emissions

Land surrounding Burnt Mountain in Vermont will now be a forest reserve and store carbon to help California meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals.

The Nature Conservancy announced on Thursday that 5,400 acres (2,185 hectares) of forested land around Burnt Mountain will be the first Vermont site eligible for California’s regulatory compliance market. Under the program, California businesses are required to reduce most carbon emissions but also can buy credits to offset their remaining emissions.

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The organization estimates that the credits will have an approximate value of $2 million over a 10-year period.

“We are thinking innovatively about how we can grow our investments in nature,” said Jim Shallow, director of strategic conservation initiatives for The Nature Conservancy in Vermont. “The carbon offset program will allow us to put the power of the market to work to protect forests and fight climate change.”

The forest is located across five northern Vermont towns. Previously the forest was part of a 26,000-acre (10,500-hectare) holding by the Vermont Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy. In 2016 the two groups began separating the holding into 12 parcels, the majority of which will be working forestland for logging and maple syrup production.

The Nature Conservancy bought the Vermont Land Trust’s half-interest for the Burnt Mountain forest.

The Burnt Mountain forest is located near state parks, privately owned conserved lands and Vermont’s Long Trail, creating an 11,000-acre (4,450-hectare) parcel on preserved land. The Nature Conservancy plans to keep the site open for non-motorized recreation activities.

Nurses at Vermont hospital back at work after 2-day strike

Nurses at Vermont’s largest hospital are back on the job after a two-day strike.

The strike of 1,800 nurses from the University of Vermont Medical Center ended at 7 a.m. Saturday after 48 hours.

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Hospital administrators brought in outside nurses during the strike and say most hospital operations were unaffected by it.

The union is seeking about a 22 percent pay increase over three years. The Medical Center offered about a 14 percent pay increase over three years.

The union maintains higher wages are necessary to recruit and retain nurses and support staff and “address a crisis of understaffing.”

Medical Center president Eileen Whalen says the strike had a cost of roughly $3 million.

Texas man gets prison, must repay $2.4M in pay phone scam

A Houston-area man must serve 18 months in federal prison and repay $2.4 million for what prosecutors call a pay phone scam since 2005.

David Grudzinski of Friendswood was sentenced Friday in Houston. The 61-year-old Grudzinski in April pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud, plus money laundering.

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Investigators say Grudzinski owned about 450 pay phones in the Houston area. Grudzinski acknowledged a scheme to unlawfully obtain payments from the owners of toll-free numbers for calls to his pay phones.

Prosecutors say Grudzinski used special software to make his phones robotically dial toll-free telephone numbers assigned to various federal and state government agencies, plus private groups. Grudzinski was then fraudulently paid about 49 cents per call from 2005 through mid-2015.

Global Fixed Income Views: Q3 2018

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

By Robert Michele via Iris.xyz The disconnect between the financial markets and the real economy continued in the second quarter. The U.S. dollar rose, emerging market debt and currencies plummeted, Italy and peripheral Europe came under pressure, and equity markets saw intraday downdrafts of more than 3%. Yet relative stability prevailed in the broader economy. While […]

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Read more at ETFTrends.com

The stock-market bull is still on its feet

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The factors driving the US markets

Charles Schwab and Co. Senior Vice President Liz Ann Sonders on the state of the markets.

The story of Juan José Padilla must be legend within the Spanish bullfighting community. Blinded by a bull in one eye in late 2011 after badly losing his footing in a bullring, the matador made a stunning comeback to the arena about six months later, much to the utter shock of fans.

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Similarly, Wall Street investors find themselves facing off with a bull of their own, one that is in its ninth year and, despite being beset by a cavalcade of concerns, appears on the verge of resuming the second-longest run since WWII.

That is perhaps much to the consternation of bears and the confusion of nervous optimist alike.

On Friday, the 13th no less, the SP 500 index finished above 2,800 for the first time since Feb. 1, piercing a psychological, round-number level that had proven a source of key resistance for the market since it stumbled badly into correction territory on Feb. 8.

Indeed, the SP 500 finished Friday’s session 0.1% higher at 2,801.31, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.4% at 25,019.41, while the Nasdaq Composite Index mustered sufficient momentum to eke out back-to-back finishes at an all-time closing high at 7,825.98, up less than 0.1%.

The SP 500 sits just 2.5% from its Jan. 26, record, while the Dow stands 6% short of its closing peak from earlier in the year.

The recent uptrend has come in fits and starts, but come it has, amid the aforementioned headwinds. Those factors include:

“The market has been able to grind higher and it’s been able to do so even with these headwinds,” Michael Arone, chief investment strategist for State Street Global Advisors told MarketWatch in an interview.

The State Street strategist views trade conflagration as a concern that may have fallen to the wayside even if it continues to be a situation that unspools over weeks and months.

“The trade discussion has been a bit longer than folks had been anticipating and it might be longer still — and a bit messier,” Arone said.

He added: “This week there seems to be a changing sentiment that much of the trade threat in terms of the escalation of the tariffs is being used as a tool to bring the sides together.”

In the end, sentiment may be improving as reflected by the stock market’s recent action; but there are many who have cautioned against being too complacent. Scott Minerd of Guggenheim (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-rally-in-stocks-is-a-last-hurrah-warns-guggenheims-minerd-2018-07-09) and Ray Dalio, the founder of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, appear to be warning (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/founder-of-worlds-largest-hedge-fund-says-first-day-of-the-war-with-china-has-begun-2018-07-06) that escalating trade disputes could still be a major problem for the market.

With the admonishment of those high-profile investors in mind, it is worth reflecting on the one-eyed Padilla’s comeback. Just a few days ago, the flamboyant picador suffered an even more horrific injury at the horns of another bull after once again losing his footing. This episode came about a year after being gored back in March 2017.

Observers can say what they will about bullfighting, or investing for that matter, but the lesson here may be that over long periods, the bull eventually wins.

Exclusive: Jeff Bezos plans to charge at least $200,000 for space rides

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Jeff Bezos’ rocket company plans to charge passengers about $200,000 to $300,000 for its first trips into space next year, two people familiar with its plans told Reuters.

Potential customers and the aerospace industry have been eager to learn the cost of a ticket on Blue Origin’s New Shepard space vehicle, to find out if it is affordable and whether the company can generate enough demand to make a profit on space tourism.

Executives at the company, started by Amazon.com Inc founder Bezos in 2000, told a business conference last month they planned test flights with passengers on the New Shepard soon, and to start selling tickets next year.

The company, based about 20 miles (32 km) south of Seattle, has made public the general design of the vehicle – comprising a launch rocket and detachable passenger capsule – but has been tight-lipped on production status and ticket prices.

Blue Origin representatives did not respond to requests for comment on its programs and pricing strategy. Bezos said in May ticket prices had not yet been decided.

One Blue Origin employee with first-hand knowledge of the pricing plan said the company will start selling tickets in the range of about $200,000 to $300,000. A second employee said tickets would cost a minimum of $200,000. They both spoke on condition of anonymity as the pricing strategy is confidential.

The New Shepard is designed to autonomously fly six passengers more than 62 miles (100 km) above Earth into suborbital space, high enough to experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the curvature of the planet before the pressurized capsule returns to earth under parachutes.

The capsule features six observation windows Blue Origin says are nearly three times as tall as those on a Boeing Co 747 jetliner.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard lifts off during a test in Van Horn, Texas, U.S. in an undated photo. Blue Origin/Handout via REUTERS

Blue Origin has completed eight test flights of the vertical take-off and landing New Shepard from its launch pad in Texas, but none with passengers aboard. Two flights have included a test dummy the company calls “Mannequin Skywalker.”

The company will do the first test in space of its capsule escape system, which propels the crew to safety should the booster explode, “within weeks,” one of the employees said.

SMALL STEP FOR A MAN

Blue Origin, whose Latin motto means “step by step, ferociously,” is working towards making civilian space flight an important niche in the global space economy, alongside satellite services and government exploration projects, already worth over $300 billion a year.

Bezos, the world’s richest person with a fortune of about $112 billion, has competition from fellow billionaires Richard Branson and Elon Musk, Tesla Inc’s chief executive.

Branson’s Virgin Galactic says it has sold about 650 tickets aboard its own planned space voyages, but has not set out a date for flights to start. The company is charging $250,000 per ticket, in line with Blue Origin’s proposed pricing.

SpaceX, founded by Musk in 2002, says its ultimate goal is to enable people to live on other planets.

All three are looking to slash the cost of spaceflight by developing reusable spacecraft, meaning prices for passengers and payloads should drop as launch frequency increases.

While Blue Origin has not disclosed its per-flight operating costs, Teal Group aerospace analyst Marco Caceres estimated each flight could cost the firm about $10 million. With six passengers per trip, that would mean losing millions of dollars per launch, at least initially.

Slideshow (7 Images)

Three sources said Blue’s first passengers are likely to include its own employees, though the company has not selected them yet.

Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Greg Mitchell and Rosalba O’Brien

AT&T CEO confident Time Warner deal on solid ground

(Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department has only a remote chance of overturning ATT Inc’s takeover of Time Warner, Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said on Friday, adding that the move could affect the bidding war for Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.

FILE PHOTO: Chief Executive Officer of ATT Randall Stephenson speaks during a moderated discussion before the Economic Club of New York, in New York City, U.S., November 29, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Shares of ATT fell 1.7 percent to close at $31.67 on Friday after U.S. officials signaled they would appeal a federal judge’s approval last month of the $85.4 billion deal.

Speaking on CNBC, Stephenson said the original court decision was well reasoned.

“At the end of the day the law was on our side,” he said. “We think the likelihood of this thing being reversed or overturned is really remote.”

The merger, first announced in October 2016, was opposed by U.S. President Donald Trump. ATT was sued by the Justice Department on antitrust grounds but Judge Richard Leon concluded the government failed to show that prices would go up and allowed the deal to go forward.

Credit rating agency Fitch said in a statement it believed the original decision will be upheld, but acknowledged the three-judge appeals court panel could disagree. Moody’s said in a statement ATT’s credit ratings remain unchanged.

Raymond James analyst Frank Louthan downgraded ATT from outperform to market perform on news of the planned appeal, saying it is a “negative catalyst for the stock.”

FILE PHOTO: Smartphone with ATT logo is seen in front of displayed Time Warner logo in this picture illustration taken June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

“This is a significant overhang for an extended period and is not conducive to share price appreciation,” he wrote.

Approval of the Time Warner deal last month triggered further moves in a bidding war between Comcast Corp and Walt Disney Co over the bulk of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s film and TV assets. Disney has received U.S. antitrust approval for the purchase.

Stephenson told CNBC the dispute could hurt Comcast’s chances of prevailing. Comcast is a major cable provider while ATT owns satellite giant DirecTV.

“It does affect that process. You’re in a situation where two entities are bidding for an asset and this kind of action can affect the outcome,” he said.

In Washington, Makan Delrahim, the assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, recently defended the decision to file its initial lawsuit last year.

“The division made multiple settlement offers involving divestitures, but the parties offered and would accept only so-called ‘behavioral’ remedies involving promises to refrain from anticompetitive conduct,” Delrahim wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Times on Thursday.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, backed the appeal. “The moment it acquired Time Warner, ATT showed its true face and raised prices for consumers,” he said on Twitter.

ATT has recently announced price increases. It raised the price for wireless customers with some unlimited data plans by $5 per month and informed customers it was increasing the price of its internet streaming service DirecTV Now by $5 per month.

“We’re not as sure as everyone else that Judge Leon’s ruling will be upheld on appeal,” analysts from brokerage MoffettNathanson wrote.

Reporting by Sonam Rai and Vibhuti Sharma, Additional reporting by Gaurika Juneja, Diane Bartz, David Shepardson and Sheila Dang; editing by Marguerita Choy and Tom Brown

U.S. lifts ban on suppliers selling to China’s ZTE

(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Commerce on Friday lifted a ban on U.S. companies selling goods to ZTE Corp, allowing China’s second-largest telecommunications equipment maker to resume business.

FILE PHOTO: A ZTE smart phone is pictured in this illustration taken April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/Illustration/File Photo

The Commerce Department removed the ban shortly after ZTE deposited $400 million in a U.S. bank escrow account as part of a settlement reached last month. The settlement also included a $1 billion penalty that ZTE paid to the U.S. Treasury in June.

“The department will remain vigilant as we closely monitor ZTE’s actions to ensure compliance with all U.S. laws and regulations,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement that described the terms of the deal as the strictest ever imposed in such a case.

The terms will allow the department to protect U.S. national security, Ross said.

The administration has clashed with lawmakers from its own party over issues related to China, and this was no different. On Friday, Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican, criticized the lifting of the ban.

“ZTE should be put out of business. There is no ‘deal’ with a state-directed company that the Chinese government and Communist Party uses to spy and steal from us where Americans come out winning,” Rubio said in a statement.

A photograph circulating among employees around midnight showed ZTE’s new chief executive and 10 other managers each giving a thumbs-up to the news, which was flashed on a screen at the company, according to a person familiar with the matter.

  • Republican Senator Rubio slams lifting of U.S. ban on China’s ZTE

The reprieve follows threats by the Trump administration this week to impose 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods in a trade war.

ZTE did not respond to requests for comment.

ZTE, which relies on U.S. components for its smart phones and networking gear, ceased major operations after the ban was ordered in April.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted in May that he closed down ZTE and let it reopen, although no agreement had been reached. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said last month Trump agreed to lift the ban as a goodwill gesture to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The company had made false statements about disciplining 35 employees involved with illegally shipping U.S.-origin goods to Iran and North Korea, Commerce Department officials said. ZTE pleaded guilty last year over the sanctions violations.

ZTE paid $892 million in penalties to the United States in connection with the 2017 settlement and guilty plea. The latest $1.4 billion deal comes on top of that.

The $400 million will remain in escrow for as long as 10 years to provide the U.S. government access to the money if ZTE violates the June settlement.

On Thursday, ZTE’s Hong Kong shares surged about 24 percent after Reuters broke news the United States had signed an escrow agreement that paved the way for ZTE to deposit the $400 million.

FILE PHOTO: A ZTE mobile telephone is shown at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., January 8, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/File Photo

ZTE’s U.S.-listed shares fell 2.4 percent to $3.70 on Friday. The news came after markets closed in Asia.

Shares of U.S. suppliers Acacia Communications and Lumentum Holdings rose more than 3 percent on the news before ending less than 1 percent higher.

ZTE paid U.S. companies more than $2.3 billion in 2017, including Qualcomm Inc, Intel Corp, Broadcom and Texas Instruments Inc.

The company, which employs some 80,000 people, got a limited one-month waiver last week to maintain existing networks and equipment.

ZTE has replaced its board of directors and senior management, as required by the June settlement, the Commerce Department noted.

It will now operate with a 10-year suspended ban hanging over its head, which the United States can activate if it finds new violations. The current ban could have lasted seven years.

Many U.S. lawmakers see the company as a national security threat and, on Thursday, a group of Republican and Democratic U.S. senators urged that ZTE’s penalties be reinstated.

The U.S. Senate paved the way for a showdown with Trump over the issue last month, when it passed an annual defense policy bill with an amendment attempting to reverse the deal. Its fate is unclear.

Reuters reported on U.S. demands for a deal on June 1, and on June 5, revealed that ZTE had signed a preliminary agreement with the Commerce Department, along with the fine and other terms. It also broke news of the ban in April.

A U.S. investigation into ZTE was launched after Reuters reported in 2012 that the company had signed contracts to ship hardware and software worth millions of dollars to Iran from some of the best-known U.S. technology companies.

Reporting by Karen Freifeld; additional reporting by Sijia Jiang in Hong Kong and Sinead Carew and Chuck Mikolajczak in New York and Diane Bartz in Washington; Editing by Richard Chang and Tom Brown