Near-flawless CHAN boosts Morocco World Cup bid

first_imgCentral city Marrakech and Agadir in the south on the Atlantic coast were the other venues used during the 23-day tournament.Cold northern hemisphere winter weather was one deterrent to Moroccans with many who did attend wearing clothing more familiar with Europe than Africa.An encouraging sign, though, was the number of families who came to watch some of the best domestic football talent in Africa.Matches kicked off at 1630 and 1930 local/GMT time and many crowds decreased noticeably after the first game as temperatures dropped significantly.Weather will not be an issue should Morocco be awarded the 2026 World Cup as the tournament is traditionally staged during June and July — hot months in the kingdom.Morocco have not officially named their proposed World Cup venues, but the four CHAN stadiums are sure to be in the list.At least one venue in capital city Rabat would certainly be included too.Share on: WhatsApp Casablanca, Morocco | AFP | Morocco were near-flawless hosts of the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN), which ended at the weekend, confirming they are creditable candidates to stage the 2026 World Cup.FIFA member nations will this June select the kingdom or a Canada/Mexico/United States alliance to host the global football showpiece after Russia this year and Qatar in 2022. “Since the first World Cup in 1930, Africa has organised the tournament only once,” he said, referring to the 2010 finals in South Africa.Pre-CHAN tournament favourites Morocco whipped 10-man Nigeria 4-0 to win the competition, which has full international status despite being restricted to home-based footballers.Their six matches attracted near-capacity crowds to the 65,000-capacity Stade Mohammed V in commercial capital Casablanca.However, apart from the group game between Nigeria and Libya in northern city Tangiers, matches not involving the host nation drew paltry crowds.center_img The 2026 World Cup will be the first featuring 48 countries — up from the current 32 — and any serious slip-ups by Morocco in the 16-nation CHAN would have sent damaging signals.However, apart from the decades-old African problem of luring crowds to fixtures not involving the host nation, Morocco emerged with flying colours.Morocco could argue that the crowd-pulling appeal of home-based Africans, however talented, cannot be compared with world superstars like Lionel Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo.“The organisation of this tournament has been exceptional,” Germany-born Rwanda coach Antoine Hey told AFP.“Morocco has provided infrastructure that meets the highest international standards. I am extremely impressed.”Libya goalkeeper and captain Mohamed Nashnush also hailed the organisation by Morocco, who are bidding a fifth time to host the World Cup.“Morocco pulled out all the stops and the Libyan footballers, coaches and officials were very comfortable wherever they went in the country.“The organisation and infrastructure were superb and I hope Morocco win the right to host the 2026 World Cup.”Morocco national football federation head Fouzi Lekjaa, who is also a Confederation of African Football (CAF) vice-president, says his country has a compelling case.last_img read more

STABLE NOTES BY ED GOLDEN – SUNDAY MAY 31, 2015

first_imgBob Baffert2052425%$216,560 Martin Pedroza71511117%$286,894 PROSPECT PARK RETURNS IN SATURDAY’S AFFIRMEDWhen last seen, Prospect Park was finishing a troubled fourth in the Santa Anita Derby behind front-running winner Dortmund. That was on April 4.Fast forward to Sunday morning, when the son of Tapit owned and bred by Pam and Marty Wygod worked five furlongs under Kent Desormeaux in 1:01.60 for next Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 Affirmed Stakes for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.“It was a little slow,” trainer Cliff Sise Jr. said of the work, “but he came home the last three-eighths in 36. He had some kind of viral thing going on in the Santa Anita Derby. Two days later he popped a temperature.“He was flat. As soon as he went off in the post parade and he stayed with the pony, we knew we were in trouble. But this will be a good starting point back. He’s doing great, fantastic.”Named for the last Triple Crown winner, the Affirmed also could attract two from the Jerry Hollendorfer barn, California Derby winner Cross the Line (Corey Nakatani) and consistent Cyrus Alexander (Rafael Bejarano), who worked five furlongs Sunday in 1:01.Cross the Line, who worked seven furlongs Sunday in 1:26, also is being considered for the $500,000 Ohio Derby at Thistle Downs Racino on June 20.Also set for the Affirmed are Gimme Da Lute, Martin Garcia, and Om, Fernando Perez. Doug O’Neill701214617%$547,948 Carla Gaines1433021%$149,830 Philip D’Amato40126430%$678,540 Robertino Diodoro2042320%$143,840 NO GRADE I CELEBRATION FOR BALTAS AFTER BIG WINIt was business as usual for Richard Baltas Sunday morning after he saddled Spanish Queen to a three-quarter length victory in Saturday’s Grade I American Oaks as the odds-on favorite. Baltas, who turned 54 yesterday, barely took time to celebrate his birthday.“She ate good last night and she looks great this morning,” he said. “I celebrated a little bit, but I couldn’t stay out too late. My owners wanted me to come to their house in Chatsworth but I had to get up at 3:30 in the morning.“My wife (Debby) did plan a little birthday party, so we celebrated with a dinner in Pasadena. As far as Spanish Queen, we’ll just regroup and see how she’s doing before deciding on her next race.“I know there’s that big race in New York coming up (the Grade I, $1 million Belmont Oaks at 1 1/4 miles on turf July 4), but the owners are local and they might want to run her at Del Mar. The million dollar race is tempting, but we’ll have to see.”The American Oaks victory moved Baltas into a tie for the training lead with Doug O’Neill and Phil D’Amato at 12 each. Peter Miller is only one behind with 11.The success of Baltas is no surprise to Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, who mentored Baltas for some two years circa 2003.“He paid his dues,” Mandella said of Baltas. “He’s very smart and a good horseman.”TOC HOSTS FREE SEMINAR ON JUNE 13The Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) will host a free seminar, “Demystifying the Racing Office,” at Santa Anita on Saturday, June 13, at 10 a.m. Panelists will include Rick Hammerle, Santa Anita Vice President of Racing and Racing Secretary, and David Jerkens, Del Mar Racing Secretary.Hammerle, known in racing circles simply as “Hammer,” has worked in racing coast to coast since attending the University of Arizona in 1986. He is on the Graded Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Selection committees and has been the racing secretary a record six times for Breeders’ Cup events. He is also a regular featured guest on Sirius/XM radio’s “At The Races with Steve Byk.”Prior to being named Racing Secretary at Del Mar, Jerkens worked at Golden Gate Fields and NYRA after graduating from Nassau College. The son of trainer Steven Jerkens and grandson of the late Hall of Fame trainer, Allen Jerkens, his background includes work as an entry clerk, racing official, assistant racing secretary and stakes coordinator.The seminar will be moderated by Richard Scheidt, TOC’s Northern California Director of Operations, and will cover the basic operations of the Racing Office, including: creating the condition book, stall applications, race types, working and training schedules, day-to-day operations, role of the racing secretary and other racing office staff, and TOC’s role in developing purse and stakes schedules.The event will begin 10 a.m. in the Baldwin Conference Room at Santa Anita, third floor Clubhouse. Santa Anita is located at 285 W. Huntington Dr., Arcadia, CA 91007. Although it is free and open to the public, reservations are recommended and can be made by calling TOC at (626) 574-6620 or online at www.toconline.com.TOC is the official organization serving new, veteran and future Thoroughbred owners in the state. It represents, advances, and protects owners’ interests and rights in legislative, administrative and business matters. SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Mario Gutierrez3343612%$219,028 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won William Spawr1932216%$92,090 Mike Smith3077323%$591,060 Tyler Baze12521142217%$1,164,430 FINISH LINES: Victor Espinoza takes a commercial red-eye flight from LAX to New York tonight as his pursuit of the Triple Crown begins in earnest. “I’ll sleep on the plane,” Espinoza said . . . Richard Mandella said Catch a Flight came out of his half-length victory in Saturday’s Californian Stakes in good order and will be pointed to the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 27 . . . Trainer Ted H. West hasn’t ruled out a start in the Gold Cup for bargain claim Motown Man, who won the $150,000 Tiznow Stakes on May 23 . . .Santa Anita clockers were busy Sunday morning as 236 works were recorded, including five on the training track . . . Agent Tom Knust reunites with 2012 Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Mario Gutierrez beginning Wednesday when the meet’s final condition book comes out, covering races through the last day, June 28 . . .The last names of the riders of the first three finishers in Saturday’s second race all began with the letter “P”–Fernando Perez on victorious Star of Munster; Martin Pedroza on runner-up Aiming Straight; and Flavien Prat aboard third-place Princess Kendra. The $1 trifecta returned a p-retty p-rofitable $171.60 . . . Santa Anita will host a book signing of John Perrotta‘s new publication, “Racetracker,” from 12 noon to 2 p.m. across from Champions! Gift Shop next Saturday, Belmont Stakes Day. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. DESORMEAUX ‘KEEN’ ON BELMONT UPSETPROSPECT WORKS FOR AFFIRMED STAKESFOREST CHATTER GOES THE EXTRA MILETRAINER BALTAS BASKS IN GRADE I GLORY Kent Desormeaux4858510%$258,404 Alex Solis2543416%$203,880 Vann Belvoir333659%$135,590 Elvis Trujillo585479%$269,290 Peter Miller521113321%$435,920 Rafael Bejarano9820221720%$988,792 Santiago Gonzalez6451358%$267,336 Jerry Hollendorfer45610613%$424,494 Felipe Valdez7471069%$300,700 John Brocklebank1132127%$142,490 Flavien Prat791616720%$1,016,660 Fernando Perez821512918%$560,300 Kristin Mulhall1332023%$77,200 Dan Hendricks1132027%$110,390 Eddie Truman1261150%$220,150 Ricky Agarie1431321%$113,020 Peter Eurton2833611%$224,636 (Current Through Saturday, May 30) Richard Mandella2876425%$610,410 Victor Espinoza2764522%$460,770 Richard Baltas37124432%$692,690 John Sadler4357812%$269,488 Gonzalo Nicolas7466138%$222,008 Mark Glatt3545711%$218,544 Mike Puype4047610%$336,540 Jeff Bonde1331123%$140,750 Edwin Maldonado61812913%$337,200 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Michael Machowsky1954226%$133,170 Drayden Van Dyke6899613%$419,592 DESORMEAUX IN SPOILER ROLE ON KEEN ICE            Kent Desormeaux hopes to play the role of spoiler next Saturday when he rides Keen Ice in the Belmont Stakes in an effort to prevent American Pharoah from becoming the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978.The 44-year-old Hall of Fame rider won the mile and a half Belmont in 2009 aboard Summer Bird, and missed the Triple Crown by a nose on Real Quiet in 1998.“Speed at this point is now irrelevant,” Desormeaux said of the Belmont’s testing mile and a half distance. “You’d need a horse that can stay, and the guy that I ride will be naturally closer because of the human element.”Keen Ice, trained by Dale Romans, closed from 17th after a half mile to finish seventh under Desormeaux in mile and a quarter Kentucky Derby, beaten nine lengths by American Pharoah, who was first by a length.“They’re not going to go 46 (for the half-mile) in the Belmont, otherwise you’d have no chance,” Desormeaux reasoned. “So they’ll slow it down and that will put me naturally closer and if Keen Ice finishes like he finished in the Derby, he has a chance, he’ll be competitive.“I’m looking forward to it. I like running out of horse at about the16th pole and then trying to carry him the rest of the way and win a race.“In the Derby, I went under the wire full of horse. After a mile and a quarter he was just as fresh going under the wire the second time.”            Fans are encouraged to join in the Belmont Stakes day festivities at Santa Anita Saturday and see if Santa Anita-based American Pharoah can win the Triple Crown.Santa Anita will celebrate the big day with live racing, an Infield beer festival, live music, a Chandelier Room party, and more. The “American Pharoah” trackside package includes a program, trackside seating with your first drink included and an exclusive American Pharoah cap all for just $20. Visit santaanita.com/events for full details and special promo codes.Gates open Saturday at 8 a.m. First post time is 11:30 a.m. FOREST CHATTER TO STRETCH OUT IN CRYSTAL WATERForest Chatter makes his first start beyond 6 ½ furlongs when he runs in next Saturday’s $100,000 Crystal Water Stakes at one mile on grass. The streaking son of Dixie Chatter, winner of his last four races as the heavy favorite, shouldn’t be hampered by the additional two furlongs.“I’ve never thought a mile would be too far for him,” trainer Richard Mandella said. “He’s awfully good on the hill,” referring to Santa Anita’s downhill turf course at about 6 ½ furlongs, where the Kentucky-bred gelding has won his last four starts. “But we’ll have to see about the mile.”Forest Chatter worked five furlongs on the main track Sunday in 1:03. Gary Stevens1743224%$457,350 Joseph Talamo861651719%$604,628 Tiago Pereira4069415%$289,490 Martin Garcia2463325%$156,710 Bruce Headley1031030%$76,450last_img read more

21st Sletba Open starts; victorious paralympic team cited

first_imgView comments Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Sletba president Engr. Mar Lualhati (right) with members of the Philippine bowling paralympic team which won 7 medals in the recently held tenpin bowling paralympic games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. LATEST STORIES In his remarks, Lualhati thanked the sponsors and the PBC and the associations for supporting this year’s premier event of Sletba. He also presented and cited the exploits of the Philippine bowling paralympic team which bagged seven medals in the recently held bowling paralympic games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.Lualhati, in turn, received a plaque of appreciation from paralympic team coach Benshir Layoso for his support for the team.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutPlayers from the national team and from various associations are expected to join the annual tournament and vie for cash prizes worth over P400,000 spread over three groups.Qualifying games started right after the opening rites Saturday and will be held daily from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. until Oct. 14. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF presidentcenter_img Mavericks guard Curry out with left leg injury Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Sletba officials led by its president Engr. Mar Lualhati (2nd from left) and secretary Atty. Boy de Leon (right) prepare to roll the ceremonial ball to start the 21st Sletba Open at the Sta. Lucia Mall Bowling Center in Cainta. With them are (from left) Benny Dytoc of PTBA, Benshir Layoso, national team member and coach of the national paralympic team, Gerry Mallilin, president of Philippine Bowling Congress, and Lilian Teano, president of the Tiger City (Mandaluyong) Bowling Association.The 21st Sta. Lucia East Tenpin Bowling Association-Rizal (Sletba) Open Championships rolled off Saturday at the Sta. Lucia Bowling Center in Cainta, Rizal.Engr. Mar Lualhati, president of Sletba, led the simple opening rites graced by the presence of officials of the Philippine Bowling Congress and other associations based in Metro Manila and in the provinces.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games02:45Drilon blasts Duterte’s infra program as ‘dismal failure’01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Read Nextlast_img read more

Germany win historic 10th Fifa World Cup qualifier

first_imgBSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight This is the first time Germany have qualified for a World Cup finals with a perfect record and they are unbeaten in their last 16 games.Joachim Loew’s side are only the second team to achieve the feat in a European qualifying campaign after Spain managed it on their way to winning the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutGermany also scored a European qualifying record 43 goals over the campaign.Despite the comfortable scoreline, Loew was unimpressed with the first-half display as his side went in 1-1 at the break. Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Kiefer Ravena joins 2017 PBA Draft View comments Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Sheydaev then wrong-footed Ruediger and fired past Germany goalkeeper Bernd Leno to stun the hosts.But Wagner put Germany back in the lead on 54 minutes thanks to Hawk-Eye.Wagner’s header was cleared in a scramble, but goal-line technology showed the ball had crossed the line for his fifth international goal in as many games.At 2-1 up, the floodgates opened when Ruediger hammered his header past Azerbaijani goalkeeper Kamran Agayev on 64 minutes.Goretzka grabbed Germany’s fourth just two minutes later when he fired home Leroy Sane’s pass after some good work by the Manchester City winger.The 23-year-old Can completed the scoring in style when he rifled a 30-yard strike into the roof of the net.With time almost up, Azerbaijan defender Magomed Mirzabekov hit the post and Germany’s Matthias Ginter cleared a shot off the line. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Mustafi suffered a suspected thigh injury, which Loew said looks serious.Schalke midfielder Goretzka gave Germany an early lead with a superb back-heeled goal before Azerbaijan striker Ramil Sheydaev stunned the hosts by equalising before half-time.Second-half strikes from Hoffenheim striker Sandro Wagner and Chelsea defender Antonio Ruediger, before Goretzka added his second, saw Germany pull away.Liverpool midfielder Emre Can added the fifth when he smashed home his first international goal with a powerful shot from outside the area.The World Cup holders lost Julian Draxler before kick-off as the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder dropped out with flu, after Real Madrid star Toni Kroos had already been ruled out with a rib injury.The hosts got off to a dream start when Goretzka showed great technique by netting with his heel and his back to goal on eight minutes.Then came Germany’s injury blows.Suele limped off on 22 minutes to be replaced by Chelsea’s Ruediger before Mustafi went down in the build-up to the equaliser.The Germans should have doubled their lead with half an hour gone when Wagner hit the post.Azerbaijan deservedly levelled on 34 minutes when Sheydaev sprinted clear of Mustafi — who pulled up injured. MOST READcenter_img “This line-up hadn’t played together before and you could see that in the first half,” he said.“The second half was better as the opposition tired.“It would be a mistake to use this qualifying campaign as a benchmark – sure it was good – but the World Cup will be a different matter.“It will be hard to win the World Cup for a second time.”The victory came at the cost of two center-backs, as Bayern Munich’s Niklas Suele and Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi both limped off with first-half injuries.ADVERTISEMENT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Azerbaijan’s midfielder Rahid Amirguliyev (R) and Germany’s midfielder Leon Goretzka (L) vie for the ball during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification football match between Germany and Azerbaijan in Mainz, western Germany, on October 8, 2017. AFPMidfielder Leon Goretzka netted twice as Germany routed Azerbaijan 5-1 on Sunday to make history with a perfect World Cup qualifying record of 10 wins in as many games.The reigning world champions had already sealed their ticket to Russia last Thursday with a 3-1 win over Northern Ireland, and finished their qualifying campaign in Kaiserslautern with a 10th straight victory.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

Wenger rubbishes Ozil exit rumours

first_imgTransfers ‘It’s wrong news!’ – Wenger rubbishes Ozil exit rumours Matt Dorman Last updated 2 years ago 03:34 10/23/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Mesut Ozil - cropped Getty Images Transfers Manchester United Arsenal Premier League Mesut Özil Arsène Wenger The Germany international has been linked with a January move to Manchester United, but the Gunners boss insists he is going nowhere Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hit out at the “wrong news” reports which suggest Mesut Ozil has told team-mates of his intention to join Manchester United.Germany playmaker Ozil played a starring role in the Gunners’ 5-2 thumping of Everton on Sunday, putting the visitors ahead with his first goal of the campaign.#YaGunnersYa! Impressive away win – back on track #BelieveInYourself #GreatTeamEffort #OneGoal #OneAssist pic.twitter.com/qqZnfGcYNO— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) October 22, 2017Rumours earlier surfaced of the 29-year-old’s apparent desire to leave for Old Trafford in January with his contract set to expire at the end of the season. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Wenger, who previously conceded all options were on the table, moved to rubbish talk of an impending exit to United for Ozil.”We live in an environment where we have to deal with wrong news,” the Frenchman said at his post-match press conference.”The players and myself always only have one response, [which] is what is happening on the football pitch.Arsenal 40/1 to win the Premier League”When you see Mesut focused like he was today, and enjoying his game like he was today, it is difficult to believe these kind of rumours.”last_img read more

How To Keep In Touch During The 2011 World Cup

first_imgThe www.austouch.com.au website will be updated regularly throughout the event, so be sure to be visiting this website through the event. The TFA ‘2011 World Cup’ website is also a place to visit, with profiles (Open, Senior and Referees), World Cup diaries, photos and all of the latest news uploaded to this site as well. To view this page, please click on the ‘2011 World Cup’ section on the top menu of the TFA website. Touch Football Australia’s Facebook and Twitter pages will also be updated regularly, so make sure you are following all of the latest World Cup news by clicking on these links:www.twitter.com/touchfootyaushttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Touch-Football-Australia/384949403384 TFA’s YouTube page will also have highlights from Australia’s campaign uploaded throughout the event. Highlights from the Australian Farewell Function have also been uploaded. To view, please click on the following link:www.youtube.com/touchfootballaus Don’t forget to send in your messages of support for the Australian contingent in the lead up to the event in the following ways:Email: [email protected] – www.facebook.com/pages/Touch-Football-Australia/384949403384 Twitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyauslast_img read more

12 days agoBournomouth boss Eddie Howe: Burnley spell important for me

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Bournomouth boss Eddie Howe: Burnley spell important for meby Paul Vegas12 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBournomouth boss Eddie Howe says he has no regrets over his time with Burnley.Howe remains thankful for his time with the Clarets.“For my development, for my experiences. I don’t think I would be sat here in the Premier League if I hadn’t experienced what I had at Burnley,” he told the Daily Echo.“I think it did me the world of good personally. In some respects, it feels like a continuous journey from the first spell (at Cherries) through – but the spell at Burnley was so important for me.“That feels like quite a short spell away now during the two times at Bournemouth put together.” last_img

Paradise Papers Critics assail fact Trudeau satisfied with Bronfmans answer

first_imgHANOI, Vietnam – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday he’s satisfied with the public explanation provided by a top Liberal fundraiser whose name surfaced in leaked documents that provide details on legal, offshore tax havens used by the wealthy.Trudeau’s Conservative and NDP rivals, however, are decidedly less so.Trudeau, who is in Vietnam for this week’s APEC meeting, said he’s accepted Stephen Bronfman’s response to the so-called “Paradise Papers” that he has never funded nor used offshore trusts, and that all his Canadian trusts have paid all federal taxes on their income.However, when asked why his close friend appeared to still be in his role as a key Liberal fundraiser, the prime minister did not directly answer, nor would he speak Bronfman’s name.“In regards to the specific case you mentioned, we have received assurances that all rules were followed, indeed the same assurances made in the public statement released by the family, and we are satisfied with those assurances,” Trudeau told a news conference inside Vietnam’s presidential palace.“We have done much in regards to tax avoidance and tax evasion, including working with international partners.“But we also recognize there is much more to do and you can rest assured that Canada Revenue Agency will take very seriously its responsibility to go after everyone and anyone involved in tax avoidance and tax evasion.”Tax avoidance measures involving offshore trusts are legal, provided that the trust is genuinely managed offshore and that Canadian taxes are paid on any Canadian contributions. And there may be other legitimate reasons for setting up an offshore account, including if you’re a contractor doing work in a particular country.Still, the questions around Bronfman have given the Liberal government’s political foes fresh ammunition to accuse Trudeau of leading an ethically challenged government — and they renewed their attacks Wednesday.Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer called it “unbelievable” that Trudeau would give Bronfman a clean bill of health so soon after the Canada Revenue Agency had promised to delve more deeply into the murky world of offshore tax havens.“What kind of message does that send to the Canada Revenue Agency and the people that will be reviewing the file? What kind of message does that send to Canadians?” Scheer asked.“I think what drives Canadians crazy is when they think there’s one set of rules for everyone and a different set of rules for close friends of Liberal ministers or the prime minister.”NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also called for more investigation, saying it’s critical to understand what happened with the Paradise Papers and why Canada’s laws allow the super-rich to avoid paying taxes.“The prime minister says that he is satisfied with the explanation provided by Mr. Bronfman,” Singh said. “The reality is Canadians are not satisfied. Canadians expect a just and fair taxation system … that ensures the wealthy, the well-connected, the powerful also contribute their fair share.”Scheer said the government needs to allow the CRA to determine whether the problem is structural or enforcement-based and give those accused of playing fast and loose with the rules a chance to defend their actions.“For the prime minister, before any of that work is done, to go out and say ‘We are satisfied’ — I think that’s terribly inappropriate.”Opposition MPs pursued the matter later during question period, demanding to know whether Bronfman will now be excluded from the CRA’s promise to review evidence from the Paradise Papers and take any necessary action against tax evaders.Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier said it would be inappropriate for her to comment on an individual case but repeatedly asserted that “no one is above the law.”In his statement, Bronfman said he made a single loan to the trust on an arm’s-length, fully commercial basis some 25 years ago that was repaid five months later, a transaction that was fully in compliance with Canadian law.— Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

Despite NAFTA jitters Canada launches trade broadside against US

first_imgWASHINGTON – Prepare for a tense moment in Canada-U.S. relations — with hard bargaining on NAFTA on the horizon prompting nervous glances at Donald Trump to see whether he cancels the agreement, now compounded by a bitter, wide-ranging trade dispute.Canada launched a broad attack against American trade practices in an international complaint about the superpower’s use of punitive duties, eliciting a caustic counter-swipe from the Trump administration when the document was made public Wednesday.”(This is an) ill-advised attack,” U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer said. “Canada’s claims are unfounded and could only lower U.S. confidence that Canada is committed to mutually beneficial trade.”Two weeks from now, the unstated backdrop to the dispute will be squarely in the foreground.The countries will gather in Montreal for a high-stakes round of NAFTA negotiations, with no additional talks scheduled beyond March. Canadian officials say they know full well that Trump could invoke NAFTA’s withdrawal clause during this January-March period.What would happen then? For starters, the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso would take a quick plunge, just as they did Wednesday after news reports emerged saying the Canadian government is more convinced than ever that Trump is poised to invoke NAFTA’s withdrawal clause, perhaps around the time of the talks in Montreal Jan. 23-28.Two Canadian government sources insist that’s not true. Rather, they say there are different points of view within the Canadian government about whether Trump will pull the plug — as he’s repeatedly threatened to do — and, if so, when.One official said the current uncertainty could last several months, or even longer: even if Trump issues a withdrawal notice, the agreement provides six months before a country can actually leave. Some U.S. observers also predict court fights over whether a president can abandon a trade deal without congressional approval.Speaking of court fights, more are on the way.Canada has launched a World Trade Organization complaint about the U.S. system for imposing punitive duties, alleging that they violate international law.The complaint was launched in December but made public Wednesday — the very day, coincidentally, that the U.S. announced its latest trade action against Canada. The U.S. is imposing duties of up to nine per cent on Canadian paper, following similar penalties against Bombardier and softwood lumber, over what the U.S. alleges to be unfair Canadian trade practices.Canada is now arguing that the entire American process for imposing anti-dumping and countervailing duties violates global trade rules. It cites five reasons, saying the U.S. levies penalties beyond what’s allowed by the WTO, improperly calculates rates, unfairly declares penalties retroactive, limits evidence from outside parties, and has a tilted voting system in domestic trade panels that, in the case of a 3-3 tie, awards the win to American companies.The complaint holds global consequences. Canada cited 122 cases where the U.S. unfairly imposed duties on foreign countries, not just Canada.”It’s (saying), ‘The entire way in which the U.S. — you — are conducting your anti-dumping, countervailing procedures, is wrong,”’ said Chad Bown, a trade expert at Washington’s Peterson Institute and host of the podcast ”Trade Talks.””This is effectively Canada bringing a dispute on behalf of all exporters in the world — the Europeans, Japan, China — because they’re making a systemic challenge.”Some critics questioned the timing.Edward Alden of the Council on Foreign Relations called it a precarious moment for NAFTA and the global trading system, both of which are under threats and criticism from Trump: “Canada has just detonated a bomb under both.”Canada-U.S. trade lawyer Mark Warner said Canada is well within its rights to take action on complaints that may have merit. But he questioned the strategic logic of antagonizing the Trump administration on the cusp of the potentially pivotal Montreal talks when it’s already unhappy with both NAFTA and the WTO.“This isn’t going to calm passions in Montreal,” Warner said.Indeed, the Trump administration wasted no time expressing its displeasure. In a statement, Lighthizer not only criticized the move but said it was self-defeating for Canada, too, since if it succeeds, low-cost producers could start dumping product onto the U.S. market, squeezing out Canadian competition.“The flood of imports from China and other countries would negatively impact billions of dollars in Canadian exports to the United States, including nearly US$9 billion in exports of steel and aluminum products and more than $2.5 billion in exports of wood and paper,” he said.“Canada’s complaint is bad for Canada.”Bown was less critical.The smaller northern neighbour could be making a point about NAFTA, he said: that if Canada loses free trade, and its dispute-settlement bodies, it will use international means to fight its battles.last_img read more

Next US moon landing will be by private companies not NASA

first_imgCAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — America’s next moon landing will be made by private companies — not NASA.NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced Thursday that nine U.S. companies will compete in delivering experiments to the lunar surface. Bridenstine says NASA will buy the service and let private industry work out the details on getting there.The goal is to get science and technology experiments to the surface of the moon as soon as possible. The first flight could be next year. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing.The announcement comes just three days after NASA landed a spacecraft on Mars. NASA wants to see how it goes at the moon before committing to commercial delivery services at Mars.Marcica Dunn, The Associated Presslast_img