OAN Newsroom

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Monaco Grand Prix
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 26, 2019 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

May 26, 2019

MONACO (Reuters) – Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton won the Monaco Grand Prix for Mercedes on Sunday, nursing his car’s worn tires to the finish in a nail-biting victory worthy of the team’s late non-executive chairman Niki Lauda.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was runner-up, ending Mercedes’s run of five successive one-two finishes, with Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas third.

Max Verstappen crossed the finish line second for Red Bull but dropped to fourth due to a five-second penalty imposed for an earlier unsafe release and collision with Bottas in the pitlane.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Source: OANN

Monaco Grand Prix
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 26, 2019 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

May 26, 2019

MONACO (Reuters) – Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton won the Monaco Grand Prix for Mercedes on Sunday, nursing his car’s worn tires to the finish in a nail-biting victory worthy of the team’s late non-executive chairman Niki Lauda.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was runner-up, ending Mercedes’s run of five successive one-two finishes, with Hamilton’s team mate Valtteri Bottas third.

Max Verstappen crossed the finish line second for Red Bull but dropped to fourth due to a five-second penalty imposed for an earlier unsafe release and collision with Bottas in the pitlane.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Source: OANN

An earth mover prepares the foundation of new apartment block development in the waterfront suburb of Rushcutters Bay
An earth mover prepares the foundation of new apartment block development in the waterfront suburb of Rushcutters Bay, Australia, December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed

May 26, 2019

By Swati Pandey

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s crumbling housing market looks set to stabilize over coming months as hopes of interest rate cuts and loosening of mortgage rules have boosted buyer inquiries, property and mortgage brokers say.

Home prices across Australia have fallen rapidly since late-2017, heightening worries among policymakers that a prolonged decline would deal a severe blow to the country’s already slowing economy.

While industry watchers say a return to boom times is unlikely anytime soon, they point to signs suggesting a bottoming-out for the sector is imminent.

Economists, including those at AMP and Citibank, last week re-jigged their forecasts to pencil in a less steeper decline in home prices than previously predicted. Several property and mortgage brokers who spoke to Reuters on Friday also said they have seen a noticeable jump in customer inquiries, including from those buying a home for investment.

“The sun is shining all over again now,” said mortgage broker Tony Bice at Sydney-based Finance Made Easy.

Bice cited the unexpected re-election of the country’s pro-business coalition government a little over a week ago and predictions of an Australia rate cut as soon as next month for the improvement in sentiment.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) proposal to ease stress test on mortgages was the “most interesting” policy change, Bice said. Analysts expect the regulator’s move would boost customers’ borrowing capacity.

“My inquiries since the last week has risen dramatically. I have written 11 loans in the last 4 days. In the past, you’d be lucky to write 11 loans in two weeks.” Bice told Reuters.

“A lot of my clients are holding off until June to see what the Reserve Bank does. If they drop the cash rate, I expect banks to follow suit. That will finally revive the market.”

With growth sputtering and inflation at a low ebb, Philip Lowe, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) last week gave the strongest signal yet that rates were about to move lower soon. And an overwhelming majority of economists are now predicting a cut in the cash rate to 1.25% from a record-low of 1.5% at the RBA’s June 4 policy meeting.

UNDER THE HAMMER

Auction activity – a closely-watched measure of demand in Australia – over the weekend provided the first major test for the market following the policy changes.

There were 1,933 capital city auctions on Saturday, double the amount from the previous week, and preliminary data showed a modest pick-up in demand. Clearance rates nudged above 60% for the two biggest cities of Sydney and Melbourne, compared to 50%-57% over the past year.

The promise of lower rates and easy credit led economists to predict a less steeper drop in home prices. Citi now sees a peak-to-trough fall of 7.5% by June 2019 from 10% previously. AMP’s Shane Oliver predicts a 12% top-to-bottom decline, from an earlier forecast of 15%.

Yet, few expect the boom days to return in a hurry.

“We see broadly flat house prices for 2020,” Oliver said.

“Given still high house prices and poor affordability, still very high debt levels, tighter lending standards and rising unemployment a quick return to boom time conditions is most unlikely.”

(Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

Source: OANN

An earth mover prepares the foundation of new apartment block development in the waterfront suburb of Rushcutters Bay
An earth mover prepares the foundation of new apartment block development in the waterfront suburb of Rushcutters Bay, Australia, December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed

May 26, 2019

By Swati Pandey

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s crumbling housing market looks set to stabilize over coming months as hopes of interest rate cuts and loosening of mortgage rules have boosted buyer inquiries, property and mortgage brokers say.

Home prices across Australia have fallen rapidly since late-2017, heightening worries among policymakers that a prolonged decline would deal a severe blow to the country’s already slowing economy.

While industry watchers say a return to boom times is unlikely anytime soon, they point to signs suggesting a bottoming-out for the sector is imminent.

Economists, including those at AMP and Citibank, last week re-jigged their forecasts to pencil in a less steeper decline in home prices than previously predicted. Several property and mortgage brokers who spoke to Reuters on Friday also said they have seen a noticeable jump in customer inquiries, including from those buying a home for investment.

“The sun is shining all over again now,” said mortgage broker Tony Bice at Sydney-based Finance Made Easy.

Bice cited the unexpected re-election of the country’s pro-business coalition government a little over a week ago and predictions of an Australia rate cut as soon as next month for the improvement in sentiment.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) proposal to ease stress test on mortgages was the “most interesting” policy change, Bice said. Analysts expect the regulator’s move would boost customers’ borrowing capacity.

“My inquiries since the last week has risen dramatically. I have written 11 loans in the last 4 days. In the past, you’d be lucky to write 11 loans in two weeks.” Bice told Reuters.

“A lot of my clients are holding off until June to see what the Reserve Bank does. If they drop the cash rate, I expect banks to follow suit. That will finally revive the market.”

With growth sputtering and inflation at a low ebb, Philip Lowe, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) last week gave the strongest signal yet that rates were about to move lower soon. And an overwhelming majority of economists are now predicting a cut in the cash rate to 1.25% from a record-low of 1.5% at the RBA’s June 4 policy meeting.

UNDER THE HAMMER

Auction activity – a closely-watched measure of demand in Australia – over the weekend provided the first major test for the market following the policy changes.

There were 1,933 capital city auctions on Saturday, double the amount from the previous week, and preliminary data showed a modest pick-up in demand. Clearance rates nudged above 60% for the two biggest cities of Sydney and Melbourne, compared to 50%-57% over the past year.

The promise of lower rates and easy credit led economists to predict a less steeper drop in home prices. Citi now sees a peak-to-trough fall of 7.5% by June 2019 from 10% previously. AMP’s Shane Oliver predicts a 12% top-to-bottom decline, from an earlier forecast of 15%.

Yet, few expect the boom days to return in a hurry.

“We see broadly flat house prices for 2020,” Oliver said.

“Given still high house prices and poor affordability, still very high debt levels, tighter lending standards and rising unemployment a quick return to boom time conditions is most unlikely.”

(Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

Source: OANN

French Open - Roland Garros
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 26, 2019 Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in action during her first round match against Taylor Townsend of the U.S. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

May 26, 2019

(Reuters) – Spain’s Garbine Muguruza has the potential and talent to win any tournament in the world when she is at her peak despite her recent slide down the singles rankings, two-times French Open finalist Alex Corretja has said.

Muguruza, a 2016 winner at Roland Garros, is seeded 19th this year and has not been in the best of form this season, winning only one title at the Monterrey Open in April after her final opponent Victoria Azarenka retired with an injury.

From a career-high number one singles ranking in 2017, she has since slipped to 19th after a poor 2018 season and was stretched in the opening round on Sunday by American Taylor Townsend before eventually claiming a 5-7 6-2 6-2 victory.

“I’ve been watching her, she’s practising hard, been in the gym a lot,” Eurosport analyst Corretja told Reuters. “One thing about Muguruza is when she’s in good shape she can win any tournament in the world.

“When she hits her peak she’s so dangerous because she moves well. She knows the clay, she has already won there, so I think the first few rounds for her will be very important to build up her confidence.”

Corretja also said that the 25-year-old two-times grand slam winner could go far by flying under the radar and maintaining her consistency over a season.

“Not too many people are going to talk about her at the beginning,” the Spaniard added. “I think she will be able to go a long way without people talking about her… I think that might help her in this moment of her career.

“Maybe she’s not as consistent as we wish — we always want them to be consistent for 25 weeks of the year — but she can win anywhere.”

Muguruza plays Sweden’s Johanna Larsson in the second round.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Martyn Herman)

Source: OANN

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha speaks to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha speaks to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (not pictured) during their meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China, April 26, 2019. Parker Song/Pool via REUTERS

May 26, 2019

BANGKOK (Reuters) – A pro-army in Thailand will cement a deal on Monday to gain enough parliamentary seats to keep the current military junta leader in power as an elected prime minister, a lawmaker and executive board member of the party told Reuters.

Palang Pracharat contested the March 24 election on a platform of electing retired General Prayuth Chan-ocha as prime minister, five years after he seized power as army chief in 2014.

Puttipong Punnakanta, one of Palang Pracharat’s board members and members of parliament, told Reuters that the party – which gained the second-largest number of seats in the election – would formally invite two other medium-sized parties to join in a coalition government.

“We will invite the two parties tomorrow. It’s certain that we will be forming a coalition government, with at least 251 seats and more,” he said.

(Writing by Kay Johnson; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Source: OANN

Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stop in Philadelphia
Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign stop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., May 18, 2019. REUTERS/Mark Makela

May 26, 2019

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agree on their assessment of former Vice President Joe Biden, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Sunday.

North Korea’s state-run news agency issued a blistering attack last week on Biden, who has been critical of the reclusive communist state in the past.

“I think they agree in their assessment of former Vice President Joe Biden,” Sanders said of Trump and Kim. She was speaking from Japan during a state visit by Trump.

“The president doesn’t need somebody else to give him an assessment of Joe Biden. He’s given his own assessment a number of times.”

Trump, a Republican, referenced the criticism in a Twitter post on Saturday in which he mentioned Biden, a Democrat who is running for president, initially misspelling his name as Bidan and taking pleasure in the North Korean leader’s sharp rhetoric about a fellow American.

Trump said in a subsequent corrected tweet that he smiled when Kim “called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?”

Trump on Sunday dismissed concerns about recent missile launches from North Korea and said he was confident that Kim would keep promises that he had made.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

Source: OANN

French Open - Roland Garros
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 26, 2019 Germany’s Angelique Kerber during her first round match against Russia’s Anastasia Potapova REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

May 26, 2019

By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) – Angelique Kerber’s campaign to complete a career slam was cut short in the French Open first round on Sunday, but that came as no surprise considering the former world number one was playing on her least favorite surface.

Add in a niggling ankle injury to her poor record on clay, there was little chance that the fifth-seeded German would win a tournament where she has never gone past the quarter-finals in 11 previous appearances.

She entered only two claycourt tournaments – in Stuttgart and Madrid – before arriving in Paris, winning only one match at each. An ankle injury meant the German aborted her Madrid Open challenge without hitting a ball in her second-round match.

“The year has been with up-and-downs and right now I lost here the first round, so what should I say?,” Kerber told reporters after being swept aside 6-4 6-2 on Court Philippe Chatrier by Russian Anastasia Potapova.

“Of course I’m disappointed, but I tried everything the last two weeks to be here to play a match, and I was happy about the process the last days, but at the end, I didn’t have real match practice.”

Kerber, who would have reclaimed the world number one ranking by lifting the Suzanne Lenglen Cup on June 8, did not really believe in her own chances.

“At the end I really didn’t have too much expectation for this tournament,” she admitted.

“I think the feeling I had before the tournament was right.”

Even though she owns three claycourt titles among her haul of 12, Kerber has never found the conditions at Roland Garros to her liking.

“For me, of course, the (problem) is the movements, the sliding. Also the bounces, how the ball is bouncing, and how to play on clay,” she explained.

“It’s a little bit different to grass and to hard court, so it’s always a big challenge for me to have the patience to wait for the ball, to go through the balls.”

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Source: OANN

French Open - Roland Garros
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 26, 2019 Germany’s Angelique Kerber during her first round match against Russia’s Anastasia Potapova REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

May 26, 2019

By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) – Angelique Kerber’s campaign to complete a career slam was cut short in the French Open first round on Sunday, but that came as no surprise considering the former world number one was playing on her least favorite surface.

Add in a niggling ankle injury to her poor record on clay, there was little chance that the fifth-seeded German would win a tournament where she has never gone past the quarter-finals in 11 previous appearances.

She entered only two claycourt tournaments – in Stuttgart and Madrid – before arriving in Paris, winning only one match at each. An ankle injury meant the German aborted her Madrid Open challenge without hitting a ball in her second-round match.

“The year has been with up-and-downs and right now I lost here the first round, so what should I say?,” Kerber told reporters after being swept aside 6-4 6-2 on Court Philippe Chatrier by Russian Anastasia Potapova.

“Of course I’m disappointed, but I tried everything the last two weeks to be here to play a match, and I was happy about the process the last days, but at the end, I didn’t have real match practice.”

Kerber, who would have reclaimed the world number one ranking by lifting the Suzanne Lenglen Cup on June 8, did not really believe in her own chances.

“At the end I really didn’t have too much expectation for this tournament,” she admitted.

“I think the feeling I had before the tournament was right.”

Even though she owns three claycourt titles among her haul of 12, Kerber has never found the conditions at Roland Garros to her liking.

“For me, of course, the (problem) is the movements, the sliding. Also the bounces, how the ball is bouncing, and how to play on clay,” she explained.

“It’s a little bit different to grass and to hard court, so it’s always a big challenge for me to have the patience to wait for the ball, to go through the balls.”

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Source: OANN

French Open - Roland Garros
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – May 26, 2019 General view of Court Simonne-Mathieu during the first round match between Spain’s Garbine Muguruza and Taylor Townsend of the U.S. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

May 26, 2019

By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) – At the heart of the Jardin des Serres botanical exhibition, Roland Garros’s new Simonne Mathieu court offers a green experience in tennis’ capital of red dirt.

Garbine Muguruza, the 2016 champion, fired down her serve shortly after 11am local time to christen the new court during her first round match against American Taylor Townsend in front of a 75%-filled stadium – a rarity for a French Open curtain raiser.

The Spaniard carved out a 5-7 6-2 6-2 win in the semi-sunken 5,000-seater arena, which has been constructed with a slick combination of glass and metal.

The court is surrounded by greenhouses featuring rare and tropical plants, giving fans and players a cocooning feel at the east end of Roland Garros.

With two 70-meter long structures stretching along the east and west stands and a couple of 40-metre long enclosures connected to the north and south stands around the concourses, the stadium has a view onto the botanical collections.

“It’s a double experience, it’s not just about sports, you can take the time to see the plants before watching a match. The whole thing is really pleasant and relaxing,” said Jean-Pierre, a 50-year-old spectator who declined to give his last name.

There was, however, no time to stroll around for 19th seed Muguruza, who was offered stiff resistance on a court named after former women’s tennis pioneer Simonne Mathieu who became a leading figure in the resistance during World War II.

Muguruza was unsettled by Townsend’s mix of power and finesse in the opening set before she finally dictated the pace and found her range, hammering a series of forehand winners to gain the upper hand.

“It’s a beautiful court, I took my time,” Muguruza smiled.

She next faces Swede Johanna Larsson.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Source: OANN


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