FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during inauguration ceremony of the new Education Minister Abraham Weintraub at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia
FILE PHOTO: Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro speaks at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

April 19, 2019

By Marcela Ayres

BRASÍLIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s resistance to the privatization of the national postal office has been broken, a senior government source told Reuters on Friday asking for anonymity because the matter remains private.

This change of stance has allowed the economic team to consider ways to sell the state-owned company, the source said, referring to Empresa Brasileira de Correios e Telégrafos.

The rationale is that a private owner would modernize services and more quickly respond to changes in the marketplace such as responding to growing demand from e-commerce firms.

The national postal service did not immediately respond to a comment request.

Economy Minister Paulo Guedes told Globonews TV this week it would be “a very big leap” for the government to privatize oil major Petroleo Brasileiro SA, which was at the center of an epic corruption scandal in Brazil.

Instead, Guedes said, the president would consider the sale of another key state-owned company. That company, according to the source, is the national postal office.

Ostensibly, Guedes has insisted that the federal government should reduce the size of the state to cut public debt, making companies and the economy more efficient. He has also pointed out that excessive state control over businesses opens up the door to corruption.

(Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

Source: OANN

Nearly two-thirds of Americans were against a cashless society, according to a recent survey conducted by CivicScience.

Mobile payment and cashless stores are popping up across the country, between stores like Amazon Go and payment options like Apple Pay.

Using these services requires access to the banking system, namely a bank account and a credit card. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, in 2017 FDIC survey showed that 6.5 percent of U.S. households were unbanked, meaning they lacked a checking or savings account, and an additional 18.7 percent of households were underbanked, meaning they had a checking or savings account but obtained financial products, like money orders or payday loans, outside of the banking system.

As Statista’s Sarah Feldman notes, some advocates and legislators worry that an increasingly cashless world will further disenfranchise America’s homeless and working poor, who may fall into these unbanked and underbanked categories. New Jersey and Massachusetts both have laws that prohibit stores from discriminating against customers choosing to use cash.

Cities, like Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, D.C., and San Francisco, all have proposed or have laws regulating cashless stores.

Advocates of cashless stores point to the increased speed and ease of payment for customers, and the lower rates of theft that cashless places of business experience.

Some cashless options, like Square Inc. and PayPal, offer payment services that don’t require a bank account. About 23 percent of respondents from CivicScience’s survey said they were all for or OK with a cashless society.

Just under a tenth of respondents did not have an opinion on whether having a cashless society would be a good thing or not.

Alex Jones talks over the phone with callers and gauges their reactions to AG Barr discussing the redacted first part of Mueller’s report.

Source: InfoWars

Pope Francis leads the Good Friday Passion of the Lord service in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican
Pope Francis leads the Good Friday Passion of the Lord service in Saint Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, April 19, 2019. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

April 19, 2019

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis listened as a preacher denounced the widespread inequality in the world at a Good Friday service on the day Christians recall Jesus’ death by crucifixion.

During the “Passion of the Lord” service in St. Peter’s Basilica, songs in Latin recounted the last hours in Jesus’ life, from his arrest to his burial.

The service is one of the few during the year where the pope does not give a sermon, leaving it to Father Raniero Cantalamessa, whose title is preacher of the papal household.

Francis listened as Cantalamessa described Jesus as “the prototype and representative of all the rejected, the disinherited, and the discarded of the earth, those from whom we turn aside our faces so as not to see them”.

He said all religions had a duty to stand with the poor.

“A few privileged people possess more goods than they could ever consume, while for entire centuries countless masses of poor people have lived without having a piece of bread or a sip of water to give their children,” Canatalamessa said.

“No religion can remain indifferent to this because the God of all the religions is not indifferent to all of this,” he said.

It was the first of two services at which the pope presides on the most somber day of the Christian liturgical calendar.

On Friday night the pope, marking his seventh Easter season as Roman Catholic leader, was due to lead a Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession around Rome’s ancient Colosseum.

The 82-year-old leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Roman Catholics leads an Easter vigil service on Saturday night and on Easter Sunday reads the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (To The City and The World) message.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Alison Williams)

Source: OANN

A longtime conservative operative is calling on the Trump administration to reform the country’s visa laws after he was falsely accused of a crime he said an illegal alien charged likely in order to score a visa.

A woman in late 2016 claimed Codias Brown harassed and exposed himself to her over a two-week period and said he was seeking her out in public places, according to an arrest affidavit. The accuser, Rosa Patino-Herrera, claimed she encountered Brown — someone she didn’t know personally — around eight different times and believed he was seeking her out around the city of Austin, where he also lived.

The forensic data proved to be a game-changer. Disclosure of Brown’s phone location data showed he was nowhere near any of the locations Patino-Herrera claimed the events took place, according to court documents reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The charges were ultimately dismissed — but not until April 2018.

During the court proceedings, Patino-Herrera admitted she was an illegal immigrant. Work from a private investigator also discovered she was actively seeking a U-visa. Brown’s legal team believes she accused him in order to obtain a U-visa.

Brown, now completely exonerated of the charges, is using his experience to push for reform. The Republican organizer is calling on President Donald Trump and lawmakers in Congress to block the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act until it’s changed to mandate a criminal conviction before the issuance of a U-visa. Such an amendment, he argues, would incorporate constitutional due process rights not currently embedded in the U-visa application process.

“I hope to work with the Trump administration and lawmakers to reform the laws and policies that made this ordeal possible,” Brown told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Established in 2000, the U-visa program was intended to incentivize immigrants into helping law enforcement catch and prosecute criminals. Foreign nationals who are victims of a crime can apply for a U-visa, allowing them to remain in the country and assist police.

Interest in the U-visa program has exploded in popularity. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) received 10,937 petitions for U-visa status in the 2009 fiscal year. By the 2016 fiscal year, however, the number of petitions ballooned to 60,710, according to information compiled by Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR).

Immigration experts said the U-visa program is inadvertently designed to attract fraud, and actually does little to help law enforcement.

“The program’s vague standards and lucrative perks, make it a prime target for abuse by well-meaning, but misguided law enforcement agencies — particularly those in so-called ‘sanctuary jurisdictions,’” said Matthew Tragesser, communication specialist for FAIR. “Though the program may offer some help to some aliens who have been exploited by criminals, there is little data suggesting that the program significantly improves the prosecution of crime in immigrant communities, or that it has had a measurable impact on human trafficking.”

Jessica Vaughan, a director with the Center for Immigration Studies, told TheDCNF the U-visa program has become a means for foreign nationals to “launder their status,” with many law enforcement agencies signing off on their applications without any due diligence.

“In the blink of an eye, an illegal alien — aided by social justice warriors parading as cops, prosecutors, and judges — nearly destroyed everything I worked for,” Brown told TheDCNF, describing the day he was arrested.

As Brown and his wife were walking from their Austin, Texas, home to a local grocery store Dec. 9, 2016, he said he was suddenly flanked by a police task force, arrested and sent to jail — where he remained for four days until he was able to be released on $75,000 bond. Even after he was let go from detention, Brown, who said he had no prior criminal history, said he was forced to wear an ankle monitor for several months.

The allegations came with serious consequences. If Brown were convicted, he faced the possibility of up to 10 years in prison. Furthermore, Patino-Herrera was granted a protective order against Brown.

However, Brown was unequivocal in his defense: Not only did he claim he never stalked Patino-Herrera, he said he had never met the woman in his life.

“Brown should never have been arrested because there was no evidence to corroborate these baseless accusations, the accuser made numerous inconsistent and illogical statements throughout the proceedings, and forensic data ultimately proved Brown was not even in the vicinity of the alleged incidents,” said Benjamin Lange, Brown’s attorney.

Numerous inconsistencies emerged as Brown fought for his innocence, according to his legal team. Patino-Herrera, for example, testified she had several conversations with Brown that lasted up to five minutes in length. However, her English was so limited she required an interpreter during court proceedings. Brown, on the other hand, does not speak Spanish.

That the case lingered for so long has been a point of contention for Brown’s legal team.

“The fact that these allegations made it past the investigative stage, let alone through a Texas grand jury is a travesty. What is particularly concerning is that, even after the forensic evidence proved Brown was not in the vicinity of the alleged incidents, the lead prosecutor in this case, Beverly Mathews, continued the prosecution for nearly a year,” Lange said.

TheDCNF reached out to Beverly Mathews, the assistant district attorney of Travis County, multiple times for comment on this story. However, a spokeswoman for her office eventually said Mathews declined to respond. The office of Detective Scott Donovan, who arrested Brown, did not respond to multiple requests for comment either.

Brown’s legal team raised other red flags while the case lingered on.

A private investigator discovered the social security number apparently being used by Patino-Herrera was issued several years before her listed birthday in court documents, a strong indication she was illegally using someone else’s. Questions over her legal status were confirmed when she voluntarily admitted during a civil protective order hearing she was an undocumented alien.

Another detail emerged that drew the attention of Brown’s team: Patino-Herrera admitted to a private investigator that she was actively seeking a U-visa. Brown’s team believed the issue to be relevant.

“Travis County law enforcement has been actively promoting U visa benefits to illegal aliens for years,” Lange said about the connection. “Shortly after Brown’s local counsel began inquiring into whether the accuser had applied for a U-visa, prosecutors dismissed the case. Later, the accuser admitted to a private investigator that she had been pursuing a U-visa.”

Notably, prosecutors dismissed the charge against him shortly after they asked the court if his accuser had filed for a U-visa. It was months after the dismissal when the investigator prompted Patino-Herrera to admit she was actively seeking a U-visa. Days later, Travis County prosecutors recommended an immediate expunction for Brown.

TheDCNF was not able to reach Patino-Herrera for comment on this article.

Whether she accused Brown in order to obtain a U-visa is unknown, but Brown said the connection is hard to ignore. If true, Brown would not be first person to have fallen victim from U-visa fraud. Other reports have detailed the stories of people facing spurious accusations from foreign nationals applying for the same visas.

U-visa abuse has also been promulgated by police officers themselves. Four law enforcement officers in March, for example, were charged with involvement in fraudulent U nonimmigrant visas. An indictment in that case alleges the officers took bribes in return for creating fraudulent incident reports.

Brown is no stranger to politics. For nearly 10 years, he managed Republican campaigns, working to put conservatives in elected office. Brown’s career as a political operative reached a milestone when, after being tapped by Rick Santorum’s 2012 presidential team, he led the former senator’s ground game in the Iowa caucuses and delivered an upset victory.

Brown gained notoriety more recently for his work in the tech world. The Texas Republican in September 2016 launched the eponymous online platform known as “Codias.” A social network geared solely for conservatives, Codias allows like-minded citizens, candidates and organizations to communicate and organize with each other without fear of censorship.

The emotional toll of the ordeal still runs deep for Brown and his family. Personally, he was forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars defending himself in court. Professionally, he said he was unable to raise capital or market his startup company, Codias, for a long time, dealing a devastating blow to his work.

However, the Republican operative said his faith and his loving family kept him going.

“I could not have endured this without a gracious God, a strong and loyal wife, and a faithful circle of family and friends. This experience has only served to strengthen my faith and family as we prepare for more profound battles that lie ahead,” he said.

“We’ve only just begun to fight.”

Alex Jones talks over the phone with callers and gauges their reactions to AG Barr discussing the redacted first part of Mueller’s report.

Source: InfoWars

As the American equity market roars back toward its all-time highs, a majority of the millennial generation is probably learning the true meaning of FOMO, because as study after study has showed, those who came of age immediately before, during and after the financial crisis were so scarred by the experience that they refused to ever buy in to the equity market. 

Overall, equity ownership among American adults remains 8% below its pre-crisis levels.

Of course, the factors behind the millennial generation’s inability to accumulate wealth are myriad: Stagnant wages, crushing student loan debt and widening inequality are just a few reasons why the savings rate among those under the age of 35 is basically nil. And when they do invest, they appear doomed to repeat the mistakes of the not-too-distant past, favoring get-rich-quick bubble plays like marijuana stocks and bitcoin over blue-chip stalwarts like Apple.

But while most would probably chalk millennials’ aversion to investing up to the fact that they don’t have any savings or income to spare, one recent study suggested that even if they had the money, they wouldn’t put it in stocks.

Lexington Law, a firm that offers services to help people fix their credit, asked 1,000 millennials how they would invest $10,000 if they had it to spare.

Nearly half – 46% – said they wouldn’t put the money in stocks.

Only one in three respondents said they would rely on a financial advisor, reflecting a distrust of financial ‘professionals’ that has lingered since the crash.

And although a slightly higher percentage of men than women said they would rely on their own advice, most expressed a lack of confidence in their investing acumen that was reflective of their lack of acumen.

As the study’s authors  argued, this distrust in the financial system isn’t terribly surprising.

Considering the effects of the last market crash, it’s not terribly surprising that 46 percent of adults aged 25 to 34 said they wouldn’t invest in the stock market. Many of the financial institutions that played a role in the last recession continue to operate as investment banks today. Though employment and wages are up, the crisis hasn’t been forgotten.

We wonder if their attitudes would be different if Congress and the Fed didn’t step in to bail out banks and the wealthy while leaving average working Americans to shoulder the brunt of the consequences?

Source: InfoWars

Democrats in Congress are preparing to investigate deeper into President Donald Trump’s finances following the release of the Mueller report, the Washington Examiner reports.

Last month, the House Oversight and Reform Committee subpoenaed Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, for all its records on Trump, his trust, the Trump Organization, and any other interests of Trump’s. On Monday, the House Financial Services Committee and House Intelligence Committee also issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank, Trump’s usual lender.

“What my committee needs now, needs to do is think about this from a counterintelligence standpoint,” Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., a member of the financial services panel and the House intel panel, told CNN on Thursday. “Are there elements of the many interactions that Donald Trump and his people and his family and his campaign had with Russians that could provide the Russians something to hold over them, starting with the president?”

Himes later acknowledge the difficulty of investigating Trump in the House while the Senate is GOP-controlled.

“Even if you impeach in the House, the probability that the Senate will convict today is I think, sadly today, exactly zero,” Himes said. “You’ve gone through a year, a year and a half of work where we haven’t been working on infrastructure and retirement and student loans and all the things that we should be working on, only for the Senate to do what is perfectly predictable and not convict the president.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

FILE PHOTO: Protesters wearing yellow vests attend a demonstration during the Act XXI (the 21st consecutive national protest on Saturday) of the yellow vests movement at the financial district of La Defense near Paris
FILE PHOTO: Protesters wearing yellow vests attend a demonstration during the Act XXI (the 21st consecutive national protest on Saturday) of the yellow vests movement at the financial district of La Defense near Paris, France, April 6, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

April 19, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – The French interior minister warned on Friday that violence could flare up on the 23rd Saturday of yellow-vest protests, as authorities banned marches around the fire-gutted Notre-Dame cathedral.

The warning comes after weeks of relative calm, with the marches attracting declining numbers as yellow-vest protesters waited for President Emmanuel Macron’s expected response to their various demands which include lower taxes and more government services.

Christophe Castaner, the interior minister, said domestic intelligence services had informed him of a potential return of rioters intent on wreaking havoc in Paris, Toulouse, Montpellier and Bordeaux, in a repeat of violent protests on March 16.

That day, hooded gangs ransacked stores on Paris’s famed Champs-Elysees avenue, set fire to a bank and forced Macron to cut short a ski trip in the Pyrenees.

“The rioters will be back tomorrow,” Castaner told a press conference. “Their proclaimed aim: a repeat of March 16,” he said. “The rioters have visibly not been moved by what happened at Notre-Dame.”

Castaner said that planned marches that would have come near the medieval church on the central island on the Seine river had been banned, while one march from Saint-Denis, north of Paris, to Jussieu university on the Left Bank, had been authorized.

The catastrophic fire at Notre-Dame cathedral on Monday, one of France’s best loved monuments, prompted an outpouring of national sorrow and a rush by rich families and corporations to pledge around 1 billion euro ($1.12 billion)for its reconstruction.

That has angered some yellow-vest protesters, who have expressed disgust at the fact their five-month old movement, which started as an anti-fuel tax protest last year, has not received the same generous donations by France’s elite.

“I’m sorry, and with all due respect to our heritage, but I am just taken aback by these astronomic amounts!” Ingrid Levavasseur, one of the yellow vests’ most recognizable public faces, said on her Facebook page.

“After five months on the streets, this is totally at odds with what we have seen,” she said.

The yellow vest movement poses the biggest challenge so far to Macron’s authority two years into his presidency.

The French leader was due to unveil policies to quell the grassroot movement on Monday, before the blaze at Notre-Dame forced him to cancel the speech. He has yet to set a new date for the announcements.

(Reporting by Danielle Rouquié, writing by Michel Rose; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

Source: OANN

CEO of NSPK Komlev attends an interview with Reuters in NSPK office in Moscow
CEO of Russian National Payment Card System (NSPK) Vladimir Komlev attends an interview with Reuters in NSPK office in Moscow, Russia March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

April 19, 2019

By Tatiana Voronova and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber

MOSCOW (Reuters) – After Western sanctions gutted Russia’s financial system five years ago, a new bank card began appearing in the wallets of many Russians.

Now the country is hoping to introduce its cards, known as Mir cards, to foreign markets where Russian nationals live and travel, Vladimir Komlev, the head of Russia’s National Card Payment System (NSPK), told Reuters in an interview.

“In the next three years we want Mir cards to be operational in countries where Russians are used to traveling,” Komlev said. “It’s the hardest task in terms of returns on investment.”

Russia created its own card payment system in 2014 because it feared U.S. and European sanctions against some Russian banks and businesspeople over the annexation of Crimea could block transactions made with U.S.-based Mastercard and Visa.

NSPK said Turkey’s Isbank had started accepting Mir cards as of Thursday. Russians made 5.7 million trips to Turkey last year, according to state statistics agency Rosstat.

Komlev projected Mir cards would be operational at some banks in 12 foreign countries by the end of the year. He would not, however, disclose which countries those might be.

NSPK is not subject to Western sanctions, but some foreign companies are wary of doing business with Russian firms in case further restrictions are put in place.


More than 56 million Mir cards have been issued and they currently make up more than 20 percent of Russia’s bank card market, Komlev said.

Mir means “World” or “Peace” in Russian.

NSPK, which was created by the central bank, has received a boost from legislation obliging civil servants to receive their salaries on Mir cards. It aims for Mir cards’ share of the market to reach 30 percent over the next couple of years.

Starting next year, pension payments, as well as child and unemployment benefits, will only be paid on the cards.

These measures have made Mir a rival to Mastercard and Visa in Russia. But its shortcomings – its incompatibility with many international shopping platforms and its limited use outside Russia – have prompted Russian officials to call for more support to help it to take on U.S. competitors.

“At this time, it’s difficult for Mir to compete with Visa and Mastercard,” Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the upper house of the Russian parliament, said this month. “We need to develop its functionality, its social orientation.”

Mastercard, which operates a co-branded card with Mir, said it “supported the development of the payment industry and fair competition.” Visa did not reply to a request for comment.

Mir has develop its own “Mir Pay” smartphone application and is available on Samsung Pay. Komlev said NSPK had not reached an agreement with Apple to make Mir cards available on its mobile payment platform.

Komlev said another of NSPK’s priorities was to get major international online booking services for airline tickets and accommodation to accept Mir cards.

“Business and geopolitics have mixed here, so it’s not as easy to implement as we would like,” he said.

(Reporting by Tatiana Voronova and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Additional reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: People wait in line outside the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the orders being issued, in Washington
FILE PHOTO: People wait in line outside the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the orders being issued, in Washington, U.S. March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo

April 19, 2019

By Andrew Chung

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sitting on a working-class commercial strip in the shadows of an above-ground rail line, a group called Make the Road New York’s busy street-level offices are easy to miss. But its mission to support and advocate for immigrants is front and center.

A sign on its front door in a heavily Hispanic neighborhood of the borough of Queens warns law enforcement officers not to enter without a warrant. Its colorful lobby is filled with butterfly-shaped placards made for protests against the hardline immigration policies of President Donald Trump, a fellow New Yorker.

Its latest fight is to contest the Trump administration’s contentious plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, which the group has called a “racist attempt to intimidate, undercount immigrants.”

The plan’s legality will be tested on Tuesday in arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, which has a 5-4 conservative majority.

The nine justices will consider whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose department includes the Census Bureau, violated a federal law called the Administrative Procedure Act and the U.S. Constitution’s mandate to enumerate the nation’s population every 10 years. A ruling is due by the end of June.

On Jan. 15, Manhattan-based U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman ruled against the administration and blocked the use of the question. Two other courts also have blocked the question since then.

The case comes before the court in a pair of lawsuits, one filed by a group of states and localities led by New York state, and the other by immigrant rights groups including Make the Road.

“We have seen a lot of anti-immigrant rhetoric and a lot of attacks on our communities, and this is just another one on a long list,” said Theo Oshiro, Make the Road’s deputy director, who is leading its efforts on the census.

Opponents have called the question a Republican effort to frighten immigrant households and Latinos from participating in the census, leading to a severe and deliberate undercount, diminishing the electoral representation of Democratic-leaning areas in Congress and costing them federal funds. This would benefit Trump’s fellow Republicans and Republican-leaning parts of the country, they said.

The Constitution mandates a census every 10 years. The official population count is used to allocate seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and distribute some $800 billion in federal funds.

The Trump administration said the citizenship question will yield better data to enforce the Voting Rights Act, which protects eligible voters from discrimination. While only U.S. citizens can vote, non-citizens comprise an estimated 7 percent of the population.

A number of key services that Make the Road provides, from adult English language classes to helping people find health insurance, could be put at risk, Oshiro said.

“The impact would be dire,” Oshiro added.

Furman found that Ross concealed his true motives for adding the question. The judge said the evidence showed that Ross and his aides convinced the Justice Department to request a citizenship question, and that he made the decision despite Census Bureau evidence that such a question would lead to lower census response rates and less accurate citizenship data.

The administration appealed the case directly to the Supreme Court, bypassing a federal appeals court, given the need to resolve the matter before census forms are printed in the coming months.

In a brief to the justices, U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who argues the administration’s position at the Supreme Court, called the plaintiffs’ claims “speculative fears that the government itself will act unlawfully by using answers to the citizenship question for law-enforcement purposes.”

Francisco called the citizenship question “wholly unremarkable” and disputed that it would lead to less accurate data.

Citizenship has not been asked of all households since the 1950 census but has featured since then on questionnaires sent to a smaller subset of the population.


On weekday afternoons, Make the Road is a beehive of activity, its clients a mix of citizens and non-citizens. The lobby is packed, with staff providing services such as child care, food assistance and legal advice.

The adult English learners are jammed into a small classroom. When asked about the census, most are hesitant to offer an opinion.

One 36-year-old woman, who works as a house cleaner and gave her name only as Nelly, said people are concerned about the confidentiality of the census and if their information could be used against them or family members. She said she would not fill out the census if the citizenship question were included.

“Census efforts have always been hard in immigrant communities, even without the citizenship question,” Oshiro said. “They are fearful in particular of sharing their information with immigration enforcement agencies, especially with what folks have seen and heard from this administration, the rhetoric around immigration and the ramping up of enforcement.”

Oshiro’s organization has mounted outreach efforts in subways and other places emphasizing the importance of the census to protecting federal funding and ensuring political power.

In the lawsuit spearheaded by New York state, the judge found a “veritable smorgasbord” of violations of the Administrative Procedure Act. The separate suit by the New York Immigration Coalition, Make the Road and other civil rights groups, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, also claimed that the administration was discriminating against non-white immigrants. The judge said there was no evidence of that.

The Trump administration “does not like a system where everybody is counted in America,” said ACLU attorney Dale Ho, even though that is “the bedrock of our constitutional system.”

A number of Republican state attorneys general, led by Mike Hunter of Oklahoma, backed Trump’s administration, saying more detailed citizenship data could reduce litigation over race-based voting rights claims, adding that immigrants’ fear of the question “is no reason to grind the census to a halt.”

For a graphic on the major Supreme Court cases this term:

(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: File photo of investors standing in front of a screen showing the logo of Nomura Holdings in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: Investors stand in front of a screen showing the logo of Nomura Holdings in Tokyo, Japan, in this December 1, 2015. EUTERS/Toru Hanai

April 19, 2019

By Takashi Umekawa and Taro Fuse

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Nomura Holdings has no plan to follow the lead of Wall Street rivals and seek a tie-up with a commercial lender, its chief executive told Reuters, pledging to stay independent even as the investment bank faces its first annual loss in a decade.

Nomura in January reported a net loss of more than 101 billion yen ($903 million) in the first three quarters of the year to end-March. It has since announced an overhaul plan to cut $1 billion in cost from its wholesale business and close more than 30 of its 156 retail branches.

But it will not seek to join forces with a commercial bank, Koji Nagai said, eschewing a model that has reshaped Wall Street since the financial crisis and has seen Morgan Stanley tie up with Japan’s biggest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

“We can do a deal with any partner if we make the effort. We don’t belong to any banking group and that is our strength,” Nagai told Reuters in an interview this week embargoed for release on Friday.

Even without capital ties to any of Japan’s three megabanks – Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group – Nomura has been able to retain its formidable presence in Japanese investment banking, particularly deals.

It is advising Nippon Paint Holdings on a $2.7 billion bid for Australia’s DuluxGroup, announced this week.

But it doesn’t have the lending firepower of a rival such as Morgan Stanley, which thanks to its tie-up with Mitsubishi UFJ, has been able to leverage the Japanese bank’s massive balance sheet to offer financing alongside of advisory services.


Nagai said that while he felt “envy” toward competitors with lending power, a capital alliance with one of the megabanks would sacrifice Nomura’s independence – likely closing it off from clients allied to one of the other megabanks, given the Japanese corporate practice of sticking to a “main bank” and doing business with that lender’s affiliates.

“We won’t give up our independence by joining a capital alliance,” he said.

As part of the cost-cutting overhaul Nomura also plans to axe about 100 jobs in London, the center for its European banking business, Reuters has previously reported.

The wholesale business has been squeezed by lower trading revenue in fixed income.

Credit-ratings firm Moody’s has said that Nomura’s overhaul plans, if successful, would help it refocus its business and reduce earnings volatility.

Nagai said Nomura is also focused on driving its mass-affluent customers – often defined as those with less than $1 million in investable assets – to its digital platform. The bank is looking to hire people from online brokerages to help drive that strategy, he said.

($1 = 111.9100 yen)

(Reporting by Takashi Umekawa and Taro Fuse; Editing by David Dolan and Christopher Cushing)

Source: OANN

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