The United States Senate runs to agree on a massive aid package for coronavirus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans and Democrats in the United States Senate hurried to complete an agreement on a $ 1 trillion bill aimed at curbing the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic for workers, industries and small businesses .

But after a second day of closed marathon negotiations, there was no sign of a global agreement between the negotiators, despite republican statements of a bipartisan agreement on specific issues including unemployment insurance and assistance to small businesses.

“The last two days of intense bipartisan talks are very close to a resolution,” Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said he intends to vote to approve the sprawling package Monday. He said he asked committee chairs to produce the final language for the bill by the end of Saturday.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters that he expects the final legislative package to be worth $ 1.3 trillion to $ 1.4 trillion to combat the effects of a health crisis that many fear will lead to a spike in unemployment while businesses close and the economy falters.

Combined with actions taken by the Federal Reserve and the administration, the future bill would have a net impact of $ 2 trillion dollars on a U.S. economy facing a strong headwind generated by the epidemic, according to officials at the White House.

Republican Senator Mike Crapo, who chairs the Senate banking committee, said the legislation could contain $ 300 billion to $ 500 billion in stabilization funds that the Federal Reserve could use as the basis for much larger liquidity infusions for businesses. of all sizes and configurations.

Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who met twice on Saturday with Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, agreed that progress was being made. “I am optimistic that we can get a deal. We will continue to work all night,” the New York Democrat told reporters.

Lawmakers on both sides said they were close to or almost agreed on proposals to provide at least $ 350 billion in assistance to small businesses and to improve unemployment insurance coverage for people rendered unemployed by the epidemic.

Democrats insisted that all workers with coronavirus receive full compensation for four months. “We didn’t punctuate i and crossed i.” But conceptually, I think we’re there, “Schumer told CNN.

Democrats have also called for a $ 100 billion “Marshall Plan” for US hospitals to pay for protective equipment, equipment such as fans, beds and other doctors and nurses.

“I suspect that by tomorrow we will have a bill that will have important democratic priorities, significant republican priorities and we hope to pass it on Monday morning,” Republican Senator Lamar Alexander told reporters.

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Major U.S. airlines and their unions also called on Congress to include federal cash grants to support the sector’s wages. But their motive did not seem to find support from the senators or the administration.

Future legislation already includes $ 58 billion in loans and loan guarantees for passenger airlines and air carriers.

Republican lawmakers said the bill will also include a funding response to the Trump administration’s request for $ 45.8 billion in extra funding for the Department of Health and Human Services, the Veterans Administration and the Department of defence.

Reporting by David Morgan; Additional reports by Eric Beech and Jan Wolfe; Editing by Mary Milliken and Christopher Cushing

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United States Supreme Court to postpone oral arguments amid coronavirus concerns

PHOTO FILE: The United States Supreme Court building was seen in Washington, United States, January 21, 2020. REUTERS / Will Dunham / File Photo

(Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court will postpone the next round of oral discussions slated for later this month, including a high-profile dispute over President Donald Trump’s fiscal and financial records, in an attempt to combat the spread of coronavirus. , spokesman said Monday.

The announcement to delay the arguments, which was scheduled to begin on March 23, marked an increase in the court’s response to the pandemic after closing its building to the public last Thursday. The referral affects 11 arguments covering 14 cases, including Trump’s appeals in three separate cases to prevent his financial documents, including tax returns, from being handed over to the Democratic-led United States House of Representatives committees and a New York prosecutor.

Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said in a statement that the court was taking measures “by respecting the recommended public health precautions in response to COVID-19,” the disease caused by the virus. Arberg said the court “will examine options for rescheduling such cases in due course of light in developing circumstances.”

The move comes when states and cities nationwide impose stricter measures such as the closure of schools and businesses to slow the transmission of the virus. On Sunday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for the cancellation or postponement of meetings of 50 or more people in the next eight weeks.

Reporting by Andrew Chung in New York; Editing by Will Dunham

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The rules of the Supreme Court that Putin move to change the constitution to run for president again are legal

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets VTB Bank CEO Andrey Kostin in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 16, 2020. Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin / Kremlin via REUTER ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY .

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s constitutional court ruled Monday that President Vladimir Putin proposed changes to the constitution that would allow him to remain in power until 2036 in line with Russian law.

Putin last week supported an amendment that would allow him to ignore a constitutional ban on running for president again in 2024.

Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber, Writing by Alexander Marrow; Editing of Andrew Osborn in Moscow

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BRIEF-Wuzhou International claims to have received a notice of call in connection with the loan agreements with Zhou Hua Feng

March 13 (Reuters) – Wuzhou International Holdings Ltd:

* RECEIVED WRITING OF SUMMER, DECLARATION OF CLAIMS IN CONNECTION WITH 4 LOAN AGREEMENTS WITH ZHOU HUA FENG Source text for Eikon: Additional corporate coverage: (Reuters.Briefs@thomsonreuters.com)

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Bernard Madoff wants to make “a dying, personal appeal” for freedom

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A dying Bernard Madoff wants to tell the U.S. judge that he will decide whether to release him from the prison that has accepted responsibility for his massive Ponzi plan and is genuinely sorry for his crimes and their impact on the victims.

FILE PHOTO: Bernard Madoff leaves the Manhattan federal court house in New York in this photo from the file dated January 14, 2009. REUTERS / Brendan McDermid

In court documents filed late Wednesday and early Thursday, Madoff’s attorney Brandon Sample asked circuit judge Denny Chin to schedule an audition in Manhattan where 81-year-old Madoff could speak on the phone from his prison of Butner, North Carolina, where he served nearly 11 years of his 150-year tenure.

A hearing “will likely be the last proceeding in this case before Mr. Madoff’s death,” expected within 18 months, Sample said. “Allowing Mr. Madoff to give what is, in fact, a final reason for death, is absolutely reasonable.”

Sample also sent a letter from a person who agreed to host Madoff, but asked not to make it public because “it could lead to harassment or other invasions of the letter writer’s privacy given the extremely public nature of this case.”

The U.S. prosecutor’s office in Manhattan opposes Madoff’s release. In a letter to the judge on Thursday, he did not take a position on the hearing request, but said that any claim by Madoff to accept responsibility would be “selfish”.

Prosecutors have claimed that Madoff has used his Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC company to deceive thousands of people, charities, pension funds and hedge funds, including many with ties to the Jewish community, for several decades.

A court-appointed trustee estimated that Madoff’s clients lost $ 17.5 billion, of which nearly $ 14 billion was recovered.

Prosecutors estimated the fraud at $ 64.8 billion, based on the amounts Madoff told clients he had in their accounts shortly before his arrest in December 2008.

Chin called Madoff’s crimes “extraordinarily evil” in imposing the 150-year sentence in June 2009.

Madoff is seeking a “compassionate release” under the First Step Act, a 2018 bipartisan law that provides for the early release of some older prisoners, often for health reasons.

The champion said Madoff is dying from kidney failure, and is also confined to a wheelchair and struggling with many other diseases.

Prosecutors said that the extent of Madoff’s crimes, his refusal to accept responsibility and his practice of “deflecting blame” towards victims in prison interviews justify keeping him hidden.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Nick Macfie and Lisa Shumaker

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In a dramatic phase, Trump restricts travel from Europe to the United States to combat coronavirus

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Wednesday imposed extensive restrictions to prevent people from 26 European countries from traveling to the United States for a month while responding to growing pressure to take action against the spread of coronavirus.

United States President Donald Trump talks about the United States response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic during a speech to the nation by the White House Oval Office in Washington, USA, March 11, 2020. Doug Mills / Pool via REUTERS

The president took the dramatic step in a gloomy Oval Office speech as he struggled to address health and economic shocks to Americans due to the sometimes fatal virus and responded to criticism that he did not take seriously enough about the threat.

The travel order does not apply to the United Kingdom and Ireland and does not apply to American citizens.

Trump also announced several economic steps aimed at cushioning the blow to American businesses grappling with a sudden loss of consumer demand.

“This is the most aggressive and complete effort to deal with a foreign virus in modern history,” he said.

“I am confident that by counting and continuing to take these difficult measures, we will significantly reduce the threat to our citizens and ultimately and quickly defeat this virus.”

After triggering confusion by suggesting that “trade and goods” from Europe would also be banned, Trump was forced to clarify his statement with a tweet after the speech that “trade will not be affected in any way” by the travel restriction .

“The restriction prevents people not from property,” he said in the tweet.

US equity futures ESv1 declined further as the president spoke, dropping by more than 4% and signaling another day of losses pending Wall Street.

Trump, whose offer to reelect on November 3 may depend on how he responds to a crisis that suddenly enveloped his presidency, has stopped declaring a national emergency.

The president used the Oval Office for the speech, a place he largely avoided in favor of freewheeling observations, not written elsewhere, and did not seem completely comfortable in the setting, quickly reading his speech and delivering a phrase – minute moment.

His goal was to prove that he was on top of the situation after facing criticism from Democrats for not moving quickly enough to test Americans for coronaviruses.

But he didn’t mention other urgent problems like speeding up the production of test kits and face masks.

EUROPEAN PRECAUTIONS NOT ENOUGH

Trump did not punch in saying that Europe was partly responsible for the spread of the virus in the United States, where it killed at least 37 people and infected 1,281.

His restrictions on travel to Europe were similar to those declared traveling from China earlier this year when the disease was spreading wildly there.

“The European Union has failed to take the same precautions and limit travel from China and other hot spots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States have been sown by travelers from Europe, “he said.

Trump has signed an order that suspends the entry of most foreign nationals who have been to certain European countries at any time during the 14 days preceding their expected arrival in the United States.

The list of countries included Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, said the national security department.

The order did not apply to American citizens, legal permanent residents of the United States, close relatives of U.S. citizens and other persons identified in the proclamation.

Trump said the restrictions will be adapted based on conditions on the ground.

The U.S. Department of State published a travel notice on its website on Wednesday, advising U.S. citizens to reconsider overseas travel due to the global impact of the coronavirus epidemic.

United States President Donald Trump addresses the nation during a live television broadcast on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, from within the Oval Office to the White House in Washington, United States, on March 11, 2020. REUTERS / Tom Brenner

While the U.S. stock market suffered another hit from the virus on Wednesday, Trump said it would take emergency action to provide financial help to workers who are sick, quarantined or caring for others because of the disease. .

He said he was instructing the Treasury Department to defer interest-free or penalty-based tax payments for certain businesses and individuals.

Trump added that he was also instructing the Small Business Administration to provide capital and liquidity to businesses affected by the virus.

Reporting by Steve Holland, Eric Beech, Makini Brice, Alexandra Alper, Phil Stewart and David Shepardson; Curated by Sandra Maler, Peter Cooney, Lincoln Feast and Simon Cameron-Moore

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Princess Haya: I feared that the ruler of Dubai would kidnap my children

LONDON (Reuters) – Jordanian princess Haya bint al-Hussein told the High Court in London that she feared that her ex-husband, the ruler of Dubai, would kidnap her two children, bring them back to the Arab Gulf state and would prevent her from ever seeing them again.

PHOTO PHOTO: Princess Haya, Al Hussein, wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai, and his Baroness lawyer Fiona Shackleton arrive at the High Court in London, Great Britain, on February 28, 2020. REUTERS / Tom Nicholson

Haya, 45, half-sister of King Abdullah of Jordan, arrived in Britain with her two children in April last year and was involved in a London court case for their future with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al- Maktoum of Dubai.

The hearings were held privately, but restrictions were lifted on Thursday that allowed the media to report that British judge Andrew McFarlane had determined that Mohammed had orchestrated an intimidation campaign against Haya.

The judge also claimed that Haya’s allegations that the sheikh had ordered the kidnapping and subsequent torture of two of his daughters by another marriage – Shamsa and Latifa – have been proven.

Sheikh’s attorneys rejected the allegations made by Haya’s legal team and later supported by McFarlane in his “de facto conclusions”.

They claimed that Haya wanted to distract himself from his relationship with one of his bodyguards, which according to McFarlane had taken place in 2017 or 2018.

Last November, Haya appeared on the quay of the large Court 33 with wooden panels of the High Court in London to tell how much she feared that her children – Jalila, 12 and Zayed, 8 – could suffer the same fate as their half-sisters.

Shamsa, at the age of 18, was kidnapped from the streets of Cambridge in England in 2000, while her younger sister Latifa was kidnapped from a boat in international waters off India in 2018, she ruled McFarlane.

“I really can’t get the idea that it could be the last time I see them if they go to see it and that’s not sure,” he told the High Court during his brief appearance which lasted about 10 minutes.

“It’s not just him that worries me. It’s the people around him, the people I know. I know how they work. I saw what happened to their sisters and I can’t deal with the fact that the same could happen to them.”

During the hearings, which lasted for nine months since last May, she has been in court, sometimes with tears, others with disdain at the arguments put forward by her ex-husband’s legal team.

Giving her evidence, she spoke clearly as she said she had come to doubt the UAE’s official report on Latifa.

McFarlane accepted that Latifa had been kidnapped by a U.S.-flagged ship off the coast of India in March 2018 and taken back to Dubai, the second time she had tried unsuccessfully to escape the emirate.

In a video he made prior to his 2018 escape attempt, he described his father as “pure evil” and said that if people were watching him, he was in a “very bad situation”.

Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Mike Collett-White

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Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed kidnapped daughters, threatened his ex-wife: UK judge

LONDON (Reuters) – Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, ordered the kidnapping of two of his daughters and orchestrated an intimidation campaign against his ex-wife, a British judge ruled.

PHOTO PHOTO: Jordanian princess Haya Al-Hussein and her husband, the ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (C), walk in the ring of the parade on Women’s Day, the third day of horse racing at Royal Ascot in the Southern England June 17, 2010. REUTERS / Luke MacGregor

Judge Andrew McFarlane said he accepted, as shown, a series of accusations made by Mohammed’s ex-wife, Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, 45, half-sister of Jordanian king Abdullah, during a custody battle against their two children at the High Court in London.

Haya fled to London on April 15 of last year with the children, Jalila, 12 years old, and Zayed, 8 years old, fearing for her own safety among suspects of having an affair with one of her British bodyguards.

As part of the ensuing custody case, Andrew McFarlane, president of the Family Court division in England and Wales, made a series of “factual investigations” on the allegations raised by Haya during the hearings of the past nine months.

McFarlane said he accepted his request that Mohammed organize for his daughter Shamsa, at the age of 18, to be kidnapped on the streets of Cambridge, central England in 2000, and would have sent her back to Dubai. .

It also established that it was shown that the sheikh had arranged that Shamsa’s younger sister, Latifa, be torn from a boat in international waters off India by Indian forces in 2018 and returned to the emirate in what was the his second escape attempt failed.

Both remained there “deprived of their liberty,” said McFarlane.

In Thursday’s rulings, McFarlane admitted that the sheikh subjected Haya to an intimidating campaign that made her fear life.

He said the sheikh, who married Haya in 2004, had divorced her on the twentieth anniversary of the death of her father, King Saddam Hussein in Jordan, according to her timing.

“I … concluded that, with a few limited exceptions, the mother proved her case against the factual charges she made,” said McFarlane.

The 70-year-old Sheikh, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, did not appear during the court proceedings and instructed his lawyers not to file a claim for compensation, which his lawyers said they rejected.

RAISED RESTRICTIONS

The judge’s conclusions were made in December, but could only be reported after the restrictions were lifted Thursday after the UK Supreme Court previously rejected Mohammed’s request to seek permission to appeal against their publication.

McFarlane claimed that Haya’s allegations of Shamsa and Latifa’s kidnapping and torture and threats against her were proven, with the exception of her claim that an arranged marriage had been sought between Jalila and the crown prince. Saudi Mohammed bin Salman.

Last July, the judge issued a temporary order to protect forced marriage against Jalila because of Haya’s fears, but said they were based on hearsay evidence only.

“The allegations that the father ordered and orchestrated the kidnapping and surrender of his daughters Shamsa and Latifa to Dubai are of the highest severity,” said McFarlane.

PHOTO PHOTO: the ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum arrives for the Ladies Day, the third day of competitions at the Royal Ascot in southern England, 16 June 2011. REUTERS / Suzanne Plunkett

“They may also involve investigations, albeit on civil standards, of conduct contrary to the criminal law of England and Wales, international law, international maritime law and internationally accepted human rights standards.”

McFarlane said the sheikh has denied all the allegations, but said of his account of Shamsa and Latifa that “he has not been open and honest with the court”.

“I discovered that the father acted as he did against Shamsa and Latifa, and I found that he continues to maintain a regime whereby both of these two young women are deprived of their liberty, although within the family Dubai, “he said.

Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Mike Collett-White

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Trump wins the offer to block McGahn’s testimony requested by the house democrats

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An appellate court divided by the United States delivered a major legal victory to President Donald Trump today, dismissing a democratically-led congressional panel suit seeking to impose a subpoena for the former’s testimony White House councilor Donald McGahn.

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit approved the Trump administration’s argument that the court had no room to resolve the strictly observed dispute between the executive and legislative branches of the United States government. In this way, he seemed to approve an expansive view of presidential powers and prerogatives.

In a 2-1 decision, a jury of three judges overturned a US District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s November 25 ruling that the April quote by the House of Representatives judicial committee in McGahn was lawful. In that ruling, Jackson declared “nobody is above the law”.

Friday’s decision was a confirmation of the Republican President’s radical directive that current and former officials defy Congress’s demands for testimonies and documents on impeachment and a wide range of other topics.

The two judges in the majority of the sentence were appointed by the Republican presidents. The dissenting judge was appointed by a democratic president.

The judicial committee had sought testimony from McGahn, who left office in October 2018, on Trump’s efforts to prevent ex-Special Adviser Robert Mueller’s investigations documenting Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

The administration claimed both that senior presidential advisers are “absolutely immune” from being forced to testify to Congress about official records and that courts have no jurisdiction to resolve such disputes.

McGahn defied the subpoena in May. The commission sued to assert it in August, a month before the House started its impeachment investigation against Trump centered on its request for Ukraine to investigate democratic political rival Joe Biden and his son. The Democratic-led House accused Trump in December. The Republican-led Senate acquitted him this month.

The Justice Department, arguing that federal courts should avoid disputes between the executive and legislative branches, said Congress has other ways to deal with the intransigence of an administration including retaining funds for government and supreme power. impeachment to remove a president from office.

The two judges in the majority of the ruling, Thomas Griffith and Karen Henderson, agreed with this argument, writing: “Congress will only get the concessions it can get from the executive branch with the broad but imperfect tools available to it.”

PHOTO FILE: White House councilor Don McGahn speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, USA, February 22, 2018. REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque / File Photo

Griffith was appointed by former Republican President George W. Bush, while Henderson was appointed by former Republican President George H.W. Bush.

“SHAKY LEGAL GROUND”

The court did not make a definitive pronouncement on the Trump administration’s request for absolute immunity, but Henderson stated in his separate concurrent opinion that the argument “is based on somewhat shaky legal ground.”

The dissenting judge, Judith Rogers, said that “almost everyone assures the future presidential wall of Congress and further compromises the House’s ability to fulfill its constitutional duties”. Rogers was named by former Democratic President Bill Clinton.

The Justice Department is “extremely satisfied” with the ruling, which acknowledged that the Chamber “cannot invoke the power of the courts in its political disputes with the executive branch,” spokeswoman Brianna Herlihy said in a statement.

Judicial committee representatives were not immediately available for comment.

A report by Mueller, published by the Justice Department in form last April, described McGahn as one of the few people close to Trump to challenge the president when he tried to remove the special council.

Trump repeatedly instructed McGahn to oust Mueller and then asked him to deny being instructed so when news of the action surfaced in the news reports, according to the report. McGahn did not execute any instructions.

Democratic leaders of the House have focused their investigation on the impeachment of Trump’s actions towards Ukraine, not on Mueller’s results. But as the case progressed, judicial committee attorneys told the court that McGahn’s testimony would be “vital” to the impeachment procedures.

There are other important legal battles over presidential powers still going on.

PHOTO FILE: White House councilor Don McGahn listens during the confirmation hearing of United States Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, United States, on September 4, 2018. REUTERS / Chris Wattie / File Photo

Three cases will be discussed before the Supreme Court on March 31 focusing on Trump’s argument that a House committee and a New York City prosecutor are unable to impose quotes to obtain his financial documents.

Another major legal battle has been suspended by a federal judge pending the outcome of the McGahn case. In that case, the House Modes and Pathways Committee sued the Treasury Department to force him to hand over years of Trump’s individual and commercial federal tax returns.

Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Will Dunham

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The U.S. appeals court freezes Trump’s policy which forces migrants to wait in Mexico

(Reuters) – A U.S. federal appeals court in San Francisco on Friday blocked a Trump administration policy that forced tens of thousands of migrants to wait months in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration courts.

Three judges on the U.S. Circuit’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stated that the policy was in conflict with the text and congressional purpose of U.S. immigration laws.

The program, which started a year ago and is called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), is one of the most dramatic changes in immigration policy implemented by the Trump administration.

The United States Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but it is likely that the administration could quickly appeal to the United States Supreme Court’s decision as it has done with other judgments.

About 59,000 people were sent back to Mexico under the program, which started in San Diego before being extended to other ports of entry across the U.S.-Mexico border. [L2N25W1G1]

Migrants, many of them children, faced violence and homelessness while waiting for the dates of their courts in dangerous border towns. At least 343 people under the program have been violently attacked or threatened in Mexico, according to a Human Rights Watch report on October 1 documenting kidnappings, rape and assault.

Reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York; Additional reports from Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Howard Goller

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