Fiat Chrysler Names Jeep Boss to Replace Stricken CEO

Fiat Chrysler named on Saturday its Jeep division boss, Mike Manley, to take over immediately for Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne, who is seriously ill after suffering major complications following surgery.

The carmaker said British-born Manley, who also takes responsibility for the North America region, will push ahead with the midterm strategy outlined last month by Marchionne, who had been due to step down next April.

Marchionne, 66, was credited with rescuing Fiat and Chrysler from bankruptcy after taking the Italian carmaker’s wheel in 2004. On Saturday, he was also replaced as chairman and CEO of Ferrari and chairman of tractor maker CNH Industrial — both spun off from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in recent years.

“FCA communicates with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Mr. Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours,” the statement said.

FCA disclosed earlier this month that Marchionne, a renowned dealmaker and workaholic, was recovering from a shoulder operation. But his condition deteriorated sharply in recent days when he suffered massive complications that were not divulged.

Ferrari named FCA Chairman and Agnelli family scion John Elkann as new chairman, while board member Louis Camilleri becomes chief executive. CNH appointed Suzanna Heywood to replace Marchionne as chairman. All three companies remain controlled by the Agnellis.

Marchionne had previously said he planned to stay on as Ferrari chairman and CEO until 2021.

Deal focus

One of the auto industry’s longest-serving CEOs, Marchionne has advocated tie-ups to share the growing cost burden of developing cleaner, electrified and autonomous vehicles.

He resisted the comparatively easy option of selling off coveted brands such as Jeep, saying that would leave too big a problem with Fiat as “the stump that is left behind.”

But after being rejected by his preferred partner General Motors, he turned back to the task of cutting FCA’s debt — a goal he achieved last month — while maintaining that a merger for FCA was “ultimately inevitable.”

Investor hopes for a transformative deal had largely dwindled and are unlikely to hit the shares on Marchionne’s departure, according to Evercore analyst George Galliers.

“The valuation doesn’t suggest expectations of a buyout are high,” Galliers said.

Even without Marchionne, FCA will remain “culturally more open to dealmaking and savvy to potential capital market opportunities than much of the competition,” he added.

“A lot of that’s now ingrained, so I don’t think you lose everything he’s brought to the company overnight.”

Yet, Manley will have a tough act to follow.

Marchionne resurrected one of Italy’s biggest corporate names and revitalized Chrysler, succeeding where the U.S. company’s two previous owners — Mercedes parent Daimler and private equity group Carberus — both failed.

He has multiplied Fiat’s value 11 times since taking charge, helped by moves such as the spinoffs of CNH Industrial and Ferrari. The planned separation of parts maker Magneti Marelli, due this year, should further increase that value-generation.

He also flattened an inflexible hierarchy, replacing layers of middle management with a meritocratic leadership style. He slashed costs by reducing the number of vehicle architectures and creating joint ventures to pool development and plant costs.

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Fiat Chrysler Names Jeep Boss to Replace Stricken CEO

Fiat Chrysler named on Saturday its Jeep division boss, Mike Manley, to take over immediately for Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne, who is seriously ill after suffering major complications following surgery.

The carmaker said British-born Manley, who also takes responsibility for the North America region, will push ahead with the midterm strategy outlined last month by Marchionne, who had been due to step down next April.

Marchionne, 66, was credited with rescuing Fiat and Chrysler from bankruptcy after taking the Italian carmaker’s wheel in 2004. On Saturday, he was also replaced as chairman and CEO of Ferrari and chairman of tractor maker CNH Industrial — both spun off from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in recent years.

“FCA communicates with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Mr. Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours,” the statement said.

FCA disclosed earlier this month that Marchionne, a renowned dealmaker and workaholic, was recovering from a shoulder operation. But his condition deteriorated sharply in recent days when he suffered massive complications that were not divulged.

Ferrari named FCA Chairman and Agnelli family scion John Elkann as new chairman, while board member Louis Camilleri becomes chief executive. CNH appointed Suzanna Heywood to replace Marchionne as chairman. All three companies remain controlled by the Agnellis.

Marchionne had previously said he planned to stay on as Ferrari chairman and CEO until 2021.

Deal focus

One of the auto industry’s longest-serving CEOs, Marchionne has advocated tie-ups to share the growing cost burden of developing cleaner, electrified and autonomous vehicles.

He resisted the comparatively easy option of selling off coveted brands such as Jeep, saying that would leave too big a problem with Fiat as “the stump that is left behind.”

But after being rejected by his preferred partner General Motors, he turned back to the task of cutting FCA’s debt — a goal he achieved last month — while maintaining that a merger for FCA was “ultimately inevitable.”

Investor hopes for a transformative deal had largely dwindled and are unlikely to hit the shares on Marchionne’s departure, according to Evercore analyst George Galliers.

“The valuation doesn’t suggest expectations of a buyout are high,” Galliers said.

Even without Marchionne, FCA will remain “culturally more open to dealmaking and savvy to potential capital market opportunities than much of the competition,” he added.

“A lot of that’s now ingrained, so I don’t think you lose everything he’s brought to the company overnight.”

Yet, Manley will have a tough act to follow.

Marchionne resurrected one of Italy’s biggest corporate names and revitalized Chrysler, succeeding where the U.S. company’s two previous owners — Mercedes parent Daimler and private equity group Carberus — both failed.

He has multiplied Fiat’s value 11 times since taking charge, helped by moves such as the spinoffs of CNH Industrial and Ferrari. The planned separation of parts maker Magneti Marelli, due this year, should further increase that value-generation.

He also flattened an inflexible hierarchy, replacing layers of middle management with a meritocratic leadership style. He slashed costs by reducing the number of vehicle architectures and creating joint ventures to pool development and plant costs.

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AP Fact Check: Trump’s Week of Claims on Russia, NATO

It was a week of bewilderment over what President Donald Trump really thinks about Russian interference in the U.S. election and what he and Russia’s Vladimir Putin told each other in their private meeting. The confusion was fed by Trump’s vacillating statements about the summit.

On other fronts, Trump inaccurately claimed Queen Elizabeth II bestowed upon him an honor that she had never before granted during her reign and, when the president was back in the U.S., he gave a faulty account of improvements in health care for veterans.

A week in review:

TRUMP: “The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear … proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more. There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems … but they can ALL be solved!” — tweets Thursday.

THE FACTS: Trump implies that he reached broad agreements with Putin during the Helsinki meeting that the two countries “can start implementing” with a second meeting. If he did, his own White House and State Department seem not to know about it.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders mentioned humanitarian aid for Syria, Iran, Israel, arms control, Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its meddling in 2016 U.S. election as having been discussed. When pressed for details on any planned action, she could not provide any.

“This is the beginning of the dialogue with Russia and our administration and theirs and we’re going to continue working through those things,” Sanders told reporters Wednesday.

The State Department offered its own take on the Helsinki meeting, saying no agreements were reached and that there were just general proposals on matters mainly related to economic and strategic cooperation.

TRUMP, addressing whether Russia was interfering in the 2016 election: “The whole concept of that came up perhaps a little bit before, but it came out as a reason why the Democrats lost an election — which, frankly, they should have been able to win, because the Electoral College is much more advantageous for Democrats, as you know, than it is to Republicans. We won the Electoral College by a lot — 306 to 223, I believe.” — remarks Monday.

THE FACTS: Trump makes the misguided assertion, again, that Democrats have an “advantage” in the Electoral College. Its unique system of electing presidents is actually a big reason why Trump won the presidency. Four candidates in history have won a majority of the popular vote only to be denied the presidency by the Electoral College. All were Democrats.

In the 2016 election, Democrat Hillary Clinton received nearly 2.9 million more votes than Trump after racking up more lopsided victories in big states such as New York and California, according to election data compiled by The Associated Press. But she lost the presidency because of Trump’s winning margin in the Electoral College, which came after he narrowly won less populous Midwestern states, including Michigan and Wisconsin.

Unlike the popular vote, Electoral College votes are set equal to the number of U.S. representatives in each state plus its two senators. That means more weight is given to a single vote in a small state than the vote of someone in a large state.

Trump also misstates the Electoral College vote. The official count was 304 to 227, according to an AP tally of the electoral votes in every state.

TRUMP: “I want to have choice, just like we have now with the veterans, all approved, which nobody thought would be possible. The vets now, instead of standing on line for two weeks or one week or three months, they can go out and see a doctor, and we pay for it, and it turns out to be much less expensive. And they are loving it.” — remarks Wednesday at Cabinet meeting.

THE FACTS: The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Choice program for veterans that Trump refers to is not “all approved.” Nor are veterans necessarily loving the private-sector health care program, as measured by the average amount of time veterans must wait for a medical appointment with a private doctor. Trump’s suggestion that veterans are getting immediate care because of Choice does not reflect the reality.

Trump did sign into law last month a bill that would ease restrictions on private care. But its success in significantly reducing wait times depends in large part on an overhaul of VA’s electronic medical records to allow for a seamless sharing of records with private physicians. That overhaul will take at least 10 years to be complete.

Under the newly expanded Choice program that will take at least a year to implement, veterans will still have to meet certain criteria before they can see a private physician. Those criteria will be set in part by proposed federal regulations that will be subject to public review.

Currently, only veterans who endure waits of at least 30 days for an appointment at a VA facility are eligible to receive care from private doctors at government expense. A recent Government Accountability Report found that despite the Choice program’s guarantee of providing an appointment within 30 days, veterans waited an average of 51 days to 64 days.

TRUMP: “We met with the Queen, who is absolutely a terrific person, where she reviewed her Honor Guard for the first time in 70 years, they tell me. We walked in front of the Honor Guard, and that was very inspiring to see and be with her.” — remarks Tuesday during a meeting with members of Congress.

THE FACTS: No, Queen Elizabeth II did not review her Honor Guard for the first time in 70 years when Trump visited last week. She’s only been on the throne for 66 years.

The queen regularly inspects her Honor Guard as part of royal duties, often during visits from foreign officials. That included when President Barack Obama visited in 2011.

TRUMP, when asked Wednesday during a Cabinet meeting if Russia was still targeting U.S. elections: “No.”

THE FACTS: Trump’s apparent response that Russia does not pose a risk to future U.S. elections contradicted the warning from his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, days earlier on the threat of Russian interference in the 2018 elections. Coats compared the cyberthreat today to the way U.S. officials described before 9/11 the risk of a terrorist attack as indicated from intelligence channels: “Blinking red,” with warning signs of an imminent attack.

Sanders said later Wednesday that Trump actually was saying “no” to answering additional questions — even though he subsequently went on to address Russia.

TRUMP, on his intelligence officials on Monday: “They said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this — I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

TRUMP, reading from a statement, on his intelligence officials on Tuesday: “I accept our intelligence community conclusion that Russia meddling … took place” and the “sentence should have been ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ ”

TRUMP, when asked by CBS on Wednesday if he agreed that Russia meddled in the 2016 election: “I have said that numerous times before, and I would say that is true, yeah.”

THE FACTS: Was Trump’s comment Monday a misunderstanding set off by his saying “would” instead of “wouldn’t”? Or was his rare admission of a mistake rooted in the ferocity of the stateside response by those — Republicans among them — who said he’d undermined U.S. intelligence services by seeming to side with Putin?

Whichever the case, Trump at various points in his Monday news conference made clear that he found Putin’s position on the matter compelling.

“I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” Trump said at the joint news conference. He made the untenable assertion Monday that “I have confidence in both parties” — his intelligence officials, who say Moscow interfered, and Putin, who says it didn’t.

Trump has been a nearly solitary figure in his administration in holding on to doubts about whether Russians tried to sway the election. Trump’s top national security officials, Democrats and most Republicans in Congress say U.S. intelligence agencies got it right in finding that Russians secretly tried to sway the election. The special counsel’s continuing Russia investigation has laid out a detailed trail of attempts and successes by Russians to steal Democratic Party and Clinton campaign communications and to leak embarrassing emails and documents.

Putin denied anew that the Russian government interfered, but he acknowledged Monday that he favored Trump in 2016. “Yes, I wanted him to win because he spoke of normalization of Russian-U.S. ties.”

PUTIN, referring Monday to Bill Browder, a prominent Putin critic and investor charged with financial crimes in Russia: “Business associates of Mr. Browder have earned over $1.5 billion in Russia. They never paid any taxes, neither in Russia nor in the United States, and yet the money escaped the country. They were transferred to the United States. They sent a huge amount of money, $400 million, as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton.”

THE FACTS: The notion of a $400 million donation to the Democrat’s campaign is a stratospheric exaggeration. On Tuesday, the Russian general prosecutor’s office said, to little fanfare, that Putin misspoke and meant $400,000.

The Clinton campaign committee raised less than $564 million. With supportive political action committees added to the equation, Clinton’s effort drew $795 million in donations. Putin’s initial figure suggested a huge chunk of her money came from a small cabal of financiers.

The reality is much less dramatic.

Browder’s New York financial partners, Ziff Brothers Investments, donated only $1.75 million in the 2016 campaign, spreading it among candidates for many offices in both parties and favoring Republicans in congressional races. The watchdog site opensecrets.org shows it giving only $17,700 for Clinton’s election and less than $300,000 to the Democratic National Committee, as well as smaller amounts to other entities.

Donations to Clinton came from diverse sources: the financial industry, education interests, Hollywood, unions, the health and pharmaceutical sectors, and many more.

TRUMP, on increased military spending by NATO countries: “I had a great meeting with NATO. They have paid $33 Billion more and will pay hundreds of Billions of Dollars more in the future, only because of me. NATO was weak, but now it is strong again (bad for Russia).” — tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: No, increased military spending by NATO members is not “only because” of him. The broader move toward rising spending by NATO countries began under Obama.

NATO members agreed in 2014 to stop cutting their military budgets and set a goal of moving “toward” spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on their own defense by 2024. Most NATO members are spending less than 2 percent, though more are moving in that direction. The issue is not one of payments to NATO, as Trump repeatedly puts it, but how much members spend on their own armed forces.

After being prodded by Trump to give him credit, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg indicated that Trump’s big demands had some effect on the military spending. He estimated European allies and Canada would add $266 billion to their military spending by 2024 and said of Trump, “This is really adding some extra momentum.” By one NATO estimate, alliance members apart from the U.S. collectively increased their military budgets by $33 billion last year.

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AP Fact Check: Trump’s Week of Claims on Russia, NATO

It was a week of bewilderment over what President Donald Trump really thinks about Russian interference in the U.S. election and what he and Russia’s Vladimir Putin told each other in their private meeting. The confusion was fed by Trump’s vacillating statements about the summit.

On other fronts, Trump inaccurately claimed Queen Elizabeth II bestowed upon him an honor that she had never before granted during her reign and, when the president was back in the U.S., he gave a faulty account of improvements in health care for veterans.

A week in review:

TRUMP: “The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear … proliferation, cyber attacks, trade, Ukraine, Middle East peace, North Korea and more. There are many answers, some easy and some hard, to these problems … but they can ALL be solved!” — tweets Thursday.

THE FACTS: Trump implies that he reached broad agreements with Putin during the Helsinki meeting that the two countries “can start implementing” with a second meeting. If he did, his own White House and State Department seem not to know about it.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders mentioned humanitarian aid for Syria, Iran, Israel, arms control, Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its meddling in 2016 U.S. election as having been discussed. When pressed for details on any planned action, she could not provide any.

“This is the beginning of the dialogue with Russia and our administration and theirs and we’re going to continue working through those things,” Sanders told reporters Wednesday.

The State Department offered its own take on the Helsinki meeting, saying no agreements were reached and that there were just general proposals on matters mainly related to economic and strategic cooperation.

TRUMP, addressing whether Russia was interfering in the 2016 election: “The whole concept of that came up perhaps a little bit before, but it came out as a reason why the Democrats lost an election — which, frankly, they should have been able to win, because the Electoral College is much more advantageous for Democrats, as you know, than it is to Republicans. We won the Electoral College by a lot — 306 to 223, I believe.” — remarks Monday.

THE FACTS: Trump makes the misguided assertion, again, that Democrats have an “advantage” in the Electoral College. Its unique system of electing presidents is actually a big reason why Trump won the presidency. Four candidates in history have won a majority of the popular vote only to be denied the presidency by the Electoral College. All were Democrats.

In the 2016 election, Democrat Hillary Clinton received nearly 2.9 million more votes than Trump after racking up more lopsided victories in big states such as New York and California, according to election data compiled by The Associated Press. But she lost the presidency because of Trump’s winning margin in the Electoral College, which came after he narrowly won less populous Midwestern states, including Michigan and Wisconsin.

Unlike the popular vote, Electoral College votes are set equal to the number of U.S. representatives in each state plus its two senators. That means more weight is given to a single vote in a small state than the vote of someone in a large state.

Trump also misstates the Electoral College vote. The official count was 304 to 227, according to an AP tally of the electoral votes in every state.

TRUMP: “I want to have choice, just like we have now with the veterans, all approved, which nobody thought would be possible. The vets now, instead of standing on line for two weeks or one week or three months, they can go out and see a doctor, and we pay for it, and it turns out to be much less expensive. And they are loving it.” — remarks Wednesday at Cabinet meeting.

THE FACTS: The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Choice program for veterans that Trump refers to is not “all approved.” Nor are veterans necessarily loving the private-sector health care program, as measured by the average amount of time veterans must wait for a medical appointment with a private doctor. Trump’s suggestion that veterans are getting immediate care because of Choice does not reflect the reality.

Trump did sign into law last month a bill that would ease restrictions on private care. But its success in significantly reducing wait times depends in large part on an overhaul of VA’s electronic medical records to allow for a seamless sharing of records with private physicians. That overhaul will take at least 10 years to be complete.

Under the newly expanded Choice program that will take at least a year to implement, veterans will still have to meet certain criteria before they can see a private physician. Those criteria will be set in part by proposed federal regulations that will be subject to public review.

Currently, only veterans who endure waits of at least 30 days for an appointment at a VA facility are eligible to receive care from private doctors at government expense. A recent Government Accountability Report found that despite the Choice program’s guarantee of providing an appointment within 30 days, veterans waited an average of 51 days to 64 days.

TRUMP: “We met with the Queen, who is absolutely a terrific person, where she reviewed her Honor Guard for the first time in 70 years, they tell me. We walked in front of the Honor Guard, and that was very inspiring to see and be with her.” — remarks Tuesday during a meeting with members of Congress.

THE FACTS: No, Queen Elizabeth II did not review her Honor Guard for the first time in 70 years when Trump visited last week. She’s only been on the throne for 66 years.

The queen regularly inspects her Honor Guard as part of royal duties, often during visits from foreign officials. That included when President Barack Obama visited in 2011.

TRUMP, when asked Wednesday during a Cabinet meeting if Russia was still targeting U.S. elections: “No.”

THE FACTS: Trump’s apparent response that Russia does not pose a risk to future U.S. elections contradicted the warning from his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, days earlier on the threat of Russian interference in the 2018 elections. Coats compared the cyberthreat today to the way U.S. officials described before 9/11 the risk of a terrorist attack as indicated from intelligence channels: “Blinking red,” with warning signs of an imminent attack.

Sanders said later Wednesday that Trump actually was saying “no” to answering additional questions — even though he subsequently went on to address Russia.

TRUMP, on his intelligence officials on Monday: “They said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this — I don’t see any reason why it would be.”

TRUMP, reading from a statement, on his intelligence officials on Tuesday: “I accept our intelligence community conclusion that Russia meddling … took place” and the “sentence should have been ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ ”

TRUMP, when asked by CBS on Wednesday if he agreed that Russia meddled in the 2016 election: “I have said that numerous times before, and I would say that is true, yeah.”

THE FACTS: Was Trump’s comment Monday a misunderstanding set off by his saying “would” instead of “wouldn’t”? Or was his rare admission of a mistake rooted in the ferocity of the stateside response by those — Republicans among them — who said he’d undermined U.S. intelligence services by seeming to side with Putin?

Whichever the case, Trump at various points in his Monday news conference made clear that he found Putin’s position on the matter compelling.

“I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” Trump said at the joint news conference. He made the untenable assertion Monday that “I have confidence in both parties” — his intelligence officials, who say Moscow interfered, and Putin, who says it didn’t.

Trump has been a nearly solitary figure in his administration in holding on to doubts about whether Russians tried to sway the election. Trump’s top national security officials, Democrats and most Republicans in Congress say U.S. intelligence agencies got it right in finding that Russians secretly tried to sway the election. The special counsel’s continuing Russia investigation has laid out a detailed trail of attempts and successes by Russians to steal Democratic Party and Clinton campaign communications and to leak embarrassing emails and documents.

Putin denied anew that the Russian government interfered, but he acknowledged Monday that he favored Trump in 2016. “Yes, I wanted him to win because he spoke of normalization of Russian-U.S. ties.”

PUTIN, referring Monday to Bill Browder, a prominent Putin critic and investor charged with financial crimes in Russia: “Business associates of Mr. Browder have earned over $1.5 billion in Russia. They never paid any taxes, neither in Russia nor in the United States, and yet the money escaped the country. They were transferred to the United States. They sent a huge amount of money, $400 million, as a contribution to the campaign of Hillary Clinton.”

THE FACTS: The notion of a $400 million donation to the Democrat’s campaign is a stratospheric exaggeration. On Tuesday, the Russian general prosecutor’s office said, to little fanfare, that Putin misspoke and meant $400,000.

The Clinton campaign committee raised less than $564 million. With supportive political action committees added to the equation, Clinton’s effort drew $795 million in donations. Putin’s initial figure suggested a huge chunk of her money came from a small cabal of financiers.

The reality is much less dramatic.

Browder’s New York financial partners, Ziff Brothers Investments, donated only $1.75 million in the 2016 campaign, spreading it among candidates for many offices in both parties and favoring Republicans in congressional races. The watchdog site opensecrets.org shows it giving only $17,700 for Clinton’s election and less than $300,000 to the Democratic National Committee, as well as smaller amounts to other entities.

Donations to Clinton came from diverse sources: the financial industry, education interests, Hollywood, unions, the health and pharmaceutical sectors, and many more.

TRUMP, on increased military spending by NATO countries: “I had a great meeting with NATO. They have paid $33 Billion more and will pay hundreds of Billions of Dollars more in the future, only because of me. NATO was weak, but now it is strong again (bad for Russia).” — tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: No, increased military spending by NATO members is not “only because” of him. The broader move toward rising spending by NATO countries began under Obama.

NATO members agreed in 2014 to stop cutting their military budgets and set a goal of moving “toward” spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on their own defense by 2024. Most NATO members are spending less than 2 percent, though more are moving in that direction. The issue is not one of payments to NATO, as Trump repeatedly puts it, but how much members spend on their own armed forces.

After being prodded by Trump to give him credit, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg indicated that Trump’s big demands had some effect on the military spending. He estimated European allies and Canada would add $266 billion to their military spending by 2024 and said of Trump, “This is really adding some extra momentum.” By one NATO estimate, alliance members apart from the U.S. collectively increased their military budgets by $33 billion last year.

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Tariffs Will Hurt Economy, IMF Warns, as Trump Threatens More

The International Monetary Fund warned world economic leaders on Saturday that a recent wave of trade tariffs would significantly harm global

growth, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened a major escalation in a dispute with China.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said she would present the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Buenos Aires with a report detailing the impacts of the restrictions already announced on global trade.

“It certainly indicates the impact that it could have on GDP [gross domestic product], which in the worst case scenario under current measures … is in the range of 0.5 percent of GDP on a global basis,” Lagarde said at a joint news conference with Argentine Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne.

In the briefing note prepared for G-20 ministers, the IMF said global growth might peak at 3.9 percent in 2018 and 2019, while downside risks have increased because of the growing trade conflict.

Her warning came shortly after the top U.S. economic official, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, told reporters in the Argentine capital there was no “macro” effect yet on the world’s largest economy.

Long-simmering trade tensions have burst into the open in recent months, with the United States and China — the world’s largest and second-largest economies — slapping tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other’s goods so far.

The weekend meeting in Buenos Aires comes amid a dramatic escalation in rhetoric on both sides. Trump on Friday threatened tariffs on all $500 billion of Chinese exports to the United States.

Mnuchin said that while there were some “micro” effects, such as retaliation against U.S.-produced soybeans, lobsters and bourbon, he did not believe that tariffs would keep the United States from achieving sustained 3 percent growth this year.

“I still think from a macro basis we do not see any impact on what’s very positive growth,” Mnuchin said, adding that he was closely monitoring prices of steel, aluminum, timber and soybeans.

G-7 allies

The U.S. dollar fell the most in three weeks on Friday against a basket of six major currencies after Trump complained again about the greenback’s strength and about Federal Reserve interest rate increases, halting a rally that had driven the dollar to its highest level in a year.

Mnuchin will try to rally G-7 allies over the weekend to join the United States in more aggressive action against China, but they may be reluctant to cooperate because of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union and Canada, which prompted retaliatory measures.

Mnuchin said he would tell G-7 allies that the Trump administration was ready to make a trade deal with them and had placed a high priority on completing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada.

“If Europe believes in free trade, we’re ready to sign a free-trade agreement,” he said, adding that a deal would require the elimination of tariffs, nontariff barriers and subsidies.

“It has to be all three issues.”

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, however, said at the G-20 meeting that the European Union could not consider negotiating a free-trade agreement with the United States unless Washington withdrew its steel

and aluminum tariffs first.

Le Maire said there was no disagreement between France and Germany over how and when to start trade talks with the United States. Both agreed Washington needs to take the first step by eliminating tariffs, he said.

Previous session

The last G-20 finance meeting in Buenos Aires in late March ended with no firm agreement by ministers on trade policy, except for a commitment to “further dialog.”

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said he would use the meeting to advocate for a rules-based trading system, but that expectations were low.

“I don’t expect tangible progress to be made at this meeting,” Scholz told reporters on the plane to Buenos Aires.

The U.S. tariffs will cost Germany up to 20 billion euros ($23.44 billion) in income this year, according to the head of German think-tank IMK.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he hoped the debate at the G-20 gathering would lead to an easing of retaliatory trade measures.

“Trade protectionism benefits no one involved,” he said. “I think restraint will eventually take hold.”​

​Protests

Host country Argentina is one of the world’s most closed economies, after a string of populist leaders implemented tariffs and restrictions on foreign capital to protect domestic industry. Market-friendly President Mauricio Macri has removed many of those barriers, generating popular backlash as factory

employment has nosedived.

A currency crisis this year prompted Argentina to seek IMF financing, a political risk for Macri since many Argentines blame Fund-imposed austerity for making its 2001-02 economic collapse worse. Opposition politicians led a protest against Lagarde’s presence on Saturday.

“This deal will mean a tougher, more severe adjustment for working people,” said Nicolas del Cano, a lawmaker for the Socialist Workers’ Party, calling for a national strike to “defeat” the IMF deal.

Lagarde said on Saturday that Argentina was “unequivocally” making progress on its deficit reduction targets agreed to as part of the $50 billion deal.

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Лавров закликав Помпео якнайшвидше звільнити заарештовану у США росіянку Бутіну

Міністр закордонних справ Росії Сергій Лавров закликав держсекретаря США Майка Помпео якнайшвидше звільнити заарештовану у Вашингтоні росіянку Марію Бутіну. Таку заяву він зробив під час телефонної розмови 21 липня «у розвиток російсько-американського саміту у Гельсінкі», йдеться у повідомленні на сайті російського МЗС.

За цими даними, Лавров назвав висунуті Бутіній звинувачення – сфабрикованими, а дії американських силовиків неприйнятними.

Також читайте: Нові деталі звинувачень проти росіянки Бутіної

29-річна студентка університету у Вашингтоні Марія Бутіна була затримана 15 липня. Їй інкримінують незадекларовані дії як лобіста на користь іноземного уряду. Самі по собі такі дії порушенням не є, якщо особа офіційно зареєструється як «іноземний агент».

Прокурори звинувачують Бутіну у підтриманні зв’язків з американськими політиками й політичними організаціями під керівництвом високопосадовця Центробанку Росії Олександра Торшина. Сам Торшин перебуває під санкціями через зв’язки з президентом Росії Володимиром Путіним.

Торшин, який є непублічною особою, наразі не прокоментував справу. Адвокат Бутіної Роберт Дрісколл стверджує, що вона не є російським агентом

 

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Лавров закликав Помпео якнайшвидше звільнити заарештовану у США росіянку Бутіну

Міністр закордонних справ Росії Сергій Лавров закликав держсекретаря США Майка Помпео якнайшвидше звільнити заарештовану у Вашингтоні росіянку Марію Бутіну. Таку заяву він зробив під час телефонної розмови 21 липня «у розвиток російсько-американського саміту у Гельсінкі», йдеться у повідомленні на сайті російського МЗС.

За цими даними, Лавров назвав висунуті Бутіній звинувачення – сфабрикованими, а дії американських силовиків неприйнятними.

Також читайте: Нові деталі звинувачень проти росіянки Бутіної

29-річна студентка університету у Вашингтоні Марія Бутіна була затримана 15 липня. Їй інкримінують незадекларовані дії як лобіста на користь іноземного уряду. Самі по собі такі дії порушенням не є, якщо особа офіційно зареєструється як «іноземний агент».

Прокурори звинувачують Бутіну у підтриманні зв’язків з американськими політиками й політичними організаціями під керівництвом високопосадовця Центробанку Росії Олександра Торшина. Сам Торшин перебуває під санкціями через зв’язки з президентом Росії Володимиром Путіним.

Торшин, який є непублічною особою, наразі не прокоментував справу. Адвокат Бутіної Роберт Дрісколл стверджує, що вона не є російським агентом

 

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На параді до Дня незалежності у Києві покажуть 200 одиниць техніки – Міноборони

У параді до Дня незалежності України, який відбудеться у Києві 24 серпня, візьме участь близько 200 одиниць військової техніки, повідомив речник Міністерства оборони Дмитро Гуцуляк.

За його словами, підготовка до параду зараз триває, нещодавно готовність до участі у заходах військової техніки перевірив командувач Сухопутних військ генерал-полковник Сергій Попко.

11 квітня Президент України Петро Порошенко доручив на День Незалежності провести військовий парад у центрі Києва, видавши відповідний указ.

Окрім того, як мовиться у документі, також 23 серпня, у День державного прапора, у Києві, інших населених пунктах мають провести офіційну церемонію урочистого підняття держпрапора України.

Останніми роками в Києві з нагоди Дня Незалежності в центрі Києва проводили військові паради, проте деякі користувачі соцмереж критикували цю ідею, називаючи це недоречним в умовах, коли військова техніка потрібна у зоні бойових дій на сході України.

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