CIF-SS baseball playoffs: Friday’s scores, schedule for semifinals Tuesday, June 15

The scores from Friday’s CIF-SS baseball quarterfinals and the updated schedule for the semifinals on Tuesday, June 15.

CIF-SS BASEBALL PLAYOFFS

(Semifinals start at 3:15 p.m.)

DIVISION 1

Quarterfinals

JSerra 7, Yucaipa 1

Ayala 7, Corona 3

Orange Lutheran 2, Bishop Amat 1 (8)

Harvard-Westlake 11, Cypress 4

Semifinals, Tuesday, June 15

JSerra at Ayala

Orange Lutheran at Harvard-Westlake

DIVISION 2

Quarterfinals

Thousand Oaks 12, San Dimas 1

Bonita at Los Alamitos (Saturday, 11 a.m.)

Camarillo 6, Yorba Linda 5

Trabuco Hills 2, Sierra Canyon 0

Semifinals, Tuesday, June 15

Thousand Oaks at TBD

Trabuco Hills at Camarillo

DIVISION 3

Quarterfinals

Hart 3, Calabasas 2 (8)

Millikan 9, Saugus 0

Palos Verdes 2, Fountain Valley 1

Arlington 6, Capistrano Valley Christian 5

Semifinals, Tuesday, June 15

Hart at Millikan

Arlington at Palos Verdes

DIVISION 4

Quarterfinals

Murrieta Mesa 6, Monrovia 2

Rancho Cucamonga 4, Downey 0

Royal 3, Charter Oak 2

Paraclete 3, Heritage 0

Semifinals, Tuesday, June 15

Murrieta Mesa at Rancho Cucamonga

Paraclete at Royal

DIVISION 5

Quarterfinals

Citrus Valley 7, Sultana 3

Laguna Hills 4, Crean Lutheran 2

Cajon 4, Malibu 3

North Torrance 6, Hemet 4

Semifinals, Tuesday, June 15

Laguna Hills at Citrus Valley

North Torrance at Cajon

DIVISION 6

Quarterfinals

Aquinas 1, Buena 0

Elsinore 5, South Pasadena 3

Barstow 6, Calvary Chapel/SA 4

La Habra 11, Linfield Christian 1

Semifinals, Tuesday, June 15

Aquinas at Elsinore

La Habra at Barstow

DIVISION 7

Quarterfinals

Hesperia Christian 9, Temecula Prep 2

Arroyo Valley 13, Milken 5

Lancaster 12, Tarbut V’Torah 3

Western Christian 16, Vasquez 2

Semifinals, Tuesday, June 15

Hesperia Christian at Arroyo Valley

Western Christian at Lancaster

Read more about CIF-SS baseball playoffs: Friday’s scores, schedule for semifinals Tuesday, June 15 This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Trump Justice Department subpoenaed Apple for data from House Intelligence Committee Democrats, sources say

By Manu Raju, Evan Perez, Katie Bo Williams and Paul LeBlanc | CNN

Prosecutors in the Trump administration Justice Department subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of House Intelligence Committee Democrats — including Chairman Adam Schiff — along with their staff and family members as part of a leak investigation, an Intelligence Committee official and a source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN.

Rep. Eric Swalwell of California, another Democrat on the committee, told CNN’s Don Lemon on Thursday evening that he was notified that his data had been seized as part of the probe as well.

The prosecutors, the New York Times first reported, were looking for the sources behind news stories about contacts between Russia and Trump associates.

The leak hunt began with the FBI sending a subpoena to Apple in February 2018, which included a gag order, seeking metadata on more than 100 accounts as part of an investigation into the disclosure of classified information, the person familiar with the matter said.

[vemba-video id=”politics/2021/06/11/adam-schiff-justice-department-subpoena-trump-sot-vpx-cpt.cnn”]

The gag order was renewed three times before it expired this year and Apple notified the customers. The House Intelligence Committee determined that along with members of the panel and staff, the dragnet collected the records of family members, including at least one minor, the person said.

Records seized included those from staff members who had nothing to do with issues related to Russia or former FBI Director James Comey, including Schiff’s personal office staff, a House Intelligence Committee source told CNN.

Democratic committee leadership is relying on self-reporting to know who has been impacted at this point — both members and staff, the source said.

Swalwell confirmed to CNN that records of family members and a minor had been obtained.

“I do know that to be true,” he told Lemon. “And I believe they were targeted punitively, not for any reason in law but because Donald Trump identified Chairman Schiff and members of the committee as an enemy of his.”

Those subject to subpoenas were notified in May by Apple that the Justice Department had issued grand jury subpoenas in February 2018 for their information, the House Intelligence Committee official said.

“The Committee has continued to seek additional information, but the Department has not been forthcoming in a timely manner, including on questions such as whether the investigation was properly predicated and whether it only targeted Democrats,” the committee official told CNN.

At this point, legislative affairs staffers are the only Justice Department staff who have communicated with the Intelligence Committee, according to the committee source.

News of the subpoenas marks just the latest disclosure about the Trump administration’s heavy-handed tactics toward leak investigations. The development follows a series of revelations about the Justice Department secretly obtaining records from journalists, including CNN’s Barbara Starr, as well as reporters from The Washington Post and other news organizations.

And while the data didn’t tie the committee to the leaks during then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ tenure, William Barr moved a prosecutor from New Jersey to the main Justice Department to work on the Schiff-related case and others when he became attorney general the following year, three people with knowledge of his work told the Times.

A spokesperson for Justice Department, a representative for Apple and Barr declined to comment to the Times.

In a statement Thursday evening, Schiff said, “The politicization of the Department and the attacks on the rule of law are among the most dangerous assaults on our democracy carried out by the former President. Though we were informed by the Department in May that this investigation is closed, I believe more answers are needed, which is why I believe the Inspector General should investigate this and other cases that suggest the weaponization of law enforcement by a corrupt president.”

Asked by CNN’s Chris Cuomo later Thursday about the number of accounts seized, Schiff said he was not certain of the number but posited, “It wouldn’t surprise me if it was an extraordinary number because just the circle that I am aware of was so overbroad that they clearly were not discriminating. They were simply fishing.”

That message was echoed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who called the development “harrowing.”

“These actions appear to be yet another egregious assault on our democracy waged by the former president,” Pelosi said in a statement.

“I support Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s call for an investigation into this situation and other acts of the weaponization of law enforcement by the former president. Transparency is essential.”

This story has been updated with further developments.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Powered by WPeMatico

CIF roundup: Esperanza softball upsets No. 1 Norco to reach Division 1 final

Esperanza High’s softball team upset yet another No. 1-ranked opponent on Thursday, June 10.

Now, the Aztecs will get a chance to cement their standing as the best team in the CIF Southern Section.

Senior pitcher Emily Gomez recovered from a rocky first inning to fire a five-hitter and senior center fielder Hannah Coor homered for the second consecutive game as Esperanza stunned top-seeded and host Norco 7-2 in the Division 1 semifinals.

No. 4 seeded Esperanza (21-3) will face Roosevelt, a 7-6 winner against Chino Hills, in the championship game next week at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine. The schedule is expected to be released soon by the CIF Southern Section.

Norco (27-2) entered Thursday riding a 26-game winning streak and having outscored its three playoff opponents 36-1, including an eye-popping 15-1 margin against Los Alamitos.

But the Cougars became the third No. 1-ranked team to fall to the Aztecs this spring.

Esperanza also has defeated previously No. 1-ranked Chino Hills 3-2 and Villa Park, formerly the top-ranked squad in Division 2, 1-0 in the Crestview League.

“The girls on the team knew they could compete,” Esperanza coach Ed Tunstall said after Thursday’s triumph. “They were not intimidated, and they all stepped up.”

Norco scored twice against Gomez in the first inning but didn’t plate another run against the steady senior, who struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.

Esperanza scored seven consecutive runs after falling behind 2-0. Beside the two-run homer by the Oklahoma-bound Coor, the Aztecs received three hits from sophomore shortstop Sharyn Duncan and two from freshman right fielder Taylor Shumaker.

Tunstall noted that eight different players either scored or drove in a run for the Aztecs. Sophomore second baseman Audrey Robles had two RBIs while courtesy runner Makenna Milliman scored a run. “Big team win,” Tunstall said.

Sophomore Mya Perez had two of Norco’s five hits.

Esperanza advanced to its second section final. In 2001, the Aztecs fell in the Division 1 championship to Rancho Cucamonga 1-0 in 12 innings.

Roosevelt finished second to Norco in the powerful Big VIII League.

More updates to come.

Read more about CIF roundup: Esperanza softball upsets No. 1 Norco to reach Division 1 final This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Pacifica Christian girls basketball battles to the end, but loses to Louisville in Division 5A title game

NEWPORT BEACH — The Pacifica Christian girls basketball team made its debut in a CIF Southern Section final, and for the first eight minutes looked uncomfortable on the big stage.

The young Tritons rallied to take a brief third-quarter lead but ultimately fell to Louisville in the Division 5A championship game 57-49 Thursday night at Pacifica Christian High.

The Royals (10-3) won their first girls basketball CIF title in school history behind their bigs, freshman Taylor Westbrook, who scored a game-high 22 points, and Katherine Csiszar, who had 14 points.

“That was our game plan coming in,” Louisville coach Monica Hernandez said. “We knew that they had one big, but if we could dominate in the paint we would have a better chance at winning the game.”

Pacifica Christian (15-4) only made two field goals in the opening quarter, both by freshman guard Lauryn Ham, and fell behind 14-5.

Ham finished with 15 points and freshman Annika Jiwani, who was averaging a team-high 21.5 points a game, was held to 11 points.

Pacifica Christian coach James Parker felt that the pressure of playing in a final was a factor for some of his players.

“This is a lot of pressure and she’s (Jiwani) not used to having such adversity and trouble to be able to get going,” Parker said. “I think what happens with the pressure and this game, as a young person, is trying to figure out how they’re going (to make) things happen for themselves and how they’re going to be able to step aside and let the game come to them.”

Parker also believed defensive breakdowns were the reason for the Royals’ success in the low post.

“It was more of our defense breaking down and being out of position,” Parker said. “That was my biggest concern, not getting the rotations we needed and therefore, you got a big body that has the ball in a good position.”

The Royals had a 27-20 halftime lead but the Tritons deployed their full-court press which helped them to an 8-0 run sparked by Charis Wondercheck and Jiwani.

Louisville responded with a 15-2 run to end the third and took a 42-30 advantage to the final quarter.

“We just told them, especially in this type of setting, that runs would make the difference, so if they make a run stay composed and get stops when it mattered, and we did that,” Hernandez said.

Pacifica Christian began the fourth quarter with four quick points on baskets by Nola Mihaly-Garvin (eight points) and Wondercheck (nine points).

The Tritons got within six points at 42-36, but Westbrook scored eight points in the final period and Alyssa Saldana (11 points) hit a shot with 1:25 left in the game to put Pacifica Christian away for good.

Read more about Pacifica Christian girls basketball battles to the end, but loses to Louisville in Division 5A title game This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

18th-century villa in Geneva park to host Biden-Putin summit

GENEVA (AP) — Switzerland’s foreign ministry says an 18th-century manor house in the middle of a public park with lakeside views will host the summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva next week.

Geneva’s Parc de la Grange, which includes the Villa La Grange as its centerpiece structure, was shut for public access for 10 days on Tuesday by Swiss authorities, who did not specify the reason before Thursday. The ministry announced the selection of the site on its Twitter account.

Security teams have erected signs about the closure, redirected traffic and nearby parking, and put up double-fencing around the park. Garden crews have been working to spruce up the vast lawns and gardens sloping down toward Lake Geneva.

The lawns and villa are fringed by tall trees — including cedars that are more than 200 years old — offering a relatively discreet and lush venue for the meeting Wednesday of the two leaders at the end of Biden’s first overseas diplomatic trip since becoming president in January. He was in Britain on Thursday.

The estate played host to a Geneva convention overseen by Henri Dunant, a co-founder of the Red Cross, in 1864, and Pope Paul VI hosted a Mass in the park in 1969 that drew roughly 70,000 people, according to the city’s website.

Donated to the Geneva municipality in 1917, the villa is normally not open to the public but serves for official functions.

Powered by WPeMatico

Another jump in prices tightens the squeeze on US consumers

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — American consumers absorbed another surge in prices in May — a 0.6% increase over April and 5% over the past year, the biggest 12-month inflation spike since 2008.

The May rise in consumer prices that the Labor Department reported Thursday reflected a range of goods and services now in growing demand as people increasingly shop, travel, dine out and attend entertainment events in a rapidly reopening economy.

The increased consumer appetite is bumping up against a shortage of components, from lumber and steel to chemicals and semiconductors, that supply such key products as autos and computer equipment, all of which has forced up prices. And as consumers increasingly venture away from home, demand has spread from manufactured goods to services — airline fares, for example, along with restaurant meals and hotel prices — raising inflation in those areas, too.

In its report Thursday, the government said that core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food costs, rose 0.7% in May after an even bigger jump in April, and is up 3.8% over the past 12 months.

From the cereal maker General Mills to Chipotle Mexican Grill to the paint maker Sherwin-Williams, a range of companies have been raising prices or plan to do so, in some cases to make up for higher wages that they’re now paying to keep or attract workers.

The inflation pressures, which have been building for months, are not only squeezing consumers but also posing a risk to the economy’s recovery from the pandemic recession. One risk is that the Federal Reserve will eventually respond to intensifying inflation by raising interest rates too aggressively and derail the economic recovery.

The Fed, led by Chair Jerome Powell, has repeatedly expressed its belief that inflation will prove temporary as supply bottlenecks are unclogged and parts and goods flow normally again. But some economists have expressed concern that as the economic recovery accelerates, fueled by rising demand from consumers spending freely again, so will inflation.

The question is, for how long?

“The price spikes could be bigger and more prolonged because the pandemic has been so disruptive to supply chains,” Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said in advance of Thursday’s inflation report.

But “by the fall or end of the year,” Zandi suggested, “prices will be coming back to earth.”

That would be none too soon for consumers like Carmela Romanello Schaden, a real estate agent in Rockville Centre, New York. Schaden said she’s having to pay more for a range of items at her hair salon. But she is feeling the most financial pain in the food aisle. Her monthly food bill, she said, is now $200 to $250 for herself and her 25-year-old son — up from $175 earlier in the year.

A package of strip steak that Schaden had normally bought for $28 to $32 jumped to $45. She noticed the increase right before Memorial Day but bought it anyway because it was for a family picnic. But she won’t buy it again at that price, she said, and is trading down to pork and chicken.

“I’ve always been selective,” Schaden said. “When something goes up, I will switch into something else.”

So far, Fed officials haven’t deviated from their view that higher inflation is a temporary consequence of the economy’s rapid reopening, with its accelerating consumer demand, and the lack of enough supplies and workers to keep pace with it. Eventually, they say, supply will rise to match demand.

Officials also note that year-over-year gauges of inflation now look especially large because they are being measured against the early months of the pandemic, when inflation tumbled as the economy all but shut down. In coming months, the year-over-year inflation figures will likely look smaller.

Still, last month, after the government reported that consumer prices had jumped 4.2% in the 12 months ending in April, Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida acknowledged; “I was surprised. This number was well above what I and outside forecasters expected.”

And the month-to-month readings of inflation, which aren’t subject to distortions from the pandemic have also been rising since the year began.

Some economists say they fear that if prices accelerate too much and stay high too long, expectations of further price increases will take hold. That, in turn, could intensify demands for higher pay, potentially triggering the kind of wage-price spiral that bedeviled the economy in the 1970s.

“The market is starting to worry that the Fed may be going soft on inflation, and that could let the inflation genie out of the bottle,” said Sung Won Sohn, a professor of economics and finance at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

In April, the price of used cars and trucks jumped a record 10%. Hotel and motel prices also set a monthly record. Tickets for sporting events and home furniture surged, too, along with TVs, audio products and smart home devices. So did the cost of toys, games and playground equipment. Fares for Uber and Lyft are up, too.

Rising commodity costs are forcing Americans to pay more for items from meat to gasoline. Prices for corn, grain and soybeans are at their highest levels since 2012. The price of lumber to build homes is at an all-time high. More expensive commodities such as polyethylene and wood pulp have translated into higher consumer prices for toilet paper, diapers and most products sold in plastic containers.

General Mills has said it’s considering raises prices on its products because grain, sugar and other ingredients have become costlier. Hormel Foods has already increased prices for Skippy peanut butter. Coca-Cola has said it expects to raise prices to offset higher costs.

Kimberly-Clark, which makes Kleenex and Scott toilet paper, said it will be raising prices on about 60% of its products. Proctor & Gamble has said it will raise prices for its baby, feminine and adult care products.

This week, Chipotle Mexican Grill announced it was boosting menu prices by roughly 4% to cover the cost of raising its workers’ wages. In May, Chipotle had said that it would raise hourly wages for its restaurant workers to reach an average of $15 an hour by the end of June.

“There is stronger demand for hotel rooms, air travel, restaurant dining,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial. “Many businesses are also facing upward pressure on their costs such as higher wages.”

Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, noted that in some cases, a jump in the price of goods such as autos is raising the price of car rental services.

“It is going to be a muggy summer on the inflation front,” Daco said. “There will be a pass-through from higher goods prices to higher prices for services.”

___

AP Business Writer Anne D’Innocenzio contributed to this report from New York.

Powered by WPeMatico

California’s investments in mental health will alleviate homelessness

As we continue to come back from the pandemic, we cannot be satisfied with the way things were. Now is the time to address some of the state’s most pressing challenges, including the housing and health needs of the more than 161,000 people experiencing homelessness in California.

Homelessness is a complex challenge that requires significant investments in housing and supportive services. Since behavioral health conditions can contribute to homelessness or be worsened by it, responsive health care systems are also needed. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s planned investment of $12 billion to end homelessness will place some 65,000 people in housing, and provide housing stability to more than 300,000 others. As important as that is, the governor’s plan goes well beyond that, expanding the capacity of the behavioral health system to ensure that we have a model of care that is accessible and meets people where they live.

The governor’s California Comeback Plan builds upon two innovative programs that provided 42,000 Californians with shelter from COVID-19, and created 6,000 affordable housing units. Within one year, Projects Roomkey and Homekey did more to address the homelessness and affordable housing crises than anything done before in California, and they’ve become national models.

But our efforts must continue. To ensure housing stability for all, we must expand the brick-and-mortar capacity of our behavioral health services. The proposed $2.45 billion Behavioral Health Continuum of Care Infrastructure Program will do just that through competitive grants to acquire and rehabilitate properties. This will result in approximately 15,000 new beds, units, rooms and outpatient treatment slots for both housing and treatment for youth, adults with disabilities, seniors, and people with severe behavioral health conditions. These community-based services will provide vital care to reduce homelessness, incarceration, and unnecessary hospitalizations, which will benefit both the individuals receiving services and our society itself.

There’s much more to the Continuum of Care, including a $4.4 billion investment in children and youth’s behavioral health, and a $1 billion investment in facilities for adult and senior care. Services will address a broad and complex range of issues affecting mental and emotional well-being, including alcohol and other substance use disorders, stress, trauma, grief, and anxiety.

Finally, the wide-ranging California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) initiative will play a critical role in addressing California’s homelessness crisis. CalAIM will reform health care delivery so that it serves the whole person and this will include assistance with finding housing and paying for move-in costs, case management to help people stay housed, and care coordination to support ongoing connection to treatment and care.

Californians can be assured that treating the causes and effects of both mental illness and homelessness are, and will continue to be, top priorities for Gov. Newsom’s administration. We are working towards coordinated, patient-centered, comprehensive care: a whole-person system that integrates a full spectrum of housing, health care, behavioral health, and other social services. The critical behavioral health investments described above are key to that.

Will Lightbourne is director of the California Department of Health Care Services. Kim Johnson is the director of the California Department of Social Services

Powered by WPeMatico

Biden, Johnson to stress close ties, manage differences

By JONATHAN LEMIRE, AAMER MADHANI and JILL LAWLESS

PLYMOUTH, England (AP) — Their nations may have a famed “special relationship,” but President Joe Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet for the first time Thursday against a backdrop of differences both political and personal.

Biden hopes to use his first overseas trip as president to reassure European allies that the United States had shed the transactional tendencies of Donald Trump’s term and is a reliable partner again. But tensions may simmer beneath the surface of Biden’s meeting with Johnson.

The president staunchly opposed the Brexit movement, the British exodus from the European Union that Johnson championed, and has expressed great concern with the future of Northern Ireland. And Biden once called the British leader a “physical and emotional clone” of Trump.

The British government has worked hard to overcome that impression, stressing Johnson’s common ground with Biden on issues such as climate change and his support for international institutions. But Johnson, the host for the Group of Seven summit that will follow his sit-down with Biden, has been frustrated by the lack of a new trade deal with the United States.

The two men had planned to visit the spectacular island of St. Michael’s Mount but that had to be scrapped because of the weather. But when they do meet, they were expected to announce the creation of a U.S.-U.K. task force that will move toward resuming travel between the two nations, according to a White House official. Most travel has been banned between the two nations since March 2020.

Both sides have stressed that, publicly, the Biden-Johnson meeting would be about reaffirming ties between longtime allies in a week in which Biden will look to rally the West to rebuff Russian meddling and publicly demonstrate it can compete economically with China.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan described Biden’s initial calls with Johnson as “warm” and “constructive” and played down any differences between the two nations’ goals.

“They’ve been very much down to business,” Sullivan said at the White House this week. “And I expect that their meeting together will just cover the waterfront. I mean, really, a wide range of issues where the two of them and the U.S and United Kingdom do see eye to eye.”

Biden, who is fiercely proud of his Irish roots, has warned that nothing should undermine Northern Ireland’s 1998 Good Friday peace accord. Some on the British side have viewed Biden warily because of his heritage. White House officials have said the United States does not plan to be involved in the negotiations and that Biden would not lecture Johnson but would urge that a resolution be reached expeditiously.

After Brexit, a new arrangement was needed for the border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and Ireland, because the European Union requires certain goods to be inspected and others not to be admitted at all. Ahead of a June 30 deadline, ongoing negotiations over goods — including sausages — have been contentious and have attracted the attention of the White House.

“President Biden has been crystal clear about his rock-solid belief in the Good Friday Agreement as the foundation for peaceful coexistence in Northern Ireland,” Sullivan told reporters aboard Air Force One as Biden flew to England on Wednesday. “Any steps that imperil or undermine it will not be welcomed by the United States.”

The two leaders also were expected to discuss climate change, the coronavirus pandemic, creating an infrastructure financing program for developing countries, Afghanistan and a refresher of the 80-year-old Atlantic Charter between the two nations, Sullivan said. There were also plans to launch a bilateral commission to research and defeat cancer.

The new charter — which will include the efforts to resume travel — will be modeled on the historic joint statement made by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 setting out goals for the postwar world. White House officials suggested that it not be read as another Cold War-era document but a pathway for an increasingly complex, interconnected globe.

But Trump’s presence was still likely to be felt on Thursday. Johnson and Trump, for a time, appeared to be kindred spirits, both riding a wave of populism that in 2016 delivered Brexit and upended the American political landscape.

Biden, for his part, has expressed a mistrust of Johnson, who once unspooled a Trump-like insult of President Barack Obama, saying that Biden’s former boss was “half-Kenyan” and had an ancestral dislike of Britain.

“Did Donald Trump irrevocably damage relations with Europe? I think the answer to that is no,” said Thomas Gift, director of the Centre on U.S. Politics at University College London. “But I do think that it created some challenges that Biden is going to have to overcome.”

Since World War II, the trans-Atlantic “special relationship” has been sustained by a common language, shared interests, military cooperation and cultural affection. Sometimes that has been bolstered by close personal bonds, such as the friendship between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, or between Tony Blair and Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

It has endured even when leaders’ relations were less cordial, as when British Prime Minister Harold Wilson refused to join the Vietnam War in the 1960s.

“There is far more that unites the government of this country and government in Washington any time, any stage, than divides us,” Johnson told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

Brexit may test those bonds. The U.S. still values Britain’s role as a European economic and military power and a member of the intelligence-sharing “Five Eyes” alliance. But Biden has made clear that he intends to rebuild bridges with the EU, a frequent target of Trump’s ire. That suggests Berlin, Brussels and Paris, rather than London, will be uppermost in his thoughts.

Britain had been hoping to secure a quick trade agreement with the U.S. after its official departure from the EU in January. The change in administration in Washington leaves prospects of a deal uncertain.

And there may be one more, though admittedly small, obstacle to nurturing the “special relationship” — the very phrase itself.

Johnson has said he did not appreciate “special relationship,” used by the U.S. president, because to the prime minister it seemed needy and weak. Johnson’s spokesperson said this week: “The prime minister is on the record previously saying he prefers not to use the phrase, but that in no way detracts from the importance with which we regard our relationship with the U.S., our closest ally.”

___

Lawless reported from London. Madhani reported from Mildenhall, England. Associated Press writer Josh Boak in Baltimore contributed to this report.

Powered by WPeMatico

US unemployment claims fall to 376,000, sixth straight drop

By PAUL WISEMAN | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell for the sixth straight week as the U.S. economy reopens rapidly after being held back for months by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jobless claims fell by 9,000 to 376,000 from 385,000 the week before, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The number of people signing up for benefits exceeded 900,000 in early January and has fallen more or less steadily ever since. Still, claims are high by historic standards. Before the pandemic brought economic activity to a near-standstill in March 2020, weekly applications were regularly coming in below 220,000.

Nearly 3.5 million were receiving traditional state unemployment benefits the week of May 29, down by 258,000 from 3.8 million the week before.

Businesses are reopening rapidly as the rollout of vaccines allows Americans to feel more comfortable returning to restaurants, bars and shops. The Labor Department reported Tuesday that job openings hit a record 9.3 million in April. Layoffs dropped to 1.4 million, lowest in records dating back to 2000; 4 million quit their jobs in April, another record and a sign that they are confident enough in their prospects to try something new.

In May, the U.S. economy generated 559,000 million new jobs, and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.8% from 6.1% in April. Many economists expected to see even faster job growth. The United States is still short 7.6 million jobs from where it stood in February 2020.

But employers are posting vacancies faster than would-be applicants can fill them. Many Americans are contending with health and childcare issues related to COVID-19 and with career uncertainty after the coronavirus recession wiped out many jobs for good. Some are taking their time looking for work because expanded federal jobless benefits pay more than their old jobs.

Powered by WPeMatico

19 arrested in raid of illegal gambling operation in Garden Grove neighborhood

GARDEN GROVE — Police said they made 19 arrests Wednesday evening at an illegal gambling operation in a Garden Grove neighborhood.

Police responded about 7 p.m. to the 10000 block of McMichael Drive, near Brookhurst Street and north of Chapman Avenue, and determined a residence “was in fact operating as an illegal gambling establishment,” according to Sgt. Troy Haller of the Garden Grove Police Department.

A search warrant was served at the home and 12 gambling machine consoles and a gun were found and seized, Haller said.

Officers arrested 19 people for illegal gambling violations and/or outstanding arrest warrants, Haller said.

 

Read more about 19 arrested in raid of illegal gambling operation in Garden Grove neighborhood This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico