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10 months agoAston Villa eager to takeover Fosu-Mensah loan from Fulham

first_imgTagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Aston Villa eager to takeover Fosu-Mensah loan from Fulhamby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAston Villa are eyeing Manchester United fullback Timothy Fosu-Mensah.The Mirror says Fosu-Mensah is interesting Aston Villa.Dean Smith’s men were forced to recall Tommy Elphick from his loan at Hull City last month.Dutchman Fosu-Mensah is currently on loan at Fulham, but he has found opportunities hard to come by at Craven Cottage, making just eight appearances in the Premier League.This could leave to another loan switch to get more experience. last_img read more

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Trump expresses confidence in EPA chief as questions linger

first_imgWASHINGTON – White House officials sounded increasingly doubtful Thursday about the future of embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt, even as President Donald Trump appeared to throw him a public lifeline.Speaking Thursday to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump used a series of superlatives to describe Pruitt.“I think he’s done a fantastic job,” the president said. “I think he’s done an incredible job. He’s been very courageous. It hasn’t been easy, but I think he’s done a fantastic job. I think he’ll be fine. “That was contrasted by more tepid remarks earlier from White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley.“They say we all serve at the pleasure of the president,” Gidley told reporters. “The president himself said he had confidence (in Pruitt), and so that’s where we stand today.”Pruitt has been under fire for days amid numerous ethics questions, including his rental of a bargain-priced Capitol Hill condo with ties to a fossil fuels lobbyist. If Trump were to fire him, he would be the fourth agency head ousted in the Trump administration’s first 15 months.Trump has often lavished praise on Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general who has worked relentlessly to scrap, delay or rewrite Obama-era environmental regulations opposed by the oil, gas and coal industries.But he also has publicly expressed support for other administration officials who were fired or resigned, right up until sending tweets announcing their departure.A review of Pruitt’s ethical conduct by White House officials is underway, adding to other probes already being conducted by congressional committees and EPA’s inspector general into outsized spending on luxury air travel and unusual security precautions.The ranking Democrat on the House oversight committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, called Thursday for Pruitt to appear on Capitol Hill next week to provide sworn testimony. In a letter to the committee chairman, Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, Cummings said EPA had failed to fully comply with prior demands for Pruitt’s travel records and requested that the documents be subpoenaed.The New York Times reported Thursday that at least five EPA officials were reassigned or demoted after pushing back against spending requests that included a $100,000-a-month private jet membership, a bulletproof vehicle and $70,000 to replace two desks in the administrator’s office suite. None of those purchases were approved, but Pruitt is reported to have gotten an ornate refurbished desk comparable in grandeur to the one in the Oval Office.CBS News first reported that the head of Pruitt’s security detail was demoted last year after the career employee refused the administrator’s demand to use the lights and sirens on his EPA vehicle to get him through D.C. traffic faster.Meanwhile, an EPA ethics official said Wednesday he wasn’t provided all of the relevant “factual information” before determining last week that Pruitt’s $50-a-night rental was not an ethics violation.EPA lawyer Kevin Minoli said his finding that Pruitt was paying fair-market value was based on the assumption that Pruitt occupied only one bedroom for $50 a night, as outlined in the lease.Media reports later disclosed that Pruitt’s college-aged daughter occupied a second bedroom in the unit while she interned at the White House last summer. Minoli said he did not consider the value of a second room in his analysis.Pruitt paid about $1,000 a month, less than a third of what Minoli’s review found nearby two-bedroom homes listed for. The Associated Press obtained a copy of Minoli’s letter, which was first reported by CNN.Pruitt had gone on the offensive Wednesday, trying to shore up his position in a series of interviews with Fox News and conservative media outlets during which he continued to suggest he had lived alone.White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that Trump is not OK with some of the details that have emerged, including news this week of enormous raises awarded to two of Pruitt’s close aides. In a combative Fox News interview, Pruitt said he didn’t approve the raises and doesn’t know who did.Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York on Thursday became the third House Republican to say Pruitt should go, joining a growing chorus of Democrats and environmentalists. She was speaking to about 200 constituents in her home district.Amid the ethics cloud, one of Pruitt’s closest aides has resigned. Samantha Dravis served as his senior counsel and associate administrator for policy. EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said Thursday that Dravis, 34, was leaving to pursue other opportunities.Dravis previously worked for a fundraising group founded by Pruitt before being hired at EPA. She often accompanied the administrator on his frequent trips across the country and oversees.The condo rented by Pruitt is co-owned by the wife of J. Steven Hart, chairman and CEO of the powerhouse lobbying firm Williams & Jensen.On Pruitt’s lease, a copy of which was reviewed by AP, Steven Hart’s name was originally typed in as “landlord” but was scratched out. The name of his wife, health care lobbyist Vicki Hart, was scribbled in.Federal disclosure reports show Hart’s firm lobbied EPA, including Pruitt himself, extensively over the past year.The Associated Press reported last week that while living in the Hart condo he met in his EPA office with a lobbyist from Hart’s firm and two executives from an energy company seeking to scuttle tighter pollution standards for coal-fired power plants.Beyond the question of whether Pruitt paid a fair-market value for the rental, Hart’s business interests potentially raise other ethics issues that Minoli said he did not consider as part of his earlier review of whether the favourable lease constituted an improper gift to Pruitt from the lobbyist.Ethics rules covering federal officials say they must remain impartial when making regulatory decisions and can’t show favouritism. Pruitt also signed an ethics pledge when joining the Trump administration in which he promised not to accept gifts from lobbyists.But, ultimately, it’s up to the president to determine whether Pruitt goes or stays.“I’ll make that determination,” Trump said when asked whether he was bothered by the ethics issues surrounding Pruitt. “But he’s a good man, he’s done a terrific job. But I’ll take a look at it.”___Associated Press reporters Zeke Miller, Catherine Lucey and Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.___Follow AP environmental reporter Michael Biesecker at http://twitter.com/mbiesecklast_img read more

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BC threatens to sue Alberta as all sides in Trans Mountain dispute

first_imgVICTORIA – All sides in the escalating dispute over the Trans Mountain expansion project appear to be digging in with the Alberta and British Columbia governments clashing over fuel prices and Indigenous and political leaders warning of civil unrestTensions escalated Monday with B.C. Attorney General David Eby threatening to sue Alberta over legislation it introduced to restrict the flow of oil, gasoline and natural gas leaving that province, which could boost fuel prices in B.C.“The immediate recourse that’s available to us is to potentially sue the Alberta government for an unconstitutional piece of legislation,” he said.Eby said he can’t predict gasoline prices — now at about $1.50 per litre in Metro Vancouver — but “what I can say is any concern British Columbians have that a bill that preferentially punishes B.C. from the Alberta perspective and tries to drive up gas prices would be unconstitutional and we would take action immediately to address that.”Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the legislation sends the message that Alberta is prepared to defend its resources.It would direct pipeline companies, truckers and rail operators on how much oil product they ship and when. Violators would face fines of up to $1 million a day for individuals and $10 million a day for corporations.The legislation is the latest manoeuvre in the ongoing dispute over the pipeline project that has the federal and Alberta governments supporting the pipeline expansion project, while B.C. opposes it, saying it is defending its coast from a potentially catastrophic spill.The federal government approved the 1,700-kilometre pipeline expansion project starting near Edmonton and ending in Burnaby, B.C., in November 2016, saying the pipeline is in the national interest. Alberta said the $7.4-billion pipeline to the West Coast gives the province access to overseas markets.But the B.C. government says the expansion and seven-fold increase in oil tanker traffic in coastal waters poses environmental and economic risks that are too great. The province is preparing to ask the courts to determine who has jurisdiction over the pipeline in the province.Kinder Morgan announced earlier this month it is pulling back on spending for the project and gave Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government until May 31 to give a clear signal the project will proceed.Trudeau, Notley and B.C. Premier John Horgan met Sunday in Ottawa to discuss the pipeline, but emerged from the meeting deadlocked. Trudeau repeated the federal government’s commitment to ensuring the project’s completion and announced his government was preparing to hold private, financial talks with Kinder Morgan.Indigenous leaders, who were not invited to the meeting in Ottawa, joined together with representatives of the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby on Monday to redouble their opposition to the pipeline.Stewart Phillip, the grand chief of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, said opposition is broad-based and entrenched.“It’s a stinker of an idea. It’s a stinker of a proposal and it will be defeated,” he said.Phillip said resistance to Trans Mountain isn’t just from Indigenous Peoples, but people of all backgrounds from across Canada.So far, about 200 people have been arrested at protests near the pipeline terminal site in Burnaby.Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said he expected civil disobedience against the pipeline to continue to grow.He said he’s embarrassed Canada’s prime minister and the Alberta premier are kowtowing to an American multinational oil company.“I think if people totally lose faith in our democratic system, if they believe that the federal government has been able to impose its will, that they’ve ignored the court proceedings, then I think we’re looking for chaos,” said Corrigan. “And that’s what worries me.”B.C.’s prosecution service announced Monday it would consider criminal contempt of court charges against protesters alleged to have broken a court injunction while demonstrating near the pipeline construction site.The service also said it had appointed a special prosecutor in the cases of Green party Leader Elizabeth May and New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart, both arrested at the site.— With files from Gemma Karstens-Smith.last_img read more

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Twin bombing at Afghan public ceremony kills four leaves 30 hurt

first_imgKabul: A twin bombing at a public ceremony in southern Afghanistan on Saturday killed at least four people, including a provincial official, and wounded more than 30, officials said. Omar Zwak, spokesman for the governor of Helmand province, said the bombings targeted a celebration of Farmer’s Day in a sports stadium in the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah. Mohammad Khan Nasrat, the economic director of Helmand, was among those killed in the attack, the government said in a statement. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USZwak said 31 other people were wounded in the blasts, including provincial council members and provincial security officials, but he said none were in critical condition. The Taliban, who effectively control half the country, including large parts of Helmand province, claimed the attack. The insurgents have kept up their daily attacks on Afghan security forces and government targets even as they have held several rounds of talks with the United States in recent months aimed at ending the 17-year war. Elsewhere in Afghanistan, dozens of people protested against a military operation in the northern Kunduz province while carrying the remains of their loved ones. Photos from the protest showed what appeared to be the bodies of 12 people, including five or six small children.last_img read more

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