Trump assures his supporters in Washington that he will “never” concede victory

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, has assured this Wednesday at a rally with his supporters outside the White House that he would never admit he lost the election, as Congress prepared to certify Joe Biden’s victory.

“We never give up. We will never concede, ”Trump told the cheering crowd. “We are going to stop the theft (…) We have won the elections.”

He also urged Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday to failure to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory in a session of Congress scheduled for this afternoon, repeating unfounded allegations of electoral fraud.

“If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election,” Trump told his supporters gathered outside the White House. “You have the absolute right to do so.”

“Mike Pence will have to help us, and if he doesn’t, it will be a sad day for our country,” Trump added, calling Republican lawmakers planning to certify Biden “weak.


Koeman grants an extra vacation to Messi, absent against Eibar

Lionel Messi recognizes that Barça is not going through a good time today, either as a club or as a team, but despite everything is shown encouraged and ready to lead a Barça recovery that at this moment still looks distant, as he confesses, but what he expects from an institution that he still loves for what it has meant in his career. «I came here when I was thirteen, I grew up in the club and in the city. I’ve been here longer than in my own country. The club trained me as a player and as a person, it gave me everything. I always I left everything for Barça and it’s a love relationship“Messi replied in an interview with Jordi Évole, on LaSexta, when asked about his current feeling about the Catalan club, who came close to leaving last summer.

«Today I am fine. It is true that I had a very bad time in the summer, with the burofax and all that, and already before, with the end of the season. It cost me because I was not where I wanted to be and many of those around me were missing in the dressing room, but I feel good, wanting to fight for everything we have ahead, excited. We are going through a bad club and team moment and it will be difficult to get back to where we were, but I’m looking forward to it. Everyone has their say, everyone talks and nowadays people can believe any lie “, explained the Argentine star about his current situation, critical of some information about his future, before tiptoeing over the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu, with whom he maintained a cold relationship after having distanced himself considerably in recent times and whom he accused of having lied to him. However, he avoided speaking out in favor of any of the pre-candidates for the Barça presidency, with whom he claimed not to have had contact.

“Many times I told the president that I wanted to go and it was a way of doing it officially. I needed a change of scene because I knew it would be a year of transition and I wanted to keep fighting for everything. I felt that a cycle had been completed and that it was time. It was a very difficult decision, knowing that it was to leave the club of my life and that there is no better city than this to live in, “he explained about the now famous burofax Through which he communicated to Barça his intention to leave the club last summer, after ensuring that he did not regret that decision and that he would do so again. «I have nothing clear until the end of the year. The important thing now is to think about getting titles, “he added in relation to Her future.

“It hurt me to lose, but above all because of how it was lost, because I have lost many times in my life,” he explained about that painful 2-8 against Bayern from Munich that ended Quique Setién’s time at Barça and that also marked a symbolic end of the cycle at a club that still continues to search for direction today.

Guardiola and Luis Enrique, the best

“He is the best”, answered Messi forcefully to the question about Pep Guardiola. «I was very struck by how he prepared the matches. I was unlucky, in quotes, that I had Guardiola for a long time and Luis Enrique and they taught me everything about what happens on the court. I thought I already knew everything about Guardiola and then Luis Enrique arrived and taught me other things, “he praised what he considers to be the two best coaches of his career, although he denied that he had spoken with Guardiola about a possible signing for Manchester City.

«What counts here is to play, to comply with the signed television contracts, and the athlete is not considered. We like to play and we do it, I do not know if we are used or not, “said the Rosario on how compressed the calendar and the risk that this sometimes entails for the footballer’s health.

«When I started to be a professional and really dedicate myself to this, the passion of the fan I put aside a little. Today what makes me get up are my children, they are what moves me the most today, “said the ’10’ Barça player, who cited Nadal, Federer, LeBron James and himself Cristiano Ronaldo, his great rival for so many years on the pitch, like some of the athletes he admires.

“We couldn’t believe it when we found out about the Diego’s death (Maradona). It is normal for him to happen with everything he meant and did for Argentina, “said Messi in reference to his reaction to learning of the death of the myth and the state funeral and the madness among the crowd that he unleashed in his country.

The Argentine, who also admitted that sometimes he would like to put fame aside to do things that being globally known prevents him from doing, explained his plan to spend Christmas in Argentina, a few dates that he likes to celebrate “very much” and The kind he remembers a ball and a Newell’s Old Boys T-shirt as his first Christmas gifts. It couldn’t be otherwise in a soccer genius.

Extra vacation

Messi was precisely the great absent on return to training of Barça at the Joan Gamper Sports City in Sant Joan Despí, after the four days of festivities enjoyed by the Barça squad for Christmas, as he did not appear this Sunday, with the permission of the coach, Ronald Koeman.

As reported by the club, Messi will return to Barça discipline after the game against Eibar, which will be played on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. at the Camp Nou, so the Argentine star will extend his vacation in Rosario, his hometown, and will not play again until January 3 against Huesca. The club justifies Koeman’s decision by referring to a treatment on the right ankle that the player is completing.

The other members of the squad returned to work except for the long-term injured Ansu Fati, Gerard Piqué and Sergi Roberto. The great novelty of the call against Eibar has many probabilities to be that of Ousmane Dembélé, who trained with the group normally. Before training, all the Barcelona players passed a PCR test as set out in LaLiga’s health protocol.


Trump pardons 20 people, including two convicted in Russian plot – US and Canada – International

The outgoing president of the United States, Donald Trump, granted clemency to 20 people on Tuesday, including two convicted of the Russian plot and three former Republican congressmen implicated in acts of corruption.

(You may be interested: US Congress approves multimillion-dollar covid-19 relief plan)

Trump also granted clemency to four contractors for the private military company Blackwater implicated in the killing of 14 civilians in Iraq in 2007. One of them, Nicholas Slatten, was serving a life sentence.

The highest profile forgiveness is George Papadopoulos, who was a foreign affairs advisor to the Trump campaign in 2016 and who pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents as part of the investigation into the Russian plot led by Robert Mueller.

The outgoing president also pardoned Alex van der Zwaan, an attorney who pleaded guilty to the same charges as Papadopoulos.

Papadopoulos served 12 days in jail and Van der Zwaan 30.

(Also: Trump supporters organize inauguration parallel to Biden’s)

The three former Republican congressmen pardoned are Duncan Hunter de California, Chris Collins de New York y Steve Stockman de Texas.

Stockman was serving a 10-year prison sentence for money laundering, Collins a 26-month sentence for securities fraud and Hunter was soon to go to prison to serve 11 months for embezzlement of campaign funds.

(We recommend: Biden will ask Congress for a new economic aid plan for covid-19)

Days ago, Trump pardoned his former National Security adviser General Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Kremlin.

For days it had been rumored with a package of Christmas pardons by Trump, who will have to leave power on January 20.

In fact, the pardons are an indicator that even though Trump has not acknowledged his defeat in the November elections against Democrat Joe Biden, he is aware that he will have to leave power.

Among those pardoned, however, no one of Trump’s closest collaborators appears at the moment, like his relatives or his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, as had also been rumored.

(It may interest you: Biden and his wife were vaccinated against the coronavirus)



The judge grants the third degree to Rodrigo Rato

The Penitentiary Surveillance Court of the National High Court granted this Thursday the third degree to the former president of Bankia Rodrigo Rato. Whoever was also vice president of the Spanish Government during the two terms of José María Aznar, between 1996 and 2004, will serve the rest of his sentence in freedom, but under telematic control.

Rato, who was also managing director of the International Monetary Fund between 2004 and 2007, had been serving justice in the Soto del Real prison since the end of October 2018, after being convicted of the Caja Madrid ‘black cards’ case. , specifically, for a continuing crime of misappropriation with a sentence of four and a half years in prison, of which he has already served almost two.

The decision of the National Court takes place two days after (like the other 33 defendants) it has been acquitted in the case opened for the listing of Bankia and for which he was accused of the crime of fraud to investors and accounting falsity, for which he was asked for a sentence of up to eight and a half years in prison.

His acquittal, key

Precisely, his acquittal in the ‘Bankia case’ “has allowed”, states the order granting the third degree, “to clarify his criminal-prison situation.” “Although it is reasonable to have waited for the conclusion and sentence of said procedure when requesting high penalties from the Prosecutor’s Office for crimes of accounting falsification and fraud against investors, currently this argument has declined ‘per se’ as an acquittal has been handed down.”

Although this does not end the judicial history of Rodrigo Rato. He is still awaiting a case that began in April 2015: he is being investigated for the alleged commission of crimes against the Treasury, money laundering and corruption in business due to the irregularities that he could have committed through his companies. The order granting him the telematically supervised release also takes this issue into consideration and points out that this cannot become a “slab that prevents the current prison classification.”

Judge José Luis Castro uses a similar argument when he assesses the possible “social alarm” linked to this decision: the magistrate argues that “this criterion cannot be maintained indefinitely, especially when the inmate has been enjoying exit permits without incident.”

The order also states that the rest of those convicted of Caja Madrid’s ‘black’ are already enjoying third degree or parole. It is true that the sentence to which Rato was sentenced was greater, which required a longer period of observation and treatment.

In favor of the judge’s decision, the fact that the Treatment Board of the Soto del Real prison itself has proposed by majority the progression of the inmate to the third degree, understanding that he is able to continue serving his sentence in a regime of semi-freedom. In addition, the magistrate relies on the reports issued by the professionals of the prison technical team. The judge concludes that there are the circumstances and variables that make Rodrigo Rato worthy of the third degree, to which is added his advanced age (71 years), which would allow him, meeting the legal requirements, to obtain conditional release for this cause , to which must be added the coronary diseases he suffers.

Among the factors for granting the third degree, the judge highlights that the former president of Bankia has been enjoying exit permits without negative impact. And, furthermore, he argues that due to his professional activity and his age, he is attributed “a low prognosis of recidivism.”

Pardon and fine

Judge Castro also values ​​that the former vice president of the Government has assumed the economic responsibility derived from his conviction for the so-called case of the ‘black cards’: Rato paid both the fine and the direct and subsidiary civil liability. According to the order, in the case of economic crimes, good behavior in prison or during the enjoyment of permits is not enough for the purposes of assessing the reintegration process, but there must be a “plus requirement” verified in the effect repairing the damage caused, which, the judge says, in this case has been fully covered.

The order also states that Rato, in addition to assuming pecuniary responsibilities, also “has asked forgiveness voluntarily, publicly and notoriously before his immediate admission to prison.” Upon entering the penitentiary, Rodrigo Rato declared: “I apologize to society and to all those people who may have felt affected.”


Southern and northern Europe grant a truce

Turning to clichés does not always yield good results, and now, five hundred years after the Protestant reform, the Dutch economy is not stronger than the Italian or Spanish one because of the Lutheran ideas that it holds in its society, and neither the sun nor the climate of Rome, Madrid or Barcelona are the final explanation for understanding why in southern Europe economic rigor is much less effective than in the north of the continent. But, in truth, and a health and economic crisis as shocking as the one generated by COVID-9 is really a key moment, these two traditions have now found themselves face to face again. Until late Thursday night, European governments’ frustrated attempts to agree on a common answer to the deep economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus were marked by common suspicions. A mistrust that peaked when, at one of the first meetings, Dutch Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra dropped out that perhaps an “inquiry” would be needed to find out why some countries, with particular reference to Italy and Spain, they did not have the budgetary margin to go in debt, although at least in terms of macroeconomic figures the whole eurozone country has been strolling for seven consecutive years with green numbers.

“Disgusting.” This is how Hoeskstra’s words were defined by the Portuguese Prime Minister, Antonio Costa. And that Portugal, with its exemplary management of the coronavirus crisis (not yet 400 dead by more than 18,000 from Italy or 15,000 from Spain), did not reach the appointment with the same need as the governments of Giuseppe Conte and Pedro Sánchez, both of displaying negotiating success in their respective citizenships and of obtaining oxygen for two severely damaged economies in recent weeks.

In the end, as always, the mediation of Germany and France, the role of Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron, served to make possible what Thursday night seemed like a chimera. An understanding of the lows between southern and northern Europe to provide emergency financial assistance to countries that need it for more than € 500 billion (in particular, Italy and Spain, which will be able to access it without excessive conditioning and imposing (such as those suffered by Greece in its rescue after the last great crisis); but soothing Holland, Germany or Finland, continuing to put off the so-called “coronabonus” off the table. So, for the moment, there will be no issuance of European joint debt. “We believe that this concept would not help Europe or the Netherlands in the long run,” said Dutchman Wopke Hoekstra via social media about “coronabonus” which, in addition to Italy and Spain, also claims France in front of ” no »from Holland, Germany, Austria or Finland.

An agreement with three legs

“Everyone has achieved something in the agreement. Italy and its allies have very mild conditions and the Netherlands has very limited use of credit facilities, “said Grégory Claeys, a researcher at Bruegel Study Center, in a statement to EFE. Remembering that, to the satisfaction of the Dutch Government, the money of the MEDE (the European Coronavirus Rescue Fund) under these “light” conditions can only be used to cover health expenses.

Going into detail, the agreement on Thursday morning could be described as “an emergency shield” with three legs: current MEDE loans of up to 240 billion euros (these are the ones that can only go to health issues), financial support to pay unemployment benefits (€ 100,000 million) and a guarantee program to facilitate access to companies up to € 200,000 million. As a whole, up to € 540 billion in financial aid that Europe mobilizes in which, through the social networks of one of its spokesmen, Chancellor Angela Merkel defined “as an important milestone in the common response and support for the coronavirus pandemic “.

Valuation of agreements between EU countries is usually the day after the election. Everyone is winning and, for example, a look at the Dutch and Spanish newspapers made it clear that this is the color you want to see. “Without coronabonus and under strict conditions for countries that want to use the European Emergency Fund,” they told the Dutch From Telegraaf, The satisfaction of Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra, who, in the previous days before the agreement, had received criticism for conveying a solid outward image, was clear. “It makes a lot of sense that they have adhered to our requirements, the current agreement is reasonable for the Netherlands and we are supportive,” wrote the Dutch daily Hoesktra.

However, in Madrid, as is also usual, the interpretation went by neighborhoods with The country emphasizing that “the EU agrees to unlock half a billion euros in aid against the coronavirus crisis” and the ABC incorporating a significant “without coronabonus” in its holder. However, the surely more realistic view of the agreement between the European states came not from the austere Netherlands or the needy Spain, but from the pragmatic Germany, where, despite the public satisfaction of Chancellor Merkel, the Süddeutsche Zeitung he did not hesitate to write yesterday: “The response of EU finance ministers to the dramatic pandemic of the coronavirus is small and technocratic; the package of aid will not prevent the economy from falling sharply”.