Taiwan says China sending planes near island almost daily

Taiwan says China sending planes near island almost daily

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In this photo taken Feb. 10, 2020, and released by the Republic of China (ROC) Ministry of National Defense, a Taiwanese Air Force F-16 in foreground flies on the flank of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) H-6 … more >

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Associated Press

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – China is sending military planes near Taiwan with increasing frequency in what appears to be a stepping up of its threat to use force to take control of the island, Taiwan’s foreign minister said Wednesday.

Such flights are more frequent than reported in the media and have become “virtually a daily occurrence,” Joseph Wu told reporters.

Along with Chinese military exercises simulating an attack on Taiwan, the flights by China are causing major concern for Taiwan’s government, Wu said.

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“What it is doing now is unceasingly preparing to use force to resolve the Taiwan problem,” Wu said.

China claims the self-ruling island democracy as its own territory and threatens to use the People’s Liberation Army to bring it under its control. The sides split in a civil war in 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists fled to the former Japanese colony as the Communist Party took control in mainland China.

Beijing has cut ties with the island’s government since Taiwan elected independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016 and has sought to isolate it diplomatically while raising the military threat. Despite that, Tsai was reelected this year by a wide margin.

Wu said China appeared to have grown in confidence following its crackdown on opposition voices in the former British colony of Hong Kong, facilitated by the national legislature’s passage of a sweeping security law.

“If international society does not give China a sufficiently clear signal, I believe China will take it that international society will not impede it in doing other things,” Wu said. “This is what we are extremely worried about.”

Wu stressed the need for coordination with allies such as Japan and the U.S., neither of which has official diplomatic ties with Taiwan but which maintain close relations. U.S. law mandates that Washington ensure the island can maintain a credible defense and treat all threats against the island as matters of grave concern.

Support among Taiwanese for political unification with China has long been weak and has fallen further following the crackdown in Hong Kong. That comes as Chinese Communist Party leader and President Xi Jinping pursues an increasingly assertive foreign policy, leading to speculation he may attempt a military confrontation in the region.

Taliban make big changes ahead of expected talks with Kabul

Taliban make big changes ahead of expected talks with Kabul

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FILE – In this March 9, 2020, file photo, Washington’s peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, attends Ashraf Ghani’s inauguration ceremony at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. The Taliban put the son of the movement’s feared founder in charge of its … more >

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By KATHY GANNON

Associated Press

Friday, July 17, 2020

ISLAMABAD (AP) – The Taliban have put the son of the movement’s feared founder in charge of their military wing and added several powerful figures to their negotiating team, Taliban officials said. The shake-up, one of the most significant in years, comes ahead of expected talks with Kabul aimed at ending decades of war in Afghanistan.

As head of a newly united military wing, 30-year-old Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob brings his father’s fiercely uncompromising reputation to the battlefield.

Equally significant is the addition of four members of the insurgent group’s leadership council to the 20-member negotiating team, Taliban officials told The Associated Press.

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The shuffle, overseen by Taliban leader Mullah Hibatullah Akhunzada, is meant to tighten his control over the movement’s military and political arms, the officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the inner workings of the Taliban.

Analysts say the shake-up could be good news for negotiations with the Afghan political leadership, and a sign of how seriously the Taliban are taking this second – and perhaps most critical – step in a deal Washington signed with the insurgents in February.

“I’d say it appears to be a positive development because the Taliban are creating a delegation that seems more senior and more broad-based than they’ve used to date, or than might be strictly necessary for the opening stages of talks,” said Andrew Wilder, vice president of the Asia Program at the Washington-based U.S. Institute of Peace.

“If you want to see the glass as half full, this strengthened Taliban delegation could be interpreted as a sign that the group is planning to engage in serious discussions,” he said.

When the U.S. signed the deal with the Taliban on Feb. 29, after more than a year and a half of negotiations, it was touted as Afghanistan’s best chance at peace in four decades of war. It was also seen as a road map for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, ending America’s longest war.

On Monday, four-and-a-half months since the signing, chief U.S. negotiator and peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted that “a key milestone in the implementation of the U.S.-Taliban agreement” had been reached as American troop numbers dropped to 8,600 from about 12,000 and five bases were closed in Afghanistan.

Even as Khalilzad chastised increased insurgent attacks on Afghan security forces, he said the Taliban had been true to their word not to attack U.S. and NATO troops.

“No American has lost his/her life in Afghanistan to Taliban violence. Regional relations have improved,” he tweeted.

The Taliban have stepped up their military activity against Afghan government forces since Yaqoob’s appointment in May, a sign the militants under his leadership may see battlefield wins as upping their leverage at the negotiating table.

“I can see a lot of reasons for the Taliban to be pushing the envelope – perhaps as a negotiation tactic, but equally likely as a means to test U.S limits,” said Daniel Markey, a senior research professor at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. “So far, the Trump administration looks like it is heading for the exit, no matter what. Why not ratchet up the violence to see what greater victories can be won? ”

Surprisingly, the shuffle also sidelined senior Taliban leader Amir Khan Muttaqi, removing him from the negotiating committee. Seen as close to neighboring Pakistan, his removal could limit Pakistan’s influence and buttress their position with Kabul, which is deeply suspicious of Islamabad.

Already a deputy head of the movement, the sudden appointment of the son of Mullah Mohammed Omar as the Taliban military chief reportedly ruffled feathers among members of the leadership council, who had not been consulted. Yaqoob, however, met with the council and won over the dissenters, said the Taliban officials.

“Yaqoob’s appointment appears to be, at least in part, an effort by Mullah Akhundzada to shore up oversight of battlefield operations at a key moment … as the insurgents ramp up violence to strengthen their negotiating position in preparation for potential peace talks with the Afghan government,” said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the Washington-based Wilson Center.

In recent weeks, hopes have been raised of a July start to negotiations but the Taliban and the Kabul government have become bogged down in the final release of prisoners, a prerequisite for the start of negotiations. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told the AP on Friday that the Taliban reject government efforts to substitute prisoners from the originally negotiated list for the exchange.

Countries have been lining up to host the talks, with Germany being the latest to put in an offer and Turkey, Iran, Indonesia, Japan and Norway reportedly among the nations volunteering. However, the Taliban and Afghan government officials say the first round is likely to be held in Doha, the capital of Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office.

The newly strengthened negotiating team includes Abdul Hakeem, the Taliban’s chief justice and confidant of Akhunzada, as well as Maulvi Saqib, who was chief justice during the Taliban rule.

Under the U.S.-Taliban deal, the Taliban – who during their rule of Afghanistan hosted al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden as he planned the 9/11 attacks – have pledged to no longer host any terror groups. They also guarantee that Afghanistan will not be used as a launching arena for future attacks against America.

In a tweet this week, Khalilzad said “more progress is needed on counter-terrorism,” without elaborating.

This week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also spoke about the controversy surrounding the White House over reports of Russian money being paid to Afghan militias – reportedly with links to the Taliban – to kill U.S. troops.

“There’s a lot of Russian footprint; there are Russian weapon systems there. We have made clear to our Russian counterparts that we ought to work together to get a more sovereign, more independent, peaceful Afghanistan,” he said.

___

Associated Press writer Matthew Lee in Washington and Tameem Akghar in Kabul, Afghanistan contributed to this report.

Asia Today: South Korean prosecutors question church leader

Asia Today: South Korean prosecutors question church leader

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Police officers wearing face masks to help protect against the spread of the new coronavirus stand guard outside of the Supreme Court of Korea in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, July 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man) more >

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Associated Press

Thursday, July 16, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korean prosecutors on Friday questioned the leader of a secretive church sect over accusations it hampered the government’s anti-virus response after thousands of COVID-19 infections were detected among its members in February and March.

Lee Man-hee, the 88-year-old chairman of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, was questioned for about four hours at a district prosecutors’ office in Suwon, south of Seoul, before being sent home after he complained about unspecified health problems, prosecution and church officials said. Hwang Seong-hyeon, a prosecutor in Suwon, said his office plans to summon Lee again for further questioning over the possibility that the church violated the country’s infectious disease law.

Lee and other Shincheonji leaders have faced suspicions of hiding some of the church’s membership and under-reporting its worship activities to health authorities to avoid broader quarantines. Prosecutors last week arrested three senior members of the church over the allegations. Lee and Shincheonji have steadfastly denied the accusation.

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More than 5,200 of South Korea’s 13,672 cases have been linked to the church. Its branch in the southern city of Daegu became the biggest cluster after infections spiked in late February.

Health authorities used an aggressive test-and-quarantine program to contain the outbreak in Daegu and nearby towns by April, but the country has seen a resurgence of the virus in the Seoul area since late May as people increasingly venture out in public.

Senior Health Ministry official Yoon Tae-ho said the spread of the coronavirus is stabilizing in the Seoul area and other major cities.

The 60 new cases reported Friday included 39 linked to people arriving from abroad. The country is enforcing two-week quarantines for all people arriving from overseas.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

– India crossed 1 million coronavirus cases on Friday, prompting concerns about its readiness to confront an inevitable surge that could overwhelm hospitals and test its feeble health care system. A surge of 34,956 cases in the past 24 hours took the confirmed total to 1,003,832. The Health Ministry also reported a record 687 deaths for a total of 25,602. The grim milestone comes at a time when several Indian states are imposing focused lockdowns to stem the outbreak amid frantic efforts by local governments to protect the economy.

– Another 293 people were confirmed infected in Tokyo on Friday, the second straight daily high in Japan’s capital. “We have asked people and businesses to raise their alert levels,” Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike said, urging social distancing, disinfecting of hands and other measures. The city is working to increase its testing capacity and Koike said it is boosting the ability of hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients. Japan has so far avoided the massive cases of the hardest hit nations, with fewer than 24,000 confirmed cases and about 1,000 deaths. It has been trying to keep economic activity while avoiding the virus’s spread, a precarious balancing act of opening restaurants and theaters with limited seating, and having store clerks work behind plastic shielding.

– Further restrictions are being imposed on the northwestern Chinese city of Xinjiang following a cluster of new cases. Airlines say passengers departing the city’s airport are required to show a negative test for coronavirus and a mobile phone record showing they have a clean bill of health. The main subway line linking the city to the airport has also been shut, some residential communities closed off and restrictions imposed on use of public transport. The health department in the surrounding region of Xinjiang says six confirmed cases have been reported over the past 24 hours, along with 11 cases where people have tested positive but are showing no symptoms. The other cases reported in mainland China were all imported. Xinjiang is the homeland of the Uighur Muslim ethnic minority and has long been blanketed with extreme security.

– China on Friday began requiring those arriving on the mainland from Hong Kong show a negative coronavirus test taken within the previous three days and undergo 14 days of supervised quarantine, following a new outbreak in the semi-autonomous region. Notable exceptions include students and truck drivers who must cross the border daily, along with “important business people,” according to the official notice. Hong Kong reported 67 new infections on Thursday, a daily high. Authorities said 63 were locally transmitted and they could not trace the source of 35 of them.

– Australia’s hard-hit Victoria state reported a new high of 428 cases, as New South Wales state announced stricter measures after a spike in new virus cases. Most of Victoria’s new cases and three deaths reported on Friday were in the nation’s second-largest city, Melbourne, which has been locked down since last week. Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said the government was increasing the number of testing sites outside Melbourne. There are currently 50 testing sites in regional Victoria. Eight new cases were detected in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said customer limits currently imposed on pubs would be extended to restaurants, cafes, clubs and other hospitality venues from next Friday. The state’s largest cluster, now around 42 cases, began in a Sydney pub. Other parts of Australia have been lifting restrictions.

– Two U.S. diplomats are among five new coronavirus cases in Cambodia announced Friday. All five patients had traveled from the United States. Three are Cambodians who arrived via Taiwan, the Health Ministry said. It said the two Americans are senior diplomats who had flown from the U.S. via South Korea and are being isolated at the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh. An embassy spokesman declined to provide immediate comment or details. Cambodia banned virtually all new arrivals in March but last month eased the rules, allowing the repatriation of more Cambodians and the tightly restricted entry of foreigners. It has had 171 confirmed cases with no deaths.

Stocks rise on vaccine hopes; S&P 500 back within 5% of high

Stocks rise on vaccine hopes; S&P 500 back within 5% of high

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A man walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan’s Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Shares were mostly higher in Asia on Wednesday as investors were encouraged by news that an experimental … more >

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By STAN CHOE and DAMIAN J. TROISE and ALEX VEIGA

Associated Press

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

NEW YORK (AP) – Markets worldwide rallied on rising hopes for a COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, and the S&P; 500 climbed back to where it was a few days after it set its record early this year.

Investors see a vaccine as the best way for the economy and human life to get back to normal, and researchers said late Tuesday that one developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna revved up people’s immune systems in early testing, as hoped. The S&P; 500 rose 0.9% to pull within 4.7% of its all-time high set in February.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 227.51 points, or 0.9%, to 26,870.10, and the Nasdaq composite gained 61.91, or 0.6%, to 10,550.49. During the morning, the S&P; 500 touched its highest level since Feb. 25, and it ended the day at 3,226.56, up 29.04.

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Several things helped lift the market, including stronger-than-expected reports on the economy and on corporate profits from Goldman Sachs and others. But the vaccine hopes were at the center of the rise, which meant the market’s leaderboard was dominated by companies that would benefit most from a return to normal life. They included cruise-ship operators, airlines, retailers and hotel chains.

Stocks of smaller companies also leaped much more than the rest of the market, an indication of rising expectations for the economy. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks jumped 3.5%, a turnaround from earlier months when big, tech-oriented companies were carrying the market.

“Investors are gaining more confidence of the longer-term direction of the market,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA. “It’s not just the behemoth tech stocks that are likely to lead share prices higher, but that mid- and small-cap stocks will also benefit, not only from an economic recovery, but also from very low interest rates.”

Winners of the stay-at-home economy created by quarantines and lockdowns, meanwhile, lagged behind. Clorox, Netflix and Amazon all fell.

Wednesday’s lift for markets, though, came only after another day of choppy trading. The S&P; 500 shot to a quick 1.3% gain shortly after trading began, only to give up nearly all of it before swinging a couple more times.

It’s the latest bout of erratic trading for the market, which has been largely churning in place for weeks. The S&P; 500 is almost exactly where it was on June 8. Often, it’s swung sharply within a single day as hopes for a budding economic recovery collide with continuing increases in coronavirus counts.

On Wednesday, as Wall Street was losing its stride, Florida announced another daily death toll of more than 100 and Oklahoma’s governor said he tested positive for the coronavirus.

“People should be thinking about a balance of optimism and realism,” said Nela Richardson, investment strategist at Edward Jones.

She said there is a “long climb” to go for the economy’s reopening and pointed to other risks for the market, including U.S. tensions with China.

“We think it’s going to be a pretty bumpy road ahead,” she said.

Worries also remain high that the stock market has gone overboard in its rally: It has taken less than four months for the S&P; 500 to almost return to its record after being down nearly 34%. But it could take years for the economy and corporate profits to get back to where they were before the pandemic struck. .

Markets nevertheless climbed Wednesday, bolstered by the optimism about a possible vaccine and encouraging reports on the economy and corporate earnings.

The nation’s industrial production improved more in June than economists expected. So did manufacturing in New York state earlier this month.

Goldman Sachs rose 1.4% after it reported much stronger results for the latest quarter than analysts expected. Financial stocks in general did well, with those in the S&P; 500 up 1.9%.

Other areas of the market where profits are closely tied to the strength of the economy were also particularly strong. Industrial stocks rose 2.6% for the biggest gain among the 11 sectors that make up the S&P; 500, and energy producers gained 2%.

Royal Caribbean Cruises surged 21.2% to lead a group of stocks that stand to gain if shoppers and travelers get back to life as it was before the pandemic. American Airlines rose 16.2%, Gap jumped 12.7% Live Nation Entertainment rose 11.7% and Hilton Worldwide added 10.1%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 0.63% from 0.61% late Tuesday. It tends to move with investors’ expectations for the economy and inflation.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX returned 1.8%, while the CAC 40 in Paris advanced 2%. Britains FTSE 100 picked up 1.8%.

In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 advanced 1.6% after the Bank of Japan kept its ultra-easy monetary stance unchanged. It forecast that the economy would improve later in the year, assuming there is no major “second wave” of outbreaks of the new coronavirus.

South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.8%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was nearly unchanged.

Stocks in Shanghai slipped 1.6% after President Donald Trump signed a bill and executive order that he says will hold China accountable for its oppressive actions against the people of Hong Kong.

The legislation and order are part of an escalating diplomatic offensive against China that is adding to chronic tensions over trade and other issues.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 91 cents to settle at $41.20 per barrel. Brent oil, the international standard, picked up 89 cents to settle at $43.79 per barrel.

___

AP Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach contributed.

Wall Street ticks higher in another day of unsettled trading

Stock indexes shake off weak start and close broadly higher

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A man wearing a face mask walks past a bank’s electronic board showing the Hong Kong share index in Hong Kong, Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Asian shares fell Tuesday as skepticism set in about the recent upbeat mood on global … more >

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By STAN CHOE and DAMIAN J. TROISE and ALEX VEIGA

Associated Press

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

NEW YORK (AP) – The stock market shook off a weak start and ended broadly higher after pinballing through another day of unsettled trading. The S&P; 500 rose 1.3% Tuesday. It had been down nearly 1% in the early going. The gains accelerated as the day went on. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2.1%, lifted by gains for UnitedHealth Group and Caterpillar, among others. The bumpy trading followed another turbulent day Monday, when stocks veered from an early gain to a loss after California brought back restrictions on its economy amid a jump in coronavirus counts.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story appears below.

Wall Street is ticking higher Tuesday afternoon after pinballing through another day of unsettled trading.

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The S&P; 500 was up 0.8%, as of 3 p.m. Eastern time, after erasing an earlier loss of 0.9%. It follows up on Monday’s turbulence, when stocks veered from an early gain to a loss after California brought back restrictions on its economy amid a jump in coronavirus counts.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 442 points, or 1.7% at 26,528, lifted by gains for UnitedHealth Group and Caterpillar, among others. Big tech-oriented stocks were turning in mixed performances, though, which helped hold the Nasdaq composite to a more modest gain of 0.3%.

The latest erratic moves come as earnings reporting season kicks off for the market, and three of the nation’s biggest banks painted a mixed picture of how badly the coronavirus pandemic is ripping through their businesses.

“The earnings season is off to a very guarded start,” said J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade.

He pointed to cautious forecasts from companies that see the economy possibly taking a step back because of worsening COVID-19 trends, or at least taking longer to recover than expected.

“The fact that they are prepared for bad scenarios is helping to give the market a little confidence,” he said.

Like the broader market, financial stocks drifted between gains and losses for much of the day before turning higher in the afternoon. JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup said they collectively set aside nearly $27 billion during the second quarter to cover loans potentially going bad due to the recession.

But investors took very different approaches to each of them. JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s biggest bank, was up 0.6% after it said it made a record amount of revenue from April through June. Its profit for the latest quarter also managed to beat analysts’ expectations, even though it roughly halved from year-ago levels.

Wells Fargo, though, dropped 4.9% after it said it expects to cut its dividend. “Our view of the length and severity of the economic downturn has deteriorated considerably,” CEO Charlie Scharf said.

Citigroup fell 3.5% after CEO Michael Corbat said its overall business performance was strong last quarter, though net income dropped 73% from a year ago largely due to the $7.9 billion it had to set aside for loans potentially going bad.

Delta Air Lines lost 2.3% after its earnings and revenue for the latest quarter fell short of Wall Street’s already very low expectations. The pandemic is keeping fliers on the ground, and Delta’s passenger count plunged 93% during the quarter from a year earlier. CEO Ed Bastian said it could be two years before the airline sees a sustainable recovery.

Stocks have mostly churned in place since early June. That’s when the S&P; 500 pulled back within 4.5% of its record high set in February, after earlier being down nearly 34%. The index is now 6% below its record.

Pulling stocks higher has been a budding economic recovery, with the job market, retail sales and other measures of the economy halting their plunge and beginning to resume growth. Underlying it all is massive aid for the economy from central banks and governments around the world.

But pushing stocks down are accelerating coronavirus counts in hot spots around the world, which threatens to halt the recovery just as it got going. California demonstrated on Monday how dangerous that can be when the governor of the country’s largest state economy once again ordered bars, indoor dining and other businesses closed.

The worry is that the continuing pandemic could push states across the Sun Belt to roll back reopenings of their economies.

That’s why COVID-19 trends – along with the potential for more aid for the economy from Congress – will matter much more for markets in upcoming weeks than what companies say about their second-quarter results, said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at Global Investments.

“The progression of the virus should still be front and center for what is dictating and going to continue to dictate our prospects for economic growth going forward,” he said.

The stock market’s gains were relatively widespread in Tuesday afternoon trading, after it pulled out of its weak start. Smaller stocks were doing better than the rest of the market, with the small-cap Russell 2000 index up 1%.

And four out of five of the big stocks in the S&P; 500 were higher. Energy companies, raw-material producers and other companies whose profits desperately need the economy to strengthen were leading the way.

In Europe, France’s CAC 40 fell 1%, and Germany’s DAX lost 0.8%. The FTSE 100 in London added 0.1%.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.9%, South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1.1%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped to 0.61 from 0.62% late Monday. It tends to move with investors’ expectations of the economy and inflation.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 19 cents to settle at $40.29 per barrel. Brent oil, the international standard, rose 18 cents to $42.90 a barrel.

Japan’s ruling party calls for government to cancel Xi visit

Japan’s ruling party calls for government to cancel Xi visit

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By MARI YAMAGUCHI

Associated Press

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

TOKYO (AP) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling party adopted a resolution on Tuesday urging the government to cancel a visit to Japan by Chinese President Xi Jinping following Beijing’s imposition of a new national security law for Hong Kong.

“Under the current situation where grave concerns have been expressed from the international community about the principles of freedom, human rights, democracy … we have no choice but to urge (the government) to cancel President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Japan,” the Liberal Democratic Party said in its resolution, read by party diplomatic panel chief Yasuhide Nakayama.

The resolution condemned Beijing’s imposition last week of the security law for semi-autonomous Hong Kong. It said China should address the concerns of the international community, and the Japanese government should call more assertively on China to work toward building friendly relations.

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The new law makes secessionist, subversive, or terrorist activities illegal, as well as foreign intervention in the city’s internal affairs. Critics see it as Beijing’s boldest step yet to erase the legal firewall between the former British colony and the mainland’s authoritarian Communist system.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the top spokesman for Abe’s government, said the timing is not appropriate for arranging details of Xi’s visit and nothing has been decided.

Suga said the government’s position is that Japan and China should resolve outstanding issues through high-level talks including those between the leaders. He declined to comment on the possible impact of the resolution on JapanChina relations.

China has already criticized Japan for its recent expressions of regret over Beijing’s approach to Hong Kong.

Xi’s Japan visit, initially planned for this spring, had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. But China hawks in the ruling party have repeatedly raised criticisms of Abe’s invitation of Xi as a state guest, particularly amid anti-government unrest in Hong Kong since last year.

Abe has made improved JapanChina ties one of his main diplomatic goals.

Japan and China have long had disputes over their wartime history, ownership of a cluster of islands and undersea deposits in the East China Sea.

___

Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

Singapore opens gyms, dining out as China outbreak steadies

Singapore opens gyms, dining out as China outbreak steadies

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People have lunch together at the Newton Food Center Friday, June 19, 2020, in Singapore. Singaporeans can wine and dine at restaurants, work out at the gym and get together but no more than five people after most lockdown restrictions … more >

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By Royston Chan and Elaine Kurtenbach

Associated Press

Friday, June 19, 2020

SINGAPORE (AP) — Singaporeans can wine and dine at restaurants, work out at the gym and socialize with no more than five people at a time as of Friday, when the city-state removed most of its pandemic lockdown restrictions.

The latest relaxation comes as reopenings in many places around the world are touching off fresh spikes in infections, raising questions about how to live with the coronavirus without causing unnecessary deaths or economic catastrophe.

Getting back to business in Singapore came as China declared a fresh outbreak in Beijing under control after confirming 25 new cases among some 360,000 people tested. That was up by just four from a day earlier.

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A Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention official said the number of cases was expected to fall soon in outbreak centered on Beijing’s main wholesale market. So far Beijing has confirmed 183 new cases over the past week.

Singapore’s malls, gyms, massage parlors, parks and other public facilities reopened their doors with strict social distancing and other precautions.

“It was a long awaited experience, I would say. It’s been quite a few months long,” said Thomas Tan, a 34-year old customer service officer eating in an outdoor market. “It’s good to be able to eat outside with friends but there still must be social distancing.”

After at first appearing to have been a model for containing the virus, the country of only 5.8 million has one of the highest infection rates in Asia with 41,473 cases, mostly linked to foreign workers’ dorms. Authorities say such cases have declined, with no new large clusters and a stable number of other cases despite a partial economic reopening two weeks ago.

Wee Cheng Yan, a gym trainer, said it felt good to return to work after two months at home.

“Definitely, interaction has been lacking the past few months,” he said. “Watching a lot of TV. Doing a bit of resistance band training, which is not as effective as working out in the gym.”

Members of the gym still must make appointments and are limited to only two hours a day. The steam rooms remained shut and clients must wear masks at most times.

Contact sports, concerts, trade fairs, singing lessons and mass religious meetings are still banned and entertainment venues such as cinemas, karaokes and bars remain shut.

The 25 new cases reported Friday in Beijing were among 32 nationwide in China, four of them in Chinese who had returned from overseas.

Such outbreaks are inevitable, Wu Zunyou of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention told a news conference. But he stressed that prevention measures should not slacken.

Beijing suspended classes and put opening-up plans for everything from sports events to art exhibitions on hold. Bus travel to other regions was suspended to prevent the spread of the outbreak.

The outbreak started in the seafood section of the city’s Xinfadi market, raising worries infections might have come from imported fish or sea products. But a customs administration notice said nationwide testing for the coronavirus in food imports were all negative.

The pandemic is waxing and waning in many places, with numbers of cases soaring in Indonesia and India, Brazil and Mexico but appearing to be under control or contained in Thailand, Japan, Vietnam and New Zealand.

Japan’s foreign minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, said Friday that Japan and Vietnam have agreed to partially lift travel bans and ease restrictions step by step under the understanding that both countries have their outbreaks largely under control.

Vietnam is among four countries that Japan is discussing resuming mutual visits in phases. It is seeking similar arrangements with Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, India recorded 13,586 newly confirmed cases on Friday, raising its total to 380,532. Still, shops, malls, factories and places of worship have been allowed to reopen while schools and cinemas remain shuttered.

Infections surged in rural areas after hundreds of thousands of migrant workers left cities after losing jobs in a lockdown announced in late March. Such precautions are now restricted to high-risk “containment” zones.

In South Korea, outbreaks have inspired second-guessing on whether officials were too quick to ease social distancing guidelines in April after a first wave of infections waned. Officials reported 49 cases of COVID-19 on Friday as the virus continues to spread in the densely populated capital area of Seoul, where half of its 51 million people live. About 30 to 50 new cases have been confirmed per day since late May.

The new coronavirus has infected more than 8.4 million people worldwide and killed more than 453,000, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The actual number is thought to be much higher because many cases are asymptomatic or go untested.

In the U.S., which has the most cases at nearly 2.2 million, states have been pushing ahead with reopenings from full or partial pandemic shutdowns despite surges in cases in many places, including Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and California.

New cases skyrocketed Thursday in Oklahoma by 450, double the record-setting number reported two days earlier. Tulsa County, where President Donald Trump plans a rally on Saturday at an indoor arena, remained the state’s leading hot spot with 120 new cases for a total of 1,825.

The new wave comes amid demonstrations to protest police killings of black citizens and ahead of weekend Juneteenth celebrations marking the end of slavery in the U.S.

Scores of people in campers and tents were lining up early for Trump’s first rally in months. Protesters were also gathering.

Trump said Thursday he picked Oklahoma partly because “you’ve done so well with the COVID.”

Tulsa Health Department Director Bruce Dart pushed for postponing the event, but the state’s Republican governor, Kevin Stitt said Oklahoma was ready and its rate of positive COVID-19 tests was lower than many other states.

“It’s going to be safe,” said Stitt, a Republican. “We have to learn how to be safe and how to move on.”

___

Kurtenbach reported from Bangkok. Associated Press journalists around the world contributed to this report.

South Korea to reopen WTO complaint over Japan trade curbs

South Korea to reopen WTO complaint over Japan trade curbs

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Na Seung-sik, deputy minister of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s Office of Trade and Investment, speaks during a briefing at the government complex in Sejong, South Korea, Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Reigniting a bitter row between key U.S. … more >

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By KIM TONG-HYUNG

Associated Press

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Reigniting a bitter row between key U.S. allies, South Korea on Tuesday said it will reopen a complaint filed with the World Trade Organization over Japan’s tightened controls on technology exports to its companies, blaming Tokyo for an alleged lack of commitment in resolving mutual grievances.

South Korea had halted its WTO action in November when it decided to keep a military intelligence-sharing agreement with Japan it previously threatened to end over conflicts stemming from wartime history and trade, after months of pressure by the Trump administration.

Japan in return agreed to resume talks on settling a bilateral trade dispute, which was triggered by its move in July in to strengthen export controls on key chemicals South Korean companies used to make computer chips and displays.

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But Na Seung-sik, an official from South Korea’s trade ministry, said there has been no progress since then because of what he described as Japan’s lack of willingness to settle the dispute. He said South Korea will request a WTO panel ruling over the issue and that the process will likely take more than a year.

When imposing tighter controls over the three chemicals, Japan had cited unspecified security concerns over South Korea’s export controls on sensitive materials that could be used for military purposes. But Na said there has been no known security problem related to the chemicals or products that involved them in the past 11 months.

“Our government in the past six months sincerely engaged in dialogue and provided thorough and sufficient explanations so that the Japanese side could understand South Korea’s export controls are functioning normally and effectively,” Na said in a briefing.

“Our thinking is that the process of bilateral consultations is over, and the next step would be for us to request the WTO to set up a dispute settlement panel.”

Japan’s Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi expressed regret over South Korea’s move and said there was no change to Tokyo’s position that Seoul should improve its export controls.

“It was regrettable that the South Korean side unilaterally made the announcement even though we have maintained dialogues,” he told reporters.

South Korea says Japan’s trade measures threaten its export-dependent economy, where many manufacturers rely on materials and parts imported from Japan. It claims Tokyo is retaliating over South Korean court rulings that called for Japanese companies to offer reparations to aging South Korean plaintiffs over World War II forced labor.

Japan, which ruled the Korean Peninsula for nearly four decades before the end of the war, insists that all compensation matters were settled when the two countries normalized relations under a 1965 treaty and that the South Korean court rulings go against international law.

The countries also downgraded each other’s trade status before letting the row to spill over to the military pact, which symbolizes the countries’ three-way security cooperation with the United States in the face of a North Korean nuclear threat and China’s growing assertiveness.

South Korea initiated the WTO complaint last September over Tokyo’s July export controls, which required Japanese companies to receive case-by-case inspections and approval on the shipments of the chemicals to South Korea.

South Korean officials said the process could disrupt South Korean companies’ manufacturing activities because it could take up to 90 days, compared to the previous fast-track process that took a week or two.

__

AP writer Mari Yamaguchi contributed to the story from Tokyo.

Nissan to close Indonesia, Spain auto plants after losses

Nissan to close Indonesia, Spain auto plants after losses

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Nissan workers gather during a protest in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, May 28, 2020. Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor Co. has decided to close its manufacturing plans in the northeastern Catalonia region, resulting in the loss of some 3,000 direct jobs. (AP … more >

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By Yuri Kageyama

Associated Press

Thursday, May 28, 2020

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automaker Nissan plans to close auto plants in Spain and Indonesia after sinking into the red for the first time in 11 years as the pandemic squashed global demand and disrupted production.

Yokohama-based Nissan’s chief executive, Makoto Uchida, said Thursday that its European production will be centered at its British plant in Sunderland.

Manufacturing now based in Indonesia will move to Thailand, as the Japanese automaker cuts global production by 20%.

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Nissan Motor Co. reported a $6.2 billion loss for the fiscal year that ended in March, its first annual loss since 2009, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.

The company reported a 319.1 billion yen profit in the fiscal year that ended in March.

It said its global vehicle production dropped 62% in April from a year earlier to 150,388 vehicles. Global vehicle sales slipped nearly 42% last month.

Nissan’s sales for the fiscal year that ended in March sank nearly 15%, to 9.9 trillion yen ($91.6 billion).

“The future remains unclear and it is extremely hard to predict,” said Uchida, who did give a financial projection for the current fiscal year.

But Uchida said Nissan has secured needed financing and is cutting costs and reshaping its operations to restore profitability.

The automaker, creator of the Leaf electric car, X-Trail sport utility vehicle and Infiniti luxury models, intends to build on its core strengths, Uchida said.

It is reducing the number of its models and focusing on certain geographic areas, such as Japan, China and the U.S., to enhance its efficiency and profitability, rather than chasing sales size.

“We will admit our errors of the past and steer into the future in the correct way, without hesitation,” Uchida said.

Earlier Thursday, Spain’s government urged Nissan to reconsider its plan to close manufacturing in the northeastern Catalonia region, saying it would result in the direct loss of some 3,000 jobs.

Workers’ unions have warned 20,000 more jobs in Nissan’s supply chain in Spain are also at risk if Nissan closes its factory in Barcelona and two smaller ones in nearby towns.

On Wednesday, Nissan’s alliance partners Renault of France and Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors Corp. announced plans to share purchasing, development and technology to slash costs and improve their competitiveness.

Nissan has spent much of the past year seeking to recover from the November 2018 arrest of its former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, over financial misconduct allegations, including under-reporting future compensation and misusing Nissan money.

The company’s management appeared to be in disarray after the sudden departure of Ghosn, who was sent by Renault to help Nissan recover from near-bankruptcy in 1999.

Ghosn’s successor, Hiroto Saikawa, also ended up resigning amid allegations about dubious income.

Ghosn says he is innocent. He fled to Lebanon late last year, skipping bail while awaiting trial. Ghosn said he escaped because he believed he would not get a fair trial in Japan.

Ex-Green Beret accused of helping Nissan CEO escape Japan

Ex-Green Beret accused of helping Nissan CEO escape Japan

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In this Jan. 10, 2020, file photo, former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn speaks to Japanese media during an interview in Beirut, Lebanon. U.S. authorities have arrested two men accused of helping former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn flee Japan while awaiting … more >

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By Mike Glenn

The Washington Times

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

An ex-Green Beret and his son were arrested in Boston after Japanese officials accused them of helping the ousted CEO of Nissan flee that country following his indictment for financial crimes.

Michael Taylor, 59, and his son Peter, 27, were taken into custody Wednesday at their home based on a warrant filed by the Japanese government for allegedly orchestrating December’s brazen escape of former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn inside a concert equipment box.

According to the Boston Globe, Mr. Ghosn was under house arrest in Tokyo following his indictment when he traveled to Osaka where the elder Taylor and another man placed him inside the container. The three men then flew by private plane to Lebanon which does not have an extradition treaty to Japan.

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Mr. Taylor is a former member of the elite U.S. Army Special Forces — better known as the Green Berets.

In January, Japanese officials filed charges against Mr. Taylor and his son. They are accused of helping Mr. Ghosn bypass immigration checkpoints during the escape, according to the Boston Globe.

Wall Street turns higher on strength for tech, health care

Tech stocks keep rallying, help keep Wall Street steady

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A man wearing a face mask walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan’s Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Monday, May 11, 2020. Asian stock markets are higher after Wall Street advanced as investors looked past … more >

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By STAN CHOE and ALEX VEIGA

Associated Press

Monday, May 11, 2020

Wall Street was split on Monday, as continued gains for technology and health care stocks helped cover up for more prevalent losses elsewhere.

The S&P; 500 ended the day at a virtual standstill, up just 0.39 points at 2,930.19, despite a lot of movement going on underneath. It rallied back from an earlier loss of 0.9% in the morning.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 109.33 points, or 0.4%, to 24,221.99, while the Nasdaq composite added 71.02, or 0.8%, to 9,192.34.

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Through the muddled day, one of the market’s few points of clarity was that investors continue to love technology stocks.

Even with the coronavirus pandemic throwing the global economy into disarray, tech stocks in the S&P; 500 have been remarkably resilient. They’re up 4.1% for 2020 as investors look for companies that can be winners in both a ”normal” and a stay-at-home economy.

Apple rose 1.6%, Nvidia added 3.2% to return to a record and Advanced Micro Devices climbed 4.8% for one of Monday’s biggest gains in the S&P; 500.

This year’s second-best sector has been health care, which has trimmed its loss for 2020 to just 1%.

Biotech stocks were particularly strong Monday. And Cardinal Health had the biggest gain in the S&P; 500, up 6.7%, after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings for its latest quarter, partly because of increased pharmaceutical sales due to the pandemic.

Those gains helped to make up for 69% of stocks falling in the S&P; 500. It also leaves the index within reach of its highest level since early March.

“People are looking ahead, and they’re saying, ‘OK, the pandemic has happened, and the damage has swept through our economy and our businesses, and now we’re planning on the growth after the carnage, so we’re valuing equities as if we’re going to go back to a decent growth environment,’” said Mike Zigmont, head of trading and research at Harvest Volatility Management.

The S&P; 500 has rallied 31% since late March, at first on relief after the Federal Reserve and Capitol Hill pledged massive amounts of aid for the economy. More recently, some investors have focused on the possibility of a strong recovery later this year, after governments reopen economies and lift business-shutdown orders meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

That optimistic view took some hits Monday, though, as worries rose about the possibility of new waves of infections hitting countries that are further ahead in lifting lockdown measures. Investors pointed to small but disconcerting increases of infections in South Korea, China and elsewhere.

The worries helped lead companies whose profits are most closely tied to the strength of the economy to the market’s biggest losses.

“I don’t know why investors are feeling so comfortable with those expectations,” Zigmont said of forecasts for a turnaround in profit growth in 2021 and 2022. “They are so far away, and there’s so much uncertainty between now and then, and yet investors seem to be OK” with paying up in anticipation that companies will hit those targets.

Financial stocks fell 1.9% for the biggest loss among the 11 sectors that make up the index. Bank stocks have been hit hard this year on worries that the recession will lead to a wave of households and businesses defaulting on their loans. Bank of America dropped 4.2% Monday, and Citigroup lost 4.9%.

Energy companies and raw-material producers also fell on worries that a weaker global economy will need less oil and fewer basic building blocks.

The data streaming in on the economy remain oppressively bad. After a report on Friday showed U.S. employers cut a record-setting 20.5 million jobs in April, Italy reported Monday its largest-ever drop in industrial production. More data reports this week include U.S. unemployment claims and retail sales and Australian jobs.

Companies remain uncertain about the future, with many opting to give no financial forecasts during their latest quarterly earnings reports.

Even outside the possibility of a resurgence of infections, many analysts see other reasons for skepticism. Strategists at Goldman Sachs said the market appears to be downplaying a drop-off in buybacks and dividends as companies look to preserve cash, the threat of more U.S.-China trade tensions and the possibility that the upcoming U.S. elections could lead to higher corporate tax rates.

Most of all, companies themselves are talking about how uncertain the recovery looks, which stands in stark relief to the quick, vigorous rebound that the stock market seems to be assuming will happen.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1%, while stocks in Shanghai were close to flat. South Korean stocks fell 0.5%. In Europe, the French CAC 40 fell 1.3%, and Germany’s DAX lost 0.7%. The FTSE 100 in London edged up 0.1%.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 0.70% from 0.68% late Friday.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 60 cents, or 2.4%, to settle at $24.14 a barrel Monday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, fell $1.34, or 4.3% to $29.60 a barrel.

___

AP Business Writer Joe McDonald contributed.

Souleye – Ease That lyrics

Artist: Souleye Title: Ease That Hook Ease that lean back roll me up that
Weed sack / Calling out my ladies on the front and the back / Lean back
Ease that roll me up that weed sack / We we’ve them tracks that ride
Like Cadillac’s / Verse 1 I’ve been all around the world / And easy
To see that most people that I meet / Love blazing on them trees / I’ll
Find it in Fiji where no weed be / Or in Mendo where it’s in every home /
Grown out doors organic is my favorite type / But then again I like that
Indoor bud at night / Smoking sativa in the middle of the afternoon / Get
High motivate party on the move / Even my mom pack that bong / I’ve
Watched my dad smoke all day long / From the rich and the famous / To the
Poor and broke / They all love that dope / Government don’t know I know
My fourth amendment / Can’t search without a warrant / Hook Ease that
Lean back roll me up that weed sack / Calling out my ladies on the front
And the back / Lean back ease that roll me up that weed sack / Wewe’ve
Them tracks that ride like Cadillac’s / Verse 2 Only the best when I’m
Smoking the Sess /
Hawaiian mist I’m on a mystical trip / Puffing an ounce of Kush on the
Couch / Purple urkle got me seeing double now / I’m going to Canada
Man, Japan or Amsterdam / No matter where I’m at I’m going to smoke a
Gram / Four-way endo sipping on that swiss miss / With Mr. Nice here’s
The pipe now hit this / Elevate let’s create everyone together now /
Let’s celebrate / take a break though / If you don’t puff the drow / I
Know there’s those / That don’t smoke so pass it to the left / You
Know how it goes / The rotation is ground breaking /

Audioslave – Doesn’t Remind Me

I walk the streets of Japan till I get lost
Cause it doesn’t remind me of anything
With a graveyard tan carrying a cross
Cause it doesn’t remind me of anything
I like studying faces in a parking lot
Cause it doesn’t remind me of anything
I like driving backwards in the fog
Cause it doesn’t remind me of anything
The things that I’ve loved the things that I’ve lost
The things I’ve held sacred that I’ve dropped
I won’t lie nor more than you can bet
I don’t want to learn what I’ll need to forget
I like gypsy moths and radio talk
Cause it doesn’t remind me of anything
I like gospel music and canned applause
Cause it doesn’t remind me of anything
I like colorful clothing in the sun
Cause it doesn’t remind me of anything
I like hammering nails and speaking in tongues
Cause it doesn’t remind me of anything
The things that I’ve loved the things that I’ve lost
The things I’ve held sacred that I’ve dropped
I won’t lie nor more than you can bet
I don’t want to learn what I’ll need to forget
Bend and shape me
I love the way you are
Slow and sweetly
Like never before
Calm and sleeping
We won’t stir up the past
So discreetly
We won’t look back
The things that I’ve loved the things that I’ve lost
The things I’ve held sacred that I’ve dropped
I won’t lie nor more than you can bet
I don’t want to learn what I’ll need to forget
I like throwing my voice and breaking guitars
Cause it doesn’t remind me of anything
I like playing in the sand what’s mine is ours
Cause it doesn’t remind me of anything

Jonwayne – Afraid Of Us (feat. Zeroh) (Rap Album Two Album)

[Verse 1: Jonwayne]
I was sitting in Japan when my nephew was born
Broke my damn heart when I wasn’t there for him
It made me think about my life
And my order of operations
I was drunk at a show and fucked my boy’s set up
It was a blessing when he checked me at the check in
I ain’t never been the same and I’ll never forget it
I’ve been the burden of my people
And alienating fans
Just thinking they would never understand
Really it’s wavelength bringing us together in a way
So really I should be more open to two-way
And if I ever did you something dirty, I do pray
I get another chance but this karma catching up in a true way
I’ve been so caught up in the lack of acceptance
I never focused on the man to accept
And if it’s too late for a formal apology, I accept it (x2)
You think of me less than I am but maybe that’s a blessing
I just hope that I can spread my message
A to Z (passing off to zeroh)

[Chorus: Zeroh]
Shit, all I want to say is put it down!
Your position been compromised
Everything has a beginning and an end
I know glory’ll take you dead or alive
In ruts fucked up off such and such
Is thus just because
You’re afraid of us
Ya
So put it down
Put it down
(x2)

[Verse 2: Jonwayne]
All my life I was looking for love
Found it in Florida under the too hot sun
Took it for granted
Started to run
Became the man or a gun
But now I’m looking down the barrel of one
On my knees when we said she could see my skin was empty
Please wake me when the self hatred is done
And I try but she reminds me of what I’ve become
Thought i knew myself but that knowing is done
I just hope that she still sees my love
And for that I just hope these old songs take off
I need a house
And a rack
For every leaf of grass on my big-ass lawn
And as I see my family progress all I want is a daughter or son
Been around the world playing rapper is dumb
Fulfilling fantasies of a teenage me
And in the end it’s my people bringing joy to the room
Some advice: don’t lose sight about where you’re from
A to Z

[Chorus]
Shit, all I want to say is put it down!
Your position been compromised
Everything has a beginning and an end
I know glory’ll take you dead or alive
In ruts fucked up off such and such
Is thus just because
You’re afraid of us
Ya
So put it down
Put it down
(x2)

[Outro: Jonwayne]
Yo, look at these people
Counting on me when I can’t even count on myself
Look at these homies
So sure of me when I’m not so sure of myself
I need help
But I’m too damn proud to stop the progress now
I need to slow down
But I need a good friend to come and tell me how
(x6)

[Chorus]
Shit, all I want to say is put it down!
Your position been compromised
Everything has a beginning and an end
I know glory’ll take you dead or alive
In ruts fucked up off such and such
Is thus just because
You’re afraid of us
Ya
So put it down
Put it down
(x2)

Migos – T-Shirt – Spotify Mix Lyrics

[Intro: Quavo]
Spotify, yeah
Spotify, Spotify
Spotify, Spotify
Spotify, yeah

[Verse: Offset, Quavo, & Takeoff]
Young nigga poppin’, cookie kickin’ like a rider (cookie!)
Bout to get that lamb til’ I thought about that rari (skrr skrr!)
Ain’t no doubt about it I’m yo favorite rapper artist
When you pull out that draco make sure ain’t nobody watching ( brrrt!)
Migos we the topic (Hey!), pockets extra sloppy (slop!)
On Spotify they listenin’ they can’t wait til’ we droppin’
Like my women cocky, (women!) drape em’ in Versace (‘sace!)
Fish scale wallets, Christopher Wallace (white!)
Spotify hit me, told me “Pull Up,” said “I got em’”
Number one no problem, try to stop we droppin’
Culture out there, dropped it, told em, “Hit me” when they cop it
Visuals on North Pole, ain’t no photo shoppin’
Back then when I wasn’t poppin’, y’all people told me stop it
Yeah
Thinkin’ bout money when I say cottage, so much can’t fit in my wallet
Yeah, yeah I might give my fans all my clothes yeah, yeah
I fly to Japan for my shows yeah, yeah
What you sayin’ we get those yeah, yeah
I won’t give no bag to these hoes (yeah)

[Outro: Quavo]
Yeah, no, T-shirt, T-shirt, T-shirt, T-shirt, (white!)
T-shirt, (white) T-shirt (white)
It’s that white, yeah,(white!) it’s that white yeah (white!)
Coco, do it for the Culture
Spotify I give you my word
Number one, we all around the earth
Spotify, we all around the earth
You know we comin’ for what we deserve, yeah
Culture album, out now, go get that, yeah
Yeah, WOO

Drake – Days In The East

[Verse 1]
Why you keep askin’ me about her?
She’s not here right now, she’s not here right now
Why am I the one you wanna get into it with right now
I’ve got a lot to say, and that’s the last thing a nigga wanna hear right now
Spendin’ all my days on the Eastside, oh
Forgettin’ who I was on the other side, oh
Young nigga switchin’ up the program right now
Tryna put the power in my own hands right now
I’m about to ride through the old hood right now
Got too much pride for my own good right now
Waitin’ on you to give in and hit me up
So I could fall through like old times and hit it up

[Hook]
I’m terrible at inviting myself, call me over
Those nights when you need someone else call me over
You can be the one to take control call me over
When I get there, you already know, call me

[Verse 2]
Why you keep askin’ me about her?
Couple other things I’d rather wanna do than talk ’bout that right now
Told you about giving him chances and chances and chances
He’s not holding you down, he’s holding you back right now
Spendin’ all my days on the Eastside, oh
Forgettin’ who I was on the other side, oh
Young nigga switchin’ up the program right now
Tryna put the power in my own hands right now
Love it when your ass speak the truth to me
Tryna wake up and have you with me
Waitin’ on you to give in and hit me up
So I could fall through like old times and hit it up

[Hook]
I’m terrible at inviting myself, call me over
Those nights when you need someone else call me over
You can be the one to take control call me over
When I get there, you already know, call me

[Breakdown]
(I threw my hands in the air said show me something)
Remember one night I went to Erykah Badu house, she made tea for me
We talked about love and what life could really be for me
She said, "when that shit is real, you just know"
And I was thinking bout you, you already know
Yeah, the other night Chubbs showed up at my house
He had weed for me, that’s my nigga till we gon’
Keeps his ear to the streets for me
Said the city stress him out on the low
I said, "I feel you, nigga, I already know"
Yeah, already
Girl’s talkin’ bout you, gotta leave already
Damn, my lil’ nephew turned four already
Gave you a little help, you need more already
Damn, you need more already?
Before you said your mine, I was yours already
22, had the Bentley 4 door already
Even as a boy I was the boy already
So you know that mean the pussy galore already
Mention other girls, you get insecure already
That was in the past, I’ve matured already
Fuck them hoes, you got the award already
You go to Chanel and get rewards already
Know I do this shit for 3rd Ward already
Know I do this shit for H-Town already
Already, already
Back up in this thing, it’s a go
Had a couple niggas out of pocket, now they know
Ain’t the first time cause I’ve lost you before
Had to get it back, had to get it back
Had to pull it back because I know I’m on the road
Had to take you back because I know you’re down to roll
If you can get it from me, you can have it, now you know
All your friends asking where you stand with the boy
FaceTime said you got plans for the boy
Studying your body, that’s exams for the boy
Take a flight here, pop a xan for the boy
Waking up in Amsterdam with the boy
Long flight home, another xan for your boy
You would probably fly out to Japan for the boy
You would probably kill another man for the boy
You would probably…
You would probably lie ’bout it on the stand for your boy
Put the Bible to your right hand for the boy
That’s why you I ain’t never gotta worry ’bout the boy
You know you got…
You know you got that really good insurance on the boy
You just gotta pack a bag and hurry to the boy

Bearstronaut – Shadow lyrics

I’m the one you want in the palm of your hand
Running down your back at every word’s end
You can let me down, put me in my place
Although you’ve had enough, there’s still more I can take

Maybe I’m just here to work
And let you take the lead
When you stare into the light
You know where to find me

I can be your shadow
You and I together, and I know
I wanna be there, girl
But I can’t even be there for myself

I’m the one you want, bring you to your knees
What you need the most is a chance to leave
I wanna take you somewhere that you’ve never seen
Japan or Amsterdam, don’t have to be a dream

Maybe I’m just here to work
And play by the rules of attraction
I’ll be there in front of you
When we’re running from the sun

I can be your shadow
You and I together, and I know
I wanna be there, girl
But I can’t even be there for myself

I can be your shadow
You and I together, and I know
I wanna be there, girl
But I can’t even be there for myself

I can be your shadow
You and I together, and I know
I wanna be there, girl
But I can’t even be there for myself

And you know I have you when you walk away
And you know I have you when you walk away
Just walk away

Coldplay – Speed Of Sound (X & Y Album) letras

How long before I get in?
Before it starts, before I begin?
How long before you decide?
Before I know what it feels like?
Where To, where do I go?
If you never try, then you’ll never know
How long do I have to climb,
Up on the side of this mountain of mine?

Look up, I look up at night
Planets are moving at the speed of light
Climb up, up in the trees
Every chance that you get
Is a chance you seize
How long am I gonna stand
With my head stuck under the sand?
I’ll start before I can stop
Before I see things the right way up

All that noise, and all that sound
All those places I have found
And birds go flying at the speed of sound
To show you how it all began
Birds came flying from the underground
If you could see it then you’d understand?

Ideas that you’ll never find
All the inventors could never design
The buildings that you put up
Japan and China all lit up
The sign that I couldn’t read
Or a light that I couldn’t see
Some things you have to believe
But others are puzzles, puzzling me

All that noise, and all that sound
All those places I have found
And birds go flying at the speed of sound
To show you how it all began
Birds came flying from the underground
If you could see it then you’d understand
Ah when you see it then you’ll understand?

All those signs, I knew what they meant
Some things you can invent
Some get made, and some get sent
Oh
Birds go flying at the speed of sound
To show you how it all began
Birds came flying from the underground
If you could see it then you’d understand
Ah, when you see it then you’ll understand?