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Liverpool to kick off new season as Man City go to West Ham

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Liverpool FC said on Thursday that the club would get the Premier League season under way on Friday when they take on newly-promoted Norwich City at Anfield.

Juergen Klopp’s side went unbeaten at home through the entire league season, with their one loss coming to Manchester City, who pipped them by one point to claim the title.

City, the bookmakers’ favourites again, will travel to West Ham in their opener on Saturday while Chelsea, with Frank Lampard in charge, will be travelling to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United.

However, the focus would be at Anfield, where European champions Liverpool were expected to go one better than last season and win the title for the first time since 1990.

While other teams had so far invested heavily in the transfer market, Klopp’s focus had been on his existing squad, a squad he believe was good enough to compete again this season.

“We invested in the team last season. We have the team, now let’s work with the team and see what we can do at the end of the season. New players are never the only solution.

“You should never do transfers because other clubs are doing transfers. That makes no sense, it’s not about that.

“If you sit back for a second and have a look at the squad, do we need more players,“Klopp said.

According to Klopp, Sadio Mane is a doubt after returning late from international duty with Senegal, we check on James Milner, who missed the Community Shield defeat by Manchester City with a muscle injury.

However, by and large, Klopp had a full squad from which to choose from, including defender Joe Gomez, who believes “Fortress Anfield“ will again play a crucial part for Liverpool this season.

“The atmosphere they set makes it very difficult for people to come to Anfield.

“Hopefully it’s something we can continue. If we do that this year, I’m sure we’ll be in a good place,“ Gomez told newsmen.

Meanwhile, Champions City had new signings Joao Cancelo and Rodri in their starting line-up for their trip to West Ham.

Aymeric Laporte was also available again after he missed the Community Shield, but Leroy Sane is out through injury.

The biggest match of the weekend could be at Old Trafford on Sunday when Manchester United and Chelsea go head to head.

While United had so far spent big this summer, splashing out 80 million pounds (100 million dollars) alone for defender Harry Maguire, Chelsea have lost their star man in Eden Hazard.

However, with their record goalscorer Lampard returning to the club to take over as manager, optimism is high that they can contest the title race once more.

United midfielder Juan Mata played with Lampard at Chelsea and feels the former England player will be a success.

“I am sure he is ready for it,” Mata said. “He is a good friend and I wish him the best, but not in the opening game.

“It will be a difficult challenge in the first game of the season, playing against Chelsea, who have a new project, a new manager, some changes in the squad.

“If we can win that game then it’d be the perfect start and the fans can feel the excitement of a new season,“ Gomez said.

The other two newly-promoted sides, Sheffield United and Aston Villa, were both away, with United at Bournemouth and Villa travelling to Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal are also on the road, at Newcastle, while Crystal Palace face Everton, Leicester play Wolves, Burnley entertain Southampton and Watford host Brighton.(dpa/NAN)

Foreign

Sheffield United beat Palace for first win of Premier League return

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Sheffield United beat Palace for first win of Premier League return

League

Lundstram fired home the rebound of Luke Freeman’s saved shot in the 48th minute as United gave the Bramall Lane fans plenty to cheer about.

The Blades, who last played in the top division in 2007, have taken four points from the first two games of their return.

Palace, meanwhile, has yet to score after playing out a goalless draw with Everton last weekend.

AIB

Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde

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White House says ‘no recession in sight’ despite market turmoil

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White House says ‘no recession in sight’ despite market turmoil

Recession

Washington, Aug. 18, 2019 White House officials pushed back on Sunday against concerns that economic growth may be faltering, saying they saw little risk of recession despite a volatile week on global bond markets, and insisting their trade war with China was doing no damage to the United States.

“There is no recession in sight,’’ White House Economic Adviser, Larry Kudlow, said on Fox News Sunday.

“Consumers are working. Their wages are rising.

“They are spending and they are saving…I think we are in pretty good shape.’’

U.S. stock markets tanked last week on recession fears with all three major U.S. indexes closing down about three per cent on Wednesday only to pair their losses by Friday due to expectations the European Central Bank might cut rates.

For a brief time last week, bond investors also demanded a higher interest rate on two-year Treasury bonds than for 10-year Treasury bonds, often construed as a sign of lost faith in near-term economic growth.

However, Trade Adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday likewise dismissed last week’s warning signs, saying “good” economic dynamics were encouraging investors to move money to the U.S.

“We have the strongest economy in the world and money is coming here for our stock market.

“It’s also coming here to chase yield in our bond markets,’’ Navarro told ABC’s This Week.

That sort “flight to safety” is typically driven by concerns of global economic trouble – in this case, the possibility that the Trump administration’s tariff battle with China may dampen business investment and growth worldwide.

The tariffs on Chinese goods, Navarro said, “are not hurting anybody here’’.

The U.S. economy does continue to grow and add jobs each month.

Retail sales in July jumped a stronger-than-expected 0.7 per cent, the government reported last week, and Kudlow said that number showed that the main prop of the U.S. economy is intact.

But manufacturing growth has slowed and lagging business investment has also become a drag.

Globally, flagging global trade appears to have pushed the German economy toward recession and dampened growth in China.

A slowdown would be bad news for President Donald Trump, who is building his 2020 bid for a second term around the economy’s performance.

He told voters at a rally last week they had “no choice” but to vote for him in order to preserve their jobs and investments.

Despite talking up the economy, the president and his advisers have repeatedly accused the U.S. Federal Reserve of undermining the administration’s economic policies.

On Sunday, Kudlow again pointed the finger at the central bank, describing rate hikes through 2017 and 2018 as “very severe monetary restraint”.

The Fed hiked rates seven times over those two years as part of a plan to restore normal monetary policy, following the emergency steps taken to battle the 2007-2009 global financial crisis and recession.

Even with those steps, the Fed’s target interest rate has remained well below historic norms and policymakers have started cutting rates in response to growing global risks.

Democratic presidential candidates on Sunday joined the many economic analysts, who have said the administration’s sometimes erratic policies are to blame for increased uncertainty, disappointing business investment and market volatility.

“I’m afraid that this president is driving the global economy and our economy into recession,’’ Democratic candidate, Beto O’Rourke, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

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Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde

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Iran says U.S. move on north Syria safe zone is “provocative”

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Provocation

Dubai, Aug. 18, 2019 A U.S. agreement to set up a safe zone in northern Syria, a close ally of Iran, is “provocative and worrisome”, the Iranian Foreign Ministry was reported to have said by the semi-official Fars news agency.

The U.S. and Turkey last week agreed to set up a joint operations centre for a proposed zone along Syria’s northeast border.

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Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde

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Israeli military kills 3 Palestinians at Gaza border – reports

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Killing

The Israeli military said an attack helicopter and a tank fired at the “armed suspects adjacent to the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip’’.

Palestinian officials confirmed the casualties, according to the reports.

The incident came amid a recent escalation of tension between Israel and the Palestinians, despite Egypt-brokered effort to reach a cease-fire agreement between Israel and the Islamic Hamas Movement.

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Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde

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Romanian elite climber killed in Fagaras Mountains

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Mountains

The evacuation of the deceased climber in the area of Negoiu Peak was carried out by land and the body was transported to the Legal Medicine Service in Sibiu, as Adrian David, head of the Sibiu Mountain Rescue, was quoted as saying by official Agerpres news agency.

David believed that Zsolt died after a rock broke up with him, considering that the area in which he was, near the Negoiu Peak, is very unstable and rarely visited by climbers. He was alone on the mountain, in an area with no signal.

Zsolt’s disappearance had been reported on Saturday morning. Mountain rescue and gendarme teams, as well as a helicopter of the Interior Ministry, searched for him for several hours.

Zsolt, 45, was a highly seasoned climber, who led in 2013 the Romanian expedition to Pakistan’s 8,126m-high Nanga Parbat and summited in 2016 five Himalayan peaks.

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