Lionel Messi skips medical as La Liga sides with Barcelona over contract dispute

Lionel Messi failed to show up for a coronavirus test at Barcelona’s training ground on Sunday, club sources have confirmed to CNN, casting further doubt on his future at the La Liga powerhouse.

Under La Liga rules, without passing a test, Messi will be unable to take part in pre-season training under new coach Ronald Koeman, with the 2020-21 season set to start in two weeks.
Club sources told CNN that the rest of the Barcelona first team squad had taken the test, with Messi the only absentee.
Luis Suarez — Messi’s friend and strike partner — was among those seen arriving at the Ciutat Esportiva training ground, despite reports that the Uruguayan international is not part of Koeman’s plans for the new season.

Rudy Giuliani: Democrats have become ‘the anti-police party’

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani criticized Democrats during a Friday morning interview with FOX Business, saying theirs has become “the anti-police party.”

Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer and former U.S. Attorney representing the Southern District of New York, told Maria Bartiromo that he has “no idea” what the Democrats’ goal actually is.

“Their goal is chaos,” he added, telling “Mornings With Maria”: “Their goal is the kind of thing we see in Democrat cities all throughout the country.”

Giuliani was reacting to news that the Virginia Senate, which has a Democrat majority, approved legislation that would eliminate a six-month mandatory minimum sentence for assaulting a police officer.

KENOSHA CAR DEALERSHIP SUSTAINED $1.5M IN DAMAGE AFTER FIRST NIGHT OF RIOTS, REPORT SAYS

The bill would keep the charge as a felony, but give a judge or jury discretion to reduce it to a misdemeanor if there is no bodily injury or if someone’s culpability is slight because of diminished physical or mental capacity or a developmental disorder.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney to President Donald Trump speaks from New York, during the fourth night of the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020. (Courtesy of the Committee on Arrangements for the 2

If the charge is brought as a felony, it requires an investigation by a different police officer and must be approved by a Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Giuliani spoke during Thursday night’s Republican National Convention, where he was critical of the Black Lives Matter movement and referenced the at-times violent protests and riots that have swept the nation.

RUDY GIULIANI: DON’T LET DEMOCRATS DO TO AMERICA WHAT THEY DID TO NEW YORK CITY

“If Biden is elected, along with the Democrats who are unwilling to speak out against this anarchy, then the crime wave will intensify and spread from cities and towns to suburbs and beyond,” he added.

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He further attacked Biden and Democrats for not doing more to stop gun violence in cities. Giuliani alleged that “Obama and Biden did nothing at all to quell the carnage,” adding, “I guess these Black lives didn’t matter to them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Big Lots breaks earnings records as coronavirus spurs discount-shopping

Big Lots Inc. reported record second-quarter results as discount-seeking shoppers thronged the retailer’s stores and website in the wake of COVID-19.

The Columbus, Ohio-based retailer said sales in the three months through June rose 31% year-over-year to $1.64 billion, outpacing the $1.61 billion that Wall Street analysts surveyed by Refintiv were anticipating.

Big Lots earned $452 million, or $11.29 per share, including a one-time after-tax benefit of $341.9 million, or $8.54 per share, related to the sale of distribution centers through a leaseback deal.

Excluding the benefit, adjusted earnings were $2.75 per share, outpacing the $2.70 that was expected.
Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BIG BIG LOTS INC. 49.96 -5.74 -10.31%

“I am delighted with our record-breaking results,” CEO Bruce Thorn said in a statement. “Adjusted earnings per share was the most we’ve reported in a second quarter, and more than five times what we reported a year ago.”

Comparable sales, or those at stores open at least 12 months, climbed 31%, and were strong both in-store and online, which added almost 5 percentage points. The company brought in the most new online customers of any quarter in its history.

‘ZOMBIE FORECLOSURES’ JUMP IN NEARLY EVERY STATE

Strong sales across all categories and a slightly lower store count reduced inventory by 18% from last year to $714 million.

Cash on hand totaled $899 million versus $43 million of debt, compared with $54 million cash and $468 million debt a year earlier.

Big Lots withdrew its financial guidance in March and expects to provide an update in September.

The company’s board of directors on Thursday evening introduced a new $500 million share buyback plan.

Here’s what you can get for $400,000 in San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, Texas has a lot to offer a potential homebuyer.

The city is one of the largest in the state and in the U.S. It’s home to major companies including several ranked on the Fortune 500, like Valero Energy and USAA. There are also several military bases around San Antonio and a vibrant arts scene.

San Antonio has been a popular city for millennials, Fox Business reported at the start of the year. Culture, food and affordability attracted millennials to the city.

The local real estate market appears to have rebounded from the coronavirus slump. In July, San Antonio home sales were up 25% year-over-year to 4,231, according to the San Antonio Board of Realtors. And year-to-date, home sales were up 4% compared to the same period in 2019, despite the pandemic.

The median sale price was also up 9% year-over-year in July, to $238,900, according to the Realtors group.

Here’s a look at what you can get with a $400,000 budget in San Antonio:
Stonegate Hill – $389,900

This home is listed for $389,900 in San Antonio. (Becker Properties)

This grand brick home is located in a leafy gated neighborhood with lots of amenities.

The 2,700-square-foot home includes five bedrooms and three full bathrooms, according to the listing with Ryan Gonzales of Becker Properties.

This home is listed for $389,900 in San Antonio. (Becker Properties)

The living room features a fireplace and tray ceiling. The kitchen has dual ovens, stone counters and a breakfast bar.

A ground floor bedroom suite includes a private entrance to the backyard, plus a private bathroom with a new walk-in shower and vanity, according to the listing.

This home is listed for $389,900 in San Antonio. (Becker Properties)

The home has new floors, fresh paint and new light fixtures and fans, and the upstairs bathroom was recently updated, according to the listing.

Outside, the property includes a heated pool and spa, plus a gazebo, large patio and plenty of shade from mature trees. Stonegate’s amenity center includes a large pool, playground and sports courts.

This home is listed for $389,900 in San Antonio. (Becker Properties)

This San Antonio home is on the market for $350,000. (Keller Williams)

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This corner lot home includes solar panels and a big pool.

The 3,714-square-foot home includes five bedrooms, three bathrooms and one half-bath, according to the listing.

This San Antonio home is on the market for $350,000. (Keller Williams)

The spacious kitchen includes an island with a cooktop and a breakfast bar, plus double ovens and a dining nook surrounded by windows.

The two-story living room includes a large brick fireplace. A wall of windows from the family room looks out onto the pool, spa and a covered patio.

This San Antonio home is on the market for $350,000. (Keller Williams)

The master bedroom includes bench seating in the bay window, a perfect spot to curl up with a good book. The master bath features a large tub, dual vanities and an intricate stained glass window.

The solar panels also generate enough energy to get paid by the electric company some months in the spring and fall, according to the listing.

This San Antonio home is on the market for $350,000. (Keller Williams)

Laura victims may go weeks without power; US deaths reach 14

The Louisiana coastline devastated by Hurricane Laura began a long and gloomy recovery Friday as hundreds of thousands of people still without water and power confronted the possibility that basic services may not return for weeks or even longer. The number of dead climbed to at least 14.

A day after the Category 4 storm hit, more bodies emerged in the aftermath in Louisiana and neighboring Texas. The deaths included five people killed by fallen trees and one person who drowned in a boat. Eight people died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to unsafe operation of generators, including three inside a Texas pool hall, where authorities say the owner had let seven Vietnamese shrimp boat laborers and homeless men take shelter. The other four were in critical condition.

Chad Peterson planned to board up a window and head to Florida. “There’s no power. There’s no water. There’s no utilities,” he said.

Thousands of people who heeded dire warnings and fled the Gulf Coast returned to homes without roofs, roads littered with debris and the likelihood of a harsh recovery that could take months.

Flooding surrounds a damaged building and boat Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in Cameron, La., after Hurricane Laura moved through the area Thursday. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Lawrence “Lee” Faulk came back to a home with no roof in hard-hit Cameron Parish, which was littered with downed power lines. His metal storage building, 24 feet square, was thrown into a neighbor’s oak trees.

“We need help,” Faulk said. “We need ice, water, blue tarps — everything that you would associate with the storm, we need it. Like two hours ago.”

The White House said President Donald Trump would visit the region Saturday and survey the damage.

Simply driving in Lake Charles, a city of 80,000 residents that sustained some of the worst damage, was a feat. Power lines and trees blocked paths or created one-lane roads that drivers had to navigate with oncoming traffic. Street signs were snapped off their perches or dangled, and no stoplights worked, making it a trust exercise with those sharing the roads.

A mobile home is destroyed by a fallen tree, Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, in Westlake, La., as clean up efforts continue following Hurricane Laura. (Kirk Meche/American Press via AP)

Mayor Nic Hunter cautioned that there was no timetable for restoring electricity and that water-treatment plants “took a beating,” resulting in barely a trickle of water coming out of most faucets. “If you come back to Lake Charles to stay, make sure you understand the above reality and are prepared to live in it for many days, probably weeks,” Hunter wrote on Facebook.

Caravans of utility trucks were met Friday by thunderstorms in the sizzling heat, complicating recovery efforts.

Forty nursing homes were also relying on generators, and assessments were underway to determine if more than 860 residents in 11 facilities that had been evacuated could return. Water outages remained a major problem in evacuated facilities, the Louisiana Department of Health said.

Meanwhile, the hurricane’s remnants threatened to bring flooding and tornadoes to Tennessee as the storm, now a tropical depression, drifted north. Forecasters warned that the system could strengthen into a tropical storm again upon returning to the Atlantic Ocean this weekend.

In the storm’s wake, more than 600,000 homes and businesses were without power in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks utility reports.

The Louisiana Department of Health estimated that more than 220,000 people were without water. Restoration of those services could take weeks or months, and full rebuilding could take years.

Ira Lyles returned to find that his downtown Lake Charles salon called The Parlor House survived with little damage, but his home was destroyed.

“It tore the front off, tore the front of the roof off, picked up my camper trailer and hit the side wall, and the side wall buckled and cracked inside,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a wash.”

Buildings and homes are flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Cameron, La. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards called Laura, which packed a top wind speed of 150 mph (241 kph), the most powerful hurricane to strike Louisiana, meaning it surpassed even Katrina, which was a Category 3 storm when it hit in 2005. He said officials now believe the surge was as high as 15 feet and added that tens of thousands of people were displaced by the storm.

Late Friday night, Edwards announced that the president had approved Louisiana’s major disaster declaration request, saying in a statement that the step paves the way for getting aid to the hard-hit communities.

More than 580,000 coastal residents were put under evacuation as the hurricane gained strength in the Gulf of Mexico. Laura was the seventh named storm to strike the U.S. this year, setting a new record for U.S. landfalls by the end of August. Laura hit the U.S. after killing nearly two dozen people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

In Lake Charles, chainsaws buzzed and heavy machinery hauled tree limbs in the front lawn of Stanley and Dominique Hazelton, who rode out the storm on a bathroom floor. A tree punctured the roof just a few feet from where the couple was taking cover.

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They regretted staying.

“There’s people without homes,” Stanley Hazelton said. “So it was dumb. We’ll never do it again. We’ll never stay through another hurricane again.”

UCLA sues Under Armour, seeking in excess of $200 million

UCLA filed a lawsuit against Under Armour on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles for breach of contract, seeking damages in excess of $200 million..

Under Armour announced in late June that it was ending its deal with the university. The two sides were four years into a 15-year deal worth $280 million, which remains the highest in college athletics.

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Under Armour paid $11 million per year in rights and marketing fees as well as contributing $2 million per year to aid in facility improvements. Under terms of the contract, the company is supposed to supply $6.85 million in athletic apparel, footwear and uniforms.

“It is unfortunate that Under Armour is opportunistically using the global pandemic to try to walk away from a binding agreement it made in 2016 but no longer likes,” UCLA vice chancellor of strategic communications Mary Osako said in a statement. “UCLA has met the terms of the agreement, which does not require that games in any sport be played on a particular schedule. We filed this lawsuit in order to support our student-athletes and the broader UCLA community, including the athletic department that has brought 118 national championships to Westwood.”

UNDER ARMOUR TO DISCONTINUE RECORD APPAREL PARTNERSHIP WITH UCLA

The company cited Force Majeure due to the coronavirus pandemic as one of the reasons it was terminating the deal. Another was UCLA’s struggles in its flagship sports. The football program has had a losing record four straight seasons, including a 7-17 mark in Chip Kelly’s first two seasons, which has led to declining attendance at the Rose Bowl. Men’s basketball struggled the first half of last season but won nine of its last 11 in Mick Cronin’s first season.

Under Armour said in a statement Wednesday that it is confident in their position and that they would defend it.

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“We sought and remain open to working out a reasonable and appropriate transition for the university, and most importantly for the student-athletes,” the statement continues. “In fact, at UCLA’s request after the termination of the agreement, Under Armour continued to deliver athletic products for the 2020-2021 school year because we support athletes, even as it remains uncertain when sports will resume.”

Walmart, Microsoft team up on TikTok bid ‘makes perfect sense’: Investment expert

H Squared Research Hitha Herzog thinks Walmart’s decision is motivated by a ‘why build it if you can just acquire it’ mentality. KB Advisory Group’s Kristin Bentz believes purchasing TikTok would help Walmart take down Amazon.

Debates, coronavirus economy will influence undecided voters: Bob Cusack

The Hill Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack argues the presidential election is ‘still a very tight race.’

Trump fundraiser Stephen Ross undecided on 2020 election

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who drew criticism last year for his support of President Trump, said Thursday that he has yet to decide how to vote in the 2020 presidential election.

Ross, 80, acknowledged a longtime friendship with Trump and he said “there’s a lot of good, and I believe there’s a lot of bad” with the president’s policies. The billionaire real estate magnate said he hasn’t made up his mind about whether to back Trump or Biden, even after hosting the lavish Hamptons fundraiser for the president last August in which donors paid up to $250,000 per ticket.

DOLPHINS OWNER STEPHEN ROSS COMMITS $13M TO COMBAT SYSTEMIC RACISM

“At that point there was a fundraiser at my house I was looking for certain things to benefit New York,” Ross told the New York Times. “But I haven’t really made a decision who I’m voting for.”

Ross said his aim in hosting the fundraiser was to garner support for increased funding to New York City, including more backing for public transportation projects. He praised the Trump administration’s approach to business policy, especially its dealings with China, but said he disapproves of its climate change policy.

MLS INVESTIGATING REAL SALT LAKE OWNER OVER ALLEGED RACIST INCIDENTS

The longtime NFL owner asserted that Trump’s presidency has been “a little divisive,” adding that he might have rethought his plans to host the fundraiser if he had known how the public would respond.

“If I would have known the impact of what happened last year, would I have thought about it differently? Of course,” Ross said. “I mean, here I am being called a racist when I’ve set up and spent more money as an individual in dealing with racism than anybody in the country, and I was ahead of the game. But you know what? The best thing is to keep your mouth shut. You go about your business because that’s what matters.

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Ross serves as chairman and majority owner of The Related Companies, the parent company of Equinox and SoulCycle. Celebrities, including model Chrissy Teigen and comedian Billy Eichner, called for a boycott of the fitness brands last summer over Ross’ support of Trump. Both companies released statements distancing themselves from Ross.

In June, Ross committed an additional $13 million in funding for the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, or RISE, a nonprofit that works with key figures in the sports world on programs aiming to end racial discrimination and improve race relations. He has commited a total of $30 million toward the organization’s operations since 2015.

A-Rod/J-Lo out of Mets’ bidding amid report Cohen set to buy

Former major league star Alex Rodriguez and fiancee Jennifer Lopez have backed out of the bidding to purchase the New York Mets amid reports that the Wilpon family is finalizing a deal with billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen.

Rodriguez announced Friday night that despite “a fully funded offer at a record price,” their group was pulling its offer.

“The consortium said that they are disappointed to not be part of the revitalization of New York City and provide an exhilarating experience for the fans and wish the Wilpon family and the entire Mets organization well,” the celebrity couple said in a statement.

Media reports Friday night said that Cohen had entered final negotiations and was expected to finalize a deal with the team in the coming days. The Mets declined to comment.

COHEN BIDDING $2B FOR METS FRANCHISE AND $2B FOR CABLE NETWORK: GASPARINO

Cohen also entered negotiations to purchase the Mets last year, but the deal fell apart in February. The hedge fund manager bought an 8% limited partnership stake in 2012 for $40 million. The deal under discussion would have seen him acquire an 80% controlling share in a transaction that values the team at $2.6 billion, and the Wilpons would have remained in place for five years.

Rodriguez and Lopez emerged as potential buyers after Cohen’s first negotiations fell apart.

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“Alex and I are so disappointed!!,” Lopez wrote on Twitter. “We worked so hard the past 6 months with the dream of becoming the first minority couple and the first woman owner to buy her father’s favorite Major League Baseball team with her own hard earned money. We still haven’t given up!! #NYForever