BEIJING (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s trip to Asia (all times local):
President Donald Trump will not have a formal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin while the two are in Danang, Vietman, for a summit.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is blaming a scheduling conflict for the fact that the leaders will not meet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
Sanders told reporters traveling with Trump in Asia that it’s still possible the two could have a less formal encounter on the sidelines of the summit in Vietnam or a later gathering in the Philippines.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters in Beijing on Thursday that there was no reason for the leaders to meet if they weren’t able to make significant progress on issues including Syria and Ukraine.
President Donald Trump has arrived in Vietnam to attend an international economic summit amid regional tensions.
Trump touched down Friday in the coastal city of Danang to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
Trump plans Friday to deliver the second of his two major speeches during the trip. He’ll address a CEO summit and aides say the president will outline his vision of free trade in the region, as well as threats posed by North Korea’s aggressive nuclear weapons development.
Trump flew to Vietnam from China, where he abandoned the tough talk that defined his presidential campaign. Instead, he flattered Beijing on trade and its approach to North Korea.
U.S. first lady Melania Trump has checked out the pandas at the Beijing zoo, before being serenaded in English and Chinese by elementary school children.
Mrs. Trump watched with students from the Shija elementary school as one panda chomped down on a late breakfast of bamboo shoots and leaves. She then presented the students with gifts of plush bald eagle toys.
Parts of the zoo in Beijing’s western fringe were shut down for the visit, but Wang Xumei, pushing her 1-year-old granddaughter in a stroller, says she wasn’t put off. Wang says Melania Trump is very beautiful and “we’re happy to have her and the American president in Beijing.”
Wang adds that Mrs. Trump should “come back soon.”
President Donald Trump has saluted the “growing friendship” between the United States and China.
Trump and first lady Melania Trump were the guests of honor at a state dinner Thursday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.
Trump offered a toast to Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng), touting bonds “that will only grow stronger and stronger.”
He then introduced a video of his granddaughter Arabella, the daughter of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, singing a traditional Chinese song in Mandarin.
The dinner capped off two days of pageantry and negotiations between Xi and Trump. At the dinner, neither man made mention of thorny issues like trade and attempts to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
President Donald Trump is attending a state dinner in his honor in Beijing.
Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrived at the Great Hall of the People Thursday evening.
The dinner was held in the Golden Hall, featuring crystal chandeliers, hanging lanterns and ornate traditional Chinese artwork.
The Trumps were greeted with a standing ovation and a video featuring clips of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Trump’s Florida estate in February and the US president’s ongoing two-day visit to Beijing.
Xi gave a toast in which he said the relationship between China and the US was growing by the day. He added that the two nations faced “limited challenges but boundless potential for growth.”
Among the guests at the dinner: China native and former NBA star Yao Ming.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says that when it comes to making progress on trade discussions with China, the accomplishments so far are “pretty small.”
Tillerson spoke to reporters as Trump was wrapping up his second and final day in China. Tillerson says: “There is a lot of work left to do.”
Trump earlier called on China to address unfair trade practices that drive what he called a “shockingly” large trade deficit.
But Trump stopped short of castigating Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng), saying he didn’t blame the country for having taken advantage of past U.S. administrations.
Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) of China are presenting a united front following two days of meetings despite lingering differences over trade and North Korea.
Trump criticized the “very one-sided and unfair” trade relationship between the two countries, but said he doesn’t blame the country for having taken advantage of the U.S. He says the two have made great progress on economic and security issue.
But Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is offering a blunter assessment:
He says, “in the grand scheme of a $3- to 500 billion trade deficit, the things that have been achieved are pretty small.”
Trump heads to Vietnam on Friday for the first of two summits during his trip to Asia.
It’s unclear whether he’ll meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
NEW YORK (AP) — Longtime Yankees coach Rob Thomson emphasized his ability to speak with players as he became the first person to audition for the New York manager job that opened when Joe Girardi was jettisoned last month.
A 54-year-old Canadian who has been with the Yankees for 28 seasons, Thomson spent a decade as a coach under Girardi. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman cited “connectivity” with players as the reason to part with Girardi.
“I really don’t want to compare myself to Joe. I love Joe,” Thomson said during a media session Thursday, a day after his five-to-six-hour interview. “But I do know this. My strengths are my communication and my trust with the players, and because of that trust we can implement more things into our game, whether it be analytics or sports science, whatever it is. … I’m intense, but I’m still calm and I’m still poised.
After playing in Detroit’s minor league system from 1985-88, Thomson was hired by the Yankees in 1990 as third-base coach at Class A Fort Lauderdale. He spent five seasons coaching, then managed Class A Oneonta in the New York-Penn League in 1995, his only time as a skipper.
He was third base coach at Triple-A Columbus from 1996-97, became a field coordinator in 1998, director of player development in 2000 and vice president of minor league development before the 2003 season. He served as a special assignment instructor from 2004-06 and major league field coordinator in 2007.
Thomson moved to the major league coaching staff when Girardi replaced Joe Torre, serving as bench coach in 2008, third-base coach from 2009-14 and again as bench coach for the past three seasons.
“I’ve always wanted to manage. I love it,” Thomson said. “Every game I’ve ever watched or been a part, I’ve kind of managed it in my mind.”
He was interviewed Wednesday by Cashman, assistant general managers Jean Afterman and Mike Fishman, vice president of baseball operations Tim Naehring and assistant director of professional scouting Dan Giese.
Thomson’s only previous manager interview was by telephone with Toronto after the 2010 season, when the Blue Jays hired John Farrell. This one was more involved.
“It was tiring. It wore me down,” he said. “I went back to the hotel and I was night-night in a hurry.”
Thomson realizes the job of a big league manager has changed in recent years.
“The analytics and the sports science have gone to a new level,” he said. “It’s not like we’ve never looked at numbers, but the numbers have evolved so much and there’s so much to it and they’re such great tools to have. It’s like watching video — it’s another tool to have. And if you’re not paying attention to it and you’re not utilizing the analysts that are upstairs, I think you’re kind of foolish.”
Cashman has not specified how many people he plans to interview or his timetable. Former Yankees David Cone and John Flaherty, both analysts for the team’s YES Network, said Wednesday they would like to be considered. They spoke at the annual dinner of Torre’s foundation.
Thomson says he understands the crucible the Yankees manager often is thrown into in the New York market.
“I know that I’m going to make mistakes, and I know that I’m going to be challenged in the media because of mistakes,” he said. “It’s part of the game. Got it. I’ve made mistakes when I was coaching third base, and it was certainly been well documented. So I’ve been through it before.”
NOTES: The Yankees announced that they are moving the start time of their seven Monday to Thursday April home games next season up by 30 minutes to 6:35 p.m.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
NEW YORK (AP) — Disney’s $4 billion deal for Lucasfilm and “Star Wars” just keeps getting better for the House of Mouse.
The company is banking on the latest installments, “The Last Jedi” in December and a Han Solo movie in May, to drive people to theaters. But that’s far from the end of money-making opportunities from Han Solo, R2-D2, Kylo Ren and Rey. In fact, CEO Bob Iger said Thursday that the company is now planning a brand-new “Star Wars” trilogy, which will be the fourth in the franchise.
Disney has drawn big profits from the strengths of its TV channels — namely ESPN — but that growth is challenged as more people dump cable subscriptions. As people turn to online replacements such as Netflix, Disney is hoping to lure them with a streaming service planned for 2019. “Star Wars” movies will be a big part of that; so will a new “Star Wars” series Iger also announced Thursday.
Disney also wants to squeeze cash from “Star Wars” fans in the forms of toys and, theme park visits and hotel stays.
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” released in December 2015, pulled in more than $2 billion in worldwide ticket sales, trailing only “Avatar” and “Titanic” as the best-selling theatrical release ever (without adjusting for inflation). It also bumped up home entertainment revenue from DVD sales. “Rogue One,” last year’s installment, made over $1 billion in global box-office revenue.
“The Last Jedi” will continue from where “Force” left off. Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson has a “somewhat conservative” estimate of $1.9 billion in box-office haul for the film. He also expects the latest “Avengers” installment to bring in $1.3 billion.
Big-budget, sequel-generating movies deliver big wins for studios. In fiscal 2016, when Disney released “The Force Awakens,” the studio’s profit was $2.7 billion. That’s expected to fall this year and jump back up to $2.84 billion in 2018, thanks to “The Last Jedi” and several Marvel movies.
In the July-September quarter, however, the studio’s revenue fell 21 percent to $1.43 billion. “Cars 3” wasn’t as big a hit as “Finding Dory” in 2016.
Overall, The Walt Disney Co.’s net income slipped 1 percent to $1.75 billion. Revenue dropped 3 percent to $12.78 billion.
Disney is funneling its movie hits to other parts of its sprawling empire to help it make money repeatedly from its intellectual property.
For example, “Star Wars”-themed areas at Disneyland in California and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida will open in 2019.
“They’re huge and I think very exciting in terms of how we’re using technology to create really interesting attractions and experiences,” Iger said at a September investment conference.
The company is also planning a “Star Wars”-themed hotel at Walt Disney World in Florida. Disney touts it as an “immersive” experience; guests will be able to dress up as their favorite characters.
Disney is making other big investments in its parks, too, as it races to catch up with Universal’s enormously popular Harry Potter-themed areas. In the latest quarter, revenue rose 6 percent to $4.67 billion, helped by the international parks. In the U.S., Hurricane Irma shut down Walt Disney World for two days, hurting domestic results.
Analysts expect merchandise revenues to get a bump in fiscal 2018; Nathanson cites the “Star Wars” and Marvel movies, as well as “Frozen” coming to Broadway, as drivers.
GEARING UP AGAINST NETFLIX
The movies will also serve as a lure for Disney’s streaming service, which will contain hundreds of movies and thousands of TV episodes and shorts. Pixar, “Star Wars” and Marvel films will be included along with Disney-brand video. Disney’s deal with Netflix is expiring and won’t be renewed, making the new service the exclusive online home for much of Disney’s prime content.
Morgan Stanley estimates that the service can, after a decade, become a nearly $5 billion-a-year business, with roughly 30 million subscribers. (Netflix’s streaming revenues for just the last nine months were $8.1 billion, with 109 million subscribers.) Disney will lose out on hundreds of millions from Netflix when it pulls its movies, and UBS estimates that it needs 32 million subscribers for the app just to break even.
Iger said Thursday that the streaming service will cost less than Netflix at launch. Netflix’s streaming plans start at $8 a month.
Disney also plans an ESPN streaming service, which it announced Thursday will be called ESPN Plus, that will launch in spring 2018. It won’t air the same sports as its channel — but one day might. ESPN, long its cash cow, has been losing subscribers as attention shifts online.
In the fiscal fourth quarter, the media networks’ revenue fell 3 percent to $5.47 billion; profit slid 12 percent, to $1.48 billion. At ESPN, content costs rose and ad revenue fell, but Disney wrangled higher payments from cable companies.
Shares rose 1.4 percent to $104.09 in after-hours trading Thursday.
Editor’s note: This story been corrected to note that the new trilogy will be the fourth in the “Star Wars” franchise. An earlier version stated it would be the fifth.
ROME (AP) — Italian police have detained a man caught on video head-butting a reporter from state-run RAI television amid an interview about his support for a neo-fascist movement.
The violence against the RAI journalist, Daniele Piervincenzi, has led newscasts in Italy for two days. It has prompted calls by Rome’s mayor for a march against organized crime this weekend.
Piervincenzi and his RAI cameraman were conducting interviews in Ostia after the neo-fascist, anti-immigrant CasaPound movement scored big in Ostia municipal elections Sunday. One of their subjects, Roberto Spada, who had voiced support for CasaPound, suddenly interrupted the interview, head-butted Piervincenzi, chased after him and the cameraman and beat them with a stick.
CasaPound distanced itself from Spada, who was detained Thursday, and called for a full investigation.
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Authorities say three security guards at a Louisiana bar have been accused of using their positions to illegally detain a sound technician and search his vehicle.
The victim told Baton Rouge police he was working for a band that was performing Oct. 13. Authorities say he was sitting in his truck when he was approached by 25-year-old Devin Scarborough, 25-year-old Nicholas Fetty and 28-year-old Kevin Marshall Jr.
The Advocate reports the victim said they opened the driver’s side door, pulled him out and handcuffed him. He says they took his wallet and searched his truck without his permission. Authorities say cellphone video shows the security guards detaining the victim.
The security guards were recently arrested and charged with simple battery along with another offense. It’s unclear if they have lawyers.
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com
VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a woman tried to sneak more than $1,800 worth of electronics through a Florida Walmart’s self-checkout by switching the items’ price tags with those from clearance items.
Treasure Coast Newspapers reports that 25-year-old Cheyenne Amber West was arrested Monday and charged with felony grand theft and felony shoplifting.
An arrest report says a loss-prevention officer at the Vero Beach Walmart told a deputy he saw West and another woman select a computer, video game controllers and other merchandise from the electronics department. The report says West covered the bar codes with stickers removed from less expensive items that rang up to just $3.70.
West was free on $3,000 bail. Jail records didn’t list an attorney.
The woman who was with West wasn’t arrested.
Information from: The (Fort Pierce, Fla.) Tribune, http://www.stluciecounty.com