U.S. products popular

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! HAVANA – The golden arches are nowhere to be found. There’s not a single Starbucks or Wal-Mart, and no way to buy a Budweiser, a Corvette or a Dell. But even in Cuba, you can get a Coke. Despite the U.S. Trading With the Enemy Act, which governs Washington’s 45-year-old embargo, sales on Fidel Castro’s island are lining the pockets of corporate America. Nikes, Colgate and Marlboros, Gillette Series shaving cream and Jordache jeans – all are easy to find. Cubans who wear contact lenses can buy Bausch & Lomb. Parents can surprise the kids with a Mickey Mouse firetruck. Dozens of U.S. brands are on sale here – and not in some black-market back alley. They’re in the lobbies of gleaming government-run hotels and in crowded supermarkets and pharmacies that answer to the communist government. The companies say they have no direct knowledge of sales in Cuba, and the amounts involved are small and would be impractical to stop. But it’s hard to deny that a portion of the transactions wind up back in the U.S. “We try and do what we can to police … but in a globalized economy, it’s impossible to catch everything,” said Vada Manager, director of global issues management for Nike Inc. Trade sanctions bar American tourists from visiting Cuba and allow exports only of U.S. food and farm products, medical supplies and some telecommunications equipment. But wholesalers and distributors in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Canada routinely sell some of America’s most recognizable brands to Cuban importers. Cuba has for years sought out American goods as a way of thumbing its nose at the embargo. Officials at three foreign-owned import companies operating in Havana, who refused to have their names published for fear of economic repercussions, said the communist government itself still imports the vast majority of American goods. Christopher Padilla, U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for export administration, said from Washington that Cuba even sends delegations on “buying missions,” hunting for specific American products in third countries for resale back home. Cuban press authorities did not make relevant officials available to discuss the practice. In a country where tourism is the leading revenue source, stocking U.S. brands helps reassure visitors, said Daniel Erikson, a Cuban economy expert at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington. “People, average Cubans included, would rather have Coca-Cola than a no-name generic soda they’re not familiar with. That means the government can charge more,” Erikson said. “And obviously, for the tourist industry it’s important for the foreigners who visit Cuba to see products that they know and trust.” All U.S. products are sold in Cuban convertible pesos, considered foreign currency and worth $1.08 apiece – about 25 times the island’s regular peso. Although government salaries have increased in recent years, the average monthly pay is still around $15, meaning few Cubans can afford U.S. goods. But last month, Economy Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez said 57percent of the population has access to hard currency – dollars or convertible pesos – either through jobs in tourism or money from relatives abroad. A 2004 report by the U.S. Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba estimated remittances from the United States total $1 billion a year. The influx of American brands began in earnest in 1993, when Cuba scrapped laws that had made it illegal for its citizens to possess dollars. Cubans know the products, despite an almost complete lack of advertising on the island. Angel Hernandez, a 62-year-old retiree, didn’t hesitate when presented with a pair of “Air Jordans.” “That swoosh. That’s Nike,” he said. Like most Cubans, he pronounces the company name with a silent “e” as in “Mike.” Made in China, brick-red Nike Air Max 90 sneakers sell for 129.40 convertible Cuban pesos – about $140 – at a store off Havana’s Central Park. High-priced fakes also abound. Several stores, including one inside the Havana Libre Hotel – the Havana Hilton before Castro’s 1959 revolution – offer authentic-looking Max Air 80s, but Nike makes no such product. At the Comodoro Hotel, a boutique wants $40 for assorted small gym bags with pastel or silver swooshes. Their tags read “Made in Indonesia” in Spanish and “Nike de Mexico,” providing a hint of their route to Cuba. Manager said all Nike products for sale in Cuba are probably knockoffs. He conceded, however, that legitimate distributors outside the U.S. could be selling products to Cuban importers – and Nike could make money off such sales. “But what you’re talking about is such a small volume there. And if we are able to detect where … the products came from, that distributor or retailer runs the risk of having their account discontinued with us.” John Kavulich, senior policy adviser for the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council Inc. in New York, said: “In no way should it be said that this is an end run by U.S. business around U.S. restrictions because it’s not. It’s almost impossible for American companies to stop. Of course, at some point in the transaction, at the very beginning when the legitimate distributor bought the product from Nike, or any company, money went to the U.S.” Kavulich estimated the value of U.S. brands sold in Cuba as “probably $20 million or less on an annual basis,” but he noted that less than 5 percent of that amount likely represents combined profit for U.S. companies, given all the layers of transactions the products go through to get to the island. Decades-old Walt Disney cartoons air on state TV every afternoon, and stores have Mickey Mouse toys and wrapping paper and Snoopy products. In Havana’s Vedado district, fishing supply store DSY offers goods made by U.S. supplier Seachoice Products. A “Heavy Duty Waterproof Flashlight” from the company proudly proclaims “Made in USA.” At least two Havana clothing stores call themselves Jordache. Steven Nakash, director of licensing for Jordache Enterprises in New York, said the company heard about unauthorized use of its brand in Cuba several years ago but took no action because “an American company dealing with a foreign territory and battling it out on foreign soil is very, very hard.”last_img read more

2 suspects plead not guilty in RB home invasion

first_imgHe was described as a “wealthy” man employed in the entertainment industry who worked on the “Die Hard” film series. Keenan said the man was confronted inside his residence by three armed men wearing ski masks. The men beat him, bound him to his bed with duct tape and repeatedly demanded the location of a safe, which the victim denied having, Keenan said. The suspects then ransacked the home, stealing electronic items and jewelry, and drove off in the man’s Mercedes-Benz CL600, Keenan said. “At one point, one of the suspects actually put a pillow to his head, pushed the gun down and said, `We should just kill him,’ ” Redondo Beach police Sgt. Pete Grimm said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A 28-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman pleaded not guilty in Torrance on Thursday to charges stemming from a home- invasion robbery in Redondo Beach. Amadi Zaid, of Tracy, and Paula Hattar, of Oakland, were arraigned in Torrance Superior Court on single counts of home- invasion robbery, assault with a firearm and carjacking. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre They were also charged with carrying an unregistered, loaded firearm. Both are being held in lieu of $200,000 bail, according to Sheriff’s Department records. Police are still searching for two other accomplices. The robbery occurred about 6a.m. Tuesday in the 700 block of North Irena Avenue, when the victim – a 43-year-old man – returned home after going for a walk, Redondo Beach police Sgt. Phil Keenan said. Police declined to release the name of the victim, identified by the Daily Breeze as William Spaulding. last_img

SAG gears up for benefit auction today

first_imgTelevision and movie memorabilia, backstage tours, red carpet bleacher seats and autographed posters will be up for online bidding starting today as the Screen Actors Guild Awards begins its annual auction to benefit the SAG Foundation. The auction, which runs through Jan. 31, will feature different items as the weeks progress. Bids can be placed at www.sagawards.org/auction. One of the auction’s highlights is the chance for one bidder to attend the SAG Awards ceremony, scheduled for Jan. 27, as well as take a backstage tour during rehearsals, walk the red carpet and attend the post-awards gala. Bidding for this package will only be possible from 10 a.m. today through 10 a.m. Sunday. Among the items up for bidding during the first week will be posters signed by 62 actors, including Viggo Mortensen, Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin, and posters autographed by the casts of TNT’s “The Closer” and “Saving Grace.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champIn upcoming weeks, the auction will offer the chance to visit the sets of “E! News,” “Entertainment Tonight” and “Extra,” as well as autographed photos of awards recipients in interview rooms and on stage. During the final week, the auction will feature collectibles from this year’s nominated casts and ensembles, including wardrobe items, furniture, scripts and more. The nonprofit SAG Foundation, the beneficiary of the auction, works to help SAG members in times of financial difficulty or serious illness and contribute to the literacy of children through several programs. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

The best midfielders in Europe right now, featuring Man United and City players

first_img 9. Casemiro (Real Madrid) has a WhoScored.com rating of 7.46 – Signed for just €6 million in 2013, Madird have finally found the best way to utilise the Brazilian. After originally struggling to get a game at the Bernabeu, the defensive midfielder established himself alongside Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in a midfield three which has won three Champions League titles in the last four years 5. Fabinho (Monaco) has a WhoScored.com rating of 7.59 – The defensive midfielder has reportedly agreed to leave Monaco this summer so expect to see a scramble for his signature. The Brazilian, who is adept at playing right-back, averages 3.6 tackles on average and has also scored four goals this season. 4. Houssem Aouar (Olympique Lyonnais) has a WhoScored.com rating of 7.60 – While Aouar may not be the most well-known player on this list, there is no debating he has earned the right to be called one of Europe’s top midfielders. The France Under-21 starlet had no qualms taking on the iconic no.8 shirt from club legend Juninho Pernambucano and has been watched by Barcelona already this season. 10 7. Naby Keita (Red Bull Leipzig) has a WhoScored.com rating of 7.48 – Liverpool fans must be itching to see their new signing in action, but the Reds have agreed a deal which means he is due to join the club in the summer. The Guinean star is a strong dribbler with an eye for a through ball. 6. Daniel Parejo (Valencia) has a WhoScored.com rating of 7.53 – The Valencia captain is a set-piece specialist with five goals already this season who loves a shot from distance. The Spaniard came close to leaving for Barcelona in the summer after they triggered his €50 million release clause. 10 Kevin De Bruyne is the best midfielder in Europe, according to former Manchester City striker Paul Dickov.The Belgian playmaker has been in scintillating form this season, scoring eight goals and gabbing 12 assists in all competitions this season.So just how does the 26-year-old match up with the rest of Europe’s top midfielders?talkSPORT.com has worked with football statisticians WhoScored.com to compile a list of the top 10 midfielders in Europe at this moment.The only stipulation is the players must have played at least ten games in all competitions.Click on the right arrow, above, to see just how De Bruyne ranks alongside the best in Europe. 10 10 8. Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid) has a WhoScored.com rating of 7.48 – Rated so highly by Atletico, the Spanish club gave Saul a staggering nine-year contract in the summer with a £133 million release clause. His versatility across a multitude of positions makes him almost invaluable to the club. 10 10 2. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) has a WhoScored.com rating of 7.73 – Despite receiving criticism for not reaching the same levels he reached at Juventus, Pogba has performed well enough to earn a place as the second best midfielder in Europe this season. 10 10. Miralem Pjanic (Juventus) has a WhoScored.com rating of 7.45. Click the right arrow, above, to see the rest of the list – Replacing Andrea Pirlo at Juventus was never going to be easy. However, the Bosnian has made the regista role his own. The free-kick has maestro has six assists already this season, as well as four goals. 3. Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich) has a WhoScored.com rating of 7.65 – Tenacious and inventive in equal measure, the Chilean midfielder has established himself at the base of Munich’s midfielder since Xabi Alonso’s retirement. With six goals and two assists already this season, expect to see the 30-year-old carry his form into the World Cup in Russia. 10 10 10 1. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) has a WhoScored.com rating of 7.93 – Statistically the best midfielder in Europe, Paul Dickov was right in his praise for the Belgian. With eight goals and 12 assists already this season, could it be possible de Bruyne leads Manchester City to an unprecedented quadruple?last_img read more

Man held after deadly chase

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: John Jackson greets a Christmas that he wasn’t sure he’d seeDena then ran through a red light and struck a Volkswagen Golf at the intersection of Peck Road and Durfee Avenue in South El Monte. Ho’s 21-year-old daughter, Jennifer Ho, was sent to the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, police said. Her 10-year-old son and 21-year-old relative, Michael Tran, were sent to the hospital and were treated for minor complaints of pain. All victims were wearing their seat belts, Miller said. Dena fled the scene and hid in the San Gabriel River bank for one hour. He later surrendered, and police arrested him on suspicion of murder, felony evading resulting in death and grand theft auto, Miller said. Dena, who has a criminal record, is being held at the Los Angeles County Jail. An El Monte man arrested after a deadly police pursuit is expected to be arraigned Tuesday on suspicion of murder and other charges. Carlos Dena, 25, was fleeing from El Monte police in a suspected stolen vehicle Thursday when he collided with another car carrying a 48-year-old woman, Chau Ho. Ho, a Rosemead resident, later died, and three family members, including her daughter, who remains in critical condition, were also injured. El Monte police tried to stop Dena around 1:10 p.m. for driving a stolen white Toyota Tacoma, said Detective Dennis Miller. Miller said Dena admitted to the offenses, to fleeing from the car after the crash and to knowing that the truck was stolen. Police said officers following Dena slowed down and were about 400 yards behind the suspect when he ran the red light at speeds up to 70 miles per hour, officials said. According to the CHP, in 2005 there were 7,934 police pursuits statewide, 1,284 that resulted in collisions. The cause of Ho’s death hasn’t been determined, Los Angeles County Coroner’s officials said. jennifer.mclain@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2477160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Barcelona and Real Madrid drawn together in Copa del Rey semi-final

first_img Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions MONEY Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick as they thrashed Madrid 5-1 during their previous encounter this season, which led to manager Julen Lopetegui losing his job.Real Betis and Valencia were drawn together in the other semi-final. Barcelona and Real Madrid have been drawn against each other in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey.The first leg of the tie will be played at the Camp Nou on February 6 or 7 with the second then being held at the Santiago Bernabeu on February 27 or 28. Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade RANKED Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade REVEALED Bale’s solo goal won Real the Copa del Rey in 2014 when Barca were beaten 2-1 BEST OF Barcelona and Real Madrid were drawn together in the Copa del Rey – Real were beaten 5-1 in their previous encounter The last time the two sides met in the cup was in 2014, in the final, when Madrid won 2-1 after goals from Angel Di Maria and Gareth Bale.In La Liga, there are currently 10 points separating the two sides with the Catalan club having the sizeable lead at the summit. huge blow Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Barcelona came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat Sevilla 6-3 in their quarter-final clash and will be aiming to add a fifth consecutive Copa del Rey.Madrid made it to the last four by scoring seven past Girona over two legs to reach the semi-final stage for the first time since 2014. REVEALED ADVICE 2 2 no dice last_img read more

How Arsenal could line up this season with Luiz, Tierney and Pepe

first_img Is this how Arsenal will look? Ian Holloway thinks Arsenal have made a mistake in hiring Mikel Arteta Luiz cost Arsenal just £8million from Chelsea Redknapp calls Son ‘petulant’, but Holloway says red card for Rudiger kick was ‘soft’ latest deals Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January For a club that started the transfer window with a supposed measly sum of £40million to spend, Arsenal have done pretty well this summer.Nicolas Pepe arrived from Lille for a club record £72m, while William Saliba, who joined and then returned on loan to Saint-Etienne, cost £26m and Dani Ceballos arrived on loan from Real Madrid.That was then followed up with two deals for defenders on deadline day, with David Luiz surprisingly switching across the capital from Chelsea and Kieran Tierney sealing his long-awaited move from Celtic. Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas Spurs investigation into alleged racial abuse of Rudiger is so far ‘inconclusive’ Matic one of two players for sale with ‘two Premier League clubs’ interested 3 Tierney will be a class addition His fondness to play out from defence, with raking accurate passes allowed Chelsea to take a classic route one approach, when steady build up failed to break the opposition down.Manchester United legend Gary Neville once said the Brazilian played as if controlled by a ten-year-old on a PlayStation in reference to his lapses in concentration and lack of defensive acumen.MORE: Arsenal legend hails David Luiz signing, says he’s a perfect fit for EmeryDefeats to Tottenham and Manchester City, showed Luiz at his worst, enduring a nightmare at the back as Chelsea were heavily beaten on the road.While he is better than error-prone Shkodran Mustafi, time will tell if Luiz reverts to type.Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 as we become your go to destination for all the Premier League action.We’ll bring you LIVE commentary of Premier League games across all three time slots on Saturday – 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm – delivering award-winning coverage to more GameDay listeners than ever. OFF center_img rookie error Getty Steve Round reveals how Mikel Arteta convinced him to join Arsenal staff appointed BIG PRESENTS UP TOP Luiz has signed a two-year contract as a replacement for captain Laurent Koscielny, who has left the Emirates for to Bordeaux, while Tierney has penned a five-year deal – but how will they fit into the Gunners side?talkSPORT.com has drawn up Arsenal’s potential line-up for the start of the 2019/20 campaign after a productive summer window: 3 Buildlineup.com LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS FAREWELL statement Getty The arrival of Tierney is an upgrade on Sead Kolasinac, who may possess the greater physical attributes, but lacks the technical ability and pace of the Scotland international.Tierney has shown his ability to press down the left on a regular basis, essentially operating as a winger and giving his side extra width.What is also impressive is his ability to pass at range and build play from the back, which is crucial for any attacking full-back.Last season under Maurizio Sarri, Luiz was one of the players to benefit from ‘Sarri-ball’ and was one of its key components in the early stages. 3last_img read more

Marijuana, Cocaine, And More Found During Traffic Stop On Indiana Toll Road

first_imgA Cassopolis, MI man was arrested on several drug charges following a traffic stop on the Indiana Toll Road during the early morning hours on Saturday.Trooper Cody Brown stopped a white GMC Yukon for a moving violation as it was travelling westbound on the Indiana Toll Road.  The traffic stop was near the 135 mile marker.  This is approximately nine miles west of the Angola exit. While Brown spoke to the driver, identified as Kondwani Bethea, age 34 of Cassopolis, MI, he purportedly smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.  After asking for assistance, a Steuben County deputy came to assist.Brown conducted a vehicle search and located two glass jars that contained approximately a half ounce of suspected marijuana and a container that contained approximately one gram of suspected cocaine.  Also located was a container with several pills in it believed to be a controlled substance as well as a small bag of suspected psilocybin mushrooms. Bethea was arrested on preliminary charges of Possession of Marijuana, B-Misdemeanor, Possession of Cocaine, Level 6 Felony, and two counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, A-Misdemeanor.  Bethea was taken to the Steuben County Jail.last_img read more

Gaoth Dobhair go top after draw in Letterkenny

first_imgGaoth Dobhair took over leadership of a very competitive Division One in the Donegal Senior League yesterday evening.A draw with St Eunan’s in Letterkenny meant that Gaoth Dobhair overtake Naomh Conaill at the top on score difference, with St Eunan’s also level at the top of 17 points, but still third in the table on score difference.It finished St Eunan’s 0-13 Gaoth Dobhair 2-7.There is a full round of league fixtures this Sunday.Naomh Conaill can retake top spot for a few hours at least when they host Milford at 1pm.At 3pm, Kilcar can narrow the gap on the top three with a win away to Glenswilly, while Aodh Ruadh will welcome St Eunan’s to Ballyshannon.Bottom side Dungloe are away to St Michael’s and Gaoth Dobhair journey to Cloughaneely.In Division Two, Four Masters host Ardara, St Naul’s are home to Naomh Muire, Glenfin face Termon and leaders Mac Cumhaill’s are away to Malin at 3pm.Second-placed Bundoran are away to Naomh Columba in Glen from 4pm.And in Division Three, leaders Killybegs are away to Convoy and third-placed Naomh Brid travel to Killygordon to face Red Hughs.Donegal’s senior footballers will find out their other two opponents for the inaugural Super 8s this weekend.The side that emerges from Tyrone’s Qualifier against Cork tomorrow will travel to Ballybofey for round three of the new round-robin Qualifiers, while the winning team from the game between Armagh and Roscommon will host Donegal in round two.Armagh knocked out another Connacht side in the previous round, thanks to their defeat of Sligo in Markievicz Park.Speaking after that match, Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney said he felt his side got too much criticism from their defeat to Fermanagh in the Ulster Championship…Audio Playerhttps://www.oceanfm.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Kieran-McGeeney-Clip.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.last_img read more

Walt Disney World Preview — Week of June 2, 2018

first_imgWeatherFor the most current weather conditions, click here.Crowd LevelsFor more information about crowd levels, click here.Park Hours Attractions Closed For RefurbishmentsMagic Kingdom:Liberty Square RiverboatEpcot:Kringla Bakeri og KafeThat’s all for now. See you next week! Share This!There are some Incredible character meets going on at Magic Kingdom park, and Gay Days Orlando is being celebrated this week. For your Walt Disney World preview, keep reading.Special EventsNow through September 3, meet Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, Frozone, and Edna Mode at Magic Kingdom park! This is part of the Incredible Tomorrowland Expo, which is located at the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland. Oh, and don’t forget to take advantage of special Disney PhotoPass opportunities…they’re SUPER! (Too cheesy? Yeah…I thought so too.)The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel boat docks are expected to re-open June 2. Should this refurbishment get pushed back, we’ll let you know! In the meantime, guests can either take the bus or walkway to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot.As of May 28, Magic Kingdom’s After Fireworks Dessert Party is available to participating guests. Admission is $69 for adults and $41 for children, and you can read more about it here.Annual Passholders are receiving special offerings now through June 29. These include a 20% discount at Hollywood & Vine (located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) and early access to purchase a Toy Story Land-themed MagicBand.last_img read more