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Raab seeks to reassure Washington over Brexit as US congressmen threaten to veto trade talks

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Raab seeks to reassure Washington over Brexit as US congressmen threaten to veto trade talks
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a press conference with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab – NICHOLAS KAMM/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, has declared that Britain’s support of the Good Friday Agreement is “absolute” during a charm offensive in Washington designed to ease concerns over Boris Johnson’s recent Brexit talk moves.

Mr Raab made the comments at a press conference with Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, on a day when he was also due to meet with Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House of Representatives, who has criticised the Government’s proposed changes to the Brexit deal.

Accusations that Mr Johnson is breaking international law and undermining Northern Irish peace by attempting to change parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement have become wrapped up in UK-US trade deal talks in America.

The Internal Market Bill aims to make it easier to transport goods between the UK’s four nations, and has raised concerns that a hard border will be imposed on the island of Ireland 

Leading Democrats have been publicly warning that any undercutting of the Good Friday Agreement, a historic Northern Irish peace deal signed in 1998, could see them veto the UK-US trade deal currently being negotiated.

The warnings carry political weight given that any trade deal will only become law when it is ratified by the two wings of the US Congress, the Senate and the House. The Democrats currently hold the majority in the House.

Asked whether the Johnson government had jeopardised a trade deal with its controversial attempts to alter aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement, Mr Raab put the blame on Brussels and repeated the UK’s support for the Good Friday Agreement.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for me to be clear that the threat to the Good Friday Agreement as it’s reflected in the Northern Ireland protocol has come from the EU’s politicisation of the issue and to be clear on how that’s happened and why that’s happened,” Mr Raab said of his visit. 

“Our commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and to avoid any extra infrastructure at the border between the North and the South is absolute.”

There were also positive words from Mr Raab’s US counterpart, Mr Pompeo, who repeated US support for that agreement but also said he was “confident” the UK government would reach a solution that suited all parties.

Mr Pompeo said: “Yes, we trust the United Kingdom. I am confident they’ll get it right. We’ve made clear our view of the importance of the Good Friday agreements. We know the complexity of the situation. We’ve done what we can to provide assistance where we can.

“In the end this will be a set of decisions with respect to this that the UK makes. And I have great confidence that they will get this right in a way that treats everyone fairly and gets a good outcome for what it was the people of the UK voted for now several years back.”

Mr Raab’s trip to Washington DC makes him one of the few UK government ministers to visit during the coronavirus pandemic. Mr Johnson is still yet to visit the White House as prime minister more than a year after taking up the role. 

Mr Raab’s tougher meeting, due to happen behind closed doors, was expected to be not with Mr Pompeo, a Donald Trump loyalist, but Ms Pelosi, who has in recent weeks not hidden her opposition to Mr Johnson’s recent Brexit manoeuvrings.

“What were they thinking?” Ms Pelosi recently asked about Mr Johnson’s move to revise the Withdrawal Agreement, adding: “Whatever it is, I hope they’re not thinking of a US-UK bilateral trade agreement.”

Nancy Pelosi has criticised the bill - Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg
Nancy Pelosi has criticised the bill – Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg

Four Democratic congressmen wrote a letter to Mr Johnson on Tuesday warning his latest move could have “disastrous consequences” for the Good Friday Agreement and may lead to a veto of the UK-US trade deal.

It has since emerged that a number of the signatories once made supportive comments or gestures about Gerry Adams, the former president of Sinn Féin and Irish Republican, including pushing for him to be invited to past presidential inaugurations.

Peter King, the New York congressman who signed the letter, is quoted in the Belfast Telegraph once saying in the 1980s: “If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the IRA for it.”

Trade deals talks between Britain and America remain on-going. It is very unlikely a deal will be reached and passed by the US Congress before the November 3 US election.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Authorities searching for inmate who escaped Kentucky jail

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Authorities searching for inmate who escaped Kentucky jail

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Authorities say they are looking for an inmate who escaped from a Kentucky jail on Tuesday through a hole in a fourth-floor window.

Officials think inmate Anthony Martinez, 30, climbed through the window and then used a hose draped along the building to lower himself to the ground, Louisville Metro Corrections Assistant Director Steve Durham told news outlets.

The FBI in Louisville tweeted that Martinez is wanted on both state and federal warrants and is considered dangerous. News outlets report he was arrested in February on robbery charges involving multiple banks.

Durham said an investigation into the escape was underway.

“Metro Corrections Director Dwayne Clark has ordered an internal investigation into the circumstances that contributed to Inmate Martinez’s unauthorized departure,” he said in a statement.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Amanda Knox supports NXIVM sex cult leader Keith Raniere

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Amanda Knox is among a group of people, including NXIVM members, demanding answers ahead of Keith Raniere's conviction.

Amanda Knox is demanding answers about NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere’s 2019 conviction. Knox signed a petition questioning whether there was “prosecutorial misconduct” in the case, which led to Raniere being found guilty of sex trafficking among other crimes. Knox knows a thing or two about sensationalized trials as her 2009 murder conviction was ultimately overturned by an Italian high court.

Ahead of Raniere’s sentencing next month, Knox is among those supporting an initiative that aims to hold the prosecutors and judges accountable. According to the Albany Times Union, the petition demands the government answer whether they tampered with evidence, suborned perjury, threatened witnesses and more. She confirmed her signature when reached by the newspaper for comment.

“I was contacted by some former members of NXIVM who claim that Mr. Raniere has been wrongfully convicted, and that the story being told in the media is wrong,” Knox told the Times Union. “I personally do not know enough about the case to make any judgments about whether his conviction is wrongful or not.

“These supporters of Mr. Raniere asked me to sign a petition asking the prosecutors in the case to affirm some principles of prosecutorial conduct that any prosecutor should be able to affirm, such as not engaging in perjury, not tampering with evidence and not threatening witnesses,” Knox continued. “I signed the petition because violation of these practices would constitute prosecutorial misconduct, regardless of Mr. Raniere’s guilt or innocence.”

Raniere is the founder and leader of NXIVM, an organization promoted as a self-help group. However, prosecutors claim Raniere was really running a pyramid scheme and women-branding sex cult. Smallville star Allison Mack is among the notable names involved as she’s accused of being a “master” who directed “slaves” to engage in sexual acts with Raniere. He was found guilty on racketeering, sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy and other felony charges.  

Knox was accused of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007 while studying abroad in Perugia, Italy. She was convicted in 2009, but exonerated two years later. Knox has maintained her innocence throughout the ordeal. In recent years, she has become an advocate for the wrongfully convicted. The author recently weighed in on another high-profile case: whether Tiger King star Carole Baskin killed her husband, Don Lewis.

“My simple reaction to that case was actually in response to Carole Baskin, and the number of people who saw a documentary and made a claim about how Carole Baskin killed her husband,” Knox told Law & Crime Daily earlier this month. “And I found that it was irresponsible for anyone to be going around claiming that someone killed their husband because they happened to see a documentary series. That’s not enough to actually make any kinds of claims of guilt or innocence.”

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Is NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NEX) A Good Stock To Buy?

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Is NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NEX) A Good Stock To Buy?

Insider Monkey has processed numerous 13F filings of hedge funds and successful value investors to create an extensive database of hedge fund holdings. The 13F filings show the hedge funds’ and successful investors’ positions as of the end of the second quarter. You can find articles about an individual hedge fund’s trades on numerous financial news websites. However, in this article we will take a look at their collective moves over the last 5 years and analyze what the smart money thinks of NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NYSE:NEX) based on that data and determine whether they were really smart about the stock.

Is NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NYSE:NEX) a marvelous investment now? The best stock pickers were betting on the stock. The number of long hedge fund bets inched up by 3 recently. NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NYSE:NEX) was in 24 hedge funds’ portfolios at the end of June. The all time high for this statistics is 29. Our calculations also showed that NEX isn’t among the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds (click for Q2 rankings and see the video for a quick look at the top 5 stocks). There were 21 hedge funds in our database with NEX holdings at the end of March. Video: Watch our video about the top 5 most popular hedge fund stocks.

Why do we pay any attention at all to hedge fund sentiment? Our research has shown that a select group of hedge fund holdings outperformed the S&P 500 ETFs by 56 percentage points since March 2017 (see the details here). We were also able to identify in advance a select group of hedge fund holdings that’ll significantly underperform the market. We have been tracking and sharing the list of these stocks since February 2017 and they lost 34% through August 17th. That’s why we believe hedge fund sentiment is an extremely useful indicator that investors should pay attention to.

TUDOR INVESTMENT CORP

At Insider Monkey we scour multiple sources to uncover the next great investment idea. For example, legal marijuana is one of the fastest growing industries right now, so we are checking out stock pitches like “the Starbucks of cannabis” to identify the next tenbagger. We go through lists like the 10 most profitable companies in the world to pick the best large-cap stocks to buy. Even though we recommend positions in only a tiny fraction of the companies we analyze, we check out as many stocks as we can. We read hedge fund investor letters and listen to stock pitches at hedge fund conferences. You can subscribe to our free daily newsletter on our website to get excerpts of these letters in your inbox. Keeping this in mind we’re going to review the key hedge fund action encompassing NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NYSE:NEX).

How are hedge funds trading NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NYSE:NEX)?

Heading into the third quarter of 2020, a total of 24 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were bullish on this stock, a change of 14% from one quarter earlier. On the other hand, there were a total of 21 hedge funds with a bullish position in NEX a year ago. So, let’s check out which hedge funds were among the top holders of the stock and which hedge funds were making big moves.

Is NEX A Good Stock To Buy?
Is NEX A Good Stock To Buy?

When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, Cerberus Capital Management, managed by Stephen Feinberg, holds the biggest position in NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NYSE:NEX). Cerberus Capital Management has a $95.3 million position in the stock, comprising 3.1% of its 13F portfolio. Sitting at the No. 2 spot is Richard S. Pzena of Pzena Investment Management, with a $21.1 million position; 0.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Other peers that are bullish comprise  Renaissance Technologies, Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management and Israel Englander’s Millennium Management. In terms of the portfolio weights assigned to each position Covalent Capital Partners allocated the biggest weight to NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NYSE:NEX), around 14.62% of its 13F portfolio. Cerberus Capital Management is also relatively very bullish on the stock, setting aside 3.09 percent of its 13F equity portfolio to NEX.

As one would reasonably expect, key hedge funds were breaking ground themselves. Deep Basin Capital, managed by Matt Smith, established the largest position in NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NYSE:NEX). Deep Basin Capital had $6 million invested in the company at the end of the quarter. Donald Sussman’s Paloma Partners also initiated a $0.3 million position during the quarter. The following funds were also among the new NEX investors: Peter Algert and Kevin Coldiron’s Algert Coldiron Investors, Thomas Bailard’s Bailard Inc, and Paul Tudor Jones’s Tudor Investment Corp.

Let’s also examine hedge fund activity in other stocks – not necessarily in the same industry as NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NYSE:NEX) but similarly valued. These stocks are Viking Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VKTX), 111, Inc. (NASDAQ:YI), A10 Networks Inc (NYSE:ATEN), Ocular Therapeutix Inc (NASDAQ:OCUL), FutureFuel Corp. (NYSE:FF), Extreme Networks, Inc (NASDAQ:EXTR), and Global Medical REIT Inc. (NYSE:GMRE). This group of stocks’ market caps resemble NEX’s market cap.

[table] Ticker, No of HFs with positions, Total Value of HF Positions (x1000), Change in HF Position VKTX,17,35268,0 YI,4,8031,1 ATEN,22,126298,3 OCUL,11,109029,4 FF,12,51161,1 EXTR,18,67700,2 GMRE,7,13738,-3 Average,13,58746,1.1 [/table]

View table here if you experience formatting issues.

As you can see these stocks had an average of 13 hedge funds with bullish positions and the average amount invested in these stocks was $59 million. That figure was $178 million in NEX’s case. A10 Networks Inc (NYSE:ATEN) is the most popular stock in this table. On the other hand 111, Inc. (NASDAQ:YI) is the least popular one with only 4 bullish hedge fund positions. Compared to these stocks NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NYSE:NEX) is more popular among hedge funds. Our overall hedge fund sentiment score for NEX is 82.8. Stocks with higher number of hedge fund positions relative to other stocks as well as relative to their historical range receive a higher sentiment score. Our calculations showed that top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks gained 21.3% in 2020 through September 25th and still beat the market by 17.7 percentage points. Unfortunately NEX wasn’t nearly as popular as these 10 stocks and hedge funds that were betting on NEX were disappointed as the stock returned -30.2% since the end of the second quarter and underperformed the market. If you are interested in investing in large cap stocks with huge upside potential, you should check out the top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds as most of these stocks already outperformed the market in 2020.

Get real-time email alerts: Follow Nextier Oilfield Solutions Inc. (NYSE:NEX)

Disclosure: None. This article was originally published at Insider Monkey.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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