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Trump loses appeal of Pennsylvania election case

The appellate opinion marks the latest court loss for Trump, who has refused to concede to President-elect Biden and is falsely asserting that he won the race….

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President Donald Trump

Carlos Barria | Reuters

A federal appeals court on Friday rejected an attempt by President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign to keep alive its effort to undo the result of Pennsylvania’s presidential election.

The blistering opinion from a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, all three of whom were nominated by Republican presidents, said that the Trump campaign’s “claims have no merit.”

The appellate court’s decision affirmed a federal judge’s ruling from a week earlier that denied the Trump campaign’s request to block the Keystone State from certifying that President-elect Joe Biden won its election.

The opinion marks the latest court loss for Trump, who has refused to concede the election to Biden and is falsely asserting that he won the race. On Wednesday, Trump flatly stated, “We have to turn the election over.”

Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani had argued on behalf of the Trump campaign in the case before U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Giuliani has led the Trump campaign’s charge in the court of public opinion, spreading unproven claims of widespread voter fraud that he asserts tipped the outcome of the election.

But the appeals court noted in its 21-page opinion that when standing before Brann in a courtroom, Giuliani said that the campaign “doesn’t plead fraud” in the case.

“Calling an election unfair does not make it so,” the 3rd Circuit’s opinion read. “Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”

Another Trump campaign lawyer, Jenna Ellis, later Friday tweeted a joint statement with Giuliani claiming, “The activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud.”

Ellis’ tweet adds, “On to SCOTUS!” referring to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Rather than argue that fraud had been committed in Pennsylvania, the Trump campaign’s federal lawsuit had instead alleged that mail-in ballots had been handled differently in counties that skewed toward Democrats versus those that leaned more Republican. The campaign also alleged that some observers watching the counting of votes at polling locations had been unfairly restricted.

Brann, in his written decision, said that the campaign’s lawyers failed to present “compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption” in their unprecedented bid to invalidate millions of ballots.

In its appeal to the 3rd Circuit, the Trump campaign did not request that Brann’s ruling be reversed. Instead, the campaign requested that it be allowed to submit an amended version of its legal complaint in order to “restore claims which were inadvertently deleted” from a previous version.

But even that pared-down argument was rejected by the appeals court.

“The Campaign appeals on a very narrow ground: whether the District Court abused its discretion in not letting the Campaign amend its complaint a second time. It did not,” read the opinion written by Stephanos Bibas, whom Trump nominated to the bench in 2017.

The appellate court wrote that “most of the claims” in the Trump campaign’s latest complaint “boil down to issues of state law.”

“Pennsylvania law is willing to overlook many technical defects. It favors counting votes as long as there is no fraud,” the opinion said.

“The Campaign tries to repackage these state-law claims as unconstitutional discrimination. Yet its allegations are vague and conclusory,” Bibas said in the opinion.

“It never alleges that anyone treated the Trump campaign or Trump votes worse than it treated the Biden campaign or Biden votes. And federal law does not require poll watchers or specify how they may observe. It also says nothing about curing technical state-law errors in ballots. Each of these defects is fatal.”

Bibas also noted that the slice of mail-in ballots being challenged by the Trump campaign is “far smaller” than Biden’s margin of victory in Pennsylvania.

“Plus, tossing out millions of mail-in ballots would be drastic and unprecedented, disenfranchising a huge swath of the electorate and upsetting all down-ballot races too,” Bibas added, calling that remedy “grossly disproportionate.”

Biden beat Trump in the state by more than 81,000 votes, clinching its 20 Electoral College votes. Biden is projected to win 306 electoral votes — 36 more than he needed to win — compared with 232 for Trump.

Pennsylvania, along with other key swing states including Michigan, Georgia and Nevada, have already certified their votes for Biden.

Marc Scaringi, a lawyer and conservative talk-radio host representing the Trump campaign in Pennsylvania, in a letter to the appeals court Wednesday requested that Giuliani be allowed to make oral arguments in the case. The appellate judges on Friday denied that request for oral argument.

In a footnote within that letter, Scaringi detailed a long-shot legal strategy for Trump to overturn Biden’s win in the state despite the fact that its results have already been certified. The legal bank-shot would require a federal court invalidating that certification, then getting Pennsylvania’s General Assembly to send pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College.

“A decision by the District Court that President Trump won the legal votes may have significant impact on the General Assembly,” Scaringi wrote.

An appellate lawyer told CNBC that that strategy looks “made up.”

The appellate court’s decision affirmed a federal judge’s ruling from a week earlier that denied the Trump campaign’s request to block the Keystone State from certifying that President-elect Joe Biden won its election.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/27/trump-loses-appeal-of-pennsylvania-election-case.html

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International: Top News And Analysis

CNBC International is the world leader for news on business, technology, China, trade, oil prices, the Middle East and markets.

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Source: https://www.cnbc.com/us-top-news-and-analysis/

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Earnings

Corporate Company Earnings, Find Earnings Per Share and Earnings History Online

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Nike earnings and sales beat estimates as retailer books record revenue in North America

Nike on Thursday reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts’ estimates, fueled by record revenue in North America.

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A man walks in front of Nike products exhibit, on February 22, 2021 in New York City.

John Smith | Corbis News | Getty Images

Nike on Thursday reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts’ estimates, fueled by record revenue in its largest market, North America.

It also offered a better-than-expected sales outlook for the upcoming year, driven by optimism around its women’s category, apparel business and Jordan brand.

Nike continues to benefit from consumers seeking out comfortable clothing to wear for workouts but also around the house. Even as people return to schools, offices and other social settings, many are still searching for relaxed options such as sneakers and stretchy pants.

Nike also saw a boost to its wholesale business — something that was largely inactive a year earlier during the Covid pandemic, when shopping malls and department stores had to temporarily shut their doors and put orders for merchandise on pause. Some of Nike’s key wholesale partners include Dick’s Sporting Goods, Foot Locker and JD Sports.

Nike shares jumped more than 12% in after-hours trading.

Here’s how the company did during its fiscal fourth quarter, compared with what analysts were anticipating, using Refinitiv estimates:

  • Earnings per share: 93 cents vs. 51 cents expected
  • Revenue: $12.34 billion vs. $11.01 billion expected

Nike’s net income for the period ended May 31 rose to $1.5 billion, or 93 cents per share, compared with a loss of $790 million, or 51 cents per share, a year earlier. That topped analysts’ forecast of 51 cents per share, using Refinitiv data.

Total revenue rose to $12.34 billion from $6.31 billion a year earlier, topping estimates for $11.01 billion. Sales were aided by the company selling more goods at full price and relying less on markdowns.

In North America, Nike’s biggest market, sales more than doubled to a record $5.38 billion as the company surged from a year earlier when the Covid pandemic was hitting the retail industry the hardest. The region’s sales were up 29% on a two-year basis.

In Greater China, sales were up just 17% at $1.93 billion. Though China is typically one of the fastest-growing markets for Nike, consumers in China have threatened a boycott after some Western brands including Nike expressed concern about allegations of forced labor in Xinjiang.

Management said Thursday that Nike is seeing improvement in China sequentially month by month.

“Building on our 40-year history in Greater China, we continue to invest in serving consumers with the best products Nike has to offer in locally relevant ways,” CFO Matt Friend said during a post-earnings conference call.

Digital sales were up 41% compared with the prior year and rose 147% compared with the same period in 2019.

The company said its membership model is helping to fuel its e-commerce business. Online purchases from Nike members, who receive first access to exclusive products and other perks, hit a record $3 billion during the fourth quarter. Nike said it now has more than 300 million members globally.

“Fueled by our momentum, we continue to invest in innovation and our digital leadership to set the foundation for Nike’s long-term growth,” said Nike CEO John Donahoe.

In fiscal 2022, Nike is expecting revenue to grow a low double-digit percentage, surpassing $50 billion. Analysts were looking for annual revenue of $48.5 billion.

The company anticipates the first half of the year to grow faster than the second half, Friend said.

“It’s important to note as we normalize our post-pandemic business and continue to reshape the marketplace, we do not expect quarter-by-quarter growth to be linear,” he said.

Nike also anticipates supply chain delays and higher logistics costs will persist throughout much of fiscal 2022. The headaches have been plaguing much of the retail industry for months now. A shortage of containers and a dearth of truck drivers, among other factors, have stalled merchandise from getting from ports to warehouses to shoppers’ homes.

Nike shares are down more than 5% year to date. The company has a market cap of $211 billion.

Find the full earnings press release from Nike here.

Nike continues to benefit from consumers seeking out comfortable clothing to wear for workouts but also around the house. Even as people return to schools, offices and other social settings, many are still searching for relaxed options such as sneakers and stretchy pants.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/24/nike-nke-q4-2021-earnings.html

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