Bank of America says sell on vaccine as overconfident investors dump cash


People walk past the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and ‘Fearless Girl’ statue at Wall Street on December 9, 2020 in New York City.

Angela Weiss | AFP | Getty Images

Investors have been cutting cash levels to buy stocks, the latest sign that the market may be due for a pullback at least in the near term.

Cash balances fell to 4% of portfolios in the December Bank of America Fund Manager Survey, the firm reported Tuesday.

As a result, professional investors are underweight cash for the first time since May 2013. That has triggered a sell signal under the metrics Bank of America uses to measure sentiment among portfolio managers.



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Jared Kushner in Trouble While Daddy Charles Kushner’s Kushner Companies Looks to Dump $800 Million in Properties – Jewish Business News


Jared Kushner in Trouble While Daddy Charles Kushner’s Kushner Companies Looks to Dump $800 Million in Properties

Jared Kushner’s fronds may be deserting the sinking ship.

Jared Kushner’s family business Kushner Companies has placed 10 of its multi-family rental properties in Baltimore on the market. These properties are estimated to fetch as much as $800 million, The Real Deal Reports. At the same time the Kushners may be looking at a dark future in the business world after Donald Trump leaves office, and Jared Kushner just might end up joining daddy Charles Kushner as a convicted felon.

The latest scandal embroiling the Trump/Kushners revolves around possible bribes offered in exchange for pardons. The New York Times has revealed that Abbe Lowell, a lawyer with ties to Jared Kushner was investigated by the Justice Department in a cash for clemencies scheme. The allegation is that billionaire real estate developer Sanford Diller offered to make campaign contributions if a friend of his were to receive clemency. The friend in question is Hugh L. Baras, a psychologist sentenced to 30 months in prison for tax evasion.

This may be one of the reasons why President Trump has been mulling issuing pardons to his children and son-in-law. But no pardon could help Jared Kushner and his family hide from the fallout from their involvement with Donald Trump’s Presidency.

Business Insider has offered a plethora of examples of how the Trump scandals will affect Kushner Companies’ business in the future. It spoke with a New York big time real estate developer and former close business associate of Jared Kushner’s, Asher Abehsera.

Abehsera said that he has not even spoken with Kushner since the first son-in-law become a senior White House advisor in January 2017. Any yet Abehsera says that he is suffering from a backlash due to his past close connection with the Kushners.

“I was quickly accused of being the wrong kind of guy to do this project, and that Jared will secretly be in the deal,” Abehsera said. “Neither Jared nor his family are in any way, shape, or form involved, and if they asked to come into the deal I would say, ‘No, you can’t participate.’”

Business Insider also reported on how over the last two years real-estate investment firm Cadre, which was founded by Jared Kushner and his brother Joshua Kushner, lost out on potential lucrative deals because of the family’s ties to President Trump. The publication cited sources as saying that people fear that any connection to Jared Kushner could lead to a subpoena to testify about any number civil suits and criminal investigations currently underway involving either Mr. Kushner or the Trumps.

Kushner Companies denied this in a statement saying, “Any inference that Kushner [Companies] lacks partnership opportunities … is nothing short of false. We are proud of our many partners and banking institutions who have remained loyal and true to the Kushner family and to Kushner Companies.”

It is obviously just speculation at this point, but the loss of any influence or protections from their association with Donald Trump the moment which he leaves office – pardons not withstanding – may be why Kushner Companies is selling right now. That and recent scandals over Jared’s taking advantage of the Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), channeling millions to his own companies in Baltimore and evicting Baltimore tenants hurting from the Corona crisis recession from their homes, may be why Kushner Companies is pulling out of the market there.

Kushner Companies president Laurent Morali told The Real Deal that the company bought the properties nearly 10 years ago and is listing them because they reached the end of their investment time horizon. He said the decision to sell was part of an agreement with investment partners, whom he declined to name, and not due to any concerns over future blowback from their ties to Donald Trump.

Some of the properties for sale were among those belonging to the Kushners investigated by Maryland authorities for violating state imposed eviction moratoriums.

Even if Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump receive Presidential pardons and these pardons are upheld as constitutional, the two will still need to spend a lot of money fighting a multitude of possible state criminal charges as well as civil suits. Maybe they will get some of that $800 million to do so.


Read more about: Asher Abehsera, Charles Kushner Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner




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Sri Lanka digs trench to keep elephants away from rubbish dump


Sri Lanka elephants: ‘Record number’ of deaths in 2019



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Opinion | We Hereby Dump Trump


WASHINGTON — We expected more of Donald Trump.

An epic, Jack Nicholson-in-the-Overlook-Hotel meltdown, not just Rose Garden-variety mewling. A conspiracy with grandiosity, not merely pathetic blathering about pointless lawsuits from his entitled children and oddballs Rudy Giuliani and Richard Grenell.

The president has had all this time to hatch a spidery plot to ruin democracy on the way out the door, and this is the best he can come up with?

The election has been stolen!

What’s your proof?

Because I’m losing.

This, from the man who has been hailed as an evil genius of media manipulation?

Trump can’t hold a candle to the well-oiled machine — Jeb Bush, Katherine Harris, James Baker and the Supreme Court — that purloined the Florida vote, and thereby the presidency, for W. in 2000.

It was the same old tired Trump routine we’ve watched for four years, right through the pandemic failure: Beat your chest and bleat that you’re king of the world. Then do nothing except screw up.

But you can’t con your way past 74 million Biden ballots any more than you can con your way past a microbe. The masked Americans counting the vote just kept on counting, impervious to the president’s evidence-free conniptions.

Trump campaigned hard and his coattails worked even if a lot of Republican voters were ready to hand him his hat.

Even with the Republican National Committee seeking to rake in $60 million to support Trump’s sore-loser piffle, I was getting the distinct impression that many here were not waiting for the final tally. They have happily channel-surfed away from Trump’s egomaniacal bluster.

John Roberts was no doubt relieved that the president’s legal feints were so lame and threadbare that the Supreme Court would probably not have to do another indefensible Bush v. Gore decision to save their benefactor.

Mitch McConnell was certainly savoring the prospect of being the top Republican in town. Trump had served his purpose as a useful tool to get a tax cut and three Supreme Court picks. Mitch thought he was headed to minority leader, doing his usual obstructionist schtick, but lo and behold he could still be majority leader, controlling the Biden agenda.

Lindsey Graham told Sean Hannity on Thursday night that he would cough up half a mil to the president’s legal defense fund but his heart no longer seemed to be in the lap dog routine. The next day, he was spreading some sunny optimism about bipartisanship in a Biden era. If Joe Biden won, he said, “I’ll give him my input about who I could vote for as secretary of state, attorney general.”

As Trump howled at the moon, denizens of Trumpworld were looking over the horizon, plotting new jobs or book deals.

Even The New York Post, which was game to slime Hunter Biden on the eve of the election, started sniping at the Trumps on Twitter: “Downcast Trump makes baseless election fraud claims in White House address” and “Panic-stricken Donald Trump Jr. calls for ‘total war’ in clueless tweet.”

Jared Kushner got in touch with Rupert Murdoch on election night to convey the White House’s white-hot anger over the early Fox News call of Arizona for Biden. But Fox News stood by the call. As Bret Baier calmly asserted, it’s all in the math. (But they couldn’t go all-in — initially Fox brass told talent not to call Biden “president-elect.”)

The president who had managed to superimpose his own reality on the world with startling success was suddenly being yanked into the same reality that the rest of us share. The Superman shirt wasn’t working.

“I think what the president needs to do is, frankly, put his big boy pants on,” said Philadelphia’s Democratic mayor, Jim Kenney.

Biden may not be the most thrilling candidate ever, but there was a real buzz watching the votes come in because our unwieldy, county-by-county system seemed to work. No one was scared by Trump’s protestation.

And I can’t help but be bewitched by Biden’s Cinderfella story. He was knocked out of the ’88 race and couldn’t make a mark in the titanic battle between Hillary and Obama in 2008. He was a loyal vice president but was ushered out of the arena by President Barack Obama, who thought that the gaffe-prone Uncle Joe had hit his ceiling.

After being cut loose by the first Black president, and moving aside for the Clintons’ restoration — something his dying son, Beau, did not want to happen — Biden was revived during the South Carolina primarywith the help of Jim Clyburn and Black voters. This week, he got a vital boost from Black voters in Georgia, thanks in part to all the work Stacey Abrams did. And Biden, friendly with John McCain, got buoyed by Latinos in Arizona.

After accepting in 2015 that he had missed his moment, that he was too white and too old and too male and too befogged by grief over Beau, the soon-to-be 78-year-old has seen his moment come back around.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was wrong. There are second acts. And what could be more American than that?

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: letters@nytimes.com.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.





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BOM to dump local radio weather forecasts in Gippsland and Newcastle after 40 years


The Bureau of Meteorology is being urged to review its decision to dump local radio weather reports by forecasters at the East Sale RAAF Base.

The BOM said scrapping radio crosses from defence bases at East Sale and Williamtown, near Newcastle, is part of the BOM’s ongoing transition to a “national operations model”.

In Gippsland, forecasters at the East Sale RAAF Base have been providing on-air weather reports for the past 40 years.

ABC Gippsland listeners have bombarded the bureau’s talkback and text lines this morning with complaints about the decision.

But BOM chief customer officer Peter Stone said meteorologists in capital city offices were better equipped to provide information to the public, via the media, about the weather.

“There’s absolutely no erosion of the service here,” Mr Stone said.

“So the crosses that have been happening to date to ABC Gippsland [and ABC Newcastle] have been done by specialist defence aviation meteorologists, paid for by the RAAF.

“Their job is to provide specialised aviation forecasts that support complex aviation movements that protect air crew.

“Our forecasters based at our national forecast centres might not know every fishing spot and picnic ground that those living locally do, but they are certainly equipped to know the weather in those areas because our weather forecasts are all generated out of Melbourne and Sydney.”

Mr Stone said during last summer’s bushfires, Melbourne-based forecasters provided the daily radio weather reports for Gippsland residents.

“And I didn’t hear any complaints about that and it’s because of the increased demands placed on our defence aviation forecasters that it’s become obvious to us that we need to allow them to focus on their core task, which is servicing the RAAF,” he said.

“East Sale is the only location in Victoria from which we issue local voices on the forecasts.”

Daily radio crosses by weather forecaster Roger Lurz are also a valued fixture of ABC Gippsland’s emergency broadcasting service.(ABC Gippsland: Jonathon Kendall)

‘Strange, bizarre decision’, says Minister

Member for Gippsland and Minister for Veterans Affairs Darren Chester said he wanted an explanation from the Bureau about the decision.

“It seems to me a very strange, quite bizarre decision,” he said.

“It appears to me to be trying to fix a problem that no-one knew we actually had.

“I’ve never had any complaints about the current service, in fact quite the opposite.

“I’m unconvinced at the moment that switching it to Melbourne is a good decision, so I’ve asked the Bureau of Meteorology for a full briefing.”

‘Local knowledge rules’

Forge Creek farmer Trevor Caithness said he relied on the local weather forecasts out of the East Sale RAAF Base.

“I think we have a huge issue if we start swinging across to 100 per cent Melbourne weather forecasts because Gippsland is such a huge area and the weather patterns that actually hit South Gippsland are so different to what hit East Gippsland,” he said.

“What you appreciate once you listen to our local guys at Sale is that they’ll say look the weather that’s coming through this afternoon, you will have an easterly change come in at say three o’clock, that’s going to change the direction of the wind, and that’s important if we’ve got spraying or anything like that planned.

“This is just a disaster in the making.”



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Hospitality businesses urge Federal Government to dump Fringe Benefits Tax in 2020 Budget


Struggling South Australian cafes and restaurants are urging the Australian Government to dump the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) in Tuesday’s Federal Budget.

The tax increases the cost of work lunches and dinners.

South Australia’s peak business body, Business SA, has called for exemptions for businesses from paying the tax to boost the local economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Business SA chief executive Martin Haese said it would give South Australian businesses “a shot in the arm”.

“We know it will have an immediate and positive benefit for thousands of hard-working South Australian business owners,” Mr Haese said.

Business SA chief executive Martin Haese believes cutting the FBT tax would protect hospitality jobs in SA.(ABC News: Robyn Powell)

Mr Haese said it would mean the Federal Government receives $14 million less in FBT revenue from South Australia each year.

“This is a relatively small price for the Federal Government to pay to protect more of the 61,000 jobs of South Australians employed in the hospitality industry,” he said.

Employers also pay FBT on behalf of employees for perks such as company cars, gym memberships or tickets to a concert.

‘The time is now and we’ve got to do it’

Adelaide restaurant owner Cono Gorgone said his business has cut about a quarter of its staff during the pandemic.

Mr Gorgone said a Federal Government FBT exemption in this year’s Federal Budget would help soften the blow of the 40 per cent reduction in customers walking through his doors.

“A 200-seat restaurant would have to go to 90 seats because of the social distancing.

“That means instead of making what a normal cashflow would be at 100 per cent, we’d really be running at 50 per cent.”

He said today’s rules are a far cry from the 1980s when the FBT did not exist.

“In the 80s it was just thriving. Especially the lunches, they were just great. The business lunches, the boys in their suits and the long lunches.

“I think right now it’s a bit of an urgent situation where this would be the most appropriate time for the Government … to proceed with getting rid of FBT, ASAP.”



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Scammers dump old tyres at Perth properties, leaving one owner with $100,000 clean-up bill


Authorities have warned land and property owners about a scam in which thousands of old tyres were illegally dumped at leased properties, leaving one victim with a huge clean-up bill.

The scam involves offenders approaching businesses which have stockpiles of used tyres and offering to dispose of them at far cheaper rates than legitimate tyre recyclers.

They then dump the scrap tyres at properties they have leased, such as storage lockers, vacant land lots and backyards of rented homes.

In one instance, piles of tyres were left at a property in Wungong, in Perth’s south-east, leaving the owner with a $100,000 clean-up bill.

Matt Warnock, senior manager of water operations at the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, said landlords and property owners were at major risk of being left having to foot the clean-up costs.

The scammers collect money for removing used tyres, but then dump them at various locations.(Supplied: Department of Water and Environmental Regulation)

“If a property is abandoned with waste [left behind] as in this case, used tyres, then it’s a problem of removing and legally disposing that waste rests with that property owner,” he said.

“Up until recent times, this was quite an unusual event. However, in the course of this investigation, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has identified at least 10 places across Perth that have been used in this way.

“In terms of scale, I believe we’re talking in the order of hundreds of thousands of tyres … certainly in Western Australia, this is the largest operation of this type that my investigators have come across … so far this is the most bold operation I’ve seen in this state.”

Businesses urged to scrutinise contractors

Mr Warnock said businesses also needed to ensure they were doing their due diligence.

“Businesses disposing of used tyres have a legal responsibility to ensure that any contractor who transports their used tyres is licensed to do so,” he said.

The department also warned of serious environmental risks if the tyres caught fire or were deliberately lit.

“Extinguishing tyre fire is dangerous and very problematic, it’s a high-risk event for any firefighter and very difficult to contain,” Mr Warnock said.

A close-up shot of an old tyre with water pooled inside.
The dumped tyres present a fire hazard and a health hazard.(Supplied: Department of Water and Environmental Regulation)

He said tyres could also collect rainwater, creating breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

The unauthorised transport of a controlled waste and abandonment of waste are offences which carry a maximum penalty of $62,500 for an individual and $125,000 for corporations.

Illegal dumping can be reported to the Department’s Pollution Watch Hotline on 1300 784 782 or online.



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Jared Polec back for North, Port dump Westhoff, Ebert


Port Adelaide veterans Brad Ebert and Justin Westhoff still have a place in the Power’s finals plans Ken Hinkley says, as North Melbourne recall Jared Polec to take on his old side.

The Power and Kangaroos have both made three changes to their sides for the Saturday night clash at Metricon Stadium.

Ebert, Westhoff and Riley Bonner have been omitted from the high-flying Port side, with Dan Houston, Kane Farrell and Steven Motlop coming in.

Hinkley said Ebert and Westhoff were still in the Power’s plans.

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“Like anyone they’ve got challenges and they’ve got to respond and when they’re in the side they’ve got to play well enough to keep their spot,” Hinkley said.

“Westy and Brad are senior players who have been around for a long time but they have the same challenges as any player.

“Westy will earn the opportunity to sit down at the right time and reflect on his season and where he’s at and what he needs to do from there, it will be about where Justin thinks he’s at as much as anyone, but right now I need Westy focusing on playing well because at some point in the next few weeks hopefully Westy will be a part of the team.”

Rhys Shaw has also made some big changes for the Kangaroos, in the wake of a dismal showing against North Melbourne.

Along with Polec, who has played just twice since Round 8 after being dropped twice by the Kangaroos, captain Jack Ziebell and debutant Flynn Perez come into North’s side.

Majak Daw, Paul Ahern and Tom Murphy have been omitted.

Polec’s return to the side – after debate about his present and future at the Kangaroos after coming to the club on a lucrative deal from Port Adelaide – comes after he played for Collingwood in a scratch match last week.

Shaw refuted any suggestion that he had demeaned the big-money recruit, saying it was the only way Polec could play footy outside of the senior side because of North’s injury woes.

“Obviously, there’s been a bit of noise around Jared,” Shaw said.

“He played really well last week in the scratch match and deserves his spot in the side and I’m really happy to have him back. He’s a real asset for us and someone who can really help us this week.

“We’ve been having some really open and honest conversations and … Jared’s really clear on where he sat with me and where he needed to get to.”

Key Hawk wants to play but Clarko has other ideas

Hawthorn star Jaeger O’Meara is pushing his case to play again this season after “disruptive” hand surgery, but coach Alastair Clarkson says any hint of risk of further re-injury could sideline him until 2021.

O’Meara had a plate inserted into his hand last month and is due to train today in an effort to prove his fitness for Sunday’s clash with St Kilda.

He’s “getting closer” Clarkson said, but he is adamant that the midfielder won’t be risked.

“If he trains today and that hand is of no discomfort to him, then he might be a chance to play, but we’ll wait and determine that.”

Clarkson said his midfield had been “disrupted” by injuries to key players such as O’Meara, and that there was a conscious approach to “make sure that Jaeger is absolutely right”.

“He wants to play, because he wants to be able to come in and be able to help our midfield,” he said.

“He’s an experienced player and one of our leaders, but we also are mindful that with only two games to go after this one, if there’s any risk of him doing further damage, there’s no way he’s going to play.

“But neither he nor the doctors are telling us that’s the case. He’s had more disruptive surgery than some of the other hand injuries we’ve seen this year and that’s why it’s taken a bit longer than what we anticipated, but we’re just not going to take a risk with it.

“If that means he doesn’t play again this year, then so be it.

“But he’s hopeful and so are we that it could even be this week, but probably more likely next week, I think.”

Fellow ballwinner Isaac Smith has also been sidelined with a shoulder injury sustained in Round 11 and is another who Clarkson said would not be risked prematurely.

“We were hopeful that was only going to be a one-week injury, but there is a lot of bleeding into that joint that just took a long time to dissipate,” he said.

“That’s been a little bit unfortunate.

“But injuries happen. It gives other guys an opportunity – James Cousins has had a chance, Conor Glass and these sort of guys.

“It’s a big step up to try and fill the shoes of those more experienced guys who have been doing this for a long period of time. But they’ve had some exposure, and while it hasn’t necessarily helped us win, it certainly will help us in terms of shaping our list as we move forward.”

Hawthorn premiership player Shane Crawford on Friday called for Clarkson to not “even try to win a game” and instead play more younger players like Finn Maguinness and Dylan Moore.

Clarkson said “there’s no club in the competition that plays all 47 on their list” but backed the youth he had selected in recent weeks.

ROUND 16 TEAMS

NORTH MELBOURNE v PORT ADELAIDE

Saturday September 5, 7:40pm at Metricon Stadium

KANGAROOS

B: J.Walker, R.Tarrant, F.Perez

HB: S.Atley, B.McKay, L.McDonald

C: T.Dumont, J.Simpkin, J.Polec

HF: M.Wood, N.Larkey, J.Ziebell

F: B.Scott, C.Zurhaar, L.Hosie

FOLL: T.Goldstein, S.Higgins, J.Anderson

I/C: M.Williams, L.Davies-Uniacke, E.Vickers-Willis, A.Hall

EMG: P.Ahern, T.Murphy, M.McGuinness, T.Campbell

IN: F.Perez, J.Polec, J.Ziebell

OUT: M.Daw, P.Ahern, T.Murphy (all omitted)

POWER

B: R.Burton, T.McKenzie, D.Houston

HB: H.Hartlett, T.Jonas, D.Byrne-Jones

C: X.Duursma, O.Wines, K.Amon

HF: S.Powell-Pepper, T.Marshall, Z.Butters

F: C.Rozee, C.Dixon, R.Gray

FOLL: S.Lycett, T.Rockliff, T.Boak

I/C: S.Motlop, T.Clurey, K.Farrell, C.Sutcliffe

EMG: M.Bergman, J.Garner, W.Drew, B.Woodcock

IN: D.Houston, S.Motlop, K.Farrell

OUT: R.Bonner, B.Ebert, J.Westhoff (all omitted)

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Mum pays $500k over reserve to buy Surry Hills dump for her daughter


No. 109 Albion St, Surry Hills, sold for $2.5m — $500k above its reserve.


A builder mum has paid $2.5m — $500k over reserve — for a Surry Hills renovator’s delight for her daughter to live in.

Laing and Simmons Double Bay principal Steven Zoellner said his investor client would have been happy to secure $1.8m for the rundown five-bedroom terrace on busy Albion St that they’d been renting out to students.

“But this was one of those auctions you only get every 10 years,” Zoellner said.

“Both myself and the owner were jumping for joy at the result … the house needed a major reno and it’s not the quietest street!”

The student digs attracted swarms of builders and renovators, who could see the potential beyond the peeling paint, rising damp and dated, very basic interiors. Part of the appeal was a four-car garage, which is rare in the inner-city.

MORE:
Tailor to the stars sells in Tamarama

Comanche skipper buys Hyams Beach trophy

There was evidence of rising damp and peeling paint, both inside …



At this week’s auction with auctioneer David Scholes, Zoellner had five register with four ultimately fighting it out from $1.75m, initially with $50k increments but then a series of $1000 bids.

“It went on forever — at least half an hour,” Zoellner said.

The mum, who works for a building company, plans to do the well-needed renovation before her daughter moves in.

RELATED:
Paddington house combines practicality with perfection

There’ll be no such work required at a Paddington home, which sold for a whopping $6.72m at last night’s auction.

Richardson & Wrench Double Bay’s Marion Badenoch and Veronika Turnbull were guiding $6m before the Wentworth Courier House of the Week at the start of the campaign but this rose to $6.6m as interest grew in 13 Stephen St.

No. 13 Stephen St, Paddington, is freestanding and extra wide at 12m across.


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It has beautiful interiors.


It was called onto the market at $6.6m last night.

With auctioneer Jesse Davidson presiding, the bidding opened at $5.9m and initially rose in $50k increments, with then a series of $10,000 and $5000 offers.

It was also a long auction lasting about half an hour.

There’d been 104 people through the home during the campaign. “It was a great result,” said Badenoch.

“Wide freestanding homes in Paddington are rare … the space brought them here.

“There were five generous bedrooms and four bathrooms and people loved that you could enter the home on the middle floor.”

Although the home attracted a lot of interest from Paddington families, the eventual buyers came through with a buyer’s agent and they were from outside the area.



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Lyon dump City out of UCL


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Manchester City’s bogeyman strikes again

Football: He terrorized Manchester City in last year’s Champions League, scoring 3-goals against them in the group stage and Lyon forward Maxwel Cornet was again proving to be a nightmare for the Citizens.



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