Aussie Fraser cards 62 to share Italy lead

Marcus Fraser has a share of the lead at 13-under going into the weekend of the Italian Open, joining England’s Matt Wallace at the top of the leaderboard.

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Wallace had a six-way share of the lead after the first round and solidified his place at the top with a 65 at Golf Club Milano on Friday.

But Australia’s Fraser was the star of the day, shooting a career-best 62 to earn his place at the summit with a blemish-free card of nine-under-par.

“I felt like I’ve putted well and scrambled well this week. Today I took it to a new level with the putter,” Fraser, who put together a streak of five successive birdies between holes eight and 12, told EuropeanTour南京夜生活,.

“I felt like I putted well yesterday and I probably outdid it today. I’m pretty proud of myself and it’s quite reassuring that I still can play golf.”

Jamie Donaldson of Wales and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat lie two shots off the leading pair after hitting matching 67s, both men capping their card with eagle threes, at the ninth and 14 respectively.

Defending champion and home favourite Francesco Molinari was also circling the business end of the leaderboard, sitting three strokes back on 10-under.

Molinari was among the day-one leaders but while he picked up six birdies, his charge was tempered by three bogeys.

Master champion Sergio Garcia heads a five-strong group tied for sixth.

Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn is among those set to miss the projected cut of two-under, a fate shared by the elder Molinari brother Edoardo, Martin Kaymer, Oliver Fisher, Padraig Harrington and Danny Willett.

U.S. plan ‘deep dive’ review after missing World Cup

“It is something we do after every major competition whether we have been successful or not successful, or not lived up to what we had hoped,” Gulati said in a conference call.

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“This will obviously be a much deeper dive given that we haven’t qualified for the first time in 28 years, but we will look at everything.”

A search for a new manager will be high on the to-do list since Bruce Arena, brought on last November to get the U.S. team back on track, announced his resignation on Friday.

But a new manager will just be the tip of the iceberg with Gulati, saying player development, coaching, refereeing and facilities are among a lengthy list of items being reviewed.

“Where we need to make major changes we will do that. Where we need to make incremental changes we will do that. We will take our time with that and unfortunately we have the luxury of time before we have competitive games again,” said Gulati.

“We will take a deep dive into that and we’ll probably get some external help so as to not be insular in how we look at these things. But basically everything will be looked at.”

Gulati, who has held his role for three terms dating back to 2006, accepted responsibility for the team’s failure to secure a spot in Russia but said he has no plans to resign.

The 58-year-old also did not say whether he would run for re-election when his term as president ends in February, but that he will make a decision in the coming weeks.

Gulati said U.S. Soccer conducted a review of governance and leadership in its staff two years ago and now plans to do it all over again, signalling what could be the start of a major shake-up in every section of the American game.

Additional resources in technology and even the compensation structure of staff are all on the table.

“We don’t have anything perfect here for sure in any of those areas,” said Gulati.

“So any place we think we can get better and have outside people help us do that, we’re happy to look at that and we will continue to do that.”

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

French advance for Wright, Parko, Fanning

Former world champions Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning along with fellow Australian Owen Wright are into the fifth round of the Quiksilver Pro in France.

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It was another dramatic day at Hossegor as Marc Lacomare – who eliminated No.3 Julian Wilson on Thursday – continued his remarkable run to eliminate championship leader Jordy Smith.

Bede Durbidge won his second-round encounter against Brazil’s Wiggolly Dantas before being eliminated by American Kolohe Andino.

Ethan Ewing was no match for Hawaii’s John John Florence, the defending world champion, whose almost perfect 19.16 was highlighted by a 9.73 on his second wave.

He followed up with an 18.56 against Parkinson and Fanning to send the Australian duo into the fifth round.

Earlier, there was a tense showdown between Fanning and Jeremy Flores with thousands of fans hitting the sand to cheer on the hometown hope.

Flores opened with an 8.83 but Fanning gradually fought his way back, eventually winning the heat in the dying seconds.

“It went flat for a long time but I felt calm, I knew the waves were going to come, it was just a matter of when,” Fanning reflected. “I love surfing with Jeremy (Flores), we’ve had so many battles over the years and they’re always so intense. He can really hold his head high, he went mad.”

Fanning will face another Frenchman – Joan Duru – for a place in the quarter-finals while Parkinson meets American Nat Young and Owen Wright is up against Hawaii’s Sebastian Zietz.

Wright earlier eliminated countryman Stuart Kennedy in the third round with a near-perfect 9.17.

“That was a bit of luck, but you watch it all morning and you know how hard it is to surf a heat with a peak that’s so random, it’s really hard to pick one spot,” Wright said. “Stu and I paddled out on this right to get a couple turns out, but it got really full and was tricky so I just decided to move across to the shore and give that a stab.”

Saturday could also bring the long-awaited conclusion of the women’s Roxy Pro with strong waves forecast.

In that event, Sally Fitzgibbons and Tyler Wright will do battle with Carissa Moore and Lakey Peterson respectively.

EU’s top diplomat defends Iran deal

REACTION TO US PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S SPEECH ON IRAN:

* EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini

The United States cannot unilaterally cancel the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

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“This deal is not a bilateral agreement … The international community, and the European Union with it, has clearly indicated that the deal is, and will, continue to be in place.”

* Britain, France and Germany

The leaders issue a joint statement warning the US against taking decisions that could harm the nuclear deal such as reimposing sanctions. They also say they share US concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional destabilising activities and are ready to work with Washington to address those concerns.

* Russia’s foreign ministry

No place in international diplomacy for threatening and aggressive rhetoric, and such methods are doomed to fail. Alexei Pushkov, a Russian parliamentarian, says neither Moscow nor Beijing backs Trump’s stance: “Russia of course does not support the US position, nor does China. So Trump will be left in proud isolation in an attempt to improve his image among his own supporters”

* No immediate reaction from China

* Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz:

Trump’s speech could lead to war. “Iran is the new North Korea. We see where things are going.”

* Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Congratulates US President Donald Trump for his speech. “He (Trump) boldly confronted Iran’s terrorist regime (and) created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran’s aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism.”

* Saudi Arabia

Welcomes new US policy towards Iran. Says lifting sanctions allowed Iran to develop its ballistic missile program and step up its support for militant groups such as Lebanese Shi’ite movement Hezbollah and the Houthi group in Yemen.

Trump scraps key Obamacare subsidies

President Donald Trump has urged Democrats to make a deal with him on health care after he scrapped billions of dollars in Obamacare subsidies to private health insurers for low-income Americans.

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The Trump administration on Friday disclosed the date of the subsidies cut-off after announcing late on Thursday the most dramatic action the president has taken to undercut Democratic former president Barack Obama’s signature 2010 healthcare law.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the administration will not make the next payment to insurers scheduled for next Wednesday. The payments cost $US7 billion ($A8.9 billion) this year and were estimated to be $US10 billion in 2018, according to congressional analysts.

Trump has made the payments, guaranteed to insurers under Obamacare to help lower out-of-pocket medical expenses for low-income consumers, each month since taking office in January. But he has repeatedly threatened to cut them off and disparaged them as a “bailout” for insurance companies.

The move drew swift condemnation from congressional Democrats, who accused Trump of sabotaging the law, and threats from Democratic state attorneys general in New York and California to take legal action.

Trump, a Republican who promised as a candidate last year to dismantle the law formally called the Affordable Care Act, urged opponents to reach out to him to make a deal.

“The Democrats ObamaCare is imploding. Massive subsidy payments to their pet insurance companies has stopped. Dems should call me to fix!” Trump said in a post on Twitter early on Friday, calling the law “a broken mess”.

Trump has been frustrated by the failure of his fellow Republicans who control congress to repeal and replace Obamacare despite seven years of promises to get rid of the law that has brought health insurance to 20 million people.

His decision is likely to please those in his hard-line conservative political base who detest the Affordable Care Act, which many Republicans have attacked as an unneeded government intrusion in Americans’ healthcare.

In a nod to that same constituency, the president signed an executive order on Thursday intended to make it easier for Americans to buy bare-bones health insurance plans exempt from Obamacare requirements.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi derided the subsidies cut-off in a joint statement, saying Trump would single-handedly push Americans’ healthcare premiums higher.

“It is a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage levelled at working families and the middle class in every corner of America,” they said. “Make no mistake about it, Trump will try to blame the Affordable Care Act, but this will fall on his back and he will pay the price for it.”