Archaeologists discover sensual, colorful fresco in an ancient Pompeii bedroom

The Associated Press
Published 10:32 p.m. ET Nov. 19, 2018

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The skeleton of a man attempting to flee the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. has been found crushed under massive stone block.
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ROME – Archaeologists have found a fresco in an ancient Pompeii bedroom that depicts a sensual scene of the Roman god Jupiter, disguised as a swan, and a legendary queen of Sparta from Greek mythology.

The figure of Leda being impregnated by the god in swan form was a fairly common home decoration theme in Pompeii and Herculaneum, another town destroyed in A.D. 79 by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius near present-day Naples.

But Pompeii archaeological park director Massimo Osanna praised this fresco as exceptional since it was painted to make it appear Leda was looking at whoever saw the fresco upon entering the bedroom.

“Leda watches the spectator with a sensuality that’s absolutely pronounced,” Osanna told Italian news agency ANSA.

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The fresco’s details include a depiction of Leda protecting the swan with her cloak as the bird sits on her lap.

Osanna noted the fresco’s context of the Greek “myth of love, with an explicit sensuality in a bedroom where, obviously beside sleep, there could be other activities.”

The fresco, with its colors still remarkably vivid, was discovered Friday during ongoing work to consolidate the ancient city’s structures after rains and wear-and-tear in past years caused some ruins to collapse, the tourist site’s officials said.

The bedroom is located near a corridor by the entranceway of an upscale domus, or home, where another splendid fresco was discovered earlier this year, said the archaeological park, which is part of the Italian Culture Ministry.

Leda is an important figure in Greek mythology. She was said to have borne children fathered by the god Zeus, the Greek version of Jupiter, and by a mortal king of Sparta. According to myth, her children included the beautiful Helen of Troy and the twins Castor and Pollux.

Osanna said one hypothesis is that the home’s owner was a rich merchant who wanted to give the impression he was culturally advanced by incorporating myth-inspired frescoes. It appeared the artist was inspired by a 4th century B.C. sculpture by Timotheos, he said.

Because of safety concerns, unexcavated parts of the domus will probably remain that way, ANSA said. Archaeologists are considering removing both frescos found in the home to a place where “they can be protected and shown to the public,” Osanna was quoted as saying.

Pompeii’s sprawling, partially excavated grounds are one of Italy’s top tourist attractions.

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Guatemala’s Fuego volcano eruption forces 4,000 to evacuate

Guatemala City – More than 4,000 people living in communities around the Fuego volcano in the Guatemalan department of Escuintla were forced to evacuate their homes late on Sunday as the volcano erupted once again this year.

“It was tremendous, we could not sleep,” said Victor Hernandez, a 38-year-old farmer and ranch worker from the village of El Rancho, El Rodeo, Escuintla.

“We had spent the day watching and listening to the volcano,” Hernandez told Al Jazeera.

“We were horrified because of what had happened the last time. We were worried what could happen,” he added, referring to a June eruption that killed nearly 200 people.

The National Coordination for Disaster Reduction of Guatemala, commonly known as CONRED, arrived along with the Guatemalan armed forces in El Rancho around 1:00am local time to evacuate Hernandez, his wife and three children, and the other roughly 62 families from the village.

CONRED began advising residents of the pending eruption hours before the volcano, known as the Volcano of Fire, began spewing ash across the highlands of Guatemala. They had warned residents of the possibility of evacuation.

Those evacuated were taken to the football stadium and to public school buildings in the municipality of Escuintla.

Residents of several communities nearby the erupting Fuego volcano, stay at a temporary shelter in Escuintla department, 35 km south of Guatemala City [Johan Ordonez/AFP]

Raul Gonzalez, a 31-year-old coffee farmer from the community of La Trinidad, Escuintla, and member of the La Union Huistla Coffee Cooperative, which sits at the base of the volcano, was in the fields when representatives from arrived to warn the community. 

“At first a few people did not want to evacuate,” Gonzalez told Al Jazeera. “But they all ended up leaving throughout the night.”

According to Gonzalez, residents largely organised the evacuations.

“When we saw that the situation was getting more dangerous, we evacuated through our own means,” Gonzalez told Al Jazeera. “CONRED said that buses would arrive to evacuate the people, but when I left at 10pm, there were not any buses from them.”

‘We don’t want to return’

The last major eruption was on June 3 when the volcano produced ash and lahars that buried the villages of El Rodeo and San Miguel Los Lotes.

That eruption killed at least 194 people, injured hundreds and caused the evacuation of 3,100 people from the surrounding area. More then 230 remain missing. The eruption also destroyed nearly 8,500 hectares of crops, including those of La Trinidad.

A view of the Fuego Volcano erupting, as seen from Escuintla, Guatemala on November 19, 2018 [Carlos Alonzo/AFP] 

Hernandez’s house was among those damaged by the eruption. He also lost the crops he had to sustain the family.

CONRED and the Guatemalan government faced widespread criticism in June for failing to advise residents quickly enough.  

“Before we were not warned of the eruption and given time to leave,” Gonzalez told Al Jazeera. “Now we know. At least we have a place to come and sleep.”

After the most recent eruption, Hernandez told Al Jazeera that he and his family no longer wished to return home.

“We live in an area that is at high risk,” Hernandez told Al Jazeera. “We do not want to return, but the government obliging us to return to El Rodeo because they are not giving us any other place to live.”

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Fund manager John Sevior urges detente between Myer and Premier Investments

Leading fund manager John Sevior has urged embattled department store Myer to reach a ‘detente’ with its largest shareholder, Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments, and appoint one or two Premier nominees.

Mr Sevior, the founder of Airlie Funds Management, said the Myer board lacked retail expertise and could benefit from tapping into the experience of Premier, which owns brands such as Smiggle, Peter Alexander, Portmans, Dotti, Just Jeans and Jay Jays.

“The one thing that seems to be lacking from the Myer board is retail expertise,” Mr Sevior told The Australian Financial Review as Mr Lew ramped up his campaign to spill the Myer board.

“I put all the argy bargy aside and I do wonder why they (Myer) wouldn’t seek some sort of detente or rapprochement with Premier and seek some input from probably the best retail company in Australia,” he said.

Solomon Lew's Premier Investments is Myer's largest shareholder.
Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments is Myer’s largest shareholder.

Michael Clayton-Jones

“There seems to be more to be gained by seeking some sort of working relationship than snapping at each other across the trenches.”

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Mr Sevior owns 5 per cent of Premier through Airlie Funds Management but has no shares in Myer, which has been under attack from Mr Lew since Premier acquired a 10.8 per cent stake last year for $101 million or $1.15 a share, 65 per cent more than the current market price of 40.5¢.

Mr Lew has previously sought the appointment of three directors –  two Premier representatives and a property expert – but Myer and other investors have accused him of seeking to gain control of Myer on the cheap.

Toxic relationship

Mr Sevior said Myer should consider appointing “one or two” Premier nominees, saying: “it’s probably got to be proportionate to their interest.”

“Premier has a larger financial interest in Myer than the entire board collectively,” he said.

Myer and other major shareholders such as Investors Mutual (9.8 per cent) have resisted Premier’s requests for board representation on conflict of interest grounds – Premier, as one of Australias largest clothing retailers, is a major competitor of Myer and Mr Lew’s private companies are major suppliers.

The relationship has become even more toxic ahead of Myer’s annual meeting next week and rapprochement appears impossible.

Mr Lew has urged shareholders to vote against the adoption of Myer’s remuneration report, potentially triggering a second strike following a first strike last year, and then vote for a spill of the entire board.

However proxy advisers CGI Glass Lewis and Ownership Matters have recommended shareholders vote in favour of the remuneration report and against a board spill, which would require at least 50.1 per cent approval. 

In a letter to shareholders on Monday, chairman Garry Hounsell urged shareholders to support the board, new management team and new turnaround plan and vote in line with the boards’ recommendations and against a spill.

“Don’t let a conflicted shareholder and competitor take control of Myer,” Mr Hounsell said.

“Premier has already failed in its threat to call an EGM to replace your Myer board,” he said. 

“Premier has offered zero solutions and refuses to let Myer get on with the job of rebuilding shareholder value.”

According to consensus forecasts, analysts expect underlying earnings before interest and tax to slip 1.2 per cent to $54.7 million in 2019 but reach $56.9 million in 2020, $57.3 million by 2021 and $70 million by 2022, assuming the new strategy works.



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NFL Team Grades for Week 11

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    There are plenty of things you can say about the NFL, but you cannot call it predictable or boring. Week 11, which was chock-full of high-profile storylines, was proof positive.

    We saw the New Orleans Saints roll over the opposition once again, but we also saw the Pittsburgh Steelers engineer an incredible comeback. Andrew Luck led his team to another huge win, as did Lamar Jackson in his first ever NFL start. While some teams suffered significant losses on the field, other suffered ones on the injury front.

    One thing is certain: Several teams are likely to look back on Week 11 as a defining point of the season.

    How did your favorite team grade out in Week 11? Let’s find out.

         

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: Oakland Raiders

    Result: Lost 23-21

    Leave it to the Arizona Cardinals to give the Oakland Raiders their second win of the season and to finally make the Raiders defense look competent.

    Arizona did some positive things—like racking up 154 yards rushing and 5.0 yards per carry—but the Cards also struggled defensively and failed to get rookie quarterback Josh Rosen into a rhythm.

    Rosen did pass for three touchdowns, but he also completed a mere nine of 20 pass attempts and had two interceptions.

    Even with a sloppy performance, the Cardinals should have won this game. They looked to take an eight-point lead when David Johnson ripped off a 57-yard touchdown run, but a holding call turned a score into 3rd-and-26. The defense then allowed the Raiders to drive into field-goal range from their own 20-yard line with less than two minutes remaining.

    The Cardinals are playing for 2019, but if they plan to even win again this season, they’re going to have to play a cleaner and more consistent brand of football.

    Week 11 Grade: D+

    Season Grade: D-

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Dallas Cowboys

    Result: Lost 22-19

    After a shameful performance against the Cleveland Browns a week ago, the Atlanta Falcons defense found a way to rebound. It held the Dallas Cowboys to just 22 points, which should have been enough to get a win at home.

    Unfortunately, the Falcons offense sputtered. It did amass 354 yards, but Matt Ryan was picked off once, and Atlanta struggle to finish drives. It twice punted in Dallas territory in the first half, and that set the tone for the game.

    While the Falcons defense did limit Dallas’ scoring, it couldn’t stop the Cowboys from controlling the tempo with the run game. Dallas held the ball for just under 32 minutes of game time. As a result, Atlanta only had eight possessions, and those two early missed opportunities loomed large.

    Atlanta still had a chance to take this one to overtime, but the defense couldn’t stop the Cowboys from getting into field-goal range with less than two minutes remaining. Ultimately, while the defense showed improvement, it didn’t improve enough to deliver a much-needed win. At 4-6, the Falcons are likely done for the season.

    Week 11 Grade: C-

    Season Grade: C-

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Cincinnati Bengals

    Result: Won 24-21

    With Joe Flacco nursing a hip injury, the Baltimore Ravens were forced to turn to rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson. While not everything went perfectly for the rookie, Jackson flashed his talent both running and passing and did enough to get the win.

    The Cincinnati Bengals struggled to contain Baltimore’s run game with Jackson adding a new dimension to it. Jackson rushed for 117 yards, while Gus Edwards added 115, and the Ravens were able to keep Cincinnati off-balance all game long.

    Jackson also did some damage as a passer, completing 13 of 19 attempts for 150 yards and one interception. He still needs to grow as a passer, but you could clearly see his potential and understand why the Ravens believe he is their signal-caller of the future.

    The Ravens defense also deserves a lot of credit for this win. It held Cincinnati to just 255 yards of offense and stopped the Bengals from scoring twice in the fourth quarter.

    This was a huge win, as it gets Baltimore to 5-5 and puts it in position to make a run at a wild-card berth.

    Week 11 Grade: B

    Season Grade: C

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    Seth Wenig/Associated Press

    Week 11 Bye

    Raise your hand if you actually believed the Buffalo Bills would drop 41 points last week with journeyman Matt Barkley in at quarterback. Now put your hand down, because we know you’re lying.

    Leading up to last week’s game, the Bills were largely inept on offense. They scored a total of 33 points in the four games leading up to Week 10, and they finally saw enough ineffectiveness from Nathan Peterman to put the fanbase out of its misery and release him.

    Hopefully the 3-7 Bills have used the bye week to offensively regroup. If so, they may actually be able to make a little noise down the stretch. Heading into Week 11, the Buffalo defense was allowing an NFL-low 302.2 yards per game. Fortunately, rookie quarterback Josh Allen (elbow) is expected to return after the bye. Of course, the Bills will need Allen to play better than he has been to actually see improvement on offense.

    Allen is completing just 54 percent of his passes and has two touchdown throws to go with six turnovers.

    Season Grade: D+

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Detroit Lions

    Result: Lost 20-19

    The Carolina Panthers are trying to stay in the NFC playoff race, but losses like the one against the Detroit Lions are going to keep them out if they keep piling up. Silly mistakes and questionable decisions cost Carolina in this one, and the Panthers drop to 6-4 because of it.

    A missed field goal hurt the Panthers. So did an interception just before the half. One could easily argue, though, that the decision to not lean on the run—Christian McCaffrey had just 13 carries—was even more impactful.

    It ended up being the Lions who controlled the clock and the tempo via the run game.

    The Panthers had a chance to pull even near the end of regulation with Cam Newton‘s third touchdown pass. However, coach Ron Rivera decided to go for the two-point attempt, which failed.

    “I was going for the win,” Rivera explained, per Austin Knoblauch of NFL.com. “That’s the bottom line.”

    The point-after decision was certainly questionable, but it wasn’t the only reason Carolina lost here. Another subpar performance on the road was. Carolina is now 1-4 away from Bank of America Stadium. Now, next week’s home game against the Seattle Seahawks becomes a virtual must-win.

    Week 11 Grade: D+

    Season Grade: C+

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Minnesota Vikings

    Result: Won 25-20

    The 2018 Chicago Bears have officially arrived. We’ve known they’ve been dangerous for some time, but the Bears showed the world how dominant they can be against the Minnesota Vikings while staking their claim on the division. Yes, they only won by five points, but the game never felt close.

    Head coach Matt Nagy has implemented an offensive system that is versatile, aggressive and explosive. Chicago’s defense, which came in allowing just 19.4 points per game, is capable of smothering opponents, as it did Sunday night.

    With his ability to run and pass at a high level, Mitchell Trubisky looks like a different quarterback in Nagy’s offense, even if his stats didn’t look great in this one.

    This wasn’t a perfect game by Chicago, but save for a few bad plays and a pair of interceptions, it was close. The Bears dominated in all phases, and they’re in first place in the NFC North because of it.

    Week 11 Grade: B+

    Season Grade: B+

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    Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Baltimore Ravens

    Result: Lost 24-21

    The Bengals opened the season 4-1 and looked like it could be the team to beat in the AFC North. Now, Cincinnati has lost two in a row and is watching its season slip away.

    There are two big reasons why the Bengals have hit the slide zone. The offense is playing without star wide receiver A.J. Green, who is dealing with a toe injury. The bigger issue is a defense that often looks like it is on the field merely for cosmetic purposes.

    Against the Ravens and rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, that defense surrendered 403 yards of offense and 265 yards on the ground. The Bengals often knew the run was coming and still could do little to slow it.

    Quarterback Andy Dalton isn’t nearly as productive without Green. He forced 11 passes to Tyler Boyd—now his go-to guy—but completed only four of them. Dalton finished the game 19-of-36. With the Ravens not respecting Dalton, they were able to hold running back Joe Mixon to just 1.2 yards per carry.

    According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, there’s a “good chance” Green will return next week against the Cleveland Browns. If he doesn’t and the offense continues to struggle without him, there’s a good chance Cincinnati drops below .500.

    Week 11 Grade: D+

    Season Grade: C

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Week 11 Bye

    Things are looking up for the Cleveland Browns. Yes, they have a losing record and just fired head coach Hue Jackson a couple weeks ago, but they also managed to carry momentum into the bye week.

    The Browns dominated the Falcons in Week 10, and their win came courtesy of rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield and rookie running back Nick Chubb. These two—along with Myles Garrett, Joe Schobert, Antonio Callaway and Denzel Ward—form a terrific young core that Cleveland can build around.

    At 3-6-1, Cleveland isn’t going to make a playoff push this season. However, the Browns can string together some wins and build more momentum to carry into 2019 and beyond.

    Season Grade: C-

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    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Atlanta Falcons

    Result: Won 22-19

    This was exactly the kind of game the Cowboys wanted to play. New addition Amari Cooper (three catches, 36 yards) didn’t have a major impact, but he didn’t need to. Dallas controlled the game on defense and with the run, and it grounded Atlanta’s high-flying offense as a result.

    Ezekiel Elliott was once again the centerpiece of the offense. He finished with 122 yards rushing, 79 yards receiving and a touchdown. Dak Prescott (22-of-32 for 208 yards) wasn’t superb, but he did protect the football.

    Of course, the Dallas defense is the big story of the game. It pressured Matt Ryan frequently, sacked him three times and picked him off once. It also held the Falcons just outside of scoring range twice in the first half, and that proved to be huge in a low-scoring contest.

    The win puts Dallas in prime position to take over the NFC East. The Redskins (6-4) lost quarterback Alex Smith for the season, and they’re next up on the schedule. A win next week would essentially put Dallas in the driver’s seat.

    Week 11 Grade: B-

    Season Grade: C+

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    Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: Los Angeles Chargers

    Result: Won 23-22

    The Denver Broncos didn’t win this game cleanly. They didn’t win it decisively. It took a last-second field goal from Brandon McManus to knock off the Los Angeles Chargers, but this was the biggest win of the Broncos’ season.

    After losing the last two games by less than a touchdown, Denver finally got over the hump and back into the win column. This win didn’t come against a struggling team like wins against the Seahawks, Raiders and Cardinals earlier in the season. The Chargers were perhaps the hottest team in the AFC, having won six in a row.

    This win largely came because the Broncos were able to win the turnover battle. Case Keenum passed for just 205 yards and no touchdowns, but he didn’t throw an interception. The Denver defense, meanwhile, picked off Philip Rivers twice. One of those led to a Broncos touchdown and turned a 12-point deficit into a five-point one.

    At 4-6, the Broncos’ playoff hopes are slim, but they are still alive.

    Week 11 Grade: B-

    Season Grade: C-

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Carolina Panthers

    Result: Won 20-19

    A lot of folks are going to point to Carolina’s failed two-point try as the reason the Lions escaped with a win in Week 11. That’s certainly part of it, but the fact Detroit executed a terrific game plan shouldn’t be overlooked.

    Detroit didn’t lean exclusively on the run, but it did utilize it enough to keep the Panthers honest. Kerryon Johnson (87 yards, 5.8 yards per carry) had another good day on the ground, and Carolina was forced to respect him.

    That prevented the Panthers from focusing solely on pressuring Matthew Stafford. Though he was playing without wideout Marvin Jones, Stafford managed to pass for 220 yards and a touchdown with no turnovers.

    Unfortunately, while the Lions won the game, Johnson left the game with a knee injury. He’s set to have an MRI on Monday, but the initial belief is that it’s a knee sprain and not a tear, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

    Week 11 Grade: B-

    Season Grade: C-

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    Abbie Parr/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Seattle Seahawks

    Result: Lost 27-24

    The Green Bay Packers dropped to 4-5-1 on Thursday night. They now face a daunting uphill climb to the playoffs, and there’s a very real chance that losing to the Seattle Seahawks cost the Packers their season.

    For a while, though, it looked like this game would save Green Bay’s season. The Packers were rolling early, opening up a 14-3 lead after recovering a fumble on Seattle’s very first play and scoring touchdowns on two of their next three possessions.

    The Packers still held a four-point lead at halftime, but they were outscored 10-3 in the second half. This was largely due to an inability to stop the run—Seattle rushed for 173 yards—and offensive inefficiency. On a 3rd-and-2 late in the fourth quarter, Aaron Rodgers missed an open Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

    “It was a gimme out there,” Rodgers said, per Paul Dougherty of Packers News. “It stuck to my hand.”

    Even worse than Rodgers’ throw was coach Mike McCarthy’s ensuing decision to punt with a little over four minutes remaining, a lone timeout and zero signs of his defense being able to stop the run. One Seattle first down later, and the game was over.

    Week 11 Grade: D+

    Season Grade: C-

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Washington Redskins

    Result: Won 23-21

    It wasn’t a pretty game for the Houston Texans, but they did enough to get the win over the Washington Redskins.

    Deshaun Watson, who came in red-hot, struggled against Washington’s defense. He passed for just 208 yards and tossed a pair of interceptions. He didn’t add much on the ground either, totaling just seven yards on three carries.

    The run game itself was better, with Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue combining for 132 yards. However, this contest was largely won on defense and luck. Houston sacked Alex Smith and Colt McCoy five times combined and grabbed a pair of interceptions. It also held Washington to just 278 yards of total offense.

    Still, the Texans only escaped with a win because Dustin Hopkins couldn’t connect on a 63-yard field goal near the end of regulation. Yes, that’s an incredibly tall order for any kicker, but the reality is that Washington did have a chance to win despite losing its starting quarterback after Smith broke his leg in the third quarter.

    A win is a win, though, and at 7-3, Houston remains atop the AFC South.

    Week 11 Grade: C+

    Season Grade: B-

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Tennessee Titans

    Result: Won 38-10

    Someone put an APB out on the Indianapolis Colts, because what they did to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday should be illegal. Indianapolis absolutely dominated its division rival in all phases from start to finish. Maybe we should have seen it coming—Andrew Luck has never lost to the Titans—but Tennessee was playing extremely good football coming into this one.

    Luck continued what is perhaps the best season of his career. He passed for 297 yards and three touchdowns, and he had another interception-free game. He also joined Dan Marino and Aaron Rodgers as the only quarterbacks in league history with at least 160 passing touchdowns through their first 80 career games.

    Indianapolis didn’t dominate on the ground as much as it has in recent weeks, but it did top the 100-yard mark as a team.

    What’s truly impressive, though, is the defensive showing the Colts had. They held the Titans to just 263 total yards and a paltry 87 yards rushing. The Colts defense also grabbed a pair of interceptions.

    At 5-5, Indianapolis is very much back in the playoff race, and when it has a total team performance like this one, it’s going to be a very tough opponent to knock off.

    Week 11 Grade: A+

    Season Grade: C+

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Pittsburgh Steelers

    Result: Lost 20-16

    For most of Sunday’s game against the Steelers, the Jacksonville Jaguars looked like the same team they were in 2017. The ran the ball well, totaling 179 yards, and the defense shut out the Steelers in the first half.

    The problem is that the Jaguars couldn’t get enough out of their offense to put this game away for good. Despite getting to the Pittsburgh 30-yard line three times in the first half, Jacksonville was forced to settle for nine points. It added one touchdown in the second half but also had five three-and-outs. Quarterback Blake Bortles had a disappointing day overall, throwing for just 104 yards and zero touchdowns. 

    By not being able to control the clock in the second half, the Jaguars gave the Steelers too many chances to battle back. Pittsburgh eventually did, and the worn-down Jaguars defense allowed touchdowns on Pittsburgh’s final two drives.

    This was a demoralizing loss, and at 3-7, Jacksonville’s season is all but officially over.

    Week 11 Grade: D

    Season Grade: D

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    Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Los Angeles Rams

    When: Monday at 8:15 p.m. ET

    National TV: ESPN

    Line (via OddsShark): LAR -3

    The Kansas City Chiefs have been one of the most dominant teams in the NFL this season, with only the New England Patriots handing them a loss. However, the Los Angeles Rams, who also have a lone loss on their record, have been just as dominant.

    The two will face off in a potential Super Bowl preview Monday night.

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Denver Broncos

    Result: Lost 23-22

    The Chargers surged into this one on a six-game winning streak, but the Broncos delivered a gut punch. This was the kind of loss we saw from L.A. often last season. The Chargers seemed eager to cruise through this game, and their own mistakes delivered the loss.

    The Chargers shouldn’t have lost. Philip Rivers carved up the Denver defense to the tune of 401 yards and two scores. However, he also threw two interceptions, and one set up a critical third-quarter touchdown for the Broncos.

    The Chargers defense, which blew a 19-7 lead, also deserves some blame. It couldn’t slow Denver’s rushing attack, and it failed to get key stops down the stretch. Penalties—the Chargers had 14 of them—also played a role.

    The Chargers lost the battle at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, and that let the Broncos keep the game close. Without mistakes and miscues, though, the Chargers would be sitting at 8-2.

    Week 11 Grade: D+

    Season Grade: B

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    Harry How/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Kansas City Chiefs

    When: Monday at 8:15 p.m. ET

    National TV: ESPN

    Line (via OddsShark): LAR -3

    The Rams are hoping to stay right behind the New Orleans Saints in the NFC playoff race. Like the Saints, the Rams have just a single loss on the season…to New Orleans.

    A win over the 9-1 Chiefs would keep Los Angeles near the top of the pack in the conference, but beating Kansas City will be no easy task.

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    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    Week 11 Bye

    It’s been an up-and-down season for the Miami Dolphins, who have been forced to play much of it without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill (shoulder). Miami hasn’t been consistent on either side of the ball. It certainly hasn’t been dominant.

    Miami ranks just 26th in scoring (19.9 points per game) and 24th in points allowed (25.6 per game).

    What the Dolphins have been able to do, though, is beat the teams they’re supposed to. Because of this, Miami is sitting at 5-5 and remains in the AFC playoff hunt. If Tannehill can come back healthy and boost the offense out of the bye, the Dolphins may be able to make some noise.

    We’ll have to wait to see if Tannehill is back in the lineup against the Colts next week, but he was able to resume throwing without pain heading into the bye, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

    Season Grade: C

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Chicago Bears

    Result: Lost 25-20

    This is not the kind of performance the Vikings had in mind when they inked quarterback Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million deal that was fully guaranteed. It was the kind of game, sure—a prime-time battle with a hated rival for first place in the NFC North—but you can bet Minnesota had visions of Cousins thriving in such a contest.

    He finished 30-of-46 for 262 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions (including a pick-six).

    Of course, Minnesota has to shoulder this loss as a team. Cousins was consistently under pressure because the offensive line couldn’t pass protect. Receivers struggled to get open, and the defense made some dumb penalties that gave Chicago additional opportunities. A couple of the worst throws were certainly on Cousins, but the loss as a whole was not.

    Regardless, this one hurts, and Minnesota has a daunting schedule upcoming: The Packers, Patriots and Seahawks are the next three opponents.

    Week 11 Grade: F

    Season Grade: C+

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    Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

    Week 11 Bye

    The Patriots have not been the same consistent team we’ve become accustomed to seeing this season. They also headed into the bye after getting blown out 34-10 by the Titans in Week 10.

    “They ain’t going to the Super Bowl,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said of the Patriots.

    We’ve seen New England down before, of course, and we’ve also seen the club rebound to reach the big game. However, this year feels a little different. While last season’s struggles were almost exclusively on defense, the Patriots have also flopped offensively at various points.

    At 7-3, New England isn’t a lock for a first-round playoff bye. If the Patriots are forced to play a team like the Ravens or Chargers on Wild Card Weekend, it could make for a short postseason.

    Season Grade: B

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    Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Philadelphia Eagles

    Result: Won 48-7

    Can anyone stop the Saints? The Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles would say “no.”

    A week after beating Cincinnati 51-14, the Saints dominated the Eagles. Though New Orleans did punt twice in this game—and didn’t at all against the Bengals—this was a more complete-team domination.

    The Saints held the Eagles to just 196 yards of offense and picked off Carson Wentz three times.

    Yes, Drew Brees (363 yards, four scores) was again on fire, and Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram both ran hard (174 combined rushing yards). However, the Saints just handed the Eagles the biggest loss by a defending Super Bowl champion ever because the defense never relented.

    If the Saints keep playing like this, no one is going to stop them in 2018.

    Week 11 Grade: A+

    Season Grade: A

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    Week 11 Opponent: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Result: Won 38-35

    Don’t look now, but the New York Giants have won two in a row. Even at 3-7, the Giants aren’t completely out of the NFC East race, though realistically, they’re playing for next year.

    This was perhaps the first game of the year where the Giants offense lived up to its potential. Eli Manning passed for 231 yards and two touchdowns with no turnovers, Saquon Barkley rumbled for 142 yards on the ground (three total TDs), and the Giants built a 31-14 fourth-quarter lead.

    However, while the offense looked strong, the defense did not. New York’s defense allowed backup quarterback Jameis Winston to pull the Buccaneers within a field goal while surrendering a total of 510 yards.

    With weapons like Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr. and Evan Engram on the offense, Giants fans can find parts of the future to be excited about. However, there is a lot New York needs to solidify—and not just at the quarterback position—if the G-Men are going to be title contenders again.

    Week 11 Grade: B-

    Season Grade: D

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    Week 11 Bye

    Todd Bowles remains head coach of the Jets through the bye week. If you think he shouldn’t be worried about his job, however, just consider this: The Jets lost 41-10 to the Bills before the bye, and they had a terrible excuse for getting embarrassed.

    “We obviously planned for Josh Allen to come in there,” safety Jamal Adams said, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. “We thought he was going to play. Obviously, he didn’t play. Obviously, we didn’t have a lot of film on Barkley.”

    Not being prepared for a particular quarterback is no excuse for losing in embarrassing fashion. It’s a sign of poor coaching, and it’s a trend. Adams had similar comments about Browns backup Baker Mayfield after the Jets blew a 14-0 lead and went on to lose to Cleveland in Week 3. Mayfield replaced starter Tyrod Taylor just before halftime in that game.

    With the team consistently appearing underprepared and rookie quarterback Sam Darnold showing little growth, it’s becoming clear this isn’t the right coaching staff to guide New York’s future.

    Season Grade: D

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: Arizona Cardinals

    Result: Won 23-21

    The Raiders won for the second time in 2018, but don’t be tricked into believing this is a sign of progress. Arizona is a bad football team, and Oakland only won by the skin of its teeth.

    Don’t expect this victory to spark a winning streak.

    There are positives fans can take away, of course. Derek Carr didn’t throw an interception, and the Raiders defense grabbed two of them. Doug Martin, DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard combined for 152 yards on the ground and 4.6 yards per carry. The offense held the ball for over 36 minutes of game clock.

    Still, the Raiders were able to win by playing keep-away against an inconsistent rookie quarterback and by engineering a desperation field-goal drive with less than two minutes remaining in regulation. Winning close games against a terrible team doesn’t make you a good one.

    The Raiders are still bad, they don’t look quite as inept as they did a week ago.

    Week 11 Grade: C

    Season Grade: F

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    Week 11 Opponent: New Orleans Saints

    Result: Lost 48-7

    The fact that the Eagles lost this game wasn’t shocking. The Saints have looked unstoppable over the last few weeks, and Philadelphia’s secondary was ravaged by injuries. What was alarming, though, was that the Eagles could not get anything going offensively.

    For the eighth time this season, Philadelphia failed to score in the first quarter. The Eagles managed just 196 yards of offense and a single touchdown against a Saints defense that is improving but isn’t a shutdown unit.

    The Eagles won the Super Bowl last season by being balanced, but they haven’t been balanced this season—they’re scoring fewer than 21 points per game—and they’ve now lost three of their last four.

    At 4-6, they’re still alive in the NFC East, and Josh Adams played well (53 yards on just seven carries). However, this was a horrendous loss.

    Week 11 Grade: F

    Season Grade: D+

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    Week 11 Opponent: Jacksonville Jaguars

    Result: Won 20-16

    Pittsburgh’s win over Jacksonville represented a little revenge, as the Jaguars knocked off the Steelers both in the regular season and in the playoffs last year. This one was clearly both personal and physical.

    “This is one of those games where you get to jawing and all that stuff and you’re like, ‘Damn right, we got that win,’” defensive end Cam Heyward said, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

    Getting that win wasn’t easy, though, as the Steelers had to overcome a 16-0 third-quarter deficit. Somehow Ben Roethlisberger and Co. pulled out some magic in the fourth quarter and got the job done. Roethlisberger capped the comeback by scrambling for a touchdown with just five seconds remaining.

    Pittsburgh’s offense will get most of the credit for the comeback, but the defense did its part. It held Jacksonville to just 64 yards in the second half and was the reason the comeback was even possible.

    This was a difficult win, but it gets the Steelers to 7-2-1 and in total control of the AFC North.

    Week 11 Grade: C+

    Season Grade: A-

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Week 11 Bye

    The San Francisco 49ers entered 2018 with quite a bit of hype thanks to a five-game winning streak to end last season and the presence of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Unfortunately, Garoppolo suffered a torn ACL in Week 3, and the excitement quickly dissipated.

    Not everything has been down for San Francisco this season. The team seems to have found a competent backup quarterback in Nick Mullens, and offseason acquisition Richard Sherman has played at a high level when healthy. The backfield duo of Matt Breida and Alfred Morris has also been good enough after free-agent pickup Jerick McKinnon went down before the season.

    However, the 49ers have just two wins to show for their season. San Francisco will have a chance to get back into the win column next week against a struggling Buccaneers team, but it’s clear fans will have to put off thoughts of success until after Garoppolo returns.

    Season Grade: D

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Week 11 Opponent: Green Bay Packers

    Result: Won 27-24

    The Seahawks got off to an ugly start on Thursday night. They fumbled the ball away on the first play from scrimmage, struggled to stop Rodgers and the Packers passing attack and nearly put themselves into a dire hole.

    If not for a missed field goal, Green Bay would have held a 14-point first-quarter lead.

    From late in the second quarter on, however, everything went Seattle’s way. The defense finally settled in, and the run game began to tilt the tempo in the Seahawks’ favor. Seattle held the ball for more than 34 minutes of game time and was regularly able to keep Rodgers and the Packers offense out of rhythm.

    The Seahawks’ ground game delivered this win. While Russell Wilson (225 yards, two touchdowns) certainly did his part, the Packers pass rush frequently pressured him. Had the rushing attack stalled, Green Bay would have been able to tee off on him even more.

    Fortunately, the trio of Chris Carson, Mike Davis and Rashaad Penny gives the Seahawks a backfield group that can keep delivering wins this season.

    Week 11 Grade: B+

    Season Grade: C+

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    Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: New York Giants

    Result: Lost 38-35

    As of now, Dirk Koetter remains head coach of the Buccaneers. This is unlikely to be the case at the end of the season, if not sooner. Koetter continues to mismanage his team, and it’s led to too many losses in games Tampa should have won.

    Once again, Koetter pulled his starting quarterback in the middle of a game. Yes, Ryan Fitzpatrick was struggling. Yes, Jameis Winston provided a spark. If Winston was the superior option, though, why wasn’t he starting in the first place?

    Koetter is one half of the tag team dooming the Buccaneers. The other is a defense that once again collapsed against a subpar opponent. The Giants racked up 359 yards while opening up a 17-point fourth-quarter lead.

    The Buccaneers drop to 3-7 and have zero chance of catching the Saints in the NFC South. They are playing for the future, and that future should not involve Koetter.

    Week 11 Grade: D

    Season Grade: D

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Indianapolis Colts

    Result: Lost 38-10

    This loss is going to be hard for the Titans to swallow. Tennessee came in having won two in a row and looking to make it a two-team race in the AFC South. After getting knocked around, the Titans have fallen back to .500 and allowed the Colts to stay in the race as well.

    This wasn’t a game of bad luck either. The Colts simply seemed to have an answer for everything Tennessee tried to do. And the Titans had no answers for what Indianapolis did.

    It got ugly early, as the Titans had three three-and-outs and an interception in just the first half. The Colts, meanwhile, scored on four of five possessions before halftime. This put Tennessee in a massive hole and made it difficult to justify sticking with Derrick Henry (5.1 yards per carry) and the run game.

    It obviously didn’t help that starting quarterback Marcus Mariota was forced out of the game with another elbow injury, but this one was over before Blaine Gabbert even took the reins.

    Week 11 Grade: F

    Season Grade: C+

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    Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

    Week 11 Opponent: Houston Texans

    Result: Lost 23-21

    Sunday was an awful day for Washington’s 2018 campaign. Not only did the Cowboys win and the Redskins lose, but Washington also lost starting quarterback Alex Smith for the season to a broken leg.

    “I know it was very painful for [Smith] and heartbreaking for a lot of people,” coach Jay Gruden said, per NFL.com. “He’s a great guy and a hard worker and one of the key leaders on this football team. These things happen in pro football unfortunately. You just hate to see them happen to a guy like Alex.”

    The good news for Washington is that Colt McCoy is one of the better backups in the league. He actually outperformed Smith in this game, going 6-of-12 for 54 yards and a touchdown, while Smith went 12-of-27 for 135 yards and two picks. The team’s season isn’t over just because Smith’s is.

    The bad news is that the offensive line is still banged up and a major liability. Washington absolutely must fend off the Cowboys next week to stay in control of the division, and that’s going to be a challenge with this line.

    If Washington cannot beat Dallas, it will face a must-win the following week against the Eagles.

    Week 11 Grade: C-

    Season Grade: C+

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China says US ‘spoiled’ APEC party as trade war truce hopes fade

Shanghai | China has accused the United States of spoiling the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders summit by attending with “great anger”. However, it says it will not oppose Australia’s partnership with the US to redevelop Papua New Guina’s naval base at Manus Island.

“It seemed like the US attended this APEC meeting with great anger,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

“Its speeches and remarks at the meeting openly caused controversy, created discord, spoiled the atmosphere of the meeting and did not contribute to achieving consensus and carrying out cooperation.”

Reiterating calls by Chinese leaders for Australia and other countries to work with it on regional infrastructure and security in the Pacific, the ministry said it would not try to persuade PNG that a new military base built by Australia and the United States was not a good idea.

“We don’t have that dark side as you suspected,” the spokesperson said. “China adopts an open attitude to regional countries developing normal relations and cooperation.

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“We hope that relevant exchanges and cooperation will accord with the aspiration of regional countries for common security and common development and contribute to preserving and promoting regional peace, stability, development and prosperity.

China has complained that while it went to APEC with proposals to deepen cooperation in the region and “enhance global economic governance”, Washington went in with a hostile attitude. “China took part in this meeting to seek consensus and cooperation, not to get into a boxing ring or spat with anyone,” the Foreign Ministry said.

But the US Department of State also hit back on Tuesday, saying it was “unfortunate” not all members would support APEC statements agreeing to promote free trade in the region and combat unfair trade practices.

“It is unfortunate that not all economies — despite their rhetoric — could support these positions,” it said in a statement, without naming China.

The meeting ended on Sunday with the 21 leaders unable to reach consensus after Washington demanded the final communique include a statement that China no longer receive preferential treatment commensurate with its status as a developing nation under World Trade Organisation (WTO) trade rules.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged the the US and China to sort out their differences, admitting other nations were frustrated with the outcome. Chinese officials have denied they barged into the PNG Foreign Minister’s office during the summit to have the wording of the communique changed.

Tensions at the meeting of 21 leaders from the region have lowered expectations Chinese president Xi Jinping and US president Donald Trump will negotiate a sustainable truce to their trade war when they meet on the sidelines of next week’s G20 meeting in Argentina.

“Xi’s highly defensive tone at APEC does not sound like a leader inclined to bend to external pressure from the United States,” Michael Hirson, Asia director at Eurasia Group, said.

“Beijing’s conclusion that the US is ultimately out to contain China is making it less and less likely that China will be willing to put bold trade offers on the table to satisfy key US demands,” he said.

Markets fell in the US overnight, with the Nasdaq down nearly 3 per cent and the S&P more than 1 per cent lower.

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Shania Twain says she’s peed on herself ‘multiple times’ onstage: ‘The show must go on’

When nature calls, nature calls … even for celebrities. 

Shania Twain, 53, got real on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen” Thursday, revealing she has peed on herself “multiple times” onstage. 

While playing a game of “That Does Impress Me Much” with Cohen and Patricia Arquette, where the late-night host has to guess which fact pertains to each celebrity, Cohen correctly matched the event “No One Needs to Know” with Twain. 

“I am onstage all the time,” the famed country singer said. “I have peed myself onstage. … The show must go on!”

Related: Debra Winger talks Shirley MacLaine in cringeworthy interview with Andy Cohen

She went on to detail a specific instance – because let’s face it, we’re all dying to know how she pulled that off without a hitch in front of an entire audience.

“I was very clever in this one moment,” Twain said. “I stood up from my chair to get up and sing, I peed myself, and the puddle? I just knocked my glass of water over.”

The “Real Country” judge continued: “I was wearing a skirt, thank goodness. … I stood up, it all came out, I was dry and the glass of water (was) on the seat. I think when you’re dyslexic you think ahead of these things.”

Related: Shania Twain sorry for saying she would’ve voted for Trump ‘even though he was offensive’

The revelations did not stop there. 

Twain also copped to another embarrassing moment when she locked herself out of her hotel room while – wait for it – looking for a bathroom.

“I was in Rome with my husband and the room was this big,” Twain said, measuring out a small area with her hands. “I went to bed naked that night, and I have to go for a pee so I open up the wrong door, and I ended up in the hallway.”

She continued: “I’m knocking on the door, ‘Let me in!’ (My husband was) like, ‘What are you doing out there?’ I said, ‘Well, I was sure the bathroom was here.’”

Cohen was definitely impressed, saying “I love this.” Arquette also chimed in, calling Twain “kind of rad.”

Related: Pregnant Carrie Underwood shares wisdom about being a working mom

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Saudi Arabia halts plan for massive corporate-bond sale: WSJ

Saudi Arabia’s oil giant Aramco has shelved plans to embark on a massive corporate-bond sale to fund a $70bn stake in the kingdom’s national petrochemical firm, a news report said.

Looking instead at options requiring less public disclosure, people familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal on Monday that Aramaco executives have soured on the initiative.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co, as the company is officially known, was considering issuing up to $40bn in bonds to help buy 70 percent of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), the Journal reported.

Aramco has been in talks with banks to acquire a controlling stake in the Saudi petrochemical maker, a deal that could require up to $70bn in financing.

Controlled by the state, SABIC is also the country’s largest publicly listed company with a market cap of about $100bn.

Corporate secrets?

A corporate bond sale on international markets typically requires public disclosure of three years of audited financial statements as well as any potential obstacles. Aramco is known not to offer analysts such detailed company information.

Aramco executives are also concerned that market conditions aren’t ideal for bond sales, the newspaper reported, and they are now looking at a combination of other potential financing options.

Over the past month oil prices have fallen more than 20 percent. Saudi Arabia plans to boost prices with a production cut – but uncertainty remains.

Saudi-led OPEC and its allies including Russia decided in June to relax output curbs in place since 2017, after pressure from US President Donald Trump to reduce oil prices and make up for supply losses from Iran.

Forecasts of a 2019 supply surplus and slowing demand have also dented the market.

IPO no show

Aramco, the world’s largest crude producer, plans to boost investment in refining and petrochemicals in a bid to cut reliance on crude as demand for oil slows.

The move to quit the corporate-bond sale was the latest setback for Aramco after the Saudi government’s plan to place up to five percent of the company on the stock market also stalled.

The planned listing was to be the cornerstone of the kingdom’s promised economic overhaul and, at a targeted $100bn, the biggest IPO ever.

It was the brainchild of 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, the heir apparent of the world’s largest oil exporter.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih has said the government was committed to conducting the IPO at an unspecified date in the future.

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