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Monday, May 22, 2017

22 killed in suspected suicide attack at Ariana Grande concert in Britain

Tue May 23, 2017 | 2:01 AM EDT 3h ago | 01:15 Blast kills at least 19 at concert; suicide bomber suspected Nineteen killed in suspected suicide attack at... X By Michael Holden and Andrew Yates | MANCHESTER, England At least 19 people were killed and 59 wounded in an explosion at the end of a concert by U.S. singer Ariana Grande in the English city of Manchester on Monday, in what two U.S. officials said was a suspected suicide bombing. Prime Minister Theresa May said the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack. If confirmed, it would be the deadliest militant assault in Britain since four British Muslims killed 52 people in suicide bombings on London's transport system in July 2005. Police responded to reports of an explosion shortly after 10:33 pm (2133 GMT) at Manchester Arena, which has the capacity to hold 21,000 people, where the U.S. singer had been performing to an audience that included many children. A witness who attended the concert said she felt a huge blast as she was leaving the arena, followed by screaming and a rush by thousands of people trying to escape the building. A video posted on Twitter showed fans, many of them young, screaming and running from the venue. Dozens of parents frantically searched for their children, posting photos and pleading for information on social media. "We were making our way out and when we were right by the door there was a massive explosion and everybody was screaming," concert-goer Catherine Macfarlane told Reuters. "It was a huge explosion - you could feel it in your chest. It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out." Ariana Grande, 23, later said on Twitter: "broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words." May, who faces an election in two-and-a-half weeks, said her thoughts were with the victims and their families. May and Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, agreed to suspend campaigning ahead of the June 8 election. "We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack," May said in a statement. "All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected." May will hold a crisis response meeting on Tuesday. Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said police were treating the blast as a terrorist incident and were working with counter-terrorism police and intelligence agencies but gave no further details on their investigation. ADVERTISEMENT Related Coverage VIDEOBritish police treating deadly concert blast as 'terrorist incident' VIDEODeadly blast at Manchester Ariana Grande concert VIDEOVideo captures chaos at Manchester Arena VIDEOPeople flee Manchester Arena after deadly blast at Ariana Grande concert 'Pls help me...': Frantic parents hunt for missing kids after UK concert blast Chinese President Xi Jinping sent his condolences over the blast to Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Chinese state media reported. SUICIDE BOMBER? There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but U.S. officials drew parallels to the coordinated attacks in November 2015 by Islamist militants on the Bataclan concert hall and other sites in Paris, which claimed about 130 lives. Two U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said initial signs indicated that a suicide bomber was responsible for the blast. "In the absence of conclusive evidence, the choice of venue, the timing and the mode of attack all suggest this was terrorism," said a U.S. counter terrorism official who also spoke on condition of anonymity. Islamic State supporters took to social media to celebrate the blast and some encouraged similar attacks elsewhere. [L8N1IP096] Britain is on its second-highest alert level of "severe", meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was monitoring the situation in Manchester closely but said it had no information to indicate a specific credible threat involving music venues in the United States. British counter-terrorism police have said they are making on average an arrest every day in connection with suspected terrorism. In March, a British-born convert to Islam ploughed a car into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge, killing four people before stabbing to death a police officer who was on the grounds of parliament. The man was shot dead at the scene. In 2015, Pakistani student Abid Naseer was convicted in a U.S. court of conspiring with al Qaeda to blow up the Arndale shopping center in the center of Manchester in April 2009. Related Coverage Islamic State supporters celebrate Manchester attack online, no official claim No indication of threat to U.S. music venues after Manchester blast: U.S. Ariana Grande says she is 'broken' in tweet after Manchester attack Britain suspends election campaign after suspected attack UK police say controlled explosion was precautionary PARENTS' ANGUISH Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, opened in 1995 and is a popular concert and sporting venue. Desperate parents and friends used social media to search for loved ones while the wounded were being treated at six hospitals across Manchester. "Everyone pls share this, my little sister Emma was at the Ari concert tonight in #Manchester and she isn't answering her phone, pls help me," said one message posted alongside a picture of a blonde girl with flowers in her hair. Paula Robinson, 48, from West Dalton about 40 miles east of Manchester, said she was at the train station next to the arena with her husband when she felt the explosion and saw dozens of teenage girls screaming and running away from arena. "We ran out," Robinson told Reuters. "It was literally seconds after the explosion. I got the teens to run with me." Robinson took dozens of teenage girls to the nearby Holiday Inn Express hotel and tweeted out her phone number to worried parents, telling them to meet her there. She said her phone had not stopped ringing since her tweet. "Parents were frantic running about trying to get to their children," she said. "There were lots of lots children at Holiday Inn." For a graphic showing where the blast hit, click: tmsnrt.rs/2rbQAay (Additional Reporting by Alistair Smout, Kate Holton and David Milliken in LONDON, Mark Hosenball in LOS ANGELES, John Walcott in WASHINGTON, D.C., Leela de Kretser in NEW YORK, Mostafa Hashem in CAIRO, and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Nick Tattersall; Editing by Sandra Maler, Toni Reinhold and Paul Tait)

In Bombardier fight, Boeing sees ghost of Airbus ascent

Mon May 22, 2017 | 12:53 PM EDT ‹ 3/3 A logo of jet manufacturer Bombardier is pictured on their booth during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, May 22, 2017. Reuters/Denis Balibouse 1/3 FILE PHOTO: Bombardier's C Series aircrafts are assembled in their plant in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada April 29, 2016. Reuters/Christinne Muschi/File Photo 2/3 FILE PHOTO: Shareholders line up to view Bombardier's CS300 aircraft following their annual general meeting in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada April 29, 2016. Reuters/Christinne Muschi/File Photo 3/3 A logo of jet manufacturer Bombardier is pictured on their booth during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, May 22, 2017. Reuters/Denis Balibouse 1/3 FILE PHOTO: Bombardier's C Series aircrafts are assembled in their plant in Mirabel, Quebec, Canada April 29, 2016. Reuters/Christinne Muschi/File Photo › In Bombardier fight, Boeing sees ghost of Airbus... X By Tim Hepher and Alwyn Scott | PARIS/SEATTLE Two words underpin Boeing's (BA.N) decision to launch a U.S. trade complaint against Bombardier (BBDb.TO), which plunged it into a row with Canada last week: "Never again". Allegations that the Canadian firm dumped newly designed CSeries passenger jets in the United States at a steep loss have threatened a sale of F/A-18 warplanes to Ottawa, sending Boeing scrambling to save the deal. Some analysts say Boeing carelessly put at risk billions of dollars of defense work or pandered to growing protectionism. But decades after Boeing failed to prevent European upstart Airbus gaining momentum with early victories in the United States, people familiar with the company say the strategic importance of defending its core passenger jet business outweighs the diplomatic storm. U.S. industry experts say Boeing and other jetmakers at the time did not take the European consortium seriously enough and allowed their future nemesis to poach U.S. airlines from 1978. Again after the September 2001 attacks in the United States, when Boeing slashed production, Airbus (AIR.PA) filled the vacuum, building up market share and never looking back. For years Boeing insiders have rued that decision, even while battling Airbus at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over mutual accusations of unfair subsidies. While leading in widebody jets, it has seen the narrowbody market – where the industry makes most cash - slip away as Airbus grabbed some 60 percent of new-generation sales. Such a significant imbalance in market share poses serious long-term risk to the loser in the Airbus-Boeing duopoly, because it creates a gap in costs that can't easily be bridged. Now, Boeing sees a second rival entering its domestic market with what it sees as low prices and is determined not to underestimate the threat again, people close to the company say. ADVERTISEMENT "It's a crucial entry market," said a person familiar with Boeing's strategy in taking on Bombardier. "This is the case Boeing might have brought against Airbus 40 years ago. Not taking action at the start led to consequences." On the surface, Boeing's case is about the sale of jets to Delta Air Lines at what Boeing claims were unfairly low prices. Bombardier denies Boeing's estimates of both the price and the cost at which it is able to make its new jet, while critics say Boeing accounting rules allow it to disguise weak pricing. While the high-profile deal ignited Boeing's complaint, executives say Boeing's stance reflects a longer-term concern. Although Bombardier's small narrowbody jet has so far barely scratched Boeing's larger 737 and has suffered a spate of financial problems, the all-new design disturbs a landscape made up mainly by makeovers of existing Airbus and Boeing models. With Airbus still well ahead on narrowbody orders even after a recent lull, Boeing can ill afford to be squeezed on two fronts. Even less so with new players like China arriving. A Boeing spokesman declined to comment. PRECISION TRADE WEAPON Boeing's response marries strategic worries about its narrowbody position with a legal tactic designed to exploit a vulnerability the CSeries has, but global rival Airbus did not. The 110-130 seat CSeries relies mainly for now on the regional jet market, where North America is by far the largest single component and whose airlines therefore decide its future. That hands Boeing the opportunity to make use of a domestic lawsuit ill-suited to its global confrontation with Airbus, but which if successful could deliver a hammer blow to the CSeries. Also In Business News Sterling retreats after Manchester blast, opinion polls, stocks mixed Trump budget plan slashes food stamps, healthcare for poor Trade sources see a second tactical motive for spurning the WTO and filing the industry's first such domestic U.S. case. U.S. anti-dumping cases typically take a year - versus 13 years and counting in its trench warfare against Airbus. That coincides with first delivery of a CSeries to Delta in April 2018. If Boeing succeeds, the jets could be hit from day one with extra duties, blunting Bombardier's competitiveness more quickly and more directly than normal trade sanctions. Still, Boeing faces a headache over what to do about lost fighter sales if Canada makes good on a threat to drop a deal for F/A-18 warplanes in retaliation for Boeing's trade claim. With Boeing's future fighter production in jeopardy as sales run dry, Boeing is anxious to keep its presence in that business long enough to compete for tomorrow's military programs. But without stability in its narrowbody jetliner business, Boeing faces an even deeper concern, since this is the cash cow for many of the company's other activities. Sources says Boeing's defense bosses signed off on bringing the trade case, highlighting the importance attached to the 737. The broader stakes raised by Bombardier's foray into the U.S. market were underscored when China was reported to revive on-off talks to invest in Bombardier. Airbus itself weighed buying the CSeries before talks collapsed in 2015. Whoever wins the trade spat between Bombardier and Boeing, one thing is clear: the small jet from Montreal has made its mark on the strategic calculations of all industry rivals, and now faces a battle for new sales. (Additional reporting by Allison Lampert; Editing by Mark Potter)

At least 19 dead in blast at Ariana Grande concert in British arena

Mon May 22, 2017 | 8:31 PM EDT 39m ago | 00:44 Deadly blast at Manchester Ariana Grande concert At least 19 dead in blast at Ariana Grande concert... X By Jon Super | MANCHESTER, England A blast on Monday night at a concert in the English city of Manchester where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing left at least 19 people dead and about 50 injured in what British police said was being treated as a terrorist incident. Police said they were responding to reports of an explosion and that there were a number of confirmed fatalities and others injured at the arena, which has a capacity for 21,000 people. A witness who attended the concert said she felt a huge blast as she was leaving the arena, followed by screaming and a rush as thousands of people trying to escape. "We were making our way out and when we were right by the door there was a massive explosion and everybody was screaming," concert-goer Catherine Macfarlane told Reuters. "It was a huge explosion - you could feel it in your chest. It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out." Witnesses reported that many children were at the concert. Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, opened in 1995 and is a popular concert and sporting venue. Related Coverage VIDEOVideo captures chaos at Manchester Arena British police say 19 dead, 50 injured in Manchester 'terrorist incident' At least 10 believed dead after Manchester blast: BBC UK bomb disposal team at scene of Manchester incident: Sky News Witness saw 20 to 30 people on the ground following blast in British arena: BBC A spokesman for Ariana Grande, 23, said the singer was "okay". A video posted on Twitter showed fans, many of them young, screaming and running from the venue. Britain is on its second-highest alert level of "severe" meaning an attack by militants is considered highly likely. (Reporting by Alistair Smout; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Sandra Maler, Toni Reinhold)

S&P downgrades banks' credit rating on property crash risk but big four escape

By Carrington Clarke Posted yesterday at 5:33pm Photo: S&P believes high house price growth in recent years has left banks vulnerable. (ABC News: Giulio Saggin) Related Story: AAA credit rating safe, for now, as S&P reaffirms Related Story: Who will bear the cost of the bank tax? Related Story: Will more housing drive down prices? Map: Australia Ratings agency S&P Global has downgraded almost all financial institutions in Australia because they face an "increased risk of a sharp correction in property prices". Twenty-three institutions, including AMP, Bank of Queensland, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Credit Union Australia, received downgrades to their stand-alone credit profiles. Credit ratings downgrades can force up the cost of borrowing for financial institutions which in turn can be passed onto customers. S&P said "economic imbalances in Australia have increased due to strong growth in private sector debt and residential property prices in the past four years". Effectively, S&P believes high house price growth in recent years has left banks vulnerable and made it less likely they can pay out their debts in the future. The ratings agency said Australian financial institutions were particularly susceptible to a housing correction with "residential home loans securing two-thirds of banks' lending assets" and "the impact of such a scenario on financial institutions would be amplified by the Australian economy's external weaknesses, in particular its persistent current account deficits and high level of external debt". Who will pay the bank tax? The Government says the banks can "absorb" the tax, but what does that actually mean? The "big four" banks, however, managed to escape a downgrade because S&P believes they are likely to receive "timely financial support from the Australian Government" if there is a housing crash. S&P believes the big banks are likely to receive preferential treatment from the Government if the housing market were to crash. The analysis comes at a time when the Government is attempting to impose a new levy on the big banks which is in part justified by the backing the Government gives to the big four. Despite the downgrade and the view that the chance of a sharp correction in house prices has increased, S&P says the "outlook for Australian banks remains relatively benign by global standards". Topics: banking, business-economics-and-finance, housing-industry, consumer-finance, australia

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Australia's LNG wars - who will advance and who will retreat?

Upgrade your Bentley with a £75,000 falcon perch Energy Expertise | Robust Analytics | Integrated Research HOME US ONSHORE OPERATIONS INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS EVENTS LATEST NEWS ABOUT US CONTACT US Australia's LNG wars - who will advance and who will retreat? Amidst increasing above ground risks, domestic gas shortages and low prices, Australian LNG is in survival mode. Although current LNG prices are low, the short run marginal cost of Australia’s conventional LNG projects is under $1 per mmbtu. Meaning Australian LNG will remain cash-flow positive even through very depressed prices. Five of the eight mega-projects sanctioned since 2007 are now up and running with the remaining three projects – Wheatstone, Prelude and Ichthys – targeting start-up over the next 18 months. But resource competition, contractor disputes, and weather uncertainty mean schedules could be delayed. While conventional projects will advance, Australia’s unconventional coal seam gas projects will retreat in the face of high drilling costs. Around a quarter of the production could be left uneconomic around current price levels, with plants likely to operate below capacity for years to come. And the east coast domestic gas shortage means LNG production will be cut further as gas molecules are diverted to domestic markets where they will get higher prices, especially during winter. Saul Kavonic, Senior Analyst of Australasian Upstream Research, gives us a preview of his presentation on Australia’s LNG wars at APPEA 2017: Wistia video thumbnail If you are interested in meeting with our experts at APPEA 2017, please email us. Click here to learn more about APPEA. Will pricing levels rebound in the Lower 48 service sector? The State of the Upstream industry Complete the form below to receive a full set of our APPEA 2017 stand presentations. Recent Posts Smooth sailing or rough seas? IMO to cap sulphur in 2020 The State of the Upstream industry Australia’s LNG wars – who will advance and who will retreat? Will pricing levels rebound in the Lower 48 service sector? Will Centennial Resource Development’s Permian acquisition create value? Related Posts Vaca Muerta production to reach 113 kboed by 2018 Will pricing levels rebound in the Lower 48 service sector? Smooth sailing or rough seas? IMO to cap sulphur in 2020 The State of the Upstream industry About Wood Mackenzie Over the last 40 years, Wood Mackenzie, a Verisk Analytics business, has evolved naturally along the energy value chain to capture all the key components affecting global markets. Our integrated approach, including upstream, downstream, chemicals, gas and power, metals and mining and corporate analysis, allows us to spot trends and forecast future dynamics before anyone else. Learn more at www.woodmac.com Registered address: Wood Mackenzie Ltd. 16 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh EH2 4DF Registration number: SC222302 (Scotland) © Wood Mackenzie 2017

101 businesses you can start with less than $100

There are many obstacles to starting your own business, but money isn't always one of them. Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? If so, what’s holding you back? If not having enough money to get started, then I’ve got some excellent news for you. You can start countless businesses for under a $100. Over they years I've done many odd jobs to pay bills. While it's not always easy, there are ways that you can put your skills (whatever they are) to work. It doesn't matter if you're a handyman or an online marketing expert, you can make extra money on the side. You may think that’s crazy, but you’ll be convinced after reviewing these 101 business ideas that can actually be launched with less that $100. 1. Direct sales representative Being a local sales representative for companies like Avon, Mary Kay, and Pampered Chef requires you to spread the word about their products by hosting a party or selling them online. Most starter kits cost around $100 and provide you with everything you need to become a sales rep. 2. Consulting If you already have the knowledge or experience in a specific area, such as providing legal advice or showing business how to become more eco-friendly, then you can easily start your own consulting agency. The main costs involved are marketing your business and networking. So invest in a website and business cards. 3. Senior home companion With the number of Aussies aged 65 years or over only set to rocket in Australia, there are lot of seniors who looking for someone to keep them company or families looking for advice on how to care for their loved ones. 4. Tutor There are a lot of students who need assistance in every subject - whether if it’s in elementary school or college. If you have this knowledge, then starting your own tutoring business can become an appealing business idea that requires almost no capital. After all, the students already have the learning materials with them. 5. Freelancing Whether if you’re a writer or web developer freelancing is a lucrative business idea that pretty much requires nothing more than your talent, laptop, and internet connection. Thanks to the numerous websites that post freelance gigs, you should have no problem starting out. Here is a freelancer guide that will help you every step of the way. 6. Vlog with YouTube Since every laptop, tablet, and smartphone comes equipped with a built-in camera, anyone can start creating videos and posting them to YouTube. If you have knowledge you want to share, or are just incredibly charismatic, then you can start profiting from your vlog through ads. 7. Auto repair/detailing If you have a garage, tools, and knowledge, then why not start your own auto repair shop? Even if you don’t have a garage, you could start a mobile auto repair business where you go to the broken-down vehicle. If like the idea of working with vehicles, but aren’t a mechanic, then start washing and detailing cars. I had a former colleague who did this on the side. Eventually, he was able to make this into a full-time through word-of-mouth recommendations at work. 8. Sharing economy rentals Thanks to the “sharing economy” more and more people are opting to rent items instead of purchasing them. You can rent everything from your car, parking space, and household items like furniture. I wouldn’t get too carried away. I would start with a niche and slowly work your way up. For example, you could start renting out yard equipment like rakes, shovels, or leaf blowers. If you don’t already own them, you can purchase for under $100. 9. Managing web design There are also countless sites out there that teach you basic web design. Learn a new trait today. Even if you aren’t a web designer, you could find a designer affordably and still charge less that professional web design firms. They key here is managing the process, most businesses don't want to do this and are willing to pay. 10. Handyman If you’re able to make minor household repairs, like switching out a broken electrical outlet or sealing a pipe under the kitchen sink, then this is another business that doesn’t cost much to start, but is also in-demand. 11. Menu planning I know plenty of people who are indecisive when it comes to their meals. That’s why they’re willing to hire someone to help them plan out their meals. This is a low-cost idea for anyone who enjoys working with food, but doesn’t have the resources to prepare and serve it. 12. House sitter/pet sitter This essentially requires no initial investment. You can start asking your family, friends, and neighbors if they need someone to watch their home or pet when they go-out-of-town. 13. Lawn care If you have a green thumb, enjoy being outside, and have the tools to get started, like a lawnmower, weed wacker, chainsaw, then this is a no-brainer of a business idea. The only main cost is advertising and marketing your business. 14. Homemade gourmet foods Whether if it’s soup mixes, jellies, or chocolates, people love gourmet food products. And, since you already have a kitchen, you just need cooking supplies, packaging, and basic marketing materials to get started. 15. Professional organizer We live in a materialistic world. And, it’s easy to start getting overwhelmed by all the stuff that’s consuming our homes. Professional organizers can help people get their homes back-in-order for no more than $20 or so on classified ads. 16. Green cleaning service Cleaning services are a dime a dozen. You can stand out from the competition by offering a green cleaning service that uses eco-friendly and natural products. Some of these you may be able to make yourself and even start selling. 17. Grocery delivery Some major grocery store offer delivery services, but not all of them. And, there’s a chance that your local mom-and-pop grocery store doesn’t. That’s when you can charge customers to go to the store for them and deliver their groceries to their home. 18. Personal concierge A personal concierge takes care of everything from taking clients to the airport, the dog to the vet, or managing their schedules. It’s basically being someone's personal assistant. 19. Creating information products If you have experience with a specific niche, then you can start selling your knowledge by creating products like eBooks or instructional videos. The cost is usually no more than your time, domain name, and web hosting. 20. Blogging As with creating information products, if you’re familiar with a specific topic, then you can launch a blog where you share this knowledge. You can earn money by selling ad space, becoming an affiliate, or starting a subscription service. Here is my top resource to getting started blogging. I followed it's tips and was able to personally create a solid four-figure income within around 12 months. 21. Window cleaning I’ll be honest. Window cleaning is my least favorite chore around the house. And, I’m certainly not the only person who feels that way. A window cleaning service doesn’t require much capital and can become profitable. 22. Interior designer Both homeowners and business owners are looking for people to design these spaces to make it more comfortable, organized, and productive. 23. Flyer distribution Local businesses still people companies to hand out flyers or place them under windshield wipers. You pretty much just need to make a lot of copies. And that’s not a major investment. 24. Programming Learning how to program or code, like object-oriented dynamic programming language known as Ruby, is one of the most lucrative business out there. Here is a guide to starting a developer business to help get you started. 25. Virtual assistant Similar to personal assistant in which you answer phone calls, respond to emails, and keep a schedule for you client. The difference? You do this remotely. 26. Social-media consultant Businesses and individuals are always on the lookout for people to manage and maintain their social channels for them. I find that there are a lot of businesses that will pay $500/month+ for these services. 27. Project management Believe it or not, not all businesses have project managers in-house. That means that projects can quickly get off-track. That’s why they’re willing to hire outside project managers to keep their teams focused. 28. Secretarial services There are a lot of small businesses and individuals who need services like typing, transcribing, and proofreading. As long as you've got a computer, printer, and the necessary skills, your business is good to go. 29. Catering If you’re an outstanding cook, but don’t want to invest in a restaurant, then you can start your own catering business directly from your own kitchen. 30. Mobile repair Want to put your own spin on a repair service? Start a mobile repair service you go to the client. Whether if it’s fixing a computer or piece of furniture, this doesn’t require more than a vehicle, marketing, and expertise. 31. Resume writing service A lot of people have difficulty writing amazing resumes. And, that could even cause them to lose out on a job they’ve been eyeing up. If you have knack for composing resumes, it become a profitable business. I personally have paid $100 several times for people to shape-up my resume. 32. Holiday decorator Everyone wants their home or office to look festive for an upcoming holiday. But, not all of us can make that happen. If you can pull-off that holiday cheer, then it’s another business that doesn’t much capital. 33. Domain name buying You can buy a domain cheap, like under a buck cheap. If a business comes along and needs that domain they’ll be willing to pay top-dollar for it. 34. Flipping websites Using a site like Flippa you can purchase a website, build-it-up, and sell it. It’s actually a lucrative business. I personally have been able to make around $25-$30k flipping websites each year.  35. Cleaning dryer ducts  Dryers get jammed with stuff like lint. If too much builds-up, you could have a house fire on your hands. Since this is an area that’s overlooking you can start a dry duct cleaning business with just a vacuum and some basic marketing. 36. Tour guide If you know your area like the back-of-your hand then start charging tourists for a personalized tour of your hometown. 37. Affiliate marketing If you have a blog with a fair amount of followers, then you can become an affiliate. Basically, this just means that you plug other people’s products or services. As an affiliate, you get a special link. Whenever a visitor clicks on that link and makes a purchase you’ll get a commission. 38. Dropshipping Drop shipping is where you sell products for companies on sites like eBay. Whenever the product the company handles everything else, like shipping. 39. Snow removal If you have snow shovels, and even a plow, then this can make you serious dough. However, it’s completely dependent on the weather. When I lived in Utah, I paid a neighbor $25 every time it snowed to shovel my driveway and walkway. Took him 30 minutes but I didn't have to do it. 40. Pet grooming If you enjoy being around pets, and have the skills to bath them, cut their nails, and give them a little haircut, then this can be a serious money-maker without much of an investment. 41. Pooper scooper Definitely not the most glamorous job, but you’re doing something that most people dread so much that they’d pay someone else to do it for them. 42. Event or party planner If you’re organized and are a planner, then taking care of the arrangements for birthdays, retirements, or weddings can be a profitable business. 43. Computer repair and maintenance provider Think of all the computers out there that crash or need updates. Do you think that each owner has the technical knowledge to handle any troubleshooting problems? 44. Life coach or mentor It may sound new agey, but a lot of people hire coaches or mentors to help them with things like losing weight or finding happiness. I've found that most life coaches charge $50 - $250/hr. 45. Bookkeeper It’s important for both businesses and individuals to keep their files neat and tidy. Not all of them have the time to do so. That’s when they hire someone to keep their books in order for them. I pay our bookkeeper $30/hr, I found her on a local news site with a classified listing she paid $50/month for. 46. Tax preparation Preparing taxes is another necessity. But, most of us don’t have the time or knowledge to take care of this task. If you’re up-to-date on the latest tax regulations and enjoy crunching numbers, it can be a nice business during tax season. 47. Write books Did you know that both Amazon and Apple have a book publishing field? Whether if it’s writing an instructional book, cookbook or Sci-fi adventure, you can now publish your books for almost nothing. 48. Flooring business Installing your own flooring may sound easy. But, it can get tricky. That’s when you can save the day by installing floors for others. Best of all? You don’t need to worry about inventory. You’re just focused on installation. 49. Painting addresses on curbs   Office and residential customers would gladly pay you to spray paint their address on the curb. You just need some spray paint and address kit to get started. 50. Parking lot striping There are plenty of parking lots that need new stripes. You can start off with a straight edge tool and spray paint. As you earn more money you can purchase professional equipment. 51. Business planning If you’ve already created a successful business then you can actually make that knowledge and experience into a new business. New business owners will pay for someone to help guide them in developing their own successful business plan. 52. Homemade natural soaps and beauty products In case you didn’t notice, selling natural products is a thriving business. Even if you don’t feel comfortable making your own natural soaps and beauty products then you can drop ship for companies that do. 53. Logo design If you’re a creative individual, then designing logos is a relatively easy business to start. You can do anything from designing unique logo or customizing ideas from templates. Here is a guide to starting a design business that should help you every step of the way. 54. Translator The world is becoming smaller and smaller. Business are desperately in need of individuals who can speak the language in the market that they’re entering. 55. Restore/Upcycle Furniture If you’re handy and spotted a used piece of furniture that needs some TLC, you could make the repairs and resell. That’s pretty much all profit. 56. eBay seller People have been making a living for years off of eBay by selling their old junk, reselling items, and drop-shopping. 57. App seveloper With the mobile revolution in full-swing, the demand for apps has never been higher. Even if you don’t have the programming skills, you can still hire someone to make your app a reality.  58. Personal chef Unlike catering, which may only keep you busy a couple of days per week, personal chefs are responsible for cooking breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner for a client. However, you can spend most of your preparing meals that just need to be reheated. That allows you to take-on more clients. 59. Personal trainer Even though healthy is a priority for most of, it can be challenge to not only stay-on-track, but also make sure that exercising is done correctly so that you don’t injure yourself. You can become a personal trainer and motivate and monitor people when they exercise. 60. Beautify products If you don’t have the tools or skills to build something from scratch you can always modify or beautify an existing product. Take for example mosquito nets. They’re bland. But, you could decorate them with ribbon or beads and make a unique product. 61. Photographer Yes. We still have a demand for photographers for special events like weddings. Here is a guide to starting a photography business to get you started! 62. Picture framing If this was already a hobby, then you have tools like a sander, matte cutter, glass cutter, tape, clamps, saws, miter boxes, picture hangers, a stapler and glue in your work area. Now you just need to market your picture framing business. 63. Flea market vending Flea markets are still thriving. And usually for just $20 you can rent out a spot for the day. You can sell anything from the junk laying around your house to the produce you're grew in your backyard to handmade crafts. There are usually multiple flea markets in your area that take place throughout the week, so this can easily become almost a full-time gig. 64. Online content producer Businesses need lots of content today. What if they don’t have an in-house team to create and produce content? They hire talented individuals like you to do that for them. There are businesses such as mine that pay $50 per blog post. Here is a content marketing guide to help you in your journey! 65. WordPress developer Everyone should have a website these days. For the people who don’t have the time or knowledge, you can be there to build their WordPress site for them. 66. Sell plants online If you have a green thumb, and the space, then you sell plants online. It’s actually a growing niche since people are becoming more concerned about where their plants originated from. And, you can probably charge less the big box stores. 67. Calligrapher If your penmanship is out-of-this-world then you can charge people for handwritten invitations. 68. Crafts seller If you can make handmade crafts, like jewelry and furniture, then you can sell those products on sites like Etsy. 69. Home daycare You’ll definitely need to get the proper licenses and permits, but this is a business that you can start at home. I know day care in my area is around $15/hr. This can be a very lucrative business. 70. Cleaning out foreclosed homes Whenever a bank forecloses on a home they have to hire someone to clean the place out. If you don’t mind getting a little dirty, both physically and emotionally, there really isn’t much needed to start this business. 71. Scrap metal recycling I’ve known several people who drive around and take junk, like broken dryers, off of people’s hands full-time. Why? Because they can scrap that metal. Just keep in mind that the more valuable metals are aluminum and copper. 72. Internet security consultant Security is a major concern for businesses and individuals. Besides your expertise and some marketing, it doesn’t cost much to protect the hardware and software of others. 73. Freelance bartender If you can make a mean Manhattan then start marketing yourself as a freelance bartender for private parties and events. 74. Dog training If you consider yourself the next Cesar Millan, then this is another low-cost, high-profit business idea. 75. Referral service Whether if it’s a new business or family that just moved into town, you can can refer them to the right vendors, babysitters, or restaurants. You’re only cost is networking and marketing yourself to the community. 76. Packing service No one likes the hassle of packing-up for a move. That’s why they’ll hire other people to pack and load their belongings up. You really don’t need to purchase anything since boxes and tape will be included in your final price. But, you still should be a cheaper option than professional moves. 77. Write and/or record a song If you have the musical chops then you can make a career out of writing your own music. And, it doesn’t have to the latest Taylor Swift single. You could write for a Podcast or jingle for local business. 78. Concert and show promotion If you have some experience in marketing, and are passionate about spreading the word about upcoming events, then you can start working with artists, venues, and labels to generate buzz for basically nothing. 79. Tester or reviewer Companies are looking for individuals to test and review their products. You may start out small, even just getting for products. But, you can also start your own blog where you review products in a certain niche. 80. Fashion design Sites like Etsy now make it accessible for you to sell your unique fashion designs. Even if you’re not into high fashion, you can start creating your own t-shirts and produce through sites like CafePress. 81. Import products You can purchase products from overseas in bulk and start selling them at a markup. That’s how Pura Vida started. 82. Makeup artist Whether if it’s from a special occasion like a wedding or for Halloween, people pay great money for someone to do their makeup. 83. Hairstylist If you're up on the current styles and can actually cut hair, then you can start your own salon from your home. 84. Sell snacks and drinks Have you ever left a sporting event or concert thirsty and starving? We’ve all been there. That’s why you see people selling bottles of water and hot dogs after an event. Unlike investing in a food truck or cart, you can start off with just a cooler. 85. Voice-over artist Now that businesses are creating their own content, such as videos, they’re looking for golden voices. If that’s something that you possess, then you can have yourself a lucrative self-employed career. 86. Brewer You can buy a beer kit for under a $100 and start tinkering around with brewing your own beer. I have a family friend who did this with his buddies and now has his own microbrewery. 87. Winemaking You don’t need a vineyard to start making wine. You can start by growing some of your own grapes or purchasing juice. If you’re small batch of wine turns out good, and you start making some cash, you may eventually start you own vineyard or winery. 88. Sell eggs Farm fresh eggs are a big business right now. You can get in on the action by purchasing a couple of hens and building your own chicken coop. 89. Bake bread You would be surprised how many people want home baked bread. I know woman who makes her own bread and has lines of people to purchase it. And, she can make a living by just working a couple of days a week. 90. Create customized care packages People enjoy customized care packages that they can give out as gifts. To begin, you need to find a niche, like holiday packages, and start filling baskets with goodies. 91. Instructor You can instruct anyone to play an instrument, cook a meal, or workout. You pretty much just need your knowledge to get started. 92. Airbnb host If you have an extra room or home, then rent it out on Airbnb instead of just sitting there vacant. I personally was able to make around $3k a month last year renting out my downstairs. 93. Property management Landlords can’t always check in on their properties or maintain their property, like mowing and cleaning. A property management company takes care of these tasks for busy landlords. 94. Laundry/ironing service We all have clothes that need to be cleaned or iron. Either we don’t have the time or patience to handle these chores on our own. And, that’s why we’re willing to pay someone else to do this for us. 95. Clothing alteration service If you know how to sew or replace buttons or zippers, then you’ve got a new business idea for people who can’t part with their favorite pieces of clothing that is also cheap to start 96. Item cleaning Everything needs to be cleaned. Whether if it’s a computer or piece of antique furniture, this just requires the right cleaning materials and little elbow grease. 97. Online dating consultant More and more people are using online dating. But it can be overwhelming when just starting out. If you have experience in this world, then people would definitely be willing to pay for your advice. 98. Sourcing service You can find products or services for local businesses and resell it to them at a markup. 99. Travel agency Even though there are hundreds of travel websites out there, most people don’t have the time or patience to compare the prices on flights and hotel rates. That’s why there’s still need for people to do the legwork for them. 100. Toy making Whether if it’s a simple wood carving or using a 3D printer, making toys has been a popular business idea for parents and their kids. 101. Food delivery service There are customers who either can’t leave the office to pick up food, or are too lazy to leave the house. That’s when they contact you to pickup and deliver food for them.

Under siege in Washington, Trump reaps Saudi arms deal, stronger ties

Sat May 20, 2017 | 7:24 PM EDT 7h ago | 00:43 Trump signs $110 billion Saudi arms deal Under siege in Washington, Trump reaps Saudi arms... X Sat May 20, 2017 | 2:35 PM EDT U.S., Saudi firms sign tens of billions of dollars of deals as Trump visits ‹ 5/5 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L, in brown) and U.S. President Donald Trump (C) arrive for their bilateral meeting at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 1/5 Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih speaks to media at the Saudi-US CEO Forum 2017 ahead of the arrival of the U.S. President Donald Trump, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed 2/5 Vice Chairman of General Electric, John Rice and Saudi Governor of Small & Medium Enterprises, Ghassan Ahmed Al Sulaiman pose for photos after signing their agreements at the Saudi-US CEO Forum 2017 ahead of the arrival of the U.S. President Donald Trump, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed 3/5 Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih arrives to attend the Saudi-US CEO Forum 2017, ahead of the arrival of the U.S. President Donald Trump, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed 4/5 Amin H. Nasser, president and chief executive officer of Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), speaks at the China Development Forum in Beijing, China, March 19, 2017. Reuters/Shu Zhang 5/5 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L, in brown) and U.S. President Donald Trump (C) arrive for their bilateral meeting at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 1/5 Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih speaks to media at the Saudi-US CEO Forum 2017 ahead of the arrival of the U.S. President Donald Trump, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed › U.S., Saudi firms sign tens of billions of dollars... X By Reem Shamseddine and Katie Paul | RIYADH U.S. and Saudi Arabian companies signed business deals worth tens of billions of dollars on Saturday during a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump, as Riyadh seeks help to develop its economy beyond oil. National oil firm Saudi Aramco said it signed $50 billion of agreements with U.S. firms. Energy minister Khalid al-Falih said deals involving all companies totaled over $200 billion, many of them designed to produce things in Saudi Arabia that had previously been imported. Business leaders on both sides were keen to demonstrate their talks had been a success, so there was an element of showmanship in the huge numbers. Some deals had been announced previously; others were memorandums of understanding that would require further negotiations to materialize. Nevertheless, the deals illustrated Saudi Arabia's hunger for foreign capital and technology as it tries to reduce its dependence on oil exports. Low oil prices in the past couple of years have slowed the economy to a crawl and saddled the government with a big budget deficit. "We want foreign companies to look at Saudi Arabia as a platform for exports to other markets," Falih told a conference attended by dozens of U.S. executives. In March, Saudi Arabia's King Salman toured Asia and his delegation signed similar agreements worth tens of billions of dollars there, including deals worth as much as $65 billion in China. FUNDS Even as it sought U.S. investment on Saturday, Riyadh made two announcements on plans to deploy its own financial reserves for projects that would cement economic ties with the United States. The Public Investment Fund, Riyadh's main sovereign wealth fund, and U.S. private equity firm Blackstone said they were studying a proposal to create a $40 billion vehicle to invest in infrastructure projects, mainly in the United States. The vehicle would obtain $20 billion from the PIF and with additional debt financing, might invest in over $100 billion of infrastructure projects - a political boon to Trump, who has said he wants to rebuild crumbling U.S. infrastructure. Meanwhile the world's largest private equity fund, backed by the PIF, Japan's Softbank Group and other investors including U.S. firms Apple Inc and Qualcomm, said on Saturday it had raised over $93 billion to invest in technology sectors such as artificial intelligence and robotics. Much of the Softbank Vision Fund's money is likely to be invested in the United States, helping Riyadh obtain access to technology that it could use to diversify its economy. Top Saudi economic policy makers, including the finance minister and head of the kingdom's main sovereign wealth fund, described investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia to the conference on Saturday. Related Coverage FACT BOX Deals signed by U.S. companies in Saudi Arabia Saudi Aramco: looking for opportunities to expand in U.S. over 10 years Saudi officials said they aimed to prepare new, streamlined rules covering direct investment by foreign firms within 12 months. Among the deals signed on Saturday, GE said it reached $15 billion of agreements involving almost $7 billion of goods and services from GE itself. They ranged from the power and healthcare sectors to the oil and gas industry and mining. Jacobs Engineering will form a joint venture with Aramco to manage business projects in the kingdom, and McDermott International will transfer some of its ship fabrication facilities from Dubai to a new shipbuilding complex which Aramco will build within Saudi Arabia. Riyadh, one of the world's biggest military spenders, is keen to develop a domestic arms industry rather than import weapons, so several deals were in military industries. Lockheed Martin said it would support the final assembly and completion of an estimated 150 S-70 Black Hawk utility helicopters in Saudi Arabia. (Additional reporting by Marwa Rashad and Celine Aswad; Writing by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Andrew Roche and Chizu Nomiyama) ============================================================= By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland | RIYADH Under political fire at home, U.S. President Donald Trump sealed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia on Saturday on his maiden foreign trip as he struggled to shift attention from the aftermath of his firing of the director of the FBI. The arms deal, plus other investments that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said could total up to $350 billion, was the central achievement of Trump's first day in Riyadh, first stop on a nine-day journey through the Middle East and Europe. Speaking to journalists after a ceremony to exchange agreements, Trump said it was a "tremendous day" and spoke of "hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs. So I would like to thank all of the people of Saudi Arabia." King Salman gave Trump a remarkably warm greeting, meeting him at the steps of Air Force One on arrival, shaking the hand of Trump's wife, Melania, riding with Trump in his limousine and spending most of the day with him. But the political turmoil back in Washington consumed the headlines in the United States and cast a long shadow over the start of Trump's trip, which will include stops in Israel, the Vatican, Italy and Belgium. His firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation head James Comey on May 9 and the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump's 2016 presidential election campaign ties to Russia have raised the question of whether he tried to squelch [make a soft sucking sound such as that made by treading heavily through mud.] a probe into allegations of a Russian connection. Fanning the flames was a New York Times report that Trump had called Comey a "nut job" in a private meeting last week in the Oval Office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and ambassador Sergei Kislyak. The Times quoted briefing notes of the conversation. Amid a mood of frustration, officials on board Trump's Riyadh-bound presidential plane scrambled to coordinate on responding to the story with staff in Washington and those who had just landed in the Saudi capital. Asked for a response, the White House said that for national security reasons, "we do not confirm or deny the authenticity of allegedly leaked classified documents." Russia's Interfax news agency on Saturday quoted Lavrov as saying he had not discussed Comey with Trump. "We did not touch this issue at all," the minister said. In another development, the Washington Post said a White House official close to Trump was a significant "person of interest" in the investigation into possible ties with Russia. ADVERTISEMENT Tillerson, asked about the story, said he did not know who the "person of interest" was. Against that backdrop, Trump soldiered through a long day of diplomacy. Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir called the results of Trump's meetings with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz "the beginning of a turning point" between the United States, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies. Both he and Tillerson made clear the arms deal was aimed at countering Iran on a day that Hassan Rouhani was re-elected as Iran's president. Tillerson said Rouhani should use his second term to end Iran's ballistic missile testing and stop promoting extremism in a volatile region. He said he had no plans to talk to his Iranian counterpart but that he in all likelihood he would do so "at the right time." ‹ 27/27 White House senior advisor Jared Kushner (C) and his wife Ivanka Trump walk on the tarmac after arriving with U.S. President Donald Trump aboard Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 1/27 U.S. President Donald Trump dances with a sword as he arrives to a welcome ceremony by Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at Al Murabba Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 2/27 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017.Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via Reuters 3/27 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) presents U.S. President Donald Trump with the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 4/27 U.S. President Donald Trump, flanked by White House senior advisor Jared Kushner (2nd R) and chief economic advisor Gary Cohn (R), delivers remarks to reporters after meeting with Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman (L) at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 5/27 U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrive for a signing ceremony at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 6/27 U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (C) attends a signing ceremony between U.S. President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (not pictured) at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 7/27 White House senior advisor Steve Bannon (C) speaks with a Saudi counterpart after a signing ceremony with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and U.S. President Donald Trump at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 8/27 After a signing ceremony with a raft of agreements between U.S. companies and the Saudi government, U.S. President Donald Trump (2nd R) looks over at the lineup of U.S. business chiefs on hand as he exits with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 9/27 Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO Marillyn Hewson (L) exchanges agreements with a Saudi official after a signing ceremony between Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and U.S. President Donald Trump at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 10/27 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud presents U.S. President Donald Trump with the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal as first lady Melania Trump watches, at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via Reuters 11/27 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L), Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef , and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump walk during a reception ceremony at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via Reuters 12/27 U.S. President Donald Trump (2nd L) and his delegation, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (3rd L), sit down to meet with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Saudi delegation at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 13/27 Vice Chairman of General Electric, John Rice (C) speaks to media at the Saudi-US CEO Forum 2017 ahead of the arrival of the U.S. President Donald Trump, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed 14/27 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 15/27 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) and U.S. President Donald Trump (L) react to applause after signing a joint security agreement at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 16/27 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud stands next to U.S. President Donald Trump during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via Reuters 17/27 U.S. President Donald Trump has coffee during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017.Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via Reuters 18/27 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 19/27 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 20/27 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via Reuters 21/27 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump as they arrive aboard Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 22/27 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrives on the tarmac to welcome U.S. President Donald Trump as he arrives aboard Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 23/27 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and U.S. President Donald Trump walk during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017.Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via Reuters 24/27 U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive aboard Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 25/27 Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and U.S. President Donald Trump sit in a car during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via Reuters 26/27 U.S. President Donald Trump arrives during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 27/27 White House senior advisor Jared Kushner (C) and his wife Ivanka Trump walk on the tarmac after arriving with U.S. President Donald Trump aboard Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst 1/27 U.S. President Donald Trump dances with a sword as he arrives to a welcome ceremony by Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at Al Murabba Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst › Al-Jubeir said Trump and King Salman agreed that action had to be taken to ensure Iran did not continue "aggressive policies in the region." Trump's trip has been billed by the White House as a chance to visit places sacred to three of the world's major religions, while giving him time to meet with Arab, Israeli and European leaders. CONTRAST WITH OBAMA VISIT King Salman gave a more favorable welcome to Trump than he had granted last year to Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, who was seen in the Arab kingdom as soft on Iran and hesitant on Syria. Trump and King Salman seemed at ease with each other, chatting through an interpreter. At the royal al-Yamama palace, the king draped around Trump's neck the King Abdulaziz medal, the country's top civilian honor. At the end of the day, Tillerson and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, holding swords, were seen participating in a ceremonial dance at Marraba Palace with a Saudi group. Related Coverage VIDEOTrump, Tillerson, Ross dance with swords in Saudi Arabia VIDEOTillerson unaware of White House 'person of interest' in Russia probe Saudi King presents Trump with top civilian honor Traveling abroad, Trump struggles to escape crisis Saudi to open militant-monitoring center during Trump visit As Trump arrived for dinner with the king, a spectacle awaited him: Men dressed in long white turbans and carrying swords swayed and chanted in unison to beating drums in a courtyard. Trump, clearly enjoying himself, smiled and swayed, even seeming to dance a little at the center of the group. SYRIAN CIVIL WAR During their conversation earlier in the day, the king was overheard lamenting the Syrian war. Trump ordered air strikes against a Syrian airfield in April in response to a chemical weapons attack by government forces against civilians. "Syria too used to be one of the most advanced countries. We used to get our professors from Syria. They served our kingdom. Unfortunately, they too brought destruction to their own country. You can destroy a country in mere seconds, but it takes a lot of effort," he said. Trump's response could not be heard. The arms package includes a pledge by the kingdom to assemble 150 Lockheed Martin Blackhawk helicopters in Saudi Arabia, in a $6 billion deal expected to result in about 450 jobs in the kingdom. National oil giant Saudi Aramco was also expected to sign $50 billion of deals with U.S. companies on Saturday, part of a drive to diversify the kingdom's economy beyond oil exports, Aramco's chief executive Amin Nasser said. U.S. technology and engineering conglomerate GE said it had signed $15 billion of agreements with Saudi organizations. Trump is to deliver a speech in Riyadh on Sunday aimed at rallying Muslims in the fight against Islamist militants. He will also attend a summit of Gulf leaders of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council. Shortly after taking office, Trump sought to block people from several Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States, but the travel ban has been blocked by federal courts. (Reporting by Steve Holland and Jeff Mason; editing by Sami Aboudi, Andrew Roche and Grant McCool) ============================================================================================ Sat May 20, 2017 | 7:00 AM EDT Under fire at home, Trump in Saudi on first foreign trip 2h ago | 01:16 President Trump welcomed at Riyadh airport reception Under fire at home, Trump in Saudi on first foreig. By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland | RIYADH Dogged by controversy at home, Donald Trump opened his first foreign trip as president in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, looking to shift attention from a political firestorm over his firing of former FBI Director James Comey. With delicate diplomatic meetings facing him, including three summits, Trump faces the challenge of advancing his "America First" agenda without alienating key allies. Stepping off Air Force One in sweltering heat with his wife, Melania, Trump and his entourage received a red-carpet welcome from Saudi King Salman. The trip has been billed by the White House as a chance to visit places sacred to three of the world's major religions while giving Trump time to meet with Arab, Israeli and European leaders. But uproar in Washington threatened to cast a long shadow over the trip. His firing of Comey and the appointment of a special counsel to investigate his campaign's ties to Russia last year have triggered a stream of bad headlines. The New York Times reported Trump had called Comey a "nut job" in a private meeting last week in the Oval Office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak. The White House did not deny the report, but said "the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations." In another development, the Washington Post said a current White House official close to Trump was a significant "person of interest" in the investigation into possible ties between Trump's presidential campaign last year and Russia. Trump and King Salman seemed at ease with each other, chatting through an interpreter. Walking with a cane, the king greeted Trump on the tarmac. A military brass band played, cannons boomed and seven Saudi jets flew over in V-formation, trailing red, white and blue smoke. The two leaders sat side by side in the VIP section of the airport terminal and drank coffee served in the traditional Arab style. ADVERTISEMENT "Do you spend a lot of time in New York?" Trump was overheard asking the king. On the drive to the Ritz hotel where Trump is staying, King Salman rode with the president in the heavily armored presidential limousine nicknamed "the Beast". Along the motorcade route were billboards with large pictures of Trump and King Salman, with the slogan: "Together we prevail." Trump’s decision to make his first official trip abroad to Saudi Arabia, followed by Israel, countries which both share his antagonism towards Iran, marks a contrast with his predecessor Barack Obama’s approach. Trump’s criticism of the nuclear deal Iran reached with the U.S. and five other world powers in 2015 pleases both Saudi Arabia and Israel, who accused Obama on “going soft” on Tehran. Poll results showed on Saturday that Iranians had emphatically re-elected President Hassan Rouhani, architect of Iran's still-fragile detente with the West. ARMS DEAL After a royal banquet, Trump and the king were to have private talks and participate in a signing ceremony for a number of U.S.-Saudi agreements, including a $100 billion deal for Saudi Arabia to buy American arms. National oil giant Saudi Aramco expected to sign $50 billion of deals with U.S. companies on Saturday, part of a drive to diversify the kingdom's economy beyond oil exports, Aramco's chief executive Amin Nasser said. Trump is to deliver a speech in Riyadh on Sunday aimed at rallying Muslims in the fight against Islamist militants. He will also attend a summit of Gulf leaders of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. A senior Saudi official said a digital center to monitor the activities of Islamic State and other militant groups online would be opened on Sunday, to coincide with the visit. Related Coverage VIDEOPresident Trump arrives in Saudi Arabia VIDEOSaudi Arabia media look ahead to Donald Trump visit Saudi King: Trump visit enhances global security, stability Saudi to open militant-monitoring center during Trump visit Ahead of Trump's trip, the White House said the president expected tangible results from Saudi Arabia in countering Islamic extremism. Shortly after taking office, Trump sought to block people from several Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States, but the travel ban has been blocked by federal courts. The 70-year-old president's trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy and Belgium will be Trump's longest time away from the White House since he took office four months ago. Even his hand gestures may draw scrutiny in the Middle East, where the thumbs-up sign, a Trump trademark, is considered taboo. The uproar over Comey's firing looked unlikely to go away. Trump, who has expressed a desire for friendlier relations with Moscow, drew a storm of criticism this week when it emerged that he had shared sensitive national security information with Russia's foreign minister during a meeting last week in the White House. The president was already under attack for firing Comey in the midst of an FBI probe into Russia's role in the 2016 election and possible collusion with Trump campaign members. Moscow has denied any such interference. Trump has denied collusion and denounced the appointment of a special counsel as a witch hunt. His fellow Republicans in Congress have expressed frustration that Trump's pro-business economic agenda, featuring a plan to cut corporate and individual taxes, has been pushed to the backburner by the turmoil. (Editing by Andrew Roche) ================= Sun May 21, 2017 | 6:07 AM EDT Iran's Zarif urges Trump to discuss avoiding another 9/11 with Saudis Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks to the media in Tbilisi, Georgia, April 18, 2017. Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili Iran's Zarif urges Trump to discuss avoiding anoth... X Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, advised U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss how to avoid another September 11 attack with the Saudi hosts of his first official visit abroad, Zarif wrote in an editorial published on Sunday. Tehran and Riyadh are regional arch-rivals who accuse each other of sponsoring fundamentalist militias aligned to their competing sects of Islam in warzones across the Middle East. Critics of Saudi Arabia say its strict view of Islam fuels Sunni extremism, called takfir, and some even accuse the kingdom of responsibility for the September 11 attacks. ADVERTISEMENT Saudi Arabia denies providing any support for the 19 hijackers - most of whom were Saudi citizens - who killed nearly 3,000 people in 2001. "(Trump) must enter into dialogue with them about ways to prevent terrorists and takfiris from continuing to fuel the fire in the region and repeating the likes of the September 11 incident by their sponsors in Western countries," Zarif wrote for the website of the London-based Al Araby Al-Jadeed news network. At a campaign event last February, Trump himself suggested to supporters that the kingdom may be behind the attacks. Also In Middle East & North Africa Israeli minister expresses concern over U.S.-Saudi arms deal At least 20 Afghan police killed in Taliban ambushes: officials "You will find out who really knocked down the World Trade Center because they have papers out there that are very secret. You may find it's the Saudis, okay, but you will find out." But since his election, Trump has put an end to his sharp commentary in public and on his twitter account about the key U.S. ally and the world's top oil exporter. On the second day of his visit to Riyadh, the president is set to deliver an appeal to leaders from across the Arab and Muslim world to unite against the common threat posed by Islamist militants. (Reporting by Noah Browning; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)