TIME BMX

BMX Pioneer Scot Breithaupt Found Dead

Russ Okawa Archives—USA BMX via AP Scot Breithaupt leads the pack in a BMX bicycle race in Las Vegas in 1976

Breithaupt's death was unexpected, and the circumstances are murky

(LOS ANGELES) — Scot Alexander Breithaupt, who helped turn BMX bike racing from a backyard backwater into an international action sport, has died, authorities said.

Breithaupt was among the first to organize bicycle races on dirt motorcycle courses in the early 1970s, becoming first a founder of BMX — or bicycle motocross — then a champion, then one of its first famous faces.

“Scot was one of the key figures in making BMX become what it is today. He would say he was the key figure, because that was the kind of guy he was,” said Craig Barrette, spokesman for USA BMX, which runs the sport’s Hall of Fame, where Breithaupt is enshrined. “He was involved in every aspect of BMX.”

The sport, which later took on some of the same high-flying freestyle features as skateboarding, now draws crowds of thousands, fueled by energy-drink company sponsors and featured on ESPN’s X Games.

Among its biggest current stars is Jamie Bestwick, a 13-time X Games BMX gold medalist, who was part of a social media outpouring in the action sports world for Breithaupt.

“Sad to read about the passing of one of the all-time greats,” Bestwick said on his Twitter and Facebook pages. “Scot Breithaupt thank you for your amazing contributions and dedication to BMX.”

Another BMX Hall-of-Famer, Mike King, tweeted that it’s a “very sad day in the BMX world.”

Breithaupt’s death was unexpected, and the circumstances are murky.

Police responding to reports of a body near a shopping center in the desert city of Indio found him dead in a tent at a vacant lot, Sgt. Dan Marshall said Monday. Breithaupt, who was 57 and lived in neighboring La Quinta, had been dead for an unknown time, and there were no obvious signs of foul play, Marshall said. A cause of death had not been determined Monday.

Breithaupt was a teenager and a competitive motocross rider when one day he saw a group of kids riding their bicycles in a dirt lot near his home in Long Beach, Calif. He was inspired to organize bicycle races on a dirt track similar to those used by motocross riders.

“Those were some of the first BMX races ever,” Barrette said.

Breithaupt became a BMX rider, winning several championships.

He also became an early voice for the sport, introducing it to the nation as a color commentator in the early 1980s when it was televised on ESPN at a time when the network itself was new and specialized in novelties.

Later, he started manufacturing bikes, founding the company SE Racing and creating several innovative frame designs, Barrette said.

After retiring from active racing, he sold SE and started LM Productions, producing BMX and extreme-sport shows for ESPN and Fox.

TIME Greece

Greek Prime Minister Races to Restart Talks After Vote Win

In a sign of compromise, Tsipras appointed a new Finance Minister to lead talks with creditors

(ATHENS, Greece) — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras heads Tuesday to Brussels, where he will try to use a bailout referendum victory to obtain a rescue deal with European leaders. Tsipras faces intense pressure from creditors abroad and banks at home who all demand what Greece lacks: money.

As the Greek leader readied proposals to restart bailout talks, the situation was complicated by the European Central Bank’s refusal late Monday to increase assistance for Greek banks desperately needing cash and facing imminent collapse unless a rescue deal is reached.

A hastily called meeting of eurozone finance ministers is slated for Tuesday afternoon, and a full summit of the leaders of the 19 euro countries was to be held that evening.

With Greece’s future in the European Union and its euro currency at stake, a Monday meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande in Paris set the tone for the Brussels talks.

“Time is of the essence,” Merkel said afterward. “(Greek) proposals have to be on the table this week.”

Tsipras scored a bigger than expected win in Sunday’s bailout referendum, with 61 percent of voters rejecting the economic measures creditors had proposed in exchange for loans Greece needs to remain afloat, including further cuts to pensions.

In a sign of compromise, Tsipras appointed a new finance minister to lead talks with creditors and replace Yanis Varoufakis, who clashed with his European counterparts.

Euclid Tsakalotos, a 55-year-old economist, has appeared more willing to engage with creditors. He will be tested as soon as Tuesday, in Brussels.

“I won’t hide from you that I am very nervous and very anxious. I am not taking over at the easiest moment in Greek history,” Tsakalotos said after being sworn in.

Greek banks are running out of cash even after the government placed limits on how much depositors can withdraw. The ECB has been providing emergency credit to the banks, but on Monday said it could not increase the amount offered because the banks’ collateral was weaker now, after the “no” vote.

Normal commerce is now impossible in Greece. Small businesses, lacking use of credit cards or money from bank accounts, were left to rely on cash coming from diminishing purchases from customers. But Greeks are holding tightly onto what cash they have. And suppliers are demanding that businesses pay cash up front.

In Paris, Merkel and Hollande both expressed respect for Greek voters, but urged swift action from Athens.

“I stress that there is not lots of time left. There is urgency for Greece. There is urgency for Europe,” Hollande said.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that if Greece is to remain part of the eurozone, it needs to enact reforms that will spur economic growth and pay off its debt.

“We’re inclined to help Greece but Greece must follow Europe’s rules,” he said in an interview on Spain’s Telecinco evening news program.

The ongoing Greek drama hurt stocks around the world, particularly in Europe. The losses were not as great as some had feared, however, suggesting investors think that a possible Greek exit from the euro would be manageable for the global economy, though devastating for Greece and destabilizing in Europe.

“The ‘no’ vote in Greece’s referendum on Sunday dramatically increases the risk of a slide toward a disorderly Greek exit from the eurozone,” ratings agency Fitch said. “An agreement between Greece and its official creditors remains possible, but time is short and the risk of policy missteps, or that the two sides simply cannot agree on a deal, is high.”

Tsipras has agreed to imposing more harsh austerity measures, but he wants eurozone lenders to grant the country better terms for bailout debt repayments.

“The prime minister is … committed to starting a fundamental debate on dealing with the problem of sustainability of the Greek national debt,” a statement signed by the government and three pro-European opposition parties said in a rare sign of solidarity.

Greece, after years of crippling recession and spiraling unemployment, has already been granted 240 billion euros in loans from other eurozone countries. But the spending restraint demanded as a condition for the loans hurt economic growth, and reforms to make Greece more business-friendly have been slower than hoped.

European officials remain split on Greece’s demand for easier debt repayment — with lead eurozone lender Germany still reluctant.

James Nixon, chief European economist at Oxford Economics, said there’s “a narrow trajectory from here that sees an emboldened Greek parliament accepting the need for reform in return for a debt write-down.”

“The next 48 hours will be crucial.”

___

Charlton reported from Paris. Demetris Nellas, Gregory Katz and Menelaos Hadjicostis in Athens, Lori Hinnant in Paris, Raf Casert in Brussels and David Rising, Geir Moulson and Frank Jordans in Berlin, and David McHugh in Frankfurt, Germany, contributed to this report.

TIME golf

Rory McIlroy Ruptures Ligament in Ankle While Playing Soccer

Golf McIlroy Out
AP In this image released Monday July 6, 2015 by world number one golfer Rory Mcilroy shows him as he poses on crutches and with his left leg in a medical support

McIlroy had been the joint favorite along with Jordan Spieth

(LONDON) — Rory McIlroy was on crutches Monday with an ankle injury from playing soccer, leaving in doubt the prospects of golf’s No. 1 player defending his British Open title next week at St. Andrews.

Just as excitement was building toward a potential clash at the Old Course between McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, McIlroy posted a jarring photo on Instagram showing him on crutches with a walking boot on this left ankle. The 26-year-old from Northern Ireland said it was a “total rupture” of an ankle ligament and the joint capsule that happened while he was playing soccer with friends.

Sean O’Flaherty, his chief spokesman, said McIlroy has withdrawn from the Scottish Open this week at Gullane. O’Flaherty said they would not know until later in the week the extent of the injury and whether McIlroy would be able to tee it up July 16 at St. Andrews.

Ben Hogan in 1954 was the last British Open champion who did not play the following year.

McIlroy had been the joint favorite along with Spieth. They have won the last four majors — the first time in nearly a century that two players in their 20s have shared four successive majors — and Spieth is headed to St. Andrews as only the fourth player with a chance at the Grand Slam.

Players were shocked to hear the news.

“Unlucky, obviously,” Luke Donald said in a telephone interview. “I would never say, ‘Don’t play football or don’t do these thing.’ You don’t want to live in a bubble. It’s just unlucky timing, especially this time of the year. Golf is exciting with Rory and Jordan. It’s added a bit of spice to the game. It’s a shame if Rory were to miss the Open, which it looks like he might.”

Sergio Garcia, a runner-up to McIlroy at Royal Liverpool last year, tweeted, “So sad to hear about @Rory McIlroy injury on his ankle. We will all miss you @TheOpen next week my friend. Fast and healthy recovery.”

McIlroy referred to his ATFL, which is the anterior talofibular ligament and the one most commonly sprained. The left ankle is crucial in a golf swing as weight transfers to that side of the body (for right-handers) in generating power.

“That’s a big blow to the Open if he misses it,” former Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance said from Wimbledon.

McIlroy won the Open last year at Royal Liverpool by going wire-to-wire and taking a six-shot lead into the final round. He also won the PGA Championship, joining Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Bobby Jones as the only players in the last century with four majors at age 25 or younger.

The injury brought to mind Woods winning the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines with a stress fracture and shredded knee ligaments in his left leg. Woods knew about the injury a month before the U.S. Open and was determined to play, mainly because he was a six-time PGA Tour at Torrey Pines.

No one saw this injury to McIlroy coming, however. Along with potentially missing the British Open,McIlroy faces a busy time of the year as defending champion of the World Golf Championship at Firestone and the PGA Championship, followed by the FedEx Cup in America and the Race to Dubai in Europe.

Shane Lowry of Ireland told the Irish Times that he heard about the injury on Saturday.

“It’s not ideal for him because he’s wearing that boot and he’s going to have everyone in the media on his back now,” Lowry said. “But should he be playing football? I don’t know. He likes playing football, and he likes playing football with his mates. What’s wrong with that? … People think because you’re good at something you should just do that and focus on that, but that’s not what life is about.”

McIlroy has an affinity with the Old Course. It’s where he secured his European Tour card in 2007 as an 18-year-old at the Dunhill Links with a third-place finish. He also tied the major championship record of 63 when the British Open was held at St. Andrews in 2010, though McIlroy followed with an 80 in the wind. He tied for third at St. Andrews five years ago.

___

AP Golf Writer Doug Ferguson in Jacksonville, Florida, contributed to this report.

TIME Bill Cosby

Cosby Said He Got Drugs to Give Women for Sex

(PHILADELPHIA) —Bill Cosby admitted in 2005 that he secured quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with and that he gave the sedative to at least one woman and other people, according to documents obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

Cosby’s lawyers insisted that two of the accusers knew they were taking quaaludes from the comedian, according to the unsealed documents.

Nevertheless, attorneys for some of the numerous women suing Cosby seized on the testimony as powerful corroboration of what they have been saying all along: that he drugged and raped women.

The AP had gone to court to compel the release of a deposition in a sexual-abuse case filed by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, the first of a cascade of lawsuits against him that have severely damaged his good-guy image.

Cosby’s lawyers had objected to the release of the material, arguing it would embarrass him. Ultimately, a judge unsealed just a small portion of the deposition.

“The stark contrast between Bill Cosby, the public moralist and Bill Cosby, the subject of serious allegations concerning improper (and perhaps criminal) conduct is a matter as to which the AP — and by extension the public — has a significant interest,” U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno wrote.

Cosby, with his oft-espoused views on topics including childrearing, family life, education and crime, “has voluntarily narrowed the zone of privacy that he is entitled to claim,” the judge wrote.

Cosby, who starred as Dr. Cliff Huxtable on “The Cosby Show” from 1984 to 1992, settled Constand’s lawsuit under confidential terms in 2006. His lawyers in the Philadelphia case did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment on Monday. Constand consented to be identified but did not want to comment, her lawyer said.

“This evidence shows a pattern in which defendant ‘mentored’ naive young women and introduced drugs into the relationship, with and without the woman’s knowledge, in order for him to achieve sexual satisfaction,” Constand’s lawyer, Dolores M. Troiani, argued in court papers.

Cosby, 77, has been accused by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct in episodes dating back more than four decades. Cosby has never been charged with a crime, and the statute of limitations on most of the accusations has expired.

“If today’s report is true, Mr. Cosby admitted under oath 10 years ago sedating women for sexual purposes,” said Lisa Bloom, attorney for model Janice Dickinson, who says she was drugged and raped. “Given that, how dare he publicly vilify Ms. Dickinson and accuse her of lying when she tells a very similar story?”

Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing several women, said she hopes to use the admission in court cases against the comedian.

Cosby, giving sworn testimony in the lawsuit accusing him of sexual assaulting Constand at his home in Pennsylvania in 2004, said he obtained seven quaalude prescriptions in the 1970s. Constand’s lawyer asked if he had kept the sedatives through the 1990s, after they were banned, but was frustrated by objections from Cosby’s attorney.

“When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?” Troiani asked.

“Yes,” Cosby answered.

“Did you ever give any of these young women the quaaludes without their knowledge?” Troiani asked.

Cosby’s lawyer again objected, leading Troiani to petition the federal judge to force Cosby to cooperate.

Cosby later said he gave Constand three half-pills of Benadryl, although Troiani in the documents voices doubt that was the drug involved.

Cosby had fought the AP’s efforts to unseal the testimony, with his lawyer arguing that the deposition could reveal details of Cosby’s marriage, sex life and prescription drug use.

“It would be terribly embarrassing for this material to come out,” lawyer George M. Gowen III argued in June.

He also said the material would “prejudice him in eyes of the jury pool in Massachusetts,” where Cosby is fighting defamation lawsuits brought by women who say his representatives smeared them by accusing them of lying.

Robreno, the judge, had temporarily sealed some documents in the Constand lawsuit but never ruled on a final seal before the case was settled. Under federal court rules in Pennsylvania, documents must be unsealed after two years unless a party can show specific harm. The judge ruled that Cosby’s potential embarrassment was insufficient.

Robreno asked last month why Cosby was fighting the release of his sworn testimony, given that the accusations in the Constand lawsuit were already public.

“Why would he be embarrassed by his own version of the facts?” the judge said.

Cosby resigned in December from the board of trustees at Temple, where he was the popular face of the Philadelphia school in advertisements, fundraising campaigns and commencement speeches.

Lawyer Gayle Sproul, representing the AP, in court last month called the married Cosby “an icon” who “held himself out as someone who would guide the public in ways of morality.”

Troiani, summarizing her evidence, painted a starkly different picture.

Cosby “has evidenced a predilection for sexual contact with women who are unconscious or drugged. His victims are young, ‘star struck’ and totally trusting of his public persona,” Troiani argued.

___

This story has been corrected to show that Cosby’s lawyers, not his accusers, say two women knowingly took quaaludes from him, and to show that the alleged assault against Constand took place in 2004, not 2005.

TIME

South Carolina Poised to Remove Confederate Flag From Statehouse

Confederate Flag Rally SC Statehouse
Win McNamee—Getty Images Jaluladin Abdul-Hamib shouts "Take It Down" in front of the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia on June 27, 2015.

Senate votes 37-3 to allow the state to remove the flag, with the House set to follow suit on Tuesday

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Senate has voted to remove the Confederate flag from a pole on Statehouse grounds.

The 37-3 vote Monday allows the state to remove the flag and the flagpole where it flies as soon as it passes the House and is signed by Gov. Nikki Haley.

The bill must pass a two-thirds vote, which is likely to be held Tuesday.

Monday’s vote comes less than a week after the 15th anniversary of South Carolina taking the flag off the Capitol dome where it flew since the early 1960s and moving it to beside a monument honoring Confederate soldiers.

Lawmakers had largely ignored the flag until the killing of nine black people during a Bible study at a historic African-American church on June 17.

TIME Pope Francis

More Than 1 Million Gather for Pope’s Mass in South America

Massive crowds gather for Pope Francis' first big event of his three-nation South American tour

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador (AP) — More than 1 million people filled a park in Ecuador’s main port city on Monday for Pope Francis’ first big event of his three-nation South American tour, hoping for a glimpse of Latin America’s first pope returning to his home soil for a Mass dedicated to the family.

Many pilgrims spent the night outdoors, and some walked for miles to reach the park on Guayaquil’s northern outskirts where the crowd sang hymns and sought pockets of shade to keep cool amid the scorching sun and high humidity.

“I’m tired. I’m hungry, I haven’t slept but I’m also full of emotion and joy in my heart,” said Vicente Huilcatoma, a 47-year-old retired police officer who walked 25 miles (40 kilometers) to reach Samanes Park.

Government organizers estimated that more than 1 million people turned out for the papal Mass. Across the park, Ecuadoran national flags and papal banners waved above the enormous sea of people. Ecuador’s population is about 15 million.

On his arrival in Guayaquil, the pontiff allowed several acolytes on the tarmac to take selfies with him. He was met by Mayor Jaime Nebot, who gave him ceremonial keys to the city made from gold and silver and encrusted with topaz and pearls.

Francis headed first to the Shrine of the Divine Mercy, where 2,000 invitees gathered including child cancer patients, residents of homes for the elderly abandoned by their families and some of Guayaquil’s poorest people.

A child reached out to touch Francis as he arrived at the shrine and nearly poked him in the eye. The pope walked away grinning, then spent a minute in silent prayer beneath a huge painting of Jesus Christ.

He told those gathered that he would pray for them “and I won’t charge you a thing. All I ask, please, is that you pray for me.” Before leaving, he kissed the head of a disabled child in a wheelchair as he made his way through the crowd.

After the open-air Mass, a private lunch was planned with a group of Jesuits.

A highlight was to be a reunion with the Rev. Francisco Cortes, a priest affectionately known as “Padre Paquito,” to whom the Argentina-born pope, then the Rev. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, entrusted his seminarians on study trips to Ecuador years ago.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Cortes couldn’t fathom that Bergoglio remembered him, much less made a point of coming to have lunch.

“I don’t know what to ask him,” the soon-to-be 91-year-old Cortes said. “He said he wanted to see me and I’m amazed that he’s coming. For the first time, I have known a pope.

The “pope of the poor” returned to Spanish-speaking South America for the first time as pontiff Sunday, stressing the importance of protecting the needy and the environment from exploitation and — in a nation whose president was booed as his vehicle followed the papal motorcade Sunday — to foster dialogue among all sectors of society.

Francis’ only other trip back to Latin America since being elected pope was in 2013, when he visited Brazil, where Portuguese is the main language.

Children in native dress greeted Francis Sunday at Mariscal Sucre airport outside Ecuador’s capital of Quito, the wind blowing off his skullcap and whipping his white cassock as he descended from the plane following a 13-hour flight from Rome.

In a speech in front of President Rafael Correa, Francis signaled some key themes for the visit, which also takes him to Bolivia and later Paraguay: the need to care for society’s most marginal, guarantee socially responsible development and defend the Earth against profit-at-all-cost development that he says most harms the poor.

The environmental message — from a pope who last month issued a treatise staking the Earth’s preservation as a core mission — is particularly relevant for Ecuador, a Pacific nation that is home to one of the world’s most species-diverse ecosystems but is also an OPEC country heavily dependent on oil. High crude prices allowed Correa to lift 1.3 million people out of poverty in his eight years in office.

But now that prices have fallen, the generous social safety net Correa has woven is threatened. He’s had to cut government spending and been buffeted for nearly a month by the most serious anti-government street protests of his tenure.

Along Francis’ motorcade route into Quito, the throngs followed chants of adulation for the pontiff with jeers of “Correa out!” when the president’s entourage followed.

Correa also has angered environmentalists and the nation’s main indigenous group, CONAIE, by moving forward with oil drilling and mining projects in pristine Amazon forests.

Standing by Correa’s side at the airport, Francis pledged the Catholic Church’s readiness to encourage respect for peoples’ differences and foster “dialogue and full participation” so all are ensured a better future.

Correa, who spoke before Francis, echoed the pope’s concerns about an “unjust and immoral” global economic system, accusing the world’s rich countries of unfairly exploiting the developing world’s resources without reciprocating with technology transfers.

Francis thanked Correa for his “consonance of thought.”

“You’ve cited me too much,” he said.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, estimated that 500,000 people lined the route that took Francis to the Vatican ambassador’s residence.

Many in the crowd said they hoped the pope would have a calming effect on the country’s tense political situation.

Former President Gustavo Noboa, who led the country through its worst political and economic crisis from 2000-2003, told the AP on Monday that Francis’ visit is important for such a polarized country.

The 78-year-old Noboa, using a walker, stressed the importance of understanding Francis’ message of “helping out one’s neighbor, being humble and forgiving.”

Francis chose to visit Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay specifically because they are among the poorest nations in a region that claims 40 percent of the world’s Catholics.

He’s skipping his homeland of Argentina, where as archbishop he ministered to the poorest slum-dwellers, to avoid papal entanglement in this year’s presidential election.

Francis’ stops later in the week include a violent Bolivian prison, a flood-prone Paraguayan shantytown and a meeting with grass-roots groups in Bolivia.

Crowds are expected to be huge. While the countries themselves are small, they are fervently Catholic: 79 percent of the population is Catholic in Ecuador, 77 percent in Bolivia and 89 percent in Paraguay, according to the Pew Research Center.

Before leaving Rome, Francis did some hometown ministering, with Lombardi saying the pope welcomed 10 homeless people into the Vatican.

TIME Yemen

Saudi Airstrike On Yemen Market Kills 45 Civilians

Saudi-led airstrikes yemen
Yahya Arhab—EPA A general view of the ruins of the house of a Yemeni army commander loyal to the Houthis after it was hit by two airstrikes allegedly carried out by the Saudi-led coalition in Sanaía, Yemen on July 6, 2015.

More than 50 civilians were also wounded in the strike in a suburb north of Aden

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A massive airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition targeting rebels hit a local marketplace in Yemen, killing over 45 civilians on Monday, security officials and eyewitnesses said.

More than 50 civilians were also wounded in the strike in Fayoush, a suburb just north of the southern port city of Aden, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information otherwise.

“I came right after the explosion and saw dozens of dead strewn about and a sea of blood, while the wounded were being evacuated to nearby hospitals,” resident Abu-Ali al-Azibi said. “(There was) blood from people mixed with that of the sheep and other livestock at the market.”

The officials, who said they do not identify with either the rebels, known as Houthis, nor the camp of the exiled president, said Saudi-led airstrikes against the rebels continued across the country, with nine provinces and the capital hit.

The fighting in Yemen pits the Houthis and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants and loyalists of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is now based in Saudi Arabia. The rebels seized the capital, Sanaa, in September. In March, a Saudi-led and U.S.-backed coalition began launching airstrikes against the rebels and their allies.

The conflict has left 20 million Yemenis without access to safe drinking water and uprooted over one million people from their homes, the United Nations said. Last Wednesday, it declared its highest-level humanitarian emergency in the country, where over 80 percent of the population needs assistance.

TIME Greece

Greece Looks to Reopen Bailout Talks as Euro Future in Doubt

The country's banks remain shut for a sixth working day

(ATHENS, Greece)—Despite triumphing in a popular vote against austerity, Greece on Monday faced the urgent need to heal its ties with European creditors and reach a financial rescue deal that might prevent it from falling out of the euro — possibly within days.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras won big in Sunday’s referendum, in which 60 percent of Greeks rejected the economic measures creditors had proposed in exchange for loans the country needs to remain afloat. He also received the rare backing of opposition parties to restart bailout negotiations.

But his bolstered mandate to push for better concessions from creditors hit the hard reality of the country’s deteriorating finances, with the banks facing the risk of collapse within days unless a rescue deal is reached.

In a sign that he hopes to reach a deal as soon as possible, Tsipras appointed a new mild-mannered finance minister to lead talks with bailout creditors and replace Yanis Varoufakis, the hard-talking professor who clashed regularly with his European counterparts.

Euclid Tsakalotos, a 55-year-old economist, appears more willing to reach a compromise with creditors and will be tested as soon as Tuesday, when he will meet the other 18 eurozone finance ministers in Brussels.

That meeting is meant to seek the basis for a deal that European leaders, including Tsipras, might discuss at an emergency summit later in the day. Ahead of the summit, Tsipras spoke by phone with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Greece’s financial situation is getting more difficult by the day. It had to close the banks last week to prevent their collapse in the face of a run, and imposed limits on cash withdrawals and transfers.

Greek banks remained closed Monday, with only a few branches opening for pensioners to receive emergency assistance. Louka Katseli, head of the Greek Bank Association, said she expected banks to remain closed for at least two more days.

The government is expected to extend the restrictions on withdrawals after the European Central Bank makes a decision later Monday on cash support for Greek banks.

The ECB has frozen the amount of credit it allows Greek banks to draw on, even though their cash requirements are growing as people rush to withdraw what money they can.

Analysts say that if the ECB keeps the amount of credit on hold, Greek banks will come under increasing pressure and the government could have to make the limits on cash withdrawals even tougher.

The ongoing Greek drama hurt stocks around the world, particularly in Europe. The losses were not as great as some had feared, however, suggesting investors think that a Greek exit from the euro, while devastating for the country and destabilizing in Europe, would be manageable for the global economy.

“The ‘no’ vote in Greece’s referendum on Sunday dramatically increases the risk of a slide toward a disorderly Greek exit from the eurozone,” ratings agency Fitch said.

“An agreement between Greece and its official creditors remains possible, but time is short and the risk of policy missteps, or that the two sides simply cannot agree a deal, is high.”

With all ballots counted, 61.3 percent of voters in Sunday’s referendum said “no” to the question of whether they would accept creditors’ proposed measures.

Tsipras has agreed to imposing more harsh austerity measures, following a six-year recession, but wants eurozone lenders to grant the country better terms for bailout debt repayments.

“The prime minister is … committed to starting a fundamental debate on dealing with the problem of sustainability of the Greek national debt,” a statement signed by the government and three pro-European opposition parties said.

European officials appear to be split on Greece’s demand for easier debt repayment.

France’s finance minister, Michel Sapin, indicated that discussing Greece’s debt is not taboo, saying the country could not recover with its current obligations “in the months and years to come.”

Germany, however, remains highly reluctant to discuss debt relief.

Finance Ministry spokesman Martin Jaeger said Germany’s “position is well-known … a debt cut is not an issue for us.”

German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said Europe should be preparing to help Greeks with humanitarian assistance.

“The situation that is now being created by the referendum makes me sad, because life for the Greek population is going to get harder in the coming days and weeks,” he said.

“After yesterday’s celebrations in the streets there’s a danger of a rude awakening soon.”

TIME Markets

No More ‘Roar’ as Famed Trading Pits Come to an End

Virginia McGathey
Charles Rex Arbogast—AP Commodities broker Virginia McGathey talks about the demise of the agricultural-futures pits after trading ended for the day at the CME Group in Chicago on July 1, 2015

"If people came to your spot, you shoved them out of it"

(NEW YORK) — Pete Meegan had every intention of going back to college, but then he got a summer job in the Chicago trading pits and fell in love with the “roar” of the floor, the excitement of “4,000 people yelling, ‘Buy! Buy! Buy!'” and decided no more classroom for him.

That roar will soon go silent. On Monday, most futures pits in Chicago and New York, where frenzied buying and selling once helped set prices on cattle and corn, palladium and gold, and dozens of other commodities, are expected to close for good. Traders yelled and shoved and flashed hand signals, just as they did in the movie “Trading Places.” But now the computer — faster, cheaper and not nearly as noisy — has taken over.

It will be a sad day for Meegan, still in the pits 34 years after dropping out of college, donning a tradingjacket and mustering the courage to tell his dad.

“I thought he was gonna kill me, but he was like, ‘I don’t care if you pick up garbage or you’re a dog groomer. If you are happy doing what you are doing, you’re ahead of 99 percent of the people in the world,'” recalls Meegan, now 54.

The few dozen jobs that will be lost when the pits shut down is just part of it, veterans say. What’s also disappearing is a rich culture of brazen bets, flashy trading jackets and kids just out of high school getting a shot at making it big. The pits were a ruthless place, but they were also a proving ground where education and connections counted for nothing next to drive and, occasionally, muscle.

“If people came to your spot, you shoved them out of it. ‘This is my two-foot space … so get out of it,'” says Dan Sullivan, a broker who’s been working in the pits since 1981. The competition, he adds, also bred camaraderie. “These guys knew me better than my wife.”

Dan Grant, 53, traces his love affair with the pits to a $150-a-week job as a “runner” ferrying messages between clerks taking phone orders from customers and brokers executing them.

Six years into his career, on Oct. 19, 1987, stocks were plunging around the world and he was a clerk taking orders from the head traders at Chemical Bank and Drexel Burnham Lambert desperate to buy anything to protect themselves. Grant still marvels that, just 24 years old and with no college degree, he wielded such power in the crash, later known as Black Monday.

“They were buying Treasurys and currencies, and watching their stock portfolios go to zero,” he recalls. “It was a lot of fun.”

The pits that are closing deal in futures, or contracts to buy or sell something at a later date at a set price. They’re used by farmers to lock in prices for their crops before harvest, for instance, and investors as a way to bet that prices will go up or down.

Not all futures pits are going away. In its February announcement about the closings, the owner of the exchanges said the pits where Standard and Poor’s 500 stock futures and options on futures are tradedwill remain open. Floor trading of stocks on the New York Stock Exchange, which is owned by a different company, won’t end, either.

But the few remaining pits are a small, perhaps fleeting, victory for the dwindling number of traders who still use hand signals to buy and sell.

Where once futures on everything from pork bellies and wheat to Treasurys and Eurodollars were onlytraded in this “open outcry” system, now just 1 percent are. Where once thousands of futures traders stood shoulder to shoulder, now just a few dozen show up on a typical day.

“There were five (people) in the wheat pit today,” laments broker Virginia McGathey after the closing bell in Chicago last Wednesday. “Back in the day, there were 400.”

Scott Shellady, a broker standing nearby, worries that fewer humans could mean more violent swings in food prices. He fears turbulence could be triggered by an unusually large offer from a stranger in India or another far off place to buy or sell a futures contract.

“That pit, with 500 guys, you can’t have a flash crash because … there are 499 people that know he doesn’t normally trade that big,” says Shellady, who wears a black-and-white cow print jacket, a reminder of a time when brokers needed to stand out on the floor.

Since at least 1870, when the first octagonal pits were installed in Chicago, traders have been reading the “tone” of the crowd to sense where prices might be heading and feeling the “rush” when placing a big bet.

After more than 40 years of trading, George Gero knows all about the feel and thrill of the pits. But he is also familiar with wrenching change, and learning to adapt to it.

After fleeing from the Nazi’s in wartime Hungary, he came to New York, and found a home in the commodities pits downtown. And at 79, he’s still at it, marveling at how the computer allows him to find prices for gold and currencies around the world, no matter the time of day.

But Gero, a strategist at RBC Capital Markets, is not a complete fan of the new way. “It’s very cold … strictly numbers,” he says.

Grant, the runner turned clerk who now oversees his own trading firm, says he has embraced change, too. But he mourns the loss of the kind of entry-level positions that gave kids without much education a chance to prove themselves, just as he did.

“The customer doesn’t have to call anyone to execute a trade,” he says.

Sullivan, the broker, puts it bleakly.

“It’s kind of a slow death for people,” he says. “Maybe I am holding on to something that needs to go.”

TIME Greece

Greek Finance Minister Resigns After Bailout Vote

"I shall wear the creditors' loathing with pride"

(ATHENS, Greece) — Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis resigned Monday, saying he was told shortly after Greece’s decisive referendum result that some other eurozone finance ministers and the country’s other creditors would appreciate his not attending the ministers’ meetings.

Varoufakis said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had judged that his resignation “might help achieve a deal” and that he was leaving the finance ministry for that reason.

“I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride,” Varoufakis said in his announcement.

Greeks voted overwhelmingly to reject creditors’ proposal of more austerity measures in return for rescue loans, in the country’s first referendum in 41 years Sunday.

The referendum “will stay in history as a unique moment when a small European nation rose up against debt-bondage,” Varoufakis said.

With his brash style and fondness for frequent media appearances at the start of his tenure at the ministry when the new government was formed in January, Varoufakis had visibly annoyed many of the eurozone’s finance ministers during Greece’s debt negotiations.

There was no immediate announcement of his replacement.

Tsipras was elected on promises to repeal the austerity demanded in return for a bailout from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund, and negotiations broke down late last month after dragging on unsuccessfully for five months.

With his hight-stakes gamble to call a referendum on creditor proposals with just a week’s notice, Tsipras aimed to show creditors that Greeks, whose economy has been shattered and who face spiralling unemployment and poverty, have had enough and that the austerity prescribed isn’t working.

But everything will hinge on the reaction by his European partners. A eurozone summit was hastily called for Tuesday afternoon to discuss the situation.

Greeks awoke Monday to the stark reality of the country’s accelerating crisis – shuttered banks and ATMs with little cash.

The referendum results — 61 percent voted “no” and 39 percent “yes” — left the bankrupt country’s future in the European Union and its euro currency uncertain.

The margin of victory for “no” was far wider than expected. But as celebrations died down early Monday, Greece entered a second week of severe restrictions on financial transactions and faced even limited amounts of cash drying out, with no prospect of an immediate infusion. Greece imposed the restrictions to stem a bank run after the vote was called and its bailout program expired.

Besieged by a prolonged recession, high unemployment and banks dangerously low on capital, Greece defaulted on an IMF loan repayment last week, becoming the first developed nation to do so. Now some analysts wonder if Greece is so starved of cash that it could be forced to start issuing its own currency and become the first country to leave the 19-member eurozone, established in 1999.

Asian markets mostly fell Monday, as economists said the markets were not expecting such a decisive “no” vote.

The European Central Bank’s governing council was not expected to provide more liquidity assistance to Greek banks Monday. The assistance, now at about 90 billion euros, has been maintained but not increased in past days, leaving the country’s financial system in a stranglehold. Without an increase, Greeks might not be able to withdraw even the meager 60 euros ($67) allocated per day.

That will make it difficult for Tsipras to keep his pledge, expressed on TV and on his Twitter account, that Greece’s “immediate priority is to restore our banking system’s functioning & economic stability” or for banks to re-open Tuesday, as scheduled.

Negotiations on a financial rescue package broke off with Greece’s creditors after Tsipras called for the referendum. It is unclear when they could restart, but the government has said it believes a deal with creditors could be reached within 48 hours of the vote.

Leaders of six of the seven parties represented in Parliament were meeting Monday morning in the presidential palace. Tsipras requested the meeting to share his negotiating strategy and call for support.

The main opposition party, New Democracy, was sending an interim chief, after its leader – former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras — resigned Sunday as “no” votes poured in.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande spoke to each other Sunday night and agreed “that the vote of the Greek people must be respected,” Merkel’s office said.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Eurogroup head, said Sunday’s referendum result was “very regrettable for the future of Greece.”

The Dutch finance minister had been a steadfast opponent of Greece as it sought better conditions during five months of bailout negotiations. “For recovery of the Greek economy, difficult measures and reforms are inevitable,” he said. “We will now wait for the initiatives of the Greek authorities.”

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s vice chancellor and economic minister, told a German newspaper the Greek government was leading its people “onto a path of bitter austerity and hopelessness.”

Belgian Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt was somewhat softer in his approach, saying a “no” result “complicates matters,” but that the door remained open to resume talks immediately.

“What we certainly don’t want to do is to take decisions that will threaten the monetary union,” he told Belgium’s VRT. “Within that framework we can start talks again with the Greek government, literally, within hours.”

___

Derek Gatopoulos, Costas Kantouris and Menelaos Hadjicostis in Athens, Raf Casert in Brussels, Frank Jordans in Berlin and Carlo Piovano in London contributed to this report.

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