Pro14 final: Glasgow Warriors v Leinster – Build up from Celtic Park

Glasgow and Leinster players

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Summary

  1. Final at Celtic Park
  2. Leinster defending champions
  3. Glasgow’s last trophy was 2015 Pro12 win

Live Reporting

By Thomas Duncan

All times stated are UK

  1. Weather may give Leinster edge

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

    Colin Gregor

    Former Scotland Sevens captain on BBC Radio Scotland

    Quote Message: Glasgow’s physicality has improved the last couple of weeks, but Leinster still have the edge on that, and when the ball is a bit greasy in the rain, it takes longer to catch, to get the ball through the hands, your sidesteps are not as crisp, then physicality becomes more of a factor in the wet weather

    Glasgow’s physicality has improved the last couple of weeks, but Leinster still have the edge on that, and when the ball is a bit greasy in the rain, it takes longer to catch, to get the ball through the hands, your sidesteps are not as crisp, then physicality becomes more of a factor in the wet weather

  2. Farewell, Hoggy

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

    There could be a few tears shed after this game, which will be Stuart Hogg’s last in a Glasgow shirt after a nine-year spell with the club.

    He’s gone from exciting prospect to one of Scottish Rugby’s greatest ever players during his time at the club, and he’ll move on to Exeter Chiefs next season.

    Dave Rennie says they’ve had to calm him down in training this week as he ‘went berserk’, such is his determination to go out on a high. We’ll soon see if it’s tears of despair or joy for the Scotland full-back at full-time.

    Video content

    Video caption: Watch: Harley & Hastings pay tribute to Hogg
  3. Defence key for Glasgow

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

    Leinster are rightly considered favourites for this match, but Glasgow do have the template to beat the defending champions after their 39-24 triumph in Dublin last month.

    All eight of the Warriors pack that day (barring Chris Fusaro, who was injured very early on and replaced by Adam Ashe, who made 33 tackles) made over 20 tackles, with Jonny Gray posting an astonishing tournament-best of 43, missing none.

    Despite all those hits, Leinster still scored four tries. You’d suspect it’s going to take another monstrous defensive performance for Glasgow to win here tonight.

    Jonny Gray made 43 tackles, missing none, in Glasgow win over Leinster in April

    Copyright: SNS/BBC Sport

    Image caption: Jonny Gray made 43 tackles, missing none, in Glasgow’s win over Leinster in April
  4. Can Leinster go again?

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

    Saracens had Leinster’s number in this year’s Champions Cup final a fortnight ago. It was a brutally attritional game, and was swiftly followed by their Pro14 semi-final win over Munster, another bruiser of a contest.

    Naturally, matches of such magnitude take an immense toll on minds as well as bodies. Can they rally again to clinch another Pro14 title?

    Leinster lost the Champions Cup final 20-10 to Saracens earlier this month

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Image caption: Leinster lost the Champions Cup final 20-10 to Saracens earlier this month
  5. Red-hot Warriors going for ten in a row

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

    Pounding from Saracens in the Champions Cup quarter-final aside, Glasgow have been in irresistible form since the end of January. A win today would make it 10 Pro14 wins on the spin.

    Dave Rennie spoke of the squad’s ’embarrassment’ after the Saracens defeat and they’ve responded pretty well since, winning their next four games scoring a total of 153 points in the process. Can they continue in the same vein?

    Glasgow have responded well after being dumped out of Europe by Saracens

    Copyright: BBC Sport

    Image caption: Glasgow have responded well after being dumped out of Europe by Saracens
  6. Serial winners Leinster hungry for more

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

    I’m pretty sure Leinster’s squad do their gym work by just lifting trophies. In the last six years, they have won three European trophies and three league titles. Last season, they did the double, claiming the Champions Cup and Pro14 crowns.

    They’ve already missed out on the Champions Cup this year after losing to Saracens in the final this month. It would be inconceivable for them to finish this season without silverware.

    Leinster won the Pro14 and Champions Cup last season

    Copyright: Inpho

    Image caption: Leinster won the Pro14 and Champions Cup last season
  7. Don’t forget the First Minister…

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

  8. Warriors calling on Scottish A-list

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

  9. Talisman Sexton back for Leinster

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

    There was a bit of a ‘was he? wasn’t he?’ stooshie about whether Johnny Sexton had been dropped for Leinster’s semi-final last week, as he started on the bench with Ross Byrne at fly-half.

    Head coach Leo Cullen categorically said the British and Irish Lions 10 wasn’t dropped, but Sexton certainly didn’t enjoy his rest and appeared extremely fired up when he came on in the second half.

    Anyway, he’s back today and you suspect he’ll have a big hand in any Leinster success this evening.

    Johnny Sexton started on the bench for Leinster in their semi-final against Munster

    Copyright: Inpho

    Image caption: Johnny Sexton started on the bench for Leinster in their semi-final against Munster
  10. Listen live

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

    A reminder at the top of this page you can listen to live commentary of this match on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW. It’s on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra too, but you’ll hear the same voices! Kick-off is 6.30.

  11. Strong start needed for Glasgow

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

    Peter Wright

    Former Scotland prop on BBC Radio Scotland

    Quote Message: You want to get your nose in front against Leinster, you don’t want to be chasing the game, even with the strong bench, and you need to get the crowd in the game – if Glasgow play like they can they will bring the crowd into the game

    You want to get your nose in front against Leinster, you don’t want to be chasing the game, even with the strong bench, and you need to get the crowd in the game – if Glasgow play like they can they will bring the crowd into the game

  12. No changes for Warriors, trio back for Leinster

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it seems to be Glasgow head coach Dave Rennie’s philosophy in picking his team as he selects the same XV that smashed Ulster last week.

    The only change is on the bench were prop Siua Halanukonuka replaces D’Arcy Rae.

    As for Leinster, Ireland duo Rob Kearney and Jonny Sexton and former Australia lock Scott Fardy come into the team. They’re missing injured Ireland pair Sean O’Brien and Devin Toner from their pack.

  13. LINE-UPS from Celtic Park

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

    Glasgow Warriors:S Hogg, T Seymour, K Steyn, S Johnson, DTH van der Merwe; A Hastings, A Price; J Bhatti, F Brown, Z Fagerson, S Cummings, J Gray, R Harley, C Gibbins (capt), M Fagerson.

    Replacements: G Stewart, O Kebble, S Halanukonuka, R Wilson, T Gordon, G Horne, P Horne, H Jones.

    Leinster:R Kearney, J Larmour, G Ringrose, R Henshaw, J Lowe; J Sexton (capt), L McGrath; C Healy, S Cronin, T Furlong, S Fardy, J Ryan, R Ruddock, J van der Flier, J Conan.

    Replacements: B Byrne, E Byrne, A Porter, R Molony, M Deegan, N McCarthy, R Byrne, R O’Loughlin.

  14. Semi-final rewind

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

    It was pretty routine for both sides in their semi-final matches. Glasgow demolished Ulster 50-20 at Scotstoun, scoring seven tries in the process.

    Leinster might not have racked up a half-century in beating rivals Munster, but there was something chilling about the ease at which they dismissed them 24-9 at the RDS. It sets us up for a fascinating contest this evening.

    Glasgow scored seven tries in a 50-20 demoltion of Ulster in their semi-final

    Copyright: SNS

    Image caption: Glasgow scored seven tries in a 50-20 demoltion of Ulster in their semi-final
    James Lowe scores one of Leinster's two tries in their 24-9 semi-final win over Munster

    Copyright: Inpho

    Image caption: James Lowe scores one of Leinster’s two tries in their 24-9 semi-final win over Munster
  15. Two best left standing

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

    It’s no shock these two sides are the last ones standing in this season’s competition. As well as topping their respective conferences, they top the numbers across the board.

    Leinster scored the most points and tries and have the best defence, while Glasgow recorded the most wins, and most bonus point wins. Both also breezed through their respective semi-finals. Dominant.

    Conference A

    Copyright: BBC Sport

    Conference B

    Copyright: BBC Sport

  16. Atmosphere building…

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

    Glasgow fans

    Copyright: SNS

    Leinster fans

    Copyright: SNS

  17. Cracking prospect in store…

    Glasgow v Leinster (18:30)

    It’s the second big cup final of the day in Glasgow, on what would locally be described as a ‘dreich’ evening in Scotland’s biggest city.

    Let’s hope the prospect of Glasgow Warriors v Leinster lights things up. It should be a cracking contest between the competitions two best teams. 46,000 will fill be watching in Celtic Park, and we’ll keep across all the action for you. Don’t go anywhere!

    Celtic Park

    Copyright: SNS

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Dana Carvey shares his ‘sound of Trump’ impression with Jimmy Fallon

A Donald Trump impression maelstrom hit The Tonight Show on Friday.

As guest Dana Carvey shared his take on “the sound of Trump, he and host Jimmy Fallon just fell into dueling Trump impressions that kept building and building until The Roots turned it into their next jam session.

It began with a discussion of impressions on the growing number of Democratic presidential candidates. Pete Buttigieg, for example, is “the opposite of Trump,” Carvey said. “I figure America always goes opposite.”

He pointed to how the U.S. went from the “he, he, he, he” of George W. Bush to the “very different sound” of Barack Obama. After Obama, Carvey demonstrated a nasally gibberish sound for Trump. Fallon then imitated Carvey’s impression, and the two had a conversation in complete gobbledygook chatter.

Carvey went on and on with, “Excuse me, many people are saying… crazy crazy, crazy, crooked, stupid, evil, stupid, crooked.” That gave The Roots the inspiration they needed to drum up a rhythm. Before long, the chattering Trumps became two dancing Trumps. A chattering, dancing Trump maelstrom.

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Trump opens state visit to Japan with jab at trade imbalance

US President Donald Trump urged Japanese business leaders on Saturday to increase their investment in the United States while he chided Japan for having a “substantial edge” on trade that negotiators were trying to even out in a bilateral deal.

Trump arrived in Japan on Saturday for a largely ceremonial state visit meant to showcase strong ties despite simmering trade tensions.

Japan’s trade minister said no trade agreement is expected during the Trump visit.

Shortly after arriving to a red-carpet welcome at the airport, Trump attended a reception at the residence of US Ambassador William Hagerty that the White House said included Japanese business executives from Toyota, Nissan, Honda, SoftBank and Rakuten.

Trump told the company officials “there’s never been a better time” to invest or do business in the US and repeated a complaint that the Federal Reserve’s policies had kept the country’s economic growth from reaching its full potential.

Trump said the US and Japan “are hard at work” negotiating and said he wanted a deal to address the trade imbalance between the two countries.

“Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years, but that’s OK, maybe that’s why you like us so much,” he said.

“With this deal we hope to address the trade imbalance, removing barriers to United States exports and ensure fairness and reciprocity in our relationship,” Trump said.

Trade is one of Trump’s signature issues, and encouraging foreign investment in the US is a hallmark of his trips abroad.

Trump will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – who planned the largely ceremonial four-day visit – on Sunday. 

Tariffs on car industry 

It’s part of Abe’s charm strategy that some analysts say has so far spared Japan from the full weight of Trump’s trade wrath.

The two leader planned to play golf on Sunday before Abe gives Trump the chance to present his “President’s Cup” trophy to the winner of a sumo wrestling championship match.

The president will become the first head of state to be received by new Japanese Emperor Naruhito since he ascended the throne earlier this month; he and Harvard-educated Empress Masako will host an elaborate dinner for the Trumps on Monday night.

Abe and Trump are likely to meet for the third time in three months when Trump returns to Japan in late June for the Group of 20 summit of leading rich and developing nations.

Behind the smiles and personal friendship, however, there is deep uneasiness over Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Japanese cars and auto parts on national security grounds. Such a move would be more devastating to the Japanese economy than earlier tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The US president recently agreed to a six-month delay, enough time to carry Abe past July’s Japanese parliamentary elections.

Trump had predicted that a US-Japan trade deal could be finalized during his trip, but Japanese Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Saturday a deal is not expected after meeting his counterpart, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, in Tokyo.

“We deepened our understanding of each other’s positions on trade. However, we’re not in complete agreement,” Motegi told reporters following the talks. “There are still some gaps. We need to work to narrow our differences.”

North Korea’s nuclear programme 

Also at issue is the lingering threat of North Korea, which has resumed missile testing and recently fired a series of short-range missiles that US officials, including Trump, have tried to play down despite an agreement by the North to hold off on further testing.

Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton told reporters on Saturday before Trump arrived that the short-range missile tests were a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and that sanctions must stay in place.

Bolton said Trump and Abe would “talk about making sure the integrity of the Security Council resolutions are maintained”.

It marked a change in tone from the view expressed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a recent television interview.

He said “the moratorium was focused, very focused, on intercontinental missile systems, the ones that threaten the United States.” That raised alarm bells in Japan, where short-range missiles pose a serious threat.

Bolton commented a day after North Korea’s official media said nuclear negotiations with Washington would not resume unless the US abandoned what the North described as demands for unilateral disarmament.

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Heart of Midlothian 1-2 Celtic

Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard equalised from the penalty spot against Hearts

Celtic secured a historic treble of domestic trophies for the third consecutive season as Odsonne Edouard’s two goals overcame Hearts 2-1 in the Scottish Cup final.

Neil Lennon has now led Celtic to a league and cup double after succeeding Brendan Rodgers mid-season.

Celtic had to overcome the setback of Ryan Edwards’ second-half strike.

Edouard equalised from the penalty spot before lifting the winning goal past Hearts goalkeeper Zdenek Zlamal.

The Edinburgh side fought hard for an equaliser of their own in the closing stages, but Celtic stood firm to establish a new mark of triumph in the history of Scottish football.

The final whistle brought an emotional response from Lennon on the touchline, and the caretaker manager has still to learn if he will become the permanent successor to Rodgers.

His claim to the role is based on his experience of managing the club during a previous spell, of being able to urge and cajole players to deliver the best of themselves during the uncertainty that followed Rodgers’ departure for Leicester – and this cup victory was built on the resilience of his players.

Edouard delivers devastating double

Celtic were forced into a period of reflection during the interval at Hampden. It was clear enough what Lennon thought of their first-half performance, as he hollered for his players to raise the tempo of their game.

Much of the lethargy was caused by the organisation and determination of Hearts, who brought a level of assertiveness to their game that belied the pre-game assumptions that they would struggle to compete at Hampden.

Christophe Berra and John Souttar were solid pillars of resistance at the back, the latter clearing from Edouard inside the penalty area then blocking a James Forrest shot.

Hearts were not at full strength – striker Uche Ikpeazu started on the bench while 16-year-old Aaron Hickey started only his second game for the club at left back, having made his first start last week in the final Premiership game of the season against Celtic.

Craig Levein’s side fought valiantly, though, and took the lead when Arnaud Djoum’s shot broke to Sean Clare, who back-heeled the ball to Edwards to shoot first-time beyond Scott Bain.

As Celtic responded, Souttar stood firm again, clearing after Scott Brown burst into the penalty area and then stepping in to clear from Tom Rogic.

Hearts could not maintain Souttar’s flawless display. Zlamal hesitated as he left his line to close down Edouard inside the penalty area, then panicked and slid into the striker. Referee Willie Collum pointed to the spot and Edouard converted with confidence.

The striker remained unflustered when Berra was caught out of position and Mikael Lustig’s header sent the ball through for Edouard to chase, and he coolly lifted the ball beyond Zlamal’s reach and into the net.

“No fouls, no fouls” shouted Lennon as his side tried to close the game out, conscious of Hearts’ threat at set-pieces. Celtic had the experience and the calmness to see themselves over the line.

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Monaco GP: Lewis Hamilton beats Valtteri Bottas to pole

Lewis Hamilton snatched Monaco Grand Prix pole position from Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas with his last lap of the session.

Hamilton, often on the back foot in qualifying, took pole by 0.086 seconds.

But the story of the day was in many ways Ferrari’s strategic error that saw Charles Leclerc knocked out in the first session.

Ferrari elected not to send Leclerc out for a second run, and the Monegasque will start 16th for his home race.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who was the man who knocked out Leclerc.

What were Ferrari doing?

“Very difficult one to take,” said Leclerc, who added he will need to take risks in Sunday’s race

Vettel was struggling after a poor first run in first qualifying and needed to go out again to get past the first session.

But Ferrari did not see the danger facing Leclerc, despite the fact that his time at that stage was 0.3 seconds slower than Haas driver Kevin Magnussen.

Leclerc was delayed when he missed the weigh bridge and had to be pushed back by his mechanics for the car to be checked, but he said that had not been the cause of the problem.

A distraught Leclerc, who grew up in a flat just next to the main straight of the Monaco track, said: “I asked whether they were sure. They said we think we are. I said, ‘Shouldn’t we go again?’ I didn’t have any explanations yet in detail.

“Very difficult one to take – we had plenty of time to go out again. The weigh bridge was not the problem. We had the fuel to go again, we just needed to put some tyres on. I need some explanations.”

Ferrari are yet to say what happened.

Vettel, struggling all day after crashing in final practice, was 0.781secs off the pace, after hitting the wall at Tabac on his final run.

The Mercedes battle

Hamilton is running with a red halo head-protection device on his car in tribute to Niki Lauda

The Mercedes, sporting a red halo head-protection device in tribute to the late three-time champion Niki Lauda, their non-executive chairman, who died on Monday, were in a private battle for pole.

Bottas had looked quick all weekend and the Finn was more than 0.2secs up on his team-mate after the first runs in the final session but when it mattered Hamilton managed to pull a lap out of the bag, while Bottas failed to improve on his final run.

Hamilton said: “I love it here. It’s my home. this is the race every driver dreams of. We’ve arrived with a great car, a great battle with Valtteri. He has been quick all weekend. The desire and the will to get this pole, it means so much to me.

“I’m really grateful to my team. The lap was just beautiful.”

“The lap was hard. All of us drivers take our car, fast or slow, to the limit. And when you’re at the limit, it’s like wrestling a bull. I had an oversteer moment in the Rascasse, and I just held on. I don’t know what the gap is, but I’ll take it – it’s perfect.”

It was Hamilton’s 85th pole position of his career and the reigning world champion added: “This is definitely one of the best poles I can remember.

“We have had lots of success over the years but I can’t remember one that means as much as this one. It has been such a difficult week for the team. We have had a cloud over us all weekend and we have been trying to lift each other up.”

Bottas said he had been affected by traffic preparing for his final run.

“I’m disappointed. The first lap, there was still plenty of places I could improve, on the out lap I had a lot of traffic and I couldn’t get the tyres hot enough for the fast lap. I thought I had it today but it wasn’t to be.”

A tribute to Lauda

In addition to the red Halo, there is also a red star in honour of Lauda on Hamilton’s Mercedes

Hamilton was given an exemption from media duties on Wednesday in the wake of Lauda’s death, a decision that has received some criticism, and after qualifying he explained his feelings on the matter.

“The other day I didn’t feel I was ready,” he said. “It wasn’t the time to dig into our feelings.

“I was really in touch with Niki a lot through this past eight months. We’d be sending videos back and forth to each other. It was always difficult because sometimes he looked good and was perky and said he would see us at this or that race, and others days when he didn’t.

“Ive always talked about how Ross [Brawn, former team boss] was the convincing element of me coming to the team but Niki was the one who phoned me up and said: ‘Mercedes is where you should be.’ I had never really spoken to him before that. He brought it to me and really got it across the line.

“All these years he has been my partner in crime. He was such a racer. He was part of the process of changing my life.

“If I hadn’t had that call, I’d be a one-time champion now. I sit here as a five-time champion and I owe him a lot. It was really difficult earlier in the week and I don’t feel I have to confirm to what everyone else thinks. Wednesday was not the time. But he will live on in all our memories.”

The rest

Behind Vettel, Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly took fifth but faces an investigation for impeding Haas driver Romain Grosjean.

Magnussen was sixth, ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, McLaren’s Carlos Sainz and the second Toro Rosso of Anglo-Thai rookie Alexander Albon.

British novice Lando Norris was 12th in the second McLaren, while George Russell kept up his clean sweep of Williams team-mate Robert Kubica in 19th place.

Paris-Saint Germain and France striker Kylian Mbappe was doing the rounds in the pit lane before qualifying
It was a good day for Toro Rosso as both Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon qualified in the top 10
Charles Leclerc had a happier time on Friday night alongside Williams’ George Russell as the pair took part in the famous Amber Lounge Fashion Show
Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly meet Mexico’s three-weight world champion Canelo Alvarez

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Trump needles Japan over trade imbalance during visit

news image

Posted

May 26, 2019 00:17:18

US President Donald Trump opened a state visit to Japan by needling the country over its trade imbalance with the United States.

Key points:

  • Mr Trump told business leaders in Tokyo that Japan had had “a substantial edge” in trade with the US for many years
  • He said the two countries were “hard at work” on trade negotiations
  • Mr Trump will become the first head of state to meet Emperor Naruhito during his four-day visit to Japan

Mr Trump also promoted the US under his leadership, saying “there’s never been a better time” to invest or do business in America, and he urged corporate leaders to come.

The US President’s first event after arriving in Tokyo was a reception with several dozen Japanese and American business leaders at the US ambassador’s residence. He said the two countries “are hard at work” negotiating a trade agreement.

“I would say that Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years, but that’s OK,” Mr Trump said, joking that “maybe that’s why you like me so much.”

His comments underscored the competing dynamics of a state visit designed to show off the long US-Japan alliance and the close friendship between Mr Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe even as trade tensions run high.

Mr Trump landed from his overnight flight shortly after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck just south of Tokyo and rattled the city.

Mr Abe has planned a largely ceremonial, four-day visit to suit Mr Trump’s whims and ego. It is part of Mr Abe’s charm strategy that some analysts say has spared Japan from the full weight of Mr Trump’s trade wrath.

Mr Abe and Mr Trump plan to play golf on Sunday, before Mr Abe gives Mr Trump the chance to present his President’s Cup trophy to the winner of a sumo wrestling championship match. The White House said the trophy is nearly 1.5 metres tall and weighs between 27 kilograms and 32kg.

On Monday, Mr Trump will become the first head of state to meet Emperor Naruhito since he ascended to the throne this month.

“With all the countries of the world, I’m the guest of honour at the biggest event that they’ve had in over 200 years,” Mr Trump said before the trip.

The President is threatening Japan with potentially devastating US tariffs on foreign automobiles and auto parts.

He has suggested he will go ahead with the trade penalties if US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer fails to win concessions from Japan and the European Union.

Mr Trump had predicted that a US-Japan trade deal could be finalised during his trip. But that’s unlikely given that the two sides are still figuring out the parameters of what they will negotiate.

He nonetheless portrayed the negotiations in a positive light in his remarks to the business group.

“With this deal we hope to address the trade imbalance, remove barriers to United States exports and ensure fairness and reciprocity in our relationship. And we’re getting closer,” Mr Trump said.

He also urged the business leaders to invest more in the US.

He praised the “very special” US-Japan alliance that he said “has never been stronger, it’s never been more powerful, never been closer.”

Mr Abe made a strategic decision before Mr Trump was elected in November 2016 to focus on Japan’s relationship with the US.

Mr Abe rushed to New York two weeks after that election to meet the president-elect at Trump Tower. Last month, Mr Abe and his wife, Akie, celebrated first lady Melania Trump’s birthday during a White House dinner.

Mr Abe and Mr Trump are likely to meet for the third time in three months when Mr Trump returns to Japan in late June for a summit of leading rich and developing nations.

Behind the smiles and personal friendship, however, there is deep uneasiness over Mr Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Japanese automobiles and auto parts on national security grounds. Such a move would be more devastating to the Japanese economy than earlier tariffs on steel and aluminium.

Mr Trump recently agreed to a six-month delay, enough time to carry Mr Abe past July’s Japanese parliamentary elections.

US says North Korea missile tests a violation of resolutions

Also at issue is the lingering threat of North Korea, which has resumed missile testing and recently fired a series of short-range missiles that US officials, including Mr Trump, have tried to play down despite an agreement by the North to hold off on further testing.

Mr Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, told reporters before Mr Trump arrived in Japan that the short-range missile tests were a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and that sanctions must stay in place.

Mr Bolton said Mr Trump and Mr Abe would “talk about making sure the integrity of the Security Council resolutions are maintained.”

It marked a change in tone from the view expressed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a recent television interview.

He said “the moratorium was focused, very focused, on intercontinental missile systems, the ones that threaten the United States.”

That raised alarm bells in Japan, where short-range missiles pose a serious threat.

Mr Bolton commented a day after North Korea’s official media said nuclear negotiations with Washington would not resume unless the US abandoned what the North described as demands for unilateral disarmament.

AP

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From playing SNL‘s Princess Jasmine to starring in Aladdin, Nasim Pedrad reflects on her full-circle role

When Nasim Pedrad dressed up as Princess Jasmine in her iconic turquoise costume and sobbed over having sex with Iago (yes, Iago the parrot) in the Saturday Night Live sketch “The Real Housewives of Disney” in 2012, little did she know she would end up playing a much bigger part in the world of Aladdin.

Pedrad, 37, enters Guy Ritchie’s live-action Aladdin remake as the newly created character Dalia, a quirky, lovable handmaiden to Princess Jasmine. For the former SNL actress, who said she had been dressing up as Jasmine as a child long before her SNL days, Dalia was the role of a lifetime.

“I can’t even tell you the amount of full circle moments relating to me being in this movie,” Pedrad told EW. “I’m Iranian-American and so for me, growing up a child, there weren’t many portrayals of Middle Eastern cultures in Hollywood at the time so to see that in the animated version as an Iranian-American girl and identify with it was hugely impactful.”

Dalia has her foot in the two worlds of Agrabah, Pedrad said, living with the citizens in the city but spending most of her time at the gilded palace, where Jasmine has been long sheltered by the Sultan for her protection. As Jasmine’s confidante, Dalia is “very honest and sassy and generally terrified of Jasmine getting herself into trouble,” Pedrad said, adding that the handmaiden is like an older sister to the motherless princess.

“Aside from her pet tiger Rajah, it made sense that Jasmine would have a human girlfriend to confide in,” Pedrad explained. “I thought there was a real opportunity there to show this very loving relationship between these two women.”

And of course, you can’t bring on Pedrad and not expect a strong dose of comedy. In the 1992 animated Aladdin, the bulk of the comedy lies in Robin Williams’ Genie, but in Ritchie’s version, while Will Smith’s Genie leads the comedy, the burden of delivering the laughs is spread around a lot more, especially with Dalia. In the first palace scene where Jasmine tells Dalia about wanting to be a leader to her people and not just have to marry any old prince, it’s Dalia who delivers the “You just have to marry him, you don’t have to talk to him” gem. Shortly after, as Aladdin sneaks into the palace to return a bracelet to Jasmine, still believing that she is the handmaiden and not the princess that he met in the streets of Agrabah, Dalia has to pretend to be the princess for a moment and pulls off a wonderfully awkward scene in which she takes her leave, saying: “I have to go clean my cat now.”

“Jasmine’s really strong and in the face of tradition can be a bit of a rebel, which is where Dalia comes in and makes sure she’s keeping her out of trouble,” Pedrad said. “The new version of the movie I think just takes everything we love about the original and brings it into the modern era.”

Dalia is also part of a new storyline for Genie as his romantic interest – a pairing that results in some hilarious highlights in the film. “When you have that rapport with someone and you’re given the opportunity to open up the takes and play with the material a little, we found a lot of fun little moments that way,” Pedrad said.

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