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Clyde K. Valle

Clyde is a business graduate interested in writing about latest news in politics and business. He enjoys writing and is about to publish his first book. He’s a pet lover and likes to spend time with family. When the time allows he likes to go fishing waiting for the muse to come.

Greece has failed to repay €1.6 billion loan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), hours after eurozone ministers refused to extend its bailout.

However, eurozone ministers say they will discuss a last-minute request from Greece for a new two-year bailout on July 1.

Greece is the first advanced country to fail to repay a loan to the IMF and is now formally in arrears.

There are fears that this could put Greece at risk of leaving the euro.

The IMF confirmed that Greece had failed to make the payment, shortly after 22:00 GMT on June 30.

“We have informed our Executive Board that Greece is now in arrears and can only receive IMF financing once the arrears are cleared,” said IMF spokesman Gerry Rice.

Gerry Rice confirmed the IMF had received a request from Greece to extend the payment deadline, which he said would go to the board “in due course”.

With the eurozone bailout expired, Greece no longer has access to billions of euros in funds and could not meet its IMF repayment.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has also frozen its liquidity lifeline to Greek banks. Meanwhile, ratings agencies have further downgraded the country’s debt.

Eurogroup chairman and Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem earlier said it would be “crazy” to extend the Greek bailout beyond its June 30 deadline as Athens was refusing to accept the European proposals on the table.

Greece’s left-wing Syriza government, elected on an anti-austerity platform, has been in deadlock with its creditors for months over the terms of a third bailout.

Speaking after the conference call with other eurozone ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that a Greek request for a new €29.1 billion European aid program would be considered in a telephone conference on July 1.

According to new reports, Greece may submit new proposals on July 1 that rein in its spendingGreece fails to pay IMF debt 2015

Greece’s request on June 30 asked for funds from Europe’s bailout fund – the European Stability Mechanism – as well as a restructuring of Greece’s public debt.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier said she had ruled out further negotiations until after July 5 referendum, which will ask Greeks if they want to accept the deal offered by their creditors.

The Greek government took the unilateral decision to hold a vote last weekend, angering eurozone ministers.

Greece has requested a new bailout deal from the eurozone, just hours before it must repay €1.6 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The Greek government is asking for a new two-year €29.1 billion aid deal from a bailout mechanism for eurozone countries.

Eurozone finance ministers discussed the Greek offer in a teleconference on Tuesday evening, but made no decision.

If it fails to make the IMF payment, Greece could risk leaving the euro.

The European Commission, which is one of Greece’s creditors, wants Athens to raise taxes and cut welfare spending.

No advanced economy has ever missed a payment on an IMF loan.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Amid fears of a Greek default on its huge public debt of €323 billion – and a possible exit from the euro – long queues of people are continuing to snake from many cash machines in Greece, where withdrawals are capped at just €60 a day.

On Tuesday evening, thousands of pro-EU protesters braved stormy weather and gathered outside the Greek parliament in Athens to urge a “Yes” vote in a referendum on July 5 over whether the country should accept its creditors’ proposals.

It follows a similar demonstration by those advocating a “No” vote – the path preferred by PM Alexis Tsipras – on June 29.

Greek banks did not open this week after talks between Greece and its creditors broke down.

However, up to 1,000 bank branches will re-open from July 1 to allow pensioners – many of whom do not use bank cards – to withdraw up to €120.

The European Commission offered a slightly amended deal to Greece late on Monday night, which the Greek government did not accept.

Instead, Greece responded with a request for a two-year deal under the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the bailout mechanism for eurozone countries whose aim is to maintain the stability of the euro. The ESM did not exist when Greece was bailed out in 2010 and 2012.

However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has insisted that the eurozone’s wealthiest member will not enter into new aid negotiations with Greece before its weekend referendum.

“Before a referendum, as planned, is carried out, we won’t negotiate on anything new at all,” Angela Merkel said.

The ECB is believed to have disbursed virtually all of its emergency funds for Greece, amounting to €89 billion.

The question which will be put to Greek voters on July 5 will not be as simple as whether they want to stay in the euro or not.

Instead it asks Greeks to approve or reject the specific terms laid out by Greece’s creditors.

“Should the agreement plan submitted by the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to the June 25 eurogroup and consisting of two parts, which form their single proposal, be accepted? The first document is titled <<Reforms for the completion of the Current Program and Beyond>> and the second <<Preliminary Debt Sustainability Analysis>>.

Photo EPA

Photo EPA

“Not approved/NO


The two appendix documents – “Reforms for the completion of the current program and beyond” and “Preliminary debt sustainability analysis” – don’t sound much more easily digestible than the ballot.

There is still a question over when and how voters will be presented with those documents, and whether world-class economists will be on hand at polling stations to explain them.

As well as being a little bit dense, the Greek ballot also controversially puts the “No” option – favored by the Greek government – above the “Yes” option, leading some to accuse it of bias.

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has urged population to reject international creditors’ demands in a snap referendum on the country’s debt crisis due on July 5.

Alexis Tsipras said a clear vote against austerity would help Greece negotiate a better settlement to the crisis.

Otherwise, the prime minister warned, he would not stay in office to oversee more cuts.

Greece’s bailout expires on June 30, the same day it faces a deadline to repay a €1.6 billion loan to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The loan is to be repaid by 18:00 Washington time (22:00 GMT).

EU leaders have warned that a rejection of the creditors’ proposals on July 5 would mean Greece leaving the eurozone – though Alexis Tsipras says he does not want this to happen.

Talks between Greece and its creditors broke down last week, leading to Greek banks having to shut this week. The uncertainty also caused stock markets to fall sharply on June 29.Alexis Tsipras Greece bailout referendum

Asian markets rebounded on June 30, with stock markets in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul all rising compared with June 29.

Tens of thousands of people gathered outside the Greek parliament in Athens on Monday evening in a show of support for the government’s proposals. A rival protest organized by those calling for a “Yes” vote is due later on Tuesday, June 30.

Speaking live on state TV on Monday evening, PM Alexis Tsipras appealed to Greeks to reject the creditors’ proposals, saying this would give Greece “more powerful weapons” to take to the negotiating table.

“We ask you to reject it with all the might of your soul, with the greatest margin possible,” he said.

Alexis Tsipras told viewers he did not believe the creditors wanted Greece out of the eurozone “because the cost is immense”.

He also hinted strongly that he would resign if the result of the referendum was a “Yes” vote.

“If the Greek people want to proceed with austerity plans in perpetuity, which will leave us unable to lift our head… we will respect it, but we will not be the ones to carry it out,” Alexis Tsipras said.

The Greek government has already been forced to order all banks to be closed until July 6 after the European Central Bank (ECB) decided not to extend its emergency funding.

The ECB is believed to have disbursed virtually all of its ceiling for funds, amounting to €89 billion.

Long queues of people were seen snaking outside ATMs on June 29, with withdrawals capped at just €60 a day.

Elderly people, many without bank cards, were seen waiting outside closed bank branches in the hope of getting access to funds.

EU leaders have warned Greek people that rejecting international creditors’ proposals in the bailout referendum called for Sunday, July 5, would mean leaving the euro.

German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said the vote would be “Yes or No to the eurozone”.

Greece’s PM Alexis Tsipras has urged a “No” vote but insists he wants Greece to stay in the euro.

Talks between Greece and its creditors broke down last week, leading to Greek banks having to shut this week.

Global stock markets saw big falls on Monday, June 29, after the weekend’s events.

As well as Sigmar Gabriel, the leaders of the eurozone’s other two largest economies said Greek voters would effectively be deciding whether or not they wanted to stay in the eurozone on July 5.

Italian PM Matteo Renzi said the choice would be between the euro and the drachma, while French President Francois Hollande said: “What’s at stake is… knowing whether the Greeks want to stay within the eurozone.”Greece bailout referendum 2015

Speaking to Greek television on June 29, Alexis Tsipras urged as many Greeks to vote “No” as possible on July 5 to give the Greek government a stronger position to restart negotiations.

He said his government had a mandate “to be within the European framework but with more justice”.

“They will not kick us out of the eurozone because the cost is immense,” he said.

Earlier, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he felt “betrayed” by the “egotism” shown by Greece in the failed talks on giving heavily indebted Greece the last payment of its international bailout.

Jean-Claude Juncker said Greek proposals were “delayed” or “deliberately altered” but added the door was still open to talks.

Despite the public war of words, a Greek official said Alexis Tsipras had spoken to Jean-Claude Juncker on June 26 and asked him to extend Greece’s bailout until the referendum.

A critical deadline looms on June 30, when Greece is due to pay back €1.6 billion to the IMF – the same day its current bailout expires. There are fears of a default and a possible exit from euro.

Jean-Claude Juncker said that he still believed a Greek exit from the euro was not an option and insisted that the creditors’ latest proposal meant more social fairness.

The question which will be put to voters on July 5 will not be as simple as whether they want to stay in the euro or not – instead it asks Greeks to approve or reject the specific terms laid out by Greece’s creditors:

“Should the agreement plan submitted by the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund to the June 25 eurogroup and consisting of two parts, which form their single proposal, be accepted? The first document is titled <<Reforms for the completion of the Current Program and Beyond>> and the second <<Preliminary Debt Sustainability Analysis>>.

“Not approved/NO



The final episode of Top Gear hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond was screened on Sunday, June 28.

The 75-minute special was compiled from footage shot before Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond left Top Gear.

The BBC Two show made no reference to their departure, nor the circumstances.

Closing the show, James May said: “Thank you very much for watching and, well, goodbye.”

Richard Hammond also said goodbye and the credits then rolled in silence.

After the episode ended, Jeremy Clarkson took to Twitter to say: “Many many thanks for all your support and encouragement over the years. So sad and sorry it’s ended like this.”Top Gear final episode with Jeremy Clarkson

Richard Hammond also tweeted: “Can’t believe that one life has room to accommodate the first and the last steps of that incredible adventure. Thanks for your company.”

The show was a swansong for Jeremy Clarkson – whose contract was not renewed after he punched a producer – as well as James May and Richard Hammond, who both turned down the opportunity to return to the series.

The final show featured two separate films – in the second installment, Jeremy Clarkson is seen stranded in a river, declaring: “I hate working on Top Gear.”

At the beginning of the show James May welcomed viewers by saying: “Hello, and welcome to what’s left of Top Gear.”

The show format featured James May and Richard Hammond presenting in an empty studio, without Jeremy Clarkson or the usual live audience.

Also visible in the studio was the “elephant in the room”, a 10ft plastic replica elephant from a Hull design company which the show’s makers borrowed, called Jeremy.

The episode is predicted to become the highest-rated episode in Top Gear history, beating the audience of 8.35 million who tuned in to see Lewis Hamilton’s appearance in December 2007.

Jeremy Clarkson recorded a new voiceover for the show, although he was not paid. Richard Hammond and James May filmed new links, but without the traditional Top Gear studio audience.

Writing in the Sun, Jeremy Clarkson had said: “BBC Two is screening an edition of Top Gear cobbled together from two films that were made before I was fired.

“One of them is quite good.”

Greece’s PM Alexis Tsipras has announced that the Greek banks are to remain closed and capital controls will be imposed.

Speaking after the European Central Bank (ECB) said it was not increasing emergency funding to Greek banks, Alexis Tsipras said Greek deposits were safe.

Greece is due to make a €1.6 billion payment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on June 30 – the same day that its current bailout expires.

The country risks default and moving closer to a possible exit from the eurozone.

Greeks have been queuing to withdraw money from cash machines over the weekend, and the Bank of Greece said it was making “huge efforts” to keep the machines stocked.

Greek banks are expected to stay shut until July 7, two days after Greece’s planned referendum on the terms it had been offered by international creditors for receiving fresh bailout money.

The Athens stock exchange will also be closed on June 29.Greek banks closed 2015

Eurozone finance ministers blamed Greece for breaking off the talks, and the European Commission took the unusual step on Sunday of publishing proposals by European creditors that it said were on the table at the time.

Greece described creditors’ terms as “not viable”, and asked for an extension of its current deal until after the vote was completed.

“[Rejection] of the Greek government’s request for a short extension of the program was an unprecedented act by European standards, questioning the right of a sovereign people to decide,” Alexis Tsipras on June 28 said in a televised address.

“This decision led the ECB today to limit the liquidity available to Greek banks and forced the Greek central bank to suggest a bank holiday and restrictions on bank withdrawals.”

Alexis Tsipras said he had sent a new request for an extension to the bailout.

“I am awaiting their immediate response to a fundamental request of democracy,” he said.

Following the news from Greece the euro fell by nearly two US cents against the dollar in early Asia Pacific trade, Reuters reported.

The announcement comes after a particularly turbulent few days for Greece.

The current ceiling for the ECB’s emergency funding – Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) – is €89 billion. It is thought that virtually all that money has been disbursed.


Ole Miss Rebels offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil was arrested on June 25 in Oxford for domestic violence against his stepfather, coach Hugh Freeze confirmed on June 27.

Laremy Tunsil, 20, turned himself into authorities, Hugh Freeze said, after he allegedly assaulted his stepfather, Lindsey Miller, in defense of his mother, Desiree Tunsil.

Hugh Freeze said that Laremy Tunsil and his mother have pressed charges against Lindsey Miller.

An Oxford Police Department spokesperson could not confirm if Laremy Tunsil and his mother have indeed filed charges.

In a statement, Coach Hugh Freeze said: “Laremy realizes he could have handled it differently.

“I am proud of him for standing up for his mother and protecting his family.”Laremy Tunsil arrested for domestic violence

Lindsey Miller told The Clarion-Ledger that he denies the report and alleges the incident occurred after an argument with Laremy Tunsil on Thursday afternoon.

He claims he never pushed Laremy Tunsil’s mother and that Tunsil instigated the fight.

Lindsey Miller also said Laremy Tunsil struck him six to seven times.

An Oxford Police Department spokesperson said Laremy Tunsil’s arrest report would not be made available until June 29.

According to a report from ESPN, Laremy Tunsil was at his mother’s home when the incident occurred. Lindsey Miller shoved Laremy Tunsil’s mother and in response Tunsil punched his stepfather, a source told Brett McMurphy.

“As we gather more facts, we will act and make a decision accordingly,” Hugh Freeze said.

The 6-foot-5, 305-pound junior is one of the nation’s top offensive linemen and is a likely top five pick in next year’s NFL draft. ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. projected Laremy Tunsil as the second overall selection in his first “big board” for 2016.

An unnamed NFC scout told NFL.com that Laremy Tunsil’s situation would be met with understanding by NFL clubs, “if it checks out”.

This summer, Laremy Tunsil has been tabbed a preseason All-American by a host of media outlets. He was an All-SEC selection last season.

Laremy Tunsil is currently rehabbing a broken leg and dislocated ankle, an injury he suffered in December during Ole Miss’ loss to TCU in the Peach Bowl.

The Greek lawmakers have backed plans for a referendum on international creditors’ terms for a new bailout.

The July 5 referendum was called by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who opposes further budget cuts. He urged voters to deliver a “resounding <<No>>” to the package.

Eurozone partners have criticized Greece’s referendum announcement, and rejected its request to extend the bailout program beyond June 30.

Greece could default on a €1.6 billion repayment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) due on that day.Greece parliament backs bailout referendum

There are fears the country may leave the euro and that its economy may collapse without new bailout funds.

Alexis Tsipras’ motion on a referendum easily won backing in the 300-member strong parliament, with at least 179 lawmakers voting in favor of it in the early hours of Sunday, June 28.

Speaking just before the vote, Alexis Tsipras described the creditors’ proposal as “an insulting ultimatum” and said an emphatic “No” vote on July 5 would strengthen Greece’s negotiating position.

His government had earlier rejected the creditors’ offer of a five-month extension to Greece’s bailout program in exchange for reforms.

On June 28, eurozone finance ministers rejected the Greek proposal for the bailout extension beyond Tuesday’s deadline. A Eurogroup statement said Greece had broken off negotiations over a new bailout deal “unilaterally”.

Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem said it would now be up to the European Central Bank (ECB) to decide whether to continue providing emergency liquidity funding to the Greek banking system.

Meanwhile, queues have formed in Greece outside banks in the past few days amid concerns that the central bank might start restricting withdrawals.


Ex-NFL lineman Damion Cook has died on June 26 at the age of 36 after suffering an apparent heart attack.

He was an undrafted offensive lineman who went on to play in parts of seven NFL seasons.

Damion Cook, a Nashville native, appeared in 26 NFL games at guard and made 10 starts from 2001-09 after a college career at Bethune-Cookman, which confirmed his death Friday, June 26, via Twitter.Damion Cook dead at 36

He signed with the Ravens out of college and spent the 2001 season with the Bears. After joining the Dolphins during the 2002 offseason, he returned to Baltimore. In 2004, he joined the Browns and started four games.

After another stint with the Dolphins, Damion Cook joined the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL and the Tampa Bay Storm in the Arena League before capping his career with the NFL’s Lions in 2008-09.

NFL fans may remember Damion Cook for the impression of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis captured by HBO’s Hard Knocks during training camp.

Eurozone finance ministers have reportedly rejected Greece’s request to extend bailout program beyond June 30.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Greece asked for a one-month extension of its expiring rescue deal.

But the request was swiftly rejected by the rest of the eurozone, three European officials said on June 27.Greece bailout extension rejected

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis made the request at a meeting with his eurozone counterparts in Brussels, a day after the government in Athens said it would hold a referendum on its bailout in which it would campaign against the policy overhauls and budget cuts demanded by its creditors.

The finance ministers of the other 18 eurozone countries will meet without Greece later Saturday evening, two European officials said.

Many ministers expressed surprise and disappointment toward Greece’s PM Alexis Tsipras’s decision to call for a referendum in which he would campaign against the budget cuts and policy overhauls demanded by his country’s creditors.

Alexander Stubb, Finland’s finance chief, was one of several ministers who said their negotiations would now focus on how to deal with the consequences of a Greek default.

“Plan B becomes Plan A,” Alexander Stubb told reporters.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has announced a referendum on a controversial bailout deal with foreign creditors for July 5.

In a TV address, Alexis Tsipras described the plan as “humiliation” and condemned “unbearable” austerity measures demanded by creditors.

The Greek government earlier rejected the proposals, aimed at avoiding Greece defaulting on its debt.

Greece has to make a €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) IMF debt repayment on June 30.

Photo AFP

Photo AFP

Alexis Tsipras said: “These proposals, which clearly violate the European rules and the basic rights to work, equality and dignity show that the purpose of some of the partners and institutions was not a viable agreement for all parties, but possibly the humiliation of an entire people.”

“The people must decide free of any blackmail,” he added.

Greece has refused to accept cuts to pension payments or public sector wages while the IMF is pushing for deeper spending cuts, not just more tax rises.

A key point of friction is a special benefit paid to some low-income pensioners, which creditors want scrapped.

Creditors also want a wider VAT base; Greece says it will not allow extra VAT on medicines or electricity bills, and has also resisted calls for VAT hikes on hotels and restaurants.

Athens wants a concrete commitment to debt relief, something its creditors are not offering.

Greece PM Alexis Tsipras has criticized the country’s international creditors for failing to accept his government’s latest reform proposals.

Alexis Tsipras said this never occurred with similar measures put forward by other states negotiating bailouts, suggesting creditors might not want a deal.

There are also reports that Greece has rejected an IMF counter-proposal seeking more pension and spending cuts.

Alexis Tsipras’ remarks came before he began new talks to secure a debt deal.

Greece must repay €1.6 billion to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the end of the month, or face default and possible exit from the EU.

Eurozone finance ministers are due to finalize a deal on June 24 by the end of the day.

On June 24, the ECB again increased additional emergency funding for Greek banks to stave off fears of a bank run – the fifth time in eight days it has done so as fearful savers withdraw up to €1bn a day from domestic banks.

Photo AP

Photo AP

Only once agreement is reached will creditors unlock the final €7.2 billion tranche of bailout funds.

The agreement being formed is believed to include:

  • New taxes on businesses and the wealthy
  • Selective increases in VAT
  • Savings in pensions linked to curbing early retirement and increasing pension contributions
  • No further reductions in pensions or public-sector wages – “red lines” for Greece’s Syriza government

PM Alexis Tsipras has been meeting the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – the trio evaluating his proposals.

They are hoping to finalize a deal that would release further loans to Greece before it runs out of money.

Reuters news agency quoted a eurozone official as saying that, despite several hours of talks, there had been no breakthrough so far and the sides were “still stuck at the same red lines”.

Police have raided Toyota Motor Corp.’s headquarters in Toyota City, as well as its offices in Tokyo and Nagoya, following the arrest a senior American executive on suspicion of drug law violations.

Julie Hamp, Toyota’s newly appointed head of public relations, has been arrested on suspicion of importing a controlled substance into Japan.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda said last week that he believes Julie Hamp did not intend to violate the law.

It is unclear what authorities were looking for in the raid, which is common after an arrest.Toyota executive Julie Hamp arrested

Toyota spokesman Ryo Sakai told Reuters news agency that the company would not comment because an investigation is ongoing.

Julie Hamp is the highest ranking female executive in Toyota’s history.

She was arrested on June 18 on suspicion of importing oxycodone, a narcotic pain killer, into Japan. The substance is tightly controlled in the country.

Police said the drugs were in a parcel that Julie Hamp had posted to herself.

Julie Hamp told police she brought the drugs into Japan to help with pain in her knees, Kyodo News reported.


Walmart has decided to remove Confederate flag merchandise from stores and its e-commerce site in the wake of Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church shooting last week that renewed outcry over the symbol.

Brian Nick, a spokesman for the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retailer, said in a statement: “We never want to offend anyone with the products that we offer.

“We have taken steps to remove all items promoting the Confederate flag from our assortment – whether in our stores or on our website.”

On June 22, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called for removing the Confederate battle flag from the State House grounds. Following the shooting, which killed nine parishioners at a historic black church in the state, the symbol needs to go, she said.Walmart Confederate flag products

Governor Nikki Haley said at a press conference: “That flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future.

“By removing a symbol that divides us, we can move forward as a state in harmony.”

Walmart has sold a range of Confederate-themed products, including decals, knives and T-shirts. The move to eliminate the merchandise was previously reported by CNN.

The company’s Brian Nick said in the statement: “We have a process in place to help lead us to the right decisions when it comes to the merchandise we sell.

“Still, at times, items make their way into our assortment improperly – this is one of those instances.”

European leaders hold an emergency summit in Brussels that could break the deadlock around Greece’s debt crisis.

Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he hoped Greece would “return to growth within the eurozone”.

European finance ministers have said there is still no basis for making a decision for aid for Greece on June 22.Greece debt summit June 2015

On June 21, Alexis Tsipras set out new proposals to try to prevent a default on a €1.6 billion IMF loan.

But he has ruled out pension cuts, higher power rates, and an excessive budget surplus.

Greece must repay the loan by the end of June or risk crashing out of the eurozone and possibly the EU.

Talks have been in deadlock for five months. The European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank (ECB) are unwilling to unlock the final €7.2 billion tranche of bailout funds until Greece agrees to economic reforms.


Top Gear will keep its “sense of danger” when the show returns with Chris Evans hosting, BBC director general Tony Hall has said.

Tony Hall said he was “thrilled” Chris Evans was replacing Jeremy Clarkson, who was sacked after punching a producer.

He also said he hoped the new Top Gear would appeal to existing fans and bring in people who were “put off by part of how the program was in the past”.

“I’d like to see some women in the presenting team,” Tony Hall added.Top Gear new host is Chris Evans

Top Gear‘s close-to-the-knuckle humor and high-octane stunts are all part of the attraction to the show’s 6.5 million viewers.

The show, however, has a long history of controversy under its previous stewardship, including accusations of racism and inappropriate comments.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Tony Hall said he believed Chris Evans would be able to reinvent the show as he knew “what makes a good program”.

“I hope that edge will be there and that sense of danger will be there. I need to leave it to Chris and the team to make up their mind about what they think is going to work best,” he said.

“You’ve go to trust the talent and give them confidence to do the things they want to do.”

Tony Hall also denied knowledge of claims Jeremy Clarkson was offered his job back as the host of Top Gear, after the presenter told The Sun an unnamed BBC executive had “asked if I’d come back” last week.

“I have no idea what that’s all about,” the director general said.

“I made it absolutely clear when I said ‘we’re going to part company’ that was it.”

Jeremy Clarkson’s final episode of Top Gear will be broadcast on June 28.

Greece will offer new proposals to creditors ahead of an emergency EU summit planned for June 22, State Minister Alekos Flambouraris has said.

Alekos Flambouraris also told Greek media he believed the European Central Bank (ECB) would not allow the country’s banks to collapse.

Reports say billions of euros have been withdrawn from Greek banks in the past week.

The summit comes amid attempts to prevent Greece defaulting on a €1.6 billion IMF loan repayment.

The European Commission, the IMF and the ECB are unwilling to unlock bailout funds until Greece agrees to reforms.

They want Greece to implement a series of economic changes in areas such as pensions, VAT and on the budget surplus before releasing €7.2 billion of funds, which have been delayed since February.Greece debt proposals 2015

Details of the new proposals have not yet been released.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras has said he believes “there will be a solution based on respecting EU rules and democracy which would allow Greece to return to growth in the euro”.

However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned there must be a deal between Greece and its creditors ahead of June 22 summit.

Otherwise, Angela Merkel said, the summit would not be able to make any decision.

Alexis Tsipras was due to hold further talks with his negotiating team in Athens on June 20.

Greece has less than two weeks before the IMF loan repayment is due.

If Greece fails to make the repayment, it risks having to leave the eurozone and possibly also the EU.

On June 19, the European Central Bank (ECB) approved more emergency help for Greece’s banks. The amount of extra funding has not been officially disclosed.

Reuters news agency said withdrawals by Greek savers between Monday and Friday reached about €4.2 billion, which represents about 3% of household and corporate deposits held by Greek banks at the end of April.

Close to €1 billion was withdrawn on Friday alone, the financial website Euro2day said.

“There are no lines [queues] or panic, it has been a quiet and gradual phase of withdrawals,” one banker told Reuters.


Golfer Jason Day collapsed with vertigo during round two of this year’s US Open at Chambers Bay on June 12.

Jason Day, 27, who suffers with the condition for several years, needed treatment for a few minutes after his fall.

The Australian regained his footing and missed a putt for par on the ninth hole – his 18th – before succeeding from four feet for a bogey to leave him on two under.

Medical staff had to help Jason Day walk over to sign his scorecard but he said he plans to play on in the tournament.

Photo Fox Sports

Photo Fox Sports

Jason Day’s agent Bud Martin said: “Jason was diagnosed to have suffered from Benign Positional Vertigo. He is resting comfortably.

“His condition is being monitored closely and he is hopeful he will be able to compete this weekend in the final rounds of the US Open. He wants to thank all who treated him the fans and friends who have reached out to him and his family.”

Playing partner Justin Rose, who shot a level-par 70 to stand at two over, said: “At first I thought he might’ve just rolled his ankle but then when I saw his caddie with a towel round him, I realised it was something else.

“I knew he’d been having some health issues recently and then that’s when your mind starts racing a little bit.”

Vertigo caused world No 10 Jason Day to withdraw from the World Golf Championship in Ohio in 2014 and last month’s Byron Nelson Championship.


Top Gear new host, Chris Evans, has launched a search for the new show presenters on June 19.

An open audition invites fans to post a short video to the BBC. It should be no longer than 30 seconds, and must not feature cars, stunts or gimmicks – just the applicant talking directly to the camera.

Chris Evans, who was announced on June 17 as the replacement of Jeremy Clarkson on the BBC show, said the hosts could be “male, female, young or old, it doesn’t matter”.Chris Evans Top Gear auditions

“If you’re up for it, we want to hear from you, but you’ve got to know about cars,” Chris Evans said.

However, Chris Evans clarified, the job on offer was not necessarily that of presenter. “You could be auditioning to be a driver. You could be auditioning to be a film reporter. Or you could be auditioning to be a co-host.

“If we don’t find anybody who’s good enough, if there’s nobody right for this from these videos, we will not be appointing anyone. Or the whole new team might be from these videos. We don’t know.”

Chris Evans added that the age limit had been raised to 17: “Yesterday I said 16, sorry about that.”

Submissions can be made through the Top Gear website: bbc.co.uk/topgear.

The deadline is July 20.


Jeremy Clarkson was not offered to take back his Top Gear job, months after he was axed from the job, the BBC confirmed.

The former Top Gear host told the Sun, for whom he writes a regular column, that an unnamed BBC executive had “asked if I’d come back to Top Gear” last week.

However, Jeremy Clarkson, 55, said he refused: “It would have been impossible to make the show I’d want to make.”Jeremy Clarkson not offered Top Gear return

Meanwhile, Chris Evans has been announced as Top Gear new host.

A BBC spokesman said: “We haven’t offered another Top Gear contract.

“The BBC had placed on record its thanks to Jeremy for his broadcasting on the program and wish him well for the future.”

Jeremy Clarkson, who was fired for punching the show producer Oisin Tymon in March, told the Sun that returning to the Top Gear role “was never an option”.

He has also revealed plans for a new motoring show to rival Top Gear, which is set to return to BBC screens next April.

It is anticipated that Jeremy Clarkson’s former co-hosts, James May and Richard Hammond – who decided against returning to the BBC without him – will also join the new venture.


Former Top Gear co-host James May has been announced as the presenter of BBC Two’s new car show Building Cars Live.

Springwatch‘s Kate Humble will co-host along with Ant Antstead, presenter on Channel 4’s For the Love of Cars.

Building Cars Live will go behind the scenes of the UK’s car manufacturing industry to explain the science and engineering involved.

The new show will consist of two 90 minute live episodes and will air in the autumn.

The programs will track in real time the transformation from raw materials to finished vehicle and will broadcast live from BMW’s Mini plant in Oxford.James May hosts Building Cars Live

A press release from the BBC announcing the show included a quote from James May saying: “I can’t wait to build a car. Live.”

There had been speculation over James May’s future on Top Gear after Jeremy Clarkson was dropped by the broadcaster in March following a “fracas” with the show producer, Oisin Tymon.

There had been reports James May and fellow host Richard Hammond had been offered massive pay deals to stay with the show.

With the announcement this week that Chris Evans will take over Jeremy Clarkson’s role, it was confirmed the two former presenters would not be returning for Top Gear new series.

James May will be seen once more on Top Gear on Jeremy Clarkson’s final episode which will air on June 28.

James May and Richard Hammond will present links from the studio and it will feature two films shot before Clarkson was dropped from the show.

Meanwhile Chris Evans has announced open auditions to find replacements for James May and Richard Hammond.

A meeting of European finance ministers in Luxembourg ended with no agreement on Greece’s debt.

The head of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, has said that Greece needs to seize a “last opportunity” to reach a deal with its creditors.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem called on Greece to submit “credible” proposals in the coming days.

To help tackle the crisis, an emergency summit of leaders from Eurozone nations has been called for June 22.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem highlighted that “very little time remains” as Greece’s current bailout program runs out this month.

“It is still possible to find an agreement and extend the current program before the end of the month, but the ball is clearly in the Greek court to seize that last opportunity,” he said.

The Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, said his nation had presented a “comprehensive” proposal and that disagreement only existed over spending equivalent to 0.5% of Greek GDP, which he says does not constitute a “dangerous impasse”.Greece debt talks Luxembourg

Yanis Varoufakis highlighted that Greece has already made a “gigantic adjustment” over the last five years and rejected any measures that would “jack-up” taxes and reduce benefits further.

He warned that negotiations were “dangerously close to a state of mind that accepts an accident”.

Greece has less than two weeks remaining to strike a deal with its creditors or face defaulting on an existing €1.6 billion loan repayment due to the IMF.

The country has already rolled a €300 million payment into those due on June 30.

If it fails to make the payment, Greece risks has to leave the eurozone and possibly also the EU.

The European Commission, the IMF and the European Central Bank (ECB) are unwilling to unlock bailout funds until Greece agrees to reforms.

They want Greece to implement a series of economic changes in areas such as pensions, VAT and on the budget surplus before releasing €7.2 billion of funds, which have been delayed since February.

Pressure was also raised on Greece today when the boss of the International Money Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, warned there was “no period of grace” for Greece over its impending debt repayment deadline.

Christine Lagarde said Greece would be in default on its loans from the IMF if it failed to make a €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) payment on June 30.

The Bank of Greece has warned for the first time that the country could be on a “painful course” to default and exit from both the eurozone and the EU.

The central bank’s warning comes as the government and its international creditors blamed each other for failing to reach a deal over economic reforms.

That failure is holding up the release of €7.2 billion in bailout funds.

About €30 billion was withdrawn from Greek bank deposits between October and April, the central bank added.

The central bank also warned Greece’s economic slowdown would accelerate without a deal.

“Failure to reach an agreement would… mark the beginning of a painful course that would lead initially to a Greek default and ultimately to the country’s exit from the euro area and, most likely, from the European Union,” the Bank of Greece said in a report.

“Striking an agreement with our partners is a historical imperative that we cannot afford to ignore.”

Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, when asked if there could be an agreement at the meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Luxembourg on June 18, said: “I do not believe so.”Bank of Greece warns of default

He said preparatory work for the meeting had not gone far enough for a deal.

Greek shares fell sharply again. The Athens General Index closed 3.2% lower which takes its loss for the past four trading sessions to almost 19%.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann was in Athens on June 17 in a last-ditch bid to end the standoff.

“For Europe to be stronger, it must show solidarity and support to any country which needs it,” Werner Faymann said during a meeting with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.

That came ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers on June 18 although officials have played down expectations of a make-or-break decision being reached.

The Austrian chancellor’s comments followed a harsher critique from European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who on June 16 accused the Greek government of misleading voters, as Greek PM Alexis Tsipras accused the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) of trying to “humiliate” his country.

Greece has two weeks remaining to strike a deal with its creditors or face defaulting on an existing €1.6 billion loan repayment due to the IMF.

The country has already rolled a €300 million payment into those due on June 30.

Jean-Claude Juncker said the Greek government had not told the truth about its latest reform proposals.

“I am blaming the Greeks [for telling] things to the Greek public which are not consistent with what I’ve told the Greek prime minister,” he said.

PM Alexis Tsipras has said that the lenders wanted to raise VAT on electricity.

Other Greek ministers have criticized suggestions to increase sales tax on medicines.

Jean-Claude Juncker said: “I’m not in favor, and the prime minister knows that… of increasing VAT on medicaments and electricity. This would be a major mistake.”

“The debate in Greece and outside Greece would be easier if the Greek government would tell exactly what the Commission… are really proposing,” he added.

YanisVaroufakis claimed that EU proposals did include VAT increases: “Juncker either hadn’t read the document he gave Tsipras – or he read it and forgot about it.”

Elsewhere in the eurozone, Portugal’s short-term borrowing costs rose sharply on June 17, with yields on six-month treasury bills jumping from minus 0.002% to 0.044% at the country’s latest debt auction.

The rise came despite an assurance to investors from Portuguese PM Pedro Passos Coelho that his country would not be “the next to fall” in the event of a Greek default.