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À partir d’avant-hierGEAB » Press Review

Fed raises U.S. interest rates, sees at least three more years of growth

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
reuters
In a statement that marked the end of the era of “accommodative” monetary policy, Fed policymakers lifted the benchmark overnight lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 2.00 percent to 2.25 percent. The U.S. central bank still foresees another rate hike in December, three more next year, and one increase in 2020. That would put the benchmark overnight lending rate at 3.4 percent, roughly half a percentage point above the Fed’s estimated “neutral” rate of interest, at which rates neither stimulate nor restrict the economy… Read more : Reuters, 26.09.2018

Xi Jinping says trade war pushes China to rely on itself and ‘that’s not a bad thing’

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
scmp2
Chinese President Xi Jinping says rising “unilateralism and protectionism” is forcing China to rely more on itself for development and “it’s not a bad thing”, reflecting a determination to fight a protracted trade war with the US if necessary. Xi, the most powerful Chinese leader in decades, said it was time for China to cut its dependence on foreign technologies and others in his first clear statement on how China would cope with the trade war. Speaking from one of China’s biggest state-owned factories, Xi emphasised the value of self-reliance, according to People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party.. Read more : SCMP, 26.09.2018

Japanese carrier drills with British warship heading to contested South China Sea

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
reuters
Japan’s biggest warship, the Kaga helicopter carrier, joined naval drills with Britain’s HMS Argyll in the Indian Ocean on Wednesday as the frigate headed toward the contested South China Sea and East Asia. Britain, Japan and close ally the United States have found common cause in countering growing Chinese influence in the region, to keep key sealanes linking Asia to Europe, the United States and elsewhere from falling under Beijing’s sway… Read more : Reuters, 27.09.2018

Italy to include basic income in 2019 budget

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
Economy minister Giovanni Tria announced on Wednesday that Italy’s 2019 budget would include a basic income and a lower retirement age. The move aims to secure support for the budget from the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, having pledged a basic income of up to €780 in election campaigns. The budget could rise eyebrows in Brussels, with Italy’s public debt already the highest in the eurozone after Greece’s… Read more : EUObserver, 27.09.2018

Canada and US reach trade deal to replace NAFTA

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
The United States and Canada agreed to a deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement shortly before a midnight deadline. The 24-year-old NAFTA, which President Donald Trump railed against as a disaster, will be replaced by the USMCA — the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Trump tweeted his approval Monday morning for what he called a “wonderful” trilateral agreement… Read more : CNBC, 01.10.2018

Why small Chinese cities like Hohhot are the future of global luxury goods consumption

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
scmp
More than half of all luxury consumers in China live outside the top 15 cities, and they are young and well educated, report finds. In China, luxury goods are no longer exclusively for well-heeled city folk. In fact, the future of brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci and Prada may lie in smaller cities like northern China’s Hohhot, which is 10 hours by rail to the capital of Beijing and has a population of three million… Read more : SCMP, 03.10.2018

US threatens to ‘take out’ new Russian cruise missile system if it becomes operational

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
scmp
Washington claims once the system works, Moscow could launch a nuclear strike in Europe with little or no notice. The US envoy to Nato on Tuesday warned that Russia must stop development of new missiles that could carry nuclear warheads and threatened to “take out” the system if it comes online. Nato claims that the 9M729 system contravenes the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF. The cold war-era pact bans an entire class of weapons – all land-based cruise missiles with a range from 500 to 5,500km (310-3,410 miles), and the alliance says the Russian system fits into that category… Read more : SCMP, 02.10.2018

Is Brazil heading towards a military dictatorship?

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
alj
It has been 33 years since Brazil’s military government gave up power and democratic elections were held. And it’s been 30 years since the country returned to democracy after the promulgation of its constitution. In these three decades, there have been many political ups and downs – including the impeachment of two presidents – but the political process has always observed the constitutional order. In recent weeks, however, as the new election season heated up, it seems the shadow of the military is creeping back onto the political scene in Brazil. The political polarisation and instability in the country have ushered a period of public “unreason”, similar to the one the United States experienced in 2016 which resulted in the election of Donald Trump… Read more : Aljazeera, 03.10.2018

Institutionalisation of cryptocurrencies, one big challenge

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
crypto-boom
While the wave of buzz and hype around cryptocurrencies, or virtual currencies, is running out of steam among people in general,[1] the movement that has emerged remains robust. The versatility of the technology, its deployment in a digital context which can quickly reach millions of people, its potentially anonymous character and the place it could take in the global financial system, cause people to dream or to tremble depending on the circumstances and the role that they have. The dream, for many, is nourished by the fact that this network is full of innovation[2], promises of fluidification of society, disintermediation… It attracts a large number of investors from all directions; from financial institutions to individual citizens attracted by its potential uses and/or price volatility. This technology promises a new world ... Read

Becoming wealthy starts in your mind, not in your wallet. Save precious time. Read the GEAB

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
geab127-en-v2
Before chasing any fortune, build a wealthy mindset. According to a lot of financial giants, becoming wealthy starts in your mind, not in your wallet. Passion, excellent ideas and a ton of discipline, but mostly high quality information represent the foundation of your wealth. To save time, the Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin is all you need. One of the few differences between a rich person and a poor person is how they use their time. The experts of the LEAP European Anticipation Laboratory gather information from worldwide media, digest it, interpret it for you, and mostly help you understand the trends in order to take the best investment decisions. Expertise is priceless. Invest today in high quality information. Get your GEAB access codes and be ready for the coming exclusive reports.

Turkish police believe Khashoggi killed inside Saudi consulate

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
rss
Turkish authorities believe that prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared four days ago after entering Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, has been killed. “The initial assessment of the Turkish police is that Mr Khashoggi has been killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate,” a Turkish official told Reuters news agency on Saturday… Read more : Aljazeera, 08.10.2018

US inflation is the world’s most important economic variable

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
rss1
U.S. inflation is the world’s most important economic variable. That proposition is explained by its corollary: Rising inflation is the only problem the U.S. Federal Reserve cannot solve by increasing its money supply. The Fed can deal with structural problems in credit markets by means of enhanced supervision, regulatory provisions and, all else failing, by open-ended lending in cases of systemic threats to the financial system’s stability. But none of those measures are applicable to situations of accelerating inflation and a deteriorating outlook for the value of fixed-income assets. That is a problem the Fed must address with sustained liquidity withdrawals, increasing credit costs and the ensuing growth recession of the U.S. economy… Read more : CNBC, 08.10.2018

America’s message: Time to pick sides in the South China Sea

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
scmp
Chinese leaders may have been US Vice-President Mike Pence’s main target audience this week as he issued Washington’s most blistering broadside on Beijing in recent years, but analysts say there was also a message for regional countries caught up in the proxy battle for supremacy between the two juggernauts in the disputed South China Sea: pick your side. The address – which immediately drew fire from China for its “unwarranted accusations” – suggests that President Donald Trump’s administration is on the brink of intensifying the ongoing trade war between the countries into a more broad-based cold war-esque confrontation, they say… Read more : SCMP, 06.10.2018

Far-right Bolsonaro widens lead on eve of Brazil’s elections

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
alj
Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro widened his lead over fellow election hopefuls a day before Brazilians go to the polls to choose the country’s next president. In DataFolha polling institute’s latest poll, published on Saturday, Bolsonaro was projected to win 40 percent of the vote on Sunday. Fernando Haddad, the leftist Workers’ Party (PT) replacement candidate for jailed former president Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva, was projected to win 25 percent of support. Lula topped opinion surveys gauging presidential candidates’ popularity levels prior to renouncing his candidacy last month after being barred from running by Brazil’s country’s top electoral court… Read more : Aljazeera, 07.10.2018

MEP proposes €1bn for NGOs supporting ‘EU values’

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
Conference on ' Minimum Standards for Minorities in the EU'
The MEP tasked with setting the European Parliament’s position on the EU’s planned support for NGOs has proposed a billion-euro program for promoting democratic values and civil society. The effort is part of the EU’s next long-term budget, set to start from 2021, which is under discussion among member states and the parliament… Read more : EUObserver, 10.10.2018  

Senior U.K. Official Sees Trump Trade Deal as Brexit Pipe Dream

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
British hopes for a sweeping post-Brexit trade deal with the U.S. are nothing more than a pipe dream, a senior U.K. official said, dismissing a key argument put forward by supporters for leaving the European Union. Even Prime Minister Theresa May’s closest allies realize any agreement with Donald Trump’s administration will be lopsided and prioritize the interests of the world’s biggest economy, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because a U.S. trade accord remains a top government priority. As an EU member, the U.K. is unable to negotiate its own trade deals and Brexiteers in May’s Conservative Party see pursuing accords with countries like the U.S., India and Australia as a key prize for leaving the bloc. Trade Secretary Liam Fox has held several rounds of preliminary discussions ... Read

Sanctions contre l’Iran : Et si les Etats-Unis faisaient un geste ?

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
bfm
L’administration Trump agit manifestement sous la contrainte d’un marché qui a toujours beaucoup de mal à croire que l’Asie puisse se passer du pétrole iranien. Les Etats-Unis sont en discussion avec certains pays clients de l’Iran afin de leur octroyer des exemptions. Deux sources proches du dossier l’affirment à l’agence Bloomberg. Il reste moins d’un mois pour conclure. A Washington, on fait valoir que les dérogations iraient à ceux qui ont montré de la bonne volonté, pour avoir déjà réduit leurs importations en provenance d’Iran. Autrement dit, si vous achetez moins avant, vous pourrez acheter plus après.Si ces exemptions américaines sont validées, elles apporteraient un certain relief au propos, lundi, du ministre iranien du Pétrole. Bijan Zangeneh soutient que le marché n’accorde aucun crédit aux prétentions de l’Arabie Saoudite de compenser ... Read

Ukraine Is Dangerously Close to a Religious War

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
bloomberg
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s political and military clash with Ukraine has brought about a schism on a spiritual level: The Ukrainian part of the Orthodox Church is on the verge of breaking away from its Russian overseer — a move that would undermine Moscow’s central role in eastern Christianity. There’s a real danger that the rift could lead to bloodshed, an outcome that all sides must act decisively to prevent… Read more : Bloomberg, 10.10.2018

The GEAB was writing this text in April 2017 (who knew anything about Bolsonaro’s existence at that time?)

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
bolsonaro
We are particularly concerned about Brazil. As a member of the club of emerging powers in 2009, this country is returning to the stage of being an underdeveloped country at full speed, after three years of impossibility to govern under Rousseff and one year of governance under Temer. The favelas are on the rise again[1], sanitary conditions are deteriorating[2], prisons are blazing[3], mafias are reigning, infrastructure is collapsing[4] and generals are making increasingly alarmist statements[5] suggesting military interventions to solve problems on the streets and at the borders; a virulent extreme right (we invite you to discover the character of Jair Bolsonaro in particular[6]) emerges slowly and could serve as a “democratic” bail for a military coup on the country. Settlement is expected in 2018, the date of the elections ... Read

Barclays: $70 More Likely Than $100

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
barclays
Oil industry titans are still not in agreement over what to expect from oil prices in the near future, with a wide array of guesses calling for both a spike in prices and a renewed downturn. At the Oil & Money Conference in London, this disagreement was on display. Ian Taylor of Vitol, an energy trader, said that he expects oil prices to fall to $65 per barrel, while his counterpart at Trafigura said that triple-digit oil prices were likely before all was said and done. A few weeks ago, $100 oil was all the rage, but the sudden volatility and turmoil in global financial markets has likely rocked some of that bullishness. Brent lost almost $4 per barrel over two days. There are plenty of reasons why oil could resume its upward ... Read

Black market fuel sales and fear: Zimbabwe faces economic fallout

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
alj
There are snaking queues at Zimbabwe’s petrol stations, supermarkets and factories as shoppers and motorists line up for scarce supplies. With Zimbabwe struggling to find a way to repay its foreign debtors and curb domestic spending, there are fears the country is slipping back into crisis mode. For days, some shops have closed, with signs on their doors such as “closed for stocktaking”. Others are open but their prices are rising.  At the Delta Beverages depot, a distributor of Coca-Cola and other drinks, overnight queues have become the norm… Read more : Aljazeera, 16.10.2018

U.S. And Europe Divided On The Future Of Oil

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
oilprice
Several energy revolutions have, over the centuries, changed the world: first, man learned to transform fire into kinetic energy during the Industrial Revolution with the invention of the steam engine. Second, the development of the internal combustion engine and the widespread use of refined oil after the First World War caused major societal changes. Finally, electrification has begun transforming the way we live, albeit at a slower pace than the previous two revolutions. Recently, however, this change has been accelerated due to lower production costs for wind and solar energy and a growing urgency in the fight against climate change. Several major energy companies with roots in fossil fuels have made inroads in the utility sector in order to take advantage of new developments. Europeans are taking more radical steps ... Read

Affaire Khashoggi : le silence assourdissant des pays arabes

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
jeuneafrique
À contre-courant de la vague d’indignation suscitée en Occident par la mort, confirmée par Riyad samedi 20 octobre, du journaliste saoudien Jamal Khashoggi, les pays arabes n’ont pas officiellement réagi. La plupart d’entre eux semblent ne pas vouloir prendre le risque de défier leur partenaire saoudien… « Ce dont le monde arabe a besoin, c’est de liberté d’expression. » C’est le titre de la dernière tribune du journaliste saoudien Jamal Khashoggi, parue dans le Washington Post. « J’ai récemment consulté sur Internet le rapport intitulé “Liberté dans le monde”, publié en 2018 par Freedom House, ce qui m’a amené à un triste constat. Un seul État du monde arabe figure dans la catégorie “libre”. Il s’agit de la Tunisie… Lire la suite : Jeuneafrique, 20.10.2018

The Future of the Car May Be Older Than the Model T

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
It took more than seven years for automakers to sell 4 million passenger electric vehicles. It’ll take about six months to sell the next million. That surging demand is transforming the lithium-ion battery business, with more power packs expected to be installed in EVs this year than in consumer electronics, according to Bloomberg NEF. China, where subsidy-toting drivers own a third of the world’s passenger EVs, is doing the most to fuel the boom. The market value of batteries used in electric cars, electric buses and related energy storage should multiply by about 10 times to a potential $500 billion by 2050, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. research… Read more : Bloomberg, 21.10.2018

Canada installs Chinese underwater monitoring devices next to US nuclear submarine base

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
canada
While the eyes of the world have been on the strategic tussle between Beijing and Washington in the South China Sea, Chinese scientists, with the help of the Canadian authorities, have succeeded in positioning four monitoring devices in waters just 300km (186 miles) off the United States’ Pacific coast. The instruments, which use hi-tech sensors to monitor the underwater environment, are connected to the Ocean Network Canada (ONC), a grid of marine observatories stretching from the northeast Pacific to the Arctic. While the network is operated by the University of Victoria in British Columbia, its four new additions are the property of the Sanya Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering, a unit of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which also developed and built them… Read more : SCMP, 22.10.2018

The Balkans Are Coming Apart at the Seams Again

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
balkans
When a country elects a president, the choice is not usually someone whose stated aim is to break it apart. But that’s just happened—ominously—in a country synonymous with 20th century European conflict. Milorad Dodik, who is emerging as the most powerful politician in Bosnia-Herzegovina after a vote this month, has made a career of advocating partition. He’s the leader of the Serb minority in that hyphenated country stitched together after the Balkan wars of the 1990s; and he’s always been clear about what he wants—to carve it up again and create an independent entity allied to Serbia next door. “This is not a common state, we are all its prisoners,” he said in 2016. “Bosnia isn’t worth a dime… Read more : Bloomberg, 19.10.2018

Why Governments will trust Bitcoin and no other cryptocurrency ever

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
bitcoin
Comprehending the features of Bitcoin, which makes it a reliable option for the government. Why is Bitcoin so popular, when there are tons of other cryptocurrencies? The main intention behind Satoshi Nakamoto’s initiative was to design and radicalize a currency which wouldn’t be under the jurisdiction of any form of government or a specific financial institution. Even though Bitcoin has been left behind by various cryptocurrencies in terms of attributes like transaction fees and confirmation time, it has managed to remain as the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization since a very long time. This might be due to the precise reason that Bitcoin is absolutely decentralized and most popular one in the domain… Read more : Coinnounce, 21.10.2018

America Is Drowning in Milk Nobody Wants

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
america
In 2016, the U.S. ranked 43rd among 195 nations with an average lifespan of 78.7 years. By 2040, Americans are forecast to only live 1.1 more years to 79.8, while dropping 21 spots in the global ranking of 195 countries to 64th, as other nations make faster gains, according to recently released data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. The drop in the U.S. is the most for high-income countries. Indeed, life expectancy in the U.S. is expected to be only slightly better than that of Bangladesh, a country with considerably lower income. Yet, Bangladesh will have made a significant stride of having 6.7 more years in average life span by 2040… Read more : Bloomberg, 20.10.2018

China requires blockchain-based information service providers to register users using real names, censor postings and store user data

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
Chinese users will have to register their real names before they can use online information services based on blockchain, in the first set of rules specifically targeting the technology behind digital currencies like bitcoin that is known for providing anonymity for users. Under proposed new rules, companies and entities operating in China that provide blockchain-based information services will have to ask users to register their real names and national identification card numbers, censor content deemed to pose a threat to national security and store user data to allow inspection by authorities. The Cyberspace Administration of China published the draft regulations on its website on Friday for public consultation until November 2. It is not clear when the rules will come into effect… Read more : SCMP, 22.10.2018

Uduma connecte les pompes à eau collectives en Afrique

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
Fin septembre, Uduma, filiale d’Odial Solutions, a conclu le premier partenariat public-privé au Mali pour l’alimentation en eau de 560.000 personnes dans la région de Sikasso et la gestion de 1.400 pompes, qui seront connectées via le réseau GSM. En Afrique subsaharienne, plus de 400 millions de personnes n’ont pas accès à l’eau potable en milieu rural. Et quand il existe des pompes, elles sont souvent en panne, faute de maintenance. Or l’aide publique au développement de l’eau ne cesse de baisser depuis 2013. Un constat pessimiste qui a amené le groupe Odial Solutions, issu en 2014 du rachat de Vergnet Hydro, à ‘inventer un nouveau modèle de financement‘, explique son président, Thierry Barbotte… Lire la suite : Les Echos, 25.10.2018

Saudi Arabia pledges $6bn to Pakistan amid economic crisis

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
SArabia
Saudi Arabia has agreed to give Pakistan $3bn for a period of one year as the South Asian country faces an economic crisis marked by a mounting balance of payments deficit and dwindling foreign currency reserves. The Gulf kingdom also pledged an additional loan worth up to $3bn in deferred payments for oil imports, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. The agreement came during a visit by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan to Riyadh, where he met King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman… Read more : Aljazeera, 23.10.2018

Trump administration to tell Russia that US will pull out of key arms control treaty

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
National security adviser John Bolton is preparing to inform Russian President Vladimir Putin next week that the U.S. will no longer be part of a key arms control treaty, The New York Times reported Friday. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), signed decades ago in a landmark 1986 meeting between former President Reagan and then-leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, allows the U.S. to counter Chinese efforts to amass arms in the Pacific but prevents the U.S. from deploying new weapons in response, the Times noted. China, however, is not a signatory to the treaty and faces no limitations in developing intermediate-range nuclear missiles. As a signatory, the Times reported, Russia has been violating the pact since at least 2014… Read more : The Hill, 20.10.2018

Sebastian Kurz is Remaking Europe’s Future From its Darkest Past

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
newsweek
May 2017, when Sebastian Kurz took control of the center-right Austrian People’s Party (OVP), he remade it in his image. Lest the world ­underestimate the significance of this, the 32-year-old ­rebranded the OVP as the Sebastian Kurz List–New People’s ­Party. ­Seven months later the conservative populist became Austria’s ­youngest-ever chancellor, in addition to the world’s first millennial head of state and, according to some analysts, the future of Europe. Like other right-wing populists ascending to power in the European Union, the ambitious Kurz has pushed a hard-line immigration agenda in response to economic stagnation and the Syrian refugee crisis. But his youthful persona and political happenstance have elevated his status and his ideas far beyond Austria’s borders. His rise coincided with the transition of the EU presidency to Austria, a ... Read

Game Changers in a Digital Future

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
bloomberg
Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland and sponsor of the event, had a clear message for business leaders in the room: “These technologies hold the potential to utterly transform sectors, and in our engagement with clients we’re trying to understand what those changes might be, how they can apply these technologies and how Ireland can be at the forefront of these technologies.” Cybersecurity: A Rising Global Risk The business world is waking-up to the fact that maintaining cybersecurity is now the biggest, ongoing challenge today. Criminal gangs and nation-states have been known to mount sophisticated attacks, and increasingly bad actors can be found working in tandem. Gartner estimates that spending on information technology security hit $86.4 billion in 2017—but the economic damage of cyberattacks is still expected to run into ... Read

Why Is Canadian Crude Selling For $20?

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
oilprice
Oil prices in Canada plunged late last month, with the losses continuing throughout much of October. Canadian oil producers exposed to the low prices are now fetching around $40 to 50 per barrel less than their counterparts in the United States. Western Canada Select (WCS), which tracks heavy oil from Canada, typically trades at a discount relative to WTI. The lower price reflects quality issues, as well as the cost of transport from Alberta to refineries in the U.S. In early 2018, the discount started to grow significantly, the result of Canadian pipelines filled to the brim. The inability of the Canadian oil industry to build a major pipeline from Alberta to either the U.S. or the Pacific Ocean is increasingly dragging down WCS. Keystone XL, Northern Gateway, Energy East, ... Read

This driverless tech start-up aims to replace 15 million truckers in the US and China

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
scmp
Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) start-up TuSimple has deployed autonomous trucks on commercial runs between Tucson and Phoenix in Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada, as the company prepares to expand its operations in the world’s two largest economies by next year. That trial programme in the US, where its two trucks transport consumer goods at speeds of up to 104.6 kilometres per hour (65mph) on their routes, is generating about US$6,600 a week in revenue and given TuSimple a toehold in the vast US freight market, said Chen Mo, the company’s co-founder and chief executive. “Scaling up our operations boils down to two factors – capital and talent,” Chen said in an interview at TuSimple’s headquarters in Beijing. The company has its US headquarters in San Diego, California… Read more : ... Read

Overtourism in Kyoto reaches breaking point, with ‘half-naked hikers, trespassing travellers’ making life a misery for residents

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
overtourism
In Kyoto, it is still possible to glimpse a geisha gliding past Gion’s wooden machiyabuildings, her scarlet-stained lips and enigmatic air typifying traditions kept alive since Japan’s imperial era. The accompanying crush of tourists thrusting telephoto lenses and swinging selfie sticks in her direction, however, is a rude reminder that this is 2018. When not harassing women on their way to or from work, the more than 50 million visitors (domestic and international) who visit Kyoto annually are busy misbehaving in other ways. According to an October 20 article in The Asahi Shimbun, the daily lives of the city’s residents are “marred by half-naked hikers, trespassing travellers and prolonged photo shoots”. A recent report in The Sydney Morning Herald added dive-bombing into onsen, wearing shoes in tatami rooms and carving names into the bamboo ... Read

Egypt May Sell First Yen, Yuan Bonds in Early 2019

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
bloom
Egypt is considering issuing its first Japanese yen and Chinese yuan-denominated bonds in the first quarter of 2019 as part of efforts to diversify funding sources and boost foreign inflows, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said. The government has sold more than $13 billion in foreign currency-denominated bonds since it lifted most currency controls, raised interest rates and cut subsidies in November 2016 to help secure a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund. Its first euro-denominated bond, issued in April, was oversubscribed. As volatility in emerging markets makes investors more cautious, however, the government is looking to expand its options. Maait visited Seoul this month, and Egypt has plans for non-deal roadshows in China, Japan, Malaysia and other Asian and European countries before the year’s out… Read more : Bloomberg, ... Read

Opinion: After the Hesse election Germany’s domestic focus continues

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
dw
After the election in Hesse, the right-wing nationalist AfD is now represented in all of Germany’s parliaments. The main focus for the Bundestag will now be its own problems, writes DW’s editor-in-chief Ines Pohl. This weekend, as the world mourned the murder of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh, USA, Germany’s right-wing nationalist AfD party gained entry to the last state parliament where they lacked representation. More than 12 percent of the electorate voted for them in the state of Hesse, home to Germany’s banking and economic hub, where salaries are the highest in the country and unemployment has been falling for years. This parallel is particularly alarming when one considers that one of the co-leaders of the AfD recently described the Holocaust as mere “bird shit in […] German history.” … Read more : DW, ... Read

Albania declares war on drug trade

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
dw
Drug lords in Albania — one of the top countries in the worldwide drug trade — have long been untouchable. With their connections in high places, it was dangerous to go after them. That may be about to change. The suspense was palpable: Before the big announcement, Albanian Interior Minister Fatmir Xhafaj even recommended to journalists not to switch off their mobile phones. Then, at the beginning of this week, the good news came: In a large-scale operation across 12 cities, Albanian police had succeeded in smashing a drug ring with connections to politics. According to a tweet by Xhafaj, the operation lasted three days, with 1,500 policemen taking part. Twenty-seven people, including three policemen, were arrested, 100 apartments were searched and 182.5 kilograms (402 pounds) of opium were confiscated. ... Read

Aux Etats-Unis, les actes antisémites en forte progression

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
La fusillade qui a fait 11 morts dans une synagogue à Pittsburgh (Pennsylvanie), samedi 27 octobre, « est probablement l’attaque la plus meurtrière contre la communauté juive de l’histoire des Etats-Unis », a estimé Jonathan Greenblatt, le directeur de l’Anti-Defamation League (ADL), principale association de lutte contre l’antisémitisme du pays. Mais cette fusillade n’est pas une attaque isolée, puisqu’il y a eu une recrudescence des actes antisémites sur le sol américain. Selon l’ADL, ils ont augmenté de 57 % entre 2016 et 2017, passant de 1 267 à 1 986. C’est la plus forte hausse jamais enregistrée aux Etats-Unis depuis 1979, année où l’organisation a commencé son comptage, et le second chiffre annuel le plus haut depuis cette même année. Une augmentation due « à une croissance significative des incidents à l’école et à l’université, qui ont doublé annuellement deux fois ... Read

‘Rome Says Enough!’: Thousands protest city’s decline

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
dw
Romans are counting on their mayor to resign as the city falls into a steep decline in both safety and public services. Besides its crumbling infrastructure, the city is also reeling from the brutal murder of a teenager. Some 8,000 Romans took to the streets of the Italian capital on Saturday to protest the “decline” of their city under Mayor Virginia Raggi. They were also protesting a rise in crime highlighted by the recent rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl. “Rome says enough!” read one of the signs, as angry citizens called for action to improve the city’s crumbling infrastructure, including potholes, unfinished construction projects, overflowing trash bins, trees falling down in derelict parks, and sluggish public services. The city’s woeful state was seen around the world earlier this week when an escalator ... Read

Tel Aviv Mulls Railway Project Linking Israel, Gulf States – Transport Minister

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
sputnik
Israeli Transport and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz will present the project in Oman on construction of a railway line connecting Israel with the Gulf states, his office said late on Sunday. Israel’s plan aims to link by rail the country’s Mediterranean port of Haifa with Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states for a speeder and safer cargo deliveries, according to the office. The relations between Israel and Oman have unexpectedly improved following the unannounced visit to Muscat by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week even though the countries have no diplomatic ties. It has been the first high-level meeting between the countries since 1996… Read more : Sputniknews, 29.10.2018

Iraq To Stop Oil Exports To Iran In Compliance With U.S. Sanctions

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
oilprice
With a week to go until U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil snap back, it’s not only Iranian crude exports that the United States looks to cut. Iran’s neighbor Iraq currently trucks small volumes of crude oil from its northern Kirkuk oil field to Iran in exchange for Tehran delivering the same amount of its oil to Iraq’s southern ports. In November, Iraq will halt trucking of oil to Iran to comply with the U.S. sanctions, five sources with knowledge of Iraqi oil export plans told Reuters last week. Although Iraq’s current export volume to Iran is quite low—less than 30,000 bpd, according to Reuters sources—the move to halt even this amount signals that Iraq won’t be risking the wrath of an ally which provides security and training… Read more : OilPrice, 30.10.2018

After Germany’s Merkel Comes Chaos

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
dollarcoll
After a long, initially-successful run promoting European integration and mass immigration, German Chancellor Angela Merkel saw the bottom fall out of her political fortunes this year. This morning she stepped down as leader of the formerly-dominant Christian Democrat party and promised not run again when her term as Chancellor ends in 2021. What happens next is almost certain to be chaotic, as the following chart (courtesy of this morning’s Wall Street Journal) makes clear… Note that in August of 2017 the two least popular parties were the far right Alternative for Germany (blue line) and the far left Greens (green line). In the ensuing 14 or so months AfG’s support rose from single digits to around 17% while the Greens rocketed from the bottom of the pack to 20%. If you didn’t know ... Read

Iran’s Worst Nightmare Is Coming True

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
oilprice
In what must seem like a nightmare scenario for Iran, not only is another U.S. president leveling sanctions against its economy, and particularly that economy’s lifeblood, its oil sector, but the current U.S. president has admittedly made it his mission to drive Tehran to its knees over what he sees as non-compliance over the 2015 nuclear accord between western powers and Tehran. As recently as the start of this month, the oil markets narrative was that perhaps President Donald Trump had pushed a bit too hard by reimposing sanctions against Iran. Oil markets, for their part, were jittery while both global oil benchmark Brent and U.S. Benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures hit four-year highs largely on supply concerns. Some predicted that $100 per barrel oil by the end of ... Read

Nuclear weapons: old dilemmas, new dangers

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
UN Headquarters’ iconic Secretariat building reflects the autumn sky.
Nuclear weapons have posed a challenge to international security since 1945. Today that challenge looms as large as ever. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty has been under severe threat for many years and even more so today. North Korea’s nuclear weapons threaten the global security order and our multilateral system, and Iran’s nuclear activities could form a potential threat. Implementation of arms control treaties is being challenged as well. The way these problems are resolved will have an impact that is felt far into the future. Moreover, tensions between major powers, pockets of instability on almost every continent, and revisionists challenging the rules-based international order are making the world less stable and predictable … Read more : EUObserver, 31.10.2018

Chinese scientists develop shape-shifting robot inspired by T-1000 from Terminator

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
scmp
Chinese scientists say they have developed a type of robot powered by liquid metal inspired by T-1000, the self-repairing, shape-shifting killer android from one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator films. The palm-sized robot comprises a plastic wheel, a small lithium battery and drops of liquid metal. The robot’s wheel rolls when the liquid metal changes the centre of gravity, which is controlled by altering the voltage through the embedded battery. “We were inspired by T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” said Li Xiangpeng, a robotics professor at Soochow University in Suzhou, China… Read more : SCMP, 25.10.2018

U.S. to Give Eight Nations Oil Waivers Under Iran Sanctions, Official Says

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
bloom
The U.S. has agreed to let eight countries — including Japan, India and South Korea — keep buying Iranian oil after it reimposes sanctions on the OPEC producer on Nov. 5, a senior administration official said. While the Trump administration’s goal remains to choke off revenue to Iran’s economy, waivers are being granted in exchange for continued import cuts so as not to drive up oil prices, said the official, who asked not to be identified before Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announces the number of exemptions later on Friday. China — the leading importer of Iranian oil — is still in discussions with the U.S. on terms, but is among the eight, according to two people familiar with the discussions who also asked not to be identified. The other ... Read

Hong Kong listed Innovent Biologics believes it can help usher in a ‘game changer’ for drug prices in China

Par Geta Grama-Moldovan
scmp
Competition in China’s nascent market for a novel category of cutting edge cancer treatments is set to intensify, according to newly listed Innovent Biologics. Chinese pharmaceutical companies will adopt a low price strategy on domestically-produced antibody cancer drugs, catering to millions of cancer patients who cannot afford expensive imports, said Michael Yu Dechao, co-founder and chairman of Innovent Biologics. The development is expected to see an eventual reversal of the phenomenon of mainland patients travelling to Hong Kong to buy cheaper drugs, said Yu. In the future, he said even Hongkongers seeking access to cheaper medicines are likely to look for alternatives north of the border… Read more : SCMP, 01.11.2018
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