Business

United Arab Emirates gives Ethiopia $1 billion lifeline to ease foreign exchange crisis

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is to deposit $1 billion in Ethiopia’s central bank to ease the latter’s foreign exchange shortage. Justina Crabtree CNBC The sum is part of a total of a $3 billion aid and investment pledge from the UAE to Ethiopia announced Friday. The news came as Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia’s foreign exchange shortage is due in part to its spending ... Read More »

Anger grows in Philippines over China’s control of shoal

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Public backlash as documentary shows Filipino fishermen accusing Chinese para-military forces of forcibly taking the best of their catch Richard Javad Heydarian Asia Times Once again, the Scarborough Shoal dispute is threatening to torpedo Philippine-China relations. Two years into office, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is facing a widespread public backlash over reports that the Chinese coast guard is controlling the contested shoal and surrounding areas and routinely harasses Filipino fishermen. In a widely-watched documentary broadcast on the GMA Network, a… ... Read More »

Our democracy is more important than Facebook’s profits

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No one realised it at the time, but in 2004 a poison was created that is now spreading through and threatening the stability of democratic countries around the world. Lucy Battersby Brisbane Times The poison isn’t attacking government’s directly. Instead it infects the information flowing through society to the point that citizens are confused and misled away from making proper decisions. At its worst, this poison, this disinformation, prompts people to hunt down and hurt perceived enemies. Disinformation is spread ... Read More »

Europe jumps off easy money train

The President of the European Central Bank (ECB) Mario Draghi gives a press conference following the meeting of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank in Riga, Latvia, June 14, 2018. - The euro fell against the dollar after the European Central Bank said it expected interest rates to remain at their current record lows until well into 2019. (Photo by Ilmars ZNOTINS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ILMARS ZNOTINS/AFP/Getty Images)

Mario Draghi puts pressure on Berlin and Paris to shore up eurozone. By PIERRE BRIANÇON Politico An era has ended at the European Central Bank. On Thursday, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi announced that the bank would stop its massive bond-buying program at the end of December. The policy, known as quantitative easing or QE, has seen the ECB buy €2.4 trillion worth of government debt in the last three years to help pull the eurozone out of recession. Draghi is ... Read More »

Grattan on Friday: The loners who lead, and trash, ‘personality’ parties

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Let the voter beware. We may be in a “celebrity” age but personality parties, based around a “name” implode, explode, or fizzle. In the last few years, we’ve seen them do all three. Michelle Grattan The Conversation On Thursday came the latest episode in the One Nation soapie, when senator Brian Burston announced he was leaving the party to sit as an independent. Pauline Hanson had effectively tossed him out… Only a couple of weeks ago, after their spectacular falling ... Read More »

It’s time to stop giving more rights to global corporations

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The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published new research that shows that increased market power of global corporations is driving global income inequality. Dr Patricia Ranald Brisbane Times It notes that “in 2009–2015, the surplus profits of the top 1 per cent of publicly listed firms in a new UNCTAD firm-level database represented 55 per cent of recorded operating profits,” and recommends a… This research supports the case against giving corporations greater legal powers to sue governments over changes to domestic ... Read More »

EU Should Push to Protect Rights in Diamond Trade

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Next week (June 18-22) the European Union hosts governments, the diamond industry, and nongovernmental groups in the diamond-trading city of Antwerp to take stock of the Kimberley Process, the certification process set up nearly two decades ago to end the trade in “blood.. Juliane Kippenberg HRW But the Kimberley Process is not up to the task. The European Union-currently the chair of the Kimberley Process-should push for change to improve the protection of human rights starting with mining and throughout ... Read More »

Real Estate Shopping on Someone Else’s Land

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At an informational session in the Israeli settlement of Alfei Menashe in the West Bank, a real estate agent engages in sales patter with house hunters for a new development of penthouses and 3- and 4-bedroom apartments: “breathtaking views,” “the highest standards of construction,” and… Sari Bashi HRW Two potential home-buyers, Israeli men in their 30s, flip through brochures showing high-rise buildings built on open land that had formed part of the neighboring Palestinian… “The view is spectacular,” says the ... Read More »

How Beijing is winning control of the South China Sea

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Erratic US policy and fraying alliances give China a free hand SINGAPORE — Even by his outspoken standards, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s account of a conversation he had with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, was startling. Simon Roughneen Nikkei . Asia Review During a meeting between the two leaders in Beijing in May 2017, the subject turned to whether the Philippines would seek to drill for oil in a part of the South China Sea claimed by both countries. Duterte ... Read More »

US sees TANAP ‘universally’ good for Turkey, Europe

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The United States has expressed very strong support for the trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline Project (TANAP) that will carry natural gas from Azerbaijan to the European continent via Turkey, describing the $8.5 billion-worth project as a… Serkan Demirtaş – ANKARA Hurriyet “TANAP is pretty much universally good. It’s good for Azerbaijan, good for Turkey. Once the TAP [Trans Adriatic Pipeline Project] is built, it will also be good for Europe,” Sandra Oudkirk, the deputy assistant secretary of the… She came ... Read More »

How Asian crypto traders leverage the ‘Kimchi Premium’

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The price of Bitcoin is often substantially higher in South Korea than elsewhere, which is leading many investors to turn to arbitrage trading Luke Thompson Asia Times Aside from the futures markets, it is difficult to go short on crypto-currencies. Big gains are made in bull markets and panic selling occurs when the bears have control, such as at the moment. There is, however, another way of leveraging a profit out of crypto markets and Asian traders have found this ... Read More »

New Strategic Dimensions of the Eastern Mediterranean

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For the first time since the collapse of the Byzantine Empire, the Eastern Mediterranean is in the midst of a tectonic shift. Dr. Spyridon N. Litsas BESA The region presents all the required attributes to function as a distinct sub-regional system in the 21st century’s international environment. The Eastern Mediterranean holds the interest of the great powers (the US, Russia, and China); it contains resolute regional actors that influence the sociopolitical orbit of the region (Israel, Egypt, and Turkey); and ... Read More »

Vietnam protesters clash with police over new economic zones

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Protests have broken out in Vietnam against plans for new economic zones, amid fears that Chinese investors will dominate the areas. BBC Police reportedly detained more than a dozen people in the capital Hanoi and halted demonstrations in other cities. Some carried anti-China banners, including one reading “No leasing land to China even for one day”. The government proposed a law last year that would give foreign investors a 99-year lease on Vietnamese land. The bill offers… Vietnam protesters clash… Read More »

Typhoon Trump blows G7 off course

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Other leaders thought they’d kept the club together — until the US president tweeted his fury. David M. Hersenhorn Politico LA MALBAIE, Canada — As host of this year’s G7 summit, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seemed to have just one over-arching goal: to get through the gathering without U.S. President Donald Trump blasting it to pieces. Trudeau succeeded — for all of about 90 minutes. Just an hour and a half after Trudeau finished his concluding news conference, an ... Read More »

Is the global economy just a giant debt scam? What the financial elite doesn’t want you to know

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Yanis Varoufakis saw power up close. He says capitalism is dead, democracy is crumbling and we’re ruled by debt Andrew O’Hehir Salon Why is the world the way it is, and how did it get that way? One book I read in the past year explained more about that question than any other, and it wasn’t about Donald Trump or the rise of the far right or the endangered state of democracy — or at least not directly. Beneath the ... Read More »

Turkey’s currency turmoil and upcoming election – what you need to know

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The Turkish lira has dropped more than 15% this year against the US dollar and the government is doing all it can to stem the flow. Gulcin Ozkan The Conversation Turkey’s central bank just raised the country’s main interest rate by 1.25 percentage points (to 17.75%) in a bid to stabilise the lira and halt surging inflation. This follows an emergency rate rise on May 23 of three percentage points. With elections on the horizon, this is a trying time ... Read More »