New Eni Discovery ‘Confirms’ Extension of Zohr Like Play in Cyprus EEZ

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Eni has made a ‘promising’ gas discovery offshore Cyprus, which it says confirms the extension of a ‘Zohr like’ play in the country’s exclusive economic zone. RigΖone The Calypso 1 well, located in block 6, was drilled in 6,800 feet of water depth and reached a final total depth of 12,555 feet. Calypso 1 encountered an ‘extended’ gas column in rocks of Miocene and Cretaceous age, with the Cretaceous sequence showing ‘excellent reservoir characteristics’, Eni said in a company statement. Detailed ... Read More »

Reserve Bank governor rules out interest rate hikes until wages rise

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The Reserve Bank governor has dismissed any chance of a rate hike any time soon, after a week of financial turmoil sparked by fears of rapidly rising inflation and interest rates in the United States. By business reporter Carrington Clarke ABC Philip Lowe said the recent market volatility would not have any impact on the growth outlook for Australia, which remains at “a bit above 3 per cent over the next couple of years”. But he also intensified his calls for higher ... Read More »

Brexit: ‘no deal would cut Scottish GDP by 9%’

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A ‘no deal’ Brexit would cut Scottish economic output by 9%, according to leaked UK Government analysis. Russell Jackson  The Scotsman The predicted hit to Scotland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal has been detailed in regional breakdowns that emerged on Wednesday. The figure is worse than the 8.5 per cent cut to GDP predicted by a Scottish Government study last month. At the time, the Scottish Government figure was described as “completely over-the-top scaremongering” by the ... Read More »

Truth about toxic banking culture may never be told

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Year after year, scandals revealing the ongoing unethical behaviour of banking senior management have shown the need for scrutiny of wrongdoing in our nation’s finance sector Julia Angrisano Brisbane Times The royal commission is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on these hidden practices, to improve the experiences of customers and finance workers. However, shadows are being cast over the process of the banking royal commission before it has even begun. Legal schemes that banks use to silence their staff ... Read More »

Zimbabwe’s exiled farmers urged to return home as agricultural industry struggles

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The Zimbabwean Government’s message to exiled farmers is clear. Come home.  SALLY SARA ABC It is offering land leases to commercial farmers in an effort to re-start the nation’s agricultural industry Basil Nyabadza from Zimbabwe’s Agricultural and Rural and Development Authority says Zimbabwean farmers in Australia should return to home soil. “We have a lot of capital resource dotted around the world, including Australia,” Mr Nyabadza said. “We are saying, if you are Zimbabwean, there is now a real opportunity ... Read More »

The Economics Of Slavery: Spending Power Is Linked To People Power

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We might not be as free as we think we are, writes Matthew Clark. Edward Santow – Australia’s newest Human Rights Commissioner – has noted that more people live in slavery today than at any previous time in world history. Matthew C. Clarke New Matilda How is that possible? Some of the most detailed and credible estimates of how many slaves are in the world today come from Australian research by the Walk Free Foundation. After producing The Global Slavery ... Read More »

Lebanon blasts Israel over oil and gas exploration near border

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In December, the Lebanese Cabinet approved licenses for three international companies to carry out exploratory drilling off the Lebanese coast. ET EnergyWorld AP BEIRUT: Lebanon‘s energy minister vowed Thursday that Beirut will go ahead with oil and gas exploration near its maritime border with Israel, despite Israeli claims to the field that provoked wide condemnation in the tiny Arab country. Cesar Abi Khalil’s comments to The Associated Press came a day after Israel’s defense minister described as “very provocative” Lebanon’s ... Read More »

Cultural change at sea

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A proactive approach to building relationships and collaborative research are part of Kyri Toumazos’s style in improving respect for the commercial seafood sector and enhancing its prospects Kyri Toumazos Fishing is a longstanding tradition in the Mediterranean nation of Cyprus, from which Kyri Toumazos and his family hail. And although they were not fishers before emigrating in the mid-1980s, the seafood culture from which they came, combined with Australia’s seemingly endless waters offered them new opportunities. However, Kyri Toumazos initially ... Read More »

Was Your Seafood Caught With Slave Labor?

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New Database Helps Retailers Combat Abuse The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, known best for its red, yellow and green sustainable seafood-rating scheme, is unveiling its first Seafood Slavery Risk Tool on Thursday. npr It’s a database designed to help corporate seafood buyers assess the risk of forced labor, human trafficking and hazardous child labor in the seafood they purchase. The tool’s release comes on the heels of a new report that confirms forced labor and human rights abuses ... Read More »

To protect or collect? Germany’s big data divide

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Both sides are miles apart on how millions of terabytes of data generated each day in a digitized economy should be regulated JANOSCH DELCKER Politico BERLIN — Big data is Germany’s future. Problem is, its leaders can’t agree on how to use it. Amid talks on forming a government, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc and the Social Democrats are hammering out the country’s digital strategy for the next four years. Both sides agree that e-government, big data and expanded fast internet will ... Read More »

RoK seeks qualitative growth of inbound tourism

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Seoul (VNA) – The Republic of Korea’s tourism promotion agency will push forward efforts to stabilise and diversify the country’s inbound tourism market this year, as part of its broader aims to achieve qualitative growth, the Yonhap news agency reported on January 31. Vietnam+ (VietnamPlus) The Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO) plans to unfold a two-track approach where it focuses on stabilising inflows of visitors from such countries as China, Japan and the United States, while diversifying its portfolio by attracting ... Read More »

Federal Government accused of contributing to global arms race with defence exports push

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Aid groups have criticised the Federal Government’s plan to dramatically ramp up defence exports, accusing the Coalition of contributing to a global arms race. Stephen Dziedzic ABC The Government has declared it wants Australia to be one of the world’s top 10 exporters, unveiling a new loan scheme for defence companies which want to sell their products overseas. Australia’s defence exports are worth about $2 billion a year — but Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said he wants that figure ... Read More »

Stronger Aussie a bump on RBA’s slow path back to normal

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The Australian dollar is once again caught up in the shifting tide of global finance, with the currency pushing to two-and-a-half year highs and threatening to further delay the RBA’s tentative plans to move towards a more normal monetary policy setting. Patrick Commins Brisbane Times The Aussie has lifted by more than US6¢ since early December – or 8 per cent – to push firmly above US81¢, its loftiest level since May 2015. That brings its gains in 2017 to 3.9 ... Read More »

At Davos, the Real Star May Have Been China, Not Trump

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DAVOS, Switzerland — President Trump used the World Economic Forum meeting to woo investors and business leaders by reassuring them that “America first does not mean America alone.” Keith Bradsher The New York Times But it was clear in Davos, Switzerland, this past week that geopolitical momentum lay with Beijing, not Washington. At one end of town, President Michel Temer of Brazil welcomed an unexpected offer from Beijing for Latin American nations to work closely with a Chinese initiative, known ... Read More »

The Korean Peninsula Crisis: Beyond Fire and Fury

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Two Crisis Group reports detail how a nightmarish war on the Korean peninsula is closer than ever in recent history, and how the Winter Olympics and North Korea’s need to show economic progress in its 70th anniversary year offer opportunities for diplomacy and de-escalation. ICG North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests combined with bellicose rhetoric from the U.S. mean the risk of a catastrophic war on the Korean peninsula is higher than at any time in recent history. Yet a short ... Read More »

Australian property ‘severely unaffordable’, Sydney crowned ‘second least affordable market’

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There’s no arguing Australian properties are among the world’s priciest, but experts disagree on exactly how unaffordable the market has become. David Chau ABC Australia’s five biggest cities have “severely unaffordable” housing markets, according to an international housing affordability think tank. Sydney was ranked “second worst”, with house prices almost 13 times higher than the median household income, Demographia said in its 14th annual report. It was beaten only by Hong Kong, where property prices were about 20 times higher ... Read More »