Business

Of Tanks and Banks: Stopping a Dangerous Escalation in Libya

An under-reported banking crisis threatens to exacerbate deadly fighting in Tripoli, ignite a protracted resource war and deepen the country’s east-west divide. ICG A way out requires agreeing to a ceasefire in Tripoli and ending the four-year split between the Central Bank’s rival branches. What’s new?  A neglected banking crisis in Libya is coming to a head just as forces under Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar are trying to capture Tripoli. A protracted conflict will hinder efforts to reunify the divided ... Read More »

Why the US and China will have to make it work

Earlier this month, the US and China seemed on the point of a trade rapprochement. The tariffs Washington and Beijing have slapped on each other in recent months were about to be reversed. Brisbane Times / Telegraph, London Then Donald Trump took to Twitter – a phrase future historians will be using a lot, perhaps – signalling Sino-US trade negotiations had shifted from sweet to sour. “The trade deal with China continues, but too slowly,” Trump tweeted. “They broke the ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say

Butchers have stopped selling meat cuts in favor of offal, fat shavings and cow hooves, the only animal protein many of their customers can afford. Anatoly Kurmanaev The New York Times MARACAIBO, Venezuela — Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe. The fall of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s. The crumbling of Venezuela’s economy has now outpaced them all. Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say. “It’s ... Read More »

A Greek Canary in a Global Goldmine

After 2008, Greece came to symbolize global capitalism’s failure to balance credit and trade flows. Yianis Varoufakis Project Syndicate Today, as the global mismatch between economic reality and financial returns grows, there is clear danger that, once again, the country is foreshadowing a new phase of the global crisis. ATHENS – The eurozone country that has become synonymous with insolvency is today proving to be a treasure-trove for some. Traders who bought Greek assets a few years ago have good ... Read More »

Mineral wealth, Clive Palmer, and the corruption of Australian politics

Clive Palmer is reportedly spending A$70 million of his own money on his party’s campaign. Warwick Smith The Conversation How is it possible for one individual to command so much wealth and where did it come from? The sad and strange reality is that Australian governments gave him most of it by letting him dig up and sell natural resources that, by rights, belong to us not him. We’ve a history of handing vast wealth to resource and mining magnates ... Read More »

Cyprus escalation could drill hole in Irish sacred cow of neutrality

Europe Letter: Danger of war of words escalating into military conflict remains real Patrick Smyth The Irish Times The publication by the Institute of International and European Affairs of a new analysis of Irish neutrality by Prof Patrick Keatinge is timely. It comes just as fellow EU member Cyprus looks to its partners for solidarity – at this stage just political – over the illegal incursion by Turkish drilling ships into its Aegean territorial waters or Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The move, which has ... Read More »

A Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline: Start Small but Aim Big

In the long-run, such a project would yield great economic and geopolitical dividends. Luke Coffey The National Interest In 1906, the first energy pipeline in the South Caucasus was completed, connecting Baku on the Caspian Sea with Batumi on the Black Sea. The pipes used in the construction were actually made in Mariupol, Ukraine—an indication of the broader region’s interconnectedness which prevails to this day. That first pipeline measured a mere eight inches in diameter and transported kerosene. Today, more ... Read More »

Lively debate on interpreting laws at maritime conference

UN Convention on the Law of the Sea not product of the West or ambiguous, says Tommy Koh Lim Min Zhang The Straits Times Differing interpretations of the international law of the sea took centre stage at a maritime conference yesterday involving academics and navy chiefs from around the world. Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh had a spirited exchange with a Chinese academic over whether the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) had involved input from Asian… During ... Read More »

Tech giants pledge unprecedented action to tackle terrorist content

US technology behemoths Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Twitter will join forces as part of an unprecedented push against the sharing of terrorist content in the aftermath of the… Jennifer Duke The Sydney Morning Herald In a nine-point agreement released overnight, the first of its kind, the competing multi-billion dollar businesses pledge to reconsider livestreaming safeguards and to work together to develop tools to improve the… The move comes amid intensifying global pressure on the companies to be more accountable ... Read More »

Britain divides but doesn’t rule

Westminster is too busy fighting itself to exploit Franco-German Brexit rift. Paul Taylor Politico PARIS — Britain has finally managed to split France and Germany over Brexit after nearly three years in which the two continental powers marched in lockstep. The trouble for the U.K. is that it is too busy fighting itself over the future it wants with the European Union to take advantage of the rift. Cracks between French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared last month, after British Prime Minister ... Read More »

It’s Time For A New Story

In a less than a week, Australians will register their feelings at the polling booth. What will most influence our voting choices? Mike Dowson thinks it’s the stories we believe. New Matilda Bad decisions, like our persistent failure to act on the big challenges of our time, are a product of bad stories. But that may be about to change. One summer, Helen and I were driving home from the country. We stopped in a small town, filled the tank, ... Read More »

Maritime issues prompt Coast Guard to review law of the sea

To address pressing maritime issues, the Philippine Coast Guard conducted a seminar aimed to review the law of the sea. Betheena Unite Manila Bulletin The one-day seminar was organized by the Office of the Deputy Chief of Coast Guard Staff for Maritime Security Services last May 9 in a bid to refresh their knowledge of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the… According to Capt. Glenda Pereyra, deputy chief of Coast Guard Staff for Maritime Security Services, maritime ... Read More »

New Zealand passes landmark laws ensuring it will be carbon neutral by 2050

New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern said legislation will tackle climate change but faced opposition from farmers over plans to decrease methane emissions. Reuters SBS New Zealand’s parliament has tabled a landmark bill that will set a target of zero carbon emissions by 2050. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said  the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill is a “landmark action” on climate change. “We know the climate is changing. People can see that,” she said. New Zealand’s government will introduce legislation to tackle climate ... Read More »

Italy opposes Poseidon gas pipeline landfall

Italy will not allow the Poseidon gas pipeline being developed by Italy’s Edison and Greece’s DEPA to make landfall as planned in southern Italy, the Italian prime minister said on… Reuters ekathimerini The Poseidon, which has permits to run from Greece to the southern Italian town of Otranto, is the final section of the EastMed pipeline that aims to bring gas reserves from the… “The government is certainly not interested at present in building the final tract of Poseidon as ... Read More »

Big Business Can Be Evil and Greedy, But Here’s How Corporations Will Help Save  Us From Ourselves

Corporations sometimes do bad things. Let’s get that out of the way before the calls and tweets start flooding in. Sam Hill and Hank Gilman Newsweek Sometimes the acts are intentional, sometimes not, but the damage was done. When Volkswagen created software that enabled its polluting cars to cheat emissions tests, that was bad. Same with Turing Pharmaceuticals, which in 2015 raised the price of a drug used to fight HIV from about $14 a pill to $750. Or when ... Read More »

Germany’s refugee intake begins to boost economy as settlers soothe country’s worker shortage

To maintain economic well-being, country ‘needs about half a million immigrants every year’ In his native Syria, Mohammed Kassim worked as an electrician. Luisa Beck, Griff Witte The Inependent But having learned the trade informally, he lacked the credentials to show for it. Now, in his adopted homeland, the 30-year-old is receiving the training he never had and he is getting paid to do it by a company dangling the promise of a job that could vault him from struggling refugee ... Read More »