Press Review

Global Systemic Crisis

  • yuan Internationalisation of the Yuan: Securing China’s financial system - China’s decision to introduce in 2018 the gold-convertible petro-gazo-Yuan currency is an important step in the process of internationalisation of the Yuan. It confirms the will of Beijing (asserted for a decade already) to impose the Renminbi (official name of the Chinese currency) as new global reference currency. In October 2016 the IMF decided to introduce the Yuan into its own currency basket of the Special Drawing Rights (SDR), after a series of reforms and intense Chinese pressure. This was a very important step in this internationalisation process. The birth of the petroyuan, more than a year later, is another one. The Chinese contradiction: the need to control AND liberalise  The Chinese government is accelerating this movement by enshrining it into a broader strategy. The signs, from this point of ... Read
  • internet1 The end of the citizen internet - «It will become increasingly difficult to send newsletters in mass mailings, to use the word “political” in your non-individual messages, to carry out militant actions via Internet, use certain words in your exchanges on Facebook … Terrorism will be the excuse, but the real target will be the ability for citizens to organise themselves. We have been announcing it for a long time, but 2017 will make it visible: there will be a transition from internet revolution to internet terror. And it is not from Russia that this will come but from our home. » It’s happening slowly but surely and it is more and more real… How many of you have seen their Facebook message being “de-published” without any warning or apparent reason? At the European level, cyber-security budgets are ... Read
  • bloom No Idea What MiFID Stands For? Here’s What You Need to Know - Everyone in European finance has been abuzz over an obscure acronym — MiFID II — that’s about to radically change how assets from stocks to commodities are traded and investors’ money is managed. Banks and asset managers across the European Union have spent more than $2 billion preparing for it. Regulators say it will protect investors, boost transparency and rebuild trust that was tarnished by the 2008 global crash. The industry has even spent months finding ways to sidestep parts of it. But you’d be forgiven for not paying attention: MiFID II is a law entering into force on Jan. 3 that, according to one count, is already close to 7,000 pages in length with all its addendums. That’s five times longer than Tolstoy’s War and Peace — and vastly ... Read
  • Le Président de la République, Emmanuel Macron, prononçant ici un discours, lors du 100 ème Congrès des Maires de France, au Parc des Expositions, à la porte de Versailles de Paris. Iran: Macron dit sa «préoccupation» et reporte la visite de Le Drian - Le président français Emmanuel Macron a exprimé mardi, dans un entretien téléphonique avec son homologue iranien Hassan Rohani, sa “préoccupation” face “au nombre de victimes liées aux manifestations” des derniers jours en Iran et a appelé Téhéran à “la retenue et à l’apaisement”, a indiqué l’Elysée. Dans ce contexte, les deux dirigeants ont décidé de reporter à une date ultérieure la visite que devait effectuer le chef de la diplomatie française, Jean-Yves Le Drian, à Téhéran à la fin de la semaine, a précisé l’Elysée. Les deux dirigeants se sont entretenus au sixième jour d’un mouvement de contestation marqué par des violences meurtrières et des centaines d’arrestations dans plusieurs villes iraniennes. Au cours de cet appel, prévu avant ces évènements, M. Macron a fait “part de sa préoccupation face au ... Read
  • bitcoin Is Bitcoin about to be replaced? - When I wrote my last article about Bitcoin it was sitting at US$13,807 and the price right now is US$13,502. A drop of around 2.5% isn’t much to write home about, but it is on top of more losses from the high of US$19,500 a few weeks ago. The price has actually risen from New Year’s Day, when the price was almost US$13,000. However, it’s the slow-and-steady decline back towards $10,000 that could see many retail investors rush for the exits. Why hold a speculation tool if it’s losing money? The Bitcoin decline could be due to cryptocurrency investors moving onto potentially better things. Bitcoin cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and some others offer potentially better futures than Bitcoin… Read more: Yahoo.com, January 2, 2018
  • bloom Iran’s Rouhani Backs People’s Protest Right in First Remarks - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country’s people have the right to protest and criticize but that such actions must be for the good — and rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s backing of demonstrators. Rouhani first comments since protests against the condition of Iran’s economy started on Dec. 28, were reported by the semi-official ISNA news agency following an Iranian cabinet meeting in Tehran. Earlier on Sunday, Iran restricted social media access, drawing a fresh rebuke from Trump. The government won’t tolerate damage to public property and protesters who cause social disruption, Rouhani said, adding that demonstrations shouldn’t make the public fear for their safety… Read more : Bloomberg, 31.12.2017
  • alj Iran death toll rises as protests continue - A number of Iranians have died  amid ongoing nationwide anti-government protests that began last week in various cities across Iran. Nine Iranians were killed in Isfahan province alone during anti-government protests on Monday night. State TV said on Tuesday that six people were killed in Isfahan’s central town Qahderijan – during a raid on a police station – and one more in Khomeinishahr. According to state media, the rioters were attempting to break into the station to obtain weapons. An 11-year-old boy and a 20-year-old man were among those killed in Khomeinishahr. In addition, Iran’s semi-official Mehr news agency said a member of Basij militia and a police officer were killed in Najafabad, 350km south of the capital Tehran, on Monday. According to reports, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) soldier was shot ... Read
  • In this photograph taken on December 8, 2016, an Indian technician inspects components on an assembly line of Highly Electrical Appliances India Pvt. Ltd. at a company air-conditioner compressor plant at Matoda, some 20 kms. from Ahmedabad.  / AFP / SAM PANTHAKY        (Photo credit should read SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images) Superpower India to Replace China as Growth Engine - India is poised to emerge as an economic superpower, driven in part by its young population, while China and the Asian Tigers age rapidly, according to Deloitte LLP. The number of people aged 65 and over in Asia will climb from 365 million today to more than half a billion in 2027, accounting for 60 percent of that age group globally by 2030, Deloitte said in a report Monday. In contrast, India will drive the third great wave of Asia’s growth – following Japan and China — with a potential workforce set to climb from 885 million to 1.08 billion people in the next 20 years and hold above that for half a century. “India will account for more than half of the increase in Asia’s workforce in the coming decade, but this isn’t just a story of more workers: these new ... Read
  • ukraine Ukraine, pro-Russian rebels swap hundreds of prisoners - Ukraine and Russia-backed separatists have conducted a mass prisoner swap, marking the largest such deal since the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine broke out in 2014. The captives – who include activists and journalists – were exchanged on Wednesday near the town of Horlivka, northeast of Donetsk. Under the terms of the agreement, 74 Ukrainian soldiers were expected to be swapped for 306 pro-Russian separatists. However, Ukraine handed over some 235 people – the others either chose to stay in Ukraine or had been released earlier, according to Ukrainian officials… Read more : Aljazeera, 27.12.2017
  • Cataldo Ambulance medics and EMTs, along with firefighters, revive a man in his 40's who was found unresponsive after overdosing on an opioid in the Boston suburb of Salem, Massachusetts, U.S., August 9, 2017. The victim received a total of 12mg of naloxone. Nurses at the hospital recognised the man, saying he was brought in the day before after overdosing. REUTERS/Brian Snyder  SEARCH "SNYDER OPIOIDS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. Aux Etats-Unis, l’épidémie d’overdoses atteint un nouveau pic - Plus mortelle que les accidents de la route ou les armes à feu ; plus dévastatrice que le sida ou le crack dans les pires années. L’épidémie d’overdoses qui ravage les Etats-Unis a atteint un nouveau pic et s’étend désormais à toutes les couches de la population, selon les chiffres officiels publiés en décembre par les Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Ainsi, en 2016, une personne est morte toutes les huit minutes d’une surdose de drogues. Sur les 63 600 victimes, plus de 42 000 ont succombé à une overdose d’opioïdes, en grande partie obtenus sur prescription médicale, ce qui représente une hausse de 28 % par rapport à l’année précédente. Et 2017 s’annonce tout aussi sombre. Au point que les autorités sanitaires américaines lient désormais ces décès à l’une des statistiques les plus préoccupantes ... Read
  • Jean-Claude Juncker, Doris Leuthard EU angers Switzerland over stock market access - The EU angered Switzerland on Thursday (21 December) when it granted Swiss stock exchanges access to EU markets for only one year. The decision on equivalence, which implements a new Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and Regulation (called MiFID II/MiFIR), will enter into force on 3 January. It was adopted by the European Commission on Thursday after member states – except the UK – supported it. Its renewal next year will depend on progress in the negotiations between Switzerland and the EU over an institutional agreement on their long-term relations. “We will be assessing progress on that by end of next year,” said commission vice president Valdis Dombrovskis. He argued that “Swiss operators will continue enjoying access to the EU market, and EU investment firms will be able to trade ... Read
  • bloomb Euro-Zone Reform Proposals Don’t Go Far Enough - Large bank failures in recent years have led to reforms that strengthen crisis prevention and give regulators and banks the tools for dealing with crises that do occur. Similar policy measures can be helpful in dealing with sovereign crises — when governments run out of money and credit. Unfortunately, the European Commission misses the mark in its recent proposals to upgrade the euro zone’s sovereign crisis management system. To reduce the likelihood of a bank crisis, recent reforms have mandated that banks increase capital requirements during economic expansions, allowing them to fall during contractions or recessions. Governments can benefit from the countercyclical approach, too. It is fine to have policies such as the EU’s Growth and Stability Pact that limit government deficits and debt, but instead of blanket limits, these parameters should vary depending ... Read
  • bloom The U.S. Just Had a Very Good Week at the UN - After the UN General Assembly voted this week to condemn U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the conventional wisdom is that the Trump administration has only isolated itself at the United Nations. And it’s easy to see the logic. America’s adversaries gloated. Palestinians cheered. Even staunch allies like France and the U.K. joined the majority of finger waggers. After all, the UN General Assembly did vote 128 to 9 to condemn the U.S. after Ambassador Nikki Haley promised that she would be “taking names.” But that headline is hiding the real news. While most of the world was focused on the symbolic gang up at the UN General Assembly, the Trump administration had some quiet diplomatic success. Let’s start with the meaningful 15-0 vote on Friday to impose new sanctions on ... Read
  • epa06383371 Supporters of Hezbollah carry national, Palestinian and Hezbollah flags during a protest against US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel, in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, 11 December 2017. US president Donald J. Trump on 06 December announced he is recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and will relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook - How Hezbollah turned to trafficking cocaine and laundering money through used cars to finance its expansion. In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation. The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities… Read more : Politico, Dec. 2017
  • bitcoin Bitcoin, crypto currencies, state power strategies - This report was initially published in the GEAB 111 / January 2017 Crypto-currencies, of which Bitcoin is the most popular, are “virtual” currencies devoid of any physical reality, possessing an electronic form and functioning by using cryptographic methods. They are used specially as a means of payment in an innovative decentralised peer-to-peer system. With the Bitcoin and the other crypto-currencies, one can buy everything from food products, company shares, to false driving licenses and even Kalashnikovs. Figure 1 – Source: Journal du Geek. The most purchased items in Bitcoins It all goes back to the subprime crisis in 2008/2009, when the monetary, financial, banking and stock market system broke out in a crisis that threatened to upset the world system as we have known it since 1945 and which our ... Read
  • blooomb Catalan Separatist Win Leaves Rajoy Counting Crackdown Cost - Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is meeting with allies this morning to plot his next move after a drubbing in Thursday’s Catalan election that saw separatists reclaim control of the regional assembly. Rajoy headed to a 9:30 a.m. cabinet meeting in Madrid and planned to sit down with his People’s Party leadership later in the day, with the resurgent Catalan independence campaign at the top of the agenda. The PP lost eight of its 11 seats in the region’s parliament as ousted President Carles Puigdemont’s party confounded projections to become the biggest group in a three-way separatist bloc. Spanish bonds fell with bank stocks. The result — which the separatists achieved with only 47.5 percent of the vote — doesn’t bring real independence any closer than it was at the end of October, when ... Read
  • trump Trump threat to cut US aid: Deterrent or hot air? - Despite exerting unparalleled pressure on UNmember states, the US could not stave off a General Assembly vote on Thursday, condemning Donald Trump‘s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel‘s capital. The UNGA passed the draft resolution – which declared the Jerusalem decision to be “null and void” – by an overwhelming margin, with 128 states voting in favour and nine against, with 35 abstentions. The results came after days of threats from the US delegation to the United Nations and from Trump himself, who said earlier in the week that he would consider cutting funding to any country that voted against the US. “They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us. Well, we’re watching those votes,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday… Read more : AlJazeera, 21.12.2017
  • GEAB Giftbox - Dear GEAB readers, 12 years of GEAB adventure already, 120 bulletins and … what an honour to count you among our regular readers! Our customers’ loyalty is one of our most precious assets; therefore it is with great pleasure that we will offer you the GEAB Anniversary Gift Box available for all new subscriptions and renewals paid during the anniversary period, December 1st, 2017 – February 1st, 2018! The Gift Box will contain exclusive items for you: – The book « EUROPE : COMMUNITY OR EMPIRE? Elements of reflection and principles of action for future European citizens », written by Franck Biancheri, the founder of LEAP, is kindly offered to our readers by our partner Editions Anticipolis. Send us your postal address as well as the language of your choice (French, English) and the book will be delivered to you in ... Read
  • bloom May’s Top Cabinet Ally Damian Green Quits After Porn Claims - U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s effective deputy, Damian Green, resigned after an official investigation found that he’d made misleading statements about pornography on one of his parliamentary office computers, and left questions unanswered about his behavior toward a female activist. “I am extremely sad to be writing this,” May wrote in a letter to Green, released by her office, asking him to quit. “We have been friends and colleagues throughout our whole political lives.” His departure strips her of one of the most loyal members of her government as she seeks to steer Britain’s path out of the European Union and rescue her struggling premiership. The 61-year-old and May knew each other since they were at Oxford University and he is one of her closest political allies — ushered into the ... Read
  • Frans Timmermans Poland becomes first in EU history to face sanctions - The European Commission has triggered an unprecedented sanctions procedure against Poland, prompting an immediate backlash. “It’s with a heavy heart that we’ve decided to trigger article 7 point 1 [of the EU treaty], but the facts leave us no choice,” Frans Timmermans, the Dutch commissioner in charge of the file, said in Brussels on Wednesday (20 December). He said the Polish government had seized political control of courts and judges, creating a “clear risk of a serious breach of rule of law”. “Today in Poland, the constitutionality of legislation can no longer be guaranteed,” Timmermans said. “There is an issue with the separation of powers, which is no longer in place,” he added … Read more : EUObserver, 20.12.2017
  • bloom European Banks’ Post-Crisis Litigation Could Cost $100 Billion - A decade after the financial crisis, European banks’ bill for past misconduct could exceed $100 billion globally, with several lenders still facing cases potentially costing billions of dollars to settle. The banks have spent at least $81 billion in the past decade to resolve accusations including market manipulation, sanctions violations and the sale of toxic mortgage securities that contributed to the crisis, a Bloomberg tally of disclosed fines, settlements and litigation payments shows. Analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence say the lenders with the biggest misconduct bills so far could face an additional $33 billion or more in U.S. litigation risk alone. The biggest wild card may be the U.S. Department of Justice. Some lenders, including Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and UBS Group AG, have yet to settle with the ... Read
  • bloom QE Works But Not Forever, BIS Study Tells Central Banks - The benefits of central banks pumping money into the economy by buying securities diminish over time, according to a BIS paper. That’s the conclusion of a Bank for International Settlements Working Paper by Henning Hesse, Boris Hofmann and James Weber, who compared the effects of the asset purchases in the U.S. and the U.K. conducted between 2008 and mid-2011 with those thereafter. While the earlier actions significantly helped the economy, they said, the subsequent ones had little or no impact. The issue is a topical one for central banks as they work out how to exit the emergency stimulus policies they imposed after the global financial crisis. The European Central Bank has slowed its bond purchases but not yet decided on a definite end-date, while the Federal Reserve is delicately shrinking its balance sheet.  The ... Read
  • euobs Far right enters government in Austria - Austria’s new government has pledged support for the EU, but aims to give a hard time to refugees and to be friendlier to Russia.The policy lines emerged on Sunday (17 December) in a coalition deal between the centre-right Austrian People’s Party (OVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPO). The pact is to see the OVP’s 31-year old Sebastian Kurz become Austria’s youngest-ever leader, with the FPO’s Heinz-Christian Strache as deputy. But the fact Strache took two minor dossiers (sports and civil service), allowing him to focus on his deputy job, as well as his dominant performance in press briefings, has led Austrian press to dub him “co-chancellor”. The fact the FPO took control of the country’s security apparatus (the army, police, and intelligence services) by securing the interior, defence, and ... Read
  • telegraph Austria’s new government stokes secessionist row in northern Italy - Austria’s new government found itself embroiled in a diplomatic row with Italy on its first day in office on Monday after offering to grant passports to German-speaking inhabitants in Italy’s South Tyrol region. The offer of dual citizenship threatened to open old wounds between the neighbours – South Tyrol was ceded to Italy after the First World War but its distinct language, culture and history means that Rome has struggled over the decades to integrate it fully with the rest of the country. Many people speak German as their first language, the local cuisine consists of strudel, sauerkraut and schnitzel rather than pasta and pizza, and many locals feel they have little in common with the rest of Italy… Read more : The Telegraph, 18.12.2017
  • euobs Estonia’s last chance to land green energy results - EU energy ministers meet on Monday (18 December) to find a common position on no less than four different legislative files that are part of the ‘Energy Union’ package, proposed by the commission thirteen months ago. They will discuss targets for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and two legal acts governing the electricity market at the final ministerial meeting in the Council of the EU in Brussels of the year. Once the ministers have their common positions, they have to start negotiations with the European Parliament on the final version of the bills. Briefing journalists last week, a senior Estonian official said on condition of anonymity they were “four very complex files”, which each contain “two or three” politically-sensitive angles. “To manage it all in a one day debate is really going ... Read
  • alj After a year of elections, Nepal moves closer to China - It has been a year of elections in Nepal. On January 31, then Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat promised to a clutch of Kathmandu-based envoys that the country would hold all three levels of elections – local, provincial and parliamentary – within the year. In just concluded polls, Mahat himself lost and his Nepali Congress party performed miserably, but the government succeeded in delivering upon its promise to the international community. The three-phased polls were first held to elect local government officials. They were soon followed by two-phased elections for provincial assemblies and the lower house of the parliament.  Phased elections engaged the entire government machinery and over 200,000 security personnel had to be employed in the exercise. It was the most expensive elections in the history of the country. ... Read
  • Valdis Dombrovskis, Günther Oettinger, Pierre Moscovici Commission wants more centralised eurozone by 2019 - The European Commission unveiled on Wednesday (6 December) a plan that would give it more power over the eurozone, while strengthening the links with non-euro member states. As expected, the EU executive proposed to transform the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the eurozone’s emergency fund, into a European Monetary Fund by mid-2019. The fund would still be responsible for the financial support of countries in need, with a lending capacity of €500 billion. But it would have a greater role in designing the bailout plans. It would also provide the backstop to the single resolution fund, an additional mechanism to the existing fund for failing banks. The commission also proposed to create, as early as 2019, a European finance minister to manage the fiscal and macroeconomic surveillance of member states and ... Read
  • poland Poland Risks Being the EU’s Rogue State - Behind the noise of Brexit negotiations, the talk in the European Union this year has been that there’s potentially a bigger problem in the east. And the prospect of another rupture looks to be increasing. Poland’s de facto leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, hand-picked his second prime minister in two years, opting last week for western-educated Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki as he seeks to boost the economy after revamping the judicial system. He is another Kaczynski acolyte who has backed the increasingly authoritarian Law & Justice party’s push to seize more control of the courts, a plan condemned by the European Parliament and European Commission. The mood in Brussels is that EU institutions can no longer stand by and watch a country that’s the biggest net recipient of European aid thumb its nose without paying ... Read
  • california Why is Southern California burning in December? A climate scientist’s answer - Southern California may get the Santa Ana winds every year, but — according to recorded history — they’ve never been like this. With relative humidities in the single digits along the coastal mountains, where a series of fires has scorched thousands of acres and destroyed more than 100 homes, the air is the driest it’s been here in recorded history, said UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain. “The [relative] humidities right now along the coast are much drier than what you’d normally see in the interior desert in the summertime,” Swain said. “Once you get down to 1% or 2%, you’re down almost as low as is physically possible.” It’s just a pile-on of bad news for firefighters and residents on the edge of the urban-wildland interface who are the first to get hit by wind-driven brush ... Read
  • Communauté_cvR°_fr EUROPE : COMMUNITY OR EMPIRE? (Elements of reflection and principles of action for future European citizens) - “ Or else, she (Europe) can sink into the ruts of history and be the “murdered Mozart” of the 21st century’s politics. Then, unconsciously, it will suffice to get rid of the concept and name of Community (reference to its innovative origin) in order to put back on the classical coat of “power-union”, of “United States”. (The main problem of the “union” is that for it to live, diversity must die. History tells us so … For a year now, they keep telling us about this European Union.) A failure of individuals and minorities facing a centre and a bureaucracy aiming to control, to standardise and not to develop. A failure of the peace ideals also, because an empire is always providing platforms where conflicts and wars prolife­rate, a sine ... Read
  • corse Un raz-de-marée nationaliste submerge la Corse - À 18 heures, dans l’ancien hôtel de ville de Bastia, le maire nationaliste, Pierre Savelli, proclamait le scrutin clos. À 18 h 01, avec un sens certain de la mise en scène, Gilles Simeoni faisait son entrée dans ce bureau symbolique où sa victoire aux municipales en 2014 avait marqué le début de la conquête de la Corse par les nationalistes. Le dépouillement est sans appel: la liste Femu a Corsica recueille 46 % des voix à Bastia. Les applaudissements fusent et Gilles Simeoni scrute son smartphone pour observer les résultats qui tombent, invariables d’un bureau de vote à l’autre: la liste Femu a Corsica de Gilles Simeoni et Jean-Guy Talamoni a littéralement écrasé ses adversaires pour ce premier tour des élections territoriales, recueillant au total 45,36 % des suffrages sur l’île… Lire la suite : Le Figaro, ... Read
  • germ1 Germany, an Arrhythmia at the Heart of Europe - We anticipate that this European state will face several economic, cultural and political difficulties this year and next. First, the rise of the euro will hurt German exports; the stabilisation of oil prices prohibits the oxygen balloon effect of prices declines of 2015; failure of the migrant strategy puts Germany face to face with all the consequences of its weak demographics (in terms of domestic consumer market and potential for wage decline); there are centrifugal tendencies within the federation particularly with growing cultural and political divergences as in Bavaria; and finally the weight of East Germany is likely to become more and more unbearable for the productive Germany in this context. Europe has had its fair share of change and turmoil over the last century, and in few places, has ... Read
  • dw Egypt mosque bombing kills more than 300 worshippers - Militants reportedly linked to “Islamic State” have targeted a mosque in the north of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, killing at least 305 people and wounding scores. Egyptian authorities say the death toll is likely to rise. Authorities said that shortly after the noon prayer time on Friday, men in four off-road vehicles surrounded the Al Rawdah mosque, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the provincial capital, Arish, before planting explosives. After the explosives went off, the attackers opened fire at those who fled. Media reports described at least 20 masked gunmen using automatic rifles in the assault. The victims included civilians and military conscripts… Read more : Deutsche Welle, 24.11.2017
  • Chinese manoeuvres further confounding Middle East - I was in Doha, Qatar, for a conference on 13-14 November 2017, which was being held against the backdrop of the continued Saudi Arabia-led blockade of Qatar since June 2017 and the occurrence coincidentally of three other sensational, Saudi-related events on November 4. The first and most astonishing of the three events was the arrest and incarceration of dozens of Saudi princes, serving ministers, and billionaires in the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Riyadh, on charges of corruption, linked to the country’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s reform plans for Saudi Arabia. The second was the resignation of the Lebanese prime minister, announced on TV in Riyadh. The third was the firing of a missile on Riyadh airport by Houthi rebels from Yemen, which Saudi Arabia and its allies, including the United ... Read
  • Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC meets with Abdoulaye DIOP, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mali Mali blames West for chaos in Libya - Mali blames “external intervention” for the chaos that reigns throughout Libya given the Nato-led bombing campaign in 2011. Abdoulaye Diop, Malian minister of foreign affairs, on Wednesday (22 November) said the raids were “carried out without a strategic vision, without a plan, and without the ability to manage the consequences.” The bombing campaign included French and British sorties that helped topple the dictatorship under Muammar Gaddafi. Libya has since become the main staging point of migratory flows towards Europe, is home to some 1,500 armed militia groups, and is host to open slave auctions. Addressing the European Parliament and the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, Diop said it was impossible to cooperate with the Libyan state “because the only people we have to cooperate with are militias.” He then ... Read
  • dw Leader of rebel-held Ukraine region resigns amid infighting - Igor Plotnitsky, the head of Ukraine’s rebel Luhansk region, has resigned after accusing a rival of an attempted coup. With tensions simmering in the region, is the conflict in eastern Ukraine about to escalate? Where is Igor Plotnitsky? That question appeared to have been answered on Friday evening, as the leader of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic turned up in Moscow after several days and submitted his resignation following a week of infighting between rival factions in eastern Ukraine. “Igor Plotnitsky has submitted his resignation for health reasons,” said the head of the region’s secret police, Leonid Pasechnik, in a video posted on a rebel news portal in Luhansk. Pasechnik said he would take control of the region as acting head ahead of a new election. Plotnitsky has yet to comment ... Read
  • geab119 Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin, your crisis time companion - Stop searching. The Future is here. Your future! Are you ready for it? Have a seat, take a deep breath… and start reading the latest Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin, your loyal personal advisor. This month, it is about geopolitics, personal finance, oil and bitcoin investment trends, global news interpretation and much more. Our confidential analyses, exclusively for you at #geab.eu.
  • alj Russia, Iran and Turkey agree to hold ‘Syrian congress’ - Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his Iranian and Turkish counterparts have supported a proposal to hold a “Syrian people’s congress” that will bring together government and opposition figures. The Russian leader on Wednesday hosted Hassan Rouhani and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, just as some Syrian opposition groups met in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, ahead of United Nations-sponsored talks in Geneva. “The congress will look at the key questions on Syria’s national agenda,” Putin told reporters at the summit  in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, sitting alongside Rouhani and Erdogan. “First of all, that is the drawing-up of a framework for the future structure of the state, the adoption of a new constitution, and, on the basis of that, the holding of elections under United Nations supervision.” The congress is expected to also take place in Sochi ahead ... Read
  • forum The EU has signed a deal to integrate 23 armies - It took 70 years, but the European Union finally signed a pact today (Nov. 13) agreeing to integrate military funding, weapons development, and deployment of European defenses. US president’s Donald Trump’s frequent accusations that EU countries do not pay enough into NATO has been one catalyst for them move forward with a unified plan for military cooperation. The other is that it could legitimately diminish the bloc’s dependence on US military support. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, called the pact “historic” as “the real problem is not how much we spend, it is the fact we spend in a fragmented manner.” She also said it would strengthen the work of the US-led NATO. The UK had always resisted the idea of joint EU defense, fearing some kind of big “European army,” but ... Read
  • spain Spain ‘ready to discuss’ greater fiscal autonomy for Catalonia - Madrid is paving the way for Catalonia to be given the power to collect and manage its own taxes, similar to the system enjoyed by the autonomous Basque country, in an attempt to defuse the crisis over an illegal referendum on independence for the region. Senior sources in the Spanish government have told the Guardian that although there remains intense opposition within the ruling People’s party (PP) to any future referendum on self-determination, there is a renewed willingness to open discussions on a new fiscal pact under which Catalonia would have greater control of its finances. “If the Catalans ask for a fiscal pact, we are ready to discuss this,” one senior source said. “The Basque country [in northern Spain] and Navarre collect their own taxes. They have their own system and ... Read
  • temptation The Great Petroyuan Temptation - All this occurs in the context of strong pressure from the Chinese to trade their oil in yuan[1], a gigantic strategic U-turn for the country and the whole region, therefore harming numerous well-established Saudi interests. In recent days, Saudi oil exports to the US have dramatically declined, a collapse likely to disrupt US interests as well it also corresponding to an old dream of freeing the US from Saudi oil dependence. Except that, finally, it is the Saudis who reduced their oil exports more than the US reduced their Saudi imports. But in fact the US is experiencing the first positive consequences of this reduction: their trade balance with Saudi Arabia, which has always been negative, has just moved into the green thanks also to the increase in arms sales ... Read
  • bitcoin Bitcoin: bye bye! - The star of the e-currencies has been on a roller-coaster ride lately. But so far, smart (and lucky) speculators have been able to take advantage of these dizzying ups and downs, as well as of the considerable trend appreciation. But what happens to Bitcoins nowadays is more serious. Indeed, the bitcoin community, whose decentralised nature did not allow to opt for a currency modernisation, particularly regarding the massification potential, has ended up generating competition (fork), the Bitcoin Cash, which looks like the brand new super Bitcoin. We strongly recommend that you bet on this new “option”, incompatible with the first one because of its size (eight times stronger), by separating the transaction activities and the more centralised e-gold status (flaw for the people, but quality for the states); also, it ... Read
  • dw Poverty and social exclusion: Millions of Germans on brink - About 20 percent of people in Germany are threatened by poverty and other forms of social exclusion. According to EU statistics, close to a quarter of the bloc’s residents faced such precarious conditions in 2016. Poverty and other forms of social exclusion affect 16 million people in Germany — 19.7 percent of the population — the Federal Statistical Office reported on Wednesday as part of an EU study. The study defines threatened people as those who receive less than 60 percent of the median national income, are subjected to severe or persistent material deprivation, or live in households with “very low work intensity.” According to the study, about 16.5 percent of people in Germany face such precarious conditions because they are paid too little. The threshold for determining whether a person is threatened by economic circumstances was ... Read
  • euobs German coalition talks collapse - The liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) pulled out of coalition talks in Germany on Sunday (19 November), leading to an uncertain political future for the EU’s largest member state. The move is a blow to Angela Merkel, leader of the centre-right CDU and chancellor of Germany since 2005, who was expected to lead the coalition government for a fourth time. But talks between CDU, its Bavarian sister party CSU, the Greens, and FDP, progressed slowly and missed a self-imposed deadline last Thursday. FDP’s leader Christian Lindner said on Sunday that after weeks of talks, there were still many open issues and conflicting goals, but “no common basis for trust”. “It is better not to rule than to rule wrongly,” said Lindner around midnight on Sunday… Read more : EUObserver, 20.11.2017
  • francetv Le parti LREM va lancer une “grande marche européenne” en janvier - La formation d’Emmanuel Macron se prépare pour les prochaines échéances électorales. La République en marche (LREM) entend lancer, début 2018, une “grande marche” pour débattre avec les Français de l’avenir de l’Europe, a annoncé, lundi 20 novembre, son nouveau délégué général, Christophe Castaner, à l’issue d’un entretien à l’Elysée. En France, elle sera menée “dans les villages, auprès des agriculteurs qui s’inquiètent des dérives européennes, mais savent l’importance de la politique agricole commune, de nos concitoyens qui peuvent trouver que l’Europe est un amoncellement de normes…” a-t-il expliqué. LREM “sera partout en France au premier trimestre pour que nous puissions porter cette ambition” pour l’UE. Un “débat interne” sur le mode de scrutin Par ailleurs, LREM reste “ouverte” sur la question du mode de scrutin pour les élections européennes de 2019. Avec deux options : la liste nationale, qui peut “favoriser ... Read
  • china Securing China’s financial system - On June 30, Beijing launched Bond Connect, a programme which allows international investors to invest in the Chinese bond market via Hong Kong, and vice versa[1]. In March, another system, the China Interbank Bond Market (CIBM) [2], had already been launched. Both programmes are expected to have limited impact in the short term. But the Japanese bank Nomura, in an internal note[3] dated July 7, specifies that the goal is to obtain the insertion of the Chinese bond market in the major benchmarks calculated by JP Morgan, Barclays or WGBI. This introduction would favour a large influx of capital to China, thus to the Yuan, via index funds. Nomura predicts a “reallocation of bond investments” from the rest of Asia to China. Deutsche Bank, the leading bank operating on the ... Read
  • gu There is no such thing as western civilisation - Like many Englishmen who suffered from tuberculosis in the 19th century, Sir Edward Burnett Tylor went abroad on medical advice, seeking the drier air of warmer regions. Tylor came from a prosperous Quaker business family, so he had the resources for a long trip. In 1855, in his early 20s, he left for the New World, and, after befriending a Quaker archeologist he met on his travels, he ended up riding on horseback through the Mexican countryside, visiting Aztec ruins and dusty pueblos. Tylor was impressed by what he called “the evidence of an immense ancient population”. And his Mexican sojourn fired in him an enthusiasm for the study of faraway societies, ancient and modern, that lasted for the rest of his life. In 1871, he published his masterwork, Primitive Culture, which can lay ... Read
  • oilprice Russian LNG Unfazed By U.S. Sanctions - Russia’s energy industry faces a new round of U.S. sanctions—including on oil projects in any location if a designated entity holds more than 33 percent. And in Europe, where Russia’s gas giant Gazprom currently holds a large share of the gas supplies, Poland and Lithuania are buying U.S. LNG in an effort to shake off Russian dominance. Despite the sanctions and cold shoulders from Poland and Lithuania, Russia still has plans to boost its LNG capacity and exports, with one of its major LNG export projects focusing on Asia, more specifically China, as its destination. The LNG project has relied on Chinese funding to bring the project to completion. By securing funding from China, Russia is not only finding alternative sources of financing in the face of U.S. sanctions; it’s also securing sales ... Read
  • eubusiness (2) 23 EU states launch new era for European defence cooperation -  23 EU Member States – though not the United Kingdom – signed an historic pact Monday to cooperate more closely in future on security and defence in the wake of Brexit and Russian aggression. The countires – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden – today signed the joint notification of the launch of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) on defence, and handed it over to the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. The possibility of the Permanent Structured Cooperation in the area of defence security and defence policy was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty. It foresaw the possibility of a number of EU member states working more closely together in ... Read
  • euobs German coalition talks in near collapse - Talks to form a coalition government in Germany were in deadlock on Friday morning (17 November), after negotiators separated early morning without a deal in sight. A new, last chance meeting was due at midday on Friday. But wide differences remained on migration, climate and energy and finance policies between the four parties involved in the so-called Jamaica coalition, because their colours echo the Caribbean country’s flag: the centre-right CDU and its Bavarian branch CSU, the liberal FDP, and the Greens. “We need some sleep,” said Green leader Simone Peter after the overnight 15-hour discussion. “Good morning, today it continues,” chancellor Angela Merkel simply said. On Thursday, Merkel had warned that forming a coalition between parties that have never worked together at the federal level was “a very complicated task”. ... Read