International

Rouhani says Iran ready to improve ties with Gulf states

Views - 3 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

DUBAI (Reuters): Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that Tehran wanted to establish close ties with all countries in the Middle East, where Iran has been involved in proxy wars with Saudi Arabia for decades. “Iran is ready to work with


US backs India’s right to defend itself after Kashmir attack

Views - 3 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

New Delhi/Srinagar (Reuters): The United States has told India it supports its right to defend itself against cross-border attacks, the government in New Delhi said on Saturday as it considers retaliation against a car bombing in disputed Kashmir cla


Iran says Pakistan to ‘pay high price’ over attack, warns Saudi

Views - 2 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

DUBAI (Reuters): Iran warned neighbouring Pakistan on Saturday it would “pay a heavy price” for allegedly harbouring militants who killed 27 of its elite Revolutionary Guards in a suicide bombing near the border earlier this week, state televisio


IS ‘caliphate’ on brink of defeat in Syria as Trump urges Europe to do more

Views - 2 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters): US-backed fighters in Syria are poised to capture Islamic State’s last, tiny enclave on the Euphrates, the battle commander said on Saturday, bringing its self-declared caliphate to the brink of total defeat as U.S. P


Japan’s PM nominated Trump for Nobel Peace Prize on US request

Views - 2 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

TOKYO (Reuters): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated US President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize last autumn after receiving a request from the US government to do so, the Asahi newspaper reported on Sunday. The report follows Trump


NY Fed cuts US first-quarter GDP view to 1% after dismal data

Views - 14 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

NEW YORK (Reuters): A New York Federal Reserve forecast program on Friday slashed its estimate on US economic growth in the first quarter in the wake of this week’s worrisome data on inflation, retail sales and industrial output. The regional centr


Citi US economic index posts biggest weekly drop since 2011

Views - 9 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

NEW YORK (Reuters): Citi Research’s gauge on US economic data surprises fell 40.7 points this week for its biggest weekly decline since June 2011, as the latest data on retail sales and factory output fell far short of market expectations. The Citi


Fed policymakers see one US rate hike, or none, as growth slows

Views - 13 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

BIRMINGHAM, Ala./San Francisco (Reuters): When the Federal Reserve last month adopted a new “patient” approach to monetary policy, it gave no specific guidance about how long its policy pause would last, or how many more interest-rate increases,


India’s January trade deficit widens, slow exports growth a concern

Views - 10 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

NEW DELHI (Reuters): India’s trade deficit widened in January pushed by a rise in gold imports, while exports growth remained low, deepening concerns for Prime Minister Narendra Modi who wants to accelerate economic expansion ahead of elections. Mo


Brexit ‘airbags’ being tested by business with 40 days to exit day: KPMG

Views - 10 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

LONDON (Reuters): With just 40 days until the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union, businesses are testing their emergency Brexit preparations to ensure they have enough cash and staff in the event of a disorderly exit, KPMG said. Unless


President Trump receives update on China trade talks

Views - 10 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters): President Donald Trump received an update on trade talks with China on Saturday at his Florida retreat after discussions in Beijing saw progress ahead of a 1March deadline for reaching a deal. Trump, at his Mar-a-Lago Club


Factories to test world’s ‘delicate equilibrium’

Views - 12 Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00

LONDON (Reuters): The world economy is caught in a “delicate equilibrium” between stabilization and a further downturn, according to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, and that balance could look even shakier over the next few days. Early meas


More Brexit embarrassment for May as parliament defeats her again

Views - 2 Saturday, 16 February 2019 00:10

LONDON (Reuters): Prime Minister Theresa May suffered a defeat on her Brexit strategy on Thursday that undermined her pledge to European Union leaders to get her divorce deal approved if they grant her concessions. In a show of muscle, hardline Brexi


US-China trade talks to resume in Washington next week

Views - 4 Saturday, 16 February 2019 00:00

BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters): Talks between China and the United States to resolve their bruising trade war will resume next week in Washington, with both sides saying this week’s negotiations in Beijing made progress. The White House stood by its


Asian stocks fall after weak US data, crude oil buoyant

Views - 4 Saturday, 16 February 2019 00:00

TOKYO (Reuters): Asian stocks fell on Friday after weak US retail sales figures raised fresh doubts about the strength of the world’s largest economy, offsetting optimism towards trade talks between the United States and China. Also casting a shado


PM Modi warns Pakistan of strong response for Kashmir attack

Views - 2 Saturday, 16 February 2019 00:00

NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR (Reuters): Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned Pakistan on Friday to expect a strong response to a car bomb attack on a military convoy in Kashmir that killed 44 paramilitary policemen, ratcheting up tensions between the nuclear-ar


Kashmir suicide bomber radicalised after beating by troops, say parents

Views - 3 Saturday, 16 February 2019 00:00

SRINAGAR (Reuters): A suicide bomber who killed 44 paramilitary policemen in Indian-controlled Kashmir joined a militant group after having been beaten by troops three years ago, his parents told Reuters on Friday. Pakistan-based Islamist militant gr


US, India hold talks to calm trade tensions, Ross joins by video

Views - 4 Friday, 15 February 2019 00:00

New Delhi (Reuters); US and Indian government officials pressed on with talks on Thursday to resolve their differences over trade and investment, Indian government sources said, even though US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross called off his visit becau


EU lawmakers greenlight screening of Chinese investment

Views - 7 Friday, 15 February 2019 00:00

Strasbourg, AFP: The European Parliament on Thursday gave its green light to new powers to screen foreign takeovers in Europe’s strategic sectors, amid concern about investment by China. The limited powers aim to protect EU sectors like water, tra


Israel PM hails common front with Arabs on Iran in Warsaw talks

Views - 7 Friday, 15 February 2019 00:00

WARSAW, AFP: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday hailed as a breakthrough a conference in Warsaw where he is standing side-by-side with Arab powers to confront Iran, hoping their common front can pave the way to greater normalisatio


German economy escapes recession by the narrowest of margins

Views - 4 Friday, 15 February 2019 00:00

BERLIN (Reuters): The German economy stalled in the final quarter of last year, narrowly escaping recession, as the fallout from global trade disputes and Brexit threatened to derail a decade-long expansion in Europe’s economic powerhouse. Gross do


Japan’s GDP rebounds from quake, floods but trade war hangs over 2019

Views - 6 Friday, 15 February 2019 00:00

TOKYO (Reuters): Japan’s economy bounced back in the fourth quarter as business and consumer spending recovered from the impact of natural disasters but trade frictions and a proposed sales tax hike are expected to hinder growth in 2019. The 1.4% a


Pakistan, India hope to reap investment from Saudi prince’s visit

Views - 3 Thursday, 14 February 2019 00:29

NEW DELHI/ISLAMABAD (Reuters): Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is expected to announce investments in energy and infrastructure during a visit to India and Pakistan in coming days. The prince, known as MBS, is also expected to visit


“I’m sorry”: Thai princess apologises after ill-fated run for PM

Views - 5 Thursday, 14 February 2019 00:27

BANGKOK (AFP): A Thai princess has apologised after her short-lived candidacy for prime minister earned a royal rebuke from her brother – the king – and sent jitters across the politically febrile country just weeks before elections. Thailand ha


UK economy to make modest post-Brexit recovery if deal agreed – Economists

Views - 3 Thursday, 14 February 2019 00:26

LONDON (Reuters): Britain’s economy will barely grow in the run-up to Brexit amid concern the UK will leave the European Union without an agreement, but if there is a deal there will be a modest post-divorce upturn, according to economists polled b


Drug lord, escape artist ‘El Chapo’ convicted by US jury

Views - 3 Thursday, 14 February 2019 00:24

NEW YORK (Reuters): The world’s most infamous cartel boss Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, who rose from poverty in rural Mexico to amass billions of dollars, was found guilty in a US court on Tuesday of smuggling tons of drugs to the United States o


Asian stocks touch four-month peak on US-China trade deal hopes

Views - 3 Thursday, 14 February 2019 00:21

TOKYO (Reuters): Asian stocks edged up to a more than four-month high on Wednesday, lifted by optimism that the United States and China might be able to hammer out a deal to resolve their nearly year-long trade dispute. MSCI’s broadest index of Asi


Asian stocks edge up, US futures rise on hope for no government shutdown

Views - 18 Wednesday, 13 February 2019 00:00

TOKYO (Reuters): Asian shares edged up on Tuesday as investors hoped a new round of US-China trade talks would help to resolve a dispute that’s dented global growth and some corporate earnings. Improving market sentiment was news that US lawmakers


China says consumption growth likely to slow further this year

Views - 17 Wednesday, 13 February 2019 00:00

BEIJING (Reuters): Consumption growth in China is “very likely” to slow further this year as the economy cools, the commerce ministry said on Tuesday, underlining the rising risks facing the Asian giant as it navigates a trade war with the United


Pakistan ‘very close’ to securing IMF bailout after Khan-Lagarde meeting

Views - 15 Wednesday, 13 February 2019 00:00

Islamabad (Reuters): Pakistan is likely to secure an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout soon to stave off a balance of payment crisis and help shore up its economy, Finance Minister Asad Umar said on Monday, as talks between Islamabad and the


Today's Columnists

Discipline and the devil’s disciples

Monday, 18 February 2019

That coach who repeatedly slapped a boy under his care has generated a storm of controversy on social media. On one side are aunties, bleeding hearts, civil rights champions et al who are outraged or at the very least shocked or surprised. On the oth


SL growth profile: Arrest moving down the staircase immediately to avoid hard landing on the floor

Monday, 18 February 2019

Strong message in the Sri Lanka Development Update 2019 Sri Lanka Development Update for 2019 was released by the World Bank last week. This document contains a review by the bank’s residential staff of the present state of the country’s economy


Prudential banking and saga of MTD Walkers

Monday, 18 February 2019

The matters referred to in the article under this title published in the Daily FT (15 February) are spotlighted in more detail under this scrutiny. While the general attention of the public remains more focused on recently arrested underworld kingpin


Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe’s empty rant

Monday, 18 February 2019

Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe (WR) has joined President Sirisena’s reckless verbal onslaught on the Constitutional Council (CC) that was set up by the 19th Amendment (Daily Mirror 15 February). I use “verbal onslaught” intentionally since, as


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