International

Asian shares steady after slump, oil jumps on Saudi comments

Views - 16 Tuesday, 21 May 2019 00:00

Shanghai (Reuters): Asian shares steadied on Monday as investors caught their breath following another week of escalating US-China trade tensions, with sentiment turning brighter after the United States said it would lift tariffs in North America. MS


BJP preparing for return to power as exit polls predict victory

Views - 11 Tuesday, 21 May 2019 00:00

New Delhi (Reuters): India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is to meet coalition partners to discuss a new government, two BJP sources said on Monday, after exit polls predicted a clear general election victory for the party led by Prime Minis


Australia’s conservative coalition secures parliamentary majority

Views - 8 Tuesday, 21 May 2019 00:00

Sydney (Reuters): Australia’s conservative coalition secured an outright parliamentary majority on Monday following a shock election victory, allowing Prime Minister Scott Morrison to progress his legislative agenda without the support of independe


Labour declares Brexit talks dead as May’s premiership crumbles

Views - 8 Saturday, 18 May 2019 00:10

LONDON (Reuters): Britain’s tumultuous divorce from the European Union was again in disarray on Friday as the opposition Labour Party declared last-ditch cross-party talks dead as Prime Minister Theresa May’s premiership crumbled. Nearly three ye


Iran urges China, Russia ‘concrete action’ to save nuclear deal

Views - 9 Saturday, 18 May 2019 00:08

BEIJING (AFP): Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday urged “friends” including China and Russia to take “concrete action” to safeguard the 2015 nuclear deal after the US withdrew from the agreement. On a visit to Beijing, Z


‘Bring it on’ – Philippines’ drug war commander invites probes into killings

Views - 10 Saturday, 18 May 2019 00:00

MANILA (Reuters): The top enforcer of a brutal war on drugs in the Philippines on Friday dared prosecutors to go after him for the deaths of thousands of people, after activists warned that his election to the Senate could insulate him from legal act


Facebook bans Israeli firm over fake election posts

Views - 8 Saturday, 18 May 2019 00:00

LONDON (AFP): Facebook, facing criticism for enabling disruption of elections worldwide, said it was taking down hundreds of accounts linked to an Israeli political consultancy. The social media platform said it was banning the Israeli company, Arch


US slaps sanctions over Russia rights despite revived ties

Views - 10 Saturday, 18 May 2019 00:00

WASHINGTON (AFP): The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on five Russians over abuses including the killing of a prominent opposition leader, days after top-level talks seemed to ease tensions between the powers. The State Department highli


Modi chooses woman facing terrorism charges as election candidate

Views - 6 Saturday, 18 May 2019 00:00

BHOPAL, India (Reuters): For nearly a decade, Pragya Thakur was known mostly as the saffron-clad Hindu ascetic shuttling in and out of Indian courts, flanked by police, facing charges under an anti-terrorism law for plotting a bomb attack on Muslims.


Oil rises for a third day amid escalating Mideast tensions

Views - 11 Friday, 17 May 2019 00:00

TOKYO (Reuters): Oil prices rose on Thursday for a third straight session, as the risk of conflict in the Middle East stoked fears of supply disruptions, negating an unexpected rise in US inventories. Brent crude futures were at $ 72.16 a barrel at 0


Tanker attacks near UAE expose weaknesses in Gulf Arab security

Views - 11 Friday, 17 May 2019 00:00

RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters): Attacks on Saudi tankers and other vessels off the coast of the United Arab Emirates this week expose vulnerabilities in the security of a key oil-shipping route amid rising tensions between the United States, Iran and Gulf Ar


Saudi-led warplanes pound Yemen rebels after pipeline attack

Views - 9 Friday, 17 May 2019 00:00

Sanaa, AFP: Saudi-led coalition warplanes bombed Yemeni rebel targets including in the capital on Thursday following insurgent drone strikes on a key oil pipeline that Riyadh said were ordered by its arch-rival Tehran. The new bombardment came after


Malaysia first-quarter GDP growth faster than forecast, but central bank warns of risks

Views - 10 Friday, 17 May 2019 00:00

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters): Malaysia’s economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter supported by a recovery in the agriculture sector, but the central bank warned of downside risks to full-year growth. Bank Negara Malaysia said the economy gr


Australian former PM Bob Hawke dead

Views - 8 Friday, 17 May 2019 00:00

SYDNEY, AFP: Australia’s longest-serving Labour Prime Minister Bob Hawke died Thursday aged 89, his wife announced. “Today we lost Bob Hawke, a great Australian -- many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era,” his second wife B


Malaysia arrests suspected militants over IS plots

Views - 7 Friday, 17 May 2019 00:00

KUALA LUMPUR, AFP: Three militants inspired by the Islamic State group have been arrested in Malaysia, accused of planning attacks on non-Muslim places of worship in the country and neighbouring Indonesia, police said Thursday. The suspects are thou


New York Mayor de Blasio joins 2020 race

Views - 9 Friday, 17 May 2019 00:00

New York, AFP: New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday he will seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, despite a panning by US media and polls which suggest he faces a tough fight. De Blasio becomes the 23rd prospective Democratic chal


Asia stocks rebound from 3-1/2-month lows as trade fears ease

Views - 10 Thursday, 16 May 2019 00:00

TOKYO (Reuters): Asian stocks rebounded from a 3-1/2-month low on Wednesday as a slight softening in rhetoric from US President Donald Trump eased worries about the US-China tariff war, and on expectations that Beijing could unveil more economic stim


Iran’s Zarif warns of risk from ‘extremist’ individuals in US government

Views - 5 Thursday, 16 May 2019 00:00

NEW DELHI (Reuters): Iran’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that “extremist individuals” in the US government were pursuing dangerous policies, amid a war of words with Washington over sanctions. Mohammad Javad Zarif was in New Delhi for talks


Brexit rebels tell Theresa May: Your EU divorce deal is dead

Views - 9 Thursday, 16 May 2019 00:00

London (Reuters): Brexit-supporting rebels in British Prime Minister Theresa May’s party said on Wednesday they would vote down her European Union divorce deal when she brings it back to Parliament early next month. Brexit had been due to take plac


‘First ray of hope’ as German economy returns to growth

Views - 8 Thursday, 16 May 2019 00:00

Berlin (Reuters): Germany’s spluttering economy returned to growth in the first quarter as consumers spent more freely and construction activity picked up, but the government said the outlook remained clouded by trade disputes. Gross domestic produ


As trade war bites, China’s Xi preaches openness

Views - 4 Thursday, 16 May 2019 00:00

BEIJING (Reuters): China has a glorious history of being open to the world and it will only be more open, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday, in his first public address since trade tension with the United States spiked last week. China and the U


China says agreed with US to keep talking over trade war

Views - 11 Wednesday, 15 May 2019 01:04

Beijing/Washington (Reuters): China and the United States have agreed to keep talking about their trade dispute, the Chinese government said on Tuesday, as US President Donald Trump said he thought recent discussions in Beijing would be successful. T


Brazil investigators get access to banking records of president’s son in graft probe

Views - 9 Wednesday, 15 May 2019 01:02

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters): A Brazilian court will allow investigators to examine the banking records of President Jair Bolsonaro’s senator son and his former driver in a money-laundering investigation, two sources with knowledge of the situation tol


Senior Conservatives tell May to ditch Brexit talks with Labour

Views - 8 Wednesday, 15 May 2019 01:00

LONDON (Reuters): British Prime Minister Theresa May was told by senior members of her own party on Tuesday to abandon talks to find a Brexit compromise with the Opposition Labour Party as pressure mounted on her to name a date for standing down. Nea


Asia’s spot oil prices rise to multi-year highs on tight supply

Views - 13 Wednesday, 15 May 2019 00:59

SINGAPORE (Reuters): Prices of Middle East and Russian spot crude grades sold in Asia hit multi-year highs as Asian oil buyers snapped up cargoes amid tighter supplies, trade sources said on Tuesday. US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, disruptions of


Malaysia’s first-quarter GDP growth seen cooling on weak demand, exports

Views - 7 Wednesday, 15 May 2019 00:56

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters): Malaysia’s economic growth pace likely slowed in the first quarter, due to tepid consumption and softer global demand as a result of the US-China trade war, a Reuters poll showed. The poll of 13 economists predicted the econ


China hikes tariffs on most US goods in $ 60 b target list

Views - 9 Wednesday, 15 May 2019 00:55

BEIJING (Reuters): China said yesterday it will adjust tariffs on a revised target list of $ 60 billion worth of US imports, with additional rates of 20% to 25% in retaliation for a US tariff hike on $ 200 billion worth of Chinese goods. A total of


Congress party vows to ‘clean up’ economic data gathering if wins election

Views - 5 Wednesday, 15 May 2019 00:55

NEW DELHI (Reuters): India’s main opposition Congress party will review how economic data is collected and interpreted if it wins a general election this month, a senior party official said, amid doubts over the reliability of official data. Econom


New Zealand begins inquiry into Christchurch’s mosques massacre

Views - 9 Tuesday, 14 May 2019 00:00

WELLINGTON (Reuters): An inquiry into Christchurch’s mosques shooting massacre began hearing evidence on Monday, as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern prepared to co-host a meeting in France that seeks global support to tackle online violenc


Japan’s coincident index suggests economy may be in recession

Views - 6 Tuesday, 14 May 2019 00:00

TOKYO (Reuters): Japan’s coincident indicator index declined in March and the government cut its assessment of the economy, a sign it may already be in recession as the US-China trade war and weak external demand hurt activity. Worries about the ec


Today's Columnists

Those who go by social proof are easy prey to crafty schemers

Monday, 17 June 2019

Going after social proof Swiss writer and novelist, Rolf Dobelli, in one of the essays in his 2013 book ‘The Art of Thinking Clearly’, has given a fine warning to his readers. He has warned against going by ‘social proof’ or ‘majority view


Poson ponderings on positional power: ‘Authority vested’ vs. ‘authority wasted’

Monday, 17 June 2019

We witnessed a serene Poson Poya, in a far more improved security setting in Sri Lanka. Whilst the Sri Lankan life slowly returning to normal, political fronts do not appear to show the same. Has the political power become the people ‘pava’ (sin)


Emperors without clothes: Is Mother Lanka naked too?

Monday, 17 June 2019

The expression ‘The Emperor without clothes’ derives from the Hans Anderson tale that is based on Sufi wisdom. The Emperor in Anderson’s story was without doubt, the finest dressed man in the land and he loved wearing fine clothes and spent al


The confusion of the collision is becoming indescribable!

Monday, 17 June 2019

Strange are the things we are witnessing in the political scene. The fast-evaporating trust and confidence in politicians and the Government are seriously destroying the harmony of the nation. The Prime Minister of the country has admitted that the


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