International

Bangladesh opposition boycotts oath, calls for new election

Views - 11 Friday, 4 January 2019 00:00

Dhaka (Reuters): Opposition members of Bangladesh’s Parliament boycotted a swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, after rejecting results of a general election that they said was rigged to give Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina her third straight term. Hasin


Saudi prosecutor seeks death sentences as Khashoggi murder trial opens

Views - 8 Friday, 4 January 2019 00:00

RIYADH, AFP: Saudi Arabia’s attorney general sought the death penalty for five of 11 defendants charged with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as their high-profile trial opened in Riyadh on Thursday. All 11 accused were present with their


Leader of France’s ‘yellow vests’ arrested

Views - 7 Friday, 4 January 2019 00:00

PARIS, AFP: One of the leaders of the “yellow vest” anti-government demonstrations was detained by police in Paris late Wednesday for organising an unauthorised protest, signalling a harder line by the authorities against the movement. Eric Drou


Brazil markets soar as new government vows to shrink state

Views - 5 Friday, 4 January 2019 00:00

BRASILIA (Reuters): President Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right government launched a barrage of measures on its first day in office on Wednesday to crack down on crime and shrink the size of the state, sending Brazilian markets higher. Former army captai


Thousands displaced as Myanmar army and Rakhine rebels clash

Views - 6 Friday, 4 January 2019 00:00

YANGON, AFP: Weeks of fighting between ethnic Rakhine rebels and Myanmar’s military has driven thousands of civilians from their homes, the UN said, as conflict intensifies in a state already ravaged by violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority


Protests paralyse Kerala after women defy Sabarimala temple ban

Views - 4 Friday, 4 January 2019 00:00

Kochi/New Delhi (Reuters): Conservative Hindu groups forced Kerala to a standstill on Thursday as they protested against the state Government for allowing two women to defy an ancient ban and enter a Hindu temple. About 400 protesters, including some


Indian manufacturing growth slows in December despite price cuts: PMI

Views - 6 Thursday, 3 January 2019 01:28

Reuters: Indian manufacturing activity expanded at a slower pace in December as growth in new orders and output waned, despite factories cutting their prices, a private survey showed on Wednesday. The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index


Singapore fourth quarter GDP growth cools as trade woes darken outlook

Views - 6 Thursday, 3 January 2019 01:27

SINGAPORE (Reuters): Singapore’s economy grew more slowly than forecast in the fourth quarter after the manufacturing sector shrank, adding to jitters that a trade dispute between the United States and China will drag on growth in 2019. Rising trad


US-China trade war takes toll on global manufacturing

Views - 11 Thursday, 3 January 2019 01:26

LONDON/HONG KONG (Reuters): Factory activity weakened across much of Europe and Asia in December as the US-led trade war and a slowdown in demand hit production in many economies, offering little reason for optimism as the new year begins. A series o


Jet Airways defaults on debt payment to banks, shares drop

Views - 4 Thursday, 3 January 2019 01:25

Reuters: Cash-strapped Jet Airways Ltd. said late Tuesday it defaulted on debt payment to a consortium of Indian banks, prompting ratings agency ICRA to downgrade the carrier and sending its shares sharply lower. The payment of interest and principal


UK minister defends giving Brexit ferry contract to company with no ships

Views - 5 Thursday, 3 January 2019 01:25

London (Reuters): Britain’s transport minister has defended awarding a 14 million-pound ($18 million) contract for shipping goods after Brexit to a new ferry company that owns no ships. The government last week awarded three contracts to charter ex


Oil falls to $53 on economic worries, surging supply

Views - 5 Thursday, 3 January 2019 01:21

LONDON (Reuters): Oil fell to around $53 a barrel on Wednesday, pressured by rising output in major OPEC and non-OPEC producers and concern about an economic slowdown that could weaken demand. Russian production hit a post-Soviet record in 2018, figu


Kim says ready to meet Trump ‘anytime,’ warns of ‘new path’

Views - 4 Thursday, 3 January 2019 00:11

Seoul (Reuters): North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Tuesday he is ready to meet US President Donald Trump again anytime to achieve their common goal of denuclearising the Korean Peninsula, but warned he may have to take an alternative path if US


Politics is not just for the rulers, says Pope

Views - 4 Thursday, 3 January 2019 00:10

VATICAN CITY, AFP: Politics is not reserved just for those who rule but must involve everyone, Pope Francis said Tuesday. “We do not think that politics is reserved only for rulers,” he said. “We are all responsible for the life of the ‘cit


Pope bemoans disjointed world, praises unity over diversity

Views - 5 Thursday, 3 January 2019 00:10

VATICAN CITY (Reuters): Pope Francis, in his first message of the new year on Tuesday, bemoaned a lack of unity across the world, and warned against a soulless hunt for profit that benefits only a few. “How much dispersion and solitude there is all


India ruling party confident of doing well in general election: Modi

Views - 9 Thursday, 3 January 2019 00:09

MUMBAI (Reuters): India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is confident of doing well at this year’s general election despite the party’s recent losses in state polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an interview with Reuters partner AN


Cuba’s Castro blasts United States on 60th anniversary of revolution

Views - 6 Thursday, 3 January 2019 00:08

HAVANA (Reuters): On the 60th anniversary of Cuba’s revolution, ruling Communist Party leader Raul Castro blasted the Trump administration for returning to an outdated path of confrontation with the island nation and of intervening in Latin America


Romney attacks Trump, saying he causes dismay around the world

Views - 9 Thursday, 3 January 2019 00:07

WASHINGTON (Reuters): Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential candidate and incoming US senator from Utah, sharply criticised President Donald Trump and suggested the US leader had caused dismay around the world. In a Washington Post essay pu


Western powers call for probe into Bangladesh election irregularities, violence

Views - 6 Thursday, 3 January 2019 00:06

DHAKA (Reuters): Western powers on Tuesday condemned election day violence in Bangladesh and described a range of other irregularities that marred a vote in which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s alliance secured more than 90% of parliamentary seats.


Oil posts first year of losses since 2015

Views - 8 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

HOUSTON (Reuters): Oil prices ended with full-year losses for the first time since 2015, after a desultory fourth quarter that saw buyers flee the market over growing worries about a supply glut and mixed signals related to renewed US sanctions on Ir


UAE Energy Minister optimistic about energy market balance

Views - 5 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

DUBAI (Reuters): United Arab Emirates Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said on Tuesday he remains optimistic about achieving a market balance during the first quarter of 2019. He said his view was in light of the production cut recently agreed by O


Kenyan GDP growth at 6% in third quarter 2018

Views - 7 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

NAIROBI (Reuters): Kenya’s economy expanded faster in the third quarter of this year than in the same period last year due to strong performance in the agriculture and construction sectors, the statistics office said on Monday. The Kenya National


Dubai 2019 budget to slow spending growth, sees small revenue rise

Views - 5 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

DUBAI (Reuters): Dubai expects to slow the growth of state spending this year but continue spending heavily on infrastructure as it prepares to host the Expo 2020 world’s fair, a statement by the emirate’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Makt


After damaging Reuters report, J&J doubles down on talc safety message

Views - 7 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES (Reuters): Johnson & Johnson Inc’s statement was unequivocal. “The FDA has tested Johnson’s talc since the ‘70s. Every single time it did not contain asbestos,” the company said in a Dec. 19 tweet. It followed by severa


Cooperation best for both China and US, Xi tells Trump

Views - 6 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

BEIJING (Reuters): History shows that cooperation is the best choice for both China and the United States, Chinese President Xi Jinping told US President Donald Trump in a congratulatory message on Tuesday to mark 40 years since the establishment of


Democrat Warren takes step to challenge Trump in 2020

Views - 10 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

WASHINGTON (Reuters): US Senator Elizabeth Warren, a liberal firebrand who has taken on Wall Street and traded barbs with Donald Trump, on Monday became the most prominent Democrat to announce a challenge to the Republican president in 2020. Warren s


Netanyahu rules out resigning if prosecutors move to indict him

Views - 4 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

JERUSALEM, AFP: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday he would not resign if prosecutors moved to indict him on corruption charges, as authorities probe several cases involving him ahead of April polls. Netanyahu said he would not st


Revellers spend New Year stuck 50 metres up at French funfair

Views - 4 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

RENNES (AFP): It was only supposed to last a few minutes for a thrill on New Year’s Eve, but eight French people ended up spending the night stuck high up in the air on a giant funfair ride. “It was long, it was cold and it was frightening,” s


Vehicle ploughs into New Year’s crowd in Tokyo, injures eight people

Views - 3 Wednesday, 2 January 2019 00:00

TOKYO (Reuters): At least eight people were injured, one seriously, when a vehicle ploughed into crowds celebrating New Year’s Day in Tokyo early on Tuesday. A police spokesman said the driver had been detained and national broadcaster NHK said th


Bad memories of 2018 ‘shredded’ in NYC ahead of New Year

Views - 6 Tuesday, 1 January 2019 00:00

NEW YORK (Reuters): New York City residents and visitors gathered at a paper shredder in Times Square on Friday to symbolically purge themselves of unpleasant memories of 2018 in the 12th annual Good Riddance Day. The event drew a few dozen participa


Today's Columnists

Automation and machine learning: Helping organisations extract deeper value from data

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The world is in the midst of a data explosion. Humans are generating an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day1, according to Forbes, and more data was created in the past two years than in all of human history. No wonder data now r


SL tourism: From TOM to experience the brand in 2019

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Last week I had just crossed the border that separates Laos from Thailand and was on route via land to Thailand. My mind was on Laos – a country branded globally as ‘Simply Beautiful’ (backed by the ADB in 2018) to attract visitors into the cou


Questionable (or absurd) official report on poverty indicators

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The latest Report issued by the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs on ‘Poverty Indicators’ is both questionable and outrageous.1This Ministry is under the responsibility of the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe. Most of the sta


Teaching the younger generation to observe professional ethics is the need of the hour

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

When Sri Lanka got independence in 1948, it was one of the most promising nations both in Asia and in the Commonwealth countries. It had luckily emerged unscathed after the Second World War unlike our neighbours. Sri Lanka furthermore did not have to


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