International

Indonesian leader’s ally arrested in graft case as polls loom

Views - 3 Saturday, 16 March 2019 00:00

JAKARTA, AFP: Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency arrested a key political backer of President Joko Widodo on Friday, just a month before he bids for re-election in the world’s third-biggest democracy. United Development Party chief Muhammad Roma


US says a few hundred IS fighters left in Syria fight, no withdrawal timeline

Views - 2 Saturday, 16 March 2019 00:00

GENEVA (Reuters): Islamic State is down to its last few hundred fighters and less than a square kilometre of land in a battle for its last Syrian stronghold, although it may have 15,000-20,000 adherents in Syria and Iraq, U.S. envoy James Jeffrey sai


Social media platforms say they are taking action to remove New Zealand shooting content

Views - 2 Saturday, 16 March 2019 00:00

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Social media platforms Facebook and Twitter said on Friday they would take down content involving mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques that killed at least 49 people and wounded more than 20. A suspected gunman broadcast li


Asian stocks up as Sino-US trade talks in focus, dollar supported

Views - 3 Saturday, 16 March 2019 00:00

TOKYO (Reuters): Asian stocks stepped ahead on Friday as sentiment improved on a report that more progress has been made in US-China trade talks and after UK lawmakers voted to delay a potentially chaotic exit from the European Union. Chinese Vice Pr


Israel launches Gaza strikes after rockets fired at Tel Aviv

Views - 2 Saturday, 16 March 2019 00:00

GAZA (Reuters): Israeli military aircraft bombed Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early on Friday, hours after two rockets were launched at Tel Aviv in the first such attack since a 2014 war. Following the overnight exchanges, sirens sounded again in


MPs overwhelmingly back Brexit delay

Views - 3 Saturday, 16 March 2019 00:00

LONDON (Reuters): British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to seek a delay in Britain’s exit from the European Union, setting the stage for Prime Minister Theresa May to renew efforts to get her divorce deal approved by parliament next we


Brexit set for delay after May wounded by rejection of ‘no-deal’

Views - 5 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:00

LONDON (Reuters): The British parliament on Wednesday rejected leaving the European Union without a deal, further weakening Prime Minister Theresa May and paving the way for a vote that could delay Brexit until at least the end of June. After a day o


Asia shares flat after mixed China data, pound near 9-month peak

Views - 4 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:00

SYDNEY (Reuters): Asian shares barely budged on Thursday as investors reacted cautiously to mixed data from China, while the pound hovered near nine-month highs as the risk of a no-deal Brexit receded following a late-night vote. MSCI’s broadest in


Oil hits four-months highs, Brent reaches $68 on tighter supply

Views - 3 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:00

LONDON (Reuters) - Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures reached four-months highs on Thursday, as a production curb agreement by OPEC and its partners along with U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela tightened global supplies. An unexpe


Trump says he is in no rush to complete China trade deal

Views - 3 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:00

WASHINGTON (Reuters): US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he was in no rush to complete a trade pact with China and insisted that any deal include protection for intellectual property, a major sticking point between the two sides during month


UN to seek multi-billion dollar aid pledges for Syria

Views - 3 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:00

BRUSSELS (Reuters): The United Nations will seek billions of dollars in additional aid for Syria on Thursday, seeking to overcome fatigue among donors after eight years of civil war and divisions over how to deal with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad


Hollywood actors, CEOs accused of paying bribes, faking photos to scam US college admissions

Views - 2 Friday, 15 March 2019 00:00

BOSTON (Reuters): Nearly 50 people, including actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were charged on Tuesday in what federal authorities say was a $ 25 million scam to help wealthy Americans get their children into elite universities like Yale and


Britain in Brexit chaos: Parliament crushes May’s EU deal again

Views - 5 Thursday, 14 March 2019 01:54

LONDON (Reuters): MPs crushed Prime Minister Theresa May’s European Union divorce deal on Tuesday, thrusting Britain deeper into crisis and forcing parliament to decide within days whether to back a no-deal Brexit or seek a last-minute delay. MPs v


Former Vatican treasurer Pell jailed for six years for ‘brazen’ sexual attack on choir boys

Views - 4 Thursday, 14 March 2019 01:51

MELBOURNE (Reuters): Former Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell was sentenced to six years in jail on Wednesday for sexually abusing two choir boys in Melbourne in the 1990s, and will be registered as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Count


Asia shares stumble, sterling at mercy of yet another vote

Views - 6 Thursday, 14 March 2019 01:50

SYDNEY (Reuters): Asian shares drifted lower on Wednesday as a risk-off mood settled on markets, while a frazzled pound awaited its fate ahead of yet another make-or-break parliamentary vote on Brexit. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares o


EU says no more Brexit talks with UK, risk of no-deal increased

Views - 5 Thursday, 14 March 2019 01:49

BRUSSELS (Reuters): The European Union will not negotiate Brexit again, it said on Tuesday, after Britain’s parliament rejected the divorce package for a second time in a vote that made a chaotic no-deal scenario more likely. “The EU has done eve


Japan firms wary of wage hike as economy wobbles amid trade war, global slowdown

Views - 4 Thursday, 14 March 2019 01:46

TOKYO (Reuters): Big Japanese firms are set to offer smaller pay increases this year at annual wage talks yesterday as the economy sputters, tempering hopes that domestic consumption will offset external risks to growth. Over the past five years, ma


Trump campaign preparing early focus on Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan

Views - 3 Thursday, 14 March 2019 01:46

WASHINGTON (Reuters): President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is preparing an early focus on Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, states that were instrumental to his improbable 2016 victory but where his support has softened, two campaign a


May tells MPs: back me or lose Brexit

Views - 10 Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:00

LONDON (Reuters): Prime Minister Theresa May battled to win support for her plans for an orderly Brexit yesterday, urging sceptical Conservative Party members to vote for her deal or risk not leaving the EU at all. Hours before a vote on the deal in


Euro zone budget to support reforms, investment with grants and loans

Views - 7 Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:00

BRUSSELS (Reuters): A future euro zone budget should support structural reforms and investment in euro zone countries with grants and loans, the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Mario Centeno said on Monday, summing up discussions among Europe


Turkey slams Israeli PM Netanyahu’s ‘blatant racism’

Views - 8 Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:00

ISTANBUL (AFP): Turkey on Tuesday denounced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s “blatant racism” after he called Israel the nation-state of “the Jewish people” only, not all its citizens. Turkey and Israel often have tense relations with T


S. Africa considers financial options to help Zimbabwe revive economy

Views - 6 Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:00

Harare (Reuters): South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday his country was ready to help Zimbabwe revive its economy, but within its means, while the two neighbours consider options that could see Harare receiving some financial assist


Hundreds surrender with Islamic State near defeat

Views - 7 Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:00

BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters): Islamic State faced imminent defeat in its final enclave yesterday as hundreds of jihadist fighters and their families surrendered and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces said the battle was as good as over. The besieged


Prize-winning author, 21 UN workers among dead in Ethiopian Airlines crash

Views - 8 Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:00

NAIROBI (Reuters): A prize-winning author, a football official and a team of humanitarian workers were among those who perished in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 30, Government officials and employers said on Monday. Sunday’s crash, minutes


US says Pakistan committed to easing tensions with India

Views - 6 Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:00

WASHINGTON (Reuters): White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Monday that Pakistan’s Foreign Minister has assured him Islamabad is committed to de-escalating tensions with India and dealing “firmly” with terrorists, after a re


Malaysia drops murder charge against Indonesian woman in Kim Jong Nam case

Views - 6 Tuesday, 12 March 2019 00:00

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters): An Indonesian woman accused in the 2017 killing of the North Korean leader’s half-brother was released from custody on Monday after a Malaysian court dropped a murder charge against her. After the court decision to release h


US set to become net exporter of oil: IEA

Views - 7 Tuesday, 12 March 2019 00:00

PARIS (AFP): Crude production is set to continue expanding in the United States thanks to shale oil, with the country becoming a net exporter from 2021, a development which should reinforce global energy security, the IEA said Monday. “The second


Turkey tumbles into recession as polls loom

Views - 6 Tuesday, 12 March 2019 00:00

ANKARA (AFP): Turkey’s economy fell into its first recession in a decade, official data showed on Monday, just weeks before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Government faces local elections where growth and inflation will be key issues for voters


UAE economy to grow 3.5% in 2019 led by non-oil sector: central bank

Views - 8 Tuesday, 12 March 2019 00:00

DUBAI (Reuters): Economic growth in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is expected to accelerate to 3.5% in 2019, helped by strong non-oil activity, the central bank said in its quarterly report. The economy grew 2.8% in 2018, the report said, helped by


Brexit crunch looms for Theresa May as EU talks stall

Views - 6 Tuesday, 12 March 2019 00:00

LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters): British Prime Minister Theresa May faces another Brexit humiliation after two major eurosceptic factions in parliament warned they would vote down her divorce deal because she had failed to win concessions from the European


Today's Columnists

Making Sri Lanka go to the ‘MICE’

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Whilst Sri Lanka continues to show a year-on-year growth in tourists, the focus thus far has only been on the number of tourists coming in, instead of the cash inflow and subsequent economic development. As of 2018, the local tourism sector is said t


Govt.’s 2019 Budget proposals are detrimental to women and children

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

The focus and attempt to create a gender-progressive Budget this fiscal year is indeed welcome. However, reading through the Budget proposals, it is alarming to see how many of its allocations to address women’s issues tend to further discriminate


AI and political marketing

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Artificial Intelligence has become a hot topic in the recent past in Sri Lanka, with an eminent business personality explaining how his companies like Singer and HAYLEYS are using this technology to better serve the customers. Let me do a deep dive i


Worms destroying agriculture

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

By mid-March the majority of paddy farmers have completed harvesting their Maha crop; some with financial issues have already disposed their stocks to middlemen. Others are fighting to get a reasonable price for their stocks. The Paddy Marketing Boa


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