International

Iraq wants foreign troops out after air strike; Trump threatens sanctions

Views - 15 Tuesday, 7 January 2020 00:00

BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters): Iraq’s parliament called on Sunday for US and other foreign troops to leave as a backlash grows against the US killing of a top Iranian general, and President Donald Trump doubled down on threats to target Iranian cult


New chief of China’s Hong Kong liaison office hopes city returns to ‘right path’

Views - 13 Tuesday, 7 January 2020 00:00

HONG KONG (Reuters): The new head of China’s liaison office in Hong Kong, the most senior mainland official based in the territory, said on Monday China was the strongest backer of the Asian financial hub, which he hoped would return to “the righ


Huge crowds in Iran for general’s funeral as new commander promises revenge

Views - 13 Tuesday, 7 January 2020 00:00

DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of Iranians thronged Tehran’s streets on Monday for the funeral of military commander Qassem Soleimani, killed by a US drone strike, and his successor promised to drive US forces out of the region


EU invites Iranian Foreign Minister to Brussels

Views - 13 Monday, 6 January 2020 00:00

BRUSSELS, AFP: Iran’s Foreign Minister has been invited to Brussels, the EU said yesterday, urging a “de-escalation of tensions” in the Gulf after US airstrikes that killed a top Iranian general. The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell ma


Netanyahu, in apparent stumble, calls Israel ‘nuclear power’

Views - 11 Monday, 6 January 2020 00:00

JERUSALEM (Reuters): In an apparent slip of the tongue yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Israel as a nuclear power before correcting himself with a bashful nod and an embarrassed smile. Israel is widely believed to have an atomic


Australian Prime Minister Morrison defends bushfire crisis response

Views - 14 Monday, 6 January 2020 00:00

MELBOURNE (Reuters): Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison found himself yesterday again defending his actions in response to the country’s unprecedented bushfires crisis that has killed 24 people and left thousands more homeless. Morrison, who


Pope calls for dialogue and restraint amid growing US-Iran tensions

Views - 11 Monday, 6 January 2020 00:00

MILAN (Reuters): Pope Francis called yesterday for dialogue and restraint two days after the killing of a top Iranian military commander by the US. Speaking at the Sunday Angelus prayer at the Vatican, the Pope did not mention Iran by name but spoke


Tens of thousands march in Hyderabad to protest citizenship law

Views - 11 Monday, 6 January 2020 00:00

HYDERABAD/NEW DELHI (Reuters): Over one hundred thousand protesters, many carrying the Indian tricolour flag, took part in a peaceful march in the southern city of Hyderabad on Saturday, chanting slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new c


Saudi ‘not consulted’ over US strike that killed Iran General

Views - 14 Monday, 6 January 2020 00:00

RIYADH, AFP: Saudi Arabia was not consulted by its ally Washington over a US drone strike that killed a top Iranian general, an official said yesterday, as the kingdom sought to defuse soaring regional tensions. Saudi Arabia is vulnerable to possible


Iran condemns Trump as ‘terrorist in a suit’ after attack threat

Views - 13 Monday, 6 January 2020 00:00

DUBAI (Reuters): Iran condemned Donald Trump yesterday as a “terrorist in a suit” after the US president threatened to hit 52 Iranian sites hard if Tehran attacks Americans or US assets in retaliation for the killing of military commander Qassem


Trump says US would hit 52 Iranian sites if American targets attacked

Views - 15 Monday, 6 January 2020 00:00

WASHINGTON (Reuters): President Donald Trump said on Saturday the US has targeted 52 Iranian sites that it would strike if Iran attacks Americans or US assets in response to a US drone strike that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in


German inflation subdued in December

Views - 20 Monday, 6 January 2020 00:00

BERLIN (Reuters): German annual inflation remained subdued in December, data showed on Friday, highlighting the challenge faced by European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde in maintaining price stability in the euro zone. German consumer prices,


India 2019 gold imports hits three-year low as record high prices dent demand

Views - 23 Monday, 6 January 2020 00:00

MUMBAI (Reuters): India’s gold imports in 2019 fell 12% from a year ago to the lowest level in three years as retail buying faltered in the second half after local prices rallied to a record high, a government source said on Friday. Lower buying by


UAE fund allocates $ 200 m to support economic projects in Pakistan

Views - 19 Monday, 6 January 2020 00:00

DUBAI (Reuters): The de facto United Arab Emirates ruler, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, instructed the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to allocate $ 200 million to support small and medium economic projects in Pa


Japan orders tightening of immigration procedures after Ghosn flees country

Views - 23 Monday, 6 January 2020 00:00

TOKYO (Reuters): Japan’s Justice Minister Masako Mori said yesterday the Ministry has ordered tightening of immigration procedures in the wake of the escape of ousted Nissan Motor Co boss Carlos Ghosn. Mori also said in a statement Ghosn’s “app


Gulf markets plunge on US-Iran tensions, Aramco hits lowest since IPO

Views - 22 Monday, 6 January 2020 00:00

DUBAI (Reuters): Gulf stocks fell sharply in late afternoon trade yesterday, with Kuwaiti and Saudi stocks leading losses. Shares of oil giant Aramco, which listed last month in a record initial public offering (IPO), fell 1.7% to hit the lowest leve


US factory sector in deepest slump in more than 10 years

Views - 18 Monday, 6 January 2020 00:00

Reuters: The US manufacturing sector fell into its deepest slump in more than a decade in December as the US-China trade war kept a lid on factory output, orders and employment, although the long-awaited Phase 1 deal between Washington and Beijing co


US says it killed top Iranian commander in air strike

Views - 13 Saturday, 4 January 2020 00:08

BAGHDAD, REUTERS: The United States killed Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force and spearhead of Iran’s spreading military influence in the Middle East, on Friday in an air strike at Baghdad airport, the Pentagon and


Australia urges people to flee as fires set to surge at weekend

Views - 6 Saturday, 4 January 2020 00:04

Batemans Bay, Australia/Sydney (Reuters): Authorities urged Australians on Friday to evacuate parts of the eastern states of Victoria and New South Wales to escape bushfires they fear are set to burn out of control this weekend. In a harbinger of the


Australia PM inclined to cancel India trip due to bushfire crisis

Views - 7 Saturday, 4 January 2020 00:03

SYDNEY (Reuters): Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday said he was inclined to cancel an official trip to India planned for this month in order to deal with a bushfire crisis ravaging parts of his country. Asked by reporters if it was ap


Iran promises to avenge US killing of top Iranian commander Soleimani

Views - 10 Saturday, 4 January 2020 00:00

Baghdad (Reuters): Iran threatened on Friday to hit back hard after a US air strike in Baghdad on Friday killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds force and architect of its growing military influence in the Middle East. Soleimani was


Iran not heading to war but not afraid of conflict: Military commander

Views - 14 Friday, 3 January 2020 00:00

DUBAI (Reuters): A top Iranian commander said on Thursday that Iran was not moving towards a war but was not afraid of any conflict, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported after US President Donald Trump said Tehran was behind anti-US protests


Thousands flee fires in Australia, navy helps evacuate the stranded

Views - 14 Friday, 3 January 2020 00:00

Batemans Bay, Australia/Melbourne (Reuters): Tens of thousands of holiday makers fled seaside towns on Australia’s east coast on Thursday as bushfires approached, and military ships and helicopters began rescuing thousands more trapped by the blaze


Hundreds arrested in Hong Kong in New Year’s Day protests

Views - 11 Friday, 3 January 2020 00:00

Hong Kong (Reuters): Hong Kong police arrested about 400 people in New Year’s Day protests after what started as a peaceful pro-democracy march of tens of thousands spiralled into chaotic scenes with police firing tear gas to disperse the crowds. T


Oil firm as trade optimism, Mideast tensions support

Views - 12 Friday, 3 January 2020 00:00

London (Reuters): Oil rose on Thursday as signs of improving trade relations between Washington and Beijing which eased demand concerns and rising tensions in the Middle East provided support. Brent crude futures were up 27 cents at $66.27 a barrel b


Singapore posts decade-low growth as trade war bruises output

Views - 16 Friday, 3 January 2020 00:00

SINGAPORE (Reuters): Singapore’s economy expanded at its slowest pace in a decade last year as its manufacturing sector contracted, preliminary data showed on Thursday, though fourth quarter data firmed expectations for a modest recovery in 2020. T


India’s Dec. factory activity picks up to 7-month high but business optimism weakens

Views - 10 Friday, 3 January 2020 00:00

Bengaluru (Reuters): India’s factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in seven months in December as a jump in new orders prompted companies to ramp up production, a private business survey showed on Thursday. Business optimism fell to an almo


Lebanon receives Interpol arrest warrant for Ghosn

Views - 11 Friday, 3 January 2020 00:00

Beirut/Tokyo (Reuters): Lebanon received an Interpol arrest warrant on Thursday for fugitive former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn, while Turkey launched an investigation into his daring escape from Japan. Ghosn has become an international fugitive after h


Euro zone factory downturn deepened at end of 2019: PMI

Views - 13 Friday, 3 January 2020 00:00

LONDON (Reuters): Factories across the euro zone ended 2019 in poor shape with activity contracting for an 11th straight month, according to a survey which suggested the start of the new year is unlikely to see any improvement. IHS Markit’s final m


German factory activity shrinks again in December: PMI

Views - 14 Friday, 3 January 2020 00:00

BERLIN (Reuters): Germany’s export-dependent manufacturing sector contracted further in December as the rate of decline in production accelerated for the first time in three months, but output expectations rose slightly, a survey showed on Thursday


Today's Columnists

Limping merchandise exports: Gota should not make the same mistakes as the previous governments

Monday, 20 January 2020

Sri Lanka’s sluggish export performance Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports have been limping from around 2011. Exports which amounted to $ 10.6 billion in 2011 have changed at a very slow rate since then. During 2011-18, the average annual merchandi


2020 – What will the decade ahead hold for aviation?

Monday, 20 January 2020

Crystal balls are murky things, and predicting what is ahead for the next decade is fraught with pitfalls. This is especially true in the aerospace industry as there is so little history to go on. As readers of this column are aware, the airline indu


UNP’s leadership crisis, democratic balance and stability

Monday, 20 January 2020

The UNP is in decline not because it divided, but because its leadership is in a state of advanced deterioration and decay. The party has failed to replace or separate itself from the incubus of its hopelessly out of touch and durably unsuccessful Ol


Role of private sector in climate change mitigation

Monday, 20 January 2020

We Sri Lankans, similar to those in other developing countries, prefer to leave a lot of things to the State. When something goes wrong we say “there ought to be a law” or “Government should take of these things”. However, climate change is a


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