International

Johnson to restrict Parliament time before Brexit

Views - 16 Thursday, 29 August 2019 00:18

LONDON (Reuters): British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will limit parliament’s opportunity to derail his Brexit plans by cutting the amount of time it sits between now and EU exit day on 31 October, infuriating opponents who accused him of a consti


Taliban say near agreement on US withdrawal from Afghanistan

Views - 19 Thursday, 29 August 2019 00:17

KABUL (Reuters): The Taliban said on Wednesday they were close to an agreement with US officials on a deal that would see US forces withdraw from Afghanistan in exchange for a Taliban promise the country would not become a haven for international mil


Anti-immigration billboards across Canada taken down after backlash

Views - 21 Wednesday, 28 August 2019 00:00

Reuters: Anti-immigrant ads on billboards across Canada are being taken down after a public outcry and multiple petitions against them, the company that owns the billboards said. The ads were launched in support of Maxime Bernier, leader of the small


Indian economy set for weakest quarter of growth in five years: Reuters poll

Views - 17 Wednesday, 28 August 2019 00:00

Bengaluru (Reuters): The Indian economy likely expanded at its slowest pace in more than five years in the April-June quarter, driven by weak investment growth and sluggish demand, according to economists polled by Reuters. That would reinforce conce


Asia stocks, bond yields rise as trade war fears ease

Views - 18 Wednesday, 28 August 2019 00:00

Tokyo (Reuters): Asian stocks tracked global peers higher on Tuesday while safe-haven bonds sold off as signs Sino-US trade hostilities might be easing helped restore investor confidence after the previous session’s rout. Supporting the market mood


Macron delivers breakthrough on Iran at tense G7 summit, but little else

Views - 17 Wednesday, 28 August 2019 00:00

Biarritz, France (Reuters): French President Emmanuel Macron paved the way at a G7 summit for a diplomatic solution to the standoff between Washington and Tehran over a 2015 nuclear deal, but there was little else to show from a meeting at which alli


Germany is facing a recession: Ifo economist

Views - 17 Tuesday, 27 August 2019 00:00

BERLIN (Reuters): Germany is facing a recession, an economist at Germany’s Ifo economic institute said on Monday, as the institute’s business climate index fell to its lowest level since August 2012. “There will be a stagnation in the third qua


Hong Kong police arrest 36, youngest aged 12, after running battles with protesters

Views - 13 Tuesday, 27 August 2019 00:00

HONG KONG (Reuters): Hong Kong police said on Monday they arrested 36 people, the youngest aged 12, after violence during anti-government demonstrations escalated as protesters hurled Molotov cocktails at security forces who responded with water cann


UK PM Johnson told Tusk: We leave EU on 31 Oct. whatever the circumstances

Views - 15 Tuesday, 27 August 2019 00:00

BIARRITZ, France (Reuters): Prime Minister Boris Johnson told European Council President Donald Tusk that Britain would be leaving the European Union on Oct. 31 whatever the circumstances, a British official said on Sunday after the two met at a G7 s


Trump says India, Pakistan can handle Kashmir dispute on their own

Views - 18 Tuesday, 27 August 2019 00:00

BIARRITZ, France (Reuters): US President Donald Trump said yesterday that India and Pakistan could handle their dispute over Kashmir on their own, but he was there should they need him. The US President has previously offered to mediate between India


China’s yuan slumps to 11-year low, stocks fall as US trade war escalates

Views - 17 Tuesday, 27 August 2019 00:00

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters): China’s yuan slumped to a fresh 11-year low against the dollar on Monday and stocks fell as the Sino-US trade war sharply escalated, threatening to inflict more damage on the world’s largest economies and weigh furth


Rifts emerge between Trump and Western allies at G7 summit

Views - 21 Monday, 26 August 2019 00:14

BIARRITZ, France (Reuters): US President Donald Trump insisted on Sunday that he was getting along well with leaders at a G7 summit in France, but rifts emerged with his Western allies on issues ranging from his trade war with China to Iran, North Ko


China warns US to stop ‘wrong’ trade actions or face consequences

Views - 18 Monday, 26 August 2019 00:13

BEIJING (Reuters): China said on Saturday it strongly opposes Washington’s decision to levy additional tariffs on $550 billion worth of Chinese goods and warned the United States of consequences if it does not end its “wrong actions”. The comme


Hong Kong police briefly turn water cannon on protesters, fire tear gas

Views - 16 Monday, 26 August 2019 00:12

HONG KONG (Reuters): Hong Kong police fired tear gas and brief spurts of water cannon amid running battles with brick-throwing protesters in driving rain on Sunday after violent clashes a day earlier in which police fired tear gas for the first time


Brazilian states ask for military help as Amazon fires rage

Views - 15 Monday, 26 August 2019 00:12

BRASILIA (Reuters): Six states in Brazil’s Amazon region requested military help on Saturday to combat record fires that are tearing through the rainforest, provoking an international outcry because of the Amazon’s central role in combating globa


Qatari envoy says Israel, Hamas committed to truce despite violence

Views - 14 Monday, 26 August 2019 00:11

GAZA (Reuters): Israel and the Islamist group Hamas have no desire to go to war despite an uptick in violence, the Qatari envoy who helped mediate a truce between the sides along the volatile Gaza border, said on Saturday. “Both sides are committed


India’s former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley dies aged 66

Views - 13 Monday, 26 August 2019 00:07

NEW DELHI (Reuters): Arun Jaitley, the former Finance Minister and one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s closest associates, died in hospital on Saturday, nearly two weeks after he was admitted following breathing difficulties, officials said. Jait


Oil prices steadies as markets await Fed steer

Views - 14 Saturday, 24 August 2019 00:10

Reuters: Oil prices steadied yesterday, on track for a weekly gain, with attention focused on a speech by US Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell for news on whether it will cut interest rates for a second time this year to boost the world’s largest


New allies Vietnam, Australia express concern over South China Sea tensions

Views - 9 Saturday, 24 August 2019 00:10

Reuters: New allies Vietnam and Australia expressed concern yesterday about China’s activities in the South China Sea, where Vietnamese and Chinese vessels are locked in a tense standoff in Vietnamese-controlled waters. Vietnamese Prime Minister Ng


Trump to square off in court with House Democrats over financial records

Views - 11 Saturday, 24 August 2019 00:10

Reuters: US President Donald Trump was expected to ask a federal judge yesterday to block Deutsche Bank AG and Capital One Financial Corp from handing the financial records of the Trump family and Trump Organization to Democratic lawmakers. The case


Pakistan Supreme Court orders action against judge in ex-PM case

Views - 7 Saturday, 24 August 2019 00:01

Reuters: Pakistan’s Supreme Court yesterday ordered disciplinary action against a judge who convicted former premier Nawaz Sharif, effectively giving a boost to Sharif’s appeal against a seven-year jail term for corruption. Sharif was convicted


As Amazon burns, Brazil’s Bolsonaro tells rest of world not to interfere

Views - 10 Saturday, 24 August 2019 00:01

Reuters: Amid growing international criticism over the wildfires raging through the Amazon, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday admitted farmers could be illegally setting the rainforest ablaze but told foreign powers not to interfere. Fre


Asia shares slip, long for clarity on Fed policy

Views - 19 Friday, 23 August 2019 00:00

SYDNEY (Reuters): Asian shares drifted off on Thursday as uncertainty over the outlook for both US interest rates and the chance of global fiscal stimulus sucked the life out of markets. Not helping was a fresh slide in the Chinese yuan to an 11-year


Indonesia arrests 34, blocks internet in Papua to help curb violent protests

Views - 12 Friday, 23 August 2019 00:00

JAKARTA (Reuters): Indonesia has cut off internet access in eastern Papua to prevent provocative posts online from fuelling violence, after protesters torched buildings, a market and a prison over mistreatment of students and perceived ethnic discrim


Euro zone business growth recovers, but outlook worsens: PMIs

Views - 11 Friday, 23 August 2019 00:00

BENGALURU (Reuters): Euro zone business growth picked up a touch in August, helped by brisk services activity and as manufacturing contracted at a slower pace, but trade war fears knocked future expectations to their weakest in over six years, a surv


China says hopes US stops wrong tariff action, vows to retaliate if new levies imposed

Views - 15 Friday, 23 August 2019 00:00

BEIJING (Reuters): China said on Thursday it hopes the United States will stop its wrong tariff action, adding that any new tariffs would lead to escalation. The United States said early this month it would slap duties on $300 billion of Chinese good


Trump says he is seriously looking at ending birthright citizenship

Views - 11 Friday, 23 August 2019 00:00

WASHINGTON (Reuters): US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that his administration was seriously looking at ending the right of citizenship for US-born children of noncitizens and people who immigrated to the United States illegally. “We’r


South Korea says US, North Korea will restart dialogue ‘soon’

Views - 14 Friday, 23 August 2019 00:00

SEOUL (Reuters): The United States and North Korea are expected to reopen denuclearisation talks soon and they will go well, a senior South Korean official said on Thursday, boosting hopes for progress in negotiations after a prolonged stalemate. Sou


Iran displays domestically built mobile missile defence system

Views - 9 Friday, 23 August 2019 00:00

DUBAI (Reuters): Iran displayed what it described as a domestically built long-range, surface-to-air missile air defence system on Thursday, at a time of rising tension with the United States. Iran shot down a US military surveillance drone in the Gu


Pakistan to take Kashmir dispute with India to World Court

Views - 14 Thursday, 22 August 2019 00:00

ISLAMABAD (Reuters): Pakistan said on Tuesday it would take its dispute with India over Kashmir to the International Court of Justice, after New Delhi revoked the special status of its part of the region earlier this month. Islamabad reacted with fur


Today's Columnists

State of the economy of Sri Lanka

Saturday, 21 September 2019

I am not an economist nor do I profess to be an economic analyst. The views expressed in this presentation are those of a layman who has always been interested in the economic progress of Sri Lanka.


Premadasa, Père et Fils

Saturday, 21 September 2019

We are what time, circumstances and history has made of us. We are trapped in history. At age 77, I refuse to trap history in my mind. This essay is an obligation to history. Although J.R. Jayewardene introduced ‘Executive Presidentialism’, coer


Economy, business community and the Prime Minister

Friday, 20 September 2019

The speech made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Chief Guest of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2019 deserves very careful consideration by the country due to several reasons. This will no doubt be his last speech on economic policy to be


Sri Lanka needs to invest more on soft infrastructure

Friday, 20 September 2019

Developing countries like Sri Lanka will have to prepare for further downside risks in 2020 with the growing debt problems and the growth problems in Europe and the slowdown in Asia. Slower growth is already visible in weakening global trade and comm


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