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Month: October 2018

Fitch Shifts Mexico Debt Outlook From Stable to Negative

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Fitch Ratings changed its outlook on Mexico’s long-term foreign-currency debt issues Wednesday from “stable” to “negative,” citing the potential policies of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The leftist Lopez Obrador has tried to smooth anxieties in the business community, but upset many on Monday by cancelling a partly built, $13 billion new airport on the outskirts of Mexico City.

The private sector had strongly backed the airport project, but Lopez Obrador called it wasteful. Instead he plans to upgrade existing commercial and military airports. He made the decision based on a public referendum that was poorly organized and drew only about 1 percent of the country’s voters.


Alfredo Coutino, Latin America director at Moody’s Analytics, said the decision to cancel the airport project “added not only volatility but also uncertainty to the economy’s future, because it signals that policymaking in the new administration can be based more on such kind of subjective consultation and less on technical or fundamentals consistent with the country’s needs.”

“The cancellation has certainly introduced an element of uncertainty in markets and investors,” Coutino wrote, “which could start affecting confidence and credibility.”

Fitch confirmed its BBB+ investment-grade rating for Mexican government debt, but said Wednesday “there are risks that the follow-through on previously approved reforms, for example in the energy sector, could stall.”

Lopez Obrador has said he will review private concessionary oil exploration contracts granted under current President Enrique Pena Nieto’s energy reform, but won’t cancel them if they were fairly granted. The fear is that future exploration contracts may be delayed or cancelled.

Lopez Obrador won’t take office until December1, but has already announced major policy decisions.


Some of his policy announcements – like fiscal restraint, respect for the independence of the central banks and a pledge to avoid new debt – earned praise from investors.

But Fitch noted the decision to cancel the airport “sends a negative signal to investors.”

Lopez Obrador has also pledged to have the state-owned oil company, Pemex, build more refineries to lower imports of gasoline.

Fitch wrote that this type of proposal will “would entail higher borrowing and larger contingent liabilities to the government.”



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Categories: Економіка

Порошенко: в Україні мінімальну зарплату отримує понад 4,5 мільйони людей

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Мінімальну зарплату офіційно отримує понад 4,5 мільйони людей в Україні, повідомив президент України Петро Порошенко під час зустрічі з представниками бізнесу.

«Зараз в Україні понад 4,5 мільйони людей працює за мінімальну заробітну плату. Це неправильно і це означає, що нам є куди рухатися», – сказав Порошенко.

Він зазначив, що «є два шляхи»: підвищувати мінімальну заробітну плану або проводити детінізацію зарплат.

З 1 січня 2018 року мінімальна зарплата була встановлена на рівні 3 723 гривень. Уряд обіцяє, що у 2019 році «мінімалка» зросте до 4 170 гривень.

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Categories: Економіка

Birthday Blues for Bitcoin as Investors Face Year-on-Year Loss

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Bitcoin was heading towards a year-on-year loss on Wednesday, its 10th birthday, the first loss since last year’s bull market, when the original and biggest digital coin muscled its way to worldwide attention with months of frenzied buying.

By 1300 GMT, bitcoin was trading at $6,263 on the BitStamp exchange, leaving investors who had bought it on Halloween 2017 facing yearly losses of nearly 3 percent.

A year ago, bitcoin closed at $6,443.22 as it tore towards a record high of near $20,000, hit in December.

That run, fueled by frenzied buying by retail investors from South Korea to the United States, pushed bitcoin to calendar-year gains of over 1,300 percent.

Ten years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s still-unidentified founder, released a white paper detailing the need for an online currency that could be used for payments without the involvement of a third party, such as a bank.

Traders and market participants said the Halloween milestone was inevitable, given losses of around 70 percent from bitcoin’s peak and the continuing but incomplete shift towards investment by mainstream financial firms.

“The value mechanisms of crypto and bitcoin today are based more on underlying tech than hype and FOMO (fear of missing out),” said Josh Bramley, head trader at crypto wealth management firm Blockstars.

Growing use of blockchain – the distributed ledger technology that underpins bitcoin – is now powering valuations of the digital currency, he said, cautioning that some expectations for widespread use have not yet materialized.

Others said improvements to infrastructure such as custody services may allow mainstream investors who are wary of buying bitcoin to take positions.

“We see behind closed doors financial and non-financial institutions beavering away to create the infrastructure,” said Ben Sebley, head of brokerage at NKB Group, a blockchain advisory and investment firm.

Bitcoin has endured year-on-year losses before, according to data from CryptoCompare, most recently in 2015.

Retail investors still account for a strong proportion of trading, market players said.

Investors who bet early on bitcoin and have stuck with it have faced a roller-coaster ride in its first decade. Many told Reuters they are optimistic that they are still onto a winner.


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Categories: Економіка

In Venice’s War on Mega-Ships, Cruise Lines Fire Back

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The population of Italy’s Renaissance canal city of Venice has been on a steady decline for years. At the same time, the number of tourists keeps rising and many Venetians complain their city should not be turned into what some critics describe as a “Disneyland on water.” Their biggest complaint is about the arrival of gigantic cruise ships that dock right at Saint Mark’s Square. Big ships present a dilemma for the city and its economy.

The Venetians have long called them “monsters” because, many say, the massive cruise ships in their lagoon are not only eyesores that block the view, but also displace water due to their size and have been hurting the foundations of the city’s gorgeous Renaissance-era buildings.

Nearly 99-percent of the 18,000 Venetians who voted in an unofficial referendum organized by the No Big Ships campaign group in June last year said they wanted the vessels to stay out of the lagoon.

Fewer than six months later and under intense public pressure, the Italian government announced ships weighing more than 96,000 tons will be banned from entering St. Mark’s basin and have to dock elsewhere.

Now, questions are emerging — mainly by the cruise industry — on what the restrictions mean for the economy of Venice, and Italy in general.

Cruise lines say they have an interest in protecting the sites they seek to showcase, and are defending their presence by pointing to the economic benefits their ships bring to port cities. Cruise Lines International Association President Roberto Martinoli spoke to reporters in Rome.

He said the cruise industry represents nearly three percent of Venice’s GDP and this, he said, cannot be ignored.

Martinoli contends the ships should not be blamed for Venice’s problems and notes they represent less than 10 percent of traffic in the lagoon.

He said cruise ships are not the “giants of evil” that some say are responsible for the city’s overcrowding. Cruise passengers represent, he added, only five percent of Venice’s tourist numbers and have diminished by a quarter from their peak five years ago.

He also said the cruise industry has spent billions on environmental research and innovation projects.

It will not be easy to convince Venice residents who say the damage done by cruise ships — especially to the environment — outweighs any economic benefit from tourists who patronize the city’s cheap souvenir shops, restaurants, and museums.

At a demonstration earlier this year, Stefano Micheletti of the No Big Ships committee expressed sentiments common to many Venetians.

Micheletti said large ships must stay out of the lagoon because it is not only about the visual impact next to St. Mark’s Square or the possibility of an accident, but about the lagoon’s eco-system. Big ships must stay out, he added, because they are a cause for pollution that critics say is ruining the historic city.


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Categories: Економіка

Росія: вибух у Архангельську розслідують як теракт

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Слідчий комітет Росії порушив кримінальну справу за статтею «теракт» через вибух в будівлі управляння ФСБ в Архангельську. Про це повідомили у Слідчому комітеті Росії.

Розслідувати справу буде центральний апарат відомства у Москві.

За попередньою інформацією, в результаті вибуху загинув 17-річний місцевий житель, який проніс в будівлю саморобний вибуховий пристрій. Його особа встановлена.

Незадовго до вибуху в Архангельську в одному з анархістських телеграм-чатів користувач під ніком Валер’ян Панов з емблемою RAF ( “Фракція червоної армії”, німецька ліворадикальна угрупування) на аватарі написав, що вибуховий пристрій “ініціюється безпосередньо ним через натискання кнопки, закріпленої на кришці бомби “. Сам вибух він пояснює тим, що “ФСБ фабрикує справи і катує людей”. У минулому користувачі чату припускали, що “Валер’ян Панов” – провокатор через підкреслено агресивний тон його повідомлень, повідомили у російській службі Радіо Свобода.

Вранці 31 жовтня стало відомо про вибух в управлінні Федеральної служби безпеки Росії в Архангельську. Внаслідок вибуху один чоловік отримав поранення, від яких помер на місці події. Постраждали також троє працівників ФСБ.

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Categories: Світ

У «Роскосмосі» назвали причину аварії «Союзу»

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Причиною аварії ракети «Союз» стала некоректна робота датчика, що сигналізує про відділення першого і другого ступенів носія. Про це повідомив в середу виконавчий директор «Роскосмосу» Сергій Крикальов.

Він зазначив, що одну з бічних панелей при відділенні не відвели на потрібну відстань, вона вдарила по баку пального другого ступеня, що призвело до розриву бака і руйнування другого ступеня.

Він сказав, що зараз працюють над усуненням дефекту, щоб убезпечити подальші польоти.

Читайте також: Американський астронавт заявив, що продовжує довіряти системі «Союз» навіть після аварії

11 жовтня космічний корабель «Союз МС-10» здійснив аварійну посадку. На борту корабля були космонавт «Роскосмосу» Олексій Овчинін і астронавт NASA Нік Гейґ. Вони приземлили пілотований блок на парашутах у ручному режимі.

За останні кілька років російський «Роскосмос» здійснив кілька невдалих космічних запусків. Два із них – з російського космодрому «Східний» (27 квітня і 28 листопада 2017 року), в обох використовувалися ракети-носії «Союз», які випускає ракетно-космічний центр «Прогрес» у Самарі. Вона була використана і при запуску з Байконура 11 жовтня.

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Categories: Світ

Bolsonaro’s Economic Guru Urges Quick Brazil Pension Reform

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The future economy minister tapped by Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro insisted on Tuesday that he wanted to fast-track an unpopular pension reform to help balance government finances despite mounting resistance to getting it done this year.

Paulo Guedes, whom Bolsonaro selected as a “super minister” with a portfolio combining the current ministries of finance, planning and development, has urged Congress to pass an initial version of pension reform before the Jan. 1 inauguration.

“Our pension funds are an airplane with five bombs on board that will explode at any moment,” Guedes said on Tuesday. “We’re already late on pension reform, so the sooner the better.”

He called the reform essential to controlling surging public debt in Latin America’s largest economy and making space for public investments to jump-start a sluggish economy. Markets surged in the weeks ahead of Bolsonaro’s Sunday victory on the expectation that he could pull off the tough fiscal agenda.

Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa stock index rose 3.7 percent on Tuesday, boosted by strong corporate earnings and the resolve shown by Guedes on pension reform.

Yet the University of Chicago-trained economist, who is getting his first taste of public service, met with skepticism from more seasoned politicians.

Rodrigo Maia, the speaker of the lower house of Congress, said on Tuesday that reform is urgent, but cautioned that the conditions to pass it were still far off.

Major Olimpio, a lawmaker from Bolsonaro’s own party who helped run his campaign, agreed the political climate was not ready for reform.

Even Bolsonaro’s future chief of staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, said in a Monday radio interview that he only expects to introduce a reform plan next year.

After a meeting with Lorenzoni, Guedes said the decision on timing was ultimately a political one that the chief of staff would weigh.

“We can’t go from a victory at the ballot box to chaos in Congress,” Guedes told journalists.

On other issues, Guedes made clear he was the final word on economic matters, laying out plans to give the central bank more institutional independence and clarifying comments made by Lorenzoni about exchange-rate policy.

“You are all scared because he is a politician talking about the economy. That’s like me talking about politics. It’s not going to work,” Guedes said.

Hot Button Issues

While advisers work out the details of his economic program, Bolsonaro revisited some of his most contentious campaign promises on Monday night: looser gun laws, a ban on government advertising for media that “lie,” and urging a high-profile

judge to join his government.

In interviews with TV stations and on social media, Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former Army captain who won 55 percent of Sunday’s vote after running on a law-and-order platform, made clear he would push through his conservative agenda.

Bolsonaro said he wants Sergio Moro, the judge who has overseen the sprawling “Car Wash” corruption trials and convicted former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of graft, to serve as his justice minister.

Barring that, he said he would nominate Moro to the Supreme Court. The next vacancy on the court is expected in 2020.

Bolsonaro had not formally invited Moro as of Tuesday afternoon, and the judge remained noncommittal on the proposal.

“In case I’m indeed offered a post, it will be subject to a balanced discussion and reflection,” Moro said in a statement.

Media Showdown

Late on Monday, Bolsonaro said in an interview with Globo TV that he would cut government advertising funds that flow to any “lying” media outlets.

During his campaign, the right-winger imitated U.S. President Donald Trump’s strategy of aggressively confronting the media, taking aim at Globo TV and Brazil’s biggest newspaper, the Folha de S.Paulo.

“I am totally in favor of freedom of the press,” Bolsonaro told Globo TV. “But if it’s up to me, press that shamelessly lies will not have any government support.”

Bolsonaro was referring to the hundreds of millions of reais the Brazilian government spends in advertising each year in local media outlets, mainly for promotions of state-run firms.

The UOL news portal, owned by the Grupo Folha, which also controls the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, used Brazil’s freedom of information act as the basis for a 2015 article that showed Globo received 565 million reais in federal government spending in 2014. Folha got 14.6 million reais that year.

Globo said on Tuesday that federal government advertising represented less than 4 percent of the revenue for its flagship channel, TV Globo, without providing more detailed figures.

Grupo Folha did not reply to requests for comment.

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Categories: Економіка

Facebook 3Q Revenue Slightly Below Expectations

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Facebook is reporting a slight revenue miss but stronger than expected profit in its third-quarter earnings report.


Coming three months after the company’s stock suffered its worst one-day drop in history, wiping out $119 billion of its market value, the mixed results were perhaps not the redemption Facebook hoped for.


But shares inched a bit higher after-hours, suggesting, at least, that the social media giant didn’t further spook investors. With the myriad problems Facebook has been grappling with lately, this is likely good news for the company.


Facebook had 2.27 billion monthly users at the end of the quarter, below the 2.29 billion analysts were expecting. Facebook says it changed the way it calculates users, which reduced the total slightly. The company’s user base was still up 10 percent from 2.07 billion monthly users a year ago.


Earnings were $1.76 a share and revenue was $13.73 billion, an increase of 33 percent, for the July-September period.


Analysts had expected earnings of $1.46 per share on revenue of $13.77 billion, according to FactSet.

The company warned last quarter that its revenue growth will slow down significantly for at least the rest of this year and that expenses will continue to balloon. The following day the stock plunged 19 percent. It was the biggest one-day plunge in history, and the shares not only haven’t recovered, they’ve since fallen further amid a broader decline in tech stocks .


Facebook’s investors, users, employees and executives have been grappling not just with questions over how much money the company makes and how many people use it, but its effects on users’ mental health and worries over what it’s doing to political discourse and elections around the world. Is Facebook killing us? Is it killing democracy?


The problems have been relentless for the past two years. Facebook can hardly crawl its way out of one before another comes up. It began with “fake news” and its effects on the 2016 presidential election (a notion CEO Mark Zuckerberg initially dismissed) and continued with claims of bias among conservatives that still haven’t relented.


Then there’s hate speech, hacks and a massive privacy scandal in which Facebook exposed user data to a data mining firm, along with resulting moves toward government regulation of social media.


Amid all this, there have been sophisticated attempts from Russia and Iran to interfere with elections and stir up political discord in the U.S.


Facebook’s stock climbed $2.68, or 1.8 percent, to $148.90 in after-hours trading.

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Categories: Економіка

US Presence at Cuba Trade Fair Dwindles Given Trump Hostility

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A yellow excavator, forklift and other heavy equipment made by U.S. firm Caterpillar gleam outside Cuba’s annual trade fair, reflecting once-bright hopes for increased U.S.-Cuban commerce fanned by the 2014 detente between the old Cold War foes.

But inside the pavilion where U.S. firms present their wares, only eight have stands this year, according to a Reuters count. That is down from 13 last year and several dozen in 2015-16, underscoring the decline in U.S. business interest since Donald Trump became president.

Last year, the Trump administration tightened the decades-old trade embargo on the Communist-run island once more and sharply reduced staffing at the U.S. embassy in Havana due to a series of health incidents among U.S. diplomats.

“Trump has scared everyone off,” said Eduardo Aparicio, general manager of U.S. logistics company Apacargoexpress, operating under an exemption to the embargo allowing U.S. companies to sell food and medical supplies here.

Aparicio says he is struggling to find U.S. firms keen on doing business with Cuba given fears of reprisals from the Trump administration.

“Not that many things have changed with the Trump administration, but the outlook has. It no longer feels like we are advancing,” said Jay Brickman, vice president of Florida-based shipping company Crowley Maritime Corporation, which has been shipping to Cuba for 17 years.

“If you are a corporate executive who feels like nothing is happening, then eventually you look elsewhere.”

Brickman, Aparicio and others at Cuba’s premier business event said the country’s dire financial situation was another factor in declining U.S. business interest. Cuba is battling a cash crunch amid lower aid from ally Venezuela and weaker exports.

Brickman said Cuban orders via his firm were down 10 percent this year.

U.S. companies had embraced Cuba in the wake of the detente reached by former U.S. and Cuban Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro, jostling for a foothold in an opening market of 11 million consumers.

Lawyers working with U.S. firms interested in doing business with Cuba say the larger ones are taking a long-term view and remain keen.

Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar, for example, had lobbied to sell in Cuba for years before one of its dealers, privately held Puerto Rican company Rimco, said last year it was opening a distribution center here.

“This is the beginning of a lot of things to come,” Rimco Vice President Caroline McConnie said of the machinery displayed outside the pavilion.

McConnie said Rimco would look to rent as well as sell machines in Cuba given its cash crunch, and expected to announce its first two deals soon: one to rent equipment for quarries and another to sell marine motors for tugboats.

“We will benefit from the first movers’ advantage,” she said.

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Categories: Економіка

Росія порушує суверенітет України в Азовському морі – представник США в ООН

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Росія порушує суверенітет України своїми діями в Азовському морі, заявив представник США в ООН Джонатан Коен.

«Агресивні дії в Азовському морі, де створюються перешкоди для нормальної навігації, демонструють нахабне порушення територіальної цілісності України та підрив регіональної стабільності», – сказав Коен.

Крім того, він прокоментував заплановані на 11 листопада вибори в підтримуваних Росією угрупованнях «ДНР» та «ЛНР», які контролюють частину Донецької та Луганської областей. На думку Коена, цей крок перешкоджає імплементації Мінських домовленостей.

Він заявив, що санкції проти Росії вводитимуть доти, доки повністю не будуть виконані Мінські угоди.

Збройний конфлікт на Донбасі триває від 2014 року після російської анексії Криму. Україна і Захід звинувачують Росію у збройній підтримці сепаратистів. Кремль відкидає ці звинувачення і заявляє, що на Донбасі можуть перебувати хіба що російські «добровольці». За даними ООН, за час конфлікту загинули понад 10 300 людей.

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Categories: Світ

Tehran Courts Ankara in Effort to Ease US Sanctions

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Tehran is courting Ankara in a bid to ease the impact of renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran. 

On Tuesday, Turkey, a principal importer of Iranian energy, reaffirmed its opposition to sanctions against Iran scheduled to take effect on Nov. 4.

“Taking into account the Islamic Republic of Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA (the Iran nuclear deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) as confirmed by the International Atomic Energy Agency,” the Turkish, Azeri and Iranian foreign ministers, “condemned unilateral sanctions as they negatively affect trade and commercial development among their countries,” read a statement from the three officials.

The release of the statement followed trilateral talks among the foreign ministers in Istanbul.

“Unfortunately, a law-breaking country (the United States) seeks to punish a country (Iran) that is abiding by the law,” said Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. “This method will have severe consequences for the world order,” he added.

U.S. President Donald Trump accuses Tehran of violating the JCPOA, an international agreement controlling Iran’s nuclear energy program and has introduced sweeping sanctions specifically targeting Iran’s energy imports.

Ankara has been in the forefront of publicly opposing the sanctions. “Iran is Turkey’s neighbor and will not enforce the sanctions,” said international relations professor Huseyin Bagci of Ankara’s Middle East Technical University.

“Turkey does not always follow American foreign policy,” he added. “Just because you are not following American foreign policy does not mean you are against America. In the Iran case, America has always made concessions towards Turkey.”

Turkey, along with India and China, are among Iran’s biggest energy customers. All three countries are reportedly resisting U.S. efforts to comply with its imminent sanctions.

Energy-poor Turkey depends heavily on both Iranian natural gas and crude oil. However, in a move widely seen as placating Washington, for the past few months, Tupras, Turkey’s leading oil refiner, has reduced Iranian imports by as much as a half. Current imports, analyst say, are roughly equal to when the U.S. last imposed sanctions, under the Obama administration.

“Ankara is diversifying the crude oil it gets from Iran. That, it can do. However, when it comes to natural gas, that is another ballgame,” said former senior Turkish diplomat and energy expert Aydin Selcen.

“Ankara is right to say, ‘Look, we are buying most, if not all, of our gas from two sources — Russia and Iran — and it is a take-and-pay-agreement,'” Selcen explained.

“Question 1: Where will we get the same amount of natural gas, especially eastern and southeastern (Turkey)? And 2: We will have to pay (Iran) anyway, so it won’t make any difference.”

Selcen claims Ankara and Washington are already engaged in behind-the-scenes talks to resolve the impasse.

“The best Ankara can get from the U.S. at this time is to have some sort of waiver for imports of natural gas from Iran as winter is coming,” he said.

Previous Washington sanctions against Tehran saw Ankara being granted dispensations. However, initially, the Trump administration appeared to rule out any concessions. That stance, analysts say, seems to be softening.

Ankara is accused of exploiting past waivers on Iranian sanctions. Earlier this year, a New York court convicted and jailed Hakan Atilla, a senior executive of the Turkish state-owned Halkbank for violating Iranian sanctions.

U.S. Treasury authorities are considering imposing a significant fine on the bank that, analysts say, could be in the billions of dollars. Analyst Atilla Yesilada of Global Source Partners said the magnitude of the penalty gives Washington powerful leverage.

“If there is a penalty for Halkbank, given the fact Turkey is refusing to abide by the Iranian sanctions most banks anticipate, there will be more sanctions on other Turkish banks, and I think it will be difficult to roll over our maturing loans and bonds,” Yesilada said.

Washington may refrain from using duress, since strained U.S.-Turkish relations got a boost this month. A Turkish court’s release of American pastor Andrew Brunson, a key demand of Trump, is widely interpreted as a significant gesture by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. 

Trump is also reportedly looking to Erdogan for cooperation over the diplomatic crisis about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“The partnership between the United States and Turkey — NATO allies since 1952 — remains important,” said Trump in a message Monday, marking Turkey’s Republic Day celebrations.

Earlier this month, the two presidents spoke by telephone, and according to Turkish media reports, they will meet in Paris next month on the sidelines of the centennial commemorations marking the end of World War I.

Expectations of a compromise on Iran sanctions are growing.

“Turkey will take some stance against Iran without saying it,” said Selcen. “Turkey is not trumpeting the fact it’s diversifying its crude oil imports from Iran. And according to experts, Turkey is taking precautions when it comes to financial institutions.”

“Perhaps we will hear one thing and see another on the ground,” he added, “but one can predict tensions with the U.S., unless there is some understanding when it comes to Turkish natural gas from Iran.”

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Categories: Економіка

Росія: Конституційний суд Інгушетії скасував угоду про кордон із Чечнею

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Конституційний суд російської Інгушетії скасував угоду про зміну кордону з Чечнею й висунув вимогу провести референдум щодо цього питання.

Суд встановив, що угода, підписана 26 вересня, очільником Чечні Рамзаном Кадировим і головою Інгушетії Юнус-Беком Євкуровим, «без її затвердження на референдумі республіки не породжує правових наслідків для органів державної влади, органів місцевого самоуправління, організацій і громадян в Інгушетії».

Євкуров, зі свого боку, заявив, що Конституційний суд Інгушетії не міг скасовувати рішення про кордон із Чечнею.

26 вересня голови Інгушетії і Чечні Юнус-Бек Євкуров і Рамзан Кадиров підписали договір про закріплення адміністративного кордону між регіонами, який не був чітко встановлений із часів розпаду Чечено-Інгуської АРСР в 1991 році. Документ викликав протести в Інгушетії: Чечні передається частина території Сунженського району, який в Інгушетії вважають своїм.

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Копенгаген звинувачує Іран у підготовці політичного вбивства на території Данії

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Данія звинуватила Іран у підготовці вбивства іранського арабського опозиційного лідера на данській території.

Очільник данської розвідки Фінн Борч Андерсен заявив журналістіам, що чоловік із норвезьким паспортом та іранським корінням був затриманий після того, як його заарештували 21 жовтня в сусідній Швеції.

Його затримали за підозрою в допомозі підготовки нападу на лідера данської гілки ASMLA («Арабський рух боротьби за звільнення Ахваза»).

«Це абсолютно неприйнятно, що Іран чи будь-яка інша іноземна держава планує вбивство на данській землі. Подальші дії проти Ірану будуть обговорені в ЄС», – заявив прем’єр-міністр Данії Ларс Лекке Расмуссен у Twitter.

Голова МЗС Данії Андерс Самуельсен, зі свого боку, зазначив, що вирішив відкликати данського посла в Тегерані для консультацій.

Підозрюваний та Іран відкидають звинувачення. Речник МЗС Ірану назвав заяви данських посадовців «продовженням планів ворогів нанеси шкоду іранським відносинам з Європою в критичний час».

Тегеран раніше критикував присутність у Данії членів ASMLA, які виступають за відокремлення частини іранської провінції Хузестан.

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Мільйони паломників з усього світу прибувають до Іраку на шиїтський фестиваль

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Мільйони мусульман-шиїтів із усього світу прибувають цього тижня до іракського міста Кербела на щорічний релігійний фестиваль. Вони мають на меті вшанування пам’яті двох шанованих шиїтських імамів – Хуссейна, онука пророка Мухаммада, та його брата Аббаса. Проща, яка щороку збирає від 10 до 20 мільйонів паломників, досягне свого піку 30 жовтня.

Паломники рухаються в напрямку до Кербели пішки з Іраку та Ірану, відпочиваючи по дорозі в наметах. Частина пілігримів прибуває з віддаленіших країн, таких як Азербайджан, Грузія та Пакистан, не всі з них долають шлях пішки.

На дорогах, які ведуть до Кербели, благодійники встановили лавки для перепочинку мандрівників, також вони стежать, щоб жоден із прочан не був голодний. Кухарі готують велику кількість тушкованої баранини, риби на грилі, свіжий хліб і рис, відмовляючись від плати.

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Росія звинувачує CША в спробі погіршити її відносини з Вірменією

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Росія стверджує, що Вашингтон намагається «вбити клин» між Москвою та колишньою радянською республікою Вірменія. Міністерство закордонних справ Росії 29 жовтня заявило, що минулого тижня під час візиту до Єревана радник президента США з питань національної безпеки Джон Болтон виступив із завуальованим закликом до Вірменії.

Болтон, як ідеться в заяві МЗС Росії, «відкрито зажадав, щоб Вірменія відмовилася від історичних шаблонів у своїх міжнародних відносинах і не надто намагався приховати той факт, що це включає традиційну дружбу Вірменії з Росією».

Вірменія впродовж десятиліть має тісні зв’язки з Росією, але питання перегляду двосторонніх відносин знову стали актуальними після того, як безкровна революція на чолі з Ніколом Пашиняном усунула від влади прем’єр-міністра Сержа Сарґсяна, який розглядається як близький до Москви.

Болтон під час візиту до Єревана 25 жовтня заявив, що обговорив питання про можливий продаж військової техніки США до Вірменії. В інтерв’ю Радіо Свобода Болтон згодом заявив, що «відмінні» перспективи Вірменії стати «стабільною демократією» є «справді фундаментальними для Вірменії… і не залежать чи не піддаються надмірному іноземному впливу».

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Китай та Індія заявили про намір продовжити купівлю нафти з Ірану, попри санкції США

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Два провідні покупці іранської нафти, Індія та Китай, заявляють, що не підтримають заклик США скоротити до нуля купівлю нафти з Ірану, оскільки у світі немає достатніх запасів для заміщення цих обсягів. Це відбувається за кілька днів до 5 листопада, коли наберуть чинності американські санкції проти іранського нафтового сектору

Вашингтон оголосив про санкції проти Тегерана після виходу США з ядерної угоди, укладеної в 2015 році між Іраном та світовими державами.

Китай вказує, що продовжить імпортувати іранську нафту, попри загрозу Вашингтона заблокувати китайським компаніям, які не дотримуватимуться санкційного режиму, ведення бізнесу на ринку США.

Речниця МЗС Китаю Хуа Чуньїн заявила минулого тижня, що питання «зводиться до того, чи слід продовжувати впроваджувати» ядерну угоду. «Позиція Китаю в цьому напрямку була заявлена дуже чітко», – вказала вона.

Індія, другий за величиною в світі покупець іранської нафти після Китаю, також має традиційно тісні зв’язки з Тегераном. Офіційна позиція Делі полягає в тому, що вона не визнає «односторонніх» санкцій, які не схвалені ООН.

Два інших великих покупці іранської сировини в Азії, Японія та Південна Корея, вже перестали купувати іранську нафту.

28 жовтня віце-президент Ірану Ешак Джахангір заявив, що не очікує, що експорт нафти з Ірану впаде менш ніж до 1 мільйона барелів на день, хоча цей рівень експорту все ще означатиме значне скорочення з максимального значення в 2,5 мільйона на добу, досягнутого в квітні 2018 року. Китай імпортує з Ірану від 500 до 800 тисяч барелів щодня, сплачуючи за це щомісяця близько 1,5 мільярда доларів.

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Zimbabwean Widows Punished by Tribal Courts for Selling Gold-rich Land

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When massive gold deposits were discovered about a decade ago in Chimanimani, eastern Zimbabwe, the rural district became famous for attracting hundreds of artisanal miners from across the country every year.

Wealthy small-scale prospectors regularly offer residents generous deals for their land, locals say. To many widows selling their unused land, that kind of money can be life-changing and a source of greater autonomy.

But in recent years, widows in Chimanimani have found that taking a deal can have consequences. Many say they have been taken to tribal courts by their husbands’ families for selling portions of their land.

“I feel bruised,” said Mavis, a 63-year-old widow from Haroni village who did not want to disclose her surname.

“I lived in peace as a widow in my home until last year, when I sold an unwanted acre of my late husband’s land to korokoza,” she said, using a colloquial term for an artisanal gold miner.

He paid her $2,000 in cash. “All hell broke loose,” Mavis explained.

When her male relatives found out about the sale, they reported her to the tribal court.

“The accusations were insane. They said I bewitched my husband, even though he died way back in 1979, in the colonial war,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The cultural norms of the Ndau people, who make up the majority of the population in Chimanimani, forbid widows from owning land their husbands leave behind or selling that land unless a male family member controls the transaction.

As her uncles laid claim to her late husband’s property, Mavis joined a growing number of widows whose male family members have denied them the right to sell land they are supposed to legally inherit.

“In our village, I am the fourth widow since 2017 to be brought to (tribal court) for selling land without male approval,” she said.

Her case is still ongoing.

Tribal Justice

According to Zimbabwe’s latest census, which was conducted in 2012, there are more than half a million widows in the country.

Throughout rural areas, widows routinely find themselves harassed and exploited by in-laws claiming the property their husbands left behind, rights activists say.

O’bren Nhachi, an activist and researcher focusing on natural resources and governance, said the problem has gotten worse in Chimanimani over the past few years, as the gold rush has pushed up the value of land.

“Chimanimani was a poor backwater district until gold was discovered. Suddenly, local land prices shot up because artisanal gold diggers are paying huge sums to snap up plots,” he said. “This has brought conflict, with male family members using patriarchy as a tool to dispossess widows of potential land sales income.”

Although Zimbabwe’s constitution gives women and men equal rights to property and land, in many rural communities tradition overrides national legislation, experts say.

Tribal custom dictates that chiefs are the custodians of communal land, and responsible for allocating land to villagers.

“A woman cannot sell land unless she has obtained permission from my Committee of Seven,” said Mutape Moyo, a tribal headman in Chimanimani, referring to the group of elders — all men — who hear cases in the local customary court.

But this makes it unclear who has legal ownership of land, Nhachi said.

“The laws of the country say the state is the owner of all land. Tribal chiefs are merely ‘custodians’. Does custodian mean they are owners?”

In a country where women carry out 70 percent of the agricultural work – according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization – Nhachi said more women need to be made aware of how to legally hold onto their land if their husbands die.

He said he would like to see the government implement legal awareness programs and properly define who owns and distributes land in rural Zimbabwe.

No Recourse

Provincial administrator Edward Seenza, the head civil servant of Manicaland province, where Chimanimani is located, said that if widows lose their land in tribal courts, there are ways for them to appeal and reverse the ruling.

“If anyone is unhappy with a village head’s decision, they can speak to a chief,’ he said. “Where this does not produce the desired result, they can take their complaint to the district administrator and further up to my office.”

But activists say few rural women know they have that option. And those who do are often too poor or too scared to travel to a government office.

Seenza said that so far, not one woman has come to him to appeal a tribal court ruling.

And without legal help, widows denied the right to sell their land can be left devastated.

Rejoice, a 38-year-old widow from Chipinge district, sold her late husband’s mango orchard two years ago to a wealthy gold digger for $4,000. She needed the money to pay for medication to treat a kidney tumor.

Her father-in-law took her to tribal court.

“I was ordered to refund the buyer, in cash, with punitive interest; pay court fines for ‘disrespect’; and surrender the rest of the land to male family custodians,” said Rejoice, whose name has been changed to protect her identity.

She paid back the buyer as much as she could, but still owes him some money. And her husband’s family is still fighting for ownership of the land, she added.

The court told her that if she does not honor the ruling, she could be thrown out of her home.

“I will end up a destitute, living on the roadside,” she said. “The thought of this gives me sleepless nights.”

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Categories: Економіка

US Survey: What Pay Gap? Men Less Aware of Women’s Workplace Struggles

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Far more men than women think their companies offer equal pay and promote the sexes equally, yet younger generations are wising up, a U.S. entertainment industry survey found on Monday.

Only a quarter of women think their employers pay them the same as men, while twice as many men believe their company has no gender pay gap, according to the survey by CNBC, a business news channel, and job-oriented social networking site LinkedIn.

About one third of women said both sexes rise up the ranks at the same rate in their workplaces, while more than half of men think the promotion rates are equal, according to responses from at least 1,000 LinkedIn members who work in entertainment.

“Men, typically we found across industries … they’re not as cognizant as their female counterparts to these issues,” said Caroline Fairchild, managing editor at LinkedIn.

Other surveys in finance and technology have revealed similar findings, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Congress outlawed pay discrimination based on gender in the federal Equal Pay Act in 1963, yet public debate over why wages still lag drastically for women has snowballed in recent years.

Last year in the United States, working women earned 82 percent of what men were paid, the Pew Research Center found.

According to the CNBC-LinkedIn survey, four in five women said the workplace holds more obstacles to advancement for women than for men, but only about half of men held the same opinion.

However the survey found that younger men were more likely than their older peers to say they were aware of the obstacles that stop women from succeeding at work, according to Fairchild.

“Perhaps the old guard of the industry is thinking a certain way, but we are seeing a perception change in what perhaps younger people in the industry are thinking,” she added.

A U.S. appeals court in San Francisco ruled in April that employers cannot use workers’ salary histories to justify gender-based pay disparities, saying that would perpetuate a wage gap that is “an embarrassing reality of our economy.”

A handful of U.S. cities and states ban employers from asking potential hires about their salary histories.

The World Economic Forum reported a global economic gap of 58 percent between the sexes for 2016 and forecast women would have to wait 217 years before they are treated equally at work.

Gender inequality in the workplace could cost the world more than $160.2 trillion in lost earnings, according to the World Bank. The figure compares the difference in lifetime income of everyone of working age and if women earned as much as men.

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Scientists: Producing Bitcoin Currency Could Void Climate Change Efforts

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Demand for bitcoin could single-handedly derail efforts to limit global warming because the increasingly popular digital currency takes huge amounts of energy to produce, scientists said on Monday.

Producing bitcoin at a pace with growing demand could by 2033 defeat the aim of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, according to U.S. research published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Almost 200 nations agreed in Paris in 2015 on the goal to keep warming to “well below” a rise of 2°C above pre-industrial times.

But mining, the process of producing bitcoins by solving mathematical equations, uses high-powered computers and alto of electricity, the researchers said.

“Currently, the emissions from transportation, housing and food are considered the main contributors to ongoing climate change,” said study co-author Katie Taladay in a statement. “This research illustrates that bitcoin should be added to this list.”

Mining is a lucrative business, with one bitcoin currently selling for about $6,300 (4,900 British pounds).

In 2017, bitcoin production and usage emitted an estimated 69 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, the researchers said.

That year, bitcoin was involved in less than half of 1 percent of the world’s cashless transactions, they said.

As the currency becomes more common, researchers said it could use enough electricity to emit about 230 gigatons of carbon within a decade and a half. One gigaton is equal to one billion metric tons of carbon.

“No matter how you slice it, that thing is using a lot of electricity. That means bad business for the environment,” Camilo Mora, another co-author, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Bitcoin mining, however, is becoming more energy efficient, said Katrina Kelly-Pitou, research associate at the University of Pittsburgh.

She said bitcoin miners are moving away from sites such as China, with coal-generated electricity, to more environmentally friendly utilities in Iceland and the United States.

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Categories: Економіка