Getting Chinese to Buy Your House Isn’t Easy Anymore. Just Ask Cate Blanchett.

Australian starlet Cate Blanchett wished to offer her house on Sydneys waterside. The purchaser who desired it was from China. The difficulty began right there.

Getting the cash from China showed difficult. The A$ 20 million ($14.9 million) cost was far in excess of the $50,000 limitation on exactly what Chinese are enabled to transform each year due to capital controls. The prospective purchaser couldnt settle, and the offer broke down– among lots of unsuccessful sales impacting Chinese nationals in Australia, inning accordance with a number of real estate agents managing such deals.

Cate
Cate Blanchetts Sydney house in 2005.
Photographer: Fairfax Media through Getty Images

As Chinese people start an extraordinary purchasing spree of foreign residential or commercial property, the Blanchett case highlights how such loan circulations have actually produced a political and financial reaction, both in China and abroad. No place is this clearer than in Australia, the industrialized country most exposed to China.

Chinese authorities are stepping up capital curbs simply as myriad limitations in Australia have actually made home mortgages difficult to obtain for immigrants, putting purchasers from China in a sandwich capture that might damage the residential or commercial property market down under. While thats not unwanted for Australias reserve bank, which is eager to take some steam from increasing costs, it shines a light on the battle to absorb Chinas money exodus as it streams even more afield into places from Malaysia to Florida.

“People are discovering its really tough to obtain a home mortgage here then discover they cant get their loan from China, and theyre stuck, stated Lulu Pallier of Sothebys International in Sydney, who deals with high-end sales to Chinese purchasers.

Chinese authorities fret that outflows of capital, intensified by the decreasing yuan, might be an ongoing chauffeur of decline. Approximated outflows in October reached $73 billion, getting once again after having actually slowed mid-year, according Capital Economics Ltd. Price quotes from Bloomberg Intelligence reveal about $620 billion drained in the 9 months through September.

President-elect Donald Trumps proposed tax cuts and facilities binge might speed up such circulations by accelerating U.S. development and inflation and pressing the Federal Reserve to raise rate of interest much faster than present market bets. The yuan has actually fallen practically 6 percent this year to the most affordable level considering that mid-2008.

“If the United States rates increase and the United States economy speeds up, it will refer time when more capital leaves China,” stated Stephen Jen, ceo of Eurizon SLJ Capital Ltd. and a previous International Monetary Fund economic expert.

Tighten Loopholes

Chinese banks have actually been informed to tighten up loopholes that permit people to avert capital controls, and authorities have actually begun detaining individuals in a project to avoid money finding its escape. Authorities have actually likewise prohibited pals or loved ones from organizing together currency quotas, suppressed the cross-border activities of underground banks and asked lending institutions to decrease foreign-exchange sales.

Still, there are a lot of alternative paths for identified purchasers. Entrepreneur can fund their house purchases through overseas trading business, while some Chinese designers permit customers to spend for abroad systems in yuan.

For a take a look at how Chinese money is improving Malaysias Johor Bahru, click on this link

But those who are successful in getting their loan from China are now facing increased constraints in Australia. In 2015, the federal government forced a business owned by Chinas Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd. to offer an A$ 39 million Sydney estate, the highest-profile casualty of a crackdown on unlawful home-buying by immigrants.

This year, Australias 4 greatest lending institutions and Citigroup Inc. stated theyll not authorize home mortgage applications in Australia that depend on foreign earnings denominated in Chinese yuan and 4 other Asian currencies. Westpac Banking Corp. stated it wished to support Australians and irreversible locals home-buying rather.

Alternative Financing

So regional funding options are emerging. Australian billionaire designer Harry Triguboff has actually doubled the quantity hes providing to house purchasers, specifically those impacted by the Chinese capture, inning accordance with info supplied by his Meriton Group. Its home loan book has actually swelled by A$ 50 million over the previous 4 months to about A$ 120 million as bank financing dried up, it stated.

Australias reserve bank in its Financial Stability Review in October highlighted the danger from purchasers cannot close on home purchases. It stated the home market is revealing installing issue that this will end up being more typical in the cities of Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

These issues emerge from a mix of tighter funding conditions for buyers, specifically for non-residents and those reliant on foreign earnings, and evaluations at settlement listed below the contracted rate, the Reserve Bank of Australia stated.

Australia authorized A$ 24 billion worth of Chinese property financial investments in the ended June 2015– or a quarter of all such approvals– inning accordance with the most current information offered. Chinese were without a doubt the biggest foreign purchasers, followed by Americans with $7 billion.

Additional Supply

Australian house rates have actually climbed up by more than 50 percent given that 2008 in the most significant cities, in part due to the fact that of Chinese purchases. Limitations on Chinese purchasers by both China and Australia might take some steam from Australias roaring east coast residential or commercial property market, offering the reserve bank scope to leave rate of interest the same for a prolonged duration as it looks for to support other locations of the economy.

Settlement problems from abroad purchasers indicates extra supply in pockets of urban Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne where theres currently some emerging down pressure on costs, stated Su-Lin Ong, head of Australian financial and fixed-income method at Royal Bank of Canada in Sydney. If that has a wider causal sequence, together with a building cycle peak, it might provide the RBA more versatility.

Meanwhile, Oscar-winner Blanchetts sandstone manor in the Sydney residential area of Hunters Hill– with 6 bed rooms, a tennis court and a swimming pool with personal medical spa– is back on the marketplace. While theres still strong need for Australian residential or commercial property from Chinese purchasers, their failure to raise funds is moistening interest for handling the financially rewarding and formerly cash-laden group, inning accordance with Scott Kirchner, who runs China operations from Shanghai for Australias Beller home group.

We hesitate to handle brand-new customers unless they have 100 percent of the money for a home, he stated. Then theres the concern of how do they get the cash out of China.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-28/cate-blanchett-s-sydney-home-hitch-shows-china-s-money-flow-fear

Companies must share benefits of globalisation, Theresa May tells Davos

PM states worlds most significant companies need to pay taxes and deal with employees relatively, and market forces alone will not provide for individuals

Theresa May has actually informed the worlds greatest business they have to begin paying their taxes and treat their employees more relatively in order to deal with the issues of those who feel left by globalisation.

In a keynote speech to the World Economic Forum , the prime minister stated federal governments might not count on global market forces to provide success for everybody and action was had to attend to the deeply felt sense of financial inequality that has actually emerged recently.

Mays cautioning that organisations had to deal with the problem of executive pay which market forces alone would not guarantee the spread of success to all guaranteed her very first look in Davos was met just lukewarm applause from her well-off audience.

The prime minister stated that throughout Europe , celebrations of the far left and the far ideal were looking for to make use of the sense amongst individuals on modest earnings that globalisation was not working for them.

I wish to set out a manifesto for modification that reacts to these issues and reveals that the politics of the mainstream can provide the modification individuals require, May stated.
Since talk of higher globalisation can make individuals afraid, #peeee

. For lots of, it indicates their tasks being contracted out and earnings damage. It implies needing to kick back as they see their neighborhoods alter around them.

Following the Brexit vote and Donald Trumps triumph in the United States governmental election, reacting to growing populist pressures has actually been a function of this years Davos. May stated both federal governments and service needed to do more to deal with the issues of those who felt that those who succeed appear to play by a various set of guidelines.

May stated: If youre simply managing, you do not desire a federal government that gets out of the method, you desire one that will assist you.

Business needed to do more to spread out the advantages of open market and globalisation to more individuals. It indicates playing by the exact same guidelines as everybody else when it pertains to tax and behaviour, she stated, since in the UK rely on organisation perform at simply 35% amongst those in the most affordable earnings brackets. And it implies putting aside short-term factors to consider and purchasing individuals and neighborhoods for the long term.

It implies organisations paying their reasonable share of tax, acknowledging their tasks and responsibilities to their workers and supply chains, and trading in the proper way; business really purchasing and entering into the neighborhoods and countries where they run, and following the duties that indicates; and all people taking actions to dealing with executive pay and responsibility to investors.

May stated she turned down the dominating orthodoxy that the very best thing federal government might do was to obtain out of the method. If company was left to get on with the task, issues would not simply resolve themselves.

Outlining the federal governments reasoning for a more interventionist method, she stated: Our technique is not about propping up stopping working markets or choosing winners, however developing the conditions where winners can grow and emerge. It has to do with backing those winners all the method to motivate them to purchase the long-lasting future of Britain.

May stated her objective was to provide tasks and financial development to every neighborhood and corner of the nation. We cant leave all this to global market forces alone, or simply depend on a boost in general success.

Instead, we need to be proactive and useful to puts it simply, we need to step up and take control to make sure open market and globalisation work for everybody.

Two days after detailing her method to Brexit, the prime minister embraced an emollient tone to Britains EU partners, stating that it was extremely and compellingly in Britains interests for Europe to be successful.

She stated Britain had actually voted with decision and peaceful willpower to leave the EU. Let us not undervalue the magnitude of that choice, she stated. Britain needs to confront a duration of special modification. It indicates we need to go through a hard settlement and create a brand-new function for ourselves on the planet. It indicates accepting that the roadway ahead will doubt sometimes, however thinking that it leads to a brighter future for our nations kids, and grandchildren too.

We are going to be a positive nation that is in control of its fate as soon as again.

She stated Britain was a racially varied country, invited inward financial investment and played a leading function in the UN and other worldwide organizations.

By impulse we are an excellent trading country, May stated. We look for the flexibility to strike trade handle old buddies and brand-new allies worldwide. The prime minister stated talks had actually currently begun with Australia, New Zealand and India.

But Sir Angus Deaton, the Scottish-born Nobel reward winner, stated he was amazed that May didnt speak about the custom-mades union, where EU member states presently enforce the very same import responsibilities, without any tariffs in between them.

Thats a huge offer. Open market and customized unions are not the very same thing, and I believe that will injure Britain, Deaton stated.

So I have not altered my expectation that in the long run Britain would be a lot much better off in the EU than out.

The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, stated the UK should guarantee fortunate access to the single market after it leaves the EU.

Theres got to be an acknowledgment that so-called difficult Brexit advantages nobody, in relation to London, the UK, or Europe, stated Khan, who has actually been satisfying magnate and political leaders in Davos.

Businesses that leave London aren’t going to Paris, Brussels, Madrid, or Frankfurt, theyre going to New York, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Dr Paul Sheard, primary worldwide economic expert at Standard &Poors, states May was making a pitch for Britain to be the lead supporting voice for globalisation.

A great deal of individuals have actually seen Brexit as anti-globalisation, a go back to nationalism. Shes rotating to stating no, this has to do with Britain being really international, Sheard stated.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/19/companies-must-share-benefits-of-globalisation-theresa-may-tells-davos

China Cites The Art of War as Trump Signals Trade Battle

Theres a Chinese stating that originates from the viewpoint in Sun Tzus ancient text The Art of War: You can eliminate 1,000 opponents, however you would likewise lose 800 soldiers.

Centuries later on, the saying is all of a sudden apt once again, being discussed often in conversations around Beijing. Now, it highlights the prospective damage U.S. President-elect Donald Trump might cause if he makes great on his hazard to begin a trade war with China, the worlds second-biggest economy.

Having withdrawed some other project promises, its uncertain if Trump will wind up slapping punitive tariffs on China– and Beijing has actually indicated some optimism he will be more practical in workplace. Still, the message from China is that any relocate to tax Chinese imports would bring retaliation: The U.S. economy would take a hit and America would harm its longstanding ties with Asia.

China wouldnt want to see that occur, Fu Ying, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of the legislature and was a vice foreign minister till 2013, stated of the United States enforcing punitive tariffs. If so occurs, it wont be one-way traffic, she stated last week in Beijing.

While China has actually cautioned the United States versus choosing a battle, the possibility of a more protectionist America develops a chance for President Xi Jinping in Asia, where trade-dependent countries fidget about the possible fallout. Xi has actually hurried to depict his nation as a champ of open market, and Trumps actions might offer him an opportunity to develop his influence. Xi has actually mentioned his desire for the exact same great-power status taken pleasure in by the U.S., pressing back versus American hegemony given that World War II.

Carrot, Stick

The U.S. has actually been utilizing the technique of carrot and stick, which is on the rocks, stated Wang Wen, executive dean of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University in Beijing. Chinas trade initially or financial very first foreign affairs policy in Asia is advanced compared with the United States, he stated. Asian nations require a serene global environment.

Any dimming of American impact in Asia likewise provides China with the difficulty of handling a local order that has actually produced incredible financial gains under the U.S.s enjoy. Does it enforce its program not just through financial power however by forming geopolitics beyond its borders? Or does it adhere to its preferred position of non-interference, concentrated on concerns in its self interest like trade and environment modification?

China still does not have the experience in appealing worldwide affairs, and still has a lot to find out in the worldwide arena, stated Yan Xuetong , a member of the Consultation Committee of Chinas Ministry of Commerce. There will be obstacles in the future for China in addition to its growing impact, and there might be delicate worldwide concerns that require China to make options, he stated.

Bottom Line

China holds a clear bottom line that it using force in managing global arguments, stated Yan, who is likewise director of the Institute of International Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing. China needs to work extremely tough to take a various method from the United States in worldwide affairs.

For now, China has a two-pronged reaction to Trumps elevation: Warn him of the repercussions of unilateral action and speed up efforts to protect an Asia-wide trade pact that does not consist of the United States

Beijing wishes to seal the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership– a 16-nation trade pact with Southeast Asian countries plus nations such as Japan and Australia– as quickly as possible, according to the Ministry of Commerce. Its one method to specifically separate China from a more inward-looking America. The next round of talks is set up in Indonesia from Dec. 2.

Read more: A QuickTake explainer of the proposed China-led Asia trade pact

Globalization is still the pattern worldwide, Fu stated. The United States began it, you took advantage of it and now you do not like it. Whats next? Do you have an alternative? Do you have a much better choice? The pattern is not going to wait, she stated. Possibly we can much better handle it.

In regards to a direct reaction, China– the U.S.s greatest lender and trading partner– might possibly raise taxes on American imports and shift to alternate countries, she stated. She couched Trumps hazards in part as a chance.

There are individuals in China who would enjoy to utilize that minute if the United States revealed tariffs, Fu stated. Therere many locations where some in China believe our interest got harmed in trading, like soybeans– we have actually totally lost soybean plantation to imports. We have more than a years of great harvests, however we are continuing to import American wheat. Why should we?

China is the biggest importer of U.S. soybeans and purchased $20.3 billion of U.S. farming items in 2015, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Sticking it to Foreigners

China has every political and financial reward to signal early that it will strike back proportionally, stated David Loevinger, a previous China professional at the United States Department of the Treasury and now an expert at fund supervisor TCW Group. President Xi Jinping cant be viewed as weak. Sticking it to immigrants will be simply as appealing politically in China as it remains in the United States

More broadly, if Trump keeps his pledge to withdraw from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, China might much better seal its position in Asia through its advocacy of RCEP, inning accordance with Alicia Garcia Herrero, primary financial expert for Asia Pacific at Natixis SA in Hong Kong.

A U.S. disengagement from trade with Asia would assist, instead of damage, China, while a more aggressive method to the bilateral relationship with China would run the risk of weakening U.S. interests, she stated in a note. The production and trade structures of China and Southeast Asian countries are significantly complementary, she stated.

America stays an effective nation however not has worldwide hegemony, stated Yan, likewise director of the Institute of International Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The Chinese management does not wish to challenge the United States supremacy, however the United States needs to discover a method to handle China, which requires and is a significant power cooperation however not fight.”

Fu echoed that, explaining the existing relationship as complementary.

We can extremely well deal with each other to discover options to distinctions, rather of reducing each other, she stated.

With help by Keith Zhai, and Ken Wills

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com//news/articles/2016-11-28/china-turns-to-the-art-of-war-as-trump-signals-battle-on-trade

The saddest thing about the England-USA rivalry? For most Americans it doesn’t exist

Alex Morgans celebration aside, Jill Elliss team smothered Englands passion and spirit with the most hurtful sentiment of all: indifference

In the hyped-up build-up, the fine margins that decided the match and the most condescending cup of tea in history, we might detect the ingredients for an enduring rivalry between the US and England.

But that would require a similar level of emotional investment on both sides of the Atlantic, and the Americans are beyond the kind of enmities that drive narratives. Jill Elliss team smothered Englands passion and spirit with the most hurtful sentiment of all: indifference. Its not that the US didnt enjoy their victory, but you get the impression theyd have been just as happy to beat Germany, Australia or Paraguay.

The USs record under Ellis now stands at: played 126, won 101, lost seven. Do they even have a true rival? Previously, you could have argued for Canada; but given that the all-time head-to-head record is 49 American wins and three losses, its more through familiarity and geographic proximity than any intrigue about what might happen on the pitch. At this point, the USs biggest foes are probably their own tight-fisted federation, or the president of their country.

The 2-1 US win in the semi-final in Lyon called to mind the scene on the Death Star before it vaporises a planet. Down on the surface its a hive of nervous energy and excitement as the tenacious underdogs scramble to mount their makeshift defences and gutsy counter-attacks. Up in the command centre, the view is calm and orderly as the workers carry out their instructions by rote, flicking a few switches to activate the superlaser. For the rebels, its the defining battle of their lives. For the empire, its just Tuesday.

England dipped into derangement after Steph Houghtons penalty was saved, with Millie Bright sent off and Demi Stokes dropping the ball to concede a foul throw, while the US shepherded out the match with inevitable efficiency; doing just enough, as in the quarter-final against France.

The British media tried its best to provoke some conflict after the pre-game revelation that a couple of US staffers were found in Englands hotel, touring it as an option ahead of the final. Investigating the location of the breakfast buffet and the price of a 500ml bottle of Evian from the mini-bar was shaped into a spy scandal, as if Phil Neville might have accidentally left START RACHEL DALY OUT WIDE scrawled on the whiteboard in the Fourvire Hotels meeting room.

Tuesdays semi-final would be a grudge match, declared the Daily Star; England fury at World Cup Spygate row: Manager Phil Neville in war of words with the US, roared the Daily Mail. While England were planting a St Georges Cross on the moral high ground and fussing over why the Americans couldnt just read the reviews on TripAdvisor, the US simply went about their business before and during the match, paying due deference to the oppositions threat but not reserving any singular treatment for Nevilles team, save for a taunt.

Alex Morgan clearly likes her tea served ice-cold. (Although someone should tell her that we increasingly prefer coffee these days.) Her Lyon Tea Party celebration was the most withering put-down since the exchange between the characters Martin and Bob, a school bully, when they meet again as adults in the 1997 film, Grosse Point Blank: Do you really believe that theres some stored-up conflict that exists between us? There is no us. We dont exist. Having said that, the US annoying England with their celebrations wasnt anything personal: they reserved the same treatment for Thailand and Chile.

Play Video
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‘VAR sucks’: England and US fans react after dramatic World Cup semi-final video

I dont think theres anything special about the England match-up in particular on the womens side everyone elses biggest game is against us, one American friend told me before the game. With the women, were the imperialist juggernaut that everyone wants to knock down.

No added edge, said another. The US is a cut above everyone and the arrogance of the team, fans and media show it. Its the opposite to the men. In the moments after the US sealed their quarter-final against France, Megan Rapinoe admitted she didnt even know that England were up next.

In the mens game, English encounters with the US are freighted with a strange tension: a superiority complex masking deep-rooted anxiety, because if America ever overtakes us in football, then what, as a country, do we have left? Theyre even staging sold-out baseball games in a London football stadium during the Cricket World Cup!

That dynamic is absent in the womens game, given the USs long-held supremacy and Englands more recent strides. Still, there is something about the nations psyche that craves American attention and respect – the UK, after all, is a country willing to spend 18m of taxpayers money so that Donald Trump could play golf in Scotland and visit Windsor Castle, in the same year it closed about 130 public libraries.

And what do we get in return? Perhaps a few crates of value-priced chlorinated chicken after 31 October, and a deserved defeat where there was more talk Stateside about a player who didnt even take the field – Megan Rapinoe – than about anything the England team did.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Australian detained in North Korea has ‘safely left the country,’ PM says

Australian detained in North Korea has ‘safely left the country,’ PM says

(CNN)An Australian man detained in North Korea has left the country and is doing “great,” he said Thursday.

Landing in Beijing airport Thursday, Sigley gave reporters the peace sign and said he was “good, very good,” adding he felt “great.” Asked to explain what happened in Pyongyang, he paused before a companion urged him to “leave it for the moment.”
He is currently in the Australian embassy, a government statement said, and is expected to leave China later Thursday.
    Speaking to parliament, the country’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, said he was delighted Sigley was “safe and well.”
    “The Swedish authorities advised the Australian government they met with senior officials from (North Korea) yesterday and raised the issue on Australia’s behalf,” Morrison said.
    Sweden is one of the few western countries with an embassy in North Korea and often acts as a go-between for foreign governments and Pyongyang.
    Morrison thanked Sweden for the country’s “invaluable assistance” in securing Sigley’s release, saying it was an example of the effectiveness of inter-government cooperation and behind the scenes diplomacy.
    NK News, a news site focused on North Korea for which Sigley has written in the past, reported separately that he was in China and will travel to Tokyo later Thursday.
      As well as writing for NK News, Sigley tweeted regularly about life in Pyongyang, and founded Tongil Tours, a business handling visits to North Korea. He first visited North Korea in 2012, his family said in a statement, and is fluent in Korean and Mandarin.
      Sigley’s parents raised the alarm after he was not heard from for two days, saying he had previously been in regular contact and such a break was “unusual for him.”

      Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

      Categories CNN

      Jeffrey Epstein found unconscious in jail cell, say reports

      Financier accused of sex trafficking hospitalized in unclear condition, with injuries to his neck

      Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier facing charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls, was found unconscious in a Manhattan jail cell with injuries to his neck, US media reported late on Wednesday, citing unidentified sources.

      Epstein was found by guards sprawled on the floor of his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) on Wednesday, it was reported.

      The wealthy financier was taken to hospital, according to the New York Post, but it was unclear where he was taken or what his condition was.

      It was not clear how he suffered his injuries. A source familiar with the situation told the Guardian that Epstein had allegedly been attacked. Two anonymous sources told New Yorks local NBC News 4 that Epsteins injuries may have been self-inflicted.

      Epstein is now on suicide watch, according to multiple reports.

      Lawyers for Nicholas Tartaglione, a former police officer charged in a quadruple homicide case who is also at the jail, responded to reports that he had been questioned in relation to Epsteins alleged injuries.

      Any suggestion that Mr Tartaglione assaulted anyone is a complete fabrication. This story is being leaked to retaliate against Mr Tartaglione for complaining to the court about the deplorable conditions at the MCC, Bruce Barket said in a statement.

      We made those complaints on Monday in open court. We warned the judge that officials at the jail would retaliate against Nick because we have been exposing the inhumane conditions at the facility.

      Neither a representative for the correctional centre nor Epsteins attorney returned calls or email inquiries from the Guardian.

      Jeffrey Epstein is currently housed at MCC New York and not in a local hospital as has been reported. As with all inmates, for privacy and security reasons, we do not share information on an inmates medical status or their conditions of confinement, the Bureau of Prisons said in a statement.

      Epstein was recently denied bail, a move his lawyers plan to appeal against, according to a court notice made public on Tuesday.

      Epstein was expected to ask the second US circuit court of appeals to overturn the judges 18 July rejection of his request to remain under house arrest in his mansion on Manhattans Upper East Side.

      Epstein has pleaded not guilty to the charges and the appeal for bail was expected. His lawyer, Reid Weingarten, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for the US attorney for the southern district of New York, Geoffrey Berman, declined to comment.

      The charges, concerning alleged misconduct from at least 2002 to 2005, were announced more than a decade after Epstein pleaded guilty to state prostitution charges in Florida.

      In denying him bail, the US district judge Richard Berman said the government had shown by clear and convincing evidence that Epstein would pose a danger to the community if released pending trial.

      The Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan is notorious for holding pre-trial inmates ranging from the Mexican drug lord Joaqun El Chapo Guzmn to terror suspects.

      Following his arrest on 6 July, Epstein was initially held into the general population wing but was reportedly moved to solitary protective custody after other inmates threatened him.

      Lawyers for Guzmn repeatedly complained that the conditions in the special housing wing were excessively punitive and he was subjected to constant noise, heat and 24-hour light in his cramped cell.

      The wing has been called a hellhole, a Guantnamo in New York and the worst in America. One prisoner in solitary confinement said he found Guantnamo to be more pleasant and more relaxed by comparison.

      In a 2011 report, Amnesty International said conditions in the 10 South wing amounted to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment that was incompatible with the presumption of innocence in the case of untried prisoners whose detention should not be a form of punishment.

      Lawyer Gloria Allred, who represents some of Epsteins accusers, said: I think that it is important that Mr Epstein be protected from self-harm or harm by others so that he will one day be in a condition to face his accusers in a court of law.

      In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org or jo@samaritans.ie. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.

      Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us

      Fact-checking Trump, AOC climate claims

      (CNN)The political conversation around climate change is often framed by two extreme narratives: climate change is either a farce that doesn’t exist, or it’s poised to kill us all quite soon. Over the past few days President Donald Trump and New York Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have provided the public with perfect examples of both sides.

      Both statements gave ammo to the other side. Environmentalists lambasted Trump while some journalists on the right mocked Ocasio-Cortez’s 12-year timeline. With a topic as politically divisive as climate change, imprecise language and factually incorrect statements not only provide easy targets for the other side but also hinder conversations focused on building a consensus around real solutions.
      Below is an analysis and the broader context of these two claims.

        Trump’s claim

        Trump is peddling the same rhetoric that climate skeptics used for years, pointing to cold winter weather as proof that climate change does not exist. (Remember when Senator Jim Inhofe brought a snowball to the Senate floor?)
        Here, Trump is conflating weather and climate, something he’s done many times before (here, here and here, for example). Weather refers to daily variations in temperature, precipitation, etc. and climate is the long-term average of these conditions over a given area.
        While portions of the US might be mired in a deep-freeze, many other parts of the planet are seeing record-breaking heat waves (like Australia at the moment). When you average these out over the planet, the hotter temps are tipping the scale, which is why the hottest 5 years on record for our planet have all occurred since 2014.
        “People also tend to confuse what is happening where they live as an indication of what is happening globally,” says Marshall Shepherd, Director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Georgia and a former president of the American Meteorological Society. “It is ‘Not Where You Live Warming,’ it is Global Warming,” Shepherd told CNN.
        In the US, public opinion is shifting away from Trump’s view. Growing majorities of Americans now say that climate change is real and man-made, according to surveys published this week from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University. More than seven in 10 Americans (73%) say global warming is happening — up 10 percentage points from early 2015 — according to the Yale surveys. And 62% now say warming is mostly human-caused.
        Similarly, about 8 in 10 Americans, including two thirds of Republicans, believe climate change is causing extreme weather, according to a Monmouth University poll from November 2018.

        Ocasio-Cortez’s claim

        With her 12-year timeline, it’s possible that Ocasio-Cortez is referencing a major global report from last October by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nation’s scientific authority on climate change.
        The year 2030 came up prominently in that report, marking the first year that the planet is likely to warm by 1.5 degrees Celsius (the report provided a range of between 2030 and 2052). This temperature was set as an idealistic goal during the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. It is widely seen among climate scientists as a marker, beyond which long-term, irreversible change begins to occur, but does not signify the end of the world.
        “Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5°C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems,” according to Hans-Otto Pörtner, a Co-Chair of the IPCC.
        In order to keep warming within the 1.5 degree range and limit the effects—which get considerably worse as warming approaches and passes 2 degrees—the report states that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) must decline by 45% by 2030 and be essentially zero by 2050. A popular narrative that resulted from the report was that we only have 12 years to avoid the dire consequences of climate change.
        The report certainly does not say that the world will end in 12 years, but it does warn that if there has not been a major shift in human’s reliance on fossil fuels for energy, land, and industrial systems by that time, we may begin living in a world that is more hostile to our current way of life — with higher sea levels, hotter heat waves and more extreme disasters.
          Says Shepherd, “When the extreme rhetoric dominates the headlines or social media space, the real science gets lost. Trust me, climate change is bad enough as it is, it doesn’t need to be inaccurately inflated…”
          To that point, if we’re ever going to make progress on as complicated an issue as climate change, it’s essential to strip away the hyperbole on both sides and focus on the facts.

          Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

          Categories CNN

          Is Keisuke Honda alone in managing internationally while still playing?

          Is Keisuke Honda alone in managing internationally while still playing?
          Johnny Giles (centre), seen here managing West Brom on a day that he didnt pick himself to play. Photograph: Bob Thomas/Getty Images

          Not to be outdone, Terry Neill also kept himself busy at club and international level. Between 1971 and 1973 Terry Neill was player-manager for both Hull City and Northern Ireland, writes Phil Kayes. He even famously scored the winner for Northern Ireland v England at Wembley during his spells in charge of both club and country.

          Can anyone beat this? If so you know where to find us on email or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU.

          Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors picks.

          First-half goalscoring wonders

          Whats the record for most individual goals in the first half of a domestic league game? asks Dhiren. Im trying to find out after James Forrest scored four in the first half of Celtic v St Johnstone.

          Phil Lacy was quick off the mark to mention Robert Bunny Bell. He bashed home five in the first half on that magical Boxing Day in 1935, when Tranmere put 13 past Oldham, cheers Phil. Bell went on to score nine that day. The Guardians very own Simon Burnton wrote about it. This is one better than many other pretenders to the title, including Panagiotis Pontikos who only scored four of his 16-goal haul in the first half on 8 May 2008 against SEK Ayios Athanasios FC.

          In fact, its a lot easier to score piles of goals in the second half. The legendary Laszlo Kubala scored five of his record seven for Bara against Gijon on 10 February 1952 after the break. Even Joe Payne could only manage three of his 10 in the first half for Luton v Bristol Rovers on 13 April 1936. Wouter van Dael points us in the direction of Johan Voskamp, who equalled Bells feat when he walloped five past Almere City in the first 42 minutes of a 12-1 win in the Dutch second tier in 2010. He took his tally to eight in the second half, a Dutch domestic-league record.

          And Russell Connor ticks a regular box: While it doesnt fit the domestic league portion of the question, Archie Thompson scored eight in the first half and five more in the second when Australia beat American Samoa 31-0 in 2001.

          We may have found a domestic-league winner, though. Bellingham United striker, Tyler Bjork, scored six goals in the first half of an 8-2 win over Yakima United in 2014. The match took place in the Evergreen Premier League, the fifth tier in the United States football pyramid. His sixth goal was quite the strike, a flying bicycle-kick to lash home a 30-yard cross. Wow! Tyler Bjork had a match that I dont think I have ever witnessed at a level beyond recreational kids soccer, whooped Bellingham boss Lance Calloway.

          Vegetables hurled at footballers and managers (another hot take)

          Last week we were bemused as to why chillis were thrown on the pitch in FC Twentes match against Willem II last March. Steffen van Bakel and Ben Dudley have been in touch with the answer. With the club only a few weeks away from relegation, supporters in Vak P threw them at their players, and held up a flag which said:

          Stick these peppers up your ass and save us from relegation

          They did get relegated.

          Knowledge archive

          On the first day of the 2007-08 season, both current England and Scotland goalkeepers opposed each other for Sunderland and Spurs, noted Adam Burrage in August 2007. When was the last time this took place in a competitive club match?

          The answer is April 8 2001, Adam. It was the FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford and again Tottenham found themselves on the wrong end of the result, with Neil Sullivan conceding two goals to the one that sneaked past David Seaman. In terms of the last league meeting, the pair featured in a north London derby at Highbury just nine days earlier, which Spurs once again contrived to lose, this time 2-0.

          Can you help?

          In 1993-94, I remember my dad and brother going to the Dell to watch Southampton v Oldham, begins Ricardo Sentulio. I looked it up and can see it took place on 30March 1994, and that Oldham won 3-1. What I remember the game for is that my dad told me that when Oldham scored, their fans stood in complete silence for a few minutes, then started celebrating later once the match restarted. I also remember seeing this on the highlights afterwards. Can anyone explain why Oldham fans did this? And are there any other examples of fans refusing to celebrate when their own team scores? Pierre van Hooijdonk for Nottingham Forest springs to mind.

          Ben Janeson (@BenJaneson)

          @TheKnowledge_GU Vanderlei Luxemburgo won the Brasileiro with 4 different teams (Palmeiras, Corinthians, Cruzeiro, Santos). Has any manager won the same league with 5 (or more) different teams?

          October 16, 2018

          This weeks Knowledge made reference to Willem II, a team from Tilburg named after a dead king. This reminded me of my local team, Enfield Town, who play at the Queen Elizabeth stadium, and it got me wondering whether other teams have royal connections in their names or their stadium names. I should say excepting all the Spanish teams whose names start with Real, obviously Tom Paternoster-Howe.

          Englands behind-closed-doors game against Croatia last Friday was their 988th senior match. Have any countries played more? asks Tom Hiskey.

          Email your questions and answers to [email protected] or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU.

          Asia’s meth boom – Trending Stuff

          Asia’s meth boom – Trending Stuff

          Hong Kong (CNN)From the jungles of Myanmar to the streets of Hong Kong, police throughout Asia are fighting a war against methamphetamine.

          By many indications, they’re losing.

          Demand for both crystal meth and yaba, tablets that typically contain a mixture of meth and caffeine, is skyrocketing. Production is increasing at an unprecedented clip, and so is the body count. Leaders in places like Bangladesh and the Philippines are waging deadly drug wars that have cost thousands of lives.

          But this isn’t “Breaking Bad” — meth isn’t just used by the poor and the downtrodden.

          Meth no longer discriminates in Asia; it has become the dominant drug of choice across the region, irrespective of class, age or gender, according to Jeremy Douglas, who is in charge of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) southeast Asia operations.

          In a career spanning 16 years, Douglas said he’s never seen demand like this.

          “No situation is exactly comparable, but this is off the charts,” he said.

          Experts say the boom is due to a serendipitous combination of domestic and geopolitical issues that have aligned to the benefit of the region’s drug gangs.

          The majority of meth production is happening deep inside the jungles of the Golden Triangle, a lawless area where the borders of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar meet. Experts say it’s easy to conceal drug production there and move it on at short notice.

          Drug runners, meanwhile, are exploiting new roads and infrastructure being built as part of an ambitious, trillion-dollar Chinese initiative to connect markets across the globe, using the flow of people and licit goods to mask drug trafficking.

          And the profits, likely worth hundreds of millions of dollars, are being laundered via intricate international schemes, often using front companies in countries where lax oversight makes it easy to hide money.

          “It’s a perfect storm in terms of the production of methamphetamine,” says John Coyne, a former head of strategic intelligence at the Australian Federal Police who now works on border security issues at the Australia Strategic Policy Institute.

          “It’s pushing Southeast Asia into what could be in time a methamphetamine epidemic.”

          Production

          A large portion of meth seized throughout the Asia Pacific region has been traced to Myanmar’s northern Shan State, where militias and warlords reign supreme.

          Perhaps the most prominent is the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and its political wing, the United Wa State Party (UWSP).

          The two have waged a years-long struggle for autonomy for the ethnic Wa population, people who share a common language as well as cultural and historic ties with their neighbors in China’s southern Yunnan province.

          Shan State boasts a compelling combination of a good poppy-growing climate and a dearth of law enforcement. For years, the Golden Triangle was the source of the majority of the world’s illegal heroin and opium.

          Authorities in the West have long accused the UWSA and UWSP of funding their armed struggle against the Myanmar central government with the profits from drug production. The UWSA is believed to boast around 30,000 fighters.

          Verifying either claim is incredibly difficult. Northern Shan State is one of the hardest places in the world to access; some joke it’s easier to get into North Korea. The UWSA granted journalists a rare visit to the region in 2016, during which time they denied allegations of narcotics trafficking.

          Official numbers appeared to lend credence to the claim that the UWSA is no longer producing heroin, at least at first glance. Golden Triangle heroin production and distribution has been on the decline, according to numbers from the United Nations.

          Authorities warn that’s likely because the big players have ditched heroin in favor of a new, cheaper to produce alternative: methamphetamine.

          “There’s a lot of evidence coming together from across the region pointing back to the same groups, pointing back to the same locations,” said Douglas with the UNODC.

          The UWSA’s decision to get into the meth game, experts say, is partly a response to market forces, but it’s also motivated by profit and ease of production.

          Methamphetamine is a synthetic drug. It’s made in a lab using chemicals and doesn’t require drug makers to cultivate organic crops, such as poppies, as is the case with heroin.

          These labs can be covered by a tarp or moved on short notice. You can’t do that with a poppy field.

          Distribution

          Once the meth is made, the next challenge is transportation. The Golden Triangle was for years one of the most impoverished and underdeveloped places on the planet, but that’s changing thanks to China’s One Belt One Road initiative — a massive infrastructure development project intended to help connect global, predominately developing economies.

          Beijing has big plans in Myanmar, where it has spent billions to connect China’s landlocked Yunnan province to port cities in South and Southeast Asia. Laos and Thailand have seen similar investments.

          An unintended side affect of these infrastructure improvements is that they’ve made it easier for meth traffickers to transport product from deep inside Shan State to the rest of Southeast Asia, Coyne said.

          “What you’ve got is a large, legitimate trade of people, goods, etc., flowing out of Myanmar and Laos in which you can hide your drugs,” said Coyne.

          Meth from northern Shan State in both crystal and pill form has been found as far away as Japan, New Zealand and Australia. A record 1.04 billion Australian dollars ($800 million) worth of meth, believed to have originated in Shan State, was found by police in Western Australia in December.

          This year, authorities have conducted dozens of meth seizures in Thailand, China, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Indonesia.

          Data supplied by the United Nations shows major cyrstal meth trafficking flows in the Mekong River Delta region and beyond.

          Shockingly, it only took five months for seizures in Malaysia and Myanmar to surpass the 2017 totals, according to Douglas.

          While those busts could mean law enforcement is winning its fight against traffickers, it also shows the sheer quantity of meth being moved.

          Coyne warns of another possibility — that meth producers have gone into overproduction, which drives down the per unit cost of making drugs, which in turn makes it easier for dealers to live with these massive busts.

          “They can afford to lose larger quantities and still make profits,” he said.

          Laundering

          All that money has to go somewhere, and law enforcement say drug dealers are using intricate financial networks to hide their ill-gotten gains.

          The most prominent — at least publicly — is the case of the Zhao Wei, a gambling magnate accused by the US government of using his casino in Laos to help the UWSA launder proceeds from the sale of meth.

          Casinos are used for laundering because they involve so much cash trading hands, but Zhao has the added benefit of operating inside what Douglas at the UNODC calls a “criminal mini-state.”

          “It operates like his personal fiefdom,” Douglas said.

          Zhao has reportedly negotiated a 99-year lease with the Lao government to operate what’s known as the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone. The zone lies along the Mekong River that flows between Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. At its center sits the Kings Romans casino.

          Zhao’s agreement with the Lao government allows his business to operate under its own set of unique laws, rules and regulations.

          The only areas in which Zhao defers to the central government are on matters related to the military, the judiciary, and Lao foreign policy, Zhao told Chinese state media in 2011.

          The system is ostensibly designed to help attract foreign investors into the special economic zone. However, the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Zhao and the casino in January, alleging that Zhao uses the lax regulation to help facilitate “the storage and distribution of heroin, methamphetamine, and other narcotics for illicit networks, including the United Wa State Army, operating in neighboring Burma.”

          The Kings Romans office is supposed to be located at the end of a dimly lit hallway on the 36th floor of Wu Chung House, according to public records, but there was no sign of it when CNN visited.

          The building’s directory shows that a company called Shuen Wai Holding Limited uses the office space. Real estate records confirm that Shuen Wai is the property’s owner.

          Shuen Wai and Kings Romans share more than just an address, however. Shuen Wai and one of its two company directors were sanctioned by the US Treasury Department in 2008 amid allegations that the office was a key part of the financial network used by the UWSA to launder profits from drug sales.

          “It makes total sense that the UWSA would be operating out of Hong Kong. They have a long history of mixing illicit with legal activities … and Hong Kong is the perfect place to do that for them,” said Evan Rees, an analyst at the intelligence firm Stratfor.

          Down the dark hallway at the office’s entrance, Shuen Wai is the only business that’s visible. Its name is displayed in shiny block letters above an empty secretary’s desk. It was decorated with ornate wooden sculptures and marble floors, but with half the lights off and no one in sight.

          The fact that the business was highly visible was a surprise to some of the sanctions experts CNN spoke with about the case.

          “They usually at least make an effort to repaint the sign, even if it is the same address and same cast of characters in front of you,” said Peter Harrell, a sanctions expert at the Center for New American Security who previously served as deputy assistant secretary for counter threat finance and sanctions in the State Department’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.

          “Operating 10 years without changing the name, that’s pretty brazen.”

          When CNN rang the doorbell at the office, a middle-aged, bespectacled man answered. He said the company was previously involved in the jade trade but now works in funeral services.

          He refused to give CNN his name, but said he had been an account manager at the company for 20 years, during which time he has known the two individuals currently listed as Shuen Wai’s co-directors. He said the duo are based in mainland China and only come to Hong Kong a few times a year, a couple days at a time. He agreed to pass on a message to them from CNN — which they did not respond to — and then retreated back into the office. When CNN called back a couple days later, the individual said the couple was not willing to speak to CNN.

          When asked about the Wu Chung House connections, the UN’s Douglas stressed that each case is different and the age of a specific holding company was not something he could comment on.

          “That said, if the holding company has been a front for drug trafficking for 10 years it is pretty serious and concerning, and authorities should be investigating,” said Douglas.

          “If links are found and organized crime activities are confirmed then there should be some serious actions taken, and questions will need to be asked about how a front company has been able to run for so long in the open in Hong Kong.”

          Hong Kong authorities declined to comment when asked about the case.

          Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

          Categories CNN

          Indonesia quake survivors describe a hellish week – Trending Stuff

          Indonesia quake survivors describe a hellish week – Trending Stuff
          Women console each other after identifying the body of a relative in Balaroa village. Photograph: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters

          The logistics of responding to the disaster have been fraught with difficulty. Indonesia is an archipelago of more than 13,000 islands spread over more than 3,000 miles, and Sulawesi is in the countrys more remote east. The damage to Palus airport limited capacity to get supplies to where they were needed most.

          Aid is now arriving, from Jakarta, neighbouring Borneo, Australia, Japan and the UK, but there were still reports of desperate residents in outskirt areas such as Sigi raiding passing cars for petrol and supplies. In Donggala earlier in the week, residents held out cardboard boxes to passing cars, placing planks of wood and rope across the road to force them to slow down.

          In Palu, home to 300,000 people, some signs of normality are returning, but for some residents, such as Yaser Garibald, Palu will never be the same.

          Yaser rushed to Balaroa on Friday night to search for his 60-year-old mother, Masri. He was unable to find her until the first light of dawn when he heard a faint voice coming from the rubble. She was wedged between two blocks of concrete with her arms wrapped around his nephew, Ririn, 23.

          It hurts. Its hard to breathe, Masri told her son, as he hammered at the concrete in an attempt to free. In her last moments he was able to pass her water, but he was unable to save them.

          Asked what kind of person she was, Yaser said he would remember his mothers final selfless act. When the earthquake struck she had made it out but then went back for her grandson. We dug her out and carried her away in a sarong, he said.