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

‘House of Cards’ actress Sakina Jaffrey feels ‘100% New Yorker’

‘House of Cards’ actress Sakina Jaffrey feels ‘100% New Yorker’

Editor’s note: The UN estimates that around 17 million people born in India live outside its borders. The group is considered the world’s largest migrant population. From the NBA’s first Indian-origin player to the descendant of an indentured laborer, CNN spoke to a handful of people born to Indian parents who settled overseas.

Sakina Jaffrey comes from a family of trailblazers.
Her mother helped introduce Indian cuisine to the West, her late father was a high-profile actor and her adoptive father is the first and only African-American musician in the New York Philharmonic.
    “I believe that you can make anything happen,” says the actress, who played White House Chief of Staff Linda Vasquez in the “House of Cards” TV series. “That’s their gift to me.”
    Her mother, Madhur Jaffrey, was born in India’s capital New Delhi and her father, Saeed Jaffrey, hailed from Malerkotla in the northern state of Punjab. Jaffrey learned about the history of India through her mother, as “no Indian history is taught here (in the United States).”
    Her mother, born in the 1930s, was an involuntary witness to the deadly period of partition in August 1947, when departing British rulers divided India to create the Muslim nation of Pakistan. “I remember it just being particularly brutal and upsetting to her because she had lots of Muslim friends. And one day, they were gone.”

    ‘My mother was a caged bird’

    Jaffrey’s parents met in India and began acting there, before her mother moved to London to join the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. “I always think of my mother as being a caged bird, needing to fly out and do exactly what she wanted.”
    She then joined Jaffrey’s father who had moved to the US to pursue his own acting ambitions. They got married and eventually settled in Manhattan in the late 1950s.
    “There really wasn’t work at the time,” says Jaffrey, 57. Her parents worked odd jobs before they divorced when she was two years old.
    Her mother, Madhur, shifted from acting to hosting cookery TV programs and later became an authority on Indian cuisine in the US.
    Her father, Saeed, moved to England where job prospects were better for Indian actors.
    With roles across British radio, film and television, he became a household name and was the first Asian actor to be made a member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
    “Because of colonial rule, so many Indians were there. They were way ahead of us (in the US) in terms of understanding Indians.”
    Saeed Jaffrey passed away in November 2015 from a brain haemorrhage in London.

    ‘We wouldn’t see Indians on the street’

    Growing up in Manhattan, Jaffrey had far from a typical Indian upbringing. “When I was five, my mother remarried, my stepfather (Sanford Allen, now her adoptive father) is black. I grew up in this black Indian household and with black Indian relatives.”
    Her adoptive father made his mark in the New York Philharmonic and remained the “only one (African American musician) till he left after 15 years.”
    Seeing other Indians was always a pleasant surprise. “In the 1960s, my sisters and I would never see an Indian on the street. And when we did, we ran towards them saying, ‘Oh my God, hello!'”
    Sakina, who learned ballet at around age four, attended an empowering private girls’ school “that was trying to produce leaders.” At 15, she decided that acting was the career for her and two years later made her debut in Wallace Sean’s 1979 play “Marie and Bruce”at The Public Theater in New York.
    While she scored only small parts in the first 15 years of her career, the work kept coming. And when she played the highest-ranking woman in a president’s inner circle in the “House of Cards,” it didn’t faze her.
    “I read as much as I could about anybody who’d been chief of staff. I watched videos of businesswomen, leaders in politics, just to see how they presented themselves.
    “She had to be smarter than everybody in that room. And her power came from her mind. So I had to fully know what the heck I was saying.”
    Her fellow cast members also motivated her.
    “Kevin (Spacey) would just eat you alive if you weren’t prepared. He didn’t suffer fools. I knew I had to bring it, in order to be in the same room with him.”
    The actress has also starred in the TV series “The Mindy Project” and “Homeland,” among others.
    She says there are signs of progress for actors of Indian origin in Hollywood — some younger actors are now being cast in lead roles. But to see more people of Indian origin in Hollywood, she believes there needs to be more Indian writers.
    “There aren’t enough Indians telling those stories (about Indians), because right now we’re at a point where people want those stories.
    “I think it’s getting so much better. But the simple answer is the writers room.”
    But prejudices also exist in everyday life. “If I stand by a cappuccino station too long, somebody will give me their empty cup… That happened just a few weeks ago in Miami… Or I’ll come to a door or be at somebody’s house, and they’ll think I’m the nanny or something. It exists all the time, just based on how you look.”
    But she believes, over the years, perceptions have changed. “At least now, people know other Indians. There are Indians who are key people in business, justice, and stars on TV, too. All that has had a profound impact.”
    When she visits India, she “feels a sense of family.” But New York has influenced how she sees herself. “I can’t say I feel 100% Indian or 100% American; I always feel 100% a New Yorker.”
    Living in a town on the Hudson River in New York with her husband, journalist Francis Wilkinson, and a Great Dane called Biggie Smalls, Jaffrey describes her two grownup children as her greatest achievement.
    She focused on her acting only once they were older.
    “I’ve been very lucky that I’ve been able to be home with them and raise them, but also do acting projects every year, that didn’t take me away from them for too long.
    “Once they got to an age when they really didn’t want me around, I got very busy.”
      Sometimes, people are surprised that she’s managed to have a successful career while also raising children.
      “I don’t really think women can have it all. But I do think you can get what you need. My mother and father (Allen) have made me think that.”

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

      Categories CNN

      Carbon emissions from energy industry rise at fastest rate since 2011

      Carbon emissions from energy industry rise at fastest rate since 2011

      BP report reveals swings in global temperatures are increasing the use of fossil fuels

      Carbon emissions from the global energy industry last year rose at the fastest rate in almost a decade after extreme weather and surprise swings in global temperatures stoked extra demand for fossil fuels.

      BPs annual global energy report, an influential review of the market, revealed for the first time that temperature fluctuations are increasing the worlds use of fossil fuels, in spite of efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

      The recorded temperature swings days which are much hotter or colder than normal helped drive the worlds biggest jump in gas consumption for more than 30 years.

      They also resulted in a second consecutive annual increase for coal use, reversing three years of decline earlier this decade.

      China accounted for a third of the world’s energy growth in 2018

      Carbon emissions climbed by 2% in 2018, faster than any year since 2011, because the demand for energy easily outstripped the rapid rollout of renewable energy.

      That level of growth in emissions represents the carbon equivalent of driving an extra 400m combustion engine cars onto the worlds roads, said Spencer Dale, BPs chief economist.

      Dale said the increase in the number of extreme weather events and increasing demand for energy could be a vicious cycle. If there is a link between the growing levels of carbon in the atmosphere and the types of weather patterns observed in 2018 this would raise the possibility of a worrying vicious cycle: increasing levels of carbon leading to more extreme weather patterns, which in turn trigger stronger growth in energy (and carbon emissions) as households and businesses seek to offset their effects

      Dale added that the report reveals a growing mismatch between societys rising demand for climate action and the actual pace of progress.

      Public concern over the global climate breakdown has grown significantly in recent months, driven by factors ranging from the protests led by the teenage activist Greta Thunberg to the Extinction Rebellion action, which brought parts of central London to a standstill.

      Last week data from the polling company YouGov found that Britons cite the environment as their third highest concern after Brexit and health, and ahead of the economy, crime and immigration.

      At a time when society is increasingly concerned about climate change and the need for action, energy demand and emissions are growing at their fastest rate for years, Dale said.

      Two-thirds of the worlds energy demand increase was due to higher demand in China, India and the US which was in part due to industrial demand, as well as the weather effect.

      This was spurred by an outsized energy appetite in the US which recorded the highest number of days with hotter or colder than average days since the 1950s.

      US unusual temperature days

      On hot days people turn to their air conditioning and fans, on cold days they turn to their heaters. That has a big impact, Dale said.

      The unusually high number of heating days has continued in the first months of this year.

      The combined number of particularly hot and cold days was unusually high in the US, China and Russia where the use of fossil fuels remains high.

      The US shale heartlands helped to meet its rising energy demand with the biggest ever annual increase in oil and gas production for any country.

      Bob Dudley, BPs chief executive, said: The longer carbon emissions continue to rise, the harder and more costly will be the necessary eventual adjustment to net-zero carbon emissions.

      As I have said before, this is not a race to renewables, but a race to reduce carbon emissions across many fronts, he added.

      Energy growth by fuel

      The report acknowledges that emissions might have been higher without the extraordinary growth of renewables, which climbed by 14.5% last year, but warns against relying on green power and electric vehicles. The number of electric vehicles rose by just 2m, to a total of 5m.

      Dale added that the growth in renewables would need to have climbed by more than twice the rate achieved over the past three years to offset the impact of burning coal for electricity.

      Alternatively, the same outcome for carbon emissions could have been achieved by replacing around 10% of coal in the power sector with natural gas, he said.

      BP owns vast reserves of gas fields and consistently leads calls for countries to switch from coal to gas.

      Sign up to the daily Business Today email or follow Guardian Business on Twitter at @BusinessDesk

      It has also backed industry calls for governments to fund carbon capture technology which can scrub the emissions from the flues of power plants and factories before they reach the air.

      However, BP will not undertake material projects without government funding.

      You cant rely on the generosity of the private sector, Dale said.

      The BP report comes amid growing calls for arts institutions to sever their ties with fossil fuel companies.

      Several leading figures in the art world have called on the National Portrait Gallery to end their sponsorship deals with BP on the eve of their annual awards event this week.

      At the same time, activists at Extinction Rebellion urged the gallery, and the Royal Opera House, to end their complicity in climate breakdown.

      Alongside BPs climate warning, the company has confirmed that Transocean, one of its North Sea contractors, has issued a legal injunction against the Greenpeace activists occupying a BP oil rig in the Cromarty Firth, in Scotland.

      Greenpeace has vowed to continue with the occupation, despite the legal action, to protest against BPs plan to drill new oil wells which could hold up to 30m barrels of oil.

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

      Lawyer jailed for spitting at flight attendant during racist tirade

      Lawyer jailed for spitting at flight attendant during racist tirade

      Simone Burns gets six-month sentence for insulting and upsetting act during Air India flight

      A lawyer who spat at a flight attendant during a racist foul-mouthed tirade after she was refused alcohol on a nine-hour business class flight has been jailed for six months.

      Judge Nicholas Wood, sentencing at Isleworth crown court, told Simone Burns: The experience of a drunk and irrational person in the confines of an aircraft is frightening, not least on a long-haul flight and poses a potential risk to safety.

      The judge noted that such offences are often committed by people of impeccable character.

      Although the aircraft was not at risk by Burnss behaviour, the judge said for the luckless and unfortunate passengers and crew there is no escape at 30,000ft.

      He added that spitting straight into a crew members face at close range is a particularly insulting and upsetting act.

      Burns, of Hove, sat quietly in the dock as she was sentenced to six months for being drunk on an aircraft and two months for assault.

      The sentences are to be served concurrently after she previously pleaded guilty to the charges.

      Burns, 50, who is known as Simone OBroin, was initially served three bottles of red wine but declared Im a fucking international lawyer when she was denied more on an Air India flight from Mumbai to London on 11 November 2018.

      She also called staff Indian money-grabbing cunts and smoked a cigarette in the toilets during the tirade, which was condemned by a member of the cabin staff as unlike anything he had seen during his 30-year aviation career.

      The lawyer, who is Irish and has worked with refugees around the world, unleashed a barrage of abuse in a prolonged rant which also saw her spit and grab the arm of the steward, the court heard.

      Burns was also ordered to pay 300 compensation to the crew member who was assaulted.

      The nine-hour flight took off at 4.10am as Burns sat in business class with 17 other passengers. After breakfast was served Burns was asking for alcohol and being very obnoxious, the court heard.

      She was served with three 25cl bottles of red wine an hour into the flight. She had also complained that her TV was not positioned correctly. She had gone to the galley and demanded drinks when she stood back and spat into the crew members face.

      Burns also grabbed the report the crew member was writing and continued with her abusive behaviour, the court heard.

      The court was told that this crew member later said: In the 34 years I have worked for Air India this is the first time I have been treated like this by a woman. I felt abused.

      The judge said he was satisfied the offence was racially aggravated and that the Air India passengers must have been extremely upset by Burnss behaviour and the language she used.

      The judge told Burns: The fact remains that you were drunk and obnoxious almost from the beginning to the end. You were abusive, contemptuous and confrontational and used appalling language.

      He added: You are a woman, not just of good character but a positive and impeccable character a righter of wrongs. What this has done, thanks to social media, [has meant] you have had death threats and been a hermit in your home.

      You are a person who has done good work throughout your life.

      The prosecutor, Caroline Paul, told the court that one of the crew members who dealt with Burns later described her as being continually abusive in the nine-hour flight and in his 30 years as a flight purser he had never witnessed such behaviour.

      Burns was given a verbal warning and was then arrested after the flight touched down.

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

      Watching Notre Dame burn, the entire world was in pain

      (CNN)The spire tumbling down in a blaze, the flames shooting out behind the familiar faade of Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of Paris, made our throats close in anguish. French President Emmanuel Macron said his thoughts were with “all Catholics and all French people,” but in fact, it felt like the entire world was in pain watching the 800-year-old building turn into a blazing inferno, on its way to becoming ashes and stones.

      When the Notre Dame spokesman said “everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame,” it felt like a stab in our collective soul.
      In a time of inflamed political, religious and sectarian divisions, somehow, a fire in a Catholic church, a cathedral in France, managed to melt away the animosity — if only for a moment — and bring people together in shared sorrow. Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jew, or atheist; in France, India, Argentina, everywhere, Notre Dame’s doom brought personal pain.
        How can the demise of a building, technically a religious structure, pack such a powerful impact?
        The conflagration brought a feeling of helplessness and foreboding — reminiscent of the devastation on 9/11, in some ways, and perhaps that was part of the effect for some people: the sense — real or imagined — that we were watching a metaphor, a prelude, a warning.

          Notre Dame is more than just a church, it has worldwide significance

        Or course, the outrage most of the world experienced on 9/11 required no interpretation: terrorists had deliberately massacred thousands. The sorrow was not over the loss of the buildings; it was clearly justified by the intentional atrocity.
        And in that way, Notre Dame was different.
        The massive, majestic cathedral looked like it had been there forever, and would remain until the end of time. If only for a moment, Notre Dame ablaze reminded us that we all share this world; that human history means everyone’s past. If only for a moment, the notion of a “World Heritage,” which UNESCO formally bestows on places that we, as humanity, ought to care for and cherish so that we can pass them to future generations, seemed exactly right. We all hurt over the loss of Notre Dame.
        The French feel the loss most acutely. Notre Dame, “Our Lady,” was theirs. But it was everyone’s, no matter our religion or nationality. Over 800 years Notre Dame stood there, witnessing and participating in history. It was under its soaring vault, in 1804, that Napoleon crowned himself emperor and then crowned his beloved Josephine. Unlike previous rulers, he didn’t let the Pope place the crown. In that church, he proclaimed he didn’t need the Church’s approval. It was in Notre Dame that 15-year-old Mary Queen of Scots married the 14-year-old French dauphin, Francis, in 1558. It was Notre Dame that inspired Victor Hugo to give us, all of us, his immortal Hunchback of Notre Dame.
        That is French history, but it is also ours.

          Witness: We watched ‘in silent shock’ as Notre Dame burned

        Notre Dame survived World Wars I and II, only to burn in our tumultuous times. Is it a coincidence? A mere accident? We don’t know what started the fire. It’s possible, and we are told likely, that it was restoration work that triggered the disaster.
        But the pangs we felt watching the flames consume the ancient beams, threaten the mystical rose windows, destroy the irreplaceable pipe organ, brought to mind recent man-made tragedies on French soil: the truck attack in Nice, the Bataclan massacre; not because this might have been another terrorist attack, but because our times feel so fraught, as if through our animosity and divisions we are destroying the foundations of civilization.
        France has become the site of a series of church desecration and arson attacks, and of a terrifying spike in antisemitic attacks, including desecration of Jewish sites, harassment, and murder of Jews.

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          Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long for the divisions to resurface around this new tragedy; the conspiracy theories, the blaming without evidence. Before long, there will be a political reckoning.
          But for a time, the flaming Notre Dame Cathedral brought the world together in shared sorrow. For just a moment, we felt history belonged to all of us, and we mourned our common loss.

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

          Categories CNN

          Is the world ready for lab-grown meat? | Jacy Reese

          Is the world ready for lab-grown meat? | Jacy Reese

          The idea of clean meat enjoys wide acceptance in Asia, a study finds, and Silicon Valley is well-placed to take advantage

          Do people want to eat lab-grown meat? A new study, for which I was a peer-reviewer, is the first to rigorously assess consumer interest in plant-based and clean meat (also known as lab-grown or cultured meat) in the US, India and China. The study found high levels of acceptance in all three countries and significantly higher acceptance in India and China, where 86% and 93% respectively reported being at least somewhat likely to purchase clean meat.

          Chris Bryant, the lead author on the study in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, told me, Across the worlds three most populous countries, consumers want plant-based and clean meat. The opportunities for innovators to change the meat industry in these countries are there.

          Companies are beginning to capitalize on these opportunities. Earlier this week, Motif Ingredients announced that it had raised $90m in funding, the largest Series A round ever for a food technology company. This makes Motif the largest company focused on cellular agriculture the new industry creating animal products without animal farming. This is no surprise given Motif is a spin-off of Ginkgo Bioworks, a huge player in synthetic biology, and funded by organizations like Breakthrough Energy, which includes Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Vinod Khosla.

          Sign up for the US morning briefing

          Does this mean India and China could become the first countries to adopt these new products? Maybe. Most of these new animal-free food companies are based in the US in Silicon Valley specifically and there is no comparable hub of biotechnology investment in the world like the Valley.

          Lets keep in mind that this kind of survey data always comes with qualifications. It is difficult to conduct representative polling in any country, but especially India and China. The Frontiers study participants in India and China tended to be urban, well-educated and high-income, so their responses may not be reflective of the population more broadly. On the other hand, these are probably the demographics who will be the first target audience of clean meat, which could make them ideal for research.

          There are also concerns with how different cultures respond to surveys. For example, the authors of the study note that participants in China may tendto give middle responses like moderately likely regardless of the question. It is not known if this reflects genuine consumer preference or is just a quirk of how people in China respond to surveys, which would make the Chinese data hard to compare with other countries.

          Survey responses about food technology also vary tremendously based on translation, terminology and question wording. Using the phrase lab-grown meat, for example, can immediately turn consumers off, while clean meat the term used in this most recent survey has much better connotations. This is why in our survey research at Sentience Institute, we avoid these terms, simply describing the products to respondents. We found that 53% of Americans said they would swap out this new meat for conventional meat if the prices were equal.

          The case for clean meat taking off in Asia is strong. I visited China last year to give lectures on the issues of animal agriculture and the promise of clean meat. China set its most recent nutritional guidelines at 50% of their current levels of meat consumption, and it has a $300m clean tech deal with Israel, a leading country in this nascent industry. Chinas top-down social structure gives the nation the ability to rapidly change its food system and potentially piggyback on, or even leapfrog over, western companies.

          Competition between nations can be a powerful factor in social change. For example, in Brown v Board of Education, a court brief the Truman administration filed on behalf of Brown argued that Racial discrimination furnishes grist for the Communist propaganda mills. And there is currently a global competition to build and export renewable energy technology, as well as control natural resources for products like lithium ion batteries.

          We could be on our way to a clean meat arms race between global superpowers.

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

          Saudi Arabia owns (at least) $166.8 billion in US debt – Trending Stuff

          Saudi Arabia owns (at least) $166.8 billion in US debt – Trending Stuff

          New York (CNN Business)Tensions between the United States and Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi could have a big impact on oil prices.

          Saudi Arabia held $166.8 billion in Treasury securities as of July, According to the US Treasury Department. That made it the 10th largest foreign holder of government bonds — ahead of larger economies such as India, France, Canada and Germany.

          So if Saudi Arabia wanted to inflict pain on the United States, it could — in theory — weaponize those bonds by selling them off en masse. Adding a bigger chunk of bonds to the market could push yields, which move in the opposite direction of prices — sharply higher.

          A spike in bond yields could make it more expensive for consumers to take out mortgages and other loans and also increase the interest costs that companies have to pay on their existing debt.

          But this assumes that there wouldn’t be other investors lining up to buy the bonds that the Saudis would be selling. That seems unlikely, experts said.

          What’s more, while $166.8 billion may sound like a large amount of bonds, it actually isn’t. Saudi Arabia’s holdings pale in comparison to China’s and Japan’s. Both of those Asian nations hold more than $1 trillion in US Treasuries.

          Lisa Hornby, US fixed income portfolio manager with Schroders, said it’s possible that Saudi Arabia may hold more in Treasuries than is reported.

          That’s because several smaller countries like Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the Cayman Islands have fairly large Treasury holdings, according to the US government data.

          Some nations, including China and Saudi Arabia may hold more Treasury bonds in custodial accounts in these tax-friendly nations.

          “That $166.8 billion number, if anything, is probably higher,” Hornby said.

          But Hornby doubts that Saudi Arabia would want to shoot itself in the foot by dumping bonds since a fire sale would depress the value of its remaining holdings.

          It would be foolish for the Saudis to sell US assets like bonds since oil is priced in US dollars, Hornby said. A big sale could wind up hurting oil prices — the opposite of what Saudi Arabia wants.

          “It is not in Saudi Arabia’s best interest to do a large scale Treasury selling program,” Hornby said. “Most oil is still denominated in US dollars so it makes more sense for the US to continue to have investments in the US.”

          Bigger global factors moving bonds than Saudi Arabia

          Bruce Monrad, chairman of Northeast Investors Trust added that there are so many geopolitical factors influencing the bond market right now that any major Saudi sales might not even get noticed.

          Monrad said bond investors are far more focused on the US-China trade war, Italian budget concerns and Brexit.

          “I’m not too worried that any Saudi bond sales would move the needle on interest rates,” Monrad said. If Saudi Arabia were to sell its Treasuries, it “begs the question of where they’d go,” he said.

          The United States has the most attractive economy in the world right now, which is why both China and Japan are still big backers of US debt.

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

          Categories CNN

          She took a self-defense class for blind women; now she’s a competitive judoka – Trending Stuff

          She took a self-defense class for blind women; now she’s a competitive judoka – Trending Stuff

          (CNN)For Janki Goud, the threat of rape has long loomed large.

          In the state of Madhya Pradesh in northern India, where Goud lives, rape is among the most common crimes against women. The region accounted for 4,882 of the 38,947 cases of rape reported nationally in 2016, the most recent year for which statistics are available.

          “We started self-defence and judo because the women living in this area with disabilities expressed so much fear that they could face abuse and attacks if they traveled unaccompanied outside their homes,” said Jayashree Kumar, Sightsavers program manager in Madhya Pradesh.

          Goud, 23, is one of more than 8 million blind people in India, according to the international nongovernmental organization Sightsavers. Women and girls with disabilities face increased risk of sexual violence in India.

          But Goud says judo has transformed her life.

          Goud is one of 200 women to benefit from a project providing judo and self-defense training by international nongovernmental organization Sightsavers, since it began in 2014.

          “In my village, I did not have any problems because of my blindness,” Goud said through an interpreter. “But when I go to the neighborhood around, my movements are restricted. Then, when nobody is with me and I can’t see, some people try to take advantage of that opportunity.

          ‘This has changed my life’

          Goud lost her sight after contracting measles at age 5.

          When she was first approached for the program in 2010, her confidence was so low that she barely spoke a word, according to organizers.

          Today, she is something of a spokeswoman for the project. She has taken younger judoka under her wing and has competed in the sport on the international stage.

          “I only started judo training for self-defense,” she said. “That was the main aim of the program. I didn’t have much knowledge in self-defense of judo when I started. The instructor motivated me and people like me who can’t see.”

          Instructors were specially trained to teach girls with visual impairment, using physical touch and sounds, such as claps, as well as clear, easy to understand instructions, according to Sightsavers.

          “The specially designed training program organized with the help of the Department of Crime Against Women and Madhya Pradesh police helped us build confidence in the visually impaired girls,” said Rakesh Singh of Tarun Sanskar, a local organization that works to empower women with disabilities in collaboration with Sightsavers.

          Goud became national champion in blind judo in 2017 and traveled on a plane for the first time last year to win bronze at the International Blind Sports Federation in Uzbekistan.

          Competing instilled pride in her, and her wider community, when people had previously “thought I couldn’t do anything.” As she puts it, “my family is feeling good. This has changed my life.”

          It’s not just one life that has been overhauled by the program, thanks predominantly to Jayahree Kumar, Sightsavers program manager who started the judo training.

          The project is growing into other regions, including neighboring Rajasthan, and Kumar is hopeful it could spread nationally.

          “People who are blind face enormous difficulties, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, and these challenges are often more acute for girls and women who are blind,” said Dr. Clare Gilbert, professor of international eye health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who is not involved in the program. “Most of the difficulties young women encounter arise not because of what they cannot do or find difficult to do but because of the attitudes of their families, who want to protect them, and the wider community, who often denigrate or abuse them.”

          Gilbert added that the self-confidence and skill now shown by young women like Goud is commendable. “They have been able change often deeply entrenched attitudes,” she said.

          An empowering journey

          Being taught judois a journey about empowerment and giving women a voice they didn’t have.

          “These girls really lack confidence,” Kumar said. “They have low self-esteem, and their body language is so negative, so I realized we should organize a program for these young girls so that they can come out of their homes.”

          According to Kumar, records show that 98% of the rape cases are from people known to the person in question, and 25% of those are a neighbor.

          “You’ve situations where they come out and have uncles and cousins that touch their bodies, and they don’t realize that was sexual abuse,” she said.

          See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

          “So there’s an element of education so they realize then that it’s something that has to be stopped. There’s fear, as some parents don’t listen to their problems. This is why confidence is so low. The question was often, ‘if someone attacks me, how will I protect myself? I’m a blind person, and I can’t do anything.’

          “This self-defense means these girls can escape emergency, potentially life-changing situations,” Kumar added. “It’s so dangerous for blind girls and women in India. It’s a really vulnerable situation to be in. We just want to reduce that.”

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

          Categories CNN

          Mystery surrounds Indian man who spent 36 years in Pakistan jail – Trending Stuff

          Mystery surrounds Indian man who spent 36 years in Pakistan jail – Trending Stuff

          (CNN)Gajanand Sharma wandered across the Indian border into Pakistan in 1982. He was arrested and spent the next 36 years in prison.

          “I am very troubled. I can’t remember anything,” he told CNN from a car as he arrived back in India.

          Gajanand said he doesn’t remember much of what happened on that day, when he left his home in the city of Jaipur in west India’s Rajasthan with a few friends. But he doesn’t know what became of them, or how he ended up in prison in Karachi for almost four decades.

          His family had given him up for dead until three months ago, when they received a letter inquiring about the citizenship status of one Gajanand Sharma.

          “He went missing in 1982. He just left the home and did not come back,” said Mukesh Sharma, Gajanand’s 48-year-old son, who was 12 years old when his father disappeared.

          The family eventually got in touch with Ramcharan Bohra, a member of the Indian Parliament, who reached out to senior officials in the government in an attempt to locate Gajanand and bring him home.

          Bohra was able to get hold of V.K. Singh, a junior foreign minister in Modi’s government who set the ball rolling for Gajanand’s repatriation.

          “We don’t know how both sides did not know that he was in prison for the past 36 years,” Bohra said.

          Border trouble

          India and Pakistan have argued over their border for 71 years, after Pakistan split from India after the country’s independence in 1947. After partition, a bloody and violent migration took place, with a majority of Muslims moving to Pakistan and Hindus relocating to India.

          The two countries have fought three wars and innumerable skirmishes in the decades since, and hundreds of civilians have been arrested for mistakenly crossing the disputed land and water borders.

          Every six months, both countries exchange a list of prisoners in their custody. According to Indian authorities, as of last month, Pakistan said it had 418 fishermen and 53 other civilians believed to be Indians in its custody.

          For its part, India is holding 108 fishermen and 249 other Pakistani civilians, according to the country’s foreign ministry.

          Since 2015, Pakistan has released 1,528 prisoners, 279 of whom have been repatriated to India.

          Welcome home

          Gajanand Sharma joined the list of those repatriated this week, even as questions remain over his imprisonment.

          On 3 p.m. Monday, Gajanand joined 28 other Indian prisoners crossing the border between Pakistan and India, where he was greeted by Sahdev Sharma, president of the Punjab unit of Vipra Foundation.

          Sahdev put a garland of orange flowers around Gajanand’s neck and gave him sweets made from chickpea flour.

          Dressed in a traditional Indian long white tunic and trousers, with an orange scarf around his neck, Gajanand finally began the 700 kilometer (435 mile) journey from the border point to his village in Rajasthan.

          “We got him cleared from the Red Cross Society and then we took him to a temple nearby — to get him blessings,” Sahadev told CNN.

          Family reunion

          Gajanand did not recognize his wife at first when he arrived in town Tuesday, where around 1,000 people had gathered to welcome him home.

          His face lit up however when someone told him the woman in front of him was his wife.

          “When he met everyone there, he did not shed any tears. He was just smiling but there was a not one family member whose eyes were not wet at the time,” said Sahdev.

          Firecrackers were set off in the streets and traditional Indian snacks were distributed. People piled into a line of cars and the entire procession headed for Gajanand’s family home to watch him cross the threshold after nearly four decades away.

          The mystery of Gajanand’s disappearance may never be solved. His family does not have the resources to pursue an independent investigation, and short of his memory returning, they may never know what happened that day.

          “He does not remember how he got there,” said Bohra, the lawmaker. “We are not thinking of pursuing it. If something happens, we will see. I am totally happy with the result that he came back to his family before (India’s) independence day.”

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

          Categories CNN

          Samsung Unveils Note 9, Upgraded Watchand Home Speaker – Trending Stuff

          Samsung Unveils Note 9, Upgraded Watchand Home Speaker – Trending Stuff

          Samsung Electronics Co. unveiled the Galaxy Note 9 in New York, banking on the larger-screen device to rejuvenate sales of a struggling flagship line and fend off Apple Inc.’s upcoming iPhones over the holidays.

          The 6.4-inch screen Note 9 will start at $999.99 and max out at $1,249.99 — becoming, at about $100 above the iPhone X’s upper limit, one of the world’s most expensive consumer phones. It looks similar to last year’s 6.3-inch Note 8 but sports a revamped Bluetooth stylus — a longtime selling point of the Note series — as well as an upgraded camera that takes sharper photos than the S9 released earlier this year, Samsung said Thursday.

          Samsung’s latest device enters the ring at a time of slowing smartphone demand globally and a disappointing performance by its cousin, the Galaxy S9. That marquee gadget failed to capture consumers’ imagination or stop Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Corp. from grabbing market share at the Korean giant’s expense. It’ll also go up against the new iPhones, typically unveiled in September. Samsung’s stock slid more than 3 percent in Seoul after Eugene Investment & Securities labelled the Note 9 a “transitional product” that wasn’t a game-changer.

          “The product was too similar to the S8. It wasn’t distinctive enough for consumers to justify the upgrade,” Bryan Ma, vice president of devices research at IDC, said. “My worry is that the Note 9 may meet the same fate.”

          Samsung is counting on its latest device to lead the charge during the crucial holiday season and revitalize a mobile division where profits almost halved last quarter. After a robust decade of growth, demand is cooling as consumers wait longer to replace devices, even as cheaper Chinese brands flood the market and chip away at Samsung and Apple’s longstanding dominance.

          Read about the Chinese smartphone upstarts taking on Apple and Samsung

          Samsung blamed itself partly for the disappointing performance, saying on an earnings call that it’s played too safe with smartphones too long. Since the recall of the fire-prone Note 7 that cost the company billions of dollars, the company has intensified quality inspections, even if that meant withholding innovations from consumers.

          That stance is easing with executives promising to introduce eye-opening features more aggressively. Faster 5G internet connectivity is one of the features Samsung is striving to bring to consumers, they said on an earnings conference call last month.

          “Samsung is planning for a more aggressive design update next year,” Wayne Lim, an analyst with IHS Markit, wrote after the launch. “Thus, the Note 9 serves primarily to keep the Note customer base happy until the anticipated design changes expected in 2019 along with new technologies like foldable displays.”

          A new stylus called the S Pen is this year’s highlight upgrade. It will let users remotely control the Note 9’s camera and switch between slides in a presentation, the company said. It’ll also allow more accurate writing and drawing on the phone’s screen. The Note 9’s camera upgrade is on par with the one given to the S9 in March, adding enhanced colors and exposure. It also has a relocated fingerprint scanner on the back but not one built into the screen, something the company has said it’s developing.

          The Note 9, which comes in multiple hues including blue and purple in the U.S and black and copper internationally, sports an upgraded version of Samsung’s DeX system. This feature lets users connect their device to a computer display using a separate accessory, essentially turning the smartphone into a full-featured desktop with apps. The Note 9 is designed to encourage adoption of the feature by allowing users to connect the phone to a monitor via an HDMI cable, bypassing the need to buy a separate docking station.

          Read about how the smartphone slowdown hurt Samsung

          Cooling Thrill of the Chase

          Samsung gets further and further away from Apple in market capitalization

          Even in tough times, Samsung has a solid source of income it can lean on for investment: memory chips, an industry the world’s biggest chipmaker controls with SK Hynix and Micron. Samsung also supplies the organic light-emitting diode screens that go into premium devices such as the iPhone X.

          Solid cash reserves also helped the South Korean company set up the world’s biggest smartphone factory in India this year, a banner event that drew the leaders of the two countries along with Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee, Samsung’s de facto head.

          At the New York event on Thursday, Samsung also introduced a new Galaxy Watch that competes with a similar product from Apple. The redesigned smartwatch has a circular screen, is water-resistant, and can connect to LTE cellular networks, the company said. It has improved battery life over previous Samsung watch models, and will be compatible with a new charger that can simultaneously charge smartphones and the watch. 

          The gadget will feature revamped health software that works with the heart-rate sensor. It has new tracking functionality for workouts and auto-detection for when a person begins a run, for example. It also has sleep tracking, providing detail into both hours and quality of sleep. 

          Samsung also debuted a new product product category for its line, the Galaxy Home speaker. It enters a crowded market with Amazon.com Inc.’s Echo, Alphabet Inc.’s Google Home and the Apple HomePod. The new speaker has eight microphones and focuses on audio quality, Samsung said. The device has a mesh black design and a tripod-like stand. Samsung called the announcement a preview and said it would share more details in the near future.

          (A previous version of the story corrected the size of the Note 8’s screen)

          (Updates with analysts’ comment from the third paragraph.)

          Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/