Almost a decade after former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko lay dying in a London hospital bed, a British judge has concluded who poisoned him: two Russian men, acting at the behest of Russia's security services, probably with approval from President Vladimir Putin. That finding prompted sharp exchanges Thursday between London and Moscow, and a diplomatic dilemma for both countries.
France hopes that international sanctions imposed on Russia for its intervention in Ukraine will be lifted "this summer," French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday. The Minsk peace deal is a package of measures agreed by the leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia in the Belarusian capital. The accords, finalised in early 2015, effectively brought hostilities in Ukraine to an end after more than 9,000 people were killed in a civil war that broke out the previous April.
Art experts are examining a painting held in a private collection in St Petersburg they believe might be a second version of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. And leading Mona Lisa scholars say the similarities in colours, which are being examined using infra-red technology, hold the key to determining if the Russian painting is in fact another da Vinci.
India has been suffering from cash shortages since it banned high denomination currency notes in November
Since the ban was announced, many Indians have stood in long lines at banks to get money. And, banks are not giving customers the amount they demand as the banks run out of money faster than it is replaced.
The currency ban was a major step to curb corruption and wipe out illegal money. Has it helped?
Interestingly, even during the two previous episodes of demonetisation of high value notes over `100 in India, on 12 January 1946, and on 16 January 1978, the objective of the exercise was containing black marketing or black money. The cash shortage may have already affected the prices of perishable goods and services. Prices of vegetables in wholesale markets, according to newspaper reports, have fallen significantly.
Why has India’s Supreme Court ordered the country’s cricket board chief to resign?
India's Supreme Court has ordered the country's cricket board chief to resign for failing to implement reforms. The court on Monday told Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Anurag Thakur to quit. It had recommended sweeping changes in the BCCI following allegations of spot-fixing and betting in the 2013 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) tournament.
Since taking office back in May, President Michel Temer has led an administration riddled with bad news and corruption allegations. Even when the government gets a win, it is overshadowed by new corruption scandals. This time, the President himself is at the center of the accusations. Marcelo Odebrecht, the former CEO of Latin’s America’s largest construction company, has confirmed that Temer asked for “undeclared” funds.
Brazilians are getting their bumper stickers ready: Marina Silva 2018. The latest polls for the 2018 presidential election show the ex-Minister of Environment as the clear leader. The environmentalist would take office even in a face-off with Brazil’s beloved Lula, currently under criminal investigation.
The fact that impeached Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was named among the women of the year by the Financial Times certainly raises eyebrows, political analyst Nilson Melo told Sputnik Brazil. The Financial Times put her on par with such political figures as UK Prime Minister Theresa May and "former presidential candidate" Hillary Clinton, as well as "the world's best gymnast" Simone Biles.
Earlier this week, Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. Air Force should cancel its order with Boeing aircraft because the project's cost had spiralled. But Boeing executives said they are for more concerned about Trump's antagonism toward China on trade. Chinese state media have warned that any new tariffs imposed by Trump would lead to retaliation against Boeing, Apple iPhones and U.S. corn and soybeans.President Xi Jinping will become the first Chinese head of state to attend the World Economic Forum in Switzerland next month, a person familiar with the trip said, as the country seeks a larger role in shaping the global financial order.Xi was preparing to take part in the annual gathering of billionaires and political elites in the Alpine resort town of Davos, which is scheduled from Jan. 17-20.A senior Chinese officer has met Djibouti's military chief-of-staff in Beijing and thanked him for supporting China's construction of a military base in the Horn of Africa country, the second such high-level meeting in a month.In February, China began construction of a logistics base in strategically located Djibouti that will resupply naval vessels taking part in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions off the coasts of Yemen and Somalia in particular.LISTEN TO PODCAST
India has faced huge cash shortages after it scrapped a large part of its currency
A cash shortage triggered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to void 86 percent of currency in circulation and an accompanying surge in banking liquidity as Indians deposit their worthless bank notes threatens one of the world’s economic bright spots. Gross domestic product data released on Wednesday showed the economy grew less than estimated in the July-September quarter from a year earlier, piling pressure on the central bank to lower borrowing costs.
Measures to help stamp out corruption in India
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a dramatic move aimed at stamping out corruption and draining illicit cash from the country, on Tuesday (8 Nov) announced the abolition of all 1000 and 500 rupees bank notes from midnight Tuesday.
India has celebrated the 50th anniversary of a rice variety that apparently ushered in the green revolution
Crossbred from a tall variety in Indonesia and a dwarf variety in China, IR8 was the world’s first high-yielding rice and is credited with having prevented famines and sparking the Green Revolution in rice in Asia.
The average Russian has begun to think more favorably about the United States, with over half the participants in the latest polls saying they expect President-elect Donald Trump to further improve relations between the two nations.
Russia losing patience with Google over non-compliance with antitrust ruling.
Google will face another fine from Russia's Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) if it fails to comply with a regulatory instruction to stop abusing its market position and pay the original $6.8 million penalty for the violation.
Speaking during the South Africa-Russia Business Council in Pretoria on Thursday, the deputy director-general of trade and investment at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Pumla Ncapayi, said there was greater potential for trade gains with Russia, particularly in the identified sectors. Ncapayi said Russia was South Africa’s key strategic trading partner within the Integrated National Export Strategy.
US Elections have resulted in uncertainty: Brazil Central Bank
Brazil's Central Bank (BC) President Ilan Goldfajn said Monday (Nov. 21) that the outcome of the US presidential election, won by magnate Donald Trump, brought an element of uncertainty to markets, but reiterated that the institution has kept a close watch on the development of international markets and worked to prevent the effects of "external shocks" from threatening macroeconomic stability.
The Trump victory adds pressure to pass crucial reforms in Brazil and soon!
Donald Trump's U.S. election victory and the ensuing market volatility should encourage Brazilian policymakers to push ahead with ambitious economic reforms that help cushion the country from global turmoil, business executives and bankers said on Tuesday.
IMF outlook suggests Brazil is clawing its way out of recession slowly
While there are signs that the recession is nearing its end, Brazil’s economic prospects hinge on the new government’s ability to implement ambitious structural reforms to restore fiscal sustainability, the IMF said in its annual review on the state of the Brazilian economy. According to the report, Latin America’s largest economy has suffered its deepest recession in decades.
Brazil to Increase Culture Ministry Budget by 40 Percent
The Brazilian Ministry of Culture will have a 40% budgetary increase in 2017 – hardline government is appeasing some of the protesters. President of Brazil, Michel Temer, announced this week that his administration would be increasing the Ministry of Culture’s budget by more than forty percent. The ministry was the focus of one of the first ‘conflicts’ between Temer and the Brazilian population when the then interim leader announced it was nesting the ministry into the Ministry of Education.
China threatens to retaliate against Trump
China’s state-run newspaper, the Global Times, has taken issue with Trump pledge to rein in China with respect to trade in an effort to revive the Unites States’ manufacturing business. In an editorial, the paper openly criticized the President-elect, stating that his currency manipulation accusations could mean that “China's reputation will be affected, and the trade atmosphere between China and the US will become more tense.”
Retail sales of cars, sport utility and multipurpose vehicles increased 20 percent to 2.22 million units last month, according to the China Passenger Car Association. Deliveries rose 15 percent to 18.7 million units in the first 10 months.
Tencent has also gotten into on the action, having helped finance movies like “Warcraft” and “Kong: Skull Island." Now the company is getting ready to spend a good amount of money over the next two to continue to invest in those projects, according to a report from Bloomberg on Tuesday. In the next two years, Tencent will spend at least 2 billion yuan ($295 million) investing in Hollywood and Chinese films. That includes 1 billion yuan in 2016, and more than that in 2017.
The sickening air pollution that led the Indian capital to shut schools and construction sites this week has prompted similar measures in nearby cities. Officials in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh said Monday that they expect the acrid smog to blanket the state within days.
Top-ranked India will look to settle old scores by unleashing their spinners on a fragile-looking England when the first Test of a five-match series begins in Rajkot tomorrow. England were the last team to win a Test series on Indian soil when they came from behind to triumph 2-1 in 2012, but India are currently enjoying an impressive run.
Theresa May has dashed Indian hopes for a more liberal visa system for its nationals wanting to work in the UK by arguing that the current offer is generous enough. Speaking on the way to her first bilateral meeting in Delhi, the prime minister argued that Britain was already able to attract the “brightest and best” from outside the EU.
Russian parliament members have labelled a recent call to exclude Russia from the UN Human Rights Council mere speculation, adding that the move reminds them of the biased approach to terrorists in Russia’s North Caucasus territories. Over 80 NGOs call for Russia to be dropped from UN rights council over Syria.
Over half of Russians think that the outcome of the upcoming US presidential election is important for their country, and many expect US-Russian relations to worsen further if Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton is victorious in November. According to the latest survey conducted by state-run public opinion centre VTSIOM, 57 percent of Russian citizens think that the results of the looming US presidential elections will be important for their country, while 38 percent don’t think they will have any impact on relations between the two nations, either way.
The world's largest professional network LinkedIn could soon be blocked in Russia. The company has failed to comply with a law that obliges companies to keep data on Russian users in the country. Apart from not moving servers to Russia, LinkedIn collects and sends information about people who are not users of the network without their consent, according to the Russian internet watchdog Roskomnadzor.
According to the spokesman, Moscow’s Tagansky District Court has ruled in favor of the watchdog, but LinkedIn has appealed to a higher court. LinkedIn is the world's largest business and employment oriented social network. As of 2015, it had 400 million users with 5 million people registered in Russia.
Violent protest in Rio de Janeiro emerging, again
Riot police cracked down and fired tear gas on thousands of protesters in central Rio de Janeiro Monday night as marches flooded the streets to reject unelected President Michel Temer’s proposed 20-year freeze on public spending that critics argue will spell disaster in the cash-strapped country.
18 Prisoners were killed in Riots last week
At least 18 inmates died in clashes in two separate penitentiaries in Brazil's Amazon region and more than three dozen escaped after a third prison riot caused a large fire in a complex outside Sao Paulo, officials said Monday. Authorities were investigating a possible connection between the first two uprisings in the jungle states of Rondonia and Roraima, police said.
Eduardo Cunha has been arrested
The central figure behind the impeachment of former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has been arrested on corruption charges. The office of Judge Sergio Moro and police officials said on Wednesday that former Congressman Eduardo Cunha, accused of pocketing millions of dollars in bribes from contractors with the oil company Petrobras, has been arrested.