Finance (International)

Taliban meet with western officials

Norway is hosting talks between Taliban representatives and western officials in Oslo this week for the first talks in Europe since the group took control of Afghanistan. Human rights and the escalating humanitarian crisis are key issues. [node:read-more:link]

Airbus cancels Qatari contract

Airbus Industries has escalated a legal fight with Qatar Airways by cancelling a $6-billion contract to supply 50 new A321neo passenger jets. The company was sued for US$618 million plus a daily penalty of $4 million in a British court last month, claiming that there is a safety issue with paint problems on 21 of 53 of the carrier’s A350s. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency found no safety concerns and Airbus says [node:read-more:link]

Former minister challenges government

Former Conservative cabinet minister Peter Mackay says the federal government’s handling of a Chinese company’s takeover of a British-based lithium-mining company with a property in Argentina has been “absurd.” He says that in deciding the Neo Lithium takeover was not a national security issue for Canada, “we are allowing China to capture an even greater presence over resources critical to the green transition.” [node:read-more:link]

No security concerns about takeover

The Chinese takeover of a lithium-mining company raised no national security issues for the federal government, says Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s parliamentary secretary, Andy Fillmore. He told a parliamentary committe that an industry department review last fall concluded that Neo Lithium is a British-based company with a mining lease in Argentina and only three “paper” Canadian employees so that it could list on the Toronto Stock Exchange to get financing. [node:read-more:link]

Taliban step up push for recognition

Afghanistan’s acting prime minister, Mullah Hasan Akhund, wants foreign governments, particularly those of other Islamic countries, to officially recognise the Taliban administration. His first major public appearance since assuming office last September, it included appeals by other Taliban for less foreign restrictions on Afghanistan’s finances. [node:read-more:link]

Global employment stalled by pandemic

The International Labour Organization, a UN agency headquartered in Geneva, said today that global employment cannot recover to pre-pandemic levels until at least next year. In its latest annual outlook, it expects a shortfall of full-time equivalent jobs at some 52 million and that hours worked would be two per cent below pre-pandemic levels. [node:read-more:link]

Economic system “deeply flawed”

The global British-based charity Oxfam reported today that the coronavirus pandemic has made the world's wealthiest far richer while landing more people living in poverty and contributing to the death of 21,000 people daily. “What's happening is off the scale,” said Oxfam GB chief executive Danny Sriskandarajah. “Something is deeply flawed with our economic system.” [node:read-more:link]

North Korean hacking increasingly lucrative

Digital assets worth some $400 million were stolen in at least seven North Korean hacks last year, says New York-based Chainalysis Inc. Calling 2021 one of the most successful years on record, the software company said “the value extracted . . . grew by 40 per cent” from 2020 when four hacks were recorded. [node:read-more:link]

Sanctions urged by Ukraine leader

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was told by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Jan. 11 that the west must be ready to impose further economic sanctions against Russia for its military buildup on his country's eastern border. The message was delivered during a telephone call on the eve of today’s NATO-Russia meeting in Brussels. [node:read-more:link]

“Grim outlook” for global economy

The World Bank’s latest forecast is for global growth to slow to 4.1 per cent this year from 5.5 in 2021 due to ongoing coronavirus threats, unwinding government support programs and fading demand. Bank President David Malpass said Jan. 11 that as the coronavirus pandemic continues to weigh on growth, especially in poor countries, the outlook is “grim.” [node:read-more:link]

Hackers interrupt Flight PS752 briefing

An online legal briefing for relatives of victims of Ukrainian Airlines PS752 was interrupted this week by hackers playing loud music and showing violent images. The briefing followed an Ontario court ruling that the families of six victims of Iran’s shootdown of the airliner two years ago were entitled to $107 million. The hack began shortly after one lawyer said that “if anybody from the Islamic Republic of Iran is on this call . . . we're coming after your assets.” [node:read-more:link]

Trade ruling favours U.S.

Canada has lost its first dispute under the new North American trade agreement as a tribunal agreed with a U.S. complaint that Canada broke a promise to allow slightly more dairy imports by imposing complicated rules. The U.S. says Canada now has several weeks to comply with the ruling but “the end goal is not to put retaliatory tariffs in place.” [node:read-more:link]

Emissions-free technology still feared

Nuclear reactors are seen as a key factor in the global effort to combat global warming by curbing greenhouse gas emissions but memories of reactor accidents in Japan, Ukraine and he U.S. continue to fuel skepticism and fear. Coupled with upfront capital costs and the advent of wind and solar power sources, which also have critics, are deterring potential investment. [node:read-more:link]

An olive branch from the Taliban?

Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers say they are committed in principle to education and jobs for girls and women and want “mercy and compassion” from former foes. Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said Dec. 11 that his government wants good relations with all countries, has no issues with the U.S., and wants the West to released billions of dollars in frozen funds. He also said “sanctions against Afghanistan would . . . not have any benefit.” [node:read-more:link]

New sanctions against Belarus

Working with the U.S., Britain and the European Union, Canada imposed new sanctions today on Belarusian officials over human rights violations, saying President Alexander Lukashenko’s government “must answer for its acts, which affect those both inside and outside its borders.” Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said “we will not allow the Lukashenko regime to continue to violate its international obligations with impunity.” [node:read-more:link]


Subscribe to RSS - Finance (International)