Sports News Updates

Japan's retail sales show strength in consumer spending

Monday, October 30 2017

Japan's retail sales show strength in consumer spending

TOKYO: Japan's retail sales rose in September at the fastest pace in three months as shoppers spent more on clothes and daily goods in a sign that consumer spending remains strong due to a tight labour market. The 2.2 percent annual increase in retail sales in September was less than the median estimate for a 2.5 percent annual increase and follows a revised 1.8 percent annual increase in August. Strong consumer spending makes it more likely that consumer prices will accelerate in the future, which supports the Bank of Japan's argument that it can afford to keep its monetary easing unchanged as inflationary pressure gradually builds up. "Consumption in July-September is likely to be a little bit weaker than the previous quarter, but the outlook remains healthy," said Shuji Tonouchi, senior market economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. "Consumer spending is still in moderate recovery. The labour market will support spending in the future." Spending on clothes rose 5.0 percent in September from a year ago, the fastest increase in three months, data from the trade ministry showed on Monday. Spending on daily goods like soap and shampoo rose an annual 1.2 percent, versus a 0.4 percent annual decline in the previous month. The BOJ is expected to signal that it will hold off on expanding stimulus for the time being at a policy meeting ending on Tuesday. The policy meeting comes after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's victory in a lower house election, which heightened expectations the BOJ's ultra-loose policy - a key pillar of his "Abenomics" stimulus policies - will continue. Core consumer prices rose 0.7 percent in September from a year ago, which is distant from the BOJ's 2 percent inflation target, although the central bank argues that consumer prices will eventually pick up because of the tight labour market and wage growth, albeit slow. SEARCH

Asia pivot helps HSBC post jump in Q3 pretax profit

Monday, October 30 2017

Asia pivot helps HSBC post jump in Q3 pretax profit

Asia pivot helps HSBC post jump in Q3 pretax profit Asia pivot helps HSBC post jump in Q3 pretax profit Source : Last 10:46 hrs HONG KONG: HSBC Holdings PLC posted a five-fold rise in its pretax profit for the third quarter, as the bank expanded its market share in its key businesses in Asia, and helped by a lower comparative base in the year-ago quarter. HSBC earlier this month chose veteran John Flint as its next chief executive, with its newly arrived chairman promoting an insider to drive revenue growth. Flint will take over as CEO in February next year. The bank's reported pretax profit was $4.6 billion in the September quarter, up from $843 million in the same period a year ago, HSBC said in a stock exchange filing. The profit was roughly in-line with analyst estimates of $4.7 billion. The year-ago profit was significantly impacted by a one-off loss of $1.7 billion from the sale of its Brazilian unit, and adverse foreign currency movements. HSBC has been able to grow its revenue again following a period of wider restructuring after the 2008 global financial crisis, that included scaling back its empire and shifting its focus eastwards. Reported pretax profit for Asia rose 10 percent during the quarter to $4 billion. "Our international network continued to deliver strong growth ... and our pivot to Asia is driving higher returns and lending growth, particularly in Hong Kong," HSBC Group Chief Executive Stuart Gulliver said in the statement. HSBC has been able to boost its capital buffer despite rolling out share buybacks, the latest of up to $2 billion in July, and sustaining dividends, showing it is ahead on its turnaround strategy that includes expanding in Asia. The bank makes more than half of its profits in Asia, and its regional pivot is centred around China's Pearl River Delta region with billions in investment commitments and plans to bolster its retail and wealth management business. HSBC's common equity tier 1 ratio - a measure of financial strength - was 14.6 percent at the end of September, slightly lower than 14.7 percent at end-June this year, but in-line with analyst expectations. The ratio is set to increase in the medium term, as the bank repatriates about $8 billion stuck at its U.S. subsidiary, following approval last year from the U.S. Federal Reserve.

As China's home prices cool, some property companies seek to reduce risks

Monday, October 30 2017

As China's home prices cool, some property companies seek to reduce risks

HONG KONG: As the froth comes off China’s home prices, there are increasing signs that some property developers, particularly those with a heavy debt load, are becoming less aggressive. They are reducing balance sheet leverage, buying land through joint ventures with other property companies to reduce risk, or diversifying into other businesses. Their concern is that they can no longer bank on paying ever richer prices for land if the value of the apartments they build on that land isn't also still surging. The risk is that if apartment prices drop the developers will be left with expensive unsold properties and suffer losses at a time when their debt levels are already dangerously high. A minority, such as Tianjin-based Sunac Holdings, are planning to reduce their land purchases and focus instead on selling more of the apartments they have already built. The nation’s sixth-largest real estate developer, based on sales, won’t grow as fast as before but it may be in a position to cut its debt ratio. "We have been developing too fast in the past," said Gao Xi, vice president at Sunac, which in July bought 91 percent of 13 tourism projects from conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group for $6.5 billion. "Our next step is to slow down the land bank and increase sales. We will unlock profitability and then the gearing will come down," Gao said at an earnings conference. The company aims to cut net gearing – total borrowings less cash divided by shareholders' equity - to 70 percent by the end of 2019 from 260 percent at the end of June. Evergrande, which has China's second biggest pile of corporate debt on its books behind energy giant CNPC Capital, said it aimed to cut the ratio to 70 percent by the end of the decade from 240 percent at the end of June. "China's property market has moved from a golden era to a stable one, so we need to transform," said Evergrande Vice Chairman and CEO Xia Haijun at an earnings conference. China's new home prices registered a second straight month of weak growth in September, with prices in the biggest markets slipping and gains in smaller cities slowing as government measures to cool a long property boom take hold. Over the last year, more than 45 major cities have imposed restrictive policies of varying severity to curb fast-rising prices, with some forced into several rounds of tightening measures. Investors have applauded the more conservative approach of Sunac and Evergrande, sending their share prices to record highs this month. Credit markets also gave a thumbs up. Evergrande's $4.7 billion bonds due 2025 which had been trading below offer price since their June issuance rallied to trade at a premium. The bond, carrying an 8.75 percent coupon, is trading at its highest level in price terms which has sent its yield to 8 percent. "We like the sector on expectations of high contracted sales after a phase of negative cashflows when they were in their growth phase," said Dhiraj Bajaj, fund manager at Lombard Odier’s asset management business. "Developers have been accumulating assets in the form of land banks and now it is time for these assets to bear fruit.” His fund has stepped up purchases of bonds issued by Sunac and Evergrande since their last earnings announcements. "This cycle is different as developers have taken advantage of the strong demand and are destocking," said Alexander Wolf, Standard Life Aberdeen senior emerging markets economist. The firm does not have any holdings in Sunac or Evergrande. Still, the more sober approach isn’t universal. S&P Global Ratings said in September the sector would see only a moderate improvement in financial leverage over the next 12 months and that any significant deleveraging was unlikely. "Whether the credit improvement is sustainable or not depends on the sales going forward, but some of the revenue will be offset by the strong appetite in land by developers," said S&P analyst Cindy Huang on a conference call. Property developers' leverage movement varies across the sector depending on their landbank positions, but some companies stand out due to their aggressive debt build up. This phenomenon is predominant among the smaller developers. Guorui Properties' net gearing ratio rose to 196 percent in mid-2017 from 156 percent at the end of 2016. Oceanwide's gearing ratio rose to 40.9 percent from 27.6 percent. Record land prices and fierce competition, especially in bigger cities, have pushed developers to join hands to bid for land so that they can afford a higher price and share the risks. Country Garden has raised the amount of its land bank purchased via joint ventures to 50% from 28%, according to CLSA estimates. "Growth is in their DNA. We will see more joint ventures as the battle for land banks becomes fierce. This will not only see smaller stakes for companies but will also make debt disappear from some balance sheets," said Macquarie's property analyst David Ng. "It helps balance sheets look a bit better." Other property companies are also making moves to improve their balance sheets with the result that the property sector index, which includes many of the major real estate stocks from mainland China and Hong Kong, recently hit levels not seen since December 2007. Some of the major property companies have been diversifying into other businesses to hedge their bets. Vanke, the country's second largest developer has been getting into logistics and education, Beijing-based Sino-Ocean Group into overseas ventures and investments and Sunac has acquired a smart TV manufacturer. Agile Group said it is now looking to its main business to be "supported by a diversified range of businesses" which now include environmental protection and hotel operations. SEARCH

Gold edges down on caution ahead of key cenbank meetings

Monday, October 30 2017

Gold edges down on caution ahead of key cenbank meetings

Gold edges down on caution ahead of key cenbank meetings Gold edges down on caution ahead of key cenbank meetings Source : Vijaykumar Vedala Last 10:26 hrs Gold inched lower on Monday as investors remained cautious ahead of policy meetings of three major central banks and the naming of the next U.S. Federal Reserve chair. The market is awaiting cues from the meetings of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and central banks of England and Japan. U.S President Donald Trump is also expected to announce the next head of the Federal Reserve, amid speculations that governor Jerome Powell could be the favoured candidate. Spot gold dipped 0.1 percent, to $1,271.50 per ounce at 0408 GMT. U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 0.1 percent, to $1,272.4. "The week is very data heavy, with many tier 1 central bank decisions, PMI's and other data culminating in Friday's non-farm payrolls," said Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst with OANDA. "With a dovish ECB and Bank of Canada followed by impressive U.S. GDP data last week, we would expect the dollar to remain on the front foot and gold to struggle," he added. Higher interest rates tend to boost the dollar and push bond yields up, putting pressure on gold prices by increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. "The developed economies are hinting at a more hawkish stance. For the rest of this week, market watchers will watch out for the rhetoric given by the FOMC, Bank of England and the Bank of Japan," OCBC analyst Barnabas Gan said. Meanwhile, Trump is leaning towards nominating Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell, from a short list of five candidates, to be the next head of the U.S. central bank, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday. "Powell is said to be the front-runner right now and is being viewed by the markets as coming from the dovish/(Janet) Yellen camp, so certainly his appointment could cool the rate and dollar rally heading into November," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note. The dollar index softened against a basket of currencies, while Asian shares climbed, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gaining 0.5 percent. Spot gold may bounce moderately to a resistance at $1,278 per ounce before falling again, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao. Among other precious metals, silver slipped 0.2 percent to $16.78 an ounce. Platinum was nearly unchanged at $914.10 an ounce, while palladium rose 0.4 percent to $969.20 an ounce. Get latest gold rates on the go with the Gold Rate Now App on your Android smartphone. Click here to download.

PRECIOUS-Gold edges down on caution over next Fed chair

Monday, October 30 2017

PRECIOUS-Gold edges down on caution over next Fed chair

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Gold slipped on Monday as investors remained cautious ahead of the naming of the next U.S. Federal Reserve chair and ahead of a two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, both this week. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold dipped 0.1 percent, to $1,271.70 per ounce at 0104 GMT. * U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 0.1 percent, to $1,273.0. * President Donald Trump is leaning towards nominating Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to be the next head of the U.S. central bank, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday. Trump will announce his choice for who will lead the Fed this week. * Trump's plan for overhauling the U.S. tax system faced growing opposition from interest groups on Sunday, as Republicans prepared to unveil sweeping legislation that could eliminate some of the most popular tax breaks to help pay for lower taxes. * The investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election will enter a new phase as early as Monday, when the first charges resulting from the probe could be unsealed and a target taken into custody. * The U.S. economy unexpectedly continued to grow at a brisk pace in the third quarter as an increase in inventory investment and a smaller trade deficit offset a hurricane-related slowdown in consumer spending and a decline in construction. * The dollar hovered near three-month highs against a currency basket on Monday, and Asian shares climbed, with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gaining 0.5 percent. * Hundreds of thousands of supporters of a unified Spain filled Barcelona's streets on Sunday in one of the biggest shows of force yet by the so-called silent majority that has watched as regional political leaders push for Catalan independence. * With euro zone growth accelerating, the European Central Bank should reduce emphasis on the support provided by fresh asset purchases as its large balance sheet and low rates now provide the bulk of stimulus, two policymakers said on Friday. * Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long positions in COMEX gold contracts for the sixth straight week, in the week to Oct 24, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday. * The physical gold market remained quiet in most Asian centres last week despite a drop in prices with India witnessing a lull in fresh purchases as key festival season demand cooled in the world's second biggest consumer. DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) 1000 Euro Zone Business Climate Oct (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonali Paul) SEARCH

U.S. regulator wants to loosen leash on Wells Fargo - sources

Monday, October 30 2017

U.S. regulator wants to loosen leash on Wells Fargo - sources

U.S. regulator wants to loosen leash on Wells Fargo - sources U.S. regulator wants to loosen leash on Wells Fargo - sources Source : Last Updated: Mon, Oct 30, 2017 10:40 hrs By Patrick Rucker WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A leading U.S. regulator wants to make it easier for Wells Fargo to pay employees when they leave, loosening a restriction in place since a phony accounts scandal hit the bank last year, according to people familiar with the matter. The initiative comes as President Donald Trump is trying to lighten rules on Wall Street and the bank regulator, Keith Noreika, acting Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), must weigh whether to vet new Wells Fargo executives. If Noreika's approach prevails, the OCC could go easier on Wells Fargo and any other large banks sanctioned in the future. Since Noreika took control of the OCC in May, he has advocated easing up on sanctions imposed on Wells Fargo in the wake of the scandal over abusive sales practices, according to current and former officials. Wells Fargo reached a $190 million settlement in September 2016 after admitting that its sales staff opened as many as 2.1 million accounts without customers' consent. Since then the estimate has climbed to as many as 3.5 million. As part of the deal with regulators, incoming Wells Fargo executives can face a vetting from the OCC while severance payouts must be cleared by the OCC and a sister agency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. But Noreika wants officials to work faster when they review severance pay and the agency can choose to waive its check on incoming executives. Wells Fargo declined comment on the reviews. Hundreds of Wells Fargo employees have had their severance payouts frozen when they left as regulators tried to determine what role those employees might have had in the scandal. Under one proposal floated by the OCC, departing employees would collect severance automatically if regulators could not finish their review within weeks, according to one current and two former officials who were not authorized to discuss an internal debate. Under another scenario, the OCC could push for payouts to a Wells Fargo employee without waiting for the FDIC to concur. The FDIC has the final say on severance and until now the decisions have always been made jointly. The FDIC has resisted hurrying its severance reviews, according to those familiar with the discussions. But the current FDIC chief, Martin Gruenberg, could be replaced within weeks by a President Trump nominee. If that happens and Noreika prevails, it could provide relief for Wells Fargo as it faces fresh scrutiny for wrongly charging customers for car insurance and mortgages. Noreika is expected to leave the OCC in coming weeks, but the matter could be settled by Joseph Otting, the former banker who is Trump's permanent pick for the OCC. Otting is expected to favor a similar, light touch approach to financial rules. PAYOUTS The "golden parachute" rule is meant to halt payouts to employees who played a role in a bank's problems, but Noreika has said too many innocent Wells Fargo employees are caught up in the reviews. In a June 5 letter to a former Wells Fargo employee made public by the OCC, Noreika said that he had personally called Gruenberg to expedite a payment. In the weeks after that letter was sent, sources said, the OCC has proposed speeding up the reviews, but the FDIC pushed back against setting "artificial" deadlines, according to one official. "The OCC has sought ways to make regulatory reviews more efficient (and) complete in weeks not months," OCC spokesman Bryan Hubbard said, while declining to discuss inter-agency deliberations. The FDIC defended the pace of its severance audits, which in some cases have taken months to finish. "When delays occur, it is generally because the applying institution provided incomplete or inconsistent information," said Barbara Hagenbaugh, spokeswoman for the FDIC. Severance payouts are simple to calculate for rank-and-file Wells Fargo employees who can get two weeks' pay for each year of work. It gets more complex for senior executives who get a mix of salary, bonuses, stocks and other perks. For example, James Strother, the bank's former chief counsel who retired this summer, was among senior Wells Fargo executives that had $32 million in payouts frozen in March. But Strother has yet to repay a $310,000 interest-free loan Wells Fargo granted him in 2001, a year before such insider loans were banned, according to securities filings and the bank. "Mr. Strother has informed us that he does plan on paying back the loan, as required and expected," said Diana Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo. Strother declined to comment. According to several former officials, the FDIC has authority to scrutinize such loans under their 'golden parachute' review, adding another layer of complexity to the process. (Editing by Carmel Crimmins and Tomasz Janowski)

Ola extends 'Auto-Connect WiFi' to its 3-wheeler service

Monday, October 30 2017

Ola extends 'Auto-Connect WiFi' to its 3-wheeler service

Ola extends 'Auto-Connect WiFi' to its 3-wheeler service Ola extends 'Auto-Connect WiFi' to its 3-wheeler service 10:29 hrs Bengaluru : Cab-hailing service Ola on Monday announced to extend its complimentary "Auto-Connect WiFi" service to its Ola autorickshaw facility across 73 cities in the country. Wi-Fi connectivity for existing Ola customers begins as soon as the trip starts. First-time users need to connect via "one-time authentication" key on their phones. "With 'Auto-Connect Wifi', we are reinventing the three-wheelers and enabling a connected experience for our customers," said Siddharth Agrawal, Senior Director and Category Head-Auto at Ola, in a statement. The company earlier claimed over 200TB of data was being consumed by users of Ola Prime monthly. As of now, an Ola user consumes 20MB data on an average. Ola earlier expanded the Wi-Fi offering to other categories including Mini, Lux and Micro. Launched in 2014, Ola has over 1,20,000 autorickshaws registered on its platform. The Ola app for auto driver partners is available in English and eight local languages. SEARCH

Japan Inc.'s safety failures point to deeper malaise

Monday, October 30 2017

Japan Inc.'s safety failures point to deeper malaise

TOKYO (Reuters) - A series of safety scandals at Japanese companies have put the country's lionized factory floor under scrutiny as manufacturers struggle with increased pressure on costs, stricter enforcement of standards and growing competition. With margins squeezed by a stagnant domestic market and rivalry from China and South Korea, many factories have cut costs, reducing their reliance on workers in lifetime employment in favour of labourers on temporary contracts. As they have done so, safety scandals have erupted across the country's much-vaunted manufacturing sector, with Subaru Corp on Friday joining Nissan Motor Co Ltd in admitting it failed to follow proper vehicle inspection procedures. Earlier this month, Japan's third-largest steelmaker, Kobe Steel Ltd, said its workers had tampered with product specifications for years, leaving companies around the world scrambling to verify the safety of cars, planes, trains and electrical goods. Unable to easily lay off "regular" employees, full-time employees with permanent contracts and pay scales based on seniority that formed the heart of Japan's post-war workforce, companies have increasingly come to rely on "non-regular" workers - temps, part-timers and short-term contract workers. These non-regular workers allow companies to cut costs and adjust their workforce, said Koji Morioka, emeritus professor at Kansai University and an expert on workplace issues. But it has led to a de-skilling of the factory floor, lowering standards and increasing the likelihood of wrongdoing and accidents, he said. "The use of these 'disposable' workers is greatly increasing," Morioka said. "The loss of experienced, skilled workers on the factory floor is becoming more and more risky." The share of non-regular workers in the labour force has risen from 20 percent in the early 1990s to a record 37.5 percent last year - with the proportion in some companies higher still. The pay gap is stark, with regular workers last year on average paid 321,700 yen ($2,830) monthly compared with 211,800 yen for contract workers. Companies are failing to produce the skilled workers needed to ensure standards are met in areas like safety at a time when scrutiny is intensifying around the world and lapses are met with greater criticism, said Parissa Haghirian, professor of Japanese management at Sophia University in Tokyo. "There is a real human resource problem," she said, with the traditional model of hiring workers straight out of school or university, teaching them on the job and rotating them between departments no longer functioning well. With the ratio of companies complaining of labour shortages at a 25-year high and with firms needing specialists but failing to produce them internally, competition for skilled workers is likely to become more fierce, Haghirian said. "I predict high performers will leave more quickly... leaving companies in trouble because these people traditionally would stay and drag everyone else along," she said. Japanese companies are not alone in being caught up in scandals, with European and U.S. companies caught cutting corners and manipulating results in areas like vehicle emissions tests to the sale of meat. But the Japanese firms face questions over whether they can adapt quickly enough. Some Japanese makers have taken the attitude that "because the factory floor is well run, quality control and inspection can be applied as an afterthought," said Tadashi Kunihiro, a lawyer who is a director and auditor on company boards. Companies, he said, were not placing their most skilled workers in quality control roles. While safety lapses have been going on at some companies for years or even decades, the decline of the lifetime employment system has likely sapped the loyalty of workers who are more likely to raise concerns themselves, Kunihiro added. Improving transparency at companies has been a key plank of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's corporate governance reforms through measures such as boosting the number of outside directors. But experts question whether such reforms can do much to prevent safety scandals occurring in the first place. "Even if there are more outside directors, if there is cheating on the factory floor there is no way they will be able find out," a senior executive in the aluminium industry said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "Even executives don't know what's happening on the factory floor," he said. Executives are guilty of becoming too detached from the operational side of the business, said Toshiyuki Shimegi, president of Porsche Japan. "There is a need for more micromanagement," he said on the sidelines of the Tokyo Motor Show. "They are missing the hands-on approach." (Reporting by Sam Nussey, additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick, Ritsuko Shimizu; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan) SEARCH

BUZZ-India's ICICI Bank reverses losses on asset quality optimism

Monday, October 30 2017

BUZZ-India's ICICI Bank reverses losses on asset quality optimism

BUZZ-India's ICICI Bank reverses losses on asset quality optimism BUZZ-India's ICICI Bank reverses losses on asset quality optimism Source : Last 10:20 hrs ** ICICI Bank Ltd's shares rise as much as 1.5 pct, reversing early losses of up to 2 pct ** Q2 profit fell more than expected to 20.58 bln rupees ($316.47 mln), but bad loans remained stable ** Jefferies upgrades stock to 'buy', citing "greater comfort" in bad loan additions going forward ** Goldman reiterates 'buy' on 'conviction list'; says India cenbank's audit of co's bad loans not completed but unlikely to result in a "major disappointment" ** Nomura expects gradual asset quality stability for ICICI Bank, retains 'buy' ** Out of 44 analysts covering the stock, 19 rate it 'strong buy' and 23 at 'buy' while the rest have a 'hold' or below ratings ($1 = 65.0300 Indian rupees) SEARCH

Xi Jinping tells herdsmen to 'set down roots' near Arunachal border

Monday, October 30 2017

Xi Jinping tells herdsmen to 'set down roots' near Arunachal border

Xi Jinping tells herdsmen to 'set down roots' near Arunachal border Xi Jinping tells herdsmen to 'set down roots' near Arunachal border Source : Last Updated: Mon, Oct 30, 2017 09:06 hrs Beijing : Chinese President Xi Jinping has told herdsmen in Tibet to "set down roots" near the Sino-India border and safeguard Chinese territory. In a reply to a letter by two girls from a family who wrote to Xi introducing their township in Lhunze county in Tibet, Xi told them to develop settlements and stay put in the area bordering India. Situated in southwest China's Tibet, Lhunzhe is close to India's Arunachal Pradesh, which Beijing claims as its own and calls South Tibet. He encouraged a herding family to set down roots in the border area, safeguard the Chinese territory and develop their hometown, according to a short dispatch from Xinhua news agency. Xi acknowledged the family's efforts to safeguard the territory and thanked them for the loyalty and contributions they have made in the border area, the report said. "Without peace in the territory, there will be no peaceful lives for the millions of families," Xi was quoted as saying by the news outlet. He hoped that the family would motivate more herders to set down roots in the border area and become guardians of the Chinese territory and constructors of a happy hometown. In August, Indian and Chinese armies ended an over-two-month military stand-off - worst in decades - in the Sikkim sector which abuts Tibet. During the face-off, China sent battle tanks and conducted military drills in the Tibetan plateau. India and China have a dragging boundary dispute over the 3,488 km de facto boundary. The two fought a brief but bloody war in 1962. After being re-elected the General Secretary of the Communist Party last week, Xi asked the Chinese Army to be combat-ready. In his inaugural speech at the meet, Xi said China was ready to settle its border dispute with neighbours but it cannot be expected to swallow everything which undermines its and integrity and sovereignty. SEARCH talking point on sify news Latest Features

Lack of toilets, water pumps complicating Rohingya crisis

Monday, October 30 2017

Lack of toilets, water pumps complicating Rohingya crisis

Dhaka, Oct 30 (IANS) The lack of toilets and well-maintained manual water pumps have complicated the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh, according to a UN report. The report released on Sunday said that 30 per cent of the 4,370 manual pumps installed are in poor condition and 36 per cent of the 24,773 latrines were about to overflow in southeastern Bangladesh where some 750,000 Rohingya refugees are currently residing after fleeing violence in Myanmar, reports Efe news. "There is continuous new influx of refugees resulting in increase in population at multiple sites which is overloading existing WASH facilities (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) due to heavy use," the Inter Sector Coordination Group said in the report. According to the UN, the number of Rohingya refugees who have fled the armed conflict in Myanmar to Bangladesh since Aug 25 has risen to 607,000 - 2,000 more than the data collected on Friday - 561,000 of which took refuge in camps and another 46,000 in host communities. The new influx of Rohingya refugees brought the number of the Muslim minority ethnic group that sought refuge in Bangladesh to about 819,000. The goal of WASH services is to reach out to 750,000 refugees that live with poor water sanitation and hygiene, although the UN admitted that their humanitarian services have reached only 530,000, adding that the situation is worrisome due to overpopulation, poor infrastructure and shallow aquifers. Abu Naim Md Shafiullah Talukder of the WASH Department of the UN Inter Sector Coordination Group told Efe news that the manual water pumps work poorly due to excessive use. Regarding the latrines, Talukder said that it is normal that they are about to overflow since many people are using them, but warned that this could force the refugees to defecate in open air, deteriorating the overall hygienic conditions in the camps. The conflict in Myanmar began when a Rohingya insurgent group carried out a coordinated attack on various police and military posts, sparking a violent response from the Myanmar military. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has labelled the military campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority group in Myanmar as ethnic cleansing. --IANS

Spain warns sacked Catalan President of imprisonment

Monday, October 30 2017

Spain warns sacked Catalan President of imprisonment

[Spain], Oct 30 (ANI): The Spanish government has warned to jail sacked Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, within two months, for his role in the Catalonia's unilateral declaration of independence. The warning came after thousands took to the streets of Barcelona on Sunday under the Spanish flag for a unity rally after Catalan MPs vote for independence two days ago, reports the Guardian. In the aftermath of the independence vote, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy deposed Catalan presiden and the Parliament to impose direct ruler over it and called for a new regional election on December 21. According to the report, Spanish prosecutors on Friday said that they would file charges of rebellion against Puigdemont, a crime punishable with up to 30 years in prison. The Catalan Government had said that it earned the right to split from Spain, claiming 90 percent of those who voted in referendum were in favour of independence. Before Madrid's imposition of direct rule over it, Catalonia enjoyed wide autonomy, including control over its own policing, education and healthcare. Catalan nationalists have always argued that the region is a separate nation with its own history, culture and language, and that it should have increased fiscal independence. (ANI) SEARCH talking point on sify news Latest Features