October 2017

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Meet New Zealand’s New Prime Minister As Kiwi Tumbles

Labour leader, Jacinda Ardern, will be New Zealand’s next Prime Minister after winning the support of the New Zealand First Party to form a coalition government. Labour with NZ First and the Greens will have 63 of the 120 parliamentary seats versus the National Party with 56. At 37, Ardern joins a global wave (France, Austria) of young politicians being appointed to key leadership roles, and will be the country’s youngest Prime Minister and the third woman to hold the post. New Zealand’s Labour Party had not been in power for nine years, after three terms in power for the National Party.

Twenty-six days after the election, the leader of New Zealand First, Winston Peters, announced his party was backing Labour live in an eagerly -awaited television announcement.

“We had a choice to make, either with National or with Labour, for a modified status quo or for change, In our negotiations, both National and Labour were presented with an opportunity, work together, cooperate together for New Zealand. That’s why in the end we chose a coalition government of New Zealand First with the New Zealand Labour Party.”

Peters confirmed that he has been offered the role of Deputy Prime Minister with Foreign Affairs and Defence also going to NZ First. He stated that Ardern had shown “extraordinary talent in the campaign” and had taken the Labour Party from a “hopeless position to position where they’re in office and government today.”

Peters stated that “We believe capitalism must regain its human face” as he warned that his party believes an economic slowdown is coming soon. “Some will attempt when the looming changes come to heap the blame on us,” he said. He refrained from giving details on the policies agreed with Labour. However, given the scale of the property bubble, housing is a sensitive subject in New Zealand. Peters said he expects to see “fewer people coming here” which will help with the demand side, and “10,000 affordable homes a year” on the supply side (supporting Labour’s “Kiwibuild” policy).

Peters had not told Ardern before speaking on national television. From a Stuff.co.nz reporter “I’m up at Labour offices, and jubilant cheers are erupting from the Michael Joseph Savage room in Labour’s third floor parliament offices. They are delirious. There’s have been tears and hugging, seen through the window of the room. Labour is ecstatic.”

Arden’s ascent to Prime Minister has been meteoric. Having become an MP in the 2008 general election, she was elected leader of the Labour Party less than three months ago on 1 August 2017. Beginning her career as a researcher in the office of then NZ Prime Minister, Helen Clark, she also had a stint as a policy advisor to British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. In 2008, she was elected President of the International Union of Socialist Youth. Ardern has opposed to tax cuts for high earners (supported by the National Party), a robust welfare state and same-sex marriage.

The Kiwi fell sharply on news of Ardern’s victory, as Bloomberg noted: The local currency plunged on concern the new government’s policies, such as a potential cut in immigration, may curb economic growth. ‘In terms of political risks, we’ve gone from zero-out-of-10 to four-or-five-out-of-10,’ said Annette Beacher, head of Asia-Pacific research at TD Securities in Singapore. ‘Given that Peters is on the record for slashing immigration, reducing offshore ownership, changing the RBNZ’s mandate, until we get clarity on all of those policies, we’re going to have a lot of jitters and political and economic risk.’ Peters, who argued on the campaign trail that the New Zealand dollar has been persistently overvalued and is a long-term critic of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s inflation-targeting mandate, had proposed a system in which the central bank could directly control, and devalue, the currency. Labour has proposed a Fed-style dual mandate for the central bank of full employment and price stability.

Indeed, the local currency plunged as much as 1.6% amid concerns that policy changes may curb economic growth.

Score one for the tabloids: they were right…

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Seven dead in India firework factory blast

Thu, 2017-10-19 10:41

NEW DELHI: An explosion at an illegal firecracker factory in eastern India killed seven workers and injured nine others in the hours before Thursday’s Diwali festival, officials said.
Firework use hits a peak across India during the Hindu festival but New Delhi authorities have tried to restrict sales to tackle mounting pollution.
The explosion late Wednesday completely destroyed the makeshift structure after fire touched off the gunpowder and chemical stocks used to make the fireworks in Balasore district of Odisha state, said district magistrate Pramod Kumar Das.
He told AFP several of the injured workers are in a critical condition after the “huge” explosion.
Diwali, the festival of lights, is traditionally celebrated by lighting lamps but has metamorphosed into a grand show of fireworks, sparking pollution and controversy.
Explosions often occur in the thousands of illegal backyard and underground workshops that spring up during the festive season.
Last month, nine people were killed in neighboring Jharkhand state after their workshop was gutted by fire.
India’s firecracker industry, worth nearly one billion dollars a year, is the second largest in the world after China.
The country’s Supreme Court this month temporarily banned the sale of firecrackers in New Delhi because of the air pollution threat.
The ruling came after the capital last year suffered its worst air pollution in nearly two decades, which experts blamed on Diwali fireworks and stubble-burning in farming regions around the city.
Police have arrested more than two dozen people in New Delhi over the illegal sale of firecrackers since the October 9 court order and have seized more than one ton of firecrackers.

Main category: 
India’s top court bans firecracker sales before Diwali
Indian fireworks factory blast kills nine: police
India firecracker factory blast toll hits 25

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Sudanese banks still unable to accept foreign currency transfers

The banks in Sudan are still unable to accept foreign currency transfers two weeks after the decades-long US trade sanctions were supposed to be lifted, Altaghyeer.info reported on Wednesday. Citing informed sources, the online news site said that the banks in Khartoum are still facing complicated problems regarding foreign currency inflow. “We have not received money transfers from European countries and, mainly, the US yet,” explained the director of one of the large banks. He noted that there are problems connected to correspondents and mediators who are still afraid of “potential negative effects if they send transfers.” The director spoke on condition of anonymity. “Some of our customers with accounts in foreign currency came to the back and asked to […]

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How to Buy IOTA A Basic Beginners Guide

The post How to Buy IOTA &8211 A Basic Beginner&8217s Guide appeared first on 99 Bitcoins.nWhat Is Iota The name Iota comes directly from the Internet of Things IoT. In the coming decade, it is expected that there will be an excess of 50 billion Internet enabled devices. With that in mind, Iota offers a way to transfer micro-transactions between these devices. The goal with Iota is to allow these …n

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Litecoin Price Heads Back to $60 Thanks to Strong Gains

TheMerkle Litecoin Price GainsThe past few days have been filled with ups and downs for most major cryptocurrencies. Although some altcoins would prefer not to be correlated to Bitcoin, they can’t escape this inevitable fate these days. Slowly but surely, things are heading back in the right direction. Especially where the Litecoin price is concerned, as surpassing $60 again is only a matter of time right now. Litecoin Price Gets Back on Track Given some of the losses sustained by Litecoin and other altcoins these past few days, it is good to see more positive momentum again. At the same time, there are

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