Police arrest anti-Putin protesters in the snow in Moscow
Police arrest anti-Putin protesters in the snow in Moscow
With President Joe Biden on the verge of his first big legislative victory, a key moderate Democrat says he's open to changing Senate rules that could allow for more party-line votes to push through other parts of the White House’s agenda such as voting rights. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin stressed Sunday that he wants to keep the procedural hurdle known as the filibuster, saying major legislation should always have significant input from the minority party. One example: the “talking filibuster,” which requires senators to slow a bill by holding the floor, but then grants an “up or down” simple majority vote if they give up.
(Bloomberg) -- In a battle between those who love or hate China’s economic growth target, a compromise appears to have emerged: a goal low enough to be more easily ignored.China’s leaders have an ambivalent relationship with the gross domestic product target they have set almost every year since the 1990s. It’s celebrated as the key to mobilizing millions of bureaucrats who compete for promotions by increasing growth rates in their provinces, and blamed for social evils from pollution to excessive investment and fake statistics.Uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic led Beijing to drop the numerical goal last year, and there were expectations party leaders would do the same for 2021. Instead, China’s Premier Li Keqiang on Friday set an objective of more than 6% growth, with annual targets likely until at least 2025.Growing awareness of environmental destruction caused by the single-minded pursuit of GDP -- a measure of the value of newly-produced goods and services in the economy -- led the central government to begin warning about over-reliance on the goal more than a decade ago.Regional officials had other ideas, competing to beat national targets by pursuing often-wasteful investment projects, due partly to a promotion assessment system that prioritized growth. The problem worsened after the global financial crisis as banks opened credit floodgates.Influential officials like Ma Jun, a member of the central bank’s monetary policy committee, have recently argued for permanently dropping the target, as part of Beijing’s drive to lower debt-levels in the economy. Investment banks such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Nomura Holdings Inc. predicted there wouldn’t be a target this year.But just days before Li’s speech at the National People’s Congress, there was pushback: well-connected economists declared that a specific target was needed as an “anchor” for the economy, with policy running the risk of becoming confused without it. Zhang Liqun, a researcher at a central government think-tank, told state media that “without a certain pace of expansion, the quality of the economy doesn’t have support.”Those in favor of dropping the target say other goals should be prioritized, like raising household incomes, investing in education and technology, cutting debt-levels or reducing carbon emissions.Even though it wasn’t abandoned, this year’s growth goal is the least ambitious in decades. Because of the pandemic-induced slump in the first half of 2020, China can easily meet it just by maintaining current levels of economic output. Meanwhile, economists in a Bloomberg survey forecast 8.4% expansion this year.The lower target will encourage officials to focus on longer-term goals to create more “sustainable growth,” Li said.“I think that’s a much better number than 8%,” Michael Pettis, a fellow at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center in Beijing, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “If they had gone for 8% that would have been a terrible signal. 6% is manageable with high quality growth. Anything else requires a significant increase in non-productive investment and, of course, in debt.”For the first time in decades, China’s five-year plan to 2025 lacks a target for average growth, but annual goals will be made. GDP is still a “core indicator,” but the annual economic situation is easier to judge than a five-year outlook, Hu Zucai, a deputy director of China’s top state planning agency said on Monday.Retaining the target partly reflects how difficult it is to find an alternative to assess the performance of the millions of local officials in China. Metrics combining economic and environmental goals have been tested locally but failed to catch on.“Gathering appropriate data can be difficult,” said Joan van Heijster, a researcher on China’s political economy at the University of Amsterdam. “This is a disadvantage of new indicators compared to the standardized and widely used GDP.”Jobs GoalThe alternative goal most often proposed, unemployment, is unreliably-measured in China and can be gamed by local officials by ordering state companies to add staff to payrolls without paying them.“Putting employment as the priority target is a problem from an operational perspective,” said Zhu Haibin, chief China economist at JPMorgan.If the GDP goal can’t be eliminated entirely, it can be de-emphasized. That’s been the trend since President Xi Jinping assumed the party leadership in 2012. The following year the Communist Party’s powerful Organization Department, which controls official promotions, cautioned against “simple reliance” on GDP growth for assessing officials. Mentions of GDP in the party’s official newspaper have since plummeted.Under Xi, top officials have been taken to task for their overzealousness. Zhou Benshun, the former Communist Party chief in the northern province of Hebei, made a televised admission of failings in 2013, saying: “I cared very much about development speed and economic volumes.” He was later detained on corruption charges.“In most areas it is no longer the sole target criteria for cadres’ evaluation but combined with other factors such as environment, social stability, local income, budget and tax income,” said Thomas Heberer, a professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen.The number of provinces that have repeatedly failed to meet national growth targets has surged during Xi’s tenure, with no apparent political consequences for their leadership, according to Houze Song, a research fellow at the Paulson Institute, a U.S. think-tank.What Bloomberg Economics Says...A GDP target is widely viewed as a major source of distortions in the economy, pushing officials to aim for growth even at the costs of excesses in credit and over reliance on investment.For 2021, with the post-Covid recovery already set to push growth above 8%, the “above 6%” goal won’t have that distorting role. Even so, critics will argue -- with some cause -- that the government has missed an opportunity to signal transition to a more modern form of economic management.-- Chang Shu, chief Asia economistFor the full report, click here.Provinces have also moderated their GDP goals, which used to be consistently much higher than the national target. That “shows that the association between GDP growth and cadre promotion had been relaxed, despite a clear time-lag,” said Yuxi Zhang, a researcher at Oxford University. That foreshadows the approach taken nationally this year, reducing the target to allow a focus on other goals, without being able to abandon it entirely.After decades of use, targeting a growth rate is partly “locked-in,” Zhang said. “Everyone hates it, but everyone understands it,” she added.(Updates with comments from China’s planning agency.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Social media has been largely sympathetic towards the couple following the American airing.
Earlier this month, Loren Hughes, a longtime resident of the U.S. Virgin Islands, noticed specks of an oily substance covering his home, as well as those owned by his neighbors. For Hughes, 46, it brought back memories of the last time St. Croix's long-idled refinery was operating, roughly a decade earlier. The refinery restarted last month, bringing back hundreds of jobs - but for nearby residents, they say it also brought difficulty breathing, headaches and watery eyes.
Facedrive Inc. ("Facedrive") (TSXV:FD), (OTC:FDVRF), a Canadian "people-and-planet first" tech ecosystem, announced today that key executives of the company have voluntarily agreed with the Company to extend the lock-up period of their shares ("Lockup Period").
Australian doctors urged to be patient and flexible in Covid vaccine rolloutAMA boss calls for understanding after GPs vent frustration over vaccine allocation A vial of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine used in last month’s first rollout of vaccinations at the Castle Hill Medical Centre in Sydney. Photograph: Steven Saphore/AFP/Getty Images
ExOne adds USC Solutions to sales network serving Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia - part of ExOne's aggressive growth strategy in Asia.
Infiniti dealers ranked #1 for responding to website customers reports Pied Piper PSI. Website digital retail tools become common on dealer websites.
Manchester United won the derby, Liverpool lost at home again, Rangers won the title in Scotland and England lost the fourth Test in India.
School for female shepherds aims to restore balance in Spain's countryside. As more women leave rural areas for cities, course forms part of drive to revive villages
Young men take up arms in northern Ethiopia as atrocities fuel insurgency . Anger over violence that UN says could amount to war crimes drives recruitment in Tigray
BlackHouse Media, an African company known for advising Heineken, Coca-Cola, Reckitt Benckiser, MTN, ViacomCBS, and Interswitch, as well as several local SMEs, says it is extending its services to London, Edinburgh, and elsewhere, to help its African clients understand and explore opportunities in the UK. It also wants to show organisations across Britain how to understand Africa better.
Masimo provides a variety of innovative monitoring solutions designed to improve maternal and newborn safety, including SET® pulse oximetry.
Everyone has something to say, and no one can agree
He said he feels “really let down” by the Prince of Wales and will always love him but “there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened”.
Japan's COVID-19 inoculation campaign is moving at a glacial pace, hampered by a lack of supply and a shortage of specialty syringes that underscore the enormous challenge it faces in its aim to vaccinate every adult by the year's end. At the current rate, it would take 126 years to vaccinate Japan's population of 126 million. By contrast, South Korea, which began its vaccinations a week later than Japan, had administered nearly seven times more shots as of Sunday.
Allen had already claimed 1-13 from his four tidy overs, helping restrict Sri Lanka to a modest 131-4 in the third match at the Coolidge Cricket Ground. Sri Lanka elected to bat but were reduced to 47-4 at the halfway stage of their innings, raising some doubt as to whether they could bat out their full quota of 20 overs. Dinesh Chandimal made 54 not out and Ashen Bandara remained unbeaten on 44 to help them to a competitive total on a slow track.
Meghan and Harry have discussed racism at the palace - with the Duchess suggesting there were “several conversations” about her son Archie’s skin tone before he was born. The couple, who are expecting their second child - a daughter - this summer, sat down for an interview with US chat host Oprah Winfrey. During a discussion about Archie, one, and his role in the royal family, Meghan told Oprah there had been “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he is born”.
(Bloomberg) -- Stocks linked to Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd., Singapore’s biggest conglomerate by market value, rallied after saying it will delist the group’s second-largest unit in a $5.5 billion buyout that aims to simplify its structure.Jardine Matheson, whose businesses range from automobiles and hotels to supermarkets, gained as much as 15% on Monday after it said in a filing that it will acquire shares that it doesn’t already own in Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd. for $33 in cash per share. Shares in the latter jumped as much 37%, the most on record. The stock was the top gainer in the MSCI Asia Pacific Index.The deal, coming in the wake of the global pandemic, marks a significant effort to untangle the structure of an almost two-centuries old company, one of Hong Kong’s last remaining British trading houses. The Jardine group, the inspiration for James Clavell’s novel Noble House, moved its Hong Kong listing to Singapore in the early 1990s, a few years before Britain returned the city to China.On completion, Jardine Matheson will become the single holding company for its subsidiaries, a move the group said will result in a “ conventional ownership structure and a further increase in the group’s operational efficiency and financial flexibility.” The deal is expected to become effective by the end of April.The origins of the current structure, in the form of cross-holdings in dual holding companies and majority interests in listed subsidiaries, lie in a series of restructuring in the 1980s, the company said.The group was founded in 1832 in Canton as a tea and opium trader. It eventually became one of the “hongs,” or trading houses, that shaped Hong Kong’s development. After moving its stock listing to Singapore, the group shifted focus toward Southeast Asia, where it now runs restaurants, hotels, and Mercedes-Benz dealerships.“Taking full ownership of Jardine Strategic is consistent with our policy of investing further in the growth prospects of our existing businesses,” Ben Keswick, executive chairman of the group said in the statement. The deal “also highlights the benefits of consistently maintaining the Group’s financial strength,” he added.Fair Price?While the deal is proposed to be executed at a 20% premium to Friday’s closing price of Jardine Strategic, it is still a 19% discount to the value of its listed assets, according to United First Partners, a company that specializes in advising on special situations in equity markets.“Shareholders can dissent for a fair price,” said United First Head of Asian Research Justin Tang. A simplification of corporate structure can also “create a virtuous cycle” and see some of the group’s other stocks rally, which will further raise the fair value of Jardine Strategic, he added.The group’s other units in the Straits Times Index also rose. Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd. rose as much as 2.3% and Hongkong Land Holdings Ltd. gained as much as 1.4%. Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd. rallied as much as 3.2%.Following the acquisition, Jardine Matheson will consolidate all of Jardine Strategic’s profits as a wholly-owned subsidiary. On a pro forma basis, this would have resulted in Jardine Matheson’s 2020 underlying net profit increasing by approximately $83 million, the company said in the statement.J.P. Morgan Securities Plc, Simon Robertson Associates LLP and Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. acted as the financial advisers to Jardine Matheson for the deal.(Updates with background details.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Harry admits he was ‘ashamed’ of talking about Meghan’s mental health struggles