Author: Desk Team

China growth slumps on virus lockdowns, real estate woes: poll
World

China growth slumps on virus lockdowns, real estate woes: poll

China growth slumps on virus lockdowns, real estate woes: poll The growth data will be closely watched as the Communist Party gears up for its 20th Congress when Xi Jinping is expected to be given another five-year term as China's president. BEIJING: China's economic expansion slumped in the second quarter to levels not seen since early 2020, an AFP poll of analysts found, owing to painful Covid lockdowns and lingering weakness in the real estate sector. Leaders of the world's second-biggest economy remain firmly wedded to a zero-Covid approach of stamping out clusters as they emerge, but the fallout has sapped growth and is pushing policymakers' annual target of around 5.5% out of reach. The slowdown comes after the country's biggest city Shanghai was sealed off for two months over a ...
Poll: Asian FX bear market firms, short bets rise on Thai baht
World

Poll: Asian FX bear market firms, short bets rise on Thai baht

Poll: Asian FX bear market firms, short bets rise on Thai baht Image: Reuters Bearish bets on nearly all Asian currencies firmed to new multi-year highs, as fears of an impending recession from rapidly rising interest rates to rein in sky-high inflation dampened sentiment, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday. Short positions on the Thai baht, the Philippine peso and the Singapore dollar were at their highest since 2018, when data was first available, according to a fortnightly poll of 13 respondents. Analysts on average have not held net long positions on any Asian currency since late April. Bearish bets on the baht firmed the most, with a worsening Covid-19 situation in China, which pursues a 'zero-COVID' strategy, stoking fears of a delay in return of Chinese tourists to Thailand. Pes...
Rights group seeks arrest of former Sri Lanka president Rajapaksa in Singapore
World

Rights group seeks arrest of former Sri Lanka president Rajapaksa in Singapore

Rights group seeks arrest of former Sri Lanka president Rajapaksa in Singapore FILE PHOTO: More than eight months before an economic crisis and mass protests prompted him to flee Sri Lanka, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa presented his national statement during the World Leaders' Summit at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain on Nov 1, 2021. (Reuters) COLOMBO: A rights group documenting alleged abuses in Sri Lanka has filed a criminal complaint with Singapore's attorney general, seeking the arrest of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for his role in the South Asian nation's decades-long civil war. The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) said Rajapaksa committed grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions during the civil war in 2009 when he was c...
Gambling with Thailand’s future
World

Gambling with Thailand’s future

Casino legalisation is back on the government's agenda after years of debate, and opinion is once again divided over its merits and drawbacks, write Post reporters A recent photo shows Kings Romans Casino by the Mekong River on the Thai-Lao border. Whether you support it or not, betting and gambling dens have been commonplace in much of Thailand for a long time, despite authorities' attempts to stamp it out. Thai people love playing cards and betting on sports, particularly football and cockfighting, although gambling is currently illegal here. Casinos in the border town of Poipet, Cambodia, are often staffed by Thai nationals and are always full of Thai patrons. The Thai government has been toying with the idea of making gambling legal in the country for the past two decades. The pla...
One year after Afghanistan, spy agencies pivot toward China
World

One year after Afghanistan, spy agencies pivot toward China

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a recent closed-door meeting with leaders of the agency’s counterterrorism center, the CIA’s No. 2 official made clear that fighting al-Qaida and other extremist groups would remain a priority — but that the agency’s money and resources would be increasingly shifted to focusing on China. One year after ending the war in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden and top national security officials speak less about counterterrorism and more about the political, economic and military threats posed by China as well as Russia. There’s been a quiet pivot within intelligence agencies, which are moving hundreds of officers to China-focused positions, including some who were previously working on terrorism. Intelligence officials stress that the counterterrorism fight is hardly being
BoT says growth might exceed 3% in second quarter
World

BoT says growth might exceed 3% in second quarter

BoT says growth might exceed 3% in second quarter Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput speaks during his first briefing on the economy and monetary policy after taking office on Oct 20, 2020. (Reuters photo) The Bank of Thailand believes Thai economic growth might increase past 3% in the second quarter, mainly thanks to a rebound in domestic consumption under the central bank's commitment to maintain flexible inflation targeting. Economic indicators signal the recovery is intact, supported by private consumption, said the central bank. The private consumption index in the first quarter this year expanded 2.9% year-on-year. The central bank forecasts the figure could surge to 9.9% year-on-year in the second quarter of 2022, said Bank of Thailand governor Sethaput Suthiw...
A richer, stronger China warns Pelosi not to visit Taiwan
World

A richer, stronger China warns Pelosi not to visit Taiwan

BEIJING (AP) — Beijing grumbled but swallowed its irritation in 1997 when then-Speaker Newt Gingrich of the U.S. House of Representatives visited Taiwan, the island democracy claimed by the mainland’s ruling Communist Party as its own territory. China had other priorities. President Jiang Zemin’s government was preparing to celebrate Hong Kong’s return and wanted to lock in Beijing’s emergence from diplomatic isolation after its 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. Gingrich, a booster of closer U.S.-Chinese ties, had just helped that campaign by meeting Jiang in Beijing. China avoided a disruptive clash with Washington. A quarter-century later, conditions have changed drastically. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s government is richer, more heavily armed and l
Ethnic minority woman wins India’s presidential election
World

Ethnic minority woman wins India’s presidential election

NEW DELHI (AP) — A woman who hails from a minority ethnic community was chosen Thursday as India’s new president, a largely ceremonial position. Droupadi Murmu, a leader from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, was elected by the Indian Parliament and state legislatures in voting held Monday, making her the first president from one of the country’s tribes and the second-ever woman to hold the position. She will be formally sworn in as the president on Monday. Murmu, 64, who hails from the eastern state of Odisha and was governor of Jharkhand state from 2015-2021, is a member of the Santal ethnic minority, one of India’s largest tribal groups. She started out as a school teacher before entering politics and has been a two-time lawmaker from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party. Murmu
Biden-Xi call set for Thursday amid Taiwan tensions: Report
World

Biden-Xi call set for Thursday amid Taiwan tensions: Report

WASHINGTON (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) - President Joe Biden will speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday (July 28) amid fresh tensions over Taiwan, according to people familiar with the matter. Earlier on Tuesday, the White House said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a likely topic during the call. White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters that managing economic competition between the two countries would also be a focus of the call. But tariffs are not likely to be discussed, he said. “I wouldn’t think it would be a major topic of discussion with President Xi unless or until he makes a decision,” Mr Kirby said of the tariffs. It will be the fifth call between the leaders, and comes as China has delivered heightened warnings to the Biden administratio
Death toll from pub inferno rises to 15
World

Death toll from pub inferno rises to 15

Mountain B owners, executives have yet to show responsibility, says victim's sister Relatives of dead victims in the Mountain B pub inferno arrive at the nightspot in Sattahip district, Chon Buri, on Saturday to hold religious rites for their loved ones. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong) CHON BURI: The death toll from a blaze that tore through a nightclub in Sattahip district rose to 15 on Saturday, as one more injured victim was pronounced dead. The number of injured people stood at 37. Thanakit Meenoi, 36, succumbed to his injuries at Rayong Hospital, said a source. His sister, Nittaya Meenoi, 30, said her brother had gone to the Mountain B pub with more than 10 friends to celebrate his birthday. He had reserved a table in front of the stage where a live band was playing, she said Than...