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ICA pact drafted in record time: Sunil Mehta

News In Brief

 

    Security forces search for militants in Kulgam

    Srinagar: A day after they killed three militants, security forces on Monday resumed a cordon and search operation in Khudwani area in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district. 

    Police said following specific information about the presence of militants, troops of Rashtriya Rifles, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and police started the operation in Wani Mohalla. "Searches are in progress," a police officer said. Three militants, including a Pakistani national, were killed by security forces in the area on Sunday.

    (IANS) 

    Iran says Pompeo's remarks interference in state matters: Tasnim

    Ankara: Iran said on Monday U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech against Iran’s clerical rulers was an interference in its affairs, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported. 

    “Pompeo’s speech on Sunday was a clear interference in Iran’s state matters...such policies will unite Iranians who will overcome plots against their country,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said. Pompeo on Sunday denounced Iran’s leaders as a “mafia” and promised unspecified backing for Iranians unhappy with their government.

    (Reuters)

    Kurdish security killed last gunman in Erbil governorate, ending operation: Security officials

    Baghdad: Kurdish security forces have killed the remaining gunman who attacked the governorate building in the Kurdish city of Erbil, thereby ending the siege, said Kurdish security officials. 

    Local TV channel Rudaw showed blood smears in the hallways of the building and shrapnel marks on walls. Security forces walked through the building. Media representatives were allowed to go inside.

    (Reuters)

    Most Turks well integrated in Germany, government says after Ozil's racism comments

    Berlin: The majority of the roughly 3 million people with Turkish roots who live in Germany are well integrated, a spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, after German soccer star Mesut Ozil quit the national team citing racism. 

    Merkel’s spokeswoman stressed that people with migrant backgrounds were welcome in Germany and added that the German chancellor valued Ozil. The spokeswoman, who described Ozil as a great soccer player who had done a lot for the national team, said Merkel respected Ozil’s decision to quit.

    (Reuters)

    Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen in West Bank raid: Medics

    Jerusalem: Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian teenager during a raid in the occupied West Bank on Monday, the Palestinian health ministry said. 

    The Israeli military said its forces responded with live fire in Dheishe refugee camp, near Bethlehem, after Palestinians attacked them with rocks, fire-bombs and grenades. The military statement made no mention of any casualties among the troops. The Palestinian health minister said the dead youth was 15 years old and suffered a chest wound. The Israeli military said that during the raid it detained two Palestinians suspected of attacks and uncovered a weapons manufacturing warehouse.

    (Reuters)

    Spices rule steady in muted trade

    Mumbai: Overall spices ruled steady in an otherwise muted spices market here today in the absence of any worthwhile buying activities.     

    Copra rajapur Mumbai and copra edible Mumbai closed today on account of 'Aashadhi Ekadashi". Following are today's closing rates (in Rs with previous rates in brackets):  Black pepper (per kg) 360/410 (360/410), ginger unbleached (per kg) 165 (165), copra office Alappuzha (per quintal) 12,200 (12,200), copra office Kozhikode (per quintal) 12,000 (12,000), copra Rajapur Mumbai (per quintal) closed (19,500), copra edible Mumbai (per quintal) closed (15,100).

    (PTI) 

    Fiat Chrysler's head of Europe business steps down: Source

    Milan: The head of Fiat Chrysler’s (FCHA.MI) Europe, Middle East and Africa business Alfredo Altavilla has stepped down, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Monday. 

    Altavilla, along with Jeep brand head Mike Manley and CFO Richard Palmer, was among the top candidates to succeed FCA’s longtime CEO Sergio Marchionne when he stepped down next year. But after Marchionne fell seriously ill due to complications following surgery, the company accelerated the succession plans and on Saturday appointed Manley to succeed Marchionne.

    (Reuters)

    Slovenian president nominates no candidate for prime minister

    Ljubljana: Slovenian President Borut Pahor told parliament on Monday he would nominate no candidate for prime minister as no party enjoys majority support in parliament. 

    Slovenia held a national election on June 3, won by the anti-immigrant Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS). It lacks potential coalition partners to form a government. Under Slovenian legislation, lawmakers will be able to nominate candidates for prime minister in the coming weeks.

    (Reuters)

    Russia's central bank to raise provisions on bank forex deposits

    Moscow: Russia’s central bank will increase mandatory provisions requirements on retail foreign currency deposits to 7 from 6 percent from August 1, it said on Monday. 

    It will raise provisions on corporate forex deposits to 8 from 7 percent while requirements on rouble deposits remain unchanged. The central bank is gradually tightening requirements on banks’ forex operations trying to limit forex exposure in the economy after 2014 Western sanctions and a fall in oil prices triggered a fall in the rouble.

    (Reuters)

    Russia's Novak, Iran's Zanganeh discuss energy cooperation

    Moscow: Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak met Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh in Moscow on Monday and discussed energy cooperation between the two countries and through OPEC, Russia’s Energy Ministry said.

    The two ministers also discussed the possibility of Russian oil companies taking part in projects in Iran, the ministry said in a statement.

    (Reuters) 

    Philippines' Duterte to pursue 'relentless and chilling' war on drugs

    Manila: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte vowed during his annual State of the Nation address on Monday to pursue his war on drugs, saying it would be as “relentless and chilling” as before. 

    Police have killed more than 4,500 suspected drugs dealers and users since Duterte came to power, with several thousand more murdered by unknown gunmen whom authorities have described as vigilantes or rival gang members. Police have denied allegations by rights groups and critics of the campaign that some of the killings were summary executions, saying they had to use force when armed suspects had violently resisted arrest.

    (Reuters)

    Damascus criticises White Helmet evacuation as 'criminal operation'

    Beirut: The Syrian government on Monday condemned the evacuation of hundreds of Syrian White Helmet rescue workers who fled the country with help from Israel into Jordan, calling it a “criminal operation” undertaken by “Israel and its tools”.

    The rescue workers and their families crossed out of Syria into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights before arriving in Jordan. Israel said it had helped with the evacuation at the request of U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders - and there had been fears that the workers’ lives were at risk. The Syrian government has accused the White Helmets, also known as the Syrian Civil Defence, of being agents of foreign enemies and working with insurgents fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

    (Reuters)

    EU's Juncker will not bring offer to Trump trade talks: Commission

    Brussels: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will not arrive in the United States for talks with U.S. President Donald Trump with a specific trade offer, the Commission said on Monday. 

    Juncker will travel to Washington on Wednesday for talks focused on trade tensions between the European Union and the United States. “I do not wish to enter into a discussion about mandates, offers because there are no offers. This is a discussion, it is a dialogue and it is an opportunity to talk and to stay engaged in dialogue,” Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a news conference.

    (Reuters)

    China eyes more active fiscal policy, short of strong stimulus: State media

    Beijing: China will engage in more active fiscal policy but will not resort to a strong policy stimulus for its economy, state radio said on Monday, citing the state council or cabinet. 

    At a meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang, the council said it would keep macro policies steady, while holding monetary policy neither too tight nor too lose, it added.

    (Reuters)

    Toymaker Hasbro's quarterly revenue tops estimates

    Toymaker Hasbro Inc topped Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue on Monday, as the company managed to move past the liquidation of retailer Toys ‘R’ Us.

    Net earnings fell to $60.3 million, or 48 cents per share, in the second quarter ended July 1, from $67.7 million, or 53 cents per share, a year earlier. The company’s revenue fell 7 percent to $904.5 million, beating analysts’ estimate of $833.1 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

    (Reuters)

    Brit Ltd appoints senior kidnap and ransom underwriter

    Specialty insurer Brit Ltd, a unit of Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, named Stephen Quinton to the role of class underwriter, kidnap and ransom (K&R), effective Sept. 3. 

    Prior to joining Brit, Quinton worked at Travelers Syndicate Management as head of accident & special risks. Quinton will report to Andrew Bowers, divisional director of accident & health.

    (Reuters)

    KPMG appoints director to asset management tax team

    Professional services firm KPMG UK said it appointed Jorge Morley-Smith as a director to its asset management tax team as of June 2018. 

    Prior to KPMG Morley-Smith worked as head of tax at the Investment Association.

    (Reuters)

    KPMG names Mary O'Connor chief risk officer

    Professional services firm KPMG UK said it named Mary O’Connor to the role of chief risk officer. Prior to KPMG, O’Connor worked at Willis Towers Watson, where she led client and business development and the global financial institutions industry group. 

    O’Connor will be a member of KPMG’s executive committee and the UK Board, and will oversee the company’s risk management framework.

    (Reuters)

    PwC appoints financial services risk and regulation practice leader

    Audit and advisory firm PwC UK names Sarah Isted as the new leader of its financial services risk and regulation (FSRR) practice. 

    Isted, who has been with PwC for 22 years, previously was head of people for the company’s UK Assurance practice.

    (Reuters)

    Germany welcomes talks with US on trade despite differences

    Berlin: It is good that the United States and Europe are maintaining dialogue despite their differences, a German government spokeswoman said on Monday ahead of a meeting of U.S.

    President Donald Trump with the president of the European Commission. Citing national security grounds, Washington imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico on June 1, and Trump is threatening to extend them to EU cars and car parts.

    (Reuters)

    Hindustan Zinc first-quarter profit rises 1.5 percent

    India’s Hindustan Zinc Ltd, a unit of Vedanta Ltd, posted a 1.5 percent rise in first-quarter net profit on Monday, helped by higher sales. 

    Net profit was 19.18 billion rupees ($278.69 million)in the quarter ended June 30, compared with 18.89 billion rupees a year earlier, the miner said in a statement here. Total income rose about 6 percent to 53.10 billion rupees, while revenue from its biggest segment, zinc, climbed 11 percent to 38.14 billion rupees. Shares of Hindustan Zinc closed 1.8 percent higher while the broader NSE index gained 0.7 percent.

    (Reuters)

    German regulator approves expanded ProSieben-Discovery streaming venture

    Frankfurt: Germany’s anti-trust regulator said on Monday it had given its blessing for broadcasters ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE and Discovery Inc to expand the joint video streaming platform they set up last year. 

    The expanded 7TV venture will include content from ProSieben’s Maxdome platform and Discovery’s Eurosport Player. The duo say they are open to new partners joining to meet the challenge of U.S. streaming giants like Netflix.

    (Reuters) 

    Erbil governor says one worker killed in suspected Islamic State attack

    Baghdad: One person was killed on Monday in an attack by suspected Islamic State militants on the governorate building in the Kurdish city of Erbil in northern Iraq, the governor said. 

    “Unfortunately one worker was killed in the operation,” said the governor, Nawzad Hadi.

    (Reuters)

    Sale and manufacture of non-compliant BS VI vehicles will not be allowed from April 1, 2020

    New Delhi: Sale and manufacture of non-compliant BS VI vehicles will not be allowed from April 1, 2020, Centre tells SC.

    (PTI)

    FBIL sets rupee reference rate at 68.7040 against dollar

    Mumbai: The Financial Benchmarks india private limited (FBIL) today fixed the reference rate of the rupee at 68.7040 against the US dollar and 80.5619 for the euro.

    The corresponding rates were 68.8458 and 80.3114 as on Jul 20. According to an FBIL statement, the exchange rates for the pound and the yen against the rupee were 90.2766 and 61.93 per 100 yens, respectively, based on reference rates for the dollar and cross-currency quotes at noon. The SDR-rupee figure will be based on this rate, the statement added.

    (PTI) 

    Truckers' indefinite strike enters another day

    New Delhi: Freight rates were not available as truck transporters' have been on indefinite strike since July 20.

    All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) started a nationwide indefinite strike on July 20, and their demands included a reduction in central and state taxes by getting diesel under the GST so that price of the deregulated commodity can be reduced.

    (PTI) 

    Iran says Pompeo's remarks interference in state matters: Tasnim

    Ankara: Iran said on Monday U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech against Iran’s clerical rulers was an interference in its affairs, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported. 

    “Pompeo’s speech on Sunday was a clear interference in Iran’s state matters...such policies will unite Iranians who will overcome plots against their country,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said.  Pompeo on Sunday denounced Iran’s leaders as a “mafia” and promised unspecified backing for Iranians unhappy with their government.

    (Reuters) 

    Another gunman carries out suicide bombing in Erbil governorate: Security forces

    ERBIL, Iraq: Another one of the gunmen who shot their way into the governorate building in Erbil, capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, carried out a suicide bombing on Monday, Kurdish security forces at the scene said. 

    The officials said several hostages remain inside the building, where the gunmen seized control of the third floor.

    (Reuters) 

    Gunmen in Erbil attack believed to be Islamic State: Kurdish officials

    Erbil, Iraq: Kurdish security officials said the gunmen holed up in the governorate building in Erbil on Monday were believed to be members of Islamic State. 

    Security forces killed two gunmen on Monday who shot their way into the building in the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in north Iraq. But other assailants were still holding some hostages and one had set off a suicide bomb, the officials said.

     (Reuters) 

    China says threats, intimidation on trade will never work

    Beijing: Threats and intimidation on trade will never work on China, its foreign ministry said on Monday, after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was ready to impose tariffs on all $500 billion of imported goods from the country.

    China also has no need to use competitive devaluation of its currency to aid its exports, Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the foreign ministry, told a daily news briefing. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week the United States was monitoring the recent weakness in China’s yuan currency and would review whether it had been manipulated.

    (Reuters)

    Kurds kill two gunmen inside Erbil governorate, others remain with hostages: Sources

    Baghdad: Kurdish security forces killed two gunmen on Monday who shot their way into the governorate building in the city of Erbil in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in north Iraq, but other assailants were still holding some hostages, security officials said.

    Two hostages were rescued. One of them was critically wounded, the officials said.

    (Reuters)

    Snipers fire at gunmen inside Erbil governorate: Security sources

    Erbil: Kurdish security force snipers fired on Monday at gunmen who shot their way into the governorate of Erbil, capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in the north, and took over the building’s third floor, security officials said.

    It was not clear how many gunmen were inside. Earlier, security officials said one of them carried out a suicide bombing. More reinforcements and armoured vehicles were deployed around the building in a commercial district. There was no immediate word on casualties.

    (Reuters)

    Suicide bombing inside Erbil governorate: security sources

    Erbil: One of the gunmen who entered the governorate building in Erbil, the seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq, on Monday carried out a suicide bombing, a witness and Kurdish security sources said.

    There was no immediate word on casualties. Two policemen were wounded as the attack unfolded.

    (Reuters)

     

    Iran will resist Trump's 'psychological warfare': senior Guards commander to ISNA

    Ankara: Overnight threats by President Donald Trump against Iran amount to “psychological warfare”, and Tehran will continue to resists its enemies, a senior commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying on Monday.

    “We will never abandon our revolutionary beliefs ... we will resist pressure from enemies... America wants nothing less than (to) destroy Iran ... (but) Trump cannot do a damn thing against Iran,” Iranian Students News Agency ISNA reported Gholamhossein Gheybparvar as saying. Trump told President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday to stop threatening the United States or face the consequences, hours after Rouhani told Trump that hostile policies toward Tehran could lead to “the mother of all wars.”

    (Reuters)

    Union workers begin 24-hour strike on Total's North Sea oil platforms

    London: Britain’s largest labour union Unite said that around 40 rig workers started a 24-hour strike at 0500 GMT on Monday on the Alwyn, Elgin and Dunbar oil and gas platforms in the British North Sea.

    The strike came after the union and Total, which operates the platforms, failed to agree over work shifts and pay, a union spokesman said.

    (Reuters)

    SC allows Karti Chidambaram to visit UK, France and US

    New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday allowed Karti Chidambaram to visit United Kingdom, France and United States from July 23 to 31.

    (PTI)

    Israeli air defense sirens sound near Syria and Lebanon borders

    Jerusalem: Israel’s military sounded air defense sirens in northern regions near the Syrian and Lebanese borders on Monday, witnesses said.

    An Israeli television station aired footage of what appeared to be an aerial interception. The report could not immediately be confirmed.

    (Reuters) 

    Aircel-Maxis case: P Chidambaram moves Delhi court seeking anticipatory bail

    New Delhi: Former Union minister P Chidambaram on Monday moved Delhi court seeking anticipatory bail in Aircel-Maxis case filed by CBI.

    (PTI)

    Gunmen open fire and enter Erbil governorate building in Iraq's Kurdish region - officials

    Erbil: Gunmen opened fire and entered the governorate building in the city of Erbil, the seat of the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq, said a deputy governor of the city and a Kurdish security official.

    “At around 7:45 am two gunmen approached the entrance of the governorate and opened fire at the guards. They managed to enter and now they are on the third floor,” said the deputy governor, Tahir Abdullah. “Security forces have surrounded the building and entered the ground floor, preparing to attack the assailants.”

    (Reuters)

    Japan heat wave pushes temperature to record high 41.1 degrees

    Tokyo: An intense heat wave in Japan pushed temperatures to 41.1 Celsius (106 Fahrenheit) on Monday in a city northwest of Tokyo, marking a record high for the country, the weather agency said. 

    The high temperature was recorded in the city of Kumagaya, in Saitama prefecture, topping the previous high of 41C in the western prefecture of Kochi in August 2013, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.  Records go back to varying dates for different cities, with data for Kumagaya starting in 1896.

    (Reuters) 

    McColl's like-for-like sales drop on Palmer & Harvey bankruptcy

    British convenience retailer McColl’s (MCLSM.L) on Monday posted a 2.7 percent drop in like-for-like sales for the first half, as supplies were hit after the collapse of UK cigarette wholesaler Palmer & Harvey (P&H) last year.

    Total revenue, however, rose 19.2 percent to 601.7 million pounds for the 26 weeks ended May 27, as it bought about 300 convenience stores in 2017.

    (Reuters) 

    Prime Opportunities drops pursuit of Britain's IWG

    Prime Opportunities Investment, one of the four groups in the running to take over IWG Plc (IWG.L), does not intend to make an offer for the London-listed serviced office provider, the investment firm said on Monday.

    IWG gave its three other suitors - TDR Capital, Terra Firma and Starwood Capital - more time to make firm offers or walk away from bids for the company on Saturday.

    (Reuters) 

    Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen in West Bank raid: Medics

    Jerusalem: Israeli soldiers killed a Palestinian teenager during a raid in the occupied West Bank on Monday, the Palestinian health ministry said.  The Israeli military said its forces responded with live fire in Dheishe refugee camp, near Bethlehem, after Palestinians attacked them with rocks, fire-bombs and grenades.

    The military statement made no mention of any casualties among the troops.  The Palestinian health minister said the dead youth was 15 years old and suffered a chest wound. The Israeli military said that during the raid it detained two Palestinians suspected of attacks and uncovered a weapons manufacturing warehouse.

     (Reuters) 

    China first half total trade with North Korea slumps 56 percent year-on-year in dollar terms: Customs

    Beijing: The value of China’s trade with North Korea in the first half of 2018 tumbled 56.1 percent from a year earlier to $1.1 billion, customs data showed on Monday. 

    In the same period, imports from North Korea dropped sharply by 87.9 percent on-year to $107.3 million, while exports were down 38.8 percent to $997.3 million. China’s June total trade with North Korea was valued at $217.16 million, down from $230.87 million in the previous month.  China’s exports to North Korea were $204.19 million in June while imports from North Korea were $12.97 million, the data showed.

    (Reuters) 

    Rusal rises to three-month high after U.S. may remove it from sanctions list

    Hong Kong: Shares of Rusal (0486.HK) jumped as much as 17 percent in Hong Kong on Monday to their highest in more than three months after the U.S. Treasury Secretary said the Russian aluminum producer might be removed from a U.S. sanctions list. 

    The stock rose to HK$2.45 in early trade, its highest since April 10. That outpaced a 0.1 percent fall in the benchmark Hang Seng Index .HSI.  Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that the U.S. Treasury is open to removing Rusal from a U.S. sanctions list, adding the objective was “not to put Rusal out of business.”

    (Reuters) 

    China's urban registered jobless rate falls to 3.83 percent at end-June: Ministry

    Beijing: China’s urban registered unemployment rate fell to 3.83 percent at end-June, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said on Monday.

    The reading marked a multi-year low, according to an official transcript of a press briefing held by the ministry published online.  At the end of March, the rate was 3.89 percent, and at end-June 2017 it was 3.95 percent.  For 2017, China’s urban registered jobless rate was 3.9 percent, the lowest for a year since 2002.

    (Reuters)

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