Posted on: October 20, 2020 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

Miller loses Cala battle

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Posted on: October 20, 2020 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

Cox clever

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Posted on: October 20, 2020 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

Dunloe pitches into Belfast retail battle

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Posted on: October 20, 2020 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

George Street rents hike up

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Posted on: October 20, 2020 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

Ground control

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Posted on: October 20, 2020 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

20-30-40-50

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Posted on: October 20, 2020 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

Inner City: James Whitmore

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Posted on: October 19, 2020 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

In ‘mini Kabul’, Afghan refugees mark 40 years in Pakistan

first_imgAfghan boys sell fresh fruit on carts, signs are written in Dari or Pashto, and restaurants in the bustling bazaar sell Afghan dishes such as Kabuli pulao.But this “mini Kabul” is in Pakistan, which this week marks 40 years of hosting Afghan refugees.It is a grim milestone for entire generations of families who fled war to create a life in Pakistan, but still face an uncertain future and no clear path to citizenship. Temporary status Pakistan is one of the largest refugee-hosting nations in the world, home to an estimated 2.4 million registered and undocumented people who have fled Afghanistan, some as far back as the Soviet invasion of 1979.Many live in camps, while others have built lives for themselves in Pakistan’s cities, paying rent and contributing to the economy.”Mini Kabul”, the bustling Refugee Market in the northwestern city of Peshawar is home to some 5,000 shops — all run by Afghan refugees.But their status has always been temporary, with deadlines set for them to leave Pakistan repeatedly pushed back as the conflict in Afghanistan worsens.Many Pakistanis view them with suspicion, accusing them of spurring militancy and criminality, and calling for them to be sent home.Even those who have spent decades in the country cannot own property or obtain identity cards, and were only recently allowed to open bank accounts.Shortly after he came to power, Prime Minister Imran Khan vowed to grant them citizenship — but the controversial promise sparked outrage, and has not been spoken of since. ‘I prefer to stay’ Nevertheless, many of the refugees who spoke to AFP in Peshawar recently said they love their adopted home.Javed Khan, 28, was born in Pakistan, has married a Pakistani woman and has three sons of his own.”I will leave only if Pakistan forces me,” he told AFP. The situation could yet change: Afghanistan may be about to take the first step on the long road to peace.Late Thursday the US said it has secured a seven-day reduction in violence in the country that it hopes will allow it to strike a deal with the Taliban, as President Donald Trump said a peace accord was “very close”.Such a deal would allow Washington to begin withdrawing troops, in return for security guarantees from the Taliban and a promise to begin peace talks with the Afghan government.However refugees were skeptical about what it would mean for them.Mohammed Feroz, who came to Pakistan just over 40 years ago from Kabul, now runs a cloth shop in “mini Kabul”.Sitting in a chair at the front of his shop, he said he supported the withdrawal of US troops — but was leery of US and Taliban motivations. “They are after their interest. No one cares about us, God is the only hope for us,” he said.Even if peace comes, most refugees said that they would prefer to stay in Pakistan, where they can support their families.In the Khurasan refugee camp outside Peshawar an estimated 5,000 refugees live in poverty.Yaseen Ullah, 26, collects scrap and sells it to junkyards. His family — his mother, four brothers, and four sisters — share a two-room mud house with no plumbing.They also came from Nangarhar province across the border — and, despite the harshness of life in the camp, are not eager to go back.”I have no job, no work in Afghanistan. So what will I do there?” Ullah asked.Mohammad, the laborer from Nangarhar, agreed. “I have to feed my family, my kids,” the father of seven, all born in the camp, told AFP, speaking Pashto with a Pakistani accent. “I am saying it from my heart and I am very clear on it, that I will prefer to stay here. I do not want to return.” Topics :center_img “We spent an entire life here,” says Niaz Mohammed, a 50-year-old laborer from Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province who fled to Pakistan in the 1980s.”We had weddings and marriages here, our kids were born here … We have jobs and work here, while there’s no peace in Afghanistan. That’s why we are happy here.”On Sunday UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will arrive in Islamabad for a conference the United Nations says will “send a global reminder about the fate of millions of Afghans living as refugees”.”The main challenge right now is to continue to provide support to Pakistan in hosting them … and also give access to skills and education for the young Afghan population here,” Indrika Ratwatte, Asia director of the UN refugee agency UNHCR, told AFP on Friday.last_img read more

Posted on: October 19, 2020 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

Japan’s economy shrinks at fastest pace in six years, virus clouds outlook

first_imgJapan’s economy shrank at the fastest pace in six years in the December quarter as a sales tax hike and soft global demand hurt consumption and capital expenditure, keeping policymakers under pressure to prop up growth with additional stimulus.The hit to the world’s third-largest economy comes amid fresh concerns about weakness in the current quarter, as the coronavirus damages output and tourism, stoking fears Japan may be on the cusp of a recession – defined as two straight quarters of decline.Gross domestic product (GDP) fell an annualized 6.3 percent in the October-December period, faster than a median market forecast for a 3.7 percent contraction, data released by the government showed on Monday. External demand – or exports minus imports – contributed 0.5 percentage point to GDP growth, while domestic demand knocked 2.1 points off growth.Japanese policymakers had warned that the economy will suffer a contraction in October-December as the sales tax hike, typhoons and the Sino-US trade hurt consumption and factory output.Investors are now watching to see if growth will rebound in the current quarter as the Bank of Japan projects, amid fresh risks from the coronavirus that have forced factories in China to shut down and led to a sharp drop in Chinese tourists.The BOJ kept monetary policy steady last month and nudged up its economic growth forecasts on hopes that global growth will rebound around mid-year due to receding risks.Topics : The drop, which followed a revised 0.5 percent gain in July-September, was the biggest since a 7.4 percent decline marked in April-June 2014.The contraction translated into a 1.6 percent quarter-on-quarter decline, against a median forecast for a 0.9 percent fall.Private consumption, which makes up more than half of the economy, dropped 2.9 percent, as households curbed spending after a sales tax hike in October last year. That compared with market forecasts for a 2 percent drop.Capital expenditure fell 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter, bigger than a median forecast for a 1.6 percent drop.last_img read more

Posted on: October 19, 2020 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

Asia shares make cautious gains, investors eye China PMI

first_imgAsian share markets managed a tentative rally on Tuesday after European and US equities stabilized, though buying for month and quarter-end book balancing likely flattered the gains.There were also hopes a survey of Chinese manufacturing due later would show a sizable improvement for March as factories began to re-open.Forecasts are that the China’s official purchasing manufacturers’ index will bounce to 45.0, from a record-low 35.7 in February. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 added another 0.3 percent, supported by talk of book-keeping demand.“It’s month-end rebalancing, whereby balanced funds now underweight equities versus fixed income given this month’s valuation destruction, need to buy stocks to get back into balance,” analysts at NAB said.Healthcare had led Wall Street higher, with the Dow ending Monday up 3.19 percent, while the S&P 500 gained 3.35 percent and the Nasdaq 3.62 percent.News on the coronavirus remained grim but radical stimulus steps by governments and central banks have at least provided some comfort to economies.Infections in hard-hit Italy slowed a little, but the government still extended its lockdown to mid-April. California reported a steep rise in people being hospitalized, while Washington state told people to stay at home.Trade ministers from the Group of 20 major economies agreed on Monday to keep their markets open and ensure the flow of vital medical supplies.Oil prices overwhelmedPortfolio management also played a part in the forex market where many fund managers found themselves over-hedged on their US equity holdings given the sharp fall in values seen this month, leading them to buy back dollars.That saw the euro ease back to US$1.1030 from a top of $1.143 on Monday, while the dollar index bounced to 99.207, from a trough of 98.330.Read also: US stimulus package is biggest ever, but may not be big enoughThe Japanese yen continued to attract safe-haven demand of its own, which left the dollar at 108.08  and off last week’s peak at 111.71.Oil prices plunged to the lowest in almost 18 years on Monday as lockdowns for the virus squeezed demand even as Saudi Arabia and Russia vied to pump more product.In a new twist, US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed during a phone call on Monday to have their top energy officials meet to discuss slumping prices.“However, the reality is that the level damage to demand is likely to overwhelm any production cut agreement between major producers,” wrote analysts at ANZ in a note.“The lockdown of cities around the world and the shutdown of the aviation industry will cause a fall in demand the industry has never seen before.”Read also: Indonesian stocks soar 10% but COVID-19 risks loomPrices did at least try and steady early Tuesday, with US crude up 56 cents to $20.64. Brent crude futures gained 25 cents to $23.01 a barrel.In the gold market all the talk has been of a rush of demand for the physical product amid shortages in coins and small bars. Flows into gold-backed ETFs have ballooned by $13 billion so far this year, the most since 2004.The metal was holding at $1,616 an ounce, well up from a low of $1,450 touched early in the month.Topics : Analysts cautioned the result could even be higher given that the index measures the net balance of firms reporting an expansion or contraction in activity.If a company merely resumed working after a forced stoppage, it would read as an expansion without saying much about the overall level of activity.Read also: Indonesian stocks battered by profit-taking, hit sixth circuit breaker in monthIn any case, calmer markets globally helped MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rise 0.7 percent. Japan’s Nikkei edged up 0.2 percent and South Korea 1.4 percent.last_img read more