·Death toll rises to 21 after gun attack on Mexican town
Security forces shot dead seven more suspected cartel gunmen after a weekend attack on a northern Mexican town, authorities said Sunday, bringing the death toll to 21 and adding fuel to a debate about whether the gangs should be deemed terrorists. The government of Coahuila state said 10 gunmen and four police were killed in shootouts on Saturday in Villa Union, days after US president Donald Trump fanned bilateral tensions by saying he would designate cartels as terrorists.
·Hong Kong police fired tear gas as thousands take to streets in fresh protests
Police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong on 1st Dec, ending a rare lull in violence, as residents took to the streets chanting “revolution of our time” and “liberate Hong Kong”. The protest in the busy shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui followed a march by hundreds of people to the US consulate to show “gratitude” for US support for the demonstrations that have agitated the Chinese-ruled city for six months.
·Protests escalate in India over gang-rape and murder of woman
Outrage has continued to grow in India over the gang-rape and murder of a 27-year-old woman, with protesters taking to the streets and politicians calling for the offenders to be “lynched”. Several MPs spoke out in parliament on Monday against the killing last week of the veterinary doctor in Hyderabad. Four men allegedly deflated her scooter tyres to leave her stranded then approached her appearing to offer to help. It is alleged she was dragged to an abandoned area by the roadside where she was gang-raped, asphyxiated to death and her body set alight and dumped
·The Gadhimai festival, thought to be the largest mass-slaughter of animals on the planet, is underway in Nepal, despite fierce objections from animal rights groups.
The Hindu religious event has been held every five years for the last 260 years in Bariyarpur, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of the capital Kathmandu. But Manoj Gautam, an animal rights activist with Nepal’s Jane Good all Institute, said the religious aspect seems to have been lost in recent years. “There is no compassion. There is no spirituality. It is just sport. It is wasteful,” he said. An estimated 500,000 goats, buffalo, pigeons and other animals were slaughtered in 2009, according to Humane Society International (HSI). That number dropped to about 30,000 in 2014, the NGO said.
Zimbabwe: Austerity, union protest and brutal crackdown
The atmosphere in his organization’s Harare office feels moulded by suspicion and fear but Peter Mutasa, president of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, is remarkably calm .
The exterior of the building’s main entrance is enclosed by a large cage-like structure designed to keep intruders at bay. And given the state-sponsored violence that public sector workers have endured following their first anti-government strike on January 13th, the union umbrella body’s distrust of strangers is unsurprising.
After demonstrators damaged property and brought business activity to a standstill, security forces responded with a brutal crackdown that injured at least 180 people. Of the dozens of protesters who were shot using live ammunition, 12 died.
· Colombians stage third national strike with thousands protesting
Colombians have taken to the streets for a third national strike in two weeks, piling more pressure on the unpopular right-wing president Ivan Duque and his proposed tax reforms. Thousands thronged the streets of Bogota, the capital, shutting down much of the city’s historic centre, indicating that the unrest will continue while Duque engages in a “national dialogue” with strike organizers. “We’ll be out on the streets until Duque listens to us,” said Andres Lopez, a student at a gathering on one of Bogota’s main commercial streets. “We’re not scared of the government. Hundreds of thousands of people joined the first national strike on November 21st, and have turned out in daily demonstrations since then, initially sparked by proposed cuts to pensions.
·Trump calls Trudeau ‘two-faced’ over film of him gossiping
US president Donald Trump has branded Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau “two-faced” after video footage appeared to capture Mr. Trudeau mocking Mr. Trump to other Nato leaders at the military alliance’s summit in the UK. Mr. Trump attacked his North American neighbor for failing to meet a Nato target on military spending in a broadside on Wednesday that undermined attempts by the 29-member organization to present a united front despite growing internal spats. “Well, he’s two-faced,” Mr. Trump declared of Mr. Trudeau, who in video from a reception at Buckingham Palace the previous evening seemed to make fun of the US leader’s rambling press conferences earlier in the day.
· At least three people were injured, two of them critically, when a gunman opened fire at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii before taking his own life, local news reports said on 4th Dec.
A spokesman for the US base would only say that security forces had responded to reports of a shooting at around 2:30pm local time and that the base was on lockdown for several hours. One witness told local media he was sitting at his computer when he heard shots fired and saw three victims on the ground. The witness, who did not want to be identified, said he then saw the gunman who was wearing what appeared to be a navy or sailor’s uniform shoot himself in the head.
- The hunt for work becomes more desperate every day on Delhi’s street corner labor markets as India’s economic slowdown bites deeper, piling pressure on Prime Minister Narendra Modi just half a year into his second term.
Meanwhile, the central bank left the interest rate unchanged for a sixth time on 5th Dec because of high inflation, while it slashed its annual growth forecast as the government struggles to jumpstart the economy. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said the benchmark repo rate — the level at which it lends to commercial banks — would remain unchanged at 5.15 per cent, a nine-year low.
- Major oil producers Saudi Arabia and Russia will seek approval for deeper output cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and allies on Friday in an attempt to support prices and avoid a new oil glut.
The group combining over 20 producers is considering an extra 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) in cuts for the first quarter of 2020 to take the total to 1.7 million bpd, or 1.7 per cent of global demand, Russian energy Minister Alexander Novak said on 5th Dec. Opec and allied producers, the so-called Opec+, pump more than 40pc of the world’s oil. Opec+ will meet with the focus on how the additional cuts are distributed.
GLOBAL INDICES AS OF 7th December 2019
As compared to 30th November 2019
|Global indices as of 7th December 2019|
|NASDAQ (Dec 06)||8,656.53||8570.70|
|FTSE (Dec 06)||7,239.66||7137.85|
|CAC (Dec 06)||5,871.91||5801.55|
|DAX (Dec 06)||13,166.58||13054.80|
|SGX NIFTY (Dec 07)||11,975.50||11954.50|
|NIKKEI 225 (Dec 06)||23,354.40||23300.09|
|STRAITS TIMES (Dec 06)||3,194.71||3174.19|
|HANG SENG (Dec 06)||26,498.37||26217.04|
|TAIWAN WEIGHTED (Dec 06)||11,609.64||11594.65|
|KOSPI (Dec 06)||2,081.85||2060.74|
|SET COMPOSITE (Dec 06)||1,558.99||1565.45|
|JAKARTA COMPOSITE (Dec 06)||6,186.87||6152.12|
|SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (Dec 06)||2,912.01||2899.47|
|Global indices as of 30th November 2019|
|NASDAQ (Nov 29)||8,665.47||8705.18|
|FTSE (Nov 29)||7,346.53||7416.43|
|CAC (Nov 29)||5,905.17||5912.72|
|DAX (Nov 29)||13,236.38||13245.58|
|SGX NIFTY (Nov 30)||12,056.00||12101.00|
|NIKKEI 225 (Nov 29)||23,293.91||23409.14|
|STRAITS TIMES (Nov 29)||3,193.92||3200.61|
|HANG SENG (Nov 29)||26,346.49||26893.73|
|TAIWAN WEIGHTED (Nov 29)||11,489.57||11617.08|
|KOSPI (Nov 29)||2,087.96||2118.60|
|SET COMPOSITE (Nov 29)||1,590.59||1597.68|
|JAKARTA COMPOSITE (Nov 29)||6,011.83||5953.06|
|SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (Nov 29)||2,871.98||2889.69|
- State Bank is denying increase in pension to its pensioners in 2019. Last year it did so with only 5% increase against 15% of the Government increase while lacs of Rs increase have been given to its officers. Against the atrocity of leading financial institution of the country Suo motto action from Supreme Court or any High Court is required.
Some low minded officers are responsible for this. Action against them and increase in pension is required on immediately basis.
- The law ministry on 4th Dec notified the appointment of Justice Gulzar Ahmed as the new Chief Justice of Pakistan.
Justice Gulzar will take charge as the country’s chief justice on December 21, a day after the retirement of Justice Asif Saeed Khosa. The appointment was approved by President Arif Alvi. Justice Ahmed was born on February 2, 1957, in Karachi to the family of Noor Muhammad, a distinguished lawyer. His elementary schooling was from the city’s Gulistan School, according to the Supreme Court website. He then went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Government National College, Karachi after which he obtained his law degree from S.M. Law College, Karachi. He enrolled as an advocate on January 18, 1986, and joined the High Court on April 4, 1988. Subsequently, he became an advocate of the Supreme Court on September 15, 2001. Justice Ahmed was elected honorary secretary of the Sind High Court Bar Association in Karachi for the year 1999-2000. Throughout his legal practice, he mostly remained on the civil-corporate side, serving as the legal advisor to numerous multinational and local companies, banks and financial institutions.
- Ultimately money recovered from Malik Riaz in UK is going in to government exchequer through Supreme Court account.
After three-day confusion as to who will be the beneficiary of 190 million pounds [Rs39 billion] recovered by the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) from the family of real estate tycoon Malik Riaz, the money has been transferred to the Supreme Court’s accounts and the government has requested it for the transfer of the money to the national exchequer.
- WHILE Pakistani politicians are sometimes selectively targeted, the task of strengthening a central pillar of democracy belongs to them and to no one else. It is in their hands to make the Election Commission of Pakistan functional again.
With the retirement of the chief election commissioner, retired Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza, on 5th Dec, the ECP has become non-functional. Many fundamental ECP activities stand suspended, among them the scrutiny of funding for political parties. The situation is not helped by the fact that the ECP was already two members short of its mandated strength. The nomination of these two members had been a bone of contention between the treasury and opposition, and the government’s attempt at resolving the problem via a presidential order was thwarted by Mr. Raza himself. He declared the presidential action illegal, thus casting serious doubts on the government’s motives; tensions that already existed between the two sides were exacerbated. Since then, both the government and opposition have proposed individuals of their choice for the post of the ECP chairman as also for the Sind and Baluchistan vacancies.
- Moody’sInvestors Service (“Moody’s”) has today affirmed the Government of Pakistan’s local and foreign currency long-term issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings at B3 and changed the outlook to stable from negative.
Moody’s Investors Service – a leading global agency – has upgraded Pakistan’s credit rating outlook to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’ ahead of the launch of Eurobond and Sukuk worth around $2 billion in the world markets. Government is using it by saying that it shows success of PTI in economic policies but this is not so. In fact Moody’s assigns its B3 rating for “obligations considered speculative and subject to high credit risk.” Entities that receive this rating may be experiencing financial instability or hold inadequate cash reserves relative to their business needs, debt or other financial obligations. So in spite of appreciations from the government for its new rating PTI government has to do a lot as still Pakistan stands at risk .
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved an emergency loan of $1 billion for Pakistan to provide immediate support to the country’s finances and help strengthen a slumping economy, according to a press release issued on 6th Dec.
The quick dispersing loan is part of a multi-donor economic reform program spearheaded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stabilize the economy which crumbled mid-2018, the statement added. The loan was approved after the government implemented a series of reforms and actions, supported by IMF, to improve the country’s “current account deficit, strengthen its revenue base, and protect the poor against the social impact of the economic crisis”.
|F.C Exchange Rates of PKR as of 7th December 2019 as compared to 30th November 2019|
|Countries||PKR rate as of 30 November 2019||PKR rate as of 7th December 2019|
|Saudi Arabia Rial||41.60||41.10|
Pakistan Stock Exchange Indices
As of 7th December 2019 As Compared
To 30t November 2019
|Position as of 7th December 2019|
|Symbols||KSE100 Index||PSX-KMI All Shares Index|
|Advance 184 (Curr)||Current 40732.25||Current 18907.72|
|Decline 166 (High)||High 40987.76||High 19021.14|
|Unchanged 12 (Low)||Low 40595.96||Low 18817.31|
|Total Change 362||91.15||90.41|
|Position as of 30th November 2019|
|Symbols||KSE100 Index||PSX-KMI All Shares Index|
|Advance 282 (Curr)||Current 39287.65||Current 18480.65|
|Decline 87 (High)||High 39452.76||High 18568.57|
|Unchanged 16 (Low)||Low 38706.27||Low 18228.76|
|Total Change 385||581.38||251.89|