·‘Closure’ and ‘healing’ urged by victorious Boris Johnson in wake of landslide Conservative win
Boris Johnson has called on both sides in the debate over Brexit to “let the healing begin” after a landslide election victory that has redrawn the political map of Britain. Speaking outside Downing Street, Mr. Johnson said he had won an overwhelming mandate to deliver Brexit but he promised not to ignore Remainers’ positive feelings about Europe and to build a new partnership with the EU.
· Labor faces new battle for soul of party after election disaster
Jeremy Corbyn announced he would not lead Labor into the next election after losing a swath of seats in the party’s northern heartlands to the Tories amid its most devastating election result in nearly a century. Mr. Corbyn refused to set a date for his departure but is expected to stay in post for long enough to oversee what is likely to be a bruising contest to pick his successor.
· Gunmen kill and wound demonstrators in Baghdad
Tensions have flared in Iraq after unidentified gunmen slew 25 demonstrators and wounded 130 in Baghdad and a mysterious drone bombed the home in the city of Najaf of a key Shia clerical supporter of the protests. This attack was the most violent in the capital since early October when protests erupted and 165 were killed by security forces and militia snipers. On late 6th Dec night, gunmen arriving in Lorries and knife-wielding infiltrators mounted a two-pronged attack on demonstrators camping in a parking garage near Tahrir Square, the capital’s protest hub. One witness told Amnesty International, “They came to kill. They opened fire immediately. They targeted people by shooting straight at them, not in the air. They were not masked; I do not think they cared if anybody saw them.’”
·Finland’s Sanna Marin to become world’s youngest prime minister
At just 34 years old, Sanna Marin is about to make history as she becomes the world’s youngest prime minister. The Finnish social democrat won her party’s backing over the weekend. Marin will need to govern a five-party coalition that just ousted her predecessor, Antti Rinne, after he stumbled on several key issues. In the end, he was toppled in a dispute concerning pay at the state postal company. Finland’s new prime minister will have a finance minister two years her junior in a new women-led coalition cabinet after a political shake-up, according to party officials.
·Algeria jails two ex-prime ministers two days before election
An Algerian court jailed two former prime ministers for corruption on 10th Dec, two days before a presidential election which protesters want cancelled. Ahmed Ouyahia, who was prime minister four times, received a 10-year jail sentence and Abdelmalek Sellal, who was twice premier, was jailed for 12 years. They denied all charges, including “misappropriation of public funds, abuse of power and granting undue privileges”.
·Israel’s parties agree March date for third election in a year
The Likud and Blue and White parties have agreed to hold Israel’s next general election on March 2nd since the Knesset parliament has failed to agree by 11th Dec midnight deadline on a candidate to form a new coalition. Such a scenario is extremely unlikely and the new election, the country’s third in a year, means Israel’s unprecedented period of political deadlock will extend for at least another four months until a new government can be sworn in.
·At least six killed in New Jersey shootout between police and gunmen
At least six people, including one police officer and two suspected gunmen, were killed in a shootout around a New Jersey grocery store across the Hudson river from Manhattan on 10th Dec afternoon, prompting a security lockdown of area schools, officials and local media said.
Five people – three civilian victims and the two suspects – were pronounced dead inside the store – and a police detective also died in an exchange of gunfire in which hundreds of rounds were fired, police Chief Michael.
· Aung San Suu Kyi tells UN court Rohingya operation ‘not genocide’
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace prize laureate, arrived at the International Court of Justice on 11th Dec to lead her country’s defense against accusations of genocide against its Rohingya Muslim minority. More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar after the military launched a crackdown in western Rakhine state in August 2017. Most now live in crowded refugee camps in Bangladesh. In a brief appearance before the closing session of the UN court hearing allegations of genocide against Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has issued a final appeal to judges to reject those charges and avoid any action that could “hinder reconciliation” between the country’s ethnic communities.
·A suicide bomber in Afghanistan detonated explosives on 11th Dec outside the United States’ (US) main military base of Bagram in an attack that wounded five people, Afghan and Nato officials said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast. All five wounded in the attack at the southern entrance to the base were Afghans, said Wahida Shahkar, a spokeswoman for the governor of Parwan province, where the base is located. “A 30-minute clash also happened between the attackers, who obviously wanted to enter the base, and foreign forces,” she told Reuters.
· Six bodies recovered following New Zealand volcanic eruption
A New Zealand military team recovered six bodies on 13th Dec from the volcanic island that fatally erupted earlier this week, in a high risk operation watched by dozens of grieving family members waiting on the mainland. Military personnel worked as quickly as possible after using helicopters to land on White Island, which experts have said still has a 50-60 per cent chance of another eruption over the coming hours. Six of the eight bodies on the island were successfully retrieved and taken to a naval patrol vessel, police said.
· International backing for Lebanon economy hinges on ‘reform’
Lebanon’s leaders have been told they will not receive international support of the country’s ailing economy until they form a government that can enact reforms. A request for funds to pay for essential imports was made by caretaker prime minister Saad Hariri to the International Support Group for Lebanon at a meeting in Paris. In response, however, US assistant secretary of state David Schenker said: “There’s no aid package, there is no bailout. Lebanon is not being saved from its financial mess.” He said ministers in any new government in Lebanon must be “capable of reform”. Mr Schenker suggested the group – comprising France, the US, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, China and Egypt – could dispatch humanitarian aid to alleviate suffering but made no commitment on how much or when.
· Two killed as thousands protest in India against citizenship Bill
Army troops have been deployed across India’s northeastern region against thousands of demonstrators, who defied curfew, burnt buses and cars and attacked trains in protest against the federal government’s contentious citizenship Bill, which was cleared by parliament on Wednesday. Two protesters died in clashes with police in Guwahati, a city in the north-eastern state of Assam. Police said they had been caught in crossfire. The overnight protests in neighbouring Assam and Tripura states against prime minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government’s Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, led to internet and mobile phone services being suspended in both provinces.
· ECB to discuss prospect of launching digital currency
European Central Bank policy makers meeting in Frankfurt this week will discuss the prospect of launching their own digital currency, according to euro zone officials familiar with the matter. Governing Council members expect to talk about the topic informally at dinner on 11th Dec, a day before their policy meeting under new President Christine Lagarde, the people said, asking not to be named as such deliberations are private.
· Saudi Aramco surges after IPO to $1.88tn valuation.
Saudi Aramco shares surged after its initial public offering, valuing the oil producer at a record $1.88 trillion (€1.69 trillion) and lifting Saudi Arabia’s stock market into the ranks of the world’s largest. The stock jumped the daily 10 per cent limit to 35.20 riyals (€8.46) when trading began at 10:30 am in Riyadh as Aramco board members, Saudi officials and invited guests cheered at a ceremony at the Fairmont Hotel in the kingdom’s capital.
· Morgan Stanley fined €20m over European bond trades
Morgan Stanley has received a €20 million fine from France’s markets regulator for allegedly manipulating the price of government bonds in 2015. According to a decision published on 10th Dec by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, London-based traders at the bank “aggressively” purchased futures contracts linked to French bonds in order to cause an “abnormal and artificial” increase in the price of French and Belgian bonds it held.
GLOBAL INDICES AS OF 14th December 2019
As compared to 7th December 2019
|Global indices as of 14th December 2019|
|NASDAQ (Dec 13)||8,734.88||8717.32|
|FTSE (Dec 13)||7,353.44||7273.47|
|CAC (Dec 13)||5,919.02||5884.26|
|DAX (Dec 13)||13,282.72||13221.64|
|SGX NIFTY (Dec 14)||12,149.00||12149.50|
|NIKKEI 225 (Dec 13)||24,023.10||23424.81|
|STRAITS TIMES (Dec 13)||3,214.05||3194.67|
|HANG SENG (Dec 13)||27,687.76||26994.14|
|TAIWAN WEIGHTED (Dec 13)||11,927.73||11836.42|
|KOSPI (Dec 13)||2,170.25||2137.35|
|SET COMPOSITE (Dec 13)||1,573.91||1563.85|
|JAKARTA COMPOSITE (Dec 13)||6,197.32||6139.40|
|SHANGHAI COMPOSITE (Dec 13)||2,967.68||2915.70|
|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|
- One student was killed and several others were injured during a clash between two groups over an event at the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) on Thursday, police said.
According to the initial police report, one of the groups planned an event but the other opposed it. In the evening, one group of students attacked members of the other group, injuring two. Later at night, the colleagues of the injured students attacked their rivals. During the clash, weapons were also used and shots were fired, said the police. Some of the students were brought to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) with bullet injuries where one of them died.
- PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari was on Wednesday granted bail on medical grounds by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in two cases filed against him by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
Zardari, who is being probed by NAB over allegations of money laundering and corruption, had filed an application in the high court earlier this month to seek bail in two cases. A two-member bench comprising IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Aamir Farooq heard the application today. The former president was granted bail against two surety bonds of Rs10 million each.
- Hundreds of charged lawyers on 11th Dec attacked the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC), allegedly tortured doctors and attendants and damaged hospital property and forced the critical patients to rush for life, according to police and witnesses.
The raiders were apparently on a mission to avenge a group of lawyers, who had been beaten up at the PIC a few weeks ago, soon after some video clips went viral on the social media showing some doctors making fun of the lawyers while recalling the incident. The outraged attackers, mostly young faces dressed in black suits and sporting neckties, spared no one present on hospital premises, where several serious cardiac patients are under treatment at any given time. Witnesses told there was chaos as beds were hastily dragged to hideouts, in a few cases the washrooms down the corridor away from the wards, after the mob carrying clubs and rods forced its entry into the government-run hospital. One of the known victims of the frenzy was Punjab Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan, who was manhandled when he arrived for damage control. Many journalists, including a woman, and police personnel besides attendants of the patients were also dealt with brute physical force. The attackers also snatched cameras from the journalists. The police acted on finding the information minister under attack by lawyers and fired tear gas, baton-charged before arresting many protesters. Fierce clashes broke out between the protesting lawyers and law enforcers after a police van had been set on fire. There were reports that some protesters in the mob carried weapons and fired into the air. The situation worsened when a mob stormed into the emergency department, seemingly in search of some doctors. In view of the approaching danger, the doctors fled the scene.
- Hassan Khan Niazi, nephew of Prime Minister Imran Khan, was also involved in the attack, arson and sabotage in the Punjab Institute of Cardiology.
The videos about Hassan Khan Niazi leading the mob damaging and setting the police van on fire also went viral. He is also seen instigating his colleagues. Hassan Khan Niazi was severely criticized on Twitter after the videos about his involvement in PIC attack surfaced. However, Hassan Khan Niazi has dissociated himself from the incident, saying he supports the objectives of his colleagues. “I participated in the demonstration, but I do not support violence,” he said. Barrister Hassan Khan Niazi has mentioned himself as the champion of human rights on his Twitter account.
- Trading at the stock market will be brought to a halt when the market capitalisation-based KSE-30 index moves up or down by 4pc during the trading session in a single trading day, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) spokesperson Musarat Jabeen has confirmed.
She said that the SECP had approved the regulation to come into effect from the end of January 2020. The application of circuit breaker on KSE-30 index was meant to prevent irrational price fluctuations; give the market a cooling period and provide facility to brokers to deposit their margins.
- Mr Jameel Ahmed Dy Governor of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on 12th Dec has confirmed that 190 million pounds from the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) had been received by the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) on account of a settlement with property tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain’s family, but declined to share details.
Testifying before the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, SBP’s deputy governor Jameel Ahmad said: “The payment has been received by the National Bank of Pakistan, but the question about the account in which it has been kept should be addressed to the government of Pakistan.”
- Majority of the US firms believe that business climate in Pakistan has worsened while others feel that it has become even more difficult to do business when compared to previous years.
A perception survey conducted by American Business Council (ABC) released on 11th Dec stated that 61 per cent of its members responded that the business climate in Pakistan has worsened. Similarly, 40pc believe it has become even more difficult to do business in the country.
|F.C Exchange Rates of PKR as of 14th December 2019 as compared to 7th December 2019|
|Countries||PKR rate as of 7th December 2019||PKR rate as of 14th December 2019|
|Saudi Arabia Rial||41.10||41.40|
Pakistan Stock Exchange Indices
As of 14th December 2019 As Compared
To 7th December 2019
|Position as of 14th December 2019|
|Symbols||KSE100 Index||PSX-KMI All Shares Index|
|Advance 215 (Curr)||Current 40916.59||Current 19251.85|
|Decline 133 (High)||High 41077.82||High 19351.68|
|Unchanged 20 (Low)||Low 40514.17||Low 18988.74|
|Total change 368||402.42||263.11|
|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|