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Netherlands returns over 200 pre-Hispanic artifacts to Mexico
  + stars: | 2022-12-02 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
MEXICO CITY, Dec 1 (Reuters) - The Netherlands has returned 223 pre-Hispanic archaeological pieces to Mexico, Mexico's foreign ministry said on Thursday, as it looks to recover more of its cultural heritage held in foreign collections. The returns were the result of "active cooperation" between the two countries and showed a commitment to restore historical and cultural objects to their place of origin, the ministry said. The INAH this week denounced a Paris auction that included Mexican objects valued in the thousands or tens of thousands of euros. The Netherlands this year returned a collection of 343 pre-Hispanic era ceramics to Panama. Culture ministers from around the world have pledged to boost efforts to return stolen and illegally traded artifacts to countries of origin.
BUDAPEST, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Hungary remains opposed to a global minimum corporate tax rate, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told public radio on Friday, citing concern over jobs in the central European country, which has used its low-tax regime to attract investment. Hungary has used its 9% corporate tax rate and generous government subsidies to attract major investments by German carmakers and Asian battery manufacturers to bolster its export-driven economy. "This is a job killing tax hike, which, if implemented with Hungary's approval, would wipe out tens of thousands of jobs," Orban said. "The tax issue is not a global one, it falls under national jurisdiction." Orban reiterated that Hungary opposed joint EU borrowing to help Ukraine but said Budapest would provide funding on a bilateral basis.
BANGKOK, Dec 1 (Reuters) - At least 2,000 pro-democracy fighters have been killed in Myanmar battling a military junta that seized power last year, the head of a parallel civilian government said in an interview aired on Thursday, urging allies to provide military aid. The military has branded him and his colleagues terrorists and banned citizens from communicating with them, but their parallel civilian government enjoys widespread support. Duwa Lashi La has been pictured visiting troops, who include former students and professionals driven to the jungles by military crackdowns, clad in a flak jacket and helmet. Duwa Lashi La said the opposition fighters had killed about 20,000 junta troops. Duwa Lashi La said the door was not closed to negotiation but the military had to stop killing civilians, vow to withdraw from politics and abolish the constitution that enshrines their power.
Nov 30 (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Wednesday declined to put on hold a Texas judge's ruling that said President Joe Biden's plan to cancel hundreds of billions of dollars in student loan debt was unlawful. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the Biden administration's request to pause a judge's Nov. 10 order vacating the $400 billion student debt relief program in a lawsuit pursued by a conservative advocacy group. Circuit Court of Appeals that, at the request of six Republican-led states, had barred it from cancelling student loans. Biden announced in August that the U.S. government would forgive up to $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers making less than $125,000 a year, or $250,000 for married couples. About 26 million Americans have applied for student loan forgiveness, and the U.S. Department of Education had already approved requests from 16 million by the time Pittman issued his ruling.
MUMBAI, Dec 1 (Reuters) - The world must cooperate to tackle the greatest challenges of climate change, terrorism, and pandemics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday as India began its year-long presidency of the Group of 20 (G20). "Today, we do not need to fight for our survival - our era need not be one of war. Indeed, it must not be one," Modi said in a declaration published in Indian newspapers to mark the start of the G20 presidency. "Today, the greatest challenges we face - climate change, terrorism, and pandemics - can be solved not by fighting each other, but only by acting together." "As in our own families, those whose needs are the greatest must always be our first concern," Modi said.
The S&P 500 is down 14.4% year-to-date. U.S. consumer prices rose less than expected in October, supporting the view that inflation was ebbing. Further ahead, some of Wall Street’s biggest banks are now forecasting that the Fed's monetary policy tightening will bring on a recession next year. In options markets, traders appear more preoccupied with not missing out on more gains in stocks than guarding against future declines. The one-month moving average of daily trading in bearish put contracts against bullish calls on the S&P 500 index-tracking SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust's options is at its lowest since January 2022, according to Trade Alert data.
WASHINGTON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - The Biden administration will announce new actions on Wednesday to give Native American tribes more say in managing federal lands, boost purchases of tribal energy and other goods and services, and revitalize Native languages, the White House said. U.S. President Joe Biden and other Cabinet officials will announce the measures at this year's two-day Tribal Nations Summit, with additional steps focused on providing better access to capital for tribal nations, the White House said. Biden's three signature piece of legislation - laws dealing with infrastructure, climate and COVID-19 relief - have provided nearly $46 billion in funding for tribal communities and Native American people, the White House said. The Small Business Administration will announce plans to boost access to financing opportunities, while the Energy Department plans to increase federal agencies’ use of tribal energy through purchasing authority established under a 2005 law unused for more than 17 years. The government will also release of a draft 10-year plan to revitalize Native American languages and underscores the urgency for immediate action, while formally recognizing the role that the U.S. government played in erasing Native languages.
Overseas-based Chinese and their supporters rallied in Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York and Toronto, with more protests planned in coming days. Outside the Chinese consulate in New York, hundreds gathered, some waving blank white placards, which have become a protest symbol in China. About 50 mainland Chinese students attended the rally, which was the biggest protest by mainland Chinese in Australia, said Chen Yonglin, a democracy activist who promoted the vigil on social media. "They will try to find out who are the organisers," said Chen, a former Chinese consulate official who defected in 2005. The Chinese embassy in Australia and the education office of the Chinese consulate in Sydney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
WASHINGTON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - The brother of Paul Whelan, an American jailed in Russia, said on Tuesday his family is concerned about his whereabouts after not hearing from him for days and unclear messages from the prison staff that he was moved to the prison hospital. David Whelan, the brother of Paul, said that the family does not definitely know where Paul is. David Whelan added that when transferred to the prison's hospital in the past, Paul had always mentioned the move in his phone calls. David Whelan said in an emailed statement, adding that Paul appeared healthy and well to the diplomats. David Whelan said that the family has not been in contact with the White House, just with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and the State Department.
[1/4] U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken attends the "Foreign Ministers of Partners at Risk of Russian Disinformation and Destabilization" session at the NATO foreign ministers meeting in Bucharest, Romania, November 30, 2022. REUTERS/Stoyan NenovBUCHAREST, Nov 30 (Reuters) - NATO foreign ministers will on Wednesday seek to reassure fragile countries in Russia's neighbourhood that they fear could be destabilised by Russia as the conflict in Ukraine drags on, squeezing energy supplies and pushing up prices. Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu told reporters that NATO wanted to be ensure that, after the war in Ukraine, Russia would have "no chance to dictate security options and a way of life to its neighbours". Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic, invited to join the NATO meeting, said she was concerned about Russia's intentions for her country. "The stability in western Balkans is important for peace," Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani said.
Virginia Democratic congressman Donald McEachin dies
  + stars: | 2022-11-29 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
Nov 28 (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Donald McEachin, a Democrat from Virginia who was recently re-elected to his fourth term in Congress, died on Monday aged 61, his office said. McEachin had been battling colorectal cancer since 2013, his chief of staff, Tara Rountree, said in a statement. "It is with great sadness that I join Virginians tonight in mourning the loss of Congressman Donald McEachin: a tireless champion for Virginia families and a force for economic opportunity and environmental justice," U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. Republicans won at least 220 seats in the Nov. 8 election against 213 by the Democrats, with five seats still to be determined. McEachin defeated Republican challenger Leon Benjamin Sr. by about 30 points in Virginia's fourth congressional district, which includes the state capital, Richmond.
Two protesters told Reuters that callers identifying themselves as Beijing police officers asked them to report to a police station on Tuesday with written accounts of their activities on Sunday night. "We are all desperately deleting our chat history," said another person who witnessed the Beijing protest and declined to be identified. Simmering discontent with stringent COVID prevention policies three years into the pandemic ignited into protests in cities thousands of miles apart over the weekend. Officials say the COVID policy has kept the death toll in the thousands, avoiding the millions of deaths elsewhere. In an editorial that did not mention the protests, People's Daily, the Party's official newspaper, urged citizens to "unswervingly implement" COVID policies.
Protesters came out in several Chinese cities for three days from Friday in a show of civil disobedience unprecedented since President Xi Jinping assumed power a decade ago. Authorities denied accusations posted on social media that a lockdown had prevented people escaping the blaze but that did not prevent protests on Urumqi streets, videos of which were posted on the Weibo and Douyin social media apps. Censors tried to scrub them quickly but they were downloaded and reposted not only across Chinese social media but also to Twitter and Instagram, which are blocked in China. A few hours before protesters gathered in cities like Shanghai and Chengdu, online flyers and pinned locations were widely shared on Telegram groups, Instagram and Twitter, social media users said. Police have been checking phones for VPNs and the Telegram app, residents and social media users said.
China says it drove away U.S. cruiser near Spratly Islands
  + stars: | 2022-11-29 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
BEIJING, Nov 29 (Reuters) - China's military said on Tuesday it drove away a U.S. guided-missile cruiser that "illegally intruded" into waters near the South China Sea's Spratly Islands. Tian said the U.S. cruiser's intrusion showed that the United States was a "security risk maker" in the South China Sea and "is another iron-clad proof of its hegemony in the navigation and militarization of the South China Sea". China's military said its troops would remain on high alert, the Southern Theatre Command said on its WeChat social media account. China claims nearly all of the South China Sea and it has become one of many flashpoints in the testy relationship between it and the United States. U.S. warships have passed through the South China Sea with increasing frequency in recent years, in a show of force against the Chinese claims.
Expatriate dissidents and students staged small-scale vigils and protests in cities around the world including London, Paris, Tokyo and Sydney, according to a Reuters tally. In most cases, dozens of people attended the protests, though a few drew more than 100, the tally showed. The protests on the mainland were triggered by a fire in China's Xinjiang region last week that killed 10 people who were trapped in their apartments. On Monday evening, dozens of protesters gathered in Hong Kong's Central business district, the scene of sometimes-violent anti-government demonstrations in 2019. BLAME, SLOGANSIt has been common in recent years for overseas Chinese students to rally in support of their government against its critics, but anti-government protests have been rare.
Dozens of people attended most of the protests with a few drawing more than 100, the tally showed. The protests on the mainland were triggered by a deadly fire in China's Xinjiang region last week that killed 10 people who became trapped in their apartments, in a disaster blamed in part on lockdown measures. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson told a regular briefing on Monday that China was not aware of any protests abroad calling for an end to the zero-COVID policy. State media and government spokespeople have not made any official comment on the protests in China. "At the core of it is China's system,” said the student, who asked to be identified as just Emmanuel.
Malaysia's Anwar begins work as PM after polarising election
  + stars: | 2022-11-25 | by ( )   time to read: +4 min
[1/3] Malaysia's newly appointed Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim greets his supporters as he leaves his news conference in Sungai Long, Selangor, Malaysia November 24, 2022. Office of Anwar Ibrahim/Afiq Hambali/Handout via REUTERSKUALA LUMPUR, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim is expected to start discussions on forming his cabinet on Friday as he begins work as prime minister at a challenging time, with the economy slowing and the country deeply split after a close election. Anwar, who was appointed by Malaysia's king following an inconclusive election, said that the people of Malaysia had long been awaiting change. Both men's coalitions failed to win a majority in Saturday's election, but Malaysia's constitutional monarch, King Al-Sultan Abdullah, appointed Anwar after speaking to several lawmakers. Markets surged on Thursday on the end of political deadlock, but investors will be monitoring how Anwar manages the aftermath of the election.
SYDNEY, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Australia will introduce rules to increase transparency in ministerial appointments after an inquiry into secret ministerial appointments by then Prime Minister Scott Morrison found they corroded public trust in government. An inquiry led by former High Court judge Virginia Bell found the appointments likely hurt public confidence in government. "Once the appointments became known, the secrecy with which they had been surrounded was corrosive of trust in government," Bell said. Bell recommended six changes, including legislation requiring public notice of ministerial appointments. Bell noted that because Morrison's extra powers had only been exercised once, the implications of the appointments were limited.
For the currency markets, it meant the 7-week sell-off in the dollar continued. "The dollar could stay pressured for a bit longer, but it's probably embedding a good deal of Fed-related negatives now," analysts at ING wrote. Overnight, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) rose 1.3%, while Japan's Nikkei (.N225) and South Korean shares (.KS11) both rose around 1%. In the oil market, prices were slipping toward a major support level established in September. Wednesday's post-Fed U.S. bond market moves had seen yields on 10-year notes drop to a huge 79-basis-point deficit relative to two-year yields.
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Malaysia's king appointed long-time opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister on Thursday, ending five days of unprecedented post-election crisis after inconclusive polls. Anwar's appointment caps a three-decade long political journey from a protege of veteran leader Mahathir Mohamad to protest leader, to a prisoner convicted of sodomy, to opposition leader and, finally, prime minister. The former finance minister and deputy prime minister will have to address soaring inflation and slowing growth, while calming ethnic tension that has flared since a Saturday election. ADIB ZALKAPLI, DIRECTOR AT POLITICAL RISK CONSULTANCY BOWERGROUPASIA:"With the appointment of Anwar as the 10th prime minister, this is a closure to the longest-running political crisis in Malaysia that began 24 years ago when he was sacked by the prime minister Mahathir Mohamad .... So it's an important closure, Anwar has been the longest-serving potential prime minister candidate.
[1/6] Malaysian King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah waves to media members waiting outside the National Palace in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia November 21, 2022. REUTERS/Hasnoor HussainKUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Malaysia's king on Wednesday called a special meeting of his fellow hereditary sultans to discuss who should be prime minister as an unprecedented post-election crisis entered its fourth day. King Al-Sultan Abdullah made his announcement of a special council after meeting lawmakers from the incumbent Barisan Nasional coalition. Anwar's coalition, known as Pakatan Harapan, won the most seats in the Saturday election with 82, while Muhyiddin's Perikatan Nasional bloc won 73. Police this week cautioned social media users to refrain from posting "provocative" content on race and religion after the divisive election.
"There has not been such a coordinated attack in Jerusalem for many years," police spokesman Eli Levi told Army Radio. [1/6] A damaged bus is seen following an explosion at a bus stop in Jerusalem November 23, 2022. In Gaza, a spokesman for Palestinian militant group Hamas praised the Jerusalem explosions but stopped short of claiming responsibility. The coordinated blasts appeared to be a step up from a string of mostly Palestinian lone-wolf stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks this year. But families of slain Palestinian militants whose remains are in Israeli custody called for an exchange of corpses.
Twin blasts in Jerusalem wound at least 15
  + stars: | 2022-11-23 | by ( Maayan Lubell | )   time to read: +2 min
[1/6] A damaged bus is seen following an explosion at a bus stop in Jerusalem November 23, 2022. Television images showed debris strewn around the scene of the first blast, which was cordoned off by emergency services. A spokesman for the Palestinian militant group Hamas praised the apparent bombings but stopped short of claiming responsibility. Hamas spokesman Abdel-Latif Al-Qanoua said the bombings "resulted from the crimes conducted by the occupation and the settlers". Reporting by Maayan Lubell; Writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Kim Coghill, Robert BirselOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Russian envoy urges restraint by Turkey in Syria - media
  + stars: | 2022-11-22 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
Nov 22 (Reuters) - Russia has called on Turkey to show restraint in its use of "excessive" military force in Syria and to keep tensions from escalating, Russian news agencies cited a Russian envoy to Syria envoy as saying on Tuesday. read moreLavrentyev said Turkey had not notified Russia in advance about its strikes on Syria and Iraq. "We hope to convince our Turkish partners to refrain from using excessive force on Syrian territory," Lavrentyev said. He added that Russia would work with interested parties to find a peaceful solution to the "Kurdish issue". Reporting in Melbourne by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Robert BirselOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
BEIJING, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe on Tuesday told his U.S. counterpart that Taiwan is at the core of China's core interests and was a "red-line" that must not be crossed. Wei said the United States must respect China's core interests and hoped it could adopt a rational, practical policy towards China, and get China-U.S. relations back on track. Beijing has steadfastly viewed Taiwan as an inalienable part of China. Earlier, Chinese state media quoted defence ministry spokesman Tan Kefei as saying the main reason for the current state of relations between China and the United States was that the United States made the wrong strategic judgment. Tan said China was not responsible for the state of relations.
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