Wednesday, August 26th 2015 - 06:08 UTC

China gives banks more leeway and pumps liquidity to the system

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) said on its website that it was lowering the one-year benchmark bank lending rate by 25 basis points to 4.6%.

China's central bank cut interest rates and lowered the amount of reserves banks must hold for the second time in two months on Tuesday, ratcheting up support for a stuttering economy and a plunging stock market that has sent shockwaves around the globe.

Wednesday, August 26th 2015 - 06:00 UTC

Shell given a foothold at Argentina's vast shale resources in Neuquén

Areas leased to Shell are Sierras Blancas and Cruz de Lorena blocs, 325sq. kilometers overall. The company said it will invest US$250 million in the areas

Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell made a stride forward in its push for part of Argentina’s nascent shale oil pie after the Neuquen province government gave it the rights to exploit two unconventional oil areas in the much-coveted Vaca Muerta region for the next 35 years.

Wednesday, August 26th 2015 - 05:47 UTC

Blatter says he is 'clean' and denies systematic bribery in FIFA

“FIFA is not corrupt. There’s not general organized corruption” said Blatter, ”there's no corruption in football, there's corruption with individuals”

With FIFA reeling from the most damaging corruption crisis in its 111-year history, (14 FIFA officials and marketing executives were indicted by US justice authorities in May over a $150 million bribery scandal), Sepp Blatter denied that FIFA was corrupt to the core.

Tuesday, August 25th 2015 - 20:31 UTC

Falklands' air defenses bolstered with Saab-built Giraffe AMB radars

The MoD confirmed in the first quarter of the year it was upgrading Falkland's air defenses including mandating the use of the Giraffe in the update.

Britain has ordered additional Saab-built Giraffe AMB radars to bolster ground-based air defenses on the Falkland Islands against a possible future threat from Argentina, reports Defense News. The Swedish company announced on 24 August that it had received an order valued at 610 Swedish krona million ($74 million dollars) from the UK Ministry of Defense for the supply of new radars and the upgrade of existing systems.

Tuesday, August 25th 2015 - 13:32 UTC

Shanghai Composite down on Tuesday, but European markets rebounding

The main Shanghai Composite index closed down 7.6% at 2,964.97 points. Japan also saw more sharp falls and Tokyo's Nikkei index was 4% lower.

Shares in London and elsewhere in Europe rebounded at the start of trading on Tuesday, despite another night of steep falls for the Chinese stock market. The FTSE 100 rose 1.6% to 5,994.11, while Germany's Dax and Paris Cac were both up about 1.4%. The gains came after Chinese stocks continued their run of big losses.

Monday, August 24th 2015 - 11:05 UTC

UK reopens embassy in Teheran and Iran in London; initially at chargé d'affairs level

At the ceremony Hammond said the attack in 2011 had been “a low point” but since the election of President Rouhani things had “steadily improved” (BBC pic)

The British embassy in Iran has reopened, nearly four years after it was closed. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond attended a ceremony on Sunday in Teheran with Iranian diplomats to mark the reopening while Iran has also reopened its embassy in London.

Monday, August 24th 2015 - 10:16 UTC

HMS Lancaster, RFA Gold Rover and South African units in naval exercise

HMS Lancaster and RFA Gold Rover received a warm welcome from South African frigate Spioenkop and patrol vessels Galashewe and Isaac Dyobha

Three South African Navy ships have joined two British Royal Navy vessels and welcomed them to Simon’s Town. The frigate HMS Lancaster and Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker, Gold Rover, on Atlantic Patrol Tasking have both spent 19 days travelling 4,000 miles across the cold South Atlantic, calling at the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

Monday, August 24th 2015 - 09:56 UTC

Chinese shares fall sharply on Monday; IMF says it's a “necessary adjustment”

Beijing announced plans to let state pension funds invest in the market. Funds will be allowed to invest up to 30% of net assets in domestically-listed shares.

Chinese shares continued their sharp fall on Monday as concerns over the country's slowing growth and volatile markets sparked panic among traders. The mainland benchmark index, the Shanghai Composite, fell sharply by 8.4% to 3,211.75 points, extending last week's losses.

Monday, August 24th 2015 - 09:35 UTC

Mafia boss funeral of “King of Rome” reveals close links with city officials

Banners outside the San Giovanni Bosco church on the city's outskirts described him as the “King of Rome”.

The funeral of an alleged mafia boss in Rome has sparked anger after a lavish cortege with black-plumed horses, petals dropped from a helicopter and the theme tune from The Godfather. Italian politicians denounced the ostentatious send-off for Vittorio Casamonica, 65.

Monday, August 24th 2015 - 08:54 UTC

Pope Francis and the Malvinas

Francis’s generosity of word and openness has also made him an easy target for those who want to try and use his global popularity to push a particular cause

By Jimmy Burns - The snapped moment of encounter projected fast and globally on the world wide web has become as much as a characteristic of the Francis papacy, as his twitter account @pontifex. This is a papacy with a charismatic personality and instinctive communicator at its helm. It is also a papacy advised by media specialists and diplomats that know something about the opportunity offered by the digital age to spread a message with an impact that would have inconceivable just a few years ago.


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