Tag Archives: Asia

Germany bans Salafi Muslim groups | Instant News

BERLIN, February 25 (Reuters) – German authorities carried out raids at several locations in Berlin and Brandenburg on Thursday after banning Berlin’s Salafi Muslim group, police said.

Berlin’s senate interior department on Thursday said it had banned the “jihad-salafi” association Jama’atu Berlin, also known as the Berlin Tauhid, and that police had carried out the raid, without providing further details.

The German newspaper Tagesspiegel said the group glorified the battle for “Islamic State” on the internet and called for the killing of Jews, adding that criminal proceedings were awaiting decisions against some of its members.

The newspaper added that the group had been in contact with Anis Amri, a Tunisian asylum seeker who failed with Islamic ties, who hijacked a truck and took it to a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people in 2016.

Salafis – strict Sunni Muslims – include peaceful private individuals, activists seeking to implement Sharia law, and militants who advocate violence to establish a state they perceive to represent true Islam.

The number of Salafis has risen in Germany to an all-time high of 12,150 in 2019, Germany’s domestic intelligence said in its annual report last year, listing them among “Islamic extremists”.

It said the number of Salafis has more than tripled since 2011 and that Salafi groups in Germany are going through a consolidation stage, adding that followers remain a low profile in public. (Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; editing by Philippa Fletcher)


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Australia, NZ dlrs at the highest levels due to yields, commodities reached their peak | Instant News

SYDNEY, Feb 25 (Reuters) – The Australian and New Zealand dollars rose to multi-year peaks on Thursday as the global rush into a reflex game swung commodity prices and bond yields sharply in their favor.

The Aussie is enjoying cleared air at $ 0.7960, having hit an unvisited high since early 2018 of $ 0.7979. It is up 1.2% on the week as momentum funds pile up on the break of major chart barriers, particularly against the yen and euro.

The next targets are the psychological 80 cents level and the January 2018 peak of $ 0.8136.

The kiwi dollar rose to $ 0.7430, clearing 2018 peaks to hit levels not seen since August 2017. The next major target is the all-year 2017 peak of $ 0.7557, and a break there will take it to levels last visited in mid 2015.

“For Australia, the combination of rising commodity prices and viable export volumes means that resource-related export revenues have been healthy,” said CBA Australia’s chief economist, Gareth Aird.

“Prices are expected to remain high and that will produce a large sustainable trade surplus which will support the Australian dollar.”

Miners have already paid bumper tax and dividends in Australia, so convert the US dollars earned into Australian dollars.

The reflective trading has combined with upbeat economic data at home to drive the big gains in bond yields far beyond those seen in the US.

Australia’s 10-year yield surged up to 1.705%, the highest since May last year and surged 29 basis points this week alone. The spread on Treasuries expanded to 30 basis points, from zero a few weeks ago.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) stepped in on Thursday to buy A $ 3 billion in 2023-2024 bonds aimed at stopping the three-year yield from rising further above its 0.10% target.

It had limited success dragging the three-year yield to 0.14%, from a high of 0.168%.

In New Zealand, the 10-year yield has rocketed 33 basis points so far this week to hit 1.865%, the biggest weekly gain since 2013.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) on Wednesday pledged to be patient on policy and not tighten for some time, although noting that global moves in yields were beyond its control.

The country’s government has also recently mandated the RBNZ’s payroll account for house prices when setting policy, a tricky task given the record low prices have seen prices soar in recent months. (Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Christopher Cushing)


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India’s groundwater crisis threatens food security for hundreds of millions, says the study | Instant News

The study, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, found that overuse of groundwater could cause winter crops in parts of the country to fall by two-thirds by 2025.

An international team of researchers analyzed satellite imagery and census data to measure the impact on winter crops, which account for 44% of the country’s annual harvest area for food grains, according to the study. Winter farming relies heavily on groundwater irrigation – in contrast to other seasons which can take advantage of the heavy monsoon rains.

Indian food production has skyrocketed since the 1960s, as farmers began to use tube wells, which draw water from the ground. This allows them to continue farming even during the dry season when there is not enough rain or surface water – but over-extraction has led to “extremely low groundwater availability” in the northwest and south of the country, according to the study.

“Many studies have shown that India has major groundwater depletion, but it is not clear at this point what impact this depletion will have on agricultural production,” said lead author Meha Jain, assistant professor in the University of Michigan’s School for the Environment and Environment. Continuity.

Researchers found that if farmers in overexploited areas lose all access to groundwater, and if that irrigation water is not replaced by water from other sources, winter yields could decline by 20% nationally and 68% in affected areas. worst. .

This is a worst-case scenario, and the damage could be reduced if authorities take action and adopt alternative irrigation options, the study said. The government has widely encouraged the adoption of canal irrigation, which diverts surface water from lakes and rivers, and can help offset some of the disadvantages.

But it’s far from a perfect solution – even if all of the areas currently using depleted groundwater were diverted to canal irrigation, winter harvests could still decline by 7% nationwide and 24% in the worst-affected locations, according to the study.

And canal irrigation comes at its own expense – this means farmers are more vulnerable to changes in weather, because lakes and rivers depend on rainfall. Groundwater is also a more equitable way to distribute water throughout the village, as wells are decentralized and not large scale drain projects.

“Our results highlight the importance of groundwater for Indian agriculture and rural livelihoods, and we can demonstrate that simply providing canal irrigation as a substitute irrigation source is unlikely to be sufficient to maintain current production levels in the face of groundwater depletion,” Jain said in a news release. .

Instead, the government needs to adopt a variety of strategies – for example, shifting from winter rice to less water-requiring cereals, use of sprinklers and drip irrigation to conserve water, and policies to increase the efficiency of irrigation canals, according to the study.

Farmers were hit hard

India’s water crisis has been growing over the years, gaining international attention 2019 when Chennai, the sixth largest city in the country, faces severe water shortages.

The city’s four main reservoirs are nearly dry due to insufficient rainfall and low groundwater levels. Water has to be trucked to Chennai from other states and territories, forcing hundreds of thousands of residents to queue for hours in the summer to receive water rations.

This is a national problem: 100 million people, including those in the major cities of Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad, face the threat of completely running out of groundwater, according to a 2018 report by Niti Aayog, an Indian government think tank.
A man fills a container with drinking water during a city-wide water shortage in Chennai, India, on June 17, 2019.

The agricultural sector has been one of the hardest hit. The areas with the most water depletion are along India’s food bowl – states like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, which support the country’s entire food security, said Bharat Sharma, emeritus scientist at the International Water Management Institute, who was not involved in the research. .

“Groundwater levels are depleting very quickly in northern India … That’s why farmers are starting to use groundwater, because surface water is not available and explosive use of groundwater is starting,” he said. “The cropping system we use requires more water than is available.”

The devastating effects of climate change also add to the difficulties facing farmers. The rainy season, which they rely on to water their crops, is more erratic and drought is more frequent.

“Indian farmers are in a very challenging situation right now,” Jain, from the University of Michigan, told CNN. “Apart from depletion of groundwater, there will also be negative impacts from climate change in the coming decades.”

The crisis that has lasted many years has been linked to a high rate of farmer suicide, with many farmers giving up because of growing debt, bankruptcy and crop losses. Each year, more than 10,000 farmers and agricultural workers die from suicide, according to data from National Crime Records Bureau. In 2019, the number was 10,281 – an average of 28 suicides a day.
Farmers across India have been protesting for months.  This is the reason
The government has taken action in recent years to try to address these various points of crisis. In 2020, the federal Central Groundwater Agency was released a “Master Plan” to conserve and replenish artificially depleted groundwater, using strategies such as canals, injection wells, and groundwater reservoirs.

One sustainable solution could change the types of crops grown in different regions – for example, reducing up to 20% of the land used for growing rice and wheat in Central Punjab, Sharma said. It is a thirsty plant – replacing part of it with a plant that is less dependent on water can turn the soil “water neutral,” meaning “the rate of water depletion will equal the rate of replenishment.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made agriculture the main focus of his 2019 re-election campaign, pledging to double farmers’ income by 2022. After he won, Modi founded the Jal Shakti Ministry, a government branch that focuses on water resources, conservation and sanitation.

But the efforts of Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party to reform the agricultural sector have backfired. A series of new agricultural laws passed last September have been pushing biggest national protest looks for years, which still lasts until several months later.

Although the government says the law is needed to modernize the industry and give farmers more autonomy, farmers fear the law will actually allow big companies to lower prices, further destroying their livelihoods.


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Coronavirus vaccine: The Philippines has offered to allow nurses to work in the UK and Germany in exchange for injections | Instant News

The UK health ministry said it was not interested in such a deal and its priority was to use the injections domestically, but added it would share the surplus. vaccine internationally in the future.
Philippines, which has the highest number in Asia coronavirus case, has relaxed a ban on deploying its health care workers abroad, but still limits the number of medical professionals leaving the country to 5,000 per year.

Alice Visperas, director of the labor ministry’s bureau of international affairs, said the Philippines was open to lifting those restrictions in exchange for vaccines from Britain and Germany, which will be used to inject outbound workers and hundreds of thousands of repatriated Filipinos.

Nurses are among the millions of Filipinos working overseas, providing more than $ 30 billion annually in remittances that are vital to the country’s economy.

“We are considering a request to lift the spread limit, as agreed,” Visperas told Reuters.

The UK has the fifth highest death toll from coronavirus in the world, while Germany has the 10th highest infection rate globally.

Britain says there are 11,000 more nurses working in the National Health Service (NHS) than last year. It said that despite being grateful to the 30,000 Filipinos working for the NHS, the UK does not need to trade in more vaccines.

“We have no plans for the UK to agree to a vaccine deal with the Philippines regarding further recruitment of nurses,” said a health ministry spokesman, citing Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to share backup injections at the end of the year.

“We have confirmed that we will share the excess vaccine in the future – for example through the COVAX international procurement pool.”

The Philippines wants to get 148 million doses of the vaccine in total, while the UK has ordered more than 400 million doses, six times its population.

Meanwhile Britain and Germany have inoculated a a combined 23 million people, The Philippines has not yet started its campaign to immunize 70 million adults, or two-thirds of its 108 million population. They expect their first vaccine this week, donated by China.

Calls for the German mission to Manila went unanswered.

In 2019, nearly 17,000 Filipino nurses signed overseas employment contracts, government data show.

While Filipino nurses have struggled to lift placement bans to avoid poor working conditions and low wages at home, workers’ plans for a vaccine are not going well with some medical workers.

“We are disgusted by how nurses and health care workers are treated by the government as commodities or export products,” Jocelyn Andamo, secretary general of Nurse Philippines, told Reuters.


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Total Asia-Pacific oil and gas M&A deals amounted to US $ 7.68 billion in 4Q20 | Instant News

A total of US $ 7.68 billion in cross-border oil and gas industry M&A deals announced in Asia-Pacific 4Q20, led by the US $ 6.24 billion acquisition of China Oil & Gas Pipeline Network, according to the GlobalData deals database.

This value decreased by 48.1% compared to the previous quarter and decreased by 9% when compared to the last quarter’s average of US $ 8.44 billion.

Asia-Pacific has a 37.59% share of the value of the global oil & gas industry cross-border M&A agreement which reached US $ 20.43 billion in 4Q20. With a 30.64% stake and a $ 6.26 billion deal, China is the top country in the value of an Asia-Pacific cross-border M&A deal in the oil and gas industry.

In terms of deal activity, Asia-Pacific recorded 53 cross-border transactions during 4Q20, marking an 18.46% decline over the previous quarter and an 8.62% drop over the average of the past four quarters. The Marshall Islands recorded 17 deals during the quarter.

Top offer

The top five cross-border M&A deals for the oil and gas industry accounted for 90.2% of the overall value during 4Q20.

The combined value of the top five cross-border M&A deals was US $ 6.92 billion, compared with the US $ 7.68 billion overall value recorded for the quarter.

The top five cross-border transactions in the oil and gas industry in Q4 2020 tracked by GlobalData are:

  • China Oil & Gas Pipeline Network acquired PetroChina Beijing Gas Pipeline and PetroChina Dalian LNG for US $ 6.24 billion.
  • Acquisition of Philippine Tank Storage International (Holdings) worth US $ 333.8 million by Keppel Infrastructure Trust and Metro Pacific Investments.
  • ADNOC Logistics & Services US $ 168.4 million asset transaction with Hunter Group.
  • Asset transaction of US $ 110 million with Ionic Shipping (MGT) by General National Maritime Transport.
  • Delta Tankers asset transaction with TRF Ship Management worth US $ 71 million.

For more news and technical articles from the oil and gas pipeline industry, read the latest issue of World Pipelines magazine.

World Pipelines Issues February 2021

The February 2021 issue of World Pipelines includes: report on the Australasian pipeline network; an interesting look at the need to protect pipeline information from the Freedom of Information Act (US); analysis of Ukraine’s place in the global gas sector; and technical articles on subsea repairs, coatings, ILI and SCADA systems.

Read the online article at: https://www.worldpipelines.com/contracts-and-tenders/24022021/asia-pacific-oil-and-gas-ma-deals-total-us768-billion-in-4q20/


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