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Facebook: Germany pledged to accelerate EU efforts on crypto assets, capital markets | Instant News

BERLIN, September 24 (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz pledged Thursday to accelerate eurozone financial reforms aimed at regulating crypto assets and deepening capital markets, which he said could help accelerate the economic recovery from COVID-19.

Scholz said he welcomes the European Commission’s latest proposals for regulation of crypto assets and the underlying blockchain technology used in private sector projects such as Facebook’s Libra stablecoin.

“This is an important proposal to make the European financial sector really strong. My goal is to advance the discussion quickly,” said Scholz, adding that this also applies to the Commission’s proposal to expand the bloc’s capital markets.

As Germany currently holds the rotating presidency of the 27-member bloc, Scholz said he would put both reform packages on the agenda for the next EU finance ministers meeting on October 6.

“With this package we can promote innovation in the financial sector so that Europe sets the standard around the world,” said Scholz.

Scholz added that the proposal to deepen the capital market could help the region recover more quickly from the coronavirus shock.

“To get out of the crisis with full strength, especially small and medium companies need good access to capital market financing,” he said.

The European Commission on Thursday laid out plans to create what its officials described as the world’s most comprehensive set of rules for crypto assets and the blockchain technology that underlies it.

EU policymakers have said that Facebook shouldn’t be allowed to launch Libra stablecoin – a cryptocurrency designed to reduce price volatility – in the block until the proper rules are put in place. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Jan Harvey)


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Sh Rasheed bravely opposed to resigning from the assembly – Pakistan | Instant News

Published in September 24, 2020 18:42

The sole purpose of the opposition is to create obstacles for PM Imran to gaining a majority in the Senate

FAISALABAD (Dunya News) – Federal Minister of Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad on Thursday challenged the opposition to resign from the assembly and said the government would hold new elections in the country.

Speaking to media in Faisalabad on Thursday, he scoffed at the opposition parties and said that what was said was causing a fuss. He asked if it wasn’t an honor to meet the military commander.

“The PPP will never agree to resign from the Sindh Assembly because they know they could lose the province if there is a re-election,” he said.

Criticizing the chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the minister said that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari mentioned his name three times yesterday during a press conference, adding that once had to ask someone if I had done it to him. “If the late former prime minister Benazir Bhutto is still alive, he will tell who Sheikh Rasheed is.”

Rasheed claims that everyone including Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam-Fazl (JUIF) chairman Moulana Fazlur Rehman and PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had a one-on-one meeting with Army Chief of Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, adding that he would expose every leader on Saturday in Lahore.

“The only objective of the opposition parties is to create obstacles for PM Imran Khan in gaining a majority in the Senate,” he said.

“Bilawal said he would not attend the meeting if Sheikh Rashid had attended the same meeting,” Sheikh Rasheed said, adding I can answer them but I do not want to cross the line of morality.

“The PPP chairman wasn’t even born when I became a member of the national security committee, added the minister.


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Smuggled into Italy, Lydia artifacts return home in Turkey | Instant News

A ceremony was held to place a 1,800-year-old inscription, dating from the Lydian era, in a Turkish museum after Turkey won another court battle to retrieve artifacts smuggled from the country. Flown in from Italy where it was smuggled years ago, the inscription carved into the rock was unveiled at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in the capital Ankara on Wednesday.

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy was among the officials attending the ceremony. “These artifacts waited for more than two decades to return to Turkey because of the lengthy legal process,” Ersoy said in his speech. He was referring to court battles mired in a change of judges and several appeals by Turkey against a ruling banning his return.

The inscription, which dates back to Lydia’s rule in western Anatolia, was found during a raid by Italian police against an antiques dealer in 1997. Investigations by Turkish academics and officials found that the object was stolen from the Temple of Apollon Aksyros in Demirci, a district in the western province of Manisa where the ancient city of Sardis, the capital of Lydia, is also located.

Ersoy said the government’s persistence in restoring the inscription eventually led Italian courts to accept that the artifacts were indeed being smuggled in from Turkey. The minister noted that Turkey managed to retrieve 4,441 artifacts in the past 18 years and has recently increased its capacity to track and retrieve artefacts smuggled from the country.

The inscription contains redemptions that were common in the Lydian era, said professor Yusuf Sezgin, an archaeologist from Celal Bayar Manisa University. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Sezgin stated that it was “sorry” for parents whose children were “punished” by God for stealing fishing nets.

Last month, authorities seized a large number of artifacts in one of the biggest operations against smugglers in western Turkey. They confiscated everything from coins dating from the Lydian period, which is also known as the first civilization where money was minted, to small figurines.

Ersoy said that the eradication of smuggling must also be supported by the community. “People should be aware of our cultural assets and report any attempts at smuggling or illegal excavation,” he highlighted.


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Gang involved in supplying drugs to Dr Maha was arrested in Karachi – Crime | Instant News

Published in 23 September, 2020 20:06

The gang involved in supplying drugs to Dr Maha is arrested in Karachi

KARACHI (Dunya News) – A gang involved in supplying medicine to Dr. Maha and other young men and women in the posh areas of Karachi were arrested.

According to police officers, the drugs were found in the possession of arrested suspects Saadullah, Mohammad Awais, Nasir and Mohammad Bilal. The suspects were involved in providing illegal drugs online in the city.

Arrested because Saadullah was suspected of supplying cocaine to Dr Maha Ali. The defendant was arrested during the investigation into Dr Maha Ali’s suicide.

During the interrogation, defendant Saad told police that 13,000 to 15,000 had been received for one gram of cocaine shipment.


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France, Italy, Spain are beginning to see a shocking virus attack on the economy | Instant News

France, Italy and Spain reported sharp contractions on Friday as their economies were hit hard by the corona virus, with the pandemic wiping out years of growth in a matter of weeks when the lockout closed shops, factories and restaurants.

Spain’s economy shrank by 18.5% in the April-June period from the previous quarter, the French economy by nearly 14% and Italy by 12.4%.

Spain’s contraction is by far the sharpest drop since the country’s national statistics body began gathering data. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro S├ínchez met late Friday with regional leaders in Spain to discuss how to rebuild the economy and where to spread billions of euros in EU aid for recovery.

Spain in mid-March experienced closure for more than three months, stopping many economic activities, due to COVID-19 cases and soaring deaths. Lockdown ends June 21.

In France, a surprising decline of 13.8% in April-June from the previous three-month period also clearly illustrates the economic costs of the penalty of a two-month lockout. It was the third consecutive economic contraction in a worsening French recession. The pain has been so damaging to jobs and industry that the government is talking about the possibility of another national lockdown because the infection is increasing again.

The French economy had shrunk in the last quarter of 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic attacked at full strength. For France and other major economies, this caused a sharp decline.

“All the growth in GDP seen in the decade 2010-2019 has been removed in five months,” said Marc Ostwald, chief economist at ADM Investor Services International. In the case of Italy, economists say they are wiping out around 30 years of growth.

Because lockdowns have abated and many businesses have reopened, there is hope that the recession will be short-lived, although an increase in transmission in many countries remains a risk.

France fared worse than Germany, Europe’s largest economy, which on Thursday reported a 10.1% decline in GDP during the April-June period as exports and business investment collapsed. Germany’s decline is also the biggest since quarterly growth figures began to be compiled in 1970, the official statistics agency said.

In March, the health crisis prompted the French government to introduce what is one of the tighterest European stalls, stopping many activities in the second largest economy in countries that use the euro currency. In France, COVID-19 has now killed more than 30,000 people and infected more than 186,000.

In releasing gloomy numbers on Friday, Insee said the economic low was in April, when only workers who were considered important could leave their homes. Activities began to increase again from May when the authorities began to ease lockdown restrictions, Insee added.

Friday’s figures show that the construction industry is one of the hardest hit in France, because workplaces stand idle, with workers forced to stay at home.

Detained families, many of whom have survived by government grants and work preservation schemes, have tightened their wallets amid job worries but also because shops have closed. Household spending dropped 11% in April-June, following a 5.8% decline in the first quarter.

Trade was also hit, when global lockdown stopped flights, closed borders and factories, and made transportation chaotic. French imports, already down 5.5% in the first quarter, shrank further in the second quarter, down 17.3%.

The damage to exports was even worse, down by a whopping 25.5% in the second quarter after a 6.1% retreat in the first quarter.


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