China forex reserves hit 3-year low, Fukushima radiation down 65% and President Obama proposes new US oil tax

Technology Eye | Feb. 08, 2016

The US has ramped up pressure on China to impose new penalties on North Korea after it carried out a long-range rocket launch on Sunday in breach of UN sanctions.

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss the latest rocket launch, with US secretary of state John Kerry calling for new international sanctions against North Korea, something that Beijing has so far resisted as it could also hit Chinese banks and companies doing business with Pyongyang.

The move prompted Seoul and Washington to begin formal talks on an advanced missile defence system, although the strategic implications for China could be serious as such a system could potentially limit its military reach in the region. Japan also eyed tightening its sanctions on Pyongyang. (FT, NAR)

In the news

China forex reserves hit 3-year low Foreign holdings fell by nearly $100bn last month to the lowest level since May 2012 as Beijing continued to sell dollars to support its currency and stem capital outflows. Fears about the slowing economy and slumping asset prices have prompted investors to shift capital out of the renminbi. (FT)

Extra money for extra virgin European consumers are facing a 20 per cent rise in the price of olive oil after bad weather and disease devastated the olive harvest. Farmers in Spain and Italy have been particularly badly hit. (FT)

Norwegian oil fund offers US banks governance advice The biggest global sovereign wealth fund has warned US banks that they should end the highly contentious practice of combining the roles of chief executive and chairman. (FT)

Le shutdown French banks are coming under increased investor pressure to shrink their extensive branch networks and handle customers online as part of a drive to cut costs. France has the highest concentration of branches to customers in Europe. (FT)

Satanic savings Lord Jeffrey Archer, the millionaire author, former MP and convicted perjurer, has trimmed his tax bill by donating a statue of Satan to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. (FT)

Virtual competition Google is developing a new virtual-reality headset for smartphones as it competes with Facebook. The new headset release is expected for later this year. (FT)

It’s a big day for

The Indian economy Against the backdrop of a slowing China will India grab more positive attention when it releases Q4 GDP figures on Monday? The economy grew 7.4 per cent year-on-year in the last three months of 2015, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Food for thought

Marco Rubio meltdown The Florida senator, who had been rising in the Republican primary polls, found himself the target of his rivals at the latest televised debate. It did not go well for Mr Rubio who responded to accusations that he relies on rehearsed talking points by . . . repeating the same rehearsed talking point four times, drawing comparisons to a malfunctioning robot. (NYMag)

No free lunches but plenty of cheap ones Lawrence Summers argues that the old maxim about the midday meal may not apply today. At the very least, the maxim oversimplifies matters. (FT)

Through the past, darkly Wolfgang Munchau explores the dangerous parallels between 1930s Europe and today, with a focus on the role played by central bankers. (FT)

Kellaway comeback PR lieutenant at Hewlett-Packard picks a fight with FT columnist Lucy Kellaway. Oh dear. Here is her considered response. (FT)

Fukushima radiation down 65 per cent The amount of radiation in an 80km radius surrounding the Japanese nuclear plant has decreased by two thirds since the disaster nearly five years ago. But there is still much work to be done. (NAR)

Rhino riflemen In Kenya snipers are being employed to protect vulnerable rhinos from poachers who kill the animals for their horns. (BBC)

Video of the day

President Obama proposes new US oil tax Ed Crooks discusses the controversial plan set to be rejected by Congress. (FT)

SOURCE: World Economic Forum

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