All posts tagged: grows

As Gaza Death Toll Nears 30,000, Israel’s Isolation Grows

As Gaza Death Toll Nears 30,000, Israel’s Isolation Grows

When David Ben-Gurion, one of Israel’s founding fathers, was warned in 1955 that his plan to seize the Gaza Strip from Egypt would provoke a backlash in the United Nations, he famously derided the U.N., playing off its Hebrew acronym, as “Um-Shmum.” The phrase came to symbolize Israel’s willingness to defy international organizations when it believes its core interests are at stake. Nearly 70 years later, Israel faces another wave of condemnation in the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, and from dozens of countries over its military operation in Gaza, which has killed an estimated 29,000 Palestinians, many of them women and children, and left much of the territory in ruins. The huge swell in global pressure has left the Israeli government and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, deeply isolated, if not yet bowed, largely because it still has the support of its staunchest ally, the United States. This time, though, Israel faces a rare break with Washington. The Biden administration is circulating a draft resolution in the United Nations Security Council that …

‘It’s legalised robbery’: anger grows at China’s struggling shadow banks | Chinese economy

‘It’s legalised robbery’: anger grows at China’s struggling shadow banks | Chinese economy

Wang Jin felt sure that he could invest in Sichuan Trust, an institution that was part of one of what he describes as the “four pillars” of China’s financial system: banks, securities, insurance and trusts. Promised a return on his investment of 8.3%, he handed over 1.6m yuan (£178,000) in 2019. “The trust had a state licence, so we believed in its integrity,” Wang (not his real name) recalls. Unluckily for him, in May 2020, the company said that it would be unable to repay 20bn yuan of investments. Protests ensued, with hundreds of middle-aged investors gathering outside the headquarters in Chengdu to demand their money back. By the end of the year, the local government had taken over the firm, which was reported to have a shortfall of more than 30bn yuan on its books, although the company said the sum was closer to 25bn. Now, Wang is one of more than 8,000 investors who have been given until 5 March to accept a sliding scale repayment plan that would return 80% of capital …

Thorny question of presidential ‘age limit’ grows in US political discourse | Joe Biden News

Thorny question of presidential ‘age limit’ grows in US political discourse | Joe Biden News

The question of whether there should be an age limit for US presidents was raised in a particularly high-profile public forum this week when Congresswoman Katie Porter said in a televised debate that such restrictions “are a conversation for all elected officials that we ought to be having”. Porter’s acknowledgement was made during a candidate debate for the US Senate seat left vacant by Dianne Feinstein’s death in September and represents the latest instance of a thorny issue that is increasingly becoming a topic of discussion in mainstream political life, as the inevitable rematch between 81-year-old Joe Biden and 77-year-old former President Donald Trump takes shape. If elected, Biden would become the oldest sitting president in US history, a mantle he first claimed when he took office in 2021, while Trump would tie Biden for the record if he were to enter office next January at the age of 78. It is an unprecedented situation that has brought potentially uncomfortable questions of age to the fore on cable and internet news talk shows, academia, and …

Rumoured split in Hamas leadership as hope grows for ceasefire deal | Israel-Gaza war

Rumoured split in Hamas leadership as hope grows for ceasefire deal | Israel-Gaza war

When the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, launched his devastating assault on Israel on 7 October, the militant group’s exiled leadership, like the rest of the world, was apparently caught unawares. From plush penthouses in Beirut, Doha and Istanbul, they watched the carnage that killed 1,200 Israelis unfold, as well as Israel’s retaliatory campaign on the Gaza Strip. In the past four months Israel has killed an estimated 27,600 people, displaced 85% of the 2.3 million population and razed more than half of the besieged Palestinian territory’s infrastructure. In the early days of the war, while Sinwar’s cadre was calling on Arab peoples across the Middle East to join the fight against Israel, the Doha-based chair of Hamas’s political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, appeared to focus on damage control. Talks mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the US resulted in a ceasefire and hostage and prisoner swaps at the end of November that lasted seven days before collapsing. Now, it seems that those roles have reversed. According to reports, it is Sinwar and his men, …

Cuban President Sacks Economy Minister as Controversy Grows Over Price Hikes

Cuban President Sacks Economy Minister as Controversy Grows Over Price Hikes

HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuban president Miguel Díaz-Canel sacked economy minister Alejandro Gil on Friday, state media reported, as controversy continued to grow over the delay of recently announced measures to hike the price of fuel and transportation fares in the communist-run country. The Council of State, under Diaz-Canel`s direction, has appointed Central Bank president Joaquín Alonso, 60, to replace Gil. The upheaval comes just two days after the government put off an unpopular five-fold hike in gasoline prices planned for Feb. 1, saying a cyberattack from outside Cuba had thwarted implementation. The decision, which was followed by a similar announcement to delay a rise in public transportation rates, threw into disarray a broader economic plan to tame Cuba’s growing fiscal deficit. Former economy minister Gil had advocated for the unpopular plan to raise prices for many government subsidized services, and has long been criticized for his management of the country`s near-bankrupt economy. Gil’s planned price hikes, initially announced in December and early January, rocked Cuba, where residents have long depended on a vast program of …

Debate grows on the revival of conscription in the UK

Debate grows on the revival of conscription in the UK

British foreign secretary David Cameron meeting British troops involved in the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Pristina, on January 4 VALDRIN XHEMAJ / AFP Should the British be preparing for war? This troubling question was posed bluntly by General Patrick Sanders, the army’s chief of the general staff, a few days ago. During a speech in London on January 24, he argued that the UK should form “a citizen army” in the event of open conflict between NATO and Russia. This statement by a general near the end of his career – he will be retiring next summer – has sparked an unprecedented debate in a country that ended conscription in 1960. Sanders argued that the UK should follow the Swedish example and take “preparatory steps to enable placing our societies on a war footing,” adding that such action is “not merely desirable, but essential”. Sweden recently reintroduced a form of military service. Downing Street has denied that it is working on such a scenario, calling it “hypothetical”. The UK Ministry of Defence has also distanced …

‘Everyone is affected’: Pressure grows on French government to strike deal with farmers | France

‘Everyone is affected’: Pressure grows on French government to strike deal with farmers | France

At the vast Rungis food market outside the French capital, wholesale fruit and vegetable companies were feeling the effect of French farmer protests, as tractors and hay-bales blocked motorways in what some demonstrators have called the “Siege of Paris”. “Merchandise hasn’t arrived, there’s definitely an impact,” said Célia, who works at a wholesale fruit and vegetable firm with 12 staff, supplying shops and restaurants in the city. “It’s carrots, potatoes, cabbages, all kinds of fruit and vegetables. Deliveries are very difficult because of the roadblocks. Around 40% of our vegetables haven’t been delivered today and it has been difficult since yesterday for both French and European produce. Everyone is affected and it will continue like that for the coming days.” French police warned that about 1,000 farmers and 500 tractors were barricading roads across France, and the protests could intensify this week over farmers’ demands for better prices for their produce and more government support. The new prime minister, Gabriel Attal, told parliament on Tuesday that French farming is “our strength and pride”. He promised …

Qatar’s PM visits D.C.; Texas border control dispute grows

Qatar’s PM visits D.C.; Texas border control dispute grows

Good morning. You’re reading the Up First newsletter. Subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox, and listen to the Up First podcast for all the news you need to start your day. Today’s top stories Qatar’s prime minister is in Washington, D.C. for talks with U.S. officials aimed at finalizing a framework for a deal to stop fighting in Gaza and free Israeli hostages. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani is also warning that tensions in the region are “boiling up” following the attack on U.S. troops in Jordan, for which the U.S. blames an Iran-backed militia group and has promised to respond. NPR’s Eyder Peralta tells Up First from Tel Aviv that the attack came at a critical time in the Israel-Hamas war, with a mounting Palestinian death toll, more than 100 Israeli hostages held in captivity and high-level negotiations happening in Paris. Hamas has launched rockets at Tel Aviv for the first time in weeks, while the Israeli military killed three Palestinians in a raid on a West Bank …

‘Totally unhinged’: Tension grows between Haley and Trump

‘Totally unhinged’: Tension grows between Haley and Trump

In the days that followed the primary, the back-and-forth between the two has been an increasingly sharp series of barbs — with Haley building on a new strategy of going directly after a candidate she has avoided criticizing too harshly until now. Trump’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment. Here’s a look at Haley’s week of increasingly tough digs at Trump this week: Haley: Trump is ‘totally unhinged’ Haley, in an appearance on Fox News on Friday, called Trump “totally unhinged” for focusing his attacks on her, rather than issues of policy like securing the border and preventing war. She noted how Trump said he’ll permanently bar people from “the MAGA camp” if they donate to her, and has tried to push Republicans across the party to back him and say the primary is over. “That’s a president who’s supposed to serve every person in America, and you’re deciding that you’re gonna have a club, and actually ban people from being in and out of your club?” Haley said. Haley sold ‘Barred. …

Maven’s South West team grows into new office space

Maven’s South West team grows into new office space

Maven has appointed Rafi Khan as an Investment Manager to help support the delivery of the South West Investment Fund, of which Maven manages the £38 million SWIF Maven Equity Finance fund. Rafi joins Maven from Deloitte where he worked as an Associate Director within its Corporate Finance Advisory. An Accounting & Finance graduate from the University of Bath, Rafi brings a wealth of experience to help reach more growth focused South West businesses to access funding through Maven and SWIF.  Since being awarded the SWIF Maven Equity Finance fund, Maven’s South West team has joined a number of events and funding panels to work with the local business and advisory community to help companies identify the most suitable type of finance to meet their funding needs and ensure the widest range of businesses can access, use and benefit from SWIF. Alongside the team expansion, Maven has recently moved into a larger office in Bristol to support our growth in the South West.  The region offers one of the UK’s most vibrant business landscapes and is home to …