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Today on The Leaders' Brief - The UK signed a post-Brexit trade deal with the non-EU member European countries Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, last week. Secretary of State for International Trade - Liz Truss told reporters after announcing the agreement, that the deal would boost sectors such as digital and cut tariffs on UK farm products. Notably, the UK is Norway’s biggest trading partner outside the EU and with Iceland and Liechtenstein form the European Economic Area (EEA). Trade between the UK and the EEA was worth £22 Billion or approximately $31 Billion last year, of which £20 Biilion or $28.34 Billion was with Norway.  The Customs Authorities of China revealed this week that the year-on-year trade turnover between Beijing and Russia increased by 23.6% between January and May, amounting to $50.65 Billion. According to the Chinese customs officials, Russia’s exports climbed by 35.3% in January-May reaching $22.92 Billion, and imports increased by 15.4% in the first five months of the year amounting to $27.73 Billion. The announcement comes at a time Moscow and Beijing have seen bilateral ties reach their best in years, particularly caused by a push from western sanctions on Russian and China. The Group of Seven comprising France, Canada, Germany, the UK, Italy, Japan, and the USA will kickstart their three-day summit today to discuss several issues pertaining to trade and foreign policy. While a change in US Presidency will certainly see several landmark proposals including a 15% global corporate tax, a large portion of the world would be keenly looking at what the countries decide about the equitable distribution of vaccines. After many rich powers hoarded COVID-19 vaccines, Boris Johnson wants the G7 to donate hundreds of millions of doses to poorer countries, many of which are far behind the West in vaccinating their populations. About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - The World Bank has announced it had temporarily paused payments to operations in Mali after the military orchestrated the second coup in less than a year. The West African nation has been in a political crisis since August, last year. President Boubacar Keita was removed from power by the country’s military who received strong support from the country's civilians but drew international criticism, inviting several sanctions. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), for the second time, suspended Mali, freezing all aid passing through its borders.  US tech giant Google announced it would make a series of changes to its advertising technology after being fined 220 Million Euros ($268 million) in France for abusing its ‘dominant position in online advertising. An investigation by the French Competition Authority found that Google gave preferential treatment to its DFP advertising server, which allows publishers of sites and applications to sell their advertising space and its SSP AdX listing platform.  India, which till a few months ago had become the COVID epicentre in the world averaging over 400,000 daily cases, appears to have finally contained the Delta variant. While the country still recorded over 90,000 cases and 2,000 deaths yesterday, a rapid vaccination drive, one of the biggest in the world, is gradually allowing Indian cities to open up. It should be noted that since the end of April a second COVID wave had crippled the Indian economy as several states had to impose strict lockdown measures to cut the COVID chain. According to data released last month the lockdowns had seen India’s factory output fall significantly.  About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - According to Reuters, the G7 group would support the push for a tax by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and has a "high level of ambition" for its eventual rate. Mr Biden would seek a 15% global corporate tax. If applicable, this would see the EU collect additional revenues of over $60 Billion. It should be noted that the move comes at a time when most countries have registered record levels of public borrowing due to the COVID induced economic slowdown.   A month after violence rocked Israel, the country’s long-standing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come closer than ever to losing his office. Last week, the country’s opposition leader Yair Lapid announced a coalition deal that threatened to end Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year rule as the country’s Prime Minister. Lapid and far-right leader of the Yamina party Naftali Bennett will be sharing half terms as Prime Minister as part of the deal. The Prime Minister himself tweeted "All lawmakers who were elected with votes from the right must oppose this dangerous left-wing government."  Facebook-owned Instagram said that it is changing its algorithm after being accused of suppressing pro-Palestinian messages during last months Gaza conflict. The company said that it is changing the way it is showcasing content due to what it called was an unwanted side effect of its algorithm misrepresenting the company as having censored certain viewpoints. During the recent Gaza conflict, social media platforms were heavily used to spread messages of support on both sides. However, during the conflict, several Palestinians had complained that Instagram was discriminatory in deleting several posts that allegedly showed the ground reality of the situation. About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Britain’s health secretary Matt Hancock said last week that the country’s vaccine rollout was clearly working after the country reported zero COVID related deaths for the first time in almost a year. The UK is among the first European countries to gradually open up its economy and since last month has gradually allowed the easing of COVID restrictive measures which had followed a strong coronavirus wave.  US President Joe Biden’s administration is freezing all oil and gas leases in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge pending an environmental review on the impact of drilling in the region. The leases were given by the erstwhile Donald Trump administration during the final months of his presidency. The suspension follows a January executive order that identified “alleged legal deficiencies” in the original leasing program and put in place a temporary moratorium on any oil and gas-related activities in the refuge. The Swiss bank and investment firm Credit Suisse is preparing litigation against Japan’s SoftBank after the collapse of Greensill Capital that could see clients lose as much as $3 Billion. The Japanese conglomerate was an important investor in Lex Greensill’s collapsed supply-chain finance empire. The Swiss bank had earlier announced that it would sever relations with Softbank as it was reviewing its risk and client relationships after being hit by the twin collapses of Greensill and Archegos Capital Management.  About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - India, which continues to see full to partial lockdowns in most parts, saw factory activity fall to 50.8 in May from 55.5 a month earlier according to the Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index, barely escaping contraction. However, on the good side, the country, which was recently averaging over 400,000 cases every day, saw an over 50% dip in numbers last week. Recent developments suggest that as states start easing COVID restrictive measures India may escape a devastating economic ruin.  In what can be called a major policy shift, Beijing increased its two-child limit to three to boost a rapidly decreasing birth rate. However, experts believe that the move will not be enough to counter the problem of a rapidly ageing population. Most Chinese living in urban areas have over the last few years, expressed that the higher cost of education through private facilities due to increased competitiveness makes them prefer having not more than one child.  Carmaker Daimler agreed to buy 3G and 4G licences directly from Nokia ending a years-long legal dispute that threatened production and sales of the company’s cars and trucks. Under the new agreement, Nokia would license mobile telecommunications technology to Daimler and receive payment in return. Nokia said in a statement, “The parties have agreed to settle all pending litigation between Daimler and Nokia, including the complaint by Daimler against Nokia to the European Commission. The terms of the agreement remain confidential as agreed between the parties.” About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Last week, the US Senate advanced legislation to boost the country's ability to compete with Chinese technology, as relations between Washington and Beijing continue to deteriorate. The $250 Billion US Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, or USICA saw the 68 US senators voting in favour with 30 against it. The Bill plans to spend $190 Billion to strengthen US technology in general and another $54 Billion to increase the production of semiconductors, microchips, and telecommunication equipment. Tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia escalated over the last week after the former arrested six Armenian soldiers, accusing them of trying to cross into its territory in the Kelbajar region. Last week, months after a ceasefire treaty between the two nations, the Azerbaijani government said that the Armenian soldiers had “tried to mine supply routes leading to Azerbaijan army positions” and “were surrounded, neutralised and taken prisoner”.  Mali's military released the country’s interim president Bah Ndaw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane, last week. The move came after months of international pressure calling for the country’s military government to restore civilian rule. Mali has been under political crisis since August last year, witnessing two coups in a span of nine months. Previously President Boubacar Keita was removed from power by the country’s military who received strong support from the country's civilians. However, global powers condemned the incident and placed the country under several sanctions. About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - The $715 Billion budget that US President Joe Biden unveiled last week aims to address escalating tension due to alleged Chinese military aggression in the Indo-Pacific. Congress has been divided with one group made up of progressives calling for a 10% cut in military spending and another arguing for an increase in defence spending, particularly due to increasing threats from China and Russia. In sharp contrast to his predecessor, Mr Biden plans to increase the military budget by a mere 1.7% to $753 billion.  The United Nations Human Rights Council agreed last week, to launch an investigation probing whether Israel and Islamist group Hamas has conducted any crimes during the 11-day conflict last month. Violence erupted in Israel during Ramadan festivities after Palestine’s Hamas group launched rockets targeting Israel in retaliation to clashes at the Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. Over 230 Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes following the attack. At at least 60 of them were children.  Protests erupted in Idlib after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad secured a fourth term with an improbable 95.1% vote share. However, the country’s opposition in exile along with the international community have strongly contested the poll results. The foreign ministers of Germany, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States put out a joint statement, saying that the polls were “neither free nor fair” as they were held without UN supervision.  About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Days after the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) sent a notice to WhatsApp, calling its new privacy policy “discriminatory”, “unfair” and “irresponsible”, threatening the Facebook-owned messaging application with legal consequences, the social media company said that it will not restrict features if users decide to opt-out of its new privacy policy. After being served a notice by the Indian government, Facebook has promised to keep the privacy update optional, but it is unclear as to what step the social media giant would take once India’s Personal Data Protection Bill is turned into an act. Iran has agreed to extend an agreement allowing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to keep surveillance cameras at its nuclear sites for another month. Iran has steadily increased its nuclear activity, including the enrichment of uranium to a purity of over 20%, a step towards developing nuclear weapons in the last two years, violating the UN-brokered Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, popularly called the Iran Nuclear Deal.  Samoa has been plunged into a political crisis after Prime Minister-elect Fiame Naomi Mata'afa was sworn in as the country's first female prime minister at a ceremony in a tent outside the parliament. The country’s first female Prime Minister was forced to take this extraordinary step as her challenger and current Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi has refused to leave office. The Supreme Court has also involved itself in the matter, ordering the appointment of a new leader.  About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - A decision by the Alexander Lukashenko government to detain a journalist has sparked outrage in the USA and Europe. Belarusian authorities had sent a Mig-21 fighter jet to intercept a Ryanair plane flying from Athens to Lithuania and forced it to land in Minsk, flagging a false bomb alert. The 26-year-old journalist, who works for a Telegram channel called Belamova, is wanted in Belarus on extremism charges and is accused of organising mass riots.  Australia imposed COVID-19 lockdown measures in its second-largest city, Melbourne, after being unable to find the missing link leading to a fresh outbreak in the city. Under the restrictions, applicable for the next three days, home gatherings will be limited to five guests, public meetings would be limited to 30 people, and face masks will be mandatory in restaurants, pubs, and other indoor venues.  European Commission President Ursula Von Der Lyne told a news conference, last week, that problems between the EU and Britain do not stem out of the Northern Ireland Protocol but out of Brexit itself. In a report, The United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics revealed that imports of goods from EU countries, excluding precious metals, fell by 21.7%, while exports fell 18.1%. In comparison, the UK’s trade with the rest of the world fell by only 0.4%. About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Described by the South China Morning Post as “President Xi Jinping’s most trusted foreign policy aide”, Yang Jiechi, the director of China’s Central Foreign Affairs Commission flew to Russia last week to discuss strategic ties between the long term allies. Of the two Chinese power plants built with Russian collaboration, the Tianwan plant, which has been operating since 2007, will see new units come up.  Indian police visited a Twitter office in the country to serve the company a notice after the social media company had labelled a tweet by the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Sambit Patra as “manipulative.” Additionally, Twitter along with Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are also facing increasing pressure from the Indian government to comply with a set of new directives issued to govern the country’s IT space. Israel announced the signing of a deal with Google and Amazon Web Services to set up regional data centres in the country as part of an over $1 Billion project. The two tech firms beat Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM to win the tender for the four-phase Nimbus project which intends to provide a comprehensive solution for the provision of cloud services to the government and increase economic efficiency. About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - China's internet watchdog the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), said last week that it had found 105 applications, including ByteDance's Douyin, Microsoft’s Bing and LinkedIn, and Baidu, were engaged in the improper collection and use of data. According to the internet watchdog, the 105 apps had violated Chinese laws by excessively collecting and illegally accessing users' personal information. The announcement comes less than a month after Beijing put in place measures outlining how apps should collect personal information.  White House press secretary Jen Psaki, announced last week that the Democrats have cut down US President Joe Bien’s ambitious $2.25 trillion infrastructure spending plan by over $300 billion. The over $2 domestic trillion infrastructure spending plan proposed by the US President earlier this year had hoped to address several fronts, including competing with Chinese economic activity. On a domestic level, the plan addressed climate change, elder care, and affordable schooling.  The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has approved the $44 Billion merger deal between Virgin Media and Telefonica-owned O2. The deal would create a 50:50 joint venture and would see a total of 46 million video, broadband and mobile subscribers along with $15.5 Billion in revenues. The CMA had launched an inquiry into the deal as it felt the merger had the possibility to threaten competitiveness in the country’s telecom industry. About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Last Friday, Japan extended its national emergency on Okinawa, hours after it approved two new vaccines for its vaccination drive. The move is a much-needed step for Japan as the country, scheduled to host the Olympics in a few months' time, continues to see one of the slowest vaccination drives in the developed world. Less than 5% of the country’s total population had been vaccinated last week. The resolution to freeze the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment was passed with a 599-30 majority at the European Parliament last Thursday, suggesting the possible escalation of trade tensions between Beijing and Europe. Announcing the pause on ratifying the EU-China Investment agreement, the European Parliament called the sanctions placed on European individuals by Beijing back in March, baseless and arbitrary.  Anglo-Dutch company oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has said that it will offload the last of its Nigerian assets in line with its desire to transform into a clean energy giant and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. CEO Ben van Beurden told investors last Tuesday that the balance of risks and rewards associated with the company’s onshore portfolio is no longer compatible with its strategic ambitions.  About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Last week, the US withdrew sanctions on a company and an individual involved with the construction of the contentious US-Germany undersea gas pipeline project, Nord Stream 2. The US state department said that it was in the US National interest to lift sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG and its CEO Matthias Warnig, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The department, however, noted that the two remain engaged in sanctionable activity.  China’s announcement that it was increasing curbs on crypto trade in the country has escalated concerns of crypto owners worldwide. Between May 19th and 20th, the crypto market saw $460 billion in losses, a large portion of which is not expected to be recovered. China, which has launched and is experimenting with its own digital currency, had since 2017 brought in several regulations to discourage crypto trade in the country. At that time China accounted for almost 90% of all bitcoin mining.  Australian air carrier Qantas announced a new voluntary redundancy program for the international crew as part of additional cost-cutting measures after revealing that it estimates losses at about $2 billion this year. The announcement came days after Australia said that it has no intention of lifting international border restrictions before mid-2022.  About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - A recent decision by Ireland’s High Court, dismissing US tech giant Facebook’s complaint against Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, could severely impact Facebook’s data-based revenue model. Facebook had challenged the Preliminary Draft Decision (PDD) and the DPC inquiry leading to it by citing "devastating" and "irreversible" consequences for its business.  Recent reports by US media have stated that the Joe Biden administration has okayed the export of $735 million worth of precision-guided weapons to Israel, at a time the country is facing its worst violence in years. While Israel is known to have received US military and economic assistance since its formation, the timing of the deal threatens to dampen President Joe Biden’s image among Democrat voters.  Officials from Canberra said last week that they have no intention of lifting international border restrictions before mid-2022. The country had closed its borders to non-nationals and non-residents in March 2020 and has allowed only limited international arrivals since then. Australia’s decision to maintain strict border restrictions comes at a time its tourism industry is estimating losses of $5-7 Billion, threatening to jeopardise over 300,000 jobs.  About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - The number of active coronavirus cases in India fell by 165,000 at the start of last week, the biggest ever drop recorded by the country. Last Monday also saw the total number of daily cases drop below the 300,000 marks after almost two months. The death toll due to COVID, however, continued breaking records. Added to the country’s COVID situation, India's western coast, which includes the state of Maharashtra, was ravaged by Tauktae, a severe cyclonic storm, which killed over 20 people in the last week. The ongoing clash between Palestine-backed militants and Israeli forces has placed the USA in a tricky spot in reviving the Iran nuclear deal. Weeks after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani voiced optimism saying that negotiations with the US and allies over rejoining the Iran Nuclear deal had made almost 70% progress, Israel witnessed its worst-ever violence in decades with the everyday conflict between Iran-supported Hamas group and Israeli forces.  The European Union and United States have started discussions to address metal tariffs imposed by US President Joe Biden’s predecessor, Donal Trump. Under former President Trump, the USA had in 2018 imposed a 25% tariff on European steel and 10% on aluminium on grounds of national security. Since then the issue has continued to strain the EU-US relationship.  About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - The USA, along with allies - UK and Canada, announced more sanctions against Myanmar's military government this week. The latest sanctions attempt to increase pressure by directly targeting the State Administrative Council, or SAC, the official name of the military government formed in February. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken underscored USA’s resolve and that of its partners to apply political and financial pressure on the regime as long as it fails to stop violence and take meaningful action to respect the will of the people. Most parts of the United Kingdom saw a semblance of normalcy this week as the country continued the easing of lockdown measures. Last month, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had announced the country’s plans to reopen its economy, starting with the reopening of all shops, gyms, hairdressers, and outdoor hospitality areas in England. This week, most areas across Scotland, England, and Wales saw businesses such as pubs and restaurants, cinemas, and sports venues open for the first time in months. China became the second country in the world to successfully land on Mars, after its Tianwen-1 spacecraft successfully deployed its rover - Zhu Rong, onto the red planet’s surface. Despite all of the economic and medical trouble the COVID pandemic has caused, the year 2020 saw several major landmarks in space research, including China’s Tianwen 1 probe. Among the three mars missions, China’s Tianwen-1 probe is the first space mission that sent a shuttle to Mars with a lander, a rover, and an orbiter.  About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - India is seeing over 400,000 Covid cases every day and over 1,000 deaths due to the coronavirus while facing a severe shortage of medical equipment despite the government cutting no corners in their procurement of the same. The country's opposition has called on the government to take immediate measures including the central procurement of vaccines from all available sources, global and domestic, a free and universal mass vaccination campaign, free distribution of foodgrain and allocating a sum of $82 per month to those unemployed.  The Philippines recently rejected an annual fishing ban imposed by China and encouraged its boats to keep fishing in the country’s territorial waters. The fishing moratorium imposed by China in 1999 runs from May 1 to August 16. The announcement came after Manila reported the latest incursions of Chinese vessels on its 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone. Relations have deteriorated between the longtime allies since the Philippines announced it would send diplomatic protests each day as long as China allowed almost 200 ships to remain stationed at a disputed area in the South China Sea.  Nationwide protests for a fourth straight week continue to cause economic turmoil in Colombia. The country’s third-largest city-Cali, which has emerged as the epicentre of the anti-government protests that started on April 28th against tax reforms, is running short of essential items, including petrol. The initial protests, called by the National Unemployment Committee were against a proposal to raise taxes on household products like milk and meat, slowly escalating to protesting against police brutality and increasing inequality.  About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Several west African nations are being forced to limit industrial activity to less than 50% of their full capacity due to a power outage in Ivory Coast and Ghana. News agency Reuters quoted a spokesman from Mali's energy ministry saying that electricity imports from Ivory Coast had fallen 30%, leading to a 100 MW generation deficit. Most cocoa producers in the country have reportedly dropped operational capacity by 50-70% and are incurring additional production costs as they have to now depend on diesel-powered generators which increase power costs by almost 300%.  South Africa's Reserve Bank is expected to keep its repo rate at a record low of 3.5% in its meeting tomorrow despite the possibility of inflation increasing in the coming months. Statistics revealed by the country two weeks ago had shown manufacturing output rise by 4% year on year in March after falling by a revised 2.5% in February, and factory production was up 3.4% month on month in March. The decision was taken at a time consumer prices had increased 0.68% over the previous month in March with an inflation rate of 3.2%.  Venezuelan Electoral Council President Pedro Calzadilla announced last week that the country would hold regional and local elections on November 21. The country’s face of opposition, Juan Guaido, recognised by most western nations as the country’s legitimate president called for Presidential and parliamentary elections to be held as well. The South American country has been under political crisis for the last two years, with opposition members routinely boycotting elections, including one held in December last year. About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Up till a month ago, ousting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, presently undergoing trial for criminal charges, from his seat was a likely possibility. However, Naftali Bennett, whose ultranationalist Yamina party is key to forming a coalition before President Rueven Rivlin’s 28-day mandate ends, has decided to abandon coalition talks with Yesh Atid for a wider unity coalition government. The possibility of a rotation government with both Mr Bennett and Yair Lepid serving half terms as Prime Minister would need the support of Arab legislators.  The USA last week announced a strongly worded support for Australia in its ongoing trade tiff with Beijing. Welcoming the USA’s support, Australian foreign minister Marise Payne said it should embolden other countries to stand up to Beijing when the Chinese government threatens their national values and interests. Miss Payne revealed that the Australian government is pushing for a more thorough investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. Greece’s Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis announced the country’s reopening for international tourists who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 from last Friday. The announcement is a much-needed development for a country that sees 16-20% of its GDP dependent on the tourism industry that has been crippled by the COVID pandemic. Estimated losses from the plunge in international tourism are about $2 trillion or roughly 2% of global GDP.  About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
Today on The Leaders' Brief - Last week, all of the southeastern USA faced a severe fuel shortage, with three states, North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida declaring a state of emergency. The situation is largely being blamed on a cyberattack that forced the Colonial Pipeline Company, which transports about 45 per cent of all petrol and diesel on the USA’s east coast through its 8,850 km pipeline network, to shut down operations on May 7. Apart from threatening a fuel price surge, and exposing the vulnerability of the USA’s cyberinfrastructure, the attack has caused fresh friction between Washington and the Kremlin. Taiwan is expected to raise its COVID-19 alert level this week, according to a statement made by the country’s Health Minister Chen Shih-Chung. The Taiwanese health minister’s comment in parliament describing the country’s COVID situation as being very serious came as Taipei reported 16 local COVID cases, its highest single-day surge since the beginning of the pandemic, last Wednesday. Mr Shih-chung urged people to be more vigilant and businesses to tighten their disease prevention measures. A day before his comment, the country had reported six new cases prompting the Taiwanese government to tighten rules on public gatherings. The United Kingdom reported a stronger-than-expected economic growth of 2.1% in March from February, indicating the possibility of a sharp bounce-back post the COVID crisis. According to official figures, the country’s economy contracted by only 1.5% in the first quarter this year. The figure is extremely encouraging for the United Kingdom and its trade partners, particularly because the contraction was reported at a time Britain was, for a large part, under strict lockdown measures due to a second COVID wave. March’s 2.1% growth, however, comes from Britain starting to ease some restrictions in that month.  About egomonk: Website | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInegomonk is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. If you wish to collaborate with us then email us at contact@egomonk.com.
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