TV crews were quick to visit the areas in western Europe devastated by flooding in July. As they talked to victims and helpers, the shocking scale of the tragedy became clear to viewers. At least 170 people lost their lives.DW Documentary
Recently, the three major communications network operators in China all released their subscriber figures as of April. These figures have raised questions about China’s actual 5G development.China Observer
At about 6:00 a.m. on July 20th, a large explosion occurred in Dengfeng City, Henan Province, at the Dengdian Group Aluminum Alloy plant. Large amounts of fire and smoke can be seen on site, like the mushroom cloud from an atomic bomb, and strong tremors can be felt in a 50 kilometer radius .Local netizens said that the glass of some houses several kilometers away were shattered. Officials said the explosions happened at the same time, however, according to the videos on the web, there were multiple explosions on site.China Observer
Limited job opportunities and social resources make the competition for young people in modern China increasingly fierce. But there is a group of young people who think differently, they do not compete, will not get married, will not have a child, and will not buy a house. This is now popular among young people in China – the “lying flat” doctrine.Three-child Policy
In Paris, protesters and police clashed during a march against France’s so-called health pass. The pass requires proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test to enter many public venues. And lawmakers are now debating making it even stricter, in the hope that it will persuade more people to get the jab. But the demonstrators say the measures breach their civil liberties.DW News
As the U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of war, what is America leaving behind? An on-the-ground report from Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi on the Taliban’s advance, fears of civil war, and Iran’s growing influence.FRONTLINE
A clean-up operation is underway in China’s central Henan province after devastating floods. Days of heavy rain has left much of the region submerged. At least 33 people have been killed, thousands displaced and many are still missing.DW News
Germany is in shock. Days of heavy rain caused several rivers to burst their banks, flooding entire towns and villages. More than 160 people lost their lives. Now survivors are battling to clean up in the wake of the disaster.DW Documentary
A senior lawmaker told Reuters the Cyprus model may not be an isolated case, and is perhaps a future template in dealing with troubled European banks.
The new template is now likely to turn into a full-scale EU law, letting taxpayers off the hook in case a bail-out is needed, but imposing major losses on bigger savers on a permanent basis.
“You need to be able to do the bail-in as well with deposits,” said Gunnar Hokmark, member of European Parliament, who is leading negotiations with EU countries to finalize a law for winding up problem banks, Reuters reported.
“Deposits below 100,000 euros are protected … deposits above 100,000 euros are not protected and shall be treated as part of the capital that can be bailed in,” Hokmark told Reuters, adding that he was confident a majority of his peers in the parliament backed the idea.
The European Commission has written the draft of the law, which now awaits approval from eurozone member states and the parliament on whether and when it can be implemented. It’s been reported, the law is planned to take effect in the beginning of 2015.
“What we’ve done last night is what I call pushing back the risks,” Dijsselbloem told Reuters and the Financial Times hours after the Cyprus deal was struck Monday.
After speaking to reporters, news outlets prolieferated Disselbloem’s ‘Cyprus as a template’ commentary, which sent markets into a spook and tanked many trading indexes. Analysts took the rhetoric as a signal Cyprus was not a unique case, and other Euro economies, could be next.
Now Dijsselbloem is eating his words and defended himself saying he doesn’t even know the English word ‘template’, but he was simply describing the process itself.
“If there is a risk in a bank, our first question should be ‘Okay, what are you in the bank going to do about that? What can you do to recapitalise yourself?’ If the bank can’t do it, then we’ll talk to the shareholders and the bondholders, we’ll ask them to contribute in recapitalising the bank, and if necessary the uninsured deposit holders,” he said.
Though the word ‘template’ wasn’t explicitly used, his comments still indicate he doesn’t think Cyprus is a one-time deal.
The International Monetry Fund and German officials back the new template and see it as a more sustainable approach to battling the sovereign debt problems that spread like a virus in financially weak members of the eurozone.
Economist Yanis Varoufakis believes the situation in the rest of the eurozone is not looking good after the “basic principle” of a banking union and solidarity throughout the eurozone has been jeopardized.
“As long as even a small probability of losing their money is present and persistent, the capital flight from the periphery to the core of the eurozone is going to continue unabated and this is going to constantly undermine the integrity of the eurozone,” Varoufakis told RT. “Suppose you are a depositor in Spain… Even if there is a small probability in your mind that something similar could happen with your insolvent Spanish bank, and they are insolvent after all, why would you keep money in your Spanish bank account and not transfer it to Frankfurt, to Deutsche bank, let’s say? There is no reason why you shouldn’t transfer it to Germany.”
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The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the first treaty on the global arms trade, which seeks to regulate the $70 billion business in conventional arms and keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers.
The National Rifle Association (NRA), a powerful U.S. pro-gun lobbying group that has opposed the treaty from the start, said it was a sad day for the United States, which joined the vast majority of U.N. member states by voting for the pact.
Iran, Syria and North Korea cast the sole votes against the treaty. The same three states last week prevented a treaty-drafting conference at U.N. headquarters from reaching the required consensus to adopt the pact.
The official U.N. tally showed 154 votes in favor, three against 23 abstentions, though diplomats and U.N. officials said the actual vote was 155-3-22. They said Angola was recorded as having abstained, though it had attempted to vote yes.
Iran, which is under a U.N. arms embargo over its nuclear program, is eager to ensure its arms imports and exports are not curtailed, while Syria’s government is embroiled in a two-year civil war and relies on arms from Russia and Iran, envoys said.
North Korea is also under a U.N. arms embargo due to its nuclear weapons and missile programs.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the vote, saying the treaty “will help to keep warlords, pirates, terrorists, criminals and their like from acquiring deadly arms.”
The treaty will be open for signature on June 3 and will enter into force 90 days after the 50th signatory ratifies it. Mexican U.N. Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba told reporters it normally takes two to three years for a treaty to come into force, but said he hoped it would happen sooner in this case.
Major arms producers China and Russia joined Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and other countries in abstaining. Although a significant number of countries abstained, putting the treaty to a General Assembly vote was the only way its supporters could get it adopted after the treaty conference collapsed last week.
NRA: ‘A SAD, YET TELLING, DAY’
Many of the countries that abstained, among them India, complained the treaty favored exporting over importing states. Russia said Moscow would take a hard look at the treaty before deciding whether to sign it.
Several delegates told Reuters the treaty’s effectiveness would be limited if major arms exporters refused to sign it.
The United States, the world’s No. 1 arms exporter, voted in favor of the treaty despite fierce opposition from the NRA, whose lobbying wing – the NRA Institute for Legislative Action – issued a statement condemning the U.N. vote.
“This treaty disregards the Second Amendment to our Constitution and threatens individual firearm ownership,” said Chris Cox, head of the NRA-ILA. “It is a sad, yet telling, day when the president of the United States and his administration refuse to defend America’s Constitution on the world stage.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement the U.N. adopted “a strong, effective and implementable Arms Trade Treaty that can strengthen global security while protecting the sovereign right of states to conduct legitimate arms trade.”
“Nothing in this treaty could ever infringe on the rights of American citizens under our domestic law or the Constitution, including the Second Amendment,” he added, referring to the U.S. Constitutional amendment that guarantees the right to bear arms.
The NRA has vowed to fight to prevent the treaty’s ratification by the U.S. Senate when it reaches Washington.
Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari repeated that his government opposes the arms trade treaty because it does not ban the sale of weapons to non-state actors and “terrorists” like those it says are active in Syria. The civil war there has claimed at least 70,000 lives, according to U.N. estimates.
Syria routinely refers to rebels trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad as “terrorists” backed by foreign governments.
The treaty does not ban transfers to armed groups, but says all arms transfers should be subjected to rigorous risk and human rights assessments first.
British Prime Minister David Cameron hailed the vote as a “landmark agreement that will save lives and ease the immense human suffering caused by armed conflict around the world.”
SCRUTINY ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Mexico issued a statement on behalf of 98 U.N. member states saying, “an effective implementation of this treaty will make a real difference for the people of the world.”
U.N. member states began meeting on March 18 in a final push to end years of discussions and hammer out a binding international treaty to end the lack of regulation over cross-border conventional arms sales.
Arms control activists and rights groups have said a treaty was needed to halt the uncontrolled flow of arms and ammunition that they say fuels wars, atrocities and rights abuses.
The Arms Trade Treaty aims to set standards for all cross-border transfers of conventional weapons. It would also create binding requirements for states to review all cross-border arms contracts to ensure that arms will not be used in human rights abuses, terrorism or violations of humanitarian law.
“The agreement of the Arms Trade Treaty sends a clear message to arms dealers who supply warlords and dictators that their time is up,” said Anna Macdonald of the global development group Oxfam.
The main reason the arms trade talks took place at all is that the United States, the world’s biggest arms trader, reversed U.S. policy on the issue after President Barack Obama was first elected and decided in 2009 to support a treaty.
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