‘Time has arrived for Africa to establish a single currency’ – South African president

By ethan / March 27, 2018

President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa has suggested creating a single currency for Africa which, according to him, could boost trade across borders and match international currencies.

The idea was first mooted by Ramaphosa during a meeting of the African Union in Rwanda, where 44 countries gathered to sign the African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) treaty.

“The hour, the day, and the moment could have arrived for Africa to have its own currency so that we get out of our heads this colonial mentality of relying on other people’s currency. We can match that currency with others,” Ramaphosa told African leaders.

Currently, there are over 40 different currencies in Africa, with many of them struggling to maintain value. In 2008, Zimbabwe’s national currency soared to a staggering inflation rate of 89 sextillion (a million raised to the power of six) percent.

The CFTA treaty, which was agreed by the heads of state during the meeting, may result in the biggest free-trade area in terms of participating nations since the establishment of the World Trade Organization. The deal is expected to come into effect within six months, and the leaders hope the plan will boost prosperity for 1.2 billion Africans.

It is expected to erase trade barriers such as tariffs and import quotas, providing free movement of goods and services among member states.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Business News

California AG to sue Trump administration over ‘illegal’ census question

By ethan / March 27, 2018

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said on Monday that he intends to sue the Trump administration over a controversial question on citizenship in the 2020 census.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced a re-introduction of the citizenship question in a post on his department’s website yesterday. The decision, the post read, was made following a request in December from Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice.

A question on citizenship previously appeared on the US census until it was scrapped in 1950.

“Including a citizenship question on the 2020 census is not just a bad idea – it is illegal,” Becerra said in a tweet. According to research from the Public Policy Institute of California, Becerra’s native California is home to over 2.3 million illegal immigrants.

Becerra fears that these immigrants – who make up 10 percent of California’s workforce – would be discouraged from filling out the census by a citizenship question. This, he argues, would result in an inaccurate population count, the loss of one of California’s seats in the House of Representatives, and a shortfall in federal funds for Californian cities.

Becerra enjoys the support of 18 other Democratic state attorneys general, who pressed Ross’ department last month against including a citizenship question. They argued that including such a question would be unconstitutional.

The Department of Justice, however, said it needs citizenship data to better enforce the Voting Rights Act.

Immigrant communities overwhelmingly vote Democrat, and several party representatives and senators took to Twitter to voice support for Becerra’s suit.

While republicans opposed:

Becerra’s decision to take legal action is no surprise. In 2017, he peppered the Trump administration with lawsuit after lawsuit – 24 in total. He opposed the administration’s travel ban, opposed the border wall, opposed immigration enforcement, and opposed the Trump administration’s directive seeking to ban transgender people from the military, among others.

The Department of Commerce must provide Congress with a copy of the final wording of the census by March 31.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT US News

‘Australia is not considering World Cup boycott’ – Foreign Minister Julie Bishop

By ethan / March 27, 2018

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says the government will not join the countries which are diplomatically boycotting the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

“There are a whole range of options of further actions that could be taken [against Russia]. The World Cup is one of the further actions,” Bishop stated on Monday, talking about the steps Australia could take in addition to the expulsion of two Russian diplomats in response to the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, UK, which many Western countries blame on Moscow.

READ MORE: 16 EU states announce coordinated expulsion of Russian diplomats over Skripal case

Bishop’s words sparked concern among Australian football fans and officials regarding the Socceroos’ participation at the World Cup in Russia this summer. However, later the same day she addressed the concerns, tweeting that “the government is not considering a boycott of the World Cup.”

On Monday, Iceland announced it would be joining the United Kingdom in diplomatically boycotting the tournament. It comes after European countries, including 16 EU member states, as well as the US and Canada, announced that they would be expelling Russian diplomats over the Skripal case.

READ MORE: Iceland to diplomatically boycott 2018 World Cup in Russia

This summer Russia will host its first ever FIFA World Cup between June 14 and July 15. The tournament will be staged at 12 stadiums in 11 cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Sochi, Kaliningrad, Ekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd and Samara.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Sport News

Bitcoin & other cryptocurrencies crash as Twitter joins advertising ban

By ethan / March 27, 2018

Twitter started banning cryptocurrency advertising on Tuesday after rivals Google and Facebook announced the same clampdown earlier.

The social network told Reuters that the ban will cover advertising for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and token sales. For Japan, the restrictions will be limited to crypto exchanges regulated by its national financial regulator, Twitter said.

Read more

Pablo Escobar. © Colombian National Police

Twitter said it had already been trying to prevent cryptocurrency accounts from “engaging with others in a deceptive manner,” but the restrictions from Facebook and Google prompted it to do the same.

“With the increasing number of ICOs coming to market, it is an impossible task for anyone, much less platforms like Twitter or Facebook, to keep on top of which ICOs and cryptocurrencies are genuine versus frauds… Although certainly ICO advertising must have been a significant source of revenue for Twitter, the repercussions of fraudulent activities just weren’t worth the risk,” Zennon Kapron, director of the financial consultancy Kapronasia, told the news agency.

The majority of top cryptocurrencies were trading lower on the news. Bitcoin slipped five percent below $ 8,000 on Tuesday, ethereum plunged 10.73 percent to $ 456, and ripple fell 6.63 percent to $ 0.57.

The cryptocurrency market was worth less than $ 300 billion on Tuesday, according to Coinmarketcap – an astounding $ 525-billion drop from the record value seen in January. The 24-hour trading volume has also fallen more than 70 percent since January.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Business News

Ekaterinburg blows up 220ft Soviet TV tower in World Cup prep despite protests (VIDEO)

By ethan / March 27, 2018

World Cup 2018 host city Ekaterinburg has controversially demolished a Soviet TV tower dubbed a “symbol of the city’s identity” as it continues preparations for the tournament this summer.

The Urals city will be one of 11 host cities for Russia 2018, which will be held from June 14 to July 15, and is currently undergoing a sprucing-up period before welcoming football fans from around the globe.

The tower in Ekaterinburg began construction in 1983 but was never completed due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, meaning it stood rusty and unfinished in the heart of the city.

The tower was destroyed by a controlled explosion at the weekend, much to the chagrin of hundreds of local protesters, who last week took part in a “Hug the Tower” rally.

Ivan Volkov, a 39-year-old lawyer and head of a committee opposing the tower’s destruction, said the 220-meter-high (720ft) concrete structure had been a symbol of the city’s identity.

“Now it’s the symbol of the people’s humiliation at the hands of the authorities because the decision was made behind the scenes. It shouldn’t be done this way,” Volkov told Reuters.

Local governor Eugene Kuivashev defended the decision to demolish the structure, saying in a radio interview: “No one seriously believes that the city needs such a symbol.”

The city’s Central Stadium – which will be one of 12 host venues at Russia 2018 – made headlines when two stands at either end of the pitch were expanded beyond the stadium in an attempt to raise the stadium capacity and thus comply with FIFA regulations.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Sport News

No respect for elders: China's new oil benchmark crushing old-timer Brent

By ethan / March 27, 2018

China’s launch of yuan-backed oil futures has sparked huge interest among investors with initial trade volumes of the contracts outpacing overnight transactions of rival Brent crude – a globally recognized benchmark.

The first trading session saw a total of 62,500 contracts with more than 62 million barrels of crude traded for a notional volume of nearly 27 billion yuan ($ 4 billion), Zerohedge reports.

Read more

 © Ohde

The new contract reportedly attracted foreign investors including Glencore and Trafigura, as well as Freepoint Commodities, BOCI Global Commodities and North Petroleum International. Domestic firms, including Unipec, Chinaoil, Cnooc, and Sinochem, as well as independent refiner Shandong Huifeng Petrochemical, also joined trading, which started on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange on Monday.

“We were active with Glencore today and I’ve seen Trafigura in it and Freepoint. We take the view that the contract is viable and adds to the crude oil trading value chain, and is here to stay,” Kevin Tan, executive vice president at Singapore-based brokerage Straits Financial Services, told Reuters.

The initial surge in trade volumes was followed by a gradual slowdown towards the end of the session. The contract closed at 429.9 yuan per barrel ($ 68.22).

“In the short-term, we believe price fluctuations will reflect domestic crude oil supply and demand. In the long run, yuan crude price will mirror the moves of Brent,” said Chen Tong, Shanghai-based senior crude analyst at First Futures, as quoted by the news agency.

According to some experts, the newcomer may challenge traditional rivals Brent and WTI, with the yuan expected to become a major reserve currency. However, some analysts expressed doubts over the petro-yuan’s success, citing the fact that China is still not recognized as a market economy and the country’s authorities may interfere with trading at the first signs of a potential bubble.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Business News

Official kneels before mourning crowd, begs forgiveness for deadly Kemerovo fire

By ethan / March 27, 2018

The deputy governor of the Russian region where scores of people were killed in a shopping-mall fire fell to his knees and begged forgiveness from the participants of a demonstration.

On Tuesday, several officials from the Kemerovo region attended a mass gathering in which hundreds of locals congregated to mourn the victims of the fire that killed at least 64 people, including small children, in the Winter Cherry shopping center in Kemerovo city. The rally had lasted for seven hours when people from the regional administration proposed to end it and go home. The crowd replied with a disapproving hum, RIA Novosti reported.

Read more

© Dmitry Serebryakov

At this moment, Deputy Governor of Kemerovo region Sergey Tsivilev took the microphone and tried to address the assembly, but the device did not work. The official then unexpectedly fell to his knees.

I want to beg you for forgiveness,” Tsivilev said. “Since long ago, Russian people got to their knees when asking for forgiveness,” he said. The deputy governor spent around 10 seconds kneeling.

Earlier, participants of the rally demanded that all regional authorities should be sacked over the tragedy.

President Vladimir Putin paid a personal visit to Kemerovo on Tuesday, assuring locals that “everyone who must answer for this, will do that.” The president refused to reveal particular plans, saying that it was wrong to do this before an investigation into the fire yielded at least some results. At the same time, he said that investigators would check all versions of events, nothing would be concealed, and not one of the suspects would receive any protection.

Kemerovo Governor Aman Tuleyev did not attend the demonstration. According to local media, he apologized before the president for the tragedy, and also alleged that people who demanded his resignation were “troublemakers” from local opposition parties and groups. He claimed that these were shamelessly attempting to use the tragedy to gain political capital.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Russian Politics News

‘I dream of officiating at the World Cup!’ Russia’s ‘hottest referee’ Ekaterina Kostyunina (PHOTOS)

By ethan / March 27, 2018

Russian referee Ekaterina Kostyunina made headlines when she was dubbed the country’s ‘most beautiful football official,’ and the 22-year-old has expressed her dreams of one day officiating at the World Cup.

The Russia 2018 tournament is just weeks away with teams, players, and officials completing their final preparations before the festival of football this summer, which will be held in 12 host venues in 11 host cities from June 14 to July 15.

Kostyunina, who became famous as the ref with the raunchy Instagram photos as much as for her on-field officiating, says her goal is to one day appear on the world’s biggest football stage.

READ MORE: Hottest Russian whistleblower? Meet Ekaterina Kostyunina, football referee (PHOTOS)

Hailing from the small town of Krasnoyarsk in central Russia, Kostyunina says that her passion for football began at school before being asked to referee by chance and deciding to “devote her life” to enforcing the laws of the beautiful game.

Although she remains a fan of local FC Yenisey Krasnoyarsk, Kostyunina also has affiliations with English football – but, as she tells RT, her loyalties remain close to her homeland as regards the World Cup.

RT: Ekaterina, you have made headlines as ‘Russia’s most beautiful referee.’ What first attracted you to football and when?

Ekaterina Kostyunina: I played football with my school classmates after lessons, and later I was invited to join a women’s team. Then I received an offer to referee a couple of matches. I really liked it and I decided to devote my life to officiating.

The World Cup 2018 will take place this summer in Russia. Do you dream of one day refereeing at the World Cup?

Maybe, but it’s such a huge responsibility. Right now, it’s just a dream! To earn the chance to officiate in such matches, you need to go down a long and hard road, whereas my journey has only just begun.

Many Russian football fans enjoy watching the English Premier League as well as Russian football. Do you have a favorite English team or a favorite English player?

I watch English Premier League matches. I don’t have a favorite team, although I used to support Manchester United. From the Premier League players, I can single out Harry Kane as my favorite.

The World Cup begins on June 14. Do you plan on attending matches at the tournament?

Yes, I’m planning to attend matches. It’s a brilliant event not just for our country but for the whole world. A real celebration of football, which brings us all together! I still am really impressed from when I went to matches at the 2017 Confederations Cup last summer. I’m really looking forward to the World Cup 2018!

How do you think the Russia national team will perform at their home World Cup?

I have belief in the Russian team, ‘Sbornaya,’ and as a patriot of my homeland I’m hoping for the best results. I am sure that they will advance from the group stage.

In the event that Russia does not advance from the group, who will you be supporting?

If Russia does not get out of the group, advance from the group stage, firstly, I will be really upset! I like how Germany play and their style of football. I was at their matches at the Confederations Cup.

World football governing body FIFA announced that the Russia 2018 World Cup will be the first to feature Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology. The system has split opinion among fans, with many questioning its reliability.

Should Kostyunina achieve her dream of making it to the World Cup, her inclusion would perhaps be one official decision-making addition that would be met with no such resistance.

By Danny Armstrong for RT Sport

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Sport News

West seeking to avoid collapse by antagonizing Russia, says veteran nationalist

By ethan / March 27, 2018

Western nations need the current conflict with Russia to consolidate the region in the face of the migrant crisis and looming collapse of the European Union, the leader of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party has said.

“The European Union is falling apart. How can they prevent this without an external threat? They need some fear factor,” Vladimir Zhirinovsky wrote in his Telegram messenger on Tuesday.

Read more

A police officer stands outside the London Road cemetery where the grave of Alexander Skripal; son of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal; is seen covered with a tent, in Salisbury, Britain © Peter Nicholls

“They are no longer afraid of the Islamic world, there are millions of refugees from Arab nations and Africa living in Europe anyway. China is too far. Russia is all that they are left with,” he explained.

“Besides, the USA benefits from this whole situation. If Europe remains unstable, funds from the whole world would pour into the United States. A similar effect was recorded in the time of World War II, which was mostly waged on European territory,” the Russian politician noted.

Zhirinovsky’s comment followed shortly after the United States, the United Kingdom, 16 EU nations and several other Western countries announced that they were expelling dozens of Russian diplomats in response to Russia’s alleged complicity in the recent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Russia has denied any role in the incident and has demanded to see some basis for the allegations being made by British officials, but this request has been denied.

Moscow has already reciprocated by expelling British diplomats and announced that more reciprocal measures will be taken against all nations that take part in the hostile campaign.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT Russian Politics News

Suspicious packages sent to military facilities, congresswoman

By ethan / March 27, 2018

Police are investigating a “suspicious brown substance” found in an envelope sent to the office of a congresswoman in New Hampshire. Separately, the FBI is examining suspicious packages delivered to US military facilities.

The package arrived at the office of Democratic Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter in Dover on Monday afternoon. Staff alerted the police as soon as they opened it.

READ MORE: Mail bomb explosion: 1 FedEx employee injured by Austin-bound package

“This afternoon, my New Hampshire office received an envelope with an unidentified brown substance inside,” Shea-Porter said in a statement. “My office followed House procedure and notified the appropriate law enforcement agencies, and we are waiting for the results of some testing. I am so grateful for the quick response of the Dover Police Department.”

Dover police said no one was sickened or injured by the package. “It was immediately apparent to them that they had concerns and they instituted their protocols and called us right away. This was handled very quickly,” Dover police Lt. Brant Dolleman said, the Union Leader reports. RT.com has contacted the Dover police for further information.

News of the New Hampshire investigation comes as as the FBI analyzes a number of suspicious packages sent to military installations in Washington DC. “The FBI responded to multiple government facilities today for the reports of suspicious packages. Each package was collected for further analysis by the FBI,” FBI spokesman Andrew Ames said.

In one incident, a package sent to the Fort Nair National Defense University caused an evacuation. The Army Ordnance Disposal Unit confirmed the package contained explosive residue and that there was a fuse attached.  

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

RT US News

Page 463 of 958
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons