|Wednesday 01st of February 2017
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Normal Board - The Whole shebang
Prompt Board Next day settlement
Expert Board All you need re an Individual stock.
The Latest Daily PodCast can be found here on the Front Page of the site
The oldest known human ancestor @bbcworldservice Audio
Scientists believe they've found what could be the earliest ancestor
or humans and a range of other species. It comes in the form of a
microscopic creature which lived over 500 million years ago in what is
today China. Professor Simon Conway Morris from St Johns College
Cambridge was part of the research team.
The best blinged-out watches from 2017 so far
Cartier Panthère Royale.Source: Cartier
As much as I loved the Cartier Panthère with the black spots that I
mentioned in our last roundup, this one is much more blinged-out. In
white gold with diamonds across every centimeter, this delicate
filagreed watch was one of the most beautiful at SIHH
This is the one thing Donald Trump, Syria's Bashar al-Assad and President al-Sisi in Egypt have in common Crowds matter.
Law & Politics
We reporters love crowd figures. The bigger the mob, the better the
story. Politicians love them too. The greater the masses, the greater
the popularity. Ask not who said: “I’m like, wait a minute. I made a
speech. I looked out, the field was, it looked like a million, million
and a half people.” Ah, those millions.
Back in 2011, the crowds in Tahrir Square were in their hundreds of
thousands. A million Egyptians – that's the figure Al Jazeera went
for. Or maybe it was a million and a half people in central Cairo.
They helped to overthrow Hosni Mubarak – with the help of the army, of
course, the people’s protector. Experts thought 300,000 was the
greatest number of Egyptians you could cram into the Tahrir district.
But what the hell? It was a revolution.
So Mohamed Morsi won the first democratic election in modern Egyptian
history, but two years later the crowds were back in the streets of
the Arab world’s most populated nation. Now they wanted the overthrow
of Morsi and the strong hand of the people’s protector, the army. They
produced a reported 22 million signatures on a youth movement protest
petition. And they got General, later Field Marshal, later still
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. His publicists then announced that his
coup d'état had been supported by protestors who took part in “the
largest demonstrations in human history”. They touted the total
cross-country crowds as 33 million, more than a third of the entire
Egyptian population. This was fantastical, but obsessive.
No wonder that when Donald Trump met Sisi last year, he pronounced the
Egyptian leader “a fantastic guy”. And let’s not forget that Obama’s
administration went along with the utterly unverified signatures on
that infamous ‘petition’. Hillary Clinton’s own State Department
declared that the US could not reverse the will of the “22 million
people who spoke out [sic] and had their voices heard”. But it was the
scale of the 33 millions that the military used to claim legitimacy.
When the BBC reported this Hollywood-style exaggeration, Sisi’s
acolytes requoted the BBC as authenticating the fantasy.
But you could see what Trump’s weird spokesman meant when he said that
this was “the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration”.
Whatever the final results of the US election that gave his master
victory, Sean Spicer was untruthfully saying what his master
truthfully wanted to hear: that the will of the people must be done.
Crowds matter. When the Egyptian army staged its coup, Sisi’s friend
Blair did actually say that it had done so at “the will of the
Maybe crowd figures are taking the place of public opinion polls –
which long ago took the place of elections in popular imagination –
and that the magic million (or million and a half) is the new
obsession of American presidents as it has been the obsession of Arab
presidents for years. Zoom in on Trump. But let’s not get obsessive
about him. All he was saying is that he had seen “an awesome
manifestation of people power”
17-SEP-2012 ::The Madding Crowd
Law & Politics
Now set these events alongside these comments from the US army war
college quarterly 1997. The US officer assigned to the deputy chief of
staff (Intelligence), charged with defining the future of warfare,
wrote "One of the defining bifurcations of the future will be the
conflict between information masters and information victims."
This information warfare will not be couched in the rationale of
geopolitics, the author suggests, but will be "spawned" - like any
Hollywood drama - out of raw emotions. "Hatred, jealousy, and greed -
emotions, rather than strategy - will set the terms of [information
Now what are the consequences of this new 21st century madding crowd?
A madding crowd which can be inflamed by a fellow with a camera and an
account with YouTube.
There are plenty of flame throwers in a population of seven billion.
If Trump hasn't yet seized the modern-day equivalents of the telephone and the telegraph, he has certainly managed to scramble their signals. Quartz
Law & Politics
The key to a successful insurrection, Vladimir Lenin wrote three days
before the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, was the seizure of the
telephone and telegraph. Every Soviet child, including myself, learned
this dictum in the fourth grade.
In the 21st century, I never thought I’d have reason to reflect on
Lenin’s advice again. The Soviet Union is long gone; I now live in the
US. Then, in the first month of the centennial anniversary of the
Russian Revolution, Americans inaugurated Donald Trump as their 45th
president. This is a man who, in alliance with most radical elements
of the Republican Party, has flooded the country’s media channels with
fake news and conspiracy theories. If Trump hasn’t yet seized the
modern-day equivalents of the telephone and the telegraph, he has
certainly managed to scramble their signals.
Does Trump’s victory and his cabinet appointments genuinely amount to
a government takeover akin to the one staged by the Bolshevik Party in
1917? If we view Trump’s “movement” as a radical faction within the
Republican Party that has swept him to power despite opposition from
within the party, the comparison is not as far-fetched as it may seem.
The disturbing parallels between Lenin and Trump include the role that
foreign interference appears to have played in their rise to power.
Although never definitively proven, Lenin’s rapid assent to power has
long been credited to the complicity of Germany, which had a vital
interest in destabilizing Russia, their key adversary in World War I.
An exile in Switzerland up until April 1917, Lenin and his comrades
had been allowed to pass through German lands in a special “sealed
train” and eventually reach Petrograd. There, he joined other
Bolsheviks to plot the second—proletarian—revolution. According to
many prominent historians, Germans also provided significant funding
for Pravda, the newspaper that spread the Bolsheviks’ propaganda.
One hundred years later in the US, American intelligence agencies and
bipartisan members of Congress have come to a consensus that the
revanchist and anti-democratic government of Russia meddled in the
2016 US election, using cyber warfare to tip the scales toward the
pro-Putin candidate. What seemed unimaginable just a few months
ago—lifting Western sanctions imposed on Russia for its annexation of
Crimea—is now possible. In the post-industrial world, totalitarianism,
too, can become global.
Trump trade adviser says Germany using "grossly undervalued" euro
Peter Navarro, the head of the U.S. president's new National Trade
Council, told the Financial Times the euro was like an "implicit
Deutsche Mark" whose low valuation gave Germany an edge over the
United States and its European Union partners.
Navarro's comments are the latest from Washington that may deepen
growing unease over the outlook for global trade, after Trump himself
told the Wall Street Journal two weeks ago that the dollar's strength
against the Chinese yuan "is killing us".
The euro rose sharply to an eight-week high against the dollar of
$1.08, further away from the 14-year low of $1.0339 it hit earlier
this month. It had fallen almost 25 percent over the previous three
The Western Indian Ocean's blue economy can thrive. Here's how
Few readers will have heard the term “Western Indian Ocean”. Yet, this
30 million square km of ocean off the coasts of ten east and southern
African countries supports some 60 million people living within 100km
of the shore.
The annual economic output of the ocean is estimated to come fourth in
line behind the region’s biggest economies – South Africa, Kenya and
Tanzania. It produces more than $20.8 billion in goods and services
But the health of the ocean is approaching a turning point. Many
principal ocean assets are declining as a result of exploitation. And
this is happening at a time when the use of ocean resources to support
growth is accelerating.
So a key question is: can the ocean economy in the Western Indian
Ocean grow and support those countries’ aspirations in coming decades?
Remarkable and sobering findings, and possible answers, are contained
in a new report. It was led by the World Wildlife Fund, the Boston
Consulting Group and CORDIO (Coastal Oceans Research and Development
in the Indian Ocean East Africa) East Africa.
The economic analysis focused on ocean goods and services that were
based on living marine ecosystems. It didn’t include activities like
shipping and mining that don’t depend on ecological functions of the
sea. The researchers found the region’s total ocean asset base, a sort
of “shared wealth fund”, was at least $333.8 billion.
The main assets include fisheries, the coastline itself, mangroves,
carbon absorption, seagrass beds and corals reefs. The most productive
benefits annually are from coastal and marine tourism, carbon
sequestration and fisheries.
But the health of the assets that provide these benefits is in
jeopardy. The report documents that 35% of the fish stocks assessed in
the Western Indian Ocean are fully exploited and 28% are
over-exploited. Over the course of 25 years, both Tanzania and Kenya
lost 18% of their mangroves. Over 50% of the shark species assessed in
the region are considered threatened. And 71-100% of the region’s
coral reefs are at risk, with the exception of those in the
Ghanaians Hoarding Dollars Put Cedi on Course for 19-Month Low Bloomberg
The cedi was among the worst performers in the world this year after
data showed the nation’s budget shortfall in the first 11 months of
2016 was more than 2 percentage points higher than the government’s
target. The cedi declined 0.7 percent to 4.3775 per dollar as of 11:41
a.m. in London.
Provisional data from the Bank of Ghana for the fiscal period from
January through November showed a shortfall of 7 percent of gross
domestic product, exceeding the target of 4.7 percent because of weak
revenue collection. Concerns over the currency, which has lost about a
fourth of its value in two years, were further exacerbated by the
central bank’s surprise decision to keep a key interest rate unchanged
The administration under President Nana Akufo-Addo, who took office
earlier this month, will present the government’s budget in March.
“People are keeping what they have, until the first budget is read,”
Hamza Adam, the head of treasury at Universal Merchant Bank in Accra,
said by phone. “The central bank decided to maintain the policy rate
because of inflationary pressures. Combined with the fact that people
are not sure about what the budget-deficit target would be, many are
BUY The CEDI.
President @NAkufoAddo I am sure will err on the side of Fiscal rectitude
African economies are in an "age of uncertainties" @NjorogeP
While Kenya has sufficient buffers, including a $1.5 billion standby
loan facility with the International Monetary Fund to cushion its
economy in times of externally induced shocks, there isn’t adequate
insurance against a “Trump effect,” Njoroge said, referring to U.S.
President Donald Trump’s inclination towards protectionist trade
policy and his stance on immigration.
“There could be some headwinds; the most significant ones still remain
the external environment,” Njoroge said. “We don’t have adequate
insurance for them.”
African economies are in an “age of uncertainties” in which most
nations and investors targeting emerging markets are waiting with
“bated breath” for U.S. policy, Njoroge said.
Kenya is worried that Trump may suddenly cancel a 16-year-old trade
pact known as the African Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA. The
treaty enacted in 2000 allows dozens of sub-Saharan African countries
to export certain goods to the U.S. duty-free. It expires in 2025.
“What would happen if suddenly somebody blows out AGOA or there is a
slowdown in remittances,” he said. “The concern is not for just Kenya
alone, the concern is worldwide.”
Remittances are the biggest source of foreign currency for the $69.2
billion economy, followed by agricultural exports such as cut flowers
and black tea.