politics

Ford reverses out of Mahindra car-making joint venture in India

Ford had been expected to terminate its India business after struggling in the world’s fourth-biggest car market. Ford Motor Co. is reversing plans to cede most of its Indian operations to Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., deciding to pull out of a proposed joint venture and continue its standalone business in the country. The companies agreed to terminate the venture after reassessing in part due to the global coronavirus pandemic, they said Thursday. The decision ends a deal reached more than a year ago under which Ford was expected to fold its local operations, including two factories, into a JV that would be majority-controlled by Mahindra, a leading Indian manufacturer of sport utility vehicles. The future of Ford’s business in India is unclear as it has struggled for more than two decade...

New York Stock Exchange starts delisting China telecoms firms

Move follows Trump order barring US investments in Chinese companies allegedly tied to China’s military. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is starting the process of delisting securities of three Chinese telecommunications companies, China Telecom Corporation Limited, China Mobile Limited and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited, it said in a statement. The move comes after US President Donald Trump in November unveiled an executive order barring United States investments in Chinese companies that Washington says are owned or controlled by the Chinese military, which could affect some of China’s biggest companies. The November executive order sought to give teeth to a 1999 law mandating that the Department of Defense compile a list of Chinese military companies. The Pentagon, which only compl...

Asian shares set to finish 2020 at record high on economic hopes

Investors will be assessing whether global economic recovery helped by vaccines will be impeded by a new virus strain. Asian shares edged up on Thursday and were set to end a tumultuous 2020 at record highs, while growing investor hopes for a global economic recovery caused the dollar to fall further against most main currencies. MSCI’s gauge of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan rose 0.1 percent to its latest peak, having explored new highs repeatedly late in the year. But year-end trading was typically thin with many investors on holiday. The index is set for a fourth-quarter gain of more than 19 percent, which would be its strongest three-month performance since 2009 and a yearly rise just shy of 20 percent, which would be its highest since 2017. “A lot of the rise in the second part o...

US raises tariffs on European wines, spirits amid plane dispute

US will raise duties on European plane-making parts, some non-sparkling wines and cognac following EU measures in November. The Trump administration announced additional tariffs on some products from the EU as part of a long-running dispute over subsidies to aircraft makers Airbus SE and Boeing Co. In November, the EU instituted duties on some $4 billion in trade from the U.S. after gaining approval from the World Trade Organization. A year earlier, the U.S. had imposed tariffs — also authorized by the WTO — on about $7.5 billion in imports from the EU and U.K. including French wine and Scotch whisky. The U.S. Trade Representative’s office on Wednesday said it was amending some of its tariffs because the EU used a time period that affected “substantially more products than would have been ...

China shadows two US ships through the Taiwan Strait

Beijing condemns the trip – the 13th this year – as a ‘provocatio’ and “show of force’. Two US warships sailed through the sensitive Taiwan Strait on Thursday in the second such mission this month, drawing a protest from Beijing. It happened almost two weeks after a Chinese aircraft carrier group used the same waterway. China, which claims democratically run Taiwan as its own, has been angered by stepped-up United States support for the island, including arms sales and its warships sailing through the Taiwan Strait. The US Navy said the guided-missile destroyers USS John S McCain and USS Curtis Wilbur had “conducted a routine Taiwan Strait transit December 31 in accordance with international law”. “The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and op...

Mwonzora moves to pacify rivals, names Khupe and Mudzuri his deputies

HARARE – Newly-elected MDC-T leader Douglas Mwonzora has moved to pacify his rivals Thokozani Khupe and Elias Mudzuri by naming them his deputies even as they reject his victory citing voter fraud and violence. Unveiling his new executive on Wednesday, Mwonzora defended his win saying the election was held in compliance with the party’s constitution and democratic norms, and that the outcome was a true reflection of the “will of the people.” Khupe, Mudzuri, and Morgan Komichi walked out on the court-ordered congress on Sunday accusing Mwonzora and his camp of using a fake voters’ roll that disenfranchised their supporters. Khupe, who has since tested positive for Covid-19, went on to announce she had suspended both voting and Mwonzora as secretary-general of the party. “Our first Vice Pres...

Pakistan anti-corruption body arrests key opposition leader

The arrest of Khawaja Asif, who served as foreign minister in the government of former PM Nawaz Sharif, comes amid opposition-led protests. Pakistan’s anti-corruption body on Tuesday ordered the arrest of a key opposition leader on charges of having assets higher than his known sources of income, a spokesman said. The arrest of Khawaja Asif, who served as foreign minister in the government of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, comes days after the opposition asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to resign until January 31 or face prolonged protests in the capital Islamabad. Pakistani opposition parties have been holding rallies across the country to pressure Khan to resign over his alleged failure to improve the country’s economy. In a brief statement, Nawazish Ali, a spokesperson for the Natio...

‘Severe test’: As North Korean economy tanks, Kim needs solutions

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un will likely seek fresh impetus for driving growth at a ruling party congress in January after the pandemic added to the pain of sanctions that leave him with a smaller economy than the one he took over nine years ago. After closing its borders in response to Covid-19, North Korea’s gross domestic product likely shrank 8.5% in 2020, according to a projection by Fitch Solutions. That would be the biggest contraction in data back to 1990 and would leave the economy around 9% smaller than when Kim took power with a pledge to improve people’s living standards. The figures point to an accelerated need for Kim to come up with a new five year economic plan to survive the crisis and ensure he maintains a firm grip on power. On Tuesday, Kim examined preparations for the con...

Asia investors bet on 2021 rebound, sending shares to record high

Investors expect authorities to continue to make it easy for banks, businesses and people to borrow money and thus support their economies. Asian shares hit a record high on Wednesday as investors bet on a strong economic recovery next year, as there is little sign policymakers are winding back large stimulus efforts aimed at staving off coronavirus-fuelled downturns. MSCI’s gauge of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan rose 0.6 percent to hit a record high, led by gains in Chinese shares, bringing its gains so far this year to 18.2 percent. Japan’s Nikkei share average lost 0.58 percent on its last trading day of 2020 after jumping to a 30-year high on Tuesday. For the year, it was up 15.8 percent. “Investors stick to a bullish view overall and some are starting to bet further on rise in e...

HRW: 2020 a squandered opportunity for Zimbabwe to address human rights

WASHINGTON D.C. – Human rights violations increased across the world in 2020 as authorities battled Covid-19, according to the United Nations. Many people were arrested and prosecuted for offenses ranging from breaching lockdown protocols to inciting violence. But how did Zimbabwe fare? ZimLive.com (ZL) posed that question to Human Rights Watch (HRW) director for Southern African Dewa Mavhinga (DM) who pulled no punches in our interview below. (DM) Zimbabwe’s responses to the Covid19 pandemic were more to use the pandemic as an excuse to clamp down on people’s freedoms without focusing on actions to effectively stop the spread of Covid19. For example, the Zimbabwe security forces often used excessive force to enforce a national lockdown, which included locking up people in overcrowded, uns...

Mwonzora wins chaotic MDC-T congress, Khupe claims voter fraud

HARARE – The MDC-T’s extra-ordinary congress ended in the wee hours of Monday after a dramatic day of turmoil with Douglas Mwonzora being declared new party leader, taking over from Thokozani Khupe who pulled out of the contest accusing her ambitious rival of voter fraud. Voting in the court-ordered congress was marred by violence and allegations of irregularities raised by Khupe, who eventually abandoned proceedings and announced a suspension of Mwonzora. Khupe, with Morgen Komichi, another disgruntled contestant in tow, stormed out of voting and declared the congress “null and void”. She ordered polling to stop – in vain. The two accused Mwonzora and his camp of using violence and a fake voters’ roll that disenfranchised their supporters. Despite their protestations, voting continued int...

Defence takes police officer to task over Mafume bribe claim

HARARE – Defence lawyers on Thursday chipped away at prosecution claims that Harare mayor Jacob Mafume tried to bribe a key witness in his impending corruption trial. A senior police officer was forced to admit under cross-examination that Mafume had just US$65 when he was arrested, and an Econet number he was allegedly communicating with to set up the bribe was not registered to the witness. Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna postponed his ruling on Mafume’s bail application to Friday. The National Prosecuting Authority led by Constance Ngombengombe and Kudzai Chigwedere read out the latest charges against Mafume, accusing him of offering witness Edgar Dzehonye US$1,500 to alter his testimony. The prosecution alleged Mafume contacted Dzehonye, the principal housing officer for the City of Hara...