An Important News Mobile 2

Angela Merkel, North Korea, Iraq: Your Tuesday Briefing

 Germany’s election results reverberated across the country’s political spectrum. Alternative for Germany, the far-right party that is now the third-largest group in Parliament, is already mired in a leadership tussle. Frauke Petry, above, the party’s leader, announced that she would not join its caucus in Parliament, prompting calls for her to quit the party. Chancellor Angela Merkel began talks with the Greens ...

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen to visit SAF forces in Iraq

Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen is leading a delegation to visit the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) troops deployed to Iraq in support of the multinational coalition to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (IS), the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said in a statement on Tuesday (Sept 26). Dr Ng had previously announced in November 2014 that the ...

Iran’s border with N. Iraq remains ‘operational’

ERBIL A border, which linked Iran with northern Iraq, remained “operational”, head of Bashmakh border crossing said on Tuesday. “The daily and commercial transitions between Iran and Kurdish Regional Government are quite normal,” Mahmud Ezver, head of Bashmakh border crossing, told Kurdish Regional Government’s official (KRG) website Pukmedia on Tuesday. His remarks came a day after Iran announced that it ...

Singaporean in IS video has been fighting on frontlines in Iraq and Syria

SINGAPORE: A Singaporean who exhorted others to join the Islamic State in a video has been fighting in Iraq and Syria and was injured in combat, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Tuesday (Sep 26). Megat Shahdan Abdul Samad, 39, is believed to be the radicalised Singaporean known as Abu ‘Uqayl in an IS propaganda video. He was ...

U.S. contractors accuse Iraq of tax shake down

American military contractors operating in Iraq are accusing Baghdad of employing strong-arm tactics to make them pay exorbitant income taxes, a practice they’ve warned the Trump administration is hampering the fight against Islamic State extremists. To force payment of the taxes, which the companies say are haphazardly calculated and can total millions of dollars, Iraqi authorities have held up — ...

Manus refugees rejected by Australia head to US

A small group of refugees have become the first to be moved from Australia’s offshore detention centre on Manus island to the US to start new lives. The 22 men have been accepted by the US under a deal reached between Australia and the Obama administration. Another group are expected to be moved from the island nation of Nauru in ...

Tony Abbott’s daughter appears in same-sex marriage campaign ad

Fathers and daughters are hardly strangers to disagreement. And so it is with Tony Abbott, the prominent Australian anti-same-sex marriage campaigner, and his daughter Frances, who has backed the rival yes campaign in the country’s keenly contested postal survey. Two weeks after she put herself at odds with her father, the country’s former prime minister, with a post on Instagram, ...

Australia joins UK space radar mission

Australia is to be a launch partner on the UK’s innovative new small radar satellite, NovaSAR. The spacecraft, which will track shipping and forestry change from orbit, is due to launch on an Indian rocket early next year. Australia’s main research organisation, CSIRO, has signed a 10% share in NovaSAR’s data. The deal comes on the heels of an announcement that the ...

Is the government seeking fresh ideas on the economy?

In recent weeks, the National Democratic Alliance government headed by Narendra Modi has revived the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to the Prime Minister (under economist Bibek Debroy), formed an expert panel on agriculture under federal policy think tank Niti Aayog, and extended the term of chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian. The appointments come at a time economic growth has slowed ...

The illusion that China’s economy is in good shape

The Chinese economy has started showing signs of losing steam, just as it is incumbent upon the top leadership in Beijing to maintain a positive economic picture as it prepares for next month’s National Congress of the Communist Party. An official explanation goes that adjustments are being made to eliminate bubbles in the real estate sector and to reduce corporate ...

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