US Federal Reserve Reviews Ethics Rules After Trading Revelations
The United States Federal Reserve is reviewing the ethics policies that govern the financial holdings and activities of its senior officials in the wake of recent disclosures that two regional Fed presidents engaged in extensive trading last year. Financial disclosure forms show that Robert Kaplan, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, in 2020 traded millions of dollars of stock in companies such as Apple, Amazon, and Google, while Eric Rosengren, president of the Boston Fed, traded in stocks and real estate investment trusts. Both Kaplan and Rosengren said last week that their trades were permitted under the Fed’s ethics rules. They however said they would sell their holdings at the end of this month and place the money in index funds, which track a wide range of securities, or in cash.
EU Parliament Resolution Urges Sanctions On Lebanon Officials
The European Parliament has adopted a resolution calling for the EU to adopt targeted sanctions on Lebanese officials engaged in corruption and obstructing the Beirut Port explosion investigation. The resolution condemned Lebanese political parties for the country’s devastating economic crisis and for delaying any semblance of economic recovery and accountability. The resolution urged the EU to maintain pressure on political leaders in Lebanon, where a government was formed last week following more than a year of political deadlock. The resolution notably condemned the rejection of an IMF-approved bailout plan presented by the previous Lebanese government.
Australia Says More US Troops To Come
Australia has announced that more US troops will rotate through the island nation and that the allies will cooperate on missile development, the latest joint steps amid shared concerns about China’s increasing assertiveness in the region. Australia earlier announced a three-way alliance with the United States and Britain in which Canberra will acquire nuclear-powered submarines, enraging France whose own key contract for conventional submarines was scrapped. Defence Minister Peter Dutton says that Australia will be significantly enhancing cooperation including working together on the development of missiles and explosive ordnance. He says Australia was willing to see more US Marines in a 10-year rotation through the northern city of Darwin.
US Moves To Assure Vital Partner France Over Submarine Pact
Secretary of State Antony Blinken says France remains a vital partner to the United States on many issues as he sought to allay Paris’s anger at a security partnership between the US, the United Kingdom and Australia that did not include the European Union country. Blinken says the US is looking to find every opportunity to deepen cooperation with France, including in the Indo-Pacific region. The top US diplomat stressed the importance of the alliance between the US and France. He says that France is a vital partner on so many other things which stretch back a long time but also stretching forward into the future.
EU Calls For Urgent Reform Of WTO
EU Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis pleaded for urgent reform of the World Trade Organization, saying it was high time for change at the global trade body. Dombrovskis says he was ready to consider a major shake-up of the WTO’s dispute settlement system. He says the face of trade has changed considerably since the foundation of the WTO in 1995 adding that the rules that govern the organisation have not. He says the WTO is caught between a rock and hard place. Its negotiating function is paralysed. Its dispute settlement system is frozen.
West Africa Bloc Imposes Sanctions On Guinea Junta
Leaders of West Africa regional bloc Ecowas have imposed travel bans and a freeze of the financial assets of Guinea's coup leaders and their families. The sanctions are expected to put more pressure on the military junta to restore constitutional rule. The decisions were announced after an extraordinary summit in Accra, Ghana, on Wednesday. The regional bloc also wants the junta to conduct elections within six months and insists that none of the military leaders should be allowed to contest the polls. The leaders however expressed their willingness to support the country through the transitional process. They have called on the Africa Union, the UN, and their international partners to help enforce the travel bans and financial sanctions against the junta and their families.
Kenyans Protest Over Fuel Price Hikes
Kenyans protested at a jump in fuel prices, which threaten to pile on the misery for a population already suffering economic hardship because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Fuel prices are now at record levels after the country’s energy regulator this week put an end to subsidies on petrol, diesel and kerosene that were introduced earlier this year to ease anger over the surging cost of living. The scrapping of the subsidies, which took effect on Wednesday, increased the price of petrol in Nairobi by about six per cent to a maximum of almost 135 shillings a litre. And the cost is set to rise further with the introduction of a near five per cent excise duty on fuel from October 1.
Guinea Declares End Of Marburg Virus Outbreak
The World Health Organization says Guinea has declared the end of an outbreak of the Marburg virus, which belongs to the same family as Ebola, Health authorities in the country confirmed West Africa’s first recorded case of Marburg on August 9, in a man whose infection was detected after he had died a week earlier. Guinean health authorities began monitoring the Marburg victim’s contact cases. WHO Africa director Matshidiso Moeti added that Guinea’s growing expertise in responding to viral outbreaks had prevented a spillover and saved lives.
Nigerian State Stopped Dialoguing with Bandits Because of Their Deceit
Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has declared that the state government stopped dialoguing with bandits troubling the state because of their deceit. Matawalle, however, disclosed that relative peace had since returned to the state with the people now happy and going about their normal business. The governor Thursday told newsmen says people had started seeing results of the stringent measures put in place to restore security, adding that though the measures were tough, the people had not minded, because they are now feeling secure. Governor Matawale had also recently proposed dialogue as a strategy for ending the violent activities of bandits and kidnappers in the state.
Nigeria Returns To International Capital Market For $6.2bn Eurobonds
Nigeria has announced plans for another visit to the global market. The Debt Management Office says that it had secured virtual meetings with investors holding from today to September 20th, 2021. The debt management agency says meetings would also be held with local investors In order to avail domestic investors the opportunity to invest in the Eurobonds. The DMO stated that through the Eurobond issuance, Nigeria is expected to raise up to $3 billion but no more than $6.2 billion.