Forward-fund agreed

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Property lending boom does not mean an end to caution

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Original spin

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North to get new ‘Stockley Park’

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UK Property Entrepreneur

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Diary of… a planning consultant

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Canada gets China nod to bring home citizens amid epidemic

first_imgCanada’s top diplomat has gotten a nod from his Chinese counterpart to bring home nearly 200 Canadians from Wuhan — the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic — his office said Friday.In a rare telephone call with Foreign Minister Wang Yi Thursday night, Canada’s Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne “asked for the collaboration of the Chinese government in helping those Canadian citizens who want to depart the region.”Wang “responded positively,” he said in a statement. Ottawa chartered a plane to bring back 196 Canadians who asked to be repatriated, but the airlift had remained in limbo this week even as the United States, Japan, South Korea and European nations brought home their nationals.With Wuhan locked down as part of a government effort to contain the epidemic, the Canadian flight required authorization to land in the region.Canada’s relations with its second biggest trading partner have been strained since the arrest on a US warrant of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in December 2018 during a flight stopover in Vancouver.China has detained two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor, in apparent retaliation. It also blocked Canadian agricultural shipments.The first phase of a court hearing of a US request for Meng’s extradition as held earlier this month, and is scheduled to resume in April.Kovrig and Spavor, meanwhile, remain in China’s opaque penal system.Champagne’s office said he also raised the plight of the detained Canadians with Wang, adding: “The two agreed to remain in touch on issues of mutual importance.”Topics :last_img read more

Ultra-rare snowfall carpets Baghdad

first_imgThe people of Baghdad are more used to heat than cold.The highest temperature recorded in the capital was a searing 51 degrees Celsius (124 degrees Fahrenheit), a record it has neared several times in recent years.South of the capital, snow also carpeted the Shiite holy city of Karbala, which draws pilgrims from round the world to its famed shrines, the golden-domed mausoleums of Abbas and Imam Hussein.Snowfall is more common in northern Iraq, where snow covered the war-battered city of Mosul, but in the center and south there is rarely enough precipitation.Iraq has been hit by a succession of extreme weather events in recent years.In 2018, chronic water shortages sparked a health crisis in the center and south but the following year, heavy rains caused deadly flooding and heavy damage to homes and crops.Blistering temperatures then hit the north triggering wild fires and scorching crops. Experts say Iraq lacks the funding or infrastructure to cope with climate change and the desertification of once productive land.  Residents of Baghdad rushed to have snowball fights or take photographs Tuesday as the Iraqi capital woke carpeted in white by only its second snowfall in a century.The last recorded snowfall in the city was in 2008, but it was a quick and mostly slushy affair — and prior to that, it had been a century since Baghdad saw any flakes. Iraqis young and old said it was the first time they had ever seen snow falling in Baghdad. The city’s iconic palm trees were daintily outlined in white, and the tarpaulins of the long-running anti-government protest camp in Tahrir Square in the city center were sprinkled with snow. People on their way to work stopped their cars to snap pictures or break out into impromptu snowball fights. “Snowfall may continue until Wednesday given the very cold weather,” said Amer al-Jaberi, media head of the Iraqi Meteorological Center. “This cold wave came from Europe,” he told AFP. center_img Topics :last_img read more

Saudi hosts G20 financial leaders amid coronavirus alarm

first_imgGeorgieva said the economic impact could see a “V-shaped” trajectory, with a sharp decline in China’s GDP followed by a sharp recovery.She warned the situation could have more dire consequences for other countries as the impacts spill over.The virus has now claimed 2,345 lives in China, cutting off transportation and forcing businesses to close their doors.China has said it will not be sending any leaders from Beijing for the Riyadh gathering but the Chinese ambassador in the kingdom will instead lead a small delegation.”We have been closely watching the developments of the virus and assessing its potential effects on economic growth,” a senior US Treasury official told reporters.”We expect ministers and governors will discuss the global economic outlook, particularly as it relates to the coronavirus outbreak.”The G20 organizers will also host a ministerial-level symposium on international taxation on Saturday, focused on the challenges arising from the digitalization of the global economy.The symposium will be attended by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin along with a host of other financial leaders.The Saudi presidency will see it host world leaders for a summit in Riyadh from  November 21 to 22.It will hold more than 100 events and conferences in the run-up to the summit, including ministerial meetings, organizers say.Human rights groups have urged G20 member states to exert pressure on the kingdom over its intensifying crackdown on dissent, which has seen women activists, journalists and political dissidents jailed. Finance ministers and central bank governors from G20 nations meet in the Saudi capital Saturday for a two-day gathering to discuss the global economy and the risks from the coronavirus epidemic.Aside from an action plan to shield the world economy from the impact of the outbreak, financial leaders from the world’s top 20 economies are also expected to discuss ways to achieve a fairer global taxation system for the digital era.”Finance ministers and central bank governors will discuss global economic outlook and possible policy responses to support growth and safeguard against downside risks,” G20 organizers said in a statement. “In addition, they will discuss the priorities of the Saudi G20 Presidency under the theme ‘realizing opportunities of the 21st century for all’… including the tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy.”The meeting in Saudi Arabia, the first Arab nation to hold the G20 presidency, will be chaired by the kingdom’s finance minister Mohammed al-Jadaan and central bank governor Ahmed al-Kholifey.The meeting comes amid growing alarm over the new coronavirus as Chinese authorities lock down millions of people to prevent the spread of the disease, with major knock-on effects for the global economy.The impact of the epidemic may be short-lived but it comes as the global economy remains “fragile”, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva told a gathering in Riyadh on Friday.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Israeli exit polls show election victory within Netanyahu’s grasp

first_imgTopics : Victory in a cliffhanger Israeli election on Monday seemed to be within Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s grasp, with exit polls showing him just one seat short of a governing right-wing bloc in parliament.Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, responded to the projections by tweeting “Thank you” and a heart emoji. He fought Israel’s third election in less than a year under the cloud of corruption charges, which he denies.The four-term prime minister, who heads the right-wing Likud party, had failed to secure a governing majority in the legislature in elections held in April and September. Opinion polls in the final days of campaigning had predicted further deadlock. But polls broadcast by Israel’s three main television channels after voting ended showed Likud pulling ahead of the centrist Blue and White party led by former general Benny Gantz.All three exit polls gave Likud and like-minded parties 60 of parliament’s 120-seats, just one short of a majority. During the campaign, right-wing and religious parties had pledged to join a Likud-led coalition government.Actual results, which have differed in the past from exit polls, will be released on Tuesday.last_img read more