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Russia & Iran drop dollar trade by extending oil-for-goods supply agreement

The first delivery of Iranian crude oil to Russia under the oil-for-goods program has been completed and the sides aim to extend the deal for five years, according to Russian Energy Ministry Aleksandr Novak. “The agreement is effective; it has been extended for the year, but in general, we think it should be extended for five years,” he said. The ...

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Russia won’t be cut off from international bank transfer services

Financial messaging system SWIFT will not ban Russia despite sanctions and is staying politically neutral, according to its CEO, Gottfried Leibbrandt, as quoted by Russian media. Leibbrandt is in Moscow, and has again stressed that SWIFT remains politically unbiased, according to reports by RBC, Vedomosti and other Russian business media. Read more The potential exclusion of Russia from SWIFT worried ...

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Schwarzenegger’s head on caterpillar tracks drags down UK lender

Shares in British lender CYBG dropped 7 percent after the bank pledged to increase provisions by $ 498 million for repaying customers mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI). According to CYBG, a mid-sized bank that owns Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank and the app-based bank B in the UK, an awareness campaign launched by British financial regulatory body the Financial Conduct Authority ...

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Italian officials & German firm face lawsuit over arms sales to Saudi Arabia

A complaint has been filed by a coalition of human rights groups against Italian government officials and a major European arms manufacturer over their alleged involvement in the aerial bombing of Yemen. The legal action was launched by the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), the Yemen-based Mwatana Organization for Human Rights, and the Italian Rete Italiana ...

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Gold bullion to rally on weaker dollar, rising US inflation & deficit – analyst

The second quarter expects to see another gold rally pushed by strong physical demand and the weaker US dollar, according to Boris Mikanikrezai, precious and base metals strategist at Metal Bulletin. “The resilience of gold prices in spite of the substantial wave of speculative selling since mid-March (~71 tones, corresponding to a 17 percent drop in net long spec positions) ...

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Russia threatens to block Facebook

Facebook has until the end of 2018 to comply with Russia’s data storage law, or be banned like messenger service Telegram or professional networking website LinkedIn. Read more The law requires all social networks to move data on Russian users to Russia. Facebook is also obliged to remove all prohibited information, according to the head of Russian internet watchdog Roskomnadzor, ...

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Starbucks to close 8,000 US stores for racial sensitivity training

The world’s biggest coffee company Starbucks has announced that it will close all of its company-owned cafes in the United States for one afternoon on May 29 to educate employees about racial bias. The announcement comes as the company tries to cool tensions following an incident in its Philadelphia store, in which two black men were arrested. Starbucks said the ...

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Australia’s Northern Territory scraps fracking ban

Australia’s Northern Territory has removed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing introduced two years ago while the state’s government assessed the potential impacts of fracking on the environment. Now, the assessment has been completed and the conclusion is that the Northern Territory can avoid the worst of the environmental effects of fracking by strictly regulating the activity. The Northern Territory, which ...

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Russia going kitty crazy amid falling ruble

The recent ruble crash has triggered an increased interest among Russians in cat purchases, according to data from advertising service Youla. After analyzing statistics on requests and transactions, the service found that sales of cats skyrocketed 213 percent on April 9 (when the ruble dropped), compared to April 3. The Russian currency fell to a two-year low last week as ...

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China seeking European support to build firewall against Trump’s trade aggression – report

Beijing’s international trade representatives have held multiple meetings with their counterparts in leading European economies as China seeks support in its trade brawl with the US, according to Reuters. Read more US President Donald Trump is threatening $ 150 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports. Beijing officials met ambassadors from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy last Thursday ...

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