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Key challenges, political will top agenda as Crans Montana Forum begins

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Crans Montana Forum 2018

Dakhla (Morocco), March 16 : With focus on key international challenges like urban global management, ocean economy, food and public health issues and the growing potential of Africa-Asia cooperation, the Crans Montana Forum began on Friday in this western town of Morocco.

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Reverend Jesse Jackson, President and Founder of Rainbow Push Coalition, and leaders from several countries joined Jean-Paul Carteron, Honorary Chairman and Founder of the Crans Montana Forum, at the opening ceremony here.

The major focus of the Forum this year is on the Africa and South-South Cooperation.

In his address, Jesse Jackson, one of America’s foremost civil rights figures, stressed on the need to develop and mobilize political will to “end poverty, hunger, illiteracy and killer diseases in the world”.

“Humans have limited but genuine freedom through our individual decisions and our collective politics to make a positive difference in the world. If we can develop and mobilize political will, we will find constructive ways for South-South Cooperation and end the divisions of North and South, rich and poor, powerful and disenfranchised,” Jackson said.

Organized under the patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, a royal message from the King was read at the Forum’s opening ceremony by Yanja El Khattat, President of the Dakhla-Oued Eddahab Region, of which Dakhla is a part.

Various speakers at the opening ceremony highlighted the crucial role being played by Morocco to be a platform of gateway to Africa and to highlight the kep challenges being faced by African and other countries.

The conference is being attended by over 3,500 delegates and leaders from various countries and 43 international organizations.

The Forum will discuss the crucial issue of urban global management in view of the increasing rural exodus and the urban planning challenges.

The Forum will also discuss extending the Silk Road to Africa and fostering Asia-Africa partnerships. It will also have sessions on women empowerment and youth empowerment and integration.

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INR vs USD Rupee slips 111 paise against US dollar

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened to 72.24 against the US dollar from its previous close of 71.34.

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Mumbai, Dec 11 : The key equity indices — S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 — remained subdued during Tuesday’s morning trade session as the Congress party started to take the lead in the Assembly elections in three key states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

The key indices — the S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 – had a gap-down opening and
subsequently shed over 500 points and 140 points respectively as investors were spooked on the surprise resignation of RBI Governor Urjit Patel on Monday evening.

According to market observers, heavy selling pressure in banking, oil and gas and automobile stocks.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened to 72.24 against the US dollar from its previous close of 71.34.

At 10.30 a.m., the Sensex traded at 34,666.06 points, lower by 293.66 points or 0.84 per cent from the previous close.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange traded at 10,414.20 points, lower by 74.25 points or 0.71 per cent from the previous close.

“Indian markets opened lower in line with expectations following RBI governor’s abrupt exit on Monday evening,” HDFC Securities’ Retail Research Head Deepak Jasani told IANS.

“A recovery in the first few minutes of trade was based on initial trends from MP where BJP was faring better than Congress. However this proved to be short-lived as the lead of BJP narrowed soon,” he said.

He further noted: “Markets would swing till around noon based on leads positions in MP, as the other four states are showing clear winners.”

On Monday – the previous trade session – a global sell-off along with a rise in crude oil prices suppressed the key Indian equity indices deep into the red.

Consequently, the NSE Nifty50 had ended lower by 205.25 points or 1.92 per cent to 10,488.45 points, whereas the Sensex closed at 34,959.72 points — lower by 713.53 points or two per cent — from its previous session’s close of 35,673.25 points.

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Sensex at 34,458.86, down by over 500 points

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SENSEX NIFTY MARKET

Mumbai, Dec 11 : The key stock exchanges had a gap-down opening on Tuesday, with the S&P BSE Sensex losing over 450 points as investors were spooked on the surprise resignation of RBI Governor Urjit Patel on Monday.

Further, early trends of the Assembly election results in five states which showed a neck and neck fight between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress in at least three also weighed on the sentiments.

At 9.16 a.m., the Sensex traded at 34,502.62 points, lower by 457.10 points or 1.31 per cent from the previous close.

It had opened at 34,584.13 against the previous close of 34,959.72 points on Monday.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange traded at 10,346.90 points, lower by 141.55 points or 1.35 per cent from the previous close.

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CFO arrest row: China denies Huawei poses security threat after EU warning

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Beijing, Dec 10: China on Monday strongly defended Huawei after a warning from the EU that the tech giant posed a security risk, amid an ongoing row over the arrest of its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in Canada at the behest of the US.

In response to accusations by European Commission Vice President Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said the government had never forced Huawei to install a covert access route on mobile phone units to control them.

“I want to emphasize that Chinese laws and regulations don’t allow any institution to force any enterprise to install a ‘backdoor’. The Chinese government always encourages its companies to abide by local laws and regulations,” Lu was quoted as saying by Efe news.

He reiterated Beijing’s demand of an immediate release of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou who was arrested in Vancouver on December 1 after the US accused the tech giant of selling equipment in Iran in violation of American sanctions.

Meng, who is also the daughter of the group’s founder and CEO, had a bail request rejected on Friday by a Canadian court.

EU’s Ansip said on Friday that the bloc should be “worried” about Huawei and other Chinese companies over the security risks they pose.

Ansip claimed that China was developing mandatory “backdoors” — malicious software that allows any phone unit to be accessed and controlled without the user’s knowledge.

In response, Lu said it was “ridiculous” to undermine the company based on “speculations”.

“We have noticed some people from certain countries keep saying that Huawei may threaten their national security. But they did not provide a single evidence,” the spokesperson said.

He stressed that the company had “won the trust of its partners” and signed agreements to build 5G networks with more than 20 countries, including Portugal, France and Germany.

The spokesperson also commented on Japan withdrawing Huawei and Chinese telecom giant ZTE from the government procurement list, due to alleged security breaches by the two firms.

“The Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary (Yoshihide Suga) said the relevant regulations don’t aim to exclude the relevant enterprises or equipment. I want to stress that Chinese enterprises and cooperation in Japan is for mutual benefit,” Lu said.

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