India And South Africa Block Investment Deal At WTO Talks
Politics

India And South Africa Block Investment Deal At WTO Talks

India and South Africa have officially lodged objections against an investment agreement during a World Trade Organisation (WTO) conference in Abu Dhabi, effectively stalling its adoption. On Wednesday, delegates and a document both confirmed this development. About 125 countries support the Investment Facilitation for Development (IFD) Agreement, which aims to improve the investment climate and encourage foreign direct investment. The document emphasised the absence of unanimous consensus, rendering the matter inappropriate for inclusion in the meeting's agenda. Negotiations geared tow

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Qatar’s New LNG Expansion Aims To Squeeze Out US And Other Rivals
Politics

Qatar’s New LNG Expansion Aims To Squeeze Out US And Other Rivals

Qatar aims to strengthen its LNG exports, targeting a 25% global market share by 2030. Amidst the US's export approval pause, Qatar plans a new 16 million tons per year project by 2030. It further aims to increase annual capacity to 142 million tons. Qatar's dominance in LNG has been established by this growth, which is being fueled by 250 trillion cubic feet of additional gas in the North Field. Securing long-term contracts with significant players like China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Eni SpA, TotalEnergies SE, and Shell Plc is essential to its strategy. With demand expected to incr

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Japan Takes Taiwan’s Helping Hand On Long Road To Chip Revival
Politics

Japan Takes Taiwan’s Helping Hand On Long Road To Chip Revival

TSMC, the leading Taiwanese chipmaker, inaugurated its inaugural Japanese plant, marking its crucial involvement in Tokyo's ambitious endeavour to revitalize its semiconductor manufacturing sector. Japan's reliance on TSMC emphasises its dominant position in the foundry business and concerns over China's technological advancement. TSMC's presence in Japan has catalyzed investment in a sector pivotal for economic security, complementing Japan's support for domestic ventures like Rapidus. By 2027, Taiwan is expected to control two-thirds of advanced foundry capacity, with Japan aiming for a

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Address Geopolitical Issues Constructively And Find Common Ground: India At G20 Fmm In Brazil
Politics

Address Geopolitical Issues Constructively And Find Common Ground: India At G20 Fmm In Brazil

India emphasized the imperative of addressing geopolitical issues constructively and seeking common ground at a G20 ministerial meeting in Brazil amidst global conflicts. Brazil assumed the G20 Presidency from India on December 1, 2023, marking the first ministerial meeting under its helm. V Muraleedharan, India's Minister of State for External Affairs, highlighted India's stance on various conflicts: advocating for dialogue in the Russia-Ukraine war and supporting a two-state solution for Israel-Palestine. He condemned terrorism and stressed securing sea lanes amidst Red Sea vessel attack

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Albania Approves Migration Deal With Italy
Politics

Albania Approves Migration Deal With Italy

Albania's Parliament approved a deal with Italy to establish migrant processing centres in Albania. Two centres—one inland for asylum processes and one at Shūngjin port for initial screening—are part of the plan. Together, they can accommodate 3,000 migrants, with a target of 36,000 processing cases annually. With more people seeking asylum as a result of the conflict in Ukraine, Italy hopes to use this agreement to fight human trafficking and unauthorised immigration. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International were among the critics who criticised the idea for allegedly breaking EU

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South Korea’s Foreign Minister To Meet Blinken Later This Month
Politics

South Korea’s Foreign Minister To Meet Blinken Later This Month

Cho Tae-yul, the foreign minister of South Korea, is set to travel on a diplomatic mission that will start with his attendance at the G20 Summit in Brazil and end with a significant trip to the United States. According to the news agency, Cho will speak with Antony Blinken, his American counterpart, on Thursday, February 28. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed Cho's impending trip highlighting its importance in strengthening bilateral relations. Following participating in the G20 Summit, Cho will head to the United States for his first visit since assuming office last month, accordi

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Noboa Proposes $214 Million Hike In Security Spending For Ecuador
Politics

Noboa Proposes $214 Million Hike In Security Spending For Ecuador

Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa aims to strengthen security spending by $214 million in 2024 to combat violence linked to drug trafficking, proposing a potential increase in value-added tax (VAT) to 15% starting in April. The need is highlighted by the designation of gangs as terrorist organisations following recent violent episodes, such as hostage-taking and a TV station siege. As per the Economy Ministry, the planned budget for security would increase from $3.3 billion to $3.52 billion from the previous year. This budget is part of the $35.5 billion budget that needs to be approved by

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India, Greece agree to expand cooperation in diverse areas
Politics

India, Greece agree to expand cooperation in diverse areas

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis agreed to enhance collaboration in defence manufacturing, space, and connectivity. They discussed the Migration and Mobility Partnership Agreement, emphasising cooperation in defence, cybersecurity, counter-terrorism, and maritime security. A Working Group will enhance mutual coordination, fostering co-production and co-development opportunities in defence manufacturing. Both nations share concerns about terrorism, aiming to strengthen cooperation in this area. They explored bolstering connectivity,

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G20 Ministers Discuss Conflicts, Global Governance In Brazil
Politics

G20 Ministers Discuss Conflicts, Global Governance In Brazil

On Wednesday, G20 ministers gathered in Rio de Janeiro to address pressing global conflicts and governance challenges in preparation for the annual leaders’ summit chaired by Brazil's President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva. Lula has emphasised that the G20's top priority this year should be tackling climate change, reorganising global governance, and reducing poverty. Yet, there are still several active conflicts in the region, such as the tensions in Gaza and Russia-Ukraine, which makes it difficult to move forward with governance reforms in the biggest economies in the world. Brazil h

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Bident Cancels $1.2 Billion Of Student Loans
Politics

Bident Cancels $1.2 Billion Of Student Loans

The Biden administration recently cancelled another $1.2 billion in student debt for over 150,000 borrowers under its income-based repayment plan. This brings the total amount of debt relief that Biden has approved for almost 4 million Americans to $138 billion. Eligible borrowers will have their debts cancelled soon, with notices already sent by email. Despite initial delays, the Education Department accelerated the forgiveness process through the Savings on a Valuable Education (SAVE) plan. To qualify, borrowers must be enrolled in SAVE and repay for at least 10 years on a federal studen

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