Europe’s skies will be dimmer this coming new year as Belgian officials cancel its New Year fireworks as a militant attack is expected by officials. Federal prosecutors had detained two people involved the suspected attacks on New Year’s eve.
Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur said on local media that together with the Interior Minister, the city had decided New Year’s eve celebrations will be cancelled for the safety of everyone.
Fears over the Paris Attacks had authorities place Belgium under heightened alert against militants. In the middle of Paris attack investigations, Brussels found two suicide bombers, Brahim Abdeslam and Bilal Hadfi, to have lived and attended school in Belgium.
Hadfi, who attended school in Belgium, coordinated his attack with Abdeslam and other bombers who coordinated through mobile phone communications. Belgian school officials said they failed to curb Hadfi’s potential radicalisation, which could have averted the bombing incident.
Brussels once cancelled its New Year fireworks in 2007. Insurgents intended to free Tunisian Nizar Trabelsi, who at that time is convicted of plotting to blow up a military base in Belgium.
According to the Islamic State, it has inserted its ranks along with the hundreds of thousands entering Europe and requesting asylum.
At 10am Monday, the international festival World Travel Market will open in London. However, many analysts and business leaders said the fated plane crash in Sinai can darken the mood of festive goers.
On November 1, investigation teams confirmed that the 224 Russian victims on board flight 9268 who died in a crash in Sinai have died without survivors. Relatives grieved at Russia’s biggest aviation disaster as Church services read out the names of the dead.
While plenty suspect engine failure, including investigators, some blame terrorists and Egyptian jihadis responsible for the attack.
“Terrorists Could Be Responsible”
Royal United Services Institute director-general Professor Michael Clarke said it was likely the plane had a bomb on board rather than a missile hitting the plane from the ground.
Meanwhile, no group claimed responsibility for the crash as of yet.
A public advisory from Air France, Lufthansa and Emirates said pilots would avoid Sinai until more is known about the crash
The Egyptian Cabient confirmed that 163 bodies out of 224 were recovered from the crash site.
With trade and exports having minimal growth in the first half of 2015 and exports falling during July, China’s economy needs a precise solution to its economic troubles.
Electricity production and cement declined in growth as local demand dwindled in the first seven months of the year. Rather than being exported, local demand diminished along with the industry’s value.
The stock market sell-off indicated that investors found the Chinese government unreliable and for good reason. With the Shanghai Composite Stock Index dropping by 40 per cent since its peak in June, investors are looking at the government to resolve regulations that would allow businesses to flourish rather than fail in a harsh economic environment set by Beijing.
The People’s Bank of China is the first to fail by changing the trading of Chinese Yuan, which further devalued. It did not do well to help the government raise the output by 60 per cent in 2021, the target of the government. Its economic troubles have caused shares from all over the world to fall. However, after the Bank of China had cut interest rates, many share prices bounced back equally.
Chinese consumers still want better living standards but with a poor jobs market giving higher wages to those employed in both blue and white-collar occupations had led to an increase in private consumption to the point of having a share in China’s GDP.
However, a stimulus will not help. But a cut in interest rates, allowing local governments to borrow for long periods on bond markets and letting banks lend more for a given amount of capital is crucial. Speeding up the process of land acquisition and implementing proper engineering profits help create private enterprise. Further helping private businesses flourish locally, China can lower tax rates and implement the sell-off of state-owned enterprises to private sectors.
As Greece’s exit may spell doom for the Euro, European Leaders may come up with a last-ditch proposal to resolve Greece of its bailout woes within 48 hours before the deadline. However, the EU did not give an indication it may or may not push through with its proposal.
The EU only has a day and a few hours left until its bailout package expires and it repays about €1.3 million to the European Union. Greece may miss its payment, which could sent the Euro spiraling along with other European countries.
As the deadline looms, the Greek government had closed banks and its stock markets to keep the country’s financial system afloat. Greeks lined up at ATMs at the last minute to withdraw the last of their finances.
The European Central Bank, which kept the Greek financial market afloat during the negotiations, said it would drop all support if no bailout is made between Greece and the EU.
Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission President, gave Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras the option of concession on demands for cuts in bonus payments for the poorest pensioners. Tsipras argues that this would only deepen Greece’s debt and the trouble of Europe in general.
Meanwhile, investors worldwide showed their worry but did not indicate a mass panic. Stocks had gone down from the Southeast Asian markets to Wall Street, indicating that everyone in the world is well-aware the Greek financial crisis can be contagious.
With over 5,500 dead, 11,000 injured and 70,000 houses worth billions of dollars destroyed in a few seconds, Nepal’s economy is unlikely to recover in the next three to four years according to analysts.
Governments all over the world are warning tourists and travellers to avoid Kathmandu due to the tragic situation unfolding in the country. With civil instability increasing, destroyed infrastructure and rescues operations, tourists cancel their trips.
Analysts estimate that Nepal’s economy could suffer as its tourism industry, which makes up about 7 per cent of its total economy, is left with crumbled infrastructure including several famous old structures from the rich Nepalese culture.
Travel agencies reports hundreds of customers cancelling their trip to Nepal. Meanwhile, tourists trapped in Nepal are arranging for trips to help tourists out of affected areas as soon as possible. The agencies report travellers wish to contact their friends and family to have them reassured that they are well.
About 200,000 tourists visit Nepal on a quarterly basis. The newest tragedy can cut Nepal’s economic progress down by 15 per cent.
Analysts said that the date when Nepal could finally re-open its tourism industry to a realistic setting is still improbable.
The House of Lords recently approved a law that approves controversial IVF procedures aimed at preventing inherited mitochondrial diseases.
Health minister Lord Howe has urged the House of Lords to pass the 2008 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act that permits using controversial IVF techniques aimed to help prevent serious inherited mitochondrial diseases.
Members of Party, including all three main party leaders have voted to legalise the mitochondrial donation techniques, which uses genetic material from a ‘second mother’ to prevent DNA faults.
However, Lord Deben called for a delay to have a committee observe and look at the safety and legality of the procedure.
“We have to protect three sets of people, the families, the children and the wider society,” he told the House of Lords.
“We should be concerned about the children who would be born in these circumstances. There are real doubts about safety.”
Former Attorney General Baroness Scotland said the legislation was rushed. She argued that neither the current Attorney General Jeremy Wright or Lord Chancellor supported the new law.
Lord Winston believes in the technology. He is one of Britain’s leading fertility experts and heavily backed the law.
“I don’t believe that this technology threatens the fabric of our society in the slightest bit. On the contrary in a way it protects it. What we’re doing is recognising our limits by accepting regulation.”
Top Gear UK’s Christmas special had hype surrounding it. Many were excited with the trailer shown on television. Post-viewing, many had expressed their disappointment regarding the episode.
Many on social media expressed that the episode was ‘boring’, ‘childish’ and ‘a risky joke’. Some even said that the ending was quite surprising, but a bit too crazy for its own good.
The episode became controversial after the Top Gear production crew was chased out by Argentinian protesters angered by the number H982FKL on Clarkson’s Porshe, a reference to the 1982 Falklands War.
However, some viewers found the ending to be exciting, terrifying and scary. Some expressed relief that the crew were all safe.
The plot was that the three hosts of the show, Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, were warned that they were the key target and they should not drive to the Argentinian border with their crew. The plot was sprinkled with humour all around.
According to outgoing European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, UK Prime Minister David Cameron might make a regretful “historic mistake” if he continues to shun the EU and push immigration reforms. He said that the UK is in danger of being isolated in the continent if the UK continues to alienate its European allies to push the agenda of many.
Cameron currently intends to re-negotiate UK’s position in the European Union. He is set to have an In/Out Referendum should he remain in office in 2016.
Barroso warns him of “provocative talk” about immigration and folding below UKIP’s pressure to reclaim UK’s border controls. He referred to Margaret Thatcher, who stood up in defiance of UKIP and not just giving into popular opinion.
Barroso also warned that any attempt by the UK to adjust the cap on the number of EU migrants it accepts would breach the EU “fundamental principle” of the free movement of labour. He added that Britain would lose its “international clout” if it decides to go against the European Union.
Jose Manuel Barroso, a former Prime Minister of Portugal, is retiring by the end of October after 10 years of presidency in the European Commission. He noted that very few UK officials were working in Brussels helping to shape EU policy. According to Barroso, “constant criticism and a pending existentialist debate do not make us the most attractive employer for young British graduates.
Around 800,000 policemen, teachers and nurse will be relieved from their 40% tax duties under the new Tory plans. The plans will uplift the middle class from their ‘fiscal drag.’
The 40% tax rate introduced by then-Chancellor Nigel Lawson in 1988, a major reduction to the 60% threshold. It only had one out of 15 individuals caught in the 40% rate. Today, the figure is now one in six.
Four million middle class employees are shouldering the heavy fiscal burden. The Independent Office for Budget Responsibility noted that within two decades, one in three workers will be paying for the 40% tax rate.
Former Tory Cabinet Minister John Redwood said the rates were never intended for the nurses, police, teachers or even skilled workmen.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said that the Conservative Party is the ‘trade union for hardworking people.’ Cameron said that no one earning below £50,000 should pay the heavy 40% tax rate. He said that he would love to bring back some fairness to taxes.
According to Institute of Directors Member Simon Walker, the move was ‘a bold overdue correction to a tax system that was sucking in more and more medium earners.’
Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales said that these proposed tax cuts will appeal to both low and middle income earners. It may also derail plans to tackle the deficit and public debt.
British Prime Minister David Cameron’s reputation is on the line if Westminster cannot grant its promised devolution powers to Scotland. Different party members continue to argue about the balance of powers and rights England will lose against Scotland if they give Scotland what it wants.
MPs gathered in Cameron’s country residence to hear their say regarding the granting of additional devolution powers and discuss what the Prime Minister could do.
According to Conservative lawmaker James Wharton, Cameron has to know that England could be at a disadvantage if Scotland receives its new powers. He stressed the need to do something for England to ensure a balance of power between the two states.
Lawmaker Claire Perry, a Conservative, said that Scotland will receive “financial party bags” should Westminster grant them additional funding per head.
Meanwhile, the SNP, who strongly advocated the independence of Scotland from Westminster, said that Scots who voted “No” have been tricked by the English government into staying. First Minister Alex Salmond said that he feels bad for the No voters as this was what they expected Westminster will do in the first place.
Cameron is expected to hold a vote in parliament regarding the English complications that could be caused by an increase in power for Scotland. The Conservative party is also at “loggerheads” with the Labour party, who didn’t support the idea of voting for a solution before the next election.