Seventeen people killed in tropical storm in Madagascar

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Seventeen people were killed when a powerful tropical storm struck Madagascar, according to an official count released on Sunday. The storm hit winds of 105 km per hour when it hit the northeast of the Indian Ocean island on Friday and moved to the east coast.

The country’s disaster management office announced the death toll, saying 15,000 people had been affected by the storm and Madagascar, one of the world’s poorest countries, had been hit by 40 hurricanes and tropical storms over the past 10 years.

In January, the typhoon “Ava” killed 51 people, and in March last year 78 people were killed in the typhoon “Ainau”.

Russia refuses to resume gas supplies to Ukraine

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The dispute between Ukraine and Russia on the gas issue has returned to the forefront Thursday after a court ruling that is supposed to end a four-year dispute after Moscow refused to resume supply of gas to Kiev as decided.

While the Naftogaz group of Ukraine announced the settlement of the issue of Russia’s resumption of gas supply after a break of more than two years, Russian Gazprom confirmed the lack of agreement on all the details to achieve this.

“It is clear that gas supply to Naftogaz Ukraine will not resume from March 1,” Gazprom’s deputy chairman Alexander Medvedev said in a statement.

Resignation of the US ambassador to Mexico

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US Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson announced on Thursday that she was stepping down as the two countries’ problems grew.

Jacobson announced her resignation after 31 years at the US State Department, becoming the second official to leave his position in the ministry in less than a week after the resignation of US special envoy to North Korea, Joseph Yoon, on Tuesday, according to ABC News. the past.

The resignation of the US ambassador comes at a time when the seventh round of NAFTA negotiations is taking place this week, as well as the growing concern of Mexico over the rejection of US President Donald Trump’s policy, especially regarding the construction of a separation wall between the two countries and the imposition of new customs tariffs on imported steel from Mexico As well as other States.

Relations between the United States and Mexico have reached the height of differences recently following a telephone conversation between US President Donald Trump and his Mexican counterpart Enrique Pena ended with the announcement of the cancellation of his planned visit to the United States.

Trump has repeatedly accused Mexico of exporting drugs and drugs to the United States, saying it would pay for the construction of the separation fence that Trump plans to build along the border between the two countries.

Trump was blamed for the Russian plane crash

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Trump was blamed for the Russian plane crash

US President Donald Trump on Monday offered his condolences to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the crash of the passenger plane AN-148 near Moscow with 71 people on board.

Trump was blamed for the Russian plane crash “During the call, the US president offered his condolences to Putin on Sunday’s plane crash,” the Kremlin said in a statement following a telephone conversation between the two presidents, the Russian TASS news agency reported.
The Kremlin said the two presidents also discussed a number of aspects of the Middle East settlement issue between Israel and the Palestinians

German Chancellor Receives Turkish Prime Minister Next Thursday in Berlin

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German Chancellor Receives Turkish Prime Minister Next Thursday in Berlin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet Turkish Prime Minister Ben Ali Yildirim in Berlin on Thursday.

German Foreign Ministry spokesman Steffen Zeibert said in a statement on Monday that the meeting would discuss relations between the two countries and address international issues.

He added that the Turkish prime minister will head to Munich next week to attend the policy and security conference. The German chancellor is expected to ask the Turkish prime minister to release the German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yogel, who has been held in Turkey for a year.
“The German government will use in the future all the means available to us, both political and diplomatic for the release of Deniz Yogel, in addition to other German prisoners of course,” said the spokesman of the German government.

China affirms its willingness to strengthen cooperation with Sri Lanka

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed that China is willing to enhance cooperation with Sri Lanka as part of the Road and Road Initiative during a formal talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart Tilak Marabana in Beijing on Monday.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a press release that Wang noted that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations and the 65th anniversary of the signing of the Common Treaty on Rubber and Rice.

China hopes to seize this opportunity to deepen traditional friendship and mutual political trust with Sri Lanka, as well as to promote major infrastructure projects, investment, trade, maritime cooperation and public communication within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, he said.

Wang explained the major achievements of the Nineteenth National Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), which ended on Tuesday, and said China welcomes Sri Lanka to join its path of openness and development and make joint efforts to build a better future for all.

Marabana congratulated China on holding the Nineteenth National Congress of the Communist Party, and Sri Lanka expressed its gratitude for China’s long support for its economic and social development.

He said Sri Lanka attaches great importance to its traditional friendship with China and looks forward to promoting bilateral cooperation in all fields.
After the meeting, the two sides exchanged letters of approval for a mutual legal assistance treaty.

In late July, Colombo signed an agreement with a Chinese state-owned company to operate the newly-built Hambantota port in the southeast, although the agreement raised protests from inside Sri Lanka and security concerns about the possibility that the port would be used by the Chinese army

U.S. jobless claims hit 44-1/2-year low; mid-Atlantic factories humming

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped to its lowest level in more than 44-1/2 years last week, pointing to a rebound in job growth after a hurricane-related decline in employment in September.

The labor market outlook was also bolstered by another report on Thursday showing a measure of factory employment in the mid-Atlantic region racing to a record high in October. The signs of labor market strength could cement expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December.

“It doesn’t take one hundred PhD economists at the Fed to figure out that the labor market is on the tight side of normal,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York. “At this point, we would expect a sharp bounce-back in employment growth in October.”

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 22,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000 for the week ended Oct. 14, the lowest level since March 1973, the Labor Department said. But the decrease in claims, which was the largest since April, was probably exaggerated by the Columbus Day holiday on Monday.

Claims are declining as the impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma washes out of the data. The hurricanes, which lashed Texas, Florida and the Virgin Islands, boosted claims to an almost three-year high of 298,000 at the start of September.

A Labor Department official said claims for the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico continued to be impacted by Irma and Hurricane Maria, which destroyed infrastructure. As a result the Labor Department was estimating claims for the islands.

Nonfarm payrolls dropped by 33,000 jobs in September as Hurricanes Irma and Harvey left more than 100,000 restaurant workers temporarily unemployed. The Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are not included in nonfarm payrolls.

Economists had forecast claims slipping to 240,000 in the latest week. The dollar briefly pared losses against a basket of currencies after the data. Stocks on Wall Street fell as investors booked profits after a recent rally that lifted shares to record highs. Prices for U.S. Treasuries rose.


Last week marked the 137th consecutive week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, which is associated with a robust labor market. That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was smaller.

Improvements in the labor market have been largely due to a recovery that started during former President Barack Obama’s first term. While U.S. stocks have risen in anticipation of President Donald Trump’s tax plans, the administration has yet to enact any significant new economic policies.

The labor market is near full employment, with the jobless rate at a more than 16-1/2-year low of 4.2 percent. Tightening labor market conditions likely keep the Fed on track to raise interest in December for a third time this year, even as inflation remains moderate.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 9,500 to 248,250 last week.

The claims data covered the survey week for October nonfarm payrolls. The four-week average of claims fell 20,500 between the September and October survey periods, supporting views of a rebound in job growth this month.

“The data suggest that the underlying trend in employment growth remains more than strong enough to keep the unemployment rate declining,” said Jim O‘Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York.

In a separate report on Thursday, the Philadelphia Fed said its measure of factory employment in the mid-Atlantic region soared 24 points to a record high reading of 30.6 in October.

The average workweek index also increased 8 points to a reading of 19.4. It said no firms reported decreases in employment this month. The robust labor market readings helped to lift the Philadelphia Fed’s current manufacturing activity index four points to a five-month high of 27.9 in October, offsetting declines in new orders and shipments measures.

Also underscoring labor market strength, the claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid decreased 16,000 to 1.89 million in the week ended Oct. 7, the lowest level since December 1973.

The four-week moving average of so-called continuing claims fell 22,750 to 1.91 million, the lowest level since January 1974.

Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci

Japan government wants to get actively involved in Kobe Steel issue: trade minister

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TOKYO (Reuters) – The Japanese government wants to get actively involved in the issue of Kobe Steel’s (5406.T) data fabrications, Hiroshige Seko, the minister of economy, trade and industry, said on Friday.

Kobe Steel, Japan’s third-biggest steelmaker, admitted earlier this month that it had falsified specifications on the strength and durability of its products. The falsifications stretch back for more than 10 years, a senior executive told Reuters.

Reporting by Ami Miyazaki; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell

Facebook to launch news subscription feature, some big names opt out

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(Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) said on Thursday it has signed up 10 news publishers including the Washington Post and The Economist to take part in a trial that gives its mobile app users access to a limited number of articles a month and then the option to subscribe via the publishers’ own websites.

The move is a shift in strategy for the world’s largest social network, which previously has tried to keep users within its own service, and may help restore its image by strengthening ties to respected news organizations after the spread of false news stories on Facebook in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

It may also help soothe relations with some publishers, which often see their articles widely shared among Facebook’s more than 2 billion monthly users but have found it hard to translate Facebook readers into paying subscribers.

While publishers will own the data on users who buy a subscription, they will not have information on who reads the free articles on Facebook, a main point of contention for several publishers.

Under the trial, which includes the Boston Globe, Germany’s Bild and France’s Le Parisien, Facebook mobile users can read 10 articles under a publication’s paywall for free, or a selection of articles publishers allow access to, and will then be prompted to purchase a subscription on the publisher’s website for full access.

Facebook will not take a cut of the revenue from any subscriptions purchased, the company said in a blog post on Thursday.

Several major publishers have decided not to take part, largely because Facebook will not give access to reader data until they purchase a subscription.

An executive at Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones, a unit of News Corp (NWSA.O), told Reuters Facebook’s one-size-fits-all testing model would be a step back from the Journal’s paywall strategy.

“Ten free articles is quite a lot,” said the executive, who requested anonymity. “It’s more about the data and around remaining in control of our membership strategy.”

Britain’s Financial Times will not participate either, a source familiar with the matter said. The newspaper, which also charges for access to its articles online, wanted a registration process to get hold of reader data in exchange for free articles, said the source.

The New York Times Co (NYT.N) has yet to commit to the trial and is still in discussions with Facebook, a Times spokeswoman said, declining to give further detail.

Reporting by Sheila Dang; editing by Anna Driver and Bill Rigby

Nissan’s inappropriate inspections started at least 20 years ago: NHK

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Inappropriate inspection practices at Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) had been going for at least 20 years, Japanese national broadcaster NHK reported on Friday, in a new revelation that could further roil Japan’s second-biggest automaker.

Nissan said late on Thursday it was suspending domestic production of vehicles for the Japanese market for at least two weeks to address misconduct in its final inspection procedures, which it first revealed last month. The scandal has led to a recall of all 1.2 million cars it sold in Japan over the past three years.

A Nissan spokesman declined to directly confirm or deny the NHK report, referring to CEO Hiroto Saikawa’s comments on Thursday, when he said Nissan’s training system for certifying vehicle inspection staff had not changed for 20 years.

Saikawa added that that was a separate issue from how long the misconduct had been going on.

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Edwina Gibbs