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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

WORLD NEWS LIVE BLOG: Truss answers questions in House of Commons

Putin says Truss election as British leader ‘far from democratic’

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the way Britain chooses its leaders was “far from democratic”, a day after Liz Truss replaced Boris Johnson as prime minister.

In his first public comments on Truss’s appointment, Putin alluded to the fact she was chosen in a leadership ballot by members of her Conservative party, not by the whole country.

“The people of Great Britain don’t take part, in this instance, in the change of government. The ruling elites there have their arrangements,” he told an economic forum in Vladivostok.

Asked about prospects for ties with Britain, Putin said: “We know the Tories’ (Conservatives’) position on these questions, including on relations with Russia. It’s their business how to build relations with the Russian Federation.

“Our business is to defend our own interests and we will do that consistently, let no one be in any doubt about that.”

(Source: Reuters News)

Ramaphosa congratulates UK PM Liz Truss as she starts her new job

President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent his congratulations to Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss as she starts her first day in office on Wednesday.

The former Foreign Secretary officially took over from Boris Johnson when she met with Queen Elizabeth in Balmoral, Scotland on Tuesday.

And, as Truss begins her reign in her bid to deal with tax cuts, the rising energy costs and cost of living, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement that South Africa and the UK have historically enjoyed a strong and friendly relationship and expressed his confidence it will continue to grow from strength to strength.

Read more here.

None of Rishi Sunak’s backers in Liz Truss cabinet

Liz Truss has rewarded her key allies with top jobs in a major reshuffle hours after succeeding Boris Johnson as the UK Prime Minister, the media reported.

Kwasi Kwarteng has been made the Chancellor, James Cleverly became Foreign Secretary and Suella Braverman replaced Priti Patel as Home Secretary, reports the BBC.

One of Truss’s closest friends, Therese Coffey, has been appointed as Health Secretary and Deputy Prime Minister.

Her new cabinet will meet ahead of her first Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

None of those who backed her defeated rival, Rishi Sunak, will remain in her full cabinet, with Dominic Raab, Grant Shapps, George Eustice and Steve Barclay all returning to the backbenches, the BBC reported.

(Source: Indo-Asian News Service)

China power producer issues energy supply bonds

A Chinese power producer issued 30 billion yuan (US$ 4.34 billion) of special bonds recently in the first such issuance supported by the government to ensure electricity supply.

The issuance by China Reform Holdings Corporation Ltd. has a maturity of five years with a coupon rate of 2.65 percent, according to the National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors.

At an executive meeting on August 24, the State Council said measures would be taken to support electricity producers under central administration in issuing 200 billion yuan of special bonds for energy supply.

(Source: Xinhua News Agency)

Biden’s economic plans will shift investment to ‘forgotten’ US cities – Yellen

The Biden administration’s recently enacted spending plans for green energy, technology and infrastructure will shift investment more broadly across the United States, not just to prosperous coastal cities, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen plans to argue on Thursday.

In excerpts from a speech Yellen is due to deliver in Detroit, she said the administration’s economic agenda is both “pro-growth and pro-fairness.”

Yellen has labelled Biden’s economic agenda, including earlier, unrealized plans for more spending on child care and education, as “modern supply side economics.”

Unlike the Reagan-era term that focused on tax cuts and deregulation to encourage productive investments, Yellen will argue that her version will focus on a range of investments to boost productivity across more “sectors, people and places.”

This includes investment in communities previously “forgotten and overlooked” by new and growing industries, which may generate higher returns, Yellen said in the excerpts seen by Reuters.

“We know that a disproportionate share of economic opportunity has been concentrated in major coastal cities. Investments from the Biden economic plan have already begun shifting this dynamic,” Yellen said.

“Given its manufacturing focus – and manufacturing’s reliance on strong infrastructure and supply chains – we expect to see dollars catalyze innovative investments across cities and towns that haven’t seen such investment in years.”

(Source: Reuters News)

Putin blames Germany and West for Nord Stream 1 shutdown

President Vladimir

Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would resume gas supplies to Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline as soon as a key turbine was returned, and rejected Western claims that Moscow used gas as a weapon.

At an economic forum in the eastern city of Vladivostok, Putin said Germany and Western sanctions were to blame for the Nord Stream 1 pipeline not being operational and that Ukraine and Poland decided on their own to switch off other gas routes into Europe.

Europe is facing a winter fuel crisis and surging energy bills after Gazprom fully suspended gas supplied through Nord Stream 1, after it said it found an engine oil leak during maintenance work.

“Nord Steam 1 is practically closed now,” Putin said as he called Germany to return a turbine for the pipeline’s Portovaya compressor station that would allow Russia to resume pumping gas.

“There is an oil leak there… it’s a possibly explosive situation, a fire hazard. The turbine cannot work. Give us a turbine and we will turn on Nord Stream 1 tomorrow. But they don’t give us anything,” he said.

(Source: Reuters News)

China earthquake: Death toll rises to 74

The death toll in the earthquake that hit the Sichuan province in China on Monday has reached 74 so far, local media reported on Wednesday.

The rescue headquarters of the Ganzi said 40 were killed, 14 were missing and 170 were injured in Ganzi as of 9 pm (local time) on Tuesday, as per Xinhua News Agency.

Expressway tollbooths opened up over 700 special channels for earthquake relief. All service areas along the Chengdu-Luding Expressway have been fully stocked with epidemic prevention supplies, oil products, food materials and other emergency supplies.

More than 1,900 officers, armed police and soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army PLA Western Theater Command rushed to the earthquake-hit area and arrived at the epicentre area at 8 am on Tuesday, engaging in the transport of the injured, road dredging, victim search and other rescue work, Global Times reported.

As a result of the earthquake, the power supply in the province was cut off, however, State Grid Sichuan Electric Power Company said that nearly 22,000 households in the earthquake-stricken area have been restored after overnight emergency repair.

(Source: Asian News International)

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