Singapore's stock market is taking a battering, thanks to the tariff stand-off between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump. What are tariffs? Tariffs are taxes imposed on a particular class of imports or exports. For example, Country A can choose to impose tariffs on goods and services they import from Country B. They can be a fixed fee (e.g. extra S$1,000 on all cars from Country B) or based on the value of the product (e.g. 20 per cent of the price of a Country B car added on top). What happened? Back in Sept. 2018, Trump slapped a 10 per cent tariff on US$200 billion worth of goods imported from China, due to certain foreign policy differences. In retaliation, China imposed tariff hikes of five and 10 percent on US$60 billion worth of 5,207 American goods. Since then, both American and Chinese officials have been trying to strike a deal to end the standoff. So did they strike a deal? Nope. Unable to resolve their ... » Learn More about The Donald Trump, Xi Jinping tariff standoff, & how it affects S’pore, explained
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WASHINGTON: The US Trade Representative's office on Friday (Jul 23) said it had determined that no tariff action against Vietnam was warranted after the country's central bank agreed with the US Treasury not to manipulate its currency for an export advantage. In a statement, USTR said it found that the US Treasury-State Bank of Vietnam agreement earlier this week "provides a satisfactory resolution of the matter subject to investigation and accordingly that no trade action is warranted at this time". The State Bank of Vietnam on Monday pledged in an agreement with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to refrain from "competitive devaluation" of its dong currency and make its monetary and exchange rate policies more transparent. The deal follows months of US pressure on Vietnam over its currency practices and ballooning US trade surplus. The Trump administration in its final weeks had declared Vietnam a currency manipulator and had threatened to impose punitive tariffs on imports ... » Learn More about US trade agency drops tariff threat against Vietnam over currency practices
SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/ANN): The Chinese Embassy in Singapore has responded to a recent speech the United States' Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin delivered in Singapore, saying he "distorted facts and created falsehoods" to serve American geopolitical strategy. In a statement posted on its website on Thursday (July 29), the embassy said Austin had interfered in China's internal affairs by referring to matters relating to Taiwan and Xinjiang. It said he also played up the "so-called China threat" in an attempt to drive a wedge between China and its neighbours. Austin, who was in Singapore earlier this week for his first visit in his current appointment, had delivered a lecture on Tuesday at an event hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a research institute. In his speech The Imperative Of Partnership, Austin addressed the ways in which the US will work with its allies and partners in the region to rebuild from the Covid-19 pandemic. He also spoke ... » Learn More about Speech by US Defence Secretary ‘distorted facts’: China embassy in Singapore
Matt Damon has to call Ben Affleck to "fact check" what's happening in his friend's life. The Stillwater actor admitted he reads so much gossip about his pal - who recently reunited with former fiancee Jennifer Lopez - that he often texts him to find out the truth about what he's been up to. He told People magazine: "Well, I mean, it's real-life stuff. We each got a whole mess of kids. We text pretty much about everything. There's so much in the press about him that normally I'm just fact checking things I read. 'Did this happen?' He's like, 'No that didn't happen.'" Ben and Jennifer caused a stir earlier this week when the Argo star was pictured with his hand on his girlfriend's butt on vacation for her 52nd birthday. However, Matt insisted he has no insider information about the moment - which echoed a clip from Jennifer's 'Jenny From the Block' music video almost 20 years ago - or the couple's romance. He said: "All the pictures that have come out are the same ones that ... » Learn More about Matt Damon admits calling Ben Affleck to fact check gossip about his life
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden said in an interview with the New York Times (NYT) that he will not act to roll back tariffs imposed against China immediately after taking office. Will not be cutting back tariffs immediately In addition, Biden will not cancel the Phase 1 agreement U.S. President Donald Trump had signed with China that requires the latter to buy more U.S. goods and services. The deal had led to a ceasefire in the trade dispute between the two countries. Trump had imposed 25 per cent tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports, which amount to US$550 billion (S$735 billion). China, on the other hand, has placed tariffs on US$185 billion worth of American goods. Fixing relations with U.S. allies to deal with China Ruling out any premature actions, Biden said: "I'm not going to prejudice my options." His approach to China will be to first build up -- or mend -- relations with traditional allies in Asia and Europe. This is so that they can "develop ... » Learn More about Biden says tariffs slapped by Trump on China imports won’t be lifted right away
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories – The idea of a Palestinian state existing alongside Israel has been the basis of decades of international efforts to end the conflict. After new US President Donald Trump's administration said it is no longer wedded to the so-called two-state solution, here are some questions and answers about the idea and the possible alternatives. The two-state solution envisions independent Israeli and Palestinian states coexisting side by side peacefully. This means creating a Palestinian state on the rough basis of the situation before 1967, when Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank in a war with its Arab neighbors. The so-called Green Line demarcates the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians see as their capital. In 1988, then Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat unveiled a declaration of independence which for the first time talked of two states. This recognition is endorsed by ... » Learn More about FAST FACTS: What is the two-state solution?
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is under fire following the dumping of artificial white sand along the Manila Baywalk. The government defends its decision, saying the beautification of the bay will “signify cleanliness.” The white sand is made from dolomite rock mined and exported from Cebu. Later reports revealed that Cebu province did not greenlight the extraction, but it was the DENR’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau that did. But what exactly is dolomite, the material at the center of the controversy? We know it's the material from which the sand is made, but other questions about its possible adverse effects on Manila Bay persist. Here's basic information you should know. Used in construction Dolomite, also known as calcium magnesium carbonate, is a non-metallic material used in manufacturing bricks, mortar, cement, concrete, plastics, paving materials, and other construction materials. The rock originates in warm, ... » Learn More about FAST FACTS: What is dolomite sand, and how will it affect Manila Bay?
MANILA, Philippines – What is Benham Rise, and who owns it? The subject has come up in recent days, after the Philippines' defense department revealed that China has shown interest in the territory located off Aurora province, with a Chinese ship spotted surveying the area for as long as 3 months last year. Asked about this, President Rodrigo Duterte seemed to confuse the issue with the Philippines' dispute with China over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). But Benham Rise, located in the Philippines' eastern border and far away from the West Philippine Sea, is not disputed territory. Unlike Scarborough Shoal, no other country is claiming the underwater plateau believed to be rich in minerals and gas. UN confirmation: PH's extended continental shelf Benham Rise is a 13-million-hectare underwater plateau located near Aurora. It is larger than Luzon, the Philippines' biggest island, and is considered part of the Philippines' ... » Learn More about FAST FACTS: What you should know about Benham Rise
MANILA, Philippines – Sophia Senoron was a 17-year-old student when she competed in the Miss World Philippines 2017 competition last September. Now 18 and after months of training, Sophia is ready to compete for the Miss Multinational pageant in New Delhi, India from February 16-26, 2018 Sophia left Friday, February 16 for the contest where she will be competing with more than 50 women from around the world. Let's get to know more about Sophia: 1. She is the youngest among the Miss World Philippines winners. During the send-off party for her on Thursday, February 15, Sophia was asked how she has grown as a woman after winning the title. DARK HORSE. Sophia wins the title of Miss Multinational Philippines during the coronation night last September at the Mall of Asia Arena. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler "To start with, I think the biggest impact I wanted to make [to] the Philippine media that I was not a typical teenager to begin with. ... » Learn More about 7 fun facts: Meet Miss Multinational PH 2017 Sophia Senoron
Jalen Green is arguably one of the most exciting rookies to watch out for in the upcoming 2021-2022 NBA season. Green, 19, is a 6-foot-6 guard who is of Filipino descent and got picked second overall by the Houston Rockets in the 2021 NBA Draft on Thursday, July 29 (Friday, July 30, Manila time). Find out more about Green, who is just the third player with Filipino heritage to be drafted in the NBA. He traces his Filipino roots to Ilocos Sur Green’s mother Bree Purganan hails from Ilocos Sur and his maternal grandfather is a full-blooded Filipino. In a virtual press conference in December 2020, Green honored his Filipino roots and acknowledged how huge it is to represent the basketball-loving Philippines in his NBA pursuit. “I know for myself how big that is and how much I’m representing the Philippines,” said Green. His first visit in the Philippines was in 2018 Born and raised in the US, Green’s first visit to the ... » Learn More about FAST FACTS: Who is Fil-Am NBA rookie Jalen Green?