China’s President Xi Jinping – coronavirus outbreak a “major test” for China’s government

Xinhua reports on a Monday meeting of top Chinese officials

The meeting resulted in 

  • a call to improve China’s public health and emergency management system
  • an “overhaul of environmental sanitation”
  • and a “crackdown on illegal wildlife markets and trade.”

Not much more at that link unfortunately. 

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Lev Parnas: “President Trump knew exactly what was going on”

Lev Parnas, an associate of President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, said Wednesday night the president was fully aware of what he and associate Igor Fruman were doing in Ukraine. Parnas made the comments during an interview with Rachel Maddow, in which he also leveled allegations against Vice President Mike Pence and Attorney General William Barr. 

In the clip, Maddow asked Parnas about the “main inaccuracy or the main lie that is being told that you feel like you can correct?” 

“That the president didn’t know what was going on,” Parnas replied. 

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“President Trump knew exactly what was going on,” Parnas said. “He was aware of all of my movements. He- I wouldn’t do anything without the consent of Rudy Giuliani or the president.”

He also stated that Trump was lying when he said he didn’t know Parnas or Fruman. “He lied,” Parnas said.

Parnas and Fruman are accused of helping Giuliani in his attempts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in Ukraine. Parnas, a Ukrainian-born U.S. citizen, and Fruman, originally from Belarus, were arrested on campaign finance charges at Dulles International Airport in October.

In the interview, Parnas alleged that he was given specific instructions by Giuliani to inform Ukrainian government officials that the United States would withhold aid unless the Ukrainian government announced it was opening an investigation into the the Bidens.

“It wasn’t just military aid. It was all aid,” Parnas said. He also claimed that Giuliani told Ukrainian officials that Parnas was there as a representative of both himself and Mr. Trump, and that Ukrainian officials understood he was speaking on behalf of Mr. Trump.

Giuliani denied that claim while the interview was airing.

Parnas also denied Mr. Trump’s claim that he was trying to end corruption in Ukraine. 

“It was never about corruption. It was specifically about Burisma,” he said.

Parnas also implicated Pence, claiming the vice president also went to Ukraine in an effort to force government officials to announce an investigation into the Bidens. Pence’s planned trip to attend the inauguration of the Ukrainian president was canceled as a result of Pence’s inability to get Ukraine to announce the investigation, Parnas claimed.

Parnas also claimed that Barr was aware of what was transpiring.

“Mr. Barr had to have known everything,” he said.

Department of Justice spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said that claim is “100% false.”

House Democrats on Tuesday released documents Parnas turned over to the House Intelligence Committee. Among those documents was a handwritten note by Parnas which read “get Zalensky [sic] to announce that the Biden case will be investigated.” The note is an apparent reference to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who Mr. Trump is accused of pressuring to investigate his political rivals.

In addition to the handwritten document, screenshots of messages on the encrypted phone messaging app Whatsapp appeared to show that Parnas and a third associate, Republican donor and congressional candidate Robert F. Hyde, were tracking the movements of former United States Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. 

Giuliani denied having any knowledge of such a scheme.

Hyde on Wednesday denied tracking Yovanovitch’s movements, claiming he was joking.

“We just sent some colorful texts, you know, had a few pops say back when I used to drink” Hyde said in a phone interview on Eric Bolling’s Facebook show America This Week.

“We were playing, I thought we were playing,” Hyde continued. “I didn’t know he was, I didn’t know he was so serious.” 

Bolling asked Hyde outright, “Did you have eyes on Marie Yovanovitch,” 

“Absolutely not,” Hyde responded. “Are you kidding me?”

Parnas agreed with Hyde’s framing in his interview with Maddow.

“I don’t believe it’s true. I believe he was either drunk or was trying to make himself bigger than he was,” Parnas explained. He also said because he didn’t take Hyde or his claims seriously, he never believed Yovanovitch was in any sort of physical danger.

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Poland’s president appoints new central bank policymaker

WARSAW (Reuters) – Poland’s President Andrzej Duda on Friday appointed his former adviser Cezary Kochalski to the country’s Monetary Policy Council (MPC) to replace one of the few remaining hawks on the panel that has held rates steady since 2015.

Kochalski joins the MPC at a time of unprecedented stability in monetary policy as rate setters adopt a wait-and-see stance in the face of inflationary pressures at home and an economic slowdown in the euro zone.

Kochalski, a professor at the Poznan University of Economics and Business with experience at Poland’s financial supervision authority, replaces Jerzy Osiatynski, one of the few panel members who has said rates may have to rise.

Osiatynski’s term came to an end on Dec. 20.

Poland’s benchmark interest rate has been at a record low of 1.5% since 2015, and central bank governor Adam Glapinski has repeatedly said that rates are likely to remain on hold until his term ends in 2022.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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US President Trump says a ‘breakthrough’ on China trade deal, will be signing it very shortly

Trump speaking in Florida on Saturday

  • “We’ve just achieved a breakthrough on the trade deal and we will be signing it very shortly”

via Reuters. 

Nothing further at this stage.

Such a comment should be a positive input for risk currencies come Monday, but of course one has to view President Trump’s comments with a degree of caution. He can be, and is quite often, economical with the truth, incorrect, talking his book, uncertain of the facts, playing for applause. Or all of those. Still, on the face of it, saying phase one of the trade deal will be signed very shortly is a positive. 

Trump speaking in Florida on Saturday

as a ps., Trump has invited UK PM Boris Johnson to visit in the oval office next year (Sunday Times reports that snippet)

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US President Trump addressing a rally says China wants to talk

HIGH RISK WARNING: Foreign exchange trading carries a high level of risk that may not be suitable for all investors. Leverage creates additional risk and loss exposure. Before you decide to trade foreign exchange, carefully consider your investment objectives, experience level, and risk tolerance. You could lose some or all of your initial investment; do not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. Educate yourself on the risks associated with foreign exchange trading, and seek advice from an independent financial or tax advisor if you have any questions.

ADVISORY WARNING: FOREXLIVE™ provides references and links to selected blogs and other sources of economic and market information as an educational service to its clients and prospects and does not endorse the opinions or recommendations of the blogs or other sources of information. Clients and prospects are advised to carefully consider the opinions and analysis offered in the blogs or other information sources in the context of the client or prospect’s individual analysis and decision making. None of the blogs or other sources of information is to be considered as constituting a track record. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and FOREXLIVE™ specifically advises clients and prospects to carefully review all claims and representations made by advisors, bloggers, money managers and system vendors before investing any funds or opening an account with any Forex dealer. Any news, opinions, research, data, or other information contained within this website is provided as general market commentary and does not constitute investment or trading advice. FOREXLIVE™ expressly disclaims any liability for any lost principal or profits without limitation which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of or reliance on such information. As with all such advisory services, past results are never a guarantee of future results.

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Former Maldives president pleads not guilty to charges of money laundering

By Mohamed Junayd

MALE (Reuters) – Abdulla Yameen, the former president of the Maldives, pled not guilty to charges of money laundering on Sunday, in the first hearing of a criminal court trial into the matter.

Yameen, who drew the Indian Ocean island country closer to China during his tenure, is accused of receiving $ 1 million of government money through a private company, SOF Private Ltd, which has been implicated in a corrupt deal to lease tropical islands for hotel development.

The corruption scandal, originally uncovered by an internal audit, has also implicated several other leading politicians and businessmen, all of whom have denied any wrongdoing.

SOF Private could not immediately be reached for comment.

Yameen, who unexpectedly lost an election last year, was arrested in February. He has repeatedly denied the allegations against him.

During Sunday’s hearing, which was broadcast nationally in a historic move, the court dismissed five pre-trial motions filed by Yameen’s lawyers challenging the validity of the charges against him.

The defense’s arguments did not amount to a valid reason to not proceed to trial, the judge ruled.

The prosecution’s witnesses will begin to testify at the next trial date on August 4. If found guilty, Yameen could face a jail sentence of between five to 15 years.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Mohammed Morsi, ousted Egyptian president, has died

Cairo — Egypt’s state TV says the country’s ousted president, Mohammed Morsi, has collapsed during a court session and died. Morsi had been Egypt’s elected president following the death of Hosni Mubarak in 2012, but was deposed after a military coup in 2013 that installed General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi into power. 

The state TV says the 67-year-old Morsi was attending a court session Monday in his trial on espionage charges when he blacked out and then died. His body was taken to a hospital, it said.

Morsi, a leader of Egypt’s largest Islamist group, the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, was elected president in 2012 in the country’s first free elections following the ouster the year before of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak. The military ousted Morsi in 2013 after massive protests and crushed the Brotherhood in a major crackdown, arresting Morsi and many others of the group’s leaders. Morsi had been imprisoned since his arrest and was previously sentenced to death for his alleged role in a mass prison break that took place during the 2011 uprising that toppled Mubarak. 

Egypt's deposed president Mohamed Morsi waves from inside the defendants cage during his trial
Egypt’s deposed president Mohamed Morsi waves from inside the defendants cage during his trial at the police academy in Cairo, Jan. 8, 2015. Getty

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Coinbase COO and President quits after 18 months

Asiff Hirji to leave the largest US exchange

Bitcoin has been on fire in the past two weeks but all wasn’t well at Coinbase. Chief Operating Officer and President Asiff Hirji decided to leave after just 18 months at the exchange.

He joined Coinbase from Andreessen Horowitz, where he was a partner and after terms at Hewlett-Packard, Saxo Bank and TD Ameritrade. He is one of several top executives who have recently left.

Emilie Choi will take over the role. She joined CoinBase in March after eight years at LinkedIn including as VP of Corporate Development.

For his part, Hirji hinted that his time at Coinbase was always meant to be temporary.

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Canada moves to ratify North American trade deal ahead of visit by U.S. vice president

© Reuters. Macron and Ardern launch 'Christchurch Appeal' against terrorism in Paris © Reuters. Macron and Ardern launch ‘Christchurch Appeal’ against terrorism in Paris

By Kelsey Johnson

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Canadian government formally presented draft legislation to ratify the new North American Trade deal to parliament on Wednesday, less than 24 hours ahead of a visit by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented the bill to the House of Commons, confirming a Reuters story from Tuesday that said the legislation would officially be offered up to parliament on Wednesday.

Canada, Mexico and the United States signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) in November 2018.

However, the deal, which would replace the existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), has yet to be ratified by any of the three countries.

“The new NAFTA will secure access to a trading zone that accounts for more than a quarter of the global economy,” Trudeau said. “It is now time for the members of this House to ratify it.”

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has said Canada will press ahead with its ratification plans, in tandem with the United States.

With Canadian voters set to head to the polls in October for a national election and the U.S. presidential election in 2020, time is running short.

Pence is scheduled to meet with Trudeau on Thursday to discuss USMCA ratification and other issues. It marks the first time the vice president has traveled to Canada in an official capacity.

His visit also comes after the United States agreed to remove tariffs on Canadian and Mexican steel and aluminum products earlier this month, ending a year-long dispute.

Canadian officials had said Canada probably would not pass the pending trade pact until the tariffs had been lifted.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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US President Trump says his meetings with Japanese PM Abe went very well

HIGH RISK WARNING: Foreign exchange trading carries a high level of risk that may not be suitable for all investors. Leverage creates additional risk and loss exposure. Before you decide to trade foreign exchange, carefully consider your investment objectives, experience level, and risk tolerance. You could lose some or all of your initial investment; do not invest money that you cannot afford to lose. Educate yourself on the risks associated with foreign exchange trading, and seek advice from an independent financial or tax advisor if you have any questions.

ADVISORY WARNING: FOREXLIVE™ provides references and links to selected blogs and other sources of economic and market information as an educational service to its clients and prospects and does not endorse the opinions or recommendations of the blogs or other sources of information. Clients and prospects are advised to carefully consider the opinions and analysis offered in the blogs or other information sources in the context of the client or prospect’s individual analysis and decision making. None of the blogs or other sources of information is to be considered as constituting a track record. Past performance is no guarantee of future results and FOREXLIVE™ specifically advises clients and prospects to carefully review all claims and representations made by advisors, bloggers, money managers and system vendors before investing any funds or opening an account with any Forex dealer. Any news, opinions, research, data, or other information contained within this website is provided as general market commentary and does not constitute investment or trading advice. FOREXLIVE™ expressly disclaims any liability for any lost principal or profits without limitation which may arise directly or indirectly from the use of or reliance on such information. As with all such advisory services, past results are never a guarantee of future results.

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