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Switzerland seeks more clarity on gold trade amid rights concerns

GENEVA --- Switzerland's executive is calling for greater transparency and information about imports of gold into the rich Alpine country, warning that the industry has been linked to human rights violations and other wrongs like environmental damage. The Federal Council issued a report on Wednesday about the implications of the gold market on human rights violations in a country that prides itself on respecting human rights and whose refineries can churn up to 40 percent of the world gold-smelting capacity. Switzerland has imported 65 billion-109 billion Swiss francs (dollars) of gold per year over the last five years from 92 different countries, it said. The report warned of the i...Keep on reading: Switzerland seeks more clarity on gold trade amid rights concerns.....»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerNov 14th, 2018

Lorenzana: RP can buy choppers elsewhere

The government is ready to look for other sources of utility helicopters if Canada chooses not to proceed with the P11.7 billion sale of 16 brand new Bell 412s to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said. Canadian papers have reported that the Canadian government has ordered a review of the deal amid concerns that the helicopters would be used in fighting rebels.Lorenzana, in a statement, stressed that the 16 brand new Bell412 combat utility helicopters would be used by the AFP to save lives.“Should the Canadian government choose to discontinue their sale of the aircraft to us, then we will procure them from another source,” said Lorenzana.The $233 million agreement was only signed last Wednesday.Immediately after, the Canadian government, through Trade Minister Francois Philippe Champagne reportedly ordered a review of the deal after learning that the helicopters would be used for internal security operations of the AFP.“When we saw that declaration ... we immediately launched a review with the relevant authorities. And we will obviously review the facts and take the right decision,” Champagne was quoted in the reports.But Lorenzana maintained that the helicopters would be used by the AFP “primarily for the transportation of personnel and supplies, ferrying wounded and injured soldiers, and the conduct of humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR) operations.” “They are not attack or close support aircraft. While they may be used in support of Internal Security Operations or ISO, their role is limited to those that I mentioned,” he said.“As its designation ‘combat utility helicopter or CUH’ connotes, the Bell CUH 412 is a utility helicopter and, contrary to what some parties mistakenly believe, its mission is to save lives,” Lorenzana added.The Bell 412EPI helicopters were supposed to be delivered early next year.Canada cites HR strings on dealChampagne also mentioned human rights as key element in Canada’s foreign and trade policy.It will be recalled that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, during last November’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in Manila, raised questions on President Duterte’s war against illegal drugs which is being blamed for thousands of alleged extra judicial killings in the country.The Department of National Defense (DND), however, stressed that while it is the prerogative of the Canadian government to review the deal, human rights issue should not equate to the ISO of the AFP in general.“I think it is unfair to equate internal security operations in general with human rights violations first of all the alleged human rights violations are unverified there are still being investigated and have to be documented,” DND’s Public Affairs Service chief Arsenio Andolong said.“I think it’s premature to cast judgment on the armed forces in this regard so I think it would be to the best interests of both our countries to step back and reconsider what the Canadian government is thinking,” Andolong added.“If they don’t want to sell, well, we may consider the prospect of procuring them from other sources,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said. Politicization raised“They must not politicize the acquisition,” said Major-General Restituto Padilla, the deputy chief of staff for plans and programmes of the Philippine armed forces.According to the Philippine defense department, the deal was signed with trade promotion outfit Canadian Commercial Corp last December, shortly after Trudeau clashed with Duterte during a Manila visit over alleged Philippine police murders of thousands of drug suspects.The Philippines employs attack helicopters and planes to support ground troops battling militants in the Muslim south, as well as against communist guerrillas in other parts of the mainly Catholic Asian nation.As well as in the drug war, the Philippine military has for years been saddled with allegations of human rights abuses in its counter-insurgency campaigns.“They are purely for utility purposes — ergo, transport purposes especially during HADR operations,” Padilla said, using a military term for disaster response.“We have separate and dedicated attack helicopters,” he added.Apart from armed insurgencies, the Philippines is also regularly battered by typhoons.“These will be used to transport personnel, supplies, humanitarian missions, ferrying of wounded and injured soldiers, and other forms of humanitarian assistance and disaster response,” Roque added.Bell Helicopter said the Philippine military would use the aircraft “for a variety of missions such as disaster relief, search and rescue, passenger transport and utility transport”. .....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

Duterte seeks martial law extension in southern Philippines | International News | theworldlink.com

MANILA, Philippines (AP) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has asked Congress to extend martial law in the country's south by another year amid continuing concerns over possible militant attac.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsDec 8th, 2018

PSEi drops 1% in morning trade, tracks global decline

THE stock market fell in early trading on Wednesday in line with global declines amid concerns over slower economic growth. The Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) dropped by 1.07 percent…READ The post PSEi drops 1% in morning trade, tracks global decline appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsNov 21st, 2018

Consumers urged to fight for rights as DTI warns traders

CONSUMERS should stand up for their rights amid the increasing prices of goods, an advocacy group said on Tuesday, as the Department of Trade and Industry reminded store owners to implement its suggested retail prices (SRP). In an interview with dzBB, Victor Dimagiba, president of Laban Konsyumer Inc., said that consumers have rights when it [...] The post Consumers urged to fight for rights as DTI warns traders appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsOct 2nd, 2018

New U.N. panel to prepare indictments over Myanmar atrocities

GENEVA, Switzerland – The UN Human Rights Council voted Thursday, September 27, to set up a panel to prepare criminal indictments over atrocities committed in Myanmar, amid allegations of genocide against the Rohingya minority. The top UN rights body voted to "establish an ongoing independent mechanism to collect, consolidate, preserve ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 28th, 2018

New UN panel to prepare indictments over Myanmar atrocities

GENEVA, Switzerland – The UN Human Rights Council voted Thursday, September 27, to set up a panel to prepare criminal indictments over atrocities committed in Myanmar, amid allegations of genocide against the Rohingya minority. The top UN rights body voted to "establish an ongoing independent mechanism to collect, consolidate, preserve ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 27th, 2018

Trump to world leaders: China out to meddle in 2018 election

UNITED NATIONS --- Taking center stage at the United Nations, President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused China of trying to interfere in the upcoming U.S. congressional elections because it opposes his tough trade policies. The White House provided scant evidence of anything akin to the level of Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. "They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade," Trump said as he chaired the U.N. Security Council for the first time. He made his accusation against the backdrop of the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the last election to help him and amid concerns that ...Keep on reading: Trump to world leaders: China out to meddle in 2018 election.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 27th, 2018

Historian seeks review of Martial Law materials

Amid concerns of revised history being taught to the younger generation, a historian said it’s time to review existing materials on martial law and the regime of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 27th, 2018

Peso nearly hits P54:$1 level in morning trade

The Philippine peso on Friday almost touched the P54-per-dollar level in morning trade as investors flee riskier markets amid concerns about rising domestic inflation and contagion from emerging markets, among others......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 7th, 2018

Peso nearly hits P54:$1 level in morning trade

The Philippine peso on Friday almost touched the P54-per-dollar level in morning trade as investors flee riskier markets amid concerns about rising domestic inflation and contagion from emerging markets, among others. Source link link: Peso nearly hits P54:$1 level in morning trade.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsSep 7th, 2018

PH asks S. Korea to lower tariff on bananas

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) renewed its bid to get tariffs imposed by South Korea on Philippine bananas lowered, amid concerns of increased competition in the export market. The gove.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsSep 3rd, 2018

UN demands urgent action amid climate of fear in Nicaragua

GENEVA, Switzerland – The United Nations called on Wednesday, August 29, for urgent action to prevent Nicaragua from descending further into turmoil after months of violent repression of protests against President Daniel Ortega's rule. In a fresh report, the UN human rights office detailed a wide range of serious violations, ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 29th, 2018

Moody’s cuts Turkey’s credit rating further

ANKARA, Turkey — Ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded Turkey’s credit rating deeper into “junk” status and slapped a “negative” rating on its outlook. It’s the latest blow to the country whose currency, the lira, has taken a battering amid concerns about fundamental economic problems and a diplomatic and trade dispute with the United States. Moody’s […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 19th, 2018

Turkey tries to contain crisis but currency keeps falling

ANKARA, Turkey --- Turkey's central bank took action Monday to free up cash for banks as the country grapples with a currency crisis sparked by concerns over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's economic policies and a trade and diplomatic dispute with the United States. The Turkish lira has nosedived over the past week and tumbled another 7 percent on Monday as the central bank's measures failed to restore investor confidence. The uncertainty pushed down world stock markets and briefly caused a sharp drop in the currencies of other emerging economies, like South Africa and India, amid concerns that the financial trouble could spread. The lira hit a record low of 7.23 per dollar...Keep on reading: Turkey tries to contain crisis but currency keeps falling.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 13th, 2018

DA s 2018 NBA Offseason Rankings: The Middle 10

By David Aldridge, TNT Analyst Wonder what the rental market is like in San Luis Obispo, Calif. San Luis Obispo is, give or take a few miles, one of the closest cities that is near the midway point between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Given the events of the NBA’s offseason, it’s not hare to imagine national reporters are going to be spending a lot of time in California next season, bouncing back and forth between the Bay and L.A. Catch LeBron James and the Lakers on Wednesday and then, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and the Warriors on Thursday. The Western Conference only got stronger and deeper with James leaving Cleveland for a second time, this time to go to the Lakers. Add four of the top five Draft picks -- including No. 1 overall selection Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns), No. 2 pick Marvin Bagley III (Sacramento Kings) and international phenom Luka Doncic (No. 3 pick, acquired by Dallas Mavericks) -- going to Western Conference teams, and the talent disparity between conferences only seems greater. But did Eastern Conference teams take advantage of Cleveland deflating to make their teams better? And how effective were West teams in making their teams better prepared to at least compete with the Warriors? That’s where this year’s Offseason Rankings come in -- big, bold, definitive. You love them, if the amount of hate tweets and e-mails I get after they’re published are any indication. Every year, we rank how all 30 teams have done since the end of their respective seasons. We look at everything -- how they drafted, what trades they made, what players they signed in free agency, and for how much -- or if they didn’t participate in free agency much at all. We look at if they’ve changed coaches, executives, owners, or if they’re moving into a new building that can generate big revenues. And you have to decide which ones you liked the most. Here's what these rankings ARE NOT: A predicted order of finish for next season. It's an opinion that seeks to answer a question: is the team better now than at the end of last season? The ranking reflects the belief on whether, and how much, that is so. (I liked certain guys who were in the Draft more than others, so if your team took them, I probably weighed it more positively. Doesn't mean I'm right.) I do not expect the Suns, for example, to have a better record than the Celtics, just because they had a better summer. It is not a ranking of the teams in order from 1 through 30 right now; I do not believe the Mavericks are now a better team than Rockets. This is just one person’s opinion about offseason moves -- offseason moves only. Is your team better now than it was before? - If your team is ranked in the top 10, it doesn't mean I love your team.       - If your team is ranked in the bottom 10, it doesn't mean I hate your team. It's an opinion that seeks to answer a question: is the team better now than at the end of last season? The ranking reflects the belief on whether, and how much, that is so. (I liked certain guys who were in the Draft more than others, so if your team took them, I probably weighed it more positively. Doesn't mean I'm right.) What plays into the rankings: - This isn’t science. It’s an educated guess, weighing the impact both of the Draft and free agency, but also assessing whether teams got value in their free-agent signings. Overpaying the right player is as much a sin as signing the wrong player. A good new coach can coax some more wins out of a roster. But if a team’s players don’t believe in the system their team uses, the best Xs and Os on earth don’t matter.       - Teams that are rebuilding obviously have different priorities than teams making a championship push. That's factored in. So Chicago, for example, gets credit for adding young, affordable players as it stockpiles its talent -- but that talent has to fit together, as Wendell Carter Jr. does with Lauri Markannen. And a team like the Warriors that shows it’s willing to go deep into the luxury tax -- which most teams try to avoid -- in order to keep winning has to be commended, and its rankings reflect that commendation.       - Continuity matters here as well. The most successful teams usually not only identify a core group of players, they keep them together for a while, finding that sweet spot: everyone doesn’t get a max contract, but most get paid well enough to keep the train moving down the tracks. That reflects both good roster construction and good financial management -- and, again, is rewarded. The explosion in the cap means everyone has to spend; keeping your powder dry for another day doesn’t have as much cache as it used to. But you still have to manage your money wisely. Salary numbers, with a couple of exceptions, come from Basketball Insiders, whose Eric Pincus does the best job of anyone in the game of keeping track of all the moving financial parts, quickly and accurately -- which is why we use him at NBA TV during the Draft and free agency to tell us what the hell this all means. The Middle 10 * * * 11. TORONTO RAPTORS 2017-18 RECORD: 59-23; lost in Eastern Conference semifinals ADDED: Coach Nick Nurse; G Danny Green (acquired from Spurs); F Kawhi Leonard (acquired from Spurs) LOST: Former coach Dwane Casey; G DeMar DeRozan (traded to Spurs); F Alfonzo McKinnie (waived); C Jakob Poeltl (traded to Spurs) RETAINED: G Fred VanVleet (two years, $18.1 million) THE KEY MAN: Nurse. The former Raps assistant has extensive G League head coaching experience. But the NBA isn’t just about a coach’s Xs and Os acumen. We know Nurse can do that. But an NBA coach has to have command presence in a locker room not only full of millionaires, but full of Alpha males who have their own very strong opinions on how they should be used and how their teammates should help them. Nurse will have to show he can put his own stamp on a team that will have some new faces while still having extremely high expectations. THE SKINNY: You may well think Toronto should be higher, based on Leonard’s standing as a top-five player in the league when fully healthy. No matter what you think of DeRozan, a four-time All-Star, no one can realistically say he’s better than “The Klaw” when both are 100 percent. But, of course, we don’t know if Leonard’s 100 percent. And, trading DeRozan, who’d been the franchise’s biggest advocate during his nine seasons there -- and who had led the team to its greatest extended run of success ever -- is not a transaction without consequence for the Raptors. He helped get the best out of Kyle Lowry. He could help recruit free agents. And, the circumstances of his departure have not helped the franchise’s reputation. Still, this is a talent-based league, and Leonard has it. His and Green’s presence on the perimeter gives Toronto the chance to be a switching defensive monster -- and will help the Raptors be able to match up better with the likes of the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers in a late-May playoff matchup, as long as the Raptors’ young core in which it believes so strongly continues to play as well in reserve as it did last season. 12. MILWAUKEE BUCKS 2017-18 RECORD: 44-38; lost in first round ADDED: Coach Mike Budenholzer; G Donte DiVincenzo (No. 17 pick, 2018 Draft); G Trevon Duval; F Ersan Ilyasova (three years, $21 million); C Brook Lopez (one year, $3.32 million); F Pat Connaughton (two years, $3.2 million); LOST: Former interim coach Joe Prunty; G Brandon Jennings (waived); F Jabari Parker (signed with Bulls) RETAINED: None THE KEY MAN: G Eric Bledsoe. His departure from Phoenix early last season was messy. But once he got to Brewtown, Bledsoe solidified the Bucks at the point, averaging 17.8 points and 5.1 assists per game in 71 starts. At 28, Bledsoe faces the last year of his contract and will have to show a new coach he’s capable of running things long-term and playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo through the meat of his prime. THE SKINNY: Budenholzer’s arrival should coincide with an improvement in the Bucks’ defense, something that former coach Jason Kidd could never quite accomplish. Ilaysova’s return for a second tour in Milwaukee should help, with his celebrated charge-taking skill and Lopez’s still-substantial size a double-boon to Milwaukee’s interior D as the Bucks were bottom 10 last season in points allowed in the paint (47.4 per game). If the paint becomes a little tougher to traverse, the Bucks should finally able to use their substantial length on the wing to get back to create deflections and turnovers, and get out in transition, where Antetokounmpo and Friends do their best work and their most damage to the opposition. They’ll do so 41 nights a year for the next couple of decades in the 17,500-seat Fiserv Forum, the Bucks’ new arena that will open in early September with a concert and should pump new revenues into the Bucks’ bloodstream, giving them more financial wherewithal to keep “The Greek Freak” surrounded with high-quality talent. 13. UTAH JAZZ 2017-18 RECORD: 48-34; lost in Western Conference semifinals ADDED: G Grayson Allen (No. 21 pick, 2018 Draft); G Jarius Lyles; G Naz Mitrou-Long LOST: F Jonas Jerebko (waived) RETAINED: G Dante Exum (three years, $33 million); F/C Derrick Favors (two years, $37.6 million), G Raul Neto (two years, $4.4 million); F Georges Niang (three years, $4.9 million) THE KEY MAN: C Rudy Gobert. He’s a monster presence, the hub of the Jazz’s defensive wheel and the reigning Kia Defensive Player of the Year. And he has to take a step back in Utah next season for the Jazz to take the next step forward. He has to understand what Utah has in Donovan Mitchell and let that kid eat. Nobody in the league can do what Gobert does defensively. So embrace that and concentrate on that -- take the Draymond Green attitude about being the “defensive guy” on a great team (not that Jazz fans want you to do anything that Green does). Gobert’s handsomely paid and the DPOY award found him in Salt Lake City; there’s no small-market bias at work here. So let Mitchell and Joe Ingles carry the shooting/scoring load, let Ricky Rubio orchestrate, and snuff out opponent dreams at the other end, night after night. It’s what you were born to do. THE SKINNY: My God, Mitchell had a great rookie season. And Utah brought most of the band back from last season to provide advice and consent for him again, re-signing Favors, Exum and Neto each on very reasonable contracts. Doing so leaves Utah over the cap, still comfortably under the tax, and with nothing on the books that should raise an eyebrow financially. (Utah’s front office should handle my checking account for a while.) Anyway, no reason to expect any backsliding next season with the crew returning, though coach Quin Snyder will surely miss the counsel of his longtime friend Igor Kokoskov, off to run the Suns. 14. ATLANTA HAWKS 2017-18 RECORD: 24-58; missed playoffs ADDED: Coach Lloyd Pierce; F Justin Anderson (acquired from 76ers); G Kevin Huerter (No. 19 pick, 2018 Draft); C Alex Len (two years, $8.5 million); G Jeremy Lin (acquired from Nets); F Omari Spellman (No. 30 pick, 2018 Draft); G Trae Young (No. 5 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: Former coach Mike Budenholzer; G Antonius Cleveland (waived); G Damion Lee (signed with Warriors); F/C Mike Muscala (traded to 76ers); G Dennis Schröder (traded to Thunder); G Isaiah Taylor (waived) RETAINED: C Dewayne Dedmon (picked up player option) THE KEY MAN: GM Travis Schlenk. The second-year executive will be judged on how well Atlanta uses its trove of Draft picks -- three firsts this year, three firsts next year, two firsts in 2022 -- the next few years. And, ultimately, the Hawks will live or die by whether Young or Luka Doncic becomes the bigger NBA producer. Schlenk’s chances of completing the rebuild may well ride on that. THE SKINNY: The Hawks’ roster teardown is nearing completion, but the renovated Philips Arena will come online faster than the team, which now needs Young to live up to all the hype after his one season at Oklahoma. He has incredible range and great potential, but he’ll be challenged every night to stay in front of the legion of great points in this league. Pierce, the former Sixers’ assistant, is going to have a very tough time melding all the newcomers with the small core of players who survived, including John Collins, Kent Bazemore, DeAndre' Bembry and Taurean Prince. 15. LA CLIPPERS 2017-18 RECORD: 42-40; missed playoffs ADDED: C Marcin Gortat (acquired from Wizards); G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (No. 11 pick, 2018 Draft); F Johnathan Motley (acquired from Mavericks); F Mike Scott (one year, $4.3 million); F Luc Mbah a Moute (one year, $4.3 million), G Jerome Robinson (No. 13 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: G Austin Rivers (traded to Wizards); C DeAndre Jordan (signed with Mavs); G C.J. Williams (waived) RETAINED: G Avery Bradley (two years, $24.9  million); C Montrezl Harrell (two years, $12 million); G Wesley Johnson (picked up player option); G Milos Teodosic (picked up player option) THE KEY MAN: F Tobias Harris. He was the key tangible piece of the Blake Griffin trade last season (the intangible being the unprotected first from Detroit in the deal that eventually became Gilgeous-Alexander after a Draft night trade with Charlotte). And Harris played quite well in his 32 games with the Clips, averaging 19.3 points and six rebounds per game. Those numbers could each well go up in a contract year and with few others outside of Lou Williams on the roster that can go get their own buckets. THE SKINNY: Amazing, but true: the Clipper player with the longest current tenure is … Wesley Johnson, who came aboard in 2015. “Lob City” is in the history books and change will be the norm here for a while, including next summer, when the Clippers expect to be a free-agent destination. The Clips did what they could with that not-insignificant restriction, but the best stuff was in the Draft, winding up with a potential long-term point in Gilgeous-Alexander and a two in Robinson that rocketed up the pre-Draft charts. Bradley’s on a very team-friendly and controllable contract, as is Patrick Beverley, whose modest 2018-19 salary isn’t guaranteed until January. Those two and Mbah a Moute can give coach Doc Rivers hope that he can get some stops on the perimeter, because while Gortat is still willing defensively and still takes a bunch of charges, he is not Jordan when it comes to rim protection. 16. BROOKLYN NETS 2017-18 RECORD: 28-54; missed playoffs ADDED: F/C Ed Davis (one year, $4.4 million); F Jared Dudley (acquired from Suns); F Kenneth Faried (acquired from Nuggets); G/F Treveon Graham (two years); F Rodions Kurucs (No. 40, 2018 Draft); F Dzanan Musa (No. 29 pick, 2018 Draft); G Shabazz Napier (two years, $3.7 million) LOST: F Darrell Arthur (traded to Suns); F Dante Cunningham (signed with Spurs); C Dwight Howard (waived); G Jeremy Lin (traded to Hawks); C Timofey Mozgov (traded to Hornets); G Nik Stauskas (signed with Blazers); G Isaiah Whitehead (traded to Nuggets) RETAINED: G Joe Harris (two years, $16 million) THE KEY MAN: Co-owner Joseph Tsai. The Alibaba executive and billionaire has 49 percent of the team, and can buy majority control from Mikhail Prokhorov by 2021. Until then, they’ll run the team jointly, so no matter Prokhorov’s ups and downs, Brooklyn’s financial spigot should never run dry. Tsai reportedly has designs on expanding the Nets’ brand further in China, just as Prokhorov believed the Nets had global reach. They didn’t, at least not the post-KG and Pierce squads. THE SKINNY: If you love Ed Davis like smart people who know basketball do, Brooklyn makes the top half by bringing the ex-Blazer in on a short deal. If he plays great, he’ll cost the Nets a pretty penny in 2019, but Brooklyn has to take chances on guys who can outperform their contracts. The only thing the Nets couldn’t do was take on more ’19 salary when they’ll be in line to potentially add two max players. Won’t be easy to lure the elites, but Brooklyn also has accumulated enough assets to be able to make uneven trades for salaries if need be. In the interim comes next season, with coach Kenny Atkinson needing to continue to develop diamonds in the rough like Graham, who Cleveland wanted and who will help the Nets at multiple positions. 17. CHICAGO BULLS 2017-18 RECORD: 27-55; missed playoffs ADDED: G Antonius Cleveland; C Wendell Carter Jr. (No. 7 pick, 2018 Draft); F Chandler Hutchison (No. 22 pick, 2018 Draft); F Jabari Parker (two years, $40 million) LOST: F Jerian Grant (traded to Magic); G Sean Kilpatrick (waived); G Julyan Stone (waived); F Noah Vonleh (signed with Knicks); G Paul Zipser (waived) RETAINED: G Antonio Blakeney; G Zach LaVine (matched four year, $78 million offers sheet from Kings) THE KEY MAN: G Kris Dunn. As the 24-year-old will be every season he’s in Chicago. The Jimmy Butler trade in 2017 yielded the pick that became Lauri Markannen, and he’s also a key piece to the Bulls’ future. But Chicago won’t ever get elevation again if Dunn doesn’t become an elite point guard in a league full of them. He showed signs last season that he could be just that, most notably a December in which Dunn averaged 14.9 points and eight assists, and the Bulls went 10-6. But a concussion in January derailed Dunn’s progress and his production fell sharply the rest of the season. THE SKINNY: Can Parker play the three, as the Bulls insist he can? There isn’t a ton of evidence suggesting so, and Parker’s hypothesis that he isn’t getting paid to play defense does not provide much comfort. But the Bulls will try him there alongside Markannen and rookie Carter Jr. in what would be a huge frontcourt. Almost $20 million annually for LaVine going forward is also a stretch, but less of one if LaVine comes all the way back from his 2017 ACL tear with a full training camp and season. Carter may be more important to the Bulls’ hoped-for resurgence than Parker and LaVine; the Duke big man has that much potential. 18. WASHINGTON WIZARDS 2017-18 RECORD: 43-39; lost in first round ADDED: C Thomas Bryant; G Troy Brown (No. 15 pick, 2018 Draft); F Jeff Green (one year, $2.5 million); C Dwight Howard (two years, $11 million); G Austin Rivers (acquired from Clippers); G Issuf Sanon (No. 44 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: C Marcin Gortat (traded to Clippers); F Mike Scott (signed with Clippers) RETAINED: G Jodie Meeks (picked up player option); C Jason Smith (picked up player option) THE KEY MAN: Coach Scott Brooks. Entering his third season in Washington, Brooks keeps saying he wants the Wizards to defend and play fast. But he has to follow that up with action, especially when and if John Wall doesn’t provide the on-ball defense Washington needs to have any chance to unleash a still-potent fast break. Wall is 27 and, if healthy, in his prime. The team takes almost all of its cues from him; when he’s locked in, the Wizards can compete with anyone. But when he’s indifferent, so are they -- as evidenced by their horrible record against bad teams. Brooks has to demand Wall’s best, or be ready to limit his minutes. THE SKINNY: NBA protocol almost demands you hate the pickup of Howard, such is his current perceived valued among many after multiple stops the last few seasons. The guess here is that Howard won’t hijack the Wizards’ locker room, as he had been accused of while in with the Houston Rockets and Charlotte Hornets, especially. Howard’s skill set can help Washington, which fell off defensively last season. But there’s also not much sense he’ll be a significant pick-me-up in D.C., either. He can’t stretch the floor and he’s not especially potent finishing in pick and roll, either. But the Wizards should at least be deeper off the bench with Green, who played well for the Cavs last season, and Rivers, who gives Washington legit guard depth along with Tomas Satoransky. 19. SACRAMENTO KINGS 2017-18 RECORD: 27-55; missed playoffs ADDED: F Nemanja Bjelica (three years, $20.4 million); C Marvin Bagley III (No. 2 pick, 2018 Draft); G Yogi Ferrell (two years, $4.1 million); G Ben McLemore (acquired from Kings); F Deyonta Davis (acquired from Grizzlies) LOST: G Garrett Temple (traded to Grizzlies) RETAINED: G Iman Shumpert (picked up player option); C Kosta Koufos (picked up player option) THE KEY MAN: F Harry Giles. The Kings traded for the one-and-done forward on Draft night 2017 and redshirted him, feeling he needed a year to fully recover from the multiple knee surgeries he’d undergone the last three years. Those surgeries stopped his top-five Draft potential in its tracks, before and after a year at Duke. But Giles is back on the floor, having flashed his skills during NBA Summer League, as Sacramento gushed about his progress. If the 20-year-old is ready to roll come October, he could be an enormous boost. He’ll have to at least become a contributor, lest folks remind the Kings they passed on the likes of Kyle Kuzma and O.G Anunoby to trade for his rights. THE SKINNY: Bagley III has superstar potential, and he better become one, or the Doncic Stans among the Kings’ fan base will have aneurysms. The Kings were all over everyone, seemingly, this summer, dropping sheets on Zach LaVine, almost doing the same with Marcus Smart and Jabari Parker, and going after unrestricted free agent Mario Hezonja. All well and good, and getting Bjelica out from under Philly and prying Ferrell from Dallas were decent late July pickups. But it will be Bagley III who’ll be under the microscope. His skill sets are prodigious and he’s been working out feverishly all summer. And he wants to make a mark in restoring the Kings to where they were on the floor during the Webber Years. He worked out for them. He’s enthusiastic about them. That counts for something. 20. HOUSTON ROCKETS 2017-18 RECORD: 65-17; lost in Western Conference finals ADDED: G Michael Carter-Williams (one year, $1.5 million); G De'Anthony Melton (No. 46 pick, 2018 Draft); F Vincent Edwards (No. 52 pick, 2018 Draft) LOST: F Trevor Ariza (signed with Suns); Luc Mbah a Moute (signed with LA Clippers); C Chinanu Onuaku (traded to Mavs) RETAINED: C Clint Capela (five years, $90 million); G/F Gerald Green (one year, $2.3 million); G Aaron Jackson (picked up team option); G Chris Paul (four years, $159 million) THE KEY MAN: Jason Biles, Joe Rogowski, Keith Jones and Javair Gillett -- the Rockets’ athletic trainers, sports performance and rehab staff. Their only mission next season, should they decide to accept it, is to get Paul through an 82-game regular season and a two-month playoff slog without breaking or pulling anything of importance that keeps him out of key games. Of course, should any of the staff be unsuccessful, the Morey will disavow any knowledge of their employment. Good luck, men. THE SKINNY: We have not yet included Carmelo Anthony, who will be signing in Houston any minute now. When he’s officially on the roster, he’ll certainly help, and we all saw that even Houston can go through extended scoring droughts in the playoffs. Having Anthony around should alleviate that. The Rockets may have had the best signing of the summer, keeping the 24-year-old Capela locked up long-term for $18 million per -- incredible value these days, given the way salaries are skyrocketing. But that was mitigated by the losses of Ariza and Mbah a Moute, who were crucial to the switching defense Houston employed and perfected by the playoffs, which threw sand in the gears of the Warriors’ impenetrable offense and would likely have propelled the Rockets to The Finals if Paul hadn’t gotten hurt in Game 5. Ennis and Carter-Williams will help some in that regard, but they don’t have the resume of Mbah a Moute and Ariza -- which means they sometimes won’t get the benefit of the doubt from refs that the old heads do. Houston’s still the clear number two to Golden State in the West, but the gap between the Rockets and the best of the rest has closed. Longtime NBA reporter, columnist and Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer David Aldridge is an analyst for TNT. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 8th, 2018

Asean asked to brace amid trade feuds, rising protectionism

Singapore — Southeast Asia’s top diplomats opened an annual meeting Thursday to tackle a slew of security concerns, including South China Sea territorial disputes, with host Singapore calling Source link link: Asean asked to brace amid trade feuds, rising protectionism.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2018

Asean asked to brace amid trade feuds, rising protectionism

Singapore --- Southeast Asia's top diplomats opened an annual meeting Thursday to tackle a slew of security concerns, including South China Sea territorial disputes, with host Singapore calling on the bloc to brace for external tumult such as rising protectionism. North Korea's rapprochement with South Korea and the U.S. is expected to be welcomed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ministers, who began four days of meetings in Singapore with a working dinner Wednesday. Rising extremism and the plight of minority Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar's Rakhine state are also under the spotlight. Founded in 1967 during the Cold War, ASEAN steadily weathered storms to become a stable...Keep on reading: Asean asked to brace amid trade feuds, rising protectionism.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2018

ASEAN urged to fight protectionism amid trade disputes

Southeast Asia's top diplomats have opened an annual meeting to tackle a slew of security concerns, including South China Sea territorial disputes, with host Singapore calling on the bloc to brace for external tumult including rising protectionism......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2018

Peso gains slightly on lingering trade war concerns

The peso strengthened slightly on Monday, July 23, as the dollar weakened amid sustained concerns over the the trade spat between the United States and China. The local unit ended Monday’s session at P53.48 versus the greenback, stronger by three centavos from the P53.51-per-dollar finish on Friday. Dollars traded declined to $399.6 million from the […].....»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2018

FOREX-Dollar takes breather as trade concerns linger, yuan remains in focus

Dollar softer amid lingering trade war fears China central bank to keep yuan stable, helping cool-off market Canada dollar gains on manufacturing data, higher oil prices Mexico peso jumps on soothing words from president-elect U.S. holiday could keep trading thinner TOKYO, July 4 (Reuters) – Major currencies marked time on Wednesday while the Chinese yuan […].....»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJul 4th, 2018