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Messages - MariaSharpie

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16
As Saudi Arabia raises the stakes in its dispute with Canada, the economic fallout could worsen an already serious issue for the kingdom: capital flight. Trade between the two countries is small, valued at roughly $4 billion, but the diplomatic dust-up has heightened the sense of risk in the Saudi investment climate, and is certain to scare even more capital away.

According to research by JPMorgan, capital outflows of residents in Saudi Arabia are projected at $65 billion in 2018, or 8.4 percent of GDP. This is less than the $80 billion lost in 2017, but a sign of a continued bleed. Significantly, the projection was made before the contretemps with Canada. According to research by Standard Chartered, the first quarter of 2018 saw $14.4 billion in outward portfolio investment into foreign equities, the largest surge since 2008. There are concerns that the government is leaning on banks and asset managers to discourage outflows, a kind of informal capital-control regime.

This flight signals the dimming of the optimism surrounding Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 economic plan. Many of the institutional reforms outlined in the plan — designed to diversify the Saudi economy, attract foreign investment and create jobs — are needed to liberalize the state-led, resource-dependent economy. Investors had hoped Riyadh would follow through on economic reforms, but have been disheartened by such high-profile actions as the arrest of prominent businessmen last year, and a recent campaign to silence critics, especially women activists. These measures — add to them now the spat with Canada — indicate that the state favors regime stability and consolidation over the rule of law, and the creation of institutions and regulations that can check the state.

More at https://www.prolificskins.com/forum/current-affairs/saudi-arabia-s-problem-isn-t-the-canada-fight-it-s-capital-flight

18
News, Current Affairs Discussions / Fan Bingbing is under house arrest?
« on: August 17, 2018, 12:51:45 pm »
15 Aug – With no words from Fan Bingbing since she was reported MIA following her tax evasion scandal, new rumours have emerged that the actress may have actually been on house arrest.

As reported on TVBS, sources recently alleged that the actress, who was rumoured to have been arrested by the authorities, has actually been placed under surveillance by the Ministry of Public Security in Beijing.

They claimed that not only is she being watched, Fan was also "not allowed to turn off the lights".

On the other hand, another source described the place as a "high-class small mansion", but that the actress cannot leave the place without permission. She reportedly also has to pay a hefty amount of rent which will be settled once the whole case is over.

The Ministry of Public Security has declined to respond to the rumour

https://sg.yahoo.com/style/fan-bingbing-under-house-arrest-095900130.html

19
Wooden is one of the archetypal  Singaporean who does well academically but is basically stupid. LKY's  public dismissal of him as "wooden" - "kayu" in Malay, a label given to a  person who is stupid, a buffoon - was not just about his stiffness but  his stupidity. LKY, being a Peranakan who was well versed in Malay, made  it very clear how he felt about Wooden.
 
LKY knew that anyone competent or charismatic who succeeded him could  well thwart his plan for his effeminate son's accession to the PMship.  Or worse, like Ong Teng Cheong, would have the charisma, intelligence  and potential to set up alternative power centres in the country. And so  Wooden became LKY's useful idiot, an idiot he could make use of to warm  the seat for his son.
 
Wooden, being the dud that he was, deluded himself that his ascension to  the PMship was because of his intelligence, performance and competence.  He got carried way, particularly as the gullible electorate initially  welcomed and celebrated his ascension to the PMship as they thought that  he would usher in a "kinder and gentler" society.

More at  https://www.prolificskins.com/forum/current-affairs/goh-chok-tong-being-wooden-and-the-useful-idiot

21



Several domestic workers have been seen behaving intimately with male patrons at a coffee shop along Boon Keng Road, accompanying them for drinks while dressed sexily.

Shin Min Daily News previously reported that a large group of maids and workers -- sometimes as many as 200 people -- would gather on a grass patch outside Kallang MRT Station every weekend to have picnics and play volleyball.

Besides creating a ruckus, they would also behave intimately in public, reported Shin Min.

Following the report, a member of the public contacted Shin Min and informed them that something of a similar nature was occurring at a coffee shop nearby.

Mr Zhang, 70, said the coffee shop was located at an HDB block along Boon Keng Road.


In the past two months, he noticed how several foreign maids would be at the coffee shop every weekend and pay elderly uncles a lot of attention, even allowing their hands to wander.

The uncles, said to be beer-drinking patrons at the coffee shop, would also occasionally give tips to the maids.

A Shin Min reporter who visited the scene over the weekend saw around five foreign women accompanying the uncles to drink.

The women had heavy makeup on, and were clad in low-cut tops and short skirts. Two of them were also wearing leopard prints.

According to the reporter's observations, the women were seated beside the uncles, chatting and laughing.

One woman was seen bending her waist when speaking to someone, giving him a frontal view of her chest area.

An uncle also took somebody's hand and lightly stroked it, while another man caressed his female companion's hair. They appeared to be on intimate terms.

In addition, other male patrons who were not seated at the same table seemed to know the women well and flirted with them whenever they walked past.

The maids would usually stay a whole day until 7 or 8pm. According to those that Shin Min spoke to, they said they have witnessed the maids leaving together with the uncles at times.


22
News, Current Affairs Discussions / Trump Is Losing His Trade War
« on: August 16, 2018, 04:01:52 pm »
Farmers and small businesses across the United States are suffering under the weight of 25% tariffs on Chinese goods that they need and/or China’s retaliatory tariffs on products they export, but Trump shows no inclination to back down. His administration has compiled a list of $16 billion worth of Chinese products it will hit with a 25% tariff on August 23. Trump is considering a 25% tariff on all auto imports on national security grounds, and tariffs on all Chines imports.

Element Electronics plans to lay off almost all of its 126 workers and close its factory in Winnsboro, S.C., because of new U.S. tariffs on components it imports from China. This is particularly sad, because Element Electronics is one of the last remaining television assembly companies in the United States.

A U.S. cargo ship carrying $20 million worth of soybeans for China tried to get there before China’s soybean tariff took effect on July 6, but arrived 30 minutes too late. The tariff raised the cost of the soybeans to $26 million. The ship drifted about off the Chinese coast for a month while the cargo’s owner, the Louis Dreyfus Co., tried to figure out what to do.

The ship, Peak Pegasus, finally docked in Dalian during the weekend and began unloading its cargo after the Chinese company Sinograin agreed to pay the 25% tariff. As of Tuesday, there were two other cargo ships loaded with American soybeans still waiting off the Chinese coast.

More at https://www.prolificskins.com/forum/current-affairs/trump-is-losing-his-trade-war

23
Daesh has as many as 30,000 members in Iraq and Syria despite having lost the overwhelming majority of the territory it occupied in the past few years, according to a new report circulated Monday by UN experts.

The report analyzed Daesh and al-Qaeda presence in a number of theaters, including Southeast Asia, Central and South Asia, Europe, East Africa, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

In North Africa, Libya is believed to hold between 3,000 and 4,000 Daesh militants and is said to be experiencing a resurgence in al-Qaeda presence; Egypt is also believed to have some 1,000 Daesh fighters.

More at https://www.prolificskins.com/forum/current-affairs/un-report-claims-daesh-has-30-000-fighters-between-iraq-and-syria

24


After months of speculation and online  buzz, 27-year-old Hong Kong TVB actress Grace Chan finally tied the knot  with fellow actor Kevin Cheng, 48, in a spectacular wedding on Sunday  (Aug 12). The event took place in Bali, Indonesia at luxury hotel  Bvlgari Resort Bali.

In the morning, Cheng had to follow traditions and go through a  gatecrash in order to collect his soon-to-be bride. Hong Kong news  outlet Apple Daily reported that, at Chan’s request, Cheng had  to serenade her with one of his songs before picking her up. He then had  to carry her for around 200m into a hall where the pair had a  traditional Chinese tea ceremony with their parents and new in-laws.

More at https://tinyurl.com/yd6jnmwo


25
Its has been a tough time for me after failing in my business venture 3 years back and having landed myself in about 300k worth of debt to banks, suppliers, contractors and relatives.

Being your own boss is tough and often lonely. I started out on my own when I was 31 and had no proper mentors to guide /nurture me. Nobody really cares how crazy your life could get. Most folks naively reckon that being a boss means having plenty of personal time and financial freedom.


Eventually I plucked up the courage to cut my losses and return to being a salaried worker to service my debts. All this while I faced everything by myself with no support whatsoever. Even my loved ones could not understand why my debts were so complicated and just can't seem to lessen despite my regular repayments.

I'm often left with a few hundred dollars for food and transport. I can't afford to go on overseas holidays ; I also couldn't bring my family out for a decent meal at a zi char stall.

When my parents quizzed me about the outstanding sums owed and when I would able to pay back this auntie or that uncle in full, I was completely at a loss with no definitive answers.

Back in my mind I thought to myself, I never once splurged on any items of extreme luxury, neither do I risk my monies on 4D betting or Toto purchases; in fact I religiously transfer almost my entire paycheck received each month to the respective accounts of my creditors.

More at https://www.prolificskins.com/single-post/2018/08/14/Business-failed-and-landed-heavily-in-debt---is-a-2nd-chance-ever-possible

26
SINGAPORE — Raffles Hotel Singapore closed its doors last December  for its first renovation in almost 30 years. The work updates the entire  130-year-old property, even adding new buildings.

So important to the high-class social fabric of Singapore is  the hotel that a starring role in the soon-to-open summer blockbuster  Crazy Rich Asians was non-negotiable.

"We got in there soon enough that they were able to hold off in one  little wing before the whole thing shut down," director Jon M. Chu tells  Bloomberg.

Whatever the cost — hotel owner Katara Hospitality says only that it  was a "significant amount" (the last major renovation was estimated at  over S$385 million) — the outcome will be astonishing, particularly the  lineup of culinary talent.

New chefs include Ms Anne-Sophie Pic, of the three-Michelin star  Maison Pic in Valence, France; venerable French master chef Alain  Ducasse; and Mr Jereme Leung, who has garnered accolades for his  groundbreaking Chinese cooking.

The Singapore Sling will continue to be a house specialty served at  the hotel's refurbished Long Bar, where guests will still be able to  toss peanut shells on the floor.

More at https://www.prolificskins.com/forum/announcements-broadcasts/two-of-the-world-s-best-chefs-to-open-at-newly-renovated-raffles-hotel

27
SINGAPORE - The dramatic aerial display by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) at the weekend may have been moving in more ways than one. False ceiling panels came loose at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS) after a show on Saturday (Aug 11) morning .


An MBCCS spokesman confirmed that some panels had "come loose" but no one was hurt. The affected panels were also removed.


She added that the second aerial display in the afternoon did not cause further issues.


According to Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao, the incident did not affect the arrival and departure timings of vessels.


In response to ST's queries, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said the RSAF was informed after Saturday morning's (Aug 11) RSAF50 aerial display at the Marina Barrage that some false ceiling panels at the MBCCS had come loose.


"As a precautionary measure, the RSAF adjusted the flight path for the subsequent aerial displays and there were no further issues reported since," Mindef added.


It also said there were no reported issues when the RSAF held flying activities in the vicinity of the MBCCS for the SG50 Jubilee Weekend and RISING50, as well as rehearsals for this year's display.


MBCCS's spokesman added that a professional engineer has confirmed the terminal is safe after assessing the building and rectification works. Operations resumed on Sunday (Aug 12), she added.


The [email protected] Barrage event was organised to commemorate the air force's golden jubilee this year and showcased more than 20 aircraft. There were two 30-minute shows on Saturday and Sunday at 10am and 2.30pm.


https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/marina-bay-cruise-centres-false-ceiling-panels-come-loose-after-rsaf-show-repairs-made

28
Seven Palms, the most luxurious condominium in Sentosa Cove, has been known for setting benchmark prices in Singapore’s foremost waterfront enclave. When the project was launched in 4Q2009, seven units were sold at prices ranging from $3,091 to $3,353 psf. In terms of absolute prices, these units, which ranged from three-bedroom apartments of 2,702 sq ft to four-bedroom units of 4,273 sq ft, went for $8.35 million to $13.9 million, according to caveats lodged.

The 41-unit luxury condo by SC Global Developments was the first condominium development in Sentosa Cove to see sales of its units cross the $3,000 psf price threshold. It also boasts several tycoons among its homebuyers.

In 2012, it was reported that Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart spent $57 million for two units — a three-bedroom unit on the third floor and another three-bedroom unit directly above it on the fourth floor — with a total strata area of 13,500 sq ft. The transaction set a new record of $4,200 psf, breaking yet another price threshold for the 99-year leasehold development.

More at https://sg.yahoo.com/finance/news/despair-sale-ultra-luxury-seven-054000733.html

29
It was a jaw-dropping moment, akin to a bolt of lightning from the blue. A first glance at Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong’s comments in a dialogue with South East District residents on 2 August elicited the instinctive response: is this fake news? Did he really say that?

Yes, he really did. “I am telling you the ministers are not paid enough, and down the road, we are going to get a problem with getting people to join the government…now we dare not pay ministers a good wage,” said Goh in a conversation with Braddell Heights resident Abdul Aziz, 70.

And the former Prime Minister (1990-2004) went further, “You are going to end up with very, very mediocre people, who can’t even earn a million dollars outside to be our ministers. Think about that. Is it good for you, or is it worse for us in the end?”

And just like that, the 77-year-old revived the perennial, and always contentious, issue of ministerial pay: just how much is enough? For “very, very mediocre” Singaporeans like myself who do not earn anywhere close to a million dollars, his comments also presented a false equivalence: that high pay somehow equates to a high level of competence.

Goh has since come out to say that he did not mean to call Singaporeans mediocre and that salaries are not the “starting point” in recruiting for the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP). But the damage had already been done.

More at https://www.prolificskins.com/forum/current-affairs/comment-the-furore-over-ministerial-pay-is-gaining-currency-again

30
President Trump's embrace of sweeping tariffs has frustrated allies, lawmakers and businesses across the globe. But its most lasting impact could be to hobble the World Trade Organization.

The global trade group has been thrust into an uncomfortable — and potentially damaging — role as chief judge in an intense fight among its most powerful members.

At the center of the battle is whether the United States' claim that its sweeping steel and aluminum tariffs are necessary to protect national security or whether they are simply a ruse to protect American metal manufacturers from global competition. Allies like Canada, Mexico and the European Union have challenged Mr. Trump's tariffs at the World Trade Organization, saying their metals pose no threat to America's national security. They have fired back with their own retaliatory tariffs, prompting the Trump administration to bring its own World Trade Organization complaints against those countries.

......

"If the United States has rewritten the rules of the W.T.O. system to say you can do anything you want if it's in your national security interests, be prepared for every country in the world to come up with a new definition of what is its critical national security interest," said Rufus Yerxa, the president of the National Foreign Trade Council and a former deputy director general of the World Trade Organization.

......

The United States has also objected to the appointment of new members for a W.T.O. appeals body, a move that threatens to paralyze the group's ability to settle disputes.
......

"In such a world, where power has replaced rules as the basis for trade relations, it will be the smallest and poorest that will be hurt the most," Marc Vanheukelen, the European Union ambassador to the W.T.O., told a gathering of the organization's 164 members at the W.T.O.'s lakeside headquarters in Geneva in late July.


Much much more at: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/13/trumps-national-security-claim-for-tariffs-sets-off-crisis-at-wto.html

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