The historic emissions deal between China and the U.S. removes a key barrier in United Nations-led efforts to craft a global climate pact. Now President Barack Obama has to find a way to make it happen at home. An international agreement to curb greenhouse gases would go nowhere without participation from China and the U.S., the two biggest producers of carbon emissions, and until yesterday they were far apart on numerous issues. With Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping now in accord that the world's two largest economies bear a certain responsibility to take the lead in fighting climate change, other nations may be more willing to follow suit when envoys meet in Lima next month for the next round of UN-organized negotiations. "This could be a first critical step to unlocking the logjam in the climate-change negotiations," said Yvo de Boer, who oversaw the UN effort on global warming from 2006 to 2010, in a telephone interview from Seoul. "It becomes much easier for other pieces of … [Read more...] about World cheers U.S., China carbon deal as Republicans jeer
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BNP Paribas' guilty plea and agreement to pay nearly $9 billion for violating U.S. sanctions is part of a larger U.S. Justice Department shift in strategy that is expected to snare more major banks and other firms across the financial food chain. Two other major French banks, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale, Germany's Deutsche Bank AG, and Citigroup Inc's Banamex unit in Mexico are among those being investigated for possible money laundering or sanctions violations, according to people familiar with the matter and public disclosures. The Justice Department and other U.S. authorities, including the Manhattan District Attorney, are probing Credit Agricole and Societe Generale for potentially violating U.S. economic sanctions imposed against Iran, Cuba and Sudan, one of the sources said. Credit Agricole and SocGen have disclosed that they are reviewing whether they violated U.S. sanctions. SocGen said in its latest annual report that it is engaged in discussions with the Treasury … [Read more...] about After BNP, U.S. targets range of firms in crackdown on illicit money flows
At least three people were killed when insurgents attacked the U.S. consulate in western Afghanistan's main city on Friday, detonating a powerful truck bomb outside the front gates and launching a gunbattle with security forces, officials said. The bold attack in Herat, claimed by the Taliban, once again underscored a worrying security picture as Afghanistan prepares to take over from foreign combat troops after 12 years of war and stage crucial presidential elections next year. While the circumstances of the attack were initially unclear, a spokesman for the U.S. embassy in the Afghan capital of Kabul said all U.S. personnel in the consulate in Herat were safe and had been accounted for. He described the incident as a "complex" attack that included a car bomb. A U.S. State Department statement later said the attack was over. Herat police chief General Rahmatullah Safi said a police officer and a translator had been killed and two Afghan staff working in the consulate had been … [Read more...] about At least three killed as insurgents attack U.S. consulate in Afghan west
Not long ago, a bomb attack on New York City's Times Square would have had intelligence officials and terrorism experts checking off the usual suspects among the sources of terrorist plots against the U.S. - Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq. But these days, says a top counterterrorism official, "when I hear of a terrorist plot, I can count back from 10, and before I get to zero, someone will bring up the P word." That's P for Pakistan. Over the past couple of years, more plots against U.S. targets have emanated from or had a strong connection to Pakistan than any other country. Says the counterterrorism official, who was briefed on the hunt for the Times Square bomber but is not authorized to speak with the media: "It was totally predictable that the smoking Pathfinder would lead to someone with Pakistan in his past." Nor would it come as a surprise if it were revealed that Faisal Shahzad, who has claimed to investigators that he was working alone, was in fact linked to an ever … [Read more...] about Beyond Times Square: Pakistani Terrorism Targets U.S.
Finance Deputy Minister Do Hoang Anh Tuan and the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Michael W. Michalak signed the agreement on the issue in Hanoi on Sept 15. The project is aimed to help Vietnam's national steering committee and agencies on the ASEAN single window (ASW) mechanism to be well-prepared for the implementation of an overall plan on this field approved on October 21, 2009. It also is expected to facilitate trade, increase tax collection and enhance State management on Vietnam's import-export activities as well as to ensure the country's commitments to the Agreement and Protocol to establish and implement the ASW mechanism. The project will focus on researching and assessing the existing legal framework, information technology systems and procedures, and then give recommendations on how to carry out administrative procedures on a national single window mechanism that will be piloted in the General Department of Customs, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Industry and … [Read more...] about U.S. Supports Vietnam One-stop-shop Customs Mechanism
Retail U.S. gasoline prices surged to two-year highs on Friday and global shipping routes were scrambled, even as some U.S. oil refineries began restarting in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. A gas station submerged under flood waters from Tropical Storm Harvey is seen in Rose City, Texas, U.S., on August 31, 2017. Major fuel pipelines feeding the U.S. Northeast and Midwest were shut or severely curtailed, prompting shortages and dramatic spikes in wholesale cash prices that pushed the national retail average to $2.519 a gallon, the highest since August 2015. Harvey raked across the Texas Gulf coast, roiling global fuel markets as it knocked out about 4.4 million barrels of daily refining capacity, slightly more than Japan uses. Tankers carrying millions of barrels of fuel have been rerouted to the Americas to avert shortages. European refining … [Read more...] about Retail U.S. gasoline prices surge after Harvey, global impact felt
U.S. legislation may be needed to require social media companies to disclose more about how their platforms are used for political advertising, a senior Democratic lawmaker said on Thursday, after new signs of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. FILE PHOTO - A 3D plastic representation of the Facebook logo is seen in this illustration photo May 13, 2015. Facebook Inc said on Wednesday that an operation likely based in Russia had placed thousands of U.S. ads with polarizing views on topics such as immigration, race and gay rights on the site during a two-year period through May 2017. The world’s largest social network was already under fire for how little transparency it provides about digital political ads. Voters, researchers and journalists cannot see many of the ads politicians and interest groups run on Facebook to target … [Read more...] about U.S. may need new law to address Russian ad buys on Facebook: senator
U.S.-bound shrimp shipments in the year to July had dipped 5.5% to US$344.7 million, but the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) said the decline was not cause for concern as general seafood exports still fared well. Workers process shrimp for export at a domestic company A VASEP report shows Vietnam had fetched US$1.9 billion from shrimp exports in the year to July, an 18.5% rise against the same period last year. Among the key buyers, the U.S. was no longer the largest consumer as seen in 2016. In fact, the United States had taken the fourth place among major Vietnamese shrimp importers in the year to July despite its first position in 2016 when Vietnam shipped US$729 million of shrimp stateside, followed by the EU with US$598 million, and Japan with US$590 million. In January-July this year, however, Japan purchased shrimp products worth US$383.8 million from Vietnam, up 35.2% year-on-year. The EU came in second with US$380.6 million, up 20.5%, … [Read more...] about VASEP plays down concern over slump in shrimp exports to U.S.
The U.S government issued a rare public warning that sophisticated hackers are targeting energy and industrial firms, the latest sign that cyber attacks present an increasing threat to the power industry and other public infrastructure. The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation warned in a report distributed by email late on Friday that the nuclear, energy, aviation, water and critical manufacturing industries have been targeted along with government entities in attacks dating back to at least May. The agencies warned that hackers had succeeded in compromising some targeted networks, but did not identify specific victims or describe any cases of sabotage. The objective of the attackers is to compromise organizational networks with malicious emails and tainted websites to obtain credentials for accessing computer networks of their targets, the report said. U.S. authorities have been monitoring the activity for months, which they initially detailed in a … [Read more...] about U.S. warns public about attacks on energy, industrial firms
Apple Inc’s older iPhone 7 models are outselling the recently launched iPhone 8 ahead of the early November debut of the premium iPhone X, broker KeyBanc Capital Markets said, citing carrier store surveys. Traditionally, new editions of the iPhone have sold quickly as fans queue for the latest upgrade, but early surveys have added to chatter that the iPhone 8 is not proving as popular as its predecessors. U.S. wireless carrier AT&T said last week its third-quarter postpaid handset upgrades were fewer by nearly 900,000 from a year ago, and brokerage Jefferies attributed it to weak iPhone 8 demand. “Many respondents indicated that a meaningful portion of customers are buying iPhone 7 in lieu of the new iPhone 8, given the lack of significant enhancements in the new phone,” KeyBanc analyst John Vinh wrote in a client note. Vinh also said feedback from stores indicated that customers were waiting to purchase the iPhone X or to compare the iPhone X with other models … [Read more...] about U.S. buyers favor iPhone 7 over 8: research