King tells Moroccan prime minister to form government as soon as possible

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has called on Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane to form a government “as soon as possible,” a statement by the Royal Court has revealed. The King’s call comes after Benkirane’s talks with other parties to form a government over the past two and a half months have failed to produce a viable coalition. On Saturday, the monarch’s advisors Abdelatif Mennouni and Omar Kabbaj also held talks with Benkirane. They informed the leader of the Justice and Development Party of King Mohammed’s desire to see the new government in place. The Justice and Development Party (PJD) won the parliamentary elections on 7 October, with 125 seats. However, it needs to have a coalition in order to control 198 […]

Mossad assassinated Tunisian engineer, reveals Israeli journalist

A senior Israeli journalist has revealed that the Israeli Mossad spy agency assassinated Tunisian drone engineer Mohamed Al-Zawari in front of his home earlier this month, Al-Araby Al-Jadid reported on Sunday. After a long investigation, Alon Ben David of Channel 10 TV published an article in Maariv, in which he said that Al-Zawari was ensnared by a female spy, who was the “bait” in a honeytrap. The woman introduced herself to Al-Zawari as a fellow journalist. “The bait was a Mossad agent who conducted a series of interviews with him,” said Ben David. “When she proved credible, she asked him for what should have been the final interview.” Instead, two Mossad agents from the Kidon Unit turned up for the […]

Chile’s government works to re-establish connectivity in quake-affected zone

Mon, 2016-12-26

SANTIAGO: Chile’s government set to work on Monday repairing roads and restoring electricity to southern regions affected by a major earthquake that struck on Christmas Day, frightening thousands but resulting in no fatalities or major damage.
The quake, a magnitude 7.6 centered off Chiloe Island northwest of Patagonia, caused thousands in the tourism and salmon farming region to evacuate to higher ground amid fears of a tsunami. A tsunami never materialized however and, thanks to strict building codes in the earthquake-prone nation, structural damage was light. By Sunday night, almost all Chileans had returned to their homes.
The quake did, however, cause at least one bridge collapse, cut power to 21,000 Chileans, and severed sections of the island’s major highway.
“There are zones with landslides and cutoffs,” Chilean Public Works Minister Alberto Undurraga said in televised remarks, adding that it will take two to seven days to make the needed repairs to the area’s highways.
“All of our teams are on the island to re-establish connectivity, which is the main aspect that has affected the island. The rest is functioning normally, the cities are working.”
Chile’s energy minister, Andres Rebolledo, said on Twitter that power had been restored to all but 6,000 customers as of Sunday night.
Chile’s state-run oil company, ENAP, said on Twitter that one of its ships had already landed on Chiloe, ensuring a supply of gasoline for at least the next 15 days. In the moments after the quake, many of the island’s residents had rushed to gas stations, amid fears that damaged roads would cut supply.
The region’s only significant port, in the city of Puerto Montt, reopened after a brief closure, according to the navy, and Chile’s aquaculture service said the zone’s key salmon farming industry was not affected.
Chiloe, a misty, forested island popular with tourists for its traditional culture and pastoral scenery is in a seismically active zone, like much of Chile. As a result, the government has strict procedures to minimize damage and injuries during quakes, and residents and authorities are generally well prepared when they do strike.
“I want to emphasize the exemplary way the affected communities reacted,” Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said in a speech.
“The government will continue going out into the field, taking all the necessary measures to re-establish normalcy on Chiloe Island.”

Main category: 

UK ‘disappointed’ Netanyahu canceled planned meeting with May

The UK’s deputy ambassador to Israel, Tony Kay, on Monday expressed “disappointment” that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled a planned meeting with his British counterpart, Theresa May, in protest of London’s support for a UN Security Council resolution that called on Israel to halt its settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories. Netanyahu’s office had denied reports on Sunday night that he had canceled a meeting with May next month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, saying that no meeting had been set. But the deputy head of mission at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv told The Times of Israel there had been plans for a meeting, though Jerusalem had not informed London it planned to […]

Russia’s Economy on Track for Gradual Recovery – President Vladimir Putin

Speaking at an annual end-of-year news conference on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the country’s economy was on track for a gradual recovery. Slump in oil prices and the subsequent ruble crisis pushed Russia’s economy into the longest recession in two decades.

Putin said that Russia’s economic contraction is slowing, capital flight is fading and real wages are starting to recover. He said the Russian economy was on track to contract by 0.5-0.6 percent this year, while inflation for the whole of 2016 was likely to reach 5.5 percent. Putin said the budget deficit was seen at 3.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), while net capital outflow was seen at up to $17 billion.

“A positive trend has emerged, and in recent months we observe very modest, but still growth in real wages in the real sector of the economy,” said the president, stressing that economic difficulties still remain.

The president said he supports the clean-up of the banking system being carried out by the country’s central bank and added that regulation should be eased for smaller banks. He also stressed that Russia has no intention to isolate itself from the world and should be part of the global economy.

According to a report published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) last month, Russia’s 2016 forecasts were revised upward, seeing a contraction of just 0.6 percent. For 2017, the IMF continues to forecast economic expansion in Russia at a “subdued” rate of 1.1 per cent, helped by a modest recovery in oil prices.

“The Russian economy is emerging from recession after the dual shocks of the drop in oil prices and international sanctions over military intervention in Ukraine”, the International Monetary Fund said in a report.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company –

The post Russia’s Economy on Track for Gradual Recovery – President Vladimir Putin appeared first on

وزير: استثمارات الصين في الخارج تتجاوز 161 مليار دولار في 2016

قال وزير التجارة الصيني قاو هو تشنغ يوم الاثنين إن من المرجح أن تبلغ الاستثمارات المباشرة غير المالية للصين في الخارج 1.12 تريليون يوان (161.19 مليار دولار) في 2016 بينما يبلغ الاستثمار الأجنبي المباشر في الصين 785 مليار يوان. وجاء في تصريحات قاو في مؤتمر والتي نشرتها الوزارة على موقعها على الانترنت أن الحكومة “ستدعم […]

The post وزير: استثمارات الصين في الخارج تتجاوز 161 مليار دولار في 2016 appeared first on

Iran Negotiated Boeing Plane Purchases At Half Price

One year ago, the airplane market was spooked by reports of “market tests” for Boeing 777 plane prices, when according to the CEO of Delta the company had acquired a used 777s for a paltry $8 million, a 97% discount from new Boeing 777-ER prices!


Prior to this report, in October, Delta CEO Dennis Muilenburg  raised more eyebrows when he said there was a “huge bubble” in used widebody aircraft, and that as a result the market was “ripe” for Delta to  buy used 777s, as he subsequently did for an unprecedented 97% price reduction.

CEO: I was wrong when I said used 777s were on market for $10M. It was actually $7.7M. We just signed a letter of intent to buy one.

— Delta News Hub (@DeltaNewsHub) December 17, 2015

Boeing’s late December decision to cut production of its 777 long-haul jet due to a drop in demand, confirmed that behind the stable industry facade, the underlying economics are far worse than most suspect, and that prices were set to plunge absent implicit government subsidies. Furthermore, with the Ex-Im bank subsidizing Boeing’s new plane purchases, it was next to impossible to obtain a clean “market test” for new Boeing airplanes.

Then, over the weekend, we got a glimpse into the real “price” of airplanes, when Iran said on Sunday it had negotiated to pay only about half the announced price for 80 new Boeing airliners in an order that Boeing had previously said was worth $16.6 billion. The sale includes 50 twin-jet, narrow-body 737 planes and 30 long-range, wide-body 777 aircraft. The first airplanes are scheduled for delivery in 2018, with the entire order being fulfilled over 10 years.

“Boeing has announced that its IranAir contract is worth $16.6 billion. However, considering the nature of our order and its choice possibilities, the purchase contract for 80 Boeing aircraft is worth about 50 percent of that amount,” said Deputy Transport Minister Asghar Fakhrieh-Kashan, quoted by Iran’s IRNA state news agency.

Then there is the question of how much funding the Ex-Im bank may have provided to Iran: when all is said and done, it is possible that the Persian nation ended up paying nothing out of pocket, and merely funded its purchase of Boeing airplanes with a generous loan from Uncle Sam.

As part of Iran’s return to a post-sanctions world, Boeing and Airbus both signed huge contracts this month to supply airliners to Iran, the first such deals since international sanctions were lifted under a deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.

Iran’s recent return on good terms with the US has meant few have benefited as much as Boeing. as replacing the Middle-eastern nation’s antiquated civil aviation fleet is one of the biggest economic opportunities of the 2015 accord to lift sanctions, negotiated President Barack Obama, who several years ago also imposed the same sanctions. Donald Trump has been a vocal critic of the pact, and his recent tweets have hardly benefited Boeing.

Even better news for Iran is that its need to replace its old planes comes at a time when Boeing, Airbus and smaller planemakers have all faced a downturn in orders, and are therefore expected to offer deep discounts, in this case roughly “half off” on new airplanes.

Meanwhile, Airbus’s contract to sell 100 jets to IranAir, signed last Thursday, would be worth $18-$20 billion at list prices, but the head of IranAir has been quoted as saying the value of the contract would not exceed $10 billion, again suggesting that the demand for new airplanes across the world has collapsed if the world’s two major aircraft producers are willing to offer half off terms to any marginal buyer.

The government of President Hassan Rouhani, a pragmatist, has pushed to finalize aircraft deals to show results from the nuclear accord with world power to end sanctions; the smart move also makes it unlikely that Trump will be able to undo the sanctions once financing commitments are in place with the Iranian nation, the proud host of brand new Boeing and Airbus planes. Ironically Rouhani faces criticism at home from hardliners over the cost of the purchases which could well be zero.

According to Reuters, Fakhrieh-Kashan also said on Sunday that IranAir may exercise an option to buy 20 more aircraft from ATR, a European maker of regional turboprops, in addition to a planned firm order of 20. A team from the planemaker would arrive in Tehran next week for final talks. “The final round of talks will be held with ATR representatives (next) week and we expect the IranAir contract to be signed … in the following week,” he told IRNA. “The purchase of 20 planes has been finalised and Iran may buy 20 more planes,” said Fakhrieh-Kashan, adding that the contract for 20 planes was worth less than $500 million. It was not immediately clear if the sticker price for the order was $1 billion an higher.

Iran’s orders aside, with global demand for airplanes – pardon the pun – crashing, it is not clear how this core component of exportable US Durable Goods, and US GDP, will fare in a year when the USD is already soaring and set to hit US exports significantly. One thing we do know, however, is that if and when GDP prints soft in the next quarter or two, the “economists” will just blame the weather as they always do, or perhaps just blame Trump.

The post Iran Negotiated Boeing Plane Purchases At Half Price appeared first on