Author: Pulastya Kanetkar

Shares in Donald Trump’s media company soared as the firm made its formal debut on the stock market. Shares surged past $70 in early trade, giving the firm a market value of more than $9bn. They ended the day at about $58, still up more than 16%. The long-awaited moment will inject more than $200m into Trump Media & Technology Group and hands the former president a stake worth more than $4bn. Analysts say that is far more than the firm’s performance warrants. Trump Media’s Truth Social, a Twitter-like service, brought in just $3.3m in revenue in the first nine…

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Brussels (12/03 – 55.56) Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, said that the dissolution of human rights NGOs signals a deteriorating environment for civil society and human rights defence in Tajikistan. She reiterated that Tajikistan must reconsider its attitudes towards civil society and view human rights defenders as allies instead of enemies. Earlier in November 2023, Tajikistan Minister of Justice announced that 700 NGOs in the country had been liquidated over an 18-month period. “Human rights defenders working on so-called sensitive issues, including freedom from torture, the right to housing and compensation for requisitioned land, minority rights, freedom of belief and good governance, political rights, and…

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In the whirlwind of Sri Lankan politics, last week’s visit by Anura Kumara Dissanayake (AKD) to India carved a narrative that has both intrigued and polarised the political arena. This spectacle showcased the delicate art of political communication, underscoring the critical importance of reputation management and the nuanced dance of damage control in the face of adversity. For years, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), questioning authority and challenging the status quo, found itself in an unfamiliar position – defending rather than accusing. The controversial trip to India marked a turning point. Critics pounced, dissecting every word, every move, with relentless…

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PA President’s son Tareq Abbas also holds positions in other ventures incorporated by offshore company. Leaked documents from Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca reveal Tareq Abbas, son of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, holds shares worth nearly $1 million in an offshore company with ties to the Palestinian Authority. The documents, leaked as part of the massive ‘Panama Papers’ scandal, show that a company called the Arab Palestinian Investment Company (APIC) was registered in September 1994 in the British Virgin Islands. Since then, the company’s economic portfolio has grown substantially, and is active in virtually every Palestinian economic sphere, including…

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Indonesian Defense Minister and former general Prabowo Subianto, who had been barred from entering the United States for two decades, has claimed victory in Wednesday’s presidential election. The current exit poll showed the 72-year-old former special forces commander with an absolute majority of votes, above the threshold of 50% nationwide, and 20% in half of the country’s provinces, without which a runoff vote would be required. At polling stations in Jakarta, ballots were pulled out of boxes by hand, read aloud and tallied by election workers. It is a labor-intensive task performed in a country of more than 200 million eligible voters…

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The country’s economy and stock market have boomed and the next phase could be even more exciting for investors Economic indicators can be inherently underwhelming. Purchasing manager indices are important, but unexciting, particularly if monthly changes often look like splitting hairs (how different is 50.1 to 49.9?). India, the world’s third-largest economy, offers some interesting alternatives that are more significant than they may seem. For instance, ‘two-wheeler’ registrations, which include scooters and motorbikes, are finally back to 2019 levels after climbing steadily in the past year, as per Goldman Sachs data. This data feeds into a consumer index that also includes domestic air travel and…

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In an interview in January 2020, Umar Khalid introduced himself as an “unemployed 32-year-old Indian”, with a doctorate on indigenous people from a prestigious university. “Ideologically, you could say, I’m a radical democrat. I believe in democracy, and I believe in democracy that is not limited until your voting,” Mr Khalid told VICE Asia. “It must come into practice in everyday life in a way you can voice your issues and concerns with democratic functioning.” Mr Khalid had already gained prominence in 2016 as one of five Indian students charged with sedition for organising a protest at his alma mater, Delhi’s…

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Berlin (06/12 – 67.67) Asliddin Sherzamonov, an activist from Tajikistan, strongly believes that the United Nations (UN) should assess the actions of the Central Asian country’s security forces during the events of 2021 and 2022 in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO). Speaking at the UN session on minorities held in Geneva on December 1, Asliddin said that an independent international commission should be established to evaluate the activities of Tajikistan’s security forces. In the operations carried out by security forces in 2021 in Roshtkala and Khorog, three people died. In another operations in the spring of 2022 by the security…

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London, (16/11 – 57) Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe has laid out the bankrupt country’s budget for 2024, drawing mixed reviews as he strives to meet the demands of an International Monetary Fund bailout program without sowing further public resentment ahead of expected elections. Some observers applauded the proposals, not only for what they included but also what they did not, no new taxes on top of hikes already announced. But others expressed concern that the budget seemed designed to placate certain voters, and only temporarily, while not doing enough to help the struggling masses. Wickremesinghe unveiled the budget on…

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Brussel, Frankfurt (16/11 – 23) A levying of embargoes and export bans, the imposition of sanctions, erection of fearsome “license” (= restriction) protocol: there’s nothing new about this back-and-forth in world trade, in the eternal jousting for advantage among markets and nations. The clever Chinese imagined they had the world tea market all locked up until an earnest Scottish botanist carrying the telling name of “Robert Fortune” snuck into the Middle Kingdom to observe their agriculture, steal tea plants, and pick up tricks of tea processing. The Chinese global tea monopoly was busted wide open. The fortunate Mr. Fortune was…

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