VIF Information Alerts - 14 January 2020
U.S. Drops China’s Currency Manipulator Label Ahead of Trade Deal
Published: The Wall Street Journal

14 Jan 2020

The U.S. Treasury Department dropped its designation of China as a currency manipulator just two days before negotiators from Beijing and Washington are set to sign the first phase of the trade deal between the two countries.
“China has made enforceable commitments to refrain from competitive devaluation, while promoting transparency and accountability,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Monday.Click here to read...

US ousts 21 Saudi military trainees after army base shooting probe
Published: Hindustan Times

14 Jan 2020

Twenty-one Saudi military cadets undergoing US training will be ousted following an investigation into the fatal shooting of three Americans by a Saudi officer at a Florida naval base that US Attorney General William Barr on Monday branded an act of terrorism.
The Dec. 6 attack brought fresh complications to US-Saudi relations at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival. A deputy sheriff shot dead the gunman, Saudi Air Force Second Lieutenant Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, in the Pensacola, Florida, incident.Click here to read...

Time running out for US-North Korea deal, says South Korea President Moon
Published: The Straits Times

14 Jan 2020

Time is running out for Washington and Pyongyang to reach a deal on North Korea’s nuclear weapons, warned South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who brokered their talks process.
“It is clear there is a lull in talks,” Moon acknowledged in his annual New Year press conference on Tuesday (Jan 14). “Since a prolonged lull in dialogue can set back the situation, it is not desirable.” But despite the stand-off, he insisted that further discussions were still possible. “North Korea is showing that it is leaving the door to dialogue open and that it wants to talk.”Click here to read...

New Army deputy-chief to look after ops & strategic planning post-Doklam
Published: The Economic Times

14 Jan 2020

The 1.3 million-strong Army has cleared the decks for creation of the new crucial post of deputy chief (strategy), as part of the overall restructuring and flattening of the Army headquarters, by shifting the entire Rashtriya Rifles (RR) directorate from New Delhi to the Northern Command in Kashmir.
The need for the new post of Deputy Chief of Army Staff (Strategy) or DCOAS (S) was acutely felt during the 73-day troop confrontation between India and China at Doklam near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction in June-August 2017, which saw the two rival armies move additional infantry battalions, tanks, artillery and missile units towards the border.Click here to read...

'Clerics get lost!': Iran protests rage after plane disaster
Published: Reuters

13 Jan 2020

Protesters took to the streets of Iran to denounce the country’s clerical rulers and riot police deployed to face them in a third day of demonstrations on Monday after authorities acknowledged shooting down a passenger plane by mistake.
Iran’s president called last week’s downing of the Ukrainian plane a “disastrous mistake” on Saturday, and said its air defenses responded in error while on alert after Iran carried out missile strikes on U.S. targets in Iraq.Click here to read...

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