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Thousands take to streets to protest Donald Trump’s presence at Davos

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Thousands take to streets to protest Donald Trump's presence at Davos
A protester is holding a poster saying ‘TUCK FRUMP’ during the demonstration (Picture: EPA)

Thousands of people took to the streets of Zurich to protest against Donald Trump‘s presence at Davos.

The US president has planned to attend the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Switzerland this week.

In response, anti-capitalist activists called for protests under the slogans ‘Trump Not Welcome!’ and ‘Smash WEF!’

Trump is due to speak on Friday at the WEF meeting in the Alpine town of Davos, an annual meeting of global business and political leaders.

Thousands take to streets to protest Donald Trump's presence at Davos
Police forces set off barriers during the demonstration ‘Trump not welcome!’ against the upcoming visit of US President Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, in the streets of Zurich (Picture: EPA)
Thousands take to streets to protest Donald Trump's presence at Davos
Protesters holding posters with Donald Trump’s portrait saying ‘You’re not welcome’ during the demonstration (Picture: AP)
Thousands take to streets to protest Donald Trump's presence at Davos
Protesters march during the demonstration ‘Trump not welcome!’ against the upcoming visit of Trump at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos (Picture: EPA)
Thousands take to streets to protest Donald Trump's presence at Davos
People gather during the demonstration ‘Trump not welcome!’ against the upcoming visit of US President Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos (Picture: AP)
Thousands take to streets to protest Donald Trump's presence at Davos
Thousands attended the demonstration to protest Trump coming to the World Economic Forum of Davos (Picture: Reuters)
Thousands take to streets to protest Donald Trump's presence at Davos
People attend an Anti-Trump demonstration (Picture: Reuters)

Flag-waving demonstrators carried anti-globalist and environmentalist placards such as ‘No Trump, no coal, no gas, no fossil fuels’ as they marched towards Zurich’s financial district.

Bankers working in the borough had been warned in advance to stay clear of the approved and pre-planned demonstration.

Protesters in the Swiss capital of Bern staged similar protests on January 13.

More: World

Thousands take to streets to protest Donald Trump's presence at Davos
Protests were also held in Geneva (Picture: Reuters)
Thousands take to streets to protest Donald Trump's presence at Davos
People took to the streets of Geneva as well as Zurich and Bern (Picture: Reuters)
Thousands take to streets to protest Donald Trump's presence at Davos
One banner asks, ‘Who was the shithole?’ referring to Trump’s comments about ‘shithole countries’ (Picture: Reuters)
Thousands take to streets to protest Donald Trump's presence at Davos
‘Trump Not Welcome’ was spelled out in candles on the ground in Zurich (Picture: AP)
Thousands take to streets to protest Donald Trump's presence at Davos
The annual World Economic Forum is held in Davos (Picture: AP)
Thousands take to streets to protest Donald Trump's presence at Davos
A number of protesters held signs saying ‘Trump, you’re not welcome!’ (Picture: EPA)
Thousands take to streets to protest Donald Trump's presence at Davos
Some protesters wore ‘pussy hats’, which were knitted for the Women’s Marches last year (Picture: Reuters)

That march went off peacefully, unlike violent anti-WEF protests in several Swiss cities that were held in the early 2000s.

More than 4,000 Swiss soldiers have been deployed to guard DAvos, alongside 1,000 police officers.

Trump-Russia: Jeff Sessions questioned in Mueller inquiry

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US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been questioned in an investigation into whether Russia colluded with the Trump campaign in the 2016 election.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) confirmed to the BBC that America's top prosecutor was interviewed last week.

Mr Sessions is thought to be the first member of President Donald Trump's cabinet to be questioned.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller is leading the inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Mr Mueller, who was appointed as special counsel, is also investigating whether Mr Trump's firing of FBI director James Comey in May last year was an effort to obstruct the agency's Russia probe.

The interview with Mr Sessions, the nation's top lawman, lasted several hours, according to US media reports.

Mr Trump said later on Tuesday he was not at all concerned about Mr Sessions' interview.

The US intelligence community has already concluded that Moscow tried to sway the presidential election in favour of Mr Trump, though Russia denies this.

Special Counsel Mueller is investigating the allegation of Russian meddling, and possible collusion, as are three different congressional committees.

Heading toward a face-off with Trump?

Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

Syria war: Row over Turkey using German-made tanks

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The German government is facing calls to halt arms exports to Turkey after reports emerged that German-made Leopard tanks were being used in an offensive against the Kurdish YPG.

Some German politicians have requested that any moves to approve a tank upgrade deal be halted.

Turkish-led forces began an assault in Syria's north-west on Saturday.

The row comes just weeks after the two countries' foreign ministers vowed to improve bilateral relations.

Relations between the two Nato members have soured dramatically in recent years.

Reports on Friday suggested Berlin was moving to approve a request from Turkey for German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall to retrofit Leopard 2 models to better protect them from explosives.

They are thought to have been used by Turkey against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, but defence experts have speculated in German media that recent images from Turkey's "Operation Olive Branch" appeared to show them being used against Kurdish groups.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Politicians from both the left and right have spoken out against the tank upgrade deal, and have asked the government to clarify its position on the Turkish military offensive in the Afrin region of northern Syria.

Norbert Roettgen, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party and chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, said it was "completely obvious" that Germany should not provide the upgrades at this time.

Syria war: Row over Turkey using German-made tanks

0

The German government is facing calls to halt arms exports to Turkey after reports emerged that German-made Leopard tanks were being used in an offensive against the Kurdish YPG.

Some German politicians have requested that any moves to approve a tank upgrade deal be halted.

Turkish-led forces began an assault in Syria's north-west on Saturday.

The row comes just weeks after the two countries' foreign ministers vowed to improve bilateral relations.

Relations between the two Nato members have soured dramatically in recent years.

Reports on Friday suggested Berlin was moving to approve a request from Turkey for German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall to retrofit Leopard 2 models to better protect them from explosives.

They are thought to have been used by Turkey against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, but defence experts have speculated in German media that recent images from Turkey's "Operation Olive Branch" appeared to show them being used against Kurdish groups.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Politicians from both the left and right have spoken out against the tank upgrade deal, and have asked the government to clarify its position on the Turkish military offensive in the Afrin region of northern Syria.

Norbert Roettgen, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party and chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, said it was "completely obvious" that Germany should not provide the upgrades at this time.

Russia bars ‘extremist’ British comedy The Death of Stalin

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The Russian release of British comedy film The Death of Stalin has been shelved following a screening before senior figures on Monday night.

The Russian attendees complained that the satire contained "ideological warfare" and "extremism".

The film's distribution certificate was withdrawn, effectively cancelling its planned Thursday release.

It is not clear if the film, starring Steve Buscemi and Jeffrey Tambor, will be shown in Russia at all.

The culture ministry told Interfax news agency it had informed the film's Russian distributor, Volga, of the decision.

"A decision on whether it will be shown will be made later," the ministry was quoted as saying.

The film, from director Armando Iannucci, is a satire of the power struggle in Moscow following Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's death in 1953.

As a result, many of the main characters are real historical figures.

Monday's screening of the film, which was released in the UK in October, was attended by members of parliament as well as representatives from Russian cinema.

Many were unhappy with what they saw.

Syria war: Row over Turkey using German-made tanks

0

The German government is facing calls to halt arms exports to Turkey after reports emerged that German-made Leopard tanks were being used in an offensive against the Kurdish YPG.

Some German politicians have requested that any moves to approve a tank upgrade deal be halted.

Turkish-led forces began an assault in Syria's north-west on Saturday.

The row comes just weeks after the two countries' foreign ministers vowed to improve bilateral relations.

Relations between the two Nato members have soured dramatically in recent years.

Reports on Friday suggested Berlin was moving to approve a request from Turkey for German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall to retrofit Leopard 2 models to better protect them from explosives.

They are thought to have been used by Turkey against the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, but defence experts have speculated in German media that recent images from Turkey's "Operation Olive Branch" appeared to show them being used against Kurdish groups.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Politicians from both the left and right have spoken out against the tank upgrade deal, and have asked the government to clarify its position on the Turkish military offensive in the Afrin region of northern Syria.

Norbert Roettgen, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party and chairman of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, said it was "completely obvious" that Germany should not provide the upgrades at this time.

South Korea is banning anonymous cryptocurrency trading

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South Korea's financial regulator has announced that from 30 January, the use of anonymous bank accounts in cryptocurrency trading will be banned.

Traders will only be able to make deposits in their cryptocurrency exchange wallets if their name matches that on their bank account, the Financial Services Commission said today.

South Korea is a hotspot for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, but regulators have been working to prevent digital currencies from being used in crimes like money laundering.

Read more: The US derivatives regulator has sued three cryptocurrency operations

Bitcoin lost billions off of its market value as it dropped below $10,000 last week on reports of a regulatory clampdown coming in South Korea.

The country's financial regulator has said the government has considered shutting down cryptocurrency exchanges, but South Korea's presidential office said an outright ban on trading is only one option being considered to tackle crime.

“The government is still discussing whether an outright ban is needed or not, internally,” a government official who declined to be named told Reuters.

"With South Korea being the world’s third biggest cryptocurrency market, behind the US and Japan, any decision in the country could potentially swing prices globally," said Mihir Kapadia, chief executive and founder of Sun Global Investments.

However, Iqbal Gandham, UK managing director at eToro shrugged off the new regulatory moves.

Gandham said:

The world’s biggest bitcoin exchange is launching in Europe

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The world's biggest bitcoin exchange by trading volumes is opening its doors in Europe for the first time amid a major boom in cryptocurrencies.

BitFlyer initially launched in Japan in 2014 and in the US late last year, with $250bn worth of cryptocurrency trades going through the platform in 2017.

Read more: Capital One has banned customers buying bitcoin with credit cards

It has now set up shop in Luxembourg where it has been granted a Payment Institution Licence, the first exchange to gain such authorisation.

While exchanges can operate without a licence, European operating chief Andy Bryant told City A.M. the company wants to set a global standard and help add respectability to what has been a highly volatile market.

Initially for "sophisticated" professionals trading high volumes from euros, it plans to expand its services including the addition of other cryptocurrencies such as ethereum and litecoin later in the year. It is also eyeing other countries outside the eurozone. Traders will have access to cross-border trading with Japan, which has become the largest bitcoin market in the world. "Deep markets are important," said Bryant. The euro is the third biggest bitcoin market in the world after the yen and dollar.

“When I set up BitFlyer in 2014, I did so with global ambitions and the belief that approved regulatory status is fundamental to the long-term future of bitcoin and the virtual currency industry," said founder and chief executive Yuzo Kano, a former Goldman Sachs banker.

"I am proud that we are now the most compliant virtual currency exchange in the world; this coveted regulatory status gives our customers, our company and the virtual currency industry as a whole a very positive future outlook.”

Read more: Bitcoin is a mere drop in the ocean of blockchain opportunities

BitFlyer is also working on its own blockchain called Miyabi with involvement of the Japanese Bankers Association.

A rare moment of Brexit brightness from the Great Remainer

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The man who first coined the term BRICs – the economics sage Jim O’Neill – has just passed a surprisingly upbeat judgment on the economic impact of Brexit.

Lord O’Neill, the former head of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, was a leading voice in the 2016 Remain campaign.

The man who first identified Brazil, Russia, India and China as the 21st century’s rising global powers is a highly regarded economist, and when he speaks, the markets listen.

So for him to say Brexit hasn’t hurt the UK as much as he’d feared is an important departure. But Brexiteers shouldn’t rush to congratulate themselves at winning a new supporter.

Interviewed by the BBC at Davos ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Lord O’Neill said the UK economy has shown terrific resilience in the face of the uncertainty caused by Brexit thus far.

That’s neither a Damascene conversion to the Brexit cause or a prediction that all will be rosy after all.

The implication is instead that were it not for the Brexit uncertainty, Britain’s economy would be flying – much like the economies of the US, most of Europe and China.

As it is, the British economy is benefitting indirectly from growth in those regions thanks to trade. Lord O’Neill suggests this is helping lessen the impact of Brexit and, in all likelihood, will lead to an upward revision of UK economic growth in 2018 and beyond.

Let’s face it, growth is growth. If the UK economy isn’t going to be blown off course completely by Brexit, this is still cause for celebration – whichever way any of us voted in the referendum.

There is, however, quite a long way to go before we know the full impact of Brexit on the UK economy. And it is impossible to say how long the global economic boom will last.

BofAML cautions Sensex may slip to 32,000 by December

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Foreign brokerage Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) today cautioned that the Sensex could go down to 32,000 by December 2018, dragged down by likely introduction of new long-term capital gains tax on equities.

It warned that this could not only mar sentiments, but also hurt domestic inflows. The BSE Sensex gained by 341.97 points and closed at 36,139.98 today.

"We stay cautious on Indian equities and peg the target for Sensex at 32,000 by December 2018. We see little possibility that forthcoming budget would deliver reasons for material upside to an already inflated equity market," BofAML said in a report here.

"The reinstatement of some form of long-term capital gains tax on equity may be negative for returns and hit the market sentiment," it added.

The debate on the reinstatement of long-term capital gains tax on listed equities has again gained momentum ahead of budget, which was abolished in 2004.

India is among the few countries which does not tax long-term gains on equities and the stock gains also get a preferential treatment. Long-term for debt/real estate is defined as more than three years and gains on these are taxable with some relief, the report noted.

The prime miniser had expressed a need to tax equity long-term gains in late 2016, but it was not implemented in last year's budget. However, with the rapid rise in the equity markets last year is adding momentum to arguments in favour of such a tax, BofAML said.

The report said that the government is unlikely to do away with the Securities Transaction Tax (STT) or the dividend distribution tax in the budget.

The STT is expected to raise Rs 7.4 billion in relatively predictable revenue in FY18. "We estimate that all listed companies paid dividend distribution tax of Rs 170 billion in FY17. This is a large income source for the central government. It seems unlikely that the government will forgo these assured streams of income for a relatively unpredictable one," the report said.

BofAML also believes that the finance minister may announce small cut of 1 per cent to 29 per cent in corporate taxes. This would likely be accompanied by tax deductions.