Tag Archives: Pressure

Trump's maximum pressure policy on Iran has backfired and experts say it will fail

Trump's maximum pressure policy on Iran has backfired and experts say it will failIt’s been one year-and-a-half since Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal with Iran – calling it the worst deal ever – and embarked on a policy of “maximum pressure”.Mr Trump has been piling sanctions and heating up the rhetoric against the Islamic Republic.



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UPDATE 3-Bolivia military says won't "confront" the people as pressure on Morales builds

UPDATE 3-Bolivia military says won't "confront" the people as pressure on Morales buildsPresident Evo Morales faced rising pressure to resolve a weeks-long standoff over Bolivia’s disputed election on Saturday after police forces were seen joining anti-government protests and the military said it would not “confront the people” over the issue. Morales’ government decried a “coup” against him by what it called “violent groups,” prompting a number of fellow leftist leaders in the region to rally around him and call for a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Morales, Latin America’s longest-standing leader, won an election on Oct. 20, but a delay of nearly a day in the vote count sparked allegations of fraud and led to protests, strikes and road blocks.



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U.S. blacklists three Nicaraguan officials in bid to pressure Ortega government

U.S. blacklists three Nicaraguan officials in bid to pressure Ortega governmentThe United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on three Nicaraguan government officials as it seeks to add pressure to the leftist government of President Daniel Ortega over what Washington views as its undermining of democratic institutions and the rule of law. The officials were targeted under an executive order that allows the U.S. government to slap sanctions on members of the Nicaraguan government following a crackdown on anti-government protests. The sanctions freeze any U.S. assets held by the targeted officials and prohibit Americans from doing business with them.



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Anchor says Buckingham Palace pressure killed ABC's story on Epstein

Anchor says Buckingham Palace pressure killed ABC's story on EpsteinIn a leaked video released Tuesday, ABC News anchor Amy Robach said the network killed her story on wealthy pedophile Jeffrey Epstein under pressure from the British royal family.



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Lebanon Banks Told to Boost Capital to Ease Growing Pressure

Lebanon Banks Told to Boost Capital to Ease Growing Pressure(Bloomberg) — Lebanon’s central bank instructed local lenders to raise their capital by 20% by next June and refrain from distributing dividends for 2019 to boost their liquidity and prepare for possible downgrades in credit ratings.The Banque du Liban, as the central bank is known, said in a circular that banks should boost their high-quality capital known as Common Equity Tier 1 through cash injections by 10% by the end of this year and another 10% by June 30, 2020.Banks need to bulk up capital buffers in the face of economic and political turmoil sweeping Lebanon and the threat of further credit downgrades. The cost of insuring Lebanon’s debt against default has jumped about 75% this year, the most in the world after Argentina, and its Eurobonds have been among the worst performers this year.Thousands of protesters have been on the streets for weeks, demanding the resignation of a political class they say has pillaged state coffers to the verge of bankruptcy while leaving the public with failing services. The protests prompted the resignation last week of Prime Minister Saad Hariri. A replacement has yet to be named, raising concerns the country will be unable to implement measures needed to avert economic crisis.The central bank’s request comes nearly a week after Fitch Ratings downgraded two top Lebanese lenders, Bank Audi and Byblos Bank, to CCC-, the fourth-lowest rank and one level below the sovereign. Its so-called support rating for both is “No Floor,” meaning it believes the state’s “ability to support” banks “cannot be relied on given the low sovereign rating.” A further downgrade to Lebanon’s credit rating could lead to similar moves on the banks.‘Deposit Stability’“In our view deposit stability is now at greater risk as depositor confidence has also suffered,” Fitch said.Banks reopened last Friday after two weeks of closures due to protests that saw people block vital highways and roads. Banks tightened informal restrictions on money transfers that were in place prior to the unrest, in an effort to curtail possible capital flight.To keep its lenders stable and defend the dollar peg, Lebanon relies on inflows from millions of Lebanese living abroad. However, capital inflows needed to finance the large current account and fiscal deficits have slowed as confidence has dwindled, while outflows have gathered pace.Capital outflows reached $ 3 billion in the first nine months of the year and a recovery hinges on political stability and implementation of deep reforms to restore confidence, according to the Institute of International Finance economists including Garbis Iradian.Under PressureLast month, S&P Global Ratings placed Lebanon’s B- grade on negative watch saying “pressing societal demands and limitations on Lebanon’s institutional capacity to address them could further test depositor confidence and weigh on foreign exchange reserves.” Moody’s Investors Service — which rates Lebanon at Caa1 — has done the same.Capital flight in the first nine month of this year is estimated at about $ 3 billion, equivalent to 5% of gross domestic product, according to a report by Institute of International Finance economists including Garbis Iradian. The dollarization of deposits has grown to about 80%, they said.Lebanon’s “prospects for recovery of non-resident capital inflows hinge on achieving political stability — formation of a new government — and implementation of deep reforms, which would support confidence both at home and abroad,” they said.(Updates with central bank’s circular in second paragraph.)\–With assistance from Ben Holland.To contact the reporter on this story: Dana Khraiche in Beirut at dkhraiche@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net, Mark Williams, Paul AbelskyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Lebanon's Hezbollah under rare street pressure

Lebanon's Hezbollah under rare street pressureWhen mass anti-government protests engulfed Lebanon, a taboo was broken as strongholds of the Shiite Hezbollah movement saw rare demonstrations criticising the party and revered leader Hassan Nasrallah. This shattered the myth of absolute acquiesence among Hezbollah’s popular base, baffling even those who hail from the movement’s strongholds. “No one ever expected that in any of these areas in south Lebanon we would hear a single word against Nasrallah,” or Amal Movement leader Nabih Berri, said Sara, a 32-year-old activist who participated in protests in the southern city of Nabatiyeh.



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Turkish Markets Cave Under U.S. Pressure as Banks Hit Over Syria

Turkish Markets Cave Under U.S. Pressure as Banks Hit Over Syria(Bloomberg) — A renewed sell-off gripped Turkish markets after the U.S. brought criminal charges against one of the nation’s largest banks, in what could be an escalation of Washington’s efforts to reprimand Ankara for its military incursion into northeast Syria.Stocks fell with government bonds and shares of Turkey’s state-run Halkbank slumped the most in a year. The lira bucked the rout as state banks were seen selling dollars to support the currency, according to three traders with knowledge of the matter.An indictment filed Tuesday in a Manhattan federal court accused Halkbank of participating in a wide-ranging plot to violate prohibitions on Iran’s access to the U.S. financial system. The looming legal standoff is raising an alarm in Turkey that the U.S. may soon mete out more severe penalties, dealing another blow to the $ 772 billion economy that’s just begun to recover from a recession and remains heavily reliant on foreign capital.“The timing of these charges would appear to be less than coincidental and is clearly highly politicized,” said Julian Rimmer, a trader at Investec Bank in London. “This is another warning shot across Turkey’s bow.”On Tuesday, Donald Trump sanctioned three senior Turkish officials and increased steel tariffs — a milder punishment than expected — but U.S. lawmakers from both parties are already pushing the president to adopt stricter measures.‘Immediate Cease-Fire’The Trump administration has been calling for “an immediate cease-fire” in Syria after the hostilities unleashed by Turkey across its border this month. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected the demand.U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will meet Erdogan on Thursday in Ankara to reiterate Trump’s commitment to sanctions, according to a White House statement. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Ambassador James Jeffrey will also be on the trip that begins Wednesday.The lira has weakened more than 4% this month as tensions percolate with the U.S. The yield on Halkbank’s dollar bond due 2021 surged more than 400 basis points.In response, the Turkish stock exchange “temporarily” banned short-selling in seven banks, or wagers that their shares will decline using borrowed securities.The banking watchdog also advised some local lenders against offering lira liquidity in the offshore money-market, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, in an apparent attempt to get in the way of betting that it will depreciate further.Turkey Advises Banks Against Offering Lira Liquidity OffshoreThe benchmark Borsa Istanbul 100 Index was trading 1.7% lower as of 12:06 p.m in Istanbul, led by Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS and Akbank TAS. The lira edged 0.3% higher to 5.8973 per dollar while the yield on two-year government bonds jumped 48 basis points.“The Americans intend to use these charges as leverage,” Rimmer said. “And given they can impose almost unlimited fines and heavy penalties, the Turks will have to take this seriously.”To contact the reporters on this story: Tugce Ozsoy in Istanbul at tozsoy1@bloomberg.net;Asli Kandemir in Istanbul at akandemir@bloomberg.net;Constantine Courcoulas in Istanbul at ccourcoulas1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Blaise Robinson at brobinson58@bloomberg.net, Dana El BaltajiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Apple Backtracks, Removes Hong Kong Police App In Response to Chinese Pressure

Apple Backtracks, Removes Hong Kong Police App In Response to Chinese PressureApple on Thursday withdrew an app that enabled protesters to track police movements after heavy backlash from Chinese and Hong Kong authorities.The app, HKmap.live, represented clusters of police with the emoji of a dog, an insult that has been shouted at Hong Kong police during the ongoing protests in the city.Officials in Hong Kong told the company the app was being used to attack police. On Wednesday the Chinese Communist Party newspaper People's Daily published an editorial attacking Apple for aiding "rioters" in the city."Letting poisonous software have its way is a betrayal of the Chinese people’s feelings," the editorial stated.Apple released a statement saying Hong Kong authorities have verified that the app has been used to "threaten public safety," and that criminals have also been using it to avoid police."I think the [Communist Party] concludes from this that intimidation, harassment and pressure work for most people, in most places," Human Rights Watch China researcher Maya Wang said in comments to the Times.Most of Apple's products are assembled in China, and the nation represents the company's third-largest market after the U.S. and Europe.China-U.S. relations have soured in recent days following various conflicts between the Chinese government and American officials and entities.On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced visa restrictions on Chinese officials believed to have taken part in the repression of China's Uighur Muslim minority. Pompeo's announcement came after the Commerce Department imposed an export blacklist on several Chinese firms implicated in surveillance and detention of Uighurs.Meanwhile, the NBA recently found itself embroiled in a scandal after Congress members accused it of kowtowing to China's repressive policies regarding pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.



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Trump reportedly worked with 2 'off the books' lawyers to pressure Ukraine for damaging information about Joe Biden, in addition to Giuliani

Trump reportedly worked with 2 'off the books' lawyers to pressure Ukraine for damaging information about Joe Biden, in addition to GiulianiFox News' Chris Wallace reports that Trump worked "off the books" with two lawyers, Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing, to pressure Ukraine.



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Iran's Rouhani says no to talks under U.S. pressure

Iran's Rouhani says no to talks under U.S. pressureIran will never hold talks with the United States under pressure, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, but added that lifting all the sanctions Washington imposed on Tehran and respecting a U.N. Security Council resolution could pave the way for talks. “Our response to talks under pressure is NO,” said Rouhani, but warned that Iran might exit a 2015 nuclear deal if the European powers failed to salvage the deal. “We are committed to the nuclear deal … but Iran’s patience has a limit,” said the pragmatic president, who was architect of the deal with six powers.



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