miércoles, 29 de junio de 2016

2016/06/28 - Political Anticipation - A Press Review by LEAP

US interest rates: Who believes the story?
The Fed's little game of announcing interest rate increases has started anew. Some think that they need this to give credibility to the idea that the US economy is better and to support the dollar a little longer; but the same people also understand that a stronger dollar damages the US exports. Meanwhile other groups in the US have a greater interest in establishing a negative balance (or, let's say, a realistic balance sheet) of the economic situation, in order to impose a change of political direction. Moreover, the previous rate increase tests had a dear price for the rest of the planet - knowing that being a dominant global power gives the US responsibilities outside its own territory. Another significant point is that the Fed has lost much of its influence, making this management method of the US crisis less and less efficient. All these contradictions are revealed in the following sequence: Yellen's announcements of interest rate increases were first followed by no visible effect, but... (Subscribe to the GEAB to read LEAP's latest investment recommendations)

Brexit 2.0: With the Vote Over, CEOs Lobby to Keep EU Access
The vote is over but the campaign continues. With financial markets reeling from the Brexit vote, U.K. companies are stepping up lobbying to maintain access to the European Union’s single market and labor, deepening potential rifts with British “Leave” voters who want to curb immigration. Prime Minister David Cameron has called an emergency meeting Thursday of his Business Advisory Group, which includes chief executive officers of companies like BP Plc, Whitbread Plc and EasyJet Plc, according to a person familiar with the situation. On Tuesday afternoon, U.K. Business Secretary Sajid Javid has invited two dozen senior executives to a separate gathering... (Bloomberg)

English at risk as official EU language
A senior MEP has said English would be dropped as an EU official language once the UK leaves the bloc, unless rules are changed. « If we don’t have the UK, we don’t have English, » Polish centre-right MEP Danuta Huebner told reporters in Brussels on Monday (27 June). Huebner chairs the European Parliament’s committee on constitutional affairs (AFCO). The committee oversees the parliament’s role on the UK’s exit from the European Union. Speaking in English, Huebner said EU rules allow member state to notify only one official language each, not two or more... (EUObserver)

Ratings agencies rip into UK’s credit score after Brexit vote
Britain suffered further blows to its economic standing on Monday as two top ratings agencies downgraded its sovereign credit score, judging last week’s vote to leave the European Union would hurt its economy. Standard & Poor’s stripped Britain of its last remaining top-notch credit rating, dropping it by two grades from « AAA » to « AA » and warning more downgrades could follow. Fitch Ratings also downgraded its ranking for Britain’s creditworthiness by one notch, and similarly said more cuts could follow... (Reuters)

Erdogan ‘sorry’ for downing of Russian jet
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he is « sorry » for the downing of a Russian military jet near the country’s border with Syria last year, and that there was no deliberate intention in carrying out the attack, a Kremlin spokesman said. Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin received a message from Erdogan expressing his « sympathy and deep condolences » to the family of the killed pilot, and « asked to be forgiven »... (AlJazeera)

Poland to push for 'radical' new EU treaty
The EU should have a new treaty that shifts power from the European Commission to EU states and Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk should resign, Poland has indicated ahead of Tuesday’s (28 June) summit. Polish foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski told press on Monday that prime minister Beata Szydlo would likely outline Poland’s post-Brexit vision at the leaders’ dinner... (EUObserver)

AIIB makes quick rise to global prominence
Board approves first four loans totaling $509 million; other economies lining up tobecome members. The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is stepping up to play a more significantrole in the global financial landscape, with the first batch of projects approved and moremembers expected to join... (China Daily)
Spanish elections: renewed deadlock beckons as no party wins majority
Spain is facing further political deadlock after the country’s second general election in six months proved a near rerun of the December vote, leaving the conservative Partido Popular (PP) with the most votes but once again short of an overall majority. Exit polls, which had suggested that the far-left Unidos Podemos coalition was on course to stage a historic breakthrough by pushing the socialist PSOE into third place... (The Guardian)

Sorry Shanghai, There’s a New China Stock Exchange King
The Shanghai Stock Exchange’s reign as the premier venue for trading Chinese equities is coming to an end. For the first time in at least a decade, China’s oldest bourse has lost its position at the top of turnover rankings for the nation’s four major trading venues. The new leader is Shenzhen’s Small and Medium Enterprise Board, a 12-year-old market for mostly non-state companies that first climbed to No. 1 on May 17. It has since jockeyed for position with the Shanghai, with both bourses handling about 180 billion yuan ($27.1 billion) of trades on average over the past five days… (Bloomberg)

What’s behind the new deal between Turkey and Israel?
They were once close allies, before relations soured six years ago when an Israeli naval raid killed 10 Turkish activists. Now, after many months of negotiation, a deal has been reached to restore relations between Israel and Turkey. Turkish leaders describe it as a « diplomatic victory », and announced 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid is being shipped to Gaza on Friday, via an Israeli port... (AlJazeera)

Falluja fully liberated from Islamic State
Islamic State has been entirely routed from Falluja, one of the jihadi group’s two major Iraqi strongholds, a senior Iraqi commander has declared, marking the end of a month-long operation during which tens of thousands of people fled the city. Lieutenant General Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi, the head of the counter-terrorism forces in the operation, said on Sunday that Iraqi troops had entered the north-western Golan neighbourhood, the last area of Falluja to remain under Isis control... (The Guardian)

Latest Brazil Study On Impeachment Unlikely To Save Dilma
A technical report into whether or not Dilma cooked the books on fiscal accounts in 2014 turned out in her favor. Come to find out, she did not push forward accounts, but still — according to one Brazil economist I spoke with — did commit crimes of fiscal responsibility. That will still be for the Senate to decide when suspended president Dilma Rousseff goes to trial at some point in late July, early August... (Forbes)

The Conquest of Space and Multipolarity: Shooting Star Wars
In 1967 the United States, Russia, India, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy (which launched its first satellite in 1964! [2]), and many other states from Europe and the world signed the Outer Space Treaty[3]. This fundamental act states that outer space belongs to all mankind and that no state can appropriate its resources. Two years later, the first man walked on the Moon and ever since nothing has stopped the expansionism of the conquest of space, nor its multipolarity: the United States, Russia to start with, but also Europe, India and China have successfully launched themselves into the space exploration… (GEAB by LEAP)

How to improve the timing in political anticipation?
We are happy to share with you an article written by our network of Experts during one of our online meetings on Political Anticipation: how to improve the timing in Political Anticipation? (PDF here: How to improve the timing in political anticipation). The method to give a timing in political anticipation consists in analyzing when different trends and ruptures converge, giving a “risky period” in which a tiny incident will precipitate the anticipated event. However it turns out that being accurate is terribly difficult. How can we improve this exercise? Several factors have to be taken into account... (LEAP.net)

lunes, 20 de junio de 2016

2016/06/17 - The GEAB bulletin No 106 is now available. Here is the summary

Global systemic crisis, angry nations, G20 - National democracies are preventing the implementation of solutions to the global crisis: they will be removed ... if transnational democracy is not invented
The nations are angry and this is a logical consequence of a crisis without historical precedent, a multi-directional crisis of global dimensions to which the levels of national "democratic" power are structurally unable to respond while governance structures, which are most likely to put solutions into place, i.e. international and transnational structures, have no political legitimacy, knowing plitical legitimacy is acquired in only two ways: by force or democratically... (Read more in the GEAB 106)

Balkanization and returning empires in Central and Eastern Europe: the drama of the failure of European integration and of the Euro-Russian crisis
In 2014, our team anticipated the disintegration of the Eastern European flank following the conflict between the EU and Russia. Two years later, the damage has become visible. If Europe and Russia fail to renew any dialogue, the worst is yet to come in this part of Europe, a region where old demons are in full resurrection (Cold War, European wars, balkanization and empires...) and where the failures of the EU enlargement policy are coming to light... (Read our public announcement)

US elections: the detonator of the ultimate phase of the economic and financial American crisis
Despite the poor quality of the US debates, the presidential campaign is allowing a "moment of truth", a freedom of speech related to the fracturing of the society (including of the establishment itself) into two camps. Yet, in the case of the current ultra-polarized country, the usual split between Democrat and Republican supporters has become a widening chasm showing unexpected images of the country's situation... (Read more in the GEAB 106)

The Conquest of Space and Multipolarity: Shooting Star Wars
In 1967 the United States, Russia, India, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy (which launched its first satellite in 1964! ), and many other states from Europe and the world signed the Outer Space Treaty . This fundamental act states that outer space belongs to all mankind and that no state can appropriate its resources. Two years later, the first man walked on the Moon and ever since nothing has stopped the expansionism of the conquest of space, nor its multipolarity: the United States, Russia to start with, but also Europe, India and China have successfully launched themselves into the space exploration... (Read more in the GEAB 106)

Insurance sector: Questioning of the economic model
Everyone remembers the images picturing floods, hail storms, mudslides, tornadoes and other disasters that have swept Europe, Germany, France, and Belgium recently, but also those of other continents (America, Australia, and Canada, where huge fires are still raging in Alberta). The estimated damage is reported to be in billions of Euros: 1.4 billion estimated in France and several billion in Germany and Canada; Great Britain and Scandinavia have also been affected by similar phenomena lately (almost 2 billion Euros, if we tabulate all of them). Facing such huge claims, how will the insurance companies react... (Read more in the GEAB 106)

Investments, trends and recommendations
US interest rates: Who believes the story? / ECB quantitative easing, interest rates: some time to wait still... / Sterling Pound: Brexit or no Brexit? / Oil: Cool headed... / Gold: Golden times past times? (Read more in the GEAB 106)
A small political anticipation calendar - Some dates to bear in mind for the next six months
June 16-18: J.C. Juncker visits St. Petersburg (First strong sign of willingness to restart the dialogue between Europe and Russia, in line with Juncker's statement of last October: "We cannot let our relationship with Russia be dictated by Washington."... (Read more in the GEAB 106)

sábado, 11 de junio de 2016

mitin-coloquio: Vicent Soler y Jose Chulvi. Domingo 12 de junio a las 18 horas, en el Centro Social de Xàbia

Os invitamos al mitin-coloquio el próximo domingo 12 a las 18 horas de la tarde en el Centro Social de  Xàbia, intervendrá, Vicent  Soler Conseller de Economía y Hacienda de la Generalitat Valenciana y José Chulvi Alcalde de Xábia.

Esperamos contar con vuestra presencia.

saludos socialistas

miércoles, 8 de junio de 2016

2016/06/08 - Political Anticipation - A Press Review by LEAP

Coming up soon, the GEAB Bulletin No 106 ! Main topics
-East of Eden: An unfinished symphony of the European Integration process
-Insurance Industry: Inside the tornado
-Central Banks and US Elections: Little arrangements between friends
-The Conquest of Space and Multipolarity: A war of the shooting stars
-National Democracies: A huge global systemic failure  (GEAB Subscription)

'Brump' or 'Trexit'? Markets may conflate year's biggest risks
Even though market myopia is often used to explain why investors appear to be ignoring November's U.S. presidential election while trading furiously around this month's vote on Britain leaving the EU, the two events may end up being conflated. Fund managers and economists puzzle endlessly as to why UK and European markets are gyrating ahead of the "Brexit" vote but U.S. assets... (Reuters)

What an Obama endorsement will mean for Hillary
Barack Obama is about to tell Bernie Sanders that the revolution stops now. On Tuesday evening Mr Obama called Hillary Clinton to congratulate her on securing enough delegates to "clinch" the Democratic nomination. He also called Bernie Sanders to thank him for his hard-fought campaign... (BBC)

UK’s Referendum, a prerequisite to restarting Europe
Since the United Kingdom joined the European Community in 1973, according to the exorbitant terms that we know for Europe, its leaders have renewed, ad nauseam, Margaret Thatcher’s strategy based on the following idea: “You need us, but we do not want you, so you do as we say”. Yet, what was true in 1973, and what was experienced during a glorious period in the 90s, is no longer the case today. In fact, it is precisely the UK’s attitude toward the continent which ended up crushing the springs of the aforementioned strategy. By maintaining Euro-scepticism within its public opinion, by staying away from all strong European integration projects (Schengen, eurozone, etc.), the United Kingdom has isolated itself from the continent … (GEAB 102 / LEAP)

Ahead of Brexit vote, support for EU falls across Europe
A survey by the Pew Research Center suggests that support for the European Union has fallen in several EU states. In Germany, the EU's popularity has fallen eight points to 50 percent in just a year. The Pew survey revealed that 48 percent of British voters had an unfavorable opinion about the EU, compared to 44 percent who were in favor, a similar figure to recent national opinion polls... (Deutsche Welle)

A Manual of political anticipation, by Marie-Helene Caillol
The work conducted by LEAP through its monthly publication, the GEAB (GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin), has forced the respect of academics, giving rise to a need for a contemporary approach, which is the purpose of this manual: What is political anticipation (and what it isn’t)? What is its use? What are the tools, principles and rules which shape it? What are its limits? These are the questions which this manual will try and answer... (Anticipolis Editions)

EU likely to extend Russia sanctions before summit
The EU is preparing to extend its economic sanctions on Russia before the June summit, as Russian diplomats target a winter deadline instead. The preferred option of EU Council chief Donald Tusk is for EU states’ ambassadors to conclude the Russia decision so that leaders can focus on the aftermath of the UK referendum... (EUObserver)

JPMorgan, RBS Said to Staff Trading Floors Overnight for Brexit
JPMorgan Chase & Co., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Morgan Stanley and Lloyds Banking Group Plc are among banks in London who plan to keep traders overnight to monitor the markets and handle client trades as results of the referendum on European Union membership trickle in, people with knowledge of the plans said. Currency traders, whose market stays open 24 hours, are among those most likely to remain in the office as they grapple with moves in the pound that have grown more volatile as the vote approaches... (Bloomberg)

Yellen speech may be attempt at damage control
Only a few days ago, analysts thought Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen would use her speech in Philadelphia Monday to put the final explanation point on the U.S. central bank’s plan to hike interest rates on June 15. Now, in the wake of the weak May jobs report, Yellen has a new role, damage control... (Market Watch)

Cheap Money in U.S. Helped Inflate the Energy Balloon: Gadfly
Count the intensity of the shale oil boom — and its severe bust — as one of the unintended consequences of the Federal Reserve’s efforts to buttress the economy. The hydraulic fracturing (fracking) method of extracting oil and gas from shale rock has been around for decades, but it didn’t really take off until right after the financial crisis, when a confluence of events meant smaller drillers and speculators had access to billions and billions of dollars of relatively cheap financing... (BOE Report)

Juncker agrees to visit Russia in June
EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has agreed to visit Russia in June. It will be the highest-profile visit by an EU official since the Ukraine crisis erupted in 2014. Juncker's spokesman Margaritis Schinas told journalists in Brussels that the commission president planned to take part in the St Petersburg international economic forum on 16 June in order to “convey to the Russian leadership the EU perspective on current state of EU-Russian relations”... (EUObserver)

EU nations refuse to back new license for glyphosate
EU nations refused to back a limited extension of the herbicide glyphosate’s use on Monday, threatening withdrawal of Monsanto’s Roundup and other weed-killers from shelves if no decision is reached by the end of the month. Contradictory findings on carcinogenic risks have thrust the chemical into the center of a dispute among EU and U.S. politicians, regulators and researchers. Citizen and environmental groups have urged governments to exercise caution... (STL Today)

France launches smartphone app to alert people to terror attacks
The French government has created a smartphone app designed to send warnings directly to people’s phones in the event of a bombing, shooting or other disaster. Two days before the Euro 2016 football tournament opens in France amid a high police and military presence, the French interior ministry unveiled its alert app called Saip (Système d’alerte et d’information des populations)... (The Guardian)

China’s imperialism on the South China Sea
China’s determined efforts over the past two decades to seize control of almost the entire South China Sea is nothing short of classic aggressive imperialism. What’s remarkable is that it has been done without basically firing a shot, using the Chinese People’s Liberation Army concept of “military soft power... (Washington Times)

martes, 7 de junio de 2016



En Alicante-Alacant los/as trabajadores/as soportan jornadas de trabajo más largas que las que permite el Estatuto de los Trabajadores.
En los 4 años de gobierno de Rajoy el número de horas extra no pagadas ya alcanzan los 3,5 millones a la semana según el INE.

España no puede seguir creciendo sobre la base de la devaluación salarial permanente y la precariedad en el empleo.

El compromiso de los socialistas para Alicante-Alacant es un SÍ a la creación de empleo de calidad que garantice una vida digna a los trabajadores, SÍ a recuperar la negociación colectiva y SÍ a reforzar la protección a los desempleados.

Aquí puedes leer nuestras propuestas sobre empleo:


Hola compañer@     
Rajoy y su gobierno llevan cuatro años imponiendo sus políticas y recortando en educación, en contra de toda la comunidad educativa. Los medios humanos y materiales en todo el sistema de educación pública se han reducido de forma alarmante: hoy hay 35.000 docentes menos que hace 4 años.
La educación es vital para el desarrollo de nuestro país y tenemos claro cómo es la educación pública que queremos. Estas son algunas de nuestras propuestas:
Paralizar la LOMCE e impulsar un Pacto Educativo para aprobar una nueva ley.
Aumentar los niveles de inversión en Educación.
Universalizar la educación de 0 a 18 años.
Reconocer las becas como derecho.
Congelar las tasas universitarias.
Definir un modelo de diseño y desarrollo del currículo acorde con la sociedad del conocimiento.

2016/06/03 [Gefira-Newsletter] After the Brexit Referendum, a Fiscal Union Will be Brussels' Surprise.

After the Brexit Referendum, a Fiscal Union Will Be Brussels' Surprise

The process of drawing up a joint EU budget has just commenced: it is the first step to a fiscal union. The idea of having a joint budget has long been pushed forward by the proponents of a more tight integration, just as it has been opposed by the European population at large. The term budgetary or fiscal capacity should be properly understood: it is a joint budget for the eurozone that will be governed by a real treasury in Brussels. To create a collective treasury, Europe's social and economical model has to be brought in line. For this, Brussels wants all minimum wages to be equal. Martin Schulz, the President of the European Parliament, announced drastic reforms after the Brexit referendum. Following 23 June the aforementioned process of integration will gain momentum and it is likely to encounter upheavals because there is widespread aversion to federalization.

Poland Prepares to Import Own Gas From the North Sea

Polish President Andrzej Duda has visited Norway to attend the Polish-Norwegian Economic Forum in Oslo. As a result, the political approval for gas supply to Poland from Norway has been made. Also Denmark has offered its support for the construction of the Baltic Pipe (a gas link that would connect Poland and Norwegian gas fields through the Danish infrastructure as part of the route). The state-run Polish gas company PGNiG bought in 2014 shares in four fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The gas supply from Norway as well as the LNG supplies to the Świnoujście terminal are part of Poland's plan to reduce its reliance on gas supplies from Russia. The Baltic Pipe would also secure gas supply to Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia and the Baltic states or even Finland.

French PMI Resembles That of Greece Rather Than Germany

The monthly €80 billion ECB’s quantitative easing, harmful internal reforms and high public deficit have not helped the French manufacturing sector which has contracted for the third straight month in May, even if the reading was insignificantly higher than expected. The Markit Eurozone Manufacturing PMI posted a three-month low in May. The euro area has stuck in stagnation and France has joined Greece as a main concern.

My priorities, Jean-Claude Juncker In this context, a targeted fiscal capacity at Eurozone level could be developed to work as a shock-absorber, if needed. Source: Juncker.epp.euSource: Juncker.epp.eu

Martin Schulz: ‘The European Union is in a dismal state’ Unfortunately no. I think one of the problems of the euro zone is this macro-economic imbalance – in our jargon that means very uneven development within the euro zone. We must fix that, whether Britain stays or leaves. But I think if it left, that would force the other member states to realize: now is the time to act. And in any case, after June 23, we’ll need to discuss the future structure of the European Union.” Source: Global Conversation  Source: Global Conversation

Denmark offers Poland support on plan for gas link to Norway. Denmark on May 19 offered its support to the Baltic Pipe project, a gas link that would connect Poland to Norwegian fields using existing Danish infrastructure as part of the route. Source: Intellinews 2016-05-19 Source: Intellinews 2016-05-19

"Green light." When will the Baltic Pipe be completed? There is the political green light for the supply of Norwegian gas. The project is pending the agreement between Polish, Danish and Norwegian companies, said government plenipotentiary for strategic energetic infrastructure Piotr Naimski on Tuesday Source: Forsal 2016-05-24

jueves, 2 de junio de 2016

2016/06/02 Political Anticipation - A Press Review by LEAP

Deflation and real economy in the United States: the black hole
The systemic crisis is spreading much faster in the real economy than in 2008-2009. This low dormancy is a sign that the economic protection dikes are severely lowered, the synergies are broken and the common strategies of global resilience have vanished. Within this statistical fog, not even fully lifted yet, our team needs once more to assess the health of the real economy, particularly in the United States. How could we actually measure the US real economy? .. (LEAP)

Saving deficit, not China, threatens the American dream
US politicians invariably bemoan trade as the enemy of the middle class, the major source of pressure on jobs and wages. The current presidential campaign is no exception: Republicans and Democrats alike have taken aim at both China and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, holding them up as the scourge of beleaguered US workers. While this explanation may be politically expedient, the truth lies elsewhere... (China Daily)

World crisis : The Path to the World Afterwards (a book by F. Biancheri)
The financial and economic crisis that the world has been facing in the past two years marks the end of the world order established after 1945. In 1989, the “Soviet pillar” has collapsed and we are now witnessing the accelerated decomposition of the “Western pillar” with the US at the heart of the process of disintegration. After two decades spent living in the myth of an “ended history” in which our Western camp would be imposed universally, it is almost impossible to imagine “a world after” where tendencies would not be defined in Washington or Wall Street, where “Anglo-American” would not necessarily mean “modern” and where the dollar would no longer be king... (Anticipolis)

Janet Yellen: Rate rise likely appropriate in ‘coming months’
Chances of a Federal Reserve interest rate increase by July rose significantly Friday when Fed Chair Janet Yellen said a hike could be justified “in the coming months.” Speaking at Harvard University , Yellen said she believed US economic growth and the labor market would continue to strengthen after the first-quarter slowdown, and that the Fed’s early-2016 worries over the global economy and market volatility had diminished. .. (Economic Times)

Risk of US crumbling in tax havens
The Puerto Rican crisis is only a symptom of a fully dislocating society, with a direct confrontation between the financial centre (Wall Street) and the American people's interests. The only solution that Washington has found to help Puerto Rico to pay its bills was to give it a favourable tax status. More broadly, if there were so few Americans in the Panama Papers, it was due to the fact that they already have their own tax havens. In fact, the United States seems to be the largest tax haven in the world, because... (GEAB Bulletin, May 2016)

Polish leaders play down EU 'opinion'
Poland's governing party Law and Justice (PiS) has played down the importance of the European Commission’s opinion on rule of law in Poland, which was sent on Wednesday (1 June). Foreign minister Witold Waszczykowski told Polish radio he had not even looked at the report. “It came in yesterday [Wednesday], I forwarded it to the prime minister and the president. I may have the chance to read it in the coming days,” he said... (EUObserver)

Is OPEC About To Surprise The Oil markets?
A day before the OPEC summit kicks off, top officials from the oil cartel say that the markets are moving in the right direction, a sign of confidence that suggests little could emerge from this week’s meeting. Few expected the June 2 meeting to result in some sort of agreement on supply cuts or even a production freeze, given the enmity between several of the group’s top members... (Oilprice)

Keeping rates firmly on hold, ECB may raise inflation forecast
Keeping interest rates firmly on hold, the European Central Bank will likely raise growth and inflation forecasts on Thursday, a rare positive step even as it emphasises persistent negative risks and a readiness to provide more stimulus. The ECB is buying assets to the tune of 1.74 trillion euros ($1.94 trillion) to lift growth and boost inflation, which has been stuck in negative territory for months, raising the risk the 19-member currency bloc sinks into a deflation spiral... (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia’s Gesture for OPEC Unity Meets Iran Resistance
Saudi Arabia faced resistance from Iran to proposals to restore a production target scrapped at OPEC’s last meeting in December as persistent divisions within the producer group undermined efforts to build unity. Still, OPEC’s arch rivals adopted a more conciliatory tone in Vienna than in the past, with Riyadh promising not to flood the market and Tehran saying it was ready to listen to its counterpart. (Bloomberg)

China AIIB chief: 30 more nations want to join
It appears that countries are lining up to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). By the end of the year, the bank’s membership will grow to nearly 100 countries and regions, making it a truly international financial institution, AIIB President Jin Liqun told 30 editors from major Asian media outlets gathered in Beijing for the annual board meeting of the Asia News Network held at China Daily Tuesday... (Asia Times)

BRICS New Development Bank to issue first yuan-denominated bonds
Shanghai-based New Development Bank is set to issue its first renminbi-denominated bonds,and is eyeing future funding for infrastructure projects, said Paolu Nogueira Batista, thebank’s vice-president for economic research, strategy and partnerships and chief risk officer... (China Daily)

Why EU diplomacy needs more women
It is a widely held belief that some circles in the Brussels bubble are quick to judge. This dismissive culture stifles new ideas before they have a chance to be tested, take off, and become effective. This is what is happening to the post of the gender advisor to the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the woman who got the post... (EUObserver)

Can Russia and Turkey heal rift?
Since the downing of the Russian jet by Turkish forces in November, relations between Turkey and Russia have been in a pattern of controlled tension. The war of words has been interesting to watch. On Tuesday, came another round. Turkey accused Russia of an attack on a hospital in Idlib - something Moscow denied. In retaliation, Moscow called on Ankara to withdraw troops from northern Iraq immediately... (BBC)