Naxal-based Kathmandu Marriott Hotel has already lost Rs 150 million during the lockdown

China’s economic crossroads

June 21, 2020 15:00 pm

BRISBANE/NEW YORK – Back in 2013, the Chinese government laid out a policy agenda that promised real reforms to an economy laden with debt and distorted by the influence of the country’s large state-owned enterprise (SOE) sector. But instead of seeing that agenda through, China chose to dodge the risks entailed by marketization, and has since reverted to what it knows best: state control over the economy and the semblance of stability that comes with it.

Covid-19, the global health crisis, is also leaving its deep scars by creating social, economic and political crisis.

As the world, including Nepal, progresses towards easing the lockdown, it is imperative for Nepal to find its way through this new world order post the COVID-19 pandemic. However, due to the rising COVID-19 cases, there are various challenges in the forefront that need to be dealt with economic and political foresightedness. Especially for women in Nepal, easing of the lockdown has potential to further compound pre-existing gender inequalities based on caste, class, geographical location and various religious conventions and beliefs. There is a possibility that the current situation could be worsened by an inevitable economic crisis given the distinct lack of consideration by the state to accept women as equal citizens rather than a ‘category’ that needs to be considered while ticking a few boxes. A particular focus on women and their needs is crucial to ensure that we traverse to the second stage of this pandemic smoothly.

Recession fears were hovering even before the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. There were lots of predictions about the global recession in 2020. Widespread trade tensions among countries, Brexit uncertainty and slow growth in Eurozone, Asian market slowdown, erratic commodities price were some of the reasons for a global recession in 2020. The argument for and against it was there on its highest altitude. However, once the coronavirus appeared as an unwanted guest, the global economy slid into gloomy states, and the recession ensued.

SEOUL, May 1: The coronavirus crisis sent South Korean exports plunging in April at their sharpest pace since the global financial crisis, signalling a bleak outlook for international trade as the pandemic paralyses the world economy and shatters demand.

NEW YORK – After the 2007-09 financial crisis, the imbalances and risks pervading the global economy were exacerbated by policy mistakes. So, rather than address the structural problems that the financial collapse and ensuing recession revealed, governments mostly kicked the can down the road, creating major downside risks that made another crisis inevitable. And now that it has arrived, the risks are growing even more acute. Unfortunately, even if the Greater Recession leads to a lackluster U-shaped recovery this year, an L-shaped “Greater Depression” will follow later in this decade, owing to ten ominous and risky trends.

MUMBAI/AHMEDABAD, India, April 23: Parts of India have recorded dramatic falls in the number of deaths at a time when funeral parlors were bracing for a surge amid the coronavirus crisis.

Controlling COVID-19

April 24, 2020 17:25 pm

The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected the lives of millions of people globally. In December 2019, Chinese public health authorities reported several cases of acute respiratory syndrome in Wuhan. The disease is now called COVID-19, and the causative virus is named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS- CoV-2). It is a replacement strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.

NEW YORK, April 24: Unemployment in the U.S. is swelling to levels last seen during the Great Depression of the 1930s, with 1 in 6 American workers thrown out of a job by the coronavirus, according to new data released Thursday. In response to the deepening economic crisis, the House passed a nearly $500 billion spending package to help buckled businesses and hospitals.

TOKYO, April 16: Asia’s economic growth this year will grind to a halt for the first time in 60 years, as the coronavirus crisis takes an “unprecedented” toll on the region’s service sector and major export destinations, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.

LONDON – As the COVID-19 crisis roars on, so have debates about China’s role in it. Based on what is known, it is clear that some Chinese officials made a major error in late December and early January when they tried to prevent disclosures of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, even silencing health-care workers who tried to sound the alarm. China’s leaders will have to live with these mistakes, even if they succeed in resolving the crisis and adopting adequate measures to prevent a future outbreak.

WASHINGTON/SYDNEY, April 15: U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday halted funding to the World Health Organization over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, prompting criticism from other countries and medical experts as the global death toll mounted.

On lockdown

April 6, 2020 09:37 am

Fourteen days for death to rear its head, 14 days for life, 14 days for a breath of fresh air, 14 days to hide.

DHANGADI, April 5: Seven members of the youth infected by Coronavirus, and undergoing treatment at Seti State Hospital, have tested negative to the virus.

KATHMANDU, April 4: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has projected that Nepal's economy will grow by 5.3% in the current fiscal year 2019/20, down from the growth rate of 7.3% in 2018/19.

Capitalism’s Triple Crisis

April 2, 2020 09:18 am

LONDON – Capitalism is facing at least three major crises. A pandemic-induced health crisis has rapidly ignited an economic crisis with yet unknown consequences for financial stability, and all of this is playing out against the backdrop of a climate crisis that cannot be addressed by “business as usual.” Until just two months ago, the news media were full of frightening images of overwhelmed firefighters, not overwhelmed health-care providers.

Governing lawfully in crisis

March 26, 2020 08:03 am

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop worldwide, causing unprecedented disruption and demanding swift and significant government action. The pandemic is requiring governments to take extraordinary measures: Massively scaling up public health capabilities, pre-empting catastrophic economic consequences, and invoking emergency measures to restrict—even track—movement and enable control over private domains. The global crisis, which is anticipated to continue for many months, is already transforming social and economic life and altering the practice of politics and government.

KATHMANDU, March 20: At a time when the COVID-19 menace looms over the economic life of the country, the big corporate houses appear to be taking a back seat in the exercise of social responsibility.

British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has officially postponed its annual television awards and television craft awards due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

KATHMANDU, Jan 9: Nearly two million Nepalis working in the Middle East are alarmed by the prospect of war between the United States and Iran. People are huddling in tea shops and chautaris across the country to discuss the possibility of World War III and families of our migrant workers are rightly worried by the news coming out from the Middle East. Sadly, our government has done very little to assure the public of the measures it will take to provide the necessary support to Nepalis in the region in the unlikely event of an all-out war. We have yet to see a statement or public remarks from the government to assure the worried Nepalis, both at home and abroad.

HONG KONG, Sept 22: Hong Kong riot police took up position at the main rail station serving the airport on Sunday to prevent a new anti-government protest targeting air travel after a night of violent street clashes in the Chinese-ruled territory.

WASHINGTON, Sept 18: Hong Kong democracy activists urged members of the U.S. Congress on Tuesday to pass legislation to combat human rights abuses in the city, rejecting any suggestion that such a move would be inappropriate U.S. involvement in another country’s affairs.

HONG KONG, Sept 15: Hundreds of Hong Kong protesters singing “God Save the Queen” and waving Union Jack flags rallied outside the British Consulate on Sunday demanding that the former colonial power ensures China honours its commitments to the city’s freedoms.

HONG KONG, Sept 11: Hong Kong activists called off protests on Wednesday in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and denounced a Chinese state newspaper report that they were planning “massive terror” in the Chinese-ruled city.

HONG KONG, Sept 8: Hong Kong police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in the upmarket Causeway Bay shopping district on Sunday, after demonstrators had rallied at the U.S. Consulate calling for help in bringing democracy to the Chinese-ruled city.

HONG KONG, Sept 4: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Wednesday withdrew an extradition bill that triggered months of often violent protests so the Chinese-ruled city can move forward from a “highly vulnerable and dangerous” place and find solutions.

HONG KONG, Sept 3: Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday she has never asked the Chinese government to let her resign to end the city’s political crisis, responding to a Reuters report about a voice recording of her saying she would step down if she could.

Real problem is inequality

August 29, 2019 00:25 am

HONG KONG – Since China regained sovereignty over Hong Kong on July 1, 1997, the city has prospered economically, but festered politically. Now, one of the world’s richest cities is engulfed by protests, which have blocked roads, paralyzed the airport, and at times descended into violence. Far from a uniquely Chinese problem, however, the current chaos should be viewed as a bellwether for capitalist systems that fail to address inequality.

PARIS, Aug 27: French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for a new global economic order, decrying an “unprecedented crisis” in the market economy.

HONG KONG, Aug 27: Violence in Hong Kong’s anti-government protests is becoming more serious but the government is confident it can handle the crisis itself, the city’s embattled leader said on Tuesday.

HONG KONG, Aug 25: Hong Kong police said on Sunday they arrested 29 people after clashes overnight in which volleys of tear gas were fired to disperse anti-government protesters, as the Asian financial hub braced for more demonstrations later in the day.

HONG KONG, Aug 24: Hong Kong police used tear gas to break up anti-government protests in a gritty industrial suburb on Saturday after some activists threw petrol bombs and bricks, as China freed a British consulate worker whose detention helped fuel tension.

HONG KONG, Aug 19: Hong Kong is gearing up for more protests this week after hundreds of thousands of anti-government demonstrators braved heavy rain to rally peacefully on Sunday, marking a change to what have often been violent clashes.

HONG KONG, Aug 14: Hong Kong’s airport resumed operations on Wednesday, rescheduling hundreds of flights that had been disrupted over the past two days as protesters clashed with riot police in a deepening crisis in the Chinese-controlled city.

HONG KONG, Aug 12: Metro stations in Hong Kong resumed regular service on Monday and streets were being cleaned of debris as the city recovered from another night of violent clashes between anti-government protesters and police, with more protests planned this week.

HONG KONG, Aug 7: Hong Kong is facing its worst crisis since it returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997, the head of China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs office said on Wednesday, as more protests were set to rock the Asian financial hub.

Roots of Puerto Rico’s crisis

August 4, 2019 01:00 am

Its unique governance structure allows both the Puerto Rican government and the US federal government to blame each other for the island’s plight

July 10: Iran welcomes France’s efforts to save the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, as French President Emmanuel Macron’s top diplomatic adviser visits Tehran for talks to help ease the crisis.

KATHMANDU, June 26: Prospect of talks between the government and the outlawed Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) is getting slimmer as both sides remain adamant on their stances over a possible resolution to the ongoing crisis.

DHARAN, June 7: After failing to control the spread of dengue in Dharan, Nepal Provincial Health Directorate (PHD) has said the disease has become an epidemic and declared some wards of Dharan Sub-metropolitan city as crisis-hit areas.

SALYAN, May 25: The family of Ramlal Yari of Manjhkada village in the hill district of Salyan migrated to Dhorpipal area last week. Yari said life in the village, which lies in Bangad Kupinde Municipality-10, has become very difficult due to the severe water crisis.

BUTUWAL, May 4: With the arrival of summer, water crisis in Province 5 has become worse. Not just the rural areas but also the towns in Rolpa, Dang, Rupandehi and Kapilbastu lack water. Locals lament that their right to access clean drinking water is limited just in paper.

BANKE, April 17: Drying up of water sources has posed a threat to wildlife in the Banke National Park. The national park, however, was established some nine years ago for the expansion of the habitat of wild cat.

BAJURA, March 29: Food crisis has deepened in Bajura district owing to contractor's sheer ignorance in the supply of rice.

Looming Taiwan crisis

February 20, 2019 00:30 am

Crisis over Taiwan could wreck China’s relations with the US and many of its neighbors and rock an already shaky Chinese economy

Nine European nations have now joined the United States in recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s interim president, heightening a global showdown over President Nicolas Maduro’s rule.

Inflation without cause

November 27, 2018 01:00 am

In the past two decades, food price has blazed through the roof to unimaginable heights and yet the government has done nothing to pull it down

COLOMBO, Nov 14 : Sri Lanka’s parliament passed a no-confidence motion against newly appointed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and his government on Wednesday, opposition lawmakers said, throwing the country deeper into crisis.

Nov 2: 6 things to know by 6 PM today

November 2, 2018 18:00 pm

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