FK Leotar Tue, 14 Sep 2021 16:12:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 FK Leotar 32 32 Glovo acquires Spanish and Portuguese companies Tue, 14 Sep 2021 16:12:55 +0000

The Spanish courier / delivery service Glovo purchases two delivery companies: one in its home country, the other in Portugal.

As Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, September 14, the company has reached a deal to buy Lola Market in Spain and Portuguese company Mercadao for undisclosed amounts. The two companies will retain their identity and operate independently of Glovo, Gonçalo Soares da Costa, CEO of Mercadao, leading the two companies. According to Bloomberg, the two companies will initially expand in Poland and Italy.

The purchases follow a $ 530 million Series F fundraiser led by Glovo earlier in the year. At the time, Glovo founder and CEO Oscar Pierre said the funding would be used to expand his “leadership position”.

Read more: Spanish messaging platform Glovo wins $ 530 million for Q-Commerce

The company has grown across Europe, recently purchasing Delivery Hero’s business in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Romania and Serbia, as well as parts of Delivery Hero’s Croatian operations, for $ 207 million. of dollars.

See also: Glovo takes over the Balkan business of Delivery Hero for $ 207 million

The Bloomberg report notes that this industry has seen an increase in demand for fast delivery of grocery and restaurant products. Glovo expects the gross transaction value of its Q-commerce business to triple, crossing an execution rate of € 1 billion by the end of next year.

At the same time, the gig worker model that apps like Glovo rely on is facing increasing pressure from the government.

Read more: Dutch court rules Uber drivers as employees, fines Co 50,000 euros

On Monday, September 13, a Dutch court ruled that Uber drivers should be considered employees and not concert workers, and are therefore protected by local labor laws. The decision of the Amsterdam District Court concluded that the approximately 4,000 Uber drivers in that city are employees of a taxi company and are therefore entitled to the benefits corresponding to this industry.

As for Glovo, Bloomberg says he faces a change in law as Spain passed the first EU law that considers delivery people to be employees.



On: Eighty percent of consumers want to use non-traditional payment options like self-service, but only 35 percent were able to use them for their most recent purchases. Today’s Self-Service Shopping Journey, a PYMNTS and Toshiba Collaboration, analyzes more than 2,500 responses to find out how merchants can address availability and perception issues to meet demand for self-service kiosks.

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11th Global Islamic Finance Awards Celebrate Outstanding Leaders in Islamic Finance Market Tue, 14 Sep 2021 15:01:00 +0000

The global Islamic financial services industry had assets under management worth approximately US $ 2,941 billion at the end of 2020 (Global Islamic Finance Report 2021). An industry experiencing strong performance in 2019 is expected to grow even more, however, many expected developments in the Islamic finance industry have slowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the bleak outlook, it has also presented unprecedented opportunities for Islamic finance to become an alternative financial system, with assets expected to grow to a size of between $ 3.789 trillion and $ 5.15 trillion by now. 2025.

Global Islamic Finance Awards (GIFA) was founded in 2011 by Edbiz International Advisors as part of its advocacy for Islamic banking and finance. Since then, it has been held annually with its first prize – Global Islamic Finance Leadership Award – given to heads of state or government (or equivalent) for their leadership and advocacy roles in promoting banking and Islamic finance in their respective jurisdictions or around the world. The winners of this prestigious award are known as the GIFA Laureates. This year’s Global Islamic Finance Leadership Award went to His Excellency Ma’ruf Amin, Vice President of the Republic of Indonesia. His Excellency Ma’ruf Amin is a true champion of Islamic finance, leading the country to become a global hotspot for the Islamic economy of which Islamic banking and finance is a part.

Other GIFA laureates include HE Tun Abdullah Badawi, former Prime Minister of Malaysia (2011), HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak, Malaysia (2012), HE Shaukat Aziz, former Prime Minister of Pakistan (2013), HE Nur Sultan Nazarbayev, first Prime Minister of Kazakhstan (2014), His Highness Muhammandu Sanusi II, Emir of Kano, Nigeria (2015), HE Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia (2016), HE Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti (2017), HE Bakir Izetbegovic, former President of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2018), HE Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa (2019), and His Excellency Dr Arif Alvi, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (2020) .

Professor Humayon Dar, President of the Global Islamic Finance Awards, highlighted in his speech the shared responsibility we have towards the development and advocacy of the Islamic finance industry to be a sustainable solution in the post-COVID world. “This year’s GIFA celebrates a record number of Islamic financial institutions and individuals. We have winners from USA, UK, South Africa, Middle East and Asia. On behalf of the Awards Committee, I congratulate this year’s laureates, hoping that they will continue to contribute to the success of their organizations and the global Islamic financial services industry. It is because of your hard work, dedication and commitment that the industry is now at the historic US $ 3 trillion mark.

The Top Award for an institution, the Global Islamic Finance Leadership Award (Institution) 2021, was won by none other than Komite Nasional Ekonomi Keuangan Syariah (KNEKS). The National Committee for Sharia Economics and Finance (KNEKS) for its efforts in developing the Sharia economic and financial ecosystem and for making Indonesia a global halal center.

Other notable winners include; RAM Ratings Services Berhad, Saturna Sdn Bhd, Bid Bond by Siraj Finance, IMMC by Al Waseelah PLC, ETHOS AFPMT, ZAWAF (Zakat, Sadaqah and Waqf Division) of the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), meem Digital Banking by Gulf International Bank,

GIFA has awarded the GIFA Excellence Awards to leading organizations in the Islamic finance sector: the 2021 GIFA (Islamic Social Responsibility) Award of Excellence has been awarded to CaizCoin, one of the many cryptocurrencies developed in Germany but with a unique working model.

The 2021 GIFA (Islamic Social Responsibility) Award of Excellence was awarded to Yayasan BaitulMaal Muamalat, an Indonesian zakat management institution.

The GIFA Excellence Award (Islamic Asset Management) 2021 was won by Albilad Capital in recognition of initiatives and innovations undertaken to provide financial products and services.

The 2021 GIFA Excellence Award (Takaful) went to Prudential BSN Takaful Berhad, the country’s leading takaful operator.

The 2021 GIFA Excellence Award (Islamic Financial Ratings) was won by Fitch Ratings, a leading provider of credit ratings, commentary and research to global financial markets.

GIFA Excellence Award (Islamic Finance Training & Education) 2021 has been awarded to the Brunei Institute of Leadership & Islamic Finance (BILIF).

GIFA Excellence Award (Roshan Digital Account Experience) 2021 was won by HBL Islamic Banking, which has positioned itself as one of the biggest and leading Islamic banking players in the country.

The 2021 GIFA (Premier Islamic Banking Services) Award of Excellence was won by Shariah Banking, Standard Bank for its commitment to Islamic principles and Sharia-compliant assets.

GIFA Excellence Award (Corporate / Business Credit Cards) 2021 is won by Qatar International Islamic Bank, a leading bank providing innovative and Sharia-compliant banking services in Qatar.

GIFA Championship award winners include; Tazkia Islamic University College for GIFA Championship Award (Education in Islamic Banking and Finance) 2021; Malaysian Financial Planning Council for the 2021 GIFA (Islamic Finance Qualifications) Championship Award; Bank Nizwa for the 2021 GIFA (Islamic Bank) Championship Prize; Takaful Oman for the 2021 GIFA (Takaful) Championship award; Arabesque Asset Management Ltd. for the 2021 GIFA (ESG and sustainability) championship prize; Aion Digital for the 2021 GIFA (Islamic Digital Solutions) Championship Prize; and S&P Global Ratings for the GIFA Championship Award (Islamic Financial Ratings) 2021.

GIFA Market Leadership Award was given to market leaders for their strategic role in the growth of the Islamic finance industry. Notable winners include; Cagamas, BNP Paribas Asset Management Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., Al Ahli REIT Fund 1, Faculty of Islamic Economics and Finance UNISSA, Moody’s Investors Service, SEDCO Capital and Bank Syariah Indonesia.

The Islamic Corporation for Investment and Export Credit Insurance (ICIEC) has again won the 2021 Global Islamic Export Credit Insurance and Political Risk Award. Emirates NBD Capital, RIZQ , MANUlife Shariah Global REIT Fund, IBF Net Group, Siraj Finance, Ajman University, International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI), Riyad Saudi Equity Sharia Fund, Oasis Crescent (UK) Limited, Dar Al Sharia , Indonesia Stock Exchange, Pakistan Stock Exchange Limited, TAIF Digital Institute, Al Farabi National Kazakh University, Eiger Trading Advisors Limited, Malaysian Rating Corporation Berhad (MARC), International Turnkey Systems Group (ITS), PT Capital Life Syariah, Meezan Bank, Trust Bank Limited, HabibMetro Sirat, FNB Islamic Banking, Jaiz Bank PLC, Ambank Islamic Berhad, Faysal Bank Limited, Gatehouse Bank, Agrobank, BankIslami Pakistan Limited, Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam, Central Shari ah Board for Islamic Banks of Bangladesh, Saudi Ce ntral Bank, Alinma Bank and Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited are the proud winners this year.

Dr Adnan Aziz (Professor of Practice and Director of the Islamic Finance Center for Academic and Research Excellence, Ajman University), Mr. Khalid Zubair Parekh (Founder and CEO of Fair), Mr. Muhammad Afaq Khan (Head of Islamic Bank, HBL), Eqhwan Mokhzanee (Managing Director of AmBank Islamic Berhad), Mr. Irfan Siddiqui (Founding Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Meezan Bank) and Mr. Adam Ismail Ebrahim (Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Oasis Group Holdings) have received individual awards for their tireless advocacy, effort and contributions to innovate, evolve and develop products and services that serve the global public and support the Islamic financial services industry.


You can view the GIFA Awards Ceremony online by logging into; or the official GIFA website;

About Edbiz International Advisors:

Edbiz Corporation is a global Islamic finance think tank headquartered in London. For more information, please visit: . Edbiz Corporation provides multiple services that balance the dual purpose of developing thought leadership in this niche sector and building the capacity of Islamic finance for businesses and banks. Its clientele is diverse and includes financial institutions, governments, educational institutions, established businesses and entrepreneurs.

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Merkel urges Western Balkans to focus on EU membership Tue, 14 Sep 2021 14:30:00 +0000

Updated 14 hours, 3 minutes ago

TIRANA, Albania (AP) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Albania on Tuesday to urge the leaders of the six Western Balkan states to step up regional cooperation in their struggle for EU membership.

Merkel welcomed the cooperation initiative, saying that “the more you cooperate, the stronger the Berlin process will be”. The Berlin Process is a program she launched in 2014 to boost regional cooperation between the countries of the Western Balkans.

“From a geostrategic point of view, the EU, or more concretely Germany, has its own interest in the accession of the countries (of the Western Balkans) to the EU”, she declared at a conference. Press.

The Western Balkan states – which include Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia – are at different stages on the path to EU membership. Their progress in integration has been delayed recently due to the bloc’s stalled interest in enlargement and the years of diplomatic turmoil the EU faced when Britain left the bloc.

Following the veto of EU member Bulgaria, the launch of EU membership negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia has been postponed, although they have already met the criteria.

“The EU must keep its word and not always offer new conditions because it has no interest – perhaps for internal reasons in some countries – in moving the accession process forward. It causes disappointment and I can understand that disappointment, “Merkel said.” We have to trust each other. “

In the Serbian capital of Belgrade, which Merkel visited on Monday, she noted the presence of other contenders for Balkan nations, such as Russia and China.

Merkel will be greatly missed in the region, according to the Albanian leader.

“In the history of this region, Angela Merkel has set a milestone for decades to come,” Prime Minister Edi Rama said.

But Merkel assured her audience that “every German chancellor will have a heart for this region” as many people in the region now live and work in Germany, the EU’s largest economy.

Merkel did not stand for election this year after having led Germany since 2005. Germany is holding general elections on September 26.


Kristen Grieshaber contributed from Berlin.

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the goal of Serbia’s global “vaccine diplomacy” Fri, 10 Sep 2021 05:07:53 +0000 Foreign policy buffs have already become accustomed to the term vaccine diplomacy. The term refers to governments trying to increase their prestige and influence by donating vaccines to foreign countries in the age of Covid-19.

This policy has been associated with great powers like China, Russia and India. However, smaller countries like Serbia are also engaged in their vaccine diplomacy.

On August 30, 2021, Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selaković told the Serbian press that in 11 days in Africa alone, Serbia has donated more than 200,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

Serbian vaccine diplomacy is no longer a campaign focused on Serbia’s neighborhood in the Balkans, but has gone global as Serbia uses it to engage with members of the Non-Aligned Movement in Africa, in Middle East and Asia to pursue foreign policy interests.

What are the reasons for this ambitious policy?

For starters, Serbia has the luxury of suing him. Serbia has not hesitated to obtain vaccines manufactured in the West, Russia and China. China has been decisive on this front.

Of all the vaccines acquired by the Serbian government, the most available is the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm. According to the Serbian government, Belgrade has so far received 4.2 million doses of vaccine from Beijing. Serbia signed an agreement with China to build a Sinopharm vaccine production plant in Serbia, and production of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine in Serbia began in June.

As Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić confirmed during his March 2021 press conference with Chinese Ambassador to Serbia Chen Bo, the Chinese side has banned the donation of Sinopharm vaccines to third parties.

However, the large quantities of Sinopharm vaccines provide Serbia with a surplus of vaccines from other manufacturers. This creates an opportunity for Serbia to donate vaccines to increase its soft power credentials and political influence.

In early 2021, Serbia exercised its own vaccine diplomacy in the Balkans by donating Sputnik V, Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines to its neighbors in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and allowing foreign nationals to come to Serbia to get vaccinated.

New axis not aligned

Serbia is now more ambitious because it has focused its efforts on countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, all members of the Non-Aligned Movement, an organization of which the former Yugoslavia was one. leading countries.

Spearheading this new campaign is Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selaković, who has recently been a frequent traveler. This time, the Russian Sputnik V vaccine is in the offer.

In Lebanon, Serbia donated 40,000 vaccines, the first half having already been delivered.

Africa was next on Selaković’s travel list. In Zimbabwe, Serbia has donated 30,000 doses of vaccine and Belgrade is also planning to donate 65 tonnes of food.

The list goes on. Selaković donated vaccines to Zambia (50,000 doses), Angola (50,000 doses) and Namibia (30,000 doses).

Serbian vaccine diplomacy also goes to Asia.

In a telephone interview with his Vietnamese counterpart Bui Thanh Son, Selaković pledged donations of vaccines to Vietnam. Serbia also plans to donate 50,000 doses of vaccine to Iran and 40,000 doses to Tunisia.

Belgrade has been generous, but there are other reasons at stake as well.

The first is the alpha and omega of Serbian foreign policy, Kosovo. The countries which have benefited from Serbian generosity are those which have not recognized the independence of Kosovo.

Last year, with the involvement of Donald Trump’s administration, Serbia and Kosovo reached an agreement whereby Kosovo agreed to freeze its campaign of attempted membership in international institutions. Serbia did the same with regard to its campaign for other countries to cancel Kosovo’s independence. This moratorium is coming to an end and Serbia expects Kosovo to resume its campaign for further reconnaissance, so Belgrade is moving forward.

Thanks to vaccine diplomacy, Serbia is trying to recover some of the markets it lost with the collapse of Yugoslavia. While Serbia does not have global economic clout, an industry always needs new customers. This industry is Serbia’s arms industry recovering from the trauma of the Yugoslav collapse.

Countries that received vaccine donations to Serbia were invited to visit Belgrade in October for the 60th anniversary of the first Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Belgrade in 1961. Meanwhile, the Serbian ministry of Defense will organize Partner 2021, a defense industry exhibition in Belgrade. How convenient.

Bilateral ties can also be mended through vaccine diplomacy.

Under the influence of Donald Trump, Serbia agreed to designate Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy in Lebanon, as a terrorist organization. In April 2021, Selaković visited Tehran to make sure Iran does not recognize Kosovo.

Serbia very quickly broke ranks with the EU by sending an ambassador to Syria, another Iranian ally.

In the same vein, vaccine donations to both Iran and Lebanon, where Hezbollah is a major political player, are a way to ensure that their government does not recognize Kosovo and to compensate for the Hezbollah blacklist.

The crisis in Serbia’s relations with the West is playing a role. The EU is increasingly aware of the decline of the rule of law in Serbia under the leadership of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.

In response to Vučić’s grip on Serbian media, Twitter called several media outlets “affiliated with the state”, eliciting his angry reaction.

The Biden administration expects Serbia to recognize independent Kosovo, and it is increasingly concerned about Belgrade’s partnership with Moscow and Beijing. Through vaccine diplomacy, Belgrade is campaigning globally, defying the West by showing that it is not isolated and that it has friends in distant places.

Serbian domestic politics are also part of the equation.

Although the use of foreign policy for domestic purposes is not a Serbian patent, it has become a norm for the current Serbian government. By donating vaccines to developing countries, Serbian leaders are projecting the image of an internationally respected government to their constituents.

Indeed, commenting on Serbian vaccine donations to the developing world, Selaković said: “Seven years ago, Serbia was on the brink. Today, thanks to the responsible and visionary policies of President Aleksandar Vučić, this same Serbia is able to donate more than 200,000 vaccines to its friends. ”

The global vaccine diplomacy that Serbia has recently pursued may have been too ambitious an undertaking for a small country like Serbia.

How much will this earn in Belgrade? It remains to be seen. One thing is certain. The Serbian government is neither daring nor innovative in pursuing its interests.

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In the shadow of the pandemic, humanity’s greatest challenges remain: Ashwin Sanghi Thu, 09 Sep 2021 13:30:39 +0000

A virus that may have been spawned in a Chinese lab has wreaked havoc around the world over the past two years. As of this writing, there have been 209 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 4.4 million deaths worldwide. The good news is that around 4.5 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered. And while it is true that new variants of the virus continue to emerge with frightening regularity, it is equally true that safety guidelines, urban management, hospital protocols, scientific research and large-scale vaccination can. allow humanity to come out of this war to see another day. .

But the pain of hitting your toe is only felt until you hit your head even harder. Sadly, the challenge of tackling Covid-19 has overshadowed all other issues. I have always argued, and I continue to argue, that the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century will be climate change, water scarcity, population-resource disparities, power imbalance and extremism. ideological. These issues may have faded into the background due to Covid-19, but they remain. A pigeon closes its eyes upon seeing a cat, hoping that the cat will magically disappear. This is precisely what the world is doing with the most pressing problems of our time.

Recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that over the next two decades, the world is likely to exceed the threshold of 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels. This would likely lead to sea level rise, forest fires, rainstorms, heat waves, extreme temperatures, coastal flooding, drought, ocean acidification, species extinction and increased threat from pests and pathogens. But talk to climate change experts and we’ll hear the usual suggestions: use public transport, take shorter showers, switch to electric vehicles, recycle garbage, and plant trees. Very few discuss the billions of cows, goats, chickens, pigs and turkeys that are crammed into factory farms and produce huge amounts of methane. Each gram of methane is 84 times more powerful than a gram of carbon dioxide at trapping atmospheric heat. The United States Environmental Protection Agency says animal agriculture is the largest source of methane emissions in America. So if we are serious about tackling climate change, humanity has to switch to an increasingly vegan lifestyle. But such a point of view must be motivated by hippies, vegetarians and tree lovers. So let’s not talk about it.

What is worrying is that in countries like India, Israel, America and Germany, the far right is becoming increasingly belligerent in response to the perceived threat of Islamism. We can find a vaccine to prevent Covid-19 but where will we find a vaccine to treat an extreme ideology?

A poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge says, “Water, water everywhere, no drop to drink.” Isn’t it ironic that our high sea level comes with a scarcity of water? Only 0.01% of the water on earth is soft and accessible. Almost 97% of our water is saline and about 3% is extremely difficult to access. One third of the world’s population lives in conditions of water scarcity. By 2030, there will be a 40% gap between demand and supply of water. According to UNICEF, half of the world’s population could live in areas facing water scarcity by 2025. In fact, one in four children will live in areas of extremely high water stress. Across the world, water use has increased at more than twice the rate of population growth over the past century. Many parts of the world will soon run out of groundwater. Added to this is the fear that a large part of the water supply in many countries will be contaminated. In the meantime, geopolitics and uncontrolled dams will ensure that river waters become the very reasons for war. But such a view belongs to the anti-industry lobby and no one wants to discuss the depressing scenarios of the Parched Earth. So let’s not talk about it.

What should we talk about then? Ah, yes, almost a billion of the 7.7 billion people in the world are affected by hunger. About 33 countries already have extremely alarming hunger levels. The world’s population is expected to grow by 83 million people each year and reach 9.8 billion by 2050. A child born in a country with the lowest ranking health care is 60 times more likely to die than a child born. in a country with the best health care. The average income of people living in North America is 16 times that of people in sub-Saharan Africa. And the inequality is not just between nations. According to Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report, the richest 1% in the world own 43.4% of the world’s wealth. Inequalities in resources could fuel conflicts, both internal and external. But discussing the inequalities of wealth between individuals and countries is Marxism. So let’s not talk about it.

Since it’s embarrassing to talk about veganism, depressing to talk about water deprivation and leftist to talk about inequalities, let’s turn our attention to another topic: the indefatigable economic engine of the world, China. Economic growth has enabled China, on average, to double its GDP every eight years. Today, China has become the world’s largest economy on the basis of purchasing power parity. It is also the largest manufacturer, trader and holder of foreign exchange reserves in the world. But with China’s economic strength came an even greater tightening of control by the Chinese Communist Party.

China’s economic weight has enabled it to detain a million Muslim Uyghurs in what they call “re-education” camps in Xinjiang. It can advance massive projects such as the Belt-and-Road Initiative while burdening developing countries with crippling debt. China supports some of the worst regimes in the world, including North Korea and Pakistan. He is brazenly waging war on democracy in Hong Kong while continuing to bitch against Taiwan. It is undermining territorial waters by building artificial islands in the South China Sea. It is the biggest cyber spy in the world and also one of the biggest polluters in the world. Not content with directing India to its borders, China has territorial problems with Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore and many others. Considering the huge reliance on Chinese investment, supply chains, and trade, it’s awkward to talk (excuse the pun) about the bull in the china shop. And if former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain could be fooled into believing that he had negotiated “peace for our time” with Adolf Hitler in 1938, then where is the harm in believing that the economic, political and military weight of China will not have serious consequences for the world? But to hold China to account is to wage war. So, let’s not talk about this inconvenient truth either.

All right, then consider this. One million Uyghur Muslims are incarcerated in Xinjiang, but you can barely hear a glance of the 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation which includes 45 Islamic countries. They are quick to point out the injustices – both real and perceived – against Muslims in Kashmir, Palestine and Bosnia and Herzegovina, but there is a strange conspiracy of silence surrounding the Uyghur situation. What explains it? Truth be told, the Islamic world is a divided lot. The only unity is a medieval ideology that clings to gender inequality, LGBTQ revulsion, apostasy prevention and disbelief aversion.

The world tries in vain to fight Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, Hezbollah and the Taliban, but is reluctant to accept that the real fight is against the Wahhabi-Salafi ideology that inspires such groups. Even Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has found it necessary to push for new interpretations of the most controversial texts. But anyone who suggests Islamic reform is generally referred to as an Islamophobic fanatic. What is worrying is that in countries like India, Israel, America and Germany, the far right is becoming increasingly belligerent in response to the perceived threat of Islamism. We can find a vaccine to prevent Covid-19 but where will we find a vaccine to treat an extreme ideology? Instead, let’s do the best thing. Let’s not talk about it.

The great poet, Mirza Ghalib, wrote “Hum ko maloom hai jannat ki haqiqat lekin dil ke behlane ko Ghalib yeh khayal achcha hai. “We know the reality of Heaven, but it’s still a good idea, well suited to keeping the heart happy.

So let’s just stay happy by not talking about anything important.

—Sanghi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Rozabal Line, Chanakya’s Chant, Keepers of the Kalachakra, and other books

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Where is South Africa heading for the rest of the year, economists say Tue, 07 Sep 2021 14:55:12 +0000

The South African economy grew 1.2% better than expected in the second quarter, growing for four consecutive quarters. The growth rate accelerated by 1.0% in the first quarter, which was revised downwards by 1.1%.

Although the economy is 19.3% larger than a year ago – after rebounding from a depressed basis – overall economic activity has now only returned to 2017 levels, StatsSA said.

The median estimate of four economists in a Bloomberg survey was for growth of 0.9%.

Transportation and communications, personal services and commerce were the main contributors to growth this quarter, all supported by the gradual economic reopening and further normalization of activity, noted Reza Hendrickse, portfolio manager at PPS. Investments.

Hendrickse said the third wave, which accelerated in June, appears to have had a limited impact on second-quarter growth, which exceeded expectations. However, forecasting growth has been more difficult than usual, given the recent rebasing by Stats SA.

“Looking ahead, we are cautiously optimistic about the growth outlook. Last year’s crisis is still leaving some scars, but we’re coming out on a reasonably good basis, with the outlook looking better than it was in previous years. Even if there are still risks, growth is returning, we are seeing promising reforms locally and the fiscus is doing a little better.

Maarten Ackerman, chief economist at Citadel, noted that although the economy grew by more than 19% from a year ago, it is starting from a weak base.

“The strong growth associated with the change in the base year to 2015 – which resulted in the economy growing 11% from the previous figure shown – should support a better-than-expected fiscal outlook, which should please to rating agencies and discourage any further downgrades at this time.

Given the recent adjustment in GDP figures, the economy is now considered 11% larger than previously believed. Ackerman stressed that this needs to be taken into account in context because most measures measured as a percentage of GDP will look better.

“Another important consideration is that starting this quarter, StatsSA will no longer report quarterly analyzed figures; only quarter to quarter as well as annual changes, ”he said.

While the 19.3% growth rate is impressive, he said it was likely a “spike” of growth from a low base. “We can still expect to see growth continue, but the annual number is likely to decline in the coming quarters,” Ackerman said.

Time to aim beyond pre-Covid levels

Ackerman said that while the economy has made huge strides to reach pre-Covid levels, there is still some way to go.

“If growth continues in this direction, we could reach pre-Covid levels within the next two quarters. While this is positive news, it is still not where economists want the country to be.

“We have to consider that South Africa has been stagnant for most of 2017 to 2019, and we are now only back to the levels of the fourth quarter of 2017 – so the real goal is to exceed the growth levels just before the decline of Covid. This can happen over time, but will likely only happen towards the end of 2022 if the growth path continues. “

Additional warning

Lullu Krugel, chief economist at PwC Strategy & Africa, and Dr Christie Viljoen, PwC Strategy & economist, have warned that third quarter GDP will experience headwinds from unrest and Level 3 foreclosure.

Given the large negative impact on GDP induced by the foreclosure in the second quarter of last year, the annualized growth rate was still expected to be large, Krugel said.

Real GDP Growth (%)

The South African economy grew on average 7.5% year-on-year in the first half of this year. However, that did not translate into more jobs, the economist said.

While the country had 15,024 million jobs – formal and informal – at the end of last year, employment fell to 14.995 million in the first quarter of this year and to 14.942 million in the second quarter – a net loss. 82,000 jobs in the first half of 2021.

Formal non-farm employment fell from 10.495 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 10,200 million in the second quarter of 2021, a net loss of nearly 300,000 formal jobs in the first half of this year. “It’s a staggering number. Unsurprisingly, South Africa now has the highest official unemployment rate in the world, ”Viljoen said.

At 34.4% in Q2 2021, this is more than Nigeria (33.3%), Bosnia and Herzegovina (32.4%), Angola (31.6%) and Palestine (26.4%) %).

Looking ahead, Krugel said it’s likely the third quarter will see some pressure on the recovery rate due to a combination of negative effects from 1) the unrest at KZN and Gauteng in early July as well as 2 ) a level 3 extended lock still in place.

“The severity of the mid-year wave, and the accompanying severity of associated lockdowns, is the primary driver of the nature of the economic recovery alongside the impact of power cuts.”

“We expect the current adjusted Level 3 lockout to be in place for the remainder of September. While active cases under the third wave of infection have declined from a peak of over 200,000 in mid-July, that figure has not fallen below 140,000 in the past two months, ” PwC said.

While some forecasts suggest the South African economy will grow by more than 4.0% this year, PwC said its modeling pointed to a figure closer to 2.5%.

“The poor annual growth seen in the first half of this year, coupled with the negative factors highlighted for the third quarter, does not encourage much optimism as to how quickly South Africa’s GDP will return to levels before the pandemic, ”Viljoen said.

“Our baseline and downside assumptions also take into account a likely fourth wave of infections during the summer vacation. Health Minister Joe Phaahla recently warned authorities expected a fourth wave to materialize in November.

“He expressed concern about the long tail of the third wave and the risk that South Africa could switch from the current wave directly to another wave over the summer.”

Bloomberg reported that the economy is likely to contract in the third quarter after deadly riots, looting and arson erupted in July and weighed on activity in eastern KwaZulu-Natal province and the mall. of Gauteng – the two largest provinces in terms of contribution to GDP. .

A cyber attack on public ports and the rail operator also hampered trade at major container terminals and led the company to declare its second force majeure event in a month.

“A fourth wave of Covid-19 infections which is expected in early December and could prompt more stringent lockdown measures due to reluctance over vaccines, electricity supply constraints and slow structural reforms could still weigh on production in the second half of the year. It could also hamper job creation in a country where more than a third of the workforce is unemployed. “

Read: South Africa’s economy posts fourth consecutive quarter of growth

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Is Moscow using the S-400 against Turkey? Fri, 03 Sep 2021 16:40:18 +0000

The military logic of Turkey’s highly controversial purchase of S-400 ballistic missile defense systems from Russia in 2017 continues to challenge many analysts.

The subject remains a major sticking point in Turkey’s strained relations with the United States and its European allies.

He also deprived Ankara of a strategic asset, such as the state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jets with which he hoped to bolster his air force. Turkey was kicked out of this program by the United States because of its multibillion dollar purchase of S-400.

It is still unclear where and when Ankara hopes to deploy the Russian systems and what any possible scenario for their end use will be.

Nonetheless, what many feared may now turn out to be true. Indications are emerging that Moscow could use the S-400 issue to put pressure on Turkey at a time when Ankara is trying to improve its ties with the West.

The announcement last week from Alexander Mikheyev – the head of Russia’s arms export agency Rosoboronexport – that the second batch of S-400s would soon be heading to Turkey caused a stir in Ankara.

Responding to questions from reporters at the Army Forum 2021 in Moscow, Mikheyev said the final touches were being made to an agreement regarding the sale.

He said the deal would be finalized shortly. “We’re working on it. And ‘soon’ means this year, of course.”

Clearly unhappy with the timing of this statement, Ankara’s response to Mikheyev has been chilling to say the least.

Sources close to the Turkish defense industry denied that such a deal would be reached in the coming months.

“It is a subject which can be discussed at any time, but we do not have such a demand at this stage,” a defense source told BBC Turkish.

The stake of the day, according to the same source, is Afghanistan and the close dialogue between Ankara and Washington on this subject.

“The Russian side declares its intention or tries to manipulate the cooperation we are engaged in with the United States,” the source said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was also wary. He touched on the subject in general terms when interviewed by journalists on his return flight from a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.

“We are not hesitant about the second batch of S-400 from Russia or similar matters. We have taken many steps with Russia regarding the S-400 or other defense industry issues, ”Erdogan said.

However, he refrained from going into details and said nothing to indicate that an agreement for the delivery of more S-400s was in the works and would be concluded by the end of the year.

“At this point, Russia has nothing to lose when it comes to the S-400s. The sale was completed and the money received, ”said international relations professor Ilter Turan from Istanbul Bilgi University.

When asked by Al-Monitor, Turan hinted that Moscow was also satisfied with the political results of the sale.

“Whether Ankara makes these systems operational or not, this purchase has raised doubts about Turkey’s commitment to [NATO] and sowed the seeds of discord within the alliance, ”Turan said.

Analysts believe Erdogan is now caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to Russia. His vision of establishing strategic ties with Moscow to replace Ankara’s seriously deteriorated ties with the West has turned out to be a pipe dream.

Ankara has notably discovered over the past three years that disputes with Moscow and Russia over issues such as Syria, Libya, the Caucasus and Ukraine are not only insurmountable but are also sources of potential tensions between the two. countries if they are not managed with care.

It was also a period in which Erdogan had to think more realistically about Ankara’s dependence on the West for a multitude of reasons, the most urgent of which was the deterioration of the Turkish economy. .

The S-400 problem also resulted in the imposition of US sanctions on Turkey under the Counting America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

Erdogan’s meeting with President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the recent NATO summit in Brussels also underscored his need to improve Turkey’s relations with the United States.

These links have seriously declined in recent years on a number of issues. Subject S-400 is just one of them.

Erdogan’s offer to Biden to help Washington emerge from its debacle in Afghanistan was also viewed in this light by seasoned diplomats.

Responding to persistent calls from Washington, especially Congress, for Turkey to change its stance on the S-400s, Erdogan nevertheless stressed before meeting with Biden that Turkey’s stance on this issue would not change.

Erdogan’s political position in his country has been weakened due to the mismanagement of his administration on many levels, so he cannot afford to be seen as backtracking on such a controversial issue.

He knows this would fuel the opposition’s claim that its foreign policy choices have been disastrous for Turkey.

Many argue that Erdogan found himself in a trap of his own accord with the S-400 issue by handing Russia a card it can use to try to influence Turkey’s decisions.

Moscow is closely monitoring Erdogan’s efforts to reach out to the West for economic support and assistance against a new influx of refugees, this time from Afghanistan.

“Making such a statement at a time when Turkey is trying to improve its relations with the United States could be an attempt to hinder this process,” Turan said, referring to the remarks of the CEO of Rosoboronexport.

The Russian side has also made it known through various channels that it is generally unhappy with Turkey’s positions on regional conflicts ranging from Syria and Libya to Ukraine and the Caucasus.

Amberin Zaman of Al-Monitor highlighted Moscow’s latest rebuke against Turkey regarding Ukraine and Crimea.

Turkey’s critical aid to Azerbaijan in the fight against Armenia’s Nagorno-Karabakh also ruffled the feathers in Moscow.

Russia is doubly sensitive to this issue because Turkey is providing the Ukrainian army with the same drones that it supplied to the Azeri armed forces with great efficiency.

The idea once much touted by Erdogan and his supporters that Turkey and Russia could forge strong ties with the goal of jointly opposing the West has turned out to be the mistake it always has been.

Realizing this at a time when it faces serious problems on all sides, Ankara is trying to regain its place in the Western alliance.

The need for Turkish support – especially in Afghanistan now – also ensures that the United States and Europe are keen to continue to cooperate with Turkey on a host of practical matters.

Foreign policy analyst Barcin Yinanc noted that in recent conversations with European leaders, Erdogan reiterated Ankara’s desire to join the “Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO)” program related to security and defense policy. of the European Union.

“Turkey’s desire to join [PESCO] shows that if he wants to prevent NATO from losing its forces, it does not want to be excluded either [Western] structures other than NATO, ”Yinanc wrote in his column for the T24 news portal.

Turan recalled that Turkey had actively participated in recent NATO exercises and had posed no problems for NATO ships using the Montreux Treaty to access the Black Sea for military maneuvers.

“Turkey is taking steps to balance the ties it is developing with Russia. Turkey and Russia continue to cooperate but at the same time they try to counterbalance each other’s strength, ”Turan said.

Turan added, however, that Turkey also did not want to close the door on Russia on matters such as the purchase of more S-400s “because it is not known how relations with the West will develop”.

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Autumn 2021: Political forecasts and panorama Fri, 03 Sep 2021 12:41:00 +0000

Anton Rovenskyy, Master in international relations, international political scientist

The season of low political activity, which traditionally falls in August, is over. September is widely regarded as the first month of a new political season, so let’s take a look at its main storylines in a document below.

Federal elections in Germany

In January 2021, Armin Laschet became a leader of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), with the aim of obtaining or, to be more exact, politically inheriting the seat of chancellor after the results of the autumn elections to the Bundestag. While such a scenario was most realistic in January 2021, the events of the following months were definitely a bad surprise for the CDU.

In March 2021, the CDU lost the elections in two western federal territories. At the end of this spring, the Greens occupied the leading position in the electoral race. In the following months, the growing leadership of the Greens appeared unstable and the CDU resumed its positions. However, massive summer flooding in Germany hit the positions of the Merkel party and its potential ancestor hard. Today, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) enjoys the greatest support, with one of its leaders, Olaf Scholz, enjoying much better personal support than Armin Laschet, and being seen as a serious candidate for the seat of Federal Chancellor. In turn, popular support for the CDU is at historic lows.

At the end of her term, Angela Merkel must make monumental efforts to save the CDU’s majority interest in German politics and lead Armin Laschet to the seat of power. However, current social and political trends, as well as the nation’s weariness with “the Merkel course” are definitely working against the CDU, at least for now.

Future developments in Afghanistan

The entry into force of the “Taliban” in Afghanistan should come as no surprise to these experts, who have long followed the Central Asian region. However, many states, especially European ones, which are facing new waves of migrants from Afghanistan, have turned out not to be ready for this. Simultaneously, two blocs are trying to have a strong presence in the economy and logistics of the “post-American” country: China-Pakistan and Turkey-Qatar. Regarding new Afghan migrants to the EU, a group of European politicians stress that the EU needs to deal more closely with Turkey, which set up refugee camps on its territory in 2015-2016, thanks to large donations from the official government of Brussels. Nowadays, such a case is likely to be repeated once more by the Ankara official.

The aftershocks of the fall of pro-American power in Afghanistan will long be heard in the United States and Western Europe. The US federal elections of 2022, the aforementioned autumn federal elections in Germany, the election campaigns in Eastern European countries: all of these events would be influenced by the situation in Afghanistan, as well as by many other political processes. , economic and social in the world.

Political unrest in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Christian Schmidt, CDU member and former member of the Merkel government, became the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina on August 1, 2021. He replaced Valentin Inzko, who has held this post for 12 years. It should be noted that the system of government in Bosnia and Herzegovina is built according to the Dayton Accords of 1995, which means that the High Representative has extremely wide powers, being the last instance in the decision-making process (including the right of veto on the decisions of the Bosnian legislative bodies).

As the UN Security Council did not approve the change of high representative, the Serbian part of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Republika Srpska), as well as Russia and China, do not recognize the full powers by Schmidt. With such a decision, the conflict between the Serbian part of Bosnia and the High Representative, provoked by a number of decisions of the Parliament of Republika Srpska and the Office of the former High Representative Valentin Inzko regarding the policy of remembrance, intensified.

For several years, the most radical part of the national elites of Republika Srpska have spoken of a possible secession from Bosnia, while their equally radical opponents of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Croatian Muslim Federation) have advocated the abolition of the Republika Srpska and the transformation of Bosnia into a unitary state. The chances that such scenarios will materialize are low at the moment, however, if the slow confrontation continues and the socio-economic situation in Bosnia continues to deteriorate, local elites could be seriously tempted to turn social discontent into confrontation. ethnic. Probably, in this case, the structures of the EU should have a say, for example by clearly stating the prospects for European integration of Bosnia, which will help to alleviate the national contradictions in the country.

Czech parliamentary elections

“Czech Trump”, the nickname of outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babis in the 2017 election, who is also the founder of the populist ANO party, has a relatively high chance of remaining as head of government. According to polls, ANO scores barely drop below 30%.

However, the Brussels official is not in favor of a possible future post of Prime Minister of Babis. First, the European Commission had previously acknowledged that Babis was in a conflict of interest due to its control over the company, the transnational holding company Agrofert, which in turn received grants from EU structural funds. The case was referred to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, which has been operating in Luxembourg since June 1, 2021. Second, the Czech Republic under the Babis regime sabotaged a number of European initiatives, mainly related to migration issues, by strengthening the cooperation with partners from Poland and Hungary, known for their critical attitude towards the EU.

For these reasons, the political future of Babis and his ANO party is not as bright as it appears from recent polls.

Protest activities in the Baltic States

In the summer of 2021, a wave of popular protests in Lithuania and Latvia involved several thousand people, which is a significant event for the Baltic States. The last time these countries faced such protests was during the 2008-09 global economic crisis. The Baltic States have been among the hardest hit by the collapse of world markets among EU member states, which has resulted in a noticeable reduction in social guarantees and an increase in the tax burden.

The current summer protests have been triggered by severe anti-COVID-19 restrictions and the worsening socio-economic situation caused by both the pandemic and reduced opportunities for labor migration to Europe Western (including post-Brexit UK). In Lithuania, the protests further fueled the confrontation between political factions oriented towards the incumbent president and the “old” political power, as well as the migration crisis associated with the infiltration of thousands of Middle Eastern immigrants from the Belarusian border. .

While the reasons for the protests are not excluded, there is no doubt that public unrest will accelerate this fall. So far, authorities in the Baltic states have used interdiction measures in an attempt to stop protest activity. Thus, according to the recommendations of the Lithuanian State Security Department, a gathering of 15,000 people in Vilnius, scheduled for September 10, was also banned.

What is different is that the political class of the Baltic States is quite homogeneous, and even in the event of the coming to power of opposition forces as a result of street actions and parliamentary crises, domestic policies and foreigner from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia will only undergo cosmetic changes. And the objective reduction of the resource base does not allow talking about the possibility of a significant growth in social norms.

Re-elections in Bulgaria

The current political crisis in Bulgaria will spread: the parties show no capacity to form a government following two general elections, which were held respectively in the spring and summer of the current year. For now, the nation is on the eve of the third parliamentary elections of the year, which could be held at the same time as the presidential elections of November 2021. Bulgaria’s political field may be significantly reformatted this fall, while the structures of the EU are interested in it. by downplaying the conditionally pro-Russian tilt of Bulgarian politics following the elections. Recall that the Bulgarian President-elect Rumen Radev was considered a friend of Moscow, which was a surprise given the events of 2014, when the Sofia official blocked the “South Stream” energy project, important for the Russian Federation. Russia.

One of the current intrigues is the future position of former Bulgarian Prime Minister in 2009-2021 Boyko Borissov, who has come under heavy criticism from the EU because of autocratic methods of government. In addition, it is worth pointing out the question of the development of relations between Bulgaria, the EU and North Macedonia in view of the latter’s European integration and the position of the official ethnic and cultural policy of Sofia. and North Macedonia.

It is also worth highlighting the new anti-COVID-2019 restrictions, which come into effect on September 7, 2021. Bulgaria is the least vaccinated nation in the EU, and the new wave of restrictions will certainly influence the country’s political processes. in the coming months. .

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For these Marines, a constant rush to zero hours to save stranded Americans Thu, 02 Sep 2021 18:28:00 +0000

For in recent weeks, Lt. Col. Jonathon Myers, a retired Marine Intelligence Officer, has led an insomniac and exhaustive effort to bring U.S. citizens and green card holders in contact with Marines in Afghanistan out of the countries before the August 31 withdrawal deadline.

On Monday afternoon, that mission went from terrible and dangerous to clandestine for the hundreds of American citizens and the thousands of green card holders and journalists stranded when the last military plane left Kabul airport.

“The situation as of Monday is heartbreaking,” Myers said. The Virginia native was part of the US response to the terrorist attacks in Benghazi and the rescue of Captain Scott O’Grady from Bosnia.

Myers’ last posting before his retirement last year was as an intelligence officer under the direction of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley.

Myers worked with two other retired Marines, Katy Garroway from Maryland and Rico Reyes from Texas. In the past 12 dark hours in Kabul, no matter what military leaders or President Joe Biden have said, no American who reached the airport has been able to get out, Myers said.

“In the past 12 hours, I have had four US citizen buses outside the door,” he said. “They were mostly pregnant women and babies, including a child with spina bifida, all piled up waiting at the door.”

Myers said his team paid the Taliban with a large bribe to allow their buses to pass. “They got to the gate, and there was an aid organization that was supposed to meet us with representatives, with the lists, and tell the Taliban to wait for them.”

The humanitarian organization did not show up.

“Me, in panic mode, I called and called and called all my marine networks, got the number of one of the main commanders there, I explained the situation and we had a fight when he told me that the Taliban were making the calls. down here, ”Myers said.

They never went out.

No American has been able to get out on the last five jets to leave Afghanistan, as General Frank McKenzie, head of the US central command, confirmed on Tuesday. He said the Americans had desperately tried to get to Kabul airport for the latest evacuations, but failed.

Myers spoke to Germany’s Washington Examiner after Biden proclaimed the withdrawal “an extraordinary success.”

He says what happened in the last few days in Afghanistan does not look like any type of success. Based on what he saw, he doesn’t believe Biden’s claim that 90% of people who wanted to leave did so.

On Wednesday, NBC News reported that of the 120,000 people Biden claimed to have evacuated, only about 8,500 of those who left Afghanistan were Afghans, according to early figures. This is a small number compared to the tens of thousands of Afghans who worked for the US government and applied for special US visas. In that same report, advocacy groups told NBC that when you combine the number of Afghans who worked with the U.S. government with their family members, you look at over 70,000 people, most of whom are now in the United States. hands of the Taliban.

Myers said he started this effort after he started receiving messages from fellow Marines asking if anyone knew how to help the interpreters who had helped them. “At the same time, I received messages from a friend of mine who was at Transcom, which is the organization that manages all planes for the military. He said, ‘Hey, Jon, if you start hearing about Navy interpreters, call me, because I’m working on these planes going over there.’ “

Myers said he took it upon himself to start hunting down the performers because there was clearly no plan to get them out. “The State Department does not follow our allies and our interpreters, and the Marine Corps does not follow them. Basically, I was providing all these names to the Marines over there in Kabul, ”he explained.

Myers brought in a friend of his, Garroway, a former Navy sergeant, and another friend of his, Reyes, a former Navy major and lawyer in Texas, and they started collecting names of people to go out. . “I know there is a lot of effort going on, but ours was a little different as it turned out that we were well connected with the task force that was carrying out the mission.”

Myers said what increasingly frustrated them in the weeks and days leading up to the final evacuation is that the US government has repeatedly said that anyone can get out if they wanted it with the procedures in place. “But the point is, we couldn’t get anyone through that wall. We couldn’t get anyone through the wall, ”he repeats with frustration.

“I even resorted to sending American citizens to a certain location. Then I would send them an aerial photo of where they needed to be to meet our network of Marines.

He told a desperate 17-year-old boy to wear a white shirt with a pink bandana. “So he went to that place and he stood there. And then I coordinated with the Marines inside the wire. When they saw him he ran and jumped into the sewage channel, full of excrement, swam across it, ran, showed his passport and they shot him over the top. wall, ”he explained.

“He was an American citizen. This is how desperate we were to get people over the wall.

It has been several days since he slept and exhaustion, he says, is starting to wear him down. “When Katie, Rico and I started doing this, we just thought it would be the right thing to do,” he said.

But the weight of not getting someone, anybody out is overwhelming for them. “Telling people, ‘I can’t help you save your family’ wasn’t something I had planned. But go through spreadsheets and say this family can live because they have four members and I have four seats, but this family cannot because they have five members and I don’t have enough seats… ”he said, his voice dropping.

“We shouldn’t be doing this. We shouldn’t be the ones to do it. It should have been taken care of by the government. I literally tell people that their families are going to die because I have no room for them.

The operation has gone underground since the US military abandoned thousands of US citizens, green card holders and journalists to the Taliban.

The Myers team is always working to ‘get people out’; he just doesn’t discuss the details.

The regular and intelligence officer, who has spent three decades at the epicenter of the action, is furious not only at Biden, but also at the very military man he served honorably for nearly three decades.

Myers says when people make comparisons to Vietnam and the failures there, he argues that what happened in Afghanistan is on a whole new level of indifference and neglect of duty.

He is also rigid with anger at the lies of White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said the administration was not leaving any Americans stranded in Afghanistan. “They were lying. So many times over the past week I have seen people lie. I literally have stranded Americans calling me and begging me all day and night, and emailing me saying, “We’re stuck.” We have blue passports. We have been stuck here. The Taliban are shooting at us, ”he said.

“I sent an American family in the middle of the night on the phone, leading them through town, because I had heard that maybe they could get in through that one entrance. And the Taliban started shooting them with automatic weapons, and they were hiding under the cars, ”he explains.

“It was four blue passports with children,” he said solemnly.

Myers says his distaste for senior military personnel stems from the way the ideals of the political class have infiltrated our national security apparatus. “Important national security decisions that affect our lives and our troops are now hyper-politicized. There has always been some political influence, but they are hyper-politicized, ”he said.

Myers said he and his team shifted their mission to get out any U.S. citizens they could get out because the State Department didn’t care. “I pulled 20 today,” he explained.

As we speak, Myers says he has US citizens messaging him, begging him for help. He adds that his issue, along with the numbers of his partners, circulated widely among U.S. citizens and left-behind performers, starting before the deadline and continuing after the U.S. military leaves.

“I have this American with an American passport who has been hiding for a week and a half, terrified, who has never been contacted by the State Department,” he said.

Myers explains that they took her on a bus to another place where they can try to steal people.

“I don’t know how successful we will be up there, because I guess the Taliban will decide to stop us from flying at some point.”

Washington Examiner Videos

Key words: Afghanistan

Original author: Salena zito

Original location: For these Marines, a constant rush to zero hours to save stranded Americans

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VAT refund to foreign legal entities – Tax Thu, 02 Sep 2021 09:01:13 +0000

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Refund of VAT to foreign legal persons

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Foreign citizens or legal persons who have purchased certain goods or services in Bosnia and Herzegovina are legally entitled to a VAT refund for such goods or services provided certain conditions are met.

According to the law on VAT reimbursement, the terms and conditions for exercising the rights of foreign legal persons in matters of declarations were insufficiently defined. With the entry into force of the Regulation on the Application of the Law on Value Added Tax (“Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina”, No. 44/20) this has changed.

Legal persons registered abroad are entitled to a refund of VAT when the following conditions apply:

  • A foreign legal person must be registered as subject to VAT in the country where it has established its activity
  • A foreign legal person is not registered and has no obligation to register for VAT in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • It does not have a permanent residence, business unit or other form of business in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • A foreign legal person must appoint a VAT taxable person registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina, representative to the ITA for the purpose of exercising the right to VAT refund.
  • A foreign legal entity must be previously registered in the ITA records and have a registration number for the purpose of return
  • The VAT refund can only be claimed for purchases for which (if it was a domestic taxpayer operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina) there would be a right to deduct input tax
  • A foreign legal person must have original copies of invoices for the purchase of goods and services in Bosnia and Herzegovina, issued in accordance with Article 55 of the Law.

The request for VAT refund must be submitted by the legal person no later than June 30e of the current year for any contract of the previous year, and it cannot be submitted for a period of less than three months and more than 12 months during a calendar year.

Regarding reimbursements, the minimum amount to be reimbursed is 800.00 BAM, except in cases where the request is made for the entire calendar year. In this case, a lower amount of VAT refund can be made, but not lower than 100.00 BAM.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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