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Kind Of Cold War, China-Australia Deal, NBA Champs

Kind Of Cold War, China-Australia Deal, NBA Champs


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he was "concerned" and warned of a return "to a kind of Cold War status" after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the addition of more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to Russia's nuclear arsenal. These new missiles will be "capable of overcoming any, even the most technically sophisticated, missile defense systems," The Washington Post quotes Putin as saying. The Russian leader's announcement came after the Pentagon confirmed it was seeking to place heavy weaponry closer to Russia, in NATO states of Eastern Europe and the Baltics.


Airstrikes from the Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Muslim states have expanded to a western Yemen province for the first time, with more strikes across the country and on the capital Sanaa, despite ongoing peace talks in Geneva, Reuters reports. The negotiations in Geneva between the exiled government and Houthi rebels have made little, if any, progress so far and it's unclear whether they will continue next week with the start of Ramadan. Yesterday, the Houthi delegation accused the government of trying to use the UN as a "tool," saying that it was "seeking to hamper any serious ... outcomes that could resolve the country's political situation." Read more from Al Jazeera.


Cathy Come Home, The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Riff-Raff … Can you name the British director who was born on this day, 79 years ago? This, and more, thanks to your 57-second shot of history.


Australia and its largest trading partner China have signed a free-trade deal that Beijing described as its "most liberal" yet. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott hailed the agreement as "history-making," saying it would "change our countries for the better, it will change our region for the better ... change our world for the better." According to Australia's ABC, tariffs will be lifted on 95% of Australian exports to China. Xinhua meanwhile highlights that the deal will make Chinese investments in Australia easier.


"I'm certain future historians will recognise that little Greece, with its little power, is today fighting a battle beyond its capacity not just on its own behalf but on behalf of the people of Europe," a defiant Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told legislators during a televised address on Tuesday. The leftist leader accused Athens' international creditors of wanting to "humiliate" Greece with more pensions cuts and tax hikes that would affect the poor. What is being billed as a last-chance meeting of eurozone ministers is due to take place tomorrow.


Hong Kong government members and lawmakers have started a three-day debate on a blueprint for the election of the city's next leader in 2017, South China Morning Post reports. The move, described as an "historic moment," will give citizens the right to elect their leader for the first time but critics lament that Beijing wants to cherry-pick the candidates, a decision that sparked the "umbrella protests" of last year. Both supporters and opponents to the reform package are demonstrating.


Photo: Nancy Kaszerman/ZUMA

Two days after Jeb Bush, real estate mogul Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he would seek the Republican nomination for the 2016 U.S. presidency. Speaking from Trump Tower in New York, Trump said, "Sadly the American dream is dead — but if I get elected president, I will bring it back, bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again."


Hamas, the Islamist group that governs Gaza, is now facing a challenge from Islamic State insurgents and growing disenchantment with its leadership, Piotr Smolar writes for Le Monde: "The leaders of Hamas recognize this prospect: Over the past several months, Israel has loosened its grip, letting more material and people circulate. The drip is keeping the patient in a stable state of survival. But Hamas has other worries, including talks over national reconciliation with their Palestinian Authority counterparts in the West Bank, which have been frozen, as all sides appear unwilling to give ground."

Read the full article, ISIS And Corruption Undermine Hamas Rule In Gaza.


Japanese lawmakers have lowered the country's voting age from 20 to 18, a move aimed at boosting political participation in younger people, news agency Kyodo reports. But despite adding 2.4 million to the electorate, the move is unlikely to dent the "silver" vote's dominance in one of Asia's most-rapidly aging countries.


As many as 2.1 million lives could be saved every year if every country on the planet brought their pollution levels within those recommended by the World Health Organization, a recent study found. Read more from AP.



The worst drought in 100 years is hitting North Korea hard and is dramatically affecting rice-growing provinces, raising fears of food shortages in a country where million already suffer from malnutrition, state news agency KCNA reports. Find out more about the five most alarming droughts around the world in our Take 5 feature.


The Golden State Warriors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 in Game 6 of the finals to claim their first championship in 40 years.

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How A Xi Jinping Dinner In San Francisco May Have Sealed Mastercard's Arrival In China

The credit giant becomes only the second player after American Express to be allowed to set up a bank card-clearing RMB operation in mainland China.

Photo of a hand holding a phone displaying an Union Pay logo, with a Mastercard VISA logo in the background of the photo.

Mastercard has just been granted a bank card clearing license in China.

Liu Qianshan


It appears that one of the biggest beneficiaries from Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to San Francisco was Mastercard.

The U.S. credit card giant has since secured eagerly anticipated approval to expand in China's massive financial sector, having finally obtained long sought approval from China's central bank and financial regulatory authorities to initiate a bank card business in China through its joint venture with its new Chinese partner.

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Through a joint venture in China between Mastercard and China's NetsUnion Clearing Corporation, dubbed Mastercard NUCC, it has officially entered mainland China as an RMB currency clearing organization. It's only the second foreign business of its kind to do so following American Express in 2020.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the development is linked to Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting on Nov. 15 with U.S. President Joe Biden in San Francisco, part of a two-day visit that also included dinner that Xi had with U.S. business executives.

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