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ARABICA: A Quick Shot Of What's Brewing In The Arab World

ARABICA: A Quick Shot Of What's Brewing In The Arab World
Kristen Gillespie

A R A B I C A ارابيكا

Despite a revolution that culminated on February 11, 2011 when President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power, Egypt's unresolved past continues to haunt the present. Deposed dictator Hosni Mubarak returned to court as the prosecution presented its case against him. A group of lawyers have demanded that treason be added to the charges against Mubarak, along with trying the former vice president and head of intelligence, Omar Suleiman.

*Suleiman, one of Mubarak's chief accomplices, has so far escaped any censure for his role in the previous regime. Lawyers also demanded that the head of the ruling military council Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi be tried for perjury and obstruction of justice for testifying that Mubarak had no role in killing 856 protesters during the January 25th revolution.

Libya's Foreign Minister Ashur bin Khayyal announced that the United States, France and other countries in Europe have returned $20 billion in frozen assets.

In his first speech to the nation since last June, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad repeated promises of political reforms and said a referendum on a new constitution would take place in March that will fold the opposition into the government. Assad, as regime members have done since the beginning of the uprising last March, blamed the entire course of events in Syria on an external conspiracy.

*The sideshow of Arab League observers continued to distract from the increased violence against Syrian civilians. The Syrian opposition announced that 22 people were killed across the country on Monday, with a 4-month-old baby in Homs as the youngest victim of the violence.

*Meanwhile, A unidentified commander from the Free Syrian Army told A-Sharq al-Awsat pan-Arab daily that paid thugs, known as shibaha, are selling weapons for army defectors. "We pay them $500 for an RPG and $2,000 for an AK-47," he said. The FSA purchases the weapons with donations from Syrian citizens, he said.

Jan. 11, 2012

photo credit: illustir

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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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