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Geopolitics

Syria Denies New Massacre Claims

Worldcrunch

AP, BBC NEWS

DAMASCUS - Damascus denies reports of new mass killings in Syria's central Hama region as pressure continues to build on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Syria discarded as "absolutely baseless' claims by opposition groups about a new massacre in which government forces allegedly killed some 100 people, AP reports.

The reports of fresh violence come a day after 55 countries agreed to beef up economic sanctions against Assad. UK Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the "brutal and sickening" killing of civilians and urged for concerted international action, according to BBC News.

Many countries have sent Syria's ambassadors packing in recent days, protesting against the massacre last week in Houla that killed more than 100, including children and women gunned down in their homes.

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Economy

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

-Analysis-

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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