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Syria: Monday Morning Wrap-Up



Here are the latest developments on the Syrian conflict:

→Syrian state-run TV announced Monday morning that Prime Minister Riad Hijab had been sacked, amid rumors that he has defected to Jordan.

#Syria is controlled by security & army apparatus, PM is just a tool, yet his defection is good news indeed.

— Majd Arar (@MajdArar) August 6, 2012

→A bomb targeted Syria's state television and radio headquarters in Damascus Monday morning.

State-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that Omran al-Zoubi, Minister of Information, said that there were no fatal injuries and that employees were safe.

"We know politically speaking who stands behind these terrorist operations and who funds them and who wants to silence the voice of the people's conscience…We know who wants destruction for this country and who wants to block the truth," said al-Zoubi.

Al-Zoubi has insisted that the pro-government television networks will continue to operate. A pro-government TV station, Al-Ikhrabiya, published a video showing workers inspecting the material damage in the third floor of the broadcasting center.

Al Arabiya published a video Saturday showing Syrian rebels who have kidnapped 48 Iranians, who they report are members of Iran"s Revolutionary Guard.

In the video, Free Syrian Army fighters announce that the men captured in Damascus were on a reconnaissance mission in the capital, whilst Iran's Fars News Agency has insisted that the Iranian captives are pilgrims.

→Tensions are high in Aleppo as 20,000 Syrian military troops are said to be preparing for an offensive on the country's largest city, the BBC reports.

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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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