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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad addresses the media and members of public organisations and professional associations in Damascus, Syria, on Sunday. Picture: REUTERS/SANA

Russian operation vital for Middle East, says Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says alliance between Russia, Syria, Iraq and Iran must succeed or else region will be destroyed


China eyes market shakeup with crude futures contract

A visitor takes a picture of a scale model of a Chinese oil rig at the China Beijing International High-Tech Expo in May last year. China is targeting more control of international oil markets. File picture: REUTERS/KIM KYUNG-HOON

Analysts warn second-largest oil consumer after US will struggle to compete with more established benchmarks in London and New York

Middle East

MSF leaves Afghan city, calls hospital air strike ‘war crime’

Afghan staff react inside a Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital after an air strike in the city of Kunduz, Afghanistan on Saturday. Picture: REUTERS/MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

Medical charity Doctors Without Borders demands probe by independent international body into US bombing raid on Afghan hospital, which it says killed 22 people


Merkel tops speculation on scooping Nobel Peace Prize

German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses the Bundestag on the refugee crisis facing Europe, in Berlin, Germany, on Wednesday. Picture: BLOOMBERG/KRISZTIAN BOCSI

Bild newspaper says German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ‘good chance’ of winning Nobel Peace Prize for her leadership during European migrant crisis


Angry Obama blasts US gun politics

NO SUCCESS: US President Barack Obama during a speech alongside family members of Newtown shooting victims on commonsense measures to reduce gun violence, at the White House in Washington DC on Wednesday. Picture: REUTERS

President Barack Obama says US has made ‘political choice’ to allow mass shootings like one in Oregon to occur, criticises gun lobby group for blocking reforms


Farming is more polluting than driving

German car maker Volkswagen's logo adorns the wall at a northern Virginia dealership in the US on Tuesday. Picture: AFP PHOTO/PAUL J RICHARDS

Volkswagen’s Dieselgate deception raises questions about how realistic US regulator’s definition of pollutant and restrictions really are


STRAIGHT TALK: How to outsmart global bullies

SA remains an attractive capital destination, but we should be wary of those who see us as a takeover target

Cuban and other nations’ flags hang next to each other in a hair stylist’s salon in Havana. The loosening of restrictions on travel and business with the US has Cubans hopeful for an improved economy. Picture: BLOOMBERG/NOAH FRIEDMAN-RUDOVSKY

The quiet man who controls Cuba’s big money

Castro has kept the big-money industries in the hands of the state, and much of it is managed by his son-in-law, writes Michael Smith

Middle East

Suspected US air strike kills at least 19 people at Doctors Without Borders hospital

Afghan staff react inside a Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital after an air strike in the city of Kunduz, Afghanistan on Saturday. Picture: REUTERS/MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS

Medecins Sans Frontieres denies Taliban fighters were firing from its hospital before a suspected US air strike killed at least 19 people in a battle to oust the Islamist insurgents from an Afghan city


Mining industry’s alpha male Ivan Glasenberg tries to save his realm

Glencore Xstrata CEO Ivan Glasenberg. Picture: REUTERS

More than two years after biggest mining deal in history Glencore CE Ivan Glasenberg is reassuring bankers, investors, employees that markets have overreacted


Turkey calls on Russia to stick to Islamic State targets in Syria

The Russian Defence Ministry's official website released video footage purporting to show an airstrike in Syria on Wednesday. Picture: AFP PHOTO/RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY

Turkey and its coalition partners say they fear Russian air strikes that appear to be bolstering the Assad regime will escalate the conflict and fuel extremism


Calls for action from central banks may rise as global economy looks gloomier


Latest business surveys across Asia, Europe and the Americas paint a gloomier picture that may spur more stimulus

Middle East

Iranian troops join Syria war as Russia hits rebels

A military vehicle burns at a base controlled by rebel fighters that was targeted by what activists said were Russian air strikes on Thursday.  Picture: REUTERS

Iran’s move latest step in rapid internationalisation of a civil war in which every major country in the region has a stake

International companies


Apple, Google take top spots on best global brands list

Apple is able to tie different products and activities into comprehensive packages of services. Instead of just producing a personal computer or its operating software, Apple pioneered a vision of delivering the whole package of hardware such as one sees with the iPhone. Picture: REUTERS/CARLO ALLEGRI

For third year, Apple, Google top annual Interbrand Best Global Brands report, with technology industry representing more than one-third of report’s overall value


Glencore jumps most on record in Hong Kong

Picture: REUTERS

Shares surge in trading and mining company after reports it is talking to potential buyers for its agriculture business


No lasting harm from VW, says Merkel

As German car giant Volkswagen manages the fallout from its diesel emissions scandal, incoming chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch has reportedly said he believed the company would overcome the crisis. Picture: AFP PHOTO/PATRIK STOLLARZ.

Reputation of German industry and confidence in Europe’s strongest economy remains intact, says chancellor, as scandal wipes more than 40% off Volkswagen’s market capitalisation

An attendee looks at a display of new Google devices during a Google media event in San Francisco, California. Picture: GETTY IMAGES/JUSTIN SULLIVAN

The ABC of Google’s restructuring

Google’s class A and C shares will automatically convert as Alphabet replaces Google as the publicly traded company and


Investors brace for US third-quarter corporate results

The Great Smoky Mountains are shown in the background of the Alcoa Aluminum plant in Alcoa, Tennessee, in this April 8 2014 file photo.  Picture: REUTERS

Corporate earnings expected to fall 4.1% overall while energy sector results likely to be down as much as 65%


For some fund managers 2015 is looking like 2008


Recent carnage in hedge funds adds to tumultuous year that has included unexpected surge in Swiss franc, rally in European government bonds, devaluation of yuan


Was Glencore panic a blip or warning sign of more pain to come?

Ivan Glasenberg. Picture: REUTERS

Even as commodities trader regains shareholder wealth erased on Monday, few market players can pinpoint why it lost almost one-third of its value in a blink


Facebook is giving profile pages a facelift

Facebook is using new features to lure advertisers in India, where revenue per user lags far behind the US. Picture: REUTERS/RICK WILKING

Changes are aimed at getting ever more video added to social network, nudging people to use profiles as personal, even professional, home base


PIC misused private information, says Resgen

Picture: THE TIMES

Resgen approaches Australian securities watchdog to probe shareholders’ — including PIC's — alleged illegal collective action


VW may sell shares in scam fallout

German car maker Volkswagen's logo adorns the wall at a northern Virginia dealership in the US on Tuesday. Picture: AFP PHOTO/PAUL J RICHARDS

VW looking at ways to cut costs and boost cash flow, could sell more shares if price of clearing up diesel emissions test scandal puts its credit rating at risk


Spotlight on coal in Poland poll

Miners walk out of a lift after finishing their shift around 500m underground at the Boleslaw Smialy coal mine, a unit of coal miner Kompania Weglowa, in Laziska Gorne, Silesia,  Poland. Inscription reads, 'God bless'. Picture: REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL

Coal mining takes centre stage in the campaign for this month’s parliamentary election in Poland


VW board considering steps to prop up credit rating, sources say

Sophisticated, modern and trendy, Volkswagen head office is a prime example of a green-star rated building. The state-of-the-art structure was erected in 2013 and includes eco-conscious features to integrate VW’s environmental strategy. Picture: SUPPLIED

Volkswagen’s supervisory board is considering steps to shore up car maker’s credit rating amid scandal over rigging of emissions tests


VW not alone in feeling ripple effect of VW Dieselgate

The steering wheel of a Volkswagen Passat TDI diesel. Picture: REUTERS

Repercussions of emissions scandal has taken toll on Volkswagen, its stock, European cities, governments as company draws up ‘comprehensive plan’


Moscow bets on local industry to fix economy


Analysts divided on likely success of ‘import substitution’ in face of falling oil price and weak rouble


Indians declare $500m in black money in tax crackdown

Mumbai, India.  Picture: THINKSTOCK

Finance ministry says more than 600 tax evaders made declarations by midnight deadline, when three-month window for unveiling stashes, avoiding prosecution ended


Lagarde warns of global slowdown

International Monetary Fund MD Christine Lagarde speaks on the global economy ahead of the IMF/World bank annual meetings at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC, the US, on Wednesday. Picture: EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

IMF chief says relentless deceleration in developing world will cause global growth to slow this year with only slight uptick in 2016


German factories post solid activity growth in September

Chemical company BASF's factory in Ludwigshafen, Germany, is shown in this February 24 2012 file photo.  Picture: REUTERS

Spurred by strong output from consumer goods producers, , manufacturers keep Germany’s economy on sturdy growth track, PMI shows


Piketty’s hypothesis on inequality deeply flawed


Poor state education, economic regulation and plundered coffers are to blame for divide between rich and poor, writes John Catsicas


Corbyn could be Labour’s humble new saviour

Jeremy Corbyn arrives at an event to decide the leadership of Britain's Labour Party in London, Britain, on Saturday. Picture: REUTERS

Analyst gets it wrong by suggesting that new leader will drag party along a disastrous road to the left

NO ISLAND: While the refugee crisis is being handled by an individual, the IMF is a collaborative institution with more teeth. Picture: EPA/FILIP SINGER

IMF’s strength lies in collaboration

International Monetary Fund is more helpful than harmful and uniquely placed to deal with world crises, writes Ricardo Hausmann


Uber faces new threat in London


Uber Technologies faces fresh threat in Europe after London’s top transport agency proposes stiff new rules for online car-sharing services


Asian slowdown erodes Japanese confidence

A pedestrian is reflected on a share prices board in Tokyo. Picture: AFP

The beleaguered economy’s manufacturers report a sharp drop in confidence in the central bank’s latest Tankan survey, stoking fear of an economic contraction


Global trade growth forecast cut

The Mare Caribicum lies at anchor off Port of Ngqura . Picture: THE HERALD

Nations fail to make progress on key global agreements to boost international trade and growth, says World Trade Organisation


Refugee crises can be solved humanely

Migrants rest at a temporary shelter in a sports hall in Hanau, Germany, on Thursday. Picture: REUTERS/KAI PFAFFENBACH

Europe is waking up to the clear economic and social benefits of helping refugees and migrants


Economics of immigration call for greater inflows

Migrants and asylum seekers board a train near a registration camp after crossing the Macedonian-Greek border on Thursday. Picture: AFP PHOTO/ARMEND NIMANI

Immigrants bring diversity and cultural dynamism, but substantial segregation might naturally emerge


France proposes limiting UN veto


France proposes five permanent members of UN Security Council refrain from exercising their veto in cases of mass atrocities and genocide


Glencore tells investors debt is being cut, trading robust

Picture: REUTERS

Glencore says it is on track to cut debt, shows new data about secretive trading unit in fresh attempt to dispel market worries over finances


More bad economic news sparks fear of hard landing in China

Chinese factory activity it at a more than six-year low and growth in the once-resilient services sector has come close to stalling


Oxfam warns that millions face hunger due to climate change

Picture: Times Media Group

Aid agency says erratic rains linked to record global temperatures, ‘super’ version of El Nino weather pattern will affect people in southern Africa, Central America


Mega-deal slips from Vodafone’s grasp

A customer waits outside the shuttered entrance of a Vodafone store ahead of opening in London. Picture: BLOOMBERG

Home market may be best after Liberty Global talks collapse, writes Amy Thomson

Middle East

Russia launches air strikes to bolster Assad

The Russian Defence Ministry's official website released video footage purporting to show an airstrike in Syria on Wednesday. Picture: AFP PHOTO/RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTRY

Russia’s main goal 'to shore up Assad regime, with attacks on Islamic State to legitimise their approach in Syria', says US official


Fortescue’s cost reductions give it an edge in tough iron-ore climate

Fortescue Metals Group CEO Neville Power speaks at the Mines and Money conference in Hong Kong, China, in March. Picture: BLOOMBERG/JEROME FAVRE

Global metals group with $7.2bn net debt cut its cash costs 21% in financial 2015 and has flexibility to make early repayments


US hotel chains all set to race for Cuba deals in wait for green light

The Habana Libre in Havana was opened in 1958 as the Habana Hilton, then nationalised in 1960. Hilton is among US hotel chains hoping to return to the island. Picture: REUTERS/ALEXANDRE MENEGHINI

Executives test water as Washington relaxes sanctions, write Mike Stone and Mitra Taj

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