British court gives Nigeria more time to fight $10bn payment to Irish company

Nigeria’s government was granted more time by a London judge to challenge an arbitration award worth around $10bn (€8.4bn), more than a quarter of the country’s foreign reserves. Judge Ross Cranston said in a yesterday’s judgment granting extra time that Nigeria had established a “strong prima facie case of fraud”. The ruling allows the West African nation to continue to seek to overturn the penalty on the grounds that Process & Industrial Developments Ltd obtained a gas-supply contract a decade ago and the favourable arbitration decision through fraud. Last year,…

Read More

Rouhani urges Iranians to respect health protocols as coronavirus curbs ease

President Hassan Rouhani urged Iranians to respect health protocols to guard against the new coronavirus as “low-risk” economic activities resumed in most of the country on Saturday, state news agency IRNA reported.  So-called low-risk businesses will resume across the country from Saturday with the exception of the capital Tehran, where they will restart from April 18. Iran is the Middle Eastern country worst-affected by the highly infectious COVID-19 respiratory disease.  “Easing restrictions does not mean ignoring health protocols … social distancing and other health protocols should be respected seriously by…

Read More

China must step up on African debt relief amid coronavirus pandemic

China must do more to help ease the debt burden of African countries facing economic calamity from the coronavirus pandemic, Ghana’s finance minister said. Africa accounts for just a fraction of global cases of the disease, but the continent’s economies are expected to contract, putting about 20 million jobs at risk. “My feeling is that China has to come on stronger,” Ken Ofori-Atta said during a conversation on Monday with Masood Ahmed, president of the Washington-based Center for Global Development. “African debt to China is $145 billion or so, over $8 billion…

Read More

As coronavirus sparks anti-Chinese racism, xenophobia rises in China itself

As people of Asian descent face xenophobic attacks worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, foreigners in China are also increasingly reporting incidents of hostility and discrimination. Key points: A comic posted to the popular social media platform Weibo last week, entitled An Illustrated Handbook on How to Sort Foreign Garbage, depicted foreigners being thrown into waste bins and disinfected by people in hazmat suits for supposedly breaching China’s strict lockdown restrictions. One vignette depicts a dark-skinned man in a rubbish bin, with a caption reading: “I was invited here, and…

Read More

Mexico president shifts tone on coronavirus; states seek restrictions

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador is taking a more serious stance in his approach to the coronavirus pandemic, asking Mexicans to stay home, but only after several weeks of intense criticism as he continued to dismiss recommendations by public health experts to curb the spread of the virus. “This is a passing crisis, we will move forward,” he told reporters on Friday during his televised daily briefing. “It’s a bad moment, we will recover, we will be safe and sound, the economy will reactivate, and the trust, the joy, the happiness for our people will…

Read More