News Headlines - 04 February 2019

China’s BRI is facing resistance in region, says ministry report | Hindustan Times

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a connectivity project linked to Chinese president Xi Jinping, is facing a “push back”, especially in India’s immediate neighbourhood, according to a study by the Union ministry of external affairs (MEA), at a time when Beijing is getting ready to hold the 2nd Belt and Road forum meeting this April.
Launched five years ago, BRI is spread over 80 countries across Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, and the Arctic, with an apparent aim to re-energise trade through investments in ports and power plants. The project, billed at about $900 billion, will enhance China’s influence and is seen as a key to its global ambitions.

Faulty job data blasted in latest Japanese scandal - The Straits Times

Japan's Labour Ministry has drawn flak after it was found to have released faulty job data for years, in what the opposition has slammed as a ruse to burnish the sheen of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policies... Revised figures, showing that real wages dropped by an average of about 0.5 per cent year on year in the 11 months to November, are expected to be presented to Parliament this week. This is worse than the average 0.05 per cent decrease announced previously.

Brexit: What are the new ideas for the Irish backstop? - BBC News

The backstop is an insurance policy - designed to avoid a hard border "under all circumstances" between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
If the UK leaves the customs union and the single market that could mean goods would have to be checked as they crossed the frontier.
The UK and EU would instead like to keep the border frictionless through a comprehensive trade deal.
If such an agreement could not be reached, then to avoid those checks with customs posts or other infrastructure, the backstop would come into force. It would keep the UK in a "single customs territory" with the EU, and leave Northern Ireland in the EU's single market for goods.
Many MPs fear the UK could be "trapped" in that arrangement for years, leaving it unable to strike its own trade deals on goods with the rest of the world.
The prime minister's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) allies also do not want to see Northern Ireland treated differently from the rest of the UK.

Assaults on rail staff caught on camera - BBC News

Rail staff are being issued with body-worn cameras in a bid to cut the amount of abuse they're having to face.
The cameras can record an incident and be used as evidence against the attacker. Some staff say they've switched jobs after being attacked, which they describe as "part of daily life".

Super Bowl ratings still super, but drop for Rams-Patriots snoozer - CNN

Super Bowl LIII averaged 100.7 million viewers across several channels and streaming outlets, according to CBS.
The overall viewership was the lowest total for a Super Bowl match-up since 2009... The last time CBS televised the Super Bowl, in 2016, the game averaged almost 112 million viewers on TV. In 2017, viewership held steady around 111 million. In 2018, it dropped to 103.4 million viewers on TV.








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