News Headlines - 21 February 2020

Taliban's 'reduction of violence' deal to start tonight, U.S. says | Fortune

The countdown to the signing of a peace agreement between the Taliban and the United States to end the 18 years of war in Afghanistan will begin on Friday night, when the seven-day “reduction of violence" promised by the Taliban will go into effect, a senior U.S. State Department official said. The deal will be signed on Feb. 29.
The official did not specify the exact hour when the reduction of violence will commence. He spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the deal and its details.
After the seven-day reduction of violence, the long sought-after peace agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban will be signed on Feb. 29 in Doha, Qatar, paving the way for a withdrawal of U.S. troops and intra- Afghan negotiations, the official told The Associated Press.

Aussie court says police raid legal, raising secrecy fears | WTOP

The Australian Federal Court ruled Monday that a police raid last year on the country’s national broadcaster was legal, prompting fears of increasing secrecy in Australia’s institutions.
The Australian Federal Police raided the state-backed Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Sydney headquarters last June over the leaking of classified documents. Dubbed “The Afghan Files,” ABC had reported in 2017 allegations of unlawful killings and misconduct by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.

Coronavirus outbreak to cost airlines almost $30bn - BBC News

Airlines stand to lose $29.3bn (£23.7bn) of revenue this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, the global airline industry body has warned... In total, airlines in the Asia Pacific region are set to see a $27.8bn revenue loss in 2020, while those outside Asia are expected to lose $1.5bn in revenue, IATA has forecast.
Of that figure, IATA predicts that carriers in China are set to lose revenue of $12.8bn in their home market alone.

2 elderly passengers of virus-hit ship die in Japan - The Mainichi

Two elderly Japanese passengers from the Diamond Princess, a coronavirus-hit cruise ship quarantined in Yokohama, have died, the health ministry said Thursday.
The deaths of the 87-year-old man from Kanagawa Prefecture and the 84-year-old woman from Tokyo raised the number of fatalities in Japan of people infected with the COVID-19 virus to three, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said.

IMF calls Argentine debt 'unsustainable,' says bondholders must help resolve crisis - Reuters

The International Monetary Fund warned Argentina’s bondholders on Wednesday that they would likely need to take a hit to help resolve the country’s “unsustainable” debt burden.
The fund, wrapping up a week-long visit to Argentina, said rising public debts meant the country needs a definitive plan to restore debt sustainability, which would require a “meaningful contribution from private creditors.”
Argentina is battling to restructure its debts to avoid defaulting on around $100 billion in loans and bonds - including to the IMF - after a biting recession, high inflation and a market crash pummeled the country last year.







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