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World Awaits US Federal Reserve’s Decision on “Soft Landing” .



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The U.S. Federal Reserve, which hopes to ease inflation again without triggering an economic contraction, is expected to approve a substantial increase in key interest rates on Wednesday, but balancing the two approaches will be a delicate process.

“They want to try to achieve what they call a ‘soft landing’ by trying to avoid inflation,” Julie Smith, an economics professor at Lafayette University in Eaton, Pennsylvania, told AFP.

He added, “The question is whether they can achieve this. That is a difficult question to answer at this stage.”

The US Federal Reserve’s monetary policy committee will hold a meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday to approve a new hike in interest rates, which currently range from 1.50% to 1.75%.

However, this deliberate slowdown of economic activity should not be severe enough to reflect negatively on the economy, especially on the labor market.

Former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Cohn told AFP in an interview that a “minor contraction” with unemployment above the 3.7% expected by the US central bank for 2022 “is necessary to break this inflationary spiral”.

“But the uncertainty is huge,” he added.

There appears to be consensus on the assumption of a three-quarter point increase (75 basis points), which is equivalent to the increase approved at the committee’s last meeting in mid-June and the highest since 1994.

But Julie Smith said, “I think they’re going to raise rates by 75 basis points, but the Fed could still surprise us (by another percentage point).

A member of the Reserve Board of Governors, Christopher Waller, recently indicated the possibility of a one-point (100 basis point) increase, which would be unprecedented since the 1980s, when Fed Chairman Paul Volcker faced inflation above 10%.

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Smith believed that the monetary committee members would “probably discuss” this hypothesis “because the inflation numbers in the US are so bad”.

But he opined that “other indicators (..) indicate that earlier increases in interest rates may have had an effect, at least in reducing demand in the housing market.”

In fact, the real estate market has fallen sharply due to exorbitant property prices and rising interest rates.

However, employees are receiving thousands of offers for jobs that cannot be filled, and consumption is high despite high sales volume due to the inflation rate.

“Recent economic data supports an interest rate of 75 basis points, although a 100 basis point increase could be considered,” explained Cathy Postianic, chief economist at Oxford Economics, in a note.

He believed that strength in the labor market and consumption provided the Federal Reserve with the “necessary maneuver to continue raising the key interest rate.”

It warned that the probability of a successful “soft landing” is diminishing with the “increasing probability of inflation”.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently emphasized the need for “capacity and opportunity” to achieve this, arguing that the US economy is strong enough to avoid deflation.

As prices of food, housing, cars and other goods continue to rise in the US, the Federal Reserve has been gradually raising its key interest rates since March.

The move is aimed at making loans more expensive for households and firms in an effort to curb consumption, easing pressure on prices in light of inflation continuing to rise to 9.1% annualized rate in June.

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On the other side of the Atlantic, inflation spurred the European Central Bank to raise interest rates, ending an era on Thursday by agreeing to a faster-than-expected half-point increase for the first time in more than a decade. Negative ratios.

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Only since the beginning of this year… has the UN been concerned about migrants trying to cross the “death trap”.



Only since the beginning of this year… has the UN been concerned about migrants trying to cross the “death trap”.

More than 2,500 migrants have died or gone missing trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe since the start of 2023, an official from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced on Thursday.

“As of September 24, more than 2,500 people are dead or missing,” said Rubin Menegtivela, director of the UNHCR office in New York, during a Security Council meeting dedicated to the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. That represents a nearly 50 percent increase compared to “1,680” people during the same period in 2022.

“Without public opinion, lives are being lost on the ground,” he asserted.

He pointed out that “the journey to West or East Africa and the Horn of Africa and Libya and the starting points on the coast is one of the most dangerous journeys in the world.”

He added, “Refugees and migrants traveling overland from sub-Saharan Africa face the risk of death and serious human rights violations at every step.”

According to statistics announced by Ruffin Minisdiola, between the beginning of the year and September 24, 2023, a total of 186,000 migrants arrived in Southern Europe (Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Malta), including 130,000 for Italy, “an increase of 83 percent compared to the same period in 2022.

In terms of countries of departure, between the beginning of the year and August 2023, more than 102,000 migrants tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea from Tunisia, and 45,000 from Libya.

Of this number, 31,000 were rescued at sea or intercepted and disembarked in Tunisia, and 10,600 are in Libya.

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Referring to the recent influx of large numbers of migrants to the Italian island of Lampedusa, the official stressed that “Italy cannot respond alone to the needs” of these migrants.

UN refugee agency to “establish a regional mechanism for the evacuation and redistribution” of migrants arriving by sea. Menaktivela reiterated the High Commissioner’s call, which raises disagreements among EU member states.

For his part, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzia, who requested the meeting, denounced the EU for its role in the “death trap” in the Mediterranean.

The ambassador said: “We have the impression that the European Union is waging an undeclared war against migrants because they have no other, safe route.”

“The European Union only cares about the migration issue when it comes to Ukrainians,” Nebenzia added, expressing her regret that other migrants do not enjoy “the same level of solidarity”.

As for French Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere, referring to Russian contributions to UNHCR’s budget, he said, “Russia is not, as always, when it comes to responding decisively to humanitarian crises.”

He added, “Wagner’s presence in the Sahel region contributes to the instability of the region, which fuels terrorism and leads to the migration of residents.”

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US punishes former Sudanese foreign minister



US punishes former Sudanese foreign minister

On Thursday, the United States imposed sanctions on former Sudanese foreign minister Ali Karti, one of which was based in Russia, and accused him of exacerbating instability in Sudan, where fighting has claimed thousands of lives and displaced millions of civilians. ..

The move is the latest round of sanctions imposed by Washington since fighting broke out in Sudan in mid-April between the military and Rapid Support Forces..

Brian Nelson, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a statement that “the action will be held accountable for those who undermined efforts to find a peaceful and democratic solution in Sudan.”

He added: “We will continue to target those who work to perpetuate this conflict for personal gain.”

The Treasury Department said it targeted Karti, who was foreign minister under former President Omar al-Bashir, noting that Karti became head of the Sudanese Islamic Movement after al-Bashir was ousted in 2019..

Karti has been a prominent figure among the veterans and loyalists of Bashir’s regime since the Sudanese army seized power in 2021 and overthrew the civilian area..

The Treasury Department added: “(Karthi) and other Sudanese militants are actively obstructing efforts to reach a ceasefire to end the current war.”

Also sanctioned was Sudan-based GSK Advance, which the Treasury Department said was used as a procurement vehicle for Rapid Support Forces..

The company is said to be coordinating with Russia-based military supply company Avia Trade, which has been targeted by sanctions, to arrange for the purchase of spare parts and supplies for drones previously purchased by Rapid Support Forces. Training work..

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US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a separate statement that Washington moved this week to impose visa restrictions on people it considers part of efforts to undermine the democratic transition in Sudan..

The new sanctions come after actions taken against the deputy commander of the Rapid Support Forces this month and sanctions imposed by the US in June on companies accused of fueling the conflict..

The measure freezes the assets of targeted individuals in the U.S., generally prevents Americans from doing business with them, and also exposes those who engage in certain transactions with them to economic sanctions..

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70 percent.. comments on the Kremlin’s huge increase in defense spending



70 percent.. comments on the Kremlin’s huge increase in defense spending

The Kremlin said on Thursday that a massive increase in defense spending planned for next year was “absolutely necessary” after a Russian Finance Ministry document released on Thursday said Moscow would increase its defense budget by about 70 percent by 2024. to pour more resources into its war on Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Since we are in a state of hybrid warfare, continuing a special military operation, it is clear that such an escalation is necessary and very necessary,” referring to Moscow’s extensive invasion of Ukraine. , “I refer to the hybrid war launched against us.” “.

Defense spending is expected to increase by more than 68 percent year-on-year to reach 10.8 trillion rubles ($111.15 billion), which is 6 percent of GDP and more than allocated spending. Social policy.

Agence France-Presse calculated that by 2024, defense spending is expected to be three times higher than spending on education, environmental protection and health care.

“The focus of economic policy is shifting from an anti-crisis agenda to promoting national development goals,” the finance ministry said in the document.

The increase in defense spending comes as the central bank warned that economic growth will slow in the second half of 2023, with inflation rising above the bank’s target of 4 percent.

It is a newspaperLe MondeAccording to the working sessions on the budget of the Russian Federation next year, Moscow is working to strengthen its financial resources, as the French previously indicated that next year’s Russian defense budget will reach 107 billion euros (over 112 billion dollars). or 6 percent. in gross domestic product.

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The newspaper described the nearly 70 percent increase as “astounding.”

“War of priority.” 36 Trillion Ruble Budget Exposes Putin’s Plans

Russia plans to increase government spending by more than 25 percent in the next fiscal year over the current year, amid expectations that the Kremlin will raise more money to support an invasion of Ukraine by Kremlin forces, according to a report in the British newspaper “Financial Times.”

The newspaper confirmed that defense spending in the war budget for 2023 was 63 billion euros ($66 billion), or 3.9 percent of Russia’s GDP, while military spending was the same in 2021, based on figures from the Bloomberg agency. 2.7 percent of GDP.

It is a newspaperFinancial TimesA British newspaper reported last week that Russia plans to increase government spending by more than 25 percent in the next fiscal year over the current year.

The 36.6 trillion ruble ($383 billion) budget presented by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin lists “strengthening the country’s defense capabilities” as a top priority, as well as supporting the “unification of new territories” illegally annexed last time from Ukraine. year.

The plans also highlight “social support for the most vulnerable groups,” a sign that the Kremlin wants to boost spending on pensions and social security ahead of presidential elections next March.

According to experts, Vladimir Putin, who has ruled Russia for 24 years as president or prime minister, is trying to win these elections to extend his rule until at least 2030.

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