NDB Obtains AAA Rating From Japan Credit Rating Agency

The New Development Bank was assigned ‘AAA’ foreign currency long-term issuer rating with a stable outlook by Japan Credit Rating Agency, Ltd (JCR).

In its press release, JCR stated that NDB’s ‘AAA’ rating is based on its appraisal of the strong support for the Bank’s operations by the member countries, the NDB’s solid capital base and conservative risk management framework to ensure financial soundness, and the preferred creditor status enjoyed by the Bank.

“BRICS is facing enormous financial requirements in the infrastructure development and sustainable growth, and governments have clarified their policy of utilizing the NDB as the core institution for mobilizing resources in these fields. Capital payments from the five founding member countries have also made steady progress in creating a robust financial structure, and the NDB is expected to maintain a sound financial structure through conservative risk management even when its loans expand further in volume,” explained JCR in the press release.

“JCR believes that the NDB will adequately fulfill its role as an MDB set up for emerging countries by emerging countries,” stated the rating agency.
“The AAA international rating is a significant milestone for the Bank that is fully owned and led by developing countries. The AAA rating from JCR combined with the AA+ from S&P and Fitch respectively reflects the strong credit quality of the Bank. Given its international credit ratings, NDB is well positioned to raise capital at competitive rates through the bond markets and ensure competitive loan pricing to our clients,” said Mr. Leslie Maasdorp, NDB VP & CFO.

The document entitled “JCR Assigned AAA Rating to New Development Bank with Stable Outlook”, dated August 20, 2019 is entirely the copyright of, and is reproduced with the permission of JCR.

The Growing Tech Cold War between the US and China

The Trade war between the US and China has spilled over in to the tech industry, with the US claiming that China’s advancement in 5G technology is a national security threat which resulting the banning of Chinese tech company Huawei.

The ban which prevents Huawei from accessing US made Hardware and Software services could lead to China build those previously outsourced products internally. This would lead to a possible global split in tech hardware, software and general compatibility.

For example the Huawei won’t be able to use the smartphone operating system Android owned by Google as a result of the ban this will lead to many of Huawei’s smartphone users unable to access other Google services like gmail and chrome.

Chinese companies could fill this gap by building out their own hardware and software capabilities, resulting in competition for the dominate US tech companies, this could see consumers forced to pick whether they want the US tech or Chinese tech.

 

By Mokgethi Mtezuka

India launches new satellite to observe Earth

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) launched a new satellite yesterday –  Radar Imaging Satellite-2B (RISAT-2B) satellite took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota and will be the third satellite to join India’s RISAT satellites already in space.

The RISAT satellites will observe earth and India’s weather patterns, a first of its kind for the country. India also plans on launching a new series of satellites in the future, for other task such agriculture conservation and telecommunications. The satellites will also help in disaster relief efforts.

 

Source: www.space.com

Brazil’s former President hands himself to the police

Brazil’s former President Michel Temer has turned himself to the police over corruption charges. This is the second time that Temer will be jailed over allegations that he partook in extensive corruption schemes.

The Brazil former President was arrested in March and over charges of embezzlement and money laundering, he was placed in “Preventative detention” in Brazil’s Capital, Rio de Janeiro.

Temer, 78, turned himself in on Thursday – “on Wednesday, a federal judge ordered the former president to return to jail while he’s investigated in several cases of alleged corruption related to the Car Wash investigation, a far-reaching probe that has roiled Latin America’s largest nation”, reports Aljazeera.

Michel Miguel Elias Temer Lulia is a Brazilian lawyer and politician who served as the 37th President of Brazil from 31 August 2016 to 31 December 2018.

 

READ MORE: 100 days of Bolsonaro’s Presidency – wins, struggles & blunders

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

 

South Africa: vote counting still underway

South Africa took to the polls on Wednesday – voting stations across the country closed at 9 pm. All the attention is now on the critical process of counting votes for the National and Provincial Election.

READ MORE:South Africa takes to the polls

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) said the sixth democratic elections had integrity and ran had smoothly. The IEC has been releasing preliminary results; SA ruling party for the past 25 years, the African National Congress (ANC) is taking an early lead as vote counting continues.

The National elections results as on Thursday, 10:29 am – parties in the lead; ANC is leading with 54.85%, followed by the Democratic Alliance (DA) with 26.03%, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) with 8.48%, VF plus 3.12% and Inkata Freedom Party (IFP) 1.69%.

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane 

Cyclone forecasted to hit Mozambique and South Tanzania on Thursday

 

Image Source: EUMETSAT/Bloomberg

 

Another cyclone is expected to hit Mozambique and Southern Tanzania today. Tropical cyclone Kenneth was ranked by Meteo France (French national meteorological service) as an intense tropical cyclone – the cyclone underwent additional strengthening on Wednesday night.

Mozambique has already been hit by another cyclone this year, Intense Tropical Cyclone Idai was one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere. The storm caused damage in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe leaving over 1000 people dead and more than thousands missing.

It is predicted that Kenneth will bring heavy rainfalls, waves and strong winds of up to 140 Kilometres an hour. People living in coastal areas were told by authorities to take precaution and schools were ordered to be closed for today.

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

Russia stops all cooperation with NATO

Photo: NATO

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Alexander Grushko said in an interview that Russia has stopped all association with NATO—North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949.

Related: BRICS VS NATO: The differences and how they compare

NATO suspended military and civilian cooperation with Russia in 2014 over the crisis in Ukraine. Russia, in February 2014 had several military attacks into the Ukrainian territory – after the fall of the then Ukraine President, Viktor Yanukovych—Russian soldiers in the absence of insignias took charge of military positions and took control of infrastructure within the Ukrainian territory of Crimea.

Grushko told the state ran media agency, RIA Novosti news agency that “NATO has itself abandoned a positive agenda in its relations with Russia. It doesn’t exist,” as reported by The Moscow Times.

The interview came a day after US military officers said that the lack of communication between the US and US could lead to a nuclear war by “mistake or miscalculation”. The former permanent Russia NATO representative between the years 2012 and 2018 warned NATO against military conflict with Russia.

Related: Trump to designate Brazil as a “Major Non-NATO ally”

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

Additional reporting: The Moscow Times

 

Remembering Chris Hani| 26 years on

Today marks 26 years (10 April 1993) since the assassination of fierce apartheid opponent, Chris Hani. Born Martin Thembisile Hani, he was a leader of the South African Communist Party and chief of staff of uMkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress.

Hani is remembered as a hero with physical and moral bravery, compassion and the spirit of Ubuntu – humanity.

On this day the ‘popular hero’ as he returned to his home in Dawn Park (Boksburg), Johannesburg he was assassinated by an anti-Communist Polish refugee, Janusz Walus. With him was his daughter Nomakhwezi, who was then 15 – witnessed his death. This in the run-up of South Africa’s first democratic elections. Nomakhwezi died ‘mysteriously’ 7 years after her father’s passing.

The ‘people’s Hani’s’ death was the darkest time in South Africa. People of the Republic till to this day commemorate the anniversary passing Hani annually – the 10th of April is marked by several events in remembrance of struggle steward, Hani.

Here’s how Bricsjournal.com remembered Chris Hani in 2017: [PHOTO ESSAY] Remembering Chris Hani

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is today celebrating the struggle hero and has referred to Hani as the President South Africa never had.

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

100 days of Bolsonaro’s Presidency – wins, struggles & blunders

Elected with 55.1% on October 2018 and officially sworn in as the President of the Republic of Brazil, succeeding Michael Temer, on 1 January 2019—Bolsonaro is a day away from reaching  100 days in office. With 99 days in office, Bolsonaro’s Presidency has had few wins, struggles, and blunders.

The Brazil economy has grown the second year in a row, the country’s trade surplus reached US$ 3,67 billion in February, inflation estimate has reduced and jobs have been added to the economy. The President has attained some of his campaign promises: “he signed a decree easing restrictions on gun ownership as an anti-crime move, privatized some state-run companies, installed a Cabinet with eight members of the military”, reported by Washington Post.

Bolsonaro visited the US in March and during the trip, he declared himself a bold devotee of the US. This trip infuriated most Brazilians, with most taking to Twitter with the #BolsonaroEvergonhaOBrasil – #BolsonaroShamesBrazil. Citizen’s of the Republic accused President Jair Bolsonaro of prejudice, misrepresenting Brazilians and trying to please US President, Donald Trump, which many Brazilians found offensive including members of his base. The hashtag trended across the world. Many cartoons were created showing Bolsonaro as Trump’s pet and subordinate.

Twitter post: @moema4

READ MORE: Trump to designate Brazil as a “Major Non-NATO ally”

The month of March was marked with Bolsonaro’s Presidential visits, it was first the US, followed Chile. The Chile visit sparked controversy, the President praised Chile’s former military dictatorship that led to the first-ever boycott of a presidential visit by influential Chilean politician. This caused in Chile anger and a rare political boycott.

RELATED STORY:Bolsonaro’s official trips spark controversy

The President concluded March with a visit to Israel. Day 2 of the visit Bolsonaro visited the Western wall which caused Palestinians to be angry. Bolsonaro’s plan to move Israel’s capital to Jerusalem angered the Muslims. Recent reports have had the right-wing leader saying he has not changed his mind about moving the capital.

The Bolsonaro Presidency has been marked by insults to adversaries and allies, fighting among his administration and praise for Brazil’s dictatorship (1964 -1985) – Washington Post.

 

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

Former Canadian Diplomat detained in China

A former Canadian Diplomat has been detailed in China, this comes just week after the CFO of Huawei was arrested in Canada for alleged US sanctions violations. The US-China trade tensions are now spilling over into other areas, as both countries now engaging in a tit for tat.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the G20 summit  and Trump had announced that both countries had reached a truce. The tensions however, are escalating even further.

According to edition.cnn.com a Chinese court announced a ban on the import and sale of almost all iphones models.

The banned on iPhone was mostly specific to older iPhone using the older operating system. This new escalation is worrying as it looks like each country is now targeting specific individuals, diplomats, officials, organisations from each others country.  

 

By Mokgethi Mtezuka