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Tesla starts hiring for new $2 billion Shanghai plant

Tesla Inc has started hiring for its new Shanghai factory, just a month after the U.S. electric vehicle (EV) maker signed agreements with local authorities for the $2 billion project.

Chief Executive Elon Musk said the factory would cost around $2 billion and that the EV maker planned to fund the project with local debt.

The automaker said it wants to produce the first cars at the plant about two years after construction begins, reaching as many as 500,000 vehicles a year about two to three years later.

Last month, Tesla signed agreements with Shanghai authorities to build its first factory outside the United States, which would double the size of the EV maker’s global manufacturing.

The automaker’s website showed it is looking to fill 14 roles, including architectural designer and senior finance manager.

Source: Reuters

South Sudan rivals sign deal seeking to end five-year war

After years of fighting and failed peace initiatives in South Sudan, the country’s President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar have signed a power-sharing deal.

The deal comes after weeks of incremental agreements in the capital of neighbouring country, Sudan.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiirbelieved that this agreement will be implemented with the spirit of togetherness.

“Whoever signed this agreement will remain committed to it so that we rescue our peoples from suffering.” The President said.

The deal would see Machar reinstated as a vice-president.

Kiir has pledged that the deal would “not collapse” because, unlike the previous peace initiatives, it had not been imposed by outside powers.

Source: dw.com

Welcome message from Consul General of Russia in Cape Town Roman Ambarov on the occasion of the inaugural BRICS Youth Seminar in Honour of Former President Nelson Mandela held at the University of the Western Cape

This year South Africa took up the BRICS presidency again. The anniversary BRICS Summit in Johannesburg scheduled for the 25-27 of July will mark a decade of concerted efforts of the five countries, efforts that have been yielding tangible results. What made it possible is our adherence to such fundamental principles as continuity, sustainability, inclusivity and complementarity. It is quite symbolic that the South African Chairship coincides with the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birthday, who also stood up for the principles and values that the BRICS association shares.

The BRICS group has been continuously improving its architecture of cooperation mechanisms, addressing simultaneously three main pillars of intra-BRICS partnership: 1) policy and security; 2) economy and finance; 3) culture and humanitarian exchanges.

Most importantly, this partnership has been evolving in quality as much as in quantity. It is also based on a very firm foundation, which is a close connection to the vital demands of the modern-day life. This essential feature of BRICS makes the format responsive to the requirements of building up a truly multipolar world. The BRICS format reflects cultural and civilizational varieties of the present-day world, setting an example of how joint work can and should be based on equality and consensus.

Cooperation in BRICS – the strategic partnership of the five countries is based on the UN Charter, the universally recognized principles and norms of international law, as well as openness, pragmatism, solidarity, non-block nature and non-aggression towards third parties. This type of cooperation is not aimed against anyone. BRICS does not threaten anyone, but serves as a remarkable role model of how to reach goals set through dialogue. BRICS is always “for”, not “against”.

The BRICS association has moved beyond the initial modest expectations of facilitating the objective processes of the redistribution of power and influence in the new multipolar world. Today BRICS stands as an important factor in international affairs and an efficient mechanism for harmonizing positions on contemporary and most pressing challenges.

BRICS cooperation architecture comprises around 100 annual events, including over 25 ministerial level events and meetings of heads of specialized governmental bodies and agencies. As of now, there are more than 50 tracks of collaboration. An impressive amount of cooperation agreements, joint declarations, memorandums of understanding and other meaningful documents have been signed and implemented. As for people-to-people contacts, one would find it extremely challenging to track all of them. And this is certainly a most positive development because it proves that the BRICS format of cooperation is self-sustainable and generates a genuine interest among ordinary people.

Deepening the strategic partnership within the BRICS format is one of the priorities of Russia’s foreign policy. Russia is making every effort to ensure that the BRICS association remains successful, functional and results-oriented project with a positive outlook of fostering mutually-beneficial and equality-based relations as well as strengthening the universal norms of international law, the UN Charter and the multilateral foundation of international relations and global economy.

It is very gratifying to witness a successful increase in cultural, sports and humanitarian contacts. Cooperation is flourishing among the academia, civil society and youth organizations. The BRICS countries take it in turns to hold forums of experts, politicians, civil society organizations, youth representatives, young diplomats, trade unions, sister-cities and many more.  Cinema, theater and other festivals have emerged.

Once again, the strength of BRICS lies in its cultural and civilizational diversity. In the light of this, the governments of the BRICS countries are working on implementing the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Culture (2015) and the BRICS action plan to advance practical cultural cooperation. For example, 2017 saw the emergence of four alliances: libraries, art museums, national galleries, theatres for children and young people.

The Russian Federation supports deepening the BRICS-Africa dialogue, which was launched in Durban in 2013 during the first meeting with the African Union leadership and the heads of 8 leading regional integration associations. This year the tradition will be continued. And thanks to the BRICS Plus concept adopted last year, the dialogue between BRICS and Africa will expand beyond the South African Chairship.

Mutually beneficial cooperation with Africa is one of the national priories of the Russian Federation envisioned by the updated Russian Foreign Policy Concept, approved in 2016. Russia’s relations with African countries have been traditionally friendly and based on the principles of equality and mutual respect.

Russia has contributed actively to the achievement of independence by African countries as well to strengthening and integration processes on the African continent. Today, we continue maintaining friendly relations with a focus on the future. At present, the relations are progressing both on a bilateral basis and along the line of African regional organizations.

On the humanitarian track the Russian Government annually allocates federal scholarships for the training of African students at Russian universities. In 2017 alone, more than 1,800 young African people received federal scholarships and studied in Russia. Overall, around 15,000 young Africans are studying in Russia.

All such initiatives that engage young people – be it student exchange and scholarships or forums like the BRICS Young Diplomats Forum – are the cornerstones that help us build our common future characterized by strength and stability as well as the convergence of our diverse and vibrant cultures.

The ongoing Trade War between the US and China

On the 3rd of April, The US President Donald Trump revealed a list of more than 1,300 Chinese exports products that he said he wants to put a 25% tariffs on. The tariffs are intended to punish Beijing for restricting US investment in China and also on allegation of stealing American companies’ intellectual property. This would affect about $50 billion worth of Chinese exports.

The day following the Trump announcement, China struck back, with its own list of US exports products that it was planning to hit with 25 percent tariffs too. The proposed package could affect more than 100 American-made products, including top US agricultural export to China. This would cover about $50 billion worth of US exports.

Straight after the China announcement, Trump directed his trade team to identify more tariffs to add $100 billion worth of goods, clearly intending to escalate even further after seeing Beijing’s readiness to match his initial tariffs.

Early May, President Donald Trump sent his top economic advisors to Beijing for talks to prevent a possible trade war with China. The senior economic advisors met with Chinese officials to discuss the two countries’ trade disagreements. The US wants China to import more American goods and want them to stop forcing American companies to hand over their prized intellectual property if they want to do business in China.

Some of the US tariffs will be applied as of 6 July, and the White House is expected to announce restrictions on investments by Chinese companies in the United States by the 30th June. Trump has said that if China increases its tariffs again in response to the latest U.S. tariffs increase, the US will “meet that action by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200 billion of goods.” He added that he has “an excellent relationship” with Chinese President Xi Jinping and they “will continue working together on many issues.”

The global stock markets have weakened both the dollar and the Chinese yuan on Tuesday following Trump’s announcement that after all legal processes are complete, these tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced, Shanghai stocks plunged to two-year lows.

 

Source: South China Morning

What does the US/Mexico border wall mean for the 2026 FIFA World Cup?

Planned construction on the proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border began on Friday in San Diego. A section of the border wall that features an “anti-climbing plate” will replace about 14 miles of improvised border fencing created from scrap metal. This section will begin about a half-mile from the Pacific Ocean and will stand between 18-30 feet tall.

RELATED NEWS: Mexico sets tariffs against US products

The United States, Mexico and Canada recently jointly won the bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.  That tournament will be the first in FIFA history to have 48 teams playing in 16 stadiums, with three host countries simultaneous hosting the opening games. The United States will host 60 of the 80 matches, including all from the quarterfinals and finals, while Mexico and Canada share 10 matches each, according to the bid agreement.

RELATED NEWS: FIFA 2026 World Cup Votes: Morocco Vs North America

The wall being built between USA and Mexico has people questioning the corporation between the two countries leading to the World Cup, whether the wall and trade sanctions posted by the US Government will affect the planning process between the trios. Canada has also spoken out against the trade sanctions by the US Government and saw an escalated feud between US President, Trump and Canada Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Clearly the relationship between the US and the other two countries is not at a high.

By Ntsikelelo Kuse

Nelson Mandela Centenary a month to go

18th of July 2018 marks the centenary of the birth of the late former President of South Africa and struggle icon Nelson Mandela. The South African Government and international community has dedicated the year to the celebration of the legend’s centenary. Events planned by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Government and different organisations and interest groups have been taking place throughout the year.  

 

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has used this opportunity to provide a unique opportunity for people around the world to reflect on the life of Nelson Mandela and to promote his legacy. In 2018 the Nelson Mandela Foundation has created appropriate platforms for such engagement. The Foundation and The Obama Foundation announced that Former President Barack Obama will deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture on the 17