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S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile launchers are seen during the Victory Day military parade marking the 73rd anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War, the Eastern Front of World War II, in Moscow, Russia on May 09, 2018

Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile launchers are seen during the Victory Day military parade marking the 73rd anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War, the Eastern Front of World War II, in Moscow, Russia on May 09, 2018

WASHINGTON — India risked U.S. sanctions when it agreed to a $5 billion deal to buy Russian missile systems. But two months after India signed the pact, it’s not clear whether the Trump administration will issue a waiver or follow through with any penalties.

India’s purchase of the Kremlin’s S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile system is subject to potential U.S. sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, a measure that was signed by President Donald Trump in 2017.

The deal and possible sanctions could come up this week, when India’s defense minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, holds talks with Defense Secretary James Mattis. The U.S. Defense chief stressed on Monday that this wouldn’t be the first time India has purchased weapons from the Kremlin.

“India has been spent many, many years in its nonaligned status, and it’s drawn a lot of weapons from Russia,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon ahead of Sitharaman’s arrival Monday. She is slated to leave Washington on Tuesday.

“We are here today to talk about all the issues that bring us closer together and we’ll sort out all those issues here today and in the days ahead,” he added, when asked about India’s S-400 purchase.

Russia’s S-400 system, a mobile long-range surface-to-air missile system, made its debut on the world stage in 2007. The platform rivals Lockheed Martin‘s THAAD, or terminal high altitude area defense, system and Raytheon‘s Patriot system.

Compared with U.S. systems, the Russian-made S-400 is capable of engaging a wider array of targets, at longer ranges and against multiple threats simultaneously.

What’s more, the Russian-made platform costs approximately $500 million, whereas a Patriot Pac-2 battery costs $1 billion and a THAAD battery rings in at about $3 billion, according to people with firsthand knowledge of a U.S. intelligence assessment.

About 13 countries have expressed interest in buying the S-400. China, India and Turkey have already signed purchase agreements for the missile platform.

China is in the middle of receiving its final shipment of the S-400 system. Turkey, a NATO ally, is slated to receive its S-400 next year and is expected to have the system ready for use by 2020.

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Japan could see a $3.5 billion boost for hosting 2019’s biggest sporting event



Japan will be the first Asian country to host the Rugby Union World Cup in 2019 and its organizing committee has promised the tournament will be a uniquely Japanese event.

With the Olympics and Paralympics to come in 2020, officials feel the country is entering its “golden sporting years.”

The Rugby Union World Cup is billed as the world’s third-largest global sporting event, behind the Olympics and soccer World Cup, due to its participating nations, ticket sales and television audience.

Historically it has been hosted in traditional rugby hotspots, not least the 2015 version in England and in New Zealand four years earlier. Twelve stadiums across Japan will host the 43-day tournament beginning on September 20, 2019, and a tourism boom is being predicted by organizers, with 70 percent of the 2.5 million ticket requests received so far coming from outside of Japan.

“We’ve had some independent studies done and they predict that in British pounds there will be about £2.79 billion ($3.5 billion) of increased economic activity around the Rugby World Cup.” Rugby World Cup Organizing Committee CEO Akira Shimazu exclusively told CNBC ahead of Japan’s November international against England.

By contrast, 2018’s soccer World Cup in Russia was predicted to have almost ten times that amount of economic impact on the host country.

“There is a short space of time between the events of the Rugby World Cup and then the Olympic and Paralympic Games, but in some ways that can be beneficial,” Shimazu said.

Rugby Union has gained in popularity over the past decade in Japan with over 120,000 registered players in the country. Technology is expected to play a key role in this World Cup, including state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to be used as added security at matches, which will also feature at the Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.

“There are many merits of having those two events so close to each other,” Shimazu said. “France will have the same issues with the next Rugby World Cup and then the Olympics in Paris, so we’re setting the bar very high for them, so they can carry on and follow our lead.”

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Italian police arrest mafia’s new ‘boss of bosses’ in Sicily



Italian police have arrested the suspected new head of the Sicilian mafia and 45 other alleged mobsters in a major blow to organised crime on the Mediterranean island, the government said on Tuesday.

“There is no more room for this type of scum in Italy,” Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio wrote on Instagram.

The previous boss of bosses, Salvatore “Toto” Riina, died in prison last year after spending almost a quarter of a century behind bars for ordering dozens of murders, including those of two of Italy’s most celebrated anti-mob prosecutors.

Among those arrested on Tuesday was Settimo Mineo, an 80-year-old jeweller suspected of heading local mafia families in the Sicilian capital Palermo and of being promoted to lead the whole crime group in May, police said.

“The arrests … represent one of the biggest blows inflicted on the mafia by the state. Mineo had been elected ‘heir’ of Toto Riina after his death,” Di Maio added.

A police source said Mineo was elected boss at a meeting of provincial leaders of the Sicilian mafia, known as ‘Cosa Nostra’ (Our Thing), on May 29. It was believed to be the first such gathering of mob families for more than 25 years.

Once all-powerful on Sicily, the world’s most famous crime gang has been squeezed over the past two decades, with many bosses put behind bars, businesses sequestered and locals increasingly ready to defy it.

The meeting in May of the Cosa Nostra cupola, or hierarchy, was seen by investigators as a sign the group was looking to rebuild.

“With an extraordinary operation in the Palermo province, the police have dismantled Cosa Nostra’s new ‘cupola’,” Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Twitter.

Mineo was sentenced to five years in jail for mafia-related crimes at the so-called “maxi-trial” that ran from 1986-1992 and was spearheaded by prosecutors Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.

Both Falcone and Borsellino were murdered in 1992 on Riina’s orders after verdicts were delivered. Following their deaths, the state poured resources into the fight against the mob and ground down Cosa Nostra.

One prominent mafioso the police have been unable to capture is Matteo Messina Denaro, nicknamed “Diabolik”, who has been on the run since 1993 and comes from the province of Trapani in western Sicily. It was not clear if he attended the May meeting.

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Economic ‘red lines’ may clash with Trump plan



U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping may have put their tit-for-tat tariff fight on hold, but differences between the two countries’ views on technology and state-supported businesses will challenge negotiations between the two economic giants, analysts said.

“Staunchly committed to the Chinese economic model, Xi will continue to lend state support to targeted industries, particularly in technology under the Made in China 2025 programme,” Eleanor Olcott, China policy analyst at research firm TS Lombard, wrote on Monday.

Washington has accused China of forcing technology transfers, and tacitly supporting intellectual property violations and cyber-crime, but those issues were downplayed in official descriptions of the weekend’s agreement.

“Despite White House economic advisor (Larry) Kudlow suggesting that the two sides are ‘pretty close’ on an agreement on intellectual property theft, 90 days still looks like a short period for discussions on complicated issues such as non-tariff barriers,” wrote Zhu Huani, an economist at Mizuho Bank in a note on Tuesday.

“Whilst reducing (the) trade gap could be the easier part to begin with, China is less likely to make concessions on its industrial policies such as ‘Made in China 2025,’ which might hinder discussion surrounding technology transfer,” added Zhu.

The “Made in China 2025” plan is Beijing’s industrial policy to invest heavily in high-end technologies such as artificial intelligence in a bid to catch up with rivals like the U.S. and Germany.

The analysts’ comments follow Trump and Xi’s agreement over the weekend at the G-20 meeting in Argentinato put their bilateral trade war on pause momentarily. They would, according to official statements, hold off on slapping additional tariffs on each other’s goods after Jan. 1 as talks continue between both countries.

As part of the deal, China said it would purchase more American imports, particularly in energy and agriculture. Beijing will also exert more control over the flow of fentanyl — a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more addictive than heroin and has been linked to thousands of overdose deaths in the United States. China is one of the world’s top producers of ingredients used to manufacture fentanyl, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

But, “it is unclear how this [deal at the G-20] will resolve issues related to IP protection and forced technology transfers in China — it won’t,” economists from French trade credit insurer Coface wrote in a note on Monday.

After all, some are even jokingly questioning if Trump and Xi even attended the same meeting given the significant differences in statements from the two sides.

“There is reason to believe the two parties do not quite meet over the finer details of the deal: pointedly, no joint statement was released after the meeting. Furthermore, the statements that the U.S. and China issued separately showed material divergences, with the Chinese statement making no mention of the 90-day deadline on the threatened 25 percent tariff increase,” economists from Pictet Wealth Management wrote Monday.

Neither side referred to the “Made in China 2025” industrial policy, Pictet noted.

“Given the differences in starting positions, with the Chinese side setting red lines around its state-led system, it is highly unlikely that the time-frame of 90 days will allow the U.S. to extract concessions Trump could present as a large-scale ‘win’ with any degree of conviction,” said TS Lombard’s Olcott.

—CNBC’s Kevin Breuninger, Javier David and Saheli Roy Choudhury contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Larry Kudlow is a former CNBC contributor.

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