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Rex Tillerson’s dismissal:
“Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!” this is exactly what the American President Donald Trump wrote on his favorite social network, Tweeter, on Tuesday March 13th.
We could say that last week was the one of shame in Washington. Dismissed by a tweet, the former secretary of state Rex Tillerson, nicknamed T-Rex, was forced to cut an African trip short, while he was trying to clean up Trump’s inappropriate comments on Africa. To remind you, Donald Trump called African countries as “shithole countries” two months ago.
Despite its original way of occurring, this dismissal is clearly not a surprise. Several disagreements between the two men were known since a long time. M. Tillerson and the President Trump could not get along on the main foreign policy subjects: the withdrawal from the climate agreement, the Iranian nuclear agreement, the American embassy in Israel moving to Jerusalem, the way of negotiating with North Korea, and most of all, the type of links forged with Russia.
Who, then, is the lucky man named to replace the T-Rex, considered as the “weakest and the less efficient secretary of state ever”?
In the same tweet, Donald Trump announced that the successor will be the CIA’s director Mike Pompeo. This nomination gives cause for concern in the American medias.
Politico puts forward the risks that Pompeo “supplies Trump’s worst instincts instead of being the voice of reason”. Vox claims that Pompeo already “put his loyalty towards Trump before his responsibilities at the head of the CIA”. Especially on the Russian presumed interference in the American presidential elections. We should not forget that the new secretary of state is also a supporter of torture and has quite radical outlooks on Iran. The New York Times reminds that Pompeo, who will now oversee the talks with North Korea, already applied pressure a regime change and once alluded to Kim Jong-Un’s assassination.
With Tillerson’s leaving, Donald Trump imposes a straight line regarding diplomacy, and proves that none of the government members is sheltered from being fired.
UN urges Iraq to draw on diversity
Due to the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a terrorist group, millions of Iraqis have had to leave their home.
In addition to this issue, attacks and persecution against ethnical minorities has been really high in the region since the rising of this group. For instance, two weeks ago, three Christian family members were killed in Baghdad by armed men. There were almost 1.3 million Christians in the 1980’s. Now, we count ca. 400,000 people…
Therefore, UN urges the Government to support and protect Yezidi, Christians, Shabak, Sabean Mandaeans, and other minorities. “Iraq needs all its components, all its ethnic and religious groups, to rebuild in the post-Daesh period and prosper in the future as a stable and united country,” said the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Ján Kubiš, last Monday.
UK and Russia are facing political tension
Serguei Skripal, an ex-Russian spy for the MI6, and his daughter have been both victim of an attempt of murder by poisoning. The toxic agent used is called “Soman”, a well-known poison from the Second World War and highly dangerous. This is the first toxic attack in the UK since WWII. Sergueï and his daughter are both in coma and the chance of having them back is low… Actually inexistent.
Theresa May reacted directly to this attack by accusing the Russian regime of being the true responsible for this attack in the United Kingdom (actually in Salisbury on the 4th of March). As a result, she gave an ultimatum of one week to 23 Russian politicians in the United Kingdom to leave the country and publically named the Russian government as “dangerous”. We already saw exchange of this type with Donald Trump.
As an answer, Vladimir Poutine expelled 23 British politicians from Moscow and asked the closure of the consulate.
This little game of expelling diplomats cannot hide two major facts: the Russian presence in the geopolitical environment has been growing dangerously, and there are currently no retaliatory responses to this case…
Gender pay gap in the financial institutions: the freshly-revealed annual report of HSBC creates incomprehension.
It is well known that the sector of investment banking is male-dominated. When we think about bankers working at the City, we barely picture a woman. Yet, the sector of banking is getting more and more feminized but is still subject to inequalities and notably pay inequalities. To fight against it, since this year, the UK government has obliged banks and any other companies with more than 25 employees to publish by the 4th of April an annual gender pay gap report.
This week, the annual report of HSBC revealed that women working there were paid up to 60% less (hourly) than their men coworkers. The bank also revealed the existence of a gender bonus gap of 86%. It is the largest gender gap known in any UK financial firm. Yet, HSBC is far from being an exception in the investment banking.
After almost 50 years since the Equal Pay Act was put in place, and knowing that the average gender pay gap in the UK for full-time jobs was 9,4% in 2016, we can wonder how such figures can sustain and what are the solutions adopted by the UK government.
Actually, these figures reveal another problem which is the very low part of women at directory or management post. It is this lack of women in senior roles which creates this large disparity in the incomes. In HSBC, 54% of the total workforce are women but only 23% of the senior roles are held by women. In Goldman Sachs, for example, men hold 83% of the best paid jobs whereas the women hold 62,4% of the lower ones.
Again, to reduce this gap, the UK government, and more precisely the HM Treasury, has put in place in 2016 the Women in Finance Charter. It is a commitment by the HM Treasury and the signatory banks to build a fairer industry. This Friday 16th of March, the Women in Finance charter has reached 200 signatories which means that it is now covering more than 650.000 employees.
All the signatory banks commit to implement 4 actions:
Since the creation of this charter, there is a slight improvement in the number of women in senior roles. According to their figures revealed this Friday, there are 3% more female in average than before.
In their response to the charter, HSBC has committed to reach the 50/50 balance between men and women hired to senior manager role by 2020.
The famous social media is currently going through a tough period…
After updating its application recently to promote its service “Discover”, the application has known a constant criticism from its users.
On a practical plan, the app is becoming ugly for most of the fan. Ugly that hackers offer their services to make you Snapchat back to the old version…
On a media plan, things could not be worst. After being criticized by Kylie Jenner (one of the most followed account), the social media is now suffering from Rihanna abandon. The reason? Snapchat speaks about “Slapping Rihanna” on its discover service… Bad idea! And very bad idea when the person in question was victim of domestic violence. We could also mention DJ Snake who stops publishing stories (or very less). The whole world of celebrities seems to move to Instagram, the biggest competitor.
On a financial aspect, the stock price of Snapchat is at 17 Dollars as results of these incidents. The business model of Snapchat seems to suffer a lot and is not as viable as analysts predicted. Advertising revenues are far under the predictions, the revenues of Snap are not matching the initial targets…
While it is still one of the most used social media in the world (187 Millions of Daily users/ The first social media for the 12 to 16 years old generation), Snap has to overcome short terms difficulties on every aspect of its existence.
World Social Forum 2018
Last week, from March 13th to 17th, was held in Salvador, Bahia (Brazil) the World Social Forum (WSF) 2018.Through seminars, plenary sessions, workshops… alternative proposals for building a planetary society directed towards fruitful relationships among Humankind and between it and the Earth are discussed.
It was created in 2001 in Porto Alegre and initiated by a social movement in opposition to the World Economic Forum which takes places every year in Davos, in Switzerland. WSF is therefore a direct political answer to this meeting.
It is supervised by the WSF Charter of Principles. The point 8 sums up clearly the aim of this Forum: “The World Social Forum is a plural, diversified, non-confessional, non-governmental and non-party context that, in a decentralized fashion, interrelates organizations and movements engaged in concrete action at levels from the local to the international to build another world” (WSF 2018).
The most important declaration from this meeting is the demand for the end of the US blockade in Cuba. As part of this demand, the Forum asks the USA to return the illegally occupied territory of Guantanamo. The lack of recognition of this Forum will surely make this demand less considerable by the US government, especially with the recent political orientation mentioned earlier, but it gives us hope for a new global political structure.
Edited and Corrected
by Vee Venski
This article is not a promotion of financial investment. Investing money in financial instruments is risk-reward process. Losses and gains are part of financial investment process. Only invest money you can afford to lose.