Turmoil on US markets prompts falls in Europe and Asia +++ India urged to intervene in Maldives crisis

Turmoil on US markets prompts falls in Europe and Asia +++ India urged to intervene in Maldives crisis +++ Merkel calls for compromise in German coalition talks +++ Hong Kong activists have jail terms overturned +++ Tensions overshadow Macron’s visit to Corsica +++ Poland’s president to sign controversial Holocaust bill +++ The weather

News | 6 February 2018

John Cummins

Turmoil on US markets prompts falls in Europe and Asia

European and Asian stock markets have recorded sharp falls, following a day of turmoil in the United States, which saw the Dow Jones plunge by 4.6 percent, its biggest one day loss in six years. US markets have risen steadily over the past 12 months, with the Dow up by 25 percent in 2017. Financial analyst David Kuo says the sell-off is being driven by concerns over interest rates. “On Friday we had some jobs data out from America and there were already rumblings at that time that perhaps interest rates may have to rise faster than most people had expected. So, as a result of that, if interest rates go up, that acts as a kind of gravity on stock prices, it literally just pulls stock prices down.”

India urged to intervene in Maldives crisis

The exiled former president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has called on India to intervene in his country's political crisis. Current president Abdulla Yameen has declared a state of emergency, after refusing to obey a court order to release political dissidents. The country's Chief Justice and another senior judge have also been arrested. Nasheed has urged India to send an envoy to the Maldives backed by the military.

Merkel calls for compromise in German coalition talks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for compromise at the start of a final day of talks between her conservative alliance and the Social Democrats on forming a new grand coalition. Negotiators say they are hopeful of reaching a deal but differences reportedly remain over employment and health policy. The coalition is seen as Merkel's last chance to form a government, following the collapse of talks with the Free Democrats and Greens.

Hong Kong activists have jail terms overturned

A court in Hong Kong has overturned jail sentences handed down to three pro- democracy activists, for their role in mass street protests, which paralysed the city in 2014. Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow have been released from detention but their convictions for unlawful assembly remain. Wong told the media that the case set a dangerous precedent. “In the future if anyone organises action related to civil disobedience, just like the regain the Civic Square action, we will still face the sentence to be locked up in prison for a few months or even more than a year.”

Tensions overshadow Macron’s visit to Corsica

French President Emmanuel Macron begins a two day visit to the French island of Corsica today, amid mounting tensions. Nationalists, who won elections in December, are demanding greater autonomy for the island and a special status for its residents. However Macron says he is not willing to change the French constitution to grant their demands.

Poland’s president to sign controversial Holocaust bill

Poland's president Andrzej Duda says he will sign into law a controversial new bill, making it a crime to imply Polish complicity in the Holocaust, despite protests from the US and Israel. In an unusual move, Duda says he will seek advice from the Constitutional Court about the legislation and suggest possible amendments.

The weather

Mostly sunny conditions have been forecast for the west of north of Austria but elsewhere it will be changeable, with heavy cloud eastwards of Vienna and Villach. Top temperatures will range from -3 to +7 degrees.

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  • John Cummins

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