Tag Archives: Summits

AP PHOTOS: Sundown on Turkey’s huge stone heads

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Guests snap pictures of huge stone heads that stare down on them from the summit of Mount Nemrut, in Turkey’s southeastern Adiyaman province, their faces illuminated by sundown lighting.

Perched at an altitude of two,150 meters (over 7,000 toes), the statues are a part of a temple and tomb advanced that King Antiochus I, of the traditional Commagene kingdom, constructed as a monument to himself. A 50 meter (164-foot) -high, man-made mound — the presumed tomb of Antiochus — units the background.

Son of the founding father of the Commagene kingdom, Antiochus reigned between 64 and 38 BC, till he was deposed by the Romans. The dominion spanned an space from the japanese fringe of the Taurus mountains to the Euphrates River.

The traditional web site — which incorporates large 10-meter (33-foot) -high, seated statues of Antiochus himself surrounded by historical Gods, together with Zeus and Apollo — was found in 1881 by a German engineer. Excavations started there within the 1950s.

Right this moment, the positioning is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Website and the monuments are among the many best-known photographs of Turkey, that includes on postcards and Turkish tourism posters and advertisements.

Guests climb to the positioning at daybreak or at nightfall to see the statues underneath the spectacular lighting. It’s additionally a favourite spot for stargazers to look at the evening sky.

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Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey contributed.

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World leaders really feel the warmth in upcoming local weather summit

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Saying humanity is waging warfare with the planet, the pinnacle of the United Nations is not planning to let simply any world chief talk about local weather change at Monday’s particular “motion summit.”

Solely these with new, particular and daring plans can command the rostrum and the ever-warming world’s consideration, Secretary-Normal Antonio Guterres mentioned.

So sit down, Brazil. Sit down, Saudi Arabia. Sit down, Poland.

“Folks can solely converse if they arrive with constructive steps. That’s sort of a ticket,” Guterres mentioned. “For dangerous information do not come.”

As if to underscore the seriousness of the issue, the U.N.’s World Meteorological Group launched a science report Sunday displaying that within the final a number of years, warming, sea stage rise and carbon air pollution have all accelerated.

Brazil’s, Poland’s and Saudi Arabia’s proposals for coping with local weather change fell quick, so they don’t seem to be on Monday’s summit schedule. The USA did not even hassle, in line with a U.N. official, who spoke on situation of anonymity.

The bar is not that top: Leaders from 64 nations, the European Union, greater than a dozen corporations and banks, just a few cities and a state will current plans on the secretary-general’s Local weather Motion Summit.

Guterres desires nations to be carbon-neutral by 2050 — in different phrases, they won’t add extra heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the air than are eliminated by crops and maybe know-how annually. On Sunday, 87 nations world wide pledged to decarbonize in a method in step with one of many worldwide neighborhood’s tightest temperature targets.

There’s a sense of urgency, Guterres mentioned, as a result of “local weather change is the defining problem of our time.”

“For the primary time, there’s a severe battle between individuals and nature, between individuals and the planet,” Guterres mentioned.

He desires nations to decide to no new coal energy crops after 2020 and cut back carbon air pollution by 45% within the subsequent century. The aim of the summit is to give you new inexperienced proposals a 12 months sooner than the 2020 deadline that’s within the 2015 Paris local weather settlement.

World leaders agreed in 2009 to attempt to preserve warming to only 2 levels Celsius (3.6 levels Fahrenheit) since pre-industrial occasions. Then in 2015 they added a secondary, more durable aim, on the urging of small islands, to maintain warming to only 1.5 levels Celsius (2.7 levels Fahrenheit).

The brand new climate company report confirmed that the world has warmed already by 1.1 levels Celsius (2 levels Fahrenheit). So which means the targets are to restrict additional warming to 0.9 levels Celsius (1.6 levels Fahrenheit) from now and even 0.four levels Celsius (0.72 levels Fahrenheit) from now.

Efforts to cut back carbon air pollution should be tripled to maintain from hitting the 2-degree Celsius mark and should enhance fivefold to restrict warming to 1.5 levels Celsius since pre-industrial occasions, the World Meteorological Group report mentioned.

As dangerous as that sounds, it is mistaken and overly optimistic to make use of the mid-1880s because the benchmark, mentioned Pennsylvania State College local weather scientist Michael Mann. Mann mentioned that many research, together with the WMO’s, are overlooking that the world warmed 0.2 levels Celsius (0.36 levels Fahrenheit) from human causes between the mid-1700s and the 1880s.

The climate company mentioned the final 5 years have been the warmest 5 on report and even 0.2 levels Celsius (0.36 levels Fahrenheit) hotter than the primary half of the last decade, a major leap in only a few years.

“There’s a rising recognition that local weather impacts are hitting tougher and prior to local weather assessments indicated even a decade in the past,” the 28-page report mentioned.

If the world retains temperatures to the 1.5-degree Celsius aim as an alternative of the 2-degree one, 420 million fewer individuals might be uncovered to warmth waves and 10 million fewer might be weak to sea stage rise, NASA local weather scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig mentioned Sunday at a U.N. session.

A bigger, extra worldwide report local weather change and oceans and ice might be launched by the Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change on Wednesday.

“This new WMO report highlights the significance of creating extra progress on decreasing emissions of carbon dioxide,” Cornell College local weather scientist Natalie Mahowald mentioned. “Hopefully this newest U.N. Local weather Summit will inspire extra motion.”

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US objections to French tech tax overshadow G-7 finance meet

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The Trump administration is objecting to France’s plan to tax Facebook, Google and other U.S. tech giants, a rift that’s overshadowing talks between seven longtime allies this week on issues ranging from digital currencies to trade.

As finance ministers from the Group of Seven rich democracies gathered Wednesday for a two-day meeting at a chateau in Chantilly, near Paris, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin planned to take a tough line against host France.

He was going to object to France’s proposed 3% tax on revenues of large tech companies with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, according to a senior U.S. Treasury official.

The controversial tax, which the French parliament passed days ago and could be signed into law within weeks, has already provoked a strong rebuke from the White House, which said it could lead to U.S. tariffs on French imports.

The rift risks feeding into broader disagreements, including on trade, after the U.S. imposed tariffs on some EU goods last year, drawing retaliation from Europe.

“We are very disappointed that France has passed a unilateral service tax,” said the Treasury official, who said Mnuchin was to raise the issue during a bilateral meeting with Le Maire. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as the meeting had not yet taken place at the time.

French officials have indicated their national digital tax — the first of its kind and created without any EU-wide agreement on the issue — is intended to spur an international agreement during the G-7 meeting. They said it will be withdrawn if a global deal is forged, a gamble that could provide negotiating leverage with the U.S.

“We (are)… accepting to negotiate a new global taxation on digital activities,” Le Maire told reporters outside the royal stables at Chantilly, a town famed today for horse racing. 

Discord is no stranger to G-7 meetings. Last June, Trump roiled the G-7 summit in Canada by first agreeing to a group statement on trade only to withdraw from it while complaining that he had been blindsided by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s criticism of Trump’s tariff threats. In an extraordinary set of tweets, Trump threw the G-7 talks into disarray.

Officials seem to be prepared for the potential for ugly divergences at this week’s G-7, with Mnuchin saying it could end with just a report of the discussion — rather than the traditional final statement signed by all.

The regulation of technology companies is emerging as a major issue around the world. The U.S. is following the European Union’s lead in taking a closer look at whether some of them are too big for the good of the wider economy. The topic was underscored Wednesday, when EU regulators opened a formal antitrust investigation into Amazon , echoing similar ones against the likes of Google and Microsoft.

Beyond the U.S. and France, which holds this year’s rotating chair, the G-7 includes Germany, Britain, Italy, Canada, Japan and representatives of the EU. The Chantilly meetings serve to prepare the framework for a summit of the G-7 heads of state and government in August in the French Atlantic resort of Biarritz.

The talks come against a bleak backdrop of slowing global growth and Trump’s America-first trade policies, which have led to a bitter tariff war with China on top of the tensions with Europe.

Where the U.S. may find more common ground with its G-7 partners will be in its mistrust of cryptocurrencies like Facebook’s recently announced Libra, a position shared by the French.

France asked European Central Bank official Benoit Coeure to prepare a report for this fall looking into the risks of cryptocurrencies. Coeure will present a preliminary version of the report to ministers and central bankers in Chantilly.

Le Maire wants to lead on this issue, singling out Libra for scrutiny.

“The red line for us is that Libra cannot and should not transform itself into sovereign currency,” Le Maire warned reporters ahead of the meeting.

“We won’t accept that multinationals emerge to be private states — that’s to say multinationals that would have the power of a state but not the obligations linked to the sovereign states, notably the control by citizens,” he added.

Le Maire said that, unchecked, Libra could exploit Facebook’s vast trove of data and lead to an increased risk of embezzlement, the financing of terrorism and the destabilizing of sovereign money.

“Libra will be pegged to a basket of currencies including the dollar and euros. At a given moment, what if Libra decides to rebalance itself in favor of the euro, in favor of the dollar?” he asked.

“It will have direct repercussions on the currency’s stability.”

The U.S. Congress is holding a two-day hearing on Libra this week and lawmakers demanded to know why Facebook, which has massive market power and a track record of scandals, should be trusted with such a far-reaching project.

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Adamson reported from Paris.

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David McHugh in Frankfurt, Germany, and Martin Crutsinger in Washington contributed to this report.

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G-20 talks finance tactics for trade war, digital disruption

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Financial leaders of the Group of 20 gathered Saturday to brainstorm ways to adapt global finance to an age of trade turmoil and digital disruptions.

The central bank governors and other financial regulators meeting in this southern Japanese port city also flagged risks from upsets to the global economy as Beijing and Washington clash over trade and technology.

Asked if other financial leaders attending the meetings in Fukuoka were raising concerns over the impact on global markets and trade from President Donald Trump’s crusade against huge, chronic U.S. trade deficits, especially with China, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said no.

Trump and members of his administration contend that the ripple effects of the billions of dollars in tariffs imposed by Washington on Chinese exports over the past year are creating new business opportunities for other businesses in the U.S. and other countries.

But Mnuchin acknowledged that growth has been slowing in Europe, China and other regions.

“I’m hearing concerns if we continue on this path there could be issues. There will be winners and losers,” he said.

The G-20 officials were expected to express their support for adjusting monetary policy, for example by making borrowing cheaper through interest rate cuts, in a communique to be issued as meetings wrap up on Sunday.

Their official agenda on Saturday was focused on longer-term, more technical issues such as improving standards for corporate governance, policing cyber-currencies and reforming tax systems to ensure they are fair for both traditional and new, online-based industries.

Ensuring that governments capture a fair share of profits from the massive growth of businesses like Google and Amazon has grown in importance over the many years the G-20 finance chiefs have been debating the reforms aimed at preventing tax evasion and modernizing policies to match a financial landscape transformed by technology.

One aim is to prevent a “race to the bottom” by countries trying to lure companies by offering unsustainably and unfairly low tax rates as an incentive.

Mnuchin said he disagreed with details of some of the proposals but not with the need for action.

“Everyone, we are now facing a turning point,” Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso told the group. “This could be the biggest reform of the long established international framework in over 100 years.”

Some European members of the G-20, especially, want to see minimum corporate tax rates for big multinationals. France and Britain have already enacted stop-gap tax systems for digital businesses, but they are not adequate, said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

“For the time being there is no fair taxation of this new economic model,” Le Maire said, adding that the hope is to have an agreement by the year’s end.

The issue is not confined to the wealthiest nations. Indonesia, a developing country of 260 million with more than 100 million internet users, is also struggling to keep up.

“The growth has been exponential but we cannot capture this growth in our GDP as well as in our tax revenue,” said Indonesian Finance Minister Mulyani Indrawati.

Mobile banking, big data, artificial intelligence and cloud computing are among many technologies that are expanding access to financial services for many people who in the past might not have even used banks.

But such innovations raise questions about protecting privacy and cybersecurity, Aso said.

“We need to stay vigilant against risks or challenges,” Aso said.

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, is hosting the G-20 for the first time since it was founded in 1999. The venue for the annual financial meeting, Fukuoka, is a thriving regional hub and base for start-ups.

The G-20 groups include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

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