News from Around the World

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Facebook unveils global digital coin called Libra

Facebook has revealed plans for a new global digital currency backed by assets and supported by more than two dozen companies ranging from Visa and Mastercard to Lyft and Spotify, bringing the heft of the world’s largest social network to efforts to transform financial services.

The scope of Facebook’s ambitions for the new currency, called Libra, was made clear as it claimed 1.7bn people around the world without a bank account would be able to use it to make instant and nearly free international money transfers from their mobile phones.

REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

France's Macron urges more dialogue with Iran, regrets announcements on enrichment

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday he regretted Iran’s announcement that it would exceed the allowed enriched uranium limit, but that Paris would hold talks with Iran and its partners to avoid any further escalation in the region.

“I regret the Iranian announcements made today, but as the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) has underlined, Iran is respecting its commitments and we strongly encourage it to be patient and responsible,” Macron told a news conference alongside his Ukrainian counterpart.

Tasnim News/AFP

U.S. Blames Iran for Oil Tanker Attacks as Gulf Tensions Climb

The Trump administration blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers near the entrance to the Persian Gulf as fears rise that high-stakes diplomatic efforts won’t avert a military confrontation between the U.S. and Iran.

“The United States will defend its forces, interests and stand with our partners and allies to safeguard global commerce and regional stability,” Secretary of State Michael Pompeo told reporters Thursday in Washington, noting that Iran had previously threatened to curtail oil transport in the Strait of Hormuz.


The IMF is worried that big tech could make the financial system less stable

The International Monetary Fund thinks big technology companies are going to dig deeper into the financial sector—a shift that could modernize things like payments and loans for millions of people. But it also raises concerns about data privacy and the concentration of power among a small number of mega-corporations.


Tariff Dispute Complicates U.S. Ties With Mexico

President Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on Mexico was averted by an immigration deal late Friday, but scrambles anew the already-delicate relationship between two neighbors struggling to resolve the trade and border issues that are top priorities for the White House.

© Reuters

Mario Draghi prepares fresh stimulus as economic fears grow

Mario Draghi is preparing to cut interest rates and embark on a fresh round of bond purchases before he leaves the European Central Bank this autumn, in a bid to boost the eurozone’s economy and combat mounting global uncertainty over trade.


Fed’s Patience Tested as Trade Spat Clouds Growth Outlook

The recent escalation of the U.S. trade dispute with China is putting the Federal Reserve in a bind and complicates its make-no-moves policy posture.

Photographer: Wang Zhao/AFP

Emerging Markets Can't Evade a China Slowdown

U.S. measures to confront China on trade are shifting from tariffs to imposing restrictions on the activities of Chinese firms, which will have adverse consequences not only for the yuan but emerging markets overall.


Populists fall short of expectations in the European elections

THAT RIGHT-WING populism has gained ground in Europe in recent years is a well-established fact.


UK set for new PM as Theresa May quits

Theresa May has said she will quit as Conservative leader on 7 June, paving the way for a contest to decide a new prime minister.