|President Joe Biden spoke with the leaders of Canada and Mexico on Friday, his first calls with foreign counterparts since his inauguration this week. (Photo: NBC News)|
Biden speaks to leaders of Mexico and Canada on trade, migration
President Joe Biden spoke with the leaders of Canada and Mexico on Friday, his first calls with foreign counterparts since his inauguration this week.
In a nod to continental cooperation, Biden’s first conversation was with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and then Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Biden and Trudeau, according to the Canadian government’s account of their phone call, agreed to meet next month.
In a Twitter post and in a statement on Friday night, Lopez Obrador, who is known as AMLO, described his conversation with Biden as cordial, and said they discussed migration and Covid-19.
Trudeau and Biden, the Canadian government said, talked chiefly about issues where they see the possibility of mutual cooperation, including climate change, the response to the coronavirus pandemic, the broader trading relationship of their countries and rising tensions with China.
They also discussed the detention of two Canadian citizens in China, HindustanTimes reported.
But Trudeau also raised his disappointment over Biden’s decision to rescind a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, a major Canadian project that would’ve brought more than 800,000 barrels of oil from the western province of Alberta to Nebraska and onward to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast.
The White House had no immediate comment on the calls.
Portugal holds presidential election as COVID-19 cases spiral
Portuguese voters - largely confined to their homes due to a strict COVID-19 lockdown - will pick a new president on Sunday, but many fear going to the polls could worsen a surge in coronavirus cases and low turnout is expected.
According to Reuters, the country of 10 million people, which fared better than others in the first wave of the pandemic, now has the world’s highest seven-day rolling average of new cases and deaths per capita.
Delaying the ballot would have required changing the country’s constitution - something officials said was not possible at such short notice, but there has been widespread criticism of the decision to press ahead with the vote for the largely ceremonial president.
Voting is the only reason people are permitted to leave home for anything other than essential work or trips under the current nationwide lockdown rules.
Pollsters expect record-high abstentions, even as voluntary teams clad in protective gear collected ballots at the doorstep of some 13,000 quarantined voters, and about 250,000 people registered for early voting to avoid crowds.
Opinion polls show that the incumbent, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of the centre-right Social Democratic Party, is likely to easily win re-election, with left-wing candidate Ana Gomes forecast in second at 13.5-14.5% and the leader of far-right party Chega Andre Ventura close behind at 10-12.5%.
High-Ranking local official fired after reportedly slapping underling
The Party chief of a central Chinese city has been sacked after an online article accused him of publicly humiliating a colleague with a slap in the face.
Zhang Zhanwei was removed from his post as secretary of the Jiyuan Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), announced the CPC committee of Henan Province on Thursday.
On Jan. 16, a post surfaced on China's social media claiming that Zhang scolded the city government secretary-general at a canteen before slapping him in the face. The offense allegedly led to the assaulted official having a heart attack.
The post, allegedly written by the secretary-general's wife, sparked criticism of Zhang's behavior.
On Monday, the provincial government of Henan said it had noticed the post and was investigating the case, as reported by Xinhua.
|Zhang Zhanwei (Photo: Henan University)|
Hundreds march in Tunisia as protests sharpen
Hundreds of people marched in central Tunis on Saturday against inequality and police brutality, in defiance of a ban on demonstrations and as security forces tried to block off the city’s main central avenue.
Protesters chanted “the people want the fall of the regime” - a chant popularised during the so-call Arab Spring a decade ago - and held up banners and slogans decrying the security response to more than a week of demonstrations and nightly clashes between youths and police in cities across Tunisia.
The protests, 10 years after a popular revolt against autocratic rule introduced democracy in Tunisia, represent the biggest bout of political unrest in several years, with police detaining hundreds of people.
|(Photo: US News)|
While the youths clashing with riot police after dark in poor districts of Tunisian cities have voiced few clear political aims, daytime protests have focused on the lack of jobs and on the police response to demonstrations.
Demonstrators instead rallied outside the central bank building and marched through the city, plainclothes police moving on each side with two-way radios, as reported by Reuters.
Gold price forecast – gold markets pullback towards the weekend
Gold markets broke down a bit during the trading session on Friday as the 50 day EMA has offered a significant amount of resistance. At this point, the 200 day EMA at the $1821 level should offer short-term support, but traders are paying more attention to the interest rates in the United States as if they start to rise is very likely that we will continue to see people flock towards the greenback.
|(Photo: Indian TV News)|
If that is the case, that can cause a certain amount of negativity on gold. However, as the reflation trade is essentially the main narrative that people are paying attention to now, it will undulate back and forth as to whether or not it is likely to happen. That has a massive influence on what happens next with the gold market.
If we can break above the 50 day EMA, that opens up the possibility of a move towards the $1900 level. Breaking above there then opens up a move to the $1960 level. To the downside, if we were to break down below the 200 day EMA it is likely that we could go towards the $1800 level, possibly even the $1750 level, FX Empire said.
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