Six In The Morning Thursday January 7

China share trading halted after market plunges 7% in opening minutes

‘Circuit breaker’ mechanism deployed to protect economy for second time in a week as China sparks jitters by speeding up devaluation of yuan

China halted the day’s trading within 30 minutes of opening on Thursday morning as shares plunged by more than 7% – triggering an automatic “circuit breaker” – and authorities accelerated the devaluation of the Chinese yuan.

China’s recently installed “circuit breaker” mechanism paused TRADING FOR15 minutes after the CSI300 index fell 5% in the first 13 minutes of trading. On resumption of trading it fell further, triggering the day’s halt.

The CSI300 index finished down 7.2%, the SSE composite index fell 7.3% and Shenzhen dropped by 8.3%.

Christopher Balding, a professor of finance and economics at Peking University’s  HSBC business school, said he expected more government action to halt THE STOCK MARKET drops, “whether it is changing the circuit breakers, whether it is again intervening in the market, whether it is extending the ban on large selling by institutions.”

Charlie Hebdo attack one year on: How the world reacted in cartoons

Publications around the globe published tributes after the massacre at the magazine’s offices on 7 January 2015

On Wednesday 7 January 2015 two masked gunmen opened fire in the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, killing 12 and bringing terror deep into the heart of Europe.

Their massacre of the magazine’s editor Stephane Charbonnier, along with four cartoonists, three editorial staff, a bodyguard and a guest was widely seen as an attack on the freedom of speech.

It is thought that controversial caricatures of the prophet Mohamed published in the magazine were the motivation for gunmen’s deadly actions.

The tragic events were the start of what would become a year of terrorist threats and attacks beyond anything Europe had witnessed in recent times.

Venezuela’s Maduro reshuffles cabinet to face defiant congress

Latest update : 2016-01-07

The new opposition-dominated congress on Wednesday swore in three lawmakers barred by the Supreme Court from taking their seats, setting up a confrontation with the ruling socialists in this oil-exporting nation mired in deep economic troubles.

The three had not been seated Tuesday when the opposition took control of the National Assembly for the first time in 17 years but congressional leaders swore them in Wednesday as the body’s first act of official business.

Socialist lawmakers stormed out, saying the defiance to the high court would automatically void of constitutional legitimacy any laws passed by the new legislature.
“Confrontation is coming. Confrontation is inevitable,” warned Diosdado Cabello, the legislature’s previous president and the country’s second-most powerful socialist leader.

Iraq offers to help diffuse Iran-Saudi rift

The move may be an indication that Iraq, a predominantly Shiite country, is worried about the spread of Islamic State, as it walks the line along the latest sectarian dispute. 

Iraq has proposed facilitating talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia after the two countries dissolved diplomatic ties last weekend.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari on Wednesday offered to mediate a dispute that has sent ripples of reaction across the Middle East and elevated international concerns of a deepening sectarian divide between Shiites and Sunnis.

The comments were made during a press conference in Tehran with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on hand, during which al-Jaafari suggested that Iraq’s involvement could help “alleviate tensions,” the BBC reports.

“This responsibility has been given to us and we have been active from the early moments to lessen tensions to prevent a disaster from happening that could affect the entire region,” he said.

US transfers two Guantanamo detainees to Ghana

Two detainees of Yemeni origin to be resettled in the west African nation after spending years in the notorious prison.

The US military announced on Wednesday that two detainees held for years without charge at the Guantanamo Bay prison will be transferred to Ghana, leaving 105 detainees at the notorious camp.

Yemeni Mahmud Umar Muhammad bin Atef, 36, and Khalid Muhammad Salih al-Dhuby, 38, will settle in Ghana for two years, the defence department said in a statement.

“The United States is grateful to the government of Ghana for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility,” it said.

Ghana’s foreign ministry said in a statement the two men “have been cleared of any involvement in any terrorist activities” but are unable to return to Yemen. It added they will be able to leave Ghana after two years.

Both Atef and Dhuby had been cleared for release in 2010.

Should a male politician be allowed to take paternity leave?

A request to take paternity leave could, quite literally, make or break the career of 34-year-old Kensuke Miyazaki as a politician.

He is the first ever male lawmaker in Japan to request time off when his child will be born in February.

For a country known for its male-dominated business culture, Japan offers, as the OECD puts it, “by far the most generous paid father-specific entitlement”.

New fathers – if employed – are entitled to 52 weeks of paid leave and they would earn nearly 60% of their salary. In comparison, the UK offers 2 weeks paid leave with a fifth of their average salary and the US doesn’t offer any.

But only 2.3% of those eligible took it in Japan last year. The government wants to raise it to 13% by 2020.

“It is still a long way off so I thought by declaring that I want to take paternity leave as a lawmaker, I could set an example and cause a bit of a stir,” Mr Miyazaki told the BBC.