Historic deal reached to cut greenhouse gas emissions

In a landmark step to combat climate change, about 200 nations, including India, on Saturday struck a legally-binding deal after intense negotiations to phase down climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons that have global warming potential thousand times more than carbon dioxide. Negotiators and policymakers held meetings all through the night, intensely deliberating to iron out differences over the amendment to the Montreal Protocol to reach the Kigali Amendment to phase out HFCs — that are widely used in fridges, air conditioning and aerosol sprays. The agreement reached by 197 parties on the amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is expected to prevent a global temperature rise of up to 0.5 degree Celsius by the end of the century, while continuing to protect the ozone layer. According…

SC asks Centre for steps to ease Bharat's note ban agony The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to spell out measures taken to ease the sufferings and inconvenience of people in rural areas, who are mostly dependent on co-operative banks, post-demonetisation. A bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice D Y Chandrachud, while hearing a batch of pleas challenging various aspects of demonetisation, said all the parties should sit together and prepare a list of categories of cases which could be referred to high courts and those that could be heard by the apex court. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, said the government was aware of the situation in co-operative banks which lack proper infrastructure and mechanism as compared to scheduled banks. "Entire chapter in the additional affidavit ...

Rents: bad and getting worse in Melbourne, says latest affordability index The cost of renting a home in Melbourne is rapidly becoming even less affordable, according to an index of property rental prices to be released on Wednesday. While Sydney is the country's least affordable place to rent, Melbourne has seen the biggest increase in prices since 2013, the Rental Affordability Index shows. The Rental Affordability Index shows the average household that rents spends around 24 per cent of its total income on rent. Photo: Supplied The index shows that the areas in both Melbourne and Sydney with the most affordable housing are the worst connected to services and are the hardest to get to jobs from. "Rental affordability is dividing Australia, with service rich areas tending to be very unaffordable," said Ellen Witte from planners and economists SGS, ...

Why Trump might not block the AT&T-Time Warner merger, after all Despite his campaign vows to block the deal, President-elect Donald Trump could be forced to take a friendlier stance on ATT's $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner than he initially laid out, analysts say — potentially disappointing supporters who were hoping for a big showdown with the company. Regulators at the Justice Department are likely to examine the proposed deal closely no matter what happens. But a constellation of factors, from the makeup of Trump's transition team to the mundane details of antitrust law, may make it difficult for Trump to oppose the tie-up once he is in office. As a result, one of the earliest decisions to occur on Trump's watch may be the regulators' approval of the massive acquisition. Trump blasted the merger...

U.S. dollar hasn’t been this high in 14 years and it’s clobbering just about ... The dollar surged to a near 14-year high on Thursday, clocking up a string of milestones against other top world currencies and clobbering emerging markets. Stronger data from the world’s biggest economy underpinned the greenback’s gains, which were further amplified by thinner volumes as U.S. traders stayed away for the Thanksgiving holiday. The dollar pushed its way past more of last year’s peaks against the euro to hit $1.0550 in early European action, with only the March 2015 high of $1.0457 standing in the way of a drive towards parity. The yen skidded to an eight-month low and China’s yuan to an 8-1/2 year low, while the highly sensitive Turkish lira and Indian rupee hit new historic troughs. “There doesn’t seem to be anything stopping U.S...

Fed speakers have focused too much on rate increases: Powell Federal Reserve policymakers should put less emphasis publicly on the short-term outlook for interest rate increases and more on the economics driving monetary policy and the uncertainty of forecasts, Fed Governor Jerome Powell said on Wednesday.In comments at a Brookings Institution forum on Fed communications, Powell said that a diverse set of views at the Fed, with 12 regional bankers and a Washington-based board who set their own public speaking schedules, helps strengthen the democratic framework of the central bank.But he said the now frequent speeches by Fed officials have led to too much emphasis on the timing of the next rate increase, de-emphasized the primary influence of the Fed chief in setting policy, and underplayed the amount of uncertainty facing the central...

General insurance cos’ premium up 47% General insurance companies reported a growth of 47.4% (year-on-year) in gross direct premium for October. Public sector insurers saw higher growth compared to private players, largely due to crop insurance. Data from the General Insurance Council show that growth of standalone health insurers and specialised players such as ECGC and AIC slowed down in October. The general insurance industry saw gross premium income at R11,834.75 crore for the month under review, compared with R8,028.99 crore in the same month last year. While private insurers registered gross premium income at R4,201.59 crore, up by 24.71%, public sector insurers reported growth of 74.78% at R6,689.57 crore. The general insurance sector have seen sustained growth in the last few months and higher participation from private players as against ...

Fears Of Political Instability Loom Ahead Of Italian Constitutional Referendum If markets are any gauge, the next time a government doesn’t get what it wants in a popular vote will be this weekend in Italy. The prime minister Matteo Renzi has staked his political career and reputation on a constitutional referendum that would make it easier to pass government reforms by taking back some power from the regions and the Senate. Italy’s stock index has been falling all month on the expectation that Italians will vote ‘no’ on Dec. 4 to protest Renzi’s failure to improve the economy. Renzi, who swept to power as a young, charismatic leader two and a half years ago with promises to shake up Italy’s government and economy, has said he will resign if the referendum fails. A ‘no’ vote would also torpedo...