Facing more threats from China, N Korea: Japan
Japan faces increasingly serious threats to its security from an assertive China and an unpredictable North Korea, the defence ministry said in its first annual report since hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office. The report was harshly critical of Chinas recent actions and prompted a sharp response from Beijing. There are various issues and destabilising factors in the security environment surrounding Japan, some of which are becoming increasingly tangible, acute and serious, said the defence white paper, issued as ruling party politicians call for the Japanese military to beef up its ability to respond.
Myanmar law for central bank autonomy due soon
Myanmar is expected to enact a law within days that will give more autonomy to the central bank, which is currently part of the finance ministry, a senior official in the Presidents office said on Tuesday. The new law is part of a series of economic and political reforms pushed through by the quasi-civilian government of President Thein Sein, in office since nearly half a century of military rule ended in March 2011. Parliament passed the law on Monday and it would now go to the President.
EU lets Bank of Ireland keep insurance business
Bank of Ireland won European Union approval on Tuesday to keep its insurance arm, but will have to sell other businesses and will also be banned from paying dividends beyond 2015 in line with a restructuring related to its bailout four years ago. Irish authorities pumped 3.5 billion euros into the bank in 2009 in a rescue after the financial crisis. The bank subsequently had to sell assets and to stop paying dividends in return for securing the European Commissions clearance for the aid. Bank of Ireland had promised to sell its insurance business in 2011 under a second restructuring plan approved by the European Commission.
Toronto storm causes chaos throughout city
A severe thunderstorm caused flash flooding in Toronto, cutting power to at least 300,000 in Canadas largest city, shutting down subways, forcing some people to cling to trees and leaving about 1,400 passengers stranded for hours on a commuter train filled with gushing water. Environment Canada said some parts of the city had been drenched with more than 3.9 inches
(10 centimetres) of rain in the Monday evening storm, easily beating the previous one-day rainfall record of 1.4 inches in 2008. Toronto police and firefighters used small inflatable boats to rescue commuters from a 10-car, double-decker Go Transit train that stalled in floodwaters that reached right
up to the lower windows.
PwC made administrator of Britains UK Coal
Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) has been appointed administrator of Britains biggest coal producer UK Coal, the firm said on Tuesday. UK Coal has struggled to break even in recent years because of rising costs, hefty pension liabilities and competition from cheap imports. Immediately following the appointment, the administrators completed a restructuring of the majority of the companys business and assets to a new company called UK Coal Production Limited and its trading subsidiaries, which include, UK Coal Kellingley Limited, UK Coal Thoresby Limited and UK Coal Surface Mines Limited, PwC said in a statement.