Read about the the latest Panama Leaks shocker, the latest Indian to receive Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honour, the new World T20 champions and more …
1) Panama Papers: a massive document leak reveals a global web of corruption and tax avoidance:
- Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca has suffered a serious server hack leading to the leaking of 2.6TB of data relating to some of the most powerful people in the world.
- The cache of 11.5 million leaked files is being referred to as “the Panama Papers” and was obtained from an anonymous source by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung. It was then shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and other media outlets around the world.
- At 2.6TB, this is the largest data leak of the past several years – bigger than either WikiLeaks in 2010 or the NSA files in 2013.
- It also seems that the method of extracting data, and potentially therefore the person who leaked it, is different too.
- These leaks have exposed how the world’s rich and powerful have hidden their money.
- The data shows links to families and associates of some of the most powerful people in the world, including the former president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, the former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi and the current president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad.
- Indians were not allowed to float overseas entities before 2003. In 2004, for the first time individuals were allowed to remit funds up to a limit. In most of the cases, companies were set up long before the rules were changed in 2013, when individuals were allowed to set up subsidiaries or invest in joint ventures under the Overseas Direct Investment window.
- More than 500 Indians figure on the firm’s list of offshore companies, foundations and trusts. There are also 234 Indian passports (handed over by clients as part of the incorporation process).
2) Narendra Modi conferred Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian honour.
- In a special gesture, Saudi Arabia on Sunday conferred its highest civilian honour — the King Abdulaziz Sash — on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- Theaward is named after Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder of the modern Saudi state.
- World leaders who have received the honour include Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, British Prime Minister David Cameron, US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
3) World Twenty20: West Indies beat England to claim second title.
- Carlos Brathwaite hit the first four balls of the final over for six as West Indies stunned England to win the World Twenty20.
- West Indies, who were 11-3 in pursuit of England’s 155-9, needed 19 off the final over to win and did it in style.
- Marlon Samuels’ 85 not out kept them in contention before Brathwaite’s match-winning blitz off Ben Stokes.
- Joe Root scored 54 for England but nothing could stop the Windies joining their women as World T20 champions.
- In the process, the West Indies also became the first two-time winners of the men’s World Twenty20.
- Despite the devastating loss, England can take a lot of encouragement from their performance in this tournament, which has showcased an attacking philosophy and resilience that was completely lacking during their group-stage exit of last year’s 50-over World Cup.
- But for Brathwaite and Samuels, it would have been Eoin Morgan’s side capping their rapid improvement with their own World T20 title.
4) Mehbooba Mufti Sworn In As First Woman Chief Minister Of Jammu And Kashmir:
- Mehbooba Mufti of the Peoples Democratic Party or PDP took oath this morning as the first woman Chief Minister of the country’s only Muslim majority state, Jammu and Kashmir, at the head of a coalition government that includes the BJP.
- The 56-year-old succeeds her father Mufti Mohammad Saeed who died in January this year. 23 ministers are taking oath along with Ms Mufti, including members of the BJP, whose Nirmal Singh will be Deputy chief minister.
- In an indication of the struggles that lie ahead for Ms Mufti, senior PDP leader and lawmaker Tariq Karra boycotted the oath ceremony.
- Mr Karra wanted Ms Mufti to exclude key PDP leaders Altaf Bukhari, Naeem Akhtar and Haseeb Drabu from her council of ministers.
- He alleges that they plotted to form government in alliance with the BJP without Ms Mufti as she refused to take oath for three months after her father’s death.
- Ms Mufti dropped Mr Bukhari, but not the others. She has instead replaced two lawmakers who were junior ministers in Mufti Saeed’s team.
5) India factory activity at eight-month high in March on strong demand – PMI
- Indian manufacturing activity expanded for the third straight month in March and at the fastest pace since July, driven by stronger demand which allowed companies to raise prices, a business survey showed.
- That could sway the Reserve Bank of India from cutting interest rates as expected on April 5.
- The Nikkei/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to an eight-month high of 52.4 in March from February’s 51.1, its third straight month above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.
- The findings “provide welcome reassurance that the sector has moved farther away from the flood-related contraction seen in December,” said Pollyanna De Lima, an economist at Markit.
- Severe rainfall and flooding caused widespread destruction in late November and early December, which constrained output to its lowest since early 2009.
- The latest survey showed the new orders sub-index, a proxy for domestic demand, also rose to an eight-month high of 53.9 in March from 52.3, encouraging firms to increase output. Foreign demand also rose though at a slightly more moderate pace.
- Stronger demand allowed firms to raise prices of their goods at the fastest pace in 16 months to make up for rising input costs, a trend likely to get some notice at the central bank.