Fitch Shifts Mexico Debt Outlook From Stable to Negative

Fitch Ratings changed its outlook on Mexico’s long-term foreign-currency debt issues Wednesday from “stable” to “negative,” citing the potential policies of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

The leftist Lopez Obrador has tried to smooth anxieties in the business community, but upset many on Monday by cancelling a partly built, $13 billion new airport on the outskirts of Mexico City.

The private sector had strongly backed the airport project, but Lopez Obrador called it wasteful. Instead he plans to upgrade existing commercial and military airports. He made the decision based on a public referendum that was poorly organized and drew only about 1 percent of the country’s voters.


Alfredo Coutino, Latin America director at Moody’s Analytics, said the decision to cancel the airport project “added not only volatility but also uncertainty to the economy’s future, because it signals that policymaking in the new administration can be based more on such kind of subjective consultation and less on technical or fundamentals consistent with the country’s needs.”

“The cancellation has certainly introduced an element of uncertainty in markets and investors,” Coutino wrote, “which could start affecting confidence and credibility.”

Fitch confirmed its BBB+ investment-grade rating for Mexican government debt, but said Wednesday “there are risks that the follow-through on previously approved reforms, for example in the energy sector, could stall.”

Lopez Obrador has said he will review private concessionary oil exploration contracts granted under current President Enrique Pena Nieto’s energy reform, but won’t cancel them if they were fairly granted. The fear is that future exploration contracts may be delayed or cancelled.

Lopez Obrador won’t take office until December1, but has already announced major policy decisions.


Some of his policy announcements – like fiscal restraint, respect for the independence of the central banks and a pledge to avoid new debt – earned praise from investors.

But Fitch noted the decision to cancel the airport “sends a negative signal to investors.”

Lopez Obrador has also pledged to have the state-owned oil company, Pemex, build more refineries to lower imports of gasoline.

Fitch wrote that this type of proposal will “would entail higher borrowing and larger contingent liabilities to the government.”



На Львівщині розпочався суд над підозрюваними в нападі на ромський табір

Пустомитівський районний суд Львівщини 31 жовтня розпочав слухання справи щодо чотирьох неповнолітніх осіб, які напали на ромський табір у ніч на 24 червня поблизу Львова.

Судові засідання по суті справи відбувались за зачиненими дверима. З одного юнака, згідно з рішенням суду, зняли браслет, щодо нього скасували домашній арешт. Зараз тривають слухання щодо четвертого нападника.

У кримінальній справі щодо нападу на ромський табір фігурує дев’ять людей: вісім неповнолітніх і 20-річний ймовірний організатор злочину.

Кримінальне провадження відкрите за статтями 115 (умисне вбивство, вчинене за попередньою змовою групою осіб), 161 (умисні дії, спрямовані на розпалювання національної, расової ворожнечі та ненависті, що спричинило тяжкі наслідки), 296 (хуліганство, вчинене із застосуванням предметів, спеціально пристосованих та заздалегідь підготовлених для нанесення тілесних ушкоджень), 304 (втягнення неповнолітніх у злочинну діяльність) Кримінального кодексу України.

Прокурори заявляють, що причетність молодих людей до злочину доведена. За скоєне їм загрожує від трьох до семи років позбавлення волі. Однак, за повідомленням прокуратури, неповнолітні особи, щодо яких сьогодні відбуваються судові засідання, сприяли слідству, а в обвинувальному акті зазначені пом’якшувальні обставини, щире каяття і активне сприяння досудовому розслідуванню.

23 червня близько півночі група молодиків напала на ромський табір на околиці Львова. Смертельні ножові поранення отримав 24-річний ром. 10-річному хлопчикові, 30-річній жінці і 19-річному юнакові надали медичну допомогу, у них були колоті рани.

Поліція, отримавши повідомлення від мешканців ромського табору, миттєво прибула на місце трагедії і затримала сімох неповнолітніх і 20-річного організатора нападу і вбивства. У них знайшли ножі.

Сергій Мельничук презентував друге видання своєї книги про боротьбу за мову

Луганчанин Сергій Мельничук доповнив друге видання досвідом поширення української мови та документами щодо судових справ

FIFA Asks Qatar Emir About Sharing World Cup With Bitter Foes

Adding 16 teams to the 2022 World Cup is about far more than sports. The head of world soccer thinks the proposal can help solve the bitter diplomatic fight between host Qatar and a Saudi Arabian-led coalition trying to isolate the tiny nation.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has visions of the World Cup uniting the region. He says the World Cup should expand from 32 to 48 teams by playing some of the matches in stadiums in the very nations who have cut ties with Qatar and closed land, air and sea passage to and from the oil-rich nation of 2.6 million people, all but about 300,000 of them foreign workers.

Qatar will have eight stadiums to host 64 games in an already-congested 28-day window. The World Cup was moved from June-July to November-December because of the extreme heat in the Persian Gulf, and the tournament schedule was condensed to minimize the disruption to the top leagues around the world.

Adding 16 more nations would mean 80 games, and that would require more stadiums. Infantino asked the emir of Qatar if he would consider allowing matches to be held in other nations, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, all are part of an economic and travel boycott against his country.

“This is something that would probably be a nice message,” Infantino said.

When the joint bid from the United States, Canada and Mexico won the right to host the 2026 World Cup in June, a trade fight was rumbling between the North American nations. Eventually, a new trade pact was negotiated.

At the time of the 2026 vote, “the relations were a little bit tense right between these countries,” Infantino said. “It’s something that’s comparable with the Gulf region. But for me, you know if there is a possibility [of sharing games], if there is a chance at least to even discuss, we should try.”

With travel to Qatar currently blocked by its neighbors, Infantino cautions that “maybe it will never happen.” He says he brought it up with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar, and the emir was open to the idea.

“When we speak it remains between us of course,” Infantino said. “What is, I think, important is that he told us, `Let’s continue the discussions together and see if this can (work).”‘

Qatar’s World Cup organizing committee is wary about changing plans almost a decade in the making, and having already irritated European soccer leagues with the FIFA-imposed switch to start in November.

“We need to know pretty soon,” said Nasser Al Khater, deputy secretary general of the organizing committee. “So we need to understand basically we’re looking to change the format, increase the number of days. Can we do it with eight [stadiums] and increasing the number of days?”

The FIFA membership has already voted on expanding its showpiece even to 48 teams in 2026. Infantino has been saying since March he is considering fast-tracking those plans by four years and acknowledged there has been little progress since then.

“Obviously we cannot even start discussing anything like that in a serious way without Qatar,” Infantino said. “I was discussing with [Qatar] federation officials and also with the Emir of Qatar and they want to look at it together with us and what kind of options … sharing some matches with some other countries or not … and these kind of things. These are topics that first, of course, the Qataris, of course, have to be comfortable with. Could they do it on their own? No.”

Infantino hopes to have resolved the number of finalists by March, with the qualifying draw scheduled for next year. If new conditions are added to the 2022 schedule, a bidding process for the extra games might be necessary.

“This is all will all be part of their studies and the discussions,” Infantino said. “We’ll study it we have to make sure that we have a proper process in place.”

The decision to award the tournament to Qatar in a 2010 vote forced FIFA to deal with concerns about labor conditions for migrant workers, many building the stadiums. The bidding process for the 2026 World Cup was the first where FIFA assessed the human rights records of countries.

If Qatar’s neighbors joined in hosting games in 2022, human rights conditions would come into focus again.

“This will obviously be part of discussions,” Infantino said. “Without the decision to go to Qatar would anything have changed? Who knows?But certainly, the fact that there was a World Cup in the spotlight for everyone has contributed to the fact that we are going, we’re speaking to them and we’re trying to tell them, `Guys try at least to change and so on.”‘

The United Arab Emirates already has close ties to FIFA, hosting the Club World Cup again in Abu Dhabi in December.

Saudi Arabia would be keen on joining the 2022 World Cup but it has angered soccer federations by hosting a television network that has allegedly been pirating Qatar’s beIN Sports since the boycott of Doha began in 2017.

A partnership with the Saudis could also be problematic in the fallout from the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi after he entered the country’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

“There are other countries in the region as well,” Infantino said, when asked about Saudi Arabia.

Qatar is still waiting for a proper consultation process to begin.

“Right now, as of today, we’re hosting a 32 team World Cup,” Al Khater said. “Our infrastructure, our stadiums are all based on the 32-team World Cup. That’s as much as we know and that’s as much as it’s confirmed by now.”

Rafael Nadal Pulls Out of Paris Masters with Abdominal Pain

Rafael Nadal pulled out of his second-round match at the Paris Masters on Wednesday because of an abdominal problem, meaning Novak Djokovic will reclaim the No. 1 ranking next week.

Nadal was returning from a right knee injury which forced him to retire from the U.S. Open semifinals, but took medical advice not to play against Fernando Verdasco.


“The last few days I start to feel a little bit the abdominal, especially when I was serving,” Nadal said. “I was checking with the doctor and the doctor says that is recommended to not play, because if I continue the abdominal maybe can break and can be a major thing, and I really don’t want that.”


At last year’s tournament, Nadal reached the quarterfinals but then pulled out against Serbian qualifier Filip Krajinovic. Nadal has dealt with off-and-on knee problems for years and, given his injury record, the 32-year-old Spaniard prefers to be cautious.


At the U.S. Open in early September, he dropped the opening two sets against Juan Martin del Potro before retiring. He then skipped the Asia swing to recover, missing tournaments in Beijing and Shanghai.


“It has been a tough year for me in terms of injuries so I want to avoid drastic things,” Nadal said. “Maybe I can play today, but the doctor says if I want to play the tournament, I want to try to win the tournament, the abdominal with break for sure.”


Nadal did not say whether he will play at the season-ending ATP Finals in London, beginning Nov. 11.


“I cannot answer. I just go day by day, as I did all my tennis career,” the 17-time Grand Slam champion said. “I would love to be in London of course. But the most important thing for me is to be healthy, be healthy and have the chance to compete weeks in a row. Something that I was not able to do this year, playing only nine events and retiring in two.”


Nadal is optimistic his latest injury will pass, providing he does not rush back.


“It would not be fair to say it’s a real injury today but what is sure, if I continue it will be a real injury,” he said. “When you come back after injuries, and you push a little bit, the body at the beginning some issues can happen.”


Djokovic, who faces Damir Dzumhur in the third round, will reclaim the top ranking for the first time in two years on Monday.


Also, Roger Federer advanced to the third round after big-serving Milos Raonic retired with a right elbow injury.


Raonic injured himself during a three-set win against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Tuesday.


“In the middle of second set, I overextended my elbow and it did some kind of pain,” he said. “I went and I did an ultrasound and MRI, and they found some kind of a lesion in the tricep.”


Federer, who won his 99th career title at the Swiss Indoors last Sunday, will face 13th-seeded Fabio Fognini.


Defending champion Jack Sock of the United States and fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev reached the third round in straight sets.


The 16th-seeded Sock saved all four break points he faced in a 6-3, 6-3 win against Frenchman Richard Gasquet, while Zverev advanced 6-4, 6-4 over American Francis Tiafoe.


Seventh-seeded Kevin Anderson, the Wimbledon runner-up, got past Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3, 6-7 (3), 7-6 (3).


No. 8 John Isner, No. 9 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 10 Kei Nishikori also won.


Dimitrov had 13 aces in a 7-6 (10), 6-4 win against Roberto Bautista Agut and Nishikori beat Adrian Mannarino of France 7-5, 6-4. Isner had 33 aces in a 6-3, 6-7(2), 7-6 (1) against Mikhail Kukushkin, with the big-serving American saving a break point in the 11th game of the third set.


Isner and Nishikori are competing with No. 5 Marin Cilic and No. 6 Dominic Thiem for the last two spots for the ATP finals. Thiem was facing Frenchman Gilles Simon later Wednesday, while No. 11 Borna Coric was playing Daniil Medvedev.





Укргідрометцентр: 1 листопада в Україні без істотних опадів

1 листопада в Україні істотні опади не очікуються, повідомив Український гідрометцентр у Facebook.

«Вночі та вранці на Правобережжі місцями видимість погіршуватиме туман. Вітер південно-східний, 7-12 метрів на секунду, у Криму та Приазов’ї окремі пориви 15-20 метрів на секунду. Температура вночі 4-9 градусів тепла, на узбережжі морів до 13 градусів, у східних областях від 3 градусів тепла до 2 градусів морозу», – заявили в Укргідрометцентрі.

Синоптики прогнозують, що в західних областях, Криму та на півдні Одещини місцями повітря прогріється до 16-19 градусів, на Закарпатті – до 20-23 градусів.

Birthday Blues for Bitcoin as Investors Face Year-on-Year Loss

Bitcoin was heading towards a year-on-year loss on Wednesday, its 10th birthday, the first loss since last year’s bull market, when the original and biggest digital coin muscled its way to worldwide attention with months of frenzied buying.

By 1300 GMT, bitcoin was trading at $6,263 on the BitStamp exchange, leaving investors who had bought it on Halloween 2017 facing yearly losses of nearly 3 percent.

A year ago, bitcoin closed at $6,443.22 as it tore towards a record high of near $20,000, hit in December.

That run, fueled by frenzied buying by retail investors from South Korea to the United States, pushed bitcoin to calendar-year gains of over 1,300 percent.

Ten years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s still-unidentified founder, released a white paper detailing the need for an online currency that could be used for payments without the involvement of a third party, such as a bank.

Traders and market participants said the Halloween milestone was inevitable, given losses of around 70 percent from bitcoin’s peak and the continuing but incomplete shift towards investment by mainstream financial firms.

“The value mechanisms of crypto and bitcoin today are based more on underlying tech than hype and FOMO (fear of missing out),” said Josh Bramley, head trader at crypto wealth management firm Blockstars.

Growing use of blockchain – the distributed ledger technology that underpins bitcoin – is now powering valuations of the digital currency, he said, cautioning that some expectations for widespread use have not yet materialized.

Others said improvements to infrastructure such as custody services may allow mainstream investors who are wary of buying bitcoin to take positions.

“We see behind closed doors financial and non-financial institutions beavering away to create the infrastructure,” said Ben Sebley, head of brokerage at NKB Group, a blockchain advisory and investment firm.

Bitcoin has endured year-on-year losses before, according to data from CryptoCompare, most recently in 2015.

Retail investors still account for a strong proportion of trading, market players said.

Investors who bet early on bitcoin and have stuck with it have faced a roller-coaster ride in its first decade. Many told Reuters they are optimistic that they are still onto a winner.


Держдепартамент США закликав Росію забезпечити доступ ОБСЄ до сходу України

Спеціальна моніторингова місія ОБСЄ раніше втратила свій безпілотник, спостерігаючи за колоною техніки поблизу кордону з Росією

Turkey: Khashoggi Was Strangled Immediately After Entering Saudi Consulate

A Turkish prosecutor says Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was killed by strangulation immediately after entering Riyadh’s consulate in Istanbul, before his body was “cut into pieces.”

The statement by chief Istanbul prosecutor Ifran Fidan comes as Turkey pressures Saudi Arabia to extradite the 18 people it detained in connection with Khashoggi’s killing.

Fidan also said that talks with Saudi chief prosecutor Saud al-Mojeb produced “no concrete result” despite sincere efforts to disclose the truth.

Fidan’s statement was the first public confirmation by a Turkish official the journalist was mutilated after entering the consulate, the result of a premeditated plan.

“In accordance with plans made in advance, the victim … was strangled to death immediately after entering the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia,” the statement said.  “The victim’s body was dismembered and destroyed following his death by suffocation – again, in line with advance plans.”

A spokesman for Turkey’s ruling AK party said Wednesday Khashoggi’s murder could not have happened without orders from at least one “high-level” Saudi authority.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has requested Saudi officials identify an alleged local collaborator suspected of disposing of Khashoggi’s body.

Erdogan and other Turkish officials have repeatedly complained that Saudi Arabia has obstructed the investigation by refusing to reveal key pieces of evidence like the location of Khashoggi’s body.

His October 2 disappearance at the consulate has created an international firestorm that threatens the already complicated relations between Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States.

Turkey has steadily ramped up pressure on Saudi Arabia to provide answers amid its shifting official explanations on Khashoggi’s fate.  Weeks after the fact, Riyadh admitted the writer had been killed in the consulate by a team of 15 Saudi agents.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, often criticized by Khashoggi in his Washington Post columns, had hailed the “unique” cooperation between the two countries only days before.

U.S. President Donald Trump has called Khashoggi’s disappearance and death “one of the worst cover-ups in the history of cover-ups,” but has also said the U.S. should not be too critical of the regime because of a pending multi-billion dollar arms deal with Riyadh.  U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has revoked the visas of Saudi officials believed to have taken part in the killing.

Khashoggi had gone into the Saudi consulate in the Turkish capital on October 2 to obtain paperwork he needed for his planned marriage to Turkish national Hatice Cengiz, who waited for him outside the consulate.  He was never seen again.


In Venice’s War on Mega-Ships, Cruise Lines Fire Back

The population of Italy’s Renaissance canal city of Venice has been on a steady decline for years. At the same time, the number of tourists keeps rising and many Venetians complain their city should not be turned into what some critics describe as a “Disneyland on water.” Their biggest complaint is about the arrival of gigantic cruise ships that dock right at Saint Mark’s Square. Big ships present a dilemma for the city and its economy.

The Venetians have long called them “monsters” because, many say, the massive cruise ships in their lagoon are not only eyesores that block the view, but also displace water due to their size and have been hurting the foundations of the city’s gorgeous Renaissance-era buildings.

Nearly 99-percent of the 18,000 Venetians who voted in an unofficial referendum organized by the No Big Ships campaign group in June last year said they wanted the vessels to stay out of the lagoon.

Fewer than six months later and under intense public pressure, the Italian government announced ships weighing more than 96,000 tons will be banned from entering St. Mark’s basin and have to dock elsewhere.

Now, questions are emerging — mainly by the cruise industry — on what the restrictions mean for the economy of Venice, and Italy in general.

Cruise lines say they have an interest in protecting the sites they seek to showcase, and are defending their presence by pointing to the economic benefits their ships bring to port cities. Cruise Lines International Association President Roberto Martinoli spoke to reporters in Rome.

He said the cruise industry represents nearly three percent of Venice’s GDP and this, he said, cannot be ignored.

Martinoli contends the ships should not be blamed for Venice’s problems and notes they represent less than 10 percent of traffic in the lagoon.

He said cruise ships are not the “giants of evil” that some say are responsible for the city’s overcrowding. Cruise passengers represent, he added, only five percent of Venice’s tourist numbers and have diminished by a quarter from their peak five years ago.

He also said the cruise industry has spent billions on environmental research and innovation projects.

It will not be easy to convince Venice residents who say the damage done by cruise ships — especially to the environment — outweighs any economic benefit from tourists who patronize the city’s cheap souvenir shops, restaurants, and museums.

At a demonstration earlier this year, Stefano Micheletti of the No Big Ships committee expressed sentiments common to many Venetians.

Micheletti said large ships must stay out of the lagoon because it is not only about the visual impact next to St. Mark’s Square or the possibility of an accident, but about the lagoon’s eco-system. Big ships must stay out, he added, because they are a cause for pollution that critics say is ruining the historic city.