Overseas Headlines-December 24, 2019

December 24, 2019

United States:

Trump Promotes Aide Who Defied House Impeachment Subpoena

“President Donald Trump has promoted a White House aide who was subpoenaed in the House impeachment investigation but declined to testify. The aide, Robert Blair, has been named a special representative for international telecommunications policy, the White House said in a statement on Monday evening. Blair, according to the statement, will “coordinate interagency efforts and serve as a liaison to industry, non-governmental, and international stakeholders to promote the development, deployment, and operation of the next-generation telecommunications infrastructure” and support the administration’s policies regarding 5G technology. He will report to Larry Kudlow, the White House economic adviser. He will continue in his capacity as an assistant to the president and senior adviser to Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, the White House added. Blair was among the administration officials who were subpoenaed by the House impeachment committees in the fall, but did not appear under direction from the White House, which cited advice from the U.S. Justice Department.”



German Labor Scarcity Threatens Decade-Long Tourist Boom

“The Hotel Neptun on the Baltic coast has a luxury problem familiar to many German businesses: a lengthy help-wanted list it needs to fill to meet booming demand. The five-star accommodation in a 1970s-era beachfront high rise at Warnemuende is looking for an electrician, chefs, a waiter, a maid, fitness instructors and a beautician to serve a growing number of German and international guests. It’s an issue that threatens growth not only in the country’s tourism sector — on track for a 10th year of expansion — but across Europe’s biggest economy. “Holidaying in Germany has never been more popular,” said Guido Zoellick, the hotel’s general manager who is also president of the German hotel and restaurant association DEHOGA.”



 India Should Avoid Fiscal Stimulus as Debt Surges, IMF Says

“India’s government should avoid a fiscal stimulus to spur the economy, and focus instead on cutting public debt so that financial resources can be freed up for investment, the International Monetary Fund said. While the national government has a budget deficit target of 3.3% of gross domestic product in the year through March, a better reflection of the fiscal position is the public sector borrowing requirement, which the IMF estimates has increased to about 8.5% of GDP. “Economic development projects and enhanced social initiatives in India will be vital in the coming years,” the IMF said in a statement accompanying its annual Article IV report on the economy. “But to generate the revenue needed to get them off the ground, India’s debt — among the highest in emerging markets — must be reduced.” ”


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