123 Show Noreen Mir : The perfect companion for your lunchtime!
Welcome to a new week on Morning Brew. Unfortunately both our Monday morning regulars Tracy Quan and Robbie McRobbie can’t be with us today (maybe on a joint secret mission researching rugby in the sex industry?). Instead after 10 we talk to Hong Kong’s champion marine conservationist and historian Dr. Robert Lockyer who organised possibly one of he biggest beach clean-ups Hong Kong has ever seen. It certainly was the hottest, and It happened yesterday on Lamma Island. There was also very very special marine species focus to this event which he’ll tell us about. At 11.10 we’ll meet top British jazz trombonist Jeff Williams, share some of his smokin’ music, and find out what he’s up to in Hong Kong this week. At 12.10 our American politics guy (and author of the Custom Maid series) Peter Dekrassel gives us his take on the dance party of the century, starring the super couple with the best portmanteau in the business...Trim! (9:30am-1pm, email firstname.lastname@example.org )
On Tuesday's Backchat, civil service pay. This year's Pay Trend Survey has recommended rises of between 2.84 percent and 4.51 percent this fiscal year, more than double last year's increases. Senior ranks will get the higher increase. Do our 170,000 civil servants deserve it? Will the difference between ranks make inequality worse? Is the overall pay for civil servants in line with the private sector? Should pay be linked to performance, and how do you measure that? What about the many civil servants who have reached the top of their pay grade? Should civil service morale be a consideration? Call us on 233388266 or email email@example.com. After 9.20, is the music fountain in Kwun Tong too costly to build?
US and UK markets are closed for a holiday on Monday which means that investors will be focused instead on the growing crisis in Europe. Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella is facing calls for impeachment after he blocked PM-designate Giuseppe Conte ‘s choice of a Eurosceptic for Finance Minister. Conte has now stood down and the efforts to form a new government have collapsed. That has helped ease pressure on Italian bonds and stocks which suffered steep falls on Friday. The gap between Italian and German 10-year government bond yields rose to 215 bps on Friday, the widest in 4 years. Credit rating agency Moody’s has threatened to downgrade the government’s debt to just one notch above junk level.
Political events elsewhere are also affecting market action. There is still uncertainty over whether the summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will take place as planned on June 12 in Singapore. Donald Trump cancelled the meeting last week but there were some encouraging signs from over the weekend that the talks could still go ahead. In a surprise meeting between the North and South Korean leaders in the demilitarized zone between the two countries, Kim Jong-un expressed his commitment to the summit proceeding as planned. US and North Korean officials continue to meet to prepare for the meeting. As a result, South Korea’s Kospi index was the best performer in the region on Monday morning.
Trade is also in focus ahead of a visit by US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to Beijing next week. The US is reported to be pressuring China to sign long terms contracts to purchase agricultural and energy products from the US, instead of other countries. Administration officials are also pushing for reforms to China’s intellectual property rules and the “Made in China 2025” policy as part of an overall trade deal. Trade relations between the US and EU are also reaching a critical phase as tariffs on steel and aluminium are set to kick in on Friday following the expiration of the exemptions. No deal has yet been reached to extend the deadline.
Crude oil has plunged in Asia trading with Brent crude oil futures down another 2% following a 3% fall on Friday. WTI futures hit a 6-week low after Saudi Arabia and Russia proposed easing output curbs.
Joining Tuesday's Money Talk are Connie Bolland, founder & chief economist from Economic Research Analysis and Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics. We’re also going to talk to Abdul Qadir Memon, Consul General of Pakistan in Hong Kong about how the Belt and Road initiative is impacting Pakistan. (Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, every weekday 8-8:30 a.m.)
The end of the Second World War ushered in a long period of ideological confrontation between the former Soviet Union and the West. With global tensions again on the rise, we'll be tracing the history of this decades-long struggle for supremacy, marked by espionage, proxy wars and the ever-present fear of nuclear missiles. Cold War - Stories From the Big Freeze features the voices of those who lived through this dramatic period. This 15-part BBC series begins on Sunday evening at 6.45 on Radio 3.
Podcast of Hooked is available now. Click HERE to download.
Anna Fenton presents a five-part series, Hooked, which looks at the growing issue of addiction in Hong Kong - from alcohol and illegal drugs to social media, internet pornography, smart phones and tablets (dubbed “process addictions” because like gambling, users get an effect without actually ingesting a chemical). Hear how the internet is providing a fast-forward button to addiction, find out what addiction really is, what it’s not, how to tell if you’ve got it, and what to do and where to get help if you’re ... Hooked.
Produced by Phil Whelan.
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