Iranian election, no “Plan B” for solving the refugee crisis and lessons in debt

Technology Eye | Feb. 29, 2016

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had no “Plan B” for solving the refugee crisis and insisted there was nothing that would make her change course during an interview on Sunday.

Ms Merkel said she could understand a recent poll that showed 81 per cent believed her government had lost control of the migrant crisis, but rejected the proposal backed by many in Germany to introduce an upper limit on migration. However, she admitted that the refugee crisis was the worst she had faced in her 10 years as chancellor, dwarfing even the eurozone debt problem. (FT)

In the news:

Iran votes in centrists over hardliners

Moderates close to centrist President Hassan Rouhani have gained crucial seats in parliamentary elections, dealing a blow to hardliners desperate to stymie efforts to open the country to foreign investment. (FT)

Beijing muzzles ‘The Cannon’

The Chinese internet watchdog has silenced outspoken property tycoon Ren Zhiqiang by shutting his popular social media account, which has 38m followers. (FT)

Bill Gates warns on unicorns

The billionaire said investors should be more discriminating when investing in private companies valued at more than $1bn, but acknowledged that venture capital is particularly attractive now given low interest rates. (FT)

Syria ceasefire shortlived

Rebel activists said the Assad regime and its Russian allies had stepped up air strikes on Sunday, a day after an internationally brokered truce went into effect. (WSJ)

Grounded capital

Beijing has mothballed two outbound investment schemes, according to people with knowledge of the situation, in its latest bid to stem capital outflows and shore up the renminbi as economic growth slows. (FT)

Too late to beat Trump?

The Republican establishment is rallying behind Marco Rubio in an effort to defeat Donald Trump. But is it too little, too late ? Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is rebuilding the air of inevitability that her campaign had before she faced a surprisingly strong challenge from Bernie Sanders. (FT)

It’s a big day for:

Hollywood , which has come under fire the second year in a row for nominating only white actors in the main Oscars acting categories.(FT)

Food for thought:

Birthdays every four years

February 29 comes every four years. Those born on the day face bureaucratic problems and questions over how they celebrate . (Quartz)

Lessons in debt

US student debt has climbed to $1.2tn, but rising defaults have led to calls to cancel part of it as more young people seek university degrees. (FT)

A dangerous precedent

Republican congressman Darrell Issa, who chairs the subcommittee on courts, intellectual property and the internet, says forcing Apple to help decrypt a phone would create a dangerous precedent and that companies should not be forced to deliberately weaken their own products. (Wired)

The age of disintegration

Europe is at risk of four fractures, argues the FT’s Wolfgang Munchau, and is about to face one of the most difficult moments in its history: member states have lost the will to find joint solutions to problems they could solve at the level of the EU but not on their own. (FT)

Swag bag

Each year every actor nominated for an Oscar goes home with a gift bag. In 1999, it was worth $16,000. This year it totals $230,000 , and features a luxury holiday to Israel. (Slate)

Video of the day:

Iranian elections pave way for investment

The FT’s Najmeh Bozorgmehr reports from Tehran about the results of crucial elections that could help open the door to foreign investments after the landmark nuclear agreement with world powers. (FT)

SOURCE: World Economic Forum

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