China became the first major economy to grow


China became the first major economy to grow since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, recording an unexpectedly strong 3.2% expansion in the latest quarter after anti-virus lockdowns were lifted and factories and stores reopened. Growth reported for the three months ending in June was a dramatic improvement over the previous quarter’s 6.8% contraction —China’s worst performance since at least the mid-1960s. But it still was the weakest positive figure since China started reporting quarterly growth in the early 1990s.

“We expect to see continuous improvement in the upcoming quarters,” said Marcella Chow of JP Morgan Asset Management in a report. Asian financial markets fell despite the show of strength by the region’s biggest economy as investor enthusiasm following announcements about research into a possible coronavirus vaccine receded. Economists say China is likely to recover faster than some other major economies due to the ruling Communist Party’s decision to impose the most intensive anti-disease measures in history.


Shamima Begum, the 20-year-old woman who left east London as a schoolgirl to join Islamic State, should be allowed to return to the UK to challenge the Home Office’s decision to revoke her British citizenship in person. This comes after a court of appeal partially overturned an earlier ruling by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (Siac) this year, which held that she had not been illegally rendered stateless while she was in Syria because she was entitled to Bangladeshi citizenship.

The court of appeal said Siac had failed to consider the evidence properly when it had made its initial decision to revoke Begum’s citizenship, because it had not assessed the “risk of transfer to Iraq and Bangladesh and mistreatment there”. Her UK citizenship was revoked by the Home Office on security grounds after she was found in a refugee camp in 2019, and Bangladesh has always maintained there is no way to Bangladeshi citizenship for her.


Britain bowed to growing pressure from the United States and ordered the phased removal of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from its 5G network despite warnings of retaliation. Beijing lashed out in response at Britain’s decision to ban Huawei equipment, saying London had become ‘America’s dupe’ and vowing to take measures to protect the interests of Chinese companies.

The policy reversal hands a long-sought victory to US president Donald Trump’s administration in its geopolitical tug-of-war with China. The White House said that the decision ‘reflects a  growing international consensus that Huawei and other untrusted vendors posed a threat to national security, as they remained beholden to the Chinese Communist Party’. But the move threatens to further damage Britain’s ties with the Asian power and carry a big cost for UK mobile providers that have relied on Huawei equipment for nearly 20 years.


Sudan's government said water levels on the Blue Nile had declined by 90 million cubic metres per day after Ethiopia started filling the dam on its side of the border, where it is building a giant hydroelectric dam. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) has been a source of tension in the Nile River basin ever since Ethiopia broke ground on it in 2011, with downstream countries Egypt and Sudan worried it will restrict vital water supplies.

Addis Ababa says the project offers a critical opportunity to pull millions of its nearly 110 million citizens out of poverty. Cairo and Khartoum are pushing for the three countries first to reach an agreement on how it will be operated. Sudan stands to benefit from the project through access to cheap electricity and reduced flooding, but it has also raised fears over the dam's operation.

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