The top­ics you have to be able to dis­cuss this week

Financial Mail - - BETWEEN THE CHAINS -

1. War of words

South Korea has stopped broad­cast­ing pro­pa­ganda from loud­speak­ers along the bor­der with North Korea. High-level talks have been sched­uled for this week, as re­la­tions be­tween the neigh­bours have thawed.

The loud­speak­ers blast ev­ery­thing from pop mu­sic to news re­ports crit­i­cal of the North, and can be heard by North Korean troops sta­tioned along the bor­der and civil­ians in the area, the BBC re­ports.

North Korea has its own speak­ers along the bor­der. For now, those haven’t been turned off.

“Pre­vi­ously there was an in­di­ca­tion that the new min­ing act would have a re­quire­ment [for com­pa­nies] to list on the [Zim­bab­wean] ex­change. But we can as­sure you that this qual­i­fi­ca­tion will be taken out.” Sibu­siso Moyo, for­eign af­fairs & in­ter­na­tional trade min­is­ter of Zim­babwe

2. Peace­ful poll

Spe­cial courts have been set up in Zim­babwe to deal with cases of po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence ahead of elec­tions in July. Pre­vi­ous polls in that coun­try were marred by vi­o­lence as in­sti­tu­tions such as the po­lice and mil­i­tary were used to keep Robert Mu­gabe in power.

This is the first time that such courts have been es­tab­lished. The move fol­lows a pledge by pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa to hold a free vote. Mnan­gagwa has also in­vited Western ob­servers to the elec­tion; they have been banned from at­tend­ing since 2002.

3. Elec­tric buses drive down de­mand for fuel

About 99% of the 385,000 elec­tric buses on the roads world­wide in 2017 were in China, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg. The ve­hi­cles have led to a re­duc­tion in de­mand for fuel in pol­lu­tion­af­fected Chi­nese cities.

Elec­tric buses ac­count for 17% of China’s en­tire fleet. Ev­ery five weeks, Chi­nese cities add 9,500 elec­tric buses to this net­work — equiv­a­lent to Lon­don’s en­tire work­ing fleet, Bloomberg says. And for ev­ery 1,000 bat­tery-pow­ered buses in use, about 500 bar­rels/day of diesel fuel are dis­placed from the mar­ket.

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