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Clyde K. Valle

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Clyde is a business graduate interested in writing about latest news in politics and business. He enjoys writing and is about to publish his first book. He’s a pet lover and likes to spend time with family. When the time allows he likes to go fishing waiting for the muse to come.

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Donald Trump has announced he wants to cut government costs by cancelling the order for new planes to carry the American president.

Six weeks ahead of taking office, the president-elect tweeted: “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!”

The government has a contract with Boeing to build two or more new planes.

They would enter service around 2024.

Boeing shares fell more than 1% after Donald Trump’s tweet, but recovered most of their losses in afternoon trading.

Donald Trump would not fly on the new planes unless he won a second term in the 2020 election.

He also announced on December 6 that Japan’s SoftBank has agreed to invest $50 billion in the US aimed at creating 50,000 new jobs.

Image source Wikimedia

Image source Wikimedia

Donald Trump revealed the plan after meeting with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son at Trump Tower.

The president-elect tweeted: “Masa said he would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election!”

Donald Trump now uses his own plane, but as president he would travel aboard Air Force One, which is equipped with special safety, defensive and communications equipment.

The real estate mogul is known for his admiration of his Trump-branded Boeing 757 jet, boasting to Rolling Stone in 2015 that his aircraft was “bigger than Air Force One, which is a step down from this in every way”.

“Did you know it was featured on the Discovery Channel as the world’s most luxurious jetliner?” Donald Trump said at the time.

He told reporters on December 6 at Trump Tower in New York that Boeing was “doing a little bit of a number” and the cost was “ridiculous”.


“We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money,” Donald Trump added.

The US Air Force released a statement saying it had budgeted $2.7 billion for the project, “but expects this number to change as the program matures with the completion of the risk reduction activities”.

The White House said it was not clear where Donald Trump got the $4 billion figure he cited to replace the Air Force One plane.

Spokesman Josh Earnest said: “Some of the statistics that have been cited, shall we say, don’t appear to reflect the nature of the financial arrangement between Boeing and the Department of Defense.”

The Government Accountability Office estimates that the project’s overall cost will be $3.2 billion, a figure that is expected to rise.

Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher, in a statement, said: “We are currently under contract for $170m to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serve the unique requirements of the president of the United States.

“We look forward to working with the US Air Force on subsequent phases of the programme, allowing us to deliver the best planes for the president at the best value for the American taxpayer.”

Donald Trump has vowed to impose punitive taxes on US companies that move manufacturing overseas.

The president-elect promised a 35% tax on products sold in the United States by any business that fired American workers, and built a factory elsewhere.

Companies should be “forewarned prior to making a very expensive mistake”, he said.

Donald Trump has promised to help blue-collar workers, as well as reduce taxes and regulations on businesses.

Image source Flickr

Image source Flickr

He tweeted: “The US is going to substantialy [sic] reduce taxes and regulations on businesses, but any business that leaves our country for another country, fires its employees, builds a new factory or plant in the other country, and then thinks it will sell its product back into the US without retribution or consequence, is WRONG!”

Donald Trump went on: “There will be a tax on our soon to be strong border of 35% for these companies wanting to sell their product, cars, A.C. units etc., back across the border.

“This tax will make leaving financially difficult, but these companies are able to move between all 50 states, with no tax or tariff being charged.

“Please be forewarned prior to making a very expensive mistake! THE UNITED STATES IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS.”

Last week Donald Trump tweeted a warning to Rexnord Corp, an industrial supplier based in Milwaukee that plans to move a bearings plant and its 300 jobs from Indiana to Mexico.

“Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers. This is happening all over the country. No more!” he wrote.

Experts have warned that the president-elect will face legal challenges if he tries to impose tariffs on specific companies without congressional approval.

Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, predicted that the US courts would block such a move.

Real Madrid soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho have been accused of tax avoidance, according to claims based on a huge document leak.

They allegedly avoided paying tax on millions of dollars of earnings by moving large sums to the British Virgin Islands.

The allegations are said to be based on two terrabytes of leaked information which include original contracts.

Both of them deny the claims.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

Soccer agency Gestifute, which represents Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho, said in a statement: “Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho are fully compliant with their tax obligations with the Spanish and British tax authorities.

“Any insinuation or accusation made to Cristiano Ronaldo or Jose Mourinho over the commission of a tax offence will be reported to the legal authorities and prosecuted.”

The claims were published by an international consortium of journalists which obtained a trove of about 18 millions documents. Other top players were named in the documents.

The European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) consortium includes German newspaper Der Spiegel, Spain’s El Mundo and the UK’s Sunday Times. It says it intends to publish a series of articles under the banner “Football Leaks” over the next few weeks.

The leak comes eight months after the so-called Panama Papers lifted the lid on how the world’s rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth.

One of the newspapers in the consortium, the Dutch NRC, alleges that Cristiano Ronaldo moved €63.5 million ($67.7 million) to the British Virgin Islands at the end of 2014.

The paper says Cristiano Ronaldo received sponsorship fees which were moved via two Irish companies to the tax haven, 11 days before Spain changed an advantageous tax law.

The NRC says the striker has so far not responded to questions asked by the consortium.

According to El Mundo, the leaked documents relate to the time that Jose Mourinho spent as manager of Real Madrid, between 2010 and 2013.

Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo’s current employer, did not respond to requests from news agencies for comment.

Manchester United said the allegations related to events before Jose Mourinho’s arrival at the club and so it would not comment.

Jose Mourinho is reported to have moved €12 million ($13.2 million) into a Swiss account owned by a British Virgin Islands company, according to the EIC.

According to the reports, December 2 first batch of leaks centered on “a system” put in place by Jorge Mendes, whose company has denied any wrongdoing.

Jorge Mendes’ company, Gestifute, said in a statement that neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Jose Mourinho “have been implicated in legal proceedings of the tax evasion commission in Spain”.

Gestifute noted it had taken legal redress against claims of tax evasion and stressed it had always acted with “the highest degree of professionalism in relations with [its] clients and authorities”.

It accused the media consortium of operating in an “insidious” way concerning the stars’ tax obligations.

The plane carrying Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, which crashed in Colombia killing most of the passengers, had run out of fuel, according to a leaked audio recording.

A pilot can be heard repeatedly requesting permission to land due to an electric failure and lack of fuel.

Just six of the 77 people on board the plane survived.

The team, Chapecoense, had been due to play a cup final on November 30. Fans instead have been gathering at their stadium for a memorial event.

The leaked conversations between the flight crew and a Colombian air traffic controller give a glimpse of the frantic, final moments of the doomed plane.

The pilot and can be heard warning of a “total electric failure” and “lack of fuel”.

Image source Getty Images

Image source Getty Images

Just before the tape ends, the pilot says he is flying at an altitude of 9,000ft (2,743m). The plane slammed into a mountainside near the Colombian city of Medellin on November 28.

That there was no explosion when the plane came down also points to lack of fuel, with one Colombian military source telling the AFP agency its absence was “suspicious”.

It is not known why the plane was out of fuel: whether it was due to a leak or because there was not enough on board.

Investigators have yet to announce any single cause for the crash and a full analysis is expected to take months.

Chapecoense team was flying to Medellin for what would have been the biggest match in their history – the final of regional tournament the Copa Sudamericana.

The team lost 19 players in the crash. Twenty journalists were also killed.

Among the survivors, Chapecoense said that two players remained in a critical but stable condition, while the club’s goalkeeper had had one leg amputated and might still lose his other foot.

An injured journalist also remained in critical condition, the club said.

Another survivor, flight technician Erwin Tumiri, said he was still alive because he followed safety instructions.

“Many stood up and started shouting,” he said.

“I put the suitcases between my legs and assumed the brace position.”

Brazil declared three days of official mourning and thousands of fans in the city of Chapeco held a vigil in their home stadium to mark their loss.

Chapecoense directors say they expect up to 100,000 to attend collective funerals once all the bodies have been identified, most likely on December 2 or December 3.

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Oil price has surged after reports that OPEC members have agreed some details of a production cut.

Oil prices rose nearly 7% as energy ministers attended November 30 OPEC meeting in Vienna.

Ahead of the meeting Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih had said “there are good chances” a formal deal could be struck.

Two months ago, oil ministers had said full details of the agreement would be finalized at the meeting.

OPEC pledged to limit production by about 700,000 barrels a day, but said Iran would be allowed to increase production.

Oil prices rose then, but the absence of detail prompted some traders to have second thoughts about whether the cartel would actually take firm action.Oil prices fall below 28

Saudi Arabia has agreed to cut output by about 500,000 barrels per day at the meeting, Reuters reported.

That would take its output to 10.06 million barrels per day.

Reuters also reported that OPEC has agreed to suspend Indonesia’s membership to allow Iran to set new production levels at 3.797 million barrels per day.

Ahead of November 30meeting, Khalid Al-Falih said “there are good chances” that a detailed deal can be brokered, and that “the spirit is good”.

The Saudi energy minister said his country would have to “take a big cut and a big hit” to current production – and its 2017 forecast – if OPEC production were limited to 32.5 million barrels per day.

“So we will not do it unless we make sure that there is consensus,” Khalid Al-Falih added.

A production freeze for Iran at pre-sanctions levels would be “very considerate of other OPEC members when they’re having to cut,” he said.

“Iran has recovered to its pre-sanctions levels,” Khalid Al-Falih said.

Saudi Arabia has also been discussing a production cut with Russia, he added.

Brent crude rose 6.9% to $50.58 per barrel, while US crude also rose 6.7% to $48.25.

Traders said markets were jittery and prices could swing sharply in either direction depending on developments in Vienna.

A decision to cut has been hindered by a rivalry between Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s top producer, and Iran.

The Saudis have been hesitant to shoulder the lion’s share of a cut, while Iran has resisted reducing its own production, arguing it has yet to recover its output levels after years of sanctions.

The rising tuition fees have made attending university a very daunting prospect for many students. When this sharp increase in fees is combined with a high cost of living, it means that managing your finances and ensuring that you can live comfortably can be difficult. Fortunately, today’s students have found a few fantastic way to manage their finances each month and ensure that it does not impact their studies and lifestyle.

  1. Budgeting

The most important tip is to create a budget and stick to it for each week. To establish a budget, you first need to add up your total income. This could include student loan, savings, income from a job, grants or bursaries and money from parents/guardians. Next, you subtract essential outgoings. These include tuition fees, rent, household bills, insurance, phone bill, travel and food. The figure you are left with is what you can then spend on other items such as socialising, household supplies, books for your course and clothes. There are many great online tools or apps that can help with sticking to your budget.

Image source Flickr

Image source Flickr

  1. Part-Time Work

Another way that students have combated the increase in tuition fees is to take on part-time work. This can give a great boost to your income and give you cash to use on yourself, plus it will it may also give you transferable skills and experience that will help in the future. However, it is crucial that this work does not interfere with your studies, so you must be ruthless at organising your time. Ideally, the work will be flexible and you can communicate openly with your employer about your studies.

  1. Short-Term Loans

If you find yourself in need of some fast cash to cover part of your income, you should consider a short-term loan which is what many students are now doing. There are companies that are created solely to help students, including Smart Pig. Companies like this provide same day loans of up to around £350 until your next student finance payment. Student payday loan businesses typically have improved pricing, loan terms and procedures than regular payday loan companies.

These three methods are all great ways for students to manage their finances and handle the rise of tuition fees. With careful planning and regularly checking your finances each week, you should be able to stay on top of your bills and not have your studies or social life impacted by fees and cost of living.

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Thousands of fans of Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer team have held a vigil in the city of Chapeco for the victims of a plane crash in Colombia.

People walked from the town center to the stadium where they prayed and sang. A service was also held in Chapeco’s cathedral.

The team was flying to Colombia for the biggest match in their history when their plane went down shortly before landing in Medellin on November 28.

Six of the 77 people on board survived.

It is not clear what brought down the chartered aircraft, but some unconfirmed reports have suggested there was an electrical fault, while others say the plane was low on fuel. Both flight recorders have been recovered.chapecoense-plane-crash

Brazil has declared three days of official mourning, while minute silences have been held at football grounds around the world.

Some 10,000 people – including family members of the players – gathered in Chapeco’s Arena Conda stadium on November 29, still stunned by the news from earlier in the day.

Fans wearing the club’s green and white colors sang the names of the players and shouted “champions”. Families of the players hugged each other on the pitch.

Brazilians doctors have already flown to Colombia in order to identify the bodies, and arrange for them to be brought home.

This could happen in the coming days, as the lack of a fire at the crash site has made retrieving and identifying the bodies of the 71 victims relatively easy, emergency workers say.

Chapecoense team was due to play in the final of the Copa Sudamericana against the Colombian team Atletico Nacional on November 30.

Atletico Nacional has asked fans instead to come to the stadium dressed in white for a candlelit vigil. They have also offered to concede the game to ensure Chapecoense are declared the champions.

In other tributes, Brazilian first division soccer teams have offered to lend players to Chapecoense free of charge for the 2017 season, and asked the league to protect the club from relegation for the next three years.

Leading soccer players, from Barcelona stars Lionel Messi and Neymar, to Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, have also paid tribute to the players.

Alongside the soccer team, there were also 21 journalists on board the doomed flight – including well-known Brazilian commentator and former soccer player Mario Sergio Pontes de Paiva.

Three of the six survivors are soccer players:

  • Defender Alan Ruschel, who suffered spinal injuries
  • Defender Helio Zampier Neto, who has injuries to his skull and chest
  • Reserve goalkeeper Jakson Follman, who has had his right leg amputated and is said to be in a stable condition

Two crew members, Ximena Suarez and Erwin Tumiri, and journalist Rafael Valmorbida were also among the survivors.

Hailing from a small city of less than 200,000 inhabitants, Chapecoense soccer club had become an unlikely success stories in recent years, reaching Brazil’s Serie A in 2014 and beating more established teams.

Last week, Chapecoense became the first Brazilian team in three years to make it to the final of the Copa Sudamericana, South America’s second most important club competition, after beating Argentine side San Lorenzo.

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Samsung Electronics said on November 29 it will consider dividing the company in two.

The South Korean tech giant has been under pressure from some investors to break itself into a holding unit and an operating company to boost shareholder value.

Samsung also announced plans to increase dividends and said it would continue to buy back more shares.

Restructuring pressure had been mounting after Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.

In October, Samsung was forced to stop production of its flagship smartphone model after failing to resolve battery problems leading to overheating and the devices catching fire.

The company it would bring in “external advisers to conduct a thorough review of the optimal corporate structure”.Samsung profits Q4 2015

Samsung pointed out that “the review does not indicate the management or the board’s intention one way or another.”

The company also said it would pay out half of its free cash flow to shareholders for 2016 and 2017 and raise the dividend for 2016 by 36% compared to 2015.

In order to improve governance, Samsung said it would nominate at least “one new, international, independent board member” as well as create a separate governance committee.

Its statement comes after US activist hedge fund Elliott Management called for the company to split into a holding unit for ownership purposes and a separate operating company.

The fund argued that a split would simplify Samsung structure making it easier to get a clear valuation of the company’s assets.

Currently, companies within the wider Samsung Group are linked through a complicated web of cross shareholding, linking Samsung Electronics to many other Samsung’s companies and affiliates ranging from shipping, to heavy industries to insurance business.

That makes it difficult for investors to get a clear idea of what each individual Samsung company is actually worth.

The benefit of splitting Samsung Electronics into two companies would be that the cross-shareholding would affect only the holding company, while the operating unit could be assessed separately – making it a lot easier to arrive at a clean company evaluation.

The proposal has won support from several of the company’s investors and it is also thought that it would give back more control to the founding Lee family behind the company.

Samsung Electronics also said it needed to maintain a net cash position of between 65 trillion won and 70 trillion won, suggesting it is not likely to pay the special dividend sought by Elliott.

A chartered plane carrying 81 people, including top Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, has crashed on its approach to Medellin, Colombia, officials say.

Reports say there are 25 dead and six survivors.

The chartered aircraft, flying from Bolivia, was carrying members of the Chapecoense soccer team, airport officials said.

The team was due to play in the final of the Copa Sudamericana, against Colombian team Atletico Nacional.

The first leg of the final of the cup, South America’s second most important club competition, was scheduled for November 30, but has now been suspended.

Image source Getty Images

Image source Getty Images

The South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) said it was suspending “all activities”.

Chapecoense issued a brief statement saying: “May God be with our athletes, officials, journalists and other guests travelling with our delegation.”

It said it would refrain from any further statements until it had assessed the extent of the crash.

Reports suggest that at least two members of the team – Alan Ruschel and Danilo – may have survived.

The sports network Telemundo Deportes tweeted that Alan Ruschel was in shock but conscious and talking, and asked to keep his wedding ring and to see his family.

The mayor of the nearby town of La Ceja confirmed that a 25-year-old player was among the survivors.

He said that 25 people were known to have died.

The team, from the southern city of Chapeco, was promoted to Brazil’s first division in 2014 and reached the final last week after a victory against Argentina’s San Lorenzo.

Reports say the British Aerospace 146 short-haul plane, operated by Bolivian charter airline Lamia and carrying 72 passengers and nine crew, crashed in Cerro Gordo in the municipality of La Union shortly before midnight local time.

According to an airport press release, it was reporting an electrical fault to the control tower.

Medellin’s Mayor Federico Gutierrez described it as “a tragedy of huge proportions”.

The Jose Maria Cordova de Rionegro airport, which serves Medellin, posted on its Twitter account: “Confirmed, the aircraft licence number CP2933 was carrying the team @ChapecoenseReal. Apparently there are survivors.”

The airport later said in a statement that “all possible aid was being mobilized because six survivors are being reported”.

Poor weather has meant that the crash site, in a mountainous area, is only accessible by land.

However, there was no fire on impact, which has given rescuers hope that more survivors may be found.

CONMEBOL said in a statement that its president, Alejandro Dominguez, was on his way to Medellin.

Thousands of Indians have demonstrated in a number of cities against the government’s ban on two major currency notes.

Earlier this month, the 500 and 1,000 rupee notes were banned overnight, causing chaos as people lined up at banks to exchange their old currency.

India’s PM Narendra Modi has defended the decision saying it was an anti-corruption measure.

However, opposition parties say the move was mishandled.

Last week, they stalled parliament and demanded Narendra Modi should apologize for the decision.

Image source Reuters

Image source Reuters

Correspondents say it is unclear how much public momentum a day of protests will generate as many Indians have supported the move, despite the inconvenience it has caused them.

Most opposition parties said they would participate in the so-called “day of rage”.

A number of important regional leaders – like the chief ministers of Bihar and Orissa – refused to back the protests, saying Narendra Modi’s attempts to curb corruption should be welcomed.

Protest rallies have been held in the cities of Lucknow, Kolkata and Bangalore.

The southern state of Kerala and the eastern state of Tripura, both ruled by the Communists, saw a near total shutdown.

“We are protesting against the undeclared financial emergency imposed by the government and the hardships people across the country are facing because of this illegal decision,” Manish Tiwari of the Congress party told the AFP news agency.

“The decision to demonetize high-value currency was done without any authority and legislation and is clearly illegal.”

About 90% of India’s transactions are in cash and many people do not have a bank account. The two banned notes accounted for about 86% of the cash in circulation.

In his first national address since the government banned the notes, Narendra Modi called on November 27 for people to embrace digital payments and use less cash.

Last week, former PM Manmohan Singh said the government’s move to ban the much-used banknotes was “monumental mismanagement”, and that India’s gross domestic product would fall “by about 2%” because of the move.

Narendra Modi announced that 500 and 1,000 rupee notes were no longer legal tender as part of a crackdown on corruption on November 8.

There have been chaotic scenes in India ever since. People have spent hours queuing outside banks and cash machines which often run out of money.

In some instances the police have had to be called in to manage queues of anxious customers trying to access legal tender.

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During the 2016 presidential election both candidates discussed turning around the economy. It was the one topic that all Americans seemed to agree on. In 2014, the average American family earned $53,657 a year. CNN Money reports that this was the third year that the median household income stagnated. As Americans were not seeing a speedy recovery (we seem to forget the lesson of The Tortoise and the Hare) despite “[the] improving economy and falling unemployment [rate]…” they voted for someone who promised to cut their taxes in half and bring back jobs, but it’s not that easy.

Bills, Loans and Debt—Oh My!

According to U.S. News and World Report, there are five things preventing Americans from keeping their heads above water, we’re going to take a look at four:

  1. Student Loan Debt

Close to 70 percent of four-year degree graduates are in debt, including the writer of this article that you’re currently reading. The federal student loan balance is over $1.1 trillion and has quadrupled over the last decade. American adults aged between 18-34 years old are unable to buy a house, bringing the mortgage shares of this age group down to a 30-year low. Young people are unable to move out of their parents’ house upon graduation, with 36 percent still living with their parents as of 2012.

  1. Credit Card Debt

With the average credit card interest rate being just over 15 percent, it’s no wonder the average American household owes an average of $7,281 in debt, but, excluding the households that don’t carry debt, the average outstanding balance quickly spikes to $15,609. Time Magazine reports that it is in fact unusual for Americans to pay off their credit card bill in full. As the remaining credit card balance increases, Americans find it harder and harder to pay the bill at all.

Image source Flickr

Image source Flickr

Let’s breakdown how Americans are spending their money annually:

  • Food: $6,602
  • Housing: $17,148
  • Transportation: $9,004
  • Entertainment: $2,482
  • Healthcare: $3,631

This comes to a total of $38,867. Now subtract this number from the average American family’s take-home pay, and you have $14,790 leftover. What if you experience an accident? What if your car is totaled? What if your house burns down? What if your apartment is burgled and vandalized? You can’t prevent accidents from happening. If you forgo insurance to pay for other things, can you afford the repairs and replacements?

While there are services out there that offer less than the average cost of auto, homeowners and renters insurance, bills are still bills. To afford what we need, we need to examine closely what it is we’re spending our money on.

  1. Über Consumerism

Every time Apple comes out with a new commercial about the latest iPhone, you might find yourself listing off reasons as to why you need to upgrade your plan to get it. When your friend gets a new car, you might question why you’re still driving a 2005 Honda Accord. The idea of needing the newest and best thing now is what gets us into trouble. We swipe our cards for purchase before we understand what it is we’re really getting into: bigger bills, more debt.

  1. Car Loan Debt

It’s okay to drive a vehicle that is 10-years-old. If it has low mileage and you perform regular maintenance checks, your car is going to continue to purr like a kitten for years to come. Why would you trade in a perfectly good vehicle for a newer model? Some argue it’s for the better safety features, others argue it’s because it won’t be long before parts stop being made for your car, making maintenance impossible. Here’s the thing: car loans are rising and the value of your vehicle depreciates over time. Is it really worth getting a $25,000 loan when your car won’t be worth even that in two years?

It costs money to live, but you shouldn’t be drowning in debt. Take care of yourself by taking care of your finances.

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Many people who conduct business in cities struggle to find the right vehicle. They will want a car that looks professional and portrays the right look, but you will also want good fuel economy so that the car is affordable to run. This also enables you to zip around the city with ease. Unfortunately, city cars often do not have the best MPG despite being smaller than most automobiles.

 

Any business person looking for a smart city car with high MPG should consider the following vehicles.

 

  1. Mini Hatchback 3dr

This fantastic new hatchback from Mini is a superb choice for those looking for a stylish yet practical city business car. It has an impressive official figure of 80.7 MPG which makes it affordable to run and means you do not have to worry about finding a petrol station in the city often.

 

  1. Dacia Sandero

The Sandero is known for being an extremely affordable car, which sometimes deters motorists. However, it is an impressive city car which is both great to drive and portrays the right look. It boasts real life fuel economy of 61.7 MPG, so it is both affordable to buy and to run. Although it is not the most exciting vehicle, it does have a certain charm to it and it will fulfil the needs of anyone using it for business.

Image source Wikipedia

Image source Wikipedia

 

  1. Fiat Panda

The Fiat Panda has a great look; it is full of character and it is terrific for town driving. Fiat is well-known for creating excellent city cars and this model is no exception as it is fun to drive and has real-life fuel economy of 61 MPG. It also features a button which lightens the steering, enabling you to easily navigate tight gaps and park with ease around the city.

 

  1. Hyundai i20

The Hyundai i20 has been receiving rave reviews and is a great choice for business use in the city. It is attractive, spacious, affordable to buy and cheap to run. The 1.4-litre diesel engine has a true MPG of 59.4 MPG. This all ensures that it is sophisticated, practical and enjoyable to drive in town environments.

 

  1. BMW i3

This superb all-electric car is superb for city use as it has agile handling, low running costs and it is extremely lightweight thanks to state-of-the-art construction techniques. Typical of BMW, it is also very sleek and sophisticated. It offers an impressive range of around 124 miles, but you can also invest in a range extender version. This features a two-cylinder petrol engine and adds another 80 miles of range. You will struggle to find a better city car for business use than the BMW i3.

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When we think about charitable organisations, we always consider their purpose and the people that they aspire to help on a daily basis. As they are not businesses, however, we often overlook the fact that they need to generate money in order to fund their endeavours, raise awareness and affect lives across the globe.

 

More specifically, there are considerable gaps in knowledge regarding the challenges facing charities and the ways in which they leverage the money that has been entrusted to them. So while the UK’s charity sector is worth a staggering £60 billion each year, many nonprofits struggle to deploy this money in a way that drives productivity and promotes their message.

Image source Pixabay

Image source Pixabay

 

3 Challenges Facing Charities and How They Can Overcome Them

 

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the key financial challenges that face charities as they look to create productive and successful campaigns. These include: –

1. The Failure To Manage Finances Professionally

 

The nonprofit sector is notoriously complex and constantly changing, particularly in terms of compliance and the need for transparent financial management practices. These skills usually come at a cost, however, while it can be difficult to source service providers with the necessary expertise to deal with charitable organisations.

 

Fortunately, outlets such as Just Accountants have a team of accountants who are well-versed in the needs of nonprofit organisations, from the cultivation of a viable infrastructure to the deployment and everyday management of funds. This will not only drive transparency and compliance, but it will also optimise productivity and ensure that as much money as possible is committed to an underlying cause.

2.The Issue of Administration Costs

 

Unfortunately, the vast majority of charitable communications were historically sent by letter, which incurred numerous administration costs in terms of creation and distribution. This instantly deterred potential contributors, many of whom were unsure as to how much of their money would be used by the organisation to cover their costs.

 

Thankfully, the adaptation of email and more recently social media has enabled proactive charities to negate this issue, primarily by using the global reach of channels such as Facebook and Twitter to inspire, engage and raise awareness. These flexible and freely accessible channels help nonprofits to reduce operational costs without compromising on their message, ensuring that they can raise huge sums of money and reinvest this into their chosen cause.

3. The Motivation of Advocates and Ambassadors

 

Aside from the power and reach of technology, the typical nonprofit organisation is only ever as effective as the people who represent it. These individuals must be strongly motivated and engaged with the cause if they are to help the charity to achieve its goals, but nonprofits lack the financial resources or infrastructure to pay the individuals who work for them.

 

Charities must therefore learn invaluable lessons from the worlds of business and commerce, where financial incentives have gradually become less impactful over time. Instead, modern employees are motivated by job security and the ability to add value to a business, as this delivers greater satisfaction and more tangible rewards. Charities must therefore ensure that their volunteers do not become mired in everyday administration and nonprofit bureaucracy, as they instead empower them as influential advocates of a powerful and impactful message.

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Almost 900 Lufthansa flights have been canceled after the company lost an eleventh-hour legal bid to halt a pilots strike.

The two-day strike over pay began at midnight local time, with Lufthansa saying about 100,000 passengers will be affected.

Flights by Lufthansa’s other airlines including Eurowings, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, and Brussels Airlines are not affected, the company said.

The industrial action is part of a long-running pay dispute at Lufthansa.

Lufthansa pilots strike has triggered the cancelation of 1,511 flights

The pilots’ union, Vereinigung Cockpit, has organized 14 strikes since April 2014.

On November 22, Lufthansa made two legal challenges to halt the strike.

A Frankfurt labor court first rejected Lufthansa’s application for an injunction. Later in the evening, the Hesse state labor court rejected the airline’s appeal.

Pay talks between the Vereinigung union and Lufthansa broke down earlier this month, and Lufthansa said the union had “consistently rejected the offer” of mediation.

The Vereinigung is calling for a 3.7% pay rise for 5,400 pilots dating back to 2012.

Lufthansa, which is facing increasing competition from budget rivals, offered a 2.5% increase over the six years until 2019.

Meanwhile, a separate dispute with cabin crew at Lufthansa’s low-cost subsidiary, Eurowings, led it to cancel more than 60 flights on November 22.

Donald Trump has announced the United States will quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal on his first day in the White House.

The president-elect made the announcement in a video message outlining what he intends to do first when he takes office in January.

The TPP trade deal was signed by 12 countries which together cover 40% of the world’s economy.

Donald Trump also pledged to reduce “job-killing restrictions” on coal production and stop visa abuses.

However, there was no mention of repealing ObamaCare or building a wall on the southern border with Mexico, two actions Donald Trump said during the campaign he would do as soon as he assumed power.

During the presidential election campaign, Donald Trump gave broadbrush arguments against the TPP deal, and used plenty of colorful language.

In June 2016, Donald Trump described it as “another disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country, just a continuing rape of our country”. In another speech he referred to the TPP as “the greatest danger yet”.

While there was plenty of talk about “taking back control” of the US economy, there were few specifics.

Announcing the plan to pull out of the TPP, Donald Trump said that the US would “negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores”.

In the video message, Donald Trump said his governing agenda would be based on “putting America first” and that he and the new administration would “bring back our jobs”.

Besides quitting the TPP, Donald Trump committed to several other executive actions that he said he would take on day one.

The president-elect said he would cancel restrictions on US energy production.

Image source Flickr

Image source Flickr

In 2015, President Barack Obama brought in the Clean Power Plan, an anti-climate change measure which aimed to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector by 32% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels.

The Clean Power Plan, already on hold due to legal challenges, would have restricted coal power plants and came up against strong opposition in areas where leaders said the plans would devastate local economies.

Donald Trump said: “I will cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal, creating many millions of high-paying jobs.

“That’s what we want – that’s what we’ve been waiting for.”

The president-elect, a real estate mogul himself, has been strongly opposed to business regulations throughout his campaign. He blamed them for stifling business. A month before the election, he said that if he won, 70% of regulations could be axed, but safety and environmental rules would stay.

Now Donald Trump has pledged that for every new regulation brought into force, two old regulations will be eliminated.

Political leaders in Asia in particular have reacted strongly.

Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe said the TPP would be “meaningless” without the involvement of the US.

New Zealand’s PM John Key said the US was “not an island”.

Economist Harumi Taguchi said China could move in to fill the “void” left by the deal’s collapse.

However, Malaysia’s PM Najib Razak said it was President-elect Donald Trump’s right “to make the policy decisions he thinks right”.

APEC leaders have said they will pursue free trade deals despite Donald Trump’s election victory.

During the campaign, Donald Trump called for greater protection for US jobs and said he would tear up the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – the biggest multinational trade deal in years.

After a two-day summit in Peru, leaders of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation defended the benefits of open markets.

China also claimed growing support for a wider 21-nation trade deal it backs.

In a statement at the end of the summit the APEC leaders said: “We reaffirm our commitment to keep our markets open and to fight against all forms of protectionism.”

It also referred to the “rising skepticism over trade”, after the uneven recovery since the financial crisis had caused more people to question whether globalization worked for enough people.

However, the leaders said that the “the benefits of trade and open markets need to be communicated to the wider public more effectively, emphasizing how trade promotes innovation, employment and higher living standards”.apec-peru-2016

The TPP pact involves 12 countries: the US, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.

It aims to deepen economic ties between these nations, slashing tariffs and fostering trade to boost growth.

Donald Trump said the proposal was a “terrible deal” that would send American jobs to countries with cheaper labor.

The agreement must be ratified in the US Congress, which remains in the hands of Donald Trump’s party – meaning it’s expected to fail.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had also opposed the pact.

After the APEC summit, President Barack Obama reiterated his support for the pact, saying not going ahead would undermine the US position across Asia Pacific.

Barack Obama warned he was already hearing calls for a less ambitious trade agreement that would exclude US workers and businesses.

“When it comes to trade, I believe the answer is not to pull back,” he said.

“The answer is to do trade right, making sure it has strong labor standards, strong environmental standards, that it addresses ways in which workers and ordinary people can benefit rather than be harmed by global trade.”

However, while some leaders think the TPP could go ahead without the US, others say it would be impossible without a complete renegotiation.

Over the weekend, New Zealand PM John Key suggested there could be minor changes to the agreement that would give Donald Trump enough wiggle room to support it, without losing face.

Meanwhile Peruvian President Pedro Pablo said the TPP should not be written off, despite Donald Trump’s win.

China – which is not part of the TPP – has set out an alternative vision for regional trade.

Its proposal, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), does not include the Americas.

After the APEC summit, Beijing said several nations including Peru and Chile had expressed interest in joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

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The Grand Tour, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May’s first show since they left Top Gear has premiered on the Amazon Prime streaming service.

It is the first show to be fronted by the trio since they parted company with the BBC 18 months ago after Jeremy Clarkson punched a producer.

The Grand Tour will see them present from a different location every week.

Image source Amazon

Image source Amazon

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May will be seen embarking on a series of challenges and stunts in a variety of vehicles around the world in the new show, Amazon have said.

The first episode of the series, which aired on November 18, sees the trio take their travelling studio tent to Dry Rabbit Lake in the Mojave Desert in California.

Vehicles featured in the episode included hybrid hyper-cars such as the McLaren P1, the Porsche 918 Spyder and the Ferrari LaFerrari.

The Grand Tour first series will consist of 12 hour-long episodes – with one being made available each week.

A total of 36 episodes across three years have been commissioned by Amazon.

Currently, only fans in the UK, America, Germany and Japan are able to watch the first episode, but Amazon has announced it will be launching the show globally in December.

The new series does not include features such as “star in a reasonably-priced car” or The Stig – as those belong to the BBC’s Top Gear format.

Matt LeBlanc and Chris Evans took over presenting duties on Top Gear after Jeremy Clarkson’s departure, although Evans departed after one series.

Jeremy Clarkson has previously said of The Grand Tour: “I think program one will be all right. I’d be extremely surprised if that was poorly reviewed.”

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Russian Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev has been detained after being charged with taking a bribe to endorse a state takeover.

According to the country’s Investigative Committee (SK), Alexei Ulyukayev received a payment of $2 million.

He is the highest-ranking Russian official held since the 1991 coup attempt in what was then the USSR.

The SK said Alexei Ulyukayev had “threatened” to create obstacles for Rosneft’s operations when it took a 50% stake in another state oil company, Bashneft.

According to SK spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko, “Ulyukayev was caught red-handed”, receiving a $2 million bribe on November 14 for giving a favorable assessment of the Rosneft deal.

Image source kremlin.ru

Image source kremlin.ru

The apparent sting operation came after months of electronic surveillance, including phone-tapping, officials said.

Alexei Ulyukayev’s arrest was big news on Russia’s state-run TV channels, under the headline “Battle against corruption”.

If found guilty, Alexei Ulyukayev could face a prison sentence of between eight and 15 years.

Alexei Ulyukayev, 60, was appointed economy minister in 2013. An economic liberal in the 1990s, he became deputy chairman of Russia’s central bank in 2004.

It was only in October that Rosneft, an oil giant controlled by the Russian government, bought 50% of Bashneft for 330 billion roubles ($5 billion). Bashneft itself was one of Russia’s largest state oil companies.

Russia is in the middle of an economic slump, largely because of the fall in crude oil prices, and had lined up several state companies for privatization to replenish state coffers.

The sell-off of Bashneft had been shelved in August, reportedly by the Kremlin because of a dispute over who would take it over.

The controversial privatization returned to the agenda early last month, apparently because of the government’s need to raise money.

Alexei Ulyukayev promised last month that the entire sum paid by Rosneft would go to the Russian budget.

Economic liberals had fiercely opposed the idea of a state-owned company acquiring the government’s share in another state oil firm. It was seen as a victory for Rosneft’s chief executive, Igor Sechin, who has long been a close adviser to President Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin said last month that he had been “rather surprised” by the government’s earlier position to delay the deal as Rosneft was “strictly speaking” not a state company as part of it was owned by BP.

Alibaba has announced record sales record its annual Singles Day event.

The e-commerce giant said sales this year had reached 121 billion yuan ($18 billion), a rise of 32% on 2015 sales which were worth $14.3 billion.

However, some have questioned the accuracy of the numbers, amid claims of inflated sales data at Chinese online retailers.

Merchants passing off counterfeit goods as genuine is also a problem in the industry.

The company reported 82% of purchases had been made on mobile phones during Singles Day.Alibaba Singles Day 2015

Alibaba has also been experimenting with new technology including augmented reality and virtual reality to give shoppers other ways of buying items.

This year’s Singles Day had a blistering start with sales hitting $5 billion in the first hour, Alibaba said, though that total included pre-orders made by customers who could “lock in” prices. It took 90 minutes to hit that milestone in 2015.

Singles Day is held every year on November 11. The day is also referred to as Double Eleven because of its date.

Originally claimed as a celebration for China’s young singletons, Alibaba turned it into a shopping bonanza in 2009.

While Alibaba is undeniably the driving force behind Singles Day, other retailers have also started to piggyback off the idea, including extending the concept to Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Alibaba’s rival JD.com, which focuses more on electronics, reported receiving more orders in the first nine hours of trading on Friday than it had done during the whole of Singles Day 2014.

JD.com said sales passed last year’s Singles Day total in the early afternoon, but gave no figures.

As has now become tradition, Singles Day was kicked off with a televised gala event which this year included a performances by One Republic and appearances by basketball legend Kobe Bryant, soccer legend David Beckham and his wife Victoria Beckham.

Katy Perry, who had been scheduled to perform, withdrew citing a family emergency.

Analysts have predicted this year’s Singles Day could see Alibaba rack up sales of $20 billion despite a slowdown in China’s economy, partly due to the event having a broader audience.

Alibaba looks set to smash the sales record for its annual Singles Day event.

About 12 hours into the event, sales had reached 82.4 billion yuan ($12.1 billion), the e-commerce giant said. Last year’s record was $14.3 billion.

However, some have questioned the accuracy of the numbers, amid claims of inflated sales data at online retailers across China.

Merchants passing off counterfeit goods as genuine is also an industry problem.

Alibaba reported 85% of purchases had been made on mobile phones during Singles Day.singles-day-2016

The website has also been experimenting with new technology including augmented reality and virtual reality to give shoppers other ways of buying items.

Singles Day had a blistering start with sales hitting $5 billion in the first hour, Alibaba said, though that total included pre-orders made by customers who could “lock in” prices.

It took 90 minutes to hit that milestone in 2015.

Singles Day is held every year on November 11. The day is also referred to as Double Eleven (11/11) because of its date.

Originally claimed as a celebration for China’s young singletons, Alibaba turned it into a shopping bonanza in 2009.

While Alibaba is undeniably the driving force behind the event, other retailers have also stared to piggyback off the idea, including extending the concept to Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Alibaba’s rival JD.com, which focuses more on electronics, reported receiving more orders in the first nine hours of trading on November 11 than it had done during the whole of Singles Day 2014.

Mexican government says it is willing to discuss the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with President-elect Donald Trump.

The NAFTA came into effect between the US, Canada and Mexico in 1994 when Bill Clinton was president.

The pact created one of the world’s largest free trade zones by reducing or eliminating tariffs on most products.

It was meant to benefit small businesses by lowering costs and reducing bureaucracy to facilitate buying and selling abroad.

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said his country would try to explain the “strategic importance” of the deal for the region to Donald Trump, who has heavily criticized it.

Image source Wikimedia

Image source Wikimedia

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau also said he was open to talks.

Donald Trump has called the pact as the worst trade deal the US has ever signed.

His strong protectionist sentiments on the campaign trail helped to win support in areas that were formerly manufacturing centers. Donald Trump has pledged to bring back US jobs lost to globalization.

Mexico and Canada fear losing access to the US market, on which they heavily depend.

The Mexican peso hit a record low following Donald Trump’s unexpected election victory and fell again on November 10 after recovering slightly.

Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu said Mexico was willing to aim to “modernize” NAFTA with a Trump government and Canada, but also ruled out renegotiation.

Justin Trudeau said it was important to be open to discussion on trade deals.

No date has been set for talks but Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto has said he and Donald Trump have agreed to meet, possibly before the latter’s inauguration in January.

Aside from attacking NAFTA, Donald Trump has also heavily criticized the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a hugely ambitious deal signed between 12 countries that Mexico hoped to use to modernize NAFTA and expand its trade with Asia.

Ildefonso Guajardo said that in the event the TPP is not ratified by the US Congress, signatories should consider trying to implement the rest of the agreement without it.

President-elect Donald Trump has also angered Mexico by saying he would make it pay for a wall he wants to build on the shared border in order to keep out illegal migrants.

Indians have queued up outside banks across the country to exchange 500 and 1,000 rupee notes after they were withdrawn as part of anti-corruption measures.

People will be able to exchange their old notes, which stopped being legal tender at midnight on November 8, for new ones at banks until December 30.

The surprise move is part of a government crackdown on corruption and illegal cash holdings.

Banks were shut on November 9 to allow them enough time to stock new notes.

There are also limits on cash withdrawals from ATMs.

Image source The Hindu

Image source The Hindu

There were chaotic scenes outside banks in Mumbai and Delhi.

Some banks extended working hours to deal with the rush, and have hired extra staff on a temporary basis.

Meanwhile, Indian social media has been talking of little else.

The top trend on Twitter India has been #CashCleanUp with tweets ranging from the frustrated to the humorous, as many people came to terms with the fact that much of their day would be spent in queues.

New 2,000 (about $30) and 500 rupee denomination notes with new security features are being given to people to replace those removed from circulation.

A new 1,000 rupee note “with a new dimension and design” will also be introduced in due course, a senior government official said on November 10.

The government’s move is designed to lock out money that is unaccounted for – known as “black money” – which may have been acquired corruptly, or is being withheld from the tax authorities.

Finance Secretary Shaktikant Das warned people with large amounts of hidden cash that banks would closely monitor the exchange of old notes for new ones.

According to the government, the move will flush out tax evaders and that all old notes deposited in banks will be subjected to tax laws.

European markets are taking stock after sharp initial falls following Donald Trump’s victory in US presidential election.

The UK’s FTSE 100 index fell 2% at the start of trading before paring back some losses to trade 0.7% lower at midday.

Image source Wikipedia

Image source Wikipedia

Other major European stock markets also fell, with money flowing into safe haven stocks, gold and currencies including the yen.

Traders had expected Hillary Clinton to beat Donald Trump to become the next US president.

France’s Cac index and Germany’s Dax are each down about 1.5% after heavier falls at the start of trading.

Some analysts have likened the shock of a Trump victory to the Brexit result earlier this year.

However, neither markets nor currencies have swung as wildly as they did after June’s EU referendum.

US stock futures fell dramatically overnight as Donald Trump’s lead became clear, although the Dow Jones index is now expected to lose 2% – about 400 points when it reopens – compared to earlier predictions of a 4% fall.

Asian markets were described as a “sea of red” at one point, before seeing their losses narrow towards the end of Wednesday trading.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 finished 5.4% lower, but the Hang Seng in Hong Kong and the Shanghai Composite – which closed later – lost 2.2% and 0.6% respectively.

According to Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, “honest people” have no need to worry about a decision to withdraw 1,000 and 500 rupee notes from circulation.

Arun Jaitley said the move would flush out tax evaders, adding that all old notes deposited in banks would be subjected to tax laws.

The surprise move, announced on November 8, is part of a crackdown on corruption and illegal cash holdings.

The announcement was met with shock in India.

Media described the move variously as a “surgical strike” on tax evaders in India’s overwhelmingly cash-based economy and a “big bang note”. The banknotes declared illegal tender represent 85% of cash in circulation in India.

Image source Reuters

Image source Reuters

Arun Jaitley said that the move would also help India move towards a cashless economy, saying that farmers could “now keep their money in banks”.

He added that new 2,000 (about $30) and 500 rupee denomination notes to replace those removed from circulation would be injected into the economy over the next “three to four weeks”.

On November 8, there were long queues at ATMs as people tried to withdraw 100 rupee notes, which are still legal.

Banks and ATM machines were shut on November 9.

The most affected are likely to be small traders, vendors and laborers but newspapers were quick to point out that India’s wedding season, due to start in a few days, will also be hit hard.

“Black money and corruption are the biggest obstacles in eradicating poverty,” PM Narendra Modi said in his address to the nation on November 8.

The prime minister said the move would “cause some hardship” but asked people to “ignore” it, calling the step a “celebration of honesty”.

People will be able to exchange their old notes for new ones at banks over the next 50 days but they stopped being legal tender at midnight on November 8. There are also going to be limits on cash withdrawals from ATMs starting on November 10.

The move is designed to lock out money that is unaccounted for – known as “black money” – which may have been acquired corruptly, or be being withheld from the tax authorities.

Finance Secretary Shaktikant Das warned people with large amounts of hidden cash that banks would closely monitor the exchange of old notes for new ones.

The 500 and 1,000 rupee notes are the highest denomination notes in India and are extremely common in India. Airports, railway stations and hospitals will only accept them until November 11. People will be able to exchange their money at banks between November 10 and December 30.

Government guidelines say it is possible to exchange 4,000 rupees – but it is not clear if this is per day or in total. If there is a legitimate explanation for the cash, the authorities say, it will be possible to exchange it.

Asian markets have tumbled after results from the American presidential polls suggested a victory for Donald Trump looked increasingly likely.

All major markets in the region are now lower, with money flowing into safe haven stocks, gold and currencies including the yen.

Meanwhile the Mexican Peso has hit an all-time low against the dollar.

As traders had expected a comfortable Hillary Clinton win, even a tight race is enough to spark volatility.

Image source Flickr

Image source Flickr

Japan’s Nikkei 225 is down by 5.2% while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong is 3.8% lower and the Shanghai Composite has lost 1.6%.

Australia’s ASX 200 dropped by 2.1% while the Kospi in South Korea is 3.1% lower.

Earlier, American and European markets closed higher – but US stock futures fell sharply with the Dow Jones index expected to lose more than 4% – 800 points – when trading resumes on Wall Street on November 9.

The Mexican peso has seen some of the most notable fluctuations, falling more than 10% against the dollar.

The peso’s movements are seen by many as a good indicator of the election’s likely outcome, with an upward movement suggesting Hillary Clinton is ahead.

Mexico is expected to suffer if Donald Trump was elected because of his pledges to build a wall along the US border with the country and renegotiate their trade agreement.

Meanwhile the Japanese yen is viewed as a safe haven currency in situations of international volatility, so a strengthening yen suggests traders see a Hillary Clinton victory as less likely.