Jordan’s King Abdullah swears in new government to speed reforms

AMMAN (Reuters) – Jordan’s King Abdullah on Monday swore in a new government led by veteran diplomat Bisher al Khaswaneh that will seek to accelerate IMF-backed reforms as the economy faces its sharpest contraction in decades due to the coronavirus crisis.

British-educated Khasawneh, 51, was appointed on Wednesday to replace Omar al Razzaz, at a time of rising popular discontent about worsening economic conditions and curbs on public freedoms under emergency laws to contain the pandemic.

The new premier, who comes from a family that has long held senior political posts, has spent most of his public career as a veteran diplomat and peace negotiator with Israel with a last stint as palace adviser.

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Finance Minister Mohamad Al Ississ, who oversees the country’s reform program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), kept their posts in a 32-member cabinet dominated by a mix of technocrats and

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Japan must revise BOJ law to speed digital yen, enshrine inflation goal: senior official

By Leika Kihara and Takahiko Wada

Kozo Yamamoto wearing a suit and tie: FILE PHOTO: Yamamoto speaks in Tokyo

© Reuters/Kim Kyung Hoon
FILE PHOTO: Yamamoto speaks in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan must swiftly revise laws to allow the central bank to issue a digital currency, a move that could provide a chance to reform the Bank of Japan’s existing mandates and enshrine its inflation target, a senior ruling party official said on Monday.


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Kozo Yamamoto, head of the Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) council on financial affairs, said the BOJ risked being overtaken by private players who could launch their own digital currencies that could undermine the yen.

“If something too convenient pops up from the private sector, people might start to doubt whether they need yen as a currency unit. We must prevent this from happening,” he said. “This is fundamentally about protecting Japan’s currency sovereignty.”

Yamamoto said he would prod the government and relevant agencies to speed up

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How a government-linked foundation could speed the spread of new clean-energy technologies

<span class="caption">Sometimes promising innovations, such as this glass that can harness solar energy, developed by scientist Lance Wheeler, take a long time to reach consumers.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images">Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images</a></span>
Sometimes promising innovations, such as this glass that can harness solar energy, developed by scientist Lance Wheeler, take a long time to reach consumers. Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images

To address climate change over the coming decades, all nations will need to transition to energy resources that emit less carbon. This transformation, already underway, will require many new technologies.

The United States is a world leader in scientific research and technological development. But new inventions have to be brought to market and then widely adopted to have a deep impact. And in the clean energy field, the United States doesn’t do as well at making that happen as one might be expect, given its strength in basic research.

The energy transition might stall if the U.S. doesn’t overcome this problem, endangering human health and the environment. Research I carried out with Jetta L. Wong, the founding director of

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