Mexico economy: Gov't rules out stimulus as businesses suffer

Producer Says Kidman, Firth Not Part of ‘Mrs. Churchill’s War’

Actors Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth are not part of the movie “Mrs. Churchill’s War” as previously stated by Thailand’s Department of Tourism, the film’s producer said.

Both Kidman and Firth “are not attached to the movie,” U.K.-based StarWolf Media Ltd. said in an email. “This was apparently based on a cast wish list.”

Earlier this week, the Department of Tourism listed both actors as part of the film, which had stated intentions to shoot in the country.

Firth’s representative said he has no knowledge of the movie. Kidman’s representative didn’t immediately return a request for comments.

— With assistance by Nick Turner

Singaporean pleads guilty in U.S. to acting as Chinese intelligence agent: Justice Department

A Singaporean man who set up a fake consulting site to solicit information from U.S. government and military workers has pleaded guilty to acting as an illegal agent of Chinese intelligence, the Justice Department said on Friday.

Sentencing for Jun Wei Yeo, also known as Dickson Yeo, will be in October, according to the department. The U.S. is cracking down on Chinese spying, with the FBI having interviewed dozens of visa holders about their possible ties to Chinese intelligence.

On Friday a Chinese researcher who took refuge in the San Francisco consulate was expected to appear in court on allegations she lied about her Chinese military service, while the U.S. counterintelligence agency chief warned China and other nations could interfere with November elections.

Live coverage: PM Lee Hsien Loong announces new Cabinet line-up

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will unveil the line-up for the new Cabinet at the Istana on Saturday (July 25) following GE2020. 

Live coverage: PM Lee Hsien Loong announces new Cabinet line-up

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will unveil the line-up for the new Cabinet at the Istana on Saturday (July 25) following GE2020. 

Asia-Pacific Group Aims to Facilitate Movement of People, Goods

Ministers responsible for trade in Asia Pacific pledged Saturday to facilitate essential movement across borders, even as coronavirus cases surge across the region.

Any steps taken must not undermine efforts to contain the pandemic, according to a joint statement read out by Malaysian Trade Minister Azmin Ali, who chaired a virtual meeting with counterparts from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

The ministers encouraged countries to adopt digital solutions such as e-commerce to strengthen supply chains and keep business flowing across borders. They also vowed to facilitate the flow of essential goods and services and minimize disruptions to trade in medical goods, food and agriculture products, he added.

“We acknowledge the importance of cooperation on facilitating the flow of data and strengthening consumer and business trust in digital transactions,” Azmin said.

Somalia Lawmakers Remove Prime Minister in No-Confidence Vote

Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter andfollow Bloomberg Africa on Twitter

Somalia lawmakers removed Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire and his cabinet in a no-confidence vote that’s likely to delay elections due this year and risk further instability in the Horn of Africa nation.

The vote was backed by 170 lawmakers, with only eight others rejecting the motion, according to Parliament speaker Mohamed Mursal Abdirahman on Saturday. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, also known as Farmaajo, said in a separate statement he would name a new prime minister in line with the constitution.

Khaire, who was appointed as prime minister in 2017, earlier this month said legislative elections should be held this year as the current term of Parliament ends in December. The national electoral commission, which has yet to announce a timetable, argues for the vote to be held next year, citing delays in preparations. A presidential contest is due February 2021.

Opposition groups and some regional authorities have said they won’t accept an electoral delay, according to the International Crisis Group.

An opponent of the no-confidence motion, lawmaker Mohamed Abukar Islow, described the decision as a “setback” for peace.

Eskom Agrees to Release Funds to Free State Defaulter

Sign up to our Next Africa newsletter andfollow Bloomberg Africa on Twitter

Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. agreed to release some funds to a municipality in South Africa’s Free State province to help it cover running costs, after seizing its bank accounts earlier this week.

The Maluti-a-Phofung Local Municipalityowes 5.3 billion rand ($318 million) in unpaid electricity bills and must reach an agreement to service the debt and its current account by Aug. 7, Eskom said in a statement Saturday. The state-owned power utility will release 90 million rand from the municipality’s bank account to allow it to pay workers’ salaries and cover other costs, it said.

Eskom said its sustainability is threatened by a total outstanding municipal debt of 30.9 billion rand as of end-June.

“Eskom will continue to explore all available legal avenues to ensure that outstanding municipal debt is recovered,” the company said in the statement.

Mexico economy: Gov't rules out stimulus as businesses suffer

Global economies are suffering, but the COVID-19 fallout is hurting Mexico particularly hard.

Mexico is struggling to cope with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly 12 million people there were left without an income in April alone.

But the government has ruled out a significant stimulus package.

Al Jazeera’s John Holman reports.