TIME stocks

A Japanese Day Trader Made $34 Million In the Market This Week

JAPAN-STOCKS
KAZUHIRO NOGI—AFP/Getty Images Japan's Nikkei index had its biggest one-day fall in nearly 10 months in the wake of Monday's carnage on Wall Street.

Not everyone's afraid of volatility

One of the iron-clad laws of trading is that you can’t time the market.

Of course, there’s always the exception that proves the rule. According to a report in Bloomberg, day trader in Japan perfectly timed the global market meltdown this week, netting himself a cool $34 million in the process.

The trader, known only by his internet handle “CIS,” believed there would be a sharp downturn in the markets, and had been “shorting futures on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average since mid-August.” By Monday of this week, he was looking at a paper profit of $13 million, but he didn’t stop there. He wagered that once the U.S. markets opened to a global selloff, it would force the markets lower in Japan too.

After doubling his winnings, CIS pivoted betting correctly that the market had bottomed.

“I do my best work when other people are panicking,” the trader told Bloomberg.

TIME Religion

Vatican Official, Charged With Sexual Abuse, Dies

Jozef Wesolowski
Manuel Diaz—AP This March 15, 2013 file photo shows Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, papal nuncio for the Dominican Republic.

The ex-envoy had been due to go on trial in a Vatican tribunal on July 11, but he was hospitalized on the morning of the hearing

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who had been charged by church prosecutors with sexually abusing children in the Caribbean country, died Friday of apparent natural causes as he awaited trial, the Vatican said.

Jozef Wesolowski, 67, was found dead early Friday in the Vatican room where he has been held on house arrest, a statement from the Vatican said.

Vatican officials immediately intervened and initial checks “indicated that the death was from natural causes,” a press statement said.

It said the Vatican prosecutor ordered an immediate autopsy and that Pope Francis was informed.

Wesolowski had been due to go on trial in a Vatican tribunal on July 11 for allegedly causing grave psychological harm to victims and possessing an enormous quantity of child pornography. But on the morning of the hearing, he was hospitalized in intensive care because of an unidentified “sudden illness.” No new trial date was made public and the presiding judge had adjourned the trial indefinitely.

Wesolowski was previously defrocked under the Vatican’s canon law procedures but was facing possible jail time if convicted in its civil tribunal.

The trial had been seen as a high-profile way for Francis to make good on pledges to punish high-ranking churchmen involved in sex abuse of minors, either by molesting children or by systematically covering up for priests who did. Recent changes to the Vatican legal code under Francis’ leadership allowed prosecutors to broaden their case against Wesolowski.

Charges included possession of what prosecutors described as enormous quantities of child pornography on his two computers, including after Wesolowski was recalled to the Vatican in 2013 following the emergence of rumors that he sexually abused shoeshine boys near the waterfront in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.

Wesolowski was the first such high-ranking Vatican prelate to be criminally charged at the Holy See for sexually abusing minors.

The case was particularly delicate because Wesolowski wasn’t just another priest, but rather a direct representative of the pope and had been ordained as a priest and bishop by his fellow Pole, St. John Paul II.

TIME photography

How a Photographer Captured the USSR’s Dramatic Rise as the U.S. Economy Tanked

On August 29, 1991, the Soviet Parliament suspended the activities of the Communist Party. But when LIFE photographer Margaret Bourke-White visited the country in 1930, she found an empire on the rise.

Celebrating a country’s birthday or independence typically follows a well-known set of rituals, including fireworks, public festivals and passionate political speeches. Marking the occasion of a country’s collapse, however, is a trickier task, and one that Russians and citizens of the former Soviet Union confront each year on August 29. On that day in 1991, the Soviet Parliament suspended the activities of the country’s Communist Party, effectively pulling the plug on the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) altogether.

Many of those who heard the news that day could not identify a time in their own lives when their country could compete with, let alone surpass, its capitalist rivals. Years of economic stagnation, political corruption and popular unrest had discredited Soviet-style socialism as both an idea and a reality, leaving the country with few options but to enter and adjust to a world of free markets. Leaving behind a past of dashed hopes was not so much a choice as a necessary and final capitulation, the terms of which demanded that Russians not look back for the sake of moving forward.

Soviet defeat, however, was not preordained. Indeed, never did the promises of Soviet socialism and the failures of American capitalism present themselves as tangibly and vividly as they did when American photographer Margaret Bourke-White traveled to Russia in 1930 on assignment for Fortune Magazine, LIFE’s older sibling. Only a few months had passed since the New York stock market came crashing down on October 29, 1929, taking many Americans’ savings and jobs with it. The event left many Americans without basic resources such as food, shelter and medical care, and exposed in stark terms the weakness of the American welfare state.

At the same time as breadlines, migrant workers and “Hooverville” tent cities were becoming common fixtures throughout the United States, the Soviet Union was consolidating the gains of its own transformation, one that began in 1928 when Joseph Stalin formally assumed the mantle of the Soviet leadership. Between 1928 and 1932, the Soviet government implemented two large-scale economic projects. First came the Five-Year Plan, an expansive and ambitious industrialization drive designed to shock the country into modernity. Factories, steel mills, hydroelectric dams and bridges popped up on fields, taigas, river beds and lonely mountains, creating more than 25 million industrial jobs for Soviet women and men in the process. Between 1928 and 1940, Soviet annual GNP growth clocked in at an astounding 15%, a rate that dwarfed the 5% annual growth that the United States experienced at the height of its own industrial revolution in the late nineteenth century.

“I saw the five-year plan as a great scenic drama being unrolled before the eyes of the world,” Bourke-White recalled in her book Eyes on Russia, published a year after her initial trip to the USSR. “Things are happening in Russia, and happening with staggering speed. I could not afford to miss any of it.” The black-and-white photographs she took during her 5,000-mile journey throughout the country reflect both the sense of awe she felt as she confronted the colossal building projects and the human toll the changes were taking.

Bourke-White played with perspective to communicate the scope of new construction. A partially built bridge was shot from ground level to enhance its already towering size. A tractor’s gleaming wheels (the “new God of Russia,” as she called it) acquired an exaggerated sense of scale, its human drivers pushed to the image’s far-right corner. Half-built pillars destined to become the main arteries of Central Ukraine’s Dnieperstroi Dam stand side by side, as if they were coming off an assembly line from behind the clouds. “All day long we climbed ladders, planks, and cross beams,” Bourke-White reminisced. “Hanging on to scaffolding, with one arm curved around a beam to steady myself, I photographed the shifting scene.” The entire Soviet Union had become a giant construction site, a sprawling playground for Bourke-White’s lens.

When it came to documenting collectivization, the other half of Stalin’s two-pronged economic policy, Bourke-White placed her human subject front and center. Collectivization, which took place between 1929 and 1931, called for the forced nationalization of the country’s agriculturally productive land and their subsequent division into state and collective farms. Stalin reasoned that nationalizing agriculture would make it easier to collect harvested crops and feed the country’s exponentially multiplying industrial workforce. The gamble intentionally privileged the wellbeing of his prized industrial workers at the expense of the peasants whose land and output would ultimately be seized. Famine, violence, and mass dislocation wreaked havoc throughout Ukraine, the North Caucuses and Russia’s Central Volga Region, resulting in the deaths of more than 5 million people by the end of 1932. By the time Bourke-White arrived in Russia, nearly 15 million households had been collectivized and 77 million tons of grain brought in during the 1930 harvest alone.

But if Bourke-White saw any of the suffering that attended collectivization, she did not reveal so in words. Only the photographs that she took during her stay at the newly formed state farms provide viewers with clues to her experience as a witness to perhaps the most revolutionary of Stalin’s experiments. An image of a Russian woman standing in front of a warmly dressed crowd, a single slab of meat wrapped tightly in her arms, signals to the viewer that the winter of 1930 was not a kind one. A portrait of a bearded Russian priest posing for Bourke-White’s camera with downcast eyes hints to the hardship he may have been experiencing in the wake of the government’s ban on formal religious practice.

A photograph of a man and woman standing in a state farm field, looking out into the cloudy abyss as a tractor rests nearby, speaks to the overwhelming exhaustion that Bourke-White’s subjects most likely felt when they contemplated the enormous task they were being asked to undertake. Those who see this image today may find it familiar. Indeed, its composition echoes those of the photographs that Bourke-White and other American photographers like Dorothea Lange would later take of Depression-era sharecroppers, displaced farm families and migrant workers while working for the New Deal’s Farm Securities Administration.

Unlike the elaborate parades staged in Red Square this past May to commemorate the 70th anniversary of German surrender on the Eastern Front, the collapse of the Soviet Union is celebrated individually and quietly. Some Russians may take a moment to reflect on their family’s history during the Soviet years, while others may feel relief that the socialist chapter of Russia’s history has ultimately closed. Many will go about their day without realizing what August 29 represents. In many ways, Russians, and especially Muscovites, confront the history of the Soviet project on a daily basis: as they ride the Moscow metro, walk past the Lenin Mausoleum as they cut through Red Square and spot one or more of the seven Stalinist skyscrapers somewhere in the middle distance, all built as a result of Soviet largess.

When asked why she decided to document the USSR’s industrial revolution back in the 1930s, Bourke-White responded with the following: “I wanted to take the pictures of this astonishing development, because, whatever the outcome, whether success or failure, the effort of 150 million people is so gigantic, so unprecedented in all history, that I felt that these photographic records might have some historical value.” If asked today how they feel about the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, many Russians would likely express a similar feeling: they may not know exactly what to make of it, but they know that it was something big.

Liz Ronk, who edited this gallery, is the Photo Editor for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

TIME migration

Which Word Should You Use: Refugee or Migrant?

Legally, there is a crucial distinction

(STOCKHOLM) — Day after day, images of soaked and exhausted parents clutching their glassy-eyed children as they arrive on Europe’s shores make their way around the world.

That they are desperate and vulnerable after a harrowing journey across the Mediterranean on rickety rafts or packed ships is beyond doubt. But does that make them refugees from war or oppression, with a right to protection under international law, or are they better described as migrants, a term that usually refers to people simply seeking a better life in another country?

The scenes of human suffering, resilience, hope and rejection playing out in the Mediterranean have sparked an emotional and politically charged debate about what to call the hundreds of thousands of people from Africa and the Middle East who are entering Europe.

Al-Jazeera last week announced that it will stop using the word migrants in its news coverage, saying it doesn’t describe the “horror unfolding in the Mediterranean,” where almost 2,500 people have died this year after leaving Turkey or North Africa on overcrowded boats.

The word “has evolved from its dictionary definitions into a tool that dehumanizes and distances, a blunt pejorative,” Al-Jazeera online editor Barry Malone said. Going forward, Al-Jazeera will instead say refugee “where appropriate.”

The move was applauded by some human rights advocates worried about a hardening of anti-immigrant attitudes in Europe but criticized by others, who said it implies that only refugees, not migrants, are worthy of compassion.

Legally, there is a crucial distinction.

The U.N. refugee agency says it boils down to whether the person is being pushed or pulled: A migrant is someone who seeks better living conditions in another country; a refugee is someone who flees persecution, conflict or war.

Only members of the latter group are likely to be granted asylum in Europe.

By and large, European leaders refer to the Mediterranean situation as a migrant crisis, not a refugee crisis. British Prime Minister David Cameron in July talked about “a swarm of people coming across the Mediterranean seeking a better life, wanting to come to Britain because Britain has got jobs, it’s got a growing economy, it’s an incredible place to live.”

His choice of words was widely criticized by human rights advocates as offensive and misleading.

U.N. officials say a vast majority of the 137,000 people who crossed the Mediterranean into Europe in the first half of the year were fleeing war, conflict or persecution in countries including Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea.

“It’s simply inaccurate to talk about Syrian migrants when there’s a war going on in Syria,” said William Spindler, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. “People who flee war deserve sympathy. So by not calling them refugees, you’re depriving them of the sympathy and understanding that the European public has for refugees.”

Still, European officials say using refugees as a blanket term isn’t technically accurate either. Many of the West Africans arriving in Italy, for example, may not be fleeing for their lives but instead be seeking better ones in European countries with much higher standards of living.

“I can sympathize with Al-Jazeera’s approach; I guess what they want to do is put a human face on the situation,” said Fredrik Beijer, legal director of Sweden’s migration authority. “But from our point of view, it’s simple: People who are on the move across the globe but who haven’t yet applied for asylum, to us they are migrants.”

Once a migrant applies for asylum, he or she becomes an asylum-seeker, Beijer said. The agency uses the word refugee only when the claim has been approved and a person receives refugee status.

The Associated Press has no blanket policy governing when to use the terms, but strives to be as specific as possible in describing the circumstances of people included in stories.

The BBC said it judges each story on a case by case basis because “it is not always clear cut whether some migrant groups already have refugee status, are seeking asylum, looking for work, the stage of their journey, or whether they will try to enter a country illegally.”

National Public Radio tries to use “action words rather than labels,” said standards editor Mark Memmott. “But when we felt that a label would help tell the story, the general label of migrant will describe everyone in the group.”

Fusion, an English language TV network that targets Latinos in the U.S., also deals with the issue case-by-case, “just as we do with stories about people seeking to come into the United States,” said Laura Wides-Munoz, director of news practices.

Some experts note that using either term — migrant or refugee — in a blanket manner doesn’t capture the situation of people who don’t fit neatly into either category or who belong in both.

For example, many West Africans moved to Libya for work, but found themselves at the receiving end of violence, threats and extortion by militias, criminals and security forces as the security situation there deteriorated, said Ruben Andersson, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics.

“So how do we refer to people who may have left their country to look for work, but who end up in a country where they cannot go on living because they are facing all kinds of threats and even repression?” he said.

In the end, it’s important not to be blinded by terminology, he said. “We are talking about people. It astounds me how much time we spend on getting the terminology right, which obscures the fact that people are drowning on the borders of Europe.”

TIME India

Two Indian Sisters Ordered to Be Raped by Village Council Beg Supreme Court for Help

A television journalist sets his camera inside the premises of the Supreme Court in New Delhi
Anindito Mukherjee—Reuters A television journalist sets his camera inside the premises of the Supreme Court in New Delhi Feb. 18, 2014

They are being punished by the unelected council because their brother eloped with a married woman from a higher caste

A petition to save two sisters in India from being raped and publicly humiliated for their brother’s actions, a punishment handed down by an unofficial village council, has gathered considerable support for its demand that authorities intervene and stop the “disgusting ruling” from being enforced.

The petition by human-rights organization Amnesty International has garnered over 16,000 signatures thus far, and calls for law enforcement to stop the council-sanctioned rape of 23-year-old Meenakshi Kumari and her 15-year-old sister in Baghpat village in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

The unelected council of elders ordered that Kumari and her sister — both members of the low Dalit caste — be raped and paraded naked with blackened faces, after their brother eloped with a married woman of a higher caste. He and the woman, who belongs to the dominant Jat caste, were in love and eloped after she was forced to marry someone from her own caste, according to reports.

Kumari also approached India’s Supreme Court herself last week, saying that police have been harassing her and her family instead of protecting them.

In a plea to the court Kumari said she and her family “cannot return back to her village and have been rendered homeless.”

The court has asked for a response from the Uttar Pradesh government.

“Nothing could justify this abhorrent punishment,” the Amnesty petition reads. “It’s not fair. It’s not right. And it’s against the law. Demand that the local authorities intervene immediately.”

Village councils in northern India, known as khap panchayats, are generally comprised of senior male members of the community’s high castes. Although the councils have been declared illegal by the courts, their edicts are still observed in many parts of rural India.

Read next: Riots Break Out in India Over a Dominant Caste’s Attempt to Gain ‘Backward’ Status

Listen to the most important stories of the day

TIME Austria

Austrian Officials Say Death Toll of Truck Migrants Now 71

Autopsies will be conducted to determine how the migrants died

VIENNA — Three people believed to be part of a human smuggling operation were arrested overnight in Hungary in connection with the deaths of 71 migrants found in a refrigerated truck abandoned on Austria’s main highway, law enforcement officials said Friday.

It was the latest tragedy in a year that has seen tens of thousands of people risking everything to seek a better life or refuge in wealthy European countries.

At least 2,500 have died, mostly at sea, where another tragedy was unfolding Friday as Libyan authorities counted bodies from two ships that capsized off the coast of that country. The U.N. refugee agency said 200 were missing and feared dead.

In Austria, officials said they are still investigating but believe the migrants suffocated in the truck. Investigators found a Syrian travel document, indicating that at least some of the dead were refugees fleeing violence in Syria, though it wasn’t clear if some were from elsewhere.

The 71 included eight women and four children, the youngest a girl between 1 and 2 years old, the others boys aged 8 to 10. Authorities initially estimated the death toll at 20 to 50, but raised it after towing the truck to a refrigerated warehouse and counting the partially decomposed bodies.

Migrants fearful of death at sea in overcrowded and flimsy boats have increasingly turned to using a land route to Europe through the Western Balkans. They start in Greece, which they can reach via a short boat trip from Turkey, then move on through Macedonia, Serbia and into Hungary, where thousands have been crossing the border every day, crawling over or under a razor-wire fence meant to keep them out.

Most go from there to other countries in the European Union, sometimes paying smugglers to drive them, but the discovery of the bodies in the truck showed there is no truly safe path.

Police in Hungary said that as of Tuesday, 776 suspected human smugglers had been detained so far this year, compared to 593 all of 2014. In the southern part of the country, police said they had found 18 Syrians near an overturned van on the M5 highway between Szeged and Budapest early Friday. Ten were taken to the hospital for treatment while the driver, a Romanian, was treated for head injuries and then taken into custody on suspicion of human smuggling.

The truck with the 71 migrants inside was found parked in the safety lane of the highway from Budapest, Hungary, to Vienna on Thursday. It was not clear how long the bodies had been in it, but police believed they may already have been dead by the time the truck crossed the border into Austria overnight Wednesday. Autopsies were being conducted, said state prosecutor Johann Fuchs, with results expected in several days.

At least two of those arrested are Bulgarian citizens, while the third has Hungarian identity papers, police said. One is the truck owner, a Bulgarian of Lebanese descent, while two others were apparently taking turns driving, said Hans Peter Doskozil, chief of police in Burgenland province, where the truck was found. He said police believe that the suspects were part of a larger Bulgarian-Hungarian human smuggling ring.

Fuchs said it was unclear when the suspects would be extradited by Hungarian authorities, who were looking to see if they had jurisdiction in the case. Romania’s foreign ministry also said that 12 Romanians had been detained in Hungary on suspicion of human trafficking and Hungarian authorities are seeking to arrest them.

Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said the tragedy “should serve as a wake-up call … for joint European action” in dealing with the torrent of migrants flocking to Europe. Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency in Geneva called the tragedy “absolutely shocking.”

“We believe this underscores the ruthlessness of people smugglers who have expanded their business from the Mediterranean Sea to the highways of Europe. It shows they have absolutely no regard for human life, and that they are only after profit,” she said. “It also shows the desperation of people seeking protection or a new life in Europe, and their only means is to submit themselves to these criminals.”

___

Associated Press Writer Alison Mutler in Bucharest, Romania; Pablo Gorondi in Budapest, Hungary; and Jamey Keaten in Geneva contributed to this report.

 

 

 

TIME Poland

A Rainbow Sculpture That Symbolized LGBT Rights in Poland Has Been Dismantled

Participants march in front of artistic installation "Rainbow" during an International Woman's Day rally in Warsaw
Kacper Pempel —Reuters Participants march in front of artistic installation Rainbow during an International Women's Day rally in Warsaw on March 8, 2015

The statue had already been burned down six times by right-wing groups

A rainbow sculpture in Warsaw that served as a national symbol for the struggles of Poland’s LGBT community has been taken down, and it will not reappear in its current form, onet.pl, a local Polish-language news site, reports.

The sculptor, Julita Wojcik, tells TIME that the piece was never intended as an LGBT symbol. However, since its installation in Savior Square in 2012, the sculpture has been razed six times by right-wing groups, who saw it as a provocative expression of gay rights in the staunchly Roman Catholic country.

Ownership of the controversial work of art has now been assumed by the Centre for Contemporary Art at the Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, which says that the statue will not be reassembled in front of the museum, as some have previously speculated, nor will it appear in its current form in the museum.

Wojcik is involved in plans for a new design of the rainbow — which previously consisted of colorful plastic flowers attached to a metal substructure — but it remains to be seen what an updated version will look like.

[onet.pl]

TIME portfolio

On the Set of China’s Latest War Films

Photographer Kevin Frayer takes us behind the scenes of China’s next hits

A bomb blasts shrapnel across the faces of wounded men; Chinese soldiers run victorious toward the front line; a hostage lies on the ground with a noose around his neck. While these scenes often play out on a large screen before thousands of viewers over handfuls of popcorn, the lesser-known scenes are the ones in between: makeup artists touch up fake war wounds; film crews bark orders; a bloody soldier yawns before the camera rolls — these moments, captured by Getty Images photographer Kevin Frayer, convey a fierce Chinese patriotism.

The six productions are part of hundreds of war-themed films, documentaries and performances releasing this month in celebration of the Second World War’s 70th anniversary. While the holiday gives sway to China’s World War II moviedom, the trend is not new. “You spend a day in this country and chances are you’ve seen one of these on a television set in a hotel room, somebody’s living room, in the window of a shop or while you’re eating noodles in a restaurant,” Frayer says.

The films, which depict Chinese communist-led forces as self-glorified victors over the oppressive enemy, have been recently labeled by International Business Times as propaganda. Following the invasion of Japan during the 1930s, China was subject to harsh colonial rule. Seven decades later, Japan’s purported refusal to acknowledge its imperial past has led to strained relations between the neighboring countries.

For Frayer, the movies are not as much anti-Japanese as they are nationalistic. “I don’t think these films glamorize war any more than the ones we make in Western countries, marking our wartime victories over the Germans or the Japanese in the Second World War,” he says. “It’s a substantial part of their history, so they are marking the 70th anniversary just like everybody else.”

Frayer’s photos portray a certain human element rarely seen on screen: a cameraman reacts in elation to a successful action scene; an extra smokes a cigarette on props after an outtake. “You see these Chinese actors come from outer cities to get blown up on screen and die as Japanese soldiers for the equivalent of 10 U.S. dollars a day,” Frayer says. “And then in between takes, they are sitting there on their smartphones like everyone else.”

Filmed at Hengdian World Studios in eastern China, Frayer captures the over-the-top pyrotechnic stunts and special effects of these high-end productions, which are put on by some of Asia’s top professionals in the film industry. Beyond entertainment value, the photos also show how these wartime stories are vehicles for a look at normal life and romance, and can even have historical value.

Frayer has been covering Chinese culture for more than two years. Earlier this year, he won the Getty Images and Chris Hondros Fund Award, which comes with a $20,000 grant to support his documentary work.

Kevin Frayer is a freelance photographer represented by Getty Images.

Mikko Takkunen, who edited this photo essay, is an Associate Photo Editor at TIME. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.

Rachel Lowry is a writer and contributor for TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter @rachelllowry.

TIME Libya

Up to 200 Feared Dead After Another Migrant Boat Sinks Off Libyan Coast

A view of the bodies of dead migrants that were recovered by the Libyan coastguard after a boat sank off the coastal town of Zuwara
Hani Amara—Reuters A view of the bodies of dead migrants that were recovered by the Libyan coast guard after a boat sank off the coastal Libyan town of Zuwara, west of Tripoli, on Aug. 27, 2015

The crammed boat had over 400 passengers

A boat filled with migrants mainly from Africa sunk off the coast of Libya while en route to Italy on Thursday. Officials on the ground were unable to confirm the exact number of casualties, but estimate that up to 200 people may have died, according to Reuters.

The crammed vessel had over 400 passengers and set off from the western Libyan town of Zuwara, a major hub for smugglers looking to take migrants to the Italian coast, Reuters reports.

The boat quickly capsized, leaving many of the passengers trapped inside. According to a Libyan official who spoke to Reuters anonymously, the Libyan coast guard managed to save up to 201 people from the sea, with around 147 of them ending up at a nearby center for illegal migrants in the town of Sabratha.

While many of these migrants understand the risks of taking these overcrowded boats, they are desperate to flee conflict, persecution and extreme poverty in their home countries. In this case, the boat’s passengers included migrants looking to escape sub-Saharan Africa, Pakistan, Syria, Morocco and Bangladesh, an official told Reuters.

On Wednesday, Swedish rescue crews discovered a wooden boat off the coast of Libya with 51 dead migrants left behind in the hull, the Associated Press reports. They were able to rescue 439 of the other passengers.

More than 2,300 people have died so far this year while making the extremely perilous crossing from Northern Africa to Europe, according to the International Organization for Migration.

[Reuters]

TIME Markets

U.S. Business Group Tells China to Open Insurance and Securities Markets

China Financial Markets
Ng Han Guan—AP A Chinese investor monitors stock prices at a brokerage in Beijing on Aug. 27, 2015

Foreign service businesses are "pessimistic about the regulatory environment"

(BEIJING) — An American business group urged China on Friday to allow more access to its insurance and other service industries, saying foreign skills could help develop its volatile stock markets and cope with disasters like the recent chemical explosion in Tianjin.

Opening largely closed banking, logistics and other markets wider to foreign competitors would support the communist leadership’s effort to nurture service industries and reduce reliance on trade and investment to drive economic growth, the American Chamber of Commerce in China said.

The group’s deputy chairman, Lester Ross, pointed to China’s stock market plunge and the Aug. 12 explosion in Tianjin that killed at least 145 people, and said bringing in more global expertise could help to develop financial markets and reduce the impact of disasters.

“Our hope, frankly, is that the downturn in the market will encourage the Chinese government to open faster,” Ross said at a news conference.

In a report, the chamber also cited potential opportunities in fields including engineering, health care, communications technology, legal services, real estate, entertainment, online commerce and logistics.

The report is part of an annual series but its release comes at a time when stock market turmoil and unexpectedly weak export and manufacturing data have fueled concerns about the health of China’s economy. That has prompted urging from economists for Beijing to move faster on promised reforms aimed at making the economy more productive by opening state-dominated industries to private and foreign competition.

Despite promises of reform, foreign service businesses are “pessimistic about the regulatory environment,” said the chamber chairman, James Zimmerman.

Ross said China’s insurance industry, with a history of just 35 years, lacks the experience of foreign insurers at spotting potential risks and encouraging policyholders to reduce them.

“The more of that China has, the less likely it would be that it’s going to have casualties and disasters like those we have recently seen,” he said.

Zimmerman said Beijing should take action on its own without waiting to complete talks underway with Washington on proposed bilateral investment treaties that are expected to lead to further market opening.

“For the Chinese economy’s own good, they need to move faster,” said Zimmerman.

The chamber also expressed concern about the impact of proposed Chinese anti-terrorism and cybersecurity laws that companies worry could restrict market access for a wide array of foreign communications, computer and other technology.

The number of telecommunications services open to foreign investment is “very, very limited,” and the government’s “exaggerated concern about security” could reduce access further, Ross said.

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