TEHRAN BLASTS TRUMP FOR DESCRIBING IRAN AS A ROGUE STATE

Iran on Saturday slammed the U.S. President Trump’s description of the country as a rogue state, Iran’s state news agency IRNA quoted the foreign ministry spokesman as saying.
“Trump ought to seek the reason for subversion and rebellion in his own arbitrary and conflicting policies and actions, as well as those of his arrogant, aggressive and occupying allies in the region,” said foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi.
President Trump said on Thursday that new threats were emerging from “rogue regimes like North Korea, Iran and Syriaand the governments that finance and support them.”
Senior Iranian officials have blamed U.S-allied Saudi Arabia, Iran’s Sunni Muslim regional rival, for instability and attacks in the Middle East, including last month’s assaults that killed 18 people in Tehran. Xenhua
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CHINA’S FINANCIAL REFORM PLANS UNVEILED

China unveiled reform plans Saturday to improve the financial sector’s capabilities to serve the real economy while guarding against systemic risks.
China must strengthen the leadership of the Communist Party of China over financial work, stick to the basic tone of seeking progress while maintaining stability, and respect the rules of financial development, said President Xi Jinping, at a two-day National Financial Work Conference that ended Saturday.
The conference has been convened every five years since 1997 and is widely considered to set the tone for financial reforms.
Three tasks are highlighted in the meeting, including making the financial sector better serve the real economy, containing financial risks and deepening financial reforms.
Serving the real economy is the bounden duty and purpose of the financial sector and the fundamental way to guard against financial risks, Xi pointed out.
The financial sector should improve service efficiency and quality and channel more resources into major and weak areas of economic and social development, he said.
Developing direct financing will be prioritized while indirect financing structure should be optimized by accelerating strategic transformation of state-owned major banks and developing small and medium-sized banks and private financial institutions, according to Xi.
The reiteration of the role of the financial sector points out the development direction of the financial sector and emphasis on direct financing is also quite reassuring for the stocks and bond markets, according to Li Huiyong, a senior analyst with Shenwan Hongyuan Securities.
Xi also said that guarding against systemic financial risks is the eternal theme of financial work and the government should take stronger initiative to monitor, warn against and deal with risks in a timely manner.
China will accelerate developing laws and regulations governing the financial sector, improve macro prudential management and emphasize functional as well as behavioral regulation, according to Xi.
The government will continue to deleverage the economy by firmly taking a prudent monetary policy and prioritizing reducing leverage in state-owned enterprises, Xi said.
The country will also resolutely deepen financial reforms including improving financial regulation coordination and shoring up weak links in supervision.
China will set up a committee under the State Council to oversee financial stability and development and the central bank will play a stronger role in macro prudential management and guarding against systemic risks, according to Xi.
The introduction of the State Council financial stability and development committee will help improve regulation effectiveness and address regulation challenges brought by increasingly mixed financial services, according to Lian Ping, chief economist with Bank of Communications.
Reforms of the financial regulation framework should be based on China’s domestic conditions and all financial businesses will be put under supervision, according to Premier Li Keqiang.
The world’s second largest economy will further open up its financial market to promote the internationalization of the Chinese yuan and capital account convertibility in a steady pace, Xi added.
China will also increase efforts in improving legal framework, credit mechanism and talent development for the financial sector to help Chinese economy expand steadily, Premier Li said.
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ISRAELI FORCES KILL SUSPECTED PALESTINIAN MILITANT

Israeli forces shoot dead a suspected Palestinian militant in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near the city of Ramallah, Reuters reported. The Israelis opened fire as a man they wanted to arrest shot at them, the police and military said. “The terrorist was found and surrounded, he pulled out his weapons at them, and in response, the terrorist was killed,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. He added that the man was suspected of carrying out two shootings in the West Bank. The incident resulted in no Israeli casualties. There is so far no comment from the Palestinian authorities.
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FRANCE CELEBRATES BASTILLE DAY

In the course of the two-day Bastille Day festivities, 368 people had been arrested, French officials said, adding that the number indicates a decrease compared to last year’s detentions. However, the number of burnt vehicles has spiked. The data released by the French Interior Ministry Saturday shows that 897 vehicles were destroyed by arson. Of those, 631 had been set on fire, while 266 were damaged by the spreading flames. The total number of burnt vehicles this year is slightly higher than last year, when 858 cars were burned. In 2015, 951 cars were torched. The number of people arrested during the days of festivities is sharply down, though, the ministry said, praising law enforcement efforts for limiting the number of offenses. In 2016, 577 people were taken into custody. “A mobilization of police forces… has significantly reduced the number of incidents and especially brawls on the streets committed at the time of July 14 festivities, the interior ministry spokesman, Pierre-Henry Brandet said.
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