Tag Archives: world’s

Shutoffs at world’s major trade routes evolving as Europe’s busiest freight line remains closed & cargo still stuck in Egypt

Europe’s busiest freight train route connecting Genoa and Rotterdam won’t be able to resume operations until April after a massive rock slide that choked tracks in the Rhine Gorge, a World Heritage Site in Germany.

“We are assuming that operations will be resumed in April,” Volker Hentschel, board member for asset and maintenance management at DB Netz AG of Deutsche Bahn, said as quoted by FAZ, Frankfurt-based media.

One of the major European trade routes was closed on March 15 after a rock slide that left about 15,000 cubic meters of loose rock in the area.

“Of course, we want the trains on the right [bank of the] Rhine to start rolling again as quickly as possible, but safety comes first,” the official said, stressing that the extensive securing of the slope with nets can only begin after further blasting of loose rock.
Also on rt.com World may be facing another toilet paper shortage due to shipping container crisis, industry boss warns
Freight trains are reportedly being diverted to the left bank of the Rhine, while passengers are carried by temporary bus shuttles on the right bank of the river.

The statement comes shortly after Salvager, the Dutch company working on releasing a giant container ship grounded in the Suez Canal, said the troubled cargo would be freed by the start of next week if heavier tugboats succeed in dislodging the vessel. The Panama-flagged container ship Evergreen got stuck in the canal – one of the world’s busiest water routes – on Tuesday, after it veered off course in high winds.

More news regarding roadblocks came from China, where a truck carrying an Evergreen shipping container crashed, causing a massive traffic jam on the Changchun-Shenzhen Expressway in Nanjing.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

RT

China overtakes US as world’s largest refiner

As the shift in oil demand from Covid-19 turned the tables of regional levels of fuel production and exports, China succeeded in overtaking the USA as the world’s biggest oil refiner in 2020.

As China began to ramp up its refining capacity throughout the pandemic, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) published data showing that China processed more crude oil than the U.S. for much of 2020. 

While the USA suffered from a drop in demand throughout 2020, leading to a decrease in all oil-related activities, China benefited from this international shift. In contrast to the US, when oil prices fall, the Chinese government pays refiners to increase production levels.

China currently has at least four major new refineries under construction, most of which are expected to produce plastic feedstocks, such as ethylene and propylene.

While the US is likely to once again overtake China as the world’s biggest oil refiner by the end of 2021, long-term demand predictions mean it’s probable that this trend will be short-lived, as oil needs across Asia continue to rise.  
Also on rt.com China set to dominate refined oil exports in Asia-Pacific region
Oil refineries across the US have been losing momentum in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the end of last year, Royal Dutch Shell Plc ground production at its Convent refinery in Louisiana to a halt. This same facility had 35 times the refining capacity of China when it opened in 1967, showing how dramatically the tables have turned over the past couple of decades. 

Oil refineries have also been impeded this year by the severe storm that hit the state of Texas in February. During the storm, oil refining fell to its lowest levels since 2008. This was largely due to frozen pipelines which forced producers to halt activities. Refinery crude runs fell by 2.6 million bpd throughout the week to 12.2 million bpd.

Meanwhile, in November, China was processing around 1.2 million bpd of crude oil. Much of this new refining work was taking place in the new unit at Rongsheng Petrochemical’s giant Zhejiang facility in northeast China.

China is not the only Asian giant to invest in refining over the next decade. Just a few weeks ago, India announced plan to invest $ 4.5 billion in a Panipat refinery expansion by September 2024. This would increase Panipat’s capacity by two-thirds to 500,000 bpd. 

Only slightly behind China, as the world’s third largest oil importer and consumer, India is striving to increase its oil refining capacity by 60% to meet the country’s increasing oil demand. This comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged to improve India’s manufacturing sector. 
Also on rt.com China’s demonstrating its economy is remarkable in today’s world – Professor Wolff
The refinery expansion is expected to boost India’s production of petrochemicals and value-added specialty products, such as petrol, diesel, and ATF.

State-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has also announced plans to build a new refinery at Nagapattinam in the southern state of Tamil Nadu at a cost of $ 4.01 billion. The IOC subsidiary Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited is expected to develop the refinery. The project is aimed at meeting the demand of petroleum products across southern India.

While US refining activities are expected to pick up before the end of the year, a dramatically increased oil refining capacity in China, as well as new projects in India, suggest that the face of the industry could change over the next decade. As oil demand wanes in the US and continues to increase across Asia, many Asian countries will be seeking out refined products from closer to home to meet their needs.

This article was originally published on Oilprice.com

RT

Covid-19 to delay India’s rise to world’s third-biggest economy – Bank of America

The investment banking division of Bank of America (BofA) has downgraded its previous outlook on the pace at which India is set to overtake Japan as the world’s third-biggest economy.

According to the latest report from BofA Securities, it will take India another 10 years to oust Japan from the third spot. The institution had previously expected this to happen three years earlier – in 2028.

The downgrade reportedly comes as a result of the shockwave that the Covid-19 pandemic sent through the global economy, heavily impacting nations across the world and dragging down regional economies.
Also on rt.com Indian economy to grow by 12% in 2021 as private consumption & non-residential investments pick up – Moody’s
“We now expect India to emerge as the third largest economy in the world in 2031/FY32, from 2028 earlier, due to the Covid 19 shock,” Indranil Sen Gupta and Aastha Gudwani, economists for BofA Securities, said in the report.

The analysts added that the South Asian nation is expected to reach Japan’s nominal GDP in dollar terms in 2031, provided it has an annual growth of 9% – assuming real GDP growth of around 6%, an average inflation rate of 5% and 2% depreciation. If India’s economy manages to grow by 10 percent, it can reportedly top Japan by 2030.

Prolonged lockdowns due to the coronavirus outbreak led to a serious economic crisis in India, leaving millions of people unemployed, many of them permanently. The country’s economy has been in recovery so far, however, the nation is expected to undergo a permanent loss of about 10% of its output against its pre-pandemic path.
Also on rt.com India on track to have its largest wheat harvest ever
According to BofA Securities, structural drivers of economic growth, like deepening financial maturity, the emergence of mass markets due to rising incomes and a forthcoming demographic dividend, are still strengthening.

The report also says that India’s skilled workforce is set to grow and income losses will likely reverse once economic stability is reached. This will be partially driven by rising employment in the services sector. The country’s credit-to-GDP ratio, seen as a proxy for financial maturity, is projected to rise in the next decade with emerging mass markets pushing down the prices of goods.

The Reserve Bank of India has boosted the nation’s forex reserves, which is expected to help stabilize the Indian rupee, preventing large depreciation of the currency amid potential global shocks. Moreover, the regulator would see greater portfolio inflows and is set to lower borrowing costs for Indian companies.
Also on rt.com India now holds world’s fourth-LARGEST forex reserves
“Further, sustained RBI easing is finally bringing down real lending rates that have been a drag on growth since 2016. We continue to see financials as the primary beneficiary of the India growth story,” the report said.

India has launched an ambitious vaccination campaign to inoculate some 300 million people. However, the latest rise in coronavirus cases in the country has increased concerns over a second wave of infection.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

RT

Asian LNG buyers could form the world’s next energy cartel

Global demand for liquefied natural gas will grow to 700 million tons annually by 2040 from 360 million tons last year, Shell said in its LNG Outlook 2021. As much as 75% of this demand growth will come from Asia.

Asian economies have been a key market for liquefied natural gas for years now. The fuel has been gaining growing prominence as a cleaner and cost-effective alternative to coal. This prominence will only continue growing with net-zero commitments, Shell said. And this growth could turn Asia into an LNG buyers’ cartel.

Bloomberg’s Anna Shiryaevskaya wrote in a recent article on LNG that Asian demand for LNG was upending traditional pricing models for the commodity. In the latest proof that fundamentals always beat everything else, Asia dictated LNG prices this winter, sending them sky-high during the coldest of the season and then pushing them back down to more normal levels once the weather started warming—all this despite the traditional price-setting model that is Europe-centric and that basically consists in tying LNG prices to the benchmark price of crude oil.
Also on rt.com India throws the oil tanker industry a lifeline
Europe is still a big consumer of liquefied natural gas, and it will continue to be a big consumer in the observable future. But in light of Shell’s forecast about 75% of future LNG demand coming from Asia, Europe starts to look like a minor buyer on what is certainly a booming market.

“Over the next couple of years European gas prices will become less and less Europe-centric, and more and more globally influenced,” an analyst with Swiss trading firm Axpo Solutions told Bloomberg’s Shiryaevskaya. 

Most of this influence will come from Asia, as evidenced recently during the winter price spike. And it may well come with long-term supply contracts, which will have their own—longer—influence over LNG prices. The spot market was the go-to place to buy LNG in Asia until prices soared by more than 1,000 percent earlier this year. Now, long-term supply contracts look more reasonable to buyers.

Read more Iran to join LNG race in Asia with huge North Pars development

Sellers share the sentiment. Last month, the energy minister of Qatar, the world’s top LNG producer and exporter, advised big sellers to secure long-term contracts to avoid a repeat of the January price spike, which, he said, would be inevitable if the spot market continued to dominate the LNG trade space, not least because supply was about to tighten once again.

So, on the one hand, demand is growing, and most of this growth is coming from one single region, dominated by three big consumers: China, India, and South Korea. The first two are particularly important: last year, China and India together accounted for the bulk of global growth in LNG imports, according to Shell, while the other two big LNG importers in Asia—Japan and South Korea—saw declines.

On the other hand, long-term supply contracts are starting to look more attractive than the volatile spot market once again, so big buyers could lock low prices while they last. This means that the spot market could become even more volatile if Qatar’s top energy man, Saad al-Kaabi is right and supply is indeed set to tighten. These trends are painting a picture of what could be called an emerging buyers’ cartel.

It is an involuntary cartel, for sure, at least for the time being. In LNG, Asian states are looking out for themselves, not for their neighbor, not least because of neighborly tensions such as the ones between China and India. But even an involuntary cartel could—and would—affect global LNG flows and prices, reducing supply to other LNG markets and pushing prices higher.

If big energy traders in China secure most of the LNG the country needs from Qatar, Australia, or the United States under long-term contracts, this will leave less LNG to go around outside China. This usually means higher prices, both on the spot market and the long-term supply contract market for latecomers. This is how Asia, although politically divided, could dictate global LNG prices in the coming decades.
Also on rt.com China set to dominate refined oil exports in Asia-Pacific region
“The susceptibility of UK and European gas markets to global LNG prices may be set to increase,” Cornwall Insight, an energy consultancy, told Bloomberg’s Shiryaevskaya. “With no concrete plans for new long-term storage facilities in the UK and declining UK Continental Shelf, it could point to a greater LNG dependency in the coming years.”

Indeed, Europe is set to become more dependent on LNG imports and more vulnerable to price movements on this market as it stops being the price-setter. It would be interesting to speculate whether the Asian powerhouses would be able to wield their dominance on the LNG market as a weapon. They are certainly in a position to influence global LNG flows, affecting supply, if not global demand, and, as a consequence, prices. And from what we recently saw in India, which started reducing its purchases of Middle Eastern oil because of price concerns, the world’s biggest buyers of LNG could certainly help or hinder supply growth in one or another part of the world, just like OPEC does with oil.

This article was originally published on Oilprice.com

RT

Bitcoin winter coming? World’s top crypto may hit $300k but when bubble bursts, declines will last for years, entrepreneur says

The price of the world’s highest-valued cryptocurrency, bitcoin, could skyrocket as high as $ 300,000 in the current bull market based on its historical patterns, says Bobby Lee, co-founder and former CEO of crypto exchange BTCC.

He told CNBC that the bubble will burst after peaking and the crypto could see declines for years.

“Bitcoin bull market cycles come every four years and this is a big one,” Lee said, adding: “I think it could really go up to over $ 100,000 this summer.”

The chief executive of crypto wallet Ballet, Lee explained that two of these “mega bull market cycles” have occurred over the last eight years, with the last one in 2017, when the price of bitcoin surged to nearly $ 20,000 by the year end from about $ 1,000 earlier that year.
Also on rt.com Bitcoin worth more than Visa & Mastercard combined
Still, a “bitcoin winter” that could last for years may hit the digital currency following its bull run, according to Lee. “It could go down by quite a bit and that’s when the bubble bursts. In the bitcoin crypto industry, we call it ‘bitcoin winter’ and it can last from two to three years,” he said.

The entrepreneur also warned investors to be aware that bitcoin’s value could fall as much as 80% to 90% of its value from the all-time peak. “Bitcoin is very volatile, but the rewards are risk-adjusted, I think,” Lee said.

Bitcoin entered 2021 at around $ 30,000, reaching multiple record levels since then. It surpassed the $ 60,000 milestone earlier in March, and was trading at $ 57,488 on Monday at 08:10 GMT.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

RT

‘World’s sexiest athlete’ Alica Schmidt put Champions League football star Thomas Meunier through sweaty training session (VIDEO)

German track and field star Alica Schmidt, who has been dubbed the world’s sexiest athlete, has generously attempted to hone Borussia Dortmund defender Thomas Meunier’s fitness skills in a sweaty training session with him.

The 22-year-old runner gave Meunier an intense workout, working with the Bundesliga giants as part of her sponsorship deal with sportswear giants Puma.

Schmidt shared a video of their routine on Instagram, with some cynics suggesting the stunning blonde made Meunier perspire more than he does during his matches.

Earlier this year, Schmidt was filmed working out with other Dortmund players including Felix Passlack, Manuel Akanji and Mats Hummels.

Schmidt even a challenged Hummels to a 400m race, in which she left the World Cup winner flat out on the track.

She is a middle-distance Olympic hopeful who specializes in the 400m, and is pursuing a career in modelling.

The athlete made a name for herself on the German youth athletics circuit, helping her country take silver in the 4×400 relay at the European Athletics Under-20 Championships in 2017.

Schmidt was named the world’s sexiest athlete by the magazine ‘Busted Coverage’ and has gained a huge following of more than 1.6 million followers on Instagram.
Also on rt.com ‘Those photos don’t harm anyone’: Former Belgian cyclist claims revealing pics cost her job on men’s team

RT

Presented by
RT.com

The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos Available Now

Summary

  • The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos is out now
  • This is the second and final story-based expansion for The Outer Worlds
  • In this DLC, solve the Halcyon colony’s grandest murder mystery!

The second and final story-driven expansion for The Outer Worlds is now available! For those who want to do more in the Halcyon colony, travel to Eridanos can now commence. Don’t expect a peaceful vacation, though! The iconic aetherwave actor, Halcyon Helen, star of “Terror On Monarch,” and the spokesperson for Rizzo’s new refreshing Spectrum Brown Vodka (coming soon to stores, bars, and vending machines near you… ask your local Rizzo’s representative for more details!) is dead! It’s up to you and your crew, along with the trusty Discrepancy Amplifier, to get to the bottom of the case.

Approach the case however you’d like and narrow down the suspect list from the likes of famous tossball player, Black Hole Bertie, or the “Terror on Monarch” leading actor, Spencer Woolrich. Perhaps it was even Helen’s automechanical co-star, Burbage-3001! Make use of your complimentary room at the Grand Colonial Hotel to set up your own investigation headquarters. You find the motive, you accuse the criminal.

Per your unbridled interest in the Halcyon colony, you are reminded that it is your duty to fulfill this obligation on Eridanos. Don’t worry as the Board has graciously supplied three additional scientific weapons to discover, additional armor sets, granted three additional levels to the current level cap and plenty of support staff to make your journey more enjoyable amicable functional.

These tools will be critical to your success as you will come across a variety of hostile indigenous life as well as potential unruly ex-employees. At your disposal, you will also have the Discrepancy Amplifier. This miraculous scientific marvel allows you to reveal hidden anomalies or abnormalities, and each discovery may be one step closer in determining the culprit.

<!-- wp:xbox/summary --> <div class="wp-block-xbox-summary"><h3>Summary</h3><ul><li><em><a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/The-Outer-Worlds-Murder-on-Eridanos/9P9M9QLLPHLL">The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos</a></em> is out now</li><li>This is the second and final story-based expansion for <em>The Outer Worlds</em></li><li>In this DLC, solve the Halcyon colony’s grandest murder mystery!</li></ul></div> <!-- /wp:xbox/summary --> <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The second and final story-driven expansion for <strong><em>The Outer Worlds</em></strong> is now available! For those who want to do more in the Halcyon colony, travel to Eridanos can now commence. Don’t expect a peaceful vacation, though! The iconic aetherwave actor, Halcyon Helen, star of “Terror On Monarch,” and the spokesperson for Rizzo’s new refreshing Spectrum Brown Vodka (coming soon to stores, bars, and vending machines near you... ask your local Rizzo’s representative for more details!) is dead! It’s up to you and your crew, along with the trusty Discrepancy Amplifier, to get to the bottom of the case.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph --> <figure class=

In case you missed it, the first expansion, The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon, is also available independently for $ 14.99 or through The Outer Worlds Expansion Pass with the second expansion for extra savings at the price of $ 24.99. Xbox Game Pass owners will be able to get Murder on Eridanos or The Outer Worlds Expansion Pass at a 10% discount. So be sure to join us, remember the Board requires requests you to do so, as The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos launches today, March 17, for $ 14.99 USD.

The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos

The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos

The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos

Private Division

☆☆☆☆☆ 23
★★★★★
$ 14.99 $ 13.49
The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos is the second narrative expansion to the critically acclaimed and award-winning sci-fi RPG from Obsidian Entertainment and Private Division. Venture to the skies of Eridanos and unravel the grandest murder mystery in the Halcyon colony! Everyone is a suspect in this peculiar whodunit after Rizzo’s hired spokesperson, the famous Halcyon Helen, winds up dead ahead of the release of the brand-new Spectrum Brown vodka. Alongside your companions, travel across the floating islands of Eridanos and piece together clues using the Discrepancy Amplifier, a new gadget that highlights otherwise unseen hints. There’s more to this mystery than meets the eye, and it’s up to you (and your crew, if you choose) to solve the case. Key Features: • Murder mystery: Suspicions abound, and it’s up to you to get to the bottom of the murder of Halcyon Helen, the most well-known celebrity in the colony. Use the new Discrepancy Amplifier, your key to solving the case, as it highlights temporal inconsistencies not otherwise seen with the naked eye. • A unique world: Travel among the floating islands of Eridanos, from the luxurious confines of the Grand Colonial Hotel to Rizzo’s colorful groves. But be careful about the smiling employees you encounter, as there’s something dark lingering under the bright and cheerful surface. • New weapons and character customization: Three new science weapons can be added to the player’s arsenal alongside weapon and armor variants to use while solving the case. And increase your level cap by three and employ new perks and flaws to create your most unique character yet. The Outer Worlds: Murder on Eridanos is the second and final story expansion that can be purchased individually or bundled at a discount in The Outer Worlds Expansion Pass. A copy of The Outer Worlds on the same platform is required to play expansion(s).

The Outer Worlds

The Outer Worlds

Xbox Live

Xbox Live

The Outer Worlds

Private Division

☆☆☆☆☆ 385
★★★★★
Xbox One X Enhanced
Xbox Game Pass
The Outer Worlds is a new single-player sci-fi RPG from Obsidian Entertainment and Private Division. As you explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter a host of factions all vying for power, who you decide to become will determine the fate of everyone in Halcyon. In the corporate equation for the colony, you are the unplanned variable. Lost in transit while on a colonist ship bound for the furthest edge of the galaxy, you awake decades later than you expected only to find yourself in the midst of a deep conspiracy threatening to destroy the Halcyon colony. As you explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter a host of factions all vying for power, who you decide to become will determine the fate of everyone in Halcyon. In the corporate equation for the colony, you are the unplanned variable. Welcome to the future – try not to break it. • Build any character you want in this thrilling single-player first person RPG – including optional flaws based on your own game experience • Lead a crew of companions armed with unique abilities that have their own missions, motivations and ideals • Find your ship and explore the settlements, space stations and other diverse locations in the Halcyon colony

Mikey Dowling, Director of Communications, Obsidian Entertainment

India now holds world’s fourth-LARGEST forex reserves

India’s foreign exchange holdings amounted to $ 580.3 billion as of March 5, the country’s central bank has said. Only China, Japan and Switzerland have bigger forex reserves, according to the International Monetary Fund.

India’s reserves are now enough to cover roughly 18 months of imports. The growth came on the back of a rare current-account surplus, rising inflows into the local stock market, and foreign direct investment. 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) estimates the volume of assets in foreign currency at $ 539.6 billion. Gold accounts for $ 34.2 billion of the holdings, while Special Drawing Rights (SDR) assets stand at $ 1.5 billion, and the Reserve Position in the IMF at $ 4.9 billion.

Analysts say a strong reserves position gives foreign investors and credit-rating companies added comfort that the government can meet its debt obligations despite a deteriorating fiscal outlook and the economy heading for its first full-year contraction in more than four decades. 
Also on rt.com Indian economy to grow 11% in fiscal 2022, study shows
“India’s various reserves-adequacy metrics have improved significantly, particularly in the last few years,” Kaushik Das, chief India economist at Deutsche Bank, said before the latest data was released. “The healthy FX reserves position should give enough comfort to RBI for dealing with any potential external shock-driven capital-stop or outflows in the period ahead,” the economist added, as quoted by Bloomberg.

In its report, India’s central bank recommended further strengthening of foreign-exchange reserves, while its governor Shaktikanta Das said that emerging market central banks need to build reserves to prevent any external shocks.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

RT

20 Bethesda Games from the World’s Most Iconic Franchises Available in Xbox Game Pass Tomorrow

We’ve always been fans, but now we’re family

As we shared earlier this week, we’ve officially welcomed ZeniMax Media and Bethesda to the Xbox family, adding even more incredible talent, creative diversity, and beloved gaming franchises to an already stacked Xbox lineup.

You might be wondering what exactly that means for you as a gamer. Well, as we’ve said in the past, Xbox Game Pass is all about bringing you more great games to discover and play with your friends. Starting tomorrow, we continue that journey and celebrate welcoming Bethesda to Xbox by making 20 of Bethesda’s most iconic and award-winning games – including games from franchises like Dishonored, Doom, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and Wolfenstein – available to Xbox Game Pass members. What’s more, 16 of those titles will be available everywhere you play whether it’s PC, console, or mobile devices through the cloud for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members.

The full list of games is below and we can’t wait to jump in and discover our next favorite game with players from around the world. A handful of these games will also benefit from FPS Boost on Xbox Series X|S, and we’ll have more to share on that soon.

We invite you to play these iconic games, whether it’s the first time or a revisit to these beloved worlds. As for what’s next, the teams across Bethesda are hard at work and will have more to share later this year.

Bethesda Xbox Game Pass

Bethesda Games Playable with Xbox Game Pass (As of March 12)

Dishonored Definitive Edition (Console, PC, Cloud)
This complete compilation includes Dishonored, winner of over 100 Game of Year awards, as well as all of its additional content – Dunwall City Trials, The Knife of Dunwall, The Brigmore Witches and Void Walker’s Arsenal.

Dishonored 2 (Console, PC, Cloud)
Reprise your role as a supernatural assassin in Dishonored 2 – the next chapter in the award-winning saga by Arkane Studios. Play your way in a world where mysticism and industry collide. How will you combine your character’s unique set of powers, weapons and gadgets to eliminate your enemies?

DOOM (1993) (Console, PC, Cloud)
Doom introduced millions of gamers to the fast-paced, white-knuckle, demon-slaying action the franchise is known for. Relive the birth of the first-person shooter and experience the demon-blasting fun that popularized the genre. Doom includes Episode IV: Thy Flesh Consumed, with 9 additional action-packed levels and split-screen 4-player deathmatch and co-op.

DOOM II (Console, PC, Cloud)
Bring your trusty Super Shotgun and an arsenal of classic Doom weapons to bear against deadlier demons and the infamous boss, the Icon of Sin. Doom II includes The Master Levels for Doom II with 20 additional levels, as well as split-screen 4 player co-op and multiplayer.

DOOM 3 (Console, PC, Cloud)
Battle your way through a demon-infested facility before entering the abyss to battle Hell’s mightiest warrior – and put an end to the invasion. Doom 3 includes both campaign expansions – Resurrection of Evil and The Lost Mission.

DOOM 64 (Console, PC, Cloud)
Battle armies of demons in your crusade to hunt down the Mother Demon and stop Hell’s invasion. As you fight through more than 30 action-packed levels, be on the lookout for enhanced weapons and secrets to help you put an end to the demonic threat.

DOOM Eternal (Console, PC, Cloud)
Hell’s armies have invaded Earth. Become the Slayer in an epic single-player campaign to conquer demons across dimensions and stop the final destruction of humanity. Experience the ultimate combination of speed and power in Doom Eternal – the next leap in push-forward, first-person combat. The only thing they fear… is you.

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (Console, PC)
An epic, open-ended single-player RPG, Morrowind allows you to play any kind of character imaginable. You can choose to follow the main storyline and find the source of the evil blight that plagues the land, or set off on your own to explore strange locations and develop your character.

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Console, PC)
Step inside the most richly detailed and vibrant game-world ever created. With a powerful combination of freeform gameplay and unprecedented graphics, you can unravel the main quest at your own pace or explore the vast world and find your own challenges.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition (Console, PC, Cloud)
Winner of more than 200 Game of the Year Awards, the Skyrim Special Edition includes the game and add-ons with all-new features like remastered art and effects, volumetric god rays, dynamic depth of field, and more. Also bring the power of mods to consoles. New quests, environments, characters, dialogue, armor, weapons and more – with Mods, there are no limits to what you can experience.

The Elder Scrolls Online (Cloud, Console)
Experience the award-winning story in a persistent Elder Scrolls world. Embark on an adventure that lets you play your way, go anywhere at any level. Battle, craft, steal, siege, explore and more.

The Evil Within (Console, PC, Cloud)
Experience a disturbing reality as you try to break free from warped machinations. With limited resources at your disposal, you’ll fight for survival and experience profound fear in this perfect blend of horror and action. Defeat insurmountable terror and experience the ultimate thrill by discovering The Evil Within.

Fallout 4 (Console, PC, Cloud)
As the sole survivor of Vault 111, you enter a world destroyed by nuclear war. Every second is a fight for survival, and every choice is yours. Only you can rebuild and determine the fate of the Wasteland. Welcome home.

Fallout 76 (Console, PC, Cloud)
Steel Dawn is the first chapter in the new Brotherhood of Steel questline, free for Fallout 76 players. Visit settlements populated with new NPCs and unlock powerful weapons and armor from the Brotherhood arsenal. Join in their mission to rebuild society and aid in securing valuable technology.

Fallout: New Vegas (Console)
Welcome to New Vegas. It’s the kind of town where you dig your own grave prior to being shot in the head… and that’s before things really get ugly. It’s a town of dreamers and desperados being torn apart by warring factions vying for complete control of this desert oasis.

Prey (Console, PC, Cloud)
Good morning, Morgan. Prey joins the Xbox Game Pass library tomorrow, taking you from the comfort of your home to the treacherous depths of space. As Morgan Yu, you’ll have to use your wits, weapons and strange powers to fight the alien threat that has overtaken the Talos I space station. Explore the station, upgrade your skills and abilities, and uncover the secrets of Talos I and the dangers within.

RAGE 2 (Console, PC, Cloud)
Dive headfirst into a dystopian world devoid of society, law, and order. Rage 2 brings together two studio powerhouses – Avalanche Studios, masters of open world insanity, and id Software, creators of the first-person shooter – to deliver a carnival of carnage where you can go anywhere, shoot anything, and explode everything.

Wolfenstein: The New Order (Console, PC, Cloud)
Wolfenstein sends players across Europe on a personal mission to bring down the fascist war machine. With the help of a small group of resistance fighters, infiltrate their most heavily guarded facilities, battle high-tech legions, and take control of super-weapons that have conquered the earth – and beyond.

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood (Console, PC, Cloud)
The year is 1946 and the Nazis are on the brink of winning World War II. In an effort to turn the tide in the allies’ favor, B.J. Blazkowicz must embark on an epic, two-part mission deep within Bavaria…

Wolfenstein: Youngblood (Console, PC, Cloud)
Set 19 years after the events of Wolfenstein II, BJ Blazkowicz’s twin daughters, Jess and Soph Blazkowicz — after years of training from their battle-hardened father — are forced into action. Team up with a friend to level up, explore, and complete missions to unlock abilities that compliment your playstyle.

China ratifies world’s LARGEST free trade agreement

China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao has announced that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) had been ratified during the National People’s Congress in Beijing, three months ahead of schedule.

He urged other member countries to ratify the agreement as soon as possible, telling the South China Morning Post: “The sooner the agreement enters into force, the sooner the people of the member countries will benefit.”

The 15-member trade deal was inked in mid-November. It is the world’s largest free trade agreement, and includes the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.

The RCEP agreement will enter into force 60 days after six ASEAN member states and three non-ASEAN member states have ratified the deal.
Also on rt.com China could join massive Asia-Pacific trade deal abandoned by US
According to He Ping, a professor of international politics at Fudan University, in Shanghai, the accelerated ratification by the Chinese government is a move to motivate other countries to accelerate their procedures.

“The Japanese parliament is also working on the ratification, and there should be no problem. We estimate there would not be problems with ratification from some other ASEAN countries,” he said, adding that if the threshold was passed, the pact would enter into force by the end of 2021 or early 2022.
Also on rt.com China building digital Silk Road stretching from Asia through Africa to Europe
First proposed in 2011, RCEP will eliminate as much as 90 percent of the tariffs on imports between its signatories within 20 years. It will also establish common rules for e-commerce, trade, and intellectual property. The new economic bloc will thus represent around a third of the world’s gross domestic product and population.

It will become the first-ever free-trade agreement to include China, Japan, and South Korea – Asia’s first, second and fourth-largest economies. One of the original partners, India, has refused to participate in the negotiations due to its concern that opening up its market would cause its trade deficit with China to grow.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

RT