The DailyBrief

Thursday December 22, 2016

First drug dealers, now gambling – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Tuesday he intends to put a stop to his country’s freewheeling online gambling industry altogether. Having gained notoriety around the world with an aggressive campaign to stamp out drugs – through the extra-judicial killing of suspects – Duterte made his plans known in a budget speech heavily focused on populist measures. The Philippines has attracted many online companies over the last decade who have set up servers aimed at overseas punters.

India’s Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of accepting 400 million rupees (US$5.9 million) from the Sahara conglomerate when he was chief minister of Gujarat and demanded an independent inquiry. Modi’s BJP immediately dismissed the allegation, accusing Gandhi of being “desperate” after successive poll defeats for his party.

China’s Xi Jinping said on Wednesday night that regulating the country’s residential rental market in order to restrain housing bubbles is crucial to improving people’s livelihoods. As we report in our round-up of market-moving stories in the Chinese-language media, President Xi told a meeting of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs that local governments should ensure taxation and land policies meet the needs of citizens.

Students from China, and from other Asian nations, are responsible for a hefty revenue lift in US college towns, boosting local economies, writes Asia Times Editor-at-Large Doug Tsuruoka. An oft-cited study asserts that Chinese imports were responsible for the loss of 2.4 million US jobs over a dozen years. The flip side of the coin is tuition fees, board and other payments and spending from foreign students.