From Sri Lanka’s uncertain future to overqualified job applicants – Here’s your July 18 news briefing

From Sri Lanka’s uncertain future to overqualified job applicants – Here’s your July 18 news briefing
Security personel stand guard outside the Parliament building, amid the country’s economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka July 16, 2022. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

To start off, we’re looking into:

What’s next for Sri Lanka?

Protests and demonstrations have been rocking the South Asian island of Sri Lanka for weeks, with the residents blaming the government’s mismanagement for the country’s economic collapse. With two break-ins last week into government buildings, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country via a military jet to Singapore and submitted his formal resignation to Parliament late last week, which was accepted on Friday. While the full letter hasn’t been made public, it’s reported that Rajapaksa wrote, “It is my personal belief that I took all possible steps to address this crisis.”

Several things to note now include:

  • The IMF had a press briefing over the weekend, during which the IMF communications head said that, with the unrest in Sri Lanka, loan program discussions had been disrupted. But once things have stabilized, discussions can restart.
  • Right now, Rajapaksa handed his position to Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, who’s also largely unpopular, with protest slogans going from “Gota Go Home,” (short for Gotabaya) to “Ranil Go Home.”
  • Wickremesinghe will stay acting president until Parliament votes in a new country leader on Wednesday. But, many are speculating that he might also throw his hat into the ring.
  • According to the energy minister, the country will receive three fuel shipments by Tuesday, the first shipments to reach the country in about three weeks. All payments have been completed, but it’s uncertain whether the country will have enough foreign currency for more shipments by the end of this month.

Saudi Arabia says relationships with the US and China are not mutually exclusive

US Saudi Arabia
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrive for the family photo during the Jeddah Security and Development Summit (GCC+3) at a hotel in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia July 16, 2022. Mandel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS

President Biden has been in the Middle East for the past few days trying to strengthen ties in places like Israel and Palestinian-occupied territories while also trying to repair them in Saudi Arabia – a place he’s previously condemned for human rights abuses.

A hotly-discussed topic during his time in Saudi Arabia has been oil prices (since the country is the world’s second-biggest oil producer). Still, Biden said at a summit that another big priority for him was making sure other world leaders couldn’t step in and take the US’ place in the country. Namely, he said, he’s worried about China, Russia and Iran.

But Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, told CNBC that its relationship with the US and China were not mutually exclusive and that it would continue trading with both of them instead of picking sides.

China’s property protests continue

China real estate
A man works at a construction site of apartment buildings in Beijing, China, July 15, 2022. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

Even though the debt-laden Evergrande hasn’t been as widely mentioned in the headlines lately, the industry’s woes and struggles are still very much ongoing. A boycott around China has been growing, with homebuyers refusing to repay their mortgage because of stalled property projects. But the issue is that many of these real estate developers built on debt and are struggling to generate the cash they need to repay their bank loans. The contractors and suppliers need to build out the properties and, therefore, deliver these homes. Last Thursday, officials tried to ease worries about the situation by saying that they would “guarantee the delivery of homes,” but investors kept selling banking and developer shares and bonds.

On Sunday, they again tried to ease worries, with regulators urging banks to extend loans to these property developers, saying they should meet their financing needs within reason and work with local governments so that “all the difficulties and problems will be properly solved.”

To end, we’ll look into:

What happens when you’re overqualified for a job?

woman filling job application form in office with boss
Photo by Sora Shimazaki on

We’ve all heard stories about couples that broke up because one was too good for the other. But did you know that happens in the corporate world, too?

No, we’re not talking about romance. We’re talking about experience and job applications. It turns out that being overqualified for a job doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re more appealing to a company. In fact, it can be a bit of a red flag for recruiters.

Recruiters say they have to be a little suspicious about everyone when hiring, and if you don’t seem to have a good enough reason to explain why you walked in the room, it can be a red flag. For overqualified applicants, it can be tough to explain why it’s worth taking a potential pay cut or starting in a lower position. They also point out that someone overqualified for a position may get bored and look to move on sooner than a more entry-level applicant, which isn’t ideal for the hiring company.

This can hurt people who are looking to change up their career paths. In industries where the corporate ladder is well-defined, experts say it’s a bit of a pyramid – the higher up you go, the less room there is to move laterally to different positions. So for many, stepping down a rung or two may be necessary to transition into a more enjoyable field of work.

The good news is that it isn’t always cut and dry. In some places where promotions can come quickly, it may make sense to bring in someone who is overqualified and have them quickly move their way up the ladder. And experts say that startups are particularly adept at this because they have a less defined advancement structure and usually can give people the role they want without necessarily having them take a pay cut.

So, the next time you go into an interview feeling overprepared, relax a little; it turns out that having a lot of experience isn’t always bad.

In other news …

📉China’s economic slowdown: China’s economy shrank in the second quarter of this year by 2.6% compared to January-March, with many of the country’s hubs experiencing intense lockdowns to fight COVID case surges. But state media came out on Sunday to say that the country’s “monetary policy has sufficient space and ample tools."

💸IMF interest rate talks: Speaking at the G20 meeting in Bali, managing director of the IMF Kristalina Georgieva said that interest rates will likely keep increasing through 2023 until “it’s clear that inflation expectations remain firmly anchored." After the G20, IMF officials said they will cut global growth forecasts substantially at the next review.

🥵Heat waves in Europe: Heat waves and fires are raging through Portugal, France and Spain, with Portuguese authorities saying that at least 238 people have died from the heat over the past week. In the southwestern Gironde region of France, over 12,000 people have been evacuated from their homes, with fires spreading across the region.

🧍‍♀️Ivana Trump’s fatal fall: The first wife of Donald Trump, Ivana, was found at the foot of her apartment’s staircase next to a spilled cup of coffee at the end of last week. It has been ruled an accident, with Ivana suffering “blunt impact injuries" to her torso after the fall.

🤖Iranian drones for Russia? As Biden was in the Middle East, the White House released intelligence saying that Russian officials were at an airfield in Iran several times recently to look at drones to be used against Ukraine in the war. Last Friday, Iran denied these reports, calling them “baseless."

🌊Floods in China: According to Chinese state media, in the southwestern city of Sichuan and the northwestern of Gansu, thousands have been evacuated due to flash floods. Meanwhile, 12 deaths have been reported.

Written and put together by Jake Shropshire, Christine Dulion and Krystal Lai