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Engineers Australia Wants Flood Class Action Information to be Made Available

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 2, 2013

Queensland Flood

If the class action lawsuit over the Queensland floods proceeds following the devastating damage caused in 2011, then Engineers Australia wants the information surrounding the action to be made freely available.

An independent investigation has concluded that the flooding of a large number of properties down river from Wivenhoe Dam in 2011 would not have occurred had the dam’s operations been up to the standards expected of a reasonably competent dam operator.

Comprehensive modelling will form the basis of a class action lawsuit on behalf of thousands of flood victims in Queensland’s southeast. The modelling will be run on a no-win no-fee basis by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and backed by litigation funder IMF Australia.

Maurice Blackburn Class Actions principal Damian Scattini said there is sufficient evidence to ensure a class action could proceed.

“Our modelling shows that had Wivenhoe been operated properly there would not have been flooding in some areas,” he said. “In other areas this poor operation meant flooding was much worse than it should have been. This evidence provides us with strong grounds to proceed with a class action.”

Rosalie Brisbane Flood

Rosalie was one of the badly affected suburbs in the 2011 Brisbane flood. Photo: Glen Hunt Read the rest of this entry »

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World Oil Price to Double by 2022 – IMF Report

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 15, 2012

World oil prices may double in the next decade with a disastrous effect on the global economy

World oil prices may double in the next decade with a disastrous effect on the global economy

 Related News
World oil prices may double in the next decade with a disastrous effect on the global economy according to a report commissioned by the IMF, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday .

Global oil prices are currently hovering at historically high levels of $110 per barrel but a combination of rising demand and constrained supply could have major consequences for the global economy, the paper said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Personality: A SMALL GIRL’S BIG, BIG VOICE (Suma Tharu)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 13, 2012

A Weekend of Fearless Women

From Hillary Clinton and Meryl Streep to IMF chief Christine Lagarde and Nobel winner Leymah Gbowee, complete coverage of our 2012 summit.

From top girl crush Christine Lagarde on ‘Lehman Sisters’ to Meryl Streep riveted backstage and Hillary Clinton’s embrace of Burmese activist Zin Mar Aung, Tina Brown shares her favorite moments from the third Women in the World summit.

Something wonderful happened at this year’s third Women in the World Summit. It really was not just a summit, but a happening that brought out the very best in everyone on stage and off, at the Lincoln Center and at the United Nations, where my summit cohost Diane von Furstenberg presented the DVF awards to such women of courage as Jaycee Dugard.

brown-witw-wrap-teaser
Marc Bryan-Brown

So many mothers brought their daughters to the summit. So many daughters brought their mothers. Has Christine Lagarde, our guest at the opening night dinner, ever been more convincing or more captivating, with the sheen of her white satin jabot blouse matching her hank of silver hair? (For girl crushes in the dinner audience, Lagarde took the prize.) “If Lehman Brothers had been a bit more Lehman Sisters…we would not have had the degree of tragedy that we had as a result of what happened,” she told Niall Ferguson archly. Read the rest of this entry »

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IMF push for $1 trillon rescue fund to cost UK £15bn

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 18, 2012

Telegraph

Downing Street says Britain is ready to consider a request for extra funds from the International Monetary Fund, which is seeking to boost its firepower to around $1 trillion to safeguard the global economy.

Britain ready to consider IMF request for extra funds

A Downing Street spokeswoman said any increase in UK funding would have to be designed to assist struggling countries and not to bail out the euro. Photo: REUTERS
 The government made the comments just before the IMF confirmed reports that it wanted to expand its resources to protect ailing economies against any escalation of the eurozone debt crisis.

“Based on staff’s estimate of global potential financing needs of about $1 trillion in the coming years, the Fund would aim to raise up to $500bn in additional lending resources,” the IMF said in a statement.

Currently the IMF has resources of around $400bn. Britain is liable for 4.5pc of IMF funding, so a $500m increase in resources leaves the nation liable to provide an extra $22.5bn, or £15bn. Read the rest of this entry »

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Global Economy Slowing Down: World Bank

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 18, 2012

The global economy is heading for a slowdown, the World Bank said on Wednesday, as the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis and weak growth in other major economies weigh on growth.

The bank now predicts that global growth will slow to 2.5% in 2012, down from an estimate of 3.6% from June, with a marked difference between developing and high-income countries, which are forecast to grow at 5.4% and 1.4%, respectively. The eurozone is likely to contract by 0.3%.

Commodity prices have begun to fall back and the growth in global trade is slowing – from 12.4% in 2010 to 6.6% in 2011, with a forecast of 4.7% in 2012, according to the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects report.

Should the debt crisis in Europe get any worse, no country will be safe from the results, the bank said. At the beginning of the financial downturn it was thought that so-called “decoupling” – a lack of economic links between the global South and the industrialised world – might protect developing countries. Read the rest of this entry »

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Christine Lagarde: IMF Boss Says Gloomy Times Ahead And Every Economy Is At Risk

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 16, 2011


We made world peace risk and this made economy risk as trillion dollars used not for creation but for destructio­n:

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, has issued a stark warning to world markets by claiming the future is “gloomy” and every economy in the world is at risk.

Her comments came as tensions between London and Paris were heightened further after the head of France’s central bank suggested that the UK was a candidate for a credit rating downgrade.

Speaking on Thursday Legarde said: “There is no economy in the world, whether low-income countries, emerging markets, middle-income countries or super-advanced economies that will be immune to the crisis that we see not only unfolding but escalating,”

“It is not a crisis that will be resolved by one group of countries taking action. It is going to be hopefully resolved by all countries, all regions, all categories of countries actually taking action,” Reuters reported.

“It is going to require efforts, it is going to require adjustment, and clearly it is going to have to start from the core of the crisis at the moment, which is obviously the European countries and in particular the countries of the eurozone.”

Earlier, tensions between London and Paris were heightened further after the head of France’s central bank suggested that the UK was a candidate for a credit rating downgrade.

France is bracing itself for the potential loss of its coveted AAA rating after two credit agencies last week indicated they were considering marking down countries across the eurozone.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Naked ambition: Ukrainian topless protests go global

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 28, 2011

A naked woman in a city’s central square is bound to attract attention, which is exactly what Ukraine’s Femen group is hoping for with a series of high-profile demonstrations against the abuse of women’s rights which has made the news across Europe.

And as RT found out, the Ukrainian feminists are ready to conquer new horizons.

On a chilly morning in Kiev, half-naked women in racing outfits drink champagne and chant slogans. This is how the Femen movement celebrated the resignation of Silvio Berlusconi. Several days prior to that, Femen were in Rome, lending their support for the anti-Berlusconi protests.

“We had staged a lot of protests against Berlusconi and his sexual adventures here in Kiev. And we are really happy his political career has finished,” activist Aleksandra Shevchenko told RT.

“But we came to the Italian embassy not only to celebrate, but to say that he needs to go on trial for his sexual crimes,”Femen member Inna Shevchenko added.

For more than a week, Ukraine’s topless protesters have been making themselves heard across Europe on a road trip dedicated to drawing attention to the sexual exploitation of women.

While in Rome, one of their activists even made a revealing protest against injustice towards women in the Catholic Church at the Vatican, right in front of the Pope. Before that, they hit Paris, storming the residence of former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Read the rest of this entry »

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Afghanistan: IMF Reportedly Approves $129 Million Loan

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 15, 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Afghan government said Tuesday that the International Monetary Fund had decided to reinstate a credit program for the country – a move that will revive the flow of international aid that was suspended over the Kabul Bank crisis.

Afghanistan has been without IMF backing for more than a year. Some donor nations had already stopped authorizing payments to Afghanistan.

The IMF had suspended the credit program in 2010 after the Kabul Bank, then the largest private financial institution in Afghanistan, nearly collapsed because of mismanagement and hundreds of millions of dollars in questionable loans.

The restoration of credit now allows Afghanistan’s international partners to re-engage in the nation’s development agenda.

The Afghan Finance Ministry said the IMF had approved a three-year $129 million loan that will allow the government to undertake critical reforms in the banking and financial sector, further fiscal reforms in the customs and revenue departments and improve public financial management.

The IMF is expected to formally announce its decision later Tuesday.

The ministry’s statement made no mention of the Kabul Bank, which has become a symbol of the country’s deep-rooted corruption. The case is being closely followed by Afghans and international donors because it is a barometer of government officials’ pledge to root out patronage, graft and show accountability to world financial institutions, such as the IMF.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Eurozone Debt Crisis: European Leaders Reach Agreement Over Greek Debt

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 27, 2011

 
One step (agreement­) to sort out the Euro debt crisis appeared, however; another and more important step (implement­ation of the agreement) to be faced:

European leaders have reached a three-pronged agreement to resolve the eurozone debt crisis, including a deal that will halve Greek debt.

World stocks and the euro rose to their highest levels in nearly two months after the announcement of the deal on Thursday morning.

Banks were major gainers as European stock markets rose to hit three month highs on Thursday. The Dow Jones Stoxx Banks index, which aggregates the performance of European banks, was up nearly 5% in early trade. The German Dax and French CAC40 rose by 3.8% and 3.6% respectively.

Athens will also receive another bailout of around €100bn, scheduled to be released in early 2012, while the overall bailout fund will be increased to €1tn (£872bn).

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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The Eurasian Project: A Threat to The New World Order

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 14, 2011

by Elena Ponomareva

One might be tempted to regard Russian premier V. Putin’s paper “A new integration project for Eurasia: The future in the making”, which saw the light of day in Izvestia on October 3, 2011, as the presidential front-runner’s sketchily laid out program, but upon scrutiny that appears to be only one part of a wider picture. The opinion piece momentarily ignited wide-scale controversy in and outside of Russia and highlighted the ongoing clash of positions on global development…Regardless of interpretation details, the reaction of the Western media to the integration project unveiled by the Russian premier was uniformly negative and reflected with utmost clarity an a priori hostility towards Russia and any initiatives it floats. Mao Zedong, though, used to say that facing pressure from your enemies is better than being in such a condition that they do not bother to keep you under pressure.

It helps to understand why, at the moment, Cold War-style headlines are constantly popping up in Western media and what perceived threat the West discerned in Putin’s recent Eurasian integration. The obvious explanation is that, if implemented, the plan would come as a geopolitical challenge to the new world order, to the dominance of NATO, the IMF, the EU and other supranational bodies, and to the undisguised US primacy. Today’s increasingly assertive Russia suggests and is ready to start building an inclusive alliance based on principles providing a viable alternative to Atlantism and neoliberalism. It is an open secret that these days the West is putting into practice an array of far-reaching geopolitical projects, reconfiguring Europe in the wake of the Balkan conflicts and against the backdrop of the crises provoked in Greece and Cyprus, assembling the Greater Middle East based on serial regime changes across the Arab world, and, as a relatively novel design, implementing the Asia project in which the recent disaster in Japan was an active phase. Read the rest of this entry »

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Palestine: the world’s next nation

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 22, 2011

In four days the UN Security Council will meet, and the world has an opportunity to embrace a new proposal that could turn the tide on decades of failed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks: UN recognition of the state of Palestine.

Over 120 nations from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America have already endorsed this initiative, but Israel’s right-wing government and the US vehemently oppose it. The UK and other key European countries are still undecided, but a massive public push now could tip them to vote for this momentous opportunity to end 40 years of military occupation.

US-led peace initiatives have failed for decades, while Israel has confined the Palestinians to small areas, confiscated their lands and blocked their independence. This bold new initiative could be the best opportunity to jump start a resolution of the conflict, but Europe and the UK must take the lead. Let’s build a massive global call for the UK and other European leaders to endorse this statehood bid now, and make clear that citizens across the world support this legitimate, non-violent, diplomatic proposal. Sign the petition and send this to everyone:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/independence_for_palestine_uk/?vl

While the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are complex, most people on all sides agree that the best path to peace now is the creation of two states. But repeated peace processes have been undermined by violence on both sides, extensive Israeli settlement-building in the West Bank, and the humanitarian blockade on Gaza. The Israeli occupation has shrunk and fragmented the territory for a Palestinian state and made daily life a crippling ordeal for the Palestinian people. The UN, World Bank and IMF have all recently announced that Palestinians are ready to run an independent state, but say the main constraint to success is the Israeli occupation. Even the US President has called for an end to settlement expansion and a return to the 1967 borders with mutually agreed land-swaps, but Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has furiously refused to cooperate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Europe’s Elusive Gold Reserves: Are Greece, Portugal Sitting on Billions of Dollars?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 4, 2011

By Daniel Eckert and Holger Zschäpitz / Die Welt / Worldcrunch

This post is in partnership with Worldcrunch, a new global-news site that translates stories of note in foreign languages

Jonathan Nourok / Getty Images

into English. The article below was originally published in Die Welt.

The first thing any insolvent private person is forced to do is relinquish the family silver. But other rules seem to apply to governments. Whether they’ve been living above their means for a few years or for decades, certain countries hold on tight to their assets, declare themselves unable to pay back their debts and turn to other countries for help.

The European Union has seen many an example of this. Right now, Greece is negotiating with the troika of the E.U., the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a new rescue package while Athens sits on an impressive 114-ton stash of gold, about what four large, fully loaded trucks could carry.

The gleaming bars in the vaults of the Greek central bank are worth $5.8 billion. If Athens were to sell that gold, the Greek state would theoretically be able to meet at least part of the debt payments due soon without any outside help.(Read how the Greek economic crisis is threatening the euro.)

Another country in crisis, Portugal, also holds a significant amount of precious metal dating back to the days of António de Oliveira Salazar’s regime. Instead of aid, Lisbon could have converted its $19 billion worth of gold into cash.

Nick Moore, chief commodities strategist at the Royal Bank of Scotland in London, reports that a question often asked by bank clients is why these governments don’t sell some of their gold. After all, it is recognized worldwide as an asset that can be sold even in tough economic times. The gold in the central banks of euro-zone members is altogether worth some $545 billion.

With that, 4.5% of Euroland’s $12 trillion public debt could be paid off in one fell swoop. In relation to its debt, Portugal is particularly gold rich. Lisbon could put 383 tons of it on the market and make $19.3 billion at the present rate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tristane Banon To File Sexual Assault Lawsuit Against Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 4, 2011


Oh, another rape case by by former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Ka­hn?
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Early French Reaction To News That DSK Case May Collapse

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 1, 2011

by 

Reaction in France to the bombshell news from U.S. that prosecutors’ case against former International Monetary Fund

Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, June 6, 2011. (Photo: Eric Feferberg / AFP Getty Images)

head Dominique Strauss-Kahn for attempted rape and sexual assault was nearing collapse has thus far been muted—though that’s certain to change when the nation’s talking heads awake and learn of the late-breaking information out of New York. However, awaiting response from the pundits, politicians, and average news junkies who will inevitably air analyses of this latest twist in the extremely high-profile affair, here’s a preview of what we’ll be inclined to to hear—or not:

  • Caution, caution, then a bit more caution: Because the May arrest and indictment of Strauss-Kahn provoked claims of his innocence that were as categorical as the opposing condemnation that the notorious sexual predator should have been unmasked years ago, French reactions aired in hindsight Friday are bound to be more measured. Indeed, awaiting the still slumbering talking heads who assumed the role of lead bloviators the first time around, France’s media have thus far played the story about as straight as possible—and with a degree of wait-and-see that was rare in May. “Accusations Against DSK May Fall Apart” headlined le Monde online, an almost literal translation of the New York Times story that le Monde dispassionately details. (Daily rival Libération went the same route, with almost an identical headline.)Similarly, news radio station France Info led with the stunning news early Friday, but was equally carefully in recounting the contents of the original Times piece, and remained strictly conditional about the doubts and consequences it involves. Meanwhile, in deference to the numerous unexpected twists in—and intemperate reactions to— the DSK case already, France Info‘s only editorial addition to the dramatic news of prosecutors’ questioning aspects of the victim’s credibility was the sage comment, “what a mess”.
  • Shift targets of suspicion: As the various elements of his dilemma gradually lined up against him, Strauss-Kahn’s French backers found it increasingly difficult to continue flatly refuting the charges against him  as fabrication, a conspiracy, or a French-bashing miscarriage of justice. As a result, his supporters fell back to reminders about presumption of innocence—and attacks of an American justice system that they (and many others in France) found brutal in its humiliating presumption of guilt. It’s that theme we’re likely to see reprised in the early hours of Friday—and explode if American courts decide to dismiss the charges or relax the conditions of DSK’s release during a new hearing expected Friday. Read the rest of this entry »

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China’s Mining Pit: Is Australia’s Economy Dangerously Dependent on China?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 26, 2011

By MICHAEL SCHUMAN / PORT HEDLAND

If you’re ever in the Australian outpost of Port Hedland, make sure you’ve got a high limit on your credit card. The dusty

Fast boat to China: Port Hedland's capacity has tripled in eight years Adam Ferguson / VII Network for TIME Print

downtown of this isolated hamlet of 20,000 may be a few deserted streets lined with bank branches, the local cultural scene confined to drinking halls and pool tables. But when the bills come, you’d think you were in Beverly Hills. A brunch of two scrambled eggs, toast, hash browns and a Coca-Cola at a greasy diner comes to more than $20. A local hotel with rooms that are little more than sunbaked concrete cubes charges $300 a night. Taxi fares are outrageous enough to embarrass a Tokyo or London cabbie. The front window of a real estate agent’s office is plastered with flyers advertising one-story, three-bedroom homes — the kind found just about anywhere in Australia — on sale for more than $1 million. Why would anyone pay such crazy prices to stay here? “China needs its iron ore,” says Tony Swiericzuk, a local resident and a general manager at Australian mining outfit Fortescue Metals.

That explains everything. Favorably located on the northwestern coast of Australia, Port Hedland is the point through which the iron ore, copper and other resources dug up from the wastelands of the interior get shipped abroad — more and more to the voracious Chinese economy. Last year 70% of the exports from Port Hedland were bound for China, up from 45% in 2005. That surge has turned Port Hedland into an indispensable part of Australia’s economy and a hot destination for mining executives. The port can barely keep pace with Chinese demand. Its capacity has tripled over the past eight years, and Lindsay Copeman, acting chief executive of the Port Hedland Port Authority, expects it to double again by 2016. “It’s a very fast-evolving process,” Copeman says. “Instead of being a gentle growth curve, it’s an exponential curve, and we’re almost at a vertical wall.”(See pictures of Chinese investment in Africa.)

All of Australia has been enjoying that climb. The Chinese-driven boom at Port Hedland is symbolic of the growing giant’s impact on the entire Australian economy. Chinese demand for Australian exports, especially raw materials, was one big reason Australia didn’t fall into recession after the 2008 financial crisis. Since China will get even hungrier for natural resources as its economy roars ahead, Australia is likely to become more and more dependent on the Middle Kingdom. Ben Hunt, an economist at the International Monetary Fund, estimates that roughly 12% of Australia’s GDP growth during the past 10 years can be attributed to trade with China; over the next decade, that share could reach 35%. Colin Barnett, premier of Western Australia, Port Hedland’s home state, says China has been “probably the single biggest factor” behind the region’s strong performance during the Great Recession. “China’s almost insatiable demand for natural resources continues to drive our economy,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »

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