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Posts Tagged ‘Portugal’

Artist Samuel Silva’s Incredible Photorealistic Ballpoint Pen Drawings (PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 24, 2012

The Huffington Post  |  By 

Look closely… it may be hard to hard to believe but the images below are actually drawings made by Portugal-based attorney, Samuel Silva. Silva, who describes his art as a “hobby,” uses standard ballpoint pens for many of his drawings, sometimes working on a piece for over 45 hours.

Samuel Silva’s Incredible Ballpoint Pen Drawings
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“Baby Cradled in Dad’s Hands”
“Baby Cradled in Dad’s Hands” – BIC Ballpoint Pen
Original size: 75 % of an A2 paper sheet

For his “Redhead Girl,” based on the photograph by Russian photographer Kristina Taraina, he used seven different colored ballpoint pens which took some 30 hours to finish. To create such vibrant colors, Silva “cross hatches” in layers to give off the illusion of additional hues and depth. Read the rest of this entry »

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Madeleine McCann: Stephen Birch ‘Finds Grave’ Of Missing Child (PICTURES)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 7, 2012

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Madeleine Mccann
A South African property developer claims Madeleine McCann’s body was buried near the site of her disappearance and that he has found her grave.

Stephen Birch says ground radar scans he made with specialist equipment have been passed to Scotland Yard, who are conducting an investigative review of the case.

He told Sky News: “All I want to do is solve the mystery and bring closure to Madeleine’s family. I am convinced she lies where I have scanned.

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“I’ve had the scans analysed and they show digging, a void and what could be human bones.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Portugal May Be the Next Greece

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 28, 2012

The worst is over for the euro zone, the experts say. But Greece isn’t really fixed and Portugal could become a second big problem before year-end
Getty Images

GETTY IMAGES

When Greece celebrated its Independence Day on Sunday, there were scattered protests over the harsh austerity program aimed at stabilizing the country’s finances. The government reportedly removed low-hanging fruit from bitter-orange trees along the parade route, so it couldn’t be thrown by protesters. But, basically, the most recent bailout appears to be successful. As a result, worries about the European financial crisis have diminished somewhat. Indeed, European Central Bank president Mario Draghi has said that the worst is over for the euro-currency zone.

Such optimism may be premature, however. Not only does Greece remain a long-term financial concern, but in addition Portugal is on track to become a second big problem.

The dangers Greece still poses are clear. Higher taxes and government-spending cuts may reduce new borrowing, but such austerity policies also undermine a country’s ability to pay the interest on its existing debt. Unless accompanied by progrowth policies, austerity can become the financial equivalent of a medieval doctor trying to cure patients by bleeding them. In addition, the bailout plan for Greece consisted of marking down the value of much of the country’s debt held by banks and other private lenders. That means entities such as the European Central Bank now hold most of Greece’s remaining debt. And so, in the event of a default, important international institutions would suffer the greatest damage.

(MORE: Is Germany’s Euro-Crisis Strategy Actually Working?)

The net result has been to postpone the Greek financial crisis for months or even a couple of years, while raising the stakes if things go wrong. That could be seen as a considerable achievement, if you believe Greece is a unique case and that the problem has been successfully contained. The trouble is that other countries — and especially Portugal — seem to be heading down the same path. Here’s why forecasters are worried: 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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The man who screwed an entire country

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 11, 2011

The Economist

The Berlusconi era will haunt Italy for years to come

SILVIO BERLUSCONI has a lot to smile about. In his 74 years, he has created a media empire that made him Italy’s richest man. He has dominated politics since 1994 and is now Italy’s longest-serving prime minister since Mussolini. He has survived countless forecasts of his imminent departure. Yet despite his personal successes, he has been a disaster as a national leader—in three ways.

Two of them are well known. The first is the lurid saga of his “Bunga Bunga” sex parties, one of which has led to the unedifying spectacle of a prime minister being put on trial in Milan on charges of paying for sex with a minor. The Rubygate trial has besmirched not just Mr Berlusconi, but also his country.

However shameful the sexual scandal has been, its impact on Mr Berlusconi’s performance as a politician has been limited, so this newspaper has largely ignored it. We have, however, long protested about his second failing: his financial shenanigans. Over the years, he has been tried more than a dozen times for fraud, false accounting or bribery. His defenders claim that he has never been convicted, but this is untrue. Several cases have seen convictions, only for them to be set aside because the convoluted proceedings led to trials being timed out by a statute of limitations—at least twice because Mr Berlusconi himself changed the law. That was why this newspaper argued in April 2001 that he was unfit to lead Italy. Read the rest of this entry »

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10 Countries With The Worst Income Inequality: OECD

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 24, 2011


No idea how to trust this.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Making Predictions For 2011

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 27, 2010

Written by: Alan Caruba

In ancient times a soothsayer could make a good living divining the meaning of chicken bones and shiny pebbles. The modern version is usually some journalist who, looking back over his shoulder, decides he can predict the future. These are often the same people who fail to predict the outcome of elections, sports team rankings, and, of course, the weather.

Who, for example, could have predicted that, in November 2009, the world would be treated to thousands of emails between a handful of utterly deceitful “climate scientists” who were rigging the data in computer models to ensure that everyone remained scared to death of “global warming”?

The result was the breakdown of the 2009 United Nations Conference of Parties 15 climate conference in Copenhagen. This year a COP 16 in Cancun tossed out any pretence about “global warming” and went straight for a scheme to get wealthy nations to transfer trillions to mostly corrupt ones. Read the rest of this entry »

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FIFA: Fifa Decision On World Cup Corruption Claims

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 18, 2010

Richard Williams, Sky News Online

Fifa has cleared an executive member accused of asking for money in exchange for World Cup votes – but suspended

The claims follow a Sunday Times investigation

him for a year.

Tahiti’s Reynald Temarii’s lawyer revealed the news.

He and Nigeria’s Amos Adamu had already been suspended after an undercover Sunday Times investigation.

It follows a three-day hearing of the world football governing body‘s ethics committee.

The committee will also confirm the outcome of its investigation into claims 2018 World Cup joint-bidders Spain/Portugal and 2022 bidders Qatar colluded to trade votes.

In terms of the corruption probe, Mr Adamu’s position appears to be in greater danger because it is claimed he asked for money for projects to be paid via a family company. Read the rest of this entry »

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