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Posts Tagged ‘Reuters’

Super-Rich Hold Up To $32 Trillion In Offshore Havens: Report

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 23, 2012

Super Rich Offshore Havens

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) – Rich individuals and their families have as much as $32 trillion of hidden financial assets in offshore tax havens, representing up to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues, according to research published on Sunday.

The study estimating the extent of global private financial wealth held in offshore accounts – excluding non-financial assets such as real estate, gold, yachts and racehorses – puts the sum at between $21 and $32 trillion.

The research was carried out for pressure group Tax Justice Network, which campaigns against tax havens, by James Henry, former chief economist at consultants McKinsey & Co.

He used data from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations and central banks.

The report also highlights the impact on the balance sheets of 139 developing countries of money held in tax havens by private elites, putting wealth beyond the reach of local tax authorities. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia, China Veto Syria Resolution From UN Security Council

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 20, 2012

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS, July 19 (Reuters) – Russia and China vetoed  a U.N. Security Council resolution on Thursday that threatened  Syrian authorities with sanctions if they did not halt violence  against an uprising, thwarting Western hopes for tough action as  the crisis in Syria escalates.

It was the third time that Russia, a key ally of the Syrian  government, and China have used their veto power to block U.N.  Security Council resolutions designed to put pressure on Syrian  President Bashar al-Assad and halt the violence in a 16-month  conflict that has killed thousands of people.

As efforts to forge a diplomatic solution appeared to  collapse, Syrian rebels clashed with forces loyal to Assad in  Damascus, a day after the killing of three close allies of the  president led to fresh warnings that the situation was spinning  out of control.

The vetoed resolution, which would have extended a U.N.  observer mission in Syria for 45 days, received 11 votes in  favor, while South Africa and Pakistan abstained.

International mediator Kofi Annan, who had sought a tough  resolution to save his disintegrating peace plan, voiced  disappointment, saying the council had failed “to take the  strong and concerted action he had urged and hoped for.”

Russia, which had proposed its own alternative resolution  without the sanctions threat, said it did not now plan to bring  that measure to a vote, leaving the future of the monitoring  mission hanging in the balance less than two days before its  U.N. mandate expires.

Britain proposed a resolution to extend the monitoring  mission for 30 days and hoped to put it to a vote on Thursday,  diplomats said, but it remained unclear how much backing this  new measure might win.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice,  described the twin vetoes as “dangerous and deplorable” and said  the Security Council had “failed utterly.”

“The United States has not, and will not, pin its policy on  an unarmed observer mission that is deployed in the midst of  such widespread violence and that cannot even count on the most  minimal support of this Security Council,” Rice said.

“Instead, we will intensify our work with a diverse range of  partners outside the Security Council to bring pressure to bear  on the Assad regime and to deliver assistance to those in need.”

The United States has been instrumental in forming the   “Friends of Syria” group, which includes a wide range of Western  and Arab countries, that has sought to increase pressure on  Damascus and encourage more unity among Syria’s fractured  opposition. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jennifer Carroll Sex Scandal: Florida Lieutenant Governor Accused Of Misconduct By Former Aide Carletha Cole

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 15, 2012

jennifer carroll lesbian sex misconduct florida lt

By Michael Peltier

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., July 11 (Reuters) – A former staffer of Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll said she was fired last year after she caught her former boss and another female aide in “a compromising position” in Carroll’s office, according to a court filing.

The ex-office aide, Carletha Cole, 49, was arrested last year on charges she illegally leaked taped conversations of Carroll’s staff to a Florida newspaper reporter.

Defending herself against the charges, Cole alleges in a court filing the lieutenant governor fired her shortly after she walked in on the Republican leader and the staff member in Carroll’s capitol office.

The allegation came to light in a July 5 court filing in response to a motion by prosecutors that certain records in the case be made confidential.

“When she entered the office, she found the Lieutenant Governor and her Travel Aide, Beatriz Ramos, in what can only be described as a compromising position,” according to a motion filed by Cole’s lawyer, Stephen Webster. Read the rest of this entry »

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Confirmed: CERN discovers new particle likely to be the Higgs boson (VIDEO)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 5, 2012

Two teams of scientists at CERN have confirmed the discovery of a new subatomic particle, which may well be the elusive Higgs boson, also known as “the God particle”.

A computer screen is pictured before a scientific seminar to deliver the latest update in the search for the Higgs boson at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Meyrin, near Geneva July 4, 2012. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse)
A computer screen is pictured before a scientific seminar to deliver the latest update in the search for the Higgs boson at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Meyrin, near Geneva July 4, 2012. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse)
British physicist Peter Higgs arrives for a scientific seminar to deliver the latest update in the search for the Higgs boson at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Meyrin near Geneva July 4, 2012. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse)
British physicist Peter Higgs arrives for a scientific seminar to deliver the latest update in the search for the Higgs boson at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Meyrin near Geneva July 4, 2012. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse) Read the rest of this entry »

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Lonesome George Dead: Last-Of-His-Kind Galapagos Tortoise Dies At 100

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 25, 2012

Reuters  Share on Google+

Lonesome George Dead

In this July 21, 2008 file photo released by Galapagos National Park, a giant tortoise named “Lonesome George” is seen in the Galapagos islands, an archipelago off Ecuador’s Pacific coast. (AP Photo/Galapagos National Park, File)

* Giant tortoise, 100 years old, was a symbol of the Galapagos

* Galapagos park may decide to embalm his body

By Alexandra Valencia and Eduardo Garcia

QUITO, June 24 (Reuters) – Lonesome George, the last remaining tortoise of his kind and a conservation icon, died on Sunday of unknown causes, the Galapagos National Park said. He was thought to be about 100 years old. Read the rest of this entry »

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Euro Zone Agrees To Lend Spain Up To 100 Billion Euros

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 10, 2012

* Euro zone agrees to lend Spain up to 100 bln euros

* Spain and Eurogroup say bailout will banish any doubts

* Madrid will specify precisely how much after bank audits

* Heated debate over role of IMF in bailout

* Money would be paid by Spain’s bank restructuring fund

By Luke Baker and Julien Toyer

BRUSSELS/MADRID, June 9 (Reuters) – Euro zone finance ministers agreed on Saturday to lend Spain up to 100 billion euros ($125 billion) to shore up its teetering banks and Madrid said it would specify precisely how much it needs once independent audits report in just over a week.

After a 2-1/2-hour conference call of the 17 finance ministers, which several sources described as heated, the Eurogroup and Madrid said the amount of the bailout would be sufficiently large to banish any doubts.

“The loan amount must cover estimated capital requirements with an additional safety margin, estimated as summing up to 100 billion euros in total,” a Eurogroup statement said.

Spain said it wanted aid for its banks but would not specify the precise amount until two independent consultancies – Oliver Wyman and Roland Berger – deliver their assessment of the banking sector’s capital needs some time before June 21.

“The Spanish government declares its intention to request European financing for the recapitalisation of the Spanish banks that need it,” Economy Minister Luis de Guindos told a news conference in Madrid.

He said the amounts needed would be manageable, and that the funds requested would amply cover any needs. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Reporter’s Privilege’ Under Fire From Obama Administration Amid Broader War On Leaks

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 19, 2012

By Michael Calderone and Dan Froomkin

RICHMOND, Va. — The Obama administration Friday morning continued its headlong attack on the right of reporters to protect their confidential sources in leak investigations.

Before a panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, a Department of Justice lawyer argued that New York Times reporter James Risen should be forced to testify in the trial of former CIA agent Jeffrey Sterling, who is charged with leaking classified information to Risen about a botched plot against the Iranian government.

Rather than arguing the specifics of the case, DOJ appellate lawyer Robert A. Parker asserted that there is no reporter’s privilege when a journalist receives an illegal leak of national security secrets.

When Judge Robert Gregory asked Parker to explain why the public’s interest in a free press was outweighed by the specific circumstances in this case, Parker declined. Read the rest of this entry »

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Karla Vanessa Perez, Mexican Woman, Reportedly Pregnant With 9 Babies

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 27, 2012

Pregnant

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A Mexican woman is pregnant with nine babies – six girls and three boys – the country’s main broadcaster Televisa reported on Thursday night.

The woman was identified as Karla Vanessa Perez of the northeastern state of Coahuila, which borders Texas. She is currently being treated at a hospital in the state capital Saltillo, the broadcaster said in the report.

Perez, whose age was not given, had fertility treatment leading to the multiple pregnancy, it said.

State-owned news agency Notimex also reported the pregnancy, saying Perez was due to give birth on May 20. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakistan tests missile days after India’s launch

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 25, 2012

SEBASTIAN ABBOT |


ISLAMABAD — Pakistan successfully launched an upgraded ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead Wednesday, days after its neighbor and archenemy India conducted its own missile test, the Pakistani military said.

The Hatf IV Shaheen-1A missile was fired into the sea, the military said in a written statement.

It was described as an intermediate-range missile having a longer range than its predecessor, the Shaheen-1, which is believed to fly up to 750 kilometers (465 miles).

“The improved version of Shaheen-1A will further consolidate and strengthen Pakistan’s deterrence abilities,” said Lt. Gen. Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, who witnessed the launch and is responsible for the country’s nuclear program.

Intermediate-range ballistic missiles have a range of 3,000 to 5,000 kilometers (1,865 to 3,110 miles), according to the website GlobalSecurity.org. Read the rest of this entry »

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North Korea Nuclear Test Reportedly Ready Soon

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 25, 2012

North Korea Nuclear Test

By Benjamin Kang Lim

BEIJING, April 24 (Reuters) – North Korea has almost completed preparations for a third nuclear test, a senior source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing said, an act that would draw further international condemnation following a failed rocket launch.

The isolated and impoverished state sacrificed the chance of closer ties with the United States when it launched the long-range rocket on April 13 and was censured by the U.N. Security Council, which includes the North’s sole major ally, China.

Critics say the rocket launch was aimed at honing the North’s ability to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States, a move that would dramatically increase its military and diplomatic heft.

Now the North appears to be about to carry out a third nuclear test after two in 2006 and 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

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Afghanistan War: Amputations Grim Testament To Civilian Cost Of War

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 13, 2012


Comment: War is not to win, this is to loose. In war both winner and looser loose. If you really want to win you need to fight against yourself not against others:

By Amie Ferris-Rotman

KABUL, April 12 (Reuters) – Gently massaging the soft flesh under his knees, 20-year-old Abdul Ahmat recalls the suicide bomb six months ago that destroyed his legs.

The former construction worker, in a wheelchair after his legs were amputated, is among a growing number of Afghans severely wounded by bombs that have grown grimly more powerful than ever before in three decades of conflict.

“I stepped onto the street to head to work, when suddenly I became helpless. I knew I had lost my legs,” the father of one said of the attack that killed 13 foreign troops and four Afghans in the capital, Kabul, in October 2011.

Ahmat, who had come to Kabul from relatively peaceful Bamiyan province in search of work, spoke in a Red Cross orthopaedic centre, one of the largest in the world and one of seven the humanitarian organisation operates in Afghanistan.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Nuclear Summit: Barack Obama Tells Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev More Flexibility After Election

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 27, 2012

SEOUL, March 26 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama was caught on camera on Monday assuring outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev he will have “more flexibility” to deal with contentious issues like missile defense after the U.S. presidential election.

Obama, during talks in Seoul, urged Moscow to give him “space” until after the November ballot, and Medvedev said he would relay the message to incoming Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The unusually frank exchange came as Obama and Medvedev huddled together on the eve of a global nuclear security summit in the South Korean capital, unaware their words were being picked up by microphones as reporters were led into the room.

U.S. plans for an anti-missile shield have bedeviled relations between Washington and Moscow despite Obama’s “reset” in ties between the two former Cold War foes. Obama’s Republican opponents have accused him of being too open to concessions to Russia on the issue. Read the rest of this entry »

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Asma Assad: Syria Dictator’s Wife A ‘Rose In The Desert’ Crushed By Uprising Violence

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 22, 2012


She is what she is. We should not cry, we should not laugh, we should not shout. This makes us fool not her:

By Maria Golovnina

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) – She was supposed to be the gentler face of a would-be reformist regime. Now Asma al-Assad has become a hate figure for many.

Syria’s London-born first lady, once breathlessly described as a “rose in the desert”, is ensconced at the heart of the shadowy inner circle of President Bashar al-Assad.

As Syria slides towards civil war and foreign powers watch for cracks within the ruling clan, understanding Asma could prove vital to understanding the Assads and the future of the Syrian crisis.

A British-educated former investment banker, Asma cultivated the image of a glamorous yet serious-minded woman with strong Western-inspired values who was meant to humanise the increasingly secretive and isolated Assad family.

That image crumbled when her husband responded to an anti-government rebellion with extreme violence a year ago. Asma had clearly decided to stand by her man despite international revulsion at his actions. Assad himself says he is fighting an insurrection, involving foreign-backed “terrorists”. Read the rest of this entry »

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U.S. Soldier Opens Fire On Civilians In Afghanistan

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 11, 2012

(Adds eyewitness quotes, Taliban statement, U.S. embassy statement)

By Ahmad Nadem

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, March 11 (Reuters) – Western forces shot dead 16 civilians including nine children in southern Kandahar province on Sunday, Afghan officials said, in a rampage that witnesses said was carried out by American soldiers who were laughing and appeared drunk.

One Afghan father who said his children were killed in the shooting spree accused soldiers of later burning the bodies.

Witnesses told Reuters they saw a group of U.S. soldiers arrive at their village in Kandahar’s Panjwayi district at around 2 am, enter homes and open fire.

The incident, one of the worst of its kind since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, is likely to deepen the divide between Washington and Kabul.

The U.S. embassy in Kabul said an American soldier had been detained over the shooting. It added that anti-U.S. reprisals were possible following the killings, which come just weeks after U.S. soldiers burned copies of the Koran at a NATO base, triggering widespread anti-Western protests.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the rampage as “intentional murders” and demanded an explanation from the United States. His office said the dead included nine children and three women. Read the rest of this entry »

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Iran Nuclear Talks: Israel Cautiously Welcomes New Negotiations

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 8, 2012

 

By Dan Williams

JERUSALEM, March 7 (Reuters) – Israel on Wednesday cautiously welcomed the planned resumption of big-power nuclear talks with Iran, insisting that Tehran be denied the means to turn uranium into bomb fuel.

With Israel speaking increasingly loudly of resorting to military action to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, the talks could provide some respite in a crisis that has driven up oil prices and threatened to suck the United States into its third major war in a decade.

Tuesday’s announcement of new talks followed a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the United States, where President Barack Obama said the talks offered a diplomatic chance to quiet the “drums of war”.

“I’m very happy that they are opening discussions,” said Netanyahu’s national security adviser, Yaakov Amidror.

“There will be no one happier than us, and the prime minister said this in his own voice, if it emerges that in these talks Iran will give up on its military nuclear capability,” he told Israel Radio.

Taking up Iran’s offer of talks with the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the powers sought assurances on “the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme, while respecting Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy”.

A date and venue for the talks have yet to be agreed.

Past contacts with Tehran, whose often secretive nuclear projects have stirred foreign suspicions of a hidden bomb programme, stumbled in disputes over the scale of its uranium enrichment and stockpiling of the fissile material, which can power energy reactors and, if purified further, provide fuel for warheads. Read the rest of this entry »

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