Yemen conflict: At least 10,000 killed

•January 18, 2017 • 1 Comment

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http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38646066

At least 10,000 people have been killed in the war in Yemen between Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition supporting the government, the UN says.

The organisation said the death toll “underscores the need to resolve the situation” that has lasted for more than 21 months.

The news came as a UN envoy met President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi on Monday in the Yemeni port city of Aden.

The conflict between the Houthis and the government escalated in March 2015.

The Saudi-led force intervened in an attempt to restore the elected administration.

Since then “the estimates are that over 10,000 people have been killed in this conflict and almost 40,000 people injured,” UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said.

He added that millions of people in the country, living in areas directly affected by the fighting, are facing food shortages.

“There are seven million people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” Mr McGoldrick said.

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shhhh..dont tell anybody..we are supposed to be focused on syria only..

the hypocrisy is overwhelming..

“the estimates are that over 10,000 people have been killed in this conflict and almost 40,000 people injured,” UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said.”

and it just goes on..

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Eight billionaires “as rich as world’s poorest half”

•January 18, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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_93552411_eight_richest_men_624-2

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38613488

The world’s eight richest individuals have as much wealth as the 3.6bn people who make up the poorest half of the world, according to Oxfam.

The charity said its figures, which critics have queried, came from improved data, and the gap between rich and poor was “far greater than feared”.

Oxfam’s report coincides with the start of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Mark Littlewood, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said Oxfam should focus instead on ways to boost growth.

“As an ‘anti-poverty’ charity, Oxfam seems to be strangely preoccupied with the rich,” said the director-general of the free market think tank.

For those concerned with “eradicating absolute poverty completely”, the focus should be on measures that encourage economic growth, he added.

Ben Southwood, head of research at the Adam Smith Institute, said it was not the wealth of the world’s rich that mattered, but the welfare of the world’s poor, which was improving every year.

“Each year we are misled by Oxfam’s wealth statistics. The data is fine – it comes from Credit Suisse – but the interpretation is not.”

The annual event in Davos, a Swiss ski resort, attracts many of the world’s top political and business leaders.

Katy Wright, Oxfam’s head of global external affairs, said the report helped the charity to “challenge the political and economic elites”.

“We’re under no illusions that Davos is anything other than a talking shop for the world’s elite, but we try and use that focus,” she added.

UK economist Gerard Lyons said focusing on extreme wealth “does not always give the full picture” and attention should be paid to “making sure the economic cake is getting bigger”.

However, he said Oxfam was right to single out companies that it believed fuelled inequality with business models that were “increasingly focused on delivering ever-higher returns to wealthy owners and top executives”.

Oxfam’s Ms Wright said economic inequality was fuelling a polarisation in politics, citing Donald Trump’s election as US president and the Brexit vote as examples.

“People are angry and calling out for alternatives. They’re feeling left behind because however hard they work they can’t share in their country’s growth,” she said.

The charity is calling for “a more human economy” and is urging governments to crack down on executive pay and tax evasion and impose higher taxes on the wealthy.

It also wants business leaders to pay a “fair share of tax” and has urged companies to pay staff the “living wage”, which is higher than the government’s National Living Wage.

Oxfam has produced similar reports for the past four years. In 2016 it calculated that the richest 62 people in the world had as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population.

———

what do you expect?

the gfc only concreted their wealth..

and how many of these pariahs voted/would vote for trump?..zero..they were all in hillarys corner..thats significant on a few levels..

“We’re under no illusions that Davos is anything other than a talking shop for the world’s elite, but we try and use that focus,”

got that right..

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Hard Brexit fear sends sterling toward 31-year low

•January 18, 2017 • 1 Comment

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https://www.rt.com/business/373833-pound-falls-may-brexit-speech/

The British pound fell below $1.20, its lowest since the October’s ‘flash crash’ ahead of a critical Brexit speech by Prime Minister Theresa May.

May is expected to spell out the end to the UK’s participation in the European single market in return for freedom to control immigration policy and seal commercial deals with other countries.

Sterling dropped about 1.6 percent against the dollar as worries over a ‘hard’ Brexit made investors buy the Japanese yen in search of safe havens.

“With sentiment turning to risk-off, investors buy the dollar but they buy the yen more. With plenty of worries, the near-term course of the market is unpredictable,” said Marito Ueda, director at FX Prime by GMO, as quoted by MarketWatch.

The pound hit $1.1983 in Asian trading. Later, it trimmed earlier losses to $1.2033, which is still down 1.2 percent from the opening. The British currency also dropped over one percent to 88.53 pence against the euro, the weakest in almost two months.

“Even if the pound recovers somewhat in London, it seems as though the realities of a hard Brexit are still not fully priced in. It is difficult to make the case for the pound to avoid testing, probably breaking, the ‘flash crash’ lows in coming weeks,” said Sean Callow, senior strategist at Westpac Banking in Sydney, as quoted by Bloomberg.

Sterling has dropped as much as 20 percent against the US dollar since Britain voted to quit the European Union last June. The currency has come under renewed pressure and losses accelerated after the PM voiced plans to speed up the process for the UK’s formal exit.

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of course it will be hard..did they think it would be soft?

“The British pound fell below $1.20, its lowest since the October’s ‘flash crash’ ahead of a critical Brexit speech by Prime Minister Theresa May.”

game on..

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China calls on African nations to join new Silk Road Project

•January 18, 2017 • 3 Comments

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https://sputniknews.com/world/201701081049365321-china-african-states-new-silk-road/

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has called on African countries to take part in the “One belt, One road” initiative, stressing that Africa had historically been a part of the Silk road economic belt, as well as of the Maritime Silk road.

Wang Yi called on Sunday on African states to participate in the Silk road project, aimed at connecting China with the rest of Eurasia, Oceania and East Africa.

“China calls on African countries to participate in the implementation of the ‘One belt, One road’ strategy,” Wang said, according to the statement published on the ministry’s website. He stressed that Africa had historically been a part of the Silk road economic belt, as well as of the Maritime Silk road.

“If any African country intends to participate in the new Silk road initiative, we certainly welcome this intention,” the minister said.

The foreign minister said that China has already held consultations on this account with a large enough number of African countries, especially those located on the Eastern coast of Africa, having achieved progress.

In 2013, the Chinese president proposed the construction of a new Silk Road, comprising the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and Maritime Silk Road, to facilitate the direct flow of goods from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea. The project is intended to connect China with Europe and strengthen economic ties between Asia, Europe and the Gulf states. Wang is currently on a five-day visit to Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Congo and Nigeria.

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of course they do..the alternative banker and lender..the war for africa is being waged right now..

“Wang Yi called on Sunday on African states to participate in the Silk road project, aimed at connecting China with the rest of Eurasia, Oceania and East Africa.”

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The defeat of Davos: Are the global elite in retreat?

•January 17, 2017 • 12 Comments

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http://www.bbc.com/news/business-38632145

Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and the rise of populism have left the world’s “liberal elites” reeling. Can Davos, their ideological habitat, survive?

It’s all too easy to take a swipe at “Davos” – the annual Alpine pilgrimage of the so-called global elite, during which they underline the urgency of tackling climate change to the hum of private jet traffic, pledge to alleviate food poverty while snacking on caviar canapés, and commit to reducing inequality while being waited on hand-and-foot by an army of service staff at exclusive dinner parties.

But beyond the often jarring contrasts, the World Economic Forum (or ze WEF, as locals calls it), has always been able to point to its role in oiling the wheels of a socially progressive, pro-globalisation alliance – safe in the knowledge that, to a greater or lesser extent, it was in harmony with the tide of history.

Then came 2016. At the beginning of the year, when Donald Trump was still one of many potential US presidential candidates, and a date for Britain’s referendum on EU membership had yet to be set, Davos regulars were remarkably sanguine.

Brexit, the election of Donald Trump, and the rise of populism have left the world’s “liberal elites” reeling. Can Davos, their ideological habitat, survive?

It’s all too easy to take a swipe at “Davos” – the annual Alpine pilgrimage of the so-called global elite, during which they underline the urgency of tackling climate change to the hum of private jet traffic, pledge to alleviate food poverty while snacking on caviar canapés, and commit to reducing inequality while being waited on hand-and-foot by an army of service staff at exclusive dinner parties.

But beyond the often jarring contrasts, the World Economic Forum (or ze WEF, as locals calls it), has always been able to point to its role in oiling the wheels of a socially progressive, pro-globalisation alliance – safe in the knowledge that, to a greater or lesser extent, it was in harmony with the tide of history.

Then came 2016. At the beginning of the year, when Donald Trump was still one of many potential US presidential candidates, and a date for Britain’s referendum on EU membership had yet to be set, Davos regulars were remarkably sanguine.

What’s more, as organisers are keen to point out, Davos has always been about more than just the US and Europe, and Indian, Chinese and African attendees have been put centre stage for years.

Much is being made of the fact that Xi Jinping is to become the first Chinese premier to attend WEF when he opens the forum this week, and that Davos is welcoming a bigger trade delegation from the country than ever before – a signal, perhaps, that a more inward-looking US leaves a void for other global powers to fill.

But a Chinese delegation was first invited to the annual meeting in 1979, and although he has stayed away in recent years, Russian President Vladimir Putin has drawn crowds on the mountain more than once.

And as the geopolitical map changes, the WEF’s softly-softly approach – in which very little is mandated and everything is up for polite discussion – may well become its greatest strength.

Its slow but steady consensus building may yet lead the Davos tribe out of ideological isolation, even if it doesn’t manage to keep their annual champagne consumption out of the headlines.

———-

they aint in retreat but they are in a retrospective mood..i wonder why?

“It’s all too easy to take a swipe at “Davos” – the annual Alpine pilgrimage of the so-called global elite, during which they underline the urgency of tackling climate change to the hum of private jet traffic, pledge to alleviate food poverty while snacking on caviar canapés, and commit to reducing inequality while being waited on hand-and-foot by an army of service staff at exclusive dinner parties.”

they make it easy to swipe..

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New York financier to land White House adviser role

•January 17, 2017 • Leave a Comment

trump_aide_91693-jpg-bcc53

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/new-york-financier-to-land-white-house-adviser-role/2017/01/12/4926a934-d937-11e6-a0e6-d502d6751bc8_story.html?utm_term=.17bfc02735ae

A prominent New York financier is set to be named a top White House adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, tasked with coordinating the administration’s outreach to the nation’s financial world and key members of the political community.

Anthony Scaramucci, a colorful surrogate for Trump and a top fundraiser during the campaign, will be appointed within the week, according to two people with knowledge of the decision who were not authorized to discuss that matter publicly. His exact title has not been settled, the people said Thursday, but he may move into the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, which is currently run by Valerie Jarrett, one of President Barack Obama’s most powerful allies.

Scaramucci may turn the role into something more akin to what it was under George W. Bush, when it was known as the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs. Scaramucci has deep ties to Wall Street and will be one of the administration’s public faces to the banking and business worlds, but the hedge fund banker and frequent cable TV commentator will also conduct outreach to Silicon Valley and influential organizations in the nonprofit world and politics.

He has deep ties with incoming White House strategist Steve Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner, Trump’s influential son-in-law. Kushner and Bannon will likely be two of the three major power centers in the West Wing, along with chief of staff Reince Priebus.

Scaramucci joins a growing contingent of former fellow Goldman Sachs employees set to join the new administration. Others include Bannon and Treasury nominee Steven Mnuchin. Trump memorably disparaged Goldman Sachs during the campaign, claiming it held great sway over former rivals Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton, and has complained that hedge fund managers don’t pay enough in taxes.

Scaramucci’s conversion to Trump came after hitching his wagon to two other candidates — first, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and then former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. When it became clear Trump would win the nomination, Scaramucci fully ingratiated himself with the Trump campaign, becoming one of Trump’s best fundraisers and an outspoken media presence on his behalf.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Scaramucci

He earned a B.A. in Economics from Tufts University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

After graduating from law school, Scaramucci began his career at Goldman Sachs, where he worked from 1989 to 1996 and held positions in its Investment Banking, Equities and Private Wealth Management divisions.

He is a member of the World Economic Forum and speaks at the annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. He is the vice chair of the Kennedy Center Corporate Fund Board and a trustee of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Foundation. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

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*sigh

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Soros to keep funding NGOs in Hungary despite government opposition

•January 17, 2017 • Leave a Comment

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http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.764522

Billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations will keep working with and financing NGOs in Hungary despite the Hungarian government saying that any civil society group should be “swept out,” the head of the Foundations said on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party’s vice chairman Szilard Nemeth told a news conference on Tuesday that “these organization’s must be pushed back with all available tools”.

Orban has been criticized at home and abroad for his government’s increasing control over the media, and a crackdown on NGOs, which started in 2014.

“The Open Society Foundations will continue to work in Hungary despite government opposition to our mission of fairer, accountable societies,” Christopher Stone, President of the Open Society Foundations, said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

“In Hungary and around the world we are more focused than ever on working with local groups to strengthen democratic practice, rights and justice.”

The Open Society Foundations have been active in Hungary for the past three decades. Soros has financed foreign scholarships for several Fidesz politicians, including Orban at the time when communism collapsed in Hungary.

Now the Open Society Foundations fund over 60 Hungarian NGOs promoting independent journalism, tackling corruption, and combating discrimination.

Orban has said civil society groups receive foreign money to “organize refugee streams and boost migration”.

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of course he is..he doesnt listen to governments..he takes them out!

“The Open Society Foundations will continue to work in Hungary despite government opposition to our mission of fairer, accountable societies,” Christopher Stone, President of the Open Society Foundations, said in a statement emailed to Reuters.”

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