Global recovery moving faster than expected, says G20
The global economy is emerging faster than expected from the deep recession, finance ministers from the world’s leading economies, the G20, have said.
The BBC Saturday, 24 April 2010
After talks in Washington, they said the pace of the recovery was largely due to the huge amounts of government money pumped into national economies.
US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he welcomed the greater sense of urgency being shown over Greece.
The country has asked for an EU-IMF bailout of its debt-ridden economy.
Greece’s finance minister is due to take part in IMF talks on Saturday.
Earlier this month, a deal was agreed under which eurozone nations would make available to Greece emergency loans of up to 30bn euros ($40bn; £26bn) in the first year, with a further 10bn euros coming from the IMF (International Monetary Fund).
2010: A Space Odyssey: 20 years of Hubble
Tim Walker on what Hubble’s fantastic voyage has taught us about the universe
Saturday, 24 April 2010
When Galileo constructed his first telescope in the early years of the 17th Century, it allowed him to record the phases of Venus, to pick out spots on the surface of the Sun, and to discover the four moons of Jupiter that would later take his name.
But no early Italian genius of astronomy could ever have conceived of the images that today’s most famous telescope have given us. Since the space shuttle Discovery left it dangling in the heavens on 24 April 1990, Nasa’s Hubble Telescope has produced unfathomably beautiful photographs of expanding supernovas six light years wide; thousands-strong clusters of stars held together by their own gravity; far, far away galaxies resembling deep-sea creatures; echoing black holes and vast, glowing clouds of hydrogen gas, floating somewhere out in the dark.
Goldman Sachs readies forceful response against claims it misled clients
By Zachary A. Goldfarb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Goldman Sachs is preparing its most detailed defense yet to allegations that it misled clients in its mortgage securities business, arguing that the firm was unsure whether housing prices would rise or fall and did not take any action at odds with the interests of its clients.
An internal Goldman document, prepared for senior executives and obtained by The Washington Post, addresses the criticism that the bank invested its own money betting against the housing market while simultaneously urging clients to invest in securities that would increase in value only if the housing market did.
While Congress talks, Arizona takes action on immigration
By Margaret Talev and William Douglas | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON – With a divisive new law in Arizona providing the kindling, the national debate over immigration has reignited, as Democrats and Republicans in Congress appeal to their political bases ahead of November’s elections.
It’s unclear, however, whether Congress and the Obama administration are prepared to act on the issue or just talk.
President Barack Obama on Friday called Arizona’s law “misguided.” The new state law, which Gov. Jan Brewer signed Friday, will send local police to detain and interrogate individuals about their rights to be in the country and create state criminal penalties for immigration violations.
Reich mother on the march in Hitler’s homeland
Barbara Rosenkranz sings SS songs, is married to a neo-Nazi – and is bidding for power in Austria. Tony Paterson reports
Saturday, 24 April 2010
Barbara Rosenkranz has been dubbed the “Reich Mother” not least because the Germanic Christian names she has chosen for all of her ten children and her Alsatian dog are ones that Adolf Hitler would have firmly approved of. And the evidence which prompts charges that Austria’s lone woman presidential candidate is an unreconstructed Nazi does not end there.
The 51-year-old candidate for Austria’s far-right Freedom Party in tomorrow’s presidential election is married to a prominent neo-Nazi.
Greece calls on €45 billion EU-IMF rescue
From The Times
April 24, 2010
Ian King, David Charter
Greece bowed to market pressure yesterday and formally requested a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
It is the first time a eurozone member has asked for a financial rescue and it is likely to test European political cohesion as well as the stability of the euro itself.
Greece asked for the €45 billion package after being downgraded by the Moody’s credit rating agency on Thursday.
Red sirens in the Middle East
Apr 24, 2010
By Sami Moubayed
DAMASCUS – Last week, the United States Department of State summoned a senior member of the Syrian embassy to voice its concern, saying: “The United States condemns in the strongest terms the transfer of any arms, and especially ballistic missile systems such as the Scud, from Syria to Hezbollah.”
This related to an April 13 statement by Israeli President Shimon Peres that accused Syria of providing Hezbollah with Scud missiles – a claim which threatens to derail the Barack Obama administration’s recent efforts to roll back a US isolation of Syria implemented during the George W Bush administration.
The voice they cannot silence: The freedom fighter who dares to defy the Burmese regime
For more than 20 years, the plight of Burma’s political prisoners has shocked the world. Now, their struggle for freedom has been documented in a brave new project
Report by Andrew Buncombe Saturday, 24 April 2010
For some of the political prisoners held in Burma’s wretched jails, the hardest thing to bear is the pain and horror of being physically tortured. For others, held away from fellow inmates, it is the isolation and the creeping sense of despair. Some think about their families, others about the seemingly hopeless cause for which they fought. For the relatives and friends of those incarcerated, there is the struggle of trying to make regular visits and the constant, aching worry as to whether a loved one will ever be freed.
The rise of the Bollygarchs
Indian billionaires are on the rise and an increasing number of them are making London their home.
by Clive Aslet
Published: 7:00AM BST 24 Apr 2010
The star exhibit in the National Portrait Gallery’s current show, “The Indian Portrait”, depicts the 17th-century Emperor Jahangir, resplendent in curled whiskers, golden waistcoat and three-dimensional jewels, holding a globe. The largest- known picture from the Mughal period, it could also be a symbol of the most successful Indians today: rich as kings, highly educated and urbane, they hold the world in the palm of their well-manicured hands.
One of the most striking trends charted by the Rich List in recent years has been the rise of Asians living in Britain: the metals tycoon Lord Paul, who has lived here since bringing his daughter Ambika for medical treatment in 1966 and became a peer in 2006; the more recently ennobled Lord Bilimoria, founder of Cobra beer; and Bijay and Bikhu Patel, whose Waymade Health care, built up from a single chemist’s shop, turns over £300 million a year.
Satirist behind Kenyan Spitting Image out to make the powerful squirm again
From The Times
April 24, 2010
Tristan McConnell in Nairobi
He has braved legal and physical threats and been called weird by a government minister but the man behind the Kenyan version of Spitting Image refuses to be intimidated.
“Kenya needed a show like this,” Godfrey Mwampembwa, 40, said before the broadcast tomorrow of the second series of his popular satirical TV show.
The Tanzanian-born 40-year old comic is better known as East Africa’s leading political cartoonist, Gado, and has mercilessly lampooned the greed, corruption and arrogance of Kenya’s elite in the Daily Nation newspaper since 1992.
Eyeing presidency, Mohamed ElBaradei rallies Egypt for reform
Former UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei is advocating democratic reforms that could allow him to run in the 2011 presidential election and break Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade rule. But voters may not care enough to risk arrest and beatings.
By Kristen Chick, Correspondent / April 23, 2010
When ex-United Nations nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei returned home to Egypt in February, adoring crowds urged him to run for president.The excitement increased when he unveiled the National Association for Change, a coalition of opposition movements pushing for democratic reform that hopes to break the regime’s nearly 30-year grip on power.
Dr. ElBaradei, whom some see as Egypt’s best opportunity for change, has injected fresh air into Egyptian politics at a pivotal time.
1 year after H1N1, Mexicans question response
See it as a valuable test-run for a worse bug; others feel misled
By MARK STEVENSON
Associated Press Writer
MEXICO CITY – When this city of 8.7 million awoke one year ago to confusing news of a new virus, it sent the world on a wild six-month roller-coaster ride of fear and frantic action.
But after swine flu proved far less lethal than feared, opinion has divided on whether the epidemic was a valuable test-run that left the world better prepared to handle a more lethal avian flu pandemic, or an episode that left the public jaded and weary.
Mexicans are bristling after following initial government recommendations that may have been counterproductive, and question the value of late-arriving vaccines.