Showing posts with label Poverty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poverty. Show all posts

Sunday, October 09, 2022

Chinese firms put deeper roots in Pakistan in post-flood reconstruction; more joint efforts needed for regional recovery

    Sunday, October 09, 2022   No comments

Chinese infrastructure companies in Pakistan are playing an increasingly important role in supporting the regional economy and livelihoods as the country looks for more joint efforts from the international community to facilitate the gradual recovery from the lingering devastation of recent floods.

While Chinese companies have taken an active approach in providing constant aid, they have also beefed up efforts to maintain the smooth operation of their projects in some key areas such as power generation and housing in Pakistan, as the country, hit by unprecedented floods in September, has seen its economic recovery slowing down.

Industry insiders and experts said that more joint efforts, including safety guarantees for local personnel and projects of Chinese companies, are needed more than ever to ensure the smooth operation of these projects.

Read the full story...

Thursday, September 08, 2022

From the Croatian capital, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Ukrainian grain is exported to rich countries but not poor ones

    Thursday, September 08, 2022   No comments

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country wants to start exporting grain from Russia as well, similar to the export of Ukrainian grain.

Speaking at a press conference with his Croatian counterpart, Zoran Milanovic, in the capital Zagreb, which he is visiting as part of a tour of the Balkans, Erdogan added, "Grains are exported to rich countries, but not poor ones. Unfortunately, Ukrainian grain is exported to rich countries but not poor ones."


Erdogan recalled the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his annoyance over the export of Ukrainian grain to countries that impose sanctions on Russia.


He continued, "There is a delay in the start of grain exports from Russia, and I will discuss this issue in detail during my meeting with President Putin next week, and all we hope for is that the grain reaches poor countries."


And he added: "Most of all this is the issue of energy. Energy prices are rising. Now Europe is confused about how to face the next winter, and I hope this crisis ends well."


The Turkish President and his Croatian counterpart chaired the meeting of the two countries' delegations, after the end of their bilateral meeting at the Croatian Presidential Palace in the capital Zagreb.


On Wednesday, Putin stressed that "the West was not fair enough regarding the grain shipment deal from Ukraine, because most of the grain shipments did not go to the poorest developing countries, but to Europe."


Earlier, Russia's permanent representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, said that "Ukrainian grain ships are heading to places other than those they were intended to go to."


Last July 22, a Russian-Ukrainian memorandum of understanding was signed in Istanbul, under the auspices of the United Nations Secretariat, on facilitating the movement of Russian food products and fertilizers on world markets.


In another context, the Turkish president announced that the volume of trade exchange between Turkey and Croatia amounted to $900 million last year.



Tuesday, September 20, 2016

According to UN, Saudi Arabia is responsible for killing 60% of children and use of white phosphorus yet the media ignore its war on Yemen

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016   No comments

ISR review comment: Media bias: Saudi Arabia is responsible for killing 60% of the children killed in Yemen and using illegal weapons. Yet, media outlets ignores the Saudi crimes in Yemen but report on the horrors of war in Syria, which was made worse by militant groups ideologically inspired and politically and militarily assisted by Saudi Arabia. it is this bias that allow the bloodshed to continue.
Yemeni children who survive Saudi bombs may not survive siege-caused famine

Saudi Arabia appears to be using U.S.-supplied white phosphorus in its war in Yemen

Saudi Arabia appears to be using U.S.-supplied white phosphorus munitions in its war in Yemen, based on images and videos posted to social media, raising concerns among human rights groups that the highly incendiary material could be used against civilians.

Under U.S. regulations, white phosphorus sold to other countries is to be used only for signaling to other troops and creating smoke screens. When the munition explodes, it releases white phosphorus that automatically ignites in the air and creates a thick white smoke. When used against soldiers or civilians, it can maim and kill by burning to the bone.

It is unclear exactly how the Saudis are using the munitions, but the government has already received widespread condemnation for its indiscriminate bombing in civilian areas since its campaign against rebel forces in Yemen began in 2015.

U.S. officials confirmed that the American government has supplied the Saudis white phosphorus in the past but declined to say how much had been transferred or when. After reviewing a social media image taken from the battlefield that showed a white phosphorus mortar shell, a U.S. official said it appeared to be American in origin but could not trace it to a particular sale because some of the markings were obscured.

“The United States expects any recipient of U.S. military assistance to use those items in accordance with international law and under the terms and conditions of any U.S. transfer or sale,” said a State Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss politically sensitive issues. SOURCE

Media bias sample: WashPost coverage of ME ignores the Saudi war on Yemen as if Syria is the only war zone in the region.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Richest 1% will own more than all the rest of humanity by 2016

    Monday, January 18, 2016   No comments
The combined wealth of the richest 1 percent will overtake that of the other 99 percent of people next year unless the current trend of rising inequality is checked, Oxfam warned today ahead of the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.

The international agency, whose executive director Winnie Byanyima will co-chair the Davos event, warned that the explosion in inequality is holding back the fight against global poverty at a time when 1 in 9 people do not have enough to eat and more than a billion people still live on less than $1.25-a-day.

Byanyima will use her position at Davos to call for urgent action to stem this rising tide of inequality, starting with a crackdown on tax dodging by corporations, and to push for progress towards a global deal on climate change.


Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More, a research paper published today by Oxfam, shows that the richest 1 percent have seen their share of global wealth increase from 44 percent in 2009 to 48 percent in 2014 and at this rate will be more than 50 percent in 2016. Members of this global elite had an average wealth of $2.7 million per adult in 2014.

Of the remaining 52 percent of global wealth, almost all (46 percent) is owned by the rest of the richest fifth of the world’s population. The other 80 percent share just 5.5 percent and had an average wealth of $3,851 per adult – that’s 1/700th of the average wealth of the 1 percent.
Staggering inequality

Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, said: “Do we really want to live in a world where the one percent own more than the rest of us combined? The scale of global inequality is quite simply staggering and despite the issues shooting up the global agenda, the gap between the richest and the rest is widening fast.

“In the past 12 months we have seen world leaders from President Obama to Christine Lagarde talk more about tackling extreme inequality but we are still waiting for many of them to walk the walk. It is time our leaders took on the powerful vested interests that stand in the way of a fairer and more prosperous world. 

“Business as usual for the elite isn’t a cost free option – failure to tackle inequality will set the fight against poverty back decades. The poor are hurt twice by rising inequality – they get a smaller share of the economic pie and because extreme inequality hurts growth, there is less pie to be shared around.”
Business must act

Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Chief Executive Officer of E.L. Rothschild and chairman of the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism, who is speaking at a joint Oxfam-University of Oxford event on inequality today, called on business leaders meeting in Davos to play their part in tackling extreme inequality.

She said: “Oxfam’s report is just the latest evidence that inequality has reached shocking extremes, and continues to grow. It is time for the global leaders of modern capitalism, in addition to our politicians, to work to change the system to make it more inclusive, more equitable and more sustainable. 

“Extreme inequality isn't just a moral wrong. It undermines economic growth and it threatens the private sector's bottom line.  All those gathering at Davos who want a stable and prosperous world should make tackling inequality a top priority."

Oxfam made headlines at Davos last year with the revelation that the 85 richest people on the planet have the same wealth as the poorest 50 percent (3.5 billion people). That figure is now 80 – a dramatic fall from 388 people in 2010. The wealth of the richest 80 doubled in cash terms between 2009-14.
The international agency is calling on government to adopt a seven point plan to tackle inequality:


  •     Clamp down on tax dodging by corporations and rich individuals
  •     Invest in universal, free public services such as health and education
  •     Share the tax burden fairly, shifting taxation from labour and consumption towards    capital and wealth
  •     Introduce minimum wages and move towards a living wage for all workers
  •     Introduce equal pay legislation and promote economic policies to give women a fair deal
  •     Ensure adequate safety-nets for the poorest, including a minimum income guarantee
  •     Agree a global goal to tackle inequality.

Today’s research paper, which follows the October launch of Oxfam’s global Even It Up campaign, shines a light on the way extreme wealth is passed down the generations and how elite groups mobilise their vast resources to ensure global rules are favourable towards their interests. More than a third of the 1645 billionaires listed by Forbes inherited some or all of their riches.

Twenty percent of billionaires have interests in the financial and insurance sectors, a group which saw their cash wealth increase by 11 percent in the 12 months to March 2014. These sectors spent $550 million lobbying policy makers in Washington and Brussels during 2013. During the 2012 US election cycle alone, the financial sector provided $571 million in campaign contributions.

Billionaires listed as having interests in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors saw their collective net worth increase by 47 percent. During 2013, they spent more than $500 million lobbying policy makers in Washington and Brussels.

Oxfam is concerned that the lobbying power of these sectors is a major barrier in the way of reforming the global tax system and of ensuring intellectual property rules do not lead to the world’s poorest being denied life saving medicines.

There is increasing evidence from the International Monetary Fund, among others, that extreme inequality is not just bad news for those at the bottom but also damages economic growth.

Oxfam will today hold a joint symposium Rising Inequality in the Global South with Oxford University. Speakers include Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank and Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Saudi King Salman makes extravagant entrance to Antalya, Turkey, to attend G-20 Summit: Some 400 luxury cars and 546 rooms

    Friday, November 13, 2015   No comments
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud was welcomed by a convoy of luxury cars on Nov. 12 to attend the G-20 Summit on Nov. 15-16 in Antalya, where 546 rooms have been booked for him.

Saudi Prince El Velid Bin Telal, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, and Antalya’s leading civil authorities, were waiting to welcome the king to Turkey’s Mediterranean resort city, where he will stay at the exclusive Mardan Palace Hotel.

During his trip to the hotel, special security forces and local police forces took intense security measures to guard his convoy.

Some 400 luxury cars have also been reserved for King Salman, who is expected to stay in Antalya for over two weeks after the G-20 Summit.

One week before the Summit, the personal belongings of the Saudi king and the Saudi prince were transferred to the hotel in 16 trucks. A total of 65 armored Mercedes cars were also brought to the city for King Salman and his special guards.

A total of 546 rooms at the Mardan Palace Hotel have been reserved for the Saudi delegation headed by King Salman, at a cost of between 800 euros and 15,000 euros per night.
source

Friday, October 30, 2015

World’s ‘poorest’ president, Mujica, hosted in Turkey, whose president, Erdoğan, lives in a palace suited for the "richest"

    Friday, October 30, 2015   No comments
Former president of Uruguay Jose Mujica, who is known for his humble character, was hosted modestly, in accordance with his wishes, with a ’73 VW as his official car and a three-star hotel in Istanbul.

Known as the poorest president of the world, Mujica and his wife arrived in Turkey on Oct. 29 with a Turkish Airlines flight from Paris for a series of panels and conferences for the promotion of his latest book.

He is also expected to meet the Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

The Bakırköy municipality has arranged for Mujica a 73’ Volkswagen as an official car with Veli Ağbaba, deputy head of Republican People’s Party (CHP), serving as his driver.

Ağbaba told daily Hürriyet that the party consulted Mujica about hosting him at a three-star hotel in Istanbul’s Taksim Square.

Mujica will stay in Turkey for about 10 days and also visit Eskişehir and İzmir provinces during his visit, Ağbaba added.

The Guardian defines Mujica as a leader “who has forsworn a state palace in favor of a farmhouse, donates the vast bulk of his salary to social projects, flies economy class and drives an old Volkswagen Beetle.”

He has been defined as a “palace-less” president, as he has donated around 90 percent of his monthly salary, approximately $12,000, to his people.

This meant his salary was roughly in line with the average Uruguayan income of $775 a month.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Qatar emir buys 100-mln-euro Bosporus mansion for wife

    Saturday, March 28, 2015   No comments
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has paid a staggering 100 million euros to purchase a house located on the banks of İstanbul's Bosporus Strait for his second wife, a Turkish newspaper reported on Saturday.

The purchase took place during a visit by the Qatari emir to Turkey two weeks ago, Vatan newspaper said. Reports earlier this week said the house, Erbilginler Yalısı --which is professed to be the most expensive residence in Turkey and the fourth most expensive globally -- had been sold to a Qatari businessman named Mana bin Abdul Hadi Al Hajri.


Vatan said, however, that the secret owner of the mansion is the emir's 25-year-old wife Sheikha Anoud bint Mana Al Hajri, who happens to be the daughter of Mana bin Abdul Hadi Al Hajri.

The purchase was made by a London-based real estate company owned by Mana bin Abdul Hadi Al Hajri in order to conceal the Qatari emir's involvement, according to Vatan.

The daily said emir's family saw the 5,800-square-meter, 64-room mansion, as they were touring İstanbul while the emir was having talks with Turkish leaders. The emir then agreed to give the house to his young wife as a gift.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's "White Palace" is more than 1/2 billion US dollars and his jet is $185 million

    Tuesday, November 04, 2014   No comments
Ak Saray (white palace), which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will use as his new presidential building, cost more than TL 1 billion, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek has announced.

Responding to questions by opposition lawmakers during budget talks in Parliament late on Monday, Şimşek said the new building cost TL 1.37 billion ($615 million). Stating that TL 964 million has already been spent on Ak Saray, Şimşek said the government allocated TL 300 million for the building from the 2015 budget.

Constructed inside the Atatürk Forest Farm (AOÇ) on an area of 300,000 square meters in Ankara, Ak Saray has been at the center of strong criticism for being oversized for the presidential post, which is symbolic in Turkey.


Ak Saray may even be touted as the world's largest residential palace. The Guinness World Records currently lists the Istana Nurul Iman palace of the sultan of Brunei, in Bandar Seri Begawan, as the world's largest residential palace with 200,000 square meters of floor space. Completed in 1984, the Brunei sultan's palace cost 300 million pounds, which was equivalent to $422 million at the time, or $970 million today.

The word “Ak” in the name Ak Saray also refers to the name of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

Şimşek also announced the cost of the new presidential jet, an Airbus A330-200 Prestige, during the budget talks, saying the jet cost $185 million. Noting that the government has not yet paid for the jet, which was purchased by Turkish Airlines (THY), Şimşek said the Prime Ministry will pay THY this year.
Erdoğan's discretionary fund 20.5 times higher than last 3 PMs'

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SPEECH OF PRESIDENT CRISTINA FERNÁNDEZ DURING THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, 69th session

    Tuesday, September 30, 2014   No comments

Summary CRISTINA FERNÁNDEZ, President of Argentina, said
most of the problems facing the world today resulted from a lack of democratic multilateralism. In that context, she welcomed the vote by the Assembly on resolution 68/304, to restructure the foreign debts of all countries. That had long been before the Assembly, which had called for reform of the international financial system and the Security Council. Argentina had previously experienced the kind of economic and financial crisis that had spread throughout the world in 2008, when, in 2001, it had been forced to default on its sovereign debt. Contributing to that collapse were the creditors’ terms that had been forced upon the country. As a result, there had not only been economic collapse, but a social and political implosion as well. Argentina owed 162 per cent of its GDP. Its creditors, having contributed to that, were obligated to shoulder some of the burden.

...

The country had been able to formulate agreements with 92.4 per cent of its creditors, enabling it to improve the condition of its people, she said. Today the IMF recognized that the economic growth rate achieved by Argentina between 2004 and 2011 was the third largest in the world. In fact, Argentina now had the best growth in Latin America, which had been possible because $193 billion in debt had been restructured. Today, it carried one of the lowest debt loads in the world.
However, she added, there were “vulture funds” of individuals who would not participate in the restructuring, but instead turned to the countries indebted to them and chose to go through the court systems. Some reaped more than 1,600 per cent profit over a five-year period. Those “vulture funds” amounted to economic terrorism, creating poverty, misery and hunger through the sin of speculation. For that reason, she called for a convention on multilateralism.
Highlighting the attack on the Israeli Embassy, she said that Argentina had also experienced political terrorism. The country had sought to bring the perpetrators to justice, including through a memorandum negotiated with Iran, enabling the accused Iranian citizens to make statements in Argentina’s courts. Dialogue was essential, and in that context, she recognized the need for a two-State solution in the Middle East. She called on the Assembly to recognize Palestine as a State and full Member of the Assembly, noting that Israel must also be secure within its borders. “In a time of economic vultures and hawks of war, we need more doves of peace,” she said.
Turning to the Security Council, she said that as long as the votes of the five permanent members counted more than those of other countries, nothing would ever be resolved. There would be a real beginning to a solution when the Assembly, where each member had one vote, became the sovereign body of the Organization. As a non-permanent member of the Council, she had questions about who had armed the “bad guys”, some of whom were now starting to cooperate. But one group had led to another, and now there was ISIS. “Where does this come from?” she asked. Some might be able to answer such questions, she said. In closing, she expressed thanks to all who had supported resolution 68/304 in the face of pressure not to do so.

Also available on via youtube, below



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Audi and video in other languages can be found on UN site

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Uruguay's president José Mujica: no palace, no motorcade, no frills; In the week that Uruguay legalises cannabis, the 78-year-old explains why he rejects the 'world's poorest president' label

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014   No comments
Uruguay's president presiding!

If anyone could claim to be leading by example in an age of austerity, it is José Mujica, Uruguay's president, who has forsworn a state palace in favour of a farmhouse, donates the vast bulk of his salary to social projects, flies economy class and drives an old Volkswagen Beetle.

But the former guerrilla fighter is clearly disgruntled by those who tag him "the world's poorest president" and – much as he would like others to adopt a more sober lifestyle – the 78-year-old has been in politics long enough to recognise the folly of claiming to be a model for anyone.

"If I asked people to live as I live, they would kill me," Mujica said during an interview in his small but cosy one-bedroom home set amid chrysanthemum fields outside Montevideo.

The president is a former member of the Tupamaros guerrilla group, which was notorious in the early 1970s for bank robberies, kidnappings and distributing stolen food and money among the poor. He was shot by police six times and spent 14 years in a military prison, much of it in dungeon-like conditions.



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Monday, December 16, 2013

Pope Francis says trickle-down economics do not help the poor, says he is not a Marxist, but defends criticism of capitalism

    Monday, December 16, 2013   No comments
"Never be afraid of tenderness"
In this exclusive interview, Pope Francis speaks about Christmas, hunger in the world, the suffering of children, the reform of the Roman Curia, women cardinals, the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), and the upcoming visit to the Holy Land
 ...

"The ideology of Marxism is wrong. But I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people, so I don't feel offended," Francis was quoted as saying. Defending his criticism of the "trickle-down" theory of economics, he added: "There was the promise that once the glass had become full it would overflow and the poor would benefit. But what happens is that when it's full to the brim, the glass magically grows, and thus nothing ever comes out for the poor ... I repeat: I did not talk as a specialist but according to the social doctrine of the church. And this does not mean being a Marxist."
...

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