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Showing posts from September 1, 2013

Venezuela admits its economy has 'structural problems'

Venezuelan finance minister Nelson Merentes says the government needs to reform the economy

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Venezuela's finance minister has acknowledged that the economic policies of late President Hugo Chavez and his successor are yet to be successful.

Nelson Merentes said the government had "improved" the living standards of many Venezuelans, but not solved the "structural problems" of the economy.

Generous government subsidies have slashed poverty and inequality.

But Venezuelans are suffering from the highest inflation in Latin America, sluggish growth and shortages.

"This is a government that has won 18 elections, that has had social achievements,"
Mr Merentes told Televen television.

"But it still has to be successful on the economy."

He said laws had to be reformed to stimulate growth.

"We need to enter a route of stable growth... and go t…

USA : September Is Going To Be One Hell Of A Month


AUG. 31, 2013, 2:21 PM 

Markus Schreiber / Associated Press

You should really appreciate this three-day holiday weekend if you have one, because September is shaping up to be HUGE.

This afternoon we got the stunning news that Obama will seek Congressional authorization before striking Syria. 

A strike on Syria had been seen as imminent, so this seriously sets the calendar back, and creates a whole new story which is the vote in Congress on the Syria action. 

Congress gets back Sept. 9 (though, theoretically it could be called back before then), so this is going to be a long, developing story on a huge vote.

This comes on top of a whole bunch of other developments coming out of Washington:

The government is due for shutdown unless Congress can pass a new Continuing Resolution (a budget).

The Federal Reserve is expected to "taper" the pace of bond purchases (slow down quantitative easing).

There's the August jobs report.

The debt ceiling debate (we'll hit the debt …

COLOMBIA : Are Police Prepared for the Guerrilla Militia Threat?

Written by Daniela Castro and James Bargent
Monday, 26 August 2013

Colombian police face the growing threat of urban militias

Colombia's police are already strategizing for the end of the country's conflict with Marxist rebels, even as the task of combating the guerrillas is increasingly falling to the police instead of the military.

With talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) now almost a year old, General Jose Roberto Leon Riaño, who was director of the Colombian National Police until earlier this month, declared "the new model of service [for the police] is anticipating a post-conflict scenario, a scenario of peace."

Meanwhile, Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon has acknowledged that whatever the results of the talks, citizen security will remain one of the country's main challenges in years to come, and the government has already begun to implement plans to boost the strength of the police. 

Among the measures…


Scrapping a ship on a beach - there is "something quite wrong about that" writes Maersk Line's Head of Environment and CSR, Jacob Sterling, in this gCaptain blog. 

Read more here:


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