Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Russia to Increase Military Spending While Slashing Welfare Budget

Source: The Moscow Times, October 4, 2016

Russia’s military spending is set to increase by 679 billion rubles ($10 billion) despite the welfare budget decreasing by 375 billion rubles ($6 billion), the Gazeta.ru news website reported Tuesday, citing a source in the government.
The government's finance ministry published a bill of amendments to the welfare budget on Monday, announcing that it will shrink from 13.1 trillion ($210 billion) to 12.7 trillion ($203 billion dollars). This spending cut already includes the government’s decision to give pensioners a one off payment of 5,000 rubles instead of indexing pensions at the rate of inflation.

EU Advises Nigeria to Devalue Naira

Source: THISDAY LIVE, October 4, 2016

A European Union (EU) official, Fillippo Amato, has advised the federal government to devalue the naira as part of measures to tackle the economic recession.
Amato, Counsellor, Head of Trade and Economics Section of EU, made this known in an interview with journalists yesterday. The EU official, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said recession could not be addressed with traditional development tools.
He added the recession was a recent development which was due to a number of factors, including the fall in oil prices and resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta.

Friday, 30 September 2016

US firm fined $400m over African bribery allegations

The US hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management Group has been fined more than $400m (£310m) to settle charges connected to the bribery of "high-level government officials in Africa", the US finance watchdog body, the SEC says in a statement.

It adds that "the illicit payments induced the Libyan Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund to invest in Och-Ziff managed funds".

Abuja: FG Working to Boost Patronage of Made-in-Nigeria Products

This day September 30, 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said his administration is currently working to improve patronage of locally made goods as well as enhance access to finance for Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) across the country.
He said efforts were also being made to bridge the gap between skills required by industry and those provided by the educational institutions.
He added that his administration would work with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the other Organised Private Sector (OPS) groups who are key stakeholders in achieving these objectives.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

BREAKING: Train hits New Jersey Hoboken station - casualties feared

A photo gathered from social media of the train station

Source: BBC, September 29, 2016

A commuter train has crashed into a rail station in the city of Hoboken, in the US state of New Jersey.
Eyewitnesses at the scene have reported casualties but the extent of injuries is unclear.
Emergency crews have arrived. Photos on social media show extensive damage to the train carriage and station.
A local radio station anchor said the train went through the station and ticket barriers and "into the reception area".

Why the Fall of Aleppo Won’t End Syrian War, Only Change It

The Moscow Times September 29, 2016

Not so long ago, when Aleppo was only the subject of ground attacks, things were simpler. Mortars were thrown. People died, but they died suddenly.
Not so today. In today’s Aleppo, the only frontline is the sky. You have time to think, you have time to watch. After the first airstrike, there is always a second. A bomb with your name on it, waiting for you to rush out and try to dig your begging friends and family out of the rubble.
Those who survive in Aleppo can hardly be described as the lucky ones. They are the guilty ones. They are the walking dead.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Israel's Peres won Nobel prize but his Mideast peace dream remained elusive

PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (from L to R) show their shared Nobel Peace Prize awards to the audience in the Oslo City Hall in Oslo in this December 10, 1994 file photo.  REUTERS/Jerry Lampen/Files

Source: REUTERS, September 28, 2016

Shimon Peres, who died on Wednesday at the age of 93, never realized his vision of a new Middle East built upon a 1993 interim peace deal he helped shape with the Palestinians.
But Israel's elder statesman won world acclaim and a Nobel prize as a symbol of hope in a region long plagued by war fueled by deep religious and political divisions.
Peres was hospitalized following a stroke two weeks ago and his condition had improved before a sudden deterioration on Tuesday, doctors said. In announcing his passing, family members said that he did not suffer pain, and as a last act after death, he donated his corneas for transplant.