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Posts Tagged ‘promises’

Muslims say Obama failing to keep Cairo promises

In Uncategorized on November 12, 2010 at 5:23 am

US Fed promises stimulus to help slowing recovery

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2010 at 7:20 am

 The US Federal Reserve promised more stimulus spending to prop up the economy, as it warned the recovery had slowed.

Facing pedestrian growth rates and high joblessness, the Fed vowed to renew crisis-era measures that pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into ailing markets.

Members of the Federal Open Market Committee downgraded their assessment of the health of the world’s largest economy, saying growth “has slowed in recent months.”

The 10-member committee warned “the pace of economic recovery is likely to be more modest in the near term than had been anticipated.”

In a sign of how seriously Washington is viewing the slowdown, the Fed promised to maintain crisis measures, which had been due to end.

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

The bank had battled the worst recession in a generation by buying up US debt, mortgage-backed securities and other financial products to lubricate markets.

The Fed said it would now reinvest cash from maturing mortgage bonds rather than shrink its two-trillion-dollar portfolio as planned — essentially resuming crisis-era spending.

“To help support the economic recovery in a context of price stability, the committee will keep constant the Federal Reserve’s holdings of securities at their current level,” the FOMC said.

The move was seen as “an unambiguous downshift in the Fed’s assessment of… the current state of the economy,” according to Ian Shepherdson of High Frequency Economics.

In early August, the Fed held around 1.2 trillion dollars in mortgage-backed securities, which it had hoped to whittle away.

“Prior to this new directive from the FOMC, the balance sheet was set to shrink by as much as 200 billions dollars per year,” said Stephen Gallagher and Aneta Markowska of Societe Generale.

The pair added that the Fed’s move might help stimulate a moribund housing market: “The Fed’s investments in longer-dated Treasury debt should…lower mortgage and other borrowing rates.”

In June, the Fed had said the economic recovery was “proceeding” despite headwinds and would remain “moderate for a time.”

But against stiff headwinds, the bank on Tuesday promised to keep interest rates at “exceptionally low levels…for an extended period.”

Stock markets pared loses shortly after the announcement, with the Dow index replacing triple digit losses to close down 55 points, or around half a percent.

But it was not welcomed universally.

“The Fed is running scared,” said Stephen Stanley of Pierpont Securities, accusing the bank of “exacerbating the environment of uncertainty by conducting policy erratically and feeding the sense of fear by wetting the bed over a soft patch (in the economy).”

But the Fed’s move also seemed unlikely to end speculation about the need for more robust action.

“Simply reinvesting the proceeds from maturing agency securities will not provide much additional stimulus,” said Michael Gapen of Barclays Capital.

“Should the outlook continue to worsen, then the Fed will likely initiate a new round of asset purchases.”

Source: SGGP

Empty promises, vote-buying in Philippine slums

In Uncategorized on May 6, 2010 at 4:37 am

Colourful campaign banners hanging from decrepit cardboard walls lend a lively contrast to the filth of Manila’s North Triangle slum as a candidate presses dirty palms for crucial votes.

Facts on the May 10 Philippines’ national elections. Philippine election officials have insisted that next week’s polls will go ahead, amid frantic efforts to replace more than 70,000 faulty memory cards that were to be used in vote counting machines.

As the politician’s yellow-clad volunteers spread leaflets around, community organiser Teodosia Gacer ambushes them with a list of what she claims are undelivered promises to the slum’s more than 30,000 residents.

“We have not seen you around here since the last election three years ago — when we helped you win!,” Gacer tells the sweating politician, who is obviously embarrassed as a small crowd gathers around.

“You people only come here whenever you need our votes, but disappear on us once you win.”

The politician stammers an apology, and whips out a two-page resolution he authored temporarily stopping an impending eviction as proof he had been working on their behalf after all.

Squatting under the shadow of a huge mall and the Philippine capital’s overhead railway, the 37-hectare (91-acre) North Triangle in suburban Quezon city is one among many sprawling shanty towns blighting the metropolis.

About 35 percent of Manila’s 12-million population live in these colonies, according to the World Health Organization.

Often cursed as a haven for petty criminals and outcasts, these slums are rich in votes and turn into a political force during election season that could make or break a candidate’s career.

Politicians have been braving the slums weeks ahead of Monday’s national election, when 50 million voters are eligible to pick a new president, members of congress and thousands of other government posts.

In North Triangle, candidates kiss the cheeks of babies swathed in dirty clothes and mingle with men stroking the feathers of their fighting cocks.

“We allow them to come here and hang their campaign materials, regardless of party affiliation. But of course, we vote for those who can protect us,” Gacer told AFP.

“Others vote for those who bring blessings,” she said, using a euphemism for monetary bribes offered by candidates.

A 54-year-old mother of two adult children, Gacer heads a non-profit organisation that provides basic services and conducts voter education campaigns for North Triangle residents.

She said it was no secret that many slum dwellers sold their votes because money remained their only tangible and immediate benefit.

“The political strategy of (candidates’) coordinators is to go on last-minute house to house on the eve of elections,” Gacer said.

“They will knock and go inside homes to make sure they get their votes. They place money inside sample ballots. The smallest amount is 500 pesos (11 dollars).”

That is a kingly sum that will go a long way in an area where eating three square meals a day is a luxury.

“That is democracy at work for you. These politicians steal the money from public funds anyway, and we just take a small amount back on election day,” Gacer said.

For 53-year-old Rosalinda Caspe the bribe money brings much needed nourishment to her 15 children and grand-children, who live with her in a small, windowless shack.

“Of course I’ve taken money… life is so hard. I used the money to buy rice and food,” the jobless widow said. “My reasoning is, it is the public’s money anyway, why should I not accept it?”

She said that in the local elections three years ago, she was paid twice by just tagging along caravans of opposing politicians.

While no politician will openly admit to buying votes, they acknowledge the importance of slum-dwellers to their election hopes.

“I rely on my voters in the squatters depressed areas,” Manila mayor Alfredo Lim told AFP while on the campaign trail in the city’s Tondo slums.

He said he had never bribed a voter, but estimated that “about 90 percent” of those who will vote for him will likely come from the slums.


Source: SGGP

Football: Platini promises tough, new anti-debt measures

In Vietnam Sports on September 8, 2009 at 5:13 pm

PARIS, Aug 28, 2009 (AFP) – The head of European football, Michel Platini, has promised to introduce tough regulations by the 2012-2013 season that would force UEFA’s clubs to spend only within their means.

Some of Europe’s top clubs, including nine-times European champions Real Madrid, have accumulated huge debts during their respective campaigns for success on the field.

Real had an estimated debt of 500 million pounds (816m dollars) up to the end of the 2007-08 season, with financial experts estimating the Spanish giants will soon have a debt of around 800 million (1,306m dollars) following their summer spending spree.

Platini is a strong advocate of clubs reining in their finances and the UEFA president believes it is time to stop clubs’ finances from spiralling out of control.

UEFA French president Michel Platini (L) awards Italian football player Paolo Maldini with a special award for his career during the 2009/2010 European Champions League groups stage draw on August 27, 2009, in Monaco. AFP PHOTO

Launching his “financial fair play” campaign on Thursday the Frenchman claimed he has been asked by, and won the backing of, club owners such as Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich, players, leagues and national associations.

It would also mean the end of mega-rich owners, such as Manchester City’s Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, making huge gifts of cash to their clubs.

In a BBC website report Platini said: “We have everyone on board with this, the owners, the players, the leagues, the national associations.

“If a club can get loans from a bank to buy players and is able to pay back bank loans then it is not a problem. But if a club gets a lot of money or subsidies from a big backer and is still in deficit in two years then it is a problem and we don’t want that.”

Platini said an independent panel would be created to determine whether clubs had broken the rules.

Those deemed to have infringed the rules could face expulsion from the lucrative Champions League competition.

“The panel will refer any matter to the disciplinary committee and sanctions will be taken from a reminder to a fine to expulsion from the Champions League,” he said.

Top English club Chelsea reported losses of 65.7 million pounds (107m dollars) up to June last year while Red Football, the parent company of Manchester United, registered losses of 21 million pounds (34m dollars) last year and has a total debt of 575 million (938m dollars).

Platini added: “It’s mainly the owners that asked us to do something – Roman Abramovich, (AC Milan’s) Silvio Berlusconi, (Inter Milan’s) Massimo Moratti. They do not want to fork out from their pockets any more.

“I have told Mr Abramovich about this and he said nothing against it.” 

Source: SGGP

New Japanese ambassador promises to heighten bilateral ties

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2008 at 4:35 pm

New Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam Mitsuo Sakaba has pledged to do his best to further promote the friendship and multi-dimensional cooperation between Japan and Vietnam .

Ambassador Sakaba made the pledge at his meeting with Truong Tan Sang, Politburo member and Standing member of the Secretariat of the Communist Party in Hanoi on June 30.

The new ambassador said he had good sentiments towards the Vietnamese country, its dynamic growth and its people and he will strive to strengthen bilateral ties under the spirit of “looking towards a strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia ”.

The Vietnamese host congratulated Ambassador Sakaba on his new post in Vietnam and expressed belief that the diplomat would conduct various activities to bolster the relationship between the two countries.