Anna's Feed
Feb 26, 2015

Insight: West’s offer to rebuild Ukraine faces reality check

BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Western powers are preparing what they say may be their most potent weapon against Moscow’s interference in Ukraine – a multi billion dollar aid package to rebuild a near-bankrupt state and realize the European dream cherished by many Ukrainians.

There is just one problem: foreign governments and international financing institutions are not willing to pour money into a dysfunctional state. Only this week the businessman brought in by the new authorities to clean up the tax service was himself suspended pending a corruption inquiry.

Feb 26, 2015

West’s offer to rebuild Ukraine faces reality check

BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Western powers are
preparing what they say may be their most potent weapon against
Moscow’s interference in Ukraine – a multi billion dollar aid
package to rebuild a near-bankrupt state and realise the
European dream cherished by many Ukrainians.

There is just one problem: foreign governments and
international financing institutions are not willing to pour
money into a dysfunctional state. Only this week the businessman
brought in by the new authorities to clean up the tax service
was himself suspended pending a corruption inquiry.

Feb 23, 2015

U.S. homeland security says aware of no credible threat against malls

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Homeland Security Department said on Sunday it was not aware of any specific plot against U.S. shopping malls, backing away from comments by the department’s chief that he takes seriously a threat by Somali-based Islamist militants against the Mall of America in Minnesota and other shopping sites in the West.

Some U.S. and Canadian officials had earlier cast doubt on the credibility of the threat made in a video attributed to al Shabaab, which appeared to call for attacks on Western shopping areas, specifically mentioning Mall of America, the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, London’s Oxford Street and sites in Paris.

Feb 22, 2015

U.S. homeland security chief worried about al Shabaab mall threat

WASHINGTON, Feb 22 (Reuters) – The U.S. homeland security
chief said on Sunday he takes seriously an apparent threat by
Somali-based Islamist militants against prominent shopping sites
in the West including the Mall of America in Minnesota and urged
people there to be careful.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was reacting to a
video attributed to al Shabaab appearing to call for attacks on
Western shopping areas, specifically mentioning Mall of America,
the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, London’s Oxford Street and
sites in Paris.

Feb 22, 2015

Homeland security chief worried about al Shabaab mall threat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. homeland security chief said on Sunday he takes seriously an apparent threat by Somali-based Islamist militants against prominent shopping sites in the West including the Mall of America in Minnesota and urged people there to be careful.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was reacting to a video attributed to al Shabaab appearing to call for attacks on Western shopping areas, specifically mentioning Mall of America, the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, London’s Oxford Street and sites in Paris.

Feb 10, 2015

IMF weighs dropping U.S. veto over delayed reforms: sources

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) – The IMF’s board last month discussed two options for moving forward on voting reforms without the United States, including a proposal under which Washington would lose its veto power at the global lender, according to three sources familiar with the proposals.

The sources, who have seen an IMF staff paper laying out the options, said the plan would ask the United States to temporarily give up its controlling share of IMF votes, amid growing frustration with U.S. foot-dragging on reforms meant to give emerging markets more say at the institution.

Feb 5, 2015

IMF grants $100 million debt relief to Ebola-hit countries

WASHINGTON, Feb 5 (Reuters) – The International Monetary
Fund has granted Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone debt relief of
about $100 million in total, the first time a global institution
has provided such relief to the three West African nations
hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak.

The IMF, urging similar action from other international
creditors to help the countries deal with the economic fallout
of the deadly epidemic, additionally offered the nations $160
million in zero-interest loans, subject to board approval.

Jan 29, 2015

IMF sets June deadline for progress on governance reforms

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The IMF set a June deadline for making progress on reforms that would give emerging countries more say in how the world lender is run, an attempt to break a standoff created by U.S. failure to ratify the changes.

The governance reforms were adopted by the IMF in 2010, which initially set a 2012 deadline for all member countries to endorse them. The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has so far been unable to persuade Republicans in Congress to act on the measure.

Jan 26, 2015

IMF set for lively debate this year on adding yuan to SDR basket

LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China is expected to make another push for the inclusion of the yuan in the International Monetary Fund’s in-house currency basket in a review later this year – and this time round its G20 partners may be willing to listen.

U.S. officials say they will wait for an IMF paper on the issue later this year before taking a view, but officials in Asian and other G20 capitals say that, unlike in the review five years ago, the issue will at least be a live discussion.

Jan 16, 2015

Obama measures on Cuba trade, travel poke new holes in embargo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States announced sweeping new rules on Thursday that will significantly ease sanctions on Cuba, opening up the communist-ruled island to expanded U.S. travel, trade and financial activities.

Defying hardline critics in Congress, President Barack Obama made good on his commitment last month to loosen restrictions on dealings with Cuba as part of an historic effort to end decades of hostility.