Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Criticise Italy at your peril!

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Attacks on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in the British press have hit an especially raw nerve as he hosts this year’s G8 summit and some Italian newspapers have had enough.

The summit has come at a particularly sensitive time for the beleaguered Italian leader, who has been dogged for weeks by salacious scandals involving allegations he has a soft spot for underage women and has entertained escort girls.

Britain’s irreverent media have had a field day, delving into his exotic personal life and publishing lurid cartoons of the veteran Berlusconi cavorting with naked women.

Adding insult to injury, the British press have also led the charge in accusing Berlusconi of chaotic organisation of the annual G8 knees-up, with a fanciful story in the Guardian suggesting Italy might be ejected from the rich nations club.

from FaithWorld:

Pope urges bold world economic reform before G8 summit

popePope Benedict issued an ambitious call to reform the way the world works on Tuesday shortly before its most powerful leaders meet at the G8 summit in Italy. His latest encyclical, entitled "Charity in Truth," presents a long list of steps he thinks are needed to overcome the financial crisis and shift economic activity from the profit motive to a goal of solidarity of all people.

Following are some of his proposals. The italics are from the original text. Do you think they are realistic food for thought or idealistic notions with no hope of being put into practice?

Germany’s Finance Minister takes aim at the City

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Has German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck finally said what many world leaders think but are afraid to say? That the British government won’t sign up to meaningful reform of financial markets because it is too worried about what it would mean for the country’s most famous cash cow, the City of London.

 

The City, which accounts for around 35 percent of global foreign exchange turnover, has been a popular target for critics of capitalism for years. But it has rarely been singled out so bluntly as a problem by one of Britain’s close allies.

from The Great Debate UK:

From afar, G8 seeks a handle on Afghanistan

Luke Baker- Luke Baker is a political and general news correspondent at Reuters. -

The mountains and deserts of southern Afghanistan are far removed from the elegant charms of Trieste in northern Italy, but there will be a link between the two this weekend.

Foreign ministers from the Group of Eight nations meet in the Italian city on the Adriatic on Thursday for three days of talks, with the state of play in Afghanistan, as well as developments in Iran and the Middle East, front and centre of their agenda.

What will be the shape of the world’s new financial order?

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A man protests outside the New York Stock Exchange October 13, 2008. Governments around the world bet hundreds of billions of dollars to rescue failing banks on Monday, sending world stocks soaring and giving Wall Street its biggest one-day gain ever. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES)The global financial crisis has produced broad agreement that the world needs a new financial architecture, but world leaders are a long way from reaching agreement on what shape it should take.

Many countries have rescue plans to support banks and unfreeze credit markets. The United States has set in motion reforms to change the relationship between Washington and Wall Street.

“I told you so!” Merkel tells U.S., Britain

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech to members of her conservative Christian Democrats in Berlin, September 22, 2008. Wage gains in Germany have been moderate in recent years, and this will likely remain the case, Merkel said on Monday. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sent a clear “I told you so!” to the United States and Britain at the weekend, criticising them in unusually frank terms for resisting measures that might have contained the current financial crisis. The conservative leader of Europe’s largest economy reminded her partners that she had pushed for steps to boost the transparency of hedge funds during Germany’s presidency of the Group of Eight last year. ”We got things moving, but we didn’t get enough support, especially in the United States and Britain,” she told the Muenchner Merkur newspaper. Merkel expanded on her point in a speech in Austria, suggesting that both Washington and London were only now coming around to her view.

“It was said for a long time ‘Let the markets take care of themselves’ and that there is ‘no need for more transparency’…Today we are a step further because even America and Britain are saying ‘Yes, we need more transparency, we need better standards for the ratings agencies’.

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