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Nov 17, 2014

G20 commits to higher growth, fight climate change; Russia isolated over Ukraine

BRISBANE Australia (Reuters) – Leaders from the G20 group of nations agreed on Sunday to boost flagging global growth, tackle climate change and crack down on tax avoidance but ties between the West and Russia plummeted to a new low over the crisis in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin left the G20 summit in Brisbane early as U.S. President Barack Obama accused Russia of invading Ukraine and Britain warned of a possible “frozen conflict” in Europe.

Nov 17, 2014

G20 commits to higher growth, fight climate change

BRISBANE Australia (Reuters) – Leaders from the G20 group of nations agreed on Sunday to boost flagging global growth, tackle climate change and crack down on tax avoidance but ties between the West and Russia plummeted to a new low over the crisis in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin left the G20 summit in Brisbane early as U.S. President Barack Obama accused Russia of invading Ukraine and Britain warned of a possible “frozen conflict” in Europe.

Nov 16, 2014

Putin says good chance of ending Ukraine crisis, West threatens more sanctions

BRISBANE Australia (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday there was a “good chance” of resolving the conflict in Ukraine as Western leaders squarely blamed Moscow and threatened to slap more sanctions if it did not take action to end the crisis.

Putin was speaking at a G20 leaders summit in Brisbane where he has come under intense pressure, with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper telling him to “get out of Ukraine”.

Nov 16, 2014

U.S., EU override Australia to put climate change on G20 agenda

BRISBANE Australia (Reuters) – The G20 communique will include a significant passage on climate change, EU officials said on Sunday, as the United States and other heavyweight nations override host Australia’s attempts to keep the issue off the formal agenda.

Much of the meeting of world leaders in Australia has been overshadowed by the crisis in Ukraine, with Western leaders warning Russian President Vladimir Putin that he risked more economic sanctions if he failed to end Russian backing for separatist rebels.

Nov 15, 2014

Obama, in latest climate move, pledges $3 billion for global fund

BRISBANE Australia/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday pledged a $3 billion U.S. contribution to an international fund to help poor countries cope with the effects of climate change, putting the issue front and center of the G20 Leaders Summit in Australia.

The large size of the contribution took climate policy watchers by surprise and doubles what other countries had previously pledged ahead of a Nov. 20 deadline. It would be the second major move on climate change taken by Obama after big Democratic losses in last week’s midterm elections.

Nov 15, 2014

Putin put on notice at G20 summit to end Ukraine crisis

BRISBANE Australia (Reuters) – The Ukraine crisis overshadowed talks on global economic growth at a G20 leaders meeting on Saturday, with Europe calling on Russia to stop the flow of weapons and troops into the country and holding out the threat of further sanctions if it did not.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said Europe’s foreign ministers will meet on Monday to assess the situation in Ukraine and whether further steps including additional sanctions were needed against Russia.

Nov 14, 2014

OECD sees plans by G20 nations topping global growth target

BRISBANE Australia (Reuters) – The OECD said on Friday the plans of G20 nations to boost the world economy could beat their target of adding 2 percentage points to global growth by 2018, though geopolitical risks such as Ukraine and Ebola were mounting.

Angel Gurria, the secretary-general of the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said that the more than 1,000 measures proposed since February would exceed the target, over the next five years, if implemented.

Nov 13, 2014

G20 deal on shell companies ‘only discussion’: China

BEIJING/BRISBANE Australia (Reuters) – A G20 deal aimed at cracking down on companies masking their ownership is “only at the discussion stage”, China said on Thursday, dealing a blow to hopes an agreement will be signed off by world leaders this weekend.

A working group at the Group of 20, under host Australia’s Attorney-General’s Department, has been seeking agreement on how to improve beneficial ownership transparency and combat the use of shell companies that can hide ill-gotten money or avoid taxation.

Nov 5, 2014

Australia bows to pressure to step up Ebola fight in Africa

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia will fund an Ebola treatment clinic in Sierra Leone, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Wednesday, responding to pressure from the United States and others to do more to tackle the deadly outbreak at its West African source.

Australia last week became the first rich nation to issue a blanket ban on visas from the three most Ebola-affected countries – Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia – sparking widespread criticism.

Oct 20, 2014

Former Australian PM Gough Whitlam dies at 98

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, who died on Tuesday aged 98, was one of his country’s most revolutionary yet divisive statesmen, forging ties with China but triggering a constitutional crisis that split the country.

Whitlam, who held office from 1972 to 1975, withdrew Australian troops from Vietnam and ended conscription, banned sports teams from apartheid-era South Africa, made university study free and opened diplomatic negotiations with emerging communist China.

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      "Company news sub editor on the Asia Desk in Singapore. Previously European Investment Correspondent in London and Correspondent in New Zealand."
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