sábado, 21 de abril de 2018

Resolute Reads


REAL NEWS PRESIDENT TRUMP DOESN'T WANT YOU TO MISS

USA Today
“We are changing Tax Day for Americans across the country,” President Donald J. Trump wrote in an op-ed this week. “This is the last year Americans will fill out outdated, complicated tax forms. In the years ahead, because I signed one of the largest tax cuts in history and the most sweeping tax reform in a generation, many Americans will complete their taxes on a simple, single sheet of paper.”
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Breitbart
President Trump assured Americans on Wednesday that he would not reconsider joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership unless other countries offered America irresistible terms. “They’re all calling, wanting to make a deal, but we think that’s much better for us,” the President said.
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- USA Today
This week, Surgeon General Jerome Adams visited the “Prescribed to Death” opioid memorial near the White House with several members of the U.S. Public Health Service’s Commissioned Corps. The Corps often “get mistaken for military officers. But they can rightly accept the praise when strangers say, ‘Thank you for your service’” for their work serving America’s most vulnerable, Jayne O’Donnell writes.
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- The Washington Times
U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials announced Tuesday that they had arrested 225 immigrants in a “targeted sweep in New York City and the surrounding area,” Stephen Dinan reports. Among those taken into custody were criminals with rape, manslaughter, and firearms-related convictions.
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- The Washington Post
Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) “will deploy 400 soldiers who will work against drug trafficking and cross-border criminal groups” following negotiations with the Trump Administration, The Washington Post writes. This deal means the President has “the full participation of every border state in his plan to reinforce federal agents with Guard troops” to protect the southern U.S. border.
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The Washington Times
“The Treasury Department slapped sanctions Wednesday on a Syrian man and his criminal syndicate, blaming them for smuggling ‘hundreds’ of illegal immigrants from Syria and Lebanon into Mexico and then helping them to jump the border into the U.S.,” The Washington Times reports.

Cabinet clears ordinance to confiscate properties of fugitive economic offenders | The Indian Express

Cabinet clears ordinance to confiscate properties of fugitive economic offenders | The Indian Express

Cabinet clears ordinance to confiscate properties of fugitive economic offenders

The ordinance, which aims to deter economic offenders like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi from evading the process of Indian law, was approved at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 21, 2018 9:56:16 pm
Cabinet clears ordinance to confiscate properties of fugitive economic offenders
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with others Cabinet ministers. (Express photo Prem Nath Pandey)



The Union Cabinet Saturday gave its nod for a proposal to promulgate Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018 that would empower authorities to attach and confiscate properties and assets of economic offenders like loan defaulters who flee the country.The ordinance, which aims to deter economic offenders like Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modifrom evading the process of Indian law, was approved at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It will come into effect after the assent of the President.
The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill was first introduced in Lok Sabha on March 12 but could not be passed due to logjam over various issues.
Congress Helped Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi Under 80:20 Gold Scheme : Ravi Shankar Prasad
The Ordinance is expected to re-establish the rule of law with respect to the fugitive economic offenders as they would be forced to return to India to face trial for scheduled offences. Besides, it would help the banks and other financial institutions to achieve higher recovery from financial defaults committed by such fugitive economic offenders, thereby improving the financial health of such institutions.
A special forum is expected to be created for expeditious confiscation of the proceeds of crime, in India or abroad, which would coerce the fugitive to return to India to submit to the jurisdiction of Courts in India to face the law in respect of scheduled offences.
The ordinance defines a Fugitive Economic Offender as a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued in respect of a scheduled offence and who has left India so as to avoid criminal prosecution, or being abroad, refuses to return to India to face criminal prosecution. Such economic offenders will be tried under Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
Further, in order to ensure that Courts are not over-burdened with such cases, only those cases where the total value involved in such offences is 100 crore rupees or more, is within the purview of this Ordinance.
If at any point of time in the course of the proceeding prior to the declaration, however, the alleged Fugitive Economic Offender returns to India and submits to the appropriate jurisdictional Court, proceedings under the proposed Act would cease by law. All necessary constitutional safeguards in terms of providing hearing to the person through counsel, allowing him time to file a reply, serving notice of summons to him, whether in India or abroad and appeal to the High Court have been provided for.
The Ordinance entails the following:
* Making an application before the Special Court for a declaration that an individual is a fugitive economic offender
*Attachment of the property of a fugitive economic offender and proceeds of crime
*Issue of a notice by the Special Court to the individual alleged to be a fugitive economic offender
*Confiscation of the property of an individual declared as a fugitive economic offender or even the proceeds of crime
*Disentitlement of the fugitive economic offender from defending any civil claim
*Appointment of an Administrator to manage and dispose of the confiscated property under the Act.
For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App



UNA REVOLUCIÓN CONSUMIDA POR LOS EGOS ▼ Cuba: Adiós a los Castro | Opinión | EL PAÍS

Cuba: Adiós a los Castro | Opinión | EL PAÍS

Adiós a los Castro

El sueño de la normalización en Cuba ha durado poco. Ante el dilema de conservar todo el poder o ceder una parte, para evitar una fractura dramática, Raúl no se diferenció mucho de su hermano y eligió el control absoluto

Adiós a los Castro
EULOGIA MERLE
Uno impulsivo y otro pragmático, uno carismático y el otro carente de cualquier magnetismo, los hermanos Fidel y Raúl Castro han dejado su apellido marcado a sangre y fuego en la historia cubana de los últimos sesenta años. Esta semana el relevo generacional llama a la puerta del poderoso clan familiar que planea salir del foco central pero no alejarse demasiado del poder.
Hubo un tiempo en que los niños cubanos calculábamos la edad que tendríamos cuando llegara el nuevo siglo. Imaginábamos convertirnos en adultos en un milenio teñido con el rojo de la bandera comunista, donde no circulaban el dinero ni la miseria. Sin embargo, el muro de Berlín cayó, la ilusión estalló en mil pedazos y nuestra aritmética personal pasó a contar los años que íbamos a tener cuando cayera el castrismo.
Ese día ha llegado, pero no como pensábamos. En lugar de un épico derrocamiento con la gente en las calles enarbolando banderas, al régimen cubano le ha tocado irse destiñendo como una vieja fotografía: sin gracia ni romance. Ese proceso comenzó hace doce años cuando Fidel Castro enfermó y transmitió el mando del país, por vía sanguínea, a su hermano menor.
A Raúl Castro le tocó lidiar con la compleja herencia recibida. Una nación en números rojos, con una creciente apatía ciudadana, un éxodo que desmentía el supuesto paraíso socialista que narraba la propaganda oficial, un entramado de prohibiciones que hacían la vida cotidiana asfixiante y una deficiente institucionalidad que languidecía bajo los caprichos del Comandante en Jefe.
El menor de los Castro tendrá que construir su legitimidad sobre los resultados de su gestión
“Sin prisa pero sin pausa” fue el lema elegido por el raulismo para tratar de arreglar algunos de aquellos entuertos. El General llegó a ganarse el irónico calificativo de “revolucionario paulatino” porque ante la mayoría de los acuciantes problemas se mostró más con el estilo de un cauteloso y rancio conservador que con el ímpetu de un antiguo guerrillero.
Lo primero que hizo fue desmantelar el fidelismo, ese sistema personalista que su hermano edificó a su imagen y semejanza: caprichoso, violento, numantino y vocinglero. Sin dejar de apretar la mano represiva, el hermano segundón puso fin a varias “prohibiciones absurdas”, como las llamó entonces, que hacían más visibles y rígidos los barrotes de la jaula nacional.
Orientado en la dirección correcta, pero con una velocidad de quelonio y una profundidad epidérmica, Castro II autorizó la compraventa de viviendas, paralizada por décadas; permitió que los nacionales pudieran contratar una línea de telefonía celular, hasta entonces un privilegio del que solo disfrutaban los extranjeros; y lanzó una reforma migratoria en la isla-cárcel.
De su mano se impulsó el sector privado, bajo el eufemismo de trabajo por cuenta propia; el país se abrió a la inversión extranjera y se entregaron en usufructo miles de hectáreas de tierra que llevaban años improductivas. Incluso se redujeron los actos ideológicos públicos, se sepultaron las campañas políticas masivas a las que su hermano fue adicto y se impulsó un proceso de contraloría para tratar de atajar el despilfarro, la corrupción y la ineficiencia en las empresas estatales.
En esos años, entre julio de 2006 y enero de 2013, Raúl Castro gastó todo su capital político, agotó un programa de Gobierno que tenía límites muy claros: mantener el sistema socialista, evitar a toda costa que aumentaran las desigualdades sociales y taponar cualquier intento de pluralidad política.
Cuando el raulismo empezaba a languidecer, llegó el 17 de diciembre de 2014 la noticia del deshielo diplomático entre la Casa Blanca y la Plaza de la Revolución. Por casi tres años el mundo creyó que el “problema Cuba” estaba resuelto cuando vio a Chanel desfilar en el paseo del Prado, a Madonna bailar en un restaurante habanero y a la familia Kardashian pasear en un viejo auto por la Isla.
Pero el sueño de la normalización duró poco. Raúl Castro tuvo miedo de perder el control y no correspondió a las medidas tomadas por Barack Obama con la necesaria contraparte desde la Isla. Tras la visita oficial del presidente estadounidense los medios oficialistas arreciaron las críticas contra Washington, y la luna de miel terminó. Un divorcio que se sentenció con la llegada a la presidencia de Donald Trump.
Temeroso del animal de mil cabezas que había desatado con sus reformas —el capitalismo—, Castro echó atrás o paralizó varias de las flexibilizaciones que le habían valido el calificativo de “reformista”. Desde agosto del pasado año la mayoría de las licencias para el sector privado están paralizadas, las prohibiciones de viaje decretadas contra los opositores han aumentado en los últimos meses y el discurso oficial ha enfilado sus críticas contra los emprendedores locales.
El sucesor hereda un país en crisis y una sociedad desanimada; a él le toca acabar con la dualidad monetaria y profundizar las reformas económicas
El octogenario gobernante no pudo resolver dos de los mayores problemas: unificar las dos monedas que circulan en la isla y aumentar los salarios ínfimos que recibe la mayoría de la población. Tampoco logró frenar el éxodo de cubanos, ni aplicar políticas que elevaran de manera efectiva la natalidad, un problema serio para una nación que se espera sea el noveno país más envejecido del mundo en 2050. Tampoco alcanzó a sanear el sector estatal corroído por la corrupción y la falta de eficiencia.
Sin embargo, el mayor fracaso del General en los diez años de sus dos mandatos fue su incapacidad de impulsar las necesarias reformas políticas para que el relevo generacional reciba una casa más ordenada. Ante el dilema de conservar todo el poder o ceder una parte, para evitar una fractura dramática en el futuro, el menor de los Castro no se diferenció mucho de su hermano y eligió el control absoluto.
Sabe que, aunque ha planificado metódicamente la sucesión y elegido a un heredero dócil y manejable como el primer vicepresidente Miguel Díaz-Canel, al sistema personalista que heredó de su hermano no le sienta nada bien la división de responsabilidades.
Mientras mantiene el control sobre el Partido Comunista, al que la Constitución consagra como fuerza dirigente del país, Castro podrá vigilar a este tecnócrata crecido a su sombra y consciente de que cualquier intento de autonomía podría significar su caída. Pero el viejo guerrillero sabe también que el final de su vida está cerca y que los benjamines se vuelven impredecibles cuando el mentor ya no respira.
El sucesor hereda un país en crisis y una sociedad desanimada, un contexto internacional desfavorable, cuyas señales más claras son el cambio de rumbo ideológico en América Latina y el rechazo casi unánime a su aliado venezolano, Nicolás Maduro. Le toca acabar con la dualidad monetaria, profundizar las reformas económicas para convencer a los inversionistas y ampliar el sector privado.
A diferencia de sus antecesores, no participó en la gesta bélica de la Sierra Maestra ni en el asalto al cuartel Moncada. Tendrá que construir su legitimidad sobre los resultados de su gestión y la realización de una reforma política real y amplia. El mito terminó y la generación histórica, que se impuso con el terror y el carisma, tiene los días contados.
La era Castro concluye y aquellos niños de antaño estamos en la madurez de nuestras vidas. Muchos quedaron en el camino sin conocer otro sistema. Por estos días volvemos a retomar las aritméticas personales: ¿qué edad tendremos cuando Cuba sea realmente libre?
Yoani Sánchez es periodista cubana y directora del diario digital 14ymedio.

After More Than a Decade, Rights of Indigenous Peoples Not Fully Realized | Inter Press Service

After More Than a Decade, Rights of Indigenous Peoples Not Fully Realized | Inter Press Service



Editors' ChoiceEnvironmentFeaturedHeadlinesHuman RightsIndigenous RightsLatin America & the CaribbeanTerraViva United Nations | Opinion

After More Than a Decade, Rights of Indigenous Peoples Not Fully Realized

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Miroslav Lajčák, is President of the UN General Assembly

A UN press conference on indigenous peoples. Credit: UN Photo
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 18 2018 (IPS) - First, I want to talk about how we got here.
It was nearly 100 years ago, when indigenous peoples first asserted their rights, on the international stage. But, they did not see much progress. At least until 1982 – when the first Working Group on Indigenous Populations was established.
And, in 2007, the rights of indigenous peoples were, finally, set out in an international instrument.
Let us be clear here. Rights are not aspirational. They are not ideals. They are not best-case scenarios. They are minimum standards. They are non-negotiable. And, they must be respected, and promoted.
Yet, here we are. More than a decade after the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted. And the fact is, these rights are not being realized.
That is not to say that there has been no progress. In fact, we heard many success stories, during yesterday’s opening of the Permanent Forum.
But, they are not enough.
Which is why, as my second point, I want to say that we need to do much more.
Last September, the General Assembly gave my office a new mandate. It requested that I organise informal interactive hearings – to look at how indigenous peoples can better participate at the United Nations.
So, that is why we are all sitting here. But, before we launch into our discussions, I want to acknowledge the elephant in the room.
I know that many of you were disappointed, with the General Assembly’s decision last year. After two years of talking, many of you wanted more than these interactive hearings.
We cannot gloss over this. And that is why I want to address it – from the outset. But I must also say this: Things may be moving slowly. But they are still moving.
When our predecessors formed the first indigenous working group, in 1982, their chances were slim. Many doubted whether an international instrument could be adopted. And, frankly, it took longer than it should have. But, it still happened.
So, we need to acknowledge the challenges, and frustrations. We cannot sweep them under the rug.
But we also cannot let them take away from the opportunities we have, in front of us.
And that brings me to my third point, on our discussions today.
This is your hearing. So, please be blunt. Please be concrete. Please be innovative.
Like I have said, we should not pretend that everything is perfect. Major problems persist – particularly at the national level. And, we need to draw attention to them. Today, however, we have a very specific mandate. And that is, to explore how we can carve out more space, for indigenous peoples, on the international stage.
That is why I ask you to focus on the future of our work, here, at the United Nations. And to try to come up with as many ideas and proposals as possible.
In particular, we should look at the following questions:
Which venues and forums are most suitable?
What modalities should govern participation?
What kind of participants should be selected?
And how will this selection happen?
We should also try to form a broader vision. This will allow us to better advise the General Assembly’s ongoing process to enhance indigenous peoples’ participation.
Finally, next steps.
As you know, this is our very first informal, interactive hearing. There will be two further hearings – next year, and the year after.
Then – during what we call the 75th Session of the General Assembly – negotiations between governments will start up again.
Turning back to today, the immediate outcome of our hearing will be a President’s Summary. But, I am confident that the longer-term outcome will be yet another step, in the direction of change.
So, this is where I will conclude. My main job, now, is to listen.

Another Debt Crisis for Poor Countries? | Inter Press Service

Another Debt Crisis for Poor Countries? | Inter Press Service



Economy & TradeFeaturedFinancial CrisisGlobalHeadlinesIPS UN: Inside the GlasshousePoverty & SDGsTerraViva United Nations | Opinion

Another Debt Crisis for Poor Countries?

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Masood Ahmed is President of the Center for Global Development*
WASHINGTON DC, Apr 18 2018 (IPS) - When the world’s finance ministers and central bank governors assemble in Washington later this month for their semi-annual IMF meeting, they will no doubt set aside time for yet another discussion of the lingering debt problems in the Eurozone or how impaired bank debt could impact financial stability in China.

Masood Ahmed
They would do well to also focus on another looming debt crisis that could hit some of the poorest countries in the world, many of whom are also struggling with problems of conflict and fragility and none of which has the institutional capacity to cope with a major debt crisis without lasting damage to their already-challenged development prospects.

Nearly two decades ago, an unprecedented international effort—the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Debt initiative—resulted in writing off the unsustainable debt of poor countries to levels that they could manage without compromising their economic and social development.
The hope was that a combination of responsible borrowing and lending practices and a more productive use of any new liabilities, all under the watchful eyes of the IMF and World Bank, would prevent a recurrence of excessive debt buildup.
Alas, as a just-released IMF paper points out, the situation has turned out to be much less favorable. Since the financial crisis and the more recent collapse in commodity prices, there has been a sharp buildup of debt by low-income countries, to the point that 40 percent of them (24 out of 60) are now either already in a debt crisis or highly vulnerable to one—twice as many as only five years ago.
Moreover, the majority, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa, have fallen into difficulties through relatively recent actions by themselves or their creditors. They include, predictably, commodity exporters like Chad, Congo, and Zambia who have run up debt as they adjusted (or not) to revenue loss from the collapse in oil and metals prices.
But they also include a large number of diversified exporters (Ethiopia, Ghana, and the Gambia among others) where the run-up in debt is a reflection of larger-than-planned fiscal deficits, often financing overruns in current spending or, in a few cases, substantial fraud and corruption (the Gambia, Moldova, and Mozambique).
The increased appetite of sovereign borrowers has been facilitated by the willingness of commercial lenders looking for yield in a market awash with liquidity, and by credit from China and other bilateral lenders who are not part of the Paris Club.
It is striking that between 2013-16, China’s share of the debt of poor countries increased by more than that held by the Paris Club, the World Bank and all the regional development banks put together.
Nor do traditional donors come out entirely blameless. Concessional funding for low-income countries from the (largely OECD) members of the DAC fell by 20 percent between 2013–16, precisely the period in which their other liabilities increased dramatically.
As for the IMF and World Bank, while it may have been wishful thinking to hope they could prevent a recurrence of excessive debt, it was not unreasonable to expect that they would have been more aware as this buildup was taking place and sounded the alarm earlier for the international community.
There is also a plausible argument that excessively rigid rules limiting the access of low-income countries to the non-concessional funding windows of the IMF and World Bank left no recourse but to go for more expensive commercial borrowing, with the consequences now visible.
How likely is it that these countries are heading for a debt crisis, and how difficult will it be to resolve one if it happens? The fact that there has been a near doubling in the past five years of the number of countries in debt distress or at high risk is itself not encouraging.
And while debt ratios are still below the levels that led to HIPC, the risks are higher because much more of the debt is on commercial terms with higher interest rates, shorter maturities and more unpredictable lender behavior than the traditional multilaterals.
More importantly, while the projections for all countries are based on improved policies for the future, the IMF itself acknowledges that this may turn out to be unrealistic.
And finally, the debt numbers, worrying as they are, miss out some contingent liabilities that haven’t been recorded or disclosed as transparently as they should have been but which will need to be dealt with in any restructuring or write-off.
The changing composition of creditors also means that we can no longer rely on the traditional arrangements for dealing with low-income country debt problems. The Paris Club is now dwarfed by the six-times-larger holdings of debt by countries outside the Paris Club.
Commodity traders have lent money that is collateralized by assets, making the overall resolution process more complicated. And a whole slew of new plurilateral lenders have claims that they believe need to be serviced before others, a position that has yet to be tested.
It is too late to prevent some low-income countries from falling into debt difficulties, but action now can prevent a crisis in many others. The principal responsibility lies with borrowing country governments, but their development partners and donors need to raise the profile of this issue in the conversations they will have in Washington.
There is also an urgent need to work with China and other new lenders to create a fit-for-purpose framework for resolving low-income country debt problems when they occur.
This is not about persuading these lenders to join the Paris Club but rather about evolution towards a new mechanism that recognizes the much larger role of the new lenders, and demonstrates why it is in their own interest to have such a mechanism for collective action.
Traditional donors also need to look at their allocation of ODA resources, which face the risk of further fragmentation under competing pressures, including for financing the costs in donor countries of hosting refugees.
Finally, the assembled policymakers should urge the IMF to prioritize building a complete picture of debt and contingent liabilities as part of its country surveillance and lending programs, and to base its projections for future economic and debt outcomes on more realistic expectations.
They should also commission a review to examine the scope for increased access to non-concessional IFI funding for (at least) the more creditworthy low-income borrowers.
It is the poor and vulnerable that pay the heaviest price in a national debt crisis. They have the right to demand action by global financial leaders to make such a crisis less likely.
*Masood Ahmed previously led the World Bank’s Heavily Indebted Poor Countries debt relief initiative, which has to-date brought relief from debt burdens to 36 of the world’s poorest nations.