Asean Summit, Malaysia on Nov 21, 1015

Asean Summit, Malaysia  on Nov 21, 1015
Asean Establishes Landmark Economic and Security Bloc
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - Text version)

“….. Here is the prediction: China will turn North Korea loose soon. The alliance will dissolve, or become stale. There will be political upheaval in China. Not a coup and not a revolution. Within the inner circles of that which you call Chinese politics, there will be a re-evaluation of goals and monetary policy. Eventually, you will see a break with North Korea, allowing still another dictator to fall and unification to occur with the south. ….”

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

North Korean defector criticises China in rare Beijing talk

North Korean defector criticises China in rare Beijing talk
North Korean defector and activist Hyeonseo Lee, who lives in South Korea, poses as she presents her book 'The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story' in Beijing on March 26, 2016 (AFP Photo/Fred Dufour)

US under fire in global press freedom report

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

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Friday, April 30, 2010

President Hu welcomes foreign dignitaries before Shanghai Expo opens 2010-04-30 17:53:18

President Hu Jintao makes a toast after addressing a welcoming dinner for honored guests who will attend the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo in Shanghai, east China, on April 30, 2010. President Hu Jintao hosted the welcoming dinner for the honored guests in Shanghai on Friday. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

SHANGHAI, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao started to host a welcoming dinner for foreign guests who will attend the Shanghai World Expo opening ceremony later Friday.

Related Article:

Chinese President Hu Jintao declares open Shanghai World Expo

Chinese President Hu Jintao declares the opening of the Shanghai World Expo during the Expo opening ceremony in Shanghai, east China, on April 30, 2010. (Xinhua/Fan Rujun)

Indonesia to ratify nuclear test ban treaty

Lilian Budianto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 04/30/2010 10:36 AM

Indonesia will ratify a nuclear test ban treaty soon, says the foreign minister, after previously deciding to hold off on ratification until the US made the first move.

Marty Natalegawa told the House of Representatives on Thursday that he would officially announced the ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) during the Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference in New York next month. “We have been holding off the ratification process since 2002 as we expected the US and other nuclear weapon states to ratify first,” Marty told Commission I overseeing foreign and defense affairs. “However, we decided there was no point in delaying it. We do not want our policy to be steered by the US’ decisions. We can move it forward with a note that there must be a move to push the US to ratify.

The US needs a template it can take as an example when dealing with the senate on ratification.”

Besides the US, other nuclear weapon states that have not ratified the treaty are China and Israel. The US has the most nuclear arsenals after Russia. Indonesia has no nuclear weapons but it possessed nuclear reactors and became part of the 182 signatories. The treaty will enter into force once the nine countries that have not either signed or ratified have give full accession.

Marty will lead the Indonesian delegation in the New York NPT review, which will take place from May 3-28.

He said Jakarta sought to contribute to the success of the three pillars of the NPT: Non-proliferation, disarmament and nuclear for peace purposes.

Experts have said the success of the NPT review was crucial for Jakarta as it sought to build nuclear power plants. Signatories of the NPT have rights to develop civilian nuclear facilities, but the impasse in the Iranian nuclear negotiations have cast a weary eye on nations seeking to develop nuclear facilities.

Barclays Capital upbeat on Indonesian economy

Vincent Lingga, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 04/30/2010 10:53 AM

Barclays Capital is upbeat on Indonesia’s economy, predicting growth of 6.5 percent this year driven mainly by robust household spending on the back of healthy consumer confidence and an improving employment outlook.

The prognosis by the investment banking arm of Barclays Bank PLC, the second largest bank in Britain, is even more bullish than the government’s estimate of 5.8 percent, the International Monetary Fund’s 6 percent, the Asian Development Bank’s 5.5 percent and the World Bank’s 5.6 percent.

“Domestic consumption will continue to be the main driver of growth, while the purchasing power will get a boost from the 10 percent pay rise for civil servants, bullish sentiment in the stock market, credit growth and rising commodity prices,” Barclays Capital regional economist Prakriti Sofat said.

She told The Jakarta Post on Thursday that she didn’t see any big risk of a sudden reversal in portfolio capital inflows, which had been increasing sharply over the past year because the high interest rate differential was only one of the positive factors wooing fund inflows.

“Many investors also look into the medium- and long-term prospects of the economy, which are positive,” she added.

Sofat also observed positive development in the employment sector as the informal economic sector had been doing well as a shock-absorber of the labor surplus.

She did not see any risks of instability arising from the increasingly antagonistic relations between the government and the parliament.

“The political noise will only be a short-term distraction because the politicians will eventually come to their senses and take into account public interests,” she said.

The UK investment bank observed that with strong growth, benign inflation and supportive balance of payments outlook, Bank Indonesia would most likely maintain the benchmark interest rate at 6.5 percent in the first half but with a slight tightening in the third quarter, ending the year with the rate at 7.25 percent.

With a robust balance of payments ending the year with a surplus of around US$14 billion (2 percent of gross domestic product) and a continued rise in financial flows offsetting the reduction in the current account surplus as well as a strong recovery in both foreign and domestic investments, the rupiah rate is forecast to range between Rp 8,800 and Rp 9,000 for the year.

Barclays Capital’s commodity analyst Yingxi Yu saw a substantial contribution from the commodity sector to invigorating domestic consumption, citing strong income support from the rise in coal, palm oil and tin prices.

Sofat added that fundamentally, Indonesia’s economy was quite different from a decade ago as the national balance sheet becoming increasingly sound.

“Indonesia’s balance of payments condition is strong with large foreign exchange reserves [of $80 billion], the government debt to GDP ratio has declined steadily [to less than 30 percent] and the corporate balance sheet is also strong with low leverage,” she said.

IMF raises Singapore's 2010 growth forecast to 8.9%, Asia to 7.1%

Channel News Asia, by Chris Howells, 29 April 2010 2105 hrs

SINGAPORE: The International Monetary Fund has upgraded its growth forecast for Singapore's economy.

In its latest Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific, the IMF said the Singapore economy may expand 8.9 per cent this year.

This is sharply higher than its previous prediction of 5.7 per cent made in a separate report, World Economic Outlook, just a few weeks ago.

The latest forecast is at the higher end of the Singapore government prediction of 7-9 per cent growth, which itself was raised in mid-April.

But economists say Singapore's growth could easily exceed both the best forecasts of the government and IMF.

Robert Prior-Wandesforde, senior Asian economist, global research, HSBC, said: "We're expecting Singapore to see 9.5 per cent GDP growth in 2010, so somewhat above the IMF's 8.9 per cent figure.

"And if anything the risks are tilted towards an even higher number than we've got. It's not impossible that Singapore could actually register year average GDP growth in double digits."

For 2011, the IMF believes Singapore's economy could grow 6.8 per cent, higher than 5.3 per cent forecast previously.

As for Asia, the IMF says the region could grow 7.1 per cent this year. Previously, it had put this year's growth at 6.9 per cent and 7 per cent for next year.

It's citing the speed of the current economic recovery and the lead that Asia is taking in the global upturn.

It also said that growth would be sustained into 2011.

Singapore's strong economic growth in the first quarter of this year has given the IMF reason to be somewhat more confident about the rest of Asia.

The IMF also cited a widening of domestic demand-based growth in the region as another reason for its upgrade.

Speaking from Shanghai, the IMF's Asia head said China's economy could grow 10 per cent this year, but warned of potential risks.

Anoop Singh, director, Asia & Pacific, IMF: "China's economy has been growing rapidly. It's also helped the recovery in Asia.

"The challenge for China over the medium term is also one of rebalancing: to use comprehensive policies involving fiscal, financial and exchange rate, to shift to drive private consumption as a major engine of growth."

The IMF says Asia's economies remain closely tied to the fortunes of the West, and a slower than expected recovery there could weigh on the region.

It also says while Asia could benefit from rapid capital inflows due to its brighter prospects, it could also lead to overheating.

Economists agree that capital inflows may present risks, but there are mitigating factors.

Mr Robert Prior-Wandesforde said: "The capital inflows are certainly very strong into Singapore and into Asia as a whole and that certainly presents some inflationary risks looking ahead.

"Personally I don't think they should be exaggerated right now. What we're also seeing is a fall back in some commodity price inflation. Oil price inflation, food and metal price inflation is starting to come off and that should help temper inflation."

As for the Chinese yuan, the IMF reiterated a view that the currency remains undervalued.

It also said rebalancing Asia's economies away from trade dependence and toward domestic demand would require collective policy efforts across the region.

- CNA/jy

U.S. Imposes Duties on Paper From China, Indonesia

Bloomberg-Businessweek, by Mark Drajem, April 29, 2010, 3:54 PM EDT

April 29 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Commerce Department imposed preliminary antidumping duties on $260 million of glossy paper imported from China and Indonesia.

The duties will average 60.27 percent for China and 10.62 percent for Indonesia, the Commerce Department said today in an e-mailed announcement. U.S. Customs will start collecting deposits of those duties on the paper, used in magazine publishing, while the case proceeds to a conclusion this year, the statement said.

NewPage Corp., Appleton Coated LLC and a unit of Sappi Ltd. have been seeking antidumping and countervailing duties of more than 100 percent, citing Chinese and Indonesian policies of debt forgiveness, cheap electricity and low-cost access to timber for domestic producers. Commerce imposed the duties to counter subsidies in March.

Gold East Paper Jiangsu Co. must pay duties of 30.82 percent while Yanzhou Tianzhang Paper Industry Co. was assessed a duty of 89.71 percent, the department said. Chinese companies not listed in the case face a 135.8 percent duty.

Asia Pulp & Paper, a unit of Indonesia’s Sinar Mas Group, must pay the 10.62 percent tariff on paper from Indonesia and 30.82 percent from China, according to a company statement.

“There are no merits to the petitioners’ accusations and restricting competition in the paper industry is un-American and will hurt U.S. printers and all consumers of coated paper products,” Terry Hunley, acting president of Asia Pulp & Paper Americas, said in a statement.

--Editors: Steve Geimann, Romaine Bostick

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Drajem in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at

China will undertake greater global role: Wen

Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 29 April 2010 - 4:24pm

China pledged to take a greater role in global issues Thursday as it vowed to work with the European Union on nuclear non-proliferation, energy security and climate change.

In wide-ranging talks between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, the two sides also agreed to to fight protectionism and tear down trade barriers.

"China will undertake greater international responsibilities," Wen said in a joint media appearance with Barroso after their talks.

"This is not only to meet international expectations but also serves China's interests."

During the talks, both leaders vowed to reduce trade barriers and ensure level playing fields for enterprises both in Europe and China, Wen said.

"The European community and China's strategic partnership is even more relevant in an increasingly globalised world," Barroso said.

"Whether it is in leading a global economic recovery, resisting protectionist pressures, defending against the threat of climate change or addressing nuclear proliferation and other security questions, China and the European Union need to work together," he said.

On the Iranian nuclear issue -- a key concern of the EU and United States -- Wen did not say whether Beijing would support new sanctions on Tehran.

He said only that China was committed to the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and upholding peace in the Middle East.

"China will remain in touch with the relevant parties and will play a positive and constructive role for the early and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue," Wen said.

The United States, Europe and others fear Tehran seeks to build nuclear weapons. Iran insists its atomic programme is purely for civilian energy use.

Western nations are calling for a fresh round of UN sanctions but Beijing -- a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council -- has so far resisted such a move.

"China and the European Union have far more consensus than differences," Wen said.

"We both stand for world multi-polarity and diversity (and) we both believe that major decisions in world affairs should be taken in an open, democratic and transparent manner."

The two sides also agreed to set up a climate change hotline between top environmental officials of the EU and China to help both sides coordinate their positions in global greenhouse gas negotiations, Barroso said.

Barroso and his delegation will leave Beijing on Friday to attend the opening of the World Expo in Shanghai.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Freedom of World Press Lost Ground In 2009: Survey

Jakarta Globe, April 29, 2010

Washington. Press freedom worldwide remained under fire and lost ground for an eighth-straight year in 2009, the non-governmental US watchdog Freedom House said in a report on Thursday.

The largest losses were registered in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Middle East and North Africa.

The Asia-Pacific region in contrast was the only one where overall progress was made in the year, Freedom House said.

Iran saw the worst decline in the Middle East and North Africa on the heels of the controversial June presidential election. North African nations overall lost ground, the report said.

Israel was one of the region’s few outposts of progress; it regained “free” status after it ended restrictions imposed after the war in Gaza in late 2008.

South Africa and Namibia were among the many nations in sub-Saharan Africa with worsening press freedom. They went from a “free” press ranking to “partly free.” Madagascar slid into the “not free” ranks.

In Latin America, the worst cases of lost ground were seen in Mexico and Honduras, while the situation also worsened for news people in Ecuador, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

In Asia, Bangladesh and Bhutan moved from “not free” to “partly free.” And there were improvements in six other countries including India and Indonesia, although not in China.

Russia, according to Freedom House, “remained among the world’s more repressive and most dangerous media environments.”

In Western Europe, a region where most nations have a free press, Italy was ranked “partly free” due to the concentration of media and official interference in state media, the report said.

The 10 countries Freedom House deemed worst in 2009 on press freedom were Belarus, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, Libya, Myanmar, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

“In these states, independent media are either nonexistent or barely able to operate, the press acts as a mouthpiece for the regime, citizens’ access to unbiased information is severely limited, and dissent is crushed through imprisonment, torture, and other forms of repression,” Freedom House said.

Agence France-Presse

Household goods makers get emerging markets lift

Reuters, Jessica Wohl, CHICAGO, Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:30am EDT

(Reuters) - Developing markets were critical for consumer product makers last quarter, as strong sales growth in countries like China helped drive profits while markets such as the United States remain somewhat sluggish.

Anglo-Dutch Unilever Plc (ULVR.L) and U.S. manufacturers Procter & Gamble Co (PG.N) and Colgate-Palmolive Co (CL.N) all posted solid volume growth, albeit based on easy comparisons to a year earlier, when consumers held back on spending.

Unilever (ULVR.L) (UNc.AS), which makes everything from Knorr soups to Dove soap, is seeing "green sprouts" of recovery, Chief Executive Paul Polman said. His company saw robust growth in emerging markets that offset stagnation in some developed regions.

P&G attributed much of its higher-than-expected profit to developing markets. It saw volume rise in all geographic regions, led by double-digit gains in emerging markets such as Brazil and Turkey.

P&G's volume increase was its strongest showing in more than four years.

"The unit volume growth of 7 percent is fantastic," said Edward Jones analyst Jack Russo, who has a "buy" rating on P&G.

P&G's sales were a bit lighter than Wall Street anticipated, but Russo was pleased to see margin improvement even though the company used promotional prices to entice shoppers to try new products.

At Colgate, volume rose 6 percent. The company said its share of the global toothpaste market strengthened, led by share gains in Mexico, Brazil, China, India, Russia, Venezuela and Greece.

Colgate's sales rose 9.5 percent, but profit fell as it took a hefty charge to account for hyper-inflation in Venezuela.

Shares in Unilever rose 3.9 percent to 19.91 pounds in London. In premarket trading in New York, P&G fell 1.5 percent and Colgate shed 1.8 percent.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago and David Jones in London, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

China lifts travel restrictions for HIV carriers

HIV status will no longer be a restriction to travel

China has lifted travel restrictions for foreigners who suffer from HIV and AIDS.

The newly amended law, published on the government website, comes ahead of the opening of the Shanghai World Expo on Saturday, which expects 100m visitors.

WHO welcomed the decision, calling it "a significant step in the right direction".

More than 50 countries around the world still have laws and restrictions for HIV-positive people.

Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, said: "This decision should inspire other nations to change laws and policies that continue to discriminate against people living with HIV.

"Many policies that discriminate against people living with HIV were enacted at a time when AIDS was surrounded by widespread fear and hopelessness.

"With HIV prevention and treatment now saving millions of lives, this is no longer the case. Policies that help curb discrimination can help prevent further transmission," she said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement: "Punitive policies and practices only hamper the global AIDS response.

"I urge all other countries with such restrictions to remove them as a matter of priority and urgency."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lebanese march in Beirut to demand secularism

Protesters responded to a campaign on social networking websites

Hundreds of civil society activists have marched on the Lebanese parliament in an unprecedented rally in Beirut.

The protesters are calling on all Lebanese to help bring an end to the country's divisive sectarian system and replace it with a secular system.

The organisers say it is time to redefine what it means to be Lebanese.

Demonstrators blocked the main road leading to parliament, waving Lebanese flags and chanting "secularism" as security in the city was stepped up.

A leader of the march, which was organised by an independent grassroots movement, Laique Pride, addressed the crowds through a loudspeaker outside the building.

Divided government

"Change must come from us," the organiser said as police set up barricades to prevent protesters from reaching the building in the capital. "Only we citizens can do this."

More than 2,000 people joined the march, news agencies reported.

Kinda Hassan, one of the organisers, told Reuters: "We cannot live in a country where they divide the chairs of the ministers according to their confessions, not their merits."

Organisers say being secular in Lebanon comes second to being a Muslim or a Christian, Shia or Sunni, Catholic or Orthodox, the BBC's Natalia Antelava in Beirut reports.

Eighteen groups make up Lebanon's multi-denominational system, and the civic rights of the members of these groups are determined by their religious leaders rather than the government.

Only religious authorities can register marriages, births or death or rule on matters of inheritance - so all Lebanese end up having different rights.

Muslims, for example, cannot adopt children; Maronite Christians cannot get divorced, and it is impossible for members of different sects to marry each other, while civil marriage is not an option here.

The government, too, is divided. Since independence in 1943, Lebanon's president has always been a Maronite Christian, its prime minister a Sunni Muslim and speaker of parliament a Shia.

Supporters of this unique system say it gives all the religious communities a voice.

But more and more young people point to its failures - chronic instability, weak central government and sectarian tension which has resulted in civil wars in the past.

Related Article:

Young Lebanese demonstrate for secularism in Beirut

'Facebook Became the New Town Hall and Twitter the Fastest Media'

World Bank to reach deal on vote change: sources

Reuters, Ana Nicolaci da Costa, WASHINGTON, Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:30pm EDT

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner addresses a news conference after the first session of the International Monetary Fund/World Bank Spring Meetings at IMF headquarters in Washington April 23, 2010. (Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

(Reuters) - World Bank member countries reached a preliminary agreement on a 3.13 percent shift in voting power to give emerging and developing nations greater influence in the global institution.

World Bank officials, who agreed to talk on condition of anonymity, said the shift would increase the votes of the developing world to 47.19 percent.

"There is a 99 percent chance this (deal) is closed," one World Bank source told Reuters.

The battle over influence at the aid-focused bank is part of efforts to reflect the growing clout of developing economies on the world stage and an important precursor to a similar move on the International Monetary Fund.

The agreement will be confirmed on Sunday when member countries convene at meetings on the World Bank's Development Committee. A final decision will be decided in a vote by member countries.

"Nothing is done until our shareholder countries meet tomorrow at the Development Committee," World Bank spokesman Carl Hanlon said.

Earlier, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn tipped journalists off to a possible World Bank agreement during a news conference, saying "they achieved their shift in quota ... but at least I won't talk on behalf of Mr. Zoellick."

The 3.13 percent shift would amount to a contribution by the parties getting the extra power of about $1.6 billion in resources for the poverty-fighting global institution.

The talks have been difficult because advanced economies, especially those in Europe, have been unwilling to give up some of their voting shares, and the United States is holding on to its veto power.

Smaller European countries have been concerned that even a small change in their voting power would mean a marked reduction in their influence.

Earlier this week, World Bank President Robert Zoellick urged the Bank's 186 member countries to set aside differences to reach an agreement by Sunday, the last day of the IMF and World Bank meetings.

(Writing by Lesley Wroughton; editing by Patrick Graham)

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China gains clout in World Bank vote shift

Geithner: pact agreed on World Bank capital rise

Geithner: give emerging markets more IMF power

Reuters, WASHINGTON, Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:23pm EDT

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (L) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn leave after a family photo of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) at IMF headquarters in Washington April 24, 2010. (Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas)

(Reuters) - Emerging-market economies should be given an increased say in global financial institutions at the cost of rich countries, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Saturday.

In a speech to the International Monetary Fund, Geithner repeated a call for emerging market countries to adopt market-oriented currency exchange rates and said the U.S. would back developing counties in a bid for more IMF power.

He said what was on the table from the developed world in talks on the issue did not go far enough.

"We support a reduction in the size of the Board that preserves the existing number of emerging market and developing country chairs, including a move to all-elected chairs," Geithner said.

A current effort to rejig voting quotas within the IMF "falls short" of what is needed to give an adequate say to developing markets.

(Reporting by Glenn Somerville; editing by Patrick Graham)

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US Geithner Repeats Call For Forex Reform In Emerging Economies

IMF in 'radical' bank tax plans on pay and profits

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Plans for ‘Asean Bourse’ Advance

Jakarta Globe, Ardian Wibisono, April 24, 2010

Indonesia is backing a $1 trillion trading system, but will not be a founding member.

Indonesia has thrown its weight behind plans to establish a common, cross-border stock trading zone linking Southeast Asia’s key equity markets, but it won’t be involved at the outset, the Indonesia Stock Exchange director said.

Reacting to reports that plans were being finalized for a regional trading space to start next year with a market capitalization of over $1 trillion, Eddy Sugito said there were too many problems for Indonesia to jump in early.

Bursa Malaysia chief Yusli Mohamed Yusoff was reported on Friday as saying the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) would be one of five main players in the first few years of the project.

Initial trades on a pilot basis would link the Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok exchanges, with Singapore and the Philippines joining by mid-2011, the Financial Times quoted Yusli as saying. Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange is also backing the project, he said, with Jakarta expected to join within two or three years.

But Eddy warned there could be teething troubles.

“We support the initiative for this single Asean exchange but it is unlikely that we will join during the early stages or by mid-2011 since there are many problems to solve and many issues to discuss,” he said. “For example, we have to deal with the infrastructure first, and several regulations regarding disclosure to prevent disputes among the bourses. We also have not gotten to details like how we would deal with settlements, currencies and so on. We’ll also want to be sure of protection.

“So we will look at progress in the early stages, and if we consider it will be beneficial, we won’t hesitate to join — but it is unlikely to be as early as next year.”

Yusli said it was unlikely the system would evolve into a single exchange involving all 10 Asean countries. But he said the project was “on course to create a common trading space between the region’s leading exchanges that would allow investors to trade across borders easily, potentially creating a new Asean asset class.”

“The idea is to create a system to link the trading engines of the different markets to enable electronic trades to go through seamlessly,” he said.

“Whether we will see a common exchange in the near future in my view is unlikely, but we can certainly look at harmonizing all the rules and standards so we have a market that works more seamlessly across borders.”

The five big Asean exchanges say the idea has been kicked around since 2009. They say a single trading platform with harmonized rules, regulations and practices would make the region’s capital markets more competitive and attractive to foreign funds.

There would not be a separate board for the new trading zone — estimated to cover at least 2,500 companies — and all issues quoted on the exchanges involved would be available for trading. Clearing would be by the home exchanges of the stocks traded, with settlement in local currencies.

Yusli said there was “growing interest in the Asean project among stock exchange chiefs from elsewhere in Asia.” The Tokyo and Seoul stock exchanges said they were interested, but had no plans to join.

“NYSE Technologies, the technology arm of NYSE Euronext, the trans-Atlantic exchange that owns the New York Stock Exchange, is developing software designed to link the exchanges to brokers in all the countries involved,” the Financial Times reported.

Asia-Pacific news agencies vow to join TV business

Antara News, Saturday, April 24, 2010 13:39 WIB

Seoul (ANTARA News) - At least 40 news agencies across Asia and the Pacific have vowed to join the television business, something seen as unavoidable in the future.

The commitment was made in `Seoul Declaration,` released by news agency members of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) at the conclusion of their Summit Congress in Seoul, Friday.

The declaration was signed by OANA President Dr. Ahmad Mukhlis Yusuf and South Korean News Agency`s President Dr. Park Jung-chan.

The congress, attended by some 100 heads and executives of OANA members and observers, was opened on Wednesday by South Korean Prime Minister Chung Un-chan and the closing ceremony was attended by Minister of Sports and Tourism Yu In-chon.

President Lee Myung-bak also received the chief delegates at his palace, the Blue House, earlier Wednesday.

In the declaration read out by Yonhap President , it was stated that OANA members recommended to expand content exchanges to include news materials in the form of video and audio-clips, TV programs and interactive graphics. Such measures were required to meet the growing subscriber demand for an ever greater variety of contents.

The 43 news agency members of the OANA from 35 countries also agreed to `strengthen a system through which information on new services can be shared at all times between member agencies in order to meet subscribers` needs in multimedia format.

"We are committed to sharing the best practices among members in facing difficulties and in dealing with crisis in newsrooms and management," the declaration added.

In the other part of the declaration, it is mentioned that OANA members will continue to support the core values of Freedom of the Press and Ethical Journalism.

Particularly they urged governments to implement safety measures to protect the lives of journalists who put their lives at risk working in conflict zones and war-torn regions.

Unavoidable trend

Meanwhile, news agency expert Dr. J. Oliver Boyd-Barrett , professor of journalism at Bowling Green State University, Ohio, the United States, responding to questions by ANTARA, said that it was unavoidable for news agencies to get involved in television because of future demands.

News agencies, he added, will have to cater for other platforms of services to include cootage of news contents, mobile phone and even i-Pod.

Dr. Boyd-Barret said that the trend of news agencies to expand their services to television was not something new because Reuters and Associated Press had already started their television coverage for more than 10 years.

On the possibility of news agencies to expand to television broadcasting, he said they might do so especially for bigger and financially capable news agencies. Only conflicts might also arise with the existing stations, especially with state television stations due to open competition with them.

However, he added that CNN has become a "news agency" as it also cater for customized demands from subscribers.

OANA was established in 1961 under the initiative of UNESCO to facilitate direct information exchanges between the news agencies in the region.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

China’s Former Richest Man Goes on Trial for Corruption in Beijing

Jakarta Globe, April 22, 2010

Former Gome Appliances chairman Huang Guangyu could face up to 15 years in prison.

Beijing. A home appliance dealer, once China’s wealthiest businessman, went on trial on Thursday on charges of insider trading, bribery and other business offenses, a state news agency said.

Huang Guangyu, also known as Wong Kwong-yu, built his Gome Electronics into China’s biggest appliance retailer. Estimated to be worth $6.3 billion at one time, he was detained in November 2008 and news reports said he was accused of manipulating share prices.

On Thursday, Huang’s trial began in the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate Court, the Xinhua News Agency said. There were no details of the charges or evidence against him.

Court employees referred questions to the court’s propaganda office, where phone calls were not answered.

Huang resigned as Gome’s chairman in January 2009. Chinese news reports say he could face a maximum of 15 years in prison if convicted.

Huang’s rise and even faster fall reflected the uncertain status of entrepreneurs in China’s fast-changing economy.

A string of newly rich real estate developers and others have also been snared in a number of corruption cases.

Authorities in Hong Kong, a Chinese territory with its own legal system, are investigating accusations Huang diverted money from a Gome share buyback to pay a personal loan. Regulators say that cost Gome and its shareholders 1.6 billion Hong Kong dollars ($206 million).

Hong Kong has frozen assets belong to Huang and his wife, Du Juan, also under investigation.

Associated Press

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Challenges facing multipolar global economy

The Jakarta Post, Robert Zoellick, Jakarta | Wed, 04/21/2010 9:50 AM | Opinion

If 1989 saw the end of the “Second World” with Communism’s demise, then 2009 saw the end of what was known as the “Third World”: We are now in a new, fast-evolving multipolar world economy – where North and South, East and West, are now points on a compass, not economic destinies.

Poverty remains and must be addressed. Failed states remain and must be addressed. Global challenges are intensifying and must be addressed. But the manner in which we must address these issues is shifting. The outdated categorizations of First and Third Worlds, donor and supplicant, leader and led, no longer fit.

Today, we already see the strains in multilateralism. The Doha World Trade Organization round and the climate change talks in Copenhagen revealed how hard it will be to share mutual benefits and responsibilities between developed and developing countries.

And this will be the case for a host of other looming challenges: water; diseases; migration; demographics; and fragile and post-conflict states.

It is no longer possible to solve big international issues without developing country buy-in. But in discovering a new forum in the G20, we can’t impose a new, inflexible hierarchy.

Nor can we address this changing world through the prism of the old G7; developed country interests, even if well-intentioned, cannot represent the perspective of the emerging economies.

But modernizing multilateralism isn’t all about developed countries learning to adapt to the needs of rising powers. With power comes responsibility. Developing countries need to recognize that they are now part of the global architecture and have an interest in healthy multilateralism.

We cannot afford geo-politics as usual. A “New Geopolitics of Multipolar Economy” needs to share responsibility while recognizing different perspectives and circumstances, so as to build mutual interests. Take financial reform: Of course we need better financial regulation. But beware of unintended consequences like financial protectionism.

Regulations agreed in Brussels, London, Paris or Washington might work for big banks but could choke off economic opportunity and growth in developing countries.

Wall Street has exposed the dangers of financial recklessness, and we need to take heed and serious actions.

But financial innovation, when used and supervised prudently, has brought efficiency gains and protected against risk, including for development. A G7 populist prism can undercut opportunities for billions.

Take climate change: It can be linked to development and win support from developing countries for low carbon growth – but not if it is imposed as a straitjacket. Developing countries need support and finance to invest in cleaner growth paths. 1.6 billion people lack access to electricity.

While we must take care of the environment, we cannot consign African children to homework by candlelight or deny African workers manufacturing jobs.

The challenge is to support transitions to cleaner energy without sacrificing access, productivity, and growth that can pull hundreds of millions out of poverty.

Take crisis response: In a world in transition, the danger is that developed countries focus on summits for financial systems, or concentrate on the mismanagement of developed countries such as Greece. Developing countries need summits for the poor. Hearing the developing country perspective is no longer just a matter of charity or solidarity: It is self-interest.

These developing countries are now sources of growth and importers of capital goods and developed countries’ services. Developing countries do not just want to discuss high debt in developed countries; they want to focus on productive investments in infrastructure and early childhood development. They want to have free markets to create jobs, higher productivity and growth.

This new world requires multilateral institutions that are fast, flexible, and accountable, that can give voice to the voiceless with resources at the ready.

The World Bank Group must reform to help play this role. And it must do so continually at an ever quicker pace.

This is why we have launched the most comprehensive reforms in the institution’s history, including boosting developing country voting rights and representation.

Yet problems need resources to fix them. The World Bank needs more resources to support renewed growth and to make a modernized multilateralism work in this new multipolar world economy.

Should the recovery falter, we would have to stand on the sidelines. This is why the World Bank is seeking its first capital increase in more than 20 years.

In the new multipolar global economy, most governmental authority will still reside with nation-states. But many decisions and sources of influence flow around, through, and beyond governments.

Modern multilateralism must bring in new players, build cooperation among actors old and new, and harness global and regional institutions to help address threats and seize opportunities that surpass the capacities of individual states.

Modern multilateralism will not be a hierarchical system but look more like the global sprawl of the Internet, interconnecting more and more countries, companies, individuals, and NGOs through a flexible network.

Legitimate and effective multilateral institutions, such as the World Bank Group, can form an interconnecting tissue, reaching across the skeletal architecture of this dynamic, multipolar system. We must support the rise of multiple poles of growth that can benefit all.

Modern multilateralism must bring in new players, build cooperation among actors old and new, and harness global and regional institutions

The writer is World Bank President.

Foreign firms to pledge not to give bribes in Russia

BBC News, by Konstantin Rozhnov, Business reporter

There have been several bribery scandals in Russia recently

Dozens of international firms doing business in Russia are to pledge not to offer bribes, in a move aimed at fighting corruption collectively.

The accord, to be signed at an official ceremony on Wednesday, was initiated by the companies, not the Kremlin, said the Russian-German Chamber of Commerce.

Anti-corruption group Transparency International has said bribery in Russia is worth $300bn (£462bn) a year.

Two recent bribery scandals in Russia have involved foreign firms.

The agreement was praised by Russian presidential adviser Arkady Dvorkovich.

"We are glad that foreign companies have heard us and are ready to help us fight corruption," he told Russian business daily Vedomosti.

Among more than 50 predominantly German companies which are set to sign the agreement are Siemens, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Bahn and Axel Springer AG.

Bribery scandals

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has declared fighting corruption to be one of the main goals of his presidency.

Last week he signed a decree outlining his government's approach to tackling the problem.

Recently there have been two high-profile bribery scandals in Russia involving international companies.

Russian, German and US authorities are investigating whether US computer company Hewlett-Packard paid millions of dollars in bribes to win a big contract in Russia several years ago.

A spokesperson for Hewlett-Packard said last week that HP would "continue to fully co-operate with the authorities investigating this matter".

"This is an investigation of alleged conduct that occurred almost seven years ago, largely by employees no longer with HP," the spokesperson said.

Also, German carmaker Daimler agreed to pay $185m to settle a US corruption case involving offences committed in Russia.

However, the chairman of the Russian-German Chamber of Commerce, Michael Harms, called it "a coincidence" that international companies would sign the anti-bribery agreement only days after Mr Mededev unveiled the recent official policy and the two bribery scandals became public.

"We have been working on it [the agreement] for half a year, we would not be able to do it just in a week," he told the BBC.

'Corruption racketeering'

Mr Harms said that German companies doing business in Russia were the first to lay down the collective measures against corruption, although the ceremony on Wednesday will also be attended by representatives from European and US businesses.

He admitted that the task of tackling corruption in Russia was a difficult one, but said that it could be achieved "in the long run".

Elena Panfilova, head of Transparency International in Russia, said that the anti-bribery agreement was "good rather than bad".

She added, however, that any company working in Russia could find itself in a situation when it did not want to give bribes but was forced to do so if it wanted to carry on doing business. The agreement would not solve situations such as these, she said.

Robert Mitchell, head of enhanced due diligence for Europe, Middle East and Africa at risk specialist World-Check, said that governments were responsible for dealing with the problem of corrupt officials.

"They [governments] have to practice what they preach," he said.

Mr Mitchell added that the way to try to solve the problem in Russia was to follow in the footsteps of western countries and blacklist individuals and companies who were responsible for receiving bribes.

Different traditions

Traditions different from those in Russia, as well as tougher laws in their home markets, could be the reason why, according to Mr Harms, foreign companies have been much more eager to join the anti-bribery initiative than Russian firms.

Several corruption scandals involving international companies working in Russia became public not as a result of Russian officials' moves, but after prosecutors in Western countries took action.

"Western companies think that even if things remain hidden in Russia, they will be uncovered at home," said Ms Panfilova.

"In Russia, it is a different story."

Most experts agree that foreign companies' readiness not to offer bribes in Russia is a good sign, but it will not be enough to eradicate corruption any time soon.

Mr Harms believes that this time the companies signing the agreement have managed to come up with a mechanism to fight corruption on day-to-day basis.

But critics say it is not yet clear whether declarations of intention will be followed by effective actions.

History shows that in terms of successfully fighting corruption in Russia, not a lot has been achieved so far.

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