Monthly Archives: June 2011

Lagarde becomes first woman to lead IMF

By Liz Alderman As predicted just over a month ago on these pages (March 23, 2011), French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has become the first woman to be appointed to the helm of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), taking on one of the most powerful positions in global finance as a worsening crisis in Greece threatens the euro currency union and rattles financial markets worldwide. Mrs Lagarde’s victory was sealed when the U.S. Treasury secretary Timothy F. Geithner said the United States would endorse her over the Mexican central bank governor Agustín Carstens — her only competitor for the job. “Minister Lagarde’s exceptional talent and broad experience will provide invaluable … Continue reading

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Greek PM survives vote of confidence

Prime Minister George Papandreou of Greece won a crucial vote of confidence late Tuesday, with all 155 lawmakers of the Socialist party expressing their support for his beleaguered government, significantly above the absolute majority of 151 votes required by Greece’s 300-seat Parliament.   The vote averts early elections and a stalled government at a critical moment. Now, Mr. Papandreou must face an even bigger challenge, when Parliament votes next week on a slate of measures that includes tax hikes, wage cuts and state privatization. The steps were required by the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund before the next segment of aid that Greece needs … Continue reading

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I have legal authority to continue air war on Libya – Obama

US President Barack Obama rejected the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department when he decided that he had the legal authority to continue American military participation in the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization, according to officials familiar with internal administration deliberations. Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon general counsel, and Caroline D. Krass, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, had told the White House that they believed that the United States military’s activities in the NATO-led air war amounted to “hostilities.” Under the War Powers Resolution, that would have required Mr. Obama to terminate or scale back the mission … Continue reading

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Americans don’t deserve venomous response stirred-up by their politicians

  OPINION: There are many who see the world as we once knew it, shifting strangely out of focus as though a deviant gene had infected our little planet with a rogue species able to enter unhindered into the control rooms of the strongest defences of our civilization. Over the years, we have enjoyed much wonderfully imagined science fiction with aliens from outer space attacking our hard won freedoms but this attack is much closer to home. For example, in the Pentagon, decisions are being made that at times seem to come from a madhouse. How else to explain the gusto with which they spend and spend their fellow citizens’ … Continue reading

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John Edwards charged with using state funds to pretect extramarital affair

John Edwards, the former Democratic senator from North Carolina, pleaded not guilty to charges that he conspired to cover up an extramarital affair while running for president in 2008 by “secretly obtaining,” misusing and misreporting certain campaign contributions in violation of federal law. He entered his plea at the federal courthouse in Winston-Salem on Friday afternoon, setting the stage for a trial to begin July 11. When the judge read him his list of rights, including the right to remain silent, Mr. Edwards, who was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004 and twice a candidate for president, said: “Your honour, I’m an attorney. I’m aware of that.” Later, outside … Continue reading

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Long arm of the law finally catches up with ‘Butcher of Srebrenica’

The long arm of the law finally caught up with the Butcher of Srebrenica, Ratko Mladic, when he was arraigned in court Friday to answer charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Having been on the run from the law for 16 years, Gen Mladic was defiant, reminding all that he was an army general who never lost a battle and denying the charges against him as being “obnoxious” and “monstrous.” “The whole world knows who I am. I am General Ratko Mladic,” he said at the end of his first appearance, a tense 100 minutes. He went on to say: “I defended my people, my country … now … Continue reading

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