|Tuesday 26th of April 2016
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Remarks by President Obama in Address to the People of Europe
Law & Politics
you've treated me and Michelle and our daughters to wonderful
hospitality. You've offered me excellent beer -- (laughter) -- and
weisswurst in Krun. You've now hosted our delegation here in
My only regret is that I have never been to Germany for Oktoberfest.
And I want to begin with an observation that, given the challenges
that we face in the world and the headlines we see every day, may seem
improbable, but it’s true. We are fortunate to be living in the most
peaceful, most prosperous, most progressive era in human history.
That may surprise young people who are watching TV or looking at your
phones and it seems like only bad news comes through every day. But
consider that it’s been decades since the last war between major
powers. More people live in democracies. We’re wealthier and
healthier and better educated, with a global economy that has lifted
up more than a billion people from extreme poverty, and created new
middle classes from the Americas to Africa to Asia. Think about the
health of the average person in the world -- tens of millions of lives
that we now save from disease and infant mortality, and people now
living longer lives.
Around the world, we’re more tolerant -- with more opportunity for
women, and gays and lesbians, as we push back on bigotry and
prejudice. And around the world, there’s a new generation of young
people -- like you -- that are connected by technology, and driven by
your idealism and your imagination, and you're working together to
start new ventures, and to hold governments more accountable, and
advance human dignity.
If you had to choose a moment in time to be born, any time in human
history, and you didn't know ahead of time what nationality you were
or what gender or what your economic status might be, you'd choose
today -- which isn't to say that there is not still enormous suffering
and enormous tragedy and so much work for us to do. It is to remember
that the trajectory of our history over the last 50, 100 years has
been remarkable. And we can't take that for granted, and we should
take confidence in our ability to be able to shape our own destiny.
And you see increasing intolerance in our politics. And loud voices
get the most attention. This reminds me of the poem by the great
Irish poet W.B. Yeats, where the best lack all conviction, and the
worst are full of passionate intensity.
Perhaps you need an outsider, somebody who is not European, to remind
you of the magnitude of what you have achieved. The progress that I
described was made possible in large measure by ideals that originated
on this continent in a great Enlightenment and the founding of new
republics. Of course, that progress didn’t travel a straight line.
As Adenauer said in those early days, “European unity was a dream of a
few. It became a hope for [the] many. Today it is a necessity for
all of us.” (Applause.)
As you go forward, you can be confident that your greatest ally and
friend, the United States of America, stands with you,
shoulder-to-shoulder, now and forever. Because a united Europe --
once the dream of a few -- remains the hope of the many and a
necessity for us all.
Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)
12:11 P.M. CEST
Its incredible how he has triangulated Boris Johnson on Brexit and he
is brilliant and having Folks look up and not down.
And of course I like the fact he mentioned one of my favourite Poems
The Second Coming BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS
Law & Politics
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
China criticizes U.S. warplanes' operation near Hangman Island
Law & Politics
China's Ministry of National Defense on Monday responded to media
reports that six U.S. Air Force planes performed a flight mission in
"international airspace" in the vicinity of Huangyan Island in the
South China Sea on April 19.
"We have noticed such reports, and it should be pointed out that the
U.S. is pushing militarization of the South China Sea in the name of
'Freedom of Navigation,'" the ministry's Information Bureau said in a
China is concerned about and opposed to such actions which threaten
the sovereignty and security of countries around the South China Sea
and undermine regional peace and stability, it stressed.
Huangyan Island is China's inherent territory and the Chinese military
will take all necessary measures to safeguard national sovereignty and
security, it added.
US needs to bite and not just Bark.
Billionaire Farmers Reap Fortunes From Russia Food Sanctions
Russia’s geopolitical conflicts, anemic oil prices and weakened ruble
are working out rather well for the country’s biggest publicly traded
Ros Agro Plc has ambitious plans to build pig farms and greenhouses in
central and eastern Russia, as well as for acquisitions, by selling
Its aim for the first Russian offering of new stock in London since
October illustrates a wider renaissance for the nation’s farms as
billionaires from Vladimir Evtushenkov to Gennady Timchenko, friend of
President Vladimir Putin, invest in tomatoes and apple trees. It also
marks the curious consequences of Russia’s worst falling out with the
U.S. since the Cold War.
Ros Agro, owned by Vadim Moshkovich, another billionaire, will raise
$250 million to fund investments and help fill a void left by falling
food imports after tit-for-tat trade sanctions between Russia and
western nations, and a weak ruble that raises prices of shipments from
“The company is going to invest aggressively and grow,” said
Svyatoslav Arsenov, who helps oversee about $300 million including a
Ros Agro stake at UralSib Asset Management in Moscow. “The devaluation
of the ruble has made the sector very attractive from the perspective
of money generation.”
Republic of Congo Seeks Arrest of Former Ninjas Militia Leader @business
The Republic of Congo has issued an arrest warrant for a former rebel
leader known as Pastor Ntumi, who’s being held responsible for a gun
battle in the capital, Brazzaville, that killed 17 people earlier this
Ntumi, whose real name is Frederic Bintsamou, is wanted for
assassination and illegal possession of weapons, according to a copy
of the warrant signed by the nation’s prosecutor, Andre Gakala.
Bintsamou has denied involvement in the attack.
Gunmen opened fire on police stations and military checkpoints in
neighborhoods that are considered opposition strongholds in the early
morning of April 4. The government blamed former militia members known
as the Ninjas of orchestrating the attack. The Ninjas were active in
the 1997-1999 civil war and a 2002 insurgency in the southern Pool
Eyewitnesses told Amnesty International that shortly after the
violence in Brazzaville attack helicopters destroyed a house in Pool
where Bintsamou used to live, according to a statement on the website
of the London-based rights group last week. Schools and churches were
damaged in the raid and an unidentified number of people were killed.
The oil-producing nation held elections last month that were won by
President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has ruled for 18 consecutive years
following the civil war. His candidacy was contested by the
opposition, which led protests against a referendum last year that
allowed Sassou Nguesso to change the constitution and run again.
Analysis: Has Mozambique already squandered its natural gas bonanza? SIMON ALLISON Daily Maverick
Mozambique has spent much of the last decade borrowing against its
future. The debts are now coming due, but the natural gas that was
supposed to pay for the multibillion dollar loans is yet to come
online. Has the country, through its dodgy tuna bonds, over-extended
By using its newfound natural resources as implied collateral,
Mozambique started taking on massive, multibillion dollar loans from
investors who were suddenly eager to speculate – especially with the
generous returns on offer. The money taps opened, and foreign currency
sloshed into the country.
A graph of Mozambique’s debt-to-GDP ratio over the last 10 years tells
the story. Flatlining since 2005 at an average of about 22%, in 2008
it angles up sharply as the government takes on more and more debt. As
of earlier this year, Mozambique owed the equivalent of 58.3% of its
GDP in debt.
And then, this week, another bombshell: after media reports exposed
the cover-up, the government confirmed that it had been hiding even
more debt, to the tune of $1.35-billion. Like a shopping addict
hoarding credit cards, Mozambique has been borrowing money in secret.
Mozambique’s discovery of natural gas was meant to usher in a new era
of prosperity for the country. And while GDP growth has been
impressive over the last few years, it has been fuelled by a massive
amount of borrowed money – not all which has been spent wisely. The
dodgy tuna bond, and the hidden debt, suggests a government living
well above its means, treating loans like free money. But money is
never free, and it is ordinary Mozambicans who will ultimately pay the
Barclays ex-CEO Bob Diamond eyes bid for Africa unit with Carlyle -source
Former Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond is teaming up with private
equity group Carlyle to prepare a bid to buy the bank's African
operations, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.
Diamond is looking to structure a deal to acquire Barclays' 62 percent
stake in Barclays Africa Group Limited via his investment vehicle
Atlas Merchant Capital, set up to invest in financial services after
he left the UK-based bank.
Carlyle and Atlas Merchant declined to comment.
Barclays on March 1 said it would sell down its stake in the business,
to focus instead on a new 'transatlantic' strategy. Sky News first
reported the proposed deal on Sunday.
Kenyan banks on high alert as Ethiopia relaxes entry rules @dailynation
The April 5 2016 decision by the Ethiopian Parliament to relax
restriction on foreign financial institutions into its markets is
being seen as a watershed moment in the unfolding story of the
country’s economic transformation currently underway.
Ethiopia’s Parliament made the amendments to the stringent rules as it
paved the way for the nation to join the African Trade Insurance (ATI)
after the signing of a treaty with the continental body.
Following the move, ATI CEO George Otieno, said the pan African
insurer will set up base in Ethiopia by June this year once the
administrative procedures are completed by the Ethiopian Government.
“In general, membership to ATI will help Ethiopia to attract
much-needed trade and investments. In 2015, we supported $1.7 billion
worth of insured trade and investments within our member countries and
since inception in 2001, we’ve supported $21.5 billion worth of
investments and trade. We are very proud of this achievement,” Mr
Otieno said in interview.
Smart Company had by the time of going to press not received a
clarification from the Ethiopian Treasury through its Ethiopian
Embassy in Nairobi on whether the amended provisions apply to foreign
participation of multilateral development finance institutions such as
Tunis-based PTA Bank, Cairo-based Afrexim Bank and now Nairobi-based
ATI only, or whether it represents a total opening for all foreign
financial institutions including commercial banks.
But experts nevertheless termed the move a good signal for Kenyan
banks who have been eyeing a piece of the Ethiopian market.
“I think this is one of the smoke signals. If Ethiopia is serious
about joining the World Trade Organisation then that will mark the
‘Open Sesame’ moment,” said Nairobi-based analyst and Rich Management
CEO Aly Khan Satchu.
Several Kenyan financial institutions have over the years expressed
their desire to join the Ethiopian market. They include Cooperative
Bank of Kenya, KCB Group and Standard Bank Group which trades under
the CFC Stanbic brand in Kenya.
HFC Limited reports a +46.816% acceleration H1 2016 PAT here
a 12 per cent loan book expansion to Sh53.4 billion
HFC Limited Q1 2016 through 31st March 2016 vs 31st March 2015
Q1 Net interest income 1.001753b vs. 0.782521b +28.016%
Q1 Total operating income 1.243564b vs. 0.950996b +30.764%
Q1 Total other operating expenses [0.773102b] vs. [0.671220b] +15.179%
Q1 Profit after tax and exceptional items 470.462m vs. 320.444m +46.816%
EPS 3.75 vs. 2.54 +47.638%
25-APR-2016 Atlas African Industries Ltd :: Profit Warning Announcement.
In compliance with the Fifth Schedule of the Continuing Obligations of
the Capital Markets (Securities) (public Offers, Listing and
Disclosures) Regulations 2002, as amended, Atlas hereby issues a
profit warning due to the likelihood that the Company’s earnings for
the 18 months ended 31st December 2015 will be more than 25% lower
than last audited results to 30th June 2014. This follows guidance
given by the Company in relation to expected revenue and loss in
public announcements made on 17th July and 17th September 2015.
Accordingly, the significant decrease in earnings relate primarily to
accounting adjustments relating to restructuring of the Group, which
are being confirmed by the audit process, and which were previously
announced in public announcements by the Company.
As announced previously the Kenyan business, which was the majority of
the trading activity, has been liquidated due to the global economic
environment, in particular the curtailment of investment in the oil
and gas sector.
It is important to note the current reporting period was increased to
18 months, and these results are being compared with 12 month audited
to 30th June 2014. This is as per the public announcement made on 27
February 2015 relating to the change in reporting periods.
The Company expects to release the audited 18 month audited accounts
on or before 29 April 2016.
The Company continues to trade positively, in-line with recent public updates