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28 Mar
2017

EU leaders celebrate 60th anniversary of Treaty of Rome and maybe a new vision

ITALY (WNF) - European Union leaders convene in Rome to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community (EEC), the forerunner of the European Union. The leaders hope to unveil a new vision for the ailing bloc for when it is down to 27 members, following Britain’s exit.
The quest for a revitalization formula began at an informal summit in Bratislava in 2016, and continued at a second summit, in Valletta, in Feb 2017.

The quest promises to be monumental because the body is in crisis. It is enduring the worst migrant crisis since World War II, an upswing in terrorist attacks, lean times and continuing disagreements about border security and refugee quotas. The weakening combination coincides with the rise of Eurosceptic political parties in several member countries

Belgium, France, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands signed the Treaty of Rome in Rome on Mar 25, 1957. #21984 Published: 01/04/2017

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29 Mar
2017

Mali’s state of emergency due to end

MALI (WNF) - The West African country’s state of emergency is due to end, but violence in the northeast might prompt another unanimous extension by the parliament. The emergency was declared in Nov 2015 after jihadists stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako killing 20 people, mostly foreigners, in an attack claimed by Al-Qaeda affiliates.
Tuareg rebellions in the north, along with attacks by Islamists, have compounded Mali’s instability since independence in 1960. The rebels seized control of northern Mali, declaring independence in 2012. In the same year, jihadists captured the main northern cities. They destroyed many Muslim shrines that offend their puritan views, including the world-renowned mausoleums in Timbuktu.

The vote for the extension of the state of emergency, which gives security services greater powers and restricts public gatherings, came as renewed violence broke out in the northeast, where local sources said former Tuareg rebels were battling members of a pro-government armed group for control of the city. The French news agency AFP, which reported the extension, notes that although the Islamists were largely ousted by an ongoing French-led military operation launched in January 2013, sporadic assaults from desert hideouts are common. #21755 Published: 08/03/2016

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29 Mar
2017

Attendance thin again at Arab League summit?

JORDAN (WNF) - King Abdullah II hosts Arab leaders in Amman near the 30th anniversary of the League’s historic agreement to readmit Egypt to the fold. He will have 22 leaders if he has a full house, but the summits are notable for absenteeism – and also for rifts over regional conflicts and concerns.
In Nov 1987, the late King Hussein headed an extraordinary summit in Amman that ended the Arab boycott of Egypt, which was implemented after Cairo signed a unilateral peace treaty with Israel in 1979.

Al Monitor reports that Abdullah will appeal for help from the leaders. According to the regional publication, the presence of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in Jordan has worsened the country’s economic woes.

Only seven leaders attended the 2016 summit in Mauritania, which was cut to one day because of the low turnout. Abdullah himself was a no-show, as was Egypt’s president Abdel-Fatah el-Sisi, despite the election in Mar 2016 of former Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit as the new secretary-general of the organization. Saudi King Salman and his powerful son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, were noticeably absent. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and the leaders of Tunisia and Algeria also failed to turn up.

The newer issues for the leaders include the potential triumph of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his more than 5-year-old civil war, as well as possible changes favoring Israel in the United States’ policy on East Jerusalem and West Bank settlements under the country’s new president, Donald Trump.

Al Monitor notes that Arab League summits have a poor track record of success, usually underlining rifts rather than accord. Agreement is widest on the so-called Israel-Palestine two-state solution, though some states back Hamas and others back Fatah, the rival Palestinian powers. The leaders also condemn Islamic extremism, but assign blame differently. #21982 Published: 01/04/2017

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29 Mar
2017

Britain formally fires starting gun on Brexit negotiations

UNITED KINGDOM (GN) - British prime minister Theresa May will formally trigger Article 50, the mechanism for starting negotiations for Britain to leave the European Union, on this date.
A Downing Street spokesman confirmed earlier this month that May would write a letter to the European Council on Mar 29, putting the UK on course to leave the EU on the same date in 2019. The spokesman added that May hoped negotiations on the terms of exit and future relations could then begin as soon as possible.

In response to the news, European council president Donald Tusk tweeted: “Within 48 hours of the UK triggering Article 50, I will present the draft Brexit guidelines to the EU27 Member States.”

Mr Tusk has already said he expects to call an extraordinary summit of the 27 other members within four to six weeks, to draw up a mandate for the European Commission’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier. Under this scenario, it is likely that talks will begin in earnest in May.

Under the Article 50 process, talks are not allowed to begin until the UK formally informs the EU of its departure. Two years of intense negotiations are allowed for in the official timetable.

No 10 said there were no plans for an early general election to take place after the triggering of Article 50. #22102 Published: 03/20/2017

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29 Mar
2017

ISU World Figure Skating Championships a tryout for 2018 Olympics

FINLAND (WNF) - Helsinki hosts the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017, the qualifying event for the 2018 Winter Olympics. The contest sees French, Canadian, Spanish and Russian champions defending their 2016 titles, and an anti-trust skirmish between the ISU (International Skating Union) and the European Commission (EC).
France’s Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron were placed first in Ice Dance at the 2016 ISU World Championships, held in the United States. The Canadian pair, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford won the pairs competition. Spanish skater Javier Fernandez won the men’s competition, and Russia’s Evgenia Medvedeva won the women’s.

NBC Sports noted after the 2016 championship that of the 12 women’s medals awarded at the 2014 Olympics and 2014, 2015 and 2016 Worlds, half have been earned by six different Russians. The broadcaster observed that the results speak to Russia’s utter dominance but also its incredible turnover at the top.

The ISU-European Commission skirmish centres on the European Commission’s anti-trust investigation of the ISU’s eligibility rules prohibiting skaters from participating in unauthorised events that are not on the ISU international calendar. The ISU plans to argue that the specific nature of sports governance as applied in its rules is perfectly compliant with European Union competition law.

The ISU describes the championship as the most prestigious and important international figure skating competition of the year. Figure skaters in one of four disciplines –men, ladies, pairs and ice dance – are entered into the championships by country. Each country's skating association may enter one or more skater/team in each event if their skaters performed well at the previous year's world championships. #21842 Published: 09/28/2016

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31 Mar
2017

Old NATO headquarters turns 50 near inauguration date for the new

BELGIUM (WNF) - NATO opened its present headquarters 50 years ago. The anniversary offers a symbolic target for inaugurating the Alliance’s vast new palace of steel and glass in Brussels, but it plans instead to hold off the ribbon-cutting until NATO leaders are on hand for their summit in May.
The architects who won the design contract, SOM+ASSAR, describe the shape of the new building as evoking fingers interlaced in a symbolic clasp of unity. Set on a 41-hectare campus, the building includes a highly secure data centre and 245,000 square metres of office, conference and recreational space. It provides each member nation with embassy-level security and privacy while also offering communal spaces where delegates can convene.

NATO leaders decided to replace NATO headquarters with the new purpose-built building at the Washington summit in 1999. By 2003 it was clear that estimates were inadequate to accommodate the facility’s ambitious scale, unique winged design and extreme cybersecurity requirements.

Whenever it happens, the inauguration will be overdue. Massive cost overruns and the financial difficulties of the construction consortium, the BAM Alliance, have caused many delays to the completion of the building.

Der Spiegel reported in Jan 2014 that the construction consortium was in financial difficulties and the project was at risk of being halted. The setback was an embarrassment for outgoing NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen, according to the report. BAM Alliance was seeking an additional €245 million to complete the project, with a delay of at least nine months.

Spiegel notes that it quickly became clear at a meeting of representatives of all 28 NATO states on Dec 19, 2013, that there was no question of the project being halted. Many delegates, including the Germans, said they favoured providing additional funds. “We pointed to the disastrous effect on the image of the alliance if construction were to stop and if NATO appeared to be incapable of punctually completing a construction,” the German ambassador, Martin Erdmann, told Berlin in a confidential cable reported by Spiegel. Erdmann warned of the risk of a further cost increase, adding that the additional costs were the lesser evil. #21701 Updated: 02/13/2017 UPDATED 12 Feb to include news that 2017 summit will be held at the new HQ

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31 Mar
2017

British prime minister lays out Brexit timeline

UNITED KINGDOM (WNF) - Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May set the end of March as the start of the two-year process that will take Britain out of the European Union. The nation voted to leave the 28-nation bloc in Jun 2016.
To exit, Britain has to invoke an agreement called Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which gives both sides two years to negotiate the terms of the split. The government must also enact a Great Repeal Bill, which will end the primacy of EU law in Britain.

The Supreme Court ruled on Jan 24 that parliament’s House of Commons would need to approve triggering Article 50, and on Feb 1 the lawmakers voted 498-114 to set it in motion.

Under the deal offered by the May government on Feb 7, MPs will get a vote on any agreement struck with EU negotiators during the Article 50 process, to take place before any Brexit agreement is voted on by the European Parliament, but it will be a take-it-or-leave-it vote. The European Observer explains that if parliament rejects the deal, the UK will leave the EU anyway and would fall back to trading with the bloc on the basis of World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

May announced the timeline on the opening day of the Conservative conference in Birmingham in 2016. It was her first major speech since the party chose her as leader to replace David Cameron, a casualty of the so-called Brexit vote.

The prime minister said the government would strike a deal with the EU as an “independent, sovereign” nation, and stressed that that there would be no deal on immigration to keep the UK in the single market. #21849 Updated: 02/12/2017 UPDATED 12 Feb to include Supreme Court and parliament vote

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31 Mar
2017

NATO foreign ministers meet at earlier date with populism and Balkans on agenda

BELGIUM (WNF) - NATO foreign ministers meet in Brussels to grapple with populism in the West and backsliding in the Balkans at an earlier date to accommodate U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s schedule.
In the context of U.S. President Donald Trump's opinion that NATO is "obsolete," the news in March that Tillerson would not be attending the meeting at its original April date was read as a snub. Resetting the NATO meeting for Mar 31 appears to have cleared Tillerson’s scheduling conflicts.

Anti-establishment populism is undeniably on the rise across the West, according to a recent NATO Review report, with implications for the solidarity of the Alliance. The report observes that Brexit, the recent United States election and the ascendancy of movements such as Italy’s Five Stars on the left and Germany’s right-wing Alternative für Deutschland reflect a “rejection of old orthodoxies and with them political elites and institutions.” Russia is encouraging the trend, according to the report.

Next door in France, polls see National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen, a far-right populist, within striking distance of winning the French presidential election on Apr 23. She has vowed to withdraw the country, which only rejoined the Alliance in 2009 following a 43-year absence, from NATO. Across the Atlantic, the new populist U.S. president, Donald Trump, has deemed the Alliance “obsolete.” His Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is likely to be at the April meeting, has professed full support for the Alliance, but is believed to be losing his voice in the Trump administration.

A second recent NATO Review report complains of “Backsliding in the Western Balkans,” with rising political and military tensions that imperil hard-won stability. Albania and Croatia joined NATO in 2009 and Montenegro was invited to join in Dec 2015. The other countries in the region are members of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. #22092 Updated: 03/28/2017 UPDATED MAR 27 TO SHOW DATE CHANGE FROM APRIL TO MARCH

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Apr
2017

Refurbishment of Buckingham Palace begins

UNITED KINGDOM (WNF) - A 10-year project to refit Buckingham Palace, the London residence of Queen Elizabeth II, is due to begin. The governing Conservative Party has given the monarch a 66 per cent pay rise to fund the £369 million project. (April 2017
Britain’s Guardian newspaper reports that the opposition Labour Party and Scottish National Party have questioned why the Queen is getting the raise at a time of austerity for the country. According to the newspaper, officials argue that the repairs are urgent because the building is at risk of catastrophic failure.

The Royal Family web site notes that George III bought Buckingham House in 1761 for his wife Queen Charlotte to use as a comfortable family home close to St James’s Palace, where many court functions were held. Buckingham House became known as the Queen’s House, and 14 of George III’s 15 children were born there. Its size was doubled in the 1820s during the reign of George IV and further extended by Queen Victoria. The palace has served as the official London residence of the British monarch since Victoria’s accession in 1837, and today is the administrative headquarters of the Queen.

Its 775 rooms include 19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 additional bathrooms. The refurbishment, the biggest undertaken on the property since World War II, according to the Guardian, will renew the palace’s 33-year-old boilers, 100 miles of electrical cable, some of it 60 years old, and 20 miles of lead and cast iron pipework.

The announcement comes at a time when MPs are considering a £4 billion plan for renovations and repairs at the Palace of Westminster, the meeting place of Parliament. #21927 Published: 11/23/2016

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Apr
2017

Apple begins moving employees into spaceship campus

UNITED STATES (WNF) - Apple begins moving employees into Apple Park, its so-called spaceship campus in Cupertino, California. Perks await them in the futuristic flying saucer-shaped building. (April 2017
A circular structure more than a mile in diameter and surrounded by a large outdoor park, Apple Park will accommodate some 12,000 employees. The 2.8 million-square-foot main building is clad entirely in the world’s largest panels of curved glass. The huge walls of glass in the four-storey circular ring structure will allow employees to enjoy the view from both sides of the building. Parkland is planned for inside the ring, and some 7,000 trees will surround the campus. It incorporates miles of jogging and cycling trails, and 1,000 bikes will be kept on the site and be available to staff to get around the campus.

British firm Foster and Partners designed Apple Park, which will complement One Infinite Loop, the company’s present home.

The move will take over six months, and construction of the buildings and parklands will continue through the summer. #22082 Published: 03/02/2017

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Apr
2017

Philippines and Maoist rebels to resume peace talks

PHILIPPINES (GN) - Negotiators from the Philippine government and Maoist-led rebels will resume formal peace negotiations in the first week of April, after an angry President Rodrigo Duterte cancelled talks following a spate of rebel attacks on army troops earlier this year. (April 2017
Jesus Dureza, Duterte’s presidential adviser on the peace process, said the decision to resume talks was reached after two-day informal talks in Utrecht in March.

Norway, which has been brokering the negotiations, was again instrumental in reaching the agreement in the Netherlands. A second meeting was set for June.

“I am pleased to announce that the peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF)... are now back on track,” Dureza said.

Dureza added that the government had also agreed to release the detained rebels who are consultants to the peace talks and reinstate the immunity from arrest of 19 other NDF consultants. The NDF is the umbrella organization representing the CPP-NPA in negotiations with the government.

Both sides also agreed to reinstate their respective unilateral ceasefire declarations before the April talks begin.

The talks are aimed at ending nearly five decades of conflict, which has killed more than 40,000 people. The communist rebellion is one of Asia’s longest-running insurgencies. #22099 Published: 03/20/2017

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01 Apr
2017

Indians holding old banknotes subject to penalties

INDIA (WNF) - From April 1 it will be a criminal offence to hold 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes. The deadline is likely to trigger more protests unless the government makes provisions for people who lost out from the November decision to scrap the bills.
Tens of thousands of people turned out in November for nationwide protests against the controversial ban. The two denominations made up 86 per cent of India’s currency in circulation, and the move is reported to have caused significant hardship to millions of people in the mainly cash-based economy.

In a bid to stamp out corruption and tax evasion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared on Nov 8 that the two denominations would not be legal from midnight. He set Dec 30 as the deadline for withdrawing new bills to replace the old ones.

Many Indians were caught short, unable to meet the deadline because the decision caused a rush on banks and cash machines that drained the supply of the new currency.

Newsweek magazine notes that there is general public support for Modi’s drive against overall corruption, but lack of warning and preparedness for a move of such massive proportions has tested that support to the limit. #22039 Published: 02/02/2017

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02 Apr
2017

The American Age turns 100 under threat

UNITED STATES (WNF) - If 45th President Donald Trump has his way, the so-called American Age launched by 28th President Woodrow Wilson in Apr 1917 won’t reach its 100th birthday. The term describes self-assigned U.S. leadership of the Western world, and Trump’s campaign statements suggest he doesn’t want the responsibility.
Just after Trump’s election in November the German publication Der Spiegel pointed out that the West was constituted in its modern form in 1917 when World War I was raging in Europe and Wilson told his country that it was time for Americans to take responsibility for “peace and justice.” He called on Congress to declare war on Germany, framing the call around the idea that America has a duty to spread liberty across the world. “The world must be made safe for democracy,” he explained.

Trump has signaled that he plans to hand the responsibility for peace and justice to others. Trump wants nothing to do with globalization, according to Der Spiegel. He “preaches American nationalism, isolation, partial withdrawal from world trade and zero responsibility for a global problem like climate change.”

Trump has been hugely critical of NATO, a cornerstone of American foreign policy for more than 60 years. The BBC notes that Baltic nations will be newly vulnerable if Trump, as he has threatened, breaks with an article of the NATO alliance that obliges the United States to defend all other members in the event of an attack.

The Trump presidency will be 72 days old by the 100th anniversary of the American Age, long enough to tell whether he will be able to have his own way on throwing away traditional American foreign policy. Congress might have other ideas. #21963 Published: 12/15/2016

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02 Apr
2017

U.S. Mint celebrates 225th anniversary with release of new $100 coin

UNITED STATES (WNF) - On Apr 2, 1792, the United States Congress passed the Coinage Act, which created the Mint. The department is commemorating the 225th anniversary by releasing a coin that bears the image of Lady Liberty as an African-American woman. A potent symbol of the country, Lady Liberty has always been depicted as a white woman.
The 2017 coin might be read as an intended or unintended tribute to the departed 44th President, Barack Obama, who made history as the country’s first African-American president. He handed over to his successor on Jan 20 after eight years in office.

Subsequent releases will commemorate the ethnic and cultural diversity of the country, according to the Mint. They will feature designs representing Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Indian-Americans.

The Coinage Act gave then-Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton the authority to create coinage, according to the official history. The Act also authorized construction of a Mint building in the nation’s then-capital, Philadelphia. The Mint delivered its first circulating coins -- 11,178 copper cents – in Mar 1793.

As the country grew and the demand for coins increased, it became necessary to expand Mint facilities. The Philadelphia facility is still in operation, and the department has mints in Washington DC; Denver, Colorado; San Francisco, California; West Point, New York; and Fort Knox, Kentucky. The department notes Denver and Philadelphia can each produce tens of millions of coins every day.

The Mint advises that the 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin, worth approximately $100, will be struck in .9999 fine 24-karat gold at the West Point Mint in high relief, with a proof finish. #22012 Published: 01/17/2017

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02 Apr
2017

Argentine-British détente faces test on invasion anniversary

FALKLAND ISLANDS-ISLAS MALVINAS (WNF) - Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands 35 years ago but failed to wrest the disputed South Atlantic archipelago, known in Latin America as Islas Malvinas, from British control. The sensitive anniversary will test the new Argentine-British détente after a recent ruling placed the territory in Argentine waters.
There appears to be more interest in Buenos Aires now in sharing the spoils of the disputed territory. In Sep 2016 the BBC reported that Argentina and Britain have agreed to work toward removing measures restricting the oil and gas industry, shipping and fishing around the disputed islands. Meanwhile, both countries still regard the archipelago as sovereign territory.

President Mauricio Macri, who replaced Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in Dec 2015, has looked to repair relations with western powers such as the United Kingdom and United States after years of isolation. He is reported to be on a mission to attract foreign investment in order to reactivate Argentina’s stuttering economy.

Britain, meanwhile, disputes the ruling but is looking wider for trading partners in the aftermath of the Jun 2016 vote that will take it out of the European Union.

The UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf sided with Argentina in Mar 2016, ratifying the country’s 2009 report fixing the limit of its territory at 200 to 350 miles from its coast, and increasing its maritime territory in the South Atlantic Ocean by 35 per cent to include the disputed Falkland Islands and beyond. #22095 Published: 03/13/2017

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02 Apr
2017

Serbia holds snap presidential election

SERBIA (GN) - Serbia holds a snap presidential election, with populist Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic considered a clear favourite to win the largely ceremonial post.
Vucic, a former ultranationalist now self-declared pro-EU reformer, could even clinch victory outright in the first round, pre-election polls suggest. If he does not reach the required 50 per cent of the vote, a second round will be held on Apr 16.

Opposition candidates include pro-Western liberal Sasa Jankovic; former Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, who is supported by conservative and pro-Russian groups; and ultranationalist Vojislav Seselj, who has been cleared of war crimes by a UN court but still faces an appeals process.

Opposition parties argue that the election can not be free and fair because Vucic controls most of the mainstream media and has chosen an election date that allows for only a very short campaign - the election was announced just one month in advance on Mar 2. Parliament was promptly suspended until after the vote, depriving the opposition of one of few venues for criticizing Vucic’s politics.

Vucic will remain as prime minister during his campaign, as he is not obliged to resign by law.

Athough the position of president is much less influential than that of prime minister, it is widely believed that Vucic will keep control over key decisions, as the most powerful political figure of the ruling party.

The vote is important as its outcome could determine whether Serbia continues on its path towards European Union membership or moves closer to Russia, its traditional ally.

If Vucic manages to change roles in power, in a reverse version of what Vladimir Putin did in Russia in 2012, we don’t know as yet who might be the present-day Dmitry Medvedev to replace him as Prime Minister. #22100 Published: 03/20/2017

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02 Apr
2017

As presidential race heats up will Ecuador remain a bastion for the left?

ECUADOR (GN) - Ecuador holds a hotly contested presidential runoff vote to replace the outgoing President Rafael Correa.
After coming second in the first-round vote on Feb 19, the Creating Opportunities party candidate Guillermo Lasso pulled into a slight lead in head-to-head polling against his competitor, Lenin Moreno of the ruling PAIS Alliance.

Moreno almost won the first-round vote outright with 39.4 percent of ballots, just below the 40 percent threshold needed, but his support has barely increased and analysts expect that the second round is not likely to favour the 63-year-old former vice president. They predict opposition parties could join forces around Lasso, who has vehemently attacked the government, blaming it for an economic downturn and corruption scandals.

After 10 years in office, Correa finds his legacy in the balance. When he became president Latin America’s “pink tide” was at its high-water mark, with leftwing leaders such as Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and Rafael Correa in power across the continent.

But death and election defeat have since taken their toll. Cuba is on a path of moderate reform after Castro’s death. Venezuela was in crisis even before Chavez succumbed to cancer in 2013. Morales failed in an attempt in 2016 to change the constitution to allow him to run for re-election. It remains to be seen whether Ecuador will follow the continental trend towards centre-right government or remain a bastion for the left. #22101 Published: 03/20/2017

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03 Apr
2017

Anniversary of Panama Papers leak a time to review impact

PANAMA (WNF) - A year since the leak of some 11 million documents from Mossack Fonseca, the owners of the vast wealth hidden away by the Panamanian law firm appear safe from everything but embarrassment. The founders of the law firm were less fortunate.
Juergen Mossack and his colleague Ramon Fonseca, were arrested in Panama City in February in connection with Brazil’s sprawling car wash corruption scandal. The investigation is understood to be seeking possible links to the Brazilian engineering company Odebrecht. Britain’s Guardian reports that Fonseca denies his firm had a connection to Odebrecht, which has admitted to bribing officials in Panama and other countries to obtain government contracts in the region between 2010 and 2014.

The so-called Panama Papers leak exposed corrupt officials and regimes, money laundering, tax evasion on a massive scale and sanctions busting, but the naming and shaming was short-lived. The anniversary promises to bring the names back into the headlines, revitalising public pressure for prosecutions and raising the question of whether the account holders will remain safe.

The challenges for prosecutors appear formidable. Referring mainly to tax evasion cases, Britain’s Financial Times observed at the time that leaked documents cannot be relied on in court. The newspaper noted that an earlier so-called list of client details from HSBC’s Swiss private bank revealed the limitations of using leaked data: of almost 9,000 United Kingdom tax residents whose details were shared with the British tax authorities in 2010, only one has been convicted of tax evasion.

The Panama documents held by Mossack Fonseca were passed to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which then shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The BBC was among 107 media organisations in 76 countries that have been analysing the documents. The British broadcaster, one of many news organisations that laid out the obstacles ahead for prosecutors, reported that there was a surge in business for Mossack Fonseca when the European Savings Directive made hiding money in Europe more difficult. #21845 Updated: 03/12/2017 UPDATED Mar 11 to add Mossack Fonseca arrests

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