Property In Abruzzo After The Quake

WcKskV5C | Off Road Carts | 09 18th, 2019  |  No Comments »

Submitted by: Simone Rossi

The popularity and the interest for properties in Abruzzo was in rise and had been like that for a few years thanks to a good promotion abroad done by the Region Administration and by several Britons who decided to invest in there, attracted by fairly low prices and beautiful scenarios. But then the earthquake of April 09 drastically changed everything.

The tremendous quake and the huge amount of damaged that it caused has been seen by millions of people, an interest hugely amplified by the G8 as media from all over the world followed big personalities walk through rubbles and promise to sponsor the reconstruction of this monument or that church. But if the media did good giving great visibility to Abruzzo, on the other hand gave the impression that the region had been completely destroyed, instead of highlighting the fact that the quake was localized in the city of L’Aquila and its surround towns. This pushed tourists and property buyers away from Abruzzo, who diverted their interest to the bordering region of Le Marche and to other parts of Italy. This has caused to Abruzzo’s economy a bigger damage than the quake itself.

Although less than expected, also Abruzzo property market has been affected by all this factors, bringing down the number of enquiries by 19% throughout the eight months right after the earthquake. The decrease was steeper during the first four month to rise up a little in the last four month of 2009.

The return of interest in the last months of the year gives a wave of optimism and hopes that property in Abruzzo will weather the storm and will come up again in 2010. This optimistic scenario is backed by the fact that the number of enquiries sent for Abruzzo properties in January 09 are 42% up compared to January of the previous year.

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The most interested are Americans and British, accounting for the 39% of the enquiries, but a big interest comes also from Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden and France (all together share the 42% of the requests). Mainly the requests are for restored properties or in habitable conditions (61%), with 2 bedrooms (44.9%), with an average price of 159,850.

For all the ones that are interested in restoration projects Abruzzo is the right place to look at, both for the big availability of properties in need of restoration and the nice style that properties have in this area, giving the new owner the chance to end up with a very beautiful and worthy piece of real estate but also let’s not forget a very important fact, that property prices in Abruzzo are still lower than the Italian average.

The price of a country house to be restored of about 100 square metres is around 80/100,000 although is quite easy to find much better deals if one looks thoroughly. On the site Gate-away.com are listed country houses of that size in Abruzzo with price starting from as little as 50,000, even less for something smaller.

Abruzzo interests investors not only for its prices but also for its high mountains (the highest in central Italy) with beautiful ski resorts along with a stunning coastline. The average price for a cozy 1 bedroom apartment by the sea is around 100/120,000, which can be perfect to be rented out as a holiday rental. To give an idea of the income that such investment can generate, the rental rate for this type of apartment (depending on the distance form the sea) can go from 200/300 per week during the low season to 1000/1200 per week during the high season. The rental season can go from May to October although the weather can be very good also in April and November.

What impresses Abruzzo’s visitors is the genuine approach that this land gives, from the people to the food, very tasty and at a very good price. The nature is stunning as Abruzzo hosts a big number of natural parks and offers a wilderness that has not equals in Europe.

Abruzzo is such a beautiful region that if you decide to buy a property there you ll hardly regret it.

About the Author: The author is the expert of

properties in Abruzzo

and

homes for sale in Le Marche

for the leading Italian property portal Gate-away.com

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=495392&ca=Real+Estate

Australian Senator Bob Brown calls for ban on junk food ads

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Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown today called for a ban on junk food advertisements during times that children are watching TV. In a press release, the Senator referred specifically to the previous night’s episode of Four Corners.

“The extensive use of psychologists to analyse little children’s responsiveness to TV advertising, including how best to influence parents to buy goods by ‘nagging’ from children, is exploitation without honour,” Senator Brown said.

The documentary, entitled How The Kids Took Over, investigated the increase in marketing to children, who “have a say” in AU$700 billion worth of spending each year. “The marketing assault is aimed not only at getting children to spend. Even companies who market adult products, such as cars, are enlisting children to help persuade their parents to buy the ‘right’ brand,” the program summary said.

In the past the Government has rejected such calls. It recently launched a $6 million advertising campaign encouraging children to exercise an hour each day.

Senator Brown says he plans to propose a Senate Inquiry.

Wikinews interviews former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 09 18th, 2019  |  No Comments »

Monday, November 5, 2012

With the U.S. presidential election looming, former New Mexico governor and current Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson spoke with Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn on an assortment of economic, foreign, and social issues. In the interview, Johnson makes his final plea to voters before they cast their ballots on Election Day, November 6.

Though a member of the Libertarian Party in the early 1990s, Johnson was elected and re-elected governor of New Mexico in 1994 and 1998 as a Republican. During his governorship, he vetoed over 750 bills, more than all other then-governors combined, and left the state with a $1 billion budget surplus. He briefly ran for president as a Republican in 2011 before rejoining the Libertarian Party to seek its 2012 presidential nomination.

After winning the nomination this past May, Johnson has campaigned throughout the nation espousing the Fair Tax, spending cuts across the board, a repeal of Obamacare, an audit of the Federal Reserve, a non-interventionist foreign policy, an end to the Drug War, and legalization of same-sex marriage. He and his running mate, Judge Jim Gray of California, have attained ballot access in all U.S. states except Michigan, where he is a write-in candidate, and Oklahoma. Nationally, he has received four percent registered-voter support in the past two CNN/Opinion Research Polls that included him with President Barack Obama, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Green Party nominee Jill Stein. It is the campaign’s goal to reach five percent on Election Day, which will enable the party to receive ballot access and federal funding on par with the two major parties.

With Wikinews, Johnson discusses the federal budget, education, entitlements, the Syrian uprising, Mexican Drug War, same-sex marriage, the Libertarian Party, and his political future.

Contents

  • 1 Economic matters
  • 2 Foreign affairs
  • 3 Social issues
  • 4 Libertarian Party and political future
  • 5 Related news
  • 6 Sources

Shoppers World hosts arts event

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Shoppers World in Brampton, Ontario, Canada asks its visitors to “look up, look way up” this October.

The Highway 10 and Steeles Avenue mall is encouraging Bramptonians to paint a ceiling tile for charity this summer, for their upcoming “Looking Up to the Arts” event. The tiles should represent either what Brampton means to you, or the arts in Brampton.

Anyone can paint a tile for the event by buying one at the customer service desk for $5. Once tiles are completed and returned for the event, participants receive a gift certificate for $5. The ceiling tiles must be finished and returned by October 7.

The tiles will be auctioned off at the end of the event, with money going to the Brampton Arts Council.

Local dance, music, theatre and visual arts group will perform and promote at the mall’s event, which will be held from October 12 to 22.

This isn’t Shoppers World’s only celebration of the arts. The mall is the permanent home of the Artway Gallery, a community exhibit space on the west side of the mall. Organized by Visual Arts Brampton, the space allows anyone in the community to exhibit publicly.

This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate David Sparrow in Don Valley West

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Friday, October 10, 2008

In an attempt to speak with as many candidates as possible during the 2008 Canadian federal election, Wikinews has talked via email with David Sparrow. Sparrow is a candidate in Ontario’s Don Valley West riding, running under the New Democratic Party (NDP) banner. The riding was set to vote in a by-election on September 22, 2008, following the resignation of John Godfrey, but Stephen Harper’s sudden election call nulled that effort.

Also running in the Toronto riding are Liberal Rob Oliphant, Conservative John Carmichael, Green Georgina Wilcock, and Communist Catherine Holliday.

The following is an interview with Sparrow, conducted via email. The interview is published unedited, as sent to Wikinews.

Wikinews interviews Jim Babka, chair of Libertarian organization Downsize DC

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

A reporter from Wikinews recently interviewed Jim Babka, chair of Libertarian organization Downsize DC. The organization claims to have arranged for 22,158 people to send a message regarding the “American Freedom Agenda Act” proposed by Ron Paul, in addition to supporting many other laws. The full text of the interview can be found below.

Wikinews interviews winner of 55 Paralympic medals, Trischa Zorn

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 09 5th, 2019  |  No Comments »

Monday, September 3, 2012

London, England— Last Friday, Wikinews interviewed Trischa Zorn, 55-time medal-winner. The U.S. Paralympic swimmer’s haul includes 41 golds.

Zorn discussed a variety of issues, including frustration with the classification system that has disadvantaged some United States swimmers because of what she sees as its subjective nature. She also talked about the increased visibility of the Games, how things have changed from when she started in 1980 to the current 2012 Summer Paralympics. Zorn discussed how sponsorship has evolved from her early time participating, and issues with the Paralympics inside the United States at the present.

This year Zorn was inducted into the International Paralympic Hall of Fame at a ceremony in London. Having last competed in the 2004 Summer Paralympics, if she was swimming today, she would be classified as an S12 swimmer. She currently works for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, helping returning soldiers adjust to life as civilians.

((Laura Hale)) We do Wikinews, which is related to Wikipedia … And, your article on Wikipedia sucks.

Trischa Zorn: Right
((WN)) The sources don’t agree on how many [Paralympic] medals you won. So how many medals have you won?

TZ: 55 medals. 41 gold, nine silver and five bronze.
((WN)) More gold medals than the next nearest total medal winner.

TZ: Correct
((Hawkeye7)) In fact, the next two, three, maybe four, put together.

TZ: Correct
((WN)) You started [Paralympic] swimming in 1980.

TZ: My first games was in 1980, and my last games was in 2004 in Athens.
((WN)) 2004?

TZ: Yes. Eight years ago.
((WN)) And you medalled there?

TZ: I got a bronze. I was only swimming in two events.
((WN)) And you remember all 55?

TZ: I know what events I swam. Relays and stuff. The discrepancy is because early on they weren’t really keeping track of the events. Like my first games in 1980, I won seven medals, and they only recorded five. In 1984, because the games were in New York, and because of the boycott, from when we boycotted in 1980, not a lot of European countries came over. So there wasn’t a lot of statistic keeping.
((WN)) We have found the IPC database had a lot of problems on the Australian side. We have been correcting that.

TZ: I have a whole list of all the events.What ones I won. A British writer was writing a book and wanted to include me, so I collated all my results and sent it to her.
((WN)) When you started in 1980, did they have the three categories for blind swimming?

TZ: They had the three categories, but they weren’t like S categories now. There was B1 for blind, B2 and B3. I was in the middle, a B2. The equivalent to S12 now.
((WN)) Has classification on the blind sports side changed much since you started?

TZ: They would like it to be in the regular classification S1 to S10. They would like everybody to be all one and use a points system. But I’m not a big fan of the points system, and I’m not a big fan of the classification procedure.
((WN)) Blind sports is the only medically based classification left. The rest are all functionality based.

TZ: Correct
((WN)) They are moving towards an evidence based system, but I’m not sure what that is.

TZ: Unfortunately, the classifications are very subjective. And a lot of the classifications, they don’t go by actual evidence of medical documentation, it’s what you can do in the water. So, for example, we have one of our athletes, Mallory Weggemann, that was an S7. She had multiple world records as an S7 and two days before she was supposed to comes here the IPC says: “We want to reclassify you. We want to do your classification all over” So she came here and they put her through a dry land regimen of classification. Then they said “let’s get you in the water. We’ll classify you there.” Then they said: “Oh no! You’re an S8!” Even though she had medical documentation to say that she was a T10 paraplegic with no function in her legs.
((WN)) Did classification ever effect you?

TZ: Not with me, but there has been problems with the S13. It’s supposed to be best corrected. There have been people that I swam against in the past that two years later were disqualified. Their vision, now they found out, was too good. It’s very subjective. There needs to be a test where they can see what you can see. Because, as an athlete, you go in and somebody says: “Can you see this?” or “Can you read that?”
((WN)) You’re involved with the veterans? On the sports side?

TZ: I work for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
((WN)) How long have you worked for them?

TZ: I have worked for them for a year now. I actually see some of the veterans like Brad that have come back lately, and how they have come through Walter Reed. I work more on the business side of it. But its still nice to see that they are being welcomed back, being provided opportunities for sports. Things that they thought that they would never be able to do.
((WN)) One of the criticisms of the US Paralympic Committee, and I don’t want to get you in trouble, is that the reason that the US is having problems right now with funding support is that they have been focused on veterans, and ignoring other people with disabilities. Would you care to comment on that?

TZ: Well I think that anything in the US that deals with veterans, the US is very passionate about, and sports, unfortunately, amateur sports, have become a business. And any kind of funding through the Department of Defense, going for veterans and whatever programs they are involved in is very important. But, as I’ve always said, funds always end up drying up. They’re not always going to be there, so you can’t depend strictly on that. Therefore, you need to have a well-rounded funding base, not just for veterans, for all athletes.
((Hawkeye7)) Where does funding normally come from in the United States?
((Laura Hale)) Hawkeye7’s an Australian, so his model is that the government pays for sport.

TZ: It’s funny, I look and I see what the Paralympic athletes get now, and what we even got in ’08 compared to when I first came. We had to pay to go to the Paralympics. We had to pay for our uniforms. It was only from Sydney that we didn’t have to pay anything, and we were provided uniforms. So each games has built on certain things. So, for example, 1988 was the first time that we had the same venues as the Olympics. ’92 was the first time that we were able to actually hear our national anthem, because before you didn’t, you just heard a games recording. So then in ’96 obviously because it was in the US, I think they thought that that was going to bring more awareness, and it did to an extent; but, once it was gone it kind of dwindled away. And then, in 2000 in Sydney, things had become … we were the first – there were four of us – we were able to train at an Olympic training centre. Not with the team, but we were able to use the facilities at the Olympic training centre full-time. But now they have a full time resident program. They are not training alongside Olympic athletes, but at least they are funded by the Olympic Committee. They get to train there, they get to live there. So things have changed. And then people argue about prize money, and sponsorship. It’s different.
((WN)) Do you think they should be sponsored? In Australia, Evan O’Hanlon, he’s an athlete, he has cerebral palsy, her covers his shoes with tape, because he feels that he is advertising for whoever makes his shoes, and he feels that he should get sponsorship. Do you think that we have reached the point with disability sports on the world stage where the elite athletes should be sponsored?

TZ: Well I think that there are certain talented athletes in the US that are now getting the global sponsors such as Jessica Long being a Visa athlete and having opportunities with Coke. And Rudy Garcia-Tolson with BP. And those big companies are jumpingon board and seeing the opportunities not just from a marketing standpoint, but you are allowing the young athletes to see that and touch it, and before it wasn’t. I mean you are basically competing because you love the sport. Now it’s just like Olympic athletes. They know what the possibilities of an outcome is going to be. Now, granted, Paralympic athletes don’t get $50,000 for a gold medal, or $10,000 for a bronze. We’d be lucky if we get $5,000 or $10,000.
((WN)) Do you think that all 55 of your Paralympic medals are equivalent to Olympic medals?

TZ: They are equivalent in respect that I did the same training as any Olympic athlete. I trained alongside able bodied athletes in the club setting where I trained, and a college setting.
((WN)) Which clubs and which colleges was that?

TZ: Actually, when I was younger I swam for San Diego Matadors down in California, and in college at the University of Nebraska, and then when I moved to Indiana I was training there with a coach it was with the Riviera Swim Club.
((WN)) You’ve been all over.

TZ: I’ve been going east as I’ve left my home state of California.
((WN)) Because of sport?

TZ: Because of coaching. My club coach left the club and went to the college level. So when I went to college he continued coaching.
((WN)) Did you get a scholarship?

TZ: I was on a full athletic scholarship. I was the first physically disabled athlete to get a full Division One scholarship.
((WN)) That is so cool.

TZ: I guess they say, they are not as equal, but medals are medals, and whatever your heart is and whatever you think of it, that is what it means.
((WN)) In Australia, my impression is that they do view them as exactly the same, whereas in America, some people do not even know that the Paralympics are on.

TZ: Yes. And unfortunately it’s a stereotypical society. In the US we don’t typically stereotype Paralympic athletes as the Australians or the Europeans do, and especially if you don’t look disabled. If you put me next to Jessica Long, she’s an incredible athlete but her story is going to be more desirable, because her disability is more noticeable. Don’t do that for me. But it’s to the extent where you are losing the focus of the athletics.
((Laura Hale)) Is there anything else we should know in terms of the history of the Paralympics?
((Hawkeye7)) Particularly about yourself.
((Laura Hale)) Are you a shy and retiring individual?

TZ: I am. And I think that’s part of it. I’m not very good with bragging.
((WN)) At selling yourself?

TZ: At selling myself. And I feel that my medals and my performance in the water speaks for itself.
((WN)) You were out there tonight presenting a medal.

TZ: And it was an honour to be on that side of it for these games. In 2008, I was honoured to be part of the Presidential delegation. I am involved with the US Olympic Committee as an athlete adviser on the rules and regulations and the rights of athletes. That’s basically where I want to be right now. I want to be an advocate for athletes.
((Hawkeye7)) We were at water polo match in Canberra, watching the Australian Olympic water polo team. And Ellie Cole walked in and they announced: “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Ellie Cole!” These Olympians applauded Ellie Cole.
((Laura Hale)) They do that at the Canberra Capitals games. They introduced Ellie Cole and her dad. It’s a completely different perspective. People outside the United States ask: “Why don’t you acknowledge them? What is wrong with the US?”
((Hawkeye7)) Every ad break [in Australia] there’s a Paralympian
((Laura Hale)) Grace Bowman! You haven’t done any commercials have you?

TZ: No to the extent that some athletes do, but for Visa and Coke. For Atlanta we did some commercials for Coke, it’s headquarters is in Atlanta. I’ve done Hartford Insurance, but not globally.
((Laura Hale)) Thank you.
((Hawkeye7)) Thank you.

CanadaVOTES: Liberal Sandra Gardiner running in Perth—Wellington

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 09 3rd, 2019  |  No Comments »

Friday, September 26, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. Liberal Party candidate Sandra Gardiner is standing for election in the riding of Perth—Wellington. A Stratford resident for the last 17 years, she has worked as a Registered Nurse for the last 14, in hospital, long term, and community care settings. She is a member of Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, Canadian Association of Physicians concerned about the Environment, FarmGate5, Common Action for the Restoration of the Environment, Autism Ontario, the Planning Committee for Rotary Respite House, and board member of Optimism Place, the local women’s shelter.

Wikinews contacted Sandra, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

The riding is currently held by Conservative Gary Schellenberger, who was also MP for the previous riding, Perth—Middlesex. Perth—Wellington includes the County of Perth, and the Town of Minto and the townships of Mapleton and Wellington North in the County of Wellington. Also challenging Schellenberger are John Cowling (Green), Irma DeVries (Christian Heritage), Julian Ichim (Marxist-Leninist), and Kerry McManus (NDP).

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.

One year on: Egyptians mark anniversary of protests that toppled Mubarak

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 09 3rd, 2019  |  No Comments »

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Across Egypt hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets for the day, marking exactly one year since the outbreak of protests leading to 83-year-old longstanding ruler Hosni Mubarak’s downfall. The country’s decades-long emergency rule was partially lifted this week; meanwhile, a possible economic meltdown looms and a newly-elected parliament held their first meeting on Monday.

Despite the new parliament, military rule introduced following Mubarak’s fall last spring remains. Echoing the demands from a year ago, some protesters are demanding the military relinquish power; there are doubts an elected civilian leader will be permitted to replace the army.

The brief unity against Mubarak has since fragmented, with Secularists and Islamists marking the revolution’s anniversary splitting to opposing sides of Cairo’s famed Tahrir Square and chanting at each other. Initial demonstrations last year were mainly from young secularists; now, Islamic parties hold most of the new parliament’s seats — the country’s first democratic one in six decades.

Salafis hold 25% of the seats and 47% are held by the Muslim Brotherhood, which brought supporters to Cairo for the anniversary. Tahrir Square alone contained tens of thousands of people, some witnesses putting the crowd at 150,000 strong. It’s the largest number on the streets since the revolution.

Military rulers planned celebrations including pyrotechnics, commemorative coins, and air displays. The Supreme Council of Armed Forces took power after last year’s February 11 resignation of Mubarak.

Alaa al-Aswani, a pro-democracy activist writing in al-Masry al-Youm, said: “We must take to the streets on Wednesday, not to celebrate a revolution which has not achieved its goals, but to demonstrate peacefully our determination to achieve the objectives of the revolution,” — to “live in dignity, bring about justice, try the killers of the martyrs and achieve a minimum social justice”

Alexandria in the north and the eastern port city of Suez also saw large gatherings. It was bitter fighting in Suez led to the first of the revolution’s 850 casualties in ousting Mubarak. “We didn’t come out to celebrate. We came out to protest against the military council and to tell it to leave power immediately and hand over power to civilians,” said protestor Mohamed Ismail.

“Martyrs, sleep and rest. We will complete the struggle,” chanted crowds in Alexandria, a reference to the 850 ‘martyrs of the revolution’. No convictions are in yet although Mubarak is on trial. Photos of the dead were displayed in Tahrir Square. Young Tahrir chanters went with “Down with military rule” and “Revolution until victory, revolution in all of Egypt’s streets”.

If the protestors demanding the military leave power get their way, the Islamists celebrating election victory face a variety of challenges. For now, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi — whose career featured twenty years as defence minister under Mubarak — rules the nation and promises to cede power following presidential elections this year.

The economy is troubled and unemployment is up since Mubarak left. With tourism and foreign investment greatly lower than usual, budget and payment deficits are up — with the Central Bank eating into its reserves in a bid to keep the Egyptian pound from losing too much value.

Last week the nation sought US$3.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF insists upon funding also being secured from other donors, and strong support from Egypt’s leaders. IMF estimates say the money could be handed over in a few months — whereas Egypt wanted it in a matter of weeks.

The country has managed to bolster trade with the United States and Jordan. Amr Abul Ata, Egyptian ambassador to the fellow Middle-East state, told The Jordan Times in an interview for the anniversary that trade between the nations increased in 2011, and he expects another increase this year. This despite insurgent attacks reducing Egyptian gas production — alongside electricity the main export to Jordan. Jordan exports foodstuffs to Egypt and has just signed a deal increasing the prices it pays for gas. 2011 trade between the countries was worth US$1 billion.

The anniversary also saw a new trade deal with the US, signed by foreign trade and industry minister Mahmoud Eisa and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. President Barack Obama promises work to improve U.S. investment in, and trade with, nations changing political systems after the Arab Spring. Details remain to be agreed, but various proposals include US assistance for Egyptian small and medium enterprises. Both nations intend subjecting plans to ministerial scrutiny.

The U.S. hailed “several historic milestones in its transition to democracy” within a matter of days of Egypt’s revolution. This despite U.S.-Egypt ties being close during Mubarak’s rule.

US$1 billion in grants has been received already from Qatar and Saudi Arabia but army rulers refused to take loans from Gulf nations despite offers-in-principle coming from nations including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. Foreign aid has trickled in; no money at all has been sent from G8 nations, despite the G8 Deauville Partnership earmarking US$20 billion for Arab Spring nations.

A total of US$7 billion was promised from the Gulf. The United Kingdom pledged to split £110 million between Egypt and Arab Spring initiator Tunisia. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development says G8 money should start arriving in June, when the presidential election is scheduled.

The African Development Bank approved US$1.5 billion in loans whilst Mubarak still held power but, despite discussions since last March, no further funding has been agreed. The IMF offered a cheap loan six months ago, but was turned away. Foreign investment last year fell from US$6 billion to $375 million.

Rights, justice and public order remain contentious issues. Tantawi lifted the state of emergency on Tuesday, a day before the revolution’s anniversary, but left it in place to deal with the exception of ‘thuggery’. “This is not a real cancellation of the state of emergency,” said Islamist Wasat Party MP Essam Sultan. “The proper law designates the ending of the state of emergency completely or enforcing it completely, nothing in between.”

The same day, Amnesty International released a report on its efforts to establish basic human rights and end the death penalty in the country. Despite sending a ten-point manifesto to all 54 political parties, only the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (of the Egyptian Bloc liberals) and the left-wing Popular Socialist Alliance Party signed up. Measures included religious freedom, help to the impoverished, and rights for women. Elections did see a handful of women win seats in the new parliament.

The largest parliamentary group is the Freedom and Justice Party of the Muslim Brotherhood, who Amnesty say did not respond. Oral assurances on all but female rights and abolition of the death penalty were given by Al-Nour, the Salafist runners-up in the elections, but no written declaration or signature.

“We challenge the new parliament to use the opportunity of drafting the new constitution to guarantee all of these rights for all people in Egypt. The cornerstone must be non-discrimination and gender equality,” said Amnesty, noting that the first seven points were less contentious amongst the twelve responding parties. There was general agreement for free speech, free assembly, fair trials, investigating Mubarak’s 30-year rule for atrocities, and lifting the state of emergency. A more mixed response was given to ensuring no discrimination against LGBT individuals, whilst two parties claimed reports of Coptic Christian persecution are exaggerated.

Mubarak himself is a prominent contender for the death penalty, currently on trial for the killings of protesters. The five-man prosecution team are also seeking death for six senior police officers and the chief of security in the same case. Corruption offences are also being tried, with Gamal Mubarak and Alaa Mubarak accused alongside their father Hosni.

The prosecution case has been hampered by changes in witness testimony and there are complaints of Interior Ministry obstruction in producing evidence. Tantawi has testified in a closed hearing that Mubarak never ordered protesters shot.

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Hisham Talaat Moustafa, an ex-MP and real estate billionaire, is another death penalty candidate. He, alongside Ahmed Sukkari, was initially sentenced to death for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim. A new trial was granted on procedural grounds and he is now serving a fifteen-year term for paying Sukkari US$2 million to slit 30-year-old’s Tamim’s throat in Dubai. Her assassin was caught when police followed him back to his hotel and found a shirt stained with her blood; he was in custody within two hours of the murder.

The court of appeals is now set to hear another trial for both men after the convictions were once more ruled unsound.

A military crackdown took place last November, the morning after a major protest, and sparking off days of violence. Egypt was wary of a repeat this week, with police and military massed near Tahrir Square whilst volunteers manned checkpoints into the square itself.

The military has pardoned and released at least 2,000 prisoners jailed following military trials, prominently including a blogger imprisoned for defaming the army and deemed troublesome for supporting Israel. 26-year-old Maikel Nabil was given a three year sentence in April. He has been on hunger strike alleging abuse at the hands of his captors. He wants normalised relations with Israel. Thousands have now left Tora prison in Cairo.

New York executive files $60 million libel lawsuit over insurance scandal

WcKskV5C | Uncategorized | 09 1st, 2019  |  No Comments »

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A former Marsh & McLennan Cos. executive has hit former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer with a $60 million defamation lawsuit over an online magazine article regarding an insurance bid-rigging scandal.

William Gilman, a former Marsh managing director, filed a complaint last Friday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, over allegations Mr. Spitzer defamed him in a Slate article published a year ago. A copy of the complaint was made public on Monday.

Gilman, who had a final insurance fraud charge dismissed in January, said Spitzer acted with “actual malice” by suggesting that he was guilty of crimes of which he was never accused.

Although he wasn’t named in the article, Mr. Gilman complained that Spitzer defamed him by writing that “Marsh’s behavior was a blatant abuse of law and market power: price-fixing, bid-rigging and kickbacks all designed to harm their customers and the market while Marsh and its employees pocketed the increased fees and kickbacks.”

“While Mr. Spitzer’s statements do not refer to Mr. Gilman by name, Mr. Gilman is readily identifiable as the subject of the defamatory comments,” said the complaint. “Mr. Spitzer was well aware of his own allegations as attorney general and the resolution of those allegations in favor of Mr. Gilman and yet, recklessly disregarded these facts.”

In 2004 Mr. Spizter, then the state’s Attorney General, announced an investigation into the practices at Marsh & McLennan, particularly fees paid by insures to brokers who place business with them. Gilman, who worked for the company at the time, was charged in 2005 with 37 counts of insurance fraud. Gilman’s final charge was dropped last January.

“I haven’t seen the lawsuit and so will not comment on it,” said Spitzer. “The illegalities rampant at Marsh & McLennan leading to their fine of $850 million and the multiple judicial findings of illegality are clear from the public record.”

Mr. Gilman is now seeking at least $10 million in compensatory damages; $20 million in general damages, including damage to his reputation; and $30 million in punitive damages.