Monday 23 July 2012
Spanish protests swell as jobless march on Madrid
Hundreds of unemployed Spaniard, who had walked hundreds of kilometres to Madrid, joined protests on Saturday against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government and its handling of an economic crisis. Demonstrations have swollen across Spain since the centre-right government announced 65 billion euros ($79 billion) in new spending cuts two weeks ago to cut its deficit and avert a full-blown bailout, with fire-fighters and police joining a mass protest on Thursday. Several hundred people journeyed on foot from the southern region of Andalucía, which has one of the worst unemployment rates in Spain, and from northern Catalonia
and other areas in an attempt to highlight the plight of the unemployed in recession-hit Spain, where almost one in four is without a job. “I joined the Barcelona-Madrid march, the march for dignity, and I’m protesting to get a decent job and against the cuts and what they are doing to citizens,” said Tania Faturechi, 30. After demonstrating outside the Ministry for Employment earlier in the day, in the evening protesters banging drums, blowing vuvuzelas and chanting “Unemployed, wake up!” marched towards Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, a central square that has seen hundreds of
thousands demonstrate against government austerity. They were joined by members of the “Indignados” (Indignant) movement, which has organized sit-ins at the square for more than a year. “This is our home!” the crowds sang as they spilled into the square. Many bore banners railing against the markets squeezing Spain’s finances, with slogans such as “Debt is modern-day slavery” or “Unemployed against the risk premium”. Violence erupted at a miners’ protest earlier this month and police used teargas and rubber bullets.
Issue No .3
One missing, two injured in helicopter crash in South-West China
Libyan Economy in Post-Revolution Boom
The International Monetary Fund says Libya should see economic activity double this year, compared to last year with its eight months of war. That would push the country’s
economic activity well above 2010, the last full year of Muammar Gadhafi’s reign. On a busy road on the outskirts of town, a vegetable stand run by Ibrahim Jiuma Garguti
has doubled in size since the revolution. Garguti says people have more money to spend and officials don’t bother him anymore. “The government used to bother us about licenses,” said Garguti. “The municipal guards used to take merchandise and harass us. They would say we were crowding the road and ask for bribes. But now those days are gone.” Downtown, it’s the same story. There is a steady stream of customers at the “It’s For You” boutique. Owner Mohammed Al-Saadi’s says business has doubled, partly because people have more money to spend, thanks to government
subsidies, but also because he says Libyan women are more in the mood to buy fashionable items. Economists call that “pent-up demand.” “Thank God now everything has changed and the country is going forward, and things are constantly improving,” said Al-Saadi. “The country has changed enormously, and we are able to work easily and follow the demands of the Libyan market and give Libyan customers what they want.” Al-Saadi says there are no more Gadhafi-era restrictions on what he can import, or from where.
AfDB supports Gabon renewable energy sector with €57m loan
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, through its private sector window, approved on 18 July 2012 in Tunis, a senior loan of €57.5 million to the Coder Hydropower Project for the design, construction and operation of two run-of-river hydro projects in Ngounie Province and North Gabon. The project consists of two run-of-river hydroelectric power plants, a 70 MW plant in the Ngounie Province and a 52MW plant
in north Gabon. Despite a high electricity access rate of up to 83 per cent, the Gabon electricity sector still faces frequent electricity shortages and blackouts resulting from high urbanization. Gabon’s current power shortages hinder the country’s economic and social growth, making it a high governmental priority to revitalize the electricity supply and lower electricity prices. The government’s goal is to increase generating facilities from 373
MW to 1200 MW by 2020. The current electricity production is split about 50:50 between hydro and diesel oil and Gabon also want to cut environmentally unfriendly and costly diesel power generation. The project, with a two-year completion target, will provide electricity to the national grid as well as providing security of supply to rural areas. The completion of this project is crucial for Gabon as it will allow the country to boost its economic
Two dead, six missing in flood-hit Philippines
Two people were killed and six others are missing in the Philippines, as floods inundated parts of Manila and nearby areas, while a storm tore through the country’s north, authorities said yesterday. Civil defence office said rescuers are on standby to help residents evacuate if necessary as creeks and open sewers in the capital overflowed from overnight rains, swamping nearby slums and causing traffic jams. The rains began to ease by midday, after plunging some areas in knee-deep waters, but civil defence chief Benito Ramos said he could not rule out further flooding as runoff from nearby mountains descends into Manila Bay. “All that rain up there would eventually find their way here,” he said, referring to the mountains to the east of Manila. We have CCTV cameras to monitor the (Manila) rivers’ water levels, and we have 44 evacuation centres ready and stocked with food and other items by our local government units,” Ramos said. Army reservists would be called up to help should evacuations become necessary, he said, while stressing there was no need for large-scale evacuations at the moment.
One person was missing and two others injured after a helicopter crashed into a reservoir in the city of Chuxiong in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, local authorities said Sunday. The accident happened at around 5:45 p.m. Saturday at the Qingshanzui reservoir, local authorities said. Three people were on board when the helicopter crashed, two of them having been rescued and sent to hospital for treatment.
2 Russian soldiers dead after ambush in the Caucasus Region Russian officials say that two soldiers and two insurgents have been killed in separate incidents in the country’s restive Caucasus region. In Ingushetia, attackers fired automatic weapons and grenades Saturday from a passing car at a military convoy, killing two soldiers and wounding three others, said Oleg Zvyagintsev, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry. Also Saturday, two rebels were killed in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, after police cornered them in an apartment building, according to Zvyagintsev. Dagestan and Ingushetia both border Chechnya, where Russian troops and separatist rebels fought two wars in the past two decades. Dagestan suffers frequent attacks by militants apparently inspired by the Chechen insurgency, while Ingushetia is hit by sporadic violence.
100 thousand worshippers attend Friday prayers at the Aqsa Mosque OCCUPIED JERUSALEM– Sources in Jerusalem said that about 100 thousand worshippers attended the Friday prayers on the first day of Ramadan at the Aqsa Mosque. The Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said that large numbers of Palestinians from the city, 1948-occupied towns and the West Bank started arriving at the Aqsa from the morning hours, despite the occupation forces attempts to hamper the worshipers. The various prayer rooms and outside plazas were filled with worshipers despite the very hot weather.