- The World Must Prepare for the Worst
- Obama's Hometown Runs Out of Money to Bury the Poor
- Russia Warning: Syria and Iran Strikes could Trigger ‘Chain Reaction'
- Iran Warns Region against "Dangerous" Stance on Hormuz
- Pakistan Submits to American Pressure
The World Must Prepare for the Worst:
On Wednesday; the World Bank issued a very chilling warning in its report. Developing countries should prepare for further downside risks, as Euro Area debt problems and weakening growth in several big emerging economies are dimming global growth prospects, says the World Bank in the newly-released Global Economic Prospects (GEP) 2012. "Developing countries need to evaluate their vulnerabilities and prepare for further shocks, while there is still time," said Justin Yifu Lin, the World Bank's Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Development Economics. Developing countries have less fiscal and monetary space for remedial measures than they did in 2008/09. As a result, their ability to respond may be constrained if international finance dries up and global conditions deteriorate sharply. To prepare for that possibility, Hans Timmer, Director of Development Prospects at the World Bank, said: "Developing countries should pre-finance budget deficits, prioritize spending on social safety nets and infrastructure, and stress-test domestic banks." "An escalation of the crisis would spare no-one. Developed- and developing-country growth rates could fall by as much or more than in 2008/09" said Andrew Burns, Manager of Global Macroeconomics and lead author of the report.
Obama's Hometown Runs Out of Money to Bury the Poor:
In Chicago, bodies are stacking up in the city morgue because the medical examiner's office hasn't paid for the burial boxes used for the dead who were indigent. At the office of the Cook County Medical Examiner, the morgue's cooler, built to hold 300 bodies, and currently has 500, including a hundred babies. All of the decomposing corpses are too much for the room's ventilation system. "There are so many bodies in there now, they can't keep it cool enough. The stench is like nothing I've ever seen," a source told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I think it's sacrilegious." The rest of the state is short on cash to cover the cost of burying those on welfare. State lawmakers slashed funding for such work, cutting what was a $13 million budget down to $1.9 million. The state pays for the burial of an estimated 12,000 poor people each year.
Russia Warning: Syria and Iran Strikes Could Trigger ‘Chain Reaction':
Russia strongly criticised Western belligerence towards Syria and Iran yesterday, saying that a military assault on the Iranian regime could cause a "chain reaction" that would destabilise the entire world.The country's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, also said during his annual televised press conference that Russia would use its veto at the UN Security Council to block any resolution calling for military force to be used against Syria. Mr Lavrov said that Russia is "seriously worried" that military action against Iran may be under consideration, and vowed that Moscow would do all it could to prevent it. "The consequences will be extremely grave," he said. "It's not going to be an easy walk. It will trigger a chain reaction and I don't know where it will stop." Last week, a Russian newspaper revealed that the annual training exercises undertaken in southern Russia by the country's army will focus this year on scenarios related to the regional fallout of a possible military conflict in Iran.
Iran Warns Region Against "Dangerous" Stance on Hormuz:
Iran's foreign minister warned Arab neighbours on Thursday not to put themselves in a "dangerous position" by aligning themselves too closely with the United States in the escalating dispute over Tehran's nuclear activity. Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, used for a third of the world's seaborne oil trade, if pending Western moves to ban Iranian crude exports cripple its lifeblood energy sector, fanning fears of a descent into wider Middle East war. Tehran, which denies suspicions it is seeking nuclear weapons, was riled earlier this week when Saudi Arabia asserted it could swiftly raise oil output for key customers if needed, a scenario that could transpire if Iranian exports were embargoed. "We want peace and tranquillity in the region. But some of the countries in our region, they want to direct other countries 12,000 miles away from this region," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in English during a visit to Turkey. The remark was an apparent reference to the alliance of Iran's Arab neighbours with Washington, which maintains a huge fleet in the Gulf and says it will keep the waterway open. "I am calling to all countries in the region, please don't let yourselves be dragged into a dangerous position," he told Turkey's NTV broadcaster.
Pakistan Submits to American Pressure:
Pakistan expects to re-open supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan, halted after a NATO cross-border air attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November, but will impose tariffs, a senior security official told Reuters Thursday. The official said the fees were designed to both express continued anger over the November 26 attack and raise funds for the state to fight home grown Taliban militants blamed for many of the suicide bombings across the country."The tariffs will cover everything from the port to security to roads, which after all belong to Pakistan," the security official, who asked to remain anonymous, told Reuters. No date was given for reopening the supply routes. Pakistan's trade ministry was working out details of the tariffs, said the official.
26 Safar 1433