UN chief deplores razing of East Jerusalem building for new Israeli settlements

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today deplored the destruction of the Shepherd’s Hotel in occupied East Jerusalem to make way for new Israeli settlements in the heart of a Palestinian neighbourhood.Israel’s refusal in late September to extend a 10-month freeze on settlement activity in the Palestinian territory occupied in the 1967 six-day war prompted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from direct talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which had only resumed a few weeks earlier after a two-year hiatus.Mr. Ban said the demolition which took place yesterday “only serves to heighten tensions,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.“It is deeply regrettable that growing international concern at unilateral expansion of illegal Israeli settlements is not being heeded. Such actions seriously prejudice the possibility of a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”The Secretary-General again called on the Israeli Government to take “whatever steps are necessary” to freeze settlement activity anywhere in occupied territory, the statement added. 10 January 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today deplored the destruction of the Shepherd’s Hotel in occupied East Jerusalem to make way for new Israeli settlements in the heart of a Palestinian neighbourhood. read more

Yellen signals continuity with Bernanke indicates steady pullback in Fed stimulus is

FILE – In this Nov. 14, 2013, file photo, Federal Reserve Board Chair nominee Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the Senate Banking Committee hearing on her nomination. Yellen will deliver the Fed’s twice-annual report to Congress, starting Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 before the House Financial Services Committee and then Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, before the Senate Banking Committee. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File) by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Feb 10, 2014 10:45 pm MDT Yellen signals continuity with Bernanke; indicates steady pullback in Fed stimulus is likely AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen sought Tuesday to reassure investors that she will embrace the approach to interest-rate policy that her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, pursued before he stepped down as chairman last month.Yellen told Congress that if the economy keeps improving, the Fed will take “further measured steps” to reduce the support it’s providing through bond purchases.In her first public comments since taking over the top Fed job last week, Yellen said she expects a “great deal of continuity” with Bernanke. She signalled that she supports his view that the economy is strengthening enough to withstand a pullback in stimulus but that rates should stay low to further improve a still-lacklustre economy.Her message of continuity at the Fed was a reassuring one for investors, and it contributed to a major rally on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 193 points.Yellen’s remarks to a House committee suggested that the Fed will keep its key short-term rate near zero for a prolonged period.“The recovery in the labour market is far from complete,” Yellen said, an indication that the Fed is in no hurry to boost short-term rates.She said the Fed is monitoring volatility in global markets but doesn’t think it poses a serious risk to the United States at the current time.“Since the financial crisis and the depths of the recession, substantial progress has been made in restoring the economy to health and strengthening the financial system,” Yellen said in her testimony for the House Financial Services Committee. “Still, there is more to do.”Some Republicans expressed concern that the Fed’s extraordinary support could ignite high inflation or destabilize financial markets. The committee chairman, Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, a critic of the Fed, said there were “clearly limits to what monetary policy can achieve.”Hensarling questioned whether the Fed had sent confusing signals to investors by changing its possible timetable for future actions on interest rates.Yellen, the first woman to lead the Fed in its 100 years, was delivering the Fed’s twice-a-year report to Congress a week after being sworn in to succeed Bernanke. He stepped down Jan. 31 after eight years as chairman.Several committee members praised Yellen for breaking down a gender barrier at the Fed. Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., told Yellen she would serve as an inspiration for his three daughters and said: “You have done it the old-fashioned way. You have earned it.”At the start of the hearing, Hensarling mentioned that Yellen had agreed to stay all day if necessary to allow all members of one of Congress’ largest committees to question her. That was a break from recent practice, in which Bernanke and his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, tended to sit for questions for only two or three hours.Yellen ended her testimony just short of six hours after the hearing began. The panel did take a 30-minute lunch break and two shorter breaks. At the end of the marathon session, Hensarling thanked Yellen for her “stamina.”The Fed chair drew praise for her direct responses. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said she’d been able to understand more of Yellen’s answers than she had the responses of Bernanke or Greenspan.At times, Yellen was blunt. Asked what impact a failure to raise the federal debt limit would have, she said, “Frankly, it would be catastrophic to not raise the debt limit.”She was pressed by some Republicans to explain why she opposed legislation that would subject the Fed to audits by the Government Accountability Office on its rate decisions. Yellen noted that the Fed is already subject to GAO audits in some areas. But she said that allowing the GAO to second-guess interest-rate actions would subject the Fed to improper political influence.Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., argued that the Fed was wrong to oppose the audit legislation. “The American people are feeling less and less empowered to hold the Fed responsible,” Bachmann told Yellen.At the other end of the political spectrum, Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., urged Yellen to be bolder in addressing long-term unemployment. He said many older workers who had been laid off and young people trying to enter the workforce were growing increasingly frustrated. He said Yellen should oppose Republican efforts to end the Fed’s dual mandate to pursue maximum employment and price stability so it could focus solely on inflation.Yellen said she felt the Fed’s dual mandate “has served this country well.”Many economists think the Fed bond buying, which totalled $85 billion a month during 2013, will be reduced in $10 billion increments this year until the purchases are eliminated in December. The purchases of Treasury and mortgage bonds are aimed at stimulating the economy by keeping long-term loan rates low.Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., asked Yellen to outline what developments might cause the Fed to slow or suspend its reductions in bond purchases. Maloney asked whether the weak job reports for December and January might prompt a pause.Yellen acknowledged she was surprised by the sluggish job gains the past two months. But she suggested that job growth might have been held down by severe weather and was not necessarily a signal of a slowdown. She noted that when the Fed next meets March 18-19, it will have another jobs report to review.Yellen said the Fed won’t likely change its pace of bond reductions unless it sees a “notable change” in the economic outlook. The Fed’s three rounds of bond purchases have driven its holdings above $4 trillion — four times its level before the financial crisis struck with force in 2008. Eventually, it will need to sell those investments without sending interest rates soaring or otherwise destabilizing markets.On bank regulation, Yellen said the Fed was committed to implementing the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which overhauls regulation to try to prevent a future financial crisis. But she agreed that oversight that’s too aggressive can keep banks from making loans that small businesses need to operate. read more

Thomson Reuters reports secondquarter profit up from year ago revenue down

Thomson Reuters reports second-quarter profit up from year ago, revenue down TORONTO – Thomson Reuters (TSX:TRI) reported an increase in its second-quarter profit compared with a year ago, while a stronger U.S. dollar hurt its revenue.The financial data and information company, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, says it earned a profit attributable to shareholders of US$262 million or 33 cents per diluted share, up from $249 million or 31 cents per diluted share a year ago.Adjusted earnings per share amounted to 52 cents, up from 51 cents per share in the same quarter last year.Meanwhile, revenue slipped four per cent to $3.04 billion compared with $3.16 billion.The company estimated that the impact of foreign currency reduced revenue by six per cent.“Our results are in line with our full-year expectations, and on a pre-currency basis, each of our four operating units reported growth for the first time in more than three years,” chief executive James Smith said in a statement.“We are entering the second half of 2015 from a position of strength and will continue to prioritize resources behind our highest growth opportunities.” by The Canadian Press Posted Jul 29, 2015 5:32 am MDT Last Updated Jul 29, 2015 at 6:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more