Rome Asks Philanthropists to Develo...

The lack of funding and manpower along with lack of legislation has failed to protect and maintain the crumbling ancient sites of Rome. Now, the Roman...

Middle East Luxury Industries Lose ...

The slump in oil prices and tourism slowdown has affected sales in Riyadh's own luxury industries. According to analysts, the oil slump had mad...

Restaurants In The UK To Stop Addin...

Under new government plans to remind consumers they do not need to tip when eating out, restaurants could be stopped from adding discretionary service...

Brazil’s Current Struggle Wil...

As the Brazilian Congress votes to impeach Brazilian Dilma Rousseff over charges of corruption, the effects of the current standoff could result to lo...

Rome Asks Philanthropists to Develop Parts of Ancient Sites

The lack of funding and manpower along with lack of legislation has failed to protect and maintain the crumbling ancient sites of Rome. Now, the Roman Forum, Circus Maximus and the aqueducts, sewage system and other parts of the Colosseum lay in ruins.

According to Roman Cultural Superintendent Claudio Parisi Presicce, Rome needs more funding as it has about €12bn in debt to the world.

He said: “We need new strategic ideas. We have to create a link between the people living above the modern city and the ancient city that lies beneath them,” he said.

Rome Government Appointed- Mayor Francesco Paolo Tronca said Rome was still suffering from its malaise of corruption scandals involving the Mafia and its former officials. He said the citizens could hope for less to maintain the key tourist attractions and the heritage of the city.

“We need help to ensure Rome continues to be a reference point in terms of beauty for the whole world,” said Tronca, who was brought in after the former mayor Ignazio Marino quit over a minor expenses row unrelated to the broader corruption scandal.

Middle East Luxury Industries Lose Out To Oil And Tourism Slowdown

The slump in oil prices and tourism slowdown has affected sales in Riyadh’s own luxury industries.

According to analysts, the oil slump had made many local consumers afraid to spend money.

Crude prices had gone down to an all-time low due to global surplus. Consumers in the Middle East are holding their money as tourism has slowed.

Russian tourists, the majority of Saudi and the Middle East’s visitors, had arrived in the country in smaller numbers due to the economic sanctions that had also lowered oil prices in the country.

Middle-East luxury sales rose just 1 percent to 8.1 billion euros ($9.2 billion) in 2015, slowing from the region’s 4 percent gain in 2014, Bain estimates. A fifth of respondents in a survey of Persian Gulf countries published last month, said they cut luxury consumption in 2015, compared with 13 percent a year earlier.

In Saudi Arabia, cash withdrawals have declined for two straight months compared with the same period last year, according to central bank data. Combined with weak demands in Asia, the strong dollar and European terror attacks, luxury brands find difficulty in raising sales. The global luxury sector may expand about only 2 per cent in 2016, which is the weakest for Saudi Arabia and the rest of the bloc since 2009.

Restaurants In The UK To Stop Adding Discretionary Service Charges

Under new government plans to remind consumers they do not need to tip when eating out, restaurants could be stopped from adding discretionary service charges.

According to UK Business Secretary Sajid Javid, his department would be launching aconsultation on tipping amid customer concerns that restaurants are confusing customers about the charges and who receives their provided tips.

Restaurants in the United Kingdom usually add a 10 to 15 per cent service charge to their bills. Ministers find themselves troubled with “double tipping” because the customers did not think they had already paid a service charge before leaving cash for their waiter.

The consultation may force restaurants to make it clear to consumers that they do not have to pay the discretionary service charge. Another is to abolish the service charge completely.

According to Javid:

“The alternative would be to prevent businesses from suggesting any specific discretionary payments for service, e.g. 5, 10, 15 per cent.

“In other words, there would be no mention on the consumer’s bill of a suggested specific amount for a discretionary payment for service, other than that a discretionary service has not been added.

“The consumer may still decide to leave a discretionary payment for service without any prompt of a specific amount from the employer.

“Under this option, discretionary payments for service would become an ‘opt in’ decision for a better informed consumer, who would hold complete discretion towards making any such payment.”

Brazil’s Current Struggle Will Have Long-Term Political Reverberations

As the Brazilian Congress votes to impeach Brazilian Dilma Rousseff over charges of corruption, the effects of the current standoff could result to long-term political changes in Brazil.

Voting ended late on Sunday with Eduardo Cunha leading the congress. About 367 of the 513 deputies that backed impeachment, the outcome has yet to create violence and increasing trouble throughout the country.

However, the Workers party, in the lower house, mentioned that it would conceded defeat with 80 votes still left to be counted.

According to Leader Jose Guimaraes, “the fight is now in the courts, the street and the senate.

The conservative opposition had carefully secured its motion to remove the elected head of state less than halfway through Rousseff’s mandate.

Far-right deputy Jair Bosonaro had voted yes to support to Carols Brilhante Ustra, who is an ex-leader of the Doi-Codi torture unit during Brazil’s dictatorship era.

The voting has placed Dilma Rousseff in a troubled position. Her odds of survival looked slim and Brazil has turned against Rousseff. Experts said it didn’t happen in a crash.

Slowly, due to economic recession, political turmoil and the Petrobras scandal had seen her approval ratings fall. Even her mentor, former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is under investigation in connection to the Petrobras scandal

The Europe’s Overweight In 2025 Would Be Britain

A large obesity research showed that Britain would be Europe’s “fattest man” if the government will not push to decrease consumption of sugary drinks and salty food and if Britons will not change their diets.

According to the Imperial College London’s researchers, a poor lifestyle for the UK’s working society coupled with dependence on statins and beta-blockers to lower blood pressure and cut cholesterol is encouraging bad eating habits leading to obesity.

Statins and beta-blockers, used by many overweight Britons, may not have any more effect as people become increasingly obese over time.

For the first time, the UK has more obese than underweight individuals.

Health experts are calling it a “health-time bomb” and consider obesity as a “national tragedy”.

Calls for further cuts on sugary drinks and salty food have been renewed.

According to Professor Majid Ezzati, the senior author of the research:

“This epidemic of severe obesity is too extensive to be tackled with medications such as blood pressure lowering drugs or diabetes treatments alone, or with a few extra bike lanes.

“Our research has shown that over 40 years we have transitioned from a world in which underweight prevalence was more than double that of obesity, to one in which more people are obese than underweight.

“Obesity has reached crisis point. We need coordinated global initiatives – such as looking at the price of healthy food compared to unhealthy food, or taxing high sugar and highly processed foods – to tackle this crisis.

“Unless we make healthy food options like fresh fruits and vegetables affordable for everyone, and increase the price of unhealthy processed foods, the situation is unlikely to change.”

Mexico City Bans A Million Cars In Response To Pollution Alert

Mexico city authorities ban one million cars from its roads in response to a smog alert owed to high ozone levels twice above the imposed acceptable limits in the capital.

Mexico city’s pollution alert had stretched to three days since Monday. Officials told people on Wednesday to limit outdoor activities to avoid health complications.

Mexico city woke up to a muddy haze with a thick brown colour. According to Environment Secretary Alejandro Pacchiano, should conditions prove consistent, the government may suspend industrial activity in factories.

Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said that about 1.1m cars in the valley of Mexico have been banned from being driven.

Sub-par vehicles that emit more smoke and chemicals have been ordered off the road for the third day.

Mosul Issues Warning Of Possible Mosul Dam Collapse

According to reports from the Iraqi Government, the possible collapse of the Mosul dam could kill 1.5 individuals from an ‘inland tidal wave’. The Government had announced contingency plans to help prevent huge casualties from the possible collapse of the Mosul dam.

Officials warned that Baghdad, Shirqat, Baiji, Tikrit, Samarra, Balad and Dujail might be flooded once the dam breaks down.

The statement is an acknowledgement by the Iraqi Government of the danger posed by the dam. The brief capture of ISIS, the dam’s old age and poor state of repair will require an immediate repair to the dam.

Italian Contractor Engineering Firm TREVI is to make crucial repairs on the structure immediately.

Mosul itself could have 21m of water within hours of a breach. Downriver cities might face lower levels of flooding within two days.

The US Embassy in Baghdad had also warned US citizens of the danger of a possible dam collapse.

“We have no specific information that indicates when a breach might occur, but out of an abundance of caution, we would like to underscore that prompt evacuation offers the most effective tool to save the lives of the hundreds of thousands of people living in the most dangerous part of the flood path in the event of a breach,” the embassy said.

Fifth Anniversary Of Bahrain’s “Uprising” Delivered More Protests

Marking the fifth anniversary of the Bahrain uprising where many were arrested and reportedly tortured in Bahrain prisons, youth have been arrested in a fresh series of clashes.

The clashes served to commemorate the fifth year of the first uprising where police used harsh methods to bear down protesters.

Authorities overseeing recent clashes arrested individuals and minors for acts of sabotage and riots and having disrupted people’s interests.

The clashes happened in the Bahraini capital of Manama over the weekend. Police used tear gas and water cannons against youths who burned tyres and threw debris at police officers.

The protests depicted Shia Cleric Nimr al-Nimr, executed in Saudi Arabia in January. According to Sayed Alwadaei from the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, the situation on Sunday was similar to a state of martial law complete with “violence, arrests and tear gas.”

According to the government statement released by the Bahraini News Agency on Saturday, the Bahraini political and democratic development in the last 15 years was going smoothly. The statement said the newly-crowned King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifah advanced these interests to reform the country.

“Newly established institutions including the independent Ombudsman – the first of its kind in the region – the National Institute for Human Rights, and the Prisoners’ and Detainees’ Rights Commission have enhanced independent oversight immeasurably, winning international awards in the process,” read the statement.

“The pace of progress cannot be slowed and will not be held back by groupings seeking to reject all attempts at political advance in favour of narrow, short-term interests.”


Kids Company Oversight Bars Trustees From Leading Future Charities

An MP Committee judged the oversight of former charity Kids Company was too weak. It was weak enough that the Charity Commission may consider barring its trustees from leading charities in the future.


According to Chairman of the House of Commons Public Administration Committee, the Kids Company blunder is a huge number of failures of governance and control at every level including all its trustees, auditors, inspectors, regulators and even government.

Chairman of the Trustees and Former BBC Creative Director Alan Yentob was condemned for his failures.

The charity suffered immense losses in finances with questionable numbers for clients. Favoured clients having more support than the others indicated favouritism and hints of corruption.

In November 2014, the charity turned away a donor who wished to give significant support that would help develop the charity’s infrastructure. This was during a time of a £4 million deficit. However, the charity judged the donor lacked ‘emotional authenticity’ and was not “genuinely philanthropic”.

Some workers reported “inappropriate relationships between key workers and clients”. Some untrained key workers lacked ideas about boundaries. Safegauarding practices had also been questioned by some workers in the last three years.

The Ofsted, the CQC or the local government, does not supervise Kids Company.

A BBC documentary would air on Wednesday to illustrate these issues.

Mosquito-Borne Diseases Plague Brazil

Health Minister Marcelo Castro Claims the Brazilian Health ministry had developed new testing kits that would help to quickly identify the three viruses brought by mosquitoes in Brazil.

Brazil is currently facing a large outbreak of Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya. Zika is a disease linked to many birth defects in the country, including microencephaly common in poor north-eastern Brazilian states.

The development of the testing kits, according to Castro, would help researchers develop a vaccine as soon as possible.

Brazilian households are advised to clear stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.

Brazil had seen fewer than 150 cases of microencephaly in 2014. From October 2015, microencephaly cases have sprung up by 3,530.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Friday alert advising pregnant women to avoid travel to Brazil and other Latin American and Caribbean countries where mosquito-borne diseases originate.

The travel alert applies to Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Martinique, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela and Puerto Rico.

African Economic Predictions For 2016 As Per Journalists

African journalists send their letters to UK news network BBC. Columnists said that Islamist group conflicts, the upcoming African elections and stronger economic ties with China will dominate headlines and local discussions.

Filmmaker and Journalist Farai Sevenzo said Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigerian forces had driven the Islamist group Boko Haram away from the country and is now “a shadow of its former self”.

Buhari’s definition, according to Sevenzo, will only come as “a scant comfort to the people of the northeast.” However, thousands are still displaced, including the missing Chibok girls, which the government has yet to find.

Boko Haram is well-known for disrupting schools in different towns and villages in Nigeria and the rest of Africa, disrupting the education of millions of African children.

Meanwhile, elections in Gambia will see a war against witches if certain candidates win. Yaya Jammeh, who intends to declare the Gambian Republic an Islamic state in the proper sense, will cement his 22 years as leader if he wins the elections.

Zimbabwean Leader Robert Mugabe is to enter his 36th year as leader of Zimbabwe.

Harare, intends to forge stronger economic ties with China. The Chinese renminbi has become the currency of trade between the two countries. However the West is looking at the deal as enslaving Zimbabwe as a Chinese colony.

President Mugabe said he intends to “look East” to China for his economic policies.

Law Society Condemns Plan To Raise Small Claims Court For Personal Injury

Chancellor George Osborne’s plan to raise the small claims court’s compensation amount from £1000 to £5000 would allow the small claims process to handle all types of minor soft tissue injuries from car accidents. The UK Law Society slammed the proposal.

According to Law Society President Jonathan Smithers, it would only undermine victims from getting compensation from defending insurers, who have access to resources to obtain to legal advice.

He said:

“The Law Society is gravely concerned that these proposals will completely undermine the right of ordinary citizens to receive full and proper compensation from those that have injured them through negligence. These proposals will stop people obtaining legal advice for all personal injury claims below £5,000 and stop people claiming for often debilitating injuries arising from road traffic accidents if these injuries are considered minor.

“This is a fivefold increase in the present level of cases currently within the small claims procedure, benefiting those who have negligently harmed people and will result in more people trying to work their way through a complex court system without any legal advice. People recovering from their injuries will have to bring claims as litigants in person (without any legal advice) and this can be very unfair because those defending the claims can often afford to pay for legal advice. This therefore undermines ordinary people’s ability to access justice. Especially if defendants simply deny liability forcing people to fight through the courts without legal help.

“Personal injury claims, even lower value claims, can include serious injuries arising from the fault of an employer or other road traffic accidents where legal rights can be very complex and the injuries caused debilitating. A new limit of £5000 will mean personal injuries including facial scarring would be considered as ‘small claims’. This is totally unacceptable.

David Cameron Accused Of Rushing Airstrikes Vote For Political Convenience

UK Prime Minister David Cameron may be rushing the airstrikes vote through parliament. After Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn granted a free vote to extend military action from Iraq to Syria, Cameron intends to have majority of the MPs vote on the Syrian airstrikes, which he would present in the Commons for a second time.

Cameron said there is a growing support across Parliament to act against the Islamic State (IS). He said the terrorist headquarters is in Syria and recognising the border instead of dealing with IS, who does not consider the border, would mean a loss of an national interest and an opportunity to do the right thing.

Jeremy Corbyn said Cameron was opportunistic and had “bulldozed” his way using the issue as a matter of national security for “political convenience.”

Cameron had also refused a two-day debate, leading Corbyn to say Cameron understood the debate was not in his favour at this point. He encouraged the Prime Minister to stop the rush to war and allow a full discussion of the issues in Parliament.

Corbyn made it clear that the Labour party will oppose military action on all fronts.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Philip Hammond expressed his confidence that the vote can secure a majority.

How IS Proves Terrorism Has No Religion

Social media reacted with disgust as news anchors only reported in troves about the Paris bombing attacks by IS rather than report on the previous-day bombing in Beirut or other horrors experienced by villages, towns and cities under IS control.

As high western officials deem the attacks to be an attempt to dismantle western civilisation. However, even Muslims in the Middle East and IS-captured territories report killings of religious minorities or forced conversion.

Yazidi Attacks

One well-known IS attack against Middle East was its assault on Iraq’s Yazidis. As it forced the refuge of thousands of Yazidis, others, including Muslims, Christians and Alawites of Iraq had abandoned their own homes to avoid the hostilities.

It would be unwise to say the Islamic State attacks in Paris are an attack to western culture. Even the Muslims suffer, but it is downplayed because the western culture proves to have the upper hand in broadcast media.

Cultural Divisions

The IS sees the world with divisions whereas the world sees civilisation as a shared, global value. However, many westerners do so as well, indicating that the attacks are targeted to their own culture. The West sees its own civilisation as a shared global value, the IS does, Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Puritanism does, Syria’s Assad despite his brutality does.

This is the challenge of globalisation for the world today.

Thief Shooting Caught On Camera

A video from a security camera shows the shooting of a hardware store robber despite being disarmed and on the ground. The video showed a police constable shooting the man several times as he is wounded.

Prior to the shooting, the man had kicked the suspect multiple times after being shot. Other members of the unit had also joined in.

The African Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) promised to deliver action against the other policemen for failing to stop the shooting or assisting the dying man.

Charged With Murder

The police constable who shot the 32-year-old Khulekani Mpanza can face murder charges. However, as of yet, not one of the police officers from Krugersdorp had been arrested.

The police clearly acted on a tip-off while waiting in a van distant from the crime scene.

Mpanza tried to rob a hardware store in the suburban town last month. Police said he shot against the police van first.

The Krugersdorp police said they would suspend the police officers upon the confirmation from IPID before proceeding.

Police Lt. General Lesetja Mothiba said police officers who acted unlawfully would be prosecuted.


Brazil’s Economy Continues To Spiral

Economists are calling Brazil’s latest recession shock the worst economic depression it has had since the 1990s. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff deals with accusations of manipulation and red tape in terms of paralytic policies disabling the growth and expansion of plenty of companies in the country.

Analysts from Itau Unibanco Holding sees Brazil’s economy to go down about 3 per cent more in 2015. Industry experts are signalling the biggest Brazilian economic crisis in history.

Credit-Fuelled Growth

Manufacturers have cut down production levels with dwindling product demands. The recession is threatening the country’s economic model and has hampered consumer spending.

The credit-fuelled growth was accompanied with a higher inflation rate at 10 per cent. Brazil’s own economic trouble is powered by its own budget deficit. Currently, Brazil’s credit status is junk according to Standard & Poor’s

Huge Job Cuts

Economic troubles become apparent as a higher unemployment rate surfaces.

Smaller automakers established in the country are filing for bankruptcy. Analysts fear a lower GDP as a result.

Meanwhile, car manufacturing giant Ford had laid off thousands of employees after a shortage of orders. In Sau Paulo, analysts speculate as many as 20,000 employees were laid off every month. They said it was at its worst phase of economic growth since the 2008 financial crisis.

Pope Francis Dislikes Rome Mayor

There’s something about Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino that the Roman Catholic leader dislikes. While Pope Francis had laughed with US President Barack Obama, conversed with Filipino Leaders during his Philippines visit earlier this year and even talked in a civilised manner with Argentinian President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Ignazio Marino does not fit in the Pope’s bill.

On his flight home from Philadelphia, United States, Pope Francis said he did not invite Mayor Ignazio Marino to Cuba. Upon saying, he did not play down his agitation.

No One Invited Him

Pope Francis added that he did not invite the mayor. The organisers had made it clear that they didn’t invite Marino.

It would seem Ignazio Marino had struck a dissonant cord with the Pope.

Marino is accused of being inefficient with his job following the deteriorating city of Rome and the increasing infiltration of Mafia ranks in government offices. Earlier this year, Italian government representatives replaced Marino’s officials in several offices due to Mafia affiliations.



Marino is further placed in the Pope’s scrutiny when an Italian radio programme made a prank call to the high-ranking Vatican official Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia wherein he said Marino wanted to take advantage of the situation where Marino had “crashed the party” to win public favour during the Cuban visit.

Paglia had made it clear that Marino had insisted to see the Pope repeatedly for a confession or a conversation, to which the Pope repeatedly denied his requests.

China’s President Square Off With Chinese CEOs Over Importance Of Tech

Chinese President Xi Jinping is to visit the United States for the first time next week, making it his first state visit. However, before he talks to US President Barack Obama, Xi is to talk with China’s most powerful CEOs and their US counterparts to talk about technology and its importance to government, economy, intellectual property and more.

The Paulson Institute in Seattle will serve as the venue. Most Chinese participants are from its tech and Internet sectors. Almost every US tech brand CEO will be present. However, highly-present companies in China and the US, including National Petroleum, Waltermart and Exxon, would not be attending the event.

Tech companies want to straighten out Xi Jinping’s view on cyber security issues, namely bringing China vulnerable. However, it may also talk about the possibility of improving government, stimulating economy and allowing individual rights to flourish through technology.

The complete list of attendees include the following:

Jack Ma          Alibaba            Internet

Lu Guanqiu     Wanxiang        Automotive

Ma Huateng    Tencent           Internet

Yang Yuanqin Lenovo            Computer hardware

Wang Yusuo   ENN Energy Holdings            Natural gas

Ma Zehua        COSCO          Shipping

Guan Qin        CSCEC           Construction

Wan Long        Shuanghui Group        Meat processing

Tian Guoli        Bank of China Banking

Jiang Jianqing Industrial and Commercial Bank of China     Banking

Pan Gang        Yili Group        Dairy

Robin Li           Baidu   Internet

Liang Haishan Haier Group    Electronics home appliances

Wang Jinshu   Yuhuang Chemical     Chemicals

Li Qiang           Tianjin Pipe Group      Steel pipe making

Mary Barra      General Motors           Automotive

Jeff Bezos       Amazon           Internet

Warren Buffett            Berkshire Hathaway   Conglomerate

John Chambers          Cisco Systems Inc.     Networking equipment

Tim Cook        Apple Inc.        Consumer electronics

Dave Cote       Honeywell       Conglomerate

Bob Iger          The Walt Disney Company    Mass media & Entertainment

Ellen Kullman  DuPont            Chemicals

Andrew Liveris            The Dow Chemical Company            Chemicals

Satya Nadella Microsoft         Computer software

Indra Nooyi     PepsiCo          Beverages

Dennis Muilenberg      The Boeing Company Aerospace

Tom Pritzker   Hyatt Hotels Corporation        Hospitality

Ginni Rometty IBM Corporation         Computer hardware

Howard Schultz          Starbucks        Coffee


China’s Economic Troubles Reflect Heavily On Africa

Africa’s economic policymakers must endure more tests with global turbulence.

The collapse of oil and metals prices definitely had a significant impact on Nigeria and Angola’s economies. The two countries had crude exports as their top products. South Africa, on the other hand is the continent’s top mining destination. China’s weakening economy could also mean weaker African currencies in the increasing market volatility.

China had overtaken the United States as Africa’s largest single trade partner in 2009. China is Africa’s major client for mineral exports and is its major investor in constructor infrastructure projects. It is also the source of cheap government financing for projects.

China’s slowdown might mean big trouble for Africa. With Chinese sovereign wealth investment or part sovereign wealth fund invested projects in Africa, it could mean huge withdrawals in projects as the capital becomes more discreet, seeking greater profits from Africa-based projects.

The uncertainty would also place their current African investments to higher scopes. However, analysts still believe that China would grow Africa’s economy with the increasing interests of private investors.

For non-oil exporting countries in Africa, the collapse in crude prices were a saving grace. However currency depreciation affects inflation and the costs of imports. With external risks increased and public debt rations reaching critical levels, it could mean a play-down for investors.

Mexican Press Calls On President To End Press Violence

International writers and artists including Paul Auster, Alfonso Cuaron, Salman Rushdie and Sergio Ramirez had sent a letter to Mexicn President Enrique Pena Nieto to urge him to stop the violence against journalists in Mexico. US’ PEN International Chapter posted the letter on their website and more than 500 journalists, writers and creative artists all over the world had signed the petition.

The letter referred to the murders of Ruben Espinosa and four women including human rights activist Nadia Vera on July 31 in Mexico City.

Espinosa was a photojournalist and his murder was the latest in the “long series of outrages against the press, and it took place in a city that was considered one of the last safe places in the country for reporters to work. There would now seem to be no safe haven for the profession,” said the letter.

Espinosa moved to Mexico City after he received threats in the Gulf State of Veracruz.

The Mexican National Human Rights Commission or CDNH had found evidence pointing to the involvement of government officials in many of the journalist attacks in the last few years.