Month: October 2013

Obama considers banning of spying Allies

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Obama eavesdropping

Obama has to face a pending diplomatic crisis due to the N.S.A. scandal.

This summer, Mr Snowden, a N.S.A. agent, stole and published documents from the company. They reported that N.S.A. was eavesdropping the whole world. It sparked off vivacious reactions, first and foremost in Europe, the number one target of the service.

Many European governments triggered the President of the USA but Obama’s burning topic is the Merkel situation. The German Chancellor discovered that the US were spying on her since 2002. She personnally called the President of the USA to condemn this behavior, which is not a friendly one.  To respond to all these allegations, the N.S.A. declared that they stopped monitoring the German Chancellor over the summer, right after Snowden’s theft was discovered. Moreover, the N.S.A. confirmed they did not inform Obama that they were bugging Merkel’s phone calls. He allegedly learned about the situation a couple of months ago.

The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Commitee, Mrs Feinstein, stated yesterday that the American government will cease collecting information in friendly countries, whereas the White House declared that no final decision had been made. Despite this tricky issue, the administration announced they would still collect information in other countries about terrorist threats, development of weapons and criminal activity.

German representatives may fly to the White House next week to express their anger. It might raise a debate about what is an American ally and how the US has to behave with them.

Armelle DE OLIVEIRA IEJ 3F

Six miners die in a disastrous gas leak in Spain

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minerA gas leak, has killed 6 miners and injured 5 others yesterday in a northern Spanish coal mine.

The Castilla and Leon emergency service declared that the accident took place at the Santa Lucia Mine near the city of Pola de Gordon on Monday. The first observation shows that the gas spread so quickly that the 6 dead miners had no time to put on their protection masks. Five others have been transported to the hospital, ‘they are stable now’, officials said.

The accident occurred when the roof of the mine collapsed, and released methane in the tunnel. Methane has forever been the nemesis of the miners. This gas is a colorless and odorless gas which is not deadly in small quantities, but progressively replaces the oxygen in the air and in the red blood cells leading to death by asphyxia.

Jesus Gonzales, who is one of the miners on the site when the tragic accident occurred helped the rescue :  “Let’s go to section seven, the roof has collapsed” everybody was screaming. “I was taking out the stretchers to the street, they were coming out asleep without a single scratch. It was simply the methane displacing the oxygen, an overwhelming asphyxiation. One mouthful of that and that’s it, like birds.

Both federations have decided to call a 48-hour strike in all mining operations in the country as a symbol of respect, condolences and mourning for our workmates” said a joint report from the CCOO and the UGT.

The National Commission for Safety Mining has been urged to investigate on the reason of this dramatic accident.

Hugo Pascual, IEJ 3F

Two al Shabab terrorists killed in Somalia

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ShebabTwo members of Harakat-al-shabab al-Mujahideen more commonly known as “Al- Shabab” have been killed by an American air strike.  According to the American Defence department, the strike killed two senior members of the terrorist organization. That counterterrorism strike was launched against a target in Mogadishu, Somalia.

The Al-Shabaab movement meaning “The Youngsters” is the Somalia-based cell of the militant Islamist group al-Quaeda, formally recognized in 2012. That strike is not the first, it happened three weeks after a Navy Seal raid in another part of the country failed to capture a senior leader of the Somali Islamic militant group. Apparently, the missile was fired by a drone and struck the car where an Al-Shabaab member known as Abu Mohamed was killed. “He’s been identified as someone we’ve been tracking for a long time,” said an official. Indeed, Abu Mohamed is said to be the militant group’s top explosive expert.

This American strike is clearly a response to the terrorist attack that took place on Sept. 21 in a mall in Nairobi that lasted over four days and where 67 people were killed. It is also an evidence that the Obama’s administration has a radical position on the al Shabab actions because of its bloody aftermath. However, according to local sources, Al-Shabab has promised more attacks on Kenyan soil unless the Nairobi government withdraws its troops from Somalia.

Eduardo Nolla, IEJ 3F

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Apple profits decline

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For the first time in 11 years, Apple ended its fiscal year with a net profit loss. This comes even though iPhone sales are beating the analysts’ expectations, with a profit of 7.5bn.

In reaction, Apple boss Tim Cook insisted that “business was stronger than ever”.

Peter Oppenheimer, Apple ‘s Chief financial officer, explained that the loss was partly  because it costs more to manufacture the company’s new iPads and Macbooks and that prices weren’t boosted accordingly.

The company tried to reassure the market, saying that its reserves were sufficient enough to cover the loss. This statement came after Apple’s stock briefly slid in the following hours.

At the moment, it remains down by more than 13% for the year.

“We’re at the point that people are getting anxious to see the next big game changer that Apple has,” says Evan Niu of the financial website The Motley Fool.

“Overall, this is a transitional quarter with the new iPads and iPhones coming out. This coming quarter will be the real test,” added Mr Niu.

For Apple this result is far from being alarming, and the next innovation will prove beneficial for the company.

Martin Bernard, IEJ 3F

India: a teenager kills herself for not being allowed to go on Facebook

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Last Wednesday, in the Indian state of Maharashtra (West India), Aiswarya Dahiwal (17) killed herself because her parents forbid the access of Facebook and her mobile phone. The tragedy took place in her bedroom.
She could neither stand the authority of her parents nor the ban to connect on the famous social network, Facebook. The girl has been found hanged last Thursday morning at home. She left a letter to explain her act, she could not handle the school pressure and the last quarrel with her parents.

We can’t believe it ! We are so shocked” explained her father to the Wall Street Journal. They wished just the best for their little daughter, according to them, she should focus on her studies first. They could not anticipate her act.

Before killing herself, Aiswarya wrote a letter, saying she could not stay in a house with so many restrictions.

In India, everyday, 371 people kill themselves, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics of 2012.  Maharashtra, where the teenager lived, is the second state where the rate of suicides is the most important.

Emilie Lesur IEJ 3F

What a deal for Vivendi and Lagardère !

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3504007_7_ea99_jean-rene-fourtou-president-du-conseil-de_c5562b8abe00c0d56980000490795974After years of negotiations, the two French Media companies Vivendi and Lagardère finally established a deal.

Lagardère, owner of  Hachette and Paris Match magazine, was actually owning 20 % of Canal Plus France while Vivendi was owning the remaining 80 %.

In the past, Lagardère always refused to sell its minority shares on Canal Plus group which was preventing Vivendi from having a 100% stake on the French pay-TV unit.

The main argument of Lagardère is that the group was wishing for a public offer in order to launch a higher price.

On its side Vivendi has been buying other holdings such as Universal Music and selling its editing parts in computer games maker Activision Blizzard.

In the end, Lagardère decided to sell its parts of Canal Plus to French group Vivendi at the price the company proposed.

Indeed, Vivendi finally agreed to pay 1.02B euros to Lagardère.

Despite the deal Lagardère and Canal Plus declared that they will proceed their cooperation in entertainment and production.

Doriane Ligorio, IEJ 3F

Cyprus : new external audit from banks.

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The “Troïka” of donners had begun Tuesday a week of economic audit in Cyprus.

The island has to respect a strict rescue plan after bankruptcy. It has restructure its major banks and commit to drastic budget cuts and privatizations.

With the bankruptcy due to the exposure of its banks to Greek debt, Cyprus received a loan in March of 10 billion euros from the Troika. The donners was  the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the international Monetary Fund. After an initial audit in July, the Troika noticed “good progress”  with these measures and authorized the payment of a new tranche of the loan.

However, this new review, which opens Tuesday with interviews with the Minister of Finance Haris Georgiades and Governor of the Central Bank Panicos Demetriades could be trickier. The Cypriot government must now provide guarantees of its intention to reform the civil service and privatization of telecommunications companies and electricity issues. Mr. Georgiades stays optimistic before the new hearing, stressing the budgetary efforts the island has already adopted.

However, the outlook remains bleak for Cyprus, whose budget projections forecast a contraction of the economy by 3.9% in 2014 after an expected drop of 8.7% this year.

Sandie Vadimon, IEJ 3F