Latest Developments, February 7

In the latest news and analysis…

French exit strategy
Reuters reports that France is calling for UN peacekeepers to take over from the “African-led military mission” in Mali by April:

“According to diplomats at the United Nations, the Security Council is looking at adopting a resolution at the end of February or early March to replace the current African mission under the United Nations.
It would then take 45-60 days to ‘re-hat’ them as U.N. forces, which would involve a reduction of their number, the diplomats said.

French sources said the exact role of French troops in Mali under a U.N. mandate would have to be defined.”

Alternative Mining Indaba
The Daily Maverick’s Rebecca Davis writes that South Africa’s annual mining mega-convention, the Mining Indaba, is being accused of “deliberately excluding any potentially oppositional voices, like those of civil society or – crazy idea – miners”:

“A venture now in its fourth year, the [Alternative Mining Indaba] aims to give voice to mining’s critics, and members of mining-affected communities. Made up of a collective of NGOs and faith-based organisations, the impetus for the initiative came from Tanzania, where mining communities complained of toxic effects on health. ‘For 18 years the Mining Indaba has been meeting and talking about dividing up mineral resources, but there is no representation of people that live in these areas and are most seriously inconvenienced,’ Mandla Hadebe, programme manager for the Economic Justice Network, told the Daily Maverick.
The group of protestors carried signs bearing the words ‘Remember the slain of Marikana’, ‘No To Tax Dodgers’, and ‘If It’s Not Okay In Canada, It’s Not Okay In Africa!’ ”

Sharing the wealth
Bloomberg reports that Zambia’s state-controlled investor is calling on foreign mining companies such as Vedanta and Glencore to contribute higher dividends:

“Zambia, Africa’s biggest copper producer, privatized its mining industry between 1996 and 2001, maintaining minority stakes ranging from 10 percent to 21 percent in the companies, which it holds through ZCCM. The degree to which the country benefits from its copper resources has become a point of political contention, with the government accusing mining companies of avoiding as much as $2 billion a year in tax.
ZCCM wants the companies in which it has shareholdings to alter their dividend policies to improve transparency and increase payouts, [ZCCM CEO Mukela] Muyunda said in the Jan. 31 interview. He said dividends are the last priority for some companies, and this ‘doesn’t work for us.’ ”

Missed opportunity
Global Witness argues the European Commission’s proposed new legislation on financial crime does not go far enough in two key areas:

“Criminals currently find it easy to abuse European companies to hide their identity and therefore their assets. ‘Who owns and controls European companies should not be secret,’ said Robert Palmer, campaigner at Global Witness. ‘The names of the ultimate, beneficial, owners should be made public.’ A European Commission study found that public registries of the beneficial owners of companies would be more cost effective than other options.
Instead, under the Commission’s proposal, companies will only be required to know themselves who their ultimate owners are. This will be of limited help.

The proposal does not do enough to tackle professionals that facilitate tax evasion. ‘The Commission proposal allows bankers, lawyers and accountants who facilitate tax evasion to get away with it. They should face money laundering charges for this insidious activity which costs developing countries billions every year’ said Alex Marriage, Policy and Outreach Analyst at [the European Network on Debt and Development].”

Open secret
Gawker’s Adrian Chen tears into some of America’s most respected news organizations for decisiding not to report on a drone base in Saudi Arabia for more than a year after learning about it:

“In the case of the Saudi drone base, the Times and the Post weren’t protecting a state secret: They were helping the CIA bury an inconvenient story.
Reading the Times and Post stories on the Saudia Arabia drone base used by the CIA to assassinate American cleric Anwar al-awlaki in Yemen, one is left with the impression that its existence had become known for the first time today. In fact, the Times of London reported 18 months ago that the CIA was ‘launching daily missions with unmanned Predator aircraft from bases in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates.’ ”

Not budging
Inter Press Service reports that the World Bank is standing by its forestry policies despite both internal and external criticism:

“ ‘The allocation of large logging concessions, millions of hectares, to mostly foreign companies is still the prevailing model in many countries in the Congo Basin to manage forests,’ Susanne Breitkopf, a Washington-based senior political adviser on forest and climate with Greenpeace International, told IPS, referring to the vast tropical rainforests that cover six countries in Central Africa.
‘That clashes with local use by communities, and economically the local communities are not benefitting from this. As it turns out, these are often low-paid, low-quality jobs without contracts. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, we found that over time local communities are often poorer than when the companies arrive.’ ”

History matters
Based on his experiences at last month’s World Economic Forum, Columbia University’s Joseph Stiglitz writes that the global financial crisis has reduced the West’s power but has not necessarily changed how the rest of the world feels towards it:

“In response to one development expert’s heartfelt despair that unfair trade treaties and unfulfilled promises of aid have cost the developed countries their moral authority, [a mining company executive from a developing country] retorted: ‘The West never had any moral authority.’ Colonialism, slavery, the splintering of Africa into small countries, and a long history of resource exploitation may be matters of the distant past to the perpetrators, but not so to those who suffered as a result.”

Force majeure
Mining.com reports that uranium supplies are under threat due to a huge storm in Kazakhstan and unrest in the Sahel:

“State-owned Kazatomprom has since reported that operation of the affected uranium mines has been halted, and that repair of the power transmission lines could take anywhere between one to five months. Analysts estimate that the power outage could lead to a shortfall in uranium supply of up to 21 million pounds.

Areva’s two uranium operations in Niger have an estimated total output of 10.9 million pounds of uranium this year, much of which could be disrupted if conflict spreads from Mali to Niger, where France has already taken the precaution of dispatching special forces soldiers and helicopters.”

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Latest Developments, January 25

In the latest news and analysis…

Drone investigation
The New York Times reports that a UN expert has launched an inquiry into the civilian impacts of “drone strikes and other forms of remotely targeted killing” used by Western powers to eliminate alleged militants:

“The immediate focus, [Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism Ben] Emmerson said in an interview, would be on 25 selected drone strikes that had been conducted in recent years in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and the Palestinian territories. That put the panel’s spotlight on the United States, Britain and Israel, the nations that have conducted drone attacks in those areas, but Mr. Emmerson said the inquiry would not be singling out the United States or any other countries.

‘This form of warfare is here to stay, and it is completely unacceptable to allow the world to drift blindly toward the precipice without any agreement between states as to the circumstances in which drone strike targeted killings are lawful, and on the safeguards necessary to protect civilians,’ [Emmerson said].”

Peacekeeping drones
Reuters reports that the UN Security Council has granted permission for blue helmets to use surveillance drones over eastern DR Congo:

“U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote to the 15-member council late last month to advise that peacekeepers in Congo planned to use unmanned aerial systems ‘to enhance situational awareness and to permit timely decision-making’ in dealing with a nine-month insurgency by M23 rebels in the mineral-rich east.
In a response to Ban, the president of the council for January, Pakistan’s U.N. Ambassador Masood Khan, said the body had taken note of the plans for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo to use drones – effectively approving the proposal.
But the council also noted that it would be a trial use ‘in line with the Secretariat’s intention to use assets to enhance situational awareness, if available, on a case-by case basis,’ Khan wrote in a January 22 letter that was released on Thursday.”

Quid pro quo
The Globe and Mail reports that Canadian police believe a Montreal-based engineering firm paid $160 million in bribes to a son of former Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi:

“The fortune that was allegedly funnelled to Saadi Gadhafi was used, in part, to buy two yachts, pay condo fees and renovate his luxury Toronto penthouse at a price tag of $200,000. One of the yachts, a champagne-coloured vessel known as the Hokulani, is 150 feet and features a private movie theatre.
The lavish gifts and payments were meant to help SNC land contracts in Libya, RCMP Corporal Brenda Makad alleged in the sworn statement. ‘It is alleged that these funds were paid to him as a reward for influencing the awarding of major contracts to SNC-Lavalin International,’ she stated.”

Hall of shame
Greenpeace Switzerland and the Berne Declaration have awarded the 2013 Public Eye Awards for “particularly glaring cases of companies’ greed for profit and environmental sins”:

“The US bank Goldman Sachs receives this year’s jury award. The public award goes, with a large winning margin, to the oil corporation Shell, in accordance with the wishes of 41,800 online voters.

Michael Baumgartner, Chairman of the Public Eye Awards jury, adds: ‘Not only is Goldman Sachs one of the main winners of the financial crisis, this bank is also a key player in the raw materials casino: it has tapped into these markets as a new source of income and destabilised raw material prices. When food prices break all records, like in 2008, millions of people are plunged into hunger and hardship.’ ”

Less militaristic
The Los Angeles Times reports that US secretary of state nominee John Kerry told those present at his confirmation hearing that America “cannot afford a diplomacy that is defined by troops or drones or confrontation”:

“Kerry, a loyal ally and occasional diplomatic representative of the administration, was giving another signal that the White House intended to close the door on a decade of war, as President Obama said at his inauguration ceremony Monday. His comments veered from the administration script only in their implications about drones, which the White House has embraced as a low-cost counter-terrorism tool but which Kerry’s statement cast in an unflattering light.”

Western weapons
Reuters reports that Russia is largely blaming the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya for the current crisis in Mali that has drawn France and a number of African countries into the armed conflict:

“ ‘Those whom the French and Africans are fighting now in Mali are the (same) people who overthrew the Gaddafi regime, those that our Western partners armed so that they would overthrow the Gaddafi regime,’ [Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov told a news conference.”

Boys’ club
The Guardian’s Jane Martinson writes that the World Economic Forum, currently underway in Davos, is very much a male event:

“Despite introducing a quota which insists that the biggest companies send at least one woman for every four men, the percentage of women attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos has stuck at 17% for the past two years. Many of the companies subject to the quota simply send exactly four men, thus avoiding the need for a woman delegate.

Fernando Morales-de la Cruz, founder of ItiMa, points out that this puts the percentage lower than the 20% membership of Saudi Arabia’s Consultative Council.”

Challenging power
The World Development Movement’s Deborah Doane argues that the newly launched If anti-hunger mega campaign focuses too much on policy fixes and too little on the root causes of world hunger:

“I would never argue against the G8 and international community ending tax dodging; nor would I argue against stopping land grabbing, or stopping food crops being diverted to biofuels. I fully endorse the need to support smallholder farmers. And I’m a great advocate of corporate transparency.
However, the policy solutions in themselves don’t provide the impetus to address power in our unjust globalised food system and our politics. Ensuring everyone has enough to eat is a long-term project that demands far deeper and wide-ranging policy change than that proposed by If, and needs democratic change well beyond the power of the G8. By all means, support the campaign’s individual aims, but ending hunger demands that we go further.”

Latest Developments, May 11

In the latest news & analysis…

Clash of Civilizations 101
Wired reports that a US military course, which has since been cancelled, taught officers that “total war” against the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims would be necessary to protect America from terrorists.
“In the same presentation, [Army Lt. Col. Matthew A.] Dooley lays out a possible four-phase war plan to carry out a forced transformation of the Islam religion. Phase three includes possible outcomes like ‘Islam reduced to a cult status’ and ‘Saudi Arabia threatened with starvation.’

International laws protecting civilians in wartime are ‘no longer relevant,’ Dooley continues. And that opens the possibility of applying ‘the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki’ to Islam’s holiest cities, and bringing about ‘Mecca and Medina[‘s] destruction.’ ”

A more serious debate
Writing about the African edition of the World Economic Forum currently underway in Addis Ababa, Global Pacific & Partners’ Duncan Clarke decries the simplistic “leitmotif” of corrupt African politicians that dominates discussions of the continent’s economy.
“We need within Africa therefore to discern the deeper histories and underlying structures that moulded our economic worlds, plus the myriad forces that shape it today, let alone the unknown that will determine our lot tomorrow. There is more complexity in contemporary underdevelopment than flawed leadership allied to predation and visible political deficiencies. A more serious debate is needed.
Today there is an overabundant discourse on leadership, especially in the theatre of the talk shop, which somehow passes for sage insight or even sound economic analysis, providing a weak diagnostic framework for complex economic historiographies and contemporary realities.”

African growth
The Guardian reports that the Africa Progress Panel, led by former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, has concluded that Africa’s rapid economic growth is creating greater inequality.
“Although seven out of 10 people in the region live in countries that have averaged growth of more than 4% a year for the past decade, Annan’s study found that almost half of Africans were still living on incomes below the internationally accepted poverty benchmark of $1.25 a day.

‘It cannot be said often enough, that overall progress remains too slow and too uneven; that too many Africans remain caught in downward spirals of poverty, insecurity and marginalisation; that too few people benefit from the continent’s growth trend and rising geo-strategic importance; that too much of Africa’s enormous resource wealth remains in the hands of narrow elites and, increasingly, foreign investors without being turned into tangible benefits for its people,’ [wrote Annan in his foreword to the report.]”

Fear & loathing
A Center for Economic and Policy Research blog post examines the yawning gulf between foreign aid workers and those they are ostensibly in Haiti to help.
“And [this dynamic of fear and distrust] tragically emerged as a major reason for wasted opportunities and lives lost in the initial days and weeks after the 2010 earthquake, heightened by exaggerated media reports of ‘looting’ and potential chaos. The U.S. government, which secured a leading role for itself in the emergency relief effort, prioritized a military response over a non-military one, and generally treated the Haitian population as objects of fear to whom aid should be delivered, rather than active participants who could perhaps best act in the rescue and relief operations in their own communities.
This dynamic of fear and distrust, which estranges aid workers from the local population, may also help to explain the incredible disconnect that some in the NGO community seem to exhibit in their behavior, as documented by Michele Mitchell in her film “Haiti: Where Did the Money Go?” Mitchell records NGO staff dining at a posh restaurant where steak costs $34 and wine sells for $72 a bottle, across the street from an IDP camp where the very people these aid workers are supposed to serve struggle for daily survival.”

A dangerous policy
Former CIA officer Robert Grenier argues the US is repeating in Yemen mistakes it made in Pakistan.
“I do not claim deep knowledge of developments in Shabwa Province, but when I hear significant numbers of tribal militants being referred to as al-Qaeda operatives, and [al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula], a small organisation dominated by non-Yemenis, being alleged to have political control of significant parts of Yemen, I react with some scepticism, and some suspicion.
One wonders how many Yemenis may be moved in future to violent extremism in reaction to carelessly targeted missile strikes, and how many Yemeni militants with strictly local agendas will become dedicated enemies of the West in response to US military actions against them.”

Drone journalism
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism calls on Western media to provide more balanced reporting on the US drone war as it enters “a new phase” in which host-government cooperation has been withdrawn.
“Part of the justification for the US carrying out drone strikes without consent is their reported success. And naming those militants killed is key to that process. Al Qaeda bomber Fahd al-Quso’s death was widely celebrated.
Yet how many newspapers also registered the death of Mohamed Saleh Al-Suna, a civilian caught up and killed in a US strike in Yemen on March 30?
By showing only one side of the coin, we risk presenting a distorted picture of this new form of warfare. There is an obligation to identify all of those killed – not just the bad guys.”

Corporate warfare
Global voices reports on “unrest” in Guatemala involving community opposition to the construction of a hydroelectric dam by a Spain’s Hidralia Energia.
“In late April 2012, allegations of land mines placed around the hydroelectric company to protect it from any disruptive actions triggered a series of protests where citizens expressed their concern and demanded that the company be expelled from the community. Protesters denounced the mined field at the offices of the police, and later demanded protection and action from the army.”

Latest Developments, January 31

In the latest news and analysis…

PMC impunity
David Isenberg, author of Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq, argues that even after high-profile scandals in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq, the mechanisms for dealing with sexual violence committed by private military contractors (PMCs) remain toothless.
“What should be done in the future? [University of Illinois graduate student Angela] Snell calls for a three-fold solution: First, victims should file complaints against the United States in international courts, under the theory that the United States is liable for its contractors’ acts, because it has condoned them by failing to punish them and even actively discouraging their prosecution; second, victims should sue individual perpetrators in the United States under the [Alien Tort Statute], both to compensate victims and to deter contractors from future violence; third, and finally, the United States must act to close the jurisdictional gap that allows PMCs to escape prosecution by signing and supporting international treaties, developing its own stricter system of criminal liability for PMCs, and using contract mechanisms to enforce standards of conduct for PMCs.”

Poor forum
Despite its promise to focus on the Great Transformation, last week’s World Economic Forum was distinctly lacking in “radical new thinking” on sustainable development, according to the Global Institute for Tomorrow’s Chandran Nair.
“Although there were interesting sessions on Asia, rarely did they focus upon the need for the region to reject the current consumption-led growth model, which thrives on under-pricing resources and fails to acknowledge limits, and instead adopt an alternative developmental trajectory. Much of the discussion was based on a Western narrative, and therefore focussed on the political imperative of how to maintain lifestyles, whilst only addressing sustainability issues at the periphery.
This perspective seems to ignore the realities in Asia, where the challenges are very different. There, the priority is not to about how to maintain lifestyles but how, in 2050, five to six billion Asians will be able to live in the most crowded and resource constrained part of the world. Central to this is the need to alleviate poverty through fair and equitable access to vital resources.”

Fashion racism
A group of 31 public figures have signed an op-ed slamming the French edition of fashion magazine Elle for a recent article on the politico-sartorial statements of the “black-geoisie.”
“Elle magazine informs us that when it comes to fashion in 2012, the ‘the “black-geoisie” has internalized all the white codes.’ Moreover, ‘chic has become a plausible option for a community that had been stuck until now with its streetwear codes.’ Yes indeed, whereas Blacks spent decades dressing like ‘scum’ in a hood, they have finally understood, thanks to the teachings of Whites, that they were better off paying more attention to their appearance. Such is the substance of an article published Jan. 13 in the favourite weekly of housewives belonging to the ‘white-geoisie’ (since, apparently, we must now distinguish members of the bourgeoisie according to race) entitled ‘Black Fashion Power’ that tries to analyze the reasons behind the red-carpet success of African-American stars.” (Translated from the French.)

Worst-kept secret
The Independent reports that US President Barack Obama has admitted for the first time what everyone already knew, that the CIA is using drones for “very precise precision strikes” inside Pakistan.
“Washington’s use of drones in Pakistan has long been a source of anger for many Pakistanis. While US officials claim the strikes are an important tool in its arsenal, many in Pakistan say they undermine the country’s sovereignty and often hit innocent civilians. The New America Foundation, a US think-tank, estimates drone strikes in Pakistan have killed between 1,715 and 2,680 people in the past eight years. Last year, the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism said it believed that of those killed, as many as 775 were civilians, including 168 children.”

Drones for human rights
The Genocide Intervention Network’s Andrew Stobo Sniderman and Mark Hanis, on the other hand, argue drones can be used to protect innocents around the world, starting with Syria.
“Imagine if we could watch in high definition with a bird’s-eye view. A drone would let us count demonstrators, gun barrels and pools of blood. And the evidence could be broadcast for a global audience, including diplomats at the United Nations and prosecutors at the International Criminal Court.

Drones can reach places and see things cell phones cannot. Social media did not document the worst of the genocide in the remote villages of Darfur in 2003 and 2004. Camera-toting protesters could not enter the fields where 8,000 men and boys were massacred in Srebrenica in 1995. Graphic and detailed evidence of crimes against humanity does not guarantee a just response, but it helps.”

Staying grounded
But Daniel Solomon argues on his Securing Rights blog that using drones to document abuses could actually hamper human rights efforts over time by reducing the role of local populations.
“In a recent essay, Joshua Foust highlighted the relative decline of human intelligence (HUMINT) tradecraft and capacity as a decisive consequence of the Obama administration’s drone-heavy ISR operations. Human rights organizations confront a similar dilemma–often, relative to the official intelligence community, monitoring-and-reporting groups like Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group, and Amnesty International operate more advanced, broader, and deeper human intelligence networks in conflict-affected states. Local partnerships, empowerment networks, and storytelling capabilities represent the life-blood of an effective human rights organization. It’s easy to see how, with an increased emphasis on drone technology, those capacities would wither, with unfortunate consequences for the crucial art of human rights advocacy.”

Technological salvation
Columbia University’s Jeffrey Sachs lays out a technological vision for reining in human injustice and destructiveness in the Anthropocene era before suddenly concluding that solving such problems may require more than reducing inefficiencies.
“Yet getting from here to sustainable development will not just be a matter of technology. It will also be a matter of market incentives, government regulations, and public support for research and development. But, even more fundamental than policies and governance will be the challenge of values. We must understand our shared fate, and embrace sustainable development as a common commitment to decency for all human beings, today and in the future.”

Latest Developments, January 27

In the latest news and analysis…

Arms sale loophole
Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin reports that, following congressional opposition to a proposed sale of US arms to Bahrain due to human rights concerns, the Obama administration is moving ahead with a repackaged sale without formally informing Congress or the public.
“Our congressional sources said that State is using a legal loophole to avoid formally notifying Congress and the public about the new arms sale. The administration can sell anything to anyone without formal notification if the sale is under $1 million. If the total package is over $1 million, State can treat each item as an individual sale, creating multiple sales of less than $1 million and avoiding the burden of notification, which would allow Congress to object and possibly block the deal.
We’re further told that State is keeping the exact items in the sale secret, but is claiming they are for Bahrain’s “external defense” and therefore couldn’t be used against protesters. Of course, that’s the same argument that State made about the first arms package, which was undercut by videos showing the Bahraini military using Humvees to suppress civilian protesters.”

Responsibility while protecting
Former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans surveys the extent of the damage done to the “responsibility to protect” principle by disagreements over how NATO handled its Libyan intervention.
“The better news is that a way forward has opened up. In November, Brazil circulated a paper arguing that the R2P concept, as it has evolved so far, needs to be supplemented by a new set of principles and procedures on the theme of “responsibility while protecting” (already being labeled “RWP”). Its two key proposals are a set of criteria (including last resort, proportionality, and balance of consequences) to be taken into account before the Security Council mandates any use of military force, and a monitoring-and-review mechanism to ensure that such mandates’ implementation is seriously debated.”

WEF women
The Guardian’s Jane Martinson argues the World Economic Forum in Davos “has a woman problem.”
“Although the days are long gone when one female delegate was asked to leave an event because security assumed she must be a spouse without the required permit, the majority of the women in Davos are not there as participants. Only newcomers to Davos seem to consider this fact remarkable, with the odd feminist exception such as Helen Clark. The former prime minister of New Zealand turned administrator of the United Nations Development Programme called the female participation rate ‘pathetic’. The leader who appointed so many senior women to her cabinet that Benetton ran an airport advertising campaign welcoming visitors to the ‘women’s republic of New Zealand’ called for organisers to commit to the millennium development goal of 30% female participation by 2015. ‘Or why not next year? They should just go and look for the women. In one stroke, participation would go up.’ ”

Forgetting about poverty
Time’s Roya Wolverson argues that, with all the talk about inequality, absolute poverty seems to have dropped of the World Economic Forum’s radar.
“What’s missing in the WEF discussions is the perspective of the poor.  Unfair trade practices and poor working conditions in the developing world, issues that made it onto the WEF agenda a decade ago and keep rearing their ugly head, haven’t been raised at all. Instead, the conversation is acutely focused on the plight of the Western worker and his dwindling pension plan.”

Bad medicine
Intellectual Property Watch reports that the World Health Organization’s executive board has come up with a proposal for an international mechanism that would deal with  “counterfeit and substandard medical products” medicines without taking on thorny IP and trade issues.
“A contentious issue around counterfeits has been the suspicion on the part of some developing countries that concerns about counterfeit and substandard medicines are being purposely confused with trade in legitimate generic medicines from those countries. Removing intellectual property and trade from WHO discussions likely minimises the possibility of confusion.”

Bad money
Reuters reports on how difficult it is for financial regulators to overcome the client privacy provisions of Western banks in order to take action against “undesirable assets and clients.”
“ ‘Our current arrangements for the creation of trusts and the setting up of companies anonymously have created an environment which is permitting kleptocrats to move their loot around (and commit) tax evasion on a monstrous scale,’ said Anthea Lawson, head of the Banks and Corruption Campaign at Global Witness, a non-government organisation which campaigns against money laundering and corruption.
Those determined to hide money have numerous devices at their disposal: for example it is possible to establish an offshore company which belongs to an offshore trust behind which may be another trust, all spread across multiple jurisdictions and set up by an associate of a person on a sanctions list.”

War on finance
The Economist says that François Hollande, the French Socialist Party’s presidential candidate, has “declared war on global finance.”
“The financial industry, he said, had grown into a nameless, faceless empire that has seized control of the economy and society. To tackle the enemy and restore the French dream, Mr Hollande wants to separate banks’ ‘speculative’ activities from their lending arms. He would outlaw ‘toxic’ financial products, keep banks out of tax havens and ban stock options for all companies except start-ups.”

Tackling inequality
British Labour leader Ed Miliband lays out some proposals for a fairer economy.
“I support proposals for a financial transactions tax levied equally on the major trading centers from Hong Kong and Singapore to Wall Street and the City of London. The British government needs to show more leadership on this issue in Europe — and all members of G-20 need to help make it happen.
Britain loses billions of pounds in revenues because of outdated rules that allow our richest citizens to keep their money in off-shore tax havens. Tax authorities need to know about income and wealth hidden behind front companies, trusts and other complex financial products. If these rules cannot be changed by international agreement, progressive governments should go ahead and do it themselves.”