The United Kingdom’s premium credit rating is under threat without action to tackle soaring debt, a leading ratings agency has said. Standard & Poor's has warned that debt could rise to 100% of output by 2013, which could lead to the UK losing its coveted 'AAA' status.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been forced to defend two more of his Cabinet ministers as the expenses scandal showed little sign of abating. He insisted there was no problem with financial arrangements that meant Transport Secretary Geoff Hoon and Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell did not pay capital gains tax on second homes.
The British government finally relented on settlement rights for the Gurkha veterans, the elite soldiers who for over two hundred years have served in the British Army, bravely fighting all over the world including the Falklands conflict of 1982.
Argentina’s ruling couple, the Kirchners growing international isolation has been highlighted by Buenos Aires political analysts. The only leader who seems to visit Buenos Aires quite often is Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, while differences accumulate with neighbouring Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, with the more distant Mexico and Israel and there seems to be a growing distancing from the Obama administration.
Direct foreign investments in Latinamerica and the Caribbean are showing a significant resistance to the global crisis and in 2008 reached a record 139 billion US dollars, up 9.4% from the previous year according the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
Global steel output fell by 23.6% in April to 89-million tons, the World Steel Association said on Wednesday.
Mexico’s economy shrank a record 8.2% in the first quarter, --the most since the 1995 Tequila Crisis--, battered by the global financial crisis and the outbreak of swine flu. Mexican Finance minister Agustin Carstens admitted GDP may shrink as much as 5.5% this year.
Venezuela's economy grew at its slowest rate in five years during the first quarter, 0.3% (year to year) and the slowest since 2003 reported the Central Bank. Compared with the previous quarter the contraction was 16.4%.
American Task Force Argentina (ATFA), a coalition of more than 40 taxpayer, investor, educator, Latino and agriculture organizations, commended members of the United States House of Representatives for introducing legislation imposing stiff penalties on wealthy and middle-income nations that, like Argentina, refuse to honour obligations to US creditors.
Falkland Oil and Gas Ltd (FOGL.L) said on Wednesday it conditionally raised 7.6 million pounds (11.8 million US dollars) to help fund capital expenditure on long-lead drilling equipment, and general and administrative costs through 2010 into 2011.