With the Antarctic Summer well underway, British Antarctic Territory Commissioner Peter Hayes has sent his well wishes to British Antarctic Survey staff (BAS) working on the continent over the coming months. In a recent letter to UK Base commanders Dr Hayes commented:
All five US financial regulators have approved the Volcker rule, designed to restrict the finance industry in the wake of the 2008-09 financial collapse. Named after former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, it bans banks from using their own funds for trading activities and it is considered the centerpiece of the 2010 banking reform legislation known as Dodd-Frank.Banks will have until 21 July 2015 to comply with the rules.
A tablet costing £30 (48 US dollars) has gone on sale in the UK. The UbiSlate 7Ci, made by UK-based company Datawind, is the commercial version of the Aakash 2 tablet, which was originally launched in India, where it is mainly used by students and was designed to provide cheap internet access to help improve education.
The UK Defence Secretary has announced £79 million of investment in the next generation of Royal Navy submarines. The Successor submarines, which will carry the UK’s strategic nuclear deterrent will be the largest and most advanced boats operated by the Navy and their design and construction will be the most technologically complex in the history of the UK.
Ireland's prime minister has marked the end of the country's bailout program with a speech to the nation. In a televised address, Enda Kenny said Ireland's good name and our credibility had been restored. Meanwhile Portugal could be the next in the list after a review of the economy was advanced six months.
The Uruguayan economy contracted 0.7% in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter, although it jumped 3.3% over the same period a year ago, according to the latest release from the Central bank in Montevideo. During the second quarter, the expansion had reached 2.4%, and 1.5% previous to that.
The new US ambassador in Brazil Liliana Ayalde said President Barack Obama is prepared to receive his Brazilian peer Dilma Rousseff. The statement comes weeks after a state visit planned for last October was suspended by Dilma in protest over revelations of extensive US spying of Brazilian communications including the mobiles of the Brazilian leader.
France will lose out in its bid to win a multi-billion-dollar fighter jet contract with Brazil, the Folha de Sao Paulo daily reported over the week-end. It said France’s 4 billion dollars proposal for 36 Rafale fighter jets, from a consortium led by French giant Dassault, will be shot down for cost reason.
Spain’s government proposed a law to control more tightly the financial activities of political parties, after corruption scandals in recent years involving both left and right. The law will ban legal and corporate entities from making donations to parties, and banks will no longer be allowed to cancel their debts or negotiate with them interest rates that would be below market levels. Donations are currently allowed up to a limit of 100,000 Euros a year.
Germany’s main center-left party cleared the way for Angela Merkel to start her third term as chancellor on Tuesday, announcing that its members had voted by a large majority to join the conservative leader in government. The ballot of the Social Democrats’ nearly 475,000 members capped post-World War II Germany’s longest effort to form a government.