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In brief: Developing nations propose new bank

Fri., March 30, 2012

NEW DELHI – The leaders of five of the world’s fast-rising powers agreed Thursday to move toward creating a new development bank that would improve access to capital for poor nations.

Accusing current international institutions of failing to lift up poor countries, the BRICS group – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – asked their finance ministers to investigate setting up a development bank like the World Bank or Asian Development Bank that they would back. They also agreed to boost business and trade in their own local currencies.

The five countries represent 45 percent of the world’s population.

Shells wins order against Greenpeace

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A federal judge has ordered representatives of Greenpeace USA to stay a kilometer away from Shell Oil’s drilling vessels destined for Arctic Ocean waters off Alaska’s northern shores.

The order signed Wednesday in Anchorage grants a preliminary injunction requested by Shell through Oct. 31, the end of the open water drilling season.

Shell sought the injunction after Greenpeace New Zealand activists in February boarded the Shell drill ship Noble Discoverer before it left for the U.S. West Coast for cold-weather modifications.

Senate blocks end to oil tax breaks

WASHINGTON – The Senate blocked an effort to end billions of dollars in tax breaks for the oil industry, brushing aside President Barack Obama’s argument that the five big oil companies were doing “just fine” while consumers were struggling with painfully high gasoline prices.

The measure to kill the industry tax preferences failed on a 51-47 procedural vote Thursday. It needed 60 votes to overcome a Republican-led filibuster that was supported by some Democrats from oil-rich states.

Mali’s neighbors close land borders

BAMAKO, Mali – Seeking to force from power the mutinous soldiers that seized control of Mali last week, the body representing countries in the region announced late Thursday that they will close all its land borders with the landlocked Mali, as well as freeze the nation’s bank account if the junta does not step aside.

The financial sanctions would be among the harshest imposed in recent years on a nation in West Africa and are likely to strangle impoverished Mali, which imports nearly all of its gasoline from neighboring Ivory Coast.

Honduran prison riot leaves 13 dead

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – At least 13 people died during an uprising by armed inmates at a Honduran prison Thursday, one of them decapitated and the others killed by a fire started by the rioters, authorities said.

The unrest came six weeks after a fire at another prison in Honduras killed 361 inmates.

Canada raises retirement age

TORONTO – Canada’s Conservative government said Thursday that it is raising the retirement age to 67 from 65 for pension benefits.

The government said delaying retirement benefits will save the government billions of dollars.

The government will start making the adjustments in 2023 and phase them in gradually over six years.


 

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