Members of the European Union  have agreed to draw up a blacklist of tax havens in the wake of the Panama Papers leaks. Finance ministers have endorsed the move, which is to be completed by the end of the summer. The European Commission says countries on the tax blacklist should be sanctioned if appeals for change go unheeded. Ministers have also agreed to exchange information on the beneficial owners of co... Read more
The BBC reported today that “Saudi Arabia has given Iranian diplomats two days to leave the country, amid a row over the Saudi execution of a top Shia Muslim cleric.” On Saturday 2nd January Saudi Arabia executed 47 prisoners who had been convicted of terror related offences. Most of the 47 people executed were Sunnis convicted of involvement in al-Qaeda-linked terror attacks over the last decade. ... Read more
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, posted yesterday a record budget deficit of $98bn (£66bn) this is its second deficit in consecutive years. Though this figure was less than some economists predicted ($130bn) it nevertheless has ‘forced’ the Kingdom’s Finance Ministry to look at revenue raising and other money saving measures. These include:
  • Applying VAT and raising charges on p... Read more
With France still on ‘high alert’ after the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13th November leaving 130 dead, a teacher has been attacked in a preschool class in Aubervilliers, (a suburb of the French Capital), by a man shouting: "This is for Daesh [Islamic State]. It's a warning",  He stabbed the teacher with a box cutter or scissors before fleeing. Police sources said ‘the teacher was stabbed in th... Read more
195 countries agreed in Paris today to adopt an historic deal to keep global warming "well below" 2C and "signal the end of fossil fuels" – it requires economies around the world to regulate emissions of gases that scientists say are causing the earth to warm. Negotiators sealed the deal after easing U.S. concerns about provisions that would need to be approved by sceptical U.S. lawmakers. They won over developi... Read more
NATO foreign ministers invited Montenegro Yesterday to join their military alliance in its first expansion since 2009, defying Russian warnings that enlargement of the U.S.-led bloc further into the Balkans would be a provocation. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg declared: "This is the beginning of a very beautiful alliance." Sources within Russia claim that this could lead to the ending of ‘joint projects’ with... Read more
President Bashar al Assad blames the US-led coalition for the expansion of ISIS. According to Sky News today: ‘Syria's president blames the US and coalition forces for the jihadists' growth, while praising Russia for bombing his enemies.’ Mr Assad said “"Since the beginning of that (US-led) coalition, if you want to talk about facts, not opinion, since the beginning of that coalition, ISIS (Islamic Sta... Read more