Monday, May 16, 2011

Merkel, IMF talks cancelled

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, has been arrested on charges of attempted rape, criminal sexual act and unlawful imprisonment, New York City police said Sunday, the Associated Press reported.

A law enforcement official said Mr. Strauss-Kahn was taken into police custody Saturday after being removed from an airplane at Kennedy Airport.

The law enforcement official said Mr. Strauss-Kahn allegedly forced a cleaning woman onto his bed and sexually assaulted her at around 1 p.m. Saturday inside his room at the Sofitel Hotel near Times Square.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn's attorney didn't immediately return phone or email messages seeking comment.

Talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and arrested IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, set for Sunday, have been cancelled as the International Monetary Fund will not send a replacement to Berlin, a government source said.

The charges, if true, would strike a tremendous blow to France's current politics. The Socialist Party is holding primaries this fall, but candidates have been requested to apply between June 28 and July 13.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn's decision regarding his candidacy has been much awaited as polls have constantly shown over the past few months that he would beat Mr. Sarkozy as soon as the first round. His decision was expected as soon as the end of May, a person close to him told Dow Jones Newswires.

Corrupt corporate legislation

Just think about 100 Senators and 435 Representatives total numbers representative are 441 with 5 Delegates and one Resident.

If any corporation invest on 50% members one million dollars per member.The total amount will be 220.5 millions Dollars. After that they can make law as corporation want with 25% support of natural agreed members.Simply "that corporation" will "Get benefits" of just some "Billions" only.

Estimated War-Related Costs, Iraq and Afghanistan

Estimated Costs of war in Afghanistan 2011

119.4 Billions US$

Estimated Costs of war in Iraq 2011

51.1 Billions US$

Currently, the United States consumes 19.6 million barrels per day, of oil, which is more than 25% of the world's total.

If Congressman or Senator talk angrily on Middle east the oil prices will rise again.

If oil prices rise only 1$ per "Barrel" Poor corporations just get 19.6 US$ million per day only##########

Which one not agreed with them. They have many other "Alternate solutions"

Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills. ”
This establishes the method for making Acts of Congress. Accordingly, any bill may originate in either House of Congress, except for a revenue bill, which may originate only in the House of Representatives. In practice, the Senate can simply circumvent this requirement by substituting the text of any bill previously passed by the House with the text of a revenue bill, as was done with H.R. 1424 or the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982. When the Senate sends an appropriation bill to the House, the House may return it to the Senate with a blue slip, thereby settling the question in practice. Either House may amend any bill, including revenue and appropriation bills.
The Origination Clause stems from an English parliamentary requirement that all money bills start from the House of Commons; it was intended to ensure that the "power of the purse" lies with the legislative body closer to the people. The clause was also part of a compromise between small and large states: the latter were unhappy with equal representation in the Senate.

What did you think about US budget 2011?
Where are we (Americans).....................?

Consumer Outlook for China Luxury

Chinese incomes are going up. For some that means a stop at the local fast food restaurant is affordable, for others, it has created a pension for brand names, expensive cars and glitzy jewelry.

McKinsey, a management consultancy, recently reported it expects China will account for 20 percent of the world's luxury goods in just four years. By then, it says, the luxury market could be worth 27 billion dollars.

Rapid increases in wealth, and shifting social mores that sanction the display of that wealth, are driving a growing infatuation for luxury goods among Chinese consumers.”
“Access to an explosion of information on the Internet, an increasing penchant for overseas travel, and first-hand experience purchasing and consuming luxury goods are contributing to a substantial rise in sophistication among luxury consumers in China. Contrary to popular belief, a growing number of Chinese luxury consumers are exhibiting a noticeable trend away from overt displays of wealth, and towards more understated forms of luxury consumption.”
“Rapid urbanization and growing wealth outside of China’s largest cities is driving the emergence of several new geographic markets with sizeable pools of luxury goods consumers. Over the next 5 years, [McKinsey] expects that the number of such cities will double from 30-60.

Ushering into 2011, China, serving as a niche market, is more than just prosperity. It is believed that China’s luxury market has transformed from ‘land-rush’ to ‘ROI focus’. It is urgent for key market players to have in-depth knowledge of ‘China’s rule’. How to cultivate specific brandculture catering to local consumers? How to efficiently build brand image and grant to consumers? What is the ideal retailing solution for variant consumers? How to do ideal CRM in a niche market? It is certain that luxury consumption in China is more than purchasing but purchasing culture, spirit, life sytle of luxury brands.

Core luxury buyers: Affluent households that spend 12 to 20% of their income on luxury goods per year ($22,000 to $66,000).

Luxury role models: Young and fashionable, most are self-employed or corporate executives living in Beijing or Shanghai. They buy to indulge themselves and seek to feel unique rather than show off their wealth.

Fashion fanatics: Middle class, typically in junior to mid-level positions; includes some housewives. They spend a disproportionate amount of income on luxury, and have a stronger “enjoy now” mindset, willing to buy on credit. They also exert a strong influence on other consumers, sharing their purchases and opinions in social circles and online.

Middle-class aspirants: Middle class living in Tier 2/3 cities. They are infrequent buyers of luxury products. Purchasing luxury goods makes them feel successful and fulfills aspirations of belonging in a higher social circle. They are also less knowledgeable about luxury brands and thus are more cautious spenders.

Hillary offers carrot, Kerry stick

United States has reverted to its old tactics of carrot and stick policy as two of its top leaders have reflected this in their latest contacts with Pakistan.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called President Asif Ali Zardari late Sunday and discussed present situation in the aftermath of the Abbottabad operation. According to official sources, the President apprised her of the concerns expressed by Pakistan’s Parliament over the operation.
According to TV channels, Hillary assured US support to Pakistan. Both leaders also discussed war on terror and the bilateral relations
Earlier, US Senator John Kerry, while speaking in Kabul, warned that relations with key ally Pakistan were at a ‘critical moment’ and maintained that there was disturbing evidence against Pakistan’s links with Taliban.
Shortly arriving in Islamabad, John Kerry called on Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and exchanged views on matters of mutual interest. Kerry, who has ostensibly come to pacify Pakistan over US raid in Abbottabad, was told by General Kayani that unilateral action against Al-Qaeda chief did not go well in Pakistan and had further widened the trust deficit between the two countries.

WASHINGTON: US Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Chairman Senator John Kerry visited Pakistan along with the list of demands and could use threats and offers to make demands meet, a report published in US newspaper said.

According to the US newspaper, Senator Kerry would try to use the threat of Congressional cuts to the $3 billion in annual American aid to Pakistan as leverage.

Kerry will also reassure Pakistani officials that they will be a central part of any political accord with the Taliban in Afghanistan, to ease their fears that India will take over large areas of Afghanistan as the United States pulls out.

He will also raise an issue of Pakistan's escalating production of nuclear fuel.

Members of Congress, in closed sessions, have complained that if Pakistan continued to escalate production of nuclear fuel then it would jeopardize the fundings.

Kerry presents list of specific demands

ISLAMABAD - U.S. Senator John Kerry will push Pakistani leaders on Monday to explain how Osama bin Laden was able to hide in their country for years, without further inflaming Pakistani anger over the U.S. raid that killed the al Qaeda chief.

U.S. special forces flew in from Afghanistan on a secret operation to find and kill the al Qaeda leader on May 2, nearly 10 years after he orchestrated the September 11 attacks on the United States.

His discovery holed up in the comfortable garrison town of Abbottabad, only 50 km from the Pakistani capital, has revived suspicion that U.S. ally Pakistan knew where he was and has been playing a double game.

Pakistan has rejected that as absurd. It welcomed bin Laden's killing as a big step in the fight against militancy but objected about being left in the dark over the raid to get him.

Kerry arrived late Sunday and went quickly to see army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, handing him the list of US demands, according to a Pakistani government official. The official spoke on condition of anonymity and declined to give more details because of the sensitivity of the subject.

Kayani told Kerry his soldiers have “intense feelings” about the raid, in apparent reference to anger and humiliation here that Washington did not tell the army in advance about helicopter-borne raid, and the fact it was unable to stop the incursion.

Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari’s office, meanwhile, said US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called him Sunday to discuss the raid’s fallout in Pakistan. Clinton has spoken of the need to keep strong ties with Pakistan, and stressed there’s no evidence yet its leaders knew of bin Laden’s whereabouts.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke on Sunday to President Asif Ali Zardari by telephone about the situation since bin Laden's death, Zardari's office said, adding Zardari told Clinton about parliament's concerns.

"Both agreed to resolve the issues amicably and move forward," the president's office said.

Compounding Pakistan's reputation as an unstable Muslim country infested with militants, gunmen on motorcycles shot dead a Saudi diplomat in the city of Karachi on Monday as he was driving to work.

The attack came days after unidentified attackers threw two hand grenades at the Saudi consulate in the city, Pakistan's commercial hub. No one as hurt in that attack.

Al Qaeda is violently opposed to the Saudi government, which is a close ally of Pakistan, and has vowed revenge for the killing of its leader, Saudi-born bin Laden.

IMF chief's arrest may speed up succession battle

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the leader of the International Monetary Fund, spent much of Sunday at the Manhattan Special Victims Unit in East Harlem as prosecutors sought additional evidence, including possible DNA evidence on his skin or beneath his fingernails, to bolster allegations that he had sexually assaulted a maid in a $3,000-a-night suite at a Midtown hotel, officials said.

IMF officials explained Lipsky often runs the financial institution when the managing director (MD) is away and said it remained "fully functioning and operational."

But the announcement did not mask concerns among some high-ranking IMF board officials about a possible leadership vacuum, especially as Lipsky only last week said he planned to stand down in August when his term ends.

That could leave the world's lender rudderless just as it is immersed in efforts to fix the euro zone's debt debacle and faces the massive task of helping steer the global economy away from the kind of policies that triggered the crash of 2007-09.

As the court order was being sought, the woman who told the police on Saturday that she had been attacked by Mr. Strauss-Kahn, picked him from a police lineup on Sunday, the police said.

The identification came less than a day after he had been taken into custody by detectives of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the first-class section of the Air France jet. He was turned over to detectives from the Midtown South Precinct and later taken to the Special Victims Unit.

After identifying Mr. Strauss-Kahn about 4:30 p.m., the woman, a maid at the Sofitel New York on West 44th Street, where Mr. Strauss-Kahn was a guest, left the Special Victims Unit in a police van that drove past a gaggle of reporters. A blanket was covering her head.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn himself remained at the Special Victims Unit, near the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge, well into the evening, and it was unclear when he would be taken to Manhattan Criminal Court for arraignment.

The heads of the Bretton Woods institutions should be chosen solely on the basis of an open and merit-based process without regard to nationality."

Former Turkish finance minister Kemal Dervis' name has been circulated in recent months as a possible candidate.

Dervis was a former head of the United Nations Development Programme and now directs an economics program at the Washington-based Brookings Institution think-tank.

While some in Britain speculated about a candidacy of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who served as finance minister for a decade until 2007, his successor, David Cameron, has urged the IMF to look beyond Europe for its next leader.

Current French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has also been touted by some Europeans as a possible successor. That would make her the first female head of the institution.

IMF Head Held in Alleged Sexual Assault Attempt

Maybe is that "Corporate Sex" Assault

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, was pulled from an Air France flight in New York today and held for questioning about an alleged sexual assault, a police spokesman said.

The IMF head was being questioned over an incident in a Manhattan hotel, New York Police Department spokesman Brian Sessa said.

Authorities said a maid at a midtown Manhattan hotel told police that Strauss-Kahn stepped out of the bathroom naked as she was cleaning the room and assaulted her.

Strauss-Kahn was taken into custody aboard an Air France jet at John F. Kennedy International Airport, just as the doors were closing to take off on a flight to Paris.

Detectives from the New York Police Department picked up the IMF president from Port Authority police and took him to midtown for questioning.

The NYPD realized he had fled, he had left his cell phone behind," Browne said. "We learned he was on an Air France plane. They held the plane and he was taken off and is now being held in police custody for questioning."

Browne said Strauss-Kahn had not been charged.

Police said the alleged incident took place at the upscale Sofitel hotel on West 44th Street near Times Square.

The chambermaid "was brought by EMS (emergency medical services) to the Roosevelt Hotel, where she was treated for minor injuries," Brown said.

Strauss-Kahn took over the International Monetary Fund in November 2007. Before that, he was a member of the French National Assembly and a professor of economics at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris.

The IMF declined to comment and board officials said they had not been informed officially of the incident.

Browne said the maid notified hotel managers of the alleged assault and the hotel contacted police, who arrived at about 1:30 pm.

"She reported the attack to hotel officials who called police," Browne said.

When police arrived they found Strauss-Kahn's cell phone, Browne said.

"It appeared he left in a hurry," he said.

The IMF head has "not said a word" to police since he was taken into custody, Browne said.

He was being held for questioning at the Special Victims Unit on 126th Street in Manhattan.

IMF Chief Set to Face Sexual Scandal Turns to Lipsky

Head of the International Monetary Fund is set to appear in a New York City court Monday to face sexual assault charges following a complaint by a hotel maid.

Lawyers for Dominique Strauss-Kahn say he will plead not guilty, and has agreed to undergo a forensic examination as police gather more evidence in the case.

Authorities said Sunday Strauss-Kahn, who has been considered a leading candidate to be the next president of France, has been charged with criminal sexual assault, attempted rape and unlawful imprisonment.

Turns to Lipsky
David Lipsky, 64, was named acting managing director yesterday after the fund’s chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was charged with attempted rape and a criminal sex act on a New York hotel maid. Lipsky, who has been first deputy managing director since 2006, takes temporary leadership of the Washington-based IMF as it tries to stem the European sovereign-debt crisis and deal with Greece’s request for a bigger financial lifeline.

Lipsky, who once served as chief economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Salomon Brothers Inc. in New York and represented the IMF in Chile, is described by colleagues as a steady hand who can give the fund some stability in the aftermath of Strauss-Kahn’s arrest. His promotion came three days after the IMF said he would be leaving when his term as the No. 2 official ends on Aug. 31. That could result in an “awkward period,” said Eswar Prasad, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

IMF spokesman William Murray said Lipsky wouldn’t comment on his new appointment.

Meeting on Greece

European finance ministers will tackle Greece’s financing needs at meetings in Brussels today. Also on the agenda are the approval of 78 billion euros ($110 billion) in aid for Portugal and the nomination of Bank of Italy Governor Mario Draghi to be the next president of the European Central Bank.

In late 2008, the Group of 20 finance ministers asked the IMF to develop a so-called Early Warning Exercise. The effort “assesses low-probability but high-impact risks to the global economy and identifies policies to mitigate them,” the IMF said in a fact sheet last month.

Lipsky was a leader of the effort, emphasizing the importance of specifically identifying potential hazards.

Police say a 32-year-old chambermaid the Sofitel Hotel says she entered Strauss-Kahn's luxury suite to clean it Saturday afternoon. The maid told police Strauss-Kahn came out of the bathroom naked and attempted to force her into performing sex acts. The maid says she broke free, fled the room and told other hotel personnel, who called police.

Police say when they arrived at the hotel, Strauss-Kahn had already left for the airport, leaving behind his mobile phone and other personal items.

New York police say the maid was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and released.

Strauss-Kahn was considered a leading contender to run as the Socialist party's candidate against President Nicolas Sarkozy in France's 2012 election.

The head of the Socialist party, Martine Aubry, appealed for party unity Sunday and said that the news "struck like a thunderbolt.