Financial

UK : Government donation to Muslim Charities Forum denounced as “madness”

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An £18,000 grant to a charity coalition with alleged ties to terrorist organisations has been brandished “completely counter-intuitive” by interfaith groups
Egypt presidential election: Muslim Brotherhood win sets up army fight

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate Mohammed Morsi celebrate in Tahrir Square, Egypt Photo: EPA

A government department donated £18,000 to a charity coalition with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group whose activities Britain has vowed to curtail following concerns over their extremist links in the Middle East, it has been claimed.

Last week the Telegraph revealed that the government was set to impose curbs on Muslim Brotherhood-linked organisations after a report by a senior diplomat exposed its ties with Islamist armed groups in Middle East and elsewhere.

Yet a Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) spending report shows they donated £18,397 earlier this year to the Muslim Charities Forum (MCF), an umbrella group for a number of leading Islamist charities, some of which allegedly have links to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and other terrorist organisations.

David Cameron ordered an urgent investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood’s alleged role in violent extremism in April, after Gulf allies put pressure on the government to curtail the movement’s London-based operations. Read the rest of this entry »

Scottish companies lead market rally after No vote

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Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland surged three per cent while energy provider SSE, Glasgow-based engineer Weir and Standard Life were up by around two per cent in early trading. Picture: Getty

Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland surged three per cent while energy provider SSE, Glasgow-based engineer Weir and Standard Life were up by around two per cent in early trading. Picture: Getty

by JANE BRADLEY

SCOTTISH companies led the way in a market rally as the Scottish independence vote was quashed and investors ruled out a flurry of headquarters relocations in the financial sector.

Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland surged three per cent while energy provider SSE, Glasgow-based engineer Weir and Standard Life were up by around two per cent in early trading.

RBS, along with rival Lloyds Banking Group and insurance firm Standard Life, had indicated that it would consider a move south if Scotland opted to split from the United Kingdom. Read the rest of this entry »

Germany outlaws ‘Hezbollah fundraising group’

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A Lebanese flag appears behind Hezbollah's yellow flag in the Bekaa Valley on May 25, 2011
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A Lebanese flag appears behind Hezbollah‘s yellow flag in the Bekaa Valley on May 25, 2011 (AFP Photo/Joseph Eid)

Berlin (AFP) – German authorities banned a group Tuesday accused of raising millions for the Lebanese militant organisation Hezbollah and staged raids across the country against its members.

The interior ministry said it had outlawed the “Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon” (Orphan Children Project Lebanon) with immediate effect.

“The name of the group masks its actual purpose,” ministry state secretary Emily Haber said in a statement.

She said the organisation, based in the western city of Essen, had raised 3.3 million euros ($4.6 million) in donations between 2007 and 2013 for the Lebanese Shahid Foundation, an “integral” part of Hezbollah. Read the rest of this entry »

Can Russia still act responsibly? In Libya vote, yes.

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Despite its Crimea crime, Russia votes at the UN to honor Libya‘s sovereignty against rebel attempts to steal the country’s oil. The world order still needs that kind of Russia.

By the Monitor’s Editorial Board / March 20, 2014

The oil tanker Morning Glory is seen docked at the Es Sider oil export terminal in Libya in this March 8 photo. U.S. Navy SEALS seized the ship Monday after Libyan rebels arranged to take it to a foreign port.

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Before Russia’s actions in Crimea lead people to rebrand it as the “evil empire” of Soviet days, it deserves some credit for a civilized move at the United Nations on Wednesday.

Moscow voted in favor of a Security Council resolution that stands up for Libya’s sovereignty. The resolution condemns any attempt to steal oil from the North African country, which holds the ninth largest proven oil reserves in the world. Earlier this month, a rebel group sailed off with a tanker full of Libyan oil in a brazen attempt to sell it to an unknown buyer. On Monday, US Navy SEALs retook the tanker in the Mediterranean at the request of Libya’s government. Read the rest of this entry »

Terrorism Finance in Turkey: A Growing Concern

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by Jonathan Schanzer, John Cassara, Svante E. Cornell, Thomas Joscelyn and John Hannah

Read more at:http://schanzer.pundicity.com/14497/terrorism-finance-in-turkey-a-growing-concern

EU directive on trade secrets: an opportunity Malta should not miss

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Thursday, January 30, 2014, 00:01 by

Paul Micallef Grimaud and Philip Mifsud

Traditionally businesses treat physical assets as their most valuable. Intangible assets are, however, increasingly relevant. This is particularly true of intellectual property. The new challenge for businesses is keeping the ingredients that define their product or service secret.

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The European Commission’s Proposal for a Directive on the Protection of Trade Secrets published in November 2013 will likely be well received by European commercial players across the spectrum. Its objective: a uniform level of protection and certainty for trade secrets throughout the single market.

As defined, a trade secret has three constituent elements: (i) the information must be confidential; (ii) it should have commercial value because of its confidentiality; and (iii) the trade secret holder should have made reasonable efforts to keep it confidential.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bitcoin and the fictions of money

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The New York Times Reuters – A mock Bitcoin is displayed on a table in an illustration picture taken in Berlin January 7, 2014. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski/Files

How should we think about a currency like Bitcoin? The first thing to remember is this: Money is a sort of collective fiction. What money we choose to trust says much about how we see the world.

Above the simplest exchanges, most money has limited use. Gold, the most common historical currency, is almost only good for adornment. To its fans, gold’s uselessness is a value in itself; since the stock of gold is not consumed, it’s reasonably stable, while governments can print all the currency they want.

Paper is, of course, a proxy for the government issuing the money. How much we trust the government’s ability to collect taxes, pay debts, and so on is the collective fiction that gives a country’s money value. Read the rest of this entry »