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Islamic finance seeks to go green with environment-based products

Islamic finance follows religious principles which forbid involvement in activities such as gambling, tobacco and alcohol, but the industry has only recently begun to stress themes of wider social responsibility, such as protecting the environment. In April the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy, a government planning body, and the World Bank signed an agreement to develop funding for the emirate's ...

'No military solution' to Ukraine crisis, UN chief warns

Villagers walk by an abandoned checkpoint in Olenivka on September 1, 2014 UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned Western powers Tuesday "there is no military solution" to the Ukraine crisis, after the government in Kiev accused Russia of launching a "great war". As NATO prepares to upgrade its combat readiness in eastern Europe, Ban said he was greatly concerned at developments in Ukraine and wanted to avoid further deterioration to "a very chaotic and dangerous situation". "I know the European Union, the Americans and most of the Western countries are discussing very seriously among themselves how to handle this matter," he told reporters during a visit to New Zealand. His comments came after European-mediated talks on the fast-escalating crisis opened Monday behind closed doors in the Belarussian capital Minsk, attended by Ukraine government, separatist and Russian envoys.


Doubts over whether Detroit bankruptcy plan gets job done

A vacant and blighted home, covered with red spray paint, sits alone in an east side neighborhood once full of homes in Detroit By David Greising, Karen Pierog and Tim Reid DETROIT Reuters) - Detroit’s plan to recover from bankruptcy includes several blueprints for a new future. Detroit is far short of the $1.7 billion it needs over the next 10 years to remove abandoned buildings, replace outdated technology and increase public safety to stem the exodus from the city. “What Detroit needed to start with was a reinvestment program,” said James Spiotto, managing director of Chapman Strategic Advisors, a municipal finance consultancy. “If you don’t solve the systemic problem and fix it for real, all you’re going to do is repeat it going forward.” Detroit’s 1,034-page plan for fixing the city’s finances will be the subject of a weeks-long bankruptcy court proceeding, beginning on Tuesday.


Fast-food workers to launch intensified protests across U.S.

Demonstrators chant in the driveway during a protest at the McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook The protests, announced on Twitter by organizer Fight For 15, come as cities across the nation propose minimum wage increases while Democrats seek to raise the federal minimum wage ahead of this year's mid-term congressional elections. Fast food workers have launched a series of protests over the last nearly two years to bring awareness to their demands, which include the right to unionize without retaliation. In one of the last major actions, restaurant workers launched rallies in 150 cities, including Boston, Chicago, New York and Miami in May. This time, organizers are staging walkouts in more than 100 cities and plan to use nonviolent civil disobedience tactics such as sit-ins, The New York Times reported.


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Hong Kong police arrest 19 in pro-democracy scuffles

A pro-democracy activist is detained by the police during a confrontation in Hong Kong Hong Kong police said on Tuesday they arrested 19 people during scuffles with pro-democracy activists prompted by China's decision not to allow the Asian financial hub to choose its next leader. The 19, aged between 20 and 45, were arrested on Monday for illegal assembly, trying to force their way on to a carriageway, charging a police line and for pushing barriers, a police spokeswoman said. Police used pepper spray to disperse activists as Hong Kong center braces for a wave of disruptive protests against China's decision. Hong Kong is in the midst of a political upheaval as activists in the former British colony push for full democracy.


U.S. military targets extremists in Somalia

In this photo taken Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014 and provided by the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) Monday, Sept. 1, 2014, civilians who had left the town of Bulomarer when it was held by al-Shabab militants, return following the town's capture by African Union (AU) and Somali government soldiers, in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia. Somali government and AU troops have been engaging al-Shabab militants as part of their military offensive dubbed "Indian Ocean" aiming to oust al-Shabab from its last major hideouts in the southern parts of the Horn of Africa nation. (AP Photo/AMISOM, Tobin Jones) The operation focused on the Islamic extremist al-Shabab network, the Pentagon said.


California high school drops mascot criticized by Arab-American group

(Reuters) - A California high school has retired its Middle Eastern-themed mascot and accompanying belly dancers and redrawn its logo after criticism from Arab-Americans that they played on harmful stereotypes, a group advocating for the change said on Monday. Coachella Valley High School agreed to use a new image of a stoic-looking Arab man to represent its sports teams, dubbed "the Arabs," said Abed Ayoub, a spokesman for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which worked with the school to choose the new logo.

Finance sector's use of social media under scrutiny

The finance sector is under increased scrutiny for its use of social media, with regulators expected to fine-tune Australian laws, matching trends that are already in place in the UK and US.

Peru police display record 7.7-ton cocaine haul

Police carry blocks of seized cocaine as they present it to the press at a police base in Lima, Peru, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. Police announced that they seized 7.7 metric tons (8.5 tons) of cocaine in the northern town of Trujillo on Aug. 26, and that it's the largest seizure of cocaine in Peru's history. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia) LIMA, Peru (AP) — Peruvian police displayed in a Lima airport police hangar on Monday what officials called the largest cocaine haul ever in the Andean nation, 7.7 metric tons (8.5 tons).


Cry for help from Americans detained in North Korea

Americans Detained In North Korea Call For US Help Three detained Americans seek diplomatic negotiations for their freedom.


Cuba's new crackdown takes effect

People put their luggage in a private taxi as they arrive from the U.S. to the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. Cubans braced Monday for a clampdown on the flow of car tires, flat-screen televisions, blue jeans and shampoo in the bags of travelers who haul eye-popping amounts of foreign-bought merchandise to an island where consumer goods are frequently shoddy, scarce and expensive. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) New government restrictions are upsetting travelers to the island nation.


Nigerian troops battle Boko Haram Islamists

Nigerian soldiers patrol in the north of Borno state on June 5, 2013 near Maiduguri Militants attacked Nigerian troops as they prepared retake an embattled town.


Horrors committed by Islamists in Iraq

Kurdish peshmerga forces celebrate as they take control of Sulaiman Pek from the Islamist State militants, in the northwest of Tikrit city UN officials say ISIS has carried out atrocities on "an unimaginable scale."


Paris suburb building blast death toll reaches 8

French firemen carry a victim in the rubble of a building after an explosion collapsed it, in Rosny-sous-Bois, outside Paris, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014. French authorities say a four-story building in a northeastern Paris suburb has collapsed after an explosion, killing a child. More people are thought to underneath the rubble. Speaking on i-Tele, fire department spokesman Gabriel Plus said around 10 people were evacuated from the building in Rosny-sous-bois that occurred early Sunday morning. Plus said that around another 10 people could still be underneath the rubble, and emergency teams were working hard to rescue people who might be trapped. "We could still find living victims in the hours to come," he said. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has arrived at the scene, but couldn't confirm a theory that the explosion was caused by a gas leak. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena) PARIS (AP) — The death toll in the partial collapse of a four-story apartment building in a Paris suburb has risen to eight after emergency crews pulled the bodies of a man and a woman from the rubble.


Obama notifies Congress of airstrikes in Iraq

Obama delivers remarks at Laborfest 2014 at Maier Festival Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has sent official notification to Congress of his order for last week's airstrikes and humanitarian aid drops to help Iraqis threatened by Islamic State militants.


Florida power utilities fear return of ‘Green Governor' Crist

Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist greets supporters outside the North Miami Public Library in Miami in this file photo By David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - When Charlie Crist last governed Florida, his green energy and climate policies made him few friends among the state's powerful electricity corporations. Now, as the Republican-turned Democrat bids to return to the governor's mansion, it may be payback time. Florida's three largest utilities have poured money into the re-election campaign of Republican incumbent Governor Rick Scott in an expensive and closely watched political battle for the nation's largest swing state. ...


Middle-class financial prospects not so grim: Finance Canada

Finance Canada has issued a rebuttal of a politically embarrassing report on middle-class economic woes that was compiled last fall by experts in another federal department.

Schaeuble says 'too many' EU finance ministers push for public investments

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said "too many" of his European Union colleagues believed an investment shortfall in the region should be corrected with public investments. He was speaking at a conference also due to be addressed by Pierre Moscovici, the former French finance minister likely to be the new economic policy chief at the European Commission. Moscovici ...

Obama's careful election strategy

FILE - This June 17, 2014, file photo shows President Barack Obama speaking at the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) fundraiser gala in Gotham Hall, in New York. His name won't be on the ballot, but Obama will shape the midterm elections like no other. For Republicans, he is a punch line who fires up conservatives and reaches dissatisfied independents. And some Democrats won't even mention his name. It's left Obama able to do little more than raise money ahead of an election that will define how he spends his final two years in office. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) The president has a tricky path to walk if he wants his party to keep the Senate.


Ukraine accuses Russia of "open aggression"

Pro-Russian separatists stand in front of destroyed trains at a railway station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Ilovaysk By Pavel Polityuk and Polina Devitt KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia on Monday of "direct and undisguised aggression" which he said had radically changed the battlefield balance as Kiev's forces suffered a further reverse in their war with pro-Moscow separatists. In the latest in a string of setbacks in the past week, Ukraine's military said it had pulled back from defending a vital airport in the east of the country, near the city of Luhansk, where troops had been battling a Russian tank battalion. Poroshenko said in a speech there would be high-level personnel changes in the Ukrainian armed forces, whose troops fled a new rebel advance in the south which Kiev and its Western allies say has been backed up by Russian armored columns. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called on Sunday for immediate negotiations on the "statehood" of southern and eastern Ukraine, blamed Kiev's leadership for refusing to enter into direct political talks with the separatists.


China universities vow ideology clampdown on staff, students

File photo shows students studying in a building at a university in Beijing, on May 30, 2013 A wider suppression on free expression in China intensifies.


Ukrainians pull back from airport; Poroshenko slams Russia

A local resident inspects damaged APC in the village of Hrabske, eastern Ukraine, Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014. The fight for Ilovaisk and surrounding areas, including the village of Hrabske, between Ukrainian government troops and pro-Russian separatist fighters was bitter and lasted the best part of a month. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits) By Richard Balmforth and Pavel Polityuk KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's military said on Monday it had pulled its forces back from defending a vital airport in the east against Russian tanks, as President Petro Poroshenko accused Moscow of "direct and open aggression". The withdrawal from the civilian airport outside the city of Luhansk was the latest in a string of reverses for Ukrainian forces fighting pro-Russian separatists who Kiev says have the direct support of hundreds of Russian troops and armor. A military statement said Ukrainian paratroopers were engaging a Russian tank battalion near the airport.


Duelling reports: Finance rebuts grim analysis by another federal department

Finance Canada has issued a rebuttal of a politically embarrassing report on middle-class economic woes that was compiled last fall by experts in another federal department. Last October, bureaucrats at Employment and Social Development Canada wrote a scathing internal report on the plight of the middle class, calling the Canadian dream "a myth more than a reality." The report, obtained by The ...

Beijing faces defiance in Hong Kong on vote reform

Pro-democracy lawmaker Lee Cheuk Yan, center, is taken away by security guards after a protest against Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People’s Congress' Standing Committee, in Hong Kong Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. China's legislature on Sunday ruled out allowing open nominations in the inaugural election for Hong Kong's leader, saying they would create a "chaotic society." Democracy activists in the Asian financial hub responded by saying that a long-threatened mass occupation of the heart of the city "will definitely happen." (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) Pro-democracy lawmakers disrupt a Beijing official's speech on tightly limited voting reforms.


Brace yourselves: Campaign cash buying tons of ads

FILE - This Oct. 8, 2013, file photo shows Cornell Woolridge of Windsor Mill, Md., as he demonstration outside the Supreme Court in Washington, as the court heard arguments on campaign finance. The first midterm elections since both parties embraced a historic change in campaign finance, and with it a sea of campaign cash, will mean for most voters an avalanche of television ads trying to reach the few able to be swayed and willing to vote. In the nation's closest races for U.S. Senate, that translates into "price per vote" that could easily double what was spent in the 2012 presidential election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa's airwaves are already jammed with political ads, most of them negative, in one of the Senate races nationwide that will decide which party claims the majority.


Islamic Finance Gateway Daily Briefing

Monday, Sept 1 - The Islamic Finance Gateway (IFG) Briefing, published from Sunday to Thursday, carries the latest market-moving news and data for institutions offering Islamic financial services. You can view the full IFG briefing via http://tmsnrt.rs/W1StCs under IFG Briefings Subject. TOP STORIES Dubai's Emaar to launch long-awaited malls unit IPO in September Emaar Properties will launch ...

Finance execs split on stock 'correction'

Lofty valuations in stocks and geopolitical tensions have left some chief financial officers wary of a sharp fall in share prices.

DIARY-Islamic Finance to December 31

Items marked ** denote new or amended listings TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 (until September 4) MALAYSIA - Global Islamic Finance Forum Details: http://www.giff.com.my/ WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 SENEGAL - IFSB-FIS ...

Austrian conservatives pick Schelling as finance minister

By Michael Shields VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria's conservative People's Party (OVP) on Sunday chose as finance minister Hans Joerg Schelling, a politically connected millionaire lauded by supporters for whipping the social security network into shape. The OVP, the junior partner in a government coalition with the Social Democrats, said the party leadership unanimously picked Schelling, 60, head of ...
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