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Here is an interesting report from the World Bank for your perspective



Press Review for February 14, 2011


World Bank Press Review

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This summary is prepared by the External Affairs Department
 of the World Bank. All material is taken directly from published
 and copyright wire service stories and newspaper articles. 
The daily summary and other news can be found on the 
World Bank’s external website at http://www.worldbank.org/news.
 For inquiries call (202) 473-7660 or send a written request to the News Bureau.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Today’s Headlines:
  • Alcohol Kills More Than AIDS, TB Or Violence: WHO
  • Japan Overtaken By China As Number Two Economy
  • UK Will Maintain Contested GBP1 Billion India Aid
  • Egypt's Central Bank Sells $1.1 Billion In Treasury Bills
  • Tunisians Landing By Boatload On Italian Island
Alcohol Kills More Than AIDS, TB or Violence: WHO. “Alcohol
 causes nearly 4 percent of deaths worldwide, more than AIDS,
 tuberculosis or violence, the World Health Organization (WHO
 warned on Friday. Rising incomes have
 triggered more drinking in heavily populated countries in
 Africa and Asia,including India and South Africa, and binge
 drinking is a problem in many
developed countries, the UN agency said….” [Reuters/Factiva]
AP adds that “…worldwide, over 6 percent of male deaths are related to
 alcohol, but only just over 1 percent of deaths in women. Almost one in
 10 deaths among young people aged 15-to-29 is from alcohol-related
 causes – about 320,000 each year – WHO said.
The global body's first report on the subject in seven years recommended
 that governments raise alcohol taxes, restrict sales, promote alcoholism
 prevention and treatment programs, and ban some alcohol advertising.
WHO declined to provide a specific recommendation on the acceptable
 limit of alcohol consumption, saying setting such a level was up to
member states….” [Associated Press/Factiva]
AFP writes that “… ‘Too few countries use effective policy options to
prevent death, disease and injury from alcohol use,’ the UN health
organization said, saying that alcohol abuse contributes to 2.5 million
deaths every year. Since 1999, when the agency first began to sound
 its warning against alcohol abuse, 34 countries have introduced some
policies to cut the harmful use of alcohol. These include restrictions
on alcohol marketing and drink driving, but ‘there are no clear trends
on most preventive measures,’ noted the agency….”
 [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
Japan Overtaken By China As Number Two Economy. “Japan
 lost its 42-year ranking as the world's second-biggest economy to
China in 2010, with data out Monday showing a contraction in the last
quarter due to weak consumer spending and a strong yen. While
Japan was expected to fall behind a surging China in
the year, the data underlined the weak state of a Japanese economy
burdened by deflation, soft domestic demand and pressured by the
 industrialized world's
 biggest debt….” [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
The WSJ adds that “…the Japanese government made official the long-expected
flip Monday morning in Tokyo, reporting that the economy shrank at a 1.1 percent
 annual rate for the last three months of the year, a period when China's gross
 domestic product surged 9.8 percent from a year earlier. With those figures,
Japan's full-year GDP was $5.47 trillion -- about 7percent smaller than the
$5.88 trillion China reported in January. Both still remain considerably smaller
 than the American economy. Japan and China combined are still worth less
than the US's 2010 GDP of $14.66 trillion….” [The Wall Street Journal/Factiva]
In related news, FT reports that “…China's trade surplus fell from $13.1 billion
 in December to $6.5 billion last month, the lowest surplus in nine months,
as a result of stronger-than-expected imports…. China's trade surplus has
narrowed in recent months on the back of domestic demand. Monday's date
 showed that imports grew 51 percent in January compared to the year before…
.” [Financial Times]
Meanwhile, Nikkei writes that “…Japan's public debt is expected to keep
growing and could reach the highest level in the history of industrialized
countries in five years or so, data compiled by the International Monetary
Fund (IMF) suggests. Japan's debt in the government sector – both central
and local levels – rose to 217 percent of nominal gross domestic product in
2009, the largest figure since comparable data became available in 1875,
according to the IMF…. The IMF's latest forecasts suggest the balance
will reach 232 percent of GDP in 2012….” [Nikkei (Japan)]
UK Will Maintain Contested GBP1 Billion India Aid. “Britain will continue
 to provide more than a billion pounds to India despite political pressure to
cut aid in light of the Asian country's booming economy, the Financial Times
reported on Monday. International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell
 told the newspaper that the government would maintain GBP280 million of
 aid every year until 2015….” [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
FT adds that “…the decision to rule out big cuts will infuriate some…who
see no justification for the aid while slashing defense or anti-poverty spending
at home. India is growing at 8.5 percent a year, gives aid to Africa, boasts
 more than 126,000 US dollar millionaires and is one of only six nations with
satellite launch capability. Yet, in what Mitchell describes as a ‘development
paradox’, poverty remains rife and the country is home to a third of the world's
malnourished children….” [Financial Times]
The Times reports that “…in June, Mitchell hinted that India was becoming too
 rich to be worthy of so much British money. ‘UK money should be spent
helping the poorest people in the poorest countries,’ he said in a review.
Delhi, at the time, said that it was not worried about losing the British cash….
Mitchell has, however, been persuaded that it would be a mistake to remove
 help from a country that has so many living in poverty. It would mean, say
 officials privately, that India would have no chance of meeting its millennium
 development goals….” [The Times (UK)]
Egypt's Central Bank Sells $1.1 Billion In Treasury Bills. “Egypt's Central
 Bank on Sunday sold EGP6.5 billion in Treasury bills, still forced to pay high
 yields despite the easing of tensions after President Hosni Mubarak ceded
control of the country to the military on Friday. The auction of EGP3 billion
in three-month bills and EGP3.5 billion in 266-day bills was the latest push
 by the Egyptian government to raise funds as the political crisis battered the
 country's economy…. Yields for the 91-day bills averaged almost 10.95 percent
while the 266-day T-bill averaged almost 11.68 percent, slightly lower than previous
 sales last week….” [Associated Press/Factiva]
Reuters adds that “…Egypt's stock exchange, shut since January 27 because
of political unrest, will not reopen until Wednesday, a bourse official said on Saturday.
 It is the second time the government has postponed the reopening.
The bourse was initially due to have started trading again on February 7
 and then on Sunday, February 13. The market regulator said last week
that once it opens the exchange will suspend trade for a half hour if its
 broad 100-share index declines by 5 percent and for even longer if it falls
 by 10 percent….” [Reuters/Factiva]
In related news, Dow Jones writes that “…elections could be held within
six months in Egypt in the aftermath of Mubarak's departure as president, Egypt's
 Ambassador to the US Sameh Shoukry said Sunday….Shoukry said the Supreme
 Military Council, led by the minister of defense, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein
Tantawi, ‘is now effectively undertaking the responsibilities of representing the
state internally and externally.’…
Shoukry said the military would ‘most certainly’ hand over power. ‘They indicated
a very specific time frame of six months to undertake both parliamentary and
presidential elections,’ he said….He said the military council's highest priorities
 are security and addressing economic welfare, ‘but that doesn't preclude that
the reform process would not go ahead, as well.’…” [Dow Jones/Factiva]
Tunisians Landing By Boatload On Italian Island. “Hundreds of Tunisians
 landed on a tiny Sicilian island by the boatload Sunday, swelling the numbers
of illegal migrants arriving on Italian shores in less than a week to well over 4,000.
 Sixteen boats had arrived  [at Lampedusa] in less than 24 hours since Saturday
night, Palermo-based coast guard official Claudia Viccica told AP. Many of the
 migrants were crammed onto aging fishing boats or motorized dinghies after
 reportedly paying hundreds of euros to smugglers for the trip across the Mediterranean…
.” [Associated Press/Factiva]
AFP adds that “…Tunisia on Sunday rushed security forces to coastal areas to stop
 a Europe-bound exodus of people… a government source said, as hundreds more
migrants arrived in Italy. Maritime security ‘has arrested many people trying to cross
 the borders. Reinforcements have been sent,’ said the official on grounds of anonymity,
 refusing to disclose further details…. ‘We are witnessing an exceptional period and the
 forces are doing their best to try to stop the tide,’ the Tunisian government source said….
 [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
Meanwhile, BBC reports that “…Italy has declared a humanitarian emergency
and called for EU assistance…. Ferries and planes have been pressed into
service to transport the migrants to detention centers in Sicily and elsewhere
 in southern Italy so their identities can be checked. The UN says some of the
 migrants are seeking asylum from the political upheaval in Tunisia while others
are fleeing poverty….” [BBC News]
Also in This Edition, Briefly Noted South Africa's Bafokeng people live
 on the biggest platinum deposits in the world, a resource that has transformed
 the once-traditional tribe into a mini-state with its own investment company.
 [Agence France Presse/Factiva]
Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of Ivory
 Coast’s disputed presidential election, has pledged to extend
 indefinitely the one-month ban on cocoa exports if rival
 Laurent Gbagbo has not left power by the time the restriction 
expires on 23 February. The move could push cocoa prices higher. [Financial Times]
China is in talks with the Colombian government to build an alternative
 to the Panama Canal that would link Colombia's Atlantic and Pacific 
coasts by rail. [Financial Times]
China has announced $1 billion in emergency water aid to ease its most severe 
drought in 60 years. [The Guardian (UK)]
China is expected to roll out this year its first exam to test proficiency 
in the language of the country's largest ethnic minority, the Zhuang,
 in a bid to promote use of the tongue. [Reuters/Factiva]
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a $300 million loan agreement
 with Thailand Monday for capital market development designed to boost investment
and support long term growth. [Reuters/Factiva]
India, which spent $37 million a day subsidizing fuels in 2010, could replace
 power produced from diesel with renewable sources at one-third the cost of
 generation, the World Bank said. [Bloomberg]
The damage from monsoon flooding in Sri Lanka over the last six weeks
 is estimated at $600 million, a Disaster Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera
 said Sunday amid a slow response to an international appeal for help.
[Agence France Presse/Factiva]
The Afghan government's halting steps to banish private security
 companies guarding aid workers and other Westerners against a 
growing insurgency has frozen some $6 billion in US aid. [Reuters/Factiva]

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