Chinpo Shipping Guilty of Illegal Arms Shipping

first_imgSingapore-based Chinpo Shipping was found guilty of being involved in illegal arms shipping from Cuba to North Korea aboard a general cargo ship in 2013 by a district court in Singapore on Monday, according to Reuters.The company was charged for facilitating financial assets or resources that could have been used to contribute to North Korea’s weapon programs.According to the court, the company paid off a Panama shipping company over USD 72,000 for the passage of the 1977-built North Korean vessel Chong Chon Gang through the Panama Canal.At the time, Chong Chon Gang was carrying “the largest amount of arms and related materiel” seized entering or exiting North Korea since the adoption of UN economic and commercial sanctions in 2006. The illegal cargo was hidden underneath over ten tons of sugar.After the illegal shipment was found, the vessel’s captain and the first officer were sentenced to twelve years in prison by Panama’s Second Circuit Court.Chinpo Shipping was also found guilty for carrying on a remittance business without a license between April 2009 and July 2013.The court is expected to define a sentence on January 29, 2016.As reported by World Maritime News, Singaporean Senat Shipping Company, a company blacklisted by the US for alleged links to arms import activities with the North Korean shipping company Ocean Maritime Management Company (OMMC), had chartered Chinpo Shipping’s cargo vessel Chong Chon Gang before the ship was seized.The company was not the charterer of the vessel at the time of its arrest.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Dambulla sacred zone residents asked to leave

The Dambulla ‘sacred land’ area was the site of controversy on at least two occasions, once when a group of monks attempted to remove a Muslim prayer center and then when Hindus in the area were threatened.The Dambulla ‘sacred zone’ falls within the authority of the Dambulla Temple. CLICK TO ENLARGEIt says that alternate land will be provided in Kandalama road within two weeks for the residents who are to be evicted. Residents living within the ‘sacred ‘zone’ in Dambulla have been asked to vacate their homes by the end of next month.Notice issued to the residents, which was made public by the Navamani newspaper, says the residents must leave in order to make way for development work. The notice which was issued by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) this week says selected property has been acquired by the government under existing laws. read more

World Bank reduces forecast for global economy in 2016 as developing countries

WASHINGTON – The World Bank has cut its forecast for global growth this year given weakness in the developing world.The aid agency said Wednesday that it expects the world economy to expand 2.9 per cent in 2016, down from the forecast of 3.3 per cent it made in June. The global economy grew 2.4 per cent in 2015.Several big developing economies — including Brazil and China — are slowing or shrinking. Their troubles have disproportionately hurt their smaller trading partners, which have also been squeezed by depressed commodity prices.The World Bank expects developing countries to collectively grow 4.8 per cent, up from a six-year low 4.3 per cent in 2015. China, the world’s second-biggest economy, is expected to register 6.7 per cent growth, down from 6.9 per cent in 2015 and the slowest pace since 1990.The economic prospects of advanced economies appear to be brightening as the developing world struggles. The World Bank expects the U.S. economy to grow 2.7 per cent this year, up from 2.5 per cent in 2015 and the fastest pace since 2006.The agency foresees the 19-country eurozone economy expanding 1.7 per cent, up from 1.5 in 2015 and fastest since 2011. And it expects the Japanese economy, lifted by the Bank of Japan’s easy-money policies, to grow 1.3 per cent, up from 0.8 per cent in 2015.Since the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and others have frequently overestimated the strength of the world economy and have later had to downgrade their initial predictions.The World Bank’s 2016 forecast involves two key optimistic assumptions for global growth: That commodity prices will stabilize after plummeting in 2015. And that the Chinese government will keep growth in the world’s second-biggest economy from imploding as it manages a difficult transition away from fast but unsustainable growth based on excessive investment in factories and real estate.“China is going to continue slowing in an orderly fashion,” says World Bank economist Ayhan Kose, who helped put together the forecast.The agency also assumes that the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate hike last month — and any further rate hikes — won’t damage the U.S. economy or cause much turmoil in financial markets.Its outlook differs from region to region and country to country.Latin America, forecast to grow just 0.1 per cent this year, has been especially hard hit by falling commodity prices. Brazil’s economy, once an emerging powerhouse, is forecast to drop 2.5 per cent this year after shrinking 3.7 per cent in 2015.The Russian economy, squeezed by low oil prices and international sanctions, is expected to slide 0.7 per cent this year on top of a 3.8 per cent drop last year.The Iranian economy, which is getting relief from economic sanctions after reaching a nuclear deal with the Obama administration, is forecast to surge 5.8 per cent this year, up from 1.9 per cent in 2015.The oil-importing countries of South Asia are expected to benefit from lower energy prices. The World Bank predicts that India will grow 7.8 per cent, Pakistan 5.5 per cent and Bangladesh 6.7 per cent.The countries of sub-Saharan Africa are expected to grow 4.2 per cent, up from 3.4 per cent last year. But the World Bank expects wide disparities among African countries. South Africa, for instance, is forecast to grow just 1.4 per cent, while Ethiopia is expected to expand 10.2 per cent and Rwanda 7.6 per cent. World Bank reduces forecast for global economy in 2016 as developing countries struggle by Paul Wiseman, The Associated Press Posted Jan 6, 2016 1:03 pm MDT Last Updated Jan 6, 2016 at 4:49 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more