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To: TobagoJack who wrote (89197)4/17/2012 12:28:34 AM
From: abuelita
   of 141505

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To: Snowshoe who wrote (89192)4/17/2012 12:30:39 AM
From: elmatador
   of 141505
Hillary Havana heck of a good time Hillary Clinton has a beer at Cafe Havana in Cartagena, Colombia Sunday.

ELMAT: What? They don't want Cuba to join the Summit and she goes to a place called Havana?


Last Updated: 9:32 AM, April 16, 2012

Posted: 1:51 AM, April 16, 2012

AFP/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton has a beer at Cafe Havana in Cartagena, Colombia Sunday.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday slugged back a beer and kicked up her heels at a Cuban-themed nightclub in Cartagena, as the brewing Secret Service prostitution scandal stunned the Summit of the Americas in Colombia.

America’s top diplomat was all smiles as she arrived after midnight with a dozen pals and her State Department security detail at Cafe Havana in the Colombian seaside town.

Clinton — in Cartagena with President Obama for the weekend-long Summit of the Americas — looked relaxed in a casual black dress as she and her pals took a large table at the popular club, where a large sign bearing the official seal of Cuba and the words “Republica de Cuba” hangs prominently over the bar.

Someone in Clinton’s party had called Cafe Havana hours earlier, asking to reserve space for an unnamed VIP, according to Colombia’s El Pais newspaper.


The revelry came on the heels of demands by dozens of summit attendees that the US drop its half-century isolation of Cuba.

Photos snapped by surprised onlookers show the former first lady swilling a Colombian-brewed Aguila (“Eagle’’) cerveza straight from the bottle and hitting the dance floor.

Witnesses said Clinton played maracas and danced the rumba to three songs played by the club’s Cuba-centric house band.

AFP/Getty Images

Clinton dances the rhumba.

In all, Clinton’s party ordered a dozen beers, two shots and bottles of water. They left their waiter a $40 tip.

Before leaving, Clinton shook hands with the 11 band members and thanked them for the good time. Clinton spokesman Phillipe Reines wouldn’t comment on the choice of venue for the night out.

“I was in my hotel room, reading,” Reines said.

He also declined to discuss the implications of America’s top diplomat partying at a Cuban-themed hot spot. Clinton’s festive summit break came days after 11 Secret Service agents were summoned back to Washington from Colombia and put on administrative leave after being enmeshed in an embarrassing hooker scandal.

Meanwhile, the summit ended yesterday without a joint declaration after the US and Canada refused to budge on the Cuba issue.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, the simmit’s host, had opened the conference Friday by blasting the continued blacklisting of Cuba as unjustified and unacceptable.

Additional reporting by Josh Margolin

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To: THE ANT who wrote (89181)4/17/2012 12:40:15 AM
From: elmatador
   of 141505

Brazil’s Unpredictable Central Banker Tombini Confounds Critics

No central banker in the world’s top 10 economies has surprised analysts as frequently as Brazil’s Alexandre Tombini.

Since taking office 15 months ago, Tombini set interest rates lower than economists expected in three out of 10 policy meetings, including an August reduction that all 62 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg failed to anticipate. Russia’s central bank, the second most unpredictable, defied economists in three out of 14 rate decisions in the same period.

So far, Tombini has been vindicated. Inflation in Brazil, at 5.24 percent in March, is easing at a pace faster than analysts forecast. While investors have speculated that Tombini may be yielding to political pressure to lower rates, his gloomy assessment of the world economy and risk-taking may prove correct, according to Citigroup Inc.’s Dirk Willer. Tombini will cut the benchmark rate by three-quarters of a point to 9 percent tomorrow, according to a Bloomberg survey of 55 analysts.

“The central bank took a gamble and got it right,” Willer, head of Latin American local markets strategy at Citigroup, said in a telephone interview from New York. “It’s still open to debate whether the bank should take gambles in the first place.”

Tombini, a University of Illinois-trained economist, has used speeches to reiterate his commitment to inflation targeting, a system he helped introduce in Brazil in 1999 as head of the bank’s research department. In public statements, policy makers said they began cutting rates before economists expected because they accurately forecast in August that a global slowdown caused by the European debt crisis would ease inflationary pressures.

“The central bank isn’t in the business of surprising markets,” Tombini, 48, said in an interview last month, after the bank accelerated the pace of monetary easing and took the benchmark Selic rate to 9.75 percent. “Its business is keeping inflation under control.”

Pombini Tombini’s decision to cut Brazil’s rates in August, then the highest within the Group of 20 richest nations, set the pace for other central bankers. Europe, the U.S., Indonesia, Russia and Australia all followed Brazil in a round of global monetary easing that included rate reductions and fixed-income asset purchases. The Federal Reserve said it plans to keep interest rates near zero until late 2014.

All the same, back in Brazil Tombini’s moves earned him the nickname “Pombini,” a play on the Portuguese word for dove, the widely used symbol to describe central bankers with optimistic views of inflation.

Brazil’s inflation is the sixth highest within the G-20 and has been above the nation’s 4.5 percent target for 19 months. Consumer prices rose 6.5 percent in 2011, the upper limit of a tolerance range around the inflation goal.

‘Bold’ As Tombini anticipated, price pressures have eased as a result of weaker global and domestic demand. Consumer prices in March rose at half the pace of the previous month, lowering the annual inflation rate by 2.07 percentage points from a six-year- high of 7.31 percent in September. The slowdown had been predicted by Tombini in an Aug. 10 speech, when he said the inflation rate would drop two percentage points by April.

Before Tombini’s surprise cut in August, a weekly central bank survey of economists who cover Brazil showed they expected economic growth of 3.8 percent in 2011. Instead, Brazil contracted in the third quarter and wound up growing 2.7 percent in the year, the second-worst rate since 2003 and less than Germany’s 3 percent.

“The central bank may have been bold, but it wasn’t a bet, that was its outlook,” Luiz Fernando Figueiredo, former central bank board member and co-founder of Maua Investimento LTDA, said in a phone interview from Sao Paulo. “People are now coming around to its view, even if begrudgingly.”

Communication Glitches While Tombini’s predictions are proving accurate, his vision wasn’t clear to most economists and traders. He first surprised analysts last April with a decision to slow the pace of interest-rate increases to a quarter point after raising rates by half a point in the two previous meetings.

Then came the landmark rate cut in August. Coming after inflation accelerated in each of the previous 11 months, the move fueled speculation of political meddling. A day before the surprise decision President Dilma Rousseff vowed to take Brazil on a “new pathway” of lower borrowing costs “starting now.”

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To: TobagoJack who wrote (89195)4/17/2012 12:46:02 AM
From: Snowshoe
   of 141505
It used to be paper. I just e-filed and then discovered it's actually due tomorrow.

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To: Snowshoe who wrote (89201)4/17/2012 3:35:31 AM
From: TobagoJack
   of 141505
we in hong kong can also file electronically, but that would involve tapping on keyboard and such ... too much work

much easier to just sign the civil servant filled out forms, sign on the dotted line and pay nothing

but, should one wish to do work, one might tap some keystrokes and claim one's due from the hong kong government, and the civil servants would even direct deposit the money into one's bank a/c ready for on-line spending


it is a puzzle to me re how the system works, but it seems to work well, and so we must refrain from revolt and hold off on insurrection

we shall soon submit our claim, else the unclaimed amounts might go back into the big pot in the sky and be partaken by others in the next iteration.

we figure on buying gold w/ our gift and given the number of adults in my extended family, we should be able to buy perhaps several ancient coins depending on detailing, vintage, and history; it would be just as if we buy history books for the kids, history of blood and tears, and gold.

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To: TobagoJack who wrote (89202)4/17/2012 4:37:19 AM
From: elmatador
   of 141505
It does sound HK does not depend on income taxes for its budget...

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To: elmatador who wrote (89203)4/17/2012 5:16:39 AM
From: TobagoJack
5 Recommendations   of 141505
- sell land in limited quantities year after year

- seed infrastructure projects that support the development of the land and cooperate with the builders

- ipo or privatize the infrastructure projects

- avoid burdening the society with unnecessary red tape

- implement a fair legal system in transparent fashion

- treat capital and talents correctly, with reverence, and do not drive either in the 'away' direction by ineffective taxes and unconscionable acts

- realize that government is to serve, not to rule, and must remain small or very small

- the rest seems to take care of themselves

no complicated magic, just the simple and obvious and the minimum

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To: TobagoJack who wrote (89204)4/17/2012 5:45:23 AM
From: dalroi
   of 141505
one wunders why in the rest of the democracies it went wrong :-(

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To: Maurice Winn who wrote (89188)4/17/2012 6:11:48 AM
From: KyrosL
   of 141505
I thought NZ had universal health care.

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To: dalroi who wrote (89205)4/17/2012 7:56:38 AM
From: TobagoJack
1 Recommendation   of 141505
in my mind there are three big categories of 'government'

- one that is elected by lowest denominator popularity contest of some flavor and therefore thinking and behaving as if it has a mandate to tell all, including the losing 'minority' and the silent 'majority' what to do when and how

- one that is borne of a underclass rebellion or a hereditary / monarchical tradition, the winner, and so thinks it owns the spoils to dictate as it pleases, and therefore as a mandate to tell all, including the losing 'minority' and the silent 'majority' what to do when and how

- one that is simply a bunch of polite and civil SERVANTS, to do as they are told and paid to do, and nothing more

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