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Tag: Observer
I believe it is time to regulate the press (December 14 2012) I believe it is time to regulate the press (December 14 2012)

Will Hutton the 62 year old columnist for the Observer and former stockbroker and investment analyst has published an article in The Guardian titled ‘Why I, as a journalist and ex-editor, believe it is time to regulate the press’ claiming the Leveson report is a much-needed opportunity for newspapers to abandon the excesses of the past. Hutton states “Leveson’s report… is being portrayed across great swaths of the British print media as the greatest threat to freedom of speech in modern times. The abuses Leveson was set to up to rectify – industrial-scale phone-hacking and the emergence of News International as a de facto state within a state, along with the more widespread culture and ethics that produced them – are deemed to be yesterday’s problems. What is left is the prospect of state regulation of Britain’s proud free press. …To strengthen press freedoms, he may propose stronger public interest protections for newspapers that want to publish what the powerful try to muzzle. The case against is that the proposals are unworkable, slow and legalistic and address practices that are now supposedly defunct and which they would not have prevented. Above all, the charge runs, they represent state limitation of freedom of speech. Such criticisms are bunk, tired and born of special pleading. The whole exercise smacks of doctors, the Lloyds insurance market, trade union barons, the police and various other special interest groups over the years trying to protect self-regulation that had palpably failed. The brutal truth is that British newspapers have become far too careless about the boundaries between news and comment, too ready to use innuendo to prove a point, too fast to phone-hack/pay for information to stand up hunches that have little or no public interest defence but which serve the political and cultural interests of proprietors.”


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Arctic summer sea ice loss is 50% higher (September 1 2012) Arctic summer sea ice loss is 50% higher (September 1 2012)

Robin McKie the British Science and Technology editor for the Observer has published an article in The Guardian titled ‘Rate of Arctic summer sea ice loss is 50% higher than predicted’ discussing the new satellite images that show polar ice coverage dwindling in extent and thickness. In the article McKie states “Sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected, according to data from the first purpose-built satellite launched to study the thickness of the Earth’s polar caps. Preliminary results from the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 probe indicate that 900 cubic kilometres of summer sea ice has disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year. This rate of loss is 50% higher than most scenarios outlined by polar scientists and suggests that global warming, triggered by rising greenhouse gas emissions, is beginning to have a major impact on the region. In a few years the Arctic ocean could be free of ice in summer, triggering a rush to exploit its fish stocks, oil, minerals and sea routes. Using instruments on earlier satellites, scientists could see that the area covered by summer sea ice in the Arctic has been dwindling rapidly. But the new measurements indicate that this ice has been thinning dramatically at the same time. For example, in regions north of Canada and Greenland, where ice thickness regularly stayed at around five to six metres in summer a decade ago, levels have dropped to one to three metres.”


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Hoard hidden from taxman by global elite (August 21 2012) Hoard hidden from taxman by global elite (August 21 2012)

Heather Stewart the British business and economics editor for the Observer has published an article in The Guardian titled ‘£13tn hoard hidden from taxman by global elite’ discussing how private banks help the wealthiest to move cash into havens. Stewart states “A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary £13 trillion ($21tn) of wealth offshore – as much as the American and Japanese GDPs put together – according to research commissioned by the campaign group Tax Justice Network. …[wealth] leaked out of scores of countries into secretive jurisdictions such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands with the help of private banks, which vie to attract the assets of so-called high net-worth individuals. …The detailed analysis in the report, compiled using data from a range of sources, including the Bank of International Settlements and the International Monetary Fund, suggests that for many developing countries the cumulative value of the capital that has flowed out of their economies since the 1970s would be more than enough to pay off their debts to the rest of the world. Oil-rich states with an internationally mobile elite have been especially prone to watching their wealth disappear into offshore bank accounts instead of being invested at home, the research suggests. Once the returns on investing the hidden assets is included, almost £500bn has left Russia since the early 1990s when its economy was opened up. Saudi Arabia has seen £197bn flood out since the mid-1970s, and Nigeria £196bn.”


Inspired by The Guardian image source Twitter

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