After Drugs and Guns, Art Theft Is the Biggest Criminal Enterprise in the World


June 2014, and an unusual three-day conference is taking place in the basement room of New York University’s School of Law. The 200 or so attendees that have hurried their way across sunny Washington Square include FBI agents, lawyers, auction house heads, art dealers and collectors who buy and sell multi-million–dollar items. Waiting, sharp-suited, is -Brooklyn-born conference organiser Chris Marinello, ... Read More »

Putin’s L.America ‘big tour’, deals done

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A six-day tour by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Latin America ended with a long anticipated creation of the BRICS bank and the signing of energy agreements, as Russia looks to build alliances to counter Western influence. The Latin America tour started with the visit to Cuba, where Putin signed a new agreement on oil exploration in Caribbean waters which ... Read More »

Corporate Medicis to the Rescue


To Some Dismay, Italy Enlists Donors to Repair Monuments ROME — Since early July, workers have been carefully unscrewing the steel scaffolding that for months has obscured much of the ancient facade of the Colosseum. Slowly, this monolithic symbol of Rome is coming into view again after a 25 million euro ($34 million) refurbishment that underscores how Italy is coming to rely ... Read More »

Is the world economy booming until it hurts?

Are the storm clouds gathering over London's overheated house prices? Photograph: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

A growing concern that overheated asset and equity prices could cause another crash is a good thing … and a bad thing In recent months, concern has intensified among the world’s financial experts and news media that overheated asset markets – real estate, equities, and long-term bonds – could lead to a major correction and another economic crisis. The general ... Read More »

Jane Halton appointed head of the Department of Finance

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Jane Halton has been appointed the secretary of the Department of Finance for five years, making her the one of most senior female department secretaries in Australian history. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the Governor-General, Peter Cosgrove, approved the appointment of Ms Halton on Thursday afternoon. She has served as the secretary of the Health Department since 2002. The Finance ... Read More »

EU announces significant new funding for education

EU Reporter Correspondent

New funding to support education in developing countries over the next seven years, through the Global Partnership for Education, (or GPE), was today announced by European Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs. Speaking at the EU-hosted Global Partnership for Education’s Second Replenishment Pledging Conference, the Commissioner underlined that the new €375 million (US$510 million) support will contribute to providing basic education in ... Read More »

Arms imports: Australia doubles its global share in four years


Research institute says the country is now the world’s seventh largest buyer of major weapons, mainly from the US Australia’s share of international arms imports has doubled in the past four years, making it the seventh largest major weapons importer in the world, figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) show. More than three quarters of these weapons ... Read More »

The IMF’s False Confession


PRINCETON – “Do I have to go on my knees?” the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, Christine Lagarde, asked the BBC’s Andrew Marr. Lagarde was apologizing for the IMF’s poor forecasting of the United Kingdom’s recent economic performance, and, more seriously, for the Fund’s longer-standing criticism of the fiscal austerity pursued by Prime Minister David Cameron’s government. Now endorsing British austerity, ... Read More »

Funding cuts mean ‘more women will remain in violent, abusive relationships’

'Family violence is our number one issue,' says Michael Smith of the Eastern Community Legal Centre in Melbourne. Photograph: Dani Rodriguez/Alamy

Lawyers speak out about $43m cut from 60 community centres, causing family violence programs to be scaled down or scrapped Federal funding cuts to community legal centres will mean more women stay in abusive relationships, lawyers warned on Thursday.More than $43m was cut from community legal centre funding last December, hitting around 60 centres across Australia, and causing some family ... Read More »