Latin America bracing for 3 million new unemployed

Latin America bracing for 3 million new unemployedSantiago  - The ongoing world economic crisis could cause another 3 million people to lose their jobs in Latin America's urban areas alone, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) said Friday.

It could also add another 10 to 15 million people to the poverty rolls, which already include 190 million people across Latin America.

The problem is projected to persist until late 2010, an ECLAC official, Jurgen Weller, told German Press Agency dpa.

Corruption cases soar in Hong Kong as economy suffers

Hong KongHong Kong - Financial corruption in Hong Kong has rocketed in the first three months of 2009 as the city's economy has deteriorated, officials said Friday.

Corruption cases in the financial and insurance sectors surged 46 per cent in the first quarter, contributing to a
23-per-cent overall rise in corruption.

There were 811 cases reported to the city's Independent Commission Against Corruption between January and March, compared to 659 cases in the same period in 2008.

NEWS FEATURE: Feelgood US President steals the show

US President Barack Obama London  - US President Barack Obama swept onto the world stage at this week's summit of the world's top economic powers with a charm offensive that helped to mark the launch of a new era in American foreign relations.

Obama said he came with the intention of showing leadership by "listening and learning" during a two-day visit to London for the Group of 20 (G20) summit, which included advanced and emerging economies.

NEWS FEATURE: G20 takes "bold action" to help poorest nations

US President Barack ObamaLondon  - Efforts to throw the world's poorest nations a li

Argentine president celebrates Latin American wins at G20

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de KirchnerLondon  - Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner praised Thursday what she perceived as Latin American successes in the Group of 20 (G20) summit in London.

She highlighted the elimination of a graph from the summit's final document that had favoured the flexibility of labour laws.

In comments to reporters at the end of the summit, Fernandez de Kirchner said she asked that the paragraph be scrapped based on Argentina's "disastrous" experience with such practices.

US Congress takes up 2010 budget, Republicans unveil rival version

US Congress takes up 2010 budgetWashington  - With the House of Representatives preparing to vote Thursday on President Barack Obama's 2010 budget proposal, Republican lawmakers have presented an alternative spending plan that they argued cuts the deficit while still reviving the economy.

The Republican alternative, put forward in the House of Representatives, has little chance of becoming law as Democrats hold a sizeable majority in both chambers of Congress. But the versions offer insights into the parties' sharply differing ideologies and answers to the economic crisis.