Sunday, 25 February 2018


Business and Economy

Business and Economy (647)

At least four gunmen have launched an attack on Kabul's Intercontinental Hotel, Afghan officials say.

Special forces killed two of the attackers, an interior ministry spokesman said, and were trying to get to the others.

An official told AFP news agency the gunmen were "shooting at guests".

At least five people have been injured, officials said. But local media reports suggested several people had been killed.

The attack began at about 21:00 local time (16:30 GMT), with some reports of the gunmen shooting security guards as they made their way into the five-storey building.

Security forces had cleared the first floor of the hotel but the attackers were still on the floors above, spokesman Nasrat Rahimi told the BBC.

Some reports said the hotel had been hosting an IT conference attended by provincial officials at the time. One witness told Reuters news agency that the attackers had taken hostages.

The attack comes just days after the US embassy in Kabul issued a warning about hotels in the city.

"We are aware of reports that extremist groups may be planning an attack against hotels in Kabul," the embassy wrote in a public security alert published Thursday, though it highlighted another hotel near the international airport as a possible target.

"These groups may also be targeting public gatherings/demonstrations, government facilities, transportation, markets, and places where foreigners are known to congregate."

View of the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan, January 25, 2016.Image copyrightREUTERS
The Intercontinental Hotel, photographed in January 2016

A guest at the hotel told AFP news agency that people were hiding in their rooms.

"I don't know if the attackers are inside the hotel but I can hear gunfire," the guest said.

"I beg the security forces to rescue us as soon as possible before they reach and kill us."

Another interior ministry spokesman told AFP an investigation had already begun into how the attackers breached security, which was handed over to a private company two weeks ago.

"They probably used a back door in the kitchen to enter," he said.

The Intercontinental is a state-owned hotel which often hosts weddings, conferences and political gatherings.

It was attacked by the Taliban in 2011. Twenty-one people were killed including nine attackers.

Security has been tightened in Kabul since last May, when a huge truck bomb killed at least 150 people.

However, there have been several attacks in recent months. They include a bomb at a Shia cultural centre last month that killed more than 40 people.

Posted On Saturday, 20 January 2018 23:05 Written by


  • Trump Place, 200 Riverside Boulevard, PH1A - Upper West Side, New York
  • Price: $23,000 (Monthly)
  • Neighborhood: Upper West Side
  • Condo, Doorman
  • 5 Beds | 5 Baths | 1 Half Bath
  • Approximate Sq. Feet: 4,200
  • Listing ID: 2525033


Trump Place, 200 Riverside Boulevard, PH1A - Upper West Side, New York

This Duplex Penthouse Apartment has endless, unbeatable city and water views from every room. See all of New York City's landmarks from the 46th and 47th floors including spans of Central Park, the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge. This 4,200 square foot apartment is configured with 5 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms, a formal dining room, dramatic double height living room, a sound proof office and bright kitchen with top line appliances including Miele, Gagenneau and Sub-Zero. Perfect for entertaining. Trump Place provides top of the line services and amenities including: 24-hour doorman, concierge, private state the art health club, spa services, 50' heated indoor pool, children's play room and on-site parking garage.

This listing courtesy of Douglas Elliman


Lisa Simonsen

Lisa Simonsen

O: 212.702.4005

M: 917.575.6775

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Ilya Chaus Hyatt

Ilya Chaus Hyatt

O: 212.319.5705

M: 917.617.0522

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Kristin Lukic

Kristin Lukic

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Posted On Wednesday, 23 August 2017 01:59 Written by

At least 600 people are still missing following a mudslide and flooding that devastated parts of Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, a spokesman for the president has told the BBC.

President Ernest Bai Koroma earlier pleaded for "urgent support", saying entire communities had been wiped out.

Nearly 400 people are confirmed dead after a mudslide in the Regent area and floods elsewhere in Freetown on Monday.

The Red Cross has warned it is a race against time to find survivors.

A mass burial of victims is planned on Wednesday to free up space in mortuaries.

Presidential spokesman Abdulai Baraytay told the BBC that bodies were still being pulled from the mud and rubble.

"The entire community is now in mourning. Loved ones are still missing, well over 600 people," he said.

Sierra Leone mudslides: Rescue and recovery operation in Freetown

The UN said its teams in Sierra Leone had mobilised and were supporting rescue efforts.

"Contingency plans are being put in place to mitigate any potential outbreak of waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and diarrhoea, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Homes in the hilltop community of Regent were engulfed after part of Sugar Loaf mountain collapsed following heavy rain early on Monday. Many victims were asleep in bed when disaster struck.

President Koroma fought back tears as he toured Regent on Monday and said the devastation was "overwhelming us".

"Entire communities have been wiped out. We need urgent support now," he said.

Map shows the location of the capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown

He urged people to stay away from the affected areas.

"This tragedy of great magnitude has once again challenged us to come together, to stand by each other and to help one another," he said.

Flooding is not unusual in Sierra Leone, where unsafe housing in makeshift settlements can be swept away by heavy rains.

The rains often hit areas in and around Freetown, an overcrowded coastal city of more than one million people.

Posted On Wednesday, 16 August 2017 11:39 Written by

Berlin can tell you exactly what having a moment feels like. The German capital city is still in the midst of one that has lasted a solid three years. While locals will say their hometown has been cool all along, a perfectly timed confluence of hotel openings, new restaurants and cultural happenings made Berlin an impossible-to-ignore destination for global travelers.

The following cities, a mixture of once-fabled places starting to regain their mojo and budding spots that are just getting their feet wet chosen by our Forbes Travel Guide editors, are all aiming to become 2017’s version of Berlin, and they’re doing it with a host of hotel debuts, a slew of exciting events and the aroma of just-opened kitchens.

12. Oahu

Big things are happening on this 608-square-mile island. Oahu commemorated the 75th anniversary on the attack on Pearl Harbor in December. Hawaii will introduce its underappreciated contemporary art scene to the international community with its first Honolulu Biennial (March 8-May 8). Iconic The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort will hit 90 years in February (try its 90th Anniversary Package with a $90 resort credit and more perks).

Major Waikiki thoroughfare Kuhio Avenue is undergoing a revival as well. Leading the effort is The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach, the brand’s first outpost in Oahu. It brings contemporary apartment-like accommodations with kitchenettes or full kitchens, washer/dryers, balconies and beach views. The hotel also boasts Waikiki’s highest infinity pool (on the eighth floor), and in-demand dining options, like Sushi Sho and Hawaii’s first Dean and DeLuca.

Outside of congested Waikiki, Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina recently opened its doors on the island’s rugged western coast. An idyllic location between a nature preserve and lagoons, the luxurious hotel is a true escape. Relax in the elegant five-floor Naupaka Spa & Wellness Centre, dine at romantic Italian restaurant Noe or embark on an outrigger canoe ride.

11. Riviera Nayarit

Mexico’s Pacific coast isn’t a new entry on travelers’ radars by any stretch. But because of the region’s 2017 calendar, it should get more than the casual consideration when families start planning their vacations.

Be it with nature (XIII International San Blas Festival of Migratory Birds, January 29 to February 5), sports (International Beach Polo Cup, May) or high-end hotels (Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit’s Family Vacation Package, through April) this exclusive swath of Puerto Vallarta beachfront certainly has earned our attention.

10. Montreal

Canada marks its 150th anniversary this year, but Montreal celebrates its 375th. The city kicks it off with Les Hivernales (through March 11), a festival featuring cold-weather activities, such as snowshoeing, curling and winter biking.

Don’t miss the food component of another winter festival, Montréal En Lumière (February 23-March 11). Some sure-to-be-delicious events are the Jérôme Bocuse and Christophe Muller Honorary Co-President’s Dinners, where master chef Daniel Boulud and executive chef Riccardo Bertolino will curate meals at Four-Star Maison Boulud at The Ritz-Carlton Montreal (February 24-26), and the All-Day Black Truffle Brunch (February 25), where chef Normand Laprise will craft four courses at Four-Star Toque!

9. Raleigh

We’ve screamed of the charms of North Carolina’s capital city before, but now that eight restaurants (including James Beard-nominated chef Scott Crawford’s Crawford & Son and the 22,000-square-foot Morgan Street Food Hall and Market) have decided to open their doors by spring, we can back up our fawning with a bit of flavor.

But just as new places around town start to find their culinary groove, Raleigh-area standards are keeping their kitchens cooking with a commitment to fresh ingredients and a calendar stuffed with epicurean fun (Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Herons’ four-course Valentine’s Day dinners, February 10 to 14).

8. Bogota

As the city (and Colombia as a whole, really) continues shedding unsavory images from the 1980s and ’90s, people are slowly realizing just how special Bogota is.

With ambitious offerings at hotels (W Bogota’s new interactive music experiences), the continued growth in the restaurant industry (Four Seasons Hotel Bogota’s year-old Kuru Japanese restaurant) and exciting attractions (the National Museum of Colombia), the increasingly safer capital city is on the cusp of becoming the hottest destination in South America.

7. Washington, D.C.

All eyes are on D.C. as our new president settles into office. But there are other reasons the U.S. capital is a worthy destination.

D.C. will revitalize its waterfront with the October opening of The Wharf, a hub with shops, restaurants, parks, piers, promenades and a new InterContinental Washington D.C. at The Wharf.

The hotel scene continues to thrive. The area snagged MGM National Harbor, its first casino hotel and, of course, President Trump’s D.C. property. Four-Star The Ritz-Carlton, Washington D.C. just wrapped up a stylish redesign starring refined textures, bold fabrics, graphic floorcoverings and brass accents. Mandarin Oriental, Washington D.C. refreshed its elegant rooms in celadon and Tiffany blue to complement the earth tones and the dark wood furniture. And Four-Star Hay-Adams updated its accommodations with new 50- to 55-inch Samsung smart TVs, Bluetooth Soundlink speakers and mobile charging stations.

The Watergate Hotel unveiled Argentta, a sleek spa that includes a restored indoor pool, a whirlpool, saunas, a gym, steam rooms, a nail salon and more.

6. Phoenix

Being the host city of college basketball’s biggest event, the men’s Final Four (March 31-April 3), warrants Phoenix’s inclusion on this list alone.

The sizzling Arizona metropolis confirms its place on our roster with a year’s worth of other sports (MLB spring training, February 24-April 1), new dining opportunities (Scott Conant’s Mora Italian, Matt Carter’s Fat Ox) and luxury hotel fun (Scottsdale’s Four-Star The Phoenician’s I.Fly trapeze activity, through April 30).

5. Los Angeles/Beverly Hills

Much like Paris or New York City, no one would bat an eye if Los Angeles made it onto this list every year. But 2017 is special.

Though changes around Beverly Hills (Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, opening in June), Hollywood (Columbia Square’s continued reinvention) and downtown Hollywood (NoMad Hotel, opening later this year) probably won’t sway things much in L.A.’s favor when the International Olympic Committee decides on the host of the 2024 Summer Games this September, they certainly can’t hurt, either.

4. Santa Barbara

Napa may be California’s preeminent wine region, but the American Riviera is its most innovative one. Taste your way through more than 220 wineries in the emerging area. Cruise through the picturesque Santa Ynez Valley where boutique wineries like Refugio Ranch and Grassini Family Vineyards are creating great pours.

Another reason the city is on our list is that the fabled Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara observes its 90th anniversary. While details aren’t yet confirmed, the Spanish Colonial-influenced Four-Star hotel will undoubtedly celebrate in style (and we can reveal that a special wine will be a part of the festivities).

Elsewhere in the city, explore the trendy Funk Zone neighborhood. And for dinner, go to Four-Star Bacara Resort & Spa’s new steak-and-seafood restaurant Angel Oak, which keeps a 12,000-bottle wine cellar.

3. Houston

When Houston last hosted the Super Bowl, it was marred by a wardrobe malfunction. But when the game between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots kicks off at NRG Stadium in February, the city will be the star.

The U.S.’s fourth-largest city is preparing for its close-up with the brand-new River Oaks District, which brings luxury shops like Harry Winston and Dior; Avenida Houston, a new entertainment district; the prized Menil Collection’s soon-to-open $40 million drawing institute; and Emancipation Park, which will get a $33 million facelift in time for the Juneteenth celebration.

Come in March for the popular Livestock Show and Rodeo, the world’s largest such event. Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Hotel Derek’s rodeo package will get you set up with chauffeured service to the show and craft beers beforehand.

Or stop and smell the azaleas at The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa. The Four-Star hotel welcomes the blooming flowers with the Azalea Trail Package (March 10-12), which includes a home and garden tour and a three-course dinner.

2. Lisbon

Similar to European hot spot Croatia, Portugal overflows with rich culture, Old World charm and beautiful beaches. See Lisbon’s modern side with Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon’s Street Art Tour. Hop into a vintage sidecar to discover cutting-edge murals, like a chiseled face from Portuguese artist Vhils, during a private four-hour tour.

Some other upcoming attractions: The landmark 25 de Abril Bridge, often compared to San Francisco’s Golden Gate, will open a viewing platform in the fall overlooking the Tagus River. And a Jewish museum will debut in the first half of 2017 in the popular Alfama neighborhood.

1. Bali

Visitors flock to the island to take in views like those you’ll find at Mulia Villas – Nusa Dua, Bali’s brand-new Unity Garden, which overlooks the Indian Ocean and the Balinese Geger Temple sitting atop the cliff of Nusa Dua bay.

But there’s more to this destination than sun and sand. Try an all-encompassing wellness getaway at Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort. Its Art de Vivre program tailors an itinerary with spa visits, gym sessions (try Navy SEALs-designed TRX or Jetlag Liberation therapy) and Vietura Artisan of Anti-Aging beauty clinic, which provides everything from detoxification to laser hair removal.

Travelers tend to avoid visiting during Nyepi, the day of silence that inspired Earth Hour (it falls on March 28, 2017). Ayana Resort and Spa Bali invites you to take part in the unique festivities, including the ogoh-ogoh ceremony, which involves an on-property parade of papier-mâché statues of skeletons and ghouls, and a 24-hour silence ritual, where you must stay quiet but can indulge in a two-hour Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pool Treatment and go stargazing during a picnic on the resort’s lawn.

Viceroy Bali also celebrates the sacred holiday with a package that gives you a Balinese massage and the chance to witness a fire battle and an ogoh-ogoh tour in its local village.

Posted On Thursday, 27 July 2017 07:38 Written by

The family of a young woman who mysteriously died after being served alcohol during a vacation at an upscale Mexican resort is speaking out for the first time as they search for answers. Reports

"You protect your child from so much since they're born, and then you know, something happens in an instant," mom Ginny McGowan said. 

Ginny and husband John McGowan are desperate for information as to how their daughter, 20-year-old Abbey Conner, ended up floating facedown in a pool, breaking her collar bone and slipping into a coma just two hours into their vacation at a five-star resort.

Mom and stepdad John were booked at the Iberostar Paraiso Resort in Playa del Carmen, and they became alarmed when Abbey and 23-year-old son Austin didn't show up for dinner.

"Probably the most excited person was Abbey," Ginny said. "We just sat on chairs at the side of the pool, and we're like, we're going to go up and get ready for dinner. You guys need to meet us in the lobby at 7:30."

Austin and Abbey stayed by the pool.

"We swam around for a little bit and decided let's celebrate with a drink," Austin said. "So we go up to the bar, and another group that was already there start talking...we didn't know them. The bartender pours out a line of shots, and I take one, and everyone else does. And the last thing I remember was like we are right now, sitting here talking, and lights went out. And I woke up in the ambulance."

The family says a guest found Abbey and Austin floating face down in the waist-deep pool, and soon, they were on the way to the hospital. But Ginny and John had no idea.

"It was getting close to 8, and I'm starting to get worried," Ginny said. "I said, I just, I need to call their room because I can't contact them any other way to find out where they are. And she said is your husband here with you. And I'm like, well, yeah, he's sitting right over there. And then she went and got the general manager and quickly brought me to John, explained that there had been an accident."

Abbey was brain dead, while Austin had a concussion and a golf ball-sized lump on his head. Abbey was flown to a Florida hospital, where she later died.

"She was on the right path, a good path for her," Ginny said. "And she she was happy."

Authorities said their blood alcohol level was .25, three times the legal limit in their home state of Wisconsin. Austin says he can't remember how many shots he had.

"I've thought about it, and I mean it is a possibility (we drank too much)," he said. "But how, if we're in a group of people, do two people at the same exact time just pass out in the pool and no one sees it?"

The family is questioning if tainted alcohol -- a toxic mix of cheap ingredients -- could be partially to blame. Other families have since come forward, recalling how they suddenly blacked out after a few drinks during visits to resorts in Mexico.

Mexican officials say they've seized 1.4 million gallons of tainted alcohol from Mexican businesses -- including resorts, clubs, bars, warehouses, and manufacturers -- in the past seven years.

The Iberostar resort denies serving tainted alcohol, telling the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that "we only purchase sealed bottles that satisfy all standards required by the designated regulatory authorities...We are deeply saddened by this incident and reiterate our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family."

The family has hired an attorney and plans on suing the resort.

"I hope she didn't suffer at all, and I hope she's at peace," Ginny said. "We miss you."

Posted On Wednesday, 26 July 2017 16:40 Written by

Donald Trump Junior was informed that information offered by a Russian lawyer was part of a Russian government effort to help his father's election campaign, the New York Times reports.

Publicist Rob Goldstone, who arranged the 2016 meeting, reportedly stated this in an email.

Mr Trump Jr has defended the meeting, at which the lawyer offered to reveal damaging material on Hillary Clinton.

Moscow and the White House both deny there was any political interference.

The FBI and Congress are currently investigating alleged Russian meddling in last year's US election, including whether any of President Trump's associates colluded with the Russian government to sway the result.

Donald Trump Jr has insisted that the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, provided "no meaningful information" on his father's rival for the presidency.

The president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-campaign head, Paul J Manafort, were also at the meeting.

Mr Goldstone has previously denied any knowledge of involvement by the Russian government.

Jared Kushner
Jared Kushner has not yet commented on the Donald Trump Jr statement

Ms Veselnitskaya, who is married to a Moscow government official, has denied that she works for the Kremlin.

"It's a very serious development," Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC of the New York Times report.

"It all warrants thorough investigation. Everyone who was in that meeting ought to come before our committee."

Mr Trump Jr has hired a New York defence lawyer to represent him in the Russia-related investigations.

Alan Futerfas described reports of the meeting as "much ado about nothing" and said his client had done nothing wrong.

The president's son said  he was "Happy to work with the committee to pass on what I know."

When was the meeting and how did it come to light?

It took place on 9 June 2016 at New York's Trump Tower, just two weeks after Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination.

It is thought to be the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and members of President Trump's inner circle.

After the New York Times first reported the meeting on Saturday, Mr Trump Jr released a statement which confirmed that it had taken place but did not mention whether it was related to the presidential campaign.

However, another Times report, on Sunday, said Mr Trump Jr had agreed to the meeting after being offered information that would potentially prove detrimental to Mrs Clinton.

The paper cited three White House advisers briefed on the meeting, and two others with knowledge for it, as its sources.

Donald Trump, Jr places a hand on the shoulder of his father, Donald Trump, during a rally on the final night of the 2016 US presidential election
Mr Trump Jr has hired a lawyer to represent him in the Russia investigations

Mr Trump Jr said that an acquaintance he had known from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant had set up the meeting. The Washington Post confirmed that figure to be music publicist Mr Goldstone, who has links to the Russian music industry.

In a statement on Sunday, Mr Trump Jr said he had been asked to meet "an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign".

"I was not told her name prior to the meeting. I asked Jared [Kushner] and Paul [Manafort] to attend, but told them nothing of the substance."

What was discussed at the meeting?

Mr Trump Jr's statement continues: "After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs Clinton.

"Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.

"She then changed subjects and began discussing the adoption of Russian children and mentioned the Magnitsky Act.

"It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting."

Ms Veselnitskaya said on Saturday that "nothing at all was discussed about the presidential campaign" and insisted she had "never acted on behalf of the Russian government and [had] never discussed any of these matters with any representative of the Russian government".

On Monday, Mr Trump Jr tweeted sarcastically: "Obviously I'm the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent..." He also deniedissuing conflicting statements.

And he linked to a piece in the New York Post headlined "The Times 'exposé' on Donald Trump Jr is a big yawn".

What is the Magnitsky Act and who is Natalia Veselnitskaya?

Adopted by Congress in 2012, the act allows the US to withhold visas and freeze financial assets of Russian officials thought to have been involved in human rights violations.

It is named after a Moscow lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, who had accused Russian officials of tax fraud but was himself arrested and died in police custody.

The US law so incensed President Vladimir Putin that he suspended a programme allowing Americans to adopt Russian children.

A picture taken on December 7, 2012, shows the snow-clad grave of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky at the Preobrazhenskoye cemetery in Moscow.
The grave of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, in Moscow

Ms Veselnitskaya is a lawyer whose clients include companies and individuals said to be close to the Kremlin, and she has been at the forefront of a campaign - backed by the Russian state - to overturn the Magnitsky Act.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted the Kremlin had no idea who she was, saying: "We cannot keep a close watch on the meetings of all Russian lawyers inside the country and abroad." 

How has the rest of the Trump team responded?

Mr Kushner and Mr Manafort have not commented, although Mr Kushner's lawyer said her client had previously disclosed the meeting on security clearance forms. Mr Manafort has disclosed the meeting to congressional investigators.

A spokesman for President Trump's legal team said on Sunday that the president was "not aware of and did not attend" the meeting.

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said the meeting was a "big nothing burger".

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus pictured at the White House on 6 June, 2017.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has dismissed the meeting as trivial

The Times said Mr Trump Jr had told the paper in March that he had not met any Russian nationals to discuss campaign-related matters.

Why is Russia being investigated?

It is alleged that Russian hackers stole information linked to the Clinton campaign and passed it to Wikileaks so it could be released and help tip the election towards Mr Trump.

Congressional committees and a special prosecutor are investigating whether there was any collusion between the Trump team and the Russians.

The investigations have yet to reveal any evidence of collusion, something the president has always denied.

Last week Mr Trump said interference in the election "could well have been" carried out by countries other than Russia and interference "has been happening for a long time".

Posted On Tuesday, 11 July 2017 05:23 Written by

US employment rose by more than expected last month, but wage growth remained subdued, latest figures show.

The economy added 222,000 jobs in June, the US Department of Labor said, and job creation in April and May was higher than previously estimated.

However, despite the job gains and a low 4.4% unemployment rate, wage growth remained tepid.

Average wages rose 2.5% year-on-year, which analysts said was a sign the market still had room to improve.

"Once again, the buzz kill on the jobs report is the lack of more substantial wage growth," said Mark Hamrick, a senior economic analyst for, which tracks interest rates.

"This suggests that we've not yet checked off the 'full employment' box, meaning more progress can be extracted from the job market."

Vote of confidence

Economists have expected job growth to slow and wages to rise, as more people are employed and firms have a harder time hiring.

Job growth had appeared to decelerate in April and May, but in its latest release the Labor Department revised the job creation estimates to 207,000 in April from 174,000, and to 152,000 in May from 138,000.

Employment growth has averaged 180,000 per month so far this year, in line with the average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016.

The job gains have encouraged more people to start looking for work, and this was behind a slight increase in the unemployment rate to 4.4% in June from 4.3% in May.

"The unemployment rate rose slightly in June, but it was because of more people looking for work, a vote of confidence in the job market," wrote Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services, in a note.

Some of the strongest employment growth in June came in the fields of health care and social assistance, financial activities and mining. Government employment also increased.

But there are still more than five million Americans working part-time who would like to have full-time work, according to the Labor Department's report.

Analysts said the job gains bolster the case for the Federal Reserve to continue to raise interest rates, even though inflation remains lower than policymakers at the US central bank would like.

"What matters to the Fed is that the rebound in payrolls strongly supports their view that the soft-looking spring data were 'transitory', and that the trend in the unemployment rate is guaranteed to fall further if payroll gains are sustained at anything like their June pace," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

Posted On Saturday, 08 July 2017 02:38 Written by

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arraigned two suspects – Ejere Chris and Edoma Omagha  before Justice A. M. Nicol-Clay of the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere, on 10 charges bordering on conspiracy and forgery to the tune of N7.3bn.

The accused persons were charged alongside Kehinde Ogbor, Danium Energy Services Limited, Sibet Oil Services Limited, Loveth Ogbor and Rhombi Energy limited, who are all at large.

The EFCC said in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, that Danium Energy Services Limited allegedly approached the petitioner, Fidelity Bank Plc, between January 17 and February 9, 2017, to finance three different purchase orders for the sale of Automotive Gas Oil (diesel) to Total Nigeria Plc.

Thereafter, the bank allegedly financed two of the purchase orders to the tune of N7.3bn, after due confirmation from Total Nigeria Plc.

The products were allegedly supplied by Sibet Oil Services Limited and Rhombi Energy Limited and discharged at the Ibeto Tank Farm, Apapa.

The bank was said to have engaged an independent surveyor, International Logistics and Fulfilment Services Limited, which confirmed the existence of the products at the Ibeto Tank Farm as well as the Department of Petroleum Resources.

However, when the bank approached Total Nigeria Plc for repayment, it was discovered that the purchase orders were forged by the accused persons.

One of the counts reads:

“That you, Ejere Kelvin Chris, Edoma Omagha, Kehinde Eliot Ogbor (at large), Danium Energy Services Limited (at large), Sibet Oil Services Limited (at large), Loveth Miyemi Ogbor (at large) and Rhombi Energy Limited (at large) sometime between the months of January, 2017 and February, 2017 at Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to dishonestly convert and steal the cumulative sum of N7.3bn.”

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the counts.

In view of their pleas, the prosecuting counsel, George Chia-yakua, asked the court for a date to commence trial and prayed that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody.

Counsel for the accused persons, through oral application urged the court to admit their clients to bail, but was opposed by Chia-yakua, who insisted “they must file written applications.”

Justice Nicol-Clay adjourned to July 11, 2017 for hearing of the bail applications and ordered the accused persons to be remanded in the EFCC custody.

Posted On Friday, 07 July 2017 01:29 Written by

The Senate on Tuesday demanded that the acting President Yemi Osinbajo must obey the resolutions of the Senate, including the immediate removal of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

It also suspended all confirmation of appointments until compliance with its resolution.

Recall that the Chairman of the EFCC, who was appointed in Acting capacity by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 9, 2015, has consistently been rejected by the Senate.

Upon his appointment, Magu said he was committed to the anti-corruption war, drawing a connection between the economic challenges facing the country and the endemic corruption in the country.

Posted On Tuesday, 04 July 2017 15:04 Written by
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