Mitchell Reports Progress on Settlement Issue

US Middle East envoy George Mitchell speaking in Jerusalem, 15 Sep 2010
Photo: AP
US Middle East envoy George Mitchell speaking in Jerusalem, 15 Sep 2010

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U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell said late Wednesday he believes progress is being made on the issue of extending an Israeli freeze on settlement building in the West Bank. Mitchell spoke in Jerusalem after a second day of direct Israel-Palestinian peace talks brokered by the United States.

Mitchell is adhering closely to an agreement among the parties to avoid discussion on the substance of the talks. But he does say he believes there has been progress on the issue of the settlement moratorium, which has threatened to bring the talks to an early end.

Palestinians have threatened a walkout if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not extend the ten-month moratorium on most West Bank settlement building that ends at the end of the month.

The United States has pushed for an extension, coupled with Palestinian gestures that would make it to easier for Mr. Netanyahu to get such a decision through his right-leaning coalition government.

Though giving no details, Mitchell said after a two-hour trilateral meeting at Mr. Netanyahu's official residence that he thinks there is progress on the issue.

He heaped praise on both Mr. Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for their approach to the talks, saying they are serious, and they mean business.

Mitchell was a key negotiator in the 1990's Good Friday accord that ended the Northern Ireland conflict. He said those talks dragged on many months before there was a single serious discussion of major issues.

But he said the new Middle East talks, which began in Washington early this month and continued Tuesday in Egypt, have moved quickly to the core issues.

"In this case, within a matter of literally days since this process began, the leaders have yesterday at Sharm el-Sheikh and this evening here, engaged directly, vigorously, seriously in what are among the most difficult and sensitive issues that they will confront," said George Mitchell. "And so we think that this is a strong indicator of sincerity and seriousness of purpose."

Mitchell stressed that serious talk on the core issues, which include Jerusalem, refugees and the borders of a Palestinian state, is not the same as a resolution of them. But he said it has been extremely impressive to see both leaders engaging in this way.

The U.S. envoy said the two leaders tasked working-level officials with continuing the dialogue and planning for the next senior level meeting, which reportedly could take place in New York where leaders convene for the U.N. General Assembly next week.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who led the U.S. team at this week's trilateral talks, returns to Washington late Thursday after meeting Mr. Abbas in Ramallah and Jordan's King Abdullah in Amman.

Mitchell goes to Damascus Thursday to meet President Bashar al-Assad and other key Syrian officials in a bid to renew Syrian-Israel peace contacts, which he said could be complementary and beneficial to the talks between the parties.

He goes on to Beirut Thursday night for similar discussion with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

West Bank n. (指1967年為以色列佔領的巴勒斯坦的)約旦河西岸
Broker [ˋbrokɚ] v. 以中間人等身分安排...
Adhere [ədˋhɪr] v. 黏附, 緊黏[(+to)] 遵守; 堅持[(+to)]
Substance [ˋsʌbstəns] n. 本旨, 主旨; 要義; 真義[U]
Moratorium [͵mɔrəˋtorɪəm n. 【律】延期償付; 延期償付權
Walkout [ˋwɔk͵aʊt] n. 聯合罷工 (會議等中)離去; 退席
Coalition [͵koəˋlɪʃən] n. 結合, 聯合[U]
Heap [hip] v. 大量地給予[(+on/upon)]
Literally [ˋlɪtərəlɪ] a. 逐字地, 照字面地; 正確地
Vigorously [ˋvɪgərəslɪ] ad. 精神旺盛地; 活潑地
Sincerity [sɪnˋsɛrətɪ] n. 真實; 誠心誠意; 純真[U]
Refugee [͵rɛfjʊˋdʒi] n. 難民; 流亡者[C]
Resolution [͵rɛzəˋluʃən] n. 決心; 決定[C][+to-v] 解決; 解答; 解除[U][(+of)]
Convene [kənˋvin] v. 集會; 聚集
Amman [æmˋmæn] n. 安曼(約旦王國首都)
Bid [bɪd] n. 企圖; 努力[(+for)][+to-v]
Complementary [͵kɑmpləˋmɛntərɪ] a. 補充的; 互補的; 相配的[(+to)]
Beirut [beˋrut] n. 貝魯特(黎巴嫩首都)

Clegg defends radical benefits cuts

Welfare should not 'compensate poor' but encourage mobility, says deputy prime minister as Liberal Democrat activists prepare for clashes at party conference

Nick Clegg 
Liberal Democrat backbenchers accuse Nick Clegg of targeting the vulnerable and breaking promises on 'fairness' Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA
Nick Clegg today issued a staunch defence of radical benefit cuts as he geared up for potential clashes with Liberal Democrat activists at the party's annual conference.

The deputy prime minister said welfare should not be there "to compensate the poor for their predicament" but act as "an engine of mobility".

Billions of pounds are to be slashed from the welfare budget by the chancellor, George Osborne, when he unveils the results of his drastic public spending review next month.
Liberal Democrat backbenchers have publicly accused the coalition government of targeting the vulnerable and Clegg of breaking promises to ensure all cuts were "fair".

The issue could prove a flashpoint with the left of the party when activists gather in Liverpool from Saturday for the first time since joining the Tories in government.
But Clegg made clear he considered the reforms to be essential.

"A fair society is not one in which money is simply transferred by the central state from one group to another," he wrote in an article for the Times (paywall).

"Welfare needs to become an engine of mobility, changing people's lives for the better, rather than a giant cheque written by the state to compensate the poor for their predicament.
"Instead of turning the system from a 'safety net' into a 'trampoline', as Labour promised, people have been stuck on benefits, year in, year out."

A fair society, he wrote, was "one in which people are able to make a better life for themselves, with support from government and the broader community".

Clegg's intervention came hours after the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, denied that he had signed up to another £4bn of spending cuts to the welfare budget.

Liberal Democrat MP Bob Russell forced the chancellor to face a Commons grilling on the issue earlier this week after Osborne revealed the figure in a media interview.
Around £11bn was taken from benefits in June's emergency budget.

Duncan Smith acknowledged that he would have to find savings in the government's forthcoming spending review but said he was still in negotiations with the Treasury.

The chancellor was demanding proof that his planned reforms to the welfare system – to make it easier to get claimants back into jobs – would work, he told a Commons committee.

Unemployment claimant count rises unexpectedly

• Claimant count rise confounds forecasts

• Jobless total falls 8,000 to 2.467m
• But 286,000 people secured jobs in three months to July
• Part-time workers now account for 27% of workforce
job centre
Unemployment benefit claims have risen unexpectedly. Photograph: David Sillitoe

Phillip Inman
The number of people claiming unemployment benefits jumped unexpectedly last month, fuelling concern that the government's austerity budget in June undermined business confidence and pushed the economy into reverse.

The claimant count rose by 2,300 in August to 1.47m, according to the Office for National Statistics, confounding City expectations that a downward trend started in January would continue throughout the summer.

The broader International Labour Organisation measure of the number of people without a job registered a fall, but the decrease of 8,000, to 2.467m was also below City forecasts. Analysts had been expecting a decline of around 35,000.

In a poor month for economic data, the unemployment figures follow the highest balance of trade deficit on record last week and surveys of the services and construction sectors showing employer sentiment deteriorating sharply.

The International Monetary Fund said this week it was worried by rising unemployment in western countries and urged governments to consider measures to boost employment. The OECD, the Paris-based rich nations thinktank, revised down its most recent growth forecasts and warned of the need for governments to stimulate growth.

Unions said the unemployment figures highlighted their concerns that the economy had gone into reverse over recent months and public spending cuts due in the comprehensive spending review would make the situation worse.

Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said: "The worry must be that we are at a turning point as spending cuts hit business and consumer confidence."

"What is clear is that the economy is still extremely fragile. With more than one in six young people without work, the best the government can expect is a largely jobless recovery. At worst the economy could go into reverse, as the OECD now recognises."

There was some positive news. The number of people in employment in the three months to July registered its largest rise since records began, with 286,000 more people securing jobs. However, economists pointed out the figure was boosted by 166,000 part-time jobs, continuing a trend during the year for employers increasingly to rely on part-time workers. The employment figures also lag behind the claimant count data, which gives a more recent signal of labour market trends.

Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight said the data was "both disappointing and worrying" fuelling fears that the improvement in the labour market is coming to an end, "even before public sector job cutting really gets under way".

Chris Williamson, chief economist at Markit, said the labour market was "showing signs of weakening" which can be "largely explained by the fact that the increase in employment was driven by part-time workers" Alan Clarke, UK economist at BNP Pariibas said the increase in employment wopuld represent a peak.

"The worsening in unemployment is consistent with what we know is happening to growth. Hence we very much doubt the buoyancy of the employment data will last much longer.
Archer added the jump in part-time employment indicated that many companies are reluctant to add full-time workers amid serious concerns over the sustainability and longer-term strength of the recovery. Part-time workers now account for 27.2% of total employment, up from 25.4% at mid-2008.

Employers groups said the government needed to move quickly to boost job growth with investment in infrastructure and other major projects.

Unions said the figures showed the economy remained fragile and in need of government support.

Employment minister Chris Grayling stressed that full-time and part-time jobs were being created at record levels, which supported the government's view that the economy was robust. He said he was disappointed the number of people claiming unemployment benefits had remained stubbornly high, justifying further action to get welfare claimants back into work.

UK does badly in international university league table

League table published by Times Higher Education dominated by US institutions with only three UK universities in top 10
  • The Guardian,
  • Article history 

  • Graduates 

    British universities have performed poorly in an international league table of top universities which ranks Oxford and Cambridge joint sixth in the world.
    The list is dominated by American institutions but China and South Korea have also scored highly after compilers placed less emphasis on "reputation and heritage" and gave more weight to objective measures including the influence of universities' research.

    The league table published today by the magazine Times Higher Education (THE) is topped by Harvard. American universities take all five top places and have 72 entries in the global top 200.

    Britain has three institutions in the top 10, with Imperial College London at ninth. But there are just five British universities in the top 50 – UCL is rated 22nd and Edinburgh 40th – and just 14 in the top 100.

    The list contrasts sharply with a league table published last week by the careers advice company QS, in which Cambridge came top and Harvard second.
    Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education's world university rankings, said the table was based on revised measures which provide an accurate and reliable picture of global higher education.

    He said: "Some institutions, and even whole countries, have not come out well under the new system. Others look much better."

    "Because of the change to the methodology, any movement up or down since 2009 cannot be seen as a change in performance by an individual country or institution. We do contend, however, that these tables are realistic, and so in some cases they may deliver an unpleasant wake-up call that the days of trading on reputation alone are coming to an end."

    The table is dominated by English-speaking universities. The only institution in the top 20 which is not based in Britain or North America is the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.

    Canada, which invests heavily in higher education, has nine institutions in the top 200, with the University of Toronto ranked highest at 17.

    Mainland China has six institutions in the top 200, more than any other country in Asia, and overtaking Japan for the first time. Peking University is the highest-ranked Chinese institution, at 37.

    Technology-focused universities are ranked highly in the list, with California Institute of Technology in second place and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) third.
    The new list reflects concerns raised last week that Britain is lagging behind global competitors in its public investment in higher education. A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, published last week, found the share of public spending in British higher education is 0.7% of GDP, below the OECD average of 1%, and behind the US, Canada, Sweden, Germany, Poland and Slovenia.Announcing the OECD's results in London, Andreas Schleicher, the head of its indicators and analysis division, said Finland, Canada and Japan were now major players in higher education.

    Professor Steve Smith, president of the vice-chancellors' umbrella group Universities UK, last week warned the government against squeezing university funding in the comprehensive spending review next month.

    "My worry is that we may be about to make decisions that fundamentally undermine our future capacity to be a globally competitive knowledge economy," he told an audience of vice-chancellors.

    This year's THE university rankings are based on a revised method of measuring university performance which looks at thirteen indicators including academic citations as well as surveys which rated research and teaching quality.


* 英鎊兌歐元 EURGBP= 觸及七周低位
* 英國央行總裁金恩或告訴貿易團體,減赤至關重要
* 英鎊兌日圓躍升2%,因日本干預弱化日圓
英鎊兌歐元在歐洲匯市盤初觸及0.84英鎊,為7月末以來最低.0722GMT時,歐元兌英鎊 EURGBP=D4 漲0.2%,報0.8380.
"英鎊走勢乏力,"三菱東京日聯銀行的外匯分析師Lee Hardman稱."更多明顯跡象顯示,英國經濟跟隨美國趨向大幅放緩."
英鎊 GBP=D4 兌全線上揚的美元跌0.2%,報1.5507美元,扭轉周二走勢.
--編譯 王麗鑫;審校 龔芳 


盟委員會(European Commission)週一稱﹐今年英國經濟的增長速度將快於該委員會和英國政府此前的預期。

歐盟委員會在針對歐盟(European Union)及其主要成員國的中期預測報告中表示﹐目前預計﹐2010年英國經濟將增長1.7%﹐高於該委員會發佈春季預測報告時預計的1.2%。

英國新建聯合政府6月22日公佈緊急預算案時﹐英國預算責任辦公室(Office for Budget Responsibility)預計﹐今年英國經濟將增長1.2%。






★  ■16:30英國8月份失業率前值4.5%;市場影響
★  ■17:00歐元區8月份消費者物價指數前值-0.3%/月,1.7%/年;市場影響
★  ■17:00瑞士9月份ZEW投資者信心指數前值9.1;市場影響
★  ■20:30加拿大7月份製造業庫存前值0.7%/月;市場影響
★  ■20:30加拿大7月份製造業裝船前值0.1%/月  

★  今天短線以逢高做空美元為主,破位止損,有盈利30個點以上就設好止贏,在美國開市前撤出所有沒有成交的掛單。本策略適合保證金,實盤可作參。  美元指數:可以在81.50----80.70的區間上限賣出,有效破位30個點止損,目標在區間的下限。  歐元/美元:可以在1.3090----1.2950的區間下限買入,有效破位40個點止損,目標在區間的上限。  英鎊/美元:可以在1.5650----1.5480的區間下限買入,有效破位40個點止損。目標在區間的上限。  美元/瑞郎:可以在1.0020----0.9890的區間上限賣出,有效破位40個點止損,目標在區間的下限。  美元/日元:可以在83.60----82.70的區間上限賣出,有效破位40個點止損,目標在區間的下限。 


美國市場-日本干預匯率 美元轉強 美股收紅
美股:日本週三採取行動,壓抑日元,美元因而轉強,為股市提供了支撐;個股方面卡夫食品(Kraft Foods)和McKesson公佈了令人鼓舞的業績預期,提升了投資者對公司前景的信心,卡夫公司並表示,預計到2013年旗下巧克力業務銷售額將升至100億美元。此外卡夫管理人士還預計,旗下餅干業務和糖果業務將實現增長,使得該公司股價週三表現最為亮眼。終場標準普爾500指數上漲0.35 %,收於1,125.07點,道瓊工業指數收高0.44%至10,572.73點,那斯達克指數攀升0.50%,收於2,301.32點。


歐洲市場-美製造業遜於預期 歐股連2跌
歐股:因美國發佈了較令人失望的工業數據,使得銀行石油製藥類股紛紛下挫;其中英國電力大廠Drax Group Plc、瑞士電腦配件大廠羅技(Logitech)等數家企業,遭券商調降投資評等,成為拋售重點;另外市場聚焦高盛(Goldman Sachs)預計美國聯邦儲備委員會為支持經濟可能不得不買入價值1萬億美元的美國國債,使得投資人增添對經濟復甦憂慮。終場泛歐道瓊600指數小跌0.32%,收於265.54點。



日本市場-日本啟動外匯干預 日股大幅走揚
日股:因日本政府對外匯市場進行干預,導致日圓大幅下挫,由15年來的高點挫貶,推升相關出口業者獲利前景,包含豐田汽車(Toyota Motor)、本田汽車(Honda Motor)、索尼(Sony Corp)佳能公司(Canon Inc)週三盤中急速反彈。終場日經225指數大漲2.34%,收於9,516.56點,東證一部指數收紅1.65%至848.64點。

日本啟動外匯干預:日本財務大臣野田佳彥(Yoshihiko Noda)證實,在美元兌日圓跌破83日圓這一關鍵水平時,當局週三對外匯市場進行了干預。這是日本六年來的首次外匯進行干預,此舉可能給全球市場帶來重大影響,儘管干預顯然成功,並給股市打了一劑強心劑,但分析師並不確信股市漲勢能夠持續。

新興市場-個股漲跌互見 中港股市小漲作收;類股輪漲 台股連3紅;經濟展望佳 印度股市連7紅;升息壓力暫緩 巴西股市收漲;國際油價走低 俄羅斯股市連2黑


印度股市:印度股市延續近來的漲勢,不斷推升30個月來的高點,其中具有業績良好題材的類股成為買盤湧入的焦點;此外市場預期印度央行可能會在央行會議後表明經濟增長強於估計的言論,推升相關基礎建設類股,其中Reliance Infrastructure Ltd引領上揚。終場Sensex指數上漲0.80%,收於19,502.11點。


俄羅斯股市:因為國際油價走跌,加上大宗商品價格回檔,降低市場對俄國相關原物料生商的投資興趣。其中俄國第2大礦產開發商OAO Uralkali、俄國銀行OAO Sberbank、油業巨擘OAO Lukoil股價紛紛走低,進而拖累俄羅斯股市連2天收黑。終場俄羅斯RTS美元指數下跌0.58%,收於1,484.50點。

美國債市-日本干預外匯市場 提振短期國債需求

原物料市場-美元走強 製造業放緩 油價下跌;獲利了結浮現 金價微幅下跌
油價:日本央行(Bank of Japan)為抑制日圓升勢大量買入美元,使得美元走強,讓以美元計價的原油價格走勢疲軟;加上美國週三公佈的製造業調查報告顯示,美國製造業增速放緩,皆拖累週三油價走勢。終場油價下跌1.02%,收於每桶76.02美元。



英國央行總裁Mervyn King周三說,政府別無選擇,只能削減赤字,他並稱貨幣政策仍是處理經濟的最佳工具。 




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