163680-chile-earthquake

Magnitude 8.2 Earthquake Hits Chile...

A powerful 8.2 earthquake in the northern coast of Chile hit Earthquake-Prone Chile on Tuesday. Chile officials are now evacuating residents in coasta...

poundsers

Banks’ Failure to Address Consume...

According to UK’s consumer protection and information group Citizens Advice, at least 1,050 PPI claims management companies are taking £5 billion o...

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Matteo Renzi: Italy’s Youngest Pr...

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was hailed as the new Prime Minister of Italy and his reign, along with his 16-member cabinet who have an average ...

central-building-errro

Mario Draghi Strengthens Euro Throu...

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s pledge to lower interest rates for an extended period to protect the currency’s economic gains had ...

Magnitude 8.2 Earthquake Hits Chile

A powerful 8.2 earthquake in the northern coast of Chile hit Earthquake-Prone Chile on Tuesday. Chile officials are now evacuating residents in coastal areas before a tsunami hits. The earthquake was first recorded at 8.0, and then to 8.2 as the region was rocked by numerous earthquakes over the past two weeks.

Local media showed that residents calmly evacuated their homes. All of Latin America’s Pacific coast had issued a Tsunami alert and a large wave was expected to hit the island of Juan Fernandez.

Chile’s emergency services reported some roads blocked by landslides but no casualties or injuries have been reported as of yet.

It is not the first time a massive earthquake hit Chile. As an earthquake-prone country next to Japan, Chile once had a magnitude 9.5 tremor in 1960 that killed 5,000 people and destroyed billions of dollars in properties. In 2010, a magnitude 8.8 earthquake and ensuing tsunami had destroyed 220,000 homes and claimed the lives of more than 500 people.

According to the US Geological Survey, the magnitude-8.2 earthquake has the power of a “destructive tsunami” that would hit coastlines and would be enough to flood several cities in the Latin American shorelines.

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Banks’ Failure to Address Consumer PPI Claims Allowed CMCs to Take Flight

According to UK’s consumer protection and information group Citizens Advice, at least 1,050 PPI claims management companies are taking £5 billion of the £13.3 billion total recompense given to UK nationals because of the banks’ failure to inform their consumers regarding mis sold PPI. In 2011, UK’s high courts have ordered banks and financial institutions to recompense consumers mis sold payment protection insurance and inform them of its possibility. Despite the court order, banks still mis performed their task.

Reputable no win no fee claims management companies, such as PPIClaimsAdviceline.org.uk, stress that they only take PPI claims from consumers who are aware they are mis sold PPI. Most PPI claims management companies charge upfront fees, persuade consumers they have a mis sold PPI and that the company should pursue their payment protection insurance claims.

Citizens Advice also pointed out that consumers also experienced the lack of transparency from the services of such claims firms, especially with cancelling arrangements.

Cases also turned expensive especially when the bank decides to use the payment protection refund to wipe off in partial or full part of the consumer debt. Consumers had to find a way to pay the 25% due for the PPI claims management companies.

According to observers and satisfied consumers, PPI claims companies do a very good job in retrieving payment protection insurance, but they are only necessary if you cannot make your claim on your own because the Financial Ombudsman Service can help you with your claim should you do it on your own.

Matteo Renzi: Italy’s Youngest Prime Minister

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was hailed as the new Prime Minister of Italy and his reign, along with his 16-member cabinet who have an average age of 47.6 years, is now on its road to fulfilling the promises they had given the Italian public and government. Upon his appointment as Prime Minister, he had made a speech that lasted for an hour and 10 minutes that presented his government’s programme head before the senate even approved their confidence in him.

Renzi, compared to other former Prime Ministers, was less than boring than his predecessors during his speech. He was energetic and exciting according to local media. Renzi also showed he was a populist.

He announced about the promises he had made in the recent weeks. He had presented his programme, which expectedly had lacking detail, that tackled issues in the Senate and the Italian Justice System. He had promised that he would also cut taxation and ensuring that government debts to small and medium business they will address.

He also stressed about the EU’s advice to Italy regarding getting its economy back on track that the Italian people must not do it because they are the lenders, but because it is for the good and pride of Italy.

Despite Renzi’s youthful charm, many, even in his own Democratic Party, think that he and his cabinet may be prone to rhetoric due to the lack of political maturity that most senior politicians have.

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Mario Draghi Strengthens Euro Through Pledge

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi’s pledge to lower interest rates for an extended period to protect the currency’s economic gains had helped the Euro’s value increase after its lowest level in a month. It gained 0.2% with a $1.3608 increase in New York after being down to $1.3549, its lowest level since December 5 2013. It moved on average  within $1.3546 to $1.3549.

The Euro’s recovery had been miraculous according to experts, attributing it to specific austerity cuts by the European “Troika” and support from the European Central Bank. According to Chief Currency Strategiest for Westpac Banking Corporation in New York, Richard Franulovich, it allowed many to have a forceful defense of the forward guidance and low rates.

Draghi had said in his speech that the Euro had gained very well and that it has advanced from the bottom of the Euro zone crisis. However he said that it was still too soon to say that the euro region is out of danger. He said that “It’s a recovery that’s gone from being based exclusively on export growth” to one that is “very gradually extending into domestic demand,” Draghi said. “But it’s still premature to declare any victory.”

The last 12 months gave the Euro 7.9% more in value compared to US’ gain of 5%.

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Reasons to Work With a PPI Claims Expert

PPI costs consumers around £3000-3500 for every insurance policy mis sold by bank employees against them. Many will advise you that PPI claiming is simple, until you find out that your PPI complaint gets rejected. Working with a PPI claims expert from reputable claims management companies will save you more than just time.

1. Follow Ups
A PPI claims expert represents your PPI complaint with banks and financial institutions. You might be powerless to follow up on your PPI claim, but the claims expert could follow up on your claim from the banks regularly.

2. Experience
When you are claiming back payment protection insurance for the first time, this might also be the last you make. However, a PPI claims expert has experience with more PPI complaints in the past, making them the people most likely to get you all your complete refunds.

3. Fair
PPI claims experts will grant you their expertise and experience, but you won’t have to pay if you do not get the results you want from your complaint. Under a no win no fee basis, your money and the outcome of your complaint will never be wasted on the efforts of such professionals.

4. Regulated
If your claims management company has a claims regulation number, it means the UK Ministry of Justice regulates them. You could trust them to help you get all your complete refunds.

EU Leaders Accuse Russia of Pressuring Ukraine

Ukraine Officials confirmed that Moscow played a hand that had they delay signing a pact that will allow Brussels to have an EU membership. The statement by Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov was to address the thousands of protesters gathering in central Kiev to reverse Ukraine’s decision to favour closer relations with Russia.

Meanwhile, EU leaders were angered by Russia’s actions of pressuring Ukraine to do its diplomatic strategies politically and economically during their two-day summit in Vilinius on Thursday. However, Russia accused Brussels of “blackmailing” Ukraine to revoke its EU leadership. Russia had also denied all accusations against them.

However, PM Azarov confirmed to foreign reporters that Russia was the one who suggested to put off the deal with Brussels and instead give them a weightier alternative. Azarov also said that he and the country is frustrated for being in the middle of Moscow and Brussels’ diplomatic tug of war, which jeopardizes their country’s own interests.

The recent demonstrations had been the biggest to hit the 45 million populated Ukraine. The previous large demonstration in the country was during the Orange Revolution in 2004, which aimed to bring down a Moscow-backed government.

Protesters have launched a sit-in protest, setting up tents and large metal barrels. Despite the oncoming snowy season in the country, the protesters are determined to stay. EU had warned the Ukrainian officials that the use of force against the protesters will be met with serious consequences.

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The growing popularity of online bingo

Image by  Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com 

We’re all into online gaming these days – whether it’s on the move on our smartphones or tablets, or at home on the pc or laptop, or even when we’re having five minutes’ break from the grind at work!

There’s an absolute wealth of choice when it comes to choosing what games to play and part of the appeal of online gaming is that you can dip in and out of different games as often as you feel like. As many of them are free to download and play, or can be played instantly via an app or web browser, there’s no need to stick with one particular game.

That being said, everyone has their favourites and there are also games that seem to be more popular than others. Some, like bingo, have lasting appeal. You can play bingo online any time of the day or night and it’s a game that everyone is familiar with, even if they have never actually played it. That’s because it’s a game that our parents and grandparents grew up with too, so it’s a permanent background fixture in many people’s lives. Now, with its transition to being an online game, there are more than 100 million people who play bingo around the world.

Bingo is one of those eternally popular games because the stakes have always been low in comparison with the prizes that are on offer, and this is certainly still the case now you can play online. You can play bingo with Costa Bingo for free and still stand to win thousands. The weekly Costa Crazy game which is played on a Friday night features a guaranteed jackpot of £10,000, even though players don’t have to pay to take part. Of course there are plenty of other games with great prizes where the cost of a bingo card is really low, but it’s great that the bingo sites also offer their players the chance to win something for nothing.

The other reason that bingo has always been so well-liked is that it’s really easy to play, and part of the fun of playing online games is that you can use them to unwind. There’s no need to think about a cunning strategy to win at bingo, it’s down to chance whether the numbers on your cards will match the numbers called, so there’s nothing you can do to alter the outcome of the game. But, as they say, you have to be in it to win it, so why not take a chance on winning an amazing jackpot, for the small price of a ticket or two?

And while you’re not busy concentrating on the game, you’ll discover the other reason why online bingo has so many fans – the social side. Online bingo players have access to chat rooms on the bingo sites where they can share the excitement of the game with other players, as well as swapping some jokes and having a bit of a chat. There are also lots of chat games to join in, and you may end up winning one of those even if you don’t happen to win on your bingo cards.

For a game that’s entertaining and easy to play, online bingo is hard to beat and it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most played online games today.

Arab, European and Western Nations Prepare for Syrian Peace Talks

Foreign ministers from the Arab League and the United Nations will gather today to prepare for a proposed Syrian peace conference that would allow the Syrian regime and rebel faction a chance for dialogue in resolving the more than 2-year-old conflict in the country.

William Hague and other ministers from 10 other countries will be meeting in London to discuss preparations in support of the Syrian opposition in a peace conference in Geneva.

The Syrian rebels and its umbrella group, the opposing Syrian National Coalition will decide next month if it would participate in the Geneva summit. However, its prominent Syrian National Council has no faith in negotiating with the Syrian Regime and it will not be included in the Geneva peace talks.

Syrian Regime and President Bashar al-Assad had also said that he had a lack of faith in the conference because the groups who would participate have no direct relation to the Syrian people. Some of those participating only represent the countries that made them.

The Geneva Conference aims to finally find a political solution to the Syrian conflict and end the violence which had claimed more than 350,000 lives in exchanges of fire and skirmishes between regime and rebel forces.

Al-Shabaab Strike Designed to Deter Kenyan Psyche

According to observers, the Nairobi attack at the Westgate Shopping Complex was designed to deter the psychology of Kenyan locals. Attacking the heart of the capital city was crucial to strike panic against the government.


The Westgate Shopping Mall attack is the biggest the al-Shabaab ever attempted since 1998. Currently, the attack had confirmed kills of 60 deaths. As the attack continues, the al-Shabaab continues to update their Twitter account, which was reportedly banned by the social media company.
One message intercepted by news agencies said that “For long we have waged war against the Kenyans in our land, now it’s time to shift the battleground and take the war to their land.
The al-Shabaab terrorist group is an offshoot of the al-Qaeda and the two groups are closely linked together.
The psychological effect of the attack will leave many Kenyans cautious and even afraid to step out of their homes and go about their daily lives normally and will greatly affect its economy. The attack will likely scare off tourists, which make up a percentage of the local economy.
The al-Shabaab said that it is fighting until the Kenyan government steps down on its anti-terrorist activities in Somalia.
Part of the casualties of the al-Shabaab attack were the relatives of the Kenyan President and a top political figure in the country.

Syrian Refugee Problems Reach Critical Levels; Neighbours Ask for Help

As the US military strike threatens Syria, more and more refugees flee from their country into neighbouring countries Jordan and Turkey. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, at least 2 million people have fled from the country in the span of two years, making them the most misplaced nationality in the world today.

According to the UNHCR, Syria’s 2 million population only has 118,000 refugee children who continue to receive certain forms of education and counselling regarding the post-traumatic syndrome of war. Child refugees might have long-term scars from the civil war and may be ineffective in rebuilding Syria in the future.

Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan continue to receive hundred thousands of refugees. Lebanon has the highest number of refugees with 700,000. The three countries neighbouring Syria are asking for international help as the respective countries’ economies and markets were suffering from the humanitarian crisis as well.

In Syria, it is estimated that at least 4.25 million people still remaining inside enduring the conflict.

The United States had gained support from its congress but it receives criticism from the international public. European leaders have also expressed opposition against the strike. The United States currently has France, Qatar and the Arab league supporting the possible military strike.