Archive for October, 2010

Rousseff wins Brazilian election

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Dilma Rousseff (l) and candidate to Governor of Rio Grande do Sul state, Tarso Genro, after voting in Porto Alegre, Brazil, 31 October 2010Initial results suggest victory for Dilma Rousseff

Partial results in Brazil’s presidential race suggest the preferred candidate of outgoing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is on course for victory.

Dilma Rousseff is currently on 54% of the vote, with rival Jose Serra on 45%. Final results are due within hours.

If Ms Rousseff wins, she will become Brazil’s first woman president.

Ms Rousseff, of the governing Workers’ Party, has enjoyed the full support of President Lula.

He is leaving office after two terms with record popularity ratings.

Ms Rousseff has promised to continue policies that have fostered years of strong economic growth and lifted millions of people out of poverty.

This second round of voting was forced after Ms Rousseff fell short of the 50% needed in the 3 October first round. She won 47% to Mr Serra’s 33%. More than 130 million voters were due to take part in the polls.

Several opinion polls published at the weekend suggested she could win the second round with a lead of 10 to 12 percentage points.

The results appear to suggest a narrower margin of victory.

Ms Rousseff flashed a victory sign and gave a big smile to photographers after casting her vote in the southern city of Porto Alegre.

“Tomorrow we begin a new phase in our democracy”, she said.

“I will govern for everyone, speak for all Brazilians, without exceptions”.

Brazil key factsSet for some 7.5% growth this yearTop exporter of sugar, poultry and beef, major producer of iron oreAmazon rainforest makes Brazil a key presence in climate talksGrowing ties with Africa and Middle East, supporter of G20 roleTo host football World Cup in 2014, Olympic Games in 2016In pictures: Brazil election

After casting his vote in Sao Paulo, Mr Serra of the Social Democratic Party said that after eight years of government by the Workers Party, Brazil needed change.

But he said he had faced an “uneven battle”, in apparent reference to the booming economy that has boosted the popularity of President Lula and his preferred successor.

The BBC’s Paulo Cabral in Sao Paulo says Mr Serra has done better than many people expected in a campaign filled with personal attacks and corruption allegations.

But our correspondent says it has been an uphill struggle to take votes away from a government boasting 80% approval ratings.

Jose Serra makes the victory sign after casting his vote in Sao PauloMr Serra said he had faced an “uneven battle”

Jose Serra, 68, is a former governor of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s most populous state, and a former health minister.

Campaigning under the slogan “Brazil can do more”, he has promised better management of government rather than a radical change of policy.

Ms Rousseff, 62, President Lula’s former chief of staff, has never before run for elected office.

Mr Lula has been active and highly visible in her election campaign. He has to step down after completing the maximum allowed two consecutive terms.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Dilma Rousseff Leads with 55% for Brazil Presidency

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Bulgaria-descended Dilma Rousseff from the Workers’ Party is in the lead with a total of 55.07% of the votes with 90% of the total votes counted, according to Brazil’s central electoral commission.

Her opponent Jose Serra from the Social-Democratic Party has 44….

Source

Youngest Guantanamo inmate jailed

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

breaking news

A US military tribunal has sentenced a self-confessed Islamist militant to 40 years in jail on charges that include murdering a US soldier and conspiring to commit terrorist acts.

Canadian Omar Khadr pleaded guilty at Guantanamo Bay to the charges last week.

However, Khadr’s plea deal limited his sentence to eight years.

Caught in 2002 at the age of 15, he is the fifth Guantanamo inmate to be convicted at the military tribunals.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Hostages die in Iraq church siege

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Our Lady of Salvation church in central Baghdad (file photo)The attackers are holding worshippers and priests in the church

Gunmen have taken around 40 worshippers hostage in a central Baghdad church, Iraqi police say.

The gunmen first attacked the stock exchange in the Iraqi capital before moving to a nearby Assyrian Catholic church, where a Sunday evening service was being held.

At least six people were killed in the attacks, police said.

The gunmen are reportedly demanding the release of al-Qaeda members imprisoned in Iraq and Egypt.

According to the police, several other people were wounded.

The attackers are also holding two priests at the Our Lady of Salvation Church, the Chaldean Bishop Shlemon Warduni told the AFP agency.

“What we know is that a number of worshippers and two priests are being held hostage at the church by terrorists,” he said.

A local television station, al-Baghdadia, said it had been telephoned by the suspected attackers, who claimed they were from the organisation Islamic State of Iraq – an umbrella group embracing al-Qaeda and other militant groups.

The broadcaster said the men were demanding the release of al-Qaeda prisoners in Iraq and Egypt.

It reported that the men spoke in classical Arabic, which could imply that they are not from Iraq.

The BBC’s Jim Muir in Baghdad said the church in Karada district was surrounded by security forces and the area sealed off.

There were reports that the gunmen threatened to shoot the hostages if the church is stormed by security forces.

In 2008, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Paulos Faraj Rahho, was kidnapped by unknown gunmen and found dead two weeks later.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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Hardship in Indonesia after double disaster

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

People in Indonesia have been returning to their home following a volcanic eruption and tsunami that claimed a combined total of more than 400 lives.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Source

Rousseff ahead in Brazil election

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Dilma Rousseff (l) and candidate to Governor of Rio Grande do Sul state, Tarso Genro, after voting in Porto Alegre, Brazil, 31 October 2010Initial results suggest victory for Dilma Rousseff

Partial results in Brazil’s presidential race suggest the preferred candidate of outgoing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is on course for victory.

Dilma Rousseff is currently on 54% of the vote, with rival Jose Serra on 45%. Final results are due within hours.

If Ms Rousseff wins, she will become Brazil’s first woman president.

Ms Rousseff, of the governing Workers’ Party, has enjoyed the full support of President Lula.

He is leaving office after two terms with record popularity ratings.

Ms Rousseff has promised to continue policies that have fostered years of strong economic growth and lifted millions of people out of poverty.

This second round of voting was forced after Ms Rousseff fell short of the 50% needed in the 3 October first round. She won 47% to Mr Serra’s 33%. More than 130 million voters were due to take part in the polls.

Several opinion polls published at the weekend suggested she could win the second round with a lead of 10 to 12 percentage points.

The results appear to suggest a narrower margin of victory.

Ms Rousseff flashed a victory sign and gave a big smile to photographers after casting her vote in the southern city of Porto Alegre.

“Tomorrow we begin a new phase in our democracy”, she said.

“I will govern for everyone, speak for all Brazilians, without exceptions”.

Brazil key factsSet for some 7.5% growth this yearTop exporter of sugar, poultry and beef, major producer of iron oreAmazon rainforest makes Brazil a key presence in climate talksGrowing ties with Africa and Middle East, supporter of G20 roleTo host football World Cup in 2014, Olympic Games in 2016In pictures: Brazil election

After casting his vote in Sao Paulo, Mr Serra of the Social Democratic Party said that after eight years of government by the Workers Party, Brazil needed change.

But he said he had faced an “uneven battle”, in apparent reference to the booming economy that has boosted the popularity of President Lula and his preferred successor.

The BBC’s Paulo Cabral in Sao Paulo says Mr Serra has done better than many people expected in a campaign filled with personal attacks and corruption allegations.

But our correspondent says it has been an uphill struggle to take votes away from a government boasting 80% approval ratings.

Jose Serra makes the victory sign after casting his vote in Sao PauloMr Serra said he had faced an “uneven battle”

Jose Serra, 68, is a former governor of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s most populous state, and a former health minister.

Campaigning under the slogan “Brazil can do more”, he has promised better management of government rather than a radical change of policy.

Ms Rousseff, 62, President Lula’s former chief of staff, has never before run for elected office.

Mr Lula has been active and highly visible in her election campaign. He has to step down after completing the maximum allowed two consecutive terms.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Source

Tribunal jails Guantanamo inmate

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

breaking news

A US military tribunal has sentenced a self-confessed Islamist militant to 40 years in jail on charges that include murdering a US soldier and conspiring to commit terrorist acts.

Canadian Omar Khadr pleaded guilty at Guantanamo Bay to the charges last week.

However, Khadr’s plea deal limited his sentence to eight years.

Caught in 2002 at the age of 15, he is the fifth Guantanamo inmate to be convicted at the military tribunals.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Source

Dilma Rousseff Leads with 58% for Brazil Presidency

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Bulgaria-descended Dilma Rousseff from the Workers’ Party is in the lead with a total of 53.2% of the votes with 73% of the total votes counted, according to Brazil’s central electoral commission.

Her opponent Jose Serra from the Social-Democratic Party has 46….

Source

Small Businesses DO Indeed Have Websites and Use Tech

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Most of the small business economic research that gets published comes from the SBA Office of Advocacy. They publish quite a lot of the stuff, primarily because there isn’t that much of it to begin with and Advocacy is one of the nation’s premier (and pretty much the government’s only) funding sources for this kind of research. So, when there aren’t any research releases from Advocacy for a month, our Research Roundup can get pretty thin.

That’s what happened in October, but there were still a few interesting bits of research released this month. In fact, you might say that Advocacy took a break, but the GAO (Government Accountability Office) picked up the slack.

Small Business Tech Usage Continues to Grow

Small Businesses Do Have Web Sites

Small businesses tend to be pretty tech-reliant, and the smaller they are, the more tech-reliant they tend to be. So understanding how small businesses are using technology remains particularly interesting and important information.

The National Small Business Association (NSBA) seems to think so, anyway. Earlier this month, the NSBA released the results of its annual small business technology survey. And contrary to what I’ve seen in many other research reports on the subject, this one finds that small business owners really are online. Fancy that!

The 2010 NSBA Small Business Technology Survey found that a large majority of small businesses (86 percent) have a website but only 26 percent have e-commerce enabled websites. Almost half (47 percent) say they use social media (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook) to promote their businesses.

Telecommuting is coming into its own among small business owners, too:

According to the 1997 Annual NSBA Survey of Small and Mid-Sized Business, only 9 percent of small businesses allowed telecommuting. Ten years later, in 2007, that number jumped to 19 percent. Today, 44 percent of small businesses allow their employees to telecommute.

Time and money are the biggest challenges reported by small businesses when it comes to their websites, with 69 percent saying site updates take too much of their time and 37 percent reporting that the cost of maintaining their website was the biggest challenge related to it. Forty-three percent spend more than two hours a week dealing with tech-related issues/problems.

“Small business owners have to serve many critical functions within their businesses, including chief technology officer,” stated Todd McCracken, NSBA president and CEO, in a press statement. “This survey underscores the importance of affordable and user-friendly technology for small businesses.”

Recession Beats Up the Big Boys

The meek didn’t quite inherit the earth during this nasty recession, but the world’s poorer countries with smaller economies evidently did a little better than the large, rich countries with ginormous economies — at least, according to one measure. That is the main finding in a set of reports that comes to us as a combined effort between the Kauffman Foundation and the World Bank.

Or, at least, that’s one way of looking at it.

Turns out that, if you look at new business formation worldwide during the Great Recession, you’ll see that the number fell for the world’s economic leaders.

On the other hand, new business formation didn’t change much in low-income countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Part of the reason was new regulations that made business formation easier; part of it was that those low-income countries never had much in the way of new business formation anyway. You might say, when it comes to going downhill, they didn’t have any further down to go.

We’re measuring new business formation because, you may recall, Kauffman has found that new jobs come from new businesses–which means new business formation gets you out of the recession faster. I guess, in addition to jumping up and down and yelling about the role of new businesses here in the U.S., they want to make sure the rest of the world knows about it, too.

GAO to Microloan Lenders: Say What?

GAO used to stand for the Government Accounting Office, so you shouldn’t be too surprised to learn that the GAO doesn’t really do pure research; for the most part, they conduct audits. In the process, however, they often manage to learn some interesting things about the workings of the government and the ways in which what Congress does may not always match up with what Congress says it wanted to do.

This month, the GAO came up with a rather interesting report on the SBA’s Microloan program, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding and, specifically, how much the public knows about said funding and its effectiveness.

This study, even more interestingly, was requested by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who recently told the National Journal that “The single most important thing [Republicans] want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

Make of that what you will.

Anyway, GAO found that program participants (i.e., Microloan Intermediaries) should be instructed to provide more descriptive information about how ARRA funds are being used and what outcomes are expected so that the public will better understand those things.

I suspect that plenty of small business owners found out what Microloan is all about last year, when the bankers fiddled while Main Street burned. Microlenders were still lending and, for a moment at least, they were the heroes of the Great Recession.

I’m not clear about what use Senator McConnell intends to make of that information, but I trust he found it interesting, at least.

Which reminds me … Remember to vote on Tuesday. In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s kind of an important thing for small business owners (and everybody else) to do.

From Small Business Trends

Small Businesses DO Indeed Have Websites and Use Tech

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Brazilians await election result

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Brazilians await the results of the vote for a new president to succeed Lula da Silva, with his preferred candidate Dilma Rousseff expected to beat rival Jose Serra.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

Source

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