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CRS — Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions (December 11, 2014)

December 17, 2014 Comments off

Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The United States has led the international community in imposing economic sanctions on Iran, in an effort to change the government of that country’s support of acts of international terrorism, poor human rights record, weapons and missile development and acquisition, role in regional instability, and development of a nuclear program.

This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It comprises two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation. It will be updated if and when new legislation is enacted, or, in the case of executive orders, if and when the President takes additional steps to change U.S. policy toward Iran.

CRS — U.S. – EU Cooperation Against Terrorism (December 1, 2014)

December 17, 2014 Comments off

U.S. – EU Cooperation Against Terrorism (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via U.S. State Department Foreign Press Center)

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States and the subsequent revelation of Al Qaeda cells in Europe gave new momentum to European Union (EU) initiatives to combat terrorism and improve police, judicial, and intelligence cooperation among its member states. Other deadly incidents in Europe, such as the Madrid and London bombings in 2004 and 2005 respectively, injected further urgency into strengthening EU counterterrorism capabilities and reducing barriers among national law enforcement authorities so that information could be meaningfully shared and suspects apprehended expeditiously. Among other steps, the EU has established a common definition of terrorism and a common list of terrorist groups, an EU arrest warrant, enhanced tools to stem terrorist financing, and new measures to strengthen external EU border controls and improve transport security. Over the years, the EU has also encouraged member states to devote resources to countering radicalization and terrorist recruitment, issues that have been receiving renewed attention in light of growing European concerns about the possible threats posed by European fighters returning from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

Global Risk 2014-2015: Building the Transparent Bank

December 16, 2014 Comments off

Global Risk 2014-2015: Building the Transparent Bank
Source: Boston Consulting Group

  • The new era of bank transparency will require competitive, structural, and operational adjustments in order to succeed.
  • For the first time since 2007, global banking has regained overall profitability on a global scale, with sharp divergence among regions.
  • Increases in global profit were driven by the positive performance of banks in North America as well as the Middle East and Africa.
  • Banks must establish a comprehensive control framework, based on the three-lines-of-defense model, to reduce nonfinancial risks such as fraud, misconduct, and reputational damage.

From Spaghetti Bowl to Jigsaw Puzzle? Addressing the Disarray in the World Trade System

December 16, 2014 Comments off

From Spaghetti Bowl to Jigsaw Puzzle? Addressing the Disarray in the World Trade System
Source: Asian Development Bank

The rise of mega-regionals suggests that the world trade system is fragmenting to the point it appears more like a jigsaw puzzle than a spaghetti bowl. There are both regional and global jigsaw puzzles to be solved—in that order—to rectify the situation but this appears impractical.

Therefore, a way forward is to return to the most widely used modality of trade liberalization—unilateral actions—but this time involving the multilateralization of preferences.

How OFAC Calculates Penalties for Violations of Economic Sanctions, CRS Legal Sidebar (December 1, 2014)

December 16, 2014 Comments off

How OFAC Calculates Penalties for Violations of Economic Sanctions, CRS Legal Sidebar (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is charged with enforcing a range of economic sanctions programs in connection with which it has taken recent enforcement actions involving staggering amounts of civil money penalties. This has raised questions as to how OFAC confronts apparent violations and deals with the myriad types of companies and financial institutions that must comply with economic sanctions. OFAC’s sanctions regulations prohibit or regulate transactions with, and order the blocking of property of certain foreign nations, persons, or entities identified as threatening the national security of the United States. Sanctions are imposed pursuant to specific statute or by Presidential Executive Order issued under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 (IEEPA).

The Economic Benefits from Air Transport in the UK

December 16, 2014 Comments off

The Economic Benefits from Air Transport in the UK
Source: Oxford Economics

This study, commissioned by leading players from the aviation and tourism sectors and published at the Annual Conference & Exhibition of the Airport Operators Association (AOA), the trade body for UK airports, on 10 November, shows that all three elements of the sector made a significant contribution to the UK economy.

It brings together data for airlines, airports and other ground-based infrastructure and aerospace manufacturing. It shows that aviation provides substantial economic benefits to the UK economy and its citizens, some of which are unique and essential to the operation of a modern economy.

Free registration required.

EU — Acquisition of citizenship statistics

December 16, 2014 Comments off

Acquisition of citizenship statistics
Source: Eurostat

This article presents recent statistics on the acquisition of citizenship in the European Union (EU).

In 2012, 818 100 people obtained citizenship of an EU-28 Member State, an increase of 4.0 % compared with 2011; More people had acquired the citizenship of an EU Member State than in any other year during the period from 2002 to 2011. The main contribution to the increase at EU level came from United Kingdom (+16 300), followed by Ireland (+14 300) and Sweden (+13 500). The increase in Ireland, however, is a consequence of the efforts in the past two years to reduce the backlog of citizenship applications.

Most new citizenships in 2012 were granted by the United Kingdom (193 900 or 24 %), Germany (114 600 or 14 %), France (96 100 or 12 %), Spain (94 100 or 12 %) and Italy (65 400 or 8.0 %).

Of those acquiring citizenship of an EU-28 Member State, 87 % had previously been citizens of non-EU countries. Of these, citizens of Morocco and Turkey made up the highest numbers, followed by citizens of India, Ecuador and Iraq.

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