Ukraine gets €1.6bn in loans from European Commission

Published time: May 13, 2014 15:18

Ukrainian government officials signed a memorandum in Brussels today, which will make €1.6 billion in macroeconomic loans available in Ukraine. The loans will be provided to Ukraine’s National Bank over the next 15 years.

“Our meeting was a very successful one. It was unprecedented. I think we can say there was a great convergence,” Jose Barroso, the European Commission President said.

The EU will soon disburse the first tranche of a combined €1.61 billion ($ 2.2 billion) Macro Financial Assistance (MFA) loan program, but specific dates were not given.

Ukraine and the European Commission also signed a Financing Agreement for a State Building Contract that is worth €355 million and is intended to help the country’s economic transition. Another €10 million will be available for civil society, according to the European Comissions’s statement on its website.

In total, €250 million was transferred after the document was signed. The loan is part of a broader total aid package worth €11 billion over the next 15 years. Up to €8 billion will be sourced from the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, another €3 billion will come from the EU budget, €1.6 billion from micro finance loans, €1.4 billion in assistance package grants, and possibly €3.5 billion through the Neighbourhood Investment Facility.
More on RT

EU court backs ‘right to be forgotten’ in Google case

May 13, 2014

A top EU court has ruled Google must amend some search results at the request of ordinary people in a test of the so-called “right to be forgotten”.

The European Union Court of Justice said links to “irrelevant” and outdated data should be erased on request.

The case was brought by a Spanish man who complained that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google’s search results infringed his privacy.

Google said the ruling was “disappointing”.
Continue reading the main story
image of Rory Cellan-Jones Analysis Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent

Backers of the “right to be forgotten” are celebrating this ruling. EU Commissioner Viviane Reding has called it “a clear victory for the protection of personal data of Europeans”.

But the judgement could have huge consequences for anyone who publishes material online about individuals, and they will urgently be asking their lawyers exactly what it means.

Can anyone who does not like an old story about them simply demand that it is wiped away? That does appear to be the case – the ruling says the rights of the individual are paramount when it comes to their control over their personal data, although there is a public interest defence when it comes to people in public life.

Google, having won at earlier stages of this legal battle, is both surprised and furious at this outcome. But it isn’t clear that the search firm can do anything about it.

More on BBC

Global Cooling: Antarctic Sea Ice Coverage Continues To Break Records

Michael Bastasch
The Daily Caller
May 13, 2014

Someone let Al Gore know the South Pole isn’t melting. Antarctic sea ice coverage reached record levels for April, hitting 3.5 million square miles — the largest on record.

It was a cold summer down in Antarctica, with sea ice coverage growing about 43,500 square miles a day, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSDC). April 2014 beats the previous sea-ice coverage record from April 2008 by a whopping 124,000 square miles.

But even with autumn in full swing in the South Pole, “record levels continue to be set in early May,” reports the NSDC. Sea ice levels have been “significantly above” satellite data averages for 16 consecutive months.

The most pronounced growth in sea-ice coverage is in the eastern Weddell Sea and areas south of Australia and along the southeastern Indian Ocean, according to NSDC. And temperatures in the Weddell Sea region have been 1 to 2 degrees Celsius below the 1981 to 2010 average during March and April. Similar cooling trends have lowered average temperatures along the southern Indian Ocean by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius.

“However, across much of the far Southern Hemisphere, temperatures have been above average: For example, in the southern Antarctic Peninsula, temperatures have been 1 to 2 degrees Celsius (2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit) above average; in the southern South Pacific, temperatures have been 1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius (3 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit) above average, and up to 4 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit) above average in the area near the South Pole,” NSDC notes.
More on Daily Caller

Farm worker fined for dangerous quad bike use

Stuff NZ
Last updated 14:04 14/05/2014

A Marlborough farm worker has been fined $15,000 for not wearing a helmet while riding a quad bike at work and carrying a helmetless child as a passenger.

It is believed to be the first time someone has been convicted for carrying a passenger on a work quad bike.

Herd manager Rangi Holmes was sentenced today at the Nelson District Court on two charges under the Health and Safety in Employment Act, for failing to take all practicable steps to ensure his own safety and that of his passenger.

Workplace safety regulator WorkSafe New Zealand took the prosecution after inspectors saw Holmes repeatedly riding a quad bike in the Rai Valley while carrying children, without a helmet.

Over the 20 months from February 2012 five such incidents were observed.

In August last year Holmes’ employer was issued a notice prohibiting the carrying of passengers on quad bikes and requiring the use of helmets.

Holmes was supplied with a copy of that notice, but in October he was again seen carrying a child on a quad bike. Neither he nor the child had on a helmet.

More on Stuff NZ

My Opinion:
I was outrageous when I the news about the farmer being fined for not wearing a helmet and carrying a passenger on quad bike. Remember people government will not and cannot protect us when we get into accident either on a two wheeler or and four wheeler and riding on them is always risky even if you’re helmet; it might protect your head but won’t stop neck form breaking. We all need stand up against this madness because if the government can get away with threatening people with fines [because they see what they don’t like and think it’s causing harm], they can get way with anything.