Alleged gov’t-linked land grabs threaten Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains

  • The Cardamom Mountains sit off the Gulf of Thailand in southern Cambodia and provide important habitat for a multitude of plant and animal species, many of them already threatened with extinction.
  • Due to Cardamoms’ remoteness, they had largely been spared the human encroachment that has razed much of the rainforest across the country – until infrastructure development in 2020 opened up the area to loggers, poachers, and others seeking to exploit the region’s forests.
  • Satellite data show deforestation is continuing to surge in the Cardamoms despite most of the range being formally demarcated as protected land.
  • Sources familiar with the issues say the Hun Sen government is encouraging land-grabbing in protected areas in a bid to build public support ahead of the 2022 election season, and that Cambodia’s systemic corruption is enabling timber and plantation companies to move in and clear forest.

Rising across remote stretches of southeast Cambodia, the

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Minister threaten to withhold contractor’s fee –

fee
Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi

As Navy claims it was sidelined

By Godwin Oritse

THE Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has threatened to withhold the balance of the contract fees of the Deep Blue Project if all the terms of the project were not met.

Speaking during an inspection tour of the equipment for the project in Lagos, Amaechi told the contractors that if the Navy was not trained on the operations of the fast intervention vessels amongst other conditions that were to be met, the balance of their fees will not be paid.

During the tour at the Navy Town in Lagos where some of the equipment are currently domiciled, a Naval officer had told Amaechi that the vessels have been docked at the Naval Dockyard in Navy Town without any form of training.

He also disclosed that when the Navy asked for the drawings of the vessels

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Mounting commercial real estate losses threaten banks, recovery

Loaning money to shopkeepers, landlords and hoteliers in places such as Times Square or SoHo used to be considered almost a sure thing. But that was before the contagion emptied New York City’s skyscrapers, hotels, apartment buildings and stores, leading the president of the United States to call it “a ghost town” and forcing some borrowers to stop making loan payments.

Now Signature, which has nearly 60 percent of its portfolio tied up in commercial real estate, is bracing for the fallout. The bank’s bad-loan write-offs, though still modest, are creeping higher. Despite years of steady profits, investors are punishing the stock, which has lost 43 percent of its value this year even as the broader market has gained.

If U.S. banks absorb big losses on their $2 trillion in commercial real estate loans, the entire economy will suffer. Just the fear of looming bankruptcies and defaults has prompted banks

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Residents threaten to sue contractor for abandoning road project in Ashanti Region

Regional News of Thursday, 29 October 2020

Source: 3 News

2020-10-29

File Photo: The over 27-kilometer road spans from Kwadaso to NwenesoFile Photo: The over 27-kilometer road spans from Kwadaso to Nweneso

Residents and road users within Atwima Techiman and surrounding communities have threatened to sue the contractor working on the Kwadaso-Atwima-Twedie road in the Ashanti Region.

They say the contractor has abandoned the project as the road further deteriorates, rendering road users helpless.

Asabea Contractor has been working on the said stretch but has abandoned the project for several months as residents have been at the mercy of pot holes and death traps that have riddled the road.

The over 27-kilometer road, which spans from Kwadaso through Twedie, Foase to Nweneso, when completed, will enhance the living standards of residents and commuters on that stretch.

But until then, the situation has worsened as perennial rains wash away parts of the road, creating deep gullies and erosion.

The residents poured

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Fast-Moving California Fires Threaten Million-Dollar Homes

(Bloomberg) — Two Southern California wildfires that have forced nearly 100,000 people to evacuate are threatening to rip through nearby upscale neighborhoods as hurricane-force winds drive the flames over hillsides.



a traffic light hanging from a pole: Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) workers install a Viper Recloser in Yountville, California, U.S., on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. The California Public Utilities Commission proposed to require large investor-owned utilities to speed up the deployment of microgrids and other so-called resiliency projects to minimize the impacts of wildfire-induced outages and power shut-offs.


© Bloomberg
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) workers install a Viper Recloser in Yountville, California, U.S., on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. The California Public Utilities Commission proposed to require large investor-owned utilities to speed up the deployment of microgrids and other so-called resiliency projects to minimize the impacts of wildfire-induced outages and power shut-offs.

The blazes, in Orange County, are much smaller than some of the sprawling conflagrations that blackened huge swaths of Northern California over the past few months. But instead of burning remote forests, they’re raging beside densely populated subdivisions, threatening tens of the thousands of people and million-dollar homes.

Wind gusts and bone-dry conditions have made for some of the most threatening weather California has seen

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Commercial Real Estate Prices Threaten Bank Losses

Plummeting commercial real estate prices could cause steep bank losses as people continue to work from home and shop online amid the global pandemic, according to a CNBC report on Sunday (Oct. 25), citing a study from Oxford Economics.

Current inactivity caused by COID-19 is showing crippling signs like steep loan losses; this is similar to other downturns and could signal cause for alarm, Adam Slater, economist at Oxford Economics, said in a report. 

When 5% of loans are written off, that is the same as a 1-10% loss of banks’ tier one capital, according to the Oxford Economics report, which evaluated 13 major economies. Asia would be affected the most, it said.

Similar loan losses in the U.S. comprised 25-30% of write-offs during the 2008 Great Recession. 

“Large (commercial real estate) price declines generally translate into big losses for banks. Write-offs of

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Shocking new rates for homeowners insurance threaten Florida’s economy

Florida homeowners, already facing an anxious few months because of the COVID-19 pandemic, face a new threat — the prospect of major cost increases for property insurance.

As the Sun Sentinel reported Sunday, the increases could range from 30% to 40%. They would come just as Gov. Ron DeSantis has ended the moratorium on mortgage foreclosures. It also seems likely that Senate Republicans won’t pass a second COVID-19 stimulus bill that could help laid-off homeowners pay their insurance premiums.

How will the Florida Legislature respond? If history is a guide, the priority will be to please the insurance industry, not policyholders.

That’s because we have been here before — after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and after the active hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, which culminated in Hurricane Wilma. Now we are here after Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Hurricane Michael in 2018, even though neither storm made a direct

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