Tag Archives: June

Iraqi violence kills nearly 700 civilians in June – UN

NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — The United Nations (UN) on Wednesday voiced alarm in the recent wave of attacks in Iraq, calling for a halt in such incidents.

Martin Kobler, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) urged the Iraqi authorities to do their utmost and “take all necessary measures to protect the people of Iraq from more bloodshed.”

“This carnage must stop,” Kobler stressed, as dozens of people have been killed in recent weeks, and many others injured in a series of bomb attacks and shootings that seem to have concentrated around public places, such as a crowded market.

According to the UN, a total of 761 Iraqis were killed and another 1,771 were wounded in acts of terrorism and violence in June. Furthermore, of those killed, 685 were civilians, including 131 civilian police. An additional 76 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were also killed. Out of the 1,771 wounded, the vast majority – 1,610 including 221 civilian police – were civilians.

Baghdad was the worst-affected governorate with 950 civilian casualties followed by Salahuddin, Ninewa, Diyala and Anbar. Kirkuk, Babil, Wasit, Basra and Najaf also reported casualties, according to the Mission.

Kobler said regarding Tuesday’s indigents that the “devastating terrorist attacks” again targeted innocent citizens struggling to build a more hopeful future for themselves and their children in a highly volatile environment.

“They follow two weeks during which we’ve seen an increasing number of attacks targeting cafés, football fields and other locations where people socialize and nurture the personal relationships and social fabric that are so important for a strong, prosperous country,” added Kobler.

The Un also revealed that in April, 712 Iraqis were killed and more than 1,600 injured. In May, the death toll increased to 1,045 and more than 2,300 were wounded.

In a report issued last week, UNAMI said that at least 3,200 civilians were killed and more than 10,000 injured in during the second half of 2012 in a reversal of the trend that had seen violence decline in recent years.

Euro area jobless rate unchanged at 11.2 percent in June

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (BNO NEWS) — The euro area (EA17) unemployment rate remained at 11.2 percent in June, unchanged when compared to the month of May, the European Union (EU) said on Thursday.

According to Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, the unemployment rate increased by 1.2 percent on a year-to-year basis, with the June 2011 rate at 10 percent. Meanwhile, the wider 27-nation EU region (EU27) registered an unemployment rate of 10.4 percent in June, also stable compared with May, while increasing by almost 1 percent compared to last year’s 9.5 percent in June 2011.

The report’s figures also estimated that 25 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 17.8 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in June. Compared with the previous month, the number of people unemployed increased by 127,000 in the EU27 and by 123,000 in the euro area.

Compared with June 2011, unemployment rose by 2.1 million in the EU27 and by 2 million in the euro area.

Among the EU’s Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.5 percent), the Netherlands (5.1 percent), Germany and Luxembourg (both 5.4 percent), and the highest in Spain (24.8 percent) and Greece (22.5 percent in April).

Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate fell in seven EU Member States, increased in nineteen and remained stable in Sweden. The largest falls were observed in Estonia (13.6 percent to 10.9 percent between the first quarters of 2011 and 2012), Latvia (17.1 percent to 15.3 percent between the first quarters of 2011 and 2012) and Lithuania (15.4 percent to 13.7 percent).

Outside the European Union, the unemployment rate was 8.2 percent in the United States in June and 4.4 percent in Japan in May.

U.S. goods and services deficit reaches $53.1 billion in June

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BNO NEWS) — The goods and services exports in the United States in the month of June reached $ 170.9 billion, recording a $ 53.1 billion deficit, according to a report released by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on Thursday.

Reports have shown that the exports of goods and services over the last year totaled $ 1.98 trillion, a 25.6 percent increase compared to that of 2009, marking an annualized growth rate of 16.4 percent compared to 2009.

However, with imports of $ 223.9 billion, the U.S. recorded a goods and services deficit of $ 53.1 billion, up from May’s revised deficit of $ 50.8 billion, the report showed. June exports were $ 4.1 billion less than May’s $ 175 billion, while its imports were $ 1.9 billion less than May imports of $ 225.8 billion.

Meanwhile, the Export-Import Bank of the United States said it had approved more than $ 24.5 billion in total authorizations in the current fiscal year through August 4, helping the U.S. export growth. The figure included 2,548 U.S. small-business transactions.

“U.S. exports play a key role in boosting our economy and encouraging job creation and growth,” said Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank.

Nonetheless, the BEA report showed that while exports and imports of services remained virtually unchanged in June at $ 49.6 billion and $ 35.1 billion respectively, goods deficit increased $ 2.1 billion from May to $ 67.6 billion, and the services surplus decreased $ 0.1 billion to $ 14.5 billion.

In addition, June’s goods and services deficit increased $ 6.2 billion compared to the previous year. Exports were up $ 19.5 billion, which represents a 12.9 percent increase, and imports had a 13 percent growth, reaching $ 25.7 billion.

Obama to make official visit to Puerto Rico in June, first presidential visit in five decades

SAN JUAN (BNO NEWS) — President Barack Obama will next month make his first official visit to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, the governor said on Wednesday.

Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno said Obama had accepted his invitation to make an official visit to Puerto Rico, the first presidential visit to Puerto Rico in nearly five decades.

“Since the beginning of my administration, we have been working closely with the president and his administration to bring about this historic visit,” Fortuno said, adding that talks to get Obama and his wife Michelle to the island have been underway since February 2009.

“With this visit, President Obama fulfilled the commitment he made during the presidential primaries in 2008 to return to Puerto Rico as president,” Fortuno added. “As such, Puerto Rico prepares to host its first official presidential visit since 1961, when President John F. Kennedy was greeted with great enthusiasm and love from our people. I’m sure the reception that President Obama will get this June 14 will be no less remarkable and productive.”

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, but its status has been debated in recent years. Some would prefer the island to become a U.S. state, while others want Puerto Rico to become an independent country.