Tag Archives: Mission

IMF Staff Completes Article IV 2021 Mission with Marshall Islands Republic | Instant News

22 March 2021

The Final Mission press release includes a statement by the IMF staff team delivering preliminary findings after a country visit. The views expressed in this statement are those of IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF Executive Board. Based on the mission’s preliminary findings, staff will prepare a report which, with management’s approval, will be presented to the IMF Executive Board for discussion and decisions.

  • The Marshall Islands are taking swift and strong action to contain the Covid-19 pandemic without a record of local transmission and are currently leading the launch of the Pacific Covid-19 vaccine.
  • However, the containment measures have weighed on the economy. GDP is expected to contract by 3.3 percent in FY2020 and further decrease by 1.5 percent in FY2021.
  • Post-pandemic, fiscal consolidation is needed to build buffers to reduce the risk of fiscal gaps and protect long-term revenues.

Washington DC:
Yong Sarah Zhou chaired Article IV virtual consultations with the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) from March 1 to 18. At the end of the visit, Zhou issued the following statement:

“The Marshall Islands economy was experiencing strong growth before the pandemic. Real GDP is expected to increase by around 6.5 percent in FY2019 (1 October-30 September), driven by strong fishing and construction activities. Inflation remains low, given weak commodity prices.

“As a result of its strong and swift containment measures, RMI has so far remained one of the few countries that has no record of local transmission of COVID-19. The government has implemented a vaccination plan, supported by the US RMI leading the launch of the Covid-19 vaccine in the Pacific Islands, with the first round of vaccination of more than 30 percent of the total population completed.

“However, the economic impact of COVID-19 is severe, as elsewhere. Real GDP is expected to contract by 3.3 percent in FY2020 and is expected to fall by around 1.5 percent in FY2021, due to pandemic-related disruptions to production, sales and employment, particularly in the fisheries, transportation and tourism sectors. The economy is expected to recover in FY2022, based on the assumption that the health restrictions on economic activity will gradually ease. Inflation is expected to pick up slightly, reflecting higher fuel prices.

“The uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook is very high, given the pandemic, and risks are likely to fall. Extended border closings due to a more protracted Covid-19 pandemic around the world could prolong weak economic activity. The issuance of the SOV for digital currency as the second legal tender will increase the risk of macroeconomic and financial stability and financial integrity. The issuance of SOV could jeopardize the banking relationship related to RMI’s final USD (CBR). This combined with the risk of anti-money laundering and combating terrorism financing (AML / CFT) (including those linked to SOVs) could disrupt external aid and other important financial flows, resulting in significant economic constraints. Climate change and related natural disasters are another downside risk.

“RMI also faces important fiscal risks. Without sufficient fiscal consolidation, countries will face increasing fiscal risks from the fiscal gap if the Compact of Free Association (COFA) between the RMI and the United States ends in FY 2023. Alternatively, the potential for renewal of the COFA on favorable terms presents an upside risk.

“Against this backdrop, the team’s policy recommendations focus on three main objective areas: (i) ensuring a long-lasting economic recovery after a downturn and long-term fiscal independence; (ii) maintaining financial stability; and (iii) achieving green, sustainable and inclusive growth after the pandemic.

“The team lauds the government’s swift action to ensure health preparedness and reduce the economic impact of the pandemic, with support from donors. The team recommends sticking with the response package until the recovery progresses steadily while re-prioritizing and reallocating spending as needed, given the uncertainty about the development of COVID-19 in the global economy.

“Post pandemic, gradual fiscal consolidation is needed to prepare for a possible expiration of US grants and reduce the risk of fiscal gaps. Even if the COFA is renewed, some adjustments may still be needed to maintain healthy public finances and reduce reliance on external grants. An essential element of sound public finances is the preservation of the value of the Compact Trust Fund which is adjusted for inflation. The team recommends a combination of expense and income measurements to achieve consolidation. It is important for the government to enact the tax reform bill that has been prepared and to reform offshore shipping taxation and company registration. The preparation of a Fiscal Liability and Debt Management Act has recently been welcomed, but their timely enforcement and effective implementation will be critical to success.

“The staff welcomes the authorities’ continued cautious approach to the Sovereign digital currency (SOV). SOV will pose significant risks to macroeconomic and financial stability and financial integrity. RMI’s legal, regulatory and institutional framework is not ready to accommodate the issuance of SOVs and manage the associated risks. Therefore, the team’s assessment suggests that the potential costs of issuing an SOV are likely to outweigh the expected benefits.

“Another concern is the risk of financial integrity in the non-resident and shipping (offshore) sector. Progress has been made to strengthen the RMI’s AML / CFT regime in line with recommendations made by the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering but weaknesses in the legal framework and capacity constraints among regulatory authorities may not allow the AML / CFT regime to effectively mitigate financial integrity risks. In particular, timely access to accurate beneficial ownership information about entities registered with RMI is not guaranteed. Further, there is a lack of meaningful oversight of the offshore sector – including that of the Trust Company of Marshall Islands (TCMI), which has been delegated duties to operate non-resident registers and shipments – and inadequate AML / CFT regulation of offshore activities. . The foregoing can put pressure on correspondent banking relations (CBR). Staff recommended that the Marshall Islands Government strengthen the AML / CFT legal / regulatory framework and the capacity of its agencies to ensure proper offshore sector AML / CFT regulation, oversight of delegated public functions and effective mitigation of financial integrity risks.

“Green and sustainable recovery requires accelerated preparation of the national adaptation plan (NAP) for climate change. The team welcomes the government’s commitment to finalizing the NAP by 2021 and offers support for PFM reforms to increase RMI’s ability to access global climate funds.

“IMF staff recommends increasing the implementation of BUMN reform. In the medium and long term, the government should develop direct and targeted fiscal transfers, which are more efficient at distributing income to the poor than paying subsidies to SOEs for social services while reducing economic distortions.

“Staff are aware of the longstanding and difficult structural challenges surrounding economic diversification and growth for a small and remote economy like RMI. Improving the business environment can play an important role in enabling the private sector to grow and become more dynamic. Land registration reform will be an important step to promote business investment in RMI. Increasing education and opportunities for training and skills development and expanding social services can help reduce migration to the US and enable higher local growth.

“The IMF team would like to thank the RMI government as well as private sector representatives for constructive and honest discussions.”

IMF Communications Department


Telephone: +1 202 623-7100Email: [email protected]



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The UK supports Biden’s call for China to release data on the origin of the coronavirus – POLITICO | Instant News

Britain on Sunday said it shared Washington’s concern about the World Health Organization’s fact-finding mission on the origins of COVID-19 in China.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he supported US calls for China to release information about the country’s first detected case of the disease and did not interfere with the WHO investigation.

“When you have a zoonotic outbreak like the coronavirus, we need to know exactly how it happened,” Johnson said in an interview with CBS.

“Indeed, if zoonosis, if it really started from human contact with the animal kingdom, that’s what was confirmed. But we need to know exactly what’s going on …. We need to look at the data. We need to see all the evidence. So I totally support what President Biden has to say about that. “

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also criticized the level of access given to experts. “We are very concerned that they are getting full cooperation and they are getting the answers they need, so we will encourage them to have full access, get all the data they need,” Raab the word in an interview with the BBC.

On Saturday, the Biden administration demanded transparency from China and the WHO. This comes after the report by the Wall Street Journal that China refused to give WHO investigators access to raw data on early cases of COVID-19.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the US had “deep concern” about the investigation, calling on China to release data from the start of the outbreak. “This report must be independent, with expert findings free from intervention or change by the Chinese government,” wrote Sullivan in a statement.

At the start of the pandemic, China the offer was ignored from experts to help investigate the COVID-19 outbreak and have been criticized failed to share preliminary evidence human-to-human transmission and suppressing independent media coverage as the pandemic spreads globally.


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Dramatic photos show injured hikers climbing ropes to mountains in Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park before being rescued | Instant News

The two climbers were before they saved. One of them had a badly broken arm and was tied to the side of a mountain. Photo / Provided

Two climbers – one seriously injured – spent one night in Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park as rescuers departed complicated mission to take them to safety.

The climbers were trapped by a rock slide on steep terrain on Wednesday evening and weather conditions hindered rescue efforts, but a lull in the clouds early Thursday allowed the helicopter crew to unload an alpine cliff rescue team.

A Greymouth Rescue Helicopter then flew the couple – a man and a woman in their 50s – to Greymouth Hospital.

The man’s arm was badly broken in two places, a concussion and a badly injured leg. The woman was relatively unscathed, and she had tied the injured climber to the steep slope to prevent her from falling and suffering further injuries.

The two climbers were before they saved.  One of them had a badly broken arm and was tied to the side of a mountain.  Photo / Provided
The two climbers were before they saved. One of them had a badly broken arm and was tied to the side of a mountain. Photo / Provided

New Zealand’s Maritime rescue coordination center is leading a complex rescue. Search mission coordinator Neville Blakemore said the climbers activated the danger warning function of their InReach device at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday following the rock slide.

The rescue was completed at 8:50 a.m. on Thursday when the climbers arrived at Greymouth Hospital, having been flown there in a rescue helicopter.

Blakemore said being able to activate the device may have saved the wounded
a climber’s life. The pair were well equipped for the terrain they were on.

On Wednesday evening, the coordination center requested Helicopter Line helicopters to fly from Aoraki / Mt Cook with the Department of Conservation’s alpine cliff rescue team.

A lull in the clouds early Thursday allowed the helicopter crew to drop off the alpine cliff rescue team.  Photo / Provided
A lull in the clouds early Thursday allowed the helicopter crew to drop off the alpine cliff rescue team. Photo / Provided

They were unable to get to the site of the rock slide at an altitude of 1,800 meters on Mount D’Archiac (50 km northeast of Aoraki / Mt Cook) due to thick clouds. Instead, they landed a rescue team at Godley Hut to wait the night, monitor the weather and stay in touch with the coordination center.

The center has helicopters with night flying equipment on standby in Christchurch and

Low clouds prevented Christchurch helicopters from flying, but at 3 a.m. on Thursday, during a lull in the clouds in the mountains, Greymouth Rescue Helicopters were able to fly to the scene and bring down an alpine cliff rescue team.

The two climbers were flown to Greymouth Hospital at around 7.30am.


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Tom Cruise, Christian Bale: The most dramatic actor devastation recorded on tape | Instant News

Tom Cruise endured a big crash this week on the set of Mission: Impossible. Photo / Getty

The audio of Tom Cruise literally losing it on the set of the film Mission: Impossible went viral this week.

The actor shouted harsh words at workers who did not comply with the COVID-19 regulations.

“If I see you do it again, you’ll be gone,” yelled Cruise, 58.

The Hollywood megastar has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to enforce strict social distancing rules during filming, which takes place in the UK.

He became furious after seeing the two crew members standing within two meters of each other.

An audio recording, obtained and published by The Sunhad, catches Cruise screaming: “If I see you do it again, you’ll be gone. And if anyone in this crew does, that’s all – and you too and you too. And you, don’t be. ever do it again. “

He continued: “They are behind Hollywood making films now because of us.” We create thousands of jobs, you bastard.

“That’s all. No apologies. You can tell people who lost their homes because our industry closed.”

“We’re not closing this damn film. Is that understandable? If I see her again, you’re leaving.”

But Cruise isn’t the first actor to blow up on the job.

Christian Bale later apologized.  Photo / Getty
Christian Bale later apologized. Photo / Getty


One of the most famous is Christian Bale who lost him on the set of Terminator: Salvation, originally acquired by TMZ.

The Director of Photography, Shane Hurlbut, walked in front of Bale’s eye line, distracting him.

During his explicit rant, Bale called him ‘p ** ck’ and demanded that he leave the set.

“Am I going to walk around and tear up your goddamn lamp in the middle of the scene…?” he is screaming. “Then why are you walking past? Ah da da da da, like this in the background. What’s wrong with you? What don’t you understand?”

Bale issued a lengthy apology at the time, saying: “I was broken beyond belief. I made no excuses for that.”

Lindsay wants her co-stars to take her acting more seriously.  Photo / Getty
Lindsay wants her co-stars to take her acting more seriously. Photo / Getty


Lindsay Lohan is heard breaking it with co-star James Deen on the set of the 2013 erotic thriller The Canyons.

In one clip, Lohan is heard saying, “Please do your job.”

He continued: “No, you can do it … Please James, say your lines while you walk … because we do the exercises … do your job.”

Just then he told TMZ he wasn’t upset. “Not at all. You didn’t hear me laugh at that clip?”

The actor and director had a big fight on the set.  Photo / Getty
The actor and director had a big fight on the set. Photo / Getty


Most explosions usually occur between actors and crew members, but this was between Lily Tomlin and director David O. Russell on the set of the 2004 film I Heart Huckabees.

In the footage that TMZ obtained, Lily was displeased with the directions given to her.

“Okay for God’s sake, let’s just take one line instead of changing everything,” he sighed.

“It’s very difficult to even create what you would do when it’s a constant attack of, ‘Change this, change this, do this, do this, no, wait, wait, do it differently, do it differently.’ Don’t let me start. “

Russel then kicked off a portion of the set, shouting, “F ** k you! I’m just trying to help the king, do you understand me? I’m being a collaborator.

“I worked on this damn thing for three damn years so that no one yells at me in front of the crew when I try to help!” He continued.

The director is suspected of getting into fights with other actors on set as well.

Most recently, in 2015, sources claimed she put Jennifer Lawrence into “devastation”.

On the set for the film Joy, a source said: “She was screaming at her. She was screaming at her. Her voice was loud.”

The director also hit George Clooney on the set of Three Kings.

Producer Charles Roven explained that: “George saw David talking with extras’ [assistant director], and it looks like he’s snapping at it. But he screamed to be heard. And George came running and went, ‘I told you, motherfucker, if you’re going to pick someone, pick me.’ And David said, ‘Why don’t you remember your sentence just once?’ And boom! They embrace each other, and they struggle. “


Star Trek actor William Shatner quarreled with the director while filming a commercial, became completely passive aggressive when asking the director to give him an example of how to say his lines.

In doing so, Shatner transcribed it exactly which resulted in very awkward audio.

“I thought it was close, ‘Shatner insisted, with the director asking:’ Are you making fun of me?

“Create the next paragraph for me, so I can get an idea of ​​how you want it,” continued Shatner, before insisting: “I want to hear you read the second paragraph so I can do it that way.”

The conversation got a little hotter and even more condescending as it progressed.


Orson Welles is a very well known filmmaker, but the star still does some voice commercials from time to time.

On one occasion, while creating a commercial for frozen peas, Welles lost it to someone who asked him to repeat the sentence.

“Why?” Welles asked angrily. “I did it right.”

“I’m not used to having more than one person there, ‘he continued.’ One more word from you, and you leave, is that clear? I took direction from one man, under protest. But of the two, I don’t sit still. After all, who are you? “


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Tom Cruise is reportedly dating Mission Impossible co-star Hayley Atwell | Instant News


The angry star was heard hurling a rant at the Mission Impossible crew for several minutes during a shocking rant on the set. Video / news.com.au

Mission Impossible actor Tom Cruise has been secretly dating his British co-star Hayley Atwell.

The couple was seen holding hands at a recent screening in London, adding fuel to rumors that they would make the relationship public, according to The Sun.

It happened after Cruise halted filming for the early Christmas break after he accidentally harassed staff on set for a Covid-19 violation.

Actor Tom Cruise and actress Hayley Atwell in a yellow Fiat 500 on the set of the film Mission Impossible 7 in Italy.  Photo / Getty Images
Actor Tom Cruise and actress Hayley Atwell in a yellow Fiat 500 on the set of the film Mission Impossible 7 in Italy. Photo / Getty Images

He and Atwell, who is 38 years younger than 20 years, reportedly got closer while shooting film scenes in Rome and England together.

Tom Cruise hasn’t been in a long-term relationship since he split from his ex-wife Katie Holmes.

Cruise and Atwell get to know each other on the set for the new film Mission Impossible 7.

A production source revealed that “Tom and Hayley got along well from day one.

“The lockdown, and all the hardships that came with it, brought them closer together and became inseparable.

“They met after hours, and he went to his London pad. They got along brilliantly, and they both seemed very happy.”

In a scene from the new film, Atwell is handcuffed to Cruise’s character, Ethan Hunt.

Paparazzi photos show them holding hands between shots in Rome.

Cruise was romantically linked with Orange is the New Black star Laura Prepon in 2013, and is said to have become close with Handmaid’s Tale star Elisabeth Moss last year.

The Mission Impossible star has been secretly dating actress Hayley Attwell.  Photo / Getty Images
The Mission Impossible star has been secretly dating actress Hayley Attwell. Photo / Getty Images

Star Top Gun has three children – Isabella and Connor with ex-wife Nicole Kidman, and Suri from his relationship with Katie Holmes.

Captain America star Atwell was previously with model Evan Jones, but the couple split after two years in 2015. She recently dated a British doctor, but it is known the couple split earlier this year.

Atwell is known for hitting the despicable film mogul Harvey Weinstein after he reportedly called him a “fat hog”.

News of this budding relationship emerged after footage of Cruise’s babbling on staff not following Covid-19 protocols was leaked to The Sun.

An Atwell spokesman declined to comment when contacted by The Sun.


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