N E W S L E T T E R - O F - 3 1 - M A R C H - 2 0 0 3



The Delamere-International Newsletter ©

Edition of 31 March 2003 #121


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IN THIS ISSUE

1. Business: Emigrants from South Africa can now take their money with them
2. Business: Should you come clean about your secret off shore funds?
3. Business: Why is the South African Currency suddenly so desirable?
4. Business: Investing in the Future of Africa
5. Business: What is going on in Africa?
6. Business: Small Business in South Africa
7. Business: Does corruption pay dividends?
8. Business: The Top 10 Gold Mines of the World
9. Business: New Design for the New Twin Towers World Trade center in New York
10. Education: Background Music and Sound in Great Films
11. Education: Student Grants For Kenya
12. Education: The Quest to Discover New Planets
13. Education: The Poems of Emily Dickinson
14. Immigration: Buying a Green Card
15. Immigration: The Demise of the Visa Waiver Programme
16. Immigration: Recruitment process of foreign nurses gets a boost from INS
17. Immigration: Open Doors to the US for Somali Citizens
18. Immigration: Report Urges Crackdown on Non-Immigrant Visa Process
19. Real Estate: Why buyers are moving to the Cape Town Area
20. Travel: Chateau de Versailles, France
21. Travel: Galileo International Expands in China and Australia


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1.Business: Emigrants from South Africa can now take their money with them
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People wanting to emigrate or that have already emigrated from South Africa can now take their money with them.

The announcement was made as part of wide-ranging exchange control relaxation introduced by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel in his 2003 Budget.

Deputy General Maria Ramos estimated that the blocked Rands could amount to between R10bn and R12bn, or perhaps a little lower: "But who knows." Ramos said there were allowances within the blocked Rands, for example for emigrants to spend their blocked Rands while on holiday in SA, which made it difficult to know what the exact amount was. To read the full story, go to our NEWS DESK link.


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2. Business: Should you come clean about your secret off shore funds?
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Individuals with secret foreign investments and bank accounts can sleep peacefully tonight. The surprise foreign exchange amnesty proposed in the 2003 budget is good news for petty offenders as well as those with fortunes offshore, say tax advisers.

Finance Minister Trevor Manuel announced, in his budget speech, a window period starting on May 1 and ending on 31 October this year in which individuals who come clean on undeclared foreign assets will be "released from all civil penalties and criminal liabilities stemming from the illegal shifting of funds offshore" on or before 28 February 2002.

Those who take him up on the offer will have to pay a five percent exchange control charge on funds repatriated back to South Africa or a 10 percent charge on any foreign assets remaining offshore.

If the amount is less than R750 000, ($77,000) or together with your legal investments comes to less than this amount, you will not have to pay an exchange control charge. You will not pay income tax, interest, civil penalties or face criminal charges in connection with any funds you declare, provided this money does not have an illegal source or you are already under investigation. To read the full story, go to our NEWS DESK link.


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3. Business: Why is the South African Currency suddenly so desirable?
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The underlying factors in South Africa are no different now than they were a year ago, it is still a third world country, yet the Rand (South African Currency) has appreciated more than 40 % in the past year, WHY?

Our correspondent sent us this message. The United States is NO LONGER the safe, profitable nation it once was...(And it's not just Islamic fanatics you have to worry about). Wall Street is drowning in a flood of corporate scams. American political and financial systems are staggering under one of the greatest financial shakedowns in U.S. history.

Markets are devastated. The dollar is slipping. Big Brother is cracking down on personal and financial freedoms. Confidence is at an all-new low. So where can YOU go? Who can YOU turn to now? Its purely a case of supply and demand, and the demand to move currency and hot money into South Africa has created a demand that exceeds the available supply of Rands on the market. So what happens? Buyers of this currency pay over the odds, and this pushes up the value. Yes it's a simple as that.


Editor's Note: Visit our web page on investing in currency and make some big profits.


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4. Business: Investing in the Future of Africa
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The Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) is organising the African Investment Forum from April 7th to 9th in Johannesburg. This event features top flight speakers from across the continent and beyond and will be of interest to companies active in South Africa as well as the rest of Africa.

For travel information contact our website www.DelamereTravel.com

 

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5. Business: What is going on in Africa?
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Our correspondent in Cape Town sent this report; we think you will find it interesting.

"As we watch events in Africa, one of the topics we find fascinating is trying to find out where carrots and sticks end and bribery and corruption start and I'll leave you to mull on this by citing a few examples. Take Nepad. One of the underlying principles of Nepad is that African countries, which meet acceptable economic and political governance norms will be rewarded with access to a pool of aid money provided by the G8 countries. To my mind, that sounds like a perfectly legitimate carrot. Earlier this week, potential aid donors to Malawi took the line that aid would not be provided until the World Bank had signed off on the country's economic policy and budget. Perhaps, that's the stick.


"Turkey is not an African country. However we note they are being offered more than the amount on offer from the G8 nations to Nepad provided they allow American and other troops into their country in the event of a war with Iraq. The non-aligned movement was unanimous in opposing military action in Iraq, yet there is speculation in the press that Angola, Cameroon and Guinea, all African members of the NAM and of the UN Security Council, will similarly be persuaded to vote in favour of military action in Iraq with the promise of increased financial assistance and perhaps a blind eye turned to some of the shortcomings of the political leaders there.


"The oil regimes of West Africa have been criticised for insisting on signature bonuses from oil companies awarded exploration licences and these are conveniently paid into banks accounts where there is no transparency. In fact, this week the government of Equatorial Guinea again insisted on its right to non-transparency. In some of the less secure areas of Africa, security companies and armies have been awarded mining concessions in exchange for providing governments with security services.


"Recently Africa Confidential raised a storm of protest from the Zimbabwe government when it published a list of the high-ranking Zanu-PFofficials who had been awarded farms confiscated from white farmers as part of the government's policy to redistribute land to the landless. The new Kenyan government has got off to a good start with probes into corruption by the previous government including the Goldberg scandal of the early 1990s and last week's collapse of a Kenyan bank. In Zambia, ex-president Chiluba could stand trial on corruption charges, while in South Africa several investigations into bribing of politicians and government officials are underway.


"So, at one end of the scale we see carrots and sticks being used, while at the other end there is a clear case of bribery and corruption. It's difficult to know what to make of all the cases in between. We would certainly vote for greater transparency and for government officers making decisions without duress that are in the genuine long term interests of their citizenry."


Editor's Note: Of course as our readers are now aware, the war against Iraq has already started since this report was submitted.


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6. Business: Small Business in South Africa
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An estimated 2.3-million South Africans were running small-scale or micro businesses based in figures issued by Statistics SA said on Wednesday.

On average, each business owner made a monthly profit of R791 ($79), it said in a statement. For female owners, the average monthly earnings amounted to R468, ($46) while for males it was R1,288. ($128)

Stats SA said its Survey of Employers and the Self-Employed was conducted among owners of businesses with an annual turnover of less than R300,000, ($30,000) which did not have to be registered for VAT.

 

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7. Business: Does corruption pay dividends?
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MOSCOW - Russia's chief prosecutor estimates that government officials received 16 billion dollars (14.5 billion euros) in bribes last year and said police were turning a blind eye to the problem.

"Past achievements in eradicating corruption among bureaucrats have been grossly exaggerated," Interfax quoted Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov as saying.

"The measures (taken by police) in effect only target minor bribe-takers, like doctors, teachers, company staff and the traffic police," he said.

Ustinov added that courts fail to convict two-thirds of probable bribe-takers, Interfax reported.

A study published by Moscow's INDEM research institute in October estimated that small and medium-sized Russian firms pay more than 22 billion dollars a year in bribes. That sum represents around a third of the Russian annual budget.

Russia came 71st along with Zimbabwe on a ranking of the most corrupt countries in the world published by Transparency International in August.

Ustinov's comments came one day after Russian President Vladimir Putin rearranged Russia's security structures, centralizing power under the Federal Security Service (FSB, ex-KGB) that he once headed.

 

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8. Business: The Top 10 Gold Mines of the World
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JOHANNESBURG - Paul Burton, editor of the World Gold journal, presented his top 10 list of undeveloped gold mine projects at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada convention, which ended Wednesday. To read the full report, go to our NEWS DESK link.

Editor's Note: If your investment interests are related to commodities, especially gold, visit our page on this subject.

 

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9. Business: New Design for the New Twin Towers World Trade Center in New York
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"Memory Foundations" by Studio Daniel Libeskind leaves portions of the slurry wall exposed as a symbol of the strength and endurance of American democracy, while reserving a majestic setting for the memorial and museum in the area known as the bathtub.

A 1,776' tall spire creates a powerful new skyline for Lower Manhattan, while the bustling activity below reaffirms life in the aftermath of tragedy. Visit this new web site.

 

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10. Education: Background Music and Sound in Great Films
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Hosted and maintained by Sven E. Carlsson, a Swedish educator, this Web site is an excellent source of information about that one element of filmmaking that is sometimes overlooked due to its ubiquity: sound.

Persons curious to read a brief overview of film sound will want to start with an essay titled "An Introduction to Film Sound," by Jane Knowles Marshall. After this, they may want to look over the glossary on the right-hand side of the main page, which features definitions and explanations of terms such as "Ambience," "Foley," and "Production Sound."

The sites other highlights include numerous essays by Oscar-winning sound designer Walter Murch (who won for The English Patient and Apocalypse Now) and Randy Thom (who won for The Right Stuff and has been nominated six times in total). Along with other essays on the use of sound in Indian cinema and the history of film sound, there are 10 essays (and sound samples) on the use of sound and sound effect design in the Star Wars trilogy. Visit this site

 

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11. Education: Student Grants For Kenya
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The World Bank yesterday expressed its support for the free primary education policy with an initial pledge of between US$40m to US$ 50 million (about Sh4 billion) by June this year.

The Bank's Vice President for African Region, Mr. Callisto Madavo, said his team will be pursue the matter with their senior management board in Washington to have the funds released as a grant as opposed to a loan. To read the full report, go to our NEWS DESK link.

 

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12. Education: The Quest to Discover New Planets
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Planet Quest is an informative and comprehensive website that tracks the search for new planets.

Visitors to the site learn about the science of planetary discovery, possible habitable planets, instruments, and missions.

Join the Planet Finder Club and search the New Worlds Atlas for newly discovered planets and planetary system information. Educator resources, multimedia gallery, and related project links are included. Supported by NASA and sponsored by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. Visit this site


Editor's Note: On our News Page each day we show a photograph of the Universe taken by NASA, visit our news page and select "How do you start your day?"


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13. Education: The Poems of Emily Dickinson 1830-1886
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Visitors to this site can view original handwritten poems, letters, and other works by Emily Dickinson and some of her associates. The site also includes Teaching With the Archives, and links to related resources. Visit this site

 

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14. Immigration: Buying a Green Card
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There are literally thousands of "immigration consultants" out there, fattening themselves off the complexity of US immigration laws with "Investment Visas" being only one of the open avenues to easy cash. And a significant number are former INS officials, wise in the ways of gaming the system. To read this report, go to our NEWS DESK link

Comments from one of partners: "More and more often in the United States, justice, citizenship and even residency can be bought for a price. But the price is at a high cost to the best interests of the nation and its people. The anything-for-a-buck philosophy is winning out, corruption is rampant, and the system is busted. Nonetheless, failure by our leaders to reform it is also politically and economically expedient."


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15. Immigration: The Demise of the Visa Waiver Programme
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WASHINGTON (AFP) -- US put Belgium on visa probation, warns Portugal, and Uruguay is kicked off the list. The US Justice Department on Friday notified Belgium that its citizens may lose their ability to travel to the United States without visas and told Portugal that it must improve its handling of lost and stolen passports for its nationals to remain eligible for the courtesy.

The moves, announced in a notice in the Federal Register, follow a review of the so-called "visa waiver program" (VWP) initiated after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

On Thursday, Washington informed Montevideo that Uruguayan citizens were being dropped from the VWP due to the high incidence of its nationals overstaying the 90 visa-free days they are allowed under the program. The Justice Department had initially wanted to do away with the entire program but after concern expressed by the State Department settled for the reviews to tighten up immigration control in the wake of the attacks.

Argentina became the first victim of the review when it was dropped from the program last year. The other countries affected by the evaluation were Uruguay, Italy, Belgium, Portugal and Slovenia.

While Uruguay was dropped, Italy was given a clean bill of health. No decision was announced about Slovenia.

Editor's Note: Don't forget to visit our web page on Immigration.

 

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16. Immigration: Recruitment process of foreign nurses gets a boost from INS
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The high-tech collapse and a new English language test should soon help hospitals recruit foreign nurses, bringing them into the country in a matter of weeks, rather than a couple of years.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says there are 400,000 vacant nursing positions in the United States today, and the number will only grow as the population ages. Foreign nurses are considered one way to bridge the gap.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service gave the recruiting industry a boost at the end of the year by issuing for the first time clear guidelines for using a H1-B visa for a nurse. The H1-B has a quota limit and was originally created to import high-tech workers, but some nurses were also able to apply if they had a specialized skill. One stipulation of the visa is that the immigrants have at least a four-year degree in their field.

Since nurses in the United States can practice without a degree, the INS has interpreted the rules to say that a nurse isn't necessarily a technical, skilled position.

 

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17. Immigration: Open Doors to the US for Somali Citizens
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The U.S. State Department says it has approved plans for the United States to open its doors to 12,000 Somali Bantus, a people devastated by massacre and rape after Somalia crumbled into civil war in 1991 and have languished in Kenyan refugee camps for the last dozen years.

Metro Atlanta will be one of the top destinations for Somali Bantus, who will be sent to cities in 31 states, including Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and Salt Lake City.

Few of them speak English, and many cannot read or write even in their native language. The refugees will have a difficult time adjusting to the modern world, but they will escape a legacy of persecution and have opportunities to work and educate themselves.

Editor's Note: A large number of Somalis are already living in Salt Lake City, the location of our Head Office, so they will soon get local humanitarian assistance.

 

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18. Immigration: Report Urges Crackdown on Non-Immigrant Visa Process
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NEW YORK -- The U.S. non-immigrant visa-issuing process is in dire need of reform and could accommodate would-be terrorists; according to an independent immigration report released this month.

Although business groups say these visas are imperative to their bottom line, a Center for Immigration Studies report says the fact that the 19
Sept. 11 hijackers entered the United States on non-immigrant visas is a prime example of just how badly the system needs to be fixed, and they say it hasn't been done yet.

"America's non-immigrant visa program is badly in need of attention from policymakers, most obviously because of its attractiveness as an entry to terrorists and other prospective illegal immigrants," said study author Jessica Vaughan, a senior policy analyst at CIS.

"It has grown like a cancer in volume and in complexity."

To read the full report, go to our NEWS DESK link


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19. Real Estate: Why buyers are moving to the Cape Town Area
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FOREIGN investors looking to own "lifestyle estates" with either a wine, agricultural or guesthouse component are flocking to the Boland and Overberg region of Western Cape, says Pam Golding MD Andrew Golding.

He says this is mainly a result of increasing tourism, exposure through hosting of international events and the emergence of SA as a safe haven.

Cape Town, which has always enjoyed global acclaim as one of the most beautiful locations in the world, has benefited a lot, says Golding.


If you are interested in buying a property in the Cape Town area contact us.

 

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20. Travel: Chateau de Versailles, France
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Generally considered some of the most lavish royal residences in all of Europe, the grounds and buildings at Versailles have existed for close to three hundred and fifty years.

While Louis XIII built a small hunting lodge on the site in 1623, the landscape is most closely associated with the Sun King, his son, Louis XIV. The status of Versailles was solidified in 1682 when it became the official residence of the Court of France, effectively supplanting the palaces at the Louvre and Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

The official web site offers some helpful photographic essays about the buildings and grounds, most notably 360 degree panoramas of the Hall of Mirrors and the King's Bedchamber.

Moving through the site, visitors will want to visit the four main thematic sections, which cover the grounds and their exquisite landscaping; the lives of the royals during the ancient regime and a photo gallery of the sculptures, paintings, and 'objectd'arts' that line the Chateau.

Finally, there is detailed information about visiting the grounds and buildings in France, along with opening and closing hours. Visit this website

 

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21. Travel: Galileo International Expands in China and Australia
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Galileo International, a leading global distribution services company and subsidiary of Cendant Corp. (NYSE: CD), extensively used by the travel industry for online bookings, today announced it has strengthened strategic relationships with leading technology companies in both China and Australia as part of its continuing strategy to invest and grow in travel markets outside of the United States.

In separate actions, Galileo has announced it has established an exclusive alliance with Et-China, a pioneer of electronic ticketing in China, and also strengthened its existing relationship with Webjet, a leading Australian online retail travel site. In both associations, Galileo will help these growing companies develop new technology and applications to benefit the regional travel markets over the long term. To read the full story, go to our NEWS DESK link


This month's quote:

"Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.
"

~ Samuel Johnson

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