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WASHINGTON – Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Clinton made nearly $109 million since they left the White House, capitalizing on the world’s interest in the former first couple and lucrative business ventures.

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The Clintons reported $20.4 million in income for 2007 as they gave the public the most detailed look at their finances in eight years. Almost half the former first couple’s money came from Bill Clinton‘s speeches.

“I have absolutely nothing against rich people,” Hillary Clinton told North Dakota Democrats at their party convention Friday night in Grand Forks. “As a matter of fact, my husband — much to my surprise and his — has made a lot of money since he left the White House doing what he loves doing most, talking to people.”

The tax returns are a portrait in post-presidential success. The Clintons, who had lived in taxpayer-paid housing in the governor’s mansion in Arkansas or the White House for years, left the presidency struggling with a legal defense fund stemming from a spate of investigations. They now are wealthy enough that she could lend her presidential campaign $5 million earlier this year.

The campaign released tax returns from 2000 through 2006 and gave highlights from their 2007 return. The Clintons have asked for an extension for filing their 2007 tax returns, citing the dissolution of a blind trust last year.

The Democratic presidential candidate and her husband paid $33.8 million in taxes from 2000 through 2007. They listed $10.25 million in charitable contributions during that period.

Clinton has been under pressure to release her tax returns, especially from rival Sen. Barack Obama, who posted his 2000 to 2006 returns on his campaign Web site last week. Neither Obama nor Republican Sen. John McCain has made their 2007 tax returns public, though both say they will this month.

The Clintons last made their returns public in 2000 when they reported an adjusted gross income of $416,039 for 1999. Since then, the former president has embarked on a number of business ventures and has made millions from speaking engagements and books.

In the tax returns, the former president describes his occupation as “Speaking & Writing.”

Beside speeches and books, his biggest single business income is from his partnership with Yucaipa Global Opportunities Fund, a Los Angeles-based investment firm founded by longtime Clinton fundraiser Ron Burkle. Between 2003 and 2006, the returns show total Yucaipa partnership income of $12.5 million. The 2007 summary provided by the campaign lists $2.75 million in partnership income.

President Clinton also has been an adviser to InfoUSA, a data company whose chief executive, Vinod Gupta, has been a major donor to Democrats and gave at least $1 million to Bill Clinton‘s presidential library in Arkansas. Clinton received $400,000 in payments from the company in 2006 and 2007, according to the documents.

According to a summary of the seven years provided by the campaign, the former president’s speech income since he left the White House totals $51.85 million and his income from his two books — “My Life ” and “Giving” — totals $29.6 million, including a $15 million advance for “My Life.” Bill Clinton has traveled the world, giving paid speeches to multinational corporations, investment banks and motivational groups.

Details of the former president’s speaking fees were included in Sen. Clinton‘s financial disclosure report last year. In 2006 and 2007, he earned fees from $100,000 to $450,000 speaking to such corporations as IBM, General Motors, and Cisco Systems, finance giants such as Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers, and trade groups such as the National Association of Realtors and the Mortgage Bankers Association. He also has been paid to speak to nonprofit or charity groups, including the TJ Martell Foundation, which finances leukemia research, Nelson Mandela‘s Children’s Fund and, last March, to the Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles.

The campaign has said Clinton typically donates millions of dollars worth of free speeches to charities

Hillary Clinton had $10.5 million in book income over the period from her book “Living History.” She donated earnings from her other book, “It Takes a Village,” to charity.

Clinton’s tax returns show that of the remaining presidential candidates, she is the one most able to access large amounts of personal money. She lent her campaign $5 million in late February and could contribute more if she finds herself falling far behind Obama’s proficient fundraising.

McCain’s wife, Cindy, is heiress to her father’s stake in Hensley & Co. of Phoenix, one of the largest beer distributorships in the country and her worth could exceed $100 million. But the couple has a prenuptial agreement that has kept most assets in her name. In his financial disclosures, McCain lists his major sources of income as his Senate salary of $169,300 and a Navy pension of about $56,000.

In 2006, Obama reported income of nearly $1 million, with nearly half of it coming from the publication of his second book, “The Audacity of Hope.” Last week, the campaign disclosed that Obama and his wife, Michelle, gave $240,000 to charity last year.

The tax return shows a rite of passage for the Clintons: 2002 was the last year they claimed daughter Chelsea, now 28, as a dependent.

The returns also reference interest free loans to unidentified “family members.” Based on the “imputed interest” listed in the 2006 return — that is interest that would have been paid — the loans likely total more than $300,000.

“The loans to family members are personal; the Clintons are going to respect their family members’ privacy,” Clinton spokesman Jay Carson said.

___

Associated Press writers Nancy Benac, Charles Babington, Nedra Pickler and Pete Yost in Washington and Beth Fouhy in Grand Forks, N.D., contributed to this article.

 

 

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UN warns on food price inflation

Pakistani women at subsidised food store 03.03.08

Governments are urged to take action to help ease rising prices

The head of the UN World Food Programme has warned that the rise in basic food costs could continue until 2010.Josette Sheeran blamed soaring energy and grain prices, the effects of climate change and demand for biofuels.

Miss Sheeran has already warned that the WFP is considering plans to ration food aid due to a shortage of funds.

Some food prices rose 40% last year, and the WFP fears the world’s poorest will buy less food, less nutritious food or be forced to rely on aid.

Speaking after briefing the European Parliament, Miss Sheeran said the agency needed an extra $375m (244m euros; £187m) for food projects this year and $125m (81m euros; £93m) to transport it.

This is not a short-term bubble and will definitely continue
Josette Sheeran
WFP

She said she saw no quick solution to high food and fuel costs.

“The assessment is that we are facing high food prices at least for the next couple of years,” she said.

Miss Sheeran said global food reserves were at their lowest level in 30 years – with enough to cover the need for emergency deliveries for 53 days, compared with 169 days in 2007.

Biofuel prices

Among the contributing factors to high food prices is biofuel production.

Miss Sheeran says demand for crops to produce biofuels is increasing prices for food stuffs such as palm oil.

Miss Sheeran said governments needed “to look more carefully at the link between the acceleration in biofuels and food supply and give more thought to it”.

The WFP says countries where price rises are expected to have a most direct impact include Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Haiti, Djibouti, the Gambia, Tajikistan, Togo, Chad, Benin, Burma, Cameroon, Niger, Senegal, Yemen and Cuba.

Areas where the WFP is already seeing an impact include:

  • Afghanistan: 2.5 million people in Afghanistan cannot afford the price of wheat, which rose more than 60% in 2007
  • Bangladesh: The price of rice has risen 25% to 30% over the last three months. In 2007, the price rose about 70%.
  • El Salvador: Rural communities are buying 50% less food than they did 18 months ago with the same amount of money. This means their nutritional intake, on an already poor diet, is cut by half.
  • Anger over rising food prices have already led to riots in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Senegal and Morocco.

    The BBC is planning a special day of coverage of this issue on Tuesday 11 March, online, on radio and on TV.
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    Mexico Eyes Carlos Slim's Stupendous Wealth

    Mexican telecom billionaire Carlos Slim Helu , Chairman of Grupo Carso, speaks as former president Bill Clinton looks on during a news conference about the Clinton Foundation’s launching of a new sustainable development initiative in Latin America in New York. Slim has committed at least $100 million to the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)    Source: Associated Press

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    President Mwanawasa says Portugal which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union (EU), has assured him that all African leaders are invited to the EU-African Union (AU) summit.

    Dr. Mwanawasa who is also SADC Chairman, has appealed to British Prime Minister, Golden Brown to attend the summit if Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe is invited.

    He said as a former colonising empire of most African countries, Britain must reconsider its stance to boycott the summit if Mr. Mugabe attends.

    The President said all SADC heads of state and government are happy that Mr. Mugabe has been invited and are all willing to attend as long as Mr. Mugabe will be in Lisbon.

    Dr. Mwanawasa was speaking at Lusaka International Airport, Tuesday upon arrival from New York where he had gone to attend the UN General Assembly.

    Many African leaders, who want President Mugabe to attend the summit to help tackle his country’s problem, say they will boycott the summit if he is barred.

    Mr. Brown said neither he nor any senior member of his government would attend the summit alongside, Mr. Mugabe.

    At a news conference in London, Mr. Brown reiterated his determination to boycott the first European Union Africa Union summit in seven years, on account of Mr. Mugabe.

    This is on account of accusations among them, Mr. Mugabe’s poor, human rights record, election rigging and the Land issue..

    Mr. Mugabe blames Western powers for the economic crisis and accuses them – and former colonial ruler Britain in particular – of plotting with the opposition to oust him.

    Currently he is subject to a European Union travel ban but that could be suspended to allow him to attend the December meeting.

    Meanwhile, President Mwanawasa arrived home, Monday from a successful visit to the U.S and Britain.

    The President arrived aboard a British Airways plane at Lusaka International Airport.

    He was met on arrival by Vice President, Rupiah Banda, Cabinet Ministers, Senior government officials and Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) party members.

    The President was in New York to attend the 62nd
    session of the United Nations General Assembly.

    While there, he participated in high level meetings on climate change and called on developed countries to do more about their industrial emissions.

    President Mwanawasa who also attended the General Assembly as SADC Chairman, was the First among African Presidents to address the Assembly.

    While in the US, President Mwanawasa also received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Law at the Harding University in Arkansa, Little Rock.

    He was honoured for his exemplary contributions to the development of Laws in Zambia as well as in the areas of democracy.

    In London, President Mwanawasa addressed a business meeting organized by the Duetche Bank, where he encouraged potential investors to invest in Zambia.

    Source: ZNBC

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    Seattle Times business reporter

    GREG GILBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES

    Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa battles stereotype of Africa in chaos.

    Even for a country with a relatively stable democracy and growing economy, Zambia hasn’t had much luck finding Americans willing to invest there.

    Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa said he hopes to change that by introducing more Americans to his country and fighting the stereotype of Africa as a place defined by war and chaos.

    Speaking to local business leaders Monday, Mwanawasa said Zambia has become a center of peace and prosperity in the region. The country has emerged from a long period of economic decline to achieve an average annual 5 percent growth in gross domestic product for the last five years.

    “It’s the first time the country is experiencing such strong positive results,” the Zambian leader said, adding that sustaining the success could bring about an economic transformation to improve the lives of ordinary people.

    The landlocked country of 12 million people in southern Africa still suffers from high unemployment and crippling poverty, with about 68 percent of the population falling below the poverty line of $1 per day.

    Zambia has taken a strong stance against corruption and created a foundation based on the rule of law and respect for private property, Mwanawasa said.

    The country’s main industries are copper mining, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.

    A former British protectorate that gained independence in 1964, Zambia is encouraging more foreign direct investment and growth of the private sector to help reduce poverty.

    “When you invest in Zambia, you’re putting GDP in the pockets of Zambian people,” Mwanawasa said.

    Mwanawasa, 59, was in the United States for a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. He traveled here at the invitation of the Seattle-based Initiative for Global Development, a national network of business leaders promoting policies to end global poverty.

    He and a delegation of senior government officials and business leaders were scheduled to visit the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH, Microsoft, Boeing and Starbucks on Monday.

    Mwanawasa said he had dinner Sunday at the house of former Microsoft executive Paul Maritz, a Zimbabwe native who lives on Mercer Island.

    While Zambia has had a rush of investment from China recently, attracting U.S. business has been an uphill battle.

    On previous visits to the U.S., “the response hasn’t been encouraging,” Mwanawasa said.

    “So far Africa has been known only for the bad news,” said Felix Mutati, Zambia’s minister of commerce. “In Africa, we’ve got problems with HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases,” he said, “but we’re not a diseased country.”

    In Zambia, the Gates Foundation funds a malaria-control program run by PATH that aims to cut malaria cases by 75 percent and become a model for the rest of Africa.

    Zambia has introduced incentives to encourage foreign enterprises, such as tax-free profits for the first five years and duty-free imports of capital equipment, said Mutati.

    Energy, IT infrastructure, agriculture and eco-tourism are promising areas for development, he added.

    “We don’t want help,” Mutati said. “We want investment. We want partnership.”

    Zambia’s slide into poverty began after world copper prices fell in the 1970s. Since then, the economy has become somewhat more diversified, even as the price of copper has climbed.

    The government began privatizing the copper industry in the 1990s. Copper contributed 75 percent of the GDP in 2002 but only about 45 percent last year, said Mutati.

    Asked about the political and economic crisis in neighboring Zimbabwe, Mwanawasa called the situation “extremely worrying” but added that economic sanctions will not help.

    He threatened to boycott a European-African summit meeting in December if Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe was excluded, saying Western leaders must be willing to talk to the leader widely considered an international pariah.

    The chaos in Zimbabwe has choked off tourism, diverting more visitors to Zambia to see Victoria Falls, the spectacular milewide waterfall on the border between the two countries.

    With room for only about 1,500 visitors, hotels in nearby Livingstone can’t cope with the influx, Mutati said. Its tiny airport, which had just a few flights a week three years ago, has 28 flights a week now. Several new hotels are under construction.

    While Chinese companies have been criticized for labor practices in Africa, overall the influx of investment from China has been a good thing, Mutati said.

    Cautious Western companies have hesitated too long. “They would go on their computers and do spreadsheets about risk,” he said, while “the Chinese make a decision first.”

    Chinese have invested $900 million in Zambia for two economic zones focused on copper and agricultural processing, creating 60,000 jobs.

    “Now we can see the West is saying we must run to Africa because if China dominates Africa, that sphere of influence can become critical as we go forward,” Mutati said.

    Zambia also needs American-style business, said Wamulume Kalabo, chairman of the Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

    U.S. companies tend to hire and train local people, with English as a common language. Chinese companies tend to hire their own citizens to work in Zambia’s mines and manufacturing sites because of the difficulty of communicating.

    “The local people are not seeing the benefit initially,” Kalabo said, “because very few of them are being absorbed into the system, and the main reason is the lack of communication.”

    Kristi Heim: 206-464-2718 or kheim@seattletimes.com

    Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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    September 30th, 2007 

    By Momar Visaya/Asianjournal.com  

    NEW YORK — World leaders, CEOs, celebrities and scholars gathered for the opening of the third annual Clinton Global Initiative conference. 

    Former President Bill Clinton welcomed the participants from 72 countries and the 52 current and former heads of States who made their way across town from the UN General Assembly. “We are faced with problems that the government is not solving, or the government cannot solve alone,” Clinton said. 

    President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former US Vice President Al Gore led the opening plenary. They were joined by Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Walmart President and CEO H. Lee Scott, Jr., Archbishop Emeritus and spiritual leader Desmond Tutu and The World Bank Group President Robert Zeellick. 

    Clinton introduced the opening plenary panelists, and prefaced his introduction of President Arroyo. He proudly announced that Arroyo was an old friend and a college classmate at Georgetown University. “We’ve been friends for a long, long time,” Clinton said of Arroyo, “and her country’s economy is on the way up and it’s in a very good shape.” 

    The former US president also acknowledged the fact that the Philippines “had its fair share of internal conflict brought about by differences in ideology and religion” and asked Arroyo how her government is trying to promote reconciliation in the country. 

    “We have developed a paradigm for peace in Mindanao using both soft and hard power,” Arroyo remarked. Soft power, she explained, is about development, while hard power focused on military efforts to attain peace. 

    “We do it through interfaith dialogues to promote lasting peace and political stability in our country,” Arroyo said, and explained that her government has been exerting efforts to deepen understanding among various faiths and cultures particularly in parts of Mindanao. 

    The annual meeting is the epicenter for global philanthropy and the forum for people who want to get involved and to make a difference. “We’re here because the world is bedeviled by growing inequality. We’re here because we accept our shared responsibility for correcting our problems and we’re here because we believe we can make a difference,” Clinton said. 

    The conference is focused on finding ways to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems such as lack of education, poverty alleviation, global health, energy and climate change. Among the notable attendees were former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, tennis star Andre Agassi and media mogul Rupert Murdoch. 

    Former Vice President Gore brought in more passion to the plenary by sharing his thoughts and ideas about how the world needs more action, rather than talk. “The US has to lead the world in solving this climate crisis and I challenge President Bush to take that step,” Gore said, “The effort to solve the climate crisis is the key to solving other problems.” 

    On the other hand, Archbishop Desmond Tutu brought in the lighter side, nonetheless thought-provoking. “Someone in San Francisco approached me and said, ‘Archbishop Mandela!’,” he said laughing, “two for the price of one.” 

    Clinton introduced Tutu, saying that he had one of the best one-liners at the conference last year. The archbishop likened religion to a knife. “You can use it to slice bread, which is good, or you can also use it to slice off your neighbor’s arm, which is bad,” he said. 

    Arroyo said that terrorists use religion to cause warfare and that something must be done in order to promote more understanding. President Karzai summed it up, saying that it is the “misuse of religion for political purposes that creates the problems.”

    In her closing remark, Arroyo thanked Clinton for the opportunity to share to the world that the Philippines had a 7.5% growth rate in the last quarter. 

    The last remark, from Desmond Tutu, capped the opening plenary. “How about us helping God realize His utopian dream? God dreams that we could all live in harmony as members of one family – the gays, the lesbians, the so-called straight…,” he said, as he was cut-off by a thunderous applause, and as the camera panned to Clinton, the former president remarked smiling, “It’s up right there with the knife comment.”  

    Meanwhile, according to Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, Dr. Mwanawasa urged countries in the west to redeem themselves before criticizing China for giving more aid to Africa.

    Speaking when he answered questions from members of staff of the Clinton Global Initiative, the president said governments in the west were often reluctant to finance development projects in Africa. 

    Dr. Mwanawasa said Africa and Zambia in particular is in a hurry to develop and China has come out a dependable partner. The President said very soon, China will embark on a $900 million economic zone project on the Copperbelt where over 60,000 people will be employed.  

    The president said also said those wishing to help the country develop are most welcome. On the Zimbawean question, Dr. Mwanawasa reiterated that if Mr Robert Mugabe is not invited to the EU/Africa summit scheduled for Portugal in December, then the whole SADC region will not attend.  

    He said the SADC member states strongly feel that isolating Mr. Mugabe was not the answer. Dr. Mwanawasa, who is also the SADC chairman, said the leaders in the region were well resolved to continue engaging Mr. Mugabe in dialogue rather than isolating him as the west would rather do.    

    He finally jetted in Friday afternoon and Zambia had her weekend romance with Bill Clinotn. Upon arrival the former US president toured the warehouse with Philippe Douste-Blazy, chairman of the board of UNITAID, an organization formed last year by France and 19 other nations that have earmarked a portion of their airline tax revenues for efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in developing countries. 

    From there he went to a soccer tournament with former President Dr. Kenneth Kaunda. Super Ken went ahead and presented a neckerchief to him; Clinton tore off his red tie Zambia's first president Kenneth Kaunda.and put on a green, red and yellow Boy Scout neckerchief presented to him by KK.  

    At the tournament, the crowds and dignitaries were ecstatic as the young lads were having a bowl while as per his usual personality had to merriment them charmingly … “Most of the people in Africa, and in the world, who have the HIV virus … do not know it,” Clinton quizzed.

    State House was eagerly waiting and he finally arrived at 14:35 Zambian time on Saturday as Zambian officials vied for photos with him some complimenting him for his leadership … “You were great in office, and you are even greater out of office,” Zambia’s health minister, Brian Chituwo, said in a speech. 

    Levy Mwanawas Zambian presidential candidate President Clinton appended his autograph to the State House guest book and had over an hour closed-door meeting with HE Levy P Mwanawasa, SC.  Zambian dignitaries in attendance included Foreign Affairs minister Mundia Sikatana, Zambia’s ambassador to the United States Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika and other senior government officials. 

    After his meeting at State House, President Clinton arrived later on Saturday evening at Arcades Mall around 19:30 for an unannouced dinner. Shoppers were thrilled to see the former leader of the free world and an excitement frenzy enthused. It was a rockstar moment; President Clinton left immediately after dinner.Former US president Bill Clinton (l) talking to the first president of Zambia Dr Kenneth Kaunda at Lusaka Polo Club  on Saturday - Picture by Thomas Nsama

    He jetted out this afternoon for Tanzania where he held meetings with political leaders on the mainland and in Zanzibar in an effort to break down the remaining resistance to expanding AIDS initiatives.

    Zambia and South Africa fall under the “Procurement Consortium Group” while Malawi and Tanzania are under the “Partnership Group” within the Clinton Global Initiative strategies.

    President Clinton is expected back in the United States of America by Tuesday and the Zambian Chronicle wishes him God Speed and a safe trip back home … thanks a trillion. 

    Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

    CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

    Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

    Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

    Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.           

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