November 23, 2014 -- Updated 4:10 pm GMT

King Abdullah Opens Jordanian Parliament

Posted in: Jordan

On Sunday, the King of Jordan opened the second session of the country’s 15th parliament.  abdullah parliament 300x224 King Abdullah Opens Jordanian Parliament

There, King Abdullah made an emphasis that the kingdom had to focus on its economy and job creations.

“The economy still tops our priorities, especially its social dimension, due to the economic challenges that resulted from international rising prices,” the monarch said.

“At the top of national priorities there stands, in the medium range, economic reform and the completion of a strong national economy that reflects positively on Jordanians’ standard of living.”

Jordan, one of the smallest economies in the Middle East, imports more than 90 percent of its oil and relies on foreign investment and grants. Rising property prices and investments from oil-exporting Persian Gulf countries boosted Jordan’s finance, insurance and real-estate industries by 8.5 percent

“Achieving the economic prosperity we seek requires the immediate application of measures to guarantee financial stability and enhance the investment environment,” the King said.

“Among these measures is controlling inflation, activating banking policies that guarantee the safety of banking institutions and their reputations and elevating the monitoring tools of depositors and guaranteeing clients’ rights.”

Measures will include raising the minimum wage, currently at around 155 dollars a month, reforming the tax law in a bid to encourage investors and controlling inflation.

Prince Albert, Crown Prince Felipe Attend Conservation Congress

Posted in: Monaco, Spain

The heir to the Spanish throne welcomed the ruler of Monaco to the World Nature Congress being held in Barcelona over the course of 10 days. albert felipe 245x300 Prince Albert, Crown Prince Felipe Attend Conservation Congress

Prince Albert and Crown Prince Felipe greeted each other during the inauguration of the Conservation Congress. The Crown Prince also gave a speech during the Congress’ opening.

They, along with about 8,000 ministers, UN officials, NGOs, scientists and business chiefs have gathered in Barcelona to brainstorm on how to slow the rate of species extinction and steer the world onto a path of sustainable development.

The Congress says there is a “clear sense of urgency” for the future of biodiversity. The meetings are held ever four years, and each time, release the benchmark “Red List”, deemed the global standard for conservation monitoring.

The 2007 edition already shows more than a third of 41,000 species surveyed are facing extinction: a quarter of all mammals, one out of eight birds, one out of three amphibians, and 70 percent of plants.

The new biodiversity “bible” — compiled from the work of 1,800 scientists — is even grimmer, say researchers who took part in the effort.

Prince Albert has long been involved in conservationism, and Crown Prince Felipe has been as well.