World

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Financial leaders from the Group of 20 nations, though heartened by a recent recovery in financial markets, warned that global growth was "modest and uneven" and still threatened by weakness in commodities-based economies.

In a communique issued after their meeting in Washington, the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors repeated their pledge to refrain from competitive currency devaluations, but offered no new initiatives to keep growth from stalling.

There is a need to plug gaps in the global financial safety net and encourage investments in infrastructure projects around the world, Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said at the meeting.

He also talked of promoting closer cooperation between the International Monetary Fund and regional financing arrangements.


Twelve Syrian refugees flew back to Rome with Pope Francis after his visit to Lesbos, Greece, yesterday.

They will be housed in the Vatican, the Holy See said.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees are housed on the Greek island.

"The pope has desired to make a gesture of welcome regarding refugees, accompanying on his plane to Rome three families of refugees from Syria, 12 people in all, including six children," a Vatican statement said.

The families, all Muslims, were in Lesbos before the March 20 European Union-Turkey deal to return migrants denied asylum, it said.

- AFP.


A refugee has been convicted of attempted suicide after being moved from an Australian-funded detention camp on the Pacific island of Nauru.

Prosecutors had pressed for jail time, but he was instead reportedly fined A$200 (S$210).

"This is sickening. Nauru Govt has charged a refugee with 'attempted suicide' after trying to take his own life," Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young tweeted.

The Nauru government said the man pleaded guilty to the charge, which is a "criminal offence" under Nauru law, following a disturbance at Nibok lodge in January.

- AFP.


US entrepreneur Michael Pelletz's project of a rideshare service for women and children with vehicles driven by women has drawn so much interest that he is postponing its launch.

Chariot For Women, fully funded by its founder and close associates, was initially set to kick off this week.

Even without any advertising, about 7,000 women applicants contacted him in four days to offer to become company drivers.

Said Mr Pelletz: "We need to make sure that our technology can handle the millions of people that are going to use our company.

"We're going to delay for a few months just to make sure."

- AFP.

Monetary Authority of SingaporepolicyEDB