Indian Welfare — The Indian government plans to directly give cash to its poorest citizens starting in January 2013 in an attempt to reduce widespread corruption that hinders subsidized goods and welfare benefits from reaching the people who need them, notes the Wall Street Journal. The cash-to-the-poor program is expected to affect at least 720 million people, which is almost the size of the whole of Europe. Each poor household will receive up to 40,000 rupees ($720) a year, according to the WSJ. The project, the world’s largest program of giving money directly to the poor, will not change overall government spending on welfare programs, which stands at a total of approximately 4 trillion rupees ($71.9 billion) annually.
North & South Cyprus – The once-wealthy Greek part of Cyprus is about to become the fourth euro zone country to receive a bailout, reports NPR, while the once-poor Turkish part of the island is booming. Northern Cyprus, occupied by Turkey since 1974, has had strong economic growth because of Turkey’s own economic boom. Greek Cypriots, however, are struggling from exposure to troubled Greek banks and waiting for approval on a bailout.
Breakout Nations – Foreign Policy has picked seven “real breakout nations” for their potential for robust growth while growth in the global economy remains moderate and uneven. The seven emerging countries are: Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Poland, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Turkey. “The most hyped countries–Brazil, Russia, India, and China–are all slowing sharply,” while the breakout countries are poised to grow much more rapidly, writes FP.
I.A.E.A. Hack – The U.N. nuclear watchdog has acknowledged that it was hacked by an anti-Israeli group, the BBC reports. The International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) said that a group called Parastoo posted contact details of more than 100 nuclear on their website after stealing it from an old U.N. server. The I.A.E.A. is responsible for investigating Iran’s nuclear program. A spokesperson said that their “technical and security teams are continuing to analyze the situation and do everything possible to help ensure that no further information is vulnerable.”
British Press Controls – The day before Britain’s major report into the phone hacking scandal that rocked Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper subsidiary, a group of more than 80 British lawmakers defended press freedom through a letter published in the Guardian and the Daily Mail, according to the New York Times. “As parliamentarians, we believe in free speech and are opposed to the imposition of any form of statutory control even if it is dressed up as underpinning,” the letter read. The Leveson report is supposed to be publicly released tomorrow and has set a “furious debate within the dividied political elite about the future of press controls,” the Times writes.
DSK Allegations – A French court has postponed its decision as to whether former I.M.F. chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be tried for alleged “pimping,” Reuters reports. Police inquiries initially tried to connect Strauss-Kahn to the Carlton Affair, which included sex parties attended by prostitutes at a hotel in Washington, but a group rape charge was dropped after one such prostitute withdrew her allegation. Investigators are attempting to claim that Strauss Kahn’s involvement in the sex parties could be considered “pimping.” His lawyers have argued that he did not know the women at the sex parties were prostitutes.