- “There have been signs of spring returning to debt-stricken Europe. Eurozone ministers in Brussels have this week signed off on the Greece bailout package. The International Monetary Fund will confirm its own contribution to the relief deal tomorrow. An agreement on bolstering the eurozone’s bailout fund is expected later this month. The European Central Bank’s €1trillion liquidity operation has averted the threat of a Continental banking crisis. Financial markets are calm. Some European officials are even daring to talk privately about a ‘turning point’ in the long-running crisis. But in the corner of this encouraging scene, a dark, ominous cloud is growing. It is in the shape of Spain.”
- “The Federal Reserve has brushed off concerns that soaring oil prices will trigger a rise in long-term inflation in the world’s largest economy, promising to keep US interest rates at rock-bottom levels well into 2014.”
- “The United States, Europe and Japan have joined forces for the first time to challenge China’s restrictions on exports of rare earth minerals critical to the manufacture of advanced technology. In a formal complaint to the World Trade Organization on Tuesday, the three trade powers accused Beijing of trying to hold down prices for its domestic manufacturers and to pressure international firms to move operations to China.”
- “Russia insisted yesterday that it would not halt arms shipments to Syria even as evidence mounts that the regime is committing crimes against humanity, with a rights group today releasing a sickening dossier of the torture inflicted on those who oppose President Bashar al-Assad.”
- “Taliban insurgents opened fire on senior officials, including two brothers of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, as they were leaving a memorial service at a village mosque for 16 villagers killed by a US soldier. Qayum and Shah Walid Karzai and other top Afghan officials in their delegation escaped in their cars unharmed from the ambush in the country’s south.”
- “Burma, sealed off from Western investors by a thick shell of sanctions, could be open for business as soon as this year. But even if the US Congress and White House stay on course, and finally reward the authoritarian state’s recent reforms by cracking that shell, what will investors find underneath? The answer, experts suggest, is plenty of promise and plenty of pitfalls.”
- “Seventy percent of the Saudi population is under 30, and as many as 40 percent of those young people are unemployed. According to the kingdom’s own statistics, holding a college degree almost doubles the chances of failing to find a job. The frustration of being young and Saudi, led by a monarchy viewed by critics as arrogant, incompetent and repressive is finally producing a youth protest movement in a country where public dissidence is exceedingly rare and severely punished.”
The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off.