- “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has told the eurozone it must make bold reforms to reassure financial markets. A statement from its governing council, says the 17-strong eurozone needs to make major structural reforms to boost confidence and growth.”
- “Afghanistan and the United States have agreed the contents of a long-awaited deal to define their relationship after most foreign troops leave at the end of 2014, although the document sidesteps some of the thorniest questions about the US military presence.”
- “Japan has agreed to write off more than $3.7bn (£2.29bn) of debt owed by Burma and to resume development aid. The accord came at talks in Tokyo between the countries’ leaders. They also agreed to plan a special economic zone near Rangoon.”
- “The party of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will not attend Monday’s re-opening of Burma’s parliament because of a row over the oath of office for MPs.”
- “François Hollande has moved a step closer to becoming the first Socialist president of France in a generation by beating the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, in the first round of elections for the Elysée. But the surprisingly high vote for the extreme-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, boosted the overall figures for the right and meant that the final runoff vote on 6 May remains on a knife-edge.”
- TRNN: “The French Election and the Eurocrisis. Gérard Duménil: Most voters want to save social programs and reject austerity.”
- “Egyptian officials say they have scrapped an agreement to supply Israel with natural gas. Israel received around 40% of its gas supplies from Egypt and uses it to generate electricity.”
- “Logging companies keen to exploit Brazil’s rainforest have been accused by human rights organisations of using gunmen to wipe out the Awá, a tribe of just 355. Survival International, with backing from Colin Firth, is campaigning to stop what a judge referred to as ‘genocide’.”
- Robert Fisk: “It was my old Jordanian-Palestinian chum Rami Khouri who first spotted what is going on in the Middle East right now: it’s the counter-revolution. Bahrain is crushing dissent. Syria is crushing dissent. Mubarak’s former head of intelligence, the sinister Omar Suleiman, is standing for president in Egypt – the cancellation of his candidacy last week by a dodgy “electoral committee” may well be overturned. Libya is at war with itself. Yemen has got its former dictator’s sidekick back. Sixty-one dead in a battle between soldiers and al-Qa’ida last week – in a single day. All in all, a pretty mess.”
- “The UN is to conduct an investigation into the plight of US Native Americans, the first such mission in its history. The human rights inquiry led by James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on indigenous peoples, is scheduled to begin on Monday.”
The Real News Network just completed a 4-part interview with James K Galbraith about his new book, Inequality and Instability: A Study of the World Economy Just Before the Great Crisis. Throughout the conversation the one subject that comes up consistently is the financialization of capitalism. On Saturday, Richard Wolff’s weekly program was on the same subject. Get a big cuppa and watch/listen to both.
- Economic Update. Scroll down to Saturday, 21 Apr, 12:00Pm
The truth will set you free but first it will piss you off.