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World View: Assad Accepts Annan's Farcical 'Peace Plan'

World View: Assad Accepts Annan's Farcical 'Peace Plan'

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • West African nations threaten military intervention in Mali
  • Syria’s Assad accepts Kofi Annan’s farcical six-point ‘peace plan’
  • Tribal violence grows in south of Libya
  • Home prices fall in January to lowest level since 2003

West African nations threaten military intervention in Mali

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which include Ivory Coast, Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger and Liberia, has threatened to send a “peacekeeping force” to intervene militarily in Mali, if the ruling junta does not step down and restore democracy. This follows a coup last week that overthrew President Amadou Toumani Touré, who is currently in hiding. (See “25-Mar-12 World View — Chaotic rebellion in Mali provides opportunity for an al-Qaeda linked Islamist state” from last week.) Besides the threat of military intervention, Mali’s neighbors could suffocate the nation financially. Many of the 15 nations represented on the regional bloc share the same currency, and they could together decide to cut off Mali’s supply of cash. Also if nearby Ivory Coast were to shut its border, landlocked Mali, a nation twice the size of Texas spanning over an expanse of scrubland, verdant hills and desert dunes, would run out of gasoline, which is trucked in from Ivorian refineries. AP

Syria’s Assad accepts Kofi Annan’s farcical six-point ‘peace plan’

Former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan, international diplomat extraordinaire, announced on Tuesday that Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad had agreed to the six-point “peace plan” adopted by the U.N. Security Council last week. (See “22-Mar-12 World View — U.N. Security Council adopts farcical ‘peace plan’ for Syria” from last week.) And why not? Al-Assad could agree to the peace plan and still treat innocent Arab citizens of Syria as if they were cockroaches for him to exterminate. By agreeing to the farcical plan he bought time. You would think that Annan would be embarrassed by all this, but like most politicians, he’s shameless. And besides, sooner or later there will be a lull in the hostilities, and then Annan can claim that he was the person who brought about peace. CNN

Tribal violence grows in south of Libya

During last year’s war in Libya, there was always the fear that once Muammar Gaddafi was finally removed, there would be nothing preventing a more widespread tribal war. Nothing of that severity has happened so far, but large parts of Libya are without government control, and there have been plenty of small-scale clashes and skirmishes. The latest occurred about 400 miles south of Tripoli in the southern city of Sabha. Two tribes (Tabu and Abu Seif) fought one another in the streets, using mortars, automatic rifles, snipers on rooftops, and medium-range rocks. AP

Home prices fall in January to lowest level since 2003

Despite a daily stream of “experts” and “analysts” on CNBC and Bloomberg TV proclaiming every month for the last four years that the real estate market had “bottomed out,” real estate prices continued to fall in January according to the Case-Shiller report. The prices fell to the lowest level since 2003. According to estimates I’ve done in the past, using the Law of Mean Reversion, housing prices are expected to continue falling for several more years, bottoming out only when they’ve reached 1990 levels. But don’t tell that to one financial analyst I heard today, who said, “Housing prices continue to fall, but the pace of those declines may be slowing.” Or maybe not. Market Watch

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