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6-Jul-11 World View — Moody's Cuts Portugal's Debt Rating To Junk Status


This morning’s key headlines from

Germany’s Constitutional Court to decide legality of bailouts

Germany's Constitutional Court
Germany’s Constitutional Court

Another potential problem for the EU’s plans to bail out Greece arose on Tuesday as Germany’s Constitutional Court began hearings on the legality of Germany’s involvement in bailouts for Greece and other eurozone countries. The critics are arguing that Germany’s involvement in the debt rescue plan violates the German Constitution by undercutting parliament’s rights to review and determine the national budget. An adverse ruling would mean that any further bailouts would require approval by Germany’s parliament, which is unlikely, given the German public’s growing hostility to the “profligate Greeks.” AFP

Moody’s cuts Portugal’s debt rating to junk status

Moody’s Investors Service cut Portugal’s credit rating to below investment grade on Tuesday, and said that there may be further ratings downgrades. One reason given for the move is the “contagion” from the Greek crisis. Bloomberg

Iran’s Bahrain defeat is a seminal event in Sunni/Shia relations

When anti-government protests began in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia send troops into Bahrain and, in doing so, was able to force Bahrain to remain under Sunni rule, despite its majority Shia population. In fact, Saudi Arabia was extremely aggressive in its anti-Iran rhetoric, while Iran handled the situation with great passivity. This is just one of several recent events that expose Iran’s weaknesses. These include the uprisings in Syria, and post-revolutionary Egypt’s refusal to renew relations with Iran. Memri

Germany approves sale of advanced tanks to Saudi Arabia

For decades, Germany has refused to sell battle tanks to Saudi Arabia and other Arab states because of its historical obligation towards Israel and its policy of prohibiting the sale of weapons to crisis regions. But now the government has approved the sale of up to 200 advanced “Leopard” tanks to Saudi Arabia, outraging opposition parties in Berlin. Spiegel

Bloody massacre in Hama, Syria, continues

The expected assault on Hama by Syria’s security forces reached maximum impact on Tuesday, as security forces cut off electricity and water and shot people indiscriminately in the streets. When tanks and armored vehicles approached the edges of the city early on Tuesday, hundreds of youths blocked roads leading to residential neighborhoods with garbage containers, wood and metal to try to prevent a possible advance. By evening, security forces had broken through the roadblocks, and are conducting arrests. Al-Jazeera

Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s wife Anne Sinclair plots revenge

Anne Sinclair, Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s wife, is hinting that she might exact revenge against “those who spit in our face.” The statement was texted to friends shortly after DSK was freed from house arrest because her rape accuser, Nafissatou Diallo, had been found to have lied repeatedly. Sinclair has continued to express her love for him, even after he’s apologized for past indiscretions. “Dominique is her passion, her family, her life,” according to one observer. NY Daily News

Severe drought ravages Somalia and Kenya

An extremely severe drought has created millions of refugees, as they travel to find food and water. The humanitarian agency ActionAid is appealing for nearly $2.5 million for its relief operations in Kenya and elsewhere in East Africa. VOA


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