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11-Jul-11 World View — Euro Crisis Reaches Italy


This morning’s key headlines from

Emergency EU meeting on Monday will discuss crisis in Italy

Italy 10-year bond yields (Bloomberg)
Italy 10-year bond yields (Bloomberg)

A sharp spike in Italy’s bond yields (interest rates) on Friday, combined with the fact that Italy has the highest sovereign debt ratio relative to its economy in the euro zone after Greece, is raising crisis level concerns among European officials. They will hold an emergency meeting on Monday morning to discuss Italy. This emergency meeting will will precede a previously scheduled gathering of the euro zone’s 17 finance ministers to discuss a new 120 billion euro bailout of Greece. (By the way, what’s happening in Brussels is exactly the same thing that’s happening in Washington in discussions over America’s astronomical debt levels. After this weekend, officials in Brussels and Washington are back to square one on all of these issues.) Reuters

Middle East loses faith in Hizbollah

Back in 2006, after the war between Hizbollah and Israel in Lebanon, Hizbollah leader Nassan Nasrallah declared it to be a “divine victory.” Hizbollah was widely respected in the Mideast at that time, but since then the respect has worn thin for several reasons. First, a Special Tribunal is about to release a report indicting four Hizbollah officials in connection with the February 2005 assassination of beloved former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri. Second, in 2009, Hizbollah’s chief financier was arrested in a Bernie Madoff-like Ponzi Scheme. And lately, Hizbollah has become the region’s strongest backer of the Syrian regime that’s massacring Sunni Muslims. Australian

‘Peace in Our Time’ Department: Philippines vs China

China and the Philippines have issued a joint statement in Beijing on Friday pledging to work together to avoid a military conflict in the South China Sea. Both China and the Philippines are claiming sovereignty over the Spratly Islands. VOA

U.S. withholds $800 of military aid to Pakistan

The Obama Administration confirmed on Sunday that it’s withholding $800 in military aid to Pakistan, about 1/3 of the the usual annual U.S. security aid to Pakistan. The reduction in aid is in retaliation for the request from Pakistan’s military for a “significant cutback” of U.S. military trainers in Pakistan. U.S. and Pakistan relations have been deteriorating in free fall since January, with the arrest of a CIA contractor. Dawn (Pakistan)

Gen-Xers become the ‘divorce generation’ against their will

Living Together
Living Together

Many Generation-Xers led wretched childhoods of divorced parents, feeling that every divorce, in its way, is a re-enactment of “Medea”: the wailing, murderously bereft mother; the cold father protecting his pristine, new family; the children: dead. Gen-Xers vow that they’ll never get divorced, never inflict divorce on their own children, but it doesn’t necessarily work out that way. Wall Street Journal (Access)

Mideast Quartet pushing Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders

The Mideast Quartet, which consists of the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia, will meet in Washington on Monday to figure out a way to revive the Mideast Peace Process, and forestall a Palestinian request to the United Nations for a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. The Quartet is expected to issue an international peace plan calling for negotiations based on the pre-1967 borders. Haaretz

Hugo Chavez announces $4 billion loan from China to Venezuela

In a televised interview on Saturday, Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez announced that China will provide Venezuela with another $4 billion loadn. Chavez is recovering from prostate cancer and Venezuela suffers energy shortages and rolling blackouts despite claiming to have the globe’s biggest oil reserves. AP


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