SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The euro slipped further on Wednesday and stocks in Asia were struggling, despite stronger-than-expected manufacturing data from China, as fears of a wider euro zone debt crisis grew.
Investors turned to the safety of gold, which hit a record in euro terms in early trade, and to U.S. government bonds after Standard & Poor’s put Portugal’s credit rating on review for a possible downgrade, saying the country may have to turn to the EU and IMF for funding.
At about the time WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables, including one related to a secret attempt to remove enriched uranium from a Pakistani research reactor, a top Pakistani military official held a briefing for journalists that focused on U.S.-Pakistan ties.
Dawn’s Cyril Almeida has written a piece based on the officer’s comments made on the condition of anonymity, and they offer the closest glimpse you can possibly get of the troubled ties between the allies.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The euro struggled on Tuesday and Asian stocks fell as fears that Ireland’s fiscal problems could spread to other weak euro zone countries weighed on investor sentiment.
European shares rose in early trade, however, bouncing back from eight-week closing lows in the previous session after U.S. stocks finished softer but well off their lows overnight.
SINGAPORE, Nov 30 (Reuters) – The euro held near a
two-month low on Tuesday and major stock indexes edged lower
as fears that Ireland’s fiscal problems could spread to more
euro zone countries weighed on investor sentiment.
An 85 billion euro rescue package for Dublin and a
permanent debt resolution system, agreed by euro zone
ministers at the weekend, were designed to stop a debt crisis
that has engulfed Greece and Ireland from moving on to
Portugal and, perhaps, Spain.
The United States is introducing tanks into the fight against the Taliban in the Afghan south for the first time since 2001, but the logic behind the move is still being hotly debated.
One of the reasons advanced is that the arrival of the M1 Abrams tank, propelled by a jet engine and armed with a 120mm gun that can destroy a house more than a mile away, is going to shake up the battlefield. “The tanks bring awe, shock and firepower,” The Washington Post quoted a senior U.S. officer based in Afghanistan as saying. “It’s pretty significant.”
For all of former Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf’s faults, the one thing you would have to give him credit for is the emergence of a free press. It’s every bit as fearless, and questioning as its counterpart across the border in India, sometimes even stepping over the line, as some complain.
Indeed east of the Suez, and perhaps all the way to Japan, it would be hard to find a media that is as unrestrained as in India and Pakistan, which is even more remarkable in the case of Pakistan given the threat posed by a deadly militancy.
The United Nations has set up a new super agency to better fight for the rights of women around the world including Afghanistan. This week UN Women, as the new body is called, held elections to choose countries to sit on the board and the results have triggered a storm of criticism even before the new agency formally comes into being next January. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia were in the running for a seat, and while Iran got displaced at the last minute in the vote, the Saudis are through.
And that has provoked the wrath of rights activists and commentators. The idea of the conservative desert kingdom, where women cannot drive or take significant decisions without the permission of a male relative or work as supermarket cashiers, leading a global fight for the promotion of women’s rights is hard to accept, they say. How can you take the UN seriously, asks Greg Scoblete in a short piece on Real Clear World’s Compass blog headlined : Saudi Arabia bastion for women’s rights.
In the end, Pakistan wasn’t the unspoken elephant in the room when U.S. President Barack Obama sat down for talks with Indian leaders. Far from tip-toeing around India’s Pakistan problem which complicates America’s own troubled war there and in Afghanistan, Obama spoke clearly and squarely.
Safe havens for militants in Pakistan wouldn’t be tolerated, he said, in what was music to Indian ears. But he also left nobody in doubt Washington wanted India to improve ties with Pakistan, saying New Delhi had the greatest stake in the troubled neighbour’s stability.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Passengers on the giant Qantas Airways jet forced to make an emergency landing in Singapore on Thursday said they heard a loud bang and saw pieces of one of the engines fall off soon after take-off for Sydney.
The Airbus A380, which had originated in London and was carrying 459 people, suffered failure of one of its four engines.