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Apr 7, 2011

The Washington Post: Breaking News Alert: U.S. ignored alarms about possible revolt against Yemeni leader, cables show

Breaking News Alert: U.S. ignored alarms about possible revolt against Yemeni leader, cables show
April 7, 2011
Influential Yemenis and U.S. allies repeatedly warned American diplomats in 2009 and 2010 of the growing vulnerability of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, according to several previously undisclosed U.S. diplomatic cables. Despite those warnings, the Obama administration continued to embrace Saleh and became increasingly dependent on him to combat an al-Qaeda affiliate.

MarketWatch | Market Pulse: Obama says some progress made in budget talks

By Robert Schroeder 
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- President Barack Obama said Thursday night that some progress was made in budget talks with House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, but he didn't announce a deal to avert a looming government shutdown. Obama said he wants an answer from congressional leaders on Friday morning about an agreement. "Differences have been narrowed," Obama said after meeting Reid and Boehner at the White House. Government operations are funded through Friday at midnight and would partially shut down Saturday morning without a spending deal.

Financial & Forex Info | The Australian Capital Circle. Gillard takes a break as Swan steps up

Capital Circle Newsletter
Gillard takes a break as Swan steps up
With Julia Gillard on leave, Wayne Swan is running the country and Greg Combet is talking to the business community.

The PM's Diary: Julia Gillard is on leave and will be back at work on Tuesday. Wayne Swan is acting Prime Minister. Mr Swan is holding a press conference in the Blue Room at 8.45am this morning.
Tony Abbott is riding from Gloucester to Cessnock today as part of the Pollie Pedal, a journey of 142km.
Help wanted: Experienced public affairs professional sought for big four bank. A great opportunity has opened up in our media relations team. But you've got big shoes to fill. The full ALP national executive will meet at 10am to endorse the appointment of NAB public affairs manager and former ACTU tactician George Wright. Mr Wright was hand-picked by Julia Gillard to be the next ALP national secretary. (more) The faceless men and women will also discuss party reforms proposed by the Bracks-Carr-Faulkner review.
Roundtable: Business and industry types meet with Greg Combet today to discuss the proposed carbon price.
Announcement: Following our tip yesterday, Mr Combet has booked the National Press Club for April 13th.
Across the shows: Julie Bishop is the guest on Australian Agenda this Sunday, where she will be joined by Peter Van Onselen, Paul Kelly and Greg Sheridan.
On the Contrarians today: Phil Senior, author of Howard's End, Steve Kallis from Unions WA, Claire Harvey from the Sunday Tele and Tim Wilson from the IPA. Meet the Press is not on this weekend.
Pulled: A poll on the CFMEU website, "Would you support a carbon tax on big polluters that was used to compensate households for increased costs?",  has been removed after it found 22 per cent in favour and 78 per cent against.
Get well soon: Barnaby Joyce is in hospital. He underwent knee surgery after a wound became infected when mustering cattle in Tamworth.  The knockabout Sena

ABCNews Australia | Business News: Government's water pricing backflip 'embarrassing'

Government's water pricing backflip 'embarrassing'
The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) says councils in the south-east have been taken by surprise with the State Government's backflip on water pricing.

Inquiry urged into 'poor' rail infrastructure
Independent Senator Nick Xenophon is calling for a public inquiry into rail infrastructure.

Eurozone works on Portuguese bailout
Portugal has gone cap in hand to its eurozone partners for a financial bailout, but the country's problems are being compounded by the European Central Bank's decision to raise interest rates.

 More Business Stories >

Financial & Forex Info | Reuters Technology Report

Growing demand for phones running on Google's Android platform will help the smartphone market grow in 2011, boosting companies like HTC and Samsung who are betting on the platform, analysts said.

The smartphone market will grow 58 percent this year and 35 percent the next, research firm Gartner said. Android, a distant No. 2 to Nokia's Symbian platform just last year, will increase its market share to 39 percent in 2011, while Symbian's share will roughly halve to 19 percent following Nokia's decision to dump the platform. Apple's iPhone platform will be slightly bigger than Symbian this year, while Research In Motion will control 13 percent of the market and Microsoft Windows Phone 6 percent.

Sales of cameraphones will grow to more than 1 billion handsets this year, helped by fast growth at the high end of the market, Strategy Analytics said.

Moody's cut its credit rating on Nokia, citing the Finnish company's weakening market position and uncertainty over its transition to Microsoft's Windows Phone software.
HTC overtook Nokia in market capitalization for the first time on Thursday. Nokia still has higher volumes, selling 19 phones for each HTC phone sold last year. But its average sale price was just $85 compared with HTC's $360, according to Strategy Analytics.

The Justice Department is close to a deal that would allow Google to buy airline ticketing software company ITA Software, while requiring that the software remain available to Google rivals, according to a source close to the deal.

NYT | Afternoon Business News : Political Divide Poses Risks for Portugal in Bailout Talks


Political Divide Poses Risks for Portugal in Bailout Talks

Leaders in Lisbon will begin setting aside their domestic differences in order to negotiate with creditors.

European Bank Raises Rate for 1st Time Since 2008

The bank has been worried about inflation, but the move could hurt weaker economies, like Portugal, which on Wednesday had become the third country to request a bailout.

U.K. Banks Brace for Restrictions

As Wall Street banks fight to fend off further regulation, the battle in Britain over how best to manage financial institutions considered "too big to fail" is just beginning.

U.S. Seeks HSBC Customers' Names as Part of Tax Inquiry

The government is seeking the names of wealthy American clients suspected of evading taxes through offshore accounts at its affiliate in India.

U.S. Retailers Report a Surprising Rise in March Sales

Retailers tracked by Thomson Reuters posted an unexpected 1.7 percent increase in March, handily beating the average analyst estimate of a 0.7 percent decline.

Financial and Forex Info | Kitco New York Market Close Repor

New York Market Close Apr 07/11 05:21 PM EDT
Metals Bid Ask Change Low High

Financial & Forex Info | Reuter - Daily Investor Update: Wall Street dips after Japan aftershock


Wall Street dips after Japan aftershock
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wall Street slipped on Thursday after a major aftershock in Japan reignited fears about nuclear crisis, but greater faith in the U.S. economy's steady path held losses in check. | Full Article

More signs of Fed discord on rate policy
April 07, 2011 01:01 PM ET
ROANOKE, Virginia (Reuters) - Two top Federal Reserve officials offered conflicting views on interest rates on Thursday, one arguing they should stay low for a long time and another saying a rate hike could be in the cards this year. | Full Article
Congress pushes for final budget deal
April 07, 2011 04:16 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With time running out for a budget deal, an ideological battle flared in the Congress over abortion and environmental issues on Thursday as negotiators pushed to avert a government shutdown. | Full Article
Jobless claims fall, retail sales stronger
April 07, 2011 01:21 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New claims for jobless benefits fell last week and retailers racked up much stronger-than-expected sales in March, signs that high fuel prices have not knocked the economy off its growth path. | Full Article
Knowing Buffett's moves not always a money-maker
April 07, 2011 03:26 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Knowing what Warren Buffett is going to do a few weeks before he does it is not the sure-fire money-maker you might think. | Full Article
Aftershock shakes Japan's ruined northeast coast
April 07, 2011 04:08 PM ET
TOKYO (Reuters) - A major aftershock rocked northeast Japan on Thursday and a tsunami warning was issued for the coast devastated by last month's massive quake and tsunami that crippled a nuclear power plant. | Full Article
Libya war reaching stalemate, Washington says
April 07, 2011 02:18 PM ET
AJDABIYAH, Libya (Reuters) - Libya's seven-week-old civil war is reaching stalemate, a senior U.S. general said on Thursday, after rebels fighting to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi said a NATO air strike killed five of their fighters. | Full Article
ECB hikes rates, ready to move again if necessary
April 07, 2011 12:53 PM ET
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank raised interest rates for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis on Thursday and signaled it was ready to tighten policy further if needed to check rising prices. | Full Article
Libya stalemate emerging, U.S. general says
April 07, 2011 03:44 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A stalemate appears to be emerging in Libya between rebels and forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi but the United States should not make any decision to arm the rebels without knowing more about them, a top U.S. general said on Thursday. | Full Article
U.S. pushes Iraq to decide on troop extension
April 07, 2011 03:58 PM ET
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Months before the United States is due to complete its withdrawal from Iraq, Washington is stepping up pressure on Iraqi leaders to decide whether U.S. troops should stay to help fend off a still-potent insurgency. | Full Article

The Washington Post Afternoon Edition | Politics | No deal after latest White House budget talks

1) No deal after latest White House budget talks
Harry Reid and John Boehner emerge from talks with Obama at White House and say negotiations on a 2011 budget deal were continuing, with more meetings scheduled into the evening.
» Read full article

Conservative Republicans, liberal Democrats release alternative budget proposals
Two groups on opposite sides of the ideological spectrum on Thursday released their proposals for the fiscal year 2012 budget in response to the House Republican budget introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) earlier this week.
» Read full article

George Allen asks Craig Melvin his position (UPDATE: And apologizes)
Ex-Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) twice asked an African American news reporter what position he played. None, the reporter told him, twice.
» Read full article

The Fix: The Obama 2012 message: No one’s perfect
President Obama may have launched his reelection campaign earlier this week but he and his aides have given little indication about the message on which that campaign will be based.
» Read full article

Fact Checker: Pelosi’s absurd claim on seniors
Are 6 million poor seniors really at risk of losing their meals — or even 3 million under the compromise plan being negotiated by President Obama?
» Read full article

The Economis | Politics This week: Highlights of new Coverage from Apil 2nd- 8th , 2011

The Economist
Thursday, April 7 2011
Politics This Week

Highlights from The Economist online's Politics this week
» Libya: Time is running out for Qaddafi
» Côte d'Ivoire: Basement blues
» Japan: Living with radiation
» China: On the defensive
» Kazakhstan's election: Sensational
» Afghanistan: Burning passions
» America's budget: The real fight begins
» Spain's prime minister: Exit plan
» Haiti's new president: Tet offensive

The Economist Intelligence Unit: Ripples from Japan: by Robin Rew Chief Economist

Economist Intelligence Unit
From our Chief Economist

Thursday April 7, 2011

The disaster in Japan is creating logistical problems for businesses in many countries, underlining the vulnerability of extended supply chains. But as our ViewsWire service explains, the lean-production model itself is not really in question. While some companies may now diversify suppliers and hold larger inventories, the competitive pressures that produced just-in-time manufacturing will not vanish. Businesses will, as ever, have to balance risk-management and operational efficiency. 

We also feature an article on the unfolding political crisis in Yemen, where President Ali Abdullah Saleh looks increasingly likely to become the latest casualty of the Arab spring. With the international community lacking a coherent position, the odds of an orderly transition of power are slim. In other coverage, ViewsWire examines the prospects of electoral chaos in Nigeria, where polls have been delayed. A catastrophic breakdown in security is unlikely, but post-election recriminations are likely to weigh on the economy. 

From Risk Briefing we feature an article on the prospects of Cuba opening up to foreign investment. Proposed changes to the country's socialist economic model unleashed expectations of swift and efficient reform, but progress has been disappointing so far. Industry Briefing checks in on rules in Brazil that threaten to limit reinsurance capacity. With the country spending huge sums to update its infrastructure and in preparation to host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, any shortfall in reinsurance cover may cool corporate interest in large, complex projects. 

Lastly, Executive Briefing looks at the emergence of a new business model for Internet ventures that brings together the power of social media with community-based marketing and tailored applications.

How do these issues affect your business? Please let me know at:
Best regards,
Robin Bew
Chief Economist
Follow me on Twitter @robinbew.

P.S. If you are looking for analysis or data on a particular region, or have any other queries you think the Economist Intelligence Unit could help with, please get in touch with your local office by phone or email.


Supply-chain disruptions have highlighted the surprising vulnerability of key global industries, but major changes to operational practices are unlikely to follow.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh; UNYEMEN: WHICH WAY OUT?
The US and Saudi Arabia have come round to the view that Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh must go. But they do not seem to have a clue about how to achieve this or what happens next.
African Voter NIGERIA: INEC-perienced?
The postponement of elections by Nigeria's electoral commission raises fears that yet another vote will prove flawed.
Cuban President Raúl Castro CUBA: OPENING UP?
Although economic reforms have been announced, they are shrouded in ambiguity, and doubts persist over the manner and extent of their implementation.
New rules on reinsurance threaten to limit capacity at a particularly inopportune time for Brazil.
How a combination of social media, web mobility and e-commerce applications can improve sales conversion and repeat purchase rates.

MarketWatch | Personal Finance Daily: Retirement advisers still cling to bucket strategies

Thursday's Personal Finance Stories

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:

There are new tools, technologies and products out there for creating a retirement-income portfolio, but most advisers stick close to the bucket strategy, Robert Powell writes today in his column. How many buckets do you have and is your strategy the waterfall approach? Well, Powell delves into the processes many advisers use, why they use them and what the limitations and advantages are.

Meanwhile, the federal government Thursday was on the verge of a shutdown as budget talks were scheduled to resume at the White House. Republicans and Democrats have been trying to write a budget for the rest of fiscal 2011, which expires on Sept. 30. The government is now running on a short-term funding bill that expires Friday at midnight. Without a new funding bill, many federal workers would be furloughed, national parks would close, and tax audits would stop. The Federal Reserve would remain open and the military and law-enforcement would keep doing their jobs. The release of some economic indicators would halt. It also could impact your taxes, as refunds connected with paper-filed tax returns would be delayed.

MarketWatch Editor in Chief David Callaway writes in his commentary column today that maybe the government really should shut down — it would provide a good national civics lesson that's long overdue. He also notes that probably not many people would mind if the IRS is shuttered a week before tax returns are due.

Anne Stanley , Managing Editor, Personal Finance

Bucket strategies for retirement will stick around

Many advisers, despite the advent of new technology, new products and new thinking, use some fairly old-fashioned strategies to create a retirement-income portfolio.
Read more: Bucket strategies for retirement will stick around.

30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticks higher, to 4.87%

The average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stands at 4.87% in the week ending April 7, "inching upward" for a third consecutive week, according to Freddie Mac's latest survey.
Read more: 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticks higher.

Why the government should shut down

The U.S. government has already been shut down by some measures. A real closure might shock a nasty populace back to reality.
Read more: Why the government should shut down.

Masters 2011 pits Tiger against the young guns

Superstar Tiger Woods' struggles take center stage at the 2011 Masters while golf's youth movement is poised to make some noise starting Thursday.
Read more: Masters pits Tiger against the young guns.


Budget talks to resume at White House

President Barack Obama called leaders of Congress back to the White House on Thursday in hopes of avoiding a partial shutdown of the federal government, which looms on Saturday morning without a new budget agreement.
Read more: Budget talks to resume at White House.

Oil scarcity may have ‘minor' impact: IMF

The increased scarcity of oil might lead to just a minor economic impact, particularly if supplies continue to grow rather than decline outright, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Read more: Oil scarcity may have ‘minor' impact.

European Central Bank hikes rates

In a widely anticipated move, the ECB delivers its first rate hike since 2008, but President Jean-Claude Trichet says there's no decision about whether the move is the first in a series.
Read more: ECB hikes rates.

U.S. jobless claims fall 10,000 to 382,000

The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits fell slightly last week, indicating that the U.S. jobs market continues to gradually improve, according to government data.
Read more: U.S. jobless claims fall.


Retailers' March sales top downbeat expectations

Retailers' March sales exceed downbeat expectations as shoppers show their resilience despite rising gasoline and food costs; still headwinds loom on the horizon heading into the second half.
Read more: Retailers' March sales top lowered expectations.

Bull market is alive and well

Richard Russell this week has changed his mind in a big way. He now thinks we have been in a primary bull market for years, and that the 2007-2009 bear market was actually just a bull-market correction.
Read more: Bull market is alive and well.

Corporate volunteerism goes global

A new kind of international voluntary effort is getting underway — this time, by global companies, in partnership with businesses, governments and nonprofits in emerging markets around the world, writes Deirdre White.
Read more: Corporate volunteerism goes global.

Low volume doesn't cancel buy signal

Low trading volume in equities doesn't negate the buy signal sent by new highs in the Dow Jones industrials and transports, writes Tomi Kilgore.
Read more: Low volume doesn't cancel buy signal.

M7.4 quake jolts Miyagi Pref., vicinity

The Japan Times Online

Friday, April 8, 2011

M7.4 quake jolts Miyagi Pref., vicinity

A strong quake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.4 jolted on Thursday evening Japan's Miyagi Prefecture and its vicinity, which has already been devastated by the March 11 earthquake, while the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning.

The 11:32 p.m. quake measured upper 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in Kurihara and Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture and lower 6 in Ofunato, Kamaishi, Ichinoseki and several other cities in Iwate Prefecture as well as some other parts of Miyagi, according to the agency.
Nuclear power plants in Fukushima Prefecture, including the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power station, have showed no major problems so far, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the Nuclear Industrial Safety Agency. Workers at the plants evacuated and no one was injured.

Plants in Ibaraki Prefecture and the Onagawa nuclear plant in Miyagi Prefecture were also operating normally after the quake, according to local authorities.
In Miyagi Prefecture, expressways were closed due to the quake, whose seismic center was off Miyagi Prefecture at a depth of some 40 kilometers, while blackouts occurred in some areas of the cities of Fukushima and Yamagata.
The crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power station started after the March 11 killer earthquake and tsunami. Strong aftershocks continued after the quake

CBSNEWS | Daily News Summary: Obama Confident on Budget, but no deal yet

CBS - Daily News Summary 
April 07, 2011 | DAILY NEWS SUMMARY
Phillip Garrido, who confessed to abduction and sex abuse of Calif. 11-year-old, expected to enter guilty plea
Read full story

Justice near for Jaycee Dugard; Rapist to plead
Obama "confident" on budget, but no deal yet President pushes "urgency" in meeting with House leaders; Boehner says real differences remain   GOP pushes stopgap measure

Suicide at alleged Scott Brown "abuse camp" Police say they are investigating a suicide by gunshot at Camp Good News on Cape Cod   2nd man claims abuse after Brown charge

Japan races nature, radiation to ID quake victims Waves of Radiation hinder search for thousands of rapidly decomposing bodies along battered coast  Complete coverage

Sweet! The big business of cupcakes The staple of many bake sales suddenly becomes a fashionable -- and profitable -- food

Masters 2011: Crowded battle for No. 1 Six of top seven in the world can go to No. 1 at Augusta National - including Tiger Woods, who has slipped to No. 7

Justice near for Jaycee Dugard; Rapist to plead Phillip Garrido, who confessed to abduction and sex abuse of Calif. 11-year-old, expected to enter guilty plea

GOP pushes 1-week extension to avert shutdown Boehner forges ahead with planned House vote on interim budget measure, in spite of fierce Democratic opposition

What a government shutdown means for you As the deadline to avoid government shutdown approaches, here's a breakdown of what would and wouldn't be affected

Financial & Forex Info | Reuters Before The Bell | Stock futures flat before jobless claims, retail data.

Stock futures flat before jobless claims, retail data
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Thursday before data on the labor market and same-store sales, which could offer clues about the outlook for U.S. consumer spending. | Full Article

ECB raises rates in exit from crisis policy
April 07, 2011 07:56 AM ET
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank raised interest rates by 25 basis points to 1.25 percent on Thursday, announcing its first hike since July 2008 to counter firming inflation pressures in the 17-country euro zone. | Full Article
Retailers' March sales not as bleak as expected
April 07, 2011 07:43 AM ET
CHICAGO (Reuters) - March was not as bad as expected for U.S. retailers, at least as far as initial sales reports show, suggesting that shoppers largely ignored higher gasoline prices and other concerns to treat themselves. | Full Article
Obama and Congress to try reaching spending-cut deal
April 07, 2011 07:17 AM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and leaders in Congress will attempt to reach a spending-cut deal on Thursday that would avert a dangerous government shutdown at week's end. | Full Article
Spain vows won't be next after Portugal seeks aid
April 07, 2011 07:30 AM ET
MADRID (Reuters) - Spain vowed on Thursday it would not follow ailing neighbor Portugal in seeking a European bailout, and a successful Spanish bond auction suggested markets do not immediately fear contagion. | Full Article
Wisconsin high court challenger declares victory
April 06, 2011 07:12 PM ET
MADISON, Wis (Reuters) - The union-backed challenger in the race for a seat on Wisconsin's state Supreme Court declared victory on Wednesday in a contest that became a referendum on a new restrictions on public sector unions. | Full Article
French strikes hit Gbagbo forces in Ivory Coast
April 07, 2011 07:43 AM ET
ABIDJAN (Reuters) - French forces hit military vehicles belonging to troops loyal to Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo during a helicopter-borne mission that rescued Japan's ambassador to the West African country on Thursday. | Full Article
Rebels say Gaddafi halts oil, Libya blames Britain
April 07, 2011 07:19 AM ET
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya accused Britain of damaging an oil pipeline in an air strike, hours after rebels said government attacks had halted production of oil they hope to sell to finance their uprising. | Full Article
Banks rally as Portugal seeks aid, talks seen quick
April 07, 2011 06:46 AM ET
LISBON (Reuters) - Portuguese bank stocks rallied on Thursday after the caretaker government requested European financial aid and analysts saying a deal could be negotiated quickly despite a political vacuum during an election campaign. | Full Article
Japan's neighbors alarmed over risk of radiation threat
April 07, 2011 07:40 AM ET
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's neighbors sounded increasingly alarmed over the risk of radiation from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, while figures showed the number of foreign visitors to the country had slumped during what should be the peak tourism season. | Full Article