Posts tagged "IMF"

IRAN: May 2, 2012


Iran Nuclear Power Plant Works at Near Full Capacity, IRNA Says

Iran’s first nuclear power plant was connected at almost full capacity to the national power grid on April 28, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported, citing Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani, who heads the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization.

A Tiny Island Is Where Iran Makes a Stand

For Iranians, whose country’s borders have shrunk in the past 200 years after wars and unfavorable deals by corrupt shahs, territorial issues are a delicate matter. So a renewed claim by the United Arab Emirates to the tiny island of Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf has touched a raw nerve.

Iran Denounces Florida Pastor Over Koran Burning

A Koran burning conducted by Terry Jones, the controversial pastor from Florida, has angered Iranian politicians, with one calling for Jones’s execution.

Netanyahu sees unity on Iran crumble

Israeli leaders have spent years calling for international unity to face down the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear programme. Now they are seeing this common front crumble in the one place they thought was safe: Israel itself.

Iran lawmaker: Fighters in UAE are US-Israeli plot

A prominent Iranian lawmaker says the reported basing of America’s most sophisticated stealth jet fighters in the United Arab Emirates is a U.S.-Israel plot to create regional instability.

US deploys F-22s to base near Iran

The U.S. military has deployed several F-22s, the nation’s most advanced fighter jets, to an allied base less than 200 miles from Iran.

Iran hopes for “successful” nuclear talks with U.N

An Iranian envoy voiced hope on Monday that talks with the U.N. nuclear watchdog in mid-May would help resolve “outstanding issues”, but he again ruled out any halt to the Islamic state’s controversial uranium enrichment program.

U.S. signals major shift on Iran nuclear program

The Obama administration might support letting Iran continue enriching uranium up to 5% purity if it agrees to other U.N. restrictions.,0,353079.story

Security Experts Warn of Cyber Threats From Iran

A panel of experts warned lawmakers on Thursday about the looming threat of a cyber attack emanating from Iran, an increasingly isolated nation that has been linked to numerous attacks against the United States in recent years including a plot last year to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C.

Iran’s nuclear talk agenda aims at easing Western sanctions

Iran has made no secret of its hopes for the next round of nuclear negotiations with world powers: Pledges by the West to ease sanctions as a step toward deal making by Tehran.

Israeli ministers: Election won’t affect Iran

Two top Israeli security officials said Wednesday that the prospect of early national elections will have no influence over a decision over whether to strike Iranian nuclear sites.

Iran’s Oil Output at Lowest Level in 20 Years

Iran’s oil output has reached its lowest level in 20 years, independent data showed Wednesday, as the impact of sanctions dramatically deepens.

Wary of Iran, Saudis seek progress on Gulf union

Wary of Iran and regional protest movements, Gulf Arab states are pushing ahead with plans for a political union that would involve joint foreign and defense policies, the Saudi foreign minister said in a speech at the weekend.

UANI Calls on IMF to Cease its Business with Iran’s Central Bank

On Tuesday, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) launched its IMF campaign, calling on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to either close the accounts it holds with Iran’s sanctioned Central Bank, Bank Markazi, or suspend Iran’s membership in the IMF.

Iran undecided on nuclear bomb - Israel military chief

The head of the Israeli military has said he does not think Iran will develop nuclear weapons.

Uzbekistan, Belarus, Iran Among World’s Worst Media Censors

A leading journalism watchdog group has listed authorities in Uzbekistan, Belarus, and Iran as among the world’s leading media censors.

Oil report seen supporting Iran sanctions

Global oil inventories grew over the last two months despite the loss of further supplies from Iran, according to a U.S. report that gave leeway for the Obama administration to press ahead with sanctions on the OPEC nation.

Iran Cyber Attack Oil Industry Contained, Official Says

A cyber attack that targeted Iran’s crude industry and caused computer systems at the Oil Ministry and other related state-owned businesses to crash has been “fully contained,” a government official said.

Iran condemns Syria blast, blames external forces for ‘terrorist actions’

Iran on Saturday condemned a deadly suicide bombing in Damascus, claiming that such “terrorist actions” were the work of foreign governments that wanted to arm the Syrian opposition.

Obama tightens sanctions on Iran, Syria by punishing business partners

President Obama issued an executive order Tuesday tightening sanctions on Iran and Syria by prohibiting financial transactions with foreigners who have evaded existing sanctions with those countries and denying them entry into the United States.

Israeli defense chief balks at Iran nuclear talks

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is the latest senior official to throw cold water on the nuclear negotiations between Iran and six world powers; the defense chief said Monday evening that Israel could not afford to be “duped” by the talks.

White House sets sights on evaders of Iran, Syria sanctions

President Obama is beefing up the administration’s sanctions on Iran and Syria, issuing an executive order targeting anyone who tries to skirt the crackdown.


Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert

"The last resort is a military action, and I prefer it to be an American action, supported by the international community, if all the other efforts will fail. The United States should be the one that decides on it, on the scope of it, on the extent of it, its cooperation. Israel certainly could be a part of the effort, but Israel should not lead it."

Iranian defense minister, Gen. Ahmad Vahidi

"Basing American F-22 in an Emirate’s base is a harmful action and damages regional security."

Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak

“A Radical Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear weapons would be far more dangerous both for the region and, indeed, the whole world. Israel cannot afford to be duped. The No. 1 responsibility is to ensure that our fate will remain firmly in our own hands.”

Vice President Joe Biden

“I think it’s fair to say — the only step we could take that we aren’t already taking is to launch a war against Iran.  If that’s what Governor Romney means by a very different policy, he should tell the American people. He should say so.  Otherwise, the governor’s tough talk about military action is just that — talk.  And, I would add, counterproductive talk.”


Early Israeli elections? What it would mean for US, Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled on Sunday for the first time that he is liable to move up Israel’s elections from next year to this year.

Election, Monitored. 

The tragic farce of voting in Iran.

How The Death Of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Father Could Affect Relations With Iran

Benzion Netanyahu, father of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, died early Monday at the age of 102 and the Israeli newspaper Haaretz noted that Benzion Netanyahu “remembered for his great influence on the worldview of his son, Benjamin.”

How Iran May Get Around Oil Sanctions Over Nuclear Program

Crude oil for June delivery reached $106 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange this week, and that’s the highest price seen since March 27. Explaining why prices have fallen 4 percent from a March 1 peak, Bloomberg said it’s because tensions have eased between Iran and Western nations over the country’s nuclear program.

Understanding Iran’s diplomatic strategy

Iran has been developing nuclear capacities in order to obtain leverage in diplomatic talks with the United States.

Iran Is to India as Pakistan Is to the U.S.

Tourists flying into this ancient city are sometimes surprised to find their descent re-routed at the last minute by the presence of an 86-foot bronze statue that sits at the end of a runway. The giant icon depicts none other than Lord Shiva, one of Hinduism’s most popular and powerful gods. Known alternatively as the destroyer and the creator, family man and hermit, teacher and warrior, kind herdsman and wrathful avenger — Shiva is, like India itself, a perfect symbol of contradictions.

In Iran’s backyard, war games may spark new conflict

The tiny Gulf islands of Abu Musa and Greater and Lesser Tunb may become a new theater of conflict between Tehran and the neighboring Sunni countries.

Could Iran Wage A Cyberwar On The U.S.?

Security professionals in both the U.S. government and in private industry have long feared the prospect of a cyberwar with China or Russia, two states capable of launching destructive attacks on the computer networks that control critical assets such as the power grid or the financial system.

Israel security establishment goes where US politicians fear to tred

Disagreements in Israel over whether to attack Iran have erupted into the open. In one corner, the Netanyahu government. In the other, a number of Israeli security officials.

America’s Syria Policy Emboldens Assad—and Iran

Bashar al-Assad’s security forces have brazenly slaughtered more than 10,000 Syrian civilians, and injured or detained tens of thousands more, since the anti-regime protests began in March 2011. Despite these facts, America’s policy towards Syria—a terror-sponsoring government that is Iran’s closest ally in the Arab World, a possessor of weapons of mass destruction, and a supporter of foreign fighters that killed American troops in Iraq—remains incoherent and ineffectual.

CHINA: April 23, 2012


Factories in China Show Pace Is Improving

A closely watched survey of manufacturing activity in China rebounded in April, offering the latest sign that the Chinese economy was gradually regaining some of the momentum it lost last year.

China Grows Its Dairy Farms With a Global Cattle Drive

In one of the largest transoceanic cattle drives in history, as many as 100,000 heifers from Uruguay, Australia and New Zealand will board multistory cattle-carrying ships this year—bound for China. The global roundup is a key part of China’s effort to satisfy growing domestic demand for milk and remake its dairies after a deadly tainted-milk scandal in 2008 devastated production and caused distrustful consumers to turn to imported milk.

China policy battles boost South China Sea strains

Jockeying by Chinese agencies over policy fiefdoms and budgets threatens to intensify tension in the disputed South China Sea, a respected think tank warned on Monday, with the Philippines seeking more patrols to guard against China’s claims.

China big oil firms on edge over U.S. disclosure

Oil firms may have to share financial data from global projects.

More Chinese Head to U.S., Report Says

An increasing number of people from China moved to America last year.

China detains dozens in poison drug capsule scandal

Chinese police have detained 45 people, arrested nine and seized more than 77 million capsules tainted with chromium in China’s latest product safety scandal, which has aroused widespread public concern despite repeated pledges to get tough.

China, Amid Uncertainty at Home and in Europe, Looks to Germany

As Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China tours Europe this week, it is no accident that Germany occupies a special place on his itinerary.

China’s leaders are cracking down on Bo Xilai and his Chongqing model

The campaign against Bo Xilai is not motivated by a desire to stop corruption or solve a murder case, but by a deep political conflict.

South Sudan seeks Beijing investment

South Sudan will seek Chinese funds to build an alternative oil pipeline so that it no longer depends on the north to export its oil, a senior official said, ahead of a presidential visit to Beijing.

China-Russia naval drills begin in Yellow Sea

China and Russia launched joint naval exercises Sunday that highlight warming ties between their militaries and growing cooperation in international affairs.

Toxic Chinese mercury pollution travelling to US

Mass quantities of air pollutants from China, including mercury discharged from traditional coal-fired power plants, are travelling to places as far away as the US, according to the US environment agency.

Cyber-attack cripples US website covering Bo Xilai scandal

China’s security services ordered attack, claims manager of, which has seen visitor traffic rise 155% this year.

China’s car market matures after ultra-fast growth

The market is flat and competition is hot as this year’s Beijing motor show gets underway this week.

China says will “not be absent” from IMF fund boost

China said it will “not be absent” from plans to enhance funds for the International Monetary Fund and repeated its confidence in euro zone economies, according to a People’s Bank of China statement issued on Saturday after an IMF meeting in Washington.—sector.html

China, NKorea Reaffirm Ties After Rocket Test

Chinese President Hu Jintao met with a top North Korean envoy on Monday in a reaffirmation of traditional ties following Chinese pique over Pyongyang’s recent attempted rocket launch.

Palace websites attacked by ‘Chinese networks’

The dispute between China and the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal continued to spill over into cyberspace with Philippine government websites being attacked by “Chinese networks” on Monday.

China’s Biggest Banks Are Squeezed for Capital

China’s banks are among the biggest and most profitable financial institutions in the world.

China to invest in infrastructure to bolster growth

China is set to speed up spending on roads, railways and utilities to boost economic growth, the official China Securities Journal said on Monday, citing government economists.

China Internet firms face venture capital funding squeeze

China’s hot Internet sector is facing a problem it is unaccustomed to: a lack of money.

China Court Spares Life of Millionaire

China’s highest court spared a 30-year-old millionaire once labeled one of China’s richest women from the death penalty, in a case that drew attention to the country’s underground lending market and elicited an outpouring of online protests as well as sympathetic comments from Premier Wen Jiabao.

Suspected Sale by China Stirs Concern at White House

The Obama administration says it believes that a Chinese manufacturer sold North Korea the chassis and other parts for a missile-transport vehicle displayed in a military parade this week, a senior official said Friday, raising new concerns about China’s ability to enforce a ban on military sales to North Korea.

Jon Huntsman explains China comment

Jon Huntsman on Monday attempted to explain comments comparing the Republican party to the Chinese communist party.


Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC)

"Since we have decided on the gradualism approach (for the yuan), and we have been implementing that for years, we are almost there and we must stick to the path… The market supply and demand will play a bigger role, and the central bank will only intervene when the exchange rate movement is out of the normal range — the frequency of our intervention will be less and the way of doing it will be more flexible as well."—business.html


China’s Corrupt Secrets

The Bo Xilai affair offers a reality check for anyone who’s worried that a rising China will supplant the United States anytime soon: First, the Chinese know that the scandal is just the tip of an iceberg of corruption menacing the country; and second, the leadership in Beijing understands that the scandal could have been much messier if the White House hadn’t kept quiet the past two months.

Three Questions From China’s Bo Xilai Fiasco

Six of nine Politburo members paid homage to Chongqing, implicitly endorsing the now-discredited ‘Chongqing Model.’

The Startling Plight of China’s Leftover Ladies

China’s men far outnumber women. So why is it so hard to find a good husband?

Environmental Standards Give The United States An Edge Over China

This Earth Day is a great opportunity to take stock of the progress we are making around the world on environmental protection. Here in the United States, much can be learned by comparing our environmental progress to China, where they are just now starting down a path we took back in 1970.

China is deeply flawed. Its dominance is not inevitable

The country’s success will continue only if its elites initiate the political and economic reforms it desperately needs.

China’s Deals Threaten U.S. Supremacy 

The current spate of Chinese bids for U.S. companies has so far received benign treatment in the media.

China’s Princelings Become a U.S. Media Phenomenon

On Wednesday morning, Jodi Seth, the communications director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was swamped with calls on a subject she knew little about: Chinese “princelings,” or the children and grandchildren of prominent members of China’s Communist Party, many of them studying and living in the U.S. Seth wasn’t the only one flooded with inquiries she could do little to answer. Her counterparts at the State Department, the FBI and Harvard were experiencing a similar phenomenon. The princelings, it seems, have become somewhat of an American fascination.

INDIA: April 18, 2012


India Cuts Key Rate for First Time in Three Years

India’s central bank Tuesday cut its key lending rate for the first time in three years, slashing it by half a percentage point to 8% in a bid to spur growth in an economy hit by high credit costs and waning global demand.

India Nuclear Missile Test: Agni-V Missile Has Capability To Hit Chinese Cities

India is planning to test launch a new nuclear-capable missile that for the first time would give it the capability of hitting the major Chinese cities of Beijing and Shanghai.

Gulf Airlines Eye India for Expansion

Rapidly-expanding Gulf airlines could invest in Indian carriers such as SpiceJet and Kingfisher Airlines, as the government in New Delhi considers easing restrictions on stake-building by foreigners in local airlines.

Indian Professor Partho Sarathi Ray freed from jail

A molecular biologist who was arrested in India’s West Bengal state for allegedly participating in a protest, has been freed after 10 days in jail.

The World’s Biggest Spammers

Where exactly are all these emails coming from with links to shoe stores and people asking for money? In the first quarter of 2011, most of the spam in your inbox came from India.

IMF urges India to tackle inflation, slower growth

The International Monetary Fund urged India to keep policy rates on hold until high inflation is on a downward trend and to take steps to boost economic growth.—business.html

Clashes at beef-eating festival in south India

A beef-eating festival at a university in southern India triggered clashes between rival students as Hindu activists fought with low-caste Dalit groups who had organised the event.

Disaster Reignites Debate Over Battle at Earth’s Ceiling

In the snowy wastes of Siachen, where Pakistani and Indian soldiers face off in a high-altitude battle zone ringed by Himalayan peaks, the fight is against the mountain, not the man.

India’s ‘Dalit queen’ warns against razing statues

India’s “Dalit Queen” Mayawati warned Saturday that any move to raze towering statues she built of herself and other low-caste icons could create law-and-order problems in the country.

India fumes over Bollywood star’s US airport row

India has reacted sharply to Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s questioning by US airport immigration authorities, saying “detention and apology” have become a US habit.

India: Rebels Release Italian Hostage

Maoist rebels on Thursday released an Italian tourist guide abducted more than a month ago in eastern India after the state government agreed to release five rebels from prison.

India Says Maoists are Top Internal Threat

A Maoist insurgency raging across at least nine states is the chief internal security threat to India, even as traditional conflicts in Kashmir and the northeast have ebbed, the country’s top law enforcement official said Monday.

Teen rescued days after factory collapse in India

Rescuers pulled a 15-year-old boy from a massive heap of broken concrete Wednesday morning, more than 48 hours after the blanket factory he was working in collapsed and killed at least six people in northern India.

State commission in Indian Kashmir to review 1995 case of foreigners’ abduction, killing

A state human rights commission said Tuesday it will review records from the 1995 kidnapping of six foreigners in Indian-controlled Kashmir after a new book alleged that Indian intelligence agents were involved in the deadly crime.

India, Pak will share evidence on Saeed: Gilani

India and Pakistan will share intelligence and evidence against Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed on April 16, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said.


DRDO Ravi Gupta spokesman

"Agni-V is to meet our present-day threat perceptions, which are determined by our defence forces and other agencies. This is a deterrent to avoid wars and it is not country-specific."

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

"Threats from terrorism, left-wing extremism, religious fundamentalism and ethnic violence persist in our country. These challenges demand constant vigilance on our part. They need to be tackled firmly, but with sensitivity. It is an endeavor that requires the united effort of us all, both at the center and in the states."

India’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Anand Sharma

"We have a very stable policy regime. India has a very sound track record also when it comes to promotion of investment, protection of investment and profits. Investment and partnership, which is there between the country and the investor, is not only restricted to a tax matter. It’s much bigger than that. India has been and remains an attractive destination for foreign investments."


India’s Coal Spat Shows Buyers Must Beware

Despite a small shareholder’s victory over Coal India this week, the golden rule for investors in India’s state-owned giants remains caveat emptor.

Water Wars: Why India and Pakistan Are Squaring Off Over Their Rivers

India’s Wular Lake, a popular picnic and tourist spot nestled in the Kashmir Valley, is an unlikely site for conflict. But India’s plan to build a structure on the Jhelum River at the mouth of the lake that will allow it to release water during the river’s lean winter months has outraged neighboring Pakistan, which believes the project will give India the power to control how much water flows downstream to its farmers. After two and a half decades of deadlock and 15 marathon rounds of bilateral talks — the most recent occurring in late March — the countries appear a long way from finding common ground.,8599,2111601,00.html#ixzz1sPNOywlZ

Is India weaning itself off Iranian oil fast enough for the US?

India is Iran’s No. 1 customer for crude oil, which puts it in danger of running afoul of a new US law that will twist nations’ arms to curb oil imports from Iran. India’s ambassador to the US cites ‘degree of understanding’ from US officials to India’s predicament.

CHINA: April 10, 2012


China ejects Bo from elite ranks, wife suspected of murder

China’s Communist Party has suspended former high-flying politician Bo Xilai from its top ranks and named his wife a suspect in the murder of a British businessman, a dramatic turn in a scandal shaking leadership succession plans.

Turkey, China Sign Nuclear Deals

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has overseen the signing of two nuclear agreements with China during a trip to the Asian nation.

China appeals for ‘flexibility’ on all sides for Iran nuclear talks

Iran’s economic ally China urged all sides Tuesday in upcoming nuclear talks to show “flexibility and sincerity” even as Tehran sent mixed messages with hints of compromise and blasts of defiance.

China sentences woman to death for $16 million fund scam

A 30-year-old Chinese woman was sentenced to death by a court in Wenzhou for “cheating” investors of 100.11 million yuan ($16 million) losing 94 million yuan in futures and gold trading, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

China’s drug agency rejects state media claims of cover-up in lead found in health supplement

China’s scandal-plagued food and drug agency defended itself Tuesday against media reports claiming it covered up problems with excessive lead in domestic supplies of spirulina, a popular algae-based health supplement.

China pressures Japan to prevent exiled Uighur meeting

China urged Japan on Monday not to allow an exiled Uighur group to hold a major conference in Tokyo next month, saying the organization seeks to damage Chinese sovereignty.

China calls on Syrian government, opposition forces to back Annan’s peace plan

China on Tuesday again called on the Syrian government and opposition forces to immediately back a truce deal arranged by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

China Buys Inroads in the Caribbean, Catching U.S. Notice

A brand new $35 million stadium opened here in the Bahamas a few weeks ago, a gift from the Chinese government.

China Sets Waste-to-Power Price Double That of Coal-Fired Plants

China, the biggest carbon emitter, set a price for electricity generated from waste-to-energy plants that’s double that paid to coal-fired projects to encourage renewable-energy development.

IMF Poised to Lower View on China’s Trade

The International Monetary Fund is poised to sharply reduce its long-term forecast of China’s current-account surplus, the broadest measure of a nation’s trade, which would strengthen Beijing’s defense against the U.S. argument that the Chinese currency is “substantially undervalued.”

Microblogging use in China quadrupled in 2011

Nearly half of all Chinese Internet users use service to gather news and spread views.

Trade Gains Put China in Quandary

After months of weakness in overseas demand, especially from Europe, Chinese exports finally seem to be recovering. But now the country’s domestic economy is looking a little less robust.

China Unexpectedly Reports Trade Surplus

China reported an unexpected trade surplus last month as import growth trailed forecasts, underscoring risks of a deeper slowdown in the world’s second- largest economy.

China Web giants promise to fight “rumors”

Three of China’s largest Internet companies have promised the government they will take steps to banish online rumors, state media said on Tuesday, as the ruling Communist Party fights jitters over a tricky leadership transition.

China rights lawyer jailed for 2 years, 8 months

A Chinese court sentenced a disabled lawyer renowned for defending people evicted from their homes to two years and eight months in prison on Tuesday for causing a disturbance and fraud, Beijing’s latest use of a controversial law to stifle dissent.

China March crude imports 3rd highest ever, but momentum easing

China’s imports of crude oil eased in March from a record level hit in February but were the third highest ever, at 5.55 million barrels per day (bpd), as refiners in the world’s second-largest consumer rebuilt stocks.

China sets out school bus law after deadly crashes

China’s cabinet has issued new rules governing school bus safety in the wake of a series of deadly crashes that sparked public anger.

China trade data for March paints mixed growth picture

China’s trade data for March has unveiled a mixed picture of growth in the world’s second-largest economy.

Weak trade data add to China concerns

A slowdown in China’s trade with the rest of the world has provided fresh evidence of weakness in the world’s second-largest economy, with anaemic growth in exports and even slower imports suggesting continued deceleration in the coming months.


The Chinese Rare Earths Cartel: Too Little Too Late

News from China that they are organising their little rare earths cartel in a more formal manner. The truth is though that for China to really control the market they’re moving too little and too late.

China’s Inland Cities Power New Growth

As rising wages and costs sap growth in the coastal centers that led China’s 30-year export boom, Hefei’s 15.4 percent expansion last year puts it in the vanguard of a new tier of inland powerhouses. Cities including Wuhan, Zhengzhou and Wuhu are drawing capital and factories from the east and abroad as companies such as Continental, the world’s fourth-largest tiremaker, and Unilever (ULVR), the world’s No. 2 consumer-products maker, bet they will underpin the nation’s next decade of growth.

How China Made Its Great Leap Forward

Some observers praise its ‘state-led capitalism.’ But the truth is that leaders, starting with Deng Xiaoping, loosened Beijing’s control.

Going Soft on China’s Commodity Demand

In China’s boom years, everything from copper to soybeans benefited from turbocharged demand growth. Now that the economy is slowing, investors need to take a more nuanced view.

Will Instagram Help Facebook Crack China?

Facebook has yet to find a way into China, but its purchase of a much smaller social networking service, photo sharing app Instagram, may give it a foot in the door. Instagram, an app that allows users to quickly edit photos, tag and share them, is available in Chinese and is integrated with one of China’s most popular microblogging services, Sina Weibo, so users can post their Instagram photos on their microblogs.

The Google of China: The Secret of Baidu’s Runaway Search-Engine Success

Recently there has been a rumor that Baidu, China’s most popular search engine, was interested in acquiring Yahoo. Robin Li, Baidu founder and CEO denied the rumor, saying the company wasn’t thinking about buying up “another large company.” Indeed, Baidu is much larger than its American counterpart — and worth much more: Baidu’s market value is currently estimated around $39 billion, while the long-established Yahoo is at $18.7 billion.,8599,2111545,00.html#ixzz1rhE1ppdX

Lack of tolerance mars Web’s values

Since modern times, China has made several serious mistakes when judging the national situation. The problem remains today.

China’s next generation should look to Zhu

Remember that issue with the Chinese currency? As markets await this week’s economic data releases from Beijing, it is easy to be complacent over its mercantilist exchange rate policies, now concern is shifting to whether China has a hard landing ahead.

China, between a rocket and a hard place on North Korea

A joke circulating among officials in Beijing pretty much underlines the bind China is in over North Korea’s plans to send a satellite into space.

IRAN: March 20, 2012


Federal investigation of Iran dissident group bypasses K Street firms

Lobby firms and clients who have been working to remove the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) — otherwise known as the People’s Mujahedin of Iran — from the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations told The Hill they have not been subpoenaed by federal authorities.

Kuwait says Iran has assured it will not shut Hormuz

Iran has assured Kuwait it will not try to close the vital Strait of Hormuz shipping route, Kuwait’s ruler said in remarks carried by state-run news agency KUNA on Tuesday.

Iran leader: Industrial boost can fight sanctions

Iran’s supreme leader says more support for domestic industrial production can counter Western sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Of diapers and drugs, Iran’s trouble paying bills

Like everyone, Iranians need diapers. Fred Harrington has built a business by selling Iran the raw materials to make them.

Strained by Sanctions, Iran Eases Money Policy

Pressured by tightened Western economic sanctions and a burgeoning black market for dollars, with Iranian citizens desperate to buy them, Iran’s central bank has loosened its strict foreign exchange policy, allowing money traders there to sell dollars for rials at the unofficial market rate, rather than the artificially fixed official rate.

U.S. War Game Sees Perils of Israeli Strike Against Iran

A classified war simulation held this month to assess the repercussions of an Israeli attack on Iran forecasts that the strike would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States and leave hundreds of Americans dead, according to American officials.

U.A.E. Seeks Ways to Fund Iran Trade

The United Arab Emirates is looking for ways to continue financing legitimate trade with Iran after the organization that handles world-wide banking transfers disconnected most Iranian banks from its systems over the weekend, according to U.A.E. Economy Minister Sultan Al Mansouri.

Iran Central Bank Says Rial Can Be Traded at Market Rates

Iran’s central bank allowed trading in its currency at market levels after fixing the exchange rate in January as the threat of sanctions over the country’s nuclear program and economic risks spurred Iranians to buy up dollars.

Israelis agree Iran hasn’t decided to construct nuclear bomb

Despite saber-rattling from Jerusalem, Israeli officials now agree with the U.S. assessment that Tehran has not yet decided on the actual construction of a nuclear bomb, according to senior Israeli government and defense figures.

Sanctions Cost Iran $60 Billion in Oil Investments, Burns Says

Tougher U.S. sanctions on Iran are costing the Islamic regime as much as $60 billion in lost energy investments, Undersecretary of State William Burns said today.

UK Says Iran Blocking Website in Censorship Battle

Britain accused Iran on Sunday of blocking a website days after it was launched by the British government to reach out to Iranians, in the latest spat over media censorship.

Banking group faces pressure to cut Iran ties

Lawmakers will push forward with legislation targeting a worldwide banking cooperative despite its decision to stop doing business with some Iranian banks.

U.S. Exempts Japan, 10 EU Nations From Iran Oil Sanctions

The Obama administration won’t impose sanctions on Japan and 10 European Union nations that have “significantly” cut back their imports of Iranian oil this year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

Pentagon’s Iran Buildup Call for Adding Laser Weapons

The U.S. Central Command plans to bolster military capabilities against Iran by fielding new laser target-trackers for machine guns, enhanced sensors for underwater vehicles, improved protection against drone attacks and upgrades of U-2 spy planes.

Iranian convicted in arms smuggling case deported

An Iranian national who pleaded guilty in 2009 to plotting to ship sensitive U.S. military technology to Iran has been deported back to his home country, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department confirmed Tuesday.

EU diplomats discuss Iran oil insurance exemption

EU diplomats are debating whether to exempt some insurers from a ban on dealing with Iranian oil shipments after Asian oil importers lobbied for exceptions to ensure oil deliveries, government and industry sources said on Friday.

New Sanction Severely Limits Iran’s Global Commerce

Iran has faced international sanctions for more than three decades, which have hurt, but never crippled its economy.

Israel’s Barak Casts Doubt on Iranian Cooperation Ahead of Talks

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak cast doubt on Iran’s willingness to cooperate with international negotiators as he repeated his view that economic sanctions won’t be sufficient to respond to a nuclear threat.

Saudi King Defies Iran’s Mullahs To Help Obama

It is no secret that President Obama’s reelection hinges in part on gas prices in the United States. Republicans have made a point of emphasizing that Obama’s energy policy is part of the reason behind high gas prices.  Republicans often cite the president’s decision not to allow the Keystone XL pipeline as evidence to support their argument.


Barack Obama

"There is no reason for the United States and Iran to be divided from one another… Because of the actions of the Iranian regime, an electronic curtain has fallen around Iran. Today, my administration is issuing new guidelines to make it easier for American businesses to provide software and services into Iran that will make it easier for the Iranian people to use the Internet."

Condoleezza Rice

“The most important thing is to make very clear to the Iranians that we really will not allow them to get a nuclear weapon. That means that you have to have a military option that you are prepared to use and that the Iranians know that you are prepared to use. And you can’t send mixed signals about that. It’s got to be a very strong message and it’s got to be unequivocal.”

Iran’s parliament speaker, Ali Larijani 

“They make a lot of fuss about it but don’t dare to attack Iran. They are like dogs that keep barking but are not for attacks. Israel won’t make the mistake of attacking Iran because it’s not prepared to play with its own destiny.”

Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, a senior figure in the powerful Revolutionary Guard and the deputy head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

“Based on the existing indications, new fronts will soon be opened against invaders in order to ground the obsolete, worn-out American empire. Creation of resistance groups and hitting American interests are among measures that can be taken.”

IMF chief Christine Lagarde

"Clearly it would be a shock to economies if there was a major shortage of exports of oil out of Iran, it would certainly drive up prices for a period of time."


Important US War Game Shows An Israeli Attack On Iran Would Be One Huge Mess

The war game “Internal Look” has been performed twice a year, every year, by the U.S. military since the height of the Cold War.
Back in the day, U.S. Central Command used the exercise to understand how best to thwart a Soviet seizure of the Iranian oil fields, for instance. This month, Pentagon brass used Internal Look to understand what might happen if Israel were to attack Iran on its own.

Five Tips for President Obama on Nuclear Negotiations with Iran

Trita Parsi, author of “A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama’s Diplomacy with Iran,” offers the President some advice based on what went wrong last time

Playing for time through a strike on Iran

Nations have doctrines. The Soviet Union had the Brezh­nev Doctrine and the United States had the Monroe Doctrine, among others. Even little Israel has one. I call it the Maybe the Dog Will Talk Doctrine, and it is based on a folk tale of the rabbi who makes a preposterous deal with a tyrant: If the tyrant spares the lives of local Jews, the rabbi will teach the tyrant’s dog to talk. When the rabbi tells his wife what he has done, she calls him a fool. But, he says, “A year is a long time. In a year, the tyrant could die or I could die” — and here he gives her a sly, wise-rabbi smile — “or maybe the dog will talk.”

Iran Watch: In the zone?

There are times when the United States and Israel seem miles apart on the question of how to confront Iran over its nuclear program. As in when President Obama talked about wielding “crippling sanctions” and diplomacy when meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this month, while Netanyahu never mentioned sanctions and instead emphasized that Israel must remain the “master of its fate.”

How bad would Iran be with the bomb?

Which would be worse if sanctions and diplomacy fail: the aftermath of an Israeli or U.S. attack on Iran to set back its nuclear program, or the Tehran regime having the bomb?

After decade of conflict, US does not need another war in the Middle East

President Obama went to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) meeting earlier this month in Washington and announced his unequivocal commitment to keeping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

Does America and Iran’s mutual mistrust mean war is inevitable?

What would be the consequences of an Israeli or American military strike on Iran and could the conflict yet be avoided, asks Radio 4 Analysis presenter Edward Stourton.

Iran’s Missing Moderates

It is rare for obscure historical events from distant countries to condition policy debates in Washington. But two events — the end of Iran-Iraq war in 1988 and Iran’s agreement to suspend its nuclear program in 2003 — seemingly affirm the international community’s approach to Iran. After all, faced with mounting pressure, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini drank the poisoned chalice and agreed to an armistice that he had long abjured. And it is undeniable that America’s shock-and-awe success in Iraq caused a fearful theocracy to suspend its nuclear program.

Iran then and now

As Tehran faces off with Israel, the United States and Europe, it’s worth remembering how the Islamic Republic fights — dirty and long.,0,3996691.story

Iran, Israel and the nuclear diversion

The two religiously defined nations are using nuclear brinkmanship to distract from other issues.,0,7800575.story

The Bogus Iran Intelligence Debate

Ignore the media leaks. Tehran’s nuke program is hiding in plain sight.

Tensions With Iran: Accidents Can Happen

It is supposed to be a time of hope and new beginnings for the people of Iran as on Tuesday they began celebrating the 13-day New Year festival of Nowruz. But the omens are not good.

In Iran Standoff, Netanyahu Could Be Bluffing

What Netanyahu has been doing — for the past 15 years, in and out of office — is creating conditions in which U.S., Western and Arab leaders believe that they must deny Iran its dream of nuclear weapons or else suffer the chaotic fallout of a precipitous, paranoia-driven Israeli attack.

Why Iranian Public Opinion Is Turning Against the Nuclear Program

Though many still see it as a point of national pride, this could be an opportunity to pressure Tehran to slow its nuclear pursuit.

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