QUICK READS

Japan in desperate bid to cool reactors Government warns time running out to avert a nuclear accident.
Hit to economy ‘limited’, says Yosano  Spending on rebuilding effort to shore up output

Bahrain Arrests Opposition Leaders Bahrain arrested several opposition leaders and activists in dawn raids on their homes, as the government continued its attempt to stifle the recent uprising on the strategic Gulf island.

Libyans Scramble in Face of Onslaught Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s forces attacked the last rebel-held major city in western Libya and expanded territory near the eastern rebel capital of Benghazi, as the government gained momentum in its bid to reassert control. The Libyan leader’s son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, said military operations against the rebels would be over within 48 hours.

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Approvals halted for new nuclear plants China will suspend approval of new nuclear power stations and assess all nuclear projects, including those under construction, in the wake of the Japan crisis, the State Council said on Wednesday.

Nuclear’s loss not a worry; the new world power is gas With Japan’s catastrophe causing a new distaste for atomic energy, the cheapness of natural gas should allay concerns for the future.

Swiss Raise 2011 Forecast The Swiss government agency Seco said it expects the country’s gross domestic product will expand by around 2.1% this year, up from a previous estimate of 1.5%. It maintained its GDP growth forecast for next year at 1.9%. Consumer price inflation is expected at 1.0% in 2011 and at 0.9% next year, compared with 0.7% and 0.8% respectively in the previous forecast.

Indian inflation

Holdings of US debt cut by $5.4 billion China trimmed its holdings of US debt in January, it’s the third straight month of net selling after China’s holdings of US debt reached a peak of nearly $1.18 trillion in October 2010.

Few Britons Plan to Seek Pay Rise The U.K. public’s inflation expectations rose to their highest in more than two years in February but fewer than one in 10 people would push for higher wages to compensate, according to a Bank of England survey.

Tax Plan Aims for 25% Cap The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee wants to cut the top U.S. tax rate to 25% for individuals and corporations, and cut or eliminate many popular deductions.

Retailers Push Amazon on Taxes Wal-Mart, Target and other large retailers are ratcheting up a political campaign to force Amazon to collect sales taxes, sensing opportunity in the budget crises gripping statehouses nationwide.

On average, US public pension funds expect to generate an 8% average annual return. This despite the fact stock markets have essentially flat-lined over the past decade, bond yields are at historic lows, and prior gains were in many cases because of the Internet, housing and credit bubbles.

OECD calls for rapid rise in retirement age Action urged to ensure pensions are sustainable

 

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