- In the wake of last week's protests, which forced President Hosni Mubarak out of office, the Egyptian cabinet approved a law yesterday that criminalises strikes, protests, demonstrations, and sit-ins that interrupt private or state owned businesses or affect the economy in any way. Individuals who call for or incite action can be sentenced to up to one year in prison and fined up to half a million pounds. The law has to be approved by the Supreme council of the Armed Forces, and would be in force as long as Egypt is in a state of emergency (currently, 30 years and counting).
- The Telegraph is reporting that the European Commission has released plans to create a "single European transport area" intended to create "a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers" by 2050. Goals include getting 50% of all travel over 186 miles to be made by rail, and reducing the number of gasoline and diesel-driven cars and trucks within cities by half by 2031 and to 0 by 2050. Opposition to the plan is already beginning to be heard.
- In an opinion piece written for al Jazeera, economist Robert Shiller expresses his belief that the next market bubbles will be in food and farm land.
- Immediate safety upgrades have been ordered at all 55 of Japan's nuclear power plants. The required upgrades include improved back-up power and having fire trucks with hoses ready at all times to ensure cooling for reactors and spent fuel pools. Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Banri Kaidea does not anticipate that these upgrades will require plant operations to be halted.
- Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), which has already secured $24 billion in private loans, has warned that this will not be enough to keep it afloat, repair damage at Fukushima and other sites, and pay reparations and other damages they anticipate.
- Rebel forces have been driven out of the oil town of Ras Lanuf under heavy bombardment from the Libyan army.
- OPEC oil production has not compensated for production losses in Libya. Production has fallen about 300,000 barrels per day from February's average, although some analysts are expecting to see Saudi Arabia begin boosting output further to compensate.
- President Obama is preparing a speech in which he will outline his strategy to reach an announced goal of cutting US oil imports by a third over 10 years. The plan is expected to focus on increasing domestic energy production, encouraging the use of more natural gas in public transit, making vehicles more fuel efficient, and encouraging the use of biofuels and other alternative energies.
- Al Jazeera is reporting an increase in illnesses and deaths along the Gulf Coast due to the chemical dispersants used by BP.