"Economists are pessimists: they've predicted 8 of the last 3 depressions."
--Barry Asmus

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

World News

  • 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).
European Union
  • 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.
United States
  • 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.

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