- Belgium is celebrating one full year without a government today. Caretaker Prime Minister Yves Leterme says three more months will be required to form a coalition government. Belgium's economy grew at an annualized rate of 1.6% during the lack of a government, and it's budget deficit has fallen below 5% of GDP.
- Cambodian and Thai troops continue to exchange fire along a disputed border, bringing the six day death toll to 14. Portions of the Thai-Cambodian border have never been formally set, and most of the current fighting is near two temples claimed by both sides.
- The Tungurahua volcanoe has begun spewing a 4 mile high cloud of ash, and monitors have detected six eruptions of various strength. Residents living near the volcano have been evacuated.
- A pipeline carrying gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan has exploded near El-Arish, after being attacked by an armed gang.
- Much like they did with the US last week, Standard and Poor's has issued a negative outlook for Japan's credit rating. They are concerned that the issues that led them to cut Japan's sovereign credit rating to AA- in February have not been addressed, nor do they see a comprehensive plan to shore up public finances in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami.
- Critics of NATO are now accusing the West of attempting to overthrow a regime by stretching the terms of a UN resolution. African Union officials accused NATO nations of undermining an AU peace plan, while Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin asked "Is there a lack of such crooked regimes in the world? Are we going to bomb everywhere and conduct missile strikes?"
- A team from the UN Human Rights Council has arrived in Tripoli to investigate reports of human rights violations in Libya. Their mandate is to examine alleged human rights violations by the Libyan military. There is no word as to whether they will be looking into rebel or NATO actions as well. The Libyan government has indicated that it will cooperate with the investigation.
- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has condemned Syria for using tanks and live ammunition against protesters, and said Syrian authorities have an obligation to respect human rights. The response of the Syrian envoy to the UN was to offer to have Syria undertake the investigation into possible human rights abuses within Syria.
- Witnesses have seen at least 30 Syrian army tanks near the Golan Heights, heading in the direction of Deraa (the city where pro-democracy protests are being broken up by sniper fire and tanks). For bonus concern, the Golan Heights is Syria's border with Israel.
- Now that the Dalai Lama has stepped down and leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Dr. Lobsang Sangay has been elected Prime Minister.
- In an effort to reduce congestion in the Bosporus Strait, Turkey plans to build a 150 meter wide "Canal Istanbul" to link the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara - the exact location to be disclosed later. Indulging in a fit of hyperbole, Prime Minister Recep Erdogan stated "We are rolling up our sleeves for Canal Istanbul, one of the greatest projects of the centuries that will outshine the Panama and Suez canals."
- UK GDP has grown by 0.5% in Q1 2011, reducing concerns about the risk of a double-dip recession. However, given that Q4 2010 had a 0.5% decline in GDP, this means that the UK is not yet back to where it was at the end of Q3 2010.
- Gearing up for the 2012 presidential elections, Republicans are attempting to assign the blame for the currently high oil prices to President Obama.
- President Obama has announced that he will nominate CIA director Leon Panetta to be Secretary of Defense when Robert Gates retires, and has indicated that he will nominate General David Petraeus to the position of CIA director.
- The Alien Telescope Array in California, a key part of the SETI Institute's search for extraterrestrial life, has been shut down after the institute's budget was cut to one-tenth its normal level.
- Pimco marketing strategist and portfolio manager Anthony Cresenzi has, in commentary on Pimco's website, compared the Federal Reserve's QE and QEII programs to a Ponzi scheme. "Investors are no doubt worried they may have bought into an unsustainable scheme: the creation of a scourge of debt so large that the Fed itself has had to purchase the debt to keep the game going."
 No specific moral here or anything. I'm just repeating what the article said .