World View: Italy’s Bond Rating Cut over Deteriorating Economic Outlook
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.
- France expects the West to deploy military forces in Mali
- Hundreds slaughtered in Syrian village by Assad regime
- Italy's bond rating cut because of deteriorating economic outlook
- China continues buildup in South China Sea, as negotiations collapse
France expects the West to deploy military forces in MaliIn a significant change in policy, France is now considering Western military intervention in Mali. The change was triggered by the spread in northern Mali of Ansar al-Dine (Defenders of Faith), a terrorist group linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Mali's government in Bamako in southern Mali has been in complete chaos for several months, following a coup, allowing the Tuareg ethnic group to take control of northern Mali earlier this year. However, since then, the Tuaregs have been displaced by Ansar al-Dine militant terrorists.
To a great extent, this is all a consequence of last year's war in Libya. The Tuaregs were the principal defenders of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and when he lost, the well-trained Tuareg fighters returned and took control of northern Mali. Then the Islamists moved in and displaced the Tuaregs, and they are extremely well armed, thanks to large stores of sophisticated weapons that fell into their hands following the collapse of Libya's government.
According to France's foreign minister Laurent Fabius:
"It's a serious situation because it is the first time terrorists have taken root in important cities and could be in a situation to implant themselves in an entire country. They have a lot of money, heavy weapons, they are ready to die and their main enemy is France. You have this risk ... and threat that what is happening in northern Mali can happen in other areas."What Fabius is referring to is not only the spread of violence throughout the Maghreb (northern Africa), but also the use of northern Mali as a base for launching terrorist attacks on France and the rest of Europe. Telegraph
Hundreds slaughtered in Syrian village by Assad regimeIn one of Syria's bloodiest days, Syrian government troops and pro-regime military have massacred over 200 people, mostly civilians, in a village near Hama. According to one activist, "We have reports of more than 220 killed. So far, we have 20 victims recorded with names and 60 bodies at a mosque. There are more bodies in the fields, bodies in the rivers and in houses … people were trying to flee from the time the shelling started and whole families were killed trying to escape." Guardian
Italy's bond rating cut because of deteriorating economic outlookThere's really bad news about Europe's economy almost every day, and Thursday's bad news was that Moody's Investors Service cut Italy's bond rating by two notches, citing a deteriorating economic outlook:
"Italy’s near-term economic outlook has deteriorated, as manifest in both weaker growth and higher unemployment, which creates risk of failure to meet fiscal consolidation targets. Failure to meet fiscal targets in turn could weaken market confidence further, raising the risk of a sudden stop in market funding."Moody’s also cited "increasingly fragile market confidence, contagion risk emanating from Greece and Spain and signs of an eroding non-domestic investor base." Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal have all had bailouts approved, and Cyprus is under consideration. A need for a bailout of Italy would send the euro crisis-o-meter several notches higher. Bloomberg