Tonight’s news feed may have set a record: 131 news items. There are so many important stories here that it’s hard to pick out the highlights.
Civil unrest and demonstrations continue throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The latest country to experience Arab “people power” is Bahrain, in which there have been violent demonstrations and a police response that caused at least one death. In Egypt, a female American television journalist was raped and beaten, and is now in a Cairo hospital. Demonstrations are stirring in Morocco, Algeria, and Libya, and there is renewed violence in Tunisia and Yemen.
The side-effect of all the violence in North Africa is a continuing flood of refugees across the Mediterranean to Italy. The Italian security services are concerned that Al Qaeda operatives may be infiltrating, disguised as refugees. Italy has demanded that the EU pay €100 million towards the costs of dealing with the refugees. The Council of Europe has told the Italians that they may not send any refugees back, but will have to take care of them.
In financial news, the Eurozone finance ministers have agreed to double the lending capacity of the EU’s permanent bailout fund. Meanwhile, Greece and Portugal are suffering from public transport strikes in protest of the latest austerity measures aimed at reducing government deficits. Italy experienced a record budget deficit in 2010, and Syria had an inflation rate of 6.32% last year. The World Bank has issued a warning about the dangerously inflationary price of food.
To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.
Thanks to Barry Rubin, C. Cantoni, DF, Fjordman, Gaia, Insubria, JD, JP, KGS, McR, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.
Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.
Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.