03 August 2010

Power and Policy Team update (English)

Italy no-confidence vote on Wednesday
The vote will be a test to see if Berlusconi’s ruling coalition can survive the defection a breakaway faction of 33 members (Gianfranco Fini and his new Future and Liberty group). It’s not clear what the result will be. The motion was brought by opposition parties, not by the breakaway faction, and the Future and Liberty group considers itself center-right (same as ruling government coalition).

U.S. Fed considers “symbolic shift”

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Fed is considering a “modest but symbolically important change in the management of their massive securities portfolio “ in a meeting next week, in the wake of a slowdown in growth. It might use the cash it receives fom mature mortgage-bond holdings to buy new mortgage or Treasury bonds, instead of allowing its portfolio to slowly shrink. Here is the complete article.

North Korea continues to threaten the South with retaliation, in response to a series of war drills planned by the South to start on Thursday. These exercises are considered by the North as a direct military invasion. (NYT)

Pakistan and Afghanistan
According to the Pakistani president, the war against the Taliban is being lost. The international community, he said, has failed to win hearts and minds. These declarations were made just before his visit to the UK, with whom relations are tense after the accusations following the document leaks, which accused Pakistan of playing a double game in the Afghan war, and David Cameron’s cozy visit to India. (The Guardian)

Patrick Signoret and Isabel Gil

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