DIPLOMATIC ties between India and Pakistan, severed after the Mumbai terror attack 15 months ago, may be improved by a meeting of senior diplomats from the two countries on Thursday February 25th. India's prime minister, Manmohan Singh, faces stiff domestic opposition to rapprochement with Pakistan, which was strengthened after a recent bomb attack in Pune in western Maharashtra that killed 11. Many people point fingers at Pakistan's security services after such bombings and most Indians reckon
Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence agency was behind the Mumbai attack. Concerns over terrorism will doubtless dominate the talks.
• THE European Commission will recommend on Wednesday February 24th that the EU begins accession talks with Iceland that could lead to its becoming a member by 2012. Iceland is well prepared for membership—it is already a member of the single market and the border free Schengen zone. But Iceland's membership could be held
up until it reaches a deal on €3.9 billion ($5.5 billion) owed to the
British and Dutch governments for compensation paid to savers with
Icelandic banks that collapsed during the credit crisis. Iceland also
faces tricky negotiations over access by other EU members to its rich
AN AMERICAN congressional committee will grill Toyota's boss, Akio
Toyoda, over the company's recent recall of millions of vehicles over throttles that
jam open and failing brakes on Wednesday February 24th. The Japanese carmaker's chief executive had hoped to avoid attending the hearing at which Ray LaHood,
America's transportation secretary, and other officials concerned with
vehicle safety will give evidence. But the latest scare, over the
steering on the company's Corolla model, threatened more battering
for Toyota's faltering reputation and convinced Mr Toyoda to avoid
further criticism by appearing in person before the committee to
explain the company's actions.
• A LEGAL case to be decided on Friday February 26th looks set to
widen Thailand's already deep political divide. The country's Supreme
Court will rule on whether or not to confiscate 76 billion baht ($2.3
billion) of assets belonging to Thaksin Shinawatra, a former prime
minister. The funds were frozen after a coup in 2006 that ousted Mr
Thaksin, who remains in exile even though millions of his redshirted
supporters want him back.