Monday, May 10, 2010


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

fishing grounds.

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.

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