Monthly Archives: March 2011

I am in the Netherlands, where it has just been announced that the trial of Geert Wilders, a populist, anti-Muslim politician, will go ahead in a couple  of weeks time. Wilders is charged with inciting racial hatred by comparing Islam with Nazism. In theory, he could be sent to prison, if found guilty. Read more

I was not one of the reported billion people to watch the India-Pakistan cricket match on television. But it sounds like an exciting game, and I think it is probably in the interests of world peace that India won on home soil. Read more

The British military are in action in the skies above Libya. But today has also brought a couple of unwelcome examples of post-imperial overstretch.

First, came the story that the Ministry of Defence are trying to sell the Ark Royal, Britain’s aircraft carrier, using an online auction. Selling an unwanted parrot on E-Bay is one thing – but flogging off old warships on the internet seems a trifle undignified. Also, possibly, unwise – given that the coalition government seems to have developed a taste for conflict. The building of new aircraft carriers has been commissioned. But the next one will not come into service until 2020, which seems rather a long time, given the pace of current events. Read more

The war in Libya is about a lot more than Muammer Gaddafi. Its outcome will reverberate around the Middle East and will affect international politics for decades. A vital principle is at stake.

As the Libyan rebels race along the coast towards Tripoli, foreign ministers from 35 nations are gathering in London to discuss what to do next. At least, I think that’s what they are doing. Talking to participants in the London conference, it isn’t entirely clear what the agenda is. Formally, they are establishing a “contact group” of 35 nations that can monitor and discuss the Libyan conflict. Informally, it seems to me there are several other goals. Read more

In this week’s podcast: Seven days into the allied military action, Colonel Gaddafi holds on; we ask, is Portugal about to succumb to Eurozone fever?; terrorism returns to Jerusalem – is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict about to turn violent again?  Read more

There has been a certain amount of sniggering about the fact that it was Obama’s female advisers who were most prominent in pressing for military intervention in Libya, while the men hung back. Amongst the interventionists were the evocatively-named pair of Power and Slaughter – that is Samantha Power on the National Security Council and Anne-Marie Slaughter, who recently stepped down as head of the Policy Planning staff at the State Department and tweeted effectively from her new perch at Princeton. And then there was Susan Rice, the US ambassador at the UN and, finally (and decisively), Hillary Clinton. Read more

As events unfold in Libya and across the wider region, the FT is running live coverage on Gideon Rachman’s blog. This post will update automatically. Read more

The argument over whether to fight in Libya had many aspects to it – ideology, national interest, diplomacy, military calculation. But the most important divide in the western world was temperamental. The Libyan debate pitted the hotheads against the ditherers. The leaders of the hotheads are Nicolas Sarkozy, president of France, and David Cameron, the prime minister of Britain. The ditherer-in-chief is Barack Obama, the US president, backed up by Angela Merkel, the German chancellor.

As events unfold in Libya, the FT will be running live coverage on Gideon Rachman’s blog. This post will update every few minutes, although it may take longer on mobile devices. Read more

A tank being struck by a missileAs events unfold in Libya, the FT will be running live coverage on Gideon Rachman’s blog. Read more

As events unfold in Libya, the FT will be running live coverage on Gideon Rachman’s blog.

By Kiran Stacey in London and Anora Mahmudova in New York. All times are GMT, Libya is 2 hours ahead.

For the latest coverage, please go to our March 20th live blog.

23.40 Via Reuters: Libya has called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council after it was bombarded by a coalition of Western states, Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya reported without giving a source or details about the purpose of such a meeting. Read more

We are borrowing Gideon’s blog to cover the aftermath of Japan’s earthquake and the country’s nuclear crisis. Please keep your comments coming and please send us any images you have to japan.quake.ft@gmail.com if you are in Japan. This post will update every few minutes, although it may take longer on mobile devices. You can also get updates via @FTAsiaNews on Twitter. Read more

In this week’s show: Japan – the aftermath of the quake and the desperate efforts to avert a meltdown at nuclear plant Fukushima, with Mure Dickie and Stefan Wagstyl, and the continuing unrest in the Middle East with David Gardner, Robin Wigglesworth and Simeon Kerr. Presented by James Blitz. Produced by LJ Filotrani Read more

We are borrowing Gideon’s blog to cover the aftermath of Japan’s earthquake and the country’s nuclear crisis. Please keep your comments coming and please send us any images you have to japan.quake.ft@gmail.com if you are in Japan. Read more

We are borrowing Gideon’s blog to cover Japan’s earthquake. Please keep your comments coming, and please send us any images you have to japan.quake.ft@gmail.com if you are in Japan.

For rolling coverage of global market reaction to events in Japan, follow Jamie Chisholm here.

All times are London time, Japan is 9 hours ahead. By Josh Noble and Kanupriya Kapoor in Hong Kong, Leyla Boulton in London, Johanna Kassel and Anora Mahmudova in New York.

2040 - For more on the market reaction to the crisis in Japan, we turn to our colleagues on FT Alphaville for the financial perspective and fascinating commentary on the markets. Some of their Japanese offerings today:

And join the US Alphaville team for US markets live at 10 am EST on Friday for a lively discussion of the week’s events, including Japan, and how they influenced the market. Read more

We are borrowing Gideon’s blog to cover Japan’s earthquake. Please keep your comments coming, and please send us any images you have to japan.quake.ft@gmail.com if you are in Japan.

For global market reaction to events in Japan, you can follow Jamie Chisholm’s rolling coverage.

All times are London time, Japan is 9 hours ahead. By Josh Noble and Kanupriya Kapoor in Hong Kong, Orla Ryan and Leyla Boulton in London, Johanna Kassel and Anora Mahmudova in New York.

2055A bit more on the financial implications:

From Reuters:  Some foreign financial institutions are calling for Japan’s stock market to halt trading, while the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Japanese financial regulators are planning to keep markets open, news agency Nikkei reported.

The news agency said officials from more than 10 non-Japanese financial firms held a conference call Tuesday afternoon. Some firms called for the market to be closed immediately, Nikkei reported, citing people familiar with the discussion.

CBOE Holdings Chief Executive William Brodsky pointed out that markets in Japan rallied after Tuesday’s decline, allowing investors to express their confidence in Japan’s ability to recover.

“When you run markets, you want to keep them open whenever possible, because you don’t want to create panic that people who need to get out can’t get out,” said Mr Brodsky, who was also formerly head of the World Federation of Exchanges. “To voluntarily close a market makes no sense.”

2045 - US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said the United States’ focus on Japan is to help it limit the human costs of last week’s earthquake and tsunami.

“It a hard judgment to make at this stage. Our focus now is, as it should be, on trying to do as much as we can to help them mitigate the humanitarian costs of the catastrophe there, and we’ll offer them every assistance we can and help make sure that the restructuring effort itself is handled as carefully as possible.”

2033 - From Kyodo: To address the crisis at the No 4 reactor, plant operator Tepco asked for the help of a special water cannon truck used by the Metropolitan Police Department to douse water on the reactor’s spent fuel rod pool. The truck arrived at the Fukushima power station early Thursday. Read more

We are using Gideon’s blog to cover Japan’s earthquake and are tapping our correspondents around the world. Please keep your comments coming, and please send us any images you have to japan.quake.ft@gmail.com if you are in Japan. All times are London time, Japan is 9 hours ahead.  Read more

These days no European summit is complete without a new deal to solve the eurozone debt crisis. It is always interesting to see how long it takes for the markets to lose faith in the latest solution. Sometimes the fix lasts for months, sometimes for weeks, sometimes just for days

We are borrowing Gideon’s blog to cover Japan’s earthquake. We are tapping our correspondents around the world. Please keep your comments coming, and please send us any images you have to japan.quake.ft@gmail.com if you are in Japan. All times are London time, Japan is 9 hours ahead. Read more