Mr Bernanke scared markets after announcing Wednesday that the Federal Reserve will take a more heavy-handed role in the US economy with an “ambitious timetable” of quantitative easing. The announcement fueled a sell-off in equities, bonds and commodities causing world-wide financial turbulence and hitting emerging markets the hardest. People are questioning his earlier optimism in the US economy, the FT reports.

♦ Ashin Wirathu, leader of a radical Buddhist group in Myanmar, has launched a campaign against the country’s Muslim minority, according to the New York Times.

Manhattan-based analysts at United Against Iran, a “privately funded advocacy group,” are trying to keep Iranian merchant ships from breaking economic and trade sanctions via satellite transmissions, navigational data and computer algorithms.

♦ The FT’s Phillip Stephens finds the election of Iranian president Mr. Rohani will likely not stop the country’s development of a nuclear weapon.

China’s central bank has refused to ease the country’s credit crunch by injecting extra cash into the market, which has led to suspicions that the government is to blame.

♦ Actor James Gandolfini died Wednesday, having achieved recognition late in life for his lively characterization of Tony Soprano in the hit television series

♦ Prime Minister Erdogan blames protesters for falling stocks and does not admit to domineering policies, including plans to turn Gezi Park into a shopping mall.

♦ Patrick Cockburn predicts diplomacy will fail in Syria, as more countries and sects enter the fray.

China buys the most Iraqi oil, the New York Times reports.

Reinsurance prices fall, for the first since Katrina, as investors seek hurricane protection.

♦ The Israeli government wants mandatory military service for ultra-conservative Jewish men. 

The reason behind the largest Chinese takeover of a US company to date? Dumplings.

Chinese meat processing firm Shuanghui is aiming to buy Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer. The deal is being driven by Chinese consumers’ soaring demand for wonton dumplings, char sui noodles and other delicious pork-based dishes. 

♦ The FT shows in words and picture how austerity affects the UK and Europe.

♦ After the bumpy start of the BoJ’s stimulus package last month, stock prices fell as bond yields rose. Martin Wolf, FT commentator, says this does not mean Abenomics has failed. 

♦ The UK and France have won the freedom to supply weapons to Syrian rebel groups after they succeeded in dismantling an EU arms embargo in spite of determined opposition from fellow EU member states.

♦ In the face of opposition from home and abroad, Britain’s foreign secretary William Hague says the potential to supply weapons to Syrian rebels has sent a “clear message” to the Assad regime.

♦ The west must take a united stand on Syria, but Russia, Iran and foreign jihadists complicate the issue, says FT Columnist Gideon Rachman.

♦ By aiding the Syrian army, Hizbollah has taken a gamble that could threaten its influence in the Middle East, the New York Times reports. 

Chinese novelists publish tales of military victory online, in the face of censorship.

To avoid “perpetual war” with terrorists, Pres. Obama calls for fewer drone attacks. 

♦ Since 2010, American drone attacks have declined due to unfavourable popular opinion around the world.

♦ The US Attorney’s Office of the Southern district of New York is cozying up to the Wall Street rogues it once deposed, says Kara Scannell.