In an effort to maintain overall EU stability, EU members have re-pledged their commitment to aiding Greece. The EU is ending its 2 day meeting in Brussels today. Meanwhile, the Greek Parliament has agreed to more budgetary cuts which will help it secure funding from the EU – without which the Greek government will default on its debts by mid-July, according to a BBC report. More demonstrations in Athens are expected as the crisis has pitted Greek citizens squarely against their government. A special crisis levy has been approved for all taxpayers, between 1% and 5%, depending on income. This levy, and additional budget cuts, helped close the gap between what the EU wanted and what the Greek government had proposed previously. EU member nations have also paved the way for Greece to gain access to development funds which will help the nation grow its economy.
Refugees fleeing Syria have settled into border towns in Turkey. The U.S. has warned Syria against moving troops so close to Turkey and is concerned about an escalation of conflict in the region. Anti-government protests in Syria have claimed 1200 lives since March. Concerns that Syrian forces are harassing fleeing citizens is a sign of the lengths to which President Assad of Syria will go to threaten its people according to Secretary of State Clinton.
Too much rain
The Souris River flood, which has caused the evacuation of 11,000 of Minot, N.D.’s 14,000 residents, is a direct result of record rainfall upstream in Saskatchewan. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the greater than expected rainfall in that Canadian province coupled with already saturated soil in the area has produced a flood which is simply too large for the existing reservoir system to contain. The already record level flood is expected to get worse as additional rainfall is expected according to the Grand Forks Herald.
Rise in unemployment causes stocks to fall
An unexpected jump in claims for unemployment benefits reported yesterday added to lower new home sales figures for May gave investors two reasons to fear a weakening economy. The Dow dropped almost 60 points and the S&P was also lower for the day. The markets were much lower earlier in the day before the news of progress in the Greek sovereign debt crisis was reported.
Investigators are looking into allegations by some of Google’s competitors that the company is violating antitrust laws. Attorneys general in California, New York and Ohio will look into charges that Google gives preferential treatment to its own services in search results. A concurrent investigation has been launched by the Federal Trade Commission which was revealed in reports broken by the Wall Street Journal. A Reuters report notes that the company may be harmed more by management distraction than the investigations themselves.