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OPEC fails to reach deal to hike output

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opecOPEC talks broke down on Wednesday without reaching an agreement to hike output afterSaudi Arabia failed to convince members to lift production to help consumer nations struggling with high fuel costs.

Secretary General Abdullah El-Badri said the effective decision was no change in policy and that OPEC hoped to meet again in three months time to assess the situation.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf producers had been seeking to push through an increase to help the economies of consumer nations, but price hawks such as Iran, Venezuela and Algeria refused to consider a hike.

Oil prices, jumped more then $2 a barrel, pushing U.S. crude above $100 a barrel, after the news.

Following are comments from analysts, brokers and traders:

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New Yorkers split whether Anthony Weiner should resign

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Anthony_WeinerRepublican leaders called Tuesday for the resignation of New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, putting pressure on leaders of his party who have stopped short of demanding that the embattled lawmaker step down over a sexting scandal.Mr. Weiner apologized Monday for trading lewd photos and text messages online after his marriage and then lying about it when he was exposed by a conservative website. But by asserting that he wouldn't resign, he failed to put an end to the uproar that has overshadowed his party's political agenda for nearly two weeks.

On Tuesday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called for Mr. Weiner to resign and challenged House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to explain whether they "believe members of Congress are held to a different set of standards."

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Tech-excited

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techo-excitedBy Christina Kostopoulou

With Linkedin marking an impressive IPO, many investors wonder how risky it is to invest money in the tech industry.  Is it another tech bubble or there’s real profit to be made?

In recent years we have seen very few IPOs as the stock market stays relatively closed to new technology companies.  But if we take a closer look at the industry we’ll see that there are many high tech companies out there; technologically innovative companies that have gone public or are ready to do so.

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22 deaths in Europe by E.Coli

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E.ColiThe death toll in Europe from the outbreak of a virulent strain of E. coli bacteria rose to 22 on Sunday.  

European health authorities reported the deaths of an additional three people in Germany. Except for one woman who died in Sweden after a visit to Germany, all of the fatalities have been within German borders.

Experts are still searching for the source of the highly contagious bacteria, which can cause acute kidney failure. German officials told reporters Sunday that the culprit may be locally grown bean sprouts.

Health authorities say about 2,000 people, most of them in Germany, have been infected.  Ten other European nations and the United States have reported 90 infected people, nearly all of whom have recently been in northern Germany.
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Someone stop Sarah

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palinWhile Sarah Palin said today she still doesn’t know whether she’ll run for president in 2012, she said she’s certain about something else -- her American history.

Palin attracted some attention last week during her bus tour up the Eastern seaboard for saying that Paul Revere actually warned the British and not the colonists ahead of the Revolutionary War.

“You know what, I didn’t mess up about Paul Revere,” Palin said in an interview of “Fox News Sunday.” Here’s what Paul revere did, he warned the Americans that the British were coming, the British were coming, and they were going to try to take our arms away and we gotta make sure that we were protecting ourselves and shoring up all our ammunitions and our firearms so that they couldn’t take them, but remember that the British had already been there.”

Here’s how Palin re-told the classic Revolutionary War-era story last week while visiting Revere’s house in Boston:

"He who warned the, the British that they weren't gonna be taking away our arms, uh, by ringing those bells and, um, by making sure that as he's riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that, uh, we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free, and we were gonna be armed," the former Alaska governor said.

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ΝΑΤΟ helicopter crashes killing two

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nato_helicopter_crashTwo NATO service members died when their helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan Sunday, the latest in a string of crashes in recent weeks that remain under investigation.

A NATO spokesman in eastern Afghanistan said the helicopter in Sunday’s crash went down in the Sabari District of Khost Province, a mountainous area near the Pakistan border, where insurgent activity has been among the heaviest this spring. The spokesman said two crew members were airlifted from the site but provided no other details, including the nationality of the two who were killed.

The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for shooting down the aircraft, but NATO officials in Kabul said initial reports showed no hostile activity in the area.

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14 dead at Golan border

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golan_borderIsraeli soldiers fired on protesters trying to breach the country’s frontier fence with Syria on the anniversary of the 1967 Middle East War. At least 14 people were killed, according to Syrian state television.

Some 225 people were wounded, Syrian television said. An Israeli soldier could be heard telling protesters through a loudspeaker in live Syrian television coverage: “If you cross the fence you will be killed.” Israeli soldiers shot at demonstrators’ legs after firing warning shots, Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai, Israel’s chief military spokesman, said on Channel 2 television.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today that security forces would act with “determination” to prevent “extremist elements in the region” from penetrating the frontier.

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Johann Hari: It's not just Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The IMF itself should be on trial

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imfSometimes, the most revealing aspect of the shrieking babble of the 24/7 news agenda is the silence. Often the most important facts are hiding beneath the noise, unmentioned and undiscussed.

So the fact that Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is facing trial for allegedly raping a maid in a New York hotel room is – rightly – big news. But imagine a prominent figure was charged not with raping a maid, but starving her to death, along with her children, her parents, and thousands of other people. That is what the IMF has done to innocent people in the recent past. That is what it will do again, unless we transform it beyond all recognition. But that is left in the silence.

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Unemployment in the U.S. rises again

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jobsThe nation's job market took a sharp turn for the worse last month as employers abruptly curbed their hiring and the unemployment rate inched up — grim evidence that the economic recovery was faltering.

The new Labor Department report, which showed the unemployment rate rising to 9.1%, was bad news for millions of Americans seeking work and for the hundreds of thousands of newly minted college graduates whose prospects are increasingly uncertain.

But beyond those looking for work, the downturn in hiring signaled continuing troubles for the rest of the nation: A weaker economy — along with the increased risk of sliding into a new recession — reduces the likelihood that personal income will rise or that families will better themselves financially in other ways.

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Jack Kevorkian dies at 83

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Jack_KevorkianJack Kevorkian, the pathologist known as Dr Death who claimed to have helped 130 people commit suicide when terminally ill, died on Friday in Detroit. He was 83 and had been in hospital since last month with pneumonia.

Kevorkian's rise to fame, or infamy, in the 1990s led to a national debate in the United States on assisted suicide. He built a suicide machine, known as the Mercitron or Thanatron, which he operated out of a Volkswagen van to inject a lethal drug dose for people who sought his help in dying. After one of his injections was shown on national television, he served eight years in jail for murder, but lived to see his life made into an award-winning HBO movie last year, starring Al Pacino.

Kervokian provocatively likened himself to Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi, but the American Medical Association called him "a reckless instrument of death" who posed a great threat to the public.

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