On Web, a Fine Line on Free Speech Across the Globe

New York Times – For Google last week, the decision was clear. An anti-Islamic video that provoked violence worldwide was not hate speech under its rules because it did not specifically incite violence against Muslims, even if it mocked their faith.

he White House was not so sure, and it asked Google to reconsiderthe determination, a request the company rebuffed.

Although the administration’s request was unusual, for Google, it represented the kind of delicate balancing act that Internet companies confront every day.

These companies, which include communications media like Facebook and Twitter, write their own edicts about what kind of expression is allowed, things as diverse as pointed political criticism, nudity and Read more of this post


Egypt Reports February Inflation Accelerated on Increases in Food Prices

Egypt’s inflation rate accelerated in February on rising food prices, one of the causes of unrest that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

The annual inflation rate in urban parts of Egypt, the gauge the central bank monitors, increased to 9.2 percent from 8.6 percent in January, the official statistics agency said on its website today. Food and beverage costs, the biggest component of the consumer-price index, increased an annualized 12.6 percent compared with 11.2 percent in January.

February’s higher inflation figure follows “a depreciated exchange rate as compared to the previous year,” said Nada Farid Read more of this post

Angela Merkel and I.M.F. Chief Christine Lagarge Split Over Debt

BERLIN– With a deal on Greek debt finally done, Europe will shift its attention to two of its most powerful women, friends who have dueling views about what needs to be done to prevent future Greek-like meltdowns from spreading to other economies.

The International Monetary Fund’s managing director, Christine Lagarde, who is French, finds herself on a collision course with ChancellorAngela Merkel of Germany, posing a test for the unusually close relationship between the two leaders. They have opposing Read more of this post