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


Soldier suspected in Afghanistan massacre to meet with lawyers

Reuters– A lawyer representing the U.S. soldier implicated in the massacre of 16 villagers inAfghanistan said on Saturday he and other members of the defense team would spend several days with him in the week ahead.

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales is in solitary confinement at a military detention center Read more of this post

Euro zone ministers to sign off Greek cash, grill Spain

Reuters– Euro zone finance ministers will sign off on a second bailout for Greece on Monday and shift their focus to Spain, whose government looks set to violate newly agreed EU budget rules by missing its deficit target again this year.

Greece, the bloc’s original problem debtor, swapped its privately held bonds at the weekend for new, longer maturity paper Read more of this post

Fed set to keep policy unchanged

Financial Time– A lack of simple options for monetary easing and big unanswered questions about the economy mean the US Federal Reserve is set to leave policy unchanged when its rate-setting committee meets on Tuesday.

Ben Bernanke, Fed chairman, has spelt out the economic conundrum in testimony to Congress: the US labour market Read more of this post

Portugal Should Follow Greece’s Example on Debt Relief: View

Greece has taken a big step toward getting the debt relief it needs to fix its economy and stay in the euro area. Now the question is whether other strapped countries that use the single currency should follow its lead.

Despite the Greek deal’s flaws and they are many it offers a model that some other sovereigns will inevitably be tempted to experiment with, no matter how much European officials insist on Greece’s uniqueness. The legal precedent is set: By retroactively inserting so-called collective-action clauses in its debt contracts 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