- Ahmadinejad puts the first home-grown rod into a Iranian research reactor. In Thailand, authorities will charge two Iranian nationals with the bombing there. Reza Marashi, Research Director of NIAC, debates (Part 1 & Part 2) the push to bomb Iran.
- In Syria, the government has begun shelling a new city, Hama as the unlikely cheerleaders for democracy, Qatar & Saudi Arabia, endorse a UN resolution that would push for a plural political system. In Homs, the only accounts we have are from citizen journalists risking their lives. President Assad has called for a constitutional referendum to be held in two weeks, but opposition groups, excluded from the drafting of the document, are unlikely to engage (especially if they're still being shelled).
- The Eurozone economy shrank by 0.3% in the fourth quarter of 2011, taking a half step toward recession. In Greece, GDP shrank by nearly 7% in 2011, a dizzyingly high figure. And as a deal nears on tentative a debt forgiveness that would cut the value of bonds held be investors by more than 50%, NPR's Planet Money asked, "Who bought these bonds?"
- As Xi Jinping's visit continues, he and Obama discussed the myriad of issues between the two countries. In only mildly related news, China is seizing iPads because of a trademark spat.
- Egypt will hold presidential elections in May, a month earlier than planned as the military faces growing unrest.
- Romney needs to win big in Michigan, while Santorum is managing expectations and adding a few friends. ** Editorial Note: I really don't like Facebook**
- I agree with my co-editor on Super PACs, but I also agree with Obama that even if you don't like it, you don't unilaterally disarm yourself. In other Obama news, 65% of registered voters polled like the compromise the president proposed on birth control. David Gregory might have been eager on Sunday for another culture war, but your editor thinks it's only happening on the margin.
- And now organic will mean the same thing on both sides of the pond. Your editor doesn't think that means much.