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Euro summit: something to kill time with while waiting for the fate of the world to be decided

Which country is the greatest credit risk? The one S & P is thinking of downgrading from AAA or the one whose interest rates are low and whose AAA seems to be copper fastened?
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Wonder what he's thinking? Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos arrives for his first EU summit. (GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images)

IN the next 24 hours, while the leaders of the EU, have dinner and decide the fate of the global economy and the coming epoch in history. (Hyperbole always precedes reality.) You could do worse than peruse Euromoney Country Risk published by Euromoney magazine.


Britain expels Iranian diplomats over 'outrageous' embassy attack

"The Iranian Government must recognise that there will be serious consequences for failing to protect our staff," warned British Prime Minister David Cameron.

UK: Iraqi civilians win right to fresh inquiry into alleged torture by British soldiers

Soldiers and interrogators working for the UK government are accused of carrying out torture and inhumane and degrading treatment against civilian detainees in Iraq between 2003 and 2008.

EU: Sarkozy, Cameron row at eurozone crisis talks

French President Sarkozy told Britain's Prime Minister Cameron to "shut up" after he insisted that the UK should have a say in talks to decide a response to Europe's debt crisis, despite not using the euro single currency.

British inflation hits three year high

Inflation is now over 5 percent, wages - for those with jobs - are not keeping pace.
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British Prime Minister David Cameron at a conference on energy prices yesterday. Today's inflation figures show that energy costs are the main factor in driving inflation in Britain to a three-year high (WPA Pool/AFP/Getty Images)
Economic news from Britain continues to be bad. News from Israel/Palestine for a change is good.

Europe: Some good economic news at the edges

Britain and Ireland show improved trade figures
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Jason Riddle, co-founder of 'Save Our Savers' lifts a giant papier mache piggy bank outside the Bank of England in London on October 6, 2011. The Bank of England agreed to inject $116 billion into the British economy on Oct. 6, 2011. (Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images)

It's not all doom and gloom:

1. The UK's trade deficit has unexpectedly narrowed according to data released today. Figures for August showed the deficit was down to £7.8 ($12.8 billion). Economists had expected that figure to be £8.8.

The reason is partly a new method for computing the trade figures but also a rise in exports of fuel, food and drinks. (It can't be the beer that is selling so well overseas.  Presumably Scotch is being exported in large quantities to the continent. Despite the euro zone crisis, the single currency has gained value against the pound. So a bottle of whiskey is nowhere near as expensive as it was a few years ago.  I suppose people on the continent need a stiff drink to help them cope with the Greek situation and their overall economic slowdown.)

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