POLITICS IN 60 SECONDS: What You Need To Know Right Now

Protests in Bahrain

Good morning.  Here’s what you need to know right now:

1.  Japan edged closer to a full-scale nuclear disaster.  Markets reeled on the news.  The Nikkei was down more than 10 per cent.  An immense human tragedy is unfolding. 

2.  Over 1000 Saudi troops rolled to the rescue of Bahrain’s royal family yesterday.  The battle of Bahrain is widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

3.  Bahrain’s main opposition parties warned that the Saudi intervention was a “blatant occupation” and “undeclared war” by armed troops.  They promised to press ahead with demonstrations.

4.  Bahrain is home to the Fifth Fleet of the United States Navy.  The Pentagon is keeping close tabs on developments there. 

5. German Chancellor Angela Merkel appears poised to win domestic approval for her Eurozone rescue package.  Both of the major political parties in her ruling coalition endorsed the plan.

6.  Landon Thomas gets at the root of the Eurozone debt trap:  “the debt of countries like Greece and Ireland will merely increase in….a snowball effect, as the interest rate on the government’s debt grows faster than the stagnating economies.  That problem will only be compounded when the European Central Bank increases interest rates, as it has warned it will do.  The result is that the faster and deeper these countries cut, the more slowly they grow, with the perverse effect that their debt ends up increasing instead of decreasing.”

7.  Voters in Germany oppose Chancellor Merkel’s Eurozone rescue package and will likely take it out on her at the next available opportunity.  Across Europe, there has been a strong political reaction against Eurozone “bail-out” schemes. 

8.  Activist GOP voters in Iowa see America as a nation in decline.  This is the sound-track to the campaign that is underway there.

9.  Conservatives in Congress are balking at going along with another continuing resolution to keep the government from shutting down.  They say they want any continuing resolution to be coupled with serious deficit reduction.

10.  DNC Chairman (and former Virginia Governor) Tim Keane told a college class yesterday that he was likely to run for the United States Senate in 2012.  This, if true, would be good news for the Democratic Party as it struggles to hold on to its Senate majority.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.