Eurozone's economic growth accelerates

The economy of the 17 countries that use the euro grew by 0.8% in the first three months of 2011, up from 0.3% in the previous quarter.
Germany was largely responsible for the better-than-expected figure, reporting growth of 1.5% in the period.
There was a surprisingly strong 0.8% growth rate from debt-laden Greece.
France grew 1%, Italy and Spain grew 0.1% and 0.3% respectively and Portugal slid into recession after contracting for the second quarter in a row.
Growth there declined by 0.7%, following a 0.6% contraction in the final quarter of 2010.
"This is almost certainly as good as it gets for the eurozone and growth seems likely to moderate over the coming months in face of significant headwinds," said Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight.
'Huge positive surprise'


Thailand to organize large-scale expo in Cambodia despite recent clashes

May 12, 2011

Thailand is to organize a large-scale trade expo here next week in order to boost bilateral trade with Cambodia despite the unsolved border dispute, said a Thai trade official on Wednesday.

The event will be run from May 19-22 at Phnom Penh's Diamond Island Exhibition Center with the participation of 260 Thai booths in order to promote Thai products in Cambodia, Jiranan Wongmongkol, director of the Thai embassy's Foreign Trade Promotion Office in Phnom Penh, said a press briefing.

Spain earthquake: Thousands in Lorca sleep out in fear

Residents in Lorca stay outside after the earthquake on 11/5/11  
Many chose to stay outside for fear of aftershocks or to be near their homes
Thousands of people have spent the night outdoors in the southern Spanish town of Lorca after an earthquake which killed at least eight people.
The magnitude-5.2 tremor toppled several buildings after striking at a depth of just 10km (six miles), 120km south-west of Alicante.
Lines of cars lay crushed under tonnes of rubble after Spain's worst earthquake for 50 years.
Wednesday evening's quake came about two hours after a 4.4-magnitude tremor.
Regional officials on Thursday put the official death toll at eight, revising it down from 10. It is not clear how many people were injured, although Spanish media say there are dozens with some in a critical condition.
Military deployed Shocked residents and workers rushed out of buildings and gathered in squares, parks and open spaces after the quake struck at 1847 (1647 GMT) in the town in Murcia region.
Old buildings were badly damaged.
Spanish TV captured dramatic images of a church bell tower crashing to the ground, landing just metres from a cameraman.
As night fell, many of Lorca's 90,000 residents were either unable or still too afraid to return to their homes.
Mayor Francisco Jodar said as many as a third of the population slept out.
The Red Cross had set up a temporary shelter with 800 beds on the edge of town, but many people preferred to "sleep outside" to be near their homes or for fear of aftershocks, spokeswoman Carla Vera said.
Many people spent the night huddled under blankets in parks and other open spaces including an outdoor basketball court and playgrounds.
"We know we live near a fault line but we never thought this would happen," Lorca resident Pepe Tomas, 56, said.
"People are afraid. No-one here has ever seen anything like this before."
Ms Vera said the Red Cross has moved in 24 ambulances and set up three ambulances.
The interior ministry says 225 emergency military units and 400 workers, including rescuers with dogs, have been sent to Lorca.
Some 350 ambulances have transferred 400 patients out of two of the town's hospitals, the regional government said.
Spain has hundreds of earthquakes every year but most of them are too small to be noticed.
Murcia is the country's most seismically active area and suffered tremors in 2005 and 1999. It is close to the large faultline beneath the Mediterranean Sea where the European and African continents meet.

General Motors to invest $2bn in US

Chevrolet Corvette C6  
The investment will include the production line for a planned new version of the Corvette
General Motors (GM) has announced plans to invest $2bn in the US.
The decision will secure 4,000 jobs at 17 plants across the country for the next 18 months, according to chief executive Dan Akerson.
"We are doing this because we are confident about demand for our vehicles and the economy," he said, speaking at a factory in Toledo, Ohio.
It comes a week after the US carmaking giant reported first quarter profits that had tripled versus a year ago.
The $3.2bn (£1.95bn) earnings for the first three months of the year were boosted by a recovery in the US market, strong sales in China, as well as the sale of its stake in Delphi Automotive, its former car parts division.
'See-saw shift' GM - which filed for bankruptcy only two years ago and received a $52bn government bail-out - now finds itself sitting on cash reserves of $36.5bn.
It is as yet unclear how the firm - which employs 202,000 people worldwide, including 77,000 in the US - will spend or invest the rest of its money

No further details were given of when or exactly where the $2bn investments will be made, although more announcements were promised in the coming months.
They will however include a production line at Toledo for small car transmissions, as well as a $131m investment announced last week in a Kentucky plant that will produce an updated version of the classic Chevrolet Corvette.
The turnaround in GM's fortunes coincides with supply problems at earthquake-struck Japanese rival firms.
"The timing of this latest see-saw shift in the global automotive landscape is significant, coming as it does on the eve of an anticipated boom in sales across Asia," notes the BBC's Jorn Madslien.
"This might result in GM regaining the top spot as the world's bestselling car-maker, as Toyota slips lower down the ranking list."
Meanwhile, the death of former GM chief executive Robert Stempel on Saturday was announced.
Mr Stempel, 77, was accredited with developing the catalytic converter, and led the firm from 1990 until he was ousted in 1992.

Nissan profits rise as annual sales hit record

Nissan cars waiting to be exported from Japan to the US  
Nissan's exports to the US rose 17% in the year
Nissan has reported the highest annual sales in its history, sending its profits up strongly.
The Japanese carmaker made a net profit of 319.2bn yen ($3.7bn; £2.4bn) in the year to 31 March 2011, up from just 42bn yen a year earlier.
Its global sales for the year rose 19% to 4.2 million vehicles, which lifted revenues by 17% to 8.8 trillion yen.
Nissan said that while the earthquake in Japan had disrupted its operations, it had proved its "resilience".
Its sales during the year were boosted by the launch of 10 new models.
Growth in demand was highest in China, where Nissan saw its sales rise 36%. They increased by 19% in Europe and 17% in the US.
However, sales in Japan were 5% lower
Rockets strike Gadhafi's compound in Tripoli 

Rockets strike Gadhafi's compound in Tripoli

Benghazi, Libya (CNN) -- Four rockets struck the compound of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Thursday, killing at least two people, a government spokesman told CNN.
After the blasts, which could be heard in the center of Tripoli, sirens blared and at least two emergency vehicles sped toward the Bab al-Aziziya compound.


Inflation report warns of impact from higher fuel bills

Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King: "Inflation remains uncomfortably high"
Inflation is expected to hit 5% later this year due to higher utility bills, the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, has warned.
Publishing the Bank's latest Inflation Report, he said there remained strong downward pressures on economic growth and upward pressures on inflation.
However, he said that the "big picture" had not changed much since the last report in February.
The Bank still expects inflation to fall back in 2012 and 2013.