August 15, 2012 by Peter Lee
I think there is some misunderstanding about Israel’s concern over Iran’s nuclear program. To use Alfred Hitchcock’s term, the Iranian bomb is simply “the MacGuffin”, the psychologically potent but practically insignificant pretext for action, reaction, and drama. To my mind, the main object of Israel’s foreign policy as practiced by Benjamin Netanyahu, is to preclude US and European rapprochement with Iran.
If peace breaks out in the Middle East, in other words, Iran, its markets, and its oil would quickly become remarkably popular with Western governments and investors.
August 15, 2012 by Doug Moreland
The World Trade Organization convened a panel last month at the request of the United States, the European Union, and Japan to rule on China’s export policies for rare earth metals. These countries had earlier held formal consultations which failed to reach agreement. China said rare earth exports are impacted by new environmental and sustainability policies, and there is no intention of market distortion.
Rare earths are seventeen metals increasingly used as alloys to significantly change properties of primary metals. For example, neodymium increases the strength of magnetic fields; scandium alloys are stronger and lighter; praseodymium makes lasers more effective.