December 9th, 2011
09:50 PM GMT
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Brussels (CNN) - On late Thursday evening, there was an unusual loud cheer and round of clapping in the massive press atrium in the European Commission building.

The reporters were not clapping in the response to saving the euro.

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December 9th, 2011
12:17 PM GMT
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Paris (CNN) – Clearly, it takes a lot to dampen the spirits of Silicon Valley tech types, and neither rain nor economic uncertainty could do that at the Le Web conference.

For the past three days, the world’s digerati have converged upon Paris to exchange apps and ideas - and, if their fancy takes it, invest a few million dollars or two, give or take.

As Hal Bringman, president of digital media consultancy NVPR in Los Angeles puts it: “I think at least half of Silicon Valley is here in Paris sipping champagne while we debate the future of digital media. Overall, in our meetings we detected remarkable optimism, which just underscores the fact that nothing can slow down the pulse of innovation."
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December 9th, 2011
10:50 AM GMT
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London (CNN) – Ten hours around the negotiating table were not enough to convince British Prime Minister David Cameron to back down on his demands for safeguards to his country’s interests.

As such, the leaders of France and Germany showed him to the door and decided to settle for closer budget discipline among eurozone countries. According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel: "David Cameron sat with us at the table, we made a decision for this text, we do not have time for weak compromises regarding the euro."

The result of round one of this week's "battle of Brussels" was widely expected but it does raise the worrying prospect of a two-tier Europe emerging, with the 17 euro-using members on one side and most of the remaining 10 non-eurozone states on the other.
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December 9th, 2011
10:24 AM GMT
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Editor's note: The European Council has since sent out a revised release, and added this line to the bottom: “The Heads of State or Government of Bulgaria, Czech  Republic, Denmark, Hungary,  Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania  and Sweden indicated the possibility to take part in this process after consulting their Parliaments where appropriate.”

According to CNN's Jim Boulden: The line is weak and a bit of "eurospeak," but it does look like the continental leaders have decided to start to circle the wagons a little bit after some much needed sleep.

Brussels (CNN) – In this era of clumping countries together with catchy acronyms, we now have the chance to coin a phrase for the EU countries not participating in the new fiscal compact.

It’s no surprise that Hungary, Sweden and the UK are out. Add to that the Czech Republic and we have a mishmash of possibilities.

I present to you the CzHuUKS.

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December 9th, 2011
10:13 AM GMT
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Brussels (CNN) – The statement from UK Prime Minister David Cameron reminding everyone that the go-it-alone E17+ agreement is not under EU treaties is the sort of thing the other countries will be dreading. He is basically saying, "OK – have your side treaty BUT since it is not under the EU rules then it can't trump the EU process and the Commission and Courts can't play favorites."

This is setting the stage for a long, drawn-out, sulking relationship as the Ins get closer and the Outs keep reminding them that their deal is not an "official" EU institution sanctioned by the whole EU.

We have put the clock back to the days when Britain was the enfant terrible of the European Union.



December 9th, 2011
03:28 AM GMT
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(CNN) – If the Chinese economy is slowing down, why is the country buying so much copper?

China has posted a weaker economic growth of 9.1% in the third quarter, in line with the "soft landing" of the white-hot economy Beijing touts.

Also, China missed its expected oil consumption targets according to a report by Platts, an energy consultancy.

According to the report, the estimated oil demand for the third quarter of the year has been this year's lowest, at 8.99 million barrels a day. A decrease compared with 9.33 million during the first three months of this year.
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December 9th, 2011
12:56 AM GMT
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(CNN) - In the words of the chief executive and co-chief investment officer of Pimco, Mohamed El Erian: "This is Europe's moment of truth. For the sake of the region and that of the global economy, its leaders must come up with a solution at a time when, to use Nicolas Sarkozy's phrase, `the euro needs to be refounded’.”

Lest we forget, the problems of the eurozone have developed from a sovereign debt crisis, into a liquidity and – dare I say it – a solvency crisis. It has created all the ingredients for a banking meltdown that could cripple global growth.

So what are the chances of a final solution in Brussels this week? Pretty weak, I would say.
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