eurozone crisis

Budget 2012 lays the ground for the battle of the narratives that will decide Election 2014. Yes siree, the campaign begins now, with the blame game

No-one will argue this week that Thursday's zero Budget is a good thing – not out loud, anyway. A necessary thing, a sensible thing, even a wise thing, but not something you'd take home to show your mum. Some will, however, argue that this budget amounts to a failure, and this battle over the narrative behind the numbers is the first big battle of the 2014 election campaign.

Politicians have been arguing that black is white this week, showing that they're about as connected to reality as a two year-old chasing dragons

I've spent a lot of time with my two year-old son this summer, often in a rich, if exhausting, world of imagination. There are dragons, animal rescues, and more, but sometimes he worries that I'm not quite getting the game and he reassures me that "it's just 'tending Daddy".

West and Arabs unite to force al-Assad to step down – Russia says no (+ analysis); EU leaders agree to cede Budget powers to Brussels – UK and Czech Republic say no; Who wants to talk to the Taliban now?; Atomic Energy Agency approves Japanese stress tests; China crackdown on Buddhist monastries; and more

Top of the Agenda: Western, Arab States Pressure Syria as Russia Resists

EU leaders meet, under pressure to find comprehensive solution to crisis; Italy's woes – pensions, infrastructure and youth unemployment (+ analysis); Panetta says North Korea a "serious threat" as talks end; Libya wants NATO to stay; New African democracies win import help; and more

Top of the Agenda: EU Leaders Hold Second Summit in a Week

Germany and France economies slow – is the Eurozone crisis infecting core countries? Merkel and Sarkozy meet to avoid downgrade (+ analysis); Libyan rebels close in on Tripoli; 35 dead and thousands arrested in Syrian port city; Chinese still prefer US treasuries; Australians protest carbon tax; and more

Top of the Agenda: German Growth Slows