Headlines from around the world: 4-25-11

Unrest still persists in the Middle East, as Syrian protesters continued to chant anti-regime slogans. Syrian security forces fired upon the crowds of people, killing dozens and injuring hundreds more. The protests, which began over a month ago and have killed 113, are rapidly spreading across Syria.

Toyota Motor Corp. has announced that it will not return to full capacity until November of this year, following the massive destruction caused by the March 11 earthquake and resulting tsunami. Currently, Toyota manufacturing plants are at roughly 50% capacity, and will remain there until November 2011. Thousands of small automotive parts manufacturers have been crippled since the tsunami, and are not likely to recover soon.

Gold continues to climb, as financial reports for the US and other world economies push investors to more stable assets. Now at over $1500 an ounce, gold has been the safety net of many investors for years, and more so now than ever before. For the past seven days, the precious metal has risen to a new record levels.

Rebel forces in Libya have taken a building in the center of the key city of Misrata. A government sniper team in the building has been terrorizing residents and causing problems for rebels for months now.
The US military has started sending armed drones over Libya, in an attempt to prevent further humanitarian catastrophes from occurring. The Predator drones are being deployed because of their features allowing operators to distinguish pro-Gadhafi military vehicles from the vehicles of civilians.

Economists are struggling to find solid data to analyze the strength of the current economy, as jobless claims fell again for this month. While current data seem to point to a strengthening economy, the data used are either too fluid or volatile to give hard answers.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is claiming are claiming that lower gas prices are mean that people will not buy as many hybrid cars. Automakers are petitioning the US government to review the mileage requirements periodically, to link it to gas prices. The current average mileage for the US fleet is 22.5 miles per gallon, while many are pushing for the average to be raised to 62 miles per gallon by 2025.

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