Take stock – April 23

Greece’s prime minister has lashed out at credit ratings agencies, as borrowing rates in the crisis-hit country at record levels threaten plans to return to the bond markets next year.

Greek PM attacks credit rating agencies as rates spiral

ATHENS — Greece’s prime minister has lashed out at credit ratings agencies, as borrowing rates in the crisis-hit country at record levels threaten plans to return to the bond markets next year.

George Papandreou in a written statement posted on a government website early Friday said the agencies, instead of elected governments, “are seeking to shape our destiny and determine the future of our children.”

Major rating agencies have all relegated Greek bond status to below investment grade amid the continuing debt crisis. The move has angered the government which argues the fiscal benefits of its austerity program are being ignored. Yields on 10-year Greek bonds rose above 15 per cent, compared with the German benchmark rate of 3.27 per cent, before the Easter long weekend.


Failure at Amazon data centre hampers internet sites

NEW YORK — Amazon.com struggled Friday morning to restore computers used by other major websites such as Reddit as an outage stretched beyond 24 hours. Though better known for selling books, DVDs and other consumer goods, Amazon also rents out space on huge computer servers that run many websites and other online services. The problems began at an Amazon data centre near Dulles Airport outside Washington early Thursday. On Friday morning, Amazon’s status page said the recovery effort was making progress, but it couldn’t say when all affected computers would be restored. Most of the sites that were brought down by the outage on Thursday were back up on Friday, but news-sharing site Reddit was still in “emergency read-only mode,” and smaller sites were still reporting trouble.


Greenpeace occupies oil rig off Istanbul to prevent arctic drilling

ANKARA, Turkey — Greenpeace says its activists have climbed aboard an oil rig to prevent its departure for Greenland to begin drilling in the Arctic. The environmental group said Friday activists used speedboats to intercept and climb aboard the Leiv Eiriksson as it left Istanbul. The group said activists had unfurled a banner reading: “Stop Arctic destruction.” Greenpeace said activists were prepared to occupy the rig for days. It said the oil rig, operated by Cairn Energy, has “a very short window in which to drill their four new exploratory wells” due to extreme weather conditions in the Arctic.

Leiv Eiriksson, one of the world’s largest rigs, had been exploring possible oil and gas in the Black Sea under a joint venture between Turkey and Brazil’s Petrobas.