US Warns Iran Against Closing Key Oil Passage
News from Salon:

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The U.S. strongly warned Iran on Wednesday against closing a vital Persian Gulf waterway that carries one-sixth of the world’s oil supply, after Iran threatened to choke off traffic through the Strait of Hormuz if Washington imposes sanctions targeting the country’s crude exports.

The increasingly heated exchange raises new tensions in a standoff that has the potential to spark military reprisals and spike oil prices to levels that could batter an already fragile global economy.

Iran’s navy chief said Wednesday that it would be “very easy” for his country’s forces to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, the passage at the mouth of the Persian Gulf through which about 15 million barrels of oil pass daily. It was the second such warning by Iran in two days, reflecting Tehran’s concern that the West is about to impose new sanctions that could hit the country’s biggest source of revenue, oil.

“Iran has comprehensive control over the strate…………… continues on Salon

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Montblanc Watches Set to Outsell Pens
News from Bloomberg:

Montblanc, which has made fountain pens for more than a century, sees the writing on the wall.

The Cie. Financiere Richemont SA (CFR) unit is tapping a surge in demand for high-end watches to offset slower growth in the brand’s traditional writing-instrument business. The shift reflects Montblanc’s broader transformation over the past decade into a luxury-goods company.

“In the next five years or so, watches have the chance to become bigger than writing instruments” even as sales of high- end pens continue to grow, Chief Executive Officer Lutz Bethge said in an interview at Montblanc’s headquarters in Hamburg.

Pens account for just under half of sales at Montblanc, wh…………… continues on Bloomberg

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