A million people descend on Washington for Trump swearing-in

Around 28,000 security officials are on hand to defend the close to one million people – supporters and opponents – gathered in Washington DC for the inauguration of Donald Trump as 45th US President and Mike Pence as Vice President Friday at 7 pm (IST).

In ceremonies taking place on the West Front of the Capitol (7 pm IST), Pence will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas followed by Trump, who will take the oath of office administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts. Trump will use president Lincoln’s Bible and the Bible he was given by his mother at Sunday school graduation in 1955. He will then deliver his inaugural address. Continue reading

Global Policy Orientation

By now it should be clear where Europe, or Germany rather, stands in regards to its dealings with Russia and what side it will likely take should it have to decisively choose between it and the West.

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) – In the debate over a possible expansion of EU sanctions against Russia, the German chancellor is suggesting a possible continuation of cooperation with Moscow. “In the intermediate and long term,” Merkel explained, “the close partnership with Russia should be continued.” She sees “no necessity” in a policy of “isolating” Russia, patterned on the cold war’s “containment” policy. Merkel was reacting to the persisting anxiety in leading German business circles, that sanctions against Russia could seriously dampen their expansion opportunities. This is not only an anxiety shared by gas companies, but also by top corporations in other branches with significant commercial and production sites in Russia. On the eve of the Russian president’s visit to China, observers are warning that if the EU and the USA impose boycott measures, Moscow could forge also stronger ties to Beijing, thereby tangibly strengthening China. Hard-core transatlantic circles are up in arms over the prospect that cooperation with Moscow could be continued – pleading for the creation of a global front of NATO countries and their allies against Russia and China. Continue reading