IZYUM (Ukraine) (AFP) – Ukraine pushed tanks toward a flashpoint eastern city on Tuesday to quash a separatist surge backed by Moscow — a high-risk operation that was sharply condemned by the Kremlin but won Washington’s support.
The 20 tanks and armoured personnel carriers were the most forceful response yet by the Western-backed government in Kiev to the pro-Kremlin militants’ occupation of state buildings in nearly 10 cities across Ukraine’s rust belt.
Ukrainian forces set up a cement road barrier and began checking traffic leading to Slavyansk while fighters and attack helicopters circled overhead. Continue reading
The world’s biggest Earth-observation program gets underway in Europe.
The EU launched its Sentinel-1a satellite from French Guiana on April 3 as it began the rollout of its advanced fleet of Earth-monitoring satellites. Once the Sentinel-1a’s sister satellite, the 1b, is launched, the pair will be able to give radar images of anywhere on the Earth within three to six days.
They’re part of the EU’s Copernicus project which aims to give the EU an extensive view of the Earth’s surface.
“There is no Earth-observation project as big as this,” said Prof. Anne Glover, the EU’s chief scientific adviser. Continue reading
BRUSSELS - Lithuania, Luxembourg and Sweden have explicitly backed Ukraine’s right to use force against pro-Russian separatists.
Lithuania’s UN envoy, Raimonda Murmokaite, and her Luxembourg counterpart, Olivier Maes, made the statements at a snap UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting in New York on Sunday (13 April).
“When the existence of the state is put in danger, we support the right of Ukraine to defend itself in the face of external aggression and to tackle militant separatism and continuous provocations,” Murmokaite said. Continue reading
Britain’s economy could grow by 1.3 billion pounds if it left the European Union due to less regulation and more trade with emerging economies, acccording to a British diplomat who dreamt up a blueprint for the country’s EU exit.
Britain’s free market Institute of Economic Affairs on Tuesday awarded a 100,000-euro prize to Iain Mansfield, a British diplomat based in the Philippines, who it decided had come up with the best proposal for a ‘Brexit,’ a British departure from the EU. Continue reading
Council on Foreign Relations compares Germany’s hardline stance with US policy towards Britain at the end of the Second World War
The eurozone debt crisis is deepening and threatens to re-erupt on a larger scale when the liquidity cycle turns, a leading panel of economists warned in a clash of views with German officials in Berlin.
“Debts above 130pc of GDP for Italy and 170pc for Greece are a recipe for disaster once we go into the next downturn,” said Professor Charles Wyplosz, from Geneva University.
“Today’s politicians believe the crisis is over and don’t want to hear any more about it, but they have not tackled the core issues of fiscal union and public debt,” he said, speaking at Euromoney’s annual Germany conference.
We’re could very well be looking at the begining of the end of Pax Americana and a new chapter in the books of world history. If bets were to be placed on who the world’s next superpower would be, look no further than the EU, the world’s largest economy with the German Fourth Reich at the helm. Some say China and Russia, but the world still has major mistrust in both of them.
All the years of warnings were laughed at, but as the saying goes: Today’s jokes are tomorrow’s reality. The United States is about to be hit with One Clenched Fist.
China will re-open the old Silk Road as a new trading route linking Germany, Russia and China
April 08, 2014 “ICH” - Russia has just dropped another bombshell, announcing not only the de-coupling of its trade from the dollar, but also that its hydrocarbon trade will in the future be carried out in rubles and local currencies of its trading partners – no longer in dollars – see Voice of Russia
Russia’s trade in hydrocarbons amounts to about a trillion dollars per year. Other countries, especially the BRICS and BRCIS-associates (BRICSA) may soon follow suit and join forces with Russia, abandoning the ‘petro-dollar’ as trading unit for oil and gas. This could amount to tens of trillions in loss for demand of petro-dollars per year (US GDP about 17 trillion dollars – December 2013) – leaving an important dent in the US economy would be an understatement. Continue reading
In February, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she’s going to talk to the President of France, Francois Hollande, about building a separate communications network for Europe so as to stop data from passing through the U.S. The U.S. has criticized such proposals and has said that they may breach international trade laws. Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said that obstructions to cross-border data flows are a serious and growing concern. Continue reading
Twenty-eight ‘member nations’ of the European Union will vote for European Parliament representatives that hold no real power. Essentially, as in Russia and today’s America, people go to the poll centers because they’re purposely mislead to believe into thinking that they are part of some sort of democratic process. If they’re physically there, it sinks into their minds as such, which fulfills the aim. As with America, it’s another story. It’s yet to fully evolve into what Russia has become, which is to say all candidates from all parties are in the same party, but it’s roughly 85% there.
You say to yourself: “What can I do?” Nothing, because you don’t live in a participatory Democracy. That’s the absolute truth. You’ve had your fun. You went to the polls in November — and that was your fun. That was what you’re allowed. Every two years you’re allowed to have your fun and think that you have some impact among politicians who will still never listen to you nor represent your interests, but you don’t. You change the window dressing.
Does it sound skeptical or cynical? Only for those who aren’t paying attention, just like we’re seeing in Europe now. They’re blind to see all roads leading to Berlin — the center of rising The Fourth Reich — attempting to ‘mix iron with clay’ as the United States of Europe is the end goal.
Imagine if you will, that the U.S., Canada and Mexico signed up to what citizens believed was simply a new trade deal.
A few decades later, you are shocked to discover that a vast amount of laws affecting your life aren’t made by your elected officials in Washington, but in a new multi-million dollar Parliament Building in Ottawa, Canada.
When you ask the officials there what precisely is going on, they answer that the plan all along was to merge the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a single nation, with a single flag, anthem and currency.
If this scenario sounds bizarre, in Europe that is precisely what has taken place. Continue reading
A leaked conversation between two Russian ambassadors appears to show the diplomats joking about the crisis in Ukraine and the possibility of future incursions in the United States and Eastern Europe.
The video posted under the YouTube account “Michael Berkan” involves Igor Nilokaevich Chubarov and Sergey Viktorovich Bakharev, the Russian ambassadors to the African nations Eritrea and Zimbabwe and Malawi, respectively.
The call begins with Chubarov congratulating Bakharev on Zimbabwe’s vote against the UN resolution that declared Crimea’s referendum invalid. Chubarov expressed surprise that Eritrea abstained from the vote.
Negotiations to end the division of Cyprus have been ongoing for years. Now, Northern Cyprus Foreign Minister Özdil Nami tells SPIEGEL that a deal is close. And he wants Germany to help with reunification.
SPIEGEL: You have recently been part of talks in the Chancellery in Berlin regarding the future of Cyprus. Why? Continue reading
BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – The German Chancellor is suggesting that the EU should take a “new look at its energy policy” as a whole. As Angela Merkel confirmed last week, several EU countries are at least partially “very highly dependent” on “the supply of raw materials from Russia.” Spurred on by the Ukrainian crisis, Berlin and Brussels could, however, in the long run, seek to liberate themselves. Merkel made her remarks following talks with Canada’s Prime Minister, who is considering the diversification of his country’s energy exports and does not exclude exporting natural gas to Europe. This, along with gas, which is extracted in the USA by the controversial “fracking” technique and should be exportable soon, could shake Russia’s strong position on the European gas market. Massive price cuts could result, forcing Moscow to drastically cut its budget, according to US experts. Whether Putin could politically survive such measures is unknown. In Berlin the debate continues over the new perspective of transatlantic energy. Representatives from US-oriented sectors are in favor and those from energy companies doing business with Russia and from the SPD, are opposed. Continue reading
The central banks signed a memorandum of understanding in Berlin today, when Chinese President Xi Jinping met German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Frankfurt-based Bundesbank said in an e-mailed statement.
Germany’s financial capital prevailed over Paris and Luxembourg in a euro-area race to win trade in renminbi, which overtook the euro to become the second-most used currency in global trade finance in October, according to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. The U.K. Treasury said on March 26 that the Bank of England would sign an initial agreement with the PBOC on March 31 to clear and settle yuan transactions in London.
“Frankfurt is one of Europe’s foremost financial centers and home to two central banks, making it a particularly suitable location,” said Joachim Nagel, a member of the Bundesbank’s executive board. “Renminbi clearing will strengthen the close economic and financial ties between Germany and the People’s Republic of China.” Continue reading