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*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:10:40 PM EST
No Nukes, More Troops: Obama Seeks to Renew Partnership with Europe - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
In France and Germany on Friday, US President Barack Obama said he wanted to renew the trans-Atlantic partnership. Part of that alliance, though, involves more European troops for Afghanistan, he said. Unexpectedly, Obama called for a world without nuclear weapons.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:27:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Radio Prague - News
No-fly zone implemented over Prague during president Obama's visit

A no-fly zone with a radius of 50 kilometres will be imposed in the skies over Prague during American president Barack Obama's visit, it was announced on Friday. Only air-traffic with special dispensation will be allowed to fly over the Czech capital between Saturday lunchtime and midnight on Sunday, a spokesperson from the Czech army told journalists. Army planes and helicopters will be used as part of the security measures implemented especially for the American president's visit. Mr Obama is arriving in Prague on Saturday evening where he is expected to dine with his wife Michelle. On Sunday he will meet with EU leaders at an informal summit and deliver a much-anticipated speech in the vicinity of Prague Castle. Thousands of Czech police have been drafted in to protect the president, and American security services will also be on duty.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:28:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Radio Prague - News
Poll: one third of Czechs expect missile defence shield to be scrapped by Obama administration

Around one third of Czechs believe that plans for a US radar base to be built on Czech soil will be scrapped under the new Obama administration. Some 44 percent of Czechs, however, believe that an anti-missile defence shield will still be built in the coming years. The poll, conducted by the Factum Invenio agency and released on Friday, suggested that 70 percent of Czechs were opposed to plans for a US radar base in central Bohemia, while 25 percent were for the idea. Just under half of those polled said that they believed US-Russian relations would improve under the new administration; Russia has been one of the most outspoken critics of the proposed missile-defence system in the Czech Republic and Poland. The poll was released on the eve of President Barack Obama's visit to Prague, he is set to meet European Union leaders and deliver a major speech in the Czech capital on Sunday.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:28:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The city was basically closed down for the summit. It's totally empty right now. Schools were closed, construction sites were closed off, public transport was halted, people had to have special registration just to get out of their houses, etc...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 05:44:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unless you were a UMP member, apparently. I read an article yesterday stating that 90% of the people allowed anywhere near were UMP members, and most of the rest were UMP members' guests.

Kind of the Bush speeches in front of carefull selected audience.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 06:01:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO Expert Dan Hamilton: Germany's Return to Checkbook Diplomacy 'Is a Worrying Tendency' - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International
Hamilton: The German case is particularly interesting. We seem to be observing a return to the "checkbook diplomacy"that has dominated German foreign policy for so long. During the years of the Bonn Republic, the Germans couldn't send troops into war zones due to constitutional constraints. They often helped financially instead. One could say: They couldn't play internationally but they could pay. This pattern was overcome, but we seem to be experiencing a renaissance of it now, ironically in the middle of a financial crisis where even checkbook diplomacy is no longer very popular. It is a worrying tendency because our foreign policy challenges are very real. This is not the time to avoid tough decisions.

Ummmm...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:31:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Welcome to the anti-NATO village, gearing for battle | The Observers
Anti-NATO activists have installed themselves not far from the centre of Strasbourg in the suburban town of Neuhoff. The anti-NATO village is home to anarchists and alter-globalists who describe it as "a place of meeting, of life, an expression of our rejection of NATO - the military machine that only protects capitalist interests". It's in this village that members of the Black Blocs - the group that clashed with police on the German border last night - are supposedly staying. But it's hard to know what exactly is going on as the "villagers" are less than willing to let the press in.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:37:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France 24 | Three hundred arrested in anti-NATO rallies in Strasbourg | France 24
AFP - French police said Friday they made 300 arrests in clashes with demonstrators in Strasbourg ahead of a two-day NATO summit attended by 28 leaders including US President Barack Obama.

Police said 105 people were still in custody on Friday morning after the clashes the previous day, which saw riot police fire tear gas to stop as many as 2,000 demonstrators marching on the heart of the summit city.

Masked protestors clad in black used wooden stakes to smash around a dozen bus shelters and set fire to rubbish bins, setting up a barricade before police disbanded the marchers and pushed them back towards their camp.

Around 25,000 police were on standby in the eastern French city to contain further protests during Friday and Saturday, which are expected to draw tens of thousands of people opposed to NATO's military operations.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:52:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France 24 | Turkish PM opposed to Rasmussen's NATO bid | France 24
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he was opposed to Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen's bid to become the next NATO chief because of his handling of a row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:46:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Y'know if Erdogan wants to play in the Majors, he's gotta stop swinging like he's minor league. There's just a wee bit too much of this stupid bs coming from Ankara for comfort.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 08:33:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
???? What stupid BS? Do you thinkRasmussen's 'handling' of the cartoons mess makes him fit for any foreign policy post, notto mention NATO head?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 03:07:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France 24 | France agrees to take in Guantanamo detainee | France 24
AFP - France agreed Friday to accept an inmate from the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba as US President Barak Obama seeks help from European nations to close the notorious facility down.
   
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the move, which could involve an Algerian detainee according to US officials, had been settled during talks in Strasbourg with Obama.
   
"Yes we have spoken, yes we have agreed" to accept one detainee, Sarkozy told reporters in Strasbourg, northeastern France, ahead of a two-day NATO summit here and in the neighbouring German city of Kehl.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 05:02:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France 24 | Rajoelina's regime sets 2010 date for presidential poll | France 24
Madagascar's army-backed transitional authority, led by Andry Rajoelina (photo), has called for the organisation of a presidential election in October 2010 during a reconciliation conference held in the capital Antananarivo.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:48:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France 24 | Uproar over Talibani closing of girls' schools in Swat Valley | France 24

In front of the presidential palace in Islamabad, 300 protesters against the destruction of Swat Valley schools defy the government. "[President] Asif Ali Zardari, where were you when we needed you? What have you done for us?" they shout.

 

In less than a year, over 100 schools have been destroyed by Taliban insurgents in the region. Schools for girls were the main target, but boys' schools were attacked as well. And, as for those still standing, many parents have become too afraid to send their children there.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:56:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. Aircraft Opens Fire on Sons of Iraq Members
By Ernesto Londoño, Washington Post

An American military aircraft opened fire Thursday night on Sons of Iraq members who were allegedly spotted placing a roadside bomb north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said Friday.

The incident, which killed one suspected member of the paramilitary group and wounded two, is the latest sign of the fraying allegiance between the paramilitary groups and the U.S. military.

The U.S. military recently stopped paying the Sons of Iraq, many of whom are former insurgents who were put on the American payroll in 2007 in a high-stakes strategy to quell the insurgency.

Under heavy pressure from the U.S. military, the Shiite-led Iraqi government agreed to assume responsibility for the payments to the predominantly Sunni armed groups and absorb some of them into its security forces.

But in recent weeks, several Sons of Iraq groups have disintegrated and some members have rejoined the insurgency, saying the government has failed to pay them on time and has been slow to admit them into police academies.

More proof Bush's surge tactic in Iraq was designed only to let him slink out of office with violence in Iraq in a lull. As soon as the bribes and protection money stop, those formerly being paid-off rejoin the fight. People need jobs and if they cannot find jobs, then many, at least in Iraq, take up arms.

by Magnifico on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:57:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bush's surge worked, and Obama's weakness is now generating trouble. No?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 05:45:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France 24 | Tensions high after deadly border shooting | France 24
Thai and Cambodian troops exchanged rockets and gunfire Friday in a disputed area on the countries' common border, where tensions between the two nations' armies have been high since last year. Two Cambodian soldiers were reportedly killed in the gunfight.

 

"The brief clash happened at 7:10 am when Cambodian troops came to investigate the spot where that Thai soldier stepped on a landmine yesterday," Seni Chittakasem, governor of Si Sa Ket province in Thailand said.

 

Both sides accused each other of initiating the skirmish. Cambodian commander General Srey Doek claimed that "the Thais fired rockets and rifles at us, and we responded the same way."

 

Thailand claims Cambodia was to blame. Thailand's foreign ministry immediately accused Cambodia of violating its sovereignty and said it would be sending a note of protest to authorities in Phnom Penh.

 

"We had to retaliate because Cambodians opened fire at Thai soldiers first. We want to reiterate that this area is our territory," ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat told AFP.

 

According to FRANCE 24 correspondent Cyril Payen, this incident comes on the heels of a threat Cambodian PM Samdach Hun Sen made on March 31 that any Thai attempts to enter the disputed territory would be punished.

 

Thailand Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was in London at the time of the incident to attend the G20 talks. Payen said, "The Cambodian leader stated that he will not be intimidated by a (Thai) government that was not elected." Veijajiva was appointed to his post after the ousting of predecessor Thaksin Shinawatra.

Ah, nice...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 04:58:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France 24 | Razak sworn in as new prime minister | France 24
Najib's accession to the premiership completes a transition triggered by elections last year when the ruling United Malays National Organisation party (UMNO) slumped to its worst ever performance.
   
Abdullah, who was widely criticised as weak and ineffective, agreed several months ago to step down amid the fallout from those elections, which reshaped Malaysia's political landscape.
   
When he first came into office Abdullah pledged sweeping reforms including tackling corruption -- seen as endemic both in the ruling party and society at large.
   
In the end, he was punished at the ballot box last year for not making good on those promises, when the opposition won an unprecedented one third of seats in parliament and seized control of five states.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 05:00:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Obama Set to Lift Ban on Family Travel to Cuba

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama plans to lift a longstanding U.S. ban on family travel and remittances to Cuba, a senior administration official said Friday, in what could be an opening gesture toward more openness with the Castro regime.

The move will fulfill a campaign promise and follows more modest action in Congress this year to loosen travel rules.

The president has authority to loosen these rules on his own, and the move is likely meant as a signal of a new attitude toward both Cuba and other Latin American countries that have pressed the U.S. to alter its policy.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 3rd, 2009 at 05:45:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is amazing how many good policies and changes can be undercut by failure to move on the single most important issue.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 01:04:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
By which you mean the environment, surely?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 04:17:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I was referring to the power of the financial sector in the USA over the US government, which, as best as I can see, will prevent us from stopping the financial death spiral we appear to be entering.  Absent that, we are very unlikely to be able or willing to do much that is effective about the environment, which is, ultimately, the most important factor.  Obama is at least moving in the right direction regarding the environment.  The question there is the speed and effectiveness with which we can move and the length of time over which we can sustain positive action.  Another eight years of government dominated by fossil energy interests and characterized by denial of environmental problems would be truly catastrophic.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 12:08:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, I meant to be a little provocative, not to dispute that you are talking about a major root cause there (I would say that it's not just the financial system holding the US government -as you say, there are fossil energy interests around).

I thought you meant the financial crisis as the main issue. My post was just referring to the fact that many people completely fail to see that the environment crisis is by several orders of magnitude more serious than the financial one.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 02:15:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ARGeezer:
No, I was referring to the power of the financial sector in the USA over the US government, which, as best as I can see, will prevent us from stopping the financial death spiral we appear to be entering.

I think that it may be out of their hands, actually, now that US creditors and suppliers are talking to each other....

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 10:12:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That and other steps taken will help to provide what you refer to as credit = time to pay.  But if the Government keeps selling $Trillions of bonds to raise money to pour down financial black holes that could be a problem.  OTOH, if they just print greenbacks to satisfy what you call "static" debt, that might not be so bad.

I don't really understand this very well at all.  For instance, with Mortgage Backed Securities, continuing to pay the dividends or interest on these securities is one thing, but what are their maturities and what happens when maturity is reached.  Are all of them 5 years or longer?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 4th, 2009 at 11:17:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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