Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
by Fran on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:08:57 PM EST
Five Security Council Powers, Germany Offer Direct Dialog With Iran | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 04.03.2009
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany on Tuesday offered direct dialogue with Iran to solve the ongoing nuclear standoff with the Islamic Republic. 

A joint statement from the six nations -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany -- called on Iran to "take this opportunity for engagement with us and thereby maximize opportunities for a negotiated way forward.

"We remain firmly committed to a comprehensive diplomatic solution, including through direct dialogue," the so-called P5+1 nations said in a statement read to a closed-door meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) board of governors in Vienna.

The six voiced serious concern at Iran's atomic advances and increasing restrictions on UN inspectors trying to keep track of them, but did not mention toughening sanctions as a way to rein in Iran.

Sanctions threats have been common in statements by Western members at earlier IAEA meetings. But Russia and China oppose further punitive steps.

by Fran on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:11:03 PM EST
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Clinton backs move to freeze out Hamas rule - International Herald Tribune

RAMALLAH, West Bank:

The U.S. secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, held talks on Wednesday with Palestinian leaders over whether Israel's next government would commit to a U.S.-backed peace process leading to a Palestinian state.

A day after pledging that the Obama administration would always protect Israel's security, Clinton visited the Israeli-occupied West Bank to deliver a message of support for President Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority.

"We are very committed to your efforts in this leadership of President Abbas," Clinton told Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the point man in Western-backed reconstruction plans for the Gaza Strip that freeze out the territory's Hamas  rulers.

Hamas, which won a parliamentary election in 2006, violently wrested control of the Gaza Strip from Abbas's Fatah faction in 2007. The West shuns Hamas over its refusal to recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept existing interim peace deals.

by Fran on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:20:10 PM EST
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Ah, the joy of democracy. Just make sure you choose the party your colonial overlords demand of you.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:12:09 PM EST
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Brown: Special relationship 'unbreakable' - Americas, World - The Independent

Addressing congress Gordon Brown hailed the special relationship saying, "There is no power on Earth that can drive us apart."

He also issued a call for America to take a lead in the world's battle against recession and climate change.

In a speech to both houses of Congress, the Prime Minister urged the US political elite to "seize the moment" by joining Britain and the rest of the world in international cooperation to tackle the economic crisis and "build tomorrow today".

by Fran on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:20:31 PM EST
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Gordon Brown tells Congress: work with 'your friend Europe' - Times Online

Gordon Brown will urge America's political elite today to shun protectionism and work with "your friend" Europe and the rest of the world to solve the global economic crisis.

In a speech to both Houses of Congress, Mr Brown will call on the US not to turn in on itself, warning that the financial problems facing them are global and can be dealt with only if they "seize the moment" and resort to international co-operation.

The Prime Minister will attempt to speak on behalf of the European Union as a whole when he says that - for the first time in living memory - the entire region is united in wanting to work with America.

[Murdoch Alert]
by Fran on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:21:20 PM EST
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Love-struck Gordon Brown kept at arm's length by Barack Obama :: Toby Harnden

He is not a figure who currently attracts much sympathy back in Blighty but it was hard not to feel a teeny weeny bit sorry for Gordon Brown today. There we press were this morning in the freezing cold outside the White House watching increasingly frantic British officials trying to salvage what they could from a visit that was clearly going awry.

"But this is not what we negotiated," said one plaintively, through the railings, to a supremely unconcerned Obama aide. Another talked of "fine tuning" that was still going on, just as a Secret Service agent on a loud hailer told him to move further away so the gate could be kept clear.

We received an apology-laden email from the British Embassy stating icily: "There is no flexibility in the White House today."

A press conference that had apparently been promised had been cancelled at the last minute due to the snow (on the ground for 24 hours and forecast several days earlier). Now the British diplomats were faced with a situation of no more than 16 of the 33 press who'd flown over from London even seeing President Barack Obama.

by Fran on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:23:19 PM EST
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This must make Sarkozy and his cronies vaguely happy?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 03:00:57 PM EST
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no more than 16 of the 33 press who'd flown over from London


Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 03:05:59 PM EST
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Theres hands to shake and interviews to have on the plane over and back. You've got several hours where the politicians have nothing better to do than talk to the press.  For an editor it's almost worth selling your children to get onto that flight after all it proves you're 'Serious' about the news.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 04:19:00 PM EST
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Britain's Brown Warns US Against Protectionism
By Desmond Butler, AP

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday an "economic hurricane" has swept the world and U.S. leaders shouldn't view the crisis as limited to America's borders.

In a formal address to a Joint Meeting of Congress, Brown said that U.S.-European relations were at an all-time high and that the two nations must seize on the opportunity to bring about change. He warned that protectionism ultimately makes every nation vulnerable because "a bad bank anywhere is a threat to good banks everywhere."

"No matter where it starts, an economic crisis does not stop at the water's edge," he said told lawmakers gathered in the cavernous House chamber. "It ripples across the world," declared Brown, whose speech was applauded on several occasions.

I'm still not convinced all protectionism is a bad thing.

by Magnifico on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:24:14 PM EST
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He warned that protectionism ultimately makes every nation vulnerable because "a bad bank anywhere is a threat to good banks everywhere."

That would make interdependence and cross-border exposures bad, surely?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 5th, 2009 at 02:03:08 AM EST
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Of course...they are partners in this biggest crime of all times (worldwide man made recession) and are both broke as states and actually very rich as individual robbers...who would even like to drive them apart?
Maybe just those to hum they own those trillions and zillions of fake money they prodused...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 11:18:42 PM EST
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CNN.com: International Court issues arrest warrant for Sudanese president
The International Criminal Court at the Hague issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir for a five-year campaign of violence in Darfur.

It is the first arrest warrant ever issued for a sitting head of state by the world's only permanent war crimes tribunal.

Bashir is charged with seven counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes. The warrant does not mention genocide, but the court may issue an amended warrant to include that charge later, ICC spokeswoman Laurence Blairon said.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 02:29:59 PM EST
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Economy to Dominate Annual Chinese Gathering
By Michael Wines, The New York Times

China's national Legislature begins its tightly scripted annual meeting on Thursday with an agenda dominated by the ruling Communist Party's two overriding concerns: riding out the global economic crisis and keeping citizens' unhappiness with their lot from boiling over into public unrest.

In the nine-day session of the National People's Congress, about the only suspense involves whether the government will propose to add still more stimulus spending to the $584 billion that China's leaders already have pledged to help the slumping economy. On Wednesday, Asian and European stocks rose in part on hopes that it would.

Prime Minister Wen Jiabao is to speak early on Thursday to the 3,000-odd delegates, and is expected by many analysts to set a target for 8 percent growth of China's gross domestic product in 2009, the same as in previous years. The government has long said that that rate is needed to hold down unemployment and the potential for social unrest. The economy logged a 9 percent rate last year, even after a sharp slowdown in the last quarter.

But a number of experts believe that a 2009 growth rate of 6.5 percent or 7 percent, meager by recent Chinese standards, is increasingly likely. Some financial analysts predicted this week that the government will propose spending vast new amounts to head off a sharper decline, although the consensus view is that new spending, if any, will be more modest.

by Magnifico on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:20:14 PM EST
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Mexico's drug war creates new class of refugees
By Andrew Becker and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times

Business owners, law enforcement officers, journalists and other professionals are among those seeking asylum in the U.S. -- even when it means sitting in jail...

The number of asylum requests filed at U.S. border entries by Mexican nationals nearly doubled to almost 200 in the last fiscal year, and the pace has increased this year. Seventy Mexican asylum-seekers filed petitions in the first quarter, most of them in El Paso and San Diego. The figures are small compared with the vast scale of illegal immigration, but many fear explosive growth if the bloodshed worsens.

Drug violence in Mexico has claimed at least 7,000 lives in little more than a year, most of them along the border and many carried out to maximize their gruesome effect. Mass killings and beheadings have had a terrorizing effect on border towns from Texas to Tijuana...

Asylum-seekers are among the most desperate people confronting immigration officials. Deporting them to their homeland can be a death sentence. But under U.S. law, fear of criminal violence is not recognized as grounds for asylum.

by Magnifico on Wed Mar 4th, 2009 at 05:26:31 PM EST
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