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Monitor The Strategic Trends

Global Government Introduction:

 

      The move toward a global government received a big boost this summer by the introduction of a proposal for an International Criminal Court. Over U.S. objections, the United Nations Diplomatic Conference voted 120 to 7 in favor of establishing an international criminal court to try individuals accused of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression.


[READ THE FULL INTRODUCTION]

**ENEWS ARTICLES**

Summit Storm 2012 September 25, 2012

Rio+20 A Bit Flat June 19, 2012

Vatican Calls For Global Economic Body October 25, 2011

Mexicans Getting Chipped August 23, 2011

The G8 Summit Wind May 31, 2011


**K-HOUSE ARTICLES**

The New Face of Global Security by Mary Gehl

The Tentacles of the IMF by Mary Miller, Executive Analyst Koinonia Institute

Global Government: Democracy and the Final World Leader by Mary Miller, KI Executive Analyst

Creating a New World Order: The U.N. Millennium Forum: Reinvention of Global Government by John Loeffler

Quo Vadis America: Three Threats to Freedom by John Loeffler


**ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTS AND LINKS**
Note: These links are provided for your further research and education. Koinonia House does not necessarily agree with the information on these sites or support the specific organizations.

Documents

U.N. Conventional Arms Branch - Department for Disarmament
The United States Program for General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World - U.S. Department of State - September, 1961
Millennium Summit Key Proposals -
The General Agreement On Tariffs And Trade (GATT) - Full Text of the Agreement
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) -

Related Sites

International Court of Justice -
Coalition for an ICC Home Page on the International Criminal Court -
Web site of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court -
Is there a Coming New World Order? - Many links to important Global Governance information from WorthyNews
Yahoo! United Nations Full Listing -

News Sources

 
NEW! UN Adopts Pact To Regulate Multibillion-Dollar Global Arms Trade - The U.N. General Assembly has overwhelmingly approved the first U.N. treaty regulating the multibillion-dollar international arms trade. The resolution adopting the landmark treaty was approved by a vote of 154 to 3 with 23 abstentions. The 193-member world body voted after Iran, North Korea and Syria blocked its adoption by consensus at a negotiating conference last Thursday. The three countries voted “no” on the resolution.
Climate Change Conference Pushes On Global Gov't Door - Much of what is called "international law" is actually a set of recommendations by global institutions, but actions taken at Saturday's United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Doba, Qatar could change the face of how the world as a whole governs its industry, commerce and relations with other nations. "Doha successfully concluded the previous round of climate negotiations, paving the way to a comprehensive, legally binding agreement by 2015," a spokesperson for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Saturday. "The Secretary-General believes that far more needs to be done and he calls on governments, along with businesses, civil society and citizens, to accelerate action on the ground so that the global temperature rise can be limited to 2 degrees Celsius."
U.S. Senate Rejects Ratification of UN Disabilities Treaty - Ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was rejected by the U.S. Senate Tuesday. The CRPD, which would take away American sovereignty and threaten parental rights, needed two-thirds of the Senate in order to pass. Although it gained a majority of votes, it failed on a vote of 61-38. This is a great victory for parental rights, homeschool freedom, and children with special needs. The U.S. Senate rejected a treaty which would have allowed UN bureaucrats to decide what is in the "best interests" of children with disabilities, instead leaving those decisions with parents and caregivers, which is what existing U.S. law already requires.
India Putting Millions Toward Global Biodiversity - The Indian government will earmark $50 million toward reaching the so-called Aichi targets, 20 goals set in Nagoya, Japan, two years ago to curb damage to the world's ecosystems and the extinction of its plants and animals, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Tuesday, speaking at a United Nations conference on biodiversity in Hyderabad. A commitment to an international effort on the environment represents a shift for the country, which has refused to accept mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions. This consciousness should provoke nations to "greater action even as we cope with the pressures of the current global economic downturn," said Mr. Singh.
Saudi-backed UN Agency To Edit Textbooks - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is currently working with member states to revise its strategy for the publication of textbooks and learning materials. According to UNESCO's website, experts from 21 countries met in Paris last month at a meeting financed by a $29,000 Saudi donation and focused in part on "ways to ensure that content aimed at students systematically reflects cultural and religious diversity, and avoids gender stereotypes." Then, last week, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah cut a $20 million check to UNESCO's emergency fund. Critics warn that the funding will come at a price, and predict the Saudis will want input into what goes into rewritten textbooks. "Saudi textbooks are extremely hateful and full of xenophobic texts," said Ali AlAhmed, author of the upcoming book "Saudi School Books: Objective Education or Extremist Indoctrination?" and director of the Gulf Institute in Washington, D.C.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DVD

PRICE R 299.00

 

 

 

 

Description

With the wealth of information at our fingertips, it is sometimes hard to see the ‘’forest for the trees’’. In this Strategic Briefing, we will give you a current perspective on many of the trends that shape our world and their relevance to Biblical Prophecy. Now, more than ever, we need to stay informed about what is really going on.

What is REALLY going on in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt?
Who is going to deal with the nuclear Iran?
Will Israel go it alone?
What about America’s political future and what is on its' 2013 horizon?

Most Americans are totally unaware that the sacred Bill of Rights has been essentially
eliminated; how, when and by whom?

Europe - The State of Dis-Union and its Islamization.

Join Dr. Chuck Missler and Ron Matsen in the Executive Brie fing Room of
The River Lodge, New Zealand, in an intensive summary of some of the
Strategic Trends that will impact all of us.

© 2012 Koinonia House Inc.

This briefing pack collection contains 4 hours of teaching

DVD:

2 Disks
4 M4A Files
Color, 16:9, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, Region 0 encoding

 This DVD will be viewable in other countries WITH the proper DVD player and television set.)

 

 

Thumbnail 4:47

 

http://www.spacewar.com/Superpowers.html

Japan plans more proactive role in Asian security

 
‎01 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎02:29:10 PMGo to full article
Singapore (AFP) May 30, 2014 - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed Friday that his country would play a larger role in promoting peace in Asia, and called for the rule of law to be upheld in the region.

Laying out a vision of Tokyo as a counterweight to the growing might of China, Abe offered Japan's help to regional partners "to ensure security of the seas and skies".

He said Japan and the United States stood ready to bolster security cooperation with Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

"Japan intends to play an even greater and more proactive role than it has until now in making peace in Asia and the world something more certain," he said in a keynote speech at an annual Asia security forum in Singapore.

Abe said Japan will provide 10 new coast guard patrol ships to Philippines, which has one of Asia's most poorly equipped security forces.

He said three such vessels have already been provided to Indonesia and Vietnam may receive similar assistance.

Abe delivered his speech as tensions simmer over territorial disputes, involving China and some Southeast Asian states in the South China Sea as well as between Tokyo and Beijing in the East China Sea.

Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea, even waters approaching the shores of neighbouring countries, and has become more aggressive in enforcing what it says are its historical rights.

- 'Dangerous' manoeuvres -

In the latest tensions, Vietnam on Thursday accused Chinese war ships of pointing their weapons at Vietnamese vessels during an escalating standoff near an oil rig in contested waters in the South China Sea.

The Philippines has also faced increasingly tense disputes with China for control of islets and reefs in the sea.

In one high-profile incident in 2012, the Philippines lost control of a rich fishing ground 220 kilometres (135 miles) off its main island to China after a standoff.

China is also in dispute with Japan over islands in the East Sea, which Tokyo calls Senkaku and Beijing refers to as Diaoyu. Tokyo has control over the outcrops.

On May 25, Japan accused China of "dangerous" manoeuvres in the area after a Chinese fighter flew within roughly 30 metres (100 feet) of a Japanese military aircraft.

"We do not welcome dangerous encounters by fighter aircraft and vessels at sea," Abe said, reiterating a call for both countries to establish a maritime and air communication mechanism in order to prevent unexpected situations.

Abe repeatedly used the phrase "rule of law" during his speech, urging nations to respect international norms in dealing with territorial rows, avoiding coercion in enforcing claims and settling disputes by peaceful means.

"I urge all of us who live in Asia and the Pacific to each individually uphold these three principles exhaustively," he said at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a security forum involving defence chiefs, military officials and security experts.

"Movement to consolidate changes to the status quo by aggregating one fait accompli after another can only be strongly condemned as something that contravenes the spirit of these three principles," he said, without mentioning any country.

Abe told the forum that talks were under way in his country about Japan's pacifist armed forces taking on a more pro-active role in security.

US defence secretary Chuck Hagel told Abe during bilateral talks on the sidelines in Singapore that he welcomed the initiative, Japan's Jiji Press news agency reported.

Japan's Self Defence Forces have not fired a shot in battle since a battered and broken country surrendered in 1945, accepting a US-led occupation that would last until 1952.

Its once-huge armed forces were emasculated, stripped by the foreign-imposed constitution of the right to wage war and restricted to a defensive role.

Chinese state media said Abe had "played with international law to advance his thinly-veiled nationalist goals" in the address.

Speaking ahead of Abe on the sidelines of the Singapore meeting, Fu Ying, the head of the foreign affairs committee of China's parliament, said the Japanese leader did not appear "to show any interest in addressing" their bilateral dispute.

Fu said Abe was trying to use the dispute as an excuse to "amend the security policy of Japan", adding that this is "what is worrying to the region, and for China".

 

 

China to promote its security theory at Shangri-La

 
‎01 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎02:29:10 PMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) May 30, 2014 - China said Friday it would promote its own security theory at an Asian defence forum this weekend, setting the scene for a clash with neighbour and rival Japan.

Beijing's delegation to the so-called Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore will be headed by Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army, foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.

The Chinese delegation will "fully elaborate on China's security concept in Asia", he said at a regular briefing.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is attending, will lay out at the meeting a vision of Tokyo -- which has a security alliance with the US -- as a counterweight to Beijing's growing might, Japan's Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported Thursday.

But at a regional summit last week Chinese President Xi Jinping warned that countries should not build up military alliances in Asia.

"To beef up an entrenched or military alliance targeted at a third party is not conducive to maintaining common security," Xi said, without naming names.

Beijing and Tokyo are embroiled in a bitter dispute over Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea.

Fu Ying, head of the foreign affairs committee of the National People's Congress, China's rubber-stamp parliament, will also attend the Dialogue, Hong added.

Fu is a former vice foreign minister and ex-ambassador to London, and is considered a more effective communicator than most Chinese officials.

The three-day Asia Security Summit, starting Friday, comes amid heightened tensions between China and its neighbours over maritime territorial rows.

As well as the dispute with Japan, China claims almost all of the South China Sea, parts of which are also claimed by the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, all members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and non-member Taiwan.

The row between Beijing and Hanoi is currently the most volatile, after China deployed a drilling rig in contested waters, and escalated this week when Vietnam accused a Chinese vessel of ramming and sinking a fishing boat nearby.

No one was hurt in the incident, which Beijing blamed on the Vietnamese vessel.

 

 

NATO sees 'some signs' Russia troops leaving Ukraine border

 
‎01 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎02:29:10 PMGo to full article
Vilnius (AFP) May 30, 2014 - NATO said Friday it has seen signs Russia is pulling troops back from its Ukraine border and announced its first talks with Moscow since its disputed annexation of Crimea.

"We have seen some signs of a start of Russian withdrawal," the alliance's outgoing Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Vilnius.

"Maybe around two thirds have now pulled back."

US Secretary of State John Kerry said earlier the troops -- estimated by NATO to number 40,000 -- were pulling back, days after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced they were to return to bases after the end of spring exercises.

Their presence had raised deep concerns after Moscow annexed Crimea in March and pro-Moscow rebels launched an ongoing uprising in eastern Ukraine.

In a further sign of a thaw in relations with Russia, Rasmussen on Friday announced a NATO-Russia Council would be held in Brussels next Monday.

The meeting between officials from the 28 member countries of NATO and Russia to will be the first since early March, when the Kremlin annexed Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula of Crimea and sparked an armed uprising in the east.

As parts of the separatist rust belt plunged further into anarchy Friday, Rasmussen also urged Russia not to meddle in the region -- something Moscow staunchly denies.

"We continue to call on Russia to stop supporting armed pro-Russian gangs and seal the border, so that we don't see arms and fighters crossing into Ukraine," he said.

He also vowed that NATO would boost cooperation with Ukraine.

"You will see in the future a strengthened cooperation between NATO and Ukraine, also when it comes to military cooperation," he said.

Ukraine is part of the alliance's Partnership for Peace programme, focussed on building ties with countries that were once within the Soviet sphere of influence.

Rasmussen said Kiev had forwarded the alliance a list of ways it could help, including by modernising their armed forces.

NATO itself does not have the resources to provide Kiev with military hardware but could make arrangements with member states.

"When it comes to the delivery of equipment it is a bilateral arrangement between the Ukrainian government and individual NATO allies," Rasmussen said.

 

 

Russia says Ukraine breaches Geneva Convention on protection of civilians

 
‎01 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎02:29:10 PMGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) May 30, 2014 - Russia on Friday accused Kiev's armed forces of breaching international law protecting civilians in wartime by killing and wounding peaceful citizens as it fights pro-Russian insurgents.

The Investigative Committee, the Russian equivalent of the FBI, said in a statement that Ukraine's armed forces as well as its National Guard and the Right Sector ultra-nationalist group caused civilian deaths "in breach of the Geneva Convention of 1949 on protecting the civilian population in time of war."

"Those guilty of the deaths of peaceful civilians and children according to all the canons of international law must bear responsibility for this," the statement said.

Russia said it had opened a criminal case under Russian law to probe "the use of banned means and methods in fighting a war."

Russia said it was launching its own investigation because "today there is not one country in the world that is able to accept the obvious, that the actions of the Ukrainian authorities are criminal."

It cited last Sunday's deaths of Italian journalist Andrea Rocchelli and his assistant, Russian rights activist Andrei Mironov, in a firefight in the rebel-held flashpoint of Slavyansk and the week-long detention of two Russian journalists from a pro-Kremlin website Life News by Ukrainian security forces.

It also listed the deaths of wounded rebels being transported in an open truck during a raid on Donetsk airport this week.

It mentioned the "bombardment of the cities of Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Donetsk, Mariupol and other residential areas in the proclaimed Donestk and Lugansk People's Republics."

Russia believes Ukraine's armed forces "deliberately, with the aim of murdering peaceful citizens, used weapons, artillery, aviation, including with United Nations emblems and armament of combat vehicles and hardware."

"As a result, there are dead and wounded among the peaceful population," the Investigative Committee said.

It said that Ukrainian armed forces had also partly or wholly destroyed infrastructure including "hospitals, kindergartens and schools."

"The actions against the peaceful population have forced a number of residents of the Republic of Ukraine and the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, some of them Russian citizens, to flee their homes," it said.

 

 

Ukraine leader vows to punish rebels after chopper downed

 
‎01 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎02:29:10 PMGo to full article
Kiev (AFP) May 30, 2014 - Ukraine's president-elect Petro Poroshenko vowed to punish pro-Russian rebels who downed an army helicopter in the east of the country, killing 12 troops in one of the deadliest attacks of the insurgency.

The militants shot the Mi-8 helicopter gunship out of the sky with a sophisticated surface-to-air missile Thursday, prompting the White House to say the incident raised concerns about the rebels being supplied "from the outside".

"We have to do everything we can to ensure no more Ukrainians die at the hands of terrorists and bandits. These criminal acts by the enemies of the Ukrainian people will not go unpunished," said Poroshenko, according to Ukrainian news agencies.

Defence Minister Mykhailo Koval was to give details on the attack near the industrial town of Slavyansk at a press briefing early Friday.

One of the separatists' leaders made a surprise admission Thursday that 33 out of more than 40 rebels killed during a raid on Donetsk airport this week were Russian nationals from Muslim regions such as Chechnya.

The revelation challenged President Vladimir Putin's rejection of Russian links to the separatist drive and supports Kiev's claims that the rebels do not represent the true will of the miners and steel workers who have turned the east into the economic engine of Ukraine.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said late Thursday there was "evidence of Russians crossing over, trained personnel from Chechnya trained in Russia, who've come across to stir things up, to engage in fighting".

Kerry urged Russia to take advantage of Sunday's presidential election and "build a road forward where Ukraine becomes a bridge between the West and the East".

Russian troops massed on Ukraine's borders are also moving back toward Moscow, but there are still "danger signs", he told PBS television.

Moscow meanwhile called on Kiev to impose an immediate ceasefire and urged the West to use its influence to prevent "a national disaster" in Ukraine.

"The international community awaits from Kiev an immediate ceasing of military activities in the east of the country and the withdrawal of troops. Without that, achieving peace in Ukraine is impossible," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Western-backed Poroshenko -- winner of 54.7 percent of Sunday's vote and due to be inaugurated on June 7 -- needs to avert another showdown with Russia that could see his economically teetering nation cut off from gas supplies by the start of next week.

But cash-strapped Ukraine appeared to avert the immediate threat of a gas cut-off when the European Union announced that a new round of talks between the EU, Russia and Ukraine will be held in Berlin on Friday.

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, who will attend the meeting, said earlier this week Russia and Ukraine had a "good chance" of striking a deal by Sunday.

- Rebels use Russian-made system -

Yet the Kiev government's attention Thursday was fixed on Slavyansk -- an industrial city of 120,000 mostly ethnic Russians that was the first of a dozen towns and cities seized by the rebels in response to the February ouster in Kiev of a pro-Kremlin president.

"I just received information that near Slavyansk, the terrorists -- using a Russian man-portable air defence system -- shot down our helicopter," acting President Oleksandr Turchynov told parliament.

Those killed included General Volodymyr Kulchytskiy, six members of the National Guard force made up of volunteers and interior ministry troops.

It was the highest death toll since Ukraine lost 18 soldiers during hours of heavy fighting in the same Donetsk region on May 22.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said while still trying to verify the reports, "we are concerned that this indicates separatists continue to have access to advanced weaponry and other assistance from the outside."

A separatist spokesman had earlier told Russian news agencies that the helicopter was downed in a fierce battle that was still raging on the southern outskirts of Slavyansk.

- Suspected as spies -

The city's self-proclaimed "people's mayor" announced that four civilian monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had been detained on suspicion that they were spies.

"No one arrested them. We detained them. Now we will work out who they are, where they were going and why, and we will let them go," Vyacheslav Ponomaryov told Russia's Interfax news agency.

He later told Russia's RIA Novosti agency that they were being held in the town of Makiivka on the eastern outskirts of Donetsk.

But the pro-Russian "prime minister" of the self-declared Republic of Donetsk added confusion over their fate, raising uncertainty about their whereabouts.

"We do not know where they are and we are looking for them," said Alexander Borodai, adding that the Slavyansk mayor had a tendency "to exaggerate things".

A source at the OSCE told AFP that the missing team -- a Dane, an Estonian, a Swiss national and a Turk -- included one woman and that negotiations for their release had been going on for some time.

- Gas deadline -

With the Berlin talks set for Friday Kiev has been relieved from a deadline to pay Russia $2 billion under an EU-brokered agreement or face a halt in gas supplies next week that would also hit parts of Europe.

Russia and Ukraine launched their third gas war in less than a decade after Moscow decided to cancel its previous rebates and nearly double the price it charges Kiev for gas after Kremlin-backed president Viktor Yanukovych's fall in February.

About 15 percent of all gas consumed in Europe is pumped in from Russia through Ukraine and analysts say it is in both sides' interest to find a compromise.

 

 

US urges China to avoid tensions in airspace

 
‎01 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎02:29:10 PMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) May 29, 2014 - The United States warned China Thursday against sparking tensions in international airspace after Japan accused Beijing of "dangerous maneuvers" above disputed seas.

"We do not accept China's declaration of an ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone) over the East China Sea and urge China not to implement it," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

"We continue to urge China to work with other countries to establish confidence-building measures, including emergency communications channels, which can address dangers and lower tensions."

Japan has alleged that a Chinese fighter on Saturday flew within roughly 30 meters (100 feet) of a Japanese OP-3C surveillance plane above the waters where the countries' air defense identification zones overlap.

Another Chinese SU-27 fighter also flew close to a Japanese YS-11EB plane in the same airspace, the Japanese defense ministry said.

One fighter jet approached to within about 50 meters and the other was as close as 30 meters to the Japanese planes, according to the spokesman.

But Beijing hit back Thursday at Tokyo's claims, saying two Japanese F-15 fighter jets came recklessly close to a Chinese Y-8 transport aircraft in an incident on November 23.

Psaki said Washington urged all states "to ensure that they respect the safety of aircraft in flight."

"Any attempt to interfere with freedom of overflight in international airspace raises regional tensions and increases the risk of miscalculation, confrontation, and unintended incidents," she maintained.

Relations between Japan and China are strained by a territorial dispute over Tokyo-controlled islands in the East China Sea known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese.

Beijing raised regional tensions in November by declaring an air defense identification zone covering the area, which overlaps a similar Japanese zone.

 

 

China slams US lawmakers over Liu Xiaobo street proposal

 
‎01 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎02:29:10 PMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) May 30, 2014 - Beijing on Friday slammed as "provocative" a proposal by US lawmakers to rename the street outside China's Washington embassy in honour of the jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo.

Liu was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2009 on a charge of "incitement to subversion of state power", based in part on his spearheading of Charter 08, a petition urging greater protection of human rights and democratic reforms in China.

A diverse group of members of the US House of Representatives said that changing the name of a section of the road would embolden Chinese rights campaigners.

But Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei called the suggestion a "provocative action" at a regular press briefing.

"Liu Xiaobo is a man who has violated Chinese laws, he has been convicted by the Chinese judicial authorities," he added.

The writer and long term activist was awarded his Nobel in 2010, incensing China's Communist authorities, who deal harshly with dissidents and other potential threats to their authority.

His wife Liu Xia, 53, has not been charged with any crime but has been held under house arrest since then.

The lawmakers' announcement came as the National Endowment for Democracy, a non-profit organisation funded by the US Congress, dedicated its annual award to Liu and another imprisoned activist, Xu Zhiyong.

Xu was sentenced in January to four years in prison for supporting demonstrations that urged government officials to disclose their assets.

During the Cold War, Washington renamed the street in front of the Soviet embassy in honour of dissident Andrei Sakharov.

 

 

China accuses Japan of 'dangerous' flight in air zone

 
‎01 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎02:29:10 PMGo to full article
Beijing (AFP) May 29, 2014 - Beijing hit back Thursday at Tokyo's claims of "dangerous" flying near disputed islands, accusing Japanese fighter jets of coming recklessly close to a Chinese aircraft last year.

Two Japanese F-15 fighter planes came within 10 metres of a Chinese Y-8 transport aircraft over the East China Sea on November 23, defence ministry spokesman Geng Fusheng said, according to a transcript on the ministry's website.

"We conducted an effective response to dangerous Japanese close surveillance, and have conclusive evidence (of the incident)," he said.

Beijing raised tensions in November when it declared an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) covering the East China Sea, overlapping a similar Japanese zone and covering islands bitterly disputed between the two nations.

The Tokyo-controlled outcrops are known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese.

Analysts have warned that increased patrols inside the zones raise the risk of accidents which could spiral into conflict.

A Japanese ministry spokesman on Sunday said a Chinese SU-27 jet flew within 30 meters of a Japanese OP-3C surveillance plane above the waters where the countries' ADIZs overlap.

"They were dangerous acts that could lead to an accident," Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters about the incident on Saturday.

China's defence ministry said two Japanese planes entered China's ADIZ, "interfering with joint naval exercises between China and Russia" for which a "no fly" notice had been issued.

 

 

Abe to put forward Japan as counterweight to China

 
‎01 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎02:29:10 PMGo to full article
Tokyo (AFP) May 29, 2014 - Japan's prime minister will lay out a vision of Tokyo as a counterweight to the growing might of China this weekend, at a major security forum set to be dominated by escalating regional disputes.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will tell the so-called Shangri-La Dialogue that Japan and its partner the United States stand ready to jointly bolster security cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported.

He will stop short of singling out China, the paper added, but there will be little doubt about where he thinks the blame lies for the various rows in the South China Sea, and in Japan's own battle with Beijing over East China Sea islands.

Abe will likely "announce his aim to play more active roles in Asia by using the Japan-US alliance as the foundation," said Koichi Nakano, political science professor at Tokyo's Sophia University.

The nationalist premier has set about reshaping the rules of engagement for Japan's powerful, though little-used, military as he pushes a doctrine he has dubbed "proactive pacifism".

He has offered support -- both practical and rhetorical -- to Manila and Hanoi, in the form of coastguard vessels and public pronouncements.

Both are engaged in corrosive territorial rows with Beijing, and both are heavily outgunned by China, whose military has enjoyed double-digit budget rises annually for more than a decade.

Abe will be hoping that other countries in the region will see that succour as a sign of Japan's willingness to engage, offering them an alternative to Chinese power from the only country with the military clout.

- No Abe meeting with Xi -

During his keynote speech Friday which kicks off the three-day Asia Security Summit in Singapore, Abe will urge China to respect the rule of law, Kyodo News said, at a time that the impression is growing in the region that the world's number two economy is becoming increasingly assertive.

Abe will call for "constructive discussions", said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, to take the heat out of rows that pit China against a number of ASEAN countries, as well as Tokyo against Beijing.

"Considering the heightening situations in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, we hope that various constructive discussions will take place toward this region's peace and safety" at the forum, he said.

Since coming to power in late 2012, Abe has assiduously courted ASEAN, visiting all 10 member countries at least once.

He has still not been to China, nor met with Xi Jinping, its president.

Some ASEAN members have been bolder than others in standing up to China; Vietnam and the Philippines have both proved willing to push back, despite their relative military weakness.

Others have been less keen to put their heads above the parapet for fear of angering Beijing.

- 'Extremely dangerous act' -

China, which insists it owns virtually the whole of the South China Sea, prefers to tackle ASEAN members individually so that it never faces a bloc-wide response to its claims to islands far from its shores.

The most volatile of the rows involving China escalated Tuesday when Hanoi claimed a Chinese vessel had rammed and sunk a fishing boat near a drilling rig in contested waters.

No one was hurt in the incident, but it was believed to be the first sinking since ships from the two sides started duelling over the area several weeks ago.

Suga said if the reports were true, the ramming was an "extremely dangerous act".

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Tuesday, Abe said Beijing's "unilateral drilling activities" for oil in waters claimed also by Hanoi have led to a "heightening of tensions".

"We will never tolerate the change of status quo by force or coercion," Abe told the paper.

Beijing shot back, arguing that Japan had stirred up trouble in the South China Sea during World War II and should mind its business.

"Japanese leaders like to make an issue of China's force," said a foreign ministry spokesman on Tuesday. "The force we have is a wave of positive energy that promotes world peace, stability and development."

Much of Asia -- save China and the Korean peninsula -- appears at ease with a more engaged Japan, but Abe must face down opposition at home for plans to allow his armed forces to help allies under fire -- something barred under current interpretations of Japan's constitution.

But while he may be pushing against an open door with ASEAN, he would be wise not to push too hard and make member nations feel they were being asked to choose between Tokyo and Beijing, warned Sophia University's Nakano.

 

 

Modi invites China President Xi to visit India

 
‎01 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎02:29:10 PMGo to full article
New Delhi (AFP) May 29, 2014 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit India later this year as the new Hindu nationalist leader extended another olive branch Thursday to one of New Delhi's traditional rivals.

The invitation was made during a phone call between the newly-elected Modi and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang in which both premiers expressed a desire for stronger ties, India's foreign ministry said.

Their conversation came only two days after Modi held landmark talks with Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister of India's other nuclear-armed neighbour, Pakistan.

"Prime Minister Modi extended through Premier Li an invitation to President Xi Jinping to pay a visit to India later this year," said a foreign ministry statement.

Li conveyed the "Chinese government's desire to establish robust partnership with the new government of India for further development of relations between the two nations", the statement added.

Modi said he wanted to work closer with the Chinese government to deal with any "outstanding issues in our bilateral relations" and "welcomed greater economic engagement between the two countries".

The last visit from a Chinese head of state to India was made by Xi's predecessor Hu Jintao in 2012 when the left-leaning Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was in power.

Modi, leader of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party, took office on Monday after winning a landslide election victory that swept the Congress party from power after 10 years of rule.

While there is heavy trade between India and China, relations are still dogged by mutual suspicion -- a legacy of a brief, bloody border war in 1962 over the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh that is nestled in the eastern stretch of the Himalayas that China claims as its own.

- 'Expansionist mindset' -

In February, Modi had warned neighbour China to shed its "expansionist mindset" at an election rally in Arunachal Pradesh.

China hit back at Modi's remarks, saying it had "never waged a war of aggression to occupy any inch of land of other countries".

Relations between the two countries also took a hit in April last year when India accused Chinese troops of intruding deep into its territory in another remote region of the Himalayas, sparking a three-week stand-off that was only resolved when troops from both sides pulled back.

The countries have held a series of talks to try to resolve their border dispute but the frontier still bristles with tension.

At an annual defence and security dialogue in New Delhi earlier this year, the two countries had agreed to hold a high-level military meetings in India to discuss management of border issues.

The talks had also decided that their next joint army exercise would be in India in 2014 after a "successful" one in China last year.

China has been embroiled in a series of territorial and other disputes with its neighbours over the years, including Vietnam, which on occasion have led to armed conflict.

Beijing is also involved in multiple other disputes in the South China Sea, and has a bitter row with Japan over islands in the East China Sea.

Despite his reputation as a hardline nationalist, Modi invited Sharif to his inauguration ceremony on Monday in New Delhi, along with the leaders of several other neighbouring countries.

 

 

Vietnam accuses Chinese ships of gun threats

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎05:28:42 PMGo to full article
Hanoi (AFP) May 29, 2014 - Vietnam on Thursday accused Chinese war ships of pointing their weapons at Vietnamese vessels during an escalating standoff near an oil rig in contested waters.

The tense confrontation came as China moved its deep-sea rig to a new location earlier this week that Hanoi considers is still within its territory.

"When we approached (the Chinese warships guarding the rig) they uncovered their guns, turned them and pointed them at the Vietnamese vessels," Ha Le, deputy chief of Vietnam's Fisheries Surveillance Department, told AFP.

Japanese media meanwhile reported a standoff during which at least eight Chinese ships surrounded and trained their machine guns on a Vietnamese coastguard boat, just six kilometres (around four miles) from the rig.

One Chinese ship kept a machine gun pointed on the Vietnamese vessel as it came within just 200 metres (220 yards), according to a Yomiuri Shimbun journalist at the scene.

The report said that at least 100 Chinese ships had been in the area as Chinese jets flew overhead.

Vietnamese and Chinese vessels have engaged in increasingly tense skirmishes over the rig in the South China Sea that have triggered international alarm.

On Tuesday, Vietnam accused a Chinese ship of ramming and sinking one of its fishing boats -- the first ship reported sunk since the dispute flared in early May.

The confrontations have included reported rammings and the use of water cannon. Vietnam says dozens of people have been injured in the clashes.

"They use water cannons every day, whenever we approach their boats," Le said.

Japan and the Philippines also have tense disputes at sea with China.

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Thursday that skirmishes were inevitable but "we must be restrained," according to state media.

He said at least 30 Vietnamese ships had been damaged by Chinese vessels.

Beijing, which claims nearly all of the South China Sea, blames Vietnam for the standoff, saying that the rig is in its own waters.

 

 

Obama warns against 'aggression' in South China Sea

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎05:28:42 PMGo to full article
West Point, United States (AFP) May 28, 2014 - President Barack Obama warned Wednesday that the United States was ready to respond to China's "aggression" toward its neighbors at sea but said Washington should lead by example by ratifying a key treaty.

In a wide-ranging speech on foreign policy to US military cadets at West Point, Obama said that the United States should shun isolationism and that its military must be prepared for crises.

"Regional aggression that goes unchecked -- whether it's southern Ukraine, or the South China Sea, or anywhere else in the world -- will ultimately impact our allies, and could draw in our military," Obama said.

But Obama emphasized caution on any decision to use force and said: "American influence is always stronger when we lead by example."

"We can't try to resolve the problems in the South China Sea when we have refused to make sure that the Law of the Sea Convention is ratified by the United States -- despite the fact that our top military leaders say that the treaty advances our national security," Obama said, not naming China directly as he diverted from his prepared text.

"That's not leadership; that's retreat. That's not strength; that's weakness," Obama said.

Senators of the rival Republican Party have refused to ratify the treaty, saying that the UN convention would override US sovereignty.

Tensions have been rising for months between China and its neighbors at sea, with Vietnam on Tuesday accusing Beijing of ramming and sinking one of its fishing boats in the South China Sea.

Japan and the Philippines also have tense disputes at sea with China. Japanese commentators have voiced concern that the US failure to prevent Russia from annexing Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in March sent the wrong signal to China.

In another reference to policy toward Asia, Obama again cited the democratic reforms in Myanmar as a success story.

The administration upon entering office in 2009 opened a dialogue with the then military-ruled nation earlier known as Burma, whose relations have improved with the United States have improved dramatically.

"Progress there could be reversed. But if Burma succeeds, we will have gained a new partner without having fired a shot," Obama said.

Myanmar has freed political prisoners, eased censorship and welcomed foreign investors, but human rights groups have voiced alarm over violence against the mostly Muslim Rohingya minority.

 

 

Dozens dead as Ukraine claims control of Donetsk airport

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎05:28:42 PMGo to full article
Donetsk, Ukraine (AFP) May 27, 2014 - Ukraine said Tuesday it had recaptured the airport in the eastern city of Donetsk after a day of air strikes and fierce gun battles with pro-Moscow separatist militants that left dozens of people dead.

Caught up in the drama in Donetsk were a team of international monitors with the OSCE who have gone missing after being detained at a checkpoint.

As fear gripped the city's streets, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Ukraine to end its "punitive" operation in the rebel-held east and for talks between Kiev and the insurgents.

The battle for the main transport hub in Ukraine's industrial heartland erupted Monday just hours after president-elect Petro Poroshenko vowed to take a tough stand against the "terrorists".

"The airport is under our full control. The enemy suffered heavy losses. We have none," Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said.

He said however the military was continuing its operation and AFP journalists reported hearing sporadic gunfire and explosions during the day.

US President Barack Obama called the president-elect and offered him "the full support of the United States" but UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Ukraine to use "exclusively peaceful means" to regain control in the east.

- Makeshift blockades -

Donetsk mayor Oleksandr Lukyanchenko said two civilians and 38 combatants had died and another 31 were wounded, including Russians and possibly Chechens.

An AFP correspondent reported seeing body parts and blood splattered near a bullet-riddled truck on the airport road, where makeshift blockades had been set up with dumper trucks and piles of tyres.

The streets of Donetsk were eerily deserted as people stayed inside, and shops and restaurants shut early.

"The people around here don't know what is going on. Everyone says something different," said one resident called Sergei.

"It is terrifying."

Combat jets and helicopter gunships struck the airport terminal Monday after it was seized by scores of gunmen just a day after Ukraine's presidential election won by Poroshenko.

The OSCE, which has played a key role in trying to end the crisis, said it had lost contact since Monday with four monitors -- a Dane, an Estonian, a Swiss and a Turk -- while on patrol in Donetsk.

An official in Vienna said they had been held at a checkpoint before contact was lost, while a Turkish foreign ministry official said: "We have learnt through unofficial channels they are safe and sound." The Danish government confirmed that one of their nationals is among those being "detained".

The OSCE meanwhile announced that two Ukrainian journalists accused of "spying" were take hostage by separatists in the Luhansk district.

The organisation said the pair and their driver were abducted on May 25 and held by pro-Russia rebels in an occupied building.

Monday's air strikes represented the most forceful action yet by Kiev in its battle to crush a bloody rebellion that has raged in the coal and steel belt since early April, threatening to plunge the former Soviet state into all out civil war.

Its action also revived tensions between Kiev and Moscow, which had initially said it was ready to work with the new leader of its western neighbour.

In his first comments on Ukraine since Sunday's election, the Kremlin said Putin called "for an immediate end to the military's punitive operation in southeastern regions and the establishment of peaceful dialogue between Kiev and regional representatives".

- 'Visit not being considered' -

Poroshenko said Monday the military would press on with its offensive against the insurgents who now control about a dozen cities and towns in the east.

And he insisted there would be "no talks with terrorists" who he said were trying to turn Ukraine into another Somalia.

The 48-year-old pro-Western chocolate tycoon also said he was ready to engage with the Russian leadership and was optimistic a meeting with Putin could be arranged soon.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov -- who initially said Moscow was open to "pragmatic dialogue" with the new leader -- declared that a visit by Poroshenko was "not being considered".

On Tuesday, Ukraine's foreign ministry summoned an official from the Russian embassy in protest at "armed terrorists" being allowed to enter Ukraine from Russia.

Sunday's election had been viewed as crucial if Ukraine was able to turn the page on months of turmoil that unfolded following the February ouster of Kiev's pro-Kremlin leadership by a pro-EU protest movement.

Kiev and the West accuse Russia of pulling the strings of the insurgents who took up arms against the central government in the wake of the Kremlin's seizure of the Black Sea peninsula Crimea in March.

The United States and its allies had warned of another round of sanctions against Moscow if it meddled in Sunday's election, which saw Poroshenko declared the clear winner with 54 percent.

In the days before the poll, Russia also announced it had started withdrawing from Ukraine's border around 40,000 soldiers whose presence had raised Western suspicions it could be planning to invade.

The insurgency, which has now cost around 200 lives, thwarted polling in much of the east and rebels have defiantly refused to recognise Poroshenko's election.

But Western leaders have hailed the outcome and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was now time to "continue the path of internal reconciliation".

As well as trying to end the unrest and introduce constitutional reforms to address the concerns of the Russian minority, Poroshenko must also try to avert economic collapse after years of Soviet-era mismanagement and rampant corruption.

Ukraine is also trying to negotiate a deal to prevent Russia from cutting off gas supplies from next week if it fails to pay a multi-billion dollar bill.

 

 

Vietnam accuses Chinese ship of sinking fishing boat

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎05:28:42 PMGo to full article
Hanoi (AFP) May 27, 2014 - Vietnam on Tuesday accused a Chinese ship of ramming and sinking one of its fishing boats, fanning territorial tensions over Beijing's deployment of an oil rig in contested waters.

The incident, which China's rival Japan described as "extremely dangerous", comes during an ongoing tense confrontation between the communist neighbours in the South China Sea that has triggered international alarm.

Vietnam summoned a representative of Beijing's embassy to formally protest the incident, which it said followed recent cases of damage to its fishing boats and assault of its fishermen by Chinese forces.

The crew of the sunken vessel, who were rescued by other Vietnamese ships after the Monday afternoon incident, said their boat was encircled by 40 Chinese vessels before being rammed, the official Vietnam News Agency reported.

"Once again, Vietnam demands China to end inhumane acts that seriously infringed on the life, properties and legitimate interests of Vietnamese fishermen," Hanoi's foreign ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said in a statement.

The 10 fishermen on board were all safe, according to a second Vietnamese official, who said the sinking occurred about 12 nautical miles southwest of the oil rig.

Beijing blamed the Vietnamese vessel, saying it had "forcefully intruded" into the area of the oil rig and capsized after colliding with a Chinese fishing boat.

"I want to stress that the direct cause of this incident is that the Vietnamese side insisted on disturbing the normal work of the Chinese side," said Beijing's foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang.

"Some countries fantasise that (China) will sit idly by while its interests and sovereignty are damaged," he added.

Qin said the rig had moved to a new location, but Vietnamese state media said it was still within what Hanoi considered its territory.

It was the first ship reported sunk since the dispute flared in early May. The standoff has seen repeated skirmishes between dozens of Chinese and Vietnamese vessels, including many civilian and fishing boats.

The confrontations have included reported rammings and the use of water cannon.

A dozen Vietnamese fisheries surveillance officers have been injured in rammings since the start of May, the deputy commander of the Vietnam Marine Police, Ngo Ngoc Thu, told AFP.

- Call for cool heads -

Relations between frequently testy neighbours Vietnam and China have plummeted over the oil rig's presence, which has worsened an increasingly heated dispute over territorial claims in the area.

The oil rig is positioned in the vicinity of the contested Paracel Islands.

In Japan -- which has a thorny maritime territorial dispute of its own with Beijing in the East China Sea -- government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said if the report was true, it was an "extremely dangerous act".

"It's important that relevant countries abstain from unilateral actions that raise tensions and that the countries act cool-headedly, observing international laws," said Suga.

But China's Qin urged Japan "to respect historical facts about China's resumption of the exercise of sovereignty over the Xisha Islands after WWII and stop making irresponsible remarks," according to official news agency Xinhua.

The Paracel Islands are called Xisha by Beijing.

Qin added that China would not accept "unreasonable remarks or any interference from other countries" and that drilling was done in waters that are "inherently Chinese", Xinhua said.

Tensions over the oil rig sparked violent anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam earlier this month. Beijing says four Chinese citizens died in the unrest, while Vietnam says three Chinese died.

Hundreds of people have been detained over the riots and two Vietnamese men on Sunday became the first sentenced to jail, receiving terms of one and three years.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said last week that China's placement of the rig in the contested area had "seriously threatened peace".

China claims nearly all of the sea, even waters approaching the coasts of its neighbours, and has become increasingly assertive in staking those claims.

Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia, as well as Taiwan, have competing claims to parts of the sea.

In recent years China has begun aggressively patrolling contested waters, using fishing bans and patrol boats to keep foreign trawlers out, according to Vietnamese officials and fishermen.

Hanoi says hundreds of fishing boat crews have been arrested by Chinese authorities over the past few years.

Beijing for its part estimates that more than 11,000 Chinese fishermen experienced attacks, robberies or detention by foreign vessels between 1989 and 2010.

 

 

Jaitley named India's finance, defence minister

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎05:28:42 PMGo to full article
New Delhi (AFP) May 27, 2014 - India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi appointed top corporate lawyer Arun Jaitley as his joint finance and defence minister and Sushma Swaraj as foreign minister in a streamlined cabinet Tuesday.

The cabinet portfolios were announced in an official government statement, the morning after Modi and his new team of ministers were sworn into office at a lavish ceremony in New Delhi.

Rajnath Singh, who is president of Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was named home affairs minister while Maneka Gandhi, who is the sister-in-law of opposition leader Sonia Gandhi, is the new women and child development minister.

Apart from Modi, there are only 23 full-ranking cabinet ministers in the new government -- five fewer than under his predecessor Manmohan Singh.

The BJP won the first parliamentary majority for any party in 30 years when the results of a marathon election were announced on May 16, meaning that he did not have to seek out new allies and give them cabinet posts.

 

 

China fighters in 'dangerous' brush with Japanese planes

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎05:28:42 PMGo to full article
Tokyo (AFP) May 25, 2014 - Japan on Sunday accused China of "dangerous" manoeuvres above disputed areas of the East China Sea, saying a Chinese fighter flew within roughly 30 metres (100 feet) of a Japanese military aircraft.

A defence ministry spokesman said a Chinese Su-27 jet on Saturday flew close to a Japanese OP-3C surveillance plane above the waters where the countries' air defence identification zones overlap.

Another Chinese SU-27 fighter also flew close to a Japanese YS-11EB plane in the same airspace, the ministry said.

One fighter jet approached to within about 50 metres and the other was as close as 30 metres to the Japanese planes, according to the spokesman.

Relations between Japan and China are strained by a territorial dispute over Tokyo-controlled islands in the East China Sea.

Beijing raised regional tensions in November by declaring an air defence identification zone covering the area, which overlaps a similar Japanese zone.

"They were dangerous acts that could lead to an accident," Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters on Sunday.

"The Japanese crew reported that the fighters were flying with missiles, which raised the tension as they handled the situation."

Tokyo protested to Beijing over the incident through diplomatic channels, he said.

The Chinese fighters did not enter the Japanese zone, according to the Asahi Shimbun daily.

The two Japanese aircraft were monitoring a joint naval drill by China and Russia in the northern East China Sea near Japanese territorial waters, Kyodo News said.

Chinese state-owned ships and aircraft have periodically approached the Senkaku islands, which China also claims and calls the Diaoyus, to assert Beijing's claim to them.

China's defence ministry said two Japanese planes entered China's air defence identification zone on Saturday, "interfering with joint naval exercises between China and Russia" for which a "no fly" notice had been issued.

Chinese aircraft were scrambled to "identify and take protective measures" against the Japanese planes, the ministry said in a statement on its website.

China has made representations to Japan asking it to "respect the legitimate rights of the Chinese and Russian navy", it said.

China and Russia started joint naval exercises on Tuesday as their leaders promised to strengthen relations in the face of international criticism over their territorial disputes.

The exercises ended on Sunday.

 

 

Possible Russian withdrawal from Ukraine border: NATO

 
‎23 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎02:47:24 PMGo to full article
Podgorica, Montenegro (AFP) May 22, 2014 - Limited Russian troop movements near the border with Ukraine "may suggest" preparations for a withdrawal, NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday.

"Late yesterday (Wednesday), we have seen limited Russian troop activity in the vicinity of the border with Ukraine that may suggest that some of these forces are preparing to withdraw," Rasmussen said in Montenegro.

"It is too early to say what this means, but I hope this is the start of a full and genuine withdrawal," he said.

President Vladimir Putin on Monday announced that Russian troops near the border, estimated by NATO to number 40,000, were to return to bases after the end of spring exercises.

Their presence had raised deep concerns after Moscow's annexation of Crimea in March and an uprising by pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Kiev said on Thursday at least 14 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed by separatist rebels, dealing a heavy blow to the beleaguered government just three days before a crunch presidential poll.

The Pentagon also said there were signs of a possible withdrawal.

"We've seen some Russian forces move off the border," Colonel Steven Warren told reporters.

But he added: "What's important is that the Russians still maintain a very capable and very threatening force along the Ukrainian border."

Russia's defence ministry said Thursday that four trains and more than a dozen planes had taken equipment and troops away from the area.

"At present, most of the previously deployed Russian force remains near the Ukrainian border and we see continued Russian exercises in the same area," Rasmussen said.

"If we see any meaningful, comprehensive and verifiable withdrawal, I would be the first to welcome it.

"This would be a first step from Russia into the right direction of living up to its international commitments, especially as Ukraine is preparing to hold important presidential elections on Sunday," he added.

In Brussels, NATO's top military commander, US General Philip Breedlove, said it was too early to characterise "some movement" of troops, which was taking place in just one area along the border.

"The force that remains is very large and remains in a very coercive posture," Breedlove said, stressing that there needed to be "100 percent pullback".

"The scope of the movement seen so far is not going to affect the capability of the force there," he said, adding that Russia's actions in Ukraine had completely changed the European security situation.

"We are at a crossroads on how we will adapt ... in the long-term to address an aggressive neighbour."

Both NATO and Washington had earlier said they saw no evidence of any withdrawal.

 

 

'Hundreds' held as anti-China riots quelled: Vietnam

 
‎23 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎02:47:24 PMGo to full article
Manila (AFP) May 22, 2014 - Hundreds of people have been arrested in a government crackdown after deadly riots targeting Chinese people in Vietnam, senior Vietnamese officials said Thursday, warning anyone found in breach of the law would face tough punishment.

"The Vietnamese government has... contained the acts of law infringement and (will) strictly punish violators in accordance with the law," Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said in a speech to an economic conference in Manila.

"As a result, the situation has become totally stable. The enterprises' business and production have come back to normal," Dung added.

Vietnam's Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh later told reporters "hundreds of people" were in "temporary detention" in connection with the riots, which targeted Chinese and other foreign-owned businesses last week.

"They will be seriously punished in accordance with the law, including bringing them to justice in court," Vinh said.

Dung said the Vietnamese were protesting at what he alleged was China's illegal deployment of a deep-sea oil rig in South China Sea waters also claimed by Hanoi.

The Chinese foreign ministry said Wednesday that four people were killed and more than 100 others injured in last week's violence.

Thousands of Chinese have returned from Vietnam since the protests, according to official media reports in Beijing.

Hanoi initially lauded "patriotic" displays by its citizens, but backpedalled furiously after the violence badly stained the country's image as a safe destination for sorely needed foreign investment.

"The entire Vietnamese nation has been protesting against China's wrongdoings. In various localities of the country, the people have spontaneously launched demonstrations, in which some people became restive and violated the law," Dung said Thursday.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, parts of which are also claimed by the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam, all members of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), and non-member Taiwan.

Last week leaders of the 10-nation bloc presented a rare united front by expressing "serious concern" over disputes in the waters, which are home to key shipping lanes and thought to contain vast energy reserves.

The United States, allied to Vietnam and the Philippines, has refused to take sides while warning about the potential for tensions to escalate.

Dozens of Chinese and Vietnamese vessels have engaged in repeated skirmishes near the rig, including reported rammings and the use of water cannon.

 

 

Malaysia stresses China ties despite Asian rows

 
‎23 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎02:47:24 PMGo to full article
Tokyo (AFP) May 22, 2014 - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has distanced himself from growing territorial conflicts in Asia, telling a Japanese newspaper they should not jeopardise the "strategic importance" of his country's ties with Beijing.

"We must look at the big picture and not define relations with China on a single-issue basis but look at the broad spectrum of the relations, and recognise the strategic importance of our bilateral relationship with China," Najib told Thursday's Nikkei.

"We do not want (the territorial) issue to be an impediment to the growing ties between Malaysia and China," the Malaysian premier, on a visit to Japan, said in an interview with the business daily.

The comments come as Vietnam and the Philippines -- which along with Malaysia are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) -- are embroiled in separate rows with China over control of parts of the South China Sea.

Tensions remain high in the region after an eruption of deadly anti-China riots in Vietnam over Beijing's controversial plans to drill for oil in contested waters.

Kuala Lumpur and Beijing have their own rival claims to parts of the South China Sea -- believed to hold vast deposits of oil and gas -- but Najib has played these down as he pursues closer ties with Malaysia's top trading partner.

Najib's government has also been trying to placate Chinese anger over the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, two-thirds of whose 227 passengers were from China.

On Thursday, Najib said: "We should heed the fundamental principles in which good diplomacy is a conductor... sovereign equality, respect for territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes, and mutual benefits in relations."

He added that disputes over resources should be solved through "international law, and not economic and military solutions".

- 'Tremendous growth in China's power' -

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, speaking at the same forum, said Asia's future could go one of two ways.

The first -- which he characterised as "a good scenario" -- includes China's rise as "a benign power" similar to the United States and with "a stable strategic environment that will foster regional economic integration".

But "in a less benign scenario... tremendous growth in China's power can prove too much for the regional order to accommodate," Lee said.

Without regional trust "maritime disputes in the East and South China Seas (will) continue to fester (and there will be) tensions between other countries, too, arising from a result of historical issues, territorial disputes, and nationalist populism," he said.

"Nationalism is a growing force in many Asian countries.... as we have recently witnessed in anti-China protests in Vietnam.

"In Japan and (South) Korea, the history of the war continues to drive public sentiment towards each other.

"And in China, ...the country's astonishing progress has aroused strong nationalistic feelings, and in these are to claim China's rightful place in the sun after more than a century of humiliation," he said.

This kind of strife will set back Asia's economic development, he said, adding that China needed to be stitched into regional trade networks, including the ongoing talks over a mooted Trance-Pacific Partnership.

The comments came a day after Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said China's placing of an oil rig in contested South China Sea waters had "seriously threatened peace".

Najib on Wednesday held talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, which has its own territorial dispute with Beijing.

The two leaders agreed that any issues including in the South China Sea should be dealt with based on "international norms", according to the Japanese foreign ministry.

 

 

China opens multilateral approach to Africa with $2bn fund

 
‎23 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎02:47:24 PMGo to full article
Kigali (AFP) May 22, 2014 - China and the African Development Bank (AfDB) agreed Thursday a co-financing fund worth $2 billion over 10 years, a multilateral deal signalling a shift in Beijing's policy of dealing direct with countries.

The deal, Beijing's latest economic push on the continent, sets up the fund between the People's Bank of China and the AfDB to finance "sovereign and non-sovereign guaranteed development projects" totalling some $200 million annually, bank chiefs said.

The shift in setting up a multilateral fund follows criticism by some of China's growing role in Africa, striking deals including cheap loans in exchange for mining rights or construction contracts.

"China is a friend of Africa, they invest in infrastructure, in natural resources," said AfDB president Donald Kaberuka, after inking a memorandum to set up the fund in the Rwandan capital.

"Now this is the first time I believe in Africa, we are taking mainly a multilateral route... and they have done it because they want to assist in the development of Africa," he added.

The fund is named the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF), and bank leaders said it was expected to begin financing projects before the end of the year.

"We believe that for the next two decades we are going to see a strong growth... and people here are going to raise their living standards substantially," said Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China.

"China would like to be a part of this development."

China's economic growth has been partially fuelled by African natural resources including oil.

The deal follows Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's first tour of Africa tour earlier this month since assuming his position a little over a year ago, a trip seen as seeking to nurture a booming economic relationship.

According to official Chinese data, since 2009, China has been Africa's largest trading partner for five consecutive years and an important source for new investments on the continent.

Li, in a speech to the African Union in Ethiopia, praised the continent's growing economic power, and vowed to double trade to $400 billion (290 billion euros) by 2020.

 

 

US sends in another warship ahead of Ukraine vote

 
‎23 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎02:47:24 PMGo to full article
Kiev (AFP) May 21, 2014 - The United States is sending another warship to the Black Sea to reassure its allies over Russia's actions in Ukraine, where the country holds a crucial presidential election at the weekend.

Washington also said Tuesday there was no sign of a Russian withdrawal of troops from the edge of Ukraine, despite Moscow's announcement of a pullout and suggestions from Kiev that there was no longer any visible military activity in the border zone.

"They are still in the tens of thousands," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters, announcing the dispatch of a guided missile cruiser to the region. "We have not seen any withdrawal activity."

The US and its allies have warned the Kremlin of further sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine, where a bloody pro-Moscow insurgency in the east is threatening to tear the ex-Soviet nation apart.

US Vice President Joe Biden, on a visit to Romania, said Wednesday the West "must remain resolute in imposing greater costs to Russia" if it undermines Ukraine's elections.

Ahead of Sunday's vote, Kiev's Western-backed leaders are hosting a new round of national unity talks under a peace plan sponsored by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

But an earlier two rounds failed to make any progress, with the government pointedly refusing to invite the separatists who have seized over a dozen towns in the industrial eastern belt.

Tensions between Moscow and the West have spiralled to Cold-War highs over the crisis in Ukraine, particularly Russia's annexation of Crimea in March and allegations it is driving the insurgency.

- Ballistic missile test -

The United States and NATO have sent troops to Poland and the three tiny Baltic nations to calm jitters about Russian troops possibly not only overrunning Ukraine but also pushing further into Europe in a bid to reclaim ex-Soviet satellite states.

In its own show of force Tuesday, Russia said it carried out a successful test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile from a site near the Caspian Sea.

Moscow had announced Tuesday that its soldiers were preparing to head back to their bases from the Ukrainian border.

And Ukraine's own border service said none of the estimated 40,000 Russian troops were now stationed within 10 kilometres (six miles) of the country.

But Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia, on a visit to Berlin, later said he could not confirm a withdrawal.

"I hope that the declarations by Russian politicians that the troops are to be withdrawn from Ukraine's borders do not just remain declarations," he said.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said this week that a real withdrawal -- following several earlier promises by President Vladimir Putin -- would be an "important contribution to de-escalating the crisis".

But the war of words between Washington and Moscow showed no signs of a let-up.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview that Moscow and the West were still "slowly but surely" approaching a second Cold War.

And Biden blasted Russia's seizure of the Crimean peninsula, saying: "Europe's borders should never again be changed at the point of a gun".

Both Kiev and its Western allies see Sunday's vote -- backed only grudgingly by Moscow -- as a chance to unite the culturally splintered nation and win more legitimacy in the Kremlin's eyes.

The front-runner, chocolate baron Petro Poroshenko, has pledged to find a negotiated solution to the crisis and rebuild ties with Ukraine's former masters in Moscow.

The United Nations estimates that around 130 people have died since the insurgency began last month in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, where rebels have declared independence.

In nearly six weeks of fighting, Ukraine's military has so far failed to dislodge the rebels and suffered several humiliating setbacks since it launched its "anti-terrorist" offensive.

Kiev authorities have admitted they will have a hard time ensuring that polling proceeds smoothly in eastern districts controlled by the armed insurgents.

But in a move that some say could turn the tide against the rebels, Ukraine's richest man Rinat Akhmetov has condemned the rebellion in his industrial powerbase.

"People are tired of living in fear and terror," said Ahkmetov, a coal and steel magnate who once backed the deposed pro-Kremlin regime but is now seeking to build closer relations with the new team in Kiev.

The Ukrainian government hailed Akhmetov's intervention, with Interior Minister Arsen Avakov saying it "will help (Ukrainians) settle our differences and let our rifles gather dust".

burs/txw/ec

 

 

China leader warns US, others over Asian security

 
‎23 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎02:47:24 PMGo to full article
Shanghai (AFP) May 21, 2014 - Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a veiled warning to the United States on Wednesday, saying countries should not build up military alliances in Asia, even as Beijing feuds with several neighbours.

Speaking at an Asian regional security forum in Shanghai, Xi said a rising China would seek "peaceful" means to resolve territorial disputes.

Beijing has sought to counter Washington's foreign policy "pivot" to Asia, but it has also irritated Vietnam, Japan and the Philippines -- the latter two US allies -- with what those countries say are aggressive moves in separate maritime rows.

"To beef up an entrenched or military alliance targeted at a third party is not conducive to maintaining common security," Xi said, without naming names.

Washington's traditional allies in the Asia-Pacific region include Japan, where it has military bases and whose security it guarantees by treaty, and Australia.

China's official Xinhua news agency on Tuesday urged countries from outside Asia not to raise tensions.

"Players from other parts of the world need to play a constructive role. They should refrain from starting fires and stoking flames," it said in an editorial.

The relationship between Beijing and Washington has been strained in recent days after a US grand jury indicted five Chinese military officers on charges they hacked American computers to benefit Chinese state firms.

A state-owned Chinese newspaper took direct aim at the United States on the issue Wednesday, calling it a "mincing rascal" for playing the cyber-espionage victim.

In Asia, relations between China and Vietnam have worsened after Beijing sent a deep-water oil drilling rig into contested waters in the South China Sea earlier this month.

The move sparked violent protests in Vietnam in which at least four Chinese were killed as a Chinese state-owned company doubled the previous toll of its employees who died.

China and Japan have a long-running feud over disputed islands in the East China Sea, while the Philippines accuses China of reclaiming land on a disputed reef within its exclusive economic zone under a United Nations convention.

But Xi said: "China stays committed to seeking peaceful settlement of disputes with other countries over territorial sovereignty, and maritime rights and interests."

- Assert China's interests -

Xi was speaking at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), a relatively obscure forum which China is seeking to build up in importance.

But Chinese organisers allowed media coverage of only Xi's address and a statement by the Turkish delegate before cutting off a live feed of speeches in the summit hall.

Vietnam belongs to the forum but Japan is only an observer, while the Philippines is not a member. The United States has observer status, preferring to work through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

Xi, who became president last year, has overseen a foreign policy which has sought to assert China's interests in both continental Asia and the Pacific Ocean.

On Tuesday, he and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin launched naval exercises off Shanghai, and on Wednesday they oversaw the signing of a huge and long-awaited gas deal between their two countries.

Under the 30-year contract between China's CNPC and Russia's Gazprom -- reportedly worth as much as $400 billion -- 38 billion cubic metres of gas could eventually be sent annually from Russia to energy-hungry China.

Xi told the forum that Beijing was interested in a regional security code, but gave no details.

Several countries have overlapping claims in the South China Sea, which is home to key shipping lanes and thought to contain vast energy reserves.

Earlier this month, Southeast Asian leaders expressed "serious concern" over worsening territorial disputes in the area, calling for a peaceful resolution and presenting a rare united front against Beijing.

Later Wednesday Vietnamese Prime Minister Ngyuen Tan Dung said after a meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino in Manila that China's dispatch of the oil rig had "seriously threatened peace".

Before the start of the forum, Xi shook hands with other state leaders attending, including Putin, Hassan Rouhani of Iran and Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai.

But the live broadcast appeared to cut away when Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan shook hands with Xi.

The move by China's heavily-censored state television drew some laughter from Chinese journalists in the media centre, with one saying: "You can't see that."

Chinese pandas arrive in Malaysia after delay over MH370
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) May 21, 2014 - Malaysia welcomed a pair of pandas from China on Wednesday, after a month's delay caused by tensions over the Malaysian airliner which disappeared in March with mostly Chinese passengers aboard.

The eight-year-old pandas -- female Feng Yi ("Phoenix") and male Fu Wa ("Lucky") -- arrived in Kuala Lumpur to an honour guard of water cannon, after a flight from Chengdu in southwestern China where they were bred.

Feng Yi was briefly shown to the media before being whisked off to the national zoo with her prospective mate.

She initially retreated into her cage when exposed to daylight and the clatter of camera shutters, before gaining courage and curiously peering between the bars.

"May the arrival of these two precious icons of China contribute to building an everlasting friendship and sustainable cooperation" between Malaysia and China, environment minister Palanivel Govindasamy said at a welcoming ceremony.

The two countries agreed in 2012 that China would send the giant pandas for a 10-year stay, in Beijing's latest use of "panda diplomacy".

The pair were due to arrive on April 16 but Palanivel said at the time that before dispatching them, Beijing was awaiting further details on Flight MH370, which vanished on March 8 with 239 people including 153 Chinese on board.

The airline and Malaysia's government have come under withering public criticism in China over the loss, and the failure to find the plane that was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The Boeing 777 jet is believed to have have veered far off course for reasons unknown, before crashing into the remote Indian Ocean, where efforts are under way to locate its flight data recorders on the seabed.

Chinese relatives of the missing passengers have accused the Malaysian flag carrier and authorities of bungling the response to the plane's disappearance and withholding information.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Chinese authorities allowed relatives to stage a rare public protest at Malaysia's embassy in Beijing, suggesting official support for the criticism.

Malaysia's image in China took a further blow in April, when a Chinese tourist was kidnapped in an eastern state by gunmen believed to be Islamic militants from the southern Philippines. Malaysia has said ransom negotiations are under way.

China is Malaysia's largest trading partner and Kuala Lumpur has been courting closer ties with Beijing, declaring 2014 as "China-Malaysia Friendship Year" to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

The pandas have already caused controversy in Malaysia over plans to house them in special $7.7 million facility at the national zoo in Kuala Lumpur.

Environmentalists have said the money would have been better spent on conservation efforts for threatened Malaysian wildlife.

Palanivel said the panda pair would be given time to acclimatise before being shown to the public from the end of June.

 

 

Chinese pandas arrive in Malaysia after delay over MH370

 
‎23 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎02:47:24 PMGo to full article
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) May 21, 2014 - Malaysia welcomed a pair of pandas from China on Wednesday, after a month's delay caused by tensions over the Malaysian airliner which disappeared in March with mostly Chinese passengers aboard.

The eight-year-old pandas -- female Feng Yi ("Phoenix") and male Fu Wa ("Lucky") -- arrived in Kuala Lumpur to an honour guard of water cannon, after a flight from Chengdu in southwestern China where they were bred.

Feng Yi was briefly shown to the media before being whisked off to the national zoo with her prospective mate.

She initially retreated into her cage when exposed to daylight and the clatter of camera shutters, before gaining courage and curiously peering between the bars.

"May the arrival of these two precious icons of China contribute to building an everlasting friendship and sustainable cooperation" between Malaysia and China, environment minister Palanivel Govindasamy said at a welcoming ceremony.

The two countries agreed in 2012 that China would send the giant pandas for a 10-year stay, in Beijing's latest use of "panda diplomacy".

The pair were due to arrive on April 16 but Palanivel said at the time that before dispatching them, Beijing was awaiting further details on Flight MH370, which vanished on March 8 with 239 people including 153 Chinese on board.

The airline and Malaysia's government have come under withering public criticism in China over the loss, and the failure to find the plane that was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The Boeing 777 jet is believed to have have veered far off course for reasons unknown, before crashing into the remote Indian Ocean, where efforts are under way to locate its flight data recorders on the seabed.

Chinese relatives of the missing passengers have accused the Malaysian flag carrier and authorities of bungling the response to the plane's disappearance and withholding information.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Chinese authorities allowed relatives to stage a rare public protest at Malaysia's embassy in Beijing, suggesting official support for the criticism.

Malaysia's image in China took a further blow in April, when a Chinese tourist was kidnapped in an eastern state by gunmen believed to be Islamic militants from the southern Philippines. Malaysia has said ransom negotiations are under way.

China is Malaysia's largest trading partner and Kuala Lumpur has been courting closer ties with Beijing, declaring 2014 as "China-Malaysia Friendship Year" to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

The pandas have already caused controversy in Malaysia over plans to house them in special $7.7 million facility at the national zoo in Kuala Lumpur.

Environmentalists have said the money would have been better spent on conservation efforts for threatened Malaysian wildlife.

Palanivel said the panda pair would be given time to acclimatise before being shown to the public from the end of June.

 

 

Russia-China defense cooperation major factor for world security

 
‎23 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎02:47:24 PMGo to full article
Moscow (Voice of Russia) May 22, 2014 - Cooperation of Russia's and China's defense ministries is an important factor for security in the region and the whole world, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after talks with China's President Xi Jinping.

"As far as military-technical cooperation contacts and contacts between defense ministries are concerned, such cooperation is a major factor for stability and security in the region and around the world," Putin said. He noted joint projects in civil aircraft building.

"We have good prospects and good projects for creating a wide-body plane and heavy civilian helicopter," Putin said.

Cooperation in the automobile industry was developing well, too, he said.

"We are working along all lines and there is progress everywhere," Putin said.

"We shall be expanding financial infrastructures. Active work is underway to expand mutual settlements in the national currencies. We shall give thought to new instruments in the financial sphere," he added, TASS reports.

Russia-China trade may reach $100 bln by 2015 - President Putin
Russia and China intend to raise their trade and business ties to a qualitatively new level as the two countries continue to boost their bilateral trade, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at negotiations with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Shanghai on Tuesday. According to Putin, he and the Chinese leader discussed bilateral issues and key international topics before they were joined by their countries' delegations.

"Our countries have accomplished an enormous amount of joint work to reach this new historic landmark - a comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation. China has gained a firm foothold as our main trade partner," the Russian president said. Mutual trade between Russia and China grew by 2% to $90 billion in 2013 year-on-year, he said.

This positive tendency has persisted, and the two countries' trade increased by more than 2% in the first quarter of 2014, Putin said.

"If we manage to maintain this pace, the level of bilateral trade will reach $100 billion by 2015, and we will go on further confidently," he said.

"At the same time, we hope that the growth of quantitative indicators will be accompanied by qualitative changes in our trade and economic ties," Putin said.

"Russian-Chinese cooperation has become a crucial factor of international stability. Our cooperation on the platform of the UN and other international organizations is becoming increasingly important. And we will continue to contribute to the development of regional ties, including within the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organization]," the Russian leader said.

Moscow, Beijing say interference in other states' internal affairs, unilateral sanctions unacceptable
Russia and China are resolved to resist the interference in internal affairs of other states urging to give up the language unilateral sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping said in a joint statement following their talks in Shanghai. Russia and China also called for giving up funding or encouraging the activity aimed at changing the Constitutional order of other states.

"The parties underscore the necessity to respect the historical heritage of countries, their cultural traditions, the independently chosen social and political system, the system of values and ways of development, and resist the interference in internal affairs of other states, giving up the language of unilateral sanctions, the organization of assistance, funding or encouraging the activity aimed at changing the constitutional order of another state or its involvement in any multi-party association or union," the document said.

The Russian and Chinese leaders call for "keeping the stability of international relations, peace and security at the regional and global levels, settling crises and disputes, fighting terrorism and cross border crime and resisting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

The parties agree that countries and peoples are increasingly dependent on each other in the modern world amid the convergence of the economies and cultures of different states, according to the joint statement, TASS reports.

Putin's two-day visit to China may give momentum to restoring multipolar world
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in China on a two-day official visit. Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters that the president would hold talks in Shanghai on Tuesday with Chinese President Xi Jinping and on Wednesday would attend a summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).

During the visit Putin will also hold separate bilateral meetings with some summit participants, in particular, Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

A separate meeting of Putin with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is also planned. "The sides intend to exchange views on all important international issues, including on the situation in Ukraine," Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told TASS.

In addition, Putin will talk to the former President of the People's Republic of China Jiang Zemin, "whom Vladimir Vladimirovich knows very well," Ushakov added.

The visit programmwill begin with the official welcoming ceremony for the Russian leader. After that Putin and Xi Jinping will hold a meeting in the narrow and then expanded format. Ushakov noted that the Russian delegation comprises a large number of ministers, as well as heads of regions.

The visit program also includes the signing of bilateral documents. Then the sides will make a stamen for the press, after which the two heads of state will meet representatives of the business community. The Chinese president will also give an official reception in honor of the Russian president, after which they will attend the opening of the Naval Interaction 2014 exercise.

In the evening, a gala concert and an official lunch in honor of the heads of the delegations, participating in the summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia will be given. Its working meetings will be held on May 21.

The current meeting between the heads of Russia and China is the second this year. They had previously met at the opening of the Sochi Olympics in February. According to Ushakov, the two heads of state plan to discuss important issues of the development of relations in various spheres, including interaction in the international arena.

The side will pay major attention, in particular, to the work within the framework of the United Nations, BRICS group (bringing together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and a number of regional structures, he said. On the talks' results, the sides are expected to adopt a statement on a new stage in Russian-Chinese relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction.

A package of documents that is planned to be signed in Shanghai would break a record in terms of the volume. "The package consists of 40 - 43 documents. The package that we have now is perhaps a record-breaking," Ushakov said. He noted, in particular, that the sides continued the preparation of the contract between Russia's natural gas monopoly Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

China is Russia's main trade partner. In 2013, the bilateral trade reached a record high level of 88.8 billion US dollars (1.7-percent increase from the 2012 level). In the first quarter of 2014, the growth of this indicator continued and reached 2.2%.

In the view of Ushakov, if this trend persists, the sides may reach by 2015 the level of 100 billion US dollars, and by 2020 - 200 billion US dollars.

Source: Voice of Russia

 

 

History Counts II

 
‎23 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎02:47:24 PMGo to full article
Washington DC (UPI) May 21, 2014 - President Barack Obama has come under increasing criticism for being weak, vacillating in the use of American power.

The infamous "red line" drawn over Bashir al Assad's use of chemical weapons, along with allegations of failing to act more decisively in Syria and Ukraine and the infamous and seemingly toothless "pivot to Asia" are exhibits a, b and c in these allegations. Allies and partners around the world are described as alarmed over the seeming absence of U.S. leadership along with a rapid decline in the authority of and respect for America.

But wait -- have we not been here before? Pick a year. 1968 is a good choice. In late January, North Korea hijacked the USS Pueblo on the open seas, the first time a U.S. Navy ship was captured since the war of 1812. One week later, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong launched the Tet Offensive. Despite the destruction of the invading force, television icon Walter Cronkite would declare the war all but lost.

Amid the riots over Vietnam, President Lyndon Johnson declared he would not seek his party's nomination. A week later in April, Martin Luther King was assassinated. The Secret Service declared Chicago too dangerous for Johnson to attend the Democratic convention that nominated Hubert Humphrey for president. And while other reasons for LBJ's absence were clear, riots broke out regardless that marred the convention.

Later that summer Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev declared his doctrine and sent the Red Army into Czechoslovakia to crush the Prague Spring. America's reputation was in tatters. Red China, as it was then called, was flexing its muscles. And of course the march of the Soviet Union towards military superiority in nuclear and conventional arms over the West seemed inexorable.

Still, some believe today is unique and conditions far more dangerous and unstable than in the past accelerated by American weakness and lack of leadership. If 1968 is not to your liking, try 1973 (the October Yom Kippur War and the U.S. nuclear alert); 1974 and Nixon's resignation; 1982 and the crisis in Europe over Euromissiles; and the economic crises of 2007 and 2008 as other examples when conditions were not very healthy.

Too often, as Mark Twain observed in a different context, America has been counted out. But do not count on that. Yes, this column has been very critical of the Obama administration (as it had been of George W. Bush) both domestically and internationally. This White House is long on sweeping rhetoric and promises and too often absent when it comes to implementing policy or taking action, the Osama bin Laden mission withstanding.

The dismal roll-out of the Affordable Health Care Act and the absence of compelling narratives to explain to America public policy choices for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, North Korea and Iran for example are inexplicable. Yet why do we tolerate North Korea with its boy leader as a nuclear weapons state while declaring Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions unacceptable? The White House has failed to articulate its positions.

Foreign friends and adversaries alike may gripe about the failure of U.S. leadership. But let us be very careful in responding to those charges as much as the "loyal opposition" would like to use them to discredit this administration and blacken the record of the leading Democratic contender for the nomination, Hillary Clinton. The Democrats did the same to George W. Bush and John McCain although, in fairness, the war in Iraq was the greatest blunder since the Cold War and two administrations have failed and will fail in Afghanistan.

The United States is the most powerful country in the world economically and militarily. Exercising power, however, is far more complicated than possessing it. In the case of the military, it is impossible to defeat by force of arms alone an adversary that possesses no army, navy or air force without other tools of statecraft and economic development -- tools that have yet to be perfected. And, as much of the danger stems from radical religious ideologies, mounting counter-campaigns to discredit and rebuke these perversions of Islam has proven beyond the reach of both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Too many crises today have no solution let alone a good one. As in Syria and elsewhere, the choices may be between bad, worse and worst. That American politics has descended to the circles of Hell is not also helpful.

No easy solution exists. A better explanation by the White House of its policy choices is crucial. And a better understanding of history can at least mitigate exaggerating every crisis as the worst in our lifetimes.

____________________________________________________________________

Harlan Ullman is Chairman of the Killowen Group that advises leaders of government and business, Senior Advisor at Washington D.C.'s Atlantic Council. His latest book, due out this Fall, is A Handful of Bullets: How the Murder of an Archduke a Century Ago Still Menaces Peace Today.

 

 

US sends another warship to the Black Sea

 
‎23 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎02:47:24 PMGo to full article
Washington (AFP) May 20, 2014 - The US Navy is sending a guided missile cruiser to the Black Sea, the Pentagon said Tuesday, the latest bid by Washington to to reassure allies worried over Russia's intervention in Ukraine.

"I can confirm the Vella Gulf, a Navy cruiser, will be going in to the Black Sea probably later this week," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters.

The Vella Gulf will arrive in the Black Sea after the recent departure of the frigate USS Taylor, which left the area on May 12.

Since the crisis in Ukraine began in March, the United States has deployed troops to Eastern European countries for joint drills and sent ships to the Black Sea for exercises with NATO states in the area.

But the 1936 Montreux Convention that governs the Black Sea bars outside countries from keeping warships in the strategic waters more than 21 days.

The Pentagon, keen to allay the concerns of allies bordering Russia, has said it would keep up regular deployments of troops to NATO members in Eastern Europe through the end of the year.

The higher US military profile also would "include naval presence in and out of the Black Sea," according to Kirby.

He also said there was no sign of a Russian withdrawal of troops from the Ukrainian border, despite an announcement of a pullout from Moscow.

"They are still in the tens of thousands," Kirby said. "We have not seen any withdrawal activity," he said.

Ukraine said earlier that Russian troops had moved away from the border, but stopped short of confirming a full withdrawal as demanded by the West.

Ukraine's border service issued a surprise announcement early Tuesday that none of the estimated 40,000 Russian soldiers were now stationed within 10 kilometers (six miles) of the country.

NATO still sees no sign of Russian Ukraine troop pullback
Brussels (AFP) May 20, 2014 - NATO said Tuesday there was still no sign that Russian forces were being withdrawn from the Ukraine border after President Vladimir Putin announced a return to their bases.

"We have not seen a change at the border," a NATO official said when asked if there had been any developments subsequent to Putin's announcement Monday.

NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Monday that after what he believed to be the Russian president's third such statement, "unfortunately, we have not seen any evidence at all that Russia has started withdrawal."

NATO has estimated there are some 40,000 Russian troops on the border, whose presence has raised fears they may intervene in troubled eastern Ukraine after Moscow's annexation of Crimea in March.

A pullback could ease spiralling tensions five days ahead of a key presidential poll on Sunday.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia said earlier Tuesday that his government could not yet confirm Russia's claim it had pulled its troops back from his country's border.

"We hope that the declarations by Russian politicians that the troops are to be withdrawn from Ukraine's borders don't just remain declarations," he said in Berlin.

Ukraine border guards said earlier that Russian forces had left an area within 10 kilometres (six miles) of the frontier following Putin's statement in which he also called on Kiev to halt military operations against pro-Kremlin rebels in the country's east.

Russia's defence ministry said Tuesday troops were still preparing their departure.

"The men have started dismantling their tent camps, loading equipment and forming columns of vehicles and armour," the ministry told Interfax news agency.

 

 

Russia and West on verge of 'second Cold War': Medvedev

 
‎22 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎03:55:11 PMGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) May 20, 2014 - Russia and Western powers are on the brink of a new Cold War over the crisis in Ukraine, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview broadcast Tuesday.

"Basically we are slowly but surely approaching a second Cold War that nobody needs," Medvedev said in an interview with Bloomberg Television that was also published on the Russian government's website.

The Russian premier slammed US President Barack Obama's response to the Ukraine crisis, saying he regretted that Washington had undone years of work in improving relations during the "reset" between the two countries.

"I believe President Obama could be more tactful politically in discussing those issues," Medvedev said in the interview recorded Monday in his country residence.

"The agreements that were reached with America were useful. I am very sorry that everything that has been achieved is now being eliminated by those decisions."

He said that Russia had "not commented on (sanctions) a great deal or responded to them harshly although we probably could cause some unpleasantness for the countries that are imposing those sanctions."

Russia is set to sign a major gas agreement with China as President Vladimir Putin pays an official visit to Beijing, Medvedev said, adding that it would be possible for Russia to divert all its gas intended for Europe to China.

"It's time that we reached an agreement with the Chinese on this issue," Medvedev said, adding: "It is very likely there will be a contract, which means long-term contracts."

The gas deal is crucial for Moscow as its relations with the European Union and the United States plunge to post-Soviet lows over the crisis in Ukraine.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Putin on Tuesday pledged to build ties and the official Xinhua news agency reported they signed a "large" number of agreements.

The European Union is seeking to cut its reliance on Russian gas, with nearly 15 percent of the Russian gas it consumes transiting Ukraine, but Medvedev said he believed Western Europe had no real option but to consume Russian gas.

"So far there is no viable alternative in sight to Russian supplies," Medvedev said.

He said that it would be possible in a "worst-case scenario" for Russia to divert its gas supplies from Europe to China.

"If we look at the worst-case scenario purely theoretically, any undelivered European gas supplies can be sent to China by the eastern route," Medvedev said.

Russia however has "enough capacity and enough gas to send supplies both the eastern and the western routes," Medvedev said.

 

 

China hosts Asia security forum with wary neighbours

 
‎22 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎03:55:11 PMGo to full article
Shanghai (AFP) May 20, 2014 - China hosts a little-known Asian regional forum on security on Wednesday keen to raise the event's profile and show willingness to work with neighbours, despite recent disputes over maritime territory.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will present his vision of foreign policy, government officials say, a year into his term which has seen Beijing look to assert its interests in both continental Asia and the Pacific Ocean.

He will address the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), a relatively obscure forum which exists alongside other stronger regional groupings.

The presidents attending include Russia's Vladimir Putin, Hassan Rouhani of Iran and Afghanistan's Hamid Karzai.

"Everyone is a bit surprised it's being made such a big deal. It seems principally driven by the Chinese who are very keen for it to be a big event," said Raffaello Pantucci, research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies.

"It's more about China trying to build their regional relationships," he said.

But China has alienated some of its Asian neighbours, even while seeking to counter the US "pivot" to the region.

Relations between China and Vietnam have worsened after Beijing's move earlier this month to send a deep-water oil drilling rig into contested waters in the South China Sea, sparking violent Vietnamese protests in which two Chinese were killed.

China and Japan have a long-running feud over disputed islands in the East China Sea, while the Philippines accuses China of reclaiming land on a disputed reef within its exclusive economic zone under a United Nations (UN) convention.

Vietnam belongs to the forum, but Japan is only an observer while the Philippines is not a member. The United States also has observer status, preferring to work through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

China's official Xinhua news agency on Tuesday urged countries from outside Asia not to foment tensions.

"Players from other parts of the world need to play a constructive role. They should refrain from starting fires and stoking flames," it said in an editorial.

But Southeast Asian leaders earlier this month expressed "serious concern" over worsening territorial disputes in the South China Sea, presenting a rare united front against Beijing.

The 10-nation ASEAN called for a peaceful resolution to the maritime rows after a summit.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is in China to attend the CICA meeting, said countries should seek to avoid conflict.

"There (are) many issues: historical legacy issues, territorial issues, maritime disputes," he told Xinhua in an interview published Tuesday.

"The main agenda of this CICA summit is to promote some preventive actions, avoiding unnecessary conflict."

 

 

Japan to establish island military posts: report

 
‎22 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎03:55:11 PMGo to full article
Tokyo (AFP) May 19, 2014 - Japan is to establish new military outposts on remote islands, a report said Monday, as Tokyo looks to bolster its defence amid a territorial dispute with China.

Up to 350 troops each could be stationed on three islands in the far southwest, close to the Senkakus, which Beijing claims as its own under the name Diaoyus, the mass-selling Yomiuri Shimbun reported.

With the exception of the main Okinawa island, Japan's Ground Self-Defense Forces -- its army -- have no bases on the chain of islands that runs from the bottom of Kyushu to Taiwan. There are limited air force facilities in the area.

The lack of substantial military presence is a source of worry for some in Japan, who caution that it leaves Japan vulnerable to China's increasingly assertive stance.

Chinese ships have repeatedly moved into the Senkakus' territorial waters, since Tokyo nationalised some of them in September 2012, to confront Japanese vessels.

The islands lie around 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) southwest of Tokyo and around 200 kilometres from the north of Taiwan.

While most of the bickering has been between coastguards from both sides, observers say military ships are loitering over the horizon, with some warning of the risk of a confrontation.

Beijing has spent heavily on its military in recent years in a bid to develop a "blue water" navy that can project force far out into the Pacific.

This means getting through what it calls the "first island chain" including Japan's southwestern islands and the northern Philippines.

Tokyo is now planning to set up new outposts on three islands, including Amamioshima, some 150 kilometres (93 miles) south of the Senkakus, the Yomiuri said, citing unnamed senior defence ministry officials.

Deputy defence minister Ryota Takeda will visit Amamioshima this week to look at establishing a joint research project with the island, it said.

Two other candidate sites for the new posts include Miyako island and Ishigaki island, some 210 kilometres southwest and 170 kilometres south, respectively, of the disputed islets.

These units are to be in addition to a radar surveillance unit on Yonaguni, where a groundbreaking ceremony was held last month.

Bolstering the defence of Japan's southwestern islands "has an aspect of strengthening the Japan-US security alliance," a senior defence official told the Yomiuri.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said under a new defence programme, Japan had already decided to enhance the military presence in the southwest and had been conducting research.

"At the moment, however, we have not decided on specific, concrete locations such as those reported," he told a regular press conference.

The report came just two days after the Japanese and Chinese trade ministers held talks in the first high-level meeting since Japan's Prime Minister Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in December.

China is also locked in separate territorial disputes with Southeast Asian neighbours, including Vietnam where the row has recently flared into deadly riots, and the Philippines.

 

 

Russia orders troops back to bases ahead of Ukraine vote

 
‎22 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎03:55:11 PMGo to full article
Moscow (AFP) May 19, 2014 - Russia said Monday it had ordered troops near the border with Ukraine to return to their bases, just days ahead of a crucial presidential vote aimed at bringing the country out of deep crisis.

In a move that could ease tensions, President Vladimir Putin's office said he had ordered thousands of troops deployed in border regions to return to barracks after the end of spring exercises.

However, NATO said it saw no proof Russia had begun withdrawing, and noted this was the third time Putin had made such a claim.

The Kremlin said Putin had also demanded that Ukraine's pro-Western government halt its military operation against insurgents in the east and pull out its troops.

His remarks came amid continued fighting in eastern Ukraine, with at least one soldier reported killed in a pre-dawn attack near the flashpoint rebel town of Slavyansk.

"Due to the end of the planned spring training of troops that included their movement to Rostov, Belgorod, and Bryansk regions, the Russian president ordered... troops participating in the drills to return to their permanent bases," the Kremlin said in a statement after a meeting of the country's Security Council.

Putin also called for an immediate end to the offensive by Ukrainian troops in the east -- describing it as a "punitive operation" against the separatists -- and their withdrawal.

- 'No evidence of pullback' -

The presence of the Russian troops near the border raised deep concerns after Putin's annexation of Crimea in March and the uprising by well-armed pro-Moscow rebels in Ukraine's eastern coal and steel heartland.

NATO, which has repeatedly expressed worries about the estimated 40,000 troops, said it had not seen "any evidence at all" indication they were returning to their bases.

Putin said earlier this month that the troops had been moved away from the border to regional bases to continue planned training exercises. NATO at the time also said it had seen no evidence of a withdrawal.

Ukraine also Monday called on Moscow to cancel air force exercises planned for May 21-25 near the border, saying they will "fuel tensions" during Sunday's election.

Under pressure from US and European Union sanctions, Moscow has moved to reduce tensions with Ukraine after months of crisis that sent relations with the West to their lowest point since the Cold War.

After initially dismissing Sunday's presidential vote -- called after February's ouster of Kremlin-backed president Viktor Yanukovych -- Putin recently said it was a step in the right direction.

Preparations were continuing Monday for the vote, seen in the West as the only way to end a crisis that began with pro-EU protests in Kiev but spiralled into a wider confrontation.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk acknowledged it could be difficult to organise the election in some districts in the east.

But he added: "It affects very few areas and will not have any influence on voting. The election will take place and we will have a legitimate president."

Still, it remains unclear how much credibility the vote will have as fighting continues between Ukrainian troops and rebels who have grabbed over a dozen towns and declared sovereignty in the industrial hubs of Donetsk and Lugansk.

The Ukrainian defence ministry said one soldier was killed and three others injured when rebels staked out in a kindergarten shelled a military checkpoint near Slavyansk on Monday.

"The terrorists, acting in their usual cynical and insidious manner, launched the attack from a kindergarten near the railway station," it said in a statement. "They wanted to provoke the servicemen into trying to destroy the kindergarten."

Ukraine's military launched its offensive against the rebels in mid-April but has failed to oust them from their strongholds and suffered a number of humiliating setbacks.

Violence has flared almost nightly in various hotspots across the east, where the United Nations says the crisis has already cost more than 120 lives.

- Putin hails 'first contacts' -

Putin on Monday also praised "the first contacts between Kiev and supporters of federalisation" during weekend talks in the eastern city of Kharkiv.

Moscow has demanded authorities in Kiev engage with separatists under a roadmap drawn up by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), an East-West security body.

Saturday's talks involved a broad range of figures, including pro-Russians, but no separatist leaders after Kiev refused to invite what they describe as "terrorists" to the table.

Regional officials said further talks will be held on Wednesday in Donetsk.

Washington and its allies have threatened further sanctions if Russia disrupts Sunday's vote, which will see around 20 hopefuls vying for the country's top post.

The clear front-runner is Petro Poroshenko, a billionaire chocolate baron who was once a minister in the Yanukovych regime but became the chief financier of the so-called Maidan protests against his rule.

Opinion polls give him around 34 percent of the vote, far ahead of the deeply divisive former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the one-time darling of the 2004 Orange Revolution who was released from jail in February.

 

 
 

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Police use water cannons on hundreds of female protesters in India

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎02:09:29 PMGo to full article
Supporters of BJP shout slogans as police use a water cannon to stop them from moving towards the office of Yadav, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, during a protest against recent rape and hanging of two girls, in LucknowWomen were protesting a rise in violence against women in the northern India state of Lucknow, where two girls were gang-raped last week and later found hanging from a tree.
 
 

Debate stirs over US-Taliban captive swap

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎02:03:15 PMGo to full article
Jani and Bob Bergdahl speak to the media during a press conference at Gowen Field in Boise, Idaho, on Sunday, June 1, 2014. Bob Bergdahl, the father of an American soldier just released from captivity in Afghanistan says he's proud of how far his son, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, was willing to go to help the Afghan people. (AP Photo/Otto Kitsinger)WASHINGTON (AP) — Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl can expect a buoyant homecoming after five years in Taliban hands, but those in the government who worked for his release face mounting questions over the prisoner swap that won his freedom.
 
 

Spain: king abdicates for his 'new generation' son

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎01:43:23 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, file photo Spain's King Juan Carlos leaves after the official opening of the Parliament, in Madrid. Spain's King Juan Carlos plans to abdicate and pave the way for his son, Crown Prince Felipe, to take over, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told the country Monday in an announcement broadcast nationwide. The 76-year-old Juan Carlos oversaw his country's transition from dictatorship to democracy but has had repeated health problems in recent years. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza, File)MADRID (AP) — Spain's King Juan Carlos, who led Spain's transition from dictatorship to democracy but faced royal scandals amid the nation's near financial meltdown, announced Monday he will abdicate in favor of his son, making way for a "new generation."
 
 

Insurgents attack border guards in Ukraine

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎01:41:37 PMGo to full article
Ukrainian army paratroopers move to position in Slovyansk, Ukraine, Monday, June 2, 2014. Hundreds of armed insurgents attacked a border guards’ camp in eastern Ukraine Monday, as rebels nearby promised safety for the officers if they surrendered the base and lay down their arms. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)At least five rebels were killed in the clash, a spokesman said.
 
 

Abbas swears in Palestinian unity government

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎01:24:56 PMGo to full article
FILE- In this March 18, 2007 file photo, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, right, and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, left, speak as they head the first cabinet meeting of the new coalition government at Abbas' office in Gaza City. A last-minute dispute has erupted between Hamas and Fatah over the makeup of the Palestinian unity government meant to end the factions' seven-year political split. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah, has announced plans to swear in a government of technocrats backed by both factions on Monday, June 2, 2014.(AP Photo, File)RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a unity government on Monday, taking a major step toward ending a crippling territorial and political split with the rival Hamas militant group but also setting the stage for new friction with Israel.
 
 

LA deputy: Singer Chris Brown released from jail

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎01:10:09 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2014, file photo, R&B singer Chris Brown arrives at Los Angeles Superior Court for a probation review hearing in Los Angeles. Brown was released early Monday, June 2, 2014, from a Los Angeles County jail, authorities said. Brown had been in custody since mid-March, when he was arrested after being expelled from a court-ordered rehab sentence for violating its rules. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Singer Chris Brown was released early Monday from a Los Angeles County jail, authorities said.
 
 

Spanish king to abdicate in favor of son

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎01:04:30 PMGo to full article
File photo of Spain's King Juan Carlos attending lunch in BerlinKing Juan Carlos plans to step down after nearly 40 years on the throne.
 
 

New allergy tablets offer alternative to shots

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎12:55:17 PMGo to full article
This product image provided by Merck shows the packaging for newly FDA-approved allergy medications Grastek, left, and Ragwitek. Grastek is used in the treatment of diagnosed Timothy grass pollen induced allergic rhinitis, with or without conjunctivitis, in adults and children 5 years of age and older. Ragwitek is indicated as immunotherapy for diagnosed ragweed pollen induced allergic rhinitis, with or without conjunctivitis, in adults 18 years of age and older. (AP Photo/Merck)TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — For decades, seasonal allergy sufferers had two therapy options to ease the misery of hay fever. They could swallow pills or squirt nasal sprays every day for brief reprieves from the sneezing and itchy eyes. Or they could get allergy shots for years to gradually reduce their immune system's over-reaction.
 
 

Clues sought in deadly Massachusetts jet crash

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎12:36:05 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this May 27, 2014, file photo businessman Lewis Katz arrives for a closed-door auction to buy the The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News in Philadelphia. Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner Lewis Katz is among the seven people killed in a fiery plane crash in Massachusetts, the newspaper's editor said Sunday, June 1, 2014. Katz was 72. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — An airport employee watched as the Gulfstream jet raced past the end of a runway, plunged down an embankment and erupted in flames.
 
 

10 Things to Know for Today

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎12:15:11 PMGo to full article
FILE - In a Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 file photo, gun violence protesters participate in a lie-in during an anti-gun rally at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Nearly six in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws in the aftermath of last month's deadly school shooting in Connecticut, with majorities favoring a nationwide ban on military-style, rapid-fire weapons and limits on gun violence depicted in video games and movies and on TV, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. A lopsided 84 percent of adults would like to see the establishment of a federal standard for background checks for people buying guns at gun shows, the poll showed. President Barack Obama was set Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 to unveil a wide-ranging package of steps for reducing gun violence expected to include a proposed ban on assault weapons, limits on the capacity of ammunition magazines and universal background checks for gun sales. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
 
 

Last-minute dispute over Palestinian unity Cabinet

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎12:04:21 PMGo to full article
FILE- In this March 18, 2007 file photo, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, right, and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, left, speak as they head the first cabinet meeting of the new coalition government at Abbas' office in Gaza City. A last-minute dispute has erupted between Hamas and Fatah over the makeup of the Palestinian unity government meant to end the factions' seven-year political split. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah, has announced plans to swear in a government of technocrats backed by both factions on Monday, June 2, 2014.(AP Photo, File)RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A last-minute dispute erupted on Monday between rival factions Hamas and Fatah over the make-up of their unity government meant to end a crippling seven-year political split among the Palestinians.
 
 

Russian maneuvers to involve missile launches

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎10:23:07 AMGo to full article
MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Defense Ministry says it has launched a military exercise involving the launch of high-precision missiles. The war games are taking place amid the backdrop of violence in eastern Ukraine.
 

Authors of Polish democracy see its good, bad side

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎09:43:45 AMGo to full article
In this May 23, 2014 photo, Poland’s former president and Solidarity freedom movement founder, Lech Walesa talks to The Associated Press during an interview in Warsaw, Poland. As Poland prepares to mark the 25th anniversary of communist Poland’s first partly free election, which set off a democratic chain reaction across eastern Europe that culminated in the crumbling of the Berlin Wall, Walesa relived triumphs and rued missed opportunities. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)WARSAW, Poland (AP) — One was an electrician proud of his working class roots. The other an intellectual who writes on the nature of freedom. A study in contrast, Lech Walesa and Adam Michnik were nonetheless the two heroes of Poland's democracy movement. And a quarter century after a historic election that brought freedom to their nation, they share a sense of wonder at the "miracle" of democracy — and some disappointment at today's Poland.
 
 

World Cup's most exotic city awaits tourist influx

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎09:40:44 AMGo to full article
In this May 18, 2014 photo, residents use refrigerator doors as floating tables outside their floating house on the Rio Negro in Cacau Pirera, near Manaus, Brazil. A World Cup host city, Manaus’ far-flung location in the heart of the world’s biggest rainforest makes it reachable only by plane or boat. Thousands of foreigners are expected to begin arriving in the Amazonian metropolis for the international soccer matches being held in Manaus’s new multi-million dollar soccer stadium. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)MANAUS, Brazil (AP) — Death by giant snakes, malarial mosquitoes or drug-addled, knife-wielding thieves: If the barrage of blood-soaked headlines in the British tabloids is to be believed, that's what awaits soccer fans travelling to the most exotic of Brazil's World Cup host cities, the Amazonian metropolis of Manaus.
 
 

EPA seeks to cut power plant carbon by 30 percent

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎09:36:19 AMGo to full article
FILE - In this July 1, 2013, file photo smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal burning power plant in in Colstrip, Mont. The Obama administration on Monday, June 2, 2014, will roll out a plan to cut earth-warming pollution from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, setting in motion one of the most significant actions to address global warming in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)The plan is one of the most significant actions to address global warming in U.S. history.
 
 

Park: Too risky to search for 6 Rainier climbers

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎09:33:45 AMGo to full article
This photo provided by the National Parks Service, shows the Liberty Ridge Area of Mount Rainier as viewed from the Carbon Glacier, Saturday, May 31, 2014, in Washington state. Six climbers missing on Mount Rainier are presumed dead after helicopters detected pings from emergency beacons buried in the snow thousands of feet below their last known location, a national park official said Saturday. (AP Photo/National Park Service)MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash. (AP) — Park officials say it's currently too risky to send people in search of six climbers who likely fell thousands of feet to their deaths while attempting to scale the 14,410-foot Mount Rainier.
 
 

Kings advance to Stanley Cup finals vs Rangers

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎09:32:19 AMGo to full article
Los Angeles Kings celebrate after defeating Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 in the overtime period in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)CHICAGO (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings almost went down in their opening playoff series. They flirted with elimination again in the second round. They went to the absolute edge of the offseason in the Western Conference finals.
 
 

France arrests 4 in jihadist network

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎09:20:34 AMGo to full article
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve addresses the media in Paris, Sunday, June 1, 2014. A suspected French jihadist who spent time in Syria is in custody over the shooting deaths of three people at a Belgian Jewish museum, prosecutors said Sunday, crystalizing fears that European radicals will parlay their experiences in Syria into terrorism back home. When Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested in southern France on Friday, he was in possession of firearms, a large quantity of ammunition and a video claiming responsibility for the May 24 attack, a Belgian prosecutor said. In a one-minute rampage that deeply shook Europe's Jewish community, a gunman opened fire at the Brussels museum. In addition to the fatalities, another person was gravely wounded. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)PARIS (AP) — France's top security official says four people have been arrested in a jihadist recruiting network, a day after authorities announced the detention of a French suspect in the deadly shooting at a Jewish museum.
 
 

25 years on, Tiananmen barely known to China youth

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎08:46:59 AMGo to full article
BEIJING (AP) — Born in 1989, Steve Wang sometimes wonders what happened in his hometown of Beijing that year. But his curiosity about pro-democracy protests and the crackdown on them passes quickly.
 

AP PHOTOS: Iran mineral baths offer relief

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎08:21:41 AMGo to full article
In this Feb. 19, 2014 photo, Iranian men relax in a hot mineral water spring as snow falls lightly, in the northwestern town of Sarein, Iran. The steamy waters emanating from the depths of the earth are rich in sulfur, calcium, lithium and other minerals, and are believed to offer relief to patients suffering from joint pain and some skin diseases. The hot springs, in Sarein, also offer an affordable getaway for Iranians from all walks of life. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)SAREIN, Iran (AP) — Spring-fed mineral baths on the slopes of Iran's Sabalan mountain draw patients seeking traditional hydrotherapy and tourists seeking a relaxing getaway.
 
 

Philly Inquirer co-owner among 7 dead in jet crash

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎08:16:47 AMGo to full article
FILE - In this May 27, 2014, file photo businessman Lewis Katz arrives for a closed-door auction to buy the The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News in Philadelphia. Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner Lewis Katz is among the seven people killed in a fiery plane crash in Massachusetts, the newspaper's editor said Sunday, June 1, 2014. Katz was 72. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — Philadelphia Inquirer co-owner Lewis Katz was killed along with six other people in a fiery plane crash in Massachusetts, just days after reaching a deal that many hoped would end months of infighting at the newspaper and help restore it to its former glory.
 
 

'Brady Bunch' actress Ann B. Davis dies in Texas

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎07:03:20 AMGo to full article
FILE - In this April 14, 2007, file photo, Florence Henderson, from left, Susan Olsen, Maureen McCormick, Lloyd Schwartz and Ann B. Davis of the television show "The Brandy Bunch" accept the Pop Culture Award during the 5th Annual TV Land Awards in Santa Monica, Calif. Emmy-winning actress Davis has died at a San Antonio hospital on Sunday, June 1, 2014. She was 88. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas, File)Emmy-winning actress Ann B. Davis, who became the country's favorite and most famous housekeeper as the devoted Alice Nelson of "The Brady Bunch," died Sunday at a San Antonio hospital. She was 88.
 
 

Kings beat Blackhawks 5-4 in OT in Game 7

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎06:51:40 AMGo to full article
Los Angeles Kings celebrate after defeating Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 in the overtime period in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)CHICAGO (AP) — When it comes to Game 7, Los Angeles truly is the king of the road.
 
 

Meet the people trying to make Bitcoin happen in Washington

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎06:13:46 AMGo to full article
A Bitcoin sign is seen in a window in TorontoInside the world of Bitcoin lobbyists working to help Washington understand the mysterious world of cryptocurrency.
 
 

AP PHOTOS: Teams, fans counting down to World Cup

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎06:02:31 AMGo to full article
In this May 30, 2014, photo, Carlos Lucas kicks a ball along a dirt road in the Santa Luzia favela, in Brasilia, Brazil. The 2014 Brazil World Cup is set to begin in just a few weeks, beginning on June 12, with Brazil and Croatia competing in the opening match. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — It's just 10 days away. The World Cup's opening match is coming June 12 in Sao Paulo, and the final days before soccer's most important tournament have seen a flurry of on- and off-field action.
 
 

Kings beat Blackhawks 5-4 in Game 7

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎05:22:59 AMGo to full article
Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) scores a goal against Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (32) during the first period in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals in the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)CHICAGO (AP) — Alec Martinez scored at 5:47 of overtime, and the Los Angeles Kings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals Sunday night.
 
 

10 Things to Know for Monday

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎03:02:48 AMGo to full article
An Egyptian supporter of ousted former President Hosni Mubarak celebrates an appeal granted by a court, in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. A court granted Hosni Mubarak's appeal of his life sentence in a Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013 hearing, ordering a retrial of the ousted Egyptian president on charges that he failed to prevent the killing of hundreds of protesters during the uprising that toppled his regime nearly two years ago. The ruling came one day after a prosecutor placed a new detention order on Mubarak over gifts worth millions of Egyptian pounds (hundreds of thousands of US dollars) he and other regime officials allegedly received from Egypt's top newspaper as a show of loyalty while he was in power. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday:
 
 

States move to blunt Obama carbon reduction plan

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎02:54:19 AMGo to full article
In this March 8, 2014 file photo steam from the Jeffrey Energy Center coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the setting sun near St. Marys, Kan. As President Barack Obama prepares to announce tougher new air quality standards affecting coal-fired power plants, lawmakers in about a half-dozen state already have acted pre-emptively. Not to toughen their own standards, but to make it tougher to enforce the new federal ones. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — As President Barack Obama prepares to announce tougher new air quality standards, lawmakers in several states already are trying to blunt the impact on aging coal-fired power plants that feed electricity to millions of consumers.
 
 

Official: Recovering fallen climbers too dangerous

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎02:25:34 AMGo to full article
This photo provided by the National Parks Service, shows the Liberty Ridge Area of Mount Rainier as viewed from the Carbon Glacier, Saturday, May 31, 2014, in Washington state. Six climbers missing on Mount Rainier are presumed dead after helicopters detected pings from emergency beacons buried in the snow thousands of feet below their last known location, a national park official said Saturday. (AP Photo/National Park Service)MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash. (AP) — It's too dangerous right now to search for the bodies of six climbers who likely plummeted to their deaths while attempting one of the more technical and physically grueling routes to the peak of Mount Rainier in Washington state, park officials said Sunday.
 
 

EPA to seek to cut power plant carbon by one-third

 
‎02 ‎June ‎2014, ‏‎02:23:11 AMGo to full article
FILE - In this July 1, 2013, file photo smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal burning power plant in in Colstrip, Mont. The Obama administration on Monday, June 2, 2014, will roll out a plan to cut earth-warming pollution from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, setting in motion one of the most significant actions to address global warming in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Monday will roll out a plan to cut earth-warming pollution from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, setting in motion one of the most significant actions to address global warming in U.S. history.

 

 

 

Ban Ki-moon, Summit on Maternal, New-born and Child Health, Toronto (Canada)

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎11:49:04 PMGo to full article
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon remarks at the Summit on Maternal, New-born and Child Health: “Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach”.
 

Engaging the Public in Sustainable Development

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎11:36:28 PMGo to full article
Co-organized by the Permanent Mission of France and the World Council of Peoples for the United Nations (WCPUN).
 

Rachel Kyte: Why I Care About Climate Change

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎10:38:59 PMGo to full article
“The cost of inaction is much higher than the cost of action to build low-carbon and more resilient development.”
 

Helena Molin Valdes: Why I Care About Climate Change

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎10:37:54 PMGo to full article
"Climate change touches upon all ways of live today and it's going to be worse tomorrow if we don't do anything today."
 

Dr. Andrew Steer: Why I Care About Climate Change

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎10:35:17 PMGo to full article
"If we act on climate change we actually will have more productivity, we'll have better health and the world will be altogether better."
 

Sustainable Impact, Session 6 - Social Innovation Summit 2014

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎10:33:10 PMGo to full article
Session Leader: Shannon Schuyler, Principal, Corporate Responsibility Leader – PwC
 

Sustainable Impact, Session 5 - Social Innovation Summit 2014

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎10:31:33 PMGo to full article
Session Leader: Jacquelline Fuller, Director – Google.org
 

Sustainable Impact, Session 3 - Social Innovation Summit 2014

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎10:29:36 PMGo to full article
Session Leader: Icema Gibbs, Director, Corporate Social Responsibility – JetBlue Airways
 

Sustainable Impact, Session 4 - Social Innovation Summit 2014

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎10:29:05 PMGo to full article
Session Leader: Akhtar Badshah, Head of Corporate Philanthropy – Microsoft
 

Andrew Deutz: Why I Care About Climate Change

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎09:41:54 PMGo to full article
"Climate change is perhaps the greatest long-term threat to biodiversity conservation but it's also perhaps the greatest social justice challenge of the 21st century."
 

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Barcelona Foundation for Ocean Sailing on ocean conservation - Press Conference

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎07:51:44 PMGo to full article
Speakers: Vibeke Jensen, Director of the UNESCO Office in New York;  Mathieu Belbeoch, UNESCO; Maite Fandos,  Deputy Mayor of Barcelona for Quality of Life, Equality and Sport and President of FNOB; and acclaimed skipper Jean-Pierre Dick.
 

UNITAR Briefing: Post-2015 Development Agenda – Session X: Global Partnerships: The Role of Non-State Actors

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎07:20:33 PMGo to full article
Organized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
 

Daily Press Briefing: SG trip to Toronto (Canada), DSG trip to London (UK), DRC, South Sudan, Burundi, Syria, Opt, DPRK, Colombia, Tobacco, Travels

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎07:17:21 PMGo to full article
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.
 

2nd Meeting - UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (Fifteenth meeting, 27-30 May 2014)

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎07:11:58 PMGo to full article
- Inter-agency cooperation and coordination - Process for the selection of topics and panellists so as to facilitate the work of the General Assembly - Issues that could benefit from attention in the future work of the General Assembly
 

Conclusion, Integration Segment (27-29 May 2014), ECOSOC, 19th meeting

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎07:09:11 PMGo to full article
Conclusion of the segment - Closing remarks by the Vice-President of the Economic and Social Council, His Excellency Vladimir Drobnjak (Croatia).
 

Panel discussion (A conversation on sustainable urbanization), Integration Segment (27-29 May 2014), ECOSOC,19th meeting

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎07:08:40 PMGo to full article
A conversation on sustainable urbanization
 

Panel discussion (The Way Forward), Integration Segment (27-29 May 2014), ECOSOC,19th meeting

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎07:07:43 PMGo to full article
Keynote address Mr. Joan Clos, Executive Directer, United Nations Human Settlement(UN-Habitat), on "Habitat III: The way forward towards a 2016 urban agenda."
 

Panel discussion (The Way Forward), Integration Segment (27-29 May 2014), ECOSOC,19th meeting

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎07:05:32 PMGo to full article
Keynote address Mr. Joan Clos, Executive Directer, United Nations Human Settlement(UN-Habitat), on "Habitat III: The way forward towards a 2016 urban agenda."
 

Panel discussion (A conversation on sustainable urbanization), Integration Segment (27-29 May 2014), ECOSOC,19th meeting

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎07:01:20 PMGo to full article
A conversation on sustainable urbanization
 

This Week at the UN - 30 May 2014

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎06:55:53 PMGo to full article
Video highlights from the UN News Centre - this week's round-up includes the latest from the Central African Republic and South Sudan, raising taxes on cigarettes, and saying good-bye to Maya Angelou.
 

OCHA Town hall Meeting, 30 May 2014

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎06:35:28 PMGo to full article
 
 

5th Committee: 44th meeting - 68th General Assembly (Second resumed part)

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎06:32:23 PMGo to full article
Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East [item 159] (b) United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon Introduction of draft resolution (A/C.5/68/L.39)
 

Geneva Press Briefing: ILO, UNMAS, UNECE, OHCHR, UNHCR, IOM, OCHA, WFP

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎01:57:27 PMGo to full article
Biweekly Geneva Press Briefing Chaired by Corinne Momal-Vanian, Director of the United Nations Information Service in Geneva.
 

OCHA Town Hall Meeting

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎12:36:23 PMGo to full article
 
 

General debate, Integration Segment (27-29 May 2014), ECOSOC, 16th meeting

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎12:58:54 AMGo to full article
Keynote address on “Urbanization as Opportunity”.General debate of the integration segment (continuation and conclusion).
 

Dialogue, Integration Segment (27-29 May 2014), ECOSOC, 16th meeting

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎12:58:52 AMGo to full article
Dialogue on “Urban prosperity and urban inequalities”.
 

Daily Press Briefing: Central African Republic, SG travel to Toronto, Egypt, Maya Angelou, DSG Social Innovation, Morocco

 
‎29 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎11:58:41 PMGo to full article
Noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.
 

Hervé Ladsous (DPKO) and Ameerah Haq (Field Support) on the International Day of UN Peacekeepers - Press Conference

 
‎29 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎11:53:38 PMGo to full article
Mr. Hervé Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations and Ms. Ameerah Haq, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support, on the occasion of the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.
 

Lebanon - Security Council, 7190th meeting

 
‎29 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎11:41:42 PMGo to full article
Presidential Statement on Lebanon.

 

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News & Features

 

United Nations Web TV - Other Features

Rachel Kyte: Why I Care About Climate Change

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎10:38:59 PMGo to full article
“The cost of inaction is much higher than the cost of action to build low-carbon and more resilient development.”
 

Helena Molin Valdes: Why I Care About Climate Change

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎10:37:54 PMGo to full article
"Climate change touches upon all ways of live today and it's going to be worse tomorrow if we don't do anything today."
 

Dr. Andrew Steer: Why I Care About Climate Change

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎10:35:17 PMGo to full article
"If we act on climate change we actually will have more productivity, we'll have better health and the world will be altogether better."
 

Andrew Deutz: Why I Care About Climate Change

 
‎30 ‎May ‎2014, ‏‎09:41:54 PMGo to full article
"Climate change is perhaps the greatest long-term threat to biodiversity conservation but it's also perhaps the greatest social justice challenge of the 21st century."

 

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Prophets To The Gentiles: Jonah, Nahum, Obadiah - DVD 
 
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The History of the House of Rothschild

by Andrew Hitchcock

 

 

  • Hitchcock also wrote a history for the bankers:

 

 

  • One of our listeners added images and photos and turned this Rothschild document

into a PowerPoint presentation. It is very large; 67 megabytes:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rothschilds have been in control of the world for a very long time, their tentacles reaching into many aspects of our daily lives, as is documented in the following timeline.  However, before you jump to the timeline, please read this invaluable introduction which will tell you who the Rothschilds are as oppose to who they claim to be.

The Rothschilds claim that they are Jewish, when in fact they are Khazars.  They are from a country called Khazaria, which occupied the land locked between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea which is now predominantly occupied by Georgia.  The reason the Rothschilds claim to be Jewish is that the Khazars under the instruction of the King, converted to the Jewish faith in 740 A.D., but of course that did not include converting their Asiatic Mongolian genes to the genes of the Jewish people.

You will find that approximately 90% of people in the world today who call themselves Jews are actually Khazars, or as they like to be known, Ashkenazi Jews.  These people knowingly lie to the world with their claims that the land of Israel is theirs by birthright, when in actual fact their real homeland is over 800 miles away in Georgia.

So, next time you hear an Israeli Prime Minister bleating about the so-called persecution of the Jews, consider this, every Prime Minister of Israel has been an Ashkenazi Jew.  Therefore when all these Prime Ministers have curried favour with the West for their re-establishment of a Jewish homeland, they have knowingly and deliberately lied to you, as they were never from that region, and they well know it, because it is they who call themselves Ashkenazi Jews.

The Book of Revelation, Chapter 2, Verse 9, states the following which would appear to be about these Ashkenazi Jews:

"I know thy works, and tribulation and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan."
The most wealthy bloodline in the world bar none and the leader of the Ashkenazi Jews in the world today is the Rothschild family.  As you will see in the timeline, the Rothschilds have obtained this position through lies, manipulation and murder.  Their bloodline also extends into the Royal Families of Europe, and the following family names:  Astor; Bundy; Collins; duPont; Freeman; Kennedy; Morgan; Oppenheimer; Rockefeller; Sassoon; Schiff; Taft; and Van Duyn.

However, these are not the only bloodlines to worry about.  You are probably aware of the centuries old pratice undertaken by many Ashkenazi Jews whereby they would change their name, in order for them to appear part of the dominant race of the country in which they lived, so as they could obtain influential positions in that country, which they would then exploit to serve their real masters elsewhere.  There is plenty of evidence to prove the Rothschilds continue that deceptive tradition.

Furthermore the Rothschilds are known to sire many children secretly that they can put into positions of power when required.  This started with the very first man who took the name Rothschild, who had a secret sixth son.  Finally, remember the world is a diverse place, I could if I wanted change my name to Rothschild, or any of the names listed above, and that would not make me part of this family anymore than converting to Judaism in 740 A.D. will make these Ashkenazis Jewish.

Please, therefore, do not automatically assume someone you see with the name Rothschild or any of the names listed above are part of the Rothschild criminal network.  Furthermore and most importantly, the majority of Ashkenazi Jews are innocent and not part of this network.  Check the facts out for yourself first, this article is designed to inform people who the enemy is, not single out people of a particular race or people with a particular surname, who may have nothing to do with this Rothschild criminal network.
 

1743: Mayer Amschel Bauer, an Ashkenazi Jew, is born in Frankfurt, Germany, the son of Moses Amschel Bauer, a money lender and the proprietor of a counting house.

 

Moses Amschel Bauer places a red sign above the entrance door to his counting house. This sign is a red hexagram (which geometrically and numerically translates into the number 666) which under Rothschild instruction will end up on the Israeli flag some two centuries later.

 

1753: Gutle Schnaper, an Ashkenazi Jew (future wife of Mayer Amschel Bauer), born to respected merchant, Wolf Salomon Schnaper.

1760: During this decade Mayer Amschel Bauer works for a bank owned by the Oppenheimers' in Hanover, Germany.  He is highly successful and becomes a junior partner. Whilst working at the bank he becomes acquainted with General von Estorff.

Following his father's death, Bauer returns to Frankfurt to take over his father's business. Bauer recognises the significance of the red hexagram and changes his name from Bauer to Rothschild, after the red hexagram or sign signifying 666 hanging over the entrance door ("Rot," is German for, "Red," "Schild," is German for, "Sign").

 

Now Mayer Amschel Rothschild, he discovers that General von Estorff is now attached to the court of Prince William IX of Hesse-Hanau, one of the richest royal houses in Europe, which gained its' wealth by the hiring out of Hessian soldiers to foreign countries for vast profits (a practice that continues today in the form of exporting, "peacekeeping," troops throughout the world).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The European Union (flag pictured) is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe".

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South Sudan must sustain efforts to protect human rights, says UN official

Conflict in Darfur
Date 2003–2009 /2010

 

Location Darfur, Sudan
Belligerents
Sudan JEM factions
Bandera Darfur.svg SLM (Minnawi faction)
Sudan LJM
Allegedly supported by:
 Chad
 Eritrea
Sudan Janjaweed
Sudan Sudanese Armed Forces
Sudan Sudanese Police
Foreign Mercenaries
African Union
 
United Nations
Commanders and leaders
Sudan Khalil Ibrahim
Sudan Ahmed Diraige
Bandera Darfur.svg Minni Minnawi
Sudan Abdul Wahid al Nur
Sudan Omar al-Bashir
Sudan Musa Hilal
Sudan Hamid Dawai
Sudan Ali Kushayb
Sudan Ahmed Haroun
Rodolphe Adada
United Nations
Martin Luther Agwai
Strength
NRF/JEM: Unknown N/A 9,065
Casualties and losses
unknown
  • 178,258-461,520 excess deaths
  • 2,850,000 Displaced (UN estimate)
  • 450,000 Displaced (Sudanese estimate)
unknown 51 peacekeepers killed

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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