Κυριακή, 28 Αυγούστου 2016

U.S., Russia say they are close to cooperation deal in Syrian war


Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet in Geneva on Friday. (Martial Trezzini/AP)
The United States and Russia failed Friday to reach a final agreement on a U.S.-proposed deal to coordinate their air attacks on terrorist groups in Syria and to stop Russian and Syrian bombing of civilian and rebel-held areas, but said they were close and would continue discussions.

Η πολιτική ατζέντα της Κίνας για τη Σύνοδο της G20

Η πολιτική ατζέντα της Κίνας για τη Σύνοδο της G20
Η Κίνα θα φιλοξενήσει την επόμενη Σύνοδο Κορυφής της G20 στις 4-5 Σεπτεμβρίου στο Hangzhou. Με τον χρόνο να περνάει, ο κόσμος περιμένει να δει πώς θα εκμεταλλευτεί η Κίνα την συνάντηση για να προάγει την εσωτερική αναπτυξιακή της ατζέντα και να διαμορφώσει την παγκόσμια οικονομική διακυβέρνηση. Προβλέπω ότι η Κίνα θα έχει τρεις βασικούς στόχους: ενίσχυση του διεθνούς ρόλου της, προώθηση της απελευθέρωσης του εμπορίου και μια παγκόσμια ατζέντα διαρθρωτικών μεταρρυθμίσεων σε συνδυασμό με τη δημοσιονομική στήριξη της ζήτησης.

Shockwatch report: sub-Saharan Africa’s economic downturn and its impact on financial development

The current economic climate is causing a slowdown in financial development in sub-Saharan Africa. Credit is contracting, savings have declined, cross-border capital is less available and more costly, while indicators of financial soundness have deteriorated.

Infographic: Africa facing credit crunch, with private sector growth contracting sharply

There have also been failures in governance of private and public institutions, including corruption and fraud that have deepened these problems. These have also undermined the public trust that is essential for long-term formal financial development.

China’s Growing Arms Sales to Latin America

In recent years China has asserted itself as a key player in the global arms trade. Not only have both export volume and weapons quality increased rapidly, the range of customers China has been supplying has also expanded greatly over the course of the past decade. Latin America is one of the key regions into which Chinese arms have begun to pour. Yet while commentators of the past have doubted the strategic significance of China’s arms sales to this region — pointing to their relatively meager quantity and the fact that most Latin American states still rely on more established suppliers for their most important military hardware (see here, for instance) — there are signs that things may be changing.
China’s Growing Arms Sales to Latin America
Members of the Venezuelan army fly a Chinese-made K-8 jet in Barquisimeto (March 13, 2010).
Image Credit: REUTERS/Miraflores Palace/Handout
With next to no arms sales to the region before 2005, China is now a key supplier to Latin America. Venezuela continues to lead in China’s Latin American arms sales, with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimating that between 2011 and 2015 Venezuela purchased $373 million of Chinese weaponry. A $500 million deal in 2012 for weaponry including armored personnel carriers and self-propelled artillery ensures that this arms relationship is set to continue flourishing into the future.

The Stimulus Our Economy Needs

Future policymakers might choose to consider some additional tools that have been employed by other central banks,” Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen said in a widely watched speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday. She was referring to a number of possible monetary steps to help the economy, including potentially the much-debated notion of “helicopter money.” So what is helicopter money? It’s a basic, important policy concept with a truly awful name.
The Stimulus Our Economy Needs
The term essentially refers to a fiscal stimulus that is explicitly funded by newly created money from the central bank, a permanent new injection of funds directly into immediate government spending. Now, the idea that governments, with or without the help of central banks, should spend substantial resources on creating jobs, both directly and through private sector incentives, is widely accepted among economists across the political spectrum. However, calling what might be a perfectly justified period of direct cooperation between the fiscal and monetary authorities during a period of acute economic weakness “helicopter money,” as proponents of the policy have done, almost certainly dooms it to failure.

Οι ξεχασμένοι πρόσφυγες της Ευρώπης: Η ανθρωπιστική κρίση στην Ουκρανία

Τα τελευταία χρόνια, οι διεθνείς τίτλοι έχουν παρουσιάσει ιστορίες και εικόνες της συνεχιζόμενης κρίσης των προσφύγων στην Μέση Ανατολή και τις επιδράσεις της στην Δυτική Ευρώπη [2]. Λίγοι γνωρίζουν, όμως, ότι η τέταρτη μεγαλύτερη πηγή εσωτερικών προσφύγων το 2015 [3] ήταν στην ίδια την Ευρώπη.
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Οι ξεχασμένοι πρόσφυγες της Ευρώπης: Η ανθρωπιστική κρίση στην Ουκρανία
Πρόσφυγες φεύγουν από την ανατολική ουκρανική πόλη Ντεμπαλτσέβε, τον Φεβρουάριο του 2015. GLEB GARANICH / REUTERS
Η Ουκρανία είναι τώρα συντροφιά με το Ιράκ, την Συρία και την Υεμένη ως μια από τους κορυφαίους παραγωγούς εσωτερικών προσφύγων στον κόσμο. Οι αριθμοί ποικίλλουν, αλλά σύμφωνα με τις περισσότερες εκτιμήσεις υπάρχουν περίπου 1,7 εκατομμύρια εσωτερικά εκτοπισμένοι στην Ουκρανία και άλλα 1,4 εκατομμύρια Ουκρανών που ζουν ως πρόσφυγες στην Δυτική Ευρώπη και την Ρωσία. Οι πρόσφυγες πρώτα έφυγαν από την Κριμαία μετά την προσάρτησή της από την Ρωσία στις αρχές του 2014, αλλά ο αριθμός τους αυξήθηκε μετά από τον εμφύλιο πόλεμο που ξέσπασε, ακολουθώντας την υποστηριζόμενη από την Ρωσία διακήρυξη [4] των αυτονομιστικών Λαϊκών Δημοκρατιών του Ντόνετσκ και του Λουάνσκ [5] στην ανατολική Ουκρανία. Οι δύο συμφωνίες κατάπαυσης του πυρός μετά από διεθνή διαμεσολάβηση -Μινσκ και Μινσκ ΙΙ [6]- έκτοτε απέτυχαν να παραγάγουν μια διαρκή ειρήνη.

Greece to foster close partnership of European South

On September 9, leaders of Greece, Italy, Malta, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal and France will meet in Athens invited by Greek PM Alexis Tsipras to discuss on a new vision for Europe. The "Athens Summit", as it is called, aims to set the pace for the challenges EU and Eurozone are faced with, especially after Brexit and the dire effects of austerity.   
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The agenda will focus on the need for a new strategy for Europe, a new social model that will emphasize on the need to get away with catastrophic austerity, the refugee issue, which is about to come back to news headlines as the EU-Turkey deal and the relocation program are not efficiently developed. Each one of these countries has its own national interest and concerns for the coming period, but there is one strong component that brings them together: the aim to strategically change the course of events in Europe and stimulate sustainable growth.

Protests threaten China’s nuclear energy plans

NIMBYism is on the rise in China, and without better dialogue between stakeholders, threatens to undermine Beijing’s nuclear plans and efforts to meet its COP21 goals.
Protests threaten China’s nuclear energy plans
Over the past two weeks, thousands of residents of Lianyungang, a town in Jiangsu province, have gathered,halting preparations for a proposed nuclear waste reprocessing plant. Lianyungang is one of six sites under consideration for the project, but the two companies developing the plant, China National Nuclear Co. (CNNC) and France’s Areva, have not yet decided on a final location.

Κυριακή, 14 Αυγούστου 2016

Gazprom Soldiers on With Nord Stream II

Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Gazprom Soldiers on With Nord Stream II
Poland has achieved a significant victory in its battle against German and Russian energy collaboration. Daunted by Polish regulations, five international giants in the natural gas industry announced Aug. 12 that they had pulled out of an agreement to join Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom in the Nord Stream II AG consortium. The consortium — which Gazprom currently owns in its entirety — will oversee the construction and operation of the controversial Nord Stream II pipeline, which is set to enter service in 2019. The pullout leaves Gazprom to move forward with the 55 billion-cubic-meter natural gas pipeline project, estimated to cost between $8 billion and $11 billion, by itself, and it could have serious consequences across Northern and Central Europe. Even so, Gazprom will persevere.

Σάββατο, 13 Αυγούστου 2016

Russia Launches Naval Exercises in Black Sea Amid Escalating Standoff with Ukraine

Russia Launches Naval Exercises in Black Sea Amid Escalating Standoff with Ukraine

One day after Russia accused Ukraine of attempted incursions across the de facto border into Crimea, the territory annexed by Moscow in 2014, Kiev put its military on high alert and the Kremlin announced the start of war games in the Black Sea, raising fnars of a return to open war in the country for the first time in more than a year.