Gone is Dmitri A. Medvedev, the optimistic president who collaborated with Mr. Obama and celebrated their partnership in March. In his place is Vladimir V. Putin, the grim former K.G.B. colonel whose return to the Kremlin has ushered in a frostier relationship freighted by an impasse over Syria and complicated by fractious domestic politics in both countries.
Russia was supplying "anti-air defence systems" to Damascus in a deal that "in no way violates international laws," Lavrov told a news conference during a brief visit to Iran.
"That contrasts with what the United States is doing with the opposition, which is providing arms to the Syrian opposition which are being used against the Syrian government," he said, in remarks translated from Russian into Farsi by an official interpreter.
It was the first time Moscow has directly pointed the finger at Washington. Previously, it had said unidentified "foreign powers" were arming Syria's opposition.
Lavrov's accusation followed a charge by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday that she had information Russia was sending to Syria "attack helicopters ... which will escalate the conflict quite dramatically."
Explaining the downgrade, Moody's said eurozone's €100bn rescue announced last weekend for the Spanish banking sector will only increase the government's debt and make its budget-cutting measures even more difficult and lengthy.It concluded that the Spanish government will run the risk of having to ask for a full bail-out from the eurozone rescue funds
“By any objective criteria the Euro has failed, and in fact there is a looming, impending disaster,” he added.
Washington ratcheted up its accusations against Russia on Wednesday, claiming Soviet-made weaponry is killing Syrian civilians across the country on an “hourly-basis”.
Risking further inflaming the dispute, Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the state department, repeated the claims today, adding that Russia is actively engaged in resupplying the tyrannical regime.
"On a daily basis, on an hourly basis, we are seeing Russian and Soviet-made weaponry used against civilians in towns all across Syria," she said.
The downgrade came after Spain’s prime minister said he was battling to get the eurozone’s central bankers to bring down the country’s record borrowing costs – and amid predictions that the state will need a second bail-out.Spain will soon follow Portugal, Ireland and Greece in seeking a sovereign bail-out, according to a majority of economists polled by Reuters. Of the 59 analysts canvassed, 35 said it was likely or very likely Spain will do so in the next 12 months.
Four-decade veteran John Hathaway told King World News, “we are within months ... from this thing blowing wide open. When that happens, money will look to find whatever it can in order to participate.” The prolific manager of the Tocqueville Gold Fund also said, “I think at that stage you are going to see gold go ballistic because it will be an admission of failure on the part of policymakers.” Here is what Hathaway had to say about the ongoing crisis: “All of the political leaders and policymakers are frantically trying to put their fingers in the dyke. The euro is on its last legs. It’s very late in the game to expect anything like the coordinated action that would be necessary to restore confidence. People are moving to the exits.”
You’ve got slow motion bank runs taking place. People who see this and understand it are moving into gold. You’ve got rot in the periphery (of Europe) that’s spreading to the core. The core is Germany and ultimately the United States.
The idea that somehow the dollar is protected by some firewall is ridiculous. They are (all) basically fiat currencies, and I don’t think this stops with the euro. This attack is ultimately going to affect the dollar, and it will eventually be reflected in the dollar/gold price.
A full-fledged bailout of Italy is a theoretical construct, anyway. As the third largest economy in the Eurozone, it’s too big to get bailed out by the Eurozone. Of the 17 member states, five, if Cyprus is included, are already being bailed out. Leaves 12, including teetering Italy, to pay for them. If Italy falls, the two major countries left standing to bail all of them out would be Germany and France. An impossibility.And Italy is desperate....the debt crisis is here now. Italy is running out of options. Spain is hopelessly in trouble. Greece has hit the wall. And turning that fiasco overnight into a healthy United States of Europe is an illusion.
Europe needs a fiscal and banking union if it is to survive “the worst crisis” since the European Union’s creation, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoysaid in an open letter to leaders on Wednesday.“We must create a European fiscal authority that can direct fiscal policies in the euro zone, that can harmonize member states’ fiscal policies, and that can control central finances, as well as manage European debt ,” Rajoy wrote.“The euro is on a path of no return, and its connection with the entire European project, starting with the common market, is indissolvable,” said Rajoy in the letter.
Analysis by Credit Suisse estimates that up to 58% of the value of Europe's banks could be wiped out by the departure of the 'peripheral' countries
The Obama administration is girding up for the shock of Egypt becoming the first Arab country, and the most populous, to be ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood.The last of three secret polls US intelligence conducted in Egypt assigned the MB contender Muhammad Morsi a 70 percent win of the presidential election runoff, Saturday-Sunday, June 16-17, against former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq’s 30 percent
European Union apparatchiks are preparing to lockdown Europe following Greece’s exit. From the Associated Presstoday:
Olivier Bailly said Tuesday that, legally, limits could be imposed on movement of people and money across national borders within the EU if it’s necessary to protect public order or public security — but not on economic grounds.
The plain and simple fact is that the euro's failure is about more, much more, than the euro. For it is not just the euro that is failing, but the entire liberal, elitist worldview that underlies it. That worldview, in a nutshell, is the notion that human nature is as malleable as a lump of clay and that any utopian society one can imagine can be created in the real world simply by writing it down on a piece of paper and voting for it.And so here we are, leaving the world, including we Americans, divided, essentially, into two groups: those who understand that liberalism's day of reckoning has come, that the debate is over, that collapse is inevitable and that the only course now is to manage, as best we can, the process of changing direction; and those who do not.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned a Senate panel today that America faces "the potential for another Pearl Harbor" launched by enemies who have the capability to wield a cyberattack that would “paralyze this country.”
Twenty churches in Indonesia's Aceh province have been closed down and are likely to be demolished by the local administration. A lower house lawmaker Eva K. Sundari said her human rights commission received complaints about the forced closure of 20 churches from the United North Sumatra Alliance on Monday.
Now it appears that no child is left behind in Gaza, where kindergarteners recently held a jihad-promoting graduation ceremony replete with camouflage make-up, fatigues, fake machine guns and a kiddie version of water-boarding.