— Andrei Nikitchyuk (@AndreiNikit) July 24, 2014
Now that the U.S.-Russia relationship has broken down, Moscow could throw a wrench into the teetering nuclear negotiations with Iran.
“If Putin decides that retaliating against the U.S. and ruining Obama’s foreign policy legacy is more important than sealing a pact with Iran, the whole thing could unravel.”
“An extension is the only thing the Iranians need to complete their bomb work. The whole point of the sanctions was to make sure that time is not on the side of the Iranians.”
U.S. officials, lawmakers, and experts, have been watching and waiting for Putin to use the Iran negotiations as a way to mess with Obama ever since the tit-for-tat sanctions began in March.
Moscow and Tehran have been negotiating a $1.5 billion oil-for-goods exchange, which could undermine international pressure on Iran to make a deal with the West. But overall, Moscow has continued to be a reasonably constructive part of the international coalition pressing Iran to roll back its nuclear program. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON —For the NY Times, MICHAEL D. SHEAR, SOMINI SENGUPTA and SABRINA TAVERNISE reporting: President Obama said Friday that the United States believed the Malaysia Airlines jetliner felled over eastern Ukraine was shot down by a surface-to-air missile from an area inside Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed separatists.
Mr. Obama’s remarks at the White House were the strongest public suggestions yet from the United States over who was responsible for the downing of the jetliner, which exploded, crashed and burned on Thursday on farmland in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard.
Mr. Obama said the loss of life was an “outrage of unspeakable proportions” and a “global tragedy.” He vowed to investigate exactly what happened to end the lives of “men, women, children, infants who had nothing to do with the crisis” in that region. Mr. Obama also said that at least one American was among the dead.
“We are going to make sure the truth is out,” Mr. Obama said, referring to what he described as a trove of misinformation that has already shrouded the plane crash. Read the rest of this entry »
Sara Firth, who was born in the U.K. and has worked for the state-backed TV station since 2009, said Russia Today suggested the Ukrainian government took down the Boeing 777 flying over the country.
“I didn’t want to watch a story like that, where people have lost loved ones and we’re handling it like that.”
London-based reporter is not the first journalist to call the network’s bias into questions — another reporter quit in March over the way Russian management covered riots in neighboring Ukraine.
“It’s great team, so talented. But at the heart of that organization it’s rotten.”
“I couldn’t do it anymore,” she told Buzzfeed. “Every single day we’re lying and finding sexier ways to do it.”
Firth, who first reported Russian government-backed station from Moscow before transferring to the London office, said management put witnesses into the story who specifically blamed Ukraine for the crash.
“The second you start to question or report honestly then you’re a problem.”
One correspondent said a previous plane crash that Ukraine had been involved with was “worth mentioning,” she claimed. Read the rest of this entry »
- Video: Pretty much everyone expressing dismay over White House response to world falling apart
- Video: Semi-retired president interrupts burger run to issue brief statement on plane being blown up
- BEAR IS LOOSE: Obama fundraises while Putin runs amok…
- KREMLIN: Putin ‘Informed’ Obama About Crash…
- REPORT: 23 Americans Killed…
- Obama gives crash 40 seconds before telling jokes…
- When Crisis Strikes, You Can Count On Obama To Grab A Delicious Snack
- Democrats are distancing themselves from our detached, unpopular president
— Mashable (@mashable) July 17, 2014
[GRAPHIC PHOTOS] Live Updates: Passenger Jet Downed in Ukraine, Buk Missile Attack Suspected, 23 American Passengers Suspected DeadPosted: July 17, 2014
- US stocks tumble on news of Malaysia Airlines crash
- Live Updates: Passenger Jet Crashes In Ukraine
- 22 bodies counted at Ukraine plane crash site
- Both sides in Ukraine deny shooting down plane
- Obama, Putin speak about downed plane reports
- Official: Malaysian plane shot down over Ukraine
- *Live Updates* Malaysian Passenger Plane Downed Over Ukraine - Breitbart
- Rivera: ‘Putin Has The Blood of Those Airline Passages on His Hands’
- Malaysia Airlines plane lost contact over Ukraine
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) July 17, 2014
The summer when America fell apart
When I read that opening sentence, I thought – finally, someone’s on the same page. When we began this ongoing theme – The Global Panic of July 2014 – it was meant as a joke, dark humor to survive the seemingly endless cascade of bad news. But it’s also an amplified recognition of reality; increasing disorder and dysfunction, nationally and internationally. Mixed with breathtaking technological advances, with the promise of more economic disruption to come. From 9/11 until now, we are witnessing a disintegration of the post-war world order. This summer marks even more global instability. Things are unravelling at a faster pace than even my most pessimistic colleagues have suggested. A historic turning point? If so, Victor Davis Hanson‘s an informed tour guide. Read the whole thing here.
Germany in 2008 enthusiastically hosted candidate Barack Obama for his so-called “Victory Column” speech. Now, Germans suddenly sound as if they are near-enemies of the U.S. Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly was furious that her cell phone was tapped by American intelligence agents.
“Asian powers apparently assume that Obama won’t guarantee the security of the Japanese as America had in the past.”
She just kicked the top CIA official out of Germany, further enraged that the U.S. had recruited at least one German official to provide intelligence on the German government. Polls show that Germans find Vladimir Putin’s Russian tyranny almost as popular as Barack Obama’s America. Read the rest of this entry »
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) July 1, 2014
That may all be about to change as Russians and fellow travellers can now show their devotion to the President of Russia with a gold-plated iPhone hand engraved with a portrait of Mr Putin.
The Italian-Russian-owned company Caviar Perna Penna which normally creates alligator skin and diamond-encrusted handsets has made the phone for sale in Russia for 147,000 roubles (£2,500) – it comes with its own display case and accessories.
The back of the phone is made of 18-carat gold, and below the portrait of President Putin there is a quote from the Russian National Anthem and the double-headed eagle – Russia’s coat of arms.
In a press release, the firm says that the gadget is aimed at ‘patriotic senior government officials and top executives’.
‘It’s time to feel genuine pride and express your position clearly, without further ado.
‘President Vladimir Putin has become a symbol of the new generation, a strong-willed and decisive leader.’
The manufacturers claim that the Caviar Supremo Putin phone is ‘the best way to express patriotism’ for people who move ‘in the highest circles, in which devotion to the homeland will never be an empty shell’…(read more)
Tales of standing toe to toe with the United States have been handed down by nostalgic parents
For The Independent, Abigail Hauslohner writes: The Soviet Union used to command respect on the international stage. It stood toe to toe with the United States. It wielded its influence in the far corners of the globe. Oksana Chernysheva, a first-year journalism student at the International University in Moscow, shares the view of her President, Vladimir Putin: the collapse of the Soviet Union was a disaster.
“We used to be huge and strong, and then it collapsed,” she said. But what for the 61-year-old Mr Putin amounts to an acute sense of lost glory is for Ms Chernysheva, 18, an opinion based almost entirely on wistful tales handed down by nostalgic parents. She was born five years after the Soviet Union fell apart.
Mr Putin’s moves this year to annex Crimea and to support pro-Russian movements in Ukraine appear to have resonated with a younger generation that has no memory of the Soviet Union but yearns for its power.
According to the Levada Centre, an independent polling organisation in Moscow, the President’s high approval rating among young people tops even his numbers among an older generation that remembers the empire and views Crimea and Ukraine as essentially Russian.
People 18 to 24 years old – the youngest group among 1,600 people surveyed in late May – backed Mr Putin more than any other age bracket, at 86 per cent, said Karina Pipiya, a spokeswoman for the centre. Read the rest of this entry »
For The Diplomat, Michael Lumbers writes: The splashy announcement recently of a $400 billion deal that will send Russian natural gas to China has triggered a new wave of speculation over the implications of strengthened Sino-Russian ties for America’s strategic position. The supply agreement, which will give Beijing a much-needed source of clean energy and Moscow an alternative market as relations with Europe have soured in the wake of the crisis over Ukraine, fleshes out a “strategic partnership” that has flourished over the past 20 years as a result of expanded trade, the final resolution of all border disputes, and a shared interest in impeding U.S. hegemony.
For some alarmed Western observers, seemingly forgetful that not even the bonds of communist ideology could prevent the violent rupture of the Sino-Soviet alliance at the height of the Cold War, this invigorated relationship threatens to consolidate into an anti-American alliance that is headed toward an eventual clash with the U.S. More sober voices stop short of such grim forecasts, but counsel that Washington should devise policies aimed atdriving the two powers apart. How, if at all, is the U.S. likely to respond?
Any assessment of U.S. options for responding to growing Sino-Russian convergence needs to begin with an understanding that the post-Cold War reconciliation, burdened by a long history of distrust, has often fallen short of the flowery rhetoric of summit communiques. For both sides, the relationship remains a function of more important dealings with the United States. Read the rest of this entry »
Despite the fact that President Obama “has been boasting about how diplomatically isolated” Putin is, Krauthammer said, the President of Russia was invited to the Normandy ceremony, the state dinner, and private dinners with both the President of France and the Prime Minister of Great Britain…
“That’s a hell of an isolation”
A topless member of the radical protest group Femen used a metal chisel to stab and bash in the face of Putin’s statue in a famed Paris wax museum on Thursday.
Police arrested the activist shortly after the attack, which happened near statues of US President Barack Obama and recently abdicated Spanish King Juan Carlos, both of which escaped without a scratch.
Putin is to arrive in France on Thursday to attend the 70th anniversary of D-Day events, which have attracted scores of world leaders to France. Putin arrives under the cloud of the confrontation between western powers and Russia over the annexation of Crimea. Read the rest of this entry »
However limited the president’s power and influence in Washington, they’re about to shrink. And that’s a good thing.
For Reason, Steve Chapman writes: About now, Barack Obama may be wondering why he thought it would be such fun to serve a second term rather than go lounge on a beach in Hawaii. Life in the White House has become a daily ordeal of pain and frustration. Nothing is going well.
“Presidents don’t scale back their ambitions because they want to; they do it because they have to.”
On the foreign front, he has to contend with an aggressive Vladimir Putin, an unsuccessful war in Afghanistan and his failure to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Domestically, he has to endure a Department of Veterans Affairs scandal, an underperforming economy, a health care overhaul whose ultimate success is in doubt, House hearings on Benghazi, and an inability to get Congress to do anything he wants.
“Obama is stymied on Capitol Hill because he lacks the political power or popular standing to get his way.”
In the international arena, as a news story in The Chicago Tribune recently noted, the president has been compelled to adopt a “measured, even incremental, approach to most foreign crises and challenges, from Iran’s nuclear program to Syria’s grinding war.” Instead of trying to do great things, he’s settled for a policy that his aides summarize as “Don’t do stupid stuff”—though they use a different word than “stuff.” Read the rest of this entry »
For Breitbart.com, Mary Chastain reports: Russian President Vladimir Putin said he will respect Ukraine’s presidential election and work with the new president, but there is an interesting chocolate bar for sale in Russia.
Produced by a Russian company called Shokobox, it shows Russia in 2015, and the country is a lot bigger. Labeled as “new territory” is Crimea while “promising” territories are Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Scandinavia, Belarus, Central Asia… and Alaska. Read the rest of this entry »
Pro-Russian separatists smash ballot boxes in Donetsk Separatists and their supporters determined to disrupt Sunday’s (May 25) presidential elections, smashed ballot boxes outside the headquarters of People’s Republic of Donetsk on Friday.