EUROPE RUSSIA Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, who had to flee to Ukraine in 2016 in the face of death threats because of his criticism of the Russian government, died on Tuesday in Kiev of natural causes. Well, “natural causes” for a critic of Vladimir Putin–he was gunned down outside his apartment building. An investigation is underway… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: May 29 2018
ASIA AFGHANISTAN Another (likely) Taliban attack on a police checkpoint in Farah province left at least five police officers dead on Tuesday. Meanwhile, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis made a surprise visit to the country (always a good sign for the war effort when leaders have to duck in to the country without telling… Continue reading World update: March 13 2018
EUROPE EUROPEAN UNION European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is taking a lot of heat for appointing his personal aid, Martin Selmayr, to be the commission’s secretary-general. Needless to say the appointment smacks of nepotism at a time when euroskepticism is already high, though defenders say that Selmayr is qualified for the job. RUSSIA OK, I am prepared… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: March 12 2018
UNITED KINGDOM Saturday night’s terrorist attack in London killed at least seven people, and with 21 people reportedly in critical condition there’s still a danger that figure could rise. Just before 10 PM local time, a van struck a crowd of pedestrians on London Bridge, and then drove to Borough Market, where three attackers got… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: June 3-4 2017
I kind of dropped the Greece bailout story a couple of weeks ago, because to be perfectly honest I think I can only deal with one major global agreement at a time around this place. But as we got right up to the brink of a Grexit, it turned out that, well, nobody, least of… Continue reading A funny thing happened on the way to Grexit
With time running out to keep Greece nominally solvent and still in the Eurozone, the Greek government submitted a new proposal to its major creditors (the “Troika”) yesterday that…well, actually seems to have been pretty well-received: A top eurozone official says Greece has submitted “thorough” proposals aimed at getting a vital third bailout and averting… Continue reading Whatever else Syriza is, it’s first and foremost a political party
I am no economist, but from my purely layman’s perch it seems to me that the nub of the Greece issue comes down to one empirically demonstrated fact: austerity doesn’t work. Chasing a budget surplus, the kind of thing you need to really start paying creditors, by cutting government spending and raising taxes on the… Continue reading What are we all on about then?