Ukrainian Army and Donbass forces have agreed to remove heavy weapons from the conflict zone, Eduard Basurin, deputy commander of the DPR's Defense Ministry's corps, said on Sunday.
“Today we’ve done preparatory work. Tomorrow is a holiday [Defender of the Fatherland Day], and starting from [February] 24 the process of heavy weapons pullout will begin,” Basurin said, as cited by the Donetsk news agency.
One person doing just that is prominent and controversial French writer and political journalist Eric Zemmour, who on Friday said that France and Germany, following the historical tradition, should work on forming an alliance with Russia.
"NATO is doing its utmost to present Russia as an enemy of the West and thereby justify its existence," Zemmour wrote in Le Figaro Magazine. "Fortunately, France and Germany in due time blocked Ukraine’s accession to NATO, and that’s a positive fact," the journalist said.
"Now when they finally coordinated their positions on establishing relations with Moscow, they should not stop halfway and should move towards forming a tripartite alliance with Russia," he said, recalling numerous efforts in the past by "kings, emperors and presidents" of the three countries to set up such an alliance.
Bibi Netanyahu: Psychopath? ~ link ~ That's an insult to all psychopaths! Stirling
For example, Iran has consistently followed international law with respect to its nuclear program, and even the IAEA has recently concluded after a long study that “Iran has stopped questionable nuclear centrifuge testing.”
But that again is not enough for Benjamin Netanyahu. He wants something more—something Talmudic and not essentially Western or logical, which means that he wants to split Iran into different particles.
But since that may well be the exact position Syriza wants ‘the other side’ to be in, where they think they have prevailed, one will have to try and think a few steps ahead before judging the situation. There’s far more grey area here than many pundits seem to assume, easily 50 shades of it.
If Greece wouldn’t have given Germany the idea that it was winning, Athens would have already come very close to an exit from the eurozone. The problem with that is that it is not part of the mandate Syriza has been given by Greek voters. Who have spoken out for an end to austerity, but within the existing euro framework.
Looking at some of the projects the EU has funded over the last decade, one would think the organization had limitless funds at its disposal. Millions across the continent are currently living in poverty following the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis. One in three Greeks is living below the poverty line, while the nation has an unemployment rate of nearly 30 percent. However, that figure is double amongst the country’s youth. Spain is not fairing much better, with almost a quarter of the working population unable to find a job.
Despite pressing needs to address these problems, the EU has been lavishing billions of euros on extravagant projects, with poor oversight into what will happen to these schemes when completed. RT looks at six ‘white elephants’ the EU has funded, which are leaving taxpayers around the European Union thinking why this was ever built.
China's Pivot to Everywhere ~ link ~
Transatlantic trade? That’s the past. The wave of the future is Trans-Pacific trade as Asia boasts 15 of the world’s top twenty container ports (with China in pride of place with Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou).
Sorry, Britannia, but it’s Asia – and particularly China – who now rule the waves. What a graphic contrast with the past 500 years since the first European trading ships arrived in eastern shores in the early 16th century.
Then there’s the spectacular rise of inland China. These provinces have a huge population of at least 720 million people and a GDP worth at least $3.6 trillion. As Ben Simpferdorfer detailed in his delightful The Rise of the New East (Palgrave MacMillan), “over 200 major Chinese cities with populations greater than 750,000 lay some 150 miles inland from the coast. In effect, we are observing the rise of the world’s largest landlocked economy, and that will change the way China looks at the world. From Guangzhou’s factories to Shanghai’s bankers, all are starting to look inward, not outward.” This new way China looks at the world – and at itself - certainly has not registered in the way the world, especially the West, looks at China. In the West, the spin is always about China’s economy slowing down and bubbles about to burst. The real story is how China will develop and modernize its mid-and-large sized cities with populations larger than 750,000. China concentrating on itself is now as important as China spreading its tentacles across the world.
Russia ratifies $100 Billion BRICS Bank ~ link ~
A BRICS Bank - as an IMF alternative and to enable nations to become less dependent on the global reserve currency - was originally discussed at The BRICS Summit in 2012. Then at the 2014 BRICS Summit, the framework for The BRICS Bank was approved as "a system of measures that would help prevent the harassment of countries that do not agree with some foreign policy decisions made by the United States and their allies."
Headquartered in Shanghai and chaired by Russia, this week saw what appears to be the final step in the creation of BRICS New Deverlopment Bank as RT reports, The Russian State Duma has ratified the $100 billion BRICS bank that’ll serve as a pool of money for infrastructure projects in Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa. It is expected to start fully functioning by the end of 2015. Isolated?
Five people are currently being held in prison after objecting to the Irish government’s decision to tax water. They had defied a court order to come within a 20-metre exclusion zone set up around a water installation. Tap water had been free in Ireland, though the government introduced measures to introduce water meters as an extra way to raise capital.
Dutch scientists have scanned a statue of Buddha, dating back to the 11th or 12th century, to reveal a mummy inside. They’ve also taken samples of the mummy’s insides and discovered scraps of paper with ancient Chinese characters on them.
A human skeleton glows through the statue’s silhouette on the computed tomography scan, done in the Meander Medical Center in Amersfoort, the Netherlands.