AceNewsServices (Editors Choice) – October 01 – The first the crew of the Antarctica knew of the disaster was a radio request to help a search and rescue operation.
There were bodies in the water 200 miles off the coast of Malta.
Two other ships – the Verdi and the Japan – were already at the scene, picking people out of the sea.
The Antarctica was swiftly diverted and took command until the arrival of coastguard and naval ships.
The timesheet of the rescue makes for chilling reading, a catastrophe recounted in staccato phrases.
The Verdi picks up four people in the water, the log recalls, but one of them is dead. An empty liferaft is spotted. And then a body in the water.
A woman and two children are rescued by the Japan.
A few hours later, the crew of the Antarctica hear voices. Three people are retrieved. Over 24 hours, 11 people would be plucked alive out of the waves, a two-year-old girl among them, and taken to Malta, Crete and Italy.
One of the survivors was Hameed Barbakh. A resident of Khan Younis in southern Gaza. He would later describe to the Guardian the tragedy that so nearly cost him his life. In perhaps the most egregious episode yet of a deadly year on the Mediterranean, a fishing boat packed with hundreds of migrants had been rammed by another smuggling vessel when those on board refused to get on a smaller boat. As hundreds drowned, Barbakh survived by clinging to a life-jacket he found near the wreck.
His story meshed with those of other groups of people from Gaza whose relatives were caught in the grim incident.
Their stories illuminate two startling new details about the perilous Mediterranean odysseys which this year have claimed the lives of more migrants than ever before.
The first is that as well as countless Syrians, Afghans and Africans trying to make the perilous journey, a surprising number of refugees are from Gaza.
The second is that in order to escape, they must put their lives in the hands of a wealthy, influential and ruthless smuggling gang.
Rarely has the expression “devil and the deep blue sea” seemed more appropriate.
#AceNewsServices – SCOTLAND – September 18 – Debate surrounding the question of whether Scotland should become an independent country has seen impassioned interventions on both sides of the argument.
Within Britain and abroad, politicians and statesman have clambered to urge Scottish voters, depending on ideology, to vote in favour of independence or to retain the United Kingdom.
As millions of Scots prepare to go to the polls on Thursday, the Telegraph looks back at how the world has responded to the potential dissolution of the UK’s 300-year-old union UK Telegraph reported in flash-back.
NO: THE ANTI-INDEPENDENCE CAMP
“For Scotland, secession would be a catastrophe. It would end up in a Balkanisation process that nobody in Europe wants right now” – García-Margallo, foreign minister
“I have spoken to the representatives of the 28 states and enthusiasm for processes of this type is nil, because I understand they are bad for the region in question, for the state and the EU as a whole” – Mariano Rajoy, prime minister.
“The UK is one of the pillars of the single market, of big international trade agreements and is so important in Europe that the consequence will be maybe the start of the true decline of the European Union. The sequence, the consequences of tomorrow’s referendum, could be very, very dangerous” - Enrico Letta, prime minister
“Having Scotland outside the EU means the English-Scottish border becomes a customs frontier, with controls and tariffs. EU regional funding would end. Fishing rights would have to be re-negotiated from outside. And that is just the start of a very long list of disadvantages” - Ginna Pittella, leader of Socialist bloc of European Parliament
“I would say that the United Kingdom has been an extraordinary partner to us. From the outside, at least, it looks like things have worked pretty well. And we obviously have a deep interest in making sure that one of the closest allies that we will ever have remains strong, robust, united, and an effective partner. But ultimately these are decisions that are to be made by the folks there”- Barack Obama, president
“The UK is an extraordinary partner for America and a force for good in an unstable world. I hope it remains strong, robust and united”-Barack Obama, President, on the eve of voting
“I hope the Scots people will vote to remain in the UK for several reasons”- Bill Clinton, former president
“You will not find anyone involved in American foreign policy – from the President on down – who does not think that this division will weaken the alliance that we have” -Brad Sherman, congressman (D)
“I am a firm friend of the United Kingdom and I want it to remain the United Kingdom, not the disunited Kingdom. It is a matter for Scotland, obviously, but as a friend of the United Kingdom that is my view” - Tony Abbott, prime minister
“We think, from a Canadian perspective, that a strong, united United Kingdom is an overwhelmingly positive force in the world”- Stephen Harper, prime minister
“Great Scot! Independence vote may up Scotch prices” – Hindustan Times
“A German foreign minister is well advised not to interfere in British domestic politics. But I would openly admit that I would rather see Great Britain remain together” - Frank-Walter Steinmeier, German Foreign Minister
“A ‘Yes’ vote for Scottish independence on Thursday would go down in history as a political and economic mistake as large as Winston Churchill’s decision in 1925 to return the pound to the Gold Standard or the failure of the Federal Reserve to provide sufficient liquidity to the US banking system, which we now know brought on the Great Depression in the US” - David Folkerts-Landau, Deutsche Bank Chief Economist
“The opt-outs they’re pushing for would make it very difficult for Scotland to get membership… I would be extremely surprised if there was an automatic accession to the EU” - Jo Leinen, senior Socialist MEP
“Scottish independence remains an adventure – poltically, economically and from a currency standpoint” - Die Weit
[China wants a] “strong, prosperous and united United Kingdom” - Li Keqiang, Chinese premier
“The concept of unity is the reason why the United Kingdom exists. If Scotland splits, it will hurt Britain’s self esteem and also reduce the impact of the country on the international stage. The world will suffer too. Britain cannot ignore this because Scotland means a lot to the UK” – China News Wire
YES: THE PRO-INDEPENDENCE CAMP
“I would obviously vote for Scottish independence because I’m too keen on history not to know that Scotland is the traditional ally of the French ever since the Ancien Régime” - Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a maverick politician who ran for president in 2012 as the candidate of the Front de Gauche
“This is not about destroying the UK, it’s not about being against Britain, it’s about creating something new, an independent free Scotland. You can leave the negativity to the No campaign. Do I hope that Scottish independence could serve as an inspiration for us? Yes I do, I certainly do” – Daniel Turp, veteran of Quebec’s pro-independence campaign
“We wish our Scottish friends victory in the referendum with all our hearts. For us in Bavaria it would be a real boost and it would no longer be so easy for our media to negate or ridicule this topic. The larger the political unit, the less chance individuals have of being heard” - Florian Weber, eader of the pro-independence Bavaria Party
“If the yes wins then all of the European governments will have to accept the result, including Madrid. And I am convinced that the negotiations between Brussels, London and Edinburgh will start very quickly with the goal to keep Scotland in the European Union. The consequences for us are important. It raises the question that if the Scottish people have the right to decide then why not the Catalan people” - Artur Mas, president of the semi-autonomous Spanish region
“I think that independence would be a very positive thing for Scotland. I believe that every person has the right to be a member of an independent nation, to have sovereignty, to live in peace and to enjoy equality. And I believe that a majority of Scots feel the same and will vote for independence” - Choe Kwan-il, managing editor of Pyongyang-supported Choson Sinbo
“Every person wants to be able to decide for themselves. So if they want to separate from the UK, then of course I support them” - Issa Musallam, Palestinian bagpipe player Issa Musallam, 23
“As a bagpipe player, and knowing the history of bagpipes, I like to call it an instrument of war, The Scots used to have bagpipes on the battlefield, so for me, it’s part of resistance. But as Palestinians, like everyone else, we want our own state. The Scottish want their independence, their state, so they can live in a country that’s theirs and theirs alone” - Majeed Qonqar, Palestinian bagpipe player
“In four days, we will know whether this perfect storm was just a passing breeze, or if Great Britain should prepare itself to take its place in the coffers of history alongside the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and so many other old broken states” - Martin Rodriguez Yebra, La Nacion newspaper.
Courtesy of Telegraph UK Staff
#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES – September 07 – The United States has not made any offers on military assistance to Ukraine’s government, Reuters quoted a senior US official as saying Sunday.
“No US offer of lethal assistance has been made to Ukraine,” the official said.
Earlier on Sunday, advisor to the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Yuri Lutsenko, said that agreements had been reached at the NATO summit in Wales to supply advanced weapons to Ukraine from several countries, including the United States, France, Italy and Poland.
#AceWorldNews – CZECHOSLOVAKIA – September 07 – The Czech Republic will supply Iraq’s Kurds with ammunition worth over US$2 million, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek said in televised statement on Sunday.
As quoted by RIA Novosti.“Right after Iraq’s new government begins its work, which is planned for September 14, I will visit the country for talks on the supply of weapons, the first tranche of which has already been approved by the Czech government.
The cost of the first delivery is over 40 million korunas (or $2 million), but it is gratuitous on our part,” Zaoralek said.
On Wednesday, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said that Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Canada, and Albania will provide “arms and equipment” to Kurdistan, northern Iraq, which joined the central Baghdad government in the fight against Islamic State militants, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIS/ISIL)
#AceWorldNews – ITALY (Gioia Tauro) – July 02 – A Danish ship carrying hundreds of tons of Syrian chemical weapons has steamed into the southern Italian port of Gioia Tauro for a rendezvous with a U.S. cargo vessel that will destroy the toxic material.
Escorted by an Italian coast guard vessel and other ships, the Ark Futura pulled into port as the sun rose Wednesday and anchored near the MV Cape Ray.
A helicopter buzzed overhead.
The Ark Futura last month picked up the last batch of Syrian chemical weapons — including mustard gas and the raw materials for sarin nerve gas — that were removed as part of the international effort to destroy Syria’s chemical stockpile.
The chemicals are to be loaded onto the Cape Ray later Wednesday and will be neutralized at sea.
AP – Fox – USA Today
#AceWorldNews – ITALY (Veneto) – May 29 – Thirty-eight children have been injured in a bus accident in Italy, three of whom are in a serious condition, according to La Stampa.
There were 40 boys aged 12-16 on the bus, accompanied by five leaders.
The accident took place in Belluno, in the Veneto region of northern Italy.
The driver had reportedly experienced some problems applying the brakes on the vehicle while it was en route to Lignano Sabbiadoro, Udine, also in the north.
Two helicopters and six ambulances arrived at the scene of the accident to aid with rescue operations.
CNN – RT – La Stampa
#AceNewsServices – ANKARA – May 27 – Italian journalist Federico Motka, kidnapped in war-torn Syria over a year ago, has been freed and safely transferred to Turkey, via the Akcakale border gate in the south-eastern province of Sanliurfa.
Tomorrow he will see his relatives in Italy, promised Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Twitter. 31-year-old Motka used to work in Syria as a coordinator for the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED) and was abducted by a group of armed men on March 13, 2013.
Back in April four French journalists were freed in Syria after 10 months of captivity, also returning home via Turkey.
Freed journalist believed to be kidnapped by ISIL
Federico Motka was greeted by Turkish army officials at the border and underwent a medical check-up at a local hospital. He was then brought to a local police department for his testimony.
Motka had been kidnapped on March 12 last year in Atmeh town in Syria’s northern city of Idlib, security sources told Anadolu Agency.
In his statement, the 31 year-old journalist, said he saw the flag of the group, who tortured and relocated him six times.
He will be sent back to Italy shortly after official procedures are completed, the police said.
ISIL is a hard-liner militant group fighting in the northern and eastern regions of the war-torn country in a bid to establish their own state.
Back in mid-April, four French journalists, following 10 months of captivity in Syria, were released and also brought to Turkey before returning to their home country.
Twitter – Hurriyet Daily – Anadolu
#AceWorldNews – ROME – May 20 – Italy’s navy on Tuesday rescued two boats packed with more than 500 migrants, including 133 minors, AFP said.
There were also 64 women in the group, according to the navy.
A navy helicopter spotted the boats south of Sicily on Monday.
The rescue, carried out on Tuesday with the help of nearby merchant vessels, was delayed by poor weather conditions.
Almost all of the new arrivals are on boats leaving northern Libya, which is becoming increasingly lawless.
Many are originally from Eritrea, Somalia and Syria.
#AceWorldNews – TRIPOLI – may 11 – At least 40 people have died as a boat carrying migrants sank off Libya‘s coast, east of the capital, Tripoli, Reuters reports, citing a spokesman for the Interior Ministry.
Fifty-one people were rescued.
Libya’s porous borders with its sub-Saharan neighbours and its proximity to Italy and Malta across the Mediterranean have made the North African country a common transit route for migrants trying to reach Europe.
- Libyan minister appeals for EU help on migrants(thestate.com)
- Libyan minister appeals for EU help on migrants(sfgate.com)
- Malta talks on participation in Mare Nostrum migrants operation(timesofmalta.com)
At least one fan and one police officer have reportedly been shot ahead of the Italian Cup final between Napoli and Fiorentina in Rome. The football supporter was believed to have been hit in the chest and was in a serious condition, while the police officer was shot in the hand. The shootings reportedly happened in an area where fans were gathering for the match at the Olympic Stadium. There were also reports of serious crowd trouble in the Tor di Quinto area close to the venue.
Video in Italian, but shows the scenes
At least three Napoli supporters were reportedly injured in clashes, as rival supporters threw firecrackers and other objects at each other. Fans of Roma, one of the capital’s clubs, were also reportedly seen throwing bottles and stones. Inside the stadium, Napoli captain Marek Hamsik was seen going over to talk with the fans and calm them down before kick-off, which was delayed by 45 minutes.
Napoli overcame the dramatic scenes to claim their second Italian Cup trophy in three years with a 3-1 win over Fiorentina. There was more chaos at the final whistle when Napoli fans invaded the pitch to celebrate, although they were quickly brought under control. Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Senate President Piero Grasso were present at the game. Mr Grasso, who presented the trophy to Napoli at the end of the match, described those responsible as “delinquents, not supporters”. “A game of football cannot be turned into a war between rival gangs,” he said.
The atmosphere and game, like hell
#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – WHITE HOUSE – April 25 – 2014 – G-7 Leaders Statement on Ukraine.
We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, join in expressing our deep concern at the continued efforts by separatists backed by Russia to destabilize eastern Ukraine and our commitment to taking further steps to ensure a peaceful and stable environment for the May 25 presidential election.
We welcomed the positive steps taken by Ukraine to meet its commitments under the Geneva accord of April 17 by Ukraine, Russia, the European Union, and the United States. These actions include working towards constitutional reform and decentralization, proposing an amnesty law for those who will peacefully leave the buildings they have seized in eastern Ukraine, and supporting the work of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). We also note that the Government of Ukraine has acted with restraint in dealing with the armed bands illegally occupying government buildings and forming illegal checkpoints.
In contrast, Russia has taken no concrete actions in support of the Geneva accord. It has not publicly supported the accord, nor condemned the acts of pro-separatists seeking to destabilize Ukraine, nor called on armed militants to leave peacefully the government buildings they’ve occupied and put down their arms. Instead, it has continued to escalate tensions by increasingly concerning rhetoric and ongoing threatening military maneuvers on Ukraine’s border.
We reiterate our strong condemnation of Russia’s illegal attempt to annex Crimea and Sevastopol, which we do not recognize. We will now follow through on the full legal and practical consequences of this illegal annexation, including but not limited to the economic, trade and financial areas.
We have now agreed that we will move swiftly to impose additional sanctions on Russia. Given the urgency of securing the opportunity for a successful and peaceful democratic vote next month in Ukraine’s presidential elections, we have committed to act urgently to intensify targeted sanctions and measures to increase the costs of Russia’s actions.
Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the response from the international community already have imposed significant costs on its economy. While we continue to prepare to move to broader, coordinated sanctions, including sectoral measures should circumstances warrant, as we committed to in The Hague on March 24, we underscore that the door remains open to a diplomatic resolution of this crisis, on the basis of the Geneva accord. We urge Russia to join us in committing to that path.
Press Statement The White House – http://tinyurl.com/ppawnfx
#AceWorldNews – PARIS – April 25 – Leaders of the US, UK, Germany, Italy and France spoke in favour of the adoption of new sanctions against Russia, Elysee Palace announces.
The statement says that the French president Francois Hollande held telephone talks with US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, prime ministers of Italy and the UK Matteo Renzi and David Cameron.
“The Heads of State and Government called for the country’s “seven” to the rapid reaction (developments in Ukraine) and pointed at the possibility to new sanctions against Russia,” statement reports.
They are denying it but I just checked and YES! 2 hospitals in Italy have been closed down in sections. This is now out of control. I have been blogging it since it started a few months ago. Links below and Daboo7 with his usual best in Video below
The initial Ebola outbreak in Guinea is believed to have started when hunters came in contact with infected fruit bats. The Ebola virus is spread between humans through direct contact. Once infected, it can take up to 21 days for symptoms to appear, which include high fever, headaches, and fatigue. At that point, the infected person is contagious.
With details lacking and health officials opting to keep reports of infections from the public, it is impossible to know exactly how far the virus has spread.
As noted above, this new strain was not identified immediately, thus blood tests of people showing possible symptoms may have shown false-negatives even though those individuals may have been carrying the virus. Once returned to the general population and assuming they did not contract the virus, it is certainly possible that it was then transmitted to others.
If Ebola has taken hold in Italy, then we can expect more reported cases all over the continent in coming weeks, with the real possibility that the virus could make its way to U.S. shores via hundreds of international flights arriving on a daily basis.
It’s understandable that government officials do not want to overreact and cause panic, especially insofar as global air travel is concerned, because doing so would lead to a lock down of airports worldwide.
The panic would be unprecedented.
As noted by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition, even if the public became aware that a pandemic was in progress, many would remain in denial about such a prospect and would remain oblivious to the long-term repercussions. She notes that the effects of a pandemic could be swift and drastic, leading to societal upheaval :
Understanding that our lives will change drastically if the population is faced with a pandemic and being prepared for this can help you make better choices toward the well being of your family. Some changes could be:
Shut downs of business commerce
Breakdown of our basic infrastructure: communications, mass transportation, supply chains
Payroll service interruptions
Staffing shortages in hospitals and medical clinics
Interruptions in public facilities – Schools, workplaces may close, and public gatherings such as sporting events or worship services may close temporarily.
Government mandated voluntary or involuntary home quarantine.
(Source: Pandemic Preparedness)
Given the continued spread of the virus to numerous countries in Africa, and now possibly Europe, we urge readers to remain vigilant and have, at the very least, their basic essentials in place.
This virus is incurable and is believed to have a mortality rate of up to 85% of those infected.
If it is spreading outside of Africa, then it is only a matter of time – perhaps several weeks – before it becomes apparent in developing nations.
These posted probabilities are in no way authoritative, and should be considered a “best guess” only.
Probabilities of unchecked infection at this point, based upon a method of travel, times and frequencies of airline flights to various cities, also including certain assumed volumes of “mixed maritime” traffic between north Africa and southern Europe – the Probability that Ebola will strike is:
63% in Italy within 8 days
44% in Spain within 15 days
77% in Riyadh/Saudi within 21 days
40% in Libya within 25 days
29% in the US within 28 days
37% in Egypt within 33 days
By the time we get to 35 days, it can be in 25 countries on 4 continents.
In the United States, the CDC has issued a travel alert to airlines and set up emergency quarantine stations at domestic airports, though there are no specific guidelines in place at this time according to BD Live:
The US is well prepared to handle infected patients on its soil with 20 CDC quarantine stations in place at US airports that are designed to deal with anyone who has symptoms of a wide range of infectious illnesses, including Ebola, according to spokeswoman Christine Pearson. Despite the outbreak, there are no special requests or guidelines to airlines about Ebola, though the CDC has issued a travel alert, she said.
“The time it takes to travel from rural Guinea to anywhere in the US is more than enough time to incubate the virus and be symptomatic,” Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Laurie Garrett said in New York.
If in the next month we see Ebola popping up in North America then we may have a serious problem on our hands.
This is a developing report and is in no way conclusive. Official statements from the WHO, CDC and European governments have yet to confirm Ebola’s crossover into Europe or the United States. Updates will be provided as details become available.
#AceWorldNews – April 11 – BRUSSELS – The leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission will meet in Brussels on 4-5 June 2014 in the G-7 format, it was announced today.
The two-day meeting was agreed by the G7 leaders on 24 March in The Hague. The G7 at the time confirmed they would not be attending a G8 summit with Russia in Sochi schedule for June and issued a declaration in support of Ukraine.
#AceWorldNews -ITALY – April 10 – (RT) – The Italian Navy said Thursday it has rescued over 18,000 migrants since launching a Mediterranean operation called Mare Nostrum (Our Sea), following two deadly shipwrecks in October 2013.
Five warships are usually deployed with more than 900 military personal at a cost of 9 million euros ($12 million) a month.
Navy chief Giuseppe De Giorgi said that after the twin tragedies last October which left more than 400 people dead, a total of 18,546 migrants had been rescued off Italy’s shores.
De Giorgi rejected claims by right-wing parties in Italy than the operation had led to an increase in migrants.
#AceWorldNews – Italy has rescued 4,000 migrants from boats trying to reach European shores in the past 48 hours, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Wednesday.
“The emergency is getting worse and there is no halt to the boats arriving,” Reuters quoted him as saying. “Europe must take it in hand, immediately, because this is not a Mediterranean border but a European border.”
Some 15,000 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea since the start of 2014.
#AceWorldNews – ITALY – March 27 – Italy’s navy said Thursday it had rescued 128 migrants from Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan and Syria.
The migrants, including eight women and 13 minors, were rescued from a boat crossing the Mediterranean Sea which got into difficulty off the coast of Sicily, AFP reported.
They were transferred on board the San Giorgio frigate and were being taken to the Sicilian port town of Augusta.
#AceWorldNews – THE HAGUE – G7 – March 24 – Russia does to hold on to the G8 (Group of Eight), Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in The Hague on Monday, March 24.
“The G8 is an informal club. There are no membership cards there and no one can be expelled from it by definition. It has played it role, as many think, because all economic and financial issues are discussed within the Group of 20.
The Group of Eight continued to exit mainly because it was a forum for discussion between the leading Western countries and Russia,” he said.
He recalled that the G8 had discussed such issues as the Iranian nuclear issue, nuclear security on the Korean Peninsula, Syria, and the Balkans.
“But there are actually other formats for discussing these issues – the U.N. Security Council, there is the Middle East Quartet to discuss the Middle East settlement, and the P1+5 to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue,” Lavrov said.
“If our Western partners think that this format has outlived itself, so be it. We do not hold on to it. We don’t think it will be a tragedy if it’s not convened. We can wait for a year or a year and a half, as an experiment, and see how we live without it,” the minister said.
Replying to questions from journalists on March 4, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia was still preparing the G8 summit in Sochi scheduled for June.
“We will be ready to host the summit with our colleagues. If they do not want to come – so be it,” he said.
He stressed that Russia’s actions were based on international law and bilateral obligations, unlike those of the United States which “always clearly formulates their own geopolitical and states interests and follow them with persistence… and draw the whole world in.”
When asked about possible sanctions from the West against Russia, Putin said that “It is primarily those who intend to apply them that need to consider their consequences.”
The president stressed that “any threat against Russia is counter-productive and harmful.”
Russia took over the presidency in the Group of Eight on January 1, 2014. The main event of its presidency – the G8 summit – was scheduled to be held in Sochi on June 4-5.
British Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to exclude Russia from the Group of Eight if it refused to cooperate on de-escalation of tensions in Ukraine. Speaking at a meeting of the EU heads of state or government on March 6, Cameron stressed that “illegal actions committed by Russia cannot pass without a response.”
The EU leaders agreed to suspend negotiations on a more liberal visa regime for Russians, to stop work on a comprehensive new agreement on relations between Russia and the EU, and to pull out of all preparations for the G8 summit in Sochi in June.
“And if Russia does not rapidly engage in direct talks with the Ukrainian government to find a solution to this crisis, we have been clear that we will go further,” Cameron warned, adding that the leaders had tasked the European Commission to start work on additional measures, including travel bans and asset freezes.
He noted that “situation in Ukraine remains highly precarious – the slightest miscalculation could see it spiral out of control” and issued “a very clear warning to President Putin that he must not destabilise the situation further.”
“If Russia does not change course, the statement issued today now makes clear that there will be severe and far reaching consequences in areas such an energy, trade, and financial relations,” he said.
On March 9, Putin had telephone conversations with Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“The conversations continued discussion on the highly complex social and political situation unfolding in Ukraine and also issues concerning the organisation of a referendum in Crimea on March 16, 2014.
Although the three leaders did express differences of opinion regarding the events taking place, they declared their common interest in de-escalating tension and returning the situation to normal as soon as possible,” the presidential press service said.
Putin noted, in particular, that the steps Crimea’s legitimate authorities were taking were in line with international law and seek to guarantee the lawful interests of the peninsula’s population.
The president also noted that the current authorities in Kiev had not taken any steps to rein in ultra-nationalist and radical forces in the Ukrainian capital and in many regions.
The three leaders exchanged views on possible international efforts to settle the crisis. They agreed to continue close working contacts, including at the foreign ministers’ level, the press service said.
On March 24, Cameron said the summit would not take place, and Merkel said the G8 format no longer existed.
The Group of Eight (G8) is an unofficial forum of the world’s major economies (Russia, the United States, Great Britain, France, Japan, Germany, Canada, and Italy, with the participation of the EU Leaders) designed to coordinate approaches to the most pressing issues of global affairs.
The G8 does not operate as an international organisation, not being based on an international treaty or having a charter or permanent secretariat.
The decisions taken by the G8 are non-binding political commitments of the member states to follow the agreed logic of action in addressing specific issues.
The host country of the G8 annual summit is presiding over the forum throughout the year, coordinating the G8’s operating activities.
The rotation of the G8 Presidency starts with France (last presidency in 2011), followed by the U.S., the UK, Russia, Germany, Japan, Italy, and Canada.
The EU does not host summits and cannot assume presidency.
Ace Related News
1. March 24 – 17.05 GMT – Extract – #AceWorldNews – THE HAGUE – March 24 – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry are holding a meeting on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit(NSS) in The Hague. http://wp.me/p165ui-4vU
Russian News and Media Sources
#AceWorldNews – German police have arrested a former Nazi medic on suspicion of “multiple counts” of aiding and abetting murder when he was serving as a medic in the Auschwitz death camp, according to the local prosecutors’ office.
A 93-year-old suspect was arrested on Monday at his home near the town of Neubrandenburg, in the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in northern Germany.
A doctor examined the man after his arrest and determined that the suspect “was in good enough health to be held in custody while authorities investigate further,” according to Stefan Urbanek, spokesman from the prosecutors’ office in Schwerin, the state capital.
The prosecutor refused to reveal the pensioner’s identity due to German privacy rules.
The man is now being held in pre-trial detention.
A former member of the SS (Schutzstaffel), a major paramilitary organization under the Nazis from 1925 to 1945, the accused allegedly assisted in massacres of prisoners transported from Germany, Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Slovenia to the Auschwitz -Birkenau camp in September 1944.