THIS JUST IN . . .


CNN

The United States and six other Western nations voted to effectively kick Russia out of the G8 in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, a White House statement said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov downplayed the significance of the move.

“G8 is an informal organization that does not give out any membership cards and, by its definition, cannot remove anyone,” he said at a news conference. “All the economic and financial questions are decided in G20.”

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THIS JUST IN . . .


CNN

Foreign ministers — including those from Russia and Ukraine — meeting today in Paris “agreed to continue intense discussions in the coming days” to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

Their goal is “to see how we can help normalize the situation, stabilize it and overcome the crisis,” he said.

Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met three times today in the French capital. One of those meetings included a “brief and informal discussion” among Kerry, Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, an official said.

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THIS JUST IN: EU vs RUSSIA


CNN

The European Union will consider sanctions against Russia if there is no deescalation in the Ukraine crisis, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said today.

Meanwhile, Russian lawmakers are working on a draft law to allow the confiscation of assets belonging to European or U.S. companies if sanctions are imposed, Russian state news agency RIA Novosti said.

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NBC NEWS – BRIAN WILLIAMS – CRISIS IN CAIRO


WE SHOULD PUT ALL AID TO EGYPT ON HOLD

They fought for democracy.

They voted for the Muslim Brotherhood

More…

AMERICA’S “WARRIOR IN CHIEF”


NEW YORK TIMES

By Peter L. Bergen

Illustration by Connor Willumsen, photograph by Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

THE president who won the Nobel Peace Prize less than nine months after his inauguration has turned out to be one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades.

Liberals helped to elect Barack Obama in part because of his opposition to the Iraq war, and probably don’t celebrate all of the president’s many military accomplishments. But they are sizable.

Mr. Obama decimated Al Qaeda’s leadership.He overthrew the Libyan dictator. He ramped up drone attacks in Pakistan, waged effective covert wars in Yemen and Somalia and authorized a threefold increase in the number of American troops in Afghanistan. He became the first president to authorize the assassination of a United States citizen,Anwar al-Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and played an operational role in Al Qaeda, and was killed in an American drone strike in Yemen. And, of course, Mr. Obama ordered and oversaw the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Ironically, the president used the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech as an occasion to articulate his philosophy of war. He made it very clear that his opposition to the Iraq war didn’t mean that he embraced pacifism — not at all. FULL ARTICLE

 

Syrian First Lady May Lose Her British Citizenship


Asma al-Assad, the glamorous but increasingly hated wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, could lose her British citizenship. The British Home Office is looking at the possibility of revoking her passport even though she was born in London and only left Britain in 2000 to marry. The European Union slapped a travel ban and an asset freeze on her Friday but cannot stop her from going home to Britain. The home secretary, however, does have the power to take away someone’s citizenship if deemed “conducive to the public good.”