(Picture courtesy of mhaithaca at flickr.com.)
The weekly view of foreign news and media I have been taking on in memory of Southern Dragon at Lakeside Diner is dominated this week by accounts of the President’s trip to Israel. After meeting with newly installed Prime Minister Netanyahu, today there will be talks with Palestinian Authority President Assad. While much accord was reached, the President still was not in agreement with Israel on negotiations with Iran.
Mr Netanyahu mentioned it in his first sentence and again and again. He also reminded us more than once that Israel has the right to self-determination and to defend itself. The obvious implication there is that he thinks President Obama still holds out hope for a diplomatic solution which will prevent Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.
The Parliament of Cyprus will receive ‘Plan B’ for bailing out its economy, in which reports are that Russian aid will be included, though as yet the form is unspecified.
Mr Anastasiades will put a proposal to a meeting of political party leaders meeting at 09:30 (07:30 GMT). It is then expected to go before parliament in the afternoon, according to CNA.
State TV said the plan might include a levy on bank deposits over 100,000 euros.
One offer of help has come from Cyprus’s Orthodox Church, which is a major shareholder in the third-largest domestic lender, the Hellenic Bank.
Archbishop Chrysostomos I said on Wednesday the Church was willing to mortgage its assets to invest in government bonds
The establishment of a “bad bank” which would take on risky assets held by Cypriot banks has also been mentioned by officials.
Charges of using chemical weapons were brought against each other by both sides in the Syrian conflict.
Bashar Jaafari, Syria’s UN ambassador, announced on Wednesday that he had asked the UN to ”form a specialised, independent and neutral technical mission” to investigate the use of chemical weapons by the opposition in the attack in the town of Khan al-Assal near northern city of Aleppo.
The attack, which killed 26 people on Tuesday, if confirmed, would be the first use of chemical weapons in the nearly two-year-old conflict.
“The Syrian government, if it has such weapons, will never use it against its own population,” Jaafari said.
Denying any involvement into the incident, the rebels have accused the government forces of using the chemical weapons. They have also called for an inquiry into the deadly attack.
Beginnings were made this week to begin advance planning to head off the growing effects of drought and plan accordingly in endangered areas of Africa.
The High-level Meeting on National Drought Policy marked the first globally-coordinated attempt to move towards science-based drought disaster risk reduction and break away from piecemeal and costly crisis-response, which often comes too late to avert death, displacement and destruction.
The meeting issued a declaration encouraging governments to develop and implement national drought management policies consistent with their development objectives. It also provided detailed scientific and policy guidance on how to achieve this.
“Prevention must be our priority,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in a message to delegates. “Nations need urgently to develop strategies for resilience — especially for the poor, who are always hit first and worst.”
Beginnings with promise could be a beacon to backwards countries presently unable to handle the most obvious effects of disastrous policies, such as the U.S. has headed toward in its present economic loggerheads policies. Informed planning for handling disasters would improve chances of avoiding the public’s being victimized by officials concerned for other influences than those they serve.