Foreign Affairs News Round Up Week 45

Unless you’ve been living in a cave with your eyes closed and your fingers in your ears, you’ll have heard that Americans have re-elected Barack Obama as President. The results were closer than would have been expected a year ago, but broadly went with most of the recent polls. The President faces a myriad of challenges at home including a sluggish economy, an eye-watering debt, spiraling entitlements costs and many cities facing bankruptcy. Abroad, Syria, Iran, Mali and the Eurozone will be the immediate concerns, with a growing China and resurgent Russia looming on the horizon.

The Greek Parliament yesterday narrowly approved a new round of austerity measures. Passed with a majority of just three votes, the measures include new taxes and an increase in the retirement age. The latest round of bailout money was depended on the bill being passed. Violent demonstrations gripped Athens and other major towns and cities, with more being planned.

Embattled Syrian President Assad has told Russian media that he has no intention of leaving Syria, and that he see’s foreign intervention as unlikely. There had been hopes that the Civil War could be brought to an end if Assad would agree to go into exile.

Libya is fast turning into a less of a country, and more a loose confederation of rival city-states. Libya’s intelligence HQ was hit by rocket propelled grenades as two rival militia groups clashed in Tripoli. The clashes came just days after the Libyan National Congress was stormed by protestors, forcing parliament to postpone voting in a new Cabinet

And finally…

The commanding officer of the US frigate USS Vandergrift has been relieved of duty after his crew went on a three-day alcohol fuelled bender in the Russian port of Vladivostok.

Seems unduly harsh…I’d have snapped a salute and promoted him to admiral on the spot!



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