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Showing posts from August 24, 2015

Opinion: Misinformation Hides Real Dimension of Greek “Bailout”

By Roberto SavioReprint

In this column, Roberto Savio, founder and president emeritus of the Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency and publisher of Other News, writes that the purpose of Greece’s third bailout is clear – all but seven percent of the 86 billion euros will go to pay debt with the other European governments, recapitalize Greek banks, pay interest on Greece’s debt and pay the debt of the state with Greek enterprises, while the country’s citizens will see none of it.

SAN SALVADOR, Aug 20 2015 (IPS) - The long saga on Greece is apparently over – European institutions have given Athens a third bailout of 86 billion euros which, combined with the previous two, makes a grand total of 240 billion euros.

Roberto Savio

There is no doubt that the large majority of European citizens are convinced that this is a great example of solidarity, and that if Greece is not now able to walk on its own feet, the responsibility will lie solely with Greek citizens and their government.

But this is …

NYT Urges Cautious Response by S. Korea, US

The New York Times has called on South Korea and the United States to cautiously respond in dealing with the crisis on the Korean Peninsula with an emphasis on restraint.

The U.S. daily said in its editorial “A Perilous Moment at the Korean Border,” that given North Korea’s nuclear weapons arsenal and its erratic leader, Kim Jong-un, any inter-Korean confrontation must be taken seriously and managed carefully.

The report said that the recent inter-Korean exchange of artillery firing is another reminder that the world’s major powers have failed to find a durable solution to one of the world’s most durable security threats, the nuclear-armed North. The daily urged the United States and China to play key roles in urging restraint.

It added that it is an encouraging sign that the two Koreas held high-level talks, easing tensions at least temporarily.

S. Korea, US Raise WATCHCON to Level 2

South Korea and the United States stepped up their intelligence and surveillance status for North Korea’s possible provocation although the two Koreas started inter-Korean high-level talks on Saturday.

The South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command on Sunday raised their five-level Watch Condition alert system, or WATCHCON, from level three to level two.

The South Korean military is closely watching the movements of North Korean troops and mobilizing all available reconnaissance assets.

The South Korean military and U.S. troops also remain ready to immediately respond in case the North attacks South Korea’s loudspeakers on the border.

The South Korean military is said to have detected 72-point-two millimeter field guns, which were used for the North’s artillery provocation on Thursday, being deployed at some parts of the front-line areas. Some North Korean soldiers were also observed conducting a firing drill.