15 October 2014   Leave a comment

Violence has broken out in the Hong Kong protests, but it is not clear exactly who is responsible.  The police tried to remove some of the barricades, but men without uniforms assaulted several of the protesters.   It seems as if the central government wants the protests to end, but is looking for a different ending than that of Tienanmen Square in 1989.   The protesters and the government are both seeking some sort of resolution, but neither side knows how far it wishes to go.  I suspect, however, that Beijing will not permit the protests to continue much longer.

Saudi Arabia has sentenced a prominent Shia cleric to death for his role in anti-government demonstrations two years ago.  An estimated 10-15% of the Saudi population is Shia and that population is mostly concentrated in the oil-rich eastern sections of the country.  The Saudis have grown increasingly nervous about the Shia minority in the Kingdom, and it is likely that the death sentence may be commuted.  If not, the Shia minority will undoubtedly become more concerned about its place in the Kingdom.

In an interview with a Serbian newspaper, Russian President Putin made a highly provocative statement that is not being reported in much of the US press.  His statement–“We hope that our partners will realize the futility of attempts to blackmail Russia and remember what consequences discord between major nuclear powers could bring for strategic stability”–is an unusual one in that it references nuclear weapons.  Typically, such references are not made explicitly since people tend to get quite nervous when nukes are mentioned (for good reason).

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Posted October 15, 2014 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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