24 April 2015   Leave a comment

US President Obama held a press conference yesterday in which he revealed that two hostages held by Al-Qaeda  in Afghanistan had been killed in an American drone attack.  Drones have been around since 2004 but President Obama has been especially aggressive in using them as their firepower and control have increased dramatically.  Nonetheless, the vaunted precision of drone strikes is very difficult to assess since their is little public information about how many innocents have been killed in the strikes.  There are solid reasons to be suspicious of the claims of precision.

Spiegel has published a timeline of EU discussions on the problem of migration into the EU by refugees from all over the world.  The timeline is fascinating as it reveals the strong humanitarian impulse among virtually all members of the EU to take effective action but contrasts that impulse with the total lack of political imagination and will to take the action steps to resolve the problem.  There is no doubt that the problem is very complicated, but one would expect that the obvious moral imperatives would move things along much faster.

Graphic: Deadly Seas

Meetings in the Latvian capital city, Riga, between Greece and the troika ended with the sound of the door being slammed on Greek requests for additional delays in scheduled repayments.  It seems clear the the troika have decided that a Greek default does not pose the same risks as did the possibility raise in 2012.  It is difficult to parse through all the issues being discussed, but it seems as if the Greek pension system is the most contentious issue.  It is the Greek policy that the troika would most like to reform, but it is also the most politically sensitive issue for the Greek government.

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Posted April 25, 2015 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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