World View: Russia's 2014 Olympics in Sochi Threatened by Circassians

This morning's key headlines from

  • Greece vs Europe conflict becomes more critical
  • Saudia Arabia and West pledge billions to Yemen
  • Russia's 2014 Olympics in Sochi threatened by Circassians
  • No more than two flies per toilet in Beijing, China

Greece vs Europe conflict becomes more critical

The conflict between Greece and Europe over austerity is growing, and reaching a critical stage. Alexis Tsipras, 38, whose Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party is currently expected to win Greece's June 17 elections, has said that he'll end Greece's austerity measures, and claims that Europe is bluffing when officials say that Greece will not receive any more bailout money and will have to leave the euro currency, and return to the drachma. However, European officials, especially the Germans are being very blunt in telling Tsipras, in effect, "screw you." The Bundesbank said that a Greek withdrawal from the eurozone would be disruptive but "manageable," and reports keep leaking that other countries are making plans for a Greek exit. As I've said in the past, if my "Kick the Can" theory holds in this case, then whoever wins on June 17 will agree with Europe on some face-saving minor reduction in the austerity requirements, thus kicking the can down the road for a few weeks. Kathimerini and Telegraph

Saudia Arabia and West pledge billions to Yemen

Yemen is on the brink of a catastrophic food crisis, with 10 million people – 44% of the population – without enough food to eat, and with one in three children severely malnourished, according to seven aid agencies. Yemen is certainly a troubled country. It's fighting a continuing battle with Al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and suffered a massive suicide attack in the capital Sanaa, as we reported two days ago. Saudi Arabia and Western and Gulf states pledged more than $4 billion in aid to Yemen at a Riyadh conference on Wednesday, of which the Saudis will provide $3.25 billion. Countries from the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, attended the meeting, as did the United States, the European Union, France, Egypt and Russia, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Yemen Post and Reuters

Russia's 2014 Olympics in Sochi threatened by Circassians

Russia has admitted that when they were awarded the rights to the 2014 Winter Olympics in the beautiful Black Sea resort of Sochi, they underestimated a very important issue: the ethnic Circassians. As I first in "30-Oct-10 News -- Caucasus terrorism / politics becomes embroiled in 2014 Olympics", the region around Sochi used to be the home of ethnic Circassians. But they were slaughtered and driven out of Sochi by the Russians in a generational crisis war that climaxed in a massive genocidal battle in 1864. And that makes 2014 the 150th anniversary of that climactic battle. In the two years since I first reported on it, the Circassian situation has gone from an obscure little known problem to a major issue facing the 2014 Olympics. Earlier this week, Circassian activists around the world commemorated the 148th anniversary of the end of the Russian-Circassian war in 1864. Russian officials are now being forced to address Circassian grievances. Even worse for Russia, the Circassians are being give vocal support by Georgia, whose officials are extremely pissed off at Russia for its invasion of Georgia in 2008, causing the secession of the formerly Georgian provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Jamestown

No more than two flies per toilet in Beijing, China

The 12,000 public toilets in Beijing, China, have long been a source of complaints from tourists and residents alike, but now the Chinese have found a solution: A new municipal ordinance makes it illegal for more than two flies to be buzzing around any public toilet. China Daily


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