This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.
- Chavez’s cancer surgery worries his leftist club of nations
- North Korea threatens ‘sacred war’ against South Korea and U.S.
- Germany to send tax officers to Athens to help Greece collect taxes
- Two U.S. officers killed in Afghanistan as violent demonstrations spread
- Pakistan demolishes Osama bin Laden’s compound
Chavez’s cancer surgery worries his leftist club of nations
Question: What do Cuba, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Dominican Republic and Syria have in common? Answer: They’re all ideological beneficiaries of Venezuela’s leftist president Hugo Chávez, and they’re all worried about Chávez’s health, now that he’s in Cuba undergoing emergency surgery for a malignant cancer tumor. If Chávez dies, hardest hit will be Cuba, which depends on Venezuela for two-thirds of its oil, and $5 billion a year for services such as doctors and sports trainers. It would be “catastrophic” for Cuba if it were forced to pay market prices for oil, because Cuba imports 70% of its food, and would have to start rationing. That’s what happened during the “Special Period” two decades ago, when Cuba lost its previous patron, the Soviet Union. AP
North Korea threatens ‘sacred war’ against South Korea and U.S.
North Korea vowed Saturday to launch a “sacred war” against South Korea and the United States, accusing the allies of declaring war through their joint military exercises. “Key Resolve” is scheduled for February 27 to March 9, with about 200,000 South Korean and 2,100 U.S. troops participating. Separately, “Foal Eagle’ will be held from March 9 to April 30. The purpose of these military exercises is to bolster their readiness against a possible North Korean invasion. However, the North Korean denounce them as being practice for an invasion of the North:
“Key Resolve and Foal Eagle are unpardonable war hysteria kicked up by the hooligans to desecrate our mourning period and an unpardonable infringement upon our sovereignty and dignity.
Now that a war has been declared against us, the army and people are firmly determined to counter it with a sacred war of our own style and protect the security of the nation and the peace of the country.
The sacred war will make a clean sweep of the Lee group and those warmongers from this land by the war mode of our own style, our strong striking means unknown to the world.”
The last sentence refers to South Korean president Lee Myung-bak. Yonhap (Seoul)
Germany to send tax officers to Athens to help Greece collect taxes
Germany intends to send to Greece tax officers who would volunteer to assist with tax collection. According to Germany’s Finance Ministry, “the [German] federal government wants to lend a helping hand. More than 160 volunteers of the German financial authorities are ready. Volunteers must have good knowledge of English, while there are several who speak Greek, too.” Kathimerini
Two U.S. officers killed in Afghanistan as violent demonstrations spread
Afghans burn tires during an anti-U.S. demonstration (AP)
The Taliban are claiming credit for the murder of two U.S. military officers in Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry in Kabul on Saturday, a place that was supposed to be guaranteed secure. Nato has responded by ordering all its officers and advisers to leave Afghan government ministries immediately. In the meantime, violent demonstrations have continued to worsen across Afghanistan, having been triggered by the recent Koran-burning incident at Bagram Air Base. At least 27 people have died in violent circumstances, including two other Nato service members whose killing was claimed by the Taliban. VOA
Pakistan demolishes Osama bin Laden’s compound
Pakistan’s security forces on Saturday demolished the Abbottabad compound where Osama bin Laden was killed in a covert US raid in May. The raid was a major humiliation to Pakistan’s armed forces, since the compound was located only a mile away from the Pakistan Military Academy. Officials haven’t said why the building is being destroyed at this time, but they’ve expressed fear that the compound might become a shrine or tourist attraction. AFP