1-Jul-11 World View — U.S. And Pakistan In Tit-For-Tat Retaliation

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

U.S. delays release of funds to Pakistan


Predator drone aircraft
Predator drone aircraft

The U.S. is delaying the release of $500 million in the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) to Pakistan, and is threatening to cut off Pakistan’s civil and military aid, apparently in retaliation for the crackdown against the “Central Investigation Agency (CIA)” network. Tribune (Pakistan)

Pakistan orders U.S. out of base used for drone attacks

Pakistan has order U.S. personnel to vacate Shamsi airbase, in a remote area of Western Pakistan. The airbase has been used for years to launch drone air strikes on militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The Shamsi air base was closed apparently in retaliation for an American reduction in coalition support funds. Guardian

Turkey denies report that Turkey may invade Syria

A Turkey’s foreign ministry spokesman on Thursday denied a report appearing in a Kuwaiti newspaper that Turkish officials had told several Western countries that Turkey might launch a military operation in Syria’s north to overthrow President Assad’s regime. The spokesman said that the allegations “do not represent the truth whatsoever and it was obviously based on false reporting.” Zaman

Syrian military steps up attacks near border with Turkey

Villagers in Syria’s Idlib province saw helicopters sweeping in, dropping commandoes into the area from ropes Thursday morning. The commandoes opened fire and killed at least two civilians as the military advanced through a series of villages. Tanks and helicopters also bombarded ancient Byzantine ruins in Al Bara. Al Bara is the site of a famous “dead city,” a destination for tourists fascinated by fifth-century Byzantine churches, monasteries, and an iconic, fully intact pyramid-shaped burial chamber. CNN

Israel warns Syria’s Assad about possible retaliation

A Kuwaiti newspaper reports that Israel has warned Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad that if he will be targeted if he tries to start a war with Israel, to take the glare off his brutal suppression of the uprising in his country. Israel has not commented on the report. Israel National News


Greece finds no buyers in ‘fire sale’ of national assets

Hoping to raise 50 billion euros, representatives in Greece’s government were at Claridge’s hotel in Athens to drum up international investors’ interest in a “fire sale” of its national assets. Up for sale are 39 airports, 850 ports, railways, motorways, sewage works, a couple of energy companies, banks, defence groups, thousands of acres of land for development, casinos and Greece’s national lottery. Investors came and looked, but did not buy, put off by bureaucracy, strong unions, corruption and a lack of transparency. Said one investor, “Even in the good times Greece is not a country that attracts investment. Foreign investors don’t want to invest in a country where there is no flexibility in hiring and firing people. You don’t want to invest in a country in which you wake up and a new law has been passed which totally undermines and destroys the value of the investment you’ve just made.” Guardian

Left-wing and right-wing violence escalates in Berlin

The level of violence between far-right and far-left groups in Berlin has been escalating. Last weekend, five different arson attacks were reported against left-wing organizations in Berlin. The wave of arson was apparently motivated by revenge, following several attacks within the past week on far-right politicians on the streets of Berlin, with weapons ranging from water balloons to glass bottles. Spiegel

Spam hits lowest levels since 2008


Spam volume over last 12 months
Spam volume over last 12 months

A new report from Symantec says that global spam is at its lowest levels since 2008. However, the report indicates that quantity has been replaced by quality. Known as “whale phishing,” each spam attack is usually targeted to a specific individual or small group of individuals that the virus creator has thoroughly investigated. The targeted individual thinks that he knows the sender and clicks on the wrong thing, causing his entire computer network to become infected. Read Write Web

France defends dropping arms to Libya’s rebels

France was on the defensive on Thursday, after Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused France of violating UN mandates by dropping tons of weapons to Libyan rebels:

“We are awaiting a response. If this is confirmed, it would be a brazen violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1970.”

That resolution, passed in February, prohibited states from providing any kind of arms to Libya. According to some reports, the drops included anti-tank missiles and light armoured vehicles, but France is denying this. France’s ambassador to the United Nations said that the delivery of these arms to rebels was not in breach of resolution 1970 because they were “self-defence weapons” for the civilian populations in rebel-held areas because they were “under threat.” Expatica France

Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez says he’s had cancer surgery

Appearing on television on Thursday night from Cuba, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez said that he’s had an operation that removed a cancerous growth. He said that the first operation, to cure the pelvic abscess, had revealed the presence of cancer. There was no information on when and where Chavez’s message was recorded, nor did he say how long he would remain in Cuba. Associated Press

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