World View: Russia's Crimea Annexation Brings Entire European Union into Question

World View: Russia's Crimea Annexation Brings Entire European Union into Question

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Russia’s Crimea annexation brings entire European Union into question
  • France kills 40 Islamists in Mali in recent operations
  • 59 people die of Ebola virus in Guinea

Russia’s Crimea annexation brings entire European Union into question

Russia supporters celebrate in Simferopol, Crimea, on Friday (Reuters)
Russia supporters celebrate in Simferopol, Crimea, on Friday (Reuters)

Russian troops consolidated their control of Crimea by smashing theirway into the remaining Ukrainian military bases in Crimea with armoredvehicles, automatic fire and stun grenades and taking them over.Russian troops sang Russian songs, while Ukrainian troops changed,

Although Saturday’s actions were mostly bloodless, with fewcasualties, Western officials fear further possible Russian plans toinvade eastern Ukraine, and cause an incident that triggers a realmilitary confrontation and a wider war.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea is not a trivial matter for theEuropeans. There is a growing sense in Europe that the entireEuropean Union project is in jeopardy. The European Union was formedwith the specific purpose of providing a political and legalinfrastructure that would prevent a repeat of the two world wars thathad ravaged the continent. The Europeans have been building thisinfrastructure for 60 years, with courts and parliaments and treatiesand constitutions and banks and even a new currency. But the easewith which Russia could annex another country’s territory withimpunity, or that China could do the same thing in the South ChinaSea, makes it clear to everyone that, in the end, that infrastructureprevents nothing. And if that infrastructure prevents nothing, thenwhat’s the purpose of the European Union, except a temporary romanticconvenience? Irish Times and Telegraph (London)

France kills 40 Islamists in Mali in recent operations

France’s defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday thatoperations by French soldiers in Mali have killed about 40 Islamistmilitants in the last few weeks, including a senior commander.

When France’s president François Hollande announced in January of lastyear that he was sending French peacekeeping troops into Mali toprevent a takeover of the entire country by al-Qaeda linked Islamists,he expected to withdraw them by March — of last year. Then thewithdrawal date was postponed to August, then to December, and then toMarch of this year.

According to Le Drian, the fight against militants in Mali “is farfrom finished.” The military action in Mali has already gone on farlonger than anyone expected, and has been far more expensive, andapparently there’s no end in sight. Expatica France and Al Jazeera

59 people die of Ebola virus in Guinea

Experts in the west African nation Guinea had been unable to identifythe disease that’s killed 59 people in the last six weeks, but onSaturday it was finally identified as the Ebola virus by scientistsstudying samples in Lyon, France. The disease kills 25-90% of thosewho fall sick. It’s extremely contagious, but is transmitted bydirect contact with blood, feces or sweat, or by sexual contact orunprotected handling of contaminated corpses. Ebola is nottransmitted through the air, so it’s unlikely to cause a widespreadpandemic if the public takes reasonable precautions. According toFrench officials, anyone who has to travel to southern Guinea shouldkilled by hunting and stay away from areas of high density ofpopulation like markets and football grounds.” AFP and Reuters

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