Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ukraine and the West:Decision and Danger

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced that there will be more planes in the air;more ships in the water;and more readiness on the land in response to Russia's recent moves in the Ukrainian crisis.Just how dangerous is the current situation in Eastern Europe?I think it's pretty explosive,said General Richard Myers,US Air Force retired,former Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff.Russia is doing several things that are dangerous:1.The overflight of the destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea by a Russian fighter aircraft;2.Massing so many troops on the border with Ukraiine;3.Taking over at least 10 towns in Eastern Ukraine.World War I started as an incident that got out of hand.This is very dangerous stuff that Russia is playing with.
If shots are fired and people are killed,this could escalate.I'm sure there are lots of options being presented to President Obama,such as providing weapons to Ukraine or providing weapons to them along with US advisors.They'll go thorugh them in the Situation Room.I don't think there are good military options.As for Russia attacking a NATO country,you would think not and you would hope not,but I don't know.*
Major General Mark Kimmitt,US Army retired,who was Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs under President George W. Bush,said Russia's moves are part of the great chess game.You can almost hear the echoes of Czechoslovakia 75 years ago.
These are Russian provocateurs in Eastern Ukraine.The term "Ukraine" means "border."President Putin wants to restore that buffer zone with NATO.There's no reason that a reasonable deployment of US and European troops in Ukraine woudn't stop Putin with a show of strength,General Kimmitt believes.*
Overnight Wednesday,Ukrainian soldiers reportedly fired shots in the air when armed pro-Russian forces attempted to storm a military base in Eastern Ukraine.
Update:During this incident,three Russian militants were reportedly killed and 19 wounded.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ukraine Unrest;MH-370 Search;The Masters

Pro-Russian demonstrators have 48 hours to reach a negotiated settlement and vacate two government buildings they seized in Eastern Ukraine,or be forcefully removed,the Ukrainian government says.Unrest has erupted in the eastern cities of Luhansk,Donetsk and Kharkiv,which are near the border with Russia.Secretary of State John Kerry says it is being instigated by paid Russian agents.*
At the same time,the NATO alliance commander,US Air Force General Philip Breedlove,has been tasked with developing new options for reinforcing the alliance's military presence in the region and reporting back to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.NATO is gravely concerned about the persistence of some 40,000 Russian troops along the Russian border with Ukraine,which Russia insists are only on military exercises.*
Fourteen planes and thirteen ships are out searching for the lost flight MH-370 today,Thursday.The search area has been whittled down to a site smaller than the state of West Virginia.The plane's wreckage is believed to be deeper under the ocean than the Titanic.The searchers will not deploy the Blue Fin autonomous underwater vehicle with its sonar as long as there is a prospect of hearing more pings from the aircraft's black boxes,in order to further reduce the search area for the slow-moving AUV.*
It's very difficult to reach the top,but it is also difficult to stay there.
-Arnold Palmer,Hall of Fame golfer
An international field of the world's best golfers will hit the tough course at Augusta National in Georgia today for the opening round of The Masters tournament,one of the world's most prestigious and traditional sporting events.Adam Scott of Australia is the defending champion.World Number One golfer Tiger Woods is sidelined by a back injury.*

Monday, April 7, 2014

Annetta - adaptable and flexible (+playlist) Standard Chartered Bank

Monday Newsline:Asian Shares Lower;Indian Election;MH-370 Progress

Asian markets were mostly lower Monday on the disappointing US jobs report Friday,which fell short of analysts' growth projections.The Nikkei cratered 1.69%,while the HSI fell 0.74 and the ASX slipped 0.17.US stock futures were also lower.The Shanghai Composite defied the trend,rising 0.74%.
Wheat prices are up on widespread dryness in breadbasket areas from Ukraine to the United States.*
The world's largest democracy has begun its elections today as India goes to the polls.The nationalist BJP party is the frontrunner over the incumbent Congress Party.The BJP is led by Narendra Modi,Chief Minister of Gujarat state.Some label him as a fascist guilty of human rights violations,and he was denied entry to the US in 2005.He is popular in corporate circles as Gujarat state has done well.*
The search for flight MH-370 entered a new,more promising phase Monday as searchers zeroed in on the Australian Defence Ministry vessel Ocean Shield's detection of two extended audio events near the bottom of the Indian Ocean.The great depth of the pinging episodes consistent with the plane's flight recorders,one of which lasted for two hours twenty minutes and the other for thirteen minutes at some 4500 meters/2.8 miles,suggest why this search has been the most challenging in aviation history.
The pings were picked up by the US Navy's pinger locator device that the Ocean Shield was towing at depth over the new area off Western Australia's northern coast.The searchers need a third pinging event so they can triangulate the location and send the Blue Fin 21 submersible down to take still photos of the possible wreckage.It's a process that could require days to complete,retired Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston,the search coordinator,told reporters in a Perth press conference.He said we are very close to where we need to be.Clearly this is a most promising lead.In the search so far,it is probably the best information that we have had.*
In sport,Australian golfer Matt Jones won the Shell Houston Open,securing a place for himself in The Masters tournament this weekend in Augusta,Georgia.It was Jones' first PGA victory.American Matt Kuchar came in second,and Sergio Garcia of Spain took third.
Meanwhile,American Lexi Thommpson made the traditional leap into Poppy's Pond at Mission Hills Golf Club in Rancho Mirage,California as the winner of the Kraft Nabisco Open,the year's first major on the LPGA circuit.It was the fourth LPGA win for Thompson,19,who is known for her long drives.