Northern Ireland venue for
Monday-Tuesday, June 17-18 -- Security is always a challenge at the annual Group of 8 summit, and this year host nation
Always a magnet for anti-capitalist protest, the summit has drawn hundreds of would-be demonstrators to County Fermanagh, but many fewer than the Police Service of Northern Ireland had expected. More than 8,000 officers have been assigned to patrol the gathering, and miles of security fencing topped with concertina wire have been erected around the resort, the Irish Times reported Friday.
Despite the relative peace among the Irish, the G-8 leaders' agenda will be focused on battlegrounds: Syria, trade disputes, tax dodgers and the plunder of Third World countries' natural resources.
The war in Syria, which the
Obama planned to meet separately with Putin on the summit sidelines to work on the myriad troubles dogging relations between their countries.
U.S.-European trade negotiators poised for starting gun
Tuesday, June 18 -- Among the achievements to be announced after the G-8 summit is the intended start next month of negotiations on a mutually lucrative free trade agreement between the United States and the 27-nation
Both parties to the world's most valuable trade relationship -- $1 trillion annually -- can count on massive benefits from the envisioned pact, according to a study commissioned by the Europeans. The boost in exports expected from dropping tariffs is forecast to bring in an additional $159 billion a year and 400,000 jobs for the EU, and the U.S. economy is expected to get a $127-billion annual infusion and a full percentage point of growth in gross domestic product.
The launch of the free-trade talks was in jeopardy as late as Friday, when the French minister for foreign trade insisted on a "cultural exception" that would allow individual countries to continue protecting and promoting their films and other subsidized entertainments.
All EU states represented at the preliminary talks in Luxembourg had expressed the intent to retain national control over cultural products, arguing that the EU's multitude of languages and distinctive tastes put them at a disadvantage against the United States, where English-language films, books and other cultural output are more competitive exports to the rest of the world.
The United States had insisted that all trade spheres be on the table in working out the pact that both sides hope to conclude by the end of 2014. After a daylong standoff, the trade ministers compromised by temporarily excluding cultural wares from the trade negotiations mandate.
Though the compromise postpones rather than resolves the impasse, it should allow Obama and the European leaders at the Northern Ireland summit to proclaim victory in setting in motion removal of trade barriers between countries that account for half the global economy.
Wary Germans await Obama visit in wake of his 'yes we scan' revelations
Tuesday-Wednesday, June 18-19 -- Presidential candidate Barack Obama drew a wildly cheering crowd of 200,000 when he visited
Germans were buoyed by candidate Obama’s promises to end war-on-terror excesses and to restore the rule of law. They are disappointed with his failure to close the
Though Obama remains popular in Germany, the sweeping intelligence gathering revealed in recent weeks by a former
German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said Friday that officials had initiated questioning of European-based company representatives of
The complaints won’t be one-sided, however, when Obama on Wednesday meets with German Chancellor
Still, it will be Merkel with the most to gain or lose from the visit, as she and her conservative Christian Democratic Union face elections in September. After the U.S. domestic spying allegations were made by confessed classified information leaker
During Obama's 2008 visit, Germans who had gathered around the Victory Column in Berlin's Tiergarten to hear his speech chanted his campaign slogan, "Yes we can."