Koenig's International News
Washington: 4:32:59 am - April 24, 2014 - Jerusalem: 10:32:59 am - Nisan 24, 5774

US troops arrive in Poland for exercises
across Eastern Europe amid Ukraine crisis

U.S. Army paratroopers are arriving in Poland on Wednesday as part of a wave of U.S. troops heading to shore up America's Eastern European allies in the face of Russian meddling in Ukraine.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said an initial contingent of about 600 troops will head to four countries across Eastern Europe for military exercises over the next month.

First, about 150 soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team based in Vicenza, Italy, are arriving in Poland. Additional Army companies will head to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and are expected to arrive by Monday for similar land-based exercises in those countries.

RAF Jet Chases Russian Planes Away From UK

Two Russian bombers which flew close to UK airspace have been chased away by an RAF jet fighter.

The aircraft, believed to be Tupolev 95s, were spotted off the coast of northeast Scotland.

They were turned away from Britain when an RAF Typhoon was scrambled from Leuchars airbase, near Dundee.

Crews stationed there are on standby to intercept unidentified aircraft at a moment's notice.

The incident comes amid heightened international tensions over the situation in Ukraine, following the annexation of Crimea by Russia last month.

Russia has ‘days, not weeks’ to stem Ukraine crisis

U.S. Conducts Spy Flight Over Russia

Hamas and Fatah agree to unity government in historic deal

PLO official Azzam al-Ahmad and Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh
speaking in Gaza Wednesday. (Screen capture Al-Jazeera)

Sides announce pact in Gaza; new government to take form in 5 weeks, new elections within 6 months after that

A seven-year-old rift between rival Palestinian factions seemingly ended Wednesday as officials from the Palestine Liberation Organization and Hamas agreed to form a unity government and call for new elections.

Members of both organizations announced the deal at a press conference in Gaza following two days of negotiations.

“We have made this Palestinian dream a reality whereby the rift has come to an end and we are reunited,” said PLO official Azzam al-Ahmad, a senior figure in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party.

“We hope this will be a true beginning and a true partnership.”

The deal calls for a unity government to be formed within five weeks and for presidential, parliamentary and provincial elections to be called within six months of the coalition taking form, Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh said.

“This has become a national responsibility and a duty,” he said, referring to the reconciliation.

Netanyahu to Palestinians:
When you want peace, let us know

Abbas doesn't want peace

US: Dissolution of PA would have ‘grave implications’

Egypt, Russia said close to deal for advanced jets
paid for by Saudi Arabia and the UAE

Egypt is slated to sign a deal with Russia to purchase 24 advanced MiG-35 fighter jets, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported Tuesday, citing official sources in Moscow and Cairo.

Ahead of the agreement for the sophisticated aircraft — not sold as of yet to any other country — a delegation of Russian advisers are currently in Cairo meeting with officials.

According to a February report of the deal, Egypt was prepared to buy a number of MiG-29 planes, as well as Mi-35 helicopters and other hardware, for over $3 billion. RIA Novosti listed Saudi Arabia and the UAE as funding the purchase.

It is not known when the planes would be sent to Egypt. The Russian Air Force is waiting on 100 new MiG 35s, which are expected to be delivered in 2016, according to a report in Jane’s Defence last week.

The sale to Egypt could be seen as a major blow to US President Barack Obama, who has fought charges of weakening US power in the face of Russian intervention in Ukraine. The Channel 2 analyst described it as a potential case of “Obama losing Egypt to Putin.”


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Updates From Washington



'Koenig's Eye View from the White House'
April 18, 2014

Putin: We are not afraid of anybody

What is Putin really saying?

Historians may look back and say this situation with Russia and the West over the Ukraine was the start of World War III

Russia, US, EU and Ukraine agree to de-escalate Ukraine crisis

Putin’s 10-point plan to destroy Ukraine

Putin tells Edward Snowden: Russia doesn't carry out mass surveillance

Putin calls Ukraine 'New Russia,' brings back Soviet propaganda

Russian jet passes near US warship

Russia tests multi-warhead ICBM to send message

US Power Grid: One year after an attack on the grid, it’s still dangerously vulnerable

How the U.S. is vulnerable to terrorism in space

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