Koenig's International News
Washington: 3:13:26 am - April 25, 2014 - Jerusalem: 9:13:26 am - Nisan 25, 5774


Obama to Russia:
More sanctions are 'teed up'

Accusing Russia of failing to live up to its commitments, President Barack Obama warned Moscow on Thursday that the United States has another round of economic sanctions "teed up" — even as he acknowledged those penalties may do little to influence Vladimir Putin's handling of the crisis in Ukraine.

Obama's frank pessimism underscored the limits of Washington's ability to prevent Russia from stirring up instability in Ukraine's east and exerting influence over elections scheduled for next month in the former Soviet republic. A diplomatic accord that offered a glimmer of hope for a resolution to the tense dispute is crumbling, and Russia has warned of a firm response if the country's citizens or interests in Ukraine are attacked.

With no appetite in the U.S. for a military response, Obama is largely banking on Putin, the Russian president, caving under a cascade of economic sanctions targeting his closest associates. But the success of that strategy also depends on European nations with closer financial ties to Moscow taking similar action despite their concern about a boomerang effect on their own economies.

Putin's fighters, missiles, warships

Though the days of the USSR are gone, Russia remains an economic and military superpower. Here's what you need to know.

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

RAF Jet Chases Russian Planes Away From UK

US:
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.

Yair Lapid:
Fatah-Hamas accord is 'game-changer'

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid accused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday of tricking Israel and the United States by negotiating an agreement with Hamas.

Both Lapid and Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni had said in recent days that they would only keep their parties in the coalition to advance peace talks. But both blamed the Palestinians for the cancellation of talks that were set for Wednesday, and said the entire diplomatic process would have to be reevaluated.

“We transferred some of the most vicious killers to the Palestinian Authority, only to find that they have this agreement or they were working on this agreement with Hamas without telling anybody,” Lapid told members of the European Jewish Congress executive Wednesday night.

“I think the Americans must be as disappointed as we are from the fact that this was hidden from everybody and was done underground,” he said.

Afghan Hospital Guard Kills 3 American Doctors

An Afghan security guard opened fire on a group of foreign doctors at a Kabul hospital on Thursday morning, killing three American physicians and wounding a U.S. nurse, officials said.

The shooting at Cure International Hospital in western Kabul was the latest in a string of deadly attacks on foreign civilians in the Afghan capital this year.

All parties in Syria blocking aid, say Ban Ki-moon

The UN Secretary General has accused all parties in Syria's civil war of "flagrant violations" of international law over the delivery of aid.

Ban Ki-moon urged the Security Council to act to implement a resolution passed in February demanding greater access.

In his second report to the council on the resolution, Mr Ban said almost 3.5m civilians were being denied vital aid, including medicine and medical care.

Activists say about 150,000 people have died in Syria's three-year civil war.

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

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Updates From Washington

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'Koenig's Eye View from the White House'
April 25, 2014

April 19-20 time period: Russia-Ukraine conflict intensifies, peace talks in Israel collapse, Hamas and Fatah agree to unity government

Putin's fighters, missiles, warships are formidable

10 reasons why Russia will invade Southern Ukraine

Insight and perspective on the Hamas-Fatah unity deal

Hamas deal last straw for Congress on US aid to Palestinians

Why the Left doesn’t understand the Arab war against Israel

US commitments to the Gulf Arab States have them worried

How US Middle East fatigue and passivity leaving Israel vulnerable

Is the US still reliant on Middle East oil?

Top Five Exporters of Oil to US through Jan 2014

Huge increase in daily US oil production from Jan. 2009 through Jan. 2014

Texas on track to be the world's sixth-largest oil producer by year-end

Top Five US oil producing states in 2013

And more …

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'Koenig's Eye View from the White House' - April 25, 2014: Putin's fighters, missiles, warships, Peace talks end in Israel, US Middle East fatigue and passivity leaving Israel vulnerable, Gulf Arab US allies worried and more

'Koenig's Eye View from the White House' - April 18, 2014: Putin and the West, World War III, Putin's plan to collapse the Ukraine, US not prepared for major power grid attack, US space vulnerability and more

'Koenig's Eye View from the White House' - April 11, 2014: Blood moons coming, the ominous history of April 19-20, anti-Semitic Europe, Iran’s news leadership and more …

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