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Vice President Biden Responds to Joe Barton's Apology to BP

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vice President Joe Biden calls Congressman Joe Barton’s statements about the BP escrow fund and his apology to BP CEO Tony Hayward as “incredibly insensitive” and “incredibly out of touch” in response to a reporter’s question at a White House Press Briefing.


The Low Countries' New Low

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

That so many people in the Netherlands and Belgium have voted along ethnic lines in their respective elections is unsettling

By Iliana Bet-El
The Guardian
Photo: Dirk Waem/EPA

The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg were once collectively known as the Low Countries, largely by Britain which eyed them from across the Channel, and often fought them too. Over the centuries this rather disparate grouping of people and interests passed from ruler to empire, from Charlemagne to the Bourbons, through the Spanish and eventually the Dutch, before finally gaining official separation with the creation of Belgium in 1830, and the demise of the union between the Netherlands and Luxembourg in 1890. As a result of this history, there is nothing worse than lumping two or three of these states together in any way – which makes it all the more ironic to mark how alike they seem to have become.

Both the Netherlands and Belgium have been to the polls within days of each other, and both have produced rather similar results: a rise in narrow national, near-nationalist interests, coupled with a strong socialist showing. These are interesting trends....(Remainder.)


N-VA (Flemish Separatist Party) in the international spotlight

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


With less than a week to go before the General Election international interest is growing in the platform of the Flemish nationalist party N-VA. The party sees Flemish independence as its ultimate goal and a Belgian confederation as a staging post towards this objective.

On Tuesday the party attracted considerable attention at a specially organised 'international' news conference.

A party spokesman told the daily De Standaard that this was the only way to deal with all the queries it was receiving from international journalists based in Brussels.

At the news conference the party explained its key policies in French, English, German, Spanish and Italian. N-VA leader Bart De Wever also set out his party's view on Flanders, Belgium and Europe.

On Monday alone the party was contacted by the Montreal Daily, the Estonian Public Broadcaster and Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine.

The daily De Morgen writes that international interest is linked to several factors. There's tumbling confidence among foreign investors that has dented the value of Belgian state bonds in recent days. This is making it increasingly expensive for the Belgian State to borrow money on the international markets.

Investors are following the political developments in Belgium with baited breath. Fears about a new period of political instability after the election have triggered concerns about a delay in tackling economic problems including the state debt. International investors and the international press are all worried....(Remainder)



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