Speaking today to an investor conference, US Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy Brett Lambert insisted that the Pentagon would do whatever it takes to ensure that efforts to balance the US government’s budget does not harm weapons manufacturers.
In reality, the cuts are largely fictional, and cut into the hypothetical budget increases the Pentagon expects in future years. The worst-case scenario brings the Pentagon’s budget to 2007 levels.
On Friday, Belgians marched in central Brussels to voice their opposition to cuts the incoming government says are necessary to help the country’s troubled financial sector, Reuters reported.
According to union leaders, more than 50,000 demonstrators are expected to join the protests in Brussels. Belgians are protesting against cuts to unemployment benefits, limits on early retirement, as well as spending cuts in the public sector.
Protesters say the austerity should be paid by the banks and financiers responsible for the situation.
Russia has delivered supersonic cruise missiles to Syria, AFP reported on Thursday.
A military source told the Interfax news agency, “The Yakhont supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles have been delivered to Syria,” although it was not made clear exactly when the shipment was made.
A second Russian official speaking to Interfax said the missiles “will be able to protect Syria’s entire coast against a possible attack from the sea.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Europe is working towards setting up a “fiscal union”, in a bid to resolve the eurozone’s debt crisis.
She told the Bundestag that a new EU treaty was needed to set up such a union and impose budget discipline.
On Monday she is to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has also called for EU treaty changes. EU leaders have been under pressure to do more to tackle the debt crisis, amid concern about the survival of the euro.
Just a few months ago, Dow Chemical was hailed by the organizers of the London Olympics for saving a visual centerpiece — an artistic wrap around Olympic Stadium. Now, the Olympic sponsor is sparking the kind of controversy that no one wants.
Dow’s link to the company accused in the 1984 Bhopal gas leak — the world’s worst industrial disaster — has brought a cascade of criticism down upon the organizing committee. Protesters in the central Indian city of Bhopal burned an effigy Friday of Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London organizing committee, and one Indian official has even uttered the word boycott.
The three Central Asian states have justified increasing censorship of the internet as necessary to combat the growing threat from Islamic militants who are using email and websites to find recruits and pass around information.
But this is just an excuse and the real reasons are more sinister, said a report written by the human rights groups.