Russia says West exploiting Syria deal to threaten force

The top executives of both countries state train operators inaugurated a route today that links the North Korean port city of Rajin with the Russian border town of Khasan. Initially, the 54-kilometer (33-mile) line will transport Russian coal to markets in the Asia-Pacific region, OAO Russian Railways Chief Executive Officer Vladimir Yakunin said at the ceremony in Rajin. The second phase of the project will involve the construction of a container-handling facility and potentially an oil terminal at the North Korean site, he said. Our common objective is for this link and port to be a pilot scheme for the restoration of a single transport system in North and South Korea that would link the peninsula to countries that gravitate to this region, to Europe via Russia, Yakunin said. The CEO said he hopes the plan will help promote peace between the two Koreas, which remain technically at war following the conflict 1950-53 that divided the countries. The route is part of a larger project, dubbed the Iron Silk Road, that would connect Russia s Trans-Siberian Railway to South Korea via the North for an overland route cutting transportation costs to Europe. Success depends on improved ties between South Korea and its isolated Communist neighbor. Reunions Scrapped North Korea canceled plans today for reunions this week of families separated by the division of the peninsula, and accused South Korean leaders of throwing obstacles in the way of reconciliation. The North also put off talks on resuming tours by South Koreans to its Mount Geumgang resort after recent weeks of improved relations between the two sides. Kim Jong Uns regime accused the South of seeking confrontation, and threatened strong and decisive retaliation against any military provocation. The Khasan-Rajin rail link will carry 100,000 freight containers a year, the Norths official Korean Central News Agency reported in April 2012.

You know, it was clever and smart, but at the same time, the execution was primitive. They used an ancient, Soviet-made projectile, taken from the Syrian armys armaments from a long time ago it even had Made in the USSR printed on it. But this was not the first time chemical weapons were used in Syria. Why didnt they investigate the previous instances? On his good friend Silvio Berlusconi , the disgraced former Italian prime minister convicted for, among other things, paying underage prostitutes during wild sex parties . Berlusconi faces trial for living with women. If he was a homosexual, no one would ever lay a finger on him. In the 12 plus years since Putin has reigned, either as prime minister or president, he has cut a wide swath at home and abroad. His public persona as a muzhik basically, a regular, ol guy has been finely chiseled by the Kremlin (with help from the US public relations giant, Ketchum ), burnished by well publicized adventures as a long-range bomber aviator , large-animal conservationist , migrating bird guide , and bare-chested Siberian angler . His annual news conference with the Russian press corps routinely stretches hours in length , and his annual call-in show attracts tens of thousands of viewers and listeners across Russia, as he scolds officials, comforts the poor and responds to requests like a king and his subjects. He has also acquired a well-deserved reputation for his prickly wit and sharp tongue, with acerbic comments about circumcision , rape , and the best way to go about fighting terrorism in Russias long troubled North Caucasus. Putin is in his third six-year term as president (the interim period between his second and third terms were spent swapping places with the now-prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev , and waiting for the constitution to be amended so Putin could return to the presidency). Assumptions are always dangerous to make, particularly where Russia concerned, but most believe he will seek a fourth term , meaning he could remain Russias predominant political personality, and a force on the world stage, until 2024, well beyond when US President Obama is out of office. In coming years, it may make for an increasingly brittle political system, which by some accounts is taking on trappings of a cult of personality .

I think military observers will be sufficient.” Assad agreed to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons after a sarin gas strike in Damascus suburbs last month – the world’s deadliest chemical attack in 25 years. Washington accused Assad’s forces of carrying out the attack, which it said killed more than 1,400 people. It said a report by U.N. chemical weapons experts last week supported its view – an assertion that Moscow disputes. Assad has blamed rebels for the attack, saying it made no sense for his forces to use chemical weapons when they were gaining the upper hand and while U.N. chemical inspectors were staying in central Damascus. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Lavrov spoke by telephone with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday about efforts to implement the disposal of Syria’s chemical weapons. A State Department official said the United States and other member states on the council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had not yet seen the information given to the U.N.-backed watchdog by Syria. “We will make an evaluation of the document after it has been distributed to member states,” the official said. HOPES FOR PEACE TALKS While the chemical deal paves the way to the destruction of 1,000 tonnes of mustard gas, VX and sarin that security experts believe Syria possesses, the rare instance of U.S.-Russian cooperation has also raised hopes of a revived international push for a political solution to the wider Syrian conflict. A letter seen by Reuters on Sunday from the head of the Syrian Coalition, Ahmad Jarba, to the U.N. Security Council revealed he had committed his group for the first time to attend a proposed Geneva peace conference – on condition that it aimed to establish a transitional government with full powers. The coalition had resisted pressure to go to Geneva, especially after the August 21 chemical weapons attack. Jarba’s comments mean that both Assad’s government and the main political opposition have agreed in principle to attend the peace talks.

Tim Tebow Should Consider Opportunity to Play Football in Russia

Given the semi-surprising lack of interest in him, Tebow should not have refused the offer to play in Russia. American football in Russia is a few steps down from the NFL (OK, more than a few), but having success at any level would be enough to open the eyes of teams thinking about giving him a call. If anything, Tebow could use the opportunity in Russia to show teams that he can stand in the pocket and pass. Given the low stakes of playing there, he could stay in the pocket and not look to run. It would essentially be an overseas tryout for teams looking into acquiring his services. Andy Lyons/Getty Images Tebow’s inability to show any consistency throwing the football is his biggest downfall. In three seasons, he has completed just 47.9 percent of his passes. To put that into perspective, his 47.9 percent for his career is six full points worse than Chad Henne’s league-worst 53.9 percent passing from last season. In two games in Russia, Tebow could have worked on his pocket passing skills and shown off what he’s got to NFL scouts. Scouts would have either been in attendance or closely monitoring both of his games, so Tebow’s refusal to play is interesting. It would have been an open tryout that could have potentially led to the furthering of his NFL careersomething he’s striving for. The owner of the Black Storm, Mikhail Zaltsman, questioned that drive to return to the NFL after Tebow turned down his offer. Clearly bitter about the decision, Zaltsman had this to say, via R-Sport : Unfortunately agents of Tim Tebow turn down our proposal.I hope that it’s Tebows agents fault that the contract wasnt signed and Tim couldnt do anything about it. If it was his decision its very upsetting. And in this case we dont want him in our team anyway.