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A new rival for Merkel

Social Democrats shake things up

COALITION governments often make for interesting bedfellows. The union between Germany’s Christan Democrats, the party of Angela Merkel, and the Social Democrats (SPD) should be more entertaining to watch after a weekend shake-up of the latter in which the current foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, was chosen as the SPD’s candidate to face Mrs Merkel in national elections next year.

Johannes Simon/Getty Images

Next Wednesday, scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland will switch on the $6 billion Large Hadron Collider, a 27-kilometer particle accelerator that will create physical conditions that haven’t existed in the universe since the big bang. It all sounds totally awesome, unless you’re one of the very few people who think that the LHC will create a black hole that will expand to consume the planet. In World probably will not end next Wednesday

Sarkozy, Solana in Russia to clarify Georgia ceasefire

Accompanied by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Commission President José Manuel Barroso, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is in Moscow today (8 September) before heading to Tbilisi this evening to discuss the implementation of the peace plan he brokered at the outbreak of the Russia-Georgia conflict a month ago.


The world after the Caucasus war , Rein Müllerson

By david hayes on Rein Müllerson

"It is not a battle of good against evil. It’s a war between forces that are fighting for the balance of power, and, when that type of battle begins, it lasts longer than others – because Allah is on both sides." – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Rein Müllerson is professor and chair of international law at King’s College, London. He has been a visiting professor at the LSE, a member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, and (in 1991-92) first deputy foreign minister of Estonia.

David Miliband: Ukraine, Russia, and European Stability

KYIV – Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, it has seemed that new rules were being established for the conduct of international relations in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The watchwords were independence and interdependence; sovereignty and mutual responsibility; cooperation and common interests. They are good words that need to be defended.

Joschka Fischer: Realism about Russia

BERLIN – Russia’s strategy to revise the post-Soviet order in what it calls its “near abroad” will be pursued with even more perseverance following its victory over Georgia. Europe should have no illusions about this and should begin to prepare itself. But, as the European Union ponders what to do, cold realism, not hysterical overreaction, is in order.

Andrei Piontkovsky: Georgia Splits the Kremlin

MOSCOW – Dmitry Medvedev inherited the post of President of the Russian Federation from Vladimir Putin, and while Putin moved down the pecking order to become Prime Minister, speculation has abounded from the start of Medvedev’s presidency about an eventual split between Russia’s two highest leaders. The first days of the conflict in Georgia crushed this hypothesis.

Antonio Cassese: The Wolf that Ate Georgia

FLORENCE –In Phaedrus’s well-known fable of the wolf and the lamb, the wolf easily could have eaten the lamb without a word, but prefers to set out his “reasons.” First, he scolds the lamb because he is muddying his drinking water (even though the wolf was upstream). Then he argues that last year the lamb had called him bad names (but the lamb was only six months old). The wolf then snarls that if it was not the lamb, it was his father; after that, he immediately moves into action.

The Trouble With Saakashvili

By Jackson Diehl

The crisis in Georgia had settled by late last week into a test of wills over the survival of Mikheil Saakashvili’s pro-Western government. Russia’s president called Saakashvili "a political corpse" and said Moscow will no longer deal with him, while the Bush administration rushed him a $1 billion package of aid, delivered in person by Vice President Cheney. U.S. officials portray the rescue of the 40-year-old president as the best way to punish Vladimir Putin’s regime for its reckless invasion of its neighbor last month. After all, there’s little doubt that Saakashvili’s ouster has been a prime Kremlin objective.

Row over trial’s ‘Ramadan’ delay

French anger at court’s apparent decision to postpone a trial because it was to take place during Ramadan.

The EU’s Damascus initiative

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas met to discuss the main topics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including the future of Jerusalem.

‘Caucasus crisis is not a cold war, but an unfreezing of old problems’

By KERİM BALCI

Some claim that the world came to the verge of World War III in the recent conflict in Georgia. Others claim that what happened between Russia and Georgia was a revival of the Cold War. In fact, world leaders used terms we grew accustomed to hearing during the Cold War.

The Medvedev doctrine

It is perfectly clear to everyone that after the six-day armed conflict between Russia and Georgia the rules of the game between Russia and the US, the EU and Russia’s neighbors have changed for good.

Polish agents tell of CIA jails

Polish intelligence sources confirm for the first time that the CIA ran a secret facility on Polish soil.

Energy Cold War in the London Times

By Edward Lucas

How the West is losing the energy cold war

Russia’s victory in Georgia is having far-reaching effects as its neighbours rethink the wisdom of selling gas and oil to Europe

Picture yourself as the autocratic leader of a small-ish former Soviet republic, bubbling with oil and gas and keen to sell it. But where? One route is old, cheap and easy. It leads north, to Russia. But memories of the Kremlin’s imperial embrace are still fresh. The other is new, costly and tricky. It goes west, in both senses – via your neighbour, Georgia, and to supply Western customers direct.

European Union Labour Force Survey-Annual results 2007

Source: Eurostat

This publication presents annual averages of the main results of the EU Labour Force Survey for the EU-27 and for all Member States. Indicators presented in this publication are: employment rates, part-time employment as share of total employment, number of employed people broken down by economic activity and by occupation of the main job, average of hours usually worked by week, percentage of employees with limited duration contract, percentage of unemployed for 1 year and more, and youth unemployment ratio.

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