Saturday, June 9, 2012

Euro 2012 Russians beat the Czechs

Russia delivered a sparkling performance on the opening day of Euro 2012 to put the other contenders on notice that they are capable of going the whole way this time round.

The Russians - made up of a large part of the talented side that reached the semi-finals in 2008 - put four past the Czech Republic in a 4-1 hammering, including a double from impressive young attacking midfielder Alan Zagoev on Friday.
The earlier Group A match had seen co-hosts Poland held 1-1 by Euro 2004 champions Greece in an incident-packed match that saw both sides end the game with 10-men.
Polish replacement 'keeper Przemyslaw Tyton was the co-hosts unlikely saviour as he saved Greek captain Giorgos Karagounis's penalty just seconds after coming on when first choice Wojciech Szczesney was sent off.
For 35-year-old Karagounis it was the flip side of the coin as he had scored in the Euro 2004 opener against hosts Portugal in the surprise win that launched them on their unlikely trip to the title.
However, it was the Russian's stunning display that will have title holders Spain, 2008 finalists Germany and 2010 World Cup finalists Holland sitting up and taking notice.
Zagoev, who has only just regained full fitness after recovering from a broken toe, took the eye but so did the older heads of captain Andrei Arshavin and Roman Pavlyuchenko, the latter also getting on the score sheet.
Both had inconsistent spells with English Premier League giants and North London rivals Arsenal and Spurs, though, whilst Pavlyuchenko has made his move back home permanent more displays like this and Arsenal will wish to retain Arshavin's services.
Pavlyuchenko's goal and the fourth for the Russians left the Czechs great goalkeeper Petr Cech looking stunned and puffing out his cheeks at the rare event of him having to pick the ball out of his net so often.

Russia for peace plan and against sanction on Syria

Russia has called  for a multi nation meeting on Syria on Saturday, saying sanctions or military intervention would "only aggravate the already difficult atmosphere"."Our logic is that it is not necessary now to apply additional pressure, to introduce sanctions or use the threat of force," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the Interfax news agency.

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters in Beijing on Wednesday that Moscow is proposing an international conference on Syria to try to persuade all Syrian opposition groups to respect Annan's plan, end all violence and sit down for talks.

Two recent massacres in Syria in as many weeks have deepened doubts a U.N.-backed peace plan can work.Thus  Western states threatened to impose sanctions.To which Gatilov said,"Introducing restrictive or forceful measures clearly will not foster (peace) and will only aggravate the already difficult atmosphere".
Russia says a better way to make the peace plan work is to hold a meeting of nations and groups with influence on Assad's government or its foes, a proposal Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced on Wednesday.
Lavrov was to hold a news conference later on Saturday about the initiative which has already run into a snag in the form of U.S. opposition to include Iran.
Hillary Clinton said on it was "hard to imagine inviting a country that is stage-managing the Assad regime's assault on its people."Gatilov said Iran had a "full right" to participate and that its influence on Syria meant it could play a "constructive role in seeking ways to resolve the Syrian conflict."
Gatilov told there was no "fundamental difference" between Russia's initiative and a proposal Annan has floated for a "contact group" on Syria that would also include Iran as well as other regional players.Russia says it is not out to protect Assad but that his fate is up to Syrians themselves, not foreign countries or the U.N. Security Council, and that his exit cannot be a precondition for a political process in Syria.

Slovenia will close its embassies in Sweden, Finland, Portugal and Ireland in autumn

Slovenia will close its embassies in Sweden, Finland, Portugal and Ireland in autumn, the foreign ministry announced on Friday.The embassies in Stockholm and Lisbon will close on Sept. 15 and those in Helsinki and Dublin will close on Oct. 15 and Oct. 31 respectively, the ministry said.

 Slovenia will also close its general consulates in Dusseldorf, Germany, and New York, the United States, the ministry said, noting that it is harsh economic situation in the country that has made the government to take such decisions.

Slovenian Foreign Minster Karl Erjavec told reporters on Thursday that the decision to close four embassies and two consulates was made "to reorganize the diplomatic network" rather than simply saving money.
Slovenia, member state of the EU and the NATO, will build closer relations in other parts of the world, especially in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Central America, and the making of a new foreign policy strategy is underway, Erjavec said.

Hollande:Palestinian and Israeli peace process on cards

French President Francois Hollande on Friday said he is hopeful to revive the deadlock Israeli-Palestinian peace process, affirming a continuity with his predecessor’s diplomacy in the Middle East.
“We seek to be helpful, that’s the position of France. Be useful to ensure that we can give security, to the ones and to the others,” Hollande said at a joint press conference with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.”We have good relations with the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority, which allows us to pass a number of messages and facilitate the resumption of dialogue,” added the president in his first remarks over the Middle East peace issue since his taking office a month ago.Hollande, who has received Abbas at the Elysee Palace on Friday afternoon, expressed his wish to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories without giving an accurate date.The French head of state underlined the need to resume negotiations “the sooner the better” to find the conditions for peace.”Today we must do everything to facilitate the recognition of a Palestinian state through a process of negotiation,” Hollande said.
For his part, the visiting Palestinian leader reiterated his calls on Israel to accept the creation of a Palestinian state based on the territories division in 1967 and said to work further to collect enough support for a seat in the United Nations (UN).”We will go to UN, if we fail to make progress on the negotiations. The ball is in Netanyahu’s camp. We will seek recognition at the UN General Assembly to get the status of non-member state.”
Direct negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli officials have hit a deadlock since 2008 after an Israeli military raid devastated Gaza strip to halt rocket fires from the enclave ruled by the Hamas movement.

Vuk Jeremic elected president of the 67th Session of the UNGA

Vuk Jeremic elected president of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly here on Friday.
Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic won the backing of 99 of the 185 Assembly members in a secret ballot, ahead of Dalius Cekuolis, the permanent representative of the Republic of Lithuania to the UN.
Jeremic to assume office at the start of the 67th Session in September.
"I pledge to fulfill my duties as president to the very best of my ability in order to try and justify the confidence you have bestowed upon me," Jeremic said after his election.
The post rotates each year between five UN regional groups, with the 67th session being the turn of the Eastern European Group.Jeremic will succeed Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar, who was elected last year after endorsement by the Asian Group.Jeremic has held the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia since May 15, 2007.

Al-Nasser congratulated Jeremic on the election victory. " Jeremic brings to this position his extensive experience in multilateralism and international affairs," he said. "I have no doubt that you will lead the Member States of this pre-eminent world body, in a truly able and dedicated manner."  Jeremic highlighted the theme that he proposed for the high-level debate at the opening of the 67th session, which is bringing about adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means.
"Given our experience we believe we could facilitate implementation of any resulting proposals including those related specifically to conflict prevention," he said. "In taking up this critical issue in September and beyond, let us not forget that peace is not merely the absence of war." Jeremic noted that he would exercise his authority "in a forthright and evenhanded manner with the utmost respect for the equal rights and dignity of each member state." "I hope that our joint endeavors may help bring us closer to the day when mankind shall have soothed its hurts and abolished its fears and in so doing further the aspirations of the peoples of the United Nations to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war," he said.

Sangma meets Advani

Lok Sabha Speaker and NCP leader P A Sangma on Friday met BJP leader L K Advani in an apparent bid to solicit the support of the NDA for his candidature as President.

Sangma met Advani, who is also the NDA Working Chairperson, at the latter's residence Friday morning. The meeting lasted around 20 minutes.
Sangma had announced earlier that he will be meeting Advani and other BJP leaders to garner their support for his plans of contesting the Presidential elections.
The NCP leader has maintained that no tribal has ever become the President of India. He is a Christian tribal from Meghalaya.
The former Speaker has met leaders from different parties, except the Congress and some of its allies, to win their support.
BJP is not likely to support Sangma as it is keen on fielding an NDA candidate for the top post.
The party wants to put up a candidate against the Congress-led UPA to convey a message that it is not with the ruling party.

Oil prices fell in Asian trade on Friday

Oil prices fell in Asian trade on Friday as hopes dimmed for stimulus measures to re-energise the faltering US economy, analysts said.>New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, was down USD 2.04 to USD 82.78 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for July delivery shed USD 1.48 to USD 98.45 in morning trade. "Oil prices have fallen along with equity markets after (US) Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke tempered hopes that there would be more stimulus for the US economy," said Victor Shum, senior principal at Purvin and Gertz international energy consultants in Singapore.Bernanke's failure to signal any new stimulus on the way for the world's biggest economy, in remarks on Thursday to a Congressional panel, dragged on equity and oil markets.The United States is the world's top oil consumer.Worries are also mounting over Chinese demand after Beijing announced a cut in interest rates on Thursday to boost the world's second largest economy and biggest energy consumer. "The interest rate cut by China is also weighing on the market. It is being seen as a sign that the May economic data that will be released soon are quite weak," he added. Monetary easing had been expected in China following dismal economic figures in April and weak manufacturing numbers in May.

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