End of the Age News
By Jim Stigleman
No Progress in Obama/Netanyahu Talks
President Barak Obama and Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, met in the White House this past week to discuss the impending Israeli/Palestinian U.S.-led framework agreement and the Iranian nuclear program.
The differences of opinion on these two issues were obvious as Netanyahu candidly told President Obama that he would not ever compromise the security of Israel. “The Israeli people expect me to stand strong against criticism and pressure,” Netanyahu asserted to the President.
Despite the fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu is skeptical that the U.S. will ever reach a final agreement with Tehran concerning its nuclear program, President Obama once again tried to reassure Netanyahu of his “absolute commitment” to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
Obama also urged Netanyahu to make “tough decisions” concerning the framework agreement Secretary of State John Kerry has presented as a precursor to an Israeli/Palestinian peace deal. With time running out on the April 29th deadline, Obama would like a framework agreement to be quickly reached. He would also like to extend the talks beyond the April 29th deadline in an effort to reach a final peace accord.
After three hours of meeting, the talks ended with no hint of progress.
Military Force ‘Absolutely the Last Resort in Ukraine’
In other world news…
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has said that although it is a possibility, using military force in the Ukraine is ‘absolutely the last’ resort. His statement was made in an effort to ease the East-West tensions concerning war in the former Soviet republic.
Putin also said that he would use all options necessary to offer protection to Russian nationals living in fear in the Ukraine, siting that, as of now, military force was not needed. He called any sanctions from the West against Russia counterproductive.
U. S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, made his first visit to Kiev since the ousting of Russian-supported President Victor Yanukovich. He announced that $1 billion in economic and technical services would be given to support the new government. Kerry’s visit coincides with the United States’ and its allies’ efforts to convince Russia to withdraw its troops from Crimea, or face economic sanctions and political seclusion.
Putin has called the overthrow of Yanukovich unconstitutional stating that he is still the lawful leader in the Ukraine. He told reporters, “There can be only one assessment of what happened in Kiev, in Ukraine in general. This was an anti-constitutional coup and the armed seizure of power.”
Russia has shown little effort to defuse the conflict with the Ukraine NATO has stated during an emergency session on Tuesday. Tensions remain high as incident after incident adds fuel to the fire.
Obama Proposes New Tax Credits
On the national scene…
In an effort to pump-up the economy, President Obama has called for new tax credits and job-training programs in his 2015 budget. This is in stark contrast to the Republican’s point-of-view that there should be less government involvement in economic growth.
This election-year effort by Obama will most likely be rejected by the Republican-led House of Representatives. It, however, shows the Democratic policy in an attempt to keep control of the Senate and not lose any seats in the Republican-controlled House during the upcoming November elections.
The Obamacare controversy, the fight against poverty and the slow economic recovery from the 2007-2009 recession will be major issues in the upcoming elections.
I’m Jim Stigleman and this has been today’s ETA News.