The two-day European Union summit concluded Thursday with an agreement, reached after 14 hours of acrimonious talks, to provide short-term relief to besieged Spanish and Italian banks by allowing the EU bailout fund to directly aid euro zone banks. Previously, the rules governing the 500 billion-euro European Stability Mechanism (ESM), slated to come on line next month, restricted EU lending to national governments. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/jun2012/euro-j30.shtml
Putin in China to cement key alliance
Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in China on Tuesday for a three-day visit aimed at bolstering a crucial alliance that has seen the giant neighbours block further action against Syria. Both energy and foreign policy cooperation are high on the agenda, with Putin also participating in a regional summit Wednesday and Thursday where he will separately meet the presidents of Iran and Afghanistan. Putin’s China trip, his first to Asia since starting an historic third term last month, comes after failed attempts by EU leaders to sway him on Syria — a Soviet-era ally Moscow still supplies with arms. Beijing and Moscow have walked in lockstep on Syria to growing anger from Arab and Western nations, with EU President Herman Van Rompuy telling Putin in Russia on Monday that world powers needed to “find common messages on which we agree”. http://news.ph.msn.com/top-stories/putin-in-china-to-cement-key-alliance-5
he 10 members of the G8 Summit pose for a group portait at Camp David, Maryland. Left to right: European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Japanese PM Yoshihiko Noda, Canadian PM Stephen Harper, French President Francois Hollande, U.S. President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British PM David Cameron, Italian PM Mario Monti and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/19/world/obama-g8-nato/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
Human rights issue should be a central part of the discussions at the European Union-India summit on strategic partnership commencing tomorrow in Delhi, Human Rights Watch said today.
“A strategic partnership between the European Union and India should be based on shared respect for human rights,” said Lotte Leicht, European Union (EU) advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.
The human rights situation in India is “much poor”, they said.
The rights watch body said successive governments have yet to enact adequate laws or implement policies to protect marginalized communities, particularly Dalits, tribal groups, religious minorities, women, and children.
The government routinely “fails to take action” in cases of serious human rights violations, particularly all forms of sexual assault against women, communal violence, enforced disappearances in conflict areas, extrajudicial killings, torture, and increasing attacks on human rights defenders, they said.
These issues are compounded by the widespread impunity for abuses and the corresponding problems of access to justice and adequate compensation, they said.
The EU should call for repeal of Indian laws that protect public officials from prosecution for violating human rights, effective implementation of policies to ensure social justice, and a commitment to ensure freedom of expression, including on the internet, Human Rights Watch said.
They also called upon the EU to encourage India to use its increasing global influence to address human rights problems in other countries.
“India’s growing regional and global influence should be matched by an increasing commitment to protect human rights abroad,” Leicht said.
Human Rights Watch made a series of recommendations on human rights concerns in a February 3 letter to the European Council president, Herman Van Rompuy, and the European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso.