NATO powers America, Britain and France admitted this week that military force alone cannot dislodge Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe noted that emissaries from the Libyan leader are saying that he is “ready to go” — and that the onus is now on the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council to agree to sit down with the Gadhafi government to discuss a transition of power.
The rebels are slowly making progress both towards Tripoli via Ziltan from their stronghold in Misrata.
Finmeccanica subsidiary Alenia Aeronautica has inked a $200-million deal to supply Mexico with four C-27J Spartan transport aircraft. The first will arrive later this year. The deal comes as a surprise and a disappointment to EADS-CASA (now part of Airbus Military) which had seen Latin America as a potential customer for its own transport planes.
Capping off a rather torrid time for German foreign policy, Chancellor Angela Merkel is under pressure to cancel a deal to supply Saudi Arabia with the latest Leopard A2A7+ tanks. This on top of alleged links between German industry and Iran, and Germany’s sluggish response to the Arab Spring, culminating in it voting against the U.N. resolution for military action over Libya.
The deal involves selling around 200 Leopards worth just over 1.5 billion Euros. Despite its mainly pacifist stance, Germany is now the third largest exporter of conventional arms after America and Russia.
Scenes from a time that Ulster would rather forget: two straight nights of rioting across Northern Ireland that left 22 police officers injured and resulted in baton rounds and water cannon being deployed.
The main cause for the disturbances was “The Twelfth”: the day marking the Glorious Revolution in England and the William of Orange’s victory over King James II. The Orange Order celebrates this occasion every year by holding parades across Northern Ireland, many of which march through predominantly Catholic areas.
This year’s violence is being treated more seriously due to several factors. First, the re-emergence of gunmen firing at police lines and at the press covering the event. Secondly, the increasing expertise and power of both dissident Loyalist and Republican terrorists.