NATO Says Russian Violation of Turkish Airspace Deliberate -- The General-Secretary of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, has stated that the Russian violation of Turkish airspace on Sunday was deliberate. A violation on Saturday has been ascribed by Russia to bad weather, and it is investigating Sunday's incident. Whether deliberate or accidental, the fact that Russian air assets are in Turkish airspace at all as part of their fight in Syria is dangerous. Should the Turks decide to shoot down a Russian plane over Turkish territory, the situation in Syria right now will look like a mild argument. [6 October]
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreed -- The nations negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership have reached an agreement after five years of discussion. The arrangement will affect 40% of world GDP, and it will boost trade among the participants. At the same time, it will increase competition in many fields, and that will cause a political backlash. In other words now that a deal is done, the hard part begins, winning ratification. [5 October]
Government Shut Down Averted for Now -- Congress did its job yesterday, more or less, by passing legislation to continue funding the federal government through December 11. With President Obama's signature, the feared government shut down was averted, for now. However, 151 Republican members of the House voted against the legislation, meaning that outgoing Speaker John Boehner passed it using mostly Democratic votes to secure the 277 ayes. Over on the Senate side, 20 GOP members opposed the bill. In the next two months, the Republican leadership needs to get its ducks in a row, or a holiday season shutdown will damage their chances for the November 2016 elections. [1 October]
Russia Bombs Syrian Rebels -- The Syrian Civil War entered a new phase this week, with Vladimir Putin announcing a new pro-Damascus coordination effort with Iran, Iraq and the Al Assad regime in Syria. Earlier today, the Russian parliament voted to allow Russian intervention in the conflict. The media are now reporting, and the Kremlin has confirmed, that Russian air assets have struck Syrian rebels. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is debating the situation. [30 September]
Boehner Resigning from Congress, Speakership -- House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) shocked everyone Friday after the Pope addressed Congress by announcing his resignation from Congress next month. His departure almost guarantees that the government will not shut down because of right-wing obstinancy over the budget. However, it also suggests that hereafter the hard-right Republican members will have greater influence in the chamber. Most ironically, his departure will boost the chances of the Democrats keeping the White House in 2016. [28 September]
Copyright 2015 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.