Dutch Court Awards Yukos Shareholders $50 Billion, Russia Will Appeal -- The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has ordered the Russian authorities to pay the shareholders of defunct oil company Yukos $50 billion in compensation. The court held that the Russian government had acted in violation of the Energy Charter Treaty when it drove Yukos into bankruptcy and sold its assets off at fire-sale prices. Naturally, the Russian government plans to fight. [28 July]
UK Economy Returns to 2008 Levels, Mostly -- Britain's Office of National Statistics announced that the British economy grew 0.8% in the second quarter of 2014. Since the second quarter of last year, the UK's GDP is up 3.1%. That means it is now 0.2% ahead of where it was in the first quarter of 2008, the highest level reached before the financial crisis crushed many major economies. While the Coalition government officials are delighted with the milestone, many reasons exist to be less than ecstatic. [25 July]
Ukraine's Coalition Government Collapses -- The governing coalition of Ukraine has collapsed as the Udar and Svoboda parties have announced their withdrawal. While the constitution allows 30 days for a new majority coalition in the Rada [parliament] to be formed, analysts believe that is unlikely and that new elections will have to be held, most likely in October. Until then, the government of Arseniy Yatsenyuk will continue as a care-taker regime. With the continued fighting in the eastern part of the country, this is ill-timed at best. [24 July]
Schumer Backs Open Primaries -- New York Senator Chuck Schumer has taken to the pages of the New York Times to propose a significant change to the way America selects its political leadership. He has backed the idea of an open primary rather than party-specific primaries. In other words, every candidate competes in a single primary with the top two finishers going head-to-head in the general election. It solves a few problems, but it won't really fix America's broken political system because it isn't radical enough. [23 July]
Governor Perry Grandstands with 1,000 National Guardsmen at Border -- Governor Rick Perry has decided to make a play for the hearts and minds of American nativists by calling up 1,000 National Guardsmen to "protect the border" his state of Texas has with Mexico. This can only be an electoral ploy because it is both excessive and insufficient. The use of military assets to prevent people crossing the border makes Texas look like East Germany, and that is hardly a positive. By the same token, 1,000 troops can't do much along a 1,200-mile-long border. [22 July]
Copyright 2014 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.