Tag Archives: Wales.

Scottish opinion poll knocks the British pound #ScottishIndependence #BritishPound


The British pound slipped sharply
LONDON (AP) — The British pound slipped sharply after an opinion poll showed that those advocating Scottish independence from the United Kingdom have gained ground, a little more than two weeks before the vote.

A YouGov poll released Tuesday showed support for Scottish independence running at 47 percent. As a result, the ‘no’ camp — those supporting the continuation of the 307-year union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland — only has a 6 percent lead in the poll.

That represents a significant narrowing in the ‘no’ lead. Less than a month ago, the equivalent poll lead was over 20 points.

The narrowing echoes other findings that the ‘yes’ campaign has gained ground over the past week or so after its leader, Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond was widely judged to have bested Alistair Darling, the head of the “Better Together” campaign, in a televised debate.

“A close finish looks likely, and a ‘yes’ victory is now a real possibility,” said Peter Kellner, YouGov’s president. “Even if ‘no’ finally wins the day, it now looks less likely that it will win by a big enough margin to deliver a knockout blow to supporters of independence.”

The poll, which was based on interviews with 1,063 people, spooked some traders, and the pound traded 0.6 percent lower at $1.6525. The Scottish independence vote takes place Sept. 18.

“With less than three weeks to go until polling day the tide is starting to shift,” said Kathleen Brooks, research director at Forex.com.

The economic impact of a vote in favor of independence remains difficult to quantify as many aspects remain unclear, such as whether a go-it-alone Scotland would be able to use the pound as its currency, as the “yes” campaign advocates. There are also questions as to how the U.K.’s debt mountain would be divvied up.

“We think that the prospect of independence could boost volatility in the pound in the coming weeks,” Brooks added.

Scotland already has a parliament responsible for a wide array of social matters as well as its own legal code. However, economic and defense matters remain the responsibility of Westminster in London, where Scottish lawmakers make up a minority. The main U.K. political parties have indicated that they are prepared to give the Scottish Parliament more powers after the vote.

Vote Yes for Scottish independence


 

Associated Press.

NATO Summit Wales 2014 #NATOSummitUK #NATO


10 Downing Street, LondonOn 4 to 5 September 2014, Wales will host the largest gathering of international leaders ever to take place in Britain as the UK hosts the NATO summit. President Obama, Chancellor Merkel, and President Hollande are expected to attend along with leaders and senior ministers from around 60 other countries.

The summit comes as NATO draws down from its longest ever mission in Afghanistan and against a backdrop of instability in Ukraine. It is an opportunity to ensure that NATO continues to be at the forefront of building stability in an unpredictable world.

This will be the first NATO Summit since Chicago in 2012, and the first NATO summit in the United Kingdom since Margaret Thatcher welcomed NATO leaders to London in 1990.

During working sessions at the Celtic Manor and more informal events in Cardiff, world leaders will look to address issues which threaten NATO countries’ national security, from fragile states to piracy, from terrorism to cyber attacks.

As a strong player in NATO over the last 65 years, the UK continues to provide forces for NATO operations around the world today. Beyond Afghanistan, there are British service personnel serving in the Baltic Air Police mission and on counter-piracy operations.

Bringing the summit to Wales is an opportunity to shine the global spotlight on this corner of the United Kingdom, highlighting its strong commercial sector – from manufacturing to innovation, life sciences to cyber, and its academic excellence. And showcasing the tremendous potential in Wales for investment and business, tourism and study.

Announcing that Wales would host the NATO Summit 2014, the Prime Minister said:

It’s a great moment for Wales to advertise its modern and economically brilliant face to the world. We are going to have up to 60 world leaders coming to Wales for this vitally important NATO conference, so I think it’s a very good moment for Wales to put its best foot forward.

We had the G8 in Northern Ireland, we had the Olympics in London, we’ve got the Commonwealth Games in Scotland – it is Wales’ turn for one of these big events, a great showcase for Wales and a great opportunity and I’m really pleased that we are going to be doing that.


Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street – GOV.UK.

Hundreds protest in Wales before NATO summit #WarinEurope #Putin #NATO


War is comingSupporters take part in the ‘No to NATO’ protest march in Newport, south Wales, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.

LONDON (AP) — Hundreds of anti-war protesters have marched through the Welsh city of Newport before a major NATO summit there next week.

About 1,000 peace activists holding banners and placards that read “No to NATO” and “Stop NATO Expansion” marched Saturday in a peaceful procession.

The Sept. 4-5 summit at Newport’s Celtic Manor Resort will be attended by more than 150 heads of state and officials.

Police have said that about 9,500 officers from around Britain will secure the event, which is expected to draw a large number of protesters. Authorities have warned that a minority of protesters is expected to disrupt proceedings and challenge police.


Associated Press.


War is coming, it is just a matter of when.

Unless Putin’s ‘Land Grab War’ is halted’ war will be coming to europe whether we like it or not! President Putin has not hidden the fact that he wants to rebuild the soviet union, and like Hitler before him he is power hungry, he will want more… “Don’t mess with nuclear Russia”, Putin has said, is he bluffing? time will tell.

Take A Stand.

NATO Plots Defense Against Russia #NATOwales


By Andre de Nesnera.A freight car loaded with self-propelled howitzers is seen at a railway station in Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, Rostov region, near the border with Ukraine, August 24, 2014.A freight car loaded with self-propelled howitzers is seen at a railway station in Kamensk-Shakhtinsky, Rostov region, near the border with Ukraine, August 24, 2014.

The 28 NATO members are preparing for their summit meeting in Wales in early September. The main topic of discussion: the notion of collective defense in light of Russia’s recent actions against Ukraine.

Simply put, NATO’s collective defense posture means that an attack on one of its 28 members is an attack on all of them.

In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance “must remain ready, willing and able to defend its almost one billion citizens.”

Rasmussen went on to say NATO leaders must take steps to make the alliance “fitter, faster, and more flexible to address future challenges from wherever they come.”

 NATO’s collective defense

NATO’s collective defense doctrine is in the spotlight, given Russia’s recent actions against Ukraine: its annexation of the Crimean peninsula and its backing of Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO, said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive behavior will backfire.

“President Putin’s strategy is going to be a strategic failure. In effect it is strengthening NATO, it is instilling more resolve in the alliance and will create even more cohesion than was the case before the events in Ukraine,” he said.

Russia’s behavior has also instilled apprehension and even fear in some countries – such as those in the Baltic States – that Moscow might try to invade a NATO country.

Sean Kay, a NATO expert at Ohio Wesleyan University, assessed the balance of forces.

“In terms of defending the NATO allies against Russia – the NATO allies have an overwhelming military advantage in terms of their combined capabilities,” he said. “The structure of power singularly is in the hands of the West. So it’s a question of how they want to best leverage the future relationship with Russia given its recent behavior.”

Stavridis agreed, saying: “I don’t stay up at night worrying about Russia’s ability to invade a NATO nation.”

NATO asked to stand firm

But to allay the fears of those countries who feel threatened by Russia’s behavior, Stavridis said NATO summit leaders must take firm action.

“There should be an enhanced number of aircraft patrolling the borders of the alliance,” he said.

“We should have larger and more robust maritime deployments both north in the Baltic and south in the Black Sea. We should, in my view, support the Ukrainian armed forces with equipment, training, cyber support advice and help them prepare in case Russia takes the next step which would be an overt invasion of Ukraine,” Stavridis added.

Looking ahead, Stavridis sees increased tension between NATO and Russia – but not a return to a Cold War era.

“During the Cold War, six million people faced off against each other across the Fulda Gap,” he said. “Huge navies patrolled the world and we were on a hair-trigger alert. We had nuclear weapons cocked, aimed, loaded and ready to fire, he said. “There were proxy wars around the world – it was the dominant political and military activity of 20 to 30 years. No, we are not headed back to that.”


Voice of America.

Russia Claims Exclusion From NATO Summit on Ukraine #NATOwales


NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen waits before an interview with Reuters at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Yves Herman / Reuters.

Russian diplomats say they have been excluded from an upcoming summit of NATO member countries in Wales, Kommersant reported Monday, citing an unidentified diplomatic source.

The source noted that many of the themes to be discussed at the summit directly affect Russia, and that even “in the current circumstances in Moscow they were not counting on this,” Kommersant reported.

The summit, to be held on Sept. 4-5, was initially expected to focus on terrorism and cybercrime, but will now largely revolve around the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the military alliance’s increasingly frosty relations with Russia.

“NATO’s summit meeting in Wales comes at a critical time in the alliance’s history when the global security environment is becoming increasingly unpredictable and unstable — as Russia’s actions in Ukraine have shown,” the organization’s press release on the summit read.

The themes to be discussed at the summit include “the readiness of the alliance to enforce collective defense,” and “relations with Russia and stronger ties with Ukraine.”

According to the summit’s agenda, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko will attend a meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission on the first day of the summit.

Though NATO has not confirmed Russia’s claim it hadn’t been invited, the summit comes at a particularly sensitive time in relations between the two parties — with both sides having accused each other of aggressive actions since the conflict in Ukraine began with the ouster of Kremlin-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February.

NATO General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Friday condemned the entry of Russia’s aid convoy into Ukraine without Kiev’s consent accusing it of continuing to “deepen the crisis in the region, which Russia itself has created and has continued to fuel.”

In August, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, said in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt that NATO member countries should not exclude the possibility of a Russian invasion.

Nations should be prepared for “little green men” invading, he said —a reference to soldiers, widely believe to be Russian, in unmarked uniforms who were present in Crimea before Russia annexed the peninsula in March.

Rasmussen on Friday reiterated that sentiment, saying the military build-up of Russian forces on the Ukraine border was “alarming,” a statement published Friday on the NATO website said.


The Moscow Times.