Atlantic Update 4/25/11


With the rise of populist parties across the continent, is Europe moving the the right? ask the Spiegel Staff.  Russia makes long term plans in Sevastopol, NATO bombs Gaddafi’s compound, and German Foreign Minister Westerwelle comes under fire.


NATO keeps up the pressure (NATO)

NATO carried out a precision strike in central Tripoli last night. The target was a Communications Headquarter that was used to coordinate attacks against civilians. We have no independent means of verifying reports of possible civilian casualties. Unlike pro-Qadhafi forces, we continue to go to great lengths to reduce the possibility of any civilian casualties.

NATO bomb strikes Gadhafi compound in Tripoli (Deutsche Welle)

A building inside Moammar Gadhafi’s vast compound was destroyed by NATO forces early on Monday, in what a government press official described as an attempt on the leader’s life.

Russia urges NATO to lay off Libyan civilian targets (RIA Novosti)

Russia on Monday urged NATO to stop targeting civilian objects in Libya, amid reports that a NATO airstrike on the capital of Tripoli hit buildings in Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s compound.

NATO has been bombarding Gaddafi’s forces under a UN-mandated no-fly zone to protect civilians. The alliance said it had stepped up strikes around Tripoli and four other cities in recent days.

Russian Navy will stay in Sevastopol forever – admiral (RIA Novosti)

Russia will never give up its naval base in Ukraine’s port of Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula, ex-commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet Adm. Igor Kasatonov said.

Rise of Populist Parties Pushes Europe to the Right (Spiegel)

The success of the True Finns in last week’s Finnish elections has shocked Brussels. They are just one of a number of right-wing populist parties currently flourishing in Europe. Their rise could threaten the euro bailout

Hungary president signs new contested constitution (Radio Netherlands Worldwide)

Hungarian President Pal Schmitt formally signed the country’s new constitution into law on Monday, despite heavy criticism from civil groups, rights organisations and opposition parties.

The signing ceremony took place in the presidential palace and was televised live across the country by both public and private broadcasters.

Rights group: EU must end ‘faustian pact’ with Syria (EUobserver)

With the death count in Syria jumping up drastically, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said the EU should impose sanctions on the al-Assad regime or risk missing a historic opportunity to shape events in the Middle East. Syrian rights activists inside the country report that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s forces killed at least 70 more people during protests on Friday (22 April), bringing the number of deaths since violence began six weeks ago to some 270.

Anti-nuclear protests on Franco-German border (Radio Netherlands Worldwide)

Anti-nuclear protests were to be held along the Franco-German border Monday, on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster and after Japan’s nuclear accident at Fukushima. Several Easter Monday protests were to take place on bridges over the Rhine in or around Strasbourg, including the main demonstration on the Pont de l’Europe that runs between the eastern French city and Kehl in Germany.


Internal Criticism Grows over German Foreign Minister(Spiegel)

Guido Westerwelle’s image as foreign minister isn’t just eroding abroad, but also at home. Inside the Foreign Ministry, German diplomats are hoping they will soon have a new boss. Chancellor Angela Merkel is also reportedly disappointed in the top diplomat, who doesn’t seem to have grown into his role.

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