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Thread: Nationalist Israeli FM Lieberman rejects Annapolis Peace Deal

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    Unrest threatens Russia

    Unrest threat as crisis hits Russia

    Millions of Russian workers have been laid off or sacked recently amid the global economic downturn, and the government in Moscow is already facing angry protests by ordinary people.

    The BBC's Richard Galpin has been to a northern Russian industrial town to investigate the political threat of mass protests.

    Aluminium factory in Pikalevo
    All three factories in Pikalevo now stand idle

    Once visited, the grim town of Pikalevo is best forgotten.

    Built 50 years ago in the remote, forested plains east of Russia's second largest city, St Petersburg, it stands as a monument to the fundamental flaws of the Soviet Union's command economy.

    Its population of 21,000 people lives or dies by the complex of aluminium, cement and potash factories which are the town's only raison d'etre.

    But now all three factories stand idle, forced by the economic crisis to close their gates.

    Their workers either sit at home or throng the small unemployment office tucked behind the main street.

    The rattle and hum of machinery in Pikalevo has been replaced by the cold silence of austerity and hardship.

    'Impotent' government

    While most Russians would rather forget Pikalevo's existence, it won't be so easy for President Dmitry Medvedev to banish it from his thoughts as he travels to London to attend a G20 summit on the world economic crisis.
    BBC NEWS | Europe | Unrest threat as crisis hits Russia
    Last edited by kaya'08; 04-01-09 at 05:15 PM.
    "If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in quite a different world" - Christopher Hitchens
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    Israeli Nationalist Hardliner, FM Lieberman Rejects Annapolis Deal

    BBC NEWS | Middle East | Israel FM rejects Annapolis deal

    Israel's new ultra-nationalist foreign minister has said it is not bound by a US-sponsored 2007 agreement to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians.

    Quote Originally Posted by BBC World News
    "The Annapolis conference, it has no validity," Avigdor Lieberman said.

    He was speaking at a handover ceremony at the foreign ministry, prompting his predecessor Tzipi Livni to interrupt and diplomats to shift uncomfortably.

    At Annapolis, each side agreed to further discussions aimed at creating an independent Palestinian state.

    Palestinian officials described Mr Lieberman as an "obstacle to peace" whose policies would rebound negatively on Israel.

    "Nothing obliges us to deal with a racist person hostile to peace such as Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Lieberman," Yasser Abed Rabbo said in comments to AFP news agency.

    Lieberman was a controversial choice for FM, causing concern amongst arab nations.
    Not a good start so far by the new cabinet.
    Last edited by kaya'08; 04-01-09 at 05:12 PM.
    "If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in quite a different world" - Christopher Hitchens
    > Good to be back, but I'm only visiting for a few weeks. <

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