Monthly Archives: January 2014

Final Phase Backgrounder: Federal Republic of Germany under communist control: “Ex”-red leader of the Left “savors” role as Chancellor Merkel’s chief opposition, chairs Bundestag’s powerful budget committee, dodges Stasi allegations; party consists of anti-NATO pacifists, “diehard communists,” anti-capitalist/anti-globalist euro-sceptics; Merkel, German president also raised in E. Germany

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Middle East File: Russian warships escort Syrian chemical arsenal, warheads aboard Danish, Norwegian vessels, bound for Italian port, US vessel for safe destruction; Kremlin delivered military transport and armored vehicles to Assad for land-based component of weapons transfer; regime used chemical warheads in Aug. 2013, 1,400 dead, attack prompted UN response

Middle East File: Communists lead official Russian parliamentary delegation to Syria, bring two tons of relief aid, present gifts to President Assad, extol solidarity between Kremlin, CPRF and Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party; Bashar grateful for Putin’s support as peace talks to end Syria’s three-year civil war flounder; Syrian Communist Party (both factions) in ruling National Progressive Front

Asia File: Thailand’s left-populist PM Shinawatra calls snap election for Feb. 2, royalist “Yellow Shirt” forces unpacified, promise to paralyze Bangkok with protests on Jan. 13; Yingluck’s brother Thaksin toppled in 2006 military coup; Cambodian oppositionists vow to end Hun Sen’s 28-year “ex”-communist People’s Party dictatorship after fraudulent vote, brutal crackdown on striking garment workers

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Ruling parties in Southeast Asia:

Pheu Thai Party

Cambodian People’s Party

EU File: Czech police discover weapons cache in Palestine embassy, including submachine guns, Palestinians deny arms unregistered; Jamal al-Jamal killed by mysterious blast on New Year’s Day, explosion allegedly caused by security device on safe; envoy’s daughter suspects foul play, Czech expert believes Palestinians using Prague as arms transit; PLO guerrillas trained in Communist Czechoslovakia