Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Global Crises Will Define Barack Obama's Presidency

The historic Inauguration Day - slideshow - was overwhelming and momentous!

Now, finally, America believes that it has found the right man for the job. The expectations on election day were high -- and they have now risen even higher. On the domestic front, Obama is expected to overcome the financial crisis, stem the rising tide of unemployment, reduce social inequality and achieve nothing less than raising the country to new heights of greatness...

On the foreign policy front, the
wish list of the international community has grown even longer over the past eight years with every single disappointment with George W. Bush. Obama is expected to achieve peace in the Middle East, prevent Iran from building the bomb without resorting to bombing the country, integrate the Chinese into the world community, tame the Russians, unite the Europeans and -- in his spare time -- also achieve reconciliation with communist Cuba… Cordula Meyer, Gregor Peter Schmitz and Gabor Steingart, Spiegel International

Welcoming the new president to office Nicolas Sarkozy said: "We are eager for him to get to work so that with him we can change the world.” Telegraph UK

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Order of Saxon Gratitude for Vladimir Putin

Putin, who served as head of state from 1999 until becoming prime minister last year, was due to receive the "Order of Saxon Gratitude" for promoting cultural relations between Germany and Russia.

The honor was to be presented by the Semper Opera Ball Association in Dresden, where Putin served as Soviet KGB officer until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

The Russian prime minister was due to receive the award after holding talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, where he was also paying a visit to the Green Week agricultural exhibition… Deutsche Welle


Thursday, January 8, 2009

Obama’s Ultimate Power Luncheon with US Presidents

President-Elect Barack Obama and all the living US presidents met for lunch at the White House.

George W. Bush gave him the warmest welcome. “One message that I have and I think we all share is that we want you to succeed,” he said. “We wish you all the very best, and so does the country.”

Standing between Bush father and son for a photo in the Oval Office, the President-elect thanked his predecessors for joining him and said he valued the opportunity to "get advice, good counsel and fellowship from these individuals" and learn "from their successes" before taking office on Jan 20.

Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter completed the historical line-up of one of the world's most exclusive clubs, in which Barack Obama stood out for his youth and his race, his presence reminding Americans of the history they made electing the first black leader since the foundation of the nation… By Alex Spillius, UK Telegraph

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Angela Merkel: Crisis Change for Tough Financial Rules

Call for social responsibility

Turning to the global economy, Merkel said it had been plunged into crisis by financial excess carried out without social responsibility and with a loss of proportion by many bankers and managers.

"The world has lived above its means," she said, adding that "only once we recognize these causes can we extricate the world from this crisis. To do this we need a clear set of principles."

These had to entail greater social responsibility in business and financial dealings and recognize that the state is "the guardian of economic and social order." DEUTSCHE WELLE