Ukrainian Prime Minister Arsenyi Yatsenyuk quits and opens the way for new elections

Yesterday Ukraine’s prime minister tendered his resignation after two parties quit the government coalition forcing new elections to a parliament whose composition hasn’t changed since the pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich was forced to leave in February this year.

President Petro Poroshenko supported the move, which gives the opportunity to clear “Moscow agents” from the chamber, as one politician said.

Arseny Yatseniuk also scolded parliament for failing to pass legislation for taking control over an increasingly unsteady energy situation and to increase army financing. He said politicians risked ‘losing the hearts and minds of Ukrainians who had protested for months in the “Maidan” demonstrations in favor of joining Europe and against Yanukovich.’

"Millions of people made this revolution. We did not take the European choice but the ‘heavenly hundred’ and thousands of other Ukrainians did," he said as he referred to the victims killed, mainly by sniper fire, during the protests earlier this year.

Yatseniuk’s resignation could leave a hole at the heart of decision-making. He has been central to talks with the European Union and the United States and as Ukraine struggles to fund a war with pro-Russian separatists in the eastern parts of the country and deals with the aftermath of the crash of MH17 that killed 298 people, a strong figure is needed.

But although he resigned, he cannot leave office immediately, because he is obliged to continue his duties before new elections will be held and a new prime minister and government are installed.

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 plane downed over eastern Ukraine with 298 dead 

Yesterday flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed about 40 km (25 miles) away from the border with Russia near the region of Donetsk, an area that is a stronghold of pro-Russian seperatists who are fighting Ukrainian government forces and have brought down two military aircraft in the recent months. 

There is the presumption Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 was downed by a ground-to-air missile fired by pro-Russian separatists from rebel-held territory near the border with Russia. There were no survivors.

Leaders of the rebels’ self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic denied any involvement while Kiev and Moscow immediately blamed each other for the disaster.

World leaders now demand an international investigation into the shooting down of flight MH17. The facts need to be established by an international, UN-led investigation.

More than half of the dead passengers, 189 people, were Dutch, 29 were Malaysian, 27 Australian, 12 Indonesian, 9 British, 4 German, 4 Belgian, 3 Filipino, 1 Canadian,  1 New Zealnd and 4 as yet unidentified. All 15 crew were Malaysian.

Which countries are the worst carbon polluters in history?
The World Resources Institute recently updated its compendium of historical carbon dioxide emissions for each country in the world over the years. Previously the collection reached only to 1990, but now it goes all the way back to 1850. 
The world’s top 15 carbon dioxide emitters (in thousands of CO2 tonnes): 
China 9,860,000
United States 5,190,000
India 1,970,000
Russia 1,770,000
Japan 1,320,000
Germany 810,000
South Korea 640,000
Canada 560,000
United Kingdom 490,000
Mexico 490,000
Indonesia 490,000
Saudi Arabia 460,000
Brazil 460,000
Australia 430,000
Iran 410,000

This story of climate change map perhaps best shows how we got to where we are today.
You as well might to have a look at this stunning CO2 emissions, birth rate & death rate simulation!

Which countries are the worst carbon polluters in history?

The World Resources Institute recently updated its compendium of historical carbon dioxide emissions for each country in the world over the years. Previously the collection reached only to 1990, but now it goes all the way back to 1850. 

The world’s top 15 carbon dioxide emitters (in thousands of CO2 tonnes): 
  1. China 9,860,000
  2. United States 5,190,000
  3. India 1,970,000
  4. Russia 1,770,000
  5. Japan 1,320,000
  6. Germany 810,000
  7. South Korea 640,000
  8. Canada 560,000
  9. United Kingdom 490,000
  10. Mexico 490,000
  11. Indonesia 490,000
  12. Saudi Arabia 460,000
  13. Brazil 460,000
  14. Australia 430,000
  15. Iran 410,000

This story of climate change map perhaps best shows how we got to where we are today.

You as well might to have a look at this stunning CO2 emissions, birth rate & death rate simulation!

Tomorrow I’ll start my trip around Europe. When I’ll be back I’ll promise to publish my travel photography and catch up with the most important topics.

Enjoy the summer and see you soon!

Middle East Conflict intesifies as the smoldering conflict between Israelis and Palestinians breaks up again

Funeral of abducted Palestinian Mohammed Abu Khudair brings clashes in Jerusalem, who is believed being killed in revenge over the deaths of three abducted Jewish teens.

The crisis began when three Israeli teens were kidnapped in the occupied West Bank on June 12 and the discovery of their dead bodies on Monday prompted an outpouring of national grief in Israel. Hamas has neither confirmed nor denied involvement in the West Bank kidnappings.

Tensions spiked after the Palestinian Abu Khudair was kidnapped on Wednesday in his Arab neighborhood in Jerusalem and his body was found hours later in a forest on the edge of the city, what many Palestinians regarded as revenge and what caused violent outbursts.

Stun grenades, rubber bullets are used in highly charged struggles between Israelis and Palestinians. Calling for a new “Intifada” thousands of furious Palestinians chanted demands for a new uprising against Israel.

But the risks of retaliation are high – for both sides.

A new major operation very likely could upend already difficult relations between Israel and Palestine. More powerful Israeli attacks in Gaza could also draw longer-range Palestinian rocket fire capable of reaching Israel’s heartland and its capital Tel Aviv.

After the Arab Spring, with Syria being caught in the middle of a civil war, Iraq becoming uncontrollable, Iran waiting and saying it will not abandon its nuclear program - and as if the Middle East needed any more of oil poured onto its ongoing conflict - now the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians are fueled again, after hope for a slight relaxation had been in sight.

The Middle East is sitting on a powder keg with its fuse about to be lit again.

BREAKING NEWS: Large number of pro-Russian separatists fled the city of Slaviansk following sustained fire from Ukrainian forces

After the collapse of Ukraine’s ceasefire shattered hopes for a quick end of the tensions in Eastern Ukraine and fighting continued over the last days, now new hopes are on the rise, that fast progress can be made.

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko ordered the army to raise the national flag over the separatist east Ukrainian stronghold of Slaviansk, after reports emerged that government forces were able to enter the city.

The head of the armed forces general staff declared that separatist fighters came under mortar fire as they tried to break through Ukrainian government forces’ lines and after that fled the city for Krematorsk.

The city of Slaviansk, which was seized by rebels in April this year, had become the separatists’ strongest redoubt in the eastern region of the country.

Syria’s unending war

At least 160,000 people have been killed in Syria’s three-year-old conflict that began as peaceful demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad and escalated into civil war.

UN Human Rights investigators sated in a recent report that radical Islamist insurgents are kidnapping, torturing and killing civilians as the Middle East appears on the brink of wider sectarian war engulfing Iraq and Syria.

"We predicted a long time ago the dangers of spillover both ways, which is now becoming a regional spillover," said an international law expert "We are possibly on the cusp of a regional war and that is something we’re very concerned about." - Vitit Muntarbhorn, international law expert

We have inherited a definition of security from the last century, a century dominated by two world wars and a cold war, that is almost entirely military in focus. When the term national security comes up in Washington, people automatically think of expanded military budgets and more-advanced weapon systems. But armed aggression is no longer the principal threat to our future. The overriding threats in this century are climate change, population growth, spreading water shortages, rising food prices, and politically failing states.
Lester Brown, The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity