Permalink Silvio Berlusconi's death leaves 'huge void' as Italy mourns longest-serving PM

The death of Silvio Berlusconi marks “the end of an era”, Italian politicians said on Monday as allies and adversaries alike paid tribute to the billionaire businessman who was Italy’s prime minister four times. | The billionaire media mogul turned politician had been suffering from serious health problems and had received treatment at a hospital in Milan. The media mogul was a huge presence on the Italian political scene for four decades, serving as Italian prime minister in four governments between 1994 and 1995, 2001 and 2006, and 2008 to 2011. He was renowned not just for his wealth and huge influence but also his saloon bar humour, frequent gaffes on the international stage and “bunga bunga” party sex scandals with models and prostitutes. His death at the age of 86 signals the “end of an era”, said Italy’s defence minister, Guido Crosetto, who is a member of the Brothers of Italy party led by the prime minister, Giorgia Meloni. It is the dominant force in a governing coalition that includes Mr Berlusconi’s centre-Right Forza Italia party. The death of Mr Berlusconi is “a great, enormous sorrow. It leaves a huge void because he was a great man. An era has ended, an era closes. I cared about him deeply. Goodbye Silvio,” the minister wrote in a tribute. (Photo: © CNN. )

Silvio Berlusconi: How the former Italian PM changed Italy (BBC)
Putin says Berlusconi was true friend, his death is great misfortune (TASS)

Permalink China, Arab Countries Sign 30 Agreements Worth Almost $10Bln - Reports

The first day of the 10th Arab-China Business Conference in Saudi Arabia ended with the signing of 30 investment agreements worth 37.5 billion Saudi riyals ($9.9 billion), the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Sunday. | The parties signed agreements in the field of technology, renewable energy, agriculture, real estate, minerals, logistics, tourism and healthcare, the report noted.  In particular, Saudi and Chinese companies, Amar Al-Oula and Zhonghuan International Group (Hong Kong), respectively, have signed a $533 million deal to set up an iron ore processing plant and produce iron pellets for smelters in Saudi Arabia. ASK Group and the China National Geological and Mining Corporation also entered into a $500 million agreement to develop, build and operate a copper mining project in the Arabian Peninsula region, the report added.

Permalink NATO launches largest air exercise in history

NATO begins the largest military exercise in history on Monday, coordinated by Germany. | The Air Defender 23 exercise will last until June 23 and will involve about 250 military aircraft from 25 NATO member and partner countries, including Japan and Sweden, a candidate country for the alliance, AFP reported.  Up to 10,000 people will take part in the exercise, designed to strengthen interoperability and defense against drones and cruise missiles in the event of an attack on cities, airports or ports located on NATO territory, the report said. The exercise was developed in 2018 and is "not aimed specifically at anyone," said German Air Force Commander Army Gen. Ingo Gerharz. The air maneuvers will include operational and tactical training mainly in Germany, but also in the Czech Republic, Estonia and Latvia. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit pilots based at Schleswig-Jagel airfield in the north on Friday.  NATO missions are at a "tipping point," according to General Michael Lo, director of the U.S. Air National Guard. "The exercise will be designed to complement the United States' continued presence in Europe and provide training on a larger scale than is normal on the continent," Lo said, adding that many of the alliance's pilots will be working together for the first time. (Translation with: DeepL.com)

Permalink Leaders Worldwide Congratulate Putin on Russia Day Celebrated on June 12

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, the Head of North Korea Kim Jong Un, and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol have already congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin on Russia Day, while more leaders are expected to extend their regards.

A Nation Reborn: Why Russia Day is Celebrated? (Sputnik News)
Patriotism, responsibility for country’s future sacrosanct for Russians — Putin (TASS)
Most Countries Side With Russia in Ukraine Conflict While US's Credibility Slips - Hersh
День России - 2023: история, традиции, новации (Rossiyskaya Gazeta)

Permalink Briefly about international law and democracy by Biden...

1999. Biden about the bombing of Yugoslavia: "It's not a complete victory. It's not the kind of victory I want. We have to go into the country, we have to prepare to lose our soldiers, we have to take Belgrade and occupy [Yugoslavia] like we did with Japan and Germany."

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