15:21 [New Eastern Outlook] (E)
To see Beirut and its port area with a huge mushroom cloud hanging above is a truly surreal sight. But what is not surreal in battered Lebanese capital? A big part of the downtown looks flattened, thoroughly ruined. One of my Japanese friends based in Beirut exclaimed: “It looks like Hiroshima!” It does. Who is behind the carnage? What really happened? Nobody is claiming responsibility. Was it sabotage, a direct attack against Lebanon, or a politically motivated terrorist act? What is certain is that the “earth moved.” One of the explosions, equivalent to a 4.5-magnitude earthquake, ruined everything in its proximity. Blasts were heard all the way across the sea in Cyprus, while some 20 kilometers away, window panels at Rafik Hariri International Airport, got shattered.
16:37 [Antiwar.com] (E)
Growing US-Germany tensions have reached the point where the Trump Administration has announced that 9,500 troops will be returning from Germany. This will leave 25,000 US troops there, which is the new “cap” for maximum troop levels. The US has been haranguing Germany for years over military spending, and this has included Trump threatening to pull troops back. Polls have shown Germany tended to prefer that the US troops leave anyhow.
Zitat des Tages
Das allgemeine Interesse … kann nur durch eine spezialisierte Klasse verwaltet werden, deren persönliche Interessen über lokale Themen hinausreichen. Diese Klasse ist befreit von Verantwortung...
Walter Lippmann, Vordenker des Council of Foreign Relations