Articles worth reading
Image : Vietnamese breeder sells long-tailed chickens for $2,800 a pair

Vietnamese breeder sells long-tailed chickens for $2,800 a pair

person Orange Themes access_time Dec 25,2016

Of course, the Lamborghini of poultry doesn't come cheap.

Image : Premier League: Ranieri turns back the clock to make Leicester champions

Premier League: Ranieri turns back the clock to make Leicester champions

person Orange Themes access_time May 03,2016

Harking back to a previous era and ripping up a text book full of received wisdom, Leicester City's …

Image : Clinton, Trump deploy big guns as race focuses on must-win states

Clinton, Trump deploy big guns as race focuses on must-win states

person Orange Themes access_time Nov 04,2016

Hillary Clinton unleashed top surrogates including campaigner-in-chief President Barack Obama to bolster her case Thursday in the election's homestretch, as rival Donald Trump deployed wife Melania to soften his image in crucial battleground states.

Latest blog articles

Does Germany owe 'vast sums' to US for NATO defense? Germany says no.

access_time Mar 20,2017 chat_bubble_outline 55 views

Germany has flatly rejected a claim President Trump tweeted on Saturday morning, when he wrote that Germany owes “vast sums” of money to NATO and the United States for underspending.

“There is no debt account at NATO,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement on Sunday, adding that it was wrong to link the alliance’s target for members to spend 2 percent of their economic output on defense by 2024 solely to NATO.

"Defense spending also goes into UN peacekeeping missions, into our European missions and into our contribution to the fight against IS terrorism," Ms. von der Leyen said.

How much do you know about NATO? Take our quiz [/url]" data-reactid="8">Recommended: How much do you know about NATO? Take our quiz

Germany’s rejection of Trump’s accusation follows the latest in a series of critical statements from the White House against NATO allies. Even before Mr. Trump took office, Europe’s low expenditure was a sore point for the United States, which puts up 70 percent of the alliance's funds. But Trump and members of his cabinet have been unusually critical of the alliance and how it is funded.

In 2016, Germany’s defense spending ratio stood at 1.18 percent. It is set to rise by 1.4 billion euros to 38.5 billion euros in 2019, bringing it to 1.26 percent of the country’s economic output, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has said. In 2024, that figure is expected to reach 2 percent of Germany’s gross domestic product, coming in line with NATO’s target.

But Trump insinuated on Saturday that Germany has short-changed the alliance.

The tweet came a day after Trump’s first meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a visit he described in another Saturday tweet as “great.”

In addition to criticizing Trump’s claim, von der Leyen, the defense minister, acknowledged all allies want the NATO burden to be shared fairly. But for that to happen, she added, it was necessary to have a “modern security concept” that included a modern NATO but also a European defense union and investment in the United Nations.

Trump has not been the only American official to be critical of Germany and other European allies. In February, Trump’s defense secretary, James Mattis, warned NATO allies in his first visit to Brussels that they must honor military spending pledges.

"America cannot care more for your children's future security than you do," Mr. Mattis said in a closed-door session with NATO defense ministers, according to prepared remarks provided to reporters.

Mattis’s words marked some of the strongest criticism in recent memory of NATO allies who have failed to reach defense spending goals, adding to Trump’s campaign criticism that NATO allies have “been very unfair to us” for not spending more.

Italy and Spain, two of Europe’s larger economies, spend barely 1 percent a year on defense, as they try to control their budget deficits in the wake of the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009. Belgium, the Netherlands, and Denmark are three other small spenders on defense. But the Baltic states of Latvia and Lithuania, fearful of the threat of Russia from the east, are on course to meet the 2 percent goal, as is Romania.

During his trip to Brussels, Mattis did reassure those concerned over the United States’ commitment to NATO, but said that the US wants more equal spending partners.

"America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance, each of your capitals needs to show support for our common defense," he said last month.

At the time, von der Leyen said "the United States is right" on defense spending. But she was also critical of Trump’s victory immediately after the November election, calling the win a big shock, and nudging the then-president-elect to drop the isolationism he has preached and to clarify his stances on NATO and Russia.

This report includes material from the Associated Press and Reuters.

Related stories

  • How much do you know about NATO? Take our quiz
  • U.S. threatens NATO to increase spending
  • In Trump win, Europeans see threat to 'bedrock' transatlantic values, ties

Read this story at

Become a part of the Monitor community

  • Become a Facebook fan!
  • Follow us on Twitter!
  • Follow us on Google+
  • Link up with us!
  • Subscribe to our RSS feeds!
Health Ministry warns about avian flu risk from China

The Ministry of Health’s Department of Preventive Medicine has just warned about the spread of avian influenza A (H7N9) virus from China to Vietnam. The A (H7N9) virus was first reported in China in March 2013. From December 2016 to mid-January, 2017, China has reported at least 83 infected people, including 30 fatalities. Although no cases of H7N9 have been reported in Vietnam over the past few years, the Ministry of Health is still increasing preventive measures as border trade and poultry… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Dino-killing crater shows clues about Ice Age sea level

Mexico City (AFP) - The massive underwater crater left by the asteroid that exterminated the dinosaurs has provided new evidence that sea levels were much lower during the last Ice Age, researchers said.Scientists worked on a platform off Mexico's east coast to dig for clues about the destruction of life 66 million years ago inside the 200-kilometer (125-mile) wide Chicxulub crater.By chance, the researchers found evidence that the sea was much further away than the current coast line during… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

The different current beauty standards between women in the east and women in the west

Over time, those standards have also been certainly changed. 1. Face   V-line face with long chin is more and more popular in many Asian countries. Those who are not fortunate to have this sort of face usually do whatever to make their faces smaller. Meanwhile, the stars considered beautiful in Hollywood now have various shapes of face, not have a certain standard as ones in Eastern showbiz. Many stars in the West, such as Angelina Jolie, Keira Knightley, own square faces, but they are… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Soccer-Ronaldo poised to return for Real against Man City

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo before the game Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Real Madrid's talismanic forward Cristiano Ronaldo is set to face Manchester City in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg after coming through training on Monday. The Portugal marksman has missed Real's last three games, including last week's goalless first leg in Manchester, with a hamstring strain. Ronaldo completed a full training session on Monday for the first time since being injured… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

Reagan mural defaced at local GOP office in North Carolina

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say someone broke into a local Republican Party office and defaced a wall mural of former President Ronald Reagan.A Goldsboro police report says the break-in was discovered Thursday.Police say a door was kicked in at the building housing the Wayne County GOP.The report says nothing appears to have been stolen, but the vandalism caused hundreds of dollars in damage.Police Maj. Dwayne Dean says investigators asking nearby businesses whether any… chat_bubble_outline Read More...

folder_open Assigned tags



Trends in Singapore

Trends in Indonesia

Trends in Philippin