Brazil is building five submarines to patrol its massive coast, including one powered by an atomic reactor that would put it in the small club of countries with a nuclear sub. The new submarines aim to protect that resource, said the navy official coordinating the $10-billion project, Gilberto Max Roffe Hirshfeld. "Brazil has riches in its waters. The new submarines, which will replace Brazil's aging fleet of five conventional subs, are being built at a sprawling 540,000-square-meter (135-acre) complex in Itaguai, just south of Rio de Janeiro.
Vladimir Putin is proving a hard man to snub. US-orchestrated efforts to isolate Russia over the Ukraine crisis saw Moscow ejected from the G8 and the summit shaved to a G7 in Brussels starting Wednesday. But when world leaders gather in France Friday to honour soldiers who waded ashore under Nazi fire on D-Day, Putin will be conspicuous by his presence. And leaders of the key European triumvirate of France, Britain and Germany will not be fighting Putin on the beaches -– they will be meeting him one-on-one.
Arabs believe the Obama administration has little commitment to a Palestinian state, should not intervene militarily in Syria and mostly failed to support Egypt's interim leaders, a new poll released Tuesday showed. Five years after President Barack Obama's landmark speech in Cairo aimed at re-setting ties with the Arab world, the poll revealed that while support for Obama, which had fallen in recent years, is on the rise again among most Arabs it still remains below an average of 50 percent. Zogby Research Services polled about 7,000 people across six nations as well as the Palestinian territories in May for its annual survey, focusing on some of the most pressing issues facing the Arab world in 2014, including the negotiations to rein in Iran's nuclear program, which most broadly supported. Just weeks after the latest US effort to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed, the poll found most Arabs "believe that the United States is not even-handed in its approach to Israeli-Palestinian peace-making."
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to announce his candidature for presidential elections in August despite deepening concern over his polarising rule. Already in his third term as prime minister -- the maximum permitted under his Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s rules -- Erdogan has made no secret of his ambition to run for president. Don't make me say it," deputy prime minister Bulent Arinc told journalists on Sunday. But while a few other names have circulated for the presidency -- including deputy prime ministers Ali Babacan and Besir Atalay, and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan -- all are Erdogan loyalists.
Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) - Isolated in the region and facing a major economic crisis in Gaza, Hamas ceded power to gain breathing space and recuperate, and will remain in the background politically, analysts said. Gaza's Hamas government stepped down on Monday after a new unity government took oath in Ramallah, the first fruits of a surprise April deal between the Islamist movement and the Western-backed PLO, which is dominated by the rival Fatah faction. The resignation ends Hamas' seven-year tenure of political authority in the besieged Strip, an experience that ultimately weakened the movement. "Hamas gave in, either from a genuine desire for reconciliation or from a lack of options, and it still needs time to repair the damage sustained from being in power," said Adnan Abu Amer, politics professor at Gaza's Ummah University.