1--Demilitarized zone proposed as Ukraine peace talks continue, CBC
"There clearly is an attempt to restrain our development with different means. There is an attempt to freeze the existing world order ... with one incontestable leader who wants to remain as such thinking he is allowed everything while others are only allowed what he allows and only in his interests," Putin said.
After returning from talks in Moscow, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the conflict in Eastern Ukraine cannot be solved by military means. (Michael Dalder/Reuters)
"This world order will never suit Russia But we are not going to wage war on anyone, we are going to cooperate with all," he said during a meeting with labour unions in the southern city of
Conflict must be resolved, not frozen: Hollande
France's president said a new peace deal could feature a broad demilitarized zone and greater autonomy for Ukraine's separatist eastern region. "These people have gone to war," Francois Hollande said. "It will be difficult to make them share a common life."...
Later, Poroshenko suggested the Ukrainian side could be flexible on certain issues. He said he was open to discussing the size and contours of a proposed buffer zone separating the combatants, and was prepared to put the question of federalization to a referendum.
2--Why Bank Of America Is Stumped: Despite "Lower Gas Prices" US Consumer Spending Has Plunged, zero hedge
It seems that consumers are saving some of the windfall cash from lower gasoline prices, with the personal savings rate increasing to 4.9% in December.
3--Rockets hit HQ deep in Ukraine-held territory, cast shadow over talks, Reuters
(attempt to derail Minsk)
4--Egypt to join Russia-led Eurasian free trade zone, RT
5--Anti-West sentiment in Russia hits all-time high, RT
The number of Russians who claimed their negative attitude to the United States rose to 81 percent compared to 44 percent one year ago. The number of those who perceived the current relations between the two nations as hostile rose from 4 percent to 42 percent in a year.
Some 71 percent of those polled claimed negative attitude to the European Union (up from 34 percent a year ago) and 24 percent said that the EU and Russian Federation were in hostile relations, compared to just 1 percent in January 2014.
Forty percent of citizens want the Russian authorities to improve the relations with Western nations, but 36 percent hold that Russia must further distance itself from the West.
Levada Center’s deputy director, Aleksey Grazhdankin, told reporters that the poll had revealed that the public attitude to Western nations in Russia is now at its worst over the past 25 years.
6--Demilitarized area, Kiev-Donetsk dialogue to be focus of Normandy 4 talks in Minsk - source, RT
The creation of a demilitarized zone in southeast Ukraine and the start of a peace dialogue between Kiev and the rebels are to top the agenda of the ‘Normandy Four’ talks in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, on Wednesday, a source told RIA Novosti.
During the talks, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Germany and France are expected to insist on Russia taking responsibility for controlling the establishment of the demilitarized zone in southeast Ukraine, the source added.
Meanwhile, Russia believes that it’s the OSCE that should be responsible for the establishment of the demilitarized zone.
Those proposals were voiced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande during talks with Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Friday, the source said.
7--Wretched US Journalism on Ukraine, Robert Parry
8--Stock Buybacks Are Killing the American Economy, atlantic
9--Outlook Darkens for Syriza and Greece, NC
10--Obama refuses to rule out arming Kiev following talks with Merkel, wsws
11--Greek revolt over austerity is long overdue, cnbc
When austerity began, Greece's sovereign debt was 110 percent of its GDP. Now it is 160 percent, grows larger by the day and can never be repaid.