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Greece backtracks on EU’s payments

Greece intends to keep repaying its debt, a government spokesman said, days after Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis warned it had run out of funds.

Gabriel Sakellaridis said Greece would maintain repayments to its EU-IMF creditors for as long as possible.

He also rejected the idea of possible capital controls that would restrict money transfers and access to savings.

Nigeria out of fuel crisis

Nigeria’s fuel wholesalers say they have reached a deal with the government that should soon see the end of the crippling fuel crisis.

The agreement was reached after talks with the finance minister, Danladi Fasali from the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association told the BBC.

The wholesalers had stopped distributing fuel after alleging the government owed them $1bn (£625m).

The shortage has had an impact on the country’s aviation and banking sectors.

8 bit big movie on Yuotube by David Dutton is a success

A team which recreates popular movies as 8-bit video games is attracting millions of views on YouTube. David Dutton from California makes the “old school” arcade-style films for film collective Cinefix.

His four minute version of 2001 Japanese anime movie Spirited Away has attracted nearly 1m views since it was uploaded last month. Other films to get an “old school” makeover include Titanic, The Avengers and Frozen.

Russian Air Force in exercise

Russia’s military forces have begun a large exercise involving around 250 aircraft and 12,000 service personnel, according to its defence ministry.

The ministry described the four-day drill as a “massive surprise inspection”, to check combat readiness. The tests began on the same day as Nato and some of its partners started an Arctic training exercise.

Russia’s actions in Ukraine and incursions into Western airspace have led to rising tensions with the West.

Shi'ite militias advance on Islamic State insurgents near Iraq's Ramadi

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Shi’ite Muslim militiamen and Iraqi army forces launched a counter-offensive against Islamic State insurgents near Ramadi on Saturday, a militia spokesman said, aiming to reverse potentially devastating gains by the jihadi militants.

The fall of Ramadi, the Anbar provincial capital, to Islamic State on May 17 could be a shattering blow to Baghdad’s weak central government. The Sunni Muslim jihadis now control most of Anbar and could threaten the western approaches to Baghdad, or even surge south into Iraq’s Shi’ite heartland.

UN, joined for security

An important international conference ended yesterday afternoon, at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose theme was the “Paths to a Security Council more inclusive and responsible”. The conference was focused on the reform of the UN Security Council and sponsored by Italy as focal point of the “Uniting for Consensus” group.

During the two working days, representatives from each single Member State have discussed about the reform of the Security Council of the United Nations, which is ongoing and mainly focuses on changes to the “veto” system, on the different categories of seats (permanent and non-permanent), on regional representation and on the size and the future of the Council itself.

The conference was a nodal time of deepening the different negotiating situations in place, and helped identify the different points of contact and friction between States, which – due to the changing scenarios in Russia and Eastern Europe – are increasing their interest in UN issues and their related “Consensus”.

Domenico Martinelli
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