EU on Moon, Mars Soon?

Stratfor, February 5

“[T]he head of the European Space Agency (esa) program for long-term exploration of the solar system said on February 3 that the esa intends to launch a manned mission to Mars. The proposed program—which will cost $1.9 billion over the next five years—will employ a ‘stepping stone’ approach incorporating robotic exploration and a manned mission to the moon in 2024. The esa expects to have a man on Mars in 30 years.”

Palestine Wants in EU, February 9

Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath hopes that Palestine could eventually become a member of the EU. “Mr. Shaath was reacting to a suggestion by German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer that the EU should have a free-trade zone with the whole of the Mediterranean area.” This has been interpreted as a dangling carrot to reignite the peace process—something Europe would love to initiate.