Ecuador and China to strengthen military cooperation

During a press conference held in Beijing on Sept. 15, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, the defense minister of Ecuador, told the Madrid-based Agencia EFE that China and Ecuador had agreed to strengthen military cooperation. Continue reading

Russians start $3bn mine in Zimbabwe

The good news for Zimbabwe is that Russian investors have started a new $3 billion (R33bn) platinum mine about 50km north-west of Harare. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe turned the first sod yesterday.

The bad news for Zimbabwe is that a South African mining firm, which believed it had a licence to extract platinum nearby, and invested millions prospecting and producing a feasibility study, and was then kicked off its claim, last week won an order to seize all Zimbabwe’s diamonds sold in Antwerp over the past 10 days.

Lavrov and Mugabe launched the joint venture to develop the Zimbabwean deposit of platinum group metals in the Darwendale district. The mine was targeting production of 250 000 ounces annually within three years, the Zimbabwean ministry of mines said. Continue reading

Russia plans state controls in case of internet crisis

Russia is making plans to ensure state control over the country’s internet traffic in a national emergency, Russian media report.

War or an Arab Spring-style uprising would class as such an emergency.

Plans for boosting cyber security are reported to be under discussion in Russia’s Security Council. They include a back-up in case Russia is cut off from the internet, Vedomosti news says.

Russia currently relies heavily on foreign hosting of websites. Continue reading

World must prepare for ‘Armageddon’-style cyber attack, warns US regulator

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, says it is a “matter of time” before there is a systemic attack on the global financial system.

The world must prepare for an “Armageddon”-style cyber attack, one of America’s most influential regulators has warned.

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, said it was a “matter of time” before there is a major cyber attack on the global financial system, and that the public needs to invest heavily in preventing disaster now, or pay an even higher price later on.

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The Coming Taiwan Independence Surge

The fact that the occupation of the Taiwan legislature by student activists earlier this spring was woefully under-reported, is disappointing for a number of reasons. Primarily, the world missed an opportunity to see the changes in social and political identities sweeping across the island nation. These generational changes that are taking place in Taiwan, along with external factors such as China’s treatment of Hong Kong and its increasing bellicosity in its littoral areas, are going to reshape local politics in a way that suggests in the not-too-distant future, there is going to be a powerful new impetus for independence in Taiwan.

This Taiwanese identity is unlike that of its forbearers. The young lack the hatred over the political killings, and colonial economic exploitation by the KMT authoritarian regime that drove their grandparents’ generation. Nor are they politically timid and quiet like their parents. Their identity, still being fleshed out, is inclusive, absorbing KMT imagery, such as the ROC flag, but assigning new home-grown meanings to it. It includes the KMT as a political party but rejects all of its China-related territorial and cultural claims. At the heart of this identity, as the Sunflower Movement shows, is an immense reverence for Taiwan’s democracy, with which they grew up. Continue reading

WHO: 21,000 Ebola cases by November if no changes

LONDON (AP) — New estimates from the World Health Organization warn the number of Ebola cases could hit 21,000 in six weeks unless efforts to curb the outbreak are ramped up.

Since the first cases were reported six months ago, the tally of cases in West Africa has reached an estimated 5,800 illnesses. WHO officials say cases are continuing to increase exponentially and Ebola could sicken people for years to come without better control measures.

In recent weeks, health officials worldwide have stepped up efforts to provide aid but the virus is still spreading. There aren’t enough hospital beds, health workers or even soap and water in the hardest-hit West African countries: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Continue reading

Polish defence firms ready to sell arms to Ukraine – Polish minister

WARSAW, Sept 22 (Reuters) – NATO member Poland is ready to sell arms to Ukraine if there is demand, Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said on Monday.

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Canada Ratifies Controversial Chinese Investment Treaty

Did Canada just sell out a huge chunk of its sovereignty?

Canada ratified a radical new trade agreement with China on September 12. According to critics, it puts both Canada’s resources and its ability to pass laws into the hands of a secret tribunal dominated by foreign judges.

Canadian International Trade Minister Ed Fast hailed the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (fipa) as a step in the right direction for Canada: “Investment agreements provide the protection and the confidence Canadian investors need to expand, grow and succeed abroad. We remain committed to opening new markets around the world for Canadian companies, including in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region,” Fast said. “This fipa will create jobs and economic opportunities for Canadians in every region of the country.”

On the surface, this agreement looks great. Both countries are supposed to benefit. But in reality, Canada just gave away part of its sovereignty for nothing in return. Continue reading

Chinese destroyer docks in Iran, first such visit

Adm. Hossein Azad, naval base chief in the southern port of Bandar Abbas, said the four-day visit that began Saturday saw the two navies sharing expertise in the field of marine rescue.

“On the last day of their visit while leaving Iran, the Chinese warships will stage a joint drill in line with mutual collaboration, and exchange of marine and technical information particularly in the field of aid and rescue,” said Azad. Continue reading

Opening Moscow’s Bag of Political and Strategic Tricks

Political correctness was invented by Marxists to destroy Western society from inside…. And in Russia, there is no political correctness at all! The reason is that Marxists do not need to undermine the Russian society from the inside, because it is already Marxist.

– Konstantin Preobrazhensky, “How the West Was Fooled by Vladimir Putin”

Then there is Russia’s military potential. With regard to major opponents, the West seriously underestimated its enemies twice during the last century: first in 1939 when the Allies believed they had boxed in Nazi Germany with their “guarantee” to Poland; and again, with sanctions on Japan in 1941. In the first instance Germany smashed Poland and crushed France. In the second instance, Japan destroyed the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, defeated the U.S. forces in the Philippines and captured the British forces in Singapore.

Some may argue that Russians are not as capable as Germans and Japanese. After all, Russia is a backward country; the Russian economy stinks; Russian equipment is obsolete and their people are demoralized. Even more egregious, Russian commanders are political stooges. But wait! Russia put the first man into space. Russia launched the first satellite. Russia built the first operational version of the hydrogen bomb. Let’s not make the mistake of underestimating Russia.

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ISIL hit U.S. F-15 with anti-aircaft batteries captured from Iraq

Western diplomatic sources said ISIL struck at least one U.S. aircraft. They said an F-15 fighter-jet was hit by ISIL fire in late August that damaged the hydraulic system and forced the aircraft to land in neighboring Turkey.

Officials did not identify the anti-aircraft batteries employed by ISIL, according to a report by Middle East Newsline. But they acknowledged that most of the stolen Iraqi military equipment used by ISIL was of U.S. origin, including artillery, armored personnel carriers and combat vehicles. Continue reading

Pope says world’s many conflicts amount to piecemeal World War Three

REDIPUGLIA Italy (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Saturday the spate of conflicts around the globe today were effectively a “piecemeal” Third World War, condemning the arms trade and “plotters of terrorism” sowing death and destruction.

“Humanity needs to weep and this is the time to weep,” Francis said in the homily of a Mass during a visit to Italy’s largest war memorial, a large, Fascist-era monument where more than 100,000 soldiers who died in World War One are buried. Continue reading

Leadership In and With Europe

BERLIN (Own report) – Germany should play “a more important global role” and assume a stronger “leadership in and with Europe,” according to a German government advisor’s assessment of a PR discussion of foreign policy, initiated by the German Foreign Ministry. According to the foreign minister, the discussion, in the framework of the project “Review 2014,” should help to close the “glaring gap” between the Berlin establishment’s global policy orientation and the population’s “willingness” to condone, for example, military missions. Prepared and conducted by the foreign ministry’s Policy Planning Staff, This project is part of a campaign for a more aggressive German global policy. The German President launched this campaign with a speech in celebration of the 2013 German national holiday. According to the assessment of the “Review 2014,” the discussion seems to indicate a consensus that “Germany, alone, is too insignificant to affect changes in global policy.” Hence, Germany needs the EU. “Europe possesses the political clout necessary for Germany to be able to effectively pursue its interests.” In the future, Germany’s “partnership with the USA” must be on an “equal footing.”

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Grave setbacks for Obama’s strategy: Turkey backs out of US-led war on IS. Germany, UK say no to air campaign

The Turkish government inflicted a stunning blow to President Barack Obama’s strategy for a broad US-led coalition for tackling and defeating the Islamic State, Thursday, Sept. 11 – just hours after the plan was unveiled in Washington. One of the 11 Sunni Muslim nations invited to Jeddah by US Secretary John Kerry Thursday to join the coalition’s establishment, Turkey announced instead that it wants no part in the US strategy for destroying IS.

In his speech Wednesday night, President Obama specifically named Turkey as one of the “friends and allies” who would contribute troops to the mission. Continue reading

Russian President Vladimir Putin promises new weapons will outstrip Western defence technology

Putin wants ‘new weapons’ to defy west

 

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin has promised his military commanders a new array of weapons — from intercontinental nuclear missiles to aircraft and submarines — to counter what he calls ‘growing Western aggression’.

Mr Putin’s statement came as the military successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile launched from a nuclear submarine yesterday.\Putin accused the West of using the crisis in Ukraine to reinvigorate NATO, warning that Moscow will ponder a response to the alliance’s decision to create a rapid-reaction “spearhead” force to protect Eastern Europe.

His comments came as Russia’s relations with the West have plunged to their lowest point since the Cold War due to Russia’s role in the crisis in Ukraine. They appear to show that the Russian leader is determined to pursue a tough course in the face of more Western sanctions.

“We have warned many times that we would have to take corresponding countermeasures to ensure our security,” Putin said, adding that he would now take personal charge of the government commission overseeing military industries.

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