Ukraine crisis: Nato plans east European bases to counter Russia

Nato is to deploy its forces at new bases in eastern Europe for the first time, in response to the Ukraine crisis and in an attempt to deter Vladimir Putin from causing trouble in the former Soviet Baltic republics, according to its secretary general.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the organisations’s summit in Cardiff next week would overcome divisions within the alliance and agree to new deployments on Russia’s borders – a move certain to trigger a strong reaction from Moscow.

He also outlined moves to boost Ukraine’s security, “modernise” its armed forces and help the country counter the threat from Russia. Continue reading

Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty

What US Constitution?

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.

In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path. Continue reading

China-Russia team challenges US-Japan militarization of space

President Xi Jinping of China said in April that China is capable of responding to the militarization of space by the United States and other countries. In the meantime, Xi is committed to allocating more budget so that the military has the power to counter threats posed by various space deployments.

Russia and China have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together in the area of satellite navigation. The countries plan to build the GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) and Beidou Navigation Satellite System in each other’s territory. Continue reading

Hungary seeks EU alliance to push closer ties with Russia

BUDAPEST: Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday said he would seek to form a political alliance to stop the European Union pulling away from Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

“The EU gets further away from Russia every day. That’s not only bad for Hungary, but for the entire EU,” Orban told Hungarian ambassadors in Budapest. Continue reading

Ten more countries that may default on debt after Argentina

Ecuador, Egypt, Pakistan, Venezuela, Belize, Cuba, Cyprus, Greece, Jamaica and Ukraine are all on the verge of a default, according to Moody’s ratings.

Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years after hopes for a midnight deal with holdout creditors were dashed, setting up stock and bond prices for declines on Thursday and raising chances a recession could worsen this year.

After a long legal battle with hedge funds that rejected Argentina’s debt restructuring following its 2002 default, Latin America’s third-biggest economy failed to strike a deal in time to meet a midnight deadline for a coupon payment on exchange bonds.

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Western sanctions push Russia, China closer; hurt dollar

TOKYO — By forcing Russia to conduct more business in the yuan and other Asian currencies, the U.S. may be speeding up the end of the petrodollar and giving China more prominence on the world stage.

As the West tightens financial sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, Russian businesses are reducing their exposure to the dollar to minimize the damage from still tougher punishments. Many of these businesses have turned to the Hong Kong dollar as an alternative to the greenback.

Hong Kong harbor

The Hong Kong dollar is an ideal safe haven for Russian companies looking to park their cash. Because the currency is pegged to the greenback, the foreign-exchange risk of holding Hong Kong dollars is no different from owning the U.S. currency. But because Hong Kong is part of China, funds held in the Hong Kong dollar are unlikely to be affected, even if the U.S. and Europe introduce tougher sanctions against Russia, such as asset freeze.

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PLA to set up new ‘Aerospace Force’ branch

The People’s Liberation Army is expediting plans to set up a new “Aerospace Force” which is expected to be capable of taking on the United States military in emergency situations, according to a report from Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun.

The Aerospace Force will be the fifth service branch under the PLA along with its Ground Force, Navy, Air Force and Second Artillery Corps, the report said, adding that it will also lead to the creation of an Aerospace Office under the Central Military Commission. Continue reading

Chinese military planes enter Taiwan’s airspace: Taipei

Taipei: Two Chinese military planes entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on August 25, island Defence Minister Yen Ming said.

“We responded immediately, asking them to leave,” Mr Yen said in an interview in Taipei. Taiwan dispatched fighter jets to intercept the surveillance aircraft, the Taipei-based Central News Agency reported yesterday. Continue reading

Romania seeks NATO permanent military presence

A NATO permanent military base installed on the Romanian territory is a strategic objective that Romania will discuss at next week’s military bloc’s summit in Wales, Romanian PM Victor Ponta has disclosed today.

The objective is unanimously supported by all the state institutions, Ponta pointed out. “This is one of Romania’s fundamental objectives and it is a position which has been established by all the state institutions, namely Romania’s desire to have a NATO permanent military presence on its territory” the head of government said. Continue reading

Strategic alliance with India, Myanmar to exploit sea resources mooted

C Raja Mohan, who is the head of strategic studies and distinguished fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, recently at a lecture in Dhaka had mooted the idea to form a trilateral group.

On Tuesday at a roundtable on ‘blue economy’, the idea also came up from the private sector who believed Bangladesh should have a “strategic partnership alliance” with India and Myanmar to exploit sea resources.

The suggestion came up as Bangladesh resolved the maritime dispute with the two neighbours “peacefully”.

Dhaka established its sovereign rights on more than 118,000 sq kms of territorial sea, 200 nautical miles (NM) of exclusive economic zone and 354 NM continental shelves from the Chittagong coast through international courts. Continue reading

Hypersonic Weapon Explodes Seconds Into Test

A hypersonic weapon being developed by the US military was destroyed four seconds after launch following a malfunction, the Pentagon has said.

Controllers aborted the test after detecting a problem as a rocket carried the weapon from a test range in Alaska , the Department of Defense said.

Witnesses said they saw the rocket lift off then explode.  Continue reading

China’s new satellite is said to spot pot fields, smuggler routes

China has poured billions of dollars into building a nationwide surveillance network – by one 2013 estimate, the country had 30 million surveillance cameras in parks, on highways and even in taxis.

Now, there’s one more very powerful eye in the sky allowing authorities to keep tabs on things: the Gaofen-1 satellite, which is capturing high-resolution images from 300 miles above the Earth.

Analyses of images captured by Gaofen-1 have enabled Chinese police to locate fields of opium poppy and marijuana in northern China and uncover dozens of routes used by smugglers at the border with North Korea and along the frontier in the restive Xinjiang region, the official New China News Agency reported Monday. Continue reading

10 George Orwell Quotes That Predicted Life In 2014 America

George Orwell ranks among the most profound social critics of the modern era. Some of his quotations, more than a half a century old, show the depth of understanding an enlightened mind can have about the future.

2)  “All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”

Examining the nightly news in the run up to almost any military intervention will find scores of talking heads crying for blood to flow in the streets of some city the name of which they just learned to pronounce. Once the bullets start flying, those that clamored for war will still be safely on set bringing you up-to-the-minute coverage of the carnage while their stock in Raytheon climbs. Continue reading

All Accusations of Russia’s Invasion Into Ukraine Part of Information War – Lavrov

MOSCOW, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – All accusations of Russia’s attempts to escalate the crisis in Ukraine, circulating in Western media, are blatant lies and a part of an information war, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. Continue reading

Russia Prepares for War

“We have to strike Poland and the Baltic States, where there are NATO rockets and aircraft. Since we cannot allow one plane to take off and strike Russia – we will have to strike first – half an hour before takeoff. And to be sure, we will be carpet bombing.  America is not a threat, but the small midget states of Europe will cease to exist. They will be wiped out. Then NATO will have to beg us for negotiations. Otherwise we will give them again a May ’45.”
– Vladimir Zhirinovsky, August 2014 (Television interview,
8.08.2014.)

“In my book I wrote, more than ten years ago, that 2015 and this year is the break-point of Atlantic civilization.”
– Dr. Victor Kulish, 12 July 2014, author of Hierarchic Electrodynamics and Free Electron Lasers

Last month the grand old man of Russian politics, Yevgeny Primakov, made some rather telling statements during an interview for Russia Beyond the Headlines. Of course, Primakov justified Russia’s annexation of Crimea, but admitted that any insertion of Russian troops into southeast Ukraine would prove to be a “dead end.” According to Primakov such a move would effectively curtail trends which Russia is relying on for future success.

What are these “trends”?

Primakov did not directly say, but a short list might read as follows:  Germany’s gradual drift into Moscow’s orbit, the establishment of Russian military bases in the Caribbean, the rise of Chinese military power in the Pacific, and the ongoing decline of the U.S. economy. Russia stands to gain from each of these “trends.” Even if Moscow is eager to smash Ukraine’s independence movement, it is best to wait. Why disrupt an otherwise favorable situation, especially as the United States continues to weaken? Continue reading