Blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng has now released a statement concerning his allegations that New York University is severing relations with him to curry favor with China’s oppressive Communist government and assure completion of a gleaming portal campus in Shanghai.
The statement, obtained Sunday night by The Daily Caller, is a humdinger. In addition to squarely accusing NYU of caving to Chinese pressure, the self-taught lawyer and famed human rights activist charges that a large number of American academics and academic institutions have become wrapped in the tentacles of China’s communist government.
“The work of the Chinese Communists within academic circles in the United States is far greater than what people imagine, and some scholars have no option but to hold themselves back,” Chen said. “Academic independence and academic freedom in the United States are being greatly threatened by a totalitarian regime.” Continue reading
JERUSALEM — Defying threats of war emanating from Egypt, Ethiopia’s parliament has endorsed an agreement with five other African countries refuting Egypt’s claim to near-exclusive rights to the waters of the Nile River.
The vote last Thursday was approved unanimously by the 547-member legislature after Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said that Egypt’s leaders would not go to war unless they “go mad.” Continue reading
The Group of Eight (G8) summits have traditionally been seen more for their vanity than substance, and the one that opens today (June 17) in Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, will not be an exception. The members of this privileged club—the United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Germany, Japan, Italy and Russia—see no particular need to overcome their differences in managing the world’s slow-burning crises, from the economic slowdown to Syria. Besides the photo-ops, the main content of these tightly scripted get-togethers is supposed to be generated in the back rooms, and the most private of those is this time reserved for the meeting between US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, which should have happened a year ago, had Putin not opted to skip the May 2012 G8 summit in Camp David. The key figures in the Obama administration have far outdone their Russian counterparts in preparing an agenda for this tete-a-tete but succeeded only in downplaying the criticism of Putin’s persecution of political dissent, while no breakthrough in arms control is in the making (Kommersant-FM, June 14). Expectations that Russia could show some flexibility on Syria are arrested by the long-postponed announcement in Washington on providing military aid to the rebels. And what little understanding there was on issues looming over the wider Middle East is shattered by Putin’s statement that he has “no doubt that Iran is compliant with the rules” in executing its nuclear program (Gazeta.ru, Moscow echo, June 14; Forbes.ru, June 12). Continue reading
Under details of the plans obtained by The Associated Press, women could start training as Army Rangers by mid-2015 and as Navy SEALs a year later.
The military services have mapped out a schedule that also will include reviewing and possibly changing the physical and mental standards that men and women will have to meet in order to quality for certain infantry, armor, commando and other front-line positions across the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Under the plans to be introduced Tuesday, there would be one common standard for men and women for each job.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reviewed the plans and has ordered the services to move ahead. Continue reading
Despite massive spending on Western weapons, the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf are “unable to secure themselves from any external threat” — meaning Iran — and are running up huge public and foreign debt, a Gulf think tank says.
Omar al-Shehabi, director of the Gulf Center for Development Policies in Kuwait, said that even though the defense expenditure of the six Gulf Cooperation Council states is the highest in the world, exceeding the combined military spending of Israel and Britain, they still have to “rely on Western countries to provide military protection and security.” Continue reading
Iran-watchers warn against thinking new Iranian president will tamp down regime’s nuclear ambitions
Former government officials and experts say that newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rowhani is not the moderate he appears to be.
Cleric Rowhani is already being hailed in the media as a progressive reformer. He surprised Iran observers across the globe on Saturday by securing a definitive win in the country’s closely watched election.
He was quickly dubbed a moderate maverick who could bring Tehran closer to reticent Western leaders who remain concerned about Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program.
Yet Rowhani, who served for years as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, is expected to present a friendly face to the world as Tehran’s military leaders quietly fulfill their nuclear ambitions, experts said. Continue reading
Three top European defence firms called Sunday on governments to launch a program to manufacture drones that European countries are currently having to buy from Israel or the United States. Continue reading
Washington’s decision to arm Syria’s Sunni Muslim rebels has plunged America into the great Sunni-Shia conflict of the Islamic Middle East, entering a struggle that now dwarfs the Arab revolutions which overthrew dictatorships across the region.
For the first time, all of America’s ‘friends’ in the region are Sunni Muslims and all of its enemies are Shiites. Breaking all President Barack Obama’s rules of disengagement, the US is now fully engaged on the side of armed groups which include the most extreme Sunni Islamist movements in the Middle East. Continue reading
The FDA is warning that implanted medical devices, such as pacemakers and defibrillators, are often connected to networks that are vulnerable to cyber attacks that could shut down or manipulate the machinery. Continue reading
Among the many projects of international cooperation which Italy is currently involved seems it is appropriate to dwell on what Eurogendfor, or the European Gendarmerie Force. This is an initiative that involves in addition to our other 5 EU countries: France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Romania, but subsequently acceded to this project.
The purpose of the EGF to strengthen the management capacity of the future international crises and, more importantly, contribute to the common defense and security policy and may in all respects be considered a tool integrated approach to conduct police missions in several theaters, including those destabilized, in support of the European Union, NATO, the UN or any coalitions to create PURPOSE. Continue reading
AFP – Saudi Arabia plans to supply the Syrian opposition with anti-aircraft missiles to counter President Bashar al-Assad’s air force, German news weekly Der Spiegel reported Sunday.
The article, citing a classified report received by the German foreign intelligence service and the German government last week, said Riyadh was looking at sending European-made Mistral-class MANPADS, or man-portable air-defence systems. Continue reading
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said he had cut all diplomatic ties with Damascus on Saturday and called for a no-fly zone over Syria, pitching the most populous Arab state firmly against President Bashar al-Assad.
Addressing a rally called by Sunni Muslim clerics in Cairo, the Sunni Islamist head of state said: “We decided today to entirely break off relations with Syria and with the current Syrian regime.” Continue reading