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

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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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

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

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

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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Eastern Military District Troops Moved to Highest State of Combat Readiness

MOSCOW, September 12 (RIA Novosti) – Troops in Russia’s Eastern Military District are moved to the highest state of combat readiness as surprise drills begin in the region, the Russian Ministry of Defense informed on Friday. Continue reading

Massive Radiation Plume from Fukushima Heading Toward American West Coast According to a Scientific Report

According to scientific modeling systems used by the European Union, the radioactive ocean plume released by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster is likely to remain a massive clump of radioactivity until it slams into the West Coast of the United States in late 2017.

In 2013, the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center in Norway used computer models to project the movement and dispersion of this radioactive plume. Although the results of this study have been cited in official Chinese government documents, they have not been widely publicized. Continue reading

Putin promises new weapons to fend Western threats

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia will counter military moves by the U.S. and NATO with an array of new nuclear and conventional weapons, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday as the military successfully test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile from a nuclear submarine.

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.

The statement appeared to signal that the Russian leader is determined to pursue a tough course in the face of more Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis that has sent Russia-West relations plummeting to their lowest point since the Cold War. Continue reading

China Is Mass-Producing Islands To Extend Its Strategic Borders

A dramatic change is taking place in the South China Sea where, since the beginning of this year, Beijing has created at least five new islands by dredging rock and sand and pumping it into reefs to form new land. By doing so, the Chinese are sending a blunt message to its neighbors and the U.S.: Keep out.

As a BBC News special report notes, China’s island building is aimed at addressing what it views as a serious strategic deficit:

In 2012 the Communist Party reclassified the South China Sea as a “core national interest”, placing it alongside such sensitive issues as Taiwan and Tibet. It means China is prepared to fight to defend it.

This is confirmed by Prof Yan Xuetong of Beijing’s Tsinghua University— a pro-government academic well known for presenting the Communist Party’s view to the outside world.

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SCO Seeks Transport Hub in Mongolia, Eyes to Boost Market in India

MOSCOW, September 10 (RIA Novosti) – The Shanghai Group is expected to consider Mongolia as the next member of the organization, which is set to become a transport hub, the director of the Russia department of the SCO International Relations Institute said Wednesday.

“We hope that the SCO will consider the issue of accepting new member states, including Mongolia. New members will receive aid to develop security,” Feng Noyzun said at the International Information Agency Rossiya Segodnya press conference. Continue reading