Three Blocs

BERLIN (Own report) – The German government is proposing a new industrial strategy to shield German companies from takeovers by foreign corporations, while facilitating mergers of large German and EU corporations. The “National Industrial Strategy 2030” presented yesterday, by Germany’s Minister of the Economy Peter Altmaier intends to enable the German industry to prevail in global competition against Chinese, as well as, US corporations. So-called “national” or “European champions” are needed, even if they do not comply with current anti-trust regulations. This has been a proposal in Berlin for quite awhile. Measures are needed “to secure” or “regain Germany’s and the European Union’s economic and technological leadership.” This is also in response to a protectionist race to reindustrialize the USA and the EU, which was launched under Barack Obama and is now being accelerated by the Trump administration.

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Seeking to outsmart US, China races ahead on artificial intelligence

Chinese students work on the Ares, a humanoid bipedal robot designed by them with funding from a Shanghai investment company, displayed during the World Robot Conference in Beijing on Oct. 21, 2016. China’s goal is to transform the country into a global leader in artificial intelligence in just over a decade. (Ng Han Guan AP)

 

When a Google computer program beat the world’s best player of an ancient Chinese board game last May, it might have seemed like an incremental milestone.

But for some, the success of the program known as AlphaGo marked more than a man vs. machine clash. It set up a broader race between China and the United States over artificial intelligence, a competition that could mold the future of humankind just as the widespread arrival of electricity did in the last century.

The Go tournament took place in Wuzhen, a city of canals that is more than 1,300 years old, a fitting venue for a competition involving the strategy board game Go that has been played for several thousand years. Go is renowned for its complexity, and it is said that there are more variations to the game than there are atoms in the universe.

Perhaps it was a coincidence of timing, but the AlphaGo competition kicked off events that demonstrated China’s resolve to close the gap with — and quickly surpass — the United States in deploying artificial intelligence, or AI. Goals Chinese authorities announced last July are ambitious: Reach parity with the United States by 2020, achieve major breakthroughs by 2025, and “occupy the commanding heights of AI technology by 2030” as the world’s undisputed leader.

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Europe Moves to Ban Internal Combustion

The Independent reports that France will ban gasoline-powered vehicles by 2040. The Independent is foolish enough to think that this is good news:

France plans to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040, the country’s new environment minister has announced.

Nicolas Hulot made the announcement as he unveiled a series of measures as part of newly elected President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to make the country carbon neutral by 2050. Continue reading

Russia in 2030

It has become increasingly clear that Russia is on the inexorable path toward restoring its territory on the old map of the USSR. Whether Moscow will be able to achieve such a grandiose scheme to recreate another Soviet Union-size Rodina has been traditionally believed to depend on the strength and willingness of NATO and Europe to counter such Russian ambition. The assumption is that if the counterthrusts from the West are robust enough, Moscow will fail in its attempt, otherwise Russia’s territorial map will look like the Soviet Union in 2030.

This dichotomy of thrust and counterthrust by Russia on the one side and the West on the other is for the most part inadequate largely because there is also another crucial factor in deciding the outcome of Russia’s territorial expansion, namely, China and its own territorial ambition that goes against Russia’s objectives in much of Central and East Asia. Continue reading

Germany, France to Develop New Battle Tank to Catch Up With Russia’s Armata

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Germany and France are now preparing to jointly develop a new main battle tank, the Leopard 3, to replace its ageing Leopard 2 military vehicle by around 2030, which would be able to compete with Russia’s next-generation Armata tank, recently showcased at the Victory Day parade commemorating the end of World War Two in Moscow.

The main reason for the modernization is believed to be the Leopard 2 service life, which is set to expire by 2030.

The German media, however, suggest that the real reason is the recently-presented analysis by Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) on Russia’s reinforced combat strength and its recently showcased T-14 Armata tanks, which were presented during the country’s Victory Parade in Moscow on May 9. Continue reading

US plans for hypersonic robot spy plane revealed

Lockheed Martin has begun work on a successor to the supersonic Blackbird SR-71 spy plane.

The unmanned SR-72 will use an engine that combines a turbine and a ramjet to reach its top speed of Mach 6 – about 3,600mph (5,800km/h). Continue reading

Report: Saudi Arabia ‘could be a net oil importer by 2030′

WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia could end up becoming an importer of crude
oil, a report said.

Bright lights of Riyadh: Power demands in the kingdom
are rising by eight percent per year. /Reuters

 

Citigroup said Saudi Arabia was rapidly depleting its oil reserves,
particularly through electricity generation. Continue reading