How a World Order Ends

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And What Comes in Its Wake

A stable world order is a rare thing. When one does arise, it tends to come after a great convulsion that creates both the conditions and the desire for something new. It requires a stable distribution of power and broad acceptance of the rules that govern the conduct of international relations. It also needs skillful statecraft, since an order is made, not born. And no matter how ripe the starting conditions or strong the initial desire, maintaining it demands creative diplomacy, functioning institutions, and effective action to adjust it when circumstances change and buttress it when challenges come. Continue reading

All or Nothing

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BERLIN/LONDON/PARIS/ROME (Own report) – London’s government crisis escalated yesterday under the pressure of Berlin and the EU’s unaccomplishable Brexit requirements. Prime Minster Theresa May has barely survived a vote of confidence, which was ultimately triggered by the so-called backstop. Brussels insists on a regulation, which could indefinitely subjugate Great Britain to a customs union, without an option for a unilateral withdrawal and erect a trade border between two areas of the United Kingdom. These provisions are in Germany’s interests, but they will plunge Great Britain into chaos. The current government crisis in France is largely due to the austerity programs imposed by Berlin on Paris – while refusing to make any concessions at the EU level. In France and Great Britain, the extreme right is profiting, like in Italy, where Berlin’s drastic austerity dictates, have already crushed the traditional political establishment.

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Wave of bomb threats prompts hundreds of evacuations in four countries

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Police agencies in the United States and Canada said that most of the threats were emailed, but some were phoned in by unknown individuals. They warned that devices containing explosive compounds such as tetryl or trinitrotoluene would be detonated unless funds were deposited into an international account using the virtual currency bitcoin. The messages also warned that the alleged devices would be detonated if “any police activity or unusual behavior” were detected. A deadline of one business day was given to deposit the funds. Throughout the day, police agencies across three continents issued notices cautioning people to remain aware of their surroundings and report suspicious messages or behavior. It was eventually determined that virtually all bomb threats were not credible. Continue reading

Merkel Protégé Suggests Naval Blockade of Russian Vessels

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(Photo Credit: Sandro Halank via Creative Commons 3.0)

 

G7 foreign ministers release their own statement of condemnation against the Kremlin.

In an interview with Reuters today, German politician Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the Christian Democratic Union leadership front-runner and protege of Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the European Union and U.S. should consider a full blockade of all Russian vessels at their ports in response to the Kerch Strait incident. Continue reading

MI6 Scrambling To Stop Trump From Releasing Classified Docs In Russia Probe

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Photo: Flickr

 

The UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation, according to The Telegraph, stating that any disclosure would “undermine intelligence gathering if he releases pages of an FBI application to wiretap one of his former campaign advisers.”

Trump’s allies, however, are fighting back – demanding transparency and suggesting that the UK wouldn’t want the documents withheld unless it had something to hide. 

The Telegraph has talked to more than a dozen UK and US officials, including in American intelligence, who have revealed details about the row. 

British spy chiefs have “genuine concern” about sources being exposed if classified parts of the wiretap request were made public, according to figures familiar with discussions.  Continue reading

A ‘Big Step Forward’ for Europe’s Vision of a Combined Military

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A Bundeswehr soldier stands next to his machine gun at the airport near the Gao base in northern Mali. (Getty Images)

 

A ‘Big Step Forward’ for Europe’s Vision of a Combined Military

Defense ministers and foreign ministers from 25 European Union member nations took a “big step forward” on November 19 in the direction of a European military, initiating 17 new European defense projects, including a shared school for spies.

The projects on the official list are from the latest November 19 agreement and the previous March 6 agreement, all facilitated under Europe’s Permanent Structured Cooperation pact, which is a framework for increased military cooperation and development among EU member states. Continue reading

Russia ‘fires at Ukraine ships and captures three vessels’ amid rising tensions off Crimea

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A Russian cargo ship earlier blocked Ukraine’s boats from entering the Sea of Azov

 

The Ukrainian president calls for emergency session of his war cabinet after at least two sailors are injured in the strikes.

Ukraine says Russia has opened fire on its ships in the Black Sea and captured three vessels.

Two sailors have been wounded after two artillery boats were hit in the strikes, the Ukrainian navy said. Continue reading

Secession From The European Union

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British Prime Minister Theresa May looks to passing by heads of government after the family photo at the informal EU summit in Salzburg, Austria, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018.

 

The member states of the European Union seem unaware of the clouds that are gathering above their heads. They have identified the most serious problems of the EU, but are treating them with nonchalance, and fail to understand what the British secession (Brexit) implies. They are slowly sinking into a crisis which may only be resolved by violence.

The origin of the problem

During the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the members of the European Community accepted to bow to the decisions of the United States and to integrate the states of Central Europe, even though these states did not correspond in any way to the logical criteria of adhesion. With this momentum, they adopted the Maastricht Treaty, which transformed the European project of economic coordination between European States into that of a supra-national State. The idea was to create a vast political bloc which, under the military protection of the United States, was intended to engage with the USA on the road to prosperity. Continue reading

Cyprus and Greece to create EU spy academy

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Athens: new academy to provide ‘training in intelligence disciplines’ (Photo: Barcex)

 

EU defence and foreign ministers have agreed to create a joint intelligence training school and to develop new hardware, including drones and electronic warfare technology, as part of plans for what could one day be an “EU army”.

The “Joint EU Intelligence School” will “provide education and training in intelligence disciplines and other specific fields to EU member states intelligence personnel”, the EU Council said in a press release after ministers met in Brussels on Monday (19 November).

The project is to be led by Cyprus and Greece – two traditionally Russia-friendly states – at a time of heightened tension over Russian espionage operations in Europe and the Western Balkans, including assassination attempts in the UK and in Montenegro.

The EU foreign service already has a joint intelligence capability called IntCen. Continue reading

Mayday! British PM’s Brexit Deal on Verge of Collapse

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(Photo Credit: Office of President of Estonia)

 

Two Cabinet secretaries have resigned and long knives have come out for Theresa May.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is on the political brink tonight after presenting her government’s draft withdrawal agreement with the European Union that has been almost universally panned, despite her assertion it is the best deal that can be had. Continue reading

World’s first ‘Quantum’ compass will supersede GPS

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The MoD has been investing enormous amounts of money into constructing independent navigation devices, particularly for use on its nuclear submarines.

 

After millions of pounds of funding from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) under the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme, British scientists have constructed what they claim to be humanity’s first quantum ‘compass,’ a navigational device independent of the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS).

The instrument, built by scientists at the Imperial College in London, England, is claimed to be able to ascertain the exact location of anything on Earth without relying on satellites, as does the GPS network. Continue reading

Chinese Military Scientists Have Infiltrated “Five Eyes” Western Universities

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Approximately 2,500 researchers from Chinese military universities have infiltrated Western universities over the past decade, focusing on the so-called “Five Eyes” group of countries, reports the Financial Times, citing a new report from Australian government-funded think tank, the Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI).

According to the report, many of the Chinese researchers failed to disclose their military affiliations, while publishing a large volume of joint papers with Western scientists which can help Beijing’s technological ambitions.  Continue reading

The EU’s Game of Chicken

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LONDON/BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Own report) – The EU’s heads of states and governments were again unable to make progress in the Brexit negotiations last Wednesday, provoking strong criticism from the German business community. Their only proposal was to prolong the transitional period another year, which is out of the question for London, because this would cost the UK additional billions of pounds. The EU is “too inflexible” in the Brexit negotiations, criticized the head economist of Commerzbank. It is a “stickler for principles,” even though it has itself “stretched the rules to the point of becoming unrecognizable” – such as those of the currency union. Commentaries assume that Brussels seeks to set a deterrent example. The EU sees itself “too unattractive,” to be able to prevent other countries from leaving by other means. At the same time, Brussels is running the risk of the Brexit negotiations collapsing, which would cause serious losses, particularly to German industry. Experts do not rule out German export losses in the double-digit billions.

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New Evidence Of Chinese Spy Hardware Found By Ex-Mossad Investigators; Super Micro Shares Plunge

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A major US telecommunications company found “manipulated” hardware from Super Micro Computer Inc. in its network in August – bolstering claims in a Bloomberg report last week alleging that China installed bugging devices on hardware bought by Apple, Amazon and a host of other companies.

According to a new report by Bloomberg, the unnamed telecom company hired former Israeli Intelligence Corps security expert Yossi Appleboum, now of Maryland-based Sepio Systems, who provided “documents, analysis and other evidence of the discovery” following last week’s report detailing how China’s intelligence agencies had ordered subcontractors to install malicious chips in Super Micro motherboards between 2013 and 2015.  Continue reading

The UK is practicing cyberattacks that could black out Moscow

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Cyber warfare is considered preferable to nuclear warfare.

 

British defense officials say they have practiced cyber war games that could shut off electricity in Russia’s capital, the Sunday Times (paywall) reports.

The measures are part of a wider range of strategies to hit back at an increasingly assertive Russia—accused of interfering with US elections, cyberattacks on Western targets, and poisoning a former spy on UK soil—without resorting to a full-blown nuclear attack. Continue reading