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Pakistan has fastest growing nuclear weapons programme in the world: report

Pakistan has fastest growing nuclear weapons programme in the world: report

Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear weapons programme in the world and could have enough fissile material to produce more than 200 nuclear devices by 2020, an influential American think tank said in a report. The report, authored by George Mason University’s Gregory Koblentz, notes that India and Pakistan face more severe security challenges than those of the other nuclear weapon states due to their history of high-intensity and low-intensity conflicts, higher levels of domestic instability, and geographic proximity,

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Lithuania to supply Ukraine with military aid: Poroshenko

Lithuania to supply Ukraine with military aid: Poroshenko

Lithuania will provide Ukraine with military aid to help in its fight against pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says. It was not clear, however, if Lithuania was following fellow NATO member the United States in providing non-lethal military equipment, or supplying weaponry. NATO countries are reluctant to risk being drawn into conflict with Russia by arming a non-member. We have agreed on supplies of concrete elements of concrete armaments for the Ukrainian armed forces.

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Journey to Transnistria, a country that doesn’t officially exist

Journey to Transnistria, a country that doesn’t officially exist

Those living in the self-declared Federal State of Novorossiya in eastern Ukraine might find it rewarding to visit Transnistria. Both are Russian-speaking enclaves that aligned themselves with Moscow when their central governments began looking west. In both cases, the Russian military played a part when the secessionist movement turned violent. And both countries do not officially exist. Despite being capitalist, the parliament is called the Supreme Soviet, the flag, emblem and currency all bear the hammer and sickle.

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U.S. plans to arm Iraq’s Sunni tribesmen

U.S. plans to arm Iraq's Sunni tribesmen

The United States plans to buy arms for Sunni tribesmen in Iraq including AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar rounds to help bolster the battle against ISIL militants in Anbar province, according to a Pentagon document prepared for Congress. The plan to spend $24.1 million represents a small fraction of the larger, $1.6 billion spending request to Congress focusing on training and arming Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

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Mutiny Inside Yemen’s Special Forces

Mutiny Inside Yemen's Special Forces

Officers suspected to be loyalists of ousted President Saleh are leading a mutiny inside the headquarters of an elite paramilitary unit, seeking to oust their commander. The officials say gunfire was heard Thursday afternoon inside the Special Forces headquarters, located in the heart of the capital near the presidential palace. The mutineers chanted “leave leave” and tried to storm the office of Mohammed Mansour al-Ghadraa, their new commander.

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IARPA to find and track foreign ships at sea

IARPA to find and track foreign ships at sea

U.S. intelligence experts are trying come to grips with thorny issues like international arms smuggling, nuclear materials exchanges, and inter-continental illegal drug trafficking with one of today’s most difficult surveillance challenges: finding and tracking foreign ships at sea. It’s the age-old problem of finding a needle in a haystack, writ large over the world’s oceans that cover roughly three-quarters of the planet’s surface.

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Crete will be the energy hub for EastMed Pipeline

Crete will be the energy hub for EastMed Pipeline

Crete is considered to play a key role on energy scene, as East Med Pipeline will be extended to Cyprus, Crete, then in western Greece, the Peloponnese and Epirus and would come eventually the Greek-Italian pipeline IGI (Interconnector Greece-Italy). The Eastmed pipeline is a reliable alternative solution for the extraction of natural gas from SE Mediterranean to European countries. This is proven by the strong European interest in creating a new energy corridor.

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Chinese naval base to be established on Nambia’s Walvis Bay

Chinese naval base for Walvis Bay

Walvis Bay will be one of 18 naval bases that will be established in various regions: Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Mynanmar in the northern Indian Ocean; Djibouti, Yemen, Oman, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique in the western Indian Ocean; and Seychelles and Madagascar in the central South Indian Ocean. “These three strategic lines will further enhance China’s effectiveness in taking responsibility for maintaining the safety of international maritime routes thereby maintaining regional and world stability,” the media reports said.

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Musharraf warns of proxy war with India over Afghanistan

Amid Afghanistan draw down: Musharraf warns of proxy war with India

“The danger for Pakistan is… the Indian influence in Afghanistan,” he said. “That is another danger for the whole region and for Pakistan because Indian involvement there has an anti-Pakistan connotation. They (India) want to create an anti-Pakistan Afghanistan.” India and Pakistan both have long accused each other of using proxy forces to try to gain influence in Afghanistan. “If Indians are using some elements of the ethnic entities in Afghanistan, then Pakistan will use its own support for ethnic elements.”

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Asian demand for crude to drive switch to renminbi

Asian demand for crude to drive switch to renminbi

The increasing demand for crude in Asian countries such as China was enough reason for the region to prepare to pay for trade in the Chinese currency renminbi, an HSBC official said. Georges Elhedery, HSBC head, Global Banking and Markets, noted that the region was slow to adopt RMB since trade between the Middle East and China was still highly dependent on the greenback. The Middle East has been slow in adopting RMB but we’re starting to see a shift in the region towards the Chinese currency.

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Saudi Arabia: Why succession could become a princely tussle

Saudi Arabia: Why succession could become a princely tussle

With the Middle East in an unprecedented state of turmoil, the need for smooth and orderly transfers of power in Saudi Arabia – ruled by a 90-year-old infirm monarch – has become more crucial than ever – but who will inherit the kingdom in the coming years is a thorny issue yet to be resolved. Saudi Arabia is a large and influential country. Guardian of the two most holy sites in Islam, it regards itself as leader of the Sunni community worldwide.

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PLA has set up Chinese version of ‘PRISM’ monitoring in Hong Kong

PLA has set up Chinese version of 'PRISM' monitoring in H.K

The People’s Liberation Army has established a large-scale signals and information monitoring facility in Hong Kong similar to the U.S. PRISM monitoring program. Satellite photos show that with a diameter of 15.63 meters, the facility is far larger than the aerial fairings of Hong Kong’s weather radar and aviation radar, which Kanwa said allows it to intercept and record signals from telephones, cellphones, Wi-Fi networks and radios. It looks similar to other data mining facilities established in Kashgar in the restive western regions of Xinjiang and Tibet and along the contested border with India

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Major Oil Transit Chokepoints: An EIA Overview

Major Oil Transit Chokepoints: An EIA Overview

World chokepoints for maritime transit of oil are a critical part of global energy security. About 63% of the world’s oil production moves on maritime routes. The Strait of Hormuz and the Strait of Malacca are the world’s most important strategic chokepoints by volume of oil transit. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) defines world oil chokepoints as narrow channels along widely-used global sea routes, some so narrow that restrictions are placed on the size of the vessel that can navigate through them.

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Capital of Kurdish Iraq goes from backwater to boomtown as it fights to achieve independence

IRAQ-KURDS-ECONOMY-POLITICS

While the rest of Iraq has remained mired in violence, stability has allowed oil wealth to drive growth here. Representatives of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) note that no Westerners were killed in the region during the U.S. occupation. If Kurds controlled their own oil — 45 billion barrels of which they say lie under their soil — they believe they could do even more. Over the past decade the KRG has made a series of escalating gambles to develop their oil, with Baghdad opposing every move.

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NSA monitoring situation: China training Pakistani troops along India border

China training Pakistani troops along India border

The report, accessed by PTI, said these military manoeuvres were being conducted at forward defence locations of Pakistan which are usually manned by border guarding personnel. The BSF intelligence reported that phone intercepts along the border indicate that Pakistan Army and Rangers are planning to deploy snipers and sharp shooters at strategic locations and posts to target Indian soldiers and assets. The Border Security Force intelligence also reported that a special squad of Pakistani Army commandos have been placed at select locations along the IB and LoC

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Energy tops list of China’s 8 billion dollar deal with Myanmar

Energy tops list of China's deals with Myanmar

China and Myanmar pushed cooperation forward on Friday, introducing an energy liaison committee and signing more than a dozen deals relating to energy, finance, infrastructure and agriculture. The strides were made as China has pressed ahead with its ambitious initiatives to fuel Asian growth by focusing on free trade and connectivity. After some frustrations involving Chinese investment in the country’s infrastructure over the past few years, Myanmar’s government is seeking to reassure Beijing that it is welcome.

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Italy sees nationwide protests against labour market reforms

Italy sees nationwide protests against labour market reforms

Italy was rocked by nationwide protests on Friday as trade unions, students and migrants staged strikes and rallies in more than 20 cities against labour market and other reforms. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi wants to make it easier for firms to hire and fire workers but has also pledged more generous unemployment benefits. Skirmishes with police were reported in other cities, including Milan, Padua and Turin, while in Naples and Genoa, protests led to major road closures.

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International Monitors Report Surveillance Drones in Region Being Jammed and Shot At

International Monitors Report Surveillance Drones in Region Being Jammed, Shot At

The OSCE grounded the drones several days ago, largely because their information systems were being jammed. The contractor supplying the aircraft described the jamming as highly sophisticated. “They say it is high-grade military-specification jamming, so it isn’t an amateur job,” Mr. Zannier said. “We are working to find countermeasures so we can continue to use” the drones. Asked who has such jamming capability in the region, Mr. Zannier said, “I can’t speculate. I can imagine who has it, but I can’t say for sure.”

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Inside GCHQ’s Sock Puppet Army

gchq

Researchers Azhar Desa, Harron Meer and Marco Slaviero of Thinkst found posts created around controversial topics such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were being heavily manipulated by commentary developed by bash scripts using newly-registered accounts. Researchers also found separate puppet armies influencing articles on Reddit, CNN, Al Jazeera and the Jerusalem Post generated by simplistic means that admins appeared unable to identify.

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‘Violent’ stock market crash could be round the corner warns think-tank

Violent stock market crash could be round the corner warns think-tank

The Bank of International Settlements said that suspiciously low levels of volatility in the markets seen this year suggest a lack of liquidity that could trip up investors who assume they can dispense of assets when a sell-off begins. Guy Debelle of BIS said global investors were buying assets on the misguided presumption of liquidity that does not exist and that in a possible sell-off, volatility and price movements ‘will be exacerbated by the reduced capacity and inventory of market makers’.

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Russia to Open Arctic Military Drone Base 420 Miles off the Alaskan Coast

Russia to Open Arctic Military Drone Base 420 Miles off the Alaskan Coast

Russia has announced plans to build a drone base for military reconnaissance in a town just 420 miles off mainland Alaska and just over 300 miles off the US state’s St Lawrence Island, Russia’s state news agency reported on Thursday. “The command of the eastern military district in charge of the military development of the Arctic zone has moved forward with plans to form an unmanned aerial vehicle division,” Alexandr Gordeev, spokesperson for the district said.

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France mulls military deployment in Jordan for ISIS fight

France mulls military deployment in Jordan for ISIS fight

France will decide in the coming weeks whether to send fighter jets to Jordan to strike ISIS militants in Iraq in an effort to increase the number of missions and reduce the cost, the army spokesman and officials said Thursday. France was the first country to join the U.S.-led coalition in airstrikes on ISIS insurgents in Iraq, who have also taken control of large parts of neighboring Syria during the course of the three-year-old civil war there. “We are thinking about a deployment in Jordan,” Army spokesman Gilles Jaron told reporters.

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Moldova may be next front in EU gas war

Moldova may be next front in EU gas war

The European government ratified its association agreement with Moldova. European Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said from Brussels the Moldavan people long for the same freedom and stability enjoyed by other members of the European Union. “Focus on the Republic of Moldova is important,” he said. “The Republic of Moldova is showing determination to bring its European agenda forward.” The European Union has brought several former Soviet republics into its sphere.

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Blackwater.ru: The Future of Russian Private Military Companies

Blackwater.ru: The Future of Russian Private Military Companies

A bill filed with the State Duma late last month would legalize private military and security companies (PMSCs) in Russia. Enthusiasts say it is high time that Russia, with its strong military traditions, get a toehold on the global PMSC market, estimated at up to $350 billion last year, according to the bill. And even the potential PR gains from using PMSCs instead of army troops in sensitive situations — like in Ukraine — are less than can be expected if those companies can be traced back to the Kremlin.

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