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China moves to suppress Hong Kong election could stir protests

China moves to limit Hong Kong election could stir protests

China moved on Wednesday to limit 2017 elections for Hong Kong’s leader to a handful of candidates loyal to Beijing, local media reported, a move likely to escalate plans by pro-democracy activists to blockade the city’s Central business district. Hong Kong, which returned to Chinese rule from British colonial administration in 1997, has been deeply polarized and hit by protests over how its next leader is chosen in 2017 – by universal suffrage, as the democrats would like, or from a list of pro-Beijing candidates.

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Egypt to train Libyan police and army forces

Egypt to train Libyan police and army forces

Egypt has decided to open its doors to train the Libyan police, army and all their subsidiary bodies, and will collaborate with neighbouring countries to collect illegal arms. Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdel Aziz , head of the Libyan Parliament Saleh Okeila, and Military head Abdel Razek Al-Nazouri announced the collaborations following a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, reported state-owned Al-Ahram. Okeila said that Libya will remain united, while Al-Nazouri said the Libyan army is capable of “crushing extremists and terrorists”.

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Coast Guard Narrowly Avoids Sparking World War III

Coast Guard Narrowly Avoids Sparking World War III

The U.S. Coast Guard fired at an Iranian fishing boat in the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, nearly adding to a long list of global headaches for President Obama. Fortunately, the incident ended quickly with nobody hurt, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, according to a CNN report. The Iranian boat had pointed a weapon at the American crew, Kirby said, prompting a single shot from the Coast Guard vessel. “I don’t know whether the shot was just a warning shot, or it hit the dhow.” “In any event, it pulled away and nobody was hurt.”

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Sea-based nukes: A marginal effect on stability

Sea-based nukes: A marginal effect on stability

The deployment of nuclear-armed submarines (SSBNs) is unlikely to contribute greatly to stability, but neither is it likely to create instability where none existed or to magnify existing sources of instability. Beijing is undertaking a large-scale modernisation of its military, including its nuclear force. According to Department of Defense and press sources, China is fielding the mobile DF-31A intercontinental ballistic missile and is developing the mobile DF-41 with multiple independently-targetable re-entry vehicles.

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Ten more countries that may default on debt after Argentina

SOUTH KOREA STOCK MARKET

Argentina is not the only country that has struggled to pay its debt recently. There are 10 other countries currently on Moody’s lists with a rating of Caa1 or worse, meaning they are at risk of default. Ecuador, Egypt, Pakistan, Venezuela, Belize, Cuba, Cyprus, Greece, Jamaica and Ukraine are all on the verge of a default, according to Moody’s ratings. Moody’s currently rates the country’s economy as stable and it is predicted that it will continue its healthy trend set in the past six years.

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Chinese Satellite Detects Secret Tunnels with Central Asia and North Korea

Chinese Satellite Detects Secret Tunnels with Central Asia and North Korea

China’s observation satellite Gaofen 1, launched in April 2013 to obtain high-resolution images of the earth’s crust, has spotted secret cross-border tunnels between China and neighboring countries such as North Korea and Central Asian nations. Quoting the National Space Administration on Tuesday, the official news agency Xinhua reported that the images picked up by the satellite show “dozens” of these illegal structures located at two borders of great strategic importance to the Asian giant.

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Western sanctions push Russia, China closer; hurt dollar

Western sanctions push Russia, China closer; hurt dollar

By forcing Russia to conduct more business in the yuan and other Asian currencies, the U.S. may be speeding up the end of the petrodollar and giving China more prominence on the world stage. As the West tightens financial sanctions against Russia, Russian businesses are reducing their exposure to the dollar to minimize the damage from still tougher punishments. Many of these businesses have turned to the Hong Kong dollar as an alternative to the greenback.

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US flights ‘to spy on Islamic State’ in Syria

US flights 'to spy on Islamic State' in Syria

The US has begun surveillance flights over rebel-controlled parts of Syria after presidential authorisation, officials said, a move that could pave the way for air raids against the Islamic State group. A US official told the AP news agency early on Tuesday that the flights had started, while two other US officials said earlier that Barack Obama had approved the flights. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said that the US wanted more clarity on the group in Syria, but declined to comment on the surveillance flights.

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British, American special forces forming hunter killer unit to smash Islamic State

British, American special forces forming hunter killer unit to smash Islamic State

Britain’s elite special forces along with US special forces are forming a unit called Task Force Black to hunt down the killer of James Foley and smash the Islamic State. According to the Mirror and as reported by the Sunday People, the undercover unit’s aim will be to “cut the head off the snake” by hitting the command structure of the Islamist terror group responsible for a trail of atrocities across Iraq and Syria. British special forces will once again work with America’s Delta Force and Seal Team 6 in joint operations to combat the Islamic State.

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German fighter jets unable to fly and mechanics forced to borrow spare parts, claims magazine

German fighter jets unable to fly and mechanics forced to borrow spare parts, claims magazine

The German air force is facing such a severe funding shortage that many of its aircraft are unable to fly, mechanics are forced to cannibalise parts from existing planes and only eight of the country’s 109 Eurofighters are fully operational, according to a report in Spiegel magazine. German defence sources have rubbished the article, saying it is inaccurate and does not match up to official air force logs. But the claim that Germany’s air force is not as strong as previously thought will cause concern among its Nato allies at a time of growing worldwide instability.

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Strategic alliance with Bangladesh, India and Myanmar to exploit sea resources

Strategic alliance with India, Myanmar to exploit sea resources

C Raja Mohan, who is the head of strategic studies and distinguished fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi, recently at a lecture in Dhaka had mooted the idea to form a trilateral group. On Tuesday at a roundtable on ‘blue economy’, the idea also came up from the private sector who believed Bangladesh should have a “strategic partnership alliance” with India and Myanmar to exploit sea resources. It gave hope of extracting “plenty of resources” beneath the Bay of Bengal that Bangladesh considers its “third neighbour”.

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Breakup of the GCC a greater threat to oil security than Islamic State

Fractures in Arab Gulf alliance a greater threat to oil security than Islamic State

Tensions between Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar were understood to have again come to head this weekend with an emergency meeting of foreign ministers in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have accused authorities in Doha of supporting terror related groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and meddling in the internal affairs of other GCC states. The meetings could eventually lead to Qatar – the world’s biggest shipper of liquified natural gas – being ejected from the GCC.

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Romania seeks permanent Nato military presence

Romania seeks permanent Nato military presence

A permanent Nato military base on Romanian territory was a strategic objective that Romania will discuss at next week’s military bloc’s summit in Wales, Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta has said. The objective is unanimously supported by all the state institutions, Ponta pointed out. “This is one of Romania’s fundamental objectives and it is a position which has been established by all the state institutions, namely Romania’s desire to have a Nato permanent military presence on its territory,” the head of government said.

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Hungary seeks EU alliance to push closer ties with Russia

Hungary seeks EU alliance to push closer ties with Russia

Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday said he would seek to form a political alliance to stop the European Union pulling away from Russia over the crisis in Ukraine. “The EU gets further away from Russia every day. That’s not only bad for Hungary, but for the entire EU,” Orban told Hungarian ambassadors in Budapest. “We will have to seek the company of those EU member states who are interested in slowing and stopping this separation process,” he added, without naming any specific countries.

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NGA’s map to put a world of geospatial intell in one place

NGA’s map to put a world of geospatial intell in one place

By 2018, the NGA invisions a seamless, dynamic Map of the World (MoW) that enables users across the Intelligence Community to visualize and access integrated intelligence content fixed to accurate and authoritative geographic features on Earth. Through the integration of GEOINT, navigation datasets, imagery and intelligence, this unified, online, geospatial, temporal and relational view of the world will provide a common frame of reference throughout the IC, bringing together multiple sources of information on any object of interest.

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Egypt, UAE behind ‘mystery’ strikes at Libya Islamists:US

Egypt, UAE behind 'mystery' strikes at Libya Islamists:US

Senior US officials on Monday said the United Arab Emirates and Egypt have ‘secretly’ launched airstrikes against Islamist militias battling over Tripoli, the New York Times reported on Monday. A number of unidentified aircraft roared over Libya’s capital as loud explosions were heard in the last few days, as the clashes between militias prompted hundreds of people to flee. Egypt has previously denied its involvement, and various warring factions in Libya tried to claim responsibility for the attacks.

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SCO Holds Giant War Drills in China

SCO Holds Giant War Drills in China

A multinational anti-terror drill was kicked off by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in north China’s Inner Mongolia on Sunday. Deputy chiefs of the general staff from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and deputy commander of Russia’s eastern military command participated in the opening ceremony of the drill at the Zhurihe training base. The joint exercise code-named “Peace Mission 2014″ is scheduled to run from Aug. 24 to Aug. 29 and aims to deter the “three evil forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism.

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Israel turns to new arms suppliers amid US doubt

Israel turns to new arms suppliers amid US doubt

With the recent US announcement of that the Pentagon put on hold a shipment of ‘Hellfire’ missiles to Israel as a warning to Jerusalem, the country is turning to other arms and munition sources to acquire new weapons. Israel purchased hundreds of Russian-made shoulder-fire missiles in recent years, Israeli daily Haaretz reported Monday, although most weapons the army uses are produced locally. A significant portion of the IDF’s weapons is acquired with the use of American funds, totaling over $3 billion per year.

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India, Pakistan intensify cross-border firing as ties sour

India, Pakistan intensify cross-border firing as ties sour

Indian and Pakistani troops intensified firing across the border over the weekend killing at least four, an Indian official said on Sunday, straining ties between the arch rivals who recently called off top-level diplomatic talks. Last week India said its foreign secretary would not meet with her Pakistani counterpart as scheduled on Monday because of plans by Pakistan to consult separatists from the border state of Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the meeting. The cancellation dashed any hopes of near-term peace deliberations.

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Stabilization force in preparation for Libya, Morocco considered to be part of it

Stabilization force in preparation for Libya, Morocco considered to be part of it

Realizing that the country is slidng into chaos and falling in the grip of fierce religious extremists, who, some of which, were responible for the attack of its embassy and the death of its diplomats, the United States encouraged the retired General Khalifa Haftar to take on the Islamists. With the help of the airforce, he launched a battle, to regain control of the country. However, his entreprise hurriedly-designed and badly-coached turned into a miltary disaster, and the Islamists emboldened by their success took control of Tripoli and Benghazi .

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Jordan to import natural gas from Gaza field

Jordan to import natural gas from Gaza field

Jordan and the Palestinian Authority have agreed in principle to start negotiations for Jordan to purchase natural gas from a field recently discovered off Gaza’s coast. In a statement to Anadolu news agency, the chairperson of the energy committee in the Jordanian parliament, Gamal Qumwa, explained that the preliminary agreement includes supplying Jordan with 150 cubic feet of natural gas from Gaza’s field. He pointed out that this quantity would cover 50 per cent of Jordan’s natural gas needs, which ranges from between 300 to 350 cubic feet per day.

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West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State

West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State

Islamist forces are fighting their way into western Syria from bases further east, bringing forward the prospect of US military intervention to stop their advance. If Isis, which styles itself Islamic State, threatens to take all or part of Aleppo, establishing complete dominance over the anti-government rebels, the US may be compelled to act publicly or secretly in concert with President Bashar al-Assad, whom it has been trying to displace. The US has already covertly assisted the Assad government by passing on intelligence through the BND.

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Venezuelan President Announces Mandatory Fingerprinting at Grocery Stores

People stand at the checkout line at a supermarket in Caracas

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced Wednesday that the country will introduce a mandatory fingerprinting system in supermarkets. He asserted that the plan will keep people from buying too much of any single item. The president did not say when the measure would go into effect, the Associated Press reports. The Socialist Venezuelan government has struggled with food shortages for over a year. Basic cooking items like oil and flour are scarce.

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With eye on China, India deploys Akash missiles in northeast

With eye on China, India deploys Akash missiles in northeast

After basing its most potent Sukhoi-30MKI fighters at Tezpur and Chabua, India has now begun deploying six Akash surface-to-air missile (SAM) squadrons in the northeast to deter Chinese jets, helicopters and drones against any misadventure in the region. Defence ministry sources on Thursday said IAF has started getting deliveries of the six Akash missile squadrons, which can “neutralize” multiple targets at 25-km interception range in all-weather conditions, earmarked for the eastern theatre.

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