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Turkey Ponders Role as Oil Hub

Turkey Ponders Role as Oil Hub

In addition to being a major market for energy supplies, Turkey’s role as an energy transit hub is increasingly important. Turkey is a key part of oil and natural gas supplies movement from Russia, the Caspian region, and the Middle East to Europe. The country has been a major transit point for seaborne-traded oil and is becoming more important for pipeline-traded oil and natural gas. Growing volumes of Russian and Caspian oil are being sent by tanker via the Turkish Straits to Western markets.

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China Is Quietly Profiting From the Russia-Ukraine Standoff: Here’s How

China Is Quietly Profiting From the Russia-Ukraine Standoff: Here's How

Much to the chagrin of the United States, China has the innate ability to negotiate major energy deals in the midst of conflict. PetroChina’s state-run parent company, China National Petroleum, or CNPC, was the first oil company to secure a contract in the Iraqi oil fields following the fall of Saddam Hussein, and today both it and CNOOC are two of the most active oil comapnies there. With Russia and the West at a standstill over the recent events in Ukraine, it appears that CNPC is about to seal another energy coup.

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Sweden to beef up air force to counter Russia

Sweden to beef up air force to counter Russia

“Seen against the backdrop of developments in our region it can be particularly motivated to increase Swedish presence on the Baltic Sea and on Gotland Island,” It would also order Saab to provide the Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) with 70 rather than 60 of the new generation of Jas Gripen E fighter jets. Adding more submarines to the naval fleet would also be on the cards if the government’s proposals make it to the negotiation table with other parliamentary parties.

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Egypt interested in buying 24 MiG-35s from Russia

Egypt interested in buying 24 MiG-35s from Russia

Russia has acknowledged an Egyptian request to procure a squadron of MiG-35 advanced fighter aircraft, to include up to 24 fighter jets at a cost of US$3 billion. The fulfilment of this package could be delayed though, as this specific type of aircraft hasn’t reached a production stage. The manufacturer, Russian Aircraft Corporation (UAC) through its subsidiary Russian Aircraft Corp (RAC) has failed to gain international orders for the aircraft and is currently awaiting an initial order from the Russian Air Force to kickstart production by 2016.

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Darpa is Developing The Ultimate Autopilot System

ALIAS_DARPA

The new system is called ALIAS, which stands for Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System. Its main goal is to streamline the incredibly complex interfaces that avionics operators have to contend with on a daily basis, and make lives easier for people flying jets. “Our goal is to design and develop a full-time automated assistant that could be rapidly adapted to help operate diverse aircraft through an easy-to-use operator interface,”.

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Putin suggests creating unified system of naval bases in Russia’s Arctic

Putin suggests creating unified system of naval bases in Russia’s Arctic

Putin has suggested creating a unified system of naval bases in Russia’s Arctic. Speaking at a meeting of the Security Council on Tuesday Putin underscored the need for enhancing the reliability of protection of Russia’s Arctic borders. This should be done in various ways, including the reinforcement of the border guard forces’ naval group. Alongside, steps must be taken to enhance military infrastructure.

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US developing public unmanned aircraft incident reporting system

US developing public unmanned aircraft incident reporting system

It sounds like a good idea – develop an online system of publically reporting and disseminating problems or incidents stemming from the use of unmanned aircraft in the public airspace. In practice you’d have to wonder if such a system would get used much because it seems like the system has just a few caveats. Specifically the Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice is looking for proposals to develop, host, and maintain a web-based, online flight data and incident reporting system.

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Egypt to ‘escalate’ Ethiopian dam dispute

Egypt to ‘escalate’ Ethiopian dam dispute

“Egypt plans to take actions to escalate the situation against Ethiopia,” said a western diplomat in Cairo, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “But the exact implications of these actions [are] still unclear.” Egypt’s main concern is water security, as the country faces a future of increasing scarcity. Nearly all of Egypt’s water comes from the Nile, and its population of 83 million is growing at nearly two percent annually.

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Why conflict continues in Kachin State

Why conflict continues in Kachin State

Fighting between the Myanmar military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) has erupted just as the government aims to step up efforts to sign a nation-wide ceasefire with various ethnic armed groups. There are different versions as to why the Myanmar Army has stepped up efforts to seize control of rebel-held territory. This article looks at the origins of the recent clashes and questions why the conflict has restarted.

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Ukraine submits proof of Russian covert action

Ukraine submits proof of Russian covert action

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has valid proof of Russian special-ops troops being deployed on Ukrainian territory. Officers of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (GRU), currently based in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, directly coordinating insurgents, providing them with financial, material and technical support. Militants are also being coordinated via special communications equipment from the the Russian Federation.

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Japan, US to back ASEAN’s sea surveillance: Report

Japan, US to back ASEAN's sea surveillance: Report

Under the planned accord, the two countries are expected to offer patrol vessels to members of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), the mass-circulation daily said, citing unnamed sources. They will also agree to train ASEAN coastguards and help the countries develop an information-sharing system against pirates and suspicious ships in the region, the newspaper said.

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China Prepares Massive Investments in Crimea

China Prepares Massive Investments in Crimea

China intends to invest in massive projects in Crimea less than a month after the former Ukrainian province was annexed by the Russian Federation. Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s ambassador to the European Union, said Russia is partnering with China in two major Crimean projects: the “Power of Siberia” gas pipeline and a 25 meter deep Crimean deep water port. These projects will continue despite the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine, Chizhov said.

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Turkey vulnerable to rising Russian power in the Black Sea

Turkey vulnerable to rising Russian power in the Black Sea

With the annexation of Crimea, Turkey faces a stronger and bolder Russian naval power in the Black Sea. Russia now possesses the Ukrainian navy’s submarine and several, if not most, of Ukraine’s 11 major surface combatants. Even without the Ukraine’s naval assets, Russia’s own new additions to its Black Sea Fleet will enable Moscow to dominate the region. Russia recently put to sea the first of its six Admiral Grigorovich-class frigates. All six frigates are designated for service in the Black Sea Fleet.

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Japan steps up surveillance posture against China: Reports

Japan steps up surveillance posture against China: Reports

Japan bolstered its military surveillance capabilities in the southern island region of Okinawa over the weekend, reports said, as territorial tensions with China simmer. The nation’s armed forces, called the Self-Defence Forces, launched a squadron of four E-2C early warning planes at its air base in Naha on the main Okinawan island Sunday, the Jiji and Kyodo news agencies reported. This is the first time such planes have been based on the island.

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Egyptian reconnaissance satellite launched by Russian Soyuz

Egyptian reconnaissance satellite launched by Soyuz

A Russian Soyuz-U rocket was launched from Site 31/6 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday. In what is expected to the last “non Progress” launch of this variant of Soyuz, an Egyptian spacecraft – known as EgyptSat-2 – enjoyed a ride uphill on the Russian workhorse. Launch occurred on schedule at 16:20 UTC. The EgyptSat-2 satellite – which has seen its launch delayed several times – was built by RKK Energia and is destined for an operational orbit of 435 x 435 miles with a 51.6 degrees declination to the equator.

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Update: DARPA to Set Sea-based Electronic Ambushes for Enemies

DARPA to Set Sea-based Electronic Ambushes for Enemies

U.S. military researchers are moving forward with a program to hide ruggedized electronic devices at the bottom of the world’s oceans that when called on will float to the surface to jam, disrupt, and spy on enemy forces. Sparton and Zeta experts designed UFP concepts that not only would float sensors to the ocean’s surface, but also potentially launch a wave of distracting light strobes, blinding lasers, electronic warfare jammers, or other kinds of non-lethal weapons able to pop up without warning in the middle of an adversary’s naval battle group.

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Iran to Set Up Naval Zone in Eastern Caspian Sea

Iran to Set Up Naval Zone in Eastern Caspian Sea

Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced on Wednesday that the Navy will establish a naval zone east of the Caspian Sea. Iranian military officials have repeatedly announced that strong naval presence in the Caspian Sea (the world’s largest lake and a resource-rich body of water) is as a way to safeguard national interests and marine resource there.The maritime and seabed boundaries of the Caspian Sea have yet to be demarcated among the five countries bordering the sea.

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USPS Wants to Mine Your Data and Network With Retailers For Better Business Opportunities

USPS Plans to Open Hubs to Retailers Competing with Amazon

In 2020, when your supplies of milk and butter start to run low, your refrigerator will know to send out a call to the grocery store and, later that day, the Postal Service will show up at your door with fresh provisions. Appropriately, Manabe was speaking in future tense in a presentation here at PostalVision 2020, a conference focused on imagining how the Postal Service can reinvent itself in the face of dramatic shifts in consumer behavior.

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NATO Bolsters Defenses With Air, Sea Patrols on Russia’s borders

NATO Bolsters Defenses Against Russia With Air, Sea Patrols

The U.S.-led alliance will upgrade contingency plans, hold more military drills in eastern Europe and step up air and naval policing on its flanks, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. “We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water and more readiness on the land,” Rasmussen told reporters in Brussels today after the 28 North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies approved the bulked-up defense posture.

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Israeli intelligence predicts collapse of the Egyptian regime in 2015

Israeli intelligence predicts collapse of the Egyptian regime in 2015

The Israeli Directorate of Military Intelligence (Aman) has predicted that the year 2015 will be a decisive one for the fate of the Egyptian regime and the coup that was led by outgoing Defence Minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, according to Palestine 48 news site. Colonel Roital, who heads the Egypt and Jordan Front at Aman’s Research Department, reportedly said that unless huge financial support is provided to Al-Sisi’s regime after he assumes power as president, the regime will likely collapse.

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Cash-rich global firms face calls to crack open war chests to prop up the global economy

Cash-rich global firms face calls to crack open war chests

Impatient shareholders are calling on the world’s top firms to start spending some of the eye-popping $2.8 trillion in cash built up since the financial crisis, as analysts warn that their thriftiness could be holding back global growth. Companies now need to rethink their cash strategy to create growth opportunities. Mark Carney, current head of the Bank of England, was more blunt in a 2012 speech as he derided unused corporate cash as “dead money”.

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Where Genocide Is Most Likely To Happen Next

Where Genocide Is Most Likely To Happen Next

Twenty years after the horrors of the Rwandan genocide, researchers at The University of Sydney have created a model predicting which countries will experience targeted mass violence across the globe. Known as the Atrocity Forecasting Project, the model plugs in more than a dozen “instability variables,” which include statistics on civil wars, regime changes, assassinations, neighboring state conflicts, infant mortality rates, and instances of previous genocides.

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China Planning ‘To Militarise Space’ Against US Anti-Satellite Weapons

China Planning 'To Militarise Space' Against US Anti-Satellite Weapons

China is planning to increase its military capabilities in space in reaction to US and other world powers developing astronomical weapons. At the time, US Air Force space analyst Brian Weeden said: “If true, this would represent a significant development in China’s anti-satellite [ASAT] capabilities. “No other country has tested a direct ascent ASAT weapon system that has the potential to reach deep space satellites in medium earth orbit, highly elliptical orbit or geostationary orbit.”

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Exclusive: P-8 Poseidon Flies With Shadowy Radar System Attached

Exclusive: P-8 Poseidon Flies With Shadowy Radar System Attached

The LSRS has been quietly flying on a small number of Navy P-3C Orion’s for some years, and the results have been described as “game changing.” It is said the sensor is so sensitive that it can even pick up a formation of people moving over open terrain. Also, the speed of the system’s double sided AESA array allows for multi-mode operations at one time with near 360 degree coverage, meaning that scanning, mapping, tracking and classifying targets can all happen near simultaneously.

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