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Singapore to deploy massive surveillance balloon

Singapore to deploy massive surveillance balloon

Singapore will deploy a huge tethered surveillance balloon to boost its maritime and air security, the defence ministry has announced. The helium-filled “aerostat” will be equipped with radar equipment that can spot threats from as far as 200 kilometers (125 miles) away. “It will be deployed sufficiently high enough so as to have a clear line of sight over Singapore’s air and sea space,” the ministry said. The balloon will be able to scan up to Malacca in Malaysia for stray aircraft as well as detect small boats coming from Indonesia’s Pekanbaru.

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US considers arming Iraqi tribes in IS fight

US considers arming Iraqi tribes in IS fight

The U.S. will consider arming tribes in Iraq’s al-Anbar province with the precondition that the move is approved by the Iraqi government, Anadolu Agency reoprted reffering to the statement by the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Martin Dempsey said Iraqi security forces in the province are in defensive positions and would be unlikely be able to respond to a request for assistance from the Albu Nimr tribe, stranded by IS.

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Burkina Faso army dissolves national assembly

Burkina Faso army dissolves national assembly

The head of Burkina Faso’s armed forces has announced the dissolution of the national assembly and the creation of a national transitional government to last a maximum of 12 months. “A transitional body will be put in place in consultation with all parties,” General Honore Traore told a news conference after a day of violent protests in the capital. He did not say who would lead the transitional body. Earlier, President Blaise Compaore declared a state of emergency in Burkina Faso following the wave of violence.

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(Update): Burkina Faso parliament set ablaze

Burkina Faso parliament set ablaze

Protesters angry at plans to allow Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaore to extend his 27-year-rule have set fire to parliament. Correspondents say the city hall and ruling party headquarters are also in flames in the capital, Ouagadougou. A huge crowd is surging towards the presidential palace and the main airport has been shut. MPs have suspended a vote on changing the constitution to allow Mr Compaore to stand for re-election next year.

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France Is Slowly Reclaiming Its Old African Empire

France Is Slowly Reclaiming Its Old African Empire

More than 50 years after granting its colonial empire independence, it seems Paris cannot keep its nose out of Africa. French military engagement there is much more wide-ranging than just battling Islamist insurgents in Mali. French forces are active in at least 10 African countries. Along with the 2,000 troops France has sent to help restore order in the chaotic Central African Republic, more than 5,500 are tasked with fighting armed terrorist groups, intelligence gathering, training the local military and providing rapid reaction forces.

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Geopolitical risks make TAPI project practically impossible

Geopolitical risks make TAPI project practically impossible

“Currently, the prospect of increased competition is preserved, and it occurs on the background of high geopolitical risks that make the TAPI project practically impossible,” he said. The expert also reminded that a significant part of the gas pipeline will pass through unstable regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan, cross the border between India and Pakistan. This will create serious problems that will make it impossible to rely on the successful implementation of the project, said Nuriyev.

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Assad’s warnings start to ring true as Syrian strife arrives at Turkey’s doorstep

Assad’s warnings start to ring true as Syrian strife arrives at Turkey’s doorstep

Behlul Ozkan, a political scientist at Istanbul’s Marmara University, says the Erdogan government has supported Islamist movements in the Middle East to establish a sphere of influence and play a leadership role. “They are obsessed with destroying the Assad regime. They see IS as an opportunity for Turkey since it is fighting its enemies on three fronts: against Baghdad’s Shiite-dominated leadership, against Assad, and the PYD, which is an affiliate of the PKK.”

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Giant Protest Storms Burkina Faso Against Moves To Extend Burkina Faso Presidential Term

Giant Protest Storms Burkina Faso

Stone throwing youths clashed with security forces in Burkina Faso Tuesday before tens of thousands took to the streets in a mass demonstration against a move to let the country’s long- erving president extend his rule beyond 30 years. The pre dawn violence kicked off a day of action called by the opposition against what they say is a constitutional coup by supporters of President Blaise Compaore. Gendarmes in the capital Ouagadougou charged to disperse several dozen youths barricading the country’s main highway.

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Swedish support for joining Nato swells after Russian sub tale

Troops from Canada's 3rd Division, composed with a platoon of 3rd Battalion and Princess Patricia's Light Infantry, participate at a NATO-led exercise "Orzel Alert" in Bledowska Desert in Chechlo

More Swedes are now in favour of their country joining Nato than are against the idea, according to a new survey by pollsters Novus. 37 percent of Swedes questioned said they supported joining Nato compared with 36 percent who were against the idea. It is the first time a survey has suggested that a larger proportion of Swedes back joining Nato as opposed to keeping out of the organisation. In May 2014, just 28 percent of Swedes polled wanted to join Nato, compared with 56 percent of people who rejected the idea of signing up.

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Was The Swedish Hunt for The ‘Russian’ Sub Complete BS?

Swedish Hunt for 'Russian' Sub

There was no Russian distress call. That’s the opinion of a Swedish signal intelligence (SIGINT) source after a massive $2.8mn military and media sub-hunt consumed the country for a week. Reports of a Russian distress signal and a grainy-picture were enough to deploy the navy while the media widely concluded the vessel had to be a Russian submarine spooking Stockholm. The proof of this was an alleged comms intercept, at distress call frequency, between the supposed sub and Kaliningrad base.

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France supports Georgia’s aspiration to join NATO

France supports Georgia’s aspiration to join NATO

France expressed full support to Georgia’s aspiration to join NATO, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said, according to Georgian Defense Ministry. He made the remarks during a meeting with Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania in Paris. The sides discussed the strengthening of cooperation between France and Georgia in the military sphere. The ministers also focused on the prospects for Georgia’s accession to NATO and the results of the alliance’s summit in Wales.

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Libya terror camps thrive as looted arms pour into Salvador Triangle

Libya terror camps thrive as looted arms pour into Salvador Triangle

TRIPOLI Libya’s remote desert south has become a haven for north African rebels who have set up training camps in what has traditionally been a hotbed of arms smuggling, experts say. Weapons looted from his arsenal have made their way to the so-called ‘Salvador Triangle’, a no-man’s land formed by the porous borders of Libya, Algeria and Niger, experts say. For years the triangle was the backyard of smugglers and traffickers through which illicit weapons flowed easily between north Africa and countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

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Australian commandos may join with Iranian Quds in fight against Islamic State

Australian commandos may join with Iranian Quds in fight against Islamic State

Australian commandos could work alongside soldiers from the feared Iranian Quds forces in the battle against the Islamic State group in Iraq, Defence Minister David Johnston has said. Johnston said the crisis created by the Islamic State’s brutal capture of vast tracts of territory was sufficiently acute that differences should be put aside in the common interest of stopping their reign of terror. His remarks came as the government revealed that Australians were continuing to join extremist groups such as the Islamic State either as fighters or supporters.

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India to spy China, Pakistan ‘borders’ with Israeli drones

India to spy China, Pakistan ‘borders’ with Israeli drones

The Northern Command of the Indian Army has recently purchased 49 miniature unmanned aerial vehicles to patrol its ‘border region’ with Pakistan and China, a foreign media reported on Sunday. The report said that the Indian Army would deploy these Israeli drones to carry out ‘reconnaissance mission’ over its ‘border areas’ after soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army of China set up camp in Ladakh, part of disputed state of Jammu Kashmir. The Chinese Army soldiers were located 10 kilometres inside the Line of Actual Control.

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Black Swans And The Death Of Empires

Black Swans And The Death Of Empires

If El Niño, the periodic Pacific weather pattern, returns this winter, the increased rain could save California from its current severe drought. But while El Niño can rescue areas from drought, it can destroy entire civilizations, as scientists are now discovering. An El Niño accompanied the Black Death, the plague that wiped out 200 million people and perhaps half the population of Europe around 1346. Everything from the great influenza pandemic of 1918, which killed 50 million people, to the fall of the Mayan and Inca empires can be linked to El Niño.

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Sweden faces military build-up call after submarine claims

Sweden faces military build-up call after submarine claims

While Swedish citizens enjoy a high standard of living and efficient national social welfare systems, they could face demands to increase spending on the military following widespread media coverage of allegations a Russian submarine may be in waters off the Stockholm archipelago, an expert says. Many critics have questioned the veracity and timing of speculation a Russian submarine could be hiding in Swedish territorial waters at a time of heightened global military tensions under the US-led “war on terror”.

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US Military Girds for More ‘Unconventional Warfare’

US Military Girds for More 'Unconventional Warfare'

The US military must prepare for murky, undeclared wars in which foreign entities use proxy insurgencies against established governments. The paper describes how US rivals are employing unconventional warfare (UW) — the external sponsorship of insurgent and separatist movements — and argues for a comprehensive joint, inter-agency, intergovernmental and multinational [JIIM] strategy that applies “political, economic, military and psychological pressure.”

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War-scarred Ukraine votes for pro-Western future

Ukrainian servicemen and servicewoman gather on the territory of their military unit located in the village of Lyubimovka near a local airfield

War-weary Ukrainians vote on Sunday for a powerful new parliament in which a likely alliance of pro-Western and nationalist forces will confirm the ex-Soviet country’s historic but bloody break from Russia’s domain. But the trauma of the nearly bankrupt state’s loss to Russia of Crimea and the subsequent deaths of 3,700 people in six months of warfare in the east has set a grim backdrop to a vote meant to celebrate last winter’s pro-democracy street revolt.

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Rio de Janeiro Militias Muscle in on Brazil Elections

Rio de Janeiro Militias Muscle in on Brazil Elections

Not only have Rio de Janeiro’s violent militia groups dramatically expanded — growing from just six communities in 2004 to 148 today — they have also made their presence felt in the lead-up to this Sunday’s election. The most well-known militia group in Rio, the “Justice League,” even managed to get its leaders — the brothers João Guimarães Filho and Natalino Jose Guimarães — elected to city council and the state legislature in 2008, respectively, although they were subsequently arrested on murder charges.

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Bouteflika curbs intelligence’s presence in state institutions

Bouteflika curbs intelligence's presence in state institutions

The DRS decree is Bouteflika’s latest measure to weaken the military role in politics. President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has signed a decree to curb the presence of Algeria’s military intelligence service in public institutions, government sources said, to downgrade his rivals and ensure a smooth transition when he steps down. Since independence from France in 1962, Algerian politics has often been dominated by an opaque behind-the-scenes power struggle between military and civilian leaders to control branches of North African state’s government.

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Burmese military wants to retain veto power of constitutional reforms

Aung San Suu Kyi walks to her oath at the lower house of parliament Burma

Burmese military leaders, who still hold the destiny of the nation in their hands, are opposed to any amendment to the Constitution – proposed in recent months – to deny them power of veto on changes and amendments to the Charter . This is , according to a parliamentary panel of “wise men” tasked with reviewing the country’s military-written constitution. The most controversial points, include Article 59 of the Constitution which prevents Aung San Suu Kyi, to run for the presidency of Myanmar.

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Only in Libya: Government calls for civil disobedience

Only in Libya: Government calls for civil disobedience

The internationally recognised Libyan government called Tuesday for a civil disobedience campaign in Tripoli until its forces retake the capital from militias who seized it. Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani’s cabinet said on its Facebook page that it has ordered Libya’s armed forces “to advance on Tripoli to liberate it and state institutions from the grip of armed groups”. But the government urged residents to launch “a civil disobedience campaign until the arrival of the army”.

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China and 20 other countries sign MOU on regional bank

China and 20 other countries sign MOU on regional bank

China and 20 other countries moved forward towards setting up an Asian infrastructure lender seen as a counterweight to Western-backed international development banks. The signatories put their names to a memorandum of understanding to establish the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at a ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. It is intended to address the region’s burgeoning demand for transportation, dams, ports and other facilities, officials say.

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Iranian border personnel fire mortar shells inside Pakistan

Iranian border personnel fire mortar shells inside Pakistan

The Iranian border force fired six mortar shells at Pakistan’s bordering town of Mashkail in the early hours of Friday, a security official told Dawn. The official who requested anonymity said that there was no loss of life in the incident and that the mortar shells landed near Mashkail. He said the Frontier Corps (FC) swiftly retaliated and fired mortar shells in response, bringing the firing from the Iranian side to an end. “Mortar shells fired by Iranian border personnel landed 3000 metres inside Pakistani territory,” he said.

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