web analytics

Recent News

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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”.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Pakistan to get full-member status of SCO next year

Pakistan to get full-member status of SCO next year

Pakistan will get full-member status of SCO next year, said Sherali. S Jononov, Ambassador of Tajikistan while briefing mediamen on Thursday on the outcome of SCO Summit held on September 11 and 12 in Dushanbe. He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif could not attend the Summit due to political situation at home. However, Sartaj Aziz, Advisor to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs attended it.

Read More

Pre-election violence rocks Tunisia

Pre-election violence rocks Tunisia

Two Tunisian National Guard members have been killed in clashes with militants in Tunisia, as a shoot-out continues around a house in an outlying suburb of the capital Tunis. The first death happened early on Thursday morning, as security services clashed with “terrorists” in Wadi al-Layl in western Tunisia, Interior Ministry spokesman Mohamed Aroui told reporters on Thursday. The confrontation began after security services stormed a house which they suspected was being used to shelter militants.

Read More

French moving troops toward Libyan border

French moving troops toward Libyan border

France is moving troops toward the Libyan border within weeks and, along with U.S. intelligence, is monitoring al-Qaida arms shipments to Africa’s Sahel region, a top French military official said Thursday. A French base will go up within weeks in a desert outpost 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the lawless Libyan border region overrun by Islamic militants, the official said on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter. U.S. intelligence is helping French troops “a lot,” he said.

Read More

US threatens Turkish and Kurdish middlemen in ISIS oil bonanza

US threatens Turkish and Kurdish middlemen in ISIS oil bonanza

A US treasury official has warned Turkish and Kurdish middlemen against trading in Islamic State (ISIS) oil by threatening to slap US sanctions on those caught dealing with the extremist group. US officials have discreetly criticised the illicit Turkish and Kurdish trade in oil from ISIS, which is also known as IS and ISIL, but comments from US Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen in Washington on Thursday, were the clearest warning so far. “Last month, ISIL was selling oil at substantially discounted prices to a variety of middlemen, including some from Turkey,” Cohen said.

Read More

Russia is Creating Underwater Combat Robots to Protect its Arctic Territories

Russia is Creating Underwater Combat Robots to Protect its Arctic Territories

Russia has been reported to be creating underwater combat robots that are geared to protect its oilrigs and transportation networks as it expands its hold over in the Arctic region. Davydov said it was necessary for the country to develop the robots because of the number of rival countries contesting for the region’s abundant mineral resources, including hydrocarbons. The robots are needed to ensure the stability and security of Russia’s operations in the Arctic, including discovery, production and transportation of resources, sub-glacial operations and infrastructural security.

Read More

Militarization of Mayberry: What Were Police Snipers Doing at a Pumpkin Festival?

What Were Police Snipers Doing at a Pumpkin Festival

To casual observers, the annual pumpkin festival in the small college town of Keene, New Hampshire, would seem like a harmless bit of seasonal fun. But to the local police, the event is apparently so threatening, it has to be monitored by military-style sniper units. Photos and videos taken by partygoers show what appear to be teams of plainclothes officers stationed on rooftops, scanning the crowds below with binoculars and military-grade sniper rifles.

Read More

Hungary set to bypass EU over South Stream with law amendment

Hungary set to bypass EU over South Stream with law amendment

Ever since Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán sat to the negotiating table with Gazprom’s CEO Alexei Miller, the number of Hungarian steps putting the Russian gas giant in an advantageous position and supporting Russian interests have oddly increased. First Hungary shut down reverse gas flow to Ukraine, then allowed Gazprom to stash its gas in local gas storage units. The latest measure is a law amendment proposal that would give Hungary the green-light to start building the South Stream pipeline.

Read More

Currency Wars Evolve With Goal of Avoiding Deflation

Currency Wars Evolve With Goal of Avoiding Deflation

Currency wars are back, though this time the goal is to steal inflation, not growth. Brazil Finance Minister Guido Mantega popularized the term “currency war” in 2010 to describe policies employed at the time by major central banks to boost the competitiveness of their economies through weaker currencies. Now, many see lower exchange rates as a way to avoid crippling deflation. Weak price growth is stifling economies from the euro region to Israel and Japan.

Read More

Belarus Wants to Criminalize Unemployment With Forced Labor As Punishment

Belarus Wants to Criminalize Unemployment

Taking an old-school approach to battle the woes of modern capitalism, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko has endorsed a legislative ban on unemployment. “You want to bring back [the phrase] ‘social parasitism,’ do it. That would be easier for the people to understand,” Lukashenko was cited as saying at a governmental meeting on employment. His comments were made during a discussion of the Belarussian police’s proposal to punish people who “intentionally don’t work,” including by imposing forced labor.

Read More

Why the UN Rejected Turkey’s Bid for a Security Council Seat

Why the UN Rejected Turkey’s Bid for a Security Council Seat

The Turkish government got a big slap in the face last week when the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to turn down its application for a Security Council seat. In effect, the international community was rejecting Turkey’s hostile policies both at home and abroad. Why did Turkey lose in 2014 more than half the 151 votes it received in its successful bid for a Security Council seat in 2008? The vigorous campaign by a large number of countries against Turkey’s membership: Armenia, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, among others.

Read More

Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ to join Five Eyes surveillance club

Kiwis pay $103m 'membership fee'

The $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the Five Eyes surveillance club with the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, according to a de-classified report. The intelligence agencies have always been vague on what contribution New Zealand makes to the 5-Eyes partnership. Speculation ranges from having good positioning on the planet for some satellite intercepts to our benign nation status being used as a staging point for electronic spying on countries less friendly to the UK or US.

Read More

Blowback to Qatar: Shocks to the World

Blowback to Qatar: Shocks to the World

Qatar is the world’s largest exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG). North Field, the biggest known conventional gas field in the world, is just off its shores. Consequently, an attack on its LNG production and export infrastructure could produce great shocks in the LNG, oil, and coal markets, and eventually could seriously damage the world economy. Qatar’s outward looking foreign policy is almost entirely based on projecting power through its oil and gas wealth

Read More

National Endowment for Democracy Urges US Military Support for Ukraine

National Endowment for Democracy Urges US Military Support for Ukraine

American support for Ukrainian democracy means providing military support for the country, director of the US non-profit organization National Endowment for Democracy (NED) Carl Gershman said Monday. “I think that we really need to be looking not just in providing NED democracy assistance in Ukraine, they need to be able to deter a foreign aggression,” Gershman said. “We have to be able to help them, and if we don’t, we’re not helping democracy,” he added.

Read More

Morocco trade accusations over border clash

The Algerian Republican Guard is seen in front of the Presidential Palace in Algiers

Tensions flared Sunday between Algeria and Morocco after Rabat accused an Algerian soldier of firing on Moroccan civilians across their shared border and seriously wounding one of them. Algeria charged on Sunday that Rabat was twisting the facts and summoned its envoy to express its “exasperation” a day after Morocco had summoned the Algerian ambassador to “vigorously protest” against the shooting.

Read More

75 killed in five days of fighting in Libya’s Benghazi

75 killed in five days of fighting in Libya's Benghazi

Nine people were killed Sunday in new violence in Benghazi where pro-government forces have launched an offensive against Islamist militias, raising the toll to 75 dead in five days, medics said. In the latest violence a woman was killed in a bomb attack that targeted the vacant house of former general Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the offensive launched Wednesday, a military source said. Fierce fighting raged in several parts of Libya’s second city between pro-government forces led by Haftar and Islamist militias.

Read More

Sudan Could Be Arming S. Sudan Rebels, Says Report

Sudan Could Be Arming S. Sudan Rebels, Says Report

Sudan’s government plans to increase military assistance to rebels in South Sudan, which could prolong the south’s civil war and return the region to a wider conflict, according to a leaked document. Sudan will provide tanks and artillery and share intelligence with rebels fighting South Sudan’s government, according to the minutes of a high-level meeting of security and military officials in Khartoum, that a top American expert on Sudan has concluded are real.

Read More

Tamar to supply Israeli gas to Egyptian market

Tamar to supply Israeli gas to Egyptian market

The partners in the Israeli Tamar gas field report this morning that they have signed a memorandum of understanding with Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings for the export of up to 2.5 BCM of surplus natural gas from Israel to private Egyptian industrial customers, over a period of seven years. The gas will be transported via the Israel Natural Gas Lines system to Ashkelon, and from there to Egypt via the EMG (East Mediterranean Gas) pipeline.

Read More

Russia Making Major Push Into Mideast Market

Russia Making Major Push Into Mideast Market

Following a decade of “near-absence” in the Middle East, Russia is once again asserting itself as it looks to sell arms to former Soviet-era clients while breaking into the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) market. “Today, the Russian goal in the Middle East is to regain the influence that the USSR once had. While the USA is having uneasy relations with MENA [Middle East and North Africa] countries, Russia is making attempts to capitalize on this fact and fill the vacuum left when the United States leaves,” he said.

Read More

Turkey and China to mediate between Afghanistan and Pakistan

Turkish President Erdogan arrives in Kabul

Assuring cooperation in all avenues while highlighting three key threats, terrorism, extremism and narcotics, the Chinese envoy emphasized: “China is also ready to extend cooperation in this regard to Afghanistan and Pakistan.” China was the biggest neighbour to both Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Weidong said. “China is devoted for the early settlement of Afghan issue. We have taken an active part.” He also talked about building Peshawar-Jalalabad and Chaman-Qandhar railways lines to bring both countries further closer.

Read More