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China to Build World’s First CNG Ship

China to Build World’s First CNG Ship

The world’s first compressed natural gas carrier will be built by China to fulfill an order from Pelayaran Bahtera Adhiguna, a subsidiary of Indonesia’s state-owned power company Perusahaan Listrik Negara,according to ABS, the company selected to class the ship. The CNG ship was designed by China’s CIMC Ocean Engineering Design & Research Institute and will be built at China’s Qingdao Wuchuan Heavy Industry’s shipyard. The ship will be dual-classed with the Indonesian class society Biro Klasifikasi Indonesia.

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What Happens Now That Argentina Is in ‘Selective Default’

What Happens Now That Argentina Is in 'Selective Default'

Default is a major disaster for a government, but not much will happen right away now that Standard & Poor’s has declared Argentina to be in “selective default.” S&P (MHFI) took the action today after Argentina’s talks with holdout creditors continued past the end of the 30-day grace period for a $539 million bond payment. Defaults are usually bad for bond prices. But prices for Argentine bonds soared today to their highest level since 2010. They rose 10¢ to reach almost 96¢ on the dollar.

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Hackers raided Israeli contractors that built Iron Dome missile shield

Hackers raided Israeli contractors that built Iron Dome missile shield

The attackers, suspected to be based in China, also copied pages of details on U.S. missile technology from the foreign defense firms. Three Israeli contractors that architected the “Iron Dome” anti-missile system, which is currently protecting Israel from rocket strikes, were robbed of huge quantities of sensitive documents pertaining to the shield technology. Much of the information purloined from the contractors was intellectual property involving the Arrow III, drones, ballistic rockets and other technical documents in the same fields of study.

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Evolving Chinese Views on U.S. National Missile Defense

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The current focus of Chinese concern appears to be on the ancillary intelligence gathering and surveillance capabilities the United States is putting in place during peacetime rather than the ability of U.S. defenses to intercept a Chinese missile fired during an actual conflict. Chinese military planners worry—justifiably or not—that the radars the United States is deploying in the region, including those that support missile defense, could be used to observe the testing or track the deployments of Chinese missiles.

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Iranian commanders at forefront of Iraqi fight

Iranian commanders at forefront of Iraqi fight

A powerful Iranian general has emerged as the chief tactician in Iraq’s fight against Sunni militants, working on the front lines alongside 120 advisers from his country’s Revolutionary Guard to direct Shiite militiamen and government forces in the smallest details of battle, militia commanders and government officials say. The startlingly hands-on role of Iranian Gen. Ghasem Soleimani points to the extent of the Shiite-led Iraqi government’s reliance on its ally Tehran. The Iranian role, however, risks further sharpening the sectarian rifts in the conflict.

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China, Japan and Russia zero in on Latin America

China, Japan and Russia zero in on Latin America

The leaders of China, Russia and Japan all descended on Latin America in recent weeks, jostling with the United States to increase their influence, invest and tap into resource-rich markets. The latest arrival was Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who on Monday was in Trinidad and Tobago, the second stop on a five-country tour that began on Friday in Mexico. China is in the market for Chilean copper and timber, Peruvian gold and zinc, Argentine beef and wheat, Brazilian sugar and soybeans and Venezuelan oil, among other commodities.

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USA is looking to create new base for UAVs in Crete

USA is looking to create new base for UAVs in Crete

According to exclusive information made available to To Vima, the USA has asked the Greek government for the permission to place a number of UAV drones on Crete for a period of six to twelve months. The information suggests that talks on the critical matter began in January, with the American side pressuring the Greek government to transfer the drones by early June – no agreement has been reached. The drones are part of the American strategy in tackling the rising terrorism in the Middle East and surrounding areas.

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The U.S. has supplied 747,000 weapons to Afghanistan. It might have a difficult time figuring out where some ended up.

APTOPIX Afghanistan

The Pentagon has supplied 747,000 weapons and auxiliary equipment, most via federal contractors, to the Afghan National Security Forces during the last decade. And according to a new report, it might have a hard time figuring out where a fair share of them ended up. The discrepancies show examples of where DOD was not in compliance with its internal operating procedures and accountability requirements, and where missing information could result in the inability to locate weapons.

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Companies proclaim water the next oil in a rush to turn resources into profit

Companies proclaim water the next oil in a rush to turn resources into profit

“Is now the time to buy water?” enquired the email that showed up in my inbox earlier this week. Its authors weren’t worrying about my dehydration levels. Rather, they were urging me to think of water in quite a new way: as a commodity to invest in. Making money from water? Is this what Wall Street wants next? This summer, however, myriad business forces are combining to remind us that fresh water isn’t necessarily or automatically a free resource. It could all too easily end up becoming just another economic commodity.

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UK ‘battle group’ to take part in exercises in Poland to send signal to Russia

UK 'battle group' to take part in exercises in Poland

The UK is to send a “full battle group” of 1,350 military personnel for exercises in Poland, amid rising tension with Russia over Ukraine. They will take part in Nato manoeuvres in October to support allies in Eastern Europe, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said during a trip to Warsaw. It is the UK’s largest such commitment to the region since 2008. Mr Fallon said Britain was playing a “central role” in responding to Russian actions in Ukraine. Some 350 armoured and other vehicles will be involved in the October exercises, known as Black Eagle.

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China builds listening station in Hong Kong

China builds listening station in Hong Kong

The existence of a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) communications installation atop Hong Kong’s tallest mountain – the 957 m-high peak of Tai Mo Shan – recently came to light. The PLA has refused to explain the facility’s purpose, claiming that “military secrecy” means it is “not appropriate for disclosure”, although it is extremely likely that it is an electronic and signals intelligence (ELINT/SIGINT) facility. If so, the facility will be similar in purpose to a British radar station based on Tai Mo Shan.

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Heavy Chinese military build-up in Tibet

Heavy Chinese military build-up in Tibet

The Chinese goal is beyond Tibet and that country has border disputes not only with India, but with almost all its neighbours. Dr Sangay said the move of the Chinese to expand its bases proved the country’s intention to look beyond Tibet as China established strong bases in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and even set up sea ports in Pakistan. He revealed that China is also constructing a sea port in Sri Lanka and it is evident that the Chinese are trying to gain control over the Bay of Bengal.

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Upgrade Your Brain: Liquid Hard Drive Implants Could Increase Intellect

Upgrade Your Brain: Liquid Hard Drive Implants Could Increase Intellect

Storing photos, documents and other files in brain-implantable liquid could one day be a reality after researchers discovered a new method of storing data in microscopic particles suspended in a solution. “If we could enumerate all of those different patterns – or states – and understand how you can go from one state to another, then it would be possible to encode information,” says Glotzer. “The more colours you can have, the more states you can have, and the more states you can have, the more information you can store.”

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Over half of China military airfields threatened by high-rise buildings

Over half of China military airfields threatened by high-rises

More than half of China’s military airfields have flight paths that are obstructed by tall buildings, causing accidents and airport closures, Chinese state media reported. Nearly 100 accidents have occurred at military air bases due to high-rise buildings and development in the past 20 years, the website of the ruling Communist Party’s mouthpiece, the People’s Daily said. The problem has become so great that more than 10 military airfields have been forced to close or move.

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America is buying disputed Iraqi Kurdish Crude Oil

America is buying disputed Iraqi Kurdish Crude Oil

A Marshall Islands-flagged tanker ‘United Kalavrvta’ carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan is hours away from arriving at a U.S. port in Texas, according to ship tracking satellites, despite Washington’s long-standing concern over independent oil sales from the autonomous region. It would be at least the second time a U.S. company has taken delivery of oil that the Baghdad government says was smuggled from the country. Analysts have said that if there is a buyer for the oil, and no one stops the sale, it would represent a major step toward independence for Kurdistan.

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US Military Dusts Off Decades-Old ‘Readiness’ Plans for Russia

US Military Dusts Off Decades-Old 'Readiness' Plans for Russia

As American officials fire of diplomatic salvos at Russia in response to that nation’s purported actual artillery salvos into Ukraine, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said recently that among other actions, the U.S. military is dusting off decades-old plans, just in case. “We’re looking inside our own readiness models to look at things that we haven’t had to look at for 20 years, frankly, about basing and lines of communication and sea lanes.” “What the military does when faced with these crises is – our job is preparedness, deterrence and readiness.”

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EU May Target Putin Spy Chiefs as Ukraine Heads for Vote

EU May Target Putin Spy Chiefs as Ukraine Heads for Vote

The European Union is preparing to sanction Russia’s most senior spies and security officials as it seeks to step up its response to the conflict in Ukraine, where the premier quit after the ruling coalition broke apart. Alexander Bortnikov, director of the Federal Security Service which replaced the Soviet-era KGB, and Mikhail Fradkov, the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service, are on the provisional list of sanctioned Russian officials, according to a draft document obtained by Bloomberg News.

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Rise of Islamic State tests Syrian army strategy

Rise of Islamic State tests Syrian army strategy

The growing power of the ultra-hardline Islamic State means the Syrian army is now having to confront a group it has until now been reluctant to attack for political reasons. The emergence of the al Qaeda offshoot, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has so far allowed President Bashar al-Assad to present himself to the world as a bulwark against Sunni Islamist radicals. Now that Islamic State’s fighters have gained momentum in Syria, boosted by equipment seized in a rapid offensive next door in Iraq.

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Irregular Warriors: The Shadow Wars of the 21st Century

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The conflicts raging today in Gaza, Iraq and Ukraine share some common features. Irregular belligerents — Hamas, ISIL/ISIS and Ukrainian separatists — are each aggressively shaping these conflicts in skillful ways to outmaneuver their more conventional adversaries. These irregular warriors seek creative and often indirect ways to accomplish their wartime ends, often without fighting in conventional fashion. Their tactics and equipment reflect a new and ever-varying combination of conventional high-tech weaponry.

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21st-century energy wars

21st-century energy wars

Global conflicts are increasingly fuelled by the desire for oil and natural gas and the funds they generate. Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, South Sudan, Ukraine, the East and South China Seas: wherever you look, the world is aflame with new or intensifying conflicts. At first glance, these upheavals appear to be independent events, driven by their own unique and idiosyncratic circumstances. But look more closely, and they share several key characteristics, notably, a witch’s brew of ethnic, religious, and national antagonisms that has been stirred to the boiling point by a fixation on energy.

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Boeing Reaches Aircraft Parts Deal With Iran

IRAN US AIRCRAFT

Boeing has disclosed an agreement with Iran to provide aircraft parts, relaxing a three-decade freeze in ties as part of a broader package of sanctions relief. US industry analysts say the sale of spare aircraft parts is seen as a diplomatic carrot for Iran, which for decades has relied on parts obtained on the black market or copied locally. Iran agreed in November to curtail nuclear activities for six months from January 20 in exchange for sanctions relief from Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

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Norway’s Wealth Fund Mulls Scaling Back $8 Billion Russia Assets

Norway's Wealth Fund Mulls Scaling Back $8 Billion Russia Assets

Norway’s colossal sovereign wealth fund is considering reducing its $7.6 billion portfolio of Russian investments as Russia stares down the barrel of tougher EU sanctions. EU ambassadors met to discuss sanctions drawn up by the European Commission, chief among which were proposals to ban European investors from buying new debt or shares in banks majority-owned by the state. Not being an EU member, Norway has no obligation to comply with EU sanctions, but the country’s sovereign wealth fund is nonetheless reviewing its Russian investments.

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China think tank accuses Japan of preparing for war

China think tank accuses Japan of preparing for war

Recent increases in the frequency of Japanese military exercises suggest that the country is preparing for war, a think tank with close ties to China’s military said in a report released Wednesday. “Island landing” and other readiness drills conducted by Japan’s Self-Defense Forces “are not only provocative and confrontational, but also meant for war preparedness,” the China Strategic Culture Promotion Association said in its third annual report on Tokyo’s military capabilities.

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US military’s ‘air optical fiber’ increases the power of laser weapons, networks, science

US military’s ‘air optical fiber’ increases the power of laser weapons, networks, science

Researchers in the US, funded by the US Air Force, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), and the National Science Foundation, have managed to turn air into an “optical fiber.” This breakthrough allows the scientists to create an air waveguide, allowing for much better transmission of lasers through free space. As you might have guessed from the US military’s involvement, this could be big news for laser weapons — but there are repercussions for laser-based communications and scientific research as well.

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