UK surveillance agency GCHQ is reportedly using telecom companies to gain access to sub-sea data cables in Europe.
The Belgian morning newspaper De Standard claims five of the cables, which resurface at the Belgian coast, are affected, and the data GCHQ gleans from them is then shared with the US National Security Agency. The information comes from Comité I, according to De Standaard — a committee that monitors the intelligence services in Belgium.
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UK surveillance agency GCHQ is reportedly using telecom companies to gain access to sub-sea data cables in Europe.
The Kremlin has justified the use of force in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine with a vow to protect ethnic Russians, an excuse that’s easily applied in other places. In Kazakhstan, there’s a significant minority of ethnic Russians in the north of the country, Hill points out – some 24 percent of the country is said to be ethnically Russian, and the language is widely spoken. While Belarus has fewer ethnic Russians (8.3 percent), it has largely become a Russophone state and there are a lot of murky questions about who might succeed Alexandr Lukashenko.
Russian military ally Belarus will ask Moscow to deploy 12 to 15 warplanes on its territory in response to increased NATO activity near its borders due to tension over Ukraine, President Alexander Lukashenko said on Wednesday. The United States and Poland, Belarus’s western neighbour, began war games on Tuesday that are expected to involve at least 12 U.S. F-16 fighter jets. A joint naval exercise of U.S., Bulgarian and Romanian naval forces in the Black Sea started on Wednesday.
“Proactive” Crime is a new trend in law enforcement: With prognostic methods serious crimes in advance are to be prevented. Unlike the crime prevention this should already work if there is still no concrete threat. The 7th EU Research Framework Programme funded projects PROACTIVE and CAPER deal with it. The Left in the Bundestag has now with a small request for “computer-aided detection of undesirable behavior in public space” in the federal government.
The American military may soon be filled with soldiers sporting Google Glass-like headgear that can measure distances, display 3D building layouts, transmit video from a drone and more, all on a glass display right in front of their eyes. Battlefields are full of data soldiers can use: enemy positions, the location of fellow soldiers, maps of a city or a house, video of what they’ll encounter over a hill. But until recently, there’s been no way to live-stream that data to soldiers on the ground.
A recent trip to the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, has in fact opened my eyes to what a typical peacekeeper expects to gain from his tour of duty in Somalia. So this peacekeeper has every pretext to fear death and plan for a happy future back home. In fact, he was already building a new house, praying that he remains in Somalia until the building is finished. “I don’t want to defeat Al-Shabaab. I would rather scatter them to prolong my mission,” he told me.
The “peace dividend” from the end of the cold war has long since bitten the dust. Global military spending has returned to pre-1989 levels, undoubtedly a legacy of the war on terror and the returning salience of military competition in its context. In fact, by 2011 global military spending was higher than at any year since the end of the second world war. So, what is the explanation for such huge investments? Is it simply the case that states are power-maximising entities, and that as soon as they have access to enough taxable income they start dreaming war?
Laser weapons like those developed by the United States pose little threat to the PLA – smog or no smog – because mainland researchers have pioneered coatings that can deflect beams and render them harmless, mainland scientists say. PLA Navy Rear Admiral Zhang Zhaozhong drew widespread ridicule last month when the National Defence University researcher suggested that China’s thick smog provided the country’s best defence against military lasers.
If the French defense industry was not alone in crossing the strategic Rubicon, it did so with a splash by starting negotiations in the aftermath of the 2008 Georgia war. The move by the EU peace-broker shocked its Western partners, but no objections were raised (at least officially) by NATO which regarded the defense contract as a “sovereign matter between France and Russia.” As Russian forces tighten their grip on the energy-rich and strategically important Crimean peninsula, the Western alliance faces another awkward French moment.
There are “serious concerns” among some North Korean officials that North Korea could turn into a vassal state of China amid growing economic dependence on its sole ally, a defector said Monday. “Without Chinese capital and goods, it would be impossible for the North Korean government to operate, and ordinary people would not be able to carry on with their daily lives,” Kim said. “North Korea grew so dependent on China in the 20 years of Kim Jong-il’s rule that it’s now impossible to construct buildings, grow farm produce, or sustain the regime without imports of Chinese materials.
For the children learning the alphabets of English in normal schools, “A” is for “Apple”, but for their counterparts of Naxal-run schools in Abujhmad areas of south Bastar, known in Maoist parlance as “Liberated Zone”, in Chhattisgarh, “A” is for “Arms” and “B” is for “Bomb”. When kids of normal parents are initiated into formal education by identifying apple, ball, cat, the tribal tiny tots in Maoist-hotbeds of remote south Bastar are introduced to violent world of insurgency through alphabets that acquaint them to military and insurgency jargons.
Could the republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan see some unofficial territory move from Afghanistan into their respective domains? It could be considered a lot less imaginary than it looks at first sight. Now, with the departure of the Americans and their allies, that wall is due to crumble. With Tajik, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Turkmen and even Kazakh communities dominating the northern regions and no Pashtun, the Taliban’s ethnic basis, to speak of in sight, the scenario looks quite possible.
Germany’s Angela Merkel delivered a rebuke to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, telling him that a planned Moscow-backed referendum on whether Crimea should join Russia was illegal and violated Ukraine’s constitution. Putin defended breakaway moves by pro-Russian leaders in Crimea, where Russian forces tightened their grip on the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula by seizing another border post and a military airfield.
Libya’s Defence Ministry has authorized the military to use force to stop a North Korean-flagged tanker from loading crude oil at a rebel-held port, bypassing the Tripoli government, it said on Sunday. The tanker docked on Saturday at the eastern terminal of Es Sider, one of three ports seized by rebels since August to press demands for autonomy and a bigger share of oil revenue. Local daily al-Wasat said the ship had loaded $36 million of crude.
The Spanish government approved Friday an expansion of the size and duration of the U.S. military presence at the Moron base in southern Spain. The Pentagon is authorized to increase the U.S. Marine contingent at Moron from the current level of around 850 troops to as many as 1,100, Spanish Defense Minister Pedro Morenes told reporters after Friday’s Cabinet meeting. The U.S. military also asked to expand the number of aircraft stationed at the Moron base, he said.
NATO is launching a military exercise involving 16,000 soldiers from 16 countries in the north of Norway, to practise stopping a surprise invasion, the Norwegian army announced today. The army was quick to add that the multi-national exercise dubbed Cold Response had been planned for a long time and had nothing to do with the current tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine, where Russian forces have taken effective control of Crimea.
Its location on the Han River helped give Danjiangkou the seeming good fortune to be chosen as a keystone in China’s solution to a worsening water crisis. Starting next year, about 9.5 billion cubic meters (335.5 billion cubic feet) of water from the Danjiangkou Reservoir will travel from here to over 100 cities—including Beijing—in northern China, where water is scarcer than in the south. Signs in the town proclaim it to be the “fount head” of the central route of the South-North Water Diversion Project (SNWDP).
While such incomplete transformations are a common phase in democratisation processes, the range of Egyptian interests in Libya must be protected despite the partial, unfinished democratic change. Egypt is bound to economic, political and border security interests in Libya. Economically, there are Libyan investments in Egypt that are close to $1 billion ($864 million in 2008). What’s more crucial than the Libyan investments in Egypt is the enormous Egyptian workforce in Libya.
Imagine a railroad linking the great industries of South Korea with Europe. The dream might some day come true as the South drafts elaborate plans for shipping goods through North Korea’s Rason special economic zone adjacent to the North’s 10-mile-long Tumen River border with Russia. The South Koreans have the enthusiastic support of the Russians, who have long dreamed of shipping goods by rail from South Korean factories, through North Korea and then onto the trans-Siberian railway.
“Taking the Gulf Cooperation Council to a political abyss serves nobody’s interests. The peoples and leaders of the GCC member states should have a clear awareness of just how lethal a threat the abyss politics pose to everyone,” said Dr Yousuf Al Hassan, a leading Emirati political analyst. “Qatar could face sanctions clamped by the Gulf countries, including the closing of borders with Qatar, and airspace to it if Doha doesn’t stop supporting the Muslim Brotherhood,”.
Saudi Arabia wants to have Egypt included in the Gulf Cooperation Council, a regional grouping of Arab countries overlooking the Arab Gulf, according to an Arab diplomatic source. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Anadolu Agency that a Saudi official had notified Egyptian government officials of the Saudi tendency during an Arab League meeting in Cairo. The Saudi official said his country would make the proposal during the upcoming Arab Summit.
A squad of 100 newly-minted Somali commandos are ready to hit the streets following the end of a nine-month training course run by American trainers. Nicknamed Danab (lightning) due to their newly-acquired skills, the commandos are expected to significantly beef up the security effort in the capital Mogadishu which has in recent weeks grappled with a spate of terror attacks.
At a time when India’s “look east” policy has come of age, expanding into the wider Indo-Pacific region, the absence of seamless connectivity with its neighbourhood has become a glaring lacuna. For India, cooperation in the Bay of Bengal region has the potential to bring the northeastern region of India centrestage by strengthening connectivity, as the easier access would aid in its the development.
Mauritius and Seychelles will soon join the Indian Ocean trilateral group on maritime security. After the third meeting of the trilateral -which includes India, Sri Lanka and Maldives – NSA Shivshankar Menon said the informal grouping now has a system to monitor activities in the Indian Ocean, conduct search and rescue operations and counter piracy among other things. The grouping is an avenue to enhance India’s power in the region at a time when China is stepping up its naval activities.