Daily News Roundup

Posted by Chris van Avery on 29Mar11.

Diplomats meet as Italy plots Gaddafi’s escape
Gates Says Libya Not Vital National Interest
Officials: Libyan operation could last months
Turkey offers to broker Libya ceasefire as rebels advance on Sirte
Libyan rebels say they’ve seized Gaddafi home town
Libyan migrants arrive in Italy
Qatar becomes first Arab country to recognize Libyan National Council
UAE Jets Arrive in Italy for Libya Operations
New Libyan Rebel Leader Spent Much Of Past 20 Years In Suburban Virginia
Yemeni regime loses grip on four provinces
Militant attacks raise fear of Yemeni power vacuum
Prez’s son-in-law joins Yemen opposition
Fatal blast at Yemen arms factory
The Dance of the Snakes: Brewing Civil War in Yemen Has All Sides Nervous
Syrian VP: Assad to announce big decision in 2 days
Snipers kill two in Syria
Tensions In Lataqiya, Syria Becoming Increasingly Ethnic
Alarabiya.net: Syrian Government To Step Down, Other Reforms
U.S. Won’t Back New Intervention
Pro- And Anti-Assad Demonstrations In Lebanon, Egypt; Syrian News Agency: Arab Leaders Are With Assad
The Syrian Spring
Jordanians bury first casualty of demonstrations
Jordan’s lower house rejects calls for limiting king’s powers
Jordan Teetering On Civil War, Local Analysts Say
Jordan releases protesters blamed for unrest
As the Middle East burns, Saudi economy glows
Mecca Imam: No Separation Of Religion And State
Saudi Sheikh In New Delhi: Unite To Change Social Order
Bahrain opposition accepts Kuwait’s offer to mediate
Bahrain opposition says 250 detained, 44 missing
Bahrain Opposition Faces Uphill Effort
Young activists see Muslim Brotherhood alliance with military regime
Egyptian military plans to transfer power to civilian rule ‘as soon as possible’
Egypt military rulers: 30-year emergency laws to be lifted before September general elections
Hamas getting cozy with new Egyptian leaders
Egypt’s fundamentalist Salafists rise in wake of Mubarak’s fall
Bombing attempt on Egypt-Israel gas pipeline fails
Egypt Air Wipes Israel Off the Map
An unusual German export to Egypt: how to handle the secret police
Egypt: A Purge too Far?
‘Cheap’ bread to cost billions in Egypt
Egypt says will recognize new South Sudan state
Qatar Seizes Two Iranian Boats With Arms: Report
Iranian Human Rights Website: 80 Prisoners Killed in Iranian Jail
Iranian hacker claims he acted alone in stealing digital SSL certificates
Al-Maliki Warns of Sectarian War In Middle East Due To Bahrain
Iraqi Coalition Government Showing Signs of Breakup
Beware the ‘Turkish Model’
PNA leader Abbas hopes Palestinian state recognized this year
Abbas: Draw up constitution of future state
Abbas aide: president ready to give up $400 million in US aid for Palestinian unity with Hamas
Facebook ‘monitoring’ page calling for 3rd intifada
Fatah spokesman emphasizes that terrorism is “legitimate right”
Israel deploys first anti-rocket system near Gaza
Israeli strike on Palestinian rocket squad kills 2 militants
Israel’s premier warns Gaza militants of military retaliation if rocket fire resumes
Hardliner to Head Israel’s National Security Council
In Push for Mideast Peace, Whose Side Is Obama On?
Alassane Ouattara rejects African Union representative in Ivory Coast
Ivorian ex-rebels ‘seal border’
Forces for Ivory Coast’s internationally recognized leader say they have taken a major city
Moroccan teachers to strike after violent protests
Tunisia’s interim president sacks interior minister without explanation, report says
Gov’t detains Somali radio journalists, accusing them of inaccuracies in report on fighting
Police: Radical sect members kill a political youth leader in Nigeria’s restive northeast
Madagascar opposition groups reject new unity government
Truck explodes in eastern Afghanistan, killing 20, wounding dozens, Taliban claims attack
Taliban militants say they have kidnapped 50 Afghan policement in northeastern Afghanistan
Pakistani official says 11 troops have been killed in a militant ambush close to Afghan border
South Asia rivals in terror talks
India Not Ready to Lead on World Stage
Radioactive water risk played down
New radiation leak at Japan plant
Officials say plutonium detected in soil outside of troubled Japanese nuclear complex
U.S. helps clear vital Japan harbor
China arrests blogger Ran Yunfei
Manager of battery factory in eastern China arrested after 168 villagers suffer lead poisoning
China poised to overhaul US as biggest publisher of scientific papers
Chinese students screened for ‘radical thoughts’ and ‘independent lifestyles’
China’s Repression Undoes Its Charm Offensive
Vietnam Eyes China ‘Threat’
Thousands of Indonesians rally against international strikes on Libya, say Gadhafi should go
Myanmar military holds unusually low-key celebration of Armed Forces Day
Hugo Chavez doubling down on support for Mideast dictators
Russia ‘kills Caucasus militants’
Russia Arrests Two Bombing Suspects
Central Asia Stokes Russian Imperialism
Ukraine Opposition Warns of Setbacks
London erupts as 400,000 protest spending cuts
UK Fear over China power, poll finds
Portugal under heavy EU pressure to seek financial aid
Merkel ‘loses key state election’
Big stake for unpopular Sarkozy in France’s local elections amid far right resurgence
Dominican president hints he wants to run for 3rd term despite term limit rules
Israel asking Argentina if it stopped inquiry into Jewish center bombings to appease Iran
Human bondage hits U.S. heartland
Mexico Drug War Displaces 230,000 and Half Find Refuge in the U.S.
4 people die from swine flu in northern Mexico
The Return of Anarchism
One billion face water shortages by 2050

Philippines seeks patrol ships, aircraft, radar to bolster watch in and near the Spratlys
Indian navy seizes Somali pirates

US pulling back naval firepower aimed at Libyan forces as military mission gains ground
Shortage Of RAF Pilots For Libya As UK Defence Budget Cuts Bite
Libya may make US defense cuts a no-fly zone
China Eyes Naval Track Record
PLA on board an Orient express
Turkish, Afghan, Pakistan Forces Hold Anti-Terror Exercise
U.S. Seeks to Maintain 10 Military Bases in Iraq
US-Philippine military exercises may be scaled back because of relief mission in Japan
DFAS cannot promise pay in government shutdown

Economists expect Greek default
Foreign Shocks Temper America’s Export-Led Rebound
The Economy Remains Too Vulnerable

Major earthquakes don’t trigger dangerous ones around the globe, historical study suggests

Obama on Libya: a Goldilocks doctrine gambling on Gaddafi’s exit
Obama’s Libya speech: satisfactory, but not satisfying
Government Shutdown Grows More Likely
Democrats offer more cutbacks as a showdown on budget looms
Durbin: Social Security a deal-killer
Rising Medicare premiums threaten to wipe out Social Security COLA for third straight year
Political journalist forced to stand in a closet
Gov’t emails: Political reviews over requests for US records ‘meddling,’ ‘crazy’ and ‘bananas’
Key GOP leadership targeted for backing nuke program cuts

Turkey: Christians Despised
Pakistan’s Sherry Rehman stands alone after colleagues’ assassinations
Egypt clerics protest at graft in religious bodies
Pope prays at memorial to victims of Nazi massacre in Rome; Jews decry trips for perpetrator
Progressives Dumbly Dismiss Conservative Theology

  Daily News Roundup

Posted by Chris van Avery on 28Feb11.

Libyan rebels gear for fight near capital
Anti-Gaddafi forces take control of northwestern Libyan city
Resigned Libyan Minister: We Will Establish an Interim Government in Benghazi
Security Council slaps sanctions on Gadhafi
Doctors report 256 died in Benghazi violence: ICRC
100,000 have fled Libya, UN refugee agency says
Libya escapees tell of looting in the oilfields
Clinton: US ‘reaching out’ to Libyan opposition groups
Libya: neither tribal nor Islamist
Arab League boss Moussa to run for Egyptian president
Egypt’s generals unveil reform package
Yemen’s parties to join anti-president protests
President Ali Abdullah Saleh vows to resist Yemen protests
Saudi King Orders Up Jobs
Why a king’s ransom is not enough for Saudi Arabia’s protesters
Oman police fire rubber bullets at protesters, two dead
Iraq PM gives govt 100 days to improve — or else
Iranian Protest Movement Calls for Demonstrations on March 1; Mousavi, Karroubi Reportedly Detained in IRGC Facility
Iran: Removal of Fuel Rods from Bushehr Reactor Unrelated to Stuxnet Virus
Jordan to give priority to peace process despite regional turmoil
Lebanon’s ‘sectarian’ govt flayed
Egyptian editor: Israel-peace treaty will likely be revised
Vogue fawns over the wonderful Assads
Tunisian PM resigns over protests
Six killed in DR Congo ‘coup bid’
China’s ‘jasmine’ revolution: police but no protesters in Beijing
China’s working poor not yet ready to revolt
Russia ready to hold drills with Ukraine in any format – defense minister
French foreign minister resigns
Silvio Berlusconi sex case witness has car torched
14 killed in Mexico bar attacks

Ruthless new breed of Somali pirates craves riches, not revenge
Preventing Piracy Begins on Land
Russia, Ukraine to sign deal on Russian Black Sea Fleet rearmament

Japan’s output up for third month

  Russia Preparing The Battlefield In Ukraine?

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 15Jun09.

The Jamestown Foundation discusses continuing developments between Russia and Ukraine that suggest to some that Russia is planning a de facto reintegration of Ukraine–by force if necessary.

According to an interview with Ukraine’s Ambassador to Russia Konstantyn Hryshchenko, the country’s bilateral relationship with Russia has sunk to its lowest level since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, testimony to the Russian state control of the media and its ideological crusade against Ukraine (www.profil-ua.com, June 6).

The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) is openly raising the question of the intensification of Russian intelligence activities within Ukraine, and Russia’s return to Soviet KGB tactics. This concern was expressed in SBU chairman Valentyn Nalyvaychenko’s comment that the FSB within the Black Sea Fleet should withdraw from the Crimea (www.radiosvoboda, June 2). Nalyvaychenko explained that one of the functions of the SBU was counter-espionage, and that was why they did not agree with the FSB being based in the Fleet.

The main suspects of the murder in Odessa on April 17 of a student member of the Ukrainian nationalist NGO Sich, Maksym Chayka, belong to the “Antifa(scist)” NGO financed by the Russian nationalist Rodina party. The presidential secretariat requested that the SBU investigate their activities to discover if they are coordinated “with foreign organizations of an anti-Ukrainian orientation” (www.president.gov.ua, April 22). The SBU appealed to the justice ministry to consider if there were grounds to revoke Rodina’s registration, based on among things, their link to organized crime and financing from abroad. The suspects have fled to Russia.

These views of Ukraine’s “artificiality” and “fragility” remain deeply rooted within the Russian mindset, and explain the state orchestrated campaign depicting Ukraine as a “failed state” that requires international supervision. Putin described Ukraine as an “artificial” entity with lands given to it by Russia and the USSR during his speech to the NATO-Russia Council in Bucharest in April 2008. The March 16 issue of Russian political scientist Gleb Pavlovsky’s Ruskyi Zhurnal was devoted to “Will Ukraine Lose its Sovereignty?” (www.russ.ru).

Ukraine’s former Ambassador to the United States Yuriy Shcherbak, wrote a lengthy analysis of the campaign conducted by senior Russian officials. Shcherbak believes that the aim is an “ideological-propaganda preparation of a future operation for the seizure of the territory of a sovereign state” (Den, May 26).

And as with Georgia, the analyst suggests that the Obama administration may be turing a blind eye to developments in its ongoing effort to “reset” relations with Moscow.

  Naval News Today

Posted by Yankee Sailor on 05Jun08.

Canadian navy scare off pirates

The Canadian navy said Wednesday one of its patrol helicopters scared off pirates attacking a commercial vessel with small arms fire a day earlier in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia.

A Sea King helicopter from the Canadian frigate Calgary “intervened in an ongoing piracy attack on a commercial vessel” about 65 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia, the navy said in a statement.

The Calgary, one of three Canadian warships currently assigned to safeguard ships transiting the area, had received a “broken call for assistance” from the vessel under attack.

Russian Navy Ships Are Ready to Sail for Somalia

Russian Navy ships are ready to set off for the shores of Somalia, where pirates have captured the crew of the Dutch ship Amiya Scan, among them a Russian, in the event a political decision is taken to do so, according to Kapitan First Rank Igor’ Dygalo.

“In the event higher leadership makes the political decision to send Russian Navy ships to the shores of Somalia, the fleet is unconditionally ready to carry out the decision”, noted the Navy representative.

Dygalo added that “use of force in any case is a measure of last resort”.

Pirates operating along the Somali coast have detained the 9 man crew of the Dutch ship Amiya Scan, among them the captain and three officers are from Russia and the rest are Filipino sailors.

RAND study finds increase in piracy and terrorism at sea

Acts of piracy and terrorism at sea are on the rise, but there is little evidence to support concerns from some governments and international organizations that pirates and terrorists are beginning to collude with one another, according to a RAND Corporation study issued today.

The objectives of the two crimes remain different — piracy is aimed at financial gain while the goal of terrorism is political. Although both events are increasing, piracy is growing much faster and remains far more common than seaborne terrorism, according to the report.

“The maritime environment will likely remain a favorable theater for armed violence, crime and terrorism given its expanse, lack of regulation and general importance as a critical conduit for international trade,” said Peter Chalk, author of the study and a senior political scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “While there is no quick fix for eliminating all of this, we can rationally manage the threats within acceptable boundaries.”

Russian parliament warns Ukraine over NATO bid

Russia’s parliament on Wednesday recommended that the Kremlin consider pulling out of a friendship treaty with Ukraine if the ex-Soviet state takes further steps to join NATO. Parliament’s resolution is not binding and the Kremlin has not expressed its position, but the move is likely to add to pressure on Ukraine days before its pro-Western leader meets Russia’s new President Dmitry Medvedev.

Moscow is opposed to Ukraine joining NATO, saying that would threaten Russian security and jeopardise an arrangement under which Russia leases Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Sevastopol as a base for its navy. The pro-Kremlin parliament recommended the government withdraw from a 1997 friendship treaty if Ukraine is given a NATO Membership Plan, a roadmap to membership, or other steps are taken to speed up its accession to the alliance.

US military planning missile defense test

The U.S. military on Thursday plans to intercept a ballistic missile in its first sea-based missile defense test since the USS Lake Erie shot down an errant satellite in a real-world mission earlier this year.

The test, off Kauai, is the latest test of the military’s sea-based missile defenses, called the Aegis ballistic missile defense program.

The military will fire a Scud-like missile, which has a range of a few hundred miles, from a decommissioned amphibious assault ship, the USS Tripoli.

USS Lake Erie, a Pearl Harbor-based Navy cruiser, will fire two interceptor missiles at the target with the intention of shooting it down in its final seconds of flight.

Cdn. submarine fleet cut to one until late 2009, minister’s note says

For the next year and a half, Canada’s Navy will have only one submarine at sea from its small fleet of four troubled, second-hand Victoria Class boats, Canwest News Service has learned.

And the damaged HMCS Chicoutimi might not be seaworthy until as late as 2012 – two years longer than officials said it would take for repairs – meaning it will have been mothballed for eight years, according to documents recently released under the Access to Information Act.

Canada’s purchase of four used submarines from Britain for nearly $900 million, 10 years ago, has been dogged by controversy, technical setbacks and one notable tragedy – the 2004 fire that grounded the Chicoutimi after claiming the life of one sailor and injuring eight others.

Sevastopol may be traded for the Syrian port of Tartus

The Commander in Chief of the Russian Navy, Vladimir Vysotskiy is planning to increase the number of combat ships in Sevastopol’. Also, without waiting for a political decision about the fate of the Black Sea Fleet (BSF), he is already thinking about re-basing the BSF in the Mediterranean basin after 2017. Military experts consider the idea of rebasing the fleet to be rational, but consider the announcement to increase the number of vessels to be nothing more than populism. Since Russia doesn’t have any ships to spare the only way to increase the numbers in the BSF would be to take ships from other fleets.

Since Soviet times there has been a navy repair base in the Syrian port of Tartus. Right now it is a temporary deployment base for the BSF (for about a dozen warships) and there are three floating docks and the repair tender PM-61. Russian specialists are also working on expansion of the port and the construction of a pier in the neighboring port of Al-Latakia. The repair base could potentially receive the designation of basing point and then Navy Base.

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