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Showing posts from April 8, 2012

India, US joint $ 125 million fund for research in clean energy

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/242025/india-us-joint-125-million.html Washington, Apr 14 (PTI) India and the United States have announced a joint USD 125 million fund to carry out combined research in the field of clean energy. As such three institutions each from India and the US have been selected for the US-India Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC), which is part of the US-India Partnership to Advance Clean Energy, announced during the November 2009 visit of US President Barack Obama to India. While National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Florida and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have been selected from the US, three Indian institutions are the Indian Institute of Science-Bangalore, the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology-Hyderabad, and CEPT University-Ahmedabad. Consortia researchers will leverage their expertise and resources in solar technology, advanced biofuels and building efficiency to unlock the huge potential of cle

Strategic Trends 2012

Strategic Trends 2012 Key Developments in Global Affairs Author(s): Myriam Dunn Cavelty, Jonas Grätz, An Jacobs, Prem Mahadevan, Daniel Möckli Editor(s): Daniel Möckli Series Editor(s): Andreas Wenger Series: Strategic Trends Publisher(s): Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich Publication Year: 2012 Publication Place: Zurich Strategic Trends 2012 is the third issue of the Strategic Trends series. It contains a brief overview as well as chapters on China's uncertain peaceful rise, the strategic weakening of debt-ridden Europe, the persistence of armed conflict in sub-Saharan Africa, the geopolitical significance of unconventional oil and gas resources, and the militarization of cyber security. Download: English (PDF) Strategic Trends Analysis website

Russia: Online Petition Seeks to Increase Controls on Foreign-Funded NGO 's

Filed under: Global Voices by Kevin Rothrock on Monday, 9 April 2012 | No Comments Tags: funding , NGOs , Russia Podkontrol.ru, an online petition calling for stricter controls on foreign-funded Russian NGOs. Back in early February 2012, Vladimir Putin published the fourth op-ed of his presidential campaign: a lengthy treatise titled “ Democracy and the Quality of Government ” [ru]. About 1,500 words deep into that article, Putin proposed that the Russian parliament should automatically consider the legislative applications of any online petition successful in gathering more than one-hundred thousand signatures. A few weeks later, Putin published the final installment of his platform, titled “ Russia and the Changing World ” [ru], where he wrote the following: “The distinction should be clear between free speech and normal political activity, on the one hand, and illegal instruments of ’soft power,’ on the other. […] [T]he activity of ‘pseudo-NGOs’ and other structures operating on

SWISS Surveillance : Big brother is not always watching

by Marc-André Miserez, swissinfo.ch http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss_news/Big_brother_is_not_always_watching.html?cid=32375516 Surveillance cameras seem to be springing up everywhere in Switzerland. But who and what exactly are the electronic eyes watching? Following the first study on the impact of public video surveillance in 12 European countries, security and police experts say people should not overestimate the technology, and dispel “big brother” fears. The scene is familiar from television police dramas: A camera homing in on an individual in an anonymous crowd of people, the close-up of a face fills the screen. Police officers compare it with the computer profile of a wanted person and - bingo, they match! In reality the technology has not quite reached this level of sophistication and lags behind the world of fiction. “Luck may be on your side if a bank robber appears at the counter without covering up his face,” says Olivier Guéniat, commander of the Jura cantonal po

Mumbai attackers were trained in paramilitary courses: US attorney

Washington, Apr 14, 2012,(PTI) http://www.deccanherald.com/content/242013/mumbai-attackers-were-trained-paramilitary.html The 26/11 Mumbai attack was carried out by highly trained terrorists who were given training into paramilitary courses by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a US attorney has said. "...this (Mumbai attack) was, in fact, the handiwork of highly trained terrorists who had gone through the LeT paramilitary courses," US Attorney Neil H MacBride said in a submission to a US District court in Virginia, which sentenced 24-year-old Pakistani national Jubair Ahmad for aiding LeT. Ahmad was sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment yesterday for providing material support to LeT by making a propaganda video for the terror group, helping it with recruitment and fundraising. Based in US for the past few years, Ahmad had himself received two levels of LeT training and was in regular communication with Talha Saeed, the son of the LeT founder Hafiz Saeed. "For years before hi

MY QUICK TAKE ON SECURITY IMPLICATIONS OF ECONOMIC RELATIONS WITH PAKISTAN

B.RAMAN I have received many queries from my readers asking for my comments on the security implications of normal economic relations with Pakistan.I will categorise them as follows: LOW SECURITY IMPLICATIONS: Trade in goods. Expansion of bilateral trade in goods can reduce the trust deficit between the two countries and facilitate a forward movement in improving the comfort level. Its security implications will be the least in the form of an increasing flow of Pakistani intelligence personnel and jihadi leaders to India under the cover of businessmen for establishing contacts with leaders of organisations such as the Indian Mujahideen (IM), for funding them and for giving them instructions. These threats could be managed by the intelligence agencies which have a long experience of dealing with Pakistani intelligence activities in Indian territory and have a good data-base on this.Trade in goods would not enable the ISI to destabilise our economy. MEDIUM SECURITY IMPLICATIONS Trade

NORTH KOREA: US COMMITTING A SERIOUS MISTAKE

B.RAMAN The US is committing a serious mistake in imposing fresh food sanctions against North Korea for attempting to launch a rocket on April 13,2012, in defiance of international appeals not to do so and in violation of its past commitments not to do so in return for a resumption of food aid. 2.The launch---which the US described as an attempt to test a long-range missile and North Korea projected as an attempt to put a satellite in orbit to mark the 100 th anniversary of the birth of his grand-father Kim Ul-Sung--- failed. After the launch, the second stage failed to separate from the first and the rocket disintegrated. 3. It was a double humiliation for North Korea, its leaders and people. The first humiliation arose from the failure of the rocket and the second from the fresh food sanctions sought to be imposed on North Korea at the instance of the US for trying to test the rocket. 4. The double humiliation has come at a time when Kim Jong-Un, who succeeded his fath

It’s a New World, and America Is Not Leading It

Jeffrey Tucker I’ve been waiting for this day for a while. Chris Mayer’s World Right Side Up is finally out and ready for purchase, and Laissez Faire Books is honored to be the leading distributor. If you order through LFB, you get an autographed copy plus three months of Chris’s newsletter. I’ve followed Chris’s work for many years, and come to admire his capacity for seeing around corners with unusual prescience. He was warning of a housing bust, and explained precisely how it would play itself out, fully two years before the reality dawned on everyone else. Here is why I think his new book is important. In the last decade, something astonishing has happened that has escaped the attention of nearly every American citizen. In the past, and with good reason, we were inclined to imagine that if we were living here, we were living everywhere. We were used to being ahead. The trends of the world would follow us, so there wasn’t really much point in paying that close attention. This nati

Yeh Raat Khush Naseeb Hai

Consequences of US wrath against Defense Minister Antony

The way we kowtow to Washington makes them kick us if we take strategic decisions which do not oblige us to be US lackeys and depend on them as in say Tara pore .One reason is that no one dares tell the truth and we keep silent when Hilary or other US officials make statements on our behalf , parroted US pensioners in India , Fulbright scholars and by the likes of head of FP advisory group , headed by former Indian diplomats to Washington , with many Indians being taken care of by jaunts to USA even by ISI financed Fai .So the US ambassador resigned and left India and likes of Burns lambasted us for opting for French Rafale and not US jetfighters. Washington has been most upset with honest defense minister Antony for not succumbing to US Trojan horses .India has no plans as of now to either join the US-led joint strike fighter (JSF) programme or buy the F-35 `Lightning-II' fifth-generation fighter aircraft (FGFA) when it finally becomes operational. "We cannot have two typ

UNCERTAIN MONTHS AHEAD FOR CHINESE LEADERSHIP

B.RAMAN Wang Lijun was the Deputy Director of the Public Security Bureau in Tiefa in the Liaoning province from 1992 to 1995. From 1995 to 2000, he held the same position in Tieling city, also inthe Liaoning Province. In 2000, he was promoted as the Director of the Public Security Bureau in Tieling. From 2003 to 2008, he served as the Director of the Public Security Bureau of Jinzhou city in the same province. During this period, Bo Xilai was the Governor of the province. 2.Wangwas transferred along with Bo to Chongqing in 2008, and became the head of the Public Security Bureau there.On February 2,2012, Wang was shifted from the Public Security Bureau to a post dealing with education and environmental affairs. There was speculation that his transfer was due to an enquiry initiated against him on charges of corruption during his earlier posting in Tieling. Four days later, Wang travelled to Chengdu in the Sichuan province, visited the US Consulate and remained there for nearly 24

Africa's Tuareg Dilemma, by Robert D. Kaplan

STRTATFOR April 11, 2012 | 0903 GMT By Robert D. Kaplan Some years back, when I left Niamey, the capital of Niger, and headed north on a rutted, dirt track it was as if the country disappeared on me. There was no police, no sign of authority, nothing. Flash floods had left the road completely washed out in places, with the wheels of large trucks half-sunk in mud, drivers stuck for days on the side of the road. Here there were only Tuaregs, the "blue men" as they were called, on account of the color of their dazzling robes and the blue vegetable dye ("nila") they smeared on their bodies. The Tuaregs, a pastoral Berber people, were lords of the Sahara; it's better to have a Tuareg with you than a GPS device, went the saying of U. S. Army Special Forces with whom I was embedded. My experience heading north from Timbuktu in Mali was even more extreme. Though it connotes the back of beyond, Timbuktu was actually a cosmopolitan locale -- complete with a muse

UNITED STATES GLOBAL STRATEGIC DOMINANCE DIMINISHED

By Dr. Subhash Kapila http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/papers50/paper4998.html “After World War II, when the United States represented more than one-third of the world product and had an overwhelming preponderance in nuclear weapons, many considered it a global hegemon, but nonetheless the United States was unable to prevent the “loss” of China, roll-back Communism in Eastern Europe, prevent stalemate in the Korean War, stop the “loss” of North Vietnam, or dislodge Castro from Cuba.”--------Joseph S. Nye Jr. The United States in an uncanny repeat of the above power limitations stated above finds itself in a similar situation in 2012. After two decades of unquestioned unipolar domination of the world following the disintegration of the Former Soviet Union, the United States contextually finds itself in a situation where its global strategic dominance stands diminished. The United States military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan failed to produce decisive results. Iran c