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Showing posts from October 18, 2020

RUSSIA’S UNPRECEDENTEDLY EXPANSIVE MILITARY EXERCISES IN FALL 2020 SEEK TO RECREATE SOVIET-STYLE MULTINATIONAL ARMY

Oct 20, 2020 - George Barros, Mason Clark Download the PDF October 20, 2020 By Mason Clark and George Barros Key Takeaway: The Kremlin has conducted military exercises in fall 2020 on an unprecedented scale, much deeper than usual integration of Russian and foreign military units, and a pattern of modifying pre-announced activities significantly but presenting them as normal and unchanged. These exercises mark significant developments in the Kremlin’s campaigns to integrate the security forces of Former Soviet Union (FSU) states into Russian-dominated structures. Russian forces conducted simultaneous exercises on a scale nearly equivalent to that of two normal annual capstone exercises, suggesting that Russian forces may be able to mobilize and control more combat units and at higher echelons than had previously been assessed. The Kremlin covered new deployments to Belarus by branding them as “preplanned exercises” to create a false sense of normality. The Kremlin will likely exploit t

US Elections: Trolling Campaigns of Russia and Iran Favour their respective candidates, but China attempts to sabotage entire democratic systems

US Elections: Trolling Campaigns of Russia and Iran Favour their respective candidates, but China attempts to sabotage entire democratic systems October 23, 2020 0 If Russia’s influence operations are bursts of bad weather, China’s growing operations are like climate change that are far more destructive – says Ken McCallum, MI5 Chief by Prasad Nallapati The US Presidential race is in the final lap, but Russia remains the “big” elephant in the room, with the “ghosts” of China and Iran too looming large on the horizon to undermine the election.  The issue came up for a sharp exchange between the two Presidential candidates in their third and last of the debates yesterday (October 22) focusing on recent release of a set of emails maligning Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The New York Post, a little-known tabloid,  published  the emails last week purported to have been obtained from an old laptop of Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden. These indicate that the latter, as Vice President in the Obam

Research Publishing: Is ‘One Nation, One Subscription’ Pragmatic Reform for India?

23/10/2020 ANUBHA SINHA Representative image, of journals stacked on a shelf. Photo: yeaki/Flickr, CC BY 2.0. The story of open access (OA) publishing in India has been a chequered one. While we have had some progress with institutional initiatives, the landscape remains fractured without a national OA mandate. And now  some reports  suggest that the Indian government is considering striking a ‘one nation, one subscription’ deal with scholarly publishers for access to paywalled research for all of India’s citizens. Only last year, India had  decided against joining Plan S . K. VijayRaghavan has been at the helm of these decisions, as the principal scientific advisor to the Government of India. OA refers to the level of access different people have to a published paper, like a scientific paper. Typically, a researcher submits their manuscript to a journal to consider for publication. If the paper passes peer-review, the journal publishes the paper in its pages, and online. In the ‘conve

Explaining Silence of Dalit Parties Despite Rising Atrocities

If the weak speak out or combine forces with other oppressed, that is seen as an affront to the state by elite sections. Syed Ubaidur Rahman 23 Oct 2020 File Photo. Notwithstanding lofty slogans, India’s Dalits, especially Dalit women, remain easy targets of violence. Yet, amazingly, when it comes to raising a voice against caste-based crime, it is the non-Dalit parties that seem to take the lead. Many analysts have criticised mainstream Dalit parties and leaders for their deafening silence in the face of growing atrocities against Dalits. They find it perplexing that even those political outfits which rely on Dalit votes to come to power do not express outrage publicly, nor launch movements against the rising incidence of heinous crimes. These analysts have been wondering aloud why it is the Congress party and other national outfits, and not Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), for example, that hit the streets after the alleged gang rape and murder in  Hathras  recently. Instead,

Charting Google's dominance in search ads

Axios.com Data: eMarketer; Chart: Axios Visuals Google is expected  to net more than 71% of the U.S. search advertising spending this year, down from roughly 74.7% of market share in 2017, per eMarketer, Sara Fischer reports. Why it matters:  Google relies on search advertising for the majority of its revenue. The DOJ's lawsuit threatens the core of its business. Be smart:  Over the past few years, Amazon has slowly started to give Google a run for its money in search advertising. By 2021, it's expected to control nearly 16% of the search ad market, up from 6.5% in 2017

CHINA: Biosecurity is national security

Trivium China  On Saturday, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee passed China’s first-ever Biosecurity Law. The law will take effect on April 15, 2021. The Law aims to: Prevent and respond to biological threats Promote the sound development of biotechnologies Protect biological resources and the ecological environment It significantly raises the priority of biosecurity by: Designating biosecurity as an important aspect of national security Placing national security authorities in charge of inter-ministerial efforts on biosecurity The law also sets out mechanisms for biosecurity protection , including: A provincial-level coordination mechanism for ensuring regional biosecurity A monitoring and early warning system to prevent and control major outbreaks of infectious diseases originating in animals or plants A cross-agency information sharing system A public-facing information publishing system A set of biosecurity standards A biosecurity review system for major incidents im

Syria Comment: Ambassador Nikolaos van Dam: My great personal affection for the Syrian people, together with my academic interest in Syria, are the source of my inspiration and activities

Syria Comment: Ambassador Nikolaos van Dam: My great personal affection for the Syrian people, together with my academic interest in Syria, are the source of my inspiration and activities. S Syria Comment to me 22 minutes ago Details . Ambassador Nikolaos van Dam: My great personal affection for the Syrian people, together with my academic interest in Syria, are the source of my inspiration and activities. Posted: 21 Oct 2020 07:32 AM PDT This interview with Dr. Nikolaos Van Dam was  originally published  on October 8, 2020 by the Harmoon Center for Contemporary Studies. Harmoon Center for Contemporary Studies  hosts today,  Dr. Nikolaos Van Dam  (1945), Excellency of the Dutch Ambassador, who served in 2015-2016 as a special envoy of his country to Syria, after many years of diplomatic work in Lebanon, Jordan, the occupied Palestinian territories, Libya, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Germany and Indonesia. The author of “The Netherlands and the Arab World .. From the Medieval until the Twentie