(NYTimes) – The lower house of the Russian Parliament passed a draft law on Friday allowing the country’s intelligence service to officially warn citizens that their activities could lead to a future violation of the law, reviving a Soviet-era K.G.B. practice that was often used against dissidents. The president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, is expected to sign it into law shortly.
The legislation was proposed during the tense weeks after two suicide bombers attacked the Moscow subway, and its stated goal was to stanch the growth of radicalism among young Russians. But rights advocates and opposition parties have warned that the expanded powers could be used to silence critics of the government. In a letter made public on Thursday, 20 leading human rights activists condemned the legislation as a blow to “the cornerstone principles of the law: the presumption of innocence and legal certainty.” Read entire article
(MoscowTimes) – Prosecutors may get to shut down web sites over extremism charges for an unlimited time if the State Duma passes new legislation drafted by the Federal Security Service, Vedomosti reported Friday.
Internet service providers will be obliged to shut down web sites within three days upon receiving a “motivated letter” from prosecutors, according to the draft.
Sites will be able to return online only after a court rules that they did not violate anti-extremism laws. Even if a web site wins its case, it may be kept offline for up to a month from the day it was suspended.
The FSB legislation is to be a part of a raft of amendments to the 1995 information law that is being prepared by the Communications and Press Ministry. – Source: Moscow Times
(IraqWar) – Hezbollah warns Israel over gas fields
With Israel set to lay claim to natural gas fields recently discovered in the Mediterranean, the resistance movement of Hezbollah moves to warn Tel Aviv against extracting from Lebanon’s resources. Read More Here
A government decree on Saturday authorized lethal force to repel attacks against the authorities, stop the destruction of government and private property, and protect civilians, AFP reported. Read More Here
(PressTV) – ‘US troops attack Iraqi home, kill 5’
Five Iraqis, including 2 who were standing on their rooftop witnessing the arrival of US infantrymen, have lost their lives after their house was attacked by the troops. Read More Here
(Aangirfan) – CIA SEEKS CHAOS IN KYRGYZSTAN?
Creating chaos in Kyrgystan seems to suit the drugs trade.
It also suits the USA which does not want Kyrgyzstan to become a strong and stable partner of Russia. Read More Here
(PressTV) – Russia assures Iran over S-300 deal
Russia’s Foreign Ministry says Moscow is not obliged to freeze a deal to deliver the S-300 missile defense system to Iran under the newly imposed UN sanctions.
Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said Thursday that the deal is not referenced in the fourth round of UN sanctions imposed against Tehran which mainly target financial and military sectors. Read More Here
REPOST– (AntiWar) – Russia Moves Forward on Defense Missiles, Nuclear Plants for Iran
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced today that they are in new talks with Iran on construction of additional nuclear power plants in the nation, and that they may still deliver the S-300 Missile Defense System to Iran, though no date was given for this delivery. Read More Here
(TimesOnline) – We want troops out as soon as we can, says Cameron
David Cameron promised yesterday that British troops would not remain in Afghanistan a day longer than necessary as he flew into the country for the first time as Prime Minister. Read More Here
(AFP) – Obama has made ‘big mistake’ with Iran: Ahmadinejad – Read More Here
(PressTV) – ‘US cannot garner support for Iran war’
A former chief UN weapons inspector says the UN Security Council would never approve an attack on Iran, amid US efforts to punish the country for its nuclear work. Read More Here
(PressTV) – More US missiles kill 18 in Pakistan
Another US missile strike has killed at least 18 people and wounded dozens in a tribal area in northwest Pakistan, officials say.
According to Pakistani security officials, a drone fired six missiles 50 kilometers west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan on Friday. They say a house in Bahadar Khel village was the target of the attack.
Reportedly, the previous drone strike killed three people late Thursday at a house in the village of Khaddi, 15 kilometers east of Miranshah.
Almost 1000 Pakistanis have been killed in US drone strikes since 2008.
The issue of civilian casualties has strained the Islamabad-Washington relations.
Washington claims the attacks target militants whereas most of them have killed civilians.
Islamabad has repeatedly called for an end to the attacks, saying they violate Pakistan’s sovereignty. – Source: PressTV
(AFP) – Poland’s opposition, led by the identical twin of the country’s late president, said on Thursday it wants Warsaw to take over the probe into the plane crash in which the head of state died this month.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s Law and Justice (PiS) party hit out at Moscow’s handling of the inquiry into the April 10 crash in Smolensk in western Russia, which claimed the lives of Lech Kaczynski along with 95 others.
(WashingtonPost) – World leaders arriving in Washington for President Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit must have felt for a moment that they had instead been transported to Soviet-era Moscow.
They entered a capital that had become a military encampment, with camo-wearing military police in Humvees and enough Army vehicles to make it look like a May Day parade on New York Avenue, where a bicyclist was killed Monday by a National Guard truck.
In the middle of it all was Obama — occupant of an office once informally known as “leader of the free world” — putting on a clinic for some of the world’s greatest dictators in how to circumvent a free press.
The only part of the summit, other than a post-meeting news conference, that was visible to the public was Obama’s eight-minute opening statement, which ended with the words: “I’m going to ask that we take a few moments to allow the press to exit before our first session.”
(PaulWatson) – Considering the swiftness with which paid propagandists for full body scanners exploited the staged Christmas Day bombing attempt, don’t expect to wait too long before today tragic events in Moscow are pillaged and used to scare people into accepting whatever draconian measures are next in the pipeline. Continue reading →
(PressTV) – ‘Moscow says the United States and NATO’s inaction in fighting drug trafficking in Afghanistan, translates into an “undeclared war” against Russia. Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin slammed the alliance for its loose surveillance on drug trafficking out of Afghanistan, the Associated Press reported on Friday.
Afghanistan produces some 90 percent of the world’s opium. The Afghan drugs enter Russia and Central Asia before reaching Western Europe.’ Read More Here
(Reuters) – Medvedev objects to “endless” NATO expansion
Russia’s new military doctrine does not identify NATO as its major threat but Moscow is disturbed by the alliance’s “endless enlargement”, President Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview published on Thursday. Read More Here
(Xinhuanet) – Russia threatens to react to NATO expansion
Russia will have to respond as it is concerned by NATO’s active eastward expansion and the U.S. plans to deploy elements of a missile defense system in Europe, Russia’s top military officer said on Wednesday. Read More Here
(RiaNov) – China could build up nuclear capability to counter U.S. missile shield
China could strengthen its nuclear capability in response to U.S. global missile defense plans, a Russian military expert said on Wednesday.
“At present, China has a very limited nuclear potential, but my recent contacts with Chinese military representatives indicate that if the United States deploys a global missile defense system, in particular in the Far East, China will build up its offensive capability,” said Lt. Gen. Yevgeny Buzhinsky, former department deputy head in the Russian Defense Ministry. Read More Here
(Reuters) – North Korea, as usual, threatens South, U.S. over drill
North Korea threatened to attack South Korean and U.S. forces for scheduled joint military drills in March even as nuclear envoys picked up the pace of work to get stalled disarmament talks back on track. Read More Here
(Reuters) – China’s military warns Washington, denies hacking
China’s military warned the United States on Thursday to “speak and act cautiously” to avoid reigniting tensions between the two powers, denying the People’s Liberation Army played a part in Internet hacking. Read More Here
(Reuters) – U.S. raps Europe for underfunding defense
Europe has demilitarized too much since the end of the Cold War and its underfunded defense budgets are undermining shared security goals, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Tuesday. Read More Here
The Iranian military has introduced a new squadron of domestically-manufactured Saeqeh fighter-bombers to the country’s Air Force to strengthen its deterrence power. Read More Here
(YNet) – IDF practices 2-front war
Senior officers complete drill involving war against Hezbollah in north, Hamas in south Read More Here
(PressTV) – US offered Rigi ‘extensive aid’ for Iran attacks
The captured ringleader of the Jundallah terrorist group, Abdolmalek Rigi, has confessed that the US administration had assured him of unlimited military aid and funding for waging an insurgency against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Read More Here
(RussiaToday) – A record snowfall hit Moscow over the weekend. This February has become the most snowy month in 40 years, with snow cover almost 1.5 times higher than longstanding average figures. Continue reading →
(Times) – Russia needs more weapons to punch through America’s new missile defence shield, Vladimir Putin said yesterday in blunt remarks that will complicate efforts to cut the nuclear arsenals of the former Cold War rivals. Continue reading →
(Reuters) – Russia will work on a new generation of atomic weapons to strengthen its nuclear deterrent, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday, just hours after Moscow test-fired one of its most feared missiles. Continue reading →
(RIANov) – Turkey is switching to national currencies in trade with Iran and China, ending dependence on the U.S. dollar and the euro for about 20% of its commodity turnover, local media reported on Wednesday. Continue reading →
(Google) – Russia on Thursday said it would continue military cooperation with Iran amid widespread unease in the West over Moscow’s controversial contract to sell advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Tehran. Continue reading →
The latest news report that Russia will sign an agreement with the Bolivian government to explore and produce natural gas is a significant setback for US domination of its traditional Latin American sphere of influence. Continue reading →
(Times) – Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has handed the Kremlin a list of Russian scientists believed by the Israelis to be helping Iran to develop a nuclear warhead. He is said to have delivered the list during a mysterious visit to Moscow. Continue reading →
According to Macedonian Radio and Television On-line (MRT), a Russian professor predicts the United States will fall apart in July 2010. MRT reports, “‘Mr. Obama is similar to the last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Continue reading →
The recent announcment that the Obama Administration has canceled plans for a missile defense system in Central Europe is causing careful observers to sit up and think about the global ramifications. Continue reading →
(JPost) – Israel needs to make every effort to stop the S-300 missile defense system from reaching countries where the air force may need to fly, IAF commander Maj.-Gen. Ido Nehushtan has told The Jerusalem Post in an exclusive interview. Continue reading →
If his spokesman Dmitry Peskov is to be believed, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in his Valdai club discussions with foreign experts came out against both military action and against imposing further sanctions on Iran. Continue reading →
(TimesOnline) – Evidence of a secret dash to Russia by Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, intensified speculation yesterday that a hijacked cargo ship was smuggling arms to Iran. Continue reading →
“Time is running out, and Israel has decided not to depend on the United Nations in terms of sanctions on Iran”, Israeli daily Ynet said on Friday. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has launched extensive diplomatic activities aimed at pressuring a series of the world’s leading countries to impose sanctions on Iran, even if the Security Council fails to make such a decision. Continue reading →
(NYTimes) – A pair of nuclear-powered Russian attack submarines has been patrolling off the eastern seaboard of the United States in recent days, a rare mission that has raised concerns inside the Pentagon and intelligence agencies about a more assertive stance by the Russian military. Continue reading →
(WSJ) – Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview that Russia’s economy is “withering,” and suggested the trend will force the country to make accommodations to the West on a wide range of national-security issues, including loosening its grip on former Soviet republics and shrinking its vast nuclear arsenal. Continue reading →
(Yahoo) – The Russian government has issued an order telling postal workers that police and security agents have a right to open mail, causing alarm among rights advocates who fear a return to the Soviet-era tactics of the KGB. Continue reading →
There are five states competing for control of the Arctic’s oil and gas reserves, with Russia leading the pack. The US looks likely to remain on the sidelines, but what opportunities will the natural resource grab present for Canada, Norway and Greenland? Continue reading →
(Reuters) – Iran has started production of a new ground-to-air missile system, Iranian media reported on Saturday, amid persistent speculation that Israel might attack the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities. Continue reading →
(Pravda) – The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) follows the instructions from President Dmitry Medvedev, who ordered to increase the military constituent and develop the coalition force development. A strong military group, which may appear in Central Asia in the nearest future, will make the CSTO become an analogue of NATO. Continue reading →
The Obama Administration will put forth new peace initiatives only if Israel wants it to, said Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in his first comprehensive interview on foreign policy since taking office. Continue reading →
Japan gave its military the green light on Friday to shoot down any incoming North Korean rocket, with tensions high ahead of a planned launch that the US and allies say will be an illegal missile test. Continue reading →